Maori king versus Nanaia Mahuta

King Tuheitia has endorsed one of his advisors to stand for the Maori Party in the Hauraki-Waikato electorate, which will put him up against Labour’s Nanaia Mahuta.

This is a significant challenge to Mahuta and Labour.

Stuff: King Tuheitia endorses Maori Party candidate and tells Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta to step aside

Labour MP and Maori stalwart Nanaia Mahuta says King Tuheitia’s influence over his people will be tested on election day when those in the Hauraki-Waikato electorate cast their vote.

Mahuta’s shaking off the Maori King’s criticisms of her and his endorsement of Rahui Papa – one of the King’s advisors – for the Maori Party in her seat.

Tuheitia made the rare move of endorsing Papa at Parawera Marae, south of Hamilton, on Thursday.

He called for Mahuta, his cousin, to stand aside and let someone else represent the seat because she no longer has any “mana” in parliament.

Rare? I think this is unprecedented.

Mahuta seems to be virtually invisible in Parliament. Maori MPs often do a lot of work under the media radar in their electorates, but being so openly challenged in her home patch is a major challenge for Mahuta.

Mahuta has represented the electorate for more than 20 years but says she has never been “formally endorsed” by Kingitanga, the Maori King movement, and Thursday’s events were an “odd situation”.

Quite an odd situation.

Tainui told to get mandate

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson has told Waikato-Tainui to get a mandate and to specify their claims after King Tuheitia followed up by Tukoroirangi Morgan indicated they would make claims reaching up to Auckland.

Can different Iwi make claims over the same area?  And why now? Waikato-Tainui settled some claims at least in 1995.

NZ Herald reports in Tainui told get mandate and spell out claims.

Mr Morgan, the spokesman for King Tuheitia, has been elaborating on a reference to Auckland claims that the king made in a speech on Friday at coronation anniversary celebrations at Turangawaewae.

King Tuheitia talked about a new era of rights and claims and of defending the stature of the Kingitanga – the Maori King movement established in the 1850s to prevent more land confiscations.

“We will start with the Kingitanga claims in Tamaki.”

He also wanted further to address “the question of sovereignty of the Kingitanga with the Government and the Crown.”

King Tuheitia talked about his struggle with health – he has diabetes – and said he wanted to “leave a legacy for the next one to continue.”

The Kingitanga seems to be striving for relevancy. How important is the King in Waikato-Tainui?

Mr Morgan told the Herald that Tainui had a claim over the Auckland area which had been filed in 1993 by Huakina on behalf of Tainui.

The first Maori King, Potatau Te Wherowhero, had lived in Mangere, and had other houses at Howick and a summer home in what is now the domain, and he had mana over the Auckland area.

Mr Morgan said the Huakina claim covered a region from the upper reaches of Waikato across to the Firth of Thames, up as far as Mahurangi, across to Piha and down to the Manukau Harbour.

Finlayson has responded and disputed some claims.

Mr Morgan said that at a meeting about five weeks ago between himself and Mr Finlayson and Housing Minister Nick Smith, Mr Finlayson had agreed they could begin to draw up terms of negotiation.

Mr Finlayson disputes that – and said he was not aware of a Huakina claim.

He also cited a letter dated August 15, 2013, to Tom Roa, interim negotiator for Waikato-Tainui, stating: “I have previously invited Waikato-Tainui to clarify the nature of any outstanding claims it considers it may have in [Auckland] and urge you to do so.

Finlayson has one message for Waikato-Tainui if it wants to begin negotiating a claim over parts of Auckland – get a mandate and specify your claims.

He said he had given Tukoroirangi Morgan the same message about five times in the past.

“He nods and then nothing happens,” Mr Finlayson told the Herald.

“Mandates don’t last forever.”

Mr Finlayson said he had also formally written to Waikato-Tainui two years ago setting out what needed to be done if it had a claim to parts of Auckland.

So the King needs to demonstrate he has a mandate amongst Waikato-Tainui.

And then show that they can make claims over territory north of the Waikato.