Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Harawira denies perpetual grievance tag

Mana leader Hone Harawira denies he is pushing a message of grievance in his bid to retain Te Tai Tokerau.

Mr Harawira's by-election rivals have seized on his campaign themes, which include playing up his role in the 2004 foreshore and seabed hikoi and other protests, as well as highlighting the hardship faced by many in the electorate.

But he says Labour's Kelvin Davis isn't giving him the credit for some of his more positive achievements.

“He knows what I was able to do with the Far North Rugby League. He knows of my role as the CEO for the Te Aupouri Maori Trust Board. He knows how I built the kura from nothing to being the biggest in Tai Tokerau. He knows how I built Te Hiku Media from a little radio station to four ration stations and a television station. He knows all of that,” Mr Harawira says.

He says Labour's campaign is turning nasty because it's losing the race.

LATE BY-ELECTION COULD COST SEAT

Meanwhile, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says Hone Harawira may live to regret giving the Labour Party a crack at his seat.

Mr Peters says the right time to force a by-election was March, when he split from the Maori Party, rather than giving his opponents time to drum up support.

“Not in this case the Maori Party because they are going to be the massive losers in this campaign on Saturday but he has given the Labour Party a chance to organize on Saturday and he may well live to regret it,” he says.

Mr Peters says the candidate who will win on Saturday will be the one who is best able to organise to get voters out ... which means Labour candidate Kelvin Davis is in with a great chance.

AWHI TAPU GETS SECOND LIFE

Playwright Albert Belz expects a few jaws to drop when audiences see the revival of his play Awhi Tapu.

The saga of four friends clinging on to living in a dying forestry town starts a run at Western Springs College's Tapac theatre tomorrow.

Mr Belz says he's excited by what Taki Rua Productions have done to the eight-year-old play.

“Way back in 2003 there were a couple of different elements to it where one of the characters went into a fantasy world. That’s gone. A new cast and director are also handling it differently in terms of, it’s a little bit lighter in places, a little bit heavier in others when it comes to how issues in the play are being dealt with,” Mr Belz says.

TIPENE FEELS THE LOVE FROM PARTY

The Maori Party Te Tai Tokerau by-election candidate, Solomon Tipene, says he feels no lack of support from the Party's hierarchy.

Co-leader Tariana Turia has apologised for televised comments about Mr Tipene's political inexperience, which were interpreted as a vote of no-confidence in him and an endorsement of Labour's Kelvin Davis.

Mr Tipene says he's grateful for the help he's got from Mrs Turia and other leaders.

“Do I feel the support of the Maori Party? Absolutely. Every one of those MPs has been up with me every day supporting me. That is an indication of their support,” he says.

Mr Tipene says as far as he is concerned, he is also the Maori Party's candidate for the general election.

LOAN SHARKS PREYING ON HIGHER LIVING COSTS

The head of a South Auckland budgeting service is welcoming the prospect of loan sharks being put under the spotlight.

In the wake of a company offering high interest loans via text message, the Government says a financial summit in August will send a message to the loan industry to be responsible.

Ripeka Taipari says up to 40 percent of Whare Mauriora Budgeting have taken out loans because low wages or benefits and high living costs means they feel they can no longer provide for their families.

“They're more wanting to be able to live the lifestyle they’re used to living which is pretty basic, so they really are on a minimum and scratching to get what they need and so they go to the shark to get the extra things they need for their children, and our staff say ‘I can’t do this anymore,’ because they keep going to the loan sharks and they don’t just have one, they have two or three of them,” Mrs Taipari says,

She wants to see tighter credit lending criteria to keep vulnerable families away from money lenders.

ENTRIES FLOODING IN FOR WAIATA MAORI AWARDS

The organiser of the Waiata Maori Music Awards says entries are flooding in as musicians come to appreciate how the annual event can generate good exposure.

Tama Huata says high profile Maori artists like Tiki Taane, Stan Walker and Smashproof are showing other what can be achieved.

He says there's a clear need for a collaborative approach to promote Maori artists not just through the Maori radio stations but to get them mainstream airplay.

Entries close at the end of July.

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