Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, June 30, 2006

Mormon college to close

The closure of Hamilton's Church College is a blow to the 24,000 Maori Mormans in New Zealand.

Utah-based elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints said the 700-student private high school will close by 2009, and the resources will be reallocated to teaching programmes in Africa and Eastern Europe.

Anthony Wilson. the church's national public affairs director, says Maori have made up a significant part of the school community since it opened in 1958.


Iwi are coming together in the Western Bay of Plenty to work on strategies to curb family violence.

Rahera Ohia from Ngati Pukenga says while the hui at Maungatapu marae in Tauranga tomorrow has been planned for three months, the national focus on the issue in the wake of the Kaahui killings has added impetus to the kaupapa.

Representatives of Ngaiterangi, Ngati Ranginui, Ngati Pukenga and the Tauranga Maori police liason roopu, be involved.

Ms Ohia says while many whanau don't have the traditional support networks, more could be done to recognise signs of a family having problems.

She says people mistakenly think the problems are so big there is nothing they can do.


Katchafire, the Maori Volcanics and Whirimako Black are among the top entertainers seeing in the Maori new year tomorrow at Waitangi Park on the Wellington waterfront..

Celebration organiser Wharehoka Wano says the Wellington City Council-sponsored event is a chance for Maori and non Maori to get into the spirit of Matariki.


Whanganui iwi are today mouring the loss of one of their rangatira, Manu Metekingi, who died this week.

Mr Metekingi, from Atihauni a Paparangi, Ngati Apa, Te Atiawa and Ngati Hauiti, was well known for his involvement in community issues in the region, and as a spokesman for the Putiki pa.

His funeral is tomorrow morning at Putiki Marae.


Tuhoe activist Tame Iti says he isn't taking his conviction for arms offences personally.

In a reserved judgment released in Rotorua District today, Judge Chris McGuire found Iti guilty of two charges of unlawfully posessing a firearm at Ruatoki in January last year, and fined him $300 on each charge.

Iti fired the shotgun during a welcome for the Waitangi Tribunal which was to hear Tuhoe claims.

Iti says his action was in line with Tuhoe tradition and tikanga, and the court had no right to say what he can do on his marae.

Tame Iti says camera crews aren't welcome at his future protests.


The Maori Council is considering a claim against the claim settlement process.

Spokesperson Maanu Paul says questions of iwi governance should be the sole business of Maori.

He says the mandating requirements imposed by the Office of Treaty Settlements are destabilising to iwi.


Labour list MP Shane Jones says National's support for Rodney Hide's Anti-discrimination Bill is a taste of things to come if the party leads a future government.

The bill, which failed to get past the introduction stage this week, would have removed the government's exemption under the Human Rights Act.

Mr Jones says that means the government would could not offer targeted programmes for specific groups like Maori.

He says ACT and National will continue to pursue assimilationist policies.

"The reality is the size of the Maori population is growing. We have a huge number of Pacific Islanders now living in Aotearoa, some residents, some citizens, and there is a growing number of other ethnic minoriti coming to our community, so the future of Aotearoa is plurality, the future of Aotearoa is diversity," Jones said.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Vulnerability, not violence the issue

June 27
A former chief social worker says Maori aren't inherently more violent than other groups, but Maori children are disproportionately the victims of physical abuse.

Mike Doolan has been researching child killings in New Zealand during the 1990s, and found 52 percent of the 91 children who died were Maori.

But he says baseline research on child violence done in the 1970s showed there was no difference in between Maori and other ethnic groups when it came to the incidence of physical violence against children.

Mr Doolan says questions need to be asked about what has made Maori children more vulnerable over the past 30 years.

“If you were following the literature you would be looking at things like income levels, like employment levels, like the degree to which mental health and dependency issues are present, and seeing if there is an increase in these in families. Rather than an increased tendency to kill, there is an increased vulnerability brought about by these conditions,” Doolan said.


Tauranga kaumatua Colin Bidois says the community is rallying around after his Pyes Pa home burned down.

The chairman of Te Runanga o Tauranga Moana and a leader of Ngati Ranginui, says the sound of the fire woke him at midnight Sunday, and he was just able to get his wife and son out of the house before flames consumed it.

Mr Bidois, says he lost many precious books and photographs, but was just thankful no lives were lost.

