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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Reo chapter whets appetite for rest of report

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says the Waitangi Tribunal needs to get on with releasing the rest its report on the Wai 262 claim.

The tribunal yesterday released a chapter of the report relating to Te Reo Maori, saying the language was at a crisis point and attempts to revive it had been stifled by repeated failures of policy and a lack of commitment by successive governments to put resources into the right places.

Ms Turei says while it will be a welcome contribution to the current review of the Maori language strategy, the rest of the inquiry into ownership of flora and fauna and Maori cultural and intellectual property is equally if not more important.

“Until the more difficult bits around how do you protect genetic information, how do you protect iwi knowledge around flora and fauna in their rohe, that is much harder but it has to be done because there is a lot more interest in that knowledge and commercial exploitation by others,” she says.


Labour leader Phil Goff says reform of the foreshore and seabed legislation is causing huge divisions within the Maori Party.

Co-leader Tariana Turia has indicated the party won't take Hone Harawira's suggestion and withdraw support from National if the government amends the Marine and Coastal Area Bill to spell out that there must be free access to beaches which come under Maori customary title.

But Mr Goff says a fundamental rift is emerging.

“Tariana and Pita in particular will support the bill to keep their role as ministers in the National-led government but clearly in the Maori Party itself this is causing huge divisions,” he says.

Mr Goff says many of the Maori Party's supporters now admit there is no advance in the bill on Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Act.


The chief executive of Counties Manukau District Health Board says health workforces must reflect the societies they serve.

Geraint Martin was at a ceremony yesterday to bury the mauri stone to signal the start of construction of a new Centre for Health Services Innovation.

He says the $10 million project is a collaboration between the board, Manukau Institute of Technology MIT, AUT University and Auckland University aimed at finding ways to get more Maori and Polynesian people in the health workforce.

Mr Martin, who has Welsh whakapapa, says he's honoured to be at such Maori ceremonial gatherings.


Prime Minister John Key says while Maori will not be able to charge for access to beaches if they gain customary title, they would if they build marinas on the land.

Mr Key says the government was advised it wasn't necessary to add the word "free" to the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill, but it wants to spell out in plain English what access and use rights people would have.

“If iwi had customary title and built for instance a marina, then they would be able to charge for that just like if I have private title to the foreshore and seabed and I build a marina I can also charge for that so there’s a difference between access to go to the beach and an activity you might engage in like agreeing to tie your boat up to a marina,” he says.

Mr Key says the bill is being amended not because of the ACT Party but because lobbyists like Coastal Coalition head Hugh Barr have been whipping up Pakeha concerns by making untrue claims that Maori would charge beach fees.


The Maori Language commissioner, Erima Henare, says the Waitangi Tribunal's report on Te Reo Maori should help get effort to revitalise the language back on track.

The tribunal yesterday released the draft chapter of its WAI 262 report covering the language, saying the revival had stalled and recommending Te Taura Whiri i te Teo Maori be given greater powers to be the lead Maori language sector agency.

Mr Henare says it rightly identified the need for a true partnership between the Crown and Maori communities.

“Kohanga reo was a Maori initiative. Kura kaupapa was a Maori initiative. Wananga were Maori initiatives. They owed that early success to the huge amount of support Maori homes, families and communities gave those kaupapa,” Mr Henare says.

He says the language revival has only been going a generation, and it needs to be sustained for at least three before it can be said the language has truly survived.


Maori songwriter Anika Moa hits the road tonight on 21-date nationwide solo tour.

After tonight's opener at the Mangere Arts Centre, Nga Tohu O Ueneku, the tour will take in far flung corners of the country from Leigh to Lyttleton and beyond.

Ms Moa says she likes playing in small communities where she can meet the audience kaonohi ki te kanohi or face to face.

She's looking forward to tonight's show in the new theatre built to encourage Maori and Pacifika performing arts.

Anika Moa released her fourth album, Love in Motion, earlier this year.


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