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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Enduring principles under foreshore deal

Ngati Porou chairperson Apirana Mahuika says iwi leaders are welcome to copy elements of his tribe's Foreshore and Seabed settlement as they try to rewrite the controversial Act.

Iwi leaders have called a national hui in Rotorua tomorrow to discuss Prime Minister John Key's promise of repeal if a suitable alternative can be developed.

Mr Mahuika says while his iwi's settlement is based on four key principles, starting with acknowledgement of Maori's spiritual beliefs.

“The second one is toi tu, te mana tangata, te mana moana, and so toi tu was a key issue in terms of the principles we laid because toi tu means enduring, unbroken, inalienable and sustainable,” Mr Mahuika says.

Reform must also recognise Maori as tangata whenua, or the first people, and their unalienable rights as partners with the crown under the Treaty of Waitangi.


The former Waitangi Tribunal director whose email exchange with Hone Harawira has led to the maverick MP facing disciplinary action from the Maori Party says Mr Harawira's view of race relations belongs in the past.

Buddy Mikaere says the tirade he got back in response to his initial jocular question about who paid for Mr Harawira's wife's trip to Paris threatened to derail the positive relations that have been building between Maori and the Crown since John Key included the Maori Party in his government.

The MP talked of whites raping the land and ripping off Maori for centuries.

“I know that I the past, that has been the Maori experience. We’ve moved past that stage now. We’re into doing something about it rather than scratching the scabs off the hakikahi. That’s the genesis of all Maori grievances really, the colonial experience. We’re past all that and you can’t go lumping people into great generalised descriptions like that,” Mr Mikaere says.

He's come under huge pressure since releasing the emails, as Mr Harawira challenged him to do, and he thinks the MP should resign.


Mayors, former mayors and governors general turned out to Rewiti Marae west of Auckland on the weekend to celebrate the 80th birthday of kaumatua extraordinaire Takutai Wikiriwhi.

Guests included the Governer General Anand Satyanand, Dame Cath Tizard, Waitakere's mayor Bob Harvey and a large numbers of Mr Whikiriwhi's Ngati Whatua and Kawerau a Maki people.

Tamaki Makaurau MP Pita Sharples says few people have contributed as much to Auckland.

He says Uncle Doc as he's known to his huge whanau has been a steadying influence on generations of Maori born in or arriving into the city.

“I'll never forget his contribution to Auckland city and to his own people, Ngati Whatua but also to people like ourselves who came to Tamaki in taura here and set up our own situation like Waititi Marae, Whanau Waipareira, MUMA, all those things, He’s been supportive of all those things, great man,” Dr Sharples says.

One of the organisers of a symposium on violence and abuse in te ao Maori hopes it marks the start of finding solutions.

The hui in Auckland called by Nga Pae O Te Maramatanga, the centre for Maori Research Excellence, brought together more than 200 people working in the field, including indigenous speakers from Australia and the United States.

Dr Tracy McIntosh from Ngai Tuhoe, a senior lecturer in Sociology at Auckland University, says response to the problem has so far been fragmented.

“What we're looking at is drawing people together to work much more collaboratively to try to bring critical mass behind these issues. It’s not that there’s not a lot of work being done. It’s not that there, not a lot of leadership in Maori communities around these issues but I think the fragmented approach means whilst we may be able to make incremental changes we can‘t make the systematic changes we need, but this is very much an early beginning,” Dr McIntosh says.


Associate Employment minister Tariana Turia says the failure of schools to adequately teach Maori pupils will have long-term consequences for the country.

A new Ministry of Education report shows the number of men finishing bachelor's degrees is falling, and other research shows almost all tertiary institutions have a poor record of offering second chance education to young Maori men.

Mrs Turia says if ways can't be found to help young Maori men achieve in the education system, they face a lifetime of low paid work or even joblessness.
“That's going to have an impact on our aging population because we need as many people as possible contributing to the economy so that we can afford to pay superannuation and all of those things that we do now,” Mrs Turia says.

She says it's up to central government to fix the problem... rather than rely on iwi to spend their Treaty settlements redressing the balance.


People with connections to Parihaka have marked one of the most significant days in their calendar, the annivarsay of the 1881 invasion of the Taranaki village by colonial forces.

Te Miringa Hohaia from the Parihaka International Peace festival says the Pahua always draws back hundreds of descendants to remember the teachings of Tohu kakahi and te Whiti o Rongomai, who led a non-violent campaign against land confiscation.

The day is marked by a special feast in the wharekai Ranui, whose menu of chicken, pork and eel harks back to the food available when the community was under seige.

“The kaupapa of that feast or the tikanga of that hakari when the hangi is open, the steam that arises and goes to the sky is the offering that the people are making back to the Atua,” Mr Hohaia says.

Rather than Christian prayers, a simple statement from Tohu Kakahi about the meaning of the hakari is recited.


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