Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Maori landowners consider brand

Maori landowners are looking at whether they should come up with their own brand to take their products to the world.

Federation of Maori Authorities executive vice chairperson Paul Morgan says that's the sort of issue Foma members will be discussing at their annual hui in Rotorua over the next three days.

Mr Morgan says it has been 20 years since the first FOMA hui was held, also in Rotorua, and members will be looking ahead to the next 20 years.

He says members are used to taking a long term view.

“We're landowners. We’re not going to sell our land, and we have to look at strategies to maximize our returns on our land, and we’ve got to decide iw we want to just be producers or whether we want to look at the processing, whether we wish to become exporters in our own right and whether or not we wish to develop a unique branded position so customers around the world can relate to the product and where it comes from,” Morgan says.

Paul Morgan says the success of Tohu Wines shows how Maori brands can work on a world stage, and large incorporations like the East Coast Mangatu Blocks are also starting to produce their own branded products.


A Northland hapu is lobbying the Department of Conservation over its plans to build an 850 section coastal resort settlement.

Te Uri o Hau this week flew Conservation Minister Chris Carter over the land at Te Arai, just south of Mangawhai, which it received as part of a treaty settlement.

Development committee chairperson Sir Graham Latimer says the hapu wanted to show the minister how it plans to protect the breeding grounds of the endangered fairy tern, which nests in the dunes.

It issue could be critical for winning consent for the project, which also needs a scheme change from Rodney District Council.

“We're concerned because we’ve gone and made preparations to look after the birds to see that there’s no animals that can destroy them, trying to do that. Course there’s a lot of while country down there, and it will be a while to say that all the possums and wild cats are out of the forest,” Sir Graham says.

Sir Graham Latimer says Te Uri o Hau is trying to develop its resources so it is not dependent on anyone else.


Maori artifacts at the Auckland Museum are being to turned into three dimensional images by engineering students.

The students are working with museum staff to use laser scanning technology to create the images for documentation and research.

Curator Maori Chanelle Clark says it's a safer way to manage the often fragile items than previous techniques.

“Machine scans it without having to move the taonga at all, whereas if you are taking a photo you usually having to pick it up and turn it around. It is more a safe way to document and also to help preserve them,” Clark says.


Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says the Federation of Maori Authorities has become a major force for Maori development.

The federation starts its annual hui in Rotorua today, with more than 350 representatives of land trusts and incorporation booked to attend.

Mr Horomia says there is only so much government can do, and it is important Maori find their own ways of advancing.

“Foma is a great organisation that’s done its bit for Maori, like the Maori Council, the Maori Women’s Welfare League, national organisations like Congress, trying to bring together our collective might through information and creating opportunities for our people,” Horomia says.

Parekura Horomia says Foma has been in the forefront of identifying international marketing opportunities for Maori and coordinating joint ventures to improve the use of collectively held resources.


The MP charged with overseeing an environmental education programme in schools says Maori concepts will be included.

Meteria Turei says funding for the kaupapa, which was part of the deal made by the Greens in exchange for their support of a Labour led government, becomes available in the new year.

She says the programme will target teachers in both the mainstream and Maori immersion sectors.

Ms Turei says it will cover a range of issue, including the Maori dimension.

“The money we've got secured for it will set up a Maori development aspect in environmental education who will then supply that support to schools, so it will take a while for it to kick in to the classrooms. We worked with Maori environmental educators to find the best structure that let them pursue environmental education in a Maori context,” Turei says.


The sound of waiata will ring through Wellington High School's Taraika Marae today as part of an initiative to increase the number of musicians who can perform in a Maori language environment.

Today's Papamahi Waiata Manaaki Tangata workshop is leading up to the Pao Pao Pao! Concert later this month.

National Maori Music Summit project manager Ngahiwi Apanui says the pool of Maori language musicians is drying up.

“When we kind of look at who’s doing kaupapa Maori music and music in te reo Maori, the ranks are getting decidedly grey. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t have more artists doing music in te reo Maori, but for some reason we seem to be getting fewer and fewer,” Apanui says.

Forestry trustee resists asset grab plan

The Crown Forestry Rental Trust will resist any plans to use some of its $85 million in retained earnings for a Maori development bank.

A Te Puni Kokiri working party is looking at the practicalities of a Labour election promise to review the roles of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, Maori Trust Office and Poutama Trust in financing Maori economic development.

Crown trustee Angela Foulkes says the trust, which uses the interest from rents on Crown forestry land to fund claim research and negotiation, was set up after negotiations between the Crown and Maori.
She says any changes to its trust deed would require fresh negotiations between the parties.

