Waatea News Update

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

My Photo
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, April 29, 2011

Key to meet iwi oil protesters

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says Prime Minister John Key has agreed to meet with Te Whanau a Apanui and Ngati Porou next week to hear their concerns about off-shore exploration.

Elvis Teddy, the captain of a fishing boat owned by Te Whanau a Apanui, was remanded on bail for two weeks when he appeared at Tauranga District Court today on charges arising from a marine protest against a seismic survey of the Raukumara Basin.

Mr Flavell says the iwi are still upset they weren't consulted about the licence issued to Brazilian company Petrobras.


Meanwhile, anti- Petrobras campaigner Ani Pahuru-Huriwai says Ngati Porou people are welcoming a Department of Conservation investigation into the number of dead penguins being washed up on East Coast beaches.

She says whanau were on the look out for changes in the marine environment which might be linked to oil exploration, so they want to know if there is a connection to the find of penguins at Waihou Bay and other beaches.

“With the seismic surveying, it’s up to 250 decibels up to 7000 times a day being shoot down into the crust of the earth to look for the oil so we know from scientific research that’s been done elsewhere that type of sonar disruption to marine life can be quite devastating.” Ms Pahuru-Huriwai says.

If the penguins died of starvation, questions can be asked about why their food disappeared.


One of the pioneers of Maori radio, Jim Perry of Ngati Porou, has died after a long battle with cancer.

The soldier turned schoolteacher was a prominent member of the Auckland Maori community when he started broadcasting on Radio Aotearoa in 1989.

Kingi Taurua, who worked with Mr Perry at Radio Waatea, says his friend was a powerful voice in both Te Reo Maori and English, who could converse knowledgably with callers about politics, sport, education, and cultural issues.

"He would say ‘information is power, so Kingi, we must give information to those people out there so we can give them the power,'” Mr Taurua says.

Jim Perry is lying at Te Pou Herenga Waka Marae in Mangere.


Maori Party whip Te Ururoa Flavell says there is not room in parliament for two Maori parties.

He says the Mana party Hone Harawira intends to launch tomorrow is attracting younger voters at a time the Maori voice needs to be strong to counter the policies expected from a Don Brash-led ACT party.

Mr Flavell says older voters understand the need for compromise in politics to move the party's agenda forward.

“There's others who clearly believe Aotearoa is Maori land and we should get it and if you can’t get it you’re useless. That’s the line which is pretty much the young generation which obviously have an affinity to where Hone and others of my former friends now are heading,” he says.

Mr Flavell says the split with Mr Harawira has not helped the Maori Party's plans to bring younger people through to parliament.


Tauranga iwi say their fight against harbour dredging is similar to Te Whanau a Apanui's battle against oil exploration off the East Cape.

The iwi been in the Environment Court this week objecting to a consent to dredge a channel in Tauranga harbour to provide for super container ships.

Ngai te Rangi spokesperson Charlie Tawhiao says they took time out today to joint the protest outside Tauranga District Court, where Te Whanau a Apanui fishing boat captain Elvis Teddy was remanded for two weeks on charges arising from the marine protest.

“Their concerns are no different than ours, that it is about the erosion not of what we own but of what we have responsibility for as kaitiaki and if someone doesn’t stand up and say we need to think about these things, then we won’t be thinking about them until it is too late,” he says.

Mr Tawhiao says the harbour dredging will destroy pipi beds that are an important part of the customary fishery.


The director of the Wairoa Maori Film Festival, says Queens Birthday Weekend audiences are in for a feast of local and international material.

Leo Koziol, says highlights include the first marae screenings of Kawa, Katie Wolfe's adaptation of Witi Ihimaera's Nights in the Garden of Spain, the Rangimoana Taylor vehicle Hook Line and Sinker, and Temuera Morrison's new feature Tracker.

Mr Koziol says while Tracker was a British production, every attempt was made to give an authentic feel to the tale of a Boer War soldier being hunted down in New Zealand after being framed for murder.

“Brad Haami and Ngamaru Raeriuno looked at the script and worked alongside Temuera Morrison to make the story as authentic as possible,” Mr Koziol says.

A highlight of the short film programme will be Tuhoe filmmaker Kararaina Rangihau's Taku Rakau E, the last film produced by the late Merata Mita.

Goff warning of competition on left

Labour leader Phil Goff says the Maori Party hasn't been good for Maori, and he doesn't expect Hone Harawira's new party will be either.

