Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, January 29, 2010

National Library denies harvesting whakapapa pages

The National Library says its "Web Harvest" programme won't expose private whakapapa information to the public gaze.

The head of the Maori Internet Society has raised concerns about the way the project will hande sensitive information.

But Sue Sutherland, the acting director of the National Digital Library, says the harvest ... scheduled for April... collects information already in the public domain.

That means the library doesn't need to consult Maori, although people can raise concerns through its website.

“More and more information is just published in the digital domain, people don’t print it, and if we don’t do something abut keeping a copy of that material quite a large part of our cultural, social and way of life will be lost to future generations, so as libraries in the past collected printed material, the National Library collects digital material as well,” Ms Sutherland says.

Site owners retain the copyright for the material on their pages collected by the library.


Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia says increased understanding of treaty issues is good news for Maori.

The Human Rights Commission's annual survey found those who considered they had a good understanding of the Treaty rose from 34 to 41 per cent.

Some 56 per cent now see it as New Zealand's founding document.

Mrs Turia says the treaty settlement process is making people more aware.

“As people's knowledge of what happened in the past increases they can see there is justice in the settlements so that turns their thinking around I believe.”


The annual Ngapuhi Festival in Kaikohe kicks off today with the Taitokerau Maori Sports Awards.

Ngapuhi Runanga spokesperson Taiha Molyneux says there are some impressive contenders for the top titles.

The junior section includes Tohora Te Oneroa Harawira for his contributions to powerlifting and kapa haka, Megan Craig for basketball, boxing and hip hop dance, and Sian Keepa for netball and basketball, which the male open category could come down to a clash between axeman Jason Wynyard and touch rugby player Paul Davis.

The Ngapuhi festival runs until Sunday at Northland College.


Air New Zealand's new uniforms have come under fire for insensitive use of Maori forms.

Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and Indigenous studies at Canterbury University, says the Trelise Cooper-designed uniforms look like they have put together by someone who has a few too many wines.

He says the pattern, which supposedly draw on traditional Maori designs, look like the Thomas the Tank Engine poster on his son's bedroom wall.

“You have got to be open minded and appreciate traditional art forms will morph and change but the way these ones have been thrown together, there’s so many of them, it’s all cluttered and they’re so distorted and it’s obviously been put together by someone who doesn’t really understand the significance of the motifs and how they might fit and work together,” Associate Professor Taonui says.

He says it's not the first time Air New Zealand has been insensitive to Maori, and a previous ad campaign had to be withdrawn because of mispronounce Maori words.


Auckland's first Maori community magistrate will be sworn in today.

Community magistrates were first appointed in the Waikato Bay of Plenty area in 1999 to take some of the workload off District Court judges.

Lavinia Nathan of Ngapuhi and Ngati Whatua has worked on offender rehabilitation since the 1980s.

She says it's important for Maori to see other Maori in judicial roles.

“A kaumatua told me many years ago that when a tui cries out, only another tui answers, and I think that by having Maori in these positions we are able to hear the cries of our people, to look at different strategies or alternate ways of dealing with Maori,” Ms Nathan says.

The eight community magistrates will take the judicial oath at Manukau District Court this afternoon.


Maori boxers have a chance this weekend to stake their claims for a place in the New Zealand Commonwealth Cup team.

Tui Gallagher, the president of the Auckland Boxing Association, says wins in Auckland tomorrow mean a ticket to Delhi in March.
She says Maori have always featured prominently in the amateur ranks.

The professionals get their chance on Sunday to box for a place in the New Zealand squad for a test series against Australian in March which is being dubbed the Bloodisloe Cup.


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