Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, April 01, 2011

EmplOyment law will hurt Maori workers: CTU

The Council of Trade Unions' Runanga is slamming new employments law that came into effect today.

As well as allowing all employers to arbitrarily dismiss workers in their first 90 days, the law restricts union access to worksites, allows employers to demand medical certificates for a single day of sick leave and allows the fourth week of holiday entitlement to be traded in.

President Syd Keepa says the law change will have a significant impact on Maori workers because of the position they occupy in the workforce.

“It will have a big effect because unfortunately a lot of our people are on the margins, they’re in the low pay, low skill jobs, and it’s in those areas that it will have the most effect,” he says.

Mr Keepa says rather than attacking workers, the Government should look at ways to create jobs in areas such as forestry, which is a big employer of Maori.


Associate corrections minister Pita Sharples says this week's opening of the new Mt Eden remand prison was a sign of social failure.

Dr Sharples has been visiting the rock, as the old prison is known, since the 1960s when the late Peter Awatere was held there.

He says no amount of kapa haka training behind the walls can hide the fact it's a dreadful place.

He's keen to see his Whare Oranga Ake units open in Hastings and Spring Hill prisons in July to show an alternate way to get Maori inmates back into the community as fast as possible.


Auckland's Rugby World Cup Maori engagement manager has a special task in mind for pupils in Maori immersion classes.

Lucy Tukua today launched the te reo translation of the school activity packs, which include sport development ideas and an "adopt a second team" scheme.

She says 38 out the 50 kura kaupapa and bilingual units in Tamaki Makaurau will take part in the programme in Term 3.

She is hoping to use the kura in activities like airport welcomes.


There could be a new Maori political party by the end of the weekend.

Independent MP Hone Harawira is meeting his Tai Tokerau electorate committee in Whangarei on Sunday to decide whether to start signing up enough members to get a party registered before the election.

He says he's buoyed by what he's hearing from the rest of the country.

“The response has been awesome, really positive. People are disappointed with where the Maori Party is at. People are disappointed they don’t see their MPs any more. People are disappointed the party is too close to National. They just want something different,” Mr Harawira says.

A party means he can try to attract list votes and bring other MPs into Parliament with him if he retains Te tai Tokerau.


But the rebel MP may find he has pushed his former party too far.

Despite a non-compete agreement at the time of the split, Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says Nga Puhi leaders want the party to stand a candidate in tai Tokerau against Hone Harawira.

“We've had Ngapuhi leaders growling us becaused we’ve deserted them up north and I mean the leader leaders, the ones you see on tv doing all the claim and speaking on behalf of the iwi at Waitangi and everywhere else . They’ve had meetings and they’ve been in touch with me personally, they’ve been in touch with Tariana Turia and with the president to come up north and reestablish our branches up there,” Dr Sharples says.

He doesn't believe Mr Harawira's claim that support for him to form a new political party is coming from Maori Party branches around the country.


Maori singer songwriter Whirimako Black is one of the star attractions at this weekend's Titirangi Festival of Music.

Artistic director cat Tunks from Whakatohea and Te Whanau a Apanui says the four-day festival in Auckland's west showcases local and international talent.

There are also workshops in instrument construction, ukulele, hand drumming, and music marketing.

She says Whirimako Black plays the 90-seat theatre in Lopdell House on Saturday.

Earthquake movements could affect MP numbers

Electoral Enrolment Centre national manager Murray Wicks says the centre is still on track to hold the Maori electoral option next year ... as long as there is a Census.

Because of the Christchurch earthquake the Government postponed the March 8 census, and no decision has been made on when it will be rescheduled.

Mr Wicks says the electoral option, where Maori can shift between the Maori and general electoral rolls, happens immediately after a census except in election year, when it is done the year after.

Once the four month Maori electoral is complete, the Government Statistician works through the results with relevant Census data and makes recommendations on the number of electorates, after which the Representation Commission is formed and starts working with the surveyor general on boundaries.

Because electorate size is based on there always being 16 South island general electorates, a significant reduction in the South Island population because of the Canterbury earthquakes could lead to more Maori seats and more general seats in the North island, with fewer list MPs.


A new national health survey will try to capture a more accurate picture of the health of Maori.

