Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, March 19, 2010

Finalists found for Ahuwhenua trophy

Three dairy farms have been named as finalists for this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy for Maori Excellence in Farming.

They are Hanerau Farms Trust near Dargaville, which is owned by Te Uri o Hau and run by 2009 Northland Sharemilkers of the Year Dean and Tania Mischeski ... Waipapa 9 Trust, west of Taupo ... and Rangatira 8A 17 Trust near Reporoa.

Organising committee chair Kingi Smiler says a new set of judges will go in to review the farms.

“So there'll be a whole set of questions and analysis of their business and the next day they operate a field day where it’s open to the public and again that’s part of the judging round and they demonstrate the strengths of their business and how hey operate and give other dairy farmers and particularly Maori dairy farmers the opportunity to ask questions and see what systems they have,” Mr Smiler says.

The supreme Ahuwhenua Trophy winner will be announced on May 28.


A snapshot of health in Canterbury shows Maori enjoy better health than other Maori around the country, but still lag non-Maori.

The Hauora Waitaha report identified unmet need in areas like heart disease and cancer, where diagnosis rates are lower but death rates are higher than for non-Maori.

Compiler Matthew Reid says the report will give the District Health Board a better idea of how to plan for the needs of the 7.2 percent of Cantabrians who identify as Maori.

Dr Reid says the report doesn't try to delve into the specific reasons for health differences.


Former Maori affairs minister Parekura Horomia says devolving resources for Maori language promotion to community and iwi groups is a good idea, but some capacity building could be required.

The Maori language comissioner, Erima Henare, has recommended Te Taura Whiti be merged with broadcast funding agency Te Mangai Paho to save administration costs, and spending on te reo by other government agencies also be scrutinised to avoid duplication and waste.

Mr Horomia says there are risks in devolution.

“How you go to the iwi, how you make sure there is a fair whack at it and they run it and I’m sure some are more capable than others. Some are so strong and forward they could do it tomorrow, but a whole lot aren't,” Mr Horomia says.

He says a devolution strategy needs to acknowledge that some agencies of departments have unique roles in preservation and promotion of the Maori language.


A Taranaki claim negotiator says the iwi won't be constrained by earlier settlements within Taranaki Whanui.

Taranaki, whose territory covers most of the coast from Opunake to New Plymouth, and its northern neighbour Te Atiawa this week signed agreements to negotiate settlements, making them the last two iwi in the region to enter the process.

Mahara Okeroa says while many of its issues relate to the land confiscations that affected the whole region after the wars of the 1860s, it has a specific duty to win redress for the sacking of Parihaka in 1881.

“The impact has been right through Taranaki, mai runga, mai raro. The distinction in this case if Parihaka sits squarely in the middle of the rohe, so that adds another dimension. We are going to pursue this as a specific iwi clai, not necessarily related to what has happened in Taranaki prior to this claim, we’re looking at it as a clean table so to speak,” Mr Okeroa says.

Taranaki also intends to contest the Crown's ownership of oil and gas, despite the Prime minister's contention the issue off the table.


Anyone who has pulled on boots for the Maori All Blacks is being sought by the NZRU.

The union has just announced a three match centenary series in June... with games against England and Ireland and an as yet unnamed team.

Wayne Peters, the chair of the New Zealand Maori Rugby Board, says as well as the games there will be special functions to commemorate one hundred years of Maori rugby.... and the union is keen to hear from as many former players as possible.

“The invitations are not only to players who are present but families of players who have passed on so we will endeavor to make this as inclusive as possible, recognizing the contributions that a lot of people have made to Maori rugby over a long period of time,” Mr Peters says.

Kaitakaro o mua or their whanau can email maoricentenary@nzrugby.co.nz or contact NZRU offices on 04 499 4995.


Writer Brad Haami plans to use the first ever Maori residency at the Michael King writer's centre in Devonport to explore the special place whales have in Maori culture.

Mr Haami is working on the book with his aunt Ramari Stewart.

He says his interest in the giant mammals was sparked growing up in Whakatane.

“Since then I have been interested in trying to find out how did Maori people classify whales, how did they understand them, how did they portray them in narrative. I’ve always been interested in that so I’ve been collecting stuff for a number of years and decided to put it together in a manuscript,” Mr Haami says.

He never met Michael King, but is honoured to to work at the centre set up in memory of the late writer and historian.

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