Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Race envy brewer betraying ratepayers

The chair of the iwi forum that appointed Auckland City's independent Maori statutory board says the Auckland Council needs to abide by the law, even if councilors disagree with it.

The board says it is going to court to challenge the council's decision to halve its budget.

Tame Te Rangi from Ngati Whatua says the board is there to ensure good governance when it comes to Maori and Treaty of Waitangi issues, and the law requires the council to properly fund it.

He says Orakei ward representative Cameron Brewer, who has led the charge by centre-right councilors against the budget, isn't representing his ratepayers properly.

“Ngati Whatua o Orakei must rate somewhere near the top if not at the top of rates contributions from his constituency,” Mr Te Rangi says.

If councilors have concerns about the law they should take them up with Parliament rather than lash out at the Maori board.


Labour MP Shane Jones says the threat of a fresh foreshore and seabed hikoi won't change the Government's Marine and Coastal Area Bill.

The Auckland District Maori Council is proposing a march against what it sees as a betrayal of Maori rights by the Maori Party.

Mr Jones, who intends to stand in Tamaki Makaurau against Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples, says there is only one hikoi that counts.

“I think the best hikoi the Auckland Maori Council should plan for is the one in November called the election. Organise the whanau, organize the local neighbourhoods and get them out to vote because the one hikoi that will spell decisiveness is the hikoi to the ballot box at the end of the year,” Mr Jones says.


One of the country's most well-known Maori rock art sites is being opened to the public.

The Ngai Tahu Rock Art Centre is leasing an eight- hectare site in Totara Valley northwest of Timaru to give tour groups access to the shelter containing a four metre drawing of a taniwha… which featured on a postage stamp in the 1960s.

Project manager Ben Lee says the area will be placed under a convenant, to protect both the art and the long-tailed bats that live in the area.
The tours will be restricted to groups of 10 people at a time, and they will also visit a drawing of a giant eagle at Craigmore.


Labour MP Shane Jones says Auckland city's Maori statutory board has no option than to take legal action to defend its budget.

The board announced court action after a full council meeting last night halved the budget provisionally agreed last week by the finance and strategy committee.

Mr Jones says the council has failed its first major test.

“The super city councilors starting right from the mayor have made an absolute hash of the issue and the tragic thing is it’s feeding that prejudice about Maori and money. And I can understand why John Tamihere and the representatives want to go to the court because at least the court as we have seen over the last 30 years will provide and open and impartial hearing as to what is the meaning of the law giving Maori entitlements,” he says.

Mr Jones says it is Prime Minister John Key and Rodney Hide who made Maori representation on the council by appointment rather than election, so they should not now try to say the cost of that decision is too high.


Otago University researchers are trying to work out why Maori women have the highest rates of breast cancer.

Ruth Cunningham from the university's department of public health says the rate of Maori women with the cancer increased by 70 percent between 1981 and 2004, compared with an increase of only 50 percent among Pakeha and other groups.

She says the rise isn't consistent with known risk factors.

“Having children early and having more children protects you against breast cancer. Taking things like hormone replacement therapy increases the risk of breast cancer. We know that Maori women were less likely to take hormone replacement therapy. We know that Maori women were more likely to have children early and have more children so these things would suggest they would have a (lower) rate so it’s a bit of a mystery why Maori women have the higher rate,” Dr Cunningham says.

Early detection is the best way to tackle the disease's mortality rate, so it's important for Maori women to have regular breast screening.


Reggae band House of Shem has gone back to the source to give its second album an authentic vibe.

Island Vibrations was recorded at Auckland’s Roundhead studios, but the Whanganui-based band gave the tapes to renowned reggae producer and engineer Erroll Brown to mix at the late Bob Marley's Tuff Gong studios in Jamaica.

Founder Carl Perkins, a veteran of Herbs and 12 Tribes of Israel, says music is a family affair, with his sons Te Omeka and Isaiah sharing harmonies and songwriting duties.

“It's always been a whanau things drums in the living room, bass guitar in the kitchen, that kind of things, so it was only a matter of time my tamariki would grow up and those that wanted to be musicians have the pleasure of pursuing that,” he says.

House of Shem will play an album launch tour of Mangawhai, Taranaki, Auckland and Wellington.


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