Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, August 07, 2006

Brash remembers knight’s influence

National Party leader Don Brash says Sir Norman Perry, who died last week, made enormous contributions to both Maori and Pakeha.

The former secretary to MP Sir Apirana Ngata served with the Maori Battalion in Italy, was a Maori Affairs district welfare officer, and made valuable contributions to the Maori Council, Opotiki Maori Trust Board and many Maori land incorporations.

He also set up a clothing factory in Opotiki, and in later years was involved with the welfare of Maori prisoners through the Mahi Tahi Trust.

Mr Brash says he knew Sir Norman from a young age through his father, Presbyterian minister Alan Brash.

Don Brash says Sir Norman was one of a small number of lay people to head the Presbyterian church as Moderator.

Sir Norman will be taken this morning to Omaio Marae near Opotiki.


The chief executive of Hamilton's Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa, says Labour is undermining the Treaty of Waitangi out of fear National Party leader Don Brash could benefit from the issue.

Mere Belzer says Maori organisations are alarmed at the removal of referances to the Treaty in the draft school curriculum, because it is seen as part of a trend.

She says the government has failed to stand up for Maori rights in the face of Mr Brash's one law for all sloganeering.

Mere Belzer says Te Runanga O Kirikiriroa has recommended treaty references be reinstated in official documents and the treaty should be properly ratified.


A leading Maori architect is questioning who has benefited from regulating the housing and construction industries.

Rau Hoskins says Maori are losing the art of constructing whare with materials from the bush.

He is part of a programme which teaches Maori communities how to build nikau whare.

He says they remain a functional option, but regulation has taken power away from people to house themselves.

Rau Hoskins says indigenous peoples have a right to build houses out of indigenous materials.


Ratana members have been challenged to hold the Maori MPs to account for attacks on the status of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Former Labour Cabinet Minister Whetu Tirikatene Sullivan said the New Zealand First Bill to delete references to the principles of the treaty from legislation, and the dropping of the treaty from the school curriculum.

Mrs Tirikatene Sullivan, who is known as Te Omeka in the church, says Ratana MPs have been fighting for greater recognition of the treaty since her father Sir Euera Tirikatene was first elected in 1932.

She says much of what they won now looks like it is about to be lost.

Mrs Tirikatene-Sullivan says Maori should demand their MPs come back to them and explain what they are doing to protect and enhanced the status of the treaty.

She made the comments at the Auckland launch of the book Ratana Revisited by Auckland writer Keith Newman, which she said should awaken the consciences of all thoughtful and caring New Zealanders who are concerned with seeing the treaty recognised.


Maori organic growers organisation Te Waka Kai Ora has made a late application to join the long running Wai 262 claim for indigenous flora and fauna.

The Waitangi Tribunal kicks off the final series of hearing on the claim in south Auckland later this month.

Mataatua representative Maanu Paul says as the people who grow the flora and farm the fauna, Te Waka Kaiora is concerned at the possibility of multinational seed and fertilizer companies controlling their livelihood.

Mr Paul says the growers are also concerned about the running of the claim, which was lodged in 1991 and given urgency in 1994.

He says questions could be asked about what the tribunal was doing, and what the claimants’ lawyers were doing, to let an urgent claim run on so long.

Maanu Paul says the growers are also concerned at the impact of the proposed Australia and New Zealand regulatory agency for foodstuffs and therapeutic goods.

The producer of a talent search on Maori Television says it is launching pad for Maori singers who may not otherwise share their talents.

Auditions for the second series of Maori-oke are now underway.

Mere Waaka from Mauriora Productions says she is impressed with the talent which is emerging.


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