Te Maori Party launches tomorrow in Auckland, and with its likely focus on winning list voters, its represents a threat to Labour's hopes of winning back disaffected Maori Party supporters.

Mr Goff says the Maori Party's support for National lifting GST and cutting tax for the rich means many Maori are ready for a switch.

“The Hone party I think will be an extremist party that’s more separatist than anything else. It’s Labour that stands there alongside mainstream Maoridom supporting the things that are important to Maori families,” Mr Goff says.


Wahine Maori in Tai Tokerau says they're alarmed at widespread funding cuts to Maori service providers in the region.

Huhana Seve says a hui has been called for next week to discuss issues like health, language and the rising costs of living.

She says the closure of the Amokura Family Violence Prevention initiative, which had acted as an umbrella for many Northland Maori women's groups, had come as a shock.

“This is something that’s alarming for us as wahine in Tai Tokerau so our network would seek to hui and discuss these things and how we might be able to support those organisations in the reorientation of their service perhaps or as an advocacy group on their behalf to access ongoing sustainable funding,” Ms Seve says.

The hui will be held at Otiria Marae in Moerewa on May 7.


The presenter of a 13-part Maori Television series on Maori architecture says it comes at a time when demand is growing for Maori architects and designers.

Whare Maori will look at kainga, wharenui, whare karakia, whare waananga and even buildings inspired or directed by wahine like Princess Te Puea.

Rau Hoskins of Nga Puhi says many education, health and welfare organisations are looking to use Maori designs, and the Maori sector is also growing.

He says in the post-settlement environment, iwi are engaging in development, and wananga, kura and kohanga are being built from scratch.

He's working on a $12 million refurbishment of Te Whare Waananga o Te Awanuiarangi in Whakatane, which is looking at Kaupapa Maori to drive design choices.


The Ratana movement has decided to revive its social services programmes.

Spokesperson Andre Mason says the annual Hui Whakapumau at Easter voted to shift responsibility for the physical as opposed to the spiritual work of the movement to Te Omeka Pa in Matamata.

He says it's a kaupapa that has been advocated for many years by the Matamata-based church leader, Te Whakaotinga Ron Smith.

Details of what will actually be transferred over to Te Omeka Pa will be confirmed over the next few months, but overall control of church assets will remain at Ratana pa near Whanganui.


Rotorua lawyer Annette Sykes says people are excited at the chance to support Hone Harawira's new party.

Te Mana Party will be launched at Te Mahurehure Marae in Auckland tomorrow.

Ms Sykes says Maori communities feel unsatisfied at the Maori Party's performance.

She says unlike some of the other Maori MPs, Mr Harawira has a nationwide following.

“What they like about Hone is he goes back to the people for a mandate, that’s the key thing, and he doesn’t talk about top up, top down structures, he really works from the grassroots and the locals here are just loving it because they haven’t had anything like that for a long time,” Ms Sykes says.

Whether she stands as a candidate for the new party depends on the wishes of members.


An all-woman Polynesian art collective is reuniting to promote the current work of its members.

Founding member Suzanne Tamaki says Pacific Sisters was formed 15 years ago and produced a wide range of works including visual art, film, music and fashion.

She says next month's Eyekonik event in Mangere focuses on urban Polynesian fashion, with contributions by Talosia, Janine Clarkin, Shona Tawhiao and herself.

It follows on from a performance-focused outing at the Pacific Arts Association conference in Rarotonga last year.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ratana core supporting Labour

A Ratana spokesperson says the church's Easter hui has reaffirmed its commitment to Labour.

Andre Mason says while there was some disappointment about the low placings Labour's list committee gave to Ratana-affiliated candidates like Rino Tirikatene, Louis Te Kani and Soraya Peke-Mason, the underlying relationship was still important to both sides.

“The tumuaki of the Ratana church, Harerangi Maehana, beleivs totally in the covenant between Ratana and Michael Savage, even though the list came out as it is,” he says.

He says his wife Soraya Peke-Mason's campaign for Tariana Turia's Te Tai Hauauru seat is off to a good start.


The head of Te Kupenga - the National network of agencies tackling family violence - says there's a risk funding cuts will derail years of effort.

Brian Gardner says organisations like Womens Refuge, Te Rito family violence prevention and Amokura in Tai Tokerau all face reduced or no funding.

He says that's at a time when violence is finally starting to decrease.

