Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Protein not land argument silly

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is rejecting the defence by an old political adversary for a Chinese bid for Crafar Farms.

Former prime minister Jenny Shipley told TV One's Q+A show that the Shanghai Pengxin bid to buy the 16 farms from receivers KordaMentha was about a desire for protein, not for land.

Mr Peters says that's ridiculous.

“Wouldn't matter whether it’s Americans, Canadians or Chinese, the fact is you do not give away, from a country that is a leading developer and organiser of high quality cheap dairy products, the source of that wealth. This is a very circuitous and silly argument that I'm hearing,” he says.

Mr Peters says the government should be doing more to back New Zealand bids for the farms, such as one which involved Tainui.


MP Nanaia Mahuta says the Waipa District Council is partly to blame for creating a rift within Ngati Koroki Kahukura over stewardship of the Maungatautari ecological reserve near Cambridge.

The iwi, which stands to get the bulk of the mountain back under its treaty settlement, is at loggerheads with Maungatautari 4G4, a whanau trust which controls one of the main access points.

Ms Mahuta says while the iwi wants to keep the gate open, the trust has advice from the council, which has since been withdrawn, that it would be liable if anyone was injured passing through its property.

She hopes it can be worked through with negotiation.


The Fire Service's Rotorua's area manager is urging Maori to take up the offer of free smoke alarms as winter sets in.

Graham Fuller says since the start of the year the service has been installing smoke alarms and giving safety advice to people who are most at risk of having fires in their homes.

He says most fires in Maori homes are the result of unattended cooking and children playing with matches and lighters, and Maori people make up a larger proportion of the Central Lakes District fire death statistics than other groups.


Opponents of oil prospecting off East Cape will march through Gisborne today to mark the first anniversary of the explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ani Pahuru-Huriwai from Te Ahi Ka says that disaster looms large in the fight against Brazilian oil giant Petrobras ... because it happened at the same time the Government was signing off the deal without reference to Ngati Porou or Te Whanau a Apanui.

The hikoi will leave Te Poho o Rawiri marae at the base of Kaiti Hill at 3 in the afternoon heading for Heipipi Endeavour Park in the centre of town.


The author of a new report on Maori adult literacy says policies aimed at improving achievement levels of Maori children also need to look at their parents.

He Whanau Matau, He Whanau Ora was lauched yesterday at a symposium run by its sponsors, Literacy Aotearoa and the Council for Education Research.

Helen Potter says by interviewing adult literacy providers and their students, she found parents who learned to read took a greater role in their children's education.

She recommends a new approach.

“When government is looking at their policies and interventions to improve the literacy and numeracy of Maori children at school, that they also turn their attention to the literacy and numeracy of whanau and parents and that they include that in their whole policy mix, that there is a holistic framework and not just kids in isolation,” Ms Potter says.

Literacy providers should become part of any whanau ora strategy, because literacy is key to that policy's aims for whanau development.


Auckland mayor Len Brown wants to seek waka racing as part of the annual Auckland Anniversary regatta on Waitamata harbour.

Mr Brown says the day marks the arrival in Tamaki Makaurau in 1840 of the first governor, William Hobson, fresh from signing the Treaty of Waitangi.

He says in the city's early days it included waka and whale boat races.

Len Brown say the waka races on the Waikato river at Ngaruawahia during Coronation weekend are a sign of what can be done.


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