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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Iwi wary of too many city bodies

Sir Douglas Graham's plan to resolve Tamaki Makaurau treaty claims has come under fire before a parliamentary committee.

A subcommittee of the select committee on Auckland governance was at Orakei Marae today to hear views on the super-city bill.

Tama Te Rangi from Te Runanga o Ngati Whatua says Maori representation needs to be built into the city's institutions, rather than create separate bodies, as Sir Douglas is suggesting for the management of the Maori interest in harbours, waterways and sites of significance.

“There are some legislated entities already in place that have a clear mandate, a clear commitment and strategy towards serving the interests of all people,” Mr te Rangi says.

Failure to provide a seat at the table for mana whenua in any new Auckland council would be a repeat of past discrimination against Ngati Whatua.


Maori are being urged to get their moles checked in the wake of a new study revealing a sharp jump in the number of Maori with melanomas.

Dr Brian Cox, from the University of Otago's Hugh Adam Cancer Unit, says over the past decade the rate of malignant melanoma among Maori went up 90 percent, compared with a 12 percent increase among Pakeha.

Maori also have a high incidence of thick tumors, which are a major factor in determining the risk of death.

Dr Cox says the study of the data collected by the New Zealand Cancer Registry shows Maori must take the same level of care in the sun as non Maori.

“Maori need to be concerned about skin lesions that are asymmetric, have an irregular border, have a particularly dark colour, particularly black. If they have those sorts of changes in their skin they should probably get them inspected by a doctor,” Dr Cox says.

Despite the increase, Maori are still only a 10th as likely to get a melanoma as a European New Zealander.

The manager of a King Country Maori forestry company says central North Island iwi can benefit from what Ngati Rereahu and Maniapoto have learned about the industry.

Glen Katu says Maraeroa C Incorporation has set up trucking, processing and tourism businesses so it could get more value out of the trees grown on its land adjoining the Pureora Forest.

It is also harvesting and processing harakeke and growing ginseng in its forests.

“From the experimental work we and others are undertaking can only be benefit others coming on stream now and be in a much better position to grow business opportunities,” Mr Katu says.

Maori landowners have the resources to back up entrepreneurial ideas in a way they didn't have even a decade ago.

The author of a report on children killed in driveways says Maori aren't taking the problem seriously enough.

Philip Morreau says three quarters of cases involve Maori or Pacific island children, with one child a fortnight admitted to hospital with severe injuries and up to four dying every year.

He says the rate of accidents in consistent, but the problem doesn't seem to be recognised by the authorities.

“Because this occurs on private property it’s not officially recorded and so the statistics which these papers have been based on are only because myself and those people working with me have identified this as a problem and collected this data and published it. The government, the authorities, Land Transport Safety doesn’t even know the scope of the problem,” Dr Morreau says

A combination of targeted public health messages, safer driveway design and the fencing of domestic rental properties would have a major impact of driveway accident rates.


Maori teachers have been urged to bring a bit of magic to the classroom.

Almost 200 teachers braved bad weather and collapsing roads to attend NZEI Te Riu Roa’s annual Te Kahui Whetu hui in Ruatoria over the weekend.

Laures Park, the primary teacher union's matua takawaenga, says the agenda included new Maori curriculum and the shortage of te reo teachers.

She says while whanau support is critical for education success, Maori teachers also need to do more to ensure students get the most out of the classroom experience.

“Some of the ways we went through in our days doesn’t suit the children now. We need to look at other ways of ensuring our kids gain the passion and receive the magic from the kaiako. If you’re just turning up to receive your pay, you shouldn't be there,” Mrs Park says.


A leading Maori composer says Maori language songwriters won't benefit from a legal showdown between performance right holders and broadcasters.

Phonographic Performances New Zealand, which mainly represents multinational record companies, is trying to triple the share of gross advertising revenue it gets as a royalty from radio stations.

Ruia Aperahama says because the iwi stations which play Maori music are classified as community radio, they are exempt from the royalty regime.

“As a Maori language artist, I’ve never received royalties through iwi radio stations. Now with Maori Television, there’s Maori music playing so you’ve got to ask the question, is any artist getting royalties out of that music from midnight to morning. I know the answer; kao,” Mr Aperahama says.

He says the industry needs to find a better way to create economic stability for performers.


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