Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Consultation on Waikato kaitiaki

A longstanding advocate for cleaning up the Waikato River says the co-management structure proposed in a new treaty settlement is inspirational.

Tainui has started consulting key stakeholders on its Waikato River settlement.

The deal includes shared management by Tainui and Environment Waikato of the river downstream of Lake Karapiro, and a multi-iwi guardian's group looking after the river from its source.

Carmen Kirkwood from the Huakina Trust says the agreement in principle is what Tainui has been asking for for decades.

“It focuses on the well-being of the river, which is the main issue. We’ve been talking integrated management since the 1970s, and this document, it’s brilliant. All those key stakeholders that have jurisdiction on the river, there is a role for them to play,” she says.

Mrs Kirkwood says the river is in a terrible state and needs a lot of work to recover.


The Minister of Maori Affairs says the proposed Te Arawa settlement needs to go ahead.

The Waitangi Tribunal last week criticised the process used to negotiate a settlement with Nga Kaihautu o Te Arawa, and suggested changes so the rest of the tribe is not disadvantaged.

Parekura Horormia says the government is considering the report, but it doesn't want to lose the progress already made on that and other settlements.

“And what the tribunal hasn’t said is hold up the Arawa claim, and I think there is a part in this that we as Maori have to sort out and we as Government have to reconsider some of the issues that it brought out, but certainly turning your back on it won’t help it. A lot of people have worked on these, have passed on, but we certainly want to continue to ensure that settlements are done,” Mr Horomia says.

The Waitangi Tribunal is a holding a hearing in Rotorua this week on how the forestry aspects of the Nga Kaihautu settlement package will affect other iwi and hapu.

The tribunal's report on the Central North Island claims is due out next month.


Taupo Maori landowners say it's up to developers what happens to protesters occupying a lakeside site.

The occupiers moved onto the land near Acacia Bay after a skeleton was found during earthworks for the Symphony Group's $30 million Parawera subdivision.

The secretary of the Hiruharama Ponui Trust, Andrew Kusabs, says the skeleton issue is just the latest excuse the protest group is using to block the development.

“We've gone through the resource consents, all the Taupo hearings, and the same ones are causing all this problem. And it’s really a problem now between Symphony and the dissident group, which are very minor owners in the block, some not even owners, they’ve just come along for the ride,” Mr Kusabs says.

The lease fees paid by the developers are the Hiruharama Ponui Trust's only income.


A Maori Party MP says it's hard enough to get 18 year olds involved in the political process without giving 16 year olds the vote as well.

The Green's Sue Bradford has put up a members bill to lower the voting age.

Hone Harawira says the bill raises some interesting challenges for Maori, who have a younger median age but who are less likely to vote than other New Zealanders.

“Really we've got to consider the impact not so much for us as a party but us as a people and whether or not we’ve really done enough work to encourage 18, 19 and 20 year olds to participate in the process. No sense in opening the door for 100 16-year-olds if 70 of the 18-year-olds haven’t bothered to participate in the process,” Mr Harawira says.


A mobile breast screening team is making a special effort to reach Maori women in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

Angela Keno, a health promoter for Te Puna Ora O Mataatua, says the unit is working its way from way west from Te Kaha, and it's in Te Teko this week.

She says many Maori women give their own health issues a low priority, and there are also cultural constraints to be overcome.

“Most of our people are very whakama and very shy of that subject. Their bodies are something they don’t want to get touched or prodded or pushed around, but sometimes you just have to go through that. It only takes 10 minutes to have your mammogram done,” Ms Keno says.

Getting to appointments in hospitals can be a real challenge for rural Maori women, so the screening bus means the service comes to them.


Maori organic growers are being asked for input a new indigenous brand.

Percy Tipene from Maori growers’ organization Te Waka kai Ora says a series of hui starting in Tairawhiti and Taranaki next week will discuss how tikanga Maori can be incorporated into the proposed new framework.

He says organics certification by the Food Safety Authority doesn't take into account Maori concepts involved with the growing of kai.

Mr Tipene says Maori organic growers are not looking to break away from their mainstream counterparts.

“I think it's important that we understand the status quo before we undertake developing standards that meet the criteria of Maoridom. What we’re doing is not duplicating the present standards. What we’re doing is looking at a process where tikanga can overlay the standards that are presently being utilised by the certifiers,” Mr Tipene says.


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