Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, November 22, 2007

No link between evidence, claim quantums

The Waitangi Tribunal has asked the Government if its reports affect the amount tribes are offered in claims settlements.

The issue has flared at a time when tribes are being encouraged into direct negotiations - despite problems identified in the planned Tamaki Makauru and Te Arawa settlements, where the government bypassed the tribunal.

A lawyer for Whanganui claimants raised the alarm about a letter from a former minister of treaty negotiations to Te Runanga o Ngati Porou, which is seeking a mandate to enter direct negotiations.

Mark Burton told the runanga that completing a tribunal process would not increase the amount the Crown would offer the east coast tribe.

That's because it must be consistent in its treatment of various types of claims.

Carrie Wainwright, the tribunal's deputy chair, says the crown must clarify whether it is a general principle that the quantum of redress to be offered is not affected by evidence presented to the tribunal – and whether this applies to a future Whanganui settlement.

The new treaty minister, Michael Cullen will now be put on the spot to show the tribunal is not irrelevant.


Te Papa Tongarewa is trying to identify the origins of the latest group of koiwi to come back from overseas, so the ancestral remains can go back to their whenua.

The remains of 46 tupuna were welcomed to the national museum in Wellington yesterday.

They came from various museums throughout Great Britain.

Herekiekie Herewini, the head of repatriation, says the focus now switches from negotiations with foreign curators to talking to iwi.

“Some of them came from the Chatham Islands. They’re probably Moriori, but they could be Ngati Mutunga as well. There’s one tupuna from the Whanganui region and others from the Auckland region, We’ve got some of the information about some of the tupuna, but that’s some of the work we need to do over the next year, is to find out where exactly these ancestors came from,” Mr Herewini says.

He says British museums are increasingly comfortable with the idea of returning human remains, as long as it doesn't set a precedent for other items they may hold.


Moana Maniapoto has joined an elite group of New Zealand artists.

The singer songwriter from Ngati Tuwharetoa and Te Arawa has been made an Arts Foundation Laureate.

When convener Bob Jahnke told her she'd won the $50,000 award, she was taken aback - because she'd assumed they went to people of more advanced years.

“I was a bit worried that it might be a signal that you’re at the end of your career, but he very tactfully said that is was to recognize an artist in the blossoming of their career and to help them in their new projects so I very graciously accepted that,” Ms Maniapoto says.

She is working on her fourth album.... which after tahi, rua and toru... is called, naturally, wha.


Hone Harawira has told global television viewers of Maori anger over last month's terror raids.

The Maori Party MP has been in Kuala Lumpur filming an interview for Al-Jazeera's 101 East Show, to be screened on the network's worldwide English channel next week.

The show will also feature Ron Mark from New Zealand First - whose interview was done by satellite from a Wellington studio - and footage shot in this country last month by an Al-Jazeera crew.

Mr Harawira says he didn't go out of his way to bag New Zealand.

“In fact it wasn't even about attacking the government per se. It was about using the Terrorism Suppression Act to try to control what has been a 150 years of legitimate Maori land protest,” Mr Harawira says.

He says Al Jazeera offers the Maori Party a way to get its message to other indigenous people around the world, without it going through the narrow filter on New Zealand's mainstream media.


A Green MP is warning Maori tourism operators to be on the lookout for cultural theft.

Metiria Turei says the number of Maori eco-tourism businesses is set to increase, as co-management of parts of the Conservation estate becomes part of treaty settlements.

That puts them in a good position as visitors increasingly look for a combination of green and cultural experiences.

But she says the challenge will be to retain their cultural integrity and protect their unique brand.

“The other big issue around that too is the cultural misappropriation that often happens with tourism ventures in general. There’s a lot of other tourism operators use Maori culture and identity and symbols as a selling point, but it’s a form of misappropriation of our cultural property.” Ms Turei says.

Maori tourism operators may need to do more work on the tikanga of their industry.


Maori cowgirls are kicking up their heels in Katikati - all in the name of fitness.

Te Runanga o Ngai Tamawhariua is running line-dancing classes for wahine, to help them manage their weight and blood pressure.

Coordinator Aroha Koria says they're blending country and western steps with kapa haka moves.

“It's basically line dancing using te reo commands and using Maori music, all stepping in line together at the same time, and next month we’re implementing the poi to go in there with the steps and the moves and the beat and the rhythms,” Ms Koria says.

The group has taken to wearing cowboy hats with a Maori motif.


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