Waatea News Update

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Mihaka takes tiki tour in Taura Whiri waka

Veteran campaigner Te Ringa Mangu Mihaka, better known as Dun, is in a stand off with the Maori Language Commission over a car.

Te Taura Whiri chief executive Haami Piripi provided the rental car to Mr Mihaka to help in his unofficial role as a roving ambassador for Te Reo Maori.

Now that Mr Piripi's time as chief executive is drawing to an end, he's asked for the car to be returned.

Mr Mihaka says he wants proper recognition from the commission for his role, and he's backing that up with a sheaf of past correspondence from Mr Piripi.

It includes a claim that the 1980 case Mihaka versus Police established for the first time the right to use Maori in court, and led to wider official recognition of te reo.

Mr Mihaka says he sees it as a fight to get recognition for the service he has done for the Crown.

“And that in my opinion is the issue that needs to be resolved, whether the Crown acknowledges that I have done that or not. If I have done that, then they should be simply paying up and not arguing about my use of the car,” Mihaka says.

Mr Mihaka says he'll talk to the Maori language commission, when he gets back to Wellington.


A quiet revolution through the generations has ensured the future of Maori women is in capable hands.

That's the view of Maori Party co-leader Tartiana Turia, who was part of a panel at a Mana Wahine hui in Wellington yesterday.

The hui highlighted the successes of wahine Maori in business, commerce and law.

Mrs Turia says speakers like lawyer Annette Sykes and professional director June McCabe had a common story of being supported and mentored by their whanau, and especially their grandmothers.

“It's been in there for generations that our women have quietly led a revolution of supporting our young women to do very very well, and it’s starting to come to fruition today,” Turia says.


Gisborne-based Turanga Health is reaching out to its cousins from Te Moananui a Kiwa.

The Maori health provider is hosting a Pacific Island Health Day tomorrow for the growing number of island migrants in the region.

Tamariki Ora nurse Anita Vaotuua says as well as promoting healthy lifestyles, Turanga Health wants to get a better sense of the size of the community.

“There is no specific health services here in Gisborne for our Pacific Island group, and we believe that statistics that are available here in Tairawhiti aren’t accurate. The population of PI people here in Gisborne is larger than what the census tells us,” Vaotuua says.


The Maori Battalion has lost another of its warriors.

George McLeod of Ngati Porou, one of the officers in the East Coast C Company, died in Tauranga yesterday aged 93.

Monty Soutter, who wrote a history of C Company, says Mr McLeod was part of the second Maori Battalion which went through the Italian campaign, and he was injured at the Battle of Cassino.

Mr Soutter says Mr McLeod went to war under another name.

He grew up and served as George Tamahori, he’s from a well known family on the East Coast, being the son of Pene Tamahori, and he only changed his name after the war when he came back, as he told me, to improve his chances at employment,” Monty Soutter says.

George McLeod has been taken to lie in state at Kennedy Bay on the Coromandel.


A top of the South Island claimant has welcomed confirmation the billion dollar fiscal envelope for treaty settlements is based on the value of 1994 dollars.

Finance Minister Michael Cullen told a parliamentary select committee this week that while the Crown was no longer bound by the billion dollar cap, the need to maintain relativities between settlements means it is unlikely it the settlement process will cost much more than was envisaged a decade ago.

John Mitchell from Tainui Taranaki ki Te Tonga, one of the large natural groupings of Nelson Marlborough iwi, says he's pleased to hear Dr Cullen recognising that the value of a dollar shifts over time.

He says the news needs to filter through to the officials who are setting the terms for negotiation.

“This issue has been raised in preliminary discussions with some of the government employees with whom we are eventually going to have to sit down and negotiate, and I am not convinced this issue is properly understood at that level. We got the strong feeling they are still operating on a one and seven zeros in today's dollar terms,” Mitchell says.


Taranaki-based iwi Te Atiawa today received $8 million in fisheries assets as their share of the Maori fisheries settlement.

Te Ohu Kaimoana Trust chairperson Shane Jones says there was some comment by the elders at Waitara Marae about the iwi getting its fisheries assets before its land claim is settled, and he was challenged in his role as a Labour list MP to get some movement there.

Mr Jones says there was also acknowledgement of the contribution of the late Aila Taylor to the fisheries claims.

“It was a historic day in a sense, because Aila Taylor led much of the treaty activism around Taranaki, when he sought to secure ownership of Maori rights in their reef and fisheries, so we had lots of mihis to Aila Taylor and the women who supported him when Muldoon was running affairs in the early eighties,” Jones said.

Forestry settlement will take planning

The head of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust says Maori should start thinking about how a proposed multi million dollar fund for Maori social and economic development should operate.

Sir Graham Latimer says there could be up to three quarters of a billion dollars left over this week when forestry claims are settled.

Finance Minister Michael Cullen, told a Parliamentary select committee this week that the any money left over after the trust finishes it work would be used for Maori purposes.

Sir Graham says some of the largest claims could be settled in five years, and the government has made it clear it wants all historical claims settled by 2020.

“We just really need to start thinking about where we are going to be in five years of 25 years and start talking to ourselves about what are we going to do. Michael Cullen makes that gesture. Well we should be out there making the same gesture and trying to assist where our people can work away and prepare themselves for the future,” Sir Graham says.

Sir Graham says a separate development fund should held end Maori dependence on governments of the day.


The Health Ministry's principal advisor on cancer control says more needs to be done to address the disproportionate incidence of cancer among Maori.

John Childs says Maori are more likely to get certain types of cancer, and more likely to then die from that cancer.

The ministry is hosting a two day symposium on cancer control, bringing together researchers and district health boards from round the country to discuss some of the approaches being tried to tackle the disease.

Dr Childs says the health system shouldn't be leaving any part of the population behind.

