Monday 23 February 2009


Today we fear for our people. Ngai Tahu is in turmoil. Our phone has been ringing hot from people within the tribe and from those who have worked alongside Wally Stone who heads the tribes commercial arm known as Ngai Tahu Holdings.

Wally was ousted over the weekend by Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu board the tribes governing body. The vote was 11- 7 by the runanga ( regional councils) representatives to the Board. The tribe has been been split for sometime over issues of financial prudence and governance. Essentially, some at the "Table," as the Board is known, want a greater say in the running of the Ngai Tahu Holdings - the tribes commercial holding tank.

The 11 members of the board who voted to oust Wally Stone, nationally regarded as one of our finest entrepreneurs who also commanded wide respect for his financial management, have also voted in principal to spend $52 million on the House of Tahu - a glorified concrete monument to the extreme egos that dominate the " Table."

In the days coming we will reveal the way that the ousting was carried out - it was neither honourable or just. Integrity and honesty were the first victims. The Kaikoura runanga chairman is reported as being gobsmacked. Their representative at the table is chair Mark Solomon. So the actions of the tribal board members is at odds with their own people.

It is a travesty that Ngai Tahu, a tribe that has won national and international acclaim for its growth of assets and stewardship of social programmes, that have made a real difference to so many rank and file iwi members, is now riven by the soul consuming desire by some to create a concrete legacy in the commercial jungle of Christchurch. At issue is the need to borrow millions to complete the House of Tahu. At a time when leadership is required and caution should prevail, Ngai Tahu's anointed ones have been found wanting.

Last year the tribe came extraordinarily close to ripping itself apart over similar issues of financial prudence and governance. In the next few days, we think that this issue will be a touch paper for the tribe. What is needed is all Ngai Tahu to stand up and say no. They have the power to do that via their runanga.

The current so called "leaders" of the tribe should hang their heads in shame that a good man and a brave man has been cast a side in a sad, sad egoistic show of might. What those "leaders" have proved is that the tribe is in sore need of men and women who make decisions that are in the best interests, not of themselves but of the people they serve.

It is a day of great mateatea for our people. ( embarrassment and disgrace) but it must not go unchallenged.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kia Ora BB an oft repeated situation unfortunately, that old bogey of jealousy and face saving false bravado has doomed many of our maori enterprises. Unfortunately nepotism and whanautanga will probably prevent this young mans future in Maoridom.Sad,dumb and unsurprising resulting in no winners.