Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, August 06, 2007

Burton not willing to concede mistakes

Central North Island iwi are looking for ways to engage with the Government on the treaty claims.

The Waitangi Tribunal yesterday released the remaining volumes of its comprehensive report on loss of land and resources by iwi from the Bay of Plenty to just south ot Lake Taupo.

Prospects for settlement are complicated because the Government has already negotiated an $85 million settlement with a group representing less than half of one of the iwi, Te Arawa.

A separate tribunal panel has recommended this settlement not go ahead in its present form because of its impact on overlapping claimants.

But the Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Mark Burton, says the Crown can't walk away now.

“The obligations and undertaking that we’ve given in good faith to those who’ve been mandated to negotiate on behalf of the affiliate Te Arawa iwi hapu, as to the timeframe with them, and we can’t just unilaterally renege on our obligations to them, so obviously any decisions continue to directly involve those mandated representatives,” Mr Burton says.


A Ngai Tahu woman is urging Maori to become more aware of a disease which affects the lives of thousands of women.

Endometriosis happens when tissue grows outside the uterus, causing bleeding and scarring.

Hana O'Regan says many people wrongly believe the painful condition doesn't affect Maori and Pacific Island women.

She says Pakeha women are more likely to know about its impact on their mental health, their strength and their fertility, which is often why it's detected.

“Maori might have their children younger, so the issues around infertility that can often happen with the disease aren’t as apparent within Maori society, or that they just feel whakamaa and embarrassed about talking about issues around they gynacological health and associated pain,” Ms O'Regan from the New Zealand Endometriosis Foundation says.


A rare chance to hear from kaumatua what life was like when they were young.

Veteran showband entertainer Ben Tawhiti says a new series he's preparing for Maori Television is unlocking stories of a dramatic period in Maori life.

The sixteen elders interviewed for Maumahara ... which is Maori for remember ... talk of going from life on the papakainga through the Depression of the 1930s, through the war, and then being part of the massive movement of Maori into the cities.
Mr Tawhiti says he had to give producer Hinewehi Mohi a lesson in talking to kaumatua.

“When the girl said to me she had all the questions to ask I said ‘no dear, let them talk, don’t ask them the questions, let them talk.’ Some questions could be tapu, and they know their boundaries, these kaumatua,” he says.

Mr Tawhiti and his band, Nga Kaumatua, will play a song from the era in every episode.


A former head of Women's Refuge says Maori women are increasingly resorting to violence.

Merepeka Raukawa-Tait says Maori communities need to show leadership on stopping child abuse.

She says it's not just Maori men who are a problem.

“We are seeing an increase in the number of our women who are resorting to violence as well. We shouldn’t be surprised by that. Little girls are growing up in the homes where they’re seeing violence, so why do we think that the violence would just tend to shoot towards the young boys and not towards the girls as well,” Mrs Raukawa Tait says.


Meanwhile, a public health specialist says child abuse is part of a wider problem of marginalisation in society.

Clive Aspin from Ngati Maru says the problems Maori face are similar to those of other indigenous communities.

He says it's part of the legacy of colonisation.

“When people are dispossessed and marginalized, we see significant social disruption which can contribute to those sorts of issues like child abuse and when you do take away their land and all that is of meaning to them, these sorts of social problems are likely to occur,” Dr Aspin says.


An Auckland University population expert says New Zealand cities will look a lot less white in future.

Ward Friesen says while most of the South Island still feels predominantly Pakeha, the north is changing rapidly.

He says while some Maori have moved back to tribal areas to eke out a living, the urbanisation of previous decades means they are predominantly an urban people, joining other new settlers.

“Probably the larger cities, Auckland but also probably Wellington and Christchurch are going to continue to become less European if you like, more through Asian and Pacific migration probably than new urbanisation of Maori, but putting all those things together, places like Manukau already more than half non-European, and will be even more so in the future,” Mr Friesen says.


Students from Ruatoria's Ngata College have been getting a taste of army life.

A group of 15 and 16 year olds joined a week long training course at Waipiro Bay.

Vice principal Karen McClutchie says the army instructors were impressed with what the East Coast kids had to offer.

She says a military career can look pretty good for many Maori students, both for the opportunities for further education and for the military culture.

“When they've come from a community where everything is whanau, whanau, tatou, tatou, when things are good of curse, you’ll find that that’s the mentality that flows through the forces, that they’re well looked after,” Ms McClutchie says.


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