Colin Bidois says he won't let the fire stop him attending the final Waitangi Tribunal hearing of the Tauranga claims next week.


One of the country's leading kapa haka groups is celebrating 25 years in the business.

Auckland- based Waka Huia is three times national champion and a runners up on numerous occasions.

Founder Ngapo Wehi says he's lost count of the people from different iwi who have competed for Waka Huia and learnt their skills in the hours of dedicated practice required for a winning performance.

Ngapo Wehi says anyone who has been a member or associated with Waka Huia is invited to the anniversary ball at Sky City this weekend.


Te Arawa people are mourning the loss of one of their most prominent kuia.

Bubbles Mihinui, or Guide Bubbles as she was known, died in Rotorua yesterday aged 86.

Rotorua deputy mayor Trevor Maxwell says the kuia touched the lives of thousands of visitors to Whakarewarewa over the years.

She started guiding in 1936 and became senior guide in 1970, on the death of Guide Rangi.

Guide Bubbles was made a distinguished companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit four years ago.

Mr Maxwell says she was a major presence in the community.


Prime Minister Helen Clark says a lot of community work will be needed to overcome the kind of problems which resulted in the death of twin babies Cru and Chris Kahui.

Ms Clark says when there was a cluster of similar tragedies in the Wairarapa, a lot of work was done with the community to prevent further incidents.

She says that kind of focus may be needed in South Auckland, but on the current evidence, it won't be easy to get through to the Kahui whanau.


Maori Language Commission chief executive Haami Piripi is calling for Matariki or the Maori New Year to be recognised as a national holiday.

Mr Piripi who says it's about time New Zealand had an indigenous public holiday.

He says Te Ao Maori or the Maori world is about balance and the recognition of Matariki will contribute to that:

National's political corrrectness watchdog Wayne Mapp says Matariki is not popular enough to justify any official recognition.

Final rites for Guide Bubbles

One of the major figures of the Rotorua tourism industry and a leading huia of Te Arawa, guide Dorothy Huhana "Bubbles" Mihinui, will be buried at her home marae in Whakarewarewa today.

Hundreds of people, including Prime Minister Helen Clark, have come to the Te Paakira Marae in Whakarewarewa this week to pay their respects.

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says Mrs Mihinui, affectionately known as Nanny Bubbles, gave 70 years service to Maori tourism and the Rotorua community.

Mr Flavell says Mrs Mihinui was a cultural icon.

“She has contributed a fair bit to the presentation of Aotearoa nationally as well as internationally, so she will be sorely missed, and her vast experience and knowledge will also be missed by those of us in Te Arawa around tikanga issues as well,” Flavell said.


The former head of Christchurch Woemn's Prison says a proposed new law allowing women prisoners to keep their babies until they are two years old is likely to have little effect.

Celia Lashlie says it is a good idea to allow mothers to keep their babies up until that age, and it has worked well in the states of Australia where it is allowed.

But she says if Green MP Sue Bradford's bill is passed, the Corrections Department will interpret it so few women can keep their children with them.

“They'll say you can only have the baby if you are minimum security, if you behave yourself, if you pull your head in, if you fit this criteria, da da da, so in the end I expect the number of women who get to keep their babies will be minimal, because you will have to be first time offender, small sentence, minimum security, behaves herself,” Lashlie said.

Celia Lashlie says the Corrections Department treats women prisoners like male prisoners, and won't identify the key whanau members who may help with rehabilitation.


It will be the first taste of life as international sportswomen for many of the Junior White Sox, who leave for North America tonight.

The national junior women's softball squad are in a tournament that would normally feature the senior women's team.

Second base player Courtney O Donnell, from Taranaki, says because the senior women's team is getting ready to play in the world championship in Beijing in August, the junior team is going in its place.

She says the junior squad is made up of predominantly Maori players, and for most it's their first international competition.


Maori and commercial fishers are in dispute over what is causing a dramatic decline in crayfish stocks on the East Coast.

Gisbone crayfishers spokesman Gordon Halley says natural processes are behind the decline since 2000, and he saw similar declines in the late 1970s and late 1980s - followed by abundant stocks.

But Gordon Asten, who hands out customary permits for Gisborne hapu Ngati Oneone, says constant commercial pressure means there is no chance for stocks to recover.

