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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pragmatism to fore in water carve up

A lawyer who has helped lead Maori consultation of water issues says a new report by the Land and Water Forum reflects the pragmatic approach Maori are keen to take with regard to the country's fresh water resource.

Willie te Aho says the involvement of members of the Iwi Leaders Group on the forum meant Maori were able to explain the importance of water to the culture.

He says some oversight is needed on the way property rights are being created from use rights, such as the way the Waikato Regional Council treats resource consent holders who don't use their full allocation of water.

“Environment Waikato have regulations allowing people to trade those. Now that’s creating a commercial right, and what Maori have been saying is that get the context right but ultimately ensure that you’re not prejudicing our future ability,” Mr Te Aho says.

The Land and Water Forum recommended that iwi be given equal involvement in a new body which would exercise governance over water management.


One of the organisers of this week's Manu Korero secondary school speech competitions says it was great for Dunedin's Maori students.

Komene Cassidy says there has not been a Maori event of that scale since Te Maori came to Dunedin 20 years ago.

“For our kids to be involved in an event of this nature, they have to go to the North Island to do it so we only get to send a few, a van load or two van loads each time. So for it to come to us meant that all of our kids got to experience what it was like to be part of a haka powhiri or part of an event of this size. I think it was galvanising for them,” he says.

All the big prizes went north, with Herea Winitana from Tuwharetoa taking the Pei Te Hurinui Jones Trophy for best senior Maori speaker.

Syraia Haukamo from Napier was best senior speaker in English, with another Hawkes Bay girl, Ivana Schinkel, taking the best junior English prize, and Kaharau Keogh from Waikato taking home the junior Maori tophy.


Waitakere City will be honour its Maori icons at a special function in the Civic Chambers tomorrow night.

Mayor Bob Harvey says with the super city merger now only weeks away, the council felt it should acknowledge those who have contributed to the unique culture of west Auckland.

“It's going to be something special for all Maori out here in Waitakere and indeed in the west. We’re going to honour the greats I guess and those that have given so much of their time and lives to the people out here and we won’t be closing the door until we say a huge thank you. That’s what tomorrow's about,” Mr Harvey says.

The council's taumatua kaumatua met for the last time this week after 18 years offering advice and criticism.


Delegates to this week's 15th annual Cutting Edge conference in Auckland for people working in addiction treatment have been told of the benefits of reconnecting clients to their taha Maori.

Kimiora Tanirau from Waitemata DHB's Whitiki Maurea Maori Mental Health and Addiction Services says more than one in 10 Maori don't know which iwi they are from, and many mainstream providers don't pick that there is a link between that cultural disconnect and a person's mental health and addiction issues.

She calls them Iwi Ngaro ki Te Ao Pakeha ... Lost people in a Pakeha world.

“We want to challenge mainstream organisations and say to them give our Maori back to us because we will work with them in a way you can’t and that is by using kaumatua who can use whakapapa,” Ms Tanirau says.


Organisers of a function at Te Poho O Rawiri marae to celebrate a hundred years of Maori rugby in Poverty Bay have been inundated with requests for tickets.

Albie Gibson from Turanga Nui A Kiwa Maori Rugby says while there have been plenty of players with roots in the region who made the Maori squad while playing for other unions, tomorrow night's focus is on those who made national honours while playing for Poverty Bay.

It's been a challenge tracking them down, so only 15 of the 34 eligible players and their whanau have been found so far.


Waitangi Day protests have been turned into artworks in a show opening at New Plymouth's Govett-Brewster Art Gallery tomorrow.

The gallery is featuring a survey show of large multi-screen video installations by Alex Monteith featuring subjects such as air force alpine helicopter training, motorbike riding, surfing and protests.

The Northern Ireland-born artist says when she returned to Aotearoa after a multi-year project making an experimental documentary about the Troubles, she felt driven to learn more about this country's history.

When friends suggest a slow convoy to protest Transit's refusal to fly a Maori flag from the Auckland Harbour Bridge, her art-making instincts kicked in.

“We got in behind that project and hired a red landrover and a flag and had it loaded up with bullet cams and recorded the whole journey of that very slow moving protest activity with a frontward bullet cam recording and a rearward bullet cam recording that go in the art gallery,” Ms Monteith says.

Accelerated Geographies also includes her Waitangi Day 2009 work, Parihaka to Cape Egmont Rd to Parihaka with two Tino Rangatiratanga Flags and two Land Rovers.


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