Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tainui MP welcomes lake precedent

Tainui MP Nanaia Mahuta is welcoming a new settlement between the Crown and Ngati Tuwharetoa which clarifies issues around the ownership of Lake Taupo.

The deal signed at Parliament yesterday could have implications for Tainui's settlement for the Waikato River from Huka Falls to the sea.

Tuwharetoa is to get one and a half million dollars a year to cover its share of trout licences and other Crown fees, and it will be able to charge commercial users of the lake.

Nanaia Mahuta says Waikato-Tainui people will be keen to read the small print.

“I'm sure we will be looking with interest in terms of the settlement and its potential implications for the river claim. We certainly support Tuwharetoa in moving towards clarity and resolution around Lake Taupo,” Ms Mahuta says.


Mainstream schools need to look at what's working in kura if they want to lift the results of Maori students.

That's the advice from Shane Ngatai, the co-president of Maori principals' association Te Akatea and head of Hamilton's mainstream Rhode Street Primary.

Some 88 percent of Maori children go to mainstream schools.

Mr Ngatai says that means mainstream educators need find new ways of approaching students - but given their response to the Ka Hikatia draft Maori education strategy, the message isn't getting through.

“In our region in the Waikato there are over 750 schools but only four principals from the mainstream turned up to that consultative meeting. Now I’m not going to ask them what they were doing or why they were not there but I think it’s a reflection on the thinking around … maybe it’s too hard for us or we're not interested,” he says.

Mr Ngatai says if Maori students in a school succeed, everyone succeeds.


A Ngai Tahu academic is trying to track the browning of New Zealand media.

Jo Smith from Victoria University's school of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies has won a $170,000 Marsden fast start grant to look at what she calls settler, native and migrant media.

She wants to tie it in with the history of colonial settlement in Aotearoa.

Dr Smith says the two-year project will concentrate on the period between 2004, when Maori Television started broadcasting, and 2008.

“2004 is also a watershed in New Zealand cultural politics. You have the establishment of the Foreshore and Seabed Act. You have the emergence of the Maori Party. And this begs the question how has New Zealand media changes in 2004 to 2008 and our notions of national identity off the back of these changes,” she says.

Dr Smith will also look at the emergence of a strong Pacific voice with television programmes like Bro Town and movies like Number Two and Sione's Wedding.


Ngati Tuwharetoa says a new settlement over Lake Taupo clears up questions over two previous settlements.

The tribe was granted a share of trout fishing licence fees back in 1926, and in 1992 its ownership of the lake bed was recognised.

Trust board secretary Rakeipoho Taiaroa says the value of the annuity was eroded by time, and there seemed to be limits on the tribe's ownership.

Under the deal signed at Parliament yesterday, Tuwharetoa gets a one-off payment of almost $10 million, $1.5 million a year as its share of licence fees, and the right to charge commercial operators of the lake.

“It really brings both agreements together and actually clarifies the board’s right not only to charge but it gives us fee simple title rights as any other landowners in New Zealand, whereas previously in the 1992 agreement it didn’t really carry through too well,” Mr Taiaroa says.


A project which has made Northland Maori communities more aware of the risks of fire has been highly commended by Accident Compensation's Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards.

Willie More from Ngapuhi says Kotahitanga was launched after a dozen people died in fires in a year.

Task Force Green workers are trained to install smoke alarms, and just as importantly, to talk to whanau about how quickly fires can spread and what they should do.

“The most important thing is the messages as well. It’s no use putting these things in and it goes off and people don’t know what to do when it does go off, so it’s making sure they deliver the message to the family and the children so that they understand it,” Mr More says.

The Kotahitanga team is also getting other safety messages out to the community, such as giving kaumauta advice about preventing falls.


A Playstation Portable game designed by a fledgling Maori firm has been has been nominated as one of the world's best pieces of electronic content.

CUBE was designed by Maru Nihoniho from Whanau a Apanui, Ngati Porou and Ngai Tahu, after she switched careers from managing restaurants to multi-media design.

She will have to wait until November, when the winner of the entertainment category in the World Summit Award will be announced at a gala diner in Venice, Italy.

Ms Nehoneho says until then, her company Metia Interactive has plenty to keep it busy.

“We want to get another title or two out there and resume a project we started working on a couple of years ago which is a Maori-based and themed game featuring a Maori heroine,” Ms Nihoniho says.

She says managing restaurants and bars was good training for managing teams of young designers and programmers.


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