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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Maori taking hands on role in research

Maori approaches to research will be canvassed at a symposium starting in Christchurch today.

Rawiri Taonui from the Aotahi School of indigenous studies at Canterbury University, which is hosting Nga Kete a Rehua, says 300 Maori and Pakeha researchers from institutions around the country have registered.

He says it's a growing area of study, and Maori are making a real contribution to the way they are studied.

“Maori researchers tend to take better account of how their work is going to impact on Maori communities, how it’s going to contribute to Maori communities, and also how the views and the perspectives of Mari communities are with respect to academic research, which was something that was missing a decade or so ago,” Mr Taonui says.

The symposium will include papers from community members working in areas like health and education, who will tell the academics what they expect from them.


One of the last minute claims filed to the Waitangi Tribunal before Monday's deadline was over a live dispute at Matapouri northeast of Whangarei.

Kris Macdonald, the chair of Te Whanau o Rangiwhakaahu Hapu Charitable Trust, says it was filed in case no other way can be found to protect a waahi tapu on the coast.

The hapu say the land was part of a block it sold to the Crown in 1969 for a reserve.

Under a deal put through the Maori land court, a woman living in a house on the block was given a lifetime interest.

Now her descendants say the land is theirs, and they want to develop it.

Mr Macdonald says the land wasn't properly surveyed, and regardless of ownership, the land is too sacred to build on.

“Well it was used as a burial site. It was used as a site where traditional processes around preparing bodies for burial such as scraping and drying bones, wrapping them in flax and burying them, so the whole area is an urupa,” Mr Macdonald says.

As well as the treaty claim, the hapu is taking the Department of Conservation to the high court for mismanagement of the land transfer.


The gumfields of the far north are being remembered as the place a unique bond was formed.

Senka Bozic says that's where young men from the coast of Croatia, which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, came in the late 19th century and quickly formed relationships with Maori.

Dr Bozic's new book Tarara charts the course of many of those relationships, and includes many early photos treasured by whanau.

She says life digging kauri gum was hard, but it gave rise to many stories and memories which were passed on to the children of those original settlers who she interviewed in settlements like Ahipara, Awanui and Ngataki.

Senka Bozic migrated to New Zealand in 1996, and is currently a Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne.


A National Party Maori affairs spokesperson says John Key's exposure to Maori communities over the past year should help in any post-election talks with the Maori Party.

Georgina te Heuheu says Maori issues are a major part of any government's work, and that is only going to increase.

She says there has been a deliberate effort to help Mr Key develop relationships with Maori.

“I guess in the sense that one might be anticipating that there may be a need for some arrangements after the elections, we’ve focused on having John get some exposure to our communities, to our marae, to the way our people are doing, and get some understanding of their aspirations, and that’s where we’ve put our efforts in the past 12, 15 months and hopefully that will hold us in good stead when the election is held, if we will be looking to have some arrangements with the Maori Party,” Mrs te Heuheu says.


The Aotearoa Film festival has its final screenings in Auckland tonight.

Trevor Moeke, the Northern manager for Te Wananga O Aotearoa, says the seven films from Samoa, Hawaii, Australia, North America and Aotearoa were well received throughout the country.

He says it was also a chance to bring together the filmmakers, including Maori directors Taika Waititi and Tearepa Kahi, and introduce them to the communities.

“As we've hosted them around the various venues in Tairawhiti, Hamilton and here in Auckland, our students, our communities have responded pretty well. And in terms of the filmmakers, some of them have never met Maori before, some of them are very used to being with Maori, and the mix of films they have brought has really created some high interest,” Mr Moeke says.

Tonight's screening is off campus at the Academy Cinema.


A member of one of Northland's most prominent Maori sporting families is being laid to rest today.

Vic Yates died unexpectedly on Sunday. He was 69.

His father Moses played league for New Zealand Maori in the early 1920's, and in the 1950s brothers John and Simon also made the national Maori team.

Vic Yates was a star of the "run the ball from anywhere" Northland teams of the early 1960's, and soon made the All Blacks.

Bishop Muru Walters, a noted fullback and Maori All Black captain of the era, says Vic Yates was a fantastic footballer and friend.

“I can always remember playing a match with Victor. It was raining and we were uncertain as to how we would play it, and I asked him what we should do, and he says ‘Throw the ball as if we were playing on a hard rock dry ground’ which we did and won a very good match. But that was the nature of Victor, a fun loving person, good character, and a good friend,” Bishop Walters says.

The funeral service for Victor Yates starts at 11am at Pukepoto marae between Kaitaia and Ahipara.


Blogger DARIAN ZAM said...

I was a regular visitor to the Ringer homestead in the 1980's as a teenager, and very much enjoyed my stays at Whale Beach in Matapouri, but I have to say old Mrs. Morrison who lived in the dwelling on the disputed land was an old dragon who thought she owned the whole beach. She would come out and yell at kids playing on the dunes "WHAT do you think YOU'RE doing?". And that was the supposed PUBLIC part!

2:31 PM  

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