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Friday, October 03, 2008

MPs’ treaty role laid out

With the Maori Party opening its seven-seat campaign this weekend, a veteran Maori politician is questioning its aim to be a treaty partner of the next government, rather than a potential coalition partner.

Sandra Lee, the former leader of Mana Motuhake and former deputy leader of the Alliance, says all governance in this country stems from the agreements laid down in the Treaty of Waitangi.

She says as elected representatives, Maori Party MPs have a role to play within the Crown, not on the other side.

“Any Maori political movement needs to be very cautious to ensure that nobody’s let off the hook in Parliament, not political movement, no politician, no party, no committee, no organisation that goes to make up our Westminster style political system in terms of the duties that as a collective of the Crwown they have back to tangata whenua by virtue of the treaty,” Mrs Lee says.

The Maori Party kicks off its campaign and holds its election year conference in Hamilton tomorrow.


In Manukau, the 56th Maori Women's Welfare League conference has been opened by Helen Clark with a promise to increase funding from some of its social programmes.

The Prime Minister praised the league's record of working with vulnerable families, and said the Labour government's new full funding model for essential social services will include its Whanau Toko I Te Ora service.

Waatea News reporter Mania Clarke says there has been a big turn-out at the Telstra-Clear events centre including King Tuheitia and his wife Te Atawhai Paki, the league’s patron.


The Warriors may be out of the playoffs... but there will be six New Zealanders taking the field in the NRL Grand Final this weekend between the Melbourne Storm and the Manley Sea Eagles.

Tawera Nikau, a member of the Melbourne's 1999 premiership-winning team, will be at the game in Sydney on Sunday afternoon, and he'll be looking closely at the Storm's young Maori forwards.

Jeremy Smith returns from a one week suspension for his part in the chicken wing grapple tackle on Brisbane Bronco Sam Thaiday.

And Adam Blair from Northland scored a try last week... his first in 50 games.

“The good thing about Adam is he’s really taken that opportunity and ran with it. Last year he had a few injuries and wasn’t at his best and this year he’s come back bigger and better and stronger so he’s done very well. It’s just a part of the culture they have at the Melbourne Storm in creating and environment where the players all want to play for each other and that makes them very very tight,” Mr Nikau says.


Opposition by Napier Maori to the loss of their hospital has won Ahuriri a boost in health services.

Associate health minister Mita Ririnui and Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia were at Pukemokimoki Marae today to sign off settlement of the contemporary claim lodged in 1998 by Tom Hemopo, Takuta Emery and the late Hana Cotter.

Mr Ririnui says the claimants will receive two buildings which will form the basis of a $2.7 million health centre at Maraenui, a 30 year lease at a peppercorn rental on another building to be used for health purposes, and a number of primary health contracts with the District health Board and other government health agencies.

“One of the key components of the will be a rongoa Maori contract. There will be other contracts but the most important from the view of Ahururu was rongoa Maori contract through the local DHB. This is a new area, still under development in terms of defining what rongoa Maori services may look like and a very challenging area for them,” Mr Ririnui says.


An advocate of the treaty model in Anglican Church doubts it can work in Parliament.

The Maori Party says it wants to be the treaty partner of the next government, rather than being a potential coalition partner.

Hone Kaa says in the late 1980s the Anglican Church in New Zealand divided itself into Maori, Pakeha and Pasifika streams.

He says it doesn't work perfectly, but it has meant the three streams must keep talking until they reach consensus on issues.

“It's going to be difficult to translate that into secular political terms and I’m not sure how you do that. You may represent a fair number of Maori but you don’t represent all Maori and I think the call comes as to whether or not it is possible to be able to act as a treaty partner when not everyone votes for you or not everyone wants to vote for you,” Dr Kaa says.

The treaty model has allowed Maori Anglicans to get more benefit from the church's resources, which includes large tracts of land gifted by Maori.


The Tamaki brothers are adding a Polynesian flavour to their latest tourism attraction.

Tamaki Heritage Tours is building the attraction as part of a $60 million dollar development by the Counties Manukau Pacific Trust.

Director Mike Tamaki says it will be called The Arrival, drawing the links between Maori and the places they came from across Te Moananui a Kiwa.

Visitors will be encouraged to go on to the Rotorua site, which features traditional Maori culture, and the Christchurch venue, which brings in the responses to early European settlement.

“All of these attractions follow the story of the chronicles of Witara, this warrior family that were called to be warlords, they were gladiators of the South Pacific. They were born for one specific reason only – battle , and what we did was drew a bloodline out of there, a whakapapa,” Mr Tamaki says.

The Manukau show will include a glass tunnel under a huge waterfall, holograms, lighting and sound.


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