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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Turia spurns Greens

The Maori Party isn't giving up its party vote to help the Greens.

Co-leader Tariana Turia has spurned a feeler from the Jeanette Fitzsimons that Maori voters be encouraged to party vote Green - perhaps in exchange for the Greens not contesting the Maori seats.

She says the Maori Party will run a vigorous two tick campaign as a way to fend off criticism that its parliamentary representation is disproportionate to its wider electoral support.

“We still want the party vote because we don’t want the overhang in Parliament either. And so we are saying to our people and to all of those other people who support us, ‘you can’t support two masters. You need to give us both your votes so we can do the very best job we can,’” Mrs Turia says.

If the Maori Party's party vote doesn't match its electorate success, there could be as many as four or five estra seats in the next Parliament.

EXTREME DOLPHIN SANCTUARY WELCOMED

A Maori environmentalist is backing the government’s radical response to the threat to Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins.

Over the objections of commercial fishers and many coastal communities, Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton has created dolphin sanctuaries in Southland, Marlborough and the North Island west coast from Aotea to Kaipara Harbours.

It includes extending a set net ban out to seven nautical miles.
Bevan Tipene Matua, the director of research and development at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, says with only about 100 Maui’s dolphins left, extreme measures are called for.

“I know this is probably hard for the commercial sector to take businesses recover, people are not going to dies a a result of the impact on a business, but once a species is gone, it’s gone for ever, so it might seem radical, but the situation is extreme,” he says.

MAORI RUGBY COULD REVIVE SEAL FOR GAME

There's hope the Maori squad's performance over the next six weeks will bring some pride back for rugby fans.

The team plays Tonga on Saturday at North Harbour in the first round of the IRB Pacific Nations Cup, which also involves Manu Samoa, Fiji, Japan and Australia A.

Commentator Ken Laban says many fans are still bitter about the All Blacks' failure at last year's World Cup, the reappointment of Graeme Henry as coach and the loss of Robbie Deans to Australia.

He says the Donny Stevenson-coached squad should play the style of rugby needed to brighten their spirits.

“There's so much frustration about New Zealand rugby, it needs the New Zealand Maori team to get out on park, play the sort of footy in the six nations Pacific Cup we know they can, and win the hearts back of some of the public,” Mr Laban says.

The captain's job for the Maori squad will be shared by Tamati Ellison from Ngati Porou and Liam Messam from Ngai Tuhoe.

KIORE EVIDENCE CLARIFIED TO CONFORM WITH OTHER DATA

A fresh look at the evidence has put paid to theories than anyone arrived on Aotearoa before Maori.

A team led by Janet Wilmshurst from Landcare Research reexamined bones of the kiore or native rat, which earlier researchers had said were more than 2000 years old.

Dr Wilmshurst says the new carbon dating found they were about 700 years old ... which confirms other evidence that humans ... and their rat passengers ... arrived around 1300 AD.

She says the find should end fanciful speculation.

“People used those old rat bone dates to support their ideas that maybe Maori weren’t the first people to discover New Zealand, that other transient people had discovered it a long time ago, but this really confirms the origins of the colonists were in fact Maori and not some other group of people which was always possible if you accepted those old rat bone dates,” Dr Wilmshurst says.

She says the research methodology should allow a comprehensive picture to be built up on the sequence and pace of Polynesian migration.

PETERS NO LAPDOG SAYS HARAWIRA

The Maori Party says Winston Peters may have pointed the way for post election negotiations.

The party expects to win all seven Maori seats in this year's election, and it is already planning on how it may exploit its numbers in the next parliament.

MP Hone Harawira says New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has shown it doesn't need to go into a coalition to be effective.

“He has certainly suggested a new way of handling arrangements as a partner without being fully in coalition like Jim Anderton - he’s just a just a lapdog of Labour,” Mr Harawira says.

The Maori Party says is will campaign vigorously for both the electorate an party votes, ending hopes of a pre-election support deal with the Greens.

WORKPLACE SONG WINS AWARD

A Ngati Manuhiri songwriter's concern for workplace safety has won her a leg up in the music industry.

Hokimaianahera Roseur won the Write your Rights competition run by Niu FM and the Department of Labour.

The song, which has been remixed at Dawn Raid studio, is being sent out to secondary schools to encourage rangatahi to take care when they enter the workforce.

She says young people don't realise how quickly things can go wrong on the job, and she wrote the song out of worry for her partner going to work every day.

Hokimaianahera Roseur picked up her prize at the Pacific Music Awards in Auckland over the weekend.

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