Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Budget offers no incentive for value add industry

The CTU's Maori vice president says the budget has just made life a lot harder for Maori workers.

Syd Keepa says a lot of workers will take a contribution holiday from their KiwiSaver accounts because they can't make ends meet.

He says there is no stimulus for industries which employ a lot of Maori ... like forestry ... to invest in the value added processes which will allow them to earn more from exports.

“They're just of the opinion that it’s best to export our logs without having tem processed here and in the meantime a lot of those workers in that industry are losing their jobs,” Mr Keepa says.

He says Finance Minister Bill English's projections of a return to strong growth and job creation don't square with what he's seeing out on the worksites.


Ngai Tahu chairman Mark Solomon says he's looking forward to this weekend's Rise Up Christchurch telethon on Maori Television.

He says help from Maori around the country has been much appreciated as the city struggles to rebuild after the November and February earthquakes.

City leaders are always aware of donor fatigue, and Sunday's 12-hour event will help refurbish the relief fund coffers.

“We've had support as far as people down here helping right since about day two and they’re still out there but there really is whatever people have n their hearts to give, please do. There’s a lot of need out there,” Mr Solomon says.


A major Belgian collection of Maori and Pacific treasures has a new home.

Artist George Nuku has been helping to install the collection at the new $100 million MAS Museum by the river in Antwerp.

He says the works gathered from a number of Belgian museums takes up the entire fourth floor of the six-storey building, and he was asked to provide suitable surroundings.

“There's a beautiful waka taua, a model canoe, and hei tiki and waka huia, old things, stunningly beautiful, and I’ve carved a Perspex wharenui. The poupou in the wharenui are basically holding all these taonga,” Mr Nuku says.

The taonga Maori was of particular interest to the King and Queen of Belgium at this week's opening.


The Mangatu Incorporation in poverty Bay of Plenty is celebrating a win in the Supreme Court which has thrown the treaty settlement process into turmoil.

The court has ruled that the Waitangi Tribunal must hear the incorporation's claim that land forcibly acquired by the Crown for forestry in 1961 should go back to it, rather than to Aitanga Mahaaki, the iwi that most of the owners belong to.

Chairperson Alan Haronga says the incorporation instigated and funded the claim in the early 1990s, and it was upset to be first cut out of the proposed iwi settlement and then sidelined by the Waitangi Tribunal, which refused to grant it a resumption hearing.

“All the courts in the land apart from the Supreme Court were happy to flow with the government policy of the day which in some respects disappointed us and why we held very closely our principles on the matter and pursued it all the way,” Mr Haronga says.

Treaty lawyers say the decision opens the door for individual claimants who are unhappy with settlements under the Crown's large natural groupings policy to go back to the tribunal and get binding orders over particular forestry blocks.


As the stand-off continues between the Wellington City Council and Wellington iwi over the ownership of the waka Te Raukura, a replacement is taking shape at the tail of the fish.

The council is threatening to take Te Runanga o Taranaki Whanui to the court if it doesn't pay $150,000 to settle the ownership dispute, while the runanga is demanding a signed agreement so both sides are clear what they are getting for the money.

Meanwhile, waka builder Hekenukumai Busby says work is going well in the far north on a 14 metre kauri-hulled waka the Wharewaka o Poneke Charitable Trust has commissioned to display in its waterfront headquarters.

The fishing waka can be powered by a mixed crew of 14 to 16 paddlers.

It will be in Wellington in August in time to be used for Rugby World Cup promotions.


The Prime Minister is sceptical the call by Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia for November 5 to be changed from Guy Fawkes to Parihaka Day will win wide acceptance.

John Key says there certainly will be some people who wish to remember the 1881 invasion of the non-violent Taranaki community by 1500 militia and armed constabulary.

“It's one of those things where people will want to learn their history and acknowledge it but I think it will struggle to change and as we’ve seen before when there was a move to change Waitangi Day to New Zealand Day, over time it never survived,” Mr Key says.

New Zealand Day was changed back to Waitangi Day in 1975 as one of the first acts of the incoming Muldoon government.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Constitutional review funding a sham

Labour MP Shane Jones says the $2 million in the budget for Maori to participate in the constitutional review is a farce.

He says the spending has nothing to do with what the people in Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples's Tamaki Makaurau electorate need on a daily basis, and shows the Maori Party has its priorities wrong.

Mr Jones says Don Brash's takeover of the ACT Party and the deal he cut to retain its cabinet positions is a truer reflection of the current state of the constitution.

“That's how shoddy the constitution has turned into under the current government. This notion you can have a Maori constitutional input without actually taking a very long time and opening it up so it has complete support across the House is a sham,” Mr Jones says.


Northland's medical officer of health is welcoming a $12 million budget infection to fight rheumatic fever.

Clare Mills says the disease is at alarming levels in Tai Tokerau, with Maori and Pacific kids more than 20 times more likely than non-Maori to develop the disease, which can lead to heart problems in later life.

She says while the money is desperately needed to fund community programmes aimed at swabbing kids with sore throats so the disease is picked up early, it doesn't address the underlying causes.

“It is very much a disease associated with people living in poorer conditions and on lower incomes and there is a lot more that needs to be done to address some of those bigger factors,” Dr Mills says.


The developer of Te Kotahitanga says the professional development programme to help teachers relate to Maori students is starting to have an influence throughout the education sector.

Russell Bishop says he's surprised and delighted by an extra $17 million in the budget to extend the programme to another 20 schools.

He says even though it's currently only in mainstream secondary schools with high Maori rolls, the ideas underlying Te Kotahitanga are now well understood in the Education Ministry.

“Ten, 12 years ago they were saying the biggest influence on Maori kids’ achievement was their home life. Now they’re clearly saying the biggest influence is the relationships that take place within the schools and particularly in the classrooms, so there’s been a major shift in the theorizing of the ministry and amongst the wider sector,” Professor Bishop says.


Labour's candidate in the Te Tai Tokerau by-election says yesterday's budget won't harm his chances.

Kelvin Davis says while on the surface the Maori Party is crowing that it secured $100 million for educational initiatives, the devil is in the detail, and it’s hard to tell how many extra schools or classroom places will e created in the funding.

