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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Harawira defends office closed door policy

Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira says his policy of only helping constituents on the Maori electoral roll was aimed at encouraging people to switch from the general roll.

Mr Harawira says he made the policy public during the Maori electoral option, and it still applies.

He says Maori on the general roll will be referred to Northland MP John Carter or other general electorate MPs.

“I can't help everybody all of the time I’m not going to try to save the world, but I am going to work my little black arse off for everybody on the Tai Tokerau electoral roll. You have the option to come across to the roll. If you do, you can knock on my door, you ring my bell, get on my website, any time and I'm there,” Harawira said.

Hone Harawira says his electorate is four times larger than John Carter's, but he has the same resources to services constituents.

BRASH PAST USE BY DATE SAYS HANSON

A northern kaumatua and long time National Party member says Don Brash has passed his use-by date.

Dennis Hansen says Dr Brash's questioning of Maori identity were only the most recent in a long line of anti Maori comments made by the leader of the Opposition.

Mr Hansen says the remarks were deliberately inflammatory.

“This is the time to sack him. He’s had enough time. I’ve said he’s a nice fella, but he should be sacked because he is bringing us Maori into disrepute, not only Aotearoa wide but worldwide with his ugly comments,” Hanson said.

POOR SCHOOLING INTER-GENERATIONAL

Tuwharetoa's education manager says Maori parents need to overcome their own poor memories of school and get in behind their children's learning.

The central North Island iwi has hosted its fifth Hui Taumata Matauranga or Maori education summit, focusing this time on the role of whanau in education.

Colin Rangi says the hui was an opportunity for people to hear some of the country's best educational thinkers and practitioners share their experiences.

He says many Maori need to change their attitude to education.

“A lot of our whanau have poor experience of schools, have poor memories of what they did at school so consequently it became quite and issue for them in terms of developing rapport with schools to be involved with their children's education,” Rangi said.

Colin Rangi says many Maori parents are learning the value of education through their involvement in kohanga reo and kura kaupapa Maori.

ROTORUA SITE PICKED FOR CYF FACILITY

A former Maori-owned dairy farm on the outskirts of Rotorua could be the new home ground for a Youth Justice Facility.

Child, Youth and Family has been trying for more than two years to find a suitable site in the Waikato or the Bay of Plenty, but previous options have been dropped after objections from neighbours.

Minister Ruth Dyson says the 10 hectare Pakerangi Trust site will allow residents to be close to amenities, while the 40-bed unit will have a minimal impact on the surrounding environment.

Parekarangi Trust property manager Clive Carrington says the trust is happy to help out the department.

“They've got to have something somewhere. Being a Maori trust farm we feel that it’s got to be a positive step forward Down the track if we can be involved with the youth, if they need works schemes or so on, we can work in with the justice department on whatever,” Carrington said.

There will be an eight week consultation period on the proposed facility

TAI TOKERAU TOO BIG FOR HONE

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says his Tai Tokerau electorate is too big for him to help everyone who turns up at his door.

Mr Harawira has told Maori on the general electoral roll he will refer them to other MPs, and he will only service people on the Maori roll who may be able to vote for him.

He says MPs like John Carter, Phil Heatley, Lockwood Smith, John Key and Wayne Mapp are in a better position to help.

“See they're all National MPs and they’ve all got very small electorate within which to work. Mine is massive, and I made a conscious decision that I would work as hard as I possibly can for those who bothered to get off their arse and come across to my roll,” Harawira said.

Hone Harawira says he's only in Parliament because of people on the Tai Tokerau roll.

SIXTH HUI TAUMATA MATAURANGA PLANNED

Organisers of the Hui Taumata Matauranga Maori education summit say a sixth event is already being planned for next year.

Colin Rangi, the education manager for Ngati Tuwharetoa, says the regular hui have become an important way for Maori to influence education policy.

Mr Rangi says they are part of a wider pattern of Maori engagement with the education system over the past five or 19 years, as a result of their involvement with kohanga reo, kura kaupapa and wharekura.

Colin Rangi says last weekend's hui in Taupo, which looked at the role of whanau in education, was the last built around the work plan developed at the first summit in 2001.

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