Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, May 07, 2009

$97 million aquaculture settlement signed

Top of the South Island tribes are celebrating today's signing of an aquaculture settlement which gives them more than $70 million dollars to go marine farming.

It replaces an earlier legislated settlement which promised iwi the equivalent of 20 per cent of current waterspace and 20 per cent of future allocations.

Because the law was proving impossible to implement, iwi with the biggest potential stake in the industry negotiated an up front cash payment, rather than waiting until 2014 as the law envisaged.

Hauraki tribes will get about $20 million of the $97 million putea, and Ngai Tahu over $5 million.

Fred Te Miha from Ngati Tama says his Nelson iwi tried to enter the aquaculture business in the 1990s, but was stymied by obstruction from local government.

“We had to sit on the beach and watch everyone else go marine farming. The Government of the day were too slow in reacting. Now it’s come to pass that we can go and do our developments in aquaculture,” Mr Te Miha says.

Ngati Tama has several marine farming projects ready to go.

SWINE FLU COULD THREATEN MARAE PROTOCOLS

The hongi and the hand shake may need to be rethought if the H1-N1 swine flu turns into a fully fledged pandemic.

Auckland Maori health workers met yesterday to discuss how to discuss how to keep whanau safe from the flu.

Amiria Reriti, the Auckland regional public health service's Maori development manager, says there was discussion about how it could affect marae and hui protocols.

Amiria Reriti says the health service will meet Maori community leaders to discuss the issues further.


ETHNIC MIXING COULD BENEFIT MAORI WORKERS

The director of the Office of Ethnic Affairs says increased ethnic mixing could bring economic benefits for Maori.

Mervin Singham says more intermarriages between Maori and other ethnic minorities such as Indian and Chinese, mean the number of children with mixed heritage is increasing.

He says personal relationships and trade relationships often go hand in hand.

“Maori are getting involved in tourism, fishing and so on, and these sorts of enterprises, success depends on connections in offshore markets so connecting with domestic diaspora ethnic communities is one way of tapping into those markets overseas,” he says.

The Office of Ethnic Affairs is holding events in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch next week on how New Zealand can benefit from its ethnic diversity.

GREEN MT ALBERT STRATEGY SET OUT

Vote for an Aussie and get another Maori in Parliament.

That's the opportunity Green Maori spokesperson Metiria Turei says voters of Mt Albert have in next month's by-election to fill the seat vacated by former Labour prime minister Helen Clark.

Greens co-leader Russel Norman is running against Labour candidate David Shearer, National list MP Melissa Lee and ACT's John Boscowan.

Ms Turei says a victory for Dr Norman would give the Greens another list MP, Dave Clendon.

“Dave Clendon is Ngapuhi. He’s been the co-convenor of the party, like the party president, and he will be a significant addition to our caucus,. So if Russel gets Mr Albert we also get Dave Clendon our second Maori MP and that will be fantastic to have. Then we’ll have 10 MPs and we‘ll be a stronger Green caucus and stronger on Maori issues. So politics is a strange wiggly business,” Ms Turei says.

She says the Greens are starting to claw back Maori supporters as voters become disillusioned by the Maori Party's relationship with National.

NORTHLAND ASTHMA INCIDENCE TACKLED WITH TESTING STRATEGY

The Asthma Society hopes a new mobile clinic will help it find solutions to chronic rates of respiratory disease among Northland Maori.

Northland manager Geoff Phillips says tamariki in Tai Tokerau are three times more likely to have asthma than non-Maori children.
He says the clinic will help with early detection and prevention work in remote communities.

A range of factors contribute to the problem.

“The cost of medication is one problem. Getting to being tested is another problem. There’s a whole series of problems but I think it’s fair to say that the reason we are doing this mobile respiratory testing clinic is to be able to isolate that and come up with some definite answers,” he says.

The mobile clinic will visit 10 towns over the next two weeks.


MAORI BUSINESS NETWORKS LOOKING AT UMBRELLA GROUP

There's a call to bring together the 12 regional Maori business networks into a national body.

Phil Broughton from Otago Southland network Te Kupeka Umaka Maori ki Araiteuru says Maori businesses have a different value system than mainstream businesses, drawing on tikanga, whakawhanaungatanga and kaitiakitanga

He says many of those values can benefit the mainstream sector and the wider economy.

“The togetherness and the guardianship so those old historical Maori values my come to the forefront and maybe we can share them with other folk, how we look after each other and guard each other and so those traditional marae based values, perhaps there’s a space for them in the mainstream New Zealand business arena,” Mr Broughton says.

Many of the networks will participate in an Indigenous Economic Development Forum in Melbourne later this month.

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