Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Lessors change locks on departing tenant

Tensions between Maori landowners and Carter Holt Harvey owner Graeme Hart are could flare into open war today when King Country lessors plan to change the locks on two forests.

Spokesperson Willy Te Aho says Carter Holt refused to negotiate with the owners before selling off the forests to a North American hedge fund.

Mr Te Aho says the original leases were signed with New Zealand Forest Products, and they worked well for almost 25 years.

But he says relationships have deteriorated since Mr Hart's Rank Group bought into Carter Holt.

“You develop the spirit of agreements, and we have been the benefactor of the spirit of that agreement, and now it’s back to the black and white bottom line lease, and so if that’s the case, we’re looking at the lease and saying Carter Holt Harvey you are in breach, there was no assignment, you’ve done a back door approach to it, and accordingly we are going to reenter our lands,” Te Aho says.

Willie Te Aho says the owners want to buy the leases back at commercial rates, so they can use the wood for their own downstream processing ventures.

He says landowners are willing to face the legal and financial consequences of re-entering the leases of land which is now part of Carter Holt Harvey's forestry estate.

Mr Te Aho says they expect to be in court before the end of the month, when the sale is due to be completed.

“For the owners, if the court finds we were wrong, there will be damages. There will be damage for I guess, in every lease there is quiet enjoyment, and the fact we re-enter, take over that lease, change the security, change the locks on the gate, there will be damages that arise from that.”

Willie Te Aho says if the landowners lose, they will still be entitled to stumpage fees.


A new book to be launched today lids the lid on Maori tribal enterprise in early colonial New Zealand.

Chiefs of Industry, by Auckland University academic Hazel Petrie, is the first comprehensive look at two sectors dominated by Maori in the 1840s and 1850s, coastal shipping and flower milling.

Dr Petrie says Maori were very influential in the economic development of the early settler period.

“It has been recognized that Maori did make an enormous contribution to the development of the early colonial period and that they were really strong in the areas of coastal shipping and flour milling, but until now no one had done any extensive study on it,” Petrie says.

Hazel Petrie's book will be launched tonight at Auckland University's Waipapa Marae by Steve Murray of Ngati Kuri, who heads up the New Zealand branch of global technology services group EDS.


Today is the 8th of November, or, as it's known in the Ratana Church, Te Ra Waru o Noema.

It's of spiritual significance to church followers, or morehu, because it's the day when founder Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana had his first vision of the Holy Spirit on the slopes of Mount Taranaki.

Ratana apotoro or apostle Raiti Aperahama says the morehu still pay homage to their founder and the vision he had on that day.


Outspoken Gisborne District councilor Atareta Poananga says East Coast Maori don't stand a chance of getting their own representative wards, despite making up a significant percentage of the region's population.

The council has just completed a representation review, and decided to stick with its current system of 14 councilors elected from seven wards under first past the post voting.

Ms Poananga says while Maori wanted a change, it was a waste of time trying to get it through the cumbersome processes of the Local Government Act.

She says many Maori feel it is better to put their energy into national politics.


The author of a book says on tribal businesses during the 1840s and 1850s says the subject hasn't been studied before because many of the source documents are in Maori.

Hazel Petrie, a post-doctoral fellow at Auckland University's Mira Szaszy Centre for Maori Economic Development, says communities cooperated with each other to buy ships and flour mills.

She says these enterprises haven't been taking seriously by earlier historians, and finding information about them was like looking for needles in haystacks.

“Among the most useful sources I found, in addition to the usual government records, official records, missionary journals and those sorts of things, there was a lot of material in the Maori language newspapers and also in correspondence from Maori people, A lot of it is in Maori language, and I think that has put off a lot of people looking through this material,” Petrie says.

The book Chiefs of Enterprise will be launched at Auckland University's Waipapa Marae tonight.


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