Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Lack of representation growing problem

The race relations commissioner says continued Maori under-representation on local councils and other governance bodies is a significant problem.

The Human Rights Commission has released its annual overview, which says that overall New Zealanders are optimistic about the state of race relations.

But commissioner Joris de Bres says Maori, Pacific Island and Asian people still can't get elected to councils and boards.

He says people should be tackling the issue now, rather than waiting for the next election cycle.

“The population shift that is taking place is such that the balance of representation in our population is becoming different, much more diverse, and I think our local government, as our central government, has to reflect that change so people have a say in the running of their communities,” Mr de Bres says.

The report shows Maori representation in the media is also far too low.


Labour's newest MP may find her job tougher than she expects, according to one of her main political rivals.

Louisa Wall made her maiden speech yesterday, after entering Parliament on the party list after the retirement of Anne Hartley.

Come the election later this year former Silver and Black Fern will be trying to return as an electorate MP by beating Pita Sharples in Tamaki Makaurau.

The Maori Party co-leader says he counts Ms Wall as a friend, but he thinks she may be in the wrong party.

“Yeah man she's going to find it really hard because she’s so Maori that when she sees how she has to vote on some of these issues, it’s going to be really hard for her. I just know her,” Dr Sharples says.

Prime Minister Helen Clark says Louisa Wall has absolute dedication to get to the top in whatever she does, and she'll be an asset to Labour.


A Maori musical icon will be laid to rest on the East Coast today.
Missy Teka died on Friday when her car collided with a truck at Mangatawhiri. She was 53.

Missy was best known for her work with her late husband, Prince Tui Teka, whose biggest hit, E Ipo, was written by Ngoi Pewhairangi so the boy from Ruatahuna could court the girl from Ruatoria.

John Tamihere from Te Whanau o Waipareira says after Tui's death, Missy became a familiar face in the West Auckland Maori community through her subsequent relationship with Henare Peke and his whanau.

“There were a lot of connections here and Missy also worked with Auntie Mavis Tuoroa who started off Rautahi kapa haka and all those sort of things. She’s been round here a long time with us out west here, and I just want to acknowledge all the whanau at Whanau Waipareira who have muscled up to support her tangi and are all down now in Tokomaru Bay,” Mr Tamihere says.

The funeral is at Pakirikiri Marae in Tokomaru Bay.


A Labour Maori MP says Maori Party supporters need to be a lot tougher on their elected representatives.

Nanaia Mahuta says a Marae Digipoll showing the Maori Party winning all seven maori seats isn't credible.

She says a lot will depend on the turn-out on election day, and whether Maori voters take account of Labour's record of slashing Maori unemployment and increasing educational opportunities for rangatahi.

Voters also need to ask how the Maori Party will use their vote.

“It's certainly my understanding that Labour has a strong Party vote out there across all the Maori electorates, and people need to know if they are going to support the Maori Party, who will the Maori Party support. They cannot be a Trojan horse to deliver a National Government. That just will not work for Maori,” Ms Mahuta says.


Some top Maori jockeys will be battling it out in today's Auckland Cup.

Michael Walker will try to repeat his Wellington Cup victory on Young Centaur, and the pair will be up against veteran Noel Harris on Genuine Offer.

The 3200 metre race will be called by George Simon from Ngaruawahia, who was just 17 years old when he threw in a job at the Horotiu Freezing Works to chase his dream of race commenting.

He's become a familiar voice from all the country's tracks, as well as stints in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Mr Simon keeps the words of his dad in mind when he gets to the booth.

“I remember my late father told me many many years ago, he said ‘just pretend you’re painting a picture or telling a big man what is happening,’ and that’s something I never forgot. All we do is associate the colours the jockeys wear with the names of the horses and we tell a story as it is unfolding,” Mr Simon says.

The Auckland Cup is run at ten to six.


Many museums have wharenui inside their walls, but Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts in Pakuranga has gone one better.

As part of its international exhibition Land Wars, it has a meeting house built like a bouncy castle.

Artist Inez Crawford from Te Whanau a Apanui says her Bouncy Marae was inspired by childhood memories of her home marae in Te Kaha, and how she thought it was like the castles she read about in fairy tales.

She says the sculpture, which is brown on the outside and pink on the inside, has a range of feminist and cultural connotations.

“When I first did it it was about cultural consumption and how indigenous culture just ends up becoming entertainment, and my bouncy is all about the signifiers and devoid of any cultural content so you don’t get any carving, you don’t get welcomed on, and it’s just my way of engaging in the discourse of what’s going on with Maori, Maori art in New Zealand today,” Crawford says.


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