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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Drug reports rankle festival trustees

A trustee for the Parihaka International Peace Festival says it's hard to tackle imbalanced reporting on a national scale.

The Press Council has upheld a complaint against the Taranaki Daily News for a report claiming drugs were freely available at the January festival.

The council found the paper ran the story without seeking comment from festival organisers, who dispute the allegations.

Ruakere Hond says the New Plymouth paper has been forced to let organisers put their side, but there are no such requirements on other newspapers that picked up the story.

“There's no comeback for the papers round the country that ran with the story. Us in Taranaki have very little chance of being able to influence that so we’ve gone back to the Press Council to ask them for direction in relation to seeking remedy over the other newspapers that printed the story and failed to provide balanced statements later,” Mr Hond says.

The festival hopes to develop a better relationship with local media for the future.


Maori proverbs are helping guide a project to restore Hamilton's depleted biodiversity.

Researcher Wiremu Puke says a workshop this week at Waikato University is looking at ecological, Maori and legal issues of replanting an area where less than 2 percent of the original cover remains.

Mr Puke identified the city's pre-European Maori ecosystem from the diaries of Ngati Wairere paramount chief Waharoa Te Puke and discussions with Tainui kaumatua.

He says oral histories are a rich source of information.

“Often moteatea talk about our landscape, our environment, and what they were used for. Patere as well. And when you look at those patere more closely they talk about not only dominant landmarks in one’s hapu and iwi area but depending on how comprehensive a patere is, they talk about landmarks used for gathering kai,” Mr Puke says.

About 200 hectares around the city is currently being replanted, and birds like tui are starting to return.


A group representing Maori musicians says Maori radio may find demands for increased royalties hard to handle.

The Copyright Tribunal is hearing a claim by Phonographic Performances New Zealand, which mainly represents multinational record companies, to triple the amount radio stations pay out of advertising revenue.

Ngahiwi Apanui from Puatatangi says while Maori composers may hope for a bigger slice of the pie, it could affect the viability of the iwi stations who get their work out to the public.

“If you say for example Maori radio stations are making $300,000 a year from a combination of advertising and Te Mangai Paho grants, you may find that’s $9000 and that could be a part of someone’s position, so I can see from a broadcaster’s position how they could have a problem,” Mr Apanui says.


The instigator of a plan to build up to 180 dwellings on a Northland beach feels double-crossed at the way the development has been blocked.

The Rodney District Coucil has refuses a zone change for the five kilometres of Te Arai Beach bought by Te Uri o Hau as part of its treaty settlement.

Independent planning commissioners said the beach between Pakiri and Mangawhai had significant ecological values and was a home to endangered fairy terns and dotterels.

Former Te Uri o Hau chair Sir Graham Latimer, who negotiated the settlement, says the Crown charged the Ngati Whatua hapu a high price for the land because of its development potential.
“They've turned round and changed their mind, and it doesn’t matter that it’s cost us four or five million dollars. It really isn’t a concern of theirs. I’m very disappointed, not so much about the project, but how people can double cross you,” Sir Graham says.


The Press Council has censured a New Plymouth newspaper for its slur against this year's Parihaka Peace Festival.

The watchdog says the taranaki Dauily News was wrong to run a claim drugs were freely available at the January festival, without seeking comment from organisers.

Festival trusteee Ruakere Hond says while the newspaper has been forced to run the organisers' denials, the damaged has been done.

“We feel hurt not so much for the festival but for the name of Parihaka and the difference between the newspaper and the Internet is the newspaper ends up in the rubbish bins. However the Internet whenever you do a search, sign key words, immediately those stories come back up again, so it’s vey difficult for the Parihaka Fesival to respond to it,” Mr Hond says.


Maori teachers want more pay for their support staff, especially those who supply help with te reo Maori.

NZEI Te Riu Roa’s annual Te Kahui Whetu hui of Maori members in Ruatoria resolved to take the issue up with the government.

Laures Park, the union's matua takawaenga, says kaiawhina are important to the day to day running of schools and kura kaupapa, but their value is not reflected in their pay packets.

“We'll be looking at agreements for support staff, who are the lowest paid people. They receive less than the caretakers at the kura, not to say the caretakers don’t do a huge amount of work, but some of our people are kaiawhina and the class wouldn’t work without them,” Mrs Park says.

The hui also looked at the new Maori curriculum and the shortage of te reo teachers.


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