Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, August 14, 2006

Time running out to protect culture

A Maori lawyer for the Wai 262 indigenous fauna and flora claim says time is running out to protect Maori intellectual property rights.

Maui Solomon says Maori lost most of their physical assets, but they are holding fast to their cultural and intellectual taonga.

He says they need to establish the case for protection, because the commercial pressure is coming on.

“ People are starting to wake up to the value in the culture, not appreciating the integrity but waking up the commercial value, and now they want to exploit that, they want to colonise that, they want to take that, and Maori say look fells, you’ve taken everything else, this is our intellectual taonga, and if you want to use it, you come and ask us,” Solomon said.


Tanui has broken the ground for a new 126-room hotel in Hamilton.

The $20 million hotel complex is a joint venture between Tainui, Hamilton City Council and French hotel group Accor, which is a partner in the Tainui Novotel Hotel.

Tainui kaumatua Hare Puke says the new hotel will complement the Novotel and help the city attract conferences and tourists.

Mr Puke says it is part of Tainui's development strategy to ensure Hamilton sees some of the benefits of the Waikato Tainui Raupatu settlement.


It doesn't matter how good they taste, the kereru can't sustain a cultural harvest.

That's the word of Te Papa curator Eric Dorfman, an expert in the native wood pigeon.

Dr Dorfman is involved in Kereru Recovery, a campaign to arrest the declining population of the birds.

He says calls for a harvest by Maori should be resisted.

“It really doesn't look like kereru populations can stand cultural harvests. They are protected under the wildlife act, and that is a recognition of their vulnerable state,” Dorfman said.

Eric Dorfman says the kereru population is declining by 20 percent each decade.


Ngati Maniopoto will be given the chance to honour one of its most esteemed members later this year.

Maori arts council Te Waka Toi held off presenting its premier award at its annual ceremony this weekend because it wanted the tribe to be involved.

Council chairperson Ngahuia Te Awekotuku says weaver Diggeress Te Kanawa will be honoured with the Te Tohu Tiketike award for her contribution to the ancient art at a ceremony in the King Country later this year.


Wairoa mayor Les Probert says he wants to see more detail before he will support a major tourism proposal for the East Coast Region.

Tairawhiti Development Partnership wants to win major regional initiative funding for a development built around Te Toka a Taiau, the rock near the mouth of the Turanganui River in Gisborne where Captain Cook first made landfall in 1769.

Mr Probert says it's a good idea, but he wants to see the quality of historical research going into the project.

Mr Probert says that makes further discussion, research and preparation about any future venture all the more important:

“What we don't want is a plastic tourism thing like we get so often,” Probert said.

Les Probert says the cultural and historical integrity of the area must be preserved by any development.


A leading Tainui kaumatua says Maori Party MP Hone Harawira's call for elders to ban smoking from marae is inappropriate.

Hare Puke says it's up to parents to lead the anti-smoking drive rather than tribal elders.

Mr Puke says the strength in society comes from the home, and marae kaumatua shouldn't do anything to undermine the authority of families.

He says many kaumatua aren't in a good position to impose a ban.

“Most of our kaumatua smoke anyway, so they’re not the ones to prosthletise. It’s people like me. I have never smoked. I was raidsed by my parents who said it is bad for the body, and alcohol drives people silly,” Puke said.

Hare Puke says several marae in Tainui have brought in non-smoking policies.


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