Waatea News Update

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

My Photo
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, May 06, 2011

Summit offers little for 16 percent unemployed

The Maori vice president of the Council of Trade Unions says yesterday's Maori economic summit had little to offer for young unemployed Maori.

Syd Keepa says the summit in Auckland was held on the say day the Government announced an increase in Maori unemployment to 16.1 percent, and youth unemployment to 27.5 percent.

He says Pita Sharples’ Maori Economic Taskforce seems to have focused on how Maori corporates can break into international markets, rather than what is happening in the community.

“It's all very well to talk about investing in China and everywhere else but I think we should be investing in our people that are unemployed,” Mr Keepa says.

He says Maori want to work, which is why so many are moving to Australia.


Massey University Maori studies lecturer Veronica Tawhai wants Don Brash to sit in on her Treaty of Waitangi classes so the new ACT leader can learn what the document really says.

Ms Tawhai says Dr Brash's view that the treaty demands one law for all New Zealanders is wrong.

She says it's a common misinterpretation of article three, which promises Maori the rights and privileges of British subjects.

“That means that Maori have a right to be represented politically, that means they have the right to an education, they have a right to healthcare. It does not mean there can only be one law,” Ms Tawhai says.

She says the article two guarantees that Maori would have authority over their own resources and lives is what drives the notion of partnership, which Dr Brash also seems to reject.


Te Aute Trust board co-chair Whatarangi Winiata says the future of the historic Hawkes Bay boarding school and its sister college Hukarere is looking healthier.

Professor Winiata says the schools were under threat of receivership last year.

He says with help from donors in the Anglican church, a new school board has instituted much needed changes and put the schools on a sounder footing.

“It's gone from having creditors that were getting old and getting restless and any one of them could have taken action last May, 12 months ago. They didn’t. We managed to get their patience and since then we’ve dealt with all the creditors,” Professor Winiata says.

Investment in refurbishing hostels at the schools means student numbers have increased, improving the financial situation.


BERL chief economist Ganesh Nana says Maori enterprises need to find new ways to collaborate and innovate if they are to realise their potential.

In a report for yesterday's Maori economic summit in Auckland, Dr Nana predicted the Maori sector could create another 150,000 jobs over the next half century.

But he says that will require investment in science and innovation, an a collaborative approach to exporting.

“We get economies of scale. We can start investing in science and innovation. We can start investing in adding value and marketing ourselves, whether it’s putting brand Maori or brand New Zealand on the products and services we sell so we can actually start reaping the benefits of those price premiums,” Mr Nana says.

He says the Maori Economic Taskforce's Koura Inc project, which aims to bring Maori lobster exporters into a single body, is the sort of collaboration that is needed across multiple sectors.


The Medical Association wants the government to address the social issues affecting the health of Maori.

The association's new chair, Auckland University haematologist Paul Ockleford, says big strides to overcome health inequalities can be made relatively cheaply.

“From a Maori perspective there are very important matters relating to cardiovascular disease and malignancy, there’s obviously smoking and obesity. Some of the solutions aren’t simple but for some of these interventions the cost is relatively low,” Dr Ockleford says.

The NZMA is making health inequalities a priority as it's where New Zealand performs poorly in international rankings.


Auckland statutory board chair David Taipari says the appointment of a secretariat chief executive will boost the board's effectiveness in working with the Auckland city Council.

Brandi Hudson from Ngati Maniapoto and Ngati Pakiao has worked extensively in the Auckland region with Te Puni Kokiri and other central and local government agencies, and has recently worked with the Crown Forestry Rental trust on treaty claim research and negotiation.

Mr Taipari says she was a stand-out candidate.

“She was very very commited to the kaupapa of the board. Her networks, her skills, her general persona were perfect for what the board was seeking and the panel was unanimous in that decision,” he says.

Mr Taipari says other members of the secretariat will be employed on secondment from the council.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Maori business positioned for uplift

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says Maori enterprises should benefit from any strengthening of the economy.

Mr English told today's Maori economic summit in Auckland that the growing interest in business by Maori represents a great opportunity for the country.

He says Maori businesses stand to benefit from the rebalancing of the economy his government is attempting, especially if they focus on exporting.

“The world wants what a lot of Maori businesses produce and that is food and the forestry interests. The commodity process are very high. They are probability going to go up and down. But there is no doubt when you look across the Asia Pacific region, they want more of what we produce as their incomes rise,” Mr English says.