He says while the budget includes $12 million to fight rheumatic fever, which will address a real problem in the north, it does nothing to address the underlying reasons the disease is so prevalent in Maori communities, such as over-crowded housing.


Ngai Tahu chair Mark Solomon says the $42 million in the budget for trade training in Christchurch will allow young Maori to start apprenticeships.

He says rebuilding the city will take more skilled labour than the country has available, so it's important to start training now.

He says decisions on when, where, how and even whether the city gets rebuilt can't be made until geotechnical reports are available towards the end of the month.

“The rebuild itself is not going to happen any time soon but for apprentices to get them ready, we need to get the training started. We’ve got a problem in front of us to see if we can address it It is possible we have to shift,” Mr Solomon says.

Ngai Tahu has a number of blocks of land on the outskirts of the city which may be suitable to future development.


The crowd at Eden Park tonight might pick up some fresh Maori and Pacific flavours when the Blues run onto the field to take on the Stormers.

Their new fanfare played by the Auckland Philharmonia was composed by 16 year old Auckland Grammar student Alex McFarlane.

His 90-second competition-winning piece is called Wheturangi Kahurangi , or blue star, and it uses log drums to maintain a Maori and Pacific feel.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Skills training boost for battered city

Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon says the $42 million in the budget for skills training in Canterbury should lead to job opportunities for young Maori.

The package was one of the few bits of new spending in a budget marked by austerity and the Government's desire to reduce its deficit.

Mr Solomon says the iwi is working closely with Christchurch Polytechnic on a bid for some of the trade training money needed to rebuild the earthquake-ravaged city.

“With the full recovery of Christchurch, I doubt there are enough tradesmen in the whole of New Zealand. We do have a skill shortage. We do have an opportunity here to bring another generation through and create employment at the same time. We’d be fools not to take it up,” he says.

Ngai Tahu is waiting for a geotechnical report on which areas of Christchurch are suitable for rebuilding so it can see whether any of its landholdings on the outskirts of the city can be developed.


Labour MP Shane Jones says the money going into trade training in Christchurch just highlights the inadequacy of provision for Maori elsewhere.

He says it's a budgie budget where Maori get the crumbs, and Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples moves his allocation round like deckchairs on a sinking ship.

He says the Government is not facing up to the inordinately high levels of unemployment among young Maori men.

“This zest that the current minister of police aide by the associate minister of corrections, Dr Sharples, have for jails show they have a rather bleak view. Rather than spend money on these young men and keep them out of jail, unfortunately we are going to see more of them swelling into jail because they don’t have the numeracy, the literacy or adequate work readiness skills, and sorry, a couple of million bucks on numeracy and literacy is not going to cut it,” Mr Jones says.

He says Dr Sharples has trumpeted the reallocation of some funding for Maori language support, but failed to resolve funding problems in kohanga reo, which is necessary if the language is to be picked up by the next generation.

The organiser of today's super haka for Christchurch says the response was sensational.

Super Shuttle director Peter King says up to 4000 people turned out in the four main centres at noon to perform a Ngai Tahu haka, which urges people to rise up and be strong and resolute.

Ngai Tahu chair Mark Solomon and Christchurch mayor Bob Parker were quick to offer their thanks.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says today's budget provides little for Maori.

Ms Turei says while there is some extra spending Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples’ favourite issue, te reo Maori, the Maori Party has failed to deliver on lowering the cost of living, job creation and income support.

“The issue here is that our people don’t have jobs, they don’t have homes, they can’t get access to higher levels of education, we have vast numbers of our young people on the dole and nothing in this budget is solving any of that,” Ms Turei says.

She says the budget cuts housing and health spending in real terms and can be seen as generally hostile to Maori.


Meanwhile, Waikato University education professor Russell Bishop is delighted with the extra $17 million in the budget to roll out Te Kotahitanga to another 20 schools.

The professional development programme offers teachers better ways of working with and assessing Maori students.

Professor Bishop says the money, spread over four year, will help the programme gain critical mass.

“What we are looking for of course is enough schools to reform the education they are providing for Maori children so that you can change the statistics of disparity that exist in New Zealand today and then the second thing is the qualitative change where the caring and learning relationships are developed through the whole schools and you start seeing changes that support Maori kids learning and everyone else as well,” Professor Bishop says.

Research is showing that Maori students in Te Kotahitanga schools are performing better in external examinations than those at other schools.


Maori communities are being urged to take responsibility for tackling the rheumatic fever that is blighting the lives of many tamariki.

Dr Rawiri Jansen from Ngati Raukawa says Maori-instigated programmes in Northland are starting to clear up high rates of infection among Maori children in places like Kaeo and Kaitaia.

He says other places with disproportionate statistics, such as parts of South Auckland, the Bay of Plenty and Waiariki, need to get on board.

“What I understand from the international literature is when a community says we want to deal with this, that’s very powerfuland when a community makes that decision they say right health clinics get on board, doctors get on board, we want nurses or clinics at the schools swabbing our kids throats," Dr Jansen says.

He welcomes the extra $12 million in the budget to fight the disease.

Maori Party goes it alone on broadband deal

The chair of Te Huarahi Tika Maori Spectrum Trust, Mavis Mullins, says the Maori Party's deal with the Government on ultra fast broadband overlooks issues of real significance to Maori.

National is relying on the Maori Party's support to get its Telecommunications Amendment Bill passed now that the Don Brash-led ACT Party has decided it doesn't support the government's $1.5 million fibre roll-out.

Mrs Mullins says the Maori Party didn't consult spectrum claimants before negotiating with Telecommunications Minister Steven Joyce, and it made no attempt to fix flaws with the current spectrum allocation.

“If there was any common sense in the world people would be just talking together and coming to the right conclusions about this stuff but it’s just a game, it’s a political game play at the moment and I suppose getting close to elections everyone is about point scoring and it's not helpful,” Ms Mullins says.

The Ultra fast Broadband comes hard on the heels of the Rural Broadband Initiative, where a Maori-backed consortium was sidelined in favour of a $300 million subsidy for the country's two largest phone companies.


Prime Minister John Key is denying today's budget will accelerate the number of Maori joining whanau in Australia.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has claimed people are Maoridom's number one export, and the more will leave when they see what the National Government has in store for them.

But Mr Key says the government needs to maintain confidence in the New Zealand economy.

