Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, October 29, 2007

Samuels gets in behind

Labour's Dover Samuels is backing Winston Peters' attack on supporters of imprisoned Maori sovereignty and peace activists.

The New Zealand First leader told his party's annual conference at the weekend that protesters who marched against the police terror raids backed Tuhoe activist Tame Iti because he was brown ... not because he might be innocent.

Mr Samuels the terror raids are not about Maori or any group of Maori.

“We certainly don’t see this as a Tuhoe issue but an issue dealing with certain people that very clearly need investigating,” Mr Samuels says.

He says Winston's Peters vision of progress for Maori through education is the true tino rangatiratanga.

SEPARATIST ATTACK SIGN OF DESPERATION

But John Tamihere says Winston Peters is showing signs of desperation.

The former Labour MP says with New Zealand First below 3 percent in the polls, its leader knows he has to lift his game.

Even though he is a de facto a member of the Labour Government, Mr Peters needs to re-establish a separate brand in the lead up to next year's election.

“What does he pick on. He picks on the values of immigrants, he picks on the separatism of Maori and he picks on the flag, we’ve got to have a flag raising and ra de ra de ra. He’s got three issues there. They’re vintage Peters’ issues, and they’re about branding him and lifting him in the polls,” Mr Tamihere says.

FRONT OF THE GOGGLEBOX GOES IPTV

A Maori production company says its interactive television site opens the way for Maori stories to reach a global audience.

Claudette Hauiti from Front of the Box Productions says Internet protocol TV allows people to upload and download material on demand.

The Gogglebox service launched today on the front of the box web site includes six channels of news and current affairs, pacific issues, gay issues, sports and music.

She says Gogglebox means Maori communities will be able to post their own news, rather than having their stories filtered through Pakeha media.

SEATS WINNABLE FOR MAORI PARTY

The Maori Party expects to name its candidates for next year's election by Christmas.
The party held its annual hui over the weekend, reviewing its achievements so far and setting strategy for the year ahead.

Co-leader Tariana Turia says the party is consulting widely as to who will stand in the three Maori electorates the party does not already hold.

She says both Ikaroa rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia and Tainui's Nganaia Mahuta won by relatively slim margins last time, and they're eminently beatable.

“Parekua won by 2000 votes, which isn’t a lot, given he was the minister. If we work hard and we can convince 1100 people to move their vote to the Maori Party, then we feel very comfortable that we will beat him,” Mrs Turia says.

She says a shift of only 700 votes will give her party the new Waikato-Hauraki seat.

TOO MANY YOUNG DRIVERS GETTING HURT

Researchers are trying to find out why the injury rates among young Maori drivers stays persistently high.

Anna McDowell from the Injury Prevention Research Unit is looking at newly-licensed Maori drivers, as part of a larger New Zealand Drivers study.

She will be considering the differences between rural and urban areas, behavioural and personality factors, drug and alcohol use, and pre-licence driving experiences.

The findings could help Maori communities wanting to cut down the number of crashes their rangatahi are involved in.

“My newly-licensed Maori driver part is looking at the pre-licence profile of these drivers s it’s more aimed at the driver education programmes and things that people run in their communities. I’m hoping that the rural-urban distinctions may help target specifically what’s happening to people in their areas,” Ms McDowell says.

She's still recruiting rangatahi to be part of the study.

AUPOURI CHAIR GEORGE WITANA DIES

Te Aupouri has lost one of its rangatira.

George Witana was chair of the far north tribe until ill health forced his retirement about two years ago.

He died last week and was buried in Te Kao on Saturday.

MP Shane Jones, a member of Te Aupouri, says the former school teacher took on senior roles in the tribe's affairs from a relatively young age.

In recent years he led Te Aupouri's attempts to negotiate a settlement of its treaty claims.

“He was a tremendous public speaker, an orator in that Maori sense, but a gifted public speaker in English, and a brillant letter writer, and something of an entertainer who was able to defang situations of tension, and he knew how to knit the races together,” Mr Jones says.

George Witana was also known as a progressive who had little time for Maori who wanted to harbour past grievances.

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