Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, October 27, 2008

Turia tackles migrant prejudice

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the some migrants are just plain prejudiced.

Mrs Turia is defending the party's immigration policy, which calls for completion of a course on the history of Aotearoa and the Pacific as a condition of receiving citizenship.

She says reaction to the proposal shows many people who come to live in New Zealand are hostile to Maori concerns.

“I heard some of them on talkback saying ‘they will not’ and ‘they won’t’ and ‘they’re not going to’. That’s very concerning because that tells us that we‘ve got people coming into this country who bring with them the prejudices of their own country and have no desire to have a relationship with tangata whenua nor do they want to intergrate fully into the life of this country,” Mrs Turia says.

She is heartened by some migrant groups who seek out treaty training and engagement with tangata whenua.


The head of a new indigenous violence prevention group says the answers to violence are in Maori tradition.

Di Grennel from Amokura says whakapapa links can provide the basis for lessening violence and conflict.

She says tikanga needs to be demystified so people can relate it to their lives and use it as a basis for action, rather than see it as something that is only about the marae.

“What are tikanga in our whanau about the ways we look after children, alcohol and children, whether we describe those with Maori kupu or not, that empower people to live really meaningful lives , gives a strong understanding of the mana and tapu of each person and how that is linked through whakapapa so violating each other becomes unacceptable,” Ms Grennel says.

Iwi need to take a lead in opposing violence, rather than being seen as only concerned about treaty claims and asset growth.


The operations manager of a Rongomaiwahine farm block has been awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship to study how indigenous peoples around the world have adapted to modern farming practises.

Gregg Pardoe works for the Arai Matawai Incorporation, which raises sheep and cattle near Gisborne.

After a six week contemporary scholars conference in Britain early next year with the other scholarship winners, Mr Pardoe plans to visit Australia, South America, China, Mongolia, Russia and the Middle East.

“I basically am trying to get myself off the beaten track, like I want to get myself into the heartland of these places. And I have a particular interest in the land, it is handed down, who owns it, how is it looked after,” Mr Pardoe says.

He says more skilled Maori farmers are needed to manage today's large Maori-owned corporate farms.


Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia has clarified Labour's policy towards the Maori seats following some confusion arising after Prime Minister Helen Clark announced the party's Maori policy at the weekend.

At Otamatea Marae on the shores of the Kaipara harbour on Saturday, Ms Clark said while Labour will not entrench the seats, it will continue to support the Maori electoral option.

The Maori Party is insisting on entrenchment is a bottom line for post-election dialogue.

The electoral option introduced in 1995 determines the number of Maori seats by the number of Maori who chose to register on the Maori roll.

Mr Horomia says it is important to understand exactly what the Prime Minister said and Labour's position.

“It’s other people who have made it a highlight in terms of entrenching. There have been two shifts between the National Party and the Maori Party where people were chasing a guarantee of holding the seats and people saying it wasn’t a bottom line, but we’re consistent about it. We will not get rid of the Maori seats. At the end of the day it has got to be Maori people’s choice whether the seats stay and go and the Labour Party has been consistent at every election that we will not get rid of the Maori seats,” Mr Horomia says.

Meanwhile the National Party says that it will move to abolish the seats once historical treaty claims have been dealt with.


More than 5000 turned up for the launching of Destiny church as an urban Maori Authority at the Telstra Clear Pacific events centre in Manukau at the weekend.

Organiser George Ngatai says this year is the 10th anniversary of the Destiny church and 80 percent of the Church's congregation across the country is Maori.

“This was just the next step for us to look at setting up an urban Maori authority. We’ve been in discussion for this for quite some months and the weekend was bigger than just an urban Maori authority It was certainly looking for an opportunity for us to support not only Maori but also Pacific and everyone else that is living in the area that te Hahi o Oranga Ake is delivering,” Mr Ngatai says.

An application by the church to become part of the National Urban Maori Authority is being considered by the national organisation.


Whale Rider star Rawiri Paratene has been invited to work with one of the world's most prestigious theatre companies.

He has a six month internship at the Globe Theatre in London.

The formal invitation came at an international artists fellowship in August from director Dominic Dromgoole.

Paratene has been cast to play Friar Lawrence in a Globe production of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet.


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