He says there will also be opportunities for Maori enterprises to benefit if National is re-elected and sells off state assets.


Mana party leader Hone Harawira is defending his mihi to Osama Bin Laden on Maori Television's Native Affairs show.

Mr Harawira says it's a time-honoured Maori tradition to acknowledge someone who has died.

He's upset by the response to his poroporoaki.

“If Don Brash was to fall over and die right now and the media came to me I would mihi to him. It’s a time honoured tradition. It’s a Maori thing that you do. It’s still kind of heartbreaking to open the Herald this morning and see ‘Harawira salutes Bin Laden.’ It’s racism in the media. I haven’t said ‘I love Bin Laden,” Mr Harawira says.

As the leader of the new Mana movement he needs to be more careful about what he says in the future.


Iwi in Golden Bay have created a mataitai or customary fishing reserve at Paturai in a bid to restore paua stocks.

John Ward-Holmes says paua and other species have been under pressure from commercial, recreational and customary fishing.

He says the management of Mohua ki te Tai Tapu Mataitai will be shared between Te Atiawa, Ngati Tama, Ngati Rarua and the wider community.
The mataitai covers two sections of coastline and extends up to a kilometre offshore.


BERL economist Ganesh Nana says the Maori economy has grown 18 percent over the past four years, but a much smarter approach to resources is needed to make the growth sustainable.

Dr Nana told today's Maori economic summit the Maori asset base is now more than $36 million, including $4 billion held by land trusts and incorporations and $6 billion in other entities like iwi.

He says while some of the increase on an earlier estimate of $16 billion was due to inflation and different assumptions, there had been real growth of 4.3 percent a year because increased commodity prices mean Maori primary sector businesses are earning more.

“The key is to make sure that continues and to leverage off those gains so those commodity prices, use that income to invest in the science and the innovation and the skill building and the capacity building so the gains are not frittered away, the gains are set for further gains and further expansion over the longer term,” Dr Nana says.

Investment in science and innovation in the Maori economy could create up to 150,000 new jobs by 2061 - while doing nothing will lead to a reduction in jobs.


Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira says he would not work in any coalition that includes the Maori Party.

Mr Harawira says he finds it horrifying to hear his former leader, Pita Sharples, saying he would work with ACT leader Don Brash.

He says National, ACT and the Maori Party are now clearly a team.

“That deal is already sewn up. The Maori Party is now the party of the right. I have no plans on going there at all. So I would rather be on the cross benches than sit at the table with Don Brash,” Mr Harawira says.

While John Key has ruled him out, he's confident if National is a few votes short of forming a coalition he would receive a call.


The co-chair of Te Aute Trust Board says the historic Hawkes Bay Maori boarding school is not about to close.

Whatarangi Winiata says a newspaper report that receivers were about to be called in was based on a year old report.

He says an injection of $1.5 million by supporters cleared much of the long term debt, and the challenge now is to put the college's long term funding on a more sustainable basis.

“Regrettably the Te Aute Trust Board itself, which invested in a farm that wasn’t such a great idea, that has cost them a lot of money. Now the task is to try to restore their commercial activities. The college will be open this year and next year and the year after, we’ve secured funding to make sure that will be the case,” Professor Winiata says.

Kelvin Davis keen to contest Te Tai Tokerau

Labour leader Phil Goff believes says list MP Kelvin Davis should beat Hone Harawira in any election or by-election in Te Tai Tokerau.

Mr Harawira has delayed submitting his resignation to the speaker while he consults further with staff and his electorate.

But Mr Goff says the former Kaitaia Intermediate School principal, who was outpolled more than two to one in the 2008 election, is up for the rematch.

“Kelvin from the north, a really straight up and down guy, a lifetime spent in education improving the prospects of young Maori kids and Pakeha kids in the schools up north that he’s been principal of, Kelvin is a man for the future and he’s absolutely reliable, what you see is what you get with him,” Mr Goff says.

He hopes there won't be a by-election, because the new MP would have less than two dozen sitting days in parliament before the general election.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turia says today's Maori economic summit in Auckland needs to address the needs of small and rural Maori communities rather than be caught up promoting trophy projects.

The summit will hear the final report of the Maori Economic Taskforce and discuss the future direction of the Maori economy.

