Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, August 17, 2009

Maori brand needed for international trade

Te Ohu Kaimoana deputy chair Ngahiwi Tomoana wants iwi to market their products internationally under a Maori brand.

The Ngati Kahungunu leader says while iwi have a stake in the central company formed as part of the fisheries settlement, they also have their own quota which they fish through their own companies or joint venture arrangements.

He says a lot of value is being lost because they aren’t taking advantage of the international interest in things Maori.

“It’s one area where you have 57 fishing companies, there is no collectivism outside the Sealord AFL part and if we could use that as a model, as a spearhead, as a kokiri, then I think others will follow suit,” Mr Tomoana says.

A Maori brand could also benefit other primary industries where Maori have a large stake.

TRAINING PROVIDERS ASKED TO FIX YEARS OF BAD EDUCATION

A Maori training organisation says the government doesn’t recognise the hard work providers have to do.

Janine Panoho from the Aotearoa Maori Providers of Training, Education & Employment says programmes for at-risk youth face severe funding cuts.

She says the funding criteria ignores the social issues trainers must tackle.

“With our youth in particular we are dealing with a lot of learners that have gone 15, 16 years of not succeeding in mainstream education and you have the government expecting providers to turn all that around in six to twelve months,” Ms Panoho says.

She says the changes are driving Maori towards study in polytechnics, which don’t offer the kind of specialist support offered by Maori training providers.

POI DISPLAY FIRST UP IN NEW MAORI ART GALLERY

Wellington City Art Gallery is opening a gallery devoted to Maori and Pacific art.

The Gillian and Roderick Deane Gallery is in a new two-storey tower extension due to open at the end of September.

The first artist to show in the space will be Ngaahina Hohaia from Parihaka.

She’s installing a poi-manu sculpture, Paopao ki tua rangi, shown New Plymouth’s Puke Ariki Museum earlier this year.

CNI IWI LOOK TO MAXIMISE VALUE OF PROPERTY PURCHASE RIGHT

Central North Island iwi are working together on how they can make best use of a surplus land option in their treaty settlement.

Te Arawa advisor Willie Te Aho says the right of first refusal of surplus Crown land gives iwi the chance to secure important properties for their own development plans, or sell them on to a commercial buyer.

He says Tainui and Ngai Tahu have made effective use of the right to grow the value of their settlements.

“It’s purely commercial unlike the CNI forestry settlement where the rentals were divvied up on an agreed percentage and the land was still there to be secured by the mana whenua group, this is not about mana whenua, it is purely about trying to use our collective strength as we always know we should do to get better benefits for our people,” Mr Te Aho says.

The CNI collective is treading carefully, because some of eight constituent iwi can get a better deal by including some of the surplus land in their comprehensive settlements, which are still being negotiated.

WARNING LOCAL GOVERNMENT UPHEAVAL WILL SPREAD NORTH

A Northland-based Labour list MP says Maori can’t afford to get shut out of local government in Tai Tokerau the way they are in Auckland.

Shane Jones says it’s becoming increasingly clear ACT and National will never allow Maori seats on the new Auckland super-city council.

He says once boundaries of the super city are established, pressure will come on councils north of Auckland to amalgamate.

“Areas such as Whakapiro, Wellsford, will they go north or will they go south, and all that is going to feed into the mix as to how people feel. Are they part of a broader Northland or are they a little hamlet governed by their local farmers, schoolteachers and former postmasters,” Mr Jones says.

He says because of the high Maori population in the north, it’s critical Maori organize now to secure fair representation.

MAORI LEFT BEHIND AS FILM INDUSTRY GOES INTERNATIONAL

The newest member of the Film Commission says the Maori filmmakers are being left behind.

Author Witi Ihimaera says New Zealand film is going through a golden age with directors like Peter Jackson and Andrew Adamson making a splash internationally.

But there needs to be more institutional support to help Maori further their careers in the industry.

“Taika Waititi is the only one so far over the last few years who has really made it internationally so one of my objectives is to work with Te Paepae Atata to try to get more Maori filmmakers and scriptwriters and directors and producers building up an infrastructure of support for Maori film,” Ihimaera says.

A Maori film industry should be considered an important national resource to be fostered.

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