Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Heed Tribunal advice says Arawa leader

A Te Arawa leader says the Government should listen to the Waitangi Tribunal and try to reach a comprehensive settlement of the central North Island tribe's claims.

The tribunal has slammed the way the Office of Treaty Settlements went about negotiating with Nga Kaihautu o Te Arawa, which represents about half of the Te Arawa confederation.

It recommended changes to the proposed settlement, and said talks with the rest of the iwi should be given priority.

Toby Curtis, the chair of the Rotorua Lakes Trust, says if it wants a durable settlement, the Crown needs to finish what it started in Te Arawa.

“When you don't involve everyone in a way that they are satisfied with the settlement, then it can be seen as causing some discomfort amongst those claimants who believe they weren’t properly heard,” Mr Curtis says.


A project to build houses from mud and flax fibre is being used to interest Maori students in science and technology.

Architect Rau Hoskins and engineer Kepa Morgan have turned their research on whare uku or earth fibre housing into a web and dvd resource in te reo Maori for intermediate students.

Mr Hoskins says there are many scientific principles involved in building traditional houses.

He says the skills involved were common in Maori communities two or three generations ago, but must be re-learnt.

“We haven't been actively engaged in the provision of their own housing for a couple of generations now, probably the Second World War when people moved to town. They left behind those skills round whare nikau, whare raupo and other housing techniques which were very relevant and worked well,” Mr Hoskins says.

The Whare Uku resource was developed in association with the Centre of Maori research Excellence, Nga Pae o te Maramatanga.


The contentious settlement of Tamaki Makaurau claims hasn't stopped one of Auckland's tangata whenua from celebrating the Maori new year in his traditional way.

As part of the settlement which the Waitangi Tribunal says should be put on hold, Ngati Whatua o Orakei is to be given exclusive mana over Maungawhau or Mount Eden.

But that's maunga which Pita Turei of Ngai Tai ki Tamaki uses as his observatory.

He says his evening guided walks are going ahead, in a low key fashion.

“We haven't made these too big because with all the discussions about the maunga and the treaty settlement process and everything like that, I didn’t want to take any of the discussion away for where it needed to be,” Mr Turei says.

He'll be hosting evening stargazing walks on Maungawhau for the next three Mondays.

People won't see Matariki though ... those stars are still only visible low on the pre-dawn horizon.


An inspirational teacher who spearheaded the revival of te reo Maori in Taitokerau is being laid to rest today.

Kath Sarich from Ngati mahurehure and Ngati Korokoro died on the weekend and will be buried today Waimate North.

Former schools' Maori language advisor Kepa Stirling says Mrs Sarich was one of the native speakers who were brought into the education system as teachers of te reo in the mid 1970s, as the pressure came on from Maori for language revitalisation .

In recent years she has worked on the Tai Tokerau dictionary, and with her husband Andy has been a mainstay of the Maori languague commission's efforts in the north.

Mr Stirling says she was known for her drive and persistence.

“She was one of those special people who when she did something, it affected not only the student in the classroom, it affected the whole family, it affected the whole of that particular area. I worked with her right across the north, and every teacher throughout the north respected her as a very special person,” Mr Stirling says.


Tauranga Maori will today learn what mainstream health services have to offer.

Huria Marae has invited 30 providers including physiotherapists, brain damage rehabilitation, home based care and alzheimers support to an expo.

Marae manager Te Moata Willison says many Maori health providers aren't aware of what other services they can tap into.

“The objective is really about exposing those providers of those services to our people to our hauora, because we know that a lot of our hauora and a lot of our people don’t know what’s available to them out there.” Ms Willison says.

The expo could become an annual affair.


The head of the Rotorua Lakes Trust says a proposed settlement of Te Arawa land claims has damaged iwi unity.

The Waitangi Tribunal says the way the Office of Treaty Settlements went about negotiating with a goup representing only half the iwi ignored its duties of honour and good faith to the other half.

It recommended changes to the settlement to protect the rights of other hapu.

Toby Curtis says the process has been bruising.

“When you have people from the same tribe challenging an outcome, and for some people and for those they represent, Kaihautu can be seen to have achieved a good settlement, but it would appear that it may have been at the expense of those groups challenging them, so it is not good for any iwi,” he says.

Mr Curtis says the Government should heed the tribunal's recommendations and reopen negotiations with the rest of the iwi.


National's Maori Affairs spokesperson says the current minister is clearly not on top of his portfolio.

Georgina Te Heuheu says when Parekura Horomia fronted up to the Maori affairs select comittee to discuss his ministry's finances, every spare seat in the room was taken by officials.

She says the committee struggled to get straight answers, as Mr Horomia kept turning to his officals for help.

“It's disappointing because the committee wants to see that a minister is on top of his portfolio, that he can front foot it himself, and doesn’t have to refer to officials every second minute to give us the answers,” Mrs Te Heuheu says.


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