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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Political tit for tat in TV bid

A Labour Maori MP says Maori party co-leader Pita Sharples is using his ministerial budget to score political points against the National Government.

Shane Jones says spending $3 million of Te Puni Kokiri's money to back Maori Television's bid for free to air broadcast rights to Rugby World Cup games isn't a sensible use of Maori development funding.

But he says it gives Dr Sharples a chance to look like he's in charge, after the Maori Party's humiliation over the Auckland super-city and its botched response to National's emissions trading scheme.

“There is a disconnect between what Pita Sharples is up to and what the rest of the Government is doing. I rather suspect that Pita Sharples is showing John Key ‘you didn’t give me my Maori seats, well I’m taking this, and if you don’t give me my Maori TV bid then I’m not going to give you your ETS.’ I think what we’re seeing now is tit for tat politics,” Mr Jones says.

He says Tourism Minister John Key has failed to ensure Maori are part of New Zealand's response to the World Cup.

PROFESSIONAL VS AMATEUR LOOK TO BOUT POINT WAY AHEAD

Commentator Ken Laban says Saturday's bout between David Tua and Shane Cameron was like watching the Melbourne Storm playing Wainuiomata at League.

He says the Mountain Warrior from Rongomaiwahine was never in the hunt against Tua, who used experience gained from a decade fighting in the United States to outclass Cameron at Mystery Creek In Hamilton.

He says Cameron should take a lesson from a second round knockout.

“He's a powerful boy. He just had the wrong programme, the wrong strategy, and to be honest, he’s been in the wrong country. I hope he can recover from this and then in a month or so jump on a plane, head over to the states and start again and see if he can get a good eight or nine years. I’m sure he can. He looks to me to be in great shape,” Mr Laban says.

WHAKAIRO RAKAU COULD BENEFIT FROM POUNAMU INPUT

For the first time Te Puia arts and crafts institute in Rotorua is bringing together jade and wood carvers.

The institute yesterday opened a pounamu development and training unit, headed by master carver Louis Gardiner of Ngati Pikio and Ngai Tahu.

Chief executive Te Taru White says Mr Gardiner and four other greenstone carvers will work alongside Te Puia's kaimahi whakairo rakau.

“There's a wonderful synergy between out wood carvers and jade carvers. Some whakairo carvers will spend sme time now working with our jade carvers to learn carving in the medium. Likewise there could be reciprocity the other way. We have two master carvers in Clive Fugill and James Rickard who have been at Te Puia for 45 years, since it first started,” Mr White says.

Te Puia is investing in growth despite a downturn in visitor numbers caused by the recession.

MAHY SERIES GETS INTERNATIONAL INTEREST AT JUNIOR CANNES

International buyers are queuing up for Maori Television's new 13-part children's drama.

Kaitangata Twitch by Margaret Mahy was launched at the MIP junior film and television festival at Cannes at the weekend.

Speaking from France, director Yvonne Mackay said the Te Mangai Paho-funded series caught the attention of buyers from many countries, keen to see what the acclaimed children's writer had come up with.
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“It's the very first stepped into the world of Maori and she’s done that very tentatively, with great respect, and I just think maybe the world was looking for something a wee bit exotic from downunder and they’re really responding well,” Ms MacKay says.

Kaitangata Twitch, which will screen on Maori Television towards the middle of next year, has already been bought by Australia's ABC TV.

MAORI RADIO PROGRAMME DIRECTORS SCHOOL UP

The first ever hui for iwi radio programme directors aims to boost professional standards in the far flung network.

Reno Wilkinson from Nga Iwi FM in Paeroa says the hui this week in south Auckland allows the people who oversee what goes out on Maori radio to share ideas and discuss new technologies.

He says Maori stations need to cater for audiences right across the age spectrum, from kohanga kids to kaumatua, and do it in two languages.
Many of the attendees are relatively new to the role, and are keen to learn.

Maori radio umbrella group Whakaruruhau wants the hui to be an annual event.

TE PUIA LAUNCHES COMPETING MARK OF AUTHENTICITY

Te Puia institute of Maori arts and crafts has broken away from the Creative New Zealand-backed Toi Iho scheme to launch its own mark of authenticity.

Chief executive Te Taru White says the Te Puia mark will guarantee items sold at the Rotorua tourist attraction are made by craftpeople on site or trained by the institute.

He says since the institute was set up in the 1960s, expanding the carving school established by Sir Apiranga Ngata in 1926, it has trained more than 100 carvers and carved more than 40 ancestral meeting houses for hapu around the country.

“With 45 odd years as an institution and 600 years of legacy since we arrived behind the mark, we’re pretty excited about the mark. We think it’s about time. It augurs well for our traditional art form to be given an authority it richly deserves,” Mr White says.

The launch of the mark coincides with opening of a pounamu carving school on the Whakarewarewa site, which will allow Te Puia to upgrade the quality of greenstone souvenirs in its shop.

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