“We are conscious that there has always been a muddying of the role of the trust, but the trustees are very clear that we implement the trust deed on behalf of Maori and the Crown, and it’s not for one or other party to decide we should do it in a different way,” Foulkes says.

Angela Foulkes says the retained earnings are needed to ensure there will still be resources to properly fund claims even after major forests like Kaingaroa are settled.


National Party MP Paula Bennett says her party can work with the Maori Party while still challenging some of the things it stands for.

Ms Bennett was one of a National Party group led by leader Don Brash who last night dined with Maori Party MPs Tariana Turia, Pita Sharples and Te Ururoa Flavell.

It is the first time the parties have met since Mr Brash's comments about Maori blood quantum.

Ms Bennett says they discussed a range of issues, including youth binge drinking and welfare dependency.

“There are areas in common and there are areas where we see certainly we know the outcomes we want, and the differences are sometimes working out the path how we get there. Now it would be a pretty boring world if we were on the same path and not challenging each others in the way that we thought and the things we wanted to get done,” Bennett says.

Paula Bennett says the parties are hoping to meet again soon.


The man whose song The Bridge remains a favourite waiata for Maori, says the song paved the way for other Maori artists singing in te reo.

Dean Waretini recorded the song in the late seventies, about the long running industrial dispute surrounding construction of the Mangere Bridge.

He says at the time it was released, radio stations baulked at playing contemporary waiata Maori.

“It was a huge battle to get airplay, and I persisted with radio stations, 1ZB I wrote letters to request the Bridge song and that’s how it got airplay. It was the first Maori song to break the barrier in the Pakeha world. That song opened it up for everybody,” Waretini says.

Dean Waretini says he's planning to come out of retirement for a three city tour early next year.


Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says money held in trust for Maori could be better used.

Mr Horomia says Te Puni Kokiri, the Maori Trustee, the Crown Forestry Rental Trust and other groups representing Maori interests may be more effective if they combine their collective wealth.

He is waiting for a report from consultant Whaimutu Dewes on the potential benefits of a collaborative approach.

“Asked them to investigate the possibility of better usage of funds collectively, and it’s not another grant area. It’s about adding value. This is not going to anyone else for the funds, they are already there. We should bring the might together and make it available for our people,” Horomia says.

Crown Forestry Rental trustee Angela Foulkes says any changes to the trust's deed would require negotiations between the Crown and the Maori appointers.


Greens Maori affairs spokesperson says the Government is dropping the ball on treaty education.

Metiria Turei says she is impressed by the work of the Pakeha treaty education network Project Waitangi, which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Ms Turei says the network is doing what the government is failing to do, and moves to drop the treaty from the school curriculum which will make the problem worse.

“The failure of the draft curriculum to mention anything about treaty issues is a way of entrenching racism in the community, because it is not recognising it is Pakeha who need information and need understanding and need support to understand what Maori are talking about when we talk about the issues of colonization,” Turei says.

Metiria Turei says it is not the job of Maori to teach Pakeha what the treaty means.


One of the oldest known Maori wooden taonga is being returned to the Te Rarawa people, at least on a temporary basis.

The Kaitaia lintel is thought to be over 800 years old.

It was found in the Tangonge swamp near Kaitaia in 1920 and has been held at the Auckland Museum ever since.

Chanelle Clark, the museum's curator Maori, says the carving has been loaned for display at the Te Rarawa festival in Kaitaia.

Ms Clark says the tribe wants a bigger say in its future.

“It's going to be there for the rest of the week for the celebrations, and then we will be heading back up there to pick it up and bring it back to the museum, but they have said the next time they ask for it, that will be it, it won't be coming back,” Clark says.

Crown forestry putea eyed for Maori bank

The Government is looking at ways to form a Maori development bank out of existing Maori resources.

Former fisheries commissioner Whaimutu Dewes is heading a working party which is trying to identify whether $200 million in resources can be pulled out of the Maori Trust Office, the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, Poutama Trust and Te Puni Kokiri's business facilitation service.

Crown Forestry is sitting on $85 million in retained earning, while the Maori Trustee has more than $54 million in his General Purposes Fund and another $34 million in the Common Fund, which is held in trust for Maori owners.

The Poutama Trust has $29 million in equity, which came from the Government's stake in the ill-fated Maori Development Corporation.

Te Puni Kokiri chief executive Leith Comer says he can't reveal any details of the plan.

“What we're trying to do is continually look at continually improving and trying to look at better ways to get greater effectiveness and particularly synergy out of agencies that are focusing on economic development,” Comer says.

Leith Comer says a paper will go to Cabinet this month


Green Party Maori Affairs spokesperson Metitia Turei says raising the drinking age back to 20 will only mask the real problems.

