Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Ngai Tahu pulls plug on water case

Ngai Tahu has pulled the plug on a historically significant case on how water is allocated.

The South Island tribe's property arm has abandoned its Supreme Court Appeal against Central Plains Water and Canterbury Regional Council over who had first rights to water from the Waimakariri River.

The parties were arguing over whose application was filed first under the rules set down in the Resource Management Act.

However, a late intervention by the New Zealand Maori Council threatened to open the case up in a way which would give the courts more discretion, and potentially bring the Treaty of Waitangi and other Maori interests into play.
Jim Nichols, the deputy chair of the Maori Council, is disappointed the case is over.

“The debate over whether or not allocation should be made on the basis of first up best dressed or on the basis of treaty tikanga and kaitiaki is a critical issue that at some point needs to be debated,” Mr Nichols says.

The Maori Council is exploring whether the case can be kept alive even though the main litigants have dropped out.

Ngai Tahu Properties refused to comment on its reasons for abandoning its appeal.


The chair of the Maori Tourism Council says axing a fund that provided support for new Maori tourism ventures will handicap attempts by operators to cash in on the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

John Barrett says regional Maori tourism groups tapped into the Ministry of Social Development's enterprising community projects fund to provide invaluable help to fledgling Maori ventures.

He says Maori venture had been looking forward to a bonanza from the influx of rugby fans.

“While it's okay for our existing regional Maori groups that are working under that programme and developing good results, with the World Cup coming up my belief is we need to do all we can to make sure not just our Maori tourism operators the national tourism sector is as prepared as we possibly can be in generating some new programmes that will work toward that rugby world cup target,” Mr Barrett says.

While the global downturn has hit some of the big Maori tourism operators hard, some smaller ventures have recorded surprisingly good results.


A Taranaki artist is off to Sweden today with hundreds of individually-crafted poi made from recycled woolen blankets.

Ngahina Hohaia is one of five fibre artists exhibiting at the Rydal Museum and Spinning Works as part of a summer focus on New Zealand.

Ms Hohaia needs to personally install her work, as each of the poi has a different image which builds up to an historical narrative.

Ngahina Hohaia's poi-manu installations have also been shown at New Plymouth's Govett-Brewster gallery in New Plymouth and Puke Ariki Museum.


Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira says Maori have a lot to learn from the stolen generations of aboriginal people.

The maverick Maori Marty MP was a guest last weekend at a tribute dinner in Brisbane to acknowledge those indigenous Australians taken from their families, leaving many unsure even today where they came from.
Mr Harawira says it was an honour to witness the resilience of on display.

He also attended Sorry Day in Australia two years ago when new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made an official apology to the stolen generations.


Otorohanga is celebrating maintaining zero youth unemployment for more than two years.

Mayor Dale Williams says the district has double the national average population of Maori.

He says rangatahi are drawn into apprentice and other youth schemes set up five years ago to give pathways into education or employment.
He says the success of the schemes has boosted whanau confidence and created a real sense of pride on the streets of the small King Country town.

“We have a lot of people from Maori Wardens to the Maori Women’s Welfare League, a whole lot of organisations who ware in this from the beginning so the results they tell me is just inspiring. You can walk down the main street of Otorohanga any time of the day or night and you don’t see groups of people who are disengaged or don’t feel they have options. Well they certainly have now,” Mr Williams says.


Former international sevens player Karl Te Nana expects Paul Tito will take Saturday night's Barbarians match against the Wallabies in his stride.

In his long career, the New Plymouth-born 110 kg lock represented Taranaki, the Chiefs, the Hurricanes and New Zealand Maori before taking up a contract with the Cardiff Blues.

Mr te Nana says Tito has earned his spot in the all star lineup to do battle in Sydney with the Robbie Deans coached Aussie squad.

“One of the traditions of the Barbarians is they do play an uncapped player in all their teams, and Paul has been playing some pretty good rugby in northern regions,” he says.

The Barbarians features six New Zealand players, including gun Maori inside back Luke McAllistair, players from the England, Ireland France and Samoan squads, and league convert Sonny Bill Williams.


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