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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Treaty top-ups inevitable

Wednesday June 18

The prime minister expects Ngai Tahu and Tainui will have their treaty settlements topped up.

Under the terms of the settlements a decade ago, the first two tribes to settle large historic claims were guaranteed 17 percent each of the total settlement pool - which at that time was fixed at a billion dollars.

The Labour led government has officially dropped the fiscal cap, even though subsequent settlements have supposedly benchmarked on the earlier ones.

Helen Clark says the evolution of the settlement process means it's now clear it will cost more than a billion dollars to address the damage of the past.

“Their ratchet clauses are built around when settlements all up go over the billion dollar mark and I think it’s inevitable that will be passed at some point so let’s address it when it happens,” Ms Clark says.

The Government doesn't expect the cap to be blown by the central North Island forestry settlement which is expected to be finalised by next week, because most of the half billion dollar putea comes out of accumulated lease payments which are treated separately.

STILL BAD TIMES FOR TE REO IN MAINSTREAM

Parliament's Maori affairs select committee is unhappy with government-funded Maori language programming getting poor time slots.
Chairperson Dave Hereora says a review of Te Mangai Paho's financial management revealed the problem isn't going away.

TVNZ gets five and a half million dollars from the Maori broadcast funding agency for programmes like Te Karere, Waka Huia, and Marae, which continue to be shown at times that are not ideal for reaching large audiences.

“Te Mangai Paho told us it continues to strongly advocate prime time scheduling for all programmes it funds but it has to balance it with a wish for prime time audiences against commercial consideration of broadcasters such as Television New Zealand and the need for te reo Maori programmes to continue to be shown on mainstream free to air television,” Mr Hereora says.

As New Zealand on Air is now funding some Maori content, Te Mangai Paho is able to increase its focus on programmes for fluent Maori speakers.

PROPOSAL TO COMPOST NORTHLAND GREENWASTE

A Maori incorporation and a Northland environmental firm have a cunning plan for 15,000-plus tonnes of Whangarei's rubbish.

Rewarewa D Incorporation and Community Business and Environment Centre, have put a proposal to the Far North Councils to treat the material locally rather than trucking it south to Albany.

Hinemoa Apetera, the incorporation's secretary, says they have an 80 hectare block, right next to the council's recycling station, which could be used to compost Whangarei's green waste.

She says they've been thinking about ways to use the land since the tip closed in the late 1990s.

YOUTH DRUG PROBLEM IGNORED BY COURT

A New Zealand First MP says the mayhem on South Auckland streets isn't helped by a court system that has no answers for drug and alcohol problems.

Ron Mark says people in the justice system can see where teenagers are going wrong, but the Youth Court can't compel them to do anything to tackle their problems.

“We have so many kids in the early stages of family group conferences who confess and admit to drug use and extensive drug use and there is no compulsion in the youth justice system that forces those kids onto drug and alcohol rehab courses. Then we wonder why they continue to get into trouble. It’s the damn system itself that fails those kids because the kids are never going to volunteer,” Mr Mark says.

Most Maori are in favour of some sort of compulsory military training as a way to give rangatahi some self-discipline.

GRANT TO PROMOTE MORIORI CULTURE

The unique place of Moriori within New Zealand has been recognised by the government.

Last night the Prime Minister announced a one-off grant of six million dollars to protect the history of the country's most remote tangata whenua... the inhabitants of Rekohu and Rangiauria... the Chatham and Pitt Islands.

Ruth Dyson, the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, believes Maori culture is now accepted as an important part of New Zealand society.

She says a similar effort needs to go into elevating Moriori culture.

The Te Keke Tura Moriori Identity trust will work to preserve and promote the identity, heritage and distinct culture of te iwi Moriori.

“The history is actually very fragmented. There’s very little written history, the oral history is quite dispersed, and it’s going to be a very big challenge to try and pull all those components together so the actual history in its broadest sense can be preserved and then of course comes the next challenge of ensuring that that history is well known and understood and therefore valued by the rest of New Zealand,” Ms Dyson says.

ORAKEI OPENS DOORS FOR MATARIKI CELEBRATION

A wharekai with one of the most beautiful views in the country is opening its doors open to people who have never been on a marae.

All cultures are being welcomed to the Matariki Dinner at Orakei Marae on Saturday.

Organiser Donna Tamaariki says as well as the million dollar view across the harbour to Rangitoto, the manuhiri can listen to top Maori entertainers including Betty Anne and Ryan Monga from Ardijah, Ngatapa Black, kapahaka roopu Te Puru O Tamaki, and the Selwyn College kapahaka group.
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