Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Aquaculture settlement a hospital pass

The deputy chair of Te Ohu Kaimoana is warning iwi against rushing into aquaculture investment.

Under the commercial aquaculture settlement, Maori are in line to get 20 percent of new and existing aquaculture space.

The Ministry of Maori Development and the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research are holding hui around the country to show Maori some of the marine species they may be able to farm.

But Ngahiwi Tomoana says the Maori fisheries settlement trust fears iwi could be getting a hospital pass.

“Commodity prices are in depression worldwide, and with the high New Zealand dollar and with the red tape to get a fish farming licence it’s really a disincentive to invest in aquaculture,” Mr Tomoana says.

Aquaculture is hugely complex, requiring interaction with district and regional councils, commercial and recreational fishing communities, the fisheries ministry and iwi and hapu.

WARDENS GO WHERE OTHERS FEAR TO TREAD

There is hope a reorganisation of the Maori Wardens will preserve the character of the roopu, while making it more effective.

A working party including Te Puni Kokiri, Police and national Maori organisations met this week to discuss how to spend $2.5 million set aside for the wardens in the budget.

Coordinators will be appointed in six regions with strong existing wardens groups ... police will supply training ... and there will be new resources including winter clothing and vehicles.

Police Maori strategy advisor Wally Haumaha says the wardens have a vital role to play in many communities.

“The wardens have a unique relationship and a unique style that enables them to go where others fear to tread. The richness has been their ability to promote the values of Maori but still being able to look for the right sort of options to direct those people in need,” Mr Haumaha says.

RELATIONSHIPS KEY TO CHINA SUCCESS

A member of a Maori delegation heading to China this month to talk tourism says it is building on the work of two prominent New Zealanders.

Maori Tourism Council chief executive Johnny Edmonds says Hiwi Tauroa established a trust to foster relations between Maori and Chinese.

The former Race Relations Conciliator wanted to build on the work of Rewi Alley, who lived in China from 1927 until his death 20 years ago.

Mr Edmonds says unlike the western model, where business often precedes relationships, Maori and Chinese prefer to build relationships, then talk deals.

“It was people like Hiwi, with his discussions with Rewi Alley who started off the whole idea of that rather special relationship and out of that initiatives can happen, whether they happen to be in tourism, aquaculture, education, doesn't matter,” Mr Edmonds says.

He says as the Chinese economy grows, its people are looking for overseas tourism experiences.

FOREST CASE COULD BE STEP TOO FAR FOR SUPREMES

An expert on the New Zealand constitution says Maori appellants are likely to fail if they take a case against Te Arawa's land settlement to the Supreme Court.

The Federation of Maori Authorities and the Maori Council say the Government's plans to give Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa 50,000 hectares of Kaingaroa Forest, pocketing more than $60 million in accumulated rents in the process, breaches the 1989 forestry settlement.

The Court of Appeal says it can't stop Parliament enacting the settlement, and the appellants can't invoke the Treaty of Waitangi because of a 1941 Privy Council ruling the treaty was not part of New Zealand law.

Jock Brookfield, an emeritus professor at Auckland University, says while the new Supreme Court can overrule the Privy Council, it's unlikely to on this issue.

“If we want basic constitutional change so that the treaty becomes an effective basis for the constitution, that would have to wait for basic constitutional reform, most likely when the country becomes a republic perhaps,” Professor Brookfield says.

He says Parliament has shied away from making the Treaty of Waitangi a basic constitutional document, so references in law to the principles of the treaty have a limited effect.

HOROMIA CASTS DOUBT ON MAORI COUNCIL FUTURE

The Minister of Maori Affairs says he's not sure what role the Maori Council can play in a reform of the Maori wardens.

The council, along with other national Maori organisations, police and Te Puni Kokiri, is on a working party looking at how an extra budget allocation for the wardens should be spent.

Parekura Horomia says while the wardens are covered by the same Act as the council, they have tended to act autonomously.

“The Maori Council is nowhere near as active as it used to be. You know one time in the 80s and 90s the Maori Council was very active in doing initial things that have certainly borne fruit now, but the process of being appointed by the marae and then up to the Maori executive and up to the Maori Council has certainly dated in a lot of regions,” Mr Horomia says.

Iwi runanga have taken up some of the work previously done by the Maori Council.

HIGH HOPES FOR ATAMIRA SHOWCASE

One of the organisers of today's Maori expo in Auckland hopes the event may one day become as popular as Pacifica.

Kim Hegan says the three-day Atamira - Maori in the city will showcase Maori talent in business, arts and music.

It's a joint venture by Te Puni Kokiri and Ngati Whatua o Orakei.

Thousands of people are expected.

“It's really the first time. I think the only thing like this is Pasifika, which has become New Zealand’s – it might have become the biggest event in the southern hemisphere now. And there’s never really been a Maori one, and it’s just so obvious really when you think about it,” Mr Hegan says.

On the programme today is a Maori business conference, with the weekend given over to trade displays, art exhibitions and free concerts.

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