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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Aquaculture red tape cleared

The chair of Te Ohu Kaimoana is welcoming reform of the aquaculture sector.

Ngahiwi Tomoana says iwi should benefit from any reduction in red tape around getting fish and shelLfish farms started.

He says Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley has increased the chance of the reform succeeding by getting broad agreement in principle from the commercial, recreational and Maori customary sectors before taking a proposal to Cabinet.

He's also tacked the major problem of managing any adverse effects from marine farming.

“Most iwi have interests in the wild fishery and in aquaculture and so it’s to our interest that undue adverse effects are well balanced so we are not going to go in rash to favour weighting in aquaculture against the wild fishery or the wild fishery against aquaculture so it’s quite a balancing act and again the minister has pulled everybody together,” Mr Tomoana says.


The Labour Party is accusing Education Minister Anne Tolley of gross discrimination against Maori immersion schools.

Spokesperson Kelvin Davis says a contracts signed by Mrs Tolley in January give seven new wharekura only $50,000 a year in operational funding, compared with $130,000 for similarly-sized mainstream schools.

The former intermediate school principal says that's the money schools rely on for their day to day operations.

“The base funding for wharekura is about a third of what a mainstream school of similar size is getting. That’s just outright discriminatory of wharekura,” Mr Davis says.

He says it's disgraceful that when Labour raised the issue in Parliament, it was Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell who attempted to come to Mrs Tolley's rescue.


The author of a book on pioneer anthropologist Elsdon Best says historians need to read Maori to give justice to New Zealand history.

Jeffrey Paparoa Holman says understanding Tuhoe history would help people understand the demands the iwi is now making for ownership and control of te Urewera National Park.

He says his own studies were helped by correspondence in the National Archives from Best's main informant, Tutakangahau.

“Maori they're unique in colonial history in the western world in that they came to literacy very early and they wrote and left a record of their thoughts and feelings about everything. There’s a treasure trove in our national archive that’s waiting to be explored by scholars, Maori and Pakeha, but you first of all need some literacy in Maori,” Dr Holman says.

He says too much New Zealand history has been one-sided, because it's written by people who don't understand Maori.


Tainui is on the hunt for a chief executive who won't play politics.

The Employment Relations Authority has dismissed a claim by former chief executive Hemi Rau that the tribe's executive was wrong to sack him for allegedly leaking information to the media.

Tainui chair Tukoroirangi Morgan says it's important everyone in leadership positions in the tribe knows their role.

“Politics is the domain of the chair. Getting on and running the business of the tribe at an operational level is led by a chief executive officer and I am looking forward to finding the right person who can be the chief executive for Waikato Tainui. The tribe is on the move and we can't wait,” Mr Morgan says.

Tainui is looking forward to next week’s third reading of the Waikato River settlement bill, which will give the iwi a formal role in management of the awa.


Maori anti-smoking groups are welcoming the move by Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia to raise the price of tobacco by a third over the next three years.

The Maori Party co-leader's bill was passed under extreme urgency and came into effect at midnight.

Shane Kawenata Bradbrook from Te Reo Marama says raising the price is one of the most effective ways to reduce consumption and prevalence rates.

He's pleased there will be three consecutive 10 percent tax increases, but some of that money needs to go to smoking cessation programmes.

The law brings the tax on loose tobacco in line with tailormades, which will hit the 73 percent of Maori smokers who roll their own.


Auckland Regional Council chair Mike Lee is accusing Auckland mayor John Banks of opposing heritage protection to advance his chances to become super city mayor.

Mr Lee says against ARC opposition, Mr Banks and his Citizens and Ratepayers allies want to put a wrecking ball through historic art deco sheds on Auckland's Wynyard Wharf.

He says Auckland City is also fighting the ARC's attempts to protect an archaic burial site at Owhiti Beach on Waiheke, which millionaire John Spencer wants to build a house on.

“The site is so old they’ve found pieces of pearl shells and other artifacts that could have come from central Polynesia. So it’s a very old settlement site. It’s also a beautiful and unspoiled sand dune beach which is quite rare on Waiheke Island,” Mr Lee says.


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