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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ngati Whatua chief Sir Hugh Kawharu dies

Ngati Whatua o Orakei is mourning the loss of Sir Hugh Kawharu, who died this afternoon after a short illness at the age of 79.

Sir Hugh has led the Auckland tribe's trust board since its inception in 1978.

He was educated at Auckland Grammar and Auckland University, writing a thesis on the Maori community in Orakei, before heading off to England for post graduate study at Cambridge and Oxford.

In 1970 Sir Hugh became foundation Professor of Social Anthropology and Maori Studies at Massey University.

He was professor of Maori Studies at Auckland University from 1985 until his retirement in 1993, and was a member of the Waitangi Tribunal from 1986 until 1996.

Sir Hugh was knighted in 1989 and made a member of the Order of New Zealand in 2002.

His tangi will be held at Orakei marae over the next three days before he is taken to Reweti Marae on the Kaipara for burial.


Marutuahu spokesperson Korohere Ngaapo says the mana of the Hauraki tribes has been trampled by a High Court decision overturning Conservation Minister Chris Carter's veto of the Whangamata Marina.

The decision means Mr Carter must now take another look at an Environment Court decision in favour of the 200 berth marina.

It means the Crown may have to pay the court costs of the Whangamata Marina Society, which has spent 14 years pushing for the project.

Mr Ngaapo says it's another victory for the dollar:

IN: It's disappointing to know that a group of wealthy Pakeha people can go to the courts and lobby for this decision to be overturned. It’s just another breach of treaty rights and yeah, it’s quite disappointing,” Ngaapo said.


The Prime Minister says Maori have much to contribute to an international health forum being held in Auckland.
Helen Clarke says delegates at the World Health Organisation's Western Regional Health Conference appreciated a Maori welcome yesterday.

She says obesity and heart disease are common among the indigenous communities of the region, and delegates can learn from Maori initiatives to address the high rates of smoking among its people.


Friends and colleagues are paying tribute to Ngati Whatua chief Sir Hugh Kawharu, who died today in Auckland in his 79th year.

Ranginui Walker, who taught with Sir Hugh at Auckland University's Maori studies department, says Sir Hugh will be remembered by the public for his dignified contributions to major events such as the 1990 Commonwealth Games opening and the America's Cup ceremonies.

Dr Walker says Sir Hugh ensured Ngati Whatua has a significance presence in the life of Auckland.

IN: During a time when Maori Pakeha relations were quite volatile through the 70s, Hugh was always a steadying influence on the national scene between Maori and Pakeha. He was unthreatening because he relied on scholarship rather than rhetoric in his dealings with the Crown,” Walker said.

Sir Hugh Kawharu will lie in state at Orakei marae for the next three days.


A Maori mental health specialist says priority needs to be given to establishing more high quality kaupapa Maori mental health services.

Dr Reese Tapsell was part of the team involved in Te Rau Hinengaro, a survey of New Zealand's mental health launched today by Health Minister Pete Hodgson.

The survey shows one in three Maori are likely to suffer some mental disorder in any year, compared with one in five non-Maori.

Dr Tapsell says that Maori are also the least likely to tap into mental health services.

“We should continue to look at ways of making our services more accessible to Maori. Firstly, our mainstream services, because of course that’s where most Maori end up, but also at the same time the development of quality kaupapa Maori services, so those are services provided by Maori for Maori,” Tapsell said.


Former Anglican Archbishop Whakahuihui Vercoe has welcomed the church's apology for helping suppress Tuhoe prophet Rua Kenana.

The church supported the 1907 Tohunga Suppression Act, which contributed to the arrest and imprisonment of Rua Kenana in 1915.

Archbishop Vercoe says the pilgrimage of an Anglican delegation led by Archbishop Brown Turei to Maungapohatu was a step toward healing the rift between the Anglican Church and Tuhoe.

“It's a recognition of the way in which the church has treated Tuhoe and I think the church has to go there, to Tuhoe, and listen to what the Tuhoe people hjave to say with regard to that apology for the way in which they treated Rua Kenana,” Vercoe said.

The Church plans to support the rebuilding of Maungapohatu Marae and offer scholarships to Hukarere and Te Aute colleges for Tuhoe children.


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