Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Party scrapping undermining welfare policy

Labour leader Phil Goff says conflict between National and the Maori Party is creating confusion in welfare policy.

Mr Goff says a claim by associate social development minister Tariana Turia that she was only informed at the last moment of benefit changes indicates a huge rift with the senior minister, Paula Bennett.

He says that doesn't bode well for the Maori Party's flagship health and welfare initiative, the whanau ora system for service delivery.

“The government and he Maori Party have left a huge amount of confusion, one Tariana saying it’s by Maori for Maori, John Key saying it’s for everybody. Well, it can’t be both. The real question is how the money is going to be spent, who it’s going to spent on, where that money comes from and whether there are proper accountability mechanisms. Now all of those are big questions. None of them have been answered,” Mr Goff says.

The Maori Party has announced that it will be casting four votes against the government's welfare crack down, but Mrs Turia will vote in favour in line with her ministerial responsibility.

WHANGAREI KEEN TO SELL LAND BEFORE CLAIMS PROCESS

Whangarei Maori are crying foul over Whangarei District Council's plan to sell former Northland Harbour Board land.

Businesses which occupy the land, most of which is under perpetual lease, have been asked if they want to freehold.

Mike Kake, the chair of neighbouring landowner Rewarewa D Incorporation, says the land was taken from Maori under the Whangarei Harbour Vesting Act, and it should be returned to the original owners if it's surplus.

He says the council is running scared of what might come up in the forthcoming Waitangi Tribunal investigation of Northland land claims.

“There's been no consultation with tangata whenua at all. They look like they’re cashing up and I believe a lot of this activity is to get in before the treaty settlements. Once the hearing is done the pressure could come on,” Mr Kake says.

He says councils in other parts of the country have been prepared to make former harbour board land available for treaty settlements, but not Whangarei.

NEW NETBALL CENTRE MAGNET FOR RANGATAHI

Rangatahi in west Auckland have a new sports centre.

Te Pai in Henderson has reopened after a four year, $7 million refit.
It includes indoor netball courts and facilities for other codes.

Eru Thompson from Te Kawerau a Maki, who blessed the new building, says it's an investment in the city's future leaders.

He says Waitakere is taking the lead in programmes and facilities for Auckland's young people, especially rangatahi Maori.

TAMIHERE LISTS OBSTACLES IN MAYORAL RACE

Waipareira Trust head John Tamihere says he's not the man to become the third candidate for the the Auckland super city mayoralty.

The former Tamaki Makaurau MP has denied reports he's seeking the number two spot on Auckland mayor John Banks' ticket.

He says Waipareira, rolling out whanau ora and his talkback radio gig are keeping him busy ... and there are also major hurdles in the way of anyone contemplating taking on Mr Banks and rival Len Brown.

“You've got two candidates who have national political organisations, one National and one Labour. That’s a formidable organisatIonal base to overcome. As a consequence they’ve got a lot of money behind them. That’s something you have to overcome,” Mr Tamihere says.

He'd like to see a well funded, high profile alternative candiate emerge, because the current contest is a big yawn for Auckland voters.

FORESHORE DISCUSSION DOC WILL TEST RELATIONSHIP

Former Alliance president Matt McCarten says today's release of the Foreshore and Seabed Act rewrite will be a real test for the National-Maori Party relationship.

Mr McCarten says tensions between the two partners over things like welfare policy, Maori representation on the Auckland super city seats and the introduction of standards testing in primary schools are natural.

But if the Government does not deliver real gains on the Maori Party' defining issue, its supporters will be asking questions.

“If they don't get anything, I think they’re in real trouble, the Nats and the Maori Party both. I think you may see the relationship, the warm personal relationships they have will come under because the Maori Party will legitimately have to say what’s our role here,” Mr McCarten says.

He says the Maori Party needs to show what is offered is better than it got under Labour.

HARAKEKE WORKER CHOSEN ARTIST IN WAITAKERE RESIDENCE

A Ngapuhi flax artist is to serve as Auckland Regional Council artist in residence in the Waitakere ranges.

Maureen Lander was taught korowai and other weaving skills by the late late Diggeress Te Kanawa, and went on to teach Maori material culture at Auckland University's Maori studies department.

She says Waitakere has long been a source of inspiration, as well as the place she gets raw materials for her weaving and installation work.

She’s excited by the number of younger weavers emerging who are going back to traditional sources for inspiration.

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