“Areas like the Hawkes Bay have a high Maori population so very much the issues of inqualities for Maori are very important in an area like that if they are to improve outcomes,” Childs says.

Dr Childs says the cancer control symposium is helping researchers identify areas where further investigation is needed, and it's allowing health boards to see what intervention strategies are working.


The second National Maori Business Expo kicks off in Otaki today, giving Maori a chance to showcase their business and inovation skills.

Organiser Daphne Luke says more than 5000 people are expected through the Otaki Racecourse over the weekend for the expo.

There is strong representation from the art and design and fashion and apparel sectors, as well as business consultancies, and telecommunications, farming, fishing and forestry firms.

Ms Luke says while it is a national show, it also gives a lift to Maori businesses in the region.

“We have 538 Maori businesses in the Kapiti Horowhenua region, and they’re just not known as a sector. The reason we did it here too is the community support that we’ve had from our Otaki Kapiti Horowhenua community,” Luke says.

Daphne Luke says 110 Maori businesses will be showing their wares.


The Maori forestry sector could be in for major changes, with the government promising that any Crown forestry assets left over after the claims process is completed will be used for Maori purposes.

The Crown Forestry Rental Trust currently holds half a billion dollars in accumulated rents for the land under the former state forests.

Who owns that land, and will therefore pick up the rent, will be decided by the Waitangi Tribunal process or by direct negotiation between the Crown and claimant groups.

Finance minister Michael Cullen told a select committee this week that if the Crown ended up with a surplus, it won't put it back in the consolidated fund but would use it for Maori economic and social development.

Crown Forestry Rental Trust chairperson Sir Graham Latimer says forestry can provide Maori with a sound economic base.

“The benefit to us is that we will be there controlling and managing our forests around the country, and this has got to be good, because we can’t be dependent on government trying to find a way out for us in the future” Sir Graham Latimer said.


Design work has been completed and construction started on a new $3.5 million Maori language school complex in Palmerston North.

By the middle of next year Mana Tamariki aims to house 50 children from Te Kohanga Reo and Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Mana Tamariki.

The school is designed to cope with a roll of 180 within 10 years.
Principal Tony Waho says the design represents tupuna nurturing the tamariki, and features an innovative roof design.

“The roof itself is designed by Kennett Brown Architects as a floating korowai,. And it’s klike the nurturing tupuna floating above our tamariki,” Waho says.


A hui paying tribute to one of the most influential Maori of the last century is being held in Wellington today.

Wiremu Parker was a noted academic and in 1943 became New Zealand's first Maori newsreader, broadcasting a regular bulletin on National Radio.

He was widely respected for his knowledge of Maori language and tikanga, and covered the arrival home of the 28 Maori Battalion in 1945 and the poroporoaki for Sir Apiranaa Ngata in 1950

One of his students, veteran broadcaster, Hare Williams, says Wiremu Parker was a consummate professional, whether broadcasting in Maori or English, and influenced those Maori who followed him into broadcasting.

“The reo was denigrated as having no value at all, and the discrimination against our reo, and the war against our reo over a long period of time, and I think it was necessary to have people like Selwyn Muru, Wiremu Kerekere, Purewa Biddle as the pioneers for the genesis of Maori radio,” Williams says.

Hare Williams will speak at today's memorial tribute at Victoria University's te Herenga Waka marae, which will also debate contemporary issues affecting the sector.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Development putea could top $750m

rown Forestry Rental trust chairperson Sir Graham Latimer says there could be up to three quarters of a billion dollars in a fund for Maori development when forestry claims are settled.

The Finance Minister, Michael Cullen, yesterday told Parliament's finance and expenditure select committee that any money left over would be used for Maori purposes, rather than going back into the government's coffers.

The money is accumulated rentals of Crown forest lands, which build up until ownership of the land is decided.

Sir Graham says with political will the main claims, such as those to Kaingaroa and other central North Island forests, could be settled within the next five years.

He says the challenge now for Maori is to decide how it wants such a development fund to work, and who shall administer it.


Labour's Maori caucus has split on whether the drinking age should be raised from 18 to 20.

Dover Samuels, Nanaia Mahuta and Shane Jones voted for the change, while the rest of Labour's Maori MPs joined the majority in blocking the Sale of Liquor (Youth Alcohol Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill from proceeding.

Te Tai Tonga MP Mahara Okeroa says he voted against the bill because he belives the key to responsible drinking is changing the attitudes of young people.

Mr Okeroa last night voted to keep the drinking age at 18 although some of Labour's Maori caucus voted to raise it to 20.

He says upping the legal drinking age to 20 would have achieved nothing:

“How do we resolve an attitude? Well it’s like drunk driving I suppose of smoking, kai paipa. It takes a while. It’s part of the fabric of our society. Skipping it up to 20, that’s not going to stop the 18 year olds or anyone else. A lot of the raruraru among young people, it's not the majority of them,” Okeroa says.


A Maori educationalist says a decision by the Qualifications Authority to allow txt language abbreviations in exam answers is unacceptable.

Massey Institute of Technology Maori studies head Wiremu Doherty, a former kura kaupapa principal, says it makes a mockery of the standards teachers set for their pupils.

Mr Doherty says Maori immersion students need to be encouraged to reach the same level of excellence in te reo Maori as English.

“If we look the analogy of our grandparents, whose Maori was impeccable, and whose English was also impeccable, and it’s that notion that your second language will only be as good as your first language it, it will never exceed it. So we need to be sure if we want our kura kaupapa kids to excel in both languages, they need a very good foundation in the both languages,” Doherty says.


Whanganui Maori want a greater role in the management of Whanganui National Park.

The Whanganui River Maori Trust Board made its case at hearings on the park's draft management plan this week.

Environment manager Jarrod Albert says the board is challenging a perception that Maori aren't capable of managing natural resources.

