Waatea News Update

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Maori Potential Framework work of framing

The Minister of Maori Affairs says critics of the way government is redirecting spending for Maori are living in the past.

The Budget has come under fire from the Maori Party and from education groups for cutting some long running grant programmes for Maori students, and for not having any new-Maori-specific programmes.

But Parekura Horomia says the overall education budget has gone up, and Maori will benefit from that investment.

Mr Horomia says the government has reprioritised $23.9 million in the Maori affairs budget for a three-part strategy to help Maori reach their potential.

Parekura Horomia says a lot more Maori are working, so they are benefiting from the Government's Working for Families Programme


The chairman of the Taranaki District health board, Hayden Wano, has welcomed the $76 million in the Budget to fight the obesity epedemic.

Mr Wano says the health risks associated with obesity are well documented, and Maori rates are too high.

The money will be spent over four years on initiatives in schools, primary health care services and social agencies, and Mr Wano says that shows the programme has been carefully thought through.

Hayden Wano says there are no short term solutions to obesity.


The Manu Korero secondary schools' Maori speech competitions are proving an inspiration for a Hawaiian exchange student.

16-year-old Kalihau'alaki Gouveia is spending the year at Wesley College in South Auckland, where today's Tamaki regional finals were held.

Kalihau'alaki says it's an idea which he will try to take back to Hawaii.

He says it's good to see the Maori response to colonisation, because Native Hawaiians face many similar problems.

Hawaiian exchange student Kalihau'alaki Gouveia.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

No ta moko on ta budget

The chair of Labour's Maori caucus says there is a lot in the Budget for Maori, but it does always wear a moko.

Vote Maori Affairs has been cut by $4 million to $157 million, with a third of that going to Maori development ministry Te Puni Kokiri and another third to Maori Tellevision.

But Shane Jones says Maori also benefit from substantial spending in Votes like Education, Health and Housing.

He says the Labour Government has a clear policy of funding based on socio-economic status rather than ethnicity.

"The essence of this budget is to follow the money honey and there is contined support for Maori houora health programmes and other Maori initiatives and the finance is still flowing. Of course there is a challenge for me as chair of the Maori caucus to convey that to people, given those funds don't alwys wear a tattooed face," Jones said.

He said Te Puni Kokiri is reconsidering its role and how it can work most effectively with Maori communities.


The troubled Wananga o Aotearoa finally has a new chief executive.

He is Bentham Ohia, who has worked in a range of positions at the Te Awamutu-headquartered organisation, and has been serving as acting chief executive since the retirement of founder Rongo Wetere.

One of his first jobs will be to implement a restructuring plan which will involve laying off more than 300 staff.

Wananga chairman Craig Coxhead says Mr Ohia is the right person to make the changes necessary for the wananga to survive.

"He's fully aware of what the purpose of the restructure is, he has led the management team that has gone out and heard submissions from staff. The idea is we need to make changes, staff are aware we need to make chnages to ensure this organisation is around for years to come," Coxhead said.

Mr Coxhead says the wananga council is now looking forward to stabilising operations so it can take back financial control from the Crown manager.


New Zealand Post says it's surprised by negative reaction to new stamps featuring Maori performing arts.

Some kapa haka performers say the caricatures on the stamps are crude and offensive, and Maori Council spokesmak Maanu Paul says the council will be asking for the stamps to be scrapped.

New Zealand Post communications manager Richard McLean says the kapa haka stamps were designed by Wellington artist, Abel Vaireka from Te Atiawa.

"Abel has a kapa haka background himself. We think what has come out is really good, we think these are realy fresh designs, and when people say they are offensive, we are pretty amazed at that attitude," McLean said.

McLean says he welcomes any dialogue with the Maori Council.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says Maori have been given the message in the Budget that there is no new money for them.

She says the government treated Maori with disdain by failing to spent its surplises where the money is needed most, with families at the lower end of the socio economic scale.

Mrs Turia also questioned Te Puni Kokiri's new programme to promote Maori potential.

She says it's pointless to fund an organisation that can't even perform its statuatory obligations properly, and its $56 million dollar budget would be better spent on education, health and welfare initiatives for Maori families.

Mrs Turia says Maori will suffer.

"The first budget last year when they didn't even mention our names, this year it was so when they took money off Maori, the Manaaki Tauira funds, tertiary education scholarship grant money, it's just appalling," Turia said.

