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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Parata defends Marine Bill terms

National Party list MP Hekia Parata says the government is honouring its commitment to Maori to reform the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

The Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) come up for its first reading today, but Maori Party MP Hone Harawira has threatened to hold back his vote because it doesn't go far enough to meet Maori aspirations.

But Ms Parata says the bill reflect the extensive consultation that went into it.

“This will be the most scrutinized most reviewed bill on this matter ever and I think that it honours exactly what we said we would do,” she says.

Ms Parata says the bill restores the right of Maori to go to court to have their claims to customary title considered.

LAND AGENTS SEE MAORI AS THE FUTURE FOR MARKET SEGMENT

The head of the real estate industry training organisation says getting more Maori real estate agents could help boost Maori home ownership.

Lesley Southwick says REAL ITO intends to run courses in schools with high Maori or Pacific Island rolls to encourage students to consider careers in the industry.

She says less than 1 percent of the country’s 17,000 real estate agents are Maori or Pasifika.

“People like to buy off their own cultures so the more successful that Maori become and Pasifika become, then the more they are likely to want to buy real estate and participate in the industry so it is only natural that we should encourage those cultures, Maori and Pasifika, to gain qualifications to become real estate professionals,” Ms Southwick says.

TAONGA MISSING FROM HISTORIC HOKIANGA HOUSE

A Northland leader is appealing for the person who took a taonga from Clendon House at Rawene last week to return it.

Pita Paraone from Ngati Hine says the carved whalebone whip handle was probably the most prized possession of George Clendon, the son of prominent early settler James Clendon and Jane Takotowi Clendon, a cousin of Patuone and Tamati Waka Nene.

He says George Clendon was a significant rangatira, and the house built by his father where he lived until his death in 1933 was one of the most significant historic places in Northland.

“The person who has taken it hasn’t understood the historical value that it has, particularly for the Hokianga. It’s just an indication of people’s interest in the whole lost of historic artifacts but not understanding the value and particularly the historical value that it has,” Mr Paraone says.

The whip handle's value to Hokianga Maori far outweighs its slight monetary value.

HARAWIRA SAYS FINLAYSON FAILED TO CONVINCE CABINET

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says the Marine and Coastal Area Bill is not the substitute Maori want for the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Mr Harawira says the Maori Party will probably vote for the bill after its first reading debate today, but he wants to see extensive changes at the select committee stage.

He says the bill's author, Attorney General Chris Finlayson, wasn't able to deliver on the promises he was making to Maori during the consultation process.

“I think that he was prepared to go where his colleagues weren’t prepared to go and I think at the end of the day he lost when it got back to his Cabinet. I think the things we had been discussing at a more personal level, I think he understood. I just don’t think his colleagues were prepared to back him on it,” Mr Harawira says.

HISTORICAL TRAUMA SUBJECT OF RESEARCH

A researcher who has looked at links between colonisation and Maori health is off to the United States to see how Native Americans cope with similar issues.

Leonie Pihama has won the first Fulbright Scholarship organised in partnership with Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, the national centre for Maori research excellence.

She will spend 5 months at the Indigenous Wellness Centre at the University of Washington in Seattle, which she says is at the forefront of studying the impact of colonisation on indigenous people worldwide.

“Working with this team will really enable me to focus on how they talk abut that in terms of trauma and how that trauma gets passed down through whanau inter-generationally and how it then impacts on our overall well being, our health and our ability to access education and our reo, things like te reo Maori, the loss of language generations back by many of our whanau still has an ongoing impact today in terms of our identity and how we see ourselves,” Dr Pihama says.

YOUNG SID FAR AWAY AS AWARDS HANDED OUT

Young Sid has again triumphed at the Waiata Maori Music Awards, but he was too far away to pick up his awards for Best Maori Male Solo Artist: and Best Maori Urban Rap Hip-Hop RnB Album.

The south Auckland rapper is in New York recording tracks for his next domestic album, to be released next year, and for what he hopes will be a US release later this year.

He says it's a productive environment to work in, taking him out of his comfort zone and helping him remember what happened in his home area.

The big winner this year was Maisey Rika, who won the Best Maori Female Solo Artist title for the second year in a row as well as best songwriter, best Maori Pop album and Best Maori Song, for her waiata, Nia.

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