Waatea News Update

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

My Photo
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Saturday, June 17, 2006

National testing could hurt immersion schooling

A Maori educator says a push by the National Party to introduce nationwide testing for primary schools could harm Maori education initiatives.

National's education spokesman Bill English says the Education Ministry doesn't know which schools and which students are failing, because it doesn't test for literacy and numeracy.

But Maori education consultant Te Ariki Pihama, a former kura kaupapa principal, says Maori immersion schools need to develop their own standards.

“Obviously we are going to have different requirements and standards in immersion systems than mainstream schools. It’s not to say one is better than the other, but there are some fundamental differences, and being able to recognise that,” Pihama said.

Te Ariki Pihama says rather than create testing regimes where pupils are seen to fail, the education system needs to find other ways to address under-achievement.


An attempted law change which would have forced iwi and hapu to put up large bonds before they could challenge developments in their tribal areas has been defeated.

A bill put up by National backbench list MP Kate Wilkinson came before parliament this week, but failed to win enough votes to proceed to the select committee stage.

Shane Jones, the head of Labour's Maori caucus, says the bill would have particularly affected Maori.

He says Labour's Maori MPs recognise there are shortcomings in the Resource Management Act, but Ms Wilkinson's bill was not the way to solve them.

“Now where there are cases where hapu or individual Maori are trying to game the system, it is not right they are able to do that, but neither is it correct that only with a fat chequebook should you have the opportunity to stand your ground and have your say in the environment court,” Jones said.

Shane Jones says the local authorities and the Environment Court already have powers to stop people making frivolous objections to developments, and those powers will be strengthened by changes coming into force next year.


Auckland is the latest region to embrace the Maori new year, or Matariki.

North Shore community liaison manager Lisa Tocker says planned events over the next month include a women's well being hui, kapa haka and a hikoi.

Ms Tocker says most of the celebrations will be focused round the arts, with the four local councils working closely nwith Creative New Zealand Maori arts arm Toi Maori

Ms Tocker who is also a member of Maori Arts group Toi Whenua says they're taking a holistic approach to organising the Matariki festival this year:

“What we're trying to do is spread awareness of Matariki, that it is a unique celebration for Aoteraroa, and to invite as much public participation in this as possible,” Tocker said


Labour's Maori Caucus chairman is defending the inclusion in a Maori affairs wash-up bill of measure setting a September 2008 deadline for lodging historical treaty claims.

Green and Maori Party MPs say the issue is so contentious it should be in a separate bill.

Shane Jones says there is a long tradition in Maori affairs of wrapping up administrative and policy measures in a miscellaneous purposes bill.

He Jones says the deadline was clearly signalled in Labour's election policy, and expects a large number of submissions when the bill gets to the Maori Affiars Select Committee.


There are representatives there from New Zealand First, National, Labour and the Maori Party. I am quite confident when it is reported back, everyone will have had a chance to have had their say. But the policy was quite clear during the election,” Jones said.

Shane Jones says the way the Waitangi Tribunal has been working, it is almost certain historical claims have been lodged for every part of the country .


Terry Smith, the head of the Environmental Risk Management Authority's Maori advisory board, Nga Kaihautu, says the relationship between ERMA and Maori is going from strength to strength.

Nga Kaihautu reported back to iwi resource managers and other kaitiaki at its annual hui in Rotorua today.

Mr Smith says while in its first couple of years the work of Nga Kauhautu was dominated by applications for genetic modification, its workload has changed.

“A lot of the activity in ERMA is around hazardous substances. Our people haven’t really engaged in that conversation. It is one of the areas where we are building up the understanding and engagement of our people, things like detergents and sprays and pesticides,” Smith said.

Terry Smith says the big issue coming up is an application to reassess the use of 1080 poison for possum control.


A young academic from Te Rarawa has won a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to study ethno-botany at the University of Hawaii.

Rebecca Fuller will spend the next three years studying the relationship between plants and people.

Her masters thesis at the University of Auckland was on Maori relationships to fungi, and she is looking forward to comparing the data she compiled with other information gathered from around the Pacific.

Ms Fuller hopes her studies will bring her back to New Zealand.

Fulbright Scholarships were set up 60 years ago to promote understanding between the United States and the rest of the world.

Claim deadline breach of natural justice

The New Zealand Maori Council could challenge legislation setting a deadline of 2008 for lodging historical treaty claims.

Spokesman Maanu Paul says the Crown is breaching its treaty obligation protect Maori.

He says the early deadline is a breach of natural justice.

“Natural justice does not recognise time. The issue for me is that Maori require its treaty partner the Crown to exercise its responsibility under Article One of the treaty, that is to govern fairly and consistently in exercising natural justice,” Paul said.


Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon is backing a review of the way the rating system affects Maori land.

His council's latest rate review has resulted in massive rate increases for many collectively owned Maori blocks, especially in coastal area, sparking howls of outrage.

Mr Foon says Maori have a different connection to their land than general titleholders, as they are unlikely to be sitting on it for capital gain.

He says Maori owners recognise they do need to pay some rates.

