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Monday, November 16, 2009

Diplomat Tia Barrett dies suddenly

New Zealand's highest ranking Maori diplomat is being remembered as a consumate emissary who had a profound influence on the way this country represents itself overseas.

Tia Barrett was rushed back to Middlemore Hospital last week from the Cook Islands, where he was serving as High Commissioner, but died yesterday. He was 62.

Writer Witi Ihimaera, who was among the first group of Maori recruited into Foreign Affairs in the early 1970s, says Mr Barrett was a steadying influence on his Maori colleagues.

He also challenged the ministry.

“He challenged it to consider its position as a government department representing both Maori and Pakeha overseas. He also challenged it to create within itself policies and statements and recruitment programmes, all of these kinds of matters that would actually create for the ministry a better sense of its role overseas,” Mr Ihimaera says.

Te Rongotoa Barrett is lying at Turangawaewae marae in Ngaruawahia until Thursday, when he will be taken to Kahotea Marae in Otorohanga for burial among his Maniapoto ancestors.


Former Alliance president Matt McCarten says the Maori Party is heading for self destruction over the Hone Harawira affair.

He says if Mr Harawira is forced out of the Maori Party and starts his own party, he could retain Te Taitokerau and take one or two list MP's to Parliament with him.

The resulting three way split could make the Maori Party, the Hone party and Maori within Labour powerless.

Mr McCarten says the Maori Party should sort out its differences behind closed doors.

“The future of independent Maori politics is on the line. They owe it to the Maori now but Maori in the future to sort it out and expelling each other is not the way to go. It would just create civil war and that will split Maori for another generation,” Mr McCarten says.


Former top international soccer player Wynton Rufer from Ngati Porou says Maori will be thrilled with Rory Fallon's effort for the All Whites against Bahrain in Wellington on Saturday night.

The Oceania player of the century says Fallon, who also hails from Ngati Porou, will end up playing for Barcelona if he continues to bang in goals like the header which gave New Zealand a place in next year's World Cup in South Africa.

Mr Rufer says are Maori are turning to soccer in greater numbers, but talented players often lack the support they need to succeed in the competitive world of professional football, as he sees in his own soccer academy.

“I'm battling away here, trying to make a difference, working with kids, clearly understand that the Maori and Polynesian kids are the most talented and I don’t even get proper support so it’s not an easy one but hopefully now with this money the NZFA is getting, they can put a lot of it into youth development and start supporting some of the programmes out there that deserve to be supported,” Mr Rufer says.


The Maori Party is confident of getting concessions from the Government which will allow it to support the Emission Trading Scheme into law.

National needs its support because its usual ally ACT doesn't support the bill which came out to the select committee.

Environment spokesperson Rahui Katene says the party is demanding Maori families be protected from the full cost of the ETS.

She says the interests of substantial Maori farming, forestry and fishing businesses also need to be taken into account.

“We do need to have something in place, we can’t keep putting this off, so we are in discussions to see a scheme that will be put in place that will protect the environment, which will protect business, that will protect our people and is hopefully long lasting,” Ms Katene


A reappointed member of the Waitangi Tribunal says people upset at MP Hone Harawira's view on how Pakeha settlers grabbed Maori land should attend tribunal hearings or read its reports.

Ranginui Walker was first appointed in 2003 and has sat on the Wairarapa, Whanganui and East Coast inquiries.

He says the tribunal's work has given the nation a deep insight into its colonial past, and the way past governors and governments manipulated the system for their own ends.

“The tribunal is fulfilling an important role in uncovering how it was done, how extensive it was, how unrelenting it was, the government buy-up of land for transfer into Pakeha ownership, how unprincipled it was in terms of their promise of the new vision, the new social order where Maori would have the benefits of civilisation, of hospitals, of schooling, Christianity and so on,” Dr Walker says.

Other members reappointed for three year terms were Sir Hirini Moko Mead, Keita Walker, Angela Ballara and John Baird.


A leading Maori musician wants to see iwi investing in Maori music.

Ruia Aperehama's song Rere Reta was judged the most played reo Maori song on iwi radio, at the second Maori music awards in Hastings on Saturday night.

The Ratana-raised multi-instrumentalist and composer says the awards highlight the importance of Maori in contemporary music.

He says iwi should acknowledge the role music plays in uplifting people and keeping the culture and language strong.

“Once the iwi runangas get over their treaty settlements, their lands their health and education etc, then perhaps in the near future runangas will be in apposition to start investing in our creative sector such as the music industry,” Mr Aperahama says.

Nesian Mystic was the big winner on the night with 4 awards including best song and songwriter.

Maisy Rika won best female arist, while Leon Wharekura was named top male performer.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hone leads party on path to destruction? Irresposible poop-stirring tabloid headline? Or Pakeha wishful thinking from a colonial-ancestor journalist "reporting" on indigenous news?

It's not as though Maoridom don't have any awesome better Maori journos out there! There's heaps better than this guy... so why do Maori have to keep suffering pakeha encrouching and having their say or control in virtually every aspect of our lives? Cause we're too damn generous for our own good, and these Pakeha know that very damn well, and expect it from us.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Adam said...

Hmm. Headline reflects comments of (Maori) interviewee in story written by a Maori journalist from interview done on Willie Jackson's Pakiwaaha show. Methinks Maori Party/ Hone Party partisanship coming through...

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm... youthinks totally wrong, mate. But you would think that, being a Pakeha journo in what should be a Maori desk. Yes, I'm a proud supporter of the Maori Party, like most Maori. Very proud of them, and all Maori who shake off the proverbial chains (which you'll never see or feel) and make us proud.

I think it's more your savage colonial media machine leading - almost willing - this path of destruction? The amplification of white-noise in your professional friends' pathetic papers, tv, and radio - compared to Rodney Hide - is disgusting.

But you can't see that, can you... you will always see the Maori World through Pakeha eyes as self-destruction. You can't help it.

You're the perpertrator after all.

7:08 PM  

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