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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, May 27, 2011

Iwi plea for chance to buy assets

Tainui leader Tukoroirangi Morgan has made a direct appeal to the Prime Minister for iwi to get a chance to buy state assets.

John Key was invited by the tribe to open the new $65 million Novotel Auckland Airport hotel, which is 70 percent owned by Tainui Group Holdings.

Mr Morgan said he looked forward to talking with Mr Key after the election about National's policy of selling down state assets like the power generators and Air New Zealand.

“Alongside other iwi we will participate in what is a magnificent opportunity to secure shareholdings in some of this country’s high performing companies. Enduring relationships is what matters to this tribe. Governments come and go, corporates do have a finite life, but iwi are forever,” he says.

John Key said later that National still had work to do to convinced the public of the merits of asset sales, but Kiwi mums and dads would be the front of the queue, and there would be no special mechanism for iwi buyers.


Labour list MP Kelvin Davis says iwi should not be trying to help the government sell a privatisation plan that is unacceptable to the bulk of Maori.

Mr Davis, who lines up against his Te Tai Tokerau by-election rivals at Tau Henare marae in Pipiwai near Whangarei tonight, says selling power company and airline shares isn't going to help the struggling families in the electorate.

“We know as soon as assets are flogged off to supposed kiwi mums and dads, before you know it we will have overseas interests come in and snap them up and before we know it we will be paying our power bills in Beijing,” Mr Davis says.


Opposition from neighbouring landowners backed by cashed-up Trademe investor Gareth Morgan has led the Government to pull the plug on a settlement which would have returned the bulk of the Maungatautari ecological reserve to a Waikato hapu.

Ngati Koroki Kahukura negotiator Willie te Ahu says the deal was supposed to be signed on Monday.

But he says Treaty Negotiations minister Chris Finlayson called the hapu in this week to say he had asked retired High Court judge Sir David Thompkins QC to look into the landowners' concerns and their threats to cut the pest-proof fence.

“We were somewhat upset because we think it’s a minority of four farmers and a millionaire behind them with Gareth Morgan that’s actually going contrary to not only the iwi but the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust and the bulk of the community that are in favour of both the ecological island and the treaty settlement,” Mr Te Aho says.

Ngati Koroki Kahukura is still committed to getting legislation that will protect the special character of the bush-clad mountain.


The Government has appointed a retired High Court judge to look into the escalating row between a Waikato hapu and landowners around the Maungatautari ecological reserve.

A spokesperson for Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson confirmed Sir David Thompkins QC was called in after cabinet postponed a proposed settlement with Ngati Koroki Kahukura which was due to be signed on Monday.

Negotiator Willie te Aho says the hapu hopes Sir David will get to the bottom of the dispute which has led to some landowners threatening to cut the 45 kilometre long pest-proof fence around the central Waikato mountain.

“There's 24 landowners and only four of them with minor interests have been able to do the media thing and capture the attention of some politicians but I think we will get the in the long run,” Mr Te Aho says.


There's recriminations in the Maori Party about the selection of a political unknown to contest the high-profile Te Tai Tokerau by-election.

Co-leader Pita Sharples says the Maori Party's constitution gives the power to the electorate committees, so the leadership had no say in the selection of Solomon Tipene over actor and Ngati Hine leader Waihoroi Shorrtland and lawyer Mere Mangu.

But he says he's looking forward to getting behind Mr Tipene ... and he has a message for the north.

“We haven't turned our back on you, don’t you turn your back on us. We are the only independent Maori Party in Parliament in the history of Government in this New Zealand and if you kill us off now, I don’t think there will ever be another Maori Party that will gain the position that we have at this time,” Dr Sharples says.

He will campaign with Mr Tipene in the electorate next week.


Te Uri o Hau will decide on Sunday whether to place a rahui or ban over Kaipara harbour to protest against Crest Energy's proposed tidal power plant.

Spokesperson Mikaera Miru says Kaipara residents have shown overhelming opposition to the plans, which have been cleared by the Environment Court.

He says Sunday's hui at Pouto's Waiaretu Marae will decide whether a more traditional protest is called for.

“When the law fails, as an iwi we have no choice but to move to our own tribal tikanga or tribal customs to impose a rahui to do in effect what the statutory obligations should have fulfilled in the first place,” Mr Miru says.

The rahui would make tapu the area where the turbines are supposed to be placed, so Crest Energy staff or contractors could not enter.


Blogger marangamai said...

Maori Party wrong about abuse thrown at them it was the Maori Party whom gave insult and abuse by cursing "get a life" and "bullshit" to the youth in Kaitaia says Mereana who heard the Maori Party say these words as she stood in close proximity by them.
SHAME is this the future of disrespect.
Mereana was sadden to hear such korero coming from two people whom hold high positions in the Maori Party

11:08 pm  

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