League final shows gap in Maori option



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Pierre Verschaffelt

John Tamihere | Maori Rugby League

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Former Maori Rugby League chairman John Tamihere says Toa Samoa’s success at the Rugby League World Cup shows why he is suing code administrators here.

He asked the High Court to rule that New Zealand Maori Rugby League acted unconstitutionally and breached the Treaty of Waitangi by failing to develop pathways for young Maori and pasifika talent.

He says Samoans playing in other countries can be selected for that country or return to play for Toa Samoa, while their Maori teammates do not have a Maori team in the competition.

“Our Maori boy has no choice and it’s the choice we lack and it’s just a direct right under our treaty rights but if you’re not protesting for it you’re not defending it , you don’t affirm it, you never get it,” he says.

The statement filed in Hamilton High Court by Mr Tamihere with former Warriors coach Tony Kemp, Auckland Maori Rugby League chairman Greg Whaiapu and former Taitokerau Rugby League chairman and MP Hone Harawira alleges the Maori Rugby League has been run by three people for the past 15 years who will not call an AGM.

Toa Samoa lost 30-10 to Australia in Manchester early Sunday morning Apia time, but that didn’t stop fans here celebrating that their side had reached the final for the first time.

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