Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, March 18, 2011

Harawira to honour no-compete deal "at this time"

Independent MP Hone Harawira says he intends to honour his separation agreement with the Maori Party and not contest seats it holds.

He says the decision on whether he forms a new party rest with elders from Te Tai Tokerau.

He has got clearance from those elders for an extensive series of meetings around the country.

“It’s looking like there is going to be a new party. It will be announced round about the middle of next month. I can’t say yet when the candidates will be announced. I can say that at this time it is not my intention to stand candidates in the Maori seats against the Maori Party members,” Mr Harawira says.

Progress been delayed because he had to be in Parliament to debate the Marine and Coastal Area - Takutai Moana -Bill.


Maori Council deputy chair Maanu Paul has been appointed to the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, filling the position vacated by the retirement of organisation's chair, Sir Graham Latimer.

The trust was set up to hold the rent from Crown forests until title to the underlying land was determined, and over the past two decades it has disbursed more than $150 million for claimants to research and negotiate of forestry claims.

Mr Paul was one the original team who negotiated the forestry settlement process with the fourth Labour government 22 years ago, along with Sir Graham Latimer, Federation of Maori Authorities representative Tama Nikora and the late Matiu Rata.

He says because of the huge sums of money under its control, there has always been strong internal debate about its direction.

“I come to the trust not with a blank page but with a clear history and experience of the inadequacies of the process and that they need to stick very closely to the conditions of the trust deed,” Mr Paul says.

Crown appointee Angela Foulkes is the trust's new chair, and Sir Graham Latimer has been named its first patron.


A spokesperson for Te Runanga O Toa Rangatira says its deal with the New Zealand Rugby Football Union gives the iwi a set of global eyes to protect the integrity of their iconic haka, Ka Mate.

The agreement was signed yesterday at Takapuwahia Marae in Porirua setting terms for the use and protection of the haka, written by their ancestor Te Rauparaha.

Jennie Smeaton says the iwi has been upset at the use of the haka in overseas advetisements, but has not had the resources to take offenders to task.

“The NZRU has measures in place for quite some time to protect the haka, their brand, the jersey, and it’s just one way of us working together to protect something that is really important to us and ensure people do not use it inappropriately or offensively
Ms Smeaton says.


Independent Maori MP Hone Harawira says Labour leader Phil Goff is letting political opportunism override sound judgment.

Mr Goff this week ruled out having the Tai Tokerau MP or any party he leads as a coalition partner, although Labour's senior Maori MP, Parekura Horomia, indicated the door could still be ajar.

Mr Harawira says Mr Goff's action will have people questioning his state of mind.

“I think the concern for Phil has to be that people don’t see him as a credible leader any more. But, I can work with Labour any day, whether Phil’s in charge or Shane’s in charge. As Parekura rightly said, him and I have worked many times on projects in the past and we could do so again. I can do it with any number of his colleagues, so I don’t see it as an issue. It is really just political opportunism on his part,” he says.

Mr Harawira says it's hard to see how he could be considered more unreliable than Phil Goff's preferred coalition partner Winston Peters, who has been dumped from Cabinet three times.


Auckland City's Maori statutory board is fighting for full representation on all 18 council committees.

Chair David Taipari says board representatives are working successfully on 11 committees, even while it is pursuing High Court action over its funding.

He says the board is talking to the council about whether it has the right to appoint members to the other committees, rather than wait to be invited.

“We've got people working with council now because we all realise the work of the board is important so we are just trying to get some determinations now so that this board and future boards don’t fall into the same trap or the same politics that have been uncovered in the last few weeks,” Mr Taipari says.


The tutor of the country's top kapa haka group says there was no hesitation when Te Matatini finalists were asked to come together for Christchurch relief.

Tomorrow night's fundraising concert in Rotorua with the nine roopu has already sold out.

Wetini Mitai Ngatai from Te Mataarae i o Rehu says over the years many friendships have been made with the Canterbury teams, and while it’s a major effort to get together so soon after the national championships, people are happy to do it for the people in Christchurch,” Mr Ngatai says.


A group from South Taranaki iwi Ngati Ruanui is on its way to Dunedin to remember ancestors who died while imprisoned in the city during the land wars.

Debbie Ngarewa-Packer says 95 prisoners were sent down in 1869, after the end of fighting with Titokowaru's forces.

When the prisoners were released three years later, 18 had died, so the trip is to pay homage to those people.

A memorial stone will be unveiled on Tuesday morning.


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