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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Te Ohu a model for settlements

Outgoing trustee Shane Jones says Te Ohu Kaimoana has shown treaty settlements can be a success.

The Labour backbencher handed in his resignation as a trustee at yesterday's board meeting, ending 14 years as a member of the body administering the Maori fisheries settlement.

Te Ohu Kaimoana is ahead of target in allocating fisheries assets, with three quarters of iwi now mandated.

Mr Jones says after years of wrangling about allocation, iwi were quick to get behind the process once they could see positive momentum.

“It's when negativity sets in and there doesn’t appear to be any progress and people start to look to the past and perhaps imagine problems that aren’t there so I think Te Ohu Kaimoana has done really well over the last couple of years to get all that putea out and it shows where you are proactive and have a good set of safeguards, you can make a huge success of these treaty settlements.

Te Kawai Taumata, the iwi electoral college, will meet today to kick off the process of finding replacements for Shane Jones and fellow commissioner Rob McLeod, who resigned to head up accounting firm Ernst and Young.

P CRUSADER ALL HUIED OUT

A Pukekohe grandmother who led an anti-P march on Parliament says she's all hui-ed out.

Marie Cotter says methamphetamine abuse continues to cause havoc in Maori communities.

But she says there's too much talk and too little action.

“They just have continually hui hui hui hui. There is no conclusion. Nobody is getting out in the community and saying right, we’ve got a solution. You’ve got babies here that are getting beaten up. Look at the backgrounds of those people who are beating them up. I guarantee that each and every one of those families are involved in alcohol or drugs,” Mrs Cotter says.

She says social agencies don't have the presence in the community to make a difference.

KAUMATUA CLIMB ON VC BUS

It will be early to bed tonight for a group of kaumatua from Ngapuhi.

They're leaving in the early hours tomorrow for Te Kaha to take part in this weekend's celebrations acknowledging New Zealand's latest Victoria Cross winner.

Ngapuhi Runanga spokesperson Lani Souter says while Corporal Willie Apiata was raised in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, his bones are from Ngapuhi.

The bus is sponsored by the Russell RSA so Northland elders can attend can, and the ope is led by 28 Maori Battalion veteran Tamati Paraone.

“He doesn't venture out very much at all from his house so it’s a significant journey for him to leave his house at 1am in the morning and travel all the way down from the north here to Te Kaha to take part in those celebrations. It shows the significance to those members of the 28 Battalion, how much of an honour this VC is,” Ms Souter says.

P NO 9-5 PROBLEM

A Pukekohe grandmother says the problems methamphetamine is causing in Maori communities can't be solved with a nine to five attitude.

Marie Cotter set off on her anti-P crusade after a fellow kuia asked her for information about the drug which was affecting her mokopuna.

She says because of her leadership of a hikoi on Parliament demanding more resources to tackle the problem, she's called at all hours of the day and night by desperate parents.

“12 o'clock and 1 o’clock in the morning you’re going out. I tell you there’s a lot of families out there that are devastated by this drug. It’s a killer drug. This drug is worse than any prognosis of cancer. I’ve seen what it’s doing to the families. It is absolutely heartbreaking,” Mrs Cotter says.

She wants to see less hui and more action on the problem.

MAORI COUNCILORS HIT PLATEAU

Maori involvement in local government seems to have flatlined.

Mike Reid from Local Government New Zealand says the number of councilors who were Maori has been between five and six percent for the past three elections.

He says the chance of an increase in this year's election depends on how many Maori put themselves up, and how much name recognition they have.

“Maori are far more successful at getting elected to small and provincial councils. You go to say a council like Porirua which has got quite strong Maori representation, but getting into the big metros seems to be much more difficult, and I suspect that is also a financial thing. It’s more expensive to campaign. You have to be pretty well known to get into those big city councils,” Mr Reid says.

Nominations close on August 24

ANS WESTRA HONOURED FOR PHOTO CONTRIBUTION

A woman who provided an invaluable record of Maori life over the past half century has been acknowledged as a living icon by the Arts Foundation.

Ans Westra migrated from the Netherlands in 1957, and soon became known in Maori communities with her camera.

Her 1964 book for School Publications, Washday at the Pa, caused a controversy because of its frank depiction of Maori living conditions.

Garry Nicholas from Toi Maori says Ms Westra's photographs, particularly those for the Maori Affairs Department's Te Ao Hou magazine, documented Maori in a period of dramatic change.

“Ans was an important gatherer of imagery that reflected our people through that period of time I certainly place her as a great icon of this country and a great asset to us to be bale to lok back and see those early images of our old people,” Mr Nicholas says.

Ans Westra's icon medallion was formerly held by writer Janet Frame.

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