“If we take away the good stuff we have been doing, then we run the risk of building more prisons and putting more people in jail, so what we are saying now after all the hard work people have done around the It’s Not OK campaign and the E Tu work the government has been doing is don’t take the foot off the pedal, now is the time to keep going to make some real gains,” Mr Gardner says.

Some 13 of Te Kupenga's 39 agencies run Kaupapa Maori programmes.


Maori Television head Jim Mather says the channel needs to provide its own response to the Christchurch earthquakes.

It's mounting a 12 hour telethon on May 22, broadcasting from the Canterbury Arena with live crosses to Auckland, Wellington, Los Angeles, London and Sydney.

Mr Mather says high profile New Zealanders are lining up to be part of Rise Up Christchurch - Te Kotahitanga.

Maori Television has also been helping Canterbury Television get back on air.


Labour leader Phil Goff says he can't back a call by lawyers Moana Jackson and Jane Kelsey for a stay on prosecutions in the Urewera 18 trials.

The lawyers have written to solicitor general David Collins, with the endorsement of more than 150 prominent Maori, academics and social justice campaigners, saying the police have wasted millions of dollars trying to justify their so called terror raids in October 2007.

Mr Goff says while there is understandable concern about how long it has taken for the cases to come to trial, the system must be allowed to work.

“I wouldn’t interfere with the court process. You can’t do that in this country and nor should you. The court’s got to make that decision but for god’s sake deal with it because people have got serious charges hanging over their heads. Their may or may not be something to that. I can’t make that decision. Only the courts can. But it’s unfair to people they have to wait for so long for the justice process to take place,” he says.

The 18 who will be tried next month face firearms charges, and five of them including Tuhoe health worker Tame iti are also charged with being part of an organised criminal group.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says rural Maori can't afford to get comfortable over the deferral of the petrol tax hike.

Transport Minister Steven Joyce says he scrapped the 1.5 cents per litre increase due in July because of tight economic conditions and the Christchurch earthquake.

But Ms Turei says it's an election year stunt, and people need to look at what will happen next year.

“They've only deferred the tax so it will increase by more next year. It will alleviate for a very short period some of the fuel increase difficulties families face and for Maori particularly those in rural areas, it is particularly difficult when you are paying a lot for petrol just to go to work,” she says.

Ms Turei says an increase in fuel prices on its own won't solve all the problems associated with climate change, and the government has to invest in public transport.


Maori artist and author Robyn Kahukiwa says it's too hard to find publishers willing to take a punt on Maori books, so she's putting out her latest book herself.

Te Marama is a 32 page book in Maori with English translations about the tales and tikanga surrounding the moon.

She says she wanted to take the stories back.

“That's one of the problems with our stories over the years, a lot of Pakeha have taken them and made them into little children’s ditties. Well they’re not. They’re for everybody and they contain a lot of important tikanga for us as Maori,” Ms Kahukiwa says.

The book will be released in two weeks, but she's also selling copies to friends and whanau through Facebook.

Iwi asset sale plan unconvincing

Labour leader Phil Goff isn't buying into the argument that iwi should be allowed to buy in to state owned companies.

Mr Goff visited Tainui last week and heard from chairperson Tukoroirangi Morgan about the iwi's desire for a stake in Huntly power station operator mighty River Power if a future National government sells it off.

He says such assets belong to all New Zealanders, and iwi would be better off buying assets that are heading into foreign ownership, like the Crafar farms.


Bay of Plenty Polytechnic believes it's on to a winner with a marae based course for at risk Maori youth.

Its director of Maori and Community development, Kuku Wawatai, says the prospect of jobs in the fishing industry is the lure for the 16 and 17 year olds, whose education costs are covered under the Ministry of Education's Youth Guarantee scheme.

He says all 40 boys on the last course graduated with a certificate in Maritime and Fishing technology.

The polytech didn't need to market the course but was able to fill places by knowing which kids in the community were most likely to benefit from it.


Country singer Dennis Marsh says at 60, he's as surprised as anyone to be topping this week's national album chart.

His Maori Songbook claimed the number one spot ahead of international mega-sellers like Britney Spears, Radiohead and even local hot property Tiki Taane.

He says his mix of new songs and classics such as Pokarekare Ana and Hangi Tonight seems to have struck a chord with Maori and Pakeha alike.