Tariana Turia says Maori shouldn't be fooled by the Labour Party's financial smokescreen.

But Labour list MP Shane Jones says the Maori Party is looking for Maori spending in the wrong places.

Mr Jones says Labour signalled a shift some years ago to funging based on need rather than race, and that policy has continued.

He says housing is of continued benefit to Maori.

"Over 30 percent of all occupants in state houses are Maori, over 30 percent of all recipients of the accommodation supplement are Maori, and if we are not to continue to invest in key social institutions like subsidised housing, some of the disprortionately large causalties of any change in that would be Maori," Jones said.


Two of the country's largest tribes have moved a step further towards securing their fisheries settlement assets.

Te Ohu Kaimoana Trust yesterday announced it had recognised Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust as the mandated iwi authority to receive $26 million in cash, quota and shares on behalf of the Waikato-Tainui tribes.

It also recognised the status of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu to manage Ngai Tahu's $58 million in settlement assets.

Te Ohu Kaimoana chief executive Peter Douglas says iwi which have already received their land settlements don't have to go through all the mandating processes other iwi do, but they still must comply with the Maori Fisheries Act.

The Ngai Tahu Runanga will still need to go back to its people to confirm its mandate.

The runanga had threatened to take the fisheries trust to court if it didn't get its assets.

Some Ngai Tahu members have also threatened to sue Te Ohu Kaimoana if it handed the fish to the runanga rather than a body more representative of iwi members.

Tainui hooks fisheries funds

The Te Ohu Kaimoana fisheries settlement trust had good news for Tainui today.

The trust announced to the Koroneihana hui at Ngaruawahia that the Waikato Raupatu Lands trust had passed all the requirements to be considered a mandated iwi organisation.

Chief executive Peter Douglas says over the next few months Te Ohu Kaimoana will hand over $26 million in cash, fishing quota and shares in pan-Maori fishing company Aotearoa Fisheries Limited.

Another $3 million in inshore quota will be transferred across when Tainui reaches agreement with the tribes to the south and north.

Mr Douglas says because Waikato-Tainui has completed its land claims, its application could be fast tracked.

"With Waikato, they don't have to prove a ratification process for a mandate as other iwi do, and they don't need to provide a register, because those processes have already been completed with regards to their land settlements earlier," Douglas said.

Mr Douglas says Te Ohu Kaimona is making good progress getting settlement assets into the hands of iwi.


A hui at Auckland's Kingsgate hotel tomorrow will look at whether Maori with cancer need special programmes to help them cope.

Rachael Morris, the operations manager for hui organiser Tamaki Healthcare, says it's part of a nationwide study by the Ministry of Health into what services are available to Maori.

Ms Morris says much of the data collected so far came from hospitals, and tomorrow is a chance for Maori cancer patients and their whanau to have their say on what services are needed.


The chair of the Te Arawa Maori Trust board can't remember all the boards and committees he's been on over the years, but the Rotorua City Council hasn't.

Last night Anaru Rangiheuea was presented with a community services award recognising his contribution to the sulphur city.

This week he retired from the Lake Okataina Scenic Board after 27 years, and once the Rotorua Lakes settlement is completed, aims to step down from the Te Arawa Maori Trust Board after 30 years service.

Mr Rangiheuea says his achievements belong to those who guided him into public life and those who will follow.


A change in the packaging, but no more in the parcel.

That is budget 2006 for Maori.

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says the budget is about unlocking Maori potential.

To do that, $23,9 million in existing spending has been reallocated to three new investment areas.

Education initiatives come under the heading of Matauranga, or making the most of Maori knowledge.

Rawa or resources covers spending on employment and utilisation ofd Maori land and other collectively-owned assets.

Whakamana are programmes to enhance leadership, decision-making and governance by Maori organisations.

Mr Horomia said his ministry of Maori Development Te Puni Kokiri will introduce no new programmes or functions over the next year, despite the changes in terminology.

Te Puni Kokiri costs $54.7 millio a year to run.

Another $102 million dollars is in Vote Maori for non-departmental appropriations, including the $51 million it costs to run Maori television on the Maori and mainstream channels.


Today's budget has axed two long-running and successful Maori education programmes.

Bill Hamilton from the Maori Education Trust says the government is halving the $4.1 million it paid through the trust in Manaaki Tauira grants.