“If the government doesn’t balance its books, doesn’t pay for Christchurch, doesn’t get us back into surplus quicker, inevitably where you end up is wiuth countries like Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Spain, where eventually someone comes along and says I’m not lending you as much money, interests rates go up, everyone pays more for their mortgages, homes become more unaffordable and more out of touch particularly for low to middle income people,” he says.

John Key says while today's changes to Kiwisaver will cost families more, low and middle income earners will get more out of Working for Families.


Labour leader Phil Goff is giving the party's candidate riding instructions for the Te Tai Tokerau by-election.

Mr Goff says Kelvin Davis has shown he's passionate about improving education and employment opportunities for Maori.

He's not expecting much substance from Hone Harawira, whose departure from parliament tomorrow precipitates the by-election, and whoever stands for the Maori Party.

“The Maori Party and its breakaway group, the Harawira party, will be fighting amongst themselves about what they’ve done and and whether they’ve sold out or not. All of that bickering is fine but it’s not what is needed to improve real conditions, real standards of living, real job opportunities for the people of Te tai Tokerau,” Mr Goff says.

The by-election may also be seen as a referendum on asset sales.


Wellington City Council is threatening to head to the High Court if it Waiwhetu Maori don't pay $150,000 for the waka Te Raukura by tomorrow (Friday).

The chair of te Runanganui o Taranaki Whanui, Neville Baker, says the money is sitting in a lawyer's trust account until the council has signed an agreement spelling out how the payment settles the dispute over the waka's ownership.

Richard McLean, the council's communications manager, says councillors have already agreed on the course of action they would take if the deadline was not met.

“They voted on that stance on the understanding if the deal fell through or we didn’t get the money we would return to the High Court and continue action against them,” Mr McLean says.

The dispute which is hanging over preparations for the council's activities during the Rugby World Cup, so it needs to be settled as quickly as possible.


Prime Minister John Key is questioning whether Kawerau Intermediate pupils who made a hikoi to Parliament this week to challenge the closure of their school really understood the issues.

Mr Key was not among the large group of MPs who went out to greet the hikoi.

He says the Education Ministry's need amalgamate schools can lead to passionate feelings.

“Everyone resists change irrespective of what age they are. Personally I slightly prefer it when the argument is held at an adult level. I feel queasy sometimes when young people are dragged into a political debate but I accept that it does happen,” Mr Key says.

Education Minister Anne Tolley gave the school a chance to make further submissions before she makes her decision at the end of June.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei has identified funding for Whanau Ora and education cuts as things Maori need to watch out for in today's Budget.

Ms Turei says the fear among many social service providers is their money will be shifted to whanau ora providers.

She says many Maori have missed out on getting into university courses because of changes in enrolment standards, and now older students will be penalised because they can't get loans.

“As older people lose jobs they want to go back and retrain but there are signals that student allowances and things won’t be as accessible for those people once they reach 55. Cutting off educational access at both ends of the spectrum is a real problem and a big problem for our people,” Ms Turei says.

She says the budget is likely to encourage more Maori to jump the ditch to Australia.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hikoi a great educational experience

Labour list MP and Te Tai Tokerau candidate Kelvin Davis says yesterday's hikoi by Kawerau Intermediate pupils and their whanau was a great educational experience.

The former Kaitaia Intermediate principal was among a number of MPs from several parties who welcomed the 250-strong group on the steps of Parliament yesterday.

He says the Education Ministry's plan to close the school at the end of the year will affect their lives and the shape of their community.

“Protesting or being on top of an issue like those children seem to be to me is just part of education. It’s about being involved in what’s going on in your community and they’re actually part of society and this political decision impacts on them, why shouldn’t them be informed and make decisions about where they want to go,” Mr Davis says.

He says intermediate closures are an easy option for the ministry, but they don't address the wider questions of why children are failing in schools.


Prime Minister John Key is picking the rapid growth of Maori business to translate into an increase in Maori National supporters.

He says Maori firms face the same issues of any business, and will look favourably on National policies like lower taxes.

“Equally you're seeing a lot of Maori voters starting to move up the socioeconomic grouping. You’ve got a lot more middle managers and professionals in Maoridom and I suspect those people have the same hopes and aspirations as any middle to higher income New Zealanders,” Mr Key says

He says
historically National has not been good at showing why Maori, who are predominantly low and middle income earners, should vote for it.


The winner of this year's New Zealand Toastmasters' competition is crediting his use of te reo Maori for the prize.

Te Arawa FM broadcaster Kingi Biddle won the speechmaking competition with "Mihi Atu, Mihi Mai", a speech about the value of hello to passing strangers.
Unbeknown to him his speech echoed the motto adopted by the Toastmasters this year, Ruia Mai He Kakano Kia Tipu Ai.

“In my speech I said ‘ruia he kakano,’ sow that seed, say hello to everyone, and then ‘hauhakatia e whangai i te katoa,’ harvest it so all may benefit, so it was very much an English speaking competition but I drew on my Maoritanga to create most of the content of my speech,” he says.

Mr Kingi Biddle is off to Las Vegas in August for the World Toastmasters' Championship.


Waiwhetu Maori say they're not yet ready to pay the $150,000 the Wellington City Council is demanding for the waka Te Raukura.

The council had wanted Te Raukura to be housed in the harbourside wharewaka beside Ta Papa museum, but agreed to give up its ownership claim in exchange for the payment.

Neville Baker, the chair of Te Runanganui o Taranaki Whanui, says the money has been set aside in a trust account, and won't be paid until there is a signed agreement with the council setting out the terms of settlement.

“We want to finalise a situation where goodwill is established on both sides and we recognise that the waka is still important to everyone around Whanganui-a-Tara and not just property that we expressly have sole use of so we’re still in a sharing position and that’s the way we’d like to go forward on this,” Mr Baker says.

He says the council also needs to pay for storing the waka at Waiwhetu for the past five years.


Labour leader Phil Goff says Maori can expect little from tomorrow's Budget.
He says many Maori families will be struggling to stretch their own budgets to maintain KiwiSaver contributions and make up for expected cuts in services.

Meanwhile the deficit is expected to hit $16 billion because of National's tax cuts and economic management.

