Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Aotearoa Fisheries buys Whitianga cray processor

Pan-Maori company Aotearoa Fisheries has netted Whitianga-based OPC Fish and Lobster for an undisclosed sum.

Aotearoa chief executive Robin Hapi says the acquisition will strengthen the company's position in key North Island inshore fisheries like snapper, terakihi, hapuka and crayfish.

Mr Hapi says OPC is a well-run company with an entrepreneurial style and a strong presence on the Whitianga waterfront.

“They own directly 12 tonnes of CRA2, they lever in quite a considerable amount above that into the business, and they’ve got relationships with other entities that are operating within the CRA2 area that bring through other product,” Mr Hapi says.

Aotearoa will keep OPC's existing processing operation going.

PROBLEMS PINNED ON VOTING SYSTEM

Ngai Tahu's leadership crisis is a sign its organisational structure isn't properly democratic.

That's the view of Ngapuhi academic Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and Indigenous Studies at Canterbury University.

Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu is trying to push aside its chairperson, Mark Solomon, but Mr Solomon is refusing to go and threatening legal action to retain his job.

Mr Solomon claims widespread support from the tribe's members.

Mr Taonui says while the process of regional appointing executive members may have worked in the early years after the South Island iwi's treaty settlement, it is now leading to a gap between ordinary members and those at the top.

“Ngai Tahu's system of some runanga appointing through the marae committees has probably been fairly efficient in the start up phase, but it’s now obvious they need to fix that, and if they go to dully democratic elections, I think you’re going to get a better standard of behaviour at the top,” Mr Taonui says.

There are also dangers in being too democratic, as Tainui found in 2000 when its tribal parliament was too slow to respond to a crisis in the executive.

STAR LINE UP FOR NETBALL TOURNEY

55 teams have registered to compete at the Aotearoa Maori Netball championships in Papakura this weekend.

Spokesperson Evelyn Tobin says the tournament includes junior and senior grades, showing the youngsters how far they can go in netball.

She says Maori netball has nurtured many top players, including June Mariu, who captained the New Zealand squad in 1960 - Taini Jamison and Merv Solomon, who were part of the 1967 world champion team, and more recent Stars.

“Waimarama Taumanu, Debbie Matua, Gail Parata, Noeline Taurua, Kerry-May Coffin, and in the current squad, Jodie Te Huna and Joelene Henry,” Ms Tobin says.

MOVE WILL DROWN OUT MAORI VOICE ON COUNCIL

Whakatane District Council's liaison officer says a plan by Environment Bay of Plenty to shift its headquarters from Whakatane to Tauranga, combined with a plan to slash the number of councilors, will make it much harder for a Maori voice to be heard at regional level.

The regional council currently has three Maori wards, but these will drop to two under the plan.

Hinewai Katene says the eastern Bay of Plenty is heavily Maori, and the communities have felt they had a chance of being heard while the council headquarters was nearby.

“It would make it more difficult for these Maori communities. Murupara is 98 percent Maori. Waimana is 100 percent Maori community, Opotiki, 80 percent Maori community, Kawerau 60-70 percent Maori community,” Ms Katene says.

Many of Environment BOP's Maori staff will find it hard to move with the council, because it will mean a shift away from their tribal area.

COOPERATION BEST APPROACH FOR FISH ALLOCATION

A senior fisheries negotiator for Rongowhakaata says a pragmatic approach was the key to a neighbouring iwi receiving their full fisheries settlement.

Willie Te Aho says Ngai Taamanuhiri would have faced a long wait had it not been for the forward thinking of iwi leaders.

He says it is an example other iwi may wish to follow to speed up the settlement allocation process.

“Rongowhakaata in particular which is towards the northern end of Gisborne, they had to agree on a boundary that was disputed, so what they did was made a pragmatic decision and say hey, for the purpose of you getting your commercial allocation, we wil agree to this point at Te Kowhai which is opposite Manutuke on the beach and we’ll agree to that point without prejudice to our customary fisheries,” Mr Te Aho says,

The alternative was to go through a dispute mechanism and bring in outsiders to rule on whose interpretation of custom was correct.

MA TE REO FUNDING PUTS CONTROL IN COMMUNITY

The Prime Minister says it's up to Maori to reinvigorate their own language.
Helen Clark says the annual Ma Te Reo funding, which is now open for applications, is a way communities can come up with their own initiatives.

About one and a half million dollars will be available.

Ms Clark says while the government can provide resources , the drive and commitment must come from the people.

“In the end if it’s about saving and promoting te reo, it’s got to come from the hearts of the people. Same as our Pacific Island languages, which are very gravely endangered. We can provide all the resources, In the end, it will be the hearts of the people that want it to carry on,” Ms Clark says.

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