Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ratana core supporting Labour

A Ratana spokesperson says the church's Easter hui has reaffirmed its commitment to Labour.

Andre Mason says while there was some disappointment about the low placings Labour's list committee gave to Ratana-affiliated candidates like Rino Tirikatene, Louis Te Kani and Soraya Peke-Mason, the underlying relationship was still important to both sides.

“The tumuaki of the Ratana church, Harerangi Maehana, beleivs totally in the covenant between Ratana and Michael Savage, even though the list came out as it is,” he says.

He says his wife Soraya Peke-Mason's campaign for Tariana Turia's Te Tai Hauauru seat is off to a good start.


The head of Te Kupenga - the National network of agencies tackling family violence - says there's a risk funding cuts will derail years of effort.

Brian Gardner says organisations like Womens Refuge, Te Rito family violence prevention and Amokura in Tai Tokerau all face reduced or no funding.

He says that's at a time when violence is finally starting to decrease.

“If we take away the good stuff we have been doing, then we run the risk of building more prisons and putting more people in jail, so what we are saying now after all the hard work people have done around the It’s Not OK campaign and the E Tu work the government has been doing is don’t take the foot off the pedal, now is the time to keep going to make some real gains,” Mr Gardner says.

Some 13 of Te Kupenga's 39 agencies run Kaupapa Maori programmes.


Maori Television head Jim Mather says the channel needs to provide its own response to the Christchurch earthquakes.

It's mounting a 12 hour telethon on May 22, broadcasting from the Canterbury Arena with live crosses to Auckland, Wellington, Los Angeles, London and Sydney.

Mr Mather says high profile New Zealanders are lining up to be part of Rise Up Christchurch - Te Kotahitanga.

Maori Television has also been helping Canterbury Television get back on air.


Labour leader Phil Goff says he can't back a call by lawyers Moana Jackson and Jane Kelsey for a stay on prosecutions in the Urewera 18 trials.

The lawyers have written to solicitor general David Collins, with the endorsement of more than 150 prominent Maori, academics and social justice campaigners, saying the police have wasted millions of dollars trying to justify their so called terror raids in October 2007.

Mr Goff says while there is understandable concern about how long it has taken for the cases to come to trial, the system must be allowed to work.

“I wouldn’t interfere with the court process. You can’t do that in this country and nor should you. The court’s got to make that decision but for god’s sake deal with it because people have got serious charges hanging over their heads. Their may or may not be something to that. I can’t make that decision. Only the courts can. But it’s unfair to people they have to wait for so long for the justice process to take place,” he says.

The 18 who will be tried next month face firearms charges, and five of them including Tuhoe health worker Tame iti are also charged with being part of an organised criminal group.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says rural Maori can't afford to get comfortable over the deferral of the petrol tax hike.

Transport Minister Steven Joyce says he scrapped the 1.5 cents per litre increase due in July because of tight economic conditions and the Christchurch earthquake.

But Ms Turei says it's an election year stunt, and people need to look at what will happen next year.

“They've only deferred the tax so it will increase by more next year. It will alleviate for a very short period some of the fuel increase difficulties families face and for Maori particularly those in rural areas, it is particularly difficult when you are paying a lot for petrol just to go to work,” she says.

Ms Turei says an increase in fuel prices on its own won't solve all the problems associated with climate change, and the government has to invest in public transport.


Maori artist and author Robyn Kahukiwa says it's too hard to find publishers willing to take a punt on Maori books, so she's putting out her latest book herself.

Te Marama is a 32 page book in Maori with English translations about the tales and tikanga surrounding the moon.

She says she wanted to take the stories back.

“That's one of the problems with our stories over the years, a lot of Pakeha have taken them and made them into little children’s ditties. Well they’re not. They’re for everybody and they contain a lot of important tikanga for us as Maori,” Ms Kahukiwa says.

The book will be released in two weeks, but she's also selling copies to friends and whanau through Facebook.


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