Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, December 12, 2008

Otakou Runaka angling for harbour management

The Otakau Runanga is seeking a mataitai or Maori controlled fishery covering almost all of Otago Harbour.

Chairperson Tahu Potiki says the harbour has been a food basket for 1000 years, and it still contains the largest cockle beds in the southern hemisphere.

He says the hapu has consulted with other stakeholders, who support the plan.

Mr Potiki says it won't affect commercial fisheries, which were excluded from the harbour in the 1980s because of water quality issues.

“Nowadays after 25 years of hard work from community stakeholders and probably as a result of things like the Resource Management Act and community initiatives the harbour’s cleaned up, which has seen a significant restoration of wildlife and of some of the fisheries, so recreational fishermen, customary fishermen are reluctant to see that reversed,” Mr Potiki says.

The tangata tiaki will invite recreation fishers and other harbour users onto the management committee.


A leading economist who studies social equity says the National-led government's new tax schemes are based on an outmoded view of the labour market, particularly as it applies to Maori workers.

Under its confidence and supply agreement, the Maori Party voted for the changes, which give big tax cuts to high income earners while some low income earners will end up paying more.

Susan St John from Auckland University's economics department says a new $10 a week rebate for some workers earning between $24,000 and $50,000 seems extremely clumsy, and many part time and casual workers are likely to miss out on it.

“It seems to have been modeled around that view of secure, stable, 40 hour a week minimum wage jobs being available whereas we know the labour market doesn’t look like that,” Dr St John says.

The Maori Party will need to explain to its supporters how it justifies the trade-offs and compromises in the total package.


A Government back-down on building more state houses in south Auckland has been welcomed by an agency which works with low income Maori and Pacific Island families.

New Housing Minister Phil Heatley says a cap on state house numbers won't apply in Manukau because of the extreme need in the region, which has more than 2000 families on the waiting list.

Darryl Evans from the Mangere Budget Service says many extended families are unable to find suitable and affordable homes to rent.

“Need is absolutely at an all time high. Families are struggling,” Mr Evans says.

He says the economic downturn is putting already struggling families under more pressure.


The MP for Waikato-Hauraki says Tainui leaders should have used internal procedures to sort out their differences before rushing off to court.

The High Court at Hamilton will this morning hear an application by Tom Roa, the chair of Tainui's parliament, for an injunction against the restructuring plan put up by the tribal executive.

Nanaia Mahuta says Mr Roa has explained on the marae that his objections are to the process being used, rather than to the plan itself, which is to merge the management of the tribe's commercial and social arms.

She says if that's the case, it's disappointing he didn't invoke the dispute resolution mechanisms in Tainui's constitution.

“First and foremost let’s use out own processes. The court process is the absolute last resort and I think dangerous territory is when issues to do with any tribal restructuring matter is argued out in the media rather than in front of the people first and foremost,” Ms Mahuta.

The hearing starts at 11.45.


One of Labour's newest MPs says there's no need to push through a bill requiring more testing in schools.

The Education Standards Bill has been included in a raft of bills set down under urgency to be passed before Christmas.

Kelvin Davis, who left his job as principal of Kaitaia Intermediate to stand for Parliament, says that means there is no chance for the bill to go to select committee where MPs can hear from experts in the sector.

He says schools already use a myriad of tests and report to parents how well their children are doing.

“Schools are already using this best practice and I think the legislate, I thought National was the party that was trying to get away from all this regulation and it seems they’re trying to regulate something that’s already done,” Mr Davis says.

He says National is just trying to get runs on the board, but schools will suffer from rushed lawmaking.


An album showcasing Maori traditional instruments will be launched in Waitakere this afternoon.

Ancient Sounds of the Maori is the first album for Te Aratoi - a duo of Rewi Spraggon and Riki Bennett.

They're joined by contemporary musicians to put a unique flavour to taonga puoro like flutes, conch shells trumpets and gourds.

The well-travelled Mr Spraggon says feedback from gigs and taonga puoro workshops over the past 12 tears the duo has been together indicated a demand for the disc.

Rewi Spraggon and and Riki Bennett are taking over the chambers of the Waitakere City council for the launch of Ancient Maori Sounds


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