Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tainui takes full control of The Base

Tainui has bought out the Warehouse to take 100 percent ownership of The Base retail complex in Hamilton.

Chairperson Tukoroirangi Morgan says the $37.4 million deal gives the tribe the opportunity to bring in more investors in future.

The Warehouse will continue as the anchor tenant at The Base, which is on the former Te Rapa airforce base acquired by the tribe as part of the Waikato-Tainui raupatu settlement.

Mr Morgan says it's a flagship development for the iwi.

“There is huge celebration among our people that as you come into the northern end of the city the commercial hub of Te Rapa is ours, completely and totally. And that is a magnificent achievement for the tribe. It’s representative of the degree of promise and prosperity that the tribe will continue to enjoy,” Mr Morgan says.

Tainui is looking for other retail investments for its property portfolio.


A Maori trust wants to supply Auckland with its sand needs.

Te Uri o Hau has formed a joint venture with former Whangarei mayor Stan Semenoff to mine sand from its land south of Mangawhai.

They're seeking resource consents from Rodney District Council and the Auckland Regional Council.

Director Laly Haddon, who opposed earlier applications to take sand off the coast at Pakiri, says land-based extraction is less damaging to the environment.

He says Mr Semenoff has considerable experience in mining sand.

“He'll find the contracts, and there’s no doubt about it, this Auckland is growing so quick it needs the sand. There has to be a supply and if that can be supplied by Te Uri o Hau, it would be beneficial to the Maori people from Te Uri o Hau,” Mr Haddon says.


The Maori rugby coach says the departure of Rua Tipoki to play in Europe will be a big loss.

The Maori All Black will move to Irish club Munster subject gaining a medical clearance and work permit.

Donny Stevenson says Tiipoki showed his worth at the Churchill Cup, where he was named player of the tournament:

“His passion for Maori rugby was just so evident this year when he was our tour captain, and though we didn’t win the Churchill Cup, there was strong feeling throughout from the team and management that Maori rugby was the stronger out of this tour and Rua played a big part in that in terms of the leadership that he offered,” Mr Stevenson says.


A Maori-backed mobile phone company says Telecom is up to its old tricks of trying to squeeze out potential competitors.

Project director Tex Edwards told a Telecommunications Summit in Auckland today that after eight months of negotiations, there is still no agreement with Telecom to co-locate its equipment on Telecom sites.

That's despite a co-location code the industry took five years to negotiate, and statements from Telecom chair Wayne Boyd that the company will behave more sensibly than it has in the past.

New Zealand Communications is trying to roll out a nationwide GSM phone network which will use spectrum held by the Maori spectrum trust, which has a minority stake in the company.

Mr Edwards says using such tactics, incumbents like Telecom can raise the cost of entry for new operators.

He told the conference Telecom's cell sites should be put into a separate network company as part of the proposed structural separation of the company by the Government.


The Ngati Ruanui Runanga is distancing itself from the occupation of the former Hawera Hospital.

A group from the Ngati Tupaea hapu occupied the complex on Friday after is was put on the market by the Taranaki District Health Board, but left after police served trespass orders.

Runanga chairperson Sid Kahukuranui says the tribe has already turned down an offer to include the hospital in its treaty settlement.

He says the occupiers have their own agenda.

“They're unemployed, they’re looking for things to do because no one’s doing it for them, so they’ve taken things into their own hands, They say they’ve got the answer to the economy of their people, their own hapu, and they’re saying they should still have been given that land back without any deals being met. They say it was originally their land. They see no reason why they should pay for it to have it handed back,” Mr Kahukuranui says.

While he has sympathy with the occupier's aims, there is no point bucking the Crown this long after the settlement.


The Maori Party says the Government has helped create a situation where a French security can call itself Maori Group.

The Prime Minister says there are no international mechanisms to address this issue, but it could eventually be covered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

But Pita Sharples says it's a bit rich for Helen Clark to bemoan the lack of protection for Maori imagery and concepts, given her government's opposition to the UN Draft Declaration on Indigenous Rights.

“She had her chance because it was actually written into the United Nations convention on the rights of indigenous peoples. It was in there as one of the articles. So on one hand she’s saying we don’t have the international law machinery to protect indigenous peoples, and on the other hand she’s one of the countries that won't sign it,” Dr Sharples says.


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