“You can't wish away a debt and you can’ keep borrowing $380 million a week but what you can do is you can invest sensibly in things that will grow your economy because that’s how you get your deficit down , get growth in the economy, growth in wages, growth in employment, then you will get growth in revenue, but that doesn’t seem to be part of the Government’s equation,” Mr Goff says.

He'd like to see things like skills training packages for the building industry which would help unemployed Maori get back into work.


Rugby League's development officer says NRL scouts are increasingly looking to the age level Maori teams for new talent.

John Devonshire says at least 14 teams will compete in the 10th National Maori Rugby League Youth Tournament at Rotorua over Queen's Birthday Weekend.

He says rangatahi are keen to get in, as they realise it opens up opportunities.

The youth tournament was split from the seniors so rangatahi could have their own alcohol-free event.

Mere Mangu keen on Te Tai Tokerau run

Moerewa-based lawyer Mere Mangu says she wants to make a third attempt to be come MP for Te Tai Tokerau ... this time as the official Maori Party candidate.

Ms Mangu says she was approached by a number of people who wanted her to contest the by-election triggered by the resignation of Hone Harawira, who is standing under the Mana banner.

She says even though she stood as an independent in the past two elections, she supported the Maori Party's aims.

“I have always had the Maori Party kaupapa in mind but more so is the fact that they’re in government and we need to celebrate the achievements they have made including what Hone has achieved. I think he needs to be commended for what he carried out whilst he was representing Tai Tokerau,” Ms Mangu says.

She faces competition for the nomination from Ngai Hine chairperson Waihoroi Shortland, who hails from the same Matawaia Marae.


New Zealand First leader Winston Peters predicts tomorrow's budget will result in more Maori joining their whanau across the Tasman.

The former treasurer says government ministers have already foeshadowed a budget which will hit middle and low income earners.

He says as it is Maoridom's greatest export is talented skilled young people going to Australia.

“For a lot of families it means w future where to visit their families they’ve got to go offshore of the family has got to come back to New Zealand but they will not be living in New Zealand unless we can turn this around and fast,” Mr Peters says.

He says rather than cuts to services the government should put in place incentives to give young people a reason to stay in New Zealand.


A Manukau hospice will become the first in the country to include a whanau room where family can come and stay with dying patients.

South Auckland Hospice chief executive Gary Sturgess says it's part of a $5 million expansion of Totara House aimed at a new emphasis on culturally sensitive palliative care.

He says in the past Hospice has been accused of catering for white middle class patients, but that will change, as patients in their last days of life can come into the hospice with their whole family accompanying them.


Police were called to a protest in Otara yesterday, where representatives of the Manukau Urban Maori Authority were picketing a branch of the Aotearoa Credit Union.

There were no arrests and the protest ended peacefully.

Wyn Osborne, who represented MUMA on the Aotearoa board until he lost his seat last December, says the credit union is using procedural tricks to ignore a petition for a special general meeting to discuss discrepancies in the election.

He says MUMA is also concerned the board has lost control of management.

“We think that puts the organisation at risk and that’s another issue that needs to be put in front of membership. Look, if we convened the SGM and the membership all said ‘get over it,’ we’d accept that. However we want an opportunity to have it out in a forum of members, they are what we think are the issues, and let’s have a vote on it,” Mr Osborne says.

Aotearoa chair John Walters says he doesn't accept there was any problem with the election, and MUMA has so far failed to get 100 valid signatures from enough of the Credit Union's 16,000 members to generate a special general meeting.


Pollution has put paid to a Maori tourism institution.

The Whakarewa penny divers have been told they can no longer dive for gold coins in the Puarenga Stream because of high levels of e-coli bacteria and PCP poisoning.

Tuhourangi spokesperson Wally Lee says local Maori have been complaining about the state of the river for years.

He is pleased that Environment Bay of Plenty has agreed to test the river and investigate where the source of the poluttion may be coming from.


The coach of the Maori women's rugby team says separatism has paid off for the sport as a whole.

Peter Joseph says the Aotearoa Maori Women's Sevens team was formed a decade ago because there were hardly any brown faces in the New Zealand team, despite the number of Maori players in the game.

He says Maori players now have a much better chance of making the Black Ferns, with nine of the New Zealand players in the 2009 Women’s Rugby World Cup being Maori, most developed through the Aotearoa team.

Mr Joseph says the Aotearoa team is off to Rome at the end of the month to defend its world title against the top European teams and an invitational team including Black Ferns.

MP defends mother’s right to let her heart speak

Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira says he understands the frustration that led to his mother Titewhai verbally berating Maori Party leaders at Waitangi.

Ngati Kawa elders are considering banning Mrs Harawira from te Tii Marae because of her sustained outburst at a hui last week.

Mr Harawira says the Maori Party leadership had refused invitations to come to the north for two years, but turns up with a by-election looming.

“They came after they’d stabbed me in the back and then they came up here looking to replace me so I’m not surprised they copped that. I’m certainly not going to deny my mother the opportunity to say what’s been in her heart.” He says.

Mr Harawira says like most other guys he can't tell his mum to be quiet even if he wanted to.


National's Mangere candidate says she wants to remind people in the south Auckland electorate there are Maori in the party.

Television producer Claudette Hauiti of Ngati Porou and Nga Puhi says she's up for the challenge of taking the seat from Labour's Su'a William Sio.

She says the modern National Party has shown it is open to Maori voices.

Paula Bennett, Tau Henare, Joanne Hayes who has jest been selected for Dunedin South, there’s myself, there’s Hekia (Parata), there’s Jami Lee Ross in Botany, there’s Paul Quinn, there’s quite a few of us. It shows we are not one homogenous lot. We have many and varied viewpoints,” Ms Hauiti says.

She's starting her campaign with weekly cottage hui in the electorate.


Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga has secured almost $2 million for kaumatua housing from the government's Housing Innovation Fund.

Housing Minister Phil Heatley says the dollar for dollar subsidy is designed to help organisations providing homes for people on low to moderate incomes or with special housing needs.

He says the Flaxmere-based trust has come up with a solution which addresses a range of social issues.

“What they'll do is they’ll build the house, there will be 11 kaumatua living here, there will be shared laundry and cooking facilities and what that means is there will not only be a roof for the people living there but they will have other health and education services around them,” Mr Heatley says.

