Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ngati Toa ready for talks

Ngati Toa Rangatira has the green light to begin Treaty negotiations.

Representatives of the Cook Strait iwi signed terms with Treaty Negotiations minister Mark Burton at Parliament yesterday - almost two years after their mandate was recognised.

Chairperson Matiu Rei says the delay was caused by the resources the Office of Treaty Settlements was willing to put into the talks.

He says Ngati Toa was on the front line of the colonisation project, because of the interest of the New Zealand Company in the Cook Strait area.

“New Zealand Company had targeted both Wellington and Nelson as being the centre of their expansion. That brought them slap bang against Ngati Toa. So yes, we were critical in early settlement, and obviously because of that suffered greater than most tribes,” Mr Rei says.

The iwi has agreed on a 21-month work programme with the Office of Treaty Settlements ... which is probably an optimistic timetable.


Tangata whenua in the north Waikato say the time for fighting the new prison is over, and they have to learn to live with it.
Spring Hills Correctional Facility, just north of Te Kauwhata, opens today.

It can take up to 650 male inmates, ranging from minimum to high-medium security status, and includes a special unit for youth offenders and one for Pacific prisoners.

Pat Kingi from Tainui says the locals didn't want the prison, but they will make the best of a bad situation.

“You know what the government's like. They bought the land. You’ve got no say. Kept on going, trying to get our people in there, get some jobs,” Mr Kingi says.

Tainui protocol, which requires women to sit behind the men, will be strictly enforced at today's opening ceremony - despite earlier incidents where Corrections staff and National Party MPs have complained about the practice.


Teaching parenting skills to parents is the best way to affect a child's development.

That's the latest finding from the long-running Christchurch Health and Development Study.

Head researcher David Fergusson says the study was able to dispel some myths about supposed differences with Maori methods of child raising, and about whether there were one or two parents in the family unit.

He says researchers interviewed 230 parents who are enrolled in the Early Start, a programme where social agencies offer regular help and advice to at-risk families, and compared the results with a control group of similar size.

“They had better healthcare, lower rates of child abuse, they attended pre-school more often, their parents were less punitive and they had fewer problem behaviours. And very interesting and I think most importantly we were able to show these results held equally well for Maori and non-Maori,” Professor Fergusson says.

The research can improve the way whanau support programmes are targeted.


National's plans to sell off shares in state owned enterprises could be stymied by unresolved Maori claims.

National finance spokesperson Bill English believes New Zealanders would be keen to invest in the companies.

But Maori Council spokesperson Maanu Paul says the council successfully challenged the transfer of Crown assets to SOEs 20 years ago - resulting in a system of memorials where those assets can be clawed back to settle treaty claims.

He says that will make pricing shares in SOEs a major headache for any future government.

“I don't see the deal we had over state owned enterprises being threatened in any way at all. What we did with the government at that time binds the existing governments and when National will try to do\ this, they will come up against the memorials we agreed to and I think it will be a dead horse,” Mr Paul says

Bill English's plans are likely to run into the same problems which have caused the Government to put on ice its proposed settlement with some Te Arawa hapu.


A Rotorua bar owner has been refused a manager's licence for making disparaging comments about Maori.

Maori wardens recommended Ray Sayed be refused the licence because of the way he ejected them from Rotorua's Mitchell Downs Tavern last year.

The Liquor Licensing Authority agreed, with Judge Edward Unwin describing Mr Sayed as a seriously flawed individual, seriously lacking in insight and displaying of bigotry and prejudice.

Clare Matthews, the secretary of the Rotorua Maori Wardens, says it's unfortunate the ban only applies to Rotorua.

“It's a shame it didn’t cover the whole of New Zealand, because with that sort of attitude, he’s not a fit person to be given a position of responsibility. There’s always going to be Maori in hotels, always,” Ms Matthews says.

The Wardens have a contract with the Rotorua District Council to ensure bars are complying with the terms of their liquor licence, and they also have powers under their Act to enter any licensed premises.


Getting teenagers to talk is the aim of the Tainui Rangatahi Summit.

One hundred and fifty young people from marae in Tainui Waka and manuhiri from as far afield as Invercargill and Australia are expected in Ngaruawahia for the rest of the week.

Along with the speakers, workshops and forums, there will be plenty of chances to socialise.

Organising committee member Johnine Davis says Tainui wants to find out the aspirations and goals of the rangatahi and what the iwi can do to support those goals.

She says it wants to identify the leaders of the next generation.

“Leaders are not only at the front. They are in the middle and the back, They can be the quiet observers and the practical hands-on approach, They can be people who are natural hosts and hostesses in terms of manaakitanga and hospitality and things like that, so it’s a whole host of things,” Ms Davis says.


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