Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Party prepares for Harawira welshing

Maori Party president Pem Bird says the party is ready if Hone Harawira tears up his agreement not to stand candidates against sitting Maori Party MPs.

The Tai Tokerau MP is expected to announce the no-compete deal is off as he gets ready to launch his new Mana party at the end of the month.

Mr Bird says the party has observed its former MP's activities as he has travelled the country trying to draw together potential members, including disaffected Maori Party members.

“He's gone about his business. We haven’t tried to intervene or panic of kneekerk in any way. That’s his business. What the fall out is in actual numbers we don’t know, but we don’t believe them to be all that large. In terms of the agreements we struck with Hone, standing a party is in the terms of the agreement. What the breach is if he was standing candidates in our electorates,” he says.

Mr Bird says the Maori Party is still a couple of weeks away from reestablishing Maori Party branches in Tai Tokerau, but a decision on standing a candidate in that electorate depends on whether Mr Harawira honours his side of the agreement.


It may be Easter, but the part of the New Testament Dave Taui has in mind is the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

Mr Taui is the organiser of the first Ngongotaha Trout Festival, a weekend of music, food and fishing at Ngongotaha Domain near Lake Rotorua.

He says as well as listening to the likes of House of Shem, Moana and the Tribe and Cornerstone Roots, festival-goers can sample the local delicacy.

He says the organisers have been stockpiling trout, and since it can’t be sold, it will be given away.


The biggest event of the year for Maori Catholics is in Tauranga this weekend, where Aquinas College is hosting the Hui Aranga.

Organising secretary Pam Bidois says more than 1500 people are expected at the Gathering of the Resurrection, which has been held every Easter since 1946.

She says a wide range of activities will keep everyone busy, including services, kapa haka, sports competitions, choirs and sacred solos.

It's a year today since New Zealand endorsed the Declaration on the Rights of indigenous Peoples, but Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says it has yet to deliver the benefits the Maori Party hoped for when co-leader Pita Sharples spoke at the United Nations.

He says the tough economic situation has slowed progress on acknowledgement of Maori rights, but the party takes a long term view.

He says like considering the Treaty of Waitangi part of New Zealand’s constitutional framework, it can take some time for change to happen.


Associate Maori Affairs Minister Georgina Te Heuheu says she's backing a push to shift the emphasis on Maori language revitalisation into the home.

A report by a ministerial review panel headed by Sir Tamati Reedy said the government didn't seem to be getting value for money from its spending on television, radio and the education sector generally.

It recommended a new governance structure and more emphasis on language transmission at whanau level.

Mrs te Heu Heu says that's key to the revival.

“The reo must grow within the family and the whanau. Whatever else does or doesn’t happen in terms of their recommendations, I think that is a singularly important thing for us to think about,” she says.

Mrs Te Heuheu says there are successful examples within her own Tuwharetoa iwi of whanau who have successfully made a commitment to grow the language within the family.


A doco-drama to be screened on Maori Television on ANZAC Day will argue there is a third Maori Victoria Cross winner.

Director Julian Arahanga says World War 1 flying ace William Rhodes Moorhouse was the first airman to win the highest military honour.

Mr Aranga says when he looked more closely at the Royal Air Force pilot's New Zealand connections, he found his grandparents were settler-politician William Barnard Rhodes and Otahui from Ngati Ruanui.

Rhodes-Moorhouse’s mother Mary Ann inherited her father's wealth and moved to England, where her son was born.

Greens count cost of Harawira party

Greens co-leader Meteria Turei is counting on her party benefiting from splits in the Maori vote when Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira forms his own party.

Mr Harawira will launch his Mana Party in Auckland at the end of the month.

Ms Turei says the Greens lost votes to the Maori Party last election, so it's disaffected Maori voters will swing back its way rather than following the man from the north.

IN: He could get one maybe two MPs, but it’s more of an electorate vote campaign than a party vote campaign I would have thought and so to that extent people will still be inclined to give their party vote to the Greens and their electorate vote to Hone.” Ms Turei says.

