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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

MP defends mother’s right to let her heart speak

Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira says he understands the frustration that led to his mother Titewhai verbally berating Maori Party leaders at Waitangi.

Ngati Kawa elders are considering banning Mrs Harawira from te Tii Marae because of her sustained outburst at a hui last week.

Mr Harawira says the Maori Party leadership had refused invitations to come to the north for two years, but turns up with a by-election looming.

“They came after they’d stabbed me in the back and then they came up here looking to replace me so I’m not surprised they copped that. I’m certainly not going to deny my mother the opportunity to say what’s been in her heart.” He says.

Mr Harawira says like most other guys he can't tell his mum to be quiet even if he wanted to.


National's Mangere candidate says she wants to remind people in the south Auckland electorate there are Maori in the party.

Television producer Claudette Hauiti of Ngati Porou and Nga Puhi says she's up for the challenge of taking the seat from Labour's Su'a William Sio.

She says the modern National Party has shown it is open to Maori voices.

Paula Bennett, Tau Henare, Joanne Hayes who has jest been selected for Dunedin South, there’s myself, there’s Hekia (Parata), there’s Jami Lee Ross in Botany, there’s Paul Quinn, there’s quite a few of us. It shows we are not one homogenous lot. We have many and varied viewpoints,” Ms Hauiti says.

She's starting her campaign with weekly cottage hui in the electorate.


Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga has secured almost $2 million for kaumatua housing from the government's Housing Innovation Fund.

Housing Minister Phil Heatley says the dollar for dollar subsidy is designed to help organisations providing homes for people on low to moderate incomes or with special housing needs.

He says the Flaxmere-based trust has come up with a solution which addresses a range of social issues.

“What they'll do is they’ll build the house, there will be 11 kaumatua living here, there will be shared laundry and cooking facilities and what that means is there will not only be a roof for the people living there but they will have other health and education services around them,” Mr Heatley says.

Money from the fund is also going to Ngati Mutunga o Wharekauri in the Chatham Islands to build three 3-bedroom houses and two 1-bedroom rental units for kaumatua.


The principal of Kawerau Intermediate says a hikoi to Wellington has strengthened his sense there are two New Zealands.
About 250 students and whanau descended on Parliament today to protest the imminent closure of the 150-pupil school, which has a 95 percent Maori roll.
Daryl Aim says while they were being welcomed by Maori Party MPs, he saw in the background a group of students from a nearby girls' college walking past in their blazers and ties.

“They looked sensational. We’re living in a New Zealand where there’s a split, two New Zealands. There were those kids and then we’ve got the flip side, the Kawerau kids. We subsidise the uniforms, we support the families and the community, we feed the kids at school and here we are about to close a school that does so much for its kids and the wider community,” Mr Aim says.

Mrl Aim says Education Minister Anne Tolley gave the delegation until June 1 to make the case why the school should not close ... and even if today's hikoi is unsuccessful, the trip to the big city was a great educational experience for the tamariki.


Northland's medical officer of health says public health authorities need to partner with Maori communities if they want to rid the country of rheumatic fever.

Jonathan Jarman says the disease isn't being given a high enough priority because it's mainly seen in Maori and Pacific island communities.

Of the 16 cases in Northland last year, virtually all were Maori school aged children.

“We have this striking health inequality and we’re using Pakeha methods to try to solve it. But it doesn’t work and I believe that we actually have to engage more with communities is an partnership and work with people and empower them and this is hopefully, along with the Pakeha method, going to make a bigger difference,” Dr Jarman says.

New Zealand still has high levels of the disease which has been almost eradicated in most developed countries.


Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia says she has is getting a lot of support for her push to mark November 5 as Parihaka Day rather than Guy Fawkes.

That's the day in 1881 when colonial troops invaded the Taranaki settlement to suppress a non-violent movement that was resisting land confiscation.

Mrs Turia says the idea put up by Parihaka elders seems to have struck a chord.

“Here is something that happened in our own country. It was a dreadful situation that happened at Parihaka. But the focus has been on the peaceful resistance to what happened at that time and so Parihaka is synonymous with peace,” she says.

Mrs Turia says the day is instead marked by the celebration of a 400-year-old act of violence in Britain by a man who tried to blow up the British parliament.


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