Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, August 31, 2009

Dirty water avoidable threat

Labour's water quality spokesperson says some rural marae could become unusable unless the government unlocks an $88 million fund to upgrade small water schemes.

The Drinking Water Assistance Programme set up by Labour is under review, with Health Minister Tony Ryall saying he wants to evaluate how it aligns with government policies and whether it provides value for money.

Brendon Burns says the programme was a response to World Health Organisation concerns about water quality after a lethal outbreak of water-borne disease in Canada.

But he says it has been under threat since Local Government Minister Rodney Hide told a local government conference in March that the water standards were ridiculous.

“At some point Mr Hide and Mr Ryle are going to have to deal with the consequences of a serious outbreak of water borne illness, perhaps involving fatalities, and I think they will come to realise how important it is that we as a nation do not neglect these things, actually acknowledge want to be a first world nation, and the best measure of that is having safe drinking water,” Mr Burns says.

Some 71 projects are on hold, including many marae and small Maori rural communities.

MUTTONBIRD SEASON HIT BY CLIMACTIC CONDITIONS

Murihiku iwi want to know why numbers of shellfish and birdlife at the bottom of the South Island are declining.

Michael Skerrett, the upoko to the Waihopai Runaka, says mollyhawks are so hungry they are eating out of fishermen's hands.

He says this year's muttonbird season has been the worst in memory, which the iwi is attributing to colder water temperatures and rough weather rather than harvesting pressure.

“What we do on the island does nothing. The threats are the other things we can’t control, climatic things. Water temperature probably had something to do with it this year and probably feed was driven too deep for the birds to get at,” Mr Skerrett says,

There is also concern over the effect of beach traffic on toheroa numbers, which the runanga is researching with a grant from Environment Southland.

BLOODLINES BROUGHT TOGETHER FOR TAMAKI PEACE
The tribes of Auckland have lost one of their matriarchs.

Hariata Ewe, from Te Kawerau a Maki, died of a heart attack earlier this month aged 90.

She was a foundation member of the Maori Women’s Welfare League, a close associate of Princess te Puea, and a former beauty queen who won the Miss Auckland title in 1938.

Her nephew Rewi Spraggon says his aunt's grandfather was the leading chief of the Te Wai o Hua and her grandmother was of Te Kawerau and Ngati Whatua lineage.

“Her grandparents were married off together to cement the peace within the tribes of Tamaki Makaurau – Ngati Whatua, Waiohua, Kawerau a Maki, Te Akitai and a few others so as far as the senior lineage, she was definitely from those bloodlines,” Mr Spraggon says.

Hariata Ewe has been buried at Te Pukaki tapu o Poutukeka urupa in Mangere.

NGATI APA HAVING SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT PRISON LANDLORD

An iwi being offered a prison as part of its treaty settlement is getting cold feet about the deal.

Ngati Apa has a chance to buy a the land under Kaitoke prison in Whanganui.

Adrian Rurawhe says that would give it rental income from the Department of Corrections.

But the punitive nature of corrections policy could be a deal breaker.

“One of the fears of our people is around the operation of those prisons. We have to accept that mainstream New Zealand are hell bent on having a punitive system for corrections whereas we would have a more restorative process,” Mr Rurawhe says.

He wants a national debate on prison management so Maori concerns about rehabilitation can be addressed.

If Ngati Apa take up the purchase option they must offer neighboring Whanganui iwi, who have a completing claim for the land, a 50 per cent share.

MAORI PRISON READY FOR LIFT OFF

Meanwhile, Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples is getting ready to try a new kind of prison.

Dr Sharples says corrections' policy is one area his party has major differences with National, which is pushing for increasingly punitive approaches.

He says the Maori focus units he helped design 15 years ago have reduced reoffending, and it's now time to take the concept further with a separate unit outside a mainstream prison.

“I believe I've got the go ahead from the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Justice. It’s my job now to put through the hows, wheres, whens. I’m going to meet with iwi to see where we will put it and how they will be working with it and so on so there’s quite a lot to do putting it together before that but I feel so strongly about this that this could be a major bottom line for me,” Dr Sharples says.

His prison should be well under way before the next election.

TASKFORCE OFFERS NEW WAYS TO ACT ON WHANAU VIOLENCE

The reference group charged with finding better ways for the government to deal with Maori whanau has launched a programme to do just that.

Di Grennell from the Whanau Ora Taskforce says the Maori and Pacific Family Burns water
Labour's water quality spokesperson says some rural marae could become unusable unless the government unlocks an $88 million fund to upgrade small water schemes.

The Drinking Water Assistance Programme set up by Labour is under review, with Health Minister Tony Ryall saying he wants to evaluate how it aligns with government policies and whether it provides value for money.

Brendon Burns says the programme was a response to World Health Organisation concerns about water quality after a lethal outbreak of water-borne disease in Canada.

