Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, September 08, 2006

Education pioneers to be uncovered

The history of New Zealand's earliest post-contact schools will be uncovered in a major piece of research over the next three years.

The Marsden Fund for science is giving half a million dollars to Kuni Jenkins from Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi in Whakatane and Alison Jones from Auckland University to write about the relationship between missionary teachers and Maori students before the Treaty of Waitangi.

Dr Jenkins says the story probably starts with Ruatara, the chief who invited the Reverend Samuel Marsden to set up a school in the Bay of Islands.

“Ruatara to me is the founder of Maori education. In fact, he’s the founder of New Zealand schooling. It was him that invited Marsden to come,” Jenkins said.

Kuni Jenkins says previous histories have cast Maori as the passive recipients of schooling, rather than being the people who sought out education.


The Maori Affairs spokesperson for New Zealand First says MP's should try using marae protocols to improve behaviour in the Whare Paremata.

Pita Paraone says minor parties are increasingly upset at the behaviour of Labour and National members during question time.

Mr Paraone says he often wishes he were elsewhere.

“I wish we were on a Maori marae, because while we may have different points of view, we allow those who are speaking to have their say, and that’s certainly not been the case displayed by the major parties over the past month or so, and I suspect if we don’t do something about it, it’s going to get even worse,” Paraone said.

Pita Paraone says New Zealand First MP's are denied the chance to speak out on behalf of their constituents because of the delays caused by constant interjections.


Ngati Kahungunu are considering a group to protect their intellectual property rights and iwi heritage.

Ngatai Huata, who gave evidence for the iwi at at this weeks Wai 262 flora and fauna claim at Waipatu Marae near Hastings, says it's something other iwi should consider.

Ms Huata says not the sort of issue which would suit a pan-tribal organisation, because the interests of individual iwi may be compromised.

Peace breaks out at Parihaka

Planning for next January's Parihaka Peace Festival has been given a boost by the Maori Land Court, which has appointed an interim board to manage the historic Taranaki pa.

The run up to this year's festival was marked by disputes between organisers and some marae trustees, who tried to stop it going ahead.

Festival spokesperson Te Miringa Hohaia says the court has removed trustees he says were dysfunctional, and asked a kaumatua from each of the pa's three marae to come up with a new structure.

Mr Hohaia says he is confident the three elders will be able to bring the community together as it works through the challenges facing it.

IN: The key to Maori success is open dialogue where people can say what they need to say and where through korero can come to some kind of consensus. So I’m confident something really good is on the move,” Hohaia said.

Te Miringa Hohaia says he is talking with some high profile international acts about appearing at the Parihaka Festival, which starts of January the fifth.


The lock-out of workers at supermarket owner Progressive Enterprises distribution centres is being painted as vital for improving the wages of Maori workers.

National Distribution Union secretary Laila Harre says the striking workers, most of whom are Maori or Pacific Island, are standing up for all low paid workers.

She says Progressive would love for the workers to lose so others will be frightened of standing up for higher wages.

“It's really, really important that people who support the right of low paid workers to bargain, people who want to see Maori wages lifted to the level of Pakeha wages, stand behind these workers because that’s exactly what they’re trying to achieve,” Harre said.

Laila Harre says the only way to address the huge disadvantage of Maori in paid employment is by improving pay and conditions through unionisation and collective bargaining.


Schools around the country are getting the chance to hear some high quality Maori reo through the activities of award winning Wellington theatre company Taki Rua.

The company is touring 'Nga Manu Rooreka', a play by Apirana Taylor.

Te Rawhitiroa Bosch, who appears in the play along with Jacob Tamaiparea, Riria Hotere and Kura Te Ua, says a big part of the play's appeal is the skilful translation into te reo by Materoa Haenga.

IN: It's really awesome really sweet to listen to and we’ve been talking to a whole lot of people who have seen us and quite a lot of people who are matatau in te reo have said that’s really beautiful, so it’s really awesome for us as the actors to be speaking this type of reo,” Bosch said.


Maori fisheries settlement trust chairperson Shane Jones says he owes it to the people who put him in the job to ensure an orderly transition of leadership.

National's Maori affairs spokesperson Gerry Brownlee has accused Mr Jones of conflict of interest and double dipping for continuing to hold the $80,000 a year post at Te Ohu Kaimoana Trust as well as being a Labour list MP.

But Mr Jones says he will be gone by the next annual meeting in February, when most of the iwi will have received their fisheries assets.

He says as chairperson he was chosen by fellow members rather than the minister.

“When I became the chair in the year 2000, six very senior figures from te ao Maori supported me: June Jackson, Naida Glavis, June Mariu, Judge Mason, Archie Taiaroa and Koro Wetere. And I really do owe a debt of honour to them to ensure that the task is successfully completed,” Jones said.

Shane Jones says Te Ohu Kaimoana is no longer the politicised controversial body it was in the 1990s, and it now requires a moderate mix of politics, economics and culture.


A Parihaka community leader says the Taranaki village needs to find ways to support itself so it can maintain anf grow its historic legacy.

The Maori Land Court has sacked village trustees and appointed three kaumatua to overseee the transition to a new management structure.

Former trust secretary Te Miringa Hohaia says it's a step the community is applauding after a decade of dysfunctional management.

