Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, April 18, 2011

Compliance audit on Harawira sledging

The Maori Party is investigating whether Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira’s public attacks on it breach the agreement made when he left the party.

Mr Harawira is touring the country building up support for a new political party, although the separation deal precludes that party standing candidates against the four sitting Maori Party MPs.

Maori Party president Pem Bird says a party council meeting in Hastings over the weekend heard from members upset at the maverick MP’s sledging.

“We’re not going to kneejerk about stuff because members have said this, that or the other. We’ll get the information, see what that says, and see if it’s enough to warrant us taking any action,” Mr Bird says.

He says the official investigating the matter has been given a week to report back on whether the agreement has been breached and whether it is extreme enough for the party to stand a Tai Tokerau.


Meanwhile, independent MP Hone Harawira says it’s the Maori Party’s own fault if any new party he creates draws away support.

Mr Harawira says what he’s hearing as he travels the country is Maori people want an alternative.

“I haven’t come across one Maori Party supporter, and I’ve met probably 300, 400 in the past few weeks, not one who genuinely thinks the Maori party is the independent Maori voice in parliament any more. The most polite comment Im getting is the Maori Party is just the Maori translation service of the National Party,” he says.

Hone Harawira says his hikoi will take him to places like Whakatane, Tauranga, Christchurch and Dunedin before he confirms at the end of the month whether the party will go ahead.


The chair of the far north Te Hiku Forum says tourist operators should celebrate Ninety Mile Beach being given back its original name.

The four iwi in the forum want restoration of the name Te Oneroa a Tohe as part of their claim settlement.

Haami Piripi from Te Rarawa chair says he’s not buying the argument from some moteliers and tour companies that foreign visitors will find the name a tongue twister.

“One would think you would want to provide a superb visitor experience and I think it’s established that Maori people, culture, history is very much a part of that experience,” he says.

Mr Piripi says tourism marketing already plays up the connection of the beach as the path spirits were believed to travel on their way to Te Rerenga Wairua or Cape Reinga.


A former chief executive of the Maori Language Commission, Haami Piripi, says creating a minister for te reo Maori would be a retrograde move.

The idea was contained in a ministerial review of spending on Maori language revitalization led by Sir Tamati Reedy.

Mr Piripi says it would undermine Te Taura Whiri, which was fought for thought the treaty claim process.

“The beauty of the commission is that it’s at arms length from the government. Once you establish a minister of the Maori language you put the language at the complete mercy of a minister of the government,” Mr Piripi says.

Rather than reshuffling the bureaucracy, Sir Tamati Reedy’s review should have offered practical ways for iwi to work with the Crown to promote the language.


Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell is putting up a private members bill that would give iwi a veto on offshore oil exploration and development.

The Waiariki MP says the bill is a response to the Government’s lack of consultation with Te Whanau a Apanaui and Ngati Porou before it licensed Brazilian oil giant Petrobras to prospect in the Raukumara Basin of the East Cape.

He says the expectation is iwi would be part of a joint management committee overseeing any exploration in a region.

“It requires tangata whenua governance entities to be consulted about all the issues around the area and we think this is a way forward that may deal with the issues of lack of consultation expressed by Ngti Porou and Te Whanau a Apanui,” Mr Flavell says.

He has not talked with the government about whether it would support the bill if it were drawn from the ballot.


Archeologists are excited by the find of a large argillite adze at a 15th century pa site near Porirua.

Excavation leader Pam Chester says the 40 centimetre adze unearthed at Ngati Toa domain is the sort of find archeologists live for.

She says it’s a large adze, probably used for canoe making, intact and very beautiful.

Pam Chester says after dating and verification the adze will be registered with the Historic Places Trust and probably will end up at Pataka museum in Porirua.


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