Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, March 21, 2011

Harawira keen to speak for suffering

Te Tai Tokorau MP Hone Harawira says his new political party will have a far wider focus than the foreshore and seabed.

Mr Harawira's objection to the Maori Party's continued support for National's Marine and Coastal Area Bill precipitates his split from the party, in an echo of Tariana Turia's departure from Labour.

He says other Maori are abandoning the Maori Party not just because of that issue but because its support for National is leading to rising costs, welfare cuts and tax breaks for the rich.

“The people suffering the most are Maori, our Pacific Island whanaunga, poor Pakeha as well. Everybody at the bottom ends of the scale is copping a hammering and somebody, some party needs to stand up and say no, this ends here, and here is the way we are going to do it,” Mr Harawira says.

The hikoi against the Marine and Coastal Area Act, which left Cape Reinga last week, is due to march on Parliament tomorrow morning.


A spokesperson for Te Uri o Hau wants to see wholesale ministerial resignations in the wake of the decision to allow an experimental tidal power plant in Kaipara harbour.

Mikaira Miru says the Ngati Whatua hapu still relies of the harbour for its food, which may be threatened by the plan to site three giant turbines at the entrance.

He says Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson, who gave the go ahead after the Environment Court turned down objections, has failed in her duty to protect.

He says Mrs Wilikinson, the Minister of Fisheries and the Minister for the Environment should all resign.

Mr Miru says the government has misjudged local opposition to Crest Energy's power scheme.


A Maori living at the centre of Christchurch's latest 5.1 aftershock says residents have little choice than to try to carry on as normal.

The aftershock struck at 9:47 last night about 10 kilometres below 145 Shortland St in Aranui, which runs alongside Nga Hau e Wha marae.

Josh Anderson, who lives at number 140, says it's lucky that most of his neighbours and family left the suburb after February's major quake.

He says his house has just been deemed liveable by Earthquake Commission, so despite a jumpy night life returns to normal.


The Children's Commissioner says more needs to be done to get quality childcare to all the country's children.

In a report released today on nonparental early childcare education, the commission said parents feel pressure to return to work early.

John Angus says greater emphasis needs to be given to the needs of infants and toddlers, including more support for
parental care of those under 12 months.

He says daycare isn't an option for some Maori parents, even if they want to take advantage of it, because providers of private childcare tend to invest in higher income areas where the y can get a return.

John Angus says there is evidence current policies and funding incentives are leading to less choice in childcare provision rather than flexibility.


The Institute of Professional Engineers wants more Maori to join their ranks.

Project manager Tracey Ayre says the institute has been looking at ways to get more women into the professions.

It soon realised there was also a visible lack of Maori in the higher skilled jobs, with fewer than 5 percent in the professions being Maori.

Tracey Ayre says women and Maori face similar barriers, from employers' attitudes to not being encouraged to study the science subjects at school which lead to wider opportunities.


A 28 Maori Battalion veteran says he looks at the news of what's going on in Libya in dismay.

Arthur Midwood says the fighting between Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi and civilian rebels takes him back to World War 2 battlefields like Acroma, Benghazi and Tobruk, where he watched so many of his comrades die.

The 92-year-old Rotorua resident says many more carried injuries for the rest of their lives, and the shrapnel he carries in his hip is a constant reminder of what went on in North Africa over 70 years ago.

He says when he returned to North Africa and Crete in 2006, all the graves marked New Zealand Soldier Name Unknown made an impression he will never forget.


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