Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Call for stay in Urewera 18 trials

Green's co-leader Meteria Turei is supporting a call for the solicitor general to stay the charges against the Urewera 18.

Auckland University law school Professor Jane Kelsey and lawyer Moana Jackson wrote to David Collins warning him the credibility of the justice system is at risk if the 12-week trial of the 18 on arms chargers goes ahead.

Meteria Turei says the Crown already had to drop the terrorism charges laid after the raids in October 2008, and the whole episode is a disgraceful abuse of state power.

“Those raids should never have occurred. The injury to the community has never been made good and now with the charges continuing, it’s an ongoing hurt, an ongoing abuse over a long period of time,” she says.


The chair of the Rapaki Runanga says it may be months before Whakaraupo or Lyttelton Harbour is suitable for food gathering.

Kopa Lee says the runanga has placed a three month rahui banning collection of kaimoana because of the after effects of the Christchurch earthquakes.

He says broken sewerage and the dumping of rubble means it's not safe to eat what comes out of the harbour.

“As mana moana we were obliged to let our people and people of the area know that it wasn’t safe spiritually or physically to be in the water or take kai out of the water, but having said that, there is no authority that can enforce it,” Mr Lee says.

The Rapaki Runanga is working closely with authorities to make sure rubble from buildings where people died isn't being dumped in the harbour.


The architect of a $12 million revamp of Te Whare Waananga o Awanuiarangi's Whakatane campus says the space will offer new ways to learn.

Rau Hoskins of Ngapuhi says part of his brief was to both provide short-term accommodation and offer ways for the wananga to consolidate its teaching resources.

He's come up with a new library, a teaching block, and, for short courses or seminars, a noho centre which is a cross between marae-style accommodation and a dormitory.

“All the students have access to a sleeping and learning pod so that by night the area is closed off and you have your own privacy and your own bed, and by day those beds open up into a main space that acts more like a wharenui style of learning environment,” Mr Hoskins says.

He'd like to see more Maori institutions use Maori architects when they are doing development projects.


Labour leader Phil Goff says if former National leader Don Brash is in a position to form a coalition with National after the next election, it would result in the most extreme right wing government the country has ever seen.

Mr Brash says he has the backing to launch his own right wing party if his current attempt to take over the leadership of ACT fails.

Mr Goff says people can expect the implementation of the anti-Maori measures Mr Brash outlined in his notorious Orewa speech in 2003.

“It wasn't just Don Brash. The whole of the caucus endorsed what Don Brash did as leader of the National Party. They can’t just say it was all Don Brash. They supported him. You’ve got to remember, the National Party went into the last election promising to abolish the Maori seats for no reason other than that they were pandering to a particular element in the electorate,” he says.

Mr Goff says other policies Mr Brash has advocated, such as cutting the minimum wage, will disproportionately affect Maori.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei is accusing the government of goading police into arresting Whanau a Apanui fishing boat captain Elvis Teddy.

Mr Teddy is due to appear in the District Coourt at Tauranga on Friday to face Maritime Act charges in relation to the high seas protest against oil prospecting off East Cape.

Ms Turei says the San Pietro captain appears to have been singled out.

“He was doing what he believed to be right. He was fishing in his traditional areas. He told them that was what he was going to be doing and I support what he did 100 percent. This is about the government using the power of the stat e against its own community in order to protect the private interests of an international, a foreign firm, and it’s not acceptable,” she says.

Ms Turei says the arrest of Elvis Teddy will be putting a lot of stress on his whanau.


A Maori poet says poetry slams are a great way for Maori to hone their oratory skills.

Whaitiri Mikaere won the 2010 Matariki Poetry slam, and she's one of ten finalists in the New Zealand Poetry Idol: Poetry Slam that is part of this year's Auckland Writer's Festival.

She says it's a good way to let off steam.

“It's about honing our oratory skills and the way we perceive the word and the things around us, what is happening in this country. I think poetry is a good way to convey those messages.

Ms Mikaere says she's keen to see how her poems like Feast of Matariki, Fantail Haka and Colonised Backspace Rejected will go down with the readers and writers festival crowd.


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