Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Private prisons unpalatable for Parekura

Labour is not supporting the idea of Maori running privatised prisons.

Maori affairs spokesperson Parekura Horomia says Associate Minister of Corrections Pita Sharples’ support for Maori running prisons could result in a real debacle.

“I am quite sceptical about the notion our tikanga and all those overviews can placate a lot of the trouble we have got and I thought the Minister of Maori Affairs would be a lot more worried about those issues that are relevant to keeping our people out of prison rather than focusing on what happens in prison and that our people run them,” Mr Horomia says.

The Government has tabled legislation in parliament paving the way for contracting out the management of prisons to the private sector.


Maori party co leader Tariana Turia says Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira is unwise to suggest the Prime Minister meet with two men charged with assaulting him at Waitangi.

Mr Harawira told Waatea News he would try to arrange the meeting for next week.

Mrs Turia says while the Maori Party stands by the right of its MPs to support their whanau, it can get complicated because members of Parliament are not meant to interfere with the judicial process or to comment on it.

“The fact of it is that John Key was not the one who made the complaint to the police. The police took this action based on what happened up at Waitangi. So to draw the Prime Minister into the debate I think was unwise,” Mrs Turia says.


The director of this year’s ASB Polyfest says its heartening to see young Maori and Pacific Islanders embracing their cultures.

The four-day festival is in its 34th year, and starts at the Manukau Sportsbowl today with 59 Auckland Secondary Schools taking part, performing in 182 cultural groups.

Tania Karauria says the festival offered a chance for Maori and Pacific Islanders to showcase more than just their singing and dancing.

“It’s also about the total development of our young people and other skills that they bring on board like the self discipline, like the commitment and loyalty and the learning that goes behind each song, each waiata. It’s a winning event for our young people to be able to display themselves at their best,” Ms Karauria says.

More than 8500 students from Auckland secondary schools will take part.


National and its partner in Government the Maori Party are at odds over immigration.

Co-leader Tariana Turia us expressing concern about a plan to allow more foreigners into the country.

Yesterday Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman said New Zealand will not follow Australia's lead in cutting immigration, but instead make it easier for business and investor migrants to come here.

He says English language requirements will be lowered and minimum investments would be brought to "more realistic levels".

Mrs Turia says such a move does not fit with Maori party policy.

“We think the numbers coming in are too great and while the Government says they are looking for a particular type of skill in migrants coming in, it would seem in a recession that there would still be concern about the kind of migrants we do let into the country,” she says.

Mrs Turia says it is not appropriate at this time to invite more and more people to come to New Zealand and particularly on the basis that they have money.


Labour leader Phil Goff has launched a stinging attack on the Maori Party for standing by silently while the government takes away worker and Maori rights with ACC reforms.

Phil Goff says the Maori Party did not speak up about the removal of former ACC chairman Ross Wilson, who he says stood between the Government and privatising ACC.

He says Government is also planning to cut the eligibility of 400,000 seasonal workers to ACC.

“A very large percentage of those seasonal workers, including freezing workers, are Maori workers. Where is the Maori Party in protesting what is happening to ACC, what happened to Ross Wilson, what is happening to the rights of workers. I hope the Maori Party reconsiders their position. They know that the people the represent are the same people that Labour represents. They know those rights are important. They can’t stand by silent while those rights are undermined and taken away,” Mr Goff says.


A group of Papakura High School students are learning the hunting and gathering ways of their Maori ancestors as part of a marae catering course.

Gaynor Matthews, the head of hospitality, says 20 students in the pilot course are looking at the skills, knowledge and tikanga required to cook traditional food in a wharekai, including kai preservation, harvesting routines and food safety.

“We took all our students eeling and a lot had never done that kind of thing before and then we showed them how to gut them and fillet them and smoke them and eat them, create dishes with the eel along with watercress we gathered at the river as well so these were thing the students had never done or experienced,” Ms Matthews says.

The students are preparing for the National Junior Hospitality Competition next month, using the Maori kai recipes and methods they have learnt.


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