Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, February 22, 2010

Caren Fox new Maori Land Court deputy chief judge

The new deputy chief judge of the Maori Land Court, Caren Fox, has been hailed for her concern for Maori people and her strong grasp of Maori and international law.

Judge Fox affiliates to Ngati Porou and Rongowhakaata, and was appointed to the court nine years ago after lecturing in law at Victoria and Waikato Universities.

Moana Jackson, who set up the Wellington Maori Legal Service with Judge Fox in 1988, says she entered the law wanting to make a difference for Maori.

“She cares for the rights of our people and the relationship we have with the land, and I think that’s essential in someone who is a judge in that court and particularly someone who is to be the chief or deputy chief judge,” Mr Jackson says.

Deputy chief Judge Fox did postgraduate study on how international legal doctrines applied to Maori and other indigenous peoples.


The kaitaataki tane for the top Mataatua kapa haka says a focus on tribal history gave the team its winning edge.

Te Whanau a Apanui will be joined by Opotiki Mai Tawhiti, Te Karu and Ruatahuna at Te Matatini national championships next year.

Tamati Waaka says while many of the groups competing at Torere over the weekend focused on controversial subjects like the foreshore and seabed, child abuse and the problems caused by alcohol and drugs, Te Whanau A Apanui composer Rikirangi Gage concentrated on the iwi, creating items to maintain and disseminate its history.


A conference in Wellington next month will look at the links between alcohol and violence and what Maori can do to break those links.

Doug Sellman from Alcohol Action New Zealand says the hui at Te Papa will consider new research showing alcohol can cause aggression even in people with non-violent personalities.

He says 700,000 New Zealanders identify themselves as heavy drinkers, and there's a link between that and the 70,000 physical and sexual assaults each year where the perpetrator is under the influence of alcohol.

IN: We've got a large heavy-drinking culture in New Zealand. Unfortunately, Maori are over-represented in that 700,000 so anything to do with alcohol is automatically of particular concern for Maori,” Professor Sellman says.


Labour education spokesperson Kelvin Davis fears any tampering with student loans will be disastrous for Maori students.

Tertiary Education Minister Steve Joyce has promised student loans will remain interest free, but he's signaling tougher conditions to get them.

Mr Davis says equitable access to tertiary education is important for Maori development and for society as a whole.

“It’s fine for those already in the upper socioeconomic strata. Those kids can be supported by their parents. But the reality for Maori is that’s not really the case, and it’s just making things harder for Maori to do tertiary study,” Mr Davis says.


Waikato University hopes use of an international website will spark wider interest in the Maori translator of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice.

A film of the play by the late Don Selwyn was based on the work of Pei Te Hurinui Jones from Ngati Maniapoto, the first chair of the Tainui Maori Trust Board, chair of the New Zealand Maori Council and a leading figure in the Kingitanga until his death in 1976.

Waikato University librarian Kathryn Parsons says as well as translating three of Shakespeare's plays into Maori and the three volumes of songs and poetry in Nga Moteatea into English, Mr Jones helped revise the Maori Bible.

He now has a Legacy Library on the librarything.com site.

“We've listed what Pei Jones is best known for, what’s the significance of his work and we’re hoping it will result in increased usage. We have a big collection of his manuscripts as well as we have his library,” Ms Parsons says.

The site allows people to see the books Pei Jones had in his personal library.


Organisers are rating the fourth Tainui Games the best yet.

Teams from more than 50 marae were involved in the weekend's multi-sport event at the tribe's Hopuhopu centre and other venues, with up to 15,000 competitors and spectators attending and new sports like waka ama, surfing, chess and kaumatua fitness on the bill.

Spokesman Robert Tukere says it's a great way to foster whakawhanaungatanga between marae.

Hosts Turangawaewae took home the aggregate prize, with followed by Taniwha Marae near Te Kauwhata and Te Kuiti's Te Tokanganui a Noho.


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