Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Te Taou missed out of Auckland claim review

South Kaipara iwi Te Taou says it will go to court to be included in a review of the proposed Auckland isthmus settlement.

Waitangi Tribunal acting chairperson Carrie Wainwright has agreed to a hearing in March to consider whether the Crown prejudiced Marutuahu, Ngati Te Ata and Ngai Tai when it conducted direct negotiations with the Ngati Whatua o Orakei hapu.

Te Taou is excluded from the hearing, because Judge Wainwright says she does not have the expertise to interpret the evidence about whakapapa which underpins its claim.

Te Taou lead claimant Lou Paul says it's a bizarre decision.

“We feel let down, we feel betrayed, especially as we were the ones that applied for the urgent hearing, and it appears we’re the only ones left out. But I must say it’s not unexpected. It just follows the treatment that we’ve had since day one,” Mr Paul says.

He's asking his lawyers to advise on legal options.


Whakatohea Trust Board chairperson Robert Edwards says he's sceptical about the value of the fisheries assets coming back to the Opotiki-based iwi.

Te Ohu Kaimoana fisheries settlement trust has recognised the board as a mandated iwi organisaiton, and says it it due to receive an intial $5.9 million in deepwater quota, cash and shares in pan-Maori fishing company Aotearoa Fisheries.

Inshore quota will come later.

But Mr Edwards says the iwi was expecting more.

“The structure of it doesn’t suit us really. I think they put the price of the shares up. And the dividends and the cash to the iwi has been reduced, and I think the price of the shares has been raised, and I think it’s a false price,” Edwards says.

Whakatohea's neighbour Ngati Awa has also written down the value of its Aotearoa Fisheries stake, but Te Ohu Kaimoana says the price of the shares reflects the underlying value of the company's assets.


Auckland's southern motorway is to be blessed by kaumatua on Sunday morning, to provide spiritual relief for people who have lost loved ones in road accidents.

Te Kepa Stirling, a kaumatua from Te Whanau A Apanui, now living Mangere, says a small group will whakatapu the roadway from Tip Top corner in Mt Wellington to Maramarua.

Mr Stirling, who lost his three sons in a car crash in the Bay of Plenty 20 years ago, says the ritual should provide closure to many grieving families.

“Because the roads haven’t been cleared, those families are traveling past those particular areas on our roadsides throughout the country, and every time they drive past that scene and it’s not blessed or released, they go through the trauma of reliving it day after day,” Mr Stirling says.

The early morning karakia comes with the support of police and Transit New Zealand.


List MP Georgina te Heuheu says she's happy to share the role of National's Maori Affairs spokesperson with Tau Henare.

The shared shadow porfolio was one of the surprises in new leader John Key's reshuffle today.

Mrs te Heuheu worked with Mr Henare between 1996 and 1999 when he was minister of Maori affairs in the National-New Zealand first coalition, and says they know each other's strengths.

Mrs te Heuheu says even when she was removed from the spokesperson's role by former leader Don Brash, whe remained involved with the portfolio.

“I've been the Maori face in National now for the last 10 years, and from the point of view of Maori people, that will never change. Whether I have the role or I don’t have it, they still see I have certain responsibilities in that role,” Mrs te Heuheu says.

She and Tau Henare will be zeroing in on the performance of the ministry of Maori development, Te Puni Kokiri.


Hauraki iwi Marutuahu is welcoming a chance to put its claims for the Auckland isthmus before the Waitangi tribunal.

Tribunal acting chairperson Carrie Wainwright says she will hold a hearing next March into whether Marutuahu, Ngati Te Ata and Ngai Tai were prejudiced by the Crown's negotiations with Ngati Whatua o Orakei.

Marutuahu lawyer Paul Majurey says after four years the iwi may finally get a chance to stop their taonga being given exclusively to someone else.

“No one is denying that there needs to be a settlement with Ngati WHatua people for their interests in Auckland. That’s a fundamental. But neither should that process be exclusive, in secret, and prejudicial to thye interests and rights of other iwi. And clearly there are other iwi here, that’s what the historical record shows, and they need to be given a voice and a place in Auckland,” Mr Majurey says.

He says Judge Wainwright was wrong to exclude Te Taou iwi from the hearing, because Native Land Court records show its presence in Auckland.


A Maori academic says the Government is opposed to the Declaration of Indigenous Rights because it doesn't want to lose its control over Maori.

New Zealand this week voted in the United Nations to delay ratification of the declaration, increasing the likelihood it will be substan of indigenous rights.

Aroha Mead from Victoria University, who has taking part in the development of the draft declaration, says New Zealand's stance shows colonialism is alive and well.

“Government like to have policy with Maori when it’s voluntary, when they set thye terms and parameters, but they don’t want to have any laws or regulations that say that doing things for Maori is not just a voluntary action,” Ms Mead says.

She says if Maori have rights recognised in law, the control of governments will be diminished.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Two thirds of tribes now signed up for fish deal

The Whakatohea and Ngati Wai Trust boards have been won approval to receive fisheries settlement assets on behalf of their tribes.
Te Ohu Kaimoana chief executive Peter Douglas says Opotiki-based Whakatohea will receive $5.9 million in deepsea quota, cash and shares in Aotearoa fisheries.
Ngati Wai, whose rohe stretches along Northland's east coast and out to Great Barrier, will initially receive $2.4 million in assets.

Mr Douglas says the decisions mean mandated iwi authorities have now been determined for significant chunks of the country, and the tribes can now work with their neighbours on where their boundaries lie, so they can pick up their inshore quota.

“They fill in the jigsaw I guess in terms of helping the iwi on either side of them, so that they’re able to work out their inshore agreements with each other, and you’re able to work these inshore agreements out when you are a MIO (Mandated Iwi Authority). Them being a MIO makes it easier for everybody,” Mr Douglas says.

Peter Douglas says 37 of the 57 iwi now have mandated iwi organisations, and 65 percent of fisheries assets have been allocated.


New National Party leader John Key says whoever becomes the party's Maori affairs spokesperson today will have a good handle on Maori issues.

It's expected Gerry Brownlee will hand over the job to either Georgina te Heuheu, who is considered to have good relations with other parties and Maori MPs, of former Maori affairs minister Tau Henare, who will be expected to make his mark in the debating chamber.

Mr Key says it's a tough choice.

“Our ideal options are Georgina and Tau Both of them have strong skills. We’re trying to work out a solution whether can use both, but it definitely will be a Maori and a Maori speaker,” Key says.


Papakura's Kelvin Road Primary School is launching the country's first school based radio station.

Principal Thomas Robertson says the station will broadcasts can be heard within 6 kilometres of the south Auckland school on 107.1 FM.

He says 72 percent of the roll is Maori, and the school tries to reflect community needs.

“The board are of course reflective of the community and over 80 percent of them are Maori as well, and the board were extremely receptive and very supportive and can see the advantage for the tamariki at the school for the future. Because what we are trying to do is ready our kids for a digital future,” Mr Robertson says.

Kelvin Road School hopes to involve with the local intermediate and Papakura High School in the project.


Northland's Ngati Wai Trust is celebrating its achievement of mandated iwi organisation status to receive Maori fisheries assets.

The iwi will initially receive $2.4 million in deepsea quota, cash and shares, but there is more inshore quota coming once it gets agreement on boundaries with neighbouring iwi.

Ngati Wai broke with other northern tribes during the long running fisheries debate, and along with Hauraki it joined the Ngai Tahu-led treaty Tribes group pushing for allocation to be determined by a tribe's coastline length.

Trust chairperson Laly Haddon says it was a long and tiring battle.

“Well it's sort of been frustrating but we’ve got there. That was always the main objective, to get the rights back for the beneficiaries of Ngati Wai. We’ve achieved that. We haven’t the big amounts of other iwi, but we have to make sure it’s transferred an made the best advantage for the beneficiaries of Ngati Wai,” Mr Haddon.

Te Ohu Kaimona Fisheries Settlement Trust also approved the mandate of Opotiki-based Whakatohea Trust Board, meaning 37 out of 57 iwi have now been recognised.


Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell says the failure of the United Nations General Assembly to vote on a draft declaration on indigenous rights is a huge disappointment after 20 years of work.

The assembly's human rights committee agreed 82-67 with a Namibian proposal to open up the declaration for further consultation.

Mr Flavell says New Zealand voted for the delay, and seems determined to block the declaration.

“There are some key statements in there about the rights of indigenous peoples to self determination. Every other nation of the world, bar the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand is supportive of this declaration,” Mr Flavell says.

He says the government needs to come back to Maori and consult on the position it is taking over recognition of indigenous rights.


Taitokerau Maori are using traditional methods to address domestic violence.

Nineteen iwi social workers have just completed a 10 month Mauri Ora programme giving them the skills to teach whanu the Maori principles which might help break the cycle of intergenerational violence.

They also learn ways to help distressed families to improve their overall wellbeing.

Ngamaru Brown from Ngapuhi Iwi Social Services says the hope is that the techniques wll spread out in the community.

"It's more like teaching them to teach the next one. We’ve been taught to be practitioners as well as facilitators,” Ms Brown says.

She says Mauri Ora is a holistic approach, dealing with the spiritual, intellectual, emotional and physical wellbeing of their clients.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Te Heuheu angling for Maori shadow role

National list MP Georgina Te Heuheu wants her old job back.

Indications from new National leader John Key is that his pick for Maori affairs spokesperson is between Mrs te Heuheu and Tau Henare, who was minister for Maori affairs between 1996 and 1999.

Mrs te Heuheu was dropped as spokesperson after she refused to endorse former leader Don Brash's Orewa speech on race relations.

She says she's happy with the direction the party is taking and is looking forward to being more active.

“We're in a new mode here. We’ve got a new leader, we’ve got new leadership, and things are looking great as far as I’m concerned. And if he’s come to a decision that he wants me to do a particular portfolio and he comes to me and says ‘like you to do this,’ of course I'd say 'thank you',” Mrs Te Heuheu says.


A Northland hapu is denying claims it was offered money to support a coastal subdivision.

Voilet Sade from Ngunguru's Waiariki Kororaa claims' team says there is no truth in a newspaper story claiming developer Landco will help build a marae, provide better access to hapu land and build an educational facility.

She says the hapu hasn't decided whether to support or oppose the 350 section development of the Ngunguru sandspit.

“You know all this crap that Labndco’s giving us sweeteners, a marae and all that, that’s crap. They have never promised anything like that at all. They have gone through the consultation process in the last 18 months with Te Waiariki, and that’s still ongoing. There’s been no documents signed, no nothing,” Sade says.


