Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Whanau Ora cuts could dent Maori Party

An advisor to independent MP Hone Harawira says any cuts to the Whanau Ora budget would hurt the Maori Party.

Malcolm Mulholland of Ngati Kahungunu is working on forming a new political party around the Tai tokerau MP.

He says with Prime Minister John Key and Finance Minister Bill English flagging major cuts across the board in the May 19 budget, rumours that funding for the new service delivery model could be cut by as much as $70 million are causing alarm.

“If that's your flagship policy and it’s been whittled down to next to nothing, then I think the Maori Party also has so very serious issues to confront.
Mr Mulholland says.

Cutting the Whanau Ora budget may damage the Maori Party brand, but it could help National.


The chair of the Ahuwhenua Trophy committee says this year's finalists illustrate some positive trends in Maori farming.

Kingi Smiler says Waipapa 9 Trust near Taupo, Pakihiroa Farms west of Ruatoria and Otakanini Topu Incorporation near Helensville have fuelled their growth by buying adjoining properties and collaborating with other Maori farmers.

He says his own Wairarapa Moana Incorporation is involved with the Miraka milk processing plant being built on Tuaropaki land at Mokai, which will provide an alternative to Fonterra for many Maori dairy farms in the central North Island.

“And I think you are going to see this collective working amongst Maori trusts, increasing their investment both in terms of acquiring more lands and also investment in the value chain so they are dealing directly with the customers overseas,” Mr Smiler says.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy winner will be announced in Rotorua on June 2.


An Invercargill total immersion school is enlisting the wider community in a fight to save its auditorium.

Protest organiser Keita Wainui says Te Wharekura o Arowhenua is holding an open day on Friday, the day the Education Ministry intends to start demolishing the 500-seat Tainui Auditorium.

She says the facility is used by a wide range of groups, Maori, Pakeha, Indian, Pacific Island and Asian.

The auditorium will cost more than $200,000 to demolish, but the community is willing to raise the $30,000 the ministry says is needed for a new roof.


Ngapuhi's Kingi Taurua is planning to take a protest against the new Marine and Coastal Area - Takutai Moana - Act to the place the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed.

The Ngati Rehia and Ngati Kawa kaumatua is inviting all New Zealanders to the beach at Waitangi on Saturday morning.

He says after asserting the hapu's customary ownership of the foreshore, there will be a hikoi tio the treaty grounds.

“We just cannot take this lying down. This is a racist policy it is taking away our right and I am not going to allow that to happen. I am not going to let our young people of tomorrow fight for this kaupapa. We need to fight it now for them for tomorrow,” Mr Taurua says.

He says the new law signed off by the Maori Party and National goes against the Treaty of Waitangi and the earlier Declaration of Independence.


Labour's Maori Affairs spokesperson says times are going to get tougher for Maori in Christchurch.

Parekura Horomia was in the quake-ravaged city to take part in a meeting of Labour's front bench.

He says it reminds him of the desolation he saw on the East Coast after Cyclone Bola - and in that case it was a couple of months before the true extent of loss really hit.

“Maori generally because of the economy have pressure on them, like unemployment, the Maori unemployment rate this year us the highest since the second work war, so it’s hard enough to compete where everything is easy and people are in jobs,” Mr Horomia says.


Te Putea Whakatupu Trust wants to boost the number of Maori who can fill middle and senior management jobs in Maori organisations.

The trust, which uses money from the Maori fisheries settlement to promote broader Maori development, is working with the Maori Education Trust to create 30 Tawera Scholarships for Maori studying business, commerce or management degrees at bachelor level.

Its chair, Richard Jefferies of Ngati Raukawa, says Maori are under-represented in those fields which would see them moving into key positions.

The growth of Maori land incorporations and post-treaty settlement iwi is creating a huge demand for skilled Maori.


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