Mark Jacobs, the acting chief medical officer of health, says the Ministry of Health is moving from a three-yearly survey to a rolling survey, starting in Northland, Auckland and Waikato this week.

He says considerable work has gone into making sure the Maori component of the sample is large enough to provide useful data.

Dr Jacobs says the new method will give health planners more timely information, rather than coming at three yearly gaps.


The New Zealand Mountain Safety Council is joining with iwi and police to offer firearms safety training on marae around the country.

Council chief executive Darryl Carpenter says pilot programmes run at marae in Te Uruwera and the East Coast have been very successful.

He says while most people on rural marae were proficient hunters and competent firearms users, a lot of youngsters were being exposed to firearms without formal training in firearms safety.

Respected hunters in each community are being trained to run the programmes.


A protest in Murihiku today may get some help from a protest expert from Muriwhenua.

Te Wharekura o Arowhenua in Invercargil is holding an open day to show community support to stop the Education Ministry demolishing its 500-seat auditorium.

Protest organiser Keita Wainui says after a call to the Maori Party went unheeded, she contacted independent Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira ... who was in the southern city the next day showing solidarity.

Hone Harawira says he will be back in Invercargill today, before travelling to the east Coast to support Te Whanau o Apanui's protest against offshore oil exploration on Saturday.


One of the negotiators of the $11.9 million Ngati Makino settlement says the passing of the Marine and Coastal Area - Takutai Moana Act will put a damper on any celebrations by the Bay of Plenty iwi.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Christ Finlayson will sign the deed at Otamarakau Marae near Maketu tomorrow.

Annette Sykes says it's likely to be overshadowed by new grievances the marine act creates.

“The land has been taken from under our feet, placed in this nonsensical legal notion that no one owns it. If we don’t claim it back in the next six years, then the Crown will own it for ever more, and those things very much undermine in the longer term our fight for independence, out Te Arawatanga and our sense of identity,” she says.

Ngati Makino, whore role stretches from Maketu to Matata and inland to lakes Rotoma and Rotoiti, was the only te Arawa iwi whose land was confiscated after the wars of the 1860s.


A Tuhourangi kaumatua says tourism ventures are allowing tribal members to return to land considered tapu since the 1886 Tarawera eruption killed many of their ancestors.

Anaru Rangiheuea says his family were the first to return to the area 15 years ago.

The Tuhourangi Tribal Authority is seeking a 30 year lease from the Department of Conservation on the launch masters cottage above Tarawera landing to use for tribal and tourism-related activities.

“We've been showing and interest to come back but we had to develop employment for them to come back to and papakainga housing for them to live in so that’s the big job ahead of us,” Mr Rangiheuea says.

A new walkway around the walkway is due to be opened on June 10 to mark the 125th anniversay of the eruption.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Party decision up to electorate

Independent MP Hone Harawira says the decision on whether he forms a new political party will be made by an electorate meeting of his Te Tai Tokerau electorate committee in Whangarei on Sunday.

The former Maori Party MP says hui around the country have expressed support for a new political vehicle, but his own people have the final say.

“I sincerely hope that the Tai Tokerau says on Sunday yes, go ahead, le’s have the new party but if at the end of the say it says you’re just going to be the MP for Tai Tokerau, that will be that. Far be it for me to walk away from the people who have always supported me so the final decision will not be made by me, it will be made by the people of Tai Tokerau,” Mr Harawira says.


A Ngapuhi health researcher wants to improve the way tamariki sleep.

Dr Geoff Kira from Auckland University's Clinical Trials Research Unit says good sleep is a low priority for many people, even though it's a vital component of health.

He says work patterns, stress and other health problems mean Maori adults have some of worst sleep problems of any ethnic group in New Zealand.

Dr Kira recommends what he calls sleep hygeine to get children to bed, including restricting the hours they can watch television or play video games..


The departure of the fleet making a round-trip voyage to Hawaii has been delayed a fortnight so solar-power systems can be installed in the traditional canoes.

Coordinator says three of the seven waka which were due to leave from Auckland's Viaduct Harbour tomorrow will be fitted so they won't need to burn fossil fuels.

