Some details have emerged from (confidential) informants about the way Darren Edwards was appointed by Councilors and the non-mandated Ngātiawa Tai Kapiti* iwi is incensed.

Guru invited friends from either Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Toa or both to the table while councilors were asking questions of the 4 short-listed applicants. The final choice from two was swayed by these iwi friends in a split vote.

The role of CEO is the most important in the council as this person is responsible for most operational decisions. The mayor’s invitation to his friends was not approved at a properly notified council meeting as happened with iwi (excluding Ngātiawa Tai Kapiti) appointments to council committees last month. The basic principle is that people who can’t be involved in firing someone should not be involved in hiring that person.

Emotional blackmail of certain councilors is a tactic that the present mayor used to get his Gateway (Te Uruhi) proposal passed at the February 2021 council meeting — see the posts at the time. Ngātiawa Tai Kapiti (among other Tangata Whenua) are also opposed to that project.

Apihaka Mack of Ngātiawa Tai Kapiti

The Ngātiawa Tai Kapiti iwi have had a long battle for both recognition and registration with KCDC Maori Liaison, Whakameinga Komiti, Government Waitangi Tribunal, Crown Law Office, Te Atiawa ki Whakarongotai Marae, and Te Atiawa Kapiti Charitable Trust.

The Ngātiawa Wai 1018 claimants recently turned down invitations to meet with Whakarongotai Marae Trustees, Te Atiawa ki Whakarongotai/Kāpiti Charitable Trust trustees as they say it is time for these entities to own their public displays of verbal abuse against Ngātiawa Wai 1018 claimants. This behaviour was witnessed by WAI 2200 hearing Judges, Crown Counsel, Researchers, Barristers, Claimants, Crown Forest Rental Trust Staff, and Ministry of Justice staff.

The Minister of Treaty Claims invited Ngātiawa to sit with Te Arawhiti–Crown negotiators in April 2021. Covid put it on hold. This hui is pending presently. Ngātiawa Wai 1018 claimants declined recent invitations from Whakarongotai Marae Trustees and Charitable Trust Chairman. “None of us need to walk into that emotionally abusive environment, ever again. The government cannot force any of us to accept and maintain the inter-generational abuse for future generations. Our mokopuna deserve better” says representative Apihaka Mack.

Meanwhile it has also emerged from another source that Mayor Guru and his deputy Janet Holborow wanted to give former CEO Mr Maxwell two more years, but “pretty much the rest wanted him gone, they had to decide to do it now or let the new members decide after elections.” Maxwell apparently thought he deserved another 2 years and “threw his toys out of the cot” when he was told he wasn’t getting that. He did not appear at work from that point, and he got paid out until next January when his 5 years was up — in effect $300,000 for doing nothing.

  • Until recently the iwi went under the name Ngātiawa ki Kapiti, but on advice from their Te Reo consultant this was changed: Tai = coast and Kapiti (without the macron over the a) means a strip of land between mountains and the sea. (With the macron over the a — as KCDC insist on spelling it — Kāpiti means “cabbage”.)