Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ngapuhi scrapes through with meager surplus

Cuts in government funding have hit Ngapuhi's bottom line at the same time the iwi is being asked to take a greater role in provision of social services to its people.

Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi's results for the year to June 30 show a surplus of $141,000, 87 percent down on last year's 1.1 million.

Chairperson Sonny Tau says it was a good result in a tough year, and the iwi is trimming back on its costs in anticipation of another tough year ahead.

He says funding from community trusts and government sources was down, with revenue for Ngapuhi Iwi Social Services dropping 15 percent to $1.5 million but operating costs rising to $1.9 million.

“That was not due to the operations. It was virtually due to the change of government when the contracts were allocated before National came in and then National chopped a few of those out and we were left short of funds there, we had to make up through the iwi. We’re still running the programmes. That's what the iwi demanded,” Mr Tau says.

Ngapuhi Iwi Social Services delivered programmes to almost 4000 tamariki and whanau, including youth justice work, Social Workers in Schools, truancy, Parenting and Violence Prevention Programmes.


Meanwhile, Maori social workers have formed their own association.

About 100 of the country's 1000 Maori social workers gathered at Pukaki Marae in Mangere day to launch Tangata Whenua Social Workers Association.

Kaumatua Taotahi Pihama says the group will support Maori working for mainstream and iwi providers, and help train new kaimahi to operate effectively with Maori whanau.

He says it will build on work done by previous generations since the first Maori graduate social worker, John Rangihau, in the 1950s.


Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples is pleased at the uptake of grants to plant gardens for marae.

The mara kai scheme was launched last month, offering marae $2000 seed money.

Dr Sharples says in some areas the allocation has already been fully taken up from Te Puni Kokiri.

“TPK is trying to find other money to give out to marae because it’s just great, that people are returning back to a garden. It was a good idea,” Dr Sharples says.


It's been a tough week for the Maori Party, and co-leader Pita Sharples is blaming the media.

Dr Sharples says coverage of the Hone Harawira saga has highlighted how the media dramatise fights and ignore positive things, such as his grants for marae gardens.

He's disappointed the Maori media is piling on as well.

“Sometimes I think our Maori media treat us pretty hard, not just the Maori Party but Maori leaders out there, Maori initiatives, instead of just getting all the facts about the good side of things, because that’s what we should be about, developing ourselves instead of shooting each other down,” Dr Sharples says.


A Maori negotiator is defending a plan for iwi to plant trees on Crown land and harvest the carbon credits.

The plan is critical to securing the Maori Party's support for National's changes to the emissions trading scheme.

Willie Te Aho says the five iwi ... Waikato-Tainui, Ngai Tahu, Te Uri o Hau, Ngati Awa and Ngati Tuwharetoa ki Kawaerau... bought forest land as part of their settlements before the emissions trading scheme was announced.

He says they could sue for breach of contract if the ITS devalues those properties ... so the plan shouldn't be seen as offering preferential treatment.

“It's actually settling of a legal dispute iwi would have won, in an innovative way that doesn’t cost the Crown because the Crown lands they’re looking to afforest have nothing on them now. It’s doing the country a favour and the benefit that the iwi get out of this is they’re able to trade the carbon to offset the liabilities they will incur when when they deforest their lands,” Mr Te Aho says.


Uri from Ngati Whatua will be heading to North Harbour stadium for this weekend's iwi festival.

Organising committee member Richard Nahi says the festival incorporates the Kaipara Festival and brings together the whole iwi from Orakei to Dargaville.

There will be food, craft and educational stalls, kapa haka and sports during the day, and a gala ball tomorrow night.

On Sunday afternoon Ngati Whatua will take on northern neighbours Ngapuhi in rugby league.


The mantle of Maori Warrior has been passed from one generation of kiwi wrestlers to another... with the launch of a new wrestling show on Prime.

Off the Ropes picks up where On the Mat left off in the 1980s, and features a Te Arawa tane who goes by the name "Whetu the Maori warrior"

Janine Carline from Kiwi Pro Wrestling says Whetu is coached by the original Maori Warrior, Juno Hunia, and he’s a natural athlete with a fantastic future.

Off the Ropes screens on Sundays on Prime.



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