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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, December 07, 2007

Delamere launches utu on persecutors

David Cunliffe is set to follow Trevor Mallard into the dock.

The former immigration minister is one of seven people named in a private prosecution by former MP Tuariki John Delamere.

The Auckland District Court today confirmed it will issue summons against Mr Cunliffe, three Immigration Service officials and three present or former staff of the Serious Fraud Office.

The action related to the Serious Fraud Office's unsuccessful prosecution of Mr Delamere for fraud and forgery relating to his immigration consultancy.

He says that prosecution was malicious and based on illegal actions by those named.

“They were targeting me, and they used it by basically blackmailing people to produce documents which the Immigration Service knew those people did not have, had no right to have them and they threatened them with the loss of their permits if they did not provide them. Ultimately they did remove their permits, and that went all the way to the Minister,” Mr Delamere says.

Three of the people he wants to prosecute are working overseas, and one is now a district court judge.


Maori Television is encouraging more people to identify as Maori.

Andrew Sporle, a social statistics researcher, told an Australasian sociology conference in Auckland this week that brown faces on Maori and mainstream television and the high visibility of Maori role models has increased Maori pride in their ethnicity.

He says the jump in the number of Maori in the most recent Census cannot be explained by population growth alone.

“Growth in the Maori population is due to both our slightly larger birth rate but the fact we’re getting more people now who are identifying as Maori because they are either getting new knowledge about their ancestry but they’re also getting a sense of safety and pride about being Maori, whereas previously that never used to exist,” Mr Sporle says.

He says it's important to see brown faces on mainstream television, not just on Maori TV.


A Maori country singer hopes a new prize will kick start his career across the Tasman.

Dennis Marsh was judged best non-Australian artist in the Australian Country Music Association awards.

The prolific recording artist, who hails from Te Kuiti says it caps a bumper year, and opens the way for an even better 2008.

“Been a hat trick this year. It’s been a good year for me. First I get awarded a gold album for “To Get to You,” it came earlier in the year. Then I got a New Zealand Country Music Association country album of the year and this one was a bit of a surprise, coming from Australia. Really given me a good stepping stone into Australia now as a country artist,” Mr Marsh says.

He will record his 19th album over the summer.


Tuariki Delamere says a private prosecution is the only way he can prove his innocence.

The former immigration minister has taken action against officials responsible for his trial on fraud and forgery charges.

They include David Cunliffe, who was then immigration minister, Immigration Service chief executive Mary Anne Thompson and Serious Fraud Office deputy director Gus Andree-Wiltens, who is now a district court judge.

He's alleging blackmail, perjury and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

In March a jury found Mr Delamere not guilty, but the Serious Fraud Office is still fighting him over costs.

He says it has all the hallmarks of a malicious prosecution by the SFO.

“They deliberately failed to follow things through on a number of witnesses and provided evidence they knew was false. They were only interested in putting forward things they believed might help them prove my guilt,” Mr Delamere says.

Several of his immigration clients had their residency removed during the case, and it still hasn't been reinstated despite the fact a jury found no crime was committed.


One of Parliament's most well educated MPs says moves to restrict university entry are based on false premises and will adversely affect Maori.

Pita Sharples, the co-leader of the Maori Party, is a former research fellow at Auckland University's education faculty.

Auckland and Victoria Universities are considering capping open entry courses in subjects like arts, sciences, education and first year law.

Dr Sharples says a lot of Maori come out of secondary school without university entrance qualifications, but pursue tertiary study once they've had children and settled down.

“Everyone says Maori should get educated, then they close all the gates. There’s no need to lift the standard of the entry to a compulsory examination to produce good graduates. It’s a fallacy that when there’s a competition for places, you lift the level of entry. That's wrong,” he says.

Dr Sharples says the quality of a university degree should be the same at the end, whatever qualifications people had to get into university.


Something worth fighting for.

That's the feeling in Whanganui to a show which opened at the Regional Museum today.

Te Pihi Mata - The Sacred Eye features photographs by William Partington taken around the river in the 1890s and 1900s.

The collection of glass plate negatives was bought by the museum, the Whanganui Community Trust and Whanganui iwi after protesters from the iwi stopped their auction five years ago.

Che Wilson, the co-curator, says it has taken since then to put the show together.

“We restored, did a lot of conservation work, did a lot of research, going out to our people to find out and identify as many as we could, including using our recent Waitangi Tribunal hearings to take the photographs there while there was a lot of old people there to one, show them again, but also to identify them to help with the exhibition itself,” Mr Wilson says.

Te Pihi Mata also includes whanganui taonga and photos of the contemporary descendants of those in the Partington photos,


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