Mr Hohaia says the community feels it must maintain and spread the teachings of 19th century peace prophets Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi, despite its few resources.

“Throughout the twentieth century Parihaka has been relatively poor, without a land bae that it could have access to and use as a resource. So it’s been in crisis because it’s had no means of developing and it’s struggled just to maintain what it’s got and it hasn’t been able to do that well at all,” Hohaia said.

Te Miringa Hohaia says one of the ways the community is trying to develop is through the Parihaka Peace festival, which will be held again next January.


With spring in the air, many Maori will be out preparing the ground for crops both new and traditional.

Massey University horticulture lecturer Nick Roskruge says interest in the national Maori vegetable growers’ collective, Tahuri Whenua, is snowballing.

The collective, which Dr Roskruge chairs, helps growers source traditional varieties of taewa potatos, corn and other vegetables, and provides a forum for discussion of scientific and commercial issues.

“If nothing else it’s about getting people back interested in the whenua, and how they can interact and relate to those activities and hopefully over the next few years we can just grow and grow,” Roskruge said.

Nick Roskruge says the next few weeks will be busy for growers as they not only get their seed in the ground, but they also head for the Tahuri Whenua annual hui at Massey in Palmerston North later this month.( sept 28)

Ngapuhi elder calls for coordination

Ngapuhi's Taumata Kaumatua council of elders has decided to attempt some coordination within the country's largest tribe.

Member Nuki Aldridge says the different groups within the north need to operate off the same sheet of music.

Mr Aldridge says the demands of the modern world means effective communication is vital, but Ngapuhi is sending mixed messages to its people and others.

“We have economic direction by trust boards saying this is the way to go, we have social organizations that are saying this is the way to go, we have our runangas telling us this is the way to go. The elders and the kuias are looking in and saying ‘hey, they’re playing a tug of war with one another, they are not actually playing the game together,” Aldridge said.

Nuki Aldridge says the Taumata Kaumatua o Ngapuhi will hold a series of hui on how the iwi can tackle issues in a more coordinated way.


Maori police officers have been asked to be on the look out for potential recruits to ensure the force mirrors the community it serves.

Dick Waihi, the iwi liaison officer for Counties Manukau Police, says six recent homicides and a rise in street gang activity is putting pressure on police in South Auckland.

He says more officers on the street will help, but they must know how to deal with the unique problems police face in the region

“The Government has promised another 1000 over a three year period. We’re working hard to recruit people of ethnic origin. We need more Maori officers within the police force. I know Pacific staff are doing their best to recruit their people,” Waihi said.

Dick Waihi says South Auckland police are working with Maori wardens to get some of the young gang associates off the streets, and they will also put more staff on patrol on weekend nights when a lot of the problems happen.


Minister of Maori Affairs Parekura Horomia says the fifth Hui Taumata Maatauranga next month is a timely opportunity to tackle some of the issues facing Maori education.

Mr Horomia says religion in schools, the draft Maori curriculum and the role of the Treaty of Waitangi in the education system are issues which are likely to come up.

He says the government does listen to what comes out of the Hui Taumata Maatauranga.

“People shut Maori education in a narrow cultural prism. It’s more important we get on,” Horomia said.

The Hui Taumata Maatauranga will be held in Taupo from the 6th to the 8th of October.


Maori gamblers are slow coming forward to get help.

The Problem Gambling Foundation estimates there are 100,000 problem gamblers nationwide.

It says 90 percent of those are addicted to poker machines, which seem particularly attractive to Maori women, but few are coming forward to problem gambling programmes.

Foundation spokesperson Bill Bradford says often a bit of good luck can be bad luck in disguise, as gambler may get hooked by an early win but they will inevitably lose.

Bill Bradford says promoters of pokies say they raise funds for the community, but the reality is most of the money goes to sports organizations and racing clubs.


The chief executive of Ngati Porou Whanui Forests says a new forestry policy will allow Maori land to replant their land with native species.

Chris Insley says the Permanent Forest Sink Initiative will allow landowners to trade the carbon credits earned on new forest plantings.

He says the forests can't be clear felled, but they can be selectively harvested after 30 or 40 years.

Ngati Porou Whanui Forests already has 10 thousand hectares of pinus radiata planted on East Coast Maori land, but Mr Insley says it is looking at planting new species under the initiative.

“Douglas fir - redwood, some variety of eucalypt. Also there is the opportunity to plant some native trees on a semi-commercial scale, so things like totara, and kauri and others become real options on Maori land,” Insley said.

Chris Insley says the Ngati Porou Forests is working with the Forest Research Institute to identify the best trees to grow on its lands.


Wellington Maori theatre company Taki Rua is on the road again, taking Maori Language to mainstream schools.

Actor Te Rawhitiroa Bosch says it is getting a positive reaction to its new production, Apirana Taylor's Nga Manu Rooreka.

The play, directed by first-timer Te Koha Tuhaka, was translated into te reo Maori for the tour by Materoa Haenga.

Mr Bosch says it's the 11th year Taki Rua has taken a te reo Maori production out to schools, and it gets across whatever the language proficiency of the audience is.

