Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, June 09, 2006

Ngati Whatua to settle Auckland claims for $10m

Ngati Whatua o Orakei whanau are today celebrating the $10 million settlement of their iwi's historical claims to Auckland city lands.

The agreement in principle was signed at Parliament this afternoon by Ngati Whatua o Orakei Trust Board chairman Sir Hugh Kawharu and Treaty Negotiations Minister Mark Burdon.

The Crown now needs to sort out any cross claims. Tainui and some of the tribes from the Hauraki confederation have declared they had interests in Tamaki Makaurau.

Negotiators will then draft a detailed deed of settlement, which will be put to registered iwi members for ratification.

Ngati Whatua gets the right to buy any surplus Crown land in its central Auckland area for the next 100 years - the first time an iwi has been given such a right of first refusal since Ngai Tahu in 1988.

It also gets the right to buy up the $80 million of land under naval housing on the North Shore.

Three mountains, Maungakeikei, Maungawhau and Puketapapa - also known as One Tree Hill, Mt Eden, Mt Roskill will be vested in the tribe and managed jointly with Auckland City Council, as will Purewa, or rather, Pourewa Creek.


Bad things are more likely to happen to Maori in hospital than to non Maori.

That's the findings of research by an Auckland University medical school research team published in leading medical journal The Lancet.

The study found Maori get poorer care than non-Maori and are more likely to suffer avoidable mistakes in their treatment.

Research head Peter Davis says the team was unable to pin down any reasons for the difference.

"We couldn't find anyhting specific to Maori that might explain that difference. We said it is important to improve quality in the hoispital sector and improve the way the health sector is reposnive to Maori, so if there are problems coming up, they can be dealt with at that level," Professor Davis said.


Some treasured Maori stories are getting a fresh look.

TV One starts a new 10-part series tomorrow night called Taonga, which looks at history through Maori eyes.

One of the writers, Cath Akuhata Brown, says viewers will learn a lot about Maoridom and hear about some famous and not so famous figures in New Zealand history, including Arapeta Awatere, Maui Pmare and warrior priestess Te Rangi Topeora.

The first episode tells the story of Ohaki and Albie Bennett.


The inclusion of One Tree Hill in a $10 million settlement of Auckland tribe Ngati Whatua o Orakei's historical claims has upset neighbours Tainui.

Tainui chairman Tukoroirangi Morgan says the Office Of Treaty Settlements is allowing Ngati Whatua to rewrite history.

He says many Tainui iwi have interests in Tamaki Makaurau, which must be respected in any settlement.

Three Auckland city vocanoes, Maungakiekie or One Tree Hill, Maungawhau or Mt Eden and Puketapapa or Mount Roskill, will be vested in Ngati Whatua and jointly managed with Auckland City Council.

Mr Morgan says Maungakiekie is key to understanding the history of the Tamaki isthmus.

"It was the last fortified pa of the late King Potatau te Wherowhero, and at the time of the raids of Hongi Hika from the north, Ngati Whatua sought refuge under the protective korowai of Te Wherowhero," Morgan said.

Tuku Morgan says if there is to be any joint management of One Tree Hill, Tainui must be involved.


Maori lawyer Willie Te Aho says good leadership is the key to proper management of Maori assets.

Mr Te Aho says a proposed new legal framework for Maori organisations proposed by the Law Commission, which it is calling Waka Umanga, adresses only a part of the problem.

The Law Commission says current legal structures and trust or company arrangements don't meet the social and economic needs of Maori.

Mr Te Aho says the problem is even more basic, and comes down to a shortage of quality leadership in Maoridom.


Maori organic growers are meeting in Hamilton this weekend to discuss how they can best work together and enlarge their sector.

Organic farming is seen by many Maori as a way to stay true to principles of kaitiakitanga while also growing high value crops on land which could otherwise be marginal.

Organic grower Maanu Paul says interest in organics is growing both here and overseas because of the health benefits.

He says switching to a diet of organic produce can help prevent a range of ailments.

Maanu Paul from the Maori organic grower's organisation, Te Waka Kai Ora

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Fishfarm backers in hot water

parengarenga meeting

Far North Maori shareholders will today hear why their aquaculture venture failed.

