Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Timetable for CNI deal stretching

The head of one of the iwi negotiating the $400 million central North Island settlement says a package acceptable to members could still be three weeks away.

Members of the Central North Island cluster are due to meet Treaty Negotiations Minister Michael Cullen on Friday to report progress on designing a settlement using crown forest land.

They are now working with Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa, whose $90 million settlement on behalf of some Te Arawa hapu and iwi was put on hold while the CNI cluster developed its position.

Bill Bird from Ngati Manawa says the iwi are using their collective intellect to design a fair distribution model based on tikanga.

“We've been given the opportunity to come up with a model that will satisfy all that have minimal interests, and those that have strong interests. We are very pleased with where we have progressed to over the last, we could say seven days, but we’ve got about another three weeks to come up with a model that will satisfy our people,” Mr Bird says.


A senior Maori cleric is challenging iwi to invest in their social responsibilities.

Hone Kaa says a new charitable Trust formed to address Maori child abuse is going to need considerable resources to be effective.

Te Kahui Mana Ririki, which was formed out of last year's child abuse summit in Auckland, is developing a programme of advocacy backed by evidence-based research, to ensure it is targeting the areas most in need.

Dr Kaa says it's a Maori responsibility to act.

“We'd like to think that not only can we go to the state coffers but also tap into the huge resources that are available among our iwi right now. We may be doing well in our commercial enterprises but social enterprises, we’re not investing as much as we should,” Dr Kaa says.


A Kai Tahu kuia has been recognised for her work advocating on behalf of abused Maori women.

Mereana Mokikiwa Hutchen, or Auntie Kiwa, received a Queens Service Medal at Government House in Wellington this afternoon for services to Maori women in Canterbury.

She's been the kuia for Christchurch Women’s Prison as well as contributing to Child Youth and Family, Plunket, and Te Puna Oranga.

Women's refuge chief executive Heather Henare says Auntie Kiwa has also been a rock for the Otautahi Maori Women’s Refuge and the national collective or refuges.

“She is an advisor to me. She is an advisor to our Maori unit. She shows leadership within our organisation. When we have an issue where we need some wisdom, and with her expertise and experience, she is the one we are likely to go to,” Ms Henare says.


The Human Rights Commission is challenging government agencies and the Ministry of Women's Affairs to collect more data on wahine Maori in management or governance positions.

Judy McGregor, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner, says a lack of information on Maori was a problem when putting together the Census of Women's participation.

The commission did get data from non-government sources, such as iwi authorities, Hui Taumata and the Maori Women's Welfare League.

She says it revealed some positive signs.

“There was quite a high proportion in the figures we collected of Maori women at board level in Maori organisations, around 42 percent, and around 27 percent representation of Maori women in management of Maori organisations,” Dr McGregor says.

The census showed women are significantly under-represented in the governance of New Zealand business.


The Greens youth affairs spokesperson wants Maori to support a review of adolescent mental health services.

Sue Bradford says the death of a young student on the North Shore, is a reminder schools often lack resources to deal with rangatahi with mental health problems.

She says Maori suffer disproportionately from mental illness, and the availability and quality of services is a real issue.

“It's almost epidemic in some communities and I’m sure there are many Maori working in the field and Maori families and leaders who would support a full inquiry into our mental health services with a real focus also on how we do and don’t look after our children and young people with a mental illness,” Ms Bradford says.


A Sydney-based teacher of Maori says there are no problems attracting students ... but finding teachers is a different story.

Tarewa Paringaatai crossed the Tasman four years ago to teach using the Te Ataarangi method.

His Te Reo Maioha ki Poihakena now runs four classes a week for more than a hundred students, and has many more on its waiting list.

Mr Paringaatai says Maori in Australia's largest city are keen to re-connect with their own language.

“Some of the students that have come on board have been here for 20, 30, 40 years and the call for them has come, but some of them want to go home with a bit of reo because they know that it’s being spoken across the motu back home, so we’re blessed to be part of their journey,” he says.

Mr Paringaatai says the large Maori community in Woolongong just south of Sydney is also keen to host Ataarangi classes in their city.


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