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Friday, January 25, 2008

Welcome home for Ngapuhi

The Ngapuhi Runanga hopes to see up to a fifth of tribe members come home to Kaikohe this weekend.

The third Ngapuhi Festival kicks off at nine tomorrow morning at Northland College, with a full programme of sports, music, kapa haka, educational programmes and debate.

Sonny Tau, the tribe's chairperson, says up to 20,000 people are expected.

He says it's a way the runanga can keep members informed of its activities on their behalf.

“It's critical for the communications for our people. They’ve demanded it and the wananga series in there, the whakapapa series, all that stuff far outweighs the small amount that we spend on it,” Mr Tau says.

The Ngapuhi Runanga budgeted $200,000 for the festival, but most of that has already come back as sponsorships.


The Maori Party says both major parties only want to rearrange the deckchairs on the wreck of the treaty settlement process.

Treaty settlements came under the spotlight at Ratana yesterday, with National's John Key promising more resources for the Waitangi Tribunal and Labour defending progress.

Last month agreements in principle were signed with Taranaki Whanui over Wellington claims, Tainui for the Waikato River and Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa for a former Lands and Survey farm north of Kaeo.

Tariana Turia says neither party is willing to address the issue that the amount allocated for settlements leaves claimants short-changed and unhappy.

“They didn't talk about reviewing the process. They didn’t talk about reviewing the quantum. They just want to change the deck chairs and add a bit more money into the process but it stays the same and we have a fiscal cap,” Mrs Turia says.


A central North Island hapu is pleased work has started cleaning up the lower reaches of the Tongariro River.

Ngati Turanitukua has partnered with Environment Waikato to remove the sediment that built up after two major floods.

Huia Paki, who chairs the iwi's environment committee, says construction of the Tokaanu Power Station dramatically reduced the volume of water carried by the river.

“The reduced flow of water doesn’t have the power to carry the sediment all the way down to the lake. Consequently, we have build up of sediment. Cleaning of the river and clearing out of islands and obstacles that are created is essential to help guard against flooding,” Mr Paki says.

The river restoration work starts on Monday.


Far North claimants want the police to move against a group which has chopped down shelter belts on land which forms part of a treaty settlement.

Ella Henry, a negotiator for Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa, says an agreement in principle signed just before Christmas will return the land as a working farm, so the iwi is concerned at any damage to property.

The farm is still owned and administered by the Office of Treaty Settlements, which has alerted the police to the action.

She says the Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa Trust Board has tried to accommodate the protest group, but they are beyond reason.

“Their behaviour has been unacceptable to date. It is a small group. They purport to represent the whole hapu, and they don’t, clearly. I am Ngati Aukiwa and they’re certainly not representing me. The trust board is here to represent the whole iwi, and not just one or two disgruntled families,” Ms Henry says.

She also had sharp words with Kaeo Transport, which took the contract to remove the logs from the property.


Most of the politicians were gone, but today was the most important of the Ratana 25ths hui.

National MP Georgina te Heuheu says thousands of morehu were at the pa today celebrations marking the birthday of church founder Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana.

They included religious services, a brass band competiton and a huge birthday hakari.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has called her parliamentary colleague's vultures who gate-crash the celebrations.

But Mrs te Heuheu says there is enough room at Ratana for politics and church business.

“Today is the family day. Today they can do their own thing. They can have their birthday without having to worry about other influences,” Mrs te Heuheu says.

Maori MPs from Labour, New Zealand First and the Maori Party stayed on for the day.


The Children's Commissioner is backing a plan to screen children for disruptive behaviour patterns before they get to school.

Cindy Kiro says while it falls short of her proposal for a series of tests at different stages of a child's life, the Education Ministry plan is a good start.

She says it will lead to earlier identification and intervention.

“The idea behind it is good because it’s about getting in early before problems become too difficult to shift and it is about trying to provide support to the child, to the teachers or the people who are caring for them and to their parents so there is consistency to reinforce good behaviour, not bad,” Dr Kiro says.

She's not concerned the screening will adversely affect Maori children, because violence or acting out negative behaviour is unacceptable in any cultural context.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ella Henry and the Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa Trust Broad purport to represent the whole iwi, and they don’t. I am Ngati Aukiwa and they’re certainly not representing me.

5:12 PM  

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