Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cycleway could benefit Hauraki iwi

The head of Hauraki's kaumatua council expects benefits for the iwi from a new cycle way.

The seven legs of the national cycleway announced by the Government this week include the Hauraki Plains Trail from Thames to Paeroa along a disused railway with access to wetlands and historic sites.

It then passes through the Karangahake Gorge to Waikino.

Jim Nichols, from the Hauraki Maori Trust Board, says more visitors spells opportunity for the community, but it needs monitoring by iwi.

Jim Nichols says Hauraki will be keen to see what role it can take as kaitiaki in maintaining the track, and how the cycleway fits with the iwi's 50 year plan to restore the rohe's environment.


Nelson's Whakatu Marae has launched low cost health services, including a GP, physiotherapist and massage therapist.

Marae chief executive Trevor Wilson says it's an attempt to meet the healthcare needs of Maori in the region.

He says few Maori are registered with mainstream general practitioners, with cost a major factor.

“They don’t have the money. We have sunshine wages here which aren’t that great, people come here for the sunshine rather than the money, but it is about trying to meet the needs of whanau,” Mr Wilson says.

The initiative is sponsored by a Nelson public health organisation.


A Ngati Tuwharetoa and Ngati Porou woman has told the story of her life in gangs in the hope it helps young wahine break free of the lifestyle.

Nayda Te Rangi is one of the 11 women featured in a new book on the Aroha Trust, a gang-associated work co-operative set up in Wellington in the 1970s.

The women have also lodged a Waitangi Tribunal claim on behalf of all Maori women affected by gangs.

Ms Te Rangi says her family moved to the city when she was a child, and disconnection from te ao Maori drew her to the gangs and held her there until she discovered her Maoritanga.

“It was the pull that was so strong, the solidarity, the whanaungatanga within the gang scene was so strong that I just walked away from my job, I gave it up. My life could have been very different if I’d had my marae and kaumatua and kuia, if I knew the reo, my whakapapa. My life would have been so different,” Ms Te Rangi says.

The book by Wellington writer Pip Desmond is Trust: A True Story of Women and Gangs.


A member of the new Aquaculture Technical Advisory Group says most iwi will need to build marine farming into their fishing businesses.

Ngati Wai fisheries adviser Keir Volkerling says the group must report back to the ministers of fisheries and environment by the end of September on how proposed changes in the Resource Management Act and the Aquaculture Act will affect the sector.

The group is chaired by former fisheries minister Doug Kidd and includes representatives from local government, industry groups and Te Ohu Kaimoana.

Mr Volkerling says growing scarcity of many species and the cost of pusuing wild fish round the sea in diesel powered boats will force iwi to confront the issue of farming.

“If you had mussels and pork on the restaurant menu and you were only looking for the wild harvest you wouldn’t be feeding many people, and there are more and more seafood species that are going to be coming into that category over time so if you are looking for a long term position in the seafood industry you must consider aquaculture,” Mr Volkerling says.

While there has been little development since new legislation four years ago, the Northland Regional Council is well advanced in creating an aquaculture plan.


Black Power is promising passive resistance to Wanganui District Council's gang patch ban.

Wanganui's Hells Angels chapter has hired a lawyer to tell the council it is a club rather than a gang or criminal organisation, and the new bylaw breaches the Bill of Rights.

Black Power spokesman Dennis O'Reilly says his predominantly Maori gang is taking a different approach to what it considers a silly piece of legislation.

“We're taking a sort of passive resistance approach to it and we think we’ve got a pretty intelligent case to pursue there, and the Angels of course are going their way about it, but it’s what you do that counts. It’s not what you wear that counts, not what you call yourself, it’s what your behaviours are in terms of your civic responsibilities and civic contribution as citizens,” he says.

Mr O'Reilly says the Wanganui gang insignia bylaw is part of a worrying trend in criminal justice policy of treating some people as non-citizens.


A veteran Maori showband musician is calling for a retranslation of the national anthem.

Steel guitar player Ben Tawhiti says Maori language week has highlighted the increased acceptance te reo Maori has in the wider community.

But that acceptance should not require over-simplifying or compromising the language.

“E hoa atua. To me it should be ‘E hi hoa, atua.’ ‘O nga iwi ma to ra.’ Where did that come from? ‘O nga iwi katoa.’ The lord of all people,” Mr Tawhiti says.


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