“Even though there might be tsunamis, they still like to live by the sea, that is a worldwide phenomenon. From a Maori point of view, when it comes to Maori title land, there needs to be some formula for us to work with,” Foon said.


Prominent Northland kuia Saana Murray says guns have been a part of Maori communities for nearly 200 years and are still used on ceremonial occasions.

Tuhoe activist Tame Iti is on trial in Rotorua in connection with the alleged use of a firearm in a powhiri for Waitangi Tribunal members last year.

Mrs Murray says she supports Iti's claim that the use of guns can be a part of tikanga on some marae.

She says in rural Maori villages, guns are a feature of life.

“The heralding of the new year, you hear the guns being fired in our villages, so full support to Tame Iti, and his tribe, being in control of all the tikanga kaupapa of their tribe,” Murray said.


Waitakere City is is becoiming the first local body to develop an economic development strategy for Maori.

Strategist Amokura Panoho says the Maori creative sector is likely to play a key role in economic development in West Auckland.

She says Maori involved in the sector will meet this month at Hoani Waititi to discuss how to fit in with the wider strategy.

“It seemed appropriate to look at where we are making inroads economically, and it’s fair to say in the Maori creative sector we are starting to have a significant presence,” Panoho said.


About 50,000 people have so far responded to the Maori Electoral Option, but it's too early to say whether there will be an eighth Maori seat at the next general election.

Maori voters are given a chance after each five-yearly census to say whether they want to be on the Maori or the general roll.

A 14 thousand net increase in the Maori roll will result in a new seat.

Chief electoral officer Murray Wicks says at the halfway point, interest in the option has tailed off, so it's time for a reminder.

“We’ve sent out 330,000 little postcards just reminding people if they want to change the roll types, they’ve only got until the second of August, and they need to send their form back,” Wicks said.

Murray Wicks says many of the responses have been to say the voter doesn't want to switch rolls, or to correct address details.


The cultural director of Te Wananga o Aotearoa, Napi Waaka, says the Maori tertiary institution's management has succeeded in matching its resourcing with expected student numbers.

The wananga has cut more than 300 management and administrative staff as it copes with funding based on 18,000 equivalent full time students, compared with more than 30,000 EFTS at its peak.

Mr Waaka says rather than have a manager for each campus around the country, it now has five senior managers with regional responsibilities.

Programmes are administered centrally, rather than at each campus, and the wananga has dropped many courses which competed with the traditional polytechnic sector.

Mr Waaka says the government is still calling the shots.

“Today we’re economising, based on the government’s request that we need to make sure we’re not duplicating the same kings of processes and structures, all round the country, and we need to cut down, in order to be in line with the low number of students we’ve got currently,” Waaka said,

Napi Waaka says the pressure is for the wananga to just concentrate on Maori knowledge.


Okaihau College in Northland is a step closer to getting a marae with the news the project has been granted $180 thousand by the ASB Trust.

Principal Alan Forgie says the school is now just waiting for resource consent for building to start.

About 70 percent of the school's 400 students are Maori.

Mr Forgie says the marae will be an asset for the whole community, which lies between Moerewa and Kaikohe.

“We’ve got marae around the place, not one in Okaihau. We’ve got students coming from the Hokianga, Umawera, Horeke. This will give us something in the settlement itself. One of the great benefits I find about them is it’s a neutral place to meet parents, a venue they’re comfortable with. Otherwise they’re in my office, and that’s not always comfortable for people at all,” Forgie said.

Waitangi Tribunal revisits fauna claim

The Waitangi Tribunal faces another torrid day in Auckland today as lawyers for argue over how the Wai 262 claim for indigenous fauna and flora should proceed.

The judicial conference is supposed to sort out how to proceed with final hearings on the claim, which was lodged more than 15 years ago.

One of the original claimants, Saana Murray from the far north Ngati Kuri tribe, says the claim is about issues at the heart of Maori existence in Aotearoa.

"We survived with our own methods handed down for centuries to us and we are claiming the return of taonga to our people. Be it the taonga above and below the ocean, above and below the land. It wasn't ceded to any government," Murray said.

A major issue at the judicial conference will be whether more Maori organsiations, including the New Zealand Maori Council, can join the claim.


Maori architects and town planners believe councils could do more to incorporate Maori values into public spaces.

Maori urban design professionals, iwi and local government representatives meet in Waitakere City today to discuss the place of Maori in the urban environment.

Workshop facilitator Rau Hoskins says Maori are now predominantly urban people, so it is important cities reflect their values and aspirations. He says to do that, Maori need to have a greater say in local bodies.

"I think the key here is getting away from slapping up a whakairo or a sculpture and say 'well theres your Maori flavour that we will add to the clivic square or this building foyer or what ever else. It's really getting right back down to the broader issues of uncovering scared spaces. Sites of importance to Maori and celebrating them in appropriate ways," Hoskins said.

Rau Hoskins says Waitakere City seems to be ahead of most other cultures in acknowledging its Maori citizens.


