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Harawira Rejects Ngapuhi Kaumatua

Release Date: 21 October 2005

Type: Media Release

Harawira Rejects Ngapuhi Kaumatua

Long-time Maori activist Titewhai Harawira publicly announced last night that she would not support Te Uira – a committee of Ngapuhi kaumatua and academics which has been formed to scrutinise the actions of the Ngapuhi Runanga.

Te Uira chairman, David Rankin, questioned Mrs Harawira’s motives, and asked her directly why she was so supportive of the Ngapuhi Runanga (which has just received $67 million of fisheries settlement), and whether any members of her family had recently gained employment in the Runanga. Ms Harawira refused to directly answer the questions, although it is understood that a close relation has just been appointed.

As for this clash between the two prominent Ngapuhi, Mr Rankin explained that he was very anxious over the capabilities of the Runanga to manage the settlement, and would prefer to focus on improving the plight of the iwi, starting at the top. ‘My concern is that we manage this settlement prudently and professionally’, says Mr. Rankin. ‘I am not at all interested on personal attacks on me, but I am concerned about the growing political and financial mess the Runanga seems to be getting itself into’.


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