Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, April 18, 2011

List placings bruise feelings

Waikato-Hauraki MP Nanaia Mahuta says Labour's Maori MPs and Maori seat candidates are still smarting over their treatment by the party's list committee.

The Maori advisory council's recommendations were ignored in the list selection, with Wellington insiders given high list placings and the Ratana-affiliated candidates seeking to take seats off the Maori Party languishing in the lower reaches.

Ms Mahuta says it had an effect on a weekend wananga of Labour candidates and campaign managers.

“Some bruised feelings around the list and obviously those were expressed within the group but by and large everyone is focused on the election,” she says.

Labour's Maori MP's would also like to see more Maori getting selected to winnable general seats.

OPEN DAY TO SEE WELLINGTON WAKA

Te Atiawa ki Poneke wants to enlist public support in its battle to retain guardianship of a controversial waka.

The iwi is in a legal stoush with Wellington City Council, which claims ownership of the te Raukura, the Wellington waka built for 1990 sesquicentennial celebrations.

It held an open day yesterday at Te Maori Cultural Centre adjoining Waiwhetua marae in Lower Hutt for people to view the waka and its companion Aniwaniwa.
Spokesperson Teri Puketapu says the iwi hopes the council will consider a different form of ownership, rather than persist with the court battle.

“We see the wakas as belonging to everybody, with no one having exclusive ownership and that‘s why we want ot have a widely representative trust to be the kaitiaki for the two waka,” Mr Puketapu says.

Te Atiawa is proposing the waka be looked after by a trust including representatives of the Wellington, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt councils and three Te Atiawa marae in the region.

FREE JABS AT WHANAU ORA DAY IN HAWKES BAY

An organiser of the Hawkes Bay's Whanau Ora Festival says it's a great way to show the community what health and social services are available to them.
Mariana Seymour from Maraenui's Nui Trust says the presence of Whanau Ora Minister Tariana Turia helped boost turn-out at the fourth such event.

She says whanau were keen to take advantage of the oportunities on offer, such as the Hawkes Bay DHB offering immunisations.

Tariana Turia says she was impressed with the get up and go spirit evident in Maraenui despite the pouring rain, and she even took the opportunity to get a flu injection.

FLAVELL PRIVATE BILL ROUTE DEFENDED

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is defending Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell over his private members bill to give iwi a veto over deep sea oil drilling.

Critics says it's bizarre the party has to negotiate with its government partner through private members bills ... and that it is only getting involved now because of the strength of protests in the East Coast region against exploration by Brazilian company Petrobras.

Mrs Turia says the bill couldn't be rushed.

“People are saying you haven’t done enough and you haven’t done enough quickly. It actually takes a while to draft those bills. Te Ururoa has been in the drafting phase with Parliament who draft these pieces of legislation, it’s probably been a good three or four months,” she says.

Mrs Turia says the government clearly didn't consult with the right people in Te Whanau a Apanui and Ngati Porou when it approved the Petrobras license.

POWER CRISIS TARGET FOR LABOUR CAMPAIGN

Labour will this week use the Hauraki-Waikato electorate, where a lot of the country's power is generated, to launch a campaign against high power prices.

MP Nanaia Mahuta says the government's plans to sell down its stake in power generators exposes the public to huge risk, and it isn't doing enough now to keep prices down.

She says as a major shareholder getting $700 million a year in dividends, the government could exercise more constraint over the SOEs’ operating practices to exercise control of prices.

Ms Mahuta says many Maori who are already among those hardest hit by rising food and petrol prices will now have to contend with higher power bills as winter comes on.

WAIKATO LAW FACULTY TURNS 20

A senior law lecturer at Waikato University's Te Piringa law faculty says Maori students have come a long way in the faculty's first 20 years.

Te Piringa is celebrating the milestone this week with presentations from PhD students, campus tours and debates.

Linda Te Aho of Waikato-Tainui and Ngati Koroki-Kahukura says it's made a significant contribution to the Maori legal field, with more Maori students coming and more Maori legal academics and lawyers.

A lot of Maori graduates have made careers in Treaty of Waitangi, family, criminal and environmental law.

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