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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

No foreshore law backlash - Turia

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is discounting any Maori backlash against the passing of the Marina and Coastal Area - Takutai Moana - Act.

She says while the media has highlighted opposition to the law passed last week, the party is hearing a different story.

“If I was to judge it by the people who have contacted us, I would say the backlash is minimal. It’s been mainly from Pakeha New Zealanders from the Coastal Coalition but from our own people I can truthfully say it hasn’t been a lot,” Mrs Turia says.

She says controversy about legislation tends to die away once people see it in action, such as happened when the Maori Party supported the so called anti-smacking law.


A farm which brings together the vestiges of Ngati Whatua land in the Kaipara area and another with ties to an early Anglican missionary family are among the finalists for this year's Ahuwhenua Trophy for Maori Excellence in Farming.

This year the revived competition is looking at sheep and beef farmers, with the current holder of the dairying trophy, Waipapa 9 Trust from west of Taupo, one of the finalists.

The East Coast is represented by Pakihiroa Farms, a 3000 hectare property west of Ruatoria which includes the Ngati Porou ancestral mountain, Hikurangi.

The farm was bought in 1985 by Te Runanga o Ngati Porou from the Williams family.

The third finalist, Otakanini Topu, runs from northern Muriwai Beach on Auckland's west coast to the southern end of the Kaipara Harbour.

Field days will be held on the farms over the next month, and the winner will be announced in June.


Luke McAlister may be playing his way back into the All Blacks with a string of strong performances for the Auckland Blues.

The Te Atiawa star fly half Luke McAlister kicked 11 of the Blues 16 winning points in last weekend's clash against the chiefs, including the match-winning long-range penalty in the 72nd minute.

Commentator Ken Laban says there's a slot opening up as back up to Daniel Carter, and McAlistair is strengthening his claim as other contenders cancel themselves out.

He says if the Blues continue to perform on the field, McAlister's chances of World Cup game time will improve.


Waikato-Hauraki MP Nanaia Mahuta is endorsing Phil Goff as the best person to be leading the Labour party.

Ms Mahuta raised her leader's hackles last week when she questioned his attempt to rule out Hone Harawira as a potential coalition partner.

But she says he has attracted undue criticism for his handling of Darren Hughes' resignation, and talk of a leadership coup is media spin.

“He has steered us through some very difficult waters and over a term where the Government maintains high levels of popularism so Phil at this point in time is the best person to be doing the job on behalf of the team,” Ms Mahuta says.

She says Darren Hughes was very supportive of Maori issues, and his resignation is a real loss to the caucus.


Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says he's keen to see Maori putting forward claims under the Marine and Coastal Area - Takutai Moana - Act.

He says the Maori Party believes its replacement for Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Act has removed the barriers to winning customary title to coastal areas.

"It's not in Crown ownership and the door is open for people to go to negotiations with the Crown and the court so let’s bring it on. Case by case basis circumstances will be different throughout the country and I hope our people go to it hard,” Mr Flavell says

The Maori Party is already getting indications from major iwi that they want to move into negotiation for ownership of the foreshore.


A team of Auckland Maori wardens is on its way back to Christchurch this morning to resume its work distributing relief aid in quake hit suburbs.

Spokesperson Thomas Henry, the chair of the Auckland wardens, says the group has been home for a much needed respite after several weeks.

He says stress levels continue to rise, and people are glad of not just the food parcels and water but having a sympathetic ear to talk to.


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