“That's scaremongering that DoC uses and various other government ministries use to people off the idea that Maori should be managing things like national parks. In fact we’ve said we can probably do a better job because we can put people on the ground to do it, while they will look at aerial application of 1080,” Albert says.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says a Maori genetic weakness for alcohol was one of the reasons she supported raising the drinking age to 20.

All four of the party's MP's voted for the Sale of Liquor Amendment Bill, which was defeated by 72 to 49 last night.

Mrs Turia says Maori problems with alcohol are no secret

“It's shown in the fact that many of our people who have engaged in alcohol, that that is behind a lot of offending, it’s certainly behind a lot of the violence that is perpetrated in our families, so we couldn’t think of anything positive as to why we would vote for it,” Turia says.


A proposal to build a Maori Village at Omaui in Southland has turned into a Maori versus Maori stand-off.

Te Ao Marama, an iwi liaison consultancy funded by the region's councils, has told Maori owned and operated company Whalers Bay it has no ancestral right to build the village.

Whalers Bay director Pera Davies says he has the support of the Awarua Runaka for the project.

Mr Davies says he owns the land and has gone out of his way to do the right thing:

“It's been cleared of any waahi tapu, it’s been cleared of any urupa, it’s probably the last piece of land in here for Maori toi be developed. Everyone else has been built and developed, but they’re really putting the screws on this one pieced of land, because I think of Te Ao Marama,” Davies says.

A decision is expected from the Invercargill City Council by November 21.

Crown forestry surplus for Maori purposes

Finance Minister Michael Cullen says any money left over in the Crown Forestry Rental Trust after forestry claims are settled will be used for Maori purposes.

The Trust holds the rents for land under former state forests, and uses the interest to finance claim research and negotiation.

If claimants win their claims, they are entitled to the back rents as well as the land.

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia has asked officials to investigate whether assets held by the trust and other Crown and Maori bodies can be used to as the basis for a Maori development bank.

Mr Cullen told the finance and expenditure select committee yesterday that he is keen to see forestry claims settled quickly.

“Mr Horomia and I both have a very very strong ambition to try to see rapid progress made if at all possible, because we believe that there will be a significant fund left over at the end of the day, which would be able to be used, we hope, for strong Maori economic and social development,” Cullen said.

Michael Cullen says the sooner claims to central North Island forests can be settled, the sooner the Crown Forestry Rental Trust can be wound up,


Rangitane claimant Richard Bradley says delays in getting a Waitangi Tribunal report out on top of the South Island claims are putting increasing pressure on the claimant community.

The tribunal has advised the eight Te Tau Ihu iwi that a report won't now be available until the end of next year.

Mr Bradley says the problem seems to be that the tribunal can't keep hold of the necessary staff, because they get poached by other government departments.

He says the iwi are keen to get the claims settled and move on.

“The more delays that are put in our way, it means the really tenuous infrastructure we have to try to drive this settlement comes under stress. People aren’t available, people can’t just take time out of their life to be available when the Crown negotiators have finished their holidays, finished their travel, or finished their career path development,” Richard Bradley says.


Contemporary Maori art is finding increasing acceptance by New Zealanders.

Webb's Auctions fine arts manager Ben Plumley says younger art buyers are paying increasingly higher prices for work by contemporary Maori artists.

He says much of the interest seems to be in the way Maori artists approach their material.

“It's just an extension of the country’s broadening interest in Maoridom. Young Maori today have a specially interesting and fascinating take on the state of the country and where we are heading, and they seem to be able to express very coherently and in a manner which people find fascinating,” Plumley says.


Finance Minister Michael Cullen says it is unlikely a billion dollar cap on treaty settlements will be exceeded.

The cap was set by the previous National government.

Labour has said it is not bound by the policy, but it is keen to preserve the relativities between settlements so some tribes aren't getting significantly more than others of a similar size.

If the cap is breached, the first tribes to settle, Tainui and Ngai Tahu, must be given extra to ensure their settlements remain at 17 percent of the total.

Mr Cullen told the finance and expenditure select committee yesterday that as far as the Crown is concerned, the final total is still expected to be about 1 billion in 1994 dollars, even though the nominal dollar figure will be higher.

“And on one set of scenarios, the relativity clause wouldn’t be triggered at all, and on another set of scenarios, there will be modest triggering of the relativity clauses,” Cullen said.

Michael Cullen says he does not know what data Waitangi Tribunal chairperson chief judge Joe Williams used in his estimate that by the time all historical claims are settled in about 2020, post-settlement tribes will have about $3 billion in commercial assets.


The Child Poverty Action Group say many government policies discriminate against children from low income families.

The High Court has granted the group status to act on behalf of 175,000 children in working and beneficiary families it says are living in poverty.

Economic spokesperson Susan St John says schemes such as Working for Families mask poverty rather than addressing it.

Dr St John the gap between families that fit the criteria and those who don't is widening.

“The in-work payment, we argue, has been the substitute for properly adjusting Family Support fort all children, and by only going to selected children and leaving others out, it’s created far too big a gap between those that get it and those that don't,” she says.

Dr Susan St John says Maori and Pacific Island children are disproportionately represented in the poverty statistics.


A postcard sized photograph of nineteenth century East Coast leader Ropata Wahawaha and his second in command Thomas William Porter has turned up at auction.

The photo, which was taken around 1870 by Napier photographer George Swan, sold for $3000, more than six times the reserve price.

International Art Centre director Richard Thomson says there's a growing demand for items from that era.

“There's obviously historical interest in early New Zealand and particularly these Maori subjects. They’re part of our history and they’ll never be repeated and there wasn’t a lot of photography around in those days. With an increasing amount of interest in the photography market, it’s not a surprise to see 19th century photographs highly sought after,” Thomson said.

(pic International Art Centre)

Te Arawa leader makes way for younger team

Te Arawa kaumatua Anaru Rangiheuea is stepping down from the Te Arawa Maori Trust Board after 32 years.

