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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, November 17, 2006

Manuhiri arrive at Pukawa for major hui

Ngati Mananui hapu of Ngati Tuwharetoa will this morning start welcoming the thousands of guests expected for the opening of the new Pukawa Marae on the shores of Lake Taupo.

The hui is expected to be one of the most significant hui of recent times, as tribes take up the invitation to discuss whether Maoridom needs a new national structure, and how the tribes can support the new Maori king.

King Tuheitia will be one of the first to arrive, along with a large delegation from Tainui bringing the kawe mate or memory of the late Maori queen.

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says the site is significant because it is where chiefs gathered in 1856 to confirm Tainui's Potatau Te Wherowhero as the first Maori king.

Mr Horomia says that makes the hui's main event, the opening a a meeting house before dawn tomorrow, particularly significant.

“It's about opening the wharenui at Pukawa which recognizes where all our chiefs met in 1856, and it’s only been marked by a big boulder there, and they’ve been wanting to put a wharenui up there for years,” Horomia says.


Massey University Maori language programme coordinator Taiarahia Black says Maori expectations of the education system are not being met.

Professor Black says yesterday's protest by Hato Paora Maori Boys School about the draft curriculum is symptomatic of wider concerns about the place of Maori.

Representatives from the Feilding Maori boys boarding school told Education Minister Steve Maharey that te reo Maori should be a curriculum area in its own right alongside English, rather than being grouped with other languages.

Professor Black says the removal of references to the Treaty of Waitangi from the curriculum is also cause for alarm.


Labour list MP Shane Jones, says a promised shake up within Television New Zealand's Maori programming department is overdue.

Chief executive Rick Ellis told the Commerce select committee yesterday the review was part of TVNZ's shift to digital broadcasting.

Mr Jones, a member of the committee, says Maori families have been waiting for a long time for TVNZ to improve its service to them.

IN: We don't like the times the programmes are forced to be shown in, and also there’s a tired and somewhat dated approach to a lot of the Maori programming, and I think a far ranging review wouldn't go astray,” Jones says.

Shane Jones says digital television offers the promise of a dedicated Maori channel coming from TVNZ.


A stand off between Television New Zealand and Maori broadcast funding agency Te Mangai paho appears to be over, with TVNZ chief executive Rick Ellis reporting to parliament's commerce select committee that the agency has committed $5 million for Maori programming over the next year.

Committee member Shane Jones says that should give TVNZ some certainty as it reviews its infrastructure and operations for the transition to digital television.


The final report to the United Nations from this week's Indigenous People's Forum on Tobacco Use in South Auckland is likely to feature a theme of self determination.

That's the view of Maori Smokefree Coalition director, Shane Kawana Bradbrook, who attended the three day hui.

Mr Bradbrook says there were strong submissions from native Americans, Hawaiians, Thais, Australian Aboriginals, Maori and other groups.
Shane Bradbrook says the World Health Organisation is planning another forum before next June.


The annual Maori music summit will climax tonight with a concert at the Wellington Opera House.

Organiser Ngahiwi Apanui says it features the cream of Maori musicians as well as up coming contenders.

Mr Apanui says the Pao Pao Pao summit and concert are becoming important ways to develop Maori artists and bring them through to a wider audience.

“The more artists we have coming through, the more Maori we have interested in music, the stronger the music there will be, because we will have more competition. Then you have the development and the promotion and the showcasing and stuff,” Ngahiwi Apanui says.


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