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Friday, November 17, 2006

Pukawa no place for politicians

Maori Party co leader Pita Sharples says he's deliberately staying away from the major gathering of tribes by the shores of Lake Taupo this weekend, but he's keen to see any recommendations which come out of the hui.

Ngati Tuwharetoa is today welcoming manuhiri from throughout the motu to the site where the first Maori king was chosen 150 years ago.

While the main item of business is the opening of a new wharenui tomorrow, Tuwharetoa has also thrown out the invitation to discuss what sort of structures are needed to carry Kingitanga and Maoridom into the future.

Doctor Sharples says he doesn't think it's an appropriate place for politicians.

“Because I know Ngati Kahungunu are going in force and I would have liked to go with them, but I think it’s really the people should be talking, and though I’m always part of the people and always feel like that, people also see me as a politician, so I’ve decided I’ll stay out of the mix at this time,” Sharples says.


Who is the most outstanding Maori sportsperson.

That is the question to be answered tomorrow night at the Maori Sports Awards at the Manukau Events Centre.

Organiser Dick Garrett says this year there are 13 Maori world champions in the competition.

He says a wide range of sports will be represented.

“We've got rowing this year quite strong up there, board surfing. Whether it be martial arts or power lifting or wood chopping, it’s just a great spread, 18 various sports over the finalists,” Garrett says.


The organiser of the Pao Pao Pao national Maori music summit says artists are relying too much on government hand outs to promote their music.

The annual event concludes tonight with a showcase concert at Wellington Opera House.

Ngahiwi Apanui says Maori musicians are waiting for grants from government arts and broadcast agencies, rather than hitting the road, honing their stagecraft, and attracting interest from the record labels.

“You look at the Maioha awards this year and the entries were down on previous years, and they’re down because (Maori broadcast funding agency) Te Mangai Paho only has one funding round per year now. Now if you leave it to a government department to fund an industry, you’re in trouble mate. So we aren’t really taking enough responsibility for establishing an infrastructure that will allow our industry to survive, and that’s what we need to do,” he says.

Apanui’s own career highs include picking up the picked up the best Maori album trophy at the 2003 Tui Awards


One of the pioneers of iwi radio has been buried today on the shores of the Manukau Harbour.

Whiti Te Ra Kaihau from Tainui iwi Ngati Te Ata started his working life as a soldier, serving in Malaya and Borneo with the Special Air Service.

In 1989 he helped launch Radio Tainui in 1989, and worked in iwi broadcasting until his death.

Members of Maori radio umbrella group Te Whakaruruhau turned out in force to Tahuna Marae in Waiuku to pay their respects to Mr Kaihau.

Kaumatua Rangi Kawerau, a forerm Tainui Radio host, says Mr Kaihau brought a lot of passion to whatever he did.

“He was a hard working person, but if you got on his wrong side, look out. And he also had a hand in establishing a lot of other Maori radio stations, ie Maniapoto, and he finished up in Raukawa FM,” he says.

Rangi Kawerau says Whiti Te Ra Kaihau's last project was working on establishing a community television station for Ngati Raukawa.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says emotive headlines about the threat of diabetes to the Maori race are unhelpful.

Dr Sharples says claims Maori could die out by the end of the century underestimates their resolve.

He says diabetes is a serious threat, and more work is needed to combat the incidence of diabetes in Maori whanau.

But Maori have already survived a range of introduced diseases.

“We will not die out. We have survived venereal disease, influenza, TB, we have survived the biggest disease of all, colonization, and we are growing, let’s be clear about that,” Sharples says.


A New Zealand-based Tongan broadcaster says his compatriots could learn from the way Maori have adapted to other peoples moving into their country.

Sef Ha'ouli says to Tonga's shame, many of the businesses attacked during yesterday's riot in Nuku'alofa belonged to foreigners.

He says the causes of the riot go back to generations of discontent over the way the island kingdom is ruled, it was the new arrivals who bore the brunt of the anger.

“The other nationalities who are in Tonga at present have always been seen as elements that were brought in by the government without consultation with the community, and they have ended iupo at the receiving end of what the rioters did last night,” Ha’ouli says.

Sef Ha'ouli says as New Zealand becomes more multi ethnic and multi cultural, the place of Maori needs to be respected.

Manuhiri arrive at Pukawa for major hui

Ngati Mananui hapu of Ngati Tuwharetoa will this morning start welcoming the thousands of guests expected for the opening of the new Pukawa Marae on the shores of Lake Taupo.

The hui is expected to be one of the most significant hui of recent times, as tribes take up the invitation to discuss whether Maoridom needs a new national structure, and how the tribes can support the new Maori king.

King Tuheitia will be one of the first to arrive, along with a large delegation from Tainui bringing the kawe mate or memory of the late Maori queen.

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says the site is significant because it is where chiefs gathered in 1856 to confirm Tainui's Potatau Te Wherowhero as the first Maori king.

Mr Horomia says that makes the hui's main event, the opening a a meeting house before dawn tomorrow, particularly significant.

“It's about opening the wharenui at Pukawa which recognizes where all our chiefs met in 1856, and it’s only been marked by a big boulder there, and they’ve been wanting to put a wharenui up there for years,” Horomia says.