Parengarenga Fishfarm was majority owned by Parengarenga Incorporation, which owns farms, forests and oyster farms of the Aupouri Peninsula.

Fishfarm executive director John Ellis says the venture to grow kingfish in a $7 million facility near Te Kao failed to attract enough outside investment, and there were problems with the supply of juvenile fish from the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere.

He says there were also constant failures with the Danish-built equipment, which meant the venture could never produce enough high quality fish to break even.

IN: We have a feeling the Danish company, IIA, has very little knowledge about kingfish and even less about salt water. Most of their facilities overseas are for fresh water fish, this one is salt, and that is causing problems with pumps and other equipment," Ellis said.

John Ellis says the fish farm cost almost $3000 a day to operate, and it was better to close it down than keep spending money in the hope of rescue.


The Green Party Maori affairs spokesperson says it's timely to look at Maori legal entities and how they can better represent the people.

The Law Commission has tabled a report in Parliament recommending the government create a new legal framework to meet the needs of Maori tribes and other groups that manage communally owned assets.

Meteria Turei says they would differ from the runanga and trust boards, which are effectively structures accountable to government, whereas waka umanga would be set up by and run by maori.

"In the past we've only had government structures like runanga, and we need to find Maori structures, so this is very timely," Turei said.


This Saturday marks the 120th anniversary of the eruption of Mt Tarawera, 18 kilometres from Rotorua.

The blast destroyed the famed pink and white terraces, regarded at the time as the eighth wonder of the world.

Te Arawa Maori Trust Board chairman Anaru Rangiheuea, a Tuhourangi descendant, moved back to Lake Tarawera a decade ago, hoping to encourage others of his hapu to do the same.

This weekend's commemorations will include the screening of films about the eruption, plus the chance to travel by boat across Lake Tarawera to the base of the mountain.

Mr Rangiheuea says it's important for young people who whakapapa to the area to understand the history of the region and the fate of many Tuhourangi people.

"People couldn't get away. They didn't have the ability to run or drive away from the area, so they perished here. We believe there are still about 300 people unaccounted for and lost under the mud," Mr Rangiheuea said.


The Maori Fisheries Trust Te Ohu Kaimoana is looking for new members.

Chief executive Peter Douglas says for the first time iwi will choose their own representatives, rather than having them selected by the government.

Recognised iwi authorities have been asked to pick their representatives on an electoral college, Te Kawai Taumata, which will then pick replacements for five trustees, including chairman Shane Jones.

Mr Jones is now a backbench Labour MP, and his departure should end accusations Opposition MPs that he is double-dipping.

Mr Douglas says by the time the new trustees are chosen most of the fisheries settlement assets will be in the hands of iwi, so different skills will be needed .

"The next phase of the fisheries trust's work programme is to focus on the fisheries management of those species. It's the most important part of our work. While allocation is the most pressing, the work to ensure what is allocated is worth as much as can be, and for as long as can be, is the work of the next set of commissoners and the next phase of our work," Douglas said.


The return of Maori fisheries settlement assets has been given as the reason for keen interest in elections for the Ngati Maniapoto Trust Board.

Sixteen candidates are vying for six seats on the King Country iwi's governing body.

Health worker Kingi Turner is standing for the first time, but he has a high profile in the iwi through his role in Kawau Maaro Maniapoto, which runs the iwi's annual cultural festival.

Mr Turner says the board needs new blood.

"We acknowledge the things done by the board up to now. We beleive we can make a difference for the better, particularly in terms of the fisheries settlement and how Maniapoto will take over the management of that," Turner said.

Kingi Turner says registered Maniapoto members should have received their voter packs.


Catching a fish for the first time might not seem like a life changing experience, but for some youngsters it is.

Maori fishing identity Bill Hohepa is planning the next Camp Hohepa, where he takes disadvantaged kids on a week long camp to teach them about fishing and life skills.

He's been running the camps twice a year for the past 13 years.

Mr Hohepa says for ranagathi with little self esteem, landing the biggest fish of the day can have a lasting effect.

He says one teenager he took on a one week trip to Kapiti Island was surly and uninterested, until he got a bite.

"Once the fish came on his eyes were like saucers and it blew him away. All that attitude he had fell on the beach at that moment. From then on all he wanted to do was catch fish. he had found something that pushed his button," Hohepa said.

