Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Te Atiawa ready to start talks

Hard-fought unity within Te Atiawa means the Waitara-based iwi will finally start settlement talks, 14 years after the Waitangi Tribunal reported on the Taranaki land confiscations of the 1860s.

Prime minister John Key will join Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson, Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples and local MP Tariana Turia at Owae marae to sign terms of negotiation tomorrow, the 150th anniversary of the start of the First Taranaki War.

Negotiator Grant Knuckey says after years of court cases and mediation, the factions are keen to settle so future generations can benefit.

“We've had issues amongst ourselves, getting in a position to move forward as an iwi, and now it seems we can worl collectively as an iwi and we have done,” Mr Knuckey says.


A researcher into the effect of imprisonment on inmates' children says prison musters need to come down.

Liz Gordon interviewed 137 prisoners and their families as part of a three year study for Christchurch charity Pillars.

She says the arrest and imprisonment of a parent is traumatic for children and leads to cycles of poor health, under-achievement, poverty and often youth crime.

Dr Gordon says with one in two inmates being Maori, it is creating long term problems for society.

“The solution has to be to start winding back the imprisonment rate and winding back trauma, because last year when we did consultation, ne kaumatua said they are building new prisons for our moko who aren’t even born yet, and he's right,” Dr Gordon says.

The Correction Department's own research shows that Maori are more likely to be arrested than pakeha for similar actions, and more likely to end up behind bars.


Otago University medical students were out in force in Otautahi today giving free health checks to Maori.

Suzanne Pitama, the associate dean of the medical school's Christchurch-based Maori and Indigenous Health Institute, says the first Hauora Maori Day at Rehua marae gave the 98 fifth year students hands on experience for the Maori health component of the curriculum.

As well as seeing 250 patients over three hours, the students were exposed to the hui and powhiri process and saw how it could improve their clinic.


The Green Party and Ngati Kahungunu have lost a champion of the Maori perspective in the conservation movement.

Bevan Tipene-Matua drowned today while diving near his home at Porangahau in the Hawkes Bay.

He was the first Maori research fellow at Crop and Food research, with a special interest in intellectual property, plant variety rights and tikanga Maori.

He also worked in policy jobs with the Ministry for Maori Development and the Environmental Risk Management Authority.

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says his death comes as a shock.

“Bevan really was a pou for the Green Party, an incredible intelligent committed person to Maori and environmental issues, and he joined the Greens to set up what he described as the Brown Greens to support the work I was doing with the Green Party but also to find the best way to talk about Maori and environmental issues together and to bring to the environmental movement the Maori perspective which is often missing,” Ms Turei says.


A Maori with extensive experience working inside the United Nations is disputing a claim that fronting up to the UN Human Rights Committee diminishes New Zealand's sovereignty.

AUT University lecturer Paul Moon has attacked Justice Minister Simon Power's trip to New York to explain how this country is meeting its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

But Aroha Mead from Ngati Awa says being prepared to meet the standards you help develop is part of being a responsible member of the international community.

She says Maori value international scrutiny which can remind people back here that New Zealand is not a paradise for all its citizens.


They may be an untried combination, but new Maori rugby coach Jamie Joseph is full of praise for his assistant.

Former All Black Daryl Gibson has been a player and now assistant coach for the Crusaders, with a spell playing rugby in the United Kingdom in between.

Mr Joseph says he's a true professional who has been coaching one of the best sides in the country.

Jamie Joseph says it's an honour and a huge responsibility to coach the New Zealand Maori side in its centennial year.

The itinerary for the centenary year matches will be announced on Thursday.


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