Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Archie Bunker Mallard on his own

Labour leader Phil Goff is refusing to back Trevor Mallard's claim that five people convicted of the makutu manslaughter avoided prison because they were Maori.

A weekend blog posting by the Hutt South MP attacked the community-based sentences handed down to members of the Rawiri whanau who killed their niece Janet Moses during what they claimed was a curse-lifting ceremony.

Asked by Radio Waatea whether he stood by Mr Mallard's comments, Phil Goff said he wouldn't second guess the judge.

“I haven't seen any evidence the sentencing judge took into account the fact that they were Maori. That’s I think speculative. I think it was a light sentence, a sentence perhaps justified by the fact these were not people who were going to offend again,” Mr Goff says.

Meanwhile the Crown has indicated it will not appeal the community-based sentences, which both Prime Minister John Key and Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia have supported.

NEW GUIDELINES SHOULD HELP DIAGNOSIS OF CANCER

Breast Cancer Aotearoa chair Libby Burgess says new guidelines for identifying early stage cancers will benefit Maori women.

Ms Burgess says Maori women tend to get breast cancer younger than Pakeha women, but it is usually picked up when the cancer is more advanced.

She says the New Zealand Guidelines Group has identified barriers to appropriate care and suggested ways to overcome them.

“These relate to the costs, the inability of the medical world to communicate appropriately with Maori and Pacific women, and then there are structural barriers such as distance to the provider or screening unit, lack of a Maori healthcare provider," Ms Burgess says.

TE ARIKI OF PENRHYN REMEMBERED BY FELLOW ARTIST

Painter and writer Selwyn Muru has paid a tribute to poet Alistair te Ariki Campbell, who died this week at the age of 84.

Campbell was born in Rarotonga of Penrhyn ancestory, but ended up in a Dunedin orphanage after his parents died.

Muru says Campbell was an influence on the emerging Maori literary scene in the 1960s, especially after a return visit to Penrhyn awakened his interest in Polynesian themes.

His move to Pukerua Bay north of Wellington led to an interest in Ngati Toa warrior chief Te Rauparaha, who had a stronghold on Kapiti Island.

“Looking out to Kapiti Island, he often used to say to me there were times he felt Te Rauparaha, his wairua would come into his house. I believe he bought the highest point, no one could build out from him, that was his idea to honour te Rauparaha,” Muru says.

RECORD NUMBERS OF SUBMISSIONS ON H IN WHANGANUI

The New Zealand Geographic Board has received a record number of submissions on the application by Whanganui iwi to restore the letter 'h' in the name of their city.

When submissions closed on Sunday the board had received 880 submissions with three quarters of them submitted online.

Secretary Wendy Shaw says they will be analysed for presentation to the board's meeting on September 16th.

She says it's the highest number of submissions received on a city name, and compares with the 1000 submissions received in the 1980s which resulted in Mt Taranaki - Egmont being given a dual name.

WAIROA LOOKING FOR NEW WAY TO INTERACT WITH MAORI

Wairoa District Council is trying to rebuild its relationship with tangata whenua after the disintegration of its iwi liaison committee.

Maori liaison officer Ropata Ainsley says marae will be asked to put forward candidates to serve on a new Maori committee.

He says a stronger Maori voice in council matters should lead to better decisions.

“The council is trying to engage more with the tangata whenua and not let it just be he mea ngutu, lip service. It’s really trying to get to grips on how that affects the council, staff, how we interact with issues like waahi tapu, urupa, how we should react on roading when it comes to issues of tangata whenua,” Mr Ainsley says.

Wairoa District includes or overlaps the rohe of Rongomaiwahine,Te Iwi o Rakaipaaka , Kahungunu ki te Wairoa, Pahuwera, Tuhoe, and Ruapani.

HISTORIC PLACES TRUST REGISTERS MAUAO AS WAAHI TAPU

One of the country's most famous maunga has been placed under the korowai of the Historic Places Trust.

The Trust has listed Mauao at Mount Maunganui as a wahi tapu.

Tamoe Ngata, the trust's Maori heritage advisor, says the move does not restrict access to the public, but reaffirms its significance and cultural importance to iwi.

Tamoe Ngata says the maunga was the heart of the Maunganui Pa and includes important archaeological features such as terraces and pits and middens.

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