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16 March 2010
Mangere Youth MP Nominations Close
Nominations for the Mangere Youth MP position closed yesterday and a total of 15 young men and women living in Mangere and attending local schools including Mangere College, De La Salle, Seventh Day Adventist High School, Aorere College, Onehunga and McAuley High have applied.
Labour MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio says he’s excited by the number & strength of young people that have applied.
“It takes a lot of courage and personal belief to put yourself forward to be scrutinised by others for public office and I’m pleased we have a strong group of contenders,” says Su’a William Sio.
“Personally, I’m proud of the 15 individuals that have come forward, and it makes me very confident about the future leadership that have stepped forward now.”
Final selection will take place on Monday 22 March 5-7pm at Nga Tapuwae Hall, Mangere, where a Selection Panel will listen to each student give a speech to a public audience.
The Mangere MP says parents, families and supporters are all invited to attend and would like to encourage the community to support and get behind our young future leaders of tomorrow.
“This will be a valuable opportunity for these young people to experience a real live political selection process, if they chose this career pathway,” says Su’a William Sio.
The Youth MP for Mangere will attend Youth Parliament on 6-7 July 2010 in Wellington and will experience the day to day operations of Parliamentary Select Committee work, Parliamentary debates, and will get a glimpse of what its like to work as a Member of Parliament.
The Selection Panel will involve school prefects or leaders from the participating schools.
16 March 2010
More Inappropriate Behaviour From National Government and Pasifika Events
The National Government has again behaved in a completely inappropriate fashion regarding Pacific Island events, Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio said.
“This weekend the National Government and John Banks had Labour MPs banned from speaking at the Pasifika Festival and this week they have offended Pacific people with their refusal to support the Pacific Youth & Sports Conference
Su’a William Sio extended warmest congratulations to a successful opening at the Pacific Youth & Sports Conference.
“This conference focused on the biggest population growth in our Pacific region, our Pacific youth and their needs. As a parliamentarian, and representing one of the largest Pacific populations in the country, I came to support, listen and learn from those at the coalface of youth health and sports.
“It was a personal pleasure for me this morning to see representation from across the Pacific region, from island nation governments as well as sports and health bodies, in the name of our young people, that’s exciting. It tells me we care enough to be here.
“Fifteen sports ministers from nations including Fiji, Cook Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and Solomon Islands were present. Yet New Zealand, the country this youth event is being hosted in, are completely absent. That’s disgusting from a Pacific perspective.
“I am advised that the New Zealand Government declined to support this Pacific Youth and Sports Conference. Later, once the sports conference was set up, and invitations were sent out to governments, New Zealand initially declined the invitation. Then, out of the blue, it later changed its mind closer to the opening date.
“But given the offence they had already caused, their request to attend the conference was not accepted.
“For the National Government to reject an invitation from Pacific hosts, and then change its mind and expect people to run around and accommodate them at the last minute, is the height of rudeness and bad manners in any culture and country. It causes gross offence.
“Also, to do this on an event for Pacific youth is like saying that they don’t matter to this National government.
“This has turned out to be another disappointing experience with National Government and their involvement with Pacific events.
“This is what Pasefika communities can expect from a National Government that pretends to befriend our communities but is no closer to understanding us now than they were decades ago. That’s why if we don’t vote at the upcoming local body elections, expect more of this.
The Pacific Ocean is the largest single geographic feature on our planet. It represents half the world’s ocean area, occupies one-third of the earth’s surface, and helps support complex ecosystems, ocean-based economies, and hundreds of millions of people.
That is directly quoted from the Center for Ocean Solutions which is affiliated to Stanford University:
The Pacific is also the engine room of Earth’s climate and the storeroom of its ocean biodiversity.
However, the people from around the Pacific Ocean, from the Arctic to Antarctic, from countries populous and sparse, are witnessing a decline of the Pacific Ocean’s vast resources and in the ability to use those resources. Pollution, habitat destruction, overfishing, climate change, and invasive species emerge repeatedly as the major causes. These threats interact with each other to damage natural ecosystems, reduce biological and human economic diversity, destroy productivity, and encumber human use of the sea.
(Center for Ocean Solutions, USA)
It identifies the following threats to the Pacific Ocean:
We hope others, in and outside of the South Pacific region, will take up the challenge and write about these threats to our environment and survival, particularly for small island nations. Due to scarce resources and available time, we aren’t able to do justice in covering these stories . Wish we could. For example, do people, other than governments and environmental groups, in the Pacific region realise the impact of overfishing for the region? I think not. What role have island governments played in protecting those assets? Can they? This is a big business story, not just a marine story. Who are the biggest contributors to the depletion of these natural marine resources? And what role is international legislation doing, or not doing, to protect the vast resources of the Pacific Ocean.
To give us a perspective of sizes, look at a map of the oceans of the world. The smallest is the Arctic Ocean, followed by the Indian Ocean, then the North and South Atlantic Ocean. Then there’s the North and South Pacific Ocean. Yes, it is the largest biggest ocean out there. It covers a wider geographical area bigger than all the other oceans combined.
We hoped to bring you information direct from Fiji’s Meteorology Centre but we are having trouble opening its page in a timely way. This morning’s update from Fiji Times
Update: 9:19AM HURRICANE Tomas, the Category 4 Tropical Cyclone (TC), is on its final 12 hours of intensity, and is currently hammering the Lau Group.
The eye and core feature of the cyclone with destructive Storm Force to very destructive Hurricane force winds are now moving over Northern Lau Group and are expected to affect Central and Southern Lau later, said director of meteorology, Rajendra Prasad in a brief issued at 9am today.
