HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 487 :25 November 2009

From the Parliament

Bills to be in Te Reo Maori as well as English?
Our politicians seem a little confused as to what language to speak in the House of Parliament. When Hon Tangata Vavia asked the House on Monday to accept the four Bills tabled which have not yet been translated into Maori, the motion was opposed by the Opposition.
Deputy Opposition Leader, Teina Bishop asked why this was necessary as there had been months in which to translate the proposed legislation into Te Reo Maori and the motion was contrary to the Government’s own policy of encouraging the Maori language. For instance, the new Employment Relations Bill is an important piece of legislation and our Iti Tangata will not understand the implications if it is not in Reo Maori.
CIP member, Norman George asked why the Seabed Minerals Bill was not translated and predicted that the legislation would be challenged as being unconstitutional on the grounds that it had not been properly passed because it was not available in Maori.
Sir Terepai defended the situation and assured the House that the legislation will be translated into Maori later, but at this stage, they were only available in English.
The four Bills were: Seabed Minerals Bill; Trustee Companies Amendment Bill; Employment Relations Bill; and the Insurance Amendment Bill.

Te Reo Maori versus English debate
The Members of Parliament seem confused on Monday as to which language they ought to speak especially those who advocate Te Reo Maori then debated everything in the English language.
The Herald noted that DPM, Sir Terepai Maoate speaks mostly in Reo Maori and so does Pukapuka-Nassau MP Vai Peua. However, the majority of the other members address the House in English even though all of them are known to have excellent Maori speaking skills.
Why not speak in Maori so that the Iti Tangata in your electorate will know what you mean and let the Parliamentary staff interpret it into English for our non Maori speaking friends?
This was notable during the debate on why the Bills had not been translated with the objections being lodged in English by Teina Bishop and Norman George with the rebuttal being delivered in Maori.

Little support from Opposition to combat shipping problems in Northern Group
When Pukapuka-Nassau MP, Vai Peua asked the House if there was any way in which to assist with alleviating shipping problems to the Northern Group, he received support from the DPM, Sir Terepai Maoate but silence from the Opposition.
The MP had asked if the Government could allow workers (presumably public servants) to be paid for working with Tapi Taio when they deliver goods to the Northern Group.
When the motion was put to the House by the DPM, the Opposition were surprisingly non- cooperative which could be interpreted as being a lingering effect of the debacle over where the loyalties of the Pukapuka-Nassau MP lie. .

General Election confirmed for September
A paper presented to Cabinet this morning confirms the general election will take place in September next year. The Prime Minister in Parliament today answered the question put forward to the House by Oppositions Teina Bishop and quashed rumours of a snap election early next year. He also says, the Aitutaki Sunday Flights referendum is now in the hands of Crown Law.

Tribute to former Parliamentarian
On Monday Parliament paid tribute to former Member of Parliament Iaveta Arthur who passed away at 5am at the Rarotonga hospital. The announcement of his passing was made by the Speaker of the House Hon, Mapu Taia. A 1-min silence was conducted for his service to the people of the Cook Islands and to the nation. The DPM’s office says, that contracts were not completed to take over the post of CI Consulate office in Auckland.

Water levels at a critical stage
Minister of Infrastructure and Planning Tangata Vavia confirmed that the current water levels are at a critical stage after meeting with the Department of Water Works and the Met Service in Cabinet this morning. Vavia says at this stage, people maybe forced to start filling water containers for use, as the Met Service has predicted that the dry conditions could last 3-4 months. Radio CI understands, the dry conditions is the effects of the weak El Nino phase we are currently experiencing.

Herald Issue 463 10 June
- World famous activist assisting residents
- Budget will decide if residents prosecute Government over landfill
- Forestry project sucking Mangaia dry
- Budget 2010 – fiasco or disaster?

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