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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Harawira unhappy with constitutional review

Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira says the constitutional review isn't the one the he was looking for.

The review will be done by a committee of MPs headed by Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples and Deputy Prime Minister Bill English, assisted by an expert advisory panel.

Mr Harawira says the Maori Party had something else in mind when it included the review as a condition of its support agreement with National.

“Somehow the officials got their grubby little hands on it and then instead if it being a Maori Party-National Party thing it’s morphed into an all parties constitutional review which is kind of disappointing from my point of view. I think in line with the treaty, you’ve got the Maori, you’ve got the Crown, and in line with the constitution you should have the Maori and the Crown and the Crown can take care of all the other political parties but that’s not quite how it’s turned out,” Mr Harawira says.

He can't see the working group coming up with anything positive when MPs like United Future's Peter Dunne and Progressive leader Jim Anderton are involved.

PAREKOWHAI BULLS A HIT WITH CNZ FOR VENICE BIENNALLE

Artist Michael Parakowhai has revealed how he will represent New Zealand at next year's Venice Biennalle.

The Te Aitanga a Mahaaki sculptor will is casting two bronze bulls which, with an intricately-carved Steinway concert grand piano, a figure from his Kapa Haka series and a small bronze olive tree sapling, will form an installation at a palazzo on the grand Canal.

Jenny Harper, New Zealand's Venice Biennale commissioner, says it will make the country proud at what is the Olympics of the art world.

“The grand piano is very much a European achievement if you like, an achievement in the music field, it’s a Steinway piano. He’s carved it with intricate Maori patterns, kind of like a waka huia, beautifully carved. This piano will be taken back to Venice where it will sit not far from the Grand Canal and hopefully be heard being played,” Ms Harper says.

She says the Venice Biennale is the cornerstone of Creative New Zealand's international visual arts strategy.

RUBBISH PICKING SIGN OF PRIDE IN COMMUNITY

A solo mum who gets out every morning to clean up the streets of Flaxmere is one of 12 local people featured in a calendar honouring the community's heroes.

Calendar organiser Pip West from Te Aranga Marae says the calendar is a way to show people another side of the Hawkes Bay town than crime and social problems.

She says her brother found out about Dorinda Williams by accident when he spotted her in the street one morning picking up rubbish out of a sense of pride in her community.

PARTY SLATED FOR FAILURE TO FILL ROLLS

Broadcaster and former Maori Party candidate Derek Fox says the party is not doing enough to build up membership.

Derek Fox from Ngati Porou and Rongowhakaata says while the party has made some gains by being in Government, it isn't getting enough first time voters to opt for the Maori roll

He says the game plan has to be increasing the number of Maori seats ... and that means getting as many Maori as possible onto the right roll.

“No one would be able to govern without us and that’s surely the position that we should be trying to get but I’m not certain that our current crop of politicians are getting us there. I think we’re too narrow in our focus and I think we’re not attracting as many people across as we need to,” Mr Fox says.

He says Maori could fill up to 23 seats in the house if all Maori signed on to Maori roll, either as new voters or in the option that follows every five-yearly census.

CLAIMANTS WANT WAITANGI JUDGE TO STEP ASIDE

Gisborne claimants are citing the judgment that let to the resignation of Supreme Court judge Bill Wilson as a reason a Waitangi Tribunal member should be taken off their claims.

Ngati Oneone from the Kaiti area on the east of the city say they either want their claims heard or they want a separate settlement.

Lawyer Charl Hirschfeld says Craig Coxhead has made a series of administrative rulings which put the tribunal process on hold while the Crown negotiated with te Runanga o Ngati Porou.

He says Judge Coxhead now fails the impartiality test established in Saxmere versus the Wool Board Disestablishment Company, that a fair minded lay observer might reasonably feel the judge might not bring an impartial mind to the question.

“It's inappropriate that he sit on this particular urgency application when he has deferred the hearing of all historical claims on the East Coast at least until January but probably further than that,” Mr Hirschfeld says.

He says Ngati Oneone claimants don't consider themselves to be Ngati Porou and don't want their claims washed up in the runanga's settlement.

HIGH TECH POU SPICES UP AIRPORT SHOPPING

Travellers will get a taste of Maori culture to see them off when they shop their way out of Auckland International Airport.

The centrepiece of the terminal's new retail area which opened today is the Pou Manawa, a 9-metre high structure holding a 577 metre canopy on which traditionally flavoured Maori designs by Kingi Gilbert will be projected.

Music by Rewi Spraggon and Riki Bennett provides the soundtrack.
Adrian Littlewood, the airport's general manager retail Adrian Littlewood, says it's something different for the 18 million people who pass through the terminal each year.

Pou Manana works on a 30-minute cycle.

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