Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, December 24, 2007

Hapu land grab disrupts Whangaroa signing

A rowdy protest on Saturday failed to stop a deal to return a former Landcorp farm to a far north iwi.

Sovereignty protesters surrounded the Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Michael Cullen, when he arrived at Taemaro Bay northeast of Kaeo, forcing an early end to the hui.

But the minister and elders from Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa signed the agreement in principle later that afternoon in Kerikeri.

The iwi will get back what remains in Crown hands of land taken in the 1840s, including the 2200 hectare Stony Creek Station.

The farm was estimated to be worth $39 million dollars. Its value was discounted for the settlement by covenants protecting coastal and scenic areas, years of neglect, and damage caused by occupiers who wanted it returned to one family, rather than the whole tribe.

Pita Pangari, who led the claim through a quarter century of Waitangi Tribunal hearings and negotiations, says it’s a new start for the iwi.

“What we have is a running business, which is a farm, and it has proven to be a good farm, stock to be retained, all its machinery, everything that is on the land, sitting on the land, and under the land is all part of the settlement,” Mr Pangari says.

The agreement will be taken back to the people for ratification.


The positive message of kapa haka may be getting lost for many Maori youth.

Tuari Pokiri, the new manager of strategic operations for the Alcohol Advisory Council, says some teenagers are using what they learn of haka and Maori martial arts as a way to beat people up.

It’s one of the issues the council is looking at in the messages it is trying to get across to young Maori about lifestyle choices.

“Unfortunately there are some picking up a message that it is still about Maori men being really staunch and picking up that connotation from it rather than the bigger tikanga, identity issues that are involved in it, so I guess it’s just how we get our messages out and making sure we have role models who can maintain a standard, whether they are in a suit or a piupiu,” Mr Potiki says.


A new venture is giving visitors the Maori history of Mokoia Island in Lake Rotorua.

Four Te Arawa iwi are involved in company and are sharing their stories.

Director Bryan Hughes, who also heads award-winning tourism operations at Hell's Gate and the Wai Ora Spa, says a boat has been built to deal with lake conditions.

As well as a traditional welcome, visitors will get a guided walk around the island, a look at Hinemoa's Pool where the Arawa ancestor wooed Tutanekai, and a sample of Maori kai flavoured with indigenous plants.

“The history, the culture, the birds, the whole site is absolutely magic, so one of the things we do when we get on the island, we actually ask people to have a bit of silence for a moment and let the island talk to you, and it certainly does,” Mr Hughes says.

The venture will target local as well as overseas visitors, because few Rotorua residents have had a chance to visit the island.


High costs and low returns have spelled the end for an iwi-owned fishing company.

Raukura Moana Fisheries, a joint venture between Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Maniapoto and Waikato-Tainui, is to be wound up at the end of the month with the loss of five jobs.

Its chairman, Vance Winiata, says the company has operated a joint venture with Polish fishing company Dalmor to fish the annual catch entitlement or ACE held by the shareholders and other iwi.

But a range of factors meant directors decided to pull the plug now before losses mounted.

“The continuing high dollar, the increasing costs around your fuel, your wages, and also the cost of leasing ACE now has taken a substantial leap. Quota is king but to lease ACE is a huge cost. The other side of the coin of course is the low price we were getting,” Mr Winiata says.

The three iwi will continue in the industry, leasing out their quota to other operators.


The head of Prison Fellowship wants to see offenders in community based drug and alcohol rehab centres, not prisons.

Kim Workman says Police research showing more than two thirds of offenders tested positive for illegal drugs at the time of their arrest highlights the extent of the problem.

He says two thirds of prison inmates have issues with drug and alcohol abuse, and with Maori making up half the prison population, it is a kaupapa that needs addressing by Maori leaders.

Drug courts and community rehabilitation centres are used in the United States and he'd like to see New Zealand follow that lead.

“One of the difficulties in New Zealand is the absolute lack of those sorts of centres in the community. We’re face with the prospect when you have someone who is willing to go into rehab or even if they are not willing, that there is nowhere to send them,” Mr Workman says.

Prisoners released at this time of the year often struggle because the opportunity to indulge in alcohol and drugs may be higher.


It's the time of the year where people are reconnecting with their families.

For some, that doesn't come easily.

The Salvation Army Family Tracing Service is especially busy at this time.

Bronwyn McFarlane says there are a surprising number of Maori on the missing list.

“We didn't ask people ethnicity until quite recently, and all the inquiries that come in from overseas, they don’t have ethnicity stated either, so we’re appear that it is more than it appears to be because of the number of people that we actually find listed at some stage on the Maori electoral roll,” Major McFarlane says.

While most people are willing to re-establish contact, the tracing service only discloses their whereabouts to family with their consent.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your article is one sided; perhaps you should do some proper research. Why don't you talk to other people rather than Ella Henry, Pita Pangari and Shane Jones who are all pro-government.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

where is shane jones now, reality sucks dont it, ella henry (what happened to the job with the human rights commission?) and da pita pangari's must be be all hiding with woody ellen in the bush,

6:40 PM  

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