Mr Rangiheuea has spent the past four years as chair of the board, during which time it achieved a settlement of its historic lakes claim.

He also served for six years on the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission.

Mr Rangiheuea says now Te Arawa has settled its lakes claim, the time is right to take a less active role in iwi affairs.

He says his time on the Board was rewarding.

“I hope that I was able to give something back in the 30 year term I’ve been on the board, to the people of Te Arawa, not only to my hapu, which put me there in the first place, but my job is to serve all of Te Arawa,” Rangiheuea says.


A Ngapuhi kaumatua says a Maori blessing ceremony given to the rebuilt New World supermarket in Kaikohe was much too late.

Ron Wihongi says the supermarket is on the site of a significant Ngapuhi battleground.

The supermarket burned down a year ago, and has just reopened.

Mr Wihongi says he refused to take part in the blessing.

“They asked me to clear the place and I said oh, it looks like the reversal to me. This place should have been cleared form the very beginning, It should have been done by our people,” Wihongi says.

The supermarket includes bilingual signs in Maori and English, the first for a member of the New World chain.


A film about a Maori boy coping with the death of his twin has received a $500 thousand boost from New Zealand on Air.

The Strength of Water was written by Briar Grace-Smith, and it will be made by Auckland production house FilmWorks for broadcast on Maori Television.

Additional support is coming from the New Zealand Film Commission and German interests.

Film Commission board member Tainui Stephens says the project is a special one.

“The Strength of Water is a wonderful Maori story and script written by Briar Grace Smith. It’s going to be a fabulous film. I’ve got so much goodwill I guess for this project,” Stephens says.


The head of a government review of the rating system says Maori concerns will be taken into account.

David Shand says the three member panel has until next June to come up with a report on the sustainability of rates as the major revenue source for local government.

Maori landowners have long standing concerns about the services they get from councils, and the effect of the valuation system on their land, especially in coastal areas.

Mr Shand says those issues will be canvassed.

“We're expecting to have quite extensive consultation with iwi and with any others in the Maori community who want to make comments. We do realise the land valuation issue is a big issue for the Maori community and we have undertaken with the minister that we will engager in a very extended process of consultation with all interested parties,” Shand says.


The head of the Blenheim-based Rangitane iwi says the government's failure to properly resource the Waitangi Tribunal is behind delays to the completion of a report on top of the South Island claims.

The tribunal has informed the various iwi that it will not complete its report until the end of next year.

Richard Bradley says Rangitane is ready to start negotiating a settlement, but that is unlikely to happen without a report in hand.

Mr Bradley says the tribunal is trying to cope with high staff turnover.

“I have some sympathy for the judge and the other members of the tribunal. It’s damn hard to actually get a report out on time if your staff are going to work for other government departments who pay better money,” Bradley says.

Richard Bradley says the delays are making it hard for the various iwi to keep their negotiating teams together.


An Auckland auctioneer says prices for work by Maori artists are is on the rise.

Ben Plumley, the head of the fine arts division at Webbs, says work by artists like Selwyn Muru, Para Matchett and Shane Cotton are fetching higher prices, and Ralph Hotere continues to set records.

Mr Plumley says trend is driven by younger buyers.

“They're getting younger and younger and there’s a real generational shift taking place in the marketplace now and maybe the older generation, maybe they weren’t as interested in younger Maori art, or contemporary Maori art, but younger people today definitely are interested, and I think that’s part of the reason for the shift,” Plumley says.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Lessors change locks on departing tenant

Tensions between Maori landowners and Carter Holt Harvey owner Graeme Hart are could flare into open war today when King Country lessors plan to change the locks on two forests.

Spokesperson Willy Te Aho says Carter Holt refused to negotiate with the owners before selling off the forests to a North American hedge fund.

Mr Te Aho says the original leases were signed with New Zealand Forest Products, and they worked well for almost 25 years.

But he says relationships have deteriorated since Mr Hart's Rank Group bought into Carter Holt.

“You develop the spirit of agreements, and we have been the benefactor of the spirit of that agreement, and now it’s back to the black and white bottom line lease, and so if that’s the case, we’re looking at the lease and saying Carter Holt Harvey you are in breach, there was no assignment, you’ve done a back door approach to it, and accordingly we are going to reenter our lands,” Te Aho says.

Willie Te Aho says the owners want to buy the leases back at commercial rates, so they can use the wood for their own downstream processing ventures.

He says landowners are willing to face the legal and financial consequences of re-entering the leases of land which is now part of Carter Holt Harvey's forestry estate.

Mr Te Aho says they expect to be in court before the end of the month, when the sale is due to be completed.

“For the owners, if the court finds we were wrong, there will be damages. There will be damage for I guess, in every lease there is quiet enjoyment, and the fact we re-enter, take over that lease, change the security, change the locks on the gate, there will be damages that arise from that.”

Willie Te Aho says if the landowners lose, they will still be entitled to stumpage fees.


A new book to be launched today lids the lid on Maori tribal enterprise in early colonial New Zealand.

Chiefs of Industry, by Auckland University academic Hazel Petrie, is the first comprehensive look at two sectors dominated by Maori in the 1840s and 1850s, coastal shipping and flower milling.

Dr Petrie says Maori were very influential in the economic development of the early settler period.

“It has been recognized that Maori did make an enormous contribution to the development of the early colonial period and that they were really strong in the areas of coastal shipping and flour milling, but until now no one had done any extensive study on it,” Petrie says.

Hazel Petrie's book will be launched tonight at Auckland University's Waipapa Marae by Steve Murray of Ngati Kuri, who heads up the New Zealand branch of global technology services group EDS.


Today is the 8th of November, or, as it's known in the Ratana Church, Te Ra Waru o Noema.

