Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, August 28, 2009

Apology due for Arawa hara

The Prime Minster is due at Owhata Marae on the shores of Lake Rotorua later this morning to deliver the official apology to Te Arawa for the Crown's historic breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Roger Pikia from settlement body Te Pumautanga O Te Arawa says the apology will mean a lot for elderly members of the tribe who have monitored the negotiations over decades.

He says the apology is an important part of the $43 million settlement and allows the iwi to concentrate on the future.

“I think it's an important factor. It’s not the sole thing iwi are looking for. How the Crown behaves going forward will be watched vigilantly by iwi as well to ensure the words expressed are not hollow words and there is genuine intent behind that apology so we are looking forward to the apology delivered by the prime minister,” Mr Pikia says.


Meanwhile, Maori accountants are gathering in Hamilton for their annual hui looking at changes in the Maori economic landscape.

Leon Wijohn from Te Rarawa and Tuhoe, the northern representative on Nga Kaitatau Maori o Aotearoa, says the treaty settlement process is bringing major changes.

He says there is considerable optimism among iwi as they see the settlement process accelerate, but there is also a realisation they need to gear up for more commercial activities and management of sizeable assets.

“There's a lot of work that needs to go on looking at how they manage what come back. We’re going to need a lot or resource and managers an d directors and right across the board,” Mr Wijohn says.

Less than 2 percent of chartered accountants are Maori, so there is a need to encourage rangatahi into the field.


The director of a military style programme for wayward rangatahi has welcomed a government boost for the sector.

Prime Minister John Key and the social development Minister Paula Bennett have announced initiatives worth just under $85 million for young people getting in trouble with the law.

The bulk of the putea will be used on youth justice initiatives, including military style bootcamps for up to 90 rangatahi.

Steve Boxer from Male Youth New Direction of MYND says it will provide much needed support, as most programme providers are always underfunded
Steve Boxer says 40 percent of MYND's Auckland based clients are Maori.


Te Arawa will this morning hear Prime Minister John Key apologise on behalf of the Crown for more than a century of breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Rawiri Te Whare, the chief executive of settlement body Te Pumautanga o te Arawa, says the ceremony at Owhata Marae marks the end of the claim process and the start of a new relationship with the Crown.

He says while elements of Te Arawa fought with the Crown during the land wars, it was not able to fend off the subsequent land grab.

“Considerable amounts of land was eventually taken from Te Arawa so it’s still the same grievance that a number of iwi have, the actions of the Native Land Court, the Crown purchasing systems have all contributed to the injustices, the hara done to Te Arawa,” Mr Te Whare says.

John Key and Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson are expected at Owhata marae about 10 o'clock.


While most people in Taitokerau don't appreciate gale force winds, for Hekenukumai Busby they represent opportunity.

The Ngati Kahu rangatira is highly regarded throughout the Pacific for his knowledge of celestial navigation and waka building.

But he's run out of raw materials, so he's working with the Department of Conservation to identify windfallen kauri for use in waka restoration.

His restoration projects have included the Waitangi-based Ngatokimatawhaorua, which should be the centrepiece of next year's Waitangi Day regatta.


First the marae went digital. Now it's become a book.

Ngapuhi artist Lisa Reihana's ongoing Digital Marae project has taken its latest twist with the launch in Auckland tomorrow of a book documenting her multimedia explorations of ancestors and gods.

The work was shortlisted for the Walters Prize earlier this year, and was also included in the New South Wales Art gallery's Anne Landa Award for video and new media.

Reihana says being able to see it on a smaller scale was a luxury she enjoyed sharing.

“It's really nice to see them all next to each other in a form that is accessible, Even for myself, because the works are so big and wrapped up and in storage, when they come out it’s like seeing them again, it’s like having your babies out on show, but in a book it’s something you can see and reference all the time,” Reihana says.

The next stop for Digital Marae is London, where Lisa Reihana features in a group show.


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