Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Fast timetable sought for tribunal inquiry

The lawyer for the Marutuahu Confederation of Hauraki tribes says the Waitangi Tribunal needs to act quickly on an inquiry into aspects of the government's treaty settlement process.

The tribunal's acting chairperson, judge Carrie Wainwright, has asked more than 40 claimant groups to a judicial conference next month to discuss whether their complaints about the process should be merged into one claim.

Paul Majurey says Marutuahu believes Judge Wainwright should not lose sight of the fact the original complaint was about the Crown's Agreement in Principle with Ngati Whatua which gives the Orakei hapu first right to buy surplus Crown land over large parts of Auckland.

“It's brought the settlement policy into huge disrepair. You have a huge area of central Auckland, you have an agreement in principle that recognises one tribe exclusively after three years of secret negotiation, and because it involves the removal of all treaty protections from that huge area for all other tribes, last up first dressed,” Majurey said.

Paul Majurey says an urgent hearing on the claim could be completed by February.

STATE HOUSING NOT A PERMANENT SOLUTION

Associate Minister of Housing Dover Samuels says there is a need for more State Housing for Maori, but not as permanent residences.

The Labour list MP yesterday attended a meeting with iwi leaders from the Ikaroa Rawhiti electorate in Hastings to discuss Maori housing initiatives.

Mr Samuels says the income related rent structure of State Housing is to give Maori and hand up, rather than a hand out.

“What I hear right around the country is the need for more state houses, and I think very clearly that’s an avenue in terms of accessing decent homes for our people who are on low to modest incomes to take the opportunity of income related rents, but don't stay there forever,” Samuels said.

Dover Samuels says a case in Panmure, where a family tried to claim a right to a state house occupied by their late parents, shows the dangers of people getting too dependent on state housing.

KURA TRIES STEINER STYLE

A Tauranga Maori immersion school has joined forces with a Rudolf Steiner school to offer an alternative sort of alternative education.
Principal Brad Totorewa from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Otepou says students from the kura are going across to the Steiner school for English classes, and Steiner students are learning basic Maori from the kura.

Mr Totorewa says both schools have similar philosophies.

“Both philosophies that underpin both schools are through a holistic viewpoint, so it encompasses Papatuanuku, Ranginui and all that type of stuff,” Totorewa said.

SOLOMON DENIES WATER LEVY PLANS

Ngai Tahu chairperson Mark Solomon says Maori have no plans to try to start charging for water.

Mr Solomon met with iwi leaders from Whanganui, Tuwharetoa and Tainui last week to discuss a range of issues, including the current government review of water rights.

He says the discussions are still at a preliminary stage, as they wait for the government to release more details of its plans.

But he says the idea of an iwi levy on water wasn't part of the discussion.

“That certainly wasn’t part of any meeting that I’ve been involved in, discussions along those lines. I was pretty shocked on the weekend to have a number of reporters ringing me about Maori taking control of the water. Where these ideas comes from is somewhere I don't deal in,” Solomon said.

Mark Solomon says the tribes are looking for ways to work more closely on economic, social, cultural and environmental issues.

ELECTORAL COLLEGE LOOKING AT BEST FOR ALL

One of the members of an electoral college shoosing new fisheries commissioners says it won't be a forum for inter-iwi squabbling.

Te Kawai Taumata set up under the Maori Fisheries Act has 10 members chosen by regional groups of iwi and one member from the urban Maori authorities.

Tainui representative Tukoroirangi Morgan says the terms of four members of Te Ohu Kaimoana fisheries settlement trust are due to expire next month, and Te Kawai Taumata is trying to develop a robust and fair process to replace them.

“At the end of the day we leave our iwi hats at the door with a determination that we are trying to get some meaningful progress and some significant progress for all Maori,” Morgan said.

Other members of Te Kawai Taumata include Ngai Tahu chairperson Mark Solomon, Ngati Porou's Api Mahuika, Joe Mason from Mataatua, former commissioner Naida Glavish, Graham Morell from Ngapuhi, Na Reihana from Takitimu, Marty Davis representing Taranaki and Whanganui tribes, John Morgan from the top of the South Island and Sharyn Watene for the National Urban Maori Authority.

IWI REFERENCE BOOK PUBLISHED

A book containing the history of virtually every major iwi in Aotearoa will hit book shelves over the next week.

Titled 'Maori Peoples of New Zealand: Nga Iwi o Aotearoa' it is based on the Maori New Zealanders section of the first theme of Te Ara: The digital Encyclopedia of NZ.

General editor Dr Jock Phillips says many influential Maori such as Dr Ranginui Walker, Tamati Reedy, Mason Durie and Te Maire Tau shared stories from their respective Iwi.

“The background to Ngati Porou, if you want to find out about that story, you can find out. If you want to find out about Ngai Tahu, the early history of Ngai Tahu, and the early history of Ngai Tahu, you will find those stories there. It is reall a gathering together of the traditional stories of all the iwi around the country,” Phillips said.

Jock Phillips says the book is a complete history of all the major iwi and features around 400 images.

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