Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wisdom of Solomon on vote split

Maori Party candidate Solomon Tipene is picking a Labour victory in Te Tai Tokerau ... unless he can convince people with his two for the price message.

The self-described draught horse is trailing in the polls behind Kelvin Davis and Mana Party leader Hone Harawira.

He says there's still a chance he can come through the middle on Saturday.

“Kelvin will get in, in the by-election and in the general election, and frankly that is a wasted strategic vote because he will get in anyway, he’s on the list, and it’s a pity our people can’t understand that,” Mr Tipene says.

He says a Maori Party telephone poll late last week showed him at 38 percent support.


Meanwhile, Maori party co-leader Pita Sharples says Hone Harawira is the wrong person to be advocating cross-party collaboration among Maori MPs.

Dr Sharples says the Mana Party leader’s idea of a parliamentary committee where all MPs of Maori origin caucus every three months is impractical.

“A parliament implies you are going to set up a whole set of criteria that binds you together and it will cross-cut the power and the voice of each party so it will never happen and besides I was talking to some of the Labnour guys and they say they don’t trust him, and we don’t because that’s why we split up,” he says.

Dr Sharples says MPs are elected to make laws for all the people.


A member of the national Maori broadband working group is encouraging Maori organisations to enter their websites in this year’s Australia New Zealand Internet Awards.

Richard Orzecki of Ngati Raukawa is judging the New Zealand diversity category.

He says it’s a way of recognising sites that encourage expressions of cultural diversity or identity, or use languages other than English to serve their communities.

He says it’s a great way for Maori groups using the internet to get international coverage.

Entries close on July 1, and the award ceremony is in Melbourne in October.


Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau by-election candidate says the north needs to move beyond the politics of grievance advocated by his rivals.

Kelvin Davis says Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has made a career of victimhood and living in the past … and it’s doing Maori a disservice.

“We have to acknowledge the past. We have to address the past but we have to move into the future. Hone is all about relitigating that and he has made people think it is the major issue, and it is not. We are not the downtrodden descendants of an oppressed people, we are noble descendants of a dignified people,” he says.

Mr Davis says people are getting behind his message of successful Maori futures through education and job creation.

The by-election will be held on Saturday.


Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says there’s nothing but bad news for Maori in the Government’s Auckland convention centre proposal.

Sky City has offered to build a $350 million mid-town centre, if the Government changes gambling laws in its favour.

Dr Sharples says the process is flawed and the Maori Party will oppose it.

“We’ve tried over the years to get the council and business houses interested in a convention, Maori culture combined centre down on the waterfront, no one has taken it up seriously. Now here is a group want to do a trade and put it up themselves, and I just say ‘You can’t do that,’” he says.

Pita Sharples says expanding Sky City’s casino operations isn’t the way to address Maori problem gambling, which is increasing.


The director of Rethinking Crime and Punishment wants to hear the voice of rangatahi in the law and order debate.

The prison reform group is meeting in Wellington this week to discuss the formation of a youth advisory group.

Executive director Kim Workman says too many people assume they know what's good for young people in the youth justice area.

“We think that some young people may have some ideas that may reshape the way we do justice. You know I’m 71 and all my mates are geriatrics,” he says.

Mr Workman says the youth advisory group could be a way for those views to be heard by politicians, policy makers and community leaders.


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