Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Drinks on the house from Dover

Dover Samuels is angry at having to pay all the lawyers in a family land dispute.

The Maori Land Court in Whangarei is hearing a challenge by the Labour list MP to a subdivision at Matauri Bay.

An administrator appointed by the court is developing the leasehold sections to pay off a $6 million debt run up by the previous managers of the Matauri X Incorporation.

It includes seven acres of freehold land Mr Samuels inherited from his mother, which he says should have been partitioned out earlier.

He says it's not right that administrator Kevin Gillespie is using the incorporation’s resources to fight owners.

“I'm a major shareholder in Matauri X that’s going to be providing the funds to pay the legal counsel and the interim administrator at the other end to object to what I see as a demand for natural justice, and quite frankly I see it as an affront to the Ture Whenua legislation,” Mr Samuels says.

If the case fails he intends to appeal.


Maori need to do more to to ensure their rangatahi so they don't end up in gangs.

Tai Hauauru MP Tariana Turia says the persistence of gangs on the fringes of Maori society is a sign that long running problems aren't being addressed.

She says young people should have better options.

“I am very sad that our kids believe that that’s the only place for them to go and I think that says a lot about the rest of us actually, that our kids feel that this is a group of people that care about them, who will feed them and take care of them, but also maybe involve them in criminal activity,” Mrs Turia says.

Problems with gangs such as her home town of Wanganui is experiencing can't be solved with knee jerk short term thinking.


Health researchers are recommending more support services to address high rates of substance abuse among Maori gay, lesbian and bisexual people.

Frank Pega from Massey University says his study found gays and lesbians are four times as likely to regularly use amphetamines than heterosexual respondents.

He says within those populations, Maori are particularly vulnerable and stigmatised.

“We found a somewhat elevated use among Maori, particularly with regards to tobacco and illicit drugs. There needs to be an inclusion of this particular sub-population into our core policy, and there needs to be some targeted health promotion, particularly towards Maori gay, lesbian and bisexual people,” Mr Pega says.

Existing services should reorient themselves to better serve the most vulnerable groups.


Northland Maori are looking beyond farming oysters and mussels.

Lisa Kanawa, the Ngapuhi Runanga's natural resources manager, says five Taitokerau iwi are developing a region-wide aquaculture strategy.

They'll be hearing from the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research and other agencies on Friday about what's needed to farm species like paua, kingfish and eels.

Ms Kanawa says with 20 percent of all new aquaculture space to go to iwi, Maori need to think long term about their role in the sector.

“This will give an opportunity for Maori to understand they can enter into more than just 20 percent of that space. They can have the whole 100 if they want it, and here are some species or some ideas about how that might happen in a way that can raise some economic development in the north, knowing that we are struggling to make really good use of our kaimoana resource,” Ms Kanawa says.


The Prime Minister says many Maori families will join KiwiSaver once they realise their contribution could be trebled.

The scheme, which launched on the weekend, is a way to save for a first home or retirement.

Ms Clark says the average income for a Maori worker is just over $26,000 a year.

If they save the minimum $20 dollars a week, it soon mounts up.

“For your $20 dollar investment, you treble your money going into your savings account every week. You put in $20, the total amount going in from your personal tax credit and your employer is over $60. Now, that’s a no brainer isn’t it and I think when all our people across communities understand that, you’re going to get very good take up,” Ms Clark says.


Maori primary school teachers have been meeting in Auckland to discuss problems in the sector.

Former kura kaupapa principal Jim Perry says the teachers are concerned at the shortage of Maori speaking teachers throughout the school system.

There is also a too few males teachers, an a disturbing pattern of low achievement by boys.

About 200 teachers attended the four day hui, which ended today.


Counties Manukau police believe attitudes towards family violence have changed in south Auckland over the past year.

The police are helping coordinate tomorrow's dawn vigil on Mangere Mountain.

It's a year after the community gathered on the mountain to mark the 14 deaths to family violence in the city the previous year.

Iwi liaison officer Dick Waihi says this year's event has a more positive message.

“The presentation’s going to be similar to last year. The speeches however hopefully will be about the good things that have happened since then. Reporting of family violence has gone up. Even though the offender may not have been arrested, at least people are coming in to report it now,” Mr Waihi says.

The Mangere vigil starts at 5 am.


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