Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fiji trip not supportive

Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia says her party's planned co-ordination of a trip by Maori chiefs to Fiji should not be seen as lending support to the government of leader Commander Frank Bainimarama.

Tariana Turia says she accepts that Commander Bainimarama has not always been a supporter of indigenous Fijian rights and the idea is to hear all sides of the argument and see the effects of isolation on the people.

“Most importantly we’ve never said that we support Bainimarama. What we did say is we were gong to go over there to have a look at the issues to see if a resolution could be found,” Mrs Turia says.


A third mobile phone service is likely to have a distinctly Maori offering.

Two Degrees, formerly New Zealand Communications, announced it would be opening its nationwide network to subscribers in August.

Chairman Bill Osborne says because of the involvement of the Maori spectrum trust, Te Huarahi Tika, Maori have a 20 percent stake in the company.

He says as a small but nimble company, Two Degrees can target niche markets which major players Vodafone and Telecom overlook.

“There’s also the opportunity to target products and services specifically for Maori groups if that’s what they want. Because we have a shareholding, we have the power of influence in the organization,” Mr Osborne says.

Her says the launch is vindication of the nine-year effort Te Huarahi Tika Trust has put into commercialising the spectrum reserved for Maori in a 2000 treaty settlement.


One of New Zealand’s most remote Maori regions is being put on the tourists map.

Te Urewera Rainforest Route has been named an official touring route, and has been given $50,000 by the Ministry of Tourism towards signage and interpretation material for the SH38 stretch between Rainbow Mountain and Wairoa.

Jo Doherty, from Te Urewera Rainforest Route, says the area is steeped in Maori history and going into the region is a learning experience, as it is a predominantly Maori area where the reo is still spoken in daily life.

Jo Doherty says the touring route would help the many Maori boutique tourism operators in the region become more sustainable by increasing the number of visitors.


The Race relations commissioner Joris de bres says it's important for the maturity of Aotearoa that we act on recommendations from the United Nations regarding Maori.

In response to a report from the New Zealand government outlining its commitment to equal rights the UN Human Rights Council last night made 37 recommendations many critical of New Zealand's performance on such things as implementing the Treaty, the Foreshore and Seabed Act and reducing disproportionate imprisonment of Maori.

Mr de Bres says although many of the recommendations highlight disparities for Maori, the opportunity to be assessed internationally is worthwhile.

“It does us no harm to put ourselves out there, for people to have a look at what we say and for people to pick out those things I think are positive and to identify those things that need work,” Mr de Bres says.


Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia says the media misquoted her when it reported that she had likened New Zealand gangs to the Jews.

Tariana Turia says what she said about the law she opposed, outlawing gang patches in her home city of Whanganui, was that we should learn from the experiences of the Jews when the Nazi's stamped them, and not categorise people in this way.

“Now all I said is we should learn from all of these experiences, shouldn’t carry them into today. I didn’t say they were like the Jews, not at all,” Mrs Turia says.

She opposed banning gang patches and insignia because it will not work and all people whose misbehaviour should be targeted.


The co captain of the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, Jolene Henry, believes Maori have the x factor when it comes to athleticism.

Ms Henry, of Wanganui, says Maori netballers are providing rangatahi with positive role models.

The Magic beat Wellingtons Central Pulse on the weekend 59 - 36 goals.


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