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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, August 27, 2010

Rangitaiki rights stir claimants

There is disquiet in parts of Ngati Manawa as the eastern Bay of Plenty iwi tried to finalise its historic claim settlement.

Maanu Paul from the Ngai Moewhare hapu says the deed of settlement negotiated last year with the late Bill Bird set aside the question of the region's rivers in the Rangitaiki catchment for further talks.

He says the direction those talks are going ignores the emphatic findings from the Waitangi Tribunal on rivers in the Rangitaiki catchment.

“The tribunal had recommended that the Crown negotiate with the river peoples on the basis these people had proprietary rights akin to ownership What the Crown is saying, ‘we don’t care about that, we are going to put control of the river under the regional council and you Ngati Manawa have to sign up to that,’” Mr Paul says.

Paul James from the Office of Treaty Settlements says talks are going well, and the final outcome is likely to be management by a river forum of iwi and local government, similar to the deal Cabinet has approved for the Hawkes Bay Regional Council.


Labour's Maori affairs spokesperson wants other local authorities to follow Environment Canterbury and adopt dual Maori and English place names in official documents.

Parekura Horomia says the policy came out of Ngai Tahu's treaty settlement, but is only now being adopted by the council.

He says it's a sign of the weight the iwi now carries in the South Island.

“When you’ve got your assets stablised, when you’ve got a plan going forward, people take not all right. They’re not to fussed about that game iof the colour of your skin or whatever else and they need to be applauded for that,” Mr Horomia says.


A Taranaki archivist wants Maori have better access to material that reflects their history.

Honiana Love has been given an oral history grant to interview Taranaki people on both sides of the Tasman.

She says working at the national archives has made her aware of the incredible amount of material seldom seen by those who it relates to most, and she is now working with Maori language group Te Reo O Taranaki to digitise archived material so it is accessible to iwi members.

“That is a key driver for us, making them available to our people in a way that they understand, that they can connect with and doesn’t necessarily require them to go into government departments. We’re wan ting to see people connect with our heritage. That’s what we want to see happening in Taranaki,” Ms Love says.


The head of Te Puni Kokiri's Rugby World Cup roopu says with a year to go before the tournament kick off, Maori are getting into position to do their part.
Paora Ammundsen says apart from Maori Television being the lead free to air broadcaster with the lion's share of games, there are other areas where Maori will make an impact.

These include tourism products, sourvenirs and artworks, and the use of te reo maori in bilingual signage and broadcasts.

He says it's capturing people's imaginations.

“Every single engagement me and my team have facilitated around Rugby World Cup, our people are really upbeat about this opportunity to show something about ourselves to the planet. The kind of message you hear from the hui and the workshops around the country is ki a kite te o te ngatua o nga pumanawa Maori o te ao hurihuri, it’s a neat time to be working on a project like this,” Mr Ammundsen says.


A Maori academic says the widespread support among women, young people and those from non-Pakeha ethnic groups for compulsory Maori in schools should be heeded.

Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and indigenous studies at Canterbury University, says the Research New Zealand poll showing 38 percent overall support for reo lessons was a valuable contribution to the debate.

He says older Pakeha males may struggle with the idea, but other groups are changing.

“Seventy percent of Pasifika people believe that Maori language should be a compulsory subject in our schooling system and that’s more than double the number of Pakeha in favour of that,” Mr Taonui says.

He says 20 years ago there was minimal support for compulsory reo in schools, but initiatives like Maori Language Week have changed perceptions.


If you can't buy a green or white pompom anywhere in Auckland this weekend, it's because Stacey Jones' wife Rochelle has bought them all.

They'll be attached to Point Chevalier Pirates fans tomorrow when the teams lines up against the Otara Scorpions in the final of the Auckland Rugby League Phelan shield competition.

The Little General says he's enjoyed the return to his old club as player coach alongside Awen Guttenbiel, and other mates like Karl Te Nana, Monty Betham and Wairangi Koopu have helped the Pirates turn round its fortunes in dramatic fashion.

“I really enjoyed this season, not only playing with our boys but playing against some of these players in these other teams and I feel they appreciate us giving back to the club and the game in general so it’s been rewarding from that aspect as well,” Mr Jones says.


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