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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wake up call for party doorknockers

Retiring Maori Party president Whatarangi Winiata says it is important the party organisation doesn't go to sleep between elections.

Professor Winiata is stepping down after leading the party through its first five years.

He says while supporters may be motivated by the party's performance to get actively involved at the next election, there's always the risk they could go into hibernation as they did last term.

“It took quite a lot of nudging and calling and urging to get them back onto the streets and actively promoting the possibilities in the election period for the 2008 election and we’ve urged them to not do that again but there are signs that at least they want a rest,” Professor Winiata says.

The Maori Party is holding its annual meeting in Auckland this weekend.

The 74-year-old Professor Winiata intends to study in the United States, where he earned his doctorate in the early 1960s.


A Maori commentator is pessimistic about Maori Television's chances of winning the free to air broadcast rights to the Rugby World Cup.

Rawiri Taonui, who heads the school of Maori and indigenous studies at Canterbury University, says the International Rugby Board does not have a great track record of developing and promoting indigenous rugby.

He says it's also never shown much interest in cultural sensitivity.

“Their attitude I think towards Maori TV is not going to be that healthy. If we follow what’s happened with our own rugby union there will be no games for the Maori All Blacks this year, it’s not so great. It’s a pity because Maori TV could probably bring something really refreshing to it,” Mr Taonui says.

The IRB's priority seems to be big matches and big television viewership, rather than areas like Pasifika rugby which has been neglected since the game went professional.


A Maori problem gambling specialist says the gambling industry should be put under the spotlight for the damage it's doing to Maori,

Zoe Hawke from Auckland Maori public health service Te Hapai Te Hauora Tapui says it could be a task for the Maori Affairs Select Committeee once it has finished its inquiry into the tobacco industry.

She says a Maori gambling hui in Napier last week heard graphic accounts of the harm done by gambling and pokie machines.

She says like vendors of alcohols and tobacco, poor communities are targeted by the gambling industry.


A Maori development expert says Maori Television shouldn't need to win the Rugby World Cup broadcast rights to benefit from the event.

Pare Keiha, AUT University's pro-vice chancellor for Maori achievement, says Maori culture is what makes the New Zealand tourism experience unique.

Te Puni Kokiri is justifying the use of $3 million of Maori development funds to back the bids on the grounds it will lead to jobs and business opportunities for Maori, especially in tourism.

Professor Keiha says any sensible plan for hosting or broadcasting such a major event should include Maori anyway.

“Any prospective Maori economic development outcomes as the result of Maori Television specifically acquiring the broadcasting rights in my mind would be built on very flimsy arguments. The alternative arguments would be why wouldn’t Maori benefit substantially from an alternative broadcaster if one of those broadcasters happens to be a public good broadcaster funded with taxpayers' money,” Professor Keiha says.

The business case for funding Maori involvement in the cup broadcasts needs to be strong than what has emerged so far.


A 78 year Maori warden who broke up a fight in Whangarei this week says she would do the same thing again.

Muriel Sexton was off duty when she spotted her sons getting into an argument with gang members.

She says shop keepers stood around and watched but she didn't think twice when weapons were brought out.

“I should have stopped because I was trained by the police not to do that kind of thing by going into it. You’re supposed to stand back, but being my son, I couldn’t stand back, I’m never frightened by those situations because it’s a challenge to me,” Mrs Sexton says.

The incident left her exausted.

Two men are facing charges of assault with a weapon and disorderly behaviour and a third was charged with wilful damage and disorderly behaviour. They will appear in Whangarei District Court next week.


Birds emerge from saws and fragile nets turn into landscapes in the latest show of drawings by Tauranga-based James Ormsby.

The artist, who has Maniapoto, Waikato, Te Arawa and Scottish whakapapa, says the works on paper at Whitespace Gallery in Auckland continue his exploration of the conflict between nature and technology.

He says the patterning which is a critical part of Maori art gives him a base to work from.

“That element of repetition sort of forced the artist or producer to slow down and be still and meditate and dream in those subconscious marks and intuitive marks and spontaneous marks.” Ormsby says.

The drawings are at Whitespace in Grey Lynn until the end of the month.


Anonymous Sam said...

Wow that lady broke up a fight between gang members brandishing weapons? That's one tough old lady.

12:03 AM  
Blogger Te Puhi Whakahoro said...

thats normal, she would have to be a pretty strong women, with a big mouth. It'd be great for Waatea to interview her and go a bit further into this ? In fact why doesn't Te Kaea

7:22 AM  

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