She's picking up a lot of disappointment from Maori voters about the Maori party's performance as part of the National-led government.


A Murupara social worker says it has taken chief youth court judge Andrew Beecroft to show social service agencies how they need to learn to work together.

Judge Beecroft attended the first Youth Services Forum in the Bay of plenty forestry town, which has a long history of gang related violence.

Jacob Te Kurapa from Te Ika Whenua Hauora says he had a challenge for the agencies present.

“The Judge took a quick straw poll. The right hand side did not know what the left hand side were doing and the right hand side were crying out for resources, the left hand side had the resources and the judge was a bit concerned, and so were some of us, that that link should be made and made quickly,” he says.

Mr Te Kurapa says it turned out more than 50 different agencies and organisations have been working in the township.


With Auckland mayor Len Brown talking up the possibility of waka racing on Waitemata Harbour, a west Auckland school is reviving its waka ama option.

Te Iwi Ngaro Dunne from Rutherford College says the outrigger canoes were used in the 1990s, but the sport lapsed.

She says it's a good way for students to stay both physically and spiritually healthy.

The difference with traditional sports is waka ama gives them a view of the Pacific that incorporates both Maori and Pacific kaupapa, so it broadens youth and gives them both a Maori and a Pacific worldview.


Labour's infrastructure spokesperson Shane Jones says the Government has erred by ignoring a Maori-backed alternative to its rural broadband plans.

Mr Jones says the $285 million contract signed with Telecom and Vodafone will saddle the rural sectors, including the Maori export sector, with obsolete 3G technology which won't deliver the promised speeds.

He says there was a clearly superior offer on the table from a consortium which included Maori interests and state-owned networks company Kordia.

“It's a real puzzle as to why Steven Joyce is so ignorant of the other alternatives. Although he has only been around for three years, he is the manager of the government when John Key is eating English muffins, you can rest assured Steven Joyce is managing the country for him,” Mr Jones says.

He says Mr Joyce has turned the Rural Broandband initiative into corporate welfare for Telecom.


Organisers of the annual Tuhoe festival expect the fate of Te Uruwera will be a major topic of discussion.

Administrator Haromi Williams says up to 20,000 people are expected at the 40th Te Hui Ahurei o Tuhoe which starts at Ruatoki today.

She says while most are there for the sports, the kapa haka and the whanaungatanga, there will also be keen interest in the debates where at least one hot topic will be back on the table for discussion.

“We're going through a process of getting our Treaty of Waitangi claims sorted with the Crown and no doubt one of the topics will be centered around Te Urewera because it was taken off the discussion table during negotiations with the Crown,” Mrs Williams says.

The Tuhoe Festival ends on Monday with an Anzac Day memorial service at Te Rewarewa Marae in Ruatoki.


The Miromoda Fashion Design Awards are looking for Maori models.

Miramoda founder Ata Te Kanawa says says male and female models are needed to show off what up and coming Maori fashion designers have come up with.

She says it's an excellent opportunity for models as the judges are industry experts ... but it's not for the faint-hearted.

Miramoda prefers models with some experience, and it’s not something for anyone who is shy or intimidated.

This year's Miramoda is in Wellington on June 4.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rural broadband corporate welfare in action

Labour's infrastructure spokesperson Shane Jones says the awarding of $285 million to Telecom and Vodafone for rural broadband is a blow to the Maori export sector.

Communications minister Steven Joyce today confirmed that contracts had been negotiated with the two incumbents to roll out a mix of fibre bakchaul and fixed wireless links to deliver 3G broadband to 250,000 rural customers.

Mr Jones says the government is paying for yesterday's technology in a blatant case of corporate welfare that will stifle innovation.

“The bulk of the Maori economy exposed to the fortunes of the export markets are located in provincial and rural New Zealand and they are going to be lumbered with this dodgy decision which has more to do with corporate welfare than the advancement of our nation,” he says.

Mr Jones says the government doesn't appear to have given proper consideration to a competing bid, which would have used spectrum from Maori interests, state-owned Kordia and Woosh to deliver a 4G solution.


