Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, November 27, 2009

Kotahitanga sought by fisheries chief

The new chair of Te Ohu Kaimoana wants to see more iwi working together to manage and grow their fisheries businesses.

Ngahiwi Tomoana from Ngati Kahungunu replaces Sir Archie Taiaroa, who stepped down from the chair but remains a member of the trust.

Mr Tomoana says 95 percent of Maori fisheries settlement assets are now in the hands of iwi, so the challenge is to see they are used to their full potential.

“We've got to put a compelling case to all those iwi to whakakotahi nga raua, to collectivise efforts and energies First of al it save internal expenses but it could also add value at the other end so it’s about looking at unifying the collective package of iwi now,” Mr Tomoana says.

He says too many iwi still behave like fringe players rather than being part of a group which controls 40 percent of the industry.


More than a thousand bikers and car enthusiasts decended on Takahiwai marae south of Whangarei today for a powhiri to mark the start of the annual Bream Bay motorcycle and classic car rally.

The rally, which visits communities throughout the north, is part of the white ribbon campaign encouraging men to take action against violence against women and children.

Organiser Phil Paikea says last year's rally helped get the anti-violence message across, and helped generate a sense of anticipation at the marae.

The rally has no alcohol, no drugs and no gang patches.

The rally heads to Whangarei at first light, then on to Moerewa, Kaikohe, Opononi, Dargaville and back to Ruakaka.


Astronomy and sailing have been to the fore in Wellington this week as Maori navigators shared their experiences at the Mata Ora Living Knowledge festival.

Waka revivalist Hekenukumai Busby says he's heartened by the degree of interest in Maori and Polynesian knowledge of the heavens.

The builder of Te Aurere and other voyaging waka says the art of sailing by the stars was almost lost to Maori, but it had been preserved in remote parts of the Pacific.

“We had lost it and if it wasn’t for our Hawaiian whanungas and our teacher from Micronesia it would probably have been gone for good but let’s hope now we won’t lose it again,” Mr Busby says.

Mata Ora finishes tomorrow with a rocket building and launching event for kids throughout the morning at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua.


A leading treaty lawyer says high legal aid bills for treaty claims is an inevitable response to the system, and spending can be expected to tail off on future years.

Charl Hirschfeld says he has seen no evidence of treaty claimants or lawyers were double-dipping or triple-dipping, as implied in a report on the legal aid system by Dame Margaret Bazley released today.

He says the rules for claiming legal aid are stringent, and while there has been public concern in recent years about the cost of litigating claims, there is a political will to drive the process of historical treaty claims to a conclusion.

“If you want hundreds and hundreds of claims resolved and settled within a certain time frame it needs to be done in such a fashion that these things won’t come back to haunt you and if that is so then the resourcing needs to be available in the first instance,” Mr Hirschfeld says.

He says overall the Bazley report is a fair summary of the legal aid situation and contains some useful recommendations.


One of the team who negotiated changes for Maori in the emissions trading scheme says individuals need to do their bit to address climate change.

Lawyer Willie Te Aho says the recession meant the ETS passed last year by Labour had become untenable.

He says including agriculture in the ETS from January the first would have harmed Maori farming interests, and the issue of iwi who had received pre-1990 forest land in their settlements also needed addressing.

Mr Te Aho says rather than criticise the Maori Party's deal on the bill people should ask what they can do.

“We need to change our cars. I’ve gone from a V6 to a 1.3 litre Suzuki. I’m doing my part in terms of my personal role and integrity or reducing the impact on our environment. I don’t need anyone else in the world to show me the way. I know the way and that’s reduce my energy intake. Those are the things I can do, that every iwi should be doing, and not just focusing on the polluters,” Mr Te Aho says.


The fate of a busy Hamilton West marae will be decided at a meeting of the Tainui's Te Kauhanganui parliament tomorrow.

Tainui Group Holdings wants to develop land used by Rangimarie Te Horanganui Marae Trust.

Marae trust member Tangaroa Whitiora says when the land came back to Tainui as part of its 1995 settlement, negotiator the late Sir Robert Mahuta said it was for a marae.

He says even though it was never given official marae status, the facility has a 37 percent usage rate, and other Tainui marae use it as a Hamilton base.

Tainui Group Holdings says if the parliament wants it to continue as an urban marae it will need to pay the company for the land, which is valued at $1.8 million

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