Waatea News Update

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

My Photo
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Maori MPs on probation still

The Minister of Maori Affairs says the Maori Party should have learned a valuable lesson from the Probationary Employment Bill.

The party this week announced it no longer backed the bill put up by National MP Wayne Mapp, which would have allowed employers to sack new staff without reason during the first 90 days.

Mr Horomia says the support three of the four Maori Party MPs gave the bill in its initial stages was a sign of their political inexperience.

He says it took them too long to make the right call.


A senior member of the Anglican church says attempts by the Education Ministry to separate religion from spirituality in schools are misguided.

Muru Walters, Te Pihopa o Te Upoko o Te Ika a Maui, says the ministry has introduced new guidelines on the use of prayers and karakia in schools without a proper consultation process.

Bishop Walters says the policy makers are out of step with the Maori community.

Muru Walters says for Maori, spirituality is seen as a part of everyday life.


The national museum Te Papa Tongarewa is throwing open its doors tomorrow morning for a memorial service for the late Maori queen, Te Arikinui Dame Te Ata i Rangi Kaahu.

Te Papa Marae manager Hema Temara says the museum is responding to calls from the public and community groups.

She says it is not something Ta Papa usually does, but there are a lot of people in the in the Wellington region looking for some way to pay tribute to Te Arikinui.


The outgoing president of the Maori Wardens Association says the social climate for Maori has never been as bad.

The wardens are holding their annual conference in Rotorua this weekend.

Peter Walden has been a warden says 1968, and says he wants to step aside for someone with fresh energy.

Mr Walden says wardens are in a good position to address a range of serious problems with Maori families and young people.

“The issue today for me is the destablisation of our whanau from the cradle up, and the continued aggravated violence., The Maori social environment has not received the same attention as the treaty issue over the whenua has, and I believe that needs to be readdressed,” Walden said.

Peter Walden says there is considerable skills and expertise within the wardens, but the organisation has never been funded enough to realise its potential.


A lawyer involved in the Wai 262 flora and fauna claim has paid tribute to those who have carried the kaupapa since 1991.

The Waitangi Tribunal this week started the last of a series of hearings which should bring the claim to an end.

Maui Solomon of Te Iwi Moriori says only a handful of the original claimants are still involved, as many of the others have since died.

Maui Solomon says despite the length of the claim, the Crown still doesn't seem to be listening to what the claimants are saying, making settlement that much harder.


Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell says he doesn't hold our much hope that an independent inquiry into council rating systems will be of much benefit to Maori.

Parliament this week voted down ACT MP Rodney Hide's members bill on rating and the local government select committee put off a proposed inquiry into the issue.

Mr Flavell says that is disappointing, because he has more faith in the select committee process than the way the government is likely to structure its independent inquiry.

“Having a commission of inquiry from time to time doesn’t actually get to the nub of the issue. Some times some of the recommendations given by commissions of inquiry don’t deliver any sort of binding resolution for any government to follow. If it was allowed to come through in the bill, allow the discussion to happen, at least all of those things could have been covered,” Flavell said.

Te Ururoa Flavell says rating and validation systems affect the ability of Maori landowners to use or even retain their land.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Te Waka Kai Ora looks to species ownership, control

A spokesperson for Maori organic growers association says the government has failed to protect Maori interests in traditional plant and animal species.

Te Waka Kai Ora is a late entrant into the Waitangi Tribunal's long running Wai 262 Claim on indigenous plants and animals.

Mataatua representative Maanu Paul says the association will give evidence that the creation of the Australia and New Zealand Therapeutic Products Authority is not only a lessening of New Zealand's sovereignty but a betrayal of Maori tino rangatiratanga as guaranteed by the treaty.

Mr Paul says the organic growers have a direct stake in the outcome of the claim.

“We bridge the ao tawhitu, the stone age of the Maorim, and we bring it forward to the international arena, where we say our livelihoods, which have their genesis in our tikanga, our whakapapa,is about to be taken away from us,” Paul said.

Maanu Paul says the government must ensure international drug and chemical companies can't patent or claim intellectual property in New Zealand's native species.


Green's Maori affairs spokesperson Metiria Turei says yesterday's hikoi to Parliament by Maori students association Te Mana Akonga was a timely reminder of the government's lack of commitment to Maori.

The students were protesting the pressure put on the wananga sector and the axing of support programmes like Manaaki Tauira grants.

Ms Turei says the programmes need to be revived or replaced by something which will ensure more Maori can complete a tertiary education.

Metiria Turei says programmes which benefited Maori were the victims of a racist backlash as the government responded to National Party attacks on supposed race-based funding.


Hawkes Bay iwi Ngati Kahungunu has launched a language strategy to address the falling number of native speakers in its rohe.

