Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Te Pumautanga bill read

Supporters of Te Pumautanga o te Arawa packed the halls of Parliament this afternoon for the first reading of a bill settling historic claims in the Rotorua region.

The settlement was modified to fit in with the larger central North Island forestry settlement, which will be signed tomorrow.

Chairperson Eru George says Te Pumautanga's patience and flexibility has paid off, with the revised offer being substantially larger than the initial deal two years ago.

He says there's a great feeling of jubilation among those in Wellington, and back at the hau kainga.

Te Pumautanga is holding high level discussions about how the Te Arawa lakes, lands and fisheries settlement trusts can work together.


Meanwhile, the Prime Minister says the economic benefits of treaty settlements are improving the way Maori are seen around the motu.

Helen Clark says because they are tangata whenua, iwi tend to invest their settlements in their own regions rather than move the capital offshore.

She says Ngai Tahu and Tainui have become major economic players in their own regions, and that will be seen elsewhere.

“You see the potential for iwi across the land to become very significant players in economic development and investment and also in social and educational and other development as well. It has completely changed the way Maori are viewed by the general community. It has raised status. It has raised esteem. It has meant Maori have been able to take their rightful place. I think it's fantastic,” Ms Clark says.


Retirement may mean rest and relaxation for some, but not for Whai Ngata.

The outgoing general manager of Maori Broadcasting at TVNZ is already working on his next project - updating an English - Maori dictionary.

The second edition will include words that weren't around when it was published in 1993, but are in common usage today.

Mr Ngata says many of them, like the word for computer, rorohiko or electric brain, draw on Maori concepts rather than transliterate from English.

Whai Ngata took over preparation of the H.M Ngata dictionary after the death of his father Hori Ngata in 1989.


The police Maori strategic advisor says a small number of families are responsible for the perception there is a lot of Maori crime.

Huri Dennis says all Maori end up bearing the brunt of misconceptions about Maori crime.

He says it's not as big a problem as it appears.

“There is a core group, potentially some families perhaps, who are committing repeat offences in areas and they are just blowing this whole thing, these statistics, and putting them in areas where they are, and our focus is around these groups, is around these potential families, and we’re getting as little bit sharper in terms of identifying who these people are and dealing with them,” Mr Dennis says.

Police are using partner agencies and Maori service providers to help the families help themselves to change.


A mysterious skull found in the Hokianga has sparked the curiosity of authorities and local hapu.

Police were initially worried about a bullet-shaped hole in the skull found near Opononi, but forensic examination established the koiwi was pre-European.

John Klaricich, a kaumatua of Ngati Korokoro, says it did not come from a known urupa or burial cave.

He says the hapu hopes the examination can determine the gender and age of the tupuna.

“When something like that exposes itself in a place where nothing like that has been found before, but still in proximity to the old pa sites and that, there’s always a curiosity. There’s always that cultural thing, to deal with it as sensitively as you can, but there’s also a point, it’s like someone arriving on your doorstep and saying hello to you, and you not asking who they are,” Mr Klaricich says.

Ngati Korokoro will try to locate the rest of the remains so they can be reintered with the skull.


The New Zealand Maori rugby team has notched up three wins in the Pacific Cup, and it will be out to keep up its 100 percent record against Japan in Napier this weekend.

Former All Black and Maori flanker Eric Rush says they were great performances against Fiji, Tonga and Samoa, given the unavailability of many top players when coach Donny Stephenson picks his squad.

He says many top Maori players are now plying their trade offshore.

“They've lost a lot of guys overseas, you know it’s the guys just under the All Blacks used to go but now it’s all the All Blacks and the guys in the next level so you can only bleed players for so long before the barrel starts to look bare so there’s probably a lack of depth there, that's for sure,” Mr Rush says.

He picks the Maori team to play off against Australia A to make the final of the six nation tournament.


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