Mr Hamilton says Manaaki Tauira grants range from $60 to $2000 which can make all the difference in whether people were able to continue with their studies.

Bill Hamilton says the Maori Education Trust will continue to offer scome scholarships through its own resources, which include endowments and two farms.


Maori Council spokesman Maanu Paul says New Zealand Post must drop its planned release of a series of stamps on the theme of Maori performing arts.

The stamps were designed by Abel Vaireka from Te Atiawa, and were shown to various kapa haka groups - but not to the body in charge of the national Maori performing arts festival, Te Matatini.

Mr Paul says the stamps are crude charicatures of Maori performers and an attack on the identity of Maori.

Te Heuheu Brash bash on seat policy

National Party MP Georgina te Heu Heu says the party's policy on abolishing the Maori seats stems from the current leader's attitude, and not because National has never won a Maori seat.

She says National had a long-standing policy that the seats would remain until Maori people said they no longer wanted them. That changed with Dr Brash.

"Our policy for the previous 30 years was not influenced at all by the fact we never won them. Political parties over time change their policy. Under the leadership of Don brash, who puts the 'one law for all' notion ahead of everything else, we have a change in our policy," te Heuheu said.

She says Dr Brash is trying to balance the one law for all policy with National's other core values of freedom, democracy, individual responsibility and the right to choose.


Former Labour MP John Tamihere hopes today's Budget will boost funding for private sector Maori welfare organisations - but says there is not much chance of that happening.

Mr Tamihere, who is back running west Auckland's Waipareira Trust, says pre-Budget announcements indicate a spend-up by the Crown on its own agencies.

He says that's a pity, because Maori organisations running health, welfare education and justice programmes have proved extremely effective. Mr Tamihere says such organisations need help.

"We're running into some major problems in the funding of core operations in Maori infrastructure up and down the country thatr delvier on a private contracted basis because they are funded by their competitor, ruled by their competitor, and their competitor has received extraordinarily good funding from the government over the last six years," Tamihere said.

He said the Budget is likely to be a boost for the Maori Party, who will get plenty of opportunties to point out the lack of attention to Maori matters.


The man who runs the most successful Maori owned dairy farm in the country, says more Maori should consider a career in the sector.

Ross Clark and his wife are Pakeha, and are sharemilking on a South Taranaki farm run by the Paraninihi Ki Waitotara Incorporation.

Their 36 hectare dairy unit was PKW's winning entrant for the Ahuwhenua Trophy.Mr Clark says the ongoing support they've received from PKW contributed to the win. He says dairy farms are a good environment to raise a whanau, and he's keen
to see more Maori get involved.


Former Labour Cabinet Minister John Tamihere says today's Budget needs to adress those Maori who still struggle, despite improvements in the overall status of Maori under Labour.

Mr Tamihere's former colleagues are increasingly pointing to improvements in Maori employment and other economic indicators as a way to deflect criticism.

Mr Tamihere says while a Maori middle class has emerged in recent years, there are still problems.

"That doesn't discount the fact there is a significant hard out little tail which continues to procreate, continues to create a range of difficulties, and in good economic times it's not good enough to concentrate on your successes, your society must surely be judged on its failures, and our failure rate we still must address," Tamihere said.

John Tamihere says Government can't fix the problem, and he wants to see money in the budget to help Maori organisations like his Waipareira Trust which are taking ownership of fixing the problems.


The head of Northland's Ngapuhi tribe says the Government needs to get fisheries management right or it will reignite Maori anger over fisheries claims.

Sonny Tau says the $8 million the government is putting in today's Budget for fisheries management plans and marine reserves will just prop up existing bureaucracies.

He says Ngapuhi is concerned many inshore species in its rohe are under unsustainable pressure, and if there is no fish, there is no fisheries settlement.

"For Ngapuhi, 100% of our commercial asset is in fish, 100% of our ability to recreaitonallyy fiosh for our children is in fish, and our ability to manaaki our manuhiri is in fish. If our asset is threatened, that could be the relitigation of the fisheries settlement," Tau said.

He says the government needs to work harder to involve tangata whenua and recreational fishers in fisheries management, rather than locking up large parts of the coast in reserves.


Expect to see some innovative performances at next year's Te Matatini national kapa haka competitons in Palmerston North, if the performances at the regional finals are anything to go by.

Te Matatini judge Te Rita Papesch says the Gisborne competitions over the weekend showed teams are putting more effort into voice production, diction and stage movement.

She says the broad age range in most of the 40-strong kapa haka groups means they are able to reinvent older styles while incorporating new ideas.

Newcomers Tu Te Manawa Maurea, from Manutuke, will join veterans Waihirere and Whangara mai Tawhiti in representing Tairawhiti at the nationals.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Reserves confiscation of traditional fisheries

The head of New Zealand's largest tribe says the current marine protection regime amounts to confiscation of customary fishing grounds.

Tomorrow's Budget will include $2 million for the implementaiton of the Marine Protected Areas Stategy, under which all the country's waters are to be assessed as to what level of protection they need.

Ngapuhi Runanga chairman Sonny Tau says rather than try to lock off large areas of the coast, the government should support mechanisms like Mataitai and Taiapure, which give tangata whenua a say in local fisheries management.

IN: The marine protection areas in our view are another way of confiscating a lot of traditional maori fishing gorunds, and before we can implement the tools, they are going out and putting in these marine protection areas and confiscating the best customary fisheries positions.

Sonny Tau says all the reserves do is concentrate catch effort elsewhere, which drives up ternsion between customary, recrational and commercial fishers.


Indigenous communities in the Pacific are watching New Zealand's restorative justice initiatives, and particularly their impact on Maori offending.

Temuranga June Jackson, the longest serving member of the Parole Board, spoke with the chief justices of Fiji and Papua New Guinea at an international parole conference in Australia last week.

Mrs Jackson says they are looking at ways to improve their own parole systems, and wanted to learn more about how to bring a cultural focus to such programmes.

She says marae based restorative justice programmes, where offenders front up to their victims to apologise for their actions, are proving successful at addressing reoffending, and she was surprised similar schemes haven't been used elsewhere in the region.

The organiser of a conference on prison reform says of all the high profile experts who attended, it was a group of gang members who stole the show.

Kim Workman from Prison Fellowship New Zealand says the 250 delegates heard how important whanau were to breaking patterns of offending.

"The standout for me was the 20 guys from the Notorious Mongrel Mob chapter from Otara to talk about their journey over the past nine years and out of the 37 of them, only two have ended up in prison, and they wanted to change their lives because they didn't want their children to end up in prison like they did," Workman said.

Kim Workman says the gang members felt there was too much research into why Maori are offending, rather than trying to learn from success stories like theirs.


The likely settlement of Tainui's claim to the Waikato River has sparked heated debate in Tainui circles.

Prime Minister Helen Clarke is expected to announce an agreement in principle when she goes to Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia next Monday to attend celebrations marking the 40th anniversary celebrations of the coronation of the Maori Queen.

Tainui and Crown negotiators are in Wellington this week trying to hammer out the agreement.

Mamae Takarei, a spokeswoman for Port Waikato Maori, says indications are only the riverbed bed will come back, and that's an insult to the mana of the Waikato people.

But academic James Ritchie, who has a long association with Tainui and Kingitanga, say mana will be foremost in the negotiators minds.

"With some kind of acknowledgement of the ownership of the river, the banks and the bed but not the waters, this is a restoration to Tainui of what their mana has always represented and required. It doesn't require money, though monmey is always useful," Ritchie said.

More than 3000 people passed through the marae today for the start of the Koroneihana. The first day traditionally is the Tainui kawe mate, when Tainui and affiliated tribes remember those who have died through the year.


The general manager of Maori, Pacific and Ethnic Affairs for the New Zealand Police, says recruiting staff from those cultures will be a priority, as they look to fill one thousand new positions.

As part of a post election deal with New Zealand First, the government is adding 1000 frontline police.

Piere Munroe says understanding how different communities operate will benefit to both the community and the police.


Outspoken Aboriginal league star turned boxer Antony Mundine faces off against Western Australian, Danny Green, for the Australian Supermiddleweight title tonight.

Mundine has surprised many Maori with his understanding of Maori history and its parallels with the injustices suffered by his own people, and he has many friends here.

One of them is comedian Mike King, who will be among the 30 thousand fight fans at Aussie Stadium in Sydney..

King says Mundine's outspoken views, especially his critism of the United States, have put him offside with many Australians, so he needs all the support he can get.

Maori Queen: 40 years of achievement

In Ngaruawahia today, thousands of people are expected at Turangawaewae Marae for the start of a week of celebrations for the 40th anniversary of the Coronation of Te Arikinui, Dame Te Atairangikaahu.

Emeritus Professor James Ritchie, a close advisor of the Maori Queen, says in her 40 years Dame Te Ata has strengthened the Kingitanga movement and cemented its place in New Zealand society.

Professor Ritchie says the marae is expecting to cater for up to 50,000 people over the week, with sports, kapa haka and cultural events running alongside the politics and traditional ceremonial.

He says today's Tainui kawe mate will set the tone for the week, giving Tainui the chance to remember the achievements of those who have died during the year and cementing the tribe together before it welcomes the rest of the motu.

James Ritchie says Dame Te Ata has built up strong relationships with other tribes and with similar leaders around the Pacific, who will all be represented at the Koroneihana.

Other highlights will be the handover of Tainui's fisheries settlement assets by Te Ohu Kaimoana Trust, and the possible announcement of a settlement to the Waikato River claim.

- - -

The chairman of Prison Fellowship New Zealand says the 1000 extra frontline police staff promised by the government should be part of a new style of policing.

Kim Workman, who is himself a former police officer, says the police need to change their public image and the way they relate to the public.

_ __

Maori involved in developing a windfarm on the coast south of the Kawhia believe they are close to getting the green light.

Taharoa C Incorporation is siting the 42 wind-powered turbines alongside its extensive ironsand mining operations.

Chairman Monty Retemeyer says the venture will help both the local and national economy.

Some local residents are worried about the impact of the heavy machines used to construct the 80 metre towers.


Celebrations for the 40th anniversary of the coronation of Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu start today.

Professor James Ritchie, an advisor to the Maori Queen, says more than 30,000 people may pass through Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia over the next seven days for a full programme of sports and cultural events, as well as polticial and ceremonial occasions.

Professor Ritchie says over the 40 years Dame Te Ata has taken the kingitanga from being an organisation that was not understood or recognised by most New Zealanders to being an important part of the country's life.

He says Dame Te Ata has been particularly effective in tying together all tribes and strengthening the traditional networks, stretching as far as building close links to similar traditional leaders around the Pacific.


A former Maori policeman says all new recruits need to be sensitive to Maori issues.

Over the next few years the Government will pour $500 million into fulfilling its deal with New Zealand First to boost police numbers by 1000 sworn and 250 unsworn staff.

Kingi Ihaka says while many of those new police will be Maori, it can't be left to them to police Maori communities.

He says in many cases during his 18 years on the force, Maori asked for non-Maori officers to be sent to domestic incidents because they did not want another Maori to intervene in their disputes.

Kingi Ihaka says the best use for the new police will be to get bobbies back on the beat, so they can get to know and be known by communities.

- - -.

A director of Paraninihi Ki Waitotara Incorporation says the Taranaki-based organisation is just starting to show its potential.

A PKW dairy unit has just taken out the Ahuwhenua Trophy for best Maori farm in the dairy sector.

Tama Potaka says the incorporation has $180 million dollars in net assets. As well as overseeing 350 leasehold blocks in Taranaki, it has diversified into property development in Brisbane and technology ventures in the United States.

Mr Potaka says organisations like PKW and Nelson's Wakatu Incorporation are having a major impact on Maori development.

Tama Potaka says PKW is proud of winning the Ahuwhenua Trophy, which has a history dating back to Apirana Ngata's and development efforts of the 1930s.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Fishing plans to defuse tension

A move to create fisheries management plans is seen as a way to defuse long-standing tensions between commercial, recreational and customary fishers.

Shane Jones, the chairman of Maori fisheries settlement trust Te Ohu Kaimoana, Shane Jones, says the $5.3 million in this week's Budget for fisheries management plans is long overdue.

Mr Jones, who is also a government backbencher, says there have been complaints about overfishing by various stakeholders since the quota management system was introduced in the 1980s.

Shane Jones. Under fisheries management plans, the government will work with the fishing and other stakeholders to identify how to get the best out of particular fish stock long term, rather than managing them year to year in an ad hoc manner.


Buying Maori sounds like a good idea, but do you always get what you pay for?

That is the question posed by Maori lawyer Tama Potaka to suggestions by Green MP Metiria Turei that the Greens' $11 million Buy Kiwi Made campaign could be extended by tangata whenua to become Buy Maori Made.

Mr Potaka says recent examples of Maori imagery being used to sell cigarettes and vodka are a reminder of the need to guarantee authenticity.


Greens Maori affairs spokesperson Meteria Turei says the Maori Party should learn from the deals struck post election by the Greens.

Among the concessions won from Labour in exchange for Green support on confidence and supply was an environmental education programme and a Buy New Zealand Campaign.

The Government is pumping millions of dollars into both areas over the next few years.

She says the Maori Party will be coming to grips with how deal making works.

Meteria Turei says in an MMP environemtn, such post-election deals give small parties a good platforms to start working towards the next election.

May 16: Cancer study highlights Maori risk

Associate Health Minister Mita Ririnui says a new study on cancer mortality rates highlights the need for urgent action to change the way Maori are treated by the health system.

The Wellington School of Medicine study found Maori are almost twice as likely to die of the disease as non-Maori patients, because they don't get diagnosed early enough.

Mr Ririnui says the study will benefit Maori sufferers.

“It’s a huge wake up call for the sector and for government. We had the 2003 cancer strategy framework launch, but this information in this report highlights the need and how urgent the task is. The value of this report is it tells us everything in one succinct report,” Ririnui says.

Mr Ririnui says the study highlights the critical role of the primary health sector in detecting diseases like cancer.


A Maori midwife says the warning by a New Zealand doctors's group against a push in Britain for more home births shows how New Zealand practitioners are unwilling to give up control.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrician and Gynaecologists says the British move is dangerous and ludicrous.

Midwife Joanne Rama says hospital births are only necessary where difficulties are anticipated.

Ms Rama says hospitals take the control away from the mother.

“Part of my reason for choosing to practice as a home birth only practitioner is because of my commitment to enabling whanau to reclaim traditional birthing practices, Which is no problem in your own environment, but once you have a hospital environment you sometimes have to justify things like using pounamu to cut the pito, using muka,” Rama said.


Greens' Maori spokesperson Metiria Turei says Maori busineses could extend the the Kiwi Made campaign to encourage people to buy Maori made goods.

The Government is pumping $11.5 million into the Kiwi Made campaign in this week's budget, as part payment for the Greens cooperation.

Ms Turei says the Greens see it as a chance to reinvigorate the manufacturing sector and drive up employment.

She says while nothing specifically is being done to promote Maori brands, there is nothing to stop that happening..

Ms Turei says Maori have shown they are extremely loyal to Maori brands, if they can find them.

Fish management plans on the way

May 16

The chairman of Maori fisheries settlement trust Te Ohu Kaimoana, Shane Jones, has welcomed Budget funding for fisheries management plans.

Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton announced a $8.2 million in spending over the next four years on a range of fisheries management and marine protection initiative, including $5.3 million to develop fisheries plans.

The government will work with the fishing and other stakeholders to identify how to get the best out of particular fish stock long term, rather than manging them year to year in an ad hoc manner.

Mr Jones, who is also a government backbencher, says Maori have been pushing for management plans since the fisheries claims were first mounted in the late 1980s.

"It's taken a long time, the iwi are now well informed about the collision between recreational, customary and commercial. If these plans offer a medium where conflict can be be both identified and inevitably reconciled, it's a great step forward. But I can see a lot of contesting of ideas between recreationalists and the commercial interests," Jones said.

Shane Jones says the quota management system has improved the overall management of the fisheries, but there are communities round the country where particular issues and conflicts arise.


Maori Council spokesman Maanu Paul says it's time to tip the scales back in favour of Maori.

Mr Paul says despite the advances of recent years through claim settlements, Maori still have too little say in how the country is run.

He says the council has a statutory right to not only comment on government policies for Maori but to initiate policy - and that is what is intends doing.

"Someone has to get up and put in place a system of legal accountabilty to ensure the scales of justice are balanced for both treaty parties. The only body in the country that can do that with independendce is the New Zealand Maori Council," Paul said.

He says iwi runanga and trust boards are limited to looking after their own people, but the Maori Council can take on pan-Maori issues.


The first Maori All Black coach may not be far away, if the Hurricanes keep up their run of success in the Super 14.

Commentator Ken Laban says the Wellington team's trouncing of the New South Wales Warratahs last weekend, which won them a home semifinal against the same team at the Caketin this Saturday, is a testament to coach Colin Cooper from Te Atiawa.


The Maori Council wants more money from Government to keep up with its statutory obligations.

Funding has remained static at about $200,000 a year, despite the number of district Maori councils growing in recent years from eight to 15.

