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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, September 07, 2007

Rarawa settlement lost opportunity

One of the leaders of the Muriwhenua Claim says Te Rarawa is being short changed.

Te Runanga o te Rarawa today signed an agreement in principle with Treaty Negotiations Minister Mark Burton to settle the Northland tribe's historical claims for $20 million and 29 percent of the Aupouri Forest.

The claim was led through the 10 year Waitangi Tribunal process by the Muriwhenua Runanga, but the Office of Treaty Settlements refused to negotiate a region-wide settlement with Muriwhenua.

Chairperson Rima Edwards says it was a lost opportunity for the people of the far north.

“The Crown has won a major battle in my view, insofar as they were able to bypass the Muriwhenua Land Report where substantial assets were recommended to be returned. Te Rarawa will receive less than what they are entitled to,” he says.

Mr Edwards says the proposed settlement not only splits Te Rarawa from the rest of Muriwhenua, it also drives a wedge through the hapu around the Hokianga Harbour.

HAPU GLAD AIRPORT SALE FALLS THROUGH

The hapu whose land was taken for Auckland International Airport is happy to see the back of prospective Middle Eastern buyers.

Dubai Aerospace has dropped its bid to buy a controlling stake in the airport.

Te Akitai kaumatua Sonny Rauwhero says the company got off on the wrong foot in consultations with Maori over the deal, by sending in a legal team rather than going for a face to face meeting.

“We Maori are humble people and ready to sit and talk with anybody, and rather than talk to a board that goes back to report to people and on and on and on it goes. Maori believe in a facial confrontation, whether it’s good or bad, at least they’ve had the outcome of talking things over, kanohi ki te kanohi,” Mr Rauwhero says.

Te Akitai was concerned that a change in ownership would threaten the role of the airport's new marae.

BAYE RIDDELL OFF TO HAWAIIAN FIRINGS

A top Maori ceramacist is looking to share his experience with native Hawaiians.

Baye Riddell from Ngati Porou and Whanau a Ruataupare is off next week for a two month Te Waka Toi residency at the University of Hawaii.

He'll be lecturing and running workshops, as well as seeking out the local potters.

He says like Maori, ceramics aren't part of the traditional Hawaiian material culture.

“They've a similar history in terms of ceramics in that they didn’t have ceramics before so they’re still developing their ideas and perspectives and approaches and that’s the reason for this exchange. I think it’s to encourage particularly younger ones to incorporate some of thri culture into their clay artwork in particular,” Baye Riddell says.

He's keen to work with some of Hawaii's volcanic materials.

HALF OF HOMELESS ARE MAORI

A survey of homelessness in central Auckland has found half of those sleeping rough are Maori.

Wilf Holt from the Auckland City Mission says his Crisis Care team identified 150 homeless people within three kilometres of the Skytower.

He says the annual survey gives the mission a better sense of the people likely to use its drop-in centre and helps it plan services.

“If we say that rough sleepers form the most marginalized sections of our community, then unfortunately Maori are over-represented in our marginalized communities, whether it’s in prison, whether it’s achievement in education, etc, so we should expect no different,” Mr Holt says.

The Mission now employs two people to work with rough sleepers during the day, helping them find accommodation and deal with health and legal problems.

LESS SECONDHAND SMOKE IN MAORI HOMES

Maori anti-smoking initiatives are being credited with a dramatic drop in children being exposed to second hand smoke.

Mere Wilson from the Health Sponsorship Council says the number of Maori children in homes where people smoke inside has dropped from 35 percent to under 10 percent in four years.

She says Maori have been more responsive than non-Maori to the Smoke Free Homes campaign.

In part that's because campaigners listened to focus groups of Maori from low socio economic households.

“Focus groups said to us that we don’t want tikanga mixed with this message, that combining smoking and carving doesn’t work for us, so can you not do that, and it was also the message that we do not want to be targeted as Maori, so we had to modify what we were going to do so it would be still responsive to Maori and Maori were still able to identify with the concepts, but they saw them as appropriate, relevant and believable,” Ms Wilson says.

GRAVE FIGHT ILLUSTRATES INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE HOOK

An Otago University researcher says the dispute over the burial of a Christchurch man illustrates the issues that can arise with cross-cultural marriages.

The wife of the late James Takamore is fighting with his relatives to get his tupapaku dug up from Kutarere Marae in the eastern Bay of Plenty and returned to the South Island for reburial.

Angela Wanhalla, who has just been given a $165,000 Marsden Fund grant to research two centuries of intermarriage in New Zealand, says it's the sort of story that makes the whole subject so fascinating to historians.

“When cultures come into contact there’s always going to be problems dealing with cultural protocols and coming into contact with ideas that may be completely different to the cultural world or the social world in which that person grew up in,” Dr Wanhalla says.

She will also be looking at the way the state and churches have managed inter-racial marriages.

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