Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, February 23, 2007

Labour incapable of treaty deals

National's treaty negotiations spokesperson says the claim settlement process is breaking down because Labour's ministers won't talk to claimants.

Far north claimants marched through Kaitaia today to protest the breakdown of settlement talks and the sale of Crown properties in their region.

Chris Finlayson says the problems in the north are symptomatic of the whole sector, with the amount spent on treaty negotiations dropping in real terms and key agencies like the Office of Treaty Settlements and the Waitangi Tribunal underfunded.

He says negotiations are being outsourced to private consultants, so ministers don't have a hands on understanding of the portfolio - unlike predecessors like Jim Bolger and Doug Graham.

“Doug's record is so fantastic because that’s exactly what he did. You can’t delegate a lot of this stuff away. If the minister’s involved, he or she can have the mana to do a deal. And the other thing I notice about this lot is they just don’t know how to do deals,” Mr Finlayson says.

He says treaty partners should do the right thing by each other, and not hide behind legalistic quibbling.


A former New York gangster turned evangelist says the billion dollar hip hop industry is responsible for many young Maori and Polynesians joining gangs.

Nicky Cruz, who is on a crusade in south Auckland, says the gang lifestyle is glamourised in songs, films and music videos.
Mr Cruz says it's breaking down respect for family, religion and authority.

“It's a money making machine, it’s a multi billion dollar industry. Rap and hip hop have influenced the kids. They have the money and they want to dress like the ghetto, they want to emulate something like that, and in the long way it’s the kiss of death,” Mr Cruz says.


It's the first day of competition at Te Matatini in Palmerston North, and the kapa haka teams have been pulling out the stops to make an impression.

Performer and entrepreneur Willie Te Aho from Gisborne group Waihirere says it's that constant search for innovative ways of presenting Maori language and culture which draws back performers and audiences.

Mr te Aho says teams are also rated on topicality, and as one of the first teams on the stage this morning, Waihirere was looking to do something different.

“It was something new, it was something people haven’t seen before, two halves of the same kapa haka team challenging each other, and our theme today was about looking after our environment, and there are those that have done well off the land and those that are saying we are doing poorly by the land and poorly by the sky, because climate change is a big discussion at the moment,” Mr Te Aho says.

Only six teams will go through to the finals on Sunday.


The Maori Land Court has reserved its decision on what obligations Carter Holt Harvey has towards the Maori owners of land under some of its forests.

Carter Holt last year sold New Zealand Forest Products, which leases the land, to North American investment fund Hancock Natural Resources.

Glen Katu from Maraeroa C, one of the three King Country trusts taking the case, says because of its implications for other cases, Carter Holt and Hancocks both had large teams of lawyers at the hearing in Hamilton yesterday.

Mr Katu says the trustees who signed the leases in the 1970s were looking for a long term stable relationship with their lessees.

“They thought that the precautions they took by having a non-assignment clause in the provisions of the lease was adequate protection so that we wouldn’t be faced with a change of owners from time to time, that we would have a say, just as we had a say who we would enter with the first lease,” Mr Katu says.

Judge David Ambler has promised to get out a judgment as soon as possible on whether he has jurisdiction to hear the case.


Representatives from marae in the Hauraki region are meeting in Paeroa on Sunday to plan for next year's Te Whakataetae Pare Hauraki games.

Hui coordinator Roy Piahana says tribal competitions are becoming increasingly popular as iwi try to draw people back to their whenua.

He says the East Coast Paa Wars, and the Tainui and Maniapoto games are examples what can be achieved as thousands head back to their respective turangawaewae to take part in events from whaikorero and card tournaments, or pig hunting to eel trapping.

Mr Piahana says Hauraki whanui met regularly from the 1960's, but enthusiasm waned in the early 1980s.

“It's reviving what used to happen many years ago when Ngahitoitoi Marae held a field day, and they had sports and cultural activities. It’s a revival of that but under Pare Hauraki games,” Mr Piahana says.

Sunday's hui is at Te Pai O Hauraki Marae in Paeroa.


Festival goers were treated to a display from some of the best of the Maori performing arts at the opening day of Te Matatini, the national kapahaka competititions being held in the Manawatu.

Waatea News reporter Julian Wilcox says first up three of the big guns, Waka Huia, Waihirere, and defending champions Te Whanau A Apanui set the tone with outstanding performances.

He says that set the benchmark for others to follow, and they didn't disappoint.

“Blown away by standard and the quality of performance. You’ve got groups like Ngati Poneke who’ve been in the finals before, their performance was superb. You’ve got groups like Te Matapihi from Whanganui who also performed well today, and then a new group like Tu Te Manawa Maurea from Rongowhakaata way there in Manutuke who really impressed everyone in this crowd,” Mr Wilcox says.

Landcorp land for settlements

Landcorp chairperson Jim Sutton says he's working on the basis the state owned farming company's land is available for treaty settlements.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Mark Burdon said this week Landcorp property is generally not available for use in settlements, because the Crown prefers to use other assets first.

Mr Sutton, a former Labour cabinet minister, says the company is selling off land that doesn't fit its strategic business, including coastal properties in Northland and Whitianga which have been sought by treaty claimants.

He says it first offered the land to the Office of Treaty Settlements before calling for public tenders.

“We always regard our land as a resource available to the Crown for treaty settlements, but of course the other side of it is if it’s not required for treaty settlements, we should get on and deal with it in a business-like way. We were told it wasn't needed,” Mr Sutton says.

He says the Office of Treaty Settlements may have made a mistake of judgment, and Landcorp won't rush to dispose of the land.


