Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, August 04, 2006

Sir Norman Perry dies

Maoridom is today mourning the death of Sir Norman Perry, who made a huge contribution to Maori social and economic life over more than half a century.

Sir Norman died yesterday in Auckland.

Te Puni Kokiri executive officer Bert Mackie says as a young man Sir Norman became secretary to MP Apirana Ngata.

After serving in Italy with the 28 Maori Batallion during the second world war, Sir Norman became the Maori welfare officer for the eastern Bay of Plenty.

He was influential in Maori Council and National Party circles, and served as moderator for the Presbyterian Chruch.

Mr Mackie says Sir Norman walked tall in the Maori world.

“He wasn't a Maori, but Wi Huata, who was the chaplain when he was wounded, said when he came across him, he was praying in Maori. He lived what he believed in,” Mackie said.

ARAWA CHIEF BACKS CRIM BAN

The Rotorua District Council's plan to ban criminals with five or more dishonesty convictions from the town's centre is a courageous move.

That's the view of Te Arawa Maori Trust Board Chairman Anaru Rangiheuea, who says that if community safety is to be maintained, serious steps must be taken.

Mr Rangiheuea says reducing crime in the district is a priority.

Anaru Rangiheuea says the Rotorua Council's problem will now be finding ways to legally enforce its ban.

ACT PROTECTS TAONGA FOR FUTURE

The Associate Minister of Arts, Mahara Okeroa, says an Act passed last night, will help protect taonga Maori from being sold overseas illegally.

The Protected Objects Amendment Act received cross party support.

Mr Okeroa says the Act will help curb the illegal trade in Maori cultural objects.

He says the Act can't be used to repatriate taonga already offshore.

Mahara Okeroa says the Protected Objects Amendment Act also addresses the finder's keepers attitude, that has resulted in many taonga being sold overseas.

KURA BUS SIGN VICTORY

Victory for a Bay of Plenty Maori immersion school in the battle of the school bus sign.

Land Transport New Zealand has agreed that Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Rotoiti can use the word kura on its vehicles, as long as it is accompanied by an internationally-recognised pictorial sign for children.

Kura principal Hawea Vercoe is pleased LTNZ accepted his compromise proposal.

He says the ruling is a victory for the Maori language.

POVERTY HAND UP NEEDED

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says Maori supporting each other is a step towards overcoming poverty.

A Ministry of Social Development report has highlighted the increasing number of people facing severe hardship, despite an overall improvement in living standards.

Ms Turia says people have become complacent about poverty, and it's time for Maori to tautoko or support those less fortunate:

Tariana Turia says rather than praising itself for what it is doing for Maori, the government should recognise there are still problems.

LEGAL SYSTEM FAILING

Restorative justice advocate Dennis Hanson says the current legal system is clearly failing.

The Tai Tokerau kaumatua was among more than 100 people at today's hui on restorative justice at Nga Whare Waatea Marae in South Auckland.

Mr Hanson says better ways must be found to deal with the disproportionate number of Maori in the criminal justice system.

He says Maori have been blocked from dealing with their own.

“They have moved the goalposts away from our marae, away from our communities, away from our tribal committees, away from our Maori wardens, and they have written up a kaupapa to satisfy the Pakeha regime, rather than giving the mana to the Maori,” Hanson said.

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