Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Recreational fish survey could surprise

Te Ohu Kaimoana chairperson Ngahiwi Tomoana has welcomed the government's plan to spend $5 million over the next four years studying the recreational fishing sector.

Mr Tomoana says lack of data on how much recreationalists and charter boats were taking has hampered planning and threatened to undermine the quota management sector.

He says informal monitoring by Ngati Kahungunu at Waimarama indicates the potential size of the problem.

“There's 200 boats every weekend in the summer. They bring in a modest amount each but when you tally it all up it’s phenomenal. I’d say it outstrips the commercial catch by five to one in terms of crayfish, in terms of paua, in terms of kahawai and other things,” Mr Tomoana says.

As well as being a help to Maori fishing companies, the research could help whanau and hapu manage their customary fisheries.


More than 200 members of Waikato-Tainui will head to Wellington next week to see the Waikato River Settlement bill signed into law.

Negotiator Tukoroirangi Morgan is elated the bill got through its committee stages this week without major change.

He says attacks from the ACT Party on the bill's promise to protect the tribe's spiritual relationship with the Waikato River only highlights the need for the tribes to have a role in managing the river.

“We've always said the river is our ancestor. It’s no different to how the Jews see the River Jordan or the Egyptians see the pyramids. All those things are hugely culturally important. People and the river are indivisible. For the ACT Party to describe it as hocus pocus is nonsense,” Mr Morgan says.


An expert on tobacco tax says there's no better time for whanau to quit smoking than straight after a price hike.

Parliament last night increased the excise tax on cigarettes by 10 percent, and the tax on loose tobacco by 14 percent.

Murray Laugeson from Health New Zealand says 80,000 people quit after the last price rise in 2000, but 80 percent of them were back smoking within four months.

He says with one in two adult Maori smoking, it's important whanau support those members who will quit in the next few days.

“There still a risk that people will go off and then come back on, particularly in the first 24 hours, so today’s the day. It’s Very important that all health people be on the job talking to smokers who they meet in their professional capacity today. By tomorrow they may have gone back to their habit,” Dr Laugeson says.

While the extreme urgency of the law change was necessary to prevent hoarding, it also means smoking cessation programmes could be caught on the hop.


Greens co-leader Metria Turei says the government is ignoring Maori opposition to mining on conservation lands.

Tonight in Wellington the Greens host a debate with mining and business interests on whether mining should go ahead.

Ms Turei says while the Conservation Department met Ngai Tahu last year to discuss mining in the South, iwi in the Coromandel, Great Barrier Island and other areas vulnerable to mining have been left out as the new policy has been developed.

“Tangata whenua have been totally missed out of this process. That is entirely unacceptable and it goes to show that the Government’s real attitude to Maori is one of disdain,” Ms Turei says,

National MPs declined the invitation to take part in tonight's debate.


Labour's Maori affairs spokesperson Parekura Horomia says the sudden rise in the tax on tobacco needs to matched by an equally urgent boost to smoking cessation programmes.

Labour voted with the government this week to boost the tax by 10 percent today and another 10 percent in each of the next two years.

Mr Horomia says the tax rise will make things tougher for Maori smokers, especially the large number of young Maori women who have taken up the habit in recent years.

“It's symptomatic of how the economy is performing and at the moment there is a lot of stresses and strains in the economy and that is certainly not an excuse but people struggle and they smoke because it’s the one thing they can do that they can control,” Mr Horomia says.

He says the jury is out on whether the tax rise alone will reduce the number of smokers, so something more needs to be done to help people quit.


World champion axeman Jason Wynard left for France today to hone his timbersport coaching skills.

The 130 kg athlete from Ngapuhi and Manaipoto has amassed more than 110 world titles in almost 2 decades of international competition.

He says with New Zealand's summer chopping competitions over and another two world titles from the Sydney Easter Show in the bag, the 10 day camp with the French squad will be a change of focus both physically and linguistically.


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