Ngapuhi elders are discussing ways to improve the cultural services provided to Maori inmates in the Northland Regional Prison at Ngawha.

Ngapuhi Design Group chair Rudy Taylor says the wider iwi is reviewing the role of the Ngati Rangi Society, which has a contract with the Corrections Department to develop programmes.

Mr Taylor says Ngapuhi considers it important for prisoners' rehabilitation that they can reconnect with their whanau and iwi, but the current system isn't working.

“When we first went on board with this idea, it was to reach out to a lot of the extended whanau and kaumatua and kuia, but it stayed in the circle of Ngati Rangi. They’ve now gone and out to extend that relationship, knowing they need the wider grouping,” Mr Taylor says.

There will be a hui on the issue tomorrow at Paparore Marae near Kaitaia, to be followed by hui at Whangarei and Ngawha.


The earlybirds are gathering at the Te Matatini, the national kapa haka festival being held in Palmerston North.

Waatea news reporter, Amomai Pihama is performing with Nga Tumanako, one of the new groups at the nationals.

She says there are a lot of anxious performers waiting to get on stage and perform the 20 minute routines they've worked out over the past few months.

The top teams are on show early, and people are already lining up to make sure they don't miss seeing some of the best in the business.

“It's quite an explosive start to the competition, starting off with Te Waka Huia, tutored by Bub and Nan Wehi, they’re definitely ones to watch out for. Straight after them are Waihirere, they’re former champs as well, and then after them is Te Whanau a Apanui, who’re he current national champs. They’re on one after another starting at 9.30 this morning,” Ms Pihama says.


National's treaty spokesperson says the Government could end up with land banked for treaty settlements which claimants don't want.

Chris Finlayson says protests by claimants in the far north and Hauraki against the sale of Landcorp properties shows how the government's treaty policy is falling apart.

The sales were approved by the Office of Treaty Settlements, and treaty negotiations Minister Mark Burton told Parliament Landcorp property is generally not available for use in settlements where the Crown has other properties available.

Mr Finlayson says that raises an important question.

“Are those properties appropriate or acceptable to the Treaty partner? And a quarter of an acre in Thames or a quarter of an acre in Te Aroha may be a property that is available, but the essential question is does Hauraki want it? Is it a property that is going to be of use to them,” Mr Finlayson says.

He says Labour is under-funding the treaty process, and the minister seems incapable of the sort of deal-making needed to get settlements.


A Maori health researcher says there could be a case for a Maori fertility service.

Marewa Glover has done a study of Maori attitudes to assisted reproduction.

She says while there is no consensus about the how Maori want such services delivered, they do say that existing services make no provision for tikanga Maori and can make couples feel whakamaa or culturally uncomfortable.

Dr Glover says the answer could be a separate service.

“Wouldn't rule out the establishment of a a Maori fertility service and I think there is, as I’ve said in my report, fertile ground for Maori involvement at all levels, partnering with fertility services, to get the information out to Maori to help understand what's available,” Dr Glover says.


Maori rugby coach Donny Stevenson says preparations for his team's bid to retain the Churchill Cup in England in May are on track.

Stevenson will attend a number of fixtures involving Maori players over the next few weeks and keep a close eye on the Super 14 to see how team members are shaping up.

He says as the defending champion there will be a lot of pressure, and his players will have to adapt fast to English conditions.

“Canada suited our type of game. The grounds were pretty hard and fast. We’re not expecting grounds to be quite so hard in England so that’ll be a little bit of a challenge for us but we hope we’ll still be able to play our normal style of rugby and that’s plenty of attack and plenty of flair so yes, we’re looking forward to that challenge,” Stevenson says.

Rangiputa sale a mistake – Landcorp head

The new chair of Landcorp says the Office of Treaty Settlements may have made a mistake in allowing his state owned company to sell off land in the far north.

Tenders closed at noon for a beachfront stretch of Landcorp's Rangiputa Station on the Karikari Peninsula.

Jim Sutton, a former Labour cabinet minister, says Landcorp first offered the property to the Office of Treaty Settlements, and was told it was not needed to settle Ngati Kahu's treaty claims.

“I think there has been a mistake of judgment, not by Landcorp but by Office of Treaty Settlements, or at least, it would be claimed that by the hapu up there. As far as we’re concerned, we’ll just take this quietly now and see if there is a solution,” Mr Sutton says.

Jim Sutton says Landcorp is under no obligation to accept any of the tenders for the Rangiputa sections.


The coordinator of Nga Maia, the national Maori midwives association, says it will be a challenge to reach the target of 1500 Maori midwives in 10 years.

Henare Kani says the demand for the services of Maori midwives far outweighs the resource available.

Mr Kani says the situation is slowly improving, but there is a long way to go.

“We've got 150 out to 2500. This year we’ve got another 20 starting their training at various places around the country. Twenty a year over the next 10 years will get us up 200, that’s looking up for us but there’s a lot of opportunity,” Mr Kani says.

He says the development of antenatal programmes for Maori women, such as the one launched this week in Hastings, should help raise the awareness of kaupapa Maori midwifery and could lead to more recruits.


Two of the major contributors to the ta Maori traditional performing arts scene were honoured at last night's inaugural Maori music awards in Palmerston North.

Organiser Tama Huata says Bub and Nen Wehi deserved acknowledgement for the decades they have spent tutoring kapa haka.
He says they set the standard for other groups.