He says what started as a voyage by one waka, Te Mana o te Moana, to highlight the adverse impact man is having on the Pacific Ocean, is now a pan-Pacific effort with canoes from Aotearoa, Samoa, Fiji and the Cook Islands.

A documentary will be made of the voyage.


Independent MP Hone Harawira says support for him to form a new party is coming from Maori Party branches rather than Maori generally.

He's completed hui around the country on the issue, and a decision whether or not to go ahead will be made by a meeting of his Tai Tokerau Electorate Committee in Whangarei on Sunday.

“The calls are actually coming from Maori Party branches, that’ where the great disaffection is. It’s not Maori people generally. It’s actually Maori Party supporters saying ‘we just can’t accept what’s going on,’” Mr Harawira says.

At this stage he is sticking to his separation agreement with the Maori Party not to stand candidates in electorates held by its MPs.


About 300 year 12 and 13 students from Manukau spent today getting healthy messages from the Auckland University of Technology and Youthline.

AUT health promoter Ruth de Souza says the region has one of the youngest populations in the country, and one of the largest Maori populations, many of them in the poorer areas.

She says the Youth Health Council Fono tried to get the students to discuss the health and social issues affecting them, from healthy eating to alcohol and drug harm.

The fono also aimed to get the students thinking about careers in health care.


The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is calling for applications for project funding from He Matapuna Akoranga a Hawea Vercoe - a fund set up in the memory of former councillor Hawea Vercoe.

Brian Trott, the council's corporate services manager, says Kura Kaupapa Maori, Kohanga Reo and bilingual schools can apply for up to $5000 for environmental projects.

He says the fund is a mark of the feelings people still hold for the young Te Arawa leader and educator, who died after being attacked in the street in Whakatane in 2009.

The $20,000 Hawea Vercoe fund is being managed within the council's larger Environmental Enhancement Fund, which is also open for applications for community projects of up to $30,000.

Ngai Tahu keen to build green Christchurch

Ngai Tahu is pushing to play a significant role in the reconstruction of Christchurch.

Chair Mark Solomon says the iwi's property company has a track record of large developments in the city, and has been on an environmentally-friendly path.

“We've been promoting ourselves and designing green buildings. I think we’ve got a lot of experience in that arena we can put in the debate. We know Canterbury, we know Christchurch. Like everyone else here we have our views that we can put something positive towards the reconstruction,” he says.

Mr Solomon says the reconstruction can't be rushed, and it might be up to a year before the runanga gets back into its own inner city head office.


The manager of Waikeria Prison's Te Ao Marama Maori focus unit is praising the rehabilitiative effect of the unit's gardening programme.

Errol Baker says the inmate-grown produce is donated to the community ... and a selection of vegetables entered by the Maori Womens Welfare League branch recently won first prize at the Te Awamutu Dahlia Circle awards.

He says gardening skills can help give prisoners sense of self-worth, as well as teach them to grow vegetables for themselves and their whanau on their release.


One of the country's leading Maori artists is set to make her mark on the Rugby World Cup.

Taniwha Toys n Tales is awaiting final approval from the International Rugby Board for the Robyn Kahukiwa-designed Tutu Taniwha soft toys and bi-lingual children's books.

Co-director Andrea Kahukiwa, the artist's daughter-in-law says, says they took their existing toy and book to world cup organisers because they felt it had broad appeal.
The toy will have a cloak with Rugby World Cup imagery, while the book will include rugby themes and new characters from the latest Tutu Taniwha books.


The Canterbury earthquakes could lead to a reduction in resources Maori language education in the region.

Academic Rawiri Taonui says it appears more Maori may have permanently left Christchurch than other groups because they have been able to call on extensive whanau networks.

He says some kura kaupapa now report having half the number of students they had before the quake.

He says kura stand to lose classrooms and other resources if they can’t get enough students.

Rawiri Taonui says when kura first reopened rolls were down by as much as 80 percent, but numbers have come up.


The country's big five accounting firms have signed up to an initiative to promote Maori economic development and Maori leadership.

Deloitte partner Leon Wijohn from Te Rarawa and Tuhoe says Deloitte, KPMG, PwC, Ernst and Young and BDO are funding the National Maori Accountants Network - Nga Kaitatau Maori o Aotearoa - to run hui to help Maori businesses and encourage Maori to study accountancy.

