Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, June 29, 2006

PM skeptical on prison baby bill

JUNE 28
Prime Minister Helen Clark says Labour will support the introduction today of Sue Bradford's Bill allowing mothers to keep their babies in prison until they are two.

But she says whether the bill will be allowed to go any further depends on the evidence presented to the select committee.

Ms Clark says what is most important for her is what is in the best interests of the children.

"Are you gong to wrench a two year old away from the mother, if the mother is on a life sentence for murder? Is that going to be in the interests of the child? I think there are those sorts of issues. Are we going to end up putting childcare centres in our prisons?" Clark said.

Helen Clark says prison needs to be an environment where people undergo rehabilitation and get the training and tools to turn their lives around.

COLD KAUMATUA CONCERN FOR MAXWELL

A plea to Maori whanau to take care of kuia and koroua over the winter months, and not let them live on their own..

Trevor Maxwell from Ngati Rangiwewehi, the deputy mayor of Rotorua, says he has been at a number of tangi for older Maori in recent months.

He says its's a reminder of how vulnerable elderly people are.

TAURANGA CLAIMS HEARING DUE

Tauranga iwi are gearing up for the second of the final hearings on their claims.

Ngai te Rangi claims manager Riri Ellis says now the Waitangi Tribunal has reported on the raupatu or confiscations after the Land Wars of the 1860s, the iwi are focussing on modern issues like the impact of urbanisation, public works and environmental degradation.

Ms Ellis says the battles have never stopped for the people of Tauranga Moana.

The remaining four hearing before the end of the year will cover 60 claims from Athenree to Papamoa.

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