Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, July 01, 2011

Maori strategy sidelined by standards

The country's school principals say the Ministry of Education is damaging the prospects of Maori students by soft-peddling the Ka Hikitia Maori education strategy for mainstream schools.

A State Services Commission review has found the ministry is failing to address under-achievement by Maori students.

Federation president Peter Simpson says that’s because the ministry’s focus is implementing national standards.

“Here’s a key resource that shows when implemented properly and understood by schools it does make a huge difference for Maori students achievement yet national standards is seen as the silver bullet and that seems to be soaking up a lot of the ministry’s resources and focus,” he says.

Mr Simpson says the ministry’s standards approach, as laid down by Education Minister Anne Tolley, is doomed to failure.


The Maori Language Commission is being overwhelmed by requests for resources for Maori Language Week next week.

Spokesperson Debra Jensen says this year's theme is manaakitanga or hospitality.

She says the aim is to get everyone on board to care for the language, whatever their level of fluency.

“The key message for Maori Language Week in any year is to speak the language. It’s the easiest form of language revitalisation. It may mean learning te reo Maori or using the language you have more regularly. Pronouncing words properly is a really good start,” Ms Jensen says.


Marae across the country are preparing to host international rugby teams for the Rugby World Cup in September.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says 15 marae from Northland region down to Invercargill will host teams including those from Namibia, South Africa and the USA.

Kingi Taurua from Waitangi’s Te Tii marae at Waitangi says the whanau is looking forward to talking about more than just rugby with the Canadian team and IRB match officials.

They will also be given the history and a Maori perspective of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The welcome for the All Blacks will be on Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia.


Mana Party spokesperson Annette Sykes says Aotearoa is under threat as never before from government policies.

She says the proposed shift of more than 1000 Defence jobs from uniform to civilian positions is unprecedented.

She says it will cost many Maori service people their livelihoods.

“I am really worried about where that kind of ideology is taking the nation. It‘s almost like everyone is disposable. No one is really valuable for our society,. No one has an intrinsic heart or right to be part of this society, and I think that is where Hone has appealed in this by-election,” says Ms Sykes, who is fronting Mana while leader Hone Harawira takes a break after the te Tai Tokorau by-election.

She says the party aims to reflect the anger of the nation about such changes.


Labour Maori affairs spokesperson Parekura Horomia says Maori farmers should use their economic muscle to protect Maori jobs.

He says a large percentage of the 250 freezing workers laid off at Waipukerau yesterday were Maori.

He says farmers should send their stock elsewhere.

“It’s one simple way Maori can influence where businesses stay open and where they don’t and I’m afraid we breed the animals and them let everyone else jockey for position about where the meat goes,” Mr Horomia says.


Matariki is drawing to a close, so Films on Marae is showing the film Matariki on two Auckland marae.

Co-ordinator Hinurewa Te Hau says another feature, Hugh and Heke, and a number of short films will also screen at Te Mahurehure Marae in Point Chevalier and Mataatua Marae in Mangere.

She says it’s a way to bring the community together and to find new ways to make the most of marae.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Taumarunui reserved land gets catch-up

The Crown has paid $250,000 to a Taumaranui land trust to compensate it for being forced to charge peppercorn rents.

Rakai Taiaroa from the Karanga Te Kere Whanua Trust says the trust was overlooked when the Maori Reserved Land Act was amended in 1997.

That means it was denied fair value for its land.

“With this added resource we are able to plan things a little better and hopefully provide a good development platform for the trust,” Mr Tairoa says.

The settlement was one his late father Sir Atawhai Taiaroa had fought for.


Labour leader Phil Goff says Maori businesses stand to win big winners if New Zealand can negotiate a free trade agreement with India.

Prime minister John Key is in Delhi trying to nail down the agreement Mr Goff set in train as Labour’s trade minister.

He says tariff barriers are keeping New Zealand exports out of what could be a huge market.

“You’re paying a huge amount to sell your wine, to sell your dairy product, to sell your land into India and if we can negotiate an FTE to reduce those barriers that creates and tremendous opportunity including for Maori working in those sectors,” Mr Goff says.

Maori tourism ventures could also gain from any increase in Indian visitors.


