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Friday, November 21, 2008

Scrutiny promised from Labour team

Labour's shadow cabinet is promising close scrutiny of the new Government's delivery to Maori.

Front bench MPs Parekura Horomia and Nanaia Mahuta both have spokesperson roles on the portfolio, and the party's four other Maori MPs and former treaty negotiations minister Michael Cullen will also make contributions.

List MP Moana Mackey, who has shadow responsibilities for rural affairs, research and development and science and technology, says the Maori Party's alignment with National has put the issue front and centre.

“We're going to keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep delivering for Maori, we’re going to hold this new government to account to make sure that Maori aren’t the group that falls behind the fastest like they did the last time National was in government. That’s what you do in Opposition and we look forward to in three years time being back in government so we can continue out plans for all Maori,” Ms Mackey says.

During the campaign many Maori Party supporters told her they wanted to see a Labour-led government, so there is a sense of betrayal in the electorate.


The author of a long-shelved report on Maori in the criminal justice system says it's time to talk about re-establishing a Maori justice system based on traditional values and tikanga.

Moana Jackson is a speaker at a Justice Hui being hosted later this month by the Ngati Kahungunu.

In 1985 he was commissioned by the Justice Department to do a research project in which he advocated a system based on Maori values.

He says two decades on Maori make up half the prison population, so the current system clearly isn't working.

“One would hope that Pakeha lawyers and others might respond differently this time but in the end it’s important that our people get the chance to address the issue again because since that report 20 years ago there’s actually been no substantive research on the matter by Maori for Maori,” Mr Jackson says.

The hui at the end of the month will also include contributions from the Stolo Indian justice system in northern Saskatchewan, Canada, and Cherokee academic Andre Smith from the University of California on the impact of colonisation on indigenous legal systems.


Ukulele afficianados will gather in Auckland this weekend for the New Zealand Ukulele festival.

Musicians from Rarotonga, Australia and the United States, as well as the 1000-strong Auckland school group the Kiwileles, will take part in Saturday's free festival.

The instrument originated in the 19th century, when Hawaiian musicians made their own versions of the small guitars brought to the islands by the Portuguese.

Claire Linch from the Grey Lynn Garden Ukulele Band says she was introduced to the four string sound at an early age, and it’s stayed with her ever since.

The 2008 New Zealand Ukulele Festival is on tomorrow at Mount Smart Stadium.


Up to 1000 Ngai Tahu members are expected at Takahanga Marae in Kaikoura today for the South island tribe's hui a tau ... and for a celebration of the 10th anniversary of its claim settlement.

Among the guests will be King Tuheitia and a delegation from Tainui, to mark the close working relationship between the first two major iwi to sign off historic settlements.

Sir Tipene O'Regan, the chief negotiator, will give an historical account of the settlement.

Mark Solomon, the chair of the Ngai Tahu Runanga, says tribal equity now stands at $513 million and its business activities made almost $23 million to be invested in cultural, social, environmental, educational and runanga development programmes.


Former Labour cabinet minister John Tamihere says the focus needs to shift off the size of the Maori affairs budget.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples has been given the portfolio in the new government, with an associate role in education.

He's promised a budget review, to see where the money is going.
But Mr Tamihere says the $189 million Maori Affairs vote is just a small part of government spending.

“The day of looking at the money that Te Puni Kokiri gets as a benchmark of how successful Maori are in government is the wrong way to look. The big departments, Health, Welfare, Education, those departments and the lack of performance in our communities by them have been a huge burden onus, and that’s where about 80 percent of the total government vote is locked up,” Mr Tamihere says.

Parliament needs new thinking, which the Maori Party can provide.


Innovative business ideas have come to the fore at a Maori business awards ceremony.

More than 250 people gathered for a gala event at Auckland University to celebrate the contributions of the university's Maori alumni.

Manuka Henare, the director of the business school's Mira Szaszy Research Centre, says much of the focus was on Britomart developer Peter Cooper from Ngati Kuri and te Aupouri, who was judged business Maori leader of the year.

But there was also recognition of Fomona Capital, an investment advisory company set up by the Federation of Maori Authorities, the Maori Trustee and the Poutama Trust to help Maori into the export sector.

“So a number of Maori trusts are using Fomona Capital as kind of an investment clearing house for business development, so what we’ve recognized here is that while they are a new entity, they’ve only been going 15 months, they’re strategic thinking is extremely high level and very ambitious,” Dr Henare says.

Awards also went to Tuaropaki Trust, a half billion dollar central North Island farming, energy and telecommunications operation, and Pounamu Performing Arts, which as turned kapa haka into an international business.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scrutiny?? Leave it out Labour. Your party did such a crap job protecting Maori that you now claim to be our most staunchest defenders - what a cheek. Maori don 't need you trying to be our friends when it was your team who wanted to remove the Treaty of Waitangi fromschool curriculum, or who extinguished customary rights to the foreshores, forcing Maori to jump through legal hurdles to claim ancestral ties.

Now that you only have the 2 Ministers of Meat Pies representing Maori electorates, you say Labour will be watching?


You all should be ashamed of yourselves and how contradictory your shallow warnings are.

Isn't it nepotism that Ngati Porou and Tainui benefited from Government deals while the Twin Towers were Ministers? Elitism at its finest. Be glad once Labour lose all Maori seats.

1:34 PM  

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