Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, April 29, 2011

Key to meet iwi oil protesters

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says Prime Minister John Key has agreed to meet with Te Whanau a Apanui and Ngati Porou next week to hear their concerns about off-shore exploration.

Elvis Teddy, the captain of a fishing boat owned by Te Whanau a Apanui, was remanded on bail for two weeks when he appeared at Tauranga District Court today on charges arising from a marine protest against a seismic survey of the Raukumara Basin.

Mr Flavell says the iwi are still upset they weren't consulted about the licence issued to Brazilian company Petrobras.


Meanwhile, anti- Petrobras campaigner Ani Pahuru-Huriwai says Ngati Porou people are welcoming a Department of Conservation investigation into the number of dead penguins being washed up on East Coast beaches.

She says whanau were on the look out for changes in the marine environment which might be linked to oil exploration, so they want to know if there is a connection to the find of penguins at Waihou Bay and other beaches.

“With the seismic surveying, it’s up to 250 decibels up to 7000 times a day being shoot down into the crust of the earth to look for the oil so we know from scientific research that’s been done elsewhere that type of sonar disruption to marine life can be quite devastating.” Ms Pahuru-Huriwai says.

If the penguins died of starvation, questions can be asked about why their food disappeared.


One of the pioneers of Maori radio, Jim Perry of Ngati Porou, has died after a long battle with cancer.

The soldier turned schoolteacher was a prominent member of the Auckland Maori community when he started broadcasting on Radio Aotearoa in 1989.

Kingi Taurua, who worked with Mr Perry at Radio Waatea, says his friend was a powerful voice in both Te Reo Maori and English, who could converse knowledgably with callers about politics, sport, education, and cultural issues.

"He would say ‘information is power, so Kingi, we must give information to those people out there so we can give them the power,'” Mr Taurua says.

Jim Perry is lying at Te Pou Herenga Waka Marae in Mangere.


Maori Party whip Te Ururoa Flavell says there is not room in parliament for two Maori parties.

He says the Mana party Hone Harawira intends to launch tomorrow is attracting younger voters at a time the Maori voice needs to be strong to counter the policies expected from a Don Brash-led ACT party.

Mr Flavell says older voters understand the need for compromise in politics to move the party's agenda forward.

“There's others who clearly believe Aotearoa is Maori land and we should get it and if you can’t get it you’re useless. That’s the line which is pretty much the young generation which obviously have an affinity to where Hone and others of my former friends now are heading,” he says.

Mr Flavell says the split with Mr Harawira has not helped the Maori Party's plans to bring younger people through to parliament.


Tauranga iwi say their fight against harbour dredging is similar to Te Whanau a Apanui's battle against oil exploration off the East Cape.

The iwi been in the Environment Court this week objecting to a consent to dredge a channel in Tauranga harbour to provide for super container ships.

Ngai te Rangi spokesperson Charlie Tawhiao says they took time out today to joint the protest outside Tauranga District Court, where Te Whanau a Apanui fishing boat captain Elvis Teddy was remanded for two weeks on charges arising from the marine protest.

“Their concerns are no different than ours, that it is about the erosion not of what we own but of what we have responsibility for as kaitiaki and if someone doesn’t stand up and say we need to think about these things, then we won’t be thinking about them until it is too late,” he says.

Mr Tawhiao says the harbour dredging will destroy pipi beds that are an important part of the customary fishery.


The director of the Wairoa Maori Film Festival, says Queens Birthday Weekend audiences are in for a feast of local and international material.

Leo Koziol, says highlights include the first marae screenings of Kawa, Katie Wolfe's adaptation of Witi Ihimaera's Nights in the Garden of Spain, the Rangimoana Taylor vehicle Hook Line and Sinker, and Temuera Morrison's new feature Tracker.

Mr Koziol says while Tracker was a British production, every attempt was made to give an authentic feel to the tale of a Boer War soldier being hunted down in New Zealand after being framed for murder.

“Brad Haami and Ngamaru Raeriuno looked at the script and worked alongside Temuera Morrison to make the story as authentic as possible,” Mr Koziol says.

A highlight of the short film programme will be Tuhoe filmmaker Kararaina Rangihau's Taku Rakau E, the last film produced by the late Merata Mita.


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