“Ranging from Kura Kaupapa Maori to secondary schools, primary schools, the local kohanga, so we’ve had huge age range in audience and a huge range in cultures, so some of the audiences have absolutely no reo and some have awesome reo. In general the reaction’s been really cool and even from the kura with no reo, they still really love it,” Bosch said.

Te Rawhitiroa Bosch says the northern leg of the tour will take in Auckland, Hokianga and Waikato

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Maori foresters see hope from carbon sink

The chief executive of Ngati Porou Whanui Forests says the government's Permanent Forest Sink Initiative is good news for Maori landowners.

Chris Insley says under the initiative, landowners will be entitled to the tradeable carbon credits for any new forests they plant.

This could be worth several hundred dollars a hectare every year, depending on the species grown.

Mr Insley says it allows owners to take a longer term view, and it could also make it viable to plant native species like totara and kauri.

“The announcement was really good news because it will enable private sector investment to bring in the necessary capital to do this development on our Maori lands but in a way that our Maori stakeholders can share and participate in that commercial activity,” Insley said.

Chris Insley says Ngati Porou Whanui Forests is talking to London-based brokers Sustainable Forest Management about new capital, and it has several thousand hectares of East Coast land ready to be planted.


A Maori candidate for a position on the Manukau City Council says a curfew should be placed on South Au ckland teenagers.

Sam Rerekura is standing in a by election for the Mangere War left vacant after the conviction of James Papali'i for fraud.

Mr Rerekura says the spate of killings in south Auckland in recent months shows firm action is needed to ensure the safety of the region's youth.

I believe that they should have curfews on young teenage people. I remember in our time we needed to be in the house before the sun went down. Children need boundaries. They need to get off the streets and into their homes so they don’t get up to mischief,” Rerekura said.

Sam Rerekura has previously stood unsuccessfully as an independent in the Tamaki Makaurau electorate.


Parents and older siblings are the key to tackling childhood obesity.

That's the word from Deb Hurdle, the manager of Sport and Recreation New Zealand's Push Play programme.

Ms Hurdle says children mirror what they see.

She says if parents are active, it's likely their children will be also.

“It's far too easy for mum and dad to sit on the couch and tell the kids off, and I thnk that’s the thing, we all need to be role models. The kaumatua need to be role models for the mokopuna, the older kids need to be role models for the younger kids, everyone’s got to be a role model, and if I think of they see themselves in that position of responsibility, I think that’s really important,” Hurdle said.

Push Play recommends 30 minutes of physical activity a day.


One of the witnesses in the Wai 262 flora and fauna claim is having doubts about whether the long-running claim will be able to achieve its objective of protecting Maori rights to the products of the natural world.

The Waitangi Tribunal is today shifting to Atawhai marae in Nelson to wrap up a third consecutive week of hearings on the claim.

Haami Piripi from Te Rarawa says Maori are linked to their natural surroundings through whakapapa or geneology.

He says that poses problems for the tribunal and for the government.

“You can't separate flora and fauna from the natives. We’re part of the whakapapa too. That’s what they’re struggling with I’d say. At the end of the day they can always do what they did with the foreshore and seabed and legislate to take it away from us,” Piripi said.

Haami Piripi. The Wai 262 hearings today shift to Atawhai Marae near Nelson to hear evidence from top of the South Island iwi Ngati Koata.


Northland iwi Ngati Wai says the Department of Conservation's purge of native rats from off shore islands is a blow to Maori environmental management.

Environment spokesperson Hori Parata says the kiore has co-existed with other native species since it was brought to Aotearoa in the original canoes, and it has not inter-bred with other more destructive rats.

Mr Parata says Ngati Wai has its own understanding of the role of the kiore in the forests.

“Now that's what we're looking at, that the kiore was an environmental performance indicator and we monitored the health and the welfare of that animal throughout the year to get an indication of the health of the environment. It had an important role, and our role was to keep an eye on it,” Parata says.

Hori Parata says Ngati Wai continues to work with the Department of Conservation to better understand whale strandings and to reestablish customary access to the flesh and bone of the beached mammals.


One of the most successful Maori sports professionals is expected to link up with the NRL wooden spooners South Sydney.

Tawera Nikau, from Tainui, is a former Kiwi and captain of the New Zealand Maori squad, and is well respected for the years he spent playing professionally in both Australia and England.

Since returning home, he has carved out a new career as a motivational speaker as well as hosting sports shows on Maori Television.

But that could all be about to change after a meeting in Sydney over the weekend, with representatives of the Rabittohs.

“Talking to board members about the possibility of going on the board and being a bit of a mentor for some of the Kiwi players there. They saw me as someone who’s been through the NRL, understands what it’s like, and just having that mentorship role with a lot of the younger players coming through and having input about the cultural side of a lot of our Pacific Island and Maori players,” Nikau said.

The Rabbitohs have another kiwi connection. The club is part-owned by actor Russell Crowe.

Harawira matriarch blasts party

Veteran activist Titewhai Harawira says the Maori Party needs a wake up call over the way it has handled the row over koha.

Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira has admitted receiving cash koha without giving receipts, forcing co-leader Tariana Turia to lay down the law about how party MPs will handle donations.

His mother says that was the wrong response, and the party should not compromise over tikanga or customs.

