Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Door open for negotiaitons on coast

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the Government is prepared to take into account the effects of raupatu when assessing customary rights claims under the Marine and Coast area (Takutai Moana) Bill.

Critics of the replacement to the Foreshore and Seabed Act argue the stringent criteria needed to prove customary title will rule out hapu whose coastal land was confiscated after the wars of the 1860s, or lost under the Public Works or Rating Acts.

But Mrs Turia says there is an alternative to the High Court.

“The fact is that those iwi that had land confiscated and so couldn’t say they held title to land abutting the foreshore and seabed, they can go into direct negotiation with the Crown to be able to show that in fact it was because of the Crown that they could not continue that relationship,” she says.

Mrs Turia says the bill is not perfect, but she is pleased with it.

RATIMA COUNTING ON MAORI VOTER TURNOUT

Hastings mayoral candidate Des Ratima says he's encouraged by preliminary data showing Maori might be voting in the local body elections.

Mr Ratima, who is also standing for council, says it will be a big challenge to unseat long time mayor Lawrence Yule.

He says the fact turnout is tracking higher than the past two elections indicates more Maori participation.

“And they're voting because they’ve actually got somebody, one of theirs, putting their hand up and they want to swing in behind with support. There has been a lot of indications Maori are more active in the voting this time round,” Mr Ratima says.

He's campaigning for more community input into council decisions.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT NOT MEETING NEEDS OF MAORI

A new study has revealed a clear link between transport and the health and well-being of Maori whanau.

Kimiora Raerino from Auckland University's School of Population Health interviewed Maori stakeholders including kaumatua, students, Maori healthcare providers and Maori representatives from organisations like the Auckland Regional Council, the Manukau City Council and Te Puni Kokiri.

She says inadequate public transport systems mean people miss medical appointments or are forced to rely on whanau to get around the city.

She says Maori need representation at in transport planning.

“As Maori we want affordable, reliable and safer transport systems and for the most part people we spoke too said they would use transport more if they met those factors. Kohanga reo can put in submissions. Kura kaupapa can put in submissions to make transport meet our needs better as Maori Tamaki Makaurau,” says Ms Raerino from Ngati Awa and Te Arawa.

HARAWIRA HAD CHANCE TO CONTRIBUTE TO BILL

Maori Party co-leader says Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has opportunities to contribute to the Marine and Coast Areas Bill before it was introduced to Parliament.

Mr Harawira broke ranks and voted against the firstt reading of the bill, saying it would give Osama Bin Laden more rights to the foreshore and seabed than Maori.

Mrs Turia says the maverick MP was involved in developing the legislation from day one.

“The only meetings Hone didn’t attend were ministerial meetings. In all other meetings he attended. In fact we had Chris Finlayson at our caucus every week almost giving us updtes, lokign at ways we could reshape the legislation,” she says.

Mrs Turia says having Mr Harawira speaking against the bill isn't part of a strategy to retain support for the party.

MAORI MEDICOS RETURN TO PARIHAKA

The annual hui of Maori doctors has looked at ways the small Maori medical workforce can be used where it will have the greatest impact on Maori health.

David Jansen, the chair of Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa Maori Medical Practitioners' Association, says junior doctors are being encouraged into areas like paediatrics, general practice and public health.

He says weekend's the hui venue, Parihaka Marae in Taranaki, has special resonance for Maori health professionals.

“The first Maori doctor, Sir Maui Pomare, came from Taranaki, and so did Te Rangi Hiroa, Puoho Elllison, quite a prestigious history in terms of doctors in Taranaki. It was a thrill for us to get our young Maori doctors and medical students to Parihaka,” Dr Jansen says.

It was especially moving that manuhiri were welcomed onto the historic marae by three Maori doctors from the Taranaki - Tony Ruakere, Leo Buchanan and Errol Raumati.

MAORI RECRUITED FOR LONGITUDINAL SURVEY

Researchers from Auckland University's school of population health say they've gone out of their way to ensure there is an appropriate weighting of Maori in a new longitudinal study.

Growing Up in New Zealand will follow a group of 7000 children and their families from before they are born until they are adults, with the aim of finding what it takes to raise happy, healthy children.

Maori researcher Polly Atatoa Carr says all women living in the Auckland, Counties-Manukau and Waikato DHB regions, whose babies were due between April 2009 and March 2010 were invited to participate.

“Whanau are really excited to be involved, they’re enjoying the questions, they’re enjoying the opportunity to contribute to policy and contribute to development of effective services. We’ve had a really positive response so far,” Dr Carr says.

Families will be contacted every 18 months until the children are young adults.

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