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Thursday, January 01, 2009

Injunction gives chance for debate

December 18 Morning bulletins

The head of the Tainui parliament, Te Kauhanganui, has welcomed a High Court decision delaying plans to restructure the tribe’s administrative bodies.

Tom Roa, who initiated the court action, says he has always been uncomfortable with the pace of the changes proposed by the chair of Tainui's executive arm Te Arataura chair, Tukoroirangi Morgan.

Mr Roa says the judge’s decision for both parties to taihoa handed down in the court in Hamilton yesterday, allows more opportunity for debate on what is an important issue for Tainui.

”That's all
 that I have been seeking, right from the very beginning. I’m sad that we had to go to the High Court but glad that the mana of the Kauhanganui has been upheld by the judge
,” Mr Roa says.

He says it is prudent to wait till February when new members are welcomed on to the boards.

Mr Morgan says Te Arataura will meet on Monday, and is confident a hui of Te Kauhanaganui early in the New Year will support the restructuring proposal.


A Maori environment law specialist says Maori input to a new advisory group reviewing the resource management act is thin on the ground.

Pru Kapua says the eight member panel which includes conservationists, barristers, planning engineers and even a former deputy prime minister lacks the knowledge of te ao Maori needed to provide a balanced perspective.

She says the only Maori on the board, Russel McVeigh lawyer Paul Majury has a limited track record as an advocate for Maori on environmental issues, as many of his clients were major companies with cases against Maori.

She says any changes to the resource management act will have a huge impact on Maori.


Maori librarians are at the forefront of efforts to collect and catalogue indigenous knowledge around the world

David Kukutai-Jones from the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington says while there are only 200 Maori in Te Roopuu Whakatau... the Association of Maori Librarians and Information Specialists... they are among the most politically active internationally.

Maori representatives work with other indigenous groups to protect their taonga... and they sit on the American Library Associations Strategic Planning Committee... one of the oldest Library Associations in the world.


Waikato Tainui leader Tukoroirangi Morgan says he's confident plans to restructure the tribe’s operations will go ahead next year, despite a high court judge blocking the move yesterday.

Justice Paul Heath ruled that the 193 member Waikato Tainui parliament... Te Kauhanganui... and not the executive body... Te Arataura... held the mandate to make such decisions.

Mr Morgan says he's disappointed by the judge's decision, but it was a procedural ruling and he expects support for the change will be forthcoming once the advantages of the restructuring plans are outlined to the tribal parliament early in the new year.

The proposed structure would streamline the operations and see the creation of a tumu whakarae, a super CEO, who would have control of Tainui's social, cultural and economic arms.

Te Kauhanganui chair Tom Roa, who initiated the court action, says the delay is what was wanted and he is pleased the judge has upheld the mana of Te Kauhanganui.


The new Minister of Maori Affairs is hoping to marshal an army of Maori community workers.

Pita Sharples who has just released briefing papers from Te Puni Kokiri says resources already exist but they are working independently and need to better coordinated and targeted.

The Maori Party co-leader signaled he's interested in elements of the old-style Department of Maori Affairs... who really knew their communities... and had boots on the ground to deal with problems as they arose.

“It's surprising how many employees Te Puni Kokiri has that actually work in the community and it’s really getting them into a role that could join up with perhaps the people working in the community in education and in the Department of Social Welfare
,” Dr Sharples says.

He says better coordination would guard against families such as the Kahui and Curtis whanau falling through the gaps.


Maori Television has told the government that it wants its transmission frequencies locked in for 20 years.

In briefing papers CEO Jim Mather says television planning needs to be long-term and Maori Television requires surety of transmission spectrum.

“What we are doing
 is aligning with other commercial broadcasters, so we are not claiming any special case here. We are just stating that recently the commercial broadcasters had their transmission spectrum rights renewed out to 2020 or thereabouts and we have an expectation we will be treated in a similar fashion,” Mr Mather says.

He says into the future digital streaming will give Maori Televison viewers access to 300 hours of televison at any one time.


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