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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Maori Party snips Green feeler

The Greens have received a slap down in their bid for the party votes of Maori Party supporters.

After the Green Party’s weekend conference, co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons indicated she was wanted to develop a mutually beneficial strategy going into the election.

But Tariana Turia says that's not going to happen, and the Maori Party is looking to confirm its mandate at both the electorate and the national level.

“We've got a good relationship with the Greens, and we’ve worked hard at it, but we’re not going to have somebody climbing on our backs now that it’s election time to try and get our party vote. We want that party vote,” Mrs Turia says.

She says if all Maori as well as the party's non-Maori supporters give their party vote, the Maori Party could have 10 seats in Parliament.


A former Te Puni Kokiri chief executive honoured for his trouble-shooting role in Maori organisations says his current job is one of the most exciting yet.

In the Queens Birthday honours list, Wira Gardiner was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Maori.

Since leaving the Maori Development Ministry to set up a consultancy, the former soldier has stepped into a number of troubled organisations including Te Mangai Paho, Te Wananga o Aotearoa and Te Wananga o Awanuiarangi.

He's now facilitating the Crown's effort to use its forest assets to settle the historic claims of a coalition of central North Island iwi.

“The Kaingaroa forest settlement will be fantastic. It’s the Sealords deal, Tainui and Ngai Tahu combined. Put that economic wealth in the hands of the number of tribes that are involved, and if we can cut down across parochial internecine warfare among tribes to achieve that, anything's possible,” Mr Gardiner says.

He's hurt by people who call him a kupapa for his work for the Crown, but he just gets on with the job.


A tohu also went to another person working on central North Island settlements.

Tuhourangi kaumatua Anaru Rangiheuea was made Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, the third highest honour.

He was made an officer of the order in the 1999 New Year's list, and since then he played a major role in settling Te Arawa's Rotorua Lakes claim.

He says young people need to step up and play their part towards the health of their iwi and community.

“You've got to be involved to work with your people and work with your tribe. Get involved in community affairs. There’s a big need for younger people, who have a lot of skills, and they need to put it together and work for the benefit of all of us,” Mr Rangiheuea says.

He is currently consulting with Te Arawa people around the country on the proposed Pumautanga o Te Arawa land settlement, which is running alongside the central North Island forestry deal.


West Auckland groups dominated the Tamaki Makaurau regional kapa haka competitions over the weekend.

Former national champions Te Waka Huia again set the standard taking the top award from relative newcomers, Nga Tumanako.

Manutaki and Manuhuia took the other two slots to represent the region at next year's Te Matatini nationals in Tauranga.

Tumamao Harawira, from Nga Tumanako says the group's guiding tea ho matua philosophy comes from the members' days together at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Hoani Waititi.


A Victoria University law lecturer hopes her Maori legal dictionary will help with the normalisation of te reo Maori.

Mamari Stephens has received a grant from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology for the work, which will draw on thousands of translations of early acts of parliament stored in the Alexander Turnbull Library.

She says those translations helped the tupuna dealt with legal concepts, but there is now no shared legal vocabulary among Maori speakers.

“Legal jargon is very difficult and Maori is such a flexible language. We don’t want Maori to be straightjacketed in its interpretation of those concepts but we want to see how our tupuna did it and also how government translators did it as well, because a lot of that material comes from Pakeha who were fluent in Maori,” Ms Stephens says.

She says the dictionary will be of value to Maori who want to present cases or petitions in te reo, students who want to write essays in the language, and government agencies of committees who want to produce report in Maori.


For Ngati Porou soccer legend Wynton Rufer, a Queens Birthday honour is the icing on the cake.

He was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his work with young people through his Wyners Football academy.

Rufer is also a member of the New Zealand and Maori sports halls of fame, the Oceania player of the century, and the International Football Federation's player of the decade for the 1990s, and one of their 100 legends of the game in 2004.

He says he's most proud of his work with rangatahi in Mangere and Otara, including a lot of Pacific Island and Maori youth in low decile schools.

Mr Rufer says his work as a FIFA ambassador against racism near the end of his professional career made him realise the importance of being a role model for youth.


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