“I will never stop saying on your behalf that the tip of the spear was the New Zealand Maori Council…”
The future of the New Zealand Maori Council, one of the oldest of Maori organisations with its own Act of Parliament (The Maori Community Development Act 1962) is secure according to Minister, Shane Jones.
Speaking to the National Hui in Wellington over the weekend the Minister reminded everyone of the rich history of the Council and the important role it has played over many years:
“I happen to believe that unless my generation gives testimony to earlier generations, their efforts their whanau, their personalities are easily forgotten.” He said referring to that history.
“Lets build upon a legacy that’s worth saving and then let’s set our course of direction, the prow of our Waka, in taking this movement in relationship to an MMP Government to a new place. So any suggestion, any rumor mongering, that there is an agenda to radically restructure the legislation of the New Zealand Maori Council read my lips: the MMP Government led by Jacinda Ardern … when you see that Coalition agreement that we want to do major restructuring of your organisation and its not there so people who are telling you that maybe the case if they work for us or come from other constituencies send them back to read our coalition agreement. That is the bible on which our government is formed.” He went on to say.
Spokesperson for New Zealand Maori Council, its Executive Director and Chair of the Tamaki District of Maori Council welcomed the comments and said it was great to have a Minister back so passionately and with commitment the Council and its work:
“This Council has a long and proud history of ensuring the aspirations of our people are met in any way possible. As we stand together, united here this weekend, with all Sixteen Maori Districts present I cannot be prouder to say that the prow of our Waka is firmly pointed in the right direction and we are all paddling in the same direction.” He Said
Sir Taihakurei Durie went on to say that the Ministers comments and speech reminded us all about the legacy:
“Minister Jones, like Council, is constantly in the regions right across Aotearoa and he, like we, hears the stories from our people. From the time when we were first instituted, our Papakainga, our Maori nurses movement, the community development workers and then the Wardens all matched by holding the Crown to account right through to the future it has been strong leadership by our Maori leaders like Shane that has always seen partnerships flourish. He said.
“Council remains committed to shaping this future direction around the heart and soul of the Maori Community Development Act and the guiding principles of social and economic policy.” He said
All sixteen of the Maori Districts were fully represented at the National Hui which is held twice a year to discuss some of the big challenges Maori face and the solutions that can be developed to overcome them.
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