Runanga chairperson Ngahiwi Tomoana says the Nga Toki Matarau Whakaoho strategy calls on Kahungunu people to whakaoho or wake up and start learning and using their own dialect.

Mr Tomoana says the proud expression of tribal dialects at the tangi for the Maori queen at Turangawaewae over the past week, showed the value of language retention.

“Toki matarau is all eyebrows to be raised when speaking our reo. At Turangawaewae there was nothing spoken but te reo, and it’s just fantastic if we could start generating that amongst our communities,” Tomoana said.


Greens local governemnt and Maori Affairs spokesperson Metiria Turei says she is prepared to give the government's independent inquiry into rates a chance.

Ms Turei yesterday abstained from a National-backed motion to have the local government select committee mount its own

She says the select committee can always revisit the issue if the independent inquiry fails to deliver.

Ms Turei says a key concern of the Greens is the impact of the current system on Maori, with many councils taking an inconsistent approach to issues such as remission of rates on Maori land.

“They have different policies, some are more draconian than others, some are very good, some are not, and Maori get caught up in owning land they can’t develop, for whatever reason, but sometimes still having to pay rates on it for thing like water and sewerage and those sorts of things, so we really need to look at the fairness of that,” Turei said.

Metiria Turei says the Greens are also concerned at the way Maori land is treated for valuation purposes, and the fact that muliply-owned land does not qualify for rates rebates.


Maori health worker Waerete Walters says the government could do more to stop tobacco sales, which she says is behind far too much Maori ill health.

Mrs Walters says millions of dollars would be saved in health funding if there were fewer smokers.

She says it's a problem the Government can do something about:

“I know it's up to us to look after ourselves but you know smoking is the biggest killer for us as Maori, but still the government allows it to be produced here, manufactured here, just so us as Maori can keep on being sick, so all these professionals can have a job,” Walters said.


The woman judged the country's top young tourism professional says travelers are keen to get a flavour of Maori culture during their stay here.

29-year-old Melissa Crockett from Ngapuhi, Ngati Kahu and Te Rarawa won the New Zealand Tourism Industry award for her work with Potiki Adventures, which offers day trips an other tours around Auckland.

Ms Crockett says Maori elements pervade every aspect of the Potiki Adventures experience.

“We do karakia before we take people snorkeling or kayaking or go into the water. We teach them the traditional karakia for food. If we’re out in the bush doing a bush walk we will talk about rongoa Maori, our traditional plant medicines, and we will do the Maori creation myth standing at the base of a giant kauri tree, things that give them a tangible sense of how Maori culture is incorporated into New Zealand life,” Crockett said.

Ms Crockett says she and co-director Bianca Ranson started Potoki Adventures because they saw an under-exploited niche market for Maori tourism in the nation's largest city.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Rates review must consider Maori issues

A Maori lawyer says a review of rates and council funding must address issues facing Maori landowners.

Atareta Poananga, who sits on the Gisborne District Council, says Maori have a range of concerns, many of them relating to past confiscation and the use Maori can make of their land.

Ms Poananga says the land valuation system is particularly discriminatory and needs addressing.

“We don't sell our the land and the current regime is the more value your property is the more rates you pay, and of course most of us being poverty-stricken people, we’re going to have huge rises in our rates, so they’re going to have to look at a treaty based approach to the rating regime,” Poananga said.

Atareta Poananga says without substantial Maori input, the rating review will be seen as a window dressing exercise for a government which is facing pressure on the issue.


Ngati Kahungunu chairperson Ngahiwi Tomoana says the Wai 262 claim for fauna and fauna is the most senior of all claims.

The Waitangi Tribunal has been at Mangere's Te Puea Marae this week in the first of a final set of hearings on the 14-year old claim.

Maori are claiming the Treaty of Waitangi guarantees them tino rangatiratanga of full contol over what happens to native plant and animal species.

Mr Tomoana says the claim is so important because it goes to the heart of Maori identity and recognition.

“To us Kahungunu it’s the tuakana of all claims because it talks about who we are as a people. We want that recognized, but everything the Crown has done has tried to disrecognised and disestablish,” Tomoana said.

Ngahiwi Tomoana says Kahungunu will make its final submissions at a later hearing at Waipatu marae in the Hawkes Bay.


Maori Television has secured the free to air broadcasting rights to tri-nations rugby league games.

Bailey Mackey, the channel's executive producer for sports, says League has lacked a free to air broadcaster for several years.

Mr Mackey says it's part of Maori Television's commitment to a sport which is particularly strong among Maori.

“We've entered into an agreement with New Zealand Rugby League over the broadcasting of the grassroots end or broadcasting the national premiership competition, also known as the Bartercard Cup. Securing of the free to air Kiwi rights is a further development of that relationship, really awesome part of reinforcing us as the home of New Zealand rugby league.” Mackey said.

