Labour demand Maori “open the books”

Nanaia Mahuta, in a press release under the New Zealand Labour Party, has asked for the President of the Maori Party to disclose “honorariums and fees paid”.

Does Mahuta think this should just apply to Tuku Morgan, or to all political party officials? There would be some interest in Labour making a full disclosure about how, for example, Matt McCarten is going to be paid as Andrew Little’s ‘outreach’ appointments secretary.

It doesn’t appear that Mahuta is offering to fully disclose all of her income.

Tribe footing the bill for Maori Party?

Waikato-Tainui deserve committed representation, yet the President of the Maori Party is muddying the waters by confusing the core business of the tribe with party politics, says Labour’s Hauraki-Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta.

“The only way to fix this growing negative perception is for Tuku Morgan to disclose the honorariums and fees paid for the work he purports to undertake on the tribe’s behalf.

“Someone’s footing the bill and it shouldn’t be the tribe.

“The people I represent at the coal-face work are struggling to get work or are holding a couple of jobs down just to put kai on the table.

“They want a Government who will bat for them when it comes to security in the workplace, affordable rentals and real housing options. They want someone in the electorate who they can trust, and who will put the needs of real people first.

“From what I understand, Tuku Morgan as a member of the Waikato River Authority, a member of Tainui Group Holdings, a member of Te Arataura and several Kiingitanga appointments which provide an annual income close to that of the Prime Minister.

“I’m sure that the tribe would not want its charitable status affected if it starts footing the bill for political activity. So open the books Mr President of the Maori Party,” says Nanaia Mahuta.

This is an odd demand from Mahuta – if it is a demand, it may be just an attempt to stir things up amongst Tainui, to cast aspersions knowing that Morgan’s nor her nor Labour’s books will be opened.

RNZ followed up on Mahuta’s press release: Mahuta questions Māori Party president’s roles

Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta is calling for transparency from Māori Party president Tukoroirangi Morgan, saying he may be confusing iwi business with politics.

The Labour MP said she believed their iwi, Waikato-Tainui, deserved committed representation, and the only way to fix what she said was a growing negative perception would be for Mr Morgan to disclose exactly what he did for the iwi.

She said she did not have evidence that he was being paid by the iwi but it was a question that had been raised by her constituents.

No evidence but she does a Winston anyway.

“There is a growing level of unease across people who have reflected their concerns to me about a blurring of boundaries in terms of Tuku’s role as a representative of the tribe in various capacities and also [as] the president of the Māori Party – and somebody is paying for what he is doing.”

Ms Mahuta did not believe there was a high enough level of disclosure from Mr Morgan, certainly in his tribal capacity about what he was reportedly being paid and what he was doing on the tribe’s behalf.

Ms Mahuta said: “This is a direct response to the issues that Tuku has raised challenging the effort of Labour Party Māori members.

“I’m just asking a question and I think it’s a fair one.”

I don’t think demanding party officials disclose all their income is the done thing. It isn’t ‘fair’ unless Mahuta and the Labour Party are prepared to do likewise.

Asked if this was an indication she was going to stand for the Hauraki-Waikato Māori electoral seat next year, she said: “This is a signal that if Tuku wants to make real the challenge he has put to Labour, he better announce his candidates early.”

It’s an indication that things are hotting up in the Waikato, and between the Maori Party and the Labour Party.

Mahuta has normally been a very low profile MP, if nothing else this seems to have prompted her to be more visible. Perhaps she intends to fight for her electorate.

Recently the Māori King said in his annual speech that he would no longer vote for the Labour Party.


  1. Corky

     /  10th September 2016

    If every Maori organisation had to open their books for public scrutiny, there would be public revolt at the level of rorting being exposed. From sweetheart deals with the government and councils, to questionable legal tactics by lawyers. Either way, our courts would be busy for ages. Neo-liberalism has nothing on the Maori Gravy Train…just ask Ngai Tahu with seven settlements under their belt.

  2. The knee-jerk reaction to accuse all Maori organisations as being guilty of ‘rorting’ does not stand up to even the first level of scrutiny. I do not subscribe to the false generalisation implicit in the above comments. Yes, some Maori organisations have found some of their administrators have committed criminal acts and they have been punished in accordance with the law when proven. You may thus think that all Maori organisations as being essentially corrupt, but you should never ever say it because similar cases have arisen in the other ethnic groups in New Zealand as well, and you just might be accused of making a sweeping narrowly focussed statement. There and I did not mention the “R” word once.

    • Gezza

       /  10th September 2016

      Ronya Bj.

    • Corky

       /  10th September 2016

      I have you at a disadvantage BJ, unless you can prove otherwise. See, I know what’s going on behind the scenes. Yes, in hindsight my comments are sweeping. Some Maori organisations do run a tight ship, knowing they are open to “racist scrutiny”. However, most in my experience are corrupt to some degree. And they don’t care because they have won the battle. ‘Whitey,’ is of no importance, except for funding.

      So, here’s my list of problem areas.

      1- Nepotism is endemic, and stems from Maoris collectivist tribal nature. If you have different
      tribal groups represented in an organisation, the dominate tribe usually gets the cream. The big boss gets the whanau on board for a ” sweet ride.” Peruse the history of Te Wananga o Aotearoa , and head Rongo Wetere. Try the Crown Forestry Rental Trust. Don’t forget Aunty Donna. Tuku and Winston?

