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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Developers told to get Maori input to plan rewrite

Developers of subdivision which would have dumped effluent on waahi tapu near the mouth of the Taieri River have been told to revised their plans in consultation with local iwi.

Te Runanga o Otakou and Taieri whanau told Clutha Distric Council's hearings panel that Duggan and Varney's 23-lot development was culturally inappropriate and would destroy bird habitats and block access over a headland during high tide.

The panel has given the applicants a month to provide altered plans which take into consideration the cultural importance of the area.

Kiri Fraser, a member of the Moturata Taieri whanau, says it's a good decision and protection and enhancement of cultural values was important to the whanau.


Stronger governance is being cited as the reason for improved productivity on Maori farms.

Kingi Smiler, the chair of the annual Maori farming awards, says all of this year's finalists had a clear separation between management and governance.

This year's Ahuwhenua Trophy was taken out by Pakarae Whangara B5, a 5600 hectare sheep and beef farm north of Gisborne.

Mr Smiler says the field days run by the finalists are getting the recipe for success out to Maori landowners.

Next year's awards will focus on the dairy sector.


Manurewa Marae could soon be awash with kai.

The Manukau Institute of Technology is using spare land at the marae to run a national certificate course in horticulture.

School head Dave Bradshaw says students will landscape the marae and build a sustainable vegetable garden.

He says there will be a return to the community, with surplus vegetables distributed to the whanau.

The course at Manurewa Marae begins next month.


A row over the future of Wellington's Pipitea Marae has resulted in an unexpected boost to the Port Nicholson Block settlement.

In order to hand back the Thorndon-based marae to Taranaki Whanui claimants, the Crown had to make a side deal with Ngati Poneke Maori Association, which had a perpetual lease over the property.

Supplementary estimates being debated in Parliament this week show the Crown is paying the association $1.7 million to change the lease.

Ngati Poneke negotiator Paul Morgan says a special general meeting of the kapa haka's predominantly elderly membership voted to put the money back into the new trust which will own and run the marae.

The trust includes equal representation from Ngati Poneke and the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust.

“Taranaki Whanui who have been and are part of Ngati Poneke over nearly 80 years now have essentially formalized that relationship, they are recognised owners of the land and marae as well as respecting the tradition and history of Ngati Poneke Association, so a new future and they will have the resources available to look at the redevelopment of the marae into the future,” Mr Morgan says.

The marae is due to be passed over to the new trust on July the first.


A Ngai Tahu woman has found she can't grow snails fast enough to meet demand.

Raewynne Achten started Silver Trail Gourmet Snails after researching untapped business opportunities.

She grows the tiny delicacies on her property in Raukawa Valley near Hastings for supply to restaurants, and recently opened another farm in Onga Onga.

“We farm them in an open pasture method and we’re reliant on rain and the climatic conditions to make the food they’re eating good enough for them to grow on. That was a bit of a struggle this year so numbers were a bit limited but we had just enough snails to keep us going with the restaurants we had on board already, so that’s something we are looking at for next year,” Ms Achten says.

Snails which don't meet restaurant quality could be turned into a gourmet snail pate.


The dream of a Maori theatre for Auckland will be raised again at a Playmarket hui this weekend.

Organiser Steven Bradshaw says the Second Annual Matariki Playwrights Hui at Tatai Te Hono Marae in Grafton will bring together writers, actors and others who have supported the Maori theatrical renaissance.

He says Tamaki Makaurau is home to many established and younger Maori actors, but they have no collective forum where they can hone their craft.

“We've got the population here. I think we need a theatre company. There’s developmental things we can do with workshops, with hui, wananga, and take small steps at growing our art form,” Mr Bradshaw says.

Many Maori playwrights have left live theatre to write for the screen.


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