Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Treaty in way of republic rush

The Prime Minister is warning New Zealand may not join Australia in the rush towards a republic.

Cutting ties with the House of Windsor was one of the ideas that emerged out of Kevin Rudd's Australia 2020 summit last weekend.

The new Australian PM is under pressure to act, with some supporters pushing for a referendum in 2010.

Helen Clark says New Zealand has to take the Treaty of Waitangi into account when it considers any constitutional change.

“Australians have never had a treaty. They declared, at an early stage in the settlement of Australia, that it was an empty continent, because they didn’t recognise the Aboriginals as being of any significance whatsoever. Now of course people who came to New Zealand recognised Maori being of enormous significance and so our nations have been on a different path over close to 200 years,” Ms Clark says.

She wishes Mr Rudd well implementing ideas from the 2020 summit, but she remembers how little came out of a similar summit held by the Lange Labour government in 1984.


Opotiki District Council wants to upgrade the town's harbour to handle traffic from an iwi-owned mussel farm.

Eastern Sea Farms, which is majority-owned by the Whakatohea Maori Trust Board, has a licence for a 3800 hectare farm in the eastern Bay of Plenty.

Vaughan Payne, the council chief executive and a member of Whakatohea, says people settled in Opotiki because of its access to the ocean, but successive generations haven't looked after the harbour and allowed a bar to form.

“One of our Taniwha in the river, its role is to keep that river entrance open, so we’re really trying to help it do its job as well,” Mr Payne says.

The mussel farm could bring 900 new jobs and $30 million dollars a year into the town.


A Ngati Kahungunu weaver is making inroads into the female dominated artform.

Nigel How is part of a weaving exhibition at IWI art in Wellington this month.

He Rerenga Raukura - the Flight of the Feather also includes work by Alexis Neal, Kohai Grace, Fiona Jones and Suzanne Tamaki.

He says in the past weaving was considered a basis survival skill that everyone learned.

“You don't have to scratch far under the surface of our history to see that men wove nets, ropes, baskets, they were involved in tukutuku. It’s just that the women were the ones who retained a lot of the knowledge and carried it on and passed it down the generations, whereas the men’s weaving, a lot of it was passed over to European items,” Mr How says.


The Minister of Fisheries says the quota management system is paralysed because of a run of court judgments against him.

Jim Anderton has been trying to get industry support for a law change so the minister can cut quotas if he has concerns the total allowable catch of a fish stock may be set too high.

He says both Maori and Pakeha fishers are blocking him, and the courts are backing them up.

“I'm now told by the court unless I have absolutely solid scientific evidence to support my decision, I can’t make it. So I can’t make it either way (to lower or raise quotas). So the quota system in the fisheries management is paralysed, and that’s what I’m worried about, and that’s what I’ve asked Maori and Pakeha fishing companies to support me in trying to strengthen this, and neither of them will,” Mr Anderton says.

Milan Barbarich from Anton's Fisheries, which successfully challenged cuts to the Orange Roughy One quota, says the minister is misinterpreting the judgments, and the problem is he won't work with the industry.


The Maori Party's Ikaroa Rawhiti candidate says the strong historical relationship between Labour and the Ratana movement is no more.

Today is the anniversary of the 1936 signing of an agreement between T.W Ratana and Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage.

Derek Fox says the relationship is a shadow of what it used to be, and Maori voters won' be dictated to over their vote.

“The world has turned around many times since then and it was a very significant ceremony and signing when it first occurred and it also endured for a very long time but I think we can see just by looking at how Maori behave today in their political arrangements that many Maori have moved on. Those days when somebody dictated or even led which way you voted, I think they’re pretty much long gone,” Mr Fox says.

Prime Minister Helen Clark says Labour still enjoys a very good relationship with the Ratana movement.


A Christchurch-based service for prisoners and their families has expanded to Auckland.

Pillars today opened a residential house in Balmoral where newly released women prisoners can stay for up to three months.

Manager Ana White says Pillars also offers mentoring programmes for tamariki.

She says it's an attempt to end intergenerational offending.

“When a parent ends up in prison, the child’s doing the time as well. They get bullied and everything like that at school, ostracized by their peers and they end up having a lot of behavioural problems. They are a lot of the time forgotten,” Ms White says.


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