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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Flag baggage sign of fading generation

Bulletins December 17, 2009

A Maori educationalist says pakeha who see the country having two flags as separatist and divisive should get over the baggage they are carrying.

Rawiri Taonui who heads Canterbury University's Maori and ethnic studies department says Pakeha familiar with Maori ways have no problem with the tino rangatiratanga flag.

But he says Pakeha who have not had much to do with Maori can see it as separatist.

“The good thing is that population is declining and the good population in increasing. In 10, 20 years time this will just become two flags on Waitangi Day as a matter of course and our children won’t really be bothered,” Mr Taonui says.


Maori party MP Te Ururoa Flavell agrees with Maori academic Rawiri Taonui that Pakeha who know something about Maori have no problem with the tino rangatiratanga flag.

Mr Flavell says it’s the same with attitudes towards the Maori party.

“There won’t be riots in the street. The tino rangatiratanga flag has been round at Waitangi for yonks. Like the singing of the national anthem in Maori, in 10 years time we will look back and say what the hang was all the fuss about,” Mr Flavell says.

He says Maori and Pakeha have lived well together for generations and they will go on doing so with the tino rangatiratanga flag flying.


There's a sense of euphoria among many Waikato Maori today with the signing of a revised deed of settlement covering the Waikato River.

That's the word from Tukoroirangi Morgan who negotiated the deal with the Crown which sets up a Waikato River Authority to look after the awa.

This single body... with equal iwi and Crown representation... replaces the six statutory boards envisaged when the original deed of settlement was signed last year, but never put into effect.

The authority will have $210 million to spend on a river clean-up.

Mr Morgan says the signing finally looks like righting wrongs done 146 years ago when colonial troops invaded the Waikato taking 1.2 million acres and the Waikato river.

“There's a sense of euphoria, a sense of deep satisfaction that we are a long way down the track now. What remains is the legislative process. The deed of settlement has to be enshrined in law, and that point it will be a momentous opportunity for the people of this tribe,” Mr Morgan says.


Associate social development minister Tariana Turia has accused former health Minister Annette King of using the family violence issue for mischievous political point scoring.

In parliament this week Mrs King questioned whether the “It's not OK” anti-family violence campaign was being replaced by a new campaign aimed at Maori.

She said 33 women had been killed through family violence so far this year, double last year's figures.

Mrs Turia who heads the ministerial committee on family violence says the "its not ok" campaign is not being stopped.

“Its hugely disappointing that we would use family violence as a political point-scoring opportunity as Annette King did in the House because it’s really mischievous to use statistics without sourcing where they’ve come from,” Mrs Turia says.

She says the Aroha in Action campaign is being paid for with unused money set aside for victim advocates, as anti-violence practitioners see targeting communities rather than individuals as better use of the money.


Former New Zealand First MP Pita Paraone is keen to get back to Parliament.

Mr Paraone went back to his former job as a regional manager with Te Puni Kokiri in Tai Tokerau, and he's also been made chair of the Waitangi National Trust.

But he says the party founded by Winston Peters still has some life in it yet.

“Comments that have been made around the country as New Zealand First visits have been very positive and so I’d certainly like to be part of the team that helps to see New Zealand First back in parliament,” Mr Paraone says.


Visitors to next year's annual Kawhia Maori kai festival on Waitangi Day will face a HUGE problem.

That is which hangi to chose... from around 6000 being put down to meet demand for food cooked the traditional way.

The festival sees the population of the West Coast township where the Tainui canoe landed in the 14th century leap from 380 to nearly 10 thousand, as curious foodies lineup for a taste of delicacies such as huhu grubs, dried shark, and mussel chowder.

Organiser Lloyd Whiu says hangi is the undoubted favorite which is why twice as many will be cooked next year.

He says when the festival started six years ago they wanted to celebrate February 6th in a unique way but no one expected it would be so popular.

“Out of that whakaaro the kai festival grew. It’s about bringing people together from different backgrounds and celebrating something everyone likes doing, that’s eating,” Mr Whiu says.

He says hangi are extremely popular with Pakeha many of whom have never tried the earth-cooked kai.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says national education standards won't benefit Maori.

Ms Turei says international research from around the world shows that indigenous people do worse under such assessment regimes.

She says they create winners and losers among schools and students, and the resources end up going to the winners, with the rest left behind.

“For low decile schools and for Maori kids who are often in those lower decile schools, this is going to be a disaster for education and I think the teachers are right to oppose it. The schooling system has gone through a huge amount of reform in the last 10 years, just a ridiculous amount, and this is another huge burden,” Ms Turei says.

She says schools find ways around testing some kids so they don't bring their averages down, and the practice will become widespread if national standards are introduced.

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