Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, March 16, 2007

Prisons right place for Maori culture

New Zealand First corrections spokesperson Ron Mark is challenging claims by a former probation officer that there is too much emphasis on Maori culture in prisons.

Josie Bullock says the basics of being a good prison officer get lost in all the cultural training.

But Mr Mark says because a high proportion of inmates are Maori, bringing culture into the rehabilitation process is appropriate.

“Unfortunately a large portion of our prison population is made up of Maori people, and there’s a lot that’s done in prisons in terms of occupying people giving them exposure to their culture and their whakapapa that actually helps to rebuild a sense of belonging and self esteem of some inmates,” Mr Mark says.


The New Zealand Maori men's hockey team lines up against a New Zealand Indian squad in Rotorua on Sunday.

Last time the two teams met, the New Zealand Indians won 5-2.

Former women's national coach Margaret Hiha says such games are the best way to improve the skills of Maori players.

She says a lot could be gained by taking the Maori rep teams on an internal tour.

“We should really tour our own country and play the rep teams, because that gets you together and do a bit of tikanga and waiata and haka and that when you’re on tour, which is also very good for our players,” Mrs Hiha says.

In Sunday's game she expects players like Bevan Hari and Mark Kake will inspire younger members like Tenga Rangitauira and Natana Waaka.


Theatre company Taki Rua brought in Italian expertise for its new production about the Maori Battalion in Italy.

Strange Resting Places runs from Sunday to Thursday at the Auckland War Memorial Museum auditorium, as part of the Auckland Festival AK07.

Rob Mokoraka says he and fellow writer and performer Paolo Rotondo drew on the stories of their won family members who fought on both sides of the conflict.

He says by focusing on a small incident near Monte Cassino in 1944, they try to tell a bigger story of what happened in 1944.

“We looked at the entire historical outlook of it from a world perspective and then we just got into a whanau perspective which was much more appealing when it’s closer and personal,” Mokoraka says.


A planned meeting this weekend to discuss the leadership battle within Ngai Tahu has been postponed because of the death of a runanga executive member.

Kelly Te Maire Davis of Hateatea, the upoko of the Waihou Runaka of southern Canterbury, died yesterday on the eve of his 60th birthday.

Ngai Tahu elder Rakiihia Tau says Mr Davis was one of only three members of the executive who took part in the tribe's Ngai Tahu claim.

Mr Tau says Mr Davis had a huge store of traditional knowledge and was one of the few people who could still make mokihi or traditional reed boats.

“He has always been an expert in the sea, the lakes and rivers, the mountains and the bush. Lived off them, come from a traditional background, one of the last who can still make mokihi, taught many of them, so him and I come from that traditional background. Hunters. Experts in mahinga kai, gathering food. We always do it. Well I still do it, he still did it, right up to the day he died,” Mr Tau says.

Kelly Davis has been taken back to his marae at Morven.


A former Maori Battalion sergeant isn't getting a lot of support from Te Arawa in his boycott of tomorrow's presentation in Rotorua by the Duke of York of royal taonga to honour the late Haane Manahi.

Sonny Sewell says nothing but the Victoria Cross is enough to mark the heroism Sergeant Manahi displayed charging German gun positions at Takrouna Ridge in North Africa in 1943.

But George Rehu, who was in A company of 28 Maori Battalion, says Te Arawa fought for 20 years to upgrade Sergeant Manahi's Distinguished Conduct Medal, and it has to accept it got the best outcome possible.

“We fought the fight when we took it to the Queen, and she told us then and there, she will never change any decisions her dad made. That’s what she said. She didn’t say if it was right or wrong,” Mr Rehu says.

Prince Andrew will present an altar cloth for St Faith's Church in Ohinemutu and a sword from the collection of his grandfather George the sixth which will be presented by Te Arawa to each incoming armed forces chief.


International artists coming to the World of Music and Dance festival in New Plymouth this weekend have been given a crash course in Maori culture and etiquette.

Maori coordinator Wharehoka Wano says organisers didn't want a repeat of the embarrassing stand-off last year, when members of reggae great Jimmy Cliff's band refused to hongi their hosts.

Mr Wano says the three busloads of artists from arouind the world welcomed onto Owae Marae yesterday were briefed on the significance of the haruru at the end of the powhiri.

“We live and learn and we’re very careful about our explanations and the whole idea of hongi and sharing breath and bringing us together in a physical sense was explained a little bit better this time,” Mr Wano says.

Womad kicks off tonight with acts including Portugese fado sensation Mariza, Afrobeat star Femi Kuti and kapa haka from Taranaki Whanau and Whitireia.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tribunal winds up Tamaki investigation

Hauraki's treaty claim manager says this week's Waitangi Tribunal hearing on the Tamaki Makaurau Settlement showed the Office of Treaty Settlements is making up the process as it goes along.

Tribunal members and lawyers from cross claimant iwi spent yesterday cross examining the head of the OTS team which negotiated a settlement with Ngati Whatua o Orakei.

John McInteer says it became clear the government has seriously under-reported the value of the settlement, because it put a zero value on Ngati Whatua's right to buy surplus Crown land in central Auckland for the next 100 years.

He says the Office of Treaty Settlements was also unable to show it received expert advice on Maori customary issues, such as which iwi have interests in the city's volcanic cones.

