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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, March 31, 2008

CNI deal driven by fairness - Kruger

A negotiator working on a $400 million settlement of Central North island claims says all parties are motivated by a sense of fairness.

Representatives from Tuwharetoa, Tuhoe, Ngati Rangitihi, Ngati Whakaue and Ngati Whare will meet treaty negotiations minister Michael Cullen in Taupo on Friday to say how the Kaingaroa forest can be used for a commercial settlement.

The CNI deal is likely to involve a trust headed by Tuwharetoa leader Tumu te Heuheu to manage the forest as a single unit.

Tamati Kruger from Ngai Tuhoe says there has been a lot of goodwill generated by the fast track process, which was instigated after proposed settlement with Te Arawa collective Nga Pumautanga ran into political flak.

“It does come down to faith and confidence between the parties and the personalities that are leading out each party an a strong sense of well and fairness,” Mr Kruger says.

WARNING CNI SETTLMENT RUSHING THROUGH

But Maanu Paul from Ngai Moewhare, whose traditional lands lie within the Kaingaroa Forest, says the Crown will keep getting it wrong as long as it keeps cutting corners.

Nga Moewhare has asked the Waitangi Tribunal for a resumption order, which would require the Crown to hand over the forest land to the hapu if it could not show it had clear title.

Mr Paul says the tribunal has heard evidence of historic battles which prove Tuhoe and Tuwharetoa have no rights to Kaingaroa.

“They've given the CNI a commercial redress package which is all about managing the forests. It’s not about handing the land back to the owners. And this government doesn’t care who it gives the management rights to. It will overrule the direct owners – Ngai Moewhare, Ngati Whaoa, Ngati Tahu and Ngati Rangitihi,” Mr Paul says.

He says the proposed deal will allow the Crown to hang on to billions of dollars of carbon credits from central North Island forests.

MANUKAU PRESSES FORWARD ON FLAG RESOLUTION

Manukau City's Treaty of Waitangi Committee is going back to the Maori community to ask which flag it should be fighting for.
The council last week knocked back an attempt to ban flying of the tino rangatiratanga flag, and asked for a report on a flag policy.

Alf Filiapaina, the chair of the treaty committee, say there needs to be more debate about how Manukau acknowledges its large Maori population.

“Because everyone knows there’s also another flag that people do look at, and that’s the United Confederation of Tribes, so that’s another flag, but let our Maori community decide which one they believe is representative of our Maori community,” Mr Filiapaina says.

POLICE COMMISSIONER AVOIDING TUHOE DESPITE SLIGHT REGRET

A Tuhoe leader says Police Commissioner Howard Broad hasn't responded to requests to talk with the iwi about last October's terror raid on Ruatoki.

Mr Broad told a hui at a Wellington marae on Friday that he regretted the hurt caused by the raid, but he took the action he believed at the time was right, based on advice.

He has not ruled out a formal apology, but it would have to go through internal procedures.

Tamati Kruger says Tuhoe has heard nothing from Mr Broad, formally or informally.

“He has never replied to our letter. He has never indicated to us directly that he would want to speak to us. He has made no form of contact at all with us over it. But he seems to be using the media to indicate police are open to discussion, but he actually does not take the next step,” Mr Kruger says.

He says the police seem to be hoping that by the time the cases come to court, people will have forgotten the outrageous way the police acted.

RESEARCHER LOOK AT BETTER WAYS TO LINK YOUNG TO MARAE

Auckland University researchers are looking at the links successful rangatahi success have to their marae and language.

Merata Kawharu from the James Henare Research Centre says the two-year project, funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, aims to develop resources which can be used by schools and marae.

She says many young Maori need help to become familiar with their regional dialect, proverbs and history.

“Most Maori still happen to live in the cities and there are still a lot of rangatahi that our kaumatua are saying have lost touch with the knowledge they were brought up with, so we are trying to bridge some gaps,” Dr Kawharu says.

She says whatever resources are created, there is no substitute for going back to your home marae for instruction.

NEW BOOK FOR FILM CREW PROTOCOLS

Film crews now have a guide for filming in Maori communities.

A handbook on protocols was launched at the weekend conference of Nga Aho Whakaari, an umbrella group for Maori working in film and television.

Author Brad Haami says Urutahi ko-ata-ata will benefit both Maori and non-Maori production houses.

“When you're going to film in a Maori community, you should really talk to the local people about the type of imagery you are going to use and how to work with those communities to get the best pictures that you need, Probably get a better product than if you just bowl in there and don’t bother to get the okay,” he says.

Mr Haami says other indigenous producers have shown interest in translating the handbook.

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