Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, October 15, 2009

IRB under no pressure to give rights to MTS

The International Rugby Board's representative in New Zealand says the organisation isn't under pressure to award free to air broadcast rights.

Broadcasters are working up a joint bid led by Maori Television and including TVNZ and TV3, after Prime Minister John Key stopped his ministers fuelling a bidding war.

Ross Young, the general manager of IRB subsidiary Rugby World Cup, says any variation in terms would need to go through International Management Group in London, which is managing the process.

He says the tender process for free to air rights has already been extended because the IRB was not satisfied with the responses it was getting, after it had confirmed Sky as the host broadcaster and pay tv rights holder.

“We've held off to this stage. We don’t have to award the rights to any set timeframe. We don’t have to award the rights at all, though I couldn’t see that being a viable option. There’s no pressing timeframe. We just need to make sure we need to make the right call,” Mr Young says.

Rugby World Cup's criteria are the amount it is offered, what the broadcaster is prepared to do to promote the event and the production values of the broadcasts.


Meanwhile, Maori Television will get another chance to show how it deals with a big event if a fight between David Tua and Hasim Rahman comes off.

Word has come through from the United States that the former world champion's November fight against fellow American Ray Mercer is off because of a dispute over money, freeing him up to fight Tua in New Zealand before Christmas.

MTS communications manager Sonia Haggie says the channel, which has broadcast rights to Tua's next three fights, is ready.

“Well we've done a number of boxing broadcasts now having done Shane Cameron and David Tua before so we certainly have the competencies and are confident we can provide a world class broadcast,” Ms Haggie says.

A win against Rahman would boost Tua's prospects of a second world title fight.


Hokianga people are getting their first chance to see the work of local hero Ralph Hotere.

A major work by the Mitimiti-born artist, Song of Solomon, is on display for a month at the Village Arts Gallery in Kohukohu.

There's also supporting work by five other artists with Hokianga connections.

Curator Marg Morrow says the 1991 paintings, which were done in response to the first Gulf War, are on loan from a private collection.

She says the chance to see work by the reclusive artist, who has lived in the South Island since the 1960s, has brought out the community.

“He holds a special place in the hearts of Hokianga people. Every time I mention Hotere, people just talk about his wairua, talk about his generosity and it’s not just him, it’s his whole family. People have come from miles around to see this piece. The response has been extraordinary,” Ms Morrow says.

Hotere Country is due to run until November 5.


A Tuhoe leader says relations with the police are still frosty in the eastern Bay of Plenty, two years to the day since the police locked off the settlement of Ruatoki in what's come to be known as the Terror raids.

Tamati Kruger says tensions have gone down, but the hurt felt by the community is still there.

He says while the iwi has waited for the legal process to take its course, it's become increasing clear the raids sparked by alleged paramilitary training camps in the Urewera ranges were an over-reaction.

“Two years on the police have failed to put in the minds of New Zealanders that
they have a valid case. We believe that by the end of the year we will see the police case thrown out of court,” Mr Kruger says.

He says no one can estimate the long term effect the lockdown had on young people caught up in the raids.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has praised founding president Whatarangi Winiata for his contribution not only to the party but to Aotearoa as a whole.

The 74-year-old is stepping down at the party's conference this weekend to pursue academic interests in the United States.

Before leading the party, Professor Winiata led the revival of language and culture in his own tribe, Ngati Raukawa, and also drove the establishment of separate Maori, Pakeha and Pasifika streams within the Anglican church.

Mrs Turia says his wisdom has been of huge benefit to the young party.

“And the thing I love most about him is he lives his life according to kaupapa and tikanga. It‘s not something he thinks about only when he’s at the marae or when he’s in a classroom. And he has required of us that we act according to kaupapa Maori and our tikanga,” Mrs Turia says.


Reo revivalists have gathered in Porirua for He Huia Kaimanawa - the Maori Language Expo.

Government and Maori language community representatives have been discussing what is meant by Maori language excellence, with keynote speaker Taiarahia Black from Massey University using his collection of Tuhoe waiata to spark debate.

Huhana Rokx from the Maori language commission Te Taura Whiri says there are also demonstrations and displays of projects going on round the country.

“This hui is about combining all of those elements together. We have an exhibition of all the stuff happening around the company in the name of Maori language regeneration and providing also an opportunity for people to talk about their initiatives,” Mrs Rokx says.

The two day event will wrap up tomorrow afternoon with the presentation of te Taura Whiri's Maori Language Awards.


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