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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, September 06, 2010

Quake sign earth in upset

A Christchurch Maori leader says Saturday's earthquake has whanau asking what has upset deity Ruaumoko so badly.

Tihi Puanaki lives in Linwood, which was one of the worst hit areas of the city.

She says the road opened up before her eyes and sewerage pipes burst everywhere.

Mrs Puanaki says the crisis has made her think of others around the world who have been hit by natural disasters, and she feels blessed there was no loss of life.


Iwi in Tauranga moana are welcoming a Waitangi Tribunal finding they should be compensated both for both for land taken under the Public Works Act and for land seized because of unpaid rates.

Kaumatua Hauata Palmer says Ngati Te Rangi, Ngati Ranginui and Ngati Pukenga have been in talks with the Crown over the land confiscated after the wars of the 1860s,

He says the weekend release of the tribunal's second report on the district, covering post-raupatu claims from 1886 to 2006, ups the ante.

As late as the 1960s large tracts of multiply owned Maori land at Maungatapu and Matapihi were taken without compensation for the Tauranga to Mt Maunganui motorway, splitting communities and leaving remaining land unusable.


Politician turned treaty negotiator Michael Cullen says many Maori have a misconception that being part of a monarchy protects their Treaty of Waitangi rights.

The former Labour deputy prime minister says it is inevitable New Zealand will become a republic, probably after the end of the reign of the current monarch.

He says part of the process of getting there is to allay Maori fears about the status of the treaty signed between chiefs and the ancestor of the current queen.

“The responsibility with respect to the treaty lies with the New Zealand government, lies with the Crown in New Zealand. In moving to a republic it does seem important to me that that issue is made clear, that changing to having a head of state solely within New Zealand does not affect the status of the treaty or the legal implications of the treaty,” Dr Cullen says.

He says to prepare for a republic, parliament should choose the next governor general without reference to Buckingham Palace.


The Minister of Maori Affairs, Pita Sharples, says he will put his political credibility on the line to secure a positive outcome from his review of spending on Maori language revitalisation.

A team of educationalists led by a former secretary for Maori Affairs, Tamati Reedy, has been given six months to weight up whether the government is getting value for the $200 million plus a year it spends on te reo Maori programmes.

Dr Sharples says he was concerned lack of an overall strategy might be slowing progress.

“I'm sticking my neck out here because when the review is in, what am I going to do with it? Have I got the muscle to encourage government to make the changes if they are required? But I am prepared to do that because if we don’t have Maori language we don’t have the culture, If we don’t have the culture, we are gone as a people to the world,” Dr Sharples says.

He says the direction for the language needs to be set by te reo speakers.


Meanwhile, one of the members of the ministerial panel looking at te reo Maori says the next step is to draw feedback from the community through a series of 10 rohe hui around the country.

The panel convened a national language conference at Parliament last week so educationalists and government agencies could have their say.

Pania Papa, a teacher and broadcaster from Tainui, says it's not a job that could be done by a ministry like Te Puni Kokiri.

“It's important to have people from the outside looking in rather than people reviewing themselves and their own work. Much more objectivity is the goal and having an independent panel of experts representing various parts of the sector will help bring that objectivity,” Ms Papa says.

After the rohe hui, the panel intends to review each of the government agencies who run te reo Maori programmes.


The chair of the Federation of Maori Authorities says wahine are increasingly taking the lead in managing Maori business.

Tracey Haupapa is set to address a conference in Auckland tomorrow of the Global Women's Network.

She says the experience of FOMA's 160 members should be of interest to the audience of women innovators, entrepreneurs and business leaders, as women become an increasing force in Maori trusts and land incorporations.

She says including women on boards has been shown to produce more successful outcomes and bottom line returns for organisations.


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