Ms Turei says if it doesn't deal with the real situation of Maori families, it will be a waste of time.

“It's not all about big flash economic development issues. It’s about how do you deal with the economic development of a small rural Maori community that has lots of land and lots of people but not much of anything else. And it’s not about think big projects or investing in technologies or any of those sort of things. It’s about investing in what we’ve got to keep our people fed, to keep out people employed,” she says

Ms Turei says Pita Sharples' Maori Economic Taskforce has had plenty of funding over the past two years to come up with fresh ideas.


The head of national anti-violence network Te Kupenga says whanau ora is changing the way agencies think about services.

Brian Gardner says the key to ending family violence is seen as getting men to change their behaviour.

He says the advent of the new Maori-focused service delivery framework is causing agencies to take a wider view of family dynamics.

“Where the work's evolving is thinking where is the place where we bring working with the whole whanau into this, where do we bring the capacity of the whole whanau in to contribute to this work, or if there are challenges for our whanau, how do we address those to make it a safe place,” Mr Gardner says.

Many Maori men have been brought up with the attitude they should be the boss ... but that attitude can be changed.


Labour leader Phil Goff says today's Maori economic summit in Auckland is likely to be a waste of time.

The summit is a chance for the economic taskforce appointed by Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples to report back and discuss the future direction of the Maori economy.

But Mr Goff says everyone knows what's needed to tackle Maori unemployment ... and its not more talking.

“We need upskilling programmes. We don’t want kids growing pumpkins. We want kids learning skills. We want our kids in apprenticeships. We want our young Maori women given the chance to become nurses and other professional areas like that. We want our children to get the best possible start to their education but that didn’t help with a 12 percent increase in early childhood education costs caused directly by the government’s cuts,” Mr Goff says.


Golden Bay iwi are calling on the wider community to help them stop an Australian company prospecting in the region.

Greywolf Goldmining is looking for oil and coal around Abel Tasman and Kahurangi national parks, the Farewell Spit Nature Reserve and the Westhaven and Tonga Island marine reserves.

John Ward-Holmes says the iwi want to repeat the success of the campaign to stop seabed mining in Golden Bay.

“We need to bring whoever we can on board. We do this in this community a lot. There’s so few mana whenua here that we need the support of others to move forward,” he says.

Mr Ward-Holmes says Golden Bay iwi have rejected Greywolf's offers of joint ventures and royalty shares.


Former governor general Sir Paul Reeves has stepped down from the Wellington Tenths Trust and the Port Nicholson Trust, which manages land and assets included in the settlement of historic claims around Wellington Harbour.

The trust has become embroiled in a fight between the Wellington City Council and Waiwhetu Marae about ownership of a waka which the council wanted to be displayed in the trust's new $14 million waterfront waka house.

Sir Paul says those are issues which will come right in time, and overall the settlement can be considered a success.

“I really have appreciated the Port Nicholson settlement. I think we made real strides and advances. Similarly too the Wellington Tenths Trust, the allied trust is going ahead. But the time comes where you’ve really got to say I’ve done my dash, I’m getting older day by day and the trip from Auckland to Wellington doesn’t get any easier so I thought yes, I will resign, and provide an opportunity for a younger person to come along,” Sir Paul says.

His time is increasingly taken up with work relating to his role as chancellor of AUT University.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Marine bill opening door for oil exploration

Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says the Marine and Coastal Areas (Takutai Moana) Bill has opened the door for a company linked to last year's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to prospect in New Zealand waters.

Acting Energy minister Hekia Parata has announced Texas-based Anadarko, which owned 25 percent of BP's doomed Deep Horizon rig, has a licence to drill in waters off Canterbury and Taranaki

Ms Turei says that's why the Government rushed through the Maori party-backed legislation.

“This is the direct result of the marine and coastal legislation. This is what it was designed for and it settled law for the government so it could then sell off our marine environments to oil companies who have been waiting clearly just offshore to get a bite o the oil resources in New Zealand,” she says.

Ms Turei says awarding the license is crazy because no company they can drill safely at the depths envisaged.


Prime Minister John Key doesn't believe Hone Harawira's Mana movement will be a long term presence in the New Zealand political landscape.

He says the Tai Tokerau MP hasn't got the discipline to be both an MP and the leader of a parliamentary party.

