Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fox takes on minister

Get ready for the rematch...

The Maori Party has chosen veteran broadcaster Derek Fox as its candidate for the East Coast Ikaroa Rawhiti seat.

That puts him up against the Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia for the first time since 1999, when Mr Fox trailed on the day by just over 700 votes,

Pita Sharples, the Maori Party co-leader says in that election Mr Fox was running as an independent.

“He actually went alone, as an independent, and he jolly near took Parekura out then so of course Parekura’s been a minister for some time and very handy with his cheque book so he’ll be a little bit harder this time around, so it’s quite exciting they’re getting another go at each other,” Dr Sharples says.

RAGLAN MISSES OUT ON SURF TOURNAMENT

A waahi tapu has nixed Raglan as the venue for a major international surfing event.

Greg Townsend, the chief executive of Surfing New Zealand, says the popular beach on Waikato's west coast was considered for Search in August.

But the sponsor, Rip Curl, wanted to include a left-hand point break known as the Indicators, rather than stick to the more well known Manu Bay.

That wasn't possible because the dunes and foreshore at that part of the beach are sacred Maori land.

“It would have been fantastic for New Zealand, but after talking to the local iwi, landowners and the surfers explained to me the meaning of that area and what it meant to me, and the decision was quite clear. It’s more important to have relationships in major event, and we’re totally respectful of cultural sensitivities of both Maori and the surfers,” Mr Townsend says.

He says it's important for any event to maintain community support.

ATRICT GETS INSIDE THE KOAUAU

Theres more to koauau than meets the eye.

That's what the curator of a touring exhibition of Maori wood flutes has discovered.

Rob Thorne, an anthropologist and musician from Ngati Maru and Ngati Tumutumu, worked with carver Warren Warbrick to make 15 taonga puoro for the show.

He says the exhibition is about what's inside the koauau.

“A lot of the pieces appear to be unfinished or just appear to be sticks or bits of wood, but the inside bore has been made and all of the instruments are highly playable, or exceptionally well playable actually, and that’s the cool thing, people see these things and they go ‘whaor, that’s just a stick.’ And then they realized they’re surrounded by sticks, and they too can just whip one up and play it,” Thorne says.

Koauau can be seen at Te Manawa Museum in Palmerston North until May.

TUWHARETOA PLANS TURANGI SUBDIVISION

Ngati Tuwharetoa interests have teamed up with former ACT leader Richard Prebble to develop a major subdivison near Turangi.

Dixon Chapman, a director of Te Whenua Ventures says it is on a former Landcorp block bought by Tuwharetoa trusts for $10 million two years ago.

He says land land use restrictions caused by efforts to reduce the levels of nitrate in Lake Taupo means the owners had to find alternative uses for the 650 hectare block.

“Turangi has been locked in because of the various landholdings around it and this block presented an opportunity where we could develop a significant number of sections, a subdivisional development and still retain over 50 percent of the block,” Mr Chapman says.

He says the development could take up to thirty years to complete.

OLD FRIEND WELCOMED TO JOIN FIGHT

Derek Fox will have some old friends around him if he wins the Ikaroa Rawhiti seat in this year’s election.

The veteran broadcaster beat out four other contenders for the Maori Party nomination in a grueling series of iwi meetings.

Pita Sharples, the party’s co-leader. says all of the candidates were of a high calibre.

He says Mr Fox is well known in the electorate and in the party caucus.

“Derek and I go way back and I guess all Maori who are out there in the front line know each other inside out so I am really pleased. Actually all five candidates were really excellent candidates but Derek’s been chosen and we’re quite excited about that,” Dr Sharples says.

WESTRA SAW CULTURE IN CHANGE

A Dutch-born photographer who has been documenting New Zealand life for almost fifty years says she has witnessed an enormous change in the way Maori live.

Ans Westra's touring exhibition Handboek has now reached the Tauranga Art Gallery.

Its 200 images include a lot of her most well know shots of Maori life in the 1960s.

Ms Westra says when she came to Aotearoa in 1957, from Holland, nobody else seemed to be documenting Maori life.

She's grateful she was able to record a significant slice of Maori history.

“In the 60s the idea was to leave Maori things behind and become Europeanised and in there early 70s there was a total reversal because people thought they were losing too much so there’s been this Maori renaissance. Yeah, I witnessed all of that,” Westra says.

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