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Thursday, July 01, 2010

More wealth from watching than eating whales

A former New Zealand delegate to the International Whaling Commission says Te Ohu Kaimoana is undermining Maori economic and political interests through its advocacy of commercial whaling.

A delegation from the Maori fisheries trust is heading back from the IWC meeting in Morocco, with chief executive Peter Douglas describing a call for immediate cessation of whaling by Japan and other countries as unreasonable and unacceptable.

Sandra Lee from Ngai Tahu, who attended commission meetings in her capacity as conservation minister in the Labour-Alliance government, say the era of whaling should be well and truly over.

“New Zealand amongst others including the British government have established both at the scientific committee and at the IWC itself for many years now that there’s much more money in watching them than eating them. Kaikoura is one example but there are others all round the world now including our cousins in Tonga in Vava’u, much more profitable to watch them than eat them,” she says.

Mrs Lee says Te Ohu Kaimoana has no mandate from Maori to support Japan's whaling.


A Whangarei Maori women's refuge is welcoming today's law change which allows police to impose a five day cooling down period on the perpetrators of domestic violence.

Sandra Laurence, the manager of Te Puna o te Aroha, says the new power needs to be backed up by counseling programmes and referrals.

She says men barred from their homes need to be made to face up to what they have done.

“Male against female violence doesn’t just affect women. It affects the children and affects the rest of the whanau, which includes the perpetrator and for me it’s that them men are still stewing and looking at shifting blame somewhere else and minimizing what happened,” Ms Laurence says,

The change will mean more work for women's refuges, but no additonal funding has been provided.


The organiser of last weekend's protest against oil exploration off the East Cape is planning futher demonstrations of ahi kaa or fires of occupation.

Hicks Bay resident Ani Pahuru-Huriwai from Hicks Bay says Sunday's bonfires on the beaches around the East Coast fired people's imaginations.

They're now planning night fires in October to shine a light on public opposition to the licence granted to Brazilian company Petrobras.


Maori broadcasting claimants have completed a two-day hui updating iwi on progress with securing fourth generation spectrum.

Jim Nichols from the Maori Council says since being given a mandate at a previous hui in February, negotiators have worked with Crown officials on the case for Maori to share the frequencies that will be freed up by the shift from analogue to digital television.

He says the negotiators reiterated many of the arguments that allowed development of Maori radio and television and Maori participation in the mobile phone market through Two Degrees.

“What we are saying to the Crown is there are models that have been negotiated in the past that have been seen to be fair and equitable and we have been negotiating on the basis of existing models that have worked for the Crown and Maori in the past,” Mr Nichols says.

A paper is due to go to Cabinet over the next month.


Maori Party MP Hone Harawira believes New Zealand is on the brink of becoming the first country in the world to go smoke free.

He says the Maori affairs select committee investigation of the tobacco industry, which has just wrapped up public hearings, exceeded his wildest expectations.

He says the level of political, media and public support for the kaupapa is overwhelming, and the committee will now prepare its report to parliament.

“I think it's going to be an historic report and if we do this right New Zealand will be a world leader in making this nation smoke free,” Mr Harawira says.

He says the Maori affairs select committee is potentially one of the most powerful in the parliamnentary system, and it was the right body to make the tobacco industry account for its actions.


Whanganui iwi opened its treasure trove today with the release of the latest version of its education strategy and the launch of three books of its language and culture.

Che Wilson from Ngati Rangi says the education plan, Nga kai o Te Puku Tupuna, goes until 2025, and builds on the work done over the past two decades.

The books include his own collection of tribal words and phrases, Kiwaha o Whanganui, Gerrard Albert's annotated version of the writings of 19th century elder Kerehoma Tuuwhaawhaki, and He Kohinga Korero by the late John Rangitihi Tahuparare, who was a river tohunga as well as parliament's first official kaumatua.

“Whanganui is quite well known as the proverb states, Whanganui kaipunu, a tribe that usually keeps our own korero to ourselves, but with the dreams of the past 20 years and even going back to 1981 with the likes of Sir Archie Taiaroa and the radical ones who held the first rangatahi hui to encourage our whare wananga to be open to more than just a select few in our tribe,” Mr Wilson says.


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