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Friday, January 02, 2009

Hope yet for Maori All Blacks

Bulletins December 22

The Maori delegate on the New Zealand Rugby Union Paul Quinn says it is not definite that the Maori All Blacks will not be playing any games next year.

A media release by the union last week sparked outrage across Maoridom when it announced that no games had been arranged for the Maori All Blacks in 2009.

However Paul Quinn, who entered parliament this year as a National list MP, says although the Maori All Blacks have not been scheduled to play in the Pacific Nations competition next year, the NZRFU board has asked management to pursue options.

He says the New Zealand Maori team remains one of the union's high performance teams alongside the All Blacks and the New Zealand Juniors.


The Mayor of Manukau Len Brown says he received a positive response to his call for a greater government commitment to early childhood education when he meet with Prime Minister John Key in Wellington last week.

Len Brown says another 20 to 30 pre-school facilities are needed in South Auckland particularly for Maori and Pacific Island kids.

Only 78 percent of Maori children and 79 percent of Pacific Island children in the region are attending pre-school, compared with 95 percent for every other group.

He says the Prime Minister also made all the right noises when he sought commitment for a second campus to be set up by AUT in Hyland Park within five years.


One casualty of the National-Act-Maori Party coalition may be Pita Sharples' proud record at Te Matatini.

The Minister of Maori Affairs has competed at every national kapa haka competition since it began in the early seventies.

The mau rakau... or taiaha expert... composes, tutors and performs with the West Auckland based roopu... Manutaki... who regularly make the top six... and took the top honours at Waitangi in 1990.

However his ministerial workload means the Maori Party co-leader may have to give next year's competition in Tauranga a miss... but he's been lobbying the current tutor, his son Paora, for a slot if the opportunity arises.


Hawkes Bay Maori locked in a battle over a proposed windfarm on their tupuna maunga says the latest attempt by the developer is an abuse of process.

Tania Hopmans from the Maunga Hararu Tangitu society says it will be a nervous wait over the festive season, as the Environment Court considers an application by lines company Unison to build a 34-turbine wind farm on the Te Wake range.

Ms Hopmans says two years ago the same company were denied rights to a 37 turbine wind farm, and to put objectors through another round of evidence over the past two weeks for a proposal with just three less turbines is an abuse of the Environment Court process.

She questions how many times a developer has a chance to get their proposals right.


Iwi at the top of the South Island are determined to continue fighting for Maori representation on the Tasman District Council despite rejection of their move to gain a say in local body decisions.

Barney Thomas who chairs Tiakina te Taiao which represents four of the six iwi in the Tasman district says this and the recent failure to put together a Memorandum of Understanding with the Council does not mean Maori are going to let the issue die.

“We ain’t going nowhere. We’re going to be here for the next 200 years plus. We wanrt to ensure our grandchildren don’t have to experience what we’re going through now and we’ll be there for the long haul,” Mr
Thomas says.

Iwi are major land owners in the Tasman district and a major contributor through rates also.


The architect who helped in the rebuild of the wharenui at Te Whetu O Te Rangi marae in Tauranga, says the hau kainga must take most of the credit for its reconstruction.

On Saturday hundreds were on hand at the Ngati pukenga marae in Welcome Bay, including Kingi Tuheitia and Tumu Te Heuheu, to mark the historic reopening after fire razed the old wharenui and ablution block two years ago.

Mike Barnes from Tuwharetoa ki Kawerau, was commissioned through his company Oceania Architecture to oversee the rebuild, and says Saturdays opening was the culmination of many people’s efforts.

Carvings were done by Des Kahotea, the project was managed by Rahera Ohia, with support by kaumatua and young people.


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