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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, August 09, 2010

Public invited to join mining protest

An East Coast iwi is reaching out to other tribes and the wider public to fight oil exploration off its shores.

Te Whanau a Apanui hosted a hui in Auckland at the weekend to discuss its response to the Government’s invitation to Brazilian company Petrobras to prospect for oil and gas in the Raukumara basin.

Chairperson Riki Gage says it found common interests with other iwi and with environmentalists.

He says in its drive to encourage both onshore and offshore exploration, the Government is ignoring its duty to look after the environment.

“We’re really concerned. I mean we’ve had three months watching what’s been happening in the Gulf of Mexico so there are a lot of concerns, there are issues and questions that the iwi have in terms of ensuring we don’t see a repeat in our waters. New Zealand is promoting itself as clean and green, and with these sorts of activities, there is all the negative stuff that goes with it,” Mr Gage says.

He says Te Whanau a Apanui is bracing itself for a long fight.


The principal of Gisborne’s Lytton High school is upset the Minister of Education has refused to allow East Coast Schools to take time off so pupils can attend Te Matatini national kapa haka competition in February.

The Lytton roopu won last month’s national secondary schools kapa haka festival.

Jim Corder says Anne Tolley veto of the school’s plan to close classes for two days is short sighted.

“This sort of event and the achievement of our particular group just the other day all add significant value to people feeling good about themselves, about the possibilities of further achievement and success. I mean that’s what we’re trying to do and this has all come together and it would have been good to be able to say ‘You have earned the right to be part of Matatini,” Mr Corder says.

He is particularly riled because the government is allowing schools in Auckland to take time off around the Rugby World Cup, despite the timing being close to national exams.


The chairman of New Zealand Maori Rugby League says the Maori squad will treat its game against England in October as part of a push for full participation at the next Rugby League World Cup.

Howie Tamati says the game in Auckland will be a good chance to gauge where Maori sit internationally.

The former Kiwi captain and coach says the team hasn’t played for two years, so it’s an opportunity to showcase the depth of Maori league players in the NRL.

“Quite a few of the boys that played in 2008 were quite young lads at that time. Those players have gone to be established first graders so we believed we will have a really strong team.” Mr Tamati says.

England is treating the October 16 clash as a warm up for the four Nations tournament, which also involves Australia and Papua New Guinea.


The lawyer for Te Whanau a Apanui says the risk of environmental damage through the exploitation of offshore oil and gas reserves is more than a Maori issue.

The East Coast iwi is mobilising forces against the Government allowing Brazilian company Petrobras to explore the Raukumara Basin north of East Cape.

Dayle Takitimu says expressions of interest close this week for a similar exploration licence off Ninety Mile Beach, and the National Government has made its clear it puts drilling and mining over care for the environment.

“The Government is essentially in Parliament to represent our views, and if our views about the environmental stewardship of the country are saying one thing that is quite different from where the Government is pitching its drsft energy strategy, then we need to be having that conversation loud and clear with the decision makers and we need to be making those sorts of things election issues,” Ms Takitimu says.


One of the organisers of next February’s Te Matatini kapa haka competitions has joined the call for students to be given time off from clases to attend the Gisborne festival.

Education Minister Anne Tolley has vetoed a request from Tairawhiti secondary schools to suspend classes for two days.

Willie Te Aho says it would be a valuable and inspirational experience for the students.

“This will be an issue to be worked through with the Minister of Education and the Ministry of Education and we have the associate minister, Pita Sharples, who will be performing, so we want our tamariki to see the associate minister for education on the stage,” Mr Te Aho says.

The invitation for the schools to let their students attend came from organising committee member Wayne Ngata, who also sits on Te Taura Whiri i te reo - the Maori language commission.


Julie Paama-Pengally, the author of Nga Kupu Ora Book Award winner Maori Art and Design, says she's gratified at the number of art schools who are using it as a study text.

The Ngai Te Rangi artist says she knows from her own student days the value of getting a comprehensive overview from a single source.

She says the book was prepared with the tourism market in mind, as well as the academic market.


Blogger blackfellas said...

Kia Ora.Should you have contact with iwi in Apanui organising protests vs Petrobras, we are interested in getting involved.I come from Ruatoria (just signed in on my in-laws acct) & have a son in Brasil whose across Petrobras over there.We also have the @Oil_Leaks Twitter which specialises in communicating worldwide extractives ecovandalism issues.. & we'll help in any way we can

Pai Marire

3:55 PM  

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