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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Harawira works electoral disquiet

March 14

Rebel Maori MP Hone Harawira, who has been in his Tai Tokerau electorate this weekend rallying support for the new political party he wants to form, says he hearing huge disquiet among Maori about the way he's been treated.

Mr Harawira was late last month expelled from the Maori Marty over his attack on the leadership for supporting the Marine and Coastal Area Takutai Moana bill expected to be passed through parliament this week.

He says Maori are deserting the Maori Party and joining him for a number of reasons.

“One they don’t like the way the Maori Party treated me. They don’t all like me, but they don’t like the way the Maori Party acted. Two, they don’t buy this foreshore and seabed deal the Maori Party signed up to with National. Three, they don’t like that their MPs don’t come back and talk to them any more, and four, they think we’re too close to National all of the time,” Mr Harawira says.

While he's gaining huge support across maoridom if the elders don’t like it he will remain an independent.


And Rotorua Maori lawyer Annette Sykes says Pakeha should have a major part to play in any new political party set up dissident MP Home Harawira.

Annette Sykes who was a foundation member of the Maori party and constitutional advisor says she is fully behind Mr Harawira's moves to set up a new Maori party based on kaupapa.

“She says many Pakeha have similar views about how the country has been going.

She says the Maori and Pakeha heros that have emerged during the Christchurch quake are indicative of a new New Zealand that any new Maori political movement must incorporate.


And protestors against the Marine and Coastal Areas (Takutai Moana) Bill, expected to be passed in parliament this week, will be setting off on a hikoi from Cape Reinga this morning.

Organiser Wi Popata says his uncle Hone Harawira has indicated he will be at this morning's karakai blessing for the hikoi but doesn't know whether the organiser of the 2004 foreshore and seabed hikoi will be marching.

He expects the hui to be at parliament by Tuesday 22nd of March.

A new specialist Maori research organisation Horizon Research has found most Maori don’t think they are benefitting from treaty settlements.

And the nationwide survey found more than half the 1200 Maori consulted throughout the country felt iwi leaders aren't consulting them on important decisions.

Principal Graham Colman says Maori generally had a very clear view about the treaty process.

“They’re not benefiting. They’re not seeing it. That seems to be the indication at the moment. And they don’t feel adequately consulted. That in turn sends a message, it opens up a brilliant opportunity for iwi and others to step up to the mark on that and really engage people,” Mr Colman says.

The survey will be conducted at regular intervals until the election providing Maori leaders, policy makers and business people a clear picture of the mood of Maoridom.


Prime Minister John Key says the Marine and Coastal Areas bill which is expected to be back in parliament this week answers the key concerns of Maori.

Mr Key says the bill is fundamentally better than the Foreshore and Seabed Act which it replaces.

“The core fundamental for Maori was the ability to test their rights in court and access to justice, and that’s resolved through this legislation. There was also the issue of Crown ownership and solely Crown ownership, and again that’s resolved through the Bill,” he says.

Mr Key says the Ngati Awa Court of Appeal decision gave some clear tests about exclusive use and occupations since 1840 should be applied which have been built into the legislation.


The top kapahaka groups in the country will meet in Rotorua later this week, to raise funds for Christchurch and give feedback on last month's competition in Tairawhiti.

Matataini Co-ordintaor Wille Te Aho says the performers are doing Maori proud by returning to the stage for such a good cause, and with over 3000 tickets already sold, shows whanau are keen to support those devastated by the earthquake and aftershocks in Otautahi.

He says the groups’ senior members will also give organisers valuable feedback which will be used in organizing the next Matatini competition in Te Arawa.

A full presentation will be made to the National Matatini Committee, which will spell an end to the work for those who helped co-ordinate this year’s Matatini O Te Ra.


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