Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, April 06, 2007

Planned police code of conduct "bullshit"

Former New Zealand First MP and former Gisborne police commander Rana Waitai says a code of conduct called for in a damning report on police behaviour is unnecessary.

The report by Dame Margaret Bazley said 141 of the 313 complaints of sexual assault she heard merited criminal charges or other disciplinary action.

The Government said it would implement all the report's 60 recommendations, including a code of conduct for all staff.

Mr Waitai says police already had rules to work by.

“You don't need a code of conduct in the police because you’ve got very very tight police general instructions, and you know exactly how to behave. Code of conduct is a bullshit bloody charter. You find them everywhere. You find them in hospitals. No one takes any notice of the damn things,” Mr Waitai says.

He says the report reads as if it was sanitised to deliver the recommendations the government was willing to go along with.


ACT leader Rodney Hide says the Court of Appeal's ruling in favour of Tuhoe activist Tame Iti sends a strange message to the public about the use of firearms.

The court quashed two convictions, because it said the prosecution failed to prove Mr Iti intended harm when he fired a shotgun during a welcome in Ruatoki for the Waitangi Tribunal in 2005.

Mr Hide says the original conviction seemed clear cut.

“When you look at the footage on television you say this was a dangerous act in a public place, and you would expect it to be against the law, and we’re also conscious too that law abiding firearm owners are getting had up all the time, sometime when they’re defending themselves, sometimes when they’re just being hassled,” Hide says.

But Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says the court came to the right decision.

“Tame followed a process in law, Pakeha law from their perspective, His case was found to be ok and he was able to get off, so good on him,” Mr Flavell says.

He sees the decision as showing respect for the exercise of Maori tikanga on the marae.


The organiser of this weekend's reunion for the 38 surviving members of the 28 Maori Battalion says the hui is a chance to celebrate their history.

B Company veterans and their whanau welcomed their fellow soldiers to Te Hokowhitu-a-Tumatauenga Marae in Whakatane today.

Hemana Waaka says up to 500 people are expected to attend over the next three days.

Mr Waaka says with numbers of veterans dropping, every opportunity is precious to celebrate their contribution.

“Everything is being portrayed to reflect the few that are left, and it is just a bonus that the other people have come in who wi9ll be the supporters from the different theatres of war, but more important for us will be the veterans and the widows of those vets,” Mr Waaka says.

The veterans will take part in a parade at the Whakatane war memorial hall on Sunday.


A long serving policeman turned politician believes the Bazley Report on police conduct was doctored to fit in with a previously agreed Government agenda.

Rana Waitai, who rose to head the Gisborne police district before entering Parliament as a New Zealand First MP, is now a lawyer based in Wanganui.

In her report, Dame Margaret Bazley said 141 of the 313 complaints of sexual assault by officers she reviewed contained enough evidence for criminal or disciplinary action

She made 60 recommendations, including a code of conduct, bringing in a new police discipline system and flagging officers behaving inappropriately.

Mr Waitai says the report pulls its punches.

“I think there was a stronger report than the one that is around at the moment, which named people. I think the government got hold of the report and sanitized the damn thing. I think the best thing we’d be looking at now would be a sanitised report of those things that the government is happy to implement,” Mr Waitai says.

He says the proposed code of conduct is unnecessary, because police officers should know how to behave.


This weekend's four day Tuhoe Festival at Ruatoki is a chance for the majority of the iwi living outside the rohe to come home.

Organiser Haaromi Williams says up to 15 thousand people are expected at the small eastern Bay of Plenty settlement for a programme of kapa haka, sports, debating and even a hip hop competition.

Ms Williams says the festival has come a long way since the first one back in 1971, but the main focus remains on the people.

“It's really the main reason for having a festival, allowing the 80 percent of the Tuhoe population an opportunity to come home and celebrate being Tuhoe. Really it is about getting together with whanau and catching up," Ms Williams says.


