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Salient Māori News Items to 7 September 2018: E30

Salient Māori News Items to 7 September 2018: E30

  • Katrina Bryant and Kiri Parata have respectively been awarded health research grants (from the Health Research Council).  Ms Bryant has been granted $181,000 to develop a ‘Falls prevention exercise programme for Māori’. Ms Parata has been granted $199,000 for her project, ‘Whāia te Manaaki: manaakitanga and hauora for Te Atiawa ki Whakarongotai’.
  • Rachael Tuwhanga (Tainui, Waikato-Maniapoto) has been appointed to the Education New Zealand Board
  • In the lead up to Māori Language Week next week a number of articles relating to the use of Te Reo are presenting within the media, including:
    • Simon Bridges stating that Te Reo should not be compulsory within the education sector;
    • Shane Jones stating that Simon Bridges has no mandate to speak on matters relating to Te Reo, and that he should perhaps learn about Māori policy from Nuk Kōrako;
    • Nuk Kōrako stating that it was the National Government that improved Māori language legislation in 2016 and that the present Government needed to get a move on with its work in this area;
    • Nanaia Mahuta welcoming 300-odd (not released) submissions on the proposed Government strategy noting the diversity of views and indicating the strategy was moving along; and amongst those politics,
    • a call for mainstream broadcasters to be required to pronounce Māori words correctly when on air (i.e. making poor articulation of Te Reo a grounds for complaint under New Zealand broadcasting standards).
  • This week the New Zealand Police confirmed they will not pursue a complaint laid by Graham McCready against Meka Whaitiri, a Minister outside of Cabinet. Mr McCready tried to lay an assault complaint following media reports of an altercation occurring between Ms Whaitiri and a staff member. Ms Whaitiri has presently stood down from her ministerial duties while an investigation is being carried out by Ministerial Services.[1]   Ms Whaitiri is the Member of Parliament for Ikaroa Rawhiti.[2]
  • On Tuesday Wallace Te Ahuru pleaded guilty in the Manukau District Court to two charges of ‘Obtaining by deception’ and seven charges of ‘Using forged documents’ in relation to the Waitangi National Trust. The charges follow an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office. Mr Te Ahuru defrauded the Trust of circa $1.2 million during the time he was employed as the Trust’s Corporate Services Manager (2012 to 2017). Mr Te Ahuru was remanded in custody and will reappear in the Manukau District Court for sentencing on November 30.
  • This week relieving Deputy Commissioner of Police, Andrew Coster, confirmed that two formal complaints have been received by police over alleged bullying by Deputy Commissioner Wally Haumaha.  Mr Haumaha has been the subject of the Government Inquiry into the Appointment Process for a Deputy Commissioner of Police. We also note on Wednesday Mareikura Collier, a former police chaplain, commenced a hunger strike in support of Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha.
  • On Wednesday the Māori Party announced the resignation of Marama Fox as the co-leader of the party.
  • Four wāhine Māori projects successfully secured funding to celebrate the 125-year anniversary of the New Zealand suffrage movement. The projects are:
    • Mana Wāhine Whakatāne $10,727 (Whakatāne);
    • Pūrākau Hākui $10,000 (Manawātu);
    • Tino Rangatiratanga Wahine $12,500 (Wellington);
    • Taihoa e hoa: Natives be Woke $8,327 (Otago).

[1] Ms Whaitiri’s portfolios include Minister of Customs, Associate Minister of Agriculture, Associate Minister for Crown Māori Relations, Associate Minister of Forestry and Associate Minister of Local Government

[2] It is reported Ms Whaitiri offered to stand down, and that offer was accepted by the Prime Minister – although in reality it seems reasonable to conclude in these circumstances that Ms Whaitiri was or would have been required to stand down anyway during the investigation period.

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