Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Indigenous forum on tobacco

The Indigenous People's Forum on Tobacco Use kicks off in South Auckland today, giving indigenous people a chance to contribute to a global initiative to reduce smoking.

The forum is jointly sponsored by the New Zealand government and the World Health Organisation, which has signed up 168 countries to its Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Maori anti-smoking advocate Shane Bradbrook says the treaty will set international standards on tobacco pricing and tax second hand smoke, advertising, sponsorship, labeling and illicit trade.

Mr Bradbrook says says it's the first formal meeting the United Nations agency has held with indigenous people from all around the world.

“So it's a good opportunity for Maori to put forward our issues, our concerns as an indigenous people, and share our experiences, but it is also a great opportunity to listen to other indigenous peoples, and their experiences that they've had,” Bradbrook says.


Tamaki Makaurau MP Pita Sharples says Maori are being steamrolled in the rush to build a new stadium in Auckland in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The Maori Party co-leader says it's clear there has not been proper consultation with with tangata whenua, despite claims to the contrary by Auckland mayor Dick Hubbard.

Dr Sharples says Ngati Whatua o Orakei, the hapu which is considered mana whenua for the Auckland isthmus, hasn't been officially asked to consider the project.

He says the government is ignoring sound planning processes.

“It's not about whether the waterfront should be on the waterfront or not. What I’m saying is the issues is we see it time and time again, Maori people and our interests not being taken into consideration,” Sharples says.

He says it's not good enough for politicians to shop around within a tribe until they find someone who agrees with their plans.


One of the most well known institutions in Maoridom is no more.

Te Arawa Maori Trust Board has been disestablished after 80 years following the settlement of the tribe's claims to the Rotorua lakes.

Outgoing chairperson Aneru Rangiheua says an interim board is looking after business until a new lakes trust is elected in the new year.

Mr Rangiheuea says when he was first elected to the board in 1972, the people made it clear they expected a long term commitment.

“You come into the board, you’ll be the stamping ground for your people, you’ll be sworn at, and you’ll stay there until you die. That was the saying that they used at that time,” Rangiheuea says.

Aneru Rangiheuea says serving on the Te Arawa board has been a privilege, because it allowed him to learn from an extraordinary generation of the tribe's leaders.


Maori anti-smoking campaigner Shane Bradbrook says this week's international forum in South Auckland should help spead the tuupeka kore message.

The government and the World Health Organisation are co-hosting the first Indigenous People's Forum on Tobacco Use, which gives indigenous public health experts the chance to discuss responses the W-H-O's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

On the agenda are international standards on tobacco pricing and tax, advertising, sponsorship, and labeling.
Mr Bradbrook says participants will be looking for results.

“It's a good opportunity to push some future driven stuff, like we want a declaration on indigenous peoples and tobacco use, so some real big picture high level policy stuff, and I think it’s really good that we can do that here,” Bradbrook says.


Tourism entrepreneur Mike Tamaki says a $6 million Maori village being built in Christchurch should help turn the city into a fully fledged toursim destination, rather than just being the gateway to the south.
The village at Ferrymead is due to be opened next month.

The site is still almost bare, but Mr Tamaki says much of the construction is being done off-site, ready to be shifted on once soil stabilisation work is complete.

He says the village is designed to cope with more than 10 thousand visitors a month and employ around 80 people, including support staff and performers.

“It'll be the biggest one in New Zealand in terms of its size and also the delivery of the experience. You’ve also got to remember it includes a colonial experience we have incorporated into the day and night experience down here as well,” Tamaki says

Mike Tamaki says he doesn't expect a proposed Maori tourist centre in Christchurch's in the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve will affect patronage at the Tamaki Brothers village.


Followers of tale about one of Maoridom's most notorious historical figures may soon learn the end of the story.

Author Tom O'Connor says he has almost finished Shadows of Kapiti, the final volume of the trilogy which includes Pathways of Taranaki and Tides of Kawhia.

The Otorohanga man was inspired to write the books by his friendship with the late Tainui leader Henare Tuwhangai, who shared with him some of the stories about legendary figures from the area, including the fighting chief Te Rauparaha.

Mr O'Connor says Te Rauparaha was a strategic thinker, and the books aim to paint a fuller picture of a Ngati Raukawa leader known to most people as one of the most feared warriors in Maori history.

“People generally knew what had happened in parts, who had made things happen and very few people knew the philosophy behind the decisions that certain people made, and that sowed the seed of an idea iof actually writing the story as an historical novel,” O’Connor says.


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