Waatea News Update

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Toi moko kaitiaki for other taonga

A New Zealand artist says the preserved heads which are to be returned from Scotland have served as guardians for the large collection of Maori taonga at Aberdeen University.

The announcement the nine toi moko would be repatriated was made by Maori Heritage Council deputy chairman Waaka Vercoe at the opening of an exhibition at the university of work by Wairarapa artist Rhondda Greig.

Greig has been artist in residence at the university for the past year.

She says the exhibition is a response to the taonga in the Marischal Museum.

Greig says when she first went into the museum’s granite vaults, she felt the presence of the toi moko as kaitiaki for the other taonga.

He exhibition includes an installation based on the type of boxes the toi moko were held in for the past century, and a large painted glass window called Tears for the Return Home of the Toi Moko


Maori Party co leader and kapa haka expert, Pita Sharples says more effort needs to be put into keeping ranagatahi involved in kapa haka after they leave school.

Dr Sharples spent much of the week at the national secondary schools kapa haka competitions in the Waikato.

He says it's easy to think, while watching the talent on show in front of 5000 people, that all is well in the Maori world.

However he says there are still so many young Maori, not involved in any cultural or sporting activities, and the challenge is to get them to appreciate the value of being in a group working towards a common goal.

Mr Sharples says waka ama and kapa haka are positive kaupapa, encouraging the use of te reo and tikanga, and develop skills, that are easily transferable once students have left school.


In a first for Maori language week, libraries in the Auckland region are linking together to provide better access to Maori resources.

Rewi Spraggon, the Maori manager Waitakere City Libraries, says the 5 regions are all part of Putumohio, which allows library users to source information from any of the libraries.

Mr Spraggon says there has also been an update on the library's search engines, making access using Maori words faster.

That means you can now search for waka, rather than having to use the search term "Maori canoe".


Maori golfer Michael Campbell has had a solid start to the British Open being played at the Royal Liverpool course, in Hoylake.

The winner of last year's US Open, fired a 2 under par round of 70, which included 3 birdies and a bogey, to finish the day tied for 33rd position.

Mr Campbell, who is from South Taranaki, but grew up in Titahi Bay, is 4 shots off the lead after the first round.


Maori Party co leader Pita Sharples says National seems to be trying to find a way to work with his party.

On the eve of National’s annual conference in Christchurch, leader Don Brash has indicated he might support changes to his party’s Treaty of Waitangi policy so it does not appear so anti-Maori.

His deputy Gerry Brownlee has been pushing for a treaty policy which would allow National to enlist the Maori Party as a potential coalition partner.

Dr Sharples says some people in National have finally come to terms with the fact the Maori Party is neither left nor right.

He says all that matters is policies and initiatives will be beneficial to Maori, and the party will work with parties to the left and right to achieve that.


A Maori farming adviser says Maori trusts and incorporations are not participating in the wider industry governance.

Peter Madden from Zennex Corporation is working with Meat and Wool New Zealand to run a series of agribusiness governance and management workshops for directors and trustees of Maori incorporations and trusts.

Mr Madden. from Ngai Tuhoe, says Maori farmers have collectively got enough scale to influence the industry, but the people who run those ventures seem unwilling or unable to use that influence.

He says the first step is to make sure directors and trustees are knowlegable about the industry so they can be effective in wider forums.

The E Tupu workshops aim to help Maori farmers lift production and financial performance through successful governance and leadership.

They will be held in Wairoa, Ruatoria, Opotiki and Tauranga.


Waiariki Mp Te Ururoa Flavell says the fact that no extra funding has been allocated by the government towards Maori language resources, is a slap in the face to Maori.

Mr Flavell marked the officila start of Maori Language Week by questioning the government over the issue in the House.

He says teachers of te reo Maori were forced to use inferior teaching resources in their classrooms.

Mr Flavell says he doesn't accept the government's response that enough being spent on te reo Maori.

He says the Maori Party will keep pressuring the government to show more commitment to this country's indigenous language.


Construction has started on a new combined kohanga reo and kura kaupapa Maori immersion school in Palmerston North.

Tony Waho, the principal at Mana Tamariki, says the school's Maori community is thrilled to see the development finally underway.

He says eventually the complex will cater for 50 preschoolers and 122 children at the kura, and will be another option for whanau keen to have their tamariki learn in a Maori environment.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

KiwiSaver a start, not the whole deal

The chair of the Maori affairs select committee, Dave Hereora, says the Maori Party's refusal to back the Kiwi Saver scheme is short sighted.