“They've come up well short of what we would expect from a professional public servant. And I think all they’re doing is making ad hoc, political judgments and they get it wrong. They got it wrong in Hauraki on Whenuakite and they got it wrong here again. They're just plain dopey,” Mr McEnteer says.

Waitangi Tribunal acting chairperson Carrie Wainwright says a report should be ready in about a month.


Tobacco is stunting Maori development.

That's the message anti-smoking campaigner Shane Bradbrook will be taking to an auhi kore hui at Palmerston North today and tomorrow.

Mr Bradbook says the hui, run in collaboration with the Maori heart foundation Te Hotu Manawa Maori, aims to give workers on the ground to learn some of the tools and techniques they need to encourage Maori to kick the habit.

He says it's also a chance to look at some of the wider issues.

“We need to put that into people’s minds and getting them to think about it within a social justice framework, self determination framework, to say ‘hey look, tobacco and the industry are exploiting our people, Does this help our development as Maori?’” Mr Bradbrook says.


The World of Music and Dance festival or Womad starts in Taranaki today, and Tuhoe musician Warren Maxwell says he hopes it opens the eyes of rangatahi to some of the possibilities out there.

Maxwell's new band Little Bushman is shortlisted for next year's festival, but this year Maori music will be represented on the stage at the Bowl of Brookland by Wai and Whirimako Black.

He says music from other cultures has been a big influence on his earlier work in Fat Freddy's Drop and Trinity Roots, and he hopes young Maori will take some risks with their listening.

“For young rangatahi to really think outside the square, think outside your town. I know when I was growing up in Whangarei, I didn’t know anything. I didn’t even bother thinking ‘I really want to go to Marrakesh some time, sample come Moroccan kai.’ It’s a big world, but it’s getting smaller eh,” Maxwell says.


An elder from Auckland's Ngati Te Ata iwi says the proposed settlement of Ngati Whatua o Orakei claims seems designed to purge other tribes from the city in advance of the Rugby World Cup.

The Waitangi Tribunal has been in Auckland hearing evidence from claimants and the Crown about the process followed by the Office of Treaty Settlements to arrive at the settlement, and has now retired to write its report.

Nganeko Minhinnick says Ngati Te Ata is still waiting for its own settlement, despite putting its story before the Waitangi Tribunal in the Manukau Claim 24 years ago.

Mrs Minhinnick says the Crown is treating everyone but the Orakei hapu as if they don't exist.

“We've been purged. I suppose it’s a cleansing thing. Cleansing for the Crown, ‘let’s just get rid of these people, this is how we’ll do it. We’ll only deal with one. It doesn’t matter about whanaungatanga, It doesn’t matter about history and tradition. What matters is we must have one Auckland, so that all the roads can come straight form the airport, straight to the grounds,” Mrs Minhinnick says.

She says there is no way other Auckland iwi will allow Ngati Whatua to have exclusive ownership of the city's volcanic cones, as the settlement proposes.


The man who oversees the work of the Maori police liaison officers says it's important they learn from both inside and outside the police.

Wally Haumaha, the new manager of Maori, Pacific Island and ethnic services, says liaison officers need to get to get tight into the communities they serve to be effective.

“I'm encouraging our kaitakawaenga to make sure that they’re well supported, that they’re talking to the right people, getting the right training not only from within police but from our kaumatua, our kuia, and that they’re doing the right thing,” Mr Haumaha says.


Musician Warren Maxwell has a new project, encouraging young Maori to do well at school.

Maxwell, of Fat Freddy's Drop, Trinity Roots and now Little Bushman fame, is one of five role models recruited for the Te Mana Maori initiative.

The others are former Black Fern captain Farah Palmer, broadcasters Mike McRoberts and Stacey Morrison, and golfer Michael Campbell.

Maxwell says when he was asked to also write the music for the television advertisement, he responded immediately to the campaign's theme of honouring the past and preparing for the future.

“I thought oh that's awesome. You know just the whole kaupapa of young Maori, young rangatahi, taking pride in themselves because of where they come from, where we come from,” Maxwell says.

Treaty curriculum victory celebrated

Putting the Treaty of Waitangi back in the school curriculum will benefit all students.

That's the response of Auckland University senior lecturer in education Vicky Carpenter to a government U-turn on the issue.

Dr Carpenter, whose research is about raising Maori achievement in mainstream schools, says it's not just an issue for Maori.

“The treaty is for everybody in this country. I’m not Maori, I’m Pakeha, and it’s incredibly important to me that the treaty is in the curriculum and I think it’s important for all ethnic groups in this country,” Dr Carpenter says.

She says at the time the draft curriculum was written, officials were influenced by a political climate which was attacking anything that could be seen as race based.


A multi-million dollar Ngai Tahu venture will see tourists swimming among glaciers and native bush.

Ngai Tahu Tourism general manager John Thorburn says Franz Josef is the ideal location for a pool complex.

The company plans to start building four public swimming pools and several private hot pools next year.

Mr Thorburn says Maori influences will be incorporated into the complex.

“Primarily this is a pool opportunity, but where there are opportunities to have interpretation, we will certainly be exploring them,” Mr Thorburn says.

He says the pools will bring more tourists and more jobs to Franz Josef.


A well-traveled waka taua has arrived in the Spanish port city of Valencia to join ceremonies marking the official handover of the America's Cup regatta from New Zealand.

Te Ika a Maui, paddled by an 18-member crew from northern iwi, will also escort NZL 92 to the start line for its first Louis Vuitton Cup race in April.

