Waatea News Update

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Tainui executive wins reprieve

Tainui has postponed the half-yearly meeting of its tribal parliament after the tribal executive won a High Court injunction.

Te Ara Taura chair Tukoroirangi Morgan says the meeting's agenda, including a motion to sack all 10 elected members of the executive, fell outside the rules.

He says he now needs to sit down with Te Kauhanganui's chair, Tania Martin.

“The tribal parliament hui scheduled for tomorrow is not going to take place. Both myself and the chair of the parliament now have to sit down and talk about making sure that the resolutions and the business that is to be discussed has to be appropriate and fall within the rules, got to be dealt with in the proper way, so we won’t get to a tribal hui until maybe three or
four weeks time,” Mr Morgan says.

Te Ara Taura is keen for a sheduled review of Tainui's governance systems and processes to go ahead.


Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says the Maori Party will oppose any expansion of Sky City's casino operations.

Dr Sharples says he's told the prime minister of his strong opposition to the deal being proposed in exchange for the company building a new convention centre.

He doesn't accept John Key's argument that having more pokies and gaming areas won't worsen problem gambling.

“When we first built the casino I trained 700 people to work in there, and they couldn’t gamble, and I’ve also monitored the situation there and been with the problem gaming people through their programmes and what they do to see. It’s not nice at all, so anything that increases the possibility of problem gambling, we’ve got to oppose,” Dr Sharples says.

He's been trying for years to get a combined convention and Maori cultural centre built on Auckland's waterfront.


Te Tai Tokerau by-election candidate Hone Harawira is shrugging off the mantle of prophet placed on him by a Ratana minister.

Kereama Pene says the Mana Party leader fulfills a prophesy by church founder T W Ratana that a young man will rise up in the north carrying the Treaty of Waitangi to give people new hope.

Mr Harawira says he asked if they couldn't find someone else.

“I'm happy to be that person in terms of the Treaty of Waitangi because it’s in my blood, it’s in my whakapapa, but the whole prophesy thing, that’s something between the people of the Ratana faith. My focus is to be the best treaty activist that I can be and as much as possible to be the best leader that I can be,” her says.

Mr Harawira says he always respected the fact Ratana carried the bible in one hand and the treaty in the other.


Labour's Te Tai Tokerau by-election candidate is calling for a $100 million investment trust to re-tool the region's economy.

Kelvin Davis says a similar fund established when Labour stopped native logging on the West Coast means that part of the country has barely felt the latest recession.

He says the north can't be allowed to further towards third world conditions.

“Why don't we do something like that and that’s a really excellent idea, to set up a trust specifically for Te Tai Tokerau since we are deemed to be the basket case of New Zealand, that is going to invest in all the job creation and wealth creation and creation of opportunities,” Mr Davis says.

Mr Davis says instead of investing in Te Tai Tokerau, National is cutting or freezing funds for essential services like public health.


The chair of Tainui's Te Ara Taura executive says internal division is inevitable in post-settlement iwi, and they need to evolve mechanism to cope with it.

The High Court has granted an injunction preventing a meeting of the tribe's Te Kauhanganui parliament tomorrow that would have considered a motion to sack the 10 elected excutive members.

Tukoroirangi Morgan says with $700 million in assets, there will inevitably be tensions.

“You are taking tribes from a start line where in our case we were virtually landless. When you then go through transformational change as a result of the opportunities that arise through settlement, there is always going to be those who are trying to put themselves into positions where they have greater say,” Mr Morgan says.

He now needs to sit down with Te Kauhanganui chair Tania Martin to agree on an agenda for the parliament's six-monthly meeting.


The president of the Secondary Principals' Association wants incentives to attract more Maori and Pacific Island teachers.

Patrick Walsh says they're needed to lighten the workload of those already in the workforce, especially in low decile schools.

He says young Maori and Pacific teachers often suffer from burn out because of the extra responsibilities foisted on them.

“If it's a Maori teacher they say you can take kapa haka, and you can also deal with any bad behaviour of Maori students so instantly their workload is considerable and they become a magnet for other teachers to sort out a lot of issues to do with Maori students, Maori under-achievement, Maori language, Maori sensitivity,” Mr Walsh says.

Harawira counts numbers in house

Te Tai Tokerau by-election candidate Hone Harawira says his Maori parliament is what will give Maori a real voice in the nation's affairs.

Mr Harawira is proposing that all MPs who are Maori set aside their party lines and come together every three months at hui around the country to hear the concerns of Maori in the region.

“The more and more we develop the culture of a Maori parliament, the more and we as Maori MPs become accepting of the value of the input of our people. There’s 20 of us in Parliament. We’d be the third biggest party if we decided to stand together,” he says.


But Labour's senior Maori MP says the Mana Party leader's Maori parliament plan is a distraction from the real issues which need to be debated in the Te Tai Tokerau by-election.

Parekura Horomia says Maori MPs already do come together across party lines ... except that when he was in the Maori Party Mr Harawira was unable to get even MPs in his own party to agree with him.

