Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

My Photo
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, March 18, 2011

Harawira to honour no-compete deal "at this time"

Independent MP Hone Harawira says he intends to honour his separation agreement with the Maori Party and not contest seats it holds.

He says the decision on whether he forms a new party rest with elders from Te Tai Tokerau.

He has got clearance from those elders for an extensive series of meetings around the country.

“It’s looking like there is going to be a new party. It will be announced round about the middle of next month. I can’t say yet when the candidates will be announced. I can say that at this time it is not my intention to stand candidates in the Maori seats against the Maori Party members,” Mr Harawira says.

Progress been delayed because he had to be in Parliament to debate the Marine and Coastal Area - Takutai Moana -Bill.


Maori Council deputy chair Maanu Paul has been appointed to the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, filling the position vacated by the retirement of organisation's chair, Sir Graham Latimer.

The trust was set up to hold the rent from Crown forests until title to the underlying land was determined, and over the past two decades it has disbursed more than $150 million for claimants to research and negotiate of forestry claims.

Mr Paul was one the original team who negotiated the forestry settlement process with the fourth Labour government 22 years ago, along with Sir Graham Latimer, Federation of Maori Authorities representative Tama Nikora and the late Matiu Rata.

He says because of the huge sums of money under its control, there has always been strong internal debate about its direction.

“I come to the trust not with a blank page but with a clear history and experience of the inadequacies of the process and that they need to stick very closely to the conditions of the trust deed,” Mr Paul says.

Crown appointee Angela Foulkes is the trust's new chair, and Sir Graham Latimer has been named its first patron.


A spokesperson for Te Runanga O Toa Rangatira says its deal with the New Zealand Rugby Football Union gives the iwi a set of global eyes to protect the integrity of their iconic haka, Ka Mate.

The agreement was signed yesterday at Takapuwahia Marae in Porirua setting terms for the use and protection of the haka, written by their ancestor Te Rauparaha.

Jennie Smeaton says the iwi has been upset at the use of the haka in overseas advetisements, but has not had the resources to take offenders to task.

“The NZRU has measures in place for quite some time to protect the haka, their brand, the jersey, and it’s just one way of us working together to protect something that is really important to us and ensure people do not use it inappropriately or offensively
Ms Smeaton says.


Independent Maori MP Hone Harawira says Labour leader Phil Goff is letting political opportunism override sound judgment.

Mr Goff this week ruled out having the Tai Tokerau MP or any party he leads as a coalition partner, although Labour's senior Maori MP, Parekura Horomia, indicated the door could still be ajar.

Mr Harawira says Mr Goff's action will have people questioning his state of mind.

“I think the concern for Phil has to be that people don’t see him as a credible leader any more. But, I can work with Labour any day, whether Phil’s in charge or Shane’s in charge. As Parekura rightly said, him and I have worked many times on projects in the past and we could do so again. I can do it with any number of his colleagues, so I don’t see it as an issue. It is really just political opportunism on his part,” he says.

Mr Harawira says it's hard to see how he could be considered more unreliable than Phil Goff's preferred coalition partner Winston Peters, who has been dumped from Cabinet three times.


Auckland City's Maori statutory board is fighting for full representation on all 18 council committees.

Chair David Taipari says board representatives are working successfully on 11 committees, even while it is pursuing High Court action over its funding.

He says the board is talking to the council about whether it has the right to appoint members to the other committees, rather than wait to be invited.

“We've got people working with council now because we all realise the work of the board is important so we are just trying to get some determinations now so that this board and future boards don’t fall into the same trap or the same politics that have been uncovered in the last few weeks,” Mr Taipari says.


The tutor of the country's top kapa haka group says there was no hesitation when Te Matatini finalists were asked to come together for Christchurch relief.

Tomorrow night's fundraising concert in Rotorua with the nine roopu has already sold out.

Wetini Mitai Ngatai from Te Mataarae i o Rehu says over the years many friendships have been made with the Canterbury teams, and while it’s a major effort to get together so soon after the national championships, people are happy to do it for the people in Christchurch,” Mr Ngatai says.


A group from South Taranaki iwi Ngati Ruanui is on its way to Dunedin to remember ancestors who died while imprisoned in the city during the land wars.

Debbie Ngarewa-Packer says 95 prisoners were sent down in 1869, after the end of fighting with Titokowaru's forces.

When the prisoners were released three years later, 18 had died, so the trip is to pay homage to those people.

A memorial stone will be unveiled on Tuesday morning.

Ngai Tahu still meeting huge quake need

Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon says the iwi is still answering a big need for basics such as food and water in the earthquake devasted Christchurch.

A service will be held today at Hagley Park attended by Prince William to remember those killed in the quake three weeks ago.

Mr Solomon says that doesn't mean the pressure is off, and the tribe's distribution centres are flat out processing food and supplies that are arriving all the time from iwi around the country.

“We're still finding that there’s big calls for water and food and through our 0800 we’re delivering whenever people ring but there is still big need out there,” Mr Solomon says.

As well as answering immediate needs, iwi are helping families get their houses prepared for the winter which is fast approaching.


Labour Maori affairs spokesperson Parekura Horomia says this week's attack by ACT on Maori tikanga was a deliberate stunt to feed a redneck frenzy around the Marine and Coastal Area - Takutai Moana - Bill.

In the committee stages of the vote, ACT's Maori spokesperson Hilary Calvert said tikanga was an Alice and Wonderland word and no way to decide things.

Mr Horomia says ACT is using the debate around the bill to whip up support through deliberate misinterpretations.

“Kiwis are reasonably minded but there is a fringe mindset like that member’s who thinks that Maori tikanga is a joke and the sad thing or the mad thing is that that member is feeding on the redneck and extreme frenzy. Apart from it not being fair, it’s just outlandish,” Mr Horomia says.


