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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rugby apology unacceptable in present form

Former governor general Sir Paul Reeves says the New Zealand Rugby Football Union's apology to past Maori rugby players unacceptable in its current form.

Union chief executive Steve Tew today apologised for the way Maori players were excluded from All Black tours to South Africa at the request of the Apartheid regime.

Sir Paul says apologies need to be delivered kanohi ki te kanohi, face to face.

“What is really required is for a hui to be held and I would suggest Poho o Rawiri in Gisborne because that’s where Springbok teams have traditionally gone at the beginning of a tour and the New Zealand Rugby Union should deliver the apology face to face and then the hui should discuss the implications of the apology,” Sir Reeves says.

To give substance to the apology, the Rugby Union needs to be far more supportive of Maori rugby than it has been in the past, or it risks losing talented players to other codes.


The General Synod of the Anglican Church has stepped in to help two Hawkes Bay Maori boarding schools which have run into severe financial difficulties.

Bishop Kito Pikaahu says a 12 member commission will review what help the church can give Hukarere Girls and Te Aute Boy's Colleges.

He says the schools have had long-standing problems with their endowments not keeping up with expenses, and that has been made worse by problems with a recent investment upgrading a dairy farm in Danneverke, which got caught by the recession.
The church has also appointed Bishop John Gray and Whatarangi Winiata to represent it on a joint working group aimed at sorting out Te Aute's claims against the Crown, which is being facilitated by Sir Wira Gardiner.


The convenor of the Maori sports awards says Shane Bond has been a wonderful ambassador for Maori in cricket.

The Ngai Tahu speed bowler announced his retirement from the game today, eight years after his Black Caps debut.

Mr Garrett says despite New Zealand's exit this week from the World 20/20 championships in the West Indies, he expects the fast bowler to again be nominated for an award later this year.

Dick Garrett says he's always been impressed by Shane Bond's humility and the pride he has in his Maori whakapapa.


Maori rugby hardman Bill Bush says an apology from the NZRFU should have come earlier.

After months of pressure the union, along with the South African union, has apologised to Maori denied spots on All Black tours to the republic between the 1920s and 1960s to appease that country's apartheid regime.

Mr Bush, who was part of the All Black squad on the 1976 tour, says today's apology by rugby union chief executive Steve Tew should give closure to the kaupapa, even if the timing was out.

“It's a huge relief but pity it wasn’t said at the launch at the Beehive we attended, us ex Maori All Blacks, a lot of dignitaries were there, the government was there, the New Zealand rugby hierarchy was there, and a pity it wasn’t said then and it would have been a good launch for the celebration of our centenary,” Mr Bush says.

The chair of the Maori Rugby Board, Wayne Peters, says his board had previously opposed an apology because it did not want to criticise the stand taken by the Maori representatives at the time.


Drug buying agency Pharmac is looking for three new representatives to bring a Maori perspective to its Consumer Advisory Committee.

Marama Parore, Pharmac's manager for access and optimal use, says long-standing members Matiu Dickson, Heather Thompson and Te Aniwa Tutara are stepping aside.

She says Maori have a greater disease burden than other New Zealanders and lower use of medicines, so it's important the agency makes Maori health a priority.

“Critical for Pharmac staff is making sure we are taking into account of whanau views and individuals views about medicines and how the get access to medicines and once they do how do they take them. The role of the community advisors is to give us that very strong whanau and individual view with regard to medicine,” Ms Parore says.

The representatives will need strong advocacy skills, good Maori networks, and the ability to work effectively in the committee structure.

Nominations close at the end of the month.


Franklin is getting a taste as Tiki tomorrow, as Maniopoto musician Tiki Taane brings his mix of dub, high energy waiata and te reo Maori to Pukekohe Town Hall.

The former Salmonella Dub member could be on the verge of international stardom, with his 2008 hit Always on My Mind included in the playlist for Playstation's Sing Star karaoke feature.

But he says he's always keen to take his music to provincial New Zealand, and tomorrow night's at the Pukekohe Town Hall will get to see all sides of his musical personality.


Blogger Philbee, said...

Sorry means sorry.
How much longer must this country bear the yolk of past sins?
Further, how much longer much we PAY for past sins?
This endless tugging-of-forelocks and beating-of-breats while grovelling at the foot of maori must end.
No-one is better or worse than anyone else in NZ.
No-one can fully apologise for things that have been done in the past.
But we can all be big enough to accept an honest apology.
In respect to the NZRU, an apology has been made - for things that current members were NOT responsible for. That MUST be enough.
End the dribble about face-to-face marae humbling, retrospective tour caps...and also the rediculous talk about the Maori rugby team being "racist"!
Let's all calm down, grow up...and move on.

11:43 AM  

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