Politics | Manurewa Marae

Kaumatua unhappy Manurewa Marae is at the centre of a political storm

Manurewa Marae chairman Rangi McLean says he is upset and quite hurt that the marae is at the centre of allegations about Te Pāti Maōri using Census data for election purposes.

He points out the good work the marae does every day including helping feed over 70,000 low-income families with food parcels.

Earlier this week Prime Minister Christopher Luxon directed the Public Services Commission to look into the allegations as they affect six government agencies. This follows the launch of a police investigation and an independent inquiry for Stats NZ into the allegations, which Te Pāti Māori denies.

“They’re going back to that topic to say that Manurewa Marae is doing these things. So, in my role as chairman of Manurewa Marae, I’m here to tell you that what they’re doing is very wrong,” McLean says.

And I know they’re looking at the movements of our former leader, Takutai Moana Tarsha Kemp, who is the current MP for Auckland, so that is perhaps the area they want to unravel regarding her and, other than Takutai, there’s the president of Te Pāti Māori (John Tamihere)”.

Upholding mana

Manurewa Marae

McLean says his main focus is to uphold the mana of the marae but he also has a role with Te Pati Māori as a kaumatua.

“So I’m here as a kaumātua of Te Pāti Māori in support of Takutai Moana Tarsha Kemp, and second, John Tamihere, president of Te Pāti Māori, and my role is a kaumātua of Te Pāti Māori. So, that’s why I think it’s very wrong what these government offices are doing, and even the police.

“They’re not focusing on the thousands of people we fed because they had no food.

“Still to this day, our marae is sending food parcels to families living in poverty who’re hungry and homeless too.”

He says Manurewa Marae helped 75,000 whānau during the Covid-19 period

“So, the media isn’t paying attention to the work that we’re still doing but they are challenging the fact that Takutai was there working, rightfully, and John Tamihere was the president of Te Pāti Māori, which is also correct, and that’s who they really want to challenge. "