Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, October 16, 2006

Ngapuhi writes $40 million off AFL share value

The country's largest iwi Ngapuhi has written down the value of its shares in pan-Maori fisheries company Aotearoa Fisheries by 90 percent.

Ngapuhi Runanga chairperson Sonny Tau says the $40 million write-down will ensure tribal members did not get a false picture of the runanga's financial health.

He says Ngapuhi's share of the Maori fisheries settlement included $3.8 million in cash, $19 million of quota and just over 12 percent of Aotearoa Fisheries.

Te Ohu Kaimoana fisheries settlement Trust said that stake was worth $45 million, but Mr Tau says Ngapuhi got an independent valuation.

“We're getting about $1.8 million a year off our quota, we’ve had a bit of an increase in that since we’ve got our quota given to us, but by and large the shares aren’t redeemable for five years, so you won’t be getting a return off those shares for five years,” Tau said.

The 2006 accounts just published showed Ngapuhi's revenue increased slightly from 4.6 to five million dollars, but profits were static at $1.4 million.

TURIA COMMENDED FOR LEADERSHIP

Maori Party president Professor Whatarangi Winiata has commended party co-leader Tariana Turia for her 10 years in Parliament.

Mrs Turia capped off her first decade by having her Seabed and Foreshore Act Repeal Bill drawn from the parliamentary ballot.

Tariana Turia entered Parliament in 1996 bas a Labour List MP, and went on to win the Te Tai Hauauru seat twice for Labour and twice for the Maori Party.
Dr Winiata says Ms Turia provides much-needed parliamentary experience for the one year old Maori Party.

“The Caucus is group of quite independent individuals, but they rely greatly on the experience that Tariana brings to them, from that decade in Parliament, and of course the many years she spent on the Whanganui River and the work involving her people,” Winiata said.

ROCK ART HOLDS WHAKAPAPA SECRETS

Maori Heritage Trust manager Te Kenehi Teira says historical rock art sites hold very important whakapapa for their surrounding hapu and iwi.

160 sites have been identified in the North Island from Houhora on the Aupouri peninsula to the East Coast.

Mr Teira says the highest concentration of sites is in the central plateau in Ngati Pikiao, Tuhourangi, Tarawera and Ngati Tuwharetoa territory.

He says the ancestors associated with many of the sites are known.

“One site we visited in the Taupo area is Te Kakaho, and it has a whole korero for Nga Uri o Tia and the descendants of Te Arawa ancestors that came into the Taupo basin area. They are able to talk about the specific tupuna who lived there and are associated with the rock art,” Teira said.

Te Kenehi Teira says he'd like to see a group formed to support kaitiaki of Maori rock art.

TRIBUNAL KNEECAPPING BILL DRIVEN BY ENVY

A leading treaty lawyer says a New Zealand First bill which would ban Maori Land Court judges from sitting on the Waitangi Tribunal could be motivated by the high quality of the current bench.

David Williams, the associate professor of law at Auckland University, says it is common for judges to sit on royal commissions and other inquiries.

He says Maori Land Court judges have specialist skills which are particularly useful in Waitangi tribunal inquiries, and they also tend to be younger and better educated than judges on other courts.

“The bill seems to me to be entirely ill-focused really. Perhaps it’s just a certain jealousy some people have among politicians that this highly educated group of qualified judges on the Maori Land Court are not be as amenable to the executive as some judges may have been in the past,” Williams said.

David Williams says the quality of tribunal reports could be damaged if the best available minds on maori law and history are not allowed to serve.

TB DISPROPORTIONATE AMONG MAORI

A Wellington School of Medicine researcher says more work needs to be done on early detection of tuberculosis among Maori.

Michael Baker says Maori are up to 20 times more likely to contract TB than Pakeha.

Dr Baker says infection rates among Maori are increasing, but there are preventative measures which will make a difference:

“The main way of controlling this disease is to recognise cases early and treat them. One of the programmes we think is excellent is the Housing New Zealand Healthy Housing programme, where they are doing work to enlarge houses and decrease crowding levels , so we think that is a so we think that is a really important direction for the future,” Baker said.

Michael Baker says most of the tuberculosis cases in New Zealand originate overseas.

ROCK ART KAITIAKI URGED TO DO MORE

The Historic Places Trust is trying to encourage Maori with links to historical rock art to take more responsibility for its preservation.

Conservation practitioners, kaitiaki Maori and heritage agencies met in Taupo last week to discuss how the vulnerable sites should be managed.

Te Kenehi Teira, the trust's Maori heritage manager, says many of the North Island's 160 sites are concentrated on the central plateau.

He says kaitiaki Maori need support if they are to look after what are important parts of their whakapapa.

“We're trying to put the word out to all the people in the different iwi and hapu who might be interested in conserving and protecting Maori rock art, to come together so they have a place where thy can talk about protecting the rock art.

Te Kenehi Teira says the inspiration for the hui came from the Ngai Tahu Rock Art Trust, who have been operating for almost 10 years.

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