Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

UN view of treaty status flawed

A Maori constitutional lawyer says Justice Minister Simon Power must resist calls to incorporate the Treaty of Waitangi into a New Zealand constitution when he speaks today at the UN Human Rights Committee.

Mr Power is presenting New Zealand's Fifth Periodic Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and it's expected he will be quizzed on the status of the treaty, Maori imprisonment rates and the anti-terror raids in Ruatoki two years ago.

Moana Jackson says the UN committee has been calling for the Treaty to be incorporated into a constitution to protect Maori human rights, but that is no solution.

“You run the risk of the ultimate cooption really that the treaty then becomes subservient legislatively and legally to the Crown so the issue for me is never how can the treaty say fit within a new New Zealand constitution but how can a constitution be based on the treaty,” Mr Jackson says.


The house full signs are out for the national Maori housing conference at Te Papaiouru Marae in Rotorua next week.

Organiser Kaye Maree Dunn from Community Housing Aotearoa says it's a chance for Maori architects, engineers and people working in iwi social service agencies to compare notes on what sort of homes Maori want and how they can get them.

She says the economic climate and new government programmes means delegates will come with lots of questions.

“Where is housing for our people right now. Who are some of the greatest movers and shakers for housing on the ground. What are some great examples of papakainga development architecture projects out there that are working and how can we get that information to our whanau,” Ms Dunn says.

A hot topic will be the deal between Housing New Zealand and Kiwibank which is supposed to clear some of the obstacles to building on Maori land.


Maori Battalion veteran Takamoana Delamere will be remembered not only for his war time service but as an innovator in business and culture.

Mr Delamere died at his Kawerau home on Sunday, a week after returning from the 28 Maori Battalion reunion in Auckland.

His son Larry Delamere says when his father returned from the war he set up a dry cleaning busines in Kawerau with two cousins, which was considered unusual for the times.

He helped establish the first non-tribal marae, Nga Hau e Wha in Kawerau, and a credit union to encourage Maori economic development.

He was also involved in kapa haka and started the Delamere Cup primary school competition, which has helped Te Whanau a Apanui maintain a high standard of kapa haka.

Many veterans are expected at Whitianga Marae for Takamoana Delamere's funeral on Wednesday.


Jamie Joseph has been named the new coach to guide the Maori All Blacks through their centennial year.

The 44 year old from Ngati Maniapoto and Rangitane takes the reins after successful stints by Donny Stevenson and Matt Te Pou.

The 20-test All Black veteran played for the Maori squad in the early 90's, following in the footsteps of his father Jim Joseph.

He says Maori rugby is a unique mix of sport, culture and history.

“When you play as a Maori player in this team, we’re responsible to the people who have gone before us and making sure we leave a legacy for those that follow us. I know my father played for the Maori All Blacks in the late 60s, early 70s, very proud moment for me to then put the jersey on myself, so I feel pretty responsible and very proud to be able to lead the team as a coach,” Mr Joseph says.


Taurangamoana iwi have united against a plan to dredge 15 million cubic metres from Tauranga harbour.

The three iwi told commissioners considering a Bay of Plenty Harbour Board resource consent application that deepening shipping channels for the next generation of super sized container ships will cause major damage.

Spokesperson Hauata Palmer says pipi and mussel beds are already under pressure.

“When we have visitors to our marae we say we give them the best of our marine larder and that is part of the debate as well, because we can’t perform those traditional things because we don’t have the resources,” Mr Palmer says.

He says past reclamation for the container terminal destroyed a large area of shell-fish beds.


Hawkes Bay Maori families fighting methamphetamine have won support from an American musician who started his own recovery from addiction in Aotearoa.

Community activist Dennis O'Reilly says the guitarist Joe Walsh hero fronted up to his own demons when he came to this country in 1989 to play with reggae band Herbs.

Now he's bankrolling a monthly event at Otatara.

“Joe Walsh sponsored our Sundays. He sent us over US$5000 because the first Sunday of every month we have this sort of celebration for families who are beating meth, so rather than just going on about all the terrible thing, there’s a chance to have a bit of a pick me up,” Mr O'Reilly says.

And for those in party mode, the third annual St Patrick's Day hui and hoolie, celebrating all things Irish and Maori, is on again tomorrow at the Waiohiki Community Arts Center in the Hawkes Bay.

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