Massey University Maori language programme coordinator Taiarahia Black says Maori expectations of the education system are not being met.

Professor Black says yesterday's protest by Hato Paora Maori Boys School about the draft curriculum is symptomatic of wider concerns about the place of Maori.

Representatives from the Feilding Maori boys boarding school told Education Minister Steve Maharey that te reo Maori should be a curriculum area in its own right alongside English, rather than being grouped with other languages.

Professor Black says the removal of references to the Treaty of Waitangi from the curriculum is also cause for alarm.


Labour list MP Shane Jones, says a promised shake up within Television New Zealand's Maori programming department is overdue.

Chief executive Rick Ellis told the Commerce select committee yesterday the review was part of TVNZ's shift to digital broadcasting.

Mr Jones, a member of the committee, says Maori families have been waiting for a long time for TVNZ to improve its service to them.

IN: We don't like the times the programmes are forced to be shown in, and also there’s a tired and somewhat dated approach to a lot of the Maori programming, and I think a far ranging review wouldn't go astray,” Jones says.

Shane Jones says digital television offers the promise of a dedicated Maori channel coming from TVNZ.


A stand off between Television New Zealand and Maori broadcast funding agency Te Mangai paho appears to be over, with TVNZ chief executive Rick Ellis reporting to parliament's commerce select committee that the agency has committed $5 million for Maori programming over the next year.

Committee member Shane Jones says that should give TVNZ some certainty as it reviews its infrastructure and operations for the transition to digital television.


The final report to the United Nations from this week's Indigenous People's Forum on Tobacco Use in South Auckland is likely to feature a theme of self determination.

That's the view of Maori Smokefree Coalition director, Shane Kawana Bradbrook, who attended the three day hui.

Mr Bradbrook says there were strong submissions from native Americans, Hawaiians, Thais, Australian Aboriginals, Maori and other groups.
Shane Bradbrook says the World Health Organisation is planning another forum before next June.


The annual Maori music summit will climax tonight with a concert at the Wellington Opera House.

Organiser Ngahiwi Apanui says it features the cream of Maori musicians as well as up coming contenders.

Mr Apanui says the Pao Pao Pao summit and concert are becoming important ways to develop Maori artists and bring them through to a wider audience.

“The more artists we have coming through, the more Maori we have interested in music, the stronger the music there will be, because we will have more competition. Then you have the development and the promotion and the showcasing and stuff,” Ngahiwi Apanui says.

Maori school goes direct on language concern

A delegation from Hato Paora Maori Boys school met with Education Minister Steve Maharey today to protest the treatment of te reo Maori in the draft curriculum document.

Hato Paora Principal Tihirau Shephard says the draft lumps te reo in with other languages, rather than treating it as a curriculum area in its own right.

Mr Shephard says the status of te reo as an official language will be compromised if the changes were approved:

“The Crown as treaty partner is in breach of the Maori Language Act we believe, by the mere act of placing Maori language under the learning area of languages, and we want Maori to stand, even if it means creating a ninth (curriculum) area, but to stand on its own and not only English as the current document advocates,” Shepherd says.

Tihirau Shephard says the 90 per cent of Maori students who are in mainstream schools would be disadvantaged by the move.


Health Rotorua's general manager Maori says lifestyle and genetics both play a part in the number of Maori getting diabetes.

Claims by health researchers that some indigenous peoples could be wiped out by the end of the century from the disease has reignited debate about the causes for the diabetes epidemic among Maori.

Eugene Berryman Kamp says socio economic factors, diet and exercise all play a part, as well as any hereditary predisposition towards the disease, which is caused by the body's inability to process sugars.

He says there are things people can do to reduce the risk.


Taonga puoro expert Richard Nunns is back from his first North American tour, where he's been involved in musical collaborations bringing together traditional Maori and western instruments.

Mr Nunns says playing taonga puoro with symphony orchestras is challenging because standard musical notation doesn't work.
He says taonga puoro players must rely on feel to add their contributions, and the instruments can't be tuned in conventional ways.

“Hollow cylinders, there’s minimal finger holes, they don’t have exact fingering systems and valves and all the modern accoutrements and the modern plumbing and the exactitude and the tunings, and so on, but of course that makes them unique,” Nunns says.

Richard Nunns says he's planning workshops so young composers can learn how to write pieces combining maori and classical instruments.


Television New Zealand's shift to digital television could lead to a boost for Maori programming.

Chief executive Rick Ellis briefed Parliament's commerce select committee today on its annual report and its shift to the new platform.

Going digital will allow the company to broadcast multiple streams of content on its existing frequencies.

Mr Ellis says TVNZ is reviewing its Maori department, as part of a comprehenvie review of infrastructure and organisational design.

He says it wants to freshen its line-up and expand its presence to take advantage of digital and online opportunities.

“As we launch the new channels we will be wanting to broaden the presence and availability of Maori programmes,” Ellis says.

Rick Ellis says Television New Zealand will fund some of the new programmes internally, and it also expects additional funding from Te Mangai Paho for some projects.


The chairperson of Auckland's Ngati Whatua o Orakei hapu says the iwi has been shut out of discussion over the proposed new waterfront stadium.

Grant Hawke says most of the iwi's information has come from the media.

