Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, March 26, 2010

Aquaculture settlement passes hurdle

The passing of the Commercial Aquaculture Settlement Act will allow a new chapter in Maori fisheries.

The $97 million settlement package passed on Wednesday covers Hauraki, Ngai Tahu and top of the South Island iwi.

Harry Mikaere from Hauraki says all that's left to do is signing the cheques.

His iwi already has a large investment in aquaculture, but the settlement will allow it to plan for the future.

“I really don't want our people caught up in the factories any more. We want them in the boardrooms. We want them in the sciences that this opportunity allows, and there is a whole range of other innovations coming through our industry that our people should be involved in,” Mr Mikaere says.

Maori aquaculturalists need to start looking for opportunities offshore, so they can offer customers year round supply of product.


The Waitemata District Health Board is concerned too many Maori with diabetes are missing annual check ups.

The board has identified more than 1500 Maori in Waitakere and North Shore cities with diabetes, but the number seeing their GP regularly is below the Health Ministry's Get Checked programme target.

Public health physician Tom Robinson says Maori are twice as likely than Pakeha to have diabetes, and far more likely to get complications.

“Really strong evidence from international studies that people who have good care and achieve the targets associated with care round sugar control and blood pressure control are much less likely to have complications like heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, and are likely to live a lot longer,” Dr Robinson says.

Waitemata DHB is now chasing up GPs to get them to encourage patients to come in for checks.


It's early in the sporting year, but competition is already heating up for the Maori sports awards.

Organiser Dick Garrett from Ngai Tuhoe says increased media coverage of the awards has encouraged more Maori sports people to identify themselves as worthy of recognition.

Many come from non-traditional sports, such as ocean swimmer Kane Radford, ice speed Olympian Blake Skellerup and soccer player Rory Fallon.

Mr Garrett says there's a big year ahead for Maori athletes, with the centenary of Maori rugby, rowing and soccer world cups to look forward to before the award ceremony in December.


The head of one of the country's largest electricity generators says Maori trusts which own geothermal hot spots are the sleeping giants of the New Zealand economy.

Doug Heffernan says Mighty River Power has been developing Maori geothermal resources for more than a decade.

He says the trusts are increasingly looking to partner with the state owned enterprise, rather than just leasing their land.

“The economic growth that these Maori trusts have had in harnessing the geothermal resource below their land has transformed the interests of the land trust, hundreds of millions dollar business, way beyond what their ancestors would have thought of 50 years ago and in a lot of ways they have been the sleeping giant of success in New Zealand business, not only within Maoridom,” Mr Heffernan says.

Maori trusts are good to work with because they want to develop the resource in a way which is sustainable and benefits their people.


Maori forest owners are being urged to break out of traditional channels and sell direct China.

Hemana Waaka and fellow Maori Rakau Trading director Bin Wang have identified trusts in the Hawkes Bay and the South Island with forests ready to harvest.

Mr Waaka says Maori landowners need to make the shift from leasing their land to forest companies to planting their own trees.

He says by replanting their own trees, their children and grandchildren will benefit not only from the harvest but from jobs along the way.

Mr Waaka says there are Chinese business people who are keen to trade directly with Maori and build up cultural as well as business relationships.


The head of programming for Maori Televison's Te Reo channel is promising more programmes from novice producers as more Maori make programmes that reflect their world.

The total immersion channel marks its second birthday this week.

Eruera Morgan says it's been a challenge to create a catalogue of programmes in te reo Maori, but shows like He Pari Karangaranga o te Motu, where Maori communities produce programmes about themselves, have pointed the way ahead.

The next step is to get kura kaupapa to provide programmes and tell their stories.

Eru Morgan says the audience for Te Reo Channel is growing as more Maori become fluent in te reo.

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