Greens Co-leader Meteria Turei says any cuts in Family Court services will hit Maori hard.

Announcing a review of the court, justice minister Simon Power indicated he would like to see stricter rules about who could access the court, as well as changes to the way counsellors and mesiators were used.

Therre could also be more user charges.

Ms Turei says the increased cost of the court in recent years is a result of its effectiveness and the wide range of roles it is asked to perform.

She says as high users of the court, the review is a real concern for Maori.


Ngati Whatua o Orakei is welcoming a suggestion from Auckalnd mayor Len Brown that waka races become a feature of major events on the Waitemata Harbour.

Spokesperson Ngarimu Blair says the Waterfront Auckland council controlled organisation he is a director of is already considering the idea for its own events.

He says Maori people in the region used to race ships in waka, and it would be good to revive the sport.


Labour leader Phil Goff says the government's changes to foreign investment rules clearly haven't gone far enough.

The Overseas Investment Office is considering whether to approve Chines company's $200 million bid for the 16 Crafar Farms.

Mr Goff says it's disappointing the bid has got so far when other local bids, including one involving Tainui, have been rejected by the receivers.

He says it will be hard to argue the Chinese are adding value to the economy.

“They don't have better technology that us. They don’t have better animal husbandry or pasture management. All it means is they force up the price of farmland that makes it harder for ordinary kiwi farmers get n it, but they’re not producing anything for New Zealand, they’re simply taking money out of the country,” Mr Goff says.


Maori and Pasifika extras are being sought for the sequel to hit movie Sione's Wedding.

Brian Gerard from Auckland agency Kam Talent says filming for Sione 2 starts next month, bringing together the crew of Samoan actors who starred in the 2005 original.

He says Maori and Polynesian extras aged between 18 and 40 are needed to fill the backgrounds in some scenes which will be shot in the Karangahape Rd nightclub area.

The film is due for release early next year.


The chair of Nga Kaihoe o Aotearoa, Hori Pomana, says waka afficianados are already on the case to be part of the annual Auckland Anniversary regatta.

Auckland mayor Len Brown says he wants to see waka racing back on the Waitemata Harbour.

Mr Pomona says it would have happened in this year's regatta but for bad weather which forced the cancellation of the event.

Nga Kaihoe is hoping for better weather next year so waka ama can join the Auckland Anniversary festivities.

Protein not land argument silly

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is rejecting the defence by an old political adversary for a Chinese bid for Crafar Farms.

Former prime minister Jenny Shipley told TV One's Q+A show that the Shanghai Pengxin bid to buy the 16 farms from receivers KordaMentha was about a desire for protein, not for land.

Mr Peters says that's ridiculous.

“Wouldn't matter whether it’s Americans, Canadians or Chinese, the fact is you do not give away, from a country that is a leading developer and organiser of high quality cheap dairy products, the source of that wealth. This is a very circuitous and silly argument that I'm hearing,” he says.

Mr Peters says the government should be doing more to back New Zealand bids for the farms, such as one which involved Tainui.


MP Nanaia Mahuta says the Waipa District Council is partly to blame for creating a rift within Ngati Koroki Kahukura over stewardship of the Maungatautari ecological reserve near Cambridge.

The iwi, which stands to get the bulk of the mountain back under its treaty settlement, is at loggerheads with Maungatautari 4G4, a whanau trust which controls one of the main access points.

Ms Mahuta says while the iwi wants to keep the gate open, the trust has advice from the council, which has since been withdrawn, that it would be liable if anyone was injured passing through its property.

She hopes it can be worked through with negotiation.


The Fire Service's Rotorua's area manager is urging Maori to take up the offer of free smoke alarms as winter sets in.

Graham Fuller says since the start of the year the service has been installing smoke alarms and giving safety advice to people who are most at risk of having fires in their homes.

He says most fires in Maori homes are the result of unattended cooking and children playing with matches and lighters, and Maori people make up a larger proportion of the Central Lakes District fire death statistics than other groups.