A new workshop series has been created for young Maori and Pasifika scriptwriters to hone their craft.

The Banana Boat Newbie Scriptwriters workshop run by screenwriter David Mamea is part of this year's Young Writers Festival in Auckland.

Development coordinator Jenni Heka says it's for anyone who's passionate and just wants to put pen to paper, in the 15 to 25 year age range.

The workshop will be at Artstation in Ponsonby on Saturday week.


Kaipara Maori are bitterly disappointed at Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson's decision to give the go ahead for a tidal power plant at the harbour's entrance.

Deborah Harding, the Te Uri o Hau Settlement Trust services manager, passions have run high over the Crest Energy project, with more than 300 residents packing out a community hui in Dargarville.

She says people don't want to see their fisheries put at risk, and the iwi and hapu will question every stage of the resource consent process Crest has to go through.

She says Crest failed to properly consult with Maori or with the wider community, and Minister Wilkinson refused to meet with locals before giving the plant a tick.


The chair of Auckland's Maori statutory board says members' participation council committees is working well.

The board's judicial review of the council's decision to slash its proposed funding is to be heard by the High Court on May 2.

David Taipari says even with that hanging over them, members are sitting on 11 committees, and are receiving a warm welcome with their contributions accepted gratefully.

The board is still working through with council whether it can appoint representatives to seven other committees.


The centre for Maori research excellence is undertaking a three-year project to establish new frameworks for Maori economic development.

Charles Royal, the director of Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, says Te Pae Tawhiti or the distant horizon project is in response to the changing needs ot Maori in the wake of treaty settlements.

He says many of the management or governance systems available were established when Maori communities had fewer resources and few people to do the work.

“When you are coming to settle a treaty claim, it might be $5 million, it might be $40 million worth of assets and so on, it requires a whole new way of thinking about our people, a whole new way of thinking about how to manage assets of that kind, a whole host of things have to be done to prepare an iwi runanga for example to receive those assets and to manage them property,” Professor Royal says.

Nga Pae o te Maramatanga will work closely on the project with the Whakatane-based Ngati Awa Runanga and its Te Wananga o Awanuiarangi.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Horomia bucks Goff line

Labour's Maori affairs spokesman Parekura Horomia has indicated Phil Goff's blanket refusal to contemplate Hone Harawira as part of a future coalition government isn't supported by all his colleagues.

Mr Goff says while he made the decision himself, it was unanimously backed by the Labour caucus.

But Mr Horomia says it's still a long time before the election.

“You know that's the line at the moment. What’s interesting is Hone hasn’t got a party so the issue was about working with Hone’s numbers. It’s about the numbers on the day of the election. It’s no point (saying) who is going to be the last cab off the rank and then get to the end of an election and you’re scrambling, but at this stage that's our line,” Mr Horomia says.

Hone Harawira worked under him for six years in the Labour Department, and he has no problems working with the Tai Tokerau MP.


An organiser of the second foreshore and seabed hikoi says there's a great feeling among participants, despite the low numbers turning out for their marches through various centres.

About 100 people marched up Auckland's Queen St yesterday, well short of the thousands who joined in the 2004 hikoi.

But Paora Ropata says the mood of the hikoi was established at an early-morning karakia at Cape Reinga as marchers set off led by the traumata kaumatua o Te Hiku o te Ika.

The hikoi called in at polyfest in Manukau City this morning, and it plans to spend the night in Te Puke and be in the capital by Tuesday.


Auckland's secondary schools' Polyfest was treated today to a demonstration performance from a Christchurch girls' school.

Organisers said they weren't expecting Rangi Ruru to attend in light of last month's earthquake, but the students were determined to perform at the festival for their first time.

Head girl Isabel Gledhill says after living through the disaster it's a relief to take a break from the city.

She says the audience support has been overwhelming.

Isabel Gledhill says she came to Auckland two years ago to watch Polyfest and is thrilled to finally taking part in it.


Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon says while iwi members are disappointed Christchurch won't host Rugby World Cup rugby games, they understand it's not possible.

He says the iwi is still trying to meet demand for basics such as food and water in the earthquake devastated city.

“A big disappointment of course. Most New Zealanders were looking forward to the world cup. But at the moment we are just not set up to be able to host,” Mr Solomon says.

He says there are likely to be considerable logistical difficulties just getting people in and out of Hagley Park for tomorrow's Memorial Service.


Labour's Maori affairs spokesperson says ACT MP Hilary Calvert's attack on tikanga was totally out of line.

During the committee stages of the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill yesterday, the Dunedin-based list MP told parliament that tikanga is akin to Alice and Wonderland where the Queen decides what is right.

Mr Horomia says anyone that arrogant should not have a place in parliament.

“There's nothing wrong with people having blunt and frank opinions but when people start chastising other people based on their culture, who the hang does she think she is. I think it’s a madness really. Tikanga is a serious thing. I wouldn’t date to suggest that playing the bagpipes and wearing a kilt is something from Alice in Wonderland,” he says.

Mr Horomia says being a parliamentary novice did not excuse Hilary Calvert's comments, which were clearly deliberate.


Filmmakers are being told they need to be more careful about using archived footage in new productions.

The ethics of archives was the topic of the first of a monthly series of discussions in Wellington set up by the New Zealand Film Archive, Nga Aho Whakaari and the Writer's Guild.

Actor, presenter and film archivist Lawrence Wharerau says film or programme makers need to be familiar with all the bodies that may have rights to archive material.

“A layer of the permission giving is given to iwi, particularly when it is iwi practices being portrayed, so we give iwi a change to say yeah or nay in the use of this material,” Mr Wharerau says.

The Film Archive is able to act as a broker to instigate the necessary conversations between programme makers and the various permission or rights holders.

Fonterra plans could entrench monopoly

The chair of Maori owned dairy processor Miraka says Fonterra's capital restructure could create a monopoly that Maori farmers will find it hard to break away from.

