Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Divide and rule in Ngati Apa settlement

Claimants from a Whanganui hapu are seeking an urgent hearing to stop part of the Lismore Forest being included in Ngati Apa Settlement.

The Waitangi Tribunal is holding a judicial conference next week to determine whether a hearing is needed.

Ngati Apa bypassed the tribunal to negotiate directly with the Crown, and last year signed an agreement in principle.

WAI 655 claimant George Matthews says even though the 5000 hectare forest northeast of the city is outside the Ngati Apa claim area, half of it has been included in the proposed deal.

He says the Crown is exploiting a difference of opinion in the iwi.

“Some of the iwi of Ngawairiki, which is the affected iwi, have mandated Ngati Apa to settle for us. Others of us, mainly the Whanganui side, are saying we will rewrite the history of Ngawairiki and a lot of us are Ngawairiki through our Whanganui whakapapa and not through our Ngati Apa whakapapa,” Mr Matthews says.

The WAI 655 claimants are keen to resolve the issues with their relatives without going through the full hearings.


The Public Health Association says Maori need a better safety net against the current economic crisis.

Executive officer Gay Keating says Maori tend to be affected more than other sectors when the economy turns down.

That is reflected in an increase in illness and deaths.

Dr Keating says the Government can limit the damage.

“Treating people equally and ensuring people have the basics that you need for health and well being – warmth, shelter, food, making sure that those things are available all the time to all of the population in a New Zealand that particularly means low income families and it particularly means Maori,” Dr Keating says.

Positive measures could include continuing income related rents and more support for families with dependent children.


Fans of Maori Television will now have online access to material from other indigenous broadcasters.

The channel is joining with other members of the World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network to create an international current affairs programme.

Chief executive Jim Mather says it is developing a shared website which will be a hub for the new service.

“Each organization, Maori Television included, will put the key stories that have occurred in our nation on the website, and we will be looking at the websites of all the other indigenous broadcasters, picking out the stories that we feel we want to packaged into this weekly programme,” Mr Mather says.

The network will also allow Maori Television to adopt and adapt programme ideas which have worked for other indigenous broadcasters.


ACT's three strikes and you're jailed for life bill has been labelled a deliberate attack on Maori.

The private bill by ACT list MP David Garrett passed its first reading in Parliament last night and was referred to a select committee with National Party support.

Labour MP Shane Jones says the former legal advisor to the Sensible Sentencing Trust is sensationalising a significant social issue by promoting a solution that will have no impact on violent crime, but will blight the lives of many whanau.

Currently one in two prison inmates are Maori.

“David Garrett knows that the three strikes bill is going to have a disproportionately negative effect on young Maori men. Not all of them are incorrigible but he is condemning them to a life of hopelessness because of mistakes they might make. Now some of them are serious but the reality is he as a very impoverished and quite frightening view,” Mr Jones says.

Because of the way the bill is structured, it would be 20 years before it started having an effect.


Canterbury's medical officer of health is warning another epidemic of whooping cough is on the way.

Ramon Pink says epidemics of the infections disease happen every three or four years.

He says Maori children are at greater risk because of lower immunisation rates and poor housing conditions which lead to an increased incidence of respiratory diseases.

“Particularly in the first six months of life, parents can take baby along to the doctor for their six week, three month and five month vaccine and that’s when they will be getting the vaccination against whooping cough and other things, and also it’s the most vulnerable time for baby to catch whooping cough,” Dr Pink says.

Adults get a less severe version of whooping cough, but it is easy for them to transfer it to babies.

Meanwhile, medical officers of health are also warning people to get influenza jabs before winter, because of the emergence of a virulent new Brisbane strain.


Kapa haka roopu are being welcome to Tauranga's Baypark Stadium this morning for Te Matatini, the biannual Maori performing arts festival.

New rules and a narrower focus should remove some of the controversy of recent events, which critics say were dominated by extraneous events such as hip hop demonstrations.

Chairperson Selwyn Parata from Ngati Porou says a new judging system should eliminate any bias.

Each specialty will be judged by four of the 29-strong judging panel, who are picked by the 13 rohe for their knowledge of the traditional arts.

Selwyn Parata says an expected highlight of the three day event will be the appearance of Maori Party co leader Pita Sharples with Te Roopu Manutaki, marking an unbroken record of competition at the event.


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