Former Maori Women’s Welfare League president June Mariu says Maori should have their own national netball team.

Mrs Mariu, who captained the New Zealand team in 1960 and is a long term coach, says places in the Silver Ferns are limited, and Maori players need other goals to aspire to.

She says Maori players don’t have the international options of some of their peers.

“Islanders can get into the Ferns. South Africans can get into the Ferns. Anybody can get into the Ferns. Maori can get into the Ferns. But if they don’t we don’t have anything because of that rule of one nation one team. Whereas the islanders and everyone else can go back and get into their own teams,” Mrs Mariu says.

She says the Aotearoa Maori Netball tournament at Papakura over Easter should show how much talent there is around.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Aotearoa Fisheries buys Whitianga cray processor

Pan-Maori company Aotearoa Fisheries has netted Whitianga-based OPC Fish and Lobster for an undisclosed sum.

Aotearoa chief executive Robin Hapi says the acquisition will strengthen the company's position in key North Island inshore fisheries like snapper, terakihi, hapuka and crayfish.

Mr Hapi says OPC is a well-run company with an entrepreneurial style and a strong presence on the Whitianga waterfront.

“They own directly 12 tonnes of CRA2, they lever in quite a considerable amount above that into the business, and they’ve got relationships with other entities that are operating within the CRA2 area that bring through other product,” Mr Hapi says.

Aotearoa will keep OPC's existing processing operation going.


Ngai Tahu's leadership crisis is a sign its organisational structure isn't properly democratic.

That's the view of Ngapuhi academic Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and Indigenous Studies at Canterbury University.

Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu is trying to push aside its chairperson, Mark Solomon, but Mr Solomon is refusing to go and threatening legal action to retain his job.

Mr Solomon claims widespread support from the tribe's members.

Mr Taonui says while the process of regional appointing executive members may have worked in the early years after the South Island iwi's treaty settlement, it is now leading to a gap between ordinary members and those at the top.

“Ngai Tahu's system of some runanga appointing through the marae committees has probably been fairly efficient in the start up phase, but it’s now obvious they need to fix that, and if they go to dully democratic elections, I think you’re going to get a better standard of behaviour at the top,” Mr Taonui says.

There are also dangers in being too democratic, as Tainui found in 2000 when its tribal parliament was too slow to respond to a crisis in the executive.


55 teams have registered to compete at the Aotearoa Maori Netball championships in Papakura this weekend.

Spokesperson Evelyn Tobin says the tournament includes junior and senior grades, showing the youngsters how far they can go in netball.

She says Maori netball has nurtured many top players, including June Mariu, who captained the New Zealand squad in 1960 - Taini Jamison and Merv Solomon, who were part of the 1967 world champion team, and more recent Stars.

“Waimarama Taumanu, Debbie Matua, Gail Parata, Noeline Taurua, Kerry-May Coffin, and in the current squad, Jodie Te Huna and Joelene Henry,” Ms Tobin says.


Whakatane District Council's liaison officer says a plan by Environment Bay of Plenty to shift its headquarters from Whakatane to Tauranga, combined with a plan to slash the number of councilors, will make it much harder for a Maori voice to be heard at regional level.

The regional council currently has three Maori wards, but these will drop to two under the plan.

Hinewai Katene says the eastern Bay of Plenty is heavily Maori, and the communities have felt they had a chance of being heard while the council headquarters was nearby.

“It would make it more difficult for these Maori communities. Murupara is 98 percent Maori. Waimana is 100 percent Maori community, Opotiki, 80 percent Maori community, Kawerau 60-70 percent Maori community,” Ms Katene says.

Many of Environment BOP's Maori staff will find it hard to move with the council, because it will mean a shift away from their tribal area.


A senior fisheries negotiator for Rongowhakaata says a pragmatic approach was the key to a neighbouring iwi receiving their full fisheries settlement.

