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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, February 11, 2011

Expulsion row music to Peters' ears

New Zealand first leader Winston Peters says the attempt to expel Hone Harawira from the Maori Party is exposing how the party has betrayed its supporters over reform of the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

A disciplinary committee meeting yesterday referred the complaint against the Tai Tokerau MP back to his electorate for further consideration.

Mr Peters says the fact the hui happened the same day the Marine and Coastal Area was rushed back into Parliament is telling.

“I'm grateful that Mr Harawira has demonstrated to all of us what this is all about. The Maori Party promised tino rangatiratanga or separate institutions and separate policies. He stuck to it and they are now trying to switch their argument away from what they promised to Maori on marae. They went to countless Rotary clubs around the country and told them one thing and told the Maori at the marae a different thing. This is all coming out now,” he says.

Winston Peters says the Maori Party may eventually expel Hone Harawira, but it will be caught by the inevitable voter backlash.

JACKSN SLAMS LIMITED SCOPE OF CONSTITUTION REVIEW

The convenor of an iwi working group on the constitution says the Government's review won't look beyond how parliament works.

Moana Jackson says the official review led by deputy prime minister Bill English and Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples is not what Maori Party members were expecting to come out of the support agreement with National.

It will consider questions like how many MPs there should be and whether MMP is the most suitable system for elections.

“Our independent iwi working group is looking at a broader base of, well, what is a constitution, how would we like to be governed, how can we base a constitution on Te Tiriti o Waitangi,” Mr Jackson says.

The group's initial report got and enthusiastic response from iwi leaders at Waitangi on the weekend.

PROFESSIONALS HELP STUDENTS CONSIDER MUSICAL LIFE

Kura kaupapa are embracing a programme that allows professional musicians to work with students.

Stephanie Lee, the New Zealand Music Commission's education manager, says musicians like Anna Coddington and multi instrumemtalist Tama Waipara go in to schools to conduct up to five sessions with groups of musically inclined students.

She says the programme is particularly popular with kura in rural areas, which have fewer facilities than city schools.

“A lot of the kura, because they are too small, are not offering students NCEA standards in music and there has been massive syllabus change in music in New Zealand in the last 20 years and when they are writing songs or recording with the musicians, this is really serious, that this is part of their education that they can gain credit for doing this as well,” Ms Lee says.

She says the programme allows students to see what may be needed for a career in music.

HARAWIRA EMBEDDED IN ELECTORATE

Former Tai Tokerau MP Dover Samuels says Hone Harawira will be impossible to dislodge from the electorate this time round.

A Maori Party disciplinary committee yesterday referred a complaint from whip Te Ururoa Flavell against the rebel MP back to the electorate committee for further consideration.

Mr Samels says Mr Harawira enjoys an almost cult following in the north, and the party has put itself in a situation it can't win.

He says with Te Hiku o Te Ika radio, a television station and a school Mr Harawira is able to call out his forces easily.

Dover Samuels says Hone Harawira's support remainst strong because he is seen as genuinely carrying the flag for Maori party policy, especially regarding the reform of the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

MAORI PARTY MARINE REASONING FLAWED

Meanwhile, Maori lawyer Moana Jackson says the Maori Party's reasons for Marine and Coastal Areas bill don't stack up.

Mr Jackson, who in the past has been a close advisor to the party, says the way the bill was reported back to parliament unchanged despite thousands of opposing submissions from Maori makes a mockery of the select committee process.

He says the party's claim that the bill fulfils its promise to restore the right of Maori to court on customary rights claims rings hollow.

“That too is a mockery because the prime minister has himself said on several occasions that the test that Maori will have to prove in court is so high most Maori won’t be able to prove it anyway and he’s actually said they set the bar so high so Maori wouldn’t be able to do so,” he says.

Mr Jackson says Crown actions such as raupatu confiscation will make it impossible for most Maori to prove continuous occupation of coastal land.

PRICE DRIVING SMOKE STOP

The head of national anti-smoking organisation the Quit Group says tobacco price increases are starting to be reflected in the number of Maori stopping smoking.

Paula Snowden from Te Rarawa says 12,000 Maori used the service last year.

She says the now-annual price rises are making people reconsider their nicotine addiction.

New research shows the percentage of Maori who stay quit is the same for non-Maori, despite twice as many Maori smoking overall.

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