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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, February 29, 2008

Foreshore deals fall short for MP

The Maori Party says Te Whanau a Apanui is short-changing itself on its foreshore and seabed deal - but it's the tribe's right to do so.

The eastern Bay of Plenty iwi signed an agreement in principle this week spelling out its rights and how it will interact with regional and central government organisations in managing the coastal area.

Tamaki Makaurau MP Pita Sharples says Te Whanau a Apanui's rangatiratanga to make such a deal must be respected, but it's a major compromise to the Crown over the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

“What we are just saying is a repeal of that Act would in fact give them the opportunity to get real tino rangatiratanga where they have governance and even ownership possibilities as opposed to what they are getting now which is part management of a few facets of their foreshore and seabed,” Dr Sharples says.

The agreement includes exemptions from fishing permits for locals and the ability of Whanau a Apanui to make by-laws.


The recipient of a distinguished alumni award from Auckland University says the honour belongs with those working for Maori health in Northland.

Lynette Stewart from Ngati Wai has headed the Te Taitokerau Maori health services purchasing organisation or Mapo since its inception in 1996.

She says it's been the most exciting time of her life, as iwi in the north have taken up the challenge.

“I appreciate and I honour the iwi because the iwi picked up the responsibility of health services to their own people, every single one of them: Whakawhiri Ora Pai in the far north, Te Rarawa, Te Houora o te Hiku o Te Ika, Ngati Hine, and Kia Ora Ngati Wai, each of those providers has done a tremendous job,” Ms Stewart says.

She will receive her honour at a ceremony next week, along with High Court Justice Lowell Goddard, writer Carl Stead, surgeon James Church, businessman Sir Ron Carter and botanist Carrick Chambers.


The second installment of Puke Ariki's history of Taranaki opens this tonight at Puke Ariki.

Kate Robert, the museum's service delivery manager, says the Common Ground series aims to cover Maori and non-Maori perceptions of the region.

The first show looked at the experience of migrants and the Maori response.

The new show, Taranaki Whenua: Life - Blood - Legacy, looks at the relationships both groups had with the land.

“There are perspectives for settlers and from families who have been here for four generations so it should be interesting for both Maori and non-Maori to see some of the views that are expressed,” Roberts says.

Taranaki Whenua includes work by Taranaki artists and many photographs, survey maps and artefacts from the Puke Ariki collections.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says the foreshore and seabed deals the government is doing with individual iwi are demeaning.

Te Whanau a Apanaui and Ngati Porou signed agreements in principle this month, and two other iwi are in talks for similar deals.

Dr Sharples says his party supports the rangatiratanga of iwi to do what they think is best for their people, but every settlement is a compromise forced on them by the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

“Once again we have got to go on bended knee to prove we are Maori, to prove we have occupation of the foreshore and seabed, to prove this and that, and we’ve got these connections, and it’s always that way, so real tino rangatiratanga is when we’re accepted as Maori because we’re Maori and we don’t have to go and give the papers, go through meetings, and prove stuff all the time,” Dr Sharples says.


But negotiator Dayle Takitimu says the deal signed this week upholds the mana of Te Whanau a Apanui.

She says the deed includes a statement the iwi still opposed the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

“What we've tried to do is sit down with our treaty partner when a difficulty has arisen, a difficult issue, and say let’s work out how we’re going to coexist in this space, and your interests and your world view and our interests and our world view be respected, and we’ve got a way to go yet, it’s not the end of the deal or the end of the negotiations, this is a milestone, but we think we’ve gone some way to finding a balance for that,” Ms Takitimu says,

Te Whanau a Apanui owns most of the land along its coastline, so it already has a huge say in whatever happens there, whatever the law says.


Salmon sushi, king prawn kebabs, buttery paua fritters on rewana bread... however you like your seafood there will be something for you at the first Maketu Kaimoana Festival tomorrow.

As well as kai there'll be cooking displays from Kai Time on the Road presenter Pete Peeti, arts, crafts and music frOm Bay of Plenty musicians.

Organiser Charles Peni from the Maketu Rotory says the festival is an example of what the non-profit service organisation can do for the community, and it's a pity more Maori don't seek it out.

“They think that Rotary is a Pakeha thing, but it’s not. They also don’t understand I guess the whole meaning of what Rotary’s about, and that’s community oriented,” Mr Peni says.


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