Mr Hawke says as mana whenua, the hapu deserves more consideration from government and city officials.

He says Sports Minister Trevor Mallard is wrong to say Ngati Whatua has been consulted.

“There has been no consultation. There may have been a memo that passed a member’s hand, or the late Sir Hugh Kawharu, but there was nothgn done in depth ever done or heard of anything, except what we heard in the paper,” Hawke says.


The Minister of Maori Affairs says claims he is turning a blind eye to the abuse of customary fishing licences in his electorate is political grandstanding.

National MP Phil Heatley says seven iwi in Parekura Horomia's Ikaroa Rawhiti electorate have failed to file quarterly catch reports, making it hard for Fisheries Ministry officials to estimate how much is being taken.

But Mr Horomia says the customary take is minimal compared to the commercial and recreational catch.

“It's just silly games you know. Two or three are in my electorate, but I have one of the longest in the whole country, it takes 11 and a half hours to drive though, so that’s no mystery. It’s just the redneck boys having a go again about about redneck issues,” Horomia says.

Parekura Horomia says ministry officials are working with iwi to improve reporting.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Moriarty plays winning role in film

Christchurch film-maker Stefen Lewis has won the top prize at the Australian digital film awards for his feature The Waimate Conspiracy.

The 100 minute film is based on his novel the Waikikamukau Conspiracy, and is a mock documentary about a fictional Maori land claim in the South Island.

Mr Lewis says much of the success of the film comes down to the cast, led by veteran actor Jim Moriarty.

He says it took a year to convince the veteran Maori actor it was possible to make a feature film with no budget.

“I went to all of his plays, and every time he’d do a play I’d turn up at the end and remind him of the project, and after about 12 months I went and shot a promotional reel, a 10 minute version of it, and showed it to Jim, and finally he relented and came on board,” Lewis says.

Stefen Lewis says the $15 thousand prize money will cover the production costs, and the win also means the Waimate Conspiracy will be shown in Australia on Fox television.


Maori are being warned they need to need to take care in the sun, the same as any other ethnic group.

Adrian Knowles, the Cancer Society's health promotion manager, says New Zealanders spend a lot of time outside in the summer.

The cooler climate and higher levels of ultra violet rays than other parts of the world contributes to this country leading the world in skin cancers.

“There does seem to be an idea among Maori and Pacific that having brown skin is going to protect people from skin cancer. It’s certainly true to says the darker your skin the less risk you have, but it doesn’t mean there is no risk, and that’s a message we need to put some work into getting out into Maori communities,” Knowles says.

Adrian Knowles says from now to March prime burn time is from 11am to 4pm.


Maori taonga puoro expert Richard Nunns says many New Zealanders overlook how unique Maori instruments are in the musical world.

He's just returned from a 17 day trip to North America, where he presented pieces written by renowned Maori composer Gillian Karawae Whitehead, and Aroha Yates Smith, from Waikato University.

Mr Nunns says a highlight was a performance at Cal Arts in Los Angeles, where students are used to experimenting with different musical genres.

He says they were left bewildered by the sounds of the traditional instruments.

“Young ones go there because they want to try something different, and here’s this whole world of sound that most of them have never heard before, extraordinary emotive visceral such sounds can be made using a musical system that only spans four tones. Completely overwhelmed and bedazzled really,” Nunns says.


Despite improvements for Maori in various parts of the education system, too many young Maori males continue to be a headache for teachers and schools.

The Education Ministry yesterday presented its annual stocktake of Maori educational achievement to parliament's education select committee.

Acting group manager Maori Paula Rawiri says participation rates in the early childhood sector continue to hold up, although there is room for improvement, and fewer Maori are leaving the school system without a qualification.

But Ms Rawiri says there are still challenges around truancy, suspensions and participation rates by Maori.

“Maori young people are over-represented in this group of students,. There continues to be fewer Maori staying at school and particularly with our young Maori men there continues to be a challenge there about how we support them to continue to be at school in a meaningful way,” Rawiri says.

Paula Rawiri says the rates of Maori participating in tertiary study is encouraging, but most of them are doing certificate or diploma courses rather than degrees.


Maori health workers are helping the power of celebrity can help some Maori men wake up to the risks of heart disease.

They're roped in comedian Pio Terei to host a hui tonight at Te Piringatahi o Te Maungarongo Marae in West Auckland looking at cardiovascular risks for middle-aged men are hoping to pull an audience using the power of celebrity.

Waitemata District Health Board Maori health project manager Gary Thompson says Mr Terei is in the target group for the One Heart, Many Lives campaign, and he lives in the area.

“It's really about ... how we get that message to our whanau, so with someone like Pio Terei, he’s an awesome entertainer and one our whanau will take time out to come and see. It just gives us the opportunity to bring people together and talk about what cardiovascular risk is,” Thompson says.


A mock documentary about a fictional Maori claim in the South Island has been judged the best feature film in the Australian Digital Film Awards.

The Waimate Conspiracy starts Jim Moriarty, his wife Helen Pearse-Otene, and other seasoned actors including David McPhail and Mark Hadlow.

It wins first time director Stefen Lewis $15 thousand - enough to cover the production costs - a run on Fox television in Australia and a ticket to the Rotterdam Digital Film Festival, where he will be able to pitch for funding for his next project.

