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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hard work bedding in Treelord

The biggest treaty deal yet has been signed, and now the hard work begins.

A collective of iwi yesterday signed off on a settlement which will given them almost 90 percent of Kaingaroa and other central North island forests as well as $220 million in accumulated rents.

It’s just the down payment.

Yesterday's Treelord deal covers the commercial part of the settlement, using assets which have been held in trust while ownership of the land under the forests was worked out.

That proved too hard over the past two decades, but a the end of last year Tuwharetoa leader Tumu te Heuheu approached the government with a radical proposal – let the tribes sort it out.

A thousand tribes people were on hand yesterday to assert that they had sorted it out.

While a company is set up to run the forests, the individual iwi will go back in to finish off their individual settlements of historic grievances.

Tuhoe is already talking.

Ngati Raukawa signed terms of negotiation yesterday afternoon, which include its relationship with the Waikato River.

Ngati Manawa will pick up negotiations suspended while the CNI deal was hammered out, and two iwi not in the collective, Ngati Makino and Waitaha, are also in talks.

And at the head of Te Ika a Maui, the Port Nicholson claimants are this afternoon due to sign a draft deed of settlement for claims around the Wellington harbour.


Now comes the hard part.

That's the warning to tribal leaders in the Central North Island after the historic deals signed this week, from New Zealand First Maori Affairs spokesman, Pita Paraone.

The deal is worth $200 million dollars in forestry assets and $220 million in cash.

Mr Paraone says the challenge facing iwi, is to ensure all all tribal members benefit from the deal.

“It’s one thing to have fought the battle to have their claims settled but I think the war is just beginning. It’s one thing to get the resource but it’s another thing to look after it, to develop and grow it so that the tribe benefits as a whole,” Mr Paraone says.

He says land returned is safe in Maori hands and won't be sold to overseas interests.


He is known for his challenging performances on marae and public spaces, but Tame Iti says he doesn't do the haka any more.

That's because its impact has been diluted by the highly-schooled moves of the Maori performing arts groups.

The Tuhoe controversialist says he finds today's haka slick and boring.

“Haka ought to be something that creates a dialogue, that provoke, like being on the marae atea. Now kapa haka becomes on stage, looks good and got no true meaning,” Mr Iti says.

He stopped doing the haka after the 1990 Waitangi protest.


A Maori historian says trusting the tribes is paying dividends for the government

The Crown yesterday signed a deed of settlement with a collective of Central North Island iwi, which will put almost 200 million dollars in forestry assets and a similiar amount in cash into their hands.

Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and Indigenous studies at Canterbury Univeristy says the government has learnt from criticism from the Waitingi Tribunal about the way it has been negotiating claims.

He says the flexible new approach appears to be working.

“You'd have to take your hat off to Cullen for this and it’s really apparent in the CNI deal and in the Te Arawa deal that there’s a lot more trust in tribes. Tuwharetoa, Ngati Rangitihi, Tuhoe, Te Arawa, they were lest to work out their problems amongst themselves in terms of crossovers and boundaries and things like that and they did a really great job and so it’s been a huge success,” Mr Taonui says.


A new trust wants to bring tamariki in Te Tai Tokerau the benefits of technology.

Lawrence Zwimpfer from the 20/20 Far North ITC Trust says rural kids should have the same access to computers as their city cousins.

The trust wants to make sure that when broadband finally arrives households and marae can make good use of the technology.

He says while 87 percent of urban children have access to computers at home, less than half the households in the Far North are online.

Lawrence Zwimpfer says the trust wants to see a computer connected to the internet in all homes with school-aged children


Tobacco control workers from around the country have gathered in Wellington to talk about the best ways to tackle smoking.

Kapuarangi Kaka from Aukati Kaipaipa says the inaugural hui is a one stop shop for health workers, allowing them to swap ideas with others on the front line.
She says for Aukati Kaipaipa, a key to their success is meeting people kanohi ki te kanohi, face to face, so they casn work out the best interventions and treatment.


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