The battle lines have been drawn and ultimately, the Waitangi Tribunal are stuck right in the middle.
Maanu Paul says that “the person that is pulling at the strings of the puppet, is the person in charge.”
Last year, the Crown, through Te Puni Kōkiri, held hui to discuss the future of the Māori Community Development Act. However today, the Māori Council say that the Crown are failing the Māori Wardens.
Maanu goes on to state that “$13 million dollars has been spent by the Government even though Winston Peters has pointed out that it should go to Māori Wardens.”
Te Reo Hemi says that “there’s a lot of things that have happened around us, you know, a bit shaky to help us do our mahi”
Te Reo Hemi has been a Māori warden for the last 30 years in the Aotea region. The things he has heard today, have definitely been food for thought.
More than 200 Māori Wardens turned out at Pipitea Marae today, but the Minister of Māori Affairs and Te Puni Kokiri would not comment on the hearing until an outcome was reached.
Over the next three days we will hear from witnesses such as Maanu Paul, Michelle Hippolite, CEO of Te Puni Kokiri, and Titewhai Harawira, on behalf of the Tamaki District Māori Council and Wardens, and without a doubt it sets the scene that will surely see sparks flying.