Mr Lewis says the film is based on his novel The Waikikamukau Conspiracy, which was published by Hazard Press in 1999.

“We had some film interest in it and there were directors and a producers keen to make it, and it was always going to cost $1 million to film. When we couldn’t organise that I though why don’t we see if we can do it ourselves on a very low budget and see what happens,” Lewis says.

Stefen Lewis says The Waimate Conspiracy will open in a theatre in Christchurch next week.

Maori trusts urged to take on more risk

Finance Minister Michael Cullen says he wants to see Maori funding organisations taking a more active role in Maori development.

Mr Cullen says organisations like the Maori Trustee, Poutama Trust and the Crown Forestry Rental Trust could be doing more with the resources they control.

He says it's about laying the groundwork for a more sustainable and independent future for Maori.

“There is potential there for looking t all those various funds, and seeing if they can bring them together to make them work much more actively to support Maori economic development. A lot of them are pretty passive in their approach, and again both Parekura and I have been working on this for quite some time and very keen to see progress made,” Cullen says.


A director of the Ngai Tahu-run Ko Tane Maori experience says there's room for two Maori tourism village in Christchurch.

Dave Brennan says Ko Tane is working with Te Roopu o Tane Mahuta Trust to build a replica village at the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve.

The Rotorua-based Tamaki Brothers have almost finished a $6 million Maori and colonial village complex at Ferrymead.

Mr Brennan says the Willowbank village is pre European and relates specifically to Ngai Tahu history and traditions.

He says as long as the Tamaki brothers stick with a pan-Maori approach, the ventures can co-exist.

“We want to do what we do well and be the only people that do it. I don’t mind other Ngai Tahu people coming up and telling our stories, but I would have a problem, if someone form out of town started telling ourt stores. I wouldn’t go into another region and started telling another’s region’s stories, another hapu,” Brennan says.


Organisers of this weekend's Maori Sports Awards in Auckland, have been dealt a blow by the death of the wife of the awards' founder.

Francis Pryor worked hard behind the scenes with her husband, the late Albie Pryor, in creating the annual platform to acknowledge Maori athletes.

Awards trust chairperon Dick Garrett says the whanau was insistent the awards go on.

“The family said we’ve got to carry on with it,. Bnut it’s a sad time. Frances was staunch behind Albie in setting up the awards and was probably Albie’s backbone, but a silent backbone if you like,” Garrett says.


The head of the Pacific Business Trust says more work needs to be done to ensure Maori women are able to realise their potential.

Pauline Winter says by 2050 half of New Zealand's population will be brown so the investment must be made today to ensure Maori and Pacific people play an integral role in the economy.

Ms Winter says the graduation of the first batch of recipients of the Endeavour Scholarships, which allow Maori and Pacific Island students to attend Auckland elite schools Kings and St Cuthberts. is one example of how barriers can be broken down.

“I think the future is looking extremely bright, and I think if it’s going to happen it’s up to us to work really productively with those who can help us remove any barriers to progressing Maori women so they can make the valuable contribution to this country that they haven’t been able to in the past,” Winter says.


Green Party Maori Affairs spokesperson Metiria Turei says Maori contributions to land retention could help this country meet its aims of carbon neutrality.

Ms Turei says the visit yesterday by former United States vice president Al Gore, highlighted the need for Maori to play their part addressing climate change.

She says as treaty settlements come on line, Maori organisations must choose between environmentally sustainability and the pursuit of pure profit.

“From a Maori perspective, it’s how we use our resources that will make a big difference. And we can be real leaders in showing we can make choices protecting the environment and our country for the future, rather than just for straight economic benefit,” Turei says.


Maori aren't immune to ultra violet - related skin diseases despite their darker tone of skin.

New Zealanders are world leaders in skin cancers with with 50,000 cases a year.

Adrian Knowles, Auckland Cancer Society health promotion manager, says Maori and Pacific Island people think they have less chance of developing skin cancer.

Mr Knowles says it's not about ethnicity.

“Being Maori or Pacific or being New Zealand European doesn’t actually make any difference to the sun. It’s really abiout what klind ofg skin you’ve got and how light or dark that skin is, which is going to determine how much risk you have of skin cancer, It is certainly true that Maori a just as susceptible to skin cancer,” Knowles says.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Cullen says claim settlements free tree funds

The Minister of Finance says settling the major central North Island forestry claims will free up a huge amount for Maori economic development.

Michael Cullen says Maori in various parts of the country are building up significant ownership stakes in primary industries, and are increasingly looking for value add processing opportunities.

He says the state can help.

“If we can get to the point where we have the major central North Island related settlements done so that it’s possible to free up the funds from the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, they can then be dedicated, and Parekura (Horomia) and me have both made it clear they would be dedicated, to Maori usage for economic and social development, so further possibilities there I hope not too many years down the track,” Cullen says.

Michael Cullen says he would like to see other funds held for Maori purposes adopting more active investment policies.


The Canterbury District Health Board is fighting challenges that its new five-year Maori health plan lacks vision.

Maori executive director Hector Matthews says the board is acknowledging that the plan failed to gain support from key stakeholders.

Mr Matthews says the board put a lot of work in, but some people still feel they were overlooked.