Bailey Mackey says the first broadcast will be the Kiwis against Australia in Auckland on August the 14th.

Dover Rates

Labour MP Dover Samuels says the Maori Caucus intends to have a strong voice on the select committee inquiry into rates and council funding.

Mr Samuels, a former Far North District Councillor, says rates are a constant source of tension between Maori and local government.

He says the rating system needs to take into account the differences between Maori and
general land.

“Maori landowners are restricted in the way they can deal with their land. The formula that is used by council to strike rates on Maori land is inconsistent with the fact Maori land cannot be sold. I would envisage local authorities would use a different method of ascertaining rates on Maori land as opposed to general land,” Samuels said.

Dover Samuels says Labour didn't support ACT leader Rodney Hide's rates amendment bill becuase it was political stunt rather than a serious attempt to address the issue


A Te Rarawa tribal representative has told the Waitangi Tribunal that Maori have a cultural obligation to care for the environment.

Haami Piripi was summing up the Far North tribe's case in the Wai 262 claim for indigenous fauna and flora.

He says the government has failed as a treaty partner because it won't take the Maori world view into account in its environmental management.

“ We are part of an entire cosmology, we are part of a geneology of the environment, and so we are a species too. And being a species we are related to the trees, related to the birds, related to the plants. And in that relationship lies our sacred obligation to protect and nurture those aspects of our environment,” Piripi said.


A Taitokerau woman has been judged the top young tourism professional at the New Zealand Tourism Industry Awards.

29-year-old Melissa Crockett from Ngapuhi, Ngati Kahu and Te Rarawa runs Potiki Adventures, which offers day trips around Auckland with a Maori perspective.

Judges said she was a rising star and true asset to the industry.

Ms Crockett says she started Potoki Adventures because there was little else on offer in Auckland for people wanting a unique Maori experience.

“When we set up there was a cultural show, a kappa haka at the museum, which was awesome, and that was it. We thought when we travel we want to meet other indigenous people and find out not just the history, which you definitely want to know, but how do people live their lives today,” Crockett said.

Melissa Crockett says Potoki Adventures appeals to both the high end individual tourist and the younger adventure traveller.

CTU runanga celebrates Maori Party Mapp reading

The Maori vice president of the Council of Trade Unions says the Maori Party has finally learnt to listen to Maori workers.

Sharon Clair says the MP's seem to have admitted it was a mistake to line themselves up behind Wayne Mapp's Employment Probation bill, which would allow employers to sack workers without giving a reason within the first 90 days.

The Party said yesterday its four members will not support the bill when it comes back from the Select Committee, maning it is unlikely to get enough votes to pass.

Ms Clair says that took a lot of pressure from Maori.

“They got inundated by Maori workers letting them know what we had to say about it. As a consequence they read the submissions and made their analysis and came up with their decision on it. They learnt through the process we want to talk with them about issues affecting Maori workers and any issues that affect Maori,” Clair said.

Sharon Clair says the CTU's Runanga Maori was pleased that MP Hone Harawira came down to convey the caucus decision to it.


Manukau City Council's Maori advisor says a rahui may be the answer to a surge in aclohol-related gang violence in the city.

Turf wars among young street gangs are believed to be a factor in two recent murders in Otahuhu, and there have been disturbances in other parts of south Auckland.

Haare Williams says the council is considering imposing liquor bans in some areas.

He says that is in keeping with the Maori tradition of rahui.

“If we go back to tikanga Maori the rahui was used to put a ban on anythign that was in danger of being depleted or something that had been trampled on, so it’s to refocus spiritual aspects of it, and that’s probably th aspect that is missing here,” William said.

Haare Williams says drinking seems to inevitably lead to trouble,


The principal of a Maori boarding school is defending the use of prayer in schools.

The Education Ministry has prepared new guidelines advising schools to avoid religious activities, as they may put pressure on students to participate.

David McDonald, the principal of Hato Petera on Auckland's North Shore, says Maori believe the spiritual wellbeing of students is just as important as physical and academic
aspects of education.

“We're a school that says that the karaia, the religion, that your spirituality is extremely important, and you can’t separate them, you can’t compartmentalise them, so we would not agree with the Ministry of Education making that sort of stance,” McDonald said.

David McDonald says karakia or prayers can help set the tone for other aspects of education.


Maori tertiary students will hikoi to Parliament today to voice their dissatisfaction at the government's tertiary education policies.

Veronica Tawhai, the president of Maori students association Te Mana Akonga, says the government has attacked and defunded Maori tertiary institutions, and it scrapped the Manaaki Tauira grants which helped many Maori students get a head start in their studies.

