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Friday, November 06, 2009

Aquaculture ban lifted in billion dollar push

Maori are welcoming the lifting of the ban on new marine farms.
Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley announced the end of the moratorium at the aquaculture industry conference in Nelson yesterday.

He said allowing marine farming outside the current aquaculture management areas can help marine farming become a billion dollar industry within a decade.

Coromandel mussel farmer Harry Mikaere says the ban has stalled the industry for the past decade.

He says the minister's promise to adopt the recommendations of a technical advisory group headed by former Fisheries Minister Sir Douglas Kidd was music to the ears of the delegates.

“It's going to make it a lot easier, it gives us confidence, I think the durability we were looking for in terms of this allows our industry to be more confident about that and we applaud the government for taking this particular review on,” Mr Mikaere says.

The Kidd report upholds the principle that at least a fifth of marine farm area should be for Maori while containing strong measures to protect the environment from the over-expansion.


New figures show Maori are suffering the brunt of job losses caused by the recession.

The Household Labour Force survey shows in the past year Maori unemployment has rocketed from 9.6 percent to 14.2 percent.

That’s an increase of almost 10 thousand out of work.

Pakeha unemployment has only gone from 3.1 to 4.5 percent.

Council of Trade Unions secretary Peter Conway says the recession has hit hard in the construction and manufacturing sectors, which employed large numbers of Maori.

“Maori are also a younger population on average and youth unemployment is now above 25 percent so part of it is that and there also may be still some discrimination in the labour market. I’m not saying it’s there but others say it’s there and hitting Maori hard,” Mr Conway says.

The CTU says the government needs to take specific action to fight Maori unemployment or the social consequences will be around for generations.


He may be remembered as a comedian, but the late Billy Taitoko James started his entertainment career as a musician in Maori showbands.

Biographer Matt Elliott says Billy T's comic success before his early death almost 20 years ago have overshadowed his musical prowess.

But he says for the boy from the small Waikato town of Leamington, that early experience playing and singing in bands like the Maori Volcanics paved the way for that later success.

“New Zealand performers are always talking about cracking it overseas. Well the showbands were doing that. They were playing the top venues in the UK and the states and Germany and Bermuda, they were packing houses out, and Billy really did learn how to work an audience and the stage with the showbands,” Mr Elliot says.

He says part of Billy T's comic genius was his ability to find humour in racial stereotypes without favour to Maori or Pakeha.
"The Life and Times of Billy T James", is published this week.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says Hone Harawira's Paris holiday was a breach of trust from his party and the New Zealand public.

The Tai Tokerau MP skipped meetings with European Parliament MPs in Brussell to take wife Hilda to the French capital 300 kilometres to the south.

Mrs Turia says Hone Harawira was the leader of the parliamentary delegation, and his actions bring the credibility of the Maori Party into question.

“All of us have to be really conscious as to the perception that’s created as to how we use public funds. The public doesn’t actually fund us to go on holiday and have a look around and that's the reality,” Mrs Turia says.

She says she understood Hone Harawira was too sick to make the meetings, until he revealed the side trip in a newspaper column.


The anniversary of the last military action of the land wars has brought a call for New Zealand to rethink its involvement in the Afghanistan conflict.
It's 128 years since 1500 armed constabulary and militia invaded the coastal Taranaki settlement of Parihaka to end a campaign of passive resistance to land confiscation.

Te Miringa Hohaia, the director of the Parihaka International Peace Festival, says that gives the community a unique perspective on the National Government's decision to escalate its involvement in the conflict from peacekeeping to combat.

“We're there as an occupation army. Parihaka was occupied so I’m not at all happy with the fact the New Zealand government can continue to corrupt the psyche of the nation in the same way that occurred in 1881 without there being a robust referendum with the ability of the nation to decide are we going to war or are we not,” Mr Hohaia says

He says Parihaka leaders Tohu Kakahi and te Whiti o Rongomai were called dangerous fanatics, the same language that is employed against Afghanistan's former Taliban government.


A leading Maori artist says Maori are sick of being an afterthought when public buildings are planned.

Judging of a design competition for the redevelopment of Queens Wharf has been deferred because city leaders were unhappy with the entrants.

That could open the door for Ngati Whatua ki Orakei, which criticised the process because it did not specify Maori or Pacific involvement.

Derek Lardelli, whose work in the new Gisborne Maori Land Court helped architects Nicholl Blackburne win a regional architecture award, says getting involved early makes a difference to the quality of the final product.

“We're so strong at giving the afterthought that people wake up to it, so now we’re starting to say you need to get Maori involved at the beginning, not the end, because they’ve had enough of being an afterthought. They need to be heard in the beginning because they are the point of identity. When you travel internationally, it’s the indigineity of our culture that stands out,” says Mr Lardelli, from Ngati Porou and Rongowhakaata.

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