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Friday, February 04, 2011

Jones shrugs off caucus slight

Labour list MP Shane Jones says he'll be working hard this year to win the Maori vote ... despite the low rankings Labour leader Phil Goff has given Maori MPs in his latest caucus reshuffle.

Mr Jones, who is seeking to stand against Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples in Tamaki Makaurau, was left on the second bench, while former Maori affairs minister Parekura Horomia was demoted five places to number 10.

Mr Jones says there's more important things to worry about this year than caucus rankings.

“This year has got to be a time where both Parekura and I effect a greater outreach to our Maori people and help the parties develop some policies that might bring more and more of our whanau back to Labour. Now of course it would have been great to have been very close to the front but we’ve got a boss, his name is Phil and that’s the decision he has made and it’s one I’ve got to make the best out of, which I intend to do,” Mr Jones says.

He says the shadow transport and infrastructure roles he has been given are particularly important for Auckland, where he will be standing.


Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira says he will welcome the Maori Party leaders to Waitangi if they came up for this weekend's treaty commemorations at Waitangi.

The dissident MP has slammed the way a complaint against him is being held.

But he says he has no intention of using Waitangi as a forum to air his grievances against the party.

“While I am comfortable dealing with this stuff through the media, I recognize that if Pete and Tari come, they will come not just as ministers of the Crown. They’ll also come as co-leaders of the Maori Party and they’re due the respect that they hold with those positions so I wouldn’t have any intention of making an issue of this here at all,” Mr Harawira says.

He says he is totally committed to the Maori Party, its kaupapa, and its leadership.


Meanwhile, a new docu-drama will try to bring the Waitangi story to life for those who can't make it to the Bay of Islands this weekend.
Waitangi: What Really Happened screens on TV1 this Sunday.

Director Peter Meteherangi Tikao Burger, who has Ngai Tahu, Rangitane and Lithuanian whakapapa, says he aimed to be both entertaining and educational.
He says it was a great challenge to tackle such a big story.

He says some top notch consultants helped bring the story to life, including novelist Witi Ihimaera, historian Paul Moon, David Rankin representing the Hone Heke whanau, and language expert and Ngapuhi kuia Meremere Penfold.


Te Rarawa chair Haami Piripi says Tai Tokerau can't wait for the Government to bring broadband north.

Te Rarawa, Te Runanga o Whaigaroa and Te Runanga o Ngati Whatua have teamed up with telecommunicaitons investor Datalight to construct a high speed
broadband network from Orewa north.

Mr Piripi says the iwi are investing half the projected $6 million cost because broadband is vital for the region's economic development and its people's health and education.

“We want to make sure that we don’t miss out on that and that our communities and any future enterprise opportunities among our people aren’t prejudiced by the lack of it so we’ve committed ourselves to ensuring that broadband not only gets to Whangarei but gets to Kaitaia and that will then provide the platform for the next stage of our people's development,” Mr Piripi says.

The Taitokerau Networks consortium is separate to Datalight's bid with other Maori interests for the government's rural broadband subsidy.


Waitangi identity Titewhai Harawira says David Rankin is not the Ngapuhi leader he is being labelled as by mainstream media.

Mr Rankin has slammed Te Tii Marae committee for imposing a $1000 fee on Pakeha media organisations who want to broadcast from on the marae during this Waitangi commemorations.

Mrs Harawira says it won't change the committee's policy.

“David Rankin is a tamariki. He’s not a Ngapuhi kaumatua. He’s not a Ngapuhi leader. He lives in Auckland here. He never comes to Ngapuhi hui. He does not involve himself in any Ngapuhi political struggle but he has a lot to say out of his little space. I’m not directed by tamariki, not ever,” MRS Harawira says.

She's looking forward to escorting Prime Minister John Key onto Te Tii Marae tomorrow, and will offer the same service to Phil Goff ... even though she's angy with him for demoting Labour's Maori affairs spokesperson Parekura Horomia.


Masterton's Te Aratoi Museum is marking Waitangi weekend with a workshop on the ancient art of adze making.

Haami Te Whaiti says artists from Ngati Hinewaka in Palliser Bay will show visitors how their ancestors shaped adzes from argilite, which is considered the best material next to pounamu.

He says the artists gained their skills from building a replica of 16th century Wairarapa sleeping house for Te Papa museum in 1997, with help from Dante Bonica, a lecturer in Maori material culture at Auckland University.

The workshop is part of Te Aratoi's major Wairarapa Moana exhibition.


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