Kingi Smiler says the land trusts behind Miraka can supply about 40 percent of the milk needed to run its plant at Mokai near Taupo when it opens in August, but the rest will have to come from other farmers.

He fears the government could be repeating some of the blunders that have blighted competition in the telecommunications sector.

“I think if you look right around the world, and even our own New Zealand experience, when you create monopolies you don’t get innovation and you get people that don’t change. And I think that’s been clearly demonstrated both in the performance of Fonterra since it’s been formed and the telecom examples and if you look overseas all that they want to do is be the big bully in the market,” Mr Smiler says.

He says since Miraka formed, Fonterra has been courting central North Island Maori farmers to dissuade them from switching to the new processor.


A Christchurch-based Maori academic says the Royal Commission on the Christchurch earthquake needs to take a look at the adequacy of relief efforts in the city's hard hit eastern suburbs.

Rawiri Tanui says not just the area's high Maori population but also many elderly Pakeha were left un-aided for days in appalling conditions.

He says it was a marked contrast to some other areas of the city.

“My area, it’s closer to the middle class areas, there were thousands of volunteers swamping our area. Out in the east there was no one. Things like basic supplies and water, they just got forgotten,” Mr Taonui says.

He says the city's leadership and the media seemed transfixed by the drama in the CBD.


Singer Anna Coddington from Tuwharetoa and Te Arawa says her Maori heritage is starting to come through more in her approach to songwriting.

The Raglan resident has just finished a series of dates promoting her second album, Cat and Bird.

She says she's inspired not only by her life experiences and the environment, but also by places such as her marae at Waihi on the shores of Lake Taupo.

Anna Coddington will be back on the road next month with fellow singer Julia Deans.


Prime Minister John Key says the government has rejected the idea of letting soon-to-be-released prisoners from Christchurch jails help in the earthquake relief effort.

The idea of predominantly Maori prison labour comes from Rethinking Crime and Punishment head Kim Workman and has been endorsed by Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples.

Mr Key says Mr Workman, a former Correction division head, has thought the issue through and the government is still considering whether prisoners on short sentences of three months and under can be used.

“He's got one very valid point and that is when people work, they make a contribution and it lifts their self-esteem because at the end of the day we don’t want people going back to prison, we want them to lern skills and feel like part of the community,” Mr Key says.


Co-leader Meteria Turei says the Greens would have no trouble working with Hone Harawira in a future Govermnment.

Labour leader Phil Goff has ruled out the Tai Tokerau independent MP as a future coalition partner, even if he comes back to Parliament with some list MPs behind him, and Prime Minister John Key says Mr Harawira has made it clear he won't work with National anyway.

Ms Turei says she met with Mr Harawira yesterday and they agreed on a lot of issues.

“We do work with everybody. That has always been our kaupapa. We are independent and we are constructive so we will continue to work with Hone in whatever form his political movement takes,” Ms Turei says.

She doesn't understand why Mr Goff was so emphatic about quarantining himself from Mr Harawira at this point in the political cycle.


The Coastguard is using this week's Polyfest to spread the message about water safety.

Up to 100,000 performers and spectators are expected to attend the annual Auckland secondary schools' cultural festival at the Manukau Sports Bowl.

Kylie Sisley. Coastguard's education manager, says it's the perfect opportunity to get the message out to the huge number of Maori and Pacific students who'll be there.

“Unfortunately Maori and Pacific people are overrepresented in drowning statistics and coastguard are wanting to reduce those numbers, especially when it comes to boating,” Ms Sisley says.

“Key messages are to always wear lifejackets, always take a VHF radio and mobile phone in a waterproof bag and never drink alcohol while boating.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Harawira too radical for MP’s life

Prime minister John Key says he does not need to rule out Hone Harawira as a potential coalition partner because he doesn't believe the Te Tai Tokerau MP would want to work with National if he is reelected.

Mr Key says Mr Harawira supported the Maori Party joining a National-led coalition government.

But he has clearly changed his tune.

“I mean the truth is Hone will struggle whoever he will want to work with because fundamentally the reason he has broken away form the Maori Party is he is more a radical than an MP and Parliament is all about consensus. It doesn’t make Hone a bad person. It just makes him a fish out of water in parliament,” Mr Key says.


Meanwhile, Labour leader Phil Goff is insisting he consulted senior caucus members including Maori MPs before publicly ruling out Hone Harawira from any future coalition.

Some Labour MPs have expressed surprise at Mr Goff's pronouncement.

He says the decision was his to make.

“Yes did I make that decision myself? Absolutely, after consulting senior members including Maori members. Do I stand by that decision? Absolutely. Did the caucus endorse that decision? Yes, unanimously,” Mr Goff says.

He says Hone Harawira's history with the Maori Party shows he is not reliable, and he has in the past made offensive racial statements.


Maori students are being encouraged to apply for Te Waka Toi funding to study art or art-related subjects.

Haniko Te Kurupa, the senior Maori advisor to Creative New Zealand's Maori arts board, says there are two scholarships on offer at $4000 each.

They're not just for study in tertiary institutions, but could be for marae-based programmes, where a student might be a carver or weaver being taught by kaumatua or kuia.


The chair of a Maori-owned company building a milk factory near Taupo says proposed changes to Fonterra's capital structure could make it much harder to compete with the dairy giant.

Kingi Smiler says Miraka's submission to the Ministry of Agriculture suggests that Fonterra's trading among farmers proposal could lead to the systematic underpricing of Fonterra shares and overpricing of the milk price paid to Fonterra farmers.

He says this will mean farmers are less likely to switch who they supply to, particularly in mature areas such as where Miraka is located.

