Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, May 22, 2006

Centrist policies turning off Maori

Former Labour Cabinet minister John Tamihere says Labour’s centrist policies are driving Maori voters towards the Maori party.

Mr Tamihere says the latest Budget failed to address the most pressing needs in Maori communities, the lack of fair funding for Maori-run health, education and justice programmes.

That forces Maori back to government-run programmes, which may not be effective.

Mr Tamihere says the government’s treatment of Te Wananga O Aotearoa was a big wake up call about how far Labour was really prepared to go with a by Maori-form Maori kaupapa.

John Tamihere Maori are becoming increasingly hostile to government interference in their programmes.


A lecturer in Maori Studies at Waikato University says kohanga reo and kura kaupapa Maori language immersion education is starting to make its impact felt on the university.

Waldo Houia says tertiary students can now learn subjects in te reo Maori, that a few years ago would not have been possible.

He says the move to revitalise the reo, which kicked off 25 years ago, is producing students and lecturers who are fluent in the language, and Waikato is now able to offer specialist subjects taught in a total immersion environment.

Mr Houia says that couldn't have happened even five years ago.


The weekend’s 16-14 win by the Wellington Hurricanes over the New South Wales Warratahs was another chance for a young man from Whakatohea to show how good he is.

Maori sports commentator Potaka Maipi says Hurricanes halfback Piri Weepu is playing great rugby, and is a major reason the Hurricanes are in the Super 14 final against the Crusaders at Jade Stadium next weekend.

He says the Wainuiomata-raised Weepu has also won a lot of support from Maori for his public support off the field for te reo Maori and the Maori electoral option campaign.


The Prime Minister and her entourage arrive in Ngaruawahia today for the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the coronation of the Maori Queen, but it’s unlikely she will announce a settlement on Tanui’s Waikato River claim.

Officials from the Office of Treaty Settlements were in talks with Tainui negotiators last week, but were unable to clinch a deal.

The sticking point is the Crown’s interest in overseeing how the river’s water is used. While it is prepared to achnowledge iwi ownership of lake beds and river best, it refuses to concede ownership of water.

Waatea reporter Potaka Maipi, has been at the Koroneihana celebrations over the weekend, and says many Tainui people are anxious about the settlement package.

He says many will not accept the idea of just getting back the riverbed.


National MP Tau Henare says the government seems determined to keep Maori dependent on the state.

Mr Henare says many Maori are getting ahead in business because they don’t want to be reliant on handouts from the government.

But he says the government’s tax structures they impose keep them on a short leash.

Whanganui people are this week taking down their taonga from the walls of Te Papa.

Whanganui has been the centerpiece of the museum’s Maori exhibit for the past two and a half.

Kaumatua Morvin Simon says more than a million people have seen the taonga.

He says it has given them an insight into the history of the Te Ati Hau a Papanui tribes and their relationship with the river.

He says the Whanganui people were proud to host the interactive exhibition at Te Papa.

Morvin Simon the exhibition had an especially emotional effect on people with a whakapapa connection to the area, including many who had never been to the river itself.

The next long term exhibit at Te Papa Tongarewa will feature Ngai Tahu .


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