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says his party isn't supporting the scheme because it doesn't apply to beneficiaries, the mininum contribution of 4 percent of gross wages is too much for the working poor, and the Maori are likely to die before they reach 65 so won't collect anything.

But Mr Hereora says the government was trying to be realistic in creating a scheme which would help people into first homes as well as save for retirement.

”It's aimed primarily at working families. I have a fear that if beneficiaries are expecting to go on the scheme, they’re on limited incomes, and the fear is they will not be able to keep up with their mortgages,” he said.

Dave Hereora says the government also wanted to promote a savings mentality.


New Zealand needs to take a lead from countries where growing up speaking more than one language is the norm.

That's the view of Haami Piripi, chief executive of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori, the Maoiri language commission.

Mr Piripi, says as immigration continues to shape New Zealand society, it makes sense for our tamariki to be bilingual or even multilingual.

Commenting on yesterday's official launch of Maori language week, he says te reo Maori is a good place to start.

“We're living in an international environment, cosmopolitan environment in Aoteaora here, so monolingualism is no longer the key. What we’re encouraging young Maori people to learn their language as their first language, and young New Zealanders to learn Maori as their second language,. There’s no reason we can’t have two languages that are learned equally by New Zealand children and New Zealand citizens,” Piripi said.


Huntly's Te Wharekura o Rakaumanga drew on its experience to take out the national secondary schools kapa haka competiton at Mystery Creek near Hamilton.

Te Wharekura o Ruatoki from the Tuhoe heartland was second, but the surprise performer was Te Piringa, a composite team from Palmerston North Boys and Girls High Schools, which took out the third spot.

Waatea News reporter Mania Clarke, says the standard set by the 31 schools was high, and bodes well for the future of the language.


Te Papa's kaihautu or Maori leader Te Taru White says New Zealand's national museum has been showing other museums the way in terms of treatment of human remains and other sacred items.

Aberdeen University's Marishal Museum has agreed to return nine toi moko or preserved heads to Te Papa, and Liverpool Museum is also going through the steps required to return four heads and other skeletal remains to this country.

Mr White says it has taken a lot of work by Maori and by this country's museums to change the thinking of overseas institutions.

“A lot of the hard work up front is working with international institutions that have a traditional, colonial perspective about taonga, and of course they count these as part of their collections. We don’t consider these part of our collections. We consider them respected elders to be revered that way,” White said.


The growing interest in preserving the different Maori dialects or mita was at the fore at this week's national secondary schools kapa haka competitions at Mystery Creek near Hamilton.

Waatea News reporter Mania Clark says the overall standard of the 31 competing groups was high, and kept the huge audience enthralled.

She says by using the traditional mita or each area, the groups made each performance unique.

“The good thing about this is being able to keep alive the different mita from each rohe, so this is good platform for keeping the dialect alive and the tikanga from each rohe,” Clarke said.

The top three teams were Rakaumangamanga,from Huntly, Te Wharekura o Ruatoki, and Te Piringa, a composite group made up of students from Palmerston North Girls and Boys High Schools.


The director of Auckland University of Technology's centre for Maori Health Research is packing her bags to take up a Harkness Fellowship at the Harvard School of Medicine in the United States.

Associate professor Mihi Ratima from Whakatohea and Ngati Awa intends to study the way obesity is tackled in indigenous and minority communities in the United States, and look for ideas which can be applied back here.

Dr Ratima says obesity is a worldwide epidemic, and it is of particular concern to Maori and Pacific people in New Zealand.

She says the causes are complex and the cures aren't simple.

“The most important thing to think about is this is not something we should blame individuals, this is not an individual thing. You need to look much more broadly for the sources of obesity, particularly environmental factors like poverty, racial discrimination, access to facilities that help you become more physically active,” Ratima said.

Auckland council deaf to mana whenua prayers

Auckland City Council commissioners today refused to allow representatives of Ngai Tai address them on proposed extensions to the city art gallery which the iwi says will encroach on an ancient village.

Emily Karaka from the Ngai Tai ki Tamaki claims committee says the commissioners also refused to allow kaumatua to start the hearing with a kararakia.

She says council planners are ignoring earlier findings that Ngai Tai shares mana whenua status within Auckland city.

Ms Karaka says because of her history with the gallery, she was upset and angry at the way the commissioners behaved.

“I'm actually contained in the gallery in my own right as an artist, I’ve hung with the best of them like Picasso, I know that business, I know that edifice, and I certainly know what it’s worth, but I also know our cultural heritage is not to be swiped away by saying it’s not valid,” Karaka said.

