Two models for governance and representation of one of New Zealand's largest iwi organisations was voted on today by the members of Waikato-Tainui.
The results show that the majority are leaning towards the Marae model, as opposed to the Status-quo model.
Waikato-Tainui beneficiaries had 23 days to cast a vote for two models to govern the iwi.
Rāhui Papa says, “I'm relieved and glad we have completed our voting process. Over five thousand beneficiaries have cast their vote in regards to how we move forward together.”
The Status-quo model allows for minimal change to the current set up, the management structure remains the same on Te Kauhanganui and Te Arataura boards. However Patara Berryman is concerned that a loss in voice today will impact on the future.
“If you eliminate one of those roles, what does that mean for the youth? How do we find out about our tribal issues if we aren't a part of the forum?”
According to Rangimaria Tahana, the movement for decision making isn't clear.
“The decision being made by Marae is missing from the status quo option, it is left to Te Kauhanganui representatives to take the issues of the Marae to Te Kauhanganui, who then decides on what happens to the Marae. Therefore, the Marae model brings back the decision making to the Marae.”
The Marae model, reduces the number of Te Kauhanganui members from 205 to 137, and also decreases Te Arataura members from 11 to 9. Rangimaria says she voted for the Marae model, "to move forward as a tribe, to unite together, it is time for change.”
It is indeed time for change but what model did the people vote for.
Rahui Papa says, “Within the 5,000 that did vote, over 70% voted for the Marae model to guide the tribe. From here the members will take these matters and address their Marae about the outcomes for this matter. Te Kauhanganui finalise the decision in early November.”