Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, December 15, 2008

Party told it must fight for crumbs

A Maori Party MP says National has made it clear support for poorer New Zealanders isn't on its agenda.

Hone Harawira says the Government's tax cuts do nothing for 80 percent of Maori in his electorate.

The Maori Party's election policies included a call for the first $25,000 of income to be untaxed, and it subsequently called for a Christmas bonus for the poor to be part of an economic stimulus package.

Mr Harawira says his party didn't see National's package coming.

“There'd been some good korero during the discussions about the possibility of some of the things that we wanted to do being included but Bill English came up to me and said ‘Look, if those are the sorts of things you really want you buggers are going to have to fight for them and fight hard,’ and I said ‘Fair enough, expect us to be coming right back at you in the new year,’” Mr Harawira says.

He says the Maori party would have opposed the tax cuts if it wasn't bound by its confidence and supply deal.


The Green's Maori spokesperson says water rights are likely to become the next major treaty battle.

Iwi leaders expressed their concern over water rights and the proposed review of the Resource Management Act when they met with Prime Minister John Key yesterday at Pukawa.

Meteria Turiei says it's an issue that indigenous peoples around the world have had to fight, and Maori may learn from their example.

But it's likely to boil down to what can be wrung out of the nation's founding document.

“We have the Treaty of Waitangi here. We have a strong legal, political and moral basis for making the argument that our tikanga over water should take precedence, and I think not withstanding other international or indigenous examples, we’ll have to fight this on our own grounds as well,” Ms Turei says.


Sport and Recreation New Zealand is asking Maori to contribute to its strategy development.

Karla Matua, the kaiwhakahaere for Counties Manukau Sport, says SPARC's hui tomorrow in Manurewa is a chance for community groups and Maori working in the sporting sector to push for a fair share of resources.

She says there are barriers to Maori participation in many sports which need to come down.

“They are looking to develop a five to 10 year national strategy and part of that was factoring in the needs not only of our Maori sports but our athletes, coaches, supporters, to ensure that flavour is in there and our needs are being catered for.” Ms Matua says.

The hui starts at 12.30 at the Matariki Community centre in Clendon.


The Maori Party's education spokesperson says he was powerless to stop a law doubling the fines on the parents of truants.

Te Ururoa Flavell says the Education (National Standards) Amendment Bill fails to address the causes of truancy, an activity where Maori are disproportionately represented in statistics.

The Maori Party voted for the bill when it was passed under urgency on Saturday, after failing to split out the truancy section.

He says parents could be charged even if they were unaware their child has been wagging.

“It may well be that they get hit with some fines because of the actions of their children rather than themselves so a few difficulties there. Splitting the bill off to one side meant that we could have debated that as a separate issue but it didn’t pass so that was the end of it,” Mr Flavell says.

He says many of those in line for increased fines will already be doing it tough.


There's a call for a new court to rule on Treaty of Waitangi disputes.

It comes in a book on The Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand's Law and Constitution by Matthew Palmer.

The former dean of Victoria University's law school says over the past 30 years the courts and the Waitangi Tribunal have done a good job of interpreting the treaty in a modern context, even though its legal status is in many cases incoherent.

He says what has been learned is the primary responsibility for interpreting or applying the treaty, lies with the treaty partners, Maori and the Crown, but disputes will arise.

“Experience shows that it can be useful for both parties to have if you like a safety net, an independent institution which is able to rule with authority where the parties to a particular dispute are getting off track when they’re perhaps not acting so consistently with the treaty,” Professor Palmer says

He says a two-member court drawn from the Waitangi Tribunal and the High Court would have the experience and mana needed to to the job.


Jason Wynard is top of the Maori sporting tree.

The Ngati Manu axeman took top honours at the national Maori sports awards in Rotorua over the weekend.

Organiser Dick Garret says it was another successful year for Maori athletes, with 16 world champions acknowledged alongside umpires, administrators and emerging talent.

He says Wynard is one of the quiet achievers on the international sports stage.

“Yeah he's a humble man but what an athlete. Over 100 titles and world records, a lot of those world records still standing, and I think thoroughly deserved. He’s truly a role model throughout the world,” Mr Garrett says.

Lisa Tamati from Te Atiawa won the senior women's section for her run through Death Valley.

Former Kiwi captain Reuben Wiki won the senior men's category, which his former Warriors club mate, fullback Kevin Locke from Tainui, was named junior sportsman of the year, and rower Paparangi Hipango from Whanganui was top junior sportswoman


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