Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, August 06, 2007

CNI iwi plot alternative path

Central North Island iwi have asked Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell to facilitate a series of hui to work out which hapu Kaingaroa Forest should go back to.

The iwi met in Kaingaroa Village yesterday to consider a Waitangi Tribunal report critical of a proposed settlement which would give a Te Arawa group $85 million of forest assets.

The tribunal said the negotiation process and the settlement offer were inconsistent with treaty principles, especially in their treatment of overlapping groups.

It recommended all iwi be involved in developing a durable settlement.

Hui convenor Maanu Paul from Ngai Moewhare says the treaty settlement process has gone off the rails, and the tribunal's advice should be heeded.

“What has transpired over the last 17, 18 years is that the Crown has mystified the process. Created mysterious methodologies of mandate and only dealt with their favourite children. They didn’t deal with the ugly ones which we belong to,” Mr Paul says.

He says the Te Arawa deal would give that iwi land in the forest it had no ancestral connection with.

BURTON DENIES CROWN PLAYING FAVOURITES

But an angry denial from the Treaty Negotiations Minister to criticism the Government is playing favourites.

Mark Burton says the deal with Nga Kaihautu o Te Arawa should be allowed to stand.

He says while the Waitangi Tribunal has raised questions of good faith, it would be wrong to turn its back on the group, or delay its settlement.

“I suppose one of the points I would take exception with the tribunal is the inference that somehow the Crown’s picking favourites. Well actually, the Crown’s responding to those who perhaps feel they are ready to engage, and I think we would be properly criticized if we simply said ‘we’re not going to talk to you’ if people came and said ‘we want to engage and progress our claims,’” Mr Burton says.

He says there are sufficient resources available to settle with other iwi and hapu in the central North Island.

NGATA DISCIPLE REWARDED FOR CONTRIBUTION

A Ngati Porou kuia has been honoured for her lifelong contribution kapa haka and other Maori arts.

Merekaraka Ngarimu, 85, was one of this year's recipients of Sir Kiingi Ihaka kaumatua awards from Te Waka Toi.

Her daughter, Hinetuu Dell, says Mrs Ngarimu was taught Ngati Porou waiata, haka and tikanga by Apirana Ngati, making her an invaluable repository of the East Coast tribe's traditions.

“Ngati Porou's history in terms of kapa haka has a lot to do with her leadership throughout the years. Her focus is really about tikanga and it is about nga mahi o te runga o te marae, because kapa haka has changed now, eh. It’s a regimental, competitive type culture,” Mrs Dell says.

The other recipients of the award were Waitangi Tribunal member Tuahine Northover, Hokitika language teacher Hilda Georgina Tainui, Waikato carver Hikairo Herangi and his wife, weaver Te Rawerawe Herangi.

WHANGANUI LAND CLAIM HEARINGS START

Putiki Marae by the Whangnaui River was jammed today for the opening of Waitangi Tribunal hearings into the Wanganui land claims.

The claims cover the area from the river mouth to north of Taumaranui, as well as the Whangaehu and Waitotara catchments.

The tribunal was welcomed into the rohe by Rangatihi Tahuparae, who this morning presented the customary history of the iwi reaching back before the canoes, as taught in the traditional Whare Wananga o Whanganui.

Mr Tahuparae says while Whangnaui tribes did not suffer confiscation after the wars of the 1860s, they still struggled to hang on to their lands.

“What they did was took the land through different Acts like the Scenic Reserves Act, and in order to maintain that they used the Coal Mines Act, they used the Harbour Boards Act, all sorts of Acts to take the land,” Mr Tahuparae says.

Whanganui iwi expect a long fight to get a settlement, as they are still waiting for action on their river claims, which the tribunal reported on in 1999.

QUEENSTOWN CONCERNED AT DRUNKEN RANGATAHI

Queenstown is considering introducing Maori wardens because of a disproportionately high rate of alcohol-related offences among young Maori.

David Richards, who's heading a Queenstown Lakes District Council initiative to curb alcohol-related violence, says drink is the cause of most crime in the Central Otago holiday capital.

He says while Maori make up only 4.7 percent of the region's population, less than a third of the national average, it's not reflected in crime figures.

“When translated into the statistics, the offending rate works out to pretty much the same per head of population, so we think it’s important to work with Maori on trying to develop initiatives that can address that offending,” Mr Richards says.

The council is also consulting with police iwi liaison officers, Maori mental health services, Ngai Tahu and maata waka groups.

IRD TAKES ON TE REO TRANSLATIONS

People who want to talk about their tax affairs in te reo will be able to do so now.

Inland Revenue's language line has added Maori to the 39 tongues it covers.
Spokesperson Valerie Price says the translators are provided to the tax department by the Office of Ethnic Affairs.

Previously the Maori option was only been available for child support queries, but people can now get advice on student loans, working for families, KiwiSaver and voluntary organisations such as Marae and trusts.

SMITH FINALLY ACCEPTS AWANUIARANGI POST

Former Auckland University pro-vice chancellor Maori Graham Smith has been appointed to head Te Wananga o Awanuiaarangi.

The post has been filled on a temporary basis since the departure of Gary Hook at the end of 2005.

The Whakatane-based Maori university has had to deal with a slump in student enrolments, leading to over-staffing and a $4 million deficit.

Professor Smith, from Ngati Apa, Ngati Porou and Kahungunu, is known for his innovative approach to education.

At Auckland, he and wife Linda launched a programme to increase the number of Maori working towards post-graduate degrees.

In recent years he has been teaching in North America.

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