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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ngati Porou deal deadline extended

The Crown and Ngati Porou have agreed to delay for three months the implementation of the East Coast iwi's foreshore and seabed deed of agreement.

Affadavits supporting the territorial customary rights of the various Ngati Porou were due to be filed with the High Court by the end of last week.

Lawyer Matanuku Mahuika says the delay allows the hapu to consider how the promised review of the Foreshore and Seabed Act might affect the settlement.

“We want it to be implemented according t its terms and if the current Government can convince us that there is some benefit from the review, we will look at that too. We’d be foolish not to but it’s a difficult political issue and we’d can’t assume that there would be any benefit coming from a review of that act,” Mr Mahuika says

Ngati Porou also needs to take into account the proposed changes to the Resource management Act, which were announced today.

STUDY IDENTIFIES NEW MAORI DIABETES RISKS

Diabetes New Zealand says action needs to be taken on a new study showing one in five Maori may have the disease or be at risk of getting it.

President Mike Smith says the research from Te Wai O Rona: Diabetes Prevention Strategy showed it is a disease of the poor.

The three year study tested more than 4000 Maori aged 28 and older from the Waikato and Lakes areas.

Mr Smith says it overturned some previous assumptions, especially a finding that one in 10 Maori women have problems processing glucose.

“We really have always had a belief it was the males who were at greater risk in that age group so that was one part of the study it was interesting to see that was the actual reality,” Mr

Mike Smith says strategies like Ngati and Healthy, a joint venture between Ngati Porou and the Edgar National Centre for Diabetes Research needs to be implemented into other parts of the country.


EFFORTS TO LIGHTEN TRAFFIC INTO TREATY BOTTLENECK

One way bridges, free minibus shuttles, secure car parking and ferry services will be used to improve access to the Treaty Grounds in Waitangi this year.

Police iwi liaison officer Willie More says up to 60,000 people are expected in the Bay of Islands.

Apart from the usual treaty commemorations, the large waka fleet is expected to draw larger than usual crowds.

He says people don't need to bring their cars all the way.

“What we're trying to do is get people to use those parking areas at Haruru Falls and we’ve got three or four shuttle buses. There will be security there,. Just trying to minimise the amount of traffic going over to the Treaty Grounds on the day itself,” Mr More says.

Crowds have already started to build up in Waitangi and the numbers are expected to swell in excess of 60 000.

RMA REVIEW LEAVES TREATY CLAUSE INTACT

A threat to remove the Treaty of Waitangi clause from the Resource Management Act has been dropped.

Releasing its rewrite of the RMA today, the Government said the Maori Party strongly opposed any change to that part of the Act, and the Technical Advisory Group advised that it's no longer a significant issue in practice.

Lawyer Kapua says it's positive the Government isn't throwing out the advances made by Maori in that area over the two decades the Act has been in place.

But she says Maori are still being identified as an obstacle to development, with one of the examples cited in support of the reforms being the Whangamata marina case she worked on.

“Whangamata marina took 13 years because the councils and the applicant didn’t get it right. It had nothing to do with iwi. And it’s interesting there is a perception out there and unfortunately iwi have had to struggle with that perception because it’s not right. A lot of it does stem from the way the process is followed through by councils,” Ms Kapua says.

Many of the proposed changes are already doable under the existing Act, and the most likely effect of the reforms will be to make harder for Maori communities to oppose major developments.

POLITICALLY LOW KEY WAITANGI EXPECTED

Organisers of the treaty commemorations at Waitangi aren't expecting the highly charged atmosphere of previous years.

Up to 1500 supporters of the Kingitanga are expected to arrive tomorrow, accompanying King Tuheitia on his first voyage to the event since taking over the job.

Pita Paraone says the plan is for the usual mix of entertainment, culture and debate.

A highlight will be a 16-strong waka fleet, including six coming up today from Tainui.

HONE HEKE NGAPUA CENTENARY TO BE REMEMBERED

When Waitangi events are over this weekend, Ngapuhi people will be remembering an early champion of the Treaty of Waitangi.

A ceremony at Aperehama Church on Sunday will mark 100 years since the death of Hone Heke Ngapua.

Ngapua was the grand-nephew of Hone Heke Pokai, the Ngapuhi leader best known for chopping down the British flagpole at Kororareka in 1845.

His biographer, Paul Moon, says he was elected MP for Northern Maori in 1893 after a series of rousing speeches on kotahitanga, and he tried to introduce legislation creating a constitution for Maori, implementation of the Treaty of Waitangi, and a separate Maori Parliament.

“He’s almost invisible. During his lifetime though he was the most well known Maori in the country and just over 100 years ago his reputation was unequalled and there probably hasn’t been a single person who has that much support from iwi all over the country," Dr Moon says.

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