Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Maori Party determined to put up strong challenge

Maori Party president Pem Bird says the party will be fighting fit to contest the Te Tai Tokerau by-election on June 25.

It's scrambling to rebuild the infrastructure lost when MP Hone Harawira quit the party in February, and to find a candidate to stand against the new mana party head.

Mr Bird says the party has capacity to make a strong showing.

“We've come through a turbulent time since the beginning of the year and in fact it’s strengthened our resolve, it’s made us a hell of a lot more determined and we’ve picked up a hell of a lot of support,” Mr Bird says.

Nominations for the te tai Tokerau by-election close on May 31


An Auckland transport company owner is hoping to hear the words "Otautahi, maraka, maraka" ringing out wherever he goes next week.

Peter King from Super Shuttle is organising the Super Haka, a simultaneous event in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin next Thursday lunchtime.

With the backing of the Ngai tahu Runanga, he wants people to get together to perform the Ngai Tahu haka as a show of support for the people of earth-quake-hit Christchurch.

Anyone interested should go to the superhaka.com website to get the words of the haka and see what they need to do.


A Maori poet says polytechs are proving a good source of new writing talent.

Hinemoana Baker is putting together an online literary journal for Porirua-based Whitireria Polytechnic, where she teaches at the School of Creative Writing.

She's excited by the submissions so far from current students as well as graduates and staff.

Hinemoana Baker says she's always keen to see more young Maori trying their hand at poetry.


Hone Harawira is rating himself the underdog in the te Tai Tokerau by-election ... but he's confident of winning.

The independent MP resigns on May 20, and hopes his new Mana party will be registered in time for the June 25 poll so he can come back into Parliament as a part leader.

He says Labour candidate Kelvin Davis will retain his parliamentary salary and have one of the largest political machines in the country behind him, and the Maori party candidate can also draw on the help of four MPs.

“It is going to be tough because I go back on the dole. All I am going to have is my commitment to the kaupapa and my demonstrated commitment to the people to Tai Tokerau not just for the last five years as an MP but for the last 25 years since I have been living back home, so I will put my record up against I don’t care who the opposition is and let the people make the choice,” Mr Harawira says.


While Hone Harawira is moving into his campaign to retain Te Tai Tokerau, the other high profile member of the Mana Party is thousands of kilomtres away.

Rotorua lawyer Annette Sykes of Ngati Pikiao is in Seattle to speak at the university of Washington on the issues facing Maori women and communities.

She says the conference on indigenous wellness has attracted top flight women academics from many of North America's top universities.

“For all of us to be in the same room together, brining multiple issues facing and confronting indigenous women, indigenous communities, and the historical trauma that continues to disenfranchise us, it’s the best rongoa given all the things that are happening to us at home at the moment,” Ms Sykes says.

Her visit could lead to her raising Maori issues in more international forums.


Sports awards recognise coaches, and now music manager are getting their due.

The Music Managers Forum has drawn up its finalists for the annual managers award, including those who look after the careers of Kora, Anika Moa, Maisey Rika and Batucada Sound Machine.

Forum member Wairere Iti says most managers do the work it for the love of the music rather than for money.

He says more Maori managers are needed to cope with the Maori talent available, and that may mean some creative types moving over to the business side.

The awards are part of the Music Month Summit, which has the theme of how to make money in music.


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