Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dole leads to drugs says JT

The head of a west Auckland urban Maori trust says times are so tough for beneficiaries, many are turning to crime.

John Tamihere from Te Whanau o Waipareira says that won't change unless the government changes the way it deals with the unemployed.

A Ministry of Social Development study has concluded that in real terms beneficiaries are now worse off than after Ruth Richardson and Jenny Shipley's welfare cuts in the 1991 mother of all budgets.

The former Tamaki Makaurau MP says in those conditions, many beneficiaries find themselves the distribution and supply side of organised crime.

“People locked into inter-generational dependence and dole addiction, they’ve actually migrated into organized crime or crime generally speaking. If you continue to manage beneficiaries the way we’re managing them, you continue to burden the state with paying them, they produce children who will burden the state and you incentivise them to become criminals,” Mr Tamihere says.

He says more need to be done to create the right incentives for people to get into productive work.


It's taken more than a decade, but a northern Hawkes Bay confederation is finally sitting with the crown to negotiate its land and foreshore and seabed claims.

Toro Waaka, the chair of Ngati Pahauwera's negotiating committee, says the hapu has gained favourable reports from the Waitangi Tribunal, but in the past it couldn't get past the gatekeepers at the Office of Treaty Settlements.

The Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Michael Cullen, invited the group to talk after Maori Land Court hearing earlier this year on customary rights to the Mohaka River.

Mr Waaka says Ngati Pahauwera is glad it stuck to its guns.

“Treaty claims are not just about getting a settlement. It’s about getting a settlement on your terms. Tino rangatiratanga is very important. They can throw money at you, but you can earn money. They can throw land at you; you can buy land. What’s important is that you maintain your heritage and your tino rangatiratanga. You have a say and a choice about how your people proceed into the future,” Mr Waaka says.

Ngati Pahauwera is consulting its members on the terms of negotiations, with the aim of getting a deal before September.


The chair of Maori Rugby League is on his way to Australia this morning to finalise details of the curtainraiser to October's World Cup final in Brisbane.

Howie Tamati says while the Maori team can't compete in the tournament proper, the Australian Rugby League is offering concessions.

It will make all NRL players with a Maori whakapapa eligible to be picked play a full strength Aboriginal squad.

“Our plans are fairly long along the way now. Australian Rugby League have certainly gotten behind us to make certain the curtainraiser for the world cup is a success,” Mr Tamati says.

He'll also use the trip to go over the final draft of a book on the first century of Maori rugby league, put together by league historians John Coffey and Bernie Wood.


The Greens' Maori Affairs spokesperson says her party's list selection process is one of the best for ensuring representation for Maori.

Metiria Turei has been ranked at number four on the list, with resource management specialist Dave Clendon from Nga Puhi at number 10 and Mikaere Curtis from Te Arawa at 16.

She says the rankings submitted by of party members are weighted for gender, ethnicity and regional interests.

“Our list requires our candidates to really work with membership and let themselves be known for doing good work in the party and to demonstrate skills for being and MP. Our list is not an award for long service, it’s an indication of those people who are committed to the party, the Green kaupapa, and have the skills to be a good member of Parliament,” Ms Turei says.


A new Muriwhenua forum is starting a round of consultation hui on how far north tribes can secure a region-wide settlement.

Mangu Awarau, who was elected chair of the regional forum at a hui at Taipa on the weekend, says after a decade of being fragmented, the five iwi are learning to work with each other again.

He says they're trying to avoid the mistakes of the past.

“The forums have decided the meetings will be shared among the five tribes. They will be transparent and they will be inclusive. The Crown’s proposals is that there will be mandated iwi who will discuss on behalf of the tribal groups, meaning basically those who have been mandated in partnership with the Crown,” Mr Awarau says.

The Crown has indicated a settlement will involve transfer of the Aupouri Forest, the Landcorp farms in the region and some arrangement on foreshore and seabed rights to Te Oneroa a Tohe, 90 Mile Beach.

The Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Michael Cullen, is expected in the region next month to lay an offer on the table.


A Maori educator wants quotas for radio stations to play te reo Maori music.

Tihi Puanaki, the driving force behind Christchurch kapa haka roopu Te Kotahitanga, says it may be New Zealand music month, but Maori musicians are missing out.

She says mainstream radio won't play their waiata, and they're short changed by the way sales are counted for the annual music awards.

“We sell through whanau networks that will well thousands. I’m not sure people in the music industry are aware that happens and the sales are there, but they don’t count towards the awards,” Ms Puanaki says.

The only number one in te reo Maori waiata was Poi E in 1984.


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