Ms Turei says the Select Committee report shows no evidence that raising the age will stop underage drinking, including drinking by those under 18.

She says the age issue avoids the real challenge about tackling the way New Zealand society as a whole handles alcohol.

“If the problem is that people drink too much and behave badly when they do, then the evidence shows that most of that harm comes from people over 20 who are drinking, most of the violence, the domestic violence, the car crashes, the fighting, all of that stuff that's fuelled by alcohol,” Turei says.


Waipoua Forest iwi Te Roroa is looking for uses for a 165 year old kauri cut down by vandals last week.

Te Roroa Trust member Alex Nathan says the five metre trunk was salvaged, and is sitting in the Conservation Department's Waipaoa depot.

The kauri was one of a pair known as The Twins.

Mr Nathan says Te Roroa elders can remember climbing the tree with steel tipped boots to collect seeds in days gone by, and that history could suggest a modern use.

“The evidence still showing on the bark. We may use it as an interpretive thing, so we are right now looking at ways to preserve it, keeping insects and so on out of it,” Nathan says.


Tens of millions of dollars held by Crown and Maori agencies are being eyed for possible use by a Maori development bank.

A Te Puni Kokiri working party is crunching the sums on a Labour election manifesto promise to review the role of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, Maori Trust Office and Poutama Trust in financing Maori economic development.

Between them the three organisations are have about $170 million in equity, assets or retained earnings, but they all have unique legal or constitutional arrangements which could prevent the government extracting that money

Te Puni Kokiri chief executive Leith Comer says work is still at an early stage.

“It's very early days to discuss detail, but what is being looked at is better synergy, better effectiveness of a number of economic development agencies. But until there has been further development of that work and it has gone through the process of being approved by the minister, that is the only comment that I am prepared to make,” Comer says.


It's back to loading boxes of meat for Tuhoe golfer Baden Waiwai, who returned yesterday from the World Long Drive championships near Las Vegas.

Waiwai 's best effort of 376 yards earned him the runner up slot.

The 6 foot 8, 130 kilogram golfer has a unique training regime, loading 25 kilo boxes of frozen meat into containers at the Affco Freezing works in Wairoa.

He says that builds upper body strength and helps him drive the ball further.

The 26 year old says he can go one better than his second placing.

“Doing your first event and doing it that well, I wanna take it out. I didn’t go all that way just to make up numbers. Hopefully the people behind me, pushing me, can push me a lot harder to get to the top. I know what it’s like now and I’m gonna do it. I want to win that thing,” Waiwai says.


The creators of a new youth health resource in te reo Maori hope it can encourage teens to stay in school.

The Whai te Ara Mou, Ko Tenei Au programme is aimed at year 9 and 10 students, the age at which they are most likely to give up on education.

Project leader Kahu McClinton from Maori mental health group Te Rau Matatini says it presents traditional Maori concepts through animated films, guide books and other material designed to appeal to young people.

Ms McClinton says while it is an adaption of a similar programme used in mainstream schools, there are aspects which are unique to the Maori immersion environment.

“We got this resource that’s in the reo, and looked at holistically using the Whare tapawha, so so it’s a reclaiming of who they are and celebrating who they are,” Kahu McClintock says.

Ngati Apa knocked back by Privy Council

The South Island branch of Ngati Apa says it will continue to fight for its rights on the West Coast, despite a Privy Council decision that it is too late to challenge Ngai Tahu's territorial boundary.

Ngati Apa ki te Waipounamu Trust chairperson Kath Hemi says the tribe is gutted by the decision that it was adequately represented at a Maori Apellate Court hearing in 1990 which determined Ngai Tahu's boundaries.

Mrs Hemi says the the decision has cost Ngati Apa millions of dollars in fisheries settlement assets.

She says cutting Ngati Apa out of the coast goes against a string of court decisions going back to the Crown's Arahura Purchase in 1860.

“The land that is in the Mawhera Incorpation, (it has been sold now, they have a legitimate right to it because it’s in legislation), had Ngati Apa tupuna names on it. I feel grossly offended by the whole thing because it’s one Maori taking from another,” Hemi says.

Kath Hemi says the Privy Council decision should not prevent the Waitangi Tribunal from considering whether the Puaterangi hapu of Ngati Apa still has live interests on the West Coast.


Counties Manukau District Health Board has released a new five year strategy which places a priority on addressing the negative health statistics for Maori and Pacific Islanders in South Auckland.

Maori services head Bernard Te Paa says the board will attempt to improve access to its services.

He says the strategy was driven by the community.

“We've been out talking with the com at large for probably last 18 months and we’re reflecting back what the community has told us are the important issues to get right,” Te Paa says.


