Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Te Uri o Hau fighting tide power on all fronts

Kaipara Maori say the government can't give the go ahead for a tidal power station on the Kaipara Harbour until ownership of the Seabed and Foreshore is settled.

Te Uri o Hau Settlement Trust has sought an urgent hearing of the Waitangi Tribunal to consider whether the Minister of Conservation can consent to the project, and it's also seeking injunctions from the Maori land Court and the High Court.

Chairman Russell Kemp says Crest Energy's project, which is backed by the Enviroment Court, would wreck the harbour.

“We’re totally opposed to it because it will kill the Kaipara. What they are going for is a 35-year property right on a prized area of the Kaipara where there is an abundance of fish,” Mr Kemp says.

Crest Energy wants to build up to 200 five-storey turbines near the entrance to the Kaipara.


The head of Maori and indigenous studies at Canterbury University believes Whanau Ora has lost its focus on Maori, and is being used to justify major changes to welfare delivery across the board.

Rawiri Taonui says the Maori Party talked up the initiative last year as a way to devolve services and decision-making to Maori.

But this week Prime Minister John Key said Whanau Ora would be available to New Zealanders of all races who are in need.

Mr Taonui says that shows the policy has been captured by mainstream departments - to the detriment of the kaupapa.

“One of the modifications has been to do that not only for Maori social service providers but to do it for all services generally and that constitutes a lack of recognition of the structural prejudice Maori people face when they are engaging with social services, health, education, and so forth,”
Mr Taonui says.

Unless the government tackles issues of inter-generational poverty, structural racism and Maori rights, there will be no change in negative Maori statistics.


A Taranaki businesswoman wants to sell New Zealand music to the world.
Emere Wano is putting together next month's Sounds Aotearoa showcase in New Plymouth in March to introduce the country's musical talent to international buyers.

She says it's cheaper to bring international buyers to watch artists here than to send the artists to perform on the other side of the world.

“They really wanted a point of difference which I think New Zealand can offer not only through our Maori and Pacific artists by our New Zealand artists, we have a different sound and look and way about us,” Ms Wano says.

She hopes Sounds Aotearoa can lead to acts like Anika Moa, Kora and Little Bushmen getting overseas releases and tours.


Auckland Regional Council chair Mike Lee is opposing a plan to use the region's largest park to settle a Treaty claim.

Treaty Settlements minister Chris Finlayson has written to the council with a proposal that Ngati Whatua o Orakei and Te Kawerau a Maki be brought in to co-manage the Centennial Park in the Waitakere Ranges, in a similar way to that being considered for the city's volcanoes.

Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey is backing the idea.

But Mr Lee says public ownership needs to be protected.

“Public ownership represents a unified New Zealand of equality of all people and those assets which I came in to politics to defend need to remain owned by all the people, not given away, however worthy the cause, to settle injustices of the past,” Mr Lee says.

Centennial Park was bought with public donations to mark the city's centenary in 1941.


Green co-leader Metiria Turei is accusing the Prime Minister of paternalism for the way he referred to Maori in this week's statement of government priorities.

John Key promised to find better ways to tackle the child abuse, family violence, poor educational results and crime continue to characterise the lives of too many Maori families.

Ms Turei says Mr Key seemed to be harking back to the 19th century.

“He talks in his speech about ‘our Maoris’ and other people have noticed it, but there are a few times in his speech where he talks about ‘our Maori community’. I think that paternalistic 19th century attitude to Maori and also other vulnerable communities as well like beneficiaries, like the low paid, is really telling,” Ms Turei says.

She says the real message for Maori and low income communities in the speech was that they would be hammered by an increase in GST.


Entertainer Frankie Stevens says he's honoured to take part in tonight's Maori Motown concert in Taradale.

The event is a low cost local alternative to tomorrow's Mission Estate concert featuring acts like Martha and the Vandellas, the Four Tops and the Temptations.

Stevens will perform alongside other Maori soul singers like Rewa Ututaonga, Thomas Stowers and Brannigan Kaa.

He says the family concert, which will raise money for marae rebuilding and a methamphetamine awareness campaign, is a great idea.

If any of the Motown stars want to drop in, they'll be welcome up on the Otatara Pa stage.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting these updates. As a Kiwi overseas, it's great to have news from an urban Maori radio station to keep up with things from a perspective other than the mainstream media.

kia ora

Chris Fung
Boston, MA

3:07 PM  

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