Ms Tawhai says there are 300 students at the Te Mana Akonga annual hui representing the 88,000 Maori students now in some form of tertiary education.

“The purpose of the hikoi is to go down to p to present submissions written by Maori students so they have a clear picture of what our needs and aspirations are in tertiary education so that they can be better informed when they are making those policy decisions,” Tawhai said.

Veronica Tawhai says policy makers typicall ignore the voices of those who are young and Maori.


Manukau City Council Maori advisor Haare Williams says a whole of community approach is needed to tackle escalating gang violence in the city.

Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis has blamed Maori and Pacific Island youth between the ages of 16 and 24 for much of the recent violence which has left two young men dead.

Mr Williams says the council is reaching out to the communities so it can get a handle on what is happening.

“Council certainly believes in a strong stand by community groups, by Maori organisations, by churches and local authorities as well to work together with other organisations, including the police, to find a solution, a long term solution, for the offending that is taking place,” Williams said.

Haare Williams says the council is planning a series of hui around South Auckland to discuss solutions to the violence.


A Christchurch based Treaty educator says New Zealand colonial history should take priority over studying other cultures in high schools.

Robert Consedine says a call by the Minister of Tertiary Education, Michael Cullen, for a greater focus on Asian culture and languages could lead the greater ignorance of the place of tangata whenua in the country.

Mr Consedine says it would be a tragedy if economic motives meant a downgrading of the country's own whakapapa.

“This obsession with the economic, where are our trading partners, we need to learn Mandarin, that kind of obsession is obscuring the fact that first and foremost we have to learn to live together in this country. Of course there is value in learning about other cultures and they should be taught in the right place but not at the expense of learning New Zealand history,” Consedine said.

Robert Consedine says the most common companint he has heard two decades of running Treaty of Waitangi workshops is that people fell they should have learnt the material at school.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Colonial history lacking in syllabus still

A Treaty of Waitangi educator says most students are still leaving school with little or no knowledge of New Zealand's colonial history.

Robert Consedine says New Zealanders can't understand today's issues if they can't put them in an historical context.

Mr Consedine says Treaty and tangata whenua issues should be throughout the school curriculum so the generations coming through can make better decisions.

“One of the things that makes even Pakeha people pretty angry after they’ve done treaty workshops is the constant questions, why didn’t we do this at school. So the feedback I get on the ground traveling round Aotearoa is that students are still coming from schools with no knowledge of these issues,” Consedine says.

Robert Consedine says the criticisms by the late Michael King about New Zealand's lack of historical understanding still ring true.


A member of Rotorua District Council's Te Arawa Standing Comittee says a proposed bylaw targeting street crime is a blunt instrument to tackle what is a specific problem.

Hawea Vercoe was the only member of the standing committee to vote against an endorsement of the by-law, which will allow police to remove repeat offenders from the Rotorua town centre.

Mr Vercoe says a small number of people are responsible for most of the street crime.

“They're talking about five or 10 people that initially are going to be affected by it. My challenge to them is why not work directly with those people, with their whanau, because they are youth as well, as opposed to just taking this blanket ban and having police looking out for them daily, as opposed to working with those whanau,” Vercoe said.

Mr Vercoe says if the by-law gets through the legal hoops, it will only push crime into the suburbs.


The battle to change the name of a Whangarei river appears lost, but the common pronunciation may change.

A hui called by the Whangarei District Council's Maori liaison committee has concluded the evidence isn't strong enough to rename the Hatea river to the Hoteo River.

However, if the council decides to stick with the current name, the committee will recommend it be spelt with a macron, indicating the first A is a long vowel sound.

Maori Language Commission chief executive Haami Piripi, who facilitated the hui, says that is a positive step.

“It shows a wonderful breakthrough really in the language and the understanding of its use and the correctness of its use. And it’s a wonderful testament to the Whanagarei people that they are prepared to allow the name to go off and be macronised, because they have a new level of understanding the language and its use among themselves as Whangarei citizens,” Piripi said.

Haami Piripi says people came out of the hui with the sense the issue may be finally resolved.


Strong Maori pressure has been key to a likely defeat for National MP Wayne Mapp's Probationary Employment Bill.

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira today told the Council of Trade Unions' Runanga Maori runanga that his caucus will now vote against the bill.

Mr Harawira voted against the bill's introduction, but the other three MPs supported it to the select committee.

CTU Maori vice president Sharon Clair says Mr Harawira's announcement was applauded by the hui.

“ We're delighted with the Maori Party making its announcement today and particularly with Hone turning up at the runanga to make his announcement to us, We know now where they stand and we know this bill is diminished in its capacity to take away workers' rights,” Clair said.