Mrs Harawira says the party is losing its way.

“We lost a lot of support over the employment bill because they want to wait and dick around until it goes to the select committee instead of sticking with the workers in the first place, and here we are again as a Maori party saying let’s have a look and make sure we’re not upsetting the norm. Well to hell with the norm,” Harawira said.

Titewhai Harawira says what happens with koha is the busienss of Maori and no one else.


Ngati Kahungunu kaumatua Rere Puna has been honoured posthumously with a civic award by the Napier City Council.

Napier mayor Barbara Arnott says Mr Puna, who died last week aged 69, worked tirelessly in the community and was well respected by Maori and Pakeha.

The former farmer also worked for the council as a cultural advisor, and he was involved in several Maori land trusts.

Mrs Arnott says she first with Mr Puna on the board of Napier Boys High School.

“He just put a whole lot of time into the community and walked the balance between Pakeha and Maori and did it every well with such grace and such respect, so respected by all the Pakeha community and obviously by the Maori community as one of the most significant kaumatuas here,” Arnott said.

One of Rere Puna's seven children accepted the civic award on behalf of the whanau.


The Maori Affairs select comittee was in Taranaki today hearing submissions on the Ngati Mutunga Claims Settlement Bill.

Iwi negotiator Jamie Tuuta says Ngati Mutungu has spent a decade negotiating the $14.9 million settlement.

He says while the iwi was concerned at issues like the fairness of the settlement process, the amount offered and the lack of Crown land available for return, they were keen to settle.

“It's about putting a stake in the ground and moving on. The grievance, it’s going to take a long time for it to go away. It’s a part of our history, but we just want to move forward and do the best we can with what little with what we have and look at the revitalization of our Ngati Mutungutanga, first and foremost,” Tuuta said.

Jamie Tuuta says most political parties have indicated they support the Ngati Mutunga settlement being passed before the end of the year.


Central government could come be willing to contribute to the $200 million cost of cleaning up the Rotorua lakes.

Te Arawa Maori Trust Board chairperson Anaru Rangiheuea says he was heartened by a meeting on the issue last week with Finance Minister Michael Cullen, Environment Minister David Benson Pope and Lands Minister David Parker.

The recent $20 million Te Arawa lakes settlement did not include the cost of the clean up.

Mr Rangiheua says representatives from the trust board, Environment Bay of Plenty and Rotorua District Council asked central government to chip in.

He says the Ministers indicated there could be sums in future budgets for the clean-up.

Anaru Rangiheuea says the Health Ministry should also be asked to contribute, because of the impact of pollution on people's health.


The Maori liason officer for the Counties Manukau Police District says police are struggling to deal with problems caused by street gangs modelling themselves on American urban gangs.

Dick Waihi say police resources are stretched investigating a spate of recent killings.

He says officers are encountering a different kind of delinquent.

“The gangs are following a United States gang problem and it’s finally reached New Zealand. Some of the youth involved are as young as 8 years old. Children that age should be home with their parents. Parents should have more control over their children. They should know exactly where they are,” Waihi said.


A Ngapuhi man who unsuccessfully stood in the Tamaki Makaurau electorate at the last general election, says he's disappointed no other Maori are putting their names forward for a position on the Manukau City Council.

Sam Rerekura is in the race for the Mangere ward, left vacant after councillor James Papali'i was convicted of fraud.

Mr Rerekura says Mangere has a high Maori poulation, and deserves strong Maori representation.

Sam Rerekura says he wants to show Maori they have a role in both local and central government.

Te Taou challenges Auckland deal

A small Kaipara tribe is leading the charge against the proposed settlement of Auckland land claims.

The government has signed an agreement in principle which gives Ngati Whatua o Orakei $10 million and the right to buy any surplus Crown properties on most of the Auckland isthmus.

Lou Paul from Te Runanga o Te Taou says the Office of Treaty Settlements has accepted Orakei's version of history without allowing it to be tested before the Waitangi Tribunal.

Mr Paul says it is continuing more than 150 years of colonial policies which have pushed Te Taou off the land.

“Some people might refer to us as a lost tribe. We don’t consider ourselves to be that. I suppose the process of alienation, of what happened to Te Taou’s interests. They were one of the eight recorded original tribes of south Kaipara, including Tamaki, and were virtually declassified out of existence,” Paul said.

The Waitangi Tribunal is holding a judicial conference in Auckland on September 19 on whether it should give Te Taou an urgent hearing.


New Plymouth Maori are fighting a plan to build a car park on a culturally significant site.

The land, a popular foreshore reserve, was returned to the Ngati Te Whiti hapu by the Maori Land Court last year.

It is now leased by the Puke Ariki Land Trust to the New Plymouth District Council.

Ngati Te Whiti descendant Wharehoka Wano says a plan to extend an existing carpark onto the reserve has come out of the blue, and there are better ways to use the land.

“The problem I suppose is the council hasn’t consulted well with local hapu. There’s lots of opportunity what we could down in that area. We want to put a memorial, maybe a whare of some sort, as long as we have the option to decide what we want to do there and have some input,” Wano said.

Wharehoka Wano says the reserve was part of Ngati Te Whiti's Puke Ariki pa, which was established in the 1600s.


