Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Gang picnic could ease street woes

The head of the police Maori strategy hopes last week's gang day out at Waitangi will reduce tension on south Auckland's streets.

MP Shane Jones has criticised Waitangi organisers for allowing gangs to set up a base beside Te Tii Marae and embark on what he called recruiting.

But Wally Haumaha says the decision to take young gang affiliates to Waitangi was made by older gang members who are concerned about increased violence and killing in the city.

He says the fact gang leaders were talking could have benefits.

“If they sit down on at Waitangi and call a truce on the day the treaty was signed, I guess in their own way they were saying let’s sign a truce between ourselves so that when they go back to south Auckland these are the rules, we stay out of each other’s way, we reduce the harm on the streets and the violence on the streets if we can keep the truce and peace together with those sorts of agreements between us,” Mr Haumaha says.

Police iwi liaison officers don't condone gang recruiting and would have stepped in if they had seen it occurring.


Maori, women and young people are most at risk from electronic crime.

A Justice Ministry study has found those at the lower end of the socio-economic scale are more often victims of email and mobile phone harassment or identity theft.

Ross Himona, who founded the Maori Internet Society, says e-crime is nothing new.

He says Maori can take some simple precautions, like being careful who they give their phone numbers and email address to.

“Young people especially tend to broadcast their addresses and phone numbers to all and sundry and of course once those contacts are out there, people will use them. So if people are having problems at the moment, they should change their address and change their phone number. It’s as simple as that,” Mr Himona says.

To keep safe from viruses, worms and spyware, people should use proper filters and firewalls and not open attachments unless they are from a trustworthy source.


Chef turned comedian Mike King is toning down his act.

Since his stroke last year, the Ngapuhi entertainer has reassessed his priorities, including what he says on stage.

He likes the way his stand up routine is being received.

“The angry swearing comedian is fading slowly into the background and whilst the comedy’s still there it’s a little more positive and I’m having a lot of fun up there and it’s really surprised me how people have taken to it, even though I’m not up there swearing my head off like I used to,” Mr King says.


She's leaving a clear field of battle.

That's the reason Metiria Turei is giving for putting her name forward for Dunedin North this election, rather than standing again in Te Tai Tonga.

The Green MP says her votes last time weren't enough to make the difference.

“Even if everybody who voted for me had voted for the Maori Party, they still wouldn’t have got the seat. It will be closer this time, and I’m not going to be in the middle of that fight. I’m the candidate for Dunedin North. That’s a gift for both Labour and the Maori Party, it gives them a clear fight in that seat, which is highly contested, so I hope they both appreciate it and I’m sure they do,” Ms Turei says.

She says the Greens have worked closely with the Maori Party, and the party has been a staunch advocate in Parliament of Maori issues.


The lawyer for hapu opposing a wind farm overlooking the Napier Taupo road expects strong public support for their stand.

The Environment Minister, Trevor Mallard, has sent Unison Networks' proposal for a 34-turbine wind farm near the Te Waka Range directly to the Environment Court, bypassing the Hastings Regional Council.

Jolene Patuawa, who acts for Ngati Hinerua and the Maungaharuru-Tangitu Society, says the hapu have already defeated a 37-turbine plan because they were able to prove the landscape was sacred.

“The bar's pretty for proving that a site is sacred and that it has the appropriate values. We’ve reached that bar in this case according to the Environment court, according to the High Court, so that I like to think if people want to take an informed approach, they’ll read those decisions and realise it’s not a decision that is taken lightly and they will have respect for that,” Ms Patuawa says.

People have four weeks to make submissions.


Maori are being asked for their views on genetic modification.

AgResearch today held the first of 11 hui on its plans to expand the development of new products from milk.

Jimmy Suttie, the general manager for applied biotechnology, says it already has transgenic cattle at Ruakura near Hamilton, and a good relationship with local hapu Ngati Wairere.

It's an opportunity for Maori to hear AgResearch's plans and what the benefits may be to for human health and nutrition.

“But also to be looking for the Maori values and to find out whether the technologies we’re discussing would be compatible with Maori values, and if they’re not, to actually look at the balance between the two and then come to a position,” Mr Suttie says.

Whangarei and New Plymouth will host hui tomorrow.


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