Willie Te Aho says Ngai Taamanuhiri would have faced a long wait had it not been for the forward thinking of iwi leaders.

He says it is an example other iwi may wish to follow to speed up the settlement allocation process.

“Rongowhakaata in particular which is towards the northern end of Gisborne, they had to agree on a boundary that was disputed, so what they did was made a pragmatic decision and say hey, for the purpose of you getting your commercial allocation, we wil agree to this point at Te Kowhai which is opposite Manutuke on the beach and we’ll agree to that point without prejudice to our customary fisheries,” Mr Te Aho says,

The alternative was to go through a dispute mechanism and bring in outsiders to rule on whose interpretation of custom was correct.


The Prime Minister says it's up to Maori to reinvigorate their own language.
Helen Clark says the annual Ma Te Reo funding, which is now open for applications, is a way communities can come up with their own initiatives.

About one and a half million dollars will be available.

Ms Clark says while the government can provide resources , the drive and commitment must come from the people.

“In the end if it’s about saving and promoting te reo, it’s got to come from the hearts of the people. Same as our Pacific Island languages, which are very gravely endangered. We can provide all the resources, In the end, it will be the hearts of the people that want it to carry on,” Ms Clark says.

Fishing future full of uncertainty as globe heats

Green MP Metiria Turei has warned a Maori fisheries conference in Napier that Maori must prepare themselves for major environmental change.

Ms Turei says the fishing industry, including the Maori commercial sector, needs to look closely at current fishing practices.

She says if Maori fisheries is to survive past the next 20 or 30 years, people have to prepare for inevitable change in oceans through climate change, over-fishing and habitat destruction.

“If we don't prepare ourselves for the changes that those things will bring, we won’t have an industry that lasts. And so the whole treaty settlement process, the allocation, will all be wasted, because we won’t have the fish in the sea to be able to use,” Ms Turei says.

She says customary fishing could be particularly vulnerable, because of the lack of resources to put into managing that sector.


Environment Bay of Plenty's plans to move its headquarters from Whakatane to Tauranga will disadvantage Maori.

That's the view of Hinewai Katene, Whakatane District Council's kaitakawaenga Maori.

Almost 12 thousand people signed a petition opposing the move, which was delivered to regional council chairperson John Cronin after a march through Whakatane on Saturday.

Ms Katene says 100 jobs will leave from the Eastern Bay of Plenty, which will have a detrimental effect on the council's Maori staff.

“A lot of their skills will be taken to Tauranga if they have to move,. Their families will have to move, their children will have to move, which means they’re going to take them out of their own environment as the rohe o Mataatua. That’s a big mental shift for a lot of them,” Ms Katene says.

Many of the communities in the eastern Bay of Plenty have high Maori populations, and the move will make it harder for Maori tohelp council understand their concerns.


Otago Maori health workers hope the area's first Maori clinic will encourage more whanau to use health services.

Uruuruwhenua Health opened in Clyde this week under Kai Tahu ki Otago Ltd under a two-year contract with the Otago District Health Board.

Whanau ora worker Glenda Rodgers says many Maori don't visit clinics until it is too late because they fear doctors or are reluctant to travel or take time off work.

Ms Rodgers says the service needs to sell itself to the Maori community and convince people to look after their health.

“So many of our people down here they’re fragmented, they’ve come for work and they’ve ended up staying here. And as in a lot of other places, we don’t use the health providers. People are still dying rater than going and seeking medical help,” Ms Rodgers says.

A similar service is planned for South Otago later in the year.


The facilitator of a series of hui on climate change says Maori have responded well to kaupapa.

Willy Te Aho says much of the Maori economy is based on industries which will be affected by climate change policies, so there was keen interest in the hui.

He says Maori have a deep concern for the environment and they made a valuable contribution to discussions.

“From each of the 11 hui that we attended, each hui chose a person to represent them at a national reference group meeting that took place on March 21. They then pulled all the central things from all the different minutes and came up with 34 recommendations,” Mr Te Aho says.

