Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, July 06, 2009

Flag on Maungawhau to highlight super city debate

The largest tino rangatiratanga flag in the world will be flying from Maungawhau this week, as the government select committee prepares to hear oral submissions on the future of local governance in Auckland.

Organiser Ngarimu Blair from the Iwi Have Influence action group, says hundreds are expected at dawn vigils at the summit of Mount Eden to show their dissatisfaction at the government's decision not to include Maori seats on the proposed Auckland super council.

He says they were looking to do something more relevant than standing waving placards among the crowds at the select committee hearings.

“So the thought was let‘s go to Auckland’s most visited site where 1.2 million people per annum come, it generates a huge amount of money for the city, it’s the poor man’s skytower to get a view of the city notwithstanding it’s a waahi tapu, a sacred site for many of the tribes of Auckland and for many Aucklanders,” Mr Blair says.

A subcommittee will look into the issue of Maori wards at sittings at Orakei, Te Puea and Hoani Waititi marae, from Wednesday to Friday.


A Maori political commentator is predicting New Zealand First leader Winston Peter's breaking of his silence since the election to criticise the Ministerial Foreshore and Seabed Act review could be the start of a political come back.

Matt Mc Carten says Winston Peter's criticism on the Television One programme "Q & A" at the weekend of the review as the path to separatism is tailor-made for Winston Peters and could have a marked affect on the political scene.

“The Nats and by extension ACT who normally would attack these things, kind of can’t, and Labour’s all over the paddock on it. So their Maori MPs, what’s left of them, say ‘don’t rock the boat’ so no party is going to oppose it because the Greens won’t and this is a tailor-made issue for Winston to make a comeback,” Mr McCarten says.

He says support for Winston Peters on the issue could force the government to back down from a weakening of its stance on separate Maori seats on Auckland super city.


A prison programme manager from Kaikohe says the merits of tikanga-based arts programmes like kapahaka and whakairo are making inroads in connecting prisoners to their whanau.

Mark Lynds is being awarded with a Prison Arts Leadership Award in Parliament tonight, for his work promoting the arts as a vehicle for rehabilitation at the Northern Region Corrections Facility and Auckland Prison.

He says art and cultural knowledge are important keys to restoring the mana of Maori who have lost their way.

“You can physically see a change in the way the men interact. There are less incidents, they’re easier to manage and they become quite positive. Some of the guys have had no contact with whanau for quite a while when they’ve been in here basically because they‘ve pushed their whanau away. It’s not until they reconnect that they start developing the want and need to get back in with their extended whanau,” Mr Lynd says.

The programmes have allowed prisoners’ work to be displayed inside and outside of prisons, raised money for charity through the sale of prison art, and he is in negotiations with several councils around the country to submit whakairo.


One of the chief negotiators of the CNI deal which was celebrated at the weekend with the return of nearly $500 million worth of forests and cash to central north island tribes says the work has only just begun.

Rawiri Te Whare, who was the chief Te Arawa negotiator, says the deal makes iwi the largest forestry owners in the country.

“It's a considerable amount of assets and cash and so brings with it a huge challenge to the leadership of the CNI. The work is only just begun now, putting all the infrastructure and the process and they systems me need to get in place to ensure the steady careful prudent management of these assets,” Mr Te Whare says.

Te Arawa is not in a hurry to spend the money its receives and will be investing it conservatively.


The director of a Maori tobacco-free organisation is calling on the government to increase the tax on loose tobacco to help encourage Maori to quit.

Shane Kawenata Bradbrook says its a myth that loose tobacco is less harmful, with recent research showing people who smoked roll-your-own cigarettes are inhaling up to 28 percent more smoke than those who smoked tailormades.

He says that, coupled with a high Maori smoking population is a recipe of gloom for Maori.

“You increase tax, there’s an incentive there for people to quit. Smokers are price sensitive just like any other consumer, so increase the tax you are going to see people starting to make decisions around quitting and I think that is a massive disincentive for people,” Mr Bradbrook says.

An increase in tax needs to be supported by an increase in access to support services for Maori like Aukati Kai Paipa


An Estimated 120,000 people flocked to Atamira, Maori in the City over the weekend and organisers predict the event will eventually be as big as Pasifika.

Pauline Kingi from Te Puni Kokiri says Atamira started two years ago as a showcase for Maori creative and performing artists.

Ms Kingi says this year's expansion and the inclusion of business, science and innovation was to create strategies for all areas of Maoridom to grow and prosper.

“Pasifika was an important statement of the achievement of Pacific peoples in the New Zealand context. Similarly, Atamira is an important contributor to where Maoridom is moving to. We are now in an economic debate and climate in which Maori are integral to the growth, the expansion for our country,” Ms Kingi says.


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