But he says it has been under threat since Local Government Minister Rodney Hide told a local government conference in March that the water standards were ridiculous.

“At some point Mr Hide and Mr Ryle are going to have to deal with the consequences of a serious outbreak of water borne illness, perhaps involving fatalities, and I think they will come to realise how important it is that we as a nation do not neglect these things, actually acknowledge want to be a first world nation, and the best measure of that is having safe drinking water,” Mr Burns says.

Some 71 projects are on hold, including many marae and small Maori rural communities.

MUTTONBIRD SEASON HIT BY CLIMACTIC CONDITIONS

Murihiku iwi want to know why numbers of shellfish and birdlife at the bottom of the South Island are declining.

Michael Skerrett, the upoko to the Waihopai Runaka, says mollyhawks are so hungry they are eating out of fishermen's hands.

He says this year's muttonbird season has been the worst in memory, which the iwi is attributing to colder water temperatures and rough weather rather than harvesting pressure.

“What we do on the island does nothing. The threats are the other things we can’t control, climatic things. Water temperature probably had something to do with it this year and probably feed was driven too deep for the birds to get at,” Mr Skerrett says,

There is also concern over the effect of beach traffic on toheroa numbers, which the runanga is researching with a grant from Environment Southland.

BLOODLINES BROUGHT TOGETHER FOR TAMAKI PEACE
The tribes of Auckland have lost one of their matriarchs.

Hariata Ewe, from Te Kawerau a Maki, died of a heart attack earlier this month aged 90.

She was a foundation member of the Maori Women’s Welfare League, a close associate of Princess te Puea, and a former beauty queen who won the Miss Auckland title in 1938.

Her nephew Rewi Spraggon says his aunt's grandfather was the leading chief of the Te Wai o Hua and her grandmother was of Te Kawerau and Ngati Whatua lineage.

“Her grandparents were married off together to cement the peace within the tribes of Tamaki Makaurau – Ngati Whatua, Waiohua, Kawerau a Maki, Te Akitai and a few others so as far as the senior lineage, she was definitely from those bloodlines,” Mr Spraggon says.

Hariata Ewe has been buried at Te Pukaki tapu o Poutukeka urupa in Mangere.

NGATI APA HAVING SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT PRISON LANDLORD

An iwi being offered a prison as part of its treaty settlement is getting cold feet about the deal.

Ngati Apa has a chance to buy a the land under Kaitoke prison in Whanganui.

Adrian Rurawhe says that would give it rental income from the Department of Corrections.

But the punitive nature of corrections policy could be a deal breaker.

“One of the fears of our people is around the operation of those prisons. We have to accept that mainstream New Zealand are hell bent on having a punitive system for corrections whereas we would have a more restorative process,” Mr Rurawhe says.

He wants a national debate on prison management so Maori concerns about rehabilitation can be addressed.

If Ngati Apa take up the purchase option they must offer neighboring Whanganui iwi, who have a completing claim for the land, a 50 per cent share.

MAORI PRISON READY FOR LIFT OFF

Meanwhile, Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples is getting ready to try a new kind of prison.

Dr Sharples says corrections' policy is one area his party has major differences with National, which is pushing for increasingly punitive approaches.

He says the Maori focus units he helped design 15 years ago have reduced reoffending, and it's now time to take the concept further with a separate unit outside a mainstream prison.

“I believe I've got the go ahead from the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Justice. It’s my job now to put through the hows, wheres, whens. I’m going to meet with iwi to see where we will put it and how they will be working with it and so on so there’s quite a lot to do putting it together before that but I feel so strongly about this that this could be a major bottom line for me,” Dr Sharples says.

His prison should be well under way before the next election.

TASKFORCE OFFERS NEW WAYS TO ACT ON WHANAU VIOLENCE

The reference group charged with finding better ways for the government to deal with Maori whanau has launched a programme to do just that.

Di Grennell from the Whanau Ora Taskforce says the Maori and Pacific Family Violence Programme of Action has been developed in collaboration with the Family Violence Taskforce.

She says Maori need to take the lead in addressing violence within whanau, and that means first having a voice at the table where decisions are made.

“The document makes visible what those of us who are Maori working in the field know now is that there is significant Maori expertise, innovation and commitment in the field now and we need to find some ways of capturing that and bringing it together to advance the interests of our whanau,” Ms Grennell says.
Programme of Action has been developed in collaboration with the Family Violence Taskforce.

She says Maori need to take the lead in addressing violence within whanau, and that means first having a voice at the table where decisions are made.

“The document makes visible what those of us who are Maori working in the field know now is that there is significant Maori expertise, innovation and commitment in the field now and we need to find some ways of capturing that and bringing it together to advance the interests of our whanau,” Ms Grennell says.

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