Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, August 22, 2008

River claim signing today

The Crown and Waikato Tainui will this morning sign a final settlement on the tribe's long-running river claim.

Since an agreement in principle was signed last December, the iwi has been working with local and central government officials on the structures required to give it a real say in the management of the awa.

Parekura Horomia, the Minister of Maori Affairs, says the document which will be presented at the Koroneihana Hui at Ngaruawahia will set international precedents.

"The newness and the greatness of this is about serious partners recognising that each has their own mana and at the end of the day there will be times where there's scope for them to disagree but most of the time they will agree and get on with the business," he says.

Mr Horomia says the settlement moves on from questions of ownership to address what is best for the health of the river ecosystem.

National's leader John Key has defended the ranking of former cabinet minister Georgina te Heuheu in his party's list.

Metiria Turei, the Greens' Maori affairs spokesperson, says putting Mrs te Heuheu behind two first term MPs and former party president Stephen Joyce is a sign of disrespect to the lawyer and former Waitangi Tribunal member.

But Mr Key says number 17 is a promotion of four places on her caucus ranking.

He says the list was used to promote greater diversity in the party, especially in the group from 35 to 38.

"That group is Hekia Parata, someone I have enormous respect for and on her ranking will be a member of Parliament, Melissa Lee, who will be New Zealand's first Korean MP, Kanwal Bakshi who will be our first Indian MP and Sam Lotu-liga who will be a very important member of our team and is of Pacific Island ethnicity," he says.

Mr Key says at 48 on the list, Paul Quinn from Ngati Awa is also assured a seat in parliament unless national performs worse than it did in 2005.

Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa is considering a treaty claim over its dealings with the Hamilton City Council.

Matiu Dickson, who chairs the city's urban Maori authority, says the relationship runs between warm and cold, depending largely on who is the mayor.

He says while the council is failing in its responsibilities towards Maori under both the Resource Management Act and the Local Government Act, the claim will be against the Crown, which has the power to mandate how councils interact with tangata whenua.

"It's to do with making a piece of legislation that was intended to work for us Maori people work for us, and it just doesn't at the moment, and our situation is no different from any other group of Maori people at any other local authority too," Mr Dickson says.

The council has little budget for Maori issues and there is no representation for Maori on the council.


A Taranaki surfer wants the South Taranaki District Council to sort out access to a popular beach which is alongside waahi tapu.

Maori owners at Mangahume, just south of Opunake, have put a two metre fence around three urupa, blocking access to what surfers consider a world-class break.

Wharehoka Wano from Maori Television's surfing show "Te Hikoi Mahanga" says while he sympathises with the concerns of the whanau, the problem can be fixed with goodwill and leadership.

He says most of the surfers respect the waahi tapu, but the problem has flared up because the council put the problem in the too hard basket.

A Maori lawyer says Winston Peters' relationship with his lawyer is something anyone who works in te ao Maori will appreciate.

The New Zealand First leader is under fire for a donation paid to his lawyer Brian Henry to settle legal bills, which was not declared on the party accounts or the register of MPs' interests.

Mr Henry told Parliament's ethics committee it's his policy not to tell politicians where donations come from, and he never bills Mr Peters directly.

Willie Te Aho says Maori lawyers are expected to work on behalf of whanau or iwi, and Pakeha lawyers face similar obligations.

He says those who do pro bono or aroha work do not expect payment, but if they do get a payment it's a bonus.

Maori artists are looking at how traditional and contemporary artforms can be used to research and teach indigenous knowledge.

Artists including Bob Jahnke [Pron 'Yaanke'], Donna Campbell and Kura Te Waru Rewiri are among those who will be at the Toi Awhio

Research symposium at Te Hotu Manawa o Rangitane Marae in Palmerston North this weekend.

Kim Marsh, the curriculum manager for hosts Te Wananga o Aotearoa, says one of the highlights will be a puppet show of the story of Pingao and Kakaho. which talks of the peace between Tangaroa and Tane.

Ms Marsh says it's a way to show the kai ako different ways of learning and presenting information. 



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