Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, February 26, 2007

Greenpeace protest sidelines affected Maori

A Huntly kaumatua says Maori were not involved in today's protest at the Huntly coal-fired power station because they weren't asked.

Greenpeace members climbed 150 metre chimney and unfurled a banner claiming the station is one of the country's biggest contributors to global warming.

Waahi Whanui Trust chairperson Timi Maipi says tangata whenua have been fighting environmental damage in the town for decades, and today's action was a missed opportunity for Greenpeace to work with them.

“We could have done this together, so there’s a coordination on the effect it had on Maori and some of the issues that they raise. Sometimes they walk in and do some things and they don’t realise what is going on with regards to our involvement over the last en years actually,” Mr Maipi says.


A Te Kuiti health clinic has called an early halt to its recruitment programme after it was criticised in Parliament by National.

Te Pou Ora Health Clinic, run by the Te Rohe Potae O Rereahu Maniapoto Trust, offered new patients the chance to win cash or vouchers.

Te Rohe Potae chief executive Gale Pihama says the promotion was stopped today, three weeks earlier than planned, after talks with the Waikato District Health Board.

She says Te Pou Ora enrolled 25 new patients, but there are almost 3000 people in the area still unregistered with a GP service.

“If you look at the demographics of the King Country area, that’s quite a high percentage of people not to be seeing a GP, and especially too the high incidence of diabetes and heart disease in this area, so we were just trying to look at something that would encourage these people to come to see the GP service, and not necessarily our GP service,” Ms Pihama says.

She says the promotion was funded from profits from last year's Waitomo pig hunt, and not from funding the clinic receives from government.


Foundation work has started on the marae for Auckland tertiary institution Unitec.

A whakawaatea ceremony this morning conducted by kaumatua Haare Williams cleared the site on the spacious grounds of the former Carrington psychiatric hospital.

Master carver Lyonel Grant, who has been on campus for three years creating the carvings, says he wants to get away from the modern practice of bolting carvings onto a pre-constructed shell.

“For me a whare needs to be more than that. It needs to be a real portrayal of what’s hapening around it and the people and the korero of the place, the mana of the land and things, so that’s why this couldn’t be carved in Rotorua and then shipped up here, it would have been like a whangai. So it had to be carved here and it had to absorb the stories and the mauri off the place to really be a full expression of the place,” Mr Grant says.

Unitec chief executive John Webster says the marae, provisionally known as Te Noho Kotahitanga, will be dedicated to the late Sir John Turei, the polytechnic's former kaumatua.


The chair of the Hauraki Trust Board says his people are occupying a Coromandel land block because the Crown can't prove it owns it.

State owned farming company Landcorp expects to get up to $10 million from the sale of the 1100 hectare Whenuakite station between Whitianga and Cooks Beach.

Toko Renata says the iwi will go to court later in the week to seek an injunction against the sale.

Mr Renata says the current row is part of a long history of trickery and deceit over the block.

“The records that we have, it was leased to the powers that be at that time, but they’re putting it into the state owned enterprise and saying it’s in private ownership, and yet the Honourable Trevor Mallard and the Honourable Michael Cullen are the heads of the state owned enterprise,” Mr Renata says,

He says without the Whenuakite Station, the Crown will be hard pressed to find sufficient assets in the Hauraki rohe to settle with the iwi.


Te Matatini chairperson Tama Huata says he's confident Te Arawa will be represented at the next kapa haka nationals in Tauranga in two year's time.

A long-running dispute between Te Matatini and the Rotorua-based teams meant some of the top names in the field were absent from this year's festival at Palmerston North over the weekend.

Mr Hapu says he saw many Te Arawa people in the audience, and he's confident issues the issues can be resolved and teams like Ngati Rangiwewehi and Te Matarae i o Rehu will be back in competition.

“I'm very confident of that. I will always continue the dialogue that we have them back fully and we welcome them with open arms. The kaupapa is till incluve of all of us. So I'm pretty upbeat about that, and I'll go out on a limb and say Te Arawa will be coming back fully, and I support that,” Mr Huata says.

The championship was won by East Coast team Whangara mai Tawhiti, with Auckland's Te Waka Huia runners up.


Southland are again Te Waipounamu Maori Rugby champions after defending their title against four other provinces in Timaru over the weekend.

Coach Troy Manaena says the performance was enough to get six of his team selected for the South Island Maori team, and he hopes they did enough to put themselves in the frame for national selection.

Mr Manaena says Southland showed real grit to beat Canterbury 16-13 in the final.

“Yeah it was tough because we played our first game at one o’clock, played Otago. Played our second game at 4.30, it was pretty quick turnaround, so the guys were pretty tired, but that old haka before the Canterbury game got them up and going again so that was really good,” Manaena says.


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