A man who has been a major influence on Maori golf says today is the first time two Maori will tee off in the US Open.

Vic Pirihi was running a Maori golfing academy when the pair, Phillp Tataurangi and Michael Campell, were teenagers. He says he's particularly pleased to see Tataurangi in the field after being out of the circuit with a debilitating back injury. Mr Pirihi says the pair have been an inspiration for other Maori golfers, and deserve their places on the starting tee.

"We've been doing this for twenty years, bringing kids on, and these two are stand outs. There are lots that gone by the way but it's like the old old story, if you're not prepared to do the work, you'll never make it. These two have worked really hard and that's why they're there," Pirihi said.

Vic Pirihi says he will be surprised if Michael Campbell can repeat his winning effort from last year.


The Maori Council and the Federation of Maori Authorities will today seek to join the long running Wai 262 claim for indigenous plants and animals.

The Waitangi Tribunal is holding a judicial conference in Auckland today on how the claim should proceed.

Richard Nathan, the claims manager for the Toitokerau District Maori Council, says the issues in the claim are relevant to all Maori, which makes it important that the Maori Council lend a hand.

He says some Maori have become alarmed at where the claim seems to be heading.

"Originally they started with the historical ramifications. There's been a change in direction in regards to contemporary and future developments and you know that's been a change of whether it's the tribunal or whether there is an interest from the crown in an change of direction," Nathan says.

He says the Maori Council has a lot of experience mounting claims and negotiating settlements, so it should be able to make a useful contribution.


National's treaty spokesperson Gerry Brownlee says the settlement of Ngati Whatua's claims to Auckland city may not survive a change of government.

Mr Brownlee says the settlement is the most generous yet reached, because of the provisions which allow Ngati Whatua o Orakei to buy surplus Crown land - including large swathes of naval housing on the North Shore.

He says he is infuriated by the secrecy over the negotiations, and over the way the Government is trying to say the deal is worth only $10 million.

Mr Brownlee says settlements need overwhelming support to be enduring, and National has any number of reasons to withhold that support.

"One is the arrogance of the government, two, is the stupidity of Ngati Whatua for no talking to us then I guess the third aspect is the fact that there's no one is being honest about the extent of this settlement," Brownlee says.

He says the Ngati Whatua settlement seems to ignore the very real concerns of neighbouring iwi about their claims to parts of Auckland.


Te Wananga o Aotearoa could be ready to start growing again.

What was once the largest tertiary institution in the country has been slashed back over the past year under the direction of Crown managers and appointees.

Staff were laid off, courses like trade training and business studies were dropped, and the wananga was instructed to concentrate on courses relating to Maori language and culture.

But wananga cultural adviser Napi Waaka says there are indications the cap of 18,000 equivalent full time student places could be lifted.

"We're talking and the government said can we get 23, 000 and the Maori said yes we can. Why? Because we've go the keys that open up the doors of the marae, of the hapu, of the iwi and very few of our other tertiary brothers and sisters can do that. And there are people waiting to come back in," Waaka said.

Napi Waaka says Te Wananga o Aotearoa would be keen to revive its trade training operations, because it has particular skills in that area.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Iti shots compared to Naval salutes

The son of a leading figure in the Maori rights movement, says there is a place for symbolic protests.

Joseph Cooper, the son of the late Maori Land March leader Whina Cooper, says Tuhoe activist Tame Iti's shooting of a New Zealand flag should be seen as part of a long tradition, like Hone Heke cutting down the flagpole at Kororareka or Mike Smith cutting down the pine on One Tree Hill.

Iti is on trial in Rotorual District Court on a charge of unlawful possion of a firearm, in connection with a protest during a welcome for Waitangi Tribunal members in Ruatoki last year.

Mr Cooper says Iti's actions could be compared to the rituals the Crown puts on every Waitangi Day in the north.

"And you have the strong guns booming out in the harbour from the frigates that take part. What is that? Is that a show of strength, or some other means of celebration? So this is a symbolic gesture on his part," Cooper said.


Prime Minister Helen Clark says she has no fears about a Pacific party splitting off to join the Maori Party.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is encouraging embattled Mangere MP Taito Philip Field to quit Labour and form such a party, saying he would be in a good position to win concessions for his people.

But Ms Clark says Mr Field has made it very clear he is sticking with his current party.

IN: He is a very loyal member of the Labour Party. Labour Party's been good to him. He's been good to us as well. End of story. Unfortunately, loyalty wasn't something Mrs Turia understood wehn she was a member," Clark said.

Helen Clark says Labour values its relations with the Pacific Islands communities, taking more than 80 percent of the Pasifika vote in the last election.


Tainui MP Nanaia Mahuta says Koi carp are causing a huge amount of damage to a Waikato Lake.

Ms Mahuta says the Lake Taupo and the Rotorua lakes settlements have resulted in increased interest among Maori about pollution in lakes.

She says the threat facing Lake Waikare near Te Kauwhata is a population explosion of introduced freshwater fish.

