Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Nga Awa Purua steaming ahead

Moves to build a second geothermal power station on Maori land north of Taupo have taken a big step forward.

Joint venture partners Tauhara North No 2 and Mighty River Power have signed Japanese company Sumitomo to build the 132 megawatt station on the Rotokawa steamfield.

Aroha Campbell, Tauhara's executive officer, says it will be called Nga Awa Purua, after the rapids on Waikato River adjacent to the trust's land.

She says Tauhara has a 25 percent stake, but that could go up.

“We have the option after too years, if we want to increase that up to 35 percent. And so therefore from our perspective it just gets better. And we need to put plans in place to ensure we have got our benefits for our owners,” Ms Campbell says.

There is increased interest among Ngati Tahu and Ngati Whaoa rangatahi about careers in engineering because of the power developments, and three students are taking degrees on scholarships funded by Mighty River.


A former Labour cabinet minister says the prospect of a change of government means it's a great time for iwi to nail down treaty settlements.

Central North Island claimants are meeting treaty negotiations minister Michael Cullen at Waihi on the shores of Lake Taupo on Friday to present their formula for multi-iwi settlement, using the Kaingaroa forest.

John Tamihere says because of the time spent at the negotiating table, there's always pressure to settle before an election.

“What you do is you can get sign off deals done. Particularly when you are signing off with the minister of Finance. The guy, whether you like him or hate him, is the most competent and capable intellect that the country probably has got in the political and financial area. Secondly, he's very fair,” Mr Tamihere says.

He says if it goes ahead, the proposed a $400 million settlement will give central North Island iwi a marvelous chance to determine their own development.


A Maori fantasy adventure is on the cards for Kapiti Island's next writer in residence.

Paora Tibble from Ngati Porou and Ngati Raukawa will take up the eight week residency at the Kapiti Ecolodge in June.

He says books like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings were drawn from mythology, and tamariki Maori deserve similar stories from their own heritage.

“Thinking about Rarohenga, where Maui finds his olds, where his mum shoots off all the time. Try to create another parallel world to this one, where the kids go on an adventure and they try to figure out who they are and what they are doing in this world, and ak that kind of stuff, and save the world at the same time,” Mr Tibble says.

He feels more comfortable writing in te reo Maori.


A Tuhoe leader says police don't care about the harm they did his iwi.

Tamati Kruger says Police Commissioner Howard Broad's statement of regret for the hurt caused to Ngai Tuhoe, given at a hui in Wainuiomata last week, doesn't mean much without a formal apology.

He says last October's anti-terror arrests and the barricading of the eastern Bay of Plenty township, was part of a deliberate strategy to create a phantom threat.

“They've got free information from the confiscation of electronic information from people. They now have information about networks and associations of people all over the world and all over the country. They have raised the specter for the New Zealand public to fear Maori activism and they have got extended powers, so all in all they've achieved their goal,” Mr Kruger says.

He says Police Commissioner Broad has failed to even acknowledge Tuhoe's request for face to face discussions on the October terror raids.


Ngati Kahungunu's plans for a 100-home development in the Hawkes Bay have been boosted by proposed changes to building rules.

Runanga chair Ngahiwi Tomoana says for almost two decades the iwi's attempts to house its members have been foiled by arrogant government officials and excessive red tape.

But Building and Construction Minister Shane Jones' idea of a fast-track consent process for pre-approved designs fits in with what Ngati Kahungunu Ki Herataunga wants to do on its land at Flaxmere.

“This has been on the radar for 20 years now, but successive governments and ministers and regimes have ignored us as real players in the housing market for our own people, so with Shane’s announcements and the policies which come with it, I think it can only augur well for what we've been trying to do,” Mr Tomoana says.

Work on the development will start within the year.


A Ngati Porou kaumatua says rangatahi need to be taught business skills young.

Pene Harrison helps run the Maori Women's Development Incorporation's Kaipakihi Rangi Wairua programme, which runs wananga for Maori high school students.

Students on his latest course at Kawerau College came up with a plan for a flavoured water business they hope can earn their school $60,000 a year.

He says everyone needs some business basics, and the best time to reach Maori is in the schools.

“Some of these kids will never do any formal business studies. They won’t go to University and do business studies or accounting or economics or any of those business related subjects. That will probably be the only learning that they will have,” Mr Harrison says.

The incorporation, an offshoot of the Maori Women's Welfare League, took over the Kaipakihi Rangi Wairua programme from Lion Nathan.


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