Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Lakes settlement stratum suspicions aired

Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira says the Te Arawa Lakes Settlement bill could set a precedent for future claims.

The bill is set for its third reading tonight.

Mr Harawira says the government is using the term a new term 'Crown Stratum' to deny Te Arawa the ownerhsip of the water in the Rototua lakes.
He says it's just word games which hide the government's real intentions.

“This hasn't been the case in any other settlement in the past. We want to know are they setting a new standard. Are they trying to say that this is how they are going to own all the water, by not owning the water but owning all the space in which the water sits. We think they should just front up and say we’re stealing the water folks and that is all there is to it,” Harawira said.

Treaty Negotiations minister Mark Burton says under common law, no one own water in its natural state, and the Maori Party is scaremongering.

TE KOTAHITANGA EMPOWERING TEACHERS

The man behind a programme which is changing the way Maori students are taught in mainstream schools is denying it involves teacher-bashing.

Russell Bishop, the professor of Maori education at Waikato University, yesterday reported to a select committee on 
the Te Kotahitanga programme.

Te Kotahitanga has worked with 400 teachers over the past two years, and is being extended to cover 2000 teachers over the next year.

Professor Bishop, says there has been a significant improvement in the academic results among Maori students in schools runningthe programme.
He says it shows how teachers need to learn new skills and teaching methods to get the best out of Maori students.

“There's no point in saying current teachers are not up to it because they patently are up to it. Because we’ve showed in our project that by taking a random cross section of teachers, we’ve been able to support them in transforming their practice in the way they relate and interact with Maori children so they can bring about greater gains in achievement,” Bishop said.

Russell Bishop says Te Kotahitanga needs to be incorporated into the wider education sector rather than being treated like a limited pilot.

OPUNAKE COPES WITH MANU KORERO ONSLAUGHT

The small south Taranaki township of Opunake has been transformed this week as thousands of Maori flock in for the annual Nga Manu Korero secondary school speech competitions.

Taranaki resident Jamie Tuuta says the visitors have seen some of the best young speech makers in the country.

He says they should take home an understanding of some of the challenges facing Taranaki rural communities, and they will leave something behind.

”Opunake like many of our rural communities in Taranaki is really struggling. (Manu Korero) is huge in terms of the economic benefit to the town but also raising the awareness of Maori issues and Maori kaupapa amongst not only our own hapu and iwi here in Taranaki but also among the wider community,” Tuuta said.

NELSON MAORI CHALLENGE ON COLLINGWOOD CAMPING GROUND

Nelson Maori are talking with Tasman District Council on the future of a camping ground which is partly built on Maori land.

The council discovered at lease renewal time that a quarter of the one hectare Collingwood motor camp was on Maori land, but it has not paid rent.

Wakatu Incorporation chairperson Paul Morgan, a descendant of the original landowners, says it is the last remnant of the original native reserve and needs to be protected.

He says the issue has forced the council to reconsider its relationship with tangata whenua.

“It's like a lot of areas. The local people and leadership are essentially ignorant of the Maori history of the region and also the issues, so therefore they often make decisions about matters where there are misunderstandings created, and it makes for a difficult working relationship,” Morgan said.

Paul Morgan says the Maori incorporations are already significant ratepayers in the Nelson Golden Bay region, and the treaty settlements which should be struck over the next few years will have implications for future relationships.

MUSSELL FARM TO GO IN TO SOUTH WESTLAND

Maori living on the South West Coast of the South Island have failed to stop the development of a giant new mussel farm.

The Ministry of Fisheries has approved an application for a 45 hectare mussel farm, a kilometre offshore from Jackson Bay, just north of Fiordland.

Te Runanga O Makaawhio opposed the development, because of concern at possible damage to traditional food gathering areas.

Richard Wallace, the deputy upoko for the runanga, says he saw the damage done by marine farming further up the island.

“The long term effects is the areas where those farms are, they deplete the natural stock of the mahinga kai, they capture the spat, and I guess the long term effects of that is the stock becomes depleted. And it’s a beautiful mussel down there, a beautiful kukupa,” Wallace said.

Richard Wallace says Te Runanga o Makaawhio has no current plans to move into aquaculture itself.

MAORI LANGUAGE DAY REMEMBERED

Students and staff from Auckland University of Technology's Maori department Te Ara Poutama and high profile sports people like Warrior Wairangi Koopu and former all black Glen Osborne took to Queen St this morning to promote Maori language.

They handed out pamphlets to morning commuters promoting Maori language day and free maori courses at AUT.

Tutor Julian Wilcox says the action was a tribute to the original Maori Language Day inn 1972.

That was when Hannah te Hemara Jackson from Nga Tamatoa presented a 30,000 signature petition to then Maori Affairs Minister Matiu Rata asking for Maori be taught in schools.

What became Maori language week was later shifted July, so as not to interfere with preparation for tertiatry exams.

Mr Wilcox says there was a positive respoinse from morning commutrs to the action.

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