Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, December 10, 2007

Support still there for Clint Rickard

The kaumatua for the police in the Bay of Plenty is steadfast in his support for Clint Richards.

Mita Mohi, who has run tikanga programmes on Mokoia Island for at-risk youth for more than 20 years, says it's sad to see the former deputy commissioner dragged down for what he calls "that little incident".

In an interview broadcast today, Mr Rickards told Radio Waatea host Willie Jackson his main accuser, Louise Nicholas, was a liar who needed help, and that he had quit on the even of an internal disciplinary hearing to spare his family any more stress.

Mr Hohi says Mr Rickards had an outstanding record or work and positive engagement with Maori communities.

“The work, especially when he was in the Waikato area, a lot of the boys that came from Mokoia came from there. The police would come down and supportive of it and they’d be part of our programme on Mokoia and seeing the skills that he had while working with the police. It’s pretty hard getting up the top there, very difficult,” Mr Mohi said.

He had hoped Clint Richards would eventually become the first Maori police commissioner.

TELEVISION HOUSE GETS UNWELCOME FERTILISER

It was only fertiliser, but it still has staff at an Auckland television production house spooked.

Police are investigating who sent envelopes of powder to Greenstone Pictures and Television New Zealand.

Greenstone's Dominion Road offices were evacuated for three hours.
Waimihi Hotere, a trainee producer on Ask Your Aunties, says even though the substance was not anthrax or any other poison, the effects of the scare will last.

“We've been offered victim support because obviously opening letters and any mail in the future would have quite a bit of weight on it, Our receptionists now are wary of opening anything just in case it could be some poison,” Ms Hotere says.

KOROWAI OF INVISIBILTY IN GOLF OPEN

A trust which supplied a korowai for the winner of the New Zealand Golf Open is disappointed the prize was almost ignored.

Mick Brown, the chair of Ngaki Tamariki Trust, says Englishman Richard Finch received the cloak in a ceremony attended only by tournament officials and volunteers, with no television coverage.

The korowai stays in Aotearoa, but Mr Finch was also given a carving to take away with him.

Judge Brown says the trust, which promotes golf among young Maori, wanted to give the tournament a disnctintvie flavour.

“It was slightly disappointing that it wasn’t done. We’re not looking for publicity but rather that it is something that I think particularly overseas players would appreciate, like it would be a photo that they would keep,” Judge Brown says.

TREATY TRUSTS MOURNS JACQUI NGAPERA

Staff at the Crown Forestry Rental Trust are mourning the death of one of the most experienced managers in the Treaty sector.

Jacqui Ngapera died in a diving accident off Wellington's Makara coast on Saturday.

She was 37, a mother of three children.

Ben Dalton, the trust's chief executive, says Ms Ngapera was from Te Rarawa, raised at the northern Hokianga community of Panguru.

She came to the CFRT 12 years ago after spells at the Waitangi Tribunal and Telecom, and was also studying part time for a Masters in Business Administration at Victoria University.

He says the depth of her knowledge of the treaty process and her life experience was a huge help to groups preparing to present or negotiate claims.
“She had a real empathy with the claimant groups having lived the life tat they themselves lived, and I can often remember sometimes we’d be at meetings and claimants would say ‘You don’t know what it’s like, it’s alright for you to come from Wellington, you don’t know how it works on our side,’ but we’d be in the plane on the way back and she’d say ‘we do know, we’ve all come from those communities,’” Mr Dalton says.

The tangi for Jacqui Ngapera will be held in Wellington.

RICKARDS STILL ANGRY AT POLICE POLICE

A former top policeman says the process that led to his departure from the force was deeply flawed.

Clint Rickards was found not guilty by juries in two historical rape trials, but quit on the eve of an internal disciplinary hearing.

He told Radio Waatea host Willie Jackson he was grateful for the support he got from Maori, including many elders and Maori MPs like Nanaia Mahuta, Parekura Horomia and Pita Sharples.

He says Operation Austin, the internal investigation of historical sex allegations against police, didn't follow the procedural standards he expected of the force.

“I've got no gripe against the police whatsoever. There’s some personnel, some areas in the police I’ve got major issues with. And those are the sorts of issues I want to develop further to see if improvements can be made there. But look, let me say emphatically I have no gripe or issues against the police. I’ve said that before. I’ve spent 28 years in the organisation. I’m not about to bag the police now that I've left,” Mr Rickards says.

He's studying towards a law degree, and is also keen to do work for his iwi.


TAINUI OPENS NEW IBIS HOTEL IN HAMILTON

Tainui has celebrated another milestone with the opening this morning by King Tuheitia of the three star Ibis Hotel in Hamilton.

It's a joint venture between Tainui Group Holdings and Hamilton City Council with 42 percent each and the balance held by French hotel chain Accor, which also operators the neighbouring Novotel.

Tukoroirangi Morgan, Tainui's chairperson, says it's a significant investment.

He says it shows the commitment the tribe has to the city andthe region.

The 126 room hotel already has bookings up to the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

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