Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Mai FM sold to CanWest

Canwest MediaWorks has bought the assets of Auckland radio station Mai FM from station management and Te Runanga o Ngati Whatua for an undisclosed price.

The Maori and Pacific Island youth oriented station had a controversial beginning because it uses a valuable Auckland FM frequency, secured as a result of the Maori broadcasting settlement.

Mai Media director Russell Kemp says the runanga will continue to own the frequency.

He says the station was sold because while ratings were good, cash flow was poor.

“One radio station battling on its own is very hard these days. Commercially we found it tough. We have found it tough for a while but we’ve managed to survive. But the way we were going we found it easier to sell out to MediaWorks. We tried to do a joint venture but they wanted most of the station so we sold it to them. We’ll get an income for the next 20 30 years off them,” Mr Kemp says.

Mediaworks, which owns TV3 and C4 television and several national radio brands, has assured staff there will be no redundancies and no change to the product.

WALL FLOWERING IN MAIDEN SPEECH

Labour's newest MP gets a chance to lay out her political philosphy today.

Louisa Wall from Tainui and Ngati Tuwharetoa comes on the list to replace Ann Hartley, who has retired.

She's represented New Zealand with both the Silver and Black Ferns, completed a masters degree in social policy, and worked for the Health Research Council and the Human Rights Commission.

She says her maiden speech will focus on how Labour's social-democratic principles sit well with Maori aspirations and principles such as manaakitangi.

“It's going to be about some of the values I hold dear and some of the principles Labour ascribes to that I believe in. That is, that the Treaty of Waitangi is the founding document of our country, and secondly that we as a civilized society have a responsibility to protect those vulnerable members of our society,” she says.

Ms Wall intends to wear a whanau korowai that her grandmother has kept for just such a special occasion.

ABSTRACTIONIST GEORGE EXPLORES MAORI STORIES

For Ngapuhi artist Darryn George, finding his Maori heritage has meant huge changes in his art.

The Christchurch-based painter is opening exhibitions today at opposite ends of the country - Pukapuka at the Gow Langsford gallery in Auckland and PULSE at the William A. Sutton Gallery in his home town.

He says Pukapuka's fusion of Maori art forms with Western abstraction draws heavily on his recent exploration of his roots.

“At the moment I’m forming a vocabulary, almost like a language, and I’m taking aspects form all over the place so I am taking it from European traditions but a lot of what I’m doing now is actually looking into the Maori traditions of art and how they told stories and basically try to brig those together to tell my own story,” George says.

FOREST OWNERSHIP NOT IN DOUBT: CULLEN

The Ministry of Treaty Negotiations says the Crown can do what it likes with its central North Island forests.

The government is talking to several groups in the central North island about how Kaingaroa Forest can be used to settle historical treaty claims.

The plan is opposed by the Kaingaroa Forest Cluster of iwi whose traditional areas include the forest, because they say the Crown has yet to prove it has clear title, as required by the 1989 Crown Forest Assets Act.

But Michael Cullen says he can't accept that position.

“Legal advice I have is that we have absolutely clear legal title to those lands but of course ever since the passage of the Crown Forest Assets Act in 1989, the assumption is that all or a very large part of those lands will be transferred eventually into Maori ownership. To some event we’re holding that in trust pending the outcome of settlements,” Dr Cullen says.

He says the ideal outcome is for Kaingaroa to be kept together as a single forest, with shares held by the various iwi in the region.

WAKATU AIMS FOR LIFESTYLE VILLAGE

A Nelson Maori trust believes its planned lifestyle village for over 60s will create long term jobs for iwi members.

Keith Palmer, the chief executive of Wakatu Incorporation, says the Motueka development would include community recreation facilities and other features which would appeal to the target buyers, who have different needs than younger homeowners.

He says the village would create service jobs for the community.

“When you just build a house you build it and fine you employ people when you build it but after that you leave it and have nothing more to do with it whereas we are looking at servicing the body corporate, the grounds, the roads, the community centre, providing services if it be meals or care that anyone wants so that opens up opportunities for people to continue to be involved in it,” Mr Palmer says.

He says Wakatu's senior's village would allow kaumatua to live independently but still close to whanau.

OLD SKIN MORE REWARDING THAT FAMOUS INK

A leading ta moko artist says he would rather work on old skin than famous skin.

Gordon Toi studied whakairo at the New Zealand Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua before turning to ta moko.

His tattoos are worn by hundreds of people, including singers Ben Harper and Robbie Williams.

But he still gets a thrill drawing on kaumatua who have dreamed about getting a ta moko.

“For a lot of our Maori people, this is a whakaaro they’ve had for years, some of our kaumatua and kuia. When they get to their 60s and 70s, they feel they have the right to initiate something like that. To awhi them through that process, that for me is more famous than doing the so called famous people,” Hatfield says.

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