Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Toeknism best expected for Auckland council

The only Maori member on the Auckland City Council says the proposed Maori statutory board for Auckland super city smacks of tokenism.

Denise Roche from Raukawa and Ngati Huri wants board members to be able to sit on any council committee, and have a vote.

But Auckland's Citizens and Ratepayers majority is recommending the Government stick with what's in the third Local Government (Auckland Council) Bill that the council decide which committees the statutory board can advise.

“That board should be advising on everything to do with Maori, on social issues, on economic issues, and not just on the Resource Management Act and waahi tapu for example,” Ms Roche says.

Members of the Maori statutory board won't have a vote on any of the committees they are allowed to join.


A Ratana nun is backing Labour MP Shane Jones' attack on church leaders playing politics.

Mr Jones responded sharply to speakers who used last Sunday's welcome at the church's annual hui to tick off Labour and praise National and the Maori Party.

Marama Nathan from Ngapuhi says Mr Jones was echoing the words of church founder Tahupotiki Ratana, whose birthday was being celebrated.

“If you are an apotoro, if your turanga is as a minister of our church, then don’t try and walk in the shoes of others. And Ratana did say this too, he said don’t try and wear the boots that belong to others. That needs to be said. They’re not politicians. They’re ministers of the church for goodness sake,” Ms Nathan says.

She says Ratana's message of peace and goodwill is still relevant, and she is planning a hikoi of 100 Ratana members around the world to promote that message.


Kaikohe is gearing up for a weekend of Ngapuhitanga.

Taiha Molyneux from the Ngapuhi Runanga says thousands of people are expected at Northland College for sports, music, culture and whanaungatanga.

There are also wananga for people who want to learn more about the tribal dialect, karanga, waiata moteata and the ancestral connections between Ngapuhi and the Society Islands.

There's even a dedicated area for taitamariki.

Entry to the Ngapuhi Festival at Northland College is free.


Maori party co-leader Pita Sharples says retiring Green MP Jeanette Fitzsimons will always be a friend of Maori.

He says the Coromandel-based MP, who stepped aside as leader last year and is now leaving after 13 years in parliament, was a great and dignified leader.

She was also an ally of the Maori Party.

“The younger leaders see us as a party contesting similar things as they are and they don’t show us the same cordial relations as Jeanette does. She will always be a friend,”Dr Sharples says.


The only Maori councillor on Auckland City Council believes there is little chance councilors on the new Auckland super city council will open doors for Maori.

Councils are required to consider Maori representation every few years, and can create Maori seats or other arrangements.

But Denise Roche, who represents the Hauraki Gulf ward, says the attitude of the current Citizen and Ratepayers majority on the Auckland city representatives shows this is unlikely.

“Within Auckland city council we’ve also tried to raise the fact that Maori should be polled to see if they would like to have their own councilors. It went absolutely nowhere,” Ms Roche says.

She says the proposed Maori Statutory Advisory Board for the super city will be tokenism at its worst.


They may have only come seventh, but the New Zealand team is taking valuable experience and contacts away from the World Junior Surfing Championships which finished this week at Piha.

14-year-old Sarah Mason from Ngati Awa, who now lives in northern New South Wales, was the highest placed Maori competitor ... finishing eighth in the Under 18 Girls Division.

Surfer and broadcaster Te Kauhoe Wano says hosting the event offered Maori surfers a lot of opportunities, either as competitors or volunteers.

He says a real feeling of whanaungatanga emerged between the Maori, Tahitian and Hawaiian surfers.


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