“In an ideal world I think it would be not too bad but political reality is that we’re in a battle for his seat and we’re not going to be distracted by fluff in relation to what the real issues are,” he says.

Mr Horomia says Hone Harawira needs to acknowledge a wide range of organisations have the mana to represent Maori in various spheres, including runanga, iwi authorities, and national organisations like the Maori Womens Welfare League.


A south Auckland budget advisor says more early childcare centres are needed in the region so parents can look for work.

Education Minister Anne Tolley has announce that $9.5 million will go towards building eight new centres in east and South Auckland to increase Maori and Pasifika participation.

Ripeka Taipari says eight in 10 of families seen by Whare Mauri Ora Budgeting in Otahuhu can't afford to put their kids into preschool, or the waiting lists are full.

“The hope is that we will have more centres so that our parents can get out and get more work and they can get some subsidised care in a centre,” Mrs Taipari says.

The Government investment includes a $1 million Maori bilingual centre with 50 child places in Manurewa, and a $1.4 million bilingual service in Otara.


One of the unsuccessful bidders for the Maori Party's Te Tai Tokerau nomination says the party needs to stand by candidate Solomon Tipene through to the general election.

Party president Pem Bird says the party's constitution requires a new selection process be held for the November election, whether on not Mr Tipene, who is currently polling at 15 percent, wins on Saturday week.
Mere Mangu says that is not tika or right.

“That's who they chose and that’s who they’re going to live with until he changes his mind. That’s that. The tikanga is, when he put his forward and he was chase by the panel for Te Tai Tokerau he became the candidate for the by-election and he should still be the candidate for the general election,” Ms Mangu says.


They can't vote for him come Saturday week, but supporters of Mana Party leader Hone Harawira are heading north today to urge Te Tai Tokerau voters to put a tick for their man.

Mr Harawira says he's buoyed by the number of volunteers turning out to help his campaign, including large numbers for South Auckland who have been door knocking in Waitakere and Raki pae Whenua, the north Shore.

“They feel really bad that they can’t vote for me even though a lot of them are from the north so they are going to run a convoy from Henderson all the way up to Kaitaia and through the north over the weekend and that’s just their way of showing support,” Mr Harawira says.


A senior engineering lecturer has lashed out at the way the media lampooned a warning of a taniwha under the Auckland CBD.

Kepa Morgan from Auckland University says the dangers for a rail loop under the city pointed out by Maori statutory board member Glen Wilcox of Ngati Whatua should be taken seriously.

He says engineers have learned to take such advice into account.

“Those that are enlightened do look to indigenous knowledge sources and other examples to guide decision making in complex situations. If it’s purely maths, pretty much any one can do it in any language but whne it comes to complex engineering challenges, it’s a grey area and there is no black or white answer,” Dr Morgan says.

Warnings of taniwha affected by a highway at Meremere and the prison at Ngawha provided useful inputs into those projects.

Role models to counter attacks on teachers

The president of the Secondary Principals' Association, Partick Walshe, says the answer to students assaulting teachers in low decile schools is more Maori and Pasifika teachers.

A teacher was assaulted and injured by a student at decile 1 Southern Cross Campus in Mangere last week.

Mr Walsh says when he taught at neighbouring De La Salle College, he saw the respect that Maori and Pacific Island teachers automatically attain with pupils.

He says many students come from dysfunctional homes, and the presence of such teachers gives them role models.

Patrick Walsh says he'd like to see more scholarships to encourage Maori and Pacific Islanders to enter the teaching profession.


A trust which runs anti-violence programmes for Maori and Pacific men feels short-changed by a new funding formula.

166 organisations are sharing the $13 million set aside in budget for family violence services.

Friendship House Trust director Vicky Sykes says her south Auckland-based roopu got $80,000, which is half what it got under the previous formula.

Friendship House is still waiting for clarification on what the money can be spent on.


Te Tai Tokerau candidate Hone Harawira says he's confident he can stand up against the Labour clobbering machine.

Mr Harawira is disputing a Maori Television poll putting him only a whisker ahead of Labour's candidate Kelvin Davis.

He says while Labour is trying to paint him as unreliable and untrustworthy, Maori in the north know different.

His plan for winning over the hearts and minds of voters in the final week of campaigning is to propose solutions which will help them on issues like poverty and jobs.


Greens' co-leader Meteria Turei says the planned Sky City convention centre deal shows that cash means more than the rule of law to National.

The Government is talking to the listed company about extending the licence on its Auckland casino and allowing more pokies if it carries the $350 million cost of the project.’

Metiria Turei says it's a rerun of the change to the labour laws to meet the demands of the American studio funding the Hobbit moves.

“The only difference between what National’s doing and all sorts of dodgy government around the world do is they are doing it oput in the open. Everyone in New Zealand knows they are selling off the law. But it’s immoral and it's unethical,” she says.

Ms Turei says the number of Maori problem gamblers has jumped sharply since the casino was opened, and its expansion will make things worse.


