Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Foreshore deal divisive

FEBRUARY 6

Striking deals with the Crown over the foreshore and seabed will put hapu at one another's throats, according to Tariana Turia, the co-leader of the Maori Party.

She says there are 25 hapu who'll be casualties of the deal signed yesterday by Ngati Porou and the Crown.

The MP for Te Tai Hauauru is predicting that cross-claimants will be concerned that their interests have been marginalised. But she doesn't hold the East Coast iwi responsible.

These behaviours of the Government are incredibly divisive and it’s highlighted here with this particular iwi and I have no doubt, given the Government’s record on settlements, that there will be huge division with other iwi too who choose to go into this arrangement with the crown,” Mrs Turia says.

MAORI VALUES IN ACCORD WITH LABOUR

Labour's new Tai Tokerau candidate says Maori values are very similar to Labour's social democratic principles.

Kelvin Davis launched his campaign yesterday at his home marae of Karetu on the southern edge of the Bay of Islands.

In a bit of political theatre which took some of the attention away from Waitangi, Ngati Manu handed over Kelvin Davis to the Labour Party.

The former Kaitaia Intermediate School principal showed he’s not afraid to ruffle a few feathers.

He told the hui he’d heard a lot about tino rangatiratanga over the years: It’s great if you’re a rangatira, but not so good if you’re a commoner. That’s why he’s attracted to Labour’s social democratic principles. He says they’re very much in keeping with Maori values.

It will be an uphill battle for the first time challenger to wrest the seat from Hone Harawira, but he’s quit his job to focus on the campaign.

Prime Minister Helen Clark says he’s an outstanding candidate.

REFUGE LAUNCHES NEW MAORI STRATEGY

The National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges is taking advantage of the high numbers of Maori commemorating the Treaty in Waitangi today by launching its new Maori strategy.

The chief executive, Heather Henare, says the Maori Tau framework is run under the collective's Maori unit, Hau Purea, and aims to bring about balance, wellbeing and harmony within whanau.

Ms Henare says, with over 50,000 people at Waitangi, many of whom are Maori, the Bay of Islands is an ideal place to spread the message.

“But the other thing is it links in with the whole issue of oppression and rights, like we consider violence a human rights issue, the right of women and children and whanau to be safe, and so it kind of fits into the kaupapa too,” Ms Henare says.

Heather Henare says the collective now has joint ventures with Tuwharetoa, Ngai Tahu and Ngati Toa, to take the preventative strategy into their communities.

SOUTH PLANS MASS HAKA

In the South Island today, at Kaiapoi, haka enthusiasts will try to break the world record for the number of people doing a haka simultaneously... as the North Canterbury town commemorates, for the first time, the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Ben Brennan, the organiser of the attempt, says the record stands at 1400 people, and was set last year at Okahu Bay in Auckland.

Today he's hoping for at least 2000 participants, no matter what their age or ethnicity may be.

“I had a 72 year old year old lady come up to me in the workingmen’s club on Friday evening and she said ‘Young man, I’m going to come down and I’m going to try and do the hacker with you,’ and that’s what it’s really all about, it’s trying to get together for the mass haka, It’s also about Maori culture being our New Zealand culture and trying to bring everyone together as one,” Mr Brennan says.

For many of the performers, it'll be a new haka - it won't be Ka Mate.

BIG TURTLE ISLAND VISITOR AT WAITANGI

Among the manuhiri at Waitangi is Andrea Carmen, a representative of the International Indian Treaty Council.

The IITC represents tangata whenua in North, Central and South America and across the Pacific... working for the recognition and rights of indigenous people.

During her New Zealand visit, Ms Carmen will be talking with Maori and others about how Treaty rights are observed... and how breaches of the Treaty are dealt with.

“I think it's very important that we as indigenous peoples and especially as treaty nations continue to recognise and talk about the importance of our treaty with the federal governments and particularly how they can be implemented and upheld today,” Ms Carmen.

She will also be discussing last year's so-called anti-terrorism raids ... and the need for the New Zealand government to sign the United Nation's Declaration on Indigenous Rights.

BIG DAY FOR ANGLICANS

For Maori Anglicans in the lower North Island ... today will be a big day.

It's Waitangi day.... it's Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent... and it's also the 150th anniversary of the diocese of Wellington.

There's a special service at the historic Rangiatea Church in Otaki, which the head of Te Pihopatanga o Te Upoko o Te Ika, Muru Walters, says is a chance to reflect on the Treaty relationship.

“It's the opportunity for the two partners to get together to observe Waitangi Day and at the same time to acknowledge this long history of survival and co-operation really,” Bishop Walters says.

Among those attending will be the son of a former governor general, Bernard Freyberg, who will return an offertory bowl carved from timber of the original church, which was presented to his father 40 years ago.

COMMUNITIES ROUND COUNTRY CELEBRATE TREATY DAY

While many politicians and journalists are focusing their attention on the action on the Treaty grounds in the Far North, communities around the country are increasingly marking the signing of the Treaty in their own way.

Claudia Orange, an historian who's especially familiar with our founding document, says the public holiday today offers an opportunity for people around the country to enjoy the company of their families, as well as relish a day off work and a picnic in the sun.

Dr Orange says these other events don't detract from Waitangi itself, but give communities elsewhere a chance to organise their own occasions.

“Sometimes that will have an historical basis because of the relationship of the treaty to a particular place. In other situations, it will be more an effort to feel good about being New Zealanders,” Dr Orange says.

There are other Treaty events being staged in Japan, the United States, Britain and Australia.

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