Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Party prepares for Harawira welshing

Maori Party president Pem Bird says the party is ready if Hone Harawira tears up his agreement not to stand candidates against sitting Maori Party MPs.

The Tai Tokerau MP is expected to announce the no-compete deal is off as he gets ready to launch his new Mana party at the end of the month.

Mr Bird says the party has observed its former MP's activities as he has travelled the country trying to draw together potential members, including disaffected Maori Party members.

“He's gone about his business. We haven’t tried to intervene or panic of kneekerk in any way. That’s his business. What the fall out is in actual numbers we don’t know, but we don’t believe them to be all that large. In terms of the agreements we struck with Hone, standing a party is in the terms of the agreement. What the breach is if he was standing candidates in our electorates,” he says.

Mr Bird says the Maori Party is still a couple of weeks away from reestablishing Maori Party branches in Tai Tokerau, but a decision on standing a candidate in that electorate depends on whether Mr Harawira honours his side of the agreement.


It may be Easter, but the part of the New Testament Dave Taui has in mind is the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

Mr Taui is the organiser of the first Ngongotaha Trout Festival, a weekend of music, food and fishing at Ngongotaha Domain near Lake Rotorua.

He says as well as listening to the likes of House of Shem, Moana and the Tribe and Cornerstone Roots, festival-goers can sample the local delicacy.

He says the organisers have been stockpiling trout, and since it can’t be sold, it will be given away.


The biggest event of the year for Maori Catholics is in Tauranga this weekend, where Aquinas College is hosting the Hui Aranga.

Organising secretary Pam Bidois says more than 1500 people are expected at the Gathering of the Resurrection, which has been held every Easter since 1946.

She says a wide range of activities will keep everyone busy, including services, kapa haka, sports competitions, choirs and sacred solos.

It's a year today since New Zealand endorsed the Declaration on the Rights of indigenous Peoples, but Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says it has yet to deliver the benefits the Maori Party hoped for when co-leader Pita Sharples spoke at the United Nations.

He says the tough economic situation has slowed progress on acknowledgement of Maori rights, but the party takes a long term view.

He says like considering the Treaty of Waitangi part of New Zealand’s constitutional framework, it can take some time for change to happen.


Associate Maori Affairs Minister Georgina Te Heuheu says she's backing a push to shift the emphasis on Maori language revitalisation into the home.

A report by a ministerial review panel headed by Sir Tamati Reedy said the government didn't seem to be getting value for money from its spending on television, radio and the education sector generally.

It recommended a new governance structure and more emphasis on language transmission at whanau level.

Mrs te Heu Heu says that's key to the revival.

“The reo must grow within the family and the whanau. Whatever else does or doesn’t happen in terms of their recommendations, I think that is a singularly important thing for us to think about,” she says.

Mrs Te Heuheu says there are successful examples within her own Tuwharetoa iwi of whanau who have successfully made a commitment to grow the language within the family.


A doco-drama to be screened on Maori Television on ANZAC Day will argue there is a third Maori Victoria Cross winner.

Director Julian Arahanga says World War 1 flying ace William Rhodes Moorhouse was the first airman to win the highest military honour.

Mr Aranga says when he looked more closely at the Royal Air Force pilot's New Zealand connections, he found his grandparents were settler-politician William Barnard Rhodes and Otahui from Ngati Ruanui.

Rhodes-Moorhouse’s mother Mary Ann inherited her father's wealth and moved to England, where her son was born.


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