Infighting puts Māori Women's Welfare league at risk amid annual conference

Infighting is threatening to mar the Māori Women's Welfare League's annual conference this week. 

It was once spearheading social change, courted by governments and led by legends.

Now, plagued by internal strife, the group is now facing questions around its relevancy.

"There are so many fights to be fought and I don't think that's the place where we want to be having a fight," social commentator Hayley Putaranui told 1 NEWS.

This week's annual conference is shaping up to be a contentious one.

On the agenda is a motion to dismiss some members, and Mere Mangu is one of them.

"They are actions that are foreign to tikanga Māori and we can follow it up in the legal system. But at the end of the day responsibility rests with our national president," Ms Mangu said.

She says it's payback for supporting ongoing High Court action questioning whether the president can legitimately serve more than one three-year term. 

Prue Kapua was voted in for a second term last year. 

"I wouldn't have ever anticipated it would have gotten to this point," Ms Kapua said.

The cost of the division is that younger women are not engaging and questioning the league's relevance. 

"Looking forward to 2020-2030 what is the league's place there? Why would I want to be associated with it and what would I get out of it as well, And what could I give back?" Ms Putaranui said.

Ms Kapua said: "We can only do that when we're internally well organised and working well together."

The Māori Women's Welfare League has a proud past but its future at risk as the infighting drags on.

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Plagued by internal strife the group’s now facing questions around its relevancy. Source: 1 NEWS