Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, November 19, 2007

Police faced fear at hikoi

The nation's top Maori cop believes last week's hikoi on Parliament came close to violence.

Wally Haumaha, the national manager for Maori, Pacific Island and Ethnic policing, says 2005's 20-thousand strong foreshore and seabed hikoi was a walk in the park for police compared to the march on Parliament by about 300 Tuhoe and their supporters.

He says the anger over the anti-terror raid on Ruatoki heightened tension on both sides.

“Even within our own lines, amongst police, I stood behind some of our young officers. I could see a bit of the fear on their faces as they faced the sticks being waved in their face and I said to them ‘stay calm, stay calm and let them get that anger out,’” Mr Haumaha says.

He was impressed with the actions of hikoi leader Teweti Tihi in calming down the marchers' anger.


Maori dairy farmer are less likely to take the money and retire than their Pakeha shareholders.

That's the reaction of the Federation of Maori Authorities to Fonterra's proposed capital restructuring, which will allow no-farmers and foreign investors to buy shares in the dairy giant.

Paul Morgan, FOMA's executive vice chairperson, says the majority of Fonterra's Pakeha farmer shareholders are in their late 50s and above, and they're looking for a way to profitably exit their life's work.

But Maori land ownership structures means FOMA's members, who represent a significant minority of shareholders, had different drivers.

“Maori are long term land users in that industry. They’re generally not going to sell up and can’t by law. Whilst we all want to maximize wealth, the Maori interest is more focused on sustainable wealth, the long haul,” Mr Morgan says.

Maori farmers will be concerned any future milk price mechanism in the restructured organisation will continue to give them a fair return from Fonterra's activities.


Archaeologists are racing to save what they can from one of New Zealand's earliest known villages.

The site at Cook's Cove in Tolaga Bay is threatened by severe erosion.

It's being excavated by a team from the University of Otago and the Historic Places Trust, working with Te Aitanga a Hauiti.

Richard Walter, the dig's co-director, says so far they have found moa bones, earth ovens, food remains, tools and post holes dating back to the 14th century.

“It's a very important site because it dates very early in New Zealand’s prehistory, it’s a very early site and it’s in danger from erosion so we’re excavating some of the intact portions so we can gain information before the site is finally destroyed,” Professor Walter says.

Any artifacts uncovered will be returned to Te Aitanga a Hauiti, after they have been to the university laboratories for analysis and identification.


Northland Maori womens refuges say they are stretched by a doubling of referrals.

Coordinator Stacey Pepene from Whangarei refuges Te Puna O Te Aroha and Tryphina House dealt with 80 women and their children last month, compared with 41 referrals in October last year.

She says more people are coming forward because of campaigns against family violence.

“A lot more people now are taking notice and taking responsibility for the violence that’s happening in their neighbourhoods, in their homes, in their communities, so we’re seeing a lot more people reaching out for help, reaching out for support, reaching out for information,” Ms Pepene says.

She says the Government expected its national anti-violence campaigns would have such an impact, but it hasn't offered more resources to those on the front line.


Maori wardens have undergone the second of their training sessions with police, this time in a marae setting in Papakura.

One of the trainers, Taitokerau iwi liason officer Paddy Whiu, says the Government-funded course will alternate between marae around the country and the Police College in Porirua.

He says it's a way of ensuring the strengths of the wardens' traditions and culture are respected.

“Why we go out to the areas is for our older kaumatua kuia, who are still in our areas there and still active. They’d rather us come out to the marae and train them. The marae, that’s their arena, and they feel more comfortable there,” Mr Whiu says.


The annual Ngati Wai kiore cull got under way today.

Teams left for Taranga, also known as Hen Island in the Hen and Chickens group.

Resources manager Tui Shortland says they want to restore the ecological balance on the island.

She says the native rat is valued because it was brought to Aotearoa by the original Polynesian settlers.

“We don't want to eradicate them. We still consider them to be our taonga. We will admit they do have an impact on the islands, an impact on the tuatara, the other native species out there, so what we want to do is just create that balance by culling them back,” Ms Shortland says.

The skins from the kiore will be used by weavers to make clothing, in the same way the ancestors would have used them.


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