Tainui has revived attempts to create a post graduate learning and research centre in a purpose-built facility at Hopuhopu.

The endowed college was the dream of the late Sir Robert Mahuta, who is buried at the entrance of the $30 million building.

Former Auckland University Maori Studies head Ngapare Hopa, who worked with Sir Robert in Waikato University's Centre for Maori Studies and Research, has been brought in to head the project.

Professor Hopa says the centre will need to attract local and international experts.

“The vision that the late Te Kotahi Mahuta had was a wonderful idea, as a residential place for post graduate students and as a research centre of excellence, My task is to try to bring that vision to fruition and to get this college up and operational by 2008,” Professor Hopa says.

She says Sir Robert's intention was that a third of the graduate students be from Waikato Tainui, another third be from other iwi and the balance would be international scholars.


A Ngati Paoa hapu has worked with Housing New Zealand to house kaumatua in the settlement of Kaiaua south of Auckland.

Housing Minister Chris Carter today opened the first four houses built by the corporation on Pingao Trust land.

Pingao spokesperson Glen Tupuhi says the trust has long term plans to build a 20 house papakainga development, but its immediate need was to get its old people out of substandard housing.

Mr Tupuhi says it has taken four years to get consents and build.

“The arrangement is Pingao own the land, they lease the land off Pingao Trust, abnd of course Housing New Zealand look after the houses. Which is wonderful for the kaumatua, because they pay income related rents,” Mr Tupuhi says.

The Pingao Trust has an option to buy the houses after 10 years.


The man aspiring to be the next prime minister says he is looking forward to representing Maori New Zealanders.

John Key has moved quickly to extend an olive branch to Maori, who were turned off National by predecessor Don Brash's Orewa speech on race relations and his comments on Maori blood quantum,

Mr Key says those sorts of attitudes aren't acceptable, and a leader must represent all people.

“I think New Zealand’s going to mature over the next 10 or 20 years. If you want to be prime minister New Zealand, my view is you can’t be prime minister of the white guys. You have to be primie minister of all New Zealanders, and if you’re not, you’re not worthy of having the role,” Mr Key says.


Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says Maori should take pride in the fact it was a Maori politician trying to broke an agreement between the Fijian prime minister and army chief.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters brought together Laisenia Qarase and Frank Bainimarama for talks in Wellington yesterday aimed at averting a coup in the island nation.

Mr Horomia says many Pacific nations look towards New Zealand for assistance in political affairs.

“Those countries have a lot of reliance on New Zealand’s support and development, and that’s the impact of globalization. Winston Peters did amazingly well even to have the meeting for that period of time, because everyone said it would only take 15 minutes but it took well over a couple of hours,” Mr Horomia says.

He says whatever now happens in Fiji, Mr Peters must be credited for his attempt to find a resolution.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Don’t trust National says Ron Mark

Don’t trust National says Ron Mark

New Zealand First MP Ron Mark says the Maori Party would be naive to get too close to National.

Relations between the parties, which became strained under former leader Don Brash, appear to be on the mend after new leader John Key's first major speech this week.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says she was impressed with the tenor of the speech, which called for New Zealanders' cultural, religious and ethnic differences to be celebrated.

Mr Mark says the Maori Party seems to be running towards National with open arms, just because it has changed leader.

“I remind the Maori Party, the National Party has changed its leader five times in seven years. They’re an unstable lot, they can’t be trusted on past track record, but I’m a generous chap, John Key is different to some of the others,” Mr Mark says.

He says New Zealand first will judge National's new leaders by what they do, rather than what they say, because there is often a difference between the two.


The Service and Food Workers Union is shrugging off a threat by Air New Zealand that it will sue over the use of its koru trademark on protest stickers.

Jill Ovens, the union's northern secretary, says the stickers draw attention to the airline's plans to outsource the jobs of many ground staff.

She says a letter from the airline's lawyers claims the koru is the company's exclusive intellectual property.

“My view is have they asked tangata whenua, because surely a corporation such as Air New Zealand has no exclusive claim on a Maori design like the koru,” Ms Ovens says.

She says the union is considering its own legal action over the attempts by Air New Zealand to undermine it.


Tainui kapa haka groups are preparing for a massed performance next week to celebrate the rohe's strength in the Maori performing arts.

Organiser Craig Munz says the Founders Theatre in Hamilton will ring to the sounds of some of the country's best groups, including secondary schools' champion Te Wharekura o Rakaumangamanga, Super 12 winners Te Iti Kahurangi, and Raroera, who brought the Mata Wananga trophy from the recent Te Wananga o Aotearoa-sponsored event.

Mr Munz says there will also be a mass bracket with 120 performers from the three Tainui contenders for next year's Te Matatini national championships, Tamarau, Te Iti Kahurangi and Taniwharau.

“It's kotahitanga, bringing Tainui waka together as a roopu to showcase the art form to the broader community, but it’s also a chance to support our national representatives heading to Te Matatini in 2007,” Mr Munz says.


Northland community groups are meeting today to find ways to support rangatahi in the region.

Hui organiser Jenny Galpin from the Taitokerau Maori Women's Welfare League says the youth hui at at Terenga Paraoa Marae in Whangarei will involve health, education and training providers as well as young people.

Youth Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta will also attend.

