Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Maori Party panics seat target will fall short

The Maori Party is planning an all-out assault to gain an eighth Maori seat to fight for next election.

Co-leader Pita Sharples says not enough people are signing on to the Maori roll to meet the 14,000 target by August, when the Maori Electoral Option ends.

Dr Sharples says the option isn't going the way the party thought it would.

“We're so disturbed about it we are going on the road for a month, starting this weekend We’re going to tour the country and leave one person back in Parliament, and three of us outside talking to people and recruiting people to change young people, inviting them to join the Maori roll,” Sharlpes said.

Pita Sharples says Maori respond best to kanohi ki te kanohi, or face to face discussions, so the Maori Party has to go where the people are.


Maori in Tauranga Moana are taking steps to increase the use of te reo Maori in their rohe.

Educators and iwi met this week to discuss a language revival strategy.

Rewiti Te Mete from Ngaiterangi says the strategy needs to create a firm foundation, or it won't work.


The three-storey carving which is the centrepiece of Manukau City's new Pacific Events centre will play a special role at tomorrow night's Matariki celebration in South Auckland.

Event organiser Tania Wolfgramme says the 40 tonne Pou Kapua or Cloud Pillar will be rededicated in a ceremony acknowleging all those who were part of the project.

The carving, which was originally conceived as an America's Cup project, depicts the settling of the Pacific, is a striking feature of the centre, and will be the focal point for a ceremony paying tribute to all who were part of the project..

Ms Wolfgramme says there is a special role for those who provided the timber.

“A special planting ceremony involving the people of Te Rarawa, because the kauri came from Mitimiti, up in the Hokianga, so they are coming down with another kauri. Then we’re involving everyone in a circle of fire. Fires are lit around Pou Kapua, bringing in that inclusivity,” Wolfgramme said.

Tomorrow's Matariki celebration also features performances from Whirimako Black, Ruia Aperahama, Ardijah and other Maori artists.


A dynamic woman who never gave up.

That's how June Jackson, from the Manukau Urban Maori Authority has described Karroll Brent-Edmondson, who died yesterday in Auckland aged 51.

Mrs Brent-Edmondson gained national attention for employing long term unemployed to work at her South Auckland shoe factory.

The former state ward also launched schemes to get school lunches to children who couldn't afford them, and was involved in many children's trusts and charities.

June Jackson says Mrs Brent Edmondson's generosity touched many people and cultures.

“I will always remember her as a very dynamic women, who actually turned New Zealand upside down with her ability to attract people. A real go getter, and I’m really sad that she’s gone,” Jackson says.


Hauraki tribes will tomorrow hear whether the Waitangi Tribunal has upheld their claims over the way more than a century of Crown actions left them virtually landless.

The tribunal will hand over the report at a ceremony at Ngahutoitoi Marae in Paeroa.

Hauraki Trust Board claims manager John McInteer says the investigations was one of the longest the tribunal has done.

He says while Hauraki only suffered as small amount of confiscation near its borders with Waikato and the Bay of Plenty, the discovery of gold on the Coromandel Peninsula put the iwi under pressure.

“We are probably the most landless tribal group in the North Island, similar to Waiakto or Taranaki, but unlike those two places which suffered confiscation, most of our land was alienated as a result of legislative takings to do with the goldfields and so on,” McInteer said.

John McInteer says the iwi is also hoping for some findings on its customary rights to foreshore and seabed on the Coromandel Peninsula and Tikapa Moana or Firth of Thames.


He may seem over-qualified, but Nick Pirihi is looking forward to becoming a bobby on the beat.

The man from Takahiwai hear Whangarei gained a maths degree from Waikato University, then studied law at Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship, as well as batting for the university cricket team.

On his return he worked in the financial sector, but says he was keen to use his talents elsewhere.

“Always wanted to join the police. The whole point of doing law at Oxford was to come back and join the police with that. Being a bobby on the beat, I can’t wait to get out there and get stuck in, so many different areas to get into, dog handling or CIB, I’ll probably give that a crack at some stage,” Pirihi said.

Nick Pirihi graduated this week from Police College, and he'll start his time in uniform walking the steets of Wellington.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Tau Henare defends committee veto

National MP Tau Henare has defended his veto which kept Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell from sitting in on a Maori Affairs select committee hearing in his electorate. Mr Flavell was forced to sit silently in the audience as the committee sat in Rotorua to hear submissions on the Te Arawa Lakes Settlement Bill. Mr Henare says allowing Mr Flavell to join in would have upset the balance of the committee.

"It was always best that the members on the committee do the business. Maori party was represented on the select committee and also Te Ururoa may have come in for some questioning about 'all well is he too close to it. I mean he is Te Arawa, he's there, he's a local Member of Parliament," Henare said.


The head of Prison Fellowship New Zealand, says the Corrections Department have got it right with the new Auckland Regional Women's Prison.

The 286-bed prison in Wiri was opened yesterday, and the first inmates will go behind its bars in August.