He says it's a way to get more Maori into the profession, with less than 2 percent of accountants now Maori and Maori organisations needing people with business skills.

The firms will also fund a scholarship and cadetship for a Maori accounting student.


The organiser of a series of readings by Maori and Pacific authors and poets says it has highlighted the need to encourage writing in te reo Maori.

Alice Te Punga Sommerville says the Maori and Pasifika Books Changing Lives series at Wellington’s Victoria University has drawn a good turnout to hear from the likes of Whiti Hereaka, Albert Belz, Hinemoana Baker and Karlo Mila.

She says a panel discussion in the library at lunchtime today will look at Maori language publishing.

“The starting point for the korero will be how come there were no books in the Maori language category for the last two years in the New Zealand Book Awards, so we can think about what is working and not working now and hopefully end the series with the possibilities for writing in either language,” Dr Sommerville says.

The panel includes Huia publisher Robyn Bargh, and Waitangi Teepa and Kararaina Uatuku from Learning Media.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Third sector housing plan passing the buck

Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says the government wants to avoid building more state houses by passing the buck ... but not the bucks ... to the iwi and community sectors.

She says Housing Minister Phil Heatley's "third sector" policy of getting community organisations to provide homes for the needy is just cost cutting.

While some iwi may want to provide housing, they don't have the resources to make up for more than a century of government neglect.

“Government is trying to avoid its responsibilities and to make iwi in particular and the community sector in general responsible for housing people and housing is basic infrastructure like roading, like electricity, like water,” Ms Turei says.

New Zealand needs an additional 70,000 houses, and the government must take responsibility for delivering a significant amount of that stock.


Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon wants the reconstruction of Christchurch to be used as a gigantic trades training programme.

The Government this week launched the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, which has a five year mandate to rebuild the city.
Mr Solomon says Christchurch has historically been a centre for Maori trade training, and Ngai Tahu is keen to set up an apprenticeship hub to channel young unemployed Maori into useful occupations.

He says Ngai Tahu's property company has experience building environmentally friendly housing, and the iwi is keen to be heavily involved in the rebuilding.


Nine young Maori this week started a Department of Conservation training course that readies them to take up kaitiaki or guardianship roles.

Barney Thomas, one of the department's pou kura taio or iwi relationship managers, says the students from around the country kicked off the second Tauira Kaitiaki Taiao conservation cadetship programme with a live-in week at Tainui's Hopuhopu facility.

He says the 21 month course will prepare them to work in the department, with local authorities, or in positions created by iwi.

After training on a marae they will work in DoC area officers.

Barney Thomas says as well as practical conservation skills, the cadets will get lessons in te reo and tikanga Maori.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says the coming together of Maori and environmentalists to protest oil exploration by Brazilian company Petrobras off the east coast is a positive development.

She says Maori have often found common ground with the environmental movement, such as in the Coromandel No mining protests.

She says it will be seen again this weekend when a flotilla arrives off Cape Runaway to support Te Whanau a Apanui and Ngati Porou.


Labour leader Phil Goff says the party will have a formidable team of Maori in contesting Northland seats in this year's next election.

List MP Kelvin Davis will take on the newly-independent Hone Harawira for the Tai Tokerau seat, and with Shane Jones turning his sights to the Tamaki Makaurau electorate, Lynette Stewart from Ngati Wai will take on a first time National candidate in the general Northland seat.

Labour’s Whangarei candidate is Pat Newman from Ngai Tahu.


Ngati Poneke Young Maori Club is creating a digital pataka for its waiata.
The long-standing Wellington-based kapa haka is seeking copies of any recorded performances.

Project leader Teresa McGregor says older members had expressed concern about waiata being lost, whether they be CDs, tapes or records, but also written lyrics of song that may not have been recorded.

Ngati Poneke wants its digital library in place before the club's 75th anniversary next year.

Whanau Ora cuts could dent Maori Party

An advisor to independent MP Hone Harawira says any cuts to the Whanau Ora budget would hurt the Maori Party.

Malcolm Mulholland of Ngati Kahungunu is working on forming a new political party around the Tai tokerau MP.

