Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Labour list puts staffer in spotlight

Labour leader Phil Goff says he is looking forward to having Deborah Mahuta-Coyle in his caucus.

The Huntly native and member of Mr Goff's parliamentary staff was catapulted by union affiliates into the number 26 spot on the party list, leapfrogging the Maori advisory council's preferred list of Lynette Stewart, Rino Tirikatene and Louis Te Kani.

Mr Goff says it was a good call.

“Deborah comes in with some real skills and a heck of a lot of energy and a lot of experience and a lot of hard work through the grass roots of the Labour Party and that also counts for a lot in the organisation, people who have demonstrated how hard they can work, their commitment, and the energy they can bring to it,” Mr Goff says.

The 36-member list committee represents a cross-section of the Labour party.


Wai 262 claimants are preparing for the release of their long-awaited Waitangi Tribunal report on indigenous fauna, flora and intellectual property claims.

Only one of the six who lodged the claim in 1991, Saana Murray of Ngati Kuri, is still alive.

Hori Parata of Ngati Wai says a hui was held at Paaparore Marae in the far north at the weekend to update interested parties and consider what action may be needed when the report becomes public next month.

“After such a long time what next, what do we do now? We don’t expect the report to be all that flash,” Mr Parata says.


Poet and singer Hinemoa Baker says it's an honour to be included on a compilation by a Wairarapa-based label that has always championed the work of Maori and women musicians.

Baker is one of five wahine Maori on the 20-track Jayrem collection She Sings, She Plays" featuring women's music from 1983 to 2010.

She says label owner James Moss has provided a valuable outlet for Maori music, releasing groups like Aotearoa, Big Belly Women and Dread, Beat and Blood.

Hinemoana Baker’S current focus is writing rather than music, and she's just back from a writer's residency in Iowa.


Kaipara-based hapu Te Uri o Hau is buoyed by the support it's getting for its campaign against Crest Energy's plans to generate power from the harbour's tides.

A public meeting is being held tonight at Helensville War Memorial Hall over the imminent placement of turbines near the harbour mouth.

Spokesperson Mikaera Miru says Maori and Pakeha round the harbour are determined to stop the $600 million project proceeding, and they're concerned statutory protections for the environment have been bypassed.

A hui at Wellsford last night considered placing a rahui over the area and mounting water-borne protests against placement of the turbines.


New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says his party is seeing the return of a lot of Maori supporters who had gone over to the Maori Party or the Labour Party.

Former Labour MP Dover Samuels yesterday slammed Labour's list as a turn-off for Maori, including the decision to put less experienced Maori ahead of Northland candidate Lynette Stewart, who is Mr Peters' sister.

Mr Peters agrees the list is not a good look, and it might accelerate a trend.

“There certainly is the return of a lot of Maori voters to New Zealand First for a lot of sound reasons. One is performance, doing something when they say so. A lot of things have been promised to Maori people in the last four years and there has been minimal delivery,” he says.

Mr Peters agrees with Dover Samuels that too many people in Labour fail to understand the concerns of working people.


Time is running out to get entries into this year's Pikihuia Awards.

Maori writers have until Friday to submit novels, short stories and film scripts in either English or te reo.

Co-ordinator Dominika White says sponsor Huia Publishers brought the awards forward because of the Rugby World Cup.

Entries can be done electronically through huia.co.nz.

Winners of all categories but the Secondary School Award will be announced in August.


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