Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cycleway organisers skip consultation

The Prime Minister’s national cycleway has already run across the toes of a Waikato River hapu.

Spokesperson Willie Te Aho says Ngati Koroki Kahukura was only told the night before that John Key would be turning the first sod for the cycleway across the river from its Pohara Marae at Karapiro.

He says during last week’s powhiri, elders politely but firmly made Mr Key aware of their discontent at the lack of consultation.

“There is a huge amount of talking to be done with the cycle ways, with the river trails with the South Waikato District Council and with the central government who all made the big mistake of letting Ngati Koroki Kahukura out of the loop,” Mr Te Aho says.


The New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants’ Outstanding New Member says Maori organisations need to be a lot smarter about getting professional advice.

Leon Wijohn from Te Rarawa, Tuhoe, Ngai Tahu and Ngati Whao picked up the award last week, including $38,000 of prizes.

He runs a small accounting firm in Auckland, and also serves as a director of the Te Rarawa Asset Holding Company and treasurer of Maori accountants’ network Nga Kaitatau o Aotearoa.

Mr WIjohn says many small Maori organisations lose time and money by not getting financial help early.

“Accountants can knock things into shape within a few months versus some of these organisations that go round in circles for years without the right sort of policies, procedures and reports in place. We’ve got some skills so people need to get out there and use them,” Mr Wijohn says.

He says improved technology has made regular financial reporting more affordable than before.


Rotorua Maori have been sharing their spa secrets with the Chinese.

The city’s deputy mayor, Trevor Maxwell has just returned from Rotorua’s sister city, Nanjing in the Giunxiu province, where he spoke to an international spa conference.

He says conference organisers were keen to hear what Maori could tell them about geothermal spa tourism.

“We’ve highlighted involement from the beginning, the Tarawera eruption in 1886. We’ve been well over a century involved with tourism and spa and geothermal and cooking methods and the healing methods so there is a definite interest in there,” Mr Maxwell says.

While Rotorua already attracts 2 million visitors a year, there is still huge potential to build the spa industry further.


A Ngati Whatua trustee says the proposed organisational structure for the Auckland super city shows gains made for Maori in local government will be lost.

Ngarimu Blair says the chart released by Auckland Transition Agency executive chair Mark Ford makes Maori relations just one of the many functions of a third tier manager.

He says Ngati Whatua o Orakei spent decades developing working relationships with the region’s councils, only to be now told the hapu will be treated like any others of the city’s multitude of stakeholders.

“Generations of our people have been trying to build these relationships to a point where it will become acceptable in our society that our participation would be taken for granted. That has amounted to nothing with this new discussion document. It does ask us to reconsider our hoped for partnership with local government in Auckland,” Mr Blair says.

The imminent comprehensive treaty settlement covering Auckland means local government should be interacting with mana whenua at a higher rather than a lower level.


The Minister of Maori Affairs has opted for age and experience as the Waitangi Tribunal goes about completing its reporting on historical claims.

Pita Sharples has reappointed five members for three year terms, including businessman John Baird, retired academics Sir Hirini Mead and Professor Ranginui Walker, historian Angela Ballara, and Ngati Porou kuia Keita Walker, who has served on the tribunal since 1991.

He cited their comprehensive tribunal experience as well as the wealth of knowledge and skill they bring to the job.

The tribunal has registered than 2000 claims, including those submitted before last year’s deadline for lodging historical claims, but more than half related to the 15 districts it has already reported on.

It has completed or almost completed reports on a further five districts, and it is working towards hearings in Northland, East Coast, King Country and from Taihape to Kapiti.


A prolific composer who has taught and led choirs in the Whanganui area for decades was honoured with a lifetime achievement award at this weekend’s Maori Music awards.

Organiser Tama Huata says Morvin Simon from Kaiwhaiki has had a huge influence on Maori music.

He says it’s not the stuff of pop success, but Mr Simon’s work has helped sustain the tradition of Maori choral singing.

“With the choirs from the Whanganui, and the Aotearoa Chorale, he’s been a prolific writer. When you see the extent of his recordings and what he’s done, you’re amazed at it and it needs to be acknowledged,” Mr Huata says.

The Maori music awards confirmed the depth of talent in te ao Maori which gets overlooked in the mainstream music awards.


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