Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, November 09, 2007

Broad call for resignation

There's a call for the commissioner of police to resign over the failed terror prosecutions of people allegedly involved in military-style training camps in the Urewera.

The Solicitor General refused to let the police go ahead with charges under the Terrorism Act, because the evidence collected in a year long investigation isn't up to the high standards required.

Former MP turned talkback host Willie Jackson says the decision is an indictment of police commissioner Howard Broad.

“He ordered an operation, and basically, anyone who was related to Tame Iti was a suspect, and he must be held accountable for this, because there’s two cases here. One we’ve got Tame Iti and what was Tame up to, but two, we have a whole community whose rights have been breached,” Mr Jackson says.

He says at the least Mr Broad owes a major apology to the Tuhoe people of Ruatoki, whose human rights were breached during the October 15 arrests.

FOMA WANTS FAIRER CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN

Maori landowners believe they're being asked to bear the cost of the Government's climate change policy.

The issue will be a major focus of the Federation of Maori Authorities' annual hui, which starts in Ngaruawahia today.

Paul Morgan, the federation's deputy chairperson, says Maori farmers are interested in sustainable management and using science and technology to reduce their carbon footprint.

But because they have traditionally been low-intensity users of their land, they could be caught out by the proposed emissions trading scheme.

“The general population involved with land use has intensified and reaped the economic benefit. Essentially they are polluters. The principled position that FOMA takes is that we don’t believe Maori should carry the burden, and the way the policy is structured, that is certainly the case, so we want the government to address that,” Mr Morgan says.

He says climate change policies must be applied fairly.

TUWHARETOA TAKES DIDYMO THREAT SERIOUSLY

Ngati Tuwharetoa isn't letting down its guard over the threat of didymo to its volcanic plateau waterways.

Tribal landowners have reopened access roads to the upper Tongariro River, after Biosecurity Minister Jim Anderton gave the all clear that samples of the algae collected in the area were not live.

Rakeipoho Taiaroa from the Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board says the iwi is reviewing its response to the didymo threat, which can leave rivers clogged up with what's known as rock snot.

“Ngati Tuwharetoa people, we are also commercial operators ourselves, and so that may have a detrimental effect, but the primary issue is our taonga and making sure as best as possible we get this ngangara out of our waterways,” Mr Taiaroa says.

He says the didymo action group will continue to run tests on the rivers.

CALL FOR TUHOE APOLOGY FROM POLICE

A leading Anglican churchman says the police should now apologise to Tuhoe for the October 15 raid on Ruatoki.

Hone Kaa from St John's College says the church has been vindicated by the solicitor general's decision to veto terrorism charges against people arrested for involvement in alleged military-style training camps in the Urewera.

Last weekend's Maori Anglican Synod denounced the police action, earning a rebuke from New Zealand First leader Winston Peters for rushing to judgment and not upholding the law.

But Dr Kaa says the Church was standing up for people dragged into the police net.

“Our concern was with the women, children and kaumatua, who were subjected to terror by the forces of the law. They are owed an apology. It’s the heads of the police themselves that have to go and seek that peace that Tuhoe is looking for,” he says.

MINISTRY AVOIDS MULTI-PARTY FISHING LOBBY

The Fisheries Ministry has refused to front up to a forum which includes not only Maori but recreational and commercial fishers as well.

The Hokianga Accord is holding its tenth hui at Auckland University's Waipapa Marae today to discuss changes fisheries laws, including a proposal which would give the Minister of Fisheries greater powers to cut catch limits.

Ngapuhi chairperson Sonny Tau, one of the main drivers of the Accord, says the Ministry was invited along, but it seems to see the forum as a threat.

“It bring together all the factions in one room, rather than what the ministry is doing which is having Maori in one room discussing the same thing as he does. They’ve got those segregated forums. They’ve got the Maori forum and they’ve got the Pakeha forum doing the same things,” Mr Tau says.

The Hokianga Accord is trying to be proactive about fisheries management, rather than the sector just reacting to decisions of the ministry.

MANAWATU MIGRANT MAORI WANTING VOICE

Taura here in Manawatu want a greater say in decisions that affect them.

Ngati Porou woman Tangihoro Fitzgerald says a hui on ways to prevent family violence revealed many Maori in Palmerston North feel disconnected and displaced.

She says local and central government agencies look no further than Rangitane when they reach out to Maori in the city - and while migrant Maori don't want to undermine the mana whenua, they need to make their voice heard.

“When decisions are made in Wellington about a major Maori issues or whatever, they decide it down there, then they head up north, and they by-pass us,” Mrs Fitzgerald says.

Her One Voice group is trying to prepare a database of the 11,000 Maori living in the Manawatu region.

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