Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rapprochement ruled out while cases live

Tuhoe leader Tamati Kruger says the eastern Bay of Plenty iwi isn't interested in dialogue with the police until cases arising from Operation Eight are over.

It's three years today since the 18 defendants were arrested in nationwide raids conducted under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

After the Solicitor General ruled out charges under that Act, they were charged with weapons offences, and five face additional charges of participation in a criminal group.

Mr Kruger says Tuhoe has not forgiven the police for the way they treated the people of Ruatoki who were caught up in the raids, and it has so far rebuffed feelers from commissioner Howard Broad seeking a reconciliation meeting.

“Those court cases have to be dealt with before Tuhoe then can respond to what the Crown has caused on Tuhoe for the last three years,” Mr Kruger says.

To mark the anniversary, Wellington supporters of the Operation Eight defendants are launching a book on the raids, which in Auckland there is to be a protest about now at Aotea Square, outside the Labour Party conference.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says Hone Harawira should have held his tongue over the Maori affairs select committee inquiry on the tobacco industry.

In his regular Northland Age column, the Taitokerau MP said he was disappointed at how tame the draft report was and how it failed to focus on addressing the impact of smoking on Maori.

Dr Sharples says his colleague should not have broken the rules against speaking about select committee reports before they are presented to Parliament.

“Hone's I guess known for speaking out when he feels like it but the reality is he is part of that select committee and if the report hasn’t been presented yet, it isn’t the report. They go through a lot of examinations of their reports and they have people in who look at whether they have hit the topic on the head or they are just skirting around it,” Dr Sharples says.


The television phenomenon that is Homai Te Pakipaki comes to a peak tonight.

Maori Television is expecting a repeat of last year, when 3000 people packed out the Logan Campbell Centre for the final and the show topped viewer numbers.

2008 winner Pikiteora Mura-Hita, who will join regular hosts Te Hamua Nikora and Matai Smith, says the formula for success in simple, building on a Maori love for singing and for being the centre of attention.

She says the 10 finalists will be extremely nervous now, but when they get on stage their Maori love of entertaining will come out and the place will come alive.


Maori Party MP Hone Harawira is in Canada talking treaties with First Nations peoples.

He says the 400 delegates from 11 nations at the 6th Annual National Treaties Gathering in Saskatchewan have been keen to learn about arrangements between the Crown and Maori in New Zealand.

Mr Harawira says he paid his own way to the conference, rather than accepting an alternative invitation to attend an international parliamentary forum.

“A lot of them are members of mainstream parties where politics are determined by mainstream philosophies rather than indigenous philosophies. Whereas the hui I’m at now, it’s entirely indigenous so the kaupapa is more consistent with my heart, more consistent with the things I believe in,” says Mr Harawira from Regina on the Canadian prairies.


Whanau who have lost babies to sudden infant death syndrome will light candles tonight as part of International Pregnancy and Infant Loss day.

Papa Nahi from the Maori Sids National Prevention Service says 60 percent of babies who died between 2003 and 2007 were Maori.

She says tonight's ceremony will bring much-needed attention to an issue that affects many Maori families.

While overall rates have declined since the introduction of national campaigns to highlight risk factors, the Maori rate has plateaued.


Sports fans throughout the country have thrown their support behind a trust to help young sportspeople from low income backgrounds get a start.

The trust is named in honour of Rob Guildford, the father of All Black Zac Guildford, who died last year of a heart attack shortly after watching his son star in New Zealand's Under-20's World Cup victory against England.

Rob's brother Daren Guildford says the support coming in for tomorrow night's charity dinner and auction in Napier is overwhelming.


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