Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tuhoe healer and leader Tikirau Stevens takes final ride

Ngai Tuhoe is today mourning kaumatua and healer Tikirau Stevens, who died yesterday.

Mr Stevens was a Vietnam war veteran who served 20 years in the army before starting a second career in Maori Affairs and other Crown agencies.

Tamati Kruger from Te Kotahi a Tuhoe says Mr Stephens moved back into the Tuhoe rohe after retirement and with his partner Thursday promoted the traditional rongoa practices he learned growing up around Waikaremoana.

He also played an important role in tribal affairs, helping guide treaty negotiations with the Crown.

“He came in with an informed opinion, especially about matters between the relationship between the Crown and government and Ngai Tuhoe so he did have an astute view of what that relationship should be and how that relationship may evolve,” Mr Kruger says.

Tikirau Stevens will be taken back to Waimako Marae in Waikaremoana tomorrow, with the funeral on Monday.


Musicians have been paying tribute to the late Sir Howard Morrison as someone who was always ready to help the careers of other with advice and encouragement.

Sir Howard died yesterday, and his body is lying in state at at Tama Te Kapua in Rotorua.

Feau Halatau from rock and roll band The Radars says the band got a lot of support from the Howard Morrison Quartet star when they started at the Auckland Blind Institute in 1962.

“I got to thank him. For a blind band to survive, if he didn’t encourage us, I don’t think we’d have gone as far as we could, and he was a very kind person like a dad and uncle. He was a father to all people,” Mr Halatau says.


Soon to be Green MP David Clendon is promising be a strong advocate for both Maori and the environment.

Mr Clendon, who has whakapapa connections to Te Roroa, will fill the list spot vacated by Sue Bradford, who's stepping down after failing to win the party co-leadership.

The former resource management lecturer says there is a natural fit between Maori and the Greens, as both see environmental protection as a priority.
He says when the Green Party started it was seen as a white middle class party.

“That has changed significantly over time and we are seeing some quite powerful and engaged and dare I say ambitious young Maori coming into the party. Part of my role is to nurture that and indeed to take away within the party some of the fears that people see about realising a genuine biculturalism within New Zealand and from that can flow a much stronger commitment to multiculturalism,” Mr Clendon says.

He will join the 9 member Green caucus at the end of October.


Taranaki Whanui will tomorrow take formal delivery of their claim settlement assets, which includes the former defence base at Shelley Bay and other properties around Wellington harbour.

Treaty negotiations minister Chris Finlayson is due at Pipitea Marae at 10 for the handover, which will be followed by the annual meeting of the Port Nicholson Block Trust.

Marae co-chair Mahara Okeroa says as well as the immediate settlement properties, the trust has some tough decisions to make about how it will exercise its right to buy other surplus Crown properties in the region.

“There's a long range vision about our participation as a landlord probably in Wellington. Shelley Bay was the first big one. There will be other opportunities no doubt. We don’t have a forest so our future potential within Wellington itself in the economic sense will be around property,” Mr Okeroa says.

There's also cause for celebration that as part of the settlement Pipitea Marae is now owned jointly by Taranaki Whanui and Ngati Poneke.


Talk about Grey Power with Guitars... over 100 years of Maori musical muscle will take the stage in Waiuku this weekend.

Dilworth Karaka, Tama Lundon, Thom Nepia, Tama Renata and Morrie Watene are playing an unplugged Herbs gig.

Guitarist Karaka says audiences know the material so well they sing along to every song.

But they could get caught out by some unrecorded songs written with the late Charlie Tumuhai.

“We're just going through a couple of them now and sorting them out in our studio out west here. Always looking forward to the new material, just wondering how far we can push it,” Karaka says.

Herbs Unplugged is at the Kentish Hotel, Waiuku tomorrow night.


And if Waiuku residents don't stay up too late singing along to Herbs, they can make it to a new market on Sunday morning.

Gloria Taaka from Tihei Mauri Ora says the market on the town's waterfront is a fundraiser for anti-P campaigns.

She says the long term plan is to build a Maori-focused rehabilitation centre in Pukekohe, and it's getting support, even from people still usinG methamphetamine.

“Well all I can do is say I love them, in spite of what they do. All we can do is try and awhi them. My arms are always open,” She says.

The project is being launched this Sunday at 11 at the Tamakae Reserve in Waiuku


One of the Maori designers featured at this week's Air New Zealand Fashion Awards says it was a great foundation for future participation.

Samara Vercoe led off yesterday's MiroModa showcase with her collection based on formal and mourning clothes of the 1920s.

She says the MiroModa trust, which was set up to boost the standard and visibility of Maori fashion, proved its worth.

“They’re going to know what to do next year and there will be more information out there and because of this year there will be more sponsors so it can only grow bigger and better from here so I think it's fantastic,” Ms Vercoe says.


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