Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, November 13, 2006

Landowners ready for long battle over bush

A spokesperson for King Country Maori landowners says the new owners of Carter Holt Harvey's forestry plantations can look forward to a long battle over their leases.

Willy Te Aho says he has been threatened Carter Holt and its lawyers over the stand taken by Pukemakoiti Trust, which last week re-entered its lease with the forest giant.

Mr Te Aho says the trust will ask the courts to determine whether the sale to North American investment fund Hancock breaches the terms of the original lease signed with New Zealand Forest products.

Even if it loses, the battle will continue.

“I've made it clear to Carter Holt Harvey, to Rank Group, to Hancocks, and also the funders behind Hancocks, Mutual Life in Canada, this isn’t a battle about days or months, this is a battle of years. They may certainly win a battle in a legal sense, but Maori are lessors, Maori participate in resource consent processes, Maori are consumers, and on these different fronts we will keep battling them forever,” Te Aho says.

Willy Te Aho says Maori can triple the returns they can expect from their forests if they are able to process their own share of the harvest.

MAORI PARTY ENERGISES LABOUR YOUTH

A Maori member of Labour's youth wing says the advent of the Maori Party has encouraged rangatahi to take more interest in politics.

Sonny Thomas, a 19 year old with Ngati Porou and Te Atiawa whakapapa, says there are few Maori in Young Labour, and that needs addressing.

He says many young Maori can't see ways they can contribute to the established political system.

“Its actually about the political process we have in this country. It’s not actually very open to Maori people. It’s not fundamentally aligned to the way a lot of Maori think, but we’re trying to change that, and I think the Maori Party’s really encouraging of that,” Thomas says.

Sonny Thomas says activism within Labour offers more opportunities for Maori to change things than if they all go to the Maori Party.

AIRPORT MARAE FINALLY OPENS

A 30-year plan to build a marae at Auckland Airport came to fruition on Saturday.

A dawn ceremony marked the opening of the new marae, Te Manukanuka o Hoturoa.

Tainui Kaumatua Eru Thompson days the marae will be available to all cultures, and will operate under Tainui Kawa.

Mr Thompson says the marae has a serious purpose.

“For a lot of people who’ve been employed at the airport, to have a place, a whakaruruhau for our whanaunga and those tupapaku who come back, not only from overseas but other areas of the motu of course, So now we have a platform, ad that platform is the marae Te Manukanuka o Hoturoa, to welcome people into the region,” Thompson says.

Eru Thompson says the marae project was dear to the heart of the late Maori queen, Dame Te Atairangikaahu, and it was fitting her son King Tuheitia was able to open it.

MAYOR – NGATI WHATUA ASKED ABOUT STADIUM

Auckland mayor Dick Hubbart is adamant Ngati Whatua has been consulted about a proposed waterfront stadium in Auckland.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says tangata whenau appear to have been overlooked in the scramble to find a venue for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

But Mr Hubbard says as far as he's concerned the right approaches have been made by Sports Minister Trevor Mallard, and Ngati Whatua will also get a mayoral visit.

“Trevor Mallard was insistent that he talked to the chief executive of Ngati Whatua, who said they had no problem, but they would work with Auckland city, I’ll be heading up there shortly and talking to Grant Hawke and talking to Ngati Whatua as well, but all I can do is repeat those messages that we have received from Trevor Mallard that the contact was made,” Hubbard says.

Dick Hubbard says a waterfront stadium will add vibrancy to the city's central business district.

INDIGENOUS VILLAGE SOUTH ABOUT TO OPEN

Tourism entrepreneur Mike Tamaki says the new Maori village development in Christchurch will take the indigenous cultural experience to another level.

The $6 million Old Christchurch Town and Pa is due to open in Ferrymead before Christmas.

Mr Tamaki says the colonial and Maori village will include all the features the Tamaki brothers include at their Rotorua operation, including a guided walk through the village and a Maori feast.
It uses interactive technology to tell visitors about Maori history, as well as some more immediate experiences.

“What I've always wanted to do, take the whole of the indigenous cultural experience to another level. What we’ve been seeing over the years, in terms of indigenous experiences worldwide, is the same all over the world. They all offer a feed and a dance. What we want to do is go further, take portions of New Zealand history out of time and re-enacting them,” Tamaki says.

Mike Tamaki says he hopes the project will help make Christchurch a tourism destination in its own right, rather than a gateway to the south.

WAR MEMORIAL OPENED IN LONDON

An East Coast man who has been collecting the stories of the 28 Maori Battalion, says Maori can take pride in the memorial recognising the contribution New Zealandf forces made in the two world wars.

The bronze memorial in London's Hyde Park was unveiled over the weekend.

Monty Souter says Maori can feel a special sense of pride in the achievements of Maori soldiers.

“We did our part as we promised under the treaty. The think I look at is nobody can ever point the finder at us and say we didn’t do our bit. We were always there when the call went out, and we performed, I’m sure, above and beyond the call of duty,” Souter says.

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