Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Hamilton council needs to obey laws

Tainui's chairperson says the Hamilton City Council needs to start obeying the law instead of attacking the tribe in the courts.

The council says it intends to appeal a High Court judgment throwing out a plan change which would have stymied further development of Waikato-Tainui's Base retail and commercial centre at Te Rapa.

Mayor Bob Simcock says the ruling gives Tainui rights not enjoyed by other property developers.

But Tukoroirangi Morgan says the variation, brought in last September on the eve of a change to the Resource Management Act, was an act of bad faith on the part of the council.

“There's only one word to describe them and that’s hypocrisy because we have acted within the law and the council have not complied and they’ve tried to run through a plan change without meeting compliance,” he says.

Mr Morgan says the Hamilton council needs to remember laws are made by central government, not local government.


Canterbury Maori artists's collective Kohinga Toi is marking Matariki with two group exhibitions focusing on tradition.

At the Our City O-Tautahi Gallery in Christchurch's Worchester Street, the group has put together Pu Harakeke, celebrating the way the Maori new year brings together whanau and gives people a chance to consider where they have come from and where they are going to.

Its show Te Pataka at the Little River Gallery on Banks Peninsula focuses on traditional food gathering practices.

Member Paula Rigby, the Christchurch City council's Maori arts advisor, says Matariki was a time pataka or storehouses would be full of kai.

She says Kohinga Toi is helping the Maori voice to be heard in the region and encouraging experimentation and sharing.

Other artists in Kohinga Toi include Alice Spittle, Priscilla Cowie, Tairoa Flanagan, Asher Newbery, and Ranui, Te Rangimaria and Kapuakore Ngarimu.


Rotorua artist and Maori tourism icon June Grant sees her acknowledgement in the Queens Birthday honours List as a tribute to the entrepreneurial spirit of Te Arawa.

Mrs Grant, who has in recent times become more well known for fronting a breast cancer awareness campaign, was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

She says growing up in Whakarewarewa, she learned how culture and business could work together.

“The women from the village were always entrepreneurial including our grandmothers and my nanny Makareti Papakura and Bella Papakura and my nanny Rehi Waaka and I can see them standing in a line being very proud,” Mrs Grant says.


The editor of the Maori Health Review is backing up Treasury's contention that putting up the price of tobacco won't stop people smoking.

Official papers reveal that Treasury opposed the reasoning for April's excise rise of 10 percent on a packet of cigarettes and 24 percent on loose tobacco.

Dr Matire Harwood says a recent United States study of smoking cessation found low income Latino and African American people were more likely to take up smoking, and found it harder to give up, when they were under financial strain.

“I personally have some concerns that we face the same situation that Maori and Pacific people are probably more likely to be under financial strain and respond in the same sort of way and so that by putting extra taxes on them you increase the strain on them and their whanau and yet it doesn’t have any effect on them reducing their smoking intake or tobacco intake,” Dr Harwood says.

Higher tobacco prices may discourage some teens from starting smoking, and they can help people who have access to quality cessation treatment.


A Maori sports psychologist is using culture and tribal history to encourage exercise among rangatahi.

Irirangi Heke from Otago University’s school of physical education has been trying out his ideas at Tolaga Bay Area School on the East Coast.

He says young people need something to grab their attention and turn their attention away from computer games and towards physical activity.

“For example up on the coast here is the resting place of Maui’s waka. Now for all of them this is part of their whakapapa, and if we say to them ‘we will take you to this place but we need to do some other exercise to get you conditioned to be able to go up that maunga,’ then they can see the link between those,” Dr Heke says.

He is talking with the Ministry of Health about how to develop his kaupapa Maori approach to fitness.


More than 500 delegates are in Auckland for the fourth International Indigenous Conference on Traditional Knowledge.

Charles Royal from the host group Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, the centre for Maori research excellence, says Aotearoa is seen as a world leader in indigenous transformation.

He says while they still face disparities in health status and educational under-achievement, the cultural renaissance means Maori are finding ways to move beyond colonisation, oppression, marginalisation and disenfranchisement.

“What's also emerging is the idea of the creative potential of our communities. That is where our communities rediscover their own creative centre, their experiences of their own mana and start building from there. Whereas previously we might be acting through experiences of loss, now we are moving into this new arena where we are motivated and act on the basis of what we actually have,” Professor Royal says.

He says the creative potential of Maori communities is good for the nation as a whole.


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