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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Whanau Ora story oversold

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira says the Maori Party has over-sold the success of its Whanau Ora policy.

Mr Harawira says in his campaign for the Te Tai Tonga by-election, he's constantly having to explain why he left the Maori Party.

He says he got frustrated on its inability to deliver on the kaupapa it was elected on ... and it's spinning of what little it did get out of National, like the flagship social service delivery programme.

“People talk it up tara tara but all we got was the words. In terms of the budget, we got probably 0.7 percent of the social welfare budget for whanau ora, and of that, John Key insisted it be for all New Zealanders so in terms of Maori we’ve probably got 0.1 percent in terms of its direct assistance to Maori,” Mr Harawira says.

He says the Maori Party voted in favour of National's funding for private schools, but failed to win increased funding for kura kaupapa Maori.


Labour MP Parekura Horomia says former whip Darren Hughes should be given a second chance by the party.

He says the list MP showed his principles by resigning from Parliament to lay to rest the media storm surrounding a police investigation about allegations made by an 18 year old man.

The police this week said the allegations do not reach the evidential threshold required to bring charges.

Mr Horomia say Mr Hughes is a big supporter of Maori.

“He's one of the few MPs there who can talk in the reo fluently. He did a lot of time among the wananga people in Raukawa and he’s always been supportive of Maori issues and I’m really glad for Darren’s sake he got through this mess and looking forward to what the future holds for him,” he says.

Mr Horomia says everybody has bouncy bits in their past, but politicans can be more exposed to that than other people.


The head of Quitline, Paula Snowden, says she's impressed with the way rangatahi are challenging their elders to give up smoking.

More than 100 young people joined Quitline kaumatua Amster Reedy of Ngati Porou at a dawn ceremony in Wellington yesterday to encourage people to start the Maori new year smoke free.

Paula Snowden says it was a great way to celebrate Matariki, with rangatahi laying the challenge down to parents and elders.

Quitline is suggesting schools use a haka composed by Raureti Mokonuia-rangi in 1883 as a warning to his people of the danger of smoking.


The head of Destiny Church's social services arm says the church should back the Mana party and its leader Hone Harawira.

George Ngatai from Te Oranga Ake says the church has a policy of not publicly supporting political parties.

But he says Mr Harawira is standing up against the wrongs of the current system.

“Hone is not afraid to challenge anyone and stand up for anything that benefits Maori because if it benefits Maori, if it is good for Maori, it will be good for the rest of the country, and I think we need a lot more politicians ready to challenge that sort of stand,” Mr Ngatai says.

He says the National-Maori Party government has discriminated against Destiny by turning down more than 300 applicaitons for state contr5acts over the past three years.


Rugby league legend Awen Guttenbiel says the Maori contribution to the game in South Auckland was celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the Otahuhu club last weekend.

Mr Guttenbiel says the club has been to the forefront of getting Maori youngsters into rugby league for generations and the turnout of superstars recognised this.

He says five former Kiwi captains who had played for the club ran out in the masters’ game, including Rueben Wiki and Hugh McGann.


The co-ordinator of Auckland's Matariki celebrations says recognition of the Maori new year is growing in strength.

Nigel Borrell is organising tomorrow night's Stars of Matariki concert at the Telstra Pacific Events Centre in Manukua, featuring Maori reggae band Nesian Mystik and singer Bella Kalolo.


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