Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Whale Watch goes for Gold

The head of Whale Watch Kaikoura says a $5 million dollar Australian joint venture shows the Ngai Tahu company is one of the best in the world at what it does.

The venture with Sea World involves building a special 24 metre boat to carry more than 100 passengers at a time to see the humpbacks which migrate past the Gold Coast between June and November.

It will also use interpretation technology developed for Whale Watch by Dunedin's Animation Research.

Wally Stone says Sea World, which is part of Village Roadshow, had done extensive research to identify the leaders in whale watching.

“Clearly we came out on top and a lot of that is the technology, the interpretation and the values that are embedded within the company and those were all attributes that are seen as highly desirable and they want duplicated over there,” Mr Stone says.

He says the venture shows there is far more value in a live humpback than in a dead one - which is why Japan's whaling expedition to the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary should be stopped.


The Wellington Tenths Trust hopes a new lookout will wake people up to the city's Maori history.

The lookout on Mt Victoria opens in about an hour.

It features panels telling the story of Ngake and Whataitai - two taniwha who turned a lake into the harbour we know today - and a carved pou.

Liz Mellish, the Tenths executive officer of the Wellington Tenths Trust, says the lookout is testament to the positive relationship which has developed between tangata whenua and the Wellington City Council in recent years.

“We work very hard to ensure that things Maori are highlighted, We want to bring the history that disappeared with the built environment back up so that it’s actually exposed for the world to see that Wellington was a complex and very busy place for Maori,” Ms Mellish says.

The lookout is part of Te Ara o Nga Tupuna... the city's Maori Heritage trail.


New Zealand softball will be represented at the Beijing Olympics - even if the team won't make it.

Wiremu Tamaki from Wellington has been picked to umpire at the games, only the second New Zealander to officiate in the sport at that level.

The White Sox failed to qualify, and the men's code isn't on the Olympic programme.

He says the role will put pressure on him at home games.

“You know if you don’t do a good job in your own backyard, people will start questioning and say gee, this fellow’s going to the Olympics,” Mr Tamaki says.


The Deputy Prime Minister believes that Tuhoe lost public support with last week's hikoi.

Michael Cullen says the government is aware of Tuhoe's concerns about the police action in Ruatoki... and it accepts the right of all New Zealanders to protest.

But he says the way the 300-strong hikoi hit Wellington may have backfired on them.

“From the general Pakeha population I suspect the hikoi did more harm than good it was seen probably as overly aggressive, threatening, in fact generally undermined the position that some have taken in regard to the validity of the police raids,” Dr Cullen says.

As Minister for Treaty Negotiations he hopes the Government can soon be talking with Tuhoe about settling its historic claims, and putting the raruraru behind it.


A new long-term study will trackng New Zealand life from cradle to grave could give new insights into Maori identity.

Richard Poulton, the co-director of Otago University's National Centre for Lifecourse Research, says one of the centre's first projects will look at how identity affects where people end up in life.

He says the numbers involved are larger than previous longitudinal surveys because of the need to have a statistically credible sample of Maori.

“We'd have at least 1000 sole Maori identification and 1000 mixed Maori identification and with that number of 1000 people we can really begin to tease out how things like identity moderate or impact on people’s life course or how they negotiate the challenges life throws at them,” Professor Poulton says.

As well as producing new research, the National Centre for Lifecourse Research will try to put academic research into accessible forms.


A leading greenstone carver found sharing stories about ancestors helped him make a bridge with a native American glass artist.

Lewis Gardiner's collaboratative works with Preston Singletary, a Tlingit, are currently on show at the Spirit Wrestler Gallery in Vancouver, where they've been selling strongly for between C$8000 and C$30,000.

The Te Arawa, Ngai Awa, Whanau Apanui and Ngai Tahu artist says all the works are based on ancestral stories and legends.
He says his Vancouver journey has been a great experience.

"It's not only a great process to exhibit works but it's a great process to learn about other mediums as well. I had the opportunity to work with a renowned United States artist in Preston Singletary. who works in a new material of glass blowing, so for me it's an educational journey," Mr Gardiner says.

He's planning another trip to British Columbia next year.


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