Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Saturday, September 30, 2006

WAI 262 claimants ask for ANZTPA intervention

WAI 262 claimants have asked the Waitangi Tribunal to issue an urgent report about the likely effect of the proposed Australia and New Zealand Therapeutic Products Authority on their claims regarding indigenous fauna and flora.

The tribunal has been sitting in Wellington this week for the last of the claimant evidence.

Annette Sykes, the lawyer for Maori organic growers group Te Waka Kai Ora, says the government is due to introduce a bill next month setting up the authority, known as ANZTPA.

The authority could be in a position to regulate the use Maori can make of rongoa or traditional natural remedies.
Ms Sykes says there has been no provision for the Treaty of Waitangi in the ANZTPA process, and only four hours consultation with Maori in the 10 years the project has been on the drawing board.

She says establishment of the authority could turn the 14 year investigation into the indiginous fauna and flora claims a waste of time, because the tribunal would not be able to recommend any meaningful remedies.

The Waitangi Tribunal will hear evidence from the Crown in December and January, and closing submissions are due to take place next March.


The small eastern Bay of Plenty settlement of Taneatua gets a new art gallery this weekend.

Tuhoe master carver John Rua is opening the space to display whakairo he completed during 30 years living in Christchurch and other works from his private collection.

His wife, Lisa Rua, says the gallery will also feature local artists as well as being used for classes for students of Taneatua school. Mrs Rua says it could also be a tourist draw.


The Minister of Maori Affairs says the Maori Womens Welfare League is still relevant in modern Maori society.

Parekura Horomia was the opening speaker at the league's annual conference, being held this year at Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia.

Mr Horomia says the league had played a significant role into encouraging Maori into business and into professional careers.

He says its support for Maori families has never wavered.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says Don Brash may be off Tariana Turia's visiting list, but he will continue to talk to the National Party leader.

Mrs Turia says Don Brash's comments about there being few if any full blooded Maori was going too far, and he has a negative impact on race relations.

Dr Sharples says to effective in Parliament, the Maori party needs to keep open lines of communication with other parties, even if they disagree with some of their views or policies.

He says he will be talking to Dr Brash and other National MPs about winning support for the introduction of a bill to repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Pita Sharples says the whole idea of blood quantum as a way of measuring indigenous identity was deeply flawed and caused huge problems for native peoples in the United States, the only place it is officially used.


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