Jackson takes Māori Stat Board grievances to court

By Heeni Brown

Willie Jackson has lodged his concerns to the High Court, in a plea to the find the answers as to why he wasn't chosen as a member of the Independent Māori Statutory Board.

But he hasn't just taken the Independent Statutory Board to court, the Minister of Māori Affairs joins them.

Lawyers Te Kani Williams and Ihipera Peters are taking Willie Jackson's grievances to the High Court.

Te Kani Williams says his client believes the process undertaken to have Mr Tony Kake on the Board was wrong.

Jackson has applied for interim relief in the bid to see why Tony Kake was chosen as a Mātāwaka representative on the Māori Statutory Board, and why his appointment was declined.

Jackson's argument is that Mr Kake filed no supporting documents with his application, and yet Jackson filed nine documents in support to become a Mātāwaka representative.  Jackson's supporters included those from marae, the Mormon and Destiny Churches, the Māori Wardens and the Māori Council.

Mr Kake who wished not to make comment on the matter to Te Kāea.

Te Kāea also contacted the Māori Statutory Board's Chairman, Tame Te Rangi and he said, "those who were summoned for this case will be heard once the court has decided when that will happen."

The Tāmaki Collective picks seven manawhenua representatives and two members to represent mātāwaka of people from iwi outside Auckland.

The Minister of Māori Affairs plays a supporting role in the Selection Body and Board processes.  He has six responsibilities, one of those is to step in if there is a dispute between the Selection Body and the Board.

Dr Pita Sharples' position is alongside the many names summoned.  But the Minister says he cannot comment on issues that are currently before the courts. 

Other than Mr Kake, John Tamihere is the second Mātāwaka representative, and Tamihere is supporting his work colleague (Jackson) on this issue.

In a radio broadcast today, Tamihere claimed, "On mandate alone in terms of support from our communities, Willie had it ahead of anybody else.  What that Iwi Electoral College did was grossly unfair."

The Auckland High Court will begin its hearings on the issue next Thursday.