Emily Karaka says Ngai Tai will consider a High Court challenge to the planning process.


The former head of the Ngati Rangi Development Society says he wants the government to review plans to involve the society in the running of Northland regional Prison at Ngawha.

Andy Sarich was ousted as chairman by Wiremu Puriri, and responded by getting the Corrections Department to delay signing a $240,000 contract to provide cultural support services.

Mr Sarich says elders were concerned about funding issues within the society, and about the power struggle at the top.

He says the issues will be aired at a hui this weekend.

“The thing needs to come out and be aired so people can make a judgment themselves. Instead of getting snippets from Wiremu Puriri, people can judge for themselves,” Sarich said.


Embattled Labour MP Taito Philip Field is getting support from an unexpected quarter.

A report by Queens Counsel Noel Ingram cleared Mr Field of any conflict of interest in relation to helping people with immigration matters, but Opposition parties claim the Mangere MP's reputation has been fatally tarnished.

But Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says Mr Field has always been a tireless worker for his people and his electorate:

“I think that one of the major difficulties for Taito is that because of who he is, it is only natural people with immigration issues will go to someone they feel will understand their issues. What he does is he goes out of his way to advance what is best for their interests. I have no difficulty with that whatsoever,” Turia said.


Te Papa kaihautu or Maori leader Te Taru White says the return of nine toi moko or preserved heads from Scotland is a sign the world's museums are starting to unlock their vaults to indigenous peoples.

The heads are part of a collection of 80 thousand Maori items held at the Marishal Museum in Aberdeen University.

Mr White says Liverpool Museum also plans to return four heads and some skeletal remains.

He says it has been a long term project to identify such remains in museums round the world and get them returned, but Te Papa feels it is making real progress with the Aberdeen decision.

“It's an indicator that internationally museums are beginning to unlock the vaults and taking some stock abut why they hold these ancestors, looking at why we want them returned, and our arguments have to be quite strong, and they are, and it’s. quite a process,” White said.


Maori language commission chief executive Haami Piripi says Pakeha have a major role to play in normalising te reo Maori in New Zealand.

Mr Piripi says he was encouraged by the fact many the 170 people who turned out for the official launch of Maori language in Wellington this morning were Pakeha.

He says many Pakeha are committed to the widespread acceptance of the language by supporting concepts such as bilingual signage, and encouraging the use of te reo in the workplace.

Mr Piripi says Pakeha need to feel New Zealand's Indigenous language belongs to them too.

“The language is already become a signature of our nationhood through the haka and other events. Probably 20 percent of those there today were Pakeha people. That’s what will really make it a true language of the nation, when Maori and non-Maori start to speak it naturally and normally as and ordinary everyday language. We’re a long way from that really, but with the right kind of support we can achieve that,” Piripi said.

Haami Piripi says Maori Language Week is a time for everyone to have a go at using Maori words, even if their pronunciation isn't spot on.


The Green Party spokesperson on Maori affairs. Metiria Turei, says Maori should feel for indigenous communities in the Middle East, now embroiled in war.

She says as a colonised people, Maori can relate to having outside forces impose their will upon them.

Ms Turei says Maori families should make a point of discussing the situation in the middle east with their young people, and look at it from a Maori perspective.

“It's worthwhile remembering we are part of an indigenous international community, and this is an indigenous people that is being attacked. Israel has massively overreacted to what is going on and is holding the government and people of Lebanon responsible for the actions of this one group,” Turei said.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ngai Tai blocked from gallery hearing

Members of Ngai Tai still hope to be heard today on their objections to planned extensions to the Auckland City Art Gallery.

Ngai Tai ki Tamaki claims committee secretary Emily Karaka says the council is refusing to let in evidence that the extensions into Albert Park would encroach into the site of a pre-European village.

She said the site is sacred to Ngai Tai, Waiohua, Kawerau a Maki and Waikato Tainui.

Ms Karaka says the independent commissioners have refused to allow her to make oral submissions at this morning's hearing, and the council has blocked tangata whenua at every stage.

“The policies are obstructive, they deny our rights under the Treaty of Waitangi, as kaitiaki, they deny our rights in terms of Local Government Act, they deny our rights as kaitiaki under section 7 and 8 of the Resource Management Act, , they deny our rights under section 4 of the Conservation Act,” Karaka said.


A major push is underway in the Western Bay of Plenty, to get Maori men checked for cardiovascular disease.

Ngaiterangi Iwi manager Paul Stanley says it is difficult to get Maori men to visit their doctors.