"Ongoing degradation as a result of having koi carp in the lake, and that is breaking down the wildlife that filters the water. They have to find a way of growing plants in the lake and getting rid of the carp. One of the ways is growing freshwater mussels, which filter quite a bit of the water," Mahuta said.


The Maori arm of the Environmental Risk Management Authority expects huge Maori interest in the recertification process for 1080 poison.

Spokesperson Zack Bishara says the possum killing poison will be on the agenda of Nga Kaihautu's annual hui at Rotorua today, at which it reports back to Maori on its activities.

Mr Bishara says there is Maori have concerns about pest eradication programmes, but they also want to ensure the natural environment is protected.

"The area of potential impact these substances could have to te iwi Maori is to the mauri of taonga species, perhaps flora and fauna, and iwi are concerned substances like this are having and adverse impact beyond our control," Bishara said.

Zack Bishara says while some iwi oppose 1080, others have seen birdlife return to their forests after poisoning programmes.


New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says using the military to train young Maori who are going off the rails is a good investment in the future.

The party's defence spokesperson, former soldier Ron Mark, is advocating such a policy, and it is part of New Zealanbd First's manifesto.

Mr Peters says too many young Maori are leaving school without qualifications, losing their way with their parents, and causing problems in the community.

Expanding the the Limited Service Volunteer and cadet core schemes is a way to give those teenagers a second chance.

Gisborne mayor Meng Foon says he is keen to find ways to strengthen his council's relationship with Maori.

Te Runanga o Turanganui-a-kiwa and Te Runanaga o Ngati Oneone are asking the for the council's long term council community plan give mana whenua iwi a more formal role in the region's governance.

Mr Foon says his office enjoys a good relationship with Maori, but there is always more that can be done.

"We have a process at the present time where they can come and participate in our process, but more particularly they want us to come and participate in theirs," Foon said.

PM defends Auckland treaty deal

The Prime Minister says the Ngati Whatua settlement for central Auckland is a good one, and cross claims unlikely to upset it.

Hauraki and Tainui tribes say the proposed settlement includes areas they have strong traditional attachments, too, but the secretive nature of the negotiations meant their views were not considered.

Helen Clark says even if Ngati Whatua's claims had been heard through the Waitangi Tribunal, it was probably inevitable there would be people holding different views.

She says more important is widespread support for the settlement process, including an editorial in the New Zealand Herald newspaper.

"“It does bring joy to the iwi, it does bring some redress which enables people to rebuild their economic base and get on with doing some good for their people, and it makes iwi significant participants and investors in the local economy, and that is good for all of us, so I think we’re over the threshold,” Clark said.


Labour list MP Dover Samuels saying too many of Tame Iti's protest actions are offensive and unacceptable.

The Tuhoe activist is in court in Rotorua defending a firearms charge stemming from a protest when the Waitangi Tribunal started its hearings on the Tuhoe Claim last year.

Mr Samuels says Iti should apologise to Maori for spitting on the marae, shooting the NZ flag and various other action during the powhiri for the tribunal.

He says it is a clear breach of Maori tikanga and kawa.

“If his kaumatua and kuia and Tuhoe think their kawa should encompass spitting on the marae, showing off his raho or penis, shooting the flag, then I would be very surprised,” Samuels said.


Maori Language Commission chief executive Haami Piripi says the growth in popularity of Matariki or Maori new year is overdue.

Matariki has grown into a significant event with more than 30,000 people taking part in celebrations in Hawkes Bay alone last year.

The occasion will be celebrated in communities around the country both and after the actual day, which this year is June the 27th.

Mr Piripi says the renaissance of Matariki over the past decade has been community-driven.

“Matariki emerged as an iwi event. People digging up the writings,of their ancestors, From there, smaller community groups started seeing the value of it. In fact in New Zealand we don’t celebrate any indigenous festivals, and we thought Matariki was a good thing to do,” Piripi said.


Prime Minister Helen Clark says the use of firearms in Maori welcomes needs to be resolved.

Tuhoe activist Tame Iti is on trial in Rotorua for unlawful possion of a firearm during a powhiri for the Waitangi Tribunal near Ruatoki last year.

Ms Clark says while she had no fears for her own safety when Iti discharged a firearm at one powhiri she attended, the police have been concerned by some of his theatrical protests.

"When we're all out and about, do we expect to see someone brandishing a gun. No we don't. We take a much stronger views towards firearm than someone wielding a stick -taiaha or whatever in a ceremony of a traditional kind. I think that is the issue that has to be dealt with in some way," Clark said.


The Maori Party says adopting a Maori collective approach to solving environmental and infrastructure problems is the way to go.

The party's spokesperson on environmental issues Te Ururoa Flavell says politicians don't have all the answers to problems such as Auckland's recent power blackouts.

Mr Flavell says putting aside political hats in the interests of the country is the mature response but hasn't yet been embraced by parliament.

He insists that planning and co-operation are the key to overcoming these and other challenges:


New Zealand First defence spokesperson Ron Mark says the government should use the military to train up at risk young Maori.

Mark, a former army soldier, says he can't understand the resistance to compulsory military training.

