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Friday, December 21, 2007

Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa settling

A Northland iwi will tomorrow gather at the place its ancestors were forced off so it can set course for a new beginning.

Guest of honour is the Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Michael Cullen, who will sign an agreement in principle to return Stony Creek Station to Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa.

Pita Pangari, who led the claim through the Waitangi Tribunal, says the 22 hundred hectare block north of the Whangaroa Harbour will be returned as a working farm.

Its what's left of land the Crown took from the iwi in the 1840s - even though Ngati Kahu families continued to live there until the early years of last century.

Mr Pangari says Taemaro Bay was chosen for the tomorrow morning's ceremony because it was where Te Parata settled when he came from Hawaiki on the waka Maimaru.

“When he arrived here, that’s where they settled in Taemaro, and that’s where the whanau and hapu of Ngati Kahu started from, right there in Taemaro. Taking it back there is paying respect to our ancestors and the spiritual side to that,” Mr Pangari says.

It has been 27 years since his elders entrusted him with the claim, and it's been a long road to get to this point.


Hawkes Bay iwi are welcoming a decision to fast track an application for a controversial wind farm.

The Environment Minister, Trevor Mallard, has referred Unison Networks' 34-turbine Te Waka development direct to the Environment Court, bypassing the Hastings District Council resource consent process.

Contact Energy's planned Te Mihi geothermal power station near Taupo was also called in.

Jolene Patuawa, the lawyer for Ngati Hinerua and the Maungaharuru-Tangitu Society, says the iwi has already beaten off an almost identical 37-turbine proposal in the Environment Court, so the court is familiar with its concerns.

“They've already been through an inquiry, the Mohaka ki Ahuruiri Inquiry, where they’ve set out those concerns, and that particular piece of land was subject to confiscation, and this was a big concern of theirs and they’re wanting to protect that site and its waahi tapu nature,” she says.

Ms Patuawa says it was almost inevitable the applicaition would have ended up in the Environment court anyway.


A survey on the effect of the Internet on society has found it's a positive for Maori.

The World Internet Project found Maori usage was similar to non-Maori with 78 percent using the web.

Allan Bell from AUT University, who led the New Zealand part of the international survey, says the Internet has contributed to the Maori sense of identity.

“There are a lot of Maori websites, iwi websites or organisations with their own websites, and also strengthening the language, we have a particular interest in language, and Maori people think the web is actually a strong force to help te reo be established and I would agree with them on that,” Professor Bell says.

He says the Internet is now considered a more important source of information than newspapers, television, radio and even friends and family.


Jim Anderton wants the Law Commission to clarify what rights people have over the bodies of deceased partners or relatives.

The Sydenham MP says he was approached by a constituent for help after a body was taken from a Christchurch funeral home for burial in the eastern Bay of Plenty.

There was a similar case this month in Wellington.

He says cultural issues from both the Maori and Pakeha side need to be respected.

“Gotta make sure that everyone’s on the page on this and people don’t put one cultural call over another one. Either way we’ve all got our cultural traditions and they should all be respected and so we’ve got to be doing better than we have been doing and we need some clarification from the Law Commission. The government needs to make sure the law is clear, and then every needs to honour it,” Mr Anderton says.

He has sympathy for the views of Ranginui Walker, an emeritus professor of Maori studies at Auckland University, that when both partners are Maori, the final resting place may be negotiated, but when the surviving partner is non-Maori, their rights must be respected,


Maori wardens should be able to do their job more effectively from now on.

At a ceremony at Papakura Marae in south Auckland today, kaumatua from six districts took delivery of 10-seater vans fitted with radio equipment.

They're part of a support package in this year's budget which also included new uniforms and training programmes.

Titewhai Harawira from the Maori Wardens Advisory Group says the vans are going to Taitokerau, Tamaki Makaurau, Tanui, Te Arawa, Tairawhiti and Ngati Kahungunu.

“These vans have come out of the police budget, and at a time like this we have to be seen to be building bridges in our communities because the bottom line is the safety of our communities,” Mrs Harawira says.

The wardens are planning a show of force - in their vans - at February's treaty commemoration at Waitangi.


The astronomy of the ancients will be celebrated - and practised - in the Wairarapa tomorrow morning.

That's when Stonehenge Aotearoa will mark the summer solstice.

The henge, which is based on Stonehenge on Sailsbury Plain in England, includes features of the observatories built by Celts, ancient Egyptians, Babylonians and Maori.

Richard Hall from the Phoenix Astronomical Society says the Egyptians and Maori have the same name for the sun - Ra.

In Maori cosmology, Te Ra had two wives, Hine Takirua and Hine Raumati.

“Takirua is the bright star we know as Sirius. Hine Raumati is the bright star Antares. If we go out of the summer solstice, stand in the dawn twilight, what we will see is Hine Raumati or Antares rising up in the dawn twilight with Te Ra, and she marks the moment of the summer solstice. Six months later, it will be Hine Takirua that will be rising with the sun,” Mr Hall says.

Both Celtic henges and Maori houses of learning have stones or posts lined up to track the movements of the two stars.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish you'd get your facts right rather than simply repeating what Peter tells you. Peter Pangari wasn't entrusted with the claim 27 years ago it was Kaumatua Teddy Emery who was entrusted with it. Peter Pangari simply jumped on the bandwagon.

1:03 pm  

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