He says with Prime Minister John Key and Finance Minister Bill English flagging major cuts across the board in the May 19 budget, rumours that funding for the new service delivery model could be cut by as much as $70 million are causing alarm.

“If that's your flagship policy and it’s been whittled down to next to nothing, then I think the Maori Party also has so very serious issues to confront.
Mr Mulholland says.

Cutting the Whanau Ora budget may damage the Maori Party brand, but it could help National.


The chair of the Ahuwhenua Trophy committee says this year's finalists illustrate some positive trends in Maori farming.

Kingi Smiler says Waipapa 9 Trust near Taupo, Pakihiroa Farms west of Ruatoria and Otakanini Topu Incorporation near Helensville have fuelled their growth by buying adjoining properties and collaborating with other Maori farmers.

He says his own Wairarapa Moana Incorporation is involved with the Miraka milk processing plant being built on Tuaropaki land at Mokai, which will provide an alternative to Fonterra for many Maori dairy farms in the central North Island.

“And I think you are going to see this collective working amongst Maori trusts, increasing their investment both in terms of acquiring more lands and also investment in the value chain so they are dealing directly with the customers overseas,” Mr Smiler says.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy winner will be announced in Rotorua on June 2.


An Invercargill total immersion school is enlisting the wider community in a fight to save its auditorium.

Protest organiser Keita Wainui says Te Wharekura o Arowhenua is holding an open day on Friday, the day the Education Ministry intends to start demolishing the 500-seat Tainui Auditorium.

She says the facility is used by a wide range of groups, Maori, Pakeha, Indian, Pacific Island and Asian.

The auditorium will cost more than $200,000 to demolish, but the community is willing to raise the $30,000 the ministry says is needed for a new roof.


Ngapuhi's Kingi Taurua is planning to take a protest against the new Marine and Coastal Area - Takutai Moana - Act to the place the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed.

The Ngati Rehia and Ngati Kawa kaumatua is inviting all New Zealanders to the beach at Waitangi on Saturday morning.

He says after asserting the hapu's customary ownership of the foreshore, there will be a hikoi tio the treaty grounds.

“We just cannot take this lying down. This is a racist policy it is taking away our right and I am not going to allow that to happen. I am not going to let our young people of tomorrow fight for this kaupapa. We need to fight it now for them for tomorrow,” Mr Taurua says.

He says the new law signed off by the Maori Party and National goes against the Treaty of Waitangi and the earlier Declaration of Independence.


Labour's Maori Affairs spokesperson says times are going to get tougher for Maori in Christchurch.

Parekura Horomia was in the quake-ravaged city to take part in a meeting of Labour's front bench.

He says it reminds him of the desolation he saw on the East Coast after Cyclone Bola - and in that case it was a couple of months before the true extent of loss really hit.

“Maori generally because of the economy have pressure on them, like unemployment, the Maori unemployment rate this year us the highest since the second work war, so it’s hard enough to compete where everything is easy and people are in jobs,” Mr Horomia says.


Te Putea Whakatupu Trust wants to boost the number of Maori who can fill middle and senior management jobs in Maori organisations.

The trust, which uses money from the Maori fisheries settlement to promote broader Maori development, is working with the Maori Education Trust to create 30 Tawera Scholarships for Maori studying business, commerce or management degrees at bachelor level.

Its chair, Richard Jefferies of Ngati Raukawa, says Maori are under-represented in those fields which would see them moving into key positions.

The growth of Maori land incorporations and post-treaty settlement iwi is creating a huge demand for skilled Maori.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ngati Awa challenges housing rhetoric

The chief executive of Te Runanga o Ngati Awa says if the government is serious about radically increasing the stock of social housing, it needs to look at ways for iwi to get involved.

Jeremy Gardiner is denying a report the iwi wants to buy Whakatane's state houses.

But he says Housing Minister Phil Heatley's call at last week's community housing conference for a third sector to help provide social and affordable housing fitted in with discussions among iwi who are considering becoming housing providers.

“My challenge to the conference and the minister was that if you are really serious about creating a third sector, then iwi are a good partner. Again, if you are serious, the government is going to have to think about valuing the housing asset differently to how it does at the moment which is base on its book value,” Mr Gardiner says.