He says the Limited Service Volunteer and cadet core schemes are ideal for building confidence, self-esteem, responsibility, and self-discipline among young people who are going off the rails.

"New Zealand First has always advocated that line, it is core NZ First policy, we publish that policy every election, and still people who say they want it don't vote for us in the numbers that would make it a reality in Parliament," Mark said.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Maori Party leader wants Pasifika branch

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says she would like to see a politcal organisation representing not only Maori but also Pacific Island peoples.

The only previous attempt at such a liaison, Tau Henare's Mauri Pacific Party, failed to make an impact on voters when it stood candidates in the 1999 general election.

Mrs Turia is urging embattled Mangere MP, Taito Phillip Field to leave the Labour Party.

She says that would create an opportunity for Maori and Polynesian to work together more effectively on political issues.

“It is a relationship based on whakapapa anyway. We are Polynesian people too. We are people of the Pacific. They are our closest relatives living here in this land. It would make sense that we would work together in our common interest,” Turia said.


Head of Maori Studies at Auckland's Manukau Institute of Technology, Wiremu Doherty, a former kura kaupapa principal, says the problems children bring to school adds significant stress to the job of teaching.

Many Maori teachers find it difficult to turn their backs on kids who are disadvantaged or carry emotional baggage from home.

“Some of these come to school without the basics, let alone trying to teach them. Most of these kids are hungry, they are cold, and sadly most are Maori who fall into that category and I guess this is possibly why a lot of our Maori teachers wind up burnt out,” Doherty said.

Wiremu Doherty says Maori teachers should be treasured as taongabecause they are not easily replaced:


Maori media personality, Stacey Daniels, who is now Stacey Morrison, since her marriage earlier in the year, will be one of the keynote speakers at a youth summit being held in Manukau City tomorrow.

It will bring together 120 teenagers with leadership potential, and will focus on issues of concern to them and the communities they live in.

Mrs Morrison says although she didn't grow up in Manukau , Aranui in Christchurch, where she grew up has similar social issues.

She says it's important for young people to talk candidly in a safe environment about the problems they face, and ways to deal with them.


The tribes of Tai Tokerau, from Ngati Kuri to Ngati Whatua, are backing Green Party MP Sue Bradford's anti smacking bill.

Judy Steel, the CEO of Te Runanga o Whaingaroa, says Maori statistics on violence within the whanau don't make for good reading, and it's time for Maori communities in Taitokerau to do something about it.

She says Ngapuhi are the first iwi in the country to go public with their support for the anti smacking legislation, and she predicts others will follow.


The organiser of a major conference on traditional knowledge, Joe te Rito, says the event at Wellington's Te Papa Tongarewa Museum over the next three days is about looking forward, not looking back.

The Matauranga Taketake conference brings together academics from the multi-university Nga Pae o te Maramatanga centre for Maori research excellence with international indigenous speakers.

Mr Te Rito says flax roots community groups working with the research centre will also take part.

He says the emphasis is on indigenous visions of well-being.

“Many of our conferences are based upon looking backwards into our sad history, so this time we’re looking to positivity and looking to solutions for some of the situations we find ourselves in as Maori and indeed as indigenous people in the wider world,” Te Rito said.


New Zealand First MP Pita Paraone says it is wrong to expect the general public to monitor what is reasonable force, if the government can't.

Mr Paraone says he will vote against Green MP Sue Bradford's anti-smacking bill because while the intent is commendable, the law would be ard to apply.

He says force can be applied in many ways.

“We tend to when considering this issue, just look at physical force. There are other sorts of force. The use of language. Again, how do you define what is reasonable and what isn’t,” Paroane said.

Pita Paraone says the issue is more likely to be resolved through education than legislation.

Right of first refusal valuable for iwi

Ngati Whatua chairman Sir Hugh Kawharu says the tribe's settlement giving it right of first refusal to buy surplus Crown land in in Auckland will boost the financial value of the settlement.

The cost of the settlement of the hapu's historical claims is put at $10 million, but it is the first settlement since Ngai Tahu which includes the surplus land provision.

Sir Hugh says the deal is particularly valuable because it covers some of the country's most sought after commercial real estate.

IN: We've located a large number of Crown properties that over time may come on the market, and we are at the head of the queue to take advantage of that," Sir Hugh said.

Sir Hugh Kawharu says Ngati Whatua already has experience with surplus land, having bought the Auckland central railway station lands a decade ago for $40 million.

To raise the funds to buy the land, it sold a 150 year lease on the land to a developer, and granted a 15 year holiday on the ground rents.


A veteran Maori social worker says police need more training to help them deal with mentally ill people.

Taotahi Pihama, a mental health specialist, says some of the new front line officers don't know how to handle some of the mentally ill Maori in the community, many of whom can become violent and dangerous if dealt with the wrong way.

Mr Pihama says police are likely to come into contact with mate wairangi or mentally ill, so they should be prepared.

"This means more training for them in termsof how they apprehend people and knowing how to work with this, because their role is purely to make sure people don't break the law. When they break the law they have to enforce the law. Historically, police are enforcers but now they have to be more than enforcers," Pihama said.


