Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Maori caught up in protest surveillance

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says police surveillance of protesters is something Maori have had to put up with for decades.

Figures obtained the Official Information Act by Peace Action Wellington show police obtained 84 operation orders for public demonstrations last year, including anti-war protests, candlelight vigils and union demonstrations.

Ms Turei says undercover police have been a feature of protests for decades, taking notes, names and photographs of protestors.

“We know that Maori are more likely to be targets through the policy system and the legal system. We’ve seen the statistics that prove that. And so for Maori who are, particularly when we are protesting or demonstrating on issues that are about our sovereignty, our right to be decision makers, then it becomes seriously problematic,” Ms Turei says.

POLICE SEEK IWI HELP ON MAORI CRIME RATE

Meanwhile, police met Wellington Maori leaders at Waiwhetu marae today to discuss ways to lower Maori crime rates.

Superintendent Wally Haumaha says Te Atiawa kaumatua Kara Puketapu invited police to the marae in response to commissioner Howard Broad's comments on high Maori youth crime and family violence rates at a forum earlier this month.

He says the Whanau Maori Standing Up hui is the first of a series around the country where the police will profile the crime types usual in each rohe.

The hui was broken into workshops which looked at problems facing Maori according to age groups.

DROUGHT AFFECTING TAITOKERAU TRUSTS

Maori farmers in Taitokerau have been cutting stock numbers as the drought in the north moves into its sixth month.

Pita Paraone, the manager of the Maori Trustee's Northland office, which acts as manager or agent for many trusts and incorporations, says more than 20 percent of the region is Maori land.

He says while the drought was made official at the start of the year, it's really having an impact now as farmers start digging into their winter feed or sell stock.

His own family farm trust has declared a zero dividend for the year because of the drought.

RON MARK APPOINTED TO DRIVE FOMA FORWARD

Former New Zealand First MP Ron Mark has been appointed chief executive of the Federation of Maori Authorities.

FOMA chairperson Traci Houpapa says Mr Mark is deputy chair of the Wairarapa Moana Incorporation and a long time member of the federation, which represents the interests of trusts and incorporations managing 800 thousand hectares of Maori land.

She says the new executive committee wanted someone who could keep pace with the market politically and commercially, who had a broad experience of national and Maori politics, as well as organisational and management skills.

She says FOMA is changing as its members expand beyond the primary sector into other industries.

HEALTH SCHOLARSHIP AIMS TO GET MAORI GPS

A fifth year student at Auckland University's school of medicine, Leah Te Weehi, has won this year's ProCare Health award for Maori.

The $2000 will go towards the costs of a 10-week placement in London.

Peter Didsbury, the chair of the Auckland-based primary health organisation, says the award aims to encourage Maori into general practice.

GOURMET BANGERS ON MENU FOR PM’S BANQUET

Sausages seasoned with pikopiko, horopito and kawakawa will be on offer when a Maori chef heads to China in July.

Charles Pipi Tukukino Royal will host three gourmet dinners for distributors and hospitality industry heavyweights to coincide with Prime Minister John Key's visit to the Shanghai World Expo, and similar events in September when Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples visits.

As well as the high-end sausages developed in a joint venture with meat specialists Dunninghams, Mr Royal will serve Maori kai, wine and beer from businesses hoping to gain a foothold in China.

His target is the 20-million strong expatriate community in Cghina.

As well as the traditional herbs, he's made a hot piripiri sausage for more adventurous eaters which uses a blend of horopito, kawakawa and cayene pepper.

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