Labour leader Phil Goff says the legal process against Te Whanau a Apanaui fishing boat captain Elvis Teddy needs to take its course.
Mr Teddy was arrested on Maritime Act charges in connection with the marine protest against Brazilian oil company Petrobras's oil prospecting off East Cape.

Mr Goff says while he is sympathetic to the protest because of the Government's failure to make environmental safeguards a condition of the exploration licence, anybody who breaks the law during protests should know the risks.

“There is a right to protest and there is obviously a duty on the police if there is a breach of safety to deal with that situation so I am comfortable with the way that has been handled and Elvis Teddy has taken a stand on principle. He’s done it and he’s got coverage for what he’s done. Good luck to him, but the police have a job to do and I’m not condemning them for that,” Mr Goff says.

Elvis Teddy appears in the Tauraga District Court tomorrow.


The Green candidate for Te Tai Hauauru says he's not daunted by going up against Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia.

18 year old Jack Tautokai Mc Donald from Taranaki, Whakatohea and Te Ati Awa could be the youngest candidate contesting the next election.

He says his focus is on winning as big a share of the party vote for the Greens as he can.

“I think it's really important we have Maori representation in the Maori seats because the issues we raise a re very relevant to Maori and our voting record is very good on Maori issues. I think it is important Maori know that,” Mr McDonald says.

He joined the Green party because he considered its policies of protecting the environment and looking after the most vulnerable are in the best interests of Maori.


A Taranaki kaumatua isn't confident the New Plymouth District Council is any closer to having dedicated Maori seats, despite a recommendation from its policy committee to create two Maori wards.

Peter Moeahu says it only needs five percent of registered voters to demand a poll on the issue, which is sure to be lost.

He says he was also disappointed at the arguments put up to reject Maori appointments to the policy and monitoring committees.

“If you appoint Maori you’ll have to appoint everyone else – Chinese, Indian, which is a load of rubbish but never mind. From their point of view it should be elected members only even though the law allows appointment of people to standing committees,” Mr Moeahu says.

The committee also endorsed a recommendation from the Maori advisory komiti for the Maori flag to be flown next to the New Zealand flag in front of the civic centre in New Plymouth.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Call for stay in Urewera 18 trials

Green's co-leader Meteria Turei is supporting a call for the solicitor general to stay the charges against the Urewera 18.

Auckland University law school Professor Jane Kelsey and lawyer Moana Jackson wrote to David Collins warning him the credibility of the justice system is at risk if the 12-week trial of the 18 on arms chargers goes ahead.

Meteria Turei says the Crown already had to drop the terrorism charges laid after the raids in October 2008, and the whole episode is a disgraceful abuse of state power.

“Those raids should never have occurred. The injury to the community has never been made good and now with the charges continuing, it’s an ongoing hurt, an ongoing abuse over a long period of time,” she says.


The chair of the Rapaki Runanga says it may be months before Whakaraupo or Lyttelton Harbour is suitable for food gathering.

Kopa Lee says the runanga has placed a three month rahui banning collection of kaimoana because of the after effects of the Christchurch earthquakes.

He says broken sewerage and the dumping of rubble means it's not safe to eat what comes out of the harbour.

“As mana moana we were obliged to let our people and people of the area know that it wasn’t safe spiritually or physically to be in the water or take kai out of the water, but having said that, there is no authority that can enforce it,” Mr Lee says.

The Rapaki Runanga is working closely with authorities to make sure rubble from buildings where people died isn't being dumped in the harbour.


The architect of a $12 million revamp of Te Whare Waananga o Awanuiarangi's Whakatane campus says the space will offer new ways to learn.

Rau Hoskins of Ngapuhi says part of his brief was to both provide short-term accommodation and offer ways for the wananga to consolidate its teaching resources.

He's come up with a new library, a teaching block, and, for short courses or seminars, a noho centre which is a cross between marae-style accommodation and a dormitory.

“All the students have access to a sleeping and learning pod so that by night the area is closed off and you have your own privacy and your own bed, and by day those beds open up into a main space that acts more like a wharenui style of learning environment,” Mr Hoskins says.

He'd like to see more Maori institutions use Maori architects when they are doing development projects.


Labour leader Phil Goff says if former National leader Don Brash is in a position to form a coalition with National after the next election, it would result in the most extreme right wing government the country has ever seen.

Mr Brash says he has the backing to launch his own right wing party if his current attempt to take over the leadership of ACT fails.

Mr Goff says people can expect the implementation of the anti-Maori measures Mr Brash outlined in his notorious Orewa speech in 2003.

