Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, February 08, 2008

Cattle kai shared in drought

Maori farmers are being urged to share resources to combat drought conditions in the Waikato.

Roger Pikia, an executive member of the Federation of Maori Authorities, says he's flat out arranging alternative feed sources for members working the land.

He says Maori farms in less affected areas are helping, as they often do during adverse natural events.

“We saw our finalists from last year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy competition assisting one anther during last year’s drought season. I think Tuaropaki Trust sent up a unit load of silage bales or hay bales to Waiomatatini in Ngati Porou at Ruatoria there last year during their drought period, so I think we start to practice that whanaungatanga and lend a hand during extreme periods of need,” Mr Pikia says.

SACKED PA SAVED FROM DEVELOPMENT

A significant site in the South Island may yet be saved from development.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker told this week's Waitangi commemoration at Okain's Bay on Banks Peninsula there wes no longer any legal obstacle to making Takapuneke a reserve.

The 14 hectare block just past Akaroa was a bustling trading pa in the 1830s, when it was sacked by Ngati Toa chief Te Rauparaha.

His chartering of an English ship to take him south for an inter-tribal battle was one of the events that led to the Treaty of Waitangi.

George Tikao, the chair of the Onuku Runaka, says it's been a long battle.

“It's been meeting after meeting with the appropriate people to help bring this property, because of its significance in the history of New Zealand, it certainly deserves to be marked somehow as a reserve,” Mr Tikao says.

The exact nature of that protection is still to be determined.

WAHI TAPU PROTECTED FROM SPLORATION

Groovers at this weekend's Splore Festival on the Firth of Thames will be given a bit of a history lesson.

While they're soaking in the sounds of Kora, Tiki, Tyra and the Tornadoes and taonga puoru duo Riki Bennett and Rewi Spraggon, they will be walking in the footsteps of Ngati Paoa and Ngati Whanaunga.

Amanda Wright, the festival director, says the venue, Tepapakanga Regional Park, still shows signs of several large kainga or villages.

Iwi are involved in the performances, and there are guided walks through the pa and stonefield garden sites.

“There's obviously some tapu areas that we keep the public away from but we make the people aware of it so they have an understanding of the significance and sacredness of the site as such,” Ms Wright says.

NGAI TAHU BUYS BACK RYMAN STAKE WITH FRIENDLY HELP

Tainui and Ngai Tahu have made their first major investment together, and it's familiar territory for the southerners.

Tainui Group Holdings and Ngai Tahu Holdings Group have jointly paid $49.5 million for a 6 percent stake in listed rest home operator Ryman Healthcare for $1.65 a share, 13 cents under today's market price.

The shares are the same ones Ngai Tahu sold a year ago to Australian investment bank Babcock and Brown for $2.10.

It will keep a 1.5 percent holding, bringing its total stake back to 8 percent, while Tainui will hold 4.5 percent.

Andrew Harrison, Ngati Tahu Group Holdings’ chief operating officer, says it's a good deal for the two post-settlement organisations, especially given the state of the markets.

“Both Ngai Tahu Holdings and Ngai Tahu Group Holdings see themselves as long term investors. We don’t really get spooked by the market. We’re looking at the value of the companies we’re investing in and we think Ryman is a good long-term investment. It should be a good defensive investment, if there are some volatile times,” Mr Harrison says.

He says the cooperation deal Ngai Tahu signed with Tainui last year means the companies were able to move quickly when the opportunity arose.

SHARPLES FLAGS COALITION PRICE

Pita Sharples says Shane Jones better watch his words, because he may be sharing the Cabinet table with the Maori Party.

Mr Jones has claimed any potential coalition between the Maori Party and National, which has been signaled this week, would be doomed.

Dr Sharples says the list MP is treading a well worn election year path of trying to discredit every other party.

“Shane better watch out. What if the Maori Party went with Labour and took over the Maori portfolio and the Maori voice became the Maori voice instead of the Maoris in Government. I mean, anything's possible,” he says.

Dr Sharples says no deals will be made with other political parties without the approval of Maori Party members.

QUEENSLAND HAS BELATED WAITANGI PARTY

"Dunk an Aussie", balloon animals and jandal throwing may not be things you associate with Waitangi Day, but they're the way Carrara on Queensland's Gold Coast is celebrating all things New Zealand.

Organiser Randall Cook says the celebrations this Sunday, only five days late, take the form of a family fun day

He's expecting more than 12,000 people at the Bond's Pirate Rugby Club, and a lot of them will be Maori.

“The guy who helps me coordinate the event, Butch Matini, moved over from Rotorua in 1979, and he’s a prominent local entertainer since that time. The local Maori rugby league clb does our hangi, and they do a fantastic hangi, and we’ve got a haka group, always do an act, and their leader does the traditional welcome for us,” Mr Cook says.

There will be stalls offering homesick Kiwis a fix of kina, mallowpuffs, gingernuts, and L & P.

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