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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Crown makes up rent shortfall it made

The chair of Ngati Rarua Atiawa Trust, Paul Morgan, says there is still a lot of work needed before all issues over its land at Motueka are resolved.

The government is to pay the trust $5 million for past rental losses on the Whakarewa lands, which came back to the trust in 1992 from the Anglican Church encumbered by perpetual leases.

Mr Morgan says the issues are similar to the Taranaki leases which were covered by the 1997 Maori Reserved Land Act, but Ngati Rarua Atiawa has not been able to get its leases reformed.

“The package they got in 1997 brought them down from 21 years to seven. That’s still not market but it‘s much improved. The negotiation just recognized the loss in rental. We haven’t addressed those steps in changing the leases, but we hope we can continue discussions and address that,” Mr Morgan says.

The leases means the Whakarewa lands generate little income for Ngati Rarua Atiawa, despite being prime horticultural and urban commercial land around Motueka.

HOME INSULATION SCHEME PROVIDING JOBS FOR MAORI

Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says the home insulation scheme pushed by the Greens is proving a great employer of young Maori.

Ms Turei says the scheme is improving the health and wealth of many Maori families, who have warmer, drier houses and lower heating costs.

It's also getting young Maori off the dole queue.

“A lot of the young ones doing that work are young Maori. I’ve been to see a few of those schemes and there are a lot of young Maori working in that area which is good. It’s part of that whole skill development," Ms Turei says.

She says the government should now launch a major state house building programme, which would both address the predicted loss of 20,000 construction jobs in the weakening economy and the need for an extra 70,000 additional affordable homes in New Zealand.

TE PAPA ADVISES ON CARE OF TAONGA

Te Papa Tongarewa is holding workshops around the country to train people to care for tribal taonga.

Gavin Reedy, the national museum's iwi development officer, says the first two wananga in the Waikato and Maniapoto had sparked great interest from whanau keen to learn techniques like paper conservation and the use of digital photography.

He says the museum's Te Pairangi unit is a good first point of contact for whanau wanting to ensure taonga are well cared for.

There are also people expert in helping people classify and file away their taonga.

“We also have links to all sorts of government departments that people can tap into so we become brokers of information in trying to connect people up to the right people,” Mr Reedy says.

He is meeting with Te Arawa people in Rotorua today.

FINANCE COMPANY COLLAPSE SYMPTOM OF WIDER MALAISE

The chair of a South Island Maori incorporation says the type of lending which contributed to the collapse of South Canterbury Finance was symptomatic of a flawed approach to land.

The government is spending more than $1.6 billion bailing out depositors and lenders to the company founded by Timaru accountant Allan Hubbard.

Paul Morgan from Nelson's Whakatu Incorporation says much of the lending contributed to a speculative bubble which Maori trusts can't benefit from, because they won't sell their land.

“We're forever driving up land values and if you really look at the model, the return on capital is just not there. We’re talking about three to five percent. We really should be focusing on a model that returns and appropriate return on the capital invested as against a system that is based on capital appreciation and retiring on that capital appreciation,” Mr Morgan says.

Land bubbles harm Maori trusts because they end up paying higher rates and service charges.

SCREENING PROGRAMME TARGETS WAHINE MAORI

A new cervical screening advertising campaign will target Maori and Pacific women, who continue to have lower screening rates and higher cancer rates than the general population.

Hazel Lewis, the clinical leader of the national cervical screening programme, says earlier campaigns had been effective, with just over one in two wahine Maori having a smear test in the past three years.

She says screening can reduce a woman's risk of developing cervical cancer by 90 percent.

“Wahine are carrying a lot of burdens with them and this is something that we want them to feel very relaxed about and encourage them to go and just talking with the nurse or the doctor and tht will help put them at ease and that will help them have the smear and it’s all over in not too long,” Dr Lewis says.

She says Maori women say they feel a whole lot better after being tested.

MAORI OPENING FOR RUGBY PROMO IN SYDNEY

The karanga will be ringing out at Sydney's Circular Key about now as Maori and Aborigine join together to launch New Zealand's world cup campaign in Australia.

Maori king Tuheitia and Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples are officially opening the giant inflatable rugby ball which was first used at the last Rugby World Cup in Paris to promote the New Zealand presence.

It will be open to the public in the lead up to the Bledisloe Cup game between the All Blacks and Kangaroos on September 11, showcasing New Zealand’s heritage, culture and people through a free, 10 minute multimedia experience.

Dr Sharples hopes it's just the start of a greater Maori role in cup preparations.

“I'm still waiting for my tono to the Government to appoint a Maori rugby ambassador to happen and it hasn’t happened yet so I’m waiting in there on that one,” he says.

Last night Dr Sharples reached out to potential Maori party voters at a hui at Sydney's Wynyard railway station.

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