Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, August 09, 2010

Mataki confirmed as Maori Party candidate

The Maori Party's new Waikato Hauraki candidate says he will need to reach right into the flax roots to unseat Labour's Nanaia Mahuta.

Retired soldier Tauhuia Bruce Mataki from Ngati Kauwhata and Ngati Kahungunu beat former Waikato-Tainui chief executive Hemi Rau and Housing New Zealand manager Pia Searanke for the right to contest next year's general election.

The 55-year-old says having worked on Angeline Greensill's last two campaigns and the subsequent post-mortem, he knows the importance of getting the message out to ordinary Maori.

“One of the biggest problems we had in our review was communications from the minister’s office down to the lower socioeconomc. We need to really do some work in there because that’s where the heartbeat is, that’s there the pain is and that’s where we’ve got to be communicating better so they get the confidence they need to have in us to represent them in government,” Mr Bruce Mataki says.

He will run a "get two MPs for the price of one' campaign, highlighting Nanaia Mahuta's likely high ranking in Labour's list.

RIGHTS’ TEST CARPING IRKS MINISTER

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson is rejecting criticism the tests for customary rights in his rewrite of the Foreshore and Seabed Act are too onerous.

Ngai Tahu chair Mark Solomon says making Maori prove continuous and exclusive use since 1840 ignores how the Crown severed Maori links with their traditional lands ... and means the South Island tribe is unlikely to benefit from the reform.

But Mr Finlayson says there is no way he is deliberately trying to stymie Maori.

“What I've tried to do in drawing up these tests is look, the common law test is harsh and unrelenting, I’ve tried to feed into that how can you have a test in New Zealand that ignores tikanga? It’s nuts. So to to say we are deliberately trying to do things, with respect, it’s off the wall,” Mr Finlayson says.

WEAVING QUALITY NEED BOOST

An innovative weaver says Maori need to demand higher standards of their crafts people.

Karl Rangikawhiti Leonard, of Te Arawa, Ngati Awa and Ngati Raukawa, learned to weave from his grandmother and the kuia of his kainga in Rotorua.

He says they made him aware of the level of excellence aspired to by traditional weavers in days gone by.

“To me manawa wera, in other words to get your blood pumping, means be defiant, make a stance, move out back to that level. I don’t think we can ever be as good as they were but I still think we can take the level of weaving back up. There are weavers out there who still stand for quality but there are the others who are happy to throw some feathers, any kind of fibre and call it a taonga and it's really not,” Mr Leonard says.

The exhibition Manawa Wera: Defiant Chants by Karl Leonard and Ngaahina Hohaia is at Objectspace in Auckland for another month.

NO PLAN TO DEAL WITH MAORI UNEMPLOYMENT

Greens' co-leader Meteria Turei says the government has no plan to deal with spiraling Maori unemployment.

The Maori jobless rate is now over 16 percent, almost 10 points higher than the general rate, with more than 3000 Maori joining the dole queue last quarter.

Ms Turei says the government is pretending the recession is over so it can cut stimulus spending, when people at the bottom are still struggling.

“They have very quickly have pulled back from any plans or investments that you would expect to occur by government in a recession,” Ms Turei says.

She says the only money the government seems willing to spend is on unnecessary motorway construction projects that don't create new jobs.

INTERGENERATIONAL FIGHT LIKELY OVER MINING PLANS

Te Whanau a Apanui is setting itself for a long term fight against oil prospecting off its coast.

Representatives from the East Coast iwi were in Tamaki Makaurau at the weekend to establish common cause with other iwi and environmental groups.

The Government has given Brazilian company Petrobras a five year exploration license over the Raukumara Basin, meaning it could be years before any decision needs to be made about exploitation of the field.

But Rikirangi Gage, the chief executive of Te Runanga o te Whanau, says the tempation to drill or mine ... and the environmental risk ... will remain whatever happens with that particular license.

“We're looking at an inter-generational campaign. It’s not going to go away that quick and it’s something our mokopuna will need to, we need to put stakes in the ground and our mokopuna need to, as we have, pick up the kaupapa and carry it on,” Mr Gage says.

WRESTLING PROMOTED FOR RANGATAHI CONFIDENCE

A Maori wrestler is promoting the sport to Maori parents as a way their kids can build their confidence.

Hori Manuirirangi and his sons, 8-year-old Tama and 6-year-old Hori, represented the Hamilton Hawks at the National Wrestling Club Championships in Kirikiroa yesterday.

The Waikato University Maori development lecturer says Maori enjoy the physicality of wrestling.

“We've got a wealth of talent out there hasn’t been tapped into. They’ve got so much potential, our kids, the physical gift of being able to handle themselves along with balance and coordination. That’s why I got my sons into it, I wanted to build on that,” he says.

Mr Manuirirangi came second in his divison, as did Tama, while young Hori was third

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