Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Crown capacity for treaty talk near limit

The Minister of Treaty Negotiations is reassuring treaty claimants who are still waiting to enter negotiations that they won't miss out.

Chris Finlayson spelled out his views on the treaty settlement process to a hui of iwi leaders in Wellington yesterday, and announced more funding for claimants who don't qualify for assistance from the Crown Forestry Rental Trust.

He says there is little capacity for taking on new work until some of the major settlements in the system are completed.

“Government is very busy at the moment. There is quite a lot of work in the system. In fairness to everyone, that work has to be concluded first. There’s no point asking the Office of Treaty Settlements to try and do too much at any one time, otherwise mistakes will be,” Mr Finlayson says.

While the National Government has set a target of 2014 for resolving historical claims, that doesn't mean groups should push for talks before they are ready.

TEEN SMOKING RATES SHOWING DROP

The number of teenage Maori girls taking up smoking is dropping.

Tha annual Action on Smoking and Health survey of 30,000 year ten students found the number of 14 and 15 year old Maori girls lighting up is down from 29 to 21 percent.

ASH health promoter Janine Tamati-Ellife, of Ngai Tahu and Te Atiawa, would like to see whanau and iwi need to help the trend by supporting a non smoking lifestyle.

She says further restrictions to the sale and advertising of tobacco would also help bring down the number of rangatahi smoking.

MAORI BATTALION BOOK GETS CHANCE AT NZ BOOK AWARD

If Gisborne historian Monty Soutar wins the first book section the New Zealand Book Awards next month, publisher David Bateman may have to print up another edition.

Dr Souttar says his history of the Maori Battalion's C Company ... Nga Tama Toa, The Price of Citizenship ... has drawn a fantastic response, not just from the East Coast where C Company was drawn from but throughout the motu.

It's sold around 10,000 copies already, with the third edition now on bookshop shelves.

He says by focusing not just on the campaigns but also on the home front and the aftermath of the war, he was able to ask how the war affected the position of Maori in New Zealand society.

“The big question remains at the end of the book as to how much it changed post war as a result of the Maori contribution to Word War 2. It really is, outside the story of the Maori Battalion, the story of the battle for equality in this country,” Dr Soutar says.

The 15 years of research that went into Nga Tama Toa helped him get to know hundreds of East Coast whanau, which is proving invaluable in his new job as chief executive of te Runanga o Ngati Porou.

TURIA CALLS FOR MAORI BANK TO FEND OFF AUSSIES

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the time is right for a Maori bank.

The idea was floated by fellow MP Rahui Katene on Parliament's finance and expenditure committee, in response to what she sees as Australian-owned trading banks using New Zealanders as a cash cow to line the pockets of their Australian shareholders.

Mrs Turia says Maori have created their own financial institutions in the past, and such a bank would have a ready made customer base.

“Given the amount of resources coming into Maori hands and the fact we have so many health and social service providers who get considerable funds from the state, it would be really good if we were able to establish a bank that has the interests of our people at heart,” Mrs Turia says.

WARDENS TEAMING WITH POLICE TO TACKLE YOUTH PROBLEMS

Manukau Police have partnered with the Papakura Maori Wardens to form a new Youth Action Team in the town.

Team head Noel Atkinson says the aim is to prevent crime before it reaches the levels of neighbouring areas like Manukau City and Otara.

He says the Maori wardens were a natural choice who will bring invaluable skills and life experience to the programme, as well as a strong cultural base.

As well as the wardens and five police officers, the team includes a full time Child, Youth and Family social worker.

SUMO WRESTLING TALENT BUT TECHIQUE NEEDS REFINING

A Maori sumo wrestler says New Zealand wresters have the brawn but need to refine their technique.

Anaru Perenara from Ngati Rangitihi has just picked up two golds and a silver at the Oceania tournament, where he was part of a six member New Zealand squad.

The 179 kg champion was introduced to the Japanese sport six years ago by Wellington-based martial arts expert Martin Stirling.

He says there is a lot of potential here, as New Zealand has some of the hardest hitters in the sport, but they need to stay in the ring long enough to wear the opponent down.

Perenara is currently training for the Sumo World champs in Taiwan next month.

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