Kim Workman says it will be a few years before the effectiveness of the new complex can be gauged, but he's impressed with the way Maori concepts have been built into the design and the opportunities for rehabilitation which will be available to inmates.

Mr Workman says many Maori oppose construction of new prisons, but they will eventually see the benefits of this one.

"You know we don't want any more prisons but we also have to can see that on this occasion that the department has pretty well got it right. The facility is leaps and bounds ahead of any of the women's facilities that currently exist," said Workman, who is a former head of the Corrections Service.


An advocate for Maori youth says they are interested in current affairs and politics, and don't deserve to be mocked.

Kapua Smith hosts a rangatahi panel show on Maori Television. She says Labour MP Shane Jones is doing young Maori a disservice with his comments that rangatahi are too lazy to enrol to vote.

Ms Smith says rangatahi will be a huge force in years to come.

"By the year 2020, 50% of Maori will be under the age of twenty seven so it is important we acknowledge rangatahi. They are not lazy, they do have a point of view, and they actively seek to participate. We should be encouraging that and not just mocking it," Smith said.

Mr Jones has said lower than expected numbers of first time enrolments is one of the reasons the current Maori Electoral Option is unlikely to result in an eighth Maori seat.


The MP for Tainui has her fingers crossed for a Maori incorporation hoping for the green light to join the energy business.

Taharoa C overseees large tracts of land south of the Kawhia Harbour on the North Island's west coast. Today is the final day of hearings by Environment Waikato, who is considering an application for a joint venture to build wind farms on incorporation land.

Nanaia Mahuta says it is an exciting time for Maori economic development, and if the wind farm application is successful, other Maori organisations may follow suit.

"Maori are looking for all types of opportunities. The fact that Taharoa have considered alternative energy generation and how they can contribute to the national grid, I think is exciting. It signals a new period of Maori economic development and investment," Mahuta sai.


National Party list MP Tau Henare says the Government is rushing into treaty settlements. Mr Henare, a former Maori Affairs minister, says the Te Arawa Lakes Settlement Bill and the proposed settlement of Ngati Whatua o Orakei's claims to Auckland are examples of settlements being done before all the facts are out. He says taking more time would result in fewer people getting upset.

"There is a view within Labour that is saying, hey come on guys we need to have some runs on the board' and they've gone out too quickly when all of the 'i's haven't been dotted, and all the't's haven't been crossed. I know that people have been waiting years for settlements, some of them have been waiting 150 years, and a couple of years longer won't hurt," HE SAID.

Tau Henare says it's often at the select committee stage that problems with settlements emerge.


Chief executive of the Maori language commission says the festival of Matariki or Maori New Year is becoming a unifying force for Aotearoa.

Maori artists including Whirimako Black, Ruia Aperahama and Ardijah will perform at a Matariki celebration in the Manukau Events Centre tomorrow, and there are other events around the country in the days and weeks ahead.

Haami Piripi says it's taken a while for an indigenous festival to be observed in this country and Matariki is an appropriate choice:

"We've found that New Zealanders are desperately seeking opportunities to gather together with other New Zealanders, Maori or Pakeha Pacific Islanders or other immigrants, under a common positive rallying point and it seem Matariki is that point," Piripi said.

Tomorrow's celebration at Manukau will also include the rededication of a three-storey carving depicting the settling of the Pacific.

Tau kaore to Te Ururoa select seat

Wairiki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says political gamesmanship blocked him from sitting on a select committee hearing on the Te Arawa Lakes Settlement Bill.

The Maori Affairs select committee sat in Rotorua yesterday, but Mr Flavell was forced to sit in the audience and could not ask any questions.

Mr Flavell asked to join his Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples on the committee for the hearing, but was vetoed by National List MP Tau Henare because of the Maori Party refused to back National over its election over-spending.

Te Ururoa Flavell says he intends to challenge the settlement when the Bill comes back to Parliament in August.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says she wants to see Government backing whanau-centred responses to Maori child abuse.

Mrs Turia says the government on its own will be unable to prevent future tragedies like the killing of the Kaahui twins.

She says that will only come from community and whanau action, and that means more resources in that direction.


Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says he wants to see the number of Maori women in prisons halved over the next few years.

Mr Horomia attended the opening of a a new 286-bed women's prison in South Auckland this morning.

He says imaginative approaches are needed to cut prisoner numbers, and the Wiri prison has many features which will help rehabilitation.

Parekura Horomia says the Wiri Prison has a tangata whenua group has been set up to work with prison authorities developing programmes for prisoners.


Maori health researcher Paparangi Reid says the killing of the Kaahui twins in Mangere is being seen as a Maori problem, rather than a societal problem.

Dr Reid says Maori family violence is a big problem, but so is the many forms of racial violence towards Maori.

She says the extent of the probloem can be seen from the research released this week showing more than a third of Maori had experienced racial discrimination, which affected their state of health.

Dr Reid says there is still widespread discrimination in areas like justice, housing, employment and education.