Opponents of oil prospecting off East Cape will march through Gisborne today to mark the first anniversary of the explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ani Pahuru-Huriwai from Te Ahi Ka says that disaster looms large in the fight against Brazilian oil giant Petrobras ... because it happened at the same time the Government was signing off the deal without reference to Ngati Porou or Te Whanau a Apanui.

The hikoi will leave Te Poho o Rawiri marae at the base of Kaiti Hill at 3 in the afternoon heading for Heipipi Endeavour Park in the centre of town.


The author of a new report on Maori adult literacy says policies aimed at improving achievement levels of Maori children also need to look at their parents.

He Whanau Matau, He Whanau Ora was lauched yesterday at a symposium run by its sponsors, Literacy Aotearoa and the Council for Education Research.

Helen Potter says by interviewing adult literacy providers and their students, she found parents who learned to read took a greater role in their children's education.

She recommends a new approach.

“When government is looking at their policies and interventions to improve the literacy and numeracy of Maori children at school, that they also turn their attention to the literacy and numeracy of whanau and parents and that they include that in their whole policy mix, that there is a holistic framework and not just kids in isolation,” Ms Potter says.

Literacy providers should become part of any whanau ora strategy, because literacy is key to that policy's aims for whanau development.


Auckland mayor Len Brown wants to seek waka racing as part of the annual Auckland Anniversary regatta on Waitamata harbour.

Mr Brown says the day marks the arrival in Tamaki Makaurau in 1840 of the first governor, William Hobson, fresh from signing the Treaty of Waitangi.

He says in the city's early days it included waka and whale boat races.

Len Brown say the waka races on the Waikato river at Ngaruawahia during Coronation weekend are a sign of what can be done.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pacific Voyagers fleet sets sail

Members of the Pacific Voyagers' Fleet are relieved to finally be sailing.

The five double-hulled fibreglass canoes sailed from Auckland's Viaduct Harbour this afternoon out to the Colville Channel before heading off into the Pacific.

Frank Kawe, the kaihautu of the Aotearoa waka Te Matau a Maui, says delaying the start to avoid the weekend's bad weather meant the crews enjoyed some extra time with whanau.

Frank Kawe says two more vaka will join the fleet at the French Polynesian atoll of Fakarava before they sails on to Hawaii and the west coast of the United States on their mission to raise awareness of ocean pollution.


New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters says a ministerial review of spending on Maori revitalisation has failed to answer the question on whether the government and language learners are getting value for money.

The review led by Sir Tamati Reedy called for a minister for te reo Maori and a new structure of regional bodies to control spending.

But Mr Peters, a former minister for Maori affairs, says he's picking up concerns about the level of professionalism in the sector.

“Without saying anything untoward I would like to see a thorough review done so that and kura kaupapa lives up to what has been promised. I think that has to be done first before you rush out and provide new funding,” Mr Peters says.


The Play it Strange Trust is encouraging Auckland secondary school songwriters to tackle the theme of Matariki.

Chief executive Mike Chunn says the writers of the 10 best songs will get them to record them for an album, and the winner of the best song will get to perform them at a special midwinter concert at the Aotea Centre.

He says the songs can be in English, Maori or bilingual, and the matariki or Maori new year theme is open to wide interpretation.

Entries to the Matariki Songwriting competition close 11 May.


New research from Literacy Aotearoa and the Council for Education Research has found a big upside for children's education when their parents learn to read.

The report He Whanau Matau, He Whanau Ora: Maori adult literacy and whanau transformation was luanched today at a symposium on Maori adult literacy in Rotorua.

Author Helen Potter says parents, grandparents and adult literacy teachers identified a range of benefits such as being more able to support reading in the home and help with homework, as well as being excited about their children’s learning.

Being able to read also gave parents much more confidence to meet teachers at their children's school.


Auckland mayor Len Brown says the strength of the council's own Maori unit allowed a satisfactory funding deal to be negotiated with the Maori statutory board.

The board withdrew its High Court review of the council's decision to slash its budget after much of its projected spending was shifted to the council's own allocation.

