Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Emissions trading switch has a price

Labour leader Phil Goff has says the Maori Party's about face on the Emissions Trading Scheme will cost the country dearly.

The Maori Party agreed to support National's scheme after changes were made to reduce the impacts of power and petrol price charges on the public, and to subsidise the Maori-dominated fishing industry.

Mr Goff says just two weeks ago the Maori Party opposed the scheme becauseit didn't make polluters pay.

He says now it's going to pay polluters.

“They've just reached an agreement with the National Party that will put a huge burden, the National Party says $400 million over the next three years, on ordinary New Zealand taxpayers. We think it could easily be three or four times that amount. Here we are the government saying they’re cutting services because they can’t afford it and here they are going to be spending we think as much as $1.6 billion subsiding the heavy polluters,” Mr Goff says.

He says the polluters are being told they don't need to clean up.


Members of a Rotorua hapu whose land is being used for a new residential youth justice centre are being urged to seek jobs there.

On Saturday Tuhourangi-Ngati Wahiao laid a mauri stone underneath the foundations of the 30-bed facility going up on part of the Parekarangi Trust's farm south of the city.

Anaru Rangiheuea, the kaumatua for the Child, Youth and Family Service in Rotorua, says as well as the 90 jobs which will need to be filled when construction ends in 12 months time, the hapu is looking for other ways to get the kids back on track.

“We've offered our services as kaumatua to counsel them or give them some insight into our tikanga, take the out onto our marae, and also our polytech has offered them course if it's required,” Mr Rangiheuea says.


Te Papa's senior Maori curator says protection of nga taonga tuku iho means protecting the living environment, as well as what ends up in museums.

Huhana Smith last night delivered the Mina McKenzie Memorial Lecture at Te Manawa Museum in Palmerston North, given annually to honour the first Maori to head a New Zealand museum.

Dr Smith says as one of Ms McKenzie's students, she had drummed into her the importance of seeing curatorship as kaitiakitanga.

“I've particularly picked up on the notion of active kaitiakitanga so we can look after the land base and the water base, cultural treasures that are in great need of rehabilitation, that’s where I’m moving to now, not just those treasures I’ve been dealing with in museums like Te Papa but what needs to be done on the ground to effect and drive change,” Dr Smith says.

Mina McKenzie opened doors for iwi and individual Maori to become involved in museum work.


A Maori academic says Maori need to speak out when bad science is used against them.

Gary Raumati Hook has penned an attack in MAI Review, the journal of the centre for Maori research excellence, on the idea Maori have a warrior gene which leads to aggression and violence.

He says the idea of the warrior gene is based on shaky evidence and flawed scientific reasoning, but it is becoming part of public consciousness, and a part and parcel of the Maori stereotype.

“There are a number of serious disadvantages which could occur. What woud happen for example if the insurance industry got hold of the idea and believed Maori people were high risk. They could turn around and charge higher insurance premiums or they could deny a request for insurance,” Professor Hook says.

He says under the warrior gene thesis being Maori could be classified as a disease.


Labour leader Phil Goff says the Maori Party's about face on climate change crated a serious obstacle to his party's hopes of building a closer relationship.

Labour came out of its annual conference this weekend with senior figures saying Labour and the Maori Party were natural allies who needed to build bridges before the next election.

But Phil Goff says that will be hard when the Maori Party is supporting
National policies which harm the interests of Maori people.

“We can't be silent when they support an emissions trading scheme which is going to put them weight of the cost of pollution on the taxpayer rather than those causing the pollution. That’s even in contradiction to what they were saying a fortnight ago,” Mr Goff says.

He says there is scope to work together with the Maori Party on other issues.


The organiser of the first awards for published Maori authors says they were inspired by the way mainstream awards treat Maori writing as an afterthought.

Nga Kupu Ora is done under the umbrella of Massey University, with awards based on Internet voting.

Spencer Lilley, the university's Maori library services manager, says there are challenges in publishing Maori material which means it can get overlooked when prizes are given out.

Nga Kupu Ora winners included Ranginui Walker for his biography on master carver Paki Harrison, Malcolm Mulholland for a history of Maori rugby, Deidre Brown for her book on Maori architecture, Dr Merata Kawharu for her collection of Tai Tokerau sayings, and Monty Soutar's Maori Battalion history Nga Tama Toa.

Ngahuia Te Awekotuku and Linda Waimarie Nikora's Moko: The World of Maori Tattoo was judged Maori book of the decade.


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