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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Divison on foreshore deal

What's good for Ngati Porou is not necessarily good for Maori, according to a Green MP.

Metiria Turei. the party's spokesperson on Maori Affairs, says the agreement in principle recognising the mana of Ngati Porou over its foreshore and seabed is fabulous for the East Coast iwi.

But she says it came at the cost of dividing Maori opposition to an unjust policy.

“At the time of the foreshore and seabed (battle) we needed everybody to fight for the right thing, that every hapu has customary rights, that every one of them are entitled to have those recognized in law, not by the government deciding you’re good enough to get them, and we should have been able to fight for that stronger, and if we had people like Ngati Porou leadership on board who had heaps of influence, we might have been able to get a bit further,” Ms Turei says.

She says the message coming from the Government is that it will make deals with iwi leaders who support it.

NURSES WANT MAORI TRAINING SCHOOL

The National Council of Maori Nurses is planning a Maori nursing college.

Hineroa Hakiaha, a member of the executive, says it just needs the green light from the Nursing Council of New Zealand.

It's considering sites in Whakatane and Auckland, using polytechnics and high schools for lab support.

Ms Hakiaha says it's a 30-year dream of the kaunihera to blend mainstream nursing practice with the strengths of the Maori world.

“When we set out to do it, te ao Maori would flow though all our curriculum. What is it that we are going to give that would sustain this person both in the world of tauiwi and the Maori world. It’s about having the hapu and iwi and the whanau part of the well being for our whanau and that’s going to look really different compared with how nursing is today,” Ms Hakiaha says.

She says a corps of nurses trained in a kaupapa Maori environment could change the face of Maori health.

MANUHIRI SHOULD TAKE AWAY MESS

Patea's deputy mayor says businesses need to be held accountable for their rubbish.

A hui was held in the South Taranaki town yesterday to hear about progress cleaning up after the fire which razed the derelict freezing works on Waitangi Day.

Debbie Packer says the building should have been demolished when it closed down in the 1980s, leaving its mainly Maori workforce on the dole.

She says there are empty buildings throughout south Taranaki towns that need to be dealt with before another tragedy occurs.

“Don't just stop at the Patea freezing works. Look at our other communities. They’ve had real headaches from these big entities set up in their town and then buggered off and left them to clean the messes up. When we invite these people into our community, when they leave they should clean up, like good manuhiri should,” Ms Packer says.

The townsfolk are skeptical at test results showing dirt and air samples from the area were asbestos-free.

GOVERNMENT PUMPS FUNDS INTO WELFARE NGOS

The head of one of the country's largest Maori social service providers says today's government stimulus package is long overdue recognition of the non-government sector.

The government is promising an extra $446 million over four years for NGOs running parenting and family violence programmes, youth programmes, women's refuges and victim support.

John Tamihere from West Auckland's Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust says NGOs deliver better results for less money than state agencies, but have faced competition for resources and staff.

“The state has funded itself extraordinarily well in building itself back up again and in doing that has placed pressure on our wage rates, our salary rates and our conditions of employment and we haven’t received an increase in contract value to meet the expectation of our staff, so in consequence they've been poached,” Mr Tamihere says.

He's not sure $100 million a year across 4000 NGOs will be enough... but he's welcoming the money.

FORESHHORE CRITICISM SOUR GRAPES

The Prime Minister says attacks on the first negotiated settlement of a foreshore and seabed rights claim are sour grapes.

The Maori Party and the Greens have attacked last week's agreement in principle to recognise Ngati Porou's mana over the coast adjoining its East Coast landholdings.

Green MP Metiria Turei says while the deal may be good for Ngati Prou, it undercuts the attempts of other iwi to have their customary rights recognised.

Helen Clark says they're upset because the Foreshore and Seabed Act isn't the grave injustice they've made it out to be.

“The reality is that from the beginning Ngati Porou saw the potential of the foreshore and seabed legislation to give them formal recognition of what they believe their interests and rights in the foreshore and seabed area were and they have worked very very hard with the Crown over three and a quarter years of negotiation, and look at the result,” Ms Clark says.

Another two iwi are in talks about their takutai moana and anther dozen are waiting in line.

RAHUI CALLED FOR FIVE YEAR OLD SKELETON

A rahui has been declared over part of Whangarei harbour because of the discovery of a skeleton.

The remains were found by a kayaker near the Otaika River 10 days ago.

They're believed to be those of Myke Howard, who was last seen drinking with a group of people at the Whangarei Town Basin five years ago.

Fred Tito from Te Parawhau says the hapu is asking people not to gather seafood from the upper harbour until February 23.

He says even though the skeleton may have been in the harbour a long time, the rahui is a sign of respect.

“Because he's still a human and respecting and acknowledging that family and it could have been anyone’s mokopuna. Respect and condolences to that family,” Mr Tito says.

He says locals usually respect rahui.

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