“Over the years with Te Waka Huia, three time winners. When they led Waiherere, they were two time winners. In terms of the Te Matatini national festival, and before that the Polynesian festival, there’s no other record like it,” Mr Huata says.

Others acknowledged for their contributions to Maori music included Sir Howard Morrison, Prince Tui Teka, and Tommy Taurima.


Maori health researcher Marewa Glover says Maori need to find ways to bring
their cultural values to assisted human reproduction.

Dr Glover has been studying Maori views on fertility treatments, drawing information from hui and interviews with health workers, people who have used fertility services, and other community members.

She says there many respondents felt the cultural pressure on Maori to raise families meant some couples were prepared to go to extremes to conceive ... even if some of the procedures made them feel culturally uncomfortable or whakamaa.

“We deserve more than that. We deserve to be involved in setting policy and looking at how services are delivered, maybe even in delivery of some of these services,” Dr Glover says.

She says there is no one Maori viewpoint on assisted reproduction.


National Maori Affairs spokesperson Tau Henare says the anti smacking bill will criminalise parents.

Mr Henare says Green MP Sue Bradford's bill removing the defence of reasonable force to discipline a child is over the top.

He says the bill is too politically correct.

“I just don't think you need to criminalise the parents quite frankly. Leave the parents alone,. Let them get on with it. We should be helping the ones who can’t look after their kids. We shouldn’t be interfering in the lives of our parents who can look after our kids,” Mr Henare says.

He has no regrets about voting against the bill.


Te Runanga a Turanganui a Kiwa is establishing a paua hatchery in Gisborne.

A former Telecom garage has been stripped down to a bare shell and fitted out with tanks.

Aquaculture scientist Marc Ferris from Ngati Kanohi says the hatchery will use some innovative technology, including water recirculating systems first developed for the sewerage industry.

Mr Ferris says it's aiming to produce half a million spat a year from wild stock.

“So we basically produce paua babies, grow them until they’re about 10mm in length, and then we ship those off to on-growing faciilities which will grow the paua from 10mm up to the market size,” Mr Ferris said.

He says are a number of farms coming on stream over the next couple of years which will take the hatchery's production.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Land court called in to forest lease row

King Country Maori landowners are squaring off against New Zealand's richest man in the Maori Land Court at Hamilton today.

Three blocks are challenging the way Graeme Hart's Carter Holt Harvey sold the forests on their land to North American hedge fund Hancock Natural Resources.

Maraeroa C director Glen Katu says when the owners leased their land 30 years ago to what became Carter Holt subsidiary New Zealand Forest Products, they did not give permission for the leases to be assigned to anyone else.

Carter Holt claims because it sold the company rather than the leases, the lessors have no say in the deal.
Mr Katu says the court can sort it out.

“We are hoping that the judge may be able to rule on whether or not the provisions in our leases did in fact have some sort of requirement by Carter Holt Harvey to not only consult but also to give us an opportunity to buy back our leases,” Mr Katu says,

If the three King Country blocks succeed, there are another 40 groups of Maori landowners who may also try to get their leases back from Hancock.


Hot on the heels of Ngati Kahu's fight to stop Landcorp selling off a far north property needed for a claim settlement, Hauraki has a similar fight on its hands.

Hauraki Maori Trust Board claims manager John McInteer says on Boxing Day the state owned farming company called for tenders for two properties in its rohe.

Mr McInteer says the board and Ngati Hei have asked the Waitangi Tribunal for an urgent hearing, because the government refused to stop the sale process.

"This property is a jewel in the crown. It is one of only two large Landcorp properties. There’s very little Crown land apart from Department of Conservation land and Crown forests that the Crown has to settle with us, and so we’re just mortified by the fact that they’re selling off and flogging properties which can be used in a settlement,” Mr McInteer says.

The claimants have long identified Landcorp's 1100 hectare Whenuakite Station and its Ngatea dairy operation as critical to any settlement package.


It's networking time for Maori in business at the bottom half of the South Island.

Maori business organisation Te Kupeka Umaka Maori Ki Araiteuru is holding a hui over the next two days at Te Rau Aroha Marae in Bluff.

Chairperson Phil Broughton says he's expecting about 50 firms to be represented, from a range of industries and professions.

“If someone wants a chartered accountant or a builder or a tourism operator or some accommodation, we’ll do like any good network does and all help each other, and there are those elements of kaupapa Maori which filter through our whole processes,” Mr Broughton says.


Hauraki's treaty claims manager says Landcorp's plans to sell off two farms in its rohe will jeapardise its chances of a fair settlement.

John McInteer says the iwi is caught by the same rationalisation programme which has led to Ngati Kahu people in the far north occupying Landcorp's Rangiputa Station.

The state owned farming company is selling the 11 hundred hectare Whenuakite Station at Cooks Beach and 300 hectares of peat mining land at Ngatea.

The government says it doesn't need to use Landcorp properties for settlements, but Mr McInteer says it only has 64 hectares in the Hauraki landbank.

“The Waitangi Tribunal Report shows that we’re one of the most destitute tribes in the North Island with less then 2.6 percent of our original lands remaining so when you have a large block like the Whenuakite station, up for sale, it’s an absolute requirement of ours that that be protected and withdrawn from sale immediately,” Mr McInteer says.

The Hauraki Maori Trust Board has asked the Waitangi Tribunal for an urgent hearing on the sales.


Te Ohu Kaimoana trustee Archie Taiaroa says the government should start again on its plans to take fishing quota from the industry to give to the recreational sector.

Members of the Maori fisheries settlement trust and iwi did the rounds of the political parties this week, spelling out their concerns about the Fisheries Ministry's Shared Fisheries discussion paper.

