Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Harawira too radical for MP’s life

Prime minister John Key says he does not need to rule out Hone Harawira as a potential coalition partner because he doesn't believe the Te Tai Tokerau MP would want to work with National if he is reelected.

Mr Key says Mr Harawira supported the Maori Party joining a National-led coalition government.

But he has clearly changed his tune.

“I mean the truth is Hone will struggle whoever he will want to work with because fundamentally the reason he has broken away form the Maori Party is he is more a radical than an MP and Parliament is all about consensus. It doesn’t make Hone a bad person. It just makes him a fish out of water in parliament,” Mr Key says.

GOFF CLAIMS CONSENSUS FOR BLACKLIST

Meanwhile, Labour leader Phil Goff is insisting he consulted senior caucus members including Maori MPs before publicly ruling out Hone Harawira from any future coalition.

Some Labour MPs have expressed surprise at Mr Goff's pronouncement.

He says the decision was his to make.

“Yes did I make that decision myself? Absolutely, after consulting senior members including Maori members. Do I stand by that decision? Absolutely. Did the caucus endorse that decision? Yes, unanimously,” Mr Goff says.

He says Hone Harawira's history with the Maori Party shows he is not reliable, and he has in the past made offensive racial statements.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR MAORI CRAFTS

Maori students are being encouraged to apply for Te Waka Toi funding to study art or art-related subjects.

Haniko Te Kurupa, the senior Maori advisor to Creative New Zealand's Maori arts board, says there are two scholarships on offer at $4000 each.

They're not just for study in tertiary institutions, but could be for marae-based programmes, where a student might be a carver or weaver being taught by kaumatua or kuia.

FONTERRA RESTRUCTURE COULD SQUEEZE MIRAKA

The chair of a Maori-owned company building a milk factory near Taupo says proposed changes to Fonterra's capital structure could make it much harder to compete with the dairy giant.

Kingi Smiler says Miraka's submission to the Ministry of Agriculture suggests that Fonterra's trading among farmers proposal could lead to the systematic underpricing of Fonterra shares and overpricing of the milk price paid to Fonterra farmers.

He says this will mean farmers are less likely to switch who they supply to, particularly in mature areas such as where Miraka is located.

“We don't have a lot of new conversions occurring in our area like in the South Island for example so the opportunity to pick up growth in new milk is much harder. Therefore if they make it harder for Fonterra shareholders to exit, it will be much harder for us to grow our business in future,” Mr Smiler says.

Miraka has sufficient supply arranged from Maori farms to process 200 million litres of milk a year when its 8 tonne dryer goes into action in August.

MARINE BILL A MINER’S BONANZA

Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says with the Marine and Coastal Area Bill now before parliament is designed to protect international mining companies from Maori claims.

Meteria Turei says even if Maori win customary title, they can't override existing licenses over resources such as the iron sands off the Taranaki coast.

Prospector Trans-Tasman Resources yesterday estimated its claim area could be the basis of a billion dollar a year industry.

“The government is protecting their own interests, they are protecting industry, they are protecting big international companies in terms of their desire to use that land for their economic exploitation but they are shutting Maori out of the process completely in one way or anther. Maori won’t be able to fight back because of legislation like this,” Ms Turei says.

ST PATRICKS DAY COMES TO WAIOHIKI

Tomorrow's St Patrick's Day celebration in the Hawkes Bay of the connections between Maori and Irish people promises to be a bit of a laugh.

Organiser Dennis O Reilly says the sixth annual Hui and Hooley at Waiohiki will include a Gaelic brunch, a Maori v Ireland Golf challenge, and wind up with the first Irish and Maori joke challenge.

In the past the Hui and Hooley has raised money for Waiohiki Marae and other local causes, but this year funds will go to Christchurch relief efforts.

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