Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Mahuta wants to keep Tainui boundaries

Tainui MP Nanaia Mahuta wants her constituents to join her in opposing changes to her electorate boundaries.

The Electoral Commisson is proposing a new seat, Pare Hauraki-Pare Waikato, which will push her seat North into Manurewa but move the southern Ngati Maniapoto areas in the King Country into Te Tai Hauauru.

Ms Mahuta says she'd like to see the Tainui identity retained.

“It might be better for the boundary to start at the Bombay Hills and push south, include the King Country, and if you need to numbers-wise, include Taumarunui and Tokoroa. And that again would be a seat that you could call Tainui,” Ms Mahuta says.

People have until June 5 to lodge objections with the Electoral Commission.


A Rotorua doctor says health providers in the region need to take a different approach to tackle high Maori teenage pregnancy rates.

Tania Pinford, the clinical leader of youth health for Rotorua's general practice organisation, says up to half of the people who come to services like the Rotovegas Youth Health Clinic are young Maori.

Dr Pinfold says it's important young people are encouraged to make good and informed choices about sexual health.

“We know that many of the mainstream services are sometimes difficult for young people and young Mari people to work with. They don’t feel very welcome there and they’re not very friendly or flexible kind of services, so services like ours are about reorienting medicine and healthcare access to make it easier for young people and young Maori people,” Dr Pinfold says.

She says if young people get pregnant, they need to get support so they can get on with their lives in positive ways.


New Zealand First MP Ron Mark says Maori leaders need to take a stand against the gangs.

Mr Mark says the weekend shooting in Wanganui of a two-year old girl shows the folly of Maori condoning the anti social and violent behaviour of their own people involved with gangs.

He says their tupuna would be ashamed.

“Our Maori need to stand up and take a very close look at themselves. What sort of people have we become? On Anzac Day we celebrated the deeds and the heroism and the sacrifice that our tupuna made over the generations. And when it comes to this, we turn a blind eye, and we do nothing,” Mr Mark says.

He says Maori whanau should adopt a zero tolerance approach to the illegal activities of some of their own.


Former Tamaki Makaurau MP John Tamihere says changes to the electorate boundaries in the Maori seats shouldn't affect Labour's prospects.

The Auckland-based Maori seat now held by Maori Party MP Pita Sharples is losing part of Manurewa to Tainui, which is to be renamed Pare Hauraki-Pare Waikato.

Tainui MP Nanania Mahuta is opposing the change, because she will also lose Ngati Maniapoto areas in the northern King Country.

Mr Tamihere says that's not what Ms Mahuta needs to worry about.

“The outcome is not a function of whether you get more rural votes and therefore more conservative National votes. Never played a part in Maori politics. Key will be not where the lines are drawn but how people in those electorates vote, and they will vote either Maori Party or Labour Party,” Mr Tamihere says.

He says the way the numbers stack up the Electoral Commission doesn't have a lot of room to move on Maori seat boundary changes.


Wanganui kaumatua Morvin Simon says the town is in mourning after the drive-by shooting of a two year old girl on the weekend.

Mr Simon says the finger is being pointed at younger gang members, because older members tend to be more settled.

He says older ways of resolving disputes have given way to more lethal practices which put innocents at risk.

“The method of challenging of course is very different to the days when you get out there on the marae and you taiaha yourselves and so on, but today they’re using all manner of weaponry. The by-product of it of course is that the mokopuna has paid for the rivalry between the two gangs,” Mr Simon says.


Activist and actor Tame Iti is off to Vienna to tell the story of Tuhoe.
He leaves on Friday for a role in Lemi Ponifasio's production Tempest, which uses Shakespeare's drama to comment on current political events in Aotearoa and the wider world.

The play will be part of the Vienna Festival to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth.

Iti says Ponifasio asked him to talk of his whakapapa, his time growing up in Ruatoki, his punishment for speaking Maori in school, and the wider issues of colonisation, the urban Maori drift and human rights.

“He thought that Tuhoe, Tame Iti, people like ourselves I guess, their story had not been heard. You get a split second I guess on Six O’clock News and in the paper, so he offered the stage as a place for me to do that,” Iti says.

Tempest will be toured through New Zealand later in the year.


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