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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Marae chair defends broadcast fees

The chair of Te Tii Marae at Waitangi says the marae has a long standing practice of charging fees to broadcasters who want to come onto the marae to cover the build up to Waitangi.

King Taurua says he was disappointed to see Auckland man David Rankin attacking the fees on national television.

He says Mr Rankin is a self appointed Ngapuhi spokesman who is seen more on television than he is on the marae.

“I'm really sorry for David that he has to go to the media and not talk to me about this thing. We charge $1000. It is nothing new. We have been doing this for a long ling time and what David is doing is just mischief making,” he says.

Mr Taurua says the fees are used to offset some of the costs the marae incurs handling the thousands of manuhiri who come to Waitangi for the three-day event.

TREATY PROGRESS FINE SAYS PM

Prime Minister John Key is backing race relations commissioner Joris de Bres' assessment that there was significant progress on treaty issues in the past year.

Mr de Bres's annual report drew fire from Maori lawyers, academics and MPs who pointed to a backlash from hapu about how some of the year's settlements were made with corporate iwi leaders.

But Mr Key says it's hard to please everyone.

“There will always be those who think they deserve more, should have got more, are not happy with the deal, not happy with the deal within their own various hapu that make up the iwi and in some cases they will just believe progress is not going fast enough and they’ll often be right. It isn’t going fast enough in certain areas,” Mr Key says.

The government remains committed to completing the settlement process.

SETTLEMENTS CONTINUE LABOUR’S WORK

Labour leader Phil Goff also backs the race relations commissioner's report.

Mr Goff says while the treaty settlement process is far from perfect, it's clear progress is being made.

“This government has been able to put the finishing touches on a whole lot of work that Mike Cullen got under way. It’s good that we’ve made that progress. We want to resolve those grievances. We want to move on,” Mr Goff says.

FITNESS TRAINING TAKEN TO MAUNGA

A Waipareira Trust health promoter is combining history lessons with fitness training.

Delaine Mackey is taking groups around Auckland's maunga, telling them stories about the sites as they power up the slopes.

He picked up the idea from Otago university sports psychologist Ihirangai Heke, who tried out the system on students at Tolaga bay.

Mr Mackey says it works with whanau, old people and even whole kapa haka groups.

“We've incorporated a lot of the stuff we did at Waipareira, some of the stuff we’re doing at Waka Huia, depending on who the group is and depending on whether we have some old kuia that are there or whether we have a lot of young vibrant people, depending on the crowd we have that day is how we do our exercise really,” Mr Mackey says.

After his walk and talks, he takes the group back to a nearby marae for a healthy breakfast.

DIRTY LAUNDRY STRESSFUL FOR TURIA

Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says she feels for members of the Maori Party who are being stressed by the party's dirty laundry being hung out in public.

She says the poor way the party is managing its differences with maverick MP Hone Harawira won't be helping the party's election chances.

It's also going to affect how members in his Tai Tokerau electorate feel about the annual hikoi of politicians to Waitangi for this weekend's Treaty of Waitangi commemorations.

“We really want to see the Maori Party as a strong independent Maori political force and watching all this play out in the media, in the public realm, is actually really difficult to see,” Ms Turei says.

She says Tai Tokerau supporters of Mr Harawira will need to be staunch at Waitangi this weekend.

ANGLICANS WRONG TO SACK MAURICE GRAY

Christchurch-based Maori academic Rawiri Taonui says the Anglican church should not have accepted the resignation of Maurice Gray.

Reverend Gray quit the ministry after he was discharged without conviction in the district court in Christchurch for signing off a marriage he did not attend.

Mr Taonui says the church should have listened to the judge who said there was no malice, dishonesty or financial gain on Mr Gray's part.

He says the church hasn't got a great track record on issues like te reo Maori, acknowledging Maori spirituality or handing back some of the Maori land it acquired during the missionary era.

“Ministers who have committed much graver offences than Maurice Gray have been retained within the flock and one would think that wile admitting a wrong is a Christian thing to do that forgiveness is also a foundation stone of Christianity and it’s a really disappointing outcome,” Mr Taonui says.

He says Maurice Gray is paying a heavy penalty for his lapse.

TE OHU KAIMOANA JAPANESE SCHOLARSHIP OPEN

Te Ohu Kaimoana is looking for a young Maori who wants to work in Japan.
Chief executive Peter Douglas says the international scholarship has been going for about a decade, and many past recipients now work for companies owned by the Maori fisheries trust.

He says the successful applicant will spend the rest of the year learning Japanese, before heading up to Nissan Suisan, which the half-owner of Sealord.

“They get an opportunity to see how a Japanese fishing company operates from the inside so there’s all different components. There’s aquaculture. There’s science. There’s fine chemical development. There’s processing of fish into everyday food in Japan or for around the world. There’s the fresh fish market. There’s all sorts of opportunities for someone who’s got a background in this area or who wants a future in it,” Mr Douglas says.

This year's scholar, Te Puoho Katene from Ngati Whatua and Ngati Toa, left for Japan last week.

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