Monday, 2 March 2009


We have had a few threatening emails over the Ngai Tahu controversy. We have had them before and they dont scare us much.

However we think that this email below, which has been sent to all runanga ( the local councils) by some in the Solomon family in Kaikoura, who are distressed at the ousting of Wally Stone, shows that Mark Solomon is not the man to lead Ngai Tahu.The Solomons are a proud, wonderful family but as I have said before, sometime the blood thins through the generations.

Anyway here is the letter that has been sent throughout the Ngai Tahu rohe ( area) which will give some insight into the threatening behaviour and perhaps the intellect of Mark Solomon.

Kia ora Ngai Tahu Whanui

It is with saddness that my sister Hariata Manawatu and I (Martin Solomon) find ourselves having to address the serious break down in communication between our Runanga Chair Thomas Kahu and kaiwhakahaere Mark Solomon who are both our nephews.

Mark's nomination to contest the position of kaiwhakahaere was supported by myself because my brother Wiremu Solomon who was then Upoko would not.

In the past we have had exceptional leadership in my father (Rangi Solomon) and brother (Wiremu Solomon) they were men of mana and humility. Through there labour we acquired land to build our marae, and an economic base through Whalewatch which is now a tourism icon.

The language used by our Kaikoura rununga representative, and Te Rununga o Ngai Tahu kaiwhakahaere in communicating with our runanga chairman, Thomas Kahu, and our executive, is not a reflection of these men of mana.

Below is an example of what I believe is the inappropriate language from Mark, an email that I and Hariata, have read as a result of concerns raised by rununga members and whanau.

"That's alright taina. You resist. Let's see what happens. You are an incompetent fool who rushed to defend stone befor engaging his brain. Look around fool how many in the whanau support him. Everyone I have spoken to despises him. you can Reap the dividend. Know this taina"


Taina, as expressed by the kaiwhakahaere above, has become to him a derogatory term implying a sense of being worthless to the person or people to whom he has directed it.

Tuakana is a role of responsibiity, it is about encouraging, empowering,supporting. It's about being inclusive not exclusive "taina are not mokai to tuakana".

The tone of this email is totally unacceptable. It falls well short of how we speak to each other as whanau, and if this is the leadership style supported and exercised by tront members, then we as a peopl are in serious trouble.
Our tront table has been divided for the last 3 years. The events of the past week are the last straw and I call for our representative on tront to resign. We believe it is time for change, and we will put forward a more appropriate delegate in the coming weeks.

Martin Solomon

We read this with sadness but no surprise.
here is also an iwi wide petition circulating calling for Solomon to step down.


Stuart L said...

It seems that The Press reads you blog BB and lifts stuff from it. As I read The Press story on the problems for Mark Solomon etc it was de je vu all over again

alex Masterley said...

It's made it to the Herald up here too!
Mr (Mark) Solomon is not really helping his cause with emails like the one mentioned in your post.
All the signs of a classic power struggle.
Which is sad as it diverts attention from the real issues.

bustedblonde said...

hey thanks guys, and yes Much of what Ngai Tahu is doing is fantastic and people who work for the tribe do so with their heart and soul.

and if you think that email is bad you should see some of the bile I have recieved.

Anonymous said...

ODT covered it down here too

alex Masterley said...

I can imagine the stuff you have received. However don't let the bastards grind you down.

Whetu said...

Has history taught us nothing?

While Ngai Tahu consumes itself with in-fighting, the Pakehas have taken control of our tribe and our money.

Linda Constable, Anake Goodall, Andrew Harrison & Terry Ryan.

200 years ago when Ngai Tahu family turned on Ngai Tahu family, the Pakeha came and took everything. We were so busy fighting that no-one noticed til the dust settled.

Tront Reps: Pull you heads in and work together for us and our children after us.

Anonymous said...

Anake Goodall has a lot to answer for at Ngai Tahu. To a degree the table of TRONT are only as good as the information they are provided with and that's the CEO's job altho' some Board members are so thick and others have their own agenda's and cannot be counted on to provide quality governance direction. There are probably 3-4 who can actually be trusted and counted on at the table to make decisions with integrity. If Wally Stone was not providing the level of information to the Board over time then of course it is a decision that had to be taken & he had to go. Mark Solomon was probably the messenger & got shot. He has been a worthy ambassador for the tribe over the years and if there are tensions within his own runanga it is their prerogative but why go to the media?
For all of the Managers & consultants at Ngai Tahu some I hear on astronomical amounts, that Goodall has at his disposal and still can't get it right. So while the majority of the tribal members scrape along week to week and are still over-represented in all the wrong areas I say divide the money up to all the members for house deposits, education and a super fund allow us all to be just New Zealanders and leave our cultural responsibilities to the families. Only a few in power at the Corporate level and runanga are benefiting anyway.