It's never too late to save the planet.

That's the response of Tuhoe kaumatua Tawhao Tioke to recent gloomy predictions about the future of mankind because of global warming.

Mr Tioke says the west has demonstrated making money is more important than the health of the environment, and the price of that attitude will be high.

He says the traditional relationship between Maori and the environment slows an alternative path.

“They saw the beauty of Aotearoa. They saw the beauty of it. They worshiped it. They spoke to the mountains. They spoke to the sun, the moon, the wind, the rain while they were here. The early voyagers who discovered these islands always remembered to speak to Io Korekore, the unseen one,” Tioke says.


One of Waipoua Forest's most well known kauri has felled by vandals.

The 165 year old kauri was one of a pair known as The Twins growing beside the road through the Northland forest.

Te Roroa spokesperson Alex Nathan says the Twins marked the start of an ancient hunting track.

It was also one of the trees the iwi collected seeds from, as visitors could see from marks left in the bark.

“One of our people who was one of those climbers is still alive, he’s a kaumatua now. The tree shows all the evidence of those climbing activities. The boots they used in those old days had spikes in the toes, and they’ve kick in the trunk as they climbed the tree, so you can see all those marks still in the bark of the tree,” Nathan says.

Alex Nathan says the Department of Conservation has no clues on who conducted the early morning attack.


The anti violence message is being pushed in an area hard hit by crime.

To mark Family Violence awareness week, Manukau City mayor Sir Barry Curtis will tomorrow launch a teal ribbon campaign to inform people where to go for support if their partner or some other family member turns violent.

Suzanne Pene, an educator from the South Auckland Family Violence Prevention network, says the campaign is a challenge to Maori families in south Auckland, who feature too prominently in police reports.

“Eleven out of the 14 homicides were domestic violence related, and when you consider that Maori make up 15 percent of the population in Counties 60 percent of those offenders and victims are Maori. So in terms of Maori trying to reach out and find some support mechanism, this is a way forward,” Pene says.

Suzanne Pene says it's better to work with people to help identify what triggers their anger, rather than try to step in after a violent act occurs.


Maori who are part owners in multiply owned land blocks are being encouraged to build homes on those blocks.

Associate Housing Minister Dover Samuels says multiply-owned Maori land may be the key to addressing Maori housing problems.

A number of schemes have been tried over the years to make it easier for Maori owners to build on their own whenua, with mixed results.

Speaking from a Maori housing hui in Tauranga, Mr Samuels says it is worth continuing to look for the right formula, because there are sound cultural and economic reasons for using land which is already owned by the whanau or hapu.

“That goes a long way to addressing the affordability situation, where the land and the house can now become affordable,” Samuels says.

Dover Samuels says he is talking to regional councils about ways to overcome some of the obsatacles around bulding on multiply-owned Maori land.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Treaty education still vital after 20 years

A veteran treaty educator says there is still a need to teach Pakeha and other tau iwi about the nation's founding document.

Treaty educators have met in Hamilton to mark the 20th anniversary of the founding of Project Waitangi.

Spokesperson Mitzi Nairn says too much of the official material available emphasises the English version, and ignores the promises made in the Maori text or Te Tiriti.

Ms Nairn says there has also been a section of society which has been pushing back against the treaty and any recognition of Maori rights.

“There's been a lot of people who’ve kept their heads down and hoped it would all go away, and this last couple of years with people like Don Brash saying things that sound right out of the 1950s – and sometimes out of the 1850s – there’s always a lot of basic stuff stuff needs doing,” Nairn said.

Mitzi Nairn says it should be the right of every New Zealand child to learn about the treaty.


Youth Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says more Maori families should consider fostering tamariki.

It's foster care awareness week, and the Tainui MP says the ccommunity should celebrate the contribution foster parents make to the lives of children and young people whose own families are experiencing difficulties.

Ms Mahuta says Maori have a particular interest in fostering and whangai situations, because of their experience over the years with some less than appropriate policies of welfare agencies.

“I'm certainly supporting calls from Maori foster providers who want to see more Maori foster families so that the placement of young Maori and Pasifika children can be made more appropriately in Maori and Pasifika families,” Mahuta said.

Nanaia Mahuta says it is less stressful on children if they are placed in families with similar cultural backgrounds.


A Maori mental health services worker says the number of kaupapa Maori and Pasifika providers in the field is a positive development.

Orrin Kapua from Te Whare Tiaki Trust attended yesterday's South Auckland Respect Awards ceremony, which acknowledged the work of mental health services in the region.

Mr Kapua says cultural factors play an important role in mental health, and the best people to help those undergoing difficulties are often those from the same background.

