Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Little room for Iti protest

A veteran protestor says the time for protest at Waitangi has gone.

Tame Iti has been coming to Waitangi since 1972... a trip that used to take 6 hours on the bus from Auckland.

He says Maori still need to talk about mana motuhake and tino rangatiratanga, but that discussion needs to be in every whanau and hapu.

Mr Iti, who is still facing trial for arms offences in connection with last October's anti-terror raids, says he's still a fighter for freedom: the freedom to be a Tuhoe, the freedom to be Ngapuhi, the freedom to be whoever you are.


Still in the North and there will be no more formal invitations to attend Waitangi commemorations at Te Tii Marae.

That's the word from marae chairman Kingi Taurua.

The Prime Minister has come under fire for sidestepping the lower marae at the Treaty grounds over the last few years... and the focus is on who will or won't attend, rather than the korero on the marae atea.
So rather than sending individual invitations, the marae will change how they do things

“The last 2 or 3 years we sent and indication and then they decline it so embarrassment on their side and embarrassment on our side so there will be no more invitations sent any more. So if they come they will be welcomed onto the marae, and if they don’t come, that’s fair enough with us,” Mr Taurua says.


Knowing about the Treaty could pay off for New Zealand businesses.

That's the word from a South Island-based Treaty educator.

Robert Consedine has been running treaty workshops for over 20 years. He says while many individuals and public servants have made a point of learning more about New Zealand's founding document, the same can't be said of the business community.

“There are still a large number of New Zealanders who are not what I would call treaty literate, and I think the business community for example, has almost totally missed out on getting to grips with this because obviously there’s no requirement they need to, so that’s an area of New Zealand life I think remains largely untouched,” he says.

Mr Consedine says the Maori economy is growing rapidly and it's in the business community's interest to get on top of their understanding of Treaty issues.


Ngati Porou says its foreshore and seabed deal shouldn't be used to limit other tribes.

The Greens and the Maori Party claim the Government will use the deal to argue iwi have now accepted the controversial foreshore and seabed law.

The Prime Minister has revealed that up to 13 iwi could enter negotiations for customary title agreements similar to the East Coast deal signed this week.

Apirana Mahuika, one of the negotiators for Ngati Porou, says other iwi need to control their own negotiations.

“What reactions the give to Ngati Porou in regards to this matter is not an issue for us. Because iwi can speak for themselves with regard to their own mana and by the same token we also are of the opinion that other iwi should not be criticizing the processes that Ngati Porou has achieved for itself,” Mr Mahuika says.


While most Maori are busy commemorating the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi... others are also celebrating the birthday of a significant influence on the Maori Renaissance of the 1970s and 80s.

Bob Marley would have been 63 today... and fans honoured the late reggae singer with concerts in Wellington and Christchurch.

Ruia Aperahama, along with his brother Ranea, recorded a Te Reo Maori tribute album to the Jamaican artist a few years ago.

He says that Marley's music was inspiring to a generation of young Maori struggling to define themselves in urban settings... battling for recognition of the Treaty, the survival of te reo, and rediscovering pride in being Maori.

“To most indigenous people throughout the world, the spiritual and political leadership that he offered at a time that lots of indigenous youth were looking – we were looking amongst our own people, our leadership. We couldn’t find it. And lo and behold, it came out of a little country called Jamaica,” he says.

Ruia Aperahama performed at Waitangi Day celebrations at Okahu Bay and Manukau today.


"Ka mate, Ka Mate" was kicked to the curb when Kaiapoi tackled the world record for the largest number of people simultaneously doing a haka.

During the North Canterbury town's first Waitangi Day celebration 2174 people learned and performed the first verse of the All Black's haka "Kapo o Pango".

That supercedes an Okahu Bay effort by more than 700.

Ben Brennan, who organised the record attempt, says "Ka Mate, Ka Mate" may be more widely known, but it wasn't right for a South Island setting because of the raids there by its author, Ngati Toa chief Te Rauparaha.

“We didn't want to do Ka Mate down here in the South Island because we don’t want to be teaching our local people that great haka the All Blacks do but we did want to do something original and that was simple for people to learn but had a bit of meaning,” Mr Brennan says.


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