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 09, 2008

Tainui power play heads to court

A power struggle appears to be going on within Tainui over restructuring of the tribe’s governing bodies.

Tom Roa, the chair of the tribal parliament Te Kauhanganui has sought an injunction in the High Court at Hamilton to stop restructuring plans announced last week by Tainui executive chair Tukoroirangi Morgan.

Mr Roa, one of Tainui's most respected leaders, has written to the 200 Te Kauhanganui members he was locked out of meetings, the board had overstepped its authority, and it has treated the parliament with distain.

Neither Mr Morgan nor Mr Roa are available for comment.


Maori indigenous rights lawyer Moana Jackson says New Zealand is one of two countries out on a limb by their refusal to sign up to the declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.

The deposed Labour Government ignored pressure to be part of the international convention aimed at safeguarding the rights of indigenous communities, that has been 20 years in the making.

Mr Jackson says the rash of treaty settlements prior to the election were seen by Maori as a desperate attempt to win Maori favour by a party on the wane.

He says by refusing to acknowledge the international protocols New Zealand is gaining publicity, but for the wrong reasons.

“The incoming president of the United States, Barack Obama, has said he will sign up to it, so that just leaves New Zealand and Canada as the last two governments in the world opposing that international standard of indigenous human rights,” Mr Jackson says.


A big Maori with a big voice has been singled out as the best by one of New Zealand’s most celebrated Maori entertainers.

Sir Howard Morrison is back in the spotlight following the first of a threepart series on Maori television that looks at his life, growing up in Ruatahuna, the success of the quartet that bore his name, and his works for charity both before and after his knighthood.

The Rotorua based entertainer who is now in his seventies says New Zealand has produced some wonderful balladeers over the years.

He says Toni Williams, Frankie Stevens, John Rowles and Eddie Lowe are all super talents, but there was none better than Ricky May ,who forged a huge career across the Tasman in the 60's and 70's and went on the be regarded as the best jazz singer in Australia.

“Ricky May was the best this country has produced, the best vocalist, the best stylist, the best purveyor of music, almost like Sammy Davis Junior,” Sir Morrison says.


One of the country's leading kidney specialists says Maori are much more likely to donate kidneys during life than having family donate them once they are dead.

Kidney Health New Zealand medical director Kelvin Lynn says while he is cautious about attributing this to spiritual values it is clear that Maori are more comfortable about donating kidney while alive.

“The benefits I’ve seen for transplantation are such that one would have to have a very strong counter argument to say this wasn’t a good thing to do, and I think most people do accept that the benefits of transplantation are excellent.

“If becoming a donor means you come in conflict with some of your other values, that’s a really good thing to talk about with people you trust and understand your viewpoint. I think that’s the way to progress, by open discussions within communities without any prejudice,” Dr Lynn says.

There is a close link between diabetes and kidney disease and with Maori having a high incidence of diabetes it is important Maori talk about what can be done to help people who need kidney transplants.


A conversation on Radio Waatea was the unexpected catalyst for a prominent Maori sportsman of yesteryear to be inducted into the Maori sports hall of fame this weekend.

Dick Garret, the organiser of the 18th annual Maori sports awards in Rotorua on Saturday night, says the korero about 1930's sportsman, John Hoani McDonald was heard on the internet by his nephew in London.

He made contact soon after and sent a raft of information on his uncle’s career, which will be acknowledged at the awards, a highlight of the Maori sports calendar.

“This inductee represented New Zealand in the rowing at the Empire Games, winning a gold and silver, in 1932 at the LA Olympics, and was also the flag bearer for New Zealand. He played Maori All Blacks. He then went with Gerge Nepia and Harrison and Smith to play professional League in England, was a top box, a top billiards player and the list goes on,” Mr Garret says.


Two Maori entertainers who have made a name for themselves by putting a Maori twist on old classsics are celebrating the launch of their 4th album.

Paretito Ruha and Jamie Toko are Kotuku, whose first three albums have sold over 10 thousand copies.

Jamie Toko says their new collection, Unforgettable, which includes classics like Baby blue, Someday we'll be together and Spanish eyes , was made as a result of pressure from audience members who want a recording of the covers the duo sing at gigs.


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