Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, March 01, 2010

Broadcasting claimants opt for talks

Maori broadcasting claimants agreed at a weekend hui to enter negotiations with the Crown over the allocation of analogue spectrum which will become available by 2013 with the full digitisation of television.

Piripi Walker from Nga Kaiwhakapumau says Maori have a right to a significant amount of the spectrum under Article 2 of the Treaty of Waitangi.

However he says rather than continue with a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal the hui of iwi and interested roopu from around the country decided to take up the government's offer of direct negotiations with the Crown.

“It’s about modernity. It’s about the Maori world modernizing. It’s about opportunity in a green fields area. It’s not going to hurt too many other peoples’ rights and it’s an opportunity,” Mr Walker says.

Another hui will be held in May before any final decisions are made.


The industry training organisation InfraTrain says Te Puni Kokori funding train 250 Maori workers on major roading and civil construction projects in the upper half of the North Island will allow Maori to get better jobs.

Operations manager Ross Leslie nearly 22 percent of infrastructural workers are Maori.

“Twenty two percent of management supervisor engineers are not and the reasoning is why not, they should be. Being Maori is an asset not a disadvantage, so we want to get these people up and get them to recognise the skills they have got and lift them to another level by providing in a different way or a different learning environment, that’s what we are trying to do inside this programme,” Mr Leslie says.

InfraTrain is also offering five $10,000 scholarships for Maori from Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay to get a National Diploma in Surveying, Civil Engineering (Applied) or Infrastructure Asset Management.


The Executive director of Maori dance troupe Atamira Dance Collective is presenting a workshop in Tokyo about now for artistic directors keen to know about Maori performance traditions, especially the haka.

Moss Patterson from Ngati Tuwharetoa says those gathered for the Tokyo Performing Arts market want to know more about how the iconic haka fits into Maori performance.

He says the hosts have a particular fascination with the haka which is internationally known.

“Everyone here is genuinely interested, for instance the indigenous Japanese in forging connections with Maori traditional arts, especially traditional haka and how those two art forms have similar value sysems and similar ways of holding themselves, of communicating their tradition and the spirit of the people,” Mr Patterson says.

It is hoped relationships forged with artistic directors in Tokyo will result in collaborative cross cultural dance works.


Local Hero Sam Chapman says a recent retreat for Mongrel Mob members and their whanau has had amazing results.

Mr Chapman who organised the hui at Kakahi near Taumarunui for 12 gang members addicted to P and up to 50 family members says the whanau driven approach is already producing amazing outcomes such as an initiative to provide members kids with preschool education.

“We will have 20 of their preschool kids getting homeschool preschool education 30 hours a week with five of their mothers as caregivers, or fathers, employed for 30 hours a week at $15, $16 an hour. That’s what’s going to stop those kids becoming the 12 and 13 year old statistic we’re talking about,” Mr Chapman says.

He says such top of the cliff action works while the government's recent moves to toughen up sentences for young offenders will only lead to resentment and alienation.


Maori television boss Jim Mather says Maori should get independent technical advice before signing up to deals with the Crown for the allocation of spectrum coming available as television goes digital.

Iwi representatives attending a weekend hui in Auckland agreed to enter direct negotiations with the government rather than pursue a Waitangi Tribunal claim for a significant amount of the freed up analogue spectrum.

Mr Mather says Maori must be careful with this approach.

“We must adopt a trust but verify approach. If we are told the technological opportunities are A, B and C by the Crown of the Ministry of Economic Development, I believe it’s imperative we go out and independently verify that. Let’s think about the wider opportunities with the spectrum, because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to get this right,” Mr Mather says.

The spectrum is a complex area where good advice will be imparative before iwi sign up to any allocation.

Another hui is planned in May to update iwi representatives from around the country on the negotiations.


The department of conservation says the birth of kokako chicks in the Whirinaki forest for the first time in 100 years is seen by Ngati Whare as the spiritual return of taonga.

DOC officer Andrew Glazer says the chicks, which are just leaving the nest, are the offspring of twenty kokako which were transferred from Te Urewera National Park to Whirinaki Forest Park last year.

Kokako nearly became extinct so such breeding success is highly exciting as there is always considerable risk in establishing new populations.


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