Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hanerua trial in small block dairy development

A farming operation on the shores of the Kaipara harbour is showing how treaty settlements can help Maori development.

Te Uri o Hau set up Hanerua Farms after the Ngati Whatua hapu received its historic treaty settlement in 2002.

The 176-hectare operation now in the top two percent of dairy farms for financial performance and a finalist in this year's Ahuwhenua Trophy for Maori farming excellence.

Trustee Earle Wright says Hanerau Farms leases underperforming small units and pays the Maori owners a dividend.

“We benefit, they benefit, just on the profit of it. It they stayed like they were, they’d struggle. There’s not doubt all Maori land in small parcels do struggle because you need a lot of area now to make a profit. That is our aim, to develop their land, and we don’t have to put in the capital to purchase that land. It’s already owned by Maori,” he says.

The first Ahuwhenua field day is this Thursday at Waipapa 9 Trust, west of Taupo, with the Hanerau Farms field day next week.

SELF PROMOTION LACKING IN ARCHITECTURE CIRCLES

The head of the head of Unitec's Te Hononga centre for Maori architecture wants to see more Maori architects stand up for their designs.

Over the past week two non-Maori architects have featured in national and international awards for their work for Maori clients.

Rau Hoskins says similar work by Maori architects is often overlooked, because it doesn't get entered in competition.

“It's an issue of self-promotion. Maori architects, like a lot of other Maori are not perhaps so focused on self promotion and it’s partly a kumara and a sweetness issue and it’s also partly people being busy people,” Mr Hoskins says.

He's pleased to see an increase in the amount of Maori symbolism being appropriately used in architecture.

TOUGH GAME WOULD BE FITTING APOLOGY

Former Maori All Black coach Matt Te Pou says a Springbok game against the Maori team this winter would be a fair apology for past indignities.

Debate has been raging about whether an apology is needed for past policies like the exclusion of Maori players from tours to South Africa.

But Mr Te Pou, who coached the Maori team to victory against the British Lions in 2005, says a mid-week game between the July tests would be seen as a magnificent gesture by current and former players and fans.

“It's a way to move forward together. It’s an opportunity to play one of the top countries. They’re the reigning champions. Maori players always like to play the best, so it would be good for both sides,” Mr Te Pou says.

He says a Maori-Springbok game would be a fitting way to celebrate 100 years of Maori rugby.

ORWELLIAN CAST TO FORESHORE AND SEABED MEETINGS

Attorney General Chris Finlayson is detecting a barnyard theme at public meetings on his review of the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Mr Finlayson says daytime consultation hui have been uniformly friendly and courteous, despite the strong views being expressed.

But he says the evening public meetings have attracted their share of malcontents.

“There seems to be a surprising repetition of references to Animal Farm; ‘all animals are equal but some are more equal than others,’ so obviously that’s the line people have been told to say by whoever. I said ‘yes, that’s the idea everyone should be equal which is why we want to restore rights that were taken away from Maori in 2003, 2004,’” Mr Finlayson says.

The minister is in Akaroa tomorrow for a hui, followed by a public meeting in Christchurch in the evening.

NEW SITE A MARAE VERSION OF FACEBOOK

A new social networking site claims to be the Maori answer to Facebook.

Whanauconnect.co.nz was launched last week from Waiwhetu Marae in Lower Hutt, and manager Kataraina Hetet says it's picking up strong interest.

She says many whanau want to communicate wherever they are in the world, but the want greater security than some other sites offer.

“If a marae decides to form a marae group with all their whanau members on board, they need to approve all these members being part of it, so it is v much under the control as to who sees their information and they way they form groups to share that information,” Ms Hetet says.

The whanau connect site can be a place where groups can store their historical records and information online.

HENARE LEAVES TEEN STAR STAR-STRUCK

One of the young stars of Maori Television's new series Kaitangata Twitch says it was an honour to work with one of the kaumatuta of stage and screen.

Thirteen year old Te Waimarie Kessal plays the lead role in the 13-part series opposite George Henare.

She says learning stagecraft from the veteran actor was a real highlight.

Kaitangata Twitch, which was adapted from the novel by Margaret Mahy, won a Platinum Remi award at this weekend's Houston Worldfest film and video festival in Texas.

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