“It’s just not going to work with Hone. He’s well intentioned and all that but at the end of the day he just doesn’t have that disciple. We’ve seen it before and it won’t last. He’s just a one man shop. He might win Te Tai Tokerau but over the long haul it will blow up, like a whole lot of other parties have before it,” Mr Key says it's hard for a personality-led party to make it, as has been seen with New Zealand First.

Meanwhile, Hone Harawira says after discussions with the Speaker and the Electoral Commission, he intends to consult further with his staff and with the people of Tai Tokerau before he makes a decision on a by-election.


Mature student Vicky Te Puni hopes having her face plastered on billboards throughout Auckland will encourage other people to study.

The final year Design and Visual Arts student is one of three students that Unitec is using for a series of reality-documentary shows and billboards.

Ms Te Puni says she thought she'd left it too late to study, but is now proud to be one of the faces of the campaign.


Prime Minister John Key says he won't be going along with any extreme positions on race relations that new ACT leader Don Brash may promote.

Mr Key says Mr Brash is clearly an extremist with policies like putting interest back on student loans, increase the age of entitlement for pensions and getting rid of working for families and free doctors visits.

He says he's tried to lead a center right moderate government.

“I want to lead an inclusive New Zealand and I think I’ve demonstrated that. I formed a relationship with the Maori Party when I didn’t need it and they didn’t need to come with us and I think that’s creates a stronger New Zealand and eventually everyone leaves parliament so you got to have a legacy and I want my legacy to be one where we took New Zealand forward and race relations are in better shape at end of it,” Mr Key says.

He can work with Don Brash although he doesn't agree with him on many issues.


A Christchurch whanau ora worker says tamariki in the city face a host of new problems.

Agencies and service providers are holding a whanau ora day in the eastern suburbs on Saturday to provide entertainment and advice on how parents can respond positively to their children and young people affected by the earthquake and continued aftershocks.

Tania Mataki says people outside the city may not appreciate the level of uncertainty caused by family and friends leaving, and schools and recreation facilities closing.

“Everything’s changed, their environment, the place they go to play sport, their family, their friends have moved away, and then you’ve got trauma-related issues around the earthquake and family breakdowns,” she says.


A leading Maori Zumba exponent says the country is nuts over the South American exercise programme.

Nina-kaye Taanetinorau says it has huge appeal for Maori because it's a group thing.

She says when she worked as a gym instructor, Maori didn't respond well to individual sessions, but they function well in groups.

Ninakaye Taanetinorau is expecting a strong turn out to a series of master classes around the country this month run by Hawaiian instructor Katie Moore.

Maori taskforce to push for fibre benefit

A member of the Maori Economic Taskforce says the creation of a Maori working group on the rural broadband initiative should bring benefits for rural marae and Maori communities.

The seven-member Nga Pua Waea will meet regularly with Telecom and Vodafone, who won the $285 million government subsidy to extend fibre and fixed wireless broadband into the countryside.

June McCabe says the taskforce lobbied for a Maori input when the government first announced both the rural broadband and ultra fast broadband initiatives.

“These issues impact us significantly so for us it’s about having a voice at the table with the roll out and negotiating the priorities and we know that schools will get priority but we hope through this working group that entities such as marae for example can also be given priority,” she says.

Ms McCabe says the Maori Economic Taskforce considered that based on past experience, Telecom and Vodafone could not be trusted to do the right thing for Maori.


Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon is counting on advertising by Tourism New Zealand to correct misconceptions affecting the South Island tourism industry.

Mr Solomon says revenues in the tribe's extensive tourism businesses are down about 15 percent on last year.

He says many potential visitors from overseas are getting turned off because of what they've heard about the earthquake from web sites reporting the whole of the South Island is affected.

“Hopefully with a bit of proper advertising through the tourism board and the government it will get known around the world that it is only Christchurch and Christchurch is still open, albeit with a lot less accommodation,” Mr Solomon.


They went from the Bay of Plenty to seek the land of plenty, but Maori in Queensland now want to reaffirm their ties with Aotearoa.

Singer Ria Hall from Ngati Ranginui and Ngai Te rangi says they're organising a Tauranga Moana Day in Brisbane in August featuring artists with links to the region.

She says it's about letting the children meet whanaunga from home and recognising their hau kainga ... and after living in Brisbane for three years, she can understand how whanau are feeling are feeling disconnected from their homeland.

The event will be held in Logan, where a lot of Maori have settled.


Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon says the latest population projections underline the importance of upskilling the Maori workforce.

The Ministry of Social Development says by 2051 up to 10 percent of the workforce could be aged over 65, as baby boomers stay working to keep the economy growing.

Mr Solomon says the reality is more likely to be that taxes on Maori workers will be needed to pay the pensions of the large number of Pakeha retirees.

“If you look at the demographics going forward, by around 2050 around half off Pakeha New Zealand is on an age benefit which dramatically changes the nation’s tax-paying workforce. It makes the majority of taxpayers by 2050 Maori, Pacific Island and Asian,” he says.

The median age of Maori males is about 14 years younger than Pakeha and females 12 to 13 years younger.


Political commentator Chris Trotter says if Hone Harawira's Mana movement's could be a political game changer if can get young Maori to the voting booth.

Chris Trotter says the mix of left wing activism and Maori nationalism on display at the launch in Auckland on the weekend could appeal to younger people.

He says a lot now depends on how Hone Harawira drives te Roopu Mana.

“If he can reach them in a way that makes them register and then turn up, bring their mates along on election day in November, you could really produce a game changer in terms of New Zealand political direction,” Mr Trotter says.

He says to succeed, Mana needs to be about getting new voters rather than just taking votes from other parties.


This year's Miss Universe New Zealand hopes not just her looks but her Maori values will hit the right note on the international stage.

Priyani Puketapu travels to the world final in Brazil in September after taking out the title on Monday night.

The 20 year old Massey University communications student and aspirant television presenter says she's proud of her Te Atiawa background.

“I do think I am identifiable as a Maori and hopefully the international competition will recognize my Maori heritage and really appreciate that,” Ms Puketapu says.

Learning Te Reo is important to her, as is her association with Waiwhetu Marae in Lower Hutt.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Maori group added to broadband project

A member of the Maori rural broadband initiative working group says it will be a chance to ensure Maori are engaged at all levels of the half billion dollar project.

Anthony Royal was part of the Torotoro Waea consortium, one of the unsuccessful tenderers for the $285 million government subsidy to extend fibre and wireless broadband networks in rural New Zealand.

He says the Nga Pu Waea group will meet regularly with RBI winners Telecom and Vodafone to spell out the needs of rural Maori communities.

“Beyond that I think we need to make sure that we continue to represent Maori interests in looking for opportunities to enhance connectivity, to look at being able to provide training and jobs for our people and access to infrastructure and investment opportunities,” Mr Royal says.

Other working group members include Daphne Luke and Mavis Mullins from Te Huarahi tika maori Spectrum Trust, Jeremy Gardiner from Ngati Awa, Haami Piripi from Te Rarawa, Richard Orzecki from Ngati Raukawa and Tuwhakairiora Williams from the Maori Congress.


Northern iwi leader Haami Piripi says Hone Harawira doesn't need to hold a by-election to show he has the support of Maori in Te Tai Tokerau.

Mr Piripi, who chairs Te Runanga o Te Rarawa and also heads the Te Hiku forum negotiating treaty claims for the four northernmost iwi, says his former Te Kawariki colleague already has a mandate.

“There is so little time between now and the next election and it is hard to understand why there would be a need to regain a mandate for Hone as a standing member. He really has a lot of support and popularity in the north and I don’t think it would be too hard for him getting back into parliament,” he says.

Mr Piripi says the unsuccessful approach by Maori Party activists asking him to stand in the seat was unofficial and should not be seen as evidence the party was breaking its agreement not to stand a candidate against Mr Harawira in the general election.


The chair of Toi Maori's Puatatangi music committee wants more musicians to commit themselves to making kaupapa Maori music.

Ngahiwi Apanui will run the composition section of an industry workshop being held in Wellington later this month.

Other veterans like Maaka McGregor, Ria Hall and Kirsten Te Rito will give newcomers tips in production, management, and vocal training.

Mr Apanui says it's vital work to replace musicians to follow the likes of Whirimako Black, Maisie Rika and Brannigan Kaa in making musis in te reo Maori or bilingual with kaupapa Maori themes.


Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira may have left it too late to contest a by-election under the banner of his new Mana movement.

He's also left it too late to get public funding or broadcast time for the November general election.

The chief electoral officer, Robert Peden, says it would take at least six to eight weeks once an application is received to register a party.
He says the Electoral Commission needs to check the party has 500 active financial members who are eligible to vote, and to register its constitution.

