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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Treaty process needs rethink

A lawyer involved in Waitangi Tribunal claims says the country needs to rethink what it's expecting out of the treaty settlement process.

Annette Sykes from Ngati Pikiao chaired a forum at Waitakere last night looking at the impact of treaty settlements on the Maori economy.

She says the Matariki event was a chance look beyond the day to day struggles towards a broader vision of what communities can look like in the future ... and how Maori will fit in places like the Auckland super city.

“Matariki is a new season, a new life and I really believe that the treaty relationships are in need of a bolstering because frankly the National Party has tried to manage those and reduce the significance for us as Maori,” Ms Sykes says.


MP Meteria Turei says today's Maori MPs still see Sir Apirana Ngata, who died 60 years ago, as a role model.

Ngata held the Eastern Maori seat from 1905 to 1943, and used it to secure resources for revitalising the Maori culture, rebuilding marae, and bringing Maori together to develop their land.

The Green's co-leader says every day she feels she is riding on the shoulders of the Maori leaders who came before, and whose pictures hand in parliament's corridors ... like Ngata, Maui Pomare, James Carroll and Matiu Rata.

“Being Maori in parliament remains difficult. It’s still not an environemnt that is supportive of Maori, Maori MPs and tikanga Maori. I can feel the struggle that they must have had so many years ago to be recognized and to achieve for their people there,” Ms Turei says.


Ngati Hine Radio boss Mike Kake says his station's radio training course could be the start of not just radio but television careers for Northland rangatahi.

The two-week course is giving 10 students with te reo Maori skills a foundation in radio work, including news writing, voice training, advertising copywriting and other trade crafts.

Mr Kake says the course is needed to replenish the pool of talent the station can draw on, as people move on in their careers ... like television regulars Shane Milne and Mana Epiha.

“They've all come from a strong radio background and if you go into the Pakeha media and look at Paul Holmes and others and radio seems to be the ground they break or get those basic skills and then move on. For us, there was this pool that was emptying out at our end. It’s great that we lose them but we need to replenish the puna,” he says.


Mau Piailug, who taught Maori the art of traditional Polynesian navigation, has died on his home island of Satawal in Micronesia.

Mr Pialug piloted the Hokule'a from Hawaii to Tahiti in 1976, and later taught waster waka builder Hekenukumai Busby how to navigate Te Aurere by the stars from Rarotonga to Aotearoa.

Mr Busby says keeping the knowledge alive meant breaking the rules against sharing it with outsiders.

He says Mr Pialug feared his own people would forget about celestial navigation, in the same way Maori lost it.


South Auckland-based Ngai Tai want a continued ban on gathering cockles from Umupuia or Duder's Beach near Maraetai.

Spokesperson Laurie Beamish says a rahui placed on the beach two years ago has been widely supported by the public, and has managed to halt a catastrophic decline in cockle numbers.

But he says the shellfish are still small and need more time to recover.

“We had become the most heavily-picked cockle beach in Aotearoa with immigrant groups and expanding population in these South Auckland area, especially round Flatbush. We knew that id we didn’t at least address it so at least we kept the taonga for our mokopuna, it would be gone forever,” Mr Beamish says.

He says if the Ministry of Fisheries doesn't have enough fisheries officers to police the rahui, the iwi is happy to do the job.


There's controversy in the kapa haka world with the effective disqualification of one of the teams to represent the Auckland region in the national te Matatini championships next year.

Te Taha Tu pulled out this week after it was discovered that one of its members had also performed with a group in the South Island competition.

That means Porou Ariki, a roopu made up of Ngati Porou members living in Tamaki Makauru, will go through to Gisborne in February.

Porou Ariki had been denied a place in the initial six because it was marked down for allowing a woman to deliver a whaikorero ... that's acceptable under the East Coast tribe's tikanga, but offended a judge from Ngati Whatua.

Porou Ariki tutor Barry Souter says no one in the club is commenting, because of sensitivity towards Te Taha Tu members.


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