Crew member Tamahou Temara says the waka, originally carved by Hekenukumai Busby for the 1990 celebrations, flew the flag for Aotearoa at the 1992 Pacific arts festival in Rarotonga and at Toi Maori initiative in San Francisco in 2005.

He says it's a good way to introduce Maori culture to Europe.

“It gives an opportunity for us to raise the profile of Aotearoa and also us as a people, as Maori, as ambassadors to the world, so that’s something really important that we’re going to take on as well,” Mr Temara says.

A kapa haka group and singer Hinewehi Mohi will also take part in the ceremonies.


Maori party education spokesperson Te Ururoa Flavell says a Government backdown on the school curriculum is a sign its policy blunders are coming home to roost.

The education ministry has admitted it was a mistake to delete any reference to the Treaty of Waitangi from the draft statement of what gets taught in the nation's schools.

Mr Flavell says the Government has shown a flagrant disregard for Maori interests, and the Maori Party seems to be constantly fighting fires.

“Let's not believe that there’s this one Treaty of Waitangi clause. In the last three weeks or so we’ve seen the back down on the land occupation at Hauraki for example, where we found a hole in the policy. This one here is another hole that we’ve found. Clearly they either aren’t doing their homework or just doing what governments have done in the past and gone ahead without due consideration of the treaty partner,” Mr Flavell says.


Former Black Fern captain Farah Palmer says young Maori women still need to be assured they can do anything.

Dr Palmer, who is now a Massey University lecturer, is one of five Maori identities fronting the Education Ministry's Te Mana Maori education initiative, which aims to encourage young Maori to take their schooling seriously.

She says young people can be held back by fear of what people will think.

“It is important for Maori girls and Maori women to realise they can do anything, and it is about challenging perhaps other people’s perceptions of what you’re capable of doing, and I think because I’ve played rugby, which isn’t necessarily associated with females, that I’ve shown that you can challenge something and do well at it,” Dr Palmer says.

She says while celebrity role models may have some value, she encourages parents and teachers to be the ones rangatahi look up to.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Settlement over spoils of war

Ngati Whatua o Orakei chairperson Grant Hawke says the proposed settlement of its Auckland claims represents the spoils of war.

A Waitangi Tribunal into the settlement process yesterday considered evidence from the hapu, including some from the late Sir Hugh Kawharu, who led the negotiations.

Mr Hawke says his iwi has tried to be fair to cross-claimants, but the settlement reflects the fact Ngati Whatua was able to settle in Tamaki Makaurau through its victory over Wai-o-hua chief Kiwi Tamaki.

“The spoils of war was shared through marriage and occupation and and ahi kaa over those long periods of time so I’ve yet to see that we have been, since we have occupied Tamaki, and in the historical sense, that we have been unworthy,” Mr Hawke says.

The hearing is due to end today.


A senior lecturer in Education from Auckland University, Vicki Carpenter, says a change in the political climate is behind a Ministry of Education U-turn on including the Treaty of Waitangi in the new curriculum.

Education secretary Karen Sewell told a parliamentary committee yesterday that the ministry took it for granted that schools would teach about the treaty, but dropping it from the formal document was a mistake.

Dr Carpenter, who is conducting research on ways to raise the achievement of Maori children in mainstream schools, says the ministry wrote its draft curriculum about the time of Don Brash's Orewa speech, which criticised race based funding and programmes.

“The political context during the time that the draft was written made the writers very cautious, made the Ministry of Education people very cautious, and Don Brash’s speech was integral to that context,” Dr Carpenter says.


A Hokianga Maori farmer is encouraging other Maori in the region to grow saffron.

Makuini Te Whata Chadwick has been growing the crocus blooms which produce the ancient spice for eight years, with technical help from Industrial Research.

Mrs Chadwick ignored suggestions the mid-north would be too wet to grow the valuable crop, and she uses traditional Maori methods to keep the flowers healthy, including karakia, planting by the moon, and a compost made of blackberry, seaweed, bull kelp and kina shells.

“For us it's a bigger picture too and it’s employment for us and using our land, making something come off our land rather than just leaving it dormant, so for me it’s just to try to be an example there and have others that are interested and come along.” Mrs Chadwick says.

Her whanau are looking into infusing saffron oil with traditional Maori foods including piko piko, peruperu, kawakawa leaves and karuparera.


Anglican cleric Hone Kaa says the Race Relations Commissioner’s call for a Maori Parliament or council of elders to advise the government isn't what Maori need.

In his annual report, Joris de Bres said such a body could strengthen the relationship between Maori and central government.

Canon Kaa says such a council is unlikely to represent the majority of elders, who are under 40.

He says Maori want real political power, not so called consultation with an advisory body.

“His heart is in the right sure, but I’m not sure the action he wants us to take is the right action. Because in the end, the only way we’re going to discover exactly how strong we are is for ourselves to do it. I admire Joris a lot, but the day of the missionary has gone,” Mr Kaa says.

Many Maori are still pinning their hopes on the Maori Party getting more seats and greater influence.


The head of Maori studies at Canterbury University says there are troubling signs in the way Maori are coping with tertiary education.

Rawiri Taonui says while participation rates have improved, including more than 200 Maori now studying for doctorates, the majority are in polytechnics or wananga doing certificate or diploma courses.

Mr Taonui says in mainstream universities, too many Maori are struggling.

