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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Hapu claim struggling for hearing

The chair of Nelson's Te Kahui Ngahuru Trust, James Wheeler, hopes tough talking by the United Nations will help towards direct negotiation of its claims.

As part of its four-yearly review of New Zealand’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee urged the government to talk to the trust, rather than wrap it in with a comprehensive top of the South Island settlement.

Mr Wheeler says while the trust is part of the Tainui Taranaki ki te Tonga group, its WAI 56 claims belong to specific families within the hapu.

“We know where every piece of land is. We know what was taken. We know what the mismanagement that happened with the Public Trustee over the decades. We know where the Public Trust took loads of our land and we’re sick of it. We’ve had enough. We should be able to sit down with the government and negotiate our claims, our distinct hapu claims,” Mr Wheeler says.

There are many precedents for the government negotiating direct with hapu, outside the current policy of dealing with what it calls large natural groupings.


Canterbury District Health Board wants to know why Maori are being admitted its hospitals for drug and alcohol related problems at twice the national average.

The board's first overview of Maori health found there were 108 Maori admissions per 100 thousand for substance problems compared with 45 per 100 thousand nationally.

Hector Matthews, the board's executive director of Maori and Pacific health, says while the total number of people presenting is relatively low, it can affect future provision of services.

“What we will need to do is monitor our admissions and presentations around these instances and if the rate continues to climb we will notice the pressure on our mental health services and particularly on our kaupapa Maori providers out in the community,” Mr Matthews says.

The rate of admission for problems related to opiates such as heroin and morphine was particularly high with a regional rate of 31 Maori per 100,000 being more than ten times the national rate.


The auctioneer who sold a painting by a pupil of Charles Goldie for a record $12,000 says the politically incorrect subject matter of a Maori woman smoking a pipe may have added to its sales appeal.

Kapai Te Toriri - Tobacco is Good by Vera Cummings fetched five times its expected price.

Richard Thomson, the director of the International Art Centre, says with original Goldie's doubling in the past five years, collectors are jumping on what they see as the next best thing.

“We sold a Goldie in March 2008 for $454,000 and it had a valuation of $200,000. The prices of Goldies have really shot up so it would be a natural progression for an artist like Vera Cummings to also go up in value,” Mr Thomson says.


Rugby legend Jim Maniapoto is joining the call for the Rugby Union to apologise for the way it kow-towed to South African calls to exclude Maori players from tours to the republic during the apartheid era.

The Ngati Tuwharetoa player was a schoolboy star for St Stephen's in the 1960s and part of a Ranfurly Shield dominating Auckland team.

The mobile lock, along with his brother Manu, was selected for the Maori team, but never made the All Blacks.

Mr Maniapoto says the fact an apology is still needed is a sign Maori rugby might be better off moving out from under the NZRFU umbrella.

“Since Super 12 and a few other things have happened, Maori rugby has been shoved in the background. I’ve always thought we need to go out and do our own thing,” Mr Maniapoto says.

He says there's merit in Bill Bush's idea of taking a Maori team on a South American tour.


Rotorua district councillor Maureen Waaka is lamenting the increasing number of Maori who choose to be cremated.

The trend was noted by Rotorua's reserves manager, who attributed it to the increasing number of Maori not identifying with their culture.

Mrs Waaka says cremation is not the Maori way, but it is becoming popular among younger people because of its perceived convenince.

“It’s a breakaway from how we think traditionally as Maori. It’s returning to the land and burial and urupa and the old way of putting them in the caves was all part of that. There is no treatment of the body to the extent they were burnt or anything like that,” she says.

Mrs Waaka says traditionalists are staying loyal to burial in family urupa.


Dargaville is gearing up for excitement with the crew of "It's in the Bag" hitting the Northern Wairoa War Memorial Town Hall tonight.

Co host Stacey Morrison expects the audience to get into the mood ... shouting out encouragement and advice on whether to take the money or the bag.

She says Maori Television's bilingual twist on the Kiwi classic doesn't phase the contestants, and many people are able to say more in te reo than presenters expected.

It's in the Bag will also visit Kawakawa, Whangaroa, Kaikohe, Opotiki, Kawerau, Murupara, Rotorua, Otorohanga, Te Awamutu, Raglan and Huntly before filming the final live at Maori Television's Newmarket studio later in the year.

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