Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bad faith act threatens treaty policy

The Maori Party is asking whether Prime Minister John Key has broken the treaty settlement process.

Co-leader Tariana Turia says Mr Key's vetoing of a proposal to return Te Urewera National Park to Tuhoe showed bad faith.

The Prime Minister has denied there was agreement the park land would be included in the final settlement package, but Mrs Turia says all the signs are it was.

“Tuhoe clearly believed from a hui that they held just the day before that they had an agreement in principle and who have that withdrawn in the way that it was has created a feeling that anybody’s settlement can be withdrawn at whim,” Mrs Turia says.

She says John Key's action was clearly driven by the National Party's polling and by pressure from party members attending a regional conference the previous weekend.


A Taupo Maori trust intends to use profits from a new geothermal power station for development of the whole hapu rather than paying individual dividends to beneficiaries.

Tauhara North Number 2 has a 25 percent stake in Mighty River Power's 140 megawatt Nga Awa Purua plant at Rotokawa, which opened at the weekend.
Trust chief executive Aroha Campbell says the 785 Ngati Tahu owners agreed to forego annual dividends.

“The challenge for the trustis to come up with new ideas round sponsorships, scholarships, education and well being,” Ms Campbell says.

She says the trust is also working closely with the Ngatu Tahu Ngati Whaua Runanga in Reporoa on ways to benefit the hapu as a whole.

Construction on the second of three power stations the trust is building with Mighty River Power will start later this year.


Contemporary dancer Taane Mete says tonight's performance at the Hawkes Bay Opera House will give his whanau to see how his career developed after he left his Napier home more than two decades ago.

Mr Mete, from Ngati Koroki, developed Tama Maa with fellow dancer Tai Royal for the Tempo Dance Festival in Auckland in 2008.

He says it's an autobiographical work, showing the transition from boyhood to manhood, and allows them to show off the skills they've mastered.

They have taken parts of the piece to a dance festival in the United States, and they will tour it to Australia later this year.


The minister in charge of the new Whanau Ora programme wants social service providers to team up to deliver services.

Tariana Turia says there is huge interest in the policy, with hui to explain the new funding model attracting between 300 and 600 people.

She says delivering a wrap-around health and welfare service to families will stretch the capacity of many existing organisations, and they may need to reconfigure themselves or merge to realise the programme's potential.

“This is not another opportunity to industrialise our whanaus’ misery. We’re saying to people, ‘do not see this as a programme, do not see it as an opportunity to get a lot more money.’ We want this money to be as close as possible to the whanau, hence whanau ora,” Mrs Turia says.

There will only be 20 accredited Whanau Ora providers, so the size of those providers will be an important factor in who gets the contracts.


The chair of Hauraki's kaumatua council says the Government's refusal to return Te Urewera National Park to Ngai Tuhoe is mirrored by his iwi's experience.

Jim Nichols says in both cases the Crown acquired land unjustly, and it's refusing to give it back.

He says like Tuhoe, Hauraki is still waiting for the government to honour commitments made in the late 19th century.

“In Hauraki they said ‘we promise to give you your land back, we only want it to mine the gold.’ When the gold mining ceased, they did not give the land back. And that is the basis our treaty claims are in front of the Crown right now,” Mr Nicholls says.

The Hauraki Kaumatua Kaunihera delivered a firm message last week to Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee that the iwi will oppose his plans to reopen the Coromandel for mining.


Despite it being New Zealand Music Month, Maori musicians say they're doing better on the world market than at home.

Ngahiwi Apanui, the chair of Puatatangi Contemporary Maori Music, says lack of airplay outside of iwi stations means Maori acts aren't picking up the local sales they merit.

That's forcing many to look for opportunities offshore.

“Talking to people who have been going overseas, groups they talk about are not ones you hear about through the mainstream press like OpShop. They’re talking abut groups like Wai, Moana and Pacific Curls, they’re the people that are distinctive for New Zealand on the world music scene,” Mr Apanui says.

This year's Pao Pao Pao symposium and concert at Pipitea Marae on Friday and Saturday could uncover the next Maori world music star.

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