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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Harawira attacks PI TV idea

Maori party MP Hone Harawira is critical of Labour's proposal to set up a Pacific TV service if re-elected when Maori radio and television are unfunded and under supported.

Hone Harawira, a former chair of Whakaruruhau the umbrella group overseeing Maori broadcasting, says the move has come at this time because Labour sees it needs Pacific Islander support.

“I am disappointed that government continues to fund Maori radio at such a poor level while obviously finding money for other radio stations, that government can afford to find money for other television stations while continuing to allow Maori Television to be so poorly represented, that government can formally reserve frequencies for Pacific Island radio, no problem there at all, but not reserve frequencies for Maori radio,” Mr Harawira says.

Prime Minister Helen Clark says those offended by the setting up of Pacific television are being mean spirited.

She says Pacific TV will not cost anything like Maori television however just as Maori wanted to move through from radio to television so do Pacific people who now make up 7 percent of the New Zealand population.


New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is confident that he will be back in parliament.

He says inside information he has from those conducting political polls shows New Zealand First is well above the 5 percent mark to get back into parliament.

“I can tell you, forget about these polls. We’ve got isnide information from the major pollsters that we rely upon and we’re way past the 3.5 percent. We’re past 5 percent and going upwards every day now,” Mr Peters says.

He says Maori in particular will be extremely hard hit unless there is a well coordinated government response to the economic crisis.


A Maori surfer says there's a wave of golden oldies in the water.

Taranaki-born Te Kauhoe Wano says fellow surfer Jason Lellman, aged 35, is an example of talent in the older division having won the Auahi Kore Maori national surfing title at the weekend.

He first won the Billabong Open Men's title in 1993.

Mr Wano says more older surfers are in the water, and new equipment makes it easier.

The competition held at Rocky Point, near Okato produced some top grade surf.


Prime Minister Helen Clark has labelled as mean spirited concerns that Labour is proposing a Pacific TV service instead of providing additional funding for Maori radio and television.

Maori party MP Hone Harawira has voiced such concern saying he is not surprised by the Labour policy to establish Pacific TV because they need Pacific Island support at this time.

However Helen Clark says Labour has done a huge amount for Maori radio and television.

“Maoridom has a very successful channel now, in fact tow channels, supported by the Labour Government. The Labour Government pays virtually everything for that. The advertising revenue brings in very little. So we’ve made a huge difference.

“The Pasifika channel we’re looking at won’t cost anything like that. It will be a completely different scale, but Pasifika people are close to 7 percent of our population now, and just as Maoridom wanted to move from radio through to television, so do they, and good luck to them,” Ms Clark says.

As part of its pacific island affairs policy Labour says it will establish a free to air Pacific islands television channel as a priority and will continue to back the development and operation of the National Pacific Radio Network.


Maori unionist Matt McCarten says New Zealand has gone from a nation that supports workers rights to a country where business rules.

Today is the anniversary of the first Labour Day celebrations in 1890 when trade unionists celebrated the right to an 8 hour working day.

Matt McCarten, who set up the 35 thousand strong Unite Union says Maori have always been at the forefront of the trade union movement in New Zealand, and today is a reminder to them of how far workers rights have been eroded over the years.

“What has happened is workers work more and more hours to try and keep up. The average worker now in New Zealand works 52 hours a week which is the highest in the OECD. You don’t even hear of it,” Mr McCarten says

In real terms workers wages have dropped 20 percent since the Muldoon government's industrial reforms of the early 1980s.


Maori Rugby League Chairman Howie Tamati says he's already fielding enquiries about coverage of future trans Tasman indigenous clashes.

On Sunday in Sydney, in a first, a fully sanctioned aboriginal team beat the national Maori squad 34-26.

Howie Tamati says while he was disappointed the Maori team didn't win in what was a curtain raiser to the Kiwi-Aussie game, it proved both indigenous teams had the quality and flair fans on both sides of the Tasman can warm to.

He says leaders of the aboriginal community have already suggested an annual clash, and the media have already made approaches to get involved.

“They've guaranteed coverage of these games so from a sponsorship perspective and income around the possibilities of that game, everything looks really good,” Mr Tamati says.


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