Hui numbers up, confidence not
Wed, 19 Sep 2012 6:22p.m.
By Political Editor Duncan Garner
Just 15 people showed up last night in Tainui country following the call to boycott the second of the Government’s hui on asset sales.
But it was chocker today in Taupo with around 100 people, including Tuwharetoa and other iwi, turning up to listen to what the Government had to say on its asset sales programme.
“What it shows you is there is growing interest in going to the hui,” says Prime Minister John Key.
But not growing happiness, as Tuwharetoa opened up by criticising the entire process.
“I do not consider today's hui to be a substitute for ongoing engagement,” says Sir Tumu Te Heuheu, Tuwharetoa chief.
Finance Minister Bill English has the job of chief hui hopper, discussing 'shares plus' - a recommendation to give Maori shareholders in the partially sold assets more rights than other shareholders.
The Government finds it unacceptable, yet is here to consult anyway - which has left Tuwharetoa unimpressed.
“The Prime Minister has already gone on record to say shares plus is not desirable; this does not instill in me any confidence," says Sir Tumu.
And neither should Mr Key’s answer.
“We reject the notion of shares plus because we just don't think it works,” says Mr Key.
But Mr English says it's worth discussing despite the Government's entrenched position.
“We can all benefit from the discussion,” says Mr English. “For many people this is their only chance they can hear from us about what we're doing and why, and that's the best opportunity they get.”
“We are genuinely having a discussion about whether there is something we’ve missed,” says Mr Key.
In the last hour 10 iwi from the Whanganui area also met the Government, but only to tell Mr English they refuse to discuss the asset sales until their claims are resolved.
So the hui roadshow will continue tomorrow and into next week, and while Maori aren't united in boycotting them they appear united in their view of the hui.
They think the process is rushed and not genuine given that the Government has arrived to consult on something it finds unacceptable and unworkable.
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25/09/2012 6:43:33 p.m.
$$$ Wealthy Iwi wont even support there own waka, Mana 1 Maori 0
20/09/2012 12:13:38 p.m.
Haha! Chocker? Small rooms usually have that effect & give that perception. The King 1000, the government 85 to 90 at best. Still along way off a fair process.
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