Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Party in trap of own making

Labour leader Phil Goff says it's too late for the Maori Party to grumble about actions taken by the National government which have a negative impact on Maori.

Maori Party MPs have told Waatea News they would have voted against the government's tax changes and the increased fines for parents of truants, and the party did vote against the bill allowing small businesses to fire employees at will in their first three months.

Mr Goff says Maori there was a good reason why the majority of Maori voters gave their party votes to Labour.

“They know what the National Party has always done in office. They know the National Party doesn’t stand for the social and economic needs to the majority of the Maori electorate. They know that Labour has. They know that Labour has delivered. But the Maori Party ignored all of that, said they wd take the cars and the jobs and the salaries even though they must have known the National Party would be true to form in government and do this sort of thing that really hurts Maori people on bread and butter issues,” Mr Goff says.

He says the Maori Party is stuck with its confidence and supply agreement for the next three years.

STATE SURVEILLANCE HAS LONG TRADITION WITH MAORI

A lawyer specialising in Maori rights issues says Maori have been under surveillance by the state since 1840.

The police Special Investigation Group has been outed for hiring a Christchurch activist to spy on a range of peace, environment and animal rights groups.

Moana Jackson says police informants infiltrated Maori protest movements when they emerged in the 1970s, and such groups expect to be monitored.

He says the police seem to have extended the practice to other activist communities.

“The real danger that I think has arisen in the last year or so is that it seems that any group that may wish to critique, criticise or protest against policies of the Crown is now almost automatically put under surveillance,” Mr Jackson says.

He says the flaws in the police policy are shown up by last year's so called Tuhoe terrorist arrests, which involved thousands of hours of surveillance.

LOBBYING GAVE PLAYERS CHANCE TO SHINE WAY INTO TOP TEAM

Maori are being urged to keep pushing for opportunities for their players to perform at the highest level.

Sports commentator Ken Laban says the weekend's Maori sports awards were a chance to shine the light on many players who get overlooked in the media.

He says an increasing push in national sporting bodies for representative Maori teams to be given first class opposition is paying dividends.

“If New Zealand Maori hadn’t campaigned as heavily as they did to replace New Zealand A in the Pacific Nations (championship), do you think Piri Weepu and Scott Waldron and Jose Gear and Foss Filipo and Jason Eaton, all of whom appeared at various stages during the New Zealand Maori campaign this year, would have been on the All Black tour. The answer to that is probably no,” Mr Laban says.

The Maori rugby team has as yet no games scheduled for next year.

WARNINGS TO KEEP UP TREATY SETTLEMENT MOMENTUM

The Minister of Treaty Negotiations has been warned that the next 12 months are critical in maintaining the momentum of treaty settlements.
Briefing papers released today by the Minister, Chris Finlayson, show that the total spent on settlements will soon exceed the billion dollar mark.

The briefing says the workload in the Office of Treaty Settlements was almost 40 percent up on 2004, and the volume of settlements in negotiation in the past six months is 61 percent up on the previous full year.

That is putting a huge workload on everyone in the sector, particularly in the preparation of deeds of settlement, which is the most resource intensive phase of settlement.

The likely total to be spent on settlements in the next couple of years was withheld to protect the Crown’s commercial position in negotiations.

However, it did say the relatively mechanisms in the Ngai Tahu and Tainui settlements, which guarantee those iwi 17 percent each of the total spent on historic treaty settlements, is likely to kick in in 2011 or 2012.

NGATI WHATUA HOPING HUI COULD REVIVE TALKS

Meanwhile, one of the negotiators for claims to central Auckland is hoping for movement over the next year.

Grant Hawke from Ngati Whatua Ki Orakei says its been over two years since an agreement in principle was signed by the Crown and the late Sir Hugh Kawharu.

Challenges by overlapping Hauraki and Tainui claimants and a critical Waitangi Tribunal report meant talks stopped while a process was developed to engage with the other claimants.

Mr Hawke has already met with the new Minister of Treaty Negotiations, and is confident a resolution is not far off.

“We're quite comfortable with that, that we can get on with any of the ministers in the cabinet about this, and I hope that our whanaunga in Hauraki and Waikato, that we can get together and work this out from a taha Maori point off view. It’s very important for us to move that and work towards a result,” Mr Hawke says.

TAURUA RECOGNISED AS COUNTRY’S TOP COACH

The coach of the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic netball team is chuffed at being recognised as the country's top Maori coach.

Noelene Taurua says recognition at the annual Maori sports awards was some consolation for missing out to the Sydney Swifts in the final of the inaugural ANZ championships, and the team needs to prove itself better next year.

She says it wasn't an award she aimed for.

Noelene Taurua says the job of a coach is to make sure a team gels, whatever the level of individual players.

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