Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Iti offering olive branch from coupsters

A Tuhoe activist says Fiji's coup leaders are keen to talk to Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters.

Tame Iti made a flying visit to Fiji last month to get his name taken off a border blacklist, and ended up meeting with coup leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

He says this country needs to be opening up a dialogue, rather than condemning the Fijians through the media and in the United Nations.

“There ought to be ongoing dialogue, if that’s possible. That’s really why I went across there, to try to find to mediate, if there is a possibility. They’re keen as to have some meeting happen between themselves and Winston Peters. I just want to crack that kind of korero, if that is possible,” Mr Iti says.

He's tried to get in touch with Mr Peters, but so far has had no response.

QUOTA CUTS MAKE FISHING MARGINAL

Quota cuts for key commercial species mean small iwi could struggle to make a profit this fishing season.

The Fisheries Minister has imposed a 10 percent cut in hoki quota and a similar cut in some orange roughy quotas.

Ben Waitai, who managed fisheries for two small far north iwi for more than a decade, says many of the quota parcels held by iwi now are barely economic.

He says Ngai Takoto, which got less than a million dollars in settlement assets, could struggle because of the fixed costs in running a fishing operation.

“Whether you've got a big company like Ngapuhi has, or a small company like Ngai Takoto has, the compliance costs are still the same. And that’s the part for Ngai Takoto that there will be very insignificant returns for Ngai Takoto,” Mr Waitai says.

GRACE SEEMS TALENT BEHIND HER

A leading Maori writer is seeing a new Maori literature emerging.

Patricia Grace has just won the 2008 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, which is considered the most prestigious award for a writer after the Nobel Prize.

While the award cites her novel Baby No Eyes, it is granted based on the body of a writer's work.

The Plimmerton-based writer says for many years it seemed that she and Witi Ihimaera were the only Maori being published regularly, but that has changed in recent years.

“Witi and I used to talk about this and say where are they. We’d run all these workshops. He in particular collected work by Maori writers in anthologies and so forth. But they are coming forth now and they’re coming from all sorts of different backgrounds which I think is good,” Mrs Grace says.

The diversity of emerging writers, from different backgrounds and experiences, is giving people a much wider impression of what it is to be Maori.

AUPOURI REMEDIES CONSULTATION BEGINS

The Office of Treaty Settlements has started consultations with far north iwi on its proposed $12 million settlement with Te Aupouri.

It's trying to build on the momentum of the agreement in principle reached with southern neighbours Te Rarawa for a $20 million settlement.

Winiata Brown, the chair of the Aupouri negotiators, says yesterday's hui with neighbours Ngati Kuri at Te Hapua highlighted the problems of settling with closely-related iwi with overlapping territories.

There was some hostility when the officials revealed Te Aupouri's interest in areas like Te Paki Station, Te Rerenga Wairua, Spirits Bay and the North Cape scientific reserve.

“Aupouri has been very quiet and subtle about it but I don’t think we can keep in the background. We have to come up and say we are related together, we all come from the same tupuna,” Mr Brown says.

He says the negotiators feel the consultation is starting too early, and there is still a considerable way to go before a settlement is ready for ratification by members.

NEW LAND SALE PROCESS GIVES MORE OPTIONS

The Minister of Maori Affairs says a new process for selling Crown land gives Maori more chance to have their interests taken into account.

The process is a response to the occupations of farms Landcorp attempted to sell in Coromandel and the Far North.

Mr Horomia says the previous landbanking system did not take into account many heritage, cultural and recreational values.

“What it does give us is the scope and opportunity to widen out and recognise all the issues relevant to that land. Generally for a while now we’ve been fighting in the Maori caucus that the Maori issues are generally relevant to waahi tapu. Well waahi tapu is quite limiting,” Mr Horomia says.

The new process will involve the ministers of state owned enterprises and land information, but not maori affairs or treaty negotiations.

FLAVEL GETS GERMAN MMP JUNKET

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell is having a crash course in other proportional voting systems.

He's part of a five-member parliamentary delegation looking at how MMP works in Germany, the Netherlands and Norway.

It will also visit the World Court in the Hague.

He says what he learns could help Maori in future, even though no change is imminent.

“The main thing is to look at developments in the hope that perhaps down the line, if there was a desire to change, then at least we come from an informed position,” Mr Flavell says.

The Maori Party is the only one in Parliament with no list seats, because it won more constituencies than its share of the party vote.

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