Tainui MP Nanaia Mahuta says the Hui Taumata roadshow to provincial centres is encouraging Maori to invest in their own futures.

She says the roadshow is helping to maintain the momentum from the national Maori economic development conference, held in Wellington last year.

Ms Mahuta says iwi welcome the opportunity to discuss Maori potential in the current economic climate.


The most important message to come from Matariki or the Maori New Year is one of self care in pursuit of well being.

That's the view of Tariana Turia and her extended whanau as they prepare for celebrations later this week.

The Maori Party co-leader says there's an inherent theme of responsibility for Maori in the Matariki message:

Hapimana Toby Rikihana dies age 74

Ngati Hinemihi and Tuhourangi are today mourning the death of noted educationalist Hapimana Toby Rikihana.

Mr Rikihana died in Christchurch on Sunday aged 74.

After lying in state at Nga Hau e Wha Marae he was taken back to Hinemihi Marae in Rotorua, where he will be buried on Friday.

Mr Rikihana taught in the Auckland area in a variety of roles for almost 40 years, and was responsible for producing a huge volume of Maori language teaching resources.

He was also known for his knowledge of Maori string games, and was writing as book on the connection between the ancient games and astronomy.

His nephew, Te Ohu Mokai Wi Kingi, says Mr Rikihana learned the games from his kaumatua and kuia growing up in Rotorua.

"Every time we’d sit around the fire they’d be teaching us these games. They were passed to us specifically to pas on as we got older. And this is where we learned whakingahau, string games, the whole lot,” Wi Kingi said.

Te Ohu Mokai Wi Kingi says Toby Rikihana was keen for as many people as possible to learn Maori knowlege, so it would not be lost.


Maori design is to the fore in the new women’s prison opening today at Wiri, in Manukau City.

Corrections department kaumatua, Charlie Tawhiao says the 286-bed prison features a building called Papa Mauri, where tikanga Maori will be used in conjunction with rongoa Maori, to help heal the inmates.

The building will be flanked by smaller whare where women on minimum security are housed before their release.

Mr Tawhiao says the opening of the new correctional facility hasn't found favour with everyone, but it does allow for new ways of doing things.

"It's always bad news to be building new prisons, but one of the things that’s kept me in this project is building new prisons is an opportunity to build new ways of operating prisons,” Tawhiao said.


New Zealand First law and order spokesperson Ron Mark reckons he's got a job for the Sallies.

He says it is unnaceptable to have staff from security firms manning police cells, as occured recently in Wellington.

Two of those staff have been stood down after it was discovered they had previous convictions on serious charges, and the police have since ended the firm's contract.

Mr Mark says many people held in police cells are in a vulnerable state, and some may be suicidal.

He says those types of prisoners need specialist care.

“ Whilst you may not want a clinical psychologist sitting there for 24 hours supervising an at risk inmate or suicidal inmate, you need somewhere there who’s more than brawn and muscle. In that case, the Salvation Army is probably a better case to start looking,” Mark says.


Te Arawa has overcome another hurdle on the path towards final settlement of its claim to the Rotorua lakes.

The Maori Affairs select committee met in Rotorua yesterday to hear submissions on the Te Arawa Lakes Settlement Bill, which will return the beds of the Rotorua lakes to the iwi.

Te Arawa Trust Board chairman Andrew Rangiheuea says while the committee heard some opposing submissions from small groups within Ngati Pikiao and Ngati Makino, the majority of the iwi support the settlement.

He disagrees with people who think the tribe could have got more.

"This has taken years to get here, and I must thank my researchers and my people who did the negotiations, the nard nose negotiators I had on board at the time to get is where we are. They have exhausted themselves and they thumped the table many times to get a settlement that I believe is good for Te Arawa in the climate we are in,” Rangiheuea said.


The former head of the New Zealand Womens refuge says all Maori must take some responsibility for the domestic violence in their whanau.

She says while Maori, along with all New Zealanders, are outraged at the recent death of twin boys in Mangere, a culture of silence isn't helping those trying to change the situation.

Ms Raukawa Tait says many Maori are ignoring what is happening right under their noses, and if someone had spoken out, perhaps the recent tragedy could have been avoided.

She says it is a Maori problem, and up to Maori to do something about it.

“All Maori should because those children belong to us. That is the I am we of Maori. We are not alone. We are part of a whanau, a hapu, an iwi. We all share in the blame. It is not a Pakeha issue, it is not a government issue, it is our issue, and we are reluctant to own it,” Raukawa Tait said.


Maori needs are being incorporated in to the new programmes aiming to address drug and alchohol issues in prisons.

Paul Monk, the Corrections Department's South Island regional manager, says Maori make up the majority of the prison poulation, and will be targetted for the 24 week intensive programmes dealing with drug addiction.

He says the 60 bed unit being built at Christchurch prison could be the forerunner of others to be built at prisons around the country.

Mr Monk says the programmes have a strong Maori element.