He says further hui need to be held with Ngai Tahu:

“They actually put together quite a good plan. The issues the board has come up against are actually more to do with the fact that the board doesn’t have a strong enough relationship with Ngai Tahu, and Ngaiu Tahu is saying that, so the flaws are they haven’t engaged sufficiently with iwi,” Matthews says.

Hector Matthews says the board will reconsider the plan in the New Year.


Ngati Wai says a mass stranding of pilot whales south of Ruakaka can help other iwi learn how to deal with similar strandings in their rohe.

The Northland iwi removed bone from the 17 whales yesterday and helped the Department of Conservation deal with the remains.

Resource manager Tui Hoterene says other coastal iwi were called to join in what became an impromptu wananga, so they could learn some of the procedures around a customary harvest.

She says there is a demand for clear guidelines.

“Obviously our whale protocol, it’s been there for eight years, and we’ve been open to sharing it with other iwi that want to attempt the same thing with the Department of Conservation, so we’re always encouraging participation and open if people want to come to us for advice,” Hoterene says.

Tui Hoterene says people from Ngati Kuri, Ngapuhi and Te Uri O Hau joined Ngati Wai flensing the whales to remove the bones.


Maori Party president Whatarangi Winiata is endorsing a government project to create a Maori development bank.

Officials are currently looking at various funds used for Maori purposes to see if they can be combined into a new financial institution.

Professor Winiata says he has been pushing for a Maori bank for more than two decades, modeled on the Development Finance Corporation which kick started many New Zealand businesses.

He says given the sums available, the bank will only work if the government is prepared to give proper guarantees.

“The Crown Forestry Rental Trust, Maori Trustee, Poutama Trust, about $200 million. Now if all of that went into this development bank, it has the possibility to grow 10 times that, providing there is the guarantor standing behind it,” Winiata says.

Professor Winiata says a Maori bank would need a true partnership between Maori and the Crown.


A prominent Maori educator says stopping smoking may seem an insurmountable challenge, but Maori need to persist.

Amster Reedy spoke yesterday at the World Health Organisation Indigenous People's Forum on Tobacco Use in South Auckland keynote speaker at the world indigenous conference on smoking which is on in South Auckland.

He says cutting Maori smoking rates is clearly a long term project.

About half of adult Maori still smoke.

Mr Reedy says Maori have never been shy about taking up challenges.

“Maori rise to challenges and I’m not one to have a defeatist attitude by no means. Aim for the stars. If you fail, let it be before a lofty mountain,” Amster Reedy says.


Atamira Dance Collective tonight unveils its new contemporary dance piece.

Memoirs of Active Service at Auckland's Maidment Theatre tells the story of the love between a young Maori soldier and his future wife.

Choreographer Maaka Pepene says the work is a tribute to his grandfather, whose wartime diary is used during the work.

It also includes waiata from the war as it contrasts the battlefront and the home front.

“The moment they walk in and the show starts they’ll be transported back to the late 1930s before the war and a time that is gone and experience what life was like back then when the men went overseas and the women stayed at home alone and what the women did,” Pepene says.

Maaka Pepene says the season, which ends on Saturday, will include a special matinee on Friday for veterans and their families.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Muriwhenua elder Manawa Aperahama dies

Ngati Kuri and far North iwi are mourning the loss of Manawa Aperahama, who died on Sunday at the age of 72.

The Ratana apotoro was a founder member of the Mana Motuhake Party, and was a close advisor to the party's leaders, the late Matiu Rata and Sandra Lee.

Muriwhenua Runanga chairperson Rima Edwards says Mr Aperahama was a key figure in the development of the Muriwhenua land and fisheries claims in the 1980s.

“He was one of the initial members of the committee that started the Ngati Kuri claims when Matiu (Rata) first came back, and the Te Aupouri asked to join in, and the other three tribes asked to be joined as well, and Manawa was part of that bringing the five tribes together,” Edwards said.

Rima Edwards says Manawa Aperhama has been taken back to Te Hapua, where he will be buried tomorrow overlooking Parengarenga harbour.


Former Labour MP John Tamihere says an Auckland waterfront stadium could turn into a billion dollar monument to bad government.

Mr Tamihere says a lot more planning is needed before any decisions are made about a national stadium.

He says the Government needs to show a better quality of thinking than it has showed so far.

“I think we're all in favour of an iconic type facility, but lets have a proper conversation, let’s have a proper process rather than Helengrad telling us we’re going to have that Helen dome,” Tamihere says.


Flensing has been the order of the day at Uretiti Beach, just south of Ruakaka in Northland.

Iwi gathered at the beach to hold a wananga on customary harvest and extract the bone from 17 pilot whales who died in a mass stranding on Saturday.

A similar number of whales made it back to sea.

Ngati Wai resource manager Tui Hoterene says the iwi has implemented its stranding plan developed over the past eight years, and it invited other coastal iwi to help with the harvest.

“We've had a good response from all over the country, even though it’s shirt notice and the whanau have got small resources, We’ve got Ngati Kuri arrived last night, Te Uri o Hau represented, Ngapuhi and of course Ngati Wai,” Hoterene says.


