Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, May 30, 2011

Concern at iwi fishing charters

Maori affairs minister Pita Sharples says he has asked his staff to look into the use of foreign vessels to catch Maori quota.

Dr Sharples says he wants to know why iwi aren’t catching their own allocation, when there are 60,000 young New Zealanders out of work.

“There’s a number of reasons that the fishermen have told me, not the least of which is many Maori find it hard to be our for long periods of time away from their whanau and stuff like this, so I suppose you’ve got to want to be a fisherman to go out and do it,” he says.

Dr Sharples says he is also concerned at allegations foreign crews on the boats are being ill-treated.

URUWERA COMPARISON AS LAND DEAL NIXED

The negotiator for a central Waikato hapu is accusing the Government of breaching good faith negotiations.

Ngati Koroki Kahukura had been lined up to signed a settlement today that would have returned more than 2000 hectares of Crown land at Maungatautari as well as cash to help maintain it as a pest-free ecological island.

But Cabinet put the deal on hold last week in response to a campaign by a small group of neighbouring landowners upset by the governance arrangements for the reserve.

Willie Te Aho says it’s almost a rerun of the Government’s veto of the return of Urewera National Park land to Ngai Tuhoe.

“We feel like we have been Tuhoed where we had the land on the table and it’s been removed. No respect to our Tuhoe relations but it’s becoming the saying that when you get things through officials and the minister and you think you’ve got your land back and then at the last minute Cabinet pulls it off the table, so we’re certainly upset,” Mr Te Aho says.

He hopes the appointment of retired High Court Judge Sir David Thompkins QC as a facilitator will help move the settlement process forward.

GREENS COUNTING ON MAORI ELECTORATE PARTY VOTE

The Green Party is sitting out the Te Tai Tokerau by-election, but co-leader Meteria Turei says the Maori seats are an important part of the Greens’ November election strategy.

Ms Turei says the party is looking for Maori to carry the Green message, like 18 year old Jack McDonald in Te Tai Hauauru.

She says it’s all about rounding up the party vote.

“Maori voters in Maori electorates have a real genuine choice about how they exercise both their votes in a way that gets them the best representation. They vote for the person who represents them most. They vote for the party that will represent Maori issues in parliament,” Mr Turei says.

The Greens will remind voters of what she believes is an excellent record on Maori issues.

MAORI HEALTH WORKERS STRUCTURALLY UNDERPAID

The Minister in charge of whanau ora, Tariana Turia, says Maori health workers aren’t being paid what they are worth.

The Maori Party co-leader says without adequate funding, Maori providers will struggle to retain staff.

“There’s a huge disparity of something like $20,000 between the pay scales so Maori providers who invest a lot of money training their nurses, they can’t afford to pay them at the same rate as the DHB because the DHB are the funder as well as the provider themselves, so then it means the DHB can offer those staff better money and they leave,” Mrs Turia says.

It’s a long-standing problem, so she’s not impressed with Labour’s sudden enthusiasm for putting up the minimum wage.

HE KAWAI TAUMATU UNDER THREAT OF SWORD

The dumping of Ngati Kahungunu leader Ngahiwi Tomoana as chair of Te Ohu Kaimoana is continuing to cause concern.

Prominent iwi negotiator Willie Te Aho says it appears members of the electoral college, He Kawai Taumata, were influenced by a leaked letter from Aotearoa Fisheries to the Maori fisheries settlement trust about Mr Tomoana’s chairmanship.

He says He Kawai Taumata members should explain why his relative was not given a chance to respond.

“You either follow tikanga and kanohi ki te kanoki and work things through or attempt to work things through. The alternative is live by the sword, die by the sword, and he’s the one who’s had his knees cut off underneath him but tomorrow it will be those who held the sword who will be put to the sword,” Mr Te Aho says.

HARAWIRA KEEN TO KEEP EDGE DESPITE PRESSURES OF STATE

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira says he's struggling with the transition from activist to statesman.

He says now he's leader of a political party, the pressure is coming on for a change of style.

But he says he's used to instinctively acting on the principles he knows to be right.

“I just hope for myself and our people too that I never really lose that edge because I think that edge is important to a portrayal of the kind of strength and commitment and fearlessness I think our people deserve in their political leadership and they just don’t have the moment,” Mr Harawira says.

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