Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Independent board call for Trustee

The Federation of Maori Authorities wants to see a commercially-focused board oversee the Maori Trustee.

The Government will introduce legislation before Christmas overhauling the Maori Trust Office, which looks after 100,000 hectares of Maori land on behalf of 186,000 owners.

It used to manage more land, but since 1975 most of the larger and more economic blocks have become self-managed trusts and incorporations ... many of them now FOMA members.

Paul Morgan, FOMA's vice-chairperson, says the Maori Trustee hasn't lived up to its potential.

“I believe that there is a direction that they could take in terms of Maori economic development. They haven’t delivered that over the last 10-20 years in terms of when there’s been so much growth and they either need to go down that path or essentially they’ll be a relatively meaningless organisation for Maoridom,” Mr Morgan says.

He says the Maori Trust Office currently just provides back room administration which could be done by other accounting or management organisations.


Australian police are looking to their New Zealand counterparts for help in policing Maori and other minority communities.

Wally Haumaha, the police manager for Maori, Pacific Island and ethnic affairs, says a group from Melbourne attended lst week's conference on Maori responsiveness in the police force.

They were looking for ways to better deal with Maori falling foul of the law across the Tasman.

“I sent them up to Papakura Marae to the Maori wardens’ training programme. They couldn’t believe that we have Maori wardens in this capacity on our streets looking after our kids and going into our family homes,” Mr Haumaha says.

He says this country leads the world in community policing.


It's a race against time to save old Maori sites around the country from erosion.

Richard Walter, an anthropologist at Otago University, says many of the earliest and most important archaeological sites are within 100 metres of the coast.

He says changing weather patterns are exposing and damaging many of these sites.

Professor Walter is heading a team unearthing a 14th century village at Cooks Cove in Tolaga Bay, which is under threat.

“Some of these sites we’ll just have to let go. Some of them we may be able to put something in place to slow down the erosion – for example the planting of different species that may halt erosion – and other sites we may be able to do this type of salvage excavation to get some information out of them before they're finally destroyed,” he says.

Professor Walter says regional management plans are needed involving iwi, councils and the Historic Places trust so archaeologists can move quickly to salvage sites.


A Northland Maori women's refuge says the Government is failing to provide resources to cope with the domestic violence uncovered by national anti-violence campaigns.

Stacey Pepene from Te Puna O Te Aroha in Whangarei says referrals have doubled on a year ago.

She says a most of that is down to national and local campaigns against family violence, which means more people are reaching out for help and support.

It's putting pressure on refuges.

“We're still receiving the same funding we have for the last three years and it’s stretching our resources to the limit. It’s stretching our workers to the limit. And though we realise this is a positive move towards Aotearoa tackling family violence, our government is still not responding in terms of funding,” Ms Pepene says.

She says the increase has been apparent since the launch of the refuge-supported Campaign for Action on Family Violence in September.


A whare tupuna in Southland needs some help.

The Gore District Council has turned down a request for $200,000 to complete the ancestral house at Te Hono o te Ika a Maui ki Ngai Tahu marae.

John Aramakutu, the marae's chair, says the marae has been in operation for 20 years in a converted dairy factory.

He says it needs major repairs to keep open, so it targeted a $550,000 fund set aside for community use.

“Apparently it's all been tucked away for a brand new community centre under the auspices of Mataura Community Group which is just a group they named after the fund. There are a couple of halls there, and there’s the marae. The marae was there first, so finish it,” Mr Aramatuku says.

He says the marae is open to all people.


Weavers from Ngati Wai hope an ecological good deed will give them material for future artworks.

A group from the Northland iwi is on Taranga, also known as Hen Island in the Hen and Chickens group, for the annual kiore hunt.

Tui Shortland, the Ngati Wai Trust Board's resources manager, says it's important to limit numbers of the native rat, because of the impact they have on tuatara and insect life on the offshore islands.

But they are culturally valuable as a direct link to the ancestors who brought them across Te Moananui a Kiwa from their Polynesian homelands.

“Kiore can't swim. Anywhere that you find a kiore, that’s where we’ve put them. There’s old evidence of them being sort of farmed and their fur being collected for similar purposes as we’re doing and for their meat as well,” Ms Shortland says.


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