Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, April 01, 2011

Earthquake movements could affect MP numbers

Electoral Enrolment Centre national manager Murray Wicks says the centre is still on track to hold the Maori electoral option next year ... as long as there is a Census.

Because of the Christchurch earthquake the Government postponed the March 8 census, and no decision has been made on when it will be rescheduled.

Mr Wicks says the electoral option, where Maori can shift between the Maori and general electoral rolls, happens immediately after a census except in election year, when it is done the year after.

Once the four month Maori electoral is complete, the Government Statistician works through the results with relevant Census data and makes recommendations on the number of electorates, after which the Representation Commission is formed and starts working with the surveyor general on boundaries.

Because electorate size is based on there always being 16 South island general electorates, a significant reduction in the South Island population because of the Canterbury earthquakes could lead to more Maori seats and more general seats in the North island, with fewer list MPs.


A new national health survey will try to capture a more accurate picture of the health of Maori.

Mark Jacobs, the acting chief medical officer of health, says the Ministry of Health is moving from a three-yearly survey to a rolling survey, starting in Northland, Auckland and Waikato this week.

He says considerable work has gone into making sure the Maori component of the sample is large enough to provide useful data.

Dr Jacobs says the new method will give health planners more timely information, rather than coming at three yearly gaps.


The New Zealand Mountain Safety Council is joining with iwi and police to offer firearms safety training on marae around the country.

Council chief executive Darryl Carpenter says pilot programmes run at marae in Te Uruwera and the East Coast have been very successful.

He says while most people on rural marae were proficient hunters and competent firearms users, a lot of youngsters were being exposed to firearms without formal training in firearms safety.

Respected hunters in each community are being trained to run the programmes.


A protest in Murihiku today may get some help from a protest expert from Muriwhenua.

Te Wharekura o Arowhenua in Invercargil is holding an open day to show community support to stop the Education Ministry demolishing its 500-seat auditorium.

Protest organiser Keita Wainui says after a call to the Maori Party went unheeded, she contacted independent Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira ... who was in the southern city the next day showing solidarity.

Hone Harawira says he will be back in Invercargill today, before travelling to the east Coast to support Te Whanau o Apanui's protest against offshore oil exploration on Saturday.


One of the negotiators of the $11.9 million Ngati Makino settlement says the passing of the Marine and Coastal Area - Takutai Moana Act will put a damper on any celebrations by the Bay of Plenty iwi.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Christ Finlayson will sign the deed at Otamarakau Marae near Maketu tomorrow.

Annette Sykes says it's likely to be overshadowed by new grievances the marine act creates.

“The land has been taken from under our feet, placed in this nonsensical legal notion that no one owns it. If we don’t claim it back in the next six years, then the Crown will own it for ever more, and those things very much undermine in the longer term our fight for independence, out Te Arawatanga and our sense of identity,” she says.

Ngati Makino, whore role stretches from Maketu to Matata and inland to lakes Rotoma and Rotoiti, was the only te Arawa iwi whose land was confiscated after the wars of the 1860s.


A Tuhourangi kaumatua says tourism ventures are allowing tribal members to return to land considered tapu since the 1886 Tarawera eruption killed many of their ancestors.

Anaru Rangiheuea says his family were the first to return to the area 15 years ago.

The Tuhourangi Tribal Authority is seeking a 30 year lease from the Department of Conservation on the launch masters cottage above Tarawera landing to use for tribal and tourism-related activities.

“We've been showing and interest to come back but we had to develop employment for them to come back to and papakainga housing for them to live in so that’s the big job ahead of us,” Mr Rangiheuea says.

A new walkway around the walkway is due to be opened on June 10 to mark the 125th anniversay of the eruption.


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