Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Coastal statement input sought

Maori are being encouraged to have their say on a revised Coastal Policy Statement.

Mahara Okeroa, the associate minister of Conservation, says the social and political environment has changed since the initial statement was prepared more than a decade ago to guide the work of councils administering the Resource Management Act.

Having the right policy settings can prevent the sort of fight his own Te Atiawa people at Waitara went through 25 years ago to stop their reefs being polluted by the Think Big methanol project.

“They had to fight hugely against bureaucratic inertia and policies in order to get people to understand that you can’t continue to whakaparuparu mai te awa, whakaparuparu mai oki moana.

“You’ve got to have respect for the natural phenomena in our environment. I think we all as people understand that. We’re a coastal peole, whether we’re Pakeha or Maori, and we have those same concerns,” Mr Okeroa says.

People should make submissions to the board of inquiry set up to consult on the Coastal Policy Statement.

POLYFEST FOR KAPA HAKA STARS OF TOMORROW

The kapa haka talent of tomorrow is on stage today.

The Auckland secondary schools Polyfest kicks off this morning at the Manukau events centre.

From humble beginnings in 1976 when four schools took part, Polyfest now boasts hundreds of cultural groups from 66 secondary schools around Tamaki Makaurau.

Tama Huata from Te Matatini, the kapa haka national competition, says the rangatahi are learning valuable skills.

“They're coming through with all the elements that actually carry them in pretty good stead when they come up into senior kapa haka: stagecraft, their linguistic skills, their language, their ability to interact with audiences. Those are really the important ingredients of what these rangatahi are actually preparing themselves for,” Mr Huata says.

Polyfest runs until Saturday.

MOKO KAUAE ETCHED ON PAKEHA CAUSES DISQUIET

Images of Pakeha women with chin tattoos are causing some raised eyebrows around Wellington.

They're in an exhibition of etchings at Solander Gallery by Vanessa Edwards.

The Tuwharetoa printmaker says her use of moko kauae was a way to comment on how Maori culture affected Pakeha culture, and vice versa.

“It's a comfort zone thing, at people arte more comfortable with them being Maori women, or more traditionally it should be Maori women, but I guess it made me think about why did I make that and it was to create the discussion about where are we going with our Maori expression and our ta moko and who’s doing it, how is it being represented, and what are we doing to join that conversation,” Ms Edwards says.

She says ta moko seems to be becoming a form of national expression, rather than specifically Maori.

EVERYONE PADDLING OWN WAKA

The Prime Minister believes the Maori Party will try to keep everyone guessing about what it will do after the election.

The party's overtures to National have again come unstuck over John Key's plans to ax the Maori seats.

Helen Clark says Labour isn't giving up on the Maori seats, and it will also be going hard to win the party vote from Maori voters.

“We're seen by the Maori Party as very much a competitor. The National Party on the other hand which doesn’t believe in the Maori seats and doesn’t run in them seems to have a different relationship with them. So for the time being I guess we’ll all paddle our own canoes. I don’t think the Maori Party will declarer one way or another what it will do if it is still in Parliament after the next election,” Ms Clark says.

She says Maoridom has no interest in having a National-led government, which could upset the momentum of treaty settlements and employment growth.

TREATY CLAIM DEADLINES UNREALISTIC

Meanwhile, a treaty historian says claim deadlines are looking increasingly unrealistic.

Maori have until September to lodge claims for historic treaty breaches.

Labour aims to settle those claims by 2020, while National says it will do the job by 2014.

Paul Moon from AUT University says neither target will be met, because the resources aren't going to the right places.

“The Waitangi Tribunal, even at the present rate, without those extra claims, isn’t able to deal with all the business it’s facing, so there’s a huge backlog at the moment The backlog will only get bigger, and it’s almost impossible that in six years it will all be dealt with,” Mr Moon says.

He expects a rash of sketchy claims leading up to September, as hapu strive to get their issues into the system before the deadline.

ROSTENBURG TAKES ON ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH

The fastest Maori in motorsport is racing to the clouds.

Marty Rostenburg from Ngati Kahungunu has been confirmed as a starter in this year’s Pike’s Peak Hillclimb in the Colorado Rockies.

He's preparing his space framed carbon fibre Mitsubishi EVO for the rally in July, regarded as the toughest of its type.

He's won New Zealand's premier hill climb, the Race to the Sky, but altitude factors come into play at Pikes Peak.

“The finish line is the equivalent of halfway up Mt Everest. The engine is going to be starved of oxygen, and I’m going to be starved of oxygen as well, because even the start line is higher that the finish line at Race to the Sky down in Cardrona. This one is called Race to the Clouds and you definitely are up in the clouds if you are lucky enough to get to the top,” Mr Rostenburg says.

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