Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Question ducking costing votes

A political commentator says Tariana Turia is costing her party votes by not being clear on what it intends to do after the election.

Chris Trotter says the Maori Party should be ahead in the Maori electorates it doesn't hold, but in fact there is a close fight in all three.

A Marae Digipoll put Labour's Parekura Horomia five points ahead of Derek Fox in Ikaroa Rawhiti, Mahara Okeroa was ahead of Rahui Katene in Te Tai Tonga, and Nanaia Mahuta is neck and neck with Angeline Greensil in Hauraki-Waikato.

Mr Trotter says Mrs Turia is ducking questions that voters ... and potential coalition partners ... expect answers to.

“The questions that have been put to here are really important questions like ‘are you going to be seeking full control of the finance?’ in a way that could be, how shall we put this politely, constitutionally innovative. She won’t respond to questions about the concept of a Maori house, which Professor Winiata expounded about on Agenda just a week ago,” Mr Trotter says.

Maori voters want to know which way the party will jump after the election.


A Waikato River hapu is pushing for government to recognise its mana whenua status.

Ngati Koroki Kahukura says it holds the mana from Te Tiki-o-Te-Ihingarangi and Te Taurapa-o-Te-Ihingarangi near Karapiro to the top of Lake Arapuni.

That's within the area covered by co-management agreements signed with Ngati Raukawa and Te Arawa two months ago.

Spokesperson Rahui Papa says the Minister of Treaty Negotiaitons is being unreasonable.

“Dr Cullen has said in a formal letter that he will not recognise Ngati Koroki Kahukura and yet in a gathering of the (Waitangi) Tribunal with six iwi, Waikato, Raukawa, Tuwharetoa, Maniapoto and Te Arawa sitting in the same room, all collectively agreed the Government should by right talk directly to Ngati Koroki Kahukura,” Mr Papa says.

Ngati Koroki Kahukura has gone back to the Waitangi Tribunal seeking clarification around the issue.


One house opens, another closes.

Marae round Banks Peninsula are undergoing a round of rejuvenation.

Ngai Tahu's Wairewa Runanga opened a new whare at Little River on the weekend, the fourth house called Mako to stand on the site since 1855.

Whanau spokesperson Iaean Cranwell says all houses have a life cycle.

“Rapaki if going about replacing their whare Te Wheke at the moment. It’s just being pulled down in the next couple of days. They say as one dies, the other one comes through. So now Maoko’s up and opening, Te Wheke’s closing, so there’s still three on the peninsula,” Mr Cranwell says.

The opening of Mako drew back hundreds of whanau from around Aotearoa and Australia.


The Co- chair of a new health leadership group to service the south Auckland suburb of Mangere says communities know better than bureaucrats what best suits their needs.

Representatives of marae in the region met at Pukaki Marae last night to hear what the Mangere Integrated Community Health leadership group can do to improve health services to the region.

Joe Wilson says health services needs to be driven by the people who live in a community.

He says the leadership group can help ensure existing health services are working well, and that new initiatives meet the needs of the predominantly Maori and Polynesian people who call Mangere home.

“We can work with those services and make sure they appropriate and our people are engaging with them. That currently isn't the case,” Mr Wilson says.

The initiative is to encourage the Mangere community to take control of its own wellness.


Northland Maori hope changes in their local authority will give them a greater say in decisionmaking.

The Far North District council hopes to form a unitary authority, effectively giving them regional council status.

Iwi liaison officer Ted Wihongi says iwi authorities in the region aren't happy with the current level of engagement, given that Maori make up 44 percent of the population in the council's area.

He says that needs to be taken into account in any reforms, with Maori possibly due three seats at the council table.

A district-wide poll will be conducted no later than April 21, 2009 on the how constituents feel about Maori representation.


Controversial author Barry Brailsford says his research is uncovering previously untold history of Polynesian navigation.

He is currently traveling the country giving talks on the material he is gathering for his next book.

His Songs of Waitaha, published over a decade ago, drew fire from Ngai Tahu scholars who challenged the veracity of much of the material.

But Mr Brailsford says that's because he was given access to material previously kept secret, some of which will also be going in to his next book.

“What I'm doing now isn’t contentious at all. It’s using the old lore but placing alongside it the very latest scientific evidence and got material from the Haida indians and the Tumash Indians of California that’s starting to answer some of the questions that scientists have been concerned about but just haven’t been able to find answers to,” he says.

Mr Brailsford will be speaking at Havelock North tonight and Masterton tomorrow.


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