Thursday 26 February 2009


Mark Solomon the annointed leader of Ngai Tahu has sent out this very threatening missive to the people he serves.

It misses the point. What we are concerned about is his integrity. The fundemental issues is: Did he lie about the existence of the paper designed to orchestrate the dismissal of Wally Stone? click here for the background

If he did then the Whanui can no longer trust him and he must go. In many ways his fate rests with his noble runanga, Kaikoura. We think that like the Whales they protect, the people of Kaikoura are strong. They will not buckle in the face of threats and they will seek the truth.

Here is what Mark has sent to us. We think it is not becoming of a leader as it is threatening, contradictory and not coherent but we will not bow in the face of threats. We say to you Mark - Your people want to know the truth. Face the people , tell them the truth. You are their servant. Our comments are in red.

I am writing to all Representatives, Alternates and Papatipu Rūnanga on a matter of some importance. As you are all no doubt aware, following the decision of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu at the weekend to remove Wally Stone as Chair and director of NTHC a small number of Rūnanga chairs have chosen to take the internal business of Te Rūnanga to the media.

Sorry Mark you are wrong - some of those who have always supported you now harbour doubt

In my view, these are matters for the marae not the media. However, while I strongly disagree with their whakaaro and the forum they have chosen, they do have a right to voice their own views on this matter.

Yes we do Mark and when we feel that our voices cannot be heard at the table what other avenues do we have?

That said, the leaking to the media of the confidential internal memorandum written by Tony Gray is in another category. The public release of contents of the memorandum have the potential to irreparably damage the reputation of not only Wally Stone and the NTHC Board members, but also senior staff of NTHC. I am aware that the release of this internal memorandum has caused deep personal distress to some of the individuals concerned and to their families.

All we want to know is, who ordered the creation of the paper that was to outline the dismissal process for Wally Stone. Remember you are ultimately responsible for the action of Te Runanga O Ngai Tahu

On behalf of Te Rūnanga I wish to make it clear that the release of this memorandum, firstly to Te Rūnanga Representatives and then to the media cannot be condoned at any level. These are the actions of a few thoughtless and irresponsible individuals who are seeking to cause harm to the reputation of both Te Rūnanga and NTHC for personal and political reasons.

Many people are grieving, their actions are considered. They simply cannot let this rest without some measure of justice.

Those individuals should not remain anonymous. They should have the courage to come forward and to apologise for the distress and any reputational damage they have caused. It goes without saying that these actions are totally inconsistent with the fundamental duty of each Representative to act in the best interests of Ngāi Tahu Whānui. Therefore, if any existing Te Rūnanga Representatives have been involved in any way with the leaking of this memorandum to the media they should resign immediately.

This is your view as the servant of your people. The people who have given light to this issue do so because they believe that the only way for it to be settled is to take it from the Table and let the people they represent know what has happened.

I repeat the offer which was made in a previous e-mail - if any rūnanga wishes to discuss this or any other matter kanohi ki te kanohi then I am more than happy to do so. As we know, information in the media can be presented in a manner that stretches or distorts the truth. One example of this is that the vote taken was 11 in support of the removal of Wally and 7 against. In fact the vote was 11 for, 2 abstentions, 2 against and 3 absent. Te Rūnanga is confident that it has taken the right decision for the right reasons and that the Te Rūnanga Group is well placed to meet the challenges which lay ahead of us all.

If that was the case then the paper outlining the dismissal of Wally Stone should never have been written.

In the meantime, for those individuals who do feel obliged to continue to engage with the media either in person or behind the scenes, I urge you to carefully consider the consequences for Ngāi Tahu Whānui, your Papatipu Rūnanga and the reputation of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

Do not threaten us. We will not cower in the shadows. We will continue to see this issue debated in the light of day. That way we know we are safe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Put this diatribe on my blog. Cannot believe you write it, with your background and experience. Suggests to me the writer might be Maria Pera from Bluff?
Right or wrong?
Richard Parata