Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Candidate defends process in Ikaroa Rawhiti

One of the unsuccessful aspirants for the Maori Party's Ikaroa Rawhiti nomination says the process was fair, open and transparent.

The selection of broadcaster Derek Fox to take on Maori Affairs Minister Parekura has been challenged by the 2005 candidate, Atareta Poananga, who is claiming conflicts of interest by electorate officials.

But Keriana Tawhiwhirangi says there were daily meetings by nominees, scrutineers and electorate officials to ensure the multi-hui selection process went smoothly.

“Every day, every one of us had a chance to put issues on the table, concerns on the table to be addressed and issue s were put on the table and they were dealt with and there were assurances to improve on a range of different things so there was ample opportunity for us to air our concerns as the days went by,” Ms Tawhiwhirangi says.

She says the selection process had encouraged a large number of people to get involved with the Maori Party.


A treaty historian says National's Maori seats policy reeks of empty political posturing.

Leader John Key says National will introduce legislation to scrap the seven seats once historical treaty claims are settled - which he believes will be about 2014.

Paul Moon from AUT University says that target is unrealistic - and there is no logical connection between the seats and treaty claims.

He says if a future National government wants to abolish the seats, all it needs to is introduce the legislation ... and try to get the votes from other parties to get it passed.

“What they're really trying to say is we’re going to put off this issue, we’re going to have our cake and eat it, we’re going to satisfy some voters by saying ‘yes, we’re getting rid of them, you should vote for us,’ but can also satisfy people on the other side by saying ’hey, we’re not going to do it now, we hope to do it in six years,’ and we all know what politicians hopes are like,” Dr Moon says.

He says setting deadlines for claim settlements is driven by populist politics, rather than any desire to see justice for Maori for what happened in the past.


Two Maori musicians have made the finals of the prestigious International Songwriting Competition.

Piki Kake Ake by Ruia Aperehama is in the world music category, while a waiata by Mahara Tocker has made it through in the pop section.

Moana Maniapoto won the competition in 2003 with her song Moko.
Mr Aperahama says the Nashville-based competition attracts songs from across the globe, and winning it can be a tremendous boost.

“For New Zealand, Kiwi, Maori songwriters, this is another opportunity to get global world recognition for our talents and our skills. Little countries like New Zealand can stand up against America, Japan and China and make a big difference and as Moana has shown, take out the competition,” Mr Aperahama says.

Other finalists from New Zealand include Rotorua blues musician, who has a song in the Americana category, Daniel James McGuire from Wellington in the rock section, and Radha and the Kiwi Kids, who have an entry in the children's section.


A Maori coroner is welcoming moves to give police the power to stop body-snatching.

Brandt Shortland from Te Taitokerau says a suggestion by the acting chief coroner that all bodies come under a coroner's care could be a way out of the current situation.

He says there is currently no legal framework to cover people uplifting a tupapaku during a dispute over where a burial should take place.

“As we've seen, everyone stands by powerless. It doesn’t fit into criminal law, it’s a civil matter, the tupapku is not a chattel, it’s not a possession. Someone said to me today that knowing full well that there’s a tupapku inside the coffin, maybe they can pick them up for theft of a coffin. Someone must own that. So people are clutching at straws trying to find a way to resolve these issues,” Mr Shortland says.

He says body snatching is usually a problem of communication rather than culture, and the proposed law change could allow coroners and police to mediate a solution family members can live with.


Then Prime Minister says Parliament is losing one of its true characters.

Labour list MP Dover Samuels is retiring from politics, and plans to move to Australia after the election.

Helen Clark says he's been a leading figure in the party since returning from across the Tasman in the late 1970s, and was the Maori vice president when she first became an MP.

“Dover's just always been there for us, worked hard, been very helpful. We’ve had our ups and downs for sure but he’s always been just very very staunch and we’re all going to miss Dover, going to miss the hat, going to miss the sense of humour, going to miss the song. He’s been one of Parliament's genuine characters,” Ms Clark says.


The opening salvo in the Northern Wars was commemorated with a dawn service in Russell this morning.

March the eleventh was when Ngati Hine rangatira Te Ruki Kawiti distracted the British garrison while Hone Heke chopped down the flagpole for the first time.

He eventually chopped it down four times... provoking the British forces into battles at Ohaewai and Ruapekapeka.

Raumoa Kawiti is a direct descendent of both Te Ruki Kawiti and Maihi Paraone Kawiti, who re-erected the flagpole 12 years later.

He says the attack was a protest about the Crown encroaching into what Heke saw as his domain.

“After the signing of the treaty, all the fees they got from the boats coming from all round the world, after the treaty was signed the Crown took over all the running, all the money that was coming to Hone Heke and Pomare,” Mr Kawiti says.

Kawiti's forces took time out from the battle to ensure non-combatants were evacuated from Kororareka.


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