Waatea News Update

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Upper reaches of river in settlement

The Waikato River is back in the spotlight this week with Te Arawa and Ngati Raukawa set to sign a deal relating to the upper reaches of the Waikato River.

Last month around 1000 people gathered in Ngaruawahia to witness the inking of Waikato-Tainui's river deal.

As part of the settlement of that historical treaty claim Waikato-Tainui were granted a substantial say in the future management of the lower regions of the river from Karapiro to Te Puwaha o Waikato... or the mouth of the river.

This week it's the turn of Te Arawa and Ngati Raukawa... who are kaitiaki of the stretch of river between Karapiro and Huka.

Their Agreement in Principle is likely to mirror the Tainui settlement... with its focus on the health and well-being of the river rather than monetary compensation.


The chief judge of the Waitangi Tribunal Joe Williams is welcoming the number of claims lodged with the tribunal.

He says that the number of historical claims lodged before Monday's deadline ... estimated to be more than 2000 does not indicate an increase in grievance but a desire among Maori to move forward.

“But what this tells us is that the fear that I personally felt that people might miss out or be locked out of the truth and reconciliation process after September 1 because they hadn’t got their claims in has not been realised, that Maori people have rallied and I think they have rallied because they want to be part of this,” Chief judge Williams says.


Maori and Pacific Islander fathers are getting positive feedback in Waitakere City with a special week dedicated to fathering.

Elaine Dwyer, the organiser of Focus on Fathering, says the city's diversity is being given special attention in activities planned throughout week.


The chief judge of the Waitangi Tribunal says negativity towards Treaty settlements by non-Maori is nothing like it used to be.

Commenting on the more than 2000 historical claims lodged with the Tribunal before Monday's deadline chief judge Joe Williams says both Maori and non-Maori today have a much better attitude towards the Treaty process... which is reflected in the cross-party political support.

“There was a time when treaty settlements was one of the least trusted areas of government activity, and I don’t get that sense at all now. I mean there’s still some inevitable jealousy and negativity around but nothing like things were like when I was a lawyer in the mid-90s and I think people have realised that what is good for nga iwi is in fact very good for Aotearoa whanui tonu,” he says.


Politician turned political commentator John Tamihere says Labour candidate Kelvin Davis has achieved the unthinkable.

The former principal of Kaitaia Intermediate is standing in Taitkokerau where he will go head to head against Hone Harawira from the Maori party.

Mr Tamihere, a former Labour cabinet minister says at 29 on the party list released over the weekend, Mr Davis is assured of a spot in the house, and will use the next three years establishing political credibility.

“He parachuted into the top ranks of the party. Phenomenal really. I’ve never seen a bloke make a move like this, particularly a Maori, so it’s quite clear he’s got union backing because they control large votes on the moderation committee that picks the list so he’s done very well to obtain the backing of such a significant support base,” Mr Tamihere says.


The Ministry of Civil Defence is keen to teach tamariki what to do when disaster strikes

More than 300 Maori immersion and bilingual schools recently received a resource package Kia Takatu... which is designed for 8 to 12 year olds... and was adapted from the English language programme "What's the plan, Stan?"

Rick Barker... the Civil Defence Minister... launched Kia Takatu yesterday at Te Kura Maori o Porirua.

He says while each rohe will have hazards that are more likely to occur in their area it's crucial for every New Zealand child to know what to do in an emergency.

“It's important for people to identify a risk that is significant in their locality. Now some areas will be coastal and more prone to tsunamis than others,” Mr Barker says.

"What's the Plan Stan?" will now be translated into Tongan, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Samoan and Arabic.


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