Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Appeal Court hears Te Arawa challenge

A challenge to the Te Arawa land claim settlement may be headed for the Supreme Court.

The Federation of Maori Authorities and the Maori Council have been in Court today arguing against the Government's intention to take possession of a third of the kaingaroa Forest and onsell it to Nga Kaihautu o Te Arawa.

The Appeal Court has reserved its decision, but a Maori Council executive member, Maanu Paul, fears it will uphold the High Court's decision that the courts can't stop Parliament approving the deal.

Mr Paul says the Government is tearing up one treaty settlement to do another.

“The Crown Forestry Assets Act that gave rise to the Crown Forestry Rental Trust and was negotiated by Graham Latimer, Tama Nikora and myself, was based on good faith and reasonableness. The Crown is trying to circumvent that,” Mr Paul says.

He says the Crown wants to use one tribe's assets to settle another tribe's claim.

PM DEFENDS SETTLEMENT PROCESS DESPITE POOR REPORTS

The Prime Minister is dismissing calls for a complete overhaul of the treaty settlement process.

Damning Waitangi Tribunal reports on the way deals were reached with Ngati Whatua and Te Arawa claimants have raised questions about the role of the Office of Treaty Settlements.

But Helen Clark says the process has produced many settlements over the past decade.

She says all settlements require two willing partners.

“Obviously the government would take legal advice, but we would not want the momentum that is there for iwi to settle with the Crown to be thwarted. I think iwi all over New Zealand can see the considerable benefits that have flown to others who have been able to conclude a settlement, and it’s not fair to hold that process back,” Ms Clark says.

Direct negotiations are only entered into when the Crown believes the case for compensation is absolutely clear-cut, so the claim doesn't have to go through the Waitangi Tribunal.

KAURI LOG CARRIED TO MARAE SITE

A Kauri log from the far north is to be the centre point of a new marae in Auckland.

The log from Taipa was a gift from the Muriwhenua tribes to the marae at Unitec's Carrington campus.

Hare Paniora, the polytech's pae arahi or Maori liaison, says it will be raised by block and tackle to stand on top of a mauri stone, which has been buried on the site.

He says just getting the log in place needed many hands.

“We carried the pou tahuhu, the pou tungarongo and two of the heke by human. The one that was challenging was the pou tahuhu because it weighed about 1.8 tonnes, so we needed 60 people and 60 people did carry it,” Mr Paniora says.

With the log is in place, master carver Lyonel Grant and his team will be able to work on site to complete the project.

TED TAMAKI, FORMER TARANAKI TRUST BOARD CHAIR, DIES

A great totara of Taranaki has fallen.

Ted Tamati, a former chairperson of the Taranaki Maorti Trust Board and the Paraninihi ki Waitotara Incorporation, died this morning in Taranaki Base Hospital at the age of 81.

Former board secretary Neville Baker says Mr Tamati inherited his seat from his father Pehimana Tamati, a long time chair of the trust board.

He says Mr Tamati took the top job at a difficult time.

“The settlements process was in place, iwi hapu were taking over and didn’t see a great role for the trust board and probably still don’t, and also contentious issues over Paraninihi ki Waitotara Incorporation and the whole question over renewal of leases, Ted was right in the middle of that. So he’s probably benn the person that has had the most pressure of anyone of the home people," Mr Baker says.

Ted Tamati is at Muru Raupatu Marae at Bell Block, where the funeral service will be held on Friday.

No reira e te rangatira, takoto mai, takoto mai, moe mai.

QUICK SETTLEMENTS WON’T LAST

There's a warning the Crown may be sacrificing durability for quick settlements.

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says many hapu are growing frustrated at what they see as shoddy treatment by Crown officials.

He says it's the sort of frustration which leads to mass actions such as the foreshore and seabed hikoi, or to land occupations.

Mr Flavell says the sort of deals the Crown is doing now fall short of what many younger Maori want.

“I don't think the next generation is going to stand for some of the things that have been done thus far, albeit some have settled in the spirit of good faith and I can’t necessarily criticize all those because people went into the process, but I’m fairly confident that the next generation won’t let it lie at that, and if the Crown thinks it’s full and final, they’ve got another think coming,” Mr Flavell says.

WAKA BARRED FROM YACHT RACE START

The man who arranged for a waka to travel to the America's Cup regatta is disappointed it won't accompany Team New Zealand to the starting line.

The 16-paddler waka Te Ika a Maui headed out with NZL 92 for the Louis Vuitton challenger races, but Cup holder Alinghi has refused permission for that support to continue.

Trevor Maxwell from Maori arts organisation Toi Maori says it's part of the gamesmanship which goes with major events.

“It was to be a bonus, but we donlt want to go there if it will cause a distraction for our own team. I think they’re wanting to focus. It’ll make its way back, and we can probably assist with a giood welcome home for the team, win lose or draw, maybe in the Auckland harbour later on in the year,” Mr Maxwell says.

Alinghi's action is on par with countries trying to ban the All Black haka before tests.

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