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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

League leadership in Destiny's sights

Hannah Tamaki, the wife of Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki, says she can't understand opposition within the Maori Women's Welfare league to her bid to become the 60-year-old organisation's president.

Branches set up by Destiny members walked out of a league event in Auckland last week when they were challenged about putting the religion before the non-sectarian principles of the league.

Mrs Tamaki says both organisations have a strong focus on women and families.

“There are actually more women in Destiny than there are men and very strong successful women from all walks of life and the majority Maori women so hey, I’m just another one of those wonderful wahine I suppose,” she says.

Senior league member Denise Ewe says Destiny has been aggressively recruiting its female members into the league, and reportedly signed up more than 1000 at its annual conference over Queens Birthday weekend.

TUREI DEMANDS PROOF OF TOLERANCE

Meanwhile, Greens' co-leader Meteria Turei says the Destiny Church's newly-found concern for women is unconvincing.

Ms Turei believes she was excluded from the church's forum of Maori politicians because Destiny leaders were afraid she would challenge Bishop Brian Tamaki's view that women in leadership is the devil's work.

“The fact is that his own words are being used as examples of a problem with his attitude towards women and towards the gay and lesbian community and if that is not the case, if that is not his view, then he needs to make that absolutely clear,” Ms Turei says.

She says many women in Destiny have told her they are embarrassed by some of Brian Tamaki's teachings.

NGATI WHATUA LAND OPEN FOR OPTIONS

Ngati Whatua is looking for options for its land near the old Auckland railway station.

Corporate head Tiwana Tibble says it's disappointed not to get a chance to build a convention centre, but there was no way it could match Sky City Casino's bid.

Sky City got the nod to partner with the government to build a $350 million centre in exchange for a massive expansion of its casino operations.

Mr Tibble says the Ngati Whatua land can be used as retail, residential or commercial space.

“If it's not going to be a purpose built facility like a convention centre, that particular site is in the middle of Auckland. You can’t replicate that sort of location, so over time we will be putting something pretty fantastic on it,” he says.

Mr Tibble says Ngati Whatua is pleased its bid to build a casino in the old Auckland railway station in the 1990s did not come off, because it now feels gambling is not a business Maori organisations should be part of.

MANA A CLASS PARTY CLAIMS MAORI PARTY HEAD

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the Mana Party's kaupapa is class struggle, not Maori rights.

She says people in the north needs to understand this when they consider whether to cast a vote for Mana leader Hone Harawira in the Te Tai Tokerau by-election.

“It's a class party. It’s not a Maori party, They will have ot take into account all the interests of everybody else, whereas our focus has always , and we are unashamedly putting our people first and we do,” Mrs Turia says.

She says if Solomon Tipene wins the north for the Maori Party, the electorate will have a team player for the first time.

PM TURNS EYES AWAY FROM GAMBLING DAMAGE

There's a warning more Maori families will go hungry if the Government changes gambling laws in exchange for Sky City Casino building a convention centre in Auckland.

Problem gambling educator Zoe Hawke from Maori public health organisation Hapai Te Hauora says the promised $90 million a year boost to the economy from convention-goers needs to be weighed against the families impoverished because members become addicted to pokie machines.

“John Key mentioned we need to overlook more gambling machines for the need for a bigger facility for international events he’s basically saying we have to overlook the fact people are getting hurt, families are going hungry,” she says.

Ms Hawke says as part of its campaign to win the convention centre bid, Sky City Casino seems to have suddenly increased its focus on host responsibility and ensuring patrons aren't gambling too much.

EMOTIONAL HIT FROM FASHION SHOW

The winner of this year's supreme Miromoda Maori design award says women consumers are looking for an emotional connection from fashion.

Adrienne Whitewood says that's what she tried to give them with her Te Aho Tapu collection based on korowai and pre-European clothing.

The Rongowhakaata woman says the hint of nostalgia paid off.

“I think consumers, especially women, aren’t just wanting fast fashion. They want slow fashion, they’re wanting clothing that has meaning and that’s where my concept came from. I used a lot of traditional techniques such as drapery which is a traditional Maori technique,” Ms Whitewood says.

Her collection will be showcased at New Zealand Fashion Week, and she also gets a trip to Australian Fashion Week and mentoring from MiroModa co-founder Rex Turnbull.

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