Anonymous said...

Tribe sets lakebed fishing levy
By TIM DONOGHUE - The Dominion Post
Last updated 05:00 06/03/2009

SLIPPERY SITUATION: Lake Ellesmere eelers Clem Smith, Logan Bowis, and Mike Pullan are unhappy with an 8 per cent levy Ngai Tahu is imposing on fishery earnings.
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Commercial eel fishermen are labelling a plan by South Island tribe Ngai Tahu to collect a percentage of their earnings an "iwi tax" and warn that it sets a precedent.

Ngai Tahu's new "conservation" levy is being described by Lake Ellesmere fishermen as the forerunner to a nationwide "iwi tax" system.

Mark Solomon, the chair of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, confirmed a permit was now required by commercial users of the lake. He said the commercial users permit was required to help iwi protect the lake. The welfare of Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere) had been of concern to most users for years.

"As owners of the lakebed we have to take an active role in managing Te Waihora," Mr Solomon said. The new permit system would not affect recreational users, or activities on the lake. It would apply only to the group of Banks Peninsula-based eel fishermen and any other commercial users of the lake.

Mr Solomon met the eel fishermen, who are allowed to catch about 122 tonnes of eels under allocation by the Fisheries Ministry, in Christchurch on December 3 to discuss the levy.

Briefing papers obtained by The Dominion Post were shown to the fishermen, stating that Ngai Tahu owns Lake Ellesmere's shallow-water lakebed, after the passage of its 1998 Treaty of Waitangi settlement.

The eelers were also told they were walking on Ngai Tahu property for commercial purposes when they drove their set-netting stakes into the lakebed.

Fisherman Clem Smith said the group was asked to contribute $29,000, or 8 per cent of the total annual eel fishery earnings of $360,000, to Ngai Tahu for Lake Ellesmere environmental restoration purposes. The iwi also receives revenue from leasing out its quota.

Mr Smith said fishermen and boaties in other parts of the country should prepare for similar taxes being imposed where riverbed, lakebed and foreshore areas were included in Treaty deals.

Mooring buoys and structures such as jetties and bridges on rivers and lakes, could be fair game for an "iwi tax", he said.

A similar deal has been operating over Lake Taupo since 1926 central North Island tribe Tuwharetoa struck a deal with the Crown for 50 per cent of fishing fees in return for continued public access to Lake Taupo.

Mr Smith said he had fished Lake Ellesmere for 33 years. Small fishermen like himself, who had been threatened with a lakebed trespass notice at the end of January, would have no option but to sign up to the deal if they wanted to remain in the fishing business.

"This situation has turned very nasty. I think people negotiating Treaty settlements have to be very careful to get things right. At the time of the Ngai Tahu settlement both Ngai Tahu and the Government said other people would not be affected.

"If that is what was meant, it was not put into the legislation," Mr Smith said.

Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley refused to be drawn into the row yesterday.

"This is purely a matter between Ngai Tahu and the commercial users of the lake," he said.

In a briefing paper to the Lake Ellesmere fishermen, Seafood Industry Council policy manager Nici Gibbs described the situation as "very scary".

She said the Crown, in dealing with foreshore and seabed-type issues, had failed to protect fishing industry rights and interests when settling Maori grievances.

Mr Solomon said DOC supported the permit system and appreciated that money raised would go directly to lake projects, including riparian planting, lake monitoring, research projects and enhancement of the fishery.

Anonymous said...

I think too much time and effort is put into criticising that information is reported in the news paper, and not enough in actually taking on board what is reported. I read the story around Mark's kaumatua calling for his resignation. The basis for this seemed pretty clear, and valid.
It is clear the concerned Kaumatua sent a letter to Ngai Tahu whanau, some who may or may not have links to the media.
The kaumatua have done things in a clear and transparent way. Dont cloud it with distractions about leaks, because I doubt it was their intention for the information to make it into the newspapers.

What this issue demonstrated along with a few too many this week and in recent years, is that there MUST be change.

That the dumping of Wally Stone has caused so much angst, both internally and externally to the tribe hints that the change that Tront made a few weekends ago was not actually the one required, nor supported by those who put them there. (six years ago)

I think the absence of any credible substantiation for any of the recent decisions, or a credible response to calls from Kaikoura Kaumatua should be where peoples energies should be focused, not on a quickness to pick up a gun, and shoot the messenger.


Sandy said...

I support Rangi comments. It the kaumatua have spoken and are asking for the resignation of Solomon so be it. However I hear Solomon is pulling together his own votabus, I wonder if Pratt (Parata) will have a front row seat.