Money from the fund is also going to Ngati Mutunga o Wharekauri in the Chatham Islands to build three 3-bedroom houses and two 1-bedroom rental units for kaumatua.


The principal of Kawerau Intermediate says a hikoi to Wellington has strengthened his sense there are two New Zealands.
About 250 students and whanau descended on Parliament today to protest the imminent closure of the 150-pupil school, which has a 95 percent Maori roll.
Daryl Aim says while they were being welcomed by Maori Party MPs, he saw in the background a group of students from a nearby girls' college walking past in their blazers and ties.

“They looked sensational. We’re living in a New Zealand where there’s a split, two New Zealands. There were those kids and then we’ve got the flip side, the Kawerau kids. We subsidise the uniforms, we support the families and the community, we feed the kids at school and here we are about to close a school that does so much for its kids and the wider community,” Mr Aim says.

Mrl Aim says Education Minister Anne Tolley gave the delegation until June 1 to make the case why the school should not close ... and even if today's hikoi is unsuccessful, the trip to the big city was a great educational experience for the tamariki.


Northland's medical officer of health says public health authorities need to partner with Maori communities if they want to rid the country of rheumatic fever.

Jonathan Jarman says the disease isn't being given a high enough priority because it's mainly seen in Maori and Pacific island communities.

Of the 16 cases in Northland last year, virtually all were Maori school aged children.

“We have this striking health inequality and we’re using Pakeha methods to try to solve it. But it doesn’t work and I believe that we actually have to engage more with communities is an partnership and work with people and empower them and this is hopefully, along with the Pakeha method, going to make a bigger difference,” Dr Jarman says.

New Zealand still has high levels of the disease which has been almost eradicated in most developed countries.


Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia says she has is getting a lot of support for her push to mark November 5 as Parihaka Day rather than Guy Fawkes.

That's the day in 1881 when colonial troops invaded the Taranaki settlement to suppress a non-violent movement that was resisting land confiscation.

Mrs Turia says the idea put up by Parihaka elders seems to have struck a chord.

“Here is something that happened in our own country. It was a dreadful situation that happened at Parihaka. But the focus has been on the peaceful resistance to what happened at that time and so Parihaka is synonymous with peace,” she says.

Mrs Turia says the day is instead marked by the celebration of a 400-year-old act of violence in Britain by a man who tried to blow up the British parliament.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Turia takes on Newman over fringe racism

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia and former parliamentary colleague Muriel Newman are going head to head about who is running a racist organisation.

Mrs Turia says the former ACT MP's Coastal Coalition, which is leading opposition to the Marine and Coastal Area Takutai Moana Act, is a fringe organisation on par with the Right Wing Resistance Movement, which is attacking Asian immigration.

She says Mrs Newman wants to rip up the Treaty of Waitangi.

“This is the founding document of our country and we should behave honourably towards one another, be respectful towards one another, and putting out billboards with iwi versus kiwi on them and all the other negative things they were doing is simply outrageous because that’s what breeds anger, that’s what breeds resentment,” Mrs Turia says.

She says people like Muriel Newman and ACT's new leader Don Brash need to get their heads around the fact one in two children born in New Zealand is brown.


Te Tai Tokerau electors are being urged to make sure they're enrolled in time to vote in the June 25 by-election.

Stephen Hansen, the Registrar of Electors, says people need to be enrolled at their current address by the time the writs close on May 25 to be on the printed roll.

People who sign up after that date would need to cast a special declaration vote on election day.

All eligible electors enrolled by May 25 will receive a voting information pack in the mail a week before the June 25 by-election.

Turn-out in the electorate in the 2008 general election was 63 percent.


A Massey University ecology lecturer says the Government's national policy statement on fresh water won't help local authorities clean up rivers and lakes.

The Maori Council has attacked the statement for failing to recognise the right of Maori to assist in water management.

Dr Mike Joy agrees, and says the lack of teeth in the statement is like having road rules without enforcement.

“So we'll have these laws but we won’t have any way to police them. We’ve seen what happens with the road toll. It would be really high if we didn’t have an police out there and people were being fined and having their licences taken off them and all that kind of thing. If you don’t have tough rules, if you don’t have any way of enforcing the rules, then nothing will change,” Dr Joy says.

At the same time as releasing the national policy statement the government announced it was putting million of dollars into irrigation schemes, which will mean extra cows polluting the rivers and the air.


The front-runner to represent the Maori Party in the Te Tai Tokerau by-election says people are under-estimating the support the party still has in the electorate.

Veteran broadcaster and language expert Waihoroi Shortland, who chairs the Ngati Hine runanga, says his nomination is going in today.

He says incumbent Hone Harawira alienated many Maori Party members with his actions even before quitting the party in February, and there's more than enough support to make a credible showing.

“When I hear people say to me it’s winnable, when I hear that there is a much larger silent majority in the north than people give it credit for, when I consider that the people you’re hearing a lot of are people who see to draw attention to their cause, I think people forget, not everybody are soapbox preachers,” Mr Shortland says.


Meanwhile, Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is dismissing a Horizon Research poll putting her roopu behind Hone Harawira's new Mana Party.

The survey of 1845 people ranked support for Mana at 2.3 percent compared with 2.1 percent for the Maori Party, with a 2.3 percent margin of error.

Mrs Turia says the poll covers all voters nationwide, rather than just those in the seven Maori electorates.

“It's taken right across so those who are on the general roll, those who are on the Maori roll, the questions are asked of them so whether that is valid for the Maori Party given that the only vote that counts for us is those on the Maori roll, probably not,” she says.


Ardijah singer Betty-Ann Monga is looking forward to celebrating Matariki with the women of Te Arawa.

A tribute to the long-lasting poly-funk-soul band is the centrepiece of a midwinter event in Rotorua next month which aims to honour the contributions te Arawa wahine are making locally and nationally.

Monga says the band has always got a great reception in the region, and she’s looking forwards to celebrating the gifts of Te Arawa women.

The gala event at the Distinction hotel will include one-off performances by Ardijah & Te Arawa friends, including singer Maisey Rika, kapa haka experts and singers Ria Hall and Miriama Hare, artist Regan Balzer, poet Chanz Mikaere & hip hop group Unit-Y.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Shortland putting hand up for Te Tai Tokerau

Ngai Hine chairperson Waihoroi Shortland intends to put his name in the ring to become the Maori Party's candidate in the Te Tai Tonga by-election.

