Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, November 17, 2006

Pukawa no place for politicians

Maori Party co leader Pita Sharples says he's deliberately staying away from the major gathering of tribes by the shores of Lake Taupo this weekend, but he's keen to see any recommendations which come out of the hui.

Ngati Tuwharetoa is today welcoming manuhiri from throughout the motu to the site where the first Maori king was chosen 150 years ago.

While the main item of business is the opening of a new wharenui tomorrow, Tuwharetoa has also thrown out the invitation to discuss what sort of structures are needed to carry Kingitanga and Maoridom into the future.

Doctor Sharples says he doesn't think it's an appropriate place for politicians.

“Because I know Ngati Kahungunu are going in force and I would have liked to go with them, but I think it’s really the people should be talking, and though I’m always part of the people and always feel like that, people also see me as a politician, so I’ve decided I’ll stay out of the mix at this time,” Sharples says.

WIDE RANGE OF SPORTS FOR AWARDS

Who is the most outstanding Maori sportsperson.

That is the question to be answered tomorrow night at the Maori Sports Awards at the Manukau Events Centre.

Organiser Dick Garrett says this year there are 13 Maori world champions in the competition.

He says a wide range of sports will be represented.

“We've got rowing this year quite strong up there, board surfing. Whether it be martial arts or power lifting or wood chopping, it’s just a great spread, 18 various sports over the finalists,” Garrett says.

MUSICIANS GROW SOFT ON THE DOLE

The organiser of the Pao Pao Pao national Maori music summit says artists are relying too much on government hand outs to promote their music.

The annual event concludes tonight with a showcase concert at Wellington Opera House.

Ngahiwi Apanui says Maori musicians are waiting for grants from government arts and broadcast agencies, rather than hitting the road, honing their stagecraft, and attracting interest from the record labels.

“You look at the Maioha awards this year and the entries were down on previous years, and they’re down because (Maori broadcast funding agency) Te Mangai Paho only has one funding round per year now. Now if you leave it to a government department to fund an industry, you’re in trouble mate. So we aren’t really taking enough responsibility for establishing an infrastructure that will allow our industry to survive, and that’s what we need to do,” he says.

Apanui’s own career highs include picking up the picked up the best Maori album trophy at the 2003 Tui Awards

WHITITERA (ALEC) KAIHAU DIES

One of the pioneers of iwi radio has been buried today on the shores of the Manukau Harbour.

Whiti Te Ra Kaihau from Tainui iwi Ngati Te Ata started his working life as a soldier, serving in Malaya and Borneo with the Special Air Service.

In 1989 he helped launch Radio Tainui in 1989, and worked in iwi broadcasting until his death.

Members of Maori radio umbrella group Te Whakaruruhau turned out in force to Tahuna Marae in Waiuku to pay their respects to Mr Kaihau.

Kaumatua Rangi Kawerau, a forerm Tainui Radio host, says Mr Kaihau brought a lot of passion to whatever he did.

“He was a hard working person, but if you got on his wrong side, look out. And he also had a hand in establishing a lot of other Maori radio stations, ie Maniapoto, and he finished up in Raukawa FM,” he says.

Rangi Kawerau says Whiti Te Ra Kaihau's last project was working on establishing a community television station for Ngati Raukawa.

DIABETES ONLY ONE OF MANY THREATS

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says emotive headlines about the threat of diabetes to the Maori race are unhelpful.

Dr Sharples says claims Maori could die out by the end of the century underestimates their resolve.

He says diabetes is a serious threat, and more work is needed to combat the incidence of diabetes in Maori whanau.

But Maori have already survived a range of introduced diseases.

“We will not die out. We have survived venereal disease, influenza, TB, we have survived the biggest disease of all, colonization, and we are growing, let’s be clear about that,” Sharples says.

MIGRANTS TARGETED AS TONGA BURNS

A New Zealand-based Tongan broadcaster says his compatriots could learn from the way Maori have adapted to other peoples moving into their country.

Sef Ha'ouli says to Tonga's shame, many of the businesses attacked during yesterday's riot in Nuku'alofa belonged to foreigners.

He says the causes of the riot go back to generations of discontent over the way the island kingdom is ruled, it was the new arrivals who bore the brunt of the anger.

“The other nationalities who are in Tonga at present have always been seen as elements that were brought in by the government without consultation with the community, and they have ended iupo at the receiving end of what the rioters did last night,” Ha’ouli says.

Sef Ha'ouli says as New Zealand becomes more multi ethnic and multi cultural, the place of Maori needs to be respected.

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