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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Council considering Maori board back-down

Members of Auckland's Maori Statutory Board are waiting for the results of a special meeting of the Auckland City Council to see whether they still have to go to court next month.

The council is going behind closed doors today to hear the report from a subcommittee which has been trying to negotiate an out of court settlement of the case about whether the council had the authority to savagely cut back the board's budget.

Maori board chair David Taipari says he's called his own special meeting for tomorrow do the board can consider any offer from the council.

The board has so far maintained its position that the original $3.4 million a year budget bid, submitted after independent advice, reflected the reasonable costs of the board's operations, secretariat and independent advisers.

TANGIMOANA HABIB SET FOR ABORTION OVERSIGHT ROLE

Hamilton doctor Tangimoana Habib from Ngati Tuwharetoa will be appointed to the Abortion Supervisory Committee despite a late challenge by that threatened to upset the process.

The Maori Party backed Dr Habib for the role, but co-leader Tariana Turia unsuccessfully moved an amendment to replace sitting member Patricia Allan, a Christchurch Methodist minister, with Ata Moala, a Tongan doctor who has chaired anti-abortion events.

Mrs Turi says rather than only happening in exceptional circumstances as the law originally envisaged, it has become far too common.

“I don't mind anybody knowing I am totally opposed to the taking of life whether it be through abortion or in any way whatsoever because of the sanctity of human life and that starts from conception in terms of our tikanga where I come from,” Mrs Turia says.

She is pleased there is Maori representation on the Abortion Supervisory Committee given the huge number of Maori, Pasifika and Asian women who undergo the procedure.

JAMES TE PUNI IN EYE OF HURRICANE

A Ngati Porou man with a long family history in rugby has been appointed chief executive of both the Wellington Rugby Union and the Hurricanes.

James Te Puni, who holds a senior marketing position at New Zealand Post, will be the first Maori to head a super rugby franchise

He says he brings his experience as both player and administrator, starting with his service as tighthead prop for Tawa Rugby Club’s premier grade team.

He says the Wellington union is in a good financial position and he hopes an on-the-field turn around in the Hurricanes' performance is not far away.

SAMUELS SLAMS LIST SELECTION PROCESS

Former Labour MP Dover Samuels says the party has failed to come up with a list that will appeal to ordinary New Zealand voters, including the party's dwindling number of Maori supporters.

Mr Samuels is backing West Coast candidate Damien O'Connor, who has come under fire for saying the list was drawn up by a "gaggle of gays and self-serving unionists" and will not be seen as representing all of New Zealand.

He says it's bizarre that parliamentary researcher Deborah Mahuta-Coyle has been catapulted into the 26th spot, while the high-achieving Northland candidate, Lynette Stewart from Ngati Wai, languishes at 39.

“They've got to pull their heads out of their own mana munching egos and start looking outside and that’s one of the reasons we lost the election when I was a member of parliament and a minister, because I never lost touch with the grass roots and the people I represented and I made sure that the caucus and the party heard their concerns but the buggers didn’t listen to me and look what happened, and here we go again, po karekare ana,” Mr Samuels says.

He says Labour is losing a lot of its older Maori supporters to a resurgent New Zealand First Party.

CALL FOR RAHUI ON NGAMOTU REEFS NEAR NEW PLYMOUTH

A Taranaki kaumatua wants a traditional ban on collecting paua from the coast near New Plymouth.

Joe Broughton from Ngati te Whiti says kaitiaki are reporting many seafood gatherers are taking well over the 10-paua limit.

He's appealing to other hapu of Te Atiawa to act and place an rahui or risk losing the Ngamotu Reef kaimoana for future generations.

Mr Broughton says there aren't enough fisheries officers to police the area, and at 82 he doesn't have the ability to physically stop the poachers.

TE MANA O TE MOANA FLEET READY TO SAIL

A Polynesian fleet hopes to leave Auckland tomorrow to sail to Hawaii and back.

Hoturoa Kerr, the kaihautu for the Aotearoa waka Haunui, says the five canoes will be joined along the route by vaka from the Cook Islands and Tahiti.

He says Te Mana o te Moana voyage aims to raise awareness in communites around the Pacific about rising sea levels, noisy oceans and the damage human activity is causing the environment.

“It's like the living pulse of the earth is tied in to the oceans. Run off from fertilisers and all these other things that go into the ocean, these directly impact our whanaunga from the motu because it affects their fishing grounds, their ability to feed their iwi and all those kind of things,” Mr Kerr says.

The fleet aims to get to Hawai'i by the first week of July in time for the Kava Bowl Ocean Summit.

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