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Friday, May 25, 2007

Waikato RIver settlement offer made

Tainui's Kauhanganui parliament will tomorrow consider an agreement in principle to settle the claim to the Waikato River.

Waatea News editor Adam Gifford says it's unfinished business from the tribe's 1995 Raupatu Settlement.

Talks started at the end of 2005, and this is believed to be the third offer presented by the Crown.

Despite efforts by Treaty Minister Mark Burton and Tainui negotiators Lady Raiha Mahuta and Tukoroirangi Morgan to keep the talks out of the public eye, there has been negative public reaction to the idea the tribe is asking for ownership.

Mr Morgan has emphasized the tribe’s main aim was to protect the river, and to have the tribe’s cultural, physical and spiritual connection to the Waikato recognised.

Indications are the deal being discussed by the Tainui executive today and the Kauhanganui tomorrow doesn’t use the word “ownership”, but it does give Tainui co-management of the river.

Waatea sources say Tainui has won pretty much all they were asking for, and in their hearts the river will once more be theirs.


Maori Party leader Pita Sharples says Television New Zealand chief executive Rick Ellis must go.

Mr Ellis has run into a storm of criticism for his response to select committee inquiries about Maori participation in mainstream television.

Dr Sharples says his answers showed a lack of vision which is reflected in the mainstream channel's attitude to Maori programming.

“Under this man, we’re not going to get any fair deal regarding representation of Maori programmes and when the same man spoke in response to our questions that he should get us better times, prime times for Te Karere and programmes like that, he just laughed,” Dr Sharples says.

He says Maori should boycott the TVNZ.


Moana and the Tribe are off to Russia on Sunday for the third time in as many years.

As well as a busy concert schedule, the award-winning band will give presentations on Pacific culture to university students.

Backing singer Ameria Reriti says it will also host a team building exercise for a group of international CEO's.

“They won't know what hit them because they’re going to have to put down a hangi and do some learning or reo and haka and performances they’re going to have to do and so we’re kind of looking forward to seeing how they are going to behave and perform outside of their usual comfort zones,” Rereti says.

The Russians are taken with kapahaka and weaponry, so noted exponents Scotty Morrison, Paora Sharples and Te Hira Paenga are accompanying the group.


National's treaty spokesperson says the Te Roroa people of Northland have been shortchanged.

National will oppose the Te Roroa Settlement Bill when it's reported back from the select committee next month.

Chris Finlayson says the settlement doesn't cover all the issues identified by the Waitangi Tribunal in its 1992 report.

Despite taking 15 years to negotiate, the deal fails to include the return of koiwi or remains taken from burial caves around the Waipoua Forest, and the $9.5 million price tag doesn't cover the value of the land coming back.

“This is an illustration of where the government’s treaty settlement process has completely gone wrong - that these Homeric epics have occurred over many years, and in thee meantime, land values have skyrocketed, so settlements can't be durable,” Mr Finlayson says.

The settlement will put Te Roroa in debt with no working capital.


The New Zealand Qualification Authority's chief Maori advisor says a new Maori strategic plan for the organsiation is a major step forward.

Arawhetu Peretini says Te Rautaki Maori gives the authority an action plan and timelines improve the quality of education undertaken by Maori.

Ms Peretini says it addresses issues like the relevance of qualifications, learner well-being, workforce planning and development and support for Maori communities.

She says it's about giving Maori choice.

“If it's being Maori choosing to do very generic qualifications, then how do we support Maori doing that. If it’s about matauranga Maori, then what are our systems here to support Maori doing that. So it’s being the range of choice we as Maori should have,” Ms Peretini says.


Maori Rugby will die unless the New Zealand Rugby Football Union gives the team some quality international fixtures.

That's the view of former Maori sports commentator Willie Jackson, who has traveled with previous Maori squads to South Africa and the Pacific.
Tomorrow morning the current squad plays the first game of its defence of the Churchill Cup in a four-way tournament in England.

Willie Jackson says that's not enough... and the national body must do.

“I’m sick of them treating us like New Zealand Universities or Junior All Blacks. Maori rugby has made a huge contribution to the pride of New Zealand rugby, but it has not been reciprocated by the NZRFU. They don’t plan consistent tours or games. We need to put the pressure on these guys, or Maori rugby will die mate,” Mr Jackson says.

Tomorrow's game against Canada kicks off at 7 am.


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