Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Tribunal sets Te Tau Ihu finding aside

A top of the South Island claimant says the Waitangi Tribunal has righted a recent wrong.

The tribunal yesterday found in favour of six te Tau Ihu tribes, saying they had customary interests in land which falls within the Ngai Tahu claim boundaries.

Before they could state their claim, the tribes had to go as far as the Court of Appeal to establish that the tribunal panel was not bound by a 1990 Maori Appellate Court decision that Ngai Tahu had sole ownership rights to the Kaikoura and Arahura Blocks.

Richard Bradley from Rangitane says his iwi's story has finally been told.

“The tribunal had the benefit of looking at the full range of evidence that was available from not only the iwi parties but also the Crown. Whereas in the Maori Appellate Court process, the Crown took this sort of petulant approach that they can’t get involved in matters between iwi, even though they were the keeper of the record,” he says.

Mr Bradley says Rangitane and other Te Tau Ihu iwi hope the tribunal's report will speed up negotiations, so the claimants don't have to wait another generation for justice.


The Minister for Senior Citizens says many Maori don't get financial assistance they're due because of informal arrangements within whanau.

Ruth Dyson says many Maori take over the care of their grandchildren under the whangai system.

While it's similar to adoption, it's just seen as a family responsibility and government agencies aren't informed.

“In Pakeha culture it isn’t that way at all. It’s much more formalized, much more documented, and they tend to get their financial support. So we have to make sure that our bureaucracy responds better to the fact that in Maori culture this is not something they want to have to go through a formal process but make sure those people get the financial support they need,” Ms Dyson says.


An Auckland mayoral candidate wants to Maori become an even greater presence in mainstream society.

John Hinchcliff is campaigning on his 20-year record of running Auckland Technical Institute, which is now the Auckland University of Technology.

When he started there was one Maori on staff, a drop out rate of 50 percent among Maori students, and no noticeable Maori cultural presence on campus.

“And when I left there were 80 Maori on staff, we had a Maori faculty, we’d built a marae. Because we’re empowered Maori to learn in a Maori way with Maori support networks, the drip-out rate was only 15 percent, and I really though that spoke volumes for what Maori can do if Maori are given the opportunity to do what Maori should do,” Professor Hinchcliff says.


One of the major figure's behind today's Maori language revival has died.

Sid Jackson died yesterday afternoon at his Auckland home after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 68.

Fellow activist Titewhai Harawira says rangatahi owe a debt of gratitude to Mr Jackson, who was one of the instigators of the Nga Tamatoa campaign for Maori to be taught in schools.

Like many in the protest group, he was not a speaker himself, but he was determined younger Maori should have that chance.

Mrs Harawira says it was a struggle not just with the Pakeha establishment but within Maoridom itself.

“I remember us locking our arms together and in the early ‘70s fighting for our language and us physically being thrown off maraes up and down this country, one because we were young, two because a lot of us were women and three because we didn’t speak the reo, but it didn’t make any difference to us,” Mrs Harawira says.

Sid Jackson was also known as an outstanding Maori scholar, a forceful union official, and a pioneering broadcaster with his long running Liberation Talkback on Aotearoa Radio and Radio Waatea.

From Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu, he is being taken back to Matahiwi Marae in Hastings for burial.


An organiser of Auckland University of Technology's Maori expo believes it may need to merge with a Te Puni Kokiri backed event.

Renata Blair says while turnout at last Friday's event topped the five previous expos, it could have been even bigger.

He believes Atamira, Maori in the City in July gave some people their fill of big Maori events for the year.

“We seriously need to plan these out properly so the Maori whanau, there’s not a huge investment out of their household to come to these events, because we’d like to stage them so they both complement each other. They’re the same communities who come, but we definitely need to have a discussion with TPK about how we programme these events,” Mr Blair says.

He says a combined AUT-Atamira expo has the potential to attract as many visitors as Pasifika.


A change in timeslot for Television New Zealand's flagship Maori language news programme is being seen as a deliberate snub to te reo.

After a high profile launch of its plans to almost treble its publicly-funded Maori programming, the state broadcaster let slip its plans to shift Te Karere back to 3.45 in the afternoon, with repeats at midnight and 5.45am.

Quinton Hita, an independent producer and former Maori language commission member, says that's just demeaning.

“Relegating Maori programmes to 3 o’clock in the afternoon and midnight. What does that say about the status of Maori language in the mainstream. It’s very detrimental to the status. And one key factor in bringing Maori programmes into mainstream is status. So to give a show like Te Karere status you would extend it by a quarter hour, turn it into a half hour news show, include it in the mainstream news perhaps,” Mr Hita says.


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