Mr Paul says the council has a repsonsibilty under its act to protect the well being of all Maori in Aotearoa.

He says that means it can do things which iwi runanga and trust boards cannot do, such as representing all Maori on pan Maori issues like education, health, immigration, taxation, and making a place more Maori as participants in developing the economy of the country.

Maanu Paul says the Maori Council has become almost invisible in Maoridom, despite it being the body which won Maori settlements in radio and television broadcasting, Maori language, forestry, and protection of Maori claims from the sell-off of state enterprises.


Shifting next month's Maori versus New South Wales game from Aussie Stadium to the SCG could be a blessing in disguise.

The game scheduled for June 2nd will be new coach Donny Stevenson's first match in charge of the Maori team and is a part of their build up to the Churchill Cup tournament in North America the following week.

Coach Stevenson says the more intimate atmosphere at the SCG could work in favour of the Maori team.


It's going to be the first - or the last kapa haka performance in the country.

Hakaz Limited is offering hangi and Maori cultural concerts at the Waitiki Landing, 20 kilometres south of Te Rerenga Wairua.

Spokesman Bundy Waitai, says more than 600,000 people passed by the motel and store each year on the way to Cape Reinga, and he wants to capture some of that market.

Mr Waitai is well known in the entertainment industry, having played bass for stars like Prince Tui Teka and Sir Howard Morrison, as well as manging the concerts at Rotorua's Tudor Towers for many years.

He says Hakaz will follow the Rotorua model, but with different legends, telling the stories of the Muriwhenua tribes Ngati Kuri, Te Aupouri, Ngai Takoto, Te Rarawa and Ngati Kahu.

Bundy Waitai says just in case people can't make it that far north, the Hakaz team is prepared to travel to perform.


Monday, May 15, 2006

The great helmsman strikes again

The Maori muttonbirding community is devastated by the tragedy wchich claimed the lives of six people in Foveaux Strait on Saturday.

Tony Ropata, a fisher and surfer based in Murihiku, says the stretch of water is notorious, and it's not the first time lives have been lost in muttonbirding season.

Mr Ropata says the Maori community will be hard hit by the tragedy, but will continue to harvest the birds, as they have been doing for generations.


A leading political commentator says National leader Don Brash would do well to heed the advice of one of his predecesors and lay off attacks on Maori.

New Zealand Herald political correspondent John Armstrong says Jim Bolger's speech to National's 70th birthday celebrations was clearly aimed at Mr Brash.

Mr Bolger told the party it needed to face a future where Maori and Pacific Island people were a greater percentage of the population, and that New Zealand today is not New Zealand 1936, the year National was established.

Mr Armstrong says he challenged the party to look where it was heading.

"The great helmsman strikes again and he doesn't want to be forgotten for his role in the 1990s in the treaty settlement process. He is obviously very disturbed with where the party is heading. I think he's got the right answer. National really needs to pause and reflect and wonder whether they can milk any more out of anti-Maori sentiment," Armstong said.

John Armstrong says National should drop its policy of unilaterally getting rid of the Maori seats, because it will never get the numbers to do so.


If you can make money for them, Hollywood can be a forgiving place.

Only months after being caught in women's clothing and allegedly offering to perform sexual favours on an undercover police officer for money, Once Were Warriors director Lee Tamahori appears to be back on track.

He's in the middle of directing the supernatural thriller Next, with Nicholas Cage and Julianne Moore.

Maori television producer Tainui Stevens says Tamahori has emerged from his recent difficulties with his Hollywood reputation intact.


The Maori party spokesperson on Broadcasting says Maori deserve an opportunity to participate in the telecommunications sector.

Hone Harawira says the government decision to unbundle the local loop and allow new players to use Telecom's copper network to deliver services, opens the way for Maori involvement.

He says that Maori need support from Maori politicians to enter the sector.

Maori have a stake in the industry through the Maori Spectrum Trust, which has a minority stake in Econet Wireless, which is currently building a pilot for a third mobile phone network.


Maori Womens Development Corporation head Dame Georgina Kirby says budding business people need be clear about the sort of study they take on.

Dame Georgina says she sees more Maori pursuing tertiary business qualifications, but sometimes they don't seem to know what the end point is.

She says qualifications are a waste of money if students are unsure about how they will use the knowledge.

