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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Choppy reaction to foreshore ownership compromise

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is rejecting the Prime Minister's suggestion no one should own the foreshore.

John Key put up the option as a way around one of the most controversial aspects of Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Act, that it vested title in the Crown until proven otherwise.

Mrs Turia says that would satisfy neither the Maori Party nor iwi generally.

“That's about the Crown taking a property right away from our people and it’s not something they do to anyone else in this country and that’s why there was such an outrage in the original foreshore and seabed issue where Labour took the ownership of the foreshore and seabed away from our people and put it into Crown hands,” Mrs Turia says.

HOUSING SCHEME OUT OF REACH IN TRIBAL HEARTLAND

A northern iwi leader is sounding a note of caution over the new Kainga Whenua housing loan scheme.

Housing New Zealand will guarantee Kiwibank loans of up to 100 percent for Maori building homes on multiply-owned land.

Haami Piripi from Te Rarawa says the bar is set too high, and he can't see a stampede of Maori signing up.

“You have to have a household income of $85,000 a year. In my iwi, the average income for a Maori male is $14,800. To have an annual incomes of $85,000 you have to have two people working in a relatively well paid job,” Mr Piripi says.

SCIENCE SKILLS NEEDED TO DEVELOP MAORI ECONOMY

There's a call for more Maori scientists to develop the Maori economy.

A survey by the New Zealand Association of Scientists has found that Maori make up just 1.7 percent of the science workforce.

Association president James Renwick says while that is double the figure of 15 years ago, there is a matter of great concern that Maori are not attracted to work in the area.

“Science and technology are crucial to our economic future and it’s pretty well recognised Maori are entrepreneurial and capable so bringing science and technology to the fore can only be a good thing,” Dr Renwick says.

More study is needed into why more Maori are not entering the sciences.

GST HIKE NOT ENOUGH TO SINK CONFIDENCE AND SUPPLY AGREEMENT

The Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has ruled out splitting with the government over a 20 percent hike in GST.

Te Tai Tonga MP Rahui Katene says walking away is an option if the government doesn't compensate low income people for the increase.
Mrs Katene has produced a bill to exempt so called healthy food from the tax.

But Mrs Turia says it's not an issue that will break the support agreement.

“In signing up to confidence and supply on all matters that are related to tax or to finance we are bound to vote with the Government so it does but you into a Catch 22 situation of having to vote for some things you certainly do not agree with,” Mrs Turia says.

FORESHORE OWNERSHIP FORMULA POLITICAL DECEPTION

A lawyer involved in the Iwi Leaders' Forum's talks on the reform of the Foreshore and Seabed Act says it's political deception to say no one will own the beaches.

Prime Minister John Key says removing the assumption of Crown ownership is one of the options under consideration.

Moana Jackson from Ngati Kahungunu says by saying it will remain silent on ownership, the Crown is really saying its ownership will continue.

“There a bit of deception in the proposal and rather than looking at something that might be different than the previous legislation, it sounds like it will be more of the same with more sensitive-sounding language,” Mr Jackson says.

He says Maori have always said they would give the public access to the beaches.

ADAM BLAIR TOP INTERNATIONAL PLAYER AFTER MAGNIFICENT YEAR

Kiwi Rugby league coach Steven Kearny says Adam Blair fully deserves the NZRL International player of the year award he picked up last night.

It's been a tumultuous seven-year journey for the Melbourne Storm backrower since he was spotted as a 16-year-old Whangarei schoolboy by a Queensland club.

Mr Kearny says with 76 NRL games and 16 tests under his belt, the 23 year old, 108 kilo Kiwi vice captain is on top of his game in both domestic and international competition, and his performances last year were magnificent.

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