“There are real issues about pass rates and retention, and quite typically it’s stage one and stage two of bachelor level degrees Maori pass rates are only in the range of about 50 to 60 percent, compared to say 90 percent for other students,” Mr Taonui says.

He says it's not particularly helpful to define Maori tertiary success just in terms of just participation rates.


Maori workforce advancement is the hot topic for discussion at a hui in Wellington today.

Council of Trade Unions Maori vice president Sharon Clair says the kaupapa for the "Leave No One Behind" conference include issues like mentoring rangatahi, the Maori view of workplace productivity, getting Maori prisoners back into the workforce, and industry training.

Ms Clair says while other forums like the Hui Taumata have focused on Maori economic development, economies need workers to drive them.

“Maori economic success will not occur unless Maori workforce succeed, and if neither Maori neither Maori business or Maori workers succeed, the New Zealand’s economy won’t succeed. Invest in the Maori workforce, in skill development, and that’s got to be good for business,” Ms Clair says.

The hui will hear from workplace reeresentatives, the Department of Labour and Biz New Zealand on how to build Maori skill and capacity.

Direct negotiation process defended

The head of the Office of Treaty Settlements says the direct negotiations over Auckland land claims was the best way to make rapid progress.

Paul James was in Auckland today to observe witnesses for the Crown giving evidence to the Waitangi Tribunal on the processes followed in reaching as settlement with Ngati Whatua.

Other tribes with historical links to Tamaki Makaurau say they were shut out and the deal will give Orakei hapu exclusive ownership of some of their customary waahi tapu.

Mr James says the Crown's evidence should satisfy the tribunal that other iwi were sufficently consulted.

He says Ngati Whatua has behaved honourably.

“They've approached the Crown, indicated they’d like to secure a comprehensive settlement of all their claims. There hadn’t been an inquiry by the tribunal into this area. However, the Crown wanted to make progress with treaty settlements and so engaged with Ngati Whatua in direct negotiations,” Mr James says.

He says the Agreement in Principle signed with Orakei last June is only provisional, and changes could be made after consultation with other affected iwi.


The Minister of Maori Affairs is warning the Maori Party political grandstanding can have repercussions.

Parekura Horomia says he is pleased the party eventually decided to back Sue Bradford's anti smacking bill.

But he says the "will they, won't they" performance they put on seemed designed to highlight the value of their vote.

“You know if you start leveraging just to prove that you might have an influence, that can work the other way too. At the end of the day, if you’re not in government, if you don’t make the decisions, you can grandstand all you like,” Mr Horomia says.


But Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says there was no grandstanding.

Dr Sharples says his party supported the bill through its first two readings, but took time to consider amendments.

He says under the MMP system, the Maori party's four votes will have more value at some times than others.

“We've always known that at times we’ll be the balance of power, and here’s a good example the people can perhaps learn from and see the value, Maoris anyway, in having a strong Maori Party in there,” Dr Sharples says.


Borders hopes its new store in Wellington will be a mecca for people wanting Maori interest and Maori language books.

Wellington manager Melissa Philips says the global book chain has identified high demand for books in and on Maori at its existing Auckland and Christchurch stores.

Ms Philips says they'll be on the shelves when the doors open tomorrow.

“Our Auckland store on Queen St won an award last year for their Maori language selection, so we’ll be replicating that range,” Ms Philips says.


The Maori spokesperson for primary teachers' union the New Zealand Education Institute is welcoming the return of the Treaty of Waitangi to the classroom.

Education secretary Karen Sewell told the Maori affairs select committee today the exclusion of the treaty from the draft curriculum was a mistake, and it will be in the final document.

Laures Park, the NZEI's matua takawaenga, says as the nation's founding document the treaty should be up front and centre of the what schools teach children.

“If the curriculum of this country doesn’t actually put it out in front, then immediately we’re saying that our national curriculum can be just the same as anywhere else in the world really. There isn’t anything that makes it unique. There isn’t the content of te reo Maori that should be quite explicit as well,” Ms Park says.

She says schools are comfortable teaching the treaty of Waitangi, and its exclusion from the draft was an over-reaction by the government to Don Brash's Orewa speech.


The director of the Office of Treaty Settlements says the proposed settlement with Ngati Whatua o Orakei could change.

The Waitangi Tribunal is in Auckland hearing evidence on whether the direct negotiation process the government followed was fair to other tribes with interests in Tamaki Makaurau.

Under the deal, the Orakei hapu will have the right to buy hundreds of millions of dollars of Crown land, and be given ownership of key volcanoes including Maungawhau-Mt Eden and Maungakiekie or One Tree Hill.

Paul James says the settlement could change after consulation with other iwi.

“The agreement in principle is non-binding, so at this point it’s an agreement in principle, literally that, and it’s an opportunity for us to then consult with other interested and overlapping parties to seek their views, and try and reach agreement with them on the best way forward,” Mr James says.

He says direct negotiations are proving an effective way to make good and rapid agreements with iwi, without having to have a full Waitangi Tribunal investigation.


Tainui director Christian Penny says even if we are not directly involved in events, they can have a profound influence on our lives.

Penny's play Penumbra is at Skycity Theatre this week as part of the Auckland Festival.

It tells the story of a New Zealand family in the latter half of the 20th century, drawing on events such as the 1953 Tangiwai Disaster, the Maori Showbands of the 1960's, Bastion Point and a solar eclipse as the century drew to a close.

Penny says the 1978 Bastion Point occupation in particular shaped his thinking.