A Maori GP says dire warnings that diabetes could make Maori extinct by the end of the century ignore efforts Maori are already making to counter the disease.

David Jensen says findings by the International Diabetes Foundation in Australia confirms that indigenous peoples are at a much greater risk of contracting type 2 diabetes confirms what medical practitioners on the ground are already dealing with.

Dr Jensen says communities are coming on board.

“I recognise that many Maori communities and many Maori families are doing something about it, and that comes from the point of view of people taking proper interest in diet and exercise for themselves personally and for their families, and there’s whole range of programmes happening in communities and Maori health providers and so on. We are doing things now,” Dr Jensen says.

He says the IDF study should be taken as a call for action by those who have been taking their health for granted.


Cultural expert Amster Reedy says there was no more appropriate haka than Ka Mate for the opening of the New Zealand war memorial in Hyde Park at the weekend.

Questions have been raised about the choice of the haka, which was performed by London-based kapa haka Ngati Ranana, defence force personnel and other New Zealanders at the opening ceremony.

Mr Reedy says the haka credited to Ngati Toa warrior chief Te Rauparaha is a celebration of life.

“It's totally appropriate because it’s a celebration of life. Ka mate means I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die, ka ora means hell, I’m still alive, so we celebrate the death of people because we are the ones still living. Until someone comes up with another haka, that is the most appropriate one to do,” Reedy says.


Putaruru Maori immersion school Te Kaokao Roa o Patetere has been given the green light to become south Waikato's first wharekura.

Principal Keith Silveira says it will be much more than just a secondary school where lessons are in Maori.

He says local knowledge and the Kingitanga will be incorporated into the curriculum, so pupils are confident in their Ngati Raukawatanga.

Mr Silveira says Huntly's Wharekura Maori o Rakaumanga is the model.

“For a long time down here people have admired what Rakaumanga have done for their community and their students. We initially took the kids straight from kohanga, and had a Maori education programme for them, and away we went. As we have grown, we gradually became a kura a rohe, which means it’s a tribal based school,” Silveira says.

Keith Silveira says Te Kaokao Roa o Patetere describes the tribal boundaries the school will draw students from.

Indigenous forum on tobacco

The Indigenous People's Forum on Tobacco Use kicks off in South Auckland today, giving indigenous people a chance to contribute to a global initiative to reduce smoking.

The forum is jointly sponsored by the New Zealand government and the World Health Organisation, which has signed up 168 countries to its Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Maori anti-smoking advocate Shane Bradbrook says the treaty will set international standards on tobacco pricing and tax second hand smoke, advertising, sponsorship, labeling and illicit trade.

Mr Bradbrook says says it's the first formal meeting the United Nations agency has held with indigenous people from all around the world.

“So it's a good opportunity for Maori to put forward our issues, our concerns as an indigenous people, and share our experiences, but it is also a great opportunity to listen to other indigenous peoples, and their experiences that they've had,” Bradbrook says.


Tamaki Makaurau MP Pita Sharples says Maori are being steamrolled in the rush to build a new stadium in Auckland in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The Maori Party co-leader says it's clear there has not been proper consultation with with tangata whenua, despite claims to the contrary by Auckland mayor Dick Hubbard.

Dr Sharples says Ngati Whatua o Orakei, the hapu which is considered mana whenua for the Auckland isthmus, hasn't been officially asked to consider the project.

He says the government is ignoring sound planning processes.

“It's not about whether the waterfront should be on the waterfront or not. What I’m saying is the issues is we see it time and time again, Maori people and our interests not being taken into consideration,” Sharples says.

He says it's not good enough for politicians to shop around within a tribe until they find someone who agrees with their plans.


One of the most well known institutions in Maoridom is no more.

Te Arawa Maori Trust Board has been disestablished after 80 years following the settlement of the tribe's claims to the Rotorua lakes.

Outgoing chairperson Aneru Rangiheua says an interim board is looking after business until a new lakes trust is elected in the new year.

Mr Rangiheuea says when he was first elected to the board in 1972, the people made it clear they expected a long term commitment.

“You come into the board, you’ll be the stamping ground for your people, you’ll be sworn at, and you’ll stay there until you die. That was the saying that they used at that time,” Rangiheuea says.

Aneru Rangiheuea says serving on the Te Arawa board has been a privilege, because it allowed him to learn from an extraordinary generation of the tribe's leaders.


Maori anti-smoking campaigner Shane Bradbrook says this week's international forum in South Auckland should help spead the tuupeka kore message.

The government and the World Health Organisation are co-hosting the first Indigenous People's Forum on Tobacco Use, which gives indigenous public health experts the chance to discuss responses the W-H-O's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

On the agenda are international standards on tobacco pricing and tax, advertising, sponsorship, and labeling.
Mr Bradbrook says participants will be looking for results.

“It's a good opportunity to push some future driven stuff, like we want a declaration on indigenous peoples and tobacco use, so some real big picture high level policy stuff, and I think it’s really good that we can do that here,” Bradbrook says.


Tourism entrepreneur Mike Tamaki says a $6 million Maori village being built in Christchurch should help turn the city into a fully fledged toursim destination, rather than just being the gateway to the south.
The village at Ferrymead is due to be opened next month.

The site is still almost bare, but Mr Tamaki says much of the construction is being done off-site, ready to be shifted on once soil stabilisation work is complete.

