Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, September 26, 2008

Turei sees barb in seabed extension

The Greens Maori spokesperson says Maori were deliberately excluded from moves to extend New Zealand's continental shelf.

A United Nations commission has granted this country the rights to control mining or resource extraction over an extra 1.7 square km of continental shelf seabed, on top of the 4 million km Exclusive Economic Zone.

Metiria Turei says the process of mapping the seabed had already started when the Government introduced the law stopping Maori pursuing claims to the Foreshore and Seabed through the courts.

“I think part of the drive to take that legal right off us was so they would have control over these resources. So it’s a huge economic advantage for the Government that they now under that law own and control solely and Maori have been completely locked out of any entitlement or rights that they may have had to it,” Ms Turei says.

SEABED OWNERSHIP FIGHT FOR ANOTHER DAY

But the director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' legal division says there was no need to consult Maori or anyone else, because the government was just applying for its legal rights under the Law of the Sea.

Gerard Van Boheman says the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf has defined where New Zealand has a right to expolit resources.

“It sets the outer limits of what’s basically New Zealand’s sovereign rights or sovereign territory. How those rights are then managed within New Zealand is an issue for New Zealand. It’s not an issue for the UN. The UN process has defined basically the line between New Zealand’s sovereign rights on the one side of the line and on the other side is the deep seabed which is the common heritage of mankind,” Mr Van Boheman says.

Fishing rights, which Maori have a share in through the fisheries settlement, only extend to the 200 nautical mile EEZ.

SPOTLIGHT ON MAORI IN VIETNAM

Maori involvement in the Vietnam war is coming under the spotlight.

An oral history project by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage's history group is talking to people involved in all sides of the conflict.

Researcher Paul Diamond says it grew out of a 2006 Memorandum of Understanding with Vietnam war veterans.

He says much of the material which is being uncovered through interviews and contributions to a special website indicate a large percentage of the New Zealand troops who served in south east Asia were Maori.

“We don't know the exact figure. What we do know is it was way higher than the proportion of Maori in the population at the time. And if you look at any photo of New Zealanders in Vietnam, kauri kore, kotahi kite kanohi Maori i reira so always,” Mr Diamond says soldiers and their whanau from all over the world are starting to contact the project through the vietnamwar.govt.nz website.

TE ROROA ESTABLISHED MANA EVEN BEFORE CLAIM COMES

A small Northland iwi is today contemplating how it can make its 9 and a half million dollar treaty settlement work.

The Te Roroa Claims Settlement Bill was enacted by Parliament yesterday, giving the iwi rights to buy Crown-owned properties north of Dargaville, as well as have a greater say in the management of the Waipoua Forest.

Negotiator Alex Nathan says while the claim has taken more than 20 years to bring to a conclusion, the iwi has been laying the groundwork for an enhanced role in the rohe.

“We've over the years actually built a lot of these relationships. We’ve established profile and a level of credibility with local authorities, CRIs and other Government departments, and that was all done in the absence of any settlement but I think there was perhaps acknowledgement ultimately that we would be an asset base that the iwi would be responsible for,” Mr Nathan says,

Enhancements to the original settlement offer means Te Roroa will be getting the land back without crippling levels of debt.
Parliament also passed the Affiliated Te Arawa Iwi and Central North Island forestry settlements, and got the Port Nicholson Block and Waikato River Settlements through their first readings.

INTEGRITY BATTLE OVER PETERS PRIVILEGE VOTE

Labour Cabinet minister Shane Jones is accusing the Maori Party of falling short of the standards it is demanding of others.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples has claimed a senior government minister and a New Zealand First staff member pressured him over the censure vote against New Zealand First leader Winston Peters over his failure to declare a donation from businessman Owen Glenn.

Mr Jones says the Labour MPs were just reminding Maori Party members of their earlier expressions of support for Mr Peters ... before they felt they needed to show their fidelity to National leader John Key.

“They're lecturing us about integrity, and whilst they’re trying to shaft Winston and deny him fair process, they’re busily filling in claim forms for the Mongrel Mob to go to the Waitangi Tribunal. There is no integrity in backing the gangs and there is no integrity in my view in trying to shaft Winston. They can’t have it both ways,” Mr Jones says.

He says there is regular dialogue between Labour and the Maori Party, and MPs shouldn't cry foul if they are told unwelcome truths.

MANU KORERO GETS POLITICAL

It went down to the wire in Rotorua last night as students from around the country took the stage for Nga Manu Korero, the national speech competitions.

Makoha Gardiner, from the organising committee, says the final results often depended on aggregate scores across a range of categories.

The Pei te Hurinui Jones trophy for senior Maori went to Toko-aitua Winiata from Te Kura a iwi o Whakatipuranga Rua Mano in Otaki.

Rihari Ratahi from Te Wharekura a rohe o Te Whakapumau won the Korimako trophy for senior speeches in English.

Ms Gardiner says there was a clear change in subject matter from previous years, when tribal identity was to the fore.

“Talk was always around taku iwitanga, taku Tuhoetanga, taku Te Arawatanga, those sorts of things. This year there was an amazing number of speakers who spoke confidently about politics,” she says.

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