Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Maori want chance to own Fonterra dry shares

Taranaki Maori farming interests are challenging diary giant Fonterra to broaden its capital restructuring proposals.

Ranald Gordon, the general manager of Parininihi ki Waitotara Incorporation's dairy farms and a Fonterra shareholder in his own right, says the plan to be considered by shareholders next month will disadvantage Maori landowners.

That's because it ignores the interests of those who by choice or historical circumstance must lease out their land.

“Where perhaps you've got an ahu whenua trust which is leasing its land to a lessee, under the current rules they wouldn’t be able to participate in the dry share proposal because they’re not deemed to be the supplying shareholder,” Mr Gordon says.

Farmers who have retired and are leasing the farm to their children are also excluded as are many sharemilkers.


People from around the motu have been streaming through Tapuaeharuru Marae by Lake Rotoiti to pay tribute to Ngati Pikiao leader Arapeta Tahana, who died on Wednesday aged 64.

Eru George, the chair of Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa, says his organisaiton's settlement of Te Arawa's land and forestry claims relied heavily by the unity built up by Mr Tahana during the decade he led Te Arawa Maori Trust Board's claim for the Rotorua Lakes.

He says in the Labour Department, the trust board and in his seven years as chief executive of Waiariki Polytech, Mr Tahana battled to lay the foundations for the tribe's future.

“A unique feature of Arapeta was making the move now to influence and put in another generation who can make decisions while an older generation is still around to give that guidance,” Mr George says.

The funeral for Arapeta Tahana will be at 11 on Sunday at Tapuaeharuru Marae


A trade union educator says Maori should use Labour Day to celebrate their contributions to workers' rights.

Helen Te Hira of Unite says the day marks the world-leading efforts of workers in this country for the eight hour working day, starting with carpenter Samuel Parnell's protest in Petone in 1840.

She says the momentum grew through the 19th century, and Maori were attracted to the collective nature of unions.

The first recorded wages dispute happened in the Bay of Islands in October 1821, when Maori sawyers went on strike for the right to be paid in money or gunpowder.


A Maori member of the Creative New Zealand board says the $320,000 a year spent maintaining the Toi Iho mark was unsustainable.

Creative New Zealand is dropping its support for the trademark, which cost a million dollars to establish in 2002.

Erima Henare from Ngati Hine says it only had a limited take-up, as many senior and successful Maori artists did not feel they needed an outside agency to attest to their mana or the quality of their work.

“In the minds of those who believe in Toi Iho it definitely wasn’t ill conceived and it wasn’t a failure but I think if we view these things as we do in hindsight and in the recession that we’ve been in I think the money could have been better prioritised,” Mr Henare says.

Creative New Zealand is looking for an appropriate body to administer the mark for those artists who want to continue using it, but the funding will go back to Te Waka Toi for other funding categories.


The director of a taskforce on sexual violence says the Maori tradition of manaakitanga could leave whanau open to abuse.

The government-backed group found Maori may be twice as likely to suffer from sexual violence as non-Maori.

Kim McGregor says it doesn't mean the offenders in those cases are Maori.

“A lot of people are duped by people who want to get access to children to sexually abuse them and it may be because Maori are very hospitable that they open their homes up and their trust is betrayed by people who are looking for opportunities to get access to children,” she says.

The taskforce is recommending a national plan to address sexual violence, including programmes specifically for Maori.


A core of Maori players hopes to lead an under strength New Zealand league team to victory in the four nations tournament which starts this weekend.

The Kiwis have been hit hard by injury, losing Warriors Manu Vatuvei, Sam Rapira and Simon Mannering as well as former national captain Roy Asotasi.

Manager Gordon Gibbons says those left from the side that won the World Cup winning side have moved into senior roles... including Adam Blair from Ngapuhi, Thomas Leuluai from Te Taitokerau, Lance Hohaia from Tainui, and Benji Marshall from Tuhoe.

He says Marshall has developed into the role of captain.

The Kiwis begin their Four Nations campaign against the Kangaroos at the Stoop Stadium in London on Sunday morning.


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