Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gang Influence and Corruption in the Maori Party?

Minister was warned gang would re-occupy seized HQ

Papers released under the Official Information Act reveal that Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples stepped in to try to stop any demolition because the gang pad caters for the "spiritual and cultural needs" of Maori.

The MP wrote to the Auckland City Council asking staff to ignore the illegal structures and to grant a waiver for breaches of the district plan.

At the time, the new owner was in negotiations to sell the property to a trust connected to Dr Sharples' Tamaki Makarau electorate manager, Martin Cooper.

Mr Cooper is a former Black Power president who used to own the Jolson Rd property through the Piki Mai Trust.

In the letter, the Maori Affairs Minister said he attended a hui at the Black Power headquarters in 2005 with Tariana Turia as co-leaders of the Maori Party and that "the whare catered for the spiritual and cultural needs of our hui".

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