Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Iwi game for foreshore protests

As details emerge of what the Maori Party agreed to in reform of the Foreshore and Seabed Act, iwi leaders are preparing to resume the fight.

Party co-leaders Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia claimed Monday's meeting with the Prime Minister was a victory, with iwi again able to seek customary title through the courts.

Attorney general Chris Finlayson has since told Parliament that very little of the coast will be affected, because tribes will need to prove continuous use and occupation since 1840.

Ngahiwi Tomoana from Ngati Kahungunu says the iwi leaders went into the meeting with a demand that claims would not be denied because of past treaty breaches which severed customary ownership, such as confiscation, unjust purchase or regulation.

“We said if it wasn’t done in good faith then the government would be harassed and harangued by iwi leaders and by hapu and whanau from then on. Game on, it’s not roll over, it’s batter up again,” Mr Tomoana says.


The manager of primary health care for Maori in north and west Auckland wants to see one organisation responsible for services to Maori.

Edith McNeill says there are now six primary health organisations in the Waitemata District Health Board area providing a variable quality of service to Maori.

The board wants to bring that down to just one or two PHOs.

“What we're hoping the outcome will be is we will have a Maori entity, organisation that will be able to initiate services and improve for Maori that are integrated, joined up better across our whole district,” Mrs McNeill says.

Waitemata Health has discussed the plan with Waipareira Trust and Ngati Whatua, and it will conduct more extensive consultation with Maori and other groups before decisions are made.


The author of a new book on ten successful Maori hopes their stories will provide insight and inspiration to rangatahi.

Te Aorangi Harrington says questions for the book and the subjects were suggested by the young people he came across in his day job as a Maori liasion officer with the Fire Service.

Those interviewed for the book include footballer Wynton Rufer, physicist Ocean Mercer and musician Anika Moa.


The Health Ministry's deputy director of Maori health says a new report will help with planning for Maori economic and social development.

Tatau Kahukura is a comprehensive review of Maori health data, boiled down into simple charts about things like education and income, and use of health services.

Theresa Wall says it will help policymakers measure if they are on the right track.

“If we don't have good reliable data, we can’t track whether the things we are doing is having any impact, either negative or positive so it’s really important that we continue to collect and continue to report on this type of data,” Ms Wall says.

By giving by planners a clear picture of demographic factors like the Maori birth rate, communities will be able to ready themselves for change.


The manager of south Taranaki iwi Ngati Ruanui says more needs to be done to protect waahi tapu from irresponsible farmers.

The iwi is up in arms about the damage to a pa site near Hawera caused by overstocking of dairy cows during wet weather.
Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, who is also deputy mayor of South Taranaki, and says the iwi want to know what is being done at local and central government level on their behalf.

“Tell us as iwi what on earth you are going to do to protect and preserve our waahi tapu, what tools of the Resource Management Act are going to be put in place. It’s no good having files just to sit there to use when people want to develop land. There’s a lot more grunt out there of central and local government that can assist,” Mrs Ngarewa-Packer says.

She says the previous owners fenced off the waahi tapu, but the current owner, Crafar Farms, made no attempt to protect the pa.


The Qualifications Authority has been on the road trying to increase the understanding of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement among Maori whanau and teachers.

Daryn Bean, the NZQA's deputy CEO Maori, says eight hui have been held since April, with more planned for Auckland and Whangarei before the end of the month.

He says the assessment framework has been round in various forms for 20 years, but students may still need guidance to ensure they are taking the right combination of units to

He says whanau have appreciated the bilingual presentations and information.


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