Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Taser trial racists says northern MP

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says a trial of taser stun guns which starts this Friday is racist and potentially lethal.

Mr Harawira says the Police and their minister, Annette King, are playing down the risks of the weapons, which deliver a 50 thousand volt jolt.

But he says they gave the game away by choosing to conduct the one year trial in Counties Manukau, North Shore, Waitakere and Porirua.

“We're going ahead with the trial in South Auckland and in Porirua. Hello folks. This is an attack on blacks. This is what that taser stun gun trial is all about. It’s teaching Maori and Pacific Islanders that if they get out of line, they will get the zap. They certainly won’t be trialling in Remuera,” Harawira said.

Hone Harawira says there have been almost 200 taser deaths in the United States over the past six years.


Kahungunu chairperson Ngahiwi Tomoana says the iwi wants to find a new way to deal with health authorities in Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa.

The Kahungunu runanga yesterday launched its new Maori Relationship Board, through which Maori health professionals affiliated to the iwi will interact with the Hawkes Bay District Health Board.

The board is chaired by Tom Mulligan, who runs a Maori health providers as well as being a Crown appointee on the DHB.

Mr Tomoana says the iwi hopes the new board will be able to exert more influence at a planning and strategic level.

“In the past we’ve had memorandums of understanding and memorandums of this and memorandums of that, and we think MOU means Maoris obligated unnecessarily. Because there’s nothing you can swing on with those MOUs, there’s nothing you can sue on, there’s nothing you can get hard about,” Tomoana said.

Ngahiwi Tomoana says Ngati Kahungunu would rather deal with one big district health board in its rohe rather than the existing three.


Residents on the Coromandel Peninsula should be able to emulate the birdsong of surrounding forests, after a workshop with taonga puoro, or traditional Maori instruments.

The gathering in Whitianga next month will bring together some of the country's leading exponents of taonga puoro, including Richard Nunns, Rewi Spraggon, Horomona Horo and Hinewirangi Morgan.

Wananga organiser James Webster says the wananga will focus on showing participants how to make their own bird callers.

“The karanga manu, which is a small instrument that replicates different bird calls, the karanga weka, which is specific to the call of the weka bird, the poia whiowhio, which replicates the calling of the kereru. It’s also a way of reconnecting with those teachings about the forests and the birds and their habitat and the ecology of life as well,” Webster said.


Tainui is asking the media to stay clear of the first poukai since the death of the Maori Queen, Dame Te Atairangi Kaahu.

The poukai, at Whatapaka Marae on the southern shore of the Manukau Harbour tomorrow, is part of the regular round of hui held by the Kingitanga to discuss tribal affairs and remember their dead.

Tainui media spokesperson Moko Templeton says it is a time for the new Arikinui, Tuheitia Paki, his father Whatumoana Paki and the Tainui people to mourn away from the eyes of the nation.

“We didn't get that time to grieve like the motu did, like those who came through to the powhiri. This is now our chance to have with our king, with Tuheitia, with his immediate whanau, to see Whatu, to embrace Whatu, to kiss their mokopuna, and that’s the respect we’re asking the media to allow,” Templeton said.

Moko Templeton says the media ban will apply for the next few poukai.


Ngapuhi's claim process design group is meeting again today to map out how to get their claims before the Waitangi Tribunal.

The northern tribe has been criticised for its slow progress preparing for what could be the last major historical inquiry conducted by the tribunal.

But Ngapuhi Runanga chairperson Sonny Tau says the iwi was given two options.

“It's either the fast route, go straight to the Office of Treaty Settlements and settle for the money they’ve already got there for you, or you can have the hearings, and this process we are going through is about coming to terms with how we see the claims advancing to hearings.

Sonny Tau says as the largest tribe, Ngapuhi has to be sensitive to building broad support among its own people for the claims, and that can't be rushed.


Prime Minister Helen Clark says the government's housing policies are helping iwi who want to develop their own housing policies.

Ngati Kahungunu this week launched an ambitious plan to build up to 500 houses in Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa, including a 40-home papakainga development around a marae at Flaxmere.

Ngati Kahungunu chairperson says the iwi is using its own resources as well as tapping into government programmes, so the houses will be a mix of rental, and freehold.

Helen Clark says Labour has given people more options.

“Many in the Napier, Flaxmere, Hastings area in state rental housing would have had huge benefit from Labour’s dropping of state house rents when we came into government in 2000. And it’s worth pointing out that the mortgage guarantee scheme we’re operating through Housing New Zealand will also help Ngati Kahungunu people buy their own home,” Clark said.

Helen Clark says the government is also developing a shared equity scheme which could help low income people including Maori into their first homes.


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