Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, June 15, 2007

Crown getting what it paid for

A member of Auckland's Kawerau a Maki iwi says the Crown is now paying for a shonky claim settlement process.

The Waitangi Tribunal has recommended the Government put its settlement with Ngati Whatua o Orakei on hold until it has negotiated with other tangata whenua iwi in the region.

Te Warena Taua says since the Office of Treaty Settlements opened talks with Ngati Whatua in 2003, other iwi groups tried to be heard.

He says officials ignored the warnings, and are now facing the consequences.

“They should come clean because they knew all along whom the other people were. They cannot say that they didn’t. I would say there was a bit of mockery going on in this whole thing, and that there were individuals who had quite come mana in moving them to this position and that position and going down a particular track,” Mr Taua says.

He says the Office of Treaty Settlements tried to rewrite the history of Tamaki Makaurua to the benefit of one favoured hapu.


Te Wananga o Aotearoa's Waiariki manager says the organisation is finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

The wananga has just graduated 1000 students from its four Bay of Plenty campuses.

Jim McTamney says the graduation celebration was a boost to staff morale, which has been low after redundancies and course cutting put in place after the Crown took over control of the institution in 2005.

He says they're determined to rebuild.

“The kaupapa will never change, the opportunity for learning will never change, but what we needed to adjust we have adjusted to succeed and reclaim the spot we have, which is a main provider in tertiary Maori education in New Zealand,” Mr McTamney says.

The oldest person to graduate was an 86 year old Pakeha woman learning te reo Maori.


Maori comedian and pork ambassador Mike King says try as he may, he's been unable to convince the pork marketers to push a Maori favourite.

He was at the Mystery Creek field days in the Waikato today wearing his chef's hat to cook up some of his favourite recipes.

The host of Mike's Meals cooking show says that, sadly, the bais of a good boil-up is not on the menu.

“I make up most of the recipes n there and I’ve been trying to get pork bones in there, but they just won’t wear it. They say ‘How about we call it pork balls, and just use the same ingredients,’” he says.


New te reo Maori resources for those dealing with overseas visitors have been enthusiastically accepted by Maori operators.

The Maori language commission unveiled the resource pack at this week's Maori Tourism Council conference in Taupo.

Chief executive Huhana Rokx says the posters, booklets and desk signage will help give the whole sector some of Maori flavour most visitors are looking for.

“In terms of the Maori operators, they’re already incorporating aspects of their own culture, their Maoritanga, into the services that they operate. I think there were about 110 Maori tourism operators there, and once they were made aware of where the resources were, there was a run on that,” she says.

Huhana Rokx says the resources should be widely available from Maori language week in July.


National's treaty spokesperson says the treaty settlement process is in danger of collapse.

Chris Finlayson says the Waitangi Tribunal's report on the Tamakai Makaurau Settlement shows what happens when the Crown plays favourites with claimants.

The tribunal has recommended the Government put its settlement with Ngati Whatua o Orakei on hold until it has negotiated deals with other Auckland claimants.

Mr Finlayson says the Office of Treaty Settlements has tried to sideline the Waitangi Tribunal process in favour of direct negotiations with selected iwi.

“The wisest thing always to do is have a tribunal hearing, get the record out, and on that basis proceed to a negotiated settlement, or maybe you could do both in parallel, but thinking you can do quick and dirty deals with individual iwi or hapu is just, I think, a process that is fraught with danger,” Mr Finlayson says.

The Government will face a further challenge next week, when the Te Roroa Settlement Bill comes back to the House.

National won't support the bill because it believes the proposed settlement shortchanges the Waipoua Forest iwi and isn't durable.


Hapu from the coast from Port Waikato to the Mokau River are meeting at Pukerewa Marae in Waikeretu tomorrow to sign a memorandum of agreement with the Fisheries Ministry.

Terry Lynch, the Ministry's Maori policy manager, says Nga Hapu o Te Uru o Tainui have been working for some years on issues like management of customary fisheries.

He says the new relationship should help the ministry integrate iwi values into its decisions on issues like changes to the quota management system.

“This sort of process will bring a focus around Maori participation at the level of involvement in setting the setting of total allowable catches and other bigger ministry-led sustainability processes where it is very important for Maori to be having a voice at the table,” Mr Lynch says.

The Fisheries Ministry has similar memoranda in place with iwi in the Bay of Plenty and the top of the South Island, and it is developing them in other regions.


Later tonight guests at a gala dinner in Rotorua will find out which farmer has won the Ahuwhenua Trophy for Maori Farmer of the Year.

This year it's a face off between sheep and beef operations, with efforts in the dairying sector are acknowledged on alternate years.

Roger Pikia from Agresearch says the judges had their work cut out to find the winner.

“Three very very good performers. A property from Ngati Porou, the Matariki Partnership. Tuaropaki Trust from the Central North Island and Atihau-Whanganui Incorporation, one of their 14 stations, Pah Hill Station, as finalists,” he says.

The judges consider governance, financial performance, sustainability and the cultural dimension of Maori farming.


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