He says the village is designed to cope with more than 10 thousand visitors a month and employ around 80 people, including support staff and performers.

“It'll be the biggest one in New Zealand in terms of its size and also the delivery of the experience. You’ve also got to remember it includes a colonial experience we have incorporated into the day and night experience down here as well,” Tamaki says

Mike Tamaki says he doesn't expect a proposed Maori tourist centre in Christchurch's in the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve will affect patronage at the Tamaki Brothers village.


Followers of tale about one of Maoridom's most notorious historical figures may soon learn the end of the story.

Author Tom O'Connor says he has almost finished Shadows of Kapiti, the final volume of the trilogy which includes Pathways of Taranaki and Tides of Kawhia.

The Otorohanga man was inspired to write the books by his friendship with the late Tainui leader Henare Tuwhangai, who shared with him some of the stories about legendary figures from the area, including the fighting chief Te Rauparaha.

Mr O'Connor says Te Rauparaha was a strategic thinker, and the books aim to paint a fuller picture of a Ngati Raukawa leader known to most people as one of the most feared warriors in Maori history.

“People generally knew what had happened in parts, who had made things happen and very few people knew the philosophy behind the decisions that certain people made, and that sowed the seed of an idea iof actually writing the story as an historical novel,” O’Connor says.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Landowners ready for long battle over bush

A spokesperson for King Country Maori landowners says the new owners of Carter Holt Harvey's forestry plantations can look forward to a long battle over their leases.

Willy Te Aho says he has been threatened Carter Holt and its lawyers over the stand taken by Pukemakoiti Trust, which last week re-entered its lease with the forest giant.

Mr Te Aho says the trust will ask the courts to determine whether the sale to North American investment fund Hancock breaches the terms of the original lease signed with New Zealand Forest products.

Even if it loses, the battle will continue.

“I've made it clear to Carter Holt Harvey, to Rank Group, to Hancocks, and also the funders behind Hancocks, Mutual Life in Canada, this isn’t a battle about days or months, this is a battle of years. They may certainly win a battle in a legal sense, but Maori are lessors, Maori participate in resource consent processes, Maori are consumers, and on these different fronts we will keep battling them forever,” Te Aho says.

Willy Te Aho says Maori can triple the returns they can expect from their forests if they are able to process their own share of the harvest.


A Maori member of Labour's youth wing says the advent of the Maori Party has encouraged rangatahi to take more interest in politics.

Sonny Thomas, a 19 year old with Ngati Porou and Te Atiawa whakapapa, says there are few Maori in Young Labour, and that needs addressing.

He says many young Maori can't see ways they can contribute to the established political system.

“Its actually about the political process we have in this country. It’s not actually very open to Maori people. It’s not fundamentally aligned to the way a lot of Maori think, but we’re trying to change that, and I think the Maori Party’s really encouraging of that,” Thomas says.

Sonny Thomas says activism within Labour offers more opportunities for Maori to change things than if they all go to the Maori Party.


A 30-year plan to build a marae at Auckland Airport came to fruition on Saturday.

A dawn ceremony marked the opening of the new marae, Te Manukanuka o Hoturoa.

Tainui Kaumatua Eru Thompson days the marae will be available to all cultures, and will operate under Tainui Kawa.

Mr Thompson says the marae has a serious purpose.

“For a lot of people who’ve been employed at the airport, to have a place, a whakaruruhau for our whanaunga and those tupapaku who come back, not only from overseas but other areas of the motu of course, So now we have a platform, ad that platform is the marae Te Manukanuka o Hoturoa, to welcome people into the region,” Thompson says.

Eru Thompson says the marae project was dear to the heart of the late Maori queen, Dame Te Atairangikaahu, and it was fitting her son King Tuheitia was able to open it.


Auckland mayor Dick Hubbart is adamant Ngati Whatua has been consulted about a proposed waterfront stadium in Auckland.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says tangata whenau appear to have been overlooked in the scramble to find a venue for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

But Mr Hubbard says as far as he's concerned the right approaches have been made by Sports Minister Trevor Mallard, and Ngati Whatua will also get a mayoral visit.

“Trevor Mallard was insistent that he talked to the chief executive of Ngati Whatua, who said they had no problem, but they would work with Auckland city, I’ll be heading up there shortly and talking to Grant Hawke and talking to Ngati Whatua as well, but all I can do is repeat those messages that we have received from Trevor Mallard that the contact was made,” Hubbard says.

Dick Hubbard says a waterfront stadium will add vibrancy to the city's central business district.


Tourism entrepreneur Mike Tamaki says the new Maori village development in Christchurch will take the indigenous cultural experience to another level.

The $6 million Old Christchurch Town and Pa is due to open in Ferrymead before Christmas.

Mr Tamaki says the colonial and Maori village will include all the features the Tamaki brothers include at their Rotorua operation, including a guided walk through the village and a Maori feast.
It uses interactive technology to tell visitors about Maori history, as well as some more immediate experiences.

“What I've always wanted to do, take the whole of the indigenous cultural experience to another level. What we’ve been seeing over the years, in terms of indigenous experiences worldwide, is the same all over the world. They all offer a feed and a dance. What we want to do is go further, take portions of New Zealand history out of time and re-enacting them,” Tamaki says.

