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Ngaiterangi CEO Mystified By SIS Investigation

News Release
For Immediate Release
November 15, 2004

Ngaiterangi CEO Mystified By Supposed SIS Investigation

Tauranga-based Ngaiterangi Iwi chief executive Brian Dickson is bemused by recent reports the Government's Security Intelligence Service (SIS) is investigating him.

A media report late last week suggested Dickson was a 'likely Maori Party candidate' and as such, was considered by the SIS in a "covert operation" as a potential "centrist Maori political force". Dickson is in no way affiliated to the party and has no intention of standing as a candidate.

Prime Minister Helen Clark has said the report is "laughable".

"I was quite amused by the Scoop report at first – I thought the SIS must have been having a very slow day at the office to be investigating me," Dickson says.

"The whole article is a sloppy piece of journalism with the reporter not even bothering to check his facts. It centres around my implied association with the Maori Party - which I'm not, so if he's got that wrong it really makes you wonder about the creditability of anything he has to say."

The only link Dickson has to the Maori Party was his attendance at a foreshore and seabed hui in Ngaruawahia. "There were many people at that hui and most of them were not members of the Maori Party. I can't for the life of me figure out why I've been singled out. It's a complete mystery."

Dickson admits that while he thinks the original article and subsequent media attention is a joke and a case of mistaken identity, he is concerned about the effect it may have on Ngaiterangi Iwi and its longstanding relationships.

"The iwi office I run is involved in social services, health services and resource management issues that aim to create a better life for those of our iwi. As CEO for the past 12 years I have worked hard, with my team, to build up strong relationships with our supporters, funders and other organisations. I am upset by the thought these claims may jeopardize our standing in the community, particularly when significant organizations such as SIS are mentioned."

Dickson would also be interested to find out where the information in the article came from and how his name was associated.

Ngaiterangi Iwi is a whakapapa-based organisation working between Bowentown, through Tauranga Moana to Papamoa. Its two main areas of work are social services and health services. Ngaiterangi Iwi runanga has some 3600 social services and/or budget client contacts a year. The iwi acts as a voice for more than 9500 of its people nationally.

"Through our social services, we deliver a number of important services to our people, including crisis counseling, youth holiday programmes at our marae and protection for youth at risk.

"We're also involved with health promotions and care, land trusts and the management of iwi commercial and customary fisheries."

Ngaiterangi is involved with the CAYAD programme – encouraging community action for youth affected by alcohol and drugs.

Ngaiterangi Iwi is one of three iwi who hold the license for local radio station Moana AM, meaning as part of his CEO office Brian is also chairperson of the station, which aims to promote use and understanding of te reo.


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