Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Harawira matriarch blasts party

Veteran activist Titewhai Harawira says the Maori Party needs a wake up call over the way it has handled the row over koha.

Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira has admitted receiving cash koha without giving receipts, forcing co-leader Tariana Turia to lay down the law about how party MPs will handle donations.

His mother says that was the wrong response, and the party should not compromise over tikanga or customs.

Mrs Harawira says the party is losing its way.

“We lost a lot of support over the employment bill because they want to wait and dick around until it goes to the select committee instead of sticking with the workers in the first place, and here we are again as a Maori party saying let’s have a look and make sure we’re not upsetting the norm. Well to hell with the norm,” Harawira said.

Titewhai Harawira says what happens with koha is the busienss of Maori and no one else.


Ngati Kahungunu kaumatua Rere Puna has been honoured posthumously with a civic award by the Napier City Council.

Napier mayor Barbara Arnott says Mr Puna, who died last week aged 69, worked tirelessly in the community and was well respected by Maori and Pakeha.

The former farmer also worked for the council as a cultural advisor, and he was involved in several Maori land trusts.

Mrs Arnott says she first with Mr Puna on the board of Napier Boys High School.

“He just put a whole lot of time into the community and walked the balance between Pakeha and Maori and did it every well with such grace and such respect, so respected by all the Pakeha community and obviously by the Maori community as one of the most significant kaumatuas here,” Arnott said.

One of Rere Puna's seven children accepted the civic award on behalf of the whanau.


The Maori Affairs select comittee was in Taranaki today hearing submissions on the Ngati Mutunga Claims Settlement Bill.

Iwi negotiator Jamie Tuuta says Ngati Mutungu has spent a decade negotiating the $14.9 million settlement.

He says while the iwi was concerned at issues like the fairness of the settlement process, the amount offered and the lack of Crown land available for return, they were keen to settle.

“It's about putting a stake in the ground and moving on. The grievance, it’s going to take a long time for it to go away. It’s a part of our history, but we just want to move forward and do the best we can with what little with what we have and look at the revitalization of our Ngati Mutungutanga, first and foremost,” Tuuta said.

Jamie Tuuta says most political parties have indicated they support the Ngati Mutunga settlement being passed before the end of the year.


Central government could come be willing to contribute to the $200 million cost of cleaning up the Rotorua lakes.

Te Arawa Maori Trust Board chairperson Anaru Rangiheuea says he was heartened by a meeting on the issue last week with Finance Minister Michael Cullen, Environment Minister David Benson Pope and Lands Minister David Parker.

The recent $20 million Te Arawa lakes settlement did not include the cost of the clean up.

Mr Rangiheua says representatives from the trust board, Environment Bay of Plenty and Rotorua District Council asked central government to chip in.

He says the Ministers indicated there could be sums in future budgets for the clean-up.

Anaru Rangiheuea says the Health Ministry should also be asked to contribute, because of the impact of pollution on people's health.


The Maori liason officer for the Counties Manukau Police District says police are struggling to deal with problems caused by street gangs modelling themselves on American urban gangs.

Dick Waihi say police resources are stretched investigating a spate of recent killings.

He says officers are encountering a different kind of delinquent.

“The gangs are following a United States gang problem and it’s finally reached New Zealand. Some of the youth involved are as young as 8 years old. Children that age should be home with their parents. Parents should have more control over their children. They should know exactly where they are,” Waihi said.


A Ngapuhi man who unsuccessfully stood in the Tamaki Makaurau electorate at the last general election, says he's disappointed no other Maori are putting their names forward for a position on the Manukau City Council.

Sam Rerekura is in the race for the Mangere ward, left vacant after councillor James Papali'i was convicted of fraud.

Mr Rerekura says Mangere has a high Maori poulation, and deserves strong Maori representation.

Sam Rerekura says he wants to show Maori they have a role in both local and central government.


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