Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fishy power grab unscientific

Iwi are fighting a plan to give the Fisheries Minister more power to cut quotas.

Jim Anderton says the change to the Fisheries Act will allow him to improve sustainability.

The bill is due to be reported back to Parliament, after a selected committee deadlocked on changes.

Sonny Tau, the chair of Northland's Ngapuhi, says iwi representatives believe the Minister has all the power he needs.

“He's talking about changing the law so it allows him to make a decision even though he hasn’t got the scientific information to support those decisions that he makes. That’s why we’re up in arms at this point in time,” Mr Tau says.

Maori-controlled fishing companies and Te Ohu Kaimoana pushed for cuts in hoki and other species, because they also have concerns about sustainability.


A leading Maori cleric says exorcisms in the Maori community are more common than people know.

Police are treating the death of a 22 year old Wellington woman, as suspicious.

Janet Moses drowned after she was held under water during a ceremony to lift a makutu or curse.

Hone Kaa from St John's Theological College says similar ceremonies happen at least once a month, but most people never hear of them because they are done quietly and nothing goes wrong.

He says water is used, but usually in small amounts.

“I personally would not use the amount of water that they say was used in this one. I use a little bit of water and I sprinkle it on the person. I’ve never heard of large amounts of water, and I don’t want to speculate on what happened there, because it’s now a matter of a police case,” Dr Kaa says.

He prefers to do exorcisms only for people in his own iwi, because of the risks involved.


A legendary Hollywood actress is being claimed as a member of Ngati Kahungunu.

Dorothy Lamour was best known for her role in a series of "Road to" movies with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.... and during the Second World War she was a popular pin-up among american soldiers.

Rakai Karaitiana says his Napier-based family believes the star was the daughter their aunt Maud gave up for adoption at the start of World War One, after an affair with a French-Tahitian trapeze artist.

While the official biographies say Dorothy Slaton was born in New Orleans in 1914, Mr Karaitian says there are clues in her career.

“They claim that she's white but throughout her Hollywood career she was typecast as a native. She did a whole series of films Road to Bali, Road to Zanzibar, where she was always typecast as a naive native girl,” Mr Karaitiana says.

The family legend is the reason he called his Napier fashion and design store Dorothy Lamour.


The last obstacle to a rescue plan for a troubled Northland land incorporation has been cleared away.

The Maori Land Court has dismissed Labour MP Dover Samuel's request to partition out a beachfront block from the Matauri X Incorporation.

It said Mr Samuels waited too long - more than 20 years - to act on a motion by the incorporation allowing the split.

The land is part of an area being subdivided to clear the $6 million debt racked up by previous managers on a failed water bottling venture.

Administrator Kevin Gillespie says about 40 sections have sold already, but another 40 need to be sold to break even.

“There's been some fairly strong demand and I believe Matauri Bay is special place and a lot of people are very attracted to Matauri so we’re hopeful we’ll get the sales. We’re not panicking. We have a loan facility running through to October next year, so we think we’ll get there Okay,” Mr Gillespie says.


A majority of the country's iwi say a proposed change to the Fisheries Act is a unilateral rewrite of the Maori fisheries settlement.

Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton wants to change the law to make it easier for him to cut catch levels, if he believes the sustainability of a species is in question.

But Sonny Tau, the chair of Ngapuhi, says iwi believe the minister already has all the power he needs.

He says Mr Anderton is refusing to listen to the fishing industry or consult with Maori, threatening the basis of the 1992 Sealord Deal.

“Before the Crown can go and tutu or change that deal they need to consult with Maori. That’s why Maori get upset, because the Crown set a deal and now they want to unilaterally change it. It’s called justice I think,” Mr Tau says.

Iwi are calling on Parliament to throw out the Fisheries Amendment Bill when it comes back for second reading.


A hapu near Wairoa is finalising designs for its new marae complex.

Ngati Pahauwera's Te Huki marae at Raupunga, including two meeting houses, a wharekai and a kohanga reo, were destroyed by fire in January.

Artist Sandy Adsett, who had been refurbishing the original century-old wharenui before the blaze, says the community wants to do more than just replace what was lost.

“So there's a different type of requirement hat we are looking at as far as how we design the place, how it can be used in a way that keeps going. We don’t want something that is gong to sit there empty month after month,” Mr Adsett says.

Building at Raupunga should start in February.


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