Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Greens win insulation from climate change back down

The Green's Maori affairs spokesperson says low income Maori families will be among the first to benefit from a deal the party won for its support of the Government's emissions trading scheme.

Meteria Turei says support was price was the establishment of a billion dollar fund to be used over the next 15 years to insulate state houses and those of low and middle income earners.

She says families living in cold damp overcrowded conditions are vulnerable to respiratory conditions like bronchitis and asthma, which put a burden on the health system.

"By trying to fix the problem through this emissions trading scheme and this mechanism we've managed to get a real gain out of it for both the health and well being of our families but also helping us to save money to at a time food is going up, fuel is going up and because we're the ones generally tending to the bottom of the income bracket we're the ones going to suffer the most," Ms Turei says.

Roof and floor insulation and water and hot water cylinder wraps are proven to help, but they're often out of reach for poor families or those in rental accommodation.

A member of a Maori development think tank says Maori organisations have to start making their assets work for them.

Shaan Stevens from the Hui Taumata task force addressed a Maori Business Symposium in Dunedin this week on the growth of Maori entrepreneurship at the individual and group level.

He says many land trusts and incorporations are starting to work with outside organisations like Crown research institutes on how they can unlock the potential of their land and people.

He says the days of ultra-conservative management are on their way out.

"If you've got the land or assets you've either got to use it or lose it. We've seen a lot of Maori trusts and incorporations who are doing nothing with their resources because sometime they think that's the safe thing to do, whereas often they're not even generating enough to pay the rates and pay other bills and putting the thing they were trying to protect at risk inadvertently," Mr Stevens says.

Danniverke-based Rangitane o Tamaki nui a Rua wants Contact Energy to do a cultural impact study on a proposed windfarm on the Puketoi ranges.

Cultural advisor Manahi Paewai says the 65-turbine farm east of Pahiatua could affect the ecosystem of the Mangaatoro stream.

He says the area is significant to north Wairarapa iwi.

"Branches of Rangitane are (associated) with that range and of course we still have descendants of those groups in our area. We will be going in to talks on the composition of a cultural impact report," Mr Paewai says.

He says it's too early to say if iwi will support or oppose the Contact plan.


A leading treaty historian warns some of the current surge of settlements will fail ... but they're a sign the Government has learned important lessons about dealing with Maori.

Michael Belgrave gave the chancellor's lecture at Massey University today on whether there is an end in sight to treaty settlements.

He says the September the first deadline for lodging historical treaty claims was a non-solution to a non-problem, as the Waitangi Tribunal was well advanced on reporting on claims region by region.

The bottleneck has been the Crown's ability to negotiate settlements, and that became bogged down in bureacracy until the portfolio was handed to deputy prime minister Michael Cullen.

Professor Belgrave says recent deals like the Wellington Harbour and Waikato River settlements are just the tip of the iceberg.

"Will these settlements be successful? Some of them won't. Some of them will turn out to be too riushed. Some of them won't turn out to have the mandate that is expected. And you have to be careful because often a settlement is announced when really all that is being announced is an agreement to work towards a settlement," Professor Belgrave says.

He says Dr Cullen has learned the lessons of George Grey, Duncan McLean, Michael Joseph Savage and Jim Bolger ... that settlements need to be conducted at a high level, and a flexible approach is needed.

Meanwhile, New Zealand First is indicating support for the Treelord settlement if the Government can get legislation through its stages before the house rises.

Leader Winston Peters says the party has done what it can to help the Treaty Negotiation Minister, Michael Cullen, bring the central North island forestry claims to a conclusion.

That included using what influence it had among the tribes to push for a unified settlement.

"Because all I could see was another 20, 25 years of wasted time and arguments and it's counterproductive for this country and so yes, in that context I have been supportive and I've put a lot of time and so have a lot of my workers, put a lot of time into trying to get that unity and we've seen the consequence this year, just a short while ago when we got a settlement no one thought was possible at the start of the year 2008," Mr Peters says.

He says central North Island Maori have a chance of a lifetime to put the past behind them if they can put aside internicine arguments.

A veteran Maori journalist says Maori and migrant nations are not being accurately reflected in the media.

Ana Tapiata from Kawea Te Rongo, the Maori Journalists Association, spoke to yesterday's Human Rights Commission Diversity Forum, which focused on languages, religion and media as part of the face of changing New Zealand.

She says Maori make up only about three percent of the journalism workforce, 1 percent are Asian and a similar amount Pacific Island, so Maori people's stories and those of others aren't being accurately reported in the media.


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