It's of spiritual significance to church followers, or morehu, because it's the day when founder Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana had his first vision of the Holy Spirit on the slopes of Mount Taranaki.

Ratana apotoro or apostle Raiti Aperahama says the morehu still pay homage to their founder and the vision he had on that day.


Outspoken Gisborne District councilor Atareta Poananga says East Coast Maori don't stand a chance of getting their own representative wards, despite making up a significant percentage of the region's population.

The council has just completed a representation review, and decided to stick with its current system of 14 councilors elected from seven wards under first past the post voting.

Ms Poananga says while Maori wanted a change, it was a waste of time trying to get it through the cumbersome processes of the Local Government Act.

She says many Maori feel it is better to put their energy into national politics.


The author of a book says on tribal businesses during the 1840s and 1850s says the subject hasn't been studied before because many of the source documents are in Maori.

Hazel Petrie, a post-doctoral fellow at Auckland University's Mira Szaszy Centre for Maori Economic Development, says communities cooperated with each other to buy ships and flour mills.

She says these enterprises haven't been taking seriously by earlier historians, and finding information about them was like looking for needles in haystacks.

“Among the most useful sources I found, in addition to the usual government records, official records, missionary journals and those sorts of things, there was a lot of material in the Maori language newspapers and also in correspondence from Maori people, A lot of it is in Maori language, and I think that has put off a lot of people looking through this material,” Petrie says.

The book Chiefs of Enterprise will be launched at Auckland University's Waipapa Marae tonight.

Landowners to change locks on forests

King Country Maori landowners say they will change the locks on blocks leased to forest giant Carter Holt Harvey.

Owners' spokesperson Willie Te Aho says the leases on the Pukemakoiti and Te Rongoroa blocks were included in the sale of Carter Holt's forests assets to North American hedge fund Hancock Natural Resources.

Mr Te Aho says the blocks were leased 25 years ago to New Zealand Forest products, and they can't be reassigned.

He says the owners are serving notice tomorrow that Carter Holt is in breach of the leases.

“Normally with a breach you give them a chance to remedy it, but they’ve entered into an unconditional agreement for sale and purchase, the reality is it can’t be remedied, so while the forest is still in the name of Carter Holt Harvey, we’re serving notice ion them to say that we’re reentering, so we will take possession of our lands, we will take over the security and we will change the locks on the gates,” Te Aho says.

Willie Te Aho says the owners want the wood from the forests for their own forestry companies, rather than having it locked into supply contracts with Carter Holt's mills.


Families bringing tupapaku back from overseas will be able to allow them to lie in state at a new marae at Auckland Airport, rather than have them languish in the cargo storage areas.

The marae, which opens this Saturday, is a joint venture between Auckland Airport and Tainui.

The project was championed by the late Dame Te Atairangikaahu, and her successor, King Tuheitia, will attend the opening.

Marae trustee Julie Wade says the new marae will serve a range of purposes.

“Promoting culture, being a meeting place for other cultures to enjoy Maori, a marae facility available for whanau who are waiting to receive back tupapaku, a hosting venue for visitors to or from the airport,” Wade says.


The people of Parihaka are today remembering the 1881 Crown invasion on their settlement on the slopes of Mount Taranaki.

Kaumatua Huirangi Waikerepuru says it's Te Raa o Paahua or "the day of plunder".

The invasion by 1600 armed constables headed by Native Minister John Bryce ended a campaign of passive resistance to Pakeha settlement of the Waimate Plains.

Mr Waikerepuru says the Crown's intention was clear.

“It's about the desecration of mana tangata whenua. The whole purpose was to demolish the people and the marae. That’s the whole concept of that particular event. It was the plundering of Parihaka,” Waikerepuru says.

Huirangi Waikerepuru says the community has a special ceremony to remember those turbulent times.


Plans to site a stadium on Auckland's waterfront could fall foul of Ngati Whatua's Treaty of Waitangi claim.

Tribal spokesperson Renata Blair says the Ngati Whatua o Orakei Trust Board is still locked in negotiations with the Crown over its agreement in principle to its claims over central Auckland.

He says the claims include reclaimed land at the port.

Ngati Whatua already owns the land under the Vector Stadium across the road from the proposed super-stadium, which would need to be built by 2011.


King Country Maori landowners are fighting with Carter Holt Harvey over ownership of forests on their land.

Spokesperson Willie Te Aho says the forestry giant is breaching its lease agreements by selling its forest estate to a North American hedge fund.

Mr Te Aho says the owners of the Pukemakoiti and Te Rongoroa blocks intend to re-enter their leases tomorrow and change the locks on the forests.

He says they need the wood for their own enterprises.

“If we get the 10,000 hectares that makes up the three shareholder blocks in the Maniapoto Rereahu area, which is really under Mount Pureora, we’ve got sustainable companies which means we’ve got a sustainable cash flow of $10 million, we’ve got sustainable employment for at least 20 fulltime equivalents, so this is about economic development and it is on commercial terms,” Te Aho says.

Willie Te Aho says he expects the dispute will end up in court before the end of the month.


Gisborne District councilor Atareta Poananga says Maori want their own seats.

The Council's annual report says there was no call for separate Maori seats during the representation review, which has just been completed.

Ms Poananga says the community did ask for seats during a consultation hui at the Tikitiki RSA, but the request got lost in the council bureaucracy.

She says the Local Government Act makes it almost impossible for Maori to be heard.

“If all Maori in this district said they wanted Maori wards, the first thing is the council could veto that. Secondly the general population, that is non-Maori, have a right to say no. So it is a Mickey Mouse piece of legislation which is designed to frustrate Maori getting Maori wards,” Poananga says.

Atareta Poananga says Maori won't get another opportunity to make a submission for seven years.

Judge defends $3 billion settlement estimate

Maori Land Court Chief Judge Joe Williams says there is no conflict between his estimate of $3 billion for the value of treaty settlements and the government's one billion dollar cap.

