Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Clean slate needed for Taranaki talks

Te Atiawa wants its treaty claim talks to start with a clean slate.

The iwi and neighbouring Taranaki signed terms of negotiation with the Crown today, making them the last of the eight Taranaki iwi to enter the settlement process.

At stake is redress for the wars of the 1860s and the subsequent land confiscations, which the Waitangi Tribunal described as a raupatu without ending.

The chair of Te Atiawa Iwi Authority, Wikitoria Keenan, says today's terms replace a 1999 heads of agreement which included a $34 million settlement offer.

“You know the Crown may still want that as a quantum. I don’t know. We think it’s in our interest to start anew with a clean slate, particularly with the cultural redress programme. We hope the quantum will be more than $34 million. We thought that wasn’t a very good deal really,” Ms Keenan says.

Te Atiawa hopes to complete negotiations in 18 months to two years.

THREE STRIKES BILL TOO UNFAIR FOR MAXIM

A right wing think-tank has come out against ACT's three strikes bill because of its likely impact on Maori.

The Maxim Institute is holding public lectures later this month at which Auckland University legal scholars Warren Brookbanks and Richard Ekins will critique the injustice of the bill and discuss ways to improve sentencing.

Alex Penk, the Institute's policy and research manager, says it's bad law to create a system where people who commit the same crime may get grossly disproportionate sentences.

“There is certainly a whole of society interest in having just criminal policy that treats people fairly. We all know that Maori are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system and if we don’t get it right the impact will be greater on them,” Mr Penk says.

KAPA HAKA TAKES OFF ON NORTH SHORE

Several hundred students from the country's biggest secondary school turned out at the ASB Polyfest in Auckland today to support their kapa haka group, which includes mainly non-Maori students.

Festival spokesperson Dean Wilson says splitting the Maori competition into three divisions has encouraged the entry of schools who in the past felt they weren't good enough to cut it with the big guns.

That includes North Shore City's Rangitoto College, which led off performances on the Maori stage this afternoon.

The roopu, which is coached by Hward Morrison Jr, is the subject of a documentary, Kapa Haka Kids, and it’s hopingfor a division three palcing.

This year's Polyfest includes more than 9000 performers from 65 schools.

TE MANGAI PAHO KEEN TO RETAIN TE KARERE ON TV1

Maori broadcast funding agency Te Mangai Paho is sounding the alarm about moving Maori language news off TV One.

Broadcasting Minister Jonathon Coleman has indicated the government was considering splitting Television New Zealand's roles, with TVNZ7 and possibly 6 operating as public service channels, leaving TV1 and TV2 for purely commercial programming.

Te Mangai Paho told Parliament's Maori affairs select committee today that it pays for Te Karere and wants it to stay on TV1.

Chief executive John Bishara says otherwise Te Karere's ratings will suffer.

“Having a space for our Maori language news programme on TV1 helps us achieve our goals to promote te reo Maori me ona tikanga Maori to as many people as we can,” Mr Bishara says

Te Mangai Paho continues to be concerned about the poor time slots Television New Zealand gives to the programmes it funds, which also include Waka Huia and Marae.

COMMONWEALTH GAMES PASS A DISAPPOINTMENT

The cultural advisor to New Zealand's Olympic and Commonwealth Games teams is disappointed the government has decided not to tono for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Prime Minister John Key says New Zealand can't afford the expected $600 million cost of hosting the event.

Amster Reedy from Ngati Porou says Maori athletes thrive on international competition, and not to be able to perform in front of their whanau on their home turf is a chance lost.

He’d like to see waka ama become a Commonwealth Games sport.

MARAE DIY TO GO AHEAD DESPITE PORANGAHAU TANGI

The hapu at Porongahau is pushing ahead with rebuilding its marae this weekend despite the death of one of its young leaders.

Bevan Tipene Matua drowned yesterday while collecting kaimoana for the influx of people expected for the Marae DIY makeover.

He returned to live at the coastal Hawkes Bay village last year after training as a scientist and working in policy development.

Mr Tipene-Matua was also a Green spokesperson on Maori issues.
His uncle Piri Sciascia says his death is a huge loss to the closely-knit hapu.

Bevan Tipene-Matua is expected to be buried on Friday or Saturday, and the restoration project will be done in his honour.

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