Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, September 27, 2010

Freshwater turbulence just starting

Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia says turbulence over freshwater management could make the foreshore and seabed debate seem like a drop in the bucket.

The Land and Water Forum, which includes business, industry, iwi and conservation groups, last week delivered an 85-page report recommending changes to the way water is allocated and managed.

Mrs Turia says the report poses a major challenge for government to deal with.

“While I agree that the foreshore and seabed was a major issue for us as a people we all know about our relationships with our fresh water and our rivers so I think that is going to be the biggest challenge that will confront us as politicians,” Mrs Turia says.


The director of a group fighting child abuse among Maori says New Zealand is known internationally for its poor investment in tamariki.

Anton Blank from Te Kahui Mana Ririki told last week's Public Health Association conference at Turangawaewae that there are not enough social services for children.

“We’re very good at looking after old people so our pensioners are well looked after but in terms of our investment in the early years, that’s really poor and I think when a conference like this comes together you see that because very few of those worker are actually focused on the needs of child health issues,” Mr Blank says.


A Victoria University social psychologist says other New Zealand businesses can learn from Maori as they try to crack markets in Asia.

A Maori business delegation was in China this month seeking outlets for Maori-produced fish, farm products and tourism.

Professor James Liu, who describes himself as a Chinese-American New Zealander, says the delegation stayed true to Maori cultural norms - and that will be to its advantage.

“Maori is fundamentally a relational culture. It is a collectivist culture in which obligatory mutual exchange form unequal positions is the way things are done and that’s what is coming into the world now on a much much larger scale,” Professor Liu says.


A Hastings mayoral candidate says the council is woefully unprepared for treaty settlements in the region.

Des Ratima, a former Mana Motuhake president, is contesting the Heretaunga Ward as well as the top job.

He says settlements will change the relationship the council has with Ngati Kahungunu and its various hapu.

“Five significant Maori land claims are going down in this area. They are going to affect the Hastings District Council and there has been no preparation at all for their arrival. In some cases there has even been denial it is even going to happen,” Mr Ratima says.

He wants the council to give individual communities more autonomy and resources to oversee projects in their areas.


One of the foremost authorities on Maori art, Roger Neich, has died at the age of 66.

A former curator of ethnology at Auckland War Memorial Museum and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Auckland, he wrote extensively on Maori and Pacific carving, textiles and other arts.

Te Arawa kaumatua Te Poroa Malcolm was a friend for 30 years and worked with Dr Neich on his last book, Carved Histories: Rotorua Ngati Tarawhai Woodcarving.

He was impressed by the meticulous approach Dr Neich took to recording the whakapapa and stories surrounding his tribe's traditions.

“He not only delineated the history of Maori carving amongst Te Arawa, the book became a history of the Tarawhai tribe. That more than even makes his work more important,” Mr Malcolm says.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the Treaty of Waitangi must be the foundation of New Zealand's new constitution.

The Government is looking for people to serve of the constitutional review promised as part of the Maori Party's support agreement with National.

Mrs Turia says people must stop seeing the treaty as a document of grievance and division.

“The treaty is actually the document that can bind peoples together and we’d be very concerned when we hear people talking about becoming a republic, that in fact the place of the treaty may well get lost,” she says.

Tariana Turia says the constitutional review will need to take into account the major browning of New Zealand expected over the next 40 years.


The New Zealand teams playing the traditional Maori ball game ki-o-rahi around Europe are cleaning up.

Coach Harko Brown from Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Whatua says both the men's and women's teams beat national sides in England last week.

They are now in France where overnight they played combination sides from three provinces, with the men winning 57 - 10 and the women 33 - nil.

Next stop is German for demonstrations of the game introduced to Europe by Maori Battalion members in the World War Two, then back to Paris for the first ever international ki - o - rahi tournament between England, France and New Zealand.

“Pretty good tour but the main thing is the whanaungatanga, making those connections for the kiorahi trail during the Rugby World Cup,” Mr Brown says.

During the world cup overseas teams will play New Zealand sides to complement the rugby games.


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