“The key benefits of registration is that a registered party is able to contest the party vote at a general election. It is also eligible for allocation of election broadcasting time and money. The deadline for giving notice to the commission of eligibility for an allocation of broadcasting time and money was March 17 and the commission has no discretion to extend that deadline,” Mr Peden says.


New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says the new Mana Party won't represent anyone but the Harawira family.

He says despite the presence of a range of high profile Maori, union and social activists at the party's launch on the weekend, the only person party leader Hone Harawira ever listens to is his mother Titewhai.

“I think Hone can win his seat. I don’t think he can win any of the rest. I think they’ll throw a lot of organisation in but I’ve seen all the names of the people involved and I’ll tell you what, it will be a very generous person who thinks they can get on and cooperate for a month, let alone three or four months,” Mr Peters says.

He says at the other end of the political spectrum, Don Brash's hijacking of the ACT Party with the backing of the party's funders is unparalleled anywhere in the democratic world.


Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon says the onset of winter is bringing fresh challenges to Maori in Christchurch as they try to pick themselves up after the February earthquake.

He says the Ngai Tahu Runanga is resigned to staying in temporary headquarters at Wigram for the rest of the year, because its central city offices are still off limits.

He says things are worse for ordinary residents, with up to 15,000 houses damage and winter upon people living in cold and cracked houses.

He says Maori unemployment in Christchurch is rising and will probably get worse before it get better.

One man band unlikely to succeed with party

The man ousted from the Tai Tokerau electorate by Hone Harawira says the MP doesn't have the temperament to lead a political party.

Dover Samuels says forcing a by-election is a stunt to raise the profile of Mr Harawira's new Mana movement, but it will do nothing for Maori in the electorate.

He says the veteran protester is too much of a one-man band.

“He's getting a team around him and once again he’s going to be the captain or ariki of this team, they’re not going to be clones of Hone Harawira. If they don’t agree, then you have the same conflict situation that developed in the Maori Party. And if he doesn’t learn to compromise and he doesn’t learn to negotiate and to acknowledge that his team and individuals in the team have a contribution to make, then it will ultimately fail,” Mr Samuels says.


But Te Roopu Mana organiser Annette Sykes says attempts to paint Hone Harawira his key backers as uncompromising are misguided.

The Rotorua lawyer says for many of those involved in Mana, even joining a political vehicle that participates in the parliamentary process is a major compromise.

She says a greater threat is the influence of a Don Brash-led ACT Party on the next government.

“The fear I think of people is can the new right compromise, can they give up on failed strategies, can they actually find a third way to bring safety, well being to our communities. I don’t think they’ve actually got the intellectual fortitude or the imagination,” Ms Sykes says.

She says Mana includes a wide range of people who have proved themselves in building movements.


Women in Film and Television is encouraging wahine Maori women working in the industry to fine tune their skills by signing up to a mentoring programme.

Executive Director Susi Newborn says the organisation offers 16 mentorships a year with, with four being funded by Te Puni Kokiri.

She says its a chance for women to gain knowledge, expand their networks and build confidence by interacting with some of the industry's leading figures.

Applications for the Women in Film and Television mentorship scheme close next week.


Ngati Porou and Te Whanau a Apanui representatives met Prime Minister John Key today in what Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples is hailing as an example of what can be done by being in government.

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell arranged the meeting so the iwi could express their concerns over oil prospecting off the East Coast by Brazilian company Petrobras.

Dr Sharples says it contrasts with what can be done by a protest party, such as Hone Harawira's Te Roopu Mana.

“We have to mature as a people. Even myself, I didn’t know the point of being in parliament until recent times, so it’s been quite an eye-opener for me, so I can understand how people are standing there and the things Hone says are correct but the point is unless you are in the seat of power you can’t do anything about it and that’s the real message we want to get across to our people,” Dr Sharples says.

The Maori Party is still considering whether to stand a candidate if Hone Harawira forces a by-election in Te Tai Tokerau.


A Maori sports psychologist wants to see a shape change in Maori health promotion.

Ihirangi Heke is one of the speakers at the Agencies for Nutrition Action and Physical Activity Conference starting today in Auckland.

He says many of the strategies aimed at improving physical health and tackling obesity are designed around Pakeha body shapes.

