Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Green warning on establishment fear

Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says the political establishment is frightened of Hone Harawira and his Mana Party becoming an independent Maori voice in Parliament.

Ms Turei says while the Greens aren't endorsing any candidate in Saturday's Te Tai Tokerau by-election, she was interested to hear Prime Minister John Key picking Labour's Kelvin Davis to win.

“There is an issue here around the establishment being frightened of more independent Maori voices in parliament and political parties, independent Maori political parties representing Maori voices in parliament,” Ms Turei says.

She says Hone Harawira's positions on environmental issues and poverty have been close to those of the Greens.


Labour's Te Tai Tokerau candidate is giving Mana Party followers a lesson in what their man Hone Harawira can achieve in Parliament.

The candidates faced off in Kaitaia last night, and former schoolteacher Kelvin Davis told the crowd parliamentary politics is a numbers game.

He says Mr Harawira's talk of a Maori parliament and fixing unemployment is hollow.

“Let's be perfectly blunt. He can’t. Nobody wants to work with him. He can talk all he want about a separate Maori parliament, he can’t even organize and register his own party properly and he wants to talk about a separate Maori parliament. I think people need to get real really,” Mr Davis says.

He says under Labour, the north was starting to get on top of unemployment.


A Ngai Tahu educationalist says a new trade training initiative will gives Maori a greater stake in rebuilding Christchurch.

He Toki ki te Rika will place 200 Maori students into places at the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology before the end of the year.

Hana O'Regan, the dean of Christchurch Polytechnic's Maori Faculty, says it's giving people a way to focus on the future.

He Toki ki te Rika is a partnership between the polytechnic, Te Tapuae o Rehua, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, Ngai Tahu Property Company and the building industry training organisations.


Labour leader Phil Goff won't guarantee a future Labour government would provide the $100 million economic development fund sought by Te Tai Tokerau by-election candidate Kelvin Davis.

But he expected to hear a lot more about the idea, which is modeled on the trust Labour set up to boost development on the West Coast.

“Kelvin will be there like a fox terrier snapping on our heels saying this is why my patch needs and good on him, that is exactly what he should be doing for his own patch and we will be listening closely to him but of course financial commitments are something you have to do in the context of a budget round,” Mr Goff says.

He says given Northland has the highest unemployment in the country, there could well be a case for a special assistance package.


Te Tai Tonga MP Rahui Katene is welcoming the exclusion of rongoa Maori from supervision by a new trans-Tasman agency to regulate medicines and medical devices.

The new regime was announced this week by prime ministers John Key and Julia Gillard.

Mrs Katene says traditional Maori medicines and healing practices were included in the WAI 262 fauna and flora claim lodged by her father, the late John Hippolite and others, which will finally be reported on next month.

“Those things are part of our rangatiratanga and it’s something Maori must make the decision in. It’s not something that can be part of government and more importantly it’s not something that can be decided overseas,” she says.

Mrs Katene says rongoa is knowledge held by individual practitioners which comes down from their tupuna.


It still hasn't been inflated, but there's already talk of Ngati Whatua's inflatable waka making its first overseas trip.

Richard Jones of Maori business development agency Poutama Trust is in southern California for a Matariki-themed event at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday to promote New Zealand business and tourism.

He also intends to talk to city authorities about bringing the waka up next year for a larger event with a more Maori focus.

One of the firms to benefit from last year’s LAX Matariki event was Maori energy bar business Manuka Boosta.


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