Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Recreational fishing important too

Iwi representatives at a workshop this week on the government's shared fishery plans will be challenged to fight harder for the recreational fishing rights of their people.

Ngapuhi chairperson Sonny Tau says the Fisheries Ministry discussion paper, which cover species like snapper, blue cod, rock lobster, paua and eels, skates over the complexity of the issue.

Many iwi see the shared fishery idea as a threat to their commercial survival, and say it reduces the value of the Maori fishing rights settlement.

Mr Tau says while Maori now own about half the commerical quota, iwi members also have rights as individuals which are met by the recreational take.

“Our people have told us that their interest is in feeding their children first. Not in commercial, it’s in our ability to feed children. Now, if they don’t want to be categorized as recreational fishing then we need to change the law,” Mr Tau says.

He says customary fishing rights are being narrowly interpreted as collecting kaimoana for hui and tangi, and are quite separate to recreational fishing.


Early childhood learning centres attached to Te Wananga O Aotearoa campuses have taken up the ministry of educations offer of free childcare hours.

Elizabeth Pakai, the national manager of Nga Whare Whariki Kohungahunga, says the subsidy will allow it to offer free childcare hours to up to 60 children.

Ms Pakai says it has allowed the centres to hire more qualified staff, which will benefit all children.

“What we're doing is we are recruiting people who are qualified, either diploma or degreed. As a long term, I think 40 years this year I’ve been in early childhood education, I am a staunch supporter of qualifications,” Ms Pakai says.

The wananga's childcare centres in Auckland, Hamilton, Te Awamutu and Tokoroa now have waiting lists, as parents take advantage of the subsidy.


Hungry for a new challenge, an Auckland based historian is researching Maori cannibalism.

Paul Moon, the senior lecture in Maori studies at the Auckland University of Technology, is researching a work on Maori cannabilism.

Dr Moon says he wants to counter publications by some American academics which express doubt that the practice existed as a cultural practice.

He's looking for evidence cannibalism happened, why Maori eat other people, and why it stopped so suddenly.

“It’s the one cultural trait, the one trait out of the whole culture that disappeared within about one or two generations, it disappeared completely. It’s looking at what were the pressures put on Maori communities for that trait to disappear, because the same pressures were later applied in other areas of the culture. Things like tattooing, exposing bare breasts for women,” Dr Moon says.

He aims to have the work ready for publication next year.


The MP for Taitokerau says National Party leader John Key's trip to Waitangi with a young Maori girl has backfired as a PR exercise.

Mr Key's gust at Waitangi Day celebrations was 12-year-old Aroha Ireland from McGehan Close in Owairaka, a street Mr Key claims is the home of an emerging underclass.

He says it was not a good look.

“Don't try a gimmick like that. That’s what it was. John Key and his little black trophy child. It was an insult, The whole thing about manaakitanga, you don’t just pick up a child and say ‘Ooh Waitangi Day, I think I’ll take this child up to Waitangi, it’ll make me look really cool.’ You don’t play games with our children,” Mr Harawira says.

He says John Key must have got some advice on the trip north, because he left the youngster behind when he went onto the lower marae.


Ngati Kahungunu put their money where their mouth is, in supporting the Waitangi Day celebrations.

Te Rangi Huata helped organise the event at Clyde, halfway between Napier and Hastings.

While they eventually got financial help from the local district council and the ministry of heritage, it was the gesture by the Hawkes Bay based iwi that got the celebrations off the ground.

"All regions are looking into putting money into events that attract tourists, but the decision by our iwi is that Ngati Kahungunu, instead of waiting for everyone to put their money in, let’s put our money on the table and show that we mean business by funding the bulk of the event, and the others can join in, but we’re not holding our breath,” Mr Huata says.

He says the free event is becoming more popular each year, with both Maori and non Maori.


Maori organisations are being urged to get smarter about they way they use and develop their assets.

Te Ara Putaiao, a collective of Maori working in Crown Research Institutes, is holding a two day conference at Te Papa this week to stimulate innovation and commercialisation in the Maori asset base.

Murray Hemi from the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences says the hui is targeting not just landowners but research and development providers, commercial investors and other businesses wanting to work in the Maori space.

Mr Hemi says in their use of technology and corporate structures, many Maori organisations are 20 or 30 years behind.

“A lot of the income I just leasehold returns, so forestry is a good example where we’ve got a significant land asset, we simply lease that land out to someone else who grows trees, and we provide a raw product. The key to Maori innovation is around getting into products that move us further up the value chain,” Mr Hemi says.

He says the conference will focus on Farming, Forestry, fishing and tourism.


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