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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

ACT called two-faced on foreshore opposition

The man who could have been the next Maori MP says ACT is deliberately stirring up racial divisions in a desperate attempt to win votes.

Peter Tashkoff from Te Mahurehure and Te Aitanga a Hauiti was next on the ACT Party list to come into parliament, until he was thrown out of the party for repeated attacks on leader Rodney Hide.

He says he joined the party early on because he thought its policies could make a difference to the lives of Maori people, but under Mr Hide it has swapped principle for populism, constantly looking for the silver bullet policy that will deliver more votes.

“The foreshore and seabed is just another silver bullet they are trying to hang something off and they’re becoming quite schizophrenic when they do it because on the one hand they say ‘we totally promote property rights and we just want to give Maori their day in court,’ and then in front of a different audience they’ll start stirring up all this racial divisiveness about ‘they’re going to take your beaches,’” Mr Tashkoff says.

Like ACT he believes the Foreshore and Seabed Act should be repealed and Maori given the right to go back to court, but unlike his former party colleagues he believes Maori would succeed in winning common law property rights through that process.


One of the curators of a display of early Maori pen-work says the Maori role in shaping New Zealand's history is often overlooked.

The exhibition, which is on this week at Auckland City Library, came out of Marsden Fund research into early Maori literacy being done by Kuni Jenkins from Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi and Alison Jones from Auckland University's department of education.

Professor Jenkins says while the bulk of pre-1840 documents relating to New Zealand were written by Europeans, Maori viewers in particular are excited by seeing the handiwork of tupuna like Hongi Hika.


The author of a new book on Maori potatoes says there has been a real resurgence of interest in the humble taewa.

Massey University horticulturalist Nick Roskruge, the chair of the Tahuri Whenua national Maori vegetable growers collective, says growers find it hard to meet demand.

He says the book, done in association with the Institute of Natural Resources, should help people avoid the more than 50 types of pests and diseases which can afflict potato crops.

“One of the problems we found was the old varieties people had kept in their home gardens had health problems, so a lot of our mahi in the last few years has been looking art what those health problems are and trying to help growers overcome them,” Dr Roskruge says.


Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says the replacement for the Foreshore and Seabed Act should be sent back to the drawing board.

The Tai Tokerau MP yesterday made a submission on the Marine and Coastal Area Bil to the select committee he has been stood down from.

He wants an expert panel put together to develop fresh recommendations, including people such as former Waitangi Tribunal chair Sir Edward Durie, who headed a previous review of the Act, law consultant Moana Jackson, and former National cabinet minister Sir Doug Kidd.

“They should be casting around on the basis of what’s the right thing to do, not on the basis of what’s politically acceptable, and then just come back and say ‘this is what we recommend be done.’ Because I’m a firm believer if this issue is settled on the basis of justice, Maori will be well served. If it is settled on the basis of political expedience, we will get shafted, and that’s kind of what’s happening right now,” Mr Harawira says.


National list MP Hekia Parata says her experience as a senior Maori bureaucrat is good preparation for her new role as a minister, but there's no substitute for the real thing.

After her strong showing in the Mana by-election, Ms Parata was picked to take over the Women’s and Ethnic Affairs portfolios previously held by Pansy Wong, who quit as minister for breaking rules about ministerial travel expenses.

She has served a number of ministers in both Labour and National administrations through her work in the housing, Maori affairs and justice ministries.

“I was familiar with the process, the machinery of government but it has been quite a different thing to be a member of parliament, to sit on select committees, to participate in the debates in the health and I thoroughly enjoy all aspects of it and yes I am here for the foreseeable future,” Ms Parata says.

She will also hold associate warrants for Energy and Resources, Accident Compensation, and the Community and Voluntary sector.


The kaitiaki of the Kaikoura coastal fishery are welcoming a decision to beef up fisheries surveillance in the area.

John Nicholls, the chair of Te Korowai o te Tai Marokura, says that should deter paua poachers who have plundered the 30 kilometers of accessible coastline in recent years.

He says the decision on the Minister of Fisheries, Phil Heatley, to open an office at Kaikoura for two full time officers and five honorary fisheries officers should deter them.

He says more reports are coming from the public, and as people become confident their reports will be acted on they are more likely to phone in when they see suspicious activity from the coast road.

Mr Nicholls says some parts of the coast have been completely stripped of paua and will need to be reseeded.


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