“It wasn't just Don Brash. The whole of the caucus endorsed what Don Brash did as leader of the National Party. They can’t just say it was all Don Brash. They supported him. You’ve got to remember, the National Party went into the last election promising to abolish the Maori seats for no reason other than that they were pandering to a particular element in the electorate,” he says.

Mr Goff says other policies Mr Brash has advocated, such as cutting the minimum wage, will disproportionately affect Maori.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei is accusing the government of goading police into arresting Whanau a Apanui fishing boat captain Elvis Teddy.

Mr Teddy is due to appear in the District Coourt at Tauranga on Friday to face Maritime Act charges in relation to the high seas protest against oil prospecting off East Cape.

Ms Turei says the San Pietro captain appears to have been singled out.

“He was doing what he believed to be right. He was fishing in his traditional areas. He told them that was what he was going to be doing and I support what he did 100 percent. This is about the government using the power of the stat e against its own community in order to protect the private interests of an international, a foreign firm, and it’s not acceptable,” she says.

Ms Turei says the arrest of Elvis Teddy will be putting a lot of stress on his whanau.


A Maori poet says poetry slams are a great way for Maori to hone their oratory skills.

Whaitiri Mikaere won the 2010 Matariki Poetry slam, and she's one of ten finalists in the New Zealand Poetry Idol: Poetry Slam that is part of this year's Auckland Writer's Festival.

She says it's a good way to let off steam.

“It's about honing our oratory skills and the way we perceive the word and the things around us, what is happening in this country. I think poetry is a good way to convey those messages.

Ms Mikaere says she's keen to see how her poems like Feast of Matariki, Fantail Haka and Colonised Backspace Rejected will go down with the readers and writers festival crowd.

Peters decries race-based parties

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters there should be no room in New Zealand politics for race based parties.

He says if Hone Harawira sets up a new Maori party on Saturday, there will be three parties set up on a racial basis - The Maori party, the New Citizens Party which targeted Chinese voters in the Botany by-election, and the Hone party.

“A party formed on the basis of race looking out for only one type of voter, that is Maori, is not the best thing for our country and I’m not putting Maori down, I’m just saying that we have the ability to compete against the best in the world if we knuckle down and put or best foot forward and put minds to it but looking at preference on the basis of race is no way to go forward,” Mr Peters says.


Te Kupenga, the National Network of Stopping Violence, holds its first workshop in Wellington today for people working with rangatahi.

Spokesperson Parekotuku Moore says the RAP or Respect All People Whakamana Tangata initiative aims to give youth organisations practical suggestions on what they can do in their communities to change attitudes to violence.

She says the Health Ministry-funded project tries to address the problem in all its forms, such as bullying, people spreading rumours, name calling and threats of violence.

She says if rangatahi to grow up in a culture of respect, they're less likely to use violence as adults.


Maori and Polynesian dance movements are giving Auckland's Request Crew an audience of millions.

The all-female group aged from 17 and 20 won the last world hip hop dance championships.

Manager Brett Goebel says that won them a chance to compete on the MTV show America's Best Dance Crew.

“There's a huge interest in the cultural side with all the girls and their style of dance has been called Poly-swag which takes all the cultures of each of the girls and the beauty of dance and the haka and from each of them all combined together and giving their own dance style or as they say their own swag,” he says.

Request Crew is requesting whanau to vote online at the MTV website so they can stay on the show.


Te Kupenga, the National Network of Stopping Violence Services, says many organisations providing services to Maori now face an insecure future because of funding cuts.

National manager Brian Gardner says affected organisations include Tai Tokerau umbrella group Amokura, Te Rito family violence prevention, Women's refuge and women's self-defence courses.

He says the cuts don't square with the government's rhetoric of focusing on frontline services.

“There's been some excellent services who have been providing front line services to Maori who have been very uncertain about their future. They won’t know until they see these funding announcements come back in June as to whether they have got funding to continue. We need top see the right amt of money there for m the r for pacific and for al people so people can be sage, there’s a fence at the top of the cliff and we are not picking up bodies at the bottom,” Mr Gardner says.

Organisations affected by funding cuts have until tomorrow to apply for alternate funding from the new Family-Centred Services Fund.


The chair of Te Hiku Forum says the four northermost iwi hope to complete a settlement of historical claims now Ngati Kahu has gone its own way.

