Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Turia support Len Brown candidacy

December 23

Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia has come out in support of Auckland super city candidate Len Brown.

Mrs Turia says the issue of dedicated Maori seats on the super city council is not lost after National did not follow the recommendations of the Royal Commission on how the city should be governed.

“They went with the ACT Party on that particular matter which was a huge disappointment for our people and certainly for the party, but however I think that what we should work as hard as we can to get the right mayor and if we do get the right mayor it’s highly likely that Maori will be included,” Mrs Turia says.

She says it is heartening that Mr Brown who is currently Mayor of Manukau has indicated that he's willing to work with Maori if he becomes mayor.

TURIA PICKED AS POLITICIAN OF THE YEAR

Meanwhile one of the country's most experienced political commentators Colin James has chosen Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia has his politician of the year.

Mr James a columnist with Wellington's Dominion newspaper says Mrs Turia is a gutsy determined grandmother who five years ago earned the fury of Labour's heavy hitters when she left the party and formed the Maori Party.

He says there is no doubt that she is the anchor of the Maori party and the way she handled the errant MP Hone Harawira was commendable.

“She got a deep kindness but also a deep toughness and those are the two qualities I would single out,” Mr James says

If Mrs Turia's whanau ora concept which the government is on the verge of adopting is successful it will show her as a politician who has been able to achieve much not just for Maori but all New Zealanders.

CALL FOR MAORI NEWS SERVICE

A long time advocate for an independent Maori voice in the news is challenging iwi leaders to build a centralised Maori media service.

Gary Wilson, a former head of the Journalists Training Organisation who set up Mana Media and Magazine 20 years ago says Maori leaders have fought hard for fish farming and whenua, but failed to acknowledge the role the media plays in shaping Maori opinion.

He says the leaders now need to steep up to ensure the Maori voice is strongly heard.

“Some of the Maori leaders can zero in and see if it’s not possible to find the resources to develop a strong independent professional Maori media organisation that can dictate the Maori agenda instead of leaving it to mainstream organisations,” he says.

Mr Wilson, who helped set up the first Maori media course at Waiariki Polytechnic, says there are now many journalists who can tell the story there just needs to be a coordinated avenue for them to tell it.

GOFF PRAISES MAORI COLLEAGUES

Labour leader Phil Goff says the party's Maori MPs have made huge contribution to the party's rebuilding over the past year.

Yesterday former Minister of Maori Affairs Parekura Horomia praised the efforts of younger MP's Kelvin Davis, Nanaia Mahuta and Shane Jones saying they had really stepped up to the mark to make the maori voice heard.

Mr Goff says while the younger MP's have certainly distinguished themselves the efforts of people like Mr Horomia himself should not be over looked.

Mr Goff says it has been a year dominated by Maori issues and the Labour Maori MPs have ensured Maori interests have been well represented.

NAME CHANGE LIKELY TO BE ACCEPTED QUICKLY

Ken Mair is predicting in a very short time the h will be commonly accepted in the name of the river city.

Mr Mair from Te Runanga o Tupoho says local Maori accept the Government's decision that people can choose either to include the h or not.

However he says including the h is the correct way and with all government agencies and departments beibng directed to include the h it will gain acceptance just as Mt Taranaki has replaced Mt Egmont where similar joint names were acceptable.

“Once crown agencies have been directed to spell our name correctly it will only be a matter of time before everyone will be spelling Whanganui with an H and it will be similar to the Egmont/Taranaki scenario – when you ask our children where Egmont is, they don’t know,” Mr Mair says.

RACE CALLER DONS MASK OF INVISIBILITY

One of the most recognised voices in the country says people who hear him don't generally recognise that he is Maori.

But George Simon who has been calling horse races since the age of 17 says being Maori is very important to him as he has covered racing meetings all around the world.

George Simon says it has given him a special thrill to call races where Maori jockeys such as Noel Harris, Michael Walker and Vinny Colgan have done well.

George Simon's voice will again be heard calling the action at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.

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