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Friday, May 14, 2010

Party pressure behind PM's veto

May 11

Tuhoe treaty negotiators believe Prime Minister John Key was pushed into abruptly intervening in treaty negotiations by reactionary elements within National.

Head negotiator Tamati Kruger says the Prime Minister rang him shortly before yesterday's cabinet meeting indicating he was withdrawing consideration of Tuhoe's claim for full management and ownership of the Urewera National Park from the cabinet agenda indicating he didn't have the numbers.

“He had a view that it was too political and too difficult and there was obvious risks there that his government would have to contend with and I got the feeling he wasn’t in a confident mood about that,” Mr Kruger says.

He says its unprecedented that the Prime Minister should step in over the top of Treaty negotiations minister Chris Finlayson who had been continuing negotiations with Tuhoe with the understanding that full ownership of the National Park was a bottom line which could be facilitated over 5 to 10 years with access and other rights protected.

He says he was not surprised Mr Key drew attention of pressure from rank and file over concessions to the Maori Party on the declaration fo indigenous peoples rights, whanau ora and tobacco taxes when explaining the breaking off of negotiations.

Mr Kruger says the decision provides fuel for iwi radicals who have already made their displeasure known but personally he wants to see if a way can be found through the impasse by negotiation.


An initiative for Maori which came out of last year's Job Summit's has been so successful those behind it want to take it nationwide.

Following the Maori Economic Summit and the Prime Minister's Job Summit a partnership was formed between the ministry for Maori development, Te Puni Kokiri and trade training organisation Infratrain to upskill 250 Maori from the central North Island.

Infratrain chief executive John Willis says the marae based programme has far exceeded expections providing training for nearly 400 workers in roading, civil engineering and construction.

Mr Willis says they've gone back to TPK seeking funding to make the programme available throughout the country.


Arts Waikato is holding a series of hui this month to help budding artists build up their profiles.

The free meetings are being held in Kawhia, Tokoroa and Hamilton to help Maori visual artists to network and get their work out to the public.

Maori arts advisor Waimihi Hotere says there is a wealth of Maori carvers and weavers in the area but too many work in isolation.


A Maori lawyer who has been at the forefront of the campaign to have New Zealand sign up to the UN declaration of indigenous people rights is welcoming the upcoming visit of UN special rapporteur on indigenous human rights James Anaya.

Mr Anaya is coming in July at the government's invitation to see how New Zealand has responded to his predecessor Rodolfo Stavenhagen's calls for the foreshore and seabed act to be repealed and Maori rights to self-determination to be recognised through constitutional review.

Maona Jackson says the visit of Mr Anaya who is recognised as one of the best international lawyers in the world is timely, and he has worked closely with Maori in the past.

He says the high number of Maori in prison is sure to gain Mr Anaya's attention.


The urban Maori authority leader who initiated calls for an apology to Maori for being left out of All Black teams to South Africa is predicting protest action at next month's Maori All Black game against Ireland if the NZRFU continues to insult Maori by not offering an apology.

Broadcaster and former MP Willie Jackson whose grandfather Everard Jackson was an All Black says every day the rugby union refuses to overrule the Maori rugby board and make a formal apology to Maori adds to the sham.

Mr Jackson who called for an apology 5 years ago and has been campaign on the issue since says he's hearing from Maori who what to take action around the Maori game against the Ireland in Rotorua on June 18.


Waitara poet and musician Troy Hunt wants to encourage rangatahi to speak publicly about issues in their own way.

Troy Hunt is in the Bay of Plenty this week with fellow writers Rawiri James and Tarah Rudolph-Ah kiau giving performances and workshops in secondary schools as part of the Toi Maori Fresh Tour.

He says students need to write about whatever they think is important, from love and relationships to events in their own rohe … as he did when he wrote his poem about the killing of Waitara man Steven Wallace.


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