Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, October 12, 2007

Tribunal rejects Tonga taonga


The Waitangi Tribunal has turned down a request for an urgent hearing on the question of whether a husband is a taonga.

Rosina Hauiti is arguing that the decision to refuse residency to her Tongan husband is a breach of her Treaty rights.

Judge Carrie Wainwright... the deputy chairperson of the Tribunal... has said that complaints about the handling of Mr Fonua's immigration status should be dealt with using the immigration process.

However, in denying an urgent hearing, Judge Wainwright has left the door open for the claim to be lodged again if it were to include more information.

Tuariki Delamere, who is acting on behalf of the couple is disappointed by the Judges ruling. He says the Tribunal is the right place to hear the case.

“I say any person
at the moment disagrees,” Mr Delamere says.

They will be re-lodging the claim next week.


The Government needs to stop playing favourites with Treaty claimants, according to a Maori academic.

A recent Waitangi Tribunal report has highlighted problems with the way the Office of Treaty Settlements has handled claims to land in the Auckland area ... most notably arranging a $90 million deal with Ngati Whatua o Orakei despite there being five cross claimants to that land.

And Paul Majurey, the lawyer for Ngati Marutuahu, one of those cross claimant tribes, says Ngati Whatua o Orakei have had $350,000 from the Crown to help with their negotiations while no other Auckland iwi has had a cent.

Now Rawiri Taonui, a senior Maori studies lecturer at Canterbury University, is calling for the favouritism to stop - not that, he says, this sort of behaviour from the Crown is anything new.
“Pre funding
Out...their favour,” Mr Taonui says.

He says in the past the selective resourcing of Treaty claims has led to problems in both Taranaki and Muriwhenua.


Maori women farmers are looking at ways they can make better use of their land.

AgResearch is hosting one of its twice yearly Wahine Whanau Whenua hui in Hamilton (on Friday), including sessions on traditional crops as well as some new prospects.

Among the speakers are Queenie Chadwick, who grows saffron in the Hokianga, and Ian Hall, who will discuss the optimum conditions for growing truffles

Organiser Orewa Barrett-Ohia says Agresearch set up the forums after analysing turnout at the Federation of Masori Authorities hui.

“The numbers for women
OUT: ...passed down to men.
Ms Barrett-Ohia says.

So far the Wahine Whanau Whenua hui have been held in the upper North Island, but Agresearch is talking to Te Puni Kokiri about extending the service to other parts of the country.


The Waitangi Tribunal has turned down a request for an urgent hearing on the question of whether a husband is a taonga.

Rosina Hauiti is arguing that the decision to refuse residency to her Tongan husband is a breach of her Treaty rights.

Despite requesting Mr Fonau's file from the Immigration department, Mr Delamere has yet to see it. And that, he argues, is one of the key parts of their Treaty claim.

“Well that's the whole point
fish and trees etc etc,” Mr Delamere says.

If the Tribunal refuses to hear the case ... when they re-file next week ... he has been instructed to take the Immigration Department to the High Court.


Marae around the country are being encouraged to get out the vote.
Manurewa Marae have declared today Maori Voting Day.

It's challenging other marae to take up the take before the time for returning postal votes in the local government elections is over.

Eru Thompson, the marae's chairperson, says traditionally the marae is the place Maori gather to make decisions.

He says Maori complain about not being represented on councils, but they often don't use the voting process effectively.

“It's about no more
LW done as Maori,” Mr Thompson says.

Although voting doesn't close until Saturday October 12, it's better to post them off early rather than risk missing the deadline.


Maui on a surfboard and Ranginui cloaked in stars.

That’s what visitors to New Plymouth’s Govett-Brewster Art Gallery will see from tomorrow (Saturday).

Ngapuhi artist Lisa Reihana's Digital Marae is a series of digital images depicting Maori male gods and transgender figures.

It continues from an earlier series of godesses.

She says the prints try to show another side to Maori idols, including the trickster Maui.

“When I think...
OUT: incredible excitement,” she says.

Lisa Reihana has most recently exhibited her video installation Native Portraits at Roma University.


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