Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Rejection by National inevitable

A former Maori Party candidate says the party should have learnt its lesson about trying to cosy up to National.

John Key this week ended months of speculation by ruling out his party's support for Tariana Turia's Foreshore and Seabed Act Repeal Bill.

Atareta Poananga, who stood in Ikaroa Rawhiti last election, says her party expended a lot of political capital, time and effort on what was always a lost cause.

“If they're not going to be supportive of us on that particular issue, they’re certainly not going to be supporting us on anything else that’s important for us. For example, retention of the Maori seats – that’s another thing they’ve said they will do away with. So in fact they’re our opposition, and anyone who would trust them must be dreaming,” she says.

Ms Poananga says none of the Pakeha parties are going to support Maori customary rights.


Maori tourism operators are off today to say kia ora to China.

Dover Samuels, who is leading the delegation in his role as associate Minister of Tourism, says they're responding to an invitation from China's tourism minister, who visited Aotearoa last year.

He says the operators hope to form long term relationships with travel wholesalers.

“This is an unprecedented hikoi, if you like. It is a hikoi to show the Chinese people Maoridom’s face and recognising that 30 million Chinese travel from five to 14 days annual around the world on their holidays,” Mr Samuels says.

Tourism is worth $17 billion a year to New Zealand, and Maori culture is an important part of the visitor experience.


An 80 year collaborative effort in Maori scholarship will reach its conclusion tonight.

Volume Four of Nga Moteatea will be launched at Auckland University's Waipapa marae.

The first volume of traditional Maori songs and poems was collected and published by Ngati Porou scholar and politician Sir Apirana Ngata in 1928.

After his death, the next two volumes were prepared by Pei Te Hurinui Jones from Ngati Maniapoto.

The waiata in the latest book have previously appeared in a Maori-language only version prepared by Tamati Reedy.

Hirini Moko Mead was brought in to translate them into English, so all four volumes have the same format.
Professor Mead says that will help people with limited Maori appreciate the beauty of the ancient songs.

“Even for ones who do understand Maori, it is often difficult to understand what the composer was getting at, so it was very necessary to have the English translation,” Professor Mead says.

“The complete set includes almost 400 waiata.


Dover Samuels says his departure from Parliament will make room for younger talent in the Labour party.

After months of speculation, the outspoken list MP has confirmed he won't seek reselection.

By the next election Mr Samuels will have spent 12 years in the House, including two terms as MP for Taitokerau.

He's been holding back from announcing his resignation because he wants his ministerial spot to go to fellow northerner Shane Jones.

Mr Samuels says he wants to do what's best for the party.

“We have young candidates, we have very visionary candidates that want to put their names in, and I think at the end of the day we should give them a chance and I’m certainly a supporter of that and I will play my part at the appropriate time,” he says.

In the meantime, Mr Samuels is continuing his ministerial duties - which this week includes heading a delegation of Maori tourism operators to China.


The Department of Conservation is backing off providing vehicle access to a Bay of Islands beach in the face of strong opposition from local iwi.

Northland conservator Chris Jenkins says DoC and the Far North Council have reached agreement with Ngati Rehia on pedestrian access to Taronui reserve, north of Kerikeri.

But concerns over sacred sites and kaimoana plundering means that's as far as the iwi wants to go at this time.

“I don't want to pursue the vehicle access issue until after we’ve resolved those concerns with Ngati Rehia. I’d be guided by ideas and solutions they would have on this issue. They may be looking at some of the customary fishing protections and so on, but that’s really issues we need to talk through and resolve with them,” Mr Jenkins says.

A marked walking track should be completed by summer, with the council providing a car park at the start of the track.


The long-awaited Napier urban marae is nearing completion.

Establishment trustee Mike Taane says the idea has been around for 50 years, but work on Pukemokimoki Marae finally started just over two years ago on its riverbend Road site.

It's set to open in early October.

Mr Taane says community support is building.

“Before the marae started, it was ‘Oh yeah, here we go again” but after building started enthusiasm has steamrolled along to the point where marae trustees have now been appointed, policies and procedures for the marae operation have also been dealt with, management structures have been put in place for the future development of the marae and its financial base,” he says.

Mr Taane says the tahuhu or ridgepole of the wharenui is made from metal, so sprinklers can be inserted along its length.


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