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Monday, April 19, 2010

Turia snubbed at Koran powhiri

Maori Party leader Tariana Turia says the man who translated the Koran into Maori refused to shake her hand at the launch powhiri.

Mrs Turia says she was upset by the attitude of 78-year-old Shakil Monir, a Pakistani who learned Maori while living in Nigeria.

She says Mr Monir and his supporters may want to convert Maori to Islam by making their holy book available, but they don't seem to want to accept Maori customs.

“They were in a powhiri process and I would say the majority of them shook ands with whoever extended their hand to them but it was very noticable and while I appreciate that may be his tikanga, they ought not to have had a powhiri to launch the Koran as far as I'm concerned,” Mrs Turia says.

Saturday's powhiri at Alexandra Park Raceway was arranged by Tainui leader Tom Roa from Waikato University, who helped with the translation.


The Attorney General says tests for customary rights over coastal areas will rely on New Zealand conditions rather than international law.

Chris Finlayson says he wants to restore the uninvestigated customary title that was extinguished by the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act, but there are currently no tests or local precedents for determining such title in New Zealand.

That means tikanga Maori is going to be an important part of any new law that comes out of the current review of the act.

“Because you can't determine these things without reference to tikanga. To do so would be absurd. So it’s not purely common law at all. And we’ve said these are the sorts of tests that have arisen in other jurisdictions. We’re not seeking to impose any Canadian test on New Zealand because that would be nuts because any tests here would have to reflect the reality of the people that we are,” Mr Finlayson says.

He says a mandating process will establish which Maori may lay claim to a certain area of the foreshore and seabed, and then it will be up to the Crown to prove if customary title has been extinguished.


Peace Movement Aotearoa is looking for a Maori or Moriori student to take up one of its White Poppy scholarships.

Coordinator Edwina Hughes says no one has come forward so far this year, so the scholarship will stay open.

She says it's a contribution to students at any university or wananga who want to research the impacts of militarism, militarisation and warfare or their alternatives, or collective non-violent responses to state violence.


Maori architect Rau Hoskins says the lack of a Maori dimension to the latest proposal for redevelopment of Queens Wharf redevelopment shows a lack of vision by Auckland civic leaders.

Mr Hoskins says the success this month of two Maori themed projects in national and international awards shows incorporating a cultural dimension can enrich New Zealand architecture.

He says Auckland's leaders are out of touch with where the country is headed as it goes into the World Cup trying to showcase the most distinctive features of the country.


Maori students at Whangarei's Tikipunga High School are getting a head start on army careers.

It's one of seven round the country to establish a services academy in a joint venture between the ministries of education and social development and the Defence Forces.

Principal Peter Garelja says fourteen students, including one girl, have signed up for the course, which is about two thirds military subjects and one third NCEA numeracy and literacy units.

Tikipunga has a 69 percent Maori roll, and most of those in the academy are Maori.


Rugby league hardman Ruben Wiki can safely say his marriage has just gotten stronger.

This morning the 37-year Maori-Samoan sportsman and his wife Santa completed the Fishermen's Friend Strongman Run in northwest Germany.

The most capped test player in New Zealand Rugby League history says it was mayhem on the grounds of the Weeze Airport, as the 9000 competitors went over the grueling obstacle course, watched by more than 25,000 spectators.

He says the 18km course ended up about 23 km with all the obstacles, but he finished with his wife, a multisport fanatic.

Wiki is now trying to get back out of Europe so he can get back in time to present Maori Television's Thursday night sports show Code.


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