His entry raises the prospect of a strong three-way race for the seat, where Hone Harawira is seeking a fresh mandate.

The veteran broadcaster and former Maori language commissioner says it's been a long time since Mr Harawira has represented the Maori Party's interests in the north.

“I've proffered myself simply because I think Te Tai Tokerau deserves better, and it deserves choice because I don’t think it has been well served. I don’t think even if Hone manages to get back in that Te Tai Tokerau will be well served. When you look at it from those perspectives you either offer something or you give support,” Mr Shortland says.

Nominations for the Maori Party nomination close on Friday, and the party intends to announce its candidate by writ day on May 25.


Meanwhile, Labour's Te Tai Tonga candidate says he's keen to offer some positive solutions for Maori rather than the diet of negativity served up by Hone Harawira over the past six years.

Kelvin Davis says his experience as principal of Kaitaia Intermediate gave him first hand experience of how education can change the lives of young maori in the electorate.

He says most Maori voters want to move beyond the rhetoric of protest.

“We can get sidetracked by wanting to relitigate the issues of the past. We’ve got every reason to be angry about what put us in the position we are at the moment as Maori but does that mean we should be Maori? Let’s look at what the future holds and how we can best create successful Maori futures for our kids, for our whanau, and that's what I'm about,” Mr Davis says.

He says voters in Te Tai Tokerau will look for the candidate who can best represent their aspirations, rather than vote blindly on party lines.


Mental Health Foundation chief executive Judi Clements is picking unemployment as a likely factor in the disproportionately high Maori suicide rate.

One in five of those who took their own lives in 2007, the latest year for which data is available, were Maori.

Ms Clements says while employment status was not part of the study, joblessness could be a factor, as people in work feel better about themselves and have lower risk of depression.


Associate Social Development Minister Tariana Turia is supporting a call from Minister Paula Bennett that the finances of single mothers of at-risk children should be managed.

Ms Bennett floated the plan in a weekend newspaper column as part of a list of what she called radical ideas to address child abuse, particularly among Maori.

The column drew fire from Maori community workers, but Mrs Turia says she has never heard the minister talk negatively about teen parents.

“It's not only about teen parents in terms of financial management She’s talking about anybody who is know to be neglecting their tamariki, who may well be spending their money in a negative way,” she says.

Tariana Turia says Waipareira Trust chief executive John Tamihere has been advocating similar hard-nosed interventions for years, and the ideas need to be considered seriously.


The Destiny Church hopes to bring Maori politicians together.

Leader Brian Tamati says that's why he's invited Maori from each of the main political parties to speak to the church's annual conference next month, including Georgina Te Heuheu from National, Pita Sharples from the Maori Party, Shane Jones from Labour, and independent Hone Harawira.

“Really there's power in unity and I think most Maori when we get down to it would rather see one unified party representing our causes and what we believe we need to have politically in Parliament and what we can get out of that and we need to see that with seven Maori seats it’s a huge advantage in parliament and in New Zealand and so I think we all need to sit back and look at this very carefully,” Bishop Tamaki says.

He says the church's 5000-plus mainly Maori members tend to take political direction from their religious leaders and so have the potential to vote as a block.


About 250 students and whanau from Kawerau Intermediate are on their way to Wellington to protest against closure.

95 percent of the decile one school's 150 students are Maori, but the Ministry of Education says falling rolls across the region mean its doors will shut at the end of the year.

Principal Daryl Aim says the ministry isn't listening to the community, and kids in the region will lose valuable opportunities, such as being part of a region-wide sports league.

The school hikoi will be welcomed on Parliament steps tomorrow morning by Maori Party members before meeting with Labour's education spokesperson Sue Moroney.

Mana tops Maori Party in early poll

Mana leader Hone Harawira says he's stunned by a Horizon poll showing his party is more popular than the Maori Party.

Last week’s nationwide survey of 1845 people found 2.3 percent support for Mana compared with 2.1 percent for the Maori Party.

The poll has a margin of error of 2.3 percent.

Mr Harawira says sensed strong support in Te Tai Tokerau as he starts his by-election campaign, but the Horizon poll result is better than even he could have anticipated.

“What it probably says though is there is quite a general spread of support for Mana as opposed to the Maori Party who are probably just locked into the old loyal members they once had. I suspect also that a lot of m support is coming from disillusions Maori Party voters,” he says.

Mr Harawira says he may also be picking up support from Pakeha working people who don’t see the Phil Goff-led Labour Party as representing their interests.


Meanwhile, Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says it’s time for the party to speak out about what it’s done for Maori.

He says an accounting of the benefits that have flowed from the party’s participation in the Government will be a key weapon in the Te Tai Tokerau by-election.

“We’ve done an analysis on how much millions the Maori Party has extracted for Maori people and the projects. We’re going to publish this soon. It‘s quite stunning when you add up all the projects. And this has been dampened by slander we’re doping nothing. It’s our own fault. We’ve got to get this stuff out there,” Dr Sharples says,

He’s confident the party will win the by-election with the backing on iwi leaders in the north.


A Maori woman who has lived with HIV for 18 years says social stigma can mean many of those infected may be put off getting the help they need.

Marama Pala, the executive director of the Maori, Indigenous and South Pacific HIV/AIDS Foundation, says rate of HIV among Maori women is at its highest in 20 years.

She says because many wahine only get tested when they start showing symptoms of AIDs, which lowers their chances of survival.

Ms Pala says it’s hard enough living with the disease without having to face unnecessary discrimination.

“It’s offices like WINZ and hospitals it can pop up in and it’s just lack of knowledge so one of the jobs we do in our organization is go round and educate people so they’re not afraid of it any more. I think the hardest thing for us is getting people the see it is in New Zealand it is in Aotearoa and our community and the Maori community,” she says.

Marama Pala is one of seven global community representatives to the 19th international AIDS Conference in Washington DC in July.


The head of the electoral college which appoints directors to Te Ohu Kaimoana says members were shocked to find they had dumped chair Ngahiwi Tomoana.

Naida Glavish says the 11 members of Te Kawai Taumata used a secret voting process to pick four directors from seven nominations.

