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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Tobacco industry report seeks phase out

Anti-smoking group Te Reo Marama says the Maori Affairs select committee report on the tobacco industry is just what it was hoping for.

Spokesperson Shane Bradbrook says Maori have been disproportionately affected by tobacco, and adoption of the committee's recommendations will give Maori communities a way to fight back

The report, tabled in Parliament today, which recommends a smoke- free New Zealand by 2025, a ban on shop displays, mandatory plain packaging for cigarettes and loose tobacco and a ban on smoking in cars and public places.

Mr Bradbrook says the committee did not lose its Maori focus, despite the fact smoking is an equal opportunity killer.

“The things we were looking for in the report were kaupapa-centric measures that will help out people and that’s in the report, they’re saying Maori should take control of this, both whaanu and iwi, and it should go towards kaupapa tikanga-based,” he says.

Iwi like Ngati Kahungunu are already adopting tikanga-based measures to fight tobacco use.


Waikato River Authority co-chair Tukoroirangi Morgan is says the appointment of former National cabinet minister John Luxton to sit alongside his is a sign the Crown is serious about getting the river cleaned up.

Mr Luxton, a Waikato farmer, also chairs Dairy NZ, a research and advocacy organisation funded by a levy on milksolids.

The authority, which is charged with spending $210 million over 30 years, has five iwi and five Crown appointees.

Mr Morgan says the former Maori affairs minister should help bind the two sides.

The other Crown appointees are Environment Waikato chairman Peter Buckley, Waipa District mayor Alan Livingston, forest manager Sally Strang, and resource management consultant Jenni Vernon.


A reggae band that formed to bring in the millennium is taking its music to the streets, literally.

Singer and guitarist Jack Karetu says Sons of Io started in 1999 on a music course at Te Wananga O Aotearoa's Gisborne campus, with the target of performing in New Years celebrations.

They're still playing original music around the country, and Mr Karetu says they don't wait for others to promote their sounds ... as motorists were finding out in Auckland today with band member selling the EP to motorists for a koha.

Proceeds from the CDs go into more recordings.


Labour Party leader Phil Goff is endorsing the recommendations from the Maori affairs select committee inquiry into the tobacco industry.

Mr Goff says he would love to see the end of tobacco sales within 15 years and fully supports measures such as banning point of sale advertising and plain packaging.

But he says the Government is going the wrong way, with $12 million cut from smoking cessation programmes in this year's Budget.

“It's about giving people a helping hand which is why you’ve got to provide that positive support for people to break away from it as well. Millions f dollars are spent each year on the costs of smoking. One in two smokers will ultimately die from smoking-related diseases. The time has come to turn our backs on tobacco and do it in as quick a manner as we can,” Mr Goff says.


Former National Party Maori vice president Sir Wira Gardiner has been made chair of Te Papa Tongarewa.

Sir Wira, who was appointed to the board just over a year ago, says he's conscious the national museum is unlikely to get any extra government funding in the current economic climate, so the emphasis will be on finding smarter ways to use existing resources.

“The funds we get, about 40, 50 percent come from the government. We raise money ourselves. We get sponsorships. We get people who donate significant money or funds or resources to us to help us. And so I think we’re all right, but I think there’s a much more general question New Zealanders have to face and that’s how we manage not only Te Papa, the national museum, but also Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin museums,” Sir Wira says.

He's keen to see more cooperation between the country's museums.


Rotorua's deputy mayor says the city's Maori will benefit from its confirmation as an international airport.

Trevor Maxwell from Ngati Rangiwewehi says continuation of twice weekly direct flights from Sydney was conditional on uptake, and the service has come through its trial period with bookings far exceeding expectations.

As well as boosting tourist numbers, the flights have given whanau in Australia a more direct way home for hui and tangi.

The Sulphur City is now keen to see direct flights from Brisbane and Melbourne.


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