Tūhoe marae remove support for Te Uru Taumatua

By Raniera Harrison
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Two tribal marae in Tūhoe, which represent over 100 beneficiaries, are planning to remove their support for the tribe's governing body Te Uru Taumatua. It's understood another three may follow suit.

The marae has formed a group called Te Kohinga o Ngā Whānau o Ngāi Tūhoe. According to the group's newsletter, they believe the leadership of Te Uru Taumatua is failing and they are threatening to take legal action if their resolutions are not supported at the tribe's AGM on Saturday, December 2.

The group is calling for a review of the Tūhoe Trust Deed, a review of Te Uru Taumatua organisational structures and the appointment of an independent body to undertake the review.

The legal threat was outlined in the newsletter detailing the intentions of the group and the move is being supported by prominent Tūhoe kaumātua Wharehuia Milroy and Sir Tīmoti Kāretu.

A spokesperson told Te Kāea that the Te Uru Taumatua Chair Tamati Kruger believes the sentiments expressed in the newsletter are factually incorrect and feels no need to go on the record to speak to the matter. Te Uru Taumatua represents around 30 hapū and 40 marae within the four tribal regions of Ruatoki, Te Waimana, Waikaremoana and Ruatāhuna.

A member of the Te Kohinga o Ngā Whānau o Ngāi Tūhoe told Te Kāea that the CEO of Te Uru Taumatua, Kirsti Luke, has stepped down from her responsibilities at Te Uru Taumatua. However, a Te Uru Taumatua spokesperson said she has not stepped down from her position.

However, according to the member from Te Kohinga o Ngā Whānau, Kirsti's resignation was confirmed by Tamati Kruger at a Tūhoe hapū hui for Ngāti Hāmua in Waimana last week.

Te Uru Taumatua will be holding their AGM on December 2. Te Kohinga o Ngā Whānau are expected to present their concerns at the meeting.