Mr Taiaroa says the ministry has ignored Maori and industry concerns about the paper, and seems determined to press ahead with legislation.

“And what we're saying is, withdraw the current proposals within the document and start again and sit down with everybody and sort it out properly so that all the sectors are acting in the responsible way,” Mr Taiaroa says.

Iwi see the Shared Fisheries plan as the Crown reneging on the fisheries settlement.


Marlborough iwi Rangitaane is challenging the Canterbury Museum to do the honorable thing and return their ancestors.

The museum holds remains and taonga taken from 60 graves on the Wairau bar near Blenheim 70 years ago.

It claims the bones pre-date Rangitaane, and plans to DNA test them.

But Richard Bradley, the tribe's development manager, says that's just a delaying tactic while the museum prepares its legal defence.

He says further scientific analysis of the bones is unacceptable.

“Those people were ripped out of the ground, packed into Rinso boxes and taken down to the museum, and all of the waffling and analysis doesn’t change that fact. And if they were really honorable people, they would actually just give them back,” Mr Bradley says.

Rangitaane intends to bury the remains.

Landcorp sell off disgraceful

The Greens Maori Affairs spokesperson says the Office of Treaty Settlements behaved disgracefully in allowing the sale of a Landcorp property in the far north.

Metiria Turei says the sale of beachfront sections carved off Rangiputa Station on the Karikari Peninsula amounts to a second confiscation from Ngati Kahu.

Ngati Kahu made it clear at the start of the Muriwhenua Claim 20 years ago that return of the farm was a bottom line.

Ms Turei says the row shows the policy of benchmarking treaty compensation offers against those made more than a decade ago is breaking down.

“Land value has changed since then. The value of the settlements has changed since then. It is deeply unfair for benchmarking to continue in these circumstances. And it’s deeply unfair, regardless of the benchmarking, that the land that Ngati Kahu always said they wanted back, right from 20 odd years again, is now being sold out from underneath them again,” Ms Turei says.

She says it's not right that tribes are shortchanged so the Crown can make a profit from the treaty settlement process.


The Maori fisheries settlement trust says Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton has ignored Maori concerns over the proposed shared fisheries regime, which will take quota from commercial fishers to make more fish available for the recreational sector.

Te Ohu Kaimoana trustees and iwi representatives had meetings with the Maori Party, National deputy leader Bill English and associate fisheries minister Parekura Hormia last night to press their opposition to the plans.

Trustee Archie Taiaroa says while it's called a discussion document, Mr Anderton has made it clear he wants legislation completed by the end of this year.

Mr Taiaroa says the minister is heading into turbulent waters.

“Iwi Maori is saying in no way does it accept any ionterference into the deed of settlement that was signed between Crown and Maori with regards to allocation of a fish resource that cuts into the allocation to iwi Maori,” Mr Taiaroa says.

He says the fisheries ministry needs to get accurate data on the size of the recreational take before it starts taking quota off the fishing industry.


Maori rugby coach Donny Stevenson says the exodus of Maori players overseas is a good thing.

The latest to go is former Hurricanes fly half utility Riki Flutey, who has just signed with English Heineken Cup side Wasps.

Stevenson says players have to look after the financial security of themselves and their families.

He says it makes room for an exciting crop of young Maori players to come through the ranks:

“A lot of our players on the move, and that’s going to be the good thing about having the Chruchill Cup in England. We’ll be able to catch up with a lot of our ex-Maori All Blacks, the likes of the David Hills and the Glen Jacksons who are still over there plying their trade, so a good opportunity to catch up with a few,” Stevenson says.


Maori smoking researcher Marewa Glover says anti-smoking campaigns need to target tamariki when they first pick up the habit.

Dr Glover says it most anti smoking programmes target high school students, but research shows most smokers first experimented with tobacco at age 11 or 12.

She says a new three year study at four south Auckland intermediate schools will ask children for their views on smoking and find out who smokes in the whanau.
Dr Glover says the schools were chosen because of their diverse cultural makeup.

“We chose these four schools because they do have very high rolls of Maori, Samoan, Tongan and other Pacific Island children and they’re our key concern because of the higher rates of smoking among parents, Therefore those children are probably more at risk of taking up smoking,” Dr Glover says.


The police's Auckland iwi liaison officer says improving the way police respond to Maori communities will help them get it right with other ethnic groups.

Police brass were at Auckland's Orakei Marae today to get community feedback on their Maori responsiveness strategy.

Glenn Mackay says there are also strategies being developed for dealing with Pacific and Asian communities.

“As tangatawhenua, as tuakana to them, that’s our responsibility, to manaaki, tio awghi tghem as well, so that’s what we do. We have one yeye on our ball, which is Maori reasponsiveness, but we are also making sure they are being looked after too,” Mr Mackay says.

At the hui, Police commissioner Howard Broad said superintendent Wally Haumaha has been confirmed as national manager for Maori, Pacific and Ethnic Services, after filling the role on an interim basis for several months.


A kohanga reo in London is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Te Kohanga Reo o Ranana runs on Saturday morning at New Zealand House to give the children of expatriates a chance to take the first steps in the language of their homeland.

Kohanga Reo National Trust member Iritana Tawhiwhirangi says it's an illustration of how powerful the language nest model is as a way to pass on the language.

“So we gave them all the resources, all the information, all the advice, and said however as far as funding went, they would have to find that themselves, which they didn’t see as a problem. And it’s wonderful to salute them. Ten years on, they have managed to continue with their focus on their children and themselves, thousands of miles away,” Mrs Tawhiwhirangi says.