“We don't have a lot of new conversions occurring in our area like in the South Island for example so the opportunity to pick up growth in new milk is much harder. Therefore if they make it harder for Fonterra shareholders to exit, it will be much harder for us to grow our business in future,” Mr Smiler says.

Miraka has sufficient supply arranged from Maori farms to process 200 million litres of milk a year when its 8 tonne dryer goes into action in August.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says with the Marine and Coastal Area Bill now before parliament is designed to protect international mining companies from Maori claims.

Meteria Turei says even if Maori win customary title, they can't override existing licenses over resources such as the iron sands off the Taranaki coast.

Prospector Trans-Tasman Resources yesterday estimated its claim area could be the basis of a billion dollar a year industry.

“The government is protecting their own interests, they are protecting industry, they are protecting big international companies in terms of their desire to use that land for their economic exploitation but they are shutting Maori out of the process completely in one way or anther. Maori won’t be able to fight back because of legislation like this,” Ms Turei says.


Tomorrow's St Patrick's Day celebration in the Hawkes Bay of the connections between Maori and Irish people promises to be a bit of a laugh.

Organiser Dennis O Reilly says the sixth annual Hui and Hooley at Waiohiki will include a Gaelic brunch, a Maori v Ireland Golf challenge, and wind up with the first Irish and Maori joke challenge.

In the past the Hui and Hooley has raised money for Waiohiki Marae and other local causes, but this year funds will go to Christchurch relief efforts.

Foreshore Act replacement being pushed through

Maori lawyer Moana Jackson says the Marine and Coastal Area - Takutai Moana - Bill isn't the replacement for Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Act that the Maori Party promised.

The committee stage of the bill started yesterday, and it could be law before a protest hikoi arrives in Wellington next week.

Mr Jackson says it's straight out confiscation.

“It still takes the foreshore off our people and places it under a new space called the common space and that’s really no different from taking it off our people and vesting it in Crown title,” Mr Jackson says.

He says the bill means Maori who win customary title can't stop public access, but Pakeha who own parts of the foreshore can.


The director of Maori smokefree group Te reo Marama says extending the target for a smokefree New Zealand from 2020 to 2025 will cost 70 thousand lives.

Shane Kawenata Bradbrook says it's good the government has accepted some of the recommendations of the Maori Affairs Select Committe inquiry into the tobacco industry.

But he has reservations about the timeline and the lack of information about what resources will be made available to wean smokers off what is a highly addictive substance.

“It typically is saying they will be looking for efficiencies which for me is a weasel word for ‘you will do this on the current budget.’ That has to be a concern for Maori when they are saying ‘you are the primary target population because of the impact it is having’ yet there doesn’t appear to be any money attached to it,” Mr Bradbrook says

About 42 percent of adult Maori still smoke.


A Maori liaison officer for the Census says the decision to postpone was inevitable.

The five yearly count of New Zealand residents was due to be done last week.

But Richard Orzeki of Ngati Raukawa says given the consequences of the Canterbury earthquake, the census would not have painted an accurate picture.

“The biggest issue around the census was that it was trying to record what we call normal New Zealand and to try to run the census now you wouldn’t be getting a normal New Zealand picture because obviously people have moved out of Christchurch to other parts of the country,” he says.

Mr Orzecki says it may be a year or two before the country is back to a normal way of living.


As the Marine and Coastal Area Takutau Moana Bill is being rushed through Parliament, a mining company says its prospect off the Taranaki coast could yield more than 100 million tonnes of ironsand.

Trans-Tasman Resources executive chair Bill Bisset says the company could be mining up to a billion dollars a year worth of the mineral within three years.

The area is subject to Waitangi Tribunal claims for oil and gas, but Tom Bennion, the editor of the Maori Law review, says even if local hapu win customary rights claims under the new law, they won't be able to share in the mining company's bonanza.

“If you get one of these customary titles, a decision that pretty much says you own this area at 1840 and ever since because of your extensive use of it, they you do get mineral rights with that but, there’s a catch, section 83 of the bill says if anyone has got an existing privilege, they continue to exercise that despite your new-found right of minerals,” Mr Bennion says.


The mana whenua for the Maungatautari ecological reserve say they are happy to share management.

A small group of farmers who own less than 5 percent of the fenced land in the 2500 hectare South Waikato reserve have blocked access to pest eradication worker and cut cables to surveillance equipment.

Willie Te Aho from Ngati Koroki Kahukura says the farmers' claims that Maori have too much control of the mountain are baseless.

“This is our maunga. This is a maunga that was stolen from us through the Native Land Court processes and subsequent law and so we are saying despite that, we are happy for this to be a part of the community, we are happy for the reserve status to continue, we are happy for public access to continue and we are happy to have a shared approach to this maunga,” Mr Te Aho says.

Ngati Koroki Kahukuura is negotiating with the Crown over the return of the 2400 hectares of Maungatautari that it owns.


The annual Auckland secondary schools cultural festival starts today, with organisers expecting a massive crowd of competitors and supporters at the Manukau Sports Bowl.

Spokesperson Dean Wilson says it was tough to secure sponsorship in a difficult economic climate, but all is now readiness.

Host this year is Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, which kicked off Polyfest in 1976 with four schools attending.

“It's grown into the largest Maori and Pacific Island festival in the world. This year we have 9000 students taking part over four days, 62 schools, and last year crowds were over 90,000,” Mr Wilson says.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Non-compete clause critical despite row

Former Alliance president Matt McCarten says Hone Harawira needs to abide by the terms of his divorce agreement with the Maori Party and not stand candidates in other Maori seats.

Mr Harawira is consulting widely on whether he should form a new Maori-focused party.

Mr McCarten, who was involved in negotiating the agreement, says the prospect of a three way fight was considered.

“If there was a contest I think Tariana Turia and Hone would be the only ones left standing. I think it would be a tragedy for Maori. The position of an independent voice in Parliament is a very important thing and I think this is a temporary blip along the way,” he says.

