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New Chair for the New Zealand Maori Council

The New Zealand Maori Council will farewell its current Chair, Sir Taihakurei Eddie Durie, and welcome its current Deputy Chair, Henare Mason, into the position. Sir Taihākurei will continue as Patron. Councils Executive Director has said the smooth and unified transition in leadership had been worked on for the last six months as Council came mid-way through its reform program. Matthew Tukaki, Executive Director of the Council, Chair of the National Maori Authority and Chair of the Auckland District Maori Council made the announcement today.

“Sir Taihakurei has been a significant and major influence in the world of Maori affairs for many years as he has been when it came to the Council. In fact, it has been his leadership and support over these last eighteen months that has seen the Council transform and really come into a life of its own. His contribution has been incredible as has his mentorship and leadership.” Tukaki said

Sir Taihakurei has said that Council has been at the forefront of major issues in the Maori world over many years and had held the Crown to account on behalf of Maori. He also said that he has seen Council really blossom over the last nearly two years:

“We have had our up’s downs over the years but then again we have been around since 1900. I have seen the nature and scope of Council change a lot from when the Maori Community Development Act came into force in 1962 right through to where we are at the moment. The reality is in order to get where we all need to be the spirit of kotahitanga and the need for mana motuhake can only come through a focus on the kaupapa of the time – the challenges and opportunities that confront us. We have all been working very hard as a people for many years and the Council has played a key role. Claims in the Tribunal have held Crown held to account and chief among those advocating for change has been the Council.” Sir Taihakurei said

“For my time in this, my final term, I have seen Council really flourish and I could not be prouder of thing we have achieved and the agenda and work program we have in place.” Sir Taihakuri said

Incoming Chair of the Council, Henare Mason, has also said that the contribution of Sir Taihākurei has been incredible:

“A lot of people forget that each of us come to the role because of our desire to serve and to seek change for our people to push them forward – every one of our people no matter their lot in life should be given every chance and opportunity to be the very best they can be. Sir Taihākurei is one of those special people who certainly has served to the betterment of our people and for that we will all be eternally grateful.” Mason said

“Sir Taihakurei deserves our aroha and admiration for the work he has done, the integrity of how he has gone about it and more.” Mason said

Sir Tahakurei will take up the position of patron formerly held by the late Sir Graham Latimer. Henare Mason, currently Deputy Chair of Council (Te Arawa) will take up the position of chair at the National Hui of District Chairs of the Maori Council this weekend in Rotorua. The Deputy Chair will be Harvey Ruru from Te Waipounamu (the South Island). “The Archdeacon Ruru has been a loyal supporter of the Council’s mahi over many years and has also, in taking up the Deputy role, bought the South Island back into the same status as the North.” Tukaki said

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