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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Maori Wardens get budget injection

Maori wardens and Maori television are the big winner from today’s budget

Unlike last year, when Maori affairs Minister Parekura Horomia came under fire for not asking for extra funds, this year’s allocation jumped $12 million to $169 million.

Waatea news editor Adam Gifford says despite the extra spending the overall direction remains the same.

The Maori wardens, who have limped along on $178,000 a year, get a one-off $2.5 million for vehicles, communications, uniforms and training, which is being developed by the New Zealand Police College.

The money comes from cuts in Te Puni Kokiri’s operational funding, but TPK’s core budget is still up $3 million.

There is another $27 million over the next four years for Maori broadcasting, with $20 million going into operational funding for Maori television, $3 million for the channel’s move to digital television, and another $1 million a year for iwi radio, divided among 20 stations.

Over the next four years köhanga reo will get a $13.9 million boost, and there’s $6 million going to wänanga to boost research into Maori knowledge.

GREENS BACK ATTACK ON IWI FISHING INTERESTS

The Green Party is bucking iwi opinion and supporting a proposed amendment to the Fisheries Act which will give the Minister of Fisheries greater power to make decisions on the basis of sustainability.

Iwi interests, the fishing industry and Labour’s Maori caucus say the change is unnecessary because sustainability is already built into the quota management system.

But Greens Maori Affairs and Fisheries spokesperson Metiria Turei says more protection is needed.

Ms Turei says the Fisheries Amendment Bill is in line with the Maori perception of sustainability:

“I'm surprised to hear that other Maori MPs are opposed to that legislation because it’s the best way we can protect our assets long term. I understand Labour MPs are concerned because in some cases quota limits might need to be deduced in order to favour sustainability. It may have an impact on the value of the asset, but only for that season,” Ms Turei says.

BOOK OFFERS HOPE TO GAY RANGATAHI

The co-editor of a new book on indigenous sexuality hopes it will help gay rangatahi.

Jessica Hutchings, from Ngai Tahu and Ngati Huirapa, says she and health researcher Clive Aspin produced the book because of the pressure gay people came under during the debate over the Civil Unions Bill.

They gathered together the stories of 16 prominent Maori, including the challenges they faced coming out in Maori communities.

"These are some of the stories of being queer within the Maori community. It’s a bit of a way of saying you’re not alone. Others of us have done it before and it’s not always easy and here are some of the experiences that you can lean into,” Ms Hutchings says.

Sexuality and the stories of indigenous people will be launched at Auckland University's Waipapa Marae on Friday.

SMALL CHANGE FOR TREATY PROCESS IN BUDGET

The Waitangi Tribunal has been given extra funds to help the Government to push its objective of settling all historic claims by 2020.

The Waitangi Tribunal will get an extra $7.7 million over the next four years, an increase of 25 percent.

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says it reflects the government’s determination to quickly settle remaining historic claims.

However, the fine print of the budget doesn’t point to a sudden surge of settlements.

The amount set aside for landbanks is capped at $10 million – not enough to buy a Landcorp farm, as events this year proved – and the total it expects to spend on settlements this year is only $60 million.

With the Nga Kaihautu o te Arawa and the Tämaki Makaurau settlements under fire, that money could stay in the kitty.

Meanwhile, the Office of Treaty Settlements is getting a $900,000 boost, taking its budget for policy advice to $9.9 million.

MARK FEARS DISCRETION WON’T APPLY TO MAORI

New Zealand First MP Ron Mark says Maori better get ready to face the consequences of the child discipline bill.

Mr Mark was one of only eight MPs who voted against Green MP Sue Bradford's child discipline last night.

The bill removes the defence of reasonable force from the Crimes Act.

While the bill was amended to make it clear police have the discretion not to prosecute parents for "inconsequential" offences, Mr Mark says history shows that Maori rarely benefit from police discretion.

I think it’s going to make it very hard for any police officer who is asked to attend an incident and make a judgment on what is inconsequential and what is not, and my fear is when it comes to assessing Maori in such situations, we many not necessarily get the same assessment that we might in some other parts of town,” Mark says.

He says the bill shouldn’t have gone through without clear public support.

EXILED HOUSE NEEDS CARE AND ATTENTION

A leading marae restorer is chafing at delays in repairing a whare in
England.

Jim Schuster travelled to Clandon Park in Surrey last year to assess the state of Hinemihi o te Ao Tawhito.

The house, which was carved by Mr Schuster’s great great grandfather 126 years ago, was taken from Te Wairoa near Rotorua in 1892 by then-governor Lord Onslow.

Mr Schuster says the National Trust, which is responsible for the building, isn’t due to hold its next restoration meeting until August.

He says that’s too far away.

Now that’s almost a year since the last meeting, so we wait, we watch this space with bated breath. We can’t really do anything because they are the legal owners of the place and whatever happens in the house has to fit in with their programme for the whole of Clandon Park,” Mr Schuster says.

1 Comments:

Blogger Andy Moore said...

...a new book on indigenous sexuality hopes it will help gay rangatahi

Are my taxes helping fund this?

1:10 PM  

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