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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Marae sittings on super city proposal

A series of three hui on the Auckland Governance Legislation starts today at Orakei marae and former Labour MP John Tamihere says Maori need to face the reality of exclusion from an Auckland Super City Council.

Mr Tamihere says the Maori parliamentary subcommittee, chaired by National's Tau Henare, will hear submissions from individuals and groups who believe Maori representation is essential.

He says while the hui are a gracious attempt to appease Maori but ultimately they may have little or no bearing on what the government chooses to legislate.

“The numbers will make the legislation. Now and then submissions from the general public might have an impact, but if you have the numbers in the house you will legislate what you want to legislate,” Mr Tamihere says.

He will make a submission on behalf of the Urban Maori Authority on Friday at Hoani Waititi Marae in Waitakere City.

The other members of the sub-committee are Simon Bridges, Hone Harawira and Shane Jones.


A Maori police officer says the threat of tasers often works as a deterrent meaning the guns don't actually have to be used.

Glen McKay says this was the case on Monday when a taser gun was flown from Auckland to Hamilton to be used in the apprehension of a man who refused to come out of the Waikato river for more than three hours.

“We haven't had to draw the tasers a whole lot. We haven’t had to use them a whole lot because that threat or fear of what people have seen on TV has come back for those we have to pull the taser out, they say ‘I’ve seen what it does and I don’t want to be a part of it,’” Mr Mackay says.

He says the taser was the least lethal option available in Hamilton and everyone walked away including the alleged offender without being hurt.


Around 300 Kaumatua from around the country are on a hikoi to Wellington this week to showcase a bygone era.

Groups from Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa and Taranaki have been practicing for Te Papa's Kaumatua Kapa Haka festival on Saturday marking Wellington's Matariki Festival.

Producer Mere Boynton says many of the kaumatua have chosen iconic composers from their different rohe to take the audience on a journey back in time.
She says the way the kaumatua perform and the waiata they sing is unlike anything else

“They've selected composers of areas gone by and they are singing their work. The way they’re perform it is so different to kapa haka today. It’s more about improvisation, whakangahau. It seems to be a softer form of kapa haka,” Ms Boynton says.

For the first time, the kaumatua kapa haka will be webcast live online to give whanau around the world a chance to see their kaumatua perform.


Labour leader Phil Goff says a special parliamentary sub-committee to hear Maori submissions on Auckland city goverance is less than ideal but inevitable.

Phil Goff says it is important that the sub-committee go out to marae and hear what Maori are thinking, a process which gets under way today at Orakei marae.

“In a perfect world you’d rather see the whole select committee hear the submissions made by Maori on the question of representation on the super city but I do know the committee, I was on the committee yesterday, it’s working very hard so the establishment of subcommittees to do some of the work is inevitable,” Mr Goff says.

Maori representation on Auckland super city which Labour supports will be a real test for the government as to whether it is listening to what people want.

The government has said it does not support a Royal Commission recommendation for three Maori seats on a 22 member Super city council leading to a hikoi in May during which thousands of people marched to the Auckland City council offices.


Former Labour MP John Tamihere says Winston Peters’ attack on the Foreshore and Seabed Act Review is just political opportunism.

The New Zealand First leader had broken his post-election silence to claim the review panel's recommendations pave the way to separatism.

Mr Tamihere, who played a key role in developing the Act, says because of New Zealand First that Labour was unable to satisfactorily deal with customary rights in the law.

“I resent his reentry on the back of kicking Maori again and stirring up a sense of angst. This guy does not have a pristine history in politics for Maori-related matters. In fact he has used his Maori blood to advance at time a quite contrary view,” Mr Tamihere says.

He says what Mr Peters did in the 1989 Maori loans affair was unforgiveable and his attacks on Labour’s bridging the gaps proposals put a block on Maori growth.


It seems that the Office of the Minister of Treaty Negotiations is now synonymous with parliament.

A call to 018 directory services asking for the number for Parliament receives a request from the operator asking for the location of parliament.

When informed that the New Zealand parliament is based in Wellington, for 50 cents the caller is automatically put through to the office of Chris Finlayson the Minister for Treaty Negotiations, rather than the main switch board.

A spokesperson for Telecom says 018 is no longer a part of Telecom and the 018 directory service is now run by a company called Yellow using a Philippines call centre.


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