The responses will be fed into a policy document which will be taken back out for further consultation.


A retired Maori educationalist says the best way to improve Maori children's performance in schools is for teachers and the system to recognise Maori culture.

The Post Primary Teachers Association has been skeptical about the results of Te Kotahitanga programme for Maori pupils in mainstream schools, saying it is too early to attribute improved literacy and numeracy skills of students in the pilot schools to the culturally responsive teaching methods the programme advocates.

But Toby Curtis, who taught at secondary and tertiary level, says Te Kotahitanga is doing what Maori have been advocating for years.

“I'm convinced that no matter what the system is, Maori children will do well if the roots of their culture are properly recognised, and nurtured within that system. It doesn’t have to be a totally Maori system so long as the heart and soul of things Maori are being touched upon. Obviously the heart and soul isn’t being touched upon in mainstream education,” Mr Curtis says.


The only Maori on this season's Dancing with the Stars is finding he's not the dancer he thought he was.

Former national basketball rep turned television presenter Brendon Pongia fancied himself as a mover and groover on the dance floor, but expectations are different in the dance programme which starts next week.

His first dances are the cha cha and the quickstep, and he's put in hours of practice to improve his chances against Frank Bunce, Michael Laws and Paul Holmes.

Mr Pongia says he may need the Maori vote to support the charity he's chosen.

“You know I've got to think about the charity I’m working for, Cure Kids, so it’s a huge thing and the longer I stay around the more money I can make for them. I just want to get through that first dance and get the confidence up and we’ll just take it form there, but the important thing is getting the votes, and I need that Maori vote,” Mr Pongia says.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Solomon demands reasons for attacks

Ngai Tahu chairperson Mark Solomon has rejected a demand that he withdraw into the background until the runanga elections in November.

Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu yesterday announced Mr Solomon would retain the title of kaiwhakahaere, but runanga meetings would be chaired by his deputy, Don Couch, who would also be the tribe's spokesperson.

Mr Solomon says he rejected the offer and the ball is now in the runanga's court.

He still doesn't know what his critics want.

“Not once have you ever show what I’ve actually supposed to have done wrong, nor not once have they ever show what their purpose is. When the Ngai Tahu whanui came before us on Friday, they repeatedly asked ‘tell us what he has done wrong?’ No one to date has been able to answer that question,” Mr Solomon says.

He is humbled and honoured by the support shown to him by tribe members.


Labour Maori MPs took to the streets of Dargaville yesterday to spell out the changes in their Government's social assistance packages, including the extra week's holiday for workers and the rise in the minimum wage.

Dover Samuels, Mahara Okeroa, Dave Hereora and Shane Jones visited the high school, police station and a kumara processing plant.

Mr Jones says the Northern Wairoa has a high Maori population, but seldom gets visited by MPs.

He says Labour is the only party committed to working people.

“Policies that have been outlined would only be delivered from a centre left government, and there’s only one show in town capable of addressing the needs of working class people, as well as superannuitants. There’s no way in the world that National is going to put up the minimum wage nor give workers an additional week's holiday,” Mr Jones says.

As a result of yesterday's visit, a Dargaville High student will take part in the annual youth parliament in July.


Wakatu Incorporation chairperson Paul Morgan is warning other Maori landowners to audit their access to water.

Wakatu is fighting Tasman District Council over use of Motueka's groundwater.

Wakatu and Ngati Rarua Ati Awa iwi trust want to a bore on their land to service commercial, residential and industrial land in Motueka.

The council, which wants to use the water for neighbouring areas, blocked the water right application.

Mr Morgan says the planning regulations tend to leave Maori out in the cold.

“We've told all our fellow trusts to look and do a water audit on all their properties, because what they don’t understand is how the system of managing water works and they’ll find that they don’t control the permit or licence over that water