Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, April 19, 2007

High Court sets rules for Crown forest trustees

The High Court says that the Crown Forestry Rental Trust cannot make any payments to the Crown or to Te Arawa claimants until a challenge by the Maori Council and the Federation of Maori Authorities is heard.

The two organisations, which appoint the three Maori members of the CFRT, say the proposed Te Arawa land claim settlement is a breach of the trust deed.

The Government wants the trust to hand it a third of the Kaingaroa Forest and more than $60 million in accumulated rents, so it can then hand the land on to selected Te Arawa hapu.

The High Court will hear the case next week.

In a memorandum released to the parties this week, Justice Simon France also said the Crown Forestry Rental trustees should participate in a limited manner in next week's hearing, to ensure all issues are put before the court, but they should not take any position on the outcome.

Peter Charlton, the chairperson of the Federation of Maori Authorities, says the two organisations are making sure the government plays by its own rules.

“Crux of the argument is that the Waitangi Tribunal has not ruled. There are other applicants for this particular forestry and the sums of money, who have filed their claims with the tribunal, and they will be disadvantaged if this is not heard,” Mr Charlton says.


This year's Maori language week will focus is on the tourism sector.

Lana Simmons Donaldson from the Maori language commission, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori says the language is a point of difference for visitors from overseas.

She says it's common to hear kia ora on televison and radio, and she'd like to see tourism operators, both Maori and non Maori greeting their visitors with the Maori welcome.

“We've come up with a tag line ‘On the road with te reo – he korero mo Aotearoa.’ Whether you’re a teacher, mother, bus driver, or a cabin crew flight attendant, we want at least for people to say kia ora,” Ms Donaldson says.

Maori language week is the last week in July.


It's mushroom season, and those listeners living outside the urban centres may have noticed that this year, with its combination of warm days and abundant rain, is a particularly good one for fungi.

Chef and librarian Rewi Spraggon has investigated how Maori used mushrooms in the early days.

He says they were well known to the old people, and added flavour to many a hangi.

“One of the most common mushrooms are the field mushrooms, the button top and then they get a bit larger with a tall stalk and go into a flat top, they’re called harore and they’re very good in boil up and also making stew and soups with,” Mr Spraggon says.

Fungi were also used in rongoa or medicine, including the hallucinogenic magic mushroom.


Far North hapu Ngati Haua has again occupied land at Whangape Harbour it claims was illegally alienated.

Ngati Haua first occupied the land in 1992, when it was sold to Lotto winner Robert Buchanan.

Hapu spokesperson Richard Murray says Mr Buchanan reneged on an agreement to sell the land back to Ngati Haua, and two years ago he sold it to Auckland property developer Kim Spencer for four and a half million dollars.

Mr Spencer flicked it on for $10 million when Ngati Haua blocked his development plans, but the new owner is now trying to get out of the deal.

Mr Murray says the hapu has a Waitangi Tribunal claim challenging the way it lost the land, but prospective buyers aren't being warned.

“You get successive buyers coming into Whangape, looking at the property, and thinking that there’s no real issues, there’s no encumbrances noted on the title with regards to the tangata whenua issues, and they seem to think that they can continue on with this type of development,” he says.

About 30 occupiers are camped at a house on the site, and they're trying to get the ownership finally resolved in their favour.


Maori Council member Maanu Paul says the demand for rates on Maori land amounts to government double dipping.

Mr Paul says the council is considering a challenge to the rating system before the Waitangi Tribunal.

He says councils charge rates for roading and community facilities, but Maori have already given.

“We have already been taxed for the establishment of towns, roads, railways, ports etc. This is double dipping by the government. We have already contributed to the public good of this country, and we ought not to be taxed again,” Mr Paul says.

He says New Zealand was built on Maori assets stolen or bought cheaply.


A Maori photographer from Waitara working out of Sydney has picked up a prestigious award.

Tania Niwa beat off 2800 entries from 35 countries to win the Wedding and Portrait Photographers society's photographer of the year award, with her tribal portrait series.

Ms Niwa says her schoolteacher father got the whole family interested in photography.

She worked for a studio in New Plymouth before starting her own business across the Tasman.

Ms Niwa feels part of the push to take Maori art to the world.

“I feel that I can be a part of that by creating my Maori imagery and having that seen in other countries, almost like a branding or a marking or an image point of view I can create some imagery representing the people of our culture in a really eye-catching way that actually triggers people’s emotions and that they are captivated by it,” she says.

Some of Tania Niwa's work will be on show at next week's Maori Market in Wellington.


Anonymous R.Buchanan said...

RE WHANGAPE OCCUPATION and Richard Murrays Comment that Buchanan reneged on a promise to sell to the Murray Hapu. He is a making a false statement (again). My actual words were. I WILL NEVER SELL TO THE WHANGAPE MURRAYS. He has no loyalties other than to his Whangape Murray whanau. His cousins, Whangape Murrays are convicted Paua Stealers that use AIR BOTTLES. I know for I have observed their actions over a Ten Year period.Other Whangape Cousins are convicted Cannabis Growers and Meth Makers, Again I know for I have observed their action for years. I ask how successfull
is their Iwi funded Mussel Farm in the Whangape Harbour?. After five years of operation, how many local jobs are provided?, are they still getting public funding that provides their lifestyles?. Yrs Robert Buchanan.

11:41 PM  

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