Māori women leaders support for whānau affected by Awanui Black accusations

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

Māori women leaders have come out in support of communities and families affected by accusations against the late Awanuiarangi Black.

Māori women leaders gathered in Auckland today for the FOMA Māori Women's Leadership Summit.

FOMA Chair Traci Houpapa says communities need to talk about solutions in the wake of allegations made against Awanui Black.

“We need to provide the necessary support and we also need to stand up and say that this is not acceptable,” says FOMA Chair, Traci Houpapa.

“This is not Māori, and it's not how we treat our families, our wahine, our tāne, our tamariki, and mokopuna.”

Dame Naida Glavish says there are a number of issues that need to be addressed.

“How can we as Māori bring healing for the families of Awanui, his wife, and their children?” she asked, “How can we bring healing to those who've been left in sorrow, as a result of those who've passed on?"

This is the 6th annual summit of Māori women leaders to discuss economic and commercial matters and issues of importance to Māori women.

“Even if you are not directly involved in that event we have abuse and we are impacted in our own families across the country,” says Houpapa, “It's a time for us to stand and it's time for us to support one another.”

“I think if the allegations are true someone will come forward, but I support a thorough investigation by police,” says Glavish, “so that the grievances of each one affected are addressed.”

While police continue their investigation, Glavish reiterates that the way forward is to seek resolution and understand where the allegations stem from.