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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pumautanga to witness bill reading

Parliament's galleries will be packed this afternoon with members of Te Pumautanga o te Arawa.

They've come to Wellington to witness the first reading of a bill settling the historical claims of iwi and hapu from around Rotorua.

The original proposal signed in 2006 was changed to fit in with the wider central North Island forestry settlement, which Te Pumautanga is also now part of.

The revised deal is worth about $100 million, and includes the transfer of 19 sites of significance and a say in the management of Crown land.

Eru George, the chair of Te Pumautanga, says it's worth the wait.

“We've done quite well out of it and we didn’t know how we were going to approach the situation. We were given guarantees by the Crown that our settlement would not be harmed in any way, and so working through the negotiations to life our settlement higher has meant we will walk away with money in the hand and not a debt,” Mr George says,

Many in Te Pumautanga will stick around to take part in Wednesday's signing of the Treelord forestry deal.

ITI POLITICS INDIGESTIBLE TO READERS

Maori are some of the most trusted and least trusted New Zealanders.

The eighth annual Reader's Digest Most Trusted survey listed Victoria Cross winner Willie Apiata as our most trustworthy citizen.

But Maori dominate the bottom of the list.

Former cop Clint Rickard is the least trusted, Tuhoe artist Tame Iti is third from bottom and Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia only two places up.

Mr Iti says that's the price Maori pay for speaking out.

“I mean you ask many people who know me and Tariana, we’re not bad people, we just have a strong opinion which is different to the mainstream opinion, so I’m quite happy to be listed as number three,” he says.

Mr Iti leaves for London today for further performances of Lemi Ponifasio's The Tempest, after being forced to return from Europe during a break in production as a condition of his police bail.

WHANGARURU INSPIRED MATARIKI ARTWORKS

A Ngati Wai artist says his papakainga was the inspiration for his latest work.

Carwyn Ngere is showing bone carvings, paintings and screen prints as part of a Matariki group show at Whangarei's Porcine Gallery.

He drew on memories of growing up in Whangaruru, on the coast northeast of the city.

The exhibition also includes a sound art piece about Ngere’s childhood in Whangaruru.

PETERS “MORE POSITIONS THAN THE KAMA SUTRA”

A former adversary believes Winston Peters may have the formula to reclaim Tauranga.

in current polling, the New Zealand First leader's political future depends on winning back the seat he lost last election.

John Tamihere says Mr Peters' strongest supporters tend to be men aged 55 and older who respond to his mix of nostalgia, Maori bashing and immigrant bashing.

But the former Labour Cabinet minister says they will need to overlook their champion's track record.

“He's got more positions than the Kama Sutra on things. I mean the longer that you stay there, you’re all over the shop. You’ve been supportive of one policy. Three years later you’re absolutely against it and can articulate a wonderful response. So hypocrisy’s probably too harsh a comment but people say if you’re slimy, smarmy, can lie well and are a hypocrite, you will be a good politician,” Mr Tamihere says.

TE PAPA COUNTS HEADS STILL TO COME

Six down, 400 to go.

That's the sort of count Te Papa Tongarewa is looking at in its efforts to bring home the remains of Maori held in overseas museums.

Four koiwi tangata or bones and two toi moko or preserved heads held by Canadian museums were returned last week and placed in the museum's waahi tapu.

The repatriation manager, Te Herekiekie Herewini, says it took three years to negotiate their return.

He says similar talks are going on with institutions around the world.

“Based on our research of holdings of our tupuna in Europe and the United States and other countries we have about 453 of our tupuna overseas that we want to repatriate, probably over the next five to ten years,” Mr Herewini says,

The museum will try to identify where the repatriated koiwi originated, so they can be returned to their tribal areas for burial.

ITI TAKES ON THE TEMPEST IN TUHOE ISLAND

A very modern, very Maori take on The Tempest opens at the London International Festival of Theatre this week.

Tame Iti, who has the lead role of Prospero, says he wasn't familiar with the play when he was first approached by director Lemi Ponifasio.

His performance is entirely in te reo Maori, but he says body language can convey a lot of the story ... especially to a theatre savvy crowd.

“Tempest is the korero around that fella on the island, and he happens to be the magical fella, and so I am the Tempest and the little island is the rohe potae of Tuhoe in the Urewera, so it’s based around that story of civil rights so the korero is around that. I love it. I think there is a lot of potential in that kind of approach,” Iti says.

He leaves for London today after being forced to return from Europe during a break in production to meet conditions of his bail on charges relating to October terror raids.

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