      2- Funding: The government now demands records be kept of where funding is going, and if applicable, the names of people who are benefiting from said funding. This is where major rorting occurs – why, because believe it or not, government authorities only take a cursory look at records; hamstrung by cultural correctness. Should officials press the point, nasty bullying starts. The officials become terrified. If you want to see how Maori bullies operate, find a clip of ex Labour MP, Margaret Wilson, visiting a marae and being called a ” crippled bitch.”
      The news media plays a part here. Most folk are of the opinion Maori get excessive negative media exposure for bureaucratic malpractice. That’s true, if it suits the media. I have known of three major cases of fraud that should have had Aotearoa transfixed. I had my popcorn on the ready and eyes glued to the news. I couldn’t wait to see some big pontificating totara’s fall to the chainsaw of public outrage. I’m still waiting, years later…..I guess some stories are just too big and don’t fit a certain narrative.

      3- Councils entering into agreements with unelected Maori Advisory Boards. You scratch my back, and us Maoris won’t make a hu-ha and take you fella’s to court. In my area, a property owner can’t build because Maori claim his land is tapu. The property owner asked Maori to prove the land was tapu, and the council was asked why this wasn’t on the LIMS report.
      Answer- the register of tapu sites is confidential between Maori and council. Give me a friggin break. Check out new restrictions on One Tree Hill.

      Sorry BJ, but I think you are behind the 8 ball on this issue.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  10th September 2016

    At least our prisons will get a better class of Maori inmates, BJ, if more graduate to fraud.

  4. Gezza

     /  10th September 2016

    The trick with fraud is to get caught when you’re older & to claim Alzheimers. But you have to make sure that when you claim you can’t remember doing things that were wrong, you don’t then claim you remember that you didn’t.

    • Pete Kane

       /  10th September 2016

      Trick is to run things for 10 years G. That was the start of the ‘sale’.

  5. Alan, we are talking about people here, and they all have faults including me. I find the use of classifier nouns like “Maori” to be a red flag when used in these sort of contexts. The problem is fraud committed by a person to the detriment of other people. I am happy to call a spade a spade and if there are problems unique to Maori, then e should and must discuss them else we lose our freedom of expression. However sensitivities should be at least considered and putting labels on a pattern of behaviour can be detrimental to open discussion.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  10th September 2016

      Yes, BJ, racial distinctions are invidious but when we are manoeuvred into a bicultural society politically you have to take the good and the bad.

      • Alan, you have touched on a chord that truly resonates with me. However, I prefer to regard the Kiwi culture to having bi-cultural foundations and the New Zealand culture to be multicultural as a foundation principle. Yes politics has intervened and labelled us as a bicultural society. I recall during an interview after leaving the Army being asked the question about where I stood on the bicultural matter and was strong in saying New Zealand was a multi-cultural society. The question was asked by the then Secretary of Agriculture who harumped about my response, in a dis-believing way. Fortunately the Secretary of Education came to my defence by pointing out that I was educated in Kaitaia that had a very strong linkage to the Dalmation people who started the gum industry up north. It was a daunting interview with all permanent Heads of non-Defence Departments (the Mandarins) around the table!!

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  10th September 2016

          Totally agree with you, BJ. Every culture has its good and bad. We are enriched by variety and acceptance of it and impoverished by the lack of both.

        • Gezza

           /  10th September 2016

          Personally I don’t believe we are a multicultural society. I believe we’re a multi-ethnic one, and basically bi-cultural. I like it that way too.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  10th September 2016

            You are isolated down in North Welly, Gezza. We are bicultural if you want to be PC and multicultural if you want to meet real people. And European ethnicity gives little clue to all the national cultures it encompasses.

            • Gezza

               /  10th September 2016

              Could be right. I tend to think of Auckland as a separate country these days Al.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  10th September 2016

              Some areas of Auckland are like India, some China, some Samoa. It could be quite a lot of separate countries for you.

  6. Hey Gezza, I tried to distinguish between being a bi-cultural Kiwi and having a multi-cultural society here in New Zealand. To claim bi-culturalism only for New Zealand would be to deny the reality of our makeup as a nation,

  7. Gezza

     /  10th September 2016

    Thing is, though, even in Auckers, don’t the kids, once born here, tend to have the odd ‘culture festival’ day, & markets etc, but for the rest of the time mostly look, dress, sound & behave like average everyday kiwis?

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  10th September 2016

      Maybe one day, but not yet.

      • Yes Gezza and Alan, but do they think the same way? I think not, and for Corky, sorry mate I packeted the 8 ball black and won the match. Turning away from snooker to the subject. Yes, I have actually heard the whispers especially from the Far North and talked to my sisters-in -law who are Ngapuhi and Waikato Maori and heard their concerns about the failure of the trickle down of the teriti settlements. I also have had the benefit if being educated in a majority Maori School for 13 years and have listened to my father who was a Maori Affairs Department Field supervisor in the Far North from 1933 to 1960 in the TaiTokerau area. Some of the alleged corruption in a number of cases I personally know about were caused by too much trust and naivity, especially with the old Post Office Deposit books.