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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, September 17, 2010

Resignation call over foreshore bill

Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira's mother is calling the resignation of his Maori Party co-leaders, Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia.

Titewhai Harawira says under the party's rules, the parliamentary arm should have come back to the membership before agreeing to allow the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill to go before Parliament.

“The parliamentary wing of the Maori Party has gone off on its own. Pita and Tariana. That’s why I’m calling for their resignation. I want them out. There’s no consultation with anybody. Pita has not come to us in his electorate for any mandate to support this kaupapa,” Mrs Harawira says.

Her phone has run hot with support since she made the call on her urban Maori radio show this week.


Meanwhile, Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples is hedging his bets, saying he doesn't think the Marine and Coastal Area Bill he supported will resolve Maori claims to the foreshore and seabed.

The bill referred to the Maori Affairs select committee this week includes a 6 year deadline for lodging claims for customary rights over parts of the coast.

Dr Sharples says his National Government partners are being optimistic if they think that will be the end of it.

“For them to talk about ending the claims and doing this and doing that, and full and finally, I mean full and final has gone on the by on numerous occasions with these settlements. While the Prime Minister and other can talk about full and final, in the end it’s our people who will say what's full and final,” Dr Sharples says.


People working in child and adolescent mental health have been given a set of guidelines to help them improve services to rangatahi Maori.

Kirsty Maxwell-Crawford from Ngai Tai and Tapuika, the chief executive of Maori health workforce development agency Te Rau Matatini, says the advice in Ta Tatou Mahere Korowai will help providers set up rangatahi advisory groups.

She says over the past year rangatahi have consistently said what they need, but their words are often overlooked.

“They want health services that are relevant to them as youth, that are youth friendly, that are accessible, that are affordable, that are delivered in places that are easy for them to access, that are non-judgmental, and these guidelines are really about providing a practical example for services,” Ms Maxwell-Crawford says.

Where it has been tried, rangatahi input has resulted in dramatic improvements in services.


Former Alliance MP Willie Jackson says the Maori Party's support for national's Marine and Coastal Area Bill could come back to bite it.

The broadcaster and Manukau Urban Maori Authority head says Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira should be congratulated for standing by the party's principles and saying the bill not the right replacement for the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

He says the party should also heed long term advisors like Moana Jackson and Annette Sykes, who say it extinguishes customary rights.

“To sort of make out that this is some sort of victory for Maori is wrong and I think strategically the Maori Party has got it wrong here and it could come back to bit them pretty quickly,” Mr Jackson says.


The Alcohol Advisory Council says boozing has become a significant Maori problem.

It wants the Maori Affairs Select Committee to mount an inquiry similar to its investigaiton into the impact of the tobacco industry on Maori.

Alac's Maori manager, Gilbert Tauroa, says Maori are over-represented in all measures of alcohol harm.

“It's usually the Maori ones that are at more risk. They’re more likely perhaps to end up requiring more serious health services with some of the alcohol stuff but also we are clearly aware of the link between alcohol and crime is very evident,” Mr Tauroa says.


Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples will be in Christchurch today to see how the Maori might get involved in the reconstruction of the city.

He says he'll be looking at ways his ministry can help.

“I just think there's a wonderful opportunity. Maori represent 16.4 percent unemployed. The national average is about 6.4 percent so there is a real discrepancy. I’m targeting Maori to get into work, especially in Christchurch where they can help restore their city,” Dr Sharples.


Nelson's Whakatu Marae says this weekend's time out for whanau from earthquake-shook Christchurch could be repeated if it's a success.

About 30 tamariki and kaumatua from Ngai Tahu are expected in Motueka this afternoon.

Matt Hippolite from Ngati Koata says iwi from Te Tau Ihu are putting the principles of manaakitanga into action.

“We've left it to Ngai Tahu who they send. We will awhi and support anyone who turns up on our doorstep here seeking refuge, but specifically we put the invite to Ngai Tahu. We have had interest from other parties and we well have to evaluate those and maybe look at another weekend of respite,” he says.


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