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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, July 10, 2009

Urban authorities put case on Auckland role

Urban Maori authorities have told a parliamentary committee they won't put up with being second class citizens when it comes to Auckland governance.

Te Whanau o Waipareira and Manukau Urban Maori Authority made a submission to the committee at Hoani Waititi Marae today.

They were questioned about a plan put to the committee yesterday by Tainui for mana whenua iwi to appoint councillors to an Auckland super city council.

Waipareira chief executive John Tamihere says the urban authorities want three seats at large across Auckland voted on by everyone on the Maori electoral roll.

“I acknowledge mana whenua groups but I make the point we are not second class citizens nor are we subservient. We are tangata whenua with treaty rights and entitlements and we want those asserted. Mana whenua also can assert their rights, no problem. These rights should be seen not in competition but in a seamless rights regime,” Mr Tamihere says.

He says the Maori interest can't just be at the top table, but needs to be reflected in every layer of the new council.

RIGHTS DECLARATION COULD BE EMPTY GESTURE

A Maori rights lawyer is skeptical the Government will sign up to the declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.

Maori Party leader Pita Sharples is putting pressure on National to reverse New Zealand's vote on the United Nations' document, and deputy Prime minister Bill English has admitted the debate has shifted to what exceptions this country would want.

Moana Jackson says the government should only sign on if it is willing to abide by its terms ... which past New Zealand governments have been reluctant to do.

“If they do decide to honour all the articles that will ring about I think some profound changes in the status of our people in international law, but in the light of the history of the last 20 years I am skeptical but ever hopeful with regards to the declaration,” Mr Jackson says.

He fears the government's response could be a repeat of the Crown attitude to the Treaty of Waitangi, of signing it but not really honouring it.

KINGI HETET LAID TO REST AT TOKANGANUI A NOHO

Many of the 50 remaining survivors of 28 Maori Battalion have been gathering at Tokanganui a Noho Marae in Te Kuiti to bid farewell to their second lieutenant Kingi Hetet, who died this week at the age of 87.

Mr Hetet, from the Ngati Rora and Ngati Apakura hapu of Maniapoto was the last of the 64 descendants of Hori and Mata Hetet who served in the first or second world wars.

Known as Hoppy because of a childhood leg condition, he was a noted sportsman who represented New Zealand in snooker.

He was also an astute farmer, bringing many Maori land blocks into production.

Mr Hetet's funeral is tomorrow morning.

No reira e te rangatira takoto mai, takoto mai, moe mai.

JACKSON PROUD OF EYE TO EYE ICONOCLASM

At times it's been more jab your eye than eye to eye, but a raucous slice of Maori opinion is no more.

Television New Zealand has axed the current affairs talk show fronted by former Alliance MP Willie Jackson after six seasons.

Mr Jackson is proud to have brought his particular style of robust debate to the small screen - and to have challenged the usual style of Maori programming.

“There's this view that there is one particular Maori way of doing things which was everyone had to be quiet, respectful and listen intensely and no one interrupts anyone. I think that’s one way of doing things and that’s good but there’s lots of ways of expressing your Maoriness and I’m really proud of what we were able to achieve on Eye to Eye,” Mr Jackson says.

He says Television New Zealand never realised the potential of the programme, and resisted putting it in a prime time slot.

MAORI TEAM SOUGHT FOR MINI SOCCER COMPETITION

The first ever national Maori futsal team will be picked this weekend.

Futsal is a trimmed down version of indoor football, with a heavier ball and teams of 5 players.

National squad manager Max Hall says the organiser of the Viking Futsal Pan Pacific championships in Christchurch next month left a spot open for a Maori team.

Trials for the Maori squad will run as part of the northern North island regional finals at the Otara Recreation Centre on Sunday.

KUIA STILL ENJOYS ON STAGE KAPA HAKA PERFORMING

They're older, they're slower, and their voices may have lost some volume, but the nation's kapa haka veterans will this weekend prove they've still got what it takes to wow a crowd.

Full houses are expected for the two-day Kaumatua Kapa Haka Festival at the national museum in Wellington, Te Papa.

Vera Morgan is from Te Roopu Tahiwi O te Whanganui A Tara, whose average age is over 80.

She never tires of gatherings celebrating the Maori performing arts.

“I truly enjoy it at 93. I don’t perform well because I had a stroke which left me with disabilities but I’ve been able to overcome that by enjoying the company, enjoying what I do,” Mrs Morgan says.

Her roopu will this year showcase the compositions of Kingi Tahiwi, with other roopu paying tributes to golden age composers like Apirana Ngata, Paraire Tomoana and Tuini Ngawai.

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