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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Lakes trust teams up with Rotorua council

December 22

A Maori trust responsible for looking after Rotorua lakes has signed an historic protocol with the local Rotorua District Council.

Te Arawa Lakes Trust chairman Dr Toby Curtis says the protocol signed at the weekend will allow the two organisations to work together on a range of issues.

He says the Treaty settlement process is opening up wonderful opportunities for a joint approach.

“There's a great deal we can do together. Whereas at one time because we did not have the funding we now appear to be receiving we can now sit down and work together and develop some wonderful projects,” Mr Curtis says.

In the future they will be looking at geothermal projects, waterfront foreshore development and tourism opportunities.


Maori political strategist Matt McCarten says Winston Peters has only a small chance of getting back into parliament.

The chief executive of the Unite Union and former Alliance president says the maverick New Zealand First leader has had his traditional turf taken.

Mr McCarten says while he might deny it Phil Goff has played the race card in recent weeks steeling ground traditionally occupied by Mr Peters.

“He'll want to get into a bit of Maori Party bashing to get his name up. He’ll have some success but it’s very difficult to come back when you’re out and he can’t do anything positive so he’s got to put the boot in but the problem for him is Key is very popular and the Nats are riding high and so the government of the day is not on the ropes,” he says.

Mr McCarten says Mr Peters will be in his late 60's at the next election and won't have the energy to orchestrate a political comeback for New Zealand First.


Meanwhile the most experienced Maori MP is indicating parliament is a place for younger politicians.

Parekura Horomia, the Labour member for Ikaroa Rawhiti, says he is unfazed by the burgeoning profiles of some of his junior Maori collegues.

He has singled out Kelvin Davis, Nanaia Mahuta as young Maori MP's who have bolstered their reputations with solid performances in the political arena this year while he says Shane Jones could one day lead the Party.

“You know I’m past being threatened. I’ve done everything from being a senior public servant. I’ve run most of our big operations in Maoridom. I’ve been lucky enough to have done all that and I’m knocking on the door of 60 next year, if you’re naïve enough to be threatened at this stage in your life you shouldn’t be doing it,” Mr Horomia says.

He says it’s up to old hands like himself to support the younger ones and he's right in their corner.


A senior Maori parliamentarian is calling on Maori MP's to take a lead from Maori who set aside differences and fought together in war time.

Former Minister of Maori Affairs Parekura Horomia says the recent deaths of two veterans from the 28 Maori battalion serves as a reminder of the need for Maori MPs across all parties to work more effectively together.

He says Hoturangi Tautau was laid to rest on Thursday at Tologa Bay, and with Paora Kruger lying in state at Totara marae in Ruatoki, that leaves less than 50 surviving members of the 28 Maori battalion.


A native plant traditionally used by Maori for weaving and medicine has been voted favourite plant in the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network's annual poll.

Network committee member John Sawyer says thousands of entries were received in the online poll in which pingao... the golden sand sedge topped more than 100 species.

He says it wasn't only its traditional Maori uses which pushed pingao to top in the popularity stakes.

“Pingao is one of the most perfectly adapted species for using in coastal dune protection which is what we’re going to need a lot of if sea levels rise as a result of global warming,” Mr Sawyer says

When used in Maori weaving its yellow fronds are clearly identifiable making it quite unique.

Pingao known as pikao in the deep south won over three species on the verge of extinction - Bartlett's rata (native to the far north), kakabeak (from the East Coast) and the fish guts plant (from Canterbury and Otago).


Buyers are being given an opportunity to buy a unique book of Maori photographs likely to become a collectors’ item at a discounted price.

John Gow a co-author of "Out of Time: Maori and the Photographer 1860- 1940, The Ngawini Cooper Trust Collection" says less than two hundred copies of the book published two years ago have yet to sell.

He says publisher John Leech Gallery, of which he is a director, is offering the book with more than eighty vintage Maori photographs for $90 ...a 10 percent discount on the recommended retail price.

“As soon as we get down to the last 100 copies we will put the price up considerably to $1560, $200 because we don’t want to sell the last of the books really, we want to keep a stock of them," Mr Gow says.

The publication which cost $80,000 to produce will not be reprinted.

He says the aim was not to make money but to produce a record of New Zealand's early history and they will just break even when all of the 1400 copies printed are sold.

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