Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Police delays irk land protester

A Northland man arrested at a land occupation near Kaeo says police have failed to disclose information he needs for his defence.

Allen Heta was arrested last month during a protest against Juken Nissho's plans to log a Crown-owned block near Omahuta forest, and spent five days in jail.

Heta says his Te Whanau Pani hapu never ceded the land and retains aboriginal title.

He says the Human Rights Rights Act and the Official Information Act require the police to say on whose authority they were acting.

“It’s three weeks now. Police are acting in ignorance of the law. As far as those acts go, the law requires them to give full disclosure at the time of arrest or operation and none of that has happened. We are now asking them, was the operation lawful. Was the arrest lawful,” Heta says.

The officer in charge was unavailable.

Allen Heta reappears in the Kaikohe District Court on a wilful trespass charge on October 27.


The author of a history of Maori rugby says calls for a breakaway from the NZRFU will grow if the Maori team isn't given top class games in 2010.

Malcolm Mulholland says supporters are concerned no fixtures have been confirmed for next year's centenary.

He says that leaves the door open for iwi to take a more active role in Maori rugby.

“There is becoming more opportunity for iwi to be involved, provide some financial backing. I guess the crux of that discussion is how much control and leverage would iwi want for their investment. I certainly think there is room for movement. NZRFU and iwi should at the very least be talking about it,” Mr Mullholland says.

Some players may turn down a chance to join a rebel Maori squad because it could hurt their chances of making the All Blacks.


Waka builder Hekenukumai Busby is racing the clock to get Taitokerau's two historic war canoes back in the water by Waitangi Day.

Mr Busby is restoring the 30 metre Ngatokimatawhaorua, which is housed at Waitangi, and a 16 metre waka with the same name which has been on land at Otiria since it was used for the 1940 New Zealand centennial celebrations in the Bay of Islands.

He says there was a small amount of rot in the larger waka where water leaked through the roof of its storage shed, but the smaller waka was quite badly affected by spending its first 30 years in the open.

“We've taken all the rot out of the gunwales and we had to cut the front part of and replace them. All the rot’s been taken out of that,” Mr Busby says.

Restoration should be finished by November, so crews can practice over the summer.


Two Degrees chair Bill Osborne says Maori land-based organisations need to widen their investment horizon.

Through Hautaki Limited, the commercial arm of Maori spectrum trust Te Huarahi Tika, the new mobile phone operator is raising more capital from Maori to fund the roll out of its network.

Mr Osborne says Maori have the right to own up to 20 percent of the company, but many of the trusts, incorporations and iwi groups approached so far have trouble seeing the opportunity.

“Maori in general have been really focused on land based assets. This radio spectrum is the land of the future and it’s the stuff that modern platforms of technology and communications are going to be built on. I think it’s good for Maori to be involved in this asset class which is about the future and is about enhancing communication in a modern environment,” Mr Osborne says.

The Maori investment is helping to give Two Degrees a uniquely New Zealand culture.


Maori women took top honours at the 48th New Zealand Merino Shears in Te Wai Pounamu over the weekend.

Tina Rimene pulled off a notable double... having already won the Golden Shears open fine woolhanding title in Masterton earlier in the year.

Ngahuia Thwaites from Masterton took the junior woolhandlers title.
Mavis Mullins, the president of Golden Shears and a former champion woolhandler herself, says Rimene's win was expected.

“She knows her stuff. She is a wool classer by trade so she knows the intricacies of wool,” Ms Mullins says.

The New Zealand competitions are qualifiers for the upcoming World Champs in Wales next July.


An original member of the Maori Volcanics says he registered the name in New Zealand so he could give a nostalgia show for returned soldiers.

That's sparked a fight between Nuki Waaka and Mahora Peters, who kept the band going after their divorce in the 1960s.

He says he invited his Australian-based former wife to be involved in the Labour weekend concert for the Malayan Veterans Association, but she declined.

“She really didn’t want us to use that name because she still operates under that name even though I don’t think she had registered it for all those years for 20 years, so o decided we better register it so we can use the name. There’s still a little bit of raruraru going on abut it but we’ve decided we’ll go ahead and use it, but I did give her the opportunity to be part of it in the beginning,” Waaka says.


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