Labour Maori affairs spokesman Parekura Horomia wants to see programmes put together to help Christchurch Maori households face the future.

The Ikaroa Rawhiti MP says the greatest suffering seems to be in places like Aranui, which have high Maori populations.

He says this many have become even more demoralised by this week's earthquakes, and they need a way to get the minefield of rebuilding.

Mr Horomia says the Government is failing to provide the sort of clear and timely leadership that would help Christchurch people make decisions and get on with their lives.


A six time finalist in the Pikihuia Awards for Maori writers says a good story comes from the heart.

Ann French of Tauranga has two entries in contention this year.

Her novel extract is about solo parents whose children encounter problems with gangs and drugs, while her short story, Treading on Eggshells, is about the confrontation when a mother finds out her son is using drugs.

The Pikihuia winner will be announced August 27, with the finalists published in Huia Short Stories 9.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

PM low balls gambling harm figure

The Prime Minister is playing down claims by problem gambling specialists that a sweetheart deal for a new convention centre will hurt Maori and Pacific communities.

The Government is considering a change to gambling laws to allow Sky City to expand its casino operations in exchange for building the $350 million centre in Auckland.

John Key says the extra pokie machines won't be particularly harmful.

“What we know about the harm rate, those whop get addicted to gambling, is running at about 0.4 percent so to put a bit of perspective around that, drinking or alcohol is 17 percent so yes, some people do have a problem with going to a casino or pokie machines but truthfully it’s actually quite low,” he says.

Mr Key says the Sky City machines will be aimed at international visitors going to conventions, who will add $90 million a year to the New Zealand economy.


But Labour's infrastructure spokesperson Shane Jones says Prime Minister John Key is being deliberately misleading about the impact of increased gambling on vulnerable communities.

Mr Jones says the most recent survey of problem gambling indicates it could affect up to 1.8 percent of adults ... with Maori use of problem gambling services jumping more than 60 percent over the past decade.

He says a New Zealand Health Survey done under the previous Labour Government showed 3 percent of adults had experienced problems because of someone else's gambling in the previous 12 months.

“The difficulty is it’s not just the individuals who are gambling, it’s their kids, their nieces, their nephews and their partners and the levels of suffering we hear from those whop are competent to speak on a day to day basis about Maori gambling addiction is that it is getting worse,” Mr Jones says.

He says the convention centre deal looks like a rerun of the Government's caving in to Warners on the Hobbit movies ... although in this case it's encouraging the hobbits to go gambling.


Auckland mayor Len Brown says he would have no difficult working with Hone Harawira if he retains Te Tai Tokerau.

He says more than a third of voters in the electorate live and work in the super city, so good relations with the MP is important.

Mr Brown says he has worked well with Mr Harawira in the past, and while he doesn't know Labour candidate Kelvin Davis well, but he's impressed by his record of achievement.


Green's co-leader Meteria Turei has offered lukewarm support Hone Harawira's call for a Maori parliament.

Mr Harawira is telling Te Tai Tokerau by-election voters that the other 19 Maori MPs in Parliament were too scared to speak up for Maori, so he's proposing a structure within the parliament which would encourage the MPs to act in the interests of their people rather than their parties.

Ms Turei says it sounds like a twist on the Maori Party's idea of a tikanga or treaty upper house.

“I’m quite interested in the idea, particularly of a treaty house, but we need to build trust in our communities again and I think that’s a bit lacking at the moment, and make sure there are real systems to allow people to hold us to account, hold the Maori MPs or the members of that parliament to account,” she says.

Metiria Turei says the Maori Party itself failed as a Maori voice because it was not able to accommodate Mr Harawira's dissent.


Prime Minister John Key is denying the government is discriminating against the Destiny Church when it contracts for social services.

Church leaders say their social services arm is constantly being rejected, with its application to be a whanau ora provider the latest knock back.

It's alleging discrimination based on its religious beliefs, its largely-Maori membership, and the fact it's male-led.

But Mr Key says many religious organisations receive state funding.

“The decision on whether they get a contract or not is made by the officials based on the belief they can deliver the social services required. We neither favour them or discriminate against them based on whether or not they have a religious wing,” he says.


Maori big ballad singer John Rowles says his "Now is the Hour" farewell tour may not be the last opportunity audiences have to hear the unique Rowles sound.

The 64-year-old's 11-city New Zealand swansong starts in Paraparaumu next week.

He says it will be up to the next generation to add the Rowles touch to songs like "If I only had Time" and "Cheryl Moana Marie", and he’s keen to tech his sons, Dane 12 and Blake 8, how to croon.

After Aotearoa the Final Bow tour heads for Australia, Hawaii, Canada and ends in Britain towards the end of 2012.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

PM picks a Labour win in north

The Prime Minister is picking Labour's Kelvin Davis to win the Te Tai Tokerau by-election.

John Key says there is always a low turn-out in by-elections, and that could work in Mr Davis's favour come June 25.

