Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

PKW hit for $23m loss at Gabba

Taranaki's Paraninihi ki Waitotara Incorporation is facing a $23 million loss on a property development in Brisbane.

That equals about 10 percent of its asset base, but general manager Dion Tuuta says staff and directors are working hard to limit the damage before the financial year ends next month.

He says all but 30 of the 270 apartments in the Gabba Pavillions have sold, and it is looking for buyers for the retail space.

Mr Tuuta says the incorporation has made other successful investments across the Tasman, as it sought to diversify from its base of Taranaki leasehold land, but the Gabba project encountered unforeseen difficulties.

“When they excavated for the foundations they found some instability there which needed to be reinforced and that pushed out the overall project by about 12 months while it was corrected and unfortunately that delay has coincided with the downturn in the property market and the global credit crunch caused by the sub prime mortgage issue,” Mr Tuuta says.

He says there is no cause for panic, and Paraninihi ki Waitotara's other land and farming businesses are performing well.


The organiser of a hui of Maori MPs to talk about child abuse is rejecting criticism of his efforts from a Destiny Church-backed political party.

Richard Lewis from the Family Party says Canon Hone Kaa can't tell the difference between responsible corrective discipline and violence against children.

But Dr Kaa, who maintains that removing the Crimes Act defence of reasonable force was an important part of the battle against abuse, says churches which support smacking don't know their New Testament.

“Jesus says let the children come to me. He doesn’t say smack the children who come to me. That’s the basis on which I operate. I am aware of the fact some people cannot tell the difference between a Biro pen and a baseball bat when it comes to the smacking of children. So we have to make a clear mark in the ground and say ‘this is where it stops,’” Dr Kaa says.

He says adults need to be models of good behaviour for their children.


Waikato University's waka week is a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Kingitanga.

Tom Roa from the School of Maori and Pacific Development says the annual event focuses on the descendants of a particular waka, iwi or hapu, and this week it's Tainui's turn.

The library is displaying taonga such as the apology from the Crown which was part of the 1995 Waikato Raupatu settlement, and on Thursday experts will talk about the origins, history, and future of the king movement.

King Tuheitia will be given a private tour of the library, which houses taonga from the collection of former Tainui Trust Board secretary Pei Te Hurinui Jones.

“Translations of Shakespeare. Pei’s notes on Nga Moteatea, material given to Pei by descendants of Te Rauparaha, as well as Te Puea, so it’s an honour the king is able to view these artifacts as well as catch something of the brilliance of Pei Te Hurinui Jones,” Mr Roa says.

Both Pei Te Hurinui Jones and King Koroki helped get Waikato University established in the 1960s.


Taranaki's Paraninihi Ki Waitotara Incorporation is reviewing its investment strategies after a major set-back in Australia.

Dion Tuuta, the general manager, says the incorporation's 9000 shareholders have been warned the full year result will be affected by a $23 million loss on a large residential and retail development near the Gabba cricket stadium in Brisbane.

He says the project went over time because of problems with the foundations, which means it has been adversely affected by slower sales and higher finance costs caused by the current credit crunch.

Mr Tuuta says with its 18,000 hectares of leasehold land and 14 dairy farms, the incorporation is able to weather the loss.

“It is just one part of our overall portfolio. It does not affect our farming business or our corpus land holdings which are our core assets in our core businesses. Those businesses are continuing to do very well on the back of our current economics surrounding the dairy industry, but nevertheless the Gabba project is quite a large project,” Mr Tuuta says.

Paraninihi Ki Waitotara has other successful investments across the Tasman, including a dairy farming company in Western Australia.


Killer whales and tidal waves feature in a new documentary about North Auckland tribe Ngati Wai.

Filmmaker Martin Cleave says Seven Canoes is based on the myths and legends of the people of eastern Tai Tokerau.

He says it was an opportunity to record the stories of a generation who learned their history orally from their elders

“They talk about our kaitiaki, the killer whales, towing us over in the waka, followed by a tsunami that got us here in three days. It’s that sort of korero and if we lose that, I mean these people are already on the endangered species list, so we lose that korero, we lose it forever,” Mr Cleave says.

Seven Canoes: Ngati Wai will premiere at a Whangarei marae at the end of the month


Rap has stirred a new interest in poetry among Maori teenagers.

Poet Karlo Mila, who is working towards a doctorate in Sociology says she has found the freedom of poetry appeals to "at risk" youth.

She says they're keen to improve their word power.

“Rap is such a big thing and rap of course stands for rhythm and poetry, and all these young guys, even the most hard core, really want the improve their rapping lyrics and recognize that poetry forms the basis for any kind of rap, and if the words don’t work, nothing else is going to, so it’s such an easy sell,” she says.

Karlo Mila's second collection of poems, A Well Written Body, has just been published by Huia Publishers.


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