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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Burton rejects treaty tribunal warning

The Minister of Treaty Negotiations is attempting to shrug off a Waitangi Tribunal report slamming the proposed Te Arawa land settlement.

On Wednesday the tribunal recommended the settlement with Nga Kaihautu o Te Arawa should not proceed in its present form, because of the negative impact on overlapping claims.

It said the Crown played favourites and made the deal with inadequate information.

But Mark Burton says Nga Kaihautu went through a rigorous mandating process.

He says the Crown and the iwi had acted in good faith, and the Government will work to honour its commitments to Nga Kaihautu.

The second part of the Waitangi Tribunal report on central North Island claims, including those of Te Arawa, will be released today.

It focuses on rights to geothermal resources.


Once relationships are established, business follows.

That's the view of Maori Tourism Council chair John Barrett, who has just returned from 10 days in China promoting Maori tourism products.

He says the relationships formed by the delegation will be the basis for ongoing business with Chinese travel operators.

“I think we need to think strategically about how we leverage off this first exercise, but there’s business waiting to be done, there’s no question about that, and the feedback and the attendance at our seminars, people were keen to engage, no question about that,” Mr Barrett says.


The Minister of Maori Affairs says Maori prisoners will benefit from a new scheme which rewards good behaviour with study time.

Prison aid workers have raised doubts about the Prisoner Placement Scheme, because similar schemes into the past have been turned into opportunities to punish inmates rather than rehabilitate them.

But Parekura Horomia says too many prisoners are returned to society without skills.

“So we're trying to get people ready, so that when they get out, they’ve already got an entry into work. We’ve been doing it, but we’re just going to step it up, because it’s no good letting people out of prison if they’ve got nowhere to go, they've got no self worth,” he says.

Mr Horomia says the scheme should reduce reoffending.


A strategy for reviving the use of te reo Maori in the western Bay of Plenty over the next quarter century calls for Maori and Pakeha alike to make a commitment.

Author Reweti Te Mete says Te Whare Reo O Tauranga Moana was prepared in consultation with kaumatua, iwi, councils, marae and schools.

He says simple things like good pronunciation can make a difference.

“I have a Maori name and ever since I can remember, being in a non-Maori environment, non-Maori people have mispronounced that name. So if our children are going into these environments, and without a doubt they will, we want to be able to encourage our non-Maori peers to at least get our Maori names right,” Mr Te Mete says.

The strategy document is designed to help any individual or organisation who picks it up and wants to help.


John Key says direct intervention rather than advertising campaigns are needed to tackle child abuse.

The National Party leader says a proposed $14 million advertising campaign with urging a stop to domestic violence won't work.

He says people don't need a TV ad to tell them they're doing wrong.

“Physically abusing a child to the level that Nia Glassie was abused is not acceptable and they don’t need a TV ad to tell them to do that. So I think what we do need is to pick up that money and spend it in those communities in areas where we think there is greatest risk and really get literally on a one on basis I think and get in there and try and sort out some of those problems,” Mr Key says.

He says a young person dies at the hands of a parent or caregiver every five weeks.


There has been an unprecedented number of submissions on a proposal to restrict the numbers of poker machines in Manukau City.

Tristan Masame, the Problem Gambling Foundation's Maori health promotions advisor, says the 67-hundred submission show the community is concerned at the damage gambling is doing.

Gambling addiction is showing up in particularly vulnerable parts of the community, especially Maori and Pacific Island women.

She says the council needs to do more.

“The Manukau City Council is not using all the powers it has to protect Maori from gambling harm. The council should be taking every legal step it can to restrict the number of pokies and to lobby government to go into a high level for increased restriction on numbers,” Ms Masame says.

There is a lot of community support for what's called the sinking lid policy of reducing pokie numbers.


A research team based at Otago University wants to interview members of Kai Tahu whanau about how traditional knowledge is transmitted.

Tony Ballantyne from the university's history department says it's part of a multi-year project on the impact of colonisation on the deep south.

He says there is a huge amount of archive material on early encounters with sealers, whalers and missionaries up until the formation of the Otago settlement in 1848, so the researchers want to draw out some oral history on what Kai Tahu thought of their new neighbours.

Dr Ballantyne says while some customary knowledge may be too sensitive to be shared with outsiders, the team wants to know how groups maintain that knowledge.

“What we’re interested in learning from people is where did they learn whakapapa from, who taught them that, how was that done in what sort of social setting? Was it done in a marae? Was it done in wananga? Was it done in much more informal social settings? Was the transmission from parents to children or grandparents to mokopuna, how did that work,” Dr Ballantyne says.

The research will go into academic papers, reports for the six Kai Tahu runaka in the area and into a couple of books due for publication before 2011.


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