Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, April 16, 2007

Tainui declares marae dividend

A momentuous year for Tainui is being reflected in a special payment to the tribe's marae.

Chairperson Tukororiangi Morgan says Tainui's commercial arm has performed well over the past couple of years, and its board has delivered operational savings as well as profits.

Mr Morgan says each of the 67 marae in the rohe will receive a one-off payment of $50,000.

“The board decided that is is an extraordinary year. We lost Te Arikinui six months ago. It’s an opportunity to honour her passing and to begin to spread the wealth and pass on the financial capacity back to our people,” Mr Morgan says.

Tainui is planning a savings scheme for its members to run alongside the Government's Kiwisaver scheme.

UNION ACTION GETS WIN FOR NGATI KAHU WORKER

A Kaitaia fork hoist operator is praising his union for helping him to restore his mana.

The Employment Court ruled that board mill operator Juken Nissho was wrong to sack 55-year-old Anthony Housham for allegedly fighting, because he was defending himself.

It awarded him 40 thousand dollars in compensation.

Mr Housham says the incident tarnished his reputation in the community.

He's a member of te Runanga o Ngati Kahu, the Maori Anglican Church, the 28th Maori Battalion Association and other community groups.

Mr Housham says he's been a union member for 38 years, and it paid off.

“If I was a private citizen trying to take the company on, there’s no way in the world I would have been able to do this. I’m very grateful I’m a member of the National Distribution Union. There’s a lot of people who work with me who won’t join the union. I hope they realise that this could happen to them, and if the fan hits the proverbial, you’re on your own,” Mr Housham says.

He decided against reinstatement, and he's now working on decommissioning the HMS Canterbury at Opua.

ACTIVIST SPIRIT REMEMBERED

The Maori film and television industry has made its way to Taumaruni over the past two days to pay tribute to the actor and filmmaker Don Selwyn, who will be buried today.

Hundreds of people have been through the gates of Wharauroa Marae, including many Mr Selwyn trained or gave a break to.
One is Ella Henry, one of the hosts of Maori Television's Ask your Auntie's show.

She says Mr Selwyn, along with Selwyn Muru, Mereta Mita and Barry Barclay, was a driving force behind Maori film industry group He Manu Aute.

The group lobbied through the 1980s for more resources for Maori to tell their own stories and set up the programmes which trained many of today's Maori broadcasters and technicians.

“Without the contribution that they made, not just as activists but as teachers and professionals and mentors, we would not have the rich and robust Maori production capacity that we have today, right across the spectrum of moving images,” Ms Henry says.

Don Selwyn's funeral starts at 10 this morning.

COOK STRAIT BORE BRUNT OF INITIAL SETTLEMENT

The head of Cook Strait iwi Ngati Toa Rangatira says the Waitangi Tribunal's Te Tau Ihu report is a chance for the region's tribes to have their place in history recognised.

Matiu Rei says the eight top of the South Island iwi and their relatives around Wellington bore the brunt of early settlement, because of their deepwater ports and fertile plains.

Mr Rei says settler pressure was behind what the tribunal says was a process of ruthless extortion, by which the Crown acquired millions of hectares of land from Maori.

“The real settlement or immigration of settlers to this country happened down here. The north was first populated with Pakeha, but the actual settlement people arriving in droves, happened in Wellington and Nelson, and so we bore the first brunt of immigration into this country,” Mr Rei says.

TAMIHERE COUNTS ON SUPPORT FROM THE STREET

Waipareira chief executive John Tamihere says he's got the backing of the West Auckland street, despite the upheavals at the urban Maori trust.

A group led by Mr Tamihere won back control of the trust last year and set about unwinding bad business deals and winning back social services contracts.

Mr Tamihere says old guard tried to fight back, but he believes the Maori community gave its support to his team.

“I don't think on the street it was ever lost, otherwise I wouldn’t have been elected back on the board with a ticket to change it. It’s only when people can control the cheque book can control a few tunes. So they’re gone because of how backward we went, but that was yesterday, we’re moving on, and things are looking better all the time out here,” Mr Tamihere says.

This month's annual meeting of the trust will hear how it intends to go about rebuilding itself after losing $16 million over five years.

CHALLENGE TO FINISH SELWYN FILMS

A tono for Maori filmmakers,

Broadcaster and academic Ella Henry is challenging to make sure projects Don Selwyn was working on before his death last week are completed.

The veteran actor and filmmaker will be buried this morning in Taumarunui.

Ms Henry says two projects in the development stage were a feature film set in the far north gumfields, with a script in Maori, English and Dalmatian, and a documentary on the links between New Zealand and China forged by Rewi Alley.

Ms Henry says they may have to be picked up by a younger generation of filmmakers.

“All that we can hope is that the amount of work that Don put into preparing all of us to continue to work in this industry is going to pauy off. Those of us who are left have a responsibility to ensure that Don’s work wasn’t wasted and that we make damn sure we finish of the projects that he started,” Ms Henry says.

The funeral service for Don Selwyn starts at 10 this morning at Wharauroa Marae in Taumarunui.

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