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All Black Promotes Tuhono - Connecting Maori


Te 15 o nga ra o Paenga-whawha 2004 / 15 April 2004

ALL BLACK PROMOTES TUHONO - THE MAORI AFFILIATION SERVICE

All Black and Blues player Kees Meeuws is putting his weight behind Tuhono, a new initiative that connects Maori to their iwi.

More than 360,000 Maori voters will be sent an affiliation form on May 3 seeking consent for Tuhono - the Maori Affiliation Service - to provide their electoral details to selected iwi and Maori organisations.

Kees is of Dutch and Maori parentage, and affiliated to Ngati Maru, Ngati Whare and Hauraki. The 35-test veteran - based in Auckland - holds the world record for the number of tries (nine) by a prop in test rugby.
"I haven't had a lot of contact with my iwi but I plan to with Tuhono," Kees explains. "It's important for decision-making now, and decides what our tamariki will have in the future. It's something all Maori should do."

Sir Paul Reeves, chairman of the Tautoko Maori Trust which has set up Tuhono, says the support of role models such as Kees and champion netballer Temepara Clark (Ngapuhi) as well as iwi and Maori leaders from throughout the country will undoubtedly have a great influence on the campaign's success.

"We're delighted that the response to Tuhono nationwide has been positive," says Sir Paul, who is Te Ati Awa. "We're hoping, therefore, that there will be a high completion and return rate to the consent papers when they are sent out on May 3."

Tuhono will pass on the contact details of consenting individuals to iwi and other Maori organisations they specify on the affiliation form. These will include Maori trust boards, organisations recognised by Te Ohu Kai Moana - Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission - for the purposes of the Maori fisheries allocation, and organisations recognised by the Crown for Treaty of Waitangi settlement purposes.

Apart from helping Maori connect to their iwi, Tuhono has been established to help iwi and Maori groups to keep up-to-date lists of their members, Sir Paul says.

"It's important for these organisations to be accountable to their members but it can be difficult, time-consuming and expensive for them to keep track of their people.
"The task of updating registers would be easier and cheaper if these organisations had access to a centralised iwi information service."

More information about Tuhono is available on the website - www.maori.org.

ENDS

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