Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Samuels rejects powhiri formalism

Labour MP Dover Samuels says a call by Maori Party co leader Pita Sharples for Maori public servants to boycott powhiri at government department buildings is naive.

Dr Sharples is objecting to an emerging practice that state agencies hold whakatau or less formal welcoming ceremony, which allows women to sit in the front row.

Mr Samuels says while local kawa should be followed if the powhiri is being held on a marae, it doesn't apply in government buildings.

Mr Samuels says Maori tikanga must be adaptable to modern circumstances.


Maori fishing interests were a big presence at this week's Seafood Industry Council conference in Wellington.

Te Ohu Kaimoana fisheries settlement trust chief executive Peter Douglas says many of the iwi now own quota, which gave them a bigger motivation to attend.

The conference is the industry's annual forum to discuss issues of governance and management, and to share information about the state of fisheries and market conditions.

Mr Douglas says in such a closely-knit industry, a lot of the value of the conference is not just the exchange of information but the development of relationships, and many of the friendships forged in earlier conferences had led to valuable commercial relationships for Maori.


A hui is being held in Coromandel tomorrow to discuss the claim.

Koro Ngapo from Hauraki iwi Ngati Tamatera says Ngati Porou ki Hauraki was gifted land at Mataoro south of Whangamata and at Kennedy Bay and more than a century ago to use as a stopping off point as they travelled between Tairawhiti and Auckland.

But Mr Ngapo says Ngati Tamatera still have waahi tapu on the land, and they should be included in any talks.

He says Ngati Porou is not behaving properly.

Koro Ngapo says Ngati Tamatera is meeting Ministry of Justice officials today to get its concerns on to tomorrow's agenda.


Tomorrow's vote by the executive of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu on who should be its chairman is creating a lot of interest in Maori circles.

Three board members are challenging Mark Solomon for the position he has held for 8 years.

Manuka Henare, the associate dean for Maori and Pacific development at Auckland University, says because Ngai Tahu was one of the first iwi to get a major settlement, other iwi are watching its performance closely.

Even if Ngai Tahu did not intend it, the tribe has assumed a leadership position in post settlement development.

Mr Henare says whoever holds the top job, it's important the runanga maintain the momentum which has seen it triple its initial $170 million settlement.

The contest has been sharpened by a leaked email from Ngai Tahu chief executive Tahu Potiki accusing Mr Solomon of not telling the tribe's board that the head of its commercial arm Ngai Tahu Holdings, Robin Pratt, resigned two weeks ago.


A compilation commemorating the 28 Maori Battalion is going into its second edition.

The double CD set features songs and hymns sung by members of the battalion, and was released to coincide with the reunion before Easter of the majority of the batallion's 70 surviving members.

Compiler Henare Te Ua says its popularity caught the label by surprise.


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