Sharon Clair says Maori union members kept up the pressure on the Maori Party MPs.


They're young, they're Maori, and no one takes them seriously.

That's the complaint of Maori tertiary students association Te Mana Akonga, which started its annual hui in Wellington today.

President Veronica Tawhai says it's an uphill battle to influence politicians and policy makers.

Ms Tawhai says despite the fact 88 thousand Maori students are in tertiary study, the government is cutting funding from tertiary institutes popular with Maori and removing Manaaki Tauira grants and other financial support.

She says he government is out of touch with the needs of maori students.

“A key problem is that we are marginalized both for being Maori and for being young. So Te Mana Akonga try to assert ourselves in a range of forums, both sitting on reference panels and direct lobbying of MPs to try to affect some change.” Tawhai said.

Veronica Tawhai says Te Mana Akonga will hikoi to Parliament tomorrow to state their case directly to politicians.


Tainui has thanked the media for its respectful portrayal of the late Dame Te Atairangikaahu during coverage of the 6 day tangi.

Monday's live five hour broadcast on TV One drew 430,000 viewers, while almost 150,000 watched the same cover on Maori Television. Another 3300 people worldwide connected in to the live internet stream.

The programme featured Derek Fox, Maori Television's Julian Wilcox, and two of Dame Te Ata's were joined by Dame Te Ata's close advisors, Mamae Takarei and Professor James Richie.

Tainui spokesperson Tom Moana says it was a thoroughly professional production from television, radio and print media.

Mr Moana says the broadcasters repaid the trust Tainui put in them by giving access to the marae.

Too many chiefs for Ngapuhi

Ngapuhi elders living in Auckland are concerned too many people are claiming to speak for the country's largest tribe.

A hui been called for Piringatahi marae in West Auckland on Saturday to discuss leadership of those Ngapuhi living in Auckland.

Organiser Wiremu Tairua, says elders want to promote unity, but it's hard to find anyone willing to follow.

Everybody seems to be the chief. The kai korero in other words. And we need to come together to choose the best person to speak on our behalf in Tamaki,” Tairua said.

Wiremu Tairua says Ngapuhi has much to learn from the unity showed by other tribes at Ngaruawahia over the past week.


A web site allowing Maori to find out details of their land holdings is getting 5000 queries a week.

Maori Land Court chief registrar Shane Gibbons says the site is proving a runaway success.

He says previously Maori had to go to a Maori Land Court to research their land, and before 1999 they actually had to go back to the office in which the paper records were held.

He says now all they have to do is go onto the Maori Land Court site and click through to Maori Land Online.

“That has information about all the current Maori land blocks, some 27,000, and you can look up each of those the land blocks and all the information relevant to those land blocks, the owners, the shares, whether there are management arrangements put in place, easements, rights of way, whether there’s a trust and what are the other encumbrances, so it’s very similar to looking at a certificate of title,” Gibbons said.

Shane Gibbons says Maori landowners now have a lot more management option with the advent of mechanisms like whanau trusts, which have removed the need to succeed to shareholdings which could be uneconomic.


A Gisborne-based Maori problem gambling service believes it is reducing the stigma attached to the problem, making it easier to tackle.

Terry Ehau, the manager of Ngati Porou Mental Health Services, says the number of Maori on the East Coast with gambling problems seems to be dropping.

He says one reason seems to be because of the highly visible services on offer in Gisborne.

“Ngati Porou Hauora problem gambling services are more visible, that’s through publicity and accessibility – we have a service that’s based right in the middle of town - and more and more people are becoming okay about attending those services, whereas before it was a secret,” Ehau said.

He said many Maori women turn to the pokies because they lack a feeling of community.

Terry Ehau says his Gisborne-based service is tackling the problem head on by finding positive ways they can fill their time.

Mr Ehau says there seems to have been a drop in problem gambling in the region since Ngati Porou Hauora launched its problem gambling services.

“One of the reasons people become addicted is to cover up some other deficit in their life. Part of the thing with problem gambling services is to replace that addiction with something positive, and one of the things they do is refer them to the exercise programme we run in Gisborne. It gives them another option to fill in their time,” Ehau said.

Terry Ehau says Ngati Porou Hauora is also attempting to make people feel they can admit to a gambling problem without feeling there will be a stigma attached.


A Ngapuhi kaumatua says the northern tribes need to show the same unity other tribes displayed over the past week at the tangihanga for the Maori queen.

Wiremu Tairua is one of a group of elders who have called a hui for this wekend to thrash out who should speak for the Ngapuhi living in Tamaki Makaurau.

Mr Tairua says while other iwi arrived together and were welcomed onto Turangawaewae in a show of unity, the contingents from the north showed up throughout the tangi.