He says the 400 state houses in Whakatane are valued at $80 million, but based on rental returns they aerwe worth a quarter of that.


A close advisor to Hone Harawira says the independent MP's willingness to stand up for the hard up will help his reelection prospects.

Massey University academic Malcolm Mulholland of Ngati Kahungunu says the Maori Party's close relationship with National will play to Mr Harawira's advantage.

He says many Maori in the Tai Tokerau electorate are struggling with stagnant wages and a rising cost of living.

“There's no real voice being promoted in a Maori sense especially for those who are less better off than others so there is this void there and Hone is very well placed to capture that voice,” Mr Mulholland says.

He says Maori people are now waiting to see whether Hone Harawira is able to create a party around him, and who its candidates will be.


New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing Te Whanau a Apanaui's protest against oil exploration off the East Coast.

A flotilla of boats is on its way to Cape Runaway to take a stand against Brazilian oil giant Petrobras's plans.

Mr Peters says New Zealanders have no confidence the government has properly weighted the environmental and social risks.

“The key issue is, have we been asked or consulted on this issue and the answer is no. It just went ahead like what Jerry Brownlee tried to do on the national parks, when they got rolled. That’s what they tried to do,” he says.

Mr Peters says the royalty rates are so low that that New Zealanders stand to make very little if Petrobras does discover oil.


A Hamilton-based Maori consultancy has identified a need to develop leadership among those implementing the government's whanau ora model of service delivery.

Digital Indigenous is being funded by the Health Ministry's Maori Health Innovations Fund to run Titoko o Te Ao, a wananga series starting next month at Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia.

Facilitator Tania Hodges says as well a picking up insights into leadership and tikanga Maori, the participants will be able to consider ways for whanau ora to expand beyond the current mandate.

She says with only Te Puni Kokiri, Health and the Ministry for Social Development involved so far, it’s important to bring in others,

Whanau Ora services need to recognise the interconnectedness of health, education, housing, justice, welfare, employment and lifestyle.


The chair of the Ahuwhenua Trophy committee says the annual award for Maori excellence in farming is the toughest competition of its kind.

Three farms are in line for the sheep and beef award: Waipapa 9 Trust near Taupo, which currently holds the award for its dairying operation ... Pakihiroa Farms west of Ruatoria, which is owned by Te Runanga o Ngati Porou ... and Ngati Whatua's Otakanini Topu Incorporation in the south Kaipara.

Kingi Smiler says the trio has won through a guelling selection process looking at their governance, financial performance and the environmental and farming practices they use to build sustainability.

He says the competition has become a way to share knowledge and experience among Maori farmers.

No foreshore law backlash - Turia

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is discounting any Maori backlash against the passing of the Marina and Coastal Area - Takutai Moana - Act.

She says while the media has highlighted opposition to the law passed last week, the party is hearing a different story.

“If I was to judge it by the people who have contacted us, I would say the backlash is minimal. It’s been mainly from Pakeha New Zealanders from the Coastal Coalition but from our own people I can truthfully say it hasn’t been a lot,” Mrs Turia says.

She says controversy about legislation tends to die away once people see it in action, such as happened when the Maori Party supported the so called anti-smacking law.


A farm which brings together the vestiges of Ngati Whatua land in the Kaipara area and another with ties to an early Anglican missionary family are among the finalists for this year's Ahuwhenua Trophy for Maori Excellence in Farming.

This year the revived competition is looking at sheep and beef farmers, with the current holder of the dairying trophy, Waipapa 9 Trust from west of Taupo, one of the finalists.

The East Coast is represented by Pakihiroa Farms, a 3000 hectare property west of Ruatoria which includes the Ngati Porou ancestral mountain, Hikurangi.

The farm was bought in 1985 by Te Runanga o Ngati Porou from the Williams family.

The third finalist, Otakanini Topu, runs from northern Muriwai Beach on Auckland's west coast to the southern end of the Kaipara Harbour.

Field days will be held on the farms over the next month, and the winner will be announced in June.


Luke McAlister may be playing his way back into the All Blacks with a string of strong performances for the Auckland Blues.

The Te Atiawa star fly half Luke McAlister kicked 11 of the Blues 16 winning points in last weekend's clash against the chiefs, including the match-winning long-range penalty in the 72nd minute.