Mr Brown says bringing together the Maori focus units of the previous council in the Auckland region has given the new council a strong body of 26 Maori professionals who can support the board.

He says the statutory board members are gaining respect in the various committees they have been appointed to.


It's been 15 years in the making, but Ngatapa Black finally has her own album out.

The Maori television presenter and daughter of jazz singer Whirimako Black describes her bilingual set Black Light as roots-jazz-soul.

She says after years of writing demos, it was time to step up ... even if it meant funding the album herself and paying the musicians ... from bands like Ardijah, Che Fu & the Crates and Tohu ... in kai.

Ngatapa Black has also produced a collection of Maori songs for a German label, and she's putting together a collaborative tribute to the songs and life of the late Hirini Melbourne.

Crafar Farms missed opportunity

Hauraki - Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta says the Government hasn't done enought to back New Zealand based offers to buy Crafar Farms.

Shanghai Pengxin International Group is waiting for Overseas Inveastment
Office approval to buy the 16 dairy farms from the receivers for $200 million ... which is about what is owed to banks and farm services companies.

Ms Mahuta says Labour can't see there is much difference to an earlier bid by another Chinese company, Natural Dairy, which was rejected by the OIO.

“Tainui had an interet in a New Zealand-based offer on those farms and I’m just disappointed the Government didn’t lok at that and say ‘actually, on balance, why wouldn’t we sell to a New Zealand based set of interests rather than an overseas base,’” she says.

Ms Mahuta says New Zealand land should be kept in New Zealand hands.
Receivers Korda Mentha say the Pengxin offer of $200 million is the best around.


Waikato University's Te Piringa - Faculty of Law is marking its 20th anniversary this week, with its roll of Maori graduates a cause for celebration.

Senior lecturer Linda Te Aho says a lot of Maori students have been attracted to the course.

She says while many have gone on to practice in Treaty of Waitangi, family, criminal and environmental law, many up in the public service.

“We've got a high number of our graduates that are headhunted, they’re highly sought after by government departments in Wellington because of the focus we have here on bicultural jurisprudence and learning law in context,” Mrs Te Aho says.

Te Piringa's celebrations will include presentations from PhD students, debates, and speeches from notable graduates including Hamilton mayor Julie Hardaker and Maori Land Court judge Craig Coxhead.


Maori wardens who have just stood down after helping in Christchurch relief efforts say they were embraced by everyone they met in the quake-hit city ... and vice versa.

Tireo Hemi from Whanganui says as later as two weeks after the February 22 quake, the wardens were still finding they were the first official contactmany residents had had.

He says the help needed ranged from food and water to emotional support, with many people, Maori and Pakeha, just happy to get a hug.

The wardens knocked on an average of 700 doors a day.


Labour MP Shane Jones says a private members bill from Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell is proof the Maori Party has been asleep at the wheel.

The bill, in response to opposition from Te Whanau a Apanui and Ngati Porou to oil exploration off East Cape, proposes to give iwi a veto over the issue of prospecting licenses.

Mr Jones says it's ridiculous the Maori Party needs a private members bill to get a government it is part of to consult the people it supposedly represents.

“They crowed about the seabed and foreshore and the first major test there’s a demonstration there is no Maori input, and there will be no Maori involvement in this massive-industrial development of the East Coast. Whanau around the country can see this is no longer a Maori party but Maori putty, molded to suit the interests of the prime minister and the National Party,” Shane Jones


The chief executive of Te Taura Whiri i Te reo Maori says the recommendation in a ministerial review of Maori language spending to increase the focus on Maori being spoken in homes was what her commission has been trying to do for a decade.

Glenis Philip - Barbara confirmed that Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples wrote to her and the chair of the independent commission, Erima Henare, instructing them to refer all media inquiries about the review to his office.

She says the commission would reject any suggestion it was wasting its limited funds.

“There are major changes and shifts afoot in the public sector so every one of us has to stand up and be doubly, trebly accountable for what we do for the dollar,” Mrs Philip-Barbara says.