“The people come together. Why not us in Ngapuhi here come together. Everybody come on their own. Ngati Kuri, Te Aupouri come their own. Ngapuhi, Ngati Hine come their own. Why not we change to work together,” Tairua said.

Wiremu Tairua says the hui at Piringatahi Marae in west Auckland on Saturday should allow a single voice to emerge for Ngapuhi in Auckland.

Te Au ki Te Tonga top in Rangitane kapa haka

The hosts of next year's national Te Matatini kapa haka competion have decided who will be the home town representation.

Shannon group Te Au ki Te Tonga were judged top kapa haka at the Rangitane regional competition.

Newcomers Te Whanau o Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Manawatu came second with a bracket which drew heavily on celebrations of the whakapapa of Rangitane and neighbouring iwi.

Other competitors included Te Ngare o Raukawa from Otakai, Kairanga from the Linton army camp in Palmerston North, and Wairarapa group Te Puke ki Hikurangi, who drew attention with their spectacular costumes.

Many of the groups paid tribute to the recent passing of Dame Te Atairangikaahu.

Te Matatini will be held at Arena Manawatu in February next year.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Iwi will help king plan future

Maoridom's leaders will gather on the shores of Lake Taupo later this year to discuss how they can support the new Maori king, Te Arikinui Tuheitia Paki.

Tuwharetoa paramount chief Tumu te Heuheu has invited the tribes to the opening of a new marae at Pukawa, where his ancestor Iwikau te Heuheu Tukino the third first offered the mantle of king to Potatau Te Wherowhero.

Erima Henare from Ngati Hine says organisations like the Maori Council and Maori Congress have been attempts to create bodies representative of Maoridom, but the Kingitanga has a different focus.

“It's less a political group, more one unifying the Maori people with its culture and its language and its support for tradition and tikanga as opposed to delving in the day to day politics of the country,” Henare said

Erima Henare says the tribes want to help King Tuheitia to put his own mark on the role.


The Rotorua District Council's Te Arawa standing committee has backed a proposed bylaw barring repeat offenders from the town centre.

The decision was not unanimous, with member Hawea Vercoe voting against it.

Mr Vercoe says it won't solve the problem of criminal attacks on tourists.

“I see it as a knee jerk reaction to some fairly bad stats that have come out regarding Rotorua. I don’t accept for one moment that the crime and various incidents are OK, but what it’s going to do is move that activity from the CBD out into the suburbs,” Vercoe said.

Hawea Vercoe msays the by-law is unlikely to be enforceable under existing law, so is likely to be dropped.


Ngai Tahu chairperson Mark Solomon says the new Whai Rawa scheme aims to create a savings culture among younger memebrs of the tribe.

The scheme, which starts in October, will allow people to stave towards tertiary education, a first home or superannuation.

The tribe will pay $100 a year into every active account, with an additional dividend paid based on the performance of Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation.

Mr Solomon says a lot of children don't save.

“A lot of our kids coming up today have never had a bankbook, have never banked. New Zealand as a nation the worst savers in the western world. So we have started the Max Savings scheme. If a child can save $25 in a year, Ngai Tahu will match it with $100,” Solomon said.

Ngai Tahu Chairman Mark Solomon says costings for the scheme has been worked out based on a tribal population of 50,000.


Ngati Wai chairperson Laly Haddon is hoping an end to the WAI 262 claim for fauna and flora might help iwi get more control over their ancestral areas.

Hearings on the long-running claim resumed at Te Puia Marae in Auckland today August 22.

Mr Haddon says Ngati Wai is struggling to have a say in the management of their traditional homelands like Hotoru or Little Barrier, but it is hard to get leverage.

“Government departments have moved swiftly to overtake us, and with the claim situation and this 262 claim, it’s just been held up. Ngati Wai has some difficulties with the Department of Conservation that we are trying to sort out, but we’re not making much progress,” Haddon said.

Laly Haddon says this week's hearing will be a chance to see where some of the new iwi joining the claim will fit in with claimants who have been pursuing the fight for the past 14 years.


The Prime Minister has backed a call for more Asian studies in schools, but not at the expense of New Zealand history.

Tertiary Education Minister Michael Cullen says schools should encourage a better understanding of Asia and strengthen the teaching of Asian languages.

Helen Clark says in the past the education system focussed too much on English and European history and languages.

“Now that's changed but I’m not sure it’s changed in a way that is comprehensive enough. Here’s our neighbourhood, the Asia Pacific, the learning of Asian languages is going to be very important, understanding how those societies operate because we are going to be doing a lot of our trade and having a lot of our relationships there.” Clark said.

Helen Clark says students also need a knowledge of New Zealand history, because they need to know where they come from.


Marae-based whanau literacy programmes may be the way to improve literacy among Maori.

