Labour incapable of treaty deals
Far north claimants marched through Kaitaia today to protest the breakdown of settlement talks and the sale of Crown properties in their region.
Chris Finlayson says the problems in the north are symptomatic of the whole sector, with the amount spent on treaty negotiations dropping in real terms and key agencies like the Office of Treaty Settlements and the Waitangi Tribunal underfunded.
He says negotiations are being outsourced to private consultants, so ministers don't have a hands on understanding of the portfolio - unlike predecessors like Jim Bolger and Doug Graham.
“Doug's record is so fantastic because that’s exactly what he did. You can’t delegate a lot of this stuff away. If the minister’s involved, he or she can have the mana to do a deal. And the other thing I notice about this lot is they just don’t know how to do deals,” Mr Finlayson says.
He says treaty partners should do the right thing by each other, and not hide behind legalistic quibbling.
EVANGALIST SAYS HIP HOP GANG LURE
A former New York gangster turned evangelist says the billion dollar hip hop industry is responsible for many young Maori and Polynesians joining gangs.
Nicky Cruz, who is on a crusade in south Auckland, says the gang lifestyle is glamourised in songs, films and music videos.
Mr Cruz says it's breaking down respect for family, religion and authority.
“It's a money making machine, it’s a multi billion dollar industry. Rap and hip hop have influenced the kids. They have the money and they want to dress like the ghetto, they want to emulate something like that, and in the long way it’s the kiss of death,” Mr Cruz says.
CLIMATE CHANGE FOR WAIHIRERE
It's the first day of competition at Te Matatini in Palmerston North, and the kapa haka teams have been pulling out the stops to make an impression.
Performer and entrepreneur Willie Te Aho from Gisborne group Waihirere says it's that constant search for innovative ways of presenting Maori language and culture which draws back performers and audiences.
Mr te Aho says teams are also rated on topicality, and as one of the first teams on the stage this morning, Waihirere was looking to do something different.
“It was something new, it was something people haven’t seen before, two halves of the same kapa haka team challenging each other, and our theme today was about looking after our environment, and there are those that have done well off the land and those that are saying we are doing poorly by the land and poorly by the sky, because climate change is a big discussion at the moment,” Mr Te Aho says.
Only six teams will go through to the finals on Sunday.
LANDOWNERS AWAIT COURT RULING
The Maori Land Court has reserved its decision on what obligations Carter Holt Harvey has towards the Maori owners of land under some of its forests.
Carter Holt last year sold New Zealand Forest Products, which leases the land, to North American investment fund Hancock Natural Resources.
Glen Katu from Maraeroa C, one of the three King Country trusts taking the case, says because of its implications for other cases, Carter Holt and Hancocks both had large teams of lawyers at the hearing in Hamilton yesterday.
Mr Katu says the trustees who signed the leases in the 1970s were looking for a long term stable relationship with their lessees.
“They thought that the precautions they took by having a non-assignment clause in the provisions of the lease was adequate protection so that we wouldn’t be faced with a change of owners from time to time, that we would have a say, just as we had a say who we would enter with the first lease,” Mr Katu says.
Judge David Ambler has promised to get out a judgment as soon as possible on whether he has jurisdiction to hear the case.
HAURAKI GAMES REVIVED
Representatives from marae in the Hauraki region are meeting in Paeroa on Sunday to plan for next year's Te Whakataetae Pare Hauraki games.
Hui coordinator Roy Piahana says tribal competitions are becoming increasingly popular as iwi try to draw people back to their whenua.
He says the East Coast Paa Wars, and the Tainui and Maniapoto games are examples what can be achieved as thousands head back to their respective turangawaewae to take part in events from whaikorero and card tournaments, or pig hunting to eel trapping.
Mr Piahana says Hauraki whanui met regularly from the 1960's, but enthusiasm waned in the early 1980s.
“It's reviving what used to happen many years ago when Ngahitoitoi Marae held a field day, and they had sports and cultural activities. It’s a revival of that but under Pare Hauraki games,” Mr Piahana says.
Sunday's hui is at Te Pai O Hauraki Marae in Paeroa.
HIGH STANDARDS AT MATATINI START
Festival goers were treated to a display from some of the best of the Maori performing arts at the opening day of Te Matatini, the national kapahaka competititions being held in the Manawatu.
Waatea News reporter Julian Wilcox says first up three of the big guns, Waka Huia, Waihirere, and defending champions Te Whanau A Apanui set the tone with outstanding performances.
He says that set the benchmark for others to follow, and they didn't disappoint.
“Blown away by standard and the quality of performance. You’ve got groups like Ngati Poneke who’ve been in the finals before, their performance was superb. You’ve got groups like Te Matapihi from Whanganui who also performed well today, and then a new group like Tu Te Manawa Maurea from Rongowhakaata way there in Manutuke who really impressed everyone in this crowd,” Mr Wilcox says.