Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, February 21, 2011

Peters says he was offered foreign posts

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has accused the government of gross hypocrisy for twice offering him diplomatic postings on two occasions yet rejecting him and New Zealand First as potential coalition partners.

Mr Peters says approaches in 2009 and 2010 through the office of foreign affairs minister Murray McCully to represent the New Zealand government overseas would not have been made without the knowledge of Prime Minister John Key.

“It’s the ultimate in hypocrisy where you wish to put someone in a very important post, where integrity’s important, offshore, but come out and say we don’t want to talk to that person back in New Zealand in terms of coalition governments,” Mr Peters says.

He says the offers, which he declined, were clearly designed to get him out of the way come election time and weaken the vote of the ordinary New Zealander.


Te Matatini kapa haka festival wrapped up in Gisborne yesterday with the Duncan McIntyre trophy for overall winner returning to Te Arawa where the next festival will be held in two years time.

Rain teemed down on the 10,000 who came to see the finals nine groups that took the stage.

The three groups that caught the judges’ minds were Whanau a Apanui from the Mataatua rohe, Waka Huia from Tamaki Makaurai in Auckland and first place, Te Mata I Orehu from Te Arawa and Rotorua.

Te Mata I Orehu’s male leader Wetini Mitai Ngatai and female leader Miriama Hare won the leadership award.

The kapa also won the excellence in te reo Maori award and in a note of sadness at the death of its former female leader, Taini Morrison, there was also some very happy emotion for the group that it is now able to carry the Duncan McIntyre Trophy back to Te Arawa as the national champions.

In spite of the weather the people stayed around to watch all the performances and then a very special moment during the prizegiving, two special mentions were made of Lousie Kingi and Dr Pita Sharples, the only two performers to have performed at every festival since 1972.


Wellington arts company Eko is finding a new audience among migrant communities for its kaupapa Maori plays.

Two Maori and two Somali actors are rehearsing Crossing Lines, a play developed as part of a two-year project to bring together the region’s Maori and Somali communities.

Writer Teina Moetara says they found some common values and traditions, such as the special roles for elders and the use of whakapapa, with young Somalis able to recite their genealogy back 30 generations.

Crossing Lines, which opens on March, will be accompanied by an interactive exhibition of the voices and images of the 400 people who have been part of the project.


Former New Zealand First MP Pita Paraone intends to stand in the coming election.

The two-term list MP in parliament is confident the party will be able to get back over the 5 percent threshold to get into parliament.

He says growing dissatisfaction with the Maori Party could bring back some votes.

“Maori are fairly conservative and to see the happenings to the Maori Party, a number of Maori certainly don’t like it and have indicated they will come back to New Zealand First,” Mr Paraone says.

He hopes the Maori Party board will confirm him as the candidate for Pakuranga where he lives and has previously stood but he doesn't mind what electorate he is asked to contest.


Ben Brown has been awarded the 2011 Maori writer’s residency at the Michael King Writers’ Centre in Auckland.

The Lyttelton author, who has Waikato-Tainui whakapapa, best known for his children's books, non-fiction and short stories, often done in collaboration with his wife Helen Taylor.

During the two-month stay in Devonport he hopes to complete a book of poems about mana inspired by King, who died in 2004.

He also hopes to perform some of the poems while he is at the residency.


Organisers of this year's Te Matatini festival in Gisborne are confident that the world record for the largest haka was beaten yesterday.

Organiser Huia Lloyd says despite heavy rain, thousands stayed on to perform the haka.

The existing record of 3264 was set during a Tainui festival in Ngaruawahia in 2008.


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