Waatea News Update

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tamihere calls time on Hauraki board

Ngati Porou ki Hauraki chairperson John Tamihere says it's time to leave the Hauraki Maori Trust Board.

Mr Tamihere fought to get his hapu represented on the board when it was formed in the 1980s.

He says the Hauraki Maori Trust Board is run by a small group of members and staff, and there seems no room for democracy or discussion.

Mr Tamihere says now the Waitangi Tribunal has reported on the Hauraki claim and the fisheries settlement is almost complete, Ngati Porou ki Hauraki wants to chart its own course.

“Funny thing about that is as you are trying to leave a relationship with other iwi, they start voting to lock you up, then they start writing constitutions and deeds that make us a second class citizen, and I’m not going to tolerate that from any Maori group. They can look after their business. They won’t poke their nose into ours. We just want to move out and do our own thing,” Tamihere said.

John Tamihere says other groups in the Hauraki confederation are also concerned at the way the board is trying to become the body to manage Hauraki's fisheries settlement assets.

PM HAPPY WITH SETTLEMENT PACE

The Prime Minister is dismissing claims by the Maori Party that iwi are being forced into accepting inadequate settlements for their treaty claims.

Helen Clark says progress being made in negotiations with Te Arawa, Te Uri o Hau and Ngai Tahu and the opening of talks with top of the South Island tribes shows the settlement process is on track.

She says iwi come to the table well prepared.

“In my experience iwi come to the negotiating table with good legal advice. I don’t believe anyone will be settling for less than they should. I think it’s a pretty thorough process, the benchmarks are pretty well established now, there have been a lot of settlements. And both the iwi and the Crown go into it knowing pretty much where it's going to head.

Helen Clark says the example of Tainui, which has just started work on a new Hamilton hotel, shows the benefits settlements can bring not just iwi but the wider community.

NATIVE PLANTINGS CAN HELP KERERU RECOVERY

Maori living in urban areas are being urged to plant trees to help grow the population of the kereru, or native wood pigeon.

Kereru Recovery Programme spokesperson Eric Dorfman says people in cities don't realise how they can help the bird, whose population has been falling by 20 percent each decade.

Dr Dorfman says cities and suburbs provide safe environments for the birds, if there is enough for them to eat.

“Kereru poulations are doing better in cities than they are in the bush because of all the predator controls in cities, and trying to make people aware they can plant gardens and give these birds a boost in their neighborhoods, like miro and kowhai,” Dorfman said.

WARDENS PART OF NEW ALCOHOL STRATEGY

Maori wardens are to be the eyes and ears of the police in a new stategy to reduce alcohol-related crime.

Sandra Kirby from the Alcohol Liquor Advisory Council says the idea has already worked in Rotorua and Mangere, and is being extended more widely.

Ms Kirby says Maori wardens have powers which other agencies don't, as well as the trust and respect of communities.

“It uses the powers that Maori Wardens have under the Community Development Act to enter licensed premised to be the eyes and ears, but what wardens can do is talk about how premises are being managed and whether Maori are intoxicated or at risk of intoxication and then leave the enforcement of that to the enforcement agencies,” Kirby said,

RUAKERE PRIZED BY FELLOW GPS

A Maori doctor who has given over 40 years service to the people of Taranaki has been honoured with a special award from his peers.

Tony Ruakere, who is 66, was made a distinguished Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.

Dr Ruakere is a member of the Taranaki District Health Board, and is on the Pharmacology and Therapeutic Advisory Committee.

He says the award presentation at the college's annual conference in Auckland was made even more special by the waiata tautoko performed by his whanau .

Dr Ruakere still runs the Te Atiawa health practice with thousands of Maori on its books.

EDUCATOR REMEMBERED IN SCHOLARSHIP

The vision of a pioneering Maori educator was today marked by Auckland University's education faculty.

Second year Maori medium teacher trainees Bronwyn Liaki from Tainui and Atareta Hohaia from Ngapuhi were awarded Sonny Riini scholarships worth $5000.

Mr Riini, who with his wife Mona made major contributions to teacher training and education, died in 1998, a year after the Huarahi Maori programme was set up.

Te Puna Wananga co-head Hemi Dale, says Te Huarahi Maori has created a strong professional group of Maori medium teachers who are now moving into positions of authority in the education system.

“Part of the philosophy Sonny was about was it is not enough just to be a Maori language speaker, you kneed to have the wherewithal, the knowledge and the skills to be a good teacher, and that was part of the vision that Sonny and Mona and others, that was their vision at the time that led to the setting up of Te Huarahi Maori in 1997,” Dale said.

Hemi Dale says scholarship recipients are chose for their academic endeavour and their contribution to Huarahi Maori and the wider Maori education programme.

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