Dr Pushpa Wood, a funding advisor for the Tertiary Education Commission, says many Maori groups are unaware of funding available to improve literacy levels.

She says initiatives in the workplace or at the pa could qualify.

Dr Wood says tackling intergenerational illiteracy has positive impacts for the wider community.

“If you lift the literacy of one person in the family you are lifting the literacy of the whole family. There are some very innovative programmes are going on up and down the country that are addressing specifically inter-generational literacy issues, and we are trying to see what is appropriate in what particular areas in providing support for those,” Wood said.

New dawn, new king for Tainui

It's a new dawn in Tainui, as the tribe starts getting used to life under its new king, Tuheitia Paki.

The Maori queen, Dame te Atairangikaahu, was laid to rest yesterday on Taupiri mountain after a week of mourning during which tens of thousands of people passed through Turangawaewae.

The elevation of 51 year old Mr Paki, a father of three, changes some of the dynamics of Maoridom.

While Dame Te Ata drew significant support outside of Kingitanga from two organisations she was patron of, the Maori Woman's Welfare League and Kohanga Reo, Mr Paki is likely to receive active backing from Te Wananga o Aotearoa, which he was working for as a cultural adviser.

The wananga is the largest Maori tertiary institution and is capable of exerting considerable influence.

He can also lean on the iwi chiefs who put him into the job, and who accompanied him through the gates of Turangawaewae yesterday morning for the raising up ceremony.


However, Maori broadcaster and commentator Waihoroi Shortland, whose family has had a long association with the kaihui ariki or royal family, says people should not expect too much of Tuheitia Paki as he eases his way into his new role as Maori king.

He says Dame Te Ata made very few public pronouncements in her first 30 years, as she listened to those around her and learned how to use the formidible resources that Tainui, Kingitanga and Maoridom gave her.

He says it will be hard to match Dame Te Ata.

IN: You're not going to find the kind of expectations that people have that immediately this person will have an aura and a glow and a walking magnificence that might equate to the Arikinui,” Shortland said.

Waihoroi Shortland says Tuheitia Paki will be invested with a great deal of hope.


Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell says Tuheitia Paki is a man of the people who has displayed the quiet humility which was so much a hallmark of his mother's reign as Te Arikinui.

Mr Flavell says in the same year as the new king at St Stephens Maori Boarding college, and says he got on well with other boys, even if he didn't stand out.

Mr Flavell says Tuheitia Paki was never one to draw attention to his royal whakapapa.

“People didn't really recognise who he was or know until we started asking and of course Te Ata would come up to school and give him food parcels in a big car. We used to give him a jive about being the prince. As I said in my speech the other way, to think that after all this time he is now recognized and taken up the mantle of his mother is absolutely fantastic,” Flavell said.

Te Ururoa Flavell says Tuheitia Flavell has a thorough grounding in both the Maori and Pakeha worlds.


The new Maori king will have the backing of Maoridom's traditional leaders to help with with his new role.

Erima Henare from Ngati Hine says the leaders made that commitment when they supported Tainui's choice of Tuheitia Paki for the role of Te Arikinui.

Mr Paki was crowned yesterday before the burial of his mother, Dame Te Ata i Rangi Kaahu, on Taupiri mountain.

Mr Henare says Tumu Te Heuheu, the paramount chief of Tuwharetoa, has called the tribes who were at Turangawaewae to come together in November at the opening of a new meeting house at Pukawa on the shores of Lake Taupo.

Pukawa was where the first Maori king, Potatau te Wherowhero was first offered the role.

Mr Henare says the topic of the hui will be the best way to offer support.

“The tribes throughout New Zealsnd to be there to support and I suppose to be a rock for Te Arikinui Tuheitia to cling to or to use in times he needs advice n issues that relate to Kingitanga and the progress I guess and the future for Maoridom,” Henare said.

Erima Henare says other efforts to bring together Maori like the Maori Council and Maori Congress have had a more political focus, while the Kingitanga's strength has been its ability to stand above politics.


The leader of the South Island's Ngai Tahu Runanga hopes the new Maori King can continue the work of his mother in reaching out to Pakeha people.

Mark Solomon says Tuheitia Paki will be expected to not only serve his own people but to continue opening up Te Ao Maori to Pakeha, as his mother Dame Te Atairangikaahu did.

“Her presence lifted any occasion she came to . Her successor needs to pull people together, not just in Maori. Dame Te Ata also played a huge role in letting Pakeha New Zealanders look at Maori in a new light. Huge shoes to fill,” Solomon said.


Meanwhile, there is some disappointment that a women could not have held the throne.

The choice for the role of Te Arikinui was between Tuheitia Paki and his elder sister, Heeni Katipa.

