Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, September 22, 2006

Ngai Tahu makes $22.8m loss on fishing operations

Ngai Tahu managers are refusing to coment on a leaked set of draft accounts which show the South Island tribe's fishing business lost almost $23 million dollars over the past financial year.

But kaumatua Jim Te Aika from Ngati Tuahuriri's says the loss was not unexpected by tribe members concerned with the way the tribe's fishing operation was being managed.

The report blames asset write offs by Ngai Tahu Seaafoods, high fuel prices and low margins for high volume species like hoki.

Profits from tourism ventures also dropped.

Mr Te Aika says tribe members are becoming concerned their assets aren't in good hands.

“To some of us it wasn’t a shock, it was inevitable. The fishing compnay’s being run by people haven’t had any experience in fishing. We have quite a few Ngai Tahu fishermen, but they’ve been finding it very hard to get quota out of the fishing company,” Te Aika said.

Most of the quota fished by Ngai Tahu is leased from Te Ohu Kaimoana Trust, but the iwi is due to get $86 million in fisheries settlement assets before the end of the year.


The Minister of Maori Affairs is backing his leader's attack on National Party leader Don Brash.

Helen Clarke has called Mr Brash a corrosive and cancerous presence on the political scene.

Parekura Horomia says that is self evident, from the way the National leader is prepared to set sections of the community against each other.


For the youngest ever recipient of the APRA Silver Scroll Maioha Award it was an honour to have just been nominated let alone win.

Self-confessed Tainui born, Ngapuhi raised singer/songwriter Richard Bennett took home the Best Maori Waiata award last night for his song 'E Hine' and largely credits his success to the translations of Whirimako Black and iwi radio airplay.

Mr Bennett says to be in the presence of fellow nominees Ngatai Huata and Mahinarangi Tocker was a humbling experience.

Richard Bennett's next project will be to produce a video clip for 'E Hine'.


Local and central government politicians today made the trek to Orakei Marae to farewell a rangatira they worked closely with.

Sir Hugh Kawharu died on Tuesday aged 79.

Auckland mayor Dick Hubbard says he considered Sir Hugh a friend and a mentor who created strong links between the city and Ngati Whatua.

Auckland Regional Council chairperson Mike Lee says his death is a huge loss for the city.

“What impressed me about Sir Hugh was his essential rationality, his wisdom, his humanity, He was a cut above most people. He was a leader. He was a scholar. Above all he was a very honourable person. So his contribution to meetings and local government business in Auckland always added a lot of value,” Lee said.

Prime Minister Helen Clark says Sir Hugh was one of the great rangatira.

She says it was because of his negotiating skills that the Crown and Ngati Whatua were able to agree on a settlement of the iwi's Auckland land claims.

“With Sir Hugh as the chief it was possible for the Crown to negotiate in a way which met the interests of both parties, and Auckland City was tremendously supportive, and of course had the long relationship with Sit Hugh and Ngati Whatua, and that meant a settlement was achieved which has attracted no controversy whatsoever, and that should be his lasting legacy,” Clark said.


Auckland University has honoured biologist Michael Walker by making him a full professor for his research achievements.

The Whakatohea man gave his inaugural lecture today as Professor of Biological Sciences, on the magnetic sense that animals use to travel long distances.

Professor Walker says his new position should help his efforts to encourage more Maori into scientific careers.


The climax of last night's APRA Silver Scroll Awards held a special meaning for one of the judges of the Maori section.

Juan Aspinall, from Ngati Porou, is a nephew of the late Ngoi Pewhairangi, who co-wrote the first song in te reo Maori to top the charts.

Poi E was a 1981 hit for the Patea Maori Club under the direction of Dalvanius Prime, who died last year.

Mr Aspinall says it still has the ability to bring people to their feet - as last night's finale showed.

“On walked the whole original Patea Maori Club, and the crowd just went wild, and they were in their full piupiu and regalia and remarkably they had the video showing behind them, and each person was in the same position they were in the video. Great way to end the night,” Aspinall said.


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