Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, May 16, 2008

House fund back door road deal

The government will today hand over a cheque for $7 million to Ngati Awa to restore its ancestral meeting house.

Maatatua, which had been in the Dunedin museum, was returned as part of the tribe's $42 million dollar treaty settlement.

The money is also being seen as a down payment on settling of a subsequent dispute over use of logging roads through the forests which came back as part of the settlement.

Hirini Mead, the chair of Te Runanga o Ngati Awa chair and its chief negotiator, says the iwi have been waiting a long time to restore its taonga.

“The ancestors represented in there are the ancestors of Mataatua tribes and part of the driving force behind getting the house was getting the tipuna back home where they belong. They’ve been waiting in Whakatane lying there waiting for the house to be built and just waiting to face the tribe again and face the world,” Professor Mead says.

Mita Rininui, the Minister of State, will make the pre-budget announcement at 10am today at the runanga's office in Whakatane.


Two Rotorua midwives are bucking the trend by getting more pregnant teen and Maori women to attend antenatal classes.

A new national survey has highlighted the poor attendance at antenatal classes by Maori and Pacific Island women.

Tuia Mahima from Rotorua Lakes Midwives says the key is working with women right through their pregnancy.

That builds up rapport and leads on to antenatal classes.

“If they've attended the classes they have better birthing outcomes because they understand what their body is going through and what’ s going to happen during labour. They’re looking forward to it instead of dreading the fear of the unknown,” Mahima says.


Navy personnel who patrolled Mururoa Atoll in the early 1970's to protest French nuclear testing in the Pacific are gathering in Hawke's Bay this evening.

Henare Hawe, the organiser of the veterans' reunion says over 500 seafarers were aboard the frigates Otago and Canterbury for the three month assignment.

He says over half those sailors were Maori, and they still feel a connection to the region.

“Our people originally come from that area so we had to do something with regards to protecting people that still live there,” Mr Hawe says.

The reunion is also a chance for ex-servicemen to talk about health issues related to their trips into the nuclear test zones.

The Mururoa Reunion starts with a powhiri at the Hastings RSA this evening.


Ngati Awa's ancestral home looks finally set to get its make-over.

The Mataatua meeting house was returned to Ngati Awa in 1996 in partial settlement of Ngati Awa's historical claims.

The government today will announce a $7 million dollar payment to aid in the rebuilding of a Ngati Awa complex which will include the restored house.

Hirini Mead, the chair of Te Runanga o Ngati Awa, says over the years a team has been restoring the carvings, repairing the damage done to them over many shifts around the world and getting them ready for construction.


Kawhia-based hapu Ngati Hikairo is considering a Waitangi Tribunal claim over the government's Maori Purposes Bill.

It says the Crown is changing its boundary without consent.

After hearing public submissions on the Maori Purposes Bill, the Maori Affairs select committee had asked Te Puni Kokiri to seek further views of those who opposed the bill, including Ngati Hikairo.

Tony Spellman... a spokesman for Ngati Hikairo... said Te Puni Kokiri had failed to properly investigate the iwi's submissions... and the Bill was passed into law with no amendments last night.

He says the government has left them with no choice.

“It's a real disappointment to us that we have a government that is promoting itself as resolving treaty grievances creating another (grievance),” Mr Spellman says.


Maori entertainer Moana Maniapoto says for artists recording in te reo Maori, New Zealand music month is inconsequential.

The Auckland-based singer released her long-awaited 4th album, Wha, in Tamaki Maakaurau last night.

She says the failure of mainstream radio stations to pick up on kaupapa Maori music highlights the difficulties Maori medium musicians have getting their work out to a wider audience.

Moana Maniapoto says there is a demand for kaupapa Maori music... with full house signs up for last night's duel album launch with Ruia Aperahama at Auckland's Galatos.


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