Mr Stanley says there are plenty of excuses given, from not wanting to take time off work to concerns about cost.

He says there could be a more disturbing reason why Maori men won't make their own health a priority.

“Maori men believe they have little value, so it doesn’t matter in their minds if they die, the world will carry on. You can tell a bloke all you like he shouldn’t eat fatty foods, but if he believes inside it doesn’t matter because his life doesn’t have value, he will continue to do it and incrementally commit suicide, for want of a better term,” Stanley said.


Senior rugby league player Awen Guttenbeil says fears that overseas coaches would find it hard to motivate the Warriors' Maori and Polynesian players haven't eventuated.

Guttenbiel, who has both Maori and Tongan whakapapa, is leaving the Warriors to finish his out career with English club Castleford Tigers.

The Kiwi international played 11 seasons with the Auckland-based NRL franchise and took direction from six coaches, including three from overseas.

He says the Warriors sometimes erratic on-field performances were caused by inexperience rather than ethnicity.

“It wasn't about the Polynesians, it was about our players not being in a system before the club came about,. They were semi-pro players at best playing in New Zealand. It was about getting accustomed to the rigors of becoming a professional footballer,” Guttenbeil said.

A testimonial lunch for Guttenbeil is being held in Auckland today.


stanley daughters

A Bay of Plenty health advocate, says if Maori men won't get medical checkups, target their daughters.

Paul Stanley, the Maori manager of Tauranga iwi Ngati Ranginui, says getting Maori men to the doctor is always difficult.

The iwi is working with multiple health agencies in a push to get Maori men checked for heart disease.

Mr Stanley says if the direct approach fails, the campaign will direct messages and promotional material to someone Maori men listen to.

“This is fairly consistent amongst Maori men, that the person they listen to most will be their eldest daughter. She can translate it into dad’s language. In terms of the One Heart Many Lives model, it fits well, your heart dad affects our lives,” Stanley said.


Labour list MP Dover Samuels says Maori must take responsibility for tackling child abuse.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the problems of high Maori incidence in serious abuse statistics are systemic, and the government should address underlying causes like poverty.

But Mr Samuels says it comes down to the whanau, the hapuu and the individuals involved.

He says someone must take responsibility, rather than blaming the system.


A man who has been involved in many broadcasts of kapa haka competitions, says there is a marked improvement in standards at the national secondary school competitions this week at Mystery Creek near Hamilton.

Maihi Nikora says teams have worked hard on their haka, poi and waiata a ringa.

He says they are now putting extra effort into other disciplines such as the choral singing section.

Mr Nikora says he was particularly impressed with the mau rakau or weaponry skills displayed by Turangi group Tohi ki te Rangi.

“Wahine toa tu rangataira. It was amazing the dexterity I saw with weaponry. It took me back 15-20 years to Irirangi Tiakiawa and some of the other tohunga renowned for mau raku who had trained women, it rekindled and old memory for me,” Nikora said.

Council hui lacking Maori input

Local Government New Zealand's annual conference wound up today, but there was minimal Maori input despite the importance of council decisions on mana whenua communities.

Gisborne district councillor Atareta Poananga says that is because the organisation axed its Maori consultative committee when it got too assertive.

Ms Poananga says there are significant issues affecting Maori, like land access and the effects of rate rises on Maori landowners, but there was no forum to discuss them at the conference.

She says Maori are structurally excluded from local government.

“Of the 1500 councilors in this country there would only be about 20 Maori councilors. There is no way we can exercise any political muscle, set up any infrastructure to support our issues. We are just left to our own devices as individual councilors,” Poananga said.


Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says child abuse happens in any culture.

Mr Horomia says despite Maori being responsible for 40 percent of the 5000 critical child notifications cases dealt with by Child, Youth and Family last year, the vast majority of Maori parents aren't like that.

He says people need to concentrate on what they can do that is positive.

“One of the things we must start saying in our families, don’t get distracted by that. Crap happens. Yes, 1 percent of Maori are violent. These ugly things happen with our kids and it’s shocking, But 99 percent of other Maori love their kids, they are keen to get on with creating a better life or good education for their kids,” Horomia said.


Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says the Maori Party would be devastated if it fails in its attempts to get an eight Maori seat.

Three of the party's four MPs are taking time out from Parliament to travel the country encouraging Maori to enrol on the Maori electoral roll or switch from the general roll.

The Maori Electoral Option runs for another two weeks, and unless there is a net increase of 14,000 voters on the Maori rill, the number of Maori seat will stay the same.

The Maori Party started off its campaign saying its target was 12 to 15 Maori seats, but Mr Flavell says it's now hoping for one.

