Chairman of Kohuiarau Parliament Resigns

by Ross Himona, "Te Putatara", 27 January 2001


Kia ora Koutou

Chris Ruka the chairman of the controversial Kohuiarau Parliment has resigned, citing dissatisfaction with "advisors" who make decisions for the Parliament, and who have "scant knowledge of Tikanga Maori".

Mr Ruka has been contemplating resignation for some months, as have other Members of the Kohuiarau Parliament. Te Putatara has been advised that deep dissatisfaction has set in as Members realise that much of the history, legend and lore of Kohuiarau has been manufactured by James Ngatoa, the self-styled Taiopuru, or Head of Kohuiarau.

Members of the Kohuiarau Parliament who have contacted Te Putatara have also expressed their distrust of Mary Christina Mahinarangi Forbes, who has been a charismatic promoter of the Kohuiarau concept at many hui around the country. A promotional video, containing many of the spurious claims of Kohuiarau and featuring Ms Forbes, has also been widely circulated.

MPs have also stated that they do not trust her husband, Robin Leslie Edwards, who seems to control the financial affairs of Kohuiarau. A letter from a Kohuiarau MP to Te Putatara says that Edwards holds "the Warrant of the Commercial House" and that he "will be responsible for every deal that has any inkling of commerce." According to her it was Edwards who would get up and promise at the hui "millions of dollars", "print your own money", and other "ridiculous miraculous financial benefits".

Another Kohuiarau MP told Te Putatara that he was upset that Edwards had excluded all elected representatives from meeting with a Chinese commercial delegation, and they could not verify whether or not the meeting was real.

That Kohuiarau MP also said that he felt the Kohuiarau Parliamentarians were "only puppets of Ngatoa, Forbes and Edwards". He said that Te Whare Ariki, the upper house or House of Lords where the self-styled ariki belong, was also being manipulated by them. He said, "Ngatoa cloaks them as ariki, then they do what Ngatoa wants". He also felt that Kohuiarau was "cultish", and much of their ritual was "rubbish".

These and other Kohuiarau MPs advise that they are also contemplating resignation.

Mr Ruka writes in his letter of resignation that he hopes "that all those honest hard working, well intentioned Maori and Tauiwi who fell in love with the beautiful concept of Kohuiarau will place their efforts elsewhere in an effort to provide a better future for our peoples."

For the text of Mr Ruka's resignation go to: