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Sunday, December 24, 2006

OTS ensures all caught in treaty set net

December 19
The Office of Treaty Settlements says it will actively go out and work in areas where claimants have not already lodged historical claims.

OTS policy and negotiations manager Dean Cowie says concerns that a deadline on lodging claims will disadvantage Maori are unfounded.

He says there are only a few areas not covered by claims.

“There are some pockets of the country where they haven’t yet experienced any sort of Waitangi Tribunal inquiry or pre-inquiry or direct negotiation process. Parts of the Hawkes Bay, Taihape Rangitikei area, and a couple of other small areas in the lower North Island,” Mr Cowie says.

He says once a claim is in the system claimants are able to modify them to ensure they cover all issues.


The Maori Party have gained the respect of MP's across the board for their consistent approach in advocating on behalf of Maori.

That's the opinion of former National Party deputy leader, Bill English.

He says the four MPs from the Maori party have made quite an impact in the house.

“They’ve been there a bit for a bit more than 12 months but everyone treats them as if they have been there forever. That’s the amount of credibility they have. I don’t agree with everything they’ve said and done, but every day, whatever the question or the media opportunity is, they talk about Maori issues and the dignity which they’ve done it is really what’s won them the respect,” Mr English says.

He says there are still many issues to work though if National is to support the Maori Party bill to repeal the government’s foreshore and seabed legislation.


Graduates of a pilot six-month carving programme in Christchurch will be able to continue into a National Diploma of Maori Visual Arts next year.

Te Roopu o Tane Mahuta Trust Manager Ben Brennan says the skill enhancement programme will become NZQA accredited through Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

Mr Brennan says that follows on from the success of this year’s pilot whakairo programme.

“It’s a programme that we are delivering with our academic partner Te Wananga o Aotearoa starting on February 28, and we’re currently looking for a way to deliver a youth programme so our under 18s don’t have to go out finding money or having the burden of a student loan when what they’re really trying to do is have a pathway for themselves,” Mr Brennan says.


Newly appointed Maori Language Commissioner Erima Henare says the old fashioned mentality of some Maori may keep the language from progressing.

Mr Henare says arguments from some Maori academics accusing the Maori Language Commission of producing a foreign language, are not helpful.

He says for language to survive it must adapt to changing conditions.

“It’s the same sort of argument that would lock us in 1840 because of the treaty. I think if we don’t adapt and we don’t add to our lexicon, the language will be poorer for it,” Mr Henare says.

His first task as Maori Language Commissioner is to review the commission’s activities over the past 6 months.


The ACT party leader says many Maori have the wrong impression of him.

Rodney Hide says while he might agree with a lot of what Don Brash said in his Orewa speech, he didn't agree in the way he presented it.

He says some of ACTs policies can be seen as being anti Maori but that is not his intention.

He was reminded of his political profile when he was at a recent hui in Tuhoe.

“The impression that they had of me was someone had horns coming out and hated Maori, and that’s not true, but I had allowed myself to be presented in that way, and that’s something that, particularly given the policies that you have, you have to go overboard the other way to explain yourself well and your logic well,” Mr Hide says.


Te Puke based hapu Waitaha is to continue monitoring developments at Mauao, previously known as Mount Maunganui.

It has agreed to forego joint ownership of the maunga, but expect a commitment from other iwi associated with the mountain to maintain a non-commercial stance.

Maru Tapsell from Waitaha says his iwi stepped aside on the condition Ngaiterangi, Ngati Ranginui and Ngati Pukenga ensured the maunga was protected from commercial developments.

“The argument was over the ownership, the title of the land. Protectionism is our number one and we will be part of the management. However, if there is any variation to the rule, we will be put in provisions where we are going to contest the ownership,” Mr Tapsell says.

He says a bill is being drafted to confirm the working relationship between Waitaha and the three other iwi associated with the maunga.


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