Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, April 04, 2008

Big turnout expected at Little Waihi

A big turnout is expected at Little Waihi on the shores of Lake Taupo this morning for the signing of an agreement in principle to settle central North island land and forestry claims.

Numbers will be boosted by representatives of Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa, who joined with the Central North Island Iwi cluster in recent days to hammer out a comprehensive package.

Waatea News sources say the $400 million deal to be put to the Minister for Treaty Negotiations, Michael Cullen, will be for the region's forests, and the accumulated rents held by the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, to be put into a central trust representing all the iwi.

The Minister of Maori Affairs, Parekura Horomia, says there is a mood in Maoridom to get past the settlement process.

“Maori have decided in their own mind it’s time to come together. Most settlements have been held up because of late differences. I’ll put a punt on this deal will stick,” Mr Horomia says.

As well as Te Arawa, the settlement will cover Tuwharetoa, Ngati Whakaue, Ngai Tuhoe, Ngati Rangitihi and Ngati Whare.


A new longitudinal research programme could answer some curious questions about the survival of Maori cultural practices.

Growing Up in New Zealand will follow almost 8000 children born in Auckland and Waikato over the next year from birth to adulthood.

One of the researchers, Te Kani Kingi from Te Mata o te Tau at Massey University, says unlike earlier such studies, this one will have a statistically significant sample of Maori and Pacific island children.

He says a questionaire give to the expectant mums should help researchers find links between cultural factors and children's growth and development.

“Issues around whether or not they’ve considered where the placenta will be buried, have they consulted with a kaumatua or an elder in terms of the child’s name, whether on not they cut their hair during pregnancy, all those types ofv cultural practices that some Maori mothers observe,” Dr Kingi says.

Preliminary research results will start coming out in 2011.


Its time to think of those without sight.

The Blind Foundation is holding its annual appeal from this weekend to raise money for guide dog training.

Tahae Tait, runs the Maori branch of the foundation for the Waiariki region, and says Maori are still not using the services organisations like the foundation offer.

He says Maori make up only about 700 of the foundation's 11 thousand registered members.

“We're working with consumer groups like Ngati Kapo and others but in some cases Maori don’t come forward and we have to go out into the communities,” Mr Tait says.

The Blind Foundation needed more narrators to produce talking books in Te Reo Maori.


National is promising Maori Television is safe if it takes over the treasury benches after the election.

Labour Cabinet minister Shane Jones has challenged the party on its Maori broadcasting policy, and claimed it could sell off the new channel.

But John Key says he's seen the value of Maori Television.

“Yeah Maori Television I actually think is doing a very good job. I was critical of it when I was the finance spokesman and I’d be the first to say I think that was wrong. They’ve developed a culture in there of producing some really interesting and good stuff. Form a Maori broadcasting point of view, National has absolutely no intention of diluting any of the benefits or gains that are there,” Mr Key says.

He says Maori have legitimate complaints about the times Television New Zealand screens its Maori programmes, and he'd like to see more Maori stories in primetime.


Maori leaders are meeting in Hopuhopu today to responses to discuss family violence.

They've been asked by king Tuheitia to help the Maori reference group to the Ministry of Social Development's Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families.

Tainui MP Nanaia Mahuta, who is speaking at the hui, says communities are taking responsibility for the issues around family violence.

“The fact that leadership have come forward form various quarters and King Tuheitia to support events like this means there’s a very serious message that everyone’s owning and that is we want whanau free from violence,” Ms Mahuta says.

The hui will try to identify ways people can reach out for support.


The Durie whanau of Rangitane is celebrating as two of their own receive tohu at Government House in Wellington today.

Retired judge Edward Taihakurei Durie is being made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the Maori Land Court, Waitangi Tribunal and the High Court.

The family is just as excited about the Queens Service medal being awarded to his aunt, Kahu Durie.

Her service to Maori and the community includes more than four decades teaching te reo Maori in Whangarei and the Manawatu, being president of the Maori Womens Welfare League's Whangarei branch, being part of the Maori Anglican Pastorate for the past quarter century, and establishing the Maori chaplaincy service at Palmerston North Hospital.

Reverend Durie says she is honoured to be acknowledged for her mahi.

“Our Maori people really needed a Maori chaplain, they needed te reo Maori for karakia and korero, and they appreciated very much. I get a lot from them too. It’s a two way thing.” Rev Durie says.


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