Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Climate change deal leaves out major stakeholders

The Federation of Maori Authorities is feeling shortchanged by the Maori Party's deal on the Government's emissions trading scheme.

The Party will vote for the scheme to go through this week in exchange for concessions including more money spent on home insulation, the issuing of carbon credits to fishing quota holders rather than fishers, and allowing five iwi the opportunity to plant trees on Conservation Department land and harvest the carbon credits.

FOMA chief executive Rino Tirikatene says this still leaves most Maori forest owners out in the cold.

“Maori are disproportionately represented as pre-1990 forest owners, plus we believe it’s a treaty breach issue in terms of locking a huge amount of Maori land into forestry use and being unable to apply those lands to a higher and better use,” Mr Tirikatane says.

He says this could end up costing Maori $6 billion over time.


The Maori Party is waiting on feedback from rebel MP Hone Harawira's Taitokerau electrorate before deciding on his political future.

A hui was held in Otaki over the weekend to plot a way forward following the controversial MP's unsanctioned trip to Paris and expletive laden email sent to a Maori Party supporter.

That prompted calls from president Whatarangi Winiata for Mr Harawira to consider a future as an independent MP.

Mr Flavell says the hui agreed to leave the ball in the electorate's court.


Ngati Whatua is hailing its first combined iwi festival a success despite losing the major sporting fixture to Ngapuhi.

Uri from 34 Ngati Whatua marae gathered at North Harbour this weekend for kapa haka, kai, crafts, a kaumatua ball, inter-takiwa touch... and a rugby league match against their northern neighbours.

Organising committee member Ngaroimata Le Gros says it was a great chance to focus on Ngati Whatua-tanga, and led to a determination to revive specifically Ngatu Whatua waiata.

Feedback from festival goers is that they'd like a gathering every year, but they'll have to wait and see what the runanga and the funders have to say.


Labour Party Maori MP Shane Jones is predicting doing a deal with National over the ETS will be fatal for the Maori Party.

Mr Jones, who headed a number of large Maori businesses before entering parliament as a list MP, says Maori taxpayers will see little benefit from the deal with their cost of living going up and the Maori Party will be called to answer.

He says Maori business won’t benefit either as the deal mainly benefits South Island iwi Ngai Tahu iwi at the expense of other Maori.

“The Maori Party has sold Maori families, Maori taxpayers out to enrich an narrow privileged range of corporate interests. This isn’t pork barrel. This is pork bone politics, a concession that has been made available to Ngai Tahu may be good for Ngai Tahu but it will be fatal for the Maori Party and it’s certainly not good for Maoridom,” Mr Jones says.

He says rebel Maori Party MP Hone Harawira must be looking at the deal out in disgust from his Te Tai Tokorau electorate because he would never have agreed to support such a deal.


Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says Hawea Vercoe was poised to have significant political influence in the region.

The 36 year old died after an altercation outside a nightclub in Whakatane in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Mr Flavell says the kura kaupapa principal was in the early stages of his political career, having stood as a candidate for Destiny Church in the 2005 general election, and was a sitting Environment Bay of Plenty member and a former member of Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa standing committee.

He assumed Mr Vercoe would one day challenge him for the Maori Party candidacy in the Waiariki electorate.


Hauraki has taken ownership of one of the country's most historic pubs... the Brian Boru hotel in Thames.

It’s been brought by the Hauraki Maori Trust Board’s health arm Te Korowai Hauora to use for health services, a Maori arts centre, and a venue for Hauraki wananga.

General manager Whiu Kinimonth says the hauora has limited scope to modify the building, but it can change the name from honouring an Irish king who lived 700 years ago.

“It is an historic building so we’re limited to what we can actually change but certainly the kaumatua are putting their thinking caps on now about a Hauraki name for it,” he says.


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