Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Maori Expo moves to bigger venue

This biennial AUT Maori Expo has been moved to Auckland's Vector arena to cater for the expected crowds.

Organiser Renata Blair says the Aotea Centre is now too small for the festival, which celebrates Maori achievement in education, politics, sports and the arts.

The sponsor event tonight includes a fashion show, kapa haka and a performance by Nesian Mystik, and tomorrow the doors will be opened to the public.

More than 60 exhibitors are taking part, including universities, government and community organisations.

Mr Blair says it’s the first Maori event at Vector Stadium, which stands on and leased from Ngati Whatua.

The Kia Tu Kia Maia; Seize the Day event will close tomorrow night with a concert featuring an all-New Zealand line-up.


Labour MP Shane Jones is predicting serious problems for the Maori Party in the wake of the government's decision to rule out Maori seats on Auckland super city council.

He says the Maori Party's response, including its hikoi, has been futile.

Mr Jones says it needs to explain why it refused to back the Royal Commission's recommendation for separate seats, which was the best weapon to advance the kaupapa.

“It just shows naivete. It’s all very well to jump around and have a flag blowing n the wind on the Harbour Bridge but no Maoris at the top table and that’s the riddle they have to explain to our people,” Mr Jones says.

He says talk of the Maori Party changing the political culture has proved a fantasy, and it's clear Rodney Hide represents the core values of the National Party, not Pita Sharples.


Visitors to Dunedin want hangi, not haggis.

That's the suprise finding of a report commissioned by the Dunedin City Council.

It said more than a third of tourists visiting the city wanted more Maori cultural experiences including traditional kai, a Maori art centre and guides to the historical landscape.

Peter Harris, the council's economic development unit manager, said that could lead to job opportunities for Maori.

The council and Tourism Dunedin will work with Maori tourism operators and communities to address the demand.


Remorse but no apology from Tau Henare.

The chair of the Auckland governance select committee's Maori subcommittee says in retrospect he should have kept his mouth shut rather than call Rodney Hide a buffoon and a jerk-off.

Tension between the two flared after the leak of Mr Henare's email to caucus colleagues revealing the ACT leader's threat to quit as minister if Maori seats were included in the plan for New Zealand's largest city.

Mr Henare says that as a National list MP he needs to remind himself of his responsibilities to the party.

“The comments were made because Rodney accused me of leaking my own email. For one, I don’t know why I would do that. I might as well just front up to caucus and hang myself in front of them. So it was a reaction to that and maybe I just shouldn’t have reacted, that’s all. Maybe it’s a lesson I need to get my own aggro sort of under control,” Mr Henare says.

He says his caucus colleagues appreciated the email, which set out the arguments for Maori representation on the Auckland super city council.


Meanwhile, the chair of Te Runanga o Ngati Whatua runanga fears a proposed split of the northern part of Rodney from the Auckland super city is a prelude to large scale coastal development.

Naida Glavish says the plan pours salt into the wounds created by the refusal to have Maori seats on the super city council.

Prime Minister John Key is refusing to confirm that Cabinet decided on Monday to set the city's northern boundary at Waiwera.

Ms Glavish says the move would split Rodney District Council, with which Ngatui Whatua has an excellent relationship with, and affect both the Kaipara harbour and the Hauraki gulf.

“We're talking about splitting the rohe of Ngati Whatua and disregarding mana whenua to open the east coast and the west coast to property development one must think,” Ms Glavish says.

Details of the split are likely to remain under wraps until the Auckland governance select committee reports back to Parliament on September 4.


Ngati Tuwharetoa buried one of its leaders today.

Arthur Te Takinga Smallman from Turangi was a member of the Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board and a former former Taupo district councillor.

He also served on the Taupo/Tongariro Conservation Board.

In his working life, Mr Smallman was the first Maori senior traffic sergeant in New Zealand, heading the Porirua district.

Kaumatua Rangi Tamuutua says on his retirement back to the Taupo area, his friend became a tireless advocate for the needs of the iwi.

Arthur Smallman's tangi was held at Hirangi Marae in Turangi today.


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