Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Taser trial concern for mothers

Far North kuia Saana Murray says mothers should be outraged at the trial of taser stun guns by police.

Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira has branded the trial which starts today racist, because it is confined to areas with high numbers of young Maori and Pacific Island people like Counties Manukau, Waitakere City and Porirua.

Mrs Murray says most mothers would dread the prospect of fatalities caused by taser toting police officers, and she backs Mr Harawira.

“I am supporting our member and not introduce foreign things from another country for slaying our future mokopuna. I do believe all mothers should complain about this gun,” Murray said.

Some 180 officers will be issued with the tasers, which deliver a 50 thousand volt shock.


Greens Maori affairs spokesperson Meteria Turei says her party won't be voting for the Maori Purposes Bill, because of the deadline it imposes on lodging historical treaty claims.

Ms Turei says Labour has assumed that all iwi and hapu have had the time and resources needed to get their claims ready for the Waitangi Tribunal.

She says that is simply not the case, and some claims may never be heard.

Ms Turei says the deadline is being imposed on Maori to apease an electorate which is unsympathetic to Maori claims.

“Labour proposed a 2008 deadline, but they have not talked to Maori, there’s been no consultation or discussion about it, and without the consent of the people who have to meet the deadline, it is an absolute disgrace and outrage,” Turei said..

Meteria Turei says if the government wants to speed up the claims process, it should give the Waitangi Tribunal more resources to deal with the claims already before it.


Nurses in the Pacific Islands are looking to New Zealand to learn how their cultural needs can be incorporated into nursing practice in their countries.

That's the view of Desmond Canterbury Te Ngaruru, the vice chairperson of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Runanga, who is representing the union at a Pacific nurses conference in Western Samoa this weekend.

Mr Te Ngaruru says nurses from New Zealand and Australia play an important support role for their Pacfific colleagues, sharing information and education programmes and giving a lead on work conditions.

He says Maori pioneered the acknowledgement of culture in nursing practice.

“It's an ongoing educational process into implementing our kaupapa maori around our profession, and that’s also encouraging our non-Maori counterparts and colleagues to take on board the necessities that we have for out people that are nursed,” Te Ngaruru said.


Maori Party finance spokesperson Hone Harawira says his party has changed its stance on the Kiwisaver scheme because it doesn't want to be seen to be opposing savings.

The party's four-member caucus decided to support the bill on its third reading, after voting against it during the first two stages.

Mr Harawira says the party wanted to use the first and second readings to make the point that the government wasn't addressing the needs of many Maori.

“Issues of poverty were important. Issues in terms of how much it’s going to cost should anyone want to get in, and a lot of low income people aren’t going to be able to get in, the fact that beneficiaries weren’t going to be able to participate, all those sorts of things, We wanted to signal clearly at the first reading, and we did. We fought a good fight, but we are comfortable with the view that the notion of savings is a good idea,” Harawira said.

Hone Harawira says the Government needs to look for other ways to help low income people and beneficiaries to start saving.


Associate health minister Mita Ririnui says a National MP Tony Ryall's attack on a public health campaign in the Bay of Plenty is an attempt to create racial division.

The Western Bay of Plenty Public Health Organisation is offering free gym memberships to low income people if it will lower their risk of heart disease.

The PHO has started screening Maori men aged between 35 and 45 because they are at the highest risk of cardiovascular disease.

Mr Ryall claimed in Parliament this week that it was a race based programme.

But Mr Ririuni says it's a responsible and effective approach.

IN: It's certainly going to save lives. Look, Mari are three times more likely to suffer coronary disease than non-Maori, and that’s a statement in itself, and something that the Western Bay PHO has identified as a key target area for them,” Ririnui said.


Green Party MP Meteria Turei says the setting of a deadline on lodging historical treaty claims is a way of pressuring tribes into direct negotiations.

She says it is part of a pattern where the Office of Treaty Settlements gets far more resources and support than the Waitangi Tribunal.

Ms Turei says the deadline, which is contained in the Maori Purposes Bill now before Parliament, is a misuse of the Tribunal.

“The tribunal was set up and to hear and report on the historical wrongs as a form of restoration of justice. It was not a forum for government to drive their claims negotiation process,” Turei said.

Metira Turei says the Greens will be voting against the Maori Purposes Bill becuase of the claims deadline.


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