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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Tuhoe pays first fruits to marae

The Tuhoe Establishment Trust will distribute $5 million in interest payments on its share of the Central North Island forestry settlement to its marae and hapu.

Chairperson Tamati Kruger says the trust is still working on a distribution formula, as some of the 50 marae and hapu overlap with other tribal areas.

He says the trust won’t tell the marae how the first fruits of the $67 million settlement should be spent, but it will ask for it to be properly accounted for.

“They’re not asking for our permission so much as we want to agree with them about the parameters of how the money will be used, what would look good and what would not look good if we were to report back to the general Tuhoe population,” Mr Kruger says,

A further $1 million will be shared among tribal executives in the Waimana, Ruatoki, Ruatahuna and Waikaremoana valleys to help cover the consultation costs of developing a new tribal structure.

MAINSTREAM IGNORED IN MAORI PARTY ADVOCACY

Labour associate education spokesperson Kelvin Davis is accusing the Maori Party’s Pita Sharples of selling out Maori children in mainstream schools.

Mr Davis, a former intermediate school principal, says there is nothing in the Government’s policy of testing to national standards that will improve outcomes for Maori boys, which is one of the toughest challenges the education system faces.

He says Dr Sharples, the associate education minister, knows the problem but isn’t prepared to buck his government partners.

“He fought hard for a trial of national standards in kura kaupapa, 95 percent of Maori kids are in mainstream schools. They deserve to have a trial of national standards, not to have national standards trialed on them,” Mr Davis says.

He says there wouldn’t be a teacher in the country who is opposed to high standards or giving parents information on their child’s achievement levels, but passing tests doesn’t make children brainier.

Dr Sharples says he cares for every student, but his ministerial responsibility is for children in kura kapapa immersion education.

NGAI TAHU LORE INCORPROATED IN BOTANIC GARDENS TRAIL

Visitors to Christchurch’s Botanical Gardens are being given a look at how Ngai Tahu used resources from the bush.

Curator John Clemens says Te Wao Nui Tane nature trail, which is open for the next two weeks, will be an eye opener.

It includes five activities, including traps and storage fur tuna or eels and snares for manu or birds, as well as displays on the use of plants like raupo, ferns, harakeke and lancewood.

Dr Clemens says it complements the Mo Taatou Ngai Tahu Whanui exhibition at nearby Canterbury Museum.

Te Wao Nui Tane is at Christchurch Botanical Gardens for the next weeks.

THREE STRIKES LAW HITTING MAORI HARDER

An Auckland university law lecturer says Maori will be disproportionately affected by ACT’s three strikes bill now before Parliament.

Richard Ekins says Maori are more likely to come before the courts for crimes of violence, which count as strikes, rather than large scale frauds, which don’t, despite being extremely harmful to victims.

He says Maori who commit a relatively minor assault could end up sentenced for extended periods if it counts as a third strike.

He expects Maori MPs to vigorously oppose the bill.

Dr Richard Ekins and Professor Warren Brookbank will speak on the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill at a public meeting in Auckland University business school tomorrow night.

CULLEN APPOINTED TO TUHOE INVESTMENT FUND

The author of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund will now try to put Tuhoe’s future finances on a firm footing.

Former Labour finance and treaty negotiations minister Michael Cullen has been appointed to the investment committee which advises the Tuhoe Establishment Trust where it should put the Bay of Plenty tribe’s Treaty of Waitangi settlement cash.

The Ohope resident joins Supreme Court Judge Sir Noel Anderson, Treasury adviser Murray Nash and Aaron Hing from Perpetual Portfolio Management.

Trust chairperson Tamati Kruger says Tuhoe was looking for plain language advice and recommendations.

“Tuhoe people are finding themselves in a different place, a different environment and having to consider a whole host of things they have not really got the background experience so they have has to learn very quickly about these things so it becomes most important you are able to surround yourself with people you have trust and confidence in,” he says.

The Tuhoe Estabnlishment Trust will distribute $5 million among its 50 affiliated marae and hapu as the first fruits of its $67 million share of the Central North Island forestry settlement.

TE WAIORA WINS HUI ARANGA KAPA HAKA COMPETITION

Maori Catholics had a busy Easter with more than 5000 people turning out to the 58th Hui Aranga at Te Aute College in the Hawkes Bay.

The annual event involves religious debate, sports, kapa haka and choral singing.

Master of ceremonies Soli Hemara from Ngapuhi says the cultural performance were of a particularly high standard, with Feilding’s Te Waiora taking out the overall prize.

Soli Hemara says it’s take the judged six years to come to terms with Te Waiora’s unique style of kapa haka, which includes extremely theatrical elements.

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