Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tamaki iwi push for resource say

Auckland hapu and iwi say their input is needed to clean up the super city environment.

Ten iwi authorities under the Tamaki Collective umbrella have secured a co-management agreement covering the city's volcanic maunga, and they are now seeking a similar deal over the harbours and coastal areas.

Chairperson Paul Majurey from Marutuahu says even without Maori seats on the council, there are examples round the country where councils establish a true partnership with mana whenua iwi to share kaitiaki duties.

“Current management isn’t working and the hope and desire of the hapu iwi is that we will have a place a the governance table to bring to bear a different world view and a different type of governance, care and protection,” Mr Majurey says.

Mana whenua hapu and iwi want a say not just in managing the maunga but in waste management, fishing, shipping and recreation.


A member of the government-appointed social housing taskforce says there needs to be an integrated approach if iwi are going to help meet an emerging housing crisis.

The taskforce delivered its first report to the Minister of Housing this week, highlighting the need among Maori for affordable housing.

Paul White from Te Rarawa, whose career has included stints with Housing New Zealand and Te Puni Kokiri, says the crisis in Tai Tokerau would be worse if not for the 500 homes that were built under papakainga schemes in the 1980s and 90s.

“The secret in the rural areas is to have an integrated approach with iwi development so that housing and land development and employment and training are all linked in so that people can actually have work and housing in communities where they want to live,” Mr White says.

He says resourcing of marae-based housing has fallen off, despite a continuing desire by many Maori to return to their home areas.


The head of a fund to improve Maori capability and traditional knowledge says she is heartened by the ongoing commitment by those who apply for grants.

Kahu McClintock says seven projects shared this year's putea of $1.5 million from the Health Research Council's Nga Kanohi Kitea Maori knowledge and development fund.

She says groups that missed out can apply again, but most are long term community projects supported by people committed to the kaupapa, irrespective of funding.

“We just honour their commitment to the kaupapa that they applied for and clearly for their applications, if they weren’t successful, they were going to continue with them so the Health Research Council is really privileged to be able to fund those dreams that our whanau have had for some time,” Mrs McClintock says.


The man who led a hikoi which led to a commitment to clean up the Manawatu River says some of the biggest polluters have been companies that trade on new Zealand's clean green image.

Malcolm Mulholland from Ngati Kahungunu has welcomed this week's accord to help in the clean up, signed by 27 bodies including iwi, regional and district councils and local businesses.

But he says some industries have been two faced about the pollution.

“You've got the likes of Tui Breweries over on the other side of the ranges there who pollute the Manawatu via the Mangatainoka and yet here they are having ads where there’s scantily clad women bathing in their local stream. I mean it’s just a big joke,” Mr Mulholland says.

The iwi-led hikoi four years ago has ensured a much higher level of public scutiny about the state of the awa.


A member of the government's Welfare Working Group, Enid Ratahi Pryor, says Maori leaders need to have a hard look at the issues it has identified.

The group's first report to Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the current benefit system is failing too many New Zealanders.

It says Maori make up 43 percent of those receiving a domestic purposes benefit and also feature disproportionately on other long term benefits.

Mrs Pryor, the chief executive of Whakatane based health provider Te Tohu o te Ora o Ngati Awa, says that will give Maori plenty to respond to.

“Maori could be looked at as being lazy. I don’t think so. I think Maori are in a trap and this is an opportunity to look at how to get out of that trap and perhaps by contributing feedback to this process maybe we will see some light at the end of the tunnel for Maori,” she says.

Mrs Pryor says too many Maori enter the benefit system young and stay in for long periods.


Let kids do the haka.

Labour List MP Kelvin Davis is challenging a ban on performances of the haka before games at a schools' rugby tournament.

David Syms, the chair of the rugby union's Northern Regions Junior Advisory Board, says the practice was banned about five years ago because the young players were getting too intimidatory ... so the haka is reserved for elite teams like the All Blacks.

But Mr Davis, a former intermediate school principal who stopped playing club rugby relatively recently, says it's part of the sporting landscape.

“It's not actually the expression of Maori tikanga and culture that brings out violence, it’s been the suppression of Maori tikanga and culture over the years that has got us all angry and this is a classic case and example of why Maori are angry because we aren’t allowed to express ourselves in this way. If it’s good enough for the All Blacks to express themselves with a haka before their test matches, it’s good enough for our 10, 11, 12 year old boys to do it before their games,” Mr Davis says.


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