Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, May 11, 2009

Super city hikoi seeking non-Maori support

Organisers of a hikoi opposing the Government’s plans for Auckland hopes non-Maori will march in support of tangata whenua.

Helen Te Hira, who is co-ordinating West Auckland marchers, says non-Maori including many recent immigrants recognise the need for Maori representation on an Auckland super city council.

She says some West Auckland community groups have asked for hikoi information to be translated into their own languages.

She says minotiry communities understand being marginalized. And realized in Maori won’t have a say in the super city, they won’t either.

Helen Te Hira says the hikoi date of May 25 also marks 21 years since the end of the Bastion Point occupation.

HARAWIRA SAYS MAINSTREAM PARTIES ‘FAILED REGIMES’

Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira says the record of New Zealand’s major political parties on indigenous issues means they have nothing to offer in resolving Fiji’s political crisis.

The former protest leader still hopes to be part of a Maori delegation to the island state being organized by the Maori Party.

He says such a delegation could show support for ordinary Fijians and perhaps be a circuit breaker in a way Nation and Labour cannot be.

“It doesn't really matter what National says and it doesn’t matter what Labour says quite frankly. Because both of them are failed regimes when it comes to negotiation with indigenous peoples. They’ve both failed here and they will both fail in Fiji, simply because they have got no idea,” Mr Harawira says.

The Prime Minister has barred Maori Party ministers Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia from traveling to Fiji.

BIG BELLY WOMEN GO ON THE ROAD

A Northland legend is finally going national.

Hokianga four-piece Big Belly Women is celebrating its teenage years by going on its first national tour, 13 years after it was formed to celebrate Maori music and a commitment to change.

Koauau player Mahina Kaui, says while the band’s mix of reggae, jazz, and rhythm and blues has wide appeal, its use of traditional instruments gives it an extra dimension.

Big Belly Women is playing Moeraki tonight as the band works its way up the islands back to Hokianga.

NEW ZEALAND COMMUNICATIONS SETTING A DATE

A Maori-backed mobile telephone company will today reveal its new name and launch date.

Twenty percent of New Zealand Communications’ shares are reserved for Maori, with the Maori spectrum trust Te Huarahi Tika and two central North Island land incorporations holding stakes, alongside British and Hong Kong shareholders.

The company stayed in the background rolling out its network while Vodafone and Telecom scrapped in court about whether Telecom’s new XT Network was interfering with Vodafone’s existing 3G network.

But this morning it will unveil when customers will be able to sign up for numbers in the 022 number range.

While it has the technical aspects of the network in hand, the company still doesn’t know how much it will cost to make calls.

That’s because the Commerce Commission still hasn’t made a recommendation on how mobile telephone companies can charge each other for calls terminating on their networks.

RMA REFORMS COULD UNDERMINE EFFECTIVE SYSTEM

An environment and treaty lawyer is warning proposed changes to the Resource Management Act will leave Maori fewer tools to protect their interests.

A select committee is hearing submissions on the first part of the reform, which the government says is to address excessive bureaucracy, costs and delays in the current system.

But Tom Bennion, the editor of the Maori Law Review, says the RMA is working well, with councils, developers and objectors able to get their issues before the Environment Court relatively quickly.

He says the various interested parties have learned how the process can be used to improve decision-making.

“That encourages councils and say Maori appellants to sit down and try ands work the plan out, because both sides know both could be in court about the issue and no party is going to be able to get costs against the other, it’s going to be time and expense for everybody, so the are more inclined to sit in a room with a mediator and sort it out,” Mr Bennion says.

He says by handing more power to councils, the government will encourage consent authorities to behave in a heavy-handed manner towards objectors.

PUMAUTANGA WORKS OF BENEFIT DEVOLUTION PLANS

The body responsible for Te Arawa’s land claim settlement is trying to work out how it can gets benefits to its constituent hapu as quickly and efficiently as possible.

In July Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa is set to receive the confederation’s share of the half billion dollar central North Island forestry settlement.

Negotiator Willie Te Aho says tension is inevitable in such a large group, and Te Pumautanga is keen to make a clear distinction between the tribe’s commercial arm and those charged with overseeing social obligations.

“We want to make sure that the central body or the commercial body doesn’t disempower the hapu, so what we want to do is not make any allocation for scholarships etc but pass the resource down to those hapu, those marae, so they can determine how to use that fund,” Mr Te Aho says.

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