While the current Labour led government says it it not bound by the former National government's fiscal envelope policy, any spending over $1 billion would trigger additional payments to the first tribes to settle, Tainui and Ngai Tahu.

Judge Williams says while the government can keep the spending on its books below $1 billion, its commercial value to Maori may be greater.

“During the course of the treaty settlement process running up until about 2015 and 2020, something between $2 and $3 billion in largely commercial assets will be transferred to tribal interests., You do the numbers and you see that’s a largely uncontroversial figure,” Williams says.

Joe Williams told the Federation of Maori Authorities conference on the weekend that their challenge would be building up the number of skilled people needed to administer and grow the settlement assets coming over.


Gisborne District Councilor Atareta Poananga says a government inquiry into rating is unlikely to make any real difference to Maori land owners.

Ms Poananga says the inquiry seems designed to shut down widespread outrage about rising rates in the main centres, rather than tackle the fundamental basis of rating.

She says the terms of reference don't address concerns Maori have that their land should be assessed differently because of the Treaty of Waitangi.

“They're just talking about the impact of rating on Maori, but I think it’s got to be much wider than that. It’s the actual mechanisms for how they establish the rating and the cultural world view that underpins the whole rating, which is about a wealth tax, those are the core issues that need to be addressed,” Poananga says.

Atareta Poananga says it is extremely disappointing there are no Maori on the three person review team led by former Wellington City Councilor David Shand.


Te Rarawa chairperson Haami Piripi says attendence at the Te Rarawa Festival exceeded all expectations.

Thousands of people from the far north iwi came home to Kaitaia for six days of sports, culture and entertainement - as well as some discussion of the tribe's future direction.

Mr Piripi says there was a strong sense of whanaungatanga.

“I guess it reflected everyone coming home from Auckland and Wellington for the week, and everybody who was at home sitting down with their families and it was a good time to get together sharing the old stories with the old people and thinking about where we are going to go in the future,” Piripi says.


The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry says won't appeal an Environment Court decision blocking the logging of four blocks in the Waiuku forest.

Ngati Te Ata challenged the consent to log the blocks at Maioro on the north head of the Waikato River because they contained waahi tapu where ancestors were buried.

Crown Forestry operations manager Warwick Foran the ministry accepts the court's decision.

“The court upholds that harvesting of the trees on these areas will cause greater damage to Ngati Te Ata in their role as kaitiaki of the former Maori land than would be any benefit to the Crown in harvesting these trees,” Foran says.

Warwick Foran says the forest is now likely to be handed over to the Department of Conservation, which administers the land, pending any resolution of Ngati Te Ata's treaty claims.


Maori Land Court chief judge Joe Williams says the performance of post settlement Maori organisations is spectacular by the standards of other indigenous settlements.

Judge Williams says while the cost of settlements to the Crown so far is about $700 million, Maori have already grown those assets substantially.

Tainui, which received a $170 million settlement a decade ago, has more than doubled its assets, and Ngai Tahu has tripled a similar putea.

He says those iwi may not be unusual.

“So much of the value of these settlements is in the timing, in the add on pieces, in the value of Crown forestry rentals that are thrown into the mix and in the 10 or 20 years to grow that putea to something at really makes a difference. Fisheries is the classic example, in the books at $220 million dollars, and distributed somewhere between $600 and $800 million,” Williams says.

Judge Joe Williams says the challenge for tribal organisations is to work out how to distribute the benefits of settlements in ways which will improve the lives of their members.


The former head of Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi says the government has dumbed down the wananga sector.

Gary Hook was lured back from a distinguished international career in environmental health science to run the Whakatane-based Maori tertiary institution.

He was ousted at the end of last year as the wananga board moved to tackle a $4 million deficit caused by lower student enrolments and over-staffing.

Dr Hook says the wananga sector isn't getting the support it needs to live up to its promise.

“The hope was that Maori might have a tertiary institution which could carry them to the very heights of scholarship, to take them to the position where they can compete in world markets, but the reality is that because of various policies within government, Maori wananga have become glorified polytechs,” Hook says.


Conflicts over ownership of the foreshore and seabed are having different outcomes in New Zealand and Fiji.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says Fiji's government has a right to pass the laws it sees fit.

Tensions are high in the island nation after army commander Frank Bainimarama demanded Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase step down rather than push through two controversial measures.

Mr Qarase has backed down over a plan to pardon George Speight and others involved in the 2000 coup, but he is pressing ahead with a bill which will give the foreshore to Fijian clans - similar to what Maori have asked for with the foreshore and seabed.

Mr Peters says it is unacceptable for the head of the armed services to threaten the civilian leadership.

“You can't run a democracy like that, and whilst we might have views about the arguments behind why positions are being taken, you can’t just ignore the mandate given by the people if Fiji in May, when they the people knew what they were voting for, and why, the background, they have after all lived in Fiji all their lives, and they had said this is what we want,” Peters says.

Winston Peters says he doesn't believe the crisis in Fiji is likely to lead to bloodshed, and it could be the rhetoric is a sort of Melanesian safety valve.

No personal pay outs from treaty cash

Maori Land Court chief judge Joe Williams says Maori need to get away from the idea there might be personal dividends from treaty settlements.

Judge Williams told the Federation of maori Authorities annual hui over the weekend that a key purpose of the treaty settlement process had turned out to be the revitalisation of the tribes.

He says people, both Maori and pakeha, who expect treaty settlements will; increase individual Maori wealth have missed the point of what is going on.

“I think the best we can expect in the first generation is the strengthening of tribal infrastructure and the stopping of the rot of tribal cohesion through the creation of effective tribal structures,” Williams said.

Joe Williams says the role of tribal trusts and incorporations is far more significant than it was for former generations.


Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters believes the tensions in Fiji are unlikely to spill over into violence.

Mr Peters says the threats made against Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase by army commander Frank Bainimarama were unacceptable in a democracy, which is why other nations have expressed support for the Fiji government.

But he says reports of imminent civil war are irresponsible.

“My hope is that things will quieten down, sane heads will prevail, and At the end every soldier, commander or prime minister, it doesn’t matter who it is, will have to be thinking where will this leave my children, my grandchildren, and if they think that way there will be a resolution,” Peters says.

Winston Peters says the heightened rhetoric may be a sort of release valve, and things will soon quieten down.


Te Rarawa chairperson Haami Piripi says the highlight of the far north iwi's six day festival was the potential shown by its youth.

Kaitaia has been packed over the past week with thousands of people returning to their tribal home from around the country and overseas.

There were sports competitions, political debates, kapa haka, an exhibition of tribal taonga, and a tour of significant sites.


Maori Land Court Chief Judge Joe Williams says Maoridom is short of the skilled people to administer treaty settlement assets efficiently.

Judge Williams highlighted the point to the Federation of Maori Authorities annual meeting in Rotorua this weekend.

He says there are 26,000 Maori trusts, and there are not enough people round who have been trained in the ordinary business disciplines of administering assets on behalf of others.

This puts pressure on a select few, who serve on runanga, on trusts, and take on multiple roles.

Joe Williams says unless the skill deficit is addressed, the main beneficiaries of settlements are likely to be the managers rather than those on the ground.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says a new South Auckland psychological service provider signals a new direction in dealing with Maori with mental health problems.

Dr Sharples opened Te Aho Tapu's Papatoetoe headquarters this morning.

He says Te Aho Tapu, which means sacred thread, is the first Maori provider to deliver psychological services to Maori patients in a Maori way.

Dr Sharples says it integrates concepts like whakapapa, whananugatanga and Maori stories into its treatment.

“So really it's treating those in need as if they were very important people, and giving them their mana and feeling of self worth at the outset, and their treating their ailment after that, and that’s the success really of the organization,” Sharples says.

Pita Sharples says the youthfulness and socio-economic disadvantage of the Maori population has led to higher levels of mental disorder.


Hone Tuwhare's publisher Roger Steele says his achievements are still not adequately recognised.

Mr Steele was one of the 150 friends and whanau who gathered at Dunedin's Kaka Point this weekend to celebrate the Ngapuhi poet's 84th birthday.

He says Hone Tuwhare's achievements transcend both Maori and Pakeha worlds.

“I can't believe he hasn’t won a Nobel Prize for Literature. He’s been a poutokomanawa of the whole Maori arts renaissance which has happened since the late ‘60s, early ‘70s, arts renaissance, cultural renaissance, the rebuilding of te reo Maori and so on. He’s been a complete pillar of that house and an inspiration for so many people,” Steele says.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Ngapuhi suspends social services head

Northland's Ngapuhi runanga has suspended the board and chief executive of its social services arm.

Ngapuhi chairperson Sonny Tau says a Whangarei accountant has been called in to review the company's accounts, and other professionals will be brought in to review the organisation's management and governance.

Mr Tau says concerns arose about the time of Ngapuhi's annual meeting last week, where Ngapuhi Iwi Social Service reported a $147 thousand profit on revenue of 1.8 million in the year to june.

“There's been some serious allegations made that require investigation, therefore, we are using this opportunity to conduct a comprehensive review of the Ngapuhi Iwi Social Services governance and its management practices, given that a lot of its income is around government contracts,” Tau says.

Sonny Tau says staff will continue to deliver the company's contracts for crown agencies like Child Youth and Family Services and Education.


Maori dairy farmers want a bigger stay in the activities of dairy giant Fonterra.

Fonterra chairperson Henry Van Der Heyden was a keynote speaker at the Federation of Maori Authorities annual hui at Rotorua over the weekend, and took part in a workshop on issues in the sector.

FOMA executive vice president Paul Morgan says Maori make up the biggest bloc of Fonterra shareholders, but Fonterra's regional voting system means they have little influence at the shareholders council or board levels.

Mr Morgan says there are specific issues for Maori.

“Because of the nature of the way we hold our land, we’re essentially cornerstone shareholders of Fonterra, perpetual landowners, we don’t exit the businesses, and therefore we have special needs, and we have been trying to discuss those issues with Fonterra," Morgan says.

Paul Morgan says some Maori incorporations have already investigated taking their capital out of Fonterra, including some who are investing in dairy ventures in Australia.


A Maori balladeer is looking at making a bridge back into the world of performing.

Deane Waretini is putting together a show for concerts in Auckland, Wellington and Rotorua early next year.

Waretini is known for The Bridge, the first song in Maori to get widespread radio play and still a favourite with Maori audiences.

Waretini last performed in Perth in the 1980s, but he's itching to tread the boards again.

“Putting a big show, I’ll have an entourage of about 31 people. I feel so itchy to get out and sing when I see the Howard Morrison ads come ion, I think it’s lovely, and that’s the sort of thing you have to do now to get across,” Waretini says.


The Ngapuhi Runanga says delivery of government health and welfare contracts will continue despite the head of its social services arm stepping aside pending investigation.

Runanga chairperson Sonny Tau says allegations against the company and its chief executive, Arapeta Hamilton, emerged last week about the time of the Northland iwi's annual meeting.

Mr Tau says a Whangarei accountant has been called in to oversee a comprensive review of the company's accounts and its governance.

He says Mr Hamilton and the company's board stepped aside while the investigation is done.

“There's nothing in the allegations at this point and we’ve moved to ensure that service carries on uninterrupted. All the contracts continue to be delivered on time and on budget,” Tau says.


The Federation of Maori Authorities wants a royal commission into the rating system.