Matt McCarten says some Maori Party MPs are taking Hone Harawira's criticisms too personally, and they need to toughen up.


Maori tobacco advocacy group Te Reo Marama has welcomed the Government's response to the Maori Affairs Select Committee inquiry into the tobacco industry.

The Government has committed to making New Zealand smoke free by 2025 and will consider changing the law on promotion, packaging and display of tobacco products.

Te Reo Marama spokesperson Heather Gifford says even Maori smokers are behind the push to get rid of tobacco, with people quitting every day or doing things to make sure their kids don’t start smoking, like making their homes and cars smoke free.

She says the percentage of young Maori smokers is falling because parents are discouraging the habit.


A south Taranaki museum has welcomed back some of the country's most precious taonga into its new house.

Curator Kristelle Plimmer from the Aotea Utanganui museum in Patea says the waka remnants and other wooden items were found in the Waitore swamp in the late 1960s and taken to Auckland University for preservation and study.

She says it was a significant find nationally, as the artifacts date back to the 1400s and came from somewhere in the Pacific, potentially Hawaiki.

The renovated museum will be re-opened next month.


Maori party president Pem Bird says it's time for the party and sacked MP Hone Harawira to declare a truce.

Mr Bird says when Mr Harawira left the party to go independent, he agreed not to stand candidates in seats held by the Maori Party, and he would be unchallenged by the Maori Party in Te Taitokerau.

He wants to rebel MP to honour that deal.

“We gotta put down our taiaha, put it all down. It’s about letting a bit of time pass and getting the head around what are the possibilities here for is to help one another, to whakawhanaunga. I believe, and other people have said to me, this is the way forward with Hone if we can just let that mamae go,” Mr Bird says


The Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres says all local governments need dedicated Maori seats.

That's one of the main recommendations in the commissioner's annual report to parliament on the state of race relations.

He says the seats are needed to tackle the institutional discrimination against Maori that is still rife throughout the country.

“I'm not that confident many of them will because they will either use that stuff, as they have before, about ‘no privilege’, but actually the Maori seats are provided for in legislation, they work really well in the Bay of Plenty Regional Council,” Mr de Bres says.

The creation of Maori seats would also help address the concerns of the United Nations which wants the government to include Maori more in decision-making at all levels.


Another year, another album for Dennis Marsh has released his latest album.

The Maori Waiata Song Book is the Maori country and western singer's 22nd collection of songs.

The 60-year-old says the 18 songs, or at least the tunes, will be familiar to many listeners, and the album is doing well.

Dennis Marsh says he's doing most of his singing now on the cruise ship circuit, and enjoying the pace of life aboard.

Mining plans could provoke Maori Party

Tariana Turia says mining will continue to be a point of difference between the Maori Party and National.

Last year the government backed off its plan to open parts of the Conservation estate to prospecting amid public uproar, but the idea may be revisited in as questions arise over how the rebuilding of Christchurch will be paid for.

Mrs Turia says the Crown needs to prove it owns the land before it starts digging it up.

“We are firmly of the view that the conservation estate originally was in the hands of our people so we don’t see the conservation estate as necessarily belonging to the Crown,” she says.

Tariana Turia says it is hapu and iwi who should be making the decisions about when mining can occur in their rohe.


A new online survey has found widespread opposition among Maori to the foreshore and seabed reforms now before Parliament.

Grant McInman from Horizon Research says the panel of 1200 Maori throughout out the country found only point four of one percent back the Marine and Coastal Areas (Takutai Moana) Bill.

He says it still generates strong emotion with only 8 percent saying they don’t care at all and 11 percent saying they accept the National-Maori Party solution.


The New Zealand Aids Foundation is pushing to educate takatapui on keeping safe from HIV infection.

Last year was the worst on record for the number of gay and bisexual men diagnosed with HIV, with Maori now making up about 10 percent of New Zealanders living with the illness.

Kaiarahi Jordan Harris says the new Maori Tu Mai Takatapui video is a resource not just for for takatapui but for their whanau, offering ways families can help young people keep safe.

The video is available for free from the Aids Foundation website.


Political commentator Matt Mc Carten says Phil Goff is wrong to rule out Hone Harawira as a potential coalition partner.

The Labour Party leader says he wouldn't work with a Harawira-led party because the Tai Tokerau MP is unreliable and takes extremist positions.

Mr Mc Carten, who helped negotiate Mr Harawira's separation agreement with the Maori Party, says that approach could come back and bite Mr Goff.

“It doesn't do him any strategic good at all. It is knee-jerk, ill thought through and just quite silly,” he says.

Mr McCarten says if Hone Harawira does form a party and retains Tai Tokerau, he could bring another three or four MPs with him into parliament.


The 28 Maori Battalion Association is setting itself the daunting task of locating photos of all 3600 men who served in the World War Two unit.

Historian Monty Soutar says many such photos are already on the association's website, which also includes an historical overview, maps, stories, and other resources for teachers and students.

He says it will be good to locate the photos while there are still some veterans alive, with only about a third of the images so far collected and only 43 veterans left.

The tangi for D Company veteran John Keha Palmer, who died on Friday at the age of 90, is in Pahiatua.


A 14-year-old Te Teko girl is a rising star of New Zealand boxing.

Te Aroha Hira of Ngai Tuhoe, Tainui and Ngati Awa has won a place in next month's World Women's Junior Championships in Turkey.

The 2010 light bantam champion and Destiny School student says she has a secret weapon to help her win in Turkey – the speed and power of her uppercut.

She is learning a lot from her trainer, Chiefs winger Lelia Masaga, and she's also getting huge support from friends and whanau.

Fear of second Maori party

March 14

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says another Maori political party will split the effectiveness of the Maori voice in parliament.

Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira is threatening to launch a party after his split over the Maori Party's continued support for National.

Mrs Turia says it's one thing to raise issues in Opposition, but Mr Harawira seems to ignore how much the Maori Party has achieve by presenting a united front in government.

“It does definitely split the effectiveness. It will have huge impact on the left of polticis with a political movement coming in that is primarily of the left. W are not,. We are very clear our party isdriven bty kaupapa and tikanga so we can sit with whoever is the government.
Mrs Turia says.


The Wellington Women's Refuge says pressure on housing supplies created by the Christchurch earthquake will make it harder for women to leave violent relationships.

Education coordinator Eleanor Butterworth says refuges are often a bridge between the family home and the place women find to build a new life for themselves and their children.

She says the flow of people from Christchurch into all available places makes it hard to move women on, and the domestic purposes benefit isn’t enough to cover private rentals.

About 10 percent of women and children in Wellington's refuges are Maori, and the percentage is higher in other refuges.


The 28th Maori Battalion has lost another veteran.

John Keha Palmer, a member of the Otaki-based Tahiwi family with links also to Gilbert Mair, the commander of Te Arawa forces in the New Zeland wars, died peacefully in his home on Friday at the age of 90.

Historian Monty Soutar says there are now only 43 surviving veterans.

He says Mr Palmer, from D Company, was captured in Greece and spent four years in a German prisoner of war camp.

John Palmer is lying in state at his home in Pahiatua.


Labour leader Phil Goff has ruled out a coalition with a Hone Harawira-led party.

Mr Goff says he can envisage working with the Maori Party, although it could struggle to retain its seats if Mr Harawira stands candidates in the other Maori seats.

But he says while Labour's Maori MP's have supported the Taitokerau MP's attacks on the Marine and Coastal Area Bill, this does not make him someone who should be brought into government.

“I've ruled it out firstly because I don’t regard him a reliable coalition partner and I’ve ruled it out secondly because his position on a number of issues is so extreme I didn’t see that as being part of a Labour-led Government,” Mr Goff says.

He says the majority of voters in the Maori seats gave their party vote to Labour last election, so may be less inclined to give their electorate vote to the Maori Party this year.


Former Alliance MP Willie Jackson says his invitation to speak at the Act Party conference now seems like a set-up.

The urban Maori advocate's speech was bracketed by speeches from alleging Maori get special treatment.

He says while he was given a polite hearing, he doubts his korero will change the views of the people ACT is now looking to for support.

“When you place the race card it always gives you an opportunity. I’m hoping they won’t. I’m hoping they disappear. Winston did it through the 80s, 90s, Don Brash did it. I’m hoping the public will be bored with them but playing the race card is an old political trick,” Mr Jackson says.


A major player in the Maori tourism sector says the industry is being hit hard by the Christchurch earthquake.

Mike Tamaki from Tamaki Tours says while most of the quake damage was confined to Christchurch city, many international tour operators are behaving as if the whole South Island is a no go zone.

He says Maori and non-Maori tourism businesses alike will do it tough in the months ahead, with some operators unlikely to resume at all and many firms writing off the season.

While there was little apparent damage to the Tamaki Maori Experience village in Ferrymead, a spokesperson says it could be several weeks before it might be cleared to reopen.

Harawira works electoral disquiet

March 14

Rebel Maori MP Hone Harawira, who has been in his Tai Tokerau electorate this weekend rallying support for the new political party he wants to form, says he hearing huge disquiet among Maori about the way he's been treated.

Mr Harawira was late last month expelled from the Maori Marty over his attack on the leadership for supporting the Marine and Coastal Area Takutai Moana bill expected to be passed through parliament this week.

He says Maori are deserting the Maori Party and joining him for a number of reasons.

“One they don’t like the way the Maori Party treated me. They don’t all like me, but they don’t like the way the Maori Party acted. Two, they don’t buy this foreshore and seabed deal the Maori Party signed up to with National. Three, they don’t like that their MPs don’t come back and talk to them any more, and four, they think we’re too close to National all of the time,” Mr Harawira says.

While he's gaining huge support across maoridom if the elders don’t like it he will remain an independent.


And Rotorua Maori lawyer Annette Sykes says Pakeha should have a major part to play in any new political party set up dissident MP Home Harawira.

Annette Sykes who was a foundation member of the Maori party and constitutional advisor says she is fully behind Mr Harawira's moves to set up a new Maori party based on kaupapa.

“She says many Pakeha have similar views about how the country has been going.

She says the Maori and Pakeha heros that have emerged during the Christchurch quake are indicative of a new New Zealand that any new Maori political movement must incorporate.


And protestors against the Marine and Coastal Areas (Takutai Moana) Bill, expected to be passed in parliament this week, will be setting off on a hikoi from Cape Reinga this morning.

Organiser Wi Popata says his uncle Hone Harawira has indicated he will be at this morning's karakai blessing for the hikoi but doesn't know whether the organiser of the 2004 foreshore and seabed hikoi will be marching.

He expects the hui to be at parliament by Tuesday 22nd of March.

A new specialist Maori research organisation Horizon Research has found most Maori don’t think they are benefitting from treaty settlements.

And the nationwide survey found more than half the 1200 Maori consulted throughout the country felt iwi leaders aren't consulting them on important decisions.

Principal Graham Colman says Maori generally had a very clear view about the treaty process.

“They’re not benefiting. They’re not seeing it. That seems to be the indication at the moment. And they don’t feel adequately consulted. That in turn sends a message, it opens up a brilliant opportunity for iwi and others to step up to the mark on that and really engage people,” Mr Colman says.

The survey will be conducted at regular intervals until the election providing Maori leaders, policy makers and business people a clear picture of the mood of Maoridom.


Prime Minister John Key says the Marine and Coastal Areas bill which is expected to be back in parliament this week answers the key concerns of Maori.

