Tuesday, April 17, 2012
By Larry Williams
A former Maori Affairs minister says the Government should give iwi more help with managing Treaty of Waitangi payouts.
The Ngati Tama Development Trust has lost nearly $20 million in a string of high-risk investments.
It means the northern Taranaki iwi has lost all of the $14.5 million Treaty payout it got in 2003.
Dover Samuels says the Government takes a ‘hands-off’ approach once settlements are finalised.
He says iwi are told if they go down the drain that's their business and they can't come back and have a second bite at the hangi.
Dover Samuels says that's irresponsible.
Samuels is more or less saying that the Government should not only write out the cheque but also tell them what to do with it.
No, I don't think so.
There are many successful iwi around the country who have invested and managed their money well.
In this particular case the iwi decided to play roulette with the bulk of their settlement. They put $12.5m into a high risk software company that is now in liquidation.
The fact that the iwi didn't really get Investing 101 should be of no concern to the rest of us.
The sex offender known as the ‘Beast of Blenheim’ has been denied parole for an eighth time.
However, Stewart Wilson will have to be released in September when two-thirds of his 21-year sentence is up.
That's despite the latest Parole Board report stating it believes Wilson will offend again, as soon as he has the opportunity, once he's released.
The 65 year old was jailed in 1996 for crimes which include rape, stupefying, bestiality and wilful ill treatment of a child.
The Probation Service is applying to the High Court to have him placed under supervision after his release for up to a decade.
That's the best that can be done - a supervision order.
The Government could of course fast track a 'civil detention order' which would see Wilson incarcerated indefinitely.
This wouldn't be an issue if judges sent these worst types of criminals to preventive detention in the first place.
Auckland is leading the way for Chinese investment in New Zealand.
That's the view of the city's mayor who's in China with a trade delegation with hopes to strengthen ties with Auckland's three Chinese sister cities.
Len Brown says there's been a favourable response to Auckland's desire for China to be a global economic partner for the city's planned infrastructure projects.
Brown is looking for the Chinese to fund some projects. He should also be getting them to build some projects.
I think the Chinese could build the likes of a rail loop or harbour crossing much faster and much cheaper than anyone else.
It's worth pursuing. Brown's on the right track.
The head of SkyCity believes pokie machines are less harmful to the public than Lotto tickets.
Chief executive Nigel Morrison says the greatest risk comes from convenience gambling:
"People in the suburbs and the communities going to the supermarket or going somewhere else and getting diverted into a pub or a club,"
Mr Morrison says people don't just arrive at SkyCity, they have to make a deliberate decision to go there.
The Problem Gambling Foundation say this all deserving a Tui ad.
At least Morrison has supplied some stats. He claims that the proportion of households experiencing harm from gaming machines in casinos is 0.7% compared to 0.9% from Lotto.
The anti folk have yet to counter that stat.
Photo: NZ Herald
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