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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Tamaki ki Raro missing in Tainui equation

The Waitangi Tribunal has asked the Crown whether it has considered Ngati Te Ata in its proposed settlement of the Waikato River claim.

The south Auckland iwi is seeking an urgent hearing because it says it has been kept out of the negotiations and the proposed river guardians group, even though it is the kaitiaki of the river downstream of Meremere.

Spokesperson Roimata Minhinnick says the iwi has its own identity, but this seems to ignored by other parts of the Tainui waka.

“We understand the saying within the waka, Mokau ki runga, that’s Maniapoto, Tamaki ki raro, well that’s us. Then there’s Pare Hauraki, our whanaunga over in Hauraki, and then there’s Pare Waikato, and that’s Waikato. That’s the river tribes. And I think the part they’re kind of forgetting is the Tamaki ki raro, which is who we are,” Mr Minhinnick says.

He says the agreement in principle will give Waikato-Tainui rights to river islands and banks which traditionally belonged to Ngati Te Ata o Waiohua.

HONOURS HELP KEEP THE FUNDS FLOWING

A Maori environmentalist says accepting a Queens Birthday honour was a way to reinforce the value of Maori initiatives.

Mike Mohi is from Nga Whenua Rahui, which protects private Maori land with significant conservation values.

He says accepting the Queen's Service Medal was about what was good for the sector, rather than for himself.

“You actually have to do that to keep the funding going for Maori, and if you sort of snub your nose at it, in the end they’re the ones controlling the putea and we as Maori are always grizzling we’re not getting enough, so it’s people who are in the front line have to stand up and say we’re doing this for the good of the nation and by doing this keep the funding rolling in for Maori generally,” Mr Mohi says.

His daughter, singer Hinewehi Mohi, was also on the honours list as a member of the Order of New Zealand.

CHILDREN’S BOOK A FAMILY AFFAIR FOR GRACE
Writing can be a solitary exercise ... but a leading Maori writer says her latest project was a family affair.

Patricia Grace is best known for adult novels such as Potiki and Dogside Story, but she has also written for tamariki, from one of her earliest books, The Kuia and the Spider.

Her new children's book ... Maraea and the Albatross ... is about a kuia who lives high on the cliff tops near an albatross colony.

She says it’s been translated into a Maori version by her husband, Dick Grace, and the illustrations were done by her brother, Brian Gunson.

KAIPARA GETS ON NEGOTIATION SCHEDULE

The Crown has added another iwi to its crowded negotiation schedule.

The Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Michael Cullen, today signed terms with Ngâti Whatua o Kaipara which is aimed at getting an agreement in principle by March next year.

Margaret Kawharu, the iwi's claims manager, says the main grievances relate to the Woodhill State Forest, which contains many significant waahi tapu, and the Riverhead forest.

The claim was lodged in 1992, and a final Waitangi Tribunal report came out almost three years ago.

Despite the government having another dozen negotiations on the go, Ms Kawharu says Ngati Whatua is optimistic about progress.

“We're very heartened by Dr Cullen’s approach. We’re anxious to move while we have this minister, this government. Who knows what will happen but I expect the Office of Treaty Settlements will carry on the work, whichever government is in place,” she says.

Ngati Whatua o Kaipara has been ready to talk since the Waitangi Tribunal issued an interim report six years ago.

TESTING TIME FOR BLACK CANDIDATE

The Minister of Maori Affairs expects American presidential candidate Barack Obama to be in for a torrid time as he juggles the desires of different interest groups.

Parekura Horomia says as the first African-American to secure of the Democratic Party nomination, Mr Obama will always face questions over race.

He says Maori MPs have faced similar challenges.

“What you do realise as a coloured person as people put it, or indigenous person in politics that you’ve got to insure, in getting your people’s activities forward and putting them in a better place for the future, is that there are a lot of other interest groups that you have got to struggle against over a period of time, and he will certainly have that,” Mr Horomia says Barack Obama is a great modern American.

MATARIKI BOOK PICKED UP FOR WIDER RELEASE

A book produced for Bay of Plenty students has been given a national release.

Toni Rolleston Cummins, a journalist turned teacher, wrote The Seven Stars of Matariki as a resource for Maketu Primary school.

A copy found its way to Huia Publishers, who picked it up.
She says the reaction to her first book was inspiring.

Ms Rolleston Cummins says she has since written a large number of mythological stories, many drawing on Te Arawa landmarks.

The Seven Stars of Matariki will be launched at Matariki celebrations at Te Papa in Wellington on Saturday.

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