Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, June 27, 2008

Equal shares good call for top of south

An iwi negotiator is welcoming a Waitangi Tribunal recommendation that any northern South Island settlement should be shared equally among the eight tribes in the region.

Richard Bradley from Rangitane says it was an approach suggested several years ago by his Kurahaupo Cluster, but rejected by other iwi who claimed their history of conquest entitled them to a larger share.

He says the tribunal's pre-publication report rejects that argument and upholds customary ownership by the people living on the land.

Mr Bradley says it will be hard to get a settlement package that makes everyone happy.

“I think all of the iwi in the top of the south are disadvantaged because a large percentage of Te Tau Ihu is national parks now, and so some of the cultural redress that might be available isn’t available under the current Crown policy because national parks are super super tapu on behalf of all New Zealanders, irrespective of how the Crown got it,” Mr Bradley says.

The Kurahaupo cluster is close to reaching an agreement in principle with the Crown.

UNDERPERFORMING SCHOOLS WILL BE CANED

John Key is promising to get tough on schools if it becomes the next government.

The National Party leader says it's unacceptable so many Maori leave schools with no qualifications.

He says standards need to be lifted.

“A National government will be a lot more demanding about educational standards, a lot more demanding about underperformance in schools, a lot more demanding on failing schools. That is going to reflect over time in a lot of New Zealanders and Maori New Zealanders with a much better education and therefore a much better future,” Mr Key says.

MARAE LEARNING CIVIL DEFENCE ROLE

Marae in Wairoa are learning the best ways to handle emergencies.

Trevor Stone from Civil Defence says meeting houses are often the gathering points for communities in times of trouble.

He says while that works in some situations, such as after the recent fire in the disused Patea freezing works, there are other times when a Plan B is needed.

“Particularly for arguments sake something along the line of pandemics when gathering everyone together may not be the ultimate choice that we may have, and how they would support in a pandemic particularly vulnerable people, elders and people with disabilities that are scattered around the marae area,” Mr Stone says.

While marae often have an informal system of dealing with an influx of manuhiri, a set plan allows everyone to know what to do if the usual kaimahi are cut off by natural disasters such as flooding or earthquakes.

PORT NICHOLSON CLAIMANTS WANT QUICK WINS

Port Nicholson Block negotiators are hoping for a quick response from their beneficiaries to the draft Deed of Settlement signed off yesterday.

It covers the loss social, economic and cultural opportunities claims by Taranaki Whanui because of the way they were deprived of their land around Wellington.

The settlement includes more than $25 million cash, and the right to buy and lease back $120 of government properties around the city.

Chief negotiator Ngatata Love says the deal is even better than the one set out in last year's agreement in principle, and it's likely to win favour.

“There will be the opportunity if there is a need to look at some of the ideas that have come through but we’re relatively confident that what we will be taking out will be acceptable to people because of the time that has gone into it over many years and the consultation that’s taken place in the past,” Professor Love says

There will be hui throughout the country, as well as in Sydney and Brisbane.

GP GETS EXTENSION ON HARVARD HARKNESS OE

A Whangarei general practioner has just landed a job with one of the world's top universities.

Shane Reti, from Ngapuhi and Tainui, is currently studying at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.

He's been asked to stay on after his Harkness Fellowship ends in September.

One of his first jobs will be helping the United Arab Emirates reform its health system.

“Well what a wonderful opportunity. How many times in your lifetime do you get a chance to help design a whole new health system from scratch in a country with money. That comes very rarely and will be a huge set of skills that I look forward to bringing home,” Dr Reti says.

His Maori approach to presentations, including poroporoaki and waiata, intrigued the Americans... and opened a lot of doors.

MAORI SURFERS OFF TO TAHITI

A team of the country's best Maori surfers is off to ride the waves off Tahiti.

The twelve-strong team is contesting the Oceania Cup alongside indigenous surfers from eight other Pacific nations including Hawaii, Rarotonga, Fiji and Australia.

Team manager Chris Malone from Te Aitanga mahaki says they're out to retain their number one ranking.

He says it's the most culturally rich professional event, as the various islands come together and show each other their culture.

Malone will be trying to maintain the form that won him the Billabong open men's final in last weekend's Maori Tri Series at Raglan.

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