Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, March 23, 2007

Water ownership grab alleged

An expert in Maori resource management says the government's Sustainable Water Programme of Action amounts to a grab for ownership of the country's water.

In question time yesterday the government denied a similar charge leveled by the Maori Party, insisting water was a public resource.

Maria Bargh, a Victoria University Maori studies lecturer, says while the government claims its proposed policy is not about ownership, the small print indicates it is.

“In their Programme of Action, they’ve got clear policies in there around further commodifying water and water allocations, and then it’s the same case that we had in the case of the fisheries, can you commodify something if you don’t actually own it. I think the answer to that is no,” Dr Bargh says.

Maori still believe they hold customary title to rivers and lakes, and some iwi and hapu are asserting their rangatiratanga through efforts to restore water quality.

MAORI AGING EXPOSES INCOME GAP FEARS

National Party Maori affairs spokesperson Georgina te Heuheu says new figures showing an ageing Maori population illustrates why Maori incomes need to rise.

2006 Census data released this week shows 4.1 percent of Maori are aged over 65, compared with 3.4 percent in 2001.

Mrs Te Heu Heu says many older Maori are vulnerable because they didn't have enough income during their working lives to save for retirement.

She says Maori incomes need to be on par with other new Zealanders, so they too can save for their retirement years.

“I don't think we’re as well prepared as some others may be. Obviously that’s the importance of jobs, of raising Maori incomes, because those still lag behind those of other New Zealanders, because if you haven’t got a decent income your ability to save is severely diminished,” Mrs te Heuheu says.

NCEA NEEDS FIXING, NOT FORGETTING

A prominent Maori educator says the National Certificate of Educational Achievement needs to be fixed, not replaced with overseas qualifications.

Tihi Puanaki from Christchurch's Aranui High School says the NCEA has the potential to better reflect New Zealand's society and needs than the Cambridge Examinations or the Baccalureatte.

But she says its value is being undermined by students pursuing subjects that give maximum credits with minimum effort.

“We're actually starting to go with the kids on their little trolley around the supermarket of NCEA credits and look around for the easiest credits with the largest amount of points and work on those,” Mrs Puanaki says.

She says schools need to do more to raise students' expectation levels and make the NCEA system work better.

MANIAPOTO GETS FISH MANDATE

There will be 18 million reasons to celebrate at this Sunday's Kingitanga poukai in Manaipoto territory, at Te Kotanganui-a-noho Marae in Te Kuiti.

That's the value in dollars of the fisheries assets going to Ngati Maniapoto as its population-based share of the Maori fisheries settlement, now its mandate has been accepted by Te Ohui Kaimoana settlement trust.

Te Ohu Kaimoana chief executive Peter Douglas says all tribes in the Tainui waka have now

“So Hauraki, Waikato and Raukawa completed it last year and Ngati Maniapoto completed it this week, so now they’ve got an opportunity to come to agreements between themselves on how they’re going to share the inshore fisheries,” Mr Douglas says.

Some 41 of the 57 iwi have now completed mandating processes, and the trust is working with mandated iwi on ways to resolve disputes over coastal boundaries.

HARAWIRA SUSPICOUS ON GOVT’S INTENT

Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira believes the government is still determined to sell off Landcorp's Rangiputa and Whenuakite farms.

Landcorp announced this week it was taking them off the market for a year, while the government conducts a review of land held by departments and state owned enterprise.

Mr Harawira says if treaty claimants hadn't occupied the blocks, they would be in private hands already.

He says the original 30 day delay, announced at the height of the land occupations, wasn't long enough for the government to find a way to sell the land.

“They didn't have time to stitch up a proper review in 30 days, that’s all it was. The extension of it from 30 days to a year hasn’t changed one iota in my view government’s original intention, which was to sell off the land,” Mr Harawira says.

He says the government got into the Landcorp sale mess because it failed to consult with its own Maori MPs.

CURTAIN RAISER GIVES GLIMPSE OF TALENT

Tonight's regional Maori rugby game between the northern region Te Hiku o Te Ika, and the South Island, Te Waipounamu, will give Maori coach Donny Stevenson a chance to cast a wider net.

Mr Stevenson says six weeks out from the Maori team's defence of the Churchill Cup, it's essential he looks at players inside and outside the Super 14.

“We want to get a bit of depth in our rankings because you never know where we’re going to be in six weeks time with injuries and player availability in terms of All Blacks and Junior All Blacks so we’ve just to be sure that if need be our ranking are deep enough so we can pull guys in at short notice,” Donny Stevenson says.

The fact tonight's game is a curtain raiser to the clash between the Auckland Blues and the New South Wales Warratahs is an added bonus for fans.

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