Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Settlement workload pressure on TPK

The new Minister for Maori Affairs has been told natural resource claims, completing historical settlements and raising Maori achievement levels are among the challenges ahead.

In briefing papers released by the minister, Pita Sharples, Te Puni Kokiri is warning that its work on settlements is putting pressure on the ministry's baseline resources.

The ministry has been called upon to provide what are called "out of settlement" mechanisms, sweeteners which can prove the difference between an iwi accepting or rejecting a settlement offer.

The papers says property rights to natural resources are emerging as an increasing challeng to the relationship between Crown and Maori, and some clear and consistent frameworks will need to be developed.

Te Puni Kokiri is recommending several bills which were not passed by the last parliament be put back on the order paper, including one to separate out the Maori Trust Office from the ministry ... but not one to use the Maori trusee's accumulated profits to form a new Maori business development agency, which was opposed by the Maori party.

MAORI AFFAIRS SHRINKAGE UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Meanwhile, a former minister of Maori affairs is calling for a more limited role for Te Puni Kokiri.

In a paper written for the business Roundtable, John Luxton says significant progress has been made in the past 25 years in Maori development and in the relationship between government agencies and Maori.

He says instead of everything Maori being pushed over to a department of Maori affairs, mainstream agencies are now required to focus on Maori issues.

“I think the role of the ministry will change as it has over the last 20 years and I think it’s largely driven by Maoridom and particularly those in Maoridom wanting iwi organisations, urban organisations to provide any of those services which traditionally were the sole provision by the government department,” Mr Luxton says.

What's needed is a small ministry to provide a conduit between the Maori in the regions and Wellington, and to promote policies that encourage economic growth.

DONALD MCLEAN LETTER COLLECTION RELEASED

Thousands of 19th century Maori language letters have been put online.
The correspondence was sent to Donald McLean in his roles as Protector of Aborigines, Land Purchase Commissioner and eventually Minister of Native Affairs.

David Kukutai Jones... a Maori specialist at the Alexander Turnbull Library... says a lot of the material relates to land sales.

The letters also offer insights into tribal politics and cover an important and dynamic period of New Zealand history.

“There's also content relating to the New Zealand wars up there in the Taitokerau and within the Waikato, Whanganui and in the Bay of Plenty up to Gisborne with the pursuit of Te Kooti at that time. The Kingitanga makes an appearance so the rise of the Kingitanga and all of the successive kings,” he says.

The letter can be found on the web at mp.natlib.govt.nz

RANGATIRATAGA IN EDUCATION INDIGENOUS CALL

Delegates have returned from the World Indigenous People's Conference on Education convinced that effective indigenous education requires a multi-pronged approach.

Graham Smith from Te Wananga o Awanuiarangi spoke to the Melbourne hui on how education strategies must encompass everything from pre-school to postgraduate level, including second-chance learning.

He says it's about putting self-determination and tino rangatiratanga into practice.

“There's still a lot of, if not economic dependency then certainly a lot of policy dependency across the indigenous world. People are still the recipients of other people’s aspirations rather than giving some credence to their own ideas and their own thoughts for the future,” Professor Smith says.

There was considerable interest from many of the 3000 delegates in the way New Zealand's three wananga have each developed different approaches to indigenous education.

QUALITY MEETING NEEDED TO RESOLVE IWI LAND ROW

The chair of Ngati Whatua ki Orakei says wananga are more effective than meetings to resolve conflicts with neighbouring iwi.

Grant Hawke says there has been little progress in the two and a half years since the hapu signed an Agreement in Principle for its claims to central Auckland.

Challenges by Hauraki and Tainui that their historic interests in the area were ignored forced a rethink by the previous government.

Mr Hawke says he met briefly with the new minister of treaty settlements, but it will require a proper iwi wananga in the new year to resolve differences.

“Somewhere where we can come to a common agreement, common ground and I don’t think you can do it at an airport meeting because a minister has to get to a meeting somewhere else. Time is of the essence, quality time,” Mr Hawke says.

NEW CENTRE INCORPORATES MAORI INTO DESIGN

The chair of a far north iwi says a new community centre in Kaitaia will set new standards.

Haami Paripi says plans for Te Ahu are being drawn up after two years of consultation with Maori and other community stakeholders.

He says it has the support of both Te Rawara and Ngati Kahu, and will be a focal point for tanga whenua to welcome vistors to the area.

Maori make up 43 percent of people living in Kaitaia, but Mr Piripi says it may be the first time Maori input was sought before the wider community was invited to have a say.

“The community is mature enough to understand the value of Maori culture in design, in architecture, in landscaping, and there’s lot of Maori culture that has been incorporated into the design of the Te Ahu Centre,” Mr Piripi says.

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