Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Police seeking excuse - Green

A Green Party MP believes New Zealand authorities have been itching for an excuse to implement legislation drafted after 9-11.

14 people including Tuhoe activist Tame Iti were arrested on Monday after police raided addresses around the country using warrants issued under the Suppression of Terrorism Act.

They have been charged with firearms offences.

Keith Locke, the Green's foreign affairs spokesperson, says it sounds like the New Zealand police are trying to match colleagues overseas.

“There's a temptation for the plice, the Security Intelligence Service to kind of have their terrorist to keep up with America or Britain or wherever, so I think there’s a bit of it in this, For years there’s been all this talk in the police of and security intelligence reports about the Maori radicals so it’s against that background of wanting to have their terrorists I think,” he says.

Mr Locke says accusations the mix of environmentalists, peace activists and Maori sovereignty advocates are part of a paramilitary organisation sounds like the police are clutching at straws.


There's concern changes to the liquor laws could adversely affect young Maori males.

After a review into the sale and supply of alcohol to minors, the Government has flagged its intention to impose a zero alcohol limit for young drivers and target people who supply alcohol to minors.

Police statistics show young Maori men are more likely than non Maori to be searched and arrested in public places, so they are likely to be caught up in the new laws.

Gerard Vaughn, the chief executive of the Alcohol Liquor Advisory Council says it's important any new laws be implemented fairly.

“The drinking problems we have are ones experienced by all parts of our community and certainly at the Alcoholic Advisory Council, we would not want the indiscriminate application of laws that would disadvantage certain groups. So I agree there is some realities around that and that’s something that will have to be watched very carefully, he says.

Mr Vaughn says the Government's review focused on the drinking habits of rangatahi, rather than who is buying the booze for them.


A Maori triple international has welcomed the return of Temepara George to the Silver Ferns.

The 59-test veteran has gone on standby to replace injured centre Laura Langman if she doesn't recover in time for the World Cup.

June Mariu, who played netball, basketball and softball for New Zealand, says at 31 Ms George's experience will be invaluable to the Silver Ferns' campaign.

She was nothing short of brilliant in helping New Zealand win the last World Champs in Jamaica four years ago, and if needed will again do New Zealand proud.

“If they're going to allow her to do that, not having trialed this time or not being available to keep on the side, it just shows the caliber of the girl and I’d feel good, having her back in there, and I think they’re beginning to look at the squad and where we’re at and what we've got to do,” Mrs Mariu says.


Tuhoe will never forget the way police cordoned off the community of Ruatoki earlier this week as they searched for evidence of an alleged paramilitary training operation in the Urewera ranges.

That's the view of Toi Iti, the son of Tuhoe activist Tame Iti.

Tame Iti was again denied bail yesterday on arms charges, and will be in custody until at least next Wednesday.

Toi Iti says the police raids will be etched into the minds of Tuhoe rangatahi for decades to come.

“Someone's head will have to roll. We can’t forget what they did to those kids with guns, with the buses going in, and the kind of treatment they showed Ruatoki that day, and the way they went in and bullied them about. We can’t forget that and we have to hold them accountable for the way they've behaved,” Mr Iti says.


A Massey University sociologist says it's up to New Zealanders to say whether they want the more militaristic style of policing on display this week.

Warwick Tie says this week's simultaneous raids under anti-terrorism laws were a clear departure from what New Zealanders have come to expect.

He says in the post 9-11 environment, police forces in many countries have adopted more military style equipment and made covert operations a central part of police activity.

“The police themselves don’t drive that shift. It is very much driven by the political tone of the societies that they are in. Now my sense is that we are on the edge of that in Aotearoa New Zealand, but we are being caught up I sense in that same general trend. So really New Zealanders have to be debating what we make of this,” Dr Tie says.


The Waitangi Tribunal has again knocked back a request for an urgent hearing into a claim that a woman's Tongan husband should be considered a taonga.

Rosina Hauiti is trying to precent her tane from being deported as an overstayer.

Tribunal deputy chairperson Carrie Wainwright says further submissions from Ms Hauiti's immigration advisor, Tuariki Delamere, were about human rights rather than whether the Treaty of Waitangi has been breached.

She says whether or not Ms Hauiti considers her husband a toanga is a distraction from the main point at issue, and the proper place for the case to be considered is through the immigration processes.

Mr Delamere says he's disappointed by the decision, and believes the tribunal must eventually grapple the relationship between immigration laws and the treaty.


The dozen Maori elected on the weekend to District Health Boards across the country will provide valuable knowledge of the communities they represent.

Rangi Pouwhare, the Maori manager for the Health Ministry, says the representatives are spread across nine district health boards.

She says their input will give board members an insight into the health needs of their Maori clients, and give Maori the chance to learn more about the process from a board perspective.

“These people that got there are part of their local communities and only they know what is happening in their communities. That’s why it is important for them to be there. They will be able to have some influence in the funding of projects and services within their communities because they know it,” Ms Pouwhare says.


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