Gordon Asten says an iwi-commercial forum is trying to find common ground on the issue.


The president of Te Mana Akonga, the Maori tertiary students association, say an injection of funds into the university sector is welcomed, but fees remain the main area of concern for Maori students.

Yesterday the government announced it will direct 26 million dollars towards 8 universities, to be used in stafff development.

Veronica Tawhai says with increased demand on institutions to improve quality and relevance, it's likely the money will be spent on upskilling staff.

She says of more pressing need to maori students, is the security of knowing they won't be facing fee hikes.


Tainui MP Nanaia Mahuta says she is proud to be able to brign a Maori perspective to an East Asian ministerial meeting on gender equality in Tokyo this week.

The meeting is looking at ways to implement the platform of action that came out of the United Nations women's conference in Beijing.

Ms Mahuta says she will be able to share New Zealand initiatives like the extension of paid parental leave and moves to increase the accessibility and affordability of childcare.

Manukau kaitiaki Kirkwood dies

June 28

Tainui people are today mourning the passing of a man known as a kaitiaki of the Manukau Harbour.
Barney Kirkwood died yesterday aged 73, and is lying in state at Whatapaka Marae on the southern shore of the harbour.

His cousin, Carmen Kirkwood, says Mr Kirkwood with his father Ted was one of the key people who drove the Manukau Claim before the Waitangi Tribunal in the 1980s.

He served on the Auckland Regional Council's Manukau Harbour Maritime Committee, and spent years pushing for a clean-up of the harbour.

“Barney was there, he never gave in, it was his passion. The harbour is with his familiy, it is our lives, living on it. It is always there. And of course, his passion for the awa, the Waikato River, with the rest of our people,” she said.

Carmen Kirkwood says her cousin worked at Kingseat Hospital, and blazed a trail for a Maori dimension to be incorporated into mental health and into healthcare generally.


Maori are particularly vulnerable to the effects of passive smoking, according to Smokefree Coalition head Shane Bradbrook.

The United States surgeon general Richard Carmona has reported that passive smoking is a serious health hazard responsible for premature death and disease in children and non-smoking adults. He has called for more smoking bans.

Mr Bradbrook says it's good the coalition's views have got such an authoratative endorsement.

The Manu Korero secondary schools' speech contest is a showcase for nga rangatira mo apopo or the leaders of tomorrow.
Thirteen schools competed in the Ngati Kahungunu Hawkes Bay regionals this week.
Judge Remana Johnson, a Maori language teacher at Lindisfarne College was impressed by the standard of the contestants:
“It gives an indication to us as kai ako, as teachers, nga rangatiro mo apopo, the leaders of tomorrow. To see the confidence of these young people able to stand and talk in te reo rangatira, and at the same time talk in te reo Pakeha. It is encouraging to see,” Johnson said.

Remana Johnson says the competitions can help set students on the path to tertiary study.
The Manu Korero national finals will be held in Taranaki in September.

Maori workers are playing their part in huge protests in Australia today against the Howard Government's proposed changes to industrial relations laws.

Steve Husband, a delegate with the Maritime Union in Sydney, says the changes will be even worse than the former National Government's Employment Contracxts Act, which drove many Maori workers across the Tasman.

Mr Husband says Maori are at the forefront of the union movement, especially in the construction section of the giant Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.

“The brothers are there carrying the banner and marching hard and very staunch and very committed and held in great regard over here. The Transport Workers Union, similarly, but especially the Construction Union. They run the show here and they are very militant, very staunch, very progressive, and they are held in high regard by the whole trade union movement over here,” Husband said.


Maori Party co leader Pita Sharples says he hopes yesterday's vigil on Mangere Mountain against domestic violence will lead to changes within the community.

The ceremony included the naming of all 115 women and children who have died from family violence since 1995 .

Dr Sharples says while the event was given extra focus by the death of the Kaahui twins a week before, all those other victims needed to be remembered as well.

He says it may be what is needed to start the process of change.


The Health Research Council has targeted heart disease and children's hearing for its latest round of Maori specific research funding.

Maori health research manager Aroha Haggie says Maori are more likely than non Maori to die early of cardio-vascular disease.

