Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, June 04, 2010

Water case draining away

The chair of Central Plains Water is optimistic a deal can be struck with dairy processor Synlait on use of water from the Rakaia River in the South Island.

Pat Morrison says the irrigation company is having amicable discussions with its rival, and an agreement would be to the advantage of both parties.

Such a deal would end a Supreme Court case about the interpretation of the Resource Management Act.

This has alarmed Lake Waikaremoana claimant Vern Winitana from Ngati Ruapani, who was granted intervenor status allowing him to make submissions to the court.

He says it's a case that needs to be run.

“The priority is to ensure that consenitng authorities get a wild and discretion when they are a approving these consents. It appears big business once again doesn’t want that case to be argued. There’s also treaty considerations as well which aren’t being considered in this case or precedent,” Mr Winitana says.

He says Central Plains Water used similar tactics last year to stop him and the Maori Council having their say in a case involving Ngai Tahu Properties.


A Maori sports psychologist says pakeke and kaumatua need more rather than less exercise as they age.

Dr Ihirangi Heke from Ngati Wairere lecturer in sport, and physical activity and Maori health at Otago University.

He says improved fitness can reduce common injuries among the elderly.

“We actually need to be pushing them harder, so when they get to 50, the medical models recommend they need to be slowing down, they need to be taking walks around the block and starting to ease back. I’ve got an opposite view. I think we need to be doing power training and agility training with older people to prevent falls by keeping them in a condition that prevents all those things happening,” Dr Heke says.


A new collection of short stories puts some familiar characters from Maori mythology into contemporary settings.

Tina Makereti, the author of Once Upon a time in Aotearoa, says the creation myths and the exploits of Maui Tikitiki can cast light on today's issues.

For example, the story of the stillborn Maui being wrapped in his mother’s top knot and put out to sea is presented as a high school student hiding her pregnancy from her peers.

“There's part of the story where she dreams of her son and the dreams very much refer to the mythology of Maui, the things he did, so if you know those stories well you’d probably pick it up I think,” she says.

Tina Makereti, Ngati Maniapoto, Te Atiawa and Tuwharetoa is doing a doctorate in creative writing at Victoria University.

Once Upon a time in Aotearoa is published by Huia.


Waikato Tainui is welcoming an application by one of New Zealand's largest mining companies to prospect for coal in the Huntly area.

L & M Energy wants to evaluate a 2000 square kilometre area north and south of the Waikato township which it believes could contain more than 2 billion tonnes of coal.

Tainui executive chair Tokoriarangi Morgan says since the time of his grandfather, coal mining has been a primary sourse of employment for Maori in the region.

“This additional licence provides some continuity and some confidence of sustainable long term employment opportunity. That has to be good for the community not only in fiscal terms but in employment terms,” Mr Morgan says.

He looks forward to building a strong relationship with the company.


Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell will try to introduce a bill giving communities more control over where gambling machines are installed.

The Gambling Harm Reduction Bill would also remove racing as an authorised charitable purpose and require machine operators to use technology such as player tracking devices and pre commit cards.

Mr Flavell says the Maori Party is sick of the damage pokie machines are doing to whanau and Maori communities.

“If we're do gooders and it saves families form destruction and it saves partnerships from breaking up and if it saves some tamariki from not having kai when they go to school, so be it,” Mr Flavell says.


Ngai Te Rangi, Ngati Pikiao and people from the world of Maori film and television are at Pukehina Marae in the Bay of Plenty this morning to bid their final farewells to Merata Mita.

Friend and colleague Ella Henry says in documentaries and films like Bastion Point Day 507, Patu and Mauri, Ms Mita created images showing both the dark side and the beautiful side of being Maori and being New Zealanders.

Ms Henry says at 67 she died too young, but their is some solace in the fact that she died after delivering her final piece of work to Maori Television.

“She died on the stairs of Maori Television, an organisation she had fought for over 20 years to see realised, and she died surrounded by Maori women who loved her and appreciated her and I hope in some small way that made her passing just a little bit easier for her,” she says.

Merata Mita's funeral service starts at 11 this morning at Pukehina marae.


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