Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Trawler beaching puts toheroa at risk

Far North iwi fear a diesel spill on Ninety Mile Beach could have long-lasting effects on the natural resources of the area.

Up to 5000 litres may have leaked from the 23 metre trawler Kumea II, which beached at Waipapakauri Ramp on Monday.

Reuben Porter from Te Rarawa says while the Northland Regional Council has assured the iwi that the contamination is under control, the health of the iwi is at stake.

"Where that trawler is right now is full of tuatua and toheroa. The owner says its a $1.5 million investment he's lost because of the accident. That's our sustenance for our people, and if we lose that, it's a bgt more significant than a fishing boat," Mr Porter says.

The area round Waipapakauri is disputed between Te Rarawa, te Aupouri and Ngai Takoto.

King Tuheita has marked the second anniversary of his coronation with a rare public speech.

He reached back to the words of his ancestor, the second Maori king, Tawhiao, that Tainui be resolute in pursuit of the health of the people.

Health and unity were the key focuses, referring back to the traditions of the ancestors who practiced the use of karakia and water for healing. He encoruaged people to use both traditional practices and western medicines to improve health.

These things also reflected his thoughts in light of the signing of the Waikato Tainui river settlement tomorrow in which he says if the river is well, so too are the people, and as long as the river is fit, the battle will never cease for the health and well being of the river.


The Koroneihana has drawn politicians to Ngaruawahia, including deputy Prime Minister Michel Cullen, who is still negotiating the fine details of tomorrow's river settlement, and National's leader John Key.

Mr Key has previously met King Tuheitia informally during the Mystery Creek fielddays, but this was his first visit to the official headquarters of the Kingitanga.

"It was really nice reception down there. It's a good feeling in Tainui. Obviously they've got the river settlement on Friday, and just physically being there, going into the ancestral meeting house (Mahinarangi) afterwards for a cup of tea, it's really a beautiful meeting house I've got to say, and a lot of the artifacts sitting in the front, it's remarkable really," Mr Key says.

He's feeling more comfortable on marae as he gets used to the tikanga.


The fate of Waikato's west coast harbours has been left for another day.

The harbours have been excluded from the Waikato River settlement which is expected to be signed at Koroneihana celebrations at Turangawaewae tomorrow morning.

Waikato-Tainui negotiators have been talking all this week with the Minister of Treaty negotiations to finalise the deal which will give the tribe a greater say in how the river is managed.

Maori Affairs minister Parekura Horomia says getting a timely deal meant the parties had to leave out the harbours.

"Certainly that's the next stage, that's how they set it up there, and when they did the raupatu and the lands they were quite specific about sorting this and I think their negotiators, Raiha Lady Mahuta and Tukoroirangi Morgan have done an outstanding job, as have our senior officials who fronted the negotiations with the group of ministers," Mr Horomia says.

The settlement is expected to set an international precedent in indigenous co-management.


An ancient Rotorua village has made the Lonely Planet travel guide's list of its top 10 Maori experiences.

Whakarewarewa is built in a geothermal valley on the edge of the city.

Justin Te Hau, the village's marketing co-ordinator, says it's home to Ngati Wahiao and to Tuhourangi descendants of the survivors of the 1886 Mount Tarawera eruption.

He says visitors appreciate a slice of life which is unique even in Maori terms.

"When people do come they say they love the fact there are normal houses, there's washing on the line, there's people walking around, three, four, five generations of descendants of the guides at the original Pink and White Terraces so you're going to get family history, them growing up, jumping off the bridge, going for a bath, cooking in the hangi, cooking in the steam and the hot water," Mr Te Hau says.

Inclusion in Lonely Planet should boost visitor numbers.

A full strength New Zealand Maori rugby league team is set to tackle the All Golds in Taranaki on October the 12th.

It's the first time the All Gold jersey will have been worn on these shores since the first game of league was played here by a joint Australia-New Zealand team a century ago.

It will be a tribute to former Kiwi skipper Ruben Wiki, and the players are treating it as a build-up to the World Cup later that month, when the Maori team plays an opening night curtain raiser against an Australian Aboriginal team.

The chair of New Zealand Maori Rugby League, Howie Tamati, says apart from the Kiwi squad members playing in the All Golds, the Maori selectors can pick from all the top tier players.

"This is the first time we've had access to NRL and Superleague quality players so the team that runs out on the park both at the All Golds game in New Plymouth and the world cup opener will be the best we can filed, all experienced professional rugby league players," Mr Tamati says.

Former NRL player Luke Goodwin is the new Maori coach, and he's getting advice from former Aussie coach Chris Anderson.


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