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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mana whenua slam Auckland exclusion

August 25

Auckland's mana whenua tribes Ngati Whatua and Tainui have slammed the government's decision not to allow Maori seats on Auckland Super city.

Tainui Chairman Tuku Morgan says National has kow towed to ACT which has just one percent of the popular vote and doesn't give a stuff about Maori aspiration, Maori economic development or the Treaty of Waitangi.

And Ngati whatua spokesperson Ngarimu Blair says he is not surprised by the government's decision which is typical of the way Maori are treated in Auckland and across the country.

He says among the protest options which Maori could consider is refusing to provide powhiri for the rugby world cup in 2011.

“At the forefront of the atmosphere they are trying to bring to the tournament and the atmosphere bring to the city is Maori and Pacific Island, yet we won’t be able to show the world in 2011 a united city, Maori and Pacific Island and Pakeha working together. It’s a big shame,” Mr Blair says.

He says legislation still has to go through parliament and hopefully the Maori party can have a victory when the issue goes before the house in September.


And Labour leader Phil Goff says the decision not to allow Maori separate seats on Auckland Super City comes on top of other government moves to disadvantage Maori.

Phil Goff in particular the government has failed to treat people fairly in terms of stimulating the economy and providing training for the unemployed.

He says already nearly 13 percent of Maori are unemployed.

“In terms of unemployment, Maori have been disadvantaged. In terms of the income taxes that have been brought in, Maori have been disadvantaged. If National goes ahead and lifts gst to 15 percent without making provision for low income people, again it will be Maori have been disadvantaged and all this in return for flying the flag over the Auckland Harbour Bridge,” one day a year,” Mr Goff says.

Hesays it is an uneven relationship and an unfair deal.


West Coast Maori are taking action to improve their health following a survey which identified problem areas.

Organiser for the government's Healthy Eating, Healthy Action initiative Marie Mahuika-Forsyth, says surveyed findings have helped them to develop positive project plans.

“Arthritis was the highest disease around here so we started up tai chi classes around the rohe and nutrition, and looking at providing nutritious guidelines and we assisted them drawing up a healthy eating policy for the marae,” Ms Mahuika-Forsyth says.


The Families Commission is praising Maori for the manner in which they are addressing family violence.

Commissioner Kim Workman is urging people not to be despondent... despite figures released today showing a rise in family violence offences of more than 50 percent between 2001 and 2006... with Maori disproportionally represented.

He says it's crucial that we get an accurate picture of what's occurring around the country and believes that higher reporting of family violence crimes is behind the increase.

He says there's also been a lot of work done in the last few years that won't be reflected in the statistics yet.

“The thing that encourages me is the level in which Maori have got involved, both in becoming service providers and addressing whanau violence and in the whanau themselves taking action,” Mr Workman says.

The picture painted by the Family Violence Statistics Report will allow the government to see what programmes are working, and what's really making a difference.

The statistics were pulled together from information held by government departments, the police and other groups who work with whanau such as Women's Refuge, Age Concern and Plunket.


Tainui leader Tuku Morgan says the government's decision not to have Maori seats on Auckland super city council has simply delayed the inevitable with the browning of New Zealand.

Tuku Morgan says while he is bitterly disappointed with the decision by 2035 the majority of workers in New Zealand will be brown skinned and they will hold the power.

“Maori people will not be denied. We will grow our economic power in this country, because that’s what the Pakeha world is all about. It’s about materialism. It’s not about humanity now, and Maori will grow its economic power in this country and we will be real participants in the city. It does not matter where the super city turns, it will have to deal with commercial heavyweights like us,” Mr Morgan says.

He says inevitably Maori will have the opportunity to express their mana in a city which is their home.


Hundreds of mourners continue to head to Tokanganui-a-Noho marae in Te Kuiti where Tutuatahi Tui Adams is lying in state.

The Tainui kaumatua was an expert on the tikanga of Waikato, Maniapoto, Hauraki and Raukawa tribal areas.

Maania Clarke, who covers the Tainui rohe for Waatea News says Dr Adams was exceptionally generous with his knowledge, teaching many others how to fulfil their duties on the paepae and other situations where tikanga was involved.


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