Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tainui hotel a taste of the best

The country's newest hotel is opening about now with a distinct Maori flavour.

King Tuheitia and prime minister John Key are doing the honours at the 260-room Novotel Auckland Airport, a joint venture between Tainui, the airport company and French hotel operator Accor.

Tainui Group Holdings chief executive Mike Pohio says the hotel not only includes sound reducing technologies so guests are not disturbed by aircraft noise, but it is designed with high quality local materials to give it a distinct Tainui flavour.

“This hotel has been developed specifically for its location. That includes all of the technical aspects like noise but it’s also being developed to give a presence for the entry and exit to New Zealand,” Mr Pohio says.

The downturn in the construction market means Tainui was able to complete the project under its $65 million budget.


Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia says he finds it shameful that New Plymouth District Council still refuses to create dedicated seats for Maori.

Mr Horomia says this week's council decision shows the history of dispossession in the province continues, more than 150 years after settlers first provoked the war in Waitara.

He says the council is ignoring the lessons of Parihaka, where Maori used non-violent strategies to counter land confiscation.

“Te Whiti and Tohu said when their land was plundered and the British chased them, they said ‘they will take the land but only have the shadow because it is still within our soul,’ and the soul of Taranaki is still strong and people need to respect that,” Mr Horomia says.

He says Maori seats are a way for councils to acknowledge history and move on.


The Maori Party's Te Tai Tokorau by-election candidate says don't expect any mud-slinging in the campaign.

Solomon Tipene says he's looking forward to contesting the seat held by his great uncle Tau Henare from 1914 to 1948.

The 64-year-old says there are also family connections to his rivals, Labour's Kelvin Davis and Hone Harawira from the Mana party.

“Both Hone and Kelvin are my whanaunga. Long after politics comes and goes I have to work and live with these folk and the Maori Party is very clear that we will work with whichever party is in the house and if they want to focus on Maori issues, we will work with them,” Mr Tipene says.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says the government's housing budget is a national disgrace and will hurt Maori.

Ms Turei says the country is suffering a major housing crisis, with substandard and overcrowded living conditions leading to health and social problems.

She says this year's budget allocates just $9 million to Housing new Zealand, compared with the $80 to $90 million a year in extra spending under the previous government.

“There's a huge amount of poverty that our country faces, Maori in particular, that’s a direct result of miserable housing and so for government to say ‘we’re just not interested in it any more’ is a total disgrace,” Ms Turei says.

She says poor housing leads to both family upheaval and childhood illnesses which contributes to lower educational achievement among Maori.


Te Tai Tokerau candidate Hone Harawira says his model for resolving the foreshore and seabed issue could be used to protect the country being bought up by foreign owners.

Mr Harawira's idea, rejected by his then-Maori Party colleagues and their coalition partner, was for the coast to be put into a tupuna title and held for Maori.

He says if significant public assets were put in such a title, it would ensure they would be there for all time for all new Zealanders.

“I think we should be initiating principles to ensure that godzone remains in the hands of god’s children. That’s us. No offence to everyone else in the rest of the world but this is a beautiful land and it’s our duty and our responsibility to protect it for our children and our grandchildren, and one way to do that is legislate it so it never gets lost again,” Mr Harawira says.


A reconciliation day between Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson and Ngati Raukawa Settlement Trust has revealed divisions in the south Waikato iwi about the claim process.

The Raukawa Settlement Trust says Wednesday's hui at Papa-o-Te-Aroha Marae in Tokoroa was modeled on South Africa's truth and reconciliation commission, and gave iwi members a chance to tell Crown officials of their pain.

But claimant Sharon Clair says that should have been done through the Waitangi Tribunal process ... which the trust has by-passed in its rush to instigate direct negotiations.

“Because of the direct negotiation process, it’s all happened too fast and too rushed and the communication isn’t flowing easy and there is a break down in relation ships and a convoluted mess really of concerns,” she says.

Ms Clair says she intends to ask the tribunal to separate out her claims so she and her hapu can pursue a separate settlement.


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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