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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Maori staff ousting not in strategy

Otago University has adoped a Maori strategic framework, at the same time it has lost two of its most high Maori profile staff.

Tania Ka'ai, the dean of Te Tumu School of Maori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, and John Moorfield, one of the leading experts on the Maori language, were stood down earlier this year and have accepted new positions at the Auckland University of Technology.

Otago chancellor Lindsay Brown says he won't comment on matters before the Employment Tribunal.

But he says the aims of the new framework include growing and developing Maori staff and students across the university.

“Te Tumu, which is the department of Maori and indigenous studies is only one element of the whole relationship with Maori. It’s a much wider relationship with Maori and for Maori that we are talking about in this strategy that we've released,” Mr Brown says,

The strategy also includes stronger partnerships with Ngai Tahu and other iwi, and developing research which contributes to Maori development.


A Ngati Apa claims negotiator says the hard work starts now securing the iwi's $14 million treaty settlement.

The 5000-strong iwi, which lies between Whanganui and Rangitikei, signed an agreement in principle with Treaty Negotiations Minister Mark Burton at Tini Waitara marae in Turakina this morning.

As well as $13 million of crown forest land, Ngati Apa has a right to buy the land under Ohakea air force base, Bulls police station, and the Turakina and Whangaehu schools.

Pahia Turia says while the final settlement will include a Crown apology for historical breaches of the treaty of Waitangi, the deal is about looking forward.

“This isn't about seeking justice for the injustices of the past. Really let this be seen as an opportunity to capitalise on this process and use it to springboard us into the future for us as Ngati Apa and being able to provide a sustainable future for our people and life's chances for our people,” Mr Turia says.

A unique feature of the settlement is the provision of about 100 hectares for papakainga housing.


A film about a five year old Maori girl coming to terms with school is in the running for best short in the New Zealand film awards.

Hawaiiki was directed by Mike Jonathon from a semi-autobiographical story by Tere Harrison.

Producer Libby Hakaraia says it has already won the Best Short Drama Award at Toronto's ImagineNative Film Festival.

It has been screened in Berlin, Finland, France, Russia, Taipei, and it's about to head to Mexico and Palm Springs.

“You know it's worlds away for where we filmed it which is where it is set which is Ngaio in Wellington, about a little tamahine, her relationship with her papa, her father, so yes it’s world’s away from all that being shown all around the world, but it is pretty exciting for all of us,” Ms Hakaraia says.

Hawaiiki will screen at the Corban Estate in Auckland tomorrow with other Maori short films, and it's getting a run on Sky and Maori Television later this month.


A south Auckland health promotions advisor says communities have the answers to their own community health problems.

Maria Rehu says health initiatives in Otara have succeeded because the community helped design and implement them.

Otara Health Incorporated asked the community to identify houses which needed insulation, and it tapped into the same networks to spread the message about the need to immunise against meningicoccal disease.

Well known community identities were also invited to be part of an adult exercise programme, in the hope they would influence others to join.

Ms Rehu says word of mouth is often more effective than media campaigns.
“It is about involving them right at the beginning of the plan, in that design, because it’s our own people in that community whether it be Maori or Pacific Island, it’s abut us in terms of Otara helping to balance that control, so getting theme involved in the decision making, in the planning, and moving us forward,” Ms Rehu says.

Otara Health Incorporated has shown there is no justification in claiming Maori and Pacific people are hard to reach for public health campaigns.


The Ministry of Culture and Heritage is looking for an owner for 10 centimetre greenstone adze.

The pounamu was found in May by a home-owner excavating a basement under a Timaru house.

Brodie Stubbs, the ministry's heritage operations manager, says while the finder can claim custody of the pounamu, ownership of such ancient taonga must be determined by the Maori land court.

“The Ministry can put in an application for the Land Court to award ownership but that would only be to someone who had a particular interest in it, so that takes us back to the local runanga,” Mr Stubbs says.

People who find taonga tuturu should contact the nearest museum, so the ministry can search for owners.


The next coach of the Kiwi rugby league team could be from Ngapuhi.

The position is vacant because incumbent Brian McClennan is taking his skills to British Super League club Leeds.

The New Zealand Rugby League team has enforced its residency rule, which says the Kiwi's coach must live in this country.

Former Kiwi international Tawera Nikau says there are some contenders, but he'd like to see his teammate and former Warriors' boss Tony Kemp from Nga Puhi in the top job.

“It's going to be a tough job trying to replace him. I know Graham Norton was part of the assistant crew and Tony Iro with the Kiwis last year were two guys in those coaching ranks. Tony Kemp, who resides here, would probably be our highest qualified coach in New Zealand,” Mr Nikau says.

McClennan's tenure was marred by a lack of communication with former coach and key administrator Graham Lowe.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This ousting looks to me like the integration of old in education. As soon as Maori staff create a strong academic base within an essentially Pakeha education institution they unravel and integrate it. No mai rano tenei ahuatanga. The socalled wider relationship is a load of academic codswallop. It seems that these two highly talented and qualified people have just been shown whose boss; it's the old colonial crap and oppression which is why we will continue to remain behind educationally which is where "they" want us to be.

10:24 pm  

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