Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tuwharetoa seeks forest resumption

Tuwharetoa is asking for 10 Kaingaroa Forest blocks to be handed over in settlement of its claims.

The Government has already earmarked some of the land to settle the claims of affiliate iwi and hapu of Te Arawa.

Tuwharetoa has asked the Waitangi tribunal to make a binding recommendation on the matter, because it says the proposed te Arawa settlement will prejudice the chances of other iwi in the area to be dealt with fairly.

George Asher, a member of the tribe's claims committee, says two major issues need to be addressed.

“Number one, how to sort out overlapping iwi interests in certain blocks of land, which are very substantial given the ancestral relationships of iwi in the central North Island to many of those lands. The other issue is the Crown vesting in itself the accumulated rentals from those lands without going through the process that was promised to us through the 1989 Crown Forest Assets Act agreement,” he says.

Mr Asher says the Waitangi Tribunal has already found Ngati Tuwharetoa's claims are well founded.

WIND FARM FIGHT DRAGS ON FOR IWI

Hawkes Bay iwi say power lines company Unison Networks is abusing its economic power by trying to push through a wind farm near the Napier Taupo Road.

Maungaharuru-Tangitu Society Incorporated and Ngati Hineuru Iwi Incorporated are waiting to hear whether the High Court overrules an Environment Court finding that the 37-turbine farm on Te Waka Range would damage an outstanding landscape.

Lawyer Jolene Patuawa says the iwi is also having to fight a 34-turbine proposal by the company, which is almost identical to the first plan.

“A little bit cynically I think that they’re just trying to throw around the fact that they can afford to keep putting us through processes and they’re not going to accept that we managed to get a good decision for the tangata whenua,” Ms Patuawa says.

Te Waka Range has immense spiritual significance to tangata whenua.

HAWAIIAN CARVER LOOKING FOR MAORI INSPIRATION

A Hawaiian woodturner is excited to find Maori have retained some of the carving skills his people have lost.

Palika Kramer is one of the guests at next week's International Woodskills symposium in Hastings.

He's also spending time with Maori artists, so he can learn more about the graphic designs in moko and whakairo.

He says Maori work has a strong emotional impact to him.

“One of the things that might be missing from what has carried forth in Hawaiian culture is that we had a lot of these graphic elements and we had a lot of the fierceness warrior type things represented in both the carving and designs, but it doesn’t have as strong a presence in Hawaii as what I’ve seen with the Maori culture,” Mr Kramer says.

He says traditional Hawaiian culture was abruptly interrupted by contact with the outside world, so it's impossible to know how it might have evolved.

TAU SEES EXPANDED TOKM ROLE

The newest member of Te Ohu Kaimoana believes the Maori fisheries settlement trust can play a greater role in putting iwi concerns forward.

Ngapuhi chairperson Sonny Tau was appointed a director of the trust by an iwi electoral college, along with Opotiki accountant Fred Cookson.

They replace Shane Jones and Rob McLeod.

Mr Tau says he's pleased the country's largest tribe finally has a representative at the top table.

He says Te Ohu Kaimona is now a significant part of the Maori world, and it needs to give thought to its role going forward.

“We need to look at the attacks that Maori are coming under and to see whether we could provide some strategic leadership for iwi to approach issues like the indigenous rights and all that stuff. To approach that individually is a big ask so we might be able to provide some strategic leadership there that they can leverage and get them to work together,” Mr Tau says.

Another priority will be to improve the performance of the Ministry of Fisheries towards Maori.

HOUSING NEEDS TO BE ELECTION ISSUE

The Public Health Association wants the quality and availability of housing to become an election issue.

Director Gay Keating says overcrowded and substandard housing is affecting the health of whanau.

Health sector resources are going into dealing with preventable illnesses.

She says families understand the impact poor housing can have on their health, even if for economic reasons they can't afford to make different decisions.

“I'm much more concerned that the government agencies, both local government and central government, are having difficulty making that connection,” Dr Keating says.

She wants to see policies which reduce the incidence of overcrowding and better align publicly-owned housing stock with areas of high need.

OLYMPIC GATEWAY BACK IN TARANAKI

A well-traveled gateway has returned home.

Taranaki carver Patrick Keepa built the whakaheke for the New Zealand Village at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, and it was used again at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games.

Howie Tamati, the chief executive of Sport Taranaki, says it will now go on display at his organisation's new headquarters at New Plymouth's Yarrow Stadium.

He says it's an inspiration, and not just for Maori athletes.

“The interesting thing about the whakaheke is the journey it’s been through, what it actually became the catalyst for, the fact that this carved gateway was the entranceway to the Olympic village in Sydney and then went on to Manchester. It provided the inspiration for the NZOC to develop a strong cultural element within the New Zealand Olympic team,” Mr Tamati says.

The carvings on the whakaheke carvings represent the bringer of knowledge in Maori legend.

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