Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

CNI claims progressing

Major progress has been made on settling historical grievances of central North Island iwi.

Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa, which represented 11 affiliate iwi and hapu in the Rotorua area, was at Parliament yesterday to witness the first reading of the bill settling their land claims.

Half the value of its $100 million dollar settlement is tied to the $500 million Treelord forestry settlement, which will be signed this morning by the Central North Island Collective of iwi.

Pumautanga negotiator Rawiri Te Whare says the signs are extremely positive, after years of struggle.

“The expectation is for both settlements to move through legislation in tandem because they are inextricably linked through the forestry arrangements and I think the comments expressed in regard to the Pumautanga settlement getting through the election is also the same sentiments for the CNI settlement,” Mr Te Whare says.

TOBACCO ACTIVISTS GATHER IN WELLINGTON

Also in Wellington this morning, anti-smoking advocates are gathering for the first National Tobacco Control hui.

Graham Tipene from Te Hotu Manawa Maori, the National Heart Foundation, says the conference at Te Papa Tongarewa will look at pharmacological and practical approaches to giving up smoking, well as offering professional development for those working in the field.

He says a Health Ministry survey showing Maori youth smoking rates dropping is a welcome boost for health workers.

“That's pretty much the trend we want to see all over, just keep it dropping, so that kids don’t pick up cigarettes, don’t start smoking and so the health stats for our people get better,” Mr Tipene says.

By drawing together organisations like Aukati Kai Paipa, Auahi Kore and the Cancer Society, the hui will be able to focus on specific Maori targets.

LONG PERSPECTIVE FOR OUTGOING TVNZ MAORI BOSS

The outgoing head of Television New Zeland's Maori programming has reflected on the changes to the media.

When Whai Ngata started in journalism forty years ago, he was one of the few Maori reporters covering protests about land and language.

He says today's acceptance of te reo Maori is more than the Maori journalists of that time could have dreamed of.

The language where it is now, in broadcasting, in schools, is a consequence of all those things happening almost to the fact now that te reo is an acceptable part of the New Zealand psyche,” Mr Ngata says.

While there is still resistance to Maori language and culture in some quarters, its widespread teaching in Maori and mainstream schools should guarantee its take-up by future generations.

Whai Ngati has been succeeded in the TVNZ Maori role by independent producer Paora Maxwell.

LEADERSHIP KEY TO TREATY CLAIM SUCCESS

A Te Arawa claim negotiator credits good leadership for today's massive settlement.

The Crown will this morning sign a deal which will deliver half a billion dollars in forestry assets to a collective of Central North Island iwi.

The Crown has held back just over 10 percent of its forest assets in the region for other claimants who have not joined.

Rawiri Te Whare from Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa, which gets 16 percent of the collective settlement, says it can be a hard task to bring claimants together and hold them over the years it takes to secure a deal.

“It's going to take good leadership. Some hapu just can’t decide to settle. You need to have good leadership, well organised, focused and want to settle. And really, if that’s not there, you make up all sorts of excuses about why settlements are not happening,” Mr Te Whare says.

Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa now needs to establish the structures to manage its settlement assets, which also include 19 significant sites in the Rotorua area.

ANTI-SMACKING CHANGES FILTERING DOWN TO COMMUNITY LEVEL

A controversial change to the Crimes Act is being credited with making a real difference to domestic violence.

This week is the first anniversary of the removal of reasonable force as a defence for hitting children.

Ngaroimata Reid, who manages anti-violence projects for Te Korowai Manaaki Maori Caucus in west Auckland, says attitudes have changed over the past year.

She says that makes a difference if a child turns up at school with welts or bruises.

“There are a lot more schools, there are a lot more whanau, Maori community groups that are actually taking on and uplifting the well-being of their children so if kids do turn up with that, it’s not put to the side and nobody says anything like we have in the past,” Ms Reid says.

CULTURES MATTER IN CASH CONSCIOUSNESS

A financial literacy expert says cultural differences need to be taken into account when teaching children the value of saving.

Lester Taylor, the Retirement Commission's education projects manager, says a programme being trialed in 10 schools will teach children as young as five how to handle money.

He says while many of the concepts of financial literacy are universal, there will be different priorities.

“It doesn't matter what your ethnic background is in New Zealand. You’re living in the same financial environment, but different cultures have very significant differences to their value structures, to their priorities, and to the way in which they wish to allocate the use of their money. So the concept of whanau and extended family responsibility, the framework we designed had to deal with that,” Mr Taylor says.

The personal financial education programme may be handed over to the Ministry of Education to run.

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