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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Queen’s honour to Dame June

The country’s newest dame says she’s just your average Maori woman.

Temaranga Bartley - Jackson, known as June, was made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to Maori, including more than 20 years at the head of the Manukau Urban Maori Authority.

She is the longest serving member of the Parole board and works closely with Maori and non-Maori on their release from prison.

Other Maori honoured include another June Jackson, Wellington community worker June te Raumangi Jackson and husband Sam, artist Arnold Wilson, Rotorua tourism identity June Grant, Eru Morehu, also of Rotorua, and Grant Pirihi of Whangarei.

TAURANGA PIPI BEDS TO GIVE WAY FOR SHIPS

A $50 million dredging plan to deepen shipping channels in Tauranga Harbour will go ahead despite objections from local iwi.

Environment Bay of Plenty commissioners ordered the port company to work with a tangata whenua reference group to monitor the work and make plans for kaimoana restoration, such as reseeding pipi beds.

Dee Samuel, the resource manager for the Ngai Te Rangi runanga, says the iwi is still concerned about the effect of taking up to 15 million tonnes of silt from the harbour.

“That's actually a huge amount of seabed and sand. Or technical expertise was that the coastal system would find it very hard to survive such a loss,”: he says.

The work will destroy a large pipi bed which has been made into a mataitai reserve under customary management.

TAINUI KEEN TO GET INTO MINING

Waikato-Tainui chair Tukoroirangi Morgan says if the government puts Solid Energy up for sale, the iwi would be keen to buy a stake.

The iwi has given its blessing to plans by another large coal producer, L & M Energy, to prospect a large area around Huntly.

Mr Morgan says it’s an industry the Waikato-based tribe understands and wants to be part of.

“If there is an opportunity for the Crown to sell, then we would be seriously interested in acquiring some stake in a particular industry that is important not only to the lifeblood of the region but also of the tribe,” he says.

NEW TITLE OVERWHELMING TO COMMUNITY WORKER

The sole dame in this year's Queen's birthday honours list is over-whelmed by the honour.

Dame Temuranga Batley-Jackson says she still wants to be called June, a name given by primary school teachers who couldn't pronounce her name.

She says while she holds a queens service medal for her work with the Manukau Urban Maori Authority and other organisations, the new honour caught her by surprise.


“A bit overwhelming. I certainly didn’t expect anything like this. I don’t think it’s really about me. I just happen to be around at this time. I’m not the only one who does this type of work,” Dame June says.

It was a double celebration for Nga Whare Waatea, the Auckland urban marae set up by Dame June, as Ngapuhi kaumatua and Radio Waatea talkback host Denis Hansen received a Queens Service Medal.

NGATI WHATUA CLASHES WITH COUNCIL ON CONVENTION

Ngati Whatua has found itself in competition Auckland City Council and listed casino operator Sky City over who might build a new convention centre in the super city.

The iwi is part of a consortium wanting to build a 30,000 square metre exhibition hall, railway station and underground carpark on former railyard land it owns behind the Vector Arena.

A council feasibility report claims mid city sites near SkyCity and the Aotea Centre are more suitable because of access to hotels.

But Tiwana Tibble, the chief executive of Ngati Whatua o Orakei Maori Trust Board, says the council’s thinking is flawed.

“We say and our research says things change. You go to Melbourne, they’ve just opened a brand new hotel next to the convention centre after it was built. You go to the Southbank in Brisbane, they build the hotels often after you build the convention centre. We’ve got space to build as well. We think that kind of research is biased,” Mr Tibble says.

Ngati Whatua’s vision is for a golden mile along Quay St connecting is convention centre to the Viaduct Basin restaurant precinct.

SEABED REFORM BOTCHED SAYS TUREI

Greens leader Meteria Turei says the Government has botched its reform of the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

A national hui of iwi leaders last Friday said it was unhappy with the replacement Cabinet intends to consider over the next couple of weeks, and it wants more time to negotiate an alternative which recognizes iwi and hapu ownership of the foreshore.

Ms Turei says Maori distrust has been heightened by government’s failure to consult before licensing Brazilian company Petrobras to prospect off the Bay of Plenty.

“If government wants support for its foreshore legislation, they can’t then exclude Maori from the decisions that are most critical, and that is around the resource use or the use of the seabed resource for economic development,” Ms Turei says.

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