Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Tuhoe elders strive for peace

Tuhoe treaty negotiators say they've struck a truce with the Maori Party.

Te Kotahi a Tuhoe chair Tamati Kruger had accused Te Ururoa Flavell of having a Jesus complex over the Waiariki MP's support of a group of hapu challenging his organisation's mandate.

He says a meeting in Ruatoki last week attended by Mr Flavell and other Maori party representatives resolved the differences.
“We're both Ngai Tuhoe and the Maaori Party straight with each other on expectations and a way forward and the outcome of that meeting I thought was very positive for both parties,” Mr Kruger says.

The next step is for Te Kotahi a Tuhoe and the Maori Party to step aside and let elders try to health the rift with the hapu group, Te Umutaoroa.


The government's Whanau Ora Taskforce believes violence can't be addressed in isolation.

The group yesterday unveiled the Maori and Pacific Family Violence Programme of Action it has developed with the Family Violence Taskforce.

Member Di Grenell says if violence and other dangerous behaviour is addressed, the whole community benefits.

“Our aspirational goal is about more than violence being missing. It’s about whanau ora for all whanau. For that to happen there’s got to be strength and safety and integrity and identity prosperity for our whanau so we see this work as very much contributing to the overall goal of whanau ora,” Ms Grenell says.

Maori leadership needs to be drawn into anti-violence programmes so they can give clear direction.


An expert on the Maori language is defending the reo spoken by a younger generation of Maori broadcasters.

Te Wharehuia Milroy was awarded the Creative New Zealand Te Waka Toi award at the weekend for his contribution to the revitalisation of te reo Maori.

He says the elders who criticise the language spoken by broadcasters such as TVNZ's Scotty Morrisson and Maori Television's Julian Wilcox learned their language in a different era.

He says the university-trained speakers are part of an effort to broaden the language.

“They're resurrecting or reviving some words that have gone out of use and I know that a lot of our elders do not know these words because the language period they grow up in was very much conversational,” Professor Milroy says.

The broadcasters are catering for a younger generation of Maori speakers.


The Maori Party's minority report on the emissions trading scheme has been tabled in Parliament after its representative on the climate change select committee dropped her attempt to withdraw it.

Rahui Katene says the party favours a carbon tax over emissions trading, which it sees as benefiting polluters.

But she says when in became clear National was determined to push through an ETS, the Maori Party looked for ways to strengthen it.

“We saw that there was an opportunity there to strengthen the ETS and we wanted to d that without prejudice. We thought by withdrawing our report we would be able to do that. It became obvious that that wasn’t the way to do it but we are still able to continue the discussions,” Ms Katene says.

She says there was no deal with National.


Tuhoe elders have stepped in to resolve fighting within the eastern Bay of Plenty iwi.

A collective of hapu, Te Umutaoroa, has been challenging Te Kotahi a Tuhoe's authority to negotiate treaty settlements and manage any assets returned to the tribe.

The Maori Party has also got involved, with Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell accused of siding with Te Umataroa.

Te Kotahi a Tuhoe chairperson Tamati Kruger says at a hui at Ruatoki last week, frustrated elders called time out.

He says the meeting also resolved differences between Te Kotahi and the Maori Party.


A Waikanae hapu is distressed at plans to build a four-lane expressway between its marae and its urupa.

Spokesperson Ra Higgott says whanau have been carrying coffins from Whakarongotai Marae to Ruakohatu Urupa for over a hundred years, and since the 1950s have had an official right of way across state highway one.

He says the new road proposed by Transport Minister Steven Joyce can't be crossed on foot, and presented real problems on how tupapaku can be transported in future.

“The proposed underpass is some distance away and it will be so difficult to use a hearse of for people to hop in their cars and follow,” Mr Higgott says.

Residents have only six weeks to make submissions on the expressway route.


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