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Friday, September 22, 2006

National wary of foreshore repeal bill

National Party Maori Affairs spokesperson Gerry Brownlee says it's not enough to just turn the clock back on the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

The Maori Party says it has prepared a members bill to repeal the Act, and it is seeking support from other parties for its introduction.

Mr Brownlee says National has its own views on the foreshore and seabed debate, and they might not be aligned with those of the Maori Party.

”We always said that the legislation was unsettled, and that at some stage it would be back before Parliament. The difficulty we have is that there was a perceived problem with the status quo, and going back to that doesn’t help.
We’ll want to read the Maori Party bill and take a position from there,” Brownlee said.


A Tuhoe kaumatua who set up the first total immersion school says students of te reo should try to master the dialect of their own iwi.

Tawhiri Williams led Te Wharekura O Ruatoki in the eastern Bay of Plenty in the late 1970's.

He now oversees Te Wananga o Takiura in Auckland, which trains teachers keen to work in a reo Maori schools.

Mr Williams says while there are concerns such institutions lead to a one size fits all approach to the reo, the place to learn tribal dialects is back in the tribes.

“Ngapuhi wants to keep its dialect and Ngati Porou wants to keep its dialect. We say to our students who come from these various areas, come here, we’ll put you through the course, we’ll give you our best shot, and we’ll qualify you to a higher standard, but after that, go bvack to your people, go back and reclaim your dialect, the mita or your reo amongst your people, and you’ll have a starting point that was developed here in the wananga,” Williams said.


The kaitiaki or gauardian of taonga at Gisborne's Tairawhiti Museum says the museum learned a valuable lesson when an artefact from the region came up for auction.

The museum is currently showing a carved sinker found at Anaura Bay early last century.

Jody Wyles says the museum had wanted to buy it when it came up for auction this year, but made the mistake of revealing its hand.

“When we were contacted by the media about this piece we made a comment, and as a result it drove the price up. So we now know for the future is any pieces like this or any taonga in particular come up for sale, no comment,” Wyles said.

Jody Wyles says the sinker was bought by the national museum Te Papa Tongarewa, which has loaned it to Tairawhiti for a short term display.


The kaumatua for an Auckland-based Maori immersion teachers' training course says the Maori language commission is making te reo Maori harder to teach by making up new words.

Tawhirimatea Williams, from Te Whare Wananga O Takiura, says the commission, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori, is confusing Maori speakers and listeners.

He says it's hard for student teachers.

“It has developed or invented new languages. It has a language for science, a language for maths, for social studies, music, a language for art and craft that align to the curriculum areas, and that’s a challenge for teachers. It’s also a challenge for people out in the community who hear this language coming through and wonder what the heck are these people talking about, where did that word come from,” Williams said.


Auckland University's newest professor says Maori tertiary students need to make sure there are others following in their footsteps.

Michael Walker of Te Whakatohea has been made a Professor of Biological Sciences for his research on the magnetic sense in migratory animals.
Professor Walker was also involved in the development of the university's tuakana programme in 1991, to address the historic lack of Maori studying the sciences.

He says when senior students were partnered with first years during the crucial early phase of study, Maori pass rates for foundation papers immediately doubled.

Professor Walker says the university has extended the Tuakana programme to two high schools.

“When we recognised how effectively the tuakana programme worked at the University, one of the things we then started to do was as soon as our students in first year showed they were being successful, then we wanted to start multiplying off their successes, and so we’ve been working with Tangaroa College in Otara and Tamaki College in Glen Innes, putting our first year students back in schools like those to act as tuakana in the school,” Walker said.

Michael Walker says first year students often fail not because they can't do the work but because they feel isolated.


The Minister of Maori Affairs says Ngati Whaua o Orakei enjoyed a resurgence in tikanga and culture, under the guidance of the late Sir Hugh Kawharu.

Parekura Horomia, Primie Minister Helen Clark and other government ministers and MPs attended Sir Hugh's tangi at Orakei yesterday.

Mr Horomia says there are challenges ahead for the iwi, but Sir Hugh laid a sound foundation for its future.

“He's worked hard to ensure they’re getting through their settlement, they’ve a strong commercial arm in Ngati Whatua, but most of all the resurgence and strengthening of their tikanga and culture, that as an iwi has been to the forefront that he certainly pushed, Horomia said.

The tangi for Sir Hugh Kawharu continues at Orakei today, and tomorrow he will be taken to Rewiti Marae on the Kaipara for burial.


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