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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Pacific concerns in Fiji trip veto

The Prime Minister says his veto on Maori Party ministers going to Fiji was in the interests of wider Pacific diplomacy.

John Key has made it clear Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia can't join a possible Maori delegation to meet coup leader Frank Bainimarama, after earlier suggesting he could not stop them going as private citizens.

He says it doesn't mean the Maori Party can't pursue its own policies or actions under its support agreement with National.

“Now in some instances they will be able to do therm. The Government simply won’t agree with them. Now in this instance I have to sign off is a minister goes overseas. I can’t do that for Tariana or Pita simply because if I do I will be sending Bainmarama a message we are effectively endorsing the trip, and that’s a problem for the other Pacific leaders where we have an agreement with the Pacific Forum,” Mr Key says.

The discussion on Fiji only took up 10 minutes of this week's monthly meeting between the parties.


A long time gang negotiator suggests a wait and see approach to Whanganui's gang patch ban.

Wanganui MP Chester Borrows' bill barring wearing of gang insignia in the city centre passed narrowly last night with the support of three ACT MPs.

Dennis O Reilly, a Hawkes Bay-based community organiser and Black Power spokesman, says the issue should be about behaviour rather than wardrobe.

He says gang members are often asked to take off their patches, but they don't like being forced to do so.

“If you're going on to marae or whatever and the kawa of that place, the tikanga is there is not patches, and it is just not a problem. But when people are told to take their patches off, forced to take them off, hmm, let’s just see what happens,” Mr O'Reilly says.

He says Wanganui now has more gangs members than before because of the attention given to them by the city.


A familiar face around Parliament has taken on the role of the institution's kaumatua.

Rose White-Tahuparae from Whanganui is the widow of the former kaumatua, Rangitihi Tahuparae, who died last year.

Kura Moeahu, the kaiwhakarite for the parliamentary service, says while it is unusual for a wahine to take the role of kaumatua, iwi from around the motu endorsed Mrs White for the role.

The tane role in parliamentary ceremonies will be taken on by Gerard Albert or Turama Hawera, who were trained by the late Mr Tahuparae.


Waikato Hauraki MP Nanaia Mahuta says the aquaculture settlement signed yesterday by Prime Minister John and fisheries minister Phil Heatley, will significantly boost to development in her region.

The Hauraki confederation will share $20 million, with $70 million going to top of the South island iwi and $5 million to Ngai Tahu.

Ms Mahuta says the settlement, negotiated with the previous stake by the iwi with the largest potential stake in the industry, allows Maori to get on with marine farming rather than having to wait another five years.

She says 1.8 hectares of new marine farming space has been created in Tikapa Moana, the Firth of Thames, which will create more jobs in the region.

An amendment to the 2005 Maori Aquaculture Settlement Act will be tabled in Parliament next week.


An Auckland City Councillor says government under-spending will sentence Tamaki Maori to generations of slum living.

The Government this week announced $46 million to build 150 houses and renovate another 120 in Glen Innes and Panmure.

Another $6 million will go into boosting other government services in the area.

Councilor Leila Boyle says it's not enough, and the Tamaki transformation project is light on details, and there are no guarantees the benefits of the spend-up will go to current residents.

Glen Innes in particular has a significant Maori population, many in Housing New Zealand properties.

Leila Boyle says a similar amount of money put into the area over the past eight years resulted in 200 new houses.


A landmark television series on Maori traditions and way of life is now available online.

Tangata Whenua - the people of the land, was written by the late Michael King, directed by Barry Barclay and produced by John O'Shea.
When it was screened in the early 1970's, it was hailed as a major advance in helping Pakeha understand Maori.

Irene Gardiner, the content director of NZ ON SCREEN, says it was groundbreaking as the first time Maori people and culture were shown to a mainstream audience.

Irene Gardiner says Michael King saw the series as breaking the ground for later Maori-produced programmes like Koha and Marae.


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