Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, October 01, 2010

Maniapoto ready for Waipa River clean-up

The Maniapoto Maori Trust Board and the Crown have agreed to terms for co-management of the Waipa River.

Board chair Tiwha Bell says a major clean-up effort is needed to prevent continued pollution of both the Waipa and the Waikato downstream of the confluence at Ngaruawahia.

Under the deed of settlement signed this week, the Government has committed to spend $30 million over the next 20 years.

Mr Bell says there's a lot of work to be done.

“Our initial step is to educate our farmers, and everybody’s got a part to play, to have a good river like in our day, we had kai, we could swim, everything was beautiful and it was clean in our area round Te Kuiti here and up towards Pouerua. It’s still clean, but as it hits the bottom it gets dirtier and dirtier,” Mr Bell says.

The Maniapoto co-governance legislation is expected to be introduced into Parliament this month


Tamaki Makaurau MP Pita Sharples says he's sad to see the end of a separate Waitakere City.

The Maori Party co-leader has been immersed Maori life in West Auckland for more than 30 years including leadership roles at Te Roopu Manutaki Maori Culture Group, Hoani Waititi Marae, Waipareira Trust, kohanga reo and kura kaupapa.

He says it's important the west does not lose its unique identity once it's merged into the super city.

“Don't let us disintegrate and just become absorbed into the whole Auckland area, because in many ways the west has its character, the south has its character, east and so on, the city has it’s own personality and it’s good to have to different personalities and I hope it doesn't dissolve,” Dr Sharples.


This weekend's festival of lights is a special cause for celebration for a Rotorua artist with both Maori and Indian heritage.

As part of tomorrow's Deepawali Festival at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre, Gina Wright from Ngati Naho, whose great grandmother was a gypsy from Rajasthan, is running workshops on Indian arts.

She says Rangoli, which uses coloured rice, sand and flowers to create colourful designs, is enjoyed by tamariki from all cultures.

There will also be Mehndi or temporary skin art, yoga, clothing and food stalls, and a cultural show and fireworks display in the evening.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says he's unhappy with today's 20 percent gst hike ... even though he voted for it.

Dr Sharples says the new 15 percent rate will hit low income Maori particularly hard.

But he says the party had to vote for it as part of its confidence and supply agreement with the National Government.

“Sometimes you have to eat rats or whatever the expression is even though nobody is worse off although the trouble is if you’re on the lower economic area, zone, ladder, then you’re going to get some money retrospectively rather than at the time so all this seems like it is a big bite. What seems unfair is that those on higher incomes will get bigger tax relief,” Dr Sharples says.


The 12 iwi of Hauraki, including Ngati Porou ki Hauraki and Ngati Pukenga, today signed a framework agreement to negotiate a settlement of their historic treaty claims.

Paul Majurey, the chair of the Hauraki Collective, says the hui at Wharekawa Marae at Kaiaua on the shores of Tikapa Moana was marked by a feeling of kotahitanga that contrasted with the tensions that developed during the mandating process.

He says the confederation is keen to push the settlement value up from the $53 million proposed last year.

“What's on the table are the rights to purchase five forests in Hauraki, the rights to have discussions on a forest that is shared, that being Athenree, the right to purchase Whenuakite farm owned by Landcorp, and a range of measurements involving co-management which will have us in discussions with the Crown,” Mr Majurey says.

The aim is to have agreements in principle by next April working towards deeds of settlement a year later.


Meanwhile, negotiations immediately to the south could come unstuck this weekend unless the Government is prepared to make assurances about the effect of its reform of the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Negotiator Willie Te Aho says Ngati Ranginui meets on Sunday to give its advocates their instructions.

He says the bottom line is that the land confiscations of the 1860s and other illegal actions by the Crown should not allow customary rights to be denied.

“Unless the issues relating to what they call the moana or Taurangamoana are resolved and specifically recognising that raupatu broke continuous occupation that our people had otherwise enjoyed which means we would be entitled to at least recognition of customary title. Unless that anomaly is resolved in the legislation, we will not be settling,” Mr Te Aho says.


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