Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, April 09, 2007

Top of South Island report released

Kurahaupo Trust chairperson Richard Bradley says the release of a Waitangi Tribunal report upholding the claims of the top of the South Island tribes means it’s now time for the government to show the same commitment to justice as the tribes’ old people.

The trust represents three of the eight tribes - Ngati Apa, Ngati Kuia and Rangitane o Wairau.

The report released over the weekend has upheld the claimants’ version of events that they were cheated out of their land by Crown agents.

Mr Bradley says negotiations with the mandated Kurahaupo group officially started last August, but progress has been slow while the Crown waited for the tribunal to report.

“We're now hoping they can stop the delaying tactics and actually enter into full and final settlement negotiations. The tribunal report certainly lays a foundation for that to happen and we just hope that the Crown now has the same courage that our old people have had to show over the last 20 odd years, getting these claims to the hearing stage,” Mr Bradley says.


A Maori language advocate says apathy could still kill te reo Maori.

Hana O'Regan from Christchurch Polytechnic says there still needs to be constant work at the community level if the language is to survive.

The Maori language commission Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Maori has called for applications for its Ma Te Reo fund, which gives out about $1.5 million a year for community-based language activities.

Ms O'Regan says kohanga reo and kura kaupapa schools aren't enough on their own.

“I think there is a level of apathy, and among my own people it’s something that drives me insane. Because of the success of movements like kohanga reo and kura kaupapa, people have wrongly assumed that we’re okay. They say ‘I might not have to learn it, but it’ll be around now,’ so the level of urgency’s not there, and it’s a wrong assumption,” Ms O'Regan says.

She says international research shows indigenous languages can disappear in one generation.


Tainui won the teams aggregate award at the 20th national Maori netball tournament hosted by Tamaki makau rau over the weekend.

Over 50 teams from 14 rohe took part, with a highlight being the release of a commemorative book on Maori netball.

Three long serving contributors were also made life members of Aotearoa Maori Netball.

One of them was Jim Rutene from Tainui, who paid tribute to his fellow recipients, Te Kararaina Kaa from Tamaki Makau Rau, and Mark Harawira from Waiariki.

“Mark’s been a stalwart of Maori netball, and it’s good to see him being recognized for that. Te Kararaina, she’s been the backbone I would say of Tamaki Makaurau, whether it had been of Tainui or Te Waiariki or wherever, and it’s good that she’s been recognized,” Mr Rutene says.


The Chief negotiator for Ngati Tama in the top of the South Island says the Waitangi Tribunal has come down solidly on behalf of the claimants’ view of history.

The tribunal’s report into the Te Tau Ihu claims, released over the weekend, says the way the Crown acquired millions of acres from the eight tribes were invalid under British and Maori law and breached the treaty.

Dr Mitchell says while claimants can be wary about presenting their history before official forums, in this case their confidence in the tribunal was justified.

“Until you get it course, you are never confident that they are going to have interpreted our history the way that we see it, so it was a pleasant surprise when the general findings that they have come up with were pretty supportive of the case that we had made about circumstances under which land had been wrested without proper compensation – in many cases no compensation,” Mr Mitchell says.

The claimants will be seeking a mixture of land, money and a greater say in management of resources.


Maori fisheries have been fertile waters for lawyers for the past couple of decades, and now Auckland University's law school has hired an expert.

Valmaine Toki, from Ngati Wai and Ngapuhi, grew up on Aotea or Great Barrier Island with fishing in her bones.

She was supported by Te Ohu Kaimona through her honours law degree and subsequent MBA at the University of Tasmania, and spent the past couple of years working for the Maori fisheries settlement trust.

Ms Toki says her experience in maritime issues will help her teach contemporary Maori issues.

“My dissertation at the end of the MBA was managing the assets post allocation and just identifying some key issues for Maori to be aware of as they develop their asset, and how they can be very instrumental as to guiding the future for fisheries, not just for Maori but for New Zealand,” she says.


Maori motorsport ace Marty Rostenburg leaves today..(tuesday) to compete in the International rally of New Caledonia.

The Ngati Kahungunu driver says a high nickel content in the soil creates a fine red dust that in the dry can be like talcum powder on a dance floor.

In the wet it turns the roads into slippery clay.

Mr Rostenburg says he also needs to get familiar with the left hand drive Mitsubishi EVO 8 he'll be driving there.

“Just getting used to left hand drive is something that is not natural, and we did a test a couple of weeks ago in the car, and the car went very well but a couple of times I went to change gear and opened the door handle instead of changing gears, so there’s a little bit of getting used to, but as long as we don’t put too much pressure on ourselves, we should be okay,” he says.

The New Caledonia rally is the first round of the Asia Pacific Rally.


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