Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, June 04, 2010

National hui rejects Foreshore Act offer

Iwi leaders have rejected the Government's proposed reform for the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

About 100 iwi representatives met in Auckland this afternoon to discuss a plan to be taken to Cabinet next week to replace Crown ownership of the foreshore and seabed with a regime where no one is considered to own it.

There would be a process for Maori Maori customary rights to be recognised, including a right to use and develop areas within the confines of existing legislation.

Ngai Tahu chair Mark Solomon says what's offered falls far short of what iwi are seeking.

“We did put a proposal and the proposal was the foreshore be vested, not a title, that it be vested equally in the treaty partners on behalf of all New Zealanders, that it be vested as a taonga tuku iho, in other words that it’s inalienable, it can never be sold. The Crown flatly rejected that concept,” Mr Solomon says.

The Crown has indicated it wants the issue settled by the end of the year, or it is off the table and the existing legislation remains in force.


A model scout says Maori need to overcome their shyness if they want to break into the industry.

Auditions start in Auckland tomorrow for the second cycle of New Zealand's Next Top Model, and move round the country over the week.

Sylvia Pikari of Nga Puhi and Ngati Hine says the producers are keen for more Maori to apply because they have a special New Zealand look.

She says Maori have a lot to offer the modeling industry, but they tend to shy away from the glamour jobs.

“No doubt many of our young Maori girls would love to participate in something like New Zealand's Next Top Model but either they’re too whakamaa or they won’t be cool around their peers. We’re not just unique in our beauty, but in our personality and our style,” Ms Pikari says.

She says advertising agents are always on the lookout for Maori faces.


The coach of the Maori rugby team to take on the New Zealand Barbarians in Whangarei next Wednesday says the squad will need to get the most from its limited preparation time.

The squad gathers in Auckland on Sunday.

Jamie Joseph says that's when the players will hear what's expected of them as Maori All Blacks and go through the protocols, so there could be as few a three practice sessions before the first game.

The Maori All Blacks will also play Ireland and England to mark the centenary of Maori rugby.


Ngai Tahu chair Maori Solomon says iwi leaders want to keep talking to the Crown over a replacement for the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

A national hui today rejected the proposal attorney General Chris Finlayson wants to take to Cabinet, which would replace Crown ownership of the coastal area with a notion of a public domain with no specified ownership.

Mr Solomon says there are some positive aspects in the proposal, but there are still major sticking points, including ownership of minerals and that Maori are being treated differently to the 12,000 people landowners with existing titles to parts of the foreshore.

“We certainly favour the longer conversation because we haven’t come to a resolution. It would fair also to say on the other side the Cornw has a strict timeline they are working to. Their view is it has to be finished and off the table by the end of this year. If not, it’s off the table,” Mr Solomon says.

He says the Iwi Forum wants the foreshore vested equally in the treaty partners on behalf of all New Zealanders.


Maori country fans will be out in force this weekend for the 36th Gold Guitar Awards in Gore.

Up to 700 competitors and 5000 fans ans supporters are expected in the Southland town.

Organising committee member Shona Hewlitt says Maori audiences warm to the storytelling that is an integral part of country music.

She says many Maori entertainers have kick started their careers in the Southland town, including Dennis Marsh and Cameron Clayton.

She is looking forward to hearing 14 year old Jaitlyn Watene, who won the junior section last year and went on to wow the crowd at Australia's Tamworth Music Festival.


Filmmaker Merata Mita was buried today by her iwi and friends, but her loss is being felt around the world.

Several hundred people were at Pukehina marae in the Bay of Plenty to farewell the maker of Patu and Mauri, who died on Monday aged 67.

Producer Tainui Stevens says she helped lay the foundations not just for the current Maori film and television industry but for indigenous filmmakers worldwide.

“The film world is in many ways an international world where the indigenous voce was just starting to be felt and there were rich pickings for someone like Mereta and she spent many years on the film festival circuit as judge, as adjudicator, as teacher, fostering indigenous film talent for tangata whenua worldwide,” Mr Stephens says.


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