Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cautious approach to foreshore tome

Labour is supporting the government in taking time to digest the Foreshore and Seabed review out tomorrow.

Leader Phil Goff says the Foreshore and Seabed Act was one of the most difficult pieces of legislation for the previous government and there will be huge interest in the review panel's recommendations.

“The government has signaled it is going to take some time to absorb the nature of the report before it makes any comment. I think that is probably a reasonable strategy. We want people to think about it rather than jumping in and either dismissing it or automatically agreeing with it. Better to take time, think it through, and get it right,” Mr Goff says.

He says nobody wants the foreshore and seabed alienated in terms of public access but there is room to look at customary rights which do not extend to converting the foreshore and seabed into private title which could then be sold off.

The Government and Maori Party set up the review in March with a view to reforming the legislation which was the impetus for the establishment of the Maori party five years ago.

MAORI CONTRIBUTION TO BUSINESS WEIGHED UP

The potential of Maori assets, talent, resources and business strengths are being examined this week to see how they can best benefit the country's business sector.

The Employers and Manufacturers Association and Te Puni Kokiri are hosting a Tu Tangata Poutama breakfast in Auckland this Friday to look at how New Zealand can leverage off Maori businesses.

Alasdair Thompson, chief executive of the EMA, says there were many opportunities for all businesses to take advantage of New Zealand's unique cultural heritage.

“A number of Pakeha Maori business actually leverage off that now. They take from the Maori culture values and institute them in their own businesses and make it part of their point of difference so it is something absolutely unique to New Zealand, it is part of our brand, it is part of being different in the whole world,” Mr Thompson says.

The breakfast, which features speakers Pita Sharples, Jim Mather and Phil O'Reilly from Business NZ, will open the three-day Atamira: Maori in the City event.

FOOTWARE TAKES DESIGNER ONTO INTERNATIONAL CATWALK

The overall winner of the first Maori fashion awards show will march his street footware range onto the international stage in August.

Wiremu Baribal, who designs under the Wellington based label Tu Ake, will head to Toronto to represent Aotearoa at the Planet Indigenous Festival Fashion show.

He believes his Maori motif inspired range of footware, sports apparel and sunglasses impressed the judging panel last weekend because of the behind the scenes work he and his team put in.

“What the judges could see was I did have a team behind me because to do the mahi they saw and to sustain a future in the fashion scene, they can see it’s not just about me as a designer and they can see that the product will evolve and has legs I guess,” Mr Baribal says.

He will also show his collection at the New Zealand Fashion Week in September.

TE TAU IHU IWI BACK OFF NGAI TAHU STOUSH

Two iwi from the top of the South Island, Ngati Tama and Te Atiawa, have withdrawn from a High Court hearing over disputed land awarded to Ngai Tahu.

Ngai Tahu sought a judicial review following a 2008 Waitangi Tribunal finding that iwi had competing claims to land awarded exclusively to Ngai Tahu in 1998 under the Ngai Tahu Treaty settlement.

Jamie Ferguson, the lawyer for Ngati Tama, says his clients did not have the financial resources to engage in the litigation.

“More importantly it’s a matter of principle. Their view is the issues being raised by Ngai Tahu concerning the Waitangi Tribunal report and issues of mana whenua and boundaries are ones that aren’t appropriately addressed in the forum of the High Court and they believe those types of issues should be the subject of discussions between the iwi concerned and as appropriately the Crown in an appropriate tikanga-based forum,” Mr Ferguson says.

Ngati Tama values its relationship with Ngai Tahu and does not believe the relationship will be enhanced by engaging in the litigation which is primarily between Ngai Tahu directors and the Waitangi Tribunal.

FRENCH CLEAR WAY FOR RETURN OF HEADS

The French Senate has today unanimously approved a proposed law change opening the way for the return of Mokomokai, to New Zealand.

The collection of around 15 mummified Maori heads are currently in public museums around France, with eight held at the Quai Branly museum in Paris.

The proposed law is intended to clear up legal difficulties faced by a museum in Normandy that decided in 2007 to return a mokomokai it held but was forbidden by law from doing so.

If adopted, the law which must still be voted on by France's National Assembly, will allow France to join the US, Australia and other European countries in returning Maori objects to Aotearoa.

New Zealand has for years sought the return of preserved Maori heads and other human remains that were collected during the colonial period and displayed in museum galleries.

POSTUHUMOUS DOCTORATE FOR NOTED EDUCATOR

A life-long commitment to education and iwi will be recognised tomorrow as the whanau of Heni Materoa Sunderland is presented with a posthumous doctorate from the University of Waikato.

The founding kaumatua of Te Runanga o Turanganui-a-Kiwi, and Gisborne's first Kohanga Reo, and longtime advocate of Maori rights and education, died last July aged 92.

University Vice-Chancellor Roy Crawford says Mrs Sunderland encouraged young Maori to understand the importance of education, and her role as a mentor for many over the years ensured her legacy would continue.

Mrs Sunderland’s posthumous honorary doctorate will presented at the Whakato Marae in Manutuke near Gisborne.

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