“That definitely touched me as a Maori, that people were being challenged by the state ion such a massive scale. Even though I wasn’t in the middle of that protest and didn’t understand it and my family weren’t involved or articulate in any of those senses, it has come to affect me and influence my work and how I make sense of my own Maoritanga,” Penny says.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Settlement process deeply flawed

A leading treaty historian says the Government process for direct negotiation of treaty settlements is deeply flawed.

Massey University associate professor Michael Belgrave says by acting outside the Waitangi Tribunal and Maori Land Court processes, the Crown took upon itself the job of deciding the nature of Maori customary interests in claim areas.

Dr Belgrave yesterday gave evidence on behalf of the Marutuahu Confederation to a Waitangi Tribunal hearing into the Tamaki Makau Rau Settlement.

He says Marutuahu is particularly concerned at the decision to grant exclusive ownership of Maungawhau-Mt Eden to Ngati Whatua o Orakei, because it was part of Marutuahu's traditions going back several hundred years.

“And our concern was really that in looking at custom the crown really hadn’t treated these traditions with the sort of respect that is required given that these are key traditions that are associated with the identities of tribes, and that’s as true for Ngati Whatua as it is for Marutuahu,” Dr Belgrave says.

He says the Crown has ignored principles of natural justice in reaching its agreement in principle with the Orakei hapu.


The Prime Minister says she's seeing a new generation of Maori leaders coming through.

Tainui chairperson Tukoroirangi Morgan has expressed concern at what he sees as a gap in experience of interest in Maori aged from 30 to 55, and urged iwi to consider succession planning.

But Helen Clark says there are other forces at work, and Maori are responding

“As the treaty settlements have taken place, as significant resources have come out to iwi, as iwi become major investors in their region, increasingly they look to the generation that has had the tertiary education qualifications to come and run organisations professionally, so there’s probably a generational shift going on as we speak,” Ms Clark says.


Maori entertainer Pio Terei is off the the South Island next month to put his own spin on parenting.

Over the past five years Mr Terei has developed a seminar mixing humour, songs and parenting tips for a Maori audience.

He says when he has tried the programme in places like municipal halls he gets a limited response from tangata whenua, but it's a different story on marae.

“We're packing maraes out. And I’ve seen guys, gang members, sitting in the front row taking notes, and I say ‘Why are you here, because of the kids?’ and they say ‘No bro, I’ve missed the boat with the kids, but my mokos.’ And it’s pretty inspiring stuff,” Mr Terei says.


Historian Michael Belgrave says the only precedent he can find for the way the government intends to settle Ngati Whatua's Auckland land claims is the Waitara decision which led to the first Taranaki war of the 1860s.

Dr Belgrave, an associate professor at Massey University, gave evidence yesterday to a Waitangi Tribunal hearing into the way the government conducted direct talks with the Orakei hapu.

He says the Office of Treaty Settlements decided who had customary interests to Tamaki Makaurau.

Dr Belgrave says that's a significant change, because since 1862 issues of custom have been left to the Maori Land Court or expert commissions of inquiry like the Waitangi Tribunal.

“And the parties in that, however roughshod the process may have been at some stage, the parties were protected by natural justice – they had the right to be heard, they had the right to bring evidence, and in the end , once they’d presented their case, even if it went against them, they had a process they could understand and participate in,” Dr Belgrave says.

He says everyone needs to know the basis for Crown decisions, but the current process is not transparent or fair to other claimants.


The head of Maori at Christchurch Polytechnic says Maori secondary students in Canterbury have some of the worst achievement rates in the country.

Hana O'Regan says Canterbury has the highest rate of suspensions and stand downs for Maori students, and only a third of Maori school leavers in 2004 had NCEA level two.

Ms O'Regan says education strategies developed in the North Island did not always work in the south, with its lower Maori population.

“The focus in the north, you might have a strategy that’s easier to come up with because you do have a high density. Those strategies don’t necessarily work in the south, and yet if we fail to address the issues in the south, then in fact what we’re saying is a Maori in the south is worth less than one in the north,” Ms O'Regan says.

She says the under-achievement should be seen as a problem to be tackled by the whole community, not just schools and whanau.


Irish and Maori in the Hawkes Bay are planning a special St Patrick's celebration this Saturday.

Hui and Hooley will celebrate the links Maori have forged with Irish immigrants to Aotearoa.

Coordinator Dennis O' Reilly says the event at Napier's Waiohiki Marae will include a multi-denominational church service, plenty of talk, an auction of art from artists with a shared Celtic and Maori heritage, and a feast befitting two proud cultures.

Mr O'Reilly says both Irish and Maori are going through a renaissance.

“Cultural stuff has risen to the fore, the treatment of the Gaelic language, and you can see the same process happening in Maoridom. Those of us who come from Irish stock empathise with Maori ritual, with Maori values,” O'Reilly says.

Proceeds of Hui and Hooley will be shared between the marae and the Waiohiki Arts Cente.

Crown negotiators blocked ears to altenatives

The Waitangi Tribunal has been told the Office Of Treaty Settlements refused to listen to other tribes challenging the way it negotiated only with Ngati Whatua o Orakei over Auckland claims.

The tribunal is sitting in Tamaki Makaurau until Thursday to review the Government's settlement process.

Ngati Maru general manager David Taipari says when the talks started five years ago, the Marutuahu tribes were worried any settlement would involve land in central Auckland and North Shore they had historical associations with.

