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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ngati Porou settlement finalised

Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia is congratulating Treaty Settlement's minister Chris Finlayson on a job well done in settling the Ngati Porou claim.

More than 2000 members if the East Coast iwi were at Parliament yesterday to witness signing of a deed of settlement which delivers financial redress of $110 million, the return of almost 6000 hectares of land with high cultural significance, the Ruatoria and Tokomaru forest lands and partnership arrangements giving the iwi a greater say in resource management, economic development and the delivery of social services in its rohe.

Mr Horomia says he’s glad to see the process started under Labour come to an end.

“It doesn't matter in my mind who finishes and I do pay respect to the minister for finish it off and it’s a job well done,” he says.


The Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says dropping MMP would be disastrous for Maori.

Ms Turei says the way the Government has structured its constitutional review shows the National Party’s bias against the mixed member proportional voting system.

She says that system has returned more MPs from across the political spectrum than was achieved under first past the post voting.

“If we lost MMP, for Maori it would not only mean losing list MPs but I think eventually National would get rid of Maori seats as well so I think it puts the whole issue of Maori representation at risk,” she says.

Ms Turei says the current system also means Maori candidates are starting to get selected in winnable general seats.


The chair of Hato Paora says the Feilding-based Maori boys’ boarding school will benefit from the educational experience of its new principal.

Debi Marshall Lobb has been acting principal since former principal Elvis Shepherd was suspended because of historic sex abuse allegations.

Peter Douglas says her past experience as a lecturer in Maori studies a Massey University and running a Palmerston North kura kaupapa has proved invaluable.


Former National cabinet minister Sir Doug Kidd says treaty settlements are transforming New Zealand in a wonderful way.

Sir Doug, who attended yesterday's signing in Parliament of a $110 million settlement with East Coast iwi Ngati Porou, has been reappointed for a further term on the Waitangi Tribunal.

He says progress over the past two decades is allowing the country to move beyond grievance.

“Our work is sort of disappearing as iwis momentum to negotiate with government increases. That’s good of course. The sooner these things move to settlement and the iwi can get out of grievance ad move into development, the better for them and the better for the whole country,” Sir Doug says.

Historian Ann Parsonson was reappointed for a fourth term on the tribunal, and the tribunal’s chief historian, Grant Phillipson, was appointed a tribunal member.


Labour leader Phil Goff says rising unemployment is a factor in rising levels of Maori child abuse and domestic violence.

Mr Goff says while child abuse can’t be excused under any circumstances, financial pressure increases household tension.

He says government inaction is having an impact on families.

Phil Goff says reducing beating unemployment is one of a range of actions needed to stop the kind of violence suffered by a Waitakere nine-year-old whose parents came before the court this week.


The grand daughter of a Maori Battalion member says finding his medals is a real miracle.

Shelly Rua from Stokes Valley was aware from photographs the late Private "Bullet" Temata Rua had been honoured with medals, but the family did not know what had become of them.

That changed when she spotted a newspaper advertisement lodged by detective constable Ian Burns, who was trying to identify four medals found among a trove of stolen goods at a Lower Hutt address.

Sherry Rua says the medals will be put into a carved box to shared around the whanau.


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