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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Mark in Tempest temper tantrum

New Zealand First's law and order spokesperson has attacked the High Court for giving Tame Iti his passport back.

The Tuhoe activist has been cleared to travel to Europe to perform in choreographer Lemi Ponifasio's adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest.

He'll be back in time for his deposition hearing on firarms charged stemming from the so called Urewera terror raids last October.

Ron Mark says ordinary New Zealanders should be upset Iti is allowed to leave the country, given the seriousness of the allegations swirling around him.

“It's a bit of a slap in the face for someone who wants to go on holiday but hasn’t paid a traffic fine being stopped at the border, to see someone who’s facing serious firearms charges to be allowed to go, and to not only be allowed to go but to do it on taxpayers' money,” Mr Mark says.

The play, which was developed before last year's raids, uses the Tuhoe experience to look at questions of sovereignty and unlawful detention.

IWI SHOULD BUILD ON WHAKAPAPA DATABASE

The manager of a national whakapapa database wants iwi to work with him promoting the service.

Tuhono was launched four years ago to allow Maori to find or register their iwi affiliations in advance of treaty settlements.

Dan Te Kanawa says it initially managed to capture information about 30 percent of Maori, but that's dropped to about a quarter.

He says because it's linked to the electoral rolls, it has advantages over beneficiary rolls administered by individual iwi.

“Unfortunately when people die they don’t tell the iwi they’re moving on and this is something that’s captured in the Electoral Enrolment Centre by Births, Deaths and Marriages. Tuhono’s positioned downstream of that so any updates they get that relate to our database, they’re downloaded every month,” Mr Te Kanawa says.

He says the best way to access the service is through the Internet at tuhono.net.

SUN RISING FOR CALEB RALPH AT END OF SUPER 14 CAREER

A former professional rugby player says Caleb Ralph will have no trouble slotting in to Japan.

Wanganui's Glen Osborne spent two seasons playing in the land of the rising sun, and says the Canterbury utility will fit in well on and off the field when he joins the Fukuoka Sanix Blues at the end of the Super 14 season.

Ralph's career to date includes 14 appearances in the All Black jersey, eight years as a Maori all black and four seasons with the New Zealand sevens.

“He's been sensational for New Zealand rugby and he’s been at the highest level and now he’s changing over to play for a team in Japan, he will do really well because we know he’s a really experienced player and we know he dedicates himself to training,” Osborne says.

TAME NO EASY MARK FOR IRATE POLITICO

An MP's temper tantrum isn't going to stop Tame's Tempest.

New Zealand First's law and order spokesperson, Ron Mark, has slammed the High Court for allowing Tame Iti to travel to Europe to act in a theatrical work based on Shakespeare's last play.

Mark says ordinary New Zealanders will be enraged someone facing serious arms charges should be allowed to go overseas on a taxpayer-subsidised jaunt.

But the Tuhoe activist says Lemi Ponifasio's production was developed before last October's police terror raids, which led to the charges.

He says it draws on Tuhoe's history of struggle against oppression.

“Some people might feel it’s a bit shocking but people feel shocked about truth. The basis of Tempest is based around Tuhoe. This is about long before the raid,” Mr Iti says.

MARAE MANA SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE FOR SANSKRIT SPEAKER

The head of Waitakere City's Indian Association wants all new migrants to get a dose of Maori culture.

Manoj Tahal says the Immigration Service should make a marae visit a prerequisite for people wanting to settle in this country.

“Every migrant coming into the country should experience the Maori culture first hand by visiting a marae. It’s such a sacred place for reflection. In my experience I would actually recommend everyone to actually go and visit a marae and learn about the Maori culture,” Mr Tahal says.

He was surprised to learn of a linguistic connection between India's ancient language, Sanskrit, and te reo Maori, with words like mana having a similar meaning.

SPRAGGON WORKING ON FIRST TAONGA PUORO CD

Two West Auckland musicians have made traditional Maori instruments their ticket to the world.

Rewi Spraggon and Riki Bennett have been playing of taonga puoro together here and overseas for almost a decade.

They're now putting together their first album, The traditional sounds of the Maori.

Mr Spraggon says it's in response to demand from live audiences.

“It's all original music on this album. The second half is contemporary, anything from bass to drums to ukulele and guitar. All our songs are in te reo Maori and all of our songs have some form of taonga puoro in there. We think we’ve got a sort of niche market if you like,” Mr Spraggon says.

The CD will include a booklet explaining the sounds of the different taonga puoro instruments.

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