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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Harawira keen for foreshore ultimatum

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says his party should walk away from the Government if National does an inside deal with ACT over the foreshore and seabed.

ACT is seeking an amendment to the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill to specifically ban Maori owners of customary title from charging for beach access.

Mr Harawira says the Maori Party has already compromised to get the Foreshore and Seabed Act repealed, and that should be the end of it.

“I don't see why we should sit back and allow a little fat redneck like Rodney Hide put in an amendment at the last minute. We should be saying to National, ‘Here’s the deal National. If you want to do deals with Rodney Hide go right ahead. We’re out.’ As a matter of principle we should say ‘Nah, you wouldn’t do deals with us on the super city so we’re not doing any deals with you guys and Rodney Hide over the foreshore and seabed,’” Mr Harawira says.

He says while National would still have the numbers to pass the amendment, the Maori Party would have stood up for its principles.

MAORI REPRESENTATION TO BE HOT TOPIC IN COUNCILS

A Maori councilor on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council says the controversy over Maori representation on the Auckland super city will force other councils to have a serious look at the issue.

Raewyn Bennett was elected for a third term to the Tauranga-based Mauao ward.

The Local Government Act requires every new council to review their representation within their first six months.

Mrs Bennett says Maori seats are no longer controversial in the Bay of Plenty, which is the only territorial local authority to have them.

“It's just part of our culture now in our area, having Maori seats, at regional council anyway. The iwi in the Bay, following the Human Rights Commission’s report on Maori seats, I understand the iwi are going to be pushing for our local council to establish Maori seats or say why not anyway,” Mrs Bennett says.

She says the major challenge this term will be working out what the Bay of Plenty Regional Council can do to support Treaty of Waitangi settlements in the region.

HOSEA GEAR RECALLED TO ALL BLACKS

Commentator Ken Laban says consistency and class have been the key to Hosea Gear's recall to the All Blacks.

The 26-year-old Ngati Porou flyer made his test debut against Australia in Hong Kong two years ago, but was left out of the squad in recent times despite his try scoring prowess.

Mr Laban says his recent form for the Hurricanes and Wellington justifies his selection, but what made him impossible to ignore was his run in the New Zealand Maori centenary series ... three tries against England in Napier and a match-winning try against the Barbarians in Whangarei.

With Hosea Gear at 104 kg and one of the fastest in the country on the wing, and Sonny Bill Williams at 6 foot 4 and 108kg, it signals a new era of athlete coming through.

LABOUR KAUNIHERA MAORI RESTIVE ON SAFE SEATS

The Labour Party's Maori council is pushing for more Maori candidates in general electorates.

Former Tai Tokerau MP Dover Samuels says a test for the party's commitment will be the upcoming Manurewa selection, where former council chair Shane Te Pou and former list MP Louisa Wall are among as many as eight candidates seeking to replace retiring MP George Hawkins.

He says Labour has had Pacific Island MPs in general seats, but so far no Maori.

“Give the Maori people a go, give the Maori candidates a go, and put them in there and stop just giving them lip service in regard to the possibility of Maori standing in general electorates, and I think it’s about time we did that,” Mr Samuels says.

He was heartened by the commitment and sense of purpose coming out of the weekend's Labour Party annual conference.

TURIA REJECTS LABOUR LAND POLICY AS TOO SOFT

Meanwhile, Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says there is still a big difference between Labour and Maori Party policy on the sale of land to foreigners.

At Labour's conference, leader Phil Goff indicated a Labour government would turn down most farm sales to overseas buyers except in exceptional circumstances.

Mrs Turia says this does not go far enough.

“Labour's policy is to reduce the number of sales. Our policy is really clear. We are saying that we should, at this point in time, stop the sale of land to foreign investors. This is not about stopping the Chinese or Indians investing here in New Zealand. This is about everybody,” Mrs Turia says.

She says Maori know only too well the consequence of having the majority of their land in the hands of others.

NZEI SEES DOUBLE STANDARD ON STANDARDS’ CONSULTATION

The Education Institute believes the same consultation process used to set standards for kura kaupapa Maori should have been used to set national standards for mainstream schools.

NZEI Maori manager Laures Park says the primary teachers' union isn't convinced standards are necessary for either Maori immersion or mainstream schools.

But she says the insistence of associate education minister Pita Sharples that kura get their own standards, Nga Whanaketanga Rumaki Maori, produced a better outcome.

“Given that the process has been laid down, this is the law, get on and do it, at least with Nga Whanaketanga there was an opportunity for Maori talk about it whereas in the other situation, absolutely no discussion whatsoever,” Mrs Park says.

Nga Whanaketanga Rumaki Maori will be rolled out in the New Year.

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