Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, September 04, 2006

Harawira the gift that keeps on giving

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says the Labour Party is being racist in its treatment of Taito Philip Field.

Party whips have sent Mr Field on leave while police investigate some of the issues raised in the Ingram Report on his dealings with constituents.

There are also allegations Mr Field received cash gifts from fellow Samoans, something Mr Harawira says is similar to Maori giving koha to Maori Party MPs.

Mr Harawira says Mr Field is being held to different standards of behaviour than colleagues like David Benson-Pope and David Parker.

“Do I think it's racist that all those Pakehas can get off while Philip Field gets nailed for it by his own party. Hell yes I think it’s racist,. Particularly when it comes to our customs, when we are forced to try and be quiet and apologetic about the things we do and the reasons why we do it, I think to myself no way am I going to apologise,” Harawira said.

Hone Harawira says the Maori Party caucus will discuss the issue of koha tomorrow.

WHANGANUI IWI LOSE HEADWATERS BATTLE

Whanganui Maori are considering whether to appeal a High Court Decision which could give Genesis Energy a 35 year consent to take water from the headwaters of the Whanganui for the Tokaanu / Rangipo power scheme.

The court overturned an Environment Court decision which granted Genesis a 10 year consent, to give the parties a chance to work together on a long term solutuon,

Iwi spokesperson Che Wilson says all Maori should be concerned because the High Court is saying tangata whenua concerns are not valid unless they can be confirmed by Western science.

“Tikanga Maori, you can’t use that as an excuse, indigenous science, you can’t use that unless it’s got hard facts backed up with it, which is a concern because not only does it affect us as Whanganui, it now sets a legal precedent for issues for any Maori,” Wilson said.

Che Wilson says Whanganui iwi have 21 days to decide on the appeal.

RANGATAHI WRITERS SOUGHT FOR HUI

Toi Maori is putting the call for young writers to attend its annual Maori writers hui.

Project co-ordinator Tamahau Temara says they will get a change to pick up tips from old hands like Patricia Grace, Witi Ihimaera, Hirini Moko Mead, Apirana Taylor and Rangimoana Taylor.

The hui is in its tenth year, and Mr Temara says it provides a valuable source of support and encouragement for writers.

“It just gives the opportunity for all our writers around the country to come together, to debate issues they may have around writing, In te reo Maori or in English, but it also gives the opportunity for young and upcoming writers to actually see the mechanics of how Maori convene and talk about issues regarding their writing,” Temara said.

The hui is in Wellington from October the 6th to the 8th.

LORD COOKE OF THORNDON FUNERAL IN THORNDON

A tribute to Lord Cooke of Thorndon, whose funeral was today at St Paul's Cathedral in Wellington.

National Party MP Georgina te Heuheu, a lawyer and former member of the Waitangi Tribunal, says Robin Cooke was an outstanding New Zealander who made a profound contribution to the place of Maori.

As president of the Court of Appeal, Lord Cooke heard the Tainui case against the sale of Coalcorp and the Maori Council over state owned enterprises.

Mrs te Heuheu says at the start of the SOE case, he commented that it was perhaps as important for the future of the country as any which had come before the New Zealand Courts.

“To mind it indicates judge with a large vision, what is sometimes called a natural law jurist, one who develops laws for the people going forward. And indeed I think that characterises many of the judgments that he gave and why he will go down in our history as the greatest judge we've had,” te Heuheu said.

Georgine te Heuheu says Lord Cooke's findings on the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi have guided governments in their dealings with Maori over the subsequent two decades.

STAY OUT OF SAMOA SAYS JONES

The chairperson of Labour's Maori caucus is at a loss to understand why Maori Party MP, Hone Harawira has got involved in the Taito Phillip Field case.

The Mangere MP has been sent on leave by Party whiups as police investigate a range of allegations, including that Mr Field took cash from constituents seeking help with immigration issues.

Shane Jones says Mr Harawira's comments that it was common for politicians to receive koha, is confusing a Maori concept with Samoan practices.

“I've no idea what possessed Hone to embroil the kaupapa of koha in a debate that is up to Samoans to establish how their culture evolves and meets the exacting standards of
parliamentary democracy,” Jones said.

NEW LIFE IN ROTORUA TOURIST SPOT

The head of Rotorua tourism venture Te Puia says new technology and fresh displays are attracting more visitors to the renamed New Zealand Arts and Crafts Institute.

Andrew Te Waiti says by the end of the year over 1 million visitors will have passed through Te Puia.

Mr Te Waiti says Te Puia is halfway through a 17 and a half million dollra refurbishment, that will give visitors a unique experience.

“So we brought a bit of technology to the site. Of course we have guides, who tell the awesome stories of the valley face to face. What we wanted to do was bring some high level interpretive technology to the site, so they’ll tell the same stories, but we’ll use 3D or holographic images that people can manipulate and get the same stories. It’s technology that is nowhere else in the world, so it’s pretty cool stuff,” Te Whaiti said.

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