Ms Galpin says a spate of recent incidents has brought home the extent of the problems the region faces, but there are also positive developments which can be built on.

“As late as last Friday we had an incident in the CBD where a young boy was stabbed. There’s been a lot of murder cases, but there has also been a lot of good things going on,” Ms Galpin says.

She says many rangatahi feel their voice goes unheard, and the hui should provide a safe forum for them to give their opinions.


Papakura Marae helped celebrate a quarter century in parliament for the Prime Minister yesterday.

Helen Clark and MPs Parekura Horomia, Nanaia Mahuta and Dave Hereora dropped in to monitor progress at the marae's health clinic.

Chief executive Brian Joyce says the marae environment has proved an effective way to deliver services such as Tamariki Ora or child health, immunisation and healthy lifestyle promotions.

He says health services have become a major feature of the marae, which opened in 1990.


Patuharakeke spokesperson Dave Milner says clear distinctions between roles is helping with the aftermath of a whale stranding in Northland.

The hapu of Ngati Wai has put a two week rahui or ban on taking kaimoana from the beach near Ruakaka where a pod of pilot whales beached this month.

Mr Milner says there were both Maori and Pakeha protocols to be followed in cleaning up the decomposing carcasses.

“DoC were a major part of the whole process as well, excellent as far as co-managing the whole process. It’s the modern age now so we need to be aware of the Occupational Safety and Health factors, the environmental factors and also the customary factors,” Mr Milner says.


Patricia Grace says the Prime Minister's award she received this week couldn't have come at a better time.

The author of Potiki, Tu, Dogside Story and other novels and short stories is credited with playing a major role in the emergence of Maori fiction in English.

Patricia Grace says the 60 thousand dollar grant will allow her to spend more time researching her new book.

“I'm writing a work of non-fiction at the moment where I have to do a lot of research. I have to go to Crete, for example. It’s really good to have this support and know that I’ll be able to do what I need to do in the way of research,” Grace says.

Maori-National liaison not a winner

Labour list MP Shane Jones says Maori have nothing to gain from a liaison between the Maori Party and National.

Mr Jones says while new leader John Key and his deputy Bill English may present a more friendly face to Maori than Don Brash, National has always taken a narrow view of Maori issues.

He says the Maori Party seems to be reaching out to the new leadership,

“I think the Maori Party is quickly turning into the brown wing of the National Party. They I think are naively wandering into territory which will actually see Maori committed to National Party policies and I am surprised that the Maori Party, without even understanding the extent of those policies, is cosying up to them,” Mr Jones says.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says Mr Jones hasn't got enough to do, so he spends his time dreaming up Labour spin lines about the Maori Party..


If Maori parents want to give their children a Christmas present with a difference, they should quit smoking.

That's the message from Maori Smokefree Coalition chairperson Shane Bradbrook to the more than 47 per cent of Maori adults who smoke.

New research from Norway says there is no significant difference in the death rates of smokers who cut down and those who smoke 15 or more cigarettes a day.

Mr Bradbrook says the study shows Maori smokers who just cut down are fooling themselves.

“When you get such a comprehensive finding that says cutting down doesn’t work, then there is only one pathway and that is to quit. Probably as we are getting towards Christmas, it’s probably a great Christmas present for yourself and for the Maori community to make that step towards totally quitting,” Mr Bradbrook says.


Invercargill City Council has refused consent for a replica Maori village and whaling station on the Southland coast.

Whalers Bay director Pera Davies says the decision spells the end for his dream of a tourism venture on his Omaui property.

Mr Davies says he had the support of the Awarua Runaka, but a Maori consultant hired by the council objected to outsiders telling the stories of local ancestors.

He will still build a village and whaling station for educational purposes.

“I've had a pretty good go at this and I’m pushing boundaries as well and basically I’m going to read their decision and carry on. I can’t run it as a commercial but it’s my dream and it’s something I want to do and I’m going to do it,” Mr Davies says.

He says the Omaui project has so far taken seven years and cost him $180,000.


A lawyer for WAI 262 Maori intellectual property rights claimants says Air New Zealand has no right to threaten its unions over use of the Koru symbol.

The airline has told the has threatened the Service and Food Workers Union, which represents ground staff, that stickers protesting cuts in job conditions make unauthorised use of the airline's symbol.

Maui Solomon says the company hasn't got a leg to stand on.

“Air New Zealand claiming exclusive rights over the koru is ludicrous. It’s clearly the name and the design are based on traditional Maori imagery, so it’s ironic now that Air New Zealand would be asserting exclusive copyright against their own unions,” Mr Solomon says.

He says some years ago WAI 262 claimants forced Air New Zealand to rip up carpets in its lounges because it was not appropriate to walk on the koru.


New Zealand First law and order spokesperson Ron Mark says he's picking up widespread Maori support for lowering the age of criminal responsibility to 12.

Mr Mark says his Young Offenders Bill needs to be part of a range of measures to address rising levels of youth crime.

He says while his bill may have a disproportionate impact on young Maori, their elders may say that's a good thing.

“You know the funny thing is Maori are the first people and particularly conservative and traditional Maori, and you don’t have to move far among the communities if you go back home to find people who totally agree. In fact Maori would say stick them in the army to develop their self esteem, and you would see a difference in Maori youth across the board,” Mr Mark says.

He says the courts are too lenient on young offenders, and a clear message needs to be sent that society will no longer tolerate their constant lawbreaking.


