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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Horomia prepares parachute

Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia is considering being a list-only candidate at this year's election.

Mr Horomia was ranked sixth on the Labour list, reversing Phil Goff's january demotion of him in Labour's caucus rankings.

The 60-year old says it may be time to think about succession planning.

“I'm not a career politician. This is my fourth election, I will certainly assist the Maori strategy but it is something we will decide as we go through who runs for the Ikaroa Rawhiti seat and I am keen to bring up new blood. I am talking to my people now and we have another three weeks to decide that,” Mr Horomia says.

Fighting the election from the list would allow someone from a new generation of Maori to move into politics


The chair of the Ngati Porou Runanga says he feels deceived by the government over the oil exploration off the East Coast.

Apirana Mahuika met with executives from Brazilian company Petrobras at Hinerupe Marae in Te Awaroa over the weekend to express the tribe's displeasure with activities in the Raukumara basin.

He says the runanga disputes an Energy Ministry chronology that purports to show it was consulted about the licence.

“We have mana mana in our region and we have mana whenua in our region. While we were negotiating our mana moana rights and our mana whenua rights, the permit was granted,” Mr Mahuika says.

The iwi had been waiting for Gerry Brownlee to come up and apologise, but minister stepped aside from the portfolio because of the Christchurch earthquake.


Bay of Plenty Maori kiwifruit executive Hemi Rolleston isn't expecting the Japanese tsunami will affect the industry's premier export market.

The Te Awanui Hukapak chief executive has just returned from launching the kiwifruit sales season in Tokyo.

He says while the country is in a sombre mood as it deals with the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami and subsequent crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex, there is still a demand for the fruit.

“We're positive because kiwifruit has a whole lot of positive health benefits in it and it’s obviously I guess nuclear free in that context so I came away from Tokyo positive that things were not as bad as perhaps I had thought,” Mr Rolleston says.

He says Maori kiwifruit growers are looking at ways they can help the Japanese, who have been good supporters of New Zealand over many years.


New Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross has raised hackles with his maiden speech call for a referendum on the future of the Maori seats.

The 24-year-old former Manukau and Auckland councilor described himself as a New Zealander of Maori descent who didn't need a special seat to be elected to Parliament.

Veronica Tawhai, a politics and public policy lecturer at Massey university, says Maori seats are important for those who identify as Maori, unlike Mr Ross, as a way of making sure the Maori voice is not swamped.

She had hoped Mr Ross would bring fresh ideas instead of wheeling out tired prejudices.


The head of the ministerial review panel on Maori language funding says spending needs to be redirected to the grass roots.

Sir Tamati Reedy says while 99 percent of the $225 million a year earmarked as being for language revitalisation is spent through the Education Department and other agencies, it's not resulting in more Maori being spoken in the home.

He says that must be the aim, with people round the country pointing to programmes like Te Atarangi which need a financial boost.


The promoter of one of Jamaica's biggest reggae bands is looking forward to a fanatical response from Maori to next month's tour.

Third World plays a number of North Island dates during May with support from 1814 and DJ Poroufessor.

Pato Alazares says there were some financial concerns about the tour, but the band made sure their airfares were paid up-front because they were so keen to play in Aotearoa again, where reggae is like a religion for Maori people.

He’s got the difficult task of deciding which groups will give powhiri in the different towns, as he's had so many offers.


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