Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New chief for Te Matatini

The National Kapa Haka festival, Te Matatini, has appointed a new executive director, Darren Apanui.

Of Ngati Porou descent, Darren Apanui is an experienced company director with an extensive background in business both here and in Australia.

He hopes this year's kapa Haka festival in Tauranga at the end of the month will be a launching pad for greater things, with the festival being seen in future as a platform for Maori groups to promote their products.

More than 30,000 people are expected to take part in this month’s Te Matatini.


Labour leader Phil Goff has given the new National government advice on settling treaty claims.

Phil Goff says it is important that the impetus built up by the last government is not lost if the Government's deadline of settling all historical claims by 2014 is to be achieved.

“My advice to the new Government is move as quickly as you can but allow proper time to get a settlement both sides can sign up to. If you compel it on somebody you still have a sense of sense of grievance. Also, look closely to maintain your relativities so every group to the extent possible is being treated fairly compared to other groups,” Mr Goff says.


Four motorbike riding Maori brothers from the Far North who are cruising the country on a hikoi against violence say they haven't be badly affected by bad weather today.

Super Maori Fullas Roger, Jack, Mathew and Mervyn Paki left Cape Reinga on Waitangi Day on their their Harley Davidsons to travel to Bluff and back in support of the Its Not Ok Campaign against family violence.

Jack Paki says they were prepared for rain they met today in the Wairarapa.

Providing a home away from home for Maori in the UK has earned Ngati Ranana founding member Esther Jessop the honour of being chosen New Zealander of the Year in Britain.

The award recognises people who present a positive image of New Zealand abroad.

It was given at the New Zealand Society's annual Waitangi Day dinner in London last week.

Ngati Ranana member Kateia Burrows says it was a feather in the cap of a woman who knew decades ago, how important it was to foster Maori culture abroad.

“So many Maori have come here over the past 50 years and it’s quite a lonely place to be if you don’t know anyone, and Ngati Ranana is just one of those inviting places you just walk in and all of a sudden there are lot of Maori people socialising and being a whanau for e inviting places where you taking care of one another like we would if we were in Aotearoa,” she says.

Previous recipients of the New Zealander of the Year award include Olympic gold medalist Mark Todd, celebrity chef Peter Gordon and golfer Michael Campbell.


One of the key people behind the national day activities at Waitangi has heaped praise on Prime Minister John Key for his handling of a couple of activists who attacked him and his attitude when he met with iwi leaders.

Ngapuhi chairman Sonny Tau says the Prime Minister was straight up when he addressed difficult issues behind closed doors with Iwi leaders.

“I like the guy. I like his genuineness and I like his boldness to talk about issues and tell you exactly how he’s feeling and it puts you in no doubt as to where he wants to go with the issues and so far the waka is going in the same direction as we want it to go,” Mr Tau says.

He says the Prime Minister gave the hui assurance that the treaty settlement process would not slow and that iwi would be fully consulted over the difficult issues of water rights and changes to the Resource Management Act.


Maori Actor Rawiri Paratene is on a crusade to save the whales of the pacific and beyond.

Following the success of his role in the film Whale Rider, Rawiri Paratene says he's always been interested in marine life and wanted to create awareness to what's happening beneath the ocean.

Rawiri Paratene is currently filming a documentary series where he will travel the world investigating underwater noise pollution and how it is connected to whales stranding.

“Standings that are happening around the time SONAR is being used are pretty horrific. There are whales that seem to suffering from the bends. They’ve been forced to suffer far too fust. Their ears are bleeding. Their brains have haemoraged. There’s bleeding from the eyes,” Mr Paratene says.

He will join renowned bio-acoustic scientist Chris Clark this evening at the maritime museum in Auckland to discuss underwater pollution and possible solutions.


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