She says many of review head Sir Tamati Reedy's recommendations look like reshuffling existing entities, which carries great risk during times of economic uncertainty.


Taki Rua Productions has won Lottery Board funding to take its production of Strange Resting Places on a special Rugby World Cup tour.

The play is set around the World War II battle of Monte Cassino and explores relationships formed between Maori and Italian soldiers.

Tour coordinator Keryn Bristow says it might appeal to Italian visitors, so the troupe will team up with marae for performances in places like Dunedin and Nelson where the Italian team has games.

Taki Rua's annual te reo Maori production is also in the pipeline, with the cast and crew working with the prospective audience on a script.

Monday, April 18, 2011

List placings bruise feelings

Waikato-Hauraki MP Nanaia Mahuta says Labour's Maori MPs and Maori seat candidates are still smarting over their treatment by the party's list committee.

The Maori advisory council's recommendations were ignored in the list selection, with Wellington insiders given high list placings and the Ratana-affiliated candidates seeking to take seats off the Maori Party languishing in the lower reaches.

Ms Mahuta says it had an effect on a weekend wananga of Labour candidates and campaign managers.

“Some bruised feelings around the list and obviously those were expressed within the group but by and large everyone is focused on the election,” she says.

Labour's Maori MP's would also like to see more Maori getting selected to winnable general seats.


Te Atiawa ki Poneke wants to enlist public support in its battle to retain guardianship of a controversial waka.

The iwi is in a legal stoush with Wellington City Council, which claims ownership of the te Raukura, the Wellington waka built for 1990 sesquicentennial celebrations.

It held an open day yesterday at Te Maori Cultural Centre adjoining Waiwhetua marae in Lower Hutt for people to view the waka and its companion Aniwaniwa.
Spokesperson Teri Puketapu says the iwi hopes the council will consider a different form of ownership, rather than persist with the court battle.

“We see the wakas as belonging to everybody, with no one having exclusive ownership and that‘s why we want ot have a widely representative trust to be the kaitiaki for the two waka,” Mr Puketapu says.

Te Atiawa is proposing the waka be looked after by a trust including representatives of the Wellington, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt councils and three Te Atiawa marae in the region.


An organiser of the Hawkes Bay's Whanau Ora Festival says it's a great way to show the community what health and social services are available to them.
Mariana Seymour from Maraenui's Nui Trust says the presence of Whanau Ora Minister Tariana Turia helped boost turn-out at the fourth such event.

She says whanau were keen to take advantage of the oportunities on offer, such as the Hawkes Bay DHB offering immunisations.

Tariana Turia says she was impressed with the get up and go spirit evident in Maraenui despite the pouring rain, and she even took the opportunity to get a flu injection.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is defending Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell over his private members bill to give iwi a veto over deep sea oil drilling.

Critics says it's bizarre the party has to negotiate with its government partner through private members bills ... and that it is only getting involved now because of the strength of protests in the East Coast region against exploration by Brazilian company Petrobras.

Mrs Turia says the bill couldn't be rushed.

“People are saying you haven’t done enough and you haven’t done enough quickly. It actually takes a while to draft those bills. Te Ururoa has been in the drafting phase with Parliament who draft these pieces of legislation, it’s probably been a good three or four months,” she says.

Mrs Turia says the government clearly didn't consult with the right people in Te Whanau a Apanui and Ngati Porou when it approved the Petrobras license.


Labour will this week use the Hauraki-Waikato electorate, where a lot of the country's power is generated, to launch a campaign against high power prices.

MP Nanaia Mahuta says the government's plans to sell down its stake in power generators exposes the public to huge risk, and it isn't doing enough now to keep prices down.

She says as a major shareholder getting $700 million a year in dividends, the government could exercise more constraint over the SOEs’ operating practices to exercise control of prices.

Ms Mahuta says many Maori who are already among those hardest hit by rising food and petrol prices will now have to contend with higher power bills as winter comes on.


A senior law lecturer at Waikato University's Te Piringa law faculty says Maori students have come a long way in the faculty's first 20 years.

Te Piringa is celebrating the milestone this week with presentations from PhD students, campus tours and debates.