“This might be an electorate where 10,000 people or 8000 people vote in which case 500 people you might mobilize might make all the difference and I have always thought that Labour will be much better organized than the Mana Party so on that basis they will get out and get Kelvin Davis over the line,” he says.

Mr Key says the closeness of the November general election is likely to keep voters at home.


But a Mana Party activist says don't write off the Hone Harawira machine.

Jevan Goulter says the canvassers aren't fazed by the Maori Television poll showing their candidate neck and neck with Labour's Kelvin Davis.
He says Mana is a movement of the people, and especially Tai Tokerau people.

“Driving throughout the north I saw the Labour machine out, I can see the signs up. You’ve got Labour with its flash offices in Kaikohe and Whangarei. And then you’ve got Hone with his down to earth office but the difference is his offices have foot traffic thorough the whole day, people walking in and out,” Mr Goulter says.

Mana also has a large online campaign happening.


The commissioner of Te Aute College says the Hawkes Bay Maori boarding school will survive despite a drop in student numbers.

Elizabeth Ellis says the school is considering taking on more day pupils as it fights a trend away from boarding and competition from mainstream schools which have upped their game with regards to Maori students.

She says many of Te Aute's pupils are sons or mokopuna of former students, and there is great respect for the school's history of producing Maori leaders.

“The 85 boys we’ve got here are without question proud to be here. We encourage parents and whanau to send their sons here. They’ll be well prepared for the future and they will be well looked after while they're here,” she says.

Mrs Ellis says after overseeing the separation of Te Aute's hostel and school operations, she will move on to a curriculum review with the aim of emphasising the school's special Maori character.


Labour leader Phil Goff says his party's internal polling confirms a Baseline-Maori television survey showing candidate Kelvin Davis has drawn level with the Mana Party's Hone Harawira.

Mr Goff says while nothing is being taken for granted, it's clear the fight between Mr Harawira and the Maori Party is driving Maori voters back to Labour.

“We start from behind. We were the underdog in this race. Two to one people voted for Mr Harawira over Kelvin Davis last time but they are reassessing the situation and if we can get supporters of Kelvin out to vote on the day, Kelvin’s got a really good chance of winning,” Mr Goff says.

He says Mr Davis has been able to focus on things that matter to voters in the electorate like jobs and education, while Mana and the Maori Party fight each other over the past.


New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says a plan to make to make te reo Maori lessons compulsory for all teacher trainees is ludicrous.

The proposal came out of the Maori Youth Council, and Maori Affairs and Associate Education Minister Pita Sharples says it fits with a new professional development programme he asked the ministry to develop for teachers of Maori learners.

Mr Peters says it's unworkable.

“There ain't enough Maori teachers to teach Maori to Maori, let alone teachers who can teach Maori to Europeans. So why would you hold out that promise and say it is going to be compulsory which would have (a) the effect of not being able to be carried through because you don’t have the firepower to do it and (b) raise a while lot of resentment from people who say ‘why am I being forced to do this,’” he says.


A problem gambling counselor says Sky City plans to exploit vulnerable communities to pay for its new convention centre.

The listed company is seeking Government approval to expand its gambling operations as part of the $350 million project.

Pesio Siitia of the Problem Gambling Foundation says the international visitors the project will attract won't be the convention crowd.

“Many of our Pacific families and our Maori families are suffering from problem gambling. A trip to the casino is seen as something very special and quite exciting. Many trips are taken there. We know that with family coming from overseas, the first place many of them want to be taken would be the casino,” she says.

Ms Siitia says the social impacts of gambling far outweigh the benefits to Maori and Pacific communities.

Stick with democracy says Peters

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says there is a lesson for Maoridom in what's happened in Fiji.

The former foreign affairs minister says the government is wrong to Lieutenant Colonel Ratu Tevita Mara into the country, because he was a key leader of the 2006 coup ... even if he has now fallen out with Prime Minister (Frank) Bainimarama.

Mr Peters says those Maori who hailed past coups should now learn from our neighbour's troubled recent history.

“Stick with democracy because they’ve gone for four coups and the consequence over time in the last coup has been a massive drop in their economy, their GDP. Homelessness has gone from about 95,000 people to 145,000 people. It’s just tragic. There’s a lesson for Maori there. Whatever you think about democracy, it’s a whole lot better than anything else around the place,” he says.

Mr Peters says if Lieutenant Colonel Mara has information for the New Zealand Government, he should give it to foreign affairs officials in Tonga where he fled to from Fiji.


Auckland mayor Len Brown is promising to take Maori interests into account in the development of an underground rail loop in the central city.

Mr Brown says the concern raised by the Ngati Whatua representative on the Maori Statutory Board that the tunnel could upset the taniwha in the submerged Wai Horotiu stream was a minor hiccup, and mana whenua iwi will be part of the planning process.

“I have a pretty good understanding of Maoritanga and so I will certainly be listening to the views. At the same time we have got a major job to do down there with the inner city rail loop and we are full steam ahead with designating the route and in amongst all those processes will be any discussion relating to issues to do with Maori protocol or historical or spiritual issues,” Mr Brown says.


