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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Huge responsibility for Auckland assets

Waikato Tainui executive chair Tukoroirangi Morgan says the inclusion of mana whenua representatives on Auckland's new council-owned organisations recognises the value they will bring to the table.

Mr Morgan was appointed to a two-year term as a director of Auckland Council Property Limited, while Tainui Group Holdings director Rukumoana Schaafhausen will serve on Regional Facilities Auckland.

He says it's a huge responsibility.

“These are the most powerful organisations that have responsibility over some key assets, key activities for the Auckland super city council. This is not about tokenism. This is about recognising the need for Maori to participate at the highest level,” Mr Morgan says.

Ngati Whatua members Ngarimu Blair and Vivien Bridgwater were appointed to the Auckland waterfront development and economic development boards respectively.


An emerging ta moko artist says it's right that wahine should become prominent in the renaissance of the traditional tattoo.

Taryn Beri studied at the Toihoukura school of Maori arts and design at Gisborne Polytechnic before setting up a Maori clothing company.

She shelved that to study with Tolaga Bay toi moko artist Mark Kopua, for which she's just won a Nga Karahipi a Te Waka Toi scholarship.

Ms Peri says Mr Kopua and Toihouruka head Derek Lardelli are supportive of women mastering the art.

“They frequently credit wahine for retaining, holding on to moko kauae over those dark times when there was the Tohunga Suppression Act and when you really didn’t see much moko,” Ms Beri says.

She says ta moko is the ultimate art form because of the layers of knowledge it incorporates.


Taiaroa Royal isn't slowing up, despite getting an award from Te Waka Toi for a 20-year contribution to Maori arts and culture.
The dancer and choreographer says he only had time to put the tohu on the mantelpiece before getting back to work with the Okareka Dance Company

“We're touring our premier show, Tama Ma, to Perth at the end of the year and we’re also creating a new work, Nga Hau e Wha, to premiere in Wellington in 2011 so it’s pretty busy at the moment,” says Mr Royal, from Te Arawa, Ngati Raukawa and Ngai Tahu,


Tobacco researcher Murray Laugesen says a 15 percent slump in supermarket sales of smokes shows the effectiveness of price rises as a public health measure.

Dr Laugesen, from Health New Zealand, says the drop is far greater than expected, and indicates people may have been waiting for the right excuse to give up.

He says the comprehensive nature of the rise - 10 percent on the tax on cigarettes and 25 percent on loose tobacco - means the days of cheap tobacco are gone.

“In previous times people have tended to slide off the issue by just taking up cheaper brands like roll your owns. This time they haven’t been able to,” Dr Laugesen says.

He says given that one in two adult Maori were smokers, the price rise may have extended hundreds of Maori lives.


Former New Zealand First deputy leader Ron Mark is ruling out a return to national politics in the immediate future.

Party leader Winston Peters is expected to stand in John Key's Helensville electorate as he seeks to attracts enough disaffected National Party voters to boost his party's vote back over the five percent threshhold.

Mr Mark believes New Zealand First will be back in Parliament, but his current role as chief executive of the Federation of Maori Authorities means he is unlikely to be there.

“Working for FOMA members it behooves me to have a good relationship with all political parties in the House in order that we advance the issues we want advanced so we deal to those anomalies that still exist, so entering into national level politics would not be in the best interest of FOMA.” Mr Mark says.

His current political focus is on becoming mayor of Carterton.


A Brisbane-raised Maori who crossed the Tasman at age 18 to live with his grandmother has six years later been appointed to lead Ngati Kahungunu's language revitalisation strategy.

Jeremy Taatere MacLeod says studying at the Eastern Institute of Technology and Te Wananga o Aotearoa's Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo Institute of Excellence in Maori Language gave him the foundations of the language, but his whanau at Waimarama put that knowledge in context.

“Working with them, getting the level of proficiency with the reo, and also other things that come with it, the tikanga, the karakia, the karanga and all those sorts of things, so I am very humbled to be invited to this position but I know I am taking great skills also,” says Mr MacLeod, Ngati Kahungunu's new Pouarataki o Te Reo ona Tikanga me te Matauranga.


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