Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tribesmen sign on to Murupara truce

A rahui against gang violence in Murupara seems to be working even before it starts.

Tribesmen president Peter Hunt told a hui of iwi representatives yesterday his chapter would accept a truce with the Mongrel Mob.

The hui was called after kaumatua last week refused to allow patched members to attend a tangi, following months of increasing tension between the gangs which has led to two deaths in in the central North Island forestry town.

Murupara school principal Pem Bird says Mr Hunt's bombshell shows the gang has been doing some serious reflection.

“All kudos to that man. It’s a chiefly way of responding so he’s taking responsibility for his gang and an instant instruction to observe a period of peace leading to the outcome we all want here, rongomau, permanent peace,” Mr Bird says.

The hui decided to go ahead with formally declaring the rahui or ban in two weeks.

TRUTED INFORMATION NEEDED ON MMP FUTURE

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says Maori should be ready to fight for the retention of the MMP voting system.

The Government has announced a referendum on the electoral system to run alongside the 2011 election, and a binding one on any replacement system will be held the election after.

Ms Turia says MMP has delivered real benefits for Maori with more Maori in Parliament across the political spectrum.

That's why a targeted information campaign is needed where Maori can access information from trusted source and talk to each other

THREATS FORCE AUTHOR TO SPEAK OUT ON CANNIBAL BOOK

The author of a book on Maori cannibalism is inviting his critics to hear him out.

Auckland University of Technology professor of history Paul Moon is crossing the road to Auckland University next Tuesday for a seminar on the book This Horrid Practice.

Professor Moon says since the book was published a year ago he's received threatening letters and even a human rights complaint.

He says rather than rebut his argument Maori cannibalism was about post-battle rage rather than food, critics have attacked the book based on rumours about what's in it, without bothering to read it.

“As recently as last week there was a conference where someone who was a keynote speaker was condemning the book and he obviously hadn’t read it so it’s frustrating, Hopefully you will be able to explain the book and answer questions. People will have a much better impression of what it's about,” Professor Moon says.

He says it's a challenge to write history in a climate of censure.

TOI IHO MARK GETS THE CHOP

A champion of the Toi iho trademark says Creative New Zealand is shortsighted to scrap it.

The arts funding body says the mark, which is supposed to reassure buyers they are not buying fakes or foreign-made replicas, has not delivered on its aim to increase sales for Maori artists.

Publisher Ata Te Kanawa says she backed the decision by Te Waka Toi, Creative New Zealand's Maori arts board, to spend a million dollars setting up the trademark six years ago.

But she says it hasn't had the official support it needed.

“Our intention from the beginning was for the benefit of generations to come, that there would always be this striving for excellence in art and how dare they, it’s still in its initial stages, decide they will end this right now,” Ms Te Kanawa says.

She says because of the lack of promotion, only 15 of 200 artists at the recent Maori Art Market in Porirua were using the mark.

GOVERNMENT HOT AIR COOLING INVESTMENT CLIMATE 2 DEGREES

The chair of the Maori spectrum trust says uncertainty over the Government's changes to the emissions trading scheme is hampering efforts to get Maori investment in mobile phone company Two Degrees.

Mavis Mullins says Te Huarahi Tika Trust wants to keep the Maori stake at 20 percent, but its Hautaki subsidiary has so far failed to find organisations willing to sign up for the minimum $500,000 share buy.

She says trusts and iwi are being extra careful with their cash.

“With Maori having a heavy stake in the primary sector, the whole area of climate change and the ETS and potential liabilities are just making people a little more careful than they normally would have been with such a new investment,” Mrs Mullins says.

She is hoping investors will come forward after Two Degrees chief executive Eric Hertz speaks to this weekend's Federation of Maori Authorities conference.

KOHANGA REO HONOURS LOYAL KAUMATUA

Kohanga Reo National Trust believed giving its kaumatua honorary diplomas will stem the exodus of expertise from the kohanga reo movement.

Around 60 Wellington kaumatua were today awarded the Tohu Whakapakari, Kohanga Reo's highest qualification.

Spokesperson Iritana Tawhiwhirangi says the pre-school movement relies on the expertise of elders to pass on not only language but tikanga and tribal traditions.

She says the Ministry of Education agreed to the qualification, because its requirements were driving kaumatua out the door.

“And so you found what was being imposed was an early childhood regulatory system that tended to undermine, not deliberately, but it happened, to undermine the position of kohanga, the role of these leaders and the paramount importance of having them there,” Mrs Tawhiwhirangi says.

Hundreds of kaumatua round the country have so far received Tohu Whakapakari, with only Tairawhiti still to go through the process.

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