Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, February 22, 2008

Huge forest deal catches flak

Hapu with direct claims on parts of the Kaingaroa Forest say there is no legal basis to a proposed deal to use forest assets to settle some central North Island claims.

The Treaty Negotiations Minister yesterday signed terms of agreement with Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Whakaue, Ngai Tuhoe, Ngati Rangitihi and Ngati Whare to develop proposals on how the forest can be carved up to settle their historical claims.

Michael Cullen said membership of the group, known as the Central North Island iwi Collective, could be expanded in future.

Maanu Paul from the Ngai Moewhare hapu of Ngati Manawa says the deal ignores another group, the Kaingaroa Claims Cluster, which has challenged whether the Crown even has title to the forest lands.

“It has no legal standing and it doesn’t commit one to the other. All it does is commit both parties to trust each other to work together and we’re not about to allow our lands to be used to settle the government debts to other iwi,” Mr Paul says.

He says the Central North Island Iwi Collective is panicking because Dr Cullen has made it clear he wants a settlement locked in by March 31.

TOHU WINES EXPECTING BUMPER HARVEST

The long hot days of summer are proving a boon for a Maori wine company.

Marlborough-based Tohu Wines is predicting a harvest of 1200 tonnes of grapes, enough to make 100,000 cases of sauvignon blanc.

Tohu's chief executive, James Wheeler, says that should help keep the market satisfied.

“We had a bad experience a year ago when we lost quite a bit of fruit to frost so we put a big frost protection plan in on all our vineyards over this last 12 months and we haven’t lost anything from frosts this time around,” Mr Wheeler says.

Tohu Wines' main market is the United States, where New Zealand has hardly scratched the surface for sauvignon blanc sales.

MARAE DIY GIVES GLIPSE OF PAST

Doing up an old wharekai will be a glimpse into the past for rangatahi.

That's the sales pitch Chris Atama is making as he rounds up workers to join a Marae DIY working bee at Te Patunga marae in Kaeo.

He says the marae opened a new dining hall last year, but it's hanging onto the old wharekai, Ki Koopu, because of the memories it holds.

“The old one has still got the mud floor and they haven’t pulled that down. They’ve left that so the next generation can see what it was like. They’ve got the corrugated iron and the old posts to hold it together, still the old puriri logs that they cut down with axes and that sort of thing,” Mr Atama says.

Anyone with connections to the marae should turn up with paint brushes, saws and hammers on March 6 to 9.

TANGI FOR BARRY BARCLAY AT WHANGAEHU

The Maori film and television industry is expected at Whangaehu Marae near Wanganui tomorrow to pay tribute to one of the industry's pioneers.

Filmmaker Barry Barclay has been brought home by Ngati Apa and is lying in state at the marae.

The director of the landmark Tangata Whenua documentaties, Ngati and Feathers of Peace died at his home in the Hokianga on Monday at the age of 63.

Actor Rawiri Paratene, who accompanied the tupapaku from the north, says Barclay was one of the leaders of a generation of pioneers in Maori film.

“His constant battle cry was we have a right to tell our own stories and our own stories need to be told by us and other battle cries but they were all around the same theme and he paved the way for people like us who came along on the next wave as it were,” Mr Paratene says.

The funeral for Barry Barclay will be held at 11 tomorrow, before his burial at Wheriko near Bulls.

HIDDEN RESPIRATORY CRISIS AMONG MAORI

The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation says there's a hidden respiratory disease crisis among Maori.

Its executive director, Jane Patterson, says Maori are more than twice as likely than non-Maori to die from ailments like asthma, bronchitis and emphysemia, even though there is a similar prevalence to Pakeha.

She says a range of factors may be contributing to the problem.

“They're not getting appropriate care at primary care level for whatever reason, their housing situation isn’t ideal for their health either, and in some areas DHBs are actually paying to put insulation in housing and that’s something that needs to happen in a coordinated way and much more widely,” Ms Patterson says.

The foundation wants to see national reporting of Maori respiratory disease, so it is treated more seriously by District Health Boards and the Health Ministry.

ANIWANIWA AT WELLINGTON CITY GALLERY

It wowed the world... and now it's headed home.

Rachael Rakena and Brett Graham’s installation Aniwaniwa will open at Wellington's City Gallery tomorrow.

The work uses the flooding of Ngati Koroki Kahukura's papakainga by Lake Karapiro to address issues of culture loss and global warming.

Graham says when it was shown at last year's Venice Biennale, Aniwaniwa took on a different meaning.

“Venice is in danger of sinking and when we actually went back in October to take the work down, everyone was walking around in gumboots ankle deep, wherever you walked, because the tides were rising so they could relate to the idea of losing culture and losing some of their history under the water like that,” Graham says.

The multimedia work, which consists of screens in carved waka huia suspended from the ceiling, also includes contributions from singers Whirimako Black and Deborah Wai Kapohe and musician Paddy Free

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