Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Police flotilla role an abuse of politics

Greens co-leader Meteria Turei is accusing Prime Minister John Key and acting Energy Minister Hekia Parata of abusing state power against iwi who are protesting oil exploration off East Cape.

The government got the navy to take police out over the Raukumara Basin to warn Greenpeace and Te Whanau a Apanui protesters to stay clear of ships doing seismic surveys for Petrobras.

Ms Turei says if the protest was on land it would be seen as a simple picket line.

“These things are lawful protests and for the police to be involved in this way is a disgrace. This is about the exercise of political power by John Key and Hekia Parata and they need to be held responsibility doing this and their abuse of the iwi and what the iwi are trying to do,” she says.

Ms Turei says ACT leader Rodney Hides' description of the protesters as eco-terrorists eco-terrorists was grossly offensive to Maori.


West Auckland's Tu Wahine Trust is urging whanau to speak out about violence.

An amendment to the Crimes Act fast-tracked through Parliament this week means family members or friends can be held accountable if they fail to come forward when they know a child is being abused.

Trust spokesperson Ngaroimata Reid says Tu Wahine is concerned at the pressure this could put on women in violent relationships.

“We're not saying that there is going to be a huge impact but we are concerned about the impact on our wider whanau in those situations. On the wider front we are hoping it encourages our wider whanau hapu iwi to speak out about abuse so it can be healed and it can be dealt with,” Ms Reid says.


Maori Television is looking at bringing in other indigenous broadcasters to help with its Rugby World Cup coverage.

The free-to-air broadcaster is showing all 48 matches, with commentary on its main channel mostly in English and a Maori commentary on the Reo Channel.

Programming manager Haunui Royal says other members of the World Indigenous Broadcast Network are also interested.

He says three partners in the network are coming, including broadcasters from Wales and Ireland.

Maori television will show 16 matches including all the All Black matches live, with the remaining games getting a delayed screening.


The head of Auckland's Maori statutory board says some fancy financial footwork means it can drop its High Court case against the Auckland super city council.

The board agreed to the council's offer of $34,000 extra for the year ending June 30, with next year's budget to be negotiated.

David Taipari says the board will be able to complete this year's work plan for the amount supplied, because it no longer has to carry the whole cost on its own budget.

“We're looking at potential support services, possibly some secondment of staff which will come directly under the board and that the council will help half contribute to some of our research programmes and our audit programme so the funding we’ve got, we’ll put some in and the council will put some in as well,” he says.

Mr Taipari says the row means the board and the council now have a process to work out costs, so they don't need the court to rule on whether the way the council slashed the original $3.4 million budget was lawful.


The director of Massey University's Research Centre for Maori Health and Development says organisations which provide care for the elderly need to consider the changing nature of the Maori population.

Chris Cunningham spoke to Age Concern's national conference yesterday on the sort of services Maori might need.

He says while today's Maori population is younger than the norm, eventually they will make up an increasing percentage of the elderly, and will have a diverse range of needs, from more conservative Maori to those who are marginalized to those who are able to fit into both Maori and Pakeha worlds.

“We need to understand this diversity is in place so there is not going to be a one Maori solution which fits all when it comes to services,” Dr Cunningham says.

Not all older Maori elderly like to be acknowledged as kaumatua as some think it's a functionary role.


Normal classes are off today at Waikato University, as staff and students celebrate Kingitanga Day.

Pou Temara, the Head of the School of Maori Development, says Te Ra o te Kingitanga aims to strengthen the relationship between the university and its landlord.

University staff and students will attend lectures, talks and seminars abut the relationship with the Kingitanga and iwi and about Maori oriented issues.

Guest speakers including Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples, former prime minister Jim Bolger, Matatini chair Selwyn Parata and Wayne Mapp, and students also have a chance to take part in weaving and craft workshops, poi, haka and ta moko demonstrations and entertainment.


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