Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ngapuhi line-up preparing for hearing

Northern iwi Ngapuhi is fine tuning its attack for next month's opening hearing on its claim over the meanings of the Treaty of Waitangi and the 1835 Declaration of Independence.

Mere Mangu, who coordinated a meeting this week of Te Kotahitanga o nga hapu o Ngapuhi, says the iwi is adamant their tupuna never conceded sovereignty.

She says the hui was impressed by the line up of kaumatua and tribal scholars who will put the case.

“Nuki Aldridge is talking about the world view of Maori. Rima Edwards will concentrate his korero on the word ‘mana’ in He Whataputanga. Patu Hohepa has a paper on the language that was used in both He Whataputanga and Te Tiriti,” Ms Mangu says.

A further Kotahitanga hui will be held in a fortnight on Oromahoe Marae.


Meanwhile, Maori Party MP Hone Harawira wants this year's promised constitutional review to be taken out to the nation.

With the party's co-leaders now government ministers, the Tai Tokerau MP and protest leader has been delegated to front the issue for the party.

He says it's not something that can be left to Wellington.

“We have to make sure it gets on the road, it stays on the road, we get it onto Maori radio, it becomes something people can talk about and understand and not just up there in the air. We’ve got to keep it low to the ground. There’s the whole issue of Maori rights, human rights,” Mr Harawira says.

He's optimistic the Moana Jackson-led roopu put together by the Iwi Leaders Forum to work on the review will provide a useful balance to the official process.


The Problem Gambling Foundation's new Pasifika unit is drawing on the experience of Maori-focused services.

Mapu Maia unit manager Pesio Ah-Honi Siita says gambling causes huge problems in both Maori and Pasifika communities.

She says the challenge is to create culturally focused interventions, including talking to people in their own languages and less emphasis on counseling.

“We don't have that concept in the Pacific. We call it talanoa which is talking, sharing stories and talking about our families and where we are connected and building that trust first before we can talk about the problem so developing different ways of doing things and delivering those services in a Pacific effective way,” Pesio Ah-Honi Siita says.


Associate social welfare minister Tariana Turia says if non-Maori want whanau ora, they can develop their own version.

In this week's statement to Parliament, Prime Minister John Key said the Government will ensure Whanau Ora is available to New Zealanders of all races who are in need.

Mrs Turia says while she doesn't mind other people having the same opportunities, the Whanau Ora taskforce led by Sir Mason Durie is working on Maori solutions to Maori problems.

“It's not a welfare progamme but when you transform people’s lives to take back more control over their lives, to be more self-determining about their future, to reconnect them to the essence of who they it is no doubt that we, through doing this, will address many of these social ills that impact on our people,” Mrs Turia says.


Now it has completed its land settlement, Te Arawa is talking with other Maori groups around the country about social services.

Police superintendant Wally Haumaha from Ngati Ngatauranui was part of a Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa group which met with Te Whanau o Waipareira.

He says the West Auckland trust has built up considerable expertise in service delivery which the iwi can draw on.

“Now that we’ve come through treaty settlements and mapping our economic future within the tribe, we’ve also got to look at what that means for the well being of whanau, so our social programmes and social development aren’t left behind and forgotten,” Superintendant Haumaha says.

It's important to develop service delivery structures which are tailored to Maori needs and aspirations.


A kaumatua group in Auckland has reformed to offer assistance to urban marae short on speakers.

Te Roopu kaumatua o Owairaka ki Tamaki was started in 1992, but went into recess a few years later.

Yesterday about 40 kaumatua met to breathe life back into the kaupapa.

Spokesperson Hone Komene says all members are over 60, and have put their hand up to help wherever needed.

The group will meet to learn waiata, tikanga and kaupapa which will help on the marae.

Hone Komene says as well as strengthening paepae when invited, the kaumatua roopu will continue to visit maori inmates in jail.

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