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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Court turns down skeleton injunction

Taupo landowners are welcoming a Maori Land Court refusal to injunct a lakeside development at Acacia Bay.

A protest group sought the injunction after a skeleton was found on the land, which is being developed by Symphony Group.

Hiruharama Ponui Trust secretary Andrew Kusabs says and the trust is pleased by court's decision.

“It's borne out what we’ve always said, that there’s not an urupa there, it’s not waahi tapu, the urupas are elsewhere on the block, which we’ve already reserved, so we’re quite happy that at least that part of it’s over,” he says.

Mr Kusabs says the trust is concerned the protesters, who represent less than five percent of owners, may appeal or seek a rehearing.


Hone Harawira's call for all Maori MPs to attend a child abuse wananga in wintry Waiouru has drawn a frost response from colleagues.

The Maori Party MP says if his fellows put aside their political colours, they could develop workable policies to address problems of child abuse in Maori and other communities.

He says as a bloc, they should be able to get any required legislation passed.

“We are 21 MPs in the House. We have that power to make the changes. The trick is for us to get over ourselves and our egos and that’s why I reckon get ourselves locked away in a barracks somewhere cause if there’s no camera, there’s no media, there’s no loopies trying to jump all over the place and grandstand, I think Maori MPs will settle down and work together to try and come up with something,” Mr Harawira says.


But the man Mr Harawira defeated in the Tai Tokerau seat says Hone's hui won't work.

Dover Samuels says political grandstanding doesn't help the the plight of abused children.

He says the issue is wider than the Maori MPs, and he'd like to see a call for action among the wider Maori community.

“What I'd suggest and I’d certainly support, if there was a major hikoi to wake up the spirit and the wairua and the nationhood of Maori who always say they love their mokopuna, they love their children, they respect women, and all those sorts of things that are part of our whakatauki and our mihimihi in the marae, we hear it all the time,” Mr Samuels says.

He says unless attitudes change, no amount of resourcing will help.


A Whakatane student says whanau involvement in business inspired her to enter a Rangatahi Business Competition.

Jenna Hudson from Ngati Awa, the head girl at Trident High School, won a 25 hundred dollar Neil Richardson Scholarship for Leadership Development.

It will go towards her studies for a business degree at Waikato University.

Ms Hudson says she has lots of family support.

“My uncle Ben is opening a business taking tourists on horse treks up the coast and that’s the kind of stuff, I want to own my own business and be able to do my own thing. That’s what he’s been trying to tell me and so has my dad, he owns his own business too. So I’ve got a lot of whanau who own their own businesses and it kind of rubs off on me a bit,” Ms Hudson says.


A central North Island forestry claimant says claims of good faith by the Treaty Negotiations Minister are delusional.

Mark Burton says delaying a settlement with Nga Kaihautu o Te Arawa, as recommended by the Waitangi Tribunal, would be a sign of bad faith on the part of the Crown towards mandated iwi representatives.

Nga Kaihautu will pick up 85 million dollars of Kaingaroa Forest land as well as other assets in the Rotorua region.

Maanu Paul from Ngai Moewhare says Nga Kaihautu lost its mandate in Maori cultural terms, because more than half of its members walked out during the negotiation process.

He says the Crown is making up new rules, rather than using the settlement mechanisms it had developed with Maori.

“My mind just cannot accept that something which is not part of the Crown Forests Assets Act is an issue of good faith. The parties to that may delude themselves that they have good faith between themselves, but in actual fact the Government is seeking to do an illegal act and then get some retrospective legislation to make what they’ve done now become legal,” Mr Paul says.

Te Arawa iwi will meet this week to develop a unified approach towards the Crown.


A shortage of Maori GPs is hampering efforts to improve Maori health.
Karen Thomas, the chief executive of the Royal College of General Practitioners, says only two percent of GPs are Maori.

That's despite tangata whenua making up almost 15 percent of the population.

Ms Thomas says GPs are crucial in the battle to improve Maori health.

“Most people see their GPs for their healthcare so if we want to start to help Maori in starting to improve health outcomes for Maori we need to be doing this at the primary care level, and that’s why we must be thinking about the Maori GP workforce,” Ms Thomas says.

Scholarships for Maori registrars to train for the extra qualification were axed in the wake of former National leader Don Brash's Orewa speech.


Patience with a minority group of Lake Taupo landowners is wearing thin.

The Maori Land Court turned down a request for an injunction which would have stopped development of a 100 million dollar residential subdivision at on leased Maori land Acacia Bay.

Andrew Kusabs, the secretary of the Hiruharama Ponui Trust, says the protesters are trying every avenue to attack the development.

He says the group has the support of less than 5 percent of owners, but it's a huge headache.

“The troublemakers seem to be encouraging other people to come into their cause to make it difficult for everybody. These people are not owners, most of them are not hapu members, but they are looking to a struggle they feel is worthwhile jumping in on our problem so if they can go away and we can all get down to business, we'd be happy,” Mr Kusabs says.

The legal battles have cost the Hiruharama Ponui Trust thousands of dollars.


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