This nasty case of tribal bullying came to light in an article in the Sunday Herald on Sunday yesterday.
Councillors lodge complaint with Auditor-General over legal letter.
The head of a panel that selects Auckland Council's Maori advisers threatened councillors with personal legal action over a vote to release ratepayer money.
Tame Te Rangi, the chairman of the Independent Maori Statutory Board's selection panel, made the threat in a letter to Auckland Council's chief executive, Stephen Town, on July 24.
The Herald on Sunday obtained a copy of the letter, which states if Auckland Council didn't release the funding, he would initiate "legal proceedings against Auckland Council and each member of the Governing Body in their personal capacity".
The vote went ahead and the money — which the selection panel wants to use for a High Court case — was approved.
When contacted by the Herald on Sunday, Te Rangi initially denied the personal legal threats, saying his intention was to "talk to the council".
When the letter was read back to him he said: "I've got no further comment to make, the matter has been addressed and has been closed as far as I'm concerned."
TE RANGI ACTIONS AMOUNT TO BULLYING AND INTIMIDATION
Lobby group Democracy Action is calling on the Chair of Auckland's Independent Maori Statutory Board selection panel, Tame Te Rangi, to step-down after details of a letter threatening legal proceedings against Auckland councillors were published in today's Herald on Sunday. It is reported that Mr Te Rangi threatened legal action unless councillors released ratepayer money for the defence of the most recent selection process lead by Mr Te Rangi. Democracy Action's Chairman, Lee Short, says:
“It is bad enough that the Independent Maori Statutory Board is an undemocratic feature of the Super City but it’s a step further to have someone apparently willing to intimidate councillors for ratepayer cash. We applaud the Councillors who stood up to this threat, and have lodged a formal complaint with the Auditor General.”
"Mr Te Rangi should do the honourable thing and resign."
“The National Government foisted this unelected Maori Statutory Board onto Aucklanders, and actions such as Mr Te Rangi’s are further subverting our democracy. This is another example of how poorly the citizens of Auckland are being served by the Super City legislation."
Such thinking is divisive and ultimately destructive. It is the thinking of the appeaser so thoroughly understood by the great Sir Winston Churchill. “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” The tribal crocodile is a ravenous beast that is very busy eating up the remains of democracy in New Zealand.