A Northland hapu is back in the whaling business.

This time it won't be capturing the giant mammals but disposing of them.

Patuharakeke spokesperson Dave Milner says the beaching this month of 70 pilot whales south of Whangarei was a reminder strandings are a regular part of life on northern coasts.

He says a tribal wananga identified the need to collect resources to respond to the next incident.

Mr Milner says Patuharakeke has bought flensing knives, barriers to isolate contaminated areas, rubber gloves and protective gear, shovels, trailers, and other gear.

“Ngati Wai as the iwi have the mandate and the protocols and the permits and the resources to manage that kind of thing, so we’ve picked up on everything they’ve taught us through the wananga to be ready for the next whale stranding. Hopefully that won’t be for quite some time,” Mr Milner says.

A rahui has been imposed banning the taking of kaimoana from the stranding site until next Wednesday.

Turia likes tenor of Key message

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says she was impressed by the tone John Key's first speech as National Party leader.

Speaking yesterday to a National Party audience in his Helensville electorate, Mr Key reiterated a commitment to one standard of citizenship, but said cultural, religious and ethnic differences should be celebrated.

Mrs Turia says that was different message than his predecessor was sending.

“Don Brash, when he talked about one standard of citizenship for everybody, he also gave the impression that they would treat people the same. Well, we’re not all the same, and that’s what John Key is saying They’ll work within the parameters of that culture, if they have to,” Turia says.

She says it is still too early to say if the Maori Party could give National its support to be in government, but it is prepared to work with it on specific issues.


At Orakei Marae later today, there will be a celebration of the efforts Maori with mental health problems have made to get well and become part of the community.

Rangi McClean from Maori health service Hapai Te Hauora says the Respect Awards acknowledge the achievements of Maori who have overcome mental illness, and the contributions of their wider whanau to that process.

Mr McLean says the awards are a way of tackling the stigma that surrounds mental illness.


Organisers of an anti-violence hui in Whangarei hope it will give Northland rangatahi a chance to speak out about the environment they are living in.

Jenny Galpin from the Taitokerau Maori Women's Welfare League says tomorrow's will allow health, education and training providers to discuss a spate of violent attacks and murders in the region.

Ms Galpin says the hui will will be a forum where young people can speak safely with the support of these providers.

“What they're really saying is for goodness sakes listen to what we have to say, we do have needs, we know what our needs are and in some cases we also know how best to resolve it, and the biggest thing they want is to know that they will get some support,” Galpin says.

Jenny Galpin says it's hoped the presence of Youth Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta will mean government support for any further action coming out of the hui.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the government should respect the views of Maori and drop its opposition to the declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, which will be voted on by the United Nations this week.

New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States have opposed the document, which has been in development for 20 years.

Mrs Turia says the draft declaration has been endorsed by indigenous peoples, even though it doesn't give them everything they were asking for.

“Our people have been going over to those for a every year and New Zealand has actively campaigned with the others against signing up to that declaration. I don’t think it’s a big ask,” Turia says.

She says the government's attitude shows its commitment to biculturalism is a sham.


With a new team heading National, attention now shift to how the line-up will look for the lower positions.

Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and indigenous studies at Canterbury University, says John Key's picks will be important if the party is to make up the ground lost by former leader Don Brash's opposition to Maori concerns.

Mr Taonui says it's unlikely Gerry Brownlee will be retained as Maori Affairs spokesperson, and that means the focus will be on list MP Georgina te Heuheu.

She's been stood down from the Maori affairs portfolio but still continues to do most of the work there. She should go back into that. Tau Henare is currently an associate on Maori affairs and Treaty of Waitangi issues. He might get a joint positioning with Chris Finlayson on Treaty of Waitangi issues,” Taonui says.

He says if it is to become government, National needs to show it can work with a Maori Party.


We're all used to carols by candlelight, and Christmas in the park.

The producers of the children's te reo Maori programme, Pukana, which screens on TV3 and Maori Television, are today presenting Pukana in the Park.

Pukana presenter Matai Smith says they're bringing together all the littlies from Maori schools to Auckland's Taheke Reserve to celebrate the season in a uniquely Maori way.

He says it will be the first time many of the tamariki have heard the classic Christmas songs in Maori.

As well as the Pukana team, special guests will include Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia, Mabel Wharekawa Burt, or Auntie Mabel from the popular panel show, Ask your Aunties

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Fish farm risk needs sharing, strategy

Ngati Kahungunu chairperson Ngahiwi Tomoana says Maori need to work together to lessen the risks of entering the fish farming industry.

The first Maori in Aquaculture conference was held in Neslon last week for iwi to share experiences and develop strategies for the future.

Mr Tomoana says while some iwi like those at the top of the South Island have considerable experience, most other iwi are just starting.

Ngati Kahungunu has a 40 percent stake in a large mussel farm off the Hawkes Bay coast.

Mr Tomoana says aquaculture is fraught with economic and environmental danger.

“It's going to need massive investment for minimal return at the moment under today’s conditions, but we also know that the wild fishery internationally is dwindling, and the rise of aquaculture is exponential, so we have to be part of that, but it is about being tupato (careful) around that,” Tomoana says.

He says iwi need to be ready to make use of the 20 percent of aquaculture space they are due to receive under the terms of the Aquculture settlement,


Part of the Wellington City Gallery will take on a Maori aspect when a $3.4 million extension starts next May.