Haami Piripi says the forum was surprised to learn that Ngati Kahu negotiator Margaret Mutu had produced a 700 page deed of partial settlement, which she presented to the Crown a fortnight ago.

He says it's clear Ngati Kahu has a different philosophy on settlement than the other iwi.

“We've given consideration to working together with the Crown in areas like conservation, beach management and so we’ve opted for 50-50 boards which ius quite a thing to do because some people would argue that just by sitting at the same table as the Crown you would dilute the justice of the case but we don’t think so and we are pretty committed as the four other iwi in the forum to moving ahead and settling this year,” Mr Piripi says.

He says Ngati Kahu hasn't participated effectively in te Hiku Forum for more than a year.


Ngati Porou musician DJ Poroufessor, or Hone Ngata to his mother, is showing his visual art side.

A show of his Maori pop art titled Carving Beats and Rock'n the Whare has gone on show at Fresh Gallery in Otara.

Ngata says he's been drawing and carving from a young age, and the show of painted vinyl records, skateboards and four metre tekoteko is a way to pay homage to his musical influences.

They include portraits of musical mentors such as Pauly Fuemana, Howard Morrison, Hirini Melbourne and Ngoi Pewhairangi.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Harawira confident party will win list seats

Independent Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira expects his new party to pick up at least two or three seats in the next Parliament.

The party, which has the working title of the Mana party, will be launched in Auckland on Saturday.

He says many of its members will be disaffected Maori Party supporters.

“There's just so many of them and every meeting I go to it’s essentially Maori party branches which have collapsed and are looking for a new future so they’re the first target group. The second target group is the wider Maori audience and then of course the greater target group has to be the disaffected voter generally,” Mr Harawira says.

His party will aim to win party votes rather than try to unseat the four remaining Maori party MPs.


Far north claimants have split again after the Ngati Kahu Runanga submitted a 700-page deed of partial settlement to the Crown.

Te Hiku Forum was formed in 2008 to revive negotiations on the Muriwhenua claims, which had limped along for a decade after the Ngati Kahu and Te Rarawa runanga challenged the mandate of the Muriwhenua Runanga, which led the claim process.

Forum chair Haami Piripi of te Rarawa says the approach taken by Ngati Kahu and its chair, Auckland University Maori Studies professor Margaret Mutu, means a split was inevitable.

“They haven't been participating effectively in the forum for well over a year and that is because they have different methodology to the rest of us in terms of their claim resolution. They have been preferring to write their own deed of settlement and they have now submitted that to the Crown and in that sense they have now got themselves a little bit behind the rest of us,” Mr Piripi says.

The four remaining iwi in Te Hiku Forum are continuing to work towards what they hope will be a combined settlement later in the year.


King Tuheitia made his first official visit to Whakatohea on the weekend to mark the centenary of Terere Marae in Opotiki.

Te Kahautu Maxwell from Ngati Ngahere hapu says the marae was refurbished for the event, with 24 new poupou added to the whare by master carver Danny Poihipi.

He says King Tuheitia's contribution acknowledged their shared descent from the Tainui waka, and the house was dedicated to him.

The weather held out over the weekend, but the marae area is now flooded.


New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says an ACT Party led by Don Brash will crank up the heat on racial issues.

The former National Party leader is trying to get the numbers to replace Rodney Hide as ACT's leader, warning the party faces electoral oblivion the way it's going.

Mr Peters says National wants to keep ACT in its coalition mix so it doesn't have to keen compromising to the Maori Party.

“It’s a very cynical attempt to try to convince the voters that they’ve got something different on offer if Don Brash is the leader of the ACT Party. He’s making these comments when he’s not even a member of that party so it shows just what appalling disarray the ACT party is and B, there are certain people that pull the strings in the ACT Party and that is where Don Brash is coming from,” he says.

Mr Peters says a John Key-Don Brash coalition would asset strip the country, keep wages low and attack superannuation.


The chief executive of the national collective of women's refuges, Heather Henare, says a $700,000 funding cut will hit Maori women and their tamariki the hardest.

Ms Henare says the collective was informed last week of the cut to its baseline grant, as part of what the government says is a reallocation of funds to frontline services.

She says Maori make up more than half of refuge users.

“This is a time when there is significant risk to families. We are coming through a recession, there are major crises in this country, families are already struggling with policies and legislative change that have impacted in particular women and children. To cut family violence services, core services like Women’s Refuge, is not the best decision that's been made,” Ms Henare says.