Kingfish farm takes $7m king hit

A Maori kingfish farm near Te Kao in the far north has closed with debts of over $7 million.

Parengarenga Fishfarms Limited was hailed as a model example of Maori economic development i when it was launched two years ago.

But Parengarenga Incorporation chairman Winiata Brown has told shareholders lack of capital and design problems with Danish technology used meant the venture had to close.

Shareholder John Yates says shareholders will have some tough questions for directors about the venture's management, and whether anything can be salvaged.

IN: Well where to form here is the question that needs to be addressed. There is a facility there, and just because it hasn't worked with one species doesn't mean it can't work with another," Yates said.

John Yates. A meeting for shareholders of the fish farm's parent company is being held at Te Kao's Potahi Marae tomorrow to discuss the way forward.


They may have been political rivals six months ago, but now Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira is endorsing John Tamihere's return to Te Whanau O Waipareira.

Mr Tamihere last night won endorsement from a special meeting of the West Auckland trust for his attempt to salvage the finances of the trust, which has been running multi-million dollar losses.

Mr Harawira says even though there has been some opposition to Mr Tamihere's return as acting chief executive, he is the right man for the job.


Haka composer and performer Paora Sharples says the Rugby Union should persist with the new All Black haka.

The NZRFU has told the team not to use the haka , Kapa O Pango, because of concerns over a gesture which simulates cutting the throat of the opposition.

Mr Sharples says the haka hypes up the playes and they are obviously proud to perform it, so the union should support the team, rather than bow to criticism from non-Maori.


The managing director of the failed Parengarenga kingfish farm, John Ellis, says the best thing to do is shut down the operation as soon as possible.

The majority shareholder, the Parengarenga Incorporation, has pulled the plug on the three year old venture and is taking over more than $7 million in accumulated debt.

Mr Ellis says it costs about $3000 a day to run the farm on the shores of the Parengarenga Harbour in the far north.

He says the situation will be explained to shareholders at a hui at Potahi Marae in Te Kao tomorrow.

IN: Basically we can't continue operating at the costs we have. The only way to save money ios close the door. We are talking to people who might invest, but they know the situation we are in and are holding off until they can get it for bottom dollar."

Mr Ellis says he is trying to find buyers for the remaining 50,000 fish, as the fisheries ministry says they can't be released into the sea.


Waipareira Trust acting chief executive John Tamihere says reinstating the whanau committee is an important step to rebuilding the troubled West Auckland social services provider.

The committee was reformed at a five hour hui last night at Hoani Waititi Marae, which heard that financial reporting over the past four years has not been an accurate reflection of the trust's situation.

Mr Tamihere says Waipareira grew out of its whanau committee, and it will serve as the first line of communicaiton between the trust and the community.

He says the board has instigated other measures to improve transparency and acountability.

"We now must take our kasumatua with us when we go anywhere, so more eyes, more ears, more information, more education, can't go wrong. We have reinstalled things which should work well for the whanau going forward.," Tamihere said.

Last night's special meeting gave the Waipareira board five months to sort out problems which have led to mounting debts, redundancies and the sale of valuable assets.

Matauri kaumatua Kira remembered

Kua hinga tetahi totara nui, a prominent kauri of the north has fallen.

Well known kaumaatua Poihaakena Sid Kira of Whangaroa died last night at his home in Matauri Bay.

A 28 Maori Batallion World War 2 veteran and well into his eighties, Mr Kira helped set up the taumata kaumatua o Ngapuhi or Northern Council of Elders.

His kinsman and Labour MP Dover Samuels is one of many who will acknowledge "Koro Sid" in the coming days:

"It is a very sad day for Ngati Kuta, Ngati Ruamahoe, Ngati Kura, Ngati Kawau which our kaumatua Syd Kira worked tirelessly for the interests of his people right through his life," Samuels said.


Prime Minister Helen Clark says problems at West Auckland social services provider Te Whanau o Waipareira have been brewing for a long time.

The trust is holding a special meeting at Hoani Waititi Marae tonight to discuss a financial crisis which has led to staff lay-offs, asset sell-offs and programmes being cut.

Ms Clark says Waipareira led the way in delivering services to Maori living in cities, but urban Maori authority it has unique challenges.

