Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Candidate on attack over waka jumping slur

Mana candidate Hone Harawira has admitted his campaign team is having to explain to potential voters why he quit the Maori Party.

Labour list MP Shane Jones has reported strong sentiment in Te Tai Tokerau against waka jumpers, with people reminding canvassers the both Matiu Rata and Tau Henare lost the electorate after they quit their parties.

Mr Harawira says it's a question he's getting a lot, and his answer is the Maori Party moved on issues like education funding, the increase in GST and the best way to recognise Maori interests in the foreshore and seabed.

“In terms of our core issues, we were going backwards. I’ve got memos on these things challenging us to be stronger against National, challenging us to be more open to Labour and the Greens but my party just refused to go along with any of those things so at the end of the day I felt we were moving too far away from our kaupapa, I felt we were moving too close to National,” he says.

Early voting has opened for the by-election, with 16 booths in the electorate and election registrars around the country also accepting votes.


The Maori youth council wants mainstream schools to take lessons from kura kaupapa Maori.

The council delivered its report to Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples today, including recommendations on education, youth justice, the creative arts and youth representation.

Wiremu Flavell says they adopted Sir Mason Durie's education goals for Maori to live as Maori, actively participate as cities of the world and enjoy good and a high standard of living.

He says schools mainstream schools need to strengthen relations with their community, as Maori immersion schools do.

Mr Flavell says the council has also recommended that all teachers to increase their understanding of Maori language and culture.


A North Shore Maori women's support group is trying to help men turn their lives around.

Chair Lucy Ripia says the Mana Wahine Trust will hold eight wananga for men over the next two months.

She says it already has considerable experience supporting women in with a range of issues from drug and alcohol problems to re-entering the workforce, and it has developed similar programmes for men.


The Destiny Church is crying discrimination over the failure by its social services arm to win government contracts.

Te Oranga Ake manager George Ngatai says over the past three years some 300 applications have been declined.

He says its application to become a whanau ora provider wasn't treated seriously and it never got a change to make its case.

“There's probably discrimination because of the fact we are predominantly a Maori organization and so that is certainly seen as an issue from our point of view and there is discrimination because we are predominantly a male-run organization,” Mr Ngatai says.

Destiny's involvement in Community Max actually cost Te Oranga Ake money, because the $850,000 paid by the Ministry for Social Development only covered wages, with overheads covered by the provider.


ACT's Epsom candidate says if he's returned to parliament he will fight for the Maori underdogs filling the country's jails.

John Banks says when he was MP for Whangarei in the 1990s he made sure there were work schemes for Black Power gang members in his electorate.

The former Auckland mayor told Radio Waatea host Titewhai Harawira that he won't sit back and watch young Maori wind up on the dole or in prison because they can't get trade training.

“I'm going down to Wellington and represent the underdog because if the underdog is not represented, then this country doesn’t have a future. I’m not talking about all the politically correct BS we have to put up with. I’m talking abut the jails that are full of Maori and Pacific youngsters that have drug and alcohol problems that need help,” he says.

John Banks says the current approach of releasing people from prison and expecting them to behave themselves when they can't get jobs is bankrupt.


The Alcohol Advisory Council's new Pou Arahi Maori wants whanau to learn to have fun without too much alcohol.

Matiu Julian of Nga Ruahine and Te Atihaunui-a-Paparangi comes to the job after working in Maori health and education in Taranaki.

He says binge drinking and reckless behaviour is a problem for Maori, and with the Rugby World Cup coming up it's important to make sure whanau drink responsibly and that people are okay.

ALAC is working on new messages for Maori to complement the current "ease up" campaign


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