He says that was evident at the awards.

“It's great to see that ma tataou tatou e awhi ano, ourselves, Maori services, Pacific Island services, who are helping ourselves, our own people,” Kapua said.


Veteran treaty educator Mitzi Nairn says proposed changes to the school curriculum removing reference to the Treaty of Waitangi will short change a generation of students and set back attempts to create a more just society.

Treaty educators have just held their annual hui in Hamilton, which this year celebrated the 20th anniversary of the founding of Project Waitangi, a group of Pakeha people who took on the responsibility of raising Pakeha awareness of treaty issues.

Ms Nairn says over the years to Project Waitangi network has come to appreciate the need for education not just at the school level but in the wider community.

“If we don't keep breeding up ignorant twits, then we have a better chance of putting things in place, but it’s too easy to concentrate on young people, because in many ways they’re not as politically powerful as older peolle. I think we still need to push older people to take responsibility,” Nairn says.

Mitzi Nairn says the Treaty of Waitangi is a major part of what makes New Zealand special, which all New Zealanders should celebrate.


Green Party Maori Affairs spokesperson Metiria Turei says Maori leaders need to get involved in the climate change debate.

Ms Turei says other indigenous peoples look up to Maori because of their success in geting historical grievances recognised, and Maori leadership on climate change could have international significance.
She says they need to show what it really means to be kaitiaki of the whenua or guardians of the environment.

“Maori leadership needs to come out and say they are concerned about climate change and will do what they can to secure our own people’s future. We need to take it in our own hands as far as possible. Every marae and every hapu and every large Maori corporation needs to take as much responsibility for it as they can, and we can actually make a difference if we do it now,” Turei said.

Meteria Turei says Maori seem to be on both sides of the debate, with Ngati Porou planting forests which could reduce carbon emissions and Ngai Tahu cutting down forests and replacing them with dairy farms.


After an 18 month break, kaupapa Maori drug and alcohol services are again available in Invercargill.

Southland District Health Board has given a contract to run the service to Te Kete Matauranga Pounamu Trust, which also runs problem gambling and smoking cessation services as well as a mobile nursing service.

Trust chief executive Tracey Wright says the board recognised the effectiveness of Maori-focused programmes.

“I think they were reasonably aware but they were very robust in testing our ability to articulate the way that we want to do business, working in a community provider environment with a kaupapa Maori sort of philosophy and practice. We wanted to be sure they understood our model of delivery. They have been very supportive,” Wright says.

Tracey Wright says while the initial contract is for one year, Te Kete Matauranga Pounamu Trust is confident it can make the case for on going funding.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Rent due says Labour MP who lost seat

Former Labour Party Northern Maori MP Bruce Gregory says treaty claim settlements are falling far short of what Maori can consider fair.

Dr Gregory is backing calls by some in Ngapuhi for return of all land held by the Crown.

He says the monetary limits the Crown is putting on settlements can only be described as a inadequate.

“For all the wrongs that the Crown has done us, the amount that they are giving us is one, ours by right anyway, and two, is only a pittance of what they owe use. My argument is hey man, the rent’s due, when are you going to start paying up,” Gregory said.

Bruce Gregory says the Crown has a debt of honour to pay Maori.


Family and Foster Care Federation spokesperson Toni Hewitt says it's important Maori children needing foster care are placed with Maori families.

It's Fostercare awareness week, and agencies around the country have events planned for children and caregivers.

Ms Hewitt says agencies involved in foster care are aware of the cultural needs of their charges.

She says the transition required for children into the care of a family of the same ethnic background is less stressful for the child.

Toni Hewitt says it's important families feel they have options when members have problems with parenting, and fostering can be a a way to relieve that stress for extended periods.


A wananga is being held at Bethells Beach on Auckland's west coast this week to give boys a taste of tikanga Maori.

The Tama Tane Wananga involves 22 boys from Year 7 and up from around the Waitakere region.

Kaiawhina Rewi Spraggon says the wananga involves bush walks, tikanga Maori and Maori marital arts training.

“The kaupapa of our wananga is actually empowering them, in particular with mau rakau, also building survival skills as well, so the four days they are out there they will learn not only tikanga Mairiu and mau rakau and what have you but also the kaupapa around the Marae,” Spraggon says.

The wananga is supported by the Waitakere City Council, Waitemata Health and the Ministry of Education.


The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is reviewing the relationship between its elected and appointed Maori representatives.

The council is the only one in the country with Maori wards.

Council spokesperson Bruce Fraser says confusion has arisen about the role of the appointed iwi representatives.

He says the council, including the three current Maori ward representatives, will meet with the Maori Regional Representation Committee next month to discuss the findings of an independent review of the situation.

