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Mahuta Dies – PM Mends Fences – Lockerbie Verdict

- MAHUTA DIES: Glowing tributes are flowing in as Tainui mourns the death of leader Sir Robert Mahuta. Sir Robert died overnight, aged 61. He had been in poor health with kidney problems for some time. He will be best remembered for the 1995 Treaty of Waitangi settlement agreement he negotiated between the crown and the Waikato Tainui. Prime Minister Helen Clark said Sir Robert was one of the great totara of New Zealand Maori. Sir Robert’s controversial style as an advocate for Maori divided opinion during his life, and in death he continues to do so. Mahuta was born in Te Kuiti, and was adopted into the Maori royal family. He met his wife while working in the freezing works. He travelled to England to study anthropology. In 1997 he was knighted. Politicians from all sides of the house have joined in praise of Mahuta today. It is not yet known where Mahuta will be buried. His funeral will be held on Monday.

- PM MENDS FENCES: Prime Minister Helen Clark has had a fence mending meeting with Dover Samuels, before going on to meet people in Mr Samuels’ Tai Tokerau electorate – seen as a political risk, given ill feeling over her handling of the Dover Samuels affair, the controversy over Maori issues leading up to Waitangi Day, and Miss Clark’s refusal to attend celebrations at Waitangi. Miss Clark said she could see a way to a positive return to Waitangi.

- LOCKERBIE VERDICT: A Libyan secret agent has been convicted of the bombing of a Pan Am jet that went down over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people, but a second Libyan has been set free. The convicted man has been sentenced to 20 years jail. That has not satisfied the families of some of the Lockerbie victims, who have pointed out it amounts to less than a month per victim. Libya says the verdict means UN sanctions can be lifted, but the UN says Libya needs to face up to its responsibility and pay compensation to the families of victims.

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