Taranaki-based boxer Sam Rapira says young Maori are flocking to the ring.

The Ngapuhi slugger is the number two amateur light heavyweight behind Reece Papuni of Ngati Porou and Nga Rauru.

He says their success is inspiring rangatahi to join his Bell Block Box Office club, and probably half its members are Maori.

Sam Rapira fights Australian number two Jake Carr in New Plymouth on Saturday.

A Victoria university politics lecturer says Maori need to vote for MMP to continue in November’s referendum.

Maria Bargh from Te Arawa says MMP has meant more Maori in parliament.

She says a return to a first past the post system could slash the political representation of Maori.

“The issue of the Maori seats isn’t on the table with this referendum but it seems to me it’s a slippery slope once you start going down options that are worse for Maori and looking at those who are against MMP suggests to me MMP definitely needs to be retained,” Dr Bargh says.

She says there is room to improve MMP without destroying its essence of giving minorities a say.


Labour leader Phil Goff is confident Kelvin Davis will topple Hone Harawira in Te Tai Tokerau in November.

He says contrary to Mr Harawira’s claims Labour spent up big trying to oust him, Mr Davis’s campaign was financially modest but high energy.

He says the 86 percent reduction in the Mana leader’s election night majority shows the momentum is with Mr Davis.

“Hone took that from being the safest Maori Party seat in the country to being the most marginal and Kelvin on the other hand lifter his vote from 29 percent of the vote to 41 percent. That is a great effort and we’ll build on that,” Mr Goff says.


Maori academic Rawiri Taonui says students are getting Maori history wrong because they rely in early Pakeha accounts rather than Maori oral traditions.

Mr Taonui says early Pakeha writers often got what they were hearing wrong, but because they wrote it down it is now accepted uncritically as being correct.

He says a classic example is the way creation whakapapa is tought at university level.

“The usual order in pre-European whakapapa was Te Po te Kore te Ao and what happened was when some Europeans translated the terms around 1900 their translations suggested to them the order should be different so they changes it and they published it in books and when Maori started coming through the university system they were taught from those books. Mr Taounui says.

He will present his findings at a UNESCO conference on oral history in Portugal next week.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Army dumps uniforms for cheaper civvies

A former army officer says today’s Defence restructure will threaten future recruitment.

The Defence Force is making more than 300 uniformed instructors, photographers, logistics and administrative staff redundant and reassigning the positions as lower-paid civilian roles.

Hector Matthews of Te Rarawa and Te Aupouri says while the Defence Force may need to reprioritise its expenditure, the loyalty of its soldiers isn’t being reciprocated.

“It's a pretty cold message for a lot of our rangatahi because I think by and large the services have served our people well, given them god qualifications and experience, but it will make them think twice so it may well harm recruitment in years to come as those who have been made redundant advise their whanau it’s not the way to go so it’s a risk for the military,” Mr Matthews says.

Personnel who choose not to apply for the newly civilianised roles or are not appointed will receive redundancy.


A Facebook site calling for a boycott of book by Kahui twins’ mother Macsyna King has drawn 24,000 members.

Site creator Jo Hayes says she’s outraged by the book Breaking Silence, which was written in collaboration with publisher Ian Wishhart.

She says it’s not okay to profit from the killing of children.

“This is not anything to do with race. This is about two babies who were murdered in my view and no one is being held accountable,” Ms Hayes says.

She's planning a silent protest at Christchurch bookstores when the book is released next month.


Ngapuhi boxer Sam Rapira says he’s ready to take on the country’s best.

The number two light heavyweight has a repeat bout against Australian number two Jake Carr in New Plymouth at the weekend

He says he’s rather be fighting Reece Papuni of Ngati Porou and Nga Rauru, who’s the New Zealand champion.

If Rapira says if he can make the top in his grade in the world championships in Azerbaijan in September, it means automatic entry into the Olympics.


Greens co-leader Russell Norman says he is looking forward to working with Hone Harawira where the Greens and Mana share common ground.

Dr Norman says one area will be in the creation of environmentally friendly jobs.

