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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, June 25, 2007

Waitangi CNI report too late for Arawa

The main Te Arawa land claim negotiator says the Waitangi Tribunal's Central North Island Report wouldn't have added anything to the settlement which was achieved.

The first volume of the report was released today.

It contains no recommendations, but it does criticise the Crown for not giving the tribes the autonomy or self-government they sought during the 18 hundreds.

Eru George from Te Pumautanga o te Arawa, whose settlement includes about half the Te Arawa confederation, says the negotiators feel they got as good as deal as wos possible under the circumstances.

“We had the information required to do the high level, the generic level and of course the tangata whenua, mana whenua korero that we were able to capture, so we were able to use that also to balance out the negotiations we went through,” George says.

He says yesterday's Waitangi Tribunal hearing in Rotorua on the proposed Arawa settlement was positive because it focused on the Crown's process, rather than the actions of the tribal negotiators.


The chief executive of west Auckland's Waipareira Trust says Maori service providers are in an unequal competition for staff with state agencies.

John Tamihere says there is a huge disparity between what he can pay good workers, and the salaries they are offered to shift to government departments.

He says if government is serious about having services for Maori delivered by Maori, it should be reflected in the funding it gives organisations like Waipareira.

“Basically Maori have got the break, quite enterprise driven, quite entrepreneurial and have added some significant capacity to some areas, but that capacity is now under significant threat because of very poor and I think knowingly poor, consciously poor funding regimes,” Mr Tamihere says.


Hawkes Bay Maori will this week celebrate their musicians and composers.

They're launching the Kahungunu Music Awards as part of the Hawkes Bay Matariki festival.

Organiser Tama Huata says as well as traditional categories such as haka, moteatea and waiata, contemporary genres like urban and popular music will be acknowledged.

Mr Huata says the the area has always been a strong centre of Maori musical activity, and the awards will build in that tradition ... and could help performers take the next step in their careers.

“Kahungunu music, compositions of Ngati Kahungunu and composers to encourage our people to write more music to really reinforce the whole Maori recording industry. Therefore having a good look at the economic base through Kahungunu music,” Mr Huata says.

The inaugural winners of the Kahungunu Music Awards will be revealed at Hawkes bay Opera House in Hastings on Sunday.


The head of Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa says there is little evidence the controversial Te Arawa land settlement is fragmenting the iwi.

The Waitangi Tribunal has criticised aspects of the settlement reached with the group, which represents about half the iwi, and it is sitting in Rotorua this week to hear complaints about the way forestry assets were used in the settlement package.

Eru George says the hearing so far has been positive because claimants have made it clear their issue is over the Crown's actions, not Te Pumautanga.

He says people who talk about fragmentation don't understand how the tribes function.

“We still go to tangi. We still share the same relationships we’ve had in the past and I know at many tangi the issue about the settlement is not discussed, unless you happen to be with people who are involved with you. But certainly for the people who are not in Pumautanga, life still goes on,” Mr George says.

A Waitangi Tribunal report on Central North Island claims, released yesterday, doesn't contain any information that would have helped Te Pumautanga get a better settlement if it had waited.


The Electoral Commission is planning more research into why Maori are less likely to vote than non-Maori.

Chief executive Helena Catt says democracies worldwide are struggling to increases voter participation, especially among young people.

But overseas data doesn't explain conditions here, particularly among Maori.

Dr Catt says a good example is the contest in Tamaki Makaurau between John Tamihere and Pita Sharples last election.

Turnout was only 54 percent, the lowest of all the electorates.

“There's these two well known people, and it’s the lowest turnout, and we don’t understand enough about that. This is something where we’ve got to do our own research. There is no international research on this, so there doesn’t seem to be any easy answer and every time we do research we end up with more questions than we started with,” Dr Catt says.

Once the Electoral Commission understands what motivates Maori voters, it might consider campaigns to increase voter participation.


The Te Papa Matariki hangi cookoff is set to become an annual event.

Organiser Mere Boynton says hundreds of people turned out to watch chefs from around the city put their spin on a traditional wood fired ground hangi.

The basic ingredients were the same, but the chefs brought their own condiments.

“The flavours were so different, even though they were in the same hangi. The Oriental Thai guy used a lot of carved vegetables in his. Kai in the City did things like stuffing the pork with the titi, to give a very salty flavour through the poaka. The guy from Sweet Mother’s Kitchen, rubbing some chili over his,” Ms Boynten says.

The winning hangi came from Logan Brown chef Shaun Clouston


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