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Maori leader calls for sackings at marae

Maori leader describes Waitangi marae management as “incompetent and shambolic”. Calls for sackings.

Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has lashed out at Waitangi marae, calling its leaders incompetent and their methods of management shambolic.

“Bill English absolutely made the right decision in staying away from Waitangi for the powhiri. The marae committee insulted the Prime Minister by banning him from speaking, and then tried to backtrack when they realised they had gone too far,” says Mr Rankin. “And now, they are turning on each other, trying to see who should get the most blame.”

Mr Rankin, who leads Ngapuhi’s Matarahurahu hapu, and who is a descendant of the warrior chief Hone Heke, says the only solution to the annual Waitangi Day debacle is to sack all the trustees of the marae, and appoint young professional Maori. “We have young, educated, competent Maori who are putting their hands up to assist, but instead, we are stuck with the village idiots running the show,” says Mr Rankin. “It’s time for a change in order to put an end to this annual embarrassment.”


Mr Rankin singled out Kingi Taurua from the marae, who he said was behaving like a spoiled child. "Kingi remains an obstacle to having a peaceful Waitangi Day at Waitangi, and no-one apart from me has he guts to call for his resignation," says Mr Rankin. "As long as we continue to tolerate the Ngapuhi Jester, we will have problems."

ends

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