Commentator Ken Laban says there's a slot opening up as back up to Daniel Carter, and McAlistair is strengthening his claim as other contenders cancel themselves out.

He says if the Blues continue to perform on the field, McAlister's chances of World Cup game time will improve.


Waikato-Hauraki MP Nanaia Mahuta is endorsing Phil Goff as the best person to be leading the Labour party.

Ms Mahuta raised her leader's hackles last week when she questioned his attempt to rule out Hone Harawira as a potential coalition partner.

But she says he has attracted undue criticism for his handling of Darren Hughes' resignation, and talk of a leadership coup is media spin.

“He has steered us through some very difficult waters and over a term where the Government maintains high levels of popularism so Phil at this point in time is the best person to be doing the job on behalf of the team,” Ms Mahuta says.

She says Darren Hughes was very supportive of Maori issues, and his resignation is a real loss to the caucus.


Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says he's keen to see Maori putting forward claims under the Marine and Coastal Area - Takutai Moana - Act.

He says the Maori Party believes its replacement for Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Act has removed the barriers to winning customary title to coastal areas.

"It's not in Crown ownership and the door is open for people to go to negotiations with the Crown and the court so let’s bring it on. Case by case basis circumstances will be different throughout the country and I hope our people go to it hard,” Mr Flavell says

The Maori Party is already getting indications from major iwi that they want to move into negotiation for ownership of the foreshore.


A team of Auckland Maori wardens is on its way back to Christchurch this morning to resume its work distributing relief aid in quake hit suburbs.

Spokesperson Thomas Henry, the chair of the Auckland wardens, says the group has been home for a much needed respite after several weeks.

He says stress levels continue to rise, and people are glad of not just the food parcels and water but having a sympathetic ear to talk to.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Flotilla furthering foreshore fight

Independent MP Hone Harawira says the flotilla on its way to protest oil prospecting off the East Coast is a continuation of the foreshore and seabed protest.

The Tai Tokerau MP was at Auckland's Princes Wharf yesterday to farewell a flotilla which is answering a call from te Kaha-based iwi Te Whanau a Apanui.

He says Brazilian oil giant Petrobras's exploration plans are the reason the fight was worth having.

“The takutai moana isn’t just about the beach. It’s abiout retaining our rights to the land, to the foreshore and to the seabed and part of that seabed is the bit the Maori Party has willingly signed off on which is that the government can go and mine anywhere and drill anywhere and they don’t have to ask Maori for nothing,” Mr Harawira says.

He says the waters off his Taitokerau electorate face a similar threat from oil exporation.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says it's up to individual iwi whether they want to oppose mining and oil exploration.

She says the environmentalists are right in that any offshore drilling mishap could have severe consequences for the coast.

But she says rangatiratana means iwi get to chart their own course.

“Those who don’t want to have either oil exploration or sand mining, that’s their business. We’re not in Parliament to speak for the hapu and iwi. That’s their job to uphold their rangatiratanga and that’s what they’ve chose to do and that’s their right,” Mrs Turia says.

She is aware of other iwi who support mining and oil drilling because they see potential to make money from it.


A trust set up as part of the Maori fisheries settlement has broadened its activities to include supporting the development of general Maori business capability.

In the past scholarships from Te Ohu Kaimoana have focused on study which will lead to career opportunities in the fishing industry.

But Richard Jefferies, the chair of Te Putea Whakatupu Trust, says Te Ohu Kaimoana's iwi and urban Maori stakeholders have also identified the need for more Maori to take up middle and senior management jobs in Maori organisations.

“As all the iwi settle their claims and as Maori develop economic capability we as an education and training trust support the development of capability so we can maximize what is going to be achieved over the next 10, 20, 30 years and so we felt it was important we helped lift the number of Maori coming through with basic or core business capability,” Mr Jefferies says.

Up to 30 Tawera Scholarships will be available through Te Putea Whakatupu and the Maori Education Trust for Maori who are enrolled in business, commerce or management degrees at bachelor level.


Former Maori Party adviser Annette Sykes says her local MP Te Ururoa Flavell has betrayed Te Arawa people with his support of the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act.