She says Mr Tomoana, who leads the Hawles Bay Ngati Kahungunu iwi, had made a significant contribution in his four years on the Maori fisheries settlement trust.

“It’s unfortunate that he hasn’t been returned by a process that is very transparent and above board. It left us all in shock actually,” Ms Glavish says.

The four selected were Rikirangi Gage of Te Whanau a Apanui, who was up for reselection, Hinerangi Raumati from Ngati Mutunga and Waikato, Matiu Rei of Ngati Toa, and Jamie Tuuta of Ngati Mutunga.


A west Auckland anti-violence worker says Social Development minister Paula Bennett's prescription for fighting child abuse amount to re-victimizing young Maori mothers.

In a weekend newspaper column Ms Bennett put forward what she called radical ideas including managing the money of at risk teen parents, making benefits dependent on having well child checks, and mandatory reporting of child abuse.

Ngaroimata Reid from Tu Wahine disagrees.

“She’s re-victimising these young mothers instead of providing the support and the resources that they need to improve their well being and to improve their way of life,” she says.

Ms Bennett claims it isn't a race or class issue, but that half the 4552 babies born to teenagers last year were Maori and half the children abused are Maori.


Political activist John Minto is considering a run as a Mana Party candidate in Epsom at the general election.

The Unite Union organiser, who Mana leader Hone Harawira describes as a great New Zealander, says after a lifetime of working outside the party system he would be delighted to be a Mana list candidate.

He would also joust for Epsom if ACT selects former mayor and National MP John Banks as its candidate,

“I'd make an appeal to the voters of Epsom not to be so bloody selfish. Why should the whole country be subjected to the policies and practices of ACT just because we have a very selfish electorate in the middle of Auckland,” Mr Minto says.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Shaples confident of Te Tai Tokerau win

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples is picking a win for his party in the Te Tai Tokerau by-election.

The party is scrambling to rebuild the branch structure lost when Hone Harawira left the party in February.

Dr Sharples says some very good people are lining up for the chance to run against Mr Harawira and Labour's Kelvin Davis on June 25.

“The Maori Party will win the seat. We’ve done a little bit of homework and we’ve got quite a following up there. We’ve got the leadership of the north behind us as well, so we’re hoping that in the month or so that’s to go we’ll get the messages out,” Dr Sharples says.

He says the by-election campaign will give the Maori Party a chance to spell out in dollar terms what it has delivered to Maori by being in government.


Maori Wardens are joining police and public health organisations this weekend in a campaign aimed at reducing binge drinking.

Wally Haumaha, the manager of the police’s Maori and ethnic division, says Operation Unite is a transTasman initiative aimed at reducing alcohol-related harm in local communities.

He says the blitz runs from 6pm to 6am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Superintendant Haumaha is particularly concerned at a recent rise in alcohol-fuelled crime by Maori.


Fans of American stoner rock band Kyuss are in for a rare treat this weekend, with the guitarist dubbed the Maori Jimi Hendrix playing support.

Billy TK senior will be joined by Doug Jerebine, who wrote many of the songs on the first two Human Instinct albums.

Billy TK or Te Kahika is now based in Karamea at the top of the West Coast, and he says he's getting busier as he moves into his 60s.

“I've got a house by the beach and I just write and work on movement there. I find I’m being pushed into a lot of genres. I’m seem to playing a lot of psychedelic music, blues, and I’m playing a lot of acoustic gigs as well, so I’m being pushed across the board,” he says.

Billy TK and Doug Jerebine are also playing the Luca Lounge in Newmarket after Saturday's Powerstation gig.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples is counting this week's national policy statement on fresh water as a win for Maori.

The guidance statement for local and regional authorities has come under fire from the Maori Council, which says it was developed without proper consultation and leaves Maori with only a token role in decision-making.

But Dr Sharples says he can't understand the criticism.

“We've had a win. We’ve put that treaty clause back in that statement. We’ve got someone appointed in there as well on that actual group that are going to do it so it’s actually a win for Maori,” he says.

Dr Sharples says the Maori Party had to fight to include consultation with Maori in the policy statement.


A Maori AIDs worker says women need to get tested earlier if they think they could have been exposed to HIV.

Marama Pala, the executive director of the Maori, Indigenous and South Pacific HIV/AIDS Foundation, has been picked as one of seven global community representatives to the 19th international AIDS Conference in Washington DC in July.

Ms Pala, who has been living with HIV for 18 years, says she's concerned the rate of HIV among Maori women is at its highest in 20 years.

“Because it's such a low prevalence among wahine they are testing rather late because HIV progresses into the AIDs stage which is the end of the road and a lot of them are getting symptoms at that stage and getting tested very late and some aren’t surviving and some are hospitalised quite quickly so that seems to be the issue for Maori at the moment,” Ms Pala says.

She's still battling the stigma against HIV, which can mean people are wary of getting tested.


A supporter of Hone Harawira's Mana Party says students are looking to create a rangatahi branch of the movement.

Wikatana Popata, who led occupations of land around Taipa in the far north over summer, is now a student in Auckland.

He says last night's speech by Mr Harawira at Auckland University's Waipapa Marae, which replaced a cancelled appearance at the law school, left many of the 70 students asking how they could contribute.

“From here we hope us Maori students at these universities here can strengthen their bond. There’s talk that students from universities throughout the country want to start their own Mana Rangatahi party,” Mr Popata says.

He says rangatahi are more likely to vote if there were candidates they could relate to.

Maori Party scrambling to fire up electorate machine

The Maori Party has set itself a deadline of three weeks at the latest to rebuild its election machine in Te Tai Tokerau.

President Pem Bird says incumbent Hone Harawira's resignation and forcing of a June 25 by-election is a breach of the agreement made when he left the Maori Party, so it has no option but to stand a candidate.

He says branches need to be reestablished and a candidate chosen as soon as possible.

“We're at a little bit of a disadvantage here because everyone knows about Hone, Kelvin is already there. The important thing is we have a process we are going through. It will take more than a day or two to get people in place, the infrastructure in place,” Mr Bird says.

The last day for nominations is May 31.


Meanwhile, Hone Harawira says he's disappointed opposition from Young Nationals led to the cancellation of a speech he was due to give today to Auckland University Maori law students.