Wellington City Council has approved a Maori and Pacific Island art space in the plans.

Director Paula Savage says the extensions are being funded from $1.5 million bequest from the former Russell Hancock gallery, $1.3 million from the Wellington City Council and $600,000 from private benefactors.

Ms Savage says although Maori art has always featured in the exhibitions calendar, the gallery wants more of it.

“That is a specific direction of the gallery, and it will be really good that there is always Maori and Pacific art available to see in the gallery,” Savage says

Renovations will also take place in the foyer, auditorium and upstairs space of the old Wellington Library building.

Savage says the gallery is working with architect Stuart Gardyne to ensure the character of the building remains intact.


A Maori who retired this year after 44 years in the fire service, says the advent of counseling services for firefighters is one of the biggest gains during his time.

Health problems forced Gisborne based Shane Pihema into early retirement.

When he joined the Auckland brigade in the late 1960's there were relatively few Maori fighting fires.

He says many were put off by the academic qualifications the service demanded at the time.

Mr Pihema says there was also nothing to help firefighters deal with the stress of the job.

“Didn't have counseling in those days. We sort of had to live with it. And sometimes when I would go back to the station I couldn’t sleep. Nowadays you can get counseling for all that, but motor vehicle accidents and fatalaties and house fires, it still sits on your mind even now,” Pihema says.


The head of Maori and indigenous studies at Canterbury University says the first speech by new National Party leader John Key appeared to extend a hand to Maori voters and the Maori Party.

Rawiri Taonui says Mr Key seemed keen to get the party away from the narrow stance on race relations and treaty matters pushed by former leader Don Brash.

Mr Key said today that while National will always believe in one standard of citizenship, it should also celebrate cultural, religious and ethnic differences.

Mr Taonui says that is a significant shift aimed at Maori.

“One of the realities is Maori traditionally never have and probably never will vote for National in droves, but if he was thinking strategically in an MMP environment, if on one hand you can’t win the Maori seats, then you could secure a partner who might win them for you,” Taonui says.

Rawiri Taonui says to improve relations with Maori, Mr Key would have to give the Maori affairs role back to one of National's Maori MPs and formulate more positive policies on retention of the Maori seats, ownership of foreshore and seabed and settlement of treaty claims.


The winner of this week's New Zealand Golf Open is to receive a Maori cloak, or korowai to wear during the presentation of the trophy.

Vic Pirihi from Ngati Tamariki Trust, which fosters interest in the game among Maori youth, says it will be a unique way to acknowledge the New Zealand champion.

“He will be dressed up in it like they do the Masters, and he will receive a memento as well which has been provided by the Ngati Tamariki Trust, and the cape will stay in a glass case in the New Zealand Golf offices in Wellington forever, and be brought out once a year for this presentation,” Pirihi says.

Five Maori golfers will tee off at Gulf Harbour, including former US Open winner Michael Campell.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Orewa was misinterpreted says Brash

Former National Party leader Don Brash says his stance on Maori issues has been misinterpreted.

Dr Brash says he regrets he wasn't able to reach out more to Maori voters and to the Maori Party during his time as leader of the Opposition.

Hostility towards Dr Brash in Maori circles was sparked by his Orewa state of the nation speech in 2004, in which he attacked what he called "a dangerous drift towards racial separatism in New Zealand, and the development of the Treaty grievance industry".

Dr Brash says he regrets how the speech was interpreted.

“I didn't have an opportunity to convince Maori that the speech was not about being anti-Maori, and I’m sure a lot of Maoris saw it as being anti –Maori,” Brash says.

Don Brash says he holds Maori Party co-leaders Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples in high regard.


Police are gathering at the Police College in Porirua for a three day conference on their responsiveness to Maori.

Wally Haumaha, the acting national manager for Maori, Pacific and Ethnic Services, says it's the 10th year since former commissioner Peter Doone challenged the service focus on finding new ways to address Maori crime and victimisation.

He says current commissioner Howard Broad has spent the past month consulting iwi around the country as a lead up to the conference.

Inspector Haumaha says the overwhelming message is that police need to work more closely with communities if they are to effectively tackle crime and its effects.

“We've spent quite a lot of time over the past 10 years building the capability of our organisation, trying to build a cultural competency of a lot of our staff to make them understand there are organisations out there, whether it be in Auckland, Counties Manukau, through to Ngai Tahu, we need to know how to access those,” Haumaha says.

Wally Haumaha says police are extremely concerned at the amount of family violence in Maori communities, and that is where Maori service providers give valuable assistance.


Former Maori Language commission head Timoti Karetu says an honorary doctorate for Kohanga Reo pioneer Iritana Tawhiwhirangi is well deserved.

Victoria University will present the award to the 77-year old Ngati Porou kuia on December the 8th to mark her contribution to reversing the decline in the Maori language and inspiring thousands of Maori parents to become involved in their children's education.

Mrs Tawhiwhirangi oversaw the development of the first kohanga while she was head of community services for the Department of Maori Affairs, and she served as its chief executive from 1990 until 2003.

Professor Karetu says she had a lot to do with the movement's success.

“You know when you’ve got such a charismatic, dogmatic person driving the thing, all the success has come as a consequence of that,” Karetu says.

Timoti Karetu says Iritana Tawhiwhirangi could have had a distinguished academic career, if she had ever found enough time to do so.