Mr Key says the bill is fundamentally better than the Foreshore and Seabed Act which it replaces.

“The core fundamental for Maori was the ability to test their rights in court and access to justice, and that’s resolved through this legislation. There was also the issue of Crown ownership and solely Crown ownership, and again that’s resolved through the Bill,” he says.

Mr Key says the Ngati Awa Court of Appeal decision gave some clear tests about exclusive use and occupations since 1840 should be applied which have been built into the legislation.


The top kapahaka groups in the country will meet in Rotorua later this week, to raise funds for Christchurch and give feedback on last month's competition in Tairawhiti.

Matataini Co-ordintaor Wille Te Aho says the performers are doing Maori proud by returning to the stage for such a good cause, and with over 3000 tickets already sold, shows whanau are keen to support those devastated by the earthquake and aftershocks in Otautahi.

He says the groups’ senior members will also give organisers valuable feedback which will be used in organizing the next Matatini competition in Te Arawa.

A full presentation will be made to the National Matatini Committee, which will spell an end to the work for those who helped co-ordinate this year’s Matatini O Te Ra.

Sharples keen on prisoner labour idea

March 11

Associate corrections minister Pita Sharples wants prisoners released to help with rebuilding Christchurch.

A former head of Corrections and now director of the Rethinking Crime and Punishment Kim Workman says 70 percent of the prison population, of which more than half are Maori, are serving sentences under 6 months and both the city and the prisoners would benefit.

He says the only thing that's stopping this is an attitude within Corrections wrongly believes the prisoners present a security risk.

Dr Sharples says he will be moving to have Mr Workman's proposal implemented.

“There were five inmates and four staff at court in Christchurch when the earthquake struck. Instead of running away they rushed around and comforted people who were frightened by the severity of that quake and the talk in some of the prisons down south is how comforting the inmates have been to the staff who have had their houses wrecked,” he says.

Dr Sharples says it would be important the media not to follow prisoners around doing beat up stories.


Rotorua lawyer and foundation Maori Party member Annette Sykes is predicting the party will morph into a new political entity being formed by rebel MP Hone Harawira.

She says she'll give him her full support, but as she is committed to defending those charged during the 2007 Tuhoe raids, will decide down the line whether she puts her name forward to contest the Waiariki seat currently held by Te Ururoa Flavell.

“The reality is that we are now having the largest confiscation of Maori land happening right under our nose this week without hardly a murmur from the people that represent us. The Maori Party will not sustain itself unless it moves to represent Maori interests, and I think they will morph. I don’t think some of the ones there will be there at the next election. No disrespect to Rahui Katene and Te Ururoa Flavell, but I think their moment in politics will be tested this next election,” Ms Sykes says.


The Maori and Pasifika adult education community wrapped up their three day conference in Auckland today, after networking to provide better services for adult learners across the country.

ACE Aotearoa met at Auckland Airports Te Manukanuka O Hoturoa marae to discuss professional development across the sector.

Co-ordinator Annaliese Robertson says the wharenui was full to capacity and the hui was a great opportunity for often isolated organisations to get together and share information.

“Quite often it's Maori working with Maori and for Maori but not often with Pacific groups in their area, so it does provide opportunities for that cross collaboration, Maori and Pacific groups working together,” she says.


MP Hone Harawira says a meeting in Auckland this morning gave resounding support for his setting up a new political party.

Mr Harawira who says he hopes to have the new party with candidates up and running within a month says the response from 50 supporters at this morning's meeting was the same as he received at a meeting held in Wellington on Wednesday.

“The meeting this morning was 100 percent supportive of the national movement. I said look you guys will have to make a commitment to doing the door knocking, the rebuilding a new party, and they are all keen. They are keen to get back out o the road and do something positive,” he says.

Mr Harawira says however if the elders in Te Tai Tokerau where he is heading for the weekend tell him they want him to remain as an independent he won’t continue putting a new party together.


Minister of Maori Affairs Pita Sharples is backing Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon in his view that looking after people is more important than putting resources into rebuilding AMI stadium for the rugby world cup.

Dr Sharples says with many people still living in horrendous conditions, rebuilding the stadium is not a priority.

“To quote Mark Solomon, the rugby is a distraction and we should get on rebuilding the city and looking at where we are going, The odds are against it for a start and people aren’t in the right frame of mind to host something full blast, let alone have the premises, let alone their own houses being comfortable. So many houses, 100,000 houses need repair,” he says.


The shock of the Christchurch earthquake means health and social services that were hesitant about whanau ora are now working together.

Whanau Ora provider He Oranga Pounamu have a network of 35 Maori health and social services in Te Waipounamu with 17 located in Christchurch.

Senior Manager Angela Ria says organisations which were hesitant at first pulled together after the earthquake, nd barriers to working together have come down.

Angela Ria says Maori families have fared well through the earthquake, with only two deaths and only one was earthquake related.)

Monday, March 14, 2011

One month deadline for Harawira Party

March 11

Rebel MP Hone Harawira has announced he will have a new party up and running within the month.

Mr Harawira says the massive support he has been getting since he split with the Maori party late last month makes him confident the new party based on Maori kaupapa will be a major player at the next election.

“We have to have the party up and running within a month, probably sooner, simply because we need to get a clear set of kaupapa out there,” he says.

Mr Harawira says a number of prominent Maori among those who are helping him form the new party, including Willie Jackson, John Tamihere, Matt McCarten, and Annette Sykes.

At this stage its uncertain whether former Green MP Sue Bradford will be part of the new party which will be Maori led.


The Human Rights Commission has listed a number of measures are urgently needed to overcome racial inequality faced by Maori.

In his annual report Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres outlines 10 priority measures that need to be taken to fight the blight.