Mr Taipari says the agreement in principle reached last June confirmed their worst fears, which is why they're asking for a rethink.

“We can only hope that the government take heed of the evidence provided today, that the tribunal will recommend strongly that this process needs to go back to stage one, and that all parties are brought ot the same table and at the same time to put the korero on the table so the agreement in principle can be established for Tamaki, not necessarily for a tribe,” Mr Taipari says.

He says Ngati Maru's challenge is to the Crown and not to their relatives in Ngati Whatua.


Green MP Sue Bradford is welcoming the Maori Party's decision to continue its support for her anti-smacking bill.

The party appeared to be wavering over an amendment by National's Whanganui MP Chester Borrows aimed at gutting the bill, but today said it was time for society to be brave and vote down the use of force against children.

It is expected Mr Borrows' amendment will be put when the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Bill reaches its committee stage on Wednesday.

Ms Bradford says the news is a relief.

“The four Maori Party MPs had come under heavy pressure from some quarters to try to undermine my bill to repeal or amend section 59 of the Crimes Act but since this morning of course we’ve heard the tremendous news that the four Maori MPs are staying staunch in their defence of the rights of children to grow up free from violence, and I’m absolutely thrilled with that tautoko coming through,” Ms Bradford says.


Filmmaker Taika Waititi's first full length production is on a roll, picking up the prize for best screenplay at the 13th Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen Colorado.

Co-producer Ainsley Gardiner says it all helps build up the buzz for the romantic comedy Eagle vs Shark, which will be released in the United States mid-year.

The romantic comedy about two misfits premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, and has been selected for the Berlin and Rotterdam film festivals.

Ms Gardiner says Waititi is taking Maori humour to the world.

“The stories that he tells are so recognisable. It’s not high art. These are stories about Maori made by Maori, and that’s what makes them so accessible,” Ms Gardiner says.


Waitangi Tribunal claimants are facing an uphill battle to get the Government to taihoa on its settlement of Auckland land claims.

The tribunal is in Auckland this week conducting an urgent hearing into the Tamaki Makau Rau Settlement Inquiry.

Several iwi groups with historic links to the Auckland isthmus say the way the Crown went about negotiating with Ngati Whatua o Orakei shut them out.

They says the agreement in principle signed last June by the late Sir Hugh Kawharu will give the Orakei hapu assets they have better claims to.

But Prime Minister Helen Clark says the Government has conducted an exhaustive process.

“That agreement in principle that was signed while Sir Hugh Kawharu was still alive had been worked on for a long time, and normally the Crown doesn’t get to that point unless it’s satisfied with the mandate,” Ms Clark says.


National's Maori Affairs co-spokesperson Georgina te Heuheu says Maori state house tenants should be given the chance to buy their own homes.

Mrs te Heuheu says too many tenants believe they will be in a state house for life.

She says home ownership is a way to break the cycle of dependency.

“Having a stake in your home, having a stake in what you’re paying out every week, those rent payments can be converted to mortgage payments and you’re paying for something that will some day be yours, then that I think is a great lift,” Mrs Te Heuheu says.

She says home ownership leads to stronger whanau.


A leading herbalist says doctors should learn about rongoa Maori or Maori medicine so they can advice on complementary treatments.

Chris Tufnell, the president of the New Zealand Association of Medical Herbalists, says consumer demand is growing for herbal treatments including rongoa Maori.

Mrs Tufnell says District Health Boards and doctors should consider how that demand will affect conventional treatments.

“It's important that people understand what the possible interactions are when they are using both kinds of medicine, and part of that means really health professionals being open and talking to each other in the interests of the consumer who wants to use both systems,” Mrs Tufnell says.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ngati Whatua o Orakei deal to be probed

The Waitangi Tribunal is in Auckland this week to consider whether the Government followed proper steps to settle Ngati Whatua o Orakei's claims to the Auckland isthmus.

While the sticker price of the agreement in principle is $10 million, rights to buy large numbers of Crown properties means the deal could be worth a lot more to Ngati Whatua.

Other tribes believe Ngati Whatua is getting the plums, and there will be little hope of getting a fair settlement for their interests in the same areas.

Seven groups, including Ngati Te Ata, Ngai Tai ki Tamaki, Te Kawerau a Maki, Te Taou, Marutuahu and Hauraki Maori Trust Board are crying foul.

Marutuahu lawyer Paul Majurey told the tribunal that when it entered negotiations with the Orakei hapu, the Crown failed to investigate what customary interests others had in Tamaki.

He says other iwi were not allowed to see the historical research until well after the deal was done, and it has at every turn tried to avoid real scrutiny.

Ngati Whatua's lawyer, Don Wackrow, said everything that has been done is above board, and the limited and modest redress the hapu is getting leaves more than enough for other claimant groups.

The hearing continues until Thursday.


It's national herb awareness week, and the president of the Medical Herbalists association is urging people to learn more about the plants used in rongoa Maori.

Nelson-based Chris Tufnell says Maori have used plants like kawakawa and korimako for centuries.

Ms Tufnel says people overlook many common remedies.

“Herbs for example like manuka are wonderful anti-fungal herb, anti-microbial, great to take when you’ve got colds and flu, and even just a simple cup of tea made with the leaves and flowers is a wonderful treatment,” Ms Tufnell says.

She says the association concerned the Government's intention to put herbal products put under the control of a trans Tasman regulator will deny people the ability to use many rongoa plants.


