Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Crafar Farms missed opportunity

Hauraki - Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta says the Government hasn't done enought to back New Zealand based offers to buy Crafar Farms.

Shanghai Pengxin International Group is waiting for Overseas Inveastment
Office approval to buy the 16 dairy farms from the receivers for $200 million ... which is about what is owed to banks and farm services companies.

Ms Mahuta says Labour can't see there is much difference to an earlier bid by another Chinese company, Natural Dairy, which was rejected by the OIO.

“Tainui had an interet in a New Zealand-based offer on those farms and I’m just disappointed the Government didn’t lok at that and say ‘actually, on balance, why wouldn’t we sell to a New Zealand based set of interests rather than an overseas base,’” she says.

Ms Mahuta says New Zealand land should be kept in New Zealand hands.
Receivers Korda Mentha say the Pengxin offer of $200 million is the best around.


Waikato University's Te Piringa - Faculty of Law is marking its 20th anniversary this week, with its roll of Maori graduates a cause for celebration.

Senior lecturer Linda Te Aho says a lot of Maori students have been attracted to the course.

She says while many have gone on to practice in Treaty of Waitangi, family, criminal and environmental law, many up in the public service.

“We've got a high number of our graduates that are headhunted, they’re highly sought after by government departments in Wellington because of the focus we have here on bicultural jurisprudence and learning law in context,” Mrs Te Aho says.

Te Piringa's celebrations will include presentations from PhD students, debates, and speeches from notable graduates including Hamilton mayor Julie Hardaker and Maori Land Court judge Craig Coxhead.


Maori wardens who have just stood down after helping in Christchurch relief efforts say they were embraced by everyone they met in the quake-hit city ... and vice versa.

Tireo Hemi from Whanganui says as later as two weeks after the February 22 quake, the wardens were still finding they were the first official contactmany residents had had.

He says the help needed ranged from food and water to emotional support, with many people, Maori and Pakeha, just happy to get a hug.

The wardens knocked on an average of 700 doors a day.


Labour MP Shane Jones says a private members bill from Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell is proof the Maori Party has been asleep at the wheel.

The bill, in response to opposition from Te Whanau a Apanui and Ngati Porou to oil exploration off East Cape, proposes to give iwi a veto over the issue of prospecting licenses.

Mr Jones says it's ridiculous the Maori Party needs a private members bill to get a government it is part of to consult the people it supposedly represents.

“They crowed about the seabed and foreshore and the first major test there’s a demonstration there is no Maori input, and there will be no Maori involvement in this massive-industrial development of the East Coast. Whanau around the country can see this is no longer a Maori party but Maori putty, molded to suit the interests of the prime minister and the National Party,” Shane Jones


The chief executive of Te Taura Whiri i Te reo Maori says the recommendation in a ministerial review of Maori language spending to increase the focus on Maori being spoken in homes was what her commission has been trying to do for a decade.

Glenis Philip - Barbara confirmed that Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples wrote to her and the chair of the independent commission, Erima Henare, instructing them to refer all media inquiries about the review to his office.

She says the commission would reject any suggestion it was wasting its limited funds.

“There are major changes and shifts afoot in the public sector so every one of us has to stand up and be doubly, trebly accountable for what we do for the dollar,” Mrs Philip-Barbara says.

She says many of review head Sir Tamati Reedy's recommendations look like reshuffling existing entities, which carries great risk during times of economic uncertainty.


Taki Rua Productions has won Lottery Board funding to take its production of Strange Resting Places on a special Rugby World Cup tour.

The play is set around the World War II battle of Monte Cassino and explores relationships formed between Maori and Italian soldiers.

Tour coordinator Keryn Bristow says it might appeal to Italian visitors, so the troupe will team up with marae for performances in places like Dunedin and Nelson where the Italian team has games.

Taki Rua's annual te reo Maori production is also in the pipeline, with the cast and crew working with the prospective audience on a script.


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