Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, October 03, 2008

Average attack on income gap

National's leader John Key says Labour has fallen short in its delivery to Maori people.

Mr Key says National's Maori policy, which includes abolition of the Maori seats and acceleration of treaty settlements, were based on what the party thinks is the right direction to take New Zealand, rather than with an eye on post-election accommodations with the Maori Party.

He says the big issues for Maori are economic development, education, health and housing.

“If you look around the economic development, there’s a lot of work to be done. The average income of the Maori New Zealander used to be about 83 percent of the non-Maori New Zealander. Now under this Government it’s dropped to 73 percent. So you can see that realistically, despite all the promises from Labour they are going to do better, I think the argument falls pretty short,” Mr Key says.

A spokesperson for Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says while the Maori average weekly income has fallen as a proportion of the total, the Maori median income, which reflects more closely what most people take home in their pay packets, increased from 80 to 86 percent of the total population.


One of Manukau City Council's community boards is under fire for refusing to consult tangata whenua over the name of a new reserve.

The Howick Community Board wants to call the reserve Fencible Walk, in honour of the settlers given land to protect the area from Maori incursion.

Moana Herewini, a council policy analyst, says the board should have talked to Maori.

“What they're not taking on bard is the commitment of the council to the Treaty of Waitangi which includes consulting tangata whenua. Some people on community boards aren’t aware of that and might look a little wider at their responsibilities and take on board the fact there were people before the Pakeha who settled in that area whose histories should be honoured,” Ms Herewini says.

The council has a Mana Whenua Forum which councillors and residents can consult over events and plans.


Parliament's first official kaumatua is being remembered as someone who brought friendship, support and wise counsel to Maori MPs.

Rangitihi Tahuparae died in his Wanganui home yesterday, and will lie at Putiki Marae until Tuesday.

Former Auckland Central MP Sandra Lee says Mr Tahuparae was a friend for more than 30 years, and gave critical support to Maori parliamentarians.

She says he was able to combine his political and Whanganui connections to help negotiate a smooth end to the 1995 occupation of Pakaitore Moutoa Gardens, preventing police from making wholesale arrests of the occupiers.

Mr Tahuparae and his wife Rose accompanied Mrs Lee to Niue when she was appointed High Commissioner, when some of his skills as a tohunga became evident.

“Being raised in a very traditional way in terms of our tikanga, it was interesting to observe the way he could he could hold a conversation and relate to very old traditional other Polynesian peoples in that unique way perhaps that people like Te Rangi Hiroa could also do,” Ms Lee says.


The first and only Maori political party leader to sit in Cabinet says the Maori Party is on shaky constitution ground with its post-election ambitions.

The Maori Party says it wants to be a treaty partner, rather than just a coalition partner.

But Sandra Lee from Mana Motuhake says the treaty is between the Crown and hapu.

She says by standing for Parliament, the Maori Party MPs crossed to the other side.

“Those who vote in elections, whoever they vote for as tangata whenua, have a right to expect that whatever political movement or party represented in Parliament has to be representative of the Crown’s relationship with the treaty and tangata whenua,” Mrs Lee says.

She says at this stage in the political cycle, a coalition partner is all that is being sought.

The Maori Party launches its campaign for all seven Maori seats in Hamilton tomorrow.


Maori in the Hawkes Bay are combining with community groups to build Little Elms, a 12-lodge support facility for children with terminal illness.

Ngahiwi Tomoana the chair of the Ngati Kahungunu Trust Board says the iwi will pay for two of the 12 lodges, which will be erected in a six day charity build starting this weekend.

He says the facility will help families, many who are Maori, to be close to their children while they undergo treatment.

“Who ever thought Ngati Kahungunu would link arms with the Masonic Lodge in doing anything together but here we are alongside all the trucking and the trades as well so we’re contributing to build two chalets for terminal kids. We’re proud to be part of it,” Mr Tomoana says.

The iwi will contribute over a $100,000 to the complex which is being built just down the road from the Trust Board offices.


Iwi through the lower North Island are mourning the passing of Rangitihi (John) Tahuparae, who died early yesterday morning in his home in Wanganui.

The former martial arts expert, Maori Affairs community officer, journalist, Waitangi Tribunal member and parliamentary kaumatua was in his 70s.

Te Tai Hauauru MP Tariana Turia says her relative was trained by elders of the Whanganui river to be a tohunga, a role he took seriously in handing down te reo me ona tikanga to younger members of the tribe.

“We have an annual tira hoe waka where our people reconnect to the awa and that’s been going on for more than 15 years and he was the one who began the tira hoe telling the old stories of the river as you come down in waka,” Mrs Turia says.

John Tahuparae's influence was felt across all areas of the community.
Mr Tahuparae is lying in state in Te Paku-o-te-rangi at Putiki Marae in Whanganui. His funeral will be on Tuesday.


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