“Up in the north there is a lot of unemployment so I think there is common ground there. In terms of cleaning up rivers, there’s clearly, having seen what happened at Waitangi Day this year where there was so much faeces in the water you couldn’t swim in it, there’s common ground there, and the Greens have been very focused on getting children out of poverty so there is also some common ground there,” Dr Norman says.

He expects Hone Harawira will be fully occupied until the November election with making Mana a national organisation.


Labour leader Phil Goff says Mana leader Hone Harawira is politically irrelevant because he can’t be trusted.

Mr Goff says even if Labour is in a position to form a government after November’s election, Mr Harawira won’t be invited to join any coalition.

“I don’t believe he can ever be part of a formal coalition because he simply isn’t reliable as a partner. He has found it very hard to work with other groups over time, most recently the Maori Party, and if you are gong to have a coalition government it needs to be stable and it needs to be built on a relationship of trust and reliability,” he says.

Mr Goff says in the event Hone Harawira retains Te Tai Tokerau in November, he will be welcome to work with Labour in areas they can find political agreement … as they have done in the past.


Manukau Institute of Technology's Puora Matatini Maori Workforce Initiative today celebrated the graduation of 12 more Maori nurses.

Bernard te Paa, Counties Manukau Health’s general manager of Maori health, says the scheme has made a real impact since it was launched three years ago.

He says it giving many wahine the chance of a career they may not have expected otherwise, as most of the women have come from being on a benefit.

Counties Manukau Health hopes to employ all of today's graduates as part of the overall strategy to grow the number of Maori working in the health sector.

Harawira told to stop swearing

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says now he's a leader of a political party, Hone Harawira needs to stop swearing.

Mr Peters says now the Mana leader is back in parliament, he needs to mind his language.

“There are no swear qwords in the Maori language so you are selling yourself out as a Maori speaker and also as an English speaker. If your only choice of words is to swear you are letting yourself down and you are letting your people down,” Mr Peters says.


A far north bus service says without subsidies its service to many isolated Maori communities will have to end.

Manager Cliff Colquhoun says the Busabout Kaitaia service has been possible because of a recycling partnership with Te Runanga o te Rarawa which allows it to run its buses on a high percentage of biofuel created from recycled cooking fat.

But he says the service doesn't fit the Land Transport Agency's criteria for support, despite it providing a low cost alternative to private cars.

Busabout Kaitaia is looking for $40,000 ... less than 10 percent of the subsidy for Whangarei's bus system.


An Opotiki hapu is mounting its own campaign against the diabetes epidemic which has the World Health Organisation ranking New Zealand as among the worst in the world for the disease.

Waihi Leabourn from Mataatua Sports Trust says two dozen members of Ngati Patumoana are taking part in the 12-week health and fitness challenge, which includes nutritional workshops, power training and health education.

She says their attitudes to sugar, salt and saturated fat are being challenged, and they are bengtold what to do to prevent type two diabetes.

The hope is their example will inspire others connected to Waiaua marae.


Mana steering group member Annette Sykes says the new party's big difference from the Maori Party will be policy.

Ms Sykes has been working with fellow lawyers Moana Jackson and Jane Kelsey and social justice campaigners John Minto and Mike Treen on ideas that will be put to the inaugural conference.

She says the Maori Party was always reacting to the mainstream parties rather than coming up with its own ideas.

“They had some very lovely values like kotahitanga, manaakitanga, whnaungatanga and rangatiratanga. What Mana has been very clear about is that we want to give substance to those very important principles. Doing that requires us to set in place some clear foundational principles and key policy planks,” Ms Sykes says.

Policies already released during the Te Tai Tokerau by-election included Mana's approach to treaty settlements, employment, the cost of living and its Hone Heke tax on financial transactions.


The chief executive of Northtec says the polytechnic's co-operation agreement with Te Wananga o Aotearoa will open up opportunities for young Maori in Northland to learn trades.

Paul Binney says two institutions will combine in August to provide a trade training at Northtec's Raumanga campus in Whangarei.

He says the rebuilding of Christchurch is set to create a national shortage of qualified tradespeople.

“A key issue for us is really getting the message out there, particularly to Maori, that if you come and study over the next year to 18 months you are going to end up with a qualification that is going to put you in a really strong position to get a good selection of jobs in a year or so’s time,” Mr Binney says.

