Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rural broadband corporate welfare in action

Labour's infrastructure spokesperson Shane Jones says the awarding of $285 million to Telecom and Vodafone for rural broadband is a blow to the Maori export sector.

Communications minister Steven Joyce today confirmed that contracts had been negotiated with the two incumbents to roll out a mix of fibre bakchaul and fixed wireless links to deliver 3G broadband to 250,000 rural customers.

Mr Jones says the government is paying for yesterday's technology in a blatant case of corporate welfare that will stifle innovation.

“The bulk of the Maori economy exposed to the fortunes of the export markets are located in provincial and rural New Zealand and they are going to be lumbered with this dodgy decision which has more to do with corporate welfare than the advancement of our nation,” he says.

Mr Jones says the government doesn't appear to have given proper consideration to a competing bid, which would have used spectrum from Maori interests, state-owned Kordia and Woosh to deliver a 4G solution.

FAMILY COURT CUTS THREAT TO MAORI WHANAU

Greens Co-leader Meteria Turei says any cuts in Family Court services will hit Maori hard.

Announcing a review of the court, justice minister Simon Power indicated he would like to see stricter rules about who could access the court, as well as changes to the way counsellors and mesiators were used.

Therre could also be more user charges.

Ms Turei says the increased cost of the court in recent years is a result of its effectiveness and the wide range of roles it is asked to perform.

She says as high users of the court, the review is a real concern for Maori.

NGATI WHATUA WELCOMES WAKA IDEA

Ngati Whatua o Orakei is welcoming a suggestion from Auckalnd mayor Len Brown that waka races become a feature of major events on the Waitemata Harbour.

Spokesperson Ngarimu Blair says the Waterfront Auckland council controlled organisation he is a director of is already considering the idea for its own events.

He says Maori people in the region used to race ships in waka, and it would be good to revive the sport.

GOFF SLAMS GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO CHINA CRAFAR BID

Labour leader Phil Goff says the government's changes to foreign investment rules clearly haven't gone far enough.

The Overseas Investment Office is considering whether to approve Chines company's $200 million bid for the 16 Crafar Farms.

Mr Goff says it's disappointing the bid has got so far when other local bids, including one involving Tainui, have been rejected by the receivers.

He says it will be hard to argue the Chinese are adding value to the economy.

“They don't have better technology that us. They don’t have better animal husbandry or pasture management. All it means is they force up the price of farmland that makes it harder for ordinary kiwi farmers get n it, but they’re not producing anything for New Zealand, they’re simply taking money out of the country,” Mr Goff says.

EXTRAS NEEDED FOR SIONE SEQUEL

Maori and Pasifika extras are being sought for the sequel to hit movie Sione's Wedding.

Brian Gerard from Auckland agency Kam Talent says filming for Sione 2 starts next month, bringing together the crew of Samoan actors who starred in the 2005 original.

He says Maori and Polynesian extras aged between 18 and 40 are needed to fill the backgrounds in some scenes which will be shot in the Karangahape Rd nightclub area.

The film is due for release early next year.

WAKA AMA KEEN FOR GREATER AUCKLAND PRESENCE

The chair of Nga Kaihoe o Aotearoa, Hori Pomana, says waka afficianados are already on the case to be part of the annual Auckland Anniversary regatta.

Auckland mayor Len Brown says he wants to see waka racing back on the Waitemata Harbour.

Mr Pomona says it would have happened in this year's regatta but for bad weather which forced the cancellation of the event.

Nga Kaihoe is hoping for better weather next year so waka ama can join the Auckland Anniversary festivities.

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