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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Maori Party VP hopes Hone geyser cooling

The chair of the Maori Party's disciplinary committee believes relations between the party and MP Hone Harawira's Tai Tokerau electorate are on the mend.

Te Orihi Paul says party leaders learned to tread warily in the north after their efforts in 2009 to discipline the errant MP over his unauthorised trip to Paris and abusive email exchange with a former Waitangi Tribunal head.

She says in that case, the leadership was subjected to a torrent of abuse on the marae.

“Afterwards as a consequence of all of them talking and us being humble enough to listen, they kind of cooled to the point where they came back to whananugatanga. You have to let the explosion occur so it cools down. Like a geyser, it cools down and whananugatang occurs, so we're at that stage,” Mrs Paul says.

The disciplinary committee will reconvene to consider the complaint against Hone Harawira next week, after Te Matatini national kapa haka competition is over.


Greens Co Leader Russel Norman says Maori should be concerned whether the Overseas Investment Office is doing enough to protect New Zealand’s interests.

He says the global economic recession has boosted demand for agricultural land with reliable supplies of water.

That means it’s critical this country is able to identify strategic assets and keep them in New Zealand hands.

“I'd expect the Maori Party to support keeping New Zealand land in New Zealand ownership. It seems to me that’s fundamental. If we are to be sovereign, if we are to get any chance of getting treaty justice, then we need to keep control of our own country,” Dr Norman says.

He says papers released under the Official Information Act show while Natural Dairies was publicly saying its bid for Crafar Farms would be good for New Zealand, privately the Hong Kong firm was threatening the government it would badmouth the country to the international investment community if its application was denied.


The chief executive of the Returned Services Association says a weekend conference has revealed how much there is still to learn about the New Zealand wars.

Steven Clark, who is also a military historian, says the annual hui of the Professional Historians Association attracted more than 120 people.

He says many of them were able to put the wars of the 1860s into a global context, and to draw out ways they affected the country's development.

He says much of the research was done for treaty claims, and if repackaged it would represent a wealth of material for the general public.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the party is prepared to live with any electoral fall-out from its wrangles with rebel Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira.

Political commentator Matt McCarten has suggested Mrs Turia and Mr Harawira may be the only two Maori Party MPs left standing after the election, as the row over whether the party is right to support the National government affects support in the wider Maori population.

Mrs Turia says the comments by the former Alliance president should be read in the context that he has been advising Mr Harawira behind the scenes.

“He has a bias and he is showing it. As far as we’re concerned, and we can only guage it by what the electorates are reporting back to us, it is true we will lose some members and it is also true we will gain some members,” she says.

Mrs Turia says the Maori Party leadership is not letting the complaint against Hone Harawira divert its attention from other important work needing to be done.


The general manager of Census 2011 says more information is needed about rangatahi Maori if government agencies and iwi are to effectively plan for the future.

Carol Slappendel says Statistics New Zealand was concerned Maori participation rates in the last census five years ago were below the national average.

She says many young people aren't aware of the importance of the information collecting exercise, and many move around.

Getting accurate numbers for tribal membership and socioeconomic status is becoming increasing important as iwi develop more targeted services for their people.

Census day is March 8.


The chair of Te Matatini says the Tairawhiti region is able to cope with the crowd of up to 40,000 people expected for this week's national kapa haka competitions.

Selwyn Parata says there is a buzz around the rohe as teams converge for the three day cultural showcase at the Waiohika Estate.

He says the performing roopu have booked out marae, community halls and schools, as far north and Tokomaru Bay and as far south as Wairoa, but there is still plenty of accommodation for spectators who want to come to Gisborne.


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