Northtec also has a deal with Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi allowing its students to undertake post graduate studies.


Lawyer and historian David Williams says his new book should give people a rollicking good read about Maori and settler relationships in the late 19th century.

A Simple Nullity looks at the Wi Parata's attempt to get the Anglican Bishop of Wellington to return land at Titahi Bay that Ngati Toa had gifted for the building of a tertiary college for Maori.

Professor Williams says the 1877 case is notorious because the then-chief justice ruled the Treaty of Waitangi was irrelevant to the appellant's case - but the story is not black and white.

“Other judges said the treaty is rather more than a nullity, in fact it is a moral and political obligation of significance, and indeed some of the moral and political ideas of active protection of Maori, you can find in the Parata judgment itself. History always turns out to be a little bit more complicated if you dig into the details of it than if you just look at the nice simple sound bites so to speak,” he says.

A Simple Nullity? is published by Auckland University Press.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

MP talk duo adds mana to mediation

The Mana Party has called on former MPs Willie Jackson and John Tamihere to engineer a truce with the Maori Party.

Mr Jackson the Maori Party leaders are understandably angry about some of Mana leader Hone Harawira's comments after his win in Saturday's te Tai Tokerau by election.

But he says they need to get over it.

“The last thing I want to see is the Maori Party out of the game and I don’t want to see the Mana Party out of the game to be replaced by Labour Party people, a Labour Party that sold out Maori big time just six or seven years ago,” Mr Jackson says.

He says the proposal is that the two parties not stand candidates against each other in the November general election.


With the World Health organisation ranking New Zealand as one of the worst countries for diabetes, a south Auckland marae is looking at installing its own dialysis machine.

Chief executive Tony Kake says a dialysis unit is part of Papakura Marae's 10-year plan.

He says the area has a high rate of kidney disease, and people travel considerable distances for treatment, so community dialysis could bridge the gap between hospital and home dialysis.

Papakura marae is part of Kotahitanga, a Manukau regional collective that delivers Whanau Ora services.


Rotorua Maori tourism operators are sharing tricks of the trade with an Indigenous Tourism Development Mission from Queensland.

Deputy mayor Trevor Maxwell says a genuine indigenous tourism experience is becoming a must-do for tourists on both sides of the Tasman, and Rotorua has been offering it for more than a century.

He says it was an honour to welcome the 20 Aboriginal leaders.

Trevor Maxwell says an increasing number of young Maori are gaining tourism industry experience in Australia which they are bringing back home.


Tuhoe's chief negotiator says a relationship agreement that the tribe will sign with the Crown on Saturday should help get treaty settlement negotiations back on course.

Talks with the Bay of Plenty iwi broke down when Prime Minister John Key vetoed the return of Te Urewera National Park land which had been confiscated.

Tamati Kruger says the agreement is being treated as a separate issue.

“Even if we were not in negotiations, we would want a political compact with the Crown because we haven’t got one. Do we think we need one>? Well, so far not having one for the past 140 years has resulted in zip positive relationship with the Crown,” he says.

Mr Kruger says Tuhoe has told the Governemnt it wants to settle its claims next year ... but there can be no deal without Te Urewera land.


New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says education about the importance of voting needs to come before mobile polling booths.

Labour MP Shane Jones raised the idea of taking booths to isolated rural Maori communities, sports events and hui in the wake of Saturday's low by-election turn-out in Te tai Tokerau.

Mr Peters says Maori need a history lesson.

“What really doing is mollycoddling people about something in the Maori world that many of their ancestors gave their life for, were prepared to die for, so it needs not greater ease to vote but reeducation on the importance of voting I think,” Mr Peters says.

He says the 59 percent of eligible voters who didn't bother to find a polling booth on Saturday can't complain about the result, which was the re-election of Hone Harawira.


An anti-smoking campaigner says the ban on smoking in prison that comes into force on Friday could help their wider whanau.

Grace Wong from Smokefree Nurses Aotearoa says her team has been helping prisoners with nicotine replacement therapy and support.

She says Maori women, who make up the bulk of the female prison population, may be able to promote a smokefree environment in their home once they are released.

