Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, January 02, 2009

Support for canning wind farm

Morning December 23

Hawkes Bay hapu hope support from non-Maori will help quash once and for all plans by transmission company Unison, to build a 34 turbine windfarm on the Te Wake range.

Tania Hopmans from the Maunga Hararu Tangitu Society Incorporated, a collection of hapu opposing the wind farm, says they are awaiting a decision by the environment court on whether the project will proceed.

She says over the past fortnight the court heard from groups determined to see the project scuttled, including Maori concerns that the planned development demeans their tupuna maunga, and non-Maori groups worried about the aesthetic impact, but who have an developed an appreciation of the Maori argument.

“The know the story of the waka that we see in the landscape, and that gives them a greater appreciation of the landscape,” Ms Hopmans says.

It will be a couple of months before the result of the court case is known.


The New Zealand Rugby Union is defending its decision not to schedule any games for the Maori All Blacks next year on economic grounds.

Rugby Union spokesman Brent Anderson who is general manager of community and provincial rugby says the union is charged with looking after rugby in New Zealand for all New Zealanders.

“We have to ensure the All Blacks remain a winning team, and part of the basis for the decision was asking is we could have both as Maori team and a junior All Black team planning. The answer was we can’t, if we want to ensure that the All Blacks are a winning team and all New Zealanders can have pride and follow that team, then having the junior team play rather than the Maori team was going to ensure that,” Mr Anderson says.


However politician turned broadcaster John Tamihere says institutionalised racism is behind the NZRFU's decision not to grant the Maori rugby squad any fixtures next year.

The former chairman of New Zealand Maori rugby league says the lack of recognition is intolerable, and Maori must pressure the sport’s governing body to ensure the situation is rectified.

Mr Tamihere says for the NZRFU to say it is a sporting decision and not political is absurd.

He says all Maori should snub rugby and take up rugby league


The New Zealand Rugby Union is showing signs that it may be responding to pressure from Maoridon over its decision not to schedule any games for the Maori All Blacks next year.

Last week the Union put out a media release indicating that no games had been organised for the Maori team on economic grounds and instead priority was being given to the Junior All Blacks.

This sparked a tirade of criticism from many Maori including former players such as Buck Shelford, administrators like Matt Te Pou and former New Zealand Rugby League chair John Tamihere who has called it institutionalised rascism and called on all Maori to turn to league.

However yesterday two Rugby Union representatives ...Maori delegate on the rugby union Paul Quinn and the general manager of provisional and community rugby Brent Anderson both indicated that the decision may not be as black and white as first thought.

Brent Anderson says management has been given a directive by the Union's board to try and find suitable credible opposition for the New Zealand Maori team to play next year.

“We will work down that line. If we can find some opposition willing to play and can help us meet our budget targets, we will certainly be going down that line,” Mr Anderson says.


A Maori architect working in Dubai says Arab countries are welcoming Maori workers, as they have an appreciation of the cultural dynamic that exists in their countries.

Mike Barnes from Tuwharetoa ki Kawerau, says he's sure his whakapapa has been a bonus for him and other Maori working in the Middle East.

He says as it is becoming increasingly common for Maori and Polynesian elements to be incorporated into the designs of public buildings in New Zealand, similarly in Dubai there is also a commitment to ensure aspects of the Arab World are factored into the building design process.

Mike Barnes from Oceania Architecture is in New Zealand for last Saturday's opening of Nga Whetu O Te Rangi, the refurbished Ngati Pukenga wharenui in Welcome Bay.


The sound of taonga puoro...traditional Maori instruments...are being added to the Auckland City organ as part of its $3.5 million rebuild in Germany making it truly unique.

City organist John Wells says the sounds of the koauau, a type of flute, and pukaea, a trumpet, will be replicated in ranks of pipes at the 97-year old organ's highest level.

John Wells says the rebuilders in Germany were inspired by a DVD of taonga puoro experts Richard Nunns and the late Hirini Melbourne which he sent them.

The restored 18 tonne organ will not be heard in Auckland before March 2010 such is the magnitude of the rebuilding task.


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