Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, September 01, 2008

Kelvin Davis rockets up party list

Some Maori MPs and candidates have fared well on Labour’s list, but others will have to win an electorate to stay in.

Labour is likely to win between 20 and 24 electorates, with questions over all three of its remaining Maori seats.

As a Labour front-bencher, Maori Affairs minister Parekura Horomia is coming back to the capital whether or not he holds Ikaroa Rawhiti, where broadcaster Derek Fox is challenging strongly.

But at number 40, Te Tai Tonga MP Mahara Okeroa has fend off the Maori Party’s Rahui Katene to keep his MP’s salary.

Nanaia Mahuta has proved a competent minister, and she’s been rewarded with the number 10 slot if she can’t keep Angeline Greensill out of the Waikato-Hauraki seat.

Shane Jones is unlikely to topple John Carter in Northland this time round, but at 15 he gets to stick around a bit longer.

Mita Ririnui lost Waiariki last election and has almost no chance of winning it back, and he hasn’t drawn attention to himself in his associate minister roles. But the party hierarchy believe he’s critical to winning the Ratana vote, so he’s at number 23.

The big winner though is Tai Tokerau candidate Kelvin Davis.

It will be a tough ask to beat Hone Harawira this time round, but on current polling he could be the last in the door through the party vote … and that gets him three years as a list mp to build up name recognition and act as if he was the electorate MP.

But at 42 and 43, Dave Hereora and Luisa Wall are heading back to civvy street – unless Wall pulls off the upset of the election and ousts the hugely popular Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples in Tamaki Makaurau.


The Waitangi Tribunal is gearing up for a last minute rush of Treaty claims, with the window for lodging historic claims closing at midnight tonight.

Angela Pointon, the acting registrar of the Waitangi Tribunal, says although they expected a last minute flurry they've been surprised by the sheer number of individuals, whanau, hapu and even iwi putting paperwork through.

“We have received about 500 claims in the month of August. That’s compared with last year, when we would have got five to 10 claims. So a great deal more than usual,” Ms Pointon says.

The tribunal will have staff on until midnight to deal with email and faxed claims.


Maori Party co - leader Pita Sharples says that while the party opposed the free trade agreement with China it does not mean that they do not see a need to embrace Chinese people and their culture.

Dr Sharples who recently attended the induction of a new consul general for China says it would be stupid not to work with other minority groups such as the Chinese.

“The Maori Party is till not happy about the Free Trade Agreement and its timing on various issues that are coming, the dropping of subsidies for different products, but at the end of the day they are part of our New Zealand community and we have to be involved,” Dr Sharples says.


The Waitangi tribunal is confident it can handle the hundreds of claims lodged by Maori in advance of today's cutoff date.

Angela Pointon, the acting registrar, says despite a last minute flurry of claims... over 500 in August alone... the tribunal will methodically work their way through the cases before them.

There's no legislative pressure to hear or settle the claims at a particular pace.

“The tribunal runs a district inquiry programme so claims are heard by the district they relate to and most of those inquiries have been done. There’s a few districts to go and a few districts under way. At the end of those the tribunal will reassess where it’s at with the claims, and perhaps do generic claims of the mop up where they look at all the claims that haven’t been heard and inquired into, so there’s no deadline on that,” Ms Pointon.

The deadline for lodging historic Treaty claims is midnight tonight, and the tribunal will have staff on to monitor the faxes.


The National Party Mana Electorate candidate has come out in defence of fellow National MP Georgina Te Heu Heu saying her placing on the party list shows her importance.

Georgina Te Heu Heu is placed at 17 as a list MP, two places higher than in the last election.

Green Party MP Metiria Turei criticised the placing of National's co-Maori Affairs spokesperson saying her caucus were not treating her fairly.

However Hekia Parata, who is listed at 36, says as the only Maori woman in the top 20, Georgina is in a prime place.

“First of all it’s an improvement on where Georgie was ranked at the last list and I think really on our current polling she’s in the top 20 and that’s not to be sniffed at and I think it reflects the regard she’s held by the party so I’m very proud she’s in our top 20,” Ms Parata says.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples took off his parliamentary duty cap to take part in a traditional weaponry grading over the weekend.

The former Te Kura o Hoani Waititi Principal and Te Roopu Manutaki leader helped grade around 130 Taiaha-welding men over the two days.

Te Whare Tu Taua O Aotearoa teaches the art of taiaha which Sharples describes as the Maori version of Samurai.

There are eight levels to the art and all aspects, not just weaponry, are taught.

“It's quite a comprehensive programme. They’re required to learn language. They’re required to learn customs. They’re required to learn their own history about their whakapapa. It’s all positive. And they learn the restraints because you can get a whack in mau rakau and you’ve got to learn this is about respect for each other and control of your feelings,” Dr Sharples says.

Te Whare Tu Taua has around 2000 students in Aotearoa, Hawaii and Australia.


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