A study involving Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairoa in Hawles Bay and Ngai Tahu ki Waitaha in Canterbury will look for ways to identify disease risk factors.

Ms Haggie says there is also a need to find new ways of treating deaf and hearing impaired maori children.

In 2002, almost one in two children diagnosed with deafness was Maori.

Ms Haggie says the Health Research Council looks for projects which will not only help professional practice but will also transfer knowledge to communities.

PM skeptical on prison baby bill

Prime Minister Helen Clark says Labour will support the introduction today of Sue Bradford's Bill allowing mothers to keep their babies in prison until they are two.

But she says whether the bill will be allowed to go any further depends on the evidence presented to the select committee.

Ms Clark says what is most important for her is what is in the best interests of the children.

"Are you gong to wrench a two year old away from the mother, if the mother is on a life sentence for murder? Is that going to be in the interests of the child? I think there are those sorts of issues. Are we going to end up putting childcare centres in our prisons?" Clark said.

Helen Clark says prison needs to be an environment where people undergo rehabilitation and get the training and tools to turn their lives around.


A plea to Maori whanau to take care of kuia and koroua over the winter months, and not let them live on their own..

Trevor Maxwell from Ngati Rangiwewehi, the deputy mayor of Rotorua, says he has been at a number of tangi for older Maori in recent months.

He says its's a reminder of how vulnerable elderly people are.


Tauranga iwi are gearing up for the second of the final hearings on their claims.

Ngai te Rangi claims manager Riri Ellis says now the Waitangi Tribunal has reported on the raupatu or confiscations after the Land Wars of the 1860s, the iwi are focussing on modern issues like the impact of urbanisation, public works and environmental degradation.

Ms Ellis says the battles have never stopped for the people of Tauranga Moana.

The remaining four hearing before the end of the year will cover 60 claims from Athenree to Papamoa.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Kura signs now safe

The principal of a Te Kura Kaupapa o Rotoiti in the Bay of Plenty says his school bus signs are now the safest in the country.

The Maori immersion school has been in dispute with Land Transport New Zealand over the signs, which use the Maori word kura rather than the English school.

Hawea Vercoe says he has now added an internationally recognised pictorial sign above the word kura, showing an adult figure walking with a child.

Mr Vercoe says that will make sure other motorists know there are children on board, whatever language they speak.

Hawea Vercoe says Te Kura Kaupapa o Rotoiti has received a huge amount of support from other schools for its stand.


Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says the first of a planned series of cross party talks on tackling family violence and child abuse has confirmed the need for collective leadership on such issues.

Mr Horomia says politicians from all sides of the House were able to put their differences aside in the aftermath of the killing of the Kaahui twins.

He says they agreed more needs to be done.

The cross party group will meet again in two weeks.


Smokefree Coalition head Shane Bradbrook says putting graphic images on cigarette packages should get to Maori smokers.

Australian Quitline has reported calls have jumped 200 per cent since Australian packets started featuring pictures of rotting mouths and gangrenous feet.

Mr Bradbrook says similar packaging will be introduced on this side of the Tasman next year, as the tide turns against smokers.

Shane Bradbrook says 47 percent of Maori smoke, compared with about 20 percent of non-Maori, so Maori need to be targeted.

Prison mum bill opposed

Prominent Maori health advocate Naida Glavish says politicians should reject a bill that would allow babies to remain with their mothers in prison until they are two.

Green MP Sue Bradford's Corrections (Mothers of Babies) Amendment Bill has been drawn from the ballot for consideration by parliament.

Ms Glavish says it is wrong to burden a child with the stigma of having been born and raised in a prison.

She says Maori always ask each other where they were born and raised, wich would mean children raised in prison would carry that stigma.


Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says child abuse could be lessened dramatically if people had the courage to speak out about what they see happEning around them.

Mr Horomia says he is seeking cross party support for initiatives to tackle child abuse, in the wake of the deaths of Mangere twins Cru and Chris Kahui.

He says it's not something that peopole should be scoring poltivial points off, and it's also not a problem that is insoluble.

Mr Parekura says relatives or neighbours usually know when child abuse is going on.

Parekura Horomia says child abuse is a problem for all cultures, not just Maori.


Up to a thousand people are expected on Mangere Mountain in Auckland tomorrow morning for a Matariki vigil against family violence.

