Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ngai Tahu responds to Christchurch quake

South Island iwi Ngai Tahu has relocated out of its central city head office as it tries to draw together tribe members in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake.

Chairperson Mark Solomon says so far there has been no reports of fatalities among members.

He says as in last September's quake, the tribe’s lobster factory near the airport has become the headquarters.

The 0800 KAITAHU line has been reactivated, and people are being urged to stay home.

MP INSPECTS SHAKEN CONSTITUENCY

Te Tai Tonga MP Rahui Katene's attempt to physically inspect Christchurch's marae is proving problematic, with many roads around the city blocked.

Mrs Katene says her first task was to check on the well-being of whanau and staff, and she is now getting out among constituents.

She says the marae most damaged by last September's quake was Rehua in the suburb of St Albans.

RUGBY TOURNAMENT IN TIMARU CANCELLED

Maori Rugby has cancelled the Te Waipounamu leg of its regional tournament. which was due to be played this weekend.

Co-ordinator Ani Haua says 13 teams were due to battle it out at Timaru's Alpine Stadium this weekend.

A team would then be put together to play against central and northern teams for the George Nepia Memorial Shield.

She says organisers held an emergency meeting last night, and out of respect for the victims of the Christchurch earthquake decided to call the tournament off.

That may affect the entire tournament.

GOD FORTUNE NO SERIOUS INJURIE AMONG RUNANGA STAFF

Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon says it seems just good fortune that no member iwi staff were seriously injured in yesterday's 6.3 magnitude earthquake.

The iwi's central city offices were severely shaken up, with one broken wrist and some people caught in the lift.

Staff have relocated to the Ngai Tahu lobster packing plant near Christchurch airport.

Mr Solomon was in Wellington when the quake struck and didn't get back to the city until 3 AM after travelling back to the South Island by ferry.

The iwi has reactivated its 0800 Kai Tahu number to offer help and advice to members.

REHUA MARAE THROWS OPEN ITS DOORS

Despite damage to its meeting house, Rehue Marae in the central Christchurch suburb of St Albans has opened its doors as a refuge for people of all ethnicities.

Marae secretary Terry Ryan says pou collapsed in the wharenui, making the building unsafe.

But he says mattresses have been laid out in the wharekai.

"I think we're looking into the long haul. I think as a community we’re all looking after each other here,” Dr Ryan says.

Te Puni Kokori has called a meeting at the marae for 10am tomorrow to co-ordinate the response from Maori non-government organisations.

SUPPLIES FAST RUNNING OUT IN CITY

Canterbury rugby legend Bill Bush says the north west of the city where he lives is the only part of Christchurch where basics like petrol and milk are still available.

Mr Bush says that might not last for long, as supplies are running out fast.

ROCK ART SITES NEED CHECKING

The Ngai Tahu Maori Rock Art Centre is asking landowners with rock art sites on their property to check for quake damage.

Manager Ben Lee says rock art at Duntroon on the Waitaki River was severely damaged during a storm last year, but there did not appear to be any major damage caused by last September's quake.

He says with more than 500 sites on limestone, there may be some damage.

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