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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, April 16, 2010

Maori in cold at party central

An Auckland architect says government and civic leaders have yet again ignored the Maori dimension in their plans for the city's waterfront.

Phil Smith's design for a Ngati Hine childcare centre in Kawakawa has won international attention with its incorporation of Maori themes and philosphies.

He says the revised marquee-based design for the so called Rugby World Cup party central on Queens Wharf will be a disappointment to locals and visitors alike.

“The artistic and conceptual thinking and the flavour of Maori culture here are very obvious when you come from abroad. Certainly as a visitor you would want as much of that as you could,” Mr Smith says.


Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia is backing a call for a moratorium on a proposed $600 million tidal power station at the entrance to the Kaipara harbour.

Ngati Whatua hapu Te Uri o Hau told a Foreshore and Seabed Act consultation hui this week it wanted a hold put on Crest Energy's resource consent application to the Environment court until foreshore and seabed ownership issues.

Mr Horomia says the case shows the need to explicitly define Maori rights and interests, as was possible under the 2004 Act the government intends to repeal.

“People would say that mana would prevail but that’s a classic example why you had to define and ensure that Maori rights were there,” Mr Horomia says.

A spokesperson for attorney-general Chris Finlayson says he is looking into the moratorium request.

Today's foreshore and seabed consultation hui are at Takapuwahia Marae in Porirua and the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Wellington.


The chief executive of the New Zealand Sports Academy says aspiring Maori sportspeople need to up their game both on and off the field.

Programmes run by the academy in Rotorua and Whangarei have been popular with Maori athletes keen to win places in National Rugby League and Super 14 rugby teams.

Jim Love, a former Maori All Black assistant coach, says club selectors are looking for well balanced athletes, so the course has a strong focus on life skills.

“Most of our boys are pretty shy. They lack confidence and the ability to stand up and be counted so it is important for us that we work on their confidence. And to me they don’t just come here to do a paper. To be successful it does need to be that whanau-based environment,” Mr Love says.


The new chief executive of the Federation of Maori Authorities is predicting massive growth in the Maori economy.

Former New Zealand First MP Ron Mark says FOMA's 150 members manage more than 800 thousand hectares of Maori land, with investments in agriculture, horticulture, energy and other interests.

He says the Maori asset base, now estimated at $17 billion, could be as much as $40 billion by the end of the decade, as Maori authorities emerge out of the recession in a far healthier condition than many of their neighbours.

“We are very conservative in the investments we make. As a result the debt levels are not high. I think on average most Maori incorporations get a little uncomfortable at anything over 30 percent. Going forward Maori are very well positioned. They have vat resources. They have flexibility and they are keen to take advantage of the things they see on the horizon,” Mr Mark says.

He says because of their role as guardians of the whenua, Maori authorities are strongly focused on environmental sustainability.


Labour's associate Maori affairs spokesperson says involving Maori in rehabilitation programmes at the new private prison is a cynical way to buy off opposition.

Corrections Minister Judith Collins says she expects Maori to be part of any bid to build and manage a new men's prison in south Auckland.

But Kelvin Davis says he's disgusted some iwi and urban Maori leaders are going along with the plan.

He says private prisons profits from locking up Maori, not rehabilitating them.

“That's the sole purpose of a Maori prison and Maori should step back from it and say it’s abhorrent to us, we’re not going to do it. By all means have kaupapa Maori in, have reo, have tikanga, have all those sorts of dimensions within prisons but let’s not make one single cent by throwing our people into prison, locking them up and waiting for the dollars to roll in,” Mr Davis says.

He says there is no evidence rehabilitation improved the last time there was a privately-run prison in New Zealand.


The Rotorua Energy Trust's plan to build up the city's collection of art with a local connection has been boosted by the $150,000 purchase of a portrait Tuhourangi ancestor Mihipeka Wairama.

Trust chair Grahame Hall says Wairama lost her home at Te Wairoa in the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera, and settled in Whakarewarewa where she eventually became one of by Charles Frederick Goldie's favourite models.

It's the sixth Goldie bought for Rotorua's heritage collection.

Mr Hall says like the other paintings, the Mihipeka Wairama will be taken to the marae so her descendants can welcome her back.

Once refurbishment work on the museum building is finished, the complete Goldie collection will be put on display.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks Adam. Your news feed is invaluable to me as an expatriate living in Boston. It's so hard to get high quality coverage of Maori news elsewhere on the web.

Kia ora

5:03 AM  

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