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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wilson snub has price

The negotiator for Ngati Makino says the government will have to pay a price for ignoring the Bay of Plenty iwi.

The iwi, whose rohe runs from Lake Rotoiti to the coast, signed an agreement to negotiate after a meeting earlier this month with Treaty Negotiations Minister broke a decade-long impasse.

During that time its neighbours, Ngati Awa and Tuwharetoa ki Kawerau, won settlements.

Te Ariki Morehu says Ngati Makino got a mandate to negotiate back in 1997, but it was ignored by Labour's first treaty minister, Margaret Wilson.

“When the National government went out, of course, it was a new regime then. Ngati Awa took the opportunity to approach them when they were green – I would say green – because they certainly didn’t take any notice fo the Waitangi Tribunal recommendation, just ignored, Wilson, totally ignored us,” Mr Morehu says.

The Crown will have to find other settlement assets to make up for the Rotoehu Forest on Ngati Makino land, which was given to the neighbouring iwi.


Ngai Tahu has teamed up with AgResearch to develop a line of high quality possum fur and merino wool shawls.

Anake Goodall, the chief executive of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, says the weaving process developed by the Crown research institute allows a wider range of patterns than other wool-fur blends.

Ngai Tahu artist Ross Hemera has incorporated ancient rock art images into the design for the first set of Aho brand shawls.

Mr Goodall says as well as its commercial potential, the Aho project allows artists to speak for their communities.

“We're blessed with a lot of Ngai Tahu artists and it’s exciting to be playing with media and ideas and stories when we can support out artists to again start telling our stories, as of course our old people did in those caves with their charcoal and so on on the ceilings, so there’s an aspect of rejuvenation of culture which is an important component of these ideas as well,” Mr Goodall says.

Some of the profits from the shawls, which sell for between $100 and $200, will go to the Timaru-based Ngai Tahu Maori Rock Art Trust.


A Ngapuhi kaumatua is welcoming a special contribution to peace in Taitokerau.

Tibetan Buddhists have built a stupa at their centre on a hill overlooking Whangarei.

Patu Hohepa, who took part in the weekend opening, says the stupa, a dome rising from a square base, promotes harmony and good health.

He says iwi in the north have embraced the Tibetans and the message they bring.

“These are people who believe in peace and harmony, and furthermore they were the ones that have been ejected from their own country and found Aotearoa as a place that had accepted them where they could live without fear,” Dr Hohepa says.

The four sides of a stupa's base, which is known as the Lions Seat, refer to four qualities the mind needs to attain enlightenment - love, compassion, joy and equanimity.


The Government may have a $5 million dollar problem in Patea.

The South Taranaki District Council says it has legal advice the Crown owns that part of the derelict freezing works which burned down on Waitangi Day, because the company which bought it went belly up in 1994.

That would make the government liable for clean up costs.

Haimoana Maruera, the acting chair of Ngati Ruanaui, says the Crown has been devious.

“It wasn't offered to us the the settlement, and so we presumed it was all totally owned by prvate owners, but now we find through our own means that the Crown has been pretty devius we say, in that they;’ve owned the building siunce 1994, went through two settlement, that of Ngati Ruanui and Nga Rauru Kitahi, and it wasn't offered then,” Mr Maruera says.

The Environment Minister, Trevor Mallard, says there was no record of any such land transfer, so he's asked for his own legal advice.

And Paul James from the Office of Treaty Settlements says if it's proven the land does belong to the Crown, the department that owns it may offer to sell it to the iwi.


iPods have become the latest weapon in the fight to retain te reo Maori.

AUT University students are getting podcasts of language lessons drawn from linguist John Moorfield's Te Whanake textbooks.

They can also do exercises based on 15 animated modules posted on the web.

Professor Moorfield says it's the first language learning site he has seen with animations.

“I've looked at sites which have German and French and things like that, but they don’t have animation so in a way it’s cutting edge that we’re moving into for any language really, and certainly for indigenous languages,” Professor Moorfield says.

AUT University and former Maori language commissioner Quinton Hita are developing 100 half hour programmes for beginning learners to be screened on Maori Television from later this year.


Geothermal cooking is the food of the future, but you can't get it outside Rotorua.

Paora Liddell, the guide supervisor at Whakarewarewa Thermal Tours, says visitors are always fascinated by the way Te Arawa whanau use steam from the hot pools to cook traditional kai, the way their tupuna have been doing it for centuries.

He says the taste is nothing like the earthy, smoky flavour of underground hangi, or even the city it comes from.

“A lot of people tend to think that the sulphur smell may leave a taste in the food but definitely not. The tastes are natural, and the food retains the vitamins and the nutrients,” Mr Liddell says.


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