Lawyer Atareta Poananga says many Maori men seem afraid to recognise the ability or the work of Maori women.

“ Part of the problem we have got at the moment with Maori leadership is there are too many Maori running it. I think if we had more of a balance of the mana and rangatiratanga of women alongside men, our society and leadership will be far better off than it is today. We shouldn’t be afraid of strong assertive leadership by women. I think it is really healthy for our society," Poananga said.

Maori Queen buried at Taupiri as tens of thousands mourn

The Maori Queen has been laid to rest beside her ancestors near the summit of Taupiri Mountain.

It was a day of intense emotion in the Waikato, as tens of thousands of people gathered to the final farewell to Te Arikinui Dame Te Ata i Rangi Kaahu, who died a week ago.

It started when the morning mist still lay over Turangawaewae, as Tuheitia Paki, the eldest son of Dame Te Ata, was escorted onto the marae by leaders of nga iwi o te motu to be crowned as only the seventh leader of the Kingitanga in its 148 year existence.

By the time Dame Te Ata's casket was loaded onto the waka Tumanako to be paddled down the river to Taupiri, there were people lining any accessible pieces of riverbank between Ngaruiawahia and Taupiri.

As Tumanko and its accompanying flotilla passed by, groups on the shore burst into haka, and lamentations split the air.

At Taupiri, relays of pall-bearers carried the casket on their shoulders to the grave, which had been dug by members of Te Aupouri, the far north tribe Dame Te Ata married into.

As many as 5,000 people were on the mountain itself, and there was a sea of black-clad mourners stretching along the road.

Many stayed back the Ngaruawahia, where the action was beamed through to big screens on the marae.

Waatea broadcaster Scottie Morrison says the huge turnout was a tribute to Dame Te Ata.

“ You've got all people of all tribal groups and all backgrounds who’ve come here today from motorcycle gangs to politicans, doctors, lawyers, policemen, kapa haka tutors, everybody to pay their respects, It has been an occasion whch has united not just Maori tribal groups but the wider community.of Aotearoa. A lot of them feel a sense of life. In her own life she brought people together and united them, and even in her death she united people,” Morrison says.


Among today's mourners was Prime Minister Helen Clark, who says she will miss a woman she had huge respect for.

Ms Clark says in her encounters with Dame Te Atairangikaahu over the years, what she will remember most is the former Maori Queen's chuckle.

“I'll always think of many times I sat next to Te Arikinui on a marae or in a dining hall or at an awards ceremony. She had a great sense of humour and always a chuckle, she could see the funny side of things, which you have to do. That’s what I will remember, the sense of humour,” Clark said.

Helen Clark says the size of the week's tangi and the coverage it has got it a symbol of Dame Te Ata's unifying force and the way she made the Kingitanga an essential element in New Zealand's identity.

The mourners have now returned to Turangawaewae Marae, where the proceedings will end after a hakari or feast.


After a day of intense emotion and high drama, the mourners have dispersed from the graveside of the Maori queen on Taupiri Mountain.

As many as 5000 people were on the sacred mountain, and several times that were stretched back along the river backs and on the road from Ngaruawahia.

Many of them returned to Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia, where the funeral hakari is now going on.

Waatea News reporter Dale Husband says it was a special day for Maori and non-Maori alike, as they remembered what Dame Te Ata i Rangi kaahu had achieved.

He says everyone will carry away their own memories of the day, especially those closest to her.

“It was very very moving, certainly when they took the casket finally to place it on the waka, and the people who have worked behind the scenes at Turnagawaewae for so long, you couldn’t help but feel for them as the tears flowed, the haka started, these people have worked for Te Atairangikaahu for many many years, and that was the last time they got to see her, as she was taken on the waka across to Taupiri maunga,” Husband said.

Dale Husband says people's thoughts are now turning to the new King, Tuheitia Paki, and the future role of the Kingitanga.


Maori broadcaster and commentator Waihoroi Shortland, whose family has had a long association with the kaihui ariki or royal family, says the tributes to Dame Te Ata i Rangi Kaahu are also a tribute to the people around her.

Mr Shortland says people should not expect too much of Tuheitia Paki as he eases his way into his new role as Maori king.

He says Dame Te Ata made very few public pronouncements in her first 30 years, as she listened to those around her and learned how to use the formidible resources that Tainui, Kingitanga and Maoridom gave her.

He says it will be hard to match Dame Te Ata.

“It's no great surprise that in our reflections of Te Atairangikaahu over the next years and decades we will say that, of this line, she was the very best. Now that is a reflection of the people who carried her through those 40 years,” Shortland said.

Waihoroi Shortland says Tuheitia Paki needs to mbe the kind of leader people learn to follow, and Maoridom must believe they have got the best from the very good choices laid before them.