Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Horomia resignation call over bid failure

National MP Georgina te Heuheu says Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia should resign over his failure to bid for more money for his portfolio.

Mr Horomia made the admission during a Maori affairs select committee hearing yesterday, as he was being grilled about a $23.9 million reorganisation of his ministry's budget to fund a new Maori Potential Framework,

Mrs Te Heuheu says the minister is keen to talk about Maori business and Maori success, but he is ignoring the large number of Maori who are on benefits, who suffer poor health or who are in jail.

Georgina te Heuheu says mainstream departments haven't been able to tackle Maori problems, and it is up to Mr Horomia's ministry to come up with some new ideas.


The project manager of the Treaty 2U roadshow says New Zealanders are keen to know more about our founding document.

Kit O'Conner says the roadshow, which wrapped up last week after four and a half months touring the country, drew a positive reaction.

The exhibit was put together by Te Papa Tongarewa, the national museum.

Ms O'Conner says there were 1400 visitors in one day in Christchurch Square and 400 in Wairoa, but numbers were ldown in many other centres.

She says success was not measured in visitor numbers, as it was the quality of the experience that counted.

Kit O'Conner says stakeholders are yet to meet to decide what will happen with the resources used in the Treatry 2U roadshow.


Auckland War Memorial Museum has chosen taonga puoro as its theme to celebrate Matariki, the Maori new year.

Kipa Rangiheuea says next month's exhibit will allow vistors to understand how traditional Maori music has developed over time.

He says the public will be able to take part in workshops where they can make simple instruments, as well as learn their place in traditional and contemporary Maori society.

Kipa Rangiheuea says is an increasing interest in taonga puoro, thanks to those who kept the art alive, such as the Te Poroa Malcom from Te Arawa and the late Hirini Melbourne from Tuhoe.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says he expects some flak from Maori over his call for the Minister of Maori Affairs to resign.

The Maori Party had promised a new style of polticis, but Dr Sharples says Parekura Horomia's failure to seek additional Budget funding for Maori intitiatives is totally unacceptable.

"He's not doing the job. That's why we got into Parliament, to get new money for Maori initiaitves and now we find it's our own people blcoking that aid coming through." Dr Sharples said.

Pita Sharples says Mr Horomia seems to be more answerable to the Labour Cabinet than to his Ikaroa-Rawhiti constituents.


Te Tai Hauauru MP Tariana Turia says she'd like to see the end of the benefit system.

The Maori Party co-leader says Maori have been made too dependent on the state, and initiatives like Working for Families, which offers tax credits to assist with housing and childcare, keep them dependent.

She says it's too easy for people to stay unemployed, and the government should look to Sweden, where people on the dole have to take a job if it offered.

"I don't think it's been good for our people to be on benefits. It's been soul destroying actually. The only people who should receive a benefit of any kind are those who are loking after and raising their children, and the rest of us should be out there getting work so we are not beneficiaries of the state," Turia said.

Tariana Turia says Maori people have allowed government to control their lives.


Te reo Maori sports commentator Scotty Morrison says Colin Cooper is one of the quiet achievers of Maori sport.

He says the Hurricanes coach has guided his team to this weekend's Super 14 final against the Crusaders without fuss or fanfare, and will be a strong contender for coach of the year at the National Maori Sports Awards in November.

Mr Morrison says Colin Cooper has kept a relatively low profile in the media, preferring to be judged by his team's performances on the field.


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