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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Foreshore Act replacement tabled

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says the foreshore and seabed deal is the best the Maori Party could do with the National-led government.

The Marine and Coastal Area Bill introduced yesterday will repeal Labour's 2004 Act and sets up tough tests under which hapu and iwi can claim customary title, either in negotiations with the Crown or through the courts.

Mr Flavell says it addresses many of the key concerns identified by the working party led by retired High Court Judge Sir Eddie Durie, but there are still areas where Maori may want to push for change.

“Clearly you know it's a negotiation process between us and the National Party who have their constituency and have things that they have to complete but the select committee process hopefully will open up the door to allowing out people in and give some comment on the things that are in the bill and take stock from there, that is the select committee process in action,” Mr Flavell says.


A Ngati Whatua member of a group lobbying for Maori seats on Auckland City Council is skeptical that mayoral candidate Len Brown can deliver on a promise to address the issue.

Ngarimu Blair from IHI says he is still pushing for elected representation, despite being appointed a director of one of the council owned organisations, Auckland Waterfront Development.

He says if he gets the super city's top job, Mr Brown would have to use the process set out in the Local Electoral Act 2001.

“To create Maori wards, you would first have to convince the whole council it is a good idea to call a public poll on the issue. Then we go to the vote which we’d have to win, and if two Maori wards were created, two seats would be taken away from the current 21 and I don’t think Aucklanders who are already feeling like their voice has been diluted by only having 21 councilors would vote in favour of taking two of those away and creating Maori wards,” Mr Blair says.

The Ngati Whatua heritage and environment manager says it would take direct government intervention to get Maori seats on the super city.


A Maori prostate cancer survivor is recommending all men get checked for the disease during what the Prostate Cancer Foundation has called Blue September.

Syd Pitman says he's always had regular health checks, but became concerned when he had to keep getting up through the night to mimi.

Tests confirmed a cancer in his prostrate, which was successfully treated.
The 63 year old, who now sits on the foundation's board, says the cancer hits men of all ages.

“A 28 year old, a 23 year old and a 21 year that has been diagnoses so it is not just the old man’s disease everyone thought it was. Anyone who has a difficulty with urination should go and have this test. What’s it worth to enjoy your children and your grandchildren. Go and have it done,” Mr Pitman says.


One of the leaders of the 2004 foreshore and seabed hikoi says the Marine and Coastal Area Bill is a step back for Maori.

Lawyer Annette Sykes from Ngati Pikiao says the Maori Party has copped in allowing the bill to go forward in its current form.

She says while Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Act is to be repealed, the replacement is equally discriminatory, and in some ways worse.

“Sixty six percent of the current foreshore coastline is owned in what we call private or general title at the moment. Under this new proposal, none of that will be the public domain spaces, the common spaces that they are calling will actually adjoin those private titles. Only 33 percent of the space in this country will be converted into common marine and coastal areas,” Ms Sykes says.

She says the Marine and Coastal Area Bill gives use right holders like harbour boards more rights than hapu who are able to pass the stringent tests to prove customary rights.


A public health researcher says more needs to be done to understand the needs of an ageing Maori population to ensure the right resources are available for kaumatua in the future.

Wiremu Edwards from Taranaki earned his doctorate by studying Maori perspectives on ageing, and he has now won a Health Research Council post-doctoral fellowship to continue the mahi.

He says Maori life expectancy is growing, but there is a lack of reliable data on what hopes people have for their latter years.

“I've looked at it from a Maori perspective and I guess if we are living longer, trying to ensure that we’ve got the right measures throughout life so that those people who are able to live into the older age, that they are comfortable, well looked after and planned form” Dr Edwards says.

He says for Maori, ageing doesn't start suddenly at 65, but is part of a lifelong process starting at birth.


Plans to hold a wananga for Wairarapa women to learn how to speak on marae have run into strife.

Kapiti man Matiu Te Huki from Ngati Kahungunu and Rangitane ki Wairarapa planned to hold the training last weekend, but postponed it pending further consultation.

He will make his case to kaumatua at a hui at Te Ore Ore Marae near Masterton on Friday.

“So I've been speaking on paepae around the country for years as a male and that’s just something that has been handed over to me very easily just for the simple fact I am a male and I can korero Maori. Over the yeas I have felt some of the women around would be better suited to stand on behalf of the marae or the kaupapa that was going down on the day, but that was not to be of course because that was not part of our tikanga,” Mr Te Huki say.

He says some marae in the rohe have been so short of men able to korero that women have had to welcome manahiri ... and have been left feeling like they are doing something wrong.


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