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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, February 15, 2008

Tamaki tribes again pushed aside

Auckland iwi fear a new housing initiative will cut the amount of land available for any treaty settlement.

The Government has promised an audit of Crown land around the city to identify sections which could be made available for affordable homes.

Paul Majurey from Marutuahu says when iwi challenging the proposed Tamaki Makaurau settlement with Ngati Whatua tried to find out how much land the Crown held, officials refused to answer.

He says Marutuahu and other iwi aren't convinced by Crown assurances there is enough land for all, and they again feel their claims are being sidelined.

“As we understand it those other tangata whenua, Ngai Tai, Ngati Te Ata, Kawerau a Maki, Te Taou, and others from Tainui waka, are very concerned about the policy approach that seems to be that Crown land might be something of a panacea for state housing. That can’t be at the prejudice of those few Crown assets available for treaty settlements,” Mr Majurey says.

The way the Crown acquired the land was in breach of the treaty, so they should not be selling it off now.


Some of New Zealand's top runners will be in the far north tomorrow trying to emulate the feat of an ancestor.

It's the 16th year of the Te Houtaewa Challenge, a 63 kilometre ultra-marathon along Te Oneroa a Tohe or 90 Mile Beach.

It's in the footsteps of Te Aupouri chief Te Houtaewa, who ran home up the beach after stealing kumara from Te Rarawa.

Organiser Peter Kitchen says if people don't want to do the whole course, they can do a regular marathon, a half marathon run or walk or a sedate six kilometre walk.

They can also take part in the waka ama challenge, which has been introduced this year.

“It's the only surf challenge in New Zealand that goes straight out into the surf. There’s a 1000 metre sprint, a 2000 metre sprint and 3000 metre sprint, for men and women. Straight after that, we’ll go back to the Korou Marae where we’ll have a dinner and have the festivities after that,” Mr Kitchen says.


Madonna, Prince ... now a Ngati Maniapoto singer is joining the ranks of other musicans known by one name.

Mihirangi is one of the acts at the Soundsplash 008 Festival in Raglan this weekend.

She was raised in Te Kuiti before moving to Australia at 16, whe she eventually built up her act in front of a 12-piece band.

Mihirangi says that became a logistical nightmare, so she pared back her act.

“The guitarist came to a gig one day with a loop pedal and I asked if I could have a go on it, and I did and I just loved it, it was so much fun, and a week later I’d rewritten all my songs on this loop pedal and I thought what am I doing, this is a big band sound, I should just do this on my own, so I did, I got rid of the band,” Mihirangi says.

As a solo act she's been able to tour the world, appearing at events like the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Womad and Amsterdam Roots Festival.


The Treaty Negotiations Minister has been challenged to negotiate directly with tribes with actual claims to the Kaingaroa Forest.

Michael Cullen was in Taupo today to meet with Central North Island claimants on a plan to use Crown forestry land to settle their historic claims.

Maanu Paul from Ngai Moewhare says his Kaingaroa Cluster, which represents the tribes whose ancestral lands lie within the forest, had to gatecrash the hui to get a hearing.

He says Dr Cullen has been badly advised by the Office of Treaty Settlements on how to handle the claims.

“He talks about including all of us, but in case he’s still running with Tumu te Heuheu and the central North Island collective, which is simply saying that those people who are predominantly in that lot, who don’t have direct claims, are going to get settled s a result of capturing our direct claims and using that as a commercial redress to settle people who have got no claims in the Kaingaroa Forest,” Mr Paul says.

He says Dr Cullen refused to commit himself on future talks.


Sport is one of the best ways to bring Maori together.

That's the view of one of the organisers of this weekend's Tainui Festival at Hopuhopu.

Rahui Kapa says teams from 40 Tainui marae have entered, and the draws will allow whanau to play together.

“It can cater for tamariki right through to kaumatua, men and women, promote unity right across the board in Maori families, and that’s something that needs to be celebrated as much as we possibly can,” Mr Kapa says.

Highlights of the festival, which is expected to attract up to 20,000 people, will be an attempt to break the mass haka record, a business expo, and a fishing, eeling and pig hunting auction to raise money for the various marae.


Also on this weekend, Te Papa celebrates its 10th birthday with pipe bands, Dutch organs, Cook Island drummers, kapa haka, and a performance by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra of the composition written for its opening by Gareth Farr.

Mere Boynton, the kaikaranga for the 1998 concert, says she's looking forward to doing it again.

“It's about Te Papa being a new place where new experiences can happen, where we can meet as two different cultures but on the same papa,” Ms Boynton says.

And in Raglan, Soundsplash 2008 is chock full of Maori acts.

It's also attracted Jamaican star Tanya Stephens, who's struck by the way Maori have adopted reggae music.

“Reggae has been about finding yourself and identifying who you are and asserting, and it’s been about breaking away from things that didn’t define you or things you don’t want to work with any more. It’s a little bit rebellious,” Stephens says.


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