Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Party critics deny government legitimacy

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says some of the party's former supporters don't appreciate the compromises needed to be effective in politics.

Mrs Turia says Maori put the party into parliament to be lawmakers and part of kawanatanga.

That means while it believes many of the same things as those who marched in this week's hikoi against the Marine and Coastal Area Bill, the Party must work the system as best it can with its four votes.

“Well it is philosophical and I think what we would find is that a lot of the people who have been providing advice to the movement are not people who actually believe in the legitimacy of government, so that then puts us in a completely different space,” Mrs Turia says.

She says the Marine and Coastal Area Bill repeals the Foreshore and Seabed Act as promised, and restores to Maori due process to pursue customary rights claims through the courts.


But former Maori Party MP Hone Harawira has defended the people who marched in the hikoi.

The Tai Tokerau independent says Tariana Turia and her colleagues owed their seats to those who were prepared to march for Maori rights.

“A goodly number of those people were Maori Party members, Maori Party supporters, ex- Maori Party supporters I’d say after this bill goes through and to try to write them off as the lunatic fringe is simply insulting,” Mr Harawira says.


A Ngati Kahungunu eel researcher says landowners can do more to arrest falling numbers of tuna and other native fish.

Joe Potangaroa is giving a free public talk tonight at Masterton's Te Aratoi Museum about the impact of draining wetlands and introducing fish in Wairarapa Moana.

He says the stock can recover.

“Landowners can fence off streams and try to the improve the situation where eels are trying to get in and out to migrate. Ione of the big things for tuna tuwharuwhau, the New Zealand long fin, is to leave the big black ones along because those are the females that haven't bred yet,” Mr Potangaroa says.

The talk is part of a range of activities around the museum's major Wairarapa Moana exhibition.


Whakatane-based Te Runanga o Ngati Awa is offering to guarantee bank loans its members take out to build houses on multiply-owned Maori land.

Its housing project manager, Vicky George, says there is still a lot of Maori land in the eastern Bay of Plenty, including some owned by the runanga.

She says the scheme removes what has been a major impediment to housing projects, which is banks reluctance to fund papakainga developments.

She told Community Housing Aotearoa's conference in Henderson the runanga is offering 52 year rolling leases when its land is used for housing, rather than the traditional 21 year leases.


Independent Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira says the Maori Party should listen to Maori people rather than iwi leaders abour mining and oil exploration.

Mr Harawira says the Marine and Coastal Area - Takutai Moana - Bill, which had its third reading today, opens the door for widespread coastal and offshore mining and oil exploration

He says rather than considering environmental issues, the Maori Party believes mining is ok if iwi want to mine.

“We need to put that aside and say is mining in the best interests of the people of New Zealand. When they talk about the iwi, the Maori Party just talk about the iwi leaders but the iwi leaders are not actually the iwi, and iwi are very rarely consulted and you will find in most cases where an iwi are actually consulted in terms of the people who live there, they are 90 percent opposed to such activity,” Mr Harawira says.


An Auckland auctioneer believes a collection of pounamu artifacts being sold by tender is the best ever assembled by a private collector.

Dunbar Sloane says the late Roger Edmonds wanted the 80-piece Kalimantan Collection to go to a single New Zealand buyer.

He says the collection includes pre-1850 greenstone mere and hei tiki sourced from around the world, as the Whanganui accountant bought the best of what was available.

Mr Sloane says he's aiming to get about $1 million from the tender, which is open for three weeks.


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