"My view would be that it suffered from weak governance,over quite a period of time, and unless that is corrected it makes it very difficult to serve, because it is not iwi based, so of course it does not have that underlying durability in it," Clark said.

Helen Clark says Waipareira can't afford to allow itself to be ripped apart by factions.


NZ First Maori spokesperson Pita Paraone too few women are entering parliament.

Only one in four National Party MPs are women, and Mr Paraone's own party only has one current woman MP, Barbara Stewart.

He says the party had real difficulty finding women wwho wanted to join the team, which is why it only had two women in the top ten of its party list.


Ngaruahoe is shaking, but central North Island iwi Ngati Tuwharetoa isn't too concerned as yet.

Volcanologists from the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences are putting extra seismographs on the mountain so they can track what they say is a significant number of earthquakes in recent weeks.

Duty volcanologist Michael Rosenberg says the five-step scientific alert level has been raised from zero to one, indicating some signs of unrest, and the Department of Conservation is warning people from visiting the crater area.

Paranata Otimi of Tuwharetoa says it's not a worry as yet.

Ngauruhoe last erupted in 1975.


A Maori health worker who saw first hand the effect electroshock treatment had on patients at Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital in the early 1970's, says those responsible should be held accountable for the devastation it caused.

Winston Maniapoto, who now works for the Raukora Hauora O Tainui, is backing calls to have the psychiatrist in charge of the programme returned to New Zealand to face charges.

He says the young people who received shock therapy had no-one to turn to, and ended up with on-going psychological and behavioural problems.

Mr Maniapoto says some have since committed suicide.

He says the mental health professionals need to be made accountable for their actions.

"They come up with crazy notion if we gave them shock treatment it would improve their lives, but it didn't, and those peole got away with no guilt, no charges, no nothing, still practicing years after they had done the damage, and that is an indictment on the government of the time," Maniapoto said.


Otago University nutrition expert Jim Mann says the cost of obesity on Maori society is too high.

Professor Mann says Maori are genetically no more susceptible to obesity than any other group of New Zealanders, but the statistics show they are more likely to be overweight.

He says that leads to high rates of kidney failure, heart and respiratory disease which can be devastating for whanau.

Professor Mann says the solutions are well known, more phycical activity and eating less junk food.


A Taumarunui Maori fashion show this weekend will combine modern styles and ideas with traditional crafts.

Now in its fifth year, Te Huapae Matariki is for clothing made by Maori artists and designers.

Event organiser Ngaarau Tarawa says all garments must use some sort of raranga or weaving technique.

She says there is increasing interest in traditional cloaks or cloak or korowai.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Wananga's Lifeworks licenced for use in Australia

A distance learning programme orignially developed to get unemployed Maori into education and jobs has been picked up across the development.

Lifeworks was developed for use by the Open Polytechnic as a Pakeha version of Mahi Ora, a programme used by Te Wananaga o Aotearoa.

Mahi Ora and Lifeworks developer Su Cullen says the wananga has given a licence for Lifeworks to be adapted for use in New South Wales community colleges.

She says after last year's attacks by politicians on the wananga and its distance education courses, it is good to get endorsement of its educational philosophies from outside the country.

"For us it means we get the distance learning model recognisd by international governments for funding, and for the community sector. Because it's a community education model. It's fabulous, and that's what we wanted to do, release it into the world, and let the people carry it forth," Cullen says.

Su Cullen says in New Zealand, Lifeworks gives students up to 600 hours of tuition in a wide range of life and employment skills at a cost to the government of only $2500 a year per student.


Northland kaumatua Dennis Hansen is welcoming a review of a role senior staff member played in administering shock treatment to inmates at Lake Alice psychiatric hospital during the early 1970's.

Police are considering complaints made by former patients against psychiatrict Selwyn Leeks, who headed the hospital's child and adolescent unit.

Dr Leeks now lives in Melbouirne.

Mr Hansen says many young Maori were sent to Lake Alice for relatively minor offences, but ended up getting electro-shock therapy.

He says the treatment scarred them for life and made it hard to adjust to society when they got out.


A bill designed to reduce the amount of recyclable material ending up in landfills is gaining Maori support.

Green MP, Nandor Tancos says his Waste Minimisation Bill will make those reponsible for dumping recyclable material more accountable,

Mr Tancos says many Maori groups want to promote recycling initiatives.

Nandor Tancos says with support from the Maori Party, New Zealand First and Labour, his bill looks set to get past the First Reading.


A showdown looms tonight in West Auckland between factions at the troubled Te Whanau O Waipareira.

The trust is having a special general meeting at Hoani Waititi Marae to discuss events which led this week to the axing of the training, call centre and building development businesses, with the loss of 49 jobs.

Acting chief executive John Tamihere says it will be the first time in a long time that whanau members will be exposed to honest financial reports.

But former trust chairperson Naida Glavis says the job cuts aren't the right way forward.

Ms Glavish says the previous management team had a path out of the urban Maori authority's problems, but it was not a path Mr Tamihere wanted to follow.

Waipareira has been losing more than $2 million a year and has been selling assets, including some of its shares in the Westgate shopping mall development at the end of Auckland's north-western motorway.


Green MP Nandor Tancos doesn't want taser stun guns used in New Zealand.

The supposedly-non lethal guns will be trialled by police later this year.

Mr Tanczos says the police have still to prove they can use pepper spray in an appropriate manner, so it is not a good idea to give them a device which gives people a 50,000 volt electric shock.

He says he has heard too many reports of police using pepper spray on people who are handcuffed or in the cells.

Mr Tanczos says more consultation and dialogue is necessary, because on their past record, police are likely to use the weapons disproportionatley against young Maori males.


A South Auckland Maori community worker says some young teens are getting into prostitution because their parents aren't supervising them.

Tunuiarangi McLean from the Tapui Hauora health trust says Maori Wardens are seeing increasing numbers of young Maori prostitutes in the region.

He says many are still at schools, but they don't seem to have any oversight once classes finish, as both parents are working.


Former Ngai Tahu chairman Sir Tipene O'Regan has been shoulder tapped to chair a Maori-focussed research centre at Auckland University.

University vice-chancellor Stuart McCutcheon says Sir Tipene's academic experience, his wide knowledge of Maori economic development, and his reputation within the business community will be a major asset to the research centre, Nga Pae o te Maramatanga.

The university wants to increase the number of Maori doctoral students.

Sir Tipene is also an assistance vice chancellor (Maori) at Canterbury University.

Waipareira axes 49 jobs

Maori community workers say they are seeing an alarming increase in the number of teenage Maori prostitutes in South Auckland.

Health worker Tunuiarangi McLean, who works alongside Maori wardens in Manurewa, says the girls are getting younger.

He says many are still at school.

IN: It is growing to the extent the girls have become younger and younger. We have noted them taking off their school uniforms and then plying the streets, selling their bodies," McLean said.

Tunuiarangi McLean says the Government needs to make available some funding to target the problem.

A former board member of Te Whanau O Wapareira Trust says the organisation was due for a shake-up.


Acting chief executive John Tamihere has laid off 49 jobs, cutting the West Auckland urban Maori authority's training, call centre and construction businesses.

Dennis Hansen says the loss of jobs at the West Auckland Based Trust was inevitable, with losses running at more than $2 million a year.

But he says there is a new air of confidence at the trust, as the former MP begins to exert more control.


Defeated board members of South Island iwi Ngai Tahu are refusing to concede their fight against chairman Mark Solomon.

As the incumbent, Mr Solomon retained his place as head of New Zealand's richest tribe in a 9-9 vote at the last board meeting.

But now the opposing faction is saying they will refuse to work with Mr Solomon, and they want another vote.

Board member James Daniels says the issue is about how the tribe's half billion dollars in assets are being managed, rather than being about Mr Solomon personally.


Performer Tama Huata is crediting genetics for his being an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in yesterdays Queen's Birthday honours list.

Mr Huata from Ngati Kahungunu formed the dance theatre group Kahurangi and is well known as a compose and performer in kapa haka circles.

He says he grew up with Maori performing arts, and both his father, Canon Wi Huata, and his maternal grandfather, Paraire Tomoana, were noted songwriters.


West Auckland Maori will find out out tomorrow why their urban authority has cut staff and programmes.

Te Whanau o Waipareira acting chief executive John Tamihere has cut the the trust's job training, call centre and building development businesses with the loss of 49 jobs.

That leaves about 130 staff working on the trust's remaining contracts delivering health and welfare services.

Mr Tamihere says all will be revealed at a special general meeting at Hoani Waititi Marae tomorrow night.

Mr Tamihere's supporters won back control of the Henderson-based trust after the former Labour MP lost his Tamaki Makaurau seat.

Kaumatua Dennis Hanson says Mr Tamihere has brouhgt a new sense of optimism to the organisaiton, but there is a huge amount which needs to be done to stem losses, which are runing at more than $2 million a year.


A Maori architect says the rescue plan for Wellington's Futuna Chapel is good news for the country's architectural history.

The Friends of Futuna Chapel is buying the Karori building, which has been deteriarating since the Marist order sold the former Catholic retreat to a developer.

Rewi Thompson, an adjunct professor of Architecture at Auckland University, says the chapel was one of the signature works of the late John Scott.

Mr Thompson says Mr Scott was an inspiration to the younger generation of Maori architects.


Bringing in the professionals has given a fresh look to Manutuke marae south of Gisborne.

Whanau from Rongowhakaata were out in force over the long weekend overhauling the historic marae for Maori Television's Marae DIY programme.

Marae spokesperson Jody Toroa says apart from the labour, the community chipped in with paint and other materials, gates, and even sides of beef to feed the workers.

She says the show's producers were able to offer some helpful ideas.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Greensill hoping for smaller seat to chase

The Maori Party's candidate for the Tainui seat last election, Angeline Greensill, says she wants to see the results of the Maori Electoral Option before putting her hand up to stand again.

Ms Greensill says she is proud of the performance of the Maori Party MPs, and feels they have changed the tone of Parliament.

But she says it's too early to say if she will again try to join them, after missing out to Labour's Nanaia Mahuta by less than 2000 votes last time.

Ms Greensill says she has been asked to stand, but wants to see what the electorate boundaries look like first. Ef every eligble Maori in Hamilton came over to the Maori roll, she said there could be a Maori seat covering just the city.

The Tainui seat currently goes from south Auckland to the Mokau River.


One of the original members of the Maori Volcanics says she was thrilled to see Eddie Low's name in the Queens Birthday Honours List.

Mahora Peters, who lives in Sydney, says Low has been a wonderful contributor to the Maori music scene, and has enhanced the reputation of Maori entertainers worldwide.

Mr Low was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for his contribution to music.

He was born in Ngapuna near Rotorua, and moved to Australia in the early 60's as a duo with friend John Rowles.

He has made 25 albums, including one made in the home of country music, Nashville Tennessee.

Ms Peters says Eddie is a consumate professional and fully deserves the recognition.


A Christchurch doctor says Maori attitudes have a lot to do with New Zealand having one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the Western World.

Sue Bagshaw says Maori women aged between 16 and 19 are less likely to have an abortion than Pakeha or Asian women.

Maori whanau are also more inclined to give support when their teenagers become pregnant.

Dr Bagshaw says it affects overall achievement levels, but attitudes are changing.

"Maori culture values the family and having children more than education. That is changing as we speak, in that many more Maori families are encouraging their kids to stay at school so they can get a good educaitoon and get a good job, but it still to filter through to some young people, that's for sure," Dr Bagshaw said.

Sue Bagshaw says some rangatahi think it's cool to be pregnant, especially if the school system has failed them.


Former All Black Bill Bush says the Maori rugby management must check the credentials of all their players.

He says mistakes in the past have proven embarrassing for Maori, with players chosen who were found subsequently to not have a whakapapa Maori.

The Maori squad under new coach Donny Stevenson are in Canada defending their title in the Churchill Cup in a four-way contest against the host nation, England and the United States.

Mr Bush says Maori team management need proof eligibility, and can't afford to just take the players word for it.

But the Maori representative on the New Zealand Rugby Union, Paul Quinn, has challenged Bush to put up or shut up.

Mr Quinn says procedures for checking the whakapapa of Maori team members are robust, and if Mr Bush wants to challenge anyone, he should do it in a Maori way.

