Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Three strikes law undermines feel good politics

Green co-leader Meteria Turei says Maori are missing out from the National-led government in areas where it really matters.

She says in spite of feel good policies like Whanau Ora and Maori flags, it's actions like the rise in GST and the three strikes policy which will really hit Maori families hard.

Ms Turei says the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill, which is being pushed through Parliament today by National with ACT's support, will further embed discrimination in the justice system against Maori.

“This Government is not interested in what is fair or what is just. They’re not genuinely interested in Maori issues as we saw with what John Key did to Tuhoe. They’re trying to present a nice face but it’s crumbling and we’re starting to see the real National Party, their real attitudes to Maori in particular come through,” Ms Turei says.

Maori already are more likely to be arrested and face longer sentences than non-Maori for similar crimes, so they are likely to run out of strikes much faster.

NGAPUHI LAUNCHES NEW WEB SITE

Ngapuhi has launched a web site to bring its members together during the treaty settlement process.

Sonny Tau, the chair of Te Runanga o Ngaphui, says only 13 percent of the tribe's 120,000 members live in Northland.

He says the tuhoronuku.com site is a way to generate contributions from people outside the rohe.

“The ideas should some from the grass roots people and we have constant dialogue with our people but there are those who for whatever reason are locked away from getting involved with iwi but this is a real initiative that takes Ngapuhi into the homes, into the bedrooms of every Ngapuhi,” Mr Tau says.

Interest round the Waitangi Tribunal hearings, which started last week, is driving traffic to the site.

TARANAKI WARS STILL RELEVANT IN MODERN ERA

The editor of a new book on the Taranaki Wars believes the conflict is relevant to those living in the modern era.

Contested Ground - Te Whenua i Tohea covers the two decades from the first shots fired in 1860 at Wiremu Kingi's pa in Waitara, Te Kohia, through to the invasion of Parihaka in 1881.

It includes essays by 11 academics and historians including Hazel Riseborough, Danny Keenan, Peter Adds and John and Hilary Mitchell, and is illustrated by images and taonga held by New Plymouth's Puke Ariki Museum.

Kelvin Day says although the Taranaki Wars started 150 years ago, they resonate today

“Unless we do understand what happened back then, how can we understand the healing process for today and understand why the Waitangi Tribunal claims are happening and why we get the headlines in the paper we do. The origin for a lot of those rests in that 1860s to 1880s period,” Mr Day says.

Contested Ground is published by Huia Publishers in association with Puke Ariki.

TAURANGA STRIPS PROTECTION FROM WAAHI TAPU

Ngai Terangi is shocked at Tauranga City Council's moves to cut more than half of the sites designated as significant Maori areas from the district plan.

Iwi resource manager Dee Samuel says the final draft removes 74 of the 126 significant Maori areas, so they can be developed without any consideration of their historic value.

He says while the sites are not registered under the Historic Places Act, they were designated as significant by elders when previous plans were drawn up and should not be set aside at the stroke of a planner's pen.

He says it was like a kick in the guts to the iwi and indicated some deep seated problem in council.

Mr Samuel says any site should be thoroughly examined before a decision is made to remove them from the plan.

HOROMIA AMAZED AT KEY’S CANDIDNESS

Labour's Maori affairs spokesperson expects short rations for Maori in tomorrow's Budget.

Parekura Horomia says the biggest item is likely to be the $34 million a year spent setting up Whanau Ora - and that's less than the Prime Minister is intending to spend on a national cycleway.

He says adding insult to injury is John Key's comment that other New Zealanders should not be jealous if the rich get more from tomorrow's Budget tax package.

PLASTIC POWHIRI FOR A PLASTIC MOUSE

MP Shane Jones has slammed a powhiri in Auckland for Mickey Mouse as a welcome too far.

The billion dollar rodent was welcomed to Vector Arena by kapa haka group Te Puru o Tamaki in advance of the Disney on Ice show which opens tomorrow.

The Northland-based Labour list MP says such dial-a-powhiri put the credibility of the ceremony and Maori culture at risk.

“If we want Maori ceremony and Maori culture to be taken seriously and to be respected, then we don’t drop our cultural trou and do a powhiri for Mickey and Minnie Mouse,” Mr Jones says.

He says kapa haka is becoming more a sport and less an expression of traditional culture.

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