Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pakarae Whangara wins Ahuwhenua Trophy

The chair of the Ahuwhenua Trophy organising committee says increasing consolidation is likely as Maori land enterprises search for efficiency.

Pakarae Whangara B5 Partnership won the premier Maori farming contest for its management of a 5600-hectare sheep and beef farm north of Gisborne which has placed it in the top 10 percent for its farm class.

The competition was started by Sir Apirana Ngata in 1932 to promote his farm development policies, and revived in recent years.

Kingi Smiler says the Pakarae Whangara partnership came together in 2006 so two adjoining Ngati Konohi-owned farms could benefit from economies of scale.

He says Maori-owned farms are some of the largest in the country, and they are increasingly setting benchmarks for good farming practice.


A Ngai Tahu artist has turned to audio-visual techniques to add another dimension to her new series of jewellery.

Areta Wilkinson’s Waka Huia series opens at the Mary Newton Gallery in Wellington tomorrow.

She says each of the 12 unique works will include a recording on its creation.

That’s a departure for her previous practice of letting the work speak for itself.


Film festival audiences around the country will have a rare chance to see Barry Barclay’s ground-breaking Tangata Whenau series of documentaries.

Festival head Bill Gosden says the Ngati Apa writer and director, who died last year, broke down barriers not just for Maori but for indigenous film-makers around the world.

He says the new prints of the six Tangata Whenua episodes highlight the foresight of Barclay and his co-writer on the series, Michael King.

“I think it was enormously influential and looking at those films which were made in 1974, looking at them 30 years later they seem enormously progressive for their time and you almost wonder what happened for the next 15 years because those films have quite a modern sensibility,” Mr Gosden says.

The Auckland and Wellington festivals also include Barclay’s feature-length documentary about seed patenting, The Neglected Miracle, and The Camera on the Shore, a documentary by Graeme Tuckett in which Barclay talks about all of his films.


A film made in Hokianga which has been acclaimed in European and North American film festivals is coming home.

The Strength of Water is one of the main draws at next month’s Auckland and Wellington film festivals.

It was directed by Armagan Ballantyne from a script by Briar Grace Smith of Ngapuhi and Ngati Wai.

Festival director Bill Gosden says a large contingent is expected from Hokianaga for the Auckland premiere on July 18.

“I guess the film is a ghost story. It’s a story of twins who have been separated by death but who don’t sense that separation, they continue to be in touch with each other while nobody else can see the little girl. It’s an incredibly moving film. I think it’s a very potent piece of work,” Mr Gosden says.

Followers of Maori film will also be keen to see the Barry Barclay documentaries brought together for the festivals, including new prints of the ground-breaking Tangata Whenua documentary series from 1974.


The Whanau ora task force holds its first meeting this week with associate social development minister Taria Turia keen for it to set a new direction for government policy.

The taskforce is chaired by Massey University Professor Mason Durie, an acknowledged expert in Maori health and social development, and includes people active in iwi trusts, hauora and the Maori Women’s Welfare League.

Mrs Turia says the government is looking for ways to increase the effectiveness of its services to Maori and will be open to what her taskforce comes up with.

“I don't think the Government would have gone this far if it wasn’t considerably interested in what the taskforce can bring to the table but more importantly because we’ve got a lot of money being spent on and for Maori and what we’re really interested to know is whether it’s been value for money and whether as a government we can do better. We think we can,” Mrs Turia says.


The Maori Tourism Council has aligned itself more closely with the national tourism body.

Chairperson John Barrett says it’s moving in to the Tourism Industry Association’s Wellington head office.

The Hotel Council of New Zealand is also occupying space in the building.

Mr Barrett says while his council will retain its autonomy, the initiative should provide opportunities for Maori operators.

Mr Barrett, who also runs a tourism business on Kapiti Island, is acting as executive chair while a replacement is found for chief executive Neville Forman, who left to build up his own consulting company.


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