"They've certainly been developed to take that into account. 50% of the prison population identifies as Maori. The programme needs to take into account the various needs of participants, and for us Maori is a large part,” Monk said.

Paul Monk says before being accepted into the drug treatment programmes, inmates must show a commitment to change their behaviour.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Click for fat kids

Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro says Maori children are particularly vulnerable to internet advertising being developed by major fast food chains.

As well as the television advertising, Ms Kiro says some of the chains are pushing powerful messages through interactive websites developed for children.

She says commercial advertisers are trying to turn children into consumers from an earlier age.

IN: This is especially important I think for Maori children because Maori children are, as a population, more overweight and at an earlier age than other children. We've got to be careful to counteract that, to find ways in which we make the option of eating healthier food much easier for children and for their families," Kiro said.


Anglican Bishop Muru Walters says good neighbours play an important role in the safety of communities.

Maori are struggling to understand the death of the Kahui twins in Mangere, and are asking questions about how well their communities are functioning.

Bishop Walters says excuses like poverty don't hold up, and people should look closer to home.

"Neighbours are there, not to destroy one another, but to alert each other of damage, violence etc that is going on, and good neighbours would not tolerate that," Walters said.


For the first time, Maori will be involved in the national conference of the New Zealand Association of Language Teachers.

Conference organiser Deborah Rattray says the revitalisation of te reo Maori offers lessons for teachers of any language.

She says most language teachers are concerned at the resources available to teach their particular language, and that's where the Maori guest speakers have a lot of practical experience.

Ms Rattray says Maori input is overdue, especially as the organisers wanted to emphasise New Zealand's unique blend of bilingual heritage and multicultural society.

The conference kicks off July the second.


Coach Donny Stevenson says the New Zealand Maori rugby team's success in winning back the Churchill Cup bodes well for the future.

The team which arrived home yesterday from Canada won the final 52 to 17 against Scotland.

Stevenson says the squad was chosen with development in mind.

"It was always about developing players, espectially with 39 players involved in the All Blacks and 26 with the Junior All Blacks. 13 made their debut, and to see them coming through, these young biys, the future is good for New Zealand rugby," Stevenson said.

New Zealand Maori previously won the cup in 2004, but did not defend it last year.


The former head of Women's Refuge says Maori trust boards and runanga are too male dominated and out of touch with the flax roots.

Merepeka Raukawa-Tait says iwi runanga should be in a strong position to lead Maori action against domestic violence and child abuse, but instead they fail to address the problem.

She says if they more closely monitor those they are responsible for, the negative statistics might improve.

"Let's be honest. It is not helpful. They are slow in making decisions. They are ponderous. They are great at standing up on the marae and making the big whaikorero, but when it comes to getting some action, you have to put some committed women in place. Women who work at the coal face, who don't pontificate, who get on, see what is required, and who are prepared to stick their neck out as well and do the hard yards," she said.

Merepeka Raukawa Tait says all many runanga seem to be concerned with is treaty claims, without considering how to improve things now before settlements.


Te Arawa maori Trust Board chairman, Anaru Rangiheuea, says Te Arawa have to to work together to make the lakes settlement work.

The Maori Affairs select committee sat today in Rotorua to hear submissions on the Te Arawa Lakes Settlement Bill, which will return the beds of the Rotorua lakes to Te Arawa and give the tribe an increased say in its managent.

Mr Rangiheuea says he doesn't expect everyone to be happy at the deal, but it is an attempt to be inclusive of the whole iwi.

"The settlement is inclusive of all hapu. In the 1924 settlement, the lakes were ceded by those hapu who hasd an interes tin the lakes. Some of the hapu brought in now did not have an interest in the lakes, so this settlement is inclusive of all Te Arawa, not just specific groups or specific hapu," Rangiheua said.

The select committee is due to report the bill back to Parliament in August.


New Zealand's contingent to first Pacific Youth Festival in Tahiti next month will include three Moriori rangatahi from Chatham Islands.

More than 1400 young people and non-governemnt organisations are expected at the six-day festival, which includes conferences, workshops and cultural events.

Hokatehi Moriori Trust chairman Mana Cracknell says the programme includes discussions of many of the issues which the young Moriori are likely to face as they move into leadership positions, such as globalisation, indigenous knowledge and fauna and flora.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Meningococcal campaign Maori success story

Health Minister Pete Hodgson says a meningococcal B vaccination campaign for Maori children was an example of how ethnic targeting can be used effectively.

Race-based programmes have been out of favour since the early years of the Labour led government, when its Closing the Gaps strategy for Maori came under sustained fire from Opposition parties.

But Pete Hodgson says it was clear existing programmes weren't reaching Maori, and it made sense to use Maori health providers, marae, and other sources of Maori leadership to reach out into the community.

“Well you see I’m a honky from the South Island mate, and I just think if any group of people can be identified – they come from Canterbury, or they’re seven, or they’re Maori, whatever, it doesn’t mater how you see them, if you can identify them usefully as needing more, then you go to Canterbury, or seven year olds, or Maori, and you deal to it,” Hodgson said.

Pete Hodgson says the incidence of meningococcal B meningitis in the northern North Island has dropped by 90 percent as a result of the campaign, and it could soon be consigned to history.


The Poutama Trust says its support for the Maori tourism sector is showing dividends after the latest tourism industry Rendezvous New Zealand showcase in Christchurch.

The government-appointed trust has focussed on the sector, including paying booth costs for up to three years for Maori operators to attend TRENZ, the industry's main marketing event

Poutama Trust chief executive Richard Jones says 15 ventures made the trip to Te Waipounamu, and they made a positive impact on travel wholesalers looking for a unique experiences to market to the world.

IN: Most of them this is the third or sometimes the fifth time they’ve attended, so the buyers recognize them and have confidence and credibility, they know they’re around, they won’t be here one year and gone the next. Tourism is like that, it’s easy to get in, but it’s competitive, so it’s hard to stay in and make a go of it,” Jones said.

Richard Jones says next year's TRENZ showcase will be in Rotorua, which will guarantee a higher turn-out of Maori tourism businesses.


The Alcohol Advisory Council ALAC is set to get an infusion of fresh energy after an indigenous well being hui in Canada next month.

ALAC is helping 12 young Maori join the New Zealand contingent to the six day "Healing Our Spirit Worldwide" conference, which will tackle issues of substance abuse and holistic healing strategies among indigenous peoples.

ALAC youth project manager Te Rina Moke says much of the value in the trip will be on their return.

“The 12 rangatahi will be expected to mahi in their rohe, so we are trying to wrap around individual programmes for all of those rangatahi to work alongside us to mahi in their rohe to share the experiences they have learned in their communities,” Moke said.


Debates over Maori entitlement to foreshore and seabed are likely to be back on the agenda this week with the release of the Waitangi Tribunal's report into the Hauraki Claim.

The tribunal will hand over its report to the Marutuahui tribes at Ngahutoitoi Marae in Paeroa on Saturday.

Hauraki Claims manager John McInteer says it was the tribunal's longest-running claim so far, with 27 hearings between 1998 and 2002.

He says the claim was distinguished by the focus on natural resources, the virtual landlessness of Hauraki and the loss of its coastal estate as a result of the finding of gold on the Coromandel peninsula.

“ Foreshore and seabed was obviously a very important one for us because we have been battling that since the 1860s, and we are hoping for some findings on the way we have held customary interests,” McInteer said.

John McInteer says Hauraki is keen to start negotiations for a settlement as soon as possible after the Waitangi Tribunal report is released.


The Health Minister says the success of a vaccination programme against the meningococcal B meningitus virus in Maori children will have positive spin-offs for other public health measures.

The programme, which targeted Maori children, has reduced the number of meningococcal B incidents by 90 percent in Auckland and Northland.

Pete Hodgson says Maori have become much more aware of the benefits of vaccines in general.

“We can anticipate a greater responsiveness to vaccination by Maori because they have seen what a nasty disease can do and they have seen how you can really deal to it,” Hodson said.

Pete Hodgson says the Health Ministry is willing to mount ethnically-targeted campaigns where there is a proven need.


Greens' Maori Affairs spokesperson Metiria Turei says increased treatment services for prisoners with alcohol and drug addictions are long overdue.

The Government is increasing the number of treatment beds for male prisoners from 22 to 60 at Waikeria Prison and another 60 at Christchurch.

Ms Turei says many inmates arrive in prison with substance abuse problems, but little is done about them.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

PM welcomes Sharples’ sharp turn

The Prime Minister has welcomed Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples' U-turn on Wayne Mapp's worker probation bill.

The switch means the bill, which would mean workers could be sacked without a reason given during the first 90 days on the job, would be lost 61-60 when it comes back from select committee.

Helen Clark says Dr Sharples took the view the bill should go to the select committee so he could see what the evidence was, and it appears he was persuaded by the evidence.

“It’s pretty clear that a bill like this would see a lot of peole just lose emplyment protectin rights, you wuld see a lot of short term workers just flicked over, so I really hope Pita and Hone wold now talk to ther other two colleagues and say this bill wouldn’t be good for Maori workers – it wouldn’t be good for any workers,” Clark said.


Veteran Maori health worker Moe Milne says lack of support for young mothers is a factor in many child abuse cases.

Ms Milne says says young Maori mothers are far more isolated than they used to becasue of the break-down in whanau networks.

Reductions in the time mothers spend in hospital and the follow up they get after also has an impact.

Because of the new funding structure, the level of support for young mothers has been lessened. They don’t have as many visits for newborns as they used to. Also, the hauora Maori who have tamariki Maori contracts don’t get funded to provide the same level of support as in the past, so often after the first six weeks of visits, the mother and her baby are left alone,” Milne said.


