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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Solomon Tipene chosen for Te Tai Tokerau run

Maori Party president Pem Bird says that while the party's Te Tai Tokerau by-election candidate is not a national figure, he is well-known and respected in the electorate.

He says Solomon Tipene, the co-chair of the party's Whangarei branch, was the selection panel's unanimous choice ahead of Ngati Hine leader Waihoroi Shortland and lawyer Mere Mangu.

“He's well grounded in the ways of his old people, he’s had huge experience in the public service and local government also but he is a very dignified person, comes across as a humble person,” Mr Bird says.

He is confident Mr Tipene will win back the electorate for the Maori Party on June 25 against immediate past MP Hone Harawira and Labour's Kelvin Davis.


Ngai Tahu chairman Mark Solomon says Maori fishing businesses will have got a boost out of this week's Maui national fisheries hui in Nelson.

More than 200 delegates from iwi and fishing businesses heard from industry leaders and government representatives.

Mr Solomon says such hui are not just about sharing knowledge, but they help cement the relationships that will allow iwi to grow their wealth.

“The biggest advantage we have is the economies of scale if we do work together, and those sort of dialogues ore going on all over the country at the moment, looking at it as a concept,” Mr Solomon says.


Today's investiture of Sir Tamati Reedy in the shadow of Mount Hikurangi turned into a celebration of te reo Maori.

Broadcaster Whai Ngata says iwi from around the country joined Ngati Porou at Hiruharama Pa south of Ruatoria to witness governor general Sir Anand Satyanand bestow the title of knight companion of the New Zealand Order of merit on the tribal leader and educator.

He says the contributions of pupils from the areas schools bore witness to the work Sir Tamati has done reviving and strengthening the language.


The Maori Party's candidate for the Te Tai Tokerau by-election says he wants to restore stability to Maori politics of the north.

Solomon Tipene, the iwi relationships manager for the Whangarei District Council, was selected ahead of Ngati Hine chairperson Waihoroi Shortland and lawyer Mere Mangu.

He says unlike Hone Harawira, who forced the by-election to seek a mandate for his new Mana Party, he's not a waka jumper.

“We need some stability, we need to build confidence, we need to bring all of those things together and give our people some choices up here. I’m convinced by my own analysis that all our original Maori Party supporters are looking for that and may the best person win,” Mr Tipene says.


The Ngai Tahu runanga is in no hurry to get back into its central Christchurch headquarters, despite news its unstable neighbour is to be demolished.

Earthquake recovery minister Gerry Brownlee today announced that Fletcher Building had been given a contract to pull down the Grand Chancellor hotel, which has been on a lean since the February earthquake.

It could take up to a year to deconstruct the 26-storey, but Ngai Tahu chair Mark Solomon says the runanga is taking care of business from its temporary premises on former defence force land at Wigram.

While its tourism businesses are suffering from a 15 percent drop in visitor numbers, the other businesses are doing business as usual.

Mark Solomon says Ngai Tahu expects to be based at Wigram for at least the next two years.


South Auckland Maori health provider Hapai te Hauora believes its first youth awards have gone some way to turning around the negative stereotypes associated with the region's rangatahi.

Organiser Thomas Strickland says last night's awards came out of a series of hui looking at the region's problems.

He says they garnered a large number of entries, with some amazing stories of the work rangatahi have done in their communities around issues like bullying and drug use.


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