There are also several kohanga operating in Australia.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sky feed needed for Maori tv

Maori Television head Jim Mather hopes to resolve new transmission arrangements with Sky in the next few days.

The Maori channel was forced to go to Sky in December after TVNZ shifted its signal from the Optus B1 satellite to another satellite in preparation for the launch of the Freeview digital broadcasting service.

Mr Mather says transmitting on Sky is likely to cost tens of thousands of dollars a year, depending on technical issues relating to the satellite transponder.

He says the majority of viewers get Maori Television on the Ultra High Frequency band, but a significant number rely on satellite cover.

“Almost a third of our audience do watch Maori Television by Sky and we do obviously want to ensure that access to our programming continues,” Mr Mather says.

Maori Television will also broadcast on Freeview when it becomes available later this year.


The National Party believes it can make inroads with a new generation of young Maori.

Maori co-spokesperson Georgina te Heuheu says new leader John Key has shown he is willing to reach out to Maori, but he's not chasing every vote.

Mrs te Heuheu says there is a strong element of self development in National's principles, and that will appeal to many younger Maori.

“There is a large segment of the Maori community, 25 to 40 year olds who’re qualified or got some experience. They’re less focused on the grievance, which is probably what those of us before them have been focused on, and they’re more interested now in going forward and developing businesses and moving forward,” Mrs te Heuheu says.

Later this week Mr Key will visit Maori on the East Coast, where there has traditionally been strong support for National among some leading families.


A King Country Maori forestry company has offered to help indigenous forestry ventures across the Tasman get up to speed.

Kokakotaea Forestry Corporation chief executive Glen Katu says an Aboriginal trade delegation from Queensland has just spent a week in the King Country as guests of Ngati Maniapoto.

Mr Katu says the Gurang and Goreng Goreng tribes of Bundaberg have 15 thousand acres of forest nearing maturity.

He says while they have experience in planting and tending trees, the harvesting and marketing phases of the business are new to them.

Mr Katu says that's where the Kokotaea group of companies can help.

“In New Zealand we’re a bit lucky because we’ve got 70 odd years in forestry experience. We’re hoping that some of that experience will be able to help our brothers and sisters across the Tasman in Queensland,” Mr Katu says.

A team from Kokakotaea will go to Queensland to help put together a business and training plan.


The whanau and wider community of troubled Masterton Maori immersion school will gather today to discuss its future.

A commissioner was put into Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Wairarapa after the Education Review Office reported the school was in debt from years of overspending, and students were at risk of daily violence from fighting and bullying.

The school has 12 fulltime staff and just over 100 students.

Commissioner Hineihaia Murphy says the hui will discuss her role in returning the kura to a safe state.

Mrs Murphy says she is likely to stay in the governance role for up to 18 months.

The ERO report said whanau governance systems at the kura were ineffective, and it was hampered by the failure of the sacked board to appoint a permanent principal.


The police commissioner is in Auckland today to hear from Maori what they expect from the police.

The hui at Orakei Marae is part of a series on the service's Maori responsiveness strategy.

Glenn Mackay, the Maori liason officer for the Auckland district, says it's a chance for the police to say what they are trying at community level.

Mr Mackay says the police want to know what's working and what's not.

“Our networks will have an opportunity to stand up and say what we are and what we aren’t doing as well. Commissioner needs to hear it, and we need to hear it, because for us to move forward and for us to get better at what we are doing regards service delivery to Maori, we need to be hearing from all our networks, internal and external,” Mr Mackay says.


The kaumatua for the Alcoholic Liquor Advisory Council says koroua and kuia could be doing a lot more to tackle binge drinking among young Maori.

Pihopa Kingi from Te Arawa has welcomed the government's review of the sale of alcohol to under 18s, which will be tied in with a Justice Ministry review of the Sale of Liquor Act.

Mr Kingi says Maori communities are concerned at the level of drinking among young people, but they haven't received any official support when they have come up with strategies to address it.


The custodians of Wairoa's Takitimu Marae have asked the Wairoa District Council to cover their 7 thousand dollar insurance bill.

Deputy mayor Denise Eaglesome says insurance cover for Takitimu will lapse in March, and the small group who look after the marae can't afford the premium.

The wharenui is insured for $3 million, but its carvings are said to be irreplaceable.

Ms Eaglesome says there is some sympathy among council members.

“Takitimu is an asset. It’s an asset of this community. And quite frankly, we should be getting this assistance form the Wairoa District Council a part of the community assets. This is our whakapapa. This is a national treasure,” Ms Eaglesome says.

Climate change costs hit Maori

A leading Maori forest manager says the forestry sector is being asked to carry a disproportionate share of the cost of climate change.

Glen Katu from Maraeroa C Incorporation in the King Country says proposed policies on allocation of carbon credits and penalties for cutting down forests will affect many Maori forest owners.

Mr Katu says many Maori had their land put into forests when there were few other options, but they are now looking for more control and better returns from their assets.

“We’re now getting to that opportunity to engage in other business activities on our land and all of a sudden when we choose to take some of our forests out of forestry and say put up a hydro dam, a tourism facility, a housing estate, all of a sudden we’re going to be penalized.” Mr Katu says.

He says the proposed policies seem to let the farming sector, especially dairy farmers, off the hook despite their far greater contribution to climate change.


National list MP Georgina Te Heu Heu says new leader John Key is creating a lot of interest in Maori communities.

