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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Ngati Whatua defends waka pavilion

Ngati Whatua o Orakei says the waka-shaped pavillion which will be the centre for Auckland's Maori cultural activities during the Rugby World Cup takes up a tiny proportion of the event's $265 million promotion budget.

Spokesperson Ngarimu Blair says the high tech pavilion sited near the Queen's Wharf party central venue will showcase Maori arts, culture, business and enterprise.

He says the $2 million price tag is split between government ministries and the hapu.

“It is a marquee in the form of a waka. It’s not a real waka. It’s only $900,000. The other $1.1 million will go into the amazing events and activities we will put over the 17-day period. So it represents the typical Maori spend, the lower spend, and like everything we do it on the smell of an oily rag with awesome outcomes,” Mr Blair says.

Ngati Whatua developed the project because it was concerned the Rugby World Cup lacked a Maori face.

FUNDS SHIFTED FROM SOCIAL MARKETING TO FRONT LINE

Associate Social Development Minister Tariana Turia says changing social attitudes to family violence means it's time to shift funds from the It's Not OK campaign to frontline services.

Mrs Turia says the Government spends $62 million a each year on contracted family violence services, including $1.6 million on It's Not OK.

It's shifting $11 million of that to five initiatives, including half a million dollars to get out the message that "It’s OK to ask for help" and the same amount for the E Tu Whanau campaign encouraging whanau to look after their own safety.

“I think back to when I was a kid. We had very little state intervention or service provider intervention in my families lives, in fact I don’t know of any Maori family at that time who were involved in the state, in fact there were very few. We’ve got to start restoring to ourselves the responsibility and right to take care of our own.
Mrs Turia says.

Some $8.5 million will go into a fund for direct services to families and whanau where family violence has occurred.

PALMERSTON NORTH CONSIDERING MAORI WARDS

Palmerston North City council is considering introducing dedicated representation for Maori.

Council lawyer John Annabel says depending on population the city could have one or two Maori wards.

He says the aim is for a franchise based on the Maori electoral roll, rather that the appointment process that has caused so much controversy in the Auckland super city council.

KEY PLAYS DOWN EAST CAPE OIL RISK

Prime Minister John Key says the level of risk created by oil prospecting off East Cape is manageable and acceptable.

Te Whanau a Apanui is leading a protest against Brazilian oil giant Petrobras, which has a five year exploration permit.

Mr Key says the tribe's use of last year's Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico as an example of what can go wrong is misleading.

“Any offshore drilling operation, there’s obviously environmental risks, but New Zealand has proven it can manage those risks. I don’t think it’s in anywhere as deep water as we saw in the Gulf of Mexico and as the people of Taranaki will tell us, we have been very successful for a long time. We have high environmental standards and in fact the government is in the process of improving its environmental standards in the EEZ,” Mr Key says.

The Deepwater Horizon was drilling in 1500 metres of water when it exploded, while the drilling in the Raukumara Basin could be in up to 3000 metres of water.

SAMUELS WARNS OF PLASTIC TIKI RISK

Former associate tourism minister Dover Samuels says promoters of a $2 million waka shaped pavilion for Rugby World Cup events need to be careful they don't cheapen the Maori experience.

Ngati Whatua o Orakei is building the 70-metre long pavilion at Auckland's viaduct to host kapa haka performances, art and culture demonstrations and Maori trade events during the 17-day carnival.

Mr Samuels says the Maori business tours he hosted as minister unearthed a desire among foreign visitors for genuine experiences, and plastic or fiberglass copies don’t work.

WAIRAKEI TERRACES WINS BUSINESS STRATEGY PRIZE

The tourism company that took out the strategic planning prize at the University of Auckland Maori Business Awards says its success comes from the hard work of hapu members.

Wairakei Terraces near Taupo attracts 30,000 visitors a year to its living Maori village and artificial geothermal feature, created with silica-laden water diverted from Contact Energy's Wairakei bore field.

Chief executive Jim Hill of Ngati Tuwharetoa says it took sixteen years for the hapu to redevelop the geothermal attraction it lost in the 1960s when hot streams were diverted for the power station.

Wairakei Terraces is building a health clinic and spa to keep visitors coming through the off-peak winter months.

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