Twelve young Maori from around the country are raising money to attend an indigenous well being hui in Edmonton, Canada in August.

Half the costs of the trip are being met by ALAC, the Alcohol Advisory Committee.

ALAC Youth project manager Te Rina Moke says the balance must come from iwi assistance or fundraising, with some rangatahi selling hangi and raffling buckets of titi or mutton birds to raise the fare.

Ms Moke says applicants for the six day "Healing Our Spirit Worldwide" conference had to meet strict criteria.

“You must be between the ages of 18 and 30, you must be willing to, and have and aptitude to speak and present in front of a lot of people, you must have a commitment to your whanau, hapu, so when you come back there will be plans for you to share what you have learnt, and you must be drug free,” Moke said.

The six day indigenous "healing our spirit worldwide" conference which will be held in the city of Edmonton, will embrace holistic healing experiences amongst indigenous peoples.


A young Maori doctor at Waikato Hospital, says the public is still unclear of the reasons behind the junior doctors strike which ended today.

Dr Lily Fraser says the long hours the doctors are expected to work, is only one of the issues on the table.

More important is the junior doctor's suspicion of a planned committee to oversee changes in workplace conditions.

Dr Fraser says the committee, which will have four representatives each from the District Health Board and the junior doctors, appears to be a device to sidestep the union.

“Through that, changes can be made to our original contract. That essentially means we have no more power as a union, we won’t be able to take industrial action and we will effectively end up with individual contracts, and they haven’t given us any information about what they will have the power to do,” Fraser said.


Prime Minister Helen Clark says the deadline for settling historical treaty claims leaves plenty of time for every claim to be heard and settled.

The Maori Purposes Bill now before Parliament gives iwi until September 2008 to lodge claims with the Waitangi Tribunal.

Ms Clark denies suggestions the government was trying slip the change through.

Labour put it up front in its manifesto, it might even be on the pledge card, for all I know, to say that 2008 would be the cut off time for historic claims, There have been many years now to get the claims in, they are well known, and then when you have everything in the queue you can proceed to settle,” Clark said

Clark says the government believes once all the claims are in the queue, it is feasible to settle them by 2020.


Green Party MP Meteria Turei says Maori shouldn't be surprised some Pacific Island neighbors sided with Japan to support the lifting of the moratorium on commercial whaling.

She say some of the small nations are vulnerable to economic incentives in exchange for their votes.

Ms Turei says Palau has oil reserves just off its coast, but not the money to exploit it.

The offer of cash for their vote on the International Whaling Commission may have been too hard to ignore.

In some ways it is a wake up call as to how poor our neighbors are on Moananui a Kiwa, how easy it is for them to get trapped into being manipulated and bribed by bigger countries with more money and better access to resources,” Turei said.

Kiro backs anti-smack

Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro says the support by six Taitokerau iwi for Green MP Sue Bradford's anti smacking bill is visionary.

Earlier attempts to remove the section in the Crimes Act allowing parents the defence of reasonable force have failed, in part because of lack of Maori support.

Cindy Kiro, who has whakapapa links to one of the iwi, Ngati Kahu, says other iwi should take a lead from the north.

“I just have such enormous respect for the position they have taken. This is one of moral and political leadership that is desperately needed. They are saying they will step up to the mark, and that is what is needed,” Kiro said.


Maori lawyer Annete Sykes says Maori journalists missed a major opportunity to showcase the Maori language by not covering Tame Iti's trial in Rotorua last week.

Judge Chris McGuire has reserved is judgment on the case, in which the veteran activist faced a firearms charge in relation to piece of theatre during a powhiri for Waitangi Tribunal members at Ruatoki last year.

Ms Sykes says some of the best exponents of te reo Maori in the country were on the witness stand, and the case with wide ranging implications.

“It was very disappoint for someone who has been a Maori language activities, to have one of the few cases heard in the general jurisdiction of the court in our language, to have not one radio station and very little from Te Karere or Maori Television, it’s like they just wanted a 30 second soundbite,” Sykes said.


A warning to young players in the New Zealand domestic rugby league competition.

Be ready for the call-up.

That's the word from New Zealand Warriors hardman, Reuben Wiki from Ngapuhi, who says the talent knocking at the door for the Auckland based NRL franchise is positive for the future.

The Warriors had a well deserved victory over the Newcastle Knights over the weekend, and Wiki says home-grown talent contributed to the win.

He says the club's scouts are keeping a close watch on the form of players in the domestic competition.


It's a special time of the year for Taranaki Maori.

Like many areas, the rohe is celebrating the Matariki, the Maori new year.

Te Miringa Hohaia from Parihaka says it is also a Taranaki custom to remember Parihaka prophets Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kaakahi, at a time they call Puanga.

Because of Matariki and Puanga, particularly for us Punaga, it’s a month our whanau pani might choose to bring there hare mate on those ra, the 18th and 19th, that’s been good,” Hohaia said.

turia tamariki

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says reconstituting the Maatua Whangai programme could help prevent the deaths of more Maori children.