The Maori New Year or Matariki celebrations are the start of a move toward acknowledging other significant events on the Maori calendar.

That's the view of Wharehoka Wano, who is organising Wellington Matariki celebrations for the first of July.

Mr Wano says these initiatives are part of a conscious effort to raise the awareness of the wider community to things Maori.

He says the true meaning and purpose of Matariki in the Maori world was more practical.

"There's parts of our Maori community not only celebrating Matariki but also using it to help them in terms of agricultural development. I think that's good, that we celebrate it in temrs of what the old people did, and I think there are other events in the maori calendar we should acknowledge," Wano said.


Maori Party co leader Tariana Turia is encouraging Mangere MP Taito Phillip Field to leave the Labour Party.

Mr Field is currently sidelined while Queens Counsel Noel Ingram prepares a report on whether he had a conflict of internet in requesting a New Zealand work permit for a Thai national who tiled his house in Samoa.

Ms Turia says Mr Field could achieve more for Pacific Island people outside Labour.

"He actually is sitting in a strong political position because that is the seat that would determine government numbers. He could use that to lever the government to get what he wants for his people. He may still go into an alliance, but he would be in a much stronger position," Turia said.


The final four Maori members to sit on Manukau City Council's 18 strong Treaty of Waitangi Committee have been chosen.

The taura here members will represent Maoriwhose tribal areas are outside South Auckland.

The four are George Ngatai from Ngati Awa, Barry Tumai from Ngati Maniapoto, Rose Whaiapu from Ngapuhi and Tuu McLean from Ngai Tuhoe.

Mr McLean says the committee has some meaty issues to tackle.

"To strengthen and reaffirm our reasaonings for becoming a standing committee, which is history in the making, and also to use this as a catalyst to put forward arguments to esatblishing a Maori ward in its own right," McLean said.

The standing committee also includes four representatives from the mana whenua tribes and nine elected councillors.


Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, the multi-university institute of research excellence for Maori development and advancement, will give a progress report at its Matauranga Taketake - Traditional Knowledge conference at Te Papa in Wellington tomorrow.

Organiser Joe Te Rito says as well as Maori speakers, the conference will feature indigenous experts from Africal Hawaii and the mainland United States.

Mr Te Rito says the institute aims to increase the value Maori put on education and the value they get out of it.

"One of our objectives is to increase the number of people on PhD programmes to 500, so it comes back to Apirana Ngata and others of our tupuna saying whaia te matauranga," Te Rito says.

Joe Te Rito says more highly educated maori wiould be in a better position to influence public policy regarding Maori.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Concern at Auckland settlement secrecy

A lawyer for the Marutuaha tribes of Hauraki says the Crown has by-passed the Waitangi Tribunal process and reached its central Auckland settlement with Ngati Whatua based on secret and untested historical information.

Paul Majurey says when Hauraki started its Waitangi Tribunal claim, it was told it would get a chance later to prove its interests in Tamaki Makaurau.

But the Agreement in Principle will give Ngati Whatua the right to buy surplus Crown land over a huge area of Auckland, and end and chance other iwi have of claiming that land.

Mr Majurey says the Crown has withheld the historical research it is relying on for the deal.

"If this had a Waitangi tribunal process we all would have had access to this historical material. For some reason that material has been withheld and the public, including ourselves, who have an interest don't have access to the information in which the Crown's relied," Majurey said.

Mr Majurey says as recently as three weeks ago Marutuahu presented the Office of Treaty Settlements with a 576 page independent historical report establishing clear intertests in the North Shore and east Auckland.


Maori language commission chief executive Haami Piripi says a ministerial delegation to the Pacific set a new standard for how Maori can contribute to foreign affairs.

Mr Piripi was part of as large group of MPs, officals and dignataries who accompanied Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters to Vanuatu and the Cook Islands.

He says Maori tikanga or protocols and language were toitally integrated into the process, and the Maori delegates played a vital role in the success of the delegation.

"20 years ago when I traveled with delegation of this nature it was very very different and Maori people were simply tokenistic clip-ons to the process and that is definitely not what it was this time. We at times led the process, we certainly governed many aspects relating to the process, the minister took on board every time we raised an issue, my understanding is that the minister took it on board and considered it fairly and came back with an answer," Piripi said.


Maori-themed weddings are proving a hit among English and American tourists.

Darren and Michelle Brown from Rotorua company Maori Weddings says he's also keen to attract more Japanese interest in their service, which is an offshoot from the hugely successful Tamaki Tours business.

Mr Brown says as a marriage celebrant, he is proud to share his Maori culture with the world.

He says the cultural theme is the sort of experience many tourists are looking for.

"In a love theme or a wedding ceremony that really brings out the aroha of our people. I'm sure you're gonna get people out there that may not be to happy with what you're doing or why you're doing it but I think its nice to share the culture with people on a more personal level and a love theme brings out the love and aroha of who we are," Brown said.


Tuhoe activist Tame Iti says his whole tribe is on trial with him.