The party's co-spokesperson on Maori Affairs says a visit to the East Coast later this week will again put Mr Key in a forum of Maori leaders keen to hear National's Maori development plans.

She says Mr Key has already shown at Ratana and Waitangi that he is willing to front up to Maori.

“You know Maori are wanting the meet him. He’s new. He’s showing a different approach to what they’ve seen in the past and so they’re interested in meeting,” Mrs te Heuheu says.


There was a march today in Pukekohe south of Auckland to highlight the problems of methamphetamine abuse among Maori.

Organiser Rangimarie Cooper says it was timed for the first anniversary of the P hiikoi to Parliament.

Ms Cooper says the march followed the launch of a Methwatch programme, which encourages whanau to work alongside the police.

“It's also raising awareness at the same time as going through the right channels on how tio identify whanau that are getting into the drug or already addicted and just promoting the services that are out there to help your whanau who are getting into the drug,” Ms Cooper says.

She says there is no simple cure for P abuse in communities, and a range of strategies is needed.


Maori Television will be spending tens of thousands of dollars in future to broadcast its signal on Sky.

Chief executive Jim Mather says more than a third of the channel's viewers access it through their Sky decoders, because they can't pick up the UHF signal.

Mr Mather says Maori TV along with TVNZ had to shift its satellite signals off the Optus B1 satellite in December, and it now has an interim arrangement with Sky.

He sasy there are technical issues over the type of signal going to and from Sky's satellite, which means extra short and long term costs.

“Potentially it could be tens of thousands, but if Sky are unable to identify a technical fix, which they’re confident of doing, it could continue on and it could exceed the tens of thousands that are the framework of what we’re looking at at the moment,” Mr Mather says.

Maori Television's signal will also be available on the new freeview satellite service to be launched later this year.


Low wages and incomes are hampering Maori development.

That's the word from social activist John Minto from Global Peace and Justice Auckland.

Mr Minto says the Government's response to a series of reports highlighting continued child poverty in this country is patronising, and its policies aren't addressing those most in need.

He says it has done little to address National's policies of the 1990s, which drove tens of thousands of working class families into poverty and held them there.

Mr Minto says the situation is particularly hard on Maori.

“Maori are disproportionately represented among low income earners in New Zealand. So Maori minimum workers are people who are buffering particularly with policies based around low wages and low incomes, and that’s where I think the real problem is,” Mr Minto says.

He says the government should have a baseline policy that the wage for a 40 hour a week job should be enough to raise a family.


A cross cultural approach will be used from this weekend to help curb bad behaviour in West Auckland.

Jack Taumaunu from the Waitemata Wardens says a group of Pacific Island volunteers will join patrols through Ranui and the Henderson Town centre.

He says the two groups were brought together by the Police Pacific Islands liaison officer.

“To me it's a breakthrough. We should have had it a while back. It’s wonderful to see the amalgamation of the two. They’re volunteers by the way. We’re the ones working under Project Respect, and they really want to tie in with us to see if they can make a difference,” Mr Taumaunu says.

Monday, February 19, 2007

OTS dashes claimant hopes for iconic land

The Office of Treaty Settlements says far north claimants are unlikely to get some of the flagship properties at the heart of the Muriwhenua claims.

At their first hearing in 1986, claimants told the Waitangi Tribunal the creation of state owned enterprises would mean the Crown would have no assets left for settlements.

As a result, the then Labour Government amended the State Owned Enterprises Act to supposedly protect claimants' interests in assets being transferred to Landcorp and other S-O-Es.

Now Landcorp is selling part of Rangiputa Station on the Karikari Peninsula, one of the former Lands & Survey farms sought by Muriwhenua iwi Ngati Kahu.

Paul James, the director of the Office of Treaty Settlements, says he approved the sell-off because the Crown has other properties in the area it can use to settle with the tribe - and that's in keeping with the SOE Act.

“I don't think that that scheme there was to say that those lands would be held in perpetuity by the Crown for use in settlement. Part of the State Owned Enterprise Act enabling the system of memorials was to protect Maori interests but at the same time allow state owned enterprises to operate as businesses and if necessary to trade in those assets,” Mr James says.


Meanwhile, Muriwhenua claimants are gathering about now to place a pouwhenua on Puheke, a small mountain and pa site on the Rangiputa Station.

Muriwhenua Runanga chairperson Rima Edwards says the reason the Crown is allowing the sale of part of the farm is because it is only offering Ngati Kahu an eight million dollar settlement.

That's one of the reasons Ngati Kahu withdrew from negotiations at the end of last year.

Mr Edwards says the dawn ceremony will emphasise the importance of the land to any final deal.

“The significance of the pouwhenua is to proclaim the mana of Ngati Kahu to that land and to advise the Crown that Ngati Kahu will not renege in its responsibility for that land to be returned to Ngati Kahu,” Mr Edwards says.

Members from all the Muriwhenua iwi will hikoi from Awanui to Kaitaia on Friday to protest the Rangiputa sell-off.


Ngati Koata from the top of the South Island is getting into the biofuel market.

Chief executive Caaron Paul says it has secured the rights for a reactor that will convert animal and vegetable fats into biodiesal.

She says the Ngati Koata Trust, which represents the iwi's two and a half thousand members, was looking for sustainable investments.

“What we liked about bio-diesel was it was also environmentally friendly, which is one of the things the trust has a keen focus on,” Ms Paul says.

The Ngati Koata Trust is setting up a biodiesel reactor in Nelson, and plans to build a second one in Auckland.


The head of the Office of Treaty Settlements says Landcorp's Rangiputa Station is not needed to settle far north Treaty claims.