A Wellington Hospital cardiologist says Maori should have access to a currently unfunded heart drug.

Scott Harding says a Victoria University study has more than half of Maori and Pacific Island heart attack patients don't respond to anti-platelet drugs like aspirin and clopidogrel, which are supposed to improve blood flow.

He says giving Maori the more expensive prasugrel would be a better option for the overall health budget.

“What we know from research overseas is that people who have an inadequate response to clopidogrel are at much higher risk of subsequent heart attacks. That risk is estimated between two and three fold. Our research would point to Maori and Pacific Islanders potentially having a greater benefit from this drug than others.” Dr Harding says.

Maori may be resistant to the anti-platelet drugs because of diabetes or weight issues.


Labour MP Shane Jones says a poll showing the party's Te Tai Tokerau candidate Kelvin Davis on level pegging shows the electorate may be preparing to punish Hone Harawira for wrecking the Maori Party.

Mr Jones says the fact Solomon Tipene could only muster 15 percent support in the survey done for Maori Television shows not only that the Maori Party picked the wrong candidate but that its brand is damaged.

He says the fact Mr Davis has caught up with the Mr Harawira shows voters aren't buying their former MP's story he had no option but to start his own Mana Party.

“Never mind how Hone rationalises it, it’s waka jumping and he has wrecked the Maori Party. Now whether or not Te Ururoa overreacted or Hone was too whakakaki, too stubborn to say yes or no or whatever, the reality is once you pull the stunt Hone has done, you inordinately weaken the Maori Party, and I think a lot of Ngapuhis are sad about that,” Mr Jones says.

Labour is counting on a good turnout to get its candidate through.


A member of the Maori Youth Council says services are needed to support the families of young offenders.

Mereana Te Pere of Ngati Ranginui says the council's report delivered to Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples last week offers new ways to think about tackling Maori offending.

She says the mainstream focus is too much on the individual offender, rather than the whanau and communities they come from.

“Someone may work with the young person yet no one is supporting the parents which is not good because in the end that young person has to go home and we can work on that young personas an individual as much as possible, but if they do not have support from their whanau, they are going to fail as well,” Ms Te Pere says.

She says the youth justice system is too focused on negative behaviour.


Budding playwright Michael Rewiri-Thorsen is using the way men communicate with each other to tell a story of whanau ties.

Strong Hands starts a three-day season at the Auckland town Hall Concert Chamber tonight as part of the Tuakana-Teina Project, which pairs novices with established writers,

Mr Rewiri-Thorsen, from Ngati Kahu and Ngati Kauwhata, worked with Albert Belz to polish his tale of two brothers in a Hastings car yard workshop.

He says he’s worked on the way men talk to each other but don’t talk to each other.

Strong Hands is paired with Albert Belz's short play Te Awarua

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Polling shows little interest in race

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the winner of the Te Tai Tokerau by-election could struggle to claim a mandate.

A Baseline poll released during Maori Television's candidate debate shows Mana's Hone Harawira and Labour's Kelvin Davis neck and neck at 41 and 40 percent support respectively, with a 4.5 percent margin of error.

Maori Party flag bearer Solomon Tipene was way back on 15 percent.

Mrs Turia says her party's polling reveals the race has failed to galvanise voters.

“Over 50 percent of the people we have polled are not sure what we are going to do. A lot of people are saying they probably won’t vote in the by-election because they see the general election as being the important vote,” Mrs Turia says.


Auckland mayor Len Brown is endorsing the awarding of a convention centre project to Sky City's mid-city proposal.

The $350 million project, which is tagged to an expansion of Sky City's casino operations, beat out competitors including Ngati Whatua's plan to use railway land east of downtown.

Mr Brown says it ties in well with the council's plans to put an underground rail loop, with a station right outside Sky City Casino.

He says he's comforted by advice from Ngati Whatua that the possible existence of a taniwha in the stream running under Queen Street shouldn't derail plans for an underground rail loop.


It's Men's Health Week, and the national Maori men's health coalition wants whanau to help their men shape up.

Mana Tane o Aotearoa spokesperson Rhys Jones says men need to understand that looking after themselves means they can look after the people they care about.

He says the disproportionate number of Maori men dying early of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease is a national disgrace.

Dr Jones says Maori boys and young men also need to be made aware of how things they do today can have long term consequences for their health.


Labour's Te Tai Tokerau by-election candidate says latest poll results show rival Hone Harawira's appeal to voters is wearing thin.

A Baseline survey of 500 voters done last week for Maori Television shows only a point separating the two main candidates, despite Mr Harawira outpolling Kelvin Davis two to one in the 2008 general election, when he was wearing the Maori Party's colours.

Mr Davis says Mr Harawira's lack of forward-looking policy is starting to show.

“I think he's trying to come across as Johnny Rebel, the maverick that is out there saying what he wants to say and not giving a stuff what people think and I think there has to be more political substance behind the noise,” he says.

Mr Davis says the survey released during last night's televised debate shows the candidates have a lot of work to do to get the voters to the polling booth.