Iti is in Rotorua District Court this week facing a charge of unlawfully possessing a firearm, an offence carrying a possible three year jail term.

The charge relates to an incident in January last year when he allegedly fired a shotgun during a powhiri for the Waitangi Tribunal, which was sitting at Ruatoki to hear the claims of the Eastern Bay of Plenty iwi.

Iti says he was acting within Tuhoe tradition.

"It's about the right of Tuhoe to do that because it's about our tikanga and kawa and our tradition, the wero, the use of a firearm is a symbolism of making noise and making ourselves present that's a tradition that Tuhoe and other iwi to have used for many years," Iti said.

The defence is calling 10 witnesses, starting with Iti himself.


An Auckland lawyer says the proposed settlement of Ngati Whatua claims to Auckland city will create fresh breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Paul Majurey act for the Marutuahu tribes of Hauraki, who say they have interests in Auckland and especially on the North Shore, where Ngati Whatua o Orakei will become the landlord of hundreds of naval houses.

Mr Majurey says by allowing a massive Ngati Whatua land grab and not having an open process to hear all claims to the Auckland area, the Crown is repeating the injustices of the 19th century.

"It did it back by creating the native land court and breaking down tribal ownership in the 19th century and its going to do it again if it picks up this agreement and prints it all and puts it all into legislation. That's going to give a statutory basis for Ngati Whatua to lock out other iwi," Majurey said.

Mr Majurey says the Governemnt refused to release the historical research it based its decisions on, and it has ignored comprehensive research into Marutuahu claims in the area.


The head of Maori organic farming group Te Waka Kai Ora says the government should chip in some funding to help the organic sector grow.

Te Waka Kai Ora members met in Hamilton over the weekend to discuss issues facing in the sector, particularly problems getting their products to domestic and international markets.

Chairman Percy Tipene, who farms organic beef in Northland, says established sectors like the mainstream meat and dairy sectors have significant infructure built up over years of government support, but as a new industry organic farmers are starting from scratch.

""Now we have got an organisation which has the potential of growth but we haven't had the actual capital injection to create the infrastructure that can allow our producers in the Tai tokerau to actually participate in the market," Tipene said.

Percy Tipene says organic farming is a good way to use underdeveloped Maori land, because it if often chemical free and relatively easy to bring up to organic certificaiton.

Bus ban possible outcome of claim settlement

Busses and even cars could be banned from the summit of Mt Eden as the result of the settlement with Ngati Whatua o Orakei.

Under the agreement in principle announced last week, the mountain will be vested in the hapu, and it will revert to its original name of Maungawhau.

Ngati Whatua will also get Maungakeikei or One Tree Hill and Puketapaa or Mt Roskill, and will have a say in the management of several other city volcanos.

Auckland mayor Dick Hubbard says he is looking forward to work more closely with Ngati Whatua.

He says the stewardship of Manugawhau under the Department of Conservation has not been up to scratch, and the change in ownership means some long standing problems may be fixed up.

"Certainly the question of transport to the top of the mountain has to be considered. A significant number of us in Auckland City believe it is appropriate to take buses and even cars off the mountain, replace it with a swept up visitors' centre and alternative access to the top," Hubbard said.


Green's Maori affairs spokesperson, Meteria Turei says Pakeha law is failing to aknowledge Maori interests in the natural world.

A judicial conference later this week will discuss how the Waitangi Tribunal will proceed with the Wai 262 claim, for native flora and fauna.

Ms Turei says Maori have long known about the medicinal properties of native plants, and they can't accept overseas companies claiming exclusive rights to commercialise such plants.

She says there is widespread support for the claim among Maori.


Media treatment of Maori stories will come under scrutiny in schools up and down the country next month as the result of an inititiative by a bi-cultural think tank.

Kupu Taea has managed to get its Media and Te Tiriti leaflet included in Script, a newsletter sent out to secondary school media studies teachers.

Spokesperson Ray Nairn says the leaflet is based on a study which found normal journalistic standards of accuracy, balance and fairness seemed to be ignored when the media tackled Maori stories.

Dr Nairn says a lot of it came down to the questions of authority.

"There were issues like the primacy given to Pakeha, particulary Pakeha men in defining stories, there were more Pakeha sources than there were Maori sources for these Maori stories and the Pakeha spoke earlier than the Maori so they were defining what the stories and what the issues were," Nairn said.


Hauraki Maori Trust Board chairman Toko Renata says he is determined to pursue his tribe's claims in Auckland, despite the agreement in principal between the Crown and Ngati Whatua o Orakei.

Mr Renata says the Marutauhu Compact tribes had land in Auckland until the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

He says even after the treaty they used their settlement at Waipapa, below the Auckland University Marae, as a base when they visited the new town.

But Mr Renata says Hauraki's attempts to put its case seem to have been blocked by the Waitangi Tribunal and the Office of Treaty Settlements.

"At the beginning of our claims I made a statement here is Toko Renanta standing with one foot on one side of the line in Auckland back to Nga Kure a Whare in Matakana Island, and I wasn't allowed to pursue our iwi and hapu interests in Auckland," Renata said.