The Race Relations Commissioner says race continues to be a negative factor in health and education.

In his annual report, Joris de Bres highlighted issues raised by Otago University researchers and the Ministry of Education.

He says discrimination is more prevalent in the health sector than previously thought.

“When you take out all the other factors of economic and social situation and so on, there was a significant factor in health inequality that related purely to ethnicity, and the experience of discrimination towards Maori in the health system was much higher than people thought,” Mr De Bres says.


Tainui chairperson Tukoroirangi Morgan says Maori need to take a hard look at their leadership structures.

Race Relations Conciliator Joris de Bres has suggested a council of chiefs and elders may be needed to advise government on broad policy issues.

Mr Morgan says it's an interesting idea, but Maori need to get such a body right.

He says there are generational issues at play, with the graduates of kohanga reo and kura kaupapa only now reaching their 20s.

“It's the gap between the 55s and the 30s that is going to be troublesome for us. Unless Maoridom is smart to begin to build a process around succession planning, we are going to have clear gap where there isn’t a coordinated approach to who takes the leadership of Maori going forward,” Mr Morgan says.

He says Maori leadership bodies need to take into account both traditional iwi leadership and those who get their mandate by elections to trusts and boards.


The Alcohol Advisory Council wants parents to take more responsibility for their children's drinking.

Deputy chief executive Sandra Kirby says while police are struggling to break up underage drinking parties and picking up unsupervised drinkers, parents are plying their kids with more booze.

Ms Kirby says it has become too easy for young people to get alcohol, and not because of any looseness at the bottle store.

“The pattern for Maori and non-Maori is much the same, so that the biggest suppliers are parents or family members, although it may be in Maori families that its wider than parents, brothers and sisters, maybe aunts and uncles,” Ms Kirby says.

While she supports the right of parents to make their own decisions about when their children can drink alcohol, they should be there when they are drinking it.


The Waitangi Tribunal will today dig into the processes the government followed in agreeing to a $10 million plus settlement of Ngati Whatua's claims to Auckland city.

Seven groups with overlapping claims are challenging the Agreement in Principle signed by the Crown and the Orakei hapu last June.

The first witness at Auckland's Airport Centra Hotel is Massey University historian Michael Belgrave, whose 576 page report on the interests of the Marutuahu confederation in the North Shore and the eastern part of the Auckland isthmus went unread by Crown negotiators.

Marutuahu will also give evidence they were not allowed to see or challenge the historical material the Crown was relied on.

Other iwi will tell how they were shut out of the process, and how the deal is creating tension among the tribes.

Ngati Whatua chief executive Tiwana Tibble will respond with the hapu's perspective.

The hearing continues until Thursday.

Whangaroa guardians no kaitiaki

Whangaroa iwi are opposing a plan by a residents' group to turn their Northland harbour into a maritime recreational park.

Terry Smith, the chair of Te Runanga o Whaingaroa, says the Guardians of Whangaroa plan undermines the kaitiakitanga or guardianship of the Ngati Kahu and Ngapuhi hapu who live around the shores.

He says the group needs to work with tangata whenua rather than riding roughshod over them.

“We are the kaitiaki. That is our role. That is our responsibility. They live within the rohe and we’re inviting them to be part of that,” Mr Smith says.


Historian Paul Moon says the ability of Maori to quickly adapt to new forms of business has not been sufficiently recognised.

Dr Moon says his research into trade between Maori and Pakeha in the 18 hundreds confirms a strong sense of entrepreneurship.

He says the ability of Maori to work collectively can be a valuable business tool.

“In the Bay of Plenty for example, hapu and iwi there not only traded, they reorganised their whole social structure around trade and commerce. They were very quick to adapt, particularly in the flax trade. It got to the point where Europeans were dependent on them to survive, because they were sort of the commercial leaders in the country,” Dr Moon says.

He says Maori should look to their own collaborative models when developing businesses.


A newly formed team with an old name took out the senior prize at this weekend's Manu Ariki competitions in the King Country.

Co-ordinator Rangi Enia says 49 teams across a range of age categories came to at Mana Ariki Marae at Okahukura, just north of Taumarunui.

She says the main theme of the competition was unity, in tribute to the hosts of the 25 year old festival, the Kotahitanga Building Society.

Senior winners were Ngaruawahia-based Te Pou o Mangataawhiri, named after the concert party Princess Te Puia Herangi formed to raise funds to build Turangawaewae Marae.

Ms Rangi Enia says another Waikato team from Nawton School in Hamilton won the junior section and was judged overall best group.

Auckland's Te Kohanga reo o Te Kupenga won the kohanga section, Otaki Primary School's Te kapa o Te Korowai Whakamana topped the juniors, and Te Kapa o Nga Taiohi o Hikuwai from Turangi was best of the secondary school teams.


Long time community worker Dennis O'Reilly says policing has improved since the days now being exhumed in historic sex cases.

Two former policemen are serving jail sentences for a pack rape in the Bay of Plenty in the 1980s, and Auckland assistant commissioner Clint Rickards has still not been allowed back to work despite being found not guilty in three trials with the pair.

Mr O'Reilly says a significant change is police culture no longer centres around the police bar, and police are likely to spend more off duty time in the community.

“It's always been a great thing in a community to get coppers involved in rugby league, in coaching or refereeing or whatever, because in the socialization that happens in there, they become much more effective policemen rather than just mixing among their own and only going to the police station,” Mr O'Reilly says.