The Prime Minister says the government had no part to play in guidelines for religion in schools.

National Party Education spokesman Bill English has claimed the Government withdrew the guidelines on religious instruction after pressure from parents, and Anglican Bishops and himself.

But Helen Clark says the proposed guidelines came to light because of a report by Education Ministry officials to a select committee.

“Never come near the Cabinet, never came near me as Prime Minister, doubt it ever got near the minister. The Education Ministry then got a volley of complaints because basically people handle it satisfactorily as it is, and they’ve now said they’ll leave it alone. Now Mr English can’t go round saying ‘the government’ changed its mind when frankly, ‘the Government’ had never heard of it,” Clark said.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has laid down the law to her colleagues about the way they will handle koha.

A party caucus meeting yesterday tried to do some damage control over statements made by its MPs defending Labour MP Taito Philip Field from allegations he took cash donations from Samoan constituents.

Both Hone Harawira and Pita Sharples admitted getting cash koha or gifts from supporters without issuing receipts.

Mrs Turia says the party now has clear rules about koha.

“When people give any member of the Maori caucus money they are being given that money as members of the Maori Party. The money will go into the party or it will go into the electorate budget,” Turia said.

Mrs Turia says Parliament needs to look at the whole issue of gifts and donations for MPs.


A west Auckland Maori warden says the organisation could do a better job transporting prisoners than the private security firms now doing the job.

Jack Taumaunu says the alleged murder of teenager Liam Ashley in the back of a prison transport highlights the need for a different approach.

Mr Taumaunu says Maori wardens have unique skills they could bring to the job, but they tend to be overlooked.

“I'm very very concerned with the prejudicial system against our Maori wardens out here from the Corrections and the Justice system. We’ve been waiting, hoping and praying that someone will give our Maori wardens a crack at some of this stuff because private security companies are in this for one thing and that’s money for their back pockets,” Taumaunu says.

Jack Taumaunu says Maori wardens often know the prisoners and their family histories


The results of the meningococcal B immunisation programme have been positive for Maori families.

The programme has come under fire from critics who say the health ministry is experimenting with the health of children.

But programme director Dr Jane O'Hallahan says there has been a significant drop off in new cases among Maori children, particularly in Auckland and Northland.

She says there is now an effective vaccine, and that has given Maori families confidence to get their children seen.

“Many Maori parents have sadly had this disease in their whanau and we are really please with the way Maori parents have responded in accepting this new vaccine for their children and their faith in the programme is showing good results, because we are now seeing a significant drop off in the disease in the. Maori population,” O’Hallahan said.

Jane O'Hallahan says there always risks in any programme.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Hone censured for venture into foreign Field

The Maori Party says Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira should not have commented on Labour's Taito Philip Fields problems.

Mr Harawira defended Mr Field on allegations that he took cash gifts from Samoan constituents, saying this was similar to the Maori practice of koha.

Speaking after today's Maori Party caucus, co-leader Tariana Turia says Mr Harawira's comments are regretted.

She says the party policy is that koha is receipted and recorded in the same way as any other income coming into the party.

Mrs Turia says Parliment itself needs to clarify its policies and procedures around gifts and donations...


Meanwhile, the prime minister is rejecting claims by Hone Harawira, that the Labour Party's treatment of Taito Phillip Field is racist.

Mr Harawira says the Mangere MP is being held to a different standard than colleagues David Benson Pope and David Parker.

Helen Clark says allegations made about Mr Benson-Pope were promptly sent to the police, who decided against taking action.

She says the investigation by Queens Counsel Noel Ingram cleared Mr Field conflict of interest as a minister, but it highlighted undesirable practices which the Labour Party can't condone.

“We cannot have any perception arise that people can go into an electorate office, put money on the table, and ask for something to be done. Now, in effect, what Hone Harawira seemed to be suggesting on the tv programme on Saturday morning was he thought that was OK. Well if he thinks that was OK, I’m stunned, because it isn't,” Clark said.

Helen Clark says Mr Harawira's statements seemed a case of mouth engaging before brain.


A play featuring Maori actor and writer Rawiri Paratene and a group of young Sri Lankan tsunami survivors has won the 'UNESCO Light of the Festival Award' for life changing theatre’ at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Finding Marina is loosely-based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and draws on the experience of former child soldiers in Sri Lanka's civil wars.

It was developed by Paratene, Bollywood choreographer Terence Lewis and other cast members.

Veteran filmmaker Don Selwyn says Paratene's commitment to theatre and the kaupapa of his piece will make its greatest mark on the child actors.

“It's a reflection of his commitment, his developing ability as a writer also, he’s making a contribution as a writer and engaging a lot of people from that area and particularly children, In the long run it’s going to have a big influence upon those kids,” Selwyn said.


The Waitangi Tribunal is considering stepping in to a row over the proposed settlement of central Auckland land claims.

It will hold a judicial conference this month to consider whether it should accept a claim by Kaipara iwi Te Taou challenging the agreement in principle which gives Ngati Whatua o Orakei $10 million and the right of first refusal over hundreds of millions of dollars of Crown properties in Auckland.

Tainui and Hauraki iwi have also challenged the settlement.