“ We've just got to keep pushing hard to make sure we try and get that one more seat. Clearly, we aren’t going to get two seats, so we have to make sure we get the one. Not to get the one would be just devastating,” Flavell said.


The Department of Corrections has refused to sign a contract to bring a Maori perspective to the Northland regional Prison at Ngawha because of infighting within the subtribe which was supposed to deliver it.

Ngapuhi Runanga chairperson Sonny Tau says kaumatua and kuia from Ngawha hapu Ngati Rangi asked him to block the deal because they no longer support the Ngati Rangi Development Society, which is behind the $240,000 a year programme.

Mr Tau says his runanga supported Ngati Rangi when it backed the prison being set up, but relationships within the hapu seems to have gone off the rails.

“Somewhere between there and now the society has usurped the mana of the hapu, and that is why the kaumatua and kuia have kicked back, Tau said.

Sonny Tau says he hopes the issue can be resolved at a hui this weekend.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says it's wrong to heap the blame for abuse and family violence on Maori.

Child, Youth and Family figures show Maori were responsible for 40 per cent of the most serious cases it dealt with last year.

Mrs Turia says the increase in Maori levels of poverty in the past two decades has contributed significantly to the stress on whanau.

“If we really want to make a difference to these family lives we have got to stop pointing the finger at them, stop being critical, and address the conditions that create the conditions that abuse occurs in, So we have got to raise peoples’ living standards,” Turia said.


If you want to watch tonight's fourth trans Tasman basketball test in Melbourne live, you have to tune in to Maori Television.

That's part of a strategy by the broadcaster to widen its audience through live sports broadcasts.

It is already the host broadcaster for the New Zealand Rugby League, showing live matches from the Bartercard Cup every Monday night.

Executive producer of sport Baily Mackie from Ngati Porou, says live sport appeals to Maori and non Maori alike, and basketball has a Maori dimension.

TPK overdue for overhaul

Former Maori Affairs Minister Tau Henare says the Ministry of Maori Development is failing to deliver and should be radically overhauled or disbanded.

Mr Henare says the Government's new Maori potential framework targets the wrong parts of society, and can't hide the fact there is systemic failure.

He says the Treasury report on poverty trends shows the reality, that a significant group of Maori are being left behind.

“The more we leave people behind the worse it gets in terms of downstream effects of crime, of welfare, of dependency, all sorts of things, so we need to make sure we are targeting those people who need it most. It doesn’t even come down to targeting Maori,. It comes down to targeting those in need,” Henare said.


A Massey University researcher says her Maori nurses need support to retain their culture in the workplace.

Vicky Simon has interviewed more than 400 Maori nurses for a major study of workplace safety for nurses.

She says nurses face risks like stress, back strain, infections and verbal and physical abuse.

Maori nurses are also under a lot of pressure to retain their cultural identity.

Ms Simon says the introduction of cultural safety into nursing teaching and practice in the 1990s helped patients and Pakeha nurses, but posed some challenges for Maori nurses.

IN: My study is about Maori nurses and what supports them in their practice, what supports them in their identity, what makes a difference for them and who they care for, and I think that’s absolutely important. What cultural safety did was say to non-Maori nurses you need to consider those of another culture, those of another way of looking at the world, ie Maori and others. What I am trying to look at is cultural safety for Maori,” Simon said.


Warriors and New Zealand rugby league player Awen Guttenbiel says it was a hard decision to finish with the Auckland based franchise and sign for two years with the English Super League club Castleford.

The back-rower who has Maori and Tongan whakapapa, has 11 years service to the club.

Mr Guttenbiel says he expects the team will do well next year, and he's disappointed he won't be round to help.

But he says he has limited time left in his professional career, and he wants to take the opportunity rather than regret not taking it.


Labour list MP Shane Jones says there are significant untapped opportunities for Maori to collaborate with overseas indigenous groups on economic projects.

Mr Jones was in Sydney representing the Poutama Development Trust at the in Sydney at the First Nations Economic Opportunuities Conference.

He says most Maori don't realise the number of marriages and relationships there now are between Maori and Aboriginal people, especially in areas like Caratha, Port Hedland, Carpentaria and in North Queensland.

Mr Jones says the conference showed ways those friendly relations lcould be extended into the economic arena.

“There's a very wide representation here and it’s great for networking, build experience, and get a better appreciation that there’s a big market in Australia here for iwi enterprises and other businesses and may as well hook up with the substantial resource based aboriginal groups who have a lot of connections over here and a hell of a lot of money,” Jones said.

