Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Maori board role goes to court

Auckland mayor Len Brown says his council will abide by whatever decision the High Court makes on funding for the city's Maori statutory baord.

The board will be in Court today seeking a judicial review of the council's decision to slash the $3.4 million budget recommended by an independent consultant.

Mr Brown says regardless of the decision, the board is in place and it's critical it gets on with the job.

“They are still a little bit hoha about the budget but kei te pai, they are seeking further clarification from the court and that is their choice and we will just abide by whatever that process determines,” Mr Brown says.


Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon says he is proud and humbled by the way Maori have responded to the quake.

He says the way Maori from around the country have shown manaaki to the people of Christchurch of all races is amazing.

“As an example a group of Tainui tradesmen turned up simply to get in the community and not fix the houses but get them up to a stage where they are waterproof and the people can live in them now. They’ve already had about four pages of jobs. They’ve hooked in with civil defence so they’re registered and they’re out there in the community right now,” Mr Solomon says.

The scale of need is massive with 10,000 homes set to be condemned and winter approaching.


New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says he has sympathy for Maori rugby league super star Benji Marshall.

The Wests Tigers stand-off was charged at the weekend with allegedly assaulting a man who made racist taunts at a Sydney burger bar.

Mr Peters says over the years he has copped similar abuse when he's been out in public.

“Often for a guy like that, you can’t go anywhere before some absolute loony-tune decides to have a go at you. Why, because he’s probably insecure in his own life and decides he wants to be a big shot in front of his mates and it happens all the darn time,” Mr Peters says.

He uses his tongue to fight back when people abuse him on the street, but can understand a younger man going further than that.


Former governor general Sir Paul Reeves says Lieutenant General Jerry Mataparae won't be allowed to forget he's a Maori in the job.

The former head of defence was yesterday named as the 20th person and second Maori to be governor general.

Sir Paul says the presence of a Maori in the office adds an extra dimension to the continuing constitutional debate.

“I think Maori see the Crown not really as something different to them but really as something to be captured, something to be made into an entity that Maori can understand and relate to. I think with a man like Jerry there, that process will continue,” he says.

Sir Paul says Lieutenant General Mataparae has the skills to handle whatever is thrown at him during his five-year term.


A Tainui community worker has returned to the Waikato to marshal further help for earthquake-hit Christchurch.

Hone Pene from Ngati Haua who has spent the past week with a team of builders putting floors in garages where people are living on top of sewerage impregnated liquifaction.

He says there is a critical need for continuing assistance.

“It's getting to a point where whanau are gong to start getting sick soon, particularly with us moving to winter, and even though we’re day 14 the real mahi of housing our people has yet to start,” Mr Pene says.

The response from iwi from around the country has been outstanding but it must not ease up with an estimated 10,000 homes destroyed.


In Christchurch today, the funeral will be held of a musician who was once rate one of the top 10 jazz guitarists in the world.

Mark Kahi died in a Christchuch rest home on Saturday in his 85th year.

Born in Rawene, Mr Kahi became an important part of the Auckland jazz scene in the 1940s and 50s, playing with the likes of Mavis Rivers, Nancy Harre and Crombie Murdoch.

Bassist Bob Ewing, who played in some of those bands, says audiences responded to the Ngapuhi man's artistry.

“He had that relaxed style. He could improvise tremendously. You would have thought you were listening to Les Paul,” Mr Kahi says.

Mark Kahi's funeral is at St Mary's Anglican Church in Heathcote Valley at 11am.


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