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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Army dumps uniforms for cheaper civvies

A former army officer says today’s Defence restructure will threaten future recruitment.

The Defence Force is making more than 300 uniformed instructors, photographers, logistics and administrative staff redundant and reassigning the positions as lower-paid civilian roles.

Hector Matthews of Te Rarawa and Te Aupouri says while the Defence Force may need to reprioritise its expenditure, the loyalty of its soldiers isn’t being reciprocated.

“It's a pretty cold message for a lot of our rangatahi because I think by and large the services have served our people well, given them god qualifications and experience, but it will make them think twice so it may well harm recruitment in years to come as those who have been made redundant advise their whanau it’s not the way to go so it’s a risk for the military,” Mr Matthews says.

Personnel who choose not to apply for the newly civilianised roles or are not appointed will receive redundancy.

KAHUI BOOK SPARKS FACEBOOK OUTRAGE

A Facebook site calling for a boycott of book by Kahui twins’ mother Macsyna King has drawn 24,000 members.

Site creator Jo Hayes says she’s outraged by the book Breaking Silence, which was written in collaboration with publisher Ian Wishhart.

She says it’s not okay to profit from the killing of children.

“This is not anything to do with race. This is about two babies who were murdered in my view and no one is being held accountable,” Ms Hayes says.

She's planning a silent protest at Christchurch bookstores when the book is released next month.

RAPIRA WANTING CRACK AT TOP SPOT

Ngapuhi boxer Sam Rapira says he’s ready to take on the country’s best.

The number two light heavyweight has a repeat bout against Australian number two Jake Carr in New Plymouth at the weekend

He says he’s rather be fighting Reece Papuni of Ngati Porou and Nga Rauru, who’s the New Zealand champion.

If Rapira says if he can make the top in his grade in the world championships in Azerbaijan in September, it means automatic entry into the Olympics.

NORMAN KEEN TO WORK WITH HARAWIRA

Greens co-leader Russell Norman says he is looking forward to working with Hone Harawira where the Greens and Mana share common ground.

Dr Norman says one area will be in the creation of environmentally friendly jobs.

“Up in the north there is a lot of unemployment so I think there is common ground there. In terms of cleaning up rivers, there’s clearly, having seen what happened at Waitangi Day this year where there was so much faeces in the water you couldn’t swim in it, there’s common ground there, and the Greens have been very focused on getting children out of poverty so there is also some common ground there,” Dr Norman says.

He expects Hone Harawira will be fully occupied until the November election with making Mana a national organisation.

GOFF SEEING LIMITED ROLE FOR MANA LEADER

Labour leader Phil Goff says Mana leader Hone Harawira is politically irrelevant because he can’t be trusted.

Mr Goff says even if Labour is in a position to form a government after November’s election, Mr Harawira won’t be invited to join any coalition.

“I don’t believe he can ever be part of a formal coalition because he simply isn’t reliable as a partner. He has found it very hard to work with other groups over time, most recently the Maori Party, and if you are gong to have a coalition government it needs to be stable and it needs to be built on a relationship of trust and reliability,” he says.

Mr Goff says in the event Hone Harawira retains Te Tai Tokerau in November, he will be welcome to work with Labour in areas they can find political agreement … as they have done in the past.

MAORI NURSES ENTERING SOUTH AUCKLAND WORKFORCE

Manukau Institute of Technology's Puora Matatini Maori Workforce Initiative today celebrated the graduation of 12 more Maori nurses.

Bernard te Paa, Counties Manukau Health’s general manager of Maori health, says the scheme has made a real impact since it was launched three years ago.

He says it giving many wahine the chance of a career they may not have expected otherwise, as most of the women have come from being on a benefit.

Counties Manukau Health hopes to employ all of today's graduates as part of the overall strategy to grow the number of Maori working in the health sector.

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