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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, May 18, 2009

Maori given say on water case

Maori representatives have joined a critical Supreme Court case on the way water rights are allocated.

New Zealand Maori Council, Lake Waikaremoana claimant Vern Winitana and the Federation of Maori Authorities have been given permission to join major South Island power generators and irrigation companies as intervenors in the case between Ngai Tahu Property, Central Plains Water and Canterbury Regional Council.

At issue is whether rights to water and other natural resources should be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

FOMA chief executive Rino Tirikatene says his organisation wants consent authorities to be given more discretion.

“The Supreme Court wants to hear submissions on what should be taken into account. Our view is they should take into account the fundamental section 6, 7 and 8 of the Resource Management Act relating to Treaty of Waitangi principles and Maori cultural values such as kaitiakitanga,” Mr Tirikatene says.

MAORI STUDENTS PUT ON WRONG PATH AWAY FROM UNIVERSITY

A leading academic says Maori children are being denied access to tertiary education by the way the NCEA is administered by teachers.

Professor Dame Anne Salmond is helping with Auckland University's Starpath project, which is looking at how schools can use resources and data they already have to improve Maori and Pacific Island achievement.

She says schools and the Education Ministry need to take a hard look at whether NCEA privileges children at wealthy schools and fails lower socioeconomic groups.

“Maori kids who are bright and who have the potential to go all the way are being advised to do non-approved subjects, they don’t get the right combination of subjects to get university entrance. Even though they’re really clever kids, they get guided often in ways that are inappropriate because NCEA is so complicated it’s like a smorgasbord, and it’s easy to make choices that end up tripping you over,” Professor Salmond says.

Latest High School results show only 52 percent of Maori year 11 students got level one NCEA last year, compared to almost 80 percent of pakeha.

UNION TRYING TO GET IWI BACKING AGAINST SEALORD STRATEGY

The Service and Food Workers Union is trying to get iwi on its side as it fights restructuring at Nelson-based Sealord Group.

Muriel Tunoho, the convenor of the union’s runanga, says Maori Party Te Tai Tonga MP Rahui Katene has writing to iwi round the country to drum up support, with little response.

The fishing company, which is half-owned by iwi through Aotearoa Fisheries, has shed more than 130 shore-based staff through attrition and voluntary redundancy as it moves more to sea-based processing.

Ms Tunoho says the union is fighting changes to the wages and conditions of remaining workers.

“The workers have indicated a willingness to participate in some decision making here. They want some guarantees for their employment. They’re happy to sit down and talk to Sealord about those flexibilities, but clearly Sealord doesn’t want that,” Ms Tunoho says.

She says despite being acquired through a treaty settlement, less than 10 percent of the Sealord workforce is Maori.

Aotearoa Fisheries chairman Robin Hapi says staffing is an operational matter for the company.

NEW RULES SOON FOR PAPAKAINGA HOUSING IN TAITOKERAU

Northland councils have agreed to work together to make it easier for Maori to build on multiply-owned land.

Kahu Sutherland, Whangarei’s deputy mayor, says the proposed papakainga framework, which also involves Te Puni Kokiri and social service provider Te Hau Ora O Kaikohe, should mean less expense and red tape.

It should also make it easier for whanau to get loans for housing.

About 5 percent of the Whangarei district, three percent of Kaipara and almost a fifth of the Far North district is Maori land.

DISCOUNT OFFERED FOR EXPORT DISTANCE LEARNING

A Palmerston North private training establishment is encouraging Maori exporters to do its international trade qualification.

Alison Vickers, the director of the New Zealand School of Export, says Maori exporters can qualify for scholarships to lower the fees, and they can also get help from the Poutama Trust Maori business development agency or Trade and Enterprise.

She says exporting’s a tough business, and people need some knowledge to get the best out of their investment.

The next intake for the correspondence course is in July.

ARTISTS TAILOR WORK FOR TRYING TIMES

The global economic downturn is encouraging Maori artists to think small.

Dargaville clay sculptor Manos Nathan from Te Roroa is preparing work for the annual Maori showcase at Vancouver’s Spirit Wrestler Gallery.

He says the gallery has given indigenous artists access to a network of wealthy North American collectors, but this year the indications are their won’t be as much money around for taonga, so the gallery as asked for smaller works.

An exhibition of Manos Nathan’s work, which blends his Maori and Cretan whakapapa, is currently on at Porirua’s Te Pataka Museum.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Alison Vickers said...

Re: Export Scholarships - can I just correct the suggestion that the New Zealand School of Export is a private training enterprise. The School is in fact a Charitable Trust. Our very first exporters received some financial assistance from NZTE but the School is not eligible for funding because we only accept people who are already in business on to our course, and we are a distance learning provider.

We take this approach so that we can really focus on helping businesses grow their exports, and exporters can study where and when they like.

Like other walks of life, there's a shortage of role models for Maori exporters. The Diploma of International Trade is very practical and our exporters have access to a huge amount of support and advice.

By providing scholarships to Maori, we know we can help businesses to grow their exports - this not only helps the business and boosts the economy, but we then have those role models to encourage those less experienced exporters.

9:31 AM  

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