The former chief executive of the Kohanga Reo National Trust is furious that Maori language nests have been omitted from the list of 2700 early childhood centres who will qualify to supply twenty hours of free childcare.

Iritana Tawhiwhirangi says the decision is a slap in the face for the movement.

She says the Ministry of Education doesn't seem to accept that the training for kohanga reo staff is on par with other early childhood teachers, and that its whanau-centred approach has merit.

“I mean how dare they, how dare anybody say that our training programme that has been in place, that has been producing kids that are jumping out of their skins, all of a sudden ‘Hullo. It’s not accepted.’ Well excuse me. I’m furious about it, and somewhere in the process there’s been a slip up that needs to be attended to,” Tawhiwhirangi says.

Iritana Tawhiwhirangi is to be given an honorary doctorate by Victoria University next month for her work with kohanga reo and the revitalisation of the Maori language.


Dumped National Party leader Don Brash says he could have done more to foster relations with the Maori Party.

Dr Brash was yesterday replaced by John Key as head of the Opposition.

Current polling indicates National would need the support of the Maori Party to regain the Treasury Benches, but Dr Brash's public comments about racial separation, the treaty grievance industry and Maori blood quantum has hampered attempts to find common ground.

Dr Brash says the attempts he did make were too little, too late.

“I had dinner at the invitation of Tariana Turia with the Maori Party caucus a few weeks ago, and that was a very constructive meal, and meeting, very cordial, very frank talking on both sides, and I think there should have been more of that over the past couple of years,” Brash says.

Dr Brash says his 2004 Orewa speech on the Treaty of Waitangi was misinterpreted.


The acting head of the police's Maori, Pacific and Ethnic Services says forces around the world are looking at how the New Zealand police are learning to work with Maori and other communities.

Wally Haumaha says police from Australia and Canada are taking part in this week's sixth Responsiveness to Maori conference at the Police College in Porirua.

Inspector Haumaha says New Zealand police have been working on the issue for 10 years, and it is starting to show results.

“I had a superintendent from Adelaide police here last year, and he said to me ‘if we could only operate the same way that the New Zealand police have changed direction in working with Maori, our Aborigine people would be well off.’ So we have made a start. It’s hugely pioneering in policing jurisdictions across the world,” Haumaha says.

The three day Ngakia Kia Puawai conference will focus on strengthening relationships between the Police and Maori communities.

Kahungunu wanting recreation catch limit

Ngati Kahungunu wants more controls on recreational fisheries off the coast of the Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa.

Chairperson Ngahiwi Tangaroa says the iwi has a stake in commercial, customary and recreational fishing, so it wants to see a proper balance between the three.

Mr Tomoana says there may be some merit in allocating a quota for recreational fishing, as Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton is suggesting, but better information is needed about how much recreational fishers are taking.

“What we are saying in Kahungunu is let’s quantify it first, because we didn’t fight for the last 20 years to get commercial and customary on the table to suddenly find it reduced, even though we are part of the recreational fishing as well, and it does need to be a planned approach,” Tomoana says.

Ngati Kahungunu also wants to see an end to a method of fishing with large nets called purse seining off its coast.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says she's keen to meet new National Party leader John Key for talks.

Mrs Turia says the Maori Party in interested in alliances with all other political parties when they can find common ground.

She says she has never had any personal discussions with Mr Key, and doubts anyone outside National really knows him well.

“He hasn't been in Parliament that long. He seems a very bright young man, and of course most of us know he’s come from a state housing background. One would hope that experience would make him at least have some compassion for those less fortunate than others, but who knows,” Turia says.

Tariana Turia says the Maori Party was booked in for dinner with former National Leader Don Brash in early December, and she's waiting to see if John Key will pick up the date.


Knowledge of local conditions helped Raglan's Daniel Kereopa take the men's title at the national Maori surf championships over the weekend.

The event, hosted by Kereopa's home Piohaken Marae, took place in choppy one metre surf off the North Island west coast township.
Jess Santorik defended her title in the women's event.

And two time national champion Jason Matthews of Taranaki overcame the back problems which have plagued him since retirement to win the Masters division.


The Minister of Maori Affairs says the sidelining of Gerry Brownlee in the National Party leadership re-structure comes as a surprise.

Parekura Horomia has had a testy relationship with the former National number two, who is also the party's Maori Affairs spokesperson.

Mr Horomia says the National Party under Don Brash's leadership didn't deal with Maori issues very well, and Mr Brownlee had to front the policies.

He says the big man can't be underestimated.

“For all what Gerry may be he’s a pretty smart tactician and very experienced, and there must have been some huge trading in relation to that to get Bill English into that slot,” Horomia says.

Parekura Horomia says the revelations about National in Nicky Hager's book The Hollow Man show a deeply dysfunctional party.


Kohanga Reo pioneer Iritana Tawhiwhirangi is to be given an honorary doctorate from Victoria University.

Mrs Tawhiwhirangi from Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu trained as a teacher before joining Maori Affairs as a welfare officer on the East Coast.

As head of Te Tari Maori's community services division in 1980, Mrs Tawhiwhirangi oversaw the policy work which led to the development of the first language nest, and then became the first general manager of the Kohanga Reo National trust.

Mrs Tawhiwhirangi says the highlight of her time in the movement was being able to empower whanau to take responsibility for the education of their children.