Linda Te Aho of Waikato-Tainui and Ngati Koroki-Kahukura says it's made a significant contribution to the Maori legal field, with more Maori students coming and more Maori legal academics and lawyers.

A lot of Maori graduates have made careers in Treaty of Waitangi, family, criminal and environmental law.

Compliance audit on Harawira sledging

The Maori Party is investigating whether Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira’s public attacks on it breach the agreement made when he left the party.

Mr Harawira is touring the country building up support for a new political party, although the separation deal precludes that party standing candidates against the four sitting Maori Party MPs.

Maori Party president Pem Bird says a party council meeting in Hastings over the weekend heard from members upset at the maverick MP’s sledging.

“We’re not going to kneejerk about stuff because members have said this, that or the other. We’ll get the information, see what that says, and see if it’s enough to warrant us taking any action,” Mr Bird says.

He says the official investigating the matter has been given a week to report back on whether the agreement has been breached and whether it is extreme enough for the party to stand a Tai Tokerau.


Meanwhile, independent MP Hone Harawira says it’s the Maori Party’s own fault if any new party he creates draws away support.

Mr Harawira says what he’s hearing as he travels the country is Maori people want an alternative.

“I haven’t come across one Maori Party supporter, and I’ve met probably 300, 400 in the past few weeks, not one who genuinely thinks the Maori party is the independent Maori voice in parliament any more. The most polite comment Im getting is the Maori Party is just the Maori translation service of the National Party,” he says.

Hone Harawira says his hikoi will take him to places like Whakatane, Tauranga, Christchurch and Dunedin before he confirms at the end of the month whether the party will go ahead.


The chair of the far north Te Hiku Forum says tourist operators should celebrate Ninety Mile Beach being given back its original name.

The four iwi in the forum want restoration of the name Te Oneroa a Tohe as part of their claim settlement.

Haami Piripi from Te Rarawa chair says he’s not buying the argument from some moteliers and tour companies that foreign visitors will find the name a tongue twister.

“One would think you would want to provide a superb visitor experience and I think it’s established that Maori people, culture, history is very much a part of that experience,” he says.

Mr Piripi says tourism marketing already plays up the connection of the beach as the path spirits were believed to travel on their way to Te Rerenga Wairua or Cape Reinga.


A former chief executive of the Maori Language Commission, Haami Piripi, says creating a minister for te reo Maori would be a retrograde move.

The idea was contained in a ministerial review of spending on Maori language revitalization led by Sir Tamati Reedy.

Mr Piripi says it would undermine Te Taura Whiri, which was fought for thought the treaty claim process.

“The beauty of the commission is that it’s at arms length from the government. Once you establish a minister of the Maori language you put the language at the complete mercy of a minister of the government,” Mr Piripi says.

Rather than reshuffling the bureaucracy, Sir Tamati Reedy’s review should have offered practical ways for iwi to work with the Crown to promote the language.


Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell is putting up a private members bill that would give iwi a veto on offshore oil exploration and development.

The Waiariki MP says the bill is a response to the Government’s lack of consultation with Te Whanau a Apanaui and Ngati Porou before it licensed Brazilian oil giant Petrobras to prospect in the Raukumara Basin of the East Cape.

He says the expectation is iwi would be part of a joint management committee overseeing any exploration in a region.

“It requires tangata whenua governance entities to be consulted about all the issues around the area and we think this is a way forward that may deal with the issues of lack of consultation expressed by Ngti Porou and Te Whanau a Apanui,” Mr Flavell says.

He has not talked with the government about whether it would support the bill if it were drawn from the ballot.


Archeologists are excited by the find of a large argillite adze at a 15th century pa site near Porirua.

Excavation leader Pam Chester says the 40 centimetre adze unearthed at Ngati Toa domain is the sort of find archeologists live for.

She says it’s a large adze, probably used for canoe making, intact and very beautiful.

Pam Chester says after dating and verification the adze will be registered with the Historic Places Trust and probably will end up at Pataka museum in Porirua.