Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuhoe hikoi heads to Parliament

One of the leaders of today's Tuhoe hikoi to Parliament against terrorism laws says the treatment of Maori families in Ruatoki can never be justified.

Taiarahia Black, a professor of Maori Studies at Massey University, said support has come from across the country over the October 15 anti-terrorist raid.

While only one person was arrested in the township, scores of houses were searched, people were held for hours at checkpoints by armed police, and property which was taken has still not been returned.

Professor Black says the march is not about tribe member Tame Iti and his associates.

“What it has got to do is the violation of a rural Maori community by the armed constabulary. Our homes were invaded. I was talking to one solo mum yesterday, two kids, she woke up to an infrared light on her body, on her head, looking down the barrel of a rifle from a ninja turtle,” Professor Black says.

He says because of the raids, Tuhoe will forever be branded with the terrorist label.


Money woes mean two South Taranaki hapu have dropped a legal battle to stop wastewater discharges over their fishing reefs.

Inuawai-Okahu and Kanihi-Umutahi from Ngati Ruahine appealed to the Environment Court a year ago against a consent for the $6 million Eltham-Hawera pipeline.

Appellant Mere Brooks says the hapu believe it is abhorrent to discharge human waste into the sea.

But continuing the case would have cost more than $60,000.

“We are a small rural based hapu with no funding at all and people working voluntarily so this has taken us three to four years to get this far, We’ve halted them for that long, but at the end of the day the resources to go to court weren't there,” Ms Brooks says.

She says council have agreed to review the facility the hapu says is faulty, increase monitoring and upgrade settling ponds.


Kapiti Island will next year welcome its first Maori writer in residence.

Tu Mai Kapiti Trust will offer the two month paid residency at the northern end of the island sanctuary, to coincide with next year's Matariki.

Project manager May Hill says Kapiti's rich Maori history and unique environment should be inspirational.

“This kaupapa really allows one of our writers to really honour their craft, just taking time to actually do their mahi and underpinning it all is our stories by our people,” Ms Hill says.

Applications for the residency open next week.


Kohanga Reo says a leaked report critical of its management and operations was intended to spark reform.

The report said the Kohanga Reo National Trust had lost sight of its duty to the individual Maori language pre-schools, and it had tolerated the emergence of dysfunctional beliefs and behaviour among staff.

Timoti Karetu, the trust's chairperson, says the report was a frank snapshot of how staff felt late last year.

“It is not a report that had wide currency. It was a report initiated by the CEO at the time, to get some feedback ads to what the staff thought, and I think in lots of ways he might regret having done that, but now that the report is out, we have to take some cognizance of what the staff had to say,” Dr Karetu says.

The board and the new chief executive, Titoki Black, are traveling the country getting feedback from kohanga reo whanau which will help the movement develop a strategic plan for its second 25 years.


Maori working voluntarily may be paying more tax than they need to.
That's the advice from Tim Burns, the executive director of Volunteer New Zeraland.

Inland Revenue is reviewing policies relating to the voluntary sector, which is estimated to contribute more than $3 billion a year in unpaid work to the New Zealand economy.

Mr Burns says it's important Maori give feedback on the review.

“For many Maori contributing on their mare, they don’t quite see it as volunteering, but they are contributing on an unpaid basis and they may be meeting expenses out of their pocket that the marae may wish to refund to them, so it’s important their voice is there as well,” Mr Burns says.

Under current rules, people who cover expenses associated with their voluntary work can be hit by tax if they are reimbursed.


More Maori are exhibiting at the annual Ellerslie Flower show.

Kate Hillier, the show's exhibition manager, says last night's powhiri last night at the Auckland Botanic Gardens in Manurewa was an eye opener for the many international exhibitors.

They were particularly impressed with the exhibit from Warkworth-based Clive Cottrill, who incorporated many Maori themes.

“It's not a literal Maori village but it will give people a really nice impression and he was also involved with the creation of a fantastic almost glowworm cave in the starlight marquee, had a lot of people coming form both local maraes to help out. It’s been wonderful,” Ms Hillier says.


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9:23 PM  

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