Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cullen wants claim cap flexibilty

The Treaty Negotiations Minister wants to see more flexibility in the way claim settlements are constructed.

Michael Cullen says while the billion dollar cap imposed by the former National government is no longer considered binding, the Government is still attempting to ensure there is fair relativity between claimants.

He says the historical circumstances, the number of people involved and the kind of land taken or available all need to be taken into account.

“What I'm hoping to do I think is sometimes to be able to take a more creative approach if you like, not always to be too rigidly locked in to formulae, which may not work terribly well from individual iwi perspectives, and I think there is an issue particularly round land relativities given the vast increases in land prices since the big settlements with Tainui and Ngai Tahu,” Dr Cullen says.

He says the total amount being spent on settlements is relatively small compared with the total level of economic activity over the lifetime of the historical claim settlement process.

The minister was in Nelson this afternoon signing terms of negotiation with four iwi - Ngati Koata, Ngati Rarua, Ngati Tama and Te Atiawa - who have come together under the banner of Tainui Taranaki ki te Tonga.


A Maori health researcher wants to see government departments audited for the impact of their policies on children.

Lorna Dyall from Auckland University's Te Kupenga Hauora Maori says two reports on the health of children, released at this week's Paediatric Society conference in Christchurch, confirm huge disparities between the health of Maori and non-Maori children.

She says most of the things that impact on health status are out of the health sector, so other government departments should be monitored.

“The framework highlights the importance of accountability, that government agencies should not only be audited on their financial management but also the outcomes they achieve and I think this should be a key responsibility of the Audit Office of New Zealand,” Dr Dyall says.

She says to protect the future of the society, the needs of children need to take precedence over adults and the elderly.


Auckland’s civic centre today formally recognised its relationship today with Ngati Whatua o Orakei.

The memorandum signed by the Aotea Centre board of management will create an advisory group known as Taumata Waihorotiu The Edge.

Danny Tumahai was appointed kaumatua to the facilities, which include the Aotea Centre and the Auckland Town Hall.

Piripi Davis from the Ngati Whatua o Orakei Trust Board says it builds on a 15-year relationship between the hapu and the centre managers.

He says it's not an exclusive deal.

“We're not the only iwi here but there is provision for turanga to be taken up but our whanau who are out there who are other iwi, they can participate in those discussions, whatever it is that The Edge does,” Mr Davis says.

Ngati Whatua is keen to see more Maori events in the Edge.


The head of Ngati Toa Rangatira says a judicial review won't stop his tribe pursuing direct negotiations over its claims to the Cook Strait region and upper South Island.

Ngai Tahu is seeking to overturn a Waitangi Tribunal finding that the six Te Tau Ihu tribes, including Ngati Toa, had customary interests in its rohe.

Matiu Rei says Ngai Tahu has already got more than they could have expected out of Waitangi Tribunal processes.

He says the essential issue is whether the southern tribe's deed of settlement excludes other tribes from its traditional area.

“That's been proven to be not the case all the way from the High Court to the Privy Council. They’ve said no, that deed is between the Crown and Ngai Tahu but it doesn’t bind the Crown with any other iwi. And so I’m not sure why Ngai Tahu want to attack the tribunal for in fact carry out what many would see as its obligation to all iwi,” Mr Rei says.

He says the court action seem like a bid by Ngai Tahu to maximise the amount of inshore quota it can get under the fisheries settlement, which is determined by coastline length.


There a call from a teachers union for the pastoral work Maori teachers do in mainstream schools to be acknowledged with more support and better pay.

The Post Primary Teacher Association says many schools are struggling to find staff, particularly in specialist areas like te reo Maori.

Robin Duff, the president, says it's enough of a challenge to attract Maori language speakers to train as teachers, let along hanging on to them when they can get more money elsewhere.

He says it's usually workload rather than money that causes them to leave.

“The te reo teacher not only has the class work and the course work to do but, and it’s like many of the other teachers in there, there is a huge amount of pastoral work that goes on too and involvement in the local community, particularly with family and whanau, and that’s an extra area of stress,” Mr Duff says.

The extra work can be particularly hard on people who have just started teaching.


While most rugby fans would like to forget this year... South Island Maori are celebrating a string of successes.

Ana Haua from Te Waipounamu Maori Rugby was named sports administrator of the year at the National Maori Sports Awards.

It caps off a great year for the region, whose senior, colts and women's rugby teams were all unbeaten against the central districts, Te Tini-a-Maui or Central Districts and the north, Te Hiku o Te Ika.

Ms Haua and her husband Smiley, the chair of Te Waipounamu Maori rugby, got involved in sports administration through their work as teachers of te reo Maori.

“We just saw that there was a bit iof a void with relation to things Maori. It wasn’t just the rugby that was important. It was the Maori aspect, that tikanga Maori, taha Maori side of things that a lot of our young men were missing, and this was one avenue of being able to put that in place with them and give them a little bit of teaching that way,” Mrs Haua says.


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