Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Saturday, May 05, 2007

OTS document dump discloses botched process

Tamaki Makaurau MP Pita Sharples says the withholding of potentially crucial documents by the Office of Treaty Settlements is a sign of deeper problems in the claim settlement process.

The Waitangi Tribunal this week issued a please explain note to the Crown after it realised the significance of documents filed four weeks after a the end of the hearing into claims against the process used to settle Ngati Whatua's Tamaki Makaurau claims.

Acting chairperson Carrie Wainwright asked why Crown officials did not mention the documents at the hearing, despite direct questioning on the relevant issues.

Dr Sharples says the controversy should come as no surprise to claimants or politicians.

“The process of handling the treaty claims is absolutely shocking, and the rules and the way in which they are implemented, the tactics used by the Office of Treaty Settlements, everything leaves so much to be desired. It is really really bad,” Dr Sharples says.

The Maori Party is not taking sides in how the Tamaki Makaurau claim should be settled.


Hamilton's Fraser High School will this weekend host the Waikato regional schools' kapa haka competition.

Groups from 12 schools will compete for spots at the national schools's competition, but not Fraser High.

Organising committee chair Brendon Morgan says the school is taking on the role because it complements the Te Kotahitanga programme has adopted to improve the achievement of its Maori pupils.

“We've decided to host to boost the morale and get the people involved within our kura to come and support something Maori for our Maori students, and form there we’re definitely looking at, in the very near future, to adopt a kapa haka group at Taniwharau,” Mr Morgan says.


There's just over a week to go until entries close for the Pikihuia Awards for Maori writers.

Maori Literature Trust chairperson Robyn Bargh from Huia Publishers says interest is growing in the competition, which aims to encourage Maori to pick up the pen.

Ms Bargh says it's been a big career step for finalists.

“The important thing for budding writers to know is that some of the winners of the previous awards have gone on to do great things and publish books, so James George, Isabel Waiti Mulholland, Paula Morris, Kelly Ana Morey, Aroha Harris, have all produced books and have had opportunities to go to writers’ festivals around the world,” Ms Bargh says.

Submissions through Huia Publishers close on May 15.


Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says getting loans to build on multiply-owned Maori land doesn't need to be hard, if owners can show unity of purpose.

Government ministers are promoting better use of family land as a way for Maori to overcome some of the obstacles to home ownership, but there is a traditional perspective that banks are reluctant to lend because they don’t understand the security.

Mr Horomia says he has seen many examples of Maori families coming up with innovative ways to build on their ancestral lands.

“If we want it kept collectively under our laws of tikanga, we’re going to have to confront how we manage and convince banks that it’s ok to lend on it, and in some cases if families are strong enough, they get it organized,” Mr Horomia says.


One of New Zealand’s young Maori leaders has been recognised for his contributions.

Areti Metuamate was one of six people this week honoured with a Young Community Leaders Awards from governor general Anand Satyanand.

Mr Metuamate, from Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Kauwhata, works for Te Tai Tonga MP Mahara Okeroa and is the national secretary of the Te Runanga o te Haahi Katorika - the Maori council of the Catholic Church.

He also has been involved with Te Runanga o Raukawa, was part of a rangatahi hauora research group, is on the national World Youth Day committee, and works with hui Katorika around the country.

Mr Metuamate feels he hasn't done anything out of the ordinary.

“Like many of our people you just do what you think you can to contribute to a community. I went to a Catholic Maori boarding school, and that’s the sort of philosophy they instill in you, and also spending time with our kaumatua and kuia whose whole philosophy is all about what we can do for our people, so for me it’s not something you need to be acknowledged in a reward, but of course it's nice to be,” Mr Metuamate says


The camouflage gear and waders are at the ready for tomorrow's opening of the duck season.

For Maori sportsman turned television presenter Tawera Nikau, it signals the start of an annual family reunion.

Whanau from around the country make tracks to Lake Waikere, north east of Huntly.

Mr Nikau has been duckshooting since he was seven, and plucking ducks is a family tradition.

He's not a bad cook either, if you like your duck boiled, fried, roasted, curried or cooked in a hangi.

But his big advantage is his surefire way of luring an unlucky duck into his scopes, a full range of duck calls.

Tawera Nikau with that quack track.


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