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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Coromandel iwi eye prospecting prospect with alarm

A Hauraki treaty negotiator says Coromandel iwi won't stand by if conservation land in their rohe is opened up for mining.

Energy and resources minister Gerry Brownlee has asked from a review of whether some parts of the conservation estate should be excluded from Schedule Four of the Crown Minerals Act, which bars prospecting.

Paul Majurey from Marutuahu says the Hauraki iwi has laid claim to a range of minerals, including precious metals.

He says the Waitangi Tribunal found the Crown used mining as an excuse to take Hauraki land, and the government should not be compounding that injustice.

The fate of those lands are so important to us. They were taken from us. For the moment and in the past they have been off the table for treaty negotiations. The Tuhoe negotiations may change the landscape there. The Marutuahu people are not going to stand by and watch the DOC estate go to any other folk and all that may go with it in terms of what is below the surface of the land,” Mr Majurey says.

He says the Crown's determination to hang on to mineral rights is a continuing breach of the treaty.


The Public Health Association conference has been told New Zealand’s health education system is failing Maori.

Khyla Russell, the kaitohutohu at Otago Polytechnic, told the hui in Dunedin the system has no way to take into account Maori knowledge.

She says course material is often irrelevant to Maori students, and institutions are failing to train staff to deal adequately with Maori.

“If we're clever about what we put in our curriculum as a requirement for getting a degree in midwifery or nursing or becoming a doctor or an epidemiologist or whatever, anyone who is in the service of heath provision or education provision, our, before they are considered to have fulfilled the requirements of a degree, know how to engage with their treaty partner,” she says.

Dr Russell says the mainstream system doesn't need to teach Maori cultural practices, but it does need to people how to be culturally appropriate and to engage with iwi.


Contemporary Maori artists are paying tribute to an exhibition that defined traditional Maori art a quarter century ago.

Te Maori opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on September 10, 1984.

It was the first international touring exhibition of taonga Maori.

Mangere Arts Centre curator Nigel Borell says Kawakawa, which opens in south Auckland tomorrow, features the responses of 12 artists who visited Te Maori when it returned to Aotearoa.

“The legacy of what it did is evident in the work they produce today. Some of the artists talk about the exhibition catalogue being very important in informing their understanding of not just Te Maori but of Maori art,” he says.

The artists in Kawakawa include Chris Bryant, Dion Hitchens, Charlotte Graham, Aimee Ratana and others.


Greens' co-leader Metia Turei says the Wanganui anti-gang patch bylaw will fuel discrimination against Maori.

Ms Turei warns police could use their new powers to stop Maori and search them and their cars for insignia.

She says the by-law which came into force yesterday is clearly focused on predominantly Maori gangs like the Mongrel Mob and Black Power

“Because of the prejudice people have against Maori in general and the association they have with Maori being in gangs it’s less likely for some of the other kinds of gangs like white power gags who tend to use less insignia so they’re less likely to be subject to this law. It promotes the use of this law in a discriminatory way,” Ms Turei says.

She says the bylaw would have been worse if the Greens had got tattoo and moko excluded from the ban.


Maori tackling gambling in their communities were honoured at a ceremony in Auckland last night.

Zoe Hawke, the problem gambling manager at Te Hapai te Hauora, says the Maori Gambling Workforce Awards are a way to acknowledge those who help whanau help themselves.

She says gambling is a struggle families try to keep under cover.

“It's not like drugs and alcohol where you can see visually that something’s going on. A lot of whanau are so whakama about taking about their struggle with gambling that it often isn’t until they’ve hit rock bottom, they’ve lost their whare, even their tamariki they’ve lost because of gambling, so the more we talk about it and the more we share within our whanau the healthier we become because it’s no longer a secret,” Ms Hawke says.

Whanau ora, addressing the health of the whole family, is often the most effective tool to help Maori escape the grip of a gambling addiction.


A Pacific Island artist is highlighting the ravages of diabetes and obesity on Pacific and Maori people.

John Ioane's installation at Whangarei Art Museum features body casts of the artist's brother and sister-in-law made of sugar crystals.

The casts, which are encased in perspex, are being filmed as they are slowly devoured by ants.

Ioane says it's a metaphor for the epidemics in indigenous communities.

“So you've got this black moving shimmering colony of ants slowly eating away at these sugar figures and to me that is symbolic of the slow movement of this virus diabetes in our community eating away our beautiful taonga which is our people,” he says.

The sugar sculpture is part of a major survey of Ioane's work on show at the Whangarei museum for the next two months.


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