Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Maori landowners consider brand

Maori landowners are looking at whether they should come up with their own brand to take their products to the world.

Federation of Maori Authorities executive vice chairperson Paul Morgan says that's the sort of issue Foma members will be discussing at their annual hui in Rotorua over the next three days.

Mr Morgan says it has been 20 years since the first FOMA hui was held, also in Rotorua, and members will be looking ahead to the next 20 years.

He says members are used to taking a long term view.

“We're landowners. We’re not going to sell our land, and we have to look at strategies to maximize our returns on our land, and we’ve got to decide iw we want to just be producers or whether we want to look at the processing, whether we wish to become exporters in our own right and whether or not we wish to develop a unique branded position so customers around the world can relate to the product and where it comes from,” Morgan says.

Paul Morgan says the success of Tohu Wines shows how Maori brands can work on a world stage, and large incorporations like the East Coast Mangatu Blocks are also starting to produce their own branded products.

TE URI O HAU LOBBY FOR COASTAL RESORT CONSENT

A Northland hapu is lobbying the Department of Conservation over its plans to build an 850 section coastal resort settlement.

Te Uri o Hau this week flew Conservation Minister Chris Carter over the land at Te Arai, just south of Mangawhai, which it received as part of a treaty settlement.

Development committee chairperson Sir Graham Latimer says the hapu wanted to show the minister how it plans to protect the breeding grounds of the endangered fairy tern, which nests in the dunes.

It issue could be critical for winning consent for the project, which also needs a scheme change from Rodney District Council.

“We're concerned because we’ve gone and made preparations to look after the birds to see that there’s no animals that can destroy them, trying to do that. Course there’s a lot of while country down there, and it will be a while to say that all the possums and wild cats are out of the forest,” Sir Graham says.

Sir Graham Latimer says Te Uri o Hau is trying to develop its resources so it is not dependent on anyone else.

LASER TECHNOLOGY TO IMAGE ARTIFACTS

Maori artifacts at the Auckland Museum are being to turned into three dimensional images by engineering students.

The students are working with museum staff to use laser scanning technology to create the images for documentation and research.

Curator Maori Chanelle Clark says it's a safer way to manage the often fragile items than previous techniques.

“Machine scans it without having to move the taonga at all, whereas if you are taking a photo you usually having to pick it up and turn it around. It is more a safe way to document and also to help preserve them,” Clark says.

MINISTER ENDORSES FOMA CONTRIBUTION

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says the Federation of Maori Authorities has become a major force for Maori development.

The federation starts its annual hui in Rotorua today, with more than 350 representatives of land trusts and incorporation booked to attend.

Mr Horomia says there is only so much government can do, and it is important Maori find their own ways of advancing.

“Foma is a great organisation that’s done its bit for Maori, like the Maori Council, the Maori Women’s Welfare League, national organisations like Congress, trying to bring together our collective might through information and creating opportunities for our people,” Horomia says.

Parekura Horomia says Foma has been in the forefront of identifying international marketing opportunities for Maori and coordinating joint ventures to improve the use of collectively held resources.

MAORI CONCEPTS PART OF SCHOOLS’ ENVIRONMENT PUSH

The MP charged with overseeing an environmental education programme in schools says Maori concepts will be included.

Meteria Turei says funding for the kaupapa, which was part of the deal made by the Greens in exchange for their support of a Labour led government, becomes available in the new year.

She says the programme will target teachers in both the mainstream and Maori immersion sectors.

Ms Turei says it will cover a range of issue, including the Maori dimension.

“The money we've got secured for it will set up a Maori development aspect in environmental education who will then supply that support to schools, so it will take a while for it to kick in to the classrooms. We worked with Maori environmental educators to find the best structure that let them pursue environmental education in a Maori context,” Turei says.

WANANGA FOR MUSIC IN TE REO

The sound of waiata will ring through Wellington High School's Taraika Marae today as part of an initiative to increase the number of musicians who can perform in a Maori language environment.

Today's Papamahi Waiata Manaaki Tangata workshop is leading up to the Pao Pao Pao! Concert later this month.

National Maori Music Summit project manager Ngahiwi Apanui says the pool of Maori language musicians is drying up.

“When we kind of look at who’s doing kaupapa Maori music and music in te reo Maori, the ranks are getting decidedly grey. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t have more artists doing music in te reo Maori, but for some reason we seem to be getting fewer and fewer,” Apanui says.

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