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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, October 04, 2010

Sharples writes haka on Maori seat void

The MP for Tamaki Makaurau is doing a haka about the lack of dedicated Maori seats on the Auckland super city council.

An iwi advisory board set up by Pita Sharples in his capacity as Minister for Maori Affairs is currently identifying mana whanua and mataawaka representatives to sit on the council's statutory Maori advisory board.

But Dr Sharples says he's still not happy at the way the government handled the issue, and he'll be making his views felt at next February's national Maori performing arts festival in Gisborne.

“In fact Manutake will be performing again at the national Matatini in February and our haka will be about the seats. We stall are hopeful of gaining the seats there and we still think it’s not been a good history in terms of Ngati Whatua’s contribution to the inner city,” Dr Sharples says.

FRAMEWORK WILL ACCELERATE HAURAKI SETTLEMENT

The Minister of Treaty Negotiations says a framework agreement signed with the 12 Hauraki iwi is a way to accelerate settlement talks.

Chris Finalyson says the agreement signed on Friday at Wharekawa Marae in Kaiaua means there are clear expectations set.

He says the two sides can get down to working out what king of historical account and cultural and commercial redress should be in the agreement in principle.

“People wanted to move on that fairy smartly so I would say sometime next year get to AIP stage and then all things being equal my experience has been about a year thereafter to get to the deed of settlement. These days we try to concurrently draft settlement legislation with the deed of settlement and then it goes into the House so fantastic progress over the last year, still a lot more to be done,” Mr Finlayson says.

He’s pleased internal divisions and mandating disputes have been resolved so Hauraki confederation can move forward together, rather than as 12 separate negotiations.

MANIAPOTO GIVEN A SAY ON WAIPA RIVER MANAGEMENT

The chair of the Maniapoto Maori Trust board, Tiwha Bell, says the iwi it happy to have finally been given a say in what happens to its awa.

It signed a deed of settlement last week giving it input into planning, monitoring and enforcing the clean up of the Waiap River.

Mr Bell says it builds on the iwi co-management deals for the Waikato River, which meets the Waipa at Ngaruawahia.

“We’ve never had a say. Our old people never had a say. They raped our rivers, the government of the day or the councils. From the Waipa, a lot of shingle was taken to build Auckland, and our people never had a say,” Mr Bell says.

Maniapoto still has to negotiate details around the $30 million the Crown says it will contribute to the clean up over the next 20 yeas.

BANKS LINKED TO IWI BY FIBRE OPTIC

With every vote counting in the Auckland super city mayoral elections, candidate John Banks is trying to appeal to Maori voters.

His challenge to rival Len Brown that he didn’t want South Auckland replicated across the rest of the city hasn’t gone down well among Maori and Pacific voters, who exit polls indicate are giving their votes to the Manukau mayor by more that four to one.

But Mr Banks says the region’s iwi will be an important part of the super city, particularly when their treaty settlements are resolved.

“They will have a big role to play in the future of this greater Auckland. That is why I am putting someone on the policy platform so that every day of the week I know what iwi are thinking, we are linked with fiber optic cable, linked into all of the constituent iwi across the region and we can make a difference,” he says.

Mr Banks says the people of Auckland owe a huge debt to iwi, particularly Ngati Whatua.

HAURAKI KEEN TO BOOST SETTLEMENT QUANTUM

The chair of the Hauraki Collective says conditions are now right for rapid movement on their historic treaty claims.

After years of internal division and mandating battles, the 12 iwi signed an agreement with the Crown on a framework for reaching a settlement within the next 18 months or so.

Paul Majurey says the package will include the right to purchase five forests and a Landcorp farm on the Coromandel Peninsula, but the total value of the settlement is still to be negotiated.

“A quantum was offered in June 2009 by Sir Douglas Graham, $53 million, that was before any negotiation. It’s a starting point and we have to actually negotiate on that and bring our side of the story to the table,” Mr Majurey says.

DREAM RUN FOR STARSHIP HOSPITAL SONG

Maniapoto musician Tiki Taane says today's release of his Starship Lullaby is the realisation of a dream.

The bilingual song is available on his tikidub.com and other download sites, with all money from downloads going to Auckland's Starship Childrens Hospital.

Taane says he wrote the song for his infant son Charlie Te Marama, and then had a dream to gift it to the hospital.

He says it's been a great ride since then.

“We went and shot a video a couple of weeks ago with all the kids that were in the hospital, and you can download the track and know that 100 percent of the money, about $1.90, goes to Starship Children’s Hospital, so it’s been awesome for me. I’ve never done anything like this. It’s a good buzz,” Tiki Taane says.

Starship Lullaby will also be on his next album In The World Of Light, which is due for release next March.

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