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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Spectrum claimants keen to build on past wins

A Maori spectrum claimant says a new dispute about broadcasting frequencies shouldn't have to go back to the Waitangi Tribunal.

Groups with an interest in broadcasting and Maori language met at Kokiri marae in Petone last weekend to develop a strategy for asserting the Maori interest when frequencies used for analogue television are reallocated in the switch to digital broadcasting.

Piripi Walker from the Wellington Maori language association, Nga Kaiwhakapumau i te Reo, says past campaigns which took claimants as far as the Privy Council won Maori a share of radio, television and cellphone spectrum, but the Crown seems to have forgotten why it lost.

“The tribunal was very cross in 1999 in having to consult a full another years and a half of hearings on this when it had all been done in 1990 on FM. They asked what’s going on here. Are Maori going to have to come back and do this ad infinitum, every time there is a spectrum auction. So the tribunal has already told the Crown off and told the Crown what it is doing is in itself a breach of the treaty,” Mr Walker says.

The weekend hui wrote to the Governemnt asking it to consult about the surplus television spectrum.


A former rugby league international says sports are a ways to get rangatahi involved in healthy lifestyles that discourage drug use.

Kevin Tamati heads the Ahuriri Runanga's CAYAD, or Community Action on Youth and Drugs initiative in the Hawkes Bay.

He told the national CAYAD hui in Te Araroa yesterday that it's organisations like the East Coast Boxing Club in Ruatoria who are willing to work with rangatahi other agencies put in the too hard basket.

“We're certainly going to have an input into supporting the mahi of East Coast Boxing Association and it’s because of where they are. They’re rural kids, both male and female, and they find themselves way out of touch as far as funding agencies are concerned,” Mr Tamati says.


A fight is brewing over Auckland's Watercare Services' plan to dump treated sewerage on Puketutu Island in the Manukau harbour.

The council-owned company was refused consent to dump waste from its Mangere Wastewater Treatment Plant on the island, because Maori see as tapu.

But Watercare says it's going ahead any using its powers as an infrastructure provider.

Now the Makaurau Marae Maori Trust is going to the Environment Court, alongside Manukau City which classified the island in its district plan as waahi tapu.
The Trust says it is not for a wastewater company to decide if the island is sacred.


A history lesson from veteran activist Titewhai harawira has been graded fail by one of the country's longest serving historians.

On Radio Waatea, Mrs Harawira told listeners it was ironic news of her son Hone's unauthorised trip to Paris and subsequent obscenity riddled email came to light on November the fifth, the anniversary of the invasion of the Taranaki settlement of Parihaka.

She says the MP's words and actions pale into insignificance when seen against New Zealand's colonial history.

“Well on the fifth of November 1881 the colonial masters were down there in Parihaka and they murdered the women and children and raped the women, cut off their breasts and used them for tobacco pouches, imprisoned the men down in the South Island, burnt all their wheat fields and smashed up all of their flour mills and all of these things, confiscated thousands of acres of land and you know this is history. It’s a fact,” Mrs Harawira says.


But 84-year old Dick Scott, whose 1954 book Ask That Mountain brought the Paihaka story to the attention of many New Zealanders for the first time, says Mrs Harawira's more extreme claims have no historical basis.

His research for the book included interviewing kuia who had been at Parihaka when it was sacked.

“The women at Parihaka were mistreated, they were raped, there was syphilis spread amongst there and there were free of those disease until we got there doing that but nobody was killed, and as for the children being tortured, all this is imagination run riot. This sort of claim has happened before and it has been dismissed as carrying the thing to absurdity,” Mr Scott says.

He says the non-violence practiced by the two or three thousand Maori at Parihaka on the day of the invasion meant the colonial troops had no cause to open fire, which might have led to deaths.


Tainui leader Tukoroirangi Morgan says Maori need to take advantage to the opportunities created by the national cycleway through the Waikato.

Prime Minister John Key turned the first sod for a stretch of the cycleway beside the Waikato River.

Mr Morgan says it will pass through sections of Maori land and over some set aside for future settlements.

He says enterprising Waikato whanau need to look for ways to service the people from around the world who will ride it.

“We should be bold and smart enough to take the opportunity to use those resources to build capacity amongst our whanau, our hapu and our marae. I think it’s an excellent move,” Mr Morgan says.


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