The Rotorua lawyer says Mr Flavell was sent to parliament by the Waiariki electorate to roll back the confiscation and discrimination of Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Act.

But she says the work he did on the new Act failed on that count.

“None of those compromises justify in any way the confiscation of the lands of the people of Te Arawa from Matata to Maketu and for me it’s a betrayal of the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi is established but also the foundations on which the Maori party established,” Ms Sykes says.

She is considering standing against Mr Flavell in Waiariki if former Maori Party MP Hone Harawira creates a new Maori political party.


But Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell believes his electorate is still behind him on the foreshore and seabed issue.

He held several hui in the electorate during the development of the Marine and Coastal Area Bill to keep voters up to date.

“I've attempted as best I can to keep people informed about what’s going on and have sought a mandate from my electorate the mandate to carry on was given to me from my keenest supporters,” Mr Flavell says.

He's disappointed Annette Sykes describes him as a traitor for his stance, but it's time to move on.


A public health expert is calling for Maori to ease off the salt.

It's World Salt Awareness Week, when people will be asked to lower their salt intake from the current average of about one and a half teaspoons a day.

Robert Beaglehole, an emeritus professor at Auckland University, says it's as important as tobacco control, with an unacceptably large number of Maori contracting salt-related illnesses.

High salt intake leads of high blood pressure, heart disease and kidney disease.

Professor Beaglehole says it's relatively easy to wean people off high salt-diets because taste buds take only a few weeks to adjust.

Maungatautari owners threatened with court

Ngati Koroki Kahukura Settlement Trust says it will take action against Maori owners who are threatening to block access to an ecological reserve.

Spokesperson Willie Te Aho says Maungataurari 4G4 is siding with four Pakeha landowners who claim Maori have too much say in the Maungataurari reserve near Cambridge.

He says while there are legitimate grievances about compensation for land within the 47km pest proof fence, the trust is committed to keeping the pests off the mountain while letting the public in.

The issue could end up in the Maori Land Court.


Pita Sharples says the debate over the Marine and Coastal Area Bill has made the Maori Party stronger.

The bill passed last week amid claims it would pit Maori against each other as they sought to establish customary rights within the six-year deadline, and that the tests for establishing those rights was too high.

But Dr Sharples says the party kept its promises, and that will count at election time.

“It's made us stronger and made the people realise we are people of integrity, we keep our word. We promised the people repeal. We promised the people (an avenue) back to courts, and that’s all we promised and we’ve delivered. And people have got to get out of the isea that they’ve lifted the bar themselves and suddenly wanted ownership of the foreshore and seabed, which is nothing that we promised,” he says.

Dr Sharples says the Maori Party will stand on its record of achievement which also includes whanau ora, prisons reform, and lower petrol and power bills.


The coach of the first domestic representative Maori cricket team predicts Jesse Ryder's slashing top score of 83 in the Black Caps win over South Africa in India will encourage more Maori into the sport.

Graeme Stewart’s Northern Maori team narrowly went to Waikato University in its first 50-over encounter this weekend.

Mr Stewart, who is also assistant coach of the Northern Knights, says Maori kids are taking to cricket as never before, and they love heroes.

Northern Maori’s next game is against the Cook Islands at Seddon Park in Hamilton next Friday.


About 50 members of Te Whanau a Apanui were among the 300 people at Auckland's Princess Wharf yesterday to farewell a flotilla of 10 boats heading for the eastern Bay of Plenty to protest oil exploration off their rohe.

They presented the captains with banners saying Brazilian company Petrobras is not welcome.

Spokesperson Robert Ruha says the east coast iwi is overwhelmed by the support it is getting.

The Greenpeace-organised fleet is expected to be joined by other craft as it makes its way to rendezvous with Te Whanau a Apanui off Cape Runaway on April 2.


This Te Ohu Kaimoana international scholarship winner has had to cut short his stay in Japan because of the earthquake and tsunami.

Te Puoho Katene from Ngati Toa and Ngati Whatua spent most of last year learning Japanese and getting ready to work in Japan with Sealord co-owner.

But he had only been in the country for six weeks when the disaster struck, and it was several hours before he was able to get back across Tokyo to confirm his fmily was safe.

Te Puoho Katene hopes to return to Japan when the situation is safer for himself and his family.