Ngati Kahu members were to place a pouwhenua on an old pa site on the Karikari Penisula farm at dawn this morning to proclaim their mana over the land.

They are protesting Landcorp's plans to sell off a small part of the station as lifestyle beach sections.

OTS director Paul James says his office agreed to the sale because Landcorp properties are generally not available for settlements, but can be returned if the Waitangi Tribunal orders.

“The decision here is that as we had a number of other assets and properties already landbanked, that it’s a small proportion of a large property, and that the Crown continues to retain other land holdings in that area, that it wasn’t necessary to secure it for purposes of the settlement,” Mr James says.

Ngati Kahu pulled out of negotiations last year and is trying to get the Waitangi Tribunal to rule on what its compensation should be.


An expert on common law says the Crown will eventually need to revisit the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Jock Brookfield, an emeritus professor of law at Auckland University, says the Government use Tariana Turia's repeal bill to repair what was a very poor piece of lawmaking.

Without support from one of the two main political parties, the bill won't get past the first reading.

Professor Brookfield says it aims to wind back the clock to 2003, when the Court of Appeal ruled that Maori might be able to prove customary title to some coastal areas.

He says Labour overreacted to that decision by taking away Maori rights.

“Why take the Maori customary rights away in the first place when once they’re proved, it’s not a matter of throwing out the developers who have already got the marine farms but simply of directing the rentals they pay to the Maori for whom the Crown will hold the area,” Professor Brookfield says.

He says National should support the introduction of the Foreshore and Seabed Act reform bill, because it is supposed to uphold the principle of property rights.


Tauranga Moana iwi are planning a huge celebration next Waitangi Day of the return of their mountain, Mauao.

Ngai Te Rangi, Ngati Ranginui and Ngati Pukenga have signed off on the trust deed to manage the sacred hill at Mount Maunganui, paving the way for its return by the Crown.

Colin Bidois, the chairperson of the runanga for the three iwi, says the deal has taken four years of tough talks among the tribes and with central and local government.

“By the end of this year, we will have it back, and by Waitangi Day next year we’ll be celebrating up on Maouoa. We celebrate there every year now, but we’ll be celebrating with it under the umbrella of our kaitiakitanga,” Mr Bidois says.

Te Puke iwi Waitahi won't be included on the title as an owner, but it will be part of the management structure because of its historic links to Mauao.

National urged to support seabed property principle

A leader constitutional scholar is calling on the National Party to back the introduction of Tariana Turia's Foreshore and Seabed Act Repeal Bill, so the issue can be discussed at select committee.

Auckland University emeritus law professor Jock Brookfield says the Foreshore and Seabed Act is bad low which will have to be changed eventually.

Professor Brookfield says Labour clearly panicked after the 2003 Marlborough Sounds case, when the Court of Appeal said it was possible under common law for Maori to have customary title to areas of sea.

He says its response was to override common law rights and property rights, and that needs to be addressed.

“The conservative element in the National Party, which is said to be strongly against this, in doing so are inconsistent really with the defence of property rights that would otherwise be expected from them,” Professor Brookfield says.

He says it should be relatively simple for the Crown to uphold Maori customary rights while also allowing for recreational or commercial use of marine spaces.


Former Alliance president Matt McCarten says ousted Labour MP Taito Phillip Field could stop Labour from holding Mangere at the next election.

Mr Field has resigned from Labour while waiting to see whether the police will charge him over allegations of bribery and corruption, but he is still voting with the Government.

Mr McCarten says Mr Field could stand as an independent, and the recent by-election in Mangere to fill the Manukau City Council seat of James Papali'i illustrated the danger in that for Labour.

“I mean you had the local body by-election recently when James had to step down and of course a blue rinse Nat sort of came through the middle so I think that Philip potentially could ensure that Labour lost the seat, but if he’s charged, I don’t think he’s got a prayer,” Mr McCarten says.

He says suggestions the former trade union organiser has received overtures to join the Maori Party are off the mark and misrepresent the personal support that party is offering Mr Field at a time of great stress.


A Kapiti tourism operator says Maori businesses overlook the demand from their domestic market for quality experiences.

Damian Parata from Lindale at Paraparaumu says repeat visitors to the centre are more likely to be New Zealanders.

Mr Parata says although overseas visitors are important for any tourist venture, operators shouldn't underestimate the value of the domestic market in keeping them afloat.

“We'd actually started out with an el grando plan of poi dance and a hangi and an overnight marae stay and things like that. We quickly learnt though that as we looked at the market there was a strong domestic presence in our visitor profile. We decided on some of the basics of serving kai and telling our stories were some of those things people would repeatedly do,” Mr Parata says.

He says Maori tourism operators need to spend more time on research.


National MP Jacqui Blue hopes her private members bill will address Maori concerns over organ donation.

New Zealand has the lowest organ donation rate, with only 25 recorded for 2006, and Maori are the least likely of New Zealanders to donate organs.

Dr Blue says the low rate of organ donation in this country needs to be addressed, and Maori are least likely to donate organs.

She says feedback so far from the Maori Party indicates while Maori may be prepared to consider donations from live donors, they resist harvest from the dead.

“The people were very concerned about donation from dead donors, tissue typing matters, ethnicity matters, when you need an organ it’s better you get it from your own race rather than a different race, simply because of genetic material matches and so forth,” Dr Blue says.

The process for deciding to be an organ donor should be more thorough than ticking a box on a driving licence application.


