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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tears on road home for Sir Archie Taiaroa

Tainui and Tuwharetoa were given a chance today to pay tribute to Sir Archie Taiaroa.

The body of the Whanganui Maori leader spent time at Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia and Pukawa on the shores of Lake Taupo, on the way back to his home marae in Taumarunui.

Tuwharetoa spokesperson Napa Otimi says the Sir Archie had been a valued member and friend of the central North Island iwi, including heading a Department of Maori Affairs regional office in Turangai during the 1980s.

“Archie was our glue. He was the glue not just for Tuwharetoa. In the time of Sir Hepi, he brought about the coming together, particularly for Ngati Tuwharetoa. He worked tirelessly for our people, the development of our land blocks as well as his support through his whakapapa to Pukawa to a lot of our marae,” Mr Otimi says.

The funeral for Sir Archie Taiaroa is at 10 on Saturday morning in Taumarunui.


The Prime Minister, John Key, says a constitutional review panel will be appointed soon.

The review is part of the Maori Party's confidence and supply agreement with National.

Mr Key says it was important to get the process right.

“I mean I think everyone was of the view there was no real rush. We need to do that appropriately and also people need to have input, because while we don’t have a written constitution per se, I think the public own the constitution so we need to make sure there is a lot of input,” Mr Key says.

The review panel will be able to address questions such as the implications of becoming a republic.


The chief executive of the Maori language commission says the quality of entries for this year's Te Wiki O Te Reo Maori Awards shows how government agencies, schools and even businesses are embracing the kaupapa.

The awards for Maori Language week initiatives will be presented at the Huia Te Reo national Maori language conference in Rotorua next month.
Glenis Philip-Barbara says the independent judges have some tough calls to make in the 13 categories.

“I have to say Inland Revenue were hugely impressive this year in terms of the range and scope of things they got involved in, for Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori, Christchurch Polytechnic, Tokoroa High School, Petone Central School, Massey University, so just the huge range and variety of people who really took the kaupapa to heart I mean it was kai, an easy kaupapa to love, and they just ran with it and did the most fantastic things,” Ms Philip-Barbara says.


The chair of Hawkes Bay iwi Ngati Kahungunu, Ngahiwi Tomoana, says there are major difference among Maori on water policy.

The Land and Water Forum, which includes a wide range of stakeholders including iwi, today released its report on freshwater management, including a recommendation that a National Land and Water Commission be established on a co-governance basis with iwi.

The report said it didn't consider the issue of iwi rights and interests in water, because that is subject to separate discussions betwen iwi and the Crown.

Mr Tomoana says a hui earlier this month of the Iwi Leaders Group was unable to achieve consensus on the issue.

“The iwi views ranged from one extreme to the other, one for privatization, others for customary ake tonu atu. It’s about trying to get that iwi view, the one that’s more prevalent,” he says.


Labour Party leader Phil Goff says the Maori Party needs to start listening to Maori voters and put a future coalition with Labour back on the table.

He says the melt down of ACT and improving polling among other opposition parties means the next government could well be a coalition of Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First.

He says the Maori Party needs to face up to the fact National hasn't delivered for Maori.

“They would have to be thinking seriously about that because it is Maori people who are being shafted by this National government, they are the ones bearing the brunt of the unemployment, so many Maori workers are being done over by the 90 day rule where you can be sacked with no reason given, it’s Maori household who are finding they are not getting the increases, either from wages or from tax cuts,” Mr Goff says.

The majority of Maori voters gave their party vote to Labour last election.


Film maker Sumner Burstyn says her documentary on a Maori family growing up in rural New Zealand is succeeding because it encourages audiences to examine their own lives.

This Way of Life won the best director and best arts feature documentary sections at last weekend's Qantas Film and television Awards.

Ms Burstyn says the accolades should go to Peter and Colleen Karena, who raised their six children against the backdrop of the isolated Ruahine ranges and Waimarama Beach in the Hawkes Bay.

“What we wanted to do was get so close into their life that as audience, we see their life the way they see their life and rather than that causing a judgmental response, it causes each of us to think about how we are living. The most common response I have is people come away and say ‘Why am I living the way I am living and what can I do differently,’” Ms Burstyn says.

As well as screening for 16 weeks in Aotearoa, This Way of Life was run in theatres in Los Angeles and New York with the aim of qualifying for the Academy Awards.


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