Executive vice chairperson Paul Morgan says the local government rating inquiry announced last week doesn't go far enough.

Mr Morgan says while councils moan about unpaid rates on Maori land, Foma members complain they are significant ratepayers but they get minimal services.

He says a big component of rates is a wealth tax, especially on coastal land.

“Well that's fine in a system where you have got soaring land values and people can actually exit by sale of their land and receive the capital improvement value of that land, but essentially we are not in that market, we are not participating in that, so why should we be paying essentially a wealth tax,” Morgan says.

Paul Morgan says rating was a major topic of discussion at this weekend's Federation of Maori Authorities conference.


Ngati Te Ata is hoping Crown Forestry won't appeal an Environment Court ruling which block the harvest of four blocks of the Waiuku State Forest on the north head of the Waikato River.

Spokesperson Nganeko Minhinnick says the blocks include areas where the iwi's ancestors are buried.

Judge David Sheppard ruled that logging the forest ignored the iwi's relationship with its waahi tapu.

Mrs Minhinnick says the land was supposed to be returned to the iwi in 1990, but a change of government meant its settlement was put on hold indefinitely.

She says the Environment Court decision was a welcome relief after years of trying to get Crown agencies to listen to the iwi's concerns.

“If it enables people to better understand our position as kaitiaki, that’s helpful. I don’t think it’s a happy moment to keep going into court to have determination of who you are and what you are all about all the time,” Minihinick says.

Nganeko Minhinick says the forests on the land are virtually worthless, and the only point of logging would be to clear the land for mining by New Zealand - which the iwi also opposes.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

FOMA looks at wide range of Maori activities

Managing Maori land is now about much more than sheep, beef or forestry.

The Federation of Maori Authorities is holding its annual meeting in Rotorua, with sessions of corporate governance, new structures for Maori organisations, intellectual property, the future of agribusiness and building strategic commercial networks.

Executive vice chairperson Paul Morgan says members will get updates on a range of industry sectors, including some which are new for Maori.

“Energy's a classic sector where a number of Maori groups have a real potential in the geothermal or wind opportunities. There is expertise out there already among our members in the businesses, and how can you leverage off what has been achieved and invest and develop really strong viable businesses cooperatively,” Morgan says.

Paul Morgan says it's now 20 years since Foma's first conference, and members will be looking at what they can achieve over the next 20 years.


Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia is meeting with the senior management of the Maori Wardens this weekend to discuss how the organisation can do even more for Maori communities.

He says the wardens are well positioned to help other government agencies by being the eyes and ears of their communities.

In recent months there have been calls for wardens to help with drinking and gambling issues within their rohe, and in West Auckland, Maori wardens are monitoring behaviour on trains.

Mr Horomia says the organisation has proud tradition.

“When I was 18 years old I was a Maori warden, one of the youngest. You go through these phases of how to save Maori and you become a Maori warden,” Horomia says.

Parekura Horomia says being a warden is good training for Maori interested in social development.


The Maori Smokefree Coalition is endorsing the decision to plaster cigarette packets with graphic images of the damage caused by smoking.

Spokesperson Skye Kimura says smokers need to be reminded of what their habit is doing to their bodies.

The pictures of diseased lungs, gangrenous toes and rotting gums will be a feature of packets from the middle of 2008.

Ms Kimura hopes the images will make an impact on cutting the number of smokers.

“I think it sends a great message. Although they’re gruesome, it’s a reality that if you smoke these are health effects that can happen to you,” Kimura says.

Skye Kimura says the packets will also remind people of the risks of secondhand smoke, which is a major issue in Maori whanau.


The future shape of Maori organisations is high on the agenda of the Federation of Maori Organisations’ annual hui, which kicked off in Rotorua Friday.

The 350 delegates this afternoon heard from Law Commissioner Justice Eddie Durie on the proposed Waka Umanga framework, which could provide an alternative to existing trusts and land incorporations.

Among the speakers tomorrow is Maori Land Court chief judge Joe Williams, on empowering Maori landowners.

Federation executive vice president Paul Morgan says governance, leadership and sound management have been themes Foma has been discussing and promoting since it was formed 20 years ago.

“Those issues are not going to go away. They have to be managed on a daily basis. We need to develop leaders and successors to those that manage these companies and organisations. It’s important we have succession plans in place to train young people to take over and manage. I mean some of these organisations are now managing assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars,” Morgan says.

Paul Morgan says the Foma conference has become an important place for Maori organisations to network and do business.


The Health Ministry's chief advisor on child health says the Maori cot dealth rate could halve if Maori expectant mothers gave up smoking.

Pat Tuohy says the discovery of a brain abnormality in babies who die from sudden infant death syndrome is not a reason to give up on some of the precautions which have been shown to reduce the risk of death.

The abnormality is believed to mean the babies do not realise they are suffocating.

Dr Tuohy says there could be a link between the condition and smoking.

“I think the most important thing for Maori parents is that it’s quite possible that smoking during pregnancy predisposes baby towards this problem, and so there are heaps of places out there where Mori mum can get help to reduce or stop smoking during pregnancy. If we were abler to help more Maori mums to give up smoking during pregnancy, the Maori cot death rate would halve,” Tuohy said.


Putiki Marae in Wanganui will Saturday receive a taonga from Gallipoli and a resource package to remind future generations of the folly of war.

Trevor Humphrey, the national secretarty of veterans' organisation Rimpac, says the package will include audio documentaries about the D Day Allied invasion on occupied France, the Pathfinders air service and the nuclear tests, all of which involved some Maori.

Mr Humphrey, who is related to the Love whanau, says Putiki has a special meaning for him.

“Putiki and the Wanganui River have supplied a huge number of both women and men to the armed services, and my own marae, what better place. If we can put the history back there as a verbal or visual history for tomorrow’s kids, they might see what not to do tomorrow.” Humphrey said.