Te Taou spokesperson Lou Paul says by negotiating directly with Sir Hugh Kawharu and Ngati Whatua o Orakei, Treaty Negotiations Minister Pete Hodgson and the Office of Treaty Settlements are ignoring the histories of all other iwi who have claims to the isthmus.

“We've said to the minister how can you settle a grievance when you are creating a further grievance. It will never be a durable settlement under any means. Those are some of the issues we have raised with the minister, but he is not taking any notice presently,” Paul said.

The judicial conference on September 19 will consider whether to give Te Taou an urgent hearing on its claims.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says all political parties need to come clean over political donations.

The Maori Party caucus today said it regretted statements Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira had made in defence of Labour's Philip Taito Field.

Mr Harawira admitted receiving cash koha from supporters and not issuing receipts - a practice similar to what Mr Field has been accused of.

Mrs Turia says the public is concerned people who donate money to political parties are expecting something in return, and all parties have issues to deal with.

“I don't think they’ve got any right to be defining koha or the policies around it, but certainly they need to be looking at the whole issue of gifting and how they receive money form corporate organisations and the union movements,” Turia said.

Tariana Turia says the Maori Party has a clear policy that cash donations and koha should be receipted and recorded in the same way as all other party income.


Maori aren't using the Maori language skills that they have.

Te Puni Kokiri policy director Tipene Chrisp says a nationwide survey now under way will ask why people won't speak out in te reo.

A 2001 survey found 20 percent of Maori say they understand te reo Maori, but they don't speak it themselves.

Mr Chrisp says 'whakamaa' may be an issue.

“The other piece of research that we did showed that whakama was a major barrier for for those people, and I think the whole idea of ‘have a go’ is to try to get over that whakama barrier, because one of the ironies is the only way to get better with a language is to use it,” Chrisp said.

Tipene Chrisp says the survey team will interview 4000 Maori.

Maori Party seeks koha clarity

The Maori Party caucus will today discuss whether it needs to swet some rules on the receipt of koha or cash gifts.

The issue has blown up because of Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira's defence of embattled Labour MP Taito Philip Field, who is under fire for a range of actions including allegedly accepting cash from fellow Samoans for immigration help.

Mr Harawira and Pita Sharples say they have accepted koha, Tariana Turia says she has directed any gifts to party funds or to schools in her area, and Te Ururoa Flavell says no one has ever offered him anything.

Mr Harawira says he often is in situations where people insist on making a koha.

“I take the money. Like my co-leader Dr Pita Sharples says, I often never receipt it either. If I’m in a situation where I’m in a big crowd and somebody gives me money and one of m staff isn’t around to give a receipt, I don’t bother. I don’t make a big fuss about it because the giving on money, the giving of koha, is not in how much the money, it’s in the act of giving,” Harawira said.

Hone Harawira says he won't compromise on Maori cultural practices.


Maori in the top of the South Island say Crown Minerals is failing to properly consult with iwi before it issues prospecting licences.

Ngati Rarua, from Motueka, and Mana whenua ki Moohua , from Golden Bay, are considering legal action to stop mining in their rohe.

Ngati Rarua spokesperson Barney Thomas says Crown Minerals failed to properly inform the iwi of an application by Perth-based company Crosslands to prospect in a 745 square kilometre area, including parts of the Kahurangi and Tasman Bay national Parks.

He says the Crown Minerals is getting offside with not just iwi but with the wider community.

“Seldom do I see Fish and Game, the fisheries industry, iwi, the councils, community boards, and Forest and Bird all sitting saround the same table . The support from the community has been exceptional,” Thomas said.

Barney Thomas says iwi want significant maunga like Takaka Hill and Mount Arthur excluded from any prospecting licence.


Children who like the outdoors could be the next big thing in Eco Tourism.

Sport and Recreation New Zealand is offering a taste of the great outdoors to students in low decile schools in Auckland and Northland.

SPARC Get-2-Go Challenge manager Deb Hurdle says those kids who really enjoy things like rock climbing, mountain biking and kayaking could make a career out of it.

“If they get a taster for it and decide they like being involved in this, there are lots of institutions around New Zealand who run courses that kids ca do, that can do their unit standards, can get a diploma in it, and then they have the qualifications so they can set up and run their own business,” Hurdle said.

Deb Hurdle says schools will enter teams to participate in the challenge, with regional winners heading for the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre on Great Barrier Island in December.


A split has emerged within Tuhoe about who should receive its share of the Maori fisheries settlement assets.

Members of the Tuhoe Maori Trust Board have proposed a structure to receive the tribe's $16 million in fisheries assets, and are seeking a mandate from members.

But Te Kotahi a Tuhoe, a group formed to unite the various elements of the eastern Bay of Plenty tribe, says the plan excludes many iwi members.

Aubrey Temara, who is co-chair of Te Kotahi a Tuhoe as well as chairing the trust board, says the structure is unfair.

“I think the process of consultation has been absolutely derelict, our people have not had the time and fair opportunity to have a good look at this document and see what it’s all about. So, $16 million of assets is $16 million of assets, but there’s a bigger price to be paid,” Temara said.

