Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Maori Battalion continues to inspire

There may not be many left, but the Maori Battalion still inspires younger generations.

Thirty three of the 59 surviving veterans gathered in Gisborne over Easter to share memories and relax in each other's company.

The Prime Minister says the archival footage always shown around the time of such reunions is a reminder of why the Battalion remains a legend.

“You look at those photos and you take 60, 65 years off the ages of the men we see today, those young guys had just so much energy and zeal. It’s just fantastic to see, and I think that they should inspire young Maori today, because they were great men, a great generation,” Ms Clark says.

PINES NOT GOOD FOR WIND FARM GROUND COVER

A Waikato incorporation is considering a change of land use to complement its new energy venture.

Taharoa C has a joint venture with Mighty River Power and a Japanese firm to build a wind farm on its land south of Kawhia.

Its chairperson, Monty Retemeyer, says work can't start until scientists have determined the turbines won't affect birdlife.

While the monitoring is going on, the incorporation has been harvesting its mature pine forest.

It may not replant if the windfarm goes ahead.

“We've found that the windmill and pines don’t work together. The pines create disturbance into the flow into the turbines. Maybe we may have to plant other crops,” Mr Retemeyer says.

SHAME MOTIVATION FOR FINDING PATH AHEAD FOR TAMARIKI

Working with violent men inspired a Ngapuhi man to write children's books.

Tim Tipene has just published his sixth book, Rewa Finds his Wings, about an unhappy boy whose mother sends him to a tohunga to find direction.

He says his books are designed to show tamariki some alternatives.

“When I was working with adults and doing anger management with men and living without violence programmes was the shame, so they had started doing things they were ashamed of at quite an early stage. The idea of working with the children was to get there before that shame really took over, get there before they started to make these big mistakes in their lives, and try to get them to make different choices,” Mr Tipene says.

He has also developed a community martial arts programme for children, Kura Toa Warrior School.

POLICY COULD BOOST PAPAKAINGA DEVELOPMENTS

The Minister of Building and Construction says his new permit policy will assist Maori establish papakainga housing.

Shane Jones wants simple house designs to be fast tracked through the consent process.

That could shave up to 10 percent from the cost of a new home.
He says it could have particular application for development of multiply-owned land around marae, where whanau are trying to keep costs affordable.

“If you're doing a large scale papakainga development, I’m rooting for one permit for the whole complex that will require an individual inspection to check the quality of the land you’re plonking the house on, but if the houses are largely of a uniform nature, I don’t think it’s wise that we should duplicate the effort on each and every dwelling when basically they’re much of a muchness,” Mr Jones says.

“There's no point in encouraging people into home ownership if they end up ensnared in the building consent process.

WAIKATI IWI GEAR UP FOR TRANSPOWER FIGHT

Waikato Maori are critical of how Transpower has consulted on its proposed transmission network upgrade.

Hearings opened in Hamilton today and are expected to last 8 to 10 weeks.

Willie Te Aho, the lawyer for Ngati Koroki Kahukura, says the proposed route from Whakamaru to Otahuhu, as well as the existing line, cuts through ancestral land including urupa and papakainga.

He says iwi are making a big effort to put their case to the board of inquiry because Transpower has so far ignored their objections.

“Although they've opened the door and come back to us in the last six months, the reality is if they had got this right at the front stages when they were looking at options, we could have worked through this with them, and so that’s why we went to the Waitangi Tribunal and so from a consultation point of view, it’s been very very poor,” Mr Te Aho says.

As well as its environmental and cultural impacts, the Transpower network could upset iwi plans for ecotourism ventures.

UTILITY TAG HOLDING BACK HOHAIA

Give Lance Hohaia a chance at halfback.

That's the view of Maori sports commentator Te Arahi Maipi after the Tainui man's faultless performance at fullback in the Warriors' emphatic win over the Parramatta Eels on the weekend.

He says Hohaia's best football comes when he is playing in his specialist position at halfback or stand-off, rather than when he's treated as a utility player.

“Couple of seasons
 ago when they were short at centre he came in and scored a couple of tries against the Roosters. Couple of games later they lost and he was dropped again. So that’s my biggest fear, that if Lance playing at fullback, the Warriors don’t perform well, that they don’t use Lance as the scapegoat for an irregular performance
,” Mr Maipi says.

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