Waatea News Update

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Thursday, April 07, 2011

Key wrong on offshore drilling risks - Greenpeace

A spokesperson for the coalition of iwi and environmental groups fighting deepsea oil exploration says the Prime Minister seems ill informed about the risks of the Petrobras operation off East Cape.

Yesterday John Key told Waatea News that Petrobras would not be drilling in waters as deep as those in the Gulf of Mexico where last year's BP disaster happened.

But Steve Abel from Greenpeace says the exploration zone in the Raukumara basin is two or three times deeper than where the doomed Deepwater Explorer was drilling.

“I certainly hope it give him pause to take another look at this proposition because perhaps he doesn’t realise the level of risk that is involved and perhaps he has been poorly advice by his ministry and the other ministers about the viability and safety of this practice,” Mr Abel says.

He says the oil industry's environmental record in the Taranaki offshore field isn't as good as the prime minister is making out.


Labour MP Shane Jones says Maori around the country are missing out while the Minister for Maori Affairs lavishes Rugby World Cup funds on his own electorate.

The list MP is contesting the Tamaki Makarau seat held by Pita Sharples.
Mr Jones says the $2 million to be spent on a waka shaped pavilion on the Auckland waterfront during the cup means there will be nothing left to promote Maori culture in other centres.

“The world cup is up and down Aotearoa. There’s a whole lot of other communities, I can guarantee you, they’re getting three cents of jack, and I’m just not happy that the entirety of this funding should have been made available to one hapu in only one part of New Zealand called Auckland when there are thousands of Maori up and down the country who won’t get a look in,” Mr Jones says.

He says there is nothing particularly Maori about building a plastic pavilion that will only be used for 17 days.


Maori-owned Kiwa Media Group will soon find out if it has made the top 40 in the United Nations-backed World Summit Awards for multimedia and electronic content.

Kiwa's QBook interactive digital book technology won the e-learning and education section of the New Zealand awards, and it will be scrutinised by the grand jury in Hong Kong over the next week.

Kiwa head Rhonda Kite of Te Aupouri says it's an honour to make the finals.

Other New Zealand finalists include the Gibson Group for an interactive video wall in Copenhagen, the MiniMonos online virtual world for children, the Sparx computerised self help program for young people with depression, and the Environment Ministry's LUCAS Land Use and Carbon Analysis System for tracking New Zealand's contribution to fighting climate change.


The Minister for Courts says Nga Hau e Wha Marae in Christchurch will provide a critical service by hosting criminal courts.

Georgina te Heuheu says the main meeting house will be used for up to 120 list cases a day from April 18.

She says with the main Durham St courthouse still behind a cordon, the marae is an important stopgap.

The marae trustees will transfer the mana of the marae to the ministry to allow its use as a court.

Georgina Te Heuheu says the marae will be used until the Justice Ministry can prepare the Maori Land Court building on Peterborough Street to hold the criminal list hearings.


Labour's Maori caucus has welcomed back Louisa Wall from Ngati Tuwheretoa, who is returning to parliament to take up the list seat vacated by Darren Hughes resignation.

Fellow MP Shane Jones says the former netball and rugby international turned union official knows her way round the building, having come in on a list seat in 2008.

He says the next eight months should help raise her profile in her run for the Manurewa seat at the election, and if she wins the safe labour seat she will have a long future in politics.


The author of a report recommending a radical overhaul of science education says teachers should exploit the natural interest that young Maori have in the natural world.

Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, the Prime Minister's chief science advisor, says Maori and Pacific students are under-achieving in the subject.
He says that needs to be addressed at primary school level and carried on through the education system.

“Maoris control and own a large amount of the resource of New Zealand and to exploit that optimally for the benefit of Maori requires use of science and technology in everything that we do,” Sir Peter says

Young Maori may be more interested in the sciences if they saw how it relates to opportunities in environmental protection, health, and other careers.


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