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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, May 14, 2010

NZRFU in a corner on apology

Monday May 10

The author of a history of Maori rugby says the NZRFU has painted itself into a corner over an apology for the no Maoris on tour debacle.

Malcolm Mulholland says the weekend apology by South African Sports Minister Makhenkesi Arnold Stofile to the Maori players left out of tours to the republic between the 1920s and the 1960s has left the New Zealand rugby union's reputation in tatters.

But the NZRFU has become more entrenched.

Mr Mulholland says it’s 50 years to the day that an All Black squad flew off the South Africa, defying the 160,000 New Zealanders who signed a petition calling for "No Maori, no tour.”

MAORI APPRENTICE PROGRAMME HAVING SKILLS IMPACT

A project training Maori for better jobs in the roading, civil engineering and construction is having phenomenal results.

Traditionally many Maori have found work in the sector in unskilled and low paid jobs.

However last July, with government money from Te Puni Kokiri, the trade training organisation Infratrain set up a skills training programme.

Chief executive John Willis says in past 10 months nearly 400 Maori have attended formal marae based training courses in the central North Island.

On Friday eight Infratrain trainees were presented with $10,000 scholarships on Friday to study for Infratrain's National Diploma.

AOTEA TRIO THROUGH TO TE MATATINI

Nine teams battled it out for the top three places at the Aotea kapahaka regionals in Whanganui on Saturday.

Commentator Hohepa Te Moana says a full house turned out to tautoko the teams.

The crowd was blown away by performances, including kaumatua groups Tai Hiku and Nga Pakeke o Ratana.

Winners, Te Reanga o Moreu o Ratana, Te Purupuru o Taranaki from Waitara and another Waitara team, Tu Te Kahika, go through to Te Matatini national championships next February in Gisborne.

JACKSON ACCEPTS DECLARATION ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

A longtime supporter of the UN declaration of indigenous peoples rights says it was good to see Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples acknowledging those who have worked on the declaration over 22 years.

Lawyer Maona Jackson says it was pleasing to see alot of those who have fought hard to have New Zealand sign up to the declaration at a lunchtime ceremony hosted by Dr Sharples to thank them for their efforts.

However he says while it was good to be acknowledged many present had mixed feelings.

Mr Jackson says while John Key saying it didn't mean anything took the shine off the government's signing, the Prime Minister is wrong as international human rights documents do have an effect.

MAHUTA KEEN TO SEE STUDY GRANTS USED

Last week's historic settlement for Waikato-Tainui co-management of the Waikato river includes a $20 million fund for Maori to study the awa's environment.

Waikato Hauraki MP Nanaia Mahuta says it's fitting some of the $210 million allocated to clean-up fund for the river over the next 30 years will go to the endowed college which grew from a vision of her late father Sir Robert Mahuta who was the chief negotiator for the 1995 Waikato-Tainui raupatu (confiscation) claim-settlement with the Crown.

Ms Mahuta says according to her father’s wishes the college was set up in 2000 as a memorial to the settlement and it is the appropriate place for looking after the river’s well-being to be based.

She says the irony that Auckland university was established on the back of an endowed fund from lands confiscated from Waikato in the 1860's didn't escape the attention of Tainui and she had reminded politicians of this in her speech on the settlement last week.

TRIBUNAL DEPUTY MOVES ON FROM MAORI LAND COURT

Waitangi Tribunal deputy chair Carrie Wainwright is stepping down.

Judge Wainwright, who was appointed to the Maori Land Court in 2000, is off to the District Court, with the intention of becoming a Youth Court judge next year.

She says most of her time in recent years has been spent with the tribunal where the most challenging and satisfying part of her work has been getting claimant groups within iwi to set aside their differences and work together.

Judge Wainwright says as the settlement process has progressed Crown officials have become more understanding of claimant concerns and more flexible about how they engage with claimants.

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