Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Maori MPs on probation still

The Minister of Maori Affairs says the Maori Party should have learned a valuable lesson from the Probationary Employment Bill.

The party this week announced it no longer backed the bill put up by National MP Wayne Mapp, which would have allowed employers to sack new staff without reason during the first 90 days.

Mr Horomia says the support three of the four Maori Party MPs gave the bill in its initial stages was a sign of their political inexperience.

He says it took them too long to make the right call.


A senior member of the Anglican church says attempts by the Education Ministry to separate religion from spirituality in schools are misguided.

Muru Walters, Te Pihopa o Te Upoko o Te Ika a Maui, says the ministry has introduced new guidelines on the use of prayers and karakia in schools without a proper consultation process.

Bishop Walters says the policy makers are out of step with the Maori community.

Muru Walters says for Maori, spirituality is seen as a part of everyday life.


The national museum Te Papa Tongarewa is throwing open its doors tomorrow morning for a memorial service for the late Maori queen, Te Arikinui Dame Te Ata i Rangi Kaahu.

Te Papa Marae manager Hema Temara says the museum is responding to calls from the public and community groups.

She says it is not something Ta Papa usually does, but there are a lot of people in the in the Wellington region looking for some way to pay tribute to Te Arikinui.


The outgoing president of the Maori Wardens Association says the social climate for Maori has never been as bad.

The wardens are holding their annual conference in Rotorua this weekend.

Peter Walden has been a warden says 1968, and says he wants to step aside for someone with fresh energy.

Mr Walden says wardens are in a good position to address a range of serious problems with Maori families and young people.

“The issue today for me is the destablisation of our whanau from the cradle up, and the continued aggravated violence., The Maori social environment has not received the same attention as the treaty issue over the whenua has, and I believe that needs to be readdressed,” Walden said.

Peter Walden says there is considerable skills and expertise within the wardens, but the organisation has never been funded enough to realise its potential.


A lawyer involved in the Wai 262 flora and fauna claim has paid tribute to those who have carried the kaupapa since 1991.

The Waitangi Tribunal this week started the last of a series of hearings which should bring the claim to an end.

Maui Solomon of Te Iwi Moriori says only a handful of the original claimants are still involved, as many of the others have since died.

Maui Solomon says despite the length of the claim, the Crown still doesn't seem to be listening to what the claimants are saying, making settlement that much harder.


Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell says he doesn't hold our much hope that an independent inquiry into council rating systems will be of much benefit to Maori.

Parliament this week voted down ACT MP Rodney Hide's members bill on rating and the local government select committee put off a proposed inquiry into the issue.

Mr Flavell says that is disappointing, because he has more faith in the select committee process than the way the government is likely to structure its independent inquiry.

“Having a commission of inquiry from time to time doesn’t actually get to the nub of the issue. Some times some of the recommendations given by commissions of inquiry don’t deliver any sort of binding resolution for any government to follow. If it was allowed to come through in the bill, allow the discussion to happen, at least all of those things could have been covered,” Flavell said.

Te Ururoa Flavell says rating and validation systems affect the ability of Maori landowners to use or even retain their land.


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