Where to Ngai Tahu?

Small in number but economically and politically powerful, Ngai Tahu has earned wide respect in the south.

While some other tribes are still caught up in grievance mode Ngai Tahu has invested wisely and seems to be more focussed on the future. But lately they’ve been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

As the ODT editorial says:

Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu (Tront) has long been regarded as a model post-settlement success story.

It negotiated firmly early on in the settlement process, achieved in 1998 a Deed of Settlement that included a cash sum of $170 million, established a tight and efficient business organisation, and set about investing and growing its assets.

. . . For some time now, however, it has been apparent that all is not well within the tribe.

The latest symptom was the abrupt sacking of corporation chairman Wally Stone.

The move met with widespread surprise and concern, and this was followed by further revelations of bad blood last week.

As a result, long-time Ngai Tahu kaiwhakahaere (chairman) Mark Solomon appears to be increasingly isolated.

Nothwithstanding the apparently labyrinthine internal politics of the iwi and the inclination of its leaders, especially Mr Solomon, to shield tribal machinations from public scrutiny, the divisions in the organisation need to be urgently addressed lest the good work of the last 10 years be undone.

Roarprawn latest post on the issue  is one of many from her giving the inside story, including this one which links to a blog  giving another point of  view from Richard Parata.

Ngai Tahu has done a lot of good for its members, the wider economy and the regard in which they are held by the wider public.

I won’t pretend to understand what’s gone wrong or why, but I hope wisdom prevails and they get it sorted out and soon because as the ODT says:

Nothwithstanding the apparently labyrinthine internal politics of the iwi and the inclination of its leaders, especially Mr Solomon, to shield tribal machinations from public scrutiny, the divisions in the organisation need to be urgently addressed lest the good work of the last 10 years be undone.

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