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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, August 02, 2010

Tamihere tipped for Te Atatu

Former Alliance MP Willie Jackson is touting former Tamaki Makaurau MP John Tamihere as a potential Labour candidate for the Te Atatu electorate.

Sitting MP Chris Carter has gone leave after anonymously circulating a letter attacking leader Phil Goff, and it's likely the safe seat could be opened up for the general election, if not for a by-election.

Mr Jackson says his broadcasting co-host and urban Maori authority associate lives in the electorate and would be an ideal candidate.

“I'd sort of say it's time for Maori and say it’s either JT or Shane Jones actually because they need a bit f a spark to come back in there and if they want to win the Maori vote, Tamihere offers them that opportunity,” he says.

Mr Jackson says John Tamihere would win the seat easily if chosen.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says a review of Maori language spending is a must because the current strategy is clearly not working.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples last week appointed Tamati Reedy of Ngati Porou to head a seven-member panel of language experts to assess whether the $226 million spent each year is meeting iwi and Maori aspirations.

Mrs Turia says when Maori started protesting in the 1970s about the total lack of state support for te reo Maori there were 70,000 native speakers, compared with just 18,000 fluent speakers today.

“So what it's really highlighting is that while the strategies may be introducing some language to our people, it’s not introducing sufficient for them to carry out a conversation with one another,” Mrs Turia says.

There could be a case for tighter integration of language promotion initiatives.


The chair of the national secondary school's kapa haka competition in Rotorua says the quality of reo was decisive in picking a winner.

Gisborne's Lytton High School beat Raukura, a combined team from Rotorua Girls and Boys High Schools, with Palmerston North's Te Piringa third.

Rangitihi Pene says there were outstanding performances from the 40 roopu and it was a close win for the Tairawhiti team.

He was also surprised by top performances from teams which haven't figured in the past, including Kaitaia College and Waitara High School.


Nelson-based Wakatu Incorporation has bought out the minority shareholders in Tohu Wines as it concentrates its wine making activities on the top of the South Island.

Wakatu chief executive Keith Palmer says the Maori vintner has had its best year yet, and the company has an overall valuation of about $20 million.
He says it was a good time to simplify the ownership, taking out Ngati Rarua-Atiawa Iwi Trust, most of whose beneficiaries are also Wakatu shareholders, and Poverty Bay-based Wi Pere Trust.

He says as the firm is replacing its reliance on Gisborne grapes with production from Wakatu’s Nelson Vineyards, there is no longer a strategic reason for Wi Pere to be involved.

Keith Palmer says Wakatu's vineyards are also being transferred into Tohu.


A company which wants to develop a huge ironsand find off the south Taranaki coast is not expecting the level of Maori opposition to its plans that oil explorers off the East Coast and Northland are facing.

Bill Bissett, the chair of Trans Tasman Resources, says there is potential to extract up to 10 million tonnes of ironsand a year for steelmaking, making it one of the country's largest export earners.
He says with a venture of that scale, it's important to win local support, so he has written to and spoken to as may iwi groups as he could in the area.

The initial development could cost up to $1 billion, and there could be opportunities for iwi to invest.


The daughter of one of Maoridom's best-known comedians is heading for the limelight in her own right.

Twelve year old Alex King - daughter of Mike King of Te Mahurehure, has just got home from Hollywood, where she won three bronze medals from the World Championships of Performing Arts for her performances of Broadway musical, R&B and Pop tunes.

Her mother, Rose Nathan-King, says all the members of the New Zealand junior team won medals, despite being up against well prepared opposition from countries like America, South Africa and the Phillippines.


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