Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Short term thinkers upsets Tamaki kaitiaki

A representative of Auckland's Waiohua people is slamming what he calls the short-sighted nature of the super city plans.

Eru Thompson has won the support of other mana whenua groups for a claim he's lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal over the reforms, especially the government's refusal to include Maori seats on the council.

He says Maori who have looked after Tamaki Makarau for 900 years have a duty to protect it from short - term decision makers who won’t be in office for long. .

Eru Thompson says Local Government Minister Rodney Hide has no understanding of the concerns of tangata whenua, yet he has deliberately silenced the Maori voice within his new council.

GREENS CO-LEADER LOOKING TO MAORI ENVIRONMENT LESSONS

Greens co-leader Russel Norman says New Zealand needs to wake up to the lesson of kaitikitanga learned by Maori.

The party is celebrating 10 ten years in Parliament, and Dr Norman says during that time its commitment to tangata whenua and the Treaty of Waitangi has got stronger.

He says while early Polynesian settlers played a part in the extinction of the moa, over time they adapted to their new environment until their culture became sustainable.

“It’s a lesson that Maori learned on these beautiful islands and it’s a lesson the whole human race has to learn. It’s not an easy lesson. It seems to be in our nature to want to expand more and more and to have more and more but at a certain point we need to learn to live within the limits of the natural world,” Dr Norman says.

He says as well as sensitivity to the environment, the Greens share with Maori a commitment to fair allocation of society's resources.

LUXURY LAKESIDE DEVELOPMENT BACK ON TRACK

A Taupo Maori trust hopes a controversial lakeside development can now go ahead after the developer changed the way it is leasing out sections.

Rather than have a rent review every seven years, Symphony Group is offering to sell the 22 Acacia Bay sections with a three and a half percent rent rise every year until 2028.

Andrew Kusabs from the Hiruharama Ponui Trust, which leased the land to Symphony for 80 years, hopes that will give buyers more confidence.

He says the occupation by a group linked to a minority of Ngati Rauhoto landowners is now over, and their claims the land was a waahi tapu proved baseless.

“The investigations done in the past as to the historical significance of the site showed it was where hey had gardens. The areas that were of historical value were on the foreshore which is not part of the lease,” Mr Kusabs says.

Hiruharama Ponui Trust needs the development to go ahead because it's missing out on income.

NGATI WHARE SIGNING ON DOTTED LINE FOR NEW FUTURE

Bay of Plenty iwi Ngati Whare will today sign a full and final settlement for its historical claims.

Iwi members are gathering about now at Murumurunga Marae at the edge of the Whirinaki Forest Park to welcome Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson.

Iwi chair James Carlson says the tribe's commercial redress was tied up in last year's Central North Island forestry settlement, and today's activities will focus on cultural redress, including a Crown Apology for breaches of the
Treaty of Waitangi during and after the land wars of the 19th century.

“We'll be signing with the Crown in front of our tribe and for me it’s just a beginning of Ngati Whare finding their own destiny, not so much taking care of article three but in trying to build back what was lost in article two, that’s what was taken, our taonga and our rangatiratanga,” Mr Carlson says.

He says the settlement will acknowledge Ngati Whare’s unique relationship with the Whirinaki forest, and includes funds for replanting parts of the forest clear-felled by the Forest Service in the 1980s.

SUPER CITY CLAIMANT CONFIDENT OF SUCCESS

Meanwhile, the man who has a claim before the Waitangi Tribunal over lack of Maori representation on the Auckland super city is confident of success.

Eru Thompson from Waiohua says he's heartened by support which came out of a local government hui in the city last Friday.

He says the claim will be amended to reflect the continuing rejection of Maori concerns by government.

“Mana whenua, both Tainui and Ngati WHatua as well as Maori in general do want to signal to this nation that this sort of stuff shouldn’t be happening today We are supposed to be working together to carve a new future and working under the unity banner but once again we continue to be attacked because of the history in our region,” Mr Thompson says.

He hopes his claim can be heard before next year's local body elections.

ROTORUA PLANNING IMPRESSIVE NORTHERN ENTRANCE

Ohakune has its carrot and Te Kuiti has its shearer.

Now Rotorua is planning an elaborate new entrance.

Rotorua District Council's landscape architect Joby Barham says the northern gateway will feature several pou over a 2 kilometre stretch.

Visitors will first see traditional carvings by Rob Rika, followed by the more contemporary stylings of Lewis Gardiner, who incorporates aluminium into his wood sculptures.

T he new northern entrance will cost $182,000 and should be completed by next June next year.

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