Mr Harawira says it brings back memories of He Taua, when he was part of a group which put an end to the engineering student's annual practice of holding a racially offensive haka party.

“Thirty years ago the rednecks were trying to put us down and we sorted them out quick smart. I can’t believe that in 2011 Maori students are caving in again. That whole thing about how the media beat up, putting my photo up there alongside Osama Bin Laden and all tat bullshit, is really having an impact eh on a lot of those pakeha rednecks,” he says.


Otago University's He Kainga Oranga/Housing and Health Research Programme is giving a cautious thumbs up to the Warm Up New Zealand home insulation programme.

Hekia Parata, the acting Energy and Resources Minister, says 100,000 houses have now been insulated.

He Kainga Oranga director Phillippa Howden-Chapman says the unit is still collating data on hospitalisations for respiratory illness, power costs and job creation, but initial indications are the scheme is a good example of New Zealanders working together for the community.

She says the scheme has a sound scientific basis, and public health organisations have made the effort to refer a lot of low income Maori and Pacific households to the scheme.

The report on the Warm Up scheme should be out by the end of the year.


Labour list MP Kelvin Davis is expecting a mix of local and national issues to dominate the Te Tai Tokerau by-election.

Mr Davis intends to wrest the seat from Hone Harawira on June 25, with the Maori party yet to pick its candidate,

He says in an electorate that stretches from west Auckland to North Cape, there is huge range of local issues.

“Around Kaeo there’s the flooding. Dargaville there’s the whole Kaipara turbines issue. There’s the drilling off the west coast of the North Island. There’s the rail link from Whangarei to Auckland. There’s a whole lot of local issues people are talking about but the main thing is people are just really struggling with the rising cost of living and having trouble finding work,” Mr Davis says.


But Hone Harawira says Kelvin Davis should go back to school teaching because he is not leadership material.

Mr Harawira who beat Mr Davis by more than two votes to one in the 2008 general election, and he's counting on keeping enough of that vote to keep out the Labour and Maori party challengers.

He says the younger man hasn't featured in any poll held in the electorate.

“Kelvin's a good man and a hard worker but he’s never been recognised as a leader in Tai Tokerau or as a person who is going to take Tai Tokerau issues to any level. He was an excellent principal before he came into politics and I would dearly like to see him go back to that because if we need people anywhere it’s in schools. I think Kelvin would be great back out in the schools,” Mr Harawira says.


Auckland University of Technology is rating its 14th Maori Expo another triumph.
Vice chancellor Derek McCormack says more than 20,000 rangatahi packed out Vector Arena to find out what universities, polytechnics and wananga, as well as major employers could offer them.

He says the Expos were started out of concern young people don't get enough exposure to Maori success and achievement.

“Building on that was the notion of an encouragement for young Maori to go on and develop their capabilities and build their futures and their careers by getting into tertiary and higher education,” Mr McCormack says.

The students were particularly keen about the TV New Zealand booth, which allowed them to try out their skills as a television present.

Maori Party determined to put up strong challenge

Maori Party president Pem Bird says the party will be fighting fit to contest the Te Tai Tokerau by-election on June 25.

It's scrambling to rebuild the infrastructure lost when MP Hone Harawira quit the party in February, and to find a candidate to stand against the new mana party head.

Mr Bird says the party has capacity to make a strong showing.

“We've come through a turbulent time since the beginning of the year and in fact it’s strengthened our resolve, it’s made us a hell of a lot more determined and we’ve picked up a hell of a lot of support,” Mr Bird says.

Nominations for the te tai Tokerau by-election close on May 31


An Auckland transport company owner is hoping to hear the words "Otautahi, maraka, maraka" ringing out wherever he goes next week.

Peter King from Super Shuttle is organising the Super Haka, a simultaneous event in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin next Thursday lunchtime.

With the backing of the Ngai tahu Runanga, he wants people to get together to perform the Ngai Tahu haka as a show of support for the people of earth-quake-hit Christchurch.

Anyone interested should go to the superhaka.com website to get the words of the haka and see what they need to do.


A Maori poet says polytechs are proving a good source of new writing talent.

Hinemoana Baker is putting together an online literary journal for Porirua-based Whitireria Polytechnic, where she teaches at the School of Creative Writing.

She's excited by the submissions so far from current students as well as graduates and staff.

Hinemoana Baker says she's always keen to see more young Maori trying their hand at poetry.


Hone Harawira is rating himself the underdog in the te Tai Tokerau by-election ... but he's confident of winning.

The independent MP resigns on May 20, and hopes his new Mana party will be registered in time for the June 25 poll so he can come back into Parliament as a part leader.

He says Labour candidate Kelvin Davis will retain his parliamentary salary and have one of the largest political machines in the country behind him, and the Maori party candidate can also draw on the help of four MPs.

“It is going to be tough because I go back on the dole. All I am going to have is my commitment to the kaupapa and my demonstrated commitment to the people to Tai Tokerau not just for the last five years as an MP but for the last 25 years since I have been living back home, so I will put my record up against I don’t care who the opposition is and let the people make the choice,” Mr Harawira says.


While Hone Harawira is moving into his campaign to retain Te Tai Tokerau, the other high profile member of the Mana Party is thousands of kilomtres away.

Rotorua lawyer Annette Sykes of Ngati Pikiao is in Seattle to speak at the university of Washington on the issues facing Maori women and communities.

She says the conference on indigenous wellness has attracted top flight women academics from many of North America's top universities.

“For all of us to be in the same room together, brining multiple issues facing and confronting indigenous women, indigenous communities, and the historical trauma that continues to disenfranchise us, it’s the best rongoa given all the things that are happening to us at home at the moment,” Ms Sykes says.

Her visit could lead to her raising Maori issues in more international forums.


Sports awards recognise coaches, and now music manager are getting their due.

The Music Managers Forum has drawn up its finalists for the annual managers award, including those who look after the careers of Kora, Anika Moa, Maisey Rika and Batucada Sound Machine.

Forum member Wairere Iti says most managers do the work it for the love of the music rather than for money.

He says more Maori managers are needed to cope with the Maori talent available, and that may mean some creative types moving over to the business side.

The awards are part of the Music Month Summit, which has the theme of how to make money in music.