Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, September 11, 2009

Maori voters need to see another side to Labour

Labour MP Shane Jones says the party needs to present a better face to Maori voters to win them back.

The party's Maori caucus and council met in Rotorua today in advance of Labour's annual conference in the sulphur city this weekend.

Mr Jones says while the loss of Maori votes didn't in itself put Labour out of office, it was a factor.

“Of course we lost support in some quarters of Maoridom and it’s disappointing that our party has had to suffer that/ It’s not going to come back unless we can put a more superior face in front of our Maori voters than what they associated us with in the past, that’s a fact,” Mr Jones says.

He agrees with leader Phil Goff that Labour lost because it allowed itself to be branded by issues that weren't central to the lives of the majority of voters.


Organisers of a hui in Auckland tomorrow to prepare Nga Puhi treaty claims are providing interpreters for claimants who can't speak te reo.

Mere Mangu says much of the discussion at the hui, one of six which are planned for the next few weeks, will be in Maori because the concepts to be discussed can't be accurately translated into English.

Mere Mangu says once elders decide what Nga Puhi stories are needed for the claims, they will needed to be interpreted by lawyers into briefs for next year's Waitangi Tribunal hearings.

Tomorrow's hui is at Tatai Te Hono Marae in Khyber pass from 10am


The landlords of a new youth justice residential facility near Rotorua will tomorrow bury a mauri stone on the site.

Parekaarangi Trust chair James Warbrick says the foundations for the 30-bed unit have been laid.

He says the ceremony, conducted by Tuhourangi Ngati Wahiao elders, shows respect for the land and the significance of its new purpose.

“We put a mauri to connect our spiritual world to our physical world and it’s part of what we do that evolves the mana of the place,” Mr Warbrick says.

The Parekaarangi Trust is keep to assist in vocational and rehabilitation programmes when the unit is completed in October next year.


The new chief judge of the Maori Land Court has been sworn in at his home
marae in Tokomaru Bay.

About 300 people were at Pakirikiri Marae to see Chief Justice Sian Elias swear in Wilson Isaac from Te Whanau o Rautaupare, Ngati Porou, Tuhoe and Kahungunu as the 16th chief judge of the court.

Tracey Tangaere, the court's new national director, says it was familiar territory to the judge, who worked as a barrister and solicitor in Gisborne until his appointment to the court in 1994.

The marae had a double cause for celebration - Tracey Tangaere is also from Tokomaru Bay.


Labour president Andrew Little says the party must claw back the Maori vote if it is get back into government.

Speaking from Rotorua where Labour is holding its first national conference since the election, Mr Little says that means acknowledging it was wrong to deny Maori the right to go pursue their claims to the foreshore and seabed through the courts.

He says that became a big issue in the minds of Maori voters.

“Many Maori feel aggrieved that claimants who were at the centre of that issue down in Marlborough didn’t have the opportunity to test their claims in court or run through the full court process and that’s been a basic principle for Labour and any government for decades and it was cut short and I think we need to come to grips with that and make some acknowledgement of that,” Mr Little says.

He says while protest over the foreshore and seabed led to the formation of the Maori Party, the two parties are natural allies and bridges need to be built between them.


The administrator of a Maori tribal database expects more iwi to follow the lead of Te Runanga O Ngati Porou and partner with his organisation.

Dan Te Kanawa says by getting people to sign up with Tuhono when they register as voters, he's able to share data with other government agencies like New Zealand Post and Births Deaths and Marriages.

He says iwi can use the technology to keep their own beneficary rolls accurate, cutting the costs of keeping in touch with their people.

“These capabilities ensure that the smallest iwi in the land has the same capability and the largest and most resourced iwi,“ Mr Te Kanawa says.

Ngati Porou, with 28 thousand members on its books, is the first mandated
iwi organisation to align itself to Tuhono.


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