Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Dangerous road bypassed

December 18 Afternoon bulletins

Waikato Maori have an old proverb, he piko, he taniwha, there is a tainiwha at each bend of the Waikato river.

In a roading sense, those taniwha now have a few less bends to hide around... with the opening of a new stretch of state highway on a notorious stretch of road at Mangatawhiri between Auckland and Thames.

Toko Pompey, the Tainui Kaumatua who blessed the new stretch of road, says the new expressway cuts out the dangerous bends that over the years have been the scene of hundreds of accidents, many of them fatal.

He says he's personally aware of eight fatalities, including singer Missy Teka.

The old winding road was the scene of hundred of crashes... and at least 66 deaths.

RARAWA EYES TREELORD MODEL IN FOREST GRAB

The deal struck with between the previous government and central North Island iwi just prior to the election is being used as a template to sort out ownership issues in the far north.

Haami Piripi, the chair of Te Runanga o Te Rarawa says there is growing momentum to have their 30 year old Waitangi Tribunal claims resolved including recognition of their kaitiakitanga over 90 mile beach.

Haami Piripi says there is a new consensus among the five tribes of the far north that make up Muriwhenua.

POLICY SOURCE OF OFFICE OF TREATY SETTLEMENTS PROBLEM

The Greens say that while they support shifting the Office of Treaty Settlements from Justice to the Prime Ministers department it won’t in itself solve settlement policy issues.

Maori affairs spokesperson Meteria Turei says the move suggested by Prime Minister John Key is a wise one giving the Crown rangitira status through the prime minister but more is needed in the policy area to fix up the settlement process.

WATER FIGHT COULD HAVE INTERNATIONAL INPUT

Maori are pooling information with indigenous groups from Canada, the US and South America to develop strategies to protect their interests in what is being seen as a looming battle over water.

Maori human rights lawyer Moana Jackson says although the previous government shied away from privatising water, their plan to create tradable rights would have had the same effect.

Moana Jackson says he would hate to see the situation in New Zealand which exists in other countries where multi-national water companies are selling water back to indigenous people once they have private rights to it.

KEY SAYS MAORI IMPORTANT STAKEHOLDER IN WATER DEBATE

However the Prime Minister says there is no question that Maori are an important stakeholder in the allocation of water and will be closely involved in decisions which need to be looked into around water ownership and allocation.

John Key has responded to Maori rights lawyers Moana Jackson’s concern that water could be commodified with Maori missing out.

“No I think that’s extremely unlikely. The position is that water has largely been used on a first come, first served basis and what’s that’s meant is that economically around the country it hasn’t always been put to the best use. There’s a range of issues there, and there’s no question Maori are a significant stakeholder,” Mr Key says.

The ownership of water is a complex issue needing to be debated but at the end of the day the government will ensure the process is fair.

MAORI LEFT OUT OF RUGBY CALENDAR

A former Maori all black says he's disgusted the Maori squad have not been allocated any fixtures in next year’s rugby calendar.

Dennis Hansen represented Maori in the early 1960's and went on the become a selector for Auckland Maori rugby.

He says the Maori All Blacks is a prominent launch pad into higher honours, as was proven this year by Piri Weepu, Hosea Gear, Jason Eaton, Ross Filipo and Steve Waldrom.

Dennis Hansen says consideration should be given to the establishment of a Maori rugby regime devoid of the NZRFU.

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