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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Flavell salvages hope from Public Works bill setback

Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell says his private members bill amending the Public Works Act would have benefited Maori and Pakeha landowners alike.

The Bill, which would have required the return of land taken for public works but not used for the intended purpose, failed to get past its second reading last week.

Only the Maori Party and the Greens voted in favour.

But Mr Flavell says he's put the issue squarely on the public agenda.

“All the people who spoke to it in the first reading understood it, they came up with examples in their own whakapapa, their own background about how the Public Works Act had impacted on them, and while the select committee wasn’t prepared to go past the second reading and voted it down, they all accepted there was an issue there and perhaps a better way to go was a review of the Public Works Act,” Mr Flavell says.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says if Maori are to survive as a people their language needs to survive.

She says the fight to have Maori recognised as an official language and given government support has had some impressive results.

But since the revival was started in the early 1970s, the number of speakers has fallen.

“There were over 70,000 fluent Maori speakers at that time in the 70s and we are now down to 18,000. That’s very sad and I think what it highlights for us is if we are to survive as a people, our language has to survive as well,” Mrs Turia says.

She says she is one of those people who can understand a lot of reo Maori but doesn't have the confidence to use it.

Research by Te Taura Whiri i Te reo Maori indicates 54 percent of Maori can follow a conversation in te reo, but only 7 percent are completely confident about using it in any situation.


A leading member of the Maori Council, Maanu Paul, says the Government mustn't ignore the recommendations of the United Nations special rapporteur on indigenous issues, James Anaya, who was in the country last week talking to Maori and Crown officials.

E kii ana a Maanu Paul o te Kaunihera Maori, e kore e taea te karo nga raruraru o te Maori.


The Maori Party's candidate for Ikaroa Rawhiti says seeing the world through Maori eyes is one of the most valuable things the party can bring to the country.

Na Raihania, the chair of Poverty Bay iwi Ngai Tamanuhiri, was picked to challenge Labour's Parekura Horomia through a series of hui of party members throughout the electorate, which goes from the East Cape to Wainuiomata.

The 48-year-old says he brings to the task his experience in health, education, unionism, and most importantly Maori development.

“We need to attack the world through the eyes of Maoridom and those tikanga that we’ve got. That’s what is going to carry us through. For years and years we’ve been told to be more Pakeha than Maori and if you look at the statistics particularly in crime, health, all the negative stuff, we fill those far too much. We’ve got to tip those scales back in our favour and we do that by relying on ourselves and making this world our world through our mechanisms,” Mr Raihania.


A powhiri in just over an hour will welcome 41 teams to the biennial New Zealand Secondary schools Kapa Haka Championships at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre.

Darrel Pene from Rotorua Boys High, the chair of the organising committee, says the event has grown steadily from the original 16 roopu a decade ago.

He says it's a chance for rangatahi to celebrate their maoritanga and mix with other kapahaka kids.

The only other times Maori kids will get together is the Manu Korero speech competitions, which this year will be held at Dunedin later in the term.

Darrel Pene says the standard of the performances has been rising steadily.


A veteran Maori language teacher says Te Taura Whiri researchers who estimated only 7 percent of Maori are confident about using the language don't spend enough time the communities where te reo is spoken.

E kii ana a kaumaatua Kepa Stirling from te Whanau a Apanui ... kei te hee rawa atu tera tatauranga.


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