Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Harawira confident party will win list seats

Independent Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira expects his new party to pick up at least two or three seats in the next Parliament.

The party, which has the working title of the Mana party, will be launched in Auckland on Saturday.

He says many of its members will be disaffected Maori Party supporters.

“There's just so many of them and every meeting I go to it’s essentially Maori party branches which have collapsed and are looking for a new future so they’re the first target group. The second target group is the wider Maori audience and then of course the greater target group has to be the disaffected voter generally,” Mr Harawira says.

His party will aim to win party votes rather than try to unseat the four remaining Maori party MPs.

NGATI KAHU CARVED OFF TE HIKU FORUM

Far north claimants have split again after the Ngati Kahu Runanga submitted a 700-page deed of partial settlement to the Crown.

Te Hiku Forum was formed in 2008 to revive negotiations on the Muriwhenua claims, which had limped along for a decade after the Ngati Kahu and Te Rarawa runanga challenged the mandate of the Muriwhenua Runanga, which led the claim process.

Forum chair Haami Piripi of te Rarawa says the approach taken by Ngati Kahu and its chair, Auckland University Maori Studies professor Margaret Mutu, means a split was inevitable.

“They haven't been participating effectively in the forum for well over a year and that is because they have different methodology to the rest of us in terms of their claim resolution. They have been preferring to write their own deed of settlement and they have now submitted that to the Crown and in that sense they have now got themselves a little bit behind the rest of us,” Mr Piripi says.

The four remaining iwi in Te Hiku Forum are continuing to work towards what they hope will be a combined settlement later in the year.

WHAKATOHIA REDEDICATES 100 YEAR OLD HOUSE

King Tuheitia made his first official visit to Whakatohea on the weekend to mark the centenary of Terere Marae in Opotiki.

Te Kahautu Maxwell from Ngati Ngahere hapu says the marae was refurbished for the event, with 24 new poupou added to the whare by master carver Danny Poihipi.

He says King Tuheitia's contribution acknowledged their shared descent from the Tainui waka, and the house was dedicated to him.

The weather held out over the weekend, but the marae area is now flooded.

PETERS SEES RACE THREAT IN BRASH ACT

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says an ACT Party led by Don Brash will crank up the heat on racial issues.

The former National Party leader is trying to get the numbers to replace Rodney Hide as ACT's leader, warning the party faces electoral oblivion the way it's going.

Mr Peters says National wants to keep ACT in its coalition mix so it doesn't have to keen compromising to the Maori Party.

“It’s a very cynical attempt to try to convince the voters that they’ve got something different on offer if Don Brash is the leader of the ACT Party. He’s making these comments when he’s not even a member of that party so it shows just what appalling disarray the ACT party is and B, there are certain people that pull the strings in the ACT Party and that is where Don Brash is coming from,” he says.

Mr Peters says a John Key-Don Brash coalition would asset strip the country, keep wages low and attack superannuation.

WOMEN’S REFUGE FACES BUDGET CUT

The chief executive of the national collective of women's refuges, Heather Henare, says a $700,000 funding cut will hit Maori women and their tamariki the hardest.

Ms Henare says the collective was informed last week of the cut to its baseline grant, as part of what the government says is a reallocation of funds to frontline services.

She says Maori make up more than half of refuge users.

“This is a time when there is significant risk to families. We are coming through a recession, there are major crises in this country, families are already struggling with policies and legislative change that have impacted in particular women and children. To cut family violence services, core services like Women’s Refuge, is not the best decision that's been made,” Ms Henare says.

Government funding has paid for a crisis phone line and victim support services, which refuge has over-delivered on.

MAORI TIPPED TO PLAY BOKS IN CELEBRATION GAMES

All Black great Bill Bush is welcoming news that a New Zealand Maori side is set to play two games in South Africa later in the year.

While there has been no official announcement, Rugby News magazine is reporting the November games against a shadow Springbok squad are part of bonus year celebrations for South African greats Bakkies Botha and Victor Mathfield.

Bush says it's great to see politics being finally being put aside, with the allure of stadium-filling attractive rugby overcoming any reservations the South Africans may have had about racially-selected teams.

Bill Bush intends to lead a tour party to see the games, one of which could be played in Soweto.

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