Abusers no right to stand on marae

Māori leader Rangi McLean says any abuser should be removed immediately from the right to speak on the marae.

Speaking on Maori Television’s Native Affairs, the chair of Manurewa Marae said any kind of abuse should not be tolerated and that more and more marae were confronting the issue in the open.

“One of the kaumātua was dealt with in that light on our marae.  He was given assistance to work through all his issues and that’s how we dealt with that case,” says McLean.

McLean says the issue of abuse was also raised at the recent 150th celebrations of the Ringatū Church and disagreed men were not willing to talk about it.

“Bring it to us, bring it to the marae of Manurewa, Ngā Whare Wātea and Te Tira Hōu.  Bring this discussion out and I will gladly host it.”

But Māori artist Chanz Mikaere says too many Māori men were still protected by a cone of silence.

“We have a tendency to, in our heads, see the paepae as beyond reproach.  Unfortunately those men who man the paepae aren't always,” she says.

Mikaere, who last year called for marae to clean out abusers, said a $10,000 reward for information about an alleged paedophile ring in Tauranga is an expensive gag.

“That’s so wrong to have done so.  What is does it take away from, it distracts from the actual mature conversation that we should be having about bring out the things which are often hidden,” she said.

It follows allegations by Anihera Black of a child sex ring operating in Tauranga Moana.  Local iwi offered a $10,000 reward for information.

The issue of whether Maori men are being protected will be debated on Native Affairs tonight at 8pm.