Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Court threat an opportunity for Hamilton marae

The leader of a Hamilton marae occupation says he's prepared to call tribal elders to his defence if Tainui takes court action to evict him.

Lawyers for landowner Tainui Corporation have warned Tuuta Ormsby that they will got to the High Court to get an eviction order unless his group vacates Rangimarie Te Horanganui Marae.

Mr Ormsby says the land was earmarked for community purposes by his brother, the late Sir Robert Mahuta, after Tainui's claim settlement, but the current leadership is only focused on commercial development of the site.

He says elders have been muzzled.

“This thing is a straight story. It is a kaupapa set by the house of ariki, given by the house of ariki, known by those, there are many still alive that fear to stand up individually so if it takes High Court action to get them into court to stand up yest, that was the given thing for this whenua, then that’s possibly where it’s going to go,” Mr Ormsby says.

The chair of Taunui's te Arataura executive, Tukoroirangi Morgan, has refused comment on the dispute.


Labour leader Phil Goff says Maori on the street think that removing GST on healthy food is a good idea.

Mr Goff's policy initiative has been widely criticised as breaking the political consensus of a simple no-exceptions sales tax system.

But he says health rather than politics is driving him.

“We've now got a real problem in New Zealand, one in four of our kids at age five when they start school are already overweight. We’re the third most obese country in the world. The thing that they tell us, the doctors, the nurse the nutritionists, you send a price signal, drop the price of the stuff that is good for you and people will eat more of it, and that’s what we want them to do,” Mr Goff says.

Dropping GST from fresh food will also help families facing with rising costs.


A designer from the deep south says she's a beneficiary of the principled stand taken to have Maori represented at New Zealand fashion week.

Amber Bridgeman's Maori superhero T-shirts and caped dresses were part of the Mira Moda showcase on the last day of the glamourfest.

Ms Bridgeman, from Ngai Tahu, Ngati Mamoe and Waitaha, says it was a big boost for her Kahuwai label, and gives thanks to the Mira Moda Collective who lobbied the organisers to include Maori designers.


Ngati Porou ki Hauraki leader John Tamihere says a framework agreement signed last week gives Hauraki iwi a foothold back in their own whenua.

Mr Tamihere says a treaty settlement could reverse the process of marginalisation and displacement which has affected the 12 iwi of Hauraki and the Coromandel Peninsula over the past century and a half.

“It's the home isn't it of the absentee landlord isn’t it so it’s all the rich ex-All Blacks who’ve gone to their estates all the way through to Waihi, Whangamata, so it’s all the great leisure places for those from Auckland, Tauranga and Hamilton so for the first time Hauraki Maori will start to lever their position up in their own areas on their own terms so I think it’s going to be a great time over the next ten years,” he says.

Hauraki iwi expect to complete settlement negotiations in the next 18 months to two years.


Te Mangai Paho has called a Maori broadcasting summit in Rotorua next weekend to map the path ahead.

Its chief executive, John Bishara, says the government has indicated funding is capped in the short to medium term.

He says this means the Maori broadcast funding agency needs to get the best value it can from its putea.

“We're doing really well and we’d like to do better so hopefully with the support of the sector we want to bring people together over this weekend and we want to talk about what they believe the direction for the future of Maori language broadcasting is,” Mr Bishara says.

Maori language revitalisation will remain the primary purpose for funding Maori broadcasting.


Maori artists have scooped the pool at the first World Art Market awards in Canada.

Tia Kirk from Wellington's Iwi Art Gallery says she entered four pieces in what is a new initiative by the University of British Columbia's Museum of Anthropology to create marketing opportunities for indigenous artists.

A waka huia by Clive Fugill from Ngai te Rangi, a kite by Rongowhataata weaver Fiona Jones, and a jewellery box by Taranaki artis Rangi Kipa took the top prizes in three of the six sections, while Taranaki jeweller Matthew McIntyre came second to Fugill in the 3D art category.

Ms Kirk says it will boost the strong presence Maori art already has in the Vancouver area.

“There is huge potential for Maori art, with the success with the Spirit Wrester Gallery and now the World Art contest and I think there will be more invitation for Maori artists and cooperatives to take part in things like this,” Ms Kirk says.

The works were judged on design, aesthetics and craftsmanship, and the international judging panel was not told the four works were by Maori.


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