Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, February 22, 2008

Treelord deal short changing iwi

The Maori Party says central North Island iwi are short-changing themselves in their pursuit of a quick treaty settlement.

The Central North Island Iwi Collective, which includes Tuwharetoa, Tuhoe, Ngati Whare, Ngati Rangitihi and Ngati Whakaue, yesterday signed terms of agreement to develop a commercial settlement for their historic claims, using Kaingaroa Forest assets.

Pita Sharples, the Maori Party co-leader, says the government is playing Maori off against each other.

He says iwi with overlapping claims are being shut out.

“That's what colonisation is and it’s really sad that we haven’t woken up yet and stood firm, and partly it’s because each tribe is trying to get the best deal for themselves without seeing that if we all stood firm together, we would get the total package,” Dr Sharples says.

He says the government is still trying to pick winners rather than see that justice is done.

RIPEKA EVANS TAKES OVER HELM AT TE ORA

Expect to hear more from the Maori Doctors Association, Te Ora.

It's taken on Ripeka Evans as its new chief executive to lead its strategic direction and growth.

Since her induction into the radical ranks at Bastion Point 30 years ago, Ms Evans has worked in broadcasting at Television New Zealand and Te mangai Paho, in academia, and most recently with the Eastern Bay Economic Development Agency in Whakatane.

She says her brief is to take Te Ora to a new level of activity.

“The organisation clearly wants to move into a more businesslike mode of engaging vigorously in the business of power and influence in Wellington, so that’s primarily my job,” Ms Evans says.

The new job means she has dropped her bid to becomes the Labour Party candidate for Waiariki.

HOLY JOES LEAVE PANGURU FOR LAST TIME

It was the end of an era and a sad day for Panguru.

A poroporoaki was held at Ngati Manawa Marae today for the sisters of St Josephs, who are leaving after more than 90 years in the small Hokianga community.

Kaumatua Joe Topia says the Panguru Convent used to be home to 12 nuns, but falling numbers in the order means as they retire they have been replaced by lay teachers.

Sister Louise, who has been in the community almost her whole working life, is retiring to Hamilton, and the younger sister Christina is taking up another position with the order in Australia.

Mr Topia says the Holy Joes will be missed.

“We will no longer see the sisters at these occasions or any other occasions because they’ve been part of the community for so long that I think they’re just expected to be there and we’re saying it’s quite significant and it’s going to be a big gap in our community,” Mr Topia says.

He says the nuns have been leaders in the north Hokianga community.

NEW REGIME FOR TESTING KURA KAUPAPA

Maori immersion schools will only be reviewed by staff who understand of te reo Maori me ona tikanga.

The change is contained in a new Education Review Office framework for kura kaupapa launched at Hoani Waititi Marae in West Auckland today.

Makere Smith, the office's national manager of Maori reporting services, says it was developed with Te Runanganui o Nga Kura Kaupapa Maori, the national body representing the 60 schools around the country.

“One of the things that the runanga has been really strong on is that people who review in kura kaupapa Maori have some ability in te reo Maori and I think that is something that we have respected and will always respect so that people from ERO who go into the reviews of kura kaupapa will have that understanding,” Ms Smith says.

The ERO has about 10 reviewers who can work in kura kaupapa.

BILL SETS PRECEDENT FOR MANA WHENUA ENGAGEMENT

Mana whenua will have a greater say in the Auckland's western rim thanks to a local bill passed this week.

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Bill involved extensive discussions with the Maori Party and the Greens.

She says amendments put up by Tamaki Makaurau MP Pita Sharples recognised a role for the area's tribes.

“It stipulates very clearly that Ngati Whatua and Te Kawerau a Maki hold mana whenua in the are and they’re the people to talk to when you’re talking about the future protection preservation and management of the heritage area, so it’s new, it’s different, it does provide for mana whenua to be consulted and engaged in decision making in the area,” Ms Mahuta says.

The Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area includes more than 27,000 hectares of public and private land, taking in part of the Manukau harbour shoreline, a regional park, water catchment dams, west coast beaches and native bush and wildlife.

TAINUI KAPA HAKA FEAST OF CULTURE

Fans of Tainui's distinctive kapa haka style will have a feast ahead of them this weekend.

The Tainui Waka Kapa Haka festival is being held at Mystery Creek near Hamilton.

Kahurangi Muru, the festival secretary, says there are teams from the four rohe that affiliate to the waka, Waikato, Maniapoto, Hauraki and Raukawa.
There will be many familiar names and some new teams, including a second roopu from Te Pou O Mangatawhiri.

“Of course all teams are only allowed 40 performers, so when you have got a family of about 200 all coming to practice, they decided to take up that opportunity to put in a second group as well, so they’re there to support the kaupapa and the team standing on the day,” Muru says.

One of the highlights is likely to be Sunday's performance by a Taikura Roopu of over-50s showing the young ones how it's done.

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