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Maori Leaders Support Iwi Affiliation Service

Te 6 o nga ra o Haratua / 6 May 2004

Maori Leaders Support Iwi Affiliation Service

A new service that connects individuals to their iwi is attracting widespread support from Maori leaders throughout the country.

On Monday (03/05/04), more than 353,000 electors of Maori descent were posted an affiliation and consent form by the Chief Registrar of Electors seeking their permission to pass on their contact details and iwi affiliations to Tuhono.

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

Maori leaders who have endorsed Tuhono include:

- Sonny Tau, chairman of Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi: "As the biggest iwi and with our people scattered around the motu and indeed the world, we've struggled to keep track of tribal membership. Tuhono will be the answer. It will provide us with accurate and up-dated information on those who whakapapa to Ngapuhi, no matter where they live. This will be hugely important. It will help our people connect to their iwi, allow the Ngapuhi runanga to grow and allow us to comply with the coming fisheries allocation requirements. I urge all Ngapuhi, in fact, all Maori to fill out their Tuhono consent forms."

- Mark Solomon, kaiwhakahaere of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu: "Tuhono is an initiative which will be of great benefit to iwi wanting to establish and maintain reliable and up to date registers of their members. I support this kaupapa developed and promoted by the Tautoko Maori Trust in that it promotes whanaungatanga which is a cornerstone value that Te Rünanga o Ngäi Tahu works under."

- Mavis Mullins, chair of the Maori Spectrum Trust, Te Huarahi Tika Trust, and executive director of Paewai Mullins Shearing Limited: "Tuhono is long overdue. It is a valuable project that will assist Maori to be more effective and accountable in the important areas of governance and management. We have many younger Maori who work with us who are on the electoral roll who have no idea how they can connect back to their iwi organisation. Tuhono will facilitate and streamline this connection."

- Haami Piripi, the chief executive of the Maori language commission, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori: "Tuhono has incorporated the expertise and resources of iwi Maori to support the Government and the Chief Registrar of Electors in seeking and maintaining tribal enrolments of constituents. Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori sees great value for iwi and for language development opportunities in this initiative."

- Judge Joe Williams, Chief Judge of the Maori Land Court and chairman of the Waitangi Tribunal: “The records of the Maori Land Court are frequently used by Maori to research whanau, hapu and iwi affiliations. Staff are often asked if there are other ways or other places to go to research one's turangawaewae (where they are from). Tuhono is a service that can provide further links between whanau, hapu and iwi."

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

ENDS

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