Ms Wong says inmates who undergo nicotine replacement therapy have a higher chance of staying smokefree once they're released than those who try to quit cold turkey.

Harawira blamed for poverty inaction

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the $600 million the party has won for Maori through its coalition with National is a fraction of what is needed.

Mrs Turia says the Te Tai Tokerau by-election highlighted the appalling conditions Maori are contending with in the north.

She says Hone Harawira, who won back the seat for his new Mana Party, could have done more for his constituents during his five years as a Maori Party MP.

“The housing situation is appalling. The impoverishment is appalling, and there’s 67 percent of young people under the age of 25 who are unemployed in the north. That is an indictment on those members of parliament who frankly should have been serving the interests of that community,” Mrs Turia says.

She says Maori communities in other regions like the Bay of Plenty are also suffering in the current economic climate.


A meeting house held at the national museum could soon be on its way home to the Bay of Plenty.

Rongowhakaata negotiator Willie te Aho says the iwi intends to initial the settlement of its treaty claims at Te Papa on July 8.

He says the house is a significant part of the claims.

“Te Aute Turanga is the premier whare tupuna at Te Papa. It was confiscated from Ngati Kaipoho and Rongowhakaata iwi at the time of the raupatu in the late 1860s, no question about it being confiscated.
Mr Te Aho says.

He says if Te Aute Turanga is returned to Poverty Bay, it could become part of a museum complex that also honours C Company of the 28 Maori Battallion.

The Rongowhakaata negotiations have been split from those of neighbour Te Aitanga a Maahiki, which were thrown into turmoil last month by a Supreme Court ruling that the Mangatu Incorporation could make a separate claim to land taken for erosion control in the 1960s.


A South Auckland teacher says a proposed cultural competency programme should improve achievement in the classroom.

Associate education Minister Pita Sharples wants to roll out the Tataiako programme to help secondary teachers to communicate better with Maori students.

Sara Harrison of Nga Puhi and Ngati Maniapoto says relationships are critical.

“The kids aren't going to do anything for you unless they know that you care for them, and that is the biggest thing for Maori and Pacific. If you don’t understand that, it takes you 10 times longer get anybody to do anything for you in the classroom,” she says.


Labour MP Shane Jones is calling for mobile voting booths to address low turnout in the Maori electorates.

Only 40 percent of eligible voters turned out in the te Tai Tokerau by-election on Saturday, compared with 63 percent in the 2008 general election ... and an overall average in 2008 of 79 percent.

Mr Jones says the Maori seats will not survive unless there is a consistently high turnout.

“It’s important that those of us who want to improve Maori turn out find innovative ways so we can take the voting facilities to where the people are, to sports fixtures and other gatherings perhaps even of a cultural nature and capture the people there so voting becomes user-friendly and we go beyond what we’ve got now. The reality is of the 32,00 people enrolled to vote, Hone has got less than 15 percent. It’s hardly a resounding mandate,” he says.

Mr Jones says there were several hundred potential voters at the dawn launch of a replica Maori village at Te Hana on Saturday morning who could have benefited from a mobile booth.


Meanwhile, Mana Party interim president Matt McCarten says if the Mana and Maori parties don't co-operate, Labour could win back Maori seats.

Mr McCarten says he's disappointed with the Maori Party's promise to again contest Te Tai Tokerau, despite the collapse of its vote in Saturday's by-election.

He says Mana leader Hone Harawira will offer to work for the re-election of sitting Maori Party MPs, in exchange for a clear run at the other three Maori seats.

“If it doesn't run in the seats, then the way it will win additional seats is through the party list and if the Maori party win their four seats or keep their four seats then the list becomes surplus to them and so we have an agreement that can be reached around that where we say ‘you don’t run a list, we run a list and we will help you on the Maori seats,’” Mr McCarten says.

He says Labour's Kelvin Davis will struggle to get media attention if he runs again in November, so Hone Harawira should be considered impregnable in Te Tai Tokerau.


National's plan to move on at least 4000 state tenants has brought hope to one South Auckland solo mother.

Housing Minister Phil Heatley says Housing New Zealand tenants who are paying full market rent should find places in the private market and make way for desperate families who need homes.

