Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Treaty water case set out

Tainui chairperson Tukoroirangi Morgan says Maori should have a case for co-management of water based on the Treaty of Waitangi.

Mr Morgan is one of the negotiators for Tainui's remaining claim to the Waikato River and harbours.

He won't reveal the tribe's position in those talks, but he says the issues are well understood in Maoridom.

“We all understand the tenets of the treaty. Our old people did not surrender their rangatiratanga, their mana, over their taonga. And that included water, their lands, their forests their fisheries. They agreed to have a governance structure, but the issue of rangatiratanga, of mana, always remain in the hands of Maori,” Mr Morgan says.

He says a national hui next month beside Lake Taupo should be used by Maori to come to a collective position on future water policy.


Ngati Whatua o Orakei is asking for volunteers for its efforts to reforest its land at Takaparawha or Bastion Point.

Heritage and resource manager Ngarimu Blair says the hapu has planted more than 100 thousand trees and shrubs since 2000.

Mr Blair says it's already having an impact, especially on the cliffs overlooking Tamaki Drive, the gateway to Auckland's eastern suburbs.

“Most Aucklanders know that every big rain, some of our land is lost as it slips down into Tamaki Drive, but since we’ve undertaken the planting, whch has taken up a lot of the water that used to just sheet over the edge, we’ve noticed the erosion has slowed down significantly,” Mr Blair says.

There will be four community planting days this winter, with the first on May the 12th.


Maori Party education spokesperson Pita Sharples says the work of the late Dame Marie Clay was of enormous benefit to Maori children.

Dame Marie, who died last week aged 81, developed the Reading Recovery programme used in many New Zealand schools.

Dr Sharples says Reading Recovery is part of the solution for Maori educational under-achievement, but the cultural dimension needs more work.

“The brilliant programmes like Marie Clay’s can only have limited success unless they’re coupled with a recognition that Maori culture still exists and a different way of viewing learning and so on is available and should be promoted through mainstream education funding,” Dr Sharples says.

A memorial service for Dame Marie Clay will be held at Auckland University's Maidment Theatre at 10 on Thursday.


Auckland iwi Ngati Whatua is looking to use 14 hectares of its land at Orakei for papakainga housing.

Ngati Whatua o Orakei Trust Board resources manager Ngarimu Blair says stage one is likely to involve a small cluster six to 10 units on the fringes of Takaparawha-Bastion Point.

He says the Board is trying to keep construction costs low with innovative design and using whanau labour.

Mr Blair says as kaitiaki of the land, the board must consider questions which would not occur to other developers.

“What should we be doing in terms of our stormwater treatment, our wastewater treatment, and also our freshwater demand? Should we still be taking water from outside of our rohe, ie the Waikato or high in the Waitakere ranges? Perhaps there’s other ways we can manage our water,” Mr Blair says.

Ngati Whatua eventually wants to have housing for up to 1200 whanu on its whenua so it can keep the marae warm.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says unskilled immigrants are competing with Maori for social services.

He's endorsing the findings of Massey University economist Greg Clydsdale, who claims current immigration policies are bad for Maori.

Dr Sharples says Maori should have more say in who settles here.

“We are in fact importing now, and 40 percent was the figure, of unskilled people from different ethnic groups and they are going to make it even more difficult for Maori to get state housing, social services and jobs when the squeeze comes on at different times,” Dr Sharples says.

He says Maori leaders should push for a review of immigration policy.


The research director for the revived James Henare Research Centre says she's looking for projects which will benefit the next generation of Maori leaders.

The centre is funded by Auckland University and other sources to do research which will benefit Maori communities in Tai Tokerau.

Merata Kawharu says the research needs to be community-driven, and she expects issues of identity, heritage and leadership will be to the fore.

“We need to look at those aspects that are successful of our traditional leadership. Also what other kinds of new leaderships are required, especially now that a lot of our people are in possession of large assets through perhaps treaty settlement processes and perhaps land finances, so that requires a whole new set of accountabilities and responsibilities,” Dr Kawharu says.

Her major challenge is likely to be balancing the priorities of government research funding agencies with the needs of Tai Tokerau iwi.


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