Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Harawira paranioa misplaced says Whatua

The chair of the Ngati Whatua Runanga, Naida Glavish, is defending the right of the Iwi Leaders Forum to talk with the Government about alternatives to the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira attacked the forum in a speech to Parliament this week, saying many of the leaders were absent from the 2004 foreshore and seabed hikoi to Parliament.

Ms Glavish says the Tai Tokerau MP is seeing conspiracies where there aren't any.

“We're not there with the Prime Minister or the Attorney General negotiating on behalf of our people. What we are actually doing is entering into discussion and then there had to be going back to the people,” she says.


Meanwhile, Waikato-Hauraki MP Nanaia Mahuta says National and the Maori Party are finding it hard to come up with anything better than Labour's foreshore and seabed legislation.

Ms Mahuta, who extracted significant changes to the Act before it was passed, says it allows iwi and hapu to negotiate with the Crown about foreshore and seabed issues in their area.

She says it protects treaty settlements and provides a mechanism for the courts to recognise customary rights.

“National and the Maori Party have realised that actually it’s a lot harder to try and deliver a result that’s better than is already there, and at the end of the day people all want to go to the beach and they currently can,” Ms Mahuta says.

She says it’s clear the government intends to ignore the recommendations of the review panel on the Foreshore and seabed Act.


The former Navy diver who survived three days in the waters off Kapiti Island has a new job.

Since his ordeal, Rob Hewitt has led water safety campaigns and coached league.

Now he's training crews from around the Pacific for the seven double hulled fibre glass waka which will sail to Hawaii in April to rekindle knowledge of the original waka voyages which brought Maori to Aotearoa.

The waka are being built in Greenhithe on the upper Waitemata.


The patron of the latest wing of police college graduates says it's important they don't unfairly target young Maori because they don't understand their cultural behaviour.

All but one of the 38 graduates are bound for Counties Manukau as part of the government's commitment to put 300 extra cops into the area this year.

Sir Wira Gardiner says it's an area with a high Maori and Pacific presence, so it's important the increased level of policing does not lead to a disproportionate number of rangitahi being arrested.

“I suspect that a lot of young Maori get arrested because they act in a particular manner and I think that;’s why it;’s important for uyoung constables to be trained in a way they recognize the signs, that they are not a threat sign, the are a behavioural sign, soi they are better able to accommodate a response,” Sir Wira says.

He would have liked there to be more than six Maori in the group which also includes officers from South Africa, India, Portugal and Great Britain.


A Maori academic is calling for a boycott of Coca Cola until the soft drink giant fixes up an ad featuring a pseudo haka.

Rawiri Taonui from Canterbury University's school of Maori and indigenous studies the chant used to sell a variety of no sugar cola in Japan is gibberish.

He says it's made worse by the fact the company originally approached Ngati Toa about using its haka Ka mate, and then withdrew from discussions.

He says the meaningless grunting in the ad denigrates the haka and is an offence to Maori culture.

“They could have done better. I reckon they should change it, and if they don’t change it, we should stop drinking Coca Cola until they do,” Mr Taonui says.


Whakatane-based Maori university Te Whare Waananga o Awanuiarangi's move into Tai Tokerau is paying off, with five candidates wanting to complete doctorates through the Whangarei campus.

Operations director Te Tuhi Robust says candidates must whakapapa to Te Tai Tokerau but don't have to be Maori.

He says Awanuiarangi is the only one of the three wananga which can provide PhDs, and it provides a real alternative for people who want to explore aspects of te ao Maori in depth.

“People used to have to go overseas, it was suggested they go overseas to study but now it has been accepted that what we have in New Zealand and now in the Tai Tokerau is equivalent if not better of course if it’s to do with Maori studies and indigenous studies than anywhere else in the world because it’s benchmarked against all of those universities from overseas,” Dr Robust says.

The doctoral candidates are studying everything from the role of Maori women in business leadership to church and family histories the cultural importance of William Shakespeare to Maori.

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