Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ngati Porou seeks confiscation compo

The Ngati Porou Runanga is hoping for a settlement to East Coast claims by the end of the year.

The Crown yesterday recognised the runanga's mandate to negotiate the claims, sidelining the current Waitangi Tribunal hearings.

Chairperson Apirana Mahuika says the runanga is setting up a subcommittee to represent all its hapu and marae and work alongside the core negotiating team.

He says a lot of the groundwork has been done, and the runanga is confident it can win fair recognition of its historical grievances.

“Ngati Porou has always been a great supporter of the Crown. While people call us kupapa – well, that’s their word for us – but the Crown has not reciprocated in terms of the loyalty of Ngati Porou for the Crown. That’s an important factor. And also there have been lands that have been confiscated in Ngati Porou, contrary to what people think, but we have had a substantial amount of land confiscated as well,” Mr Mahuika says

TOKM DEFENDS MAORI 1000 YEAR FISH PLAN

Te Ohu Kaimoana has condemned the Minister of Fisheries for his claims Maori commercial fishers are plundering the country's fish stocks.

Peter Douglas, the chief executive of the fisheries settlement trust, says Jim Anderton is using loaded language to falsely imply that all Maori are over-fishing.

He says the implication Maori are not interested in sustainability is being used by the minister to justify his bid for more power over the industry.

“Over and over I’m reminded in my meetings with Mari fishermen, whether those are commercial or customary or recreational, that we were fishing 100 years ago and we intend to be fishing in 1000 years tome, so if we’ve got that as an underlying principle, having an attitude towards sustainability which is not sustainable would be a reckless approach to the whole thing,” Mr Douglas says.

He says the real issue is Mr Anderton made wrong decisions, which led to one non-Maori fishing company successfully challenging him in the High Court.

KO TAWA BRINGS TAONGA BACK TO TAURANGA

An exhibition of taonga associated with a controversial 19th century soldier and administrator has brought some important treasures home to Tauranga.

The city's museum is the last stop for the Ko Tawa exhibition of 28 items collected by Captain Gilbert Mair during and after the land wars, and later gifted to the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Dean Flavell, Tauranga's Maori curator, says the show includes the greenstone mere Te Raukaraka, which belonged to Tauranga chief Koraurau, and a whalebone tewhatewha or long club dug up at Gate Pa in 1875.

“We are going through a programme called Hokinga Mai which identifies objects such as these two currently situated in museums throughout this country and overseas and it’s about negotiating how we can bring these things home, so Ko Tawa is a good example of how we are able to carry out this request from our people,” Mr Flavell says.

Gilbert Mair retired to Tauranga and died there, so it's fitting Ko Tawa's three-year tour should end in the city.

ATTITUDE CHANGE TO FIX MAORI SCHOOLING

A leading researcher on Maori education says what's good for Maori is good for everybody... but the reverse isn't always the case.

Russell Bishop from the University of Waikato told the Waipareira Education Summit in West Auckland yesterday that teacher attitude is the major barrier to Maori achievement.

He says his Katahitanga Project is offering practical ways to turn that around in mainstream schools, where 90 percent of Maori students are enrolled

“Our teachers in our schools can educate 80 percent of our students to an internationally excellent level. It’s just that they can’t do it for Maori and for Pasifika students and for other students who are in minority groups, and the major reason they can’t is because they don’t know how to relate to the kids, so what our project is about is supporting teachers to learn how to relate to Maori kids,” Professor Bishop says.

He says as soon as teachers start treating Maori pupils as if they have potential rather than as if they had learning difficulties, achievement levels improve.

NATIONAL TETCHY ON WAKA UMANGA PLANS

The National Party is raisng concerns about a proposed new framework for Maori organisations.

Georgina te Heuheu says the Waka Umanga Bill now before Maori Affairs Select Committee will the create unnecessary bureaucracies.

She says there's no real demand for it.

“There are some real traps in it, we think, and one of the underlying things is it will add to the sort of proliferation a body may set up without any discernible benefit,” Mrs te Heuheu says.

She says it's better for tribes work out their own post-settlement structures and then get the government to legislate them ... which is the system Waka Umanga are designed to replace.

STUB IT GETS MORE MOBILE

A new youth smoking cessation programme is expanding.

Auckland University's clinical trials research unit has been trialling Stub IT, which uses mobile phone messages and other multimedia to encourage rangatihi to keep from lighting up.

Project leader Robyn Whittaker says it will now cover subscribers in the top half of the North Island.

She says because 30 percent of target age smoker are Maori, it is important to use something that worked for them.

“Cellphones are there main means of communication. It’s the way they talk to each other, peer to peer, so it makes sense to use what is already highly embedded in their lives to access a smoking programme, rather than making the do something which is out of the ordinary or difficult like turn up to a clinic or speak to a counselor,” Ms Whittaker says.

Stub IT uses rangatahi who have been through the quitting process as role models, including a young pregnant mother, a sportsman and a kapa haka enthusiast.

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