Over the next two days, serious issues affecting Māori will be debated in the iwi leader's forum in Rotorua. Ownership rights and the welfare of our people are some of the key issues they will address.
Consultant for the forum Willie Te Aho is happy 68 tribes are in attendance today and told Te Kāea, “we are not saying that we speak on behalf of all Māori. Tūhoe remain independent with their issues and other tribes share that view, just like Ngāi Tai but we support them and what they do."
The meeting itself is taking place at Te Puia which is New Zealand’s living Maori cultural centre. One of the key issues being discussed concerns the ownership of water.
Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell says, “This is exactly why this issue needs to be discussed between the government, Māori and (NZ) as a whole we also have those who are extracting the water, permission is being given by councils, water is then being exported.
In 2005, the first Iwi Chairs Forum was convened at Takahanga Marae in Kaikōura. Since then the forum meets regularly to discuss all areas pertaining to Māoridom. The forum finishes tomorrow.