Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, September 10, 2010

Te Tau Ihu ready to resume foreshore fight

One of the people behind the case which sparked the original Foreshore and Seabed Act says top of the South Island tribes hope the replacement Marine and Coastal Area Bill will give them another chance to prove their customary title to the Marlborough Sounds.

John Mitchell says Ngati Apa lodged the case in 1997 and spent years trying to get a hearing.

When the Court of Appeal finally gave the Maori Land Court the go-ahead to determine customary title, the Labour-led government stepped in.

Dr Mitchell says despite there being no funding attached to the new bill, iwi from Te Tau Ihu are ready to go again.

“Our tribes are in a better position than what they were 13 or 14 years ago. We have had some treat settlements, or we will have some treaty settlements coming to fruition shortly and if we are really concerned to pursue our customary rights in this sector, then we are going to have to be prepared to put some money up to do it,” Dr Mitchell says.

The Ngati Apa case got as far as it did because Te Ohu Kaimoana saw the national implications for aquaculture development, and funded it.


A Taurangamoana leader says the government needs to heed a Waitangi Tribunal recommendation that the basis for rating Maori land need to be changed.

The tribunal has released its second report on the region's claims, focusing on the land loss and social dislocation that happened into last century, well after the initial land confiscations of the 1860s.

Colin Bidois from the Pirirakau hapu says much of the land was lost because of unjust rating policies, and rates are still set far too high for Maori owners.

“Where there are multiple owners it hasn’t got the saleable value that ordinary and has in that it’s far more difficult to get all the owners to agree and for it to be able to be sold. The rating value is based on the saleable value,” Mr Bidois says.

Tauranga tribes want compensation for land lost because of unpaid rates or which was taken for public works.

Sports star turned west Auckland funeral director Vaiga Tuigamala is urging Maori and Pasifika communities to learn how to identify early signs of stroke.

The 41 year old former All Black and professional league player suffered a mild stroke three years ago while playing golf.

He says he's now more careful with his diet and exercise, and he's using stroke awareness week to share some of that knowledge.

“Pacific Island and Maori are some of the worst statistics when it comes to diabetes, heart attacks, it’s just so sad, but they can be preventable and it can be cured if we just use common sense and really look for the signs and really change some of the way we approach and I think education is a big part of that, bringing awareness to our communities and or people,” Mr Tuigamala says.


The first centre built under a scheme to increase Maori and Pacific Island participation in early childhood education has opened in an affluent part of Manukau City.

On Budget night, Education Minister Anne Tolley said the $91 million scheme would build on the excellent work being done by the Counties Manukau participation project, headed by city councilor Colleen Brown.

But Mrs Brown says the $1.36 million Mission Heights Learning Centre opened by Mrs Tolley yesterday is an area which is home to affluent migrants rather than Maori and Pacific families.

“It is state of the art. The ministr joked tht the computer the children had looked bnetter than the one she had in her own office. But personally, we have got a lot of work to do in other areas that are much poorer and the participation rate is very low. It hasn’t targeted what I would specifically refer to as Maori and Pasifika,” Mrs Brown says

She says the need for new kindergartens is in areas like Randwick Park, where large numbers of Maori children are missing out on early childhood education.


The coach and mentor of many of the top Maori golfers says overseas experience is vital for Maori golfers are to realise their potential.

Vic Pirihi from the Ngati Tamariki trust says Landon Edwards, who won the prestigious Waikato Strokeplay over the weekend, is showing the benefits of such exposure.

He expects the 20-year old will represent New Zealand within a year, continuing a proud tradition for Maori golf.

“Over the last 20 years, we have taken 40-odd boys to Canada and the States and every one bar three have played for New Zealand as a junior or senior. You cannot progress in this game unless you have overseas experience,” Mr Pirihi says.


Whanganui iwi have buried their kuia Te Manawanui Pauro from Kaiwhaiki, who died this week aged 103.

Mrs Pauro, known as Nanny Nui, was a valuable link to the other villages along the river, and contributed much valuable evidence for the Waitangi Tribunal claims.

She was known as a practitioner of rongoa Maori using native plants and herbs.

Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia says Mrs Pauro was one of the treasures of the awa.

“She had some great wisdom and talk about singing, those Kaiwhaiki people can sing, but she used to really share korero with one and she will be sadly missed,” Mr Horomia says.

He is also mourning Turanganui a Kiwa identity Tom Ihimaera Smiler, who he has family connections to.

Mr Smiler, former champion sportsman, shearing contractor and trustee of the Wi Pere Trust, died this week at the age of 95.

His funeral is this morning at Rongopai marae at Waituhi.


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