Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Rangitihi has route back to forest

A Bay of Plenty iwi has been offered a fast track back into the half billion dollar central North Island forestry settlement.

The Treelord deal is due to be signed off next week, with central North island iwi getting shares in a company to run 170,000 hectares of former state forests and a $230 million dollar putea held by the Crown Forestry Rental Trust.

A Ngati Rangitihi hui at Matata last weekend rejected the deal, which would see the iwi get 3.6 percent of the settlement.

Runanga officials allege the vote was lost because of standover tactics by gang members.

Michael Cullen, the Minister of Treaty Negotiations, says the government has come up with a common sense solution.

“That is to take Rangitihi out of the central North Island settlement at this point, to take the allocation which was going to be allocated to them and to add that to the 10 percent reserve the Crown was already holding for any further claims, but also to provide in effect an open entry route back into the deal for Rangitihi if they can sort out clearly their mandating and consenting issues to the collective deal,” Dr Cullen says.

The Ngati Rangitihi Runanga intends to redo the vote next month as a secret ballot.

VOTES AND VIEWS SAUGHT FROM TRANSTASMAN MAORI

A Maori Party candidate says Maori in Australia would move back if they see opportunities for themselves and their children.

Angeline Greensill was in Brisbane for family reasons, and took time out to campaign amongst expatriates.

The Waikato-Hauraki candidate says a big cluster of Maori crossed the Tasman in the early 1990s when the then National government cut benefits and services, and they are still keen to return home if conditions are right.

Ms Greensill says voters are concerned about putting kai on the table and petrol in the car, not about climate change and emissions trading.

FELLOW DOCS HONOUR PARATENE NGATA

A Ngati Porou doctor was honoured today at his home marae.

The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners went to Pakirikira Marae at Tokomaru Bay to make Paratene Ngata a Distinguished Fellow for his work in Maori health.

President Jonathan Fox says it's the highest honour the college can bestow, given to people who have made a contribution to general practice, and in Dr Ngata’s case, the contribution he has made as a member of his community,”

Dr Fox says the celebration also marks the tenth anniversary of a programme where medical students visit Ngati Porou to experience a different kind of medicine.

MORE WARDENS ON SOUTH AUCKLAND STREETS

Maori Wardens are helping police in the wake of a series of homicides in South Auckland.

Police in the city are working on three high profile crimes - the shooting of 30-year old Navtej Singh in his Manurewa liquor store, the beating of 80-year-old Yin Ping Yang in her Manurewa home, and the death of 39-year-old bakery owner Joanne Wang, who was run over in a Manukau carpark after her bag was snatched.

Wally Haumaha, the national manager of the police Maori Pacific and ethnic services, says the wardens help communities stand up against crime.

“And our Maori wardens, congratulations to them for providing support to our police and 20 of them being deployed in the south Auckland area to support the homicide investigation team. That for me is real money and real work and people getting out there to contribute and play their part in trying to keep those communities safe,” Superintendent Haumaha says.

KEY SUPPORT FOR TREE TREATY PACKAGE

National's leader says central North Island tribes need to be flexible to achieve settlement of their forestry claims.

John Key says his party is likely to support the half billion dollar Treelord deal, which is due to be signed off in Wellington next Wednesday.

He says there is the prospect of resolving some long term and very complex issues, but it will require give and take from iwi and hapu.

“The giving bit and the taking bit can be quite challenging when individuals look at their share and say ‘Hey, that doesn’t reflect what I think is the appropriate allocation,’ and I suppose in one sense what people have to consider is it worth losing a bit on what they consider they might be entitled to for the overall deal to go through and to get the resources much quicker than they would otherwise get it if they individually negotiated,” Mr Key says.

CARON PAUL QUITS NGATI KOATA JOB

Nelson's Ngati Koata has lost some of its entrepreneurial spark.

Its chief executive, Caron Paul, and her husband and iwi representative Dion Paul, have left to pursue family business opportunities in Chile.

Chairperson Roma Hippolite says over the past three years the former New Zealand entrepreneur of the year helped the Ngati Koata Trust trade out of difficulties, and opened its eyes to new opportunities.

“We investigated several different business opportunities, some of which have come about and working well for us, and some of which we decided not to pursue, but we were very pleased with the work she had done and the help she had provided to the trust,” Mr Hippolite says.

Ngati Koata is finding it hard to find replace someone of Mrs Paul's calibre.

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