“There's a general view that it’s time for change, that we need to make it a bit better. There’s been lot’s of strength abut what’s happened, but it’s now time to change it with the constituent Maori councilors on board and look for a new way of moving forward,” Fraser said.

Bruce Fraser says the fact the number of Maori wards will be cut to two as part of an overall reduction in the size of the council could also affect future relationships.


The prime minister says while Maori unemployment rates are at the lowest they have been in decades, there is still room for improvement.

The Department of Labour says Maori unemployment is now down to 8.5 percent, which is still more than three times the rate of joblessness among Pakeha.

Helen Clark says the state of the Maori workforce is a far cry from the situation Labour inherited when they took over the treasury benches six years ago.

“It's actually reduced by more than half in the time we’ve been in office, and I’m really proud of that, and to see so many more of our whanau and young people able to get up in the morning and go out to a job and have the dignity of being able to pay their own way, this is terrific,” Clark said.


Auckland City Art Gallery is putting its exhibition spaces to sleep for the next two years with a show called Oriora - the Maori version of a lullaby.

The gallery will be closed from January while a $90 million extension is built.

Oriori is a collaboration between Rachel Rakena of Ngapuhi and Ngai Tahu, sound artis Jane Venis and animator Kurt Adams.

Ms Rakena says while a lullaby is used to put children, oriori have traditionally had a more complex role.

“I was thinking about an oriori actually addressing significant history and people and events, rather than just to put to sleep,” Rakena said.

Maori unemployment down to 8.5%

The Government's Working for Families package is being credited with bringing the Maori unemployment rate down its lowest point in 20 years.

A Labour Department report has found the rate of Maori moving into work has been higher than the average over the past year, and the jobless rate now stands at 8.5 percent. That compares with a Pakeha rate of 2.6 percent.

Social policy researcher Charles Waldegrave says the Working for Families policy ensures low income people with children will get more by working than by collecting a benefit.

He says the policy recognises the limitations of the benefit system.

“If you can also put money into that group that just gets into work, but is in pretty precarious work and pretty low paying work, and add dollars to it, it seems to get people into a position where they gain confidence and they move through the labor market as a whole, and I think that’s what you’re seeing happening here,” Waldegrave says.

Mr Waldegrave says as well as the drop in the dole queue, the number of Maori receiving the domestic purposes benefit is also falling.


The president of the Maori Party says he gives his four MPs eight out of 10 for their performance over the past year.

At the party's hui a tau in Christchurch, Whatarangi Winiata says the party needs to build on the momentum it has created and capture the rest of the Maori seats from Labour.

Professor Winiata says it has identified a number of key areas where party members will need to contribute.

“Fundraising, that’s going to be quite critical to having a greater impact on the electorate in 2008. There is ongoing work on policy generation and refinement. Straddling all these is the planning, and we had a very good session on that,” Winiata said.


The first Te Rarawa Festival starts today, with the Kaitaia-based tribe expecting thousands of members to come back for a week of celebrations and sport and cultural events.

Te Rarawa runanga member Haami Piripi says the festival is part of the iwi's drive for economic and social growth.

He says the iwi wants its people to learn how to become economically self-sufficient.

“In many ways we’ve given up on the idea we are going to be catered to by the New Zealand economy because it doesn’t seem to be happening, we’re still last on and first off. We need to create our own opportunities utilizing our own assets and our ingenuity and our entrepreneurial skills to be able to do it well,” Piripi said.

Haami Piripi says the Te Rarawa Festival is a way for the tribe to reach out to members wherever they are.


Labour list MP Shane Jones says possible changes to penal policy signaled at the Labour Party conference could make a marked impact on Maori.

Mr Jones says because violent crime and domestic violence disproportionally affect Maori communities, those communities need to get behind policies which can make a difference.
He says many Labour policies such as Working for Families have already had a positive impact on communities, but there are always a few families who are responsible for much of the crime and social disruption.

“Sharp focus on them in bringing the full force of the law so it limits their activities would be a fantastic companion to the handsome policies associated with family assistance etc, because that is having a fantastic impact on a wide number of people and it is now time to focus on this pocket of recidivism,” Jones aid.

Shane Jones says Maori community and iwi groups tend to know where the problems are, but they often don't have the resources to do anything.


Ngapuhi's treaty claim design team is holding a hui in Papakura today to report progress to date to tribe members living in Auckland.

Design team member Titewhai Harawira says the feedback from previous hui held in the north was that tribe members are dissatisfied with the way the Crown wants to settle claims.

Mrs Harawira says what is most important is the return of Ngapuhi taonga.

