Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Labour ready to improve foreshore framework

Labour's Maori Affairs spokesperson is keen to work with other parties to clarify the laws around the foreshore and seabed.

Parekura Horomia accepts some of the criticisms in a ministerial review that the previous Labour government could have done better in its response to Maori claims for recognition of customary interests in the takutai moana.

But he defends its attempt to clarify and codify Maori rights through legislation.

“If you don't have legislation, a while lot of other things can happen and that’s what I think in relation to water. The one thing with the takutai moana now, it has some clear construct in terms of where Maori rights should be and at the same time enduring all New Zealanders can get rid of this nonsensical fear that Maori can keep them away from the beach and all of that,” Mr Horomia says.


But the Maori Party MP who organised the 2004 foreshore and seabed hikoi is not interested in working with Labour on a replacement for the Act.

Hone Harawira says the review panel confirms that Labour and its Maori MPs got the issue totally wrong.

He says the MPs not only backed a nasty and destructive piece of legislation, they stood by it for five years while they were rewarded with ministerial jobs and high list placings.

His priority is to make sure any new legislation serves Maori interests well.

“And I'm really not interested in listening to any of the suggestions from Labour’s Maori members of Parliament since all they’ve done on this particular issue since we’ve gotten into power. Labour’s Maori members of Parliament, is parrot exactly what they white leaders have said to them,” Mr Harawira says.

He says the best thing Labour's Parekura Horomia could do is stand up in Parliament and apologise for getting the issue wrong.


A soldier turned choreographer steps out tonight to honour his grandfather, who fought in the 28 Battalion.

Maaka Pepene from Tuhoe and Ngati Hine spent six years in the infantry before studying dance.

Over the past decade he has worked with Taio dance theatre, Black Grace and now the Atamira Dance Collective.
Tonight at Belmont's Rose Theatre on the North Shore, Atamira kicks off a tour of Pepene's Memoirs of Active Service, inspired by his grandfather's wartime diaries.

He says it's demanding on the five dancers who also sing as they portray shearers turned soldiers caught up in the war effort.

“Click Go the Shears, The Maori Battalion Marching Song and He Tara Wa Huka about a punch in the jaw to this bugger Hitler. It’s a physical theatre with movement, dance as the basis of it but they have to act and sing and dance as well,” Mr Pepene says.

Memoirs of Active Service also includes videos and a backdrop inspired by painting by Peter McIntyre, New Zealand's official war artist.


The MP who quit the Labour Party over the Foreshore and Seabed Act wants her former colleagues to admit they were wrong.

Tariana Turia says the Ministerial Review Panel on the Act, set up as part of the Maori Party's support agreement with National, has exposed the flaws in Labour's approach to Maori customary rights.

The panel recommended the Act be repealed, and outlined a range of options for recognising the interests of hapu and iwi in the coastal marine environment.

Mrs Turia says while other parties did play politics with the Court of Appeal decision that sparked the Act, ultimately responsibility for the law lies with the former government.

“I think Labour’s feeling guilty. They know they were wrong. I know those Maori members must know they were wrong. There wasn’t one iwi that agreed with them. Of the 3945 submissions to select committee at that time, 95 percent said the legislation was wrong,” Mrs Turia says.

She says Labour should apologise to Maori for making a discriminatory law.


The head of Christchurch School of Medicine's National Addiction Centre is touring marae and other community centres to win support for more controls on alcohol

Professor Doug Sellman says New Zealand is suffering an alcohol crisis, with Maori disproportionately affected by the resulting violence and health problems.

He says solutions could include restricting liquor outlets and opening hours, regulating marketing, tighter drink driving limits, and price rises.

"This campaign has come at exactly the right time because a recession will bring abut a reduction in drinking because of the price issue naturally. Increasing the price even a little bit more could get really good gain in terms of better control of liquor in New Zealand society," he says.

Professor Sellman says New Zealanders have become numb to the damage alcohol is doing to society.

The Law Commission is due to publish an issues paper this month on the sale and consumption of alcohol.


Maori have been meeting with GNS Science today to advise how the Crown research industry can use Maori knowledge in its mahi.

Advisory group member Emma Gibbs from Ngapuhi says matauranga Maori can offer fresh perspectives on the CRI's work in geology and natural sciences.

She says today's agenda included potential names for recently discovered geothermal fields.

"We believe that we’re doing a good job to make sure Maori stay in the process of scientific research, especially when it comes to naming land masses, waterways. They all have traditional names, rather than a scientist discovering a land mass and calling it XO 5678," Ms Gibbs says.

Scientists sometimes need to be reminded to protect Papatuanuku or the earth, rather than abusing her.


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