Mike Tamaki says he hopes the project will help make Christchurch a tourism destination in its own right, rather than a gateway to the south.


An East Coast man who has been collecting the stories of the 28 Maori Battalion, says Maori can take pride in the memorial recognising the contribution New Zealandf forces made in the two world wars.

The bronze memorial in London's Hyde Park was unveiled over the weekend.

Monty Souter says Maori can feel a special sense of pride in the achievements of Maori soldiers.

“We did our part as we promised under the treaty. The think I look at is nobody can ever point the finder at us and say we didn’t do our bit. We were always there when the call went out, and we performed, I’m sure, above and beyond the call of duty,” Souter says.

George McLeod laid to rest

Ngati Porou has said goodbye to one of its warriors.

George McLeod, also known as George Tamahori, was buried at Kennedy Bay in the Coromandel yesterday.

His son Rob McLeod, the head of the Business Roundtable, says his father led other Ngati Porou in the Maori Battallion through the campaigns in Egypt and Italy, where he was injured at the Battle of Cassino.

His education at Te Aute College was interrupted by the 1931 Napier earthquake, and despite showing extraordinary aptitude, the shell shock he picked up in the war means he was not able to pursue a career in accountancy.

Mr McLeod says his father was determined his children should realise their potential.

“When we grew up as kids, he kept banging the table and insisting we had the best educational opportunities, so if you think about my siblings, they sort of range form 1948 to 1957. He practically put every one of them through the tertiary system,. And I put that down directly to his influence, and because the older ones went and did that, it sort of created a role model effect for the rest of us,” McLeod says.

Rob McLeod says his father was 93 at the time of his death in Tauranga last week.


A Maori health researcher says Maori aren't being informed of private treatment options.

Donna Cormack from the Wellington School of Medecine's Eru Pomare Research Centre says last week's cancer control symposium highlighted disturbing inequalities in the incidence of certain cancers among Maori, and the fact they had a greater chance of dying from the disease.

Ms Cormack says Maori have a different experience of the healthcare system than non-Maori.

She says in focus groups and hui, Maori say they never have private options discussed with them.


Veteran campaigner Dun Mihaka wants some acknowledgement for his contribution to the Maori language revival.

Mr Mihaka is in a stand off with the Maori Language Commission, which wants him to return a hire car he uses for his work as an unofficial advocate of Te Reo Maori.

Mr Mihaka says he'll give the car back eventually, but the commission needs to acknowledge it exists in large part because of his efforts, including a 1980 court battle where he established his right to use te reo Maori in official situations.

“They have given all the accolades about the language to guys who weren’t even there on the spot, They get all the accolades, they get all the awards, honorary degrees, and I’m left with nothing. I don’t mind that, I don’t mind that at all, as long as I get acknowledged," Mihaka says.


The Government will come under increasing pressure to settle the Te Atiawa raupatu claim now the New Plymouth-based iwi has received its fisheries settlement.

Te Ohu Kaimoana fisheries settlement trust has handed over $8 million dollars in fisheries assets to the tribe's mandated authority.

Negotiations with the Office of Treaty Settlements over the land claim have stalled because of what the Crown says are mandating issues.

Te Ohu Kaimoana chairperson Shane Jones, who is also a Labour list MP, says elders at the handover ceremony at Waitara Marae asked why their fish was coming before their land.

“And a particularly strong challenge was laid at the feet of myself and Mahara Okeroa, who was absent, as the when was their land going to be sorted out, because they believed the Crown has dragged the chain, and if the fisheries commission as able to sort out Te Atiawa’s mandate in a short period of time, why can’t their land mandate be sorted out in an equally short period of time,” Jones says.


A Maori health researcher says the medical profession is starting to focus on an alarming rate of cancer among Maori.

Donna Cormack from the Eru Pomare Research Centre in Wellington says last week's symposium on the National Cancer Control Strategy heard of several projects looking at why Maori were more likely to get certain types of cancer, and why they were more likely to die from the disease than non-Maori.

Ms Cormack says a lot comes down to the attitudes of medical professionals and the kinds of treatment people are offered.

“The cervical cancer audit carried out a couple of years ago showed that Maori women were significantly longer than the recommended period before they got the next step, the next stage of investigation, so we’ve got some evidence, and there’s certainly some international evidence, that there are significant differences in the quality of care,” Cormack says.

Donna Cormack says the symposium has helped researchers focus on the kinds of areas they need to look at further.


Young Maori tennis players in the Manawatu could get a chance to go to the top thanks to an award made to a Palmerston North doctor.

Sports medicine specialist Ra Durie has been given a $25 thousand AMP premium scholarship to pursue his vision of a sports academy for young Maori tennis players.

Dr Durie says during his training in sports medicine, he had the opportunity to observe sports development programmes in Australia and the United States, and he brought some lessons home.

IN: These top athletes we see from overseas, they aren’t born champions or just happen to become good. They’re the products of development programmes that take talent and provide it with the right environment, facilities and training programmes that allow them to exploit their talent,” Durie says.

Ra Durie says he focused on tennis because he observed that very few Maori children were playing the sport, and their participation needed to be encouraged.