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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, April 26, 2010

Foreshore plan fails consultation test

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says the Government’s plan to put the foreshore and seabed into the public domain is unacceptable to Maori.

A round of consultation on the proposed replacement of the Foreshore and Seabed Act wound up with a hui in the Hokianga on Saturday.

Mr Harawaira, who has attended several of the hui around the country, says there has been a clear message coming through for Attorney General Chris Finlayson.

“The word is the same. Thank you very much for repealing this legislation. It was bad legislation. It was racist legislation. Thank you very much for restoring our right to go to court, which is a right that all New Zealanders have. On the third point, the title issue, we think that you are doing your best but we would rather it was back in Maori hands,” Mr Harawira says.

He’d like to see more time taken developing a replacement structure for Maori to manage their interests in the foreshore and seabed.

TICKETS GOING FAST TO MAORI-IRELAND GAME

The Bay of Plenty Rugby Union is expecting a capacity crowd for the New Zealand Maori team’s clash with Ireland in Rotorua on June 18.

Operations manager Mike Rogers says preferential tickets went on sale to Bay supporters last week and they’re being snapped up.

Sales to the public open next week, and it’s likely the 32,000 seat International stadium will be full.

The Ireland match is the first of three to make the centenary of Maori rugby, with fixtures against England and the Barbarians to follow.

CLASS WINS OUT IN TAIRAWHITI KAPA HAKA

It was a whale of a result at the Tairawhiti kapahaka regionals in Gisborne over the weekend, with Te Whangara Mai Tawhiti taking top honours to lead six teams to the national competition in February.

Te Matatini event manger Willie Te Aho says it was a major organisational feat to get the record 21 teams onto the stage.

Also through are Tu Te Mauria, Waihirere, Te Hokawhitu aa Tu, Te Whanau aa Kai, and Te Aitanga a Hauiti ki Uawa.

Te Whangara Mai Tawhiti, which was the runner up in last year’s nationals, is off to Shanghai soon to represent New Zealand at the World Expo.

GANG PATCH BANS DISTRACTION FROM REAL ISSUES

An expert on gang culture is accusing Local Government New Zealand of attacking gangs as a distraction from its lack of performance on more important issues.

The lobby group is drafting an amendment to the Local Government Act to allow members to follow Wanganui District Council’s lead and ban gang insignia.

Dennis O’Reilly says the Wanganui law is still being tested in the courts.

“You know where organized criminal groups are at the moment, we’d be better looking at finance companies and councilors might be better busying themselves with leaky homes. I think they’re needlessly distracted at this moment. The legislation’s there. It’s going to be tested in the High Court. Focus on stuff that’s got meaning in the moment,” Mr O’Reilly says.

Councils should try to help gang members find jobs rather than banning their patches.

HARAWIRA KEEN ON DELAY IN FORESHORE LAW REPEAL

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira wants the Government to spend more time developing a replacement for the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Attorney General Chris Finlayson this weekend completed a round of consultation hui on his plans for declare the coast a public domain, while offering Maori a way to establish customary rights to parts of it.

Mr Harawira believes hapu and iwi will be able to establish those rights throughout the country, so more thought needs to be put into managing those rights.

“ How do you manage differences between hapu and hapu? Are the infrastructures in place to deal with things like access permits? Who manages the use rights and on what basis? What will be the relationship between iwi and local bodies? And is it going to be iwi who manage it, or will it be hapu? All of those things have yet to be worked out,” Mr Harawira says.

He says it could take another couple of years to come up with a suitable management system.

VETERANS GIVE BOOST TO CULTURE COMPETITIONS

History was in the air in Gisborne over the weekend as 21 kapa haka teams battled out who will represent Tairawhiti when it hosts Te Matatini national championships in February.

Event manager Willie Te Aho says there were many moments of magic, especially when some of the culture’s leading icons made an appearance on stage.

They included Archbishop Brown Turei, and Waka Huia founders, Pen and Ngapo Wehi, who were three of the original committee who set p the first competition in 1952.

Whangara Mai Tawhiti, known affectionately on the coast as the Whaleriders, took top honours ahead of Tu Te Mauria and Waihirere.

Because so many roopu were competing, Te Hokawhitu aa Tu, Te Whanau aa Kai, and Te Aitanga a Hauiti ki Uawa also go through to Te Matatini.

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