Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kirikiriroa Runanga plans Waitangi claim

The Government's refusal to include Maori representatives on the proposed Auckland super city council has spurred a Hamilton urban Maori authority to mount a Waitangi Tribunal claim against the local government system.

Matiu Dickson from Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa says a delegation from the runanga met with new local government Minister Rodney Hide after the election to voice concerns about Maori representation.

But it held off lodging a claim while it waited for the response to the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance.

He says taking Maori seats off the table in Auckland sent the wrong signal to councils like Hamilton, which have resisted giving Maori a say in decisions.

“Although it was the original reason for setting up the runanga, the relationship has been very hot and cold and not very rewarding for ourselves as Maori people and also for the council because all this time the council has missed out on having Maori representation,” Mr Dickson says.


A researcher studying sleeping patterns in pregnant women says more data is needed from Maori population.

Massey University's Sleep Wake Research Centre has received almost $1 million in the latest Health Research Council funding round for a three year study on the relationship between sleep and birthing delivery methods, which will include data from 500 Maori women in the late stages of pregnancy.

Researcher Bronwyn Sweeney, says there could be a link between sleep quantity and quality and how babies are treated.

“If a mother’s mood changes and she gets post natal depression, that affects how she feels about herself and her parenting skills. It can affect how she reacts to her baby and how she attaches to her baby, so that’s a really important relationship to get right and then it can affect her relationships with other people, so her family, her whanau, her extended community,” Ms Sweeney says.

Another researcher, Sarah Jane Paine, got a grant for a one-year feasibility study aimed at developing clinical sleep services for Maori.


It's the 123rd anniversary of the Tarawera Eruption, but the memory of the event still lives on the hearts and minds of Tuhourangi.

Kaumatua Aneru Rangiheua says a small memorial service will be held on Sunday morning at the Buried Village on the shores of Lake Tarawera.

He says hundreds of Tuhourangi died when the maunga exploded, spewing ash over the countryside.

The survivors moved to land at Thames, and later back to Te Ngae and Whakarewarewa, but Mr Rangiheua says until he moved back 13 years ago the ancestral land around the lake remained unoccupied by tangata whenua.

“It's got a marvelous area. Historically we look around at all the little areas I can imagine where my people would have been rowing around fishing and hunting and creating amusement for themselves, doing battle4s, they had a lot of those here, a lot of skirmishes here, that kept them going. It’s got a strong history, a great history,” he says.

Mr Rangiheua says the creation of a walking track around Lake Tarawera might create employment opportunities for Tuhourangi descendants who want to move back onto their mana whenua.


The High Court has reserved its decision on a challenge to the way Ngai Tuhoe manages its share of the Treelord forestry settlement.

The case is the last throw for hapu collective Te Umutaoroa, after the Waitangi Tribunal last week refused to hear its challenge to Te Kotahi a Tuhoe's mandate to represent the tribe.

Te Umutaoroa, which includes long serving Tuhoe Maori Trust Board secretary Tama Nikora and a group of younger leaders is challenging the Tuhoe Establishment Trust and Te Kotahi a Tuhoe, who took part in the negotiations which secured the return of central North Island forests to a pan-tribal management company.

Te Umutaoroa is concerned the corporate structure could put contol of the tribe's multi-million dollar assets in the hands of as few as three trustees.

Its lawyers argued that the governance structure was developed by Treasury and CNI officials, with no Maori input.

They are arguing for the court to intervene, as it did when the Tainui executive tried to impose a new governance structure on that iwi.

A decision is expected by the end of the week.


The Western Bay of Plenty public health organisation is urging Maori in its region not to take gout for granted.

Philippa Jones, a workforce development coordinator, says up to 14 percent of Maori males are afflicted with the painful condition, compared to about 2 percent of Pakeha.

She says gout is too often normalised in Maori communities, rather than being seen as a treatable illness.

“Gout's not normal. You shouldn’t expect it will happen to you. If you do have gout, by avoiding beer and avoiding seafood, this can reduce the risk of having an attack, and by taking the right drugs you might never ever get another attack of gout. Just don’t take it for granted that all this is something you have to live with,” Ms Jones says.

The Western Bay of Plenty PHO is circulating treatment guidelines for its health practices and hauora, based on best practice developed by Middlemore hospital in south Auckland.


They have a Maori name, a roots reggae sound, and a quest to unite people through their music.

Wellington band Hikoikoi got its name from a pa site at Petone beside the Heretaunga River.

Keyboardist James Coyle says with Irish, English, Scottish and Samoan ancestry, the six members of the band are trying to acknowledge the cultural mix of Aotearoa through their music.

“We sort of feel like being no Maori but with a Maori name we’ve give ourselves a challenge to cross over a bridge there, because there’s a lot of healing needed in this country and we feel like music is a good path to explore that kind of thing,” Mr Coyle says.

Hikoikoi is touring the country this month to promote its self-titled debut album.


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