Shane Jones says Maori were well represented at the conference, the first of its kind, as were Canadian First Nations peoples.


Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says removing all references to the treaty of Waitangi from legislation will send a bad signal to Maori.

Mr Flavell says the Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi Deletion Bill, put up by New Zealand First MP Doug Woolerton, could stifle Maori development.

He says the treaty is often the only tool Maori have to challenge bad decisions and make governments accountable.

IN: We're obviously concerned about it because it is the one place our people always head in respect to finding a way forward for our development and trying to hold the government to account over breaches of the treaty, so it is unfortunate the New Zealand First Party has raised this issue,” Flavell said.


Youth Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says more men, especially Maori and Pacific island men, are needed as youth workers.

Ms Mahuta yesterday opened a workforce development centre in Lower Hutt where youth workers will be able to get professional training to certificate level,

Ms Mahuta says there is growing demand for youth workers from community groups, health organisations and councils.

She says the relatively young age of the Maori population means there is a lot that needs to be done in those communities.

“There are a lot of Maori Pacific youth workers. What you would observe though is there is not enough men, and we need more working as role models and mentors for young men, giving the type of issues they are facing today,” Mahuta said.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Stats show where abuse cure lies

The head of the Child Abuse Prevention Service, Tau Huirama, says the latest statistics show the importance of Maori solutions to the problem.

Child, Youth and Family says Maori were responsible for 40 per cent of the 5000 plus critical child notifications cases it dealt with last year.

Mr Huirama says dysfunctional families must be targeted and given close support and, if necessary, supervision.

He says Maori can no longer ignore the signs of abuse.

“I think one of the solutions is we need to go back to families. Violence starts in the home. It’s not about looking away, and saying it’s none of my business. If there is an issue here about the well being of our mokopuna, how do we step in and make those changes.” Huirama said.


New Zealand First Maori spokesperson MP Pita Paraone says treaty principles should be clearly defined before the term is included in the law.

A members bill from fellow party MP Doug Woolerton would delete all references to the Treaty of Waitangi.

Mr Paraone says that's essential to avoid further confusion.

He says vague treaty principles have caused division between Maori and non-Maori.

The Waitangi Tribunal has defined a number of treaty principles in its reports, and the Court of Appeal's finding in the Maori Council State Owned Enterprises case listed principles which have influenced government policies.


Opponents of a development on the former Blue Bay camping ground on the Mahia Peninsula say they won't be going away.

Last weekend the group showed films at Ruawhero Marae of the camping ground and their protests, which were triggered by state owned enterprise Landcorp's sale of the land to the lessee, who onsold it to developers of an exclusive subdivision..

Protest leader Joan Ropiha says tangata whenua are frustrated by their lack of progress.

“We'd done all the right things, we’d written submissions, gone to Environment Court, gone to media, had deputations with council, regional council, written to government, and not really got anywhere with that, and our people are saying why are you doing that, we don’t need to put up with this type of development,” Ropiha said.

Joan Roipiha says the development has already pushed up the rates of the neighbouring village, making it hard for Maori to keep living there.


Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says removing references to the Treaty of Waitangi from legislation would be a backward step.

New Zealand First MP Doug Woolerton's Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi Deletion Bill has made it through the ballot and will be considered by Parliament.

Mr Flavell says the Crown's refusal to adhere to the Maori version of the treaty resulted in the compromise of using treaty principles rather than the original text.

He says it was better than nothing.

“ There's a real difficulty for many interpreting how the treaty might be implemente , the principles were a fall back position, and now here is New Zealand First wanting to get rid of those principles, which would leave us with zilch, nothing,” Flavell said.


Prime Minister Helen Clark says it is possible to develop policies for both the emerging Maori middle class and for those who are still struggling.

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia has reorganised his Ministry to focus on Maori potential, and told staff to get out more into the community.

Labour list MP Shane Jones has said Te Puni Kokiri has limited resources, and needs to choose which group to target.

Ms Clark says she doesn't see any conflict between the members of her team.

“Shane's right, there is an emerging Maori middle class and that’s a great thing. But we must not leave others behind us as we move up a ladder, and I think Maoridom is focused on moving forward,” Clark said.

Helen Clark says latest employment statistics show how Maori will grab oportunities if they are given them.


The organiser of protests against development of the Blue Bay camping ground in Mahia says it is time to try a different approach.

Joan Ropiha says a film evening at Ruawhero Marae this weekend brought together tangata whenua and former campers to celebrate what they had, and mourn what they have lost.

