Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, April 28, 2008

No going backwards for north claim

Muriwhenua leaders are optimistic rapid progress can be made on their treaty settlement after a decade-long delay.

The Government is funding a regional forum so the five far north iwi can resolve any differences towards achieving a settlement, which is likely to include the Aupouri forests and several Landcorp farms.

Rima Edwards, the chair of Te Runanga o Muriwhenua, which led the region’s Waitangi Tribunal claim, says the iwi have shared whakapapa and interests throughout the far north.

He says they are keen to fix up problems created by the previous Crown policy of negotiating with iwi without reference to their neighbours.

“And what the forum will not do is jeopardise what Te Rarawa and Te Aupouri have gained to date. In fact we will work towards enhancing that. The idea of cutting up the forest, the forum may very well agree in the end that everybody remains there on an equal basis. I think that’s the sort of talk that will come,” Mr Edwards says.

WAIROA GETS BEHIND EARTH DAY INITIATIVE

A Hawkes Bay iwi is joining the fight against climate change.

To mark World Environment Day in June, Te iwi o Rakaipaaka at Nuhaka is planning a mass bike trip through its rohe, planting native trees along the way.

Manager Johnina Symes says up to 1000 school students and their whanau will bike through Wairoa, Whakaki and Mahia to the Morere Hot Springs.

She says they want to make a big impression.

“The focus of this is to make sure that people are aware when they are passing through or living in the Wairoa district that we are going to be maintaining this kick the carbon habit kaupapa not only for a one off but forever,” Ms Symes says.

Te Iwi o Rakaipaaka is one of 13 Maori groups to receive a grant for World Environment Day activities.

NEW MAORI TOURISM GROUP FOR TAIRAWHITI

The Maori Tourism Council is encouraging Maori operators to build on the strengths of their regions.

The East Coast is the latest region to establish an affiliate to the council, hoping to tap into the 600 thousand tourists a year who seek out a Maori cultural tourism experience.

Niko Tangaroa, the deputy chair of the national council, says Tairawhiti Venture will help businesses focus and coordinate their operations.

“Some areas have lakes, some areas have mountains, some areas rivers, and culture, heritage, and the idea is to find out what is unique for you and look at the potential of what that can provide to existing operators and even to start-up new businesses,” Mr Tangaroa says.

He says the Maori regional tourism organisations are giving Maori operators more say in the wider industry.

FOUR MAORI SEATS PROPOSAL FOR UNITED AUCKLAND

Auckland iwi Ngati Whatua is calling for mana whenua representatives to be there by right in any new governance structure for the city.

Grant Hawke, the chair of the Ngati Whatua o Orakei Maori Trust Board, says it’s a point first made by their tupuna Paora Tuhaere in the 19th century.

He says the board made a special submission to the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance because of its concerns its voice would be lumped in with other Maori.

“We like other groups didn’t want to be negotiated by Maori representatives on council because we felt in this city we should be talking kanohi ki te kanohi directly to the commissioner with regard to our concerns, which are major concerns. These are major concerns for all groups that have a mana whenua relationship,” Mr Hawke says.

Any regional authority should have three Maori seats appointed by Ngati Whatua, Pare Waikato, Pare Hauraki, and one taurahere seat appointed by the Waipareira Trust and Manukau Urban Maori Authority.


TREATY SILENCE IN PUBLIC HEALTH BILL WELCOMED

New Zealand First's Maori spokesman says the new Public Health Bill is right to ignore the Treaty of Waitangi.

The Public Health Association claims lack of a treaty reference means there will be no pressure on District Health Boards to work constructively with Maori.

But Pita Paraone, whose bill to strip references to treaty principles from existing legislation was last year voted down by Parliament, says it appears law drafters are getting the message that explicit references aren't needed.

“Most Maori, all they want to have is access to quality health services. They’re not going to be worried about which principle of the Treaty of Waitangi is going to be applied to that service as long as they get the service, and the point I’m making is that as citizens of this country, Treaty of Waitangi or not, they are entitled to quality health services,” Mr Paraone says.

MEN’S HEALTH NEEDS DIFFERING APPROACHES

A Blenheim-based Maori health provider says a one size fits all approach won’t work with men’s health issues.

Te Hauora O Ngati Rarua took part in a men’s health hui in Wellington last week called by the Health Minister Damian O’Connor.

Spokesperson Joe Puketapu says it’s wrong to assume treatment strategies developed for non-Maori men will work with Maori groups.

“I think the needs are quite different and how we look after those needs. We have a number of sub-groupings of Maori men: for example takatapuhi, Maori males with disabilities, we have Maori males who are in prisons, so we have a whole contrast of different needs that require assistance,” Mr Puketapu says.

He says research among tane in Te Tau Ihu indicates more Maori men and thinking about how they can manage and improve their health.

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