Government funding has paid for a crisis phone line and victim support services, which refuge has over-delivered on.


All Black great Bill Bush is welcoming news that a New Zealand Maori side is set to play two games in South Africa later in the year.

While there has been no official announcement, Rugby News magazine is reporting the November games against a shadow Springbok squad are part of bonus year celebrations for South African greats Bakkies Botha and Victor Mathfield.

Bush says it's great to see politics being finally being put aside, with the allure of stadium-filling attractive rugby overcoming any reservations the South Africans may have had about racially-selected teams.

Bill Bush intends to lead a tour party to see the games, one of which could be played in Soweto.

Muriwhenua leader Rima Edwards dies

Ngapuhi and Muriwhenua iwi are mourning the loss of tribal scholar and leader Rima Edwards, who died on Sunday.

Mr Edwards was chair of Te Runanga o Muriwhenua, which coordinated the claims of people belonging to the five northernmost iwi.

It was his evidence that led the Waitangi Tribunal to find that in many early land transactions in the far north, what occurred was not a sale but a conditional grant of occupation and use rights.

MP and former Muriwhenua claim researcher Shane Jones says Mr Edwards was also valued for his knowledge of the teachings of the Ngapuhi prophet, Aperahama Taonui, a founder of the Kotahitanga movement.

“Although he was only in his mid-60s, everyone knew that his knowledge of the language, the culture, and in particular the genealogy and the ancient history was peerless for someone of his time,” Mr Jones says.

Rima Edwards’ tangi is at Omanaia Marae in south Hokianga.


Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says the Labour Party needs to get behind a change to parliament’s rules to allow several treaty settlements to be wrapped into a single omnibus bill.

Labour’s representative on the Standing Orders committee has questioned the need for the change, saying Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson could just ask the House for leave to do the same thing.

But Mr Flavell says with more than 20 settlements due to come before Parliament this year, it’s important to smooth the process.

“Because treaty settlement bills are not contentious, because they’ve been negotiated and there is agreement, it’s relatively straight forward, this is seen as a good way of advancing settlements through the process to achieve the goal of (completing all settlements by) 2014,” Mr Flavell says.

The individual settlements will be separated out at the third reading stage.


An NZEI executive member says Maori may need to take to the streets to express their outrage at cuts to early childhood education funding.

Hayley Whitaker says Maori and Pacific children are among the most affected by fee rises that centres are imposing to make up for a $400 million cut in government funding.

She says the government is refusing to listen, and the Maori community should walk up the street saying they will not accept it.

She says while the Government has redirected some funds towards raising the participation of south Auckland Maori and Pacific Island children in early childhood education, pre-schoolers exist throughout the country.

Independent MP Hone Harawira says the arrest of a Whanau a Apanui fishing boat captain was an abuse of the armed forces.

A combined police and navy operation led to the boarding of the boat San Pietro and the arrest of Elvis Teddy on a charge of operating a vessel in an unsafe manner.

The San Pietro was part of a flotilla which has been protesting against Brazilian oil giant Petrobras’s prospecting in the Raukumara Basin.

Mr Harawira says he will be at the Tauranga court on Friday to support Mr Teddy.

“It’s unacceptable on Anzac day that the New Zealand government can be using their armed forces against their own citizens and if they don’t put a stop to it very quickly, if the Mori Party doesn’t take a stand, they will suffer at the election and there will be hell to pay on the streets of this nation,” he says.

Mr Harawira says use of armed forced against Te Whanau a Apanui is similar to the armed police actions three years ago against Ngai Tuhoe.


The weekend’s wet weather did not dampen the spirits of thousands of Tuhoe who returned to Ruatoki for the annual Hui Ahurei a Tuhoe festival.

Spokesperson Tini Molyneaux says as well as kapa haka and sports, tribe members debated progress on their claim settlement and their determination to eventually get back the land in Te Urewera National Park taken from the tribe.

She says the immediate battle was with the mud, and every shop in Whakatane that sold umbrellas and gumboots ran out of stock.

Te Hui Ahurei a Tuhoe has been held every year since 1971, making it one of the country’s oldest tribal festivals.


The country's top Maori model is starting her own agency.

Ngahuia Williams of Nga Puhi, who is the face of the Max label, says with 10 years in the business she knows enough to help younger models coming through.

The 25-year-old says while she is looking for a range of models to represent, she will keep her eyes open for Maori talent.

The Auckland-based N Model Management will launch in July