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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, September 10, 2007

Tuwharetoa revisits lake deal

Ngati Tuwharetoa has renegotiated its settlement giving it ownership of the bed of Lake Taupo and the Waikato River to Huka Falls.

A new deed signed at Parliament this afternoon simplifies the 1992 settlement and confirms the tribe's ability to charge fees to commercial users of the lake.

It will also be paid $1.5 million a year as its share of fees charged by the Crown.

Under the old deal, this could potentially rise every year.

In the new deed, the Crown is paying Tuwharetoa a $9.85 million lump sum to forego those perpetual increases.

The Conservation Minister, Chris Carter, says the Crown will continue to own and manage the trout fishery.


A huge amount of effort over the past two decades has gone into achieving treaty settlements, but not enough work is done on how tribes should be run after settlements.

That's the reason Manuhuia Barcham from Massey University has been given a $170,000 Marsden fast start research grants to study indigenous corporate structures.

Dr Barcham says he'll be looking at Australia, the United States and Canada for comparisons.

He says problems are starting to emerge in western Canada as native bands complain the corporation structures imposed on them don't allow them to achieve all their goals.

“Economic growth is one of those. It’s good to be able to pay for the health and education of your people. But there are other issues as well, and a pure western economic model or even one that’s just had a little bit of tinkering on the side to insert some tikanga or kawa somewhere isn’t necessary the best structure to achieve the various goals that a group might want,” Dr Barcham says.

Maria Bargh from Victoria University has been given a similar grant for a related project looking at the pressures on indigenous peoples to form corporations, and how that changes their relationship with their tribe.


A mostly Maori group which patrols Porirua's streets has won praise for making the town a safer place to live.

The Porirua Community Guardians were highly commended at the national ACC community safety and injury prevention awards.

Guardians' manager Dallas Crampton says the 50-strong roopu runs safety patrols, offers crime prevention advice and education, reports graffiti and other safety issues, and conducts annual street makeovers in uncared for parts of the city.

He says members chose their name and approach from a belief that antisocial behaviour happens when there aren't capable guardians around.

“We've wrapped up this community passion and ability in a pretty visible lime green uniform, deliberately not like a police uniform or a security guard. It really embodies that local caring,” Mr Crampton says.

The Guardians are similar to the Maori Wardens, in that they are a less threatening to young people than other authorities.


Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board says a revised settlement signed today will clarify the rights the tribe holds over Lake Taupo.

Board secretary Rakeipoho Taiaroa says it wraps together a 1926 deal, under which Tuwharetoa got an annuity and a share of trout fishing licence fees, and the 1992 deed which vested ownership of the lake bed in the tribe.

He says the value of the annuity has dropped over time, because of the reluctance of the Crown to increase the fees in line with inflation.

The Crown will pay Tuwharetoa a one-off sum of just under $10 million and a fixed annuity of $1.5 million a year.

Mr Taiaroa says the new deed clarifies Tuwharetoa's right to charge commercial users of the lake.

“To middle New Zealand there’s no change at all. You and I can go for a swim and do what we like recreation wise, but if you or I are looking to go to the lake for a comercial purpose, ie to make money from the lake, that’s when there will need to be a discussion with the Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board,” Mr Taiaroa.


Awa FM has found a new audience for Waitangi Tribunal hearings.

The Whanganui-based iwi station has been broadcasting live from the hearings of the Whanganui land claim, which are this week at Parakino Marae.

Station manager Geoff Mariu says it meant rescheduling a few advertisers and sponsors, but they've all seen the value of the broadcasts ... and there had been a great response from listeners.

“We've helped to connect people who can’t make it in to the hearings for whatever reason and via the Internet also we’ve had a huge response from overseas saying that they’re really enjoying listening to the korero of the stories from home,” Mr Mariu says.

Rangatahi have taken coverage even further, using texts, You-Tube and social networking sites like Bebo to get news of the hearing out to friends and whanau in Aotearoa and overseas.


Restoration is almost complete of a building which was a second home many Maori who moved to Auckland in the 1950s and 60s.

Tatai Hono or the Holy Sepulchre started life in Parnell in 1884 as St Pauls.
It was moved to its current Khyber Pass site in the 1960s to be home for the Auckland Anglican Maori Mission.

A half million dollar grant from the ASB Community Trust has allowed the mission to restore and strengthen the roof, walls and kauri floorboards, install sprinklers, upgrade the kitchen and ablution blocks and build a new marae entrance.

Canon Lloyd Popata says the marae has been a significant meeting point for Maori.

“Particularly groups that didn’t come from Auckland, that weren’t Ngati Whatua and Tainui. For Taitokerau, it was a kainga rua. For Ngati Porou and Kahungunu, it was another place of meeting where they could come together for a whole host of reasons,” Canon Popata says.

The structural work should be completed over the next month, and a carved amo and new tukutuku panels should be done by April.


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