Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Foreshore consultation deadline irks Greens

The Green Party says the Government isn't giving Maori enough time to respond to proposed alternatives to the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Co-leader Metiria Turei says it's too early to say if the party will support legislation which may come out of the discussion document released today.

She says while there are some positive changes, the overall structure and intent remains the same as Labour's 2004 Act, with the Crown retaining the ultimate say.

Ms Turei says the four week consultation includes the Easter Break and 2 weeks of school holidays.

“I'm dismayed that John Key could start this process with a threat which is that if Maori don’t like what the Government proposes, then the existing legislation will stay in place. That is no way to start a legitimate consultation with the community,” Ms Turei says.


The chair of Te Ohu Kaimoana says the Maori may need to leave their tribal identities at home when they get into the business of exporting fish.

The fifth Maori Fisheries Conference has just wrapped up in Napier.

Ngahiwi Tomoana says attendance at the conference has shifted from iwi politicians arguing about allocation to the managers talking about how they can work together to get the most value from the quota their tribes hold.

“Barriers have come down, walls have been buried about allocation, and new opportunities are there on the horizon. Amongst us there is still a lot of mana motuhake but when we go offshore we need to be more coordinated and reflective of us as Maori rather than going off as individual companies or individual tribal entities,” he says.

Ngahiwi Tomoana says while some larger quota holders like Ngai Tahu have established successful brands in some overseas markets, other iwi may be better off working through existing Maori companies like Aotearoa Fisheries and Sealord.


The government's decision to shelve a proposed $10 million primary school in Kerikeri and put the money into kura kaupapa elsewhere in Northland is being welcomed by one of the beneficiaries.

Half the money has gone to Te Kura Kaupapa Maori Whangaroa for new classrooms, which will open in May.
Kura chairperson Terry Smith says they have been 20 years in coming.
He says Ministry of Education research shows Maori pupils are doing better in total immersion schools than those in mainstream schools.

Mr Smith says Maori communities want their children to be confident, respectful of each other and speaking their own language.

The ministry is also buying property for a new kura kaupapa at Pukemiro in Kaitaia.


The chair of the Ngati Porou runanga is welcoming the Government's proposals for replacing the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

The East Coast iwi is the only one to have negotiated a settlement under the 2004 Act, but it has held off finalising its deal.

Api Mahuika says the consultation document released today, which proposes replacing Crown ownership of the takutai moana with a new public domain/ takiwa iwi whanau title, is more than a cosmetic change.

“I don't see it as cosmetic to the extent some people may because repealing the act allows us to renegotiate our position in terms of the foreshore and seabed, and at the end of the day that’s all it is, a consultation document seeking our views,” Mr Mahuika says.

Ngati Porou's aim is recognition of its mana over the foreshore and seabed, rather than seeking a title which introduces the notion of sale.


Green co-leader Metiria Turei believes Maori businesses will suffer if National allows mining on the conservation estate.

She says there has been strong Maori support for the Green's push to stop mining on Schedule 4 lands.

She says the economic argument for mining does not stack up, when account is taken of its impact on the thousands of Maori and other businesses that use New Zealand's clean green brand for export marketing.

“That brand is coming under severe strain with newspapers like the Guardian and international organisations all condemning National’s plans to mine in these places. If brand New Zealand is undermined because of the mining proposal, many other New Zealand businesses will suffer,” Ms Turei says.

She says the National Party also needs to come clean with iwi such as Ngati Rehua on Great Barrier Island about what mining means for their Treaty settlements.


Boxer Shane Cameron is backing David Tua to win tonight's fight against Friday Ahunanya in Auckland.

Cameron's only two career losses have been against the two heavyweights.

The Rongomaiwahine boxer says Friday "the 13th" has never been knocked out, while the Tuaman has knocked out 43 of his 51 professional opponents.

Cameron is taking time out from training for his second fight since his loss to Tua to be at Auckland's Trust's Stadium for tonight's bout, which will be shown on Maori Television.


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