Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Horomia opposes Howard Territory raid

The Minister of Maori Affairs says he doesn't support the Australian Government's moves against Aboriginal communities.

But Parekura Horomia says there's no call to hurl personal insults across the ditch.

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira has called Australian Prime Minister John Howard a "racist bastard" for sending the army into Northern Territory communities, ostensibly to tackle problems of child abuse and alcoholism.
Mr Horomia says that comment is going too far.

“I do not support what Howard is doing but let’s have a policy debate about it, not just fling insults around. You know there’s a lot more damage done by doing that stuff to trade and whatever else, and we don’t know the detail,” Mr Horomia says.

He says Hone Harawira's outburst doesn't enhance the image of Maori overseas.


But a Ngati Raukawa man working for Australia's largest indigenous media network says the Taitokerau MP is winning fans in the Northern Territory with his attacks on the Australian PM.

Gerry Lyons is a broadcaster at CAAMA, the Central Australia Aboriginal Media Association in Alice Springs.

He says Aboriginals value international support, and Mr Harawira is voicing the thoughts of many of Australia's tangata whenua on the Howard government's heavy-handed policies.

“It is front news here as well, and yes the response has been one of pride that the brothers and sisters, the cuzzies from across the ditch are awhi-ing, supporting aboriginal values, Aboriginal ways, so it really has strengthened the connection between both tangata whenua,” Mr Lyons says.

Aboriginal people resent the lack of consultation before troops were sent in to their communities.


A Waikato marae justice advocate says convicted killer Bailey Junior Kurariki will need a lot of support if he is to integrate into the world outside prison.

The Parole Board will hear Kurariki's application later this week.

He's serving a seven year sentence for the manslaugher of pizza deliverer Michael Choy in 2001.

Kurariki was 12 at the time.

Aroha Terry says whether he gets parole or not, Kurariki will be released in September 2008.

She says it's likely any rehabilitation will have to happen outside the prison gates.

“I have my doubts that what he went in for, he’s been treated for, good intensive therapy to process him through what he done, because there’s several stages to that. I doubt the system has given him good treatment in there,” MsTerry says.

She says most young prisoners come out of jail worse than they went in because of the behaviours they learn inside.


Too many Maori are drowning while gathering seafood.

Water Safety New Zealand says two thirds of Maori who drowned last year were taking part in recreational activities like fishing or gathering seafood.

Only a quarter of Pakeha drownings were recreation-related.

Manager Matt Claridge says it's a long-standing problem.

“New Zealand has always had a reasonably high number of drawings with out fishing and kaimoana seafood gathering, and I think it’s with reasonable logic, if you look at our ethnic breakdown in New Zealand now with our Maori and Pacific peoples,” Mr Claridge says.

Water Safety intends to step up its education and awareness programmes.


The manager of Australia's largest indigenous media network says Aboriginal people are welcoming support from Maori.

Jim Remedio manages CAAMA, the central Australia Aboriginal Media Association broadcasting out of Alice Springs.

He says Maori MP Hone Harawira's attack on the Howard Government's military intervention into Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory is similar to what Aboriginals are saying.

He says support is coming in from around the world.

“In terms of support we’re getting form Maori, we’re getting support form all ethnic peoples in this country. People can see that this is just a straight out grab for land, and it’s also an attack on the indigenous people in the Northern Territory,” Mr Remedio says.


Gambling Helpline's new kaumatua says Maori need to help deal with problem gamblers in their whanau.

Mereana Peka from Ngati Hine has has been brought in to offer support in tikanga and te reo to the helpline's Maori service and client.

As a long time community worker and Maori warden in south Auckland, Mrs Peka has seen first hand the devastation caused by gambling addiction, when whanau are unable to pay bills and rely on foodbanks for survival.

She says a Maori response is needed.

“I'm not making excuses for people who gamble. I’m just saying it’s really hard top break the cycle, and I think that we also need to put our hand up and say we’re part of the problem and we should be part of the solution for this,” Ms Peka says.


The north has lost one of its leading orators and advocates.

Rewa Marsh died on Sunday aged 88.

Her tangi is being held at Tauwhara Marae in Waimate North, where she will be buried tomorrow beside her late husband Rangi.

Mrs Marsh was instrumental in setting up the Taumata Kaumatua o Ngapuhi, originally as a protest against the role Ngapuhi's then leaders played in the Maori fisheries settlement.

She also led protests against the building of the regional prison at Ngawha.

Ngapuhi kaumatua Andy Sarich says although Mrs Marsh came originally from Tainui, she was a fount of knowledge of Maori history, language and tikanga.

“She was a great orator. She was the equal of any man, in my opinion, I might be wrong, but I’ve known her for over 60 years so I say she was one of the best,” Mr Sarich says.

Rewa Marsh's death is a major loss for Ngapuhi.


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