A column published in the Northland Age
By Hone Harawira
MP for Tai Tokerau
25 October 2011
To comment on this column please go to my website www.mana.net.nz
For the past couple of weeks I've spoken of the need to get the representatives of Ngaitakoto, Ngati Kahu, the Far North
District Council and the Minister of Treaty Settlements together to discuss the future of the Kaitaia Airport.
Well, last Friday, thanks to the chairman of the Board, I managed to get them all together at Te Rangi Aniwaniwa, the
first time they had all met at the airport.
After a "frank and open", sometimes humorous sometimes harsh, discussion of the different points of view, there was an
agreement to table all the relevant information at the next meeting which I have been asked to convene, back at
Aniwaniwa in a couple of weeks.
One thing I can report though is that everyone wants to keep the airport open - all we have to do now is nut out the
details. Lookin' good folks.
On Saturday morning I had the privilege of opening the 30th annual Piri Mokena Memorial Tournament, Whangaroa's annual
sporting challenge based around teams from the various marae in the area. The tournament is noted for the ruthlessness
with which the Matangirau team, bolstered by the powerful Rush clan, regularly wins the rugby but is more noteworthy for
the commitment from all of the people of Whangaroa, and the hundreds who come home for the tournament.
The weather was awesome, the kai was sweet, the games were fiercely contested, the whanaungatanga was awesome, AND for
the first time ever, Matangirau went down in the final to ... Matauri. So big ups to the boys from the Bay, and
congratulations to everyone for another fabulous tournament.
And just because I didn't get back to catch the Rugby World Cup Final on the big screen at Kaeo, Eric Rush gave me heaps
for going to watch the game at Eden Park (I wish!!!) when in fact I was at church ...
BIG UPS TO THE ABS
Congratulations to France for teaching us all a bloody good lesson in never taking anything for granted. They did
themselves proud, they shoved a ton of newsprint back down the throats of some pretty nasty journalists, their captain
won the man of the match award, and they gave 4 million Kiwis some serious heart palpitations.
But in the end I think the fear of losing gave the boys the energy to pull it off. So thank you New Zealand for giving
the AB's all the support a team could wish for, and a special thank you to Richie and the boys for getting the gorilla
off our back.
THE NEXT FEW WEEKS
Now I don't want to bum everybody out, but now that the RWC is over I think its time we start lookin' at some simple
realities - New Zealand is nearly bankrupt (we're paying $300 million a week in overseas debt); we've just had our
credit rating downgraded twice in the last 6 months (and the PM lied about it); the oil spill in Tauranga is an ominous
warning about how dangerous deep-sea oil drilling can be (which the government lied about as well); and for some reason,
all the other parties are too scared to step up to the challenge of providing the bold and courageous leadership that
this country really needs.
Well, as I sign off till after the election, I'm glad to see in the latest polls that people are finally catching on to
the fact that MANA does have the policies (check the website www.mana.net.nz) and the candidates to give a person
confidence that when they say they will do something, then it will get done.
So MANA up, MANA hard, MANA for one, MANA for all - and see you all soon!!!