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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

TPK tries to unite Tamaki Maori

Te Puni Kokiri is leading the co-ordination of an iwi consortium to represent Maori in Tamaki Makaurau.

Regional director of the Ministry for Maori Development, Pauline Kingi, says several months ago leaders from the two principal iwi, Ngati Whatua and Tainui met with Nga Puhi to discuss the details and undertakings for last weekend's Atamira, Maori in the City.

She says it was timely that discussions of a consortium surfaced.

“An iwi Maori consortium concept of mana whenua and a critical iwi Maori groupings in the Tamaki Makaurau region and so we asked Tainui to carry that and work with us on both the mana whenua side and the taura here side to sew it all up, so there will obviously be further dialogue with the urban Maori authorities as we get that consortium bedded down,” Ms Kingi says.

The formation of an iwi consortium is the beginning of a long term strategy which will ultimately serve Maori at a number of economic and social levels.


Maori Party MP Hone Harawira will seek government support to have a Maori flag distributed to every marae in the country and flown at every New Zealand embassy around the world on Waitangi Day.

A national Maori flag consultation team will begin hui around the country this week seeking views on what flag should represent Maori.

Mr Hawawira says any flag should be widely distributed.

“I recall from the old days, the old people telling me something like the internal affairs department sent flags out to all the marae so I’m going to see if we can get Internal Affairs, whatever the flag is, make up heaps and heaps of them and offer them to every marae in the country,” he says.

Mr Harawira says the flag decision is due by mid-September.


Maori singer Moana Maniapoto and her band are off to Borneo to perform.

And she's expecting a positive response to the environmental and respect for the land messages embodied in her music when the band plays before local tribes.

“We are going to meet some tribal representatives over there and I notice they have been in a big struggle with the government and Indonesia in terms of the palm oil biofuels that is devastating a lot of their lands, so I think we will have a bit in common,” Maniapoto says.


One of the chief negotiators of the $500million CNI deal says the government's attitude bodes well for future settlements.

The so-called Treelords deal which came into force on July 1 and was celebrated at the weekend was negotiated with the Labour government led by Dr Michael Cullen as Treaty Negotiations Minister but the new governent saw the settlerment process through.

Chief Te Arawa negotiator Rawiri Te Whare says the positive attitude was carried on by the new Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson.

“The way that National has engaged to date has been very encouraging and I think their attitude to settlements represents a positive side that suggests they also want to see settlements achieved going into the future so I’m very encouraged with discussions we’ve had with ministers to date,” Mr Te Whare says.

The real work managing the forests and wisely investing money received now begins for the CNI collective and individual iwi.


Te Puni Kokiri says Maori businesses need to prepare to shine under the international spotlight during the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Ministry for Maori Development Rugby spokesman, Paora Amunsden, says Maori culture is what makes Aotearoa unique and tourists will come here wanting to see the sights, learn the culture and take home Maori merchandise.

Mr Ammunsden says during the 2007 Rugby World Cup, French retailers ran out of goods like images of the Eiffel Tower and berets.

He says Maori businesses need to make sure this does not happen here.

“The opportunities for our retail merchandise operators around selling taonga Maori, Maori product, the opportunities for Maori tourism operators. Something in the order of 4.5 billion viewers will watch the tournament so we’ve got a real opportunity to sell Maori inc if you like to the world, to communicate what’s unique and special about our people,” Mr Ammunsden says.

Creating a unique Maori brand associated with the rugby world cup is essential for Maori business to maximise opportunities.


The work of a group which has set up a television station which broadcasts in medical centre waiting rooms and hospitals has been acknowledged with the supreme award for innovation at Atamira - Maori in the City over the weekend.

Travis O'Keefe of Ngati Porou whose company Health TV has been in operation for four years says the aim is to educate people about health issues and not to sell pharmaceuticals.

He says the tool has far wider potential which will only be fully realised with further investment.


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