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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Turei anti-Turia on vote splitting

The Green's Maori affairs spokesperson says vote splitting is the best option for Maori Party supporters.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has rounded on the Greens for proposing a deal on party votes, saying her party is running a strong two tick campaign.

But Metiria Turei says the Maori Party has no chance of going over the five percent threshold, and its future lies in holding the Maori electorates and having a supportive partner in the Parliament.

She says that makes a simple equation for Maori Party voters.

“To use your vote, the most practical way to get the best pro-Maori support in Parliament is to split it and to make sure that we have the party vote because otherwise it will be wasted. It’s just a fact. It’s not a supportive or not supportive issue, it’s just a fact about how you use the two votes that we have,” Ms Turei says.

She says the Greens have built up a good working relationship with the Maori Party.

HAURAKI GULF NEEDS MORE WORK ON CLEAN-UP

A Hauraki elder says a state of the environment report on the Hauraki Gulf confirms the warnings of tangata whenua.

The report by the Hauraki Gulf Forum documents problems such as heavy metals accumulating in Auckland's upper harbours, large amounts of nitrogen entering the Firth of Thames from dairy farming, increased sedimentation and loss of kaimoana and bird habitat.

Waati Ngamene, the chair of Te Runanga o Ngati Manu, says he also has concerns about the use of the gulf for marine farming.

“I don't think there's enough study into the long term effects of marine farming and the paru that they produce and the extent of the licences that have been issues in Tikapa itself. There’s a lot of issues and they‘re not new and that’s why the report is no surprise,” Mr Ngamene says.

The report called for better coordination of the initiatives going on to clean up the Hauraki Gulf.

STRONG FIELD FOR BOOK AWARDS

A change in the rules has led to a big jump in entrants for the Maori category of the children's book awards.

Eddie Neha, the convenor for the Te Kura Pounamu Award, says because most children's books in te reo Maori are distributed free to schools and kura, they didn't meet the previous sales criteria.

Dropping that condition means entries jumped from the usual four or five to 44.

He says it shows the depth in the field.

“You have writers such as Huirangi Waikerepuru, Katarina Mataira, Gavin Bishop who have been true tohunga in terms of reo. They not only write their own, they do translations so the caliber’s great. You also have newer reo exponents such as Hana O’Regan who are developing the landuage to suit the times and the kids of today,” Mr Neha says.

The LIANZA Children's Book Awards winners will be announced in Library Week in August.

SETTLEMENTS COULD GO QUIET UNDER NATIONAL – PM

The Prime Minister says Maori have cause for concern about the future of treaty settlements if National becomes the Government later this year.

Helen Clark says it would be disappointing if National tried to make opposition to the Treaty of Waitangi a vote winner.

She says unlike the past convention of cross party support for treaty settlements, National under John Key and his predecessor Don Brash has not backed any of the deals the Labour-led government has negotiated.

That's in contrast to the leadership shown by National under Jim Bolger, Jenny Shipley and even Bill English.

“These latter two leaders have not been good and what we’re sensing as we move around Maoridom, as we do a lot, is that Maoridom would be very worried about a National government because they don’t want the momentum that is now there to settle these outstanding grievances slowed up at all,” Ms Clark says.

While the pace settlements are coming together may seem extremely fast, it is possible because of the detailed work that has gone in over the past eight years.

RAT ANSWER OPENS DOOR TO MORE QUESTIONS

A Landcare scientist says resolving the issue of when Aotearoa was first settled opens the door for a other valuable research.

Janet Wilmshurst led an international team which reexamined bones from the kiore or native rat, and found they were only about 700 years old, not 2000 years as earlier carbon dating had claimed.

That confirms the kiore arrived with the first Polynesian migrants, as the date of 1280 or thereabout fits in with whakapapa and with evidence of man-made environmental change about that time.

Dr Wilmshurst says debate about settlement dates has also been going on in other eastern Polynesian islands like Hawaii, Rapanui, French Polynesia and the Cook Islands.

“If this approach could equally be applied to those islands and we get really precise dates of when people arrived, then you can start to piece together whether this last migration from west Polynesia to east Polynesia a really rapid affair and which islands were colonised first so I think it’s quite exciting really from that perspective,” Dr Wilmshurst says.

Having a more precise age can help scientists working on questions about rates of extinction and cultural development.

HARAKEKE WEAVES TICKET TO ISLANDS

Harakeke has given a Ngati Kahungunu fibre artist a ticket to his mother’s homeland.

Troy Gardiner, a teacher of Maori language and contemporary Maori arts at Taikura Rudolf Steiner School in Hastings, is weaving pieces to take to the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts, in Pago Pago, American Samoa in July.

He’ll be part of a 120-strong New Zealand delegation.

He says in the 15 plus years he’s been working with flax, he’s seen some major changes in the way the craft has evolved.

“It used to be just kete and korowai and different forms of kakahu but now people look at the artistic sphere. Like it’s artistic to do other things like kete, but it’s good to bring it into the contemporary world because it makes it more tangible for people instead of just being this Maori thing that people do,” Mr Gardiner says.

A lot of his work is inspired by things he saw growing up in the houses of his mother’s Samoan family.

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