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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Paraparaumu zoning trickery

Local MP Tariana Turia has slammed the Kapiti District Council for procedural trickery over its approval of a major retail development on Paraparaumu Airport land.

The Maori Party co-leader says by changing the district plan in favour of the airport owners, it was in effect declaring the land surplus ... without triggering Public Works Act requirements for the land to be offered back to previous owners including Te Whanau a Ngarara.

Mrs Turia says the council has a treaty obligation to stick up for mana whenua rather than kowtowing to developers.

“Councils believe that they don’t have any of the treaty obligations of central government bit of course they cannot absolve themselves of that treaty relationship because in fact it is councils that impact day to day on our families' lives,” Mrs Turia says.

She says the argument that ancillary commercial developments such as shopping malls and services stations are needed to keep the airport economically viable is a gross stretch of the Public Works Act surplus land provisions.


National leader John Key says Maori enterprises should be well placed to benefit from the free trade agreement with China.

The Maori Party and New Zealand First have both attacked the deal, signed on Monday.

But Mr Key says China is a potentially huge market for this country, and Maori have things the Chinese need.

“If you look at their assets which are heavily involved in the agricultural sector, in forestry, in fishing, then I would have thought there is some tremendous opportunities there for Maori and realistically if you look at what the other side of the equation is, New Zealand in the past had very unprotected markets anyway,” Mr Key says.

He says the protectionist views of New Zealand First leader Winston Peters are well known, and his opposition won't be a deal breaker.


Iwi in the Aotea Harbour has have won back management control of their fishery.

A mataitai covering about 40 square kilometres off the south Waikato coast goes into effect next month.

Commercial fishing will be banned in the reserve.

Davis Apiti, a mataitai kaitiaki, says Ngati Te Wehi has pushed for protection of its sea resources for a decade.

“Because of the commercial element that’s in Aotea Harbour, our concerns were that it was playing a big effect on harvesting our patiki, our flounders, our mangoi, all these sorts of fish we can put on the marae table for poukai. Now we can manage it,” Mr Apiti says.

The mataitai should also help Ngati Te Wehi in its effrots to protect the endangered Maui's dolphin.


A Taranaki hapu is trying to block the auction of an ancestral pounamu mere.

Grant Knuckey, from Puketapu, says the club was taken from Rawiri Waiau during inter-tribal fighting in the 1800s.

It now belongs to David Williams, a descendant of a chief land commissioner at the time.

Mr Knuckey says Mr Williams does not have the right to sell the taonga.

He says the hapu wants to put pressure on him to talk, or they will go to the high court.

“If he's tired of it, never cost him anything, so he should in a sense give it back. I think what it’s saying is it wants to come home and we should facilitate that, whatever shape or form that takes,” Mr Knuckey says.

He says Mr Williams has refused Puketapu's invitiation to talk.


The Minister of Maori Affairs says the Government is moving to address Maori frustration at the lack of progress on aquaculture.

Delegates at this week's Treaty Tribes Maori fisheries hui in Napier raised concerns at the failure of regional authorities to create any aquaculture management areas in the three years since the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Settlement Act.

Iwi are entitled to 20 percent of any new marine farming area.

Parekura Horomia says the complaints are being heard.

“There is justification for the frustration the Maori fishing industry has. The issue relevant to aquaculture is local authorities have been very slow. The government is trying to ensure the agreement in the deal happens,” Mr Horomia says.

The Government is giving almost $100,000 to Environment Canterbury to develop procedures for handling applications for new fish farms, and $24,000 to Environment Waikato to improve its monitoring of the environmental impacts of aquaculture.


An eastern Bay of Plenty school is bringing the radio into the classroom as a way to preserve the region's dialect.

Te Kura Kaupapa Motuhake o Tawhiuau broadcasts to the Murupara area on 99.7 FM from Monday to Friday.

Principal Pem Bird says senior students can earn NCEA credits from learning the technical side of running a station, interviewing and voice work.

He says there are plans to extend the coverage of Te Reo o Tawhiuau and make it an iwi station.

“Whilst we are a school, we are a tribal kura, and our mission is to ensure that our dialect endures into the future, and having this beaming out to the Maori speaking audience, we’re trying to excite people into speaking te reo Maori in their homes and on the streets,” Mr Bird says.

He says the radio work teaches the children to respect their audience and to conduct conversations with older people.


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