Maori language commission chief executive Haami Piripi says a ministerial delegation to Vauatu and Rarotonga has enhanced New Zealand's standing in the Pacific.

More than 50 politicians, officials and dignataries accompanied Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters on the trip.

Mr Piripi says the real eye-opener was the invitation for the ministerial party to meet with the Vanuatu council of chiefs.

Mr Piripi says the invite was extended because of the presence of Tuwharetoa paramount chief Tumu te Heuheu in the delegation.

"The context of the entire hui with those chiefs was round Tumu te Heuheu. What the Vanuatu people described was a twin hulled waka coming in, one representig a system of governance in a contemporary sense, and one represeitn a system of customary leadership. We though it was very very apt," Piripi said.

Haami Piripi says he and language commissioner Patu Hohepa made valuable links with other language specialists, including meeting two of the four Polyneisan language communities in the Vanuatu Group.


Te Runanga o Turanganui a Kiwa wants to formalise its relationship with the Gisborne District Council.

Chairman Pene Brown says such a partnership can be written into the council's long term council community plan, which is being reviewed.

Mr Brown says while there are many instances where council and runanga have worked together, a formal process would improve the relationship.

Maungawhau, Maungakeikei, get used to it

Auckland mayor Dick Hubbard says changing the name of the city's maunga isn't such a big deal, because Aucklanders are making the change already.

As part of the settlement of Ngati Whatua's historical claims, One Tree Hill, Mt Eden and Mt Roskill will be vested in the Auckland iwi and jointly managed with the council.

They will be given dual names - Maungakiekie-One Tree Hill and Maungawhau-Mt Eden - but Mr Hubbard says that won't last.

"Joint names are recognisd as only transitional, and the reality is that when they've had joint names in the past, after about five or ten years the old name gets dropped off and the new name gets used, and by and large the people of Auckland have been making that transition anyway," Hubbard said.

Dick Hubbard believes as many as two thirds of Aucklanders are already calling One Tree Hill Maungakiekie - but it might take a bit longer before Mt Roskellites start calling their maunga Puketapapa.


A Ngati Porou kuia says teenage pregnancies can be seen as a blessing.

OECD research has identified a high rate of teenage pregnancy in New Zealand, driven by the number of Maori teens who elect to have babies.

Vapi Kupenga says Maori have traditionally promoted childbirth regardless of how the pregnancy came about.

Ms Kupenga says she takes heart from the research, because it means Maori babies aren't getting aborted.


The general manager of Maori health at the Counties Manukau District Health Board says there are encouraging signs, with more Maori entering the medical profession.

Bernard Te Paa says 18 Maori doctors graduated from medical school this year, an all time high.

He says even though most realise the hard work ahead, they are commited to working to improve the overall state of Maori health.

IN: You're getting a young crop of Maori doctors coming through, really dedicated to getting their degres and working in hospital or primary healthcare which is really great, what our people like to see," Te Paa said.

Bernard Te Paa says Maori people have made it clear they like working with Maori doctors and nurses.


Tainui chairman Tuku Morgan says his tribe won't stand by and see their ancestral sites handed over to Ngati Whatua.

Mr Morgan says the proposed settlement of Ngati Whatua's historical claims on the Auckland isthmus includes areas where various iwi from the Tainui waka have interests.

One of the most important is Maungakiekie or One Tree Hill, which was the fortified home of the Tainui ariki who became the first Maori king, Potatau te Wherowhero.

Mr Morgan says Tainui has already made its position clear to Ngati Whatua, and it will make sure the Crown acknowledges its interests.

"This is about defending our cultural integrity here, it's the version of our history we hold pure, that we absolutely believe is the true and accurate turn of events in the eyes of our people, according to the records we have amassed. This is a major issue for us because it is about trying to defend our version of history," Morgan said.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Mark Burdon says any overlapping iwi interests must be addressed before a final settlement is reached.


The manager of Maori, Pacific and ethnic services for the New Zealand Police says a new national family violence standarad should enable agencies to better co-ordinate their activitities.

Piere Munroe says the new standard will help to identify those most at risk, and improve support for those who have suffered from violence.

He believes it is the first programme of its type in the world.

"What it aims is to get some consistency of aproach, to ultimately benefit the family, the children, the victims and to hold the offenders to account. It will get some consistency of approach and collaboration across the agencies, who are at the forefront of calls," Munroe said.

Piere Munroe says the standard was designed by the police working with experts from Corrections, Womens Refuge, the Children and Young Persons Service, Barnardos and the Justice Department.


The green party spokesperson on maori affairs says while there may be a lot of support for legislation to better represent maori trusts and incorporations, if it doesn't suit the government model, it won't happen.

Last week the law commission tabled a report in parliament recommending the government create a legal framework to meet the needs of maori groups managing communally owned assets.

Meteria Turei says the discussion is timely, and she's pleased the waka umaga would be set up and run by maori.

But she says even if there is strong maori support for the proposal , that support may not be forthcoming from the government.