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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sharples says says Maori Party must hang in

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says this week's moves towards reform of the Foreshore and Seabed Act highlight the importance of keeping an eye on the big picture.

The Maori Party claimed the deal reached with the Prime Minister on Monday as a victory, but critics, including some iwi leaders and Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira, say it still leaves an extremely high bar for Maori to succeed in claims for customary rights.

Dr Sharples says it comes down to what is possible politically, and the party has to think strategically rather than walk out if it doesn't get everything it wants.

“The only way Maori are going to have power is to be part of a coalition at this stage as an independent party and if we walk now, well who’s going to marry up with us in the future, so we’ve got to see it through. So many coalitions and stuff fall down or break up. We’ve got to hang in there and try and see it through,” Dr Sharples says.

He rates the current state of the relationship with National as healthy.

TOKM SEEKS IDEAS FOR FISH FARMING MOVES

A delegation from Te Ohu Kaimoana Maori fisheries trust and its commercial subsidiary Aotearoa Fisheries has been in Dubrovnik this week catching up on the latest in aquaculture techniques.

Chairperson Ngahiwi Tomoana says Croatia is the centre of European fish farming, and there is a lot to learn.

He says as iwi switch their focus from wild fish harvesting to what they can do closer to shore, they are looking at species other than mussels to farm.

“We're looking at fish farms and also competition for space, how fish farms support each other our here by having different types of species adjacent to each other and it’s about how we could be more adaptive at home, and not put everything into say mussel farming,” Mr Tomoana says.

KAPA HAKA ROOPU OFFERS GLIMPSE BACKSTAGE

Images of top kapa haka group Te Waka Huia in rehearsal and performance feature in a new exhibition at the Lake House Art Centre in Takapuna.

Photographer Kathrin Simon was granted unrestricted access to the west Auckland roopu as it was preparing for last year's Te Matatini national Maori performing arts festival.

The German migrant says the project gave her not only a passion for the art form but a great respect for the artists.

“At the beginning it was a few hours I was wanting to spend with them but the chemistry was we trust each other and I was invited to stay for longer. I feel very privileged and I am so happy to be able to present these photographs because I’d love people to engage with this art form because I think it’s a national treasure of New Zealand,” she says.

The pictures aren't for sale, but Kathrin Simon hopes to tour the KAPA HAKA Close up exhibition nationally.

TERMS OF NEGOTIATION SIGNING FOR WAIKATO IWI

Two south Waikato iwi are a step closer towards settling their historic treaty claims.

On Sunday representatives from the Office of Treaty Settlements will sign terms of negotiation with Ngati Haua and Ngati Koroki Kahukura at Pohara Pa near Putaruru.

Willie Te Aho, a member of Ngati Koroki Kahukura's negotiating team, says the iwi want control of resources and maunga in their rohe.

“So I look at Maungatautari and the Crown has about 75 percent ownership and we want to work through that with the Crown. The same with the river. We will continue to push for recognition of our status and an iwi of the river so we want to see that achieved,” Mr Te Aho says.

Ngati Koroki Kahukura also wants some acknowledgement of how use of its stretch of the Waikato River for power generation has affected the iwi culturally and economically.

INDIGENOUS VIEW ON WHALING TO BE PUT

Representatives from the Maori fisheries trust Te Ohu Kaimoana are on their way to Morocco to take part in the 62nd meeting of the International Whaling Commission.

Chairperson Ngahiwi Tomoana says they are there to speak up for the rights of indigenous whalers, and especially the Maori claim to whales which beach in their rohe.

“We see the whales as a koha from Tangaroa, and when we turn around and chuck it back it’s like throwing people’s koha back at them. And it’s a huge waste of resource, the blubber and bones and, if it’s fresh enough, the meat,” Mr Tomoana says.

AUCTION BRINGS TAONGA A FEATHER’S TOUCH AWAY

One of the largest collections of Maori and Oceanic art to reach the market in recent years is now in the hands of new owners ... with a few regrets around about what slipped away.

Webb's Auction House in Auckland last night sold off more and three quarters of a million dollars of taonga, with many of the items returned to the country from the Zanesville Museum in the US state of Ohio.

Sitting front row with her bidding card ready was singer Moana Maniapoto from Ngati Tuwharetoa and te Arawa.

But her hopes of picking up the prized huia feather for the sort of money such items have fetched in the past on online site Trademe were dashed in the atmosphere of the live auction, when the feather went for more than $7000.

Moana Maniapoto says she was able to pick up a taonga for her trouble.

Webb's managing director Neil Campbell says he was happy people had a chance to see such a broad range of Oceanic art assembled in one place.

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