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Nationwide Campaign Links Iwi Members

PANUI PAPAHO / MEDIA STATEMENT

Te 2 o nga ra o Poutü-te-rangi 2004

NATIONWIDE CAMPAIGN LINKS IWI MEMBERS

A nationwide campaign to link individual Maori with their iwi was launched in Wellington today (2/3/03).

Tuhono – The Maori Affiliation Service is a central iwi affiliation service which will collect electoral information of consenting Maori voters, then forward those details to the voter's identified iwi organisations. Sir Paul Reeves, the chairman of the Tautoko Maori Trust which has developed Tuhono, says the new service is a proactive Maori expression contributing towards a prosperous future for all New Zealanders.

"The trust believes this initiative is one of the most significant for Maori in recent times, with the potential to deliver real benefits to iwi and Maori organisations in the areas of accountability and ongoing democratic process," Sir Paul says.

"Tuhono is about Maori identity, strong and cohesive iwi, the advancement of our people and ultimately the prosperity of Aotearoa-New Zealand."

From April to June this year, the Chief Registrar of Electors will seek the consent of more than 360,000 Maori voters to provide specified electoral enrolment details to their iwi organisations, through Tuhono.

This will enable participating Maori to be included on their iwi register and each iwi to establish and maintain reliable and up-to-date registers of their members.

Sir Paul says it is heartening that there has been a growing consensus of support and endorsement for the concept from both Maori and Pakeha. Tuhono is jointly funded by the Government and Te Ohu Kai Moana.

"We wish to recognise the roles of the former National government in securing financial support for this initiative, and Parliament during the term of the present Government for facilitating the required legislative changes."

ENDS


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