Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, December 14, 2009

Spectrum trust puts hard worn on iwi over share sales

The chair of Te Huaraki Tika Maori spectrum trust, Mavis Mullins, says Maori corporates need to look beyond farms and forestry for their future revenue.

The trust has so far been unsuccessful in finding buyers for shares available for Maori in the latest capital raising for new mobile phone company Two Degrees.

Mrs Mullins says the fight by the Maori Council and other groups in the late 1990s to get Maori a share of broadcast spectrum has opened up a world of possibilities.

“It’s not just about communications but this is also the tool that where we will refresh our current primary assets. In a couple of years every animal is going to be required to have an electronic ID marker on it. This new technology is what will refresh so we’ve got to have that bigger vision with that as well. We’re either in or we’re really out,” Mrs Mullins says.

If buyers can’t be found for the shares by the end of the year, existing shareholders will take up the allocation and dilute the Maori stake to 12 and a half percent.


Eastern Bay of Plenty iwi Ngati Manawa is looking forward to developing its people now it has completed its historical treaty claims.

The settlement was signed at Rangatahi Marae in Murupara on Saturday, and follows one with neighbouring Ngati Whare earlier in the week.

Chairman Bill Bird says the deal covers the cultural and social aspects of the claim, and includes the return of sites of historical significance around the Kaingaroa Forest, as well as three schools in Murupara and Galatea.

“See education is where our big focus is going to be, or where it is right now. We’re not just waiting for settlement, Now we have the ability to resource some of these projects so that everybody is benefitting from the settlement, there’s not an impervious layer where the money just hung up,” Mr Bird says.

The settlement will change the relationships Ngati Manawa has with central and local government agencies.


The Minister of Maori Affairs, Pita Sharples, says getting agreement on water policy will mean reconciling different world views.

Dr Sharples spoke to last week’s national hui which tried to develop a common approach among iwi as the Government develops policy on fresh water.

He says regional councils and local authorities need to work more closely with iwi and hapu on water management, and that means being prepared to listen.

“It’s really important you understand the Maori world view is alive and kicking We do see things differently, In the case of water, it’s a question of marrying up those two world views and marrying up two political systems, the Maori political system and the all of New Zealand system, and working together in partnership,” Dr Sharples says.

The Maori view on water was supported by a Chilean judgment last month where the court turned down an application by a water bottling company because of the importance of the spring to an Aymara Indian group.


There’s a new chairman and a new visitor’s centre for the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

Former New Zealand First MP Pita Paraone has become the new chair or the Waitangi National Trust, whose members are drawn from descendants of treaty signatories.

The descendant of Patuone and Tamati Waka Nene replaces Jeremy Williams.

Mr Paraone’s first task today is opening the new gateway to the treaty ground, which he says is a much needed addition.

“The idea is to provide an attraction to visitors to encourage them to come into the estate and use the resource we have to share with them the history of the place and the history of the founding document of our nation,” Mr Paraone says.

The trust, which is funded by visitor fees and rents from its lands, has also put a new roof on the Treaty House and upgraded the Waka house, and it’s now looking forward to building a museum and service centre.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says being a Maori party sometimes means ignoring long term costs for short term gain.

Dr Sharples says the recession hit Maori hard with 100-thousand now out of work.

He says that drove the party to support National’s changes to the emissions trading scheme, which Treasury says will cost the country $110 billion by 2050.

In exchange it won a short term delay in petrol and energy price rises, as well as insulating an extra 8000 Maori houses.

“People don’t understand how we think as Maori. For or against the ETS, there’s good arguments. For us it was about the now and we thought that is probably where our people need relief now. In the long term it is goinf to cost New Zealand a lot of money, but in the shot term, which is what we need now, we went for that,” Dr Sharples says.

He says compromise in necessary in politics, but he still believes his party’s support agreement with National is beneficial for Maori.


A free clinic in Tauranga run by Ngai te Rangi iwi has diagnosed severe cases of poverty-itis.

Spokesperson Paul Stanley says the one-day clinic for Community Card holders came out of youth clinics the iwi has been running this year with funding from a public health organisation.

He says many of those who took advantage of what the iwi dubbed its Christmas present had not seen a doctor or primary health provider for a long time.

It's a side of the Bay of Plenty city many residents never see.

“The poverty here is camouflaged by the affluence. Because we’ve got a lot of richer people, living in the neighbourhood and retirees who’ve made all their money and the rest of it, when you look at the stats as a whole it cloaks the poverty other people endure and if you look at things like a Robin Hood index where you are looking at the distance between the rich and the poor, that helps you define the health of the people,” Mr Stanley says.

The clinic also exposed the fact that while people might be able to get to a clinic, they often could not afford to pick up prescriptions to continue treatment.


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