Inaccurate Report Damaging to Tribal Reputation
MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION 2/12/2010 Thursday, 2 December 2010 Page of
INACCURATE REPORT DAMAGING TO TRIBAL REPUTATION
A united Te Arataura Board including King Tuheitia’s representative Greg Miller, have reaffirmed their full support of the executive’s chair Tukoroirangi Morgan following an inaccurate and defamatory report distributed by the tribe’s parliament chair Tania Martin.
Mrs Martin released ‘the report’ late last week to be discussed on the Saturday at the parliament’s final quarterly meeting for the year. The report cited a range of figures and activities designed to portray a “blow-out” in board costs.
When corrected numerous times about items presented in the report, including advice that her figures integrated tribal parliament costs and not just those of the board, Mrs Martin was unapologetic and used her position as chair to progress resolutions based on unsubstantiated information, and members emotionally incensed by inaccurate figures.
“On the face of it we initially believed Mrs Martin had made an oversight, was overly enthusiastic as the new Chair of the House, was unsure of her roles and responsibilities, unsure of correct procedure, and needed some training on how to read financial reports to ascertain accurate governance costs,” said Mr Morgan.
“But when she refused to accept and apologise for the aggravation she caused by distributing the inaccuracies in the first place, it was clear that Mrs Martin cared little about the serious damage such accusations cause to this tribe’s hard earned reputation.
“Te Arataura is open to review by Te Kauhanganui but this report painted the wrong picture and seriously, unfairly and personally disparaged board members.”
Further inflaming the situation, Mrs Martin’s report was provided to news reporter Karla Akuhata who has previously printed negative features about Waikato-Tainui and Mr Morgan. Both the Editor and the Chief Reporter were strongly advised that Mrs Martin’s report was flawed, but still chose to print the story.
“This is extremely disappointing at a time when Waikato-Tainui is celebrating commercial successes, and has a leading reputation as a mandated iwi authority achieving historical milestones for Maaori whether it be through unprecedented relationships and co-management practices, or through social transformation strategies“, said Mr Morgan.
“And still the media attacks on this tribe persist and those orchestrating these attacks do not have the balls to make themselves known.
“This is the crux of the issue. We have a forum, Te Kauhanganui our own tribal parliament to debate and challenge issues with integrity and conviction, but we have a small group of people who prefer to play this out in the newspapers.
“Media tactics have never been our way as a people, it’s divisive and threatens the core values we pride ourselves on.”
When queried about Mrs Martin’s personal attacks on his ability to act as Chair and co-negotiator for Outstanding Waikato-Tainui claims, Mr Morgan emphasised that he was appointed and mandated by the people to act in their best interests.
He said that the repositioning of Waikato-Tainui from a landless iwi with virtually no economic position, to a tribe that is now leading the way through many tiers and across many sectors, was enough to show the contribution of those of a like mind to Mr Morgan himself who “let their commitment and work do the talking.”
“Given all the milestones achieved to date, to suggest Te Arataura have failed to perform is incomprehensible. The relationships that have been forged to effect long-term sustainable outcomes for our people again are unprecedented.
“When you compare what the skills of our talented people are worth to the outside world, to infer that this is about lining pockets and wasting tribal investment, is simply offensive and shows a complete lack of understanding and appreciation of the effort and work that is undertaken.
“As a board it is our duty to take action against anyone who intentionally attacks the credibility and integrity of our tribal structure and constitution. And at the heart of it, this is what Mrs Martin has done.”
SUMMARY OF KEY CORRECTIONS TO ‘THE REPORT’
The Te Kauhanganui Chair has asserted a number of costs related to specific governance matters for the seven months of this current financial year in order to substantiate various statements in her recent Report to Te Kauhanganui members. These numbers have subsequently been quoted by the Waikato Times.
The Te Kauhanganui Chair’s Report uses inaccurate financial information – with the numbers used for Board costs being substantially higher than what they actually are. Costs used in the Report and relating to the Board including Board fees, legal matters, and travel, are over-stated by between 184% and 934%.
Executive Chair / Principal Negotiator
The Report notes the current honorarium and daily meeting fees for each position of the Board Chair and Principal Negotiators of Waikato-Tainui Treaty of Waitangi claims, as well as other governance positions. All governance positions within Te Kauhanganui (including the Chair of Te Kauhanganui) and the Board are entitled to honoraria.
Honoraria are set after a market assessment, including reference with other iwi/Maori organisations and public organisations with similar functions and roles. The honorarium for the Chair of the Board (who is also one of the Principal Negotiators) is significantly less than the salary of a backbencher in Parliament or the Chair of Ngaai Tahu – a similar sized Maaori tribal organisation.
The Report makes a number of comments in relation to governance matters throughout the document. The Board has welcomed the proposed review of its activities and performance.
In her report, Tania Martin asserted a number of costs that were either wrong or inaccurate. The following table provides a comparison along with % overstated:
/ Costs quoted in TKH Chair report $’000s
/ Actual costs for 7 months $’000s / % difference
Te Arataura costs / 1703 / 656 / 260
Board fees / 546 / 297 / 184
Legal costs / 467 / 50 / 934
Travel costs / 314 / 79 / 397
The TKH chair’s report implies that the total overhead costs for Te Arataura could exceed $2.5 million. This is inaccurate. Current forecasts expect the costs to be approx $1.1 million or 227% lower than what is in the Report and quoted in the Waikato Times.
It is also worth noting that the Chair of Te Arataura is entitled to an honorarium of $70,000. The principal negotiator is entitled to $45,000, making a total of $115,000 to run the affairs of a $700 million enterprise. By way of comparison a backbencher’s salary is $131,000. You may want to compare the Chair’s honorarium with those of other Iwi chairs?
It is further worth noting that the Chair of Te
Arataura can claim up to $600 per day and $400 for half
days. The principal negotiator is able to claim a daily rate
of up to $1500 per day and $1000 per half day. He has
never claimed this higher daily