Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, June 21, 2010

Money and conservation ethic behind Koha relaunch

Maori business magazine KOHA has been relaunched with new backers including the Federation of Maori Authorities, Investment New Zealand and Greenpeace.

Editor Mere Takoko says the magazine will highlight issues like sustainability and clean technology.

She says it will also be guided by Native trade protocols based on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which bring social and cultural values into decision making.

“It’s time for Maori to be more responsible in the way we decide to develop our resources. We don’t have to follow mainstream. I mean it’s a $7 trillion industry we’re looking at and so Maori, if we move quickly, because the rest of the country is going to be slow, we can get an edge in terms of getting some of that investment into our country,” Ms Takoko says.


A south Auckland marae is encouraging whanau to grow and eat healthy kai as a way to counter the region’s diabetes pandemic.

Valerie Te Raitua from Papatuanuku Kokiri Marae in Mangere says it held a wananga over the weekend with Maori organic farming group Te Waka Kai Ora to show basic gardening techniques.

She says there will be a follow-up workshop on preparing healthy kai using traditional methods.

“We're trying to move our whanau and beat diabetes, growing healthier kai, eating healthier, using Maori values, and that’s for everybody here in Mangere,” Mrs Te Raitua says.


Playwright Albert Belz is confident audiences will warm to his tale about Maori showbands era is confident the audience will warm to the tale.

Raising the Titanics premieres at on Wednesday night at TAPAC Theatre in Auckland’s Western Springs College.

Mr Belz says it’s nothing like previous plays like Awhi Tapu and Yours Truly, but it was still penned with the audience experience at the front of his mind.

“For me this is definitely new ground and Raising the Titanics will be premiering at TAPAC. I’ve seen a run through of the first act and it struck all the right chords and I think there will be a lot of happy people in that theatre,” he says.

Albert Belz, who is from Ngati Porou, Ngapuhi and Ngati Pokai, is currently playwright in residence at the University of Waikato.


Kawerau 8AD Trust is teaming up with native-Hawaiian company Innovations Development Group, and an as yet unnamed partner to build a $200 million geothermal station on the trust’s land next to the Kawerau pulp and paper mill.

Mere Takoko from Maori investment company Fomona Capital, which is holding seminars for Maori interested in the sector, says it will be an example of how Maori can get a better deal from their geothermal resources.

She says the landowners will hold substantial equity and be represented on the board.

The deal is structure according to what it’s calling Native Trade protocols, based on the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“There’s monopoly in this country when it comes to geothermal power and we really want to say to our people, hang on, there’s actually other international players coming into the scene now and Maori don’t need to follow the old royalty schemes. We can actually get equity interest and more control over our businesses,” Ms Takoko says.

FOMONA Capital is holding a workshop in Rotorua this week for Maori interested in developing their geothermal assets.


A Massey University communications’ lecturer says exposure to Maori spirituality is allowing non-Maori New Zealanders to discuss their attitudes to religion more freely.

Heather Kavan, who did her doctorate in religious studies, is part of an international research project gauging attitudes in 45 countries on economic, environmental and social issues, including religion and spirituality.

She says a third of New Zealanders say they are not religious but believe in spiritual forces … and Maori practices played a part in that.

“The visibility of Maori spirituality has freed a lot of Pakeha up to speak about similar things and I think that’s a very good thing because religious intolerance is usually considered to be one of the five main problems threatening the plant, so the more openness and discussion and the more free people feel the better,” Dr Kavan says.


Organisers of this weekend's kapahaka regional competitions in Tai Tokerau says the standard indicates the strength of the cultural renaissance in the north.

Fourteen groups took part, giving Tai Tokerau four finalists in Te Matatini national championships next February.

Haatea from Whangarei was first, followed by Muriwhenua from the far north and two first time entrants, Te Puu Ao, and Te Whare o Puhi.

Te Whare o Puhi’s Tumamau Harawira was also judged first equal male leader.

Master of ceremonies Pene Henare says the line-up should give Taitokerau the best chance in years of taking a national title.


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