As Maori tend to have more muscle mass, they may need more active exercise regimes.

He says whanaungatanga is important to Maori, so exercise programmes with a group rather than an individual focus work better.


A Ngati Porou artist and dancer says old military tunnels gave him a way to explore the concept of te kore or nothingness ... which for Maori also means energy and potential.

Moana Nepia's video installation The Night in Which Nothing is Seen is on at the Wellington City Gallery.

He says the three projections were filmed underneath Maungauika North Head on the Waitemata Harbour.

“Burrowing deep into this maunga you get a sense you are deep in history, not just colonial history, but Maori history. It was heavily fought over, with Ngati Whatua, Tainui and Ngapuhi fighting over this prized whenua,” Mr Nepia says.

Footnote Dance Company will present a creative response to the work on May 14.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Samuels slams MP’s by-election ploy

Former Te Tai Tokerau MP Dover Samuels says Hone Harawira has failed as an MP and failed the people of his electorate.

Mr Samuels says in his five and a half years in parliament, conditions have gone backwards for Maori in the north.

He says an unnecessary by-election and the formation of a new leftist party won't improve things for a single constituent.

“There may be some people that will follow you, the blind leading the blind, but it is total hypocrisy to say you care for the poor and you are going to do something about it by taking one or two radicals in to the parliament. It just doesn’t make sense and it’s not being truthful about the capacity of Hone and his party to be able to deliver. If he had, he would have done it with the Maori Party,” Mr Samuels says.

He says Hone Harawira hasn't displayed the skills of negotiation and consensus-building that allow politicians to change things, even from outside government.


A Nga Puhi tourism venture has won an international tourism award for something its managing director says is part of the lifestyle of people in the north.

Taiamai Tours won National Geographic's 2011 Tour of a Lifetime award for a Maori Celebration Tour which involved about 30 overseas visitors in hapu activities in the days leading up to Waitangi Day.

The tourists then joined them on the waka in the Waitangi regatta.

Hone Mihaka says the tour was entered for the award by an American tourism wholesaler, where it was rates one of the 50 top tours of a lifetime.

Taiamai Tours also offers opportunities for rangatahi to crew the eight waka used for some of the tours.


Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says the contribution of educator and broadcaster Jim Perry cannot be under-rated.

The Malaya campaign veteran from Ngati Porou was buried in the soldiers' section of the Manukau memorial cemetery today.

Dr Sharples says Mr Perry was a familiar figure through his work in the Auckland Maori community, as a teacher and principal, and through his talkback on Aotearoa Radio and Waatea.

“He was very open about his views. When he didn’t agree with me he told me in no uncertain terms. His contribution can’t be underrated,” Dr Sharples says.


The Labour caucus will decide tomorrow whether to stand a candidate in Te Tai Tokerau if Hone Harawira resigns and forces a by-election.

List MP Kelvin Davis, who took only one booth in losing to the then-Maori Party MP last election by 6308 votes last election, is the likely candidate.

But fellow list MP Shane Jones says party leader Phil Goff will have the final say.

“It's an expensive process to go through. We’ve got two elections in the north it would appear, virtually running one to another. Is it a publicity stunt? Well politics is all publicity. Unless you can maintain profile and relevance then the voters drift away from you. Primarily I think what Hone is up to is to use it as a chance to brand his party,” Mr Jones says.

The Maori Party is also still considering whether to stand, although it has committed itself to rebuilding its branches in the electorate.


Meanwhile, Te Roopu Mana leader Hone Harawira says he will make nothing financially by forcing a by-election in his Te Tai Tokerau electorate.

The cost of the contest is estimated at between $500,000 and $1 million, even if no one else stands against him.

Mr Harawira says it will actually cost him money, as he becomes unemployed as soon as he resigns.

He says nobody objected when Labour MP Winnie Laban forced a by-election by abandoning the Mana electorate to pursue a new career, but a different standard seems to be applied to democracy in Maori electorates.


The director of the Rotorua Museum says it's fitting a new extension which will house taonga Maori is named after a Pakeha.

Visitors to the museum yesterday were given a tour of the $22 million Don Stafford Wing, which opens in August with a major show of Te Arawa artifacts on loan from Te Papa, Auckland Museum and the Royal family's collection in London.

Greg McManus says the late historian earned a position of respect for his tireless work documenting the region's stories, and as a Pakeha he was brought up surrounded by Te Arawa whose story he eventually told.