Te Puke iwi Waitaha has been left out of the ownership of the Mauao at Mount Maunganui, but it will have a say in the mountain's management.

Three Tauranga iwi, Ngati Ranginui, Ngai Te Rangi and Ngati Pikiao, have signed off on the trust deed, the last step before the Crown returns title.

Colin Bidois, the chair of Te Runanga o Tauranga Moana says the deed recognises Waitaha's historical relationship to the mountain, without giving it ownership.

“Waitaha will be there on the governance side of the management of Mauao. Their historical association will be catered for in that manner,” Mr Bidois says.

Tauranga City Council will also have a say in the mountain's management.


Technology may have overtaken the efforts of kapa haka festival organisers to protect performers' images.

Te Matatini chairperson Tama Huata says the media will be under strict controls at the national Maori performing arts competitions starting in Palmerston North at the end of the week.

Mr Huata say several international film crews are expected, and to gain accreditation they will need to say how they will use the material.

But he says the digital age means there is no way to regulate the number of digital cameras at the event or where images end up.

“I mean there's a reality because anyone with a cellphone can just walk in there and click away. It’s fairly open and we don’t know where they could end up and I don’t have enough hours in the day to walk around and see who’s clicking what,” Mr Huata says.

One team took legal action after last year's Tairawhiti regional competitions to stop a bootleg film of their performance being sold.

Otakanini land occupied

Long running disputes in a south Kaipara Maori land incorporation have led to a group occupying a block of land near Helensville.

One of them, Denise Hapeta, says up to 100 people have been camping since Boxing Day on the block which is administered by the Otakanini Topu Incorporation.

Mrs Hapeta says the majority of landowners have no say over what happens on the incorporation's blocks, and they fear the committee of management is consolidating its hold by buying up any shares which come on the market.

“Three quarters of the family business is owned now by the managers and a lot of the owners have been left out, some of the owners haven’t been paid any dividend whatsoever for over 30 years, and it’s not one or two. The people are just feeling so disenfranchised,” Mrs Hapeta says.

Otakanini Topu Incorporation chairperson Hemi Rau says he will not comment while the occupation continues.


Representatives from Pacific island counties are in Tokaanu this week to learn how some of their unique environments may win world heritage status.

Department of Conservation Tongariro conservator Paul Green says the UNESCO World Heritage Council workshop is being held in the shadow of Mount Ruapehu because Tuwharetoa chief Tumu te Heuheu is the council's current chair.

Mr Green says Maori have been involved in the granting of world heritage status to Tongariro, parts of Fiordland and the sub-Antarctic Islands, and can share their experiences with Pasifika, which has only one world heritage area.

“What New Zealand can do is to play a role and particularly the Maori people can be seen as encouraging and giving a bit of confidence to these much smaller nations to work out ways they can protect their taonga and receive some benefits from it,” Mr Green says.


Some of the old sounds and voices of Maori performing arts will be heard again at the Te Matatini kapa haka competitions later this week.

Takiura is a special roopu of 300 performers aged 55 years and over who will perform waiata from 14 traditional composers including from Tuini Ngawai, Henare Waitoa, Kohine Ponika and Kingi Ngahiwi.

Organiser Puti Mackey says people will be able to hear how much performing styles have changed since the national festival started in 1972.

“The use of language and the simplicity of language and how you sung it, in comparison today the language is quite different in its composition and I guess that’s because the majority of them may be second language learners,” Ms Mackey says.

Taikura will perform in 10 minute blocks between every third group on Friday.


The arts council won't help fund two Maori artists to show their work at this year's Venice Biennale, but it is prepared to spend 67 thousand dollars sending people to write a report on it.

Creative New Zealand chief executive Stephen Wainwright says because there will be no official New Zealand presence at the art world's most prestigious fair, it can't offer any help to Brett Graham and Rachel Rakena.

A collaborative work by the pair has been picked by the biennale's curator for inclusion in the collateral event, which runs alongside the main festival.

Mr Wainwright says it's too late for Creative New Zealand.

“We've done three Venices and we’re having an intake of breath and a look art Venice in terms of our wider international strategy, so we’re actually supporting a delegation who’s going to go to three major events in Europe, including Venice, and they’re going to research opportunities provided by those events and provide recommendations to our council so that in the future we’re able to get the best possible benefit we can,” Mr Wainwright says.

The five member study group includes artists Lisa Reihana and Gavin Hipkins, dealers and curators.


The head of the School Trustees Association says there is pressure on the government to leave study of the Treaty of Waitangi in the school curriculum.

Lorraine Kerr says the majority of Maori parents send their children to mainstream schools, and it's important they have access to accurate treaty information.

She says the government’s statements about why it dropped the treaty reference from the draft curriculum don't make sense.

“They're looking at removing that, saying it’s in the Maori curriculum, and I’m saying ‘How can you remove it from one and put it in the other?’ when as I said over 75 percent of our Maori children are in mainstream, so it needs to stay there,” Ms Kerr says.


Maori Television will launch the third season of its sports entertainment show CODE this week with a 90 minute live special from the Te Matatini Kapa Haka Nationals at Palmerston North.

The show will feature some of the country's finest Maori athletes and role models.

Executive producer of sport Bailey Mackey says the show has succeeded because of the atmosphere created by the hosts.

“It's the laid back Maori manner, very familiar to all of us, that we’re able to see in a lot of sports stars. That’s provided by Tawera Nikau and Jenny Mae Coffin, and Matua, and obviously Oz, and Wairangi, and Ritchie, and this year we’ve got Farah Palmer,” Mr Mackey says.