National | Bill English

Nanaia Mahuta to meet with Iwi Chairs Forum at Waitangi

Come Friday at Waitangi the Prime Minister will meet with the Iwi Chairs Forum, as well as Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta, who last year made comments that the group wasn't doing its job properly.

“What I said was the strategy needs to change, that way the same issues experienced under the last government will not affect the new one,” Mahuta says.

National Leader Bill English says the Iwi Chairs Forum developed a highly disciplined working relationship with the government.

"I think in a show of strength here the iwi leaders group is going to come ahead despite the misgivings of Labour Ministers.
"They just have to get used to the fact there is a well-organised Māori group that is not dependent on the Crown that doesn't have to buckle to the government's wishes."

But Labour says it has has opened up a fresh front.

Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare says "There is a lot of work to do, it's not only for one group to do this and another to do that. We want to work together to collectively achieve our goals.”

Despite Ministers Willie Jackson and Shane Jones having disregarded the iwi leaders mandate in the lead up to the Waitangi hui.

“Some of us will go along to discuss our specific portfolios,” Mahuta says.

“We need to meet to discuss ideas and strategies that align with goals that both iwi and the government want and to work together to achieve that.”

The Iwi Chairs Forum was contacted but yet to respond.