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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, July 09, 2010

Maori ignored in Northland Block oil prospect

Northland-based Labour list MP Kelvin Davis says the Government hasn't done enough protect Maori interests as it seeks to open up New Zealand's offshore oil and gas reserves.

The Government has given companies until next month to bid for petroleum exploration permits for 100,000 square kilometres of the seabed off the west coast from Hokianga to Cape Reinga.

Mr Davis says it exposes reform of the Foreshore and Seabed Act as a farce, because the Crown insists it has the final say.

“I think Maori do have a stake. I think in good faith, if we’re talking abut the foreshore and seabed being public domain, nobody owns it, I don’t think then the crown ha a right to say nobody owns it but we are still going to decide what happens to it and I just think it’s about not repeating the mistakes of the past and making sure Maori are involved form the very start of this process,” Mr Davis says.

He says with estimates of a trillion barrels of oil, even a one cent a barrel royalty would deliver more to Maori than all the treaty settlements so far.

MAORI RESEARCHERS LOOK AT PATH AHEAD

Maori health researchers are meeting in Rotorua to review the sector and look at the path ahead.

Auckland university doctoral candidate Kahu McClintock, who has been researching child and adolescent health services in the Midland Health region, says the aim is to support Maori communities to identify and implement their own health solutions.

She says researchers are building on the foundations laid by the likes of Peter Buck and Maui Pomare, and more recently Eru Pomare and Irihapeti Ramsden.

“Today we've got a critical mass of Maori heath researchers who are able tio for Maori by Maori. Some of them are in tertiary institutions. Some of them are in their communities, in non-government organisations, and some of them are in iwi so it’s a celebration of those and where we are going to be going for the next five or 20 years,” Ms McClintock says.

FIRST NOVEL EMERGES FROM PREVIOUS MOMENTS

An award winning Maori playwright and novelist says she's not ready to give up her day job yet.

Whiti Hereaka's first novel The Graphologists Apprentice is being published by Huia this month.

Her play Te Kaupoi won the Maori section of the Adam New Zealand Play Awards, and it's just had a run at the Maori Playwights Festival in Auckland.
But she says her administration job at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage keeps her feet on the ground.

“There's something about having to work that makes the writing kind of precious and makes me appreciate it more and makes me work harder,” Ms Hereaka says.

URBAN AUTHORITIES MOUNT JOINT WHANAU ORA BID

Labour's Maori affairs spokesperson, Parekura Horomia, is wishing urban Maori authorities well in their collective bid to become one of the 20 whanau ora providers.

The National Urban Maori Authority, which represents roopu in Auckland, Hamilton, Porirua and Christchurch, yesterday filed their joint bid to provide integrated services under the new model.

NUMA argues many of the health, education justice and welfare issues that whanau ora is designed to address are urban problems.

Mr Horomia says the urban authorities have have a good track record of responding to the needs of Maori in cities.

He the government still hasn't spelt out how Whanau Ora will work in practice.

Wall heat
The Ministry of Health says a home insulation programme aimed at fighting high levels of infectious disease is ahead of target.

Otago University researchers have found while the rate of respiratory infection is falling among people of European descent, it is climbing at an alarming rate among Maori and Pacific Island populations, resulting in an increase in acute hospitalisations.

Theresa Wall, the ministry's head of Maori health, says inadequate housing has been identified as a cause, which is why the Governemnt set aside almost $350 million over four years to retrofit 180,000 homes with insulation and efficient heating device.

The first year target was 27,500, but more than 35,000 households have already signed up.

TARANAKI PREPARED FOR SETTLEMENT NEGOTIATIONS

Taranaki iwi are encouraging as many of their people as possible to attend waananga to prepare for negotiation of their treaty claim settlements.

Te Atiawa and Taranaki tuturu signed deeds of negotiation with the Crown in March.

Coordinator Liana Poutu says the first wananga, on Sunday at Oakura Pa southwest of New Plymouth, will will focus on sharing information and picking up issues that may have been missed in the negotiation of other Taranaki claims.

The hui will feature negotiator Sir Paul Reeves and tribal historian Te Miringa Hohaia.

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