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Monday, March 14, 2011

One month deadline for Harawira Party

March 11

Rebel MP Hone Harawira has announced he will have a new party up and running within the month.

Mr Harawira says the massive support he has been getting since he split with the Maori party late last month makes him confident the new party based on Maori kaupapa will be a major player at the next election.

“We have to have the party up and running within a month, probably sooner, simply because we need to get a clear set of kaupapa out there,” he says.

Mr Harawira says a number of prominent Maori among those who are helping him form the new party, including Willie Jackson, John Tamihere, Matt McCarten, and Annette Sykes.

At this stage its uncertain whether former Green MP Sue Bradford will be part of the new party which will be Maori led.


The Human Rights Commission has listed a number of measures are urgently needed to overcome racial inequality faced by Maori.

In his annual report Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres outlines 10 priority measures that need to be taken to fight the blight.

“The recommendations cover protecting all children. We recognise within that a significant number of children who suffer abuse and harm are Maori. We are saying in terms of unemployment, in terms of imprisonment, in terms of representation in local government and in terms of language there are real and significant issues to be addressed,” Mr de Bres says.


South Island iwi Ngai Tahu whose headquarters is in a perilous position in the Christchurch CBD is setting up for the medium to long-term at Wigram Military base.

All staff will be back at work within a fortnight working from portcoms at Wigram which are replacing tents set up in the early days of the quake.

Chairman Mark Solomon says it could be months before they can get back into their head quarters in Hereford Street to salvage belongings, because the building is adjacent to the doomed Grand Chancellor Hotel.

Temporary accommodation hasn't stopped the iwi playing a major role in coordinating the tremendous relief effort by Maori from around the country and getting their radio station Tahu FM back on air.


Prison reformer Kim Workman says prisoners, more than half of whom are Maori, should be used to rebuild Christchurch.

The Rethinking Crime and Punishment head says the disaster provides an opportunity to use low risk offenders, who make up more than two thirds of those in prison, in a way that would help them and the community.

“First of all it’s going to save the government money. It costs $94,000 to keep one prisoner in prison. Put them in a work camp is a lot less. Secondly they are making a useful contribution to New Zealand society and third it gives them an opportunity to pay back, to make reparation to the community for some of the harm they may have caused,” Mr Workman says.

The released prisoners would feel the same way as community workers currently helping with the relief efforts are very passionate about what they are doing.

Mr Workman from Kahungunu says he wants iwi leaders, who have been putting huge effort into Christchurch to support his call.


A poll of more than a thousand Maori around the country shows they would prefer MP Hone Harawira to remain an independent rather than form a new party.

Mr Harawira says bouyed by the support he has been getting since splitting from The Maori Party he will have a new party with candidates in place up and running within the month.

However the Horizon Research poll, with a margin of error of 3 percent, taken over the past three days shows only 11.5 percent support him forming a new party while more than twice as many... 28 percent.... want him to remain an independent.

Principal Graham Colman says the support for a new party varies greatly a round the country, with 26 percent of northernmost iwi Ngati Kuri backing the idea compared with only 4.5 percent of neighbours Ngai Takoto and a national average of 11.5, similar to the Ngapuhi 12 percent.

He says fewer than 9 percent of those who voted for the Maori Party last election want Mr Harawira to form a new party.


The director of course on marae tikanga says too many people don't understand the protocols they follow.

Blackie Tohiariki says students on the Te Wananga o Aotearoa course will spend one weekend a month at Orakei Marae in Auckland.

He says the aim is not only to carry on tradition but to set a foundation for the future.

“We walk through on the marae and a lot of people are like sheep and they just follow. The impetus of the course is not only to do the process but understand why, what is happening, where did that come from, what were the original thoughts,” Mr Tohiariki says.

Last year 90 students took the course.


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