Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Labour keeping Maori on leash

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says Labour's Working For Families social policy framework is bad for Maori.

Working for Families gives tax credits to families with children to help with housing, childcare and other costs.

Mrs Turia says it's just another form of control.

"And we need to get this right out of our psyche actually, that we need to be beneficiaries of any government. We should be starting to look to a future where we stand on our own two feet. That is what this government should be assisting our people to do, not continuing to keep them within a beneficiary frame of mind," Turia said.

Tariana Turia says she is disappointed the government has slashed funding for programmes she was instrumental in setting up, such as the Ministry for Maori Development's capacity building and whanau development initiatives.


Moves to increase the number of Maori wardens on the street is being given a boost this week by the graduation of 44 new recruits in West Auckland.

Spokesman Jack Taumaunu says that makes the Waitemata Maori Wardens the biggest sub-association in the country.

He says wardens have a proven track record of being able to tackle problems which the police may not have the resources of cultural skills to address.

"We can make make a difference to reduce crime which Maori dominate. It is absolutely apalling and it hurts us to see the continuous night and day arrests of our own tamariki and our own people going before the courts," Taumanu said.

Jack Taumaunu says he welcomes the support of New Zealand First law and order spokesman Ron Mark, who is fighting for more resources to allow warden numbers to grow.


National MP Georgina Te Heu Heu says the information age is helping to spread the word of the Kingitanga.

She says in the past 40 years the profile of the movement has increased, as first television and then the Internet allowed more people to hear of Kingitanga and what it stands for.

Mrs Te Heu Heu says much of that higher profile is due to Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, whose reign as the Maori queen for the past 40 years was the focus of a week of celebrations at Ngaruawahi.


A man pushing to become the head of New Zealand's richest tribe says it should do more business with the people closest to home.

James Daniels will find out on Satuday whether he has the votes to unseat Mark Solomon as chair of the Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu.

The contest has been marked by concern over what Mr Daniels says is the under-performance of some of Ngai Tahu's main commercial entities.

This week's resignation of Ngai Tahu Holdings chief executive Robin Pratt has added fuel to the fire, coming only a fortnight after the release of an upbeat press release on his organisation's half year earnings which critics said was done to prop up Mr Solomon.

Mr Daniels says the tribe hasn't worked hard enough to be part of the business community in the South Island.

"Ngai Tahu being the largest iwi in the South Island, it makes sense for us to go into joint busienss ventures with prominient entities from the South Island, be they companies or families or individuals, and it also establishes we are prepared to spread the risks and the returns, and it also establishes we are here forever, we are not going anywhere, and we are sharing the love down there," Daniels said.


The kaimahi or workers at Turangawaewae Marae have looked after tens of thousands of people over the past week, and did it all for a smile.

Moko Templeton, the communications manager for the 40th celebrations of the Maori Queen's coronation, says Waikato iwi and hapu were invited to come out front this year, rather than just work behind the scenes.

They were involved in kapa haka and dramatic productions, written for and performed by rangatahi and focusing on issues affecting them such as youth suicide.

Ms Templeton says their reward was to hear Te Arikinui Dame te Atairangikaau's response.


The body which organises the national Maori sports awards is keen that regional competititons use the same judging criteria.

Te Tohu Taakaro O Aotaearoa chairman Dick Garret says more regions are starting their own Maori sports awards.

He says regional representatives met in Auckland over the past two days to discuss how their events could integrate with the national awards, being held in Manukau in mid November.


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