Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Teachers’ college marae turns 25

Former staff and students from the Auckland University's College of Education have gathered at the Epsom campus to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Tutahitonu Marae.

Tony Trinick, the associate dean, Maori, says the marae came about because of the efforts of the late Tahutahu Rankin and others in the college community, against the opposition of many in management at the time.

He says the marae has become the central focus for teaching of Maori and Maori medium at the college.

“I think it's also provided us with an opportunity to really be Maori, to practice our rituals and when we’ve had sad times like death, either staff or students, we’ve been able to bring their bodies here for some time. It’s given us a space if you like to practice our tikanga and practice te reo Maori,” Mr Trinick says.

Campus marae are a very effective way to help institutions find their identity.


The Resource Management Act could prove more resistant to change than the new Government is hoping.

Both National and Act have promised to amend the law, but Labour's environment spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says that won't be simple.

The Hauraki-Waikato MP says many treaty settlements, including the Waikato River deal, have exploited the potential in the RMA to give iwi a say in the management of the environment in their rohe.

“In the foreshore and seabed agreement that was reached with Ngati Porou, there are RMA factors in there that need to be implemented effectively if that is to work, and National has to be able to deliver on that promise because it is one that has been made on behalf of the Crown,” Ms Mahuta says.

Labour will be keeping a close watch on any attempts to radically alter or water down the Act.


The crew of Te Aurere will be anxiously looking at the weather to see if they are safe to set off on Sunday to circumnavigate the North Island.

The first leg for the double-hulled traditional voyaging waka is from Mangonui to Hokianga, and the latest forecast is for a northeasterly rising to 35 knots by Monday, then turning westerly.

Skipper Hekenukumai Busby says the first major challenge will be to get around the top of the island, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman sea.

“We can sneak inside the Pandora Bank, but it depends which side the wind is coming. If it’s a westerly we’ll stick outside and try and tack as far as we can out and then use the wind to comeback down to Hokianga,” Mr Busby says.

He will be holding wananga on waka culture and navigation on his way round the island, with the journey to end at the Bay of Islands around Waitangi Day on February 6.


The Curtis whanau is reaching out to other whanau related to murdered toddler Nia Glassie to look for ways to learn and move on from the tragedy.

Brothers Wiremu and Michael Curtis were this week found guilty of the murder of the Rotorua three-year-old, the daughter of Wiremu's partner Lisa Kuka, who was found guilty of manslaughter.

The pair's grand-uncle, prominent Te Arawa kaumatua Toby Curtis, says now the trial is over he will be calling together the four families involved to the Curtis whanau marae by lake Rotoiti.

The brothers were not involved in their marae or the wider affairs of their whanau.


One of the icons of the kapa haka world has won an accolade for turning Maori culture into an international business.

Auckland University business school's Maori business awards this week honoured Pounamu Performing Arts, which offers training in kapa haka at Manukau Institute of Technology, as well as providing performers for corporate functions, international trade shows and cultural exchanges.

It's an offshoot of Te Waka Huia, the competition-winning kapa haka roopu started by Ngapo and Pimia Wehi when they came to Auckland in 1981.

Mr Wehi says the award is an endorsement of the high standards he has set for the firm.

“That's what Pounamu stands for. It’s quality stone, quality performance, quality on stage and off stage. We think quality off stage is just as importance as quality on stage, because we’re representing the country,” Mr Wehi says.

He says kapa haka gives young Maori a sense of self esteem and identity.


It'd be an upset of epic proportions ... but the Maori dynamos in the midfield may hold the key to the Kiwis' chances of winning the rugby league world cup in Brisbane this weekend.

Commentator Te Kauhoe Wano says it will hard to beat the highly favoured Australaians.

But Kiwi coach Stepehen Kearney has done remarkably well to get his team past England and into the finals... and he's got an interesting combination taking the field.

“I reckon that Kiwi team is a good mix of what Aotearoa is today. You’ve got inside backs like Lance Hohaia and Benji Marshall, our new young hooker from Taranaki, Isaac Luke, those boys are setting up the play for our big boys out wide, Manu Vatuvei, Jerome Ropati, so it’s an awesome mix,” Mr Wano says.


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