Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wairau Lagoon threatened by sewage

Marlborough iwi are pushing for an ocean outfall to keep Blenheim's sewage out of kaimoana and mahinga kai areas.

Rangitane chairperson Richard Bradley says a proposed upgrade of the Marlborough District Council's waste water treatment doesn't address long-standing problems.

The council is seeking resource consent to discharge some of its sewage onto land surrounding the treatment plant, with the rest going through a wetland to the Wairau Estuary on the outgoing tide.

Mr Bradley says a cultural impact report commissioned by Rangitane, Ngati Rarua and Ngati Toa found such wetlands are the worst option.

He says on some tides, sewage would end up in the Wairau Lagoon.

“The Wairau Lagoon and Wairau Bay areas are not only sites of national importance, it also, because of its association with the earliest Polynesian explorers, is internationally regarded as one of our most prestigious archaeological sites, and it just seems bloody crazy that the best thing the council could come up with for utilizing the site is using it for the town's sewage tank,” Mr Bradley says,

He says while an ocean outfall could cost three times as much, it was better for the long term health of the community.


Ngati Maniapoto has been evicted from Tainui.

Redrawn boundaries for the renamed Hauraki-Waikato electorate pushes the King Country iwi into an alliance with Ngati Raukawa instead, in Tariana Turia's Te Tai Hauauru seat.

Tiwha Bell, the chair of the Maniapoto Trust Board, says the boundary ignores the tribe's manawhenua and its long association with the Tainui waka, which landed at Kawhia.

“We're not a tribe that wanders around or were kicked out by any other tribe. We held our mana over the area where our tupunas came here and we’ve always held it and to have a small government group that chucks you out of your decision-making area,” Mr Bell says.

The new boundaries will be used in the next two general elections.


A Tuhoe academic believes Pakeha are becoming increasingly attracted to Maori rituals for dealing with death.

Tracey McIntosh from Auckland University has studied the sociology of death.

Cases such as the furore over the burial of Christchurch man James Takamore and the Sydney coroner's treatment of Shane Hau's brain show the wider community still has much to learn about Maori tikanga.

However Dr McIntosh says once it's explained, Pakeha usually see benefit in the way Maori approach the death of a whanau member.

“We see a lot of the elements that we see as critical or very important elements within Maori ways of understanding death, we’re now seeing those imported into non-Maori ways of experiencing death,” she says.

Dr McIntosh has just been appointed joint director of Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, the Maori Centre of Research Excellence at Auckland University.


Cuts in the major commercial deepwater species aren't as severe as Maori fishing companies expected.

Jim Anderton, the Minister of Fisheries, has cut hoki quotas by 10 percent, closed the orange roughy fishery off the central West Coast, and cut roughy quota on the Chatham Rise by 9.5 percent.

Robin Hapi, the executive chair of pan-Maori company Aotearoa Fisheries, says the industry has led the reduction of hoki quota from the 250 thousand
tonnes being caught seven years ago.

“We advocated to the minister a reduction down to 80,000 metric tones, the minister has decided at 90,000 metric tonnes. Our concerns were to ensure the sustainability of this particularly important fish stock, but we accept that it’s the minister’s discretion. That’s his decision, so we accept it,” Mr Hapi says.

Cuts in South Island red cod and Southern flatfish were expected because the existing quota levels had bever been caught, but the cuts in North Island eel quotas of up to 78 percent could affect some Maori fishers.


Almost a quarter of Maori students in Christchurch will leave school with little or no formal qualifications.

That compares with 9 percent of non-Maori.

The Ministry of Education's southern regional manager, Mike De'Ath, says
Christchurch is the sixth largest centre of Maori population, and while the figures are in line with Maori under-achievement in other parts of the country, they're not acceptable.

He says all teachers need to take responsibility for improving student results.

“I think that if we keep talking about that it’s about having Maori teachers in the system, then I don’t think that is going to give us the sort of result we want. This is about good quality teaching. The research, the evidence tells us it’s quality teaching that makes a very significant difference and all teachers can and do deliver quality learning environments for their students,” Mr De'Ath says.

He says teachers in the region are committed to finding ways to improve the situation, as could be seen from the postivie response to a two day conference on Maori education organised by the ministry and Ngai Tahu.


The Maori Women's Welfare League is embarking on a strategic review to ensure it's still relevant to today's needs.

President Linda Grennell says most of the league's work is done away from the limelight, which is why it has been able to retain the trust and loyalty of many whanau.

She says membership is up, and there was a real sense of rejuvenation at the annual hui at the weekend, with many younger professional women lending their skills to the 56-year-old roopu.

“The professional women that are coming into it are very keen to give their voluntary support on submissions and helping in those kind of roles, which is exceptionally helpful, but most of it is still very much the women working in the community and in the voluntary role,” Ms Grennell says.

The League is gratified it is able to maintain links dating back to its founding with the Kingitanga, with Te Atawhai Paki, the wife of King Tuheitia, accepting the role of patron held for 42 years by the late Maori queen.


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