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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Ngati Porou inks foreshore deal


The leader of the Ngati Porou runanga says today's foreshore and seabed deal with the government recognises the tribes mana as tangata whenua on the East Coast.

The agreement, which recognises the iwi's relationship with the takutai moana, is the first deal signed under the contentious Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Once finalised, it will require legal recognition of Ngati Porou's territorial customary rights... although the exact area covered by the agreement is still to be finalised.

It will also require the Government to consult with the tribe on issues such as conservation and fisheries management in their rohe.

Apirana Mahuika says it’s a good outcome after more than three years of negotiation.

“It's reaffirmation of Ngati Porou's mana over foreshore and seabed. Nothing more, nothing less. And it’s got nothing to do with money at all. Because money cannot buy the reaffirmation of one’s mana,” Mr Mahuika says.


Iwi leaders are seeking a meeting with ministers to express their reservations about the Government’s climate change policy.

The leaders met at Waitangi yesterday to discuss a range of issues including the way carbon credits are to be treated.

A lot of the Maori asset base is tied up under trees, and there’s more coming under treaty settlements.

The iwi say the climate change policy denies them the carbon credits they’re due, and they also fear the prospect of being locked into forestry because of penalties imposed when lad is converted to other uses, such as dairying.

Tumu te Heuheu, the paramount chief of Ngati Tuwharetoa, says the hui endorsed the work of a group which has been consulting with government on the issue.

He says they’ve been mandated to go back to government to reiterate that the proposed legislation fails to recognise Maori rights under the Treaty of Waitangi.


Organisers are promoting Waitangi Day as a family event and one of the country's best-known protestors is happy with that.

Tame Iti says he's only going this year because his son has persuaded him he needs to show his face.

Mr Iti arrived this afternoon and has already exchanged greetings with National Party leader John Key.

He says doesn't intend to stage high-profile protest actions in another iwi's territory, but people are keen to hear about the aftermath of the October antiterrorism raids in Tuhoe.

“The idea of us going over to Waitangi as a whanau to be seen as a whanau so I’m going under that umbrella. Also to share the view about Mana Motuhake o Tuhoe,” Mr Iti says.


Parekura Horomia is dismissing criticism of today's foreshore and seabed deal with Ngati Porou.

Tariana Turia, the co-leader of the Maori Party, says the government has opened the doors for the iwi because of the presence of Mr Horomia in cabinet.

The MP for Ikaroa Rawhiti... who affiliates to Ngai Tahu as well as the East Coast tribes of Ngati Porou and Whanau a Apanui ... says he's disappointed with the comments, but he's happy with the deal signed at parliament this morning.

“In opposition you can say whatever you like and promise whatever you like but not deliver. This is about delivering a serious protection for people who have a long, long coastline, one of the longest that is aligned with their lands, and I’m proud to be supporting it,” Mr Horomia says.

He says Whanau Apanui and Hauraki are close to a deal, with at least 10 other iwi in talks with the government.


Meanwhile a number of well-qualified Maori are lining up to take on Parekura Horomia in Ikaroa Rawhiti.

Veteran broadcaster Derek Fox has added his name to those seeking to stand for the Maori Party against the Minister of Maori Affairs.

Mr Fox stood in 1999 as an independent and came within 695 votes of taking the seat.

Also believed to be putting their names forward are lawyer and Gisborne councillor Atareta Poananga, and Mereana Pitman, a treaty educator who helped set up Rape Crisis.

The Maori Party will finalise the candidates on Saturday.

Annette Sykes, a Rotorua-based lawyer, is impressed by the range of people putting themselves forward for the Maori Party, not only one the East Coast, but also in Te Tai Tonga.

“The best of the Maori intelligensia, the best of the Maori workers, are putting their names forward and I think the Maori Party is going to have an exciting opportunity in the next month to select great leaders to take forward those particular electorates,” Ms Sykes says.


While other parties rub shoulders and noses with the likes of Tame Iti today, Labour had serious business twenty minutes south.

It was at Ngati Manu marae at Karetu, selecting its candidate to take on the Maori Party's Hone Harawira in the Tai Tokerau seat.

Ngati Manu handed over its mokopuna, Kelvin Davis, to Helen Clark to be Labour’s candidate for Tai Tokerau.

The former Kaitaia Intermediate School principal chose to open his campaign from his home marae, and in the process, took some of the attention away from events at Waitangi.

Mr Davis reminded the hui of the words of the late Sir James Henare, whose tupuna also came from Karetu – why should any Maori want to be a poor Pakeha when their destiny is to be a great Maori.

He says as a teacher, he tried to make his pupils aspire for greatness, and he will try to do the same thing if he is elected MP.

Helen Clark said Mr Davis is an outstanding candidate who represents the hopes and dreams of the current and future generation of Maori leadership.


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