The Northern division which has been pounded by hurricane force winds and effects since Sunday evening should now see winds decreasing slowly today with rain easing, he said.
In the Central division, including the capital city Suva, damaging gale force winds with gusts to 85km/hr can be expected today with periods of rain.
Mr Prasad said some flash flooding was possible in the Central division but not on a large scale.
For a festival that’s been running for 18 years, this is the first time political interference has been allowed to happen. Last year, when National MPs appeared at Pasefika (before 2008, the year of New Zealand’s General Election, they were noticeably absent from Pasefika and other PI events over the years). This incident below happened behind the scenes unbeknown to the rest of the community at large on the day.
Two officials, whom pacificEyeWitness.org have n0t yet named, say they were emailed the instruction mentioned in this release. Not surprisingly, Auckland City Council reps including Auckland City Councillor and National MP for Maungakiekie Sam Lotu-Iiga say they have no knowledge of this instruction to bar Labour MPs from the stages. Lotu-Iiga was welcomed onto the stages without hindrance.
Where were the Pacific Islands Advisory Board for Auckland City Council in all of this? Let us know.
NEW ZEALAND LABOUR PARTY
MP FOR MANGERE
SUN 14TH MARCH 2010
LABOUR MP OBJECTS TO AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL’S BLATANT BREACH OF POLITICAL NEUTRALITY AT PASEFIKA FESTIVAL
Auckland City Council officials have woefully breached political neutrality by issuing instructions to Pasefika village organisers that Labour MPs not be allowed on the main village stages, says Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.
It was embarrassing and humiliating to see our people treated with such contempt by this council, says Su’a William Sio.
“In all my years of attending the Pasefika Festival, this is the first time it has ever happened.
In this Festival, it should be Pacific people, not a National-led government, that dictates who can stand up and speak at Pasefika.
“My heart goes out to the village organisers who were visibly uncomfortable carrying out these orders
“We (Labour MPs including Carmel Sepuloni, Chris Carter, Carol Beaumont, Jacinda Ardern,) were aghast at what was happening.
“I will be making my objections very clear on this matter to Auckland City Council and its Organising Committee.
“As an electorate MP, I represent a constituency with one of the largest Pacific populations. We come here to celebrate our cultures. It is our Pacific custom to get up on stage and offer our gratitude, encouragement and support to the wider Pacific communities.”
Some village stages, such as Tokelau, Fiji, Tuvalu and Tahiti, kept to Pacific etiquette and protocol amd invited us on stage.
“But I could tell village organisers were torn between following proper Pacific protocols, or adhering to the instructions of a National-led Auckland City Council and its sensitivities about seeing Labour MPs at our own Pasefika community events.”
“As one of the Pacific MPs, I said to one of the organisers, after they had informed me of the instruction from council: ‘how can you let them do that to Pacific people here? These are Pacific villages, these belong to Pacific communities, not them’, referring to the National-dominated Auckland City Council led by Mayor John Banks.
“This council, led by National’s John Banks, are already acting out the model of autocratic leadership that we don’t want in a SuperCity, says Su’a who sits on the Auckland Governance Legislation Select Committee reviewing the super city bills before the House and the hundreds of public submissions.
“This is a small, but significant, example of how power concentrated in the hands of one individual, such as the Mayor, can lead to abuses like this.
“Today’s example at the Pasefika Festival abused the goodwill of Pacific people and council and village organisers need to take heed, says Su’a who is also a Samoan matai.
Pasefika organisers say the reason for the ban was that Auckland City Council did not want politics discussed at the Festival.
Yet that ban on talking politics, in practice, only applied to Labour Party MPs, says Su’a.
From 1pm, National Party MPs, including Prime Minister and Auckland City Mayor John Banks were taken from stage to stage making political announcements and promoting National Party MPs on villages main stage.
FIFA World Cup winner and former Real Madrid star Christian Karembeu has today arrived in Auckland, New Zealand, and will play a major role in this week’s inaugural Pacific Youth and Sports Conference (PYASC).
Hailing from Lifou in New Caledonia, Karembeu enjoyed a glittering 18-year career that included 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000 successes with France, and two UEFA Champions League titles with Real Madrid.
Karembeu will be involved in the traditional Maori Powhiri on Monday morning before speaking the following day on the topic of fair play.
Organised by Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) together with the Manukau City Council, the PYASC conference will bring together hundreds of 16-25 year olds from across the Pacific region to interact and address youth-related issues with a specific focus on sport.
Tai Nicholas, OFC General Secretary and PYASC Chairman, believes the two-time Oceania Player of the Year will provide plenty of inspiration for young people who attend the event.
“Karembeu has an amazing story. From humble beginnings growing up in New Caledonia, he went on to reach the pinnacle of his sport and played at the top level for almost two decades,” says Nicholas.
“Since retiring, Karembeu has actively served as an ambassador for the game, showing that the power of football can be used to help those less privileged. We are delighted he can attend the conference and look forward to hearing his powerful message.”
Although based in Europe, Karembeu says his Pacific roots are extremely important to him.
“I played for France and won many medals and I am proud of the team and what we achieved together. But I am also Oceanian, born in the South Pacific, and it is logical for me to acknowledge this part of my heritage and speak to young people about my experiences so that hopefully they can be inspired to achieve their dreams,” says Karembeu.
Consisting of workshops, seminars and roundtables, the Pacific Youth and Sports Conference aims to establish action plans that will increase participation of young people in society through sport and build stronger networks between youth associations, government institutions and sports organisations.
To download the complete programme [English] click here