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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Destiny date unfinished business

Labour MP Shane Jones says the attendance of Maori MPs at a Destiny Church event cannot be read as a sign for some of the movement's more extreme positions.

Maori academic Leonie Pihema has slammed Mr Jones, Hone Harawira, Tau Henare and Pita Sharples for failing to challenge church leader Brian Tamaki's teachings on homosexuality and the role of women when they spoke at the Destiny's annual conference at the weekend.

Mr Jones says he regularly accepts invitations to speak to church groups ... and in the case of Destiny there is unfinished business with Labour.

“There's been a lot of bad blood historically between elements of the Labour Party and that particular group. Three and a half thousand people washed through their convention, predominantly Maori, I’m in the business of securing Maori support for Labour so I’ve got no compunction about fronting up to them,” he says.

Mr Jones says it's clear Destiny wants taxpayer funding for its social programmes, but it had created problems for itself with its extreme attacks on the previous Labour Government.


A member of Te Huarahi Tika Trust (Maori Spectrum Trust) says he's keen for people to realise how much treaty claims are contributing to the New Zealand economy.

Anthony Royal is speaking at the first of three Nga Korero Tataki leadership events for Matariki being run by Auckland's Unitec.

He says the Maori spectrum claims, which led to an investment in mobile phone company Two Degrees, shows what can come out of Maori direct action.

“And now that Two Degrees is up and running and has become quite successful I think it’s time we told the story of how Maori can really contribute not just to the Maori economy but to the whole economy of New Zealand,” he says.

Antony Royal will share the Unitec stage tonight with artist Lonnie Hutchinson and Te Rarawa chair Haami Piripi.


The Kaitiaki o Kapiti Trust is offering a young Maori writer the chance to spend eight weeks on the island sanctuary.

Trustee John Barrett says last year's winner, Nuki Takao of Ngati Rarua, Te Ati Awa and Tuhoe, managed to complete a children's book and two short stories during her stay.

He says the trust is looking for writers at the start of their career who want to test some ideas or who is looking for space to spend a few weeks thinking and creating.

The Tau Mai e Kapiti Maori Writer's Residency comes with a $4800 stipend.


Meteria Turei says National would have to drop large chunks of its agenda if it wants support from the Greens.

The Greens' annual conference voted that no options would be off the table after the election, prompting former MP Sue Bradford to claim she had quit parliament because of the party's shift to the right ... rather than being beaten by Ms Turei for the co-leadership.

Ms Turei says the bar for National would be set high.

“They would have to change a great deal of their policy platform and their approach and I think that’s a challenge for them but if they wanted to have a different kind of relationship with the Greens but we‘ll work with them constructively where we can and we’ve said that we would prefer to support a Labour-led government,” she says,


The ministry of Maori Development and its chief executive have scored passing grades in the latest Trans Tasman survey of the public service.

The political newsletter's 22-strong independent board of advisors says while Te Puni Kokiri chief executive Leith Comer is considered kind and well-meaning, he has failed to achieve anything of substance.

It blames constant changes in Ministerial direction and unclear strategic vision, as well as intractable and bureaucratic procurement systems.

Te Puni Kokiri improved over the course of the year on almost all the indexes measured by TransTasman, which include CEO performance, ease of doing business with the department, Budget performance and value for money.

The top CEO for the year was departing Ministry of Social Development boss Peter Hughes, with Conservation boss Al Morrison number two, after being unranked last year,


Film-maker Hineani Melbourne wants to tell the story of Nga Tamatoa.

It's one of 14 projects to receive funding from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage in this year's New Zealand Oral History Awards.

Ms Melbourne says few people now know much about the young warriors of the early 1970s who fought for causes like getting te reo Maori taught in schools.

“There's a lot of concentration on old Maori history like pre-European but I’m just aware that often our young people who are attending kura kaupapa for example, including their teachers, really don’t know the struggle that has gone to ensure to ensure they are able to attend those schools, that they are able to learn in Maori,” she says

Hineani Melbourne says oral history is cheaper to produce than film, and the project will extend her knowledge.


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