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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, September 16, 2010

House of hypocrites expoed says Goff

Labour leader Phil Goff says the week's events show National is surrounded on left and right by hypocrites.

He says Hone Harawira's dissent over the replacement for the Foreshore and Seabed Act has exposed the lack of principle in the rest of the Maori Party.

And ACT law and order spokesperson David Garrett, who opposed Labour's attempt to introduce clean slate provisions for past convictions, has been revealed as a serial offender.

He says Mr Garrett's attempts to hide his past, including an assault conviciton in Tonga and the theft of a dead child's identity to obtain a false passport, are nails in ACT's coffin.

“When you subject some of the small parties to close scrutiny, they are nowhere near as pure and idealistic as they claim to be, and often when subject to scrutiny they just don’t come up to the standards they themselves said were absolutely essential for any political party to meet,” Mr Goff says.

He says the three strikes law championed by Mr Garrett will have a negative effect on the lives of many young Maori.


Whangarei's Rewarewa D incorporation says its proposed waste recycling plant will create jobs as well as meet its kaitiaki responsibilities as tangata whenua.

Chairperson Mike Kake says the incorporation wants to use its land next to the district council's transfer station to product compost from green waste and to recover demolition material.

There are also plans for a recycle shop and an environment education centre.

“We have a responsibility as kaitiaki to make sure that whatever we do is not only economic in terms of providing job opportunities but also in terms of the environment, making sure we are comfortable in terms of the activities we are doing around the environment,” Mr Kake says.

The $1.5 million project is a joint venture with recyclers CBEC and Materials Processing Ltd.


A Maori woman standing for the Auckland super city council says it will be a huge ask to represent the wide variety of Maori opinion, but she is up to it.

Waina Emery is currently the chair of the Wiri Licensing Trust, and led demonstrations against the unrestrained growth liquor outlets in in south Auckland.

She says the Papakura-Manurewa ward is standing in contains a high proportion of Maori, who would otherwise be unrepresented.

“We have lost out on the part of being able to have seats at this council under the mana whenu, tangata whenua status, and there are no Maori. Unless we come through this way, Maori is not going to be represented at this table,” Ms Emery says.

She was also motivated to stand because there was no other woman candidate for the Papakura Manurewa ward.


Rotorua lawyer Annette Sykes says the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill should be referred to the Waitangi Tribunal for a ruling on whether it breaches the Treaty of Waitangi.

Ms Sykes says to be the replacement Maori want for the Foreshore and Seabed Act, the bill needs to be consistent with the treaty, the Bill of Rights and the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which the National-led Government signed up to earlier this year.

She says Parliament has the power to ask the Waitangi Tribunal for its expert opinion on legislation before it.

“If the Maori Party wants to stand by their assertions that everything is kei te pai, then let’s get this assessed by those that have the ability to do it, let’s refer it from the select committee, prior to public submissions, to the Waitangi Tribunal and get a declaration of consistency of this new proposal to the Treaty of Waitangi,” Ms Sykes says.

She says the bill has a rushed feel, and contains provisions which will be extremely hard to put into effect.


A former New Zealand First MP says ACT's self-destruction and splits within the Maori Party is creating a gap for the Winston Peters-led team to return to parliament.

Edwin Perry says the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill has led Te Tai Tokorau MP Hone Harawira to break ranks, and Maori voters won't be far behind.

And he says revelations about David Garrett's past offending is ruining ACT's moral authority to speak out on law and order.

“ACT are quite frankly losing their act and I’ve said at the moment the current position of the foreshore and seabed, you’ve got to say to Hone, what he had to say, he’s sticking to his kaupapa. That’s what they went in there to say they were going to do and he’s sticking to it,” Mr Perry says.

He has been attending meetings around the country with Winston Peters and is heartened by the huge public support the New Zealand First leader is getting.


Unite Union leader Matt McCarten says his experience with cancer is giving him a first hand understanding of the perilous state of Maori health.

The former Alliance Party president was diagnosed a year ago with a colon cancer, and says it's progressed to such a stage he is telling people outside his immediate family.

The 51-year-old says it's another campaign he wants to win, but he knows the odds.

“Most of my mother’s family, they died off quite early, in their 50s, because of cancer, and the cancer which I have, and I don’t want to go into what it is, Maori men are four times more likely to die from it than any other ethnicity,” Mr McCarten says.

He is heartened by the messages of support he is getting from across the political spectrum.


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