Aubrey Temara says Te Kotahi a Tuhoe wants Te Ohu Kaimoana fisheries settlement trust to hold off making a decision for six months, so Tuhoe can sort out its internal divisions.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says he feels an obligation to support Mangere MP Taito Philip Field on the issue of cultural gifts.

Labour whips have sent Mr Field on leave while police investigate a range of allegations, including that he took cash gifts from constituents.

Dr Sharples says he accepts cash koha from supporters, because it is given from the heart.

He says Maori and Pacific Island people face similar hostility from the majority culture.

“There is this move to support each other and there’s been a lot of interacting this last two years between the different islands and New Zealand and Maori. But there is a cultural obligation also to point out also the koha system that our whanaunga from Samoa use,” Pita Sharples said.

The Maori Party caucus is today expected to discuss how its MPs should handle koha.


The head of Auckland University's Medical School, Des Gorman, says a diabetes prevention campaign needs to look at cultural factors rather than focus on cost.

The Ministry of Health and the Health Research Council has decided not to keep funding their Te Wai o Rona diabetes prevention strategy, because it was costing more than they anticipated.

Professor Gorman, who headed the programme, says there is acceptance in the Maori community that diabetes is a major health issue, so now the health professionals need to devise prevention strategies that work.

“What's significant is there’s clearly this increasing acceptance that being fat is not good, there’s an this increasing acceptance that diabetes robs people of actually seeing their grandchildren, There’s an increasing acceptance of the fact there needs to be some changes in Maoridom about for example the fact Maori women die 15 years younger than European women. That’s unacceptable in 2006,” Gorman said.

Des Gorman says the Te Wai o Rona strategy was launched without enough Maori input.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Harawira the gift that keeps on giving

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says the Labour Party is being racist in its treatment of Taito Philip Field.

Party whips have sent Mr Field on leave while police investigate some of the issues raised in the Ingram Report on his dealings with constituents.

There are also allegations Mr Field received cash gifts from fellow Samoans, something Mr Harawira says is similar to Maori giving koha to Maori Party MPs.

Mr Harawira says Mr Field is being held to different standards of behaviour than colleagues like David Benson-Pope and David Parker.

“Do I think it's racist that all those Pakehas can get off while Philip Field gets nailed for it by his own party. Hell yes I think it’s racist,. Particularly when it comes to our customs, when we are forced to try and be quiet and apologetic about the things we do and the reasons why we do it, I think to myself no way am I going to apologise,” Harawira said.

Hone Harawira says the Maori Party caucus will discuss the issue of koha tomorrow.


Whanganui Maori are considering whether to appeal a High Court Decision which could give Genesis Energy a 35 year consent to take water from the headwaters of the Whanganui for the Tokaanu / Rangipo power scheme.

The court overturned an Environment Court decision which granted Genesis a 10 year consent, to give the parties a chance to work together on a long term solutuon,

Iwi spokesperson Che Wilson says all Maori should be concerned because the High Court is saying tangata whenua concerns are not valid unless they can be confirmed by Western science.

“Tikanga Maori, you can’t use that as an excuse, indigenous science, you can’t use that unless it’s got hard facts backed up with it, which is a concern because not only does it affect us as Whanganui, it now sets a legal precedent for issues for any Maori,” Wilson said.

Che Wilson says Whanganui iwi have 21 days to decide on the appeal.


Toi Maori is putting the call for young writers to attend its annual Maori writers hui.

Project co-ordinator Tamahau Temara says they will get a change to pick up tips from old hands like Patricia Grace, Witi Ihimaera, Hirini Moko Mead, Apirana Taylor and Rangimoana Taylor.

The hui is in its tenth year, and Mr Temara says it provides a valuable source of support and encouragement for writers.

“It just gives the opportunity for all our writers around the country to come together, to debate issues they may have around writing, In te reo Maori or in English, but it also gives the opportunity for young and upcoming writers to actually see the mechanics of how Maori convene and talk about issues regarding their writing,” Temara said.

The hui is in Wellington from October the 6th to the 8th.


A tribute to Lord Cooke of Thorndon, whose funeral was today at St Paul's Cathedral in Wellington.

National Party MP Georgina te Heuheu, a lawyer and former member of the Waitangi Tribunal, says Robin Cooke was an outstanding New Zealander who made a profound contribution to the place of Maori.

As president of the Court of Appeal, Lord Cooke heard the Tainui case against the sale of Coalcorp and the Maori Council over state owned enterprises.

Mrs te Heuheu says at the start of the SOE case, he commented that it was perhaps as important for the future of the country as any which had come before the New Zealand Courts.

“To mind it indicates judge with a large vision, what is sometimes called a natural law jurist, one who develops laws for the people going forward. And indeed I think that characterises many of the judgments that he gave and why he will go down in our history as the greatest judge we've had,” te Heuheu said.

Georgine te Heuheu says Lord Cooke's findings on the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi have guided governments in their dealings with Maori over the subsequent two decades.


The chairperson of Labour's Maori caucus is at a loss to understand why Maori Party MP, Hone Harawira has got involved in the Taito Phillip Field case.

The Mangere MP has been sent on leave by Party whiups as police investigate a range of allegations, including that Mr Field took cash from constituents seeking help with immigration issues.

Shane Jones says Mr Harawira's comments that it was common for politicians to receive koha, is confusing a Maori concept with Samoan practices.

