Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Friday August 24

Maori Trustee to get independence

The Government wants to turn the Maori Trust Office into a stand alone organisation, separate from Te Puni Kokiri.

It's seeking feedback on the plans, which will require new funding arrangements between the Maori Trustee and the Crown.

In his latest 2006 report, Maori trustee John Paki said he was acting as trustee or agent for 186,000 owners of more than 2000 properties, covering 100,000 hectares.

While the post is statutorily independent, the post has always been filled by someone from the Maori affairs department, and the office is staffed through Te Puni Kokiri.

There will be no changes to the trustee’s duties, but in future he will directly employ staff and the office will no longer be part of the public service.

The trustee will also start paying interest on his Common Fund, with is money held on behalf of owners.

In the year ending March 2006 there was $38 million in the Common Fund and $60 million in the General Fund, which represents a century of retained earnings and investments.


Whanganui Maori this afternoon had their own send-off to former mayor Chas Poynter.

The iwi was invited by the family to the funeral home to poroporoaki the man who headed the council during the long-running Moutoa Gardens occupation.

Mr Poynter's funeral is tomorrow.

Putiki Marae chairperson Hone Tamehana says their feelings for the former mayor have nothing to do with their objections to a proposal by current mayor Michael Laws to rename a road after Mr Poynter.

“We do have a lot of fond memories with Chas, and more importantly, we’ve had special events on the mare here at Putiki. Chas has always been invited and he’s always attended. The unfortunate thing with this current mayor, we’ve always extended the hand of manaakitanga to him. He hasn’t replied in a way that he would actually be forthcoming to actually participate,” Mr Tamehana says.

The road at Putiki that Mr Laws wants to change was named after Wikitoria, the daughter of premier 19th century Whanganui chief Te Rangihiwinui Keepa.


The new coach of the New Zealand Rugby League team predicts an exciting future for young Maori prop Sam Rapira.

The Waikato-raised Warrior has signed a deal with the club that will keep in Auckland until 2012.

Gary Kemble says Rapira, a former junior Kiwi captain, is benefiting from playing alongside experienced internationals Steve Price and Reuben Wiki.
The 20 year old will be in the thick of the action, when the Warriors take on the high flying Manly Sea Eagles at Mt Smart on Sunday.

“He's learning a lot off Price and Reuben, and that’s great. For a young man he’s doing great stuff and he’s going to be round a long long time and I think he’s going to be one of the best we’ve seen once he matures and gets right into it and takes responsibility,” Mr Kemble says.

A win will guarantee the Warriors a spot in the top eight for the playoffs.


The Education Review Office wants to see a greater Maori dimension in sex education.

A new study of 100 schools found the majority are not meeting the needs of Maori students.

The subject was made compulsory for year seven to 10 pupils in 2001 because of concerns over New Zealand's high teen pregnancy rate and rates of sexually transmitted infections.

Chief review officer Graham Stoop says too many schools took a one size fits all approach to the issue.

He says the most successful programmes for Maori students were where Maori kaupapa-driven organisations were brought in to help.

“When that has happened, Maori students have been far more engaged than when it didn’t, so that’s one really practical good example that we give in our report. Another one we give is where Maori are brought in for hui and meetings and conferences so that their perspectives can be brought to bear on this,” Mr Stoop says.

Only 17 of the 100 schools had good monitoring of pupils' progress.


Ngati Kahungunu isn't letting up on its resistance to a Hawkes Bay windfarm despite its foe just getting a lot bigger.

Genesis Energy has joined Unison & Roaring 40s’ in a venture to build a 34-turbine windfarm on the Te Waka Range beside the Napier Taupo Road.

The Environment Court has already knocked back a 37-turbine farm for the site, because of its impact on the environment ... and on Maori spiritual values.

Bevan Taylor from the Mangahaururu Tangitu Society says the involvement of the State Owned Enterprise will make the fight tougher.

“You've got two powerful groups forming together an alliance and it just makes it, if we’re looking at resources, tough for our hapu eh,” he says.

Mr Taylor says the hapu will repeat its objections to the resource consent hearing next month.


One of the country's foremost ta moko artists is noticing major changes in people's acceptance of tattoos.

Gordon Toi's designs adorn the skin of many Maori, as well as hundreds of Dutch people, where he works for a couple of months each year.

He says in both Aotearoa and Amsterdam his clients have become more aware of the significance of ta moko and what the designs mean.

“I can still remember a time where people would want it but were afraid to even almost talk about it but now days people are quite confident about what they want and why they want it and where they want it,” Mr Toi says.

He will talk about ta moko at the Auckland Central Library on Monday, as part of the programme around the library's three-month Hokianga exhibition.


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