Ms Ropiha said legal challenges and direct occupation had failed to stop that particular development of a former recreation reserve, but the Rongomaiwahine iwi was determined the developers should not be allowed to swallow up surrounding public land.

She says that means generating public support.

“We're moving to celebrations, like festivals, getting our people to come home, and our friends and supporters to celbrate our heritage with us and show them why we feel this way. It’s much more effective way of putting our message out because it works with the middle ground,” Ropiha said.

CTU to oppose treaty bill

The Council of Trade Unions Maori runanga is opposing a bill from New Zealand First MP Doug Woolerton which would strip references to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi from legislation.

Runanga head Sharon Clair, the CTU's Maori vice president, says treaty references have proven positive in areas like health, because they have forced governemnt agencies to take Maori concerns seriously.

She says it's hard to see how ignoring the treaty can be positive, and

IN: If we look at the Treaty of Waitangi ads a positive agreeemtn between two groups about how they would live in this country together, it doesn't need to be frightening," Clair said.


A leading advocate of Maori in education has been appointed to head the Correspondence School.

Mike Hollings has worked in a range of roles in education and the public service, including being the acxting chief executive of the Education Review Office for the past year.

He says his goals will be improving student achievement, raising staff capability and making sure the institution which services more than 16,000 students remains financially prudent.

Mr Hollings says the school is developing a strong Maori education strategy, and about 38 percent of its secondary level pupils are Maori, either because they have been disengaged through the education system or because the school is unable to offer Maori-medium instruction.


A Maori radio show based in Alice Springs is being heard by up to 400,000 people across Australia.

Gerry Lyons from Ngati Raukawa broadcasts what he calls a Tui Teka-Billy T-style show 10 hours a week on CAAMA Radio, a network owned by the Aboriginal people of Central Australia.

Speaking from this week's Indigenous Economic Conference in Sydney, Mr Lyons says Maori are forming good relations with Australia's indigenous peoples - although there are some concerns.

"They see Maori as a warrior race. If they let them plant one tree, there will be a forest. They understand what they need to do is incorproate Maori in the way of a brotherhood, sisterhood, extended whanau relationship, but they are happy to have us here." Lyons said.


The new head of the Correspondence School says the education sector is doing a lot better in meeting the needs of Maori students.

Mike Hollings has been the acting chief executive of the Education review Office, after a long career in education and the public sector.

He says schools have learned to accommodate the cultural needs of Maori students in areas like aspects like kapa haka and Maori language programmes, and they are now addressing other needs.

IN: What wasn't happening was things outside that area, so how schools engaging children in mathematics, English, social studied. They no accept kappa haka is not enough, and they want Maori students to be performing well across the curriculum,” Hollings said.


Council of Trade Unions Maori vice president Sharon Clair says New Zealand's refusal to back a draft United Nations declaration on indigenous rights is harming this country's standing.

The draft was passed by the UN's new Human Rights Council in Geneva last month without this country's support.

Ms Clair says New Zealand has also failed to ratify a similar International Labour Organisation, butconvention on indigenous and tribal rights.

She says the CTU's Maori runanga will lobby for a change in this country's position before the draft declaration is considered by the UN General Assembly in September.


The idea that two legal systems exist in New Zealand will be explored at a symposium at Auckland University this coming weekend.

Organiser Stephen Turner from the university's English department says questions raised by the application of tikanga Maori are the subject of great interest\ in academic and legal circles.

Mr Turner says by bringing together people like Maori Party co-loeader Pita Sharples, legal scholars Alex Frame and Nin Tomas and filmmaker Barry Barclay, he hopes to bring the issue to the surface.

The One Country, Two Laws symposium will be held at Old Government House on Saturday.

Te Puni Kokiri can choose strugglers or climbers

Labour Party list MP Shane Jones says the Ministry of Maori Development needs to choose whether it should support Maori at the bottom end or promote the emerging Maori middle class.

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia has reorganised Te Puni Kokiri to focus on a new Maori potential framework, which tries to build on existing Maori strengths and resources.

Mr Jones says over the past six or seven years a large number of Maori have managed to improve their circumstances, but there is also a stubborn rump who remain in struggler's gully.

“It's really a call on which end of the spectrum you concentrate on. Do you concentrate on trying to help other government departments try to do smarter things with the Kaahui dimension of Maoridom, or do you move more to helping the middle class. Deep down, that’s the choice a department with a tiny budget like TPK has,” Jones said.


The Labour Party's newest MP says he doubts the Maori Party can be an effective political force.

