Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuhoe takes $150 million offer back to people

Tuhoe are confident that agreement will be reached with the government on the settlement of grievances following an offer put to them by the Crown yesterday.

Te Kotahi a Tuhoe chairman Tamati Kruger says the offer which addresses cultural issues, ownership and management of the Te Urewera National Park, compensation monies and Tuhoe self-governance issues is being considered at hui around the tribal area last night and this morning.

“The good news is the distance between the Crown’s offer and where Tuhoe is generally is not extremely far apart. There is some distance there but we are confident that with continued negotiations with the Crown can lead towards an agreement in principle,” Mr Kruger says

The iwi expects to be going back to the government with its response later today.

It is understood the Crown has offered around $150 million as compensation, agreed to work towards greater autonomy for Tuhoe, co-management of the national park and has accepted special cultural issues needing redress as reult of the government's actions against Tuhoe in the 1800's.


The Federation of Maori Authorities says Maori participation in a campaign to cut mobile call termination rates is critical to ensure the telecommunications market is fair.

FOMA is one of several national organisations banding together with new Maori-owned mobile operator 2degrees pressing the government to adopt commerce commission recommendations to cut the rates mobile phone companies charge each other for ending calls or texts from each other.

FOMA chief executive Rino Tirikatene says the high termination rates are allowing Telecom and Vodafone to stifle competition and meaning mobile rates in New Zealand are among the highest in the world.

He says FOMA hasn't joined the campaign just because Maori own 20 percent of 2 degrees.

“There's a strong Maori link. We want to see Maori success and this mobile termination rates is a critical one for the telecommunications sector in general but especially for everyone who uses a mobile. We are getting charged way too much and hopefully the minister will take not and listen to our karanga,” Mr Tirikatene says.

The group wants termination rates regulated as they are in other countries.


Tainui Maori have begun celebrations for the biggest event in their year.

The third Koroneihana for Kingi Tuheitia commenced on Sunday, celebrated by indoor bowls and golf tournaments.

Tom Roa, former Chairman of the Coronation organising committee, says while it's a time to celebrate, this is also a time for remembrance.

“All of those from Tainui waka that want to bring and pay respects to those that have passed on can occur on the 19th and on the 20th, that’s the day after Tainui has their kawe mate, will be the motu,” Mr Roa says.

The Coronation celebrations end on August 23.


Tuhoe leaders say other New Zealanders have nothing to fear from independence measures being worked through between the iwi and the Crown as part of the settlement offer put to the tribe yesterday.

Te Kotahi a Tuhoe chairman Tamati Kruger says while there are still things to be worked through the distance between the Crown and the Iwi isn't great and they are confident of an agreement in principle with the Crown.

He says part of the offer is for greater Tuhoe independence or Mana Motuhake and this should not be feared.

“Tuhoe is very concerned about the misinterpretation of mana motuhake as some kind of tribal isolationist policy or some racist regime where only Tuhoe people can dio this, participate it or benefit from it. It is neither of those two things,” Mr Kruger says.

Tuhoe do not want to disconnect from their dual citizenship of Aotearoa but also recognise their language cultural and identity is their responsibility and they should pay for it not the government.

He says the government recognised the iwi's claims for independence.

Tamati Kruger says compensation monies offered met with tribal expectations of around $150 million dollars and there was general acceptance of rights over the Urewera national park.


The Northland District Health Board is continuing to fund a programme to combat obesity among Maori despite the government withdrawing its support.

Kim Tito, the board's general manager of service development says the programme to improve diet and increase exercise through community-led activities in rural Maori areas was on the chopping block due the Health Ministry wanting to focus funding on sport in schools.

“The DHB has some discretion over the way it uses its funds and we have decided to keep the programme going for a further six months and that recognizes both our commitment to current providers and the general effectiveness of programmes that are community based at reducing obesity among Maori and improving their eating habits,” Mr Tito says.

The Green Prescription service uses a range of service providers, including Sport Northland, primary health organisations, Maori health providers and other non-government agencies.


A 59 year old Maori warden who stood between a mob of drunken looters and the shattered window of the clothing store in Palmerston North in the early hours of Sunday morning says she is overwhelmed by the community response to her heroism.

Francie Teppett says she was patrolling in the Square when a stolen car hit a parked car and then crashed into the Hallensteins store before her eyes just as around 40 revelers were leaving nearby pubs.

She says she pulled one person out of the window display area who was helping himself then stood in front of the crowd with her police issue torch at the ready if anyone else tried to help themselves.

Francie Teppett says it has taken 23 years as a Maori warden to be recognised for her work and the public response has been very over-whelming and humbling.


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