“Whatever I do, the litmus test is how well are the people whose lives you have touched, any better or worse for having contact with you, and that’s probably the fundamentals of kohanga,” Tawhiwhirangi says.

Iritana Tawhiwhiri will be awarded her doctorate at the University's Te Hui Whakapumau graduation ceremony on December 8.

Waikato District Council mayor Peter Harris says a 3.3 million dollar makeover for the Huntly will incorporate Maori culture.

The initial plan to revamp the town centre along an industrial heritage theme drew fire from mana whenua spokesperson Timi Maipi, who complained there was no consultation with Ngati Whaawhaakia and Ngati Mahuta.

Mr Harris says he has since spoken to Mr Maipi, Waikato chairpson Tuku Morgan and the Waahi Whanui Trust to rectify the situation.

“They are at the moment doing some work for us round the design of the railway bridge. We have got some walkways coming down between the bridges, and the prospect of a jetty that we may be able to have a tourism venture with people getting in a waka and going across to Waahi Marae for some cultural experiences,” Harris says.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Kahungunu looks for united approach on violence

Ngati Kahungunu community worker Mereana Pitman says a united approach is needed to tackle domestic violence in Maori communities.

The Hawkes Bay iwi is hosting a hui of anti-violence workers at Ruahapia Marae near Hastings this week to share experiences and plan strategies.

Ms Pitman says the Kahungunu Family Violence Prevention strategy has brought together 10 organisations in its rohe, including Women's refuge, maori Women's Welfare League, youth services, men's groups and the police iwi liaison.

She says similar initiatives are going on around the country.

“There are 14 iwi at the moment around the country at varying stages of putting their violence-free strategies together. There are I think the specifics around Maori and violence that have been overlooked, and certainly it’s aided and abetted other iwi to move their strategies along as well,” Pitman says.


The Manukau City Council could be doing more for Maori in need of housing.

That's the response of the council's treaty relationships manager to a report on Maori Housing Experiences presented to its Treaty of Waitangi Committee.

Moana Herewini says the report was based on interviews with home owners and renters from six regions including South Auckland, and identified the economic challenges to Maori families getting adequate housing.

She says there are ways council can help.

“Whilst it's not our responsibility to do housing, what we can do and what we should be doing is advocating on behalf of our people in Manukau to the people who are responsible for housing like Housing Corporation New Zealand etc, so that is the follow on we will do from this report,” Herewini says.


Nga Ruahine is seeking recognition of its customary rights to the foreshore along the south Taranaki coast.

The application has caused alarm in some members of the Taranaki Regional Council and Federated Farmers,

But Nga Ruahine spokesperson Mere Brooks says the tribe's concerns are environmental.

She says the tribe in only trying to exercise its duties as kaitiaki or guardians of the coast.

“Part of our role as hapu that try to look after the waters is to keep them as pollution free as possible and as kaitiaki is to try to prevent the increasdng pollution that goes along with industrial exploration and that alme means trying to llok after it when they okay drilling for oil, because all of these industrial activities have some form of pollution,” Brooks says.

The application covers the coast between Waihi Creek near Hawera north to the Inaha Stream.


A Maori academic says Maori organisations need to reconsider notins of wealth rather than trying to keep up with mainstream businesses.

Manuka Henare, the associate dean of Maori and Pacific Development at the University of Auckland business school, raised the issue at a conference which looked at how traditional knowledge fits in with Maori business.

Dr Henare says the original meaning of wealth meant well being, and only on modern times has it come to mean only material things.

He says traditional cultures in the Asia Pacific region had their own ideas about wealth.

“We put a lot more emphasis on art, well being, kinship ties, family extensions, and the buildings have to conform to cultural norms. Generally the other part of New Zealand puts emphasis on notions that come out of Europe, particularly from the UK,” Henare says.

Manuka Henare says many post settlement Maori organisations are wrestling with ways to address the spiritual and cultural well being of members, as well as their material prospects.


The Alcohol Advisory Council's South Island manager says local government needs to take greater responsibility for drinking problems in communities.

Tuari Potiki says he agrees with Manukau mayor Sir Barry Curtis that a proliferation of liquor outlets is contributing to a rise in violent incidents.

Mr Potiki says 15 years ago before industry deregulation, there were only 1100 liquor outlets across the country.

“Now we have 15,000, so literally they are on every street corner, and alcohol is in every supermarket. I find it interesting, with all due respect to Barry Curtis, that he’s talking about proliferation, because with because councils grant liquor licences. They don’t just pop up on a street corner without having been through a process,” Potiki says.


A biography of the late Maori composer Ngoi Pewhairangi is to be accompanied by a special recording of her most popular songs.

The writing is being done by Otago University lecturer Tania Ka'ai, a relative of Pewhairangi, while the composer's nephew, John Coleman, is taking care of the musical side.

Pewhairangi's waiata include E Ipo, a hit for Prince Tui Teka, and Poi E, which Dalvanius and the Patea Maori Club took to the top of the charts.

Mr Coleman says the recording will feature Pewhairangi's whanau, many of whom still live around Tokomaru on the East Coast.

He says to them, she's just aunty Ngoi.

“She did a lot away from home with other people and everything, We just took her as another auntie, and whatever she did for us back at Tokomaru was part of her everyday life, and the things she did she did well. “Coleman says.

The book is due to be published next March.