Police are currently treating the deaths of head injuries of the three-month old Kahui twins from Mangere as a homicide investigation.

Mrs Turia says every violent death of tamariki is in some ways preventable.

She says Maori would like to take more responsibility of keeping their children safe, but they are often blocked by government agencies who won't share information or reach out to the Maori community.

“Of one family has issues, instead of going to the extended whanau, they behave as if all of the family are a risk to the child, which is of course is simply not true. If we could reconstitute Maatua Whangai, it could be a first step to aiding families in this situation,” Turia said.

Tariana Turia says it was a mistake to scrap the programme started by the old Department of Maori Affairs which tried to involve the wider whanau when problems arose with children and young people.


Maori lawyer Willie Te Aho says the Maori Land Court has had its day.

The Maori Purposes Bill now before Parliament will increase the maximum number of Maori Land Court from eight to 14, because recent laws like the Maori Fisheries Settlement Act have given the court more work to do.

Mr Te Aho says rather than tinker with the court, the government should replace it with a structure more suited to the needs of contemporary Maori.

“The Maori Land Court should be abolished. You look at the fisheries, in five years our people have total discretion what to do with the fisheries resource. The same with land. I think the Maori Land Court has served its purpose, we should be moving on and looking for structures that suit our people today, not hanging on to paternalistic mechanisms of the past.” Te Aho said.


A boost for the second Maori television channel.

Tiny Te Hiku TV, which broadcasts for two hours a day in Kaitaia, has secured the services of long time radio and television journalist Gideon Porter as its chief executive.

Mr Porter, whose family home is in nearby Ahipara, says it's a four-person, one room operation with the bare esentials for putting programmes to air, but that doesn't mean it can't produce exciting television.

“If we get a successful model up here, it’s a model we’d be only to pleased to chair with other iwi, other rohe, who may want to set up their own little regional channels,” Porter said.

Gideon Porter says the quality of home digital cameras and editing software means programme making is no longer just for professionals, and Te Hiku TV will encourage talented amateurs to have a go recording what is happening in their community.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Sharples drops support for Mapp bill

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says he will no longer support Wayne Mapp's worker probation bill.

It spells the end of the National MP's measure, which would remove employment protection from new workers for the first 90 days.

Doctor Sharples says he made the switch after overwhelming pressure from his electorate.

He says he supported the bill to get it to select committee, based on his own experiences getting Maori into jobs.

“I have got a lot of people into work on the basis of them having a trial, and that’s why I thought there might be some way this would produce some dialogue, where a trial might be explained or built into the bill, but nothing like that has happened,” Sharples said.

The two other Maori Party members who supported the introduction of the bill, Tariana Turia and Te Ururoa Flavell, say they will wait until the select committee has considered the bill before saying whether they will continue to back it.


Many Maori parents don't have the skills or patience to bring up children.

That's the view of longtime Auckland Maori social worker Taotahi Pihama in the wake of the death of Mangere's Kahui twins.

The second of the infants died of head injuries last night and Police have begun a double-homicide inquiry.

Mr Pihama says while the circumstances surrounding the death of the twins is not known, there is widespread concern over the way many Maori use force to discipline their children.

I just don’t agree with the discipline a lot of our whanau do. A lot of it is expediency, hoha, they just don’t have the skills to deal with children who have different behaviour, don’t listen and all that kind of thing, so the first thing they do is whack,” Pihama said.


A new Maori subject headings system for libraries looks set to revolutionise the way people can search for information.

Nga Upoko Tukutuku was jointly developed by the Library and Information Association, Maori librarians group Te Ropu Whakahau and the National Library.

Project participant Glen Taitoko says Maori and the wider community stand to gain from the new list, which covers more than 1000 headings and their associated references.

He says benefits include revitalisaiton of te reo Maori, and allowing Maori searchers a more targeted way to find information.


The Children's Commissioner says there is growing support for a system to monitor children's develpment, that can be accessed by all parties with a stake in their future.

Cindy says too often there are examples of tamariki slipping through the cracks, and a tagging system could help prevent that happening.

Dr Kiro says the death of twin boys in Auckland over the past week is a reminder that there are usually signs of pressure.

She says 80 percent of children killed in domestic incidents were not known to the Child, Youth and Family Services but had come to the attention of other agencies.

“Quite a number were known to other authorities, health or education or someone, they weren’t invisible, so it’s a matter of that somebody acting on their submissions or acting in a way that stops it escalating,” Kiro said.


Veteran activist Mike Smith says the word settlement is overused.

The latest settlement, between Ngati Whatua o Orakei and the Crown, will mean a tree can finally be planted on top of Maungakiekie or One Tree Hill to replace the pine Mr Smith took his chainsaw to a decade ago.

Mr Smith says he doubts the Crown is approaching the settlement process in a spirit of reconciliation, and it is not getting to the heart of ongoing grievances.

