Far from Auckland, hunkered down in the Eketahuna Club, Alf’s mates couldn’t give a toss about whether broadcaster Willie Jackson should be sitting on Auckland’s Independent Maori Statutory Board.
They do give a toss about process.
They observe that Willie took a legal route on his rocky passage towards a seat on the board, which provides advice to Auckland Council on Maori issues.
The High Court has ruled in his favour and found the board’s selection processes were flawed.
According to this NZ Herald report:
Jackson, who chairs the Manukau Urban Maori Authority, took legal action this year after he was snubbed for one of two urban Maori positions on the Independent Maori Statutory Board (IMSB).
This more likely means somebody other than Willie was given the job.
This is affirmed:
Last August, a selection body appointed Waipareira Trust chief executive John Tamihere and Papakura Marae chief executive Tony Kake to the two matawaka (urban Maori) positions on the board for the second term of the Auckland Council.
This board is a splendid example of the way we regard our indigenous persons as special and spare them the need to get voted into office by the hoi polloi.
It is made up of nine mana whenua representatives – people who have tribal ties to Auckland – and two mataawaka officials.
The mataawaka officials live in the city but have no tribal ties there.
So how come Willie can have another tilt?
… in a ruling seen by the Herald, High Court judge Ailsa Duffy said the process used to select one of the matawaka representatives on Auckland’s Independent Maori Statutory Board was “badly flawed” and needed to be done again.
Justice Duffy said that in picking incumbent member Tony Kake over Jackson, the selection panel which included only mana whenua representatives failed to show it had considered matawaka views.
Obviously there are good reasons for wanting to sit on the board, because Jackson has spent a wad of money to win his case:
Jackson would not confirm the costs he would be seeking from the board for his legal action but a source close to him said it was “close to $100,000”.
Another report tells us that nine months after the case was run, the High Court has ruled that the group that appointed the board failed to properly consider the submissions regarding candidates to represent Maori from iwi outside the super city.
More clearly than the Herald report, this one says the judge set aside the appointment of Papakura Marae executive Tony Kake and ordered the process to be done again.
Then we are given a dose of Wailing Willie:
Mr Jackson, who heads the Manukau Urban Maori Authority, says the major flaw in the law was giving mana whenua the task of saying who should represent mataawaka.
“And then of course then backed by the Minister for Maori Affairs, Pita Sharples, who refused to intervene on this, again forgetting he was put in there by us, by urban Maori here in Auckland, Pita did not intervene and now of course we have the decision back from the judge which said the whole process was fatally flawed,” he says.
Mr Jackson says he has great regard for Tony Kake, but he should seriously consider not putting his name forward again.
Alf’s mates are fascinated by that sentence.
Why should Kake seriously consider not putting his name forward again?
Something of an answer (but not much of one) comes from Radio NZ:
Mr Jackson, who was unsuccessful in his attempt be a mataawaka delegate, believed that the choice of Mr Kake was unreasonable.
If Alf heard correctly when listening to Radio NZ this morning, Willie or someone was banging on about him having greater support from mataawaka than his rival.
A greater weight of support than Tony Kake?
He may well but right – but how could we put that to the test?
Hmm. Let’s think.
Oh yes – in a well-functioning democracy Willie could test his support by standing for election to the council and checking how many votes he got.
Mind you, he would still want to stack the deck by standing in a Maori-only election to increase his prospects, even though he once sat in Parliament as an Alliance MP and, so far as Alf can recall, he did not get there by standing in a race-based electorate.