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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Pahauwera enters treaty talks

The Government has signed terms of negotiations for both the foreshore and seabed and the Waitangi Tribunal claims of Ngati Pahauwera.

Grant Powell, the lawyer for the northern Hawkes Bay iwi, says the negotiations arose from a successful hearing in the Maori Land Court on customary rights to the Mohaka River.

He says the solidarity showed by the various hapu in the confederation, and a new willingness by the Government to engage with claimants, means there is now some prospect of resolving long-standing claims.

“They've obviously been left landless as a result of the breaches that the tribunal has found. There are a number of issues that arise through the Mohaka transaction of 1851, through various Crown purchases and then the impact of the Native Land Court. As well as that, of vital importance is working through the issue relating to the rivers in the rohe, particularly the Mohaka River,” Mr Powell says.

The parties are aiming for an agreement in principle by September.

MARAE BEST PLACE FOR YOUTH TRAINING

A Ngapuhi former soldier wants to see marae running more programmes to combat youth offending.

Steve Boxer runs the Male Youth New Direction programme in Manukau, which runs military style camps for 14 to 17 year old boys, as well as offering follow-up counseling and mentoring.

He says marae-based programmes have advantages over other interventions for young offenders or at risk rangatahi.

“They know how to link them back into their culture, and that’s the first stepping stone of linking them back into the family and the extended family, so they’ve really got to step up with regards to a lot of the kids that grow up in the city, because they can induct them straight away into their marae and then take through the emotional and cultural and spiritual journey that a lot of other groups struggle with because they’re brought up in the urban jungle,” Mr Boxer says.

Male Youth New Direction it talking to government agencies about extending its programme throughout the ocuntry.

NEW NAME TO LET ORCHESTRA’S SPIRIT FLY

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra has a new name; Te Tira Puoro o Aotearoa.

The title, which means the traveling musical instrument group of New Zealand, was bestowed by the Maori Language Commission, along with a new slogan - Tukua to wairua kia rere - let your spirit fly.

Peter Walls, the orchestra's chief executive, says as a national institution it wanted to express its commitment to all.

“That means expressing a strong relationship to the tangata whenua, and of course Maori musical abilities are legendary so we feel that this taonga we’re looking after, they symphonic music, is something that we want to share with Maori on the one and we want to draw on those musical abilities of Maori at the same time,” Mr Walls says.

Tomorrow's Made In New Zealand concert in Wellington will feature Whirimako Black's interpretations of jazz standards in Te Reo.

CULLEN CONFIDENT OF PAHAUWERA DEAL BY ELECTION

The Treaty Negotiations Minister is confident a settlement can be reached with northern Hawkes Bay claimants by September.

Michael Cullen today signed terms of negotiation with Ngati Pahauwera, a confederation of hapu around the Mohaka River.

It covers three sets of historic claims which have been heard by the Waitangi Tribunal, as well as a foreshore and seabed claim which has been before the Maori Land Court.

Dr Cullen says Ngati Pahauwera has a strong mandate.

“There's strong evidential basis from the tribunal reports themselves. Obviously there will be issues around the foreshore and seabed evidence which will be to some extent new issues in that regard but I’m confident we can make good progress with this group. There’s very good feeling in terms of negotiations,” Dr Cullen says.

There are enough Crown assets within the Ngati Pahauwera rohe to deliver a satisfactory settlement.

PRISON WILL SAP INMATES’ SOULS

A former prison service head says the designers of a new Auckland prison need to consider the psychological effect of the building on prisoners.

The Government has approved a new $200 million, eight-storey building beside the existing Mt Eden Prison to house 450 prisoners.

Kim Workman of Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Rangitaane says it's a definite improvement of the existing stone prison, which is cold, damp, dirty and with inadequate sanitation.

But the high-rise design, with its reliance on artificial light, could have an effect on Maori inmates.

“We talk about our relationship with Rangi and Papa but if you can’t see them, feel the grass under your feet or see the blue sky and the stars, something happens inside of you. Aboriginal people who are locked away in those sorts of custodial provision often died as a result of that, not because of ill treatment but simply because they lost contact with the earth and their environment,” Mr Workman says.

POTATOES GROWN FOR HERITAGE PROTECTION

The only commercial growers of Maori potatoes with organic certification say preserving the tradition is more important than making money.

Markus Gripp and Rochelle Bertrand started growing taewa at Waioturi marae in Patea, and expanded onto land leased from another organic grower.

They sell the spuds from their own vegetable shop as well as supply supermarkets around the country.

Ms Bertrand says they're trying to encourage Maori to value traditional crops.

“It's not really the money value, it’s more the taonga they give and the health benefits. We knew we’d never get rich from them but it’s about keeping them safe from mainly the bigger commercial growers out there and also giving them out to other hapu or whanau who want to grow them because ultimately we’d love to see everyone eating them rather than the potatoes we have not that are all modified and engineered,” Ms Bertrand says.

Their taewa are popular on Taranaki marae for hui and tangi.

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