A senior Maori Women's Welfare League member says an attempted Destiny Church takeover could be what's needed to jolt the organisation back into life.

Denise Ewe says the church has been aggressively infiltrating branches or setting up new ones, and Auckland pastor Hannah Tamaki is running as national president.

She says while the 60-year-old organisation has considerable mana and resources, in recent years it has struggled to attract younger Maori women.

“With Hannah Tamaki standing, it has awoken the league from its slumber, from its complacency. The current membership are saying how did this happen, we must get out there and do more about membership, looking after ourselves and growing the profile of the league again,” Mrs Ewe says.

The league's foundation principle that it is a non-sectarian organisation could conflict with Destiny's plans for it, whatever they may be.


Meanwhile, Ngapuhi controversialist David Rankin says Destiny Church head Brian Tamaki is the only effective Maori leader.

Mr Rankin has attacked Kingitanga leader Tuheitia, saying he was at best the King of Huntly.

But he supports Brian Tamaki 100 percent.

“Born again Maoris attacking Brian Tamaki. Brian Tamaki is changing our people’s lives. He is the only Maori leader is effective. All my relatives along Panama Rd, they were all Black Power, they‘re all Destiny church now,” Mr Rankin says.

League leadership in Destiny's sights

Hannah Tamaki, the wife of Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki, says she can't understand opposition within the Maori Women's Welfare league to her bid to become the 60-year-old organisation's president.

Branches set up by Destiny members walked out of a league event in Auckland last week when they were challenged about putting the religion before the non-sectarian principles of the league.

Mrs Tamaki says both organisations have a strong focus on women and families.

“There are actually more women in Destiny than there are men and very strong successful women from all walks of life and the majority Maori women so hey, I’m just another one of those wonderful wahine I suppose,” she says.

Senior league member Denise Ewe says Destiny has been aggressively recruiting its female members into the league, and reportedly signed up more than 1000 at its annual conference over Queens Birthday weekend.


Meanwhile, Greens' co-leader Meteria Turei says the Destiny Church's newly-found concern for women is unconvincing.

Ms Turei believes she was excluded from the church's forum of Maori politicians because Destiny leaders were afraid she would challenge Bishop Brian Tamaki's view that women in leadership is the devil's work.

“The fact is that his own words are being used as examples of a problem with his attitude towards women and towards the gay and lesbian community and if that is not the case, if that is not his view, then he needs to make that absolutely clear,” Ms Turei says.

She says many women in Destiny have told her they are embarrassed by some of Brian Tamaki's teachings.


Ngati Whatua is looking for options for its land near the old Auckland railway station.

Corporate head Tiwana Tibble says it's disappointed not to get a chance to build a convention centre, but there was no way it could match Sky City Casino's bid.

Sky City got the nod to partner with the government to build a $350 million centre in exchange for a massive expansion of its casino operations.

Mr Tibble says the Ngati Whatua land can be used as retail, residential or commercial space.

“If it's not going to be a purpose built facility like a convention centre, that particular site is in the middle of Auckland. You can’t replicate that sort of location, so over time we will be putting something pretty fantastic on it,” he says.

Mr Tibble says Ngati Whatua is pleased its bid to build a casino in the old Auckland railway station in the 1990s did not come off, because it now feels gambling is not a business Maori organisations should be part of.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the Mana Party's kaupapa is class struggle, not Maori rights.

She says people in the north needs to understand this when they consider whether to cast a vote for Mana leader Hone Harawira in the Te Tai Tokerau by-election.

“It's a class party. It’s not a Maori party, They will have ot take into account all the interests of everybody else, whereas our focus has always , and we are unashamedly putting our people first and we do,” Mrs Turia says.

She says if Solomon Tipene wins the north for the Maori Party, the electorate will have a team player for the first time.


There's a warning more Maori families will go hungry if the Government changes gambling laws in exchange for Sky City Casino building a convention centre in Auckland.

Problem gambling educator Zoe Hawke from Maori public health organisation Hapai Te Hauora says the promised $90 million a year boost to the economy from convention-goers needs to be weighed against the families impoverished because members become addicted to pokie machines.

“John Key mentioned we need to overlook more gambling machines for the need for a bigger facility for international events he’s basically saying we have to overlook the fact people are getting hurt, families are going hungry,” she says.

Ms Hawke says as part of its campaign to win the convention centre bid, Sky City Casino seems to have suddenly increased its focus on host responsibility and ensuring patrons aren't gambling too much.


The winner of this year's supreme Miromoda Maori design award says women consumers are looking for an emotional connection from fashion.

Adrienne Whitewood says that's what she tried to give them with her Te Aho Tapu collection based on korowai and pre-European clothing.

The Rongowhakaata woman says the hint of nostalgia paid off.

“I think consumers, especially women, aren’t just wanting fast fashion. They want slow fashion, they’re wanting clothing that has meaning and that’s where my concept came from. I used a lot of traditional techniques such as drapery which is a traditional Maori technique,” Ms Whitewood says.

