Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Iwi need to be called in after prison riot

The head of Prison Fellowship says greater involvement of iwi in prisons could prevent disturbances such as the riot at the youth wing at Rimutaka prison over the weekend.

Kim Workman says there are few resources going into the 14 to 19 year olds who fall foul of the judicial system.

He says many in the units are far away from their tribal areas and feel disconnected from their whanau.

Mr Workman says that's where iwi can help.

“What we need to do I think is engage the iwi more in those units, and it’s not just having a kapa haka programme or a tikanga programme. It’s about constant bombardment by Maori pro-social role models, and that can make a big difference,” he says.

Mr Workman says contact with Maori sports stars and entertainers, and even with the 1500 Maori who graduate each year from Universities could inspire young offenders to alter their behaviour.


An expert in Maori resource management says the Waikato River settlement may not set any useful precedents for other iwi.

Maria Bargh from Victoria University's Maori studies department says the draft agreement in principle signed on Saturday deliberately sets aside questions of ownership, customary rights and aboriginal title.

The agreement proposes co-management arrangements between Waikato-Tainui the Crown and the Waikato regional council to restore the health of the river.

Dr Bargh says the Crown has cleverly restricted the settlement to Waikato-Tainui by acknowledging the claims arise from the raupatu of confiscation of the tribe's lands in the 1860s.

“That narrows the whole issue down from one that is a much bigger issue. I mean we’ve seen a number of tribunal reports actually point to the primary assumption of Crown law taking precedence over Maori law. The assumption that took precedence over Maori law regarding waterways is a treaty breach,” Dr Bargh says.

She says questions of ownership of natural resources like water may require a more pan-tribal approach to resolve.


Massey University's oldest doctoral graduate is setting her sights on post-graduate research into kaupapa Maori health programmes.

74 year-old Janice Wenn from Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa will collect her PhD at a ceremony in Wellington today.

Her thesis used interviews with 40 kaumatua to identify cultural values which can serve as the foundation for Maori health services.

Dr Wenn, who established Masterton community health provider Whaiora Whanui after a long career in nursing and health management, now wants to put those ideas into practice.

“The special challenge for me now is to put what I found out in a research framework into practice and to actually obtain some funding to do that,” she says.

Janice Wenn undertook her research because she was concerned the Crown was contracting for kaupapa Maori health services without specifying what constituted such services.


The Minister for Treaty Negotiations is in Gisborne today to sign terms of negotiations with Turanga tribes.

Turanganui a Kiwa Runanga chief executive Ronald Nepe says in the two years since the Waitangi Tribunal reported on their claims, the claimants have been developing a joint negotiating strategy.

Mr Nepe says Rongowhakaata, Ngai Tamanuhiri and Te Aitanga Mahaaki claimants will also have specific items which are special to them.

“They generally know what they’re after. I don’t want to say anything before we go into negotiations, We’re looking more for cultural redress. The financial and commercial side is there, sure, but generally the clamour is looking at it more from that aspect” Mr Nepe says.

Turanganui a Kiwa claimants believe the negotiations can be settled reasonably quickly.


Taharoa C has hired birdwatchers to help it to establish its case for a wind farm south of Kawhia Harbour.

Consent authority Environment Waikato has asked for more information on the effect of the $280 million joint venture on migratory birds.

Incorporation chairperson Monty Retemeyer says that meant hiring five birdwatchers and a sophisticated radar system to chart the birds' flight path.

Mr Retemeyer is sure the scientists won't find the wind turbines cause any problems, but says it's a lesson for others.

Any wind farm I think would have to go through the process we are going through now, and it will pave the way for other iwi to do likewise during the consent period, not having to be disappointed later,” Mr Retemeyer says.

Taharoa C expects to start stage one early next year, if it gets the green light.


A Ngati Ranginui elder says Tauranga ratepayers shouldn't have to carry all the costs of the city's new $23 million dollar museum.

Colin Bidois says the museum will carry Maori and Pakeha toanga from thoughout the region.

He says that means the Western Bay of Plenty District Council needs to chip in.

“Most of the taonga, particularly the Maori taonga, comes from outside the Tauranga City area itself, So to me it’s imperative that the Western Bay make provision in their financial arrangement to also contribute very substantially to the development of the museum,” Mr Bidois says.


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