“I suspect the Crown in its dealing with Maori don’t really want to address the issues properly, They call it settlement, we all know it’s really extinguishment, and we should use those words, because my fear is the younger people with that use of the word settlement, will believe they are really settled,. The great injustices of the past are not confined to the past,” Smith said.

Mike Smith says it is the task of activists like Tame Iti and himself to push the limits of the debate.


Race Relations Conciliator Joris de Bres says racism won't go away overnight.

Mr de Bres says people should treat as a wake up call the research by the Ministry of Health, Massey University and University College London which shows one in three Maori had experienced racial discrimination..

Such discrimination is associated with poorer health, including lower physical and mental health, more heart disease and smoking.

Mr de Bres says a lot of work is required to counter the problem.

I think it’s going to take a long time to shift the systemic barriers and public attitudes that mean no particular group in New Zealand experiences discriminationon the level demonstrated by these figures,” de Bres said.

Fauna claim bid

New Zealand Maori Council spokesperson Maanu Paul says the issues surrounding the Wai 262 claim for indigenous plants and animals is too important to be left to the original claimants.

The claim has been before the Waitangi Tribunal for 15 years, and the tribunal is currently trying to define what issues should be considered in the final set of hearings, which are due to start in August.

It is expected that the patenting of drugs or food supplements extracted from native plants will be high on the agenda.

At a judicial conference on Friday, the original claimants fought against the council and the Federation of Maori Authorities being granted claimant status.

Mr Paul says the original claimants should welcome the council’s help, given the way the claim has dragged on.

“For a claim that had been asked to be heard urgently in 1994, the process and system has failed it,” Paul said

Maanu Paul says the Maori Council has the statutory authority to represent all Maori at the hearing, and it shouldn’t be denied claimant status.

The tribunal has reserved its decision.


Expect to see more Maori involvement at next year’s Field Days at Mystery Creek in the Waikato.

Roger Pikia, from Agresearch, says Maori are significnat players in the rural sector, but that is not reflected in the numbers of Maori farmers attending the Field Days.

Mr Pikia says one area where Maori views could be beneficial, is their experience with communally owned farms.

He says it's difficult for individuals to buy farms on their own, so many Pakeha are forming trusts and collectives to do so, and are faced with unique challenges, that Maori farmers have had to work through over the years.

For the last 100 years, Maori were the only true corporate farmers in the country. That is changing rapidly, and there are more and more corporate farmers. I think Pakeha will learn a lot from Maori structures, the need to get consensus and the sort of challenges you face when you have multiple owners or multiple decision-making processes,” Pikia said.


Almost half a million Maori children have been immunised against meningococcal type B meningitis.

Bernard Te Paa , the general manager of Maori services for Counties Manukau District Health Board, says because of the programme Maori have become more aware of the need for immunisation across the board.

He says there's been a significant reduction in the number of hospital admissions in South Auckland for meningitis.

“That’s huge and it’s had a huge effect positively for combating meningococcal and giving our kids a leg up in terms of their overall health and well being. So we need to take off our hats to Maori whanau, because they’ve really come in on the call for this,” Te Paa said.


The Waitangi Tribunal has reserved its decision on whether national Maori organisations can join in the long running Wai 262 claim for indigenous fauna and flora.

The New Zealand Maori Council and the Federation of Maori Authorities faced opposition from existing claimants at a judicial conference in Auckland on Friday, but lawyers for the Crown did not oppose them joining in.

What the Crown did oppose is that they just be treated as interested third parties, who can make submissions but not bring evidence or cross examine witnesses.

Maori Council spokesperson Maanu Paul says the national organisations don’t want to step on the existing claimants, but they have a significant contribution to make.

"This is a claim that affects all Maori. It is like the claim for te reo, for television, Maori radio. Those sorts of claims the Maori Council involved itself in because it really is the only statutory body that can speak on behalf of all Maori,” Paul said.

Maanu Paul from the New Zealand Maori Council.

The hearings starting in August are expected to hear a wide range of arguments about intellectual property rights, copyright and whether a wide range of government policies are in breach of the Treaty of Waitangi.


A call for more maori to enter the town planning and urban design professions.

A hui of Maori planning and design professionals in Waitakere City, discussed ways that Maori values can be better reflected in urban landscapes,

Maori architect Rau Hoskins says Maori need to be involved at the start of the process rather than coming in when it's too late.

“Nothing really happens unless the iwi reps are working alongside the designers. Sometimes the designer is also an iwi reps. That’s where we want to head to in terms of increasing the number of Maori who take up urban design and planning and architectural professions,” Hoskins said.


Taranaki iwi Ngati Ruanui says its new website may be the most cost effective way to keep its beneficiaries informed.

Chairman Ngaonepu Kahukuranui says most of Ngati Ruanui's 7000 registered decendants live outside south Taranaki, and trying to keep in touch with them was a frustrating task.

Mr Kahukuranui says iwi-focused websites are becoming common, because they can be used both to give information and to get feedback from iwi members on important issues.