“Our people are also saying that when the Crown comes to talk, it comes with an empty kete. Ngapuhi is saying, our maunga, our rivers, our DOC land, our minerals and our white sands, those are our taonga and they should never be part of a treaty settlement, they should come back to Ngapuhi as of right,” Harawira said.


New Zealand's community driven model of language revival is set to be included in an international documentary.

Trevor Moeke from Te Wananga o Aotearoa says a film crew from the California-based Kalliopeia philanthropic foundation will be in the country next month to film material of how kohanga reo, kura and wananga are contributing to the revitalisation of Maori.

Mr Moeke says the contact came through the World Indigenous People's Higher Education Council, which the wananga set up to promote its philosophies of encouraging peoples to hold on to their cultures.

“So the Kalliopeia Foundation has responded because they’re interested in language revitalization, but also in terms of the traditional knowledge and how that might assist in diplomacy, in the operations of democracy, community building, the opportunities created by education. Those are the kind of things they stand for,” Mokeke said.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Party sets eights on eight seat future

Maori Party president Whatarangi Winiata says the party's sights were firmly on the future at the party's annual conference in Christchurch over the weekend.

Profesor Winiata says feedback from members suggests the party has done an admirable job in its first year in parliament, but there is little room for complacency.

He says the party wants to win all the Maori electorates in 2008, and that means planning ahead.

“We had a very good session on the strategic plan for the party, covered election for 2008. Discussion on whether we should be limiting our focus to the Maori seats, which we expect will be eight, or whether we shd attempt to win some of the general seats,” Winiata said.


King Tuheitia made his first visit to the Far North in the role of Maori monarch on the weekend, taking with him more than 200 supporters from Tainui.

They were welcomed to Potahi Marae in Te Kao by several hundred members of te Aupouri and the four other Muriwhenua tribes.

Aupouri kaumatua Kingi Ihaka says while the king did not speak, that was not unexpected.

Mr Ihaka says his mother, the late Dame Te Ata i Rangikaahu, only made public speeches in the latter years of her reign, after years of grooming by her elders.

“There’s a vast difference between he and his mother, who was appointed to the position at age 18. Now Tuheitia is 52, and as everyone knows, the king, or the monarch at the time, rarely makes public speeches. Tuheitia never spoke at all, although he mixed and mingled with the multitudes in the far north this weekend,” Ihaka said.

Kingi Ihaka says the hui celebrated King Tuheitia's whakapapa links to Te Aupouri through his father, Whatumoana Paki, who also attended.


Endurance was the name of the game at the Kai Mata - Sugarloaf open
ocean Iron Race held at Tutukaka over the weekend.

Waka Ama crews from Rotorua to Kaitaia battled 20 knot winds and one metre swells over the 30 kilometre course.

The winner of the men's event, a team from the Hei Matau Paddlers club in Rotorua, completed the course in 3 hours 23 seconds.

Organiser Ralph Ruka says although the weather held out for the race, it was a real test of endurance.

“I think paddling for three to four hours was pretty tough, some sore bodies afterwards, tired bodies, but they all enjoyed it and were still talking about it late into the night really,” Ruka said.

Ralph Ruka says planning has already begun for a bigger and better event next year.


Northland tribe Ngapuhi is considering diversifying into aquaculture and property development to reduce its reliance on its fisheries quota.

Ngapuhi chairperson Sonny Tau says the runanga's annual meeting at Ngawha this weekend highlighted reliance of the country's largest tribe on the income from its share of the Maori fisheries settlement.

The runanga reported a profit of $1 million, down $170 thousand on the previous year.

Mr Tau says the difference was largely the result of higher fuel prices in the fishing operation, and that highlighted the need for diversification.

He says the runanga is looking at other ventures, even though it expects there could be some concern from members, especially at any property dealings.

“Around any Maori enterprise there’s a lot of interest because the media has highlighted a lot of the Maori failures in the past, but good research and good due diligence, you can't go too much wrong,” Tau says.

Sonny Tau says most questions at the annual meeting were about the decision to write down the value of the runanga's shares in pan Maori post settlement fisheries company Aotearoa Fisheries by 90 percent to $ 5 million.


Act MP Heather Roy says the Maori Party can rely on ACT's support when for its bill to repeal the foreshore and seabed Act.

She says ACT opposed the legislation when it was first mooted, and haven't changed its position that it was a property rights issue.

Ms Roy says Maori were denied that opportunity to pursue their property rights..

“When we talk about the foreshore and seabed, we’re delighted that Tariana Turia’s private members bill she had pulled out of the ballot has come before Parliament again, because that was never actually looked at properly in our view, and we will be supporting that bill. We firmly believe that should be addressed,” Roy said.


