Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, November 10, 2006

Forestry settlement will take planning

The head of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust says Maori should start thinking about how a proposed multi million dollar fund for Maori social and economic development should operate.

Sir Graham Latimer says there could be up to three quarters of a billion dollars left over this week when forestry claims are settled.

Finance Minister Michael Cullen, told a Parliamentary select committee this week that the any money left over after the trust finishes it work would be used for Maori purposes.

Sir Graham says some of the largest claims could be settled in five years, and the government has made it clear it wants all historical claims settled by 2020.

“We just really need to start thinking about where we are going to be in five years of 25 years and start talking to ourselves about what are we going to do. Michael Cullen makes that gesture. Well we should be out there making the same gesture and trying to assist where our people can work away and prepare themselves for the future,” Sir Graham says.

Sir Graham says a separate development fund should held end Maori dependence on governments of the day.


The Health Ministry's principal advisor on cancer control says more needs to be done to address the disproportionate incidence of cancer among Maori.

John Childs says Maori are more likely to get certain types of cancer, and more likely to then die from that cancer.

The ministry is hosting a two day symposium on cancer control, bringing together researchers and district health boards from round the country to discuss some of the approaches being tried to tackle the disease.

Dr Childs says the health system shouldn't be leaving any part of the population behind.

“Areas like the Hawkes Bay have a high Maori population so very much the issues of inqualities for Maori are very important in an area like that if they are to improve outcomes,” Childs says.

Dr Childs says the cancer control symposium is helping researchers identify areas where further investigation is needed, and it's allowing health boards to see what intervention strategies are working.


The second National Maori Business Expo kicks off in Otaki today, giving Maori a chance to showcase their business and inovation skills.

Organiser Daphne Luke says more than 5000 people are expected through the Otaki Racecourse over the weekend for the expo.

There is strong representation from the art and design and fashion and apparel sectors, as well as business consultancies, and telecommunications, farming, fishing and forestry firms.

Ms Luke says while it is a national show, it also gives a lift to Maori businesses in the region.

“We have 538 Maori businesses in the Kapiti Horowhenua region, and they’re just not known as a sector. The reason we did it here too is the community support that we’ve had from our Otaki Kapiti Horowhenua community,” Luke says.

Daphne Luke says 110 Maori businesses will be showing their wares.


The Maori forestry sector could be in for major changes, with the government promising that any Crown forestry assets left over after the claims process is completed will be used for Maori purposes.

The Crown Forestry Rental Trust currently holds half a billion dollars in accumulated rents for the land under the former state forests.

Who owns that land, and will therefore pick up the rent, will be decided by the Waitangi Tribunal process or by direct negotiation between the Crown and claimant groups.

Finance minister Michael Cullen told a select committee this week that if the Crown ended up with a surplus, it won't put it back in the consolidated fund but would use it for Maori economic and social development.

Crown Forestry Rental Trust chairperson Sir Graham Latimer says forestry can provide Maori with a sound economic base.

“The benefit to us is that we will be there controlling and managing our forests around the country, and this has got to be good, because we can’t be dependent on government trying to find a way out for us in the future” Sir Graham Latimer said.


Design work has been completed and construction started on a new $3.5 million Maori language school complex in Palmerston North.

By the middle of next year Mana Tamariki aims to house 50 children from Te Kohanga Reo and Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Mana Tamariki.

The school is designed to cope with a roll of 180 within 10 years.
Principal Tony Waho says the design represents tupuna nurturing the tamariki, and features an innovative roof design.

“The roof itself is designed by Kennett Brown Architects as a floating korowai,. And it’s klike the nurturing tupuna floating above our tamariki,” Waho says.


A hui paying tribute to one of the most influential Maori of the last century is being held in Wellington today.

Wiremu Parker was a noted academic and in 1943 became New Zealand's first Maori newsreader, broadcasting a regular bulletin on National Radio.

He was widely respected for his knowledge of Maori language and tikanga, and covered the arrival home of the 28 Maori Battalion in 1945 and the poroporoaki for Sir Apiranaa Ngata in 1950

One of his students, veteran broadcaster, Hare Williams, says Wiremu Parker was a consummate professional, whether broadcasting in Maori or English, and influenced those Maori who followed him into broadcasting.

“The reo was denigrated as having no value at all, and the discrimination against our reo, and the war against our reo over a long period of time, and I think it was necessary to have people like Selwyn Muru, Wiremu Kerekere, Purewa Biddle as the pioneers for the genesis of Maori radio,” Williams says.

Hare Williams will speak at today's memorial tribute at Victoria University's te Herenga Waka marae, which will also debate contemporary issues affecting the sector.


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