Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Iwi asset sale plan unconvincing

Labour leader Phil Goff isn't buying into the argument that iwi should be allowed to buy in to state owned companies.

Mr Goff visited Tainui last week and heard from chairperson Tukoroirangi Morgan about the iwi's desire for a stake in Huntly power station operator mighty River Power if a future National government sells it off.

He says such assets belong to all New Zealanders, and iwi would be better off buying assets that are heading into foreign ownership, like the Crafar farms.


Bay of Plenty Polytechnic believes it's on to a winner with a marae based course for at risk Maori youth.

Its director of Maori and Community development, Kuku Wawatai, says the prospect of jobs in the fishing industry is the lure for the 16 and 17 year olds, whose education costs are covered under the Ministry of Education's Youth Guarantee scheme.

He says all 40 boys on the last course graduated with a certificate in Maritime and Fishing technology.

The polytech didn't need to market the course but was able to fill places by knowing which kids in the community were most likely to benefit from it.


Country singer Dennis Marsh says at 60, he's as surprised as anyone to be topping this week's national album chart.

His Maori Songbook claimed the number one spot ahead of international mega-sellers like Britney Spears, Radiohead and even local hot property Tiki Taane.

He says his mix of new songs and classics such as Pokarekare Ana and Hangi Tonight seems to have struck a chord with Maori and Pakeha alike.


Labour leader Phil Goff says the legal process against Te Whanau a Apanaui fishing boat captain Elvis Teddy needs to take its course.
Mr Teddy was arrested on Maritime Act charges in connection with the marine protest against Brazilian oil company Petrobras's oil prospecting off East Cape.

Mr Goff says while he is sympathetic to the protest because of the Government's failure to make environmental safeguards a condition of the exploration licence, anybody who breaks the law during protests should know the risks.

“There is a right to protest and there is obviously a duty on the police if there is a breach of safety to deal with that situation so I am comfortable with the way that has been handled and Elvis Teddy has taken a stand on principle. He’s done it and he’s got coverage for what he’s done. Good luck to him, but the police have a job to do and I’m not condemning them for that,” Mr Goff says.

Elvis Teddy appears in the Tauraga District Court tomorrow.


The Green candidate for Te Tai Hauauru says he's not daunted by going up against Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia.

18 year old Jack Tautokai Mc Donald from Taranaki, Whakatohea and Te Ati Awa could be the youngest candidate contesting the next election.

He says his focus is on winning as big a share of the party vote for the Greens as he can.

“I think it's really important we have Maori representation in the Maori seats because the issues we raise a re very relevant to Maori and our voting record is very good on Maori issues. I think it is important Maori know that,” Mr McDonald says.

He joined the Green party because he considered its policies of protecting the environment and looking after the most vulnerable are in the best interests of Maori.


A Taranaki kaumatua isn't confident the New Plymouth District Council is any closer to having dedicated Maori seats, despite a recommendation from its policy committee to create two Maori wards.

Peter Moeahu says it only needs five percent of registered voters to demand a poll on the issue, which is sure to be lost.

He says he was also disappointed at the arguments put up to reject Maori appointments to the policy and monitoring committees.

“If you appoint Maori you’ll have to appoint everyone else – Chinese, Indian, which is a load of rubbish but never mind. From their point of view it should be elected members only even though the law allows appointment of people to standing committees,” Mr Moeahu says.

The committee also endorsed a recommendation from the Maori advisory komiti for the Maori flag to be flown next to the New Zealand flag in front of the civic centre in New Plymouth.


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