An art exhibition in one of Auckland's more affluent suburbs, will attempt to close cultural divisions between Maori and Pakeha.

13 Maori artists have come together at the Uxbridge Gallery in Howick for the Hono Kotahitanga or Joining Together exhibition.

Jeweller and glass artist Dave Beamish says there are still areas in the country where Maori and people from other minority cultures are not made to feel welcome, and the show may help address that.

“I get a bit troubled, a bit perplexed at the attitude of some New Zealanders who are a bit exclusive of other cultures, especially the primary culture of this country, and to be able to express the connection we have through artwork is really the appropriate venue to get some of these divisions healed,” Beamish said.

Foreshore stance defended

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says opponents are deliberately misinforming the public about her bill to repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Mrs Turia says she has received feedback from people who are upset the bill confirms the foreshore and seabed is in Crown ownership, rather than putting it in some sort of Maori title.

She says there is no way the party could do that.

“We never ever said that. That’s not our role. That is actually the role of the various hapu and iwi, and by us repealing the foreshore and seabed it actually leaves the gateway for them to have due process which is what they were denied,” Turia said.


Decreasing rates of home ownership could spell trouble for Maori in the future.

The Centre for Housing Research, has the number of Maori who owned their own homes dropped by seven percentage points between 1991 and 2001, from 55 percent to 48 percent.

Over the same two census periods, the overall home ownership rate dropped from 72 percent to 68.

Social policy analyst Charles Waldegrave says there is no improvement in sight.

“Now we know those levels are continuing to drop for the whole population, and we know they will be for Maori. It’s quite serious because home ownership is critical to security, particularly in retirement or once you’re 65. These dropping rates could mean that there’s quite a serious problem ahead if we don’t do something about it,” Waldegrave said.

Charles Waldegrave a higher percentage of Maori all into the lower to middle income bracket, which is least likely to own a home,


Counties Manukau District Health Board hopes a new mobile breast screening service will help it reach more Maori women.

Maori health manager Bernard Te Paa says less than half of Maori and Pacific Island women in the region have regular mammograms, and he wants to see those figures improve.

Mr Te Paa says if women are having problems getting to clinics for a mammogram, it makes sense to take the service to them.

“The idea is that we look at an ability to provide this service in rural areas particularly, areas like the marae, take it out to the people, getting our at risk people, our Maori people our Pacific people in to be screened earlier,” Te Paa says.

Bernard Te Paa says early detection is the best way to combat breast cancer.


Social policy analyst Charles Waldegrave says more creative solutions are needed to boost the level of Maori home ownership.

Mr Waldegrave was one of the people behind a report from the Centre for Housing Research which found Maori home ownership dropped from 55 to 48 percent in the decade from 1991 to 2001.

He says Housing New Zealand is sitting on billions of dollars which in assets which could be leveraged to get low and middle income earners into their own homes.

“All sorts of arrangements, public private arrangements, could be made between big lenders like insurance companies and banks, Maori trusts and building societies, between them and government sharing ways of providing finance to enable people into housing,” Waldegrave said.

Charles Waldergrave says the Centre for Housing Research study was based on analysis of census data which shows an overall trend away from home ownership.


A group which lost its bid to challenge the mandate for the Tuhoe fisheries claim settlement body plans to stay around to contest any Tuhoe land settlements.

Te Kotahi a Tuuhoe chairperson Tamati Kruger says Tuhoe people aren't being given enough information about what their tribal leaders are doing.

Mr Kruger says Te Kotahi a Tuuhoe plans to hold a hui in Wellington this week aimed at building support so it can be in a position to speak for Tuhoe in future claim negotiations.

He says the fisheries battle, which ended when Te Ohu Kaimoana Trust decided to hand over $16 million in fisheries assets to a trust set up the the Tuhoe Maori Trust Board, was a wake up call.

“Te Kotahi a Tuhoe I think is disappointed at the fact that it wasn’t prepared enough to be a real contender in that. Our whole fisheries experience teaches us the values of working together and consultation and the need we have to do that better,” Kruger said.


A man who organised a petition against an aquarium development on Wellington's South Coast says allow the project is a threat to traditional food gathering practices.

Toi Waaka says the Save the Point campaign want to appeal Wellington Regional Council's decision to grant the aquarium a resource consent.

Mr Waaka says the Te Raekaihau site is one he and other whanau use regularly to gather kaimoana.

“It's also a customary fishing, mahinga mataitai area, and when they start to take away – they being government and commercial sectors – start to take up the pace and impinge on our customary rights, that starts to affect our kaitiakitanga in our conservation,” Waaka said.