"The process is more rigorous now than it's ever been. It's all very good for him to say 'the captain's suspicious and should put his whakapapa' - why didn't he go up to his marae and challenge him on the marae in a real Maori sense. He's using modern communicatin, hiding behind microphones, and he's too scared to go to people's maraes and challengig them on it," Quinn said.


Maori actress Kura Forrester is breaking ground in the world of comedy.

The 21 year old who hails from Ngati Porou has been cast in Maori Television's six part multicutural sitcom Kai Korero, about two families who meet for a weekly for some verbal jousting around the dinner table.

It's the first on-screen role for Forrester, who's not long graduated from a performance and screen arts course from Aucklands Unitec.

She shares the small screen with veteran actors George Henare and Annie Whittle, but production manager Neil James says Forrester is a rising star.

Kai Korero screens tonight.

Two dozen Maori make honours list

While many of us may have thanked Queen Elizabeth for a day off today. members of the Manahi whanau of Te Arawa have had a special reason to think of Her Majesty.

The whanau has petitioned the queen to reverse a decision of an English general in World War II who vetoed the award of a Victoria Cross to Sergeant Haane Manahi for his bravery at Takrouna Ridge in North Africa in 1943.

Trade Minister Phil Goff, who accompanied a Te Arawa delegation to Buckingham Palace last month for a meeting with the Queen's private secretary, says it's now in the hands of the Queen.

"We've tried to frame our submission in such a way as to say this is an outstanding case, this is an exceptional case, but in the end all three - the government, the VC committee and Te Arawa - are prepared to accept the Queen's decision on this matter," Goff said.

Haane Manahi, who died in a car accident in 1986, only received a Distinguished Combat Medal for his feats.


Maori entertainer Eddie Low says he has his fans to thank for becoming a member of the New Zealand order of Merit in the Queen's Birthday honours list.

The Sydney based musician says it is their support that has allowed him to record 25 albums during his 43-year career, and he's looking forward to the next.

Low has been working professionally since he headed across the Tasman with an old friend, John Rowles, back in 1963.

He says there have been many highlights over the past four decades, but what still sticks in his mind was standing on the stage at the Grand Ol' Opry in Nashville, "a little boy from Ngapuna".


Qualifying for the kapa haka nationals on their first attempt is no mean feat.

That's what first time entrants, West Auckland based Nga Tumanako achieved over the weekend in the Auckland Kapa Haka Regionals held at the Aotea Centre.

They finished third with the more experienced Waka Huia and Manutaki groups taking out the top two spots with Manu Huia the fourth and final Auckland team to qualify for the nationals in Palmerston North next February.

Nga Tumanako's Amomai Piihama says the group is over the moon at their result.

"Manutake and Waka Huia are two of the best teams in the country, so it was never going to be easy to get above them, but we were only point five of a point behind Manutuke, so we are really pleased at the result, and it's the first time we have performed together at an adult competition level," Pihama said.

Nga Tumanako is made up of former students of the kura kaupapa at Hoani Waititi Marae.


Two dozen Maori made the today's Queen's Birthday Honours list for their contributions to Maoridom and the country.

Ngati Awa runanga head Sidney Moko Mead became a distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education and the Maori people.

Northland District Health Board chair Lynette Stewart from Ngati Wai became a Companion of the order, and Tama Huata, Pae Ruha and Malcom Short became Officers.

Ms Ruha, from Te Whanau a Apanui, Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairoa, is known as a teacher of Maori and a judge of Maori cultural and speech competitions, as well as being a valuable member of Wellington's Maori community.

She says she always felt driven to work for the community.

"Nobody can mistake me for anything other than a Maori, so my very first loyalty is to Maori. We have been trying to keep our te reo Maori going from behind the scenes for many many years, and also our identity, so that has been my life, trying to promote things Maori," she said.

Pae Ruha is also a life member cultural coordinator for the Maori Women's Welfare League.

Another league stalwart to feature in the honours list is its immediate past president, Kitty Bennett, who became a Member of the Order for services to Maori.

Other new Members are Whakatane justice of the peace Annie Hare, women's cricketer Maori Lewis, musician Eddie Low, Napier educationalist Evelyn Waaka, broadcaster Ray Waru and Rugby League great Tawera Nikau.

Nikau says attitude is the key to meeting life's challenges.


The new co-leader of the Greens is looking forward to finding common ground with the Maori Party.

Russell Norman won the four way battle for the position left vacant by the death of Rod Donald.

He says the Greens retain their commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and although there were sticking points close to the election, there are areas where the parties can work together.

"Kaitiakitanga, looking after the environment, is common to both of our parties. Also both parties see you don't want everything in life taken over by markets and commercial relationships, some things are sacred. So I think we share a lot of philosophy, there is a lot of potential there," Norman said.

Russel Norman says the decision by a majority of Maori Party MPs to back Wayne Mapp's worker's probation bill is a reminder that on some issues the parties will be far apart.

More dissent to Brash policy

National MP Tau Henare has questioned party leader Don Brash's hardline opposition to the Maori seats.

Mr Henare says New Zealand First and Act will be gone next election, but the Maori party which currently holds four Maori electorate seats will have a big influence on who forms the next government.

Speaking to iwi radio host, Pierre Lyndon, Mr Henare says the Maori party have been doing well since they've joined the political landscape.

He says although there are only four of them, they've been doing the work of 20. and are putting their views across well in the house.

Mr Henare says National's policy of wanting to scrap the Maori seats, would have to be negotiated if the two parties were to work together in the future.


"If we're in a position to form a government wioth the Maori party, a whoile lot of issues will be on the table, not just the issue of the Masori seats. Rather than negotaite a coalition agreement here right now, let's see where the card sffall at the next election," Henar said.


Maori Council spokesperson Maanu Paul has welcomed New Zealand Post's decision to cancel the issue of stamps on the theme of Maori performing arts.

New Zealand Post says it scrapped the stamps at a cost of $180,000 after complaints from the council and Maori arts organisation Toi Maori.

Mr Paul says New Zealand Post would not have got into such a pickle if it had better consultaiton porcedures with Maori.

He says the designs diminished the spirit of kapa haka.

"And it was a caricature, it wasn't a true representation of Maori, so they had fellows doing the haka with muscles that looked like Popeye. It was comical and ridiculous," Paul said.

The artist, Abel Vaireka, says his designs were in a contemporary style and reflected his passion for kapa haka, and he was disappointed the issue won't go ahead.


the success of a new group in the Auckland regional kapa haka competitions shouldn't be too much of a surprise according to one of the judges.

Te Rita Papesh says Nga Tumanako, who were in the top four and will go on to represent the region at the nationals, already has a history.

The team is made up of ex students of Te Kura Kaupapa o Hoani Waititi, the firsdt maori total immersion school in West Auckland.

Most of the members are in their early 20's.

However Ms Papesch says many are already seasone kapa haka performers.

"The new group is made up of performers from Waka Huia, Manutake, from Whangara Mai Tawhiti, so they have all had some seasosn on the national stage already, but this combination is a new one," Papesch said.

The top four in the Auckland Regionals were Te Waka Hui, Manutake, Nga Tumanako and Manu Huia.


A decision to leave albacore and skipjack tuna out of the quota management system is leaving Maori out of the fishery.

Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton announced last month that there were no problems with the sustainability of the fishstocks, so there was no need to make them quota species.

When new species come into the quota management system, 20 percent of the quota must go to Maori.

One of the few Maori companies currently fishing tuna is Te Runanga a Turanganui a Kiwi fisheries subsidiary Ruamano.

Director Stan Pardoe says he is disapponted with the minister's decision.

He says Ruamano would be well positioned to fish any tuna quota held by other Maori companies like Aotearoa Fisheries.

Stan Pardoe says albacore tuna is the bread and butter fish which pays the wages and running expenses of the tuna fleet.


Post-production of Taika Waitit's first feature film has taken on a new urgency now it has been picked up for North American distribution.

Film New Zealand, which is funding the $1.8 million comedy, sold the rights to Eagle vs Shark to key United States distributor Miramax at the annual film marketplace in Cannes.

Waititi got onto Holloward's watch list when his short film Two Cars One Night was nominated for an Oscar, and his second short, Tama Tu, won the Speical Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival.

Waititi says Eagle vs Shark is a quirky comedy about two nerdy social outcasts.

Producer Ainsley Gardiner says there is no release date yet, and the distribution deal means there needs to be a lot of discusion about the release strategy.