Waatea News Update

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Thursday, May 06, 2010

Bipartisan support for river settlement

Politics was set aside as today as Parliament passed the Waikato-Tanui Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Settlement Bill.

The galleries of the debating chamber were jammed with kaumatua and kuia who had traveled down to Wellington to witness the birth of a new management body for the awa.

Labour's Maori Affairs spokesperson, Parekura Horomia, says Treaty Negotiations minister Chris Finlayson has done a good job refining the co-mangement model developed under the previous Labour government, and it's now up to iwi and other stakeholders along the river to make it work.

“Maori have given plenty to get into this position and now it’s up to the other partners whether it’s the environment people or the local authorities and Paheha farmers and I think Maori need to be really proud about today’s management model because I think it’s a serious model for the future,” he says.

Mr Horomia congratulated Tainui's negotiators Tukuroirangi Morgan and the late Lady Raiha Mahuta for their vision.


The Maori language commission's new chief executive wants to make sure te reo is accessible to all who want to learn it.

Glenis Philip-Barbara from Ngati Porou is currently heading the Business and Development programme at Te Tairawhiti Polytechnic in Gisborne.

She says while Te Taura Whiri's main function is to ensure Maori have the resources they need to maintain their language, she's conscious many non-Maori are also keen to learn the language.
“Their thinking is quite simple. To them te reo Maori is the language of Aotearoa New Zealand and so they want a part of that. They want to participate in a valid way in a language that is the heart beat of Aotearoa,” Ms Philip-Barbara says.

She takes up her new role in July.


Waiheke Maori are keen to get on with protecting urupa which has been turned into a picnic ground.

The island's community board has committed up to $20,000 to scope out what is needed to tidy up the area on the Matiatia foreshore.

Sally Smith, the treasurer of Piritahi Marae, says the board only acted after Ngati Paoa complained the site was being neglected while money was spent upgrading the Pakeha pioneer cemetery above Te Matuku Bay.

“It's in a very sad state. The picket fence around the existing grave is rotten. You can pull it apart with your hands if you so wish. There are rubbish tins in the path and picnic tables sitting directly over known graves, and vehicles are allowed to drive over the area,” Ms Smith says.

A good start would be removal of the picnic tables and some signs so people know the area is sacred.


Parliament this afternoon echoed to the sounds of ancient moteatea as Tauinui marked the passing of the bill settling its claims to the Waikato River.

In a rare concession to parliamentary protocol, former MPs Koro Tainui Wetere, Tukoroirangi Morgan and Michael Cullen were joined by King Tuheitia on the floor of the house.

Waatea reporter Mania Clarke says as a younger member of the iwi, she felt privileged to witness the moment.

“If you date it back to 1863 when Waikato was invaded and the land and the river taken, to come to this time this generation feels privileged to see this come about.

“I feel proud of those who have worked like Tukoroirangi Morgan, like Lady Raiha Mahuta, like Te Arikinui right back to the Kingitanga being established to eventually get our land that was raupatu and our river retruned back to us
This is history being made for our generation of Waikato uri so a very proud day and a very happy day,” Ms Clark says.


The head of one of the likely whanau ora deliverers says today's announcement of a $134 million investment in the policy is a victory for Maori.

John Tamihere from West Auckland's Waipareira Trust says while the Budget sum, to be spread over four years, is lower than many hoped for, it's enough to start a major shift in the way health and welfare services are delivered to communities.

He says once providers start providing wraparound care for whanau, they will be able to draw other resources into the programme.

“The only risk to Whanau Ora is the senior doyens of the bureaucracy ensuring that it won’t work. The only way that it will work is if they start to accept they have to unbundle and they have to talk with us, that we are part of the solution and not part of the problem,” Mr Tamihere says.

The outcomes-based reporting around whanau ora will mean for the first time people will be able to see whether money spent out welfare can have a positive effect.


Promoters of the box office hit Boy are trying to create a flash mob to re-enact the film's title song in Wellington next week.

Trevor Shailer from advertising agency GSL Network there's a lot of Maori out there who'd live to take part in a spontaneous rendition of the Patea Maori Club hit Poi-E.

They'll be able to find out the date, time and venue for the reeneactment by social media.

“Maori are huge users of technology and there is a real opportunity to use the Internet and social media space and get the message out about Poi E and the awesome film that Taika's done,” Mr Shailer says.

BOY has already netted $6million at New Zealand cinemas and Poi e is riding high in the charts.


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