Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, August 14, 2006

Gisborne iwi wary of Te Toka a Taiau plans

Ngati Porou Runanga chair Apirana Mahuika says a proposed tourism project around the spot where European and Maori first met should not be about money.

The original rock, Te Toka a Taiau near the mouth of the Turanganui River, was blasted away in 1877 when the port was developed..

The Tairawhiti Development Partnership wants to use the meeting between Captain James Cook and tangata whenua as the basis for an education and tourism complex which would qualify for regional development funding.

Mr Mahuika says it's vital that East Coast iwi including Te Aitanga aa Maahaki, Rongowhakaata, Ngai Taamanuhiri and Ngati Porou are closely involved.

“Don't talk to us about commercialism, we want to talk abut our relationship as iwi in Tairawhiti to Te Toka a Taiau. We want to ensure that the history and culture and tikanga we are talking about in relation to Te Toka a Taiau is not compromised by money,” Mahuika said.


Maori Party MP Hane Harawira says marae need to get behind the anti-smoking push.

Over the weekend Harawira gave an auahi kore award to Te Rangimarie Centre, a Christchurch Catholic urban marae which has declared itself totally smokefree.

Mr Harawira says marae are the tribal womb, and kaumatua shouldn't be afraid to bar unhealthy practices.

He says the right way is to raise it through the marae komiti process.

“What I am suggesting to people is they start signaling to maraes now, Mr Chairman, at the next AGM, I would like us to consider the issue of becoming smoke free. That way the marae has time to get the word out,” Harawira said.

Hone Harawira says he has asked his own marae at Waimanoni in the far north to implement a smoking ban.


Te Waka Toi chairperson Ngahuia Te Awekotuku says today's thriving Maori cultural scene is only possible by the work people have done over the decades.

The Maori arts council this weekend gave a Kingi Ihaka award to Peggy Kaua of Ngati Porou and Te Arawa for her lifelong contribution to traditional art.

Ms Te Awekotuku says Mrs Kaua, now in her nineties, has worked tirelessly over many years and been generous with her knowledge and skills.

“ She was actually one of the very privileged group that was trained and mentored by the late Ta Apirana Ngata. She worked closely with him, She is certainly one of our great leaders in the context of waiata aringa and mahi tututuku,” Te Awekottuku said.

Ngahuia Te Awekotuku. Other recipients of the Kingi Ihaka Award were orator Rangitihi Tahuparae, Ngati Kahungunu Sophie Keefe, broadcaster Henare Kingi, and Ngai Tahu kaumatua Rik Tau.


Too many workers in Maori organisations are unaware of what they should be entitled to.

Rawhiti Moses, the former convenor of the Public Service Association's Runanga o Nga Toa Awhina, says the PSA wants to sign up such workers up so it can fight for better conditions

Mr Moses says the union is alarmed by feedback from former members and delegates who have shifted over to the non-government sector.

“They talk to their kaimahi and find they haven’t got a contract, they didn’t know they had to have one, they don’t get holidays, they don’t get paid for any professional development, and by the way, we’re all working on aroha at the moment.

Rawhiti Moses says about 10 percent of Public Service Association members are Maori.


A Maori lawyer who specialises in intellectual property rights, says indigenous culture is increasingly targeted for commercial exploitation.

Maui Solomon says the Halloween ta moko face painting kits being sold by a US website show why Maori must be constantly vigilant.

The site appears to have withdrawn the kits after email protests from Maori.

Mr Solomon says indigenous peoples are often keen for their culture to be more widely appreciated, but they want to retain control.

“Indigenous peoples want t maintain their identity, want to maintain the values of their culture, and don’t want it to be trivialised and abused by companies who are only interested in making a buck out of it, and if there is a buck to be made out of it, it should be the knowledge holders themselves who make those decisions, not for outsiders to come in and rip it off and make fun of it,” Solomon said.

Maui Solomon says the spate of recent incidents, such as the Maori brand Israeli tobacco, the Italian car ad haka and the moko Halloween kits, shows how Maori are running out of time to protect their intellectual property.


A pioneer Maori publisher says more Maori writers are needed to create a substantial body of Maori literature.

Huia Publishers co-founder Robyn Rangihuia-Bargh was given a Te Tohu Toi Ke award from Maori arts council Te Waka Toi for her contribution to Maori arts and letters over the past 15 years.

Ms Rangihuia-Bargh more while there is much available of an extremely high standard, it isn't enough to slate the thirst of readers.

She says the literature needs to reflects the diverse range of Maori issues and voices out there.

“Literature should reflect the reality of our lives, and for Maori, we have a huge diverse range of reality. For some of us, violence is an issue, For others, living in a cross cultural community is a big issue. So there is a range of things, and we want our writers to reflect all types of experiences,” she said.

Robyn Rangihuia-Bargh says Maori have inherited a huge literary tradition from their tupuna which they should build on.


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