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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Ngati Te Ata snag in river deal

A south Auckland iwi is demanding a say in the proposed Waikato River settlement.

Nganeko Minihinnick from Ngati Te Ata o Waiohua, who lodged the trailblazing Manukau Claim 25 years ago, has asked the Waitangi Tribunal for an urgent hearing on the Agreement in Principle with Waikato Tainui.

Her son, Roimata Minhinnick, says Ngati Te Ata is the kaitiaki or guardian of the river from Meremere to its mouth.

He says the iwi has been excluded from the proposed Guardians of the Waikato River, and negotiators are refusing to meet and discuss its concerns.

He says the agreement shows Waikato-Tainui doesn't know the area it is claiming.

“They mentioned whitebait and tuna but, if you come to the river mouth right up our way November December and you are going to get a ton of kaimai and certain spots have got kahawai and there’s a whole lot of fish they are missing out and they wouldn’t know because they obviously don’t get it further down wherever they are,” Mr Minhinnick says.

He says the agreement will give Waikato Tainui the right to land beside the river, including traditional Ngati Te Ata waahi tapu, battle sites and customary fishing spots.


Seven thousand Maori voters have been purged from the Maori seats.

They are some of the 50,000 names removed in a pre-election clean up of the electoral rolls.

Murray Wicks, the national manager of the Electoral Enrolment Centre, says people who don't notify the centre of their address changes can miss out on their vote.

He says the centre is always looking for better ways to remind voters to keep their information up to date, and a texting campaign has been every successful.

Voters who text their name and address to 3736 will receive an enrolment pack.


There's a fresh push for a marae in a southern Hawkes Bay town.

The Waipukurau Community Trust has been trying for more than 20 years to build a place for tangi and other events, rather than have to use people's houses.

Spokesperson Robert Ropiha says land was secured in 1985, but the project ran out of steam after a kohanga reo and kaumatua flats were built.

The trust is trying to raise $4.2 million for a wharenui, dining hall and ablution block.

He says it's a chance for people to immerse themselves in the culture by doing the carvings in-house, rather than getting them made elsewhere like other marae have done.

The Waipukurau Community Trust will be comparing strategy with other new urban marae, Te Aranga in Flaxmere and Pukemokimoki in Maraenui.


Retiring Green MP Nandor Tanczos is being hailed as a strong advocate for Maori issues.

Colleague Metiria Turei says the Rastafarian MP made the Treaty of Waitangi the subject of his maiden speech, saying it gave him legitimacy as a Pakeha within New Zealand.

He was willing to use the treaty to cast light on complex issues such as the police shooting of Stephen Wallace in Waitara and the new prison at Ngawha.

“His marae based justice and restorative justice work, even cannabis law reform, all of that stuff he infused with the analysis around the treaty, that those issues were treaty issues, in some form, Maori issues in some form, and that analysis had to be made if justice was to be done,” Ms Turia says.

Mr Tanczos is expected to retire from Parliament when the House resumes ... making way for Green co-leader Russel Norman to become an MP.


A new study has estimated a breathing disorder common among Maori is costing the country around $40 million a year.

The Thoracic Society study says 4 percent of the population has sleep apnoea, which can leave sufferers feeling exhausted, even after a full night's sleep.

Sleep expert Alister Neill from Otago University says Maori and Pacific people are three times more likely to have the condition than Pakeha.

That’s because of higher levels of obesity and smoking.

“When that weight is carried in and around the neck, with a higher neck circumference, then that somehow seems to put pressure on the upper airway which makes it more likely to narrow and collapse while you are sleeping,” Dr Neill says.

The government needs to see sleep apnoea as a long term health issue and invest more on research and treatment.


Past and future come together in a new book of Maori art.

Te Kahui o Matariki looks at the evolving history of the Maori new year commemoration.

Editors Libby Hakaria and Colleen Waata Urlich have colected images and words from 41 senior artists.

Ms Hakaraia says they wanted to find the thinking behind the work.

She says they've collected the works and words of 41 senior artists who can be considered tuakana.


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