Tamalane Russell of Ngai Tuhoe and Nga Puhi says at the communal emergency housing unit where she is living with her two children, families have to wait up to six months to get a state home.

“That's not fair because we could live there in a house we can afford while they can live in another house that is a big higher for them but they can afford in their budget,” Ms Russell says.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Party rift will take more than cosmetic patch

Former Cabinet Minister Sandra Lee says a deep rift between Hone Harawira and the Maori Party leadership means prospects of his new Mana Party working with his old party are slim.

The Mana Party has given the re-elected the Te Tai Tokerau MP a month to see if he can make an deal with the Maori Party not to stand candidates against each other in the Maori seats.

Mrs Lee says Mr Harawira left because of what he denounced as a move by the party to the right ... and that's unlikely to change.

“They're cabinet ministers, they’re comfortable working with National, they’re comfortable working with John Key, and they feel they are making inroads and achieving things at the table by virtue of that so I don’t see how the fundamental ideological rift is going to be mended simply for campaign purposes,” she says.

Mrs Lee says Saturday's narrow loss in the Te Tai Tokerau by-election could inspire Labour into campaigning harder to win back other Maori seats in the general election.


And Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says as far as he's concerned, the party will stand a candidate against Hone Harawira come November.

He says Solomon Tipene's 1026-vote third placing was acceptable given the circumstances.

“You know it was a big ask for us, three and a half weeks to bring in someone brand new. We thought we had some infrastructure up north but of course they were all Hone’s branches so we had very little apart from some leaders asking us to stand up there. We did, we got 10 percent of the vote, and we’ve got to really get that seat back,” Dr Sharples says.

The Maori Party's election strategy will be to make Maori people aware of the gains they've made by being part of a National-led government.


The head of Diabetes New Zealand says the government must act against the diabetes epidemic wreaking havoc in Maori and Pacific communities.

Chris Baty says a World Heath Organisation study ranking New Zealand among the five worst developed countries for type 2 diabetes confirms the diagnosis of health professionals here.

Maori and Pacific islanders are three times as likely to have the disease than other New Zealanders.

Dr Baty says she was alarmed to hear from a kaumatua that diabetes was becoming almost normalised in his far north community, as it indicates something that is killing people younger than necessary is acceptable.

She says while Maori communities need to find their own solutions to problems like obesity, the Government can help by supporting nutrition education programmes.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says there is no way Mana leader Hone Harawira will be allowed to take over the movement.

Mr Harawira celebrated his by-election win in Te Tai Tokerau by announcing he was prepared to work with the Maori Party ... but then criticised its leadership as "slow and stodgy".

Mrs Turia says it's clear all he's offering is a takeover.

“We have 23,000 members. I don’t think our membership is going to allow somebody who constantly speaks negatively about the leadership and about this party in the way he does, I don’t think they see him as the future leader of the Maori Party and certainly I don't,” she sayd.

Mrs Turia says as a member of its caucus Mr Harawira was unable to work within the Maori Party kaupapa.


Meanwhile, former Labour cabinet minister John Tamihere says Saturday's Te Tai Tokerau by-election was a game changer for Maori politics.

The west Auckland Maori leader says the Maori Party lost so badly, getting less than 10 percent of the vote, because it's deaf to generational changes in Maori society.

He says that's likely to be played out in the battle for his old seat of Tamaki Makaurau between Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples and Labour's Shane Jones.

“There's been a generational shift in Maori politics. It’s quite clear that guys 55 or thereabouts against guys 72 of 73 or whatever are going to play a greater role, and in Maoridom there is a generational shift going anyway,” Mr Tamihere says.

The Maori Party couldn't even hold the booth at Dr Sharples' stronghold at Hoani Waititi Marae in West Auckland.


A photo of a Ngati Whatua tamariki playing in the shallows at Auckland's Okahu Bay has gone on show at the United Nations in New York.

Photographer Josie McClutchie of Ngati Porou, the audio-visual production manager at Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga centre for Maori research excellence, says it was featured in an exhibition on the Right to Water and Indigenous Peoples which ran alongside the tenth session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

She says the shot of 7-year-old Denzel Hakopa Timu was a way to highlight Maori concerns.