Her collection will be showcased at New Zealand Fashion Week, and she also gets a trip to Australian Fashion Week and mentoring from MiroModa co-founder Rex Turnbull.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pastor Hannah pushing for MWWL top job

The wife of Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki says she's pushing on with her bid to become the president of the Maori Women's Welfare League, despite opposition from long term members.

Hannah Tamaki was nominated for the role by three Auckland branches set up by Destiny members, and joins a field of eight women vying for the three year role at the league's national conference in August.

She says she joined the organisation about three years ago.

“I am very passionate about Maori women or all women and I have worked with women and families for over 30 years so for me this is just another step of offering the services and capabilities I have and learning from other people too so that’s why I'm doing it,” Mrs Tamaki says.

She says Destiny Church has more women than men members.


But a senior league member says the Maori Women's Welfare League is fighting off a Destiny take-over.

Denise Ewe, (Maori PRON) a former Auckland president, says Destiny has three large Auckland branches and had been actively recruiting its members around the country to join the 60-year-old organisation.

She says a meeting to hear from the Auckland candidates for the league presidency this month was marked by a mass walk-out of Destiny members when a kuia reminded them of the league's kaupapa.

“The league's constitution says quite specifically that you must be non-sectarian so the league comes first, your religious beliefs comes second, whereas with Destiny branches, they put Destiny first, Maori Women’s Welfare League second, but they do have a huge membership,” Mrs Ewe says.

The Maori Women's Welfare League is consulted with on major policy decisions and appointments relating to Maori, and it also has the only Maori-owned lender, the Maori Women's Development Incorporation.


Ngai Tahu is again assessing what it can do to help Maori and other residents on Christchurch in the wake of today's magnitude 6 aftershock.

Acting chief executive Mike Sang says the temporary headquarters at Wigram came through the shocks well, and there was no obvious damage or injuries.

Staff were sent home early to look after their families, but will reconvene tomorrow.

“Our systems and processes are obviously there if required. We’re hoping it’s not that bad. There’s so much uncertainty when you have these quakes. We’ll see overnight and work with the wider relief effort really,” Mr Sang says.

The quakes raise doubts about whether Ngai Tahu will want to ever move back in to its central city headquarters.


The chief executive of Ngati Whatua's business arm says the Auckland iwi got out-spent in its bid to build Auckland's new convention centre.

The Government has decided to partner with Sky City Casino, whose bid was dependent on a law change allowing it to extend its licence and instal more pokie machines.

Tiwana Tibble says Ngati Whatua put its best foot forward with its plan to develop its land near the railway station, but the Government clearly wants the option at lowest cost to itself.

He says while the other tenderers were after government subsidies because convention centres are financially unsustainable Sky City can count on making money from increased gambling.

Abuse not an ethnic trait

A national expert on child abuse says it is wrong to see child abuse as ethnically based.

A Research New Zealand survey last month found 50 percent of New Zealanders think child abuse is a Maori problem.

Anthea Simcock, the chief executive of lobby group Child Matters, says that over-simplifies the issue.

“This is people saying abuse happens because of your ethnicity. It’s not as simple as that. There is a whole pile of other causes and they are often situations that perhaps more Maori are finding themselves in,” she says.

Ms Simcock says things such as poor education, unemployment and poverty are more prevalent among Maori so it’s not surprising that the rate of offending among Maori is higher than non-Maori.


Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia says denigration of Maori King Tuheitia by Ngapuhi man David Rankin is unnecessary.

Last week Mr Rankin from Matarahuraha hapu said he was preparing a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal challenging the King's right to use the title Maori King because he did not represent all Maori … and King of Huntly would be more appropriate.

Mrs Turia says the Auckland plumber is behaving like a school child saying quite outrageous things to get attention.

“There is no need for him to denigrate anybody else to uplift himself in any way. The Kingitangi is something that has been accepted for a very long time. There are tribes that do accept the Kingitanga, and for (Rankin) to say he is the king of Huntly is very denigrating,” she says.


Maori health rpovider in the north has come up with a novel way of getting the healthy eating message across..

Te Hauora a Kaikohe is holding a marae master chef competition at a different marae each fortnight.

Special projects manager Erana Kara says kuia and kaumatua are bused out to competing marae where they judge the kai in terms of its health benefits.

There needs to be a traditional dish on the menu like eels or bush food, but boil-up and fried food is out.


The head of Waikeria prison's Maori focus unit is attributing one of the highest success rates in the world to taking a kaupapa Maori approach.

Errol Baker says the unit celebrated its 10th anniversary on Friday with a hangi meal.

He says three quarters of Maori who have been through the unit do not reoffend.

“The success rate we have is equal to anything happening in the world and a lot of it is because of the structure of the unit and I think the kaupapa Maori is really strong and a lot of family and whanau are starting to get heavily involved in what we are doing,” Mr Baker says.

He says the unit virtually runs itself with older prisoners setting the rules and expectations for the younger ones much as would happen in a traditional marae setting.

