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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bill extinguishes customary rights

A far north iwi chair says what the Government is doing with the Marine and Coastal Area Bill may be worse than the Foreshore and Seabed Act that it replaces.

Haami Piripi says Te Rarawa will use the new law to continue its long-running battle for title to that part of Ninety Mile Beach that falls into its rohe.

But he says the bill may be setting the hurdles too high.

“It essentially does what we have been afraid of for a long time and that is it extinguishes our customary interests and then sets up a new regime by which the Crown might recognize what it considers is a customary interest.

“On honest reflection I can see how difficult it must be for a government to acknowledge an interest like ours which is pre-European, probably goes back a couple of thousand years, an in many respects is threat to the sovereign interests of the state,” Mr Piripi says.

He can understand why local MP Hone Harawira is voting against the bill, because his uncle, Mutu Kapa, was one of the elders who led the 90 Mile Beach case in the 1960s.


A Whangarei Maori incorporation says it wants to use its land for something that will benefit the whole community, rather than leasing it for industrial use.

Rawarewa D is seeking resource consent to build a waste recovery operation and environment education centre on its Rewarewa Rd site, next to the council's refuse transfer station.

Chairperson Mike Kake says the $1.5million project will be good for the environment and create jobs.

“If you look at the unemployment rate in the north, I think it’s up 9.2, 9.3 percent, the national average is 6.2, so already we have to look at regional initiatives that are going to create those employment opportunities. Now there will be initial jobs but this is a concept we are going to have to grow,” Mr Kake says.

The recycling plant could be up and running before Christmas.


The return of a native son means Te Rereatukahia Marae in Katikati can finally get carvings for its meeting house.

Tohunga whakairo Morris Wharekawa says giant totara slabs were donated for the project more than 20 years ago by the late Doug Baker.

They've been in storage while Mr Wharekawa trained and worked as a carpenter in Auckland, and then leaned the art of carving.

He says the hapu has instructed him on the ancestors they want represented.

“We're doing the whakarei on the two amo at present and then we’ll be in to doing the maihe next. The two characters on the amo are Moananui and his sister Ngarai. On the other side we’ve got the Matakana Marae people represented with Tamapeki and Kuitai from Tainui,” Mr Wharekawa says.

Since returning home he has been flooded with requests from marae in the western Bay of Plenty wanting carvings.


Labour Leader Phil Goff is questioning whether the Maori Party can hold together with Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira breaking ranks over the replacement for the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Mr Goff says after years of fiery rhetoric from the party, Mr Harawira is the only one of its caucus who can face the truth about what its partnership with National has come up with in the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill.

“Despite all the heat generated by the National Party that said Labour was far too pro-Maori and the Maori Party that said Labour didn’t do enough for Maori, both parties have actually come to an agreement on something that’s not too different from what Labour put in place originally and that’s what Hone Harawira is objecting too. How does the Maori Party hold together in the face of a fundamental division like that,” he says.


One of the people arrested in the so called Tuhoe terror raids of 2007 says publication of her book on the subject shoudn't prejudice the ongoing court cases.

The Day the Raids Came will be published on October the 15th by Wellington-based anarchist publisher Rebel Press.

Valerie Morse says she tried to capture in their own words the stories of people who were at Ruatoki and other places when more than 300 police conducted dawn raids, after surveillance of what were alleged to be terrorist training camps in the Urewera Ranges.

“The book is a view of people’s experiences on the day of the raids, October 15, 2007, so there’s inspiring stories of resistance. There are some terrifying stories of state violence and there’s some political analysis from a variety of different voices about why that happened and the whole paradigm of the war on terror,” Ms Morse says.

She says the manuscript was thoroughly checked by her lawyers.

The 17 Operation 8 defendants, who face charges under the Arms Act, are awaiting a Court of Appeal ruling on the admissability of some of the evidence.


The New Zealand Film Archives is talking to Maori filmmakers and other interest groups as it sets priorities for a four-year, $2 million restoration project.

Chief executive Frank Stark says the first film to be digitised in the new project is Rudall Hayward's land wars tale Rewi's Last Stand, which is the only early feature shot on highly inflammable nitrate stock which is still to be preserved.

He says there are then more than 2000 short, newsreels and features which need treatment, and input from Maori will be valuable.

He says as well as talking in a formal way with Nga Aho Whakaari, the Maori filmmakers’ group, he will talk with many of the individuals who worked on the films.

Works by pioneering Maori filmmakers Mereta Mita and Barrie Barclay are on the list for transfer to digital formats, which will preserve them and make them more available.


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