Dame Georgina says she was encouraged by the higher profile of Maori involved in last week's business expo in Auckland, which shows howe Maori are adapting to the business world.


Former Rugby League international and captain of the New Zealand Maori squad, Tawera Nikau, says it's time the Warriors brought fellow former Kiwi Lance Hohaia back into the team in the number six jersey.

He says Hohaia could add some sting to the Warriors attack from stand-off.

The Auckland based NRL club suffered another defeat over the weekend to an under strength St George Illawara squad at Woolongong Saturday.

Mr Nikau says the Warriors' coach has finally put Nathan Fien and Grant Rovelli into their specialist positions, and needs to do the same with Hohaia, who has been playing in the Bartercard Cup for the Waicoa Bay Stallions.


PKW wins farming title

May 15, 2006

More young Maori should consider a career in the farming sector.

That's the opinion of Doug Hauraki, who co-ordinated the Ahuwhenua Maori Farming Awards held in Rotorua on Friday.

He says Maori control 15 percent of New Zealand's farm production, and there is huge potential for growth.

The awards evening aknowledged excellence in dairy farming, and this year's winner is Taranaki based Paraninihi ki Waitotara Incorporation, which oversees an asset base in excess of $50 million dollars.

Mr Hauraki says the judges noted their financial performance, governence structures, strategic plan, Maori tikanga, and contribution to the iwi.

He says PKW has also managed to attract talented young Maori to become involved both on the land and in the board.


Te Puni Kokiri chief executive Leith Comer says a stronger regional network is improving the way his ministry monitors government programmes.

The Ministry of Maori development came under fire from a parliamentary select committee earlier this year for what was seen as a lessening of its monitoring function.

Mr Comer says it takest hat function seriously, but some of the things it used to do were a waste of time.

He says it doesn't spend a lot of time now auditing and monitoring other agencies.

"What we try is use our 10 regional offices to provide on a rergular basis their view of what is working and not working. What we want to do is relate to Maori and get a really good feel about how government services are actually impacting out in the regions," Comer said.

Leith Comer says rather than focus on negative statistics, Te Puni Kokiri is now looking for ways to unlock Maori potential so the whole of society can benefit.


A Northern kaumaatua says a new prisoner rehabilitation programme will help prisoners to reintegrate back into society.

The Corrections Department's Prisoner Employment Strategy for the next three years looks to boost the range, quality and relevance of work prisoners can do.

Department kaumatua Hone Komene says if prisoners can learn some skills and then be helped into paid employment on release, they usually stay out of trouble:

Hone Komene says the majority of prisoners were unemployed before they went inside.


Te Puni Kokiri chief executive Leith Comer says the argument has been done that if the country is to go ahead, Maori must go ahead.

Mr Comer says his ministry is embarking on a significant new policy agenda, as it seeks to unlock Maori potential.

He says the new policy is more positive than previous initiatives like closing the gaps and monitoring the responsiveness of other government agencies to Maori.

"And we've won the argument that Maori have potential and government should invest in that potential, so our whole approahc is about identifying where that potential is, and with some government assistance, particularly from Te Puni Kokiri, we can assist Maori to realise their own aspirations, their own potential, not only for Maori but for the good of the country," Comer said.

Leith Comer says the ministry considers education and skills training will be critical to Maori achieving their potential.


A Rotorua Maori tourism operator says the Tourism Industry Awards present an an unlevel playing field in tourism between Maori and Pakeha operators.

Tikitere's Hells Gate trustee Jim Grey says his firm didn't even make the finals this year, despite being judged Rotorua's top visitor attraction in the Rotorua Business Awards.

The finalists were announced this month, to give them a longer marketing window before the awards ceremony in August.

Mr Gray says changes are inevitable as overseas visitors insist on authentic indigenous experience, but the mainstream tourism industry isn't making room for Maori enterprise.

Jim Gray says Maori entrants get stuck in the culture and heritage category of the awards, where they have to compete with publicly-funded museums.


A Maori firefighter says Maori communities are taking more responsibility for preventing fires.

Piki Thomas says three marae fires over the past year have woken up some Maori to the fire safety issues affecting them.

Mr Thomas says the Fire Service's Te Kotahitanga programme, which aims to educate New Zealanders about fire safety and promote safer communities, is also starting to make an impact.

He says since it started in 2001, Te Kotahitanga fire safety ambassadors have clocked up over a million kilometres spreading the message that communities need to build their capacity to help themselves.