Charles Chauvell takes up his seat tomorrow after last week's resignation of the long serving Jim Sutton.

Mr Chauvel, a Wellington lawyer with Tahitian whakapapa, says many Maori voters won't forgive the Maori Party if co-leader Tariana Turia continues to work closely with ACT, or the party is seen to get too close to National.

He says smaller parties in an MMP environment have major strategic choices.

“Do you strike out on your own under MMP and be as pure as you can and hope you get enough support, or do you try to work within the institution. If they can sort that out, maybe they can do well, but if they can’t. They will be this party sitting there that neither of the main parties dares to work with, and they won't be effective,” Chauvel said.


A judge at yesterday's Sydney kapa haka competitions says the large number of rangatahi performing bodes well for the future.

Johnny Nepe Apitu says young people outnumbered middle aged performers, a reverse of the usual make-up of the groups.

More than 700 people turned out to the Rosehill rugby stadium in West Sydney to suport the four competing groups, Te Huinga Waka, Puna Marama, Te Hoe ki Matangireia, and Melbourne-based Poi Piripiri.

Mr Apitu says there was a lot at stake, with the winner invited to represent the region at
the Aotearoa Te Matatini competitons in Palmerston North next February.

He says there was a high standard, with Te Huinga Waka taking the top spot.


Ngati Tuuwharetoa is today celebrating the appointment of its paramount chief, Pouariki Tumu te Heuheu, as chairman of the United Nations World Heritage Committee.

Mr Te Heuheu has been on the committee since New Zealand was elected in 2003, and he had earlier dealings when Tongariro National Park was put on the World Heritage list in 1993.

The park was originally gifed to the nation in 1887 by Te Heuheu Tuukino IV.

Mr te Heuheu's younger brother, Timi te Heuheu, says the appointment was influenced by that history and the cultural dimensions the Pouariki brings to the job.


Police Association president Greg O'Connor says gang-related crime hits Maori communities hardest.

A new Treasury study has put the cost of crime at $9.1 million a year, including the amount spent on police, courts and prisons, property loss, damage, and the impact of crime impact on health and employment.

Mr O'Connor says most New Zealanders are relatively untouched by the most obvious aspects of crime, such as gang culture, but Maori find them hard to avoid.

He says white middle class people are unlikely to encounter gangs, but they prey on Maori in poor areas.


Some of the best young Maori cultural performers will be in action this week at the National Secondary Schools Kapa Haka competition at Mystery Creek near Hamilton.

31 teams are competiing in the championships, which start tomorrow.

Organiser Raahui Papa says Waikato won the right to host this year's event as a mark of respect to Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, who is celebrating her 40th year as Maori queen.

Tour of ’81 forced racism to fore

Springbok tour protest leader John Minto says the 1981 tour was the first time many New Zealanders took a hard look at racism in their own country.

25 years on from the tour, Mr Minto says its impact is still being felt in the way New Zealanders see themselves and their relation to the world.

He says many Maori took leading roles in the movement, and they challenged their fellow protesters.

“There was that ferment of debate where Maori activists challenged the whole movement and said look how can you be concerned about racism 6000 miles away when we have got racism in this country, and that was a big wake up call to a lot of people involved in the progressive movement in New Zealand, and the debate really spread out from there like ripples on a pond,” Minto said.

John Minto says that Springbok Tour debate helped the scene for the move by the Lange Labour government to start addressing Maori historical claims.


A Maori doctor says families need to get behind their young people is there are to be more Maori health professionals.

George Gray, the treasurer of the Maori medical practitioners association Te Ora, says the numbers of Maori and Pacific Island students coming through medical school is still lower than it should be, but it is an imporvement on a decade or so ago.

Dr Gray says medical training is tough, and young people need support to get in, let alone pass the six-year programme.

He says Maori still aren't putting enough emphasis on academic success. They should support academic achievement in the same way they support sporting achievement.


The tattooed chefs have cleaned up in Hawaii.

Rewi Spraggon and his uncle John Pano from Ngati Hine represented Maori at last week's Hawaiian luxury food exhibition in Honolulu.

500 competitors from all over the United States created culinary masterpieces on barbecues.

Mr Spraggon says some used 20 burner barbies, but the Kiwi couple were more modest.

“We went in with the smallest barbeque and won the biggest prize, no, we took out the entrée section, so definitely knocked the socks off them there, using a kina mousse, put that together with some horopiko rub and kawakawa rub, and it just came out fantastic,” Spraggon said.

Rewi Spraggon says the win means he and his uncle snagged an invite the Chicago luxury food expo later in the year.