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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bill confirms foreshore in Crown hands

Labour list MP Dover Samuels says the Maori Party's bill to repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act is a con job on its members.

The bill in the name of Te Tai Hauauru MP Tariana Turia was drawn from the ballot and could be put before Parliament as early as next week.

Mr Samuels says Maori Party supporters believed their party was fighting for Maori ownership of the foreshore and seabed.

But he says the bill actually confirms the position adopted by the government.

“This bill basically mimics exactly the same principles considered by the Labour Maori caucus, the Labour and New Zealand First, and I want to say to our people, have a look at clause 9 and clause 13 where it says the the seabed revested in the Crown,” Samuels said.

Dover Samuels says the bill takes away the opportunity in the current bill for Maori to pursue customary rights claims to coastal areas.


It can be a lonely thing to be the only Maori on a school board.
That's one of the reasons the School Trustees Association is looking for more Maori parents to stand as candidates in next year's elections.

President Lorraine Kerr from Ngati Awa and Tuwharetoa says communities need to identify these people now because it will take a while for them to build up confidence - as she can confirm from personal experience.

“Boards that I have sat on have been primary, intermediate and college level, and it hasn’t been easy being the lone Maori, you just have to gain the confidence to feel a part of the decision making. The more Maori we have, the better we will be. That would be a wonderful outcome,” Kerrr said.

Lorraine Kerr says schools are crying out for input from Maori parents.


The newest member of the Maori Heritage Council of the Historic Places Trust will bring 20 years of experience in heritage and museum studies to his new position.

Tairawhiti Polytechnic lecturer Mike Spedding has been appointed to represent the central region for three years.

Mr Spedding says he would like to focus on the special dual heritage between Maori and Pakeha, especially in the East Coast area where he has been living for the past 15 years.

“I’m interest in those places of which the Turanganui River is a really strong case in point that we have neglected over time, and there are numerous examples, throughout the country, and for us to find ways we can recognise and protect those places, and one of the best ways we can do that is become better educated about those places,” Spedding said.

Mike Spedding will join an esteemed group of Maori on the Maori Heritage Council which is chaired by Tuwharetoa paramount chief Tumu Te Heuheu.


The chair of the Te Huarahi Tika Maori spectrum trust says a review of regulations covering the mobile telephone market will help it finally get its network off the ground.

Mavis Mullins says the trust's annual meeting in Wellington yesterday was briefed by Bill Osborne, who heads the trust's joint venture with mobile phone company Econet Wireless.

Mrs Mullins says the joint venture has been unable make much progress because of barriers to enter the market.

But she says the decision by the Commerce Commission to look at the existing regulations will help Econet raise the almost $100 million needed to build a network.

”With the equity partners that we are now talking with, the fact that this has been brought forward, that government will be looking it, gives them a lot more security and comfort around the fact the regulation will eventually occur,” Mullins said.

Mavis Mullins says the Econet network is likely to offer a wider range of services than just voice calling.


Labour list MP Dover Samuels says the Maori Party is betraying its members with its bill to repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

The members bill in the name of Tariana Turia is due to come before Parliament on members day next Wednesday.

Mr Samuels says the Maori Party MPs were elected because their supporters thought they would oppose the principle that the Crown owned the foreshore and seabed on behalf of all New Zealanders.

But he says that's not how the bill will work.

“Now that really 
was the guts of the whole political movement, and now you see this bill here, right before us, and before the Maori nation, really confirming Crown ownership,” Samuels said.

Dover Samuels says the Maori Party seems to have adopted the same position on the foreshore and seabed as Labour's Maori Caucus, but without some of the protections for customary rights.


The wartime experience of a Maori Battalion member is being used as the basis for a new dance work being rehearsed in Auckland.

Five dancers from the Atamira Dance Collective will perform Memoirs of Active Service at the Maidment Studio at Auckland University next month.

Choreographer Maaka Pepene says he was inspired to create Memoirs after reading his grandfather's wartime diary.

Mr Pepene, who himself spent six years in the army himself, and says he was moved by many of the entries.


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