He says the unit is no easy street and the getting of hangi is a very rare event but the prisoners themselves should get reward for the unit’s successes.


ACT leader Don Brash says his criticism of plans to make learning the Maori language compulsory for all secondary school teachers is not racist.

Dr Brash says rather associate education minister Pita Sharples is being racist and high-handed with plans to make te reo and learning tikanga compulsory.

“Once upon a time people were regarded as racist when they wanted some races to have special privileges as compared to others. Typically there were white people who wanted to have superior status to non-white people. That is what you think of as racist. I don’t want that at all, I want every New Zealanders to have the same rights and same privileges and same status before the law as Article 3 guarantees. That to me cannot be racist,” he says.

Dr Brash says one of the factors for Maori under-achievement is a lack of competency in English.

He fears resources going into teaching te reo and tikanga will be taken away from subjects like English.


The head of the Cancer Society says Maori men are particularly vulnerable to getting cancer and need to do something about it.

Dalton Kelly says more men than women in New Zealand die prematurely from cancer and the rate for Maori men from lung cancer, diabetes and heart disease is almost twice that for non- Maori.

“Research that we've done show that Maori men like message delivered in a special way, Pacific Island men like them delivered in another manner and blokes like myself want them in another way but the real message is we just have to look after ourselves and the responsibility is with ourselves,” he says.

Dr Kelly says Maori men don’t often feel comfortable going to a doctor so the message needs to get through to them whether it be on the marae, in the pub or at work.

Cultural competency for education sector

Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia is defending colleague Pita Sharples’ move to make the study of tikanga and te reo compulsory for teacher trainees.

He intends to introduce a cultural competency programme called Tataiako, with a view to making it mandatory some time in future.

Secondary Schools principals association president Pat Walsh is critical of it being compulsory while the primary teachers union the NZEI has questioned its resourcing.

However Mrs Turia says cultural competency in nursing has seen a major improvement in nurses’ ability to build relationships with Maori communities leading to big improvements in their health and well-being.

“Why shouldn't we expect that from teachers and it’s very disappointing that again we see the union come out focusing on the negative rather than focusing on what could be an opportunity,” Mrs Turia says.

She says all public servants should be required to be culturally competent.


Ngati Koroki Kahukura negotiator Willie Te Aho says the iwi has met with treaty settlements minister Chris Finlayson and relayed its support for a mediator being appointed to resolve a dispute over the Maungatautari ecological reserve in the central North Island.

A deed of settlement was due to be signed with the iwi this month but postponed in the face of opposition from some adjoining landowners who threatened to pull the reserves 47km fence down over what they saw as governance of the reserve being given to Maori.

Mr Te Aho says iwi members where brought up to date at a poukai today.


Some of New Zealand's top maori and pacific designers are taking the opportunity of Matariki to show off their work.

Te Papa Tongarewa kicked off their Matariki celebrations in Wellington with a Nga Kakahu fashion show featuring the work of Kohai Grace, Kiri Nathan, Shona Tawhiao and the Design and Art class of Te Wananga o Raukawa.

Organiser Suzanne Tamaki says the celebration of the Maori new year will carry through to tonight's black tie Matariki celebration.


Labour's Tamaki Makarau candidate says the Auckland Maori Statutory Board should be replaced.

Mr Jones says by wheeling out the prospect of a taniwha under Auckland's CBD stopping a major transport project, board member Glen Wilcox showed his focus was on obscure elements of heritage rather than the needs of ordinary Maori and working families.

He says the statutory board was a creation of the Maori Party and the National Party to buy off the tribes near Auckland.

“The tribes have no business being the exclusive representatives of the Maori of Auckland and the debacle over the taniwha Horotiu just shows that they are getting too many of their ideas addled by the fumes form the sewage line that I fear is damaging Horotiu because it is obviously damaging the Maori Statutory Board,” Mr Jones says.


Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia is supporting politicians who have come in for criticism for not attacking the Destiny church's views on things like homosexuality when they attended a panel discussion last weekend.

Mrs Turia says that was not the place for Pita Sharples, Hone Harawira, Shane Jones and Tau Henare to raise such issues.

“I don't like people challenging my cultural values and beliefs. I don’t believe that you have any right to do this. When you are an invited guest into their place to speak to them, then you behave in a respectful manner towards them,” Mrs Turia says.

She says people such as Auckland academic Leonie Pihama who have attacked the MPs for not taking the church to task over their attitudes towards women and homosexuality have plenty of forums where they can make their views known.


The chair of the Ngati Rangitihi trust, Ken Raureti, says commemorating the Tarawera eruption is bringing the eight Te Arawa iwi together.

Today is the 125th anniversary of the eruption that killed more than 150 people and buried the famous Pink and White Terraces under 50 metres of water.

The anniversary was commemorated this morning with over 100 people walking the footsteps of the tupuna to Ruawhahia, Mount Tarawera's highest peak.

Mr Raureti says he hopes to one day see the part of the White Terraces which have just been discovered by scientists.