Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Affordability vexes Dover

Associate Housing Mnister Dover Samuels says more must be done to allow Maori to build houses on their own land.

Mr Samuels says research on housing affordability released this week shows the it is getting increasingly harder for Maori families to come up with the finance needed to get into their own homes.

He says many whanau are starting to look seriously at the land they own back in tribal areas, but it's not easy to just build on such land.

“If you have a look at the trends, a lot of the Maori that have lived in the cities are immigrating back to their ahi kaa, their whenua tupuna. And that’s the major problem that we’ve got, because the infrastructure that we’ve got including employment, education is just not there, but at the end of the day we’ve got to prepare some package so they can afford to build their houses,” Mr Samuels says.

He intends to meet with Housing Corporation chairperson Pat Snedden this week to discuss ways to get more Maori into housing.


Organisers of a hui on intellectual property held in Gisborne want to get useful information out to other Maori artists.

Robin Rauna from the Tairawhiti Community Law Trust says the workshop brought together staff and students from Tairawhiti Polytechnic's Toihoukura Maori arts school with lawyers Scott Moran and Ravini Rendall.

Ms Rauna says artists are concerned their work can be exploited if it's not properly protected.

“We covered off copyright, trademarks and patents, and then they were able to give some very concrete examples around what you can and can’t do. We’ve got to move on to another level of understanding that when we have things we value not just about physical possessions, it’s much more than that,” Ms Rauna says.

A recording was made at the workshop so Maori artists elsewhere can access the information.


Sports commentator Ken Laban, says the early season success of the New Zealand Warriors is due in a large part to the foresight of the first Maori to coach a national Rugby League team.

He says Tony Kemp, who spent five years with the warriors as assistant coach and coach, had a good eye for emerging talent.

Those recruits contributed to wins against the Eels and Broncos.

Mr Laban says Warriors supporters, and current coach Ivan Cleary, owe Mr Kemp their gratitude.

“I hope people don’t forget that Tony Kemp played a huge hand in acquiring some of those key players that are principally responsible for giving them the sort of dominance round the play the ball that allows them, to get these consistent results. It’s sort of like he’s the one that planted the seed, someone else is picking the fruit,” Mr Laban says.

The Warriors will face a tough test this weekend with their first away game against last year's beaten finalists, the Melbourne Storm.


The lawyer for Marutuahu claimants says the Waitangi Tribunal's refusal to intervene in Hauraki settlement talks means the onus is on the various claimant groups to set aside their differences and work together.

Tribunal member Stephanie Milroy said she would not act on Ngati Hei's bid for Whenuakite Station near Whitianga, because Landcorp's undertaking not to sell it for at least a year gives a iwi a chance to make progress with negotiations.

Judge Milroy also refused a request by Hauraki Maori Trust Board for a district-wide remedies hearing.

Lawyer Paul Majurey says the Marutuahu Confederation, which represents six of the 12 Hauraki iwi, is willing to work with other mandated groups.

“The trust board takes a different approach. They want an exclusive mandate recognized, and seem to want to hold out to somehow force the Crown to recognize only their mandate and so with those two stark processes, we’re in a bit of a stalemate,” Mr Majurey says.

He says the Office of Treaty Settlements does not have the skills or the willingness to mediate between different Maori groups, so no progress can be made.


A former manager of an East Coast rural housing programme says banks should look at alternatives to using Maori land as collateral for homes.

Robin Rauna says rising house prices are making home ownership unaffordable for Maori families.

She says while many Maori have interests in multiply-owned land, banks are unwilling to accept such interests as security.

Ms Rauna says there are alternatives.

“There are legal mechanisms available. Also banks being much more aware of the other ways in which security can be given. Assignments over sheep, cattle. There are other ways to do it,” Ms Rauna says.


New rules banning the taking of freshwater eels over 4 kilograms have been welcomed by Maori freshwater fishing interests.

Morrie Love from Te Wai Maori Trust says eel stocks are declining worldwide.

The size limit applies in the South Island already and it will be imposed on North Island and Chatham Island fisheries from next month.

Mr Love says most of the eels in that size range which are caught would be breeding females heading downriver, so the rules make perfect sense.

“Eels only breed once and the females are often up to 30 years old, even more before they go off to breed. That part of the stock needs to be let to go to the sea. They have to get all the way to Tonga, then go through the breeding cycle there and then the little glass eels have to make it all the way back here on the currents,” Mr Love says.

He can't understand why the Fisheries Ministry has included eels in its shared fisheries policy, because the species is primarily a taonga for Maori.


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2:42 AM  

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