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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Lagging iwi could lose lease access

The Maori fisheries settlement trust is concerned delays by a few iwi to get mandates is preventing other tribes from pushing ahead with development of their assets.

The chair of Te Ohu Kaimona, Archie Taiaroa, says three quarters of the 57 iwi have received their initial share of the settlement, which includes deepwater quota and shares in Aotearoa Fisheries.

They're now resolving boundaries issues with their neighbours, so they can receive the inshore component of the settlement, which is based in coastline length rather than iwi population.

Mr Taiaroa says if those neighbours haven't become mandated iwi organisations, the process can't go forward.

“Most iwi have always said they want to do their own thing. Well now the opportunity is there, what’s holding them up to actually progress and got through the process to do that and get on with it. We’re saying the benefits that are theirs and all their constituent members’ should be taken advantage of and utilized,” he says.

Archie Taiaroa says if the delays continue, Te Ohu Kaimoana may refuse to lease annual catch entitlements to the un-mandated iwi groups, which could cost those groups hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

OTAGO ADOPTS MAORI FRAMEWORK

Otago University is looking for ways to align itself with Maori aspirations.

It has adopted a Maori Strategic Framework, setting out ways it can contribute to maori development.

Chancellor Lindsay Brown says the framework grew out of a Treaty of Waitangi stocktake the university conducted in 2005.

He says Otago already has a strong relationship with Ngai Tahu, and it is developing agreements with other iwi.

“We do have a good policy already in place where there is contribution in matters Maori to research and a growing roll of Maori students and also looking for opportunities to increase our Maori staff.
Mr Brown says.

He wouldn’t comment on the loss of two of the Otago's leading Maori staff members, because the matter is still going through the grievance process.

Tania Ka'ai, the former head of Otago's Te Tumu School of Maori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, and John Moorfield, a leading expert on the Maori language, start new jobs today at the Auckland University of Technology.

FLOODS TURN DREAM TO NIGHTMARE

A Maori organic farmer says last week’s Northland floods has turned dreams into nightmares for many Maori who have moved back to their ancestral papakainga.

Percy Tipene says many people move back with limited resources and they try and make a go with what they've got.

But he says the floods show the importance of doing research on the best use of land.

“It'll be quite a dilemma, where is the actual best site to put a house up on. I think one of the issues that has created this is changes in the use of land based activities, and I think this is a crucial concern to Maori people in terms of what’s happening upstream and how we can actually protect what they are trying to achieve,” Mr Tipene says.

He says many people may find it hard to renew their insurance after the floods.

LAGGING TRIBES COULD FIND LEASE TAP CUT

Te Ohu Kaimoana is threatening to stop leasing fish quota to iwi who haven't gone through its mandating process.

Chairperson Archie Taiaroa says 75 percent of iwi have now secured mandates and received the bulk of their fisheries settlement assets, but 14 others are lagging behind.

That creates problems because tribes need to reach agreement with their neighbours on boundaries before they can collect the inshore portion of the settlement, which is based on coastline length.

Mr Taiaroa says at some stage the fisheries settlement trust may stop leasing annual catch entitlements to those iwi.

“We're talking about 14 out of 57 so there’s been a large number who’ve taken advantage of it but then those slower ones, and the impact they have on others isn’t helpful, so what we would need to do is have a good look at how the thing can be moved forward much more quickly than is being allowed by some of the iwi who are reluctant or not getting their act together,” Mr Taiaroa says.

Axing the lease system could cost those iwi hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

TAUA CHALLENGE TO GO FOR FULL LENGTH NEXT

A west Auckland film director is ready to step up to feature length, after winning acclaim for his first two shorts.

Taua by Tearepa Kahi was judged the best short at this year's Auckland Film Festival.

The Ngati Paoa man won the same prize last year with his first short, The Speaker.

Taua, which was shot in the Waitakere ranges, tells the story of a war party trying to carry their canoe and a prisoner over land.

Mr Kahi says it was it required a huge effort from the 300 strong cast and crew, as well as financial support from the Film Commission, National Geographic, and the Ngati Paoa Whanau Trust.

“Filmmaking’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination. You can have the best ideas but it does come down to support. Obviously really really stoked about the level of support wee received for Taua and the fact it’s doing well on the local scene and is about to go on to Edinburgh and America and everywhere else later on in the year with the international film festival circuit,” Mr Kahi says.

Taua will screen as part of a shorts programme at Sky City Theatre at three thirty on Tuesday afternoon.

MIT ADOPTS MAORI CAUCUS MODEL

Manukau Institute of Technology is making structural changes to make itself more welcoming for Maori.

Maori head Wiremu Docherty says a new Maori caucus will sit alongside MIT's academic board and other staff and student bodies.

He says the caucus will be measured by action rather than talk

“We're more closer to having an institute that’s bicultural. Still a long way to go, but we’re that much more closer on paper in the structures of having these working relationships down and packed,” Mr Docherty says.

The first task for the caucus will be to develop a five year plan for Maori at MIT and the community it serves.

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