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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Ngati Porou ups port presence

Ngati Porou Seafoods has boosted its presence on the Gisborne waterfront.

It's taken over the Moana Pacific retail and wholesale business in the port, which is owned by pan-Maori seafood company Aotearoa Fisheries.

Robin Hapi, the executive chair of Aotearoa, says Ngati Porou paid a commercial price for the business, which has a turnover of almost a million dollars a year.

Ngati Porou has leased its quota long term to Aotearoa, which in exchange will guarantee supply to fish and shellfish to the Gisborne business.

Mr Hapi says Aotearoa could consider similar creative deals with other iwi.

“We're keen to engage with iwi in the business and activity of fishing and we’re also very keen to be able to promote them in their own localities where there can be commercial benefit to both of us,” Mr Hapi says.

Eleven iwi now lease their quota to Aotearoa Fisheries, giving it an extra 16,000 tonnes of annual catch entitlement to be fished and marketed by Sealord and other subsidiaries.


Green MP Sue Kedgley is confident of Maori Party support for amending foreign ownership laws.

Prompted by a Dubai company's bid to buy a majority stake in Auckland International Airport, Ms Kedgley wants to add a clause to the Overseas Investment Act which would allow the minister to veto the sale of strategic assets.

The Bill will go into the ballot, after National blocked her attempt to introduce the amendment by a motion of the House.

Ms Kedgley is confident she can win support from other parties.

“I'm sure the Maori Party will support it. The Labour Party is indicating that they will support it, at least to first reading, and I think New Zealand First would have to support it because they say it’s what they say they believe in. I will now put it into the ballot next week. If it was selected, I think it would have some support,” Ms Kedgley says.


An exhibition offering a bicultural lens on the nation's art history opens at the Wellington City Gallery tonight.

Te Huringa ... Turning Points: Pakeha Colonisation and Maori Empowerment has been touring the country.

Art historian Jo Diamond provides a Maori perspective, while co-curator Peter Shaw gives a Pakeha view.

Ms Diamond says with work ranging from colonial painters like Charles Goldie to Ralph Hotere, Colin McCahon, Robin Kahukiwa and Shane Cotton, the show captures more than a century of change.

“And of course those earlier works say very much different things from the later works that Maori have produced, and some of those of course through our eyes today aren’t that good or aren’t that helpful. And of course some are racist,” Ms Diamond says.


Maori Party co leader Tariana Turia says the government should bring back an initiative from the 1980s to address child abuse.

Maatua Whangai grew out of Maori community initiatives to address the number of Maori children in social welfare homes, and developed into a system of identifying extended whanau networks to take care of tamariki and rangatahi.

It was scrapped by the incoming National government in 1991.

Mrs Turia says it was one of the most successful programme any government has been involved in.

“It was something that I felt when I was associate minister that they should be considering again because of the success and because of the significant issues. And we’ve had five or six years go past and absolutely no notice taken of that,” she says.

Tariana Turia says sometimes the search for new ideas can overshadow old ideas that work.


National is looking for more Maori candidates to put on its party list.

The party has only the MPs of Maori descent in its caucus - Georgine te Heuheu, former New Zealand First cabinet minister Tau Henare, and newcomer Paula Bennett.

Former Wellington Central candidate Hekia Parata, who withdrew from active membership after Don Brash's Orewa speech, is being tipped as a candidate.

Leader John Key says he has other prospects, and the issue is a priority.

“It's just frankly unacceptable to have a very small number of Maori caucus members when they represent such a large percentage of the population and a big part of the future of New Zealand, so we’re working hard on that front and I’ve got to say we’ve had some approaches from some people who are not only of Maori ethnicity but they are wonderfully talented individuals,” Mr Key says.


But Labour's senior Maori MP says John Key has got a lot more to learn before he makes a play for the Maori vote.

Parekura Horomia says recent statements from National's leader shows how little he knows.

He made a statement the other day he was the first politician to go into Tuhoe since Apirana Ngata, senior politician. Well, heaps of us have been in there over a period of time,” Mr Horomia says.


Robyn Kahukiwa is set to make a splash at next month's New Zealand fashion week.

Four paintings by the Raumati based artist will be used as part of the set for the event.

Ms Kahukiwa says one of the works, from her series Native New Zealand, will become something special for a select group of designers and fashion critics.

“That's also been made as a print which will be presented to the VIPs as a koha in their goodie bags, and that is about wahine Maori, rakau, our trees, and manu, our birds,” she says.

Robyn Kahukiwa will also display some paintings from her new series, Superheroes for my Mokopuna, which will be exhibited in Auckland later this year.


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