Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Drug problem long term

Residents of Moerewa and Kawakawa are looking for long term solutions to drugs in their community.

A working party has been formed after a hui called by the Ngati Hine Runanga in response to revelations a Moerewa dairy owner was selling a solvent used in the manufacture of methamphetamine and cannabis oil.

Peter Tipene, a member of the runanga executive, says it's easy to focus on the shopkeeper rather than on people in the community known to be manufacturing and selling drugs.

He says a bigger problem is trying to find a way to get young people to develop positive aspirations, rather than find a sense of belonging through gangs and drugs.

“There's no silver bullet. If we are going to deal with it it will be really long term and that means an education strategy where our schools can work together with our community groups and parents and students, as well as to look to build an enterprise culture,” Mr Tipene says.

He says many of the young people in the area don't belong to their marae or even know where their maraes are.


The Maori arts and crafts institute is getting a new landlord - and maybe a new owner.

Three blocks in the Whakarewarewa thermal valley, including the land on which Te Puia stands, are among 19 sites of significance included as part of a comprehensive settlement of Te Arawa historic claims.

Negotiator Rawiri Te Whare says they will go back to the traditional owners.

“Those lands are shared by Tuhourangi Ngati Wahiao and Ngati Whakaue. Through the Pumautanga settlement, the Whakarewarewa thermal valley will be vested in a joint trust of those three groups and then they will work out how they will manage the land together. There’s also the hope they will secure Te Puia, the business arm,” Mr Te Whare says.

The revised deed of settlement signed yesterday by the Crown and Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa will give the iwi a greater role in the economic and political life of the Rotorua region.


Sitka in Alaska may be an ocean away from the Wellington waterfront, but a group of contemporary Maori artists are heading there after their latest exhibition closes.

Bloodlines, featuring the work of 17 artists who came out of Tairawhiti Polytechnic's Toihoukura art school, opens today at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts.

Curator Kaaterina Kerekere says the multi-disciplinary group is keen to continue its studies with Dave Galanin, a silver carver from the Tlingit people of Southeast Alaska who has just returned home after three years in Gisborne.


The Kohanga Reo National Trust hopes a new 25 year strategic plan will lure kaumatua back into the pre-school language nests.

Chairperson Timoti Karetu says the review was prompted by concerns some kohanga were straying too far from the movement's kaupapa of teaching children through immersion in a Maori-speaking environment.

He says the mana of each kohanga's whanau needs to be upheld.

“This is not like a teacher with a class but it’s a family with its initiatives, its ideas and its input to the learning situation and that has to be the salient difference between us all the time. We must not forget that it’s a family initiative with family input and they have as much right to tell the kohanga what direction to go in as the teacher himself or herself,” Professor Karetu says.

The Te Ara Tuuapae strategy should help refocus the energy of kohanga supporters.


A King Country Maori land trust is is considering putting a hydroelectric power station on its awa.

Maraeroa C is working with Clearwater Hydro, a subsidiary of Te Kuiti-based The Lines Company, on the feasibilty of a one megawatt station on the Kokakotaia Stream, which comes out of the Pureoroa forest.

Spokesperson Glenn Katu says it could be ideal for the trust's plans, which include housing for owners and further value add processing of its forests.

“Where our forest is and where we’ve got some business facilities being created, we’re finding it difficult to get reliable power sources if we are going to build considerable facilities in our area which is why we’ve been looking positively at establishing our own hydro power generation plant,” Mr Katu says.

The station can be built without damming the complete width of the stream, so the habitat for eels and other fish will be protected.


Seven glass kumara etched with words about peace, healing and spiritual ties to the land have won an Auckland artist a national Matariki art award.

"Ko nga hua o Rongomaraeroa" uses the humble vegetable to explore re-generation, re-birth and whakapapa - which all fit nicely with the celebration of the Maori New Year.

Claudine Muru, who affiliates to Ngati Kuri, Te Aupouri, Te Rarawa, Tapu Ika, Te Arawa and Ngai Te Rangi, says the work was inspired by her uncle, artist Selwyn Muru.

“He's the one that actually told me the stories around kumara plots up north and how the communities planted them together and the significance overall so I’m quite grateful to him,” Muru says.

The enamel paint used to write on the glass is the same high temperature paint used by NASA to coat space ships.


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