Counties Manukau police iwi liason worker, Maryanne Rapata says a multi denominational dawn service will aknowledge the Maori new year, and pray the year to come is with less marred by violence.

Ms Rapata says police and iwi were looking for a way to show people how serious family violence has become and the devastating effect it has on whanau.

Maori party co-leader Pita Sharples will be among the many people expected for a Matariki dawn vigil against domestic violence in Mangere mountain tomorrow.

He says the event, organised by the Counties Manukau Police, will highlight the devastation domestic violence is having on Maori whanau and their communities and challenge the culture of silence around abuse.

Dr Sharples says the dawn service will also remember women who died as the result of domestic violence.

Pita Sharples says Matariki of the Maori new year is a time of new beginnings, so it should also be a time to change the culture of violence.


Hauraki Maori say Auckland central lands should be included in their settlement, not used to settle Ngatu Whatua's claims.

Hauraki Maori Trust Board claims manager John McInteer says the Waitangi Tribunal report delivered last weekend only cover's 60 percent of the tribe's traditional rohe.

He says while Hauraki was able to successfully put its case before the tribunal's Tauranga inquiry for land at the top of the Bay of Plenty, the government's intention to negotiate a settlement with Ngati Whatua o Orakei means it won't have a similar opportunity to argue its Auckland claims.

Mr McInteer says Hauraki has grave doubts over the proposed Ngati Whatua settlement if it includes Hauraki mana whenua.


Artist Ralph Hotere has been awarded a unique Te Taumata award by Creative new Zealand's Maori arts board, Te Waka Toi.

Chairperson Elizabeth Ellis says the award, which was given to the Hotere at his home in Port Chalmers on the weekend, marks his international and national achievements.

Mrs Ellis says Te Waka Toi has been trying to get the Mitimiti-born artist to accept an honour for more than a decade.

Elizabeth Ellis says Ralph Hotere has provided an inspiration to generations of New Zealand artists.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Whakatane wananga faces job cuts

Another Maori tertiary institution is facing job cuts.

Staff at Whakatane-based Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi have been told up 70 jobs, almost a third of the total, could be cut.

It follows restructuring at Te Wananga o Aotearoa, which slashed more than 300 jobs from its campuses around the country and centralised many of its operaitons.

An Awanuiarangi spokesperson said a consultation document has gone out to all staff.

The tertiary sector is facing pressure because of changes in the government's funding formulas, and because the number of people in permanent work is reducing the pool of potential students.

The three wananga have also reported that political attacks on Te Wananga o Aotearoa last year also affected enrolments.


Maori are calling on the government to stop stonewalling the United Nation's declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.

The declaration, which has been 20 years in the making, comes up for a vote at the new UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva this week,

Catherine Davis, who has represented Far North iwi Te Rarawa at the UN's Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in
New York last month, says New Zealand has joined with Australia, the United States and Canada to oppose the declaration.

Ms Davis says New Zealand should be supporting the declaration, because it affirms the same kind of rights supposedly guaranteed by the Treaty of Waitangi.

Catherine Davis says the New Zealand government refuses to meet with Maori to explain its opposition to the indigenous rights declaration.


The head of the New Zealand sports academy in Rotorua says Maori elite athletes aren't thinking enough about their alternatives if their sporting careers are cut by injury or sickness.

Jim Love says the injury this weekend to Maori rugby league star, Benji Marshall, is a reminder of how fickle a professional sports career can be.

21 year old Marshall is expected to have his third shoulder reconstruction, after a clash with a Penrith forward in the Tigers loss over the weekend.

Mr Love says the injury could end to Marshall's career, and should serve as a warning to aspiring athletes who want to give up school for sports.


Maori involved in the development of the United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples say the Government is refusing to talk with them.

New Zealand has joined Australia, the United States and Canada in opposing the current draft of the draft declaration, which will be considered by the UN's Human Rights Council in Geneva this week.

Te Rarawa lawyer Catherine Davis, an Indigenous Fellow at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2005, says the Government no longer talks to Maori about the declaration.

Catherine Davis says Maori want New Zealand to back the document which has emerged from 20 years of discussions and negotiations between governments and indigenous peoples.


Rotorua is being touted as an ideal venue for a high performance Maori sports academy.