“I've no idea what possessed Hone to embroil the kaupapa of koha in a debate that is up to Samoans to establish how their culture evolves and meets the exacting standards of
parliamentary democracy,” Jones said.


The head of Rotorua tourism venture Te Puia says new technology and fresh displays are attracting more visitors to the renamed New Zealand Arts and Crafts Institute.

Andrew Te Waiti says by the end of the year over 1 million visitors will have passed through Te Puia.

Mr Te Waiti says Te Puia is halfway through a 17 and a half million dollra refurbishment, that will give visitors a unique experience.

“So we brought a bit of technology to the site. Of course we have guides, who tell the awesome stories of the valley face to face. What we wanted to do was bring some high level interpretive technology to the site, so they’ll tell the same stories, but we’ll use 3D or holographic images that people can manipulate and get the same stories. It’s technology that is nowhere else in the world, so it’s pretty cool stuff,” Te Whaiti said.

Field problems not comparable with tikanga

Labour Mp Shane Jones says Hone Harawira shouldn't be using then term koha in reference to the problems confronting Taito Phillip Field.

The Mangere MP has been stood down on full pay, while an investigation continues into allegations including that he received undeclared monies from constituents.

Shane Jones says even though Mr Harawira may support Mr Field, it was inappropriate for him to suggest koha is part of the problem.

“The tension between parliamentary democracy and Samoan gift giving is something for Samoan culture to come to terms with. The bottom line is if you’re an MP, you do not, should not, cannot, must not take financial donations for personal profit,” Jones said.


We shouldn't forget the 28th Maori Battalion are still strong and a strong part of our nation’s history.

The 28th Maori Battalion Reunion in Easter earlier this year at Omapere in the Hokianga was an opportunity for veterans to gather and share stories, for some the long trip to the Northland was too much.

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia offered to host a series of Dinners for the various companies around the country to get together for a few hours in their own regions with fellow veterans and whanau.

Mr Horomia says that although we should be pragmatic about the fact that a lot of the veterans are now 80 years old plus, we shouldn't forget their contribution to our country.

“They made a lot of our whanau an ultimate commitment, and I just want to celebrate that time with them and give them to opportunity so they can get together, share stories, and recognize that the 28 Maori Battalion is still strong and will be forged in our history as one of the great contributions,” Horomia said.

Parekura Horomia will host five 28th Maori Battalion dinners around the country between now and Christmas.


Tikanga and family are seen as the key for Maori struggling with addiction.

Ngati Hine health advocate Moe Milne says that was confirmed for her at the recent Healing our Spirits Worldwide conference in Canada, which looked at drug and alcohol addiction among indigenous communities.

Ms Milne says a common story form addicts seemed to be a lack of cultural identity.

She says many Maori lack cultural self confidence.

“This hui started out of the need for indigenous peoples to start talking about the histories, the traumas, but also to talk about the solutions. And throughout the world with indigenous peoples, it kept coming back to knowing yourself, your identity, where you belong, to iwi, to whanau, me o tikanga,” Milne said.

Moe Milne will be speaking at Cutting Edge, the national conference on addiction in Wellington later this week.


Maori party co leader Pita Sharples says most New Zealanders don't understand the concept of koha.

He says he agrees with comments by Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira, that it is common for politicians to give and receive koha.

Mr Harawira was offering a Maori perspective to the situation facing Mangere MP Taito Phillip Field who is accused of receiving cash gifts from constituents.

“Hone is correct in that most New Zealanders do not really understand that a koha is not something that you give just because you feel like it, there is a whole expectation and obligation that goes with koha. Koha should not be receipted, they are given from the heart and they are received the same way,” Sharples said.


A word of advice to Hone Harawira from one who has been there before.

Former Labour MP and member for Tamaki Makaurau John Tamihere, says the Maori Party MP was unwise to rush to the defense of embattled Mangere MP, Taito Phillip Field in the latest controversy over receiving gifts from constituents.

Mr Tamihere says while Maori have a similar position of koha, it does not translate simply into the kinds of cash grants it is alleged that Mr Field was given.

He says Mr Harawira’s show of support for Mr Field is hard to understand.

“I think he sees someone down, and when you see someone down, you try and support them. But I don’t think it’s his fight. If he was a member of the Labour Party I could understand him, but it’s a Pacific Island issue, it’s not a Maori issue. And the reason why I say that is that at no time on any of our issues have they ever entered the fray on our behalf,” Tamihere said.

Mr Tamihere says that in Maori society the practice of giving large demonstrative cash koha is now relatively uncommon.


Greens Maori affairs spokesperson Metiria Turei says the controversy over Auckland Grammar's attempt to purge out of zone students from its roll shows the need for some appeal authority.

The Greens have a School Review Authority Bill awaiting its chance in the parliamentary ballot.

Ms Turei says while the parents Grammar pupils were able to apply pressure to stay, many other families find it hard to fight the system.

“We originally designed the bill because, particularly Maori and Pacific Island children were being excluded and expelled from school and they didn’t have any forum to go to is that exclusion was unlawful, they would just have to suffer the consequences and find another school, so we devised the Schools Review Authority to meet that need,” Turei said.