Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Whanau ora regional leaders sought

Nominations have opened for people willing to serve on regional leadership groups for the new Whanau Ora service delivery programme.

Rob Cooper, the chair of the Whanau Ora Governance Group, says Te Puni Kokiri will be looking for people who are well known in their communities and are able to give clear advice about the sort of issues those communites are facing.

The groups will also include representatives from the ministries of Health and Social Development and Te Puni Kokiri.

He says their first task will be to assist in the selection of the whanau ora providers in their regions.

“There will be an important ongoing role in advising us about how the resources that are already funded for are being better applied basically. We see this as a way of enhancing the performance of everyone engaged in the whanau ora strategy,” Mr Cooper says.

He says as the government gains more confidence in Whanau Ora, the regional leadership groups may be called on to suggest new areas it can move into.


The country's newest dame says the battle between urban Maori groups and traditional iwi is continuing.

Dame June Jackson was knighted for her work in a range of fields, including running the Manukau Urban Maori Authority for two decades and for her long service on the Probation Board.

She says while the divide isn't as sharp as it was during the fisheries settlement allocation debate when MUMA had to go as far as the Privy Council to get the interests of urban Maori acknowledged, there is still competition for resources.

“It hasn't been easy for us. We have to fight for everything we do. We are just not included because the tribes say ‘you should go back to your people.’ That’s all well and good, but a lot of Maori migrated to the cities after the war, so you have this new group of Maori established away from the wa kainga,” Dame June says.


Rotorua artist June Grant is on her way to Canada to show work inspired by native American philosophies.

She is teaming up with pounamu carver Lewis Tamehana Gardiner and Tim Paul from the Nuu-chah-nulth nation of Vancouver Island for an exhibition on the Moon Mothers who care for the earth.

Mrs Grant, who was this week made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to Maori art and tourism, has been showing at the Spirit Wrestler Gallery since the early 1990s.

She says gallery co founder Nigel Reading has a strong connection to New Zealand through his Christchurch-born father.


A leading constitutional scholar has endorsed a proposal for joint ownership of the foreshore and seabed put up by the iwi leaders group.

Alex Frame, who headed the Treaty of Waitangi Policy Unit, the predecessor of the Office of Treaty Settlements, says the idea is similar to the notion of a treaty title, which he put in a submission to select committee hearing the original Foreshore and Seabed Act.

The government wants to replace Crown ownership of the foreshore with a concept of public domain, and is resisting iwi pressure to acknowledge the Maori interest.

Dr Frame says it's possible to vest the foreshore in seabed in the Treaty of Waitangi in a way which locks in all three articles of the treaty.

“Article one is the government’s regulatory function. Government still has power to exclude nuclear ships or whatever. Article two as to protected Maori rights, so that customary rights have a field in which they can be demonstrated, and article three, as to the legal equality of all citizens,” Dr Frame says.

He says a treaty council consisting of members appointed by the Crown and Maori could oversee the law and sort out any local disputes.


Manuwatu iwi are not giving up on getting a co-management deal for their awa similar to the Waikato River settlement.

Chris Finlayson, the Minister for Treaty Negotiations, has indicated he doesn't want to repeat of the multi-party Waikato deal because if its complexity.

But Danielle Harris, the principal negotiator for Rangitaane o Manuwatu, says the iwi's priority is finding the most effective way to clean up the Manawatu River.

“Well I can't pre-empt the outcome of a negotiation process. All I can say is iut is part of our discussions with the Crown,” she says.

Rangitane is also part of an iwi forum negotiating with Horizons Regional Council on river management issues.


A Maori health researcher and general practitioner says the rise in tax on tobacco could actually increase the amount Maori smoke.

Papers released to Radio New Zealand revealed Treasury opposed the April excise tax increase promoted by the Maori Party because it

Matire Harwood, who edits the Maori health review, says a recent United States study of smoking cessation efforts among Latino, African-American and Caucasian groups found people are less likely to stop smoking when they are under financial strain.

“When people are smoking, when they are addicted to tobacco, they’re going to find the money from somewhere in order to meet their addiction so put increased strain on the family which will create a cycle of ongoing smoking to reduce their stress,” Dr Harwood says.

The Government should research what smoking cessation programmes work with different groups and resource those.

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