Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, November 03, 2008

Call for probe of prosecutor

Leading criminal lawyer Peter Williams is calling for a public prosecution service in the wake of fresh charges being laid against some of those arrested in last year's terrorism raids.

Crown prosecutor Ross Burns from Auckland firm Meredith Connell intends charging Tame Iti and four companions of participating in a criminal group.

They are part of a group of 17 who were committed to trial on arms charges in connections with camps run last year in te Urewera.

Mr Williams says there is no fresh evidence being offered, and the charges indicate a lack of control in how the Operation 8 case is being run.

“I really feel it’s time there was some kind of audit on these people who bring these charges, whether it be the so called Crown or the police or a combination, they have to be some type of control because it’s really getting right out of hand. I would say it’s vicious. It’s like a dog on a chain that’s had no proper care. It’s just vicious,” Mr Williams says.

He says there is little scrutiny of the Crown prosecutor's fees or how the money is being spent, and it's time the system was reformed.

RANGATAHI NOT IGNORED BY MAORI PARTY

Former Green MP Nandor Tanczos is commending the Maori Party for its focus on support from young voters.

He says the major political parties have erred by ignoring the youth vote in their policies or their party lineups.

Mr Tancos, who is now running treaty workshops, says that encourages political apathy among rangatahi.

“My firm belief is there’s only two parties that take this stuff seriously, and that’s the Maori Party and the Green Party. For the Maori Party the demographics are very clear. You’ve got a rising young population and so it’s crucial for the Maori Party to be engaging with those young people, talking to them and representing them,” he says.

Mr Tanczos says voting is a good step towards effecting social change.

SOUTHERN SCHOLARS GET POUNAMU AWARDS

Thirtynine young Maori scholars from the South Island had an extra spring in their step today as recipients of Mana Pounamu young achievers awards.

They received pounamu and certificates at a ceremony in Dunedin on Friday night.

Pearl Barron manages the Maori centre at Otago University, which sponsors the awards along with Ngai Tahu Development Incorporation and three local runanga.

She says it's a way to acknowledge the extra effort made by Maori students in the region, and it recognises the contribution made to education by Ngai Tahu elder Alva Kapa, who died seven years ago.

Award winners were nominated by their schools.

FOX REJECTS NOTION LABOUR, NATIONAL DIFFERENT FOR MAORI

The Maori Party's Ikaroa-Rawhiti candidate says there's no proof Maori would be better off under Labour than National.

In a debate on iwi radio this morning with Labour incumbent Parekura Horomia, Derek Fox said Labour is ignoring the poor in favour of benefits for the middle class.

He says Maori can see no benefit from their historic ties to Labour.

“We've just had 10 years of the best economic times we’ve had in this country. Our people are still three times as unemployed as Pakeha. The gap between what a Maori worker gets had increased under Labour. It’s gone from $119 a week, the gap, to $270,” Mr Fox said.

“But we’ve lifted the minimum wage eight times and we’ve got rid of the youth minimum wage, that’s what we did Derek,” said Mr Horomia.

SCHOOL SPEND-UP PROMISED

Meanwhile, National's Maori affairs spokesperson says kura kaupapa will benefit from a half billion dollar boost in school buildings.

The money would come out of the $8 billion spend on infrastructure the party is promising over the next three years to stimulate the economy.

Tau Henare says the funding would naturally include the needs of total immersion schools.

POLICIES IGNORE WELFARE SIDE OF SPORTING EFFORT

The organiser of the Maori Sports Awards wants to know why the political parties are ignoring the power of sport.

Dick Garret says it's a way to invest in youth at a time when they are most vulnerable ... but despite the positive spin offs for society, there are no policies on offer.

He says there is too much concentration on elite athletes, rather than supporting grass roots sporting activities which lead to healthy lifestyles and behaviours.

ATAARANGI METHOD STILL EFFECTIVE FOR LEARNING AND LIFE

One of the principal advocates for Te Ataarangi in Tairawhiti says the rakau method remains one of the best ways to teach te reo Maori.

Te Ataarangi's annual hui at Mangatu Marae near Gisborne this week was also the first Indigenous Language Revitalisation and Teaching Conference, attracting a bevy of international manuhiri.

Liz Hunken says the method of using rods to stimulate conversation remains popular because of the way it draws in a wide range of experiences.

She says students often become connected for life.

Next year's Te Ataarangi hui will be held in Australia, where the method has considerable support.

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