Our Whānau, Our Future
Dame June Temuranga Batley Jackson (Ngāti Maniapoto), former MUMA CEO, along with her husband, the late Bob Jackson, and other Māori community leaders such as Brian Joyce, incorporated MUMA in 1986.
MUMA was one of a founding group of pan-tribal organisations or urban Māori authorities that appeared in the 1980's to progress the rights of Māori living in the cities and to counter a tribal view.
This group included Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust (West Auckland), Te Rūnanga o Kirikiriroa (Hamilton), Te Rūnanganui o te Ūpoko o Te Ika (Wellington), and Te Rūnanga o Ngā Maata Waka (Christchurch). These organisations fostered the economic, social and community development of urban Māori, forging links with central government and local bodies. The authorities were built on initiatives in education, commercial ventures, health, pre-employment and other social services.
Urban Māori leaders have dismissed the tribal approach as inadequate to serve the interests of many people who have no real relationship with the tribe. Urban Māori authorities have sought to be recognised as Iwi (tribes) or tribal authorities in their own right so they can qualify to deliver government services. They have argued that they are better equipped, with their local knowledge and proximity, to cater for Māori in the city.
In 1994 Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust made a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal for recognition as a legitimate representative of urban Māori. Subsequently, there were law changes allowing the Trust (and other urban Māori organisations) to assume welfare responsibilities from government agencies. This case heralded a change in the way the government viewed urban Māori authorities.
MUMA led the urban Māori authorities' challenge of the proposed allocation models for the Māori Fisheries Settlement in 1992. The distribution model favoured traditional tribes. The long-standing claim went to the highest courts in New Zealand, and to the Privy Council on several occasions.