Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Name and shame won't work

A former Black Power spokesperson says Pita Sharples' call to name and shame gang members won't work, but the Maori Party co-leader has earned the right to propose solutions.

Dr Sharples says Maori communities are letting gangs get away with intimidation and drug peddling, and people need to be called to account.

Hawkes Bay community worker Dennis O'Reilly, who has run his own anti-drug campaigns, says most gang members have been named and shamed by the education and justice systems for most of their lives with no positive effect, and many would revel in the publicity.

But he says Dr Sharples is sincere.

“If there's someone who’s got a right to talk about these things, it’s Pita Sharples. He’s not someone who’s sat on the sideline. He’s been out there with kapa haka, with education, fronting the brothers over P and all that sort of stuff, so he’s got a right to say what he feels and thinks,” Mr O’Reilly says.


The Waitangi Tribunal has delayed indefinitely a judicial conference intended to a cement progress on the Ngapuhi treaty claims.

Runanga chairperson Sonny Tau says the Ngapuhi Claim Design Group was not able to consult iwi members in time for the mid-February conference, so asked for it to be put off.

Mr Tau says the Northland tribe doesn't want to confine its claim to historic land dealings, but wants to tackle wider issues about whether sovereignty was ceded in the Treaty of Waitangi and whether the English version of the treaty should be used.

“To not take the issue up from where our tupuna signed the tiriti of Waitangi is an abdication by us of a responsibility to our tupuna, that’s how we see it,” Mr Tau says.

Ngapuhi hopes to complete its planning by April.


Kapa haka groups aren't letting anything out of the bag before next month's big competition.

Wayne Johnson, the general manager of Te Matatini national Maori performing arts festival, says the event at Palmerston North from February 22 to 25 is set to be the biggest yet.

While many of the groups have been holding concerts to raise money for the trip, Mr Johnson says this close to competition time lips are sealed about how they plan to impress the judges.

“That's the nature of the festival anyway, those groups are not giving anything away, they’ve got all their cards, not just their aces, up their sleeves,” Mr Johnson says.

This year's festival won't be just feature kapa haka, with Katchafire, Spacifix and Ardijah booked to give the fans something to dance to at the end of each day's competitions.


The Nelson 2000 Trust has unveiled the first part of a 20 metre memorial wall documenting the settlement of the province back to the earliest times.

The words on the 1.2 metre granite slab unveiled yesterday were written by historians John and Hilary Mitchell.

Dr Mitchell, from Ngati Tama, says he started with legendary figures like Kupe and Waitaha ancestor Rakeihautu, and went through the many iwi who have fought over and lived in the area.

“What we want to try to do is lay to rest the modern myth that you often hear expressed is that ‘Oh, well, there weren’t many Maori here,’ or ‘There weren’t any Maori here when Europeans arrived.’ And of course neither of those things are true. It has a very rich history which we have tried to portray on this plaque,” Dr Mitchell says.

Maori played an important role in the European settlement of Nelson, particularly through their involvement in the early coastal shipping trade.

The wall will eventually include the names of all the European settlers who arrived during the first decade of the Nelson colony.


Wellington mayoral campaigner Ray Ahipene-Mercer believes being Maori can help him win later this year.

The conservationist and musician will be taking on sitting mayor Kerry Prendergast and a crowded field which could also include Labour list MP Georgina Beyer from Te Atiawa.

Mr Ahipene Mercer says Wellington voters have appreciated the way he brought a Maori dimension to issues like water quality and place naming, while also taking other points of view into account.

“You want to be inclusive and you want to bring people with you and you want people to come on board and be bicultural if you like, not because I’m telling them that they should but because having considered the discussions we have been having or the issues or whatever, that this is of mutual benefit and it’s that mutual benefit and inclusiveness dimension to do with things Maori that I believe I get a high support from voters,” Mr Ahipene Mercer says.

He says his three terms on council has served as an apprenticeship, and he's ready to step up to the top job.


Audiences will get an alternative to Kapahaka at next month's Te Matatini National Kapahaka Festival in Palmerston North.

Te Matatini General Manager Wayne Johnson says the programme called 'Hip Hop Haka' will run on a stage separate from the mainstage where Kapahaka performances will take place, and headline acts will go ahead at the end of each Kapahaka day.

Acts such as Katchafire, Kora, Ardijah and Ruia Aperahama have been named to play.

Mr Johnson says this by no means is to take away from the Kapahaka performances, but rather to provide an alternative.

“We are looking at existing audiences and new audiences as well, and those ones there are our headline acts, and it’s for those people who may want to break from the main stage, but it’s not on the main stage – we’re running three allied stages at this festival,” Mr Johnson says.

This year's Te Matatini National Kapahaka Festival set for February 22-25 will be the biggest yet.


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