Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, April 04, 2011

Jones keen to maintain poll direction

Labour MP Shane Jones says a poll showing he is making in-roads into Pita Sharples' support in the Tamaki Makaurau electorate should set the tone for the year's electioneering.

A Horizon Research poll taken last week showed the Maori Party co-leader is only five percentage points ahead of Mr Jones, compared with the more than two to one trouncing he gave Louisa Wall in 2008.

Mr Jones says Maori voters can see through the rhetoric.

“It does reflect I think a sense of disenchantment amongst the garden variety of Maori families in Tamaki Makaurau that the Maori Party has drifted away form them, the Maori Party became too enmeshed in historical grievances such as the seabed and foreshore which have very little to do with the day to day woes that Maori face,” Mr Jones says.

Horizon Research director Graham Colman says while the panel of 1,472 respondents means a margin of error of 2.6 percent nationwide, at an individual electorate level results are indicative only, with an 11 percent margin of error.


A Waitangi kaumatua says the turnout for a weekend foreshore and seabed protest in the Bay of Islands indicates feelings are still running high over the issue.

About 100 members of Ngati Rehia and Ngati Kawa gathered on the beach in front of Te Tii Marae to reinforce their claim of customary ownership of Peiwhairangi, the Bay of Islands.

Kingi Taurua says they want the Crown to acknowledge that, rather than making them jump through the hoops of court action or direct negotiation set by the new Marine and Coastal Area Takutai Moana Act.

“We believe we are the caretakers of the Treaty of Waitangi and the 1835 Declaration of Independence and in those articles it doesn’t day anything else but we have the right to the seas and our toanga.
Mr Taurua says.

The hui endorsed the stance Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira took against the legislation.


All the places for this year's Iron-Maori in Napier have been snapped up in just 11 minutes.

Organiser Healther Skipworth says the event is half an ironman competition, with individuals or teams of two or three competitors doing a 2 kilometre swim, 90 kilometre cycle and a 21.1 kilometre run.

She says the December event is attracting attention far outside Ngati Kahungunu, with big groups coming from Kaitaia, Wellington and Auckland, and some non-Maori athletes also signing up.

She says about 10 percent are elite competitors, and the rest just want to be part of a Maori event.

People can still go on a waiting list in case any of the 350 competitors drops out before December.


Whanau a Apanui says the iwi's fishing boats will join the Greenpeace flotilla protesting oil exploration by Brazilian company Petrobras.

The flotilla gathered in Whangaparaoa Bay west of Cape Runaway at the weekend.

Iwi spokesperson Rawiri Waititi says the next step is to drive away the boats undertaking a seismic survey in the Raukumara basin.

“Where they are proposing to drill in the Kermadec trench is in the migratory path of the sperm whales, hence the name Whangaparaoa, bay of the sperm whales,” he says.

Mr Waititi says the target area is three times the depth of the exploratory well that blew up in the Gulf of Mexico, and any accident could contaminate not only the Bay of Plenty and East Coast area but past Kaikoura in the South island.


Independent MP Hone Harawira says he's not setting out to replace the Maori Party.

A meeting of his Tai Tokerau electorate on the weekend gave Mr Harawira the go ahead to form a new party.

He says he will respect the agreement not to stand candidates against sitting Maori Party MPs.

“I'm not in this to fight the Maori Party, to try and break down the Maori Party. I’m in this because I think Maori people deserve a truly independent voice in Parliament and they don’t have one. If that can be achieved through the list without us having any conflict with the Maori Party, I would be just as happy,” Mr Harawira says.

The final decision on forming a party will be announced April 30 at Te Mahurehure marae in Auckland.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says Hone Harawira's new party could be more of a threat to the Greens than to his former colleagues.

Mrs Turia says it's tragic the Tai Tokerau MP is talking about setting a party of the left, rather than one based on kaupapa or tikanga.

“I think that his party could have a huge impact on the Greens who of course are the most left wing party who do work quite hard to address what we would consider are left-wing issues,” she says.

Mrs Turia says it has taken years for Maori to be able to sit at the table with Government to advance their aspirations.


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