The best thing going for the Maori Council was hiring the grandson of a National Cabinet Minister

July 21, 2012

Dunno what to make of the contretemps over Felix Geiringer’s pay for batting for the Maori Council at its much-ballyhooed Waitangi Tribunal case.

But a day or so ago, the Maori Council (as reported here) was accusing the Ministry of Justice of being racist and trying to sabotage its water and geothermal rights case.

On Thursday morning the inquiry, which was due to start with the council delivering its closing submission, was overshadowed by the council’s barrister, Felix Geiringer, complaining about his pay rate.

Outside the hearing, council co-chair Maanu Paul said the Ministry of Justice’s Legal Service broke the agreement to pay Mr Geiringer the full lawyer’s hourly rate.

He says it wants Mr Geiringer to accept the same wages as a junior lawyer, while Crown lawyers receive $400 an hour.

Mr Paul says he believes the ministry is trying to undermine the council’s case.

If indeed this was a ploy to undermine the council’s case, it damned near worked, because Geiringer said he had seriously considered not showing up to deliver his closing submissions.

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