Former Maori All Black Jim Love has run the New Zealand Sports Academy in the sulphur city for the past eight years.

He says while they have concentrated on Rugby and League players, there is potential to attract more top Maori athletes from other codes.

Mr Love says such a programme would offer guidance in other areas besides sport

Jim Love says many athletes don't think about what happens if their careers don't take off or falter, ands they don't give themselves alternative options.


Labour list MP Shane Jones says Maori parents need to get behind their childrens' efforts to read.

Mr Jones was at Pakotai and Kaikohe primary schools yesterday handing out books as part of the Duffy Books scheme and the Government book week.

He says too few children are taken to libraries, and too much time is spent on computers.

Hauraki report vindicates iwi view

Hauraki Maori Trust Board chairman Toko Renata says the report by the Waitangi Tribunal into Hauraki claims vindicates the history passed down in the iwi.

The report, presented at Ngahutoitoi marae in Paeroa on Saturday, found that Hauraki Maori have been marginalised in their own rohe by the transfer of land and resources to others.

It found the way the Crown used its pre-emptive right to buy Hauraki land breached the treaty principle that it should deal fairly and in utmost good faith with Maori.

Mr Renata says the report will be a sound basis for negotiation,

The Waitangi Tribunal report covered 56 claims for the southern part of Tikapa Moana or Hauraki Gulf and its islands, the Coromandel Peninsula and the lower Waihou and Piako Valleys, but it did not address Hauraki’s claims to parts of the Auckland isthmus and the North Shore.


A Maori eco-tourism business which runs night-time walks in Northland's Waipoua Forest is enjoying a surge of interest after its inclusion in an international travel bible.

Director Koro Carman says Footprints Waipoua got into Lonely Planet's new Code Green: Experiences of a Lifetime eco-tourism guide because of the endorsements of satisfied customers.

The firm takes visitors to the country's largest kauri tree, Tane Mahuta, and tells them about the forest ecosystem and about the history of the area's Maori inhabitants.

Mr Carman says the environment and Maori culture are two of the main reasons many tourists come to New Zealand, and his tours try to balance both.

Koro Carman says the success of Footprints Waipoua is helping other tourism ventures in the Hokianga region.


The principal of a Bay of Plenty kura kaupapa says the school is sticking to its guns over a bus sign. Hawea Vercoe, from Te Kura Kaupapa o Rotoiti, says Land Transport New Zealand has told him to stop using the word kura instead of school, on the bus.

Mr Vercoe says as a school principal his first priority is the safety of the students.

He says the sign won’t put that at risk, and it also affirms the place of te reo Maori as an official language of the country.

Hawea Vercoe says he is encouraging other schools around the country to start using the kura sign on their busses.


Marlborough Maori are looking to their local council to get some movement on an aquaculture settlement.

Rangitane chairman Richard Bradley says Maori are eventually supposed to get 20 percent of aquaculture space.

Mr Bradley says a lot depends on local councils, who are responsible for designating marine space, on whether iwi in each area can agree on how to divide up the settlement, and on whether there are willing sellers of existing marine farms.

About 85 percent of New Zealand's exisitng marine farming is done in Marlborough, and according to the terms of the 2004 settlement, mana whenua are entitled to at least 200 hectares.

Mr Bradley says mana whenua tribes don't want to wait until 2014 to enter the industry.


The principal of a Te Kura Kaupapa o Rotoiti in the Bay of Plenty says using a Maori language sign on the school bus doesn’t threaten student safety.

Land Transport New Zealand has told the Maori immersion school the word Kura can’t be used on bus signs in place of the English word school.

But principal Hawea Vercoe says that is asking the school community to compromise on its commitment to te reo Maori.


The head of the Hauraki Maori Trust Board says there was a touch of sadness about finally getting the Waitangi Tribunal report into the Hauraki claims.

The report was given to the iwi in Paeroa on Saturday, and upheld claims that their landlessness and marginalisation was the result of Crown actions and omissions.

It recommended a quick start on a negotiation package, which is likely to include the Maramarua Forest and compensation for the loss of any revenue from gold mining on their former lands.

Board chairman Toko Renata says the claim was lodged almost 20 years ago, and many of the kaumatua who contributed so much to it have now gone.