Now the main construction is complete the interior fit-out can start.

Time has come for Harawira party

Te Roopu Mana leader Hone Harawira says his new political movement is one whose time has come.

Mr Harawira will resign from Parliament this week and contest a by-election for the Te Tai Tokerau seat he now holds.

Despite the presence at his launch rally in Auckland on Saturday of former Green and Alliance MPs Sue Bradford and Nandor Tanczos and Unite organiser John Minto, Mr Harawira said Mana did not want to be part of any coalition that denied its identity as Maori.

He says it can go further than previous parties he has been a member of.

“Mana Motuhake never really had their own MP in the House, and they only really got in as part of the Alliance, Mana Maori was never able to get to that point. I am there currently although I am going back to get a mandate and I intend to return to Parliament as an elected MP for the Mana movement,” Mr Harawira says.

He says Maori Party did not turn out to be the champion of the poor as he thought it should be.


Meanwhile, Hone Harawira’s campaign manager is anticipating the by-election in Te Tai Tokerau will put Labour under real pressure.

Matt McCarten says the weekend’s surprise announcement of Mr Harawira’s intention to force the by-election was about getting a mandate for the MP and his movement, rather than about catching the Labour contender flat-footed.

“They are quite weak, they now have to front their talk, they’ve either got to put Kelvin Davis into the race or not and so if I was on their side that would cause me a few headaches. I think and hope and suspect that Hone will win and have his mandate and that won’t be good news to the Labour Party in some sense,” Mr McCarten says.

He says Maori voters like to vote for something they believe in or aspire to.


Visitors to Rotorua Museum yesterday got a sneak peek at its new Don Stafford Wing, which will open in August.

Director Greg McManus says the $22 million extension named after the late historian will allow the museum to display a larger number of its Maori artifacts.

He says many taonga from the region will be brought back for the opening show from Auckland Museum, Te Papa, and overseas institutions.

“We asked for everything on loan and it was a very long process but once we explained to them what it was all about and they met us and met Te Arawa kaumatua everyone was willing and in the case of the royal collection we basically wrote to the royal family and asked that their taonga that were given by Te Arawa in 1901 to the Duke of York, we asked if we could borrow them back and they said yes so that’s fantastic,” Mr McManus says.

The museum sought five-year loans for the taonga it’s bringing for the Nga Pumanawa o Te Arawa exhibition.


Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira says his new party will champion the rights of the poor in a way the Maori Party has failed to do.

The launch of Te Roopu Mana in Auckland on Saturday included speeches of support from unionists and former Green MPs Sue Bradford and Nandor Tanczos.

Mr Harawira says while a Maori identity is essential to Mana, it also has to pick up the job the Maori Party has failed to do.

“We were supposed to be there for the pani me te rawa kore. The Maori Party is not there. I intend to honour that obligation to be there for those in need, for those most vulnerable or those who don’t have a voice,” he says.

Mr Harawira says the by-election he is forcing in Te Tai Tokerau will give him and the new Mana movement a mandate.


An Otago University epidemiologist says child poverty is leading to a huge increase in severe skin conditions among Maori and Pasifika.

Associate professor Michael Baker says incidence of the skin conditions has doubled over the past two decades, with Maori children almost three times more likely than Pakeha to be affected.

He says minor wounds and infected insect bites are easy to control if treated early, but about 60 thousand children are being admitted to hospital every year because the wounds are left to fester.

“There are some families who have inadequate amounts of hot water and soap for washing, getting their children to see a doctor early is difficult because of transport costs, and also the high cost of after hours consultation with a GP so these are all barriers that are affecting the poorest groups in New Zealand,” Dr Baker says.

He says skin injuries become an unnecessary drain on the health system.


The director of the Wairoa Maori Film Festival says it’s great to be able to bring some international indigenous perspectives to the region.

As well as a line up of new and old films from Aotearoa, the programme for the Queen’s Birthday weekend event includes work from Australia, North America, Hawaii, Israel, and the Arctic community of Pittagangituq.

Leo Koziol says a highlight for him will be the documentary Seven Generations, about the group indigenous grandmothers for peace.

The group includes Rongomaiwahine kuia Pauline Tangiora, one of the festival’s directors.

Some of the films features in the Wairoa Festival will tour other centres later in the year.