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Friday, October 12, 2007

Ngati Porou Runanga hijacks claim


Ngati Porou is considering pulling out of the Waitanagi Tribunal's East Coast Inquiry and negotiating directly with the Crown instead.

This weekend 25,000 voting papers are being sent to runanga members to ask whether the iwi should continue to work with other claimants in the area, or go it alone.

Te Rau Kupenga, speaking of behalf of Ngati Porou Runanga, says many of the iwi feel frustrated at the time the Tribunal process takes.
He says some cases have been before the Tribunal for 18 years.

“An opportunity has presented
LW charge of our futures,” Mr Kupenga says.

This move by Ngati Porou leaves things with the consolidated claim up in the air.

A judicial conference that was scheduled for Thursday has been postponed.


Gisborne is this weekend marking the first meeting on land between tangata whenua and tauiwi.

It didn't go well - members of James Cook's crew shot several Maori at Te Toka a Taiau.

Charlie Pera from the Te Unga Mai Festival organising committee says despite that, there is a lot to be learned from the 1769 encounter and subsequent events.

“As a people of Turanga ...
OUT: ... progress as a nation,” Mr Pera says.

Te Unga Mai starts with an inter-faith service at Kaiti Beach on Sunday morning before moving up to Te Poho o Rawiri marae, where people can hear speakers including broadcaster Haare Williams and historian Dame Anne Salmond.


Finally, from Honolulu this week came the news of the death of a Taumarunui woman who'd been a well-known name in entertainment in Hawaii for many years.

She was Rhonda Bryers ... the daughter of a Maori All Black, the late Ron Bryers ... and was aged 55.

She was known simply as Rhonda - that was her stage name - and in Honolulu she built a reputation ... as she'd previously done here in New Zealand ... with a remarkable classically-trained soprano voice that was at ease with operatic aria, popular tunes, Broadway hits, hymns and a range of Polynesian music too.

Frankie Stevens, another New Zealander with overseas experience, worked with Rhonda many times ... on television ... touring with the Hi-Marks ... and at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

“I used to introduce her
LW very saddened,” Mr Stevens says.


The latest New Zealand income survey ... showing an average increase of nine percent ... isn't at all comforting for Maori women ... according to the Council of Trade Unions.

The council's Maori vice-president ... Sharon Clair ... says it's largely those people on high incomes and with a portfolio of shares who've been doing better.

However, the reality for Maori women is that there's a 23 percent wage gap between Maori and Pakeha ... as well as a another 14 percent gap between the incomes for men and women.

And the result is that many Maori women on low wages are struggling to cope with the three percent increase in the cost of living.

“When you look at the food
LW Maori women,” Ms Clair says.

She says the gender pay gap persists because women's work is often undervalued ... and because Pakeha men dominate the high-paid positions.

On now to efforts ... musical efforts actually ... all around the world tomorrow to recognise the valuable role of hospices ... and to raise money for them.

And so, here in New Zealand, as well as in about 60 other countries, choirs are singing to mark International Hospice Day.

All sorts of choirs ... and one of those will be a Maori group ... from the Church of the Latter Day Saints ... who're joining six other choirs in Nelson for a performance at Nelson College.

The conductor, Colleen Marshall says the Maori voices will add a distinctive element to the occasion.

“Joe Paul their leader is a wonderful singer
OUT: as well as their church work,” Ms Marshall says.


As the tension builds this weekend... leading up to the All Blacks' rugby world cup quarter-final against France in Cardiff ... a former All Black says we can rest assured that Leon MacDonald ... one of three Maori in the team ... will take care of things at fullback.

The reassurance comes from Glen Osborne ... who has a background of World Cup rugby himself ... and experience as a fullback too.

Given the indications that the French team may resort to bombarding the All Blacks with kicks, there's a special interest in how Leon Macdonald may fare as the last line of defence.

But the Glen Osborne assessment is that he's had a great apprenticeship ... with Canterbury, the Crusaders, the Maori All Blacks, Japanese club rugby, and 50 tests for New Zealand ... so he's just the man for the job.

“A top man Leon,
LW he's a very safe player,” Mr Osborne says.


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