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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, April 11, 2008

Clock ticking for Ngati Kahu offer

The Waitangi Tribunal has given the Crown three months to come up with a comprehensive settlement offer for for north iwi Ngati Kahu.

Settlement negotiations have been intermittent in the 12 years since the tribunal reported on the Muriwhenua land claims, although settlement offers have been made to Te Rarawa and Te Aupouri.

The Ngati Kahu Runanga sought a remedies hearing, where the Waitangi Tribunal could use its powers to order the Crown to hand over state owned enterprise land to the claimants.

But its lawyer, Te Kani Wiliams, says tribunal Judge Carrie Wainwright adjourned the hearing for three months to allow discussions between the parties.

“She's encouraging the Crown to come back to Ngati Kahu with a comprehensive treaty settlement offer which is an attempt to try and address those areas of land that Ngati Kahu have interests in that overlap with others as well as an independent settlement package that is Ngati Kahu-specific as well as other iwi specific so she’s asked all parties to come back to the tribunal in that three month period to what progress has or hasn't occurred,” Mr Williams says.

The Crown has also approached iwi in the Muriwhenua region about creating a regional forum to develop a settlement.

CALL FOR BAN ON TOBACCO RETAIL IN MURIWHENUA

A Maori health provider wants stores and service stations to stop selling tobacco products.

Henare Anderson, from Te Hauora O Te Hiku O Te Ika, says smoking rate in Northland are 25 percent higher than the national rate and the cause of almost half of all deaths across the region.

He says it's time Maori got real about the dangers of cigarettes.

“For years we've sort of putiputied a bit. It’s good the messages are out there but I think we need to stand a bit stronger, get a bit more aggressive in getting the messages across. It is definitely working but if I could be made redundant as an auahi kore worker, I’d be really happy,” Mr Anderson says.

One of the aims of the Te Tai Tokerau Maori Health Plan is to normalise smokefree environments.

NGATI POROU KI TAMAKI LEARN THE ANCIENT SONGS

Ngati Porou living in Auckland will benefit from a visit this weekend by a renowned authority on East Coast waiata.

Selwyn Parata will tutor the group, whose members are keen to reconnect with the sounds of their own rohe.

One of those members, Kotuku Tibble, says the roopu was formed to learn waiata that can be sung collectively whenever Ngati Porou meets.

“It's not just cool to korero, cool to be Maori these days, it’s cool to be tribal so those second, third generation brought up in Auckland, they’re really keen to reconnect tinana, wairua, physically, spiritually, mentally with home, and learning our waiata which has our histories and whakapapa naturally reconnects us back home,” Mr Tibble says.

TOI IHO MARK UNDER THREAT FROM THE EAST

A Maori arts promotion group fears the Free Trade Agreement with China doesn't contain enough protections for Maori artists.

Garry Nicholas from Toi Maori says artists are concerned the deal opens the way for an influx of cheap copies of taonga Maori.

He says the Toi Iho mark of authenticity might not be enough to stop people determined to circumvent the copyright mechanisms in the deal.

“In terms of the importation of look like, sound like, feel like Maori art, that is a major concern. The Toi Iho does give us some protection but until it is resourced to the level it can stand out strongly as being the voice for ‘this is real Maori art,’ we do face some difficulties in the future,” Mr Nicholas says.

Maori artists and art buyers need to be vigilant about what's in the market.

KURA CALLS IN BOMBERS FOR NEW PAINT JOB

A bilingual school in Christchurch is fighting graffiti with graffiti.

The Richmond primary school, Te Rito o Te Harakeke, has commissioned artists to bomb their school fence.

Deputy principal Ruawhitu Pokaia says the school has been hit hard by vandalism and tagging in the past.

It decided a different approach was needed.

He says as well as dissuading taggers and brightening up the school, the art is a teaching resource.

“One of the whares there has been painted on with spray can of the whare at Waitangi depicting the bilingual status, the bilingual nature in terms of the treaty and it’s got Maori tamariki, kotiro, tane and also designs that are in line with the tangata whenua here, the Avon River that goes past,” Mr Pokaia says.

He says just because a rangatahi has a spray can in their hand doesn't mean they're a tagger - they could be an artist.

GROWERS LOOK FOR HELP TO REVIVE TRADITIONS

Maori organic growers on the East Coast are welcoming help from Tairawhiti Polytechnic to revive the growing of Maori kai.

Organic kai grown the Maori way is being revived on the East Coast.
Renata Tawhai McClutchie, from the Uepohatu Organic Growers Group, says while there are many older grower willing to share their traditional knowledge, new diploma level courses will help younger growers turn it into sustainable businesses.

“We have wonderful people coming together to ensure that these kaupapa or principles of growing gardens at home aren’t lost, because a lot of young people bow believe that to get a potato, you got to go to shops like Pak ‘n’ Save or Woolworths,” Mr McClutchie says.

Growers are looking at the feasibilty of exporting organic kai through a collective.

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