“The recommendations cover protecting all children. We recognise within that a significant number of children who suffer abuse and harm are Maori. We are saying in terms of unemployment, in terms of imprisonment, in terms of representation in local government and in terms of language there are real and significant issues to be addressed,” Mr de Bres says.


South Island iwi Ngai Tahu whose headquarters is in a perilous position in the Christchurch CBD is setting up for the medium to long-term at Wigram Military base.

All staff will be back at work within a fortnight working from portcoms at Wigram which are replacing tents set up in the early days of the quake.

Chairman Mark Solomon says it could be months before they can get back into their head quarters in Hereford Street to salvage belongings, because the building is adjacent to the doomed Grand Chancellor Hotel.

Temporary accommodation hasn't stopped the iwi playing a major role in coordinating the tremendous relief effort by Maori from around the country and getting their radio station Tahu FM back on air.


Prison reformer Kim Workman says prisoners, more than half of whom are Maori, should be used to rebuild Christchurch.

The Rethinking Crime and Punishment head says the disaster provides an opportunity to use low risk offenders, who make up more than two thirds of those in prison, in a way that would help them and the community.

“First of all it’s going to save the government money. It costs $94,000 to keep one prisoner in prison. Put them in a work camp is a lot less. Secondly they are making a useful contribution to New Zealand society and third it gives them an opportunity to pay back, to make reparation to the community for some of the harm they may have caused,” Mr Workman says.

The released prisoners would feel the same way as community workers currently helping with the relief efforts are very passionate about what they are doing.

Mr Workman from Kahungunu says he wants iwi leaders, who have been putting huge effort into Christchurch to support his call.


A poll of more than a thousand Maori around the country shows they would prefer MP Hone Harawira to remain an independent rather than form a new party.

Mr Harawira says bouyed by the support he has been getting since splitting from The Maori Party he will have a new party with candidates in place up and running within the month.

However the Horizon Research poll, with a margin of error of 3 percent, taken over the past three days shows only 11.5 percent support him forming a new party while more than twice as many... 28 percent.... want him to remain an independent.

Principal Graham Colman says the support for a new party varies greatly a round the country, with 26 percent of northernmost iwi Ngati Kuri backing the idea compared with only 4.5 percent of neighbours Ngai Takoto and a national average of 11.5, similar to the Ngapuhi 12 percent.

He says fewer than 9 percent of those who voted for the Maori Party last election want Mr Harawira to form a new party.


The director of course on marae tikanga says too many people don't understand the protocols they follow.

Blackie Tohiariki says students on the Te Wananga o Aotearoa course will spend one weekend a month at Orakei Marae in Auckland.

He says the aim is not only to carry on tradition but to set a foundation for the future.

“We walk through on the marae and a lot of people are like sheep and they just follow. The impetus of the course is not only to do the process but understand why, what is happening, where did that come from, what were the original thoughts,” Mr Tohiariki says.

Last year 90 students took the course.

Christchurch not ready for royal visit

March 10

Ngai Tahu chairman Mark Solomon is sceptical about Christchurch hosting a visit to the city by Prince William next week.

Prime Minister John Key says all New Zealanders will appreciate the Queen's gesture in asking the heir to the throne to attend a memorial service for quake victims in Hagley Park on March 18.

However Mark Solomon who has been coordinating the Maori relief effort in the city says it will create a logistical nightmare, as things like roads and parking are not ready.

He says effort needs to go into looking after people rather than getting AMI stadium up to scratch to host rugby world cup games in September.


Most Maori want the Maori Party to join up with Labour rather than National in the next government.

The head of new research company Horizon Research, Graham Coleman says a nationwide survey shows although most Maori think the Maori party was right to enter a coalition with National, they want something different next time.

“They would prefer in this election that they would take seats in a Labour cabinet and about two to one they think Labour would be a better government for Maori than National so you can see where the Maori sympathies lie,” he says.

Mr Colman says most Maori will choose an electorate candidate from a party other then the one they give their party vote to.


Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi has launched a bachelor's degree in kapa haka.

Coordinator Kylie Pohipi says the university level qualification in Maori performing arts will attract rangatahi who have been performing since they were young children.

She says they will study how wiaata is composed and compare new waitata with classics like Paikea.

The course will be based at the wananga’s Auckland campus, but students will travel to hui such as Te Matatini and Te Koroneihana to see how roopu perform when the pressure is on.


Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia says the desperate circumstances many Christchurch Maori face is putting pressure on their whanau back at the hau kainga.

Mr Horomia says Maori up and down the country have been brilliant in offering to house those displaced by the earthquake two weeks ago.

But he says the pressure is starting to tell as people who have lost their incomes and many of their possessions are relying in the hospitality of whanau.

Mr Horomia says hopefully over time families looking after whanau from Christchurch can get better organised.


Christchurch Maori rugby legend Bill Bush says the city should scrap the idea of hosting games during the rugby world cup.

The former All Black says while there has not been a detailed evaluation of Stadium Christchurch it would clearly need considerable of work to get it game worthy with liquifaction all around the ground.

He says the die-hard rugby people are focusing on getting the city back to a livable state, there are no hotels for people to stay in, and the prospect of rugby fans driving round sight-seeing in the ruins is unappealing.

Bill Bush says there is no way the city could be ready to put on games in September.

The stadium is scheduled to host five pool matches plus two quarter-finals.


An award-winning documentary maker has won permission for elders to make a movie about Parihaka.

Paora Joseph of Te Atihaunui a Paparangi says his work as a clinical psychologist working with Maori youth in New Plymouth has made him interested in exploring where the dysfunction comes from.

He says the movie will have a similar kaupapa to his documentary where he took a group of young people to the historic Taranaki marae to address their marijuana addiction.

“The film I want to produce is about how we as Maori have many lost generations now and we are struggling to maintain our identity, struggling to maintain our values and culture as a people,” Mr Joseph says.

Pre-production will begin next year.