Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Saturday, November 03, 2007

QC Williams probes Ruatoki truth

Auckland lawyer Peter Williams QC is spending the weekend in Ruatoki trying to find out what really happened during a police lockdown of the eastern Bay of Plenty settlement two weeks ago.

Along with fellow lawyer Heeni Phillips and private investigator Mike Crawford, a former police superintendent, he'll be collecting affadavits from residents.

He says police have no statutory power to stop ordinary people at roadblocks and take pictures of them.

“It's very important constitutionally and it’s very important to all the people of this country that we maintain our civil rights and our essential freedoms and the police are kept to their statutory functions and their statutory rights and they don’t have general permissions to do what they want in these circumstances,” Mr Williams says.

If he feels there is enough evidence to justify the allegations, writs will be filed against the police.

PAO PAO PAO NEEDS TO GO NATIONAL

One of the performers in tonight's Pao Pao Pao showcase of Maori music wants more New Zealanders to share in the experience.

Rewi Spraggon teams up with Ricki Bennett to play taonga puoro.

Others on stage at the Wellington Town Hall will include Whirimako Black, Ngatai Huata, and Moana and the Tribe.

He says it's too good an event to keep in Poneke.

“I would really like to see it travel now. Cuzzie bros down in Poneke seem to have it every year. We need it everywhere. We need it in Christchurch. We need it in Auckland and we need it in Eketahuna. We need it everywhere,” Mr Spraggon says.

The annual event owes a lot to the late Hirini Melbourne, who was always looking for new ways to get Maori music to a wider audience.

WAHINE TRAINING FOR KAITAIA TRIATHLON

Northern wahine Maori face their biggest fitness challenge tomorrow.

More than 100 women have registered for the Wahine Tryathlon in Kaitaia, which includes a 300 metre swim, 9 kilometre bike ride and 3 kilometre walk or run.

Helen Rewi, who describes herself as a working great grandmother, belongs to the Fab Five, a group of women from Te Hapua and Te Kao who have been training for the event for 12 weeks.

The school bus driver says eating the right food, learning breathing techniques and getting fit had has boosted the women's confidence.

She is already eyeing up her next challenge: a half marathon later this month in Kerikeri alongside her 13 year old moko.

SPECTRUM RESERVED FOR MAORI

Spectrum suitable for wireless broadband has been set aside from Maori.
The Government intends to auction off five blocks of 2.3 and 2.5 gigahertz spectrum next month.

A sixth 2.3 gigahertz block will go to a representative Maori group.

Tipene Chrisp, a senior policy manager at Te Puni Kokiri, says the focus will be on wireless broadband and the new Wimax standard, which expected to boost the use of the Internet on mobile devices.

He says it's a great opportunity for Maori to engage in the Internet not just as users but as owners of infrastructure

“The Maori language survey results show high levels of take-up among Maori on the internet for Maori language, so we think the allocation of this band of spectrum really does give the opportunity for Maori to get in at the infrastructure level and then to provide favourable conditions for Maori language and culture use, as well as the economic benefits of participating in the knowledge economy,” Dr Chrisp says.

The Minister of Maori Affairs will decide next week which Maori group will get the spectrum.

Mavis Mullins, the chair of Te Huarahi Tika Maori spectrum trust, says her her organisation is the most logical holder of the spectrum.

POLICE NEED TO MAKE PEACE WITH TUHOE

Pita Sharples wants Maori police officers to go back to Ruatoki to make peace with Tuhoe.

The Maori Party co-leader attended this week's Police Association Conference.

He says Maori and iwi liaison officers are still deeply hurt by how last month's anti-terror raids were conducted, and especially the lock down in the eastern Bay of Plenty.

“So I'm making it my business to get in touch with the commissioner, who’s a friend of mine, even though we don’t agree on these things, and I’m suggesting that he allow them to go to Tuhoe and make their peace and manaaki Tuhoe and therefore heal themselves because it’s not about or denying or justifying police action at all. It’s about giving them the space to stand tall again,” Dr Sharples says.

He says the good work of the Maori officers should not be compromised by the actions of other parts of the police force.

WAIATA ON PROGRAMME FOR OPERA ASPIRANTS

Singers at this weekend's New Zealand Aria competition in Rotorua are being encouraged to take on the classic Maori repertoire.

Judge Timua Brennan won the Maori section in the late 90s and went on to gain a masters degree in performing arts.

She says the Maori section is open to all the singers, and it's a great way to develop singers' confidence.

“When you put the kupu into a beautiful melody, it does touch your heart. For those who are non-Maori, just to be able to stand up and sing Hine e Hine or Pokarekare Ana, the real Ana Hato repertoire, it’s real inspiring to hear both Maori and non-Maori be able to do that,” Ms Brennan says.

The Aria competiton is at the Rotorua Convention Centre, just a stone's throw from Ohinemutu, where the classic waiata of Ana Hato, Deane Waretinin and the Rotorua Maori Choir were first recorded in the 1920s.

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