Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Maori foresters see hope from carbon sink

The chief executive of Ngati Porou Whanui Forests says the government's Permanent Forest Sink Initiative is good news for Maori landowners.

Chris Insley says under the initiative, landowners will be entitled to the tradeable carbon credits for any new forests they plant.

This could be worth several hundred dollars a hectare every year, depending on the species grown.

Mr Insley says it allows owners to take a longer term view, and it could also make it viable to plant native species like totara and kauri.

“The announcement was really good news because it will enable private sector investment to bring in the necessary capital to do this development on our Maori lands but in a way that our Maori stakeholders can share and participate in that commercial activity,” Insley said.

Chris Insley says Ngati Porou Whanui Forests is talking to London-based brokers Sustainable Forest Management about new capital, and it has several thousand hectares of East Coast land ready to be planted.

CURFEW PLAN FOR MANUKAU TEENS

A Maori candidate for a position on the Manukau City Council says a curfew should be placed on South Au ckland teenagers.

Sam Rerekura is standing in a by election for the Mangere War left vacant after the conviction of James Papali'i for fraud.

Mr Rerekura says the spate of killings in south Auckland in recent months shows firm action is needed to ensure the safety of the region's youth.

I believe that they should have curfews on young teenage people. I remember in our time we needed to be in the house before the sun went down. Children need boundaries. They need to get off the streets and into their homes so they don’t get up to mischief,” Rerekura said.

Sam Rerekura has previously stood unsuccessfully as an independent in the Tamaki Makaurau electorate.

ELDERS KEY TO FAT FIGHT

Parents and older siblings are the key to tackling childhood obesity.

That's the word from Deb Hurdle, the manager of Sport and Recreation New Zealand's Push Play programme.

Ms Hurdle says children mirror what they see.

She says if parents are active, it's likely their children will be also.

“It's far too easy for mum and dad to sit on the couch and tell the kids off, and I thnk that’s the thing, we all need to be role models. The kaumatua need to be role models for the mokopuna, the older kids need to be role models for the younger kids, everyone’s got to be a role model, and if I think of they see themselves in that position of responsibility, I think that’s really important,” Hurdle said.

Push Play recommends 30 minutes of physical activity a day.

PIRIPI GLOOM ON CLAIM OUTCOME

One of the witnesses in the Wai 262 flora and fauna claim is having doubts about whether the long-running claim will be able to achieve its objective of protecting Maori rights to the products of the natural world.

The Waitangi Tribunal is today shifting to Atawhai marae in Nelson to wrap up a third consecutive week of hearings on the claim.

Haami Piripi from Te Rarawa says Maori are linked to their natural surroundings through whakapapa or geneology.

He says that poses problems for the tribunal and for the government.

“You can't separate flora and fauna from the natives. We’re part of the whakapapa too. That’s what they’re struggling with I’d say. At the end of the day they can always do what they did with the foreshore and seabed and legislate to take it away from us,” Piripi said.

Haami Piripi. The Wai 262 hearings today shift to Atawhai Marae near Nelson to hear evidence from top of the South Island iwi Ngati Koata.

KIORE VITAL ENVIRONMENTAL SIGNAL

Northland iwi Ngati Wai says the Department of Conservation's purge of native rats from off shore islands is a blow to Maori environmental management.

Environment spokesperson Hori Parata says the kiore has co-existed with other native species since it was brought to Aotearoa in the original canoes, and it has not inter-bred with other more destructive rats.

Mr Parata says Ngati Wai has its own understanding of the role of the kiore in the forests.

“Now that's what we're looking at, that the kiore was an environmental performance indicator and we monitored the health and the welfare of that animal throughout the year to get an indication of the health of the environment. It had an important role, and our role was to keep an eye on it,” Parata says.

Hori Parata says Ngati Wai continues to work with the Department of Conservation to better understand whale strandings and to reestablish customary access to the flesh and bone of the beached mammals.

NIKAU CONSIDERING HOP TO RABBITOHS

One of the most successful Maori sports professionals is expected to link up with the NRL wooden spooners South Sydney.

Tawera Nikau, from Tainui, is a former Kiwi and captain of the New Zealand Maori squad, and is well respected for the years he spent playing professionally in both Australia and England.

Since returning home, he has carved out a new career as a motivational speaker as well as hosting sports shows on Maori Television.

But that could all be about to change after a meeting in Sydney over the weekend, with representatives of the Rabittohs.

“Talking to board members about the possibility of going on the board and being a bit of a mentor for some of the Kiwi players there. They saw me as someone who’s been through the NRL, understands what it’s like, and just having that mentorship role with a lot of the younger players coming through and having input about the cultural side of a lot of our Pacific Island and Maori players,” Nikau said.

The Rabbitohs have another kiwi connection. The club is part-owned by actor Russell Crowe.

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