He says police are still too reliant on profile policing, which means young Maori are liable to be hassled.


Waikato University's new pro vice-chancellor (Maori) says the next generation of Maori students fills her with hope.

Linda Smith, who is currently a professor of education at Auckland University, will take up the Waikato position in July, replacing Professor Tamati Reedy.

She says the difference between her generation and today's students, is their confidence in themselves and their abilities.

“Just because they’ve got earphones in their ears doesn’t necessarily mean their brains are switched off. I’ve seen a lot of examples of young people schools have dismissed. They are really smart. Some of the kids who aren’t in school are not in school because they’ve seen through a lot of the rubbish that schools give them,” Professor Smith says.

She will continue as a director of the multi-university Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, the national institute of research excellence in Maori development and advancement.


Arts marketer Toi Maori plans to give a New Zealand audience a taste of what it's presenting overseas.

It will hold a Maori Market at Wellington's TSB Events Centre next month at which more than 100 Maori artists are expected to showcase paintings, weaving, sculpture and ta moko.

General manager Garry Nicholas says the exhibition will also feature Maori food and wine.

Mr Nicholas says there is a need to develop markets here and overseas.

“While we are making great art, there are 400,000 Maori, and if they would all buy a piece of art each, there wouldn’t be a need for new markets. The reality is we do have to move out to an international field.” Mr Nicholas says.

Toi Maori exhibitions in North America over the past two years have generated $1.5 million in sales.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Elders' council plan endorsed

Tainui chairperson Tukoroirangi Morgan says there is merit in a call by Human Rights Commissioner Jori De Bres for a council of Maori elders and chiefs to interface with government.

Mr De Bres made the suggestion in his annual report on race relations which identified problems Maori have in dealing with government on broad policy issues.

Mr Morgan, who chairs the electoral college which selects new members of the Maori fisheries settlement trust Te Ohu Kaimoana, says iwi are looking for new ways to combine so they can get their views heard in Wellington.

“I think De Bres is not too far away from the ideal situation that Maori seek to try to galvanise this place in a unified and a collective way. It is probably a mix of iwi leadership and those people who have mandated authority,” Mr Morgan says.

He says in the past Maoridom relied on the Maori Council but it no longer enjoys support in all regions.


The police iwi liaison officer for Nelson and Golden Bay says there are an alarming number of young people in the region using drugs.

Archdeacon Harvey Whakaruru says an influx of methamphetamine or P is depressing the price of cannabis, which makes it more accessible to young people.

Mr Whakaruru says the Maori wardens are increasingly coming across stoned young people.

“We know young people as young as 10 have been known to smoke cannabis, pinch their parents' cannabis,” Mr Whakaruru says.


Waka builder Hekenukumai Busby says interest is growing in the ancient art.

The Muriwhenua elder, who has made 22 waka, was last week made a Fellow of Northland Polytechnic for his contributions to the region.

Mr Busby says his next project is helping a team in the King Country build a waka.

He's keen to pass on the techniques and traditions, because it makes it less likely the know-how will be lost.

“You know I think that is one of the ideas too, when I go down to Maniapoto in a couple of weeks time, they are very interested to take part and try to learn, you know,” Mr Busby says.

His waka include the voyaging canoe Te Aurere and Te Ika aa Maui, which will support the New Zealand team at this year's America's Cup regatta in Valencia.


Haami Piripi says if a review of the Crown's land holdings doesn't result in meaningful change for Maori, the government can expect more occupations.

On the heels of occupations of Landcorp farms in the far north and Coromandel, the Government of Friday announced it would review the procedures for disposal of surplus land by all government departments, agencies and state owned enterprises.

However, the government has emphasised the conservation and heritage value of such land, rather than its possible use in settling treaty claims.

Mr Piripi says Maori are becoming increasingly frustrated at the slow pace of treaty settlement processes.

“We've lost a tremendous amount of value, we’ve lost time, we’ve lost tons of opportunity, and it’s absolutely no surprise to me that communities who exist in these outlying areas, really oblivious to the government and its policies, are being left high and dry in terms of what’s been promised to them over the years,” Mr Piripi says.


More than 200 people were out at dawn in Russell yesterday for the commemoration of the 1845 sacking of Kororareka.

The ceremony took place on te Maiki Hill, the site where Ngapuhi chief Hone Heke cut down the flagpole.

For that action, to protest crown breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi, Heke was joined by another chief, Kawitit.

One of his decendants, Raumoa Kawiti, says there was considerable support for the commemoration in the small northland community.

“A lot of Pakeha, the Pakeha of Kororareka, and there were a lot of Maori, from Parliament, like Hone Harawira, Pira Paraone, and Shane Jones was here yesterday. It was good to see them supporting the blessing of that pou and remembering those who died, Maori and Pakeha,” Mr Kawiti says.


A new programme for Maori nurses has just taken its first intake of 23 trainees.

Spokesperson Dolly Rewha says Puu Ora Matatini aims to address the critical shortage of Maori health workers in South Auckland.

It's a collaboration between the government, Manukau Institute of Technology and Otahuhu Maori health provider Te Kupenga o Hoturoa.

Ms Rewha says the programme is taking a long term view.

“This is the first of many, because we’re looking at over 10 years we want 100 Maori graduates and hopefully in another 10 years we want to have Maori nursing advisers to the Ministry of Health. We need to grow our own.” Ms Rewha says.