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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, April 04, 2008

CNI plan gets positive initial reaction

Treaty ministers are reacting positively to a plan to settle historic central North Island claims by putting the region's Crown forests into a multi-iwi trust.

At Little Waihi near Turangi this morning, the CNI Collective, which includes Tuwharetoa, Tuhoe, Ngati Rangitihi, Ngati Whakaue and Ngati Whare, gave the plan to Michael Cullen and his associate, Mita Ririnui.

The final settlement is likely to also wrap in Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa and Ngati Manawa, who already have agreements in principle.

Mr Mirinui says more work needs to be done on how the settlement assets will be shared among the iwi, but signs are positive.

“Sends a very strong view that this should not be a repeat of the Sealord settlement where it took 13 years to agree to a model for allocation of interests. Already we have learned some lessons form the past and there is unanimous agreement we should not repeat those mistakes,” Mr Ririnui says.

Dr Cullen told the hui the proposal looks close to what the Crown can ultimately agree, and that the total package is unlikely to leave much change out of $500 million.

TAMATI TESTS TIRED BODY IN TARANAKI TRIATHLON

His days as a Rugby league international may be long gone, but Howie Tamati still leads by inspiration.

The head of Sports Taranaki has accepted a challenge to take part in a triathlon this weekend.

That's meant stepping - or swimming - outside his comfort zone.

He's never been a strong swimmer, but lots of training means he's now more confident in the waters off New Plymouth.

Mr Tamati says at 55, his old league injuries cause him some discomfort, but won't stop him competing.

“For me getting out and trying new things like a triathlon is hugely challenging. The philosophy is completing, not competing. I’m never going to win a triathlon but if I complete a triathlon I’m satisfied. The competitive edge will never leave me completely because I will always try my best but it’s getting out there and showing people you can have a go and you can try new things,” Mr Tamati says.

CNI SETTLEMENT 20 YEARS IN THE MAKING

The Minister of Maori Affairs says today's proposed settlement of central North Island forestry claims was 20 years in the making.

A collective of the region's iwi has asked the Government to put 170,000 hectares of Crown forest land and the $248 million in accumulated rentals into a new trust, which they will divide among themselves on the basis of tikanga Maori.

Parekura Horomia says when the Crown Forestry Rental Trust was set up almost 20 years ago, people thought the forest claims could be settled within three years.

“Well it's taken a hang of a lot more than that, and I think the wise thing that iwi leaders have done is seen it as a single commercial asset and how the benefits will come out of that is something they will work through but here is enough in there for everybody and everyone to really accelerate a lot of the hopes and dreams that Maori have in that cluster,” he says.

Mr Horomia says getting 19 iwi to come together for a settlement is a great achievement.

WIDER ROLE FOR WARDENS WANTED

The Alcohol Advisory Council wants to see the role of the Maori Wardens expanded.

Ted Breach, an injury prevention consultant, told today's ALAC conference in Rotorua that a pilot intervention project in Hamilton showed wardens can dramatically reduce alcohol-related violence.

A rapid response team of wardens patrolled the city's bars, responding to tips from the public and calls from police communications staff, and were able to neutralise almost 80 percent of the incidents they attended.

He says feedback from the four-month pilot pointed to other tasks wardens could do.

“I would like to see the Maori wardens carry out a more educative role. They do a lot of good follow up after incidents. They might take someone home for example and they might go around and see them the next morning for a bit of counseling servicing and so on, so I’d like to see them not only respond but give out more key messages and education follow up,” Mr Breach says.

The Accident Compensation Commission, which funded the Hamilton pilot, is asking Hamilton businesses to partner with it and fund continued patrols.

PADDLERS TURN OUT FOR WAKAFEST 2008 IN TAURANGA
Some of the country's top paddlers are in Tauranga this weekend.

Rebecca Ryder from the Wakafest 2008 organising committee says the elite paddlers took to the water today for a 28 km ocean event.

It was won by Paul Willford from Northland club Nga Hoe Horo in 2 hours 12 minutes in the surf ski class, and Bernd Summer from Rotorua in 2 hours 35 minutes in the OC1 waka class.

Tomorrow there will be an influx of kai hoe for the harbour challenge.

“We normally attract about 500 to 550 paddlers to that event and that ranges from your novices right through to your elite paddlers and that’s based on the Tauranga Harbour, ranging from 16 km course for the single paddlers right through to 35 km for the six-person crews.

Rebecca Ryder says on Sunday there will be a fun relay, the Waka Sevens, using single and six-paddler crews.

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