“The Marine and Coastal Area Bill was going through its second reading, so that was the political backdrop, and then I tied in the kinship this child now has with their waters, Okahu Bay,” Ms McClutchie says.

Now she wants to get back home to the East Coast to record what's happening on among Ngati Porou.

Offer of detente in Maori seats

A member of the Mana's interim leadership group says there is a prospect Hone Harawira's new party won't stand candidates against sitting Maori Party MPs in November's general election.

Mana supporters gathered in Whangarei yesterday to celebrate Mr Harawira's 867-vote by-election victory over Labour's Kelvin Davis and lay the foundations for a first party conference within the next six weeks.

Annette Sykes says as well as agreeing to field candidates in the general seats, the hui gave Mr Harawira a month to hold talks with the Maori Party about the Maori seats.

“I think it is really important that Maori as a whole remain united. What has become evident over this election is that The Labour Party and the National Party and the New Zealand First Party and the ACT Party all combined together to eliminate a contest of ideas built on kaupapa Maori,” Ms Sykes says.


Maori Party president Pem Bird says the severe spanking his party got in Saturday's Te Tai Tokerau by-election means it will have to work harder and smarter in the general election in November.

Mr Bird says Hone Harawira ran a very good campaign to retain the seat he previously held for the Maori Party.

He says the Maori Party was always on the back foot because of a need to rebuild its infrastructure in the north, but by-elections can follow their own rules.

“The voters have said they want Hone, so that’s clear. So respect the issues of the voters, that’s the first thing. Having said that, 11,000 voters, last election it was 20-something thousand, so it was a very small turn-out,” Mr Bird says.

He's keen to see what comes out of talks with Hone Harawira about the parties working together.


Meanwhile, Labour Party MP Shane Jones says continued bad blood between the Mana and Maori parties will open up all the Maori seats to be retaken by Labour.

The Northland-based list MP says the narrowness of Hone Harawira's win in the Te Tai Tokerau by-election indicates Labour can further consolidate its support within the electorate.

“The Maori Party looked as if it were a ghost ship in this particular election so they’ve got major issues to contend with. I do think if Hone Harawira does decide to run candidates against Te Ururoa Flavell and Dr Sharples, then the Maori seats are definitely in play,” Mr Jones says.


Defeated Te Tai Tokerau candidate Kelvin Davis says the by-election was a great boost to his hopes of taking the seat in November.

The Labour list MP cut Mr Harawira's majority from over 6000 to just 867.

He says the cult of personality around the Mana leader has given him a stronger platform to push the interests of Maori voters within the Labour caucus.

“His only argument was vote for Hone and you get Hone and Kelvin. It’s raised the status of list MPs. We’ve always been made to feel like second rate cousins. It’s an acknowledgement that list MPs are just as important and just as influential as electorate MPs.” Mr Davis says.

The by-election was a good test of Labour's campaign systems which should stand it in good stead come November.


Former Mana Motuhake leader Sandra Lee says Labour's delay in deciding it would contest the te tai Tokerau by-election may have cost Kelvin Davis a win.

Ms Lee says the two for the price of one argument run against Mr Davis by both Hone Harawira and Maori Party candidate Solomon Tipene is hard for list MPs to counter, as she discovered herself when trying to retain Auckland Central against Labour challenger Judith Tizard.

But she says Mr Davis may have been ankle-tapped labour's leadership.

“He was very late out of the starter’s gate in my opinion. He lost a good 10 days campaigning in the early stages when Hone announced he was calling a by-election because the Labour leadership or maybe the Labour Party seemed to be vacillating about whether they wanted to run in that by election or not,” Mrs Lee says.

She says the by-election should be seen as a rejection by Maori voters of the positions the Maori Party has taken in supporting the National-led Government, such as tax cuts for the rich and its caving in on the replacement for the Foreshore and Seabed Act.


The Silver Ferns may look more of a threat when they compete in next month's world netball championships in Singapore.

Whakatane artist Rangi Kipa has designed the team a new look match dress.

He worked with senior netballers to come up with a pattern based on the hammerhead shark, that denotes ideas around speed, strength, stealth and tenacity.