Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

No hurry to release Tory Maori policy

National's Maori Affairs co-spokesperson is shrugging off a challenge to release policy.

Georgina te Heuheu was slammed by Labour Cabinet minister Shane Jones for ducking questions at last week's World Indigenous Television Broadcasters' Conference about her party's plans for Maori Television.

She says much of the Maori policy is still being written.

“We're not rolling out our policy on the basis of Labour demands to do so. We’ll do that in our own good time. There are still a number of important areas that we are still to bring policy forward and that decision is made by the leader, John Key, in due course,” Mrs Te Heuheu says.

Any policy is likely to build on existing Maori development initiatives in areas like education and health.


A new farm school for young Maori has opened in southern Hawkes Bay.

Fencing contractor Pat Hape created Pipiwai Agricultural Training Centre in Dannevirke after identifying a shortage of experienced fencers in the area.

It will also run courses in tractor and all terrain vehicle driving, chainsaw operation and health and safety.

Mr Hape says farming skills keeps rangatahi off the street and helps to stem the flow heading for the city.

“The area's really a farming community and we’re hoping to put them out there amongst it. There’s been a great deal of loss to the farming of young ones these days, especially our young Maori people. I think they’ll come round after we show them one or two tricks,” Mr Hape says.

The centre has support from Rangitane and Ngati Kahungunu as well as Te Puni Kokiri, Winz, local government and industry training organisations.


The Greens' spokesperson on Maori affairs says government agencies are falling down on their duty to collect statistics on Maori.

The Human Rights Commission has challenged the Ministry for Women's Affairs and other agencies to provide information on Maori women, after finding vital data wasn't available for its Census of Women's Participation.

Meteria Turei says it's important that policymakers have a true picture of Maori women, including their involvement in governance and management.

“It's kind of shocking. You would think they would at least have the information. That’s kind of a 1950s approach, that they don’t actually know what the status is of Maori women in those kind of positions. I’m really pleased they are doing this because they need to know the extent to which Maori are involved in the corporate world,” Ms Turei says.

She says women are still seriously under-represented in senior management and board positions, and the situation is even worse for Maori women.


New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says central North Island iwi should not miss the opportunity to settle their historic claims.

An earlier settlement with Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa was put on hold because the government was not confident of the support of other parties, including New Zealand First.

Now Te Pumautanga is working with the Central North Island Iwi Collective on a wider deal, which would involve the transfer of Crown forest lands in the area into a settlement trust.

Mr Peters says he's been involved with the various players for some time, and he endorses the vision behind it.

“The central North Island deal has got some very sound features and I would advise them to consult and negotiate with the responsible minister, Michael Cullen. He’s after all the finance minister. This is a glorious opportunity to get this matter settled once and for all, and it can be done,” Mr Peters says.

The CNI collective and Te Pumautanga will put their settlement proposal to the Treaty Negotiations Minister on Friday at Waihi Marae near Turangi.


The associate minister for tourism is endorsing a new resource to help travel planners include Maori attractions in their tours.

The New Zealand Maori Tourism Trade Manual was launched at Parliament today.

Nanaia Mahuta says it's the first effort to list the Maori ventures which are Qualmark registered or are considered export ready.

She says the industry needs full Maori participation to ensure the integrity of the culture remains intact.

“More and more visitors who come to New Zealand want a distinct experience and the point of difference for New Zealand is the Maori cultural experience. That’s why Rotorua does so well. For the rest of the country, what we’ve got to ensure is that Maori tourism operators continue to take their place in the industry to provide the point of difference which is the whole experience,” Ms Mahuta says.

The Maori Tourism Trade Manual includes almost 100 ventures including accommodation, tours, cultural performances, dining and art galleries.


A Maori planner wants landscape architects to take more account of Maori values when they design their projects.

Ngarimu Blair from Ngati Whatua says more Maori are needed in the profession.

He says the talk is of a green revolution where architects are addressing future environmental needs.

“The answers to creating an Aotea landscape are right under their noses and are in the traditions, tikanga and values held by the Maori communities throughout this land. Sure they could get inspiration from overseas examples, but from my opinion, they don’t need to look very far, just out the window,” Mr Blair says.

He’s speaking at the Institute of Landscape Architects conference, starting tomorrow in Auckland.


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