Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, November 07, 2008

Key confident going to polls

It's been a steep learning curve, but John Key feels he's now got a handle on the complexity of Maori issues ahead of this Saturday's election.

The leader of the National Party admits he wasn't overly familiar with te ao Maori before he took on the role... but he believes Maori appreciate that he's been making an effort.

“Some of the aspects have been quite new to me but it’s been a great opportunity to learn and to be part of it an in my experience Maori people are very gracious and they forgive you if you make mistakes and they enjoy a good laugh,” Mr Key says.

He believes there is a mood for change in New Zealand.


However the Maori Affairs Minister believes Maori in particular should be wary of change which could affect Kiwisaver.

Parekura Horomia says Kiwisaver will be extremely important for Maori into the future.

Labour is also guaranteeing that superannuation will not fall below the 66 percent of the average income.

National has said it will keep Kiwisaver if elected but in an amended form.


A Maori business leader says that Maori skill levels need to be raised as a step towards building Maori business capacity.

Federation of Maori Authorities chief executive Paul Morgan will be making a call for skills raising at the start of FOMA's 21st annual general meeting and economic conference in Rotorua today.

“We're talking the skills of the people, their capability and their capacity and that starts right down from our focus on education with young people coming through into tertiary education and vocational training. How they’re getting opportunities to work in various industries. A lot of our members are now significant employers.

Mr Morgan says around 350 members of the federation are scheduled to attend a last supper-type dinner of Maori politicians and FOMA members tomorrow evening before Saturday's elections.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says the party's focus is on the Hauraki Waikato and Tai Tonga electorates during the campaign wind up.

Dr Sharples says the party is pouring support behind Hauraki Waikato candidate Angeline Greensill and Te Tai Tonga hopeful Rahui Katene in its bid for a clean sweep of all 7 Maori seats.

“Hone's down in Christchurch now with Rahui. I join Rahui tomorrow when Hone comes back up to Hamilton to be with Angeline. We’ve concentrated our last two weeks, Hone and I, on those two electorates, giving our time to support those candidates,” Dr Sharples says.

The Maori Party is looking to strengthen Maori capacity in Government and is looking at every issue seriously.

Maori Television's Kowhiri 08' poll shows the Hauraki Waikato region Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta polling at 56 per cent ahead of Angeline Greensill on 43 per cent.


National leader John Key has acknowledged the special place of Maori as tangata whenua in New Zealand in the run up to the election.

He says some aspects of Maoridom have been quite new to him but he has thoroughly enjoyed learning things Maori in his role as leader of the opposition.

His experience Maori people are very gracious and forgiving of mistakes and he has appreciated this.


The head of the Federation of Maori Authorities is urging Maori to think creatively about developing business and becoming independent.

Paul Morgan says building sustainable organisations is the theme of FOMA's annual general meeting and economic conference being attended by 350 members over the weekend in Rotorua.

“There is a very big need for treaty settlement bodies and traditional bodes, that is trusts and incorporations, to actually develop organisations with internal capacity and that can be anything from finance and administration, the annual reporting, audit. There’s a lot of function organisations need that require an enormous amount of duplications and we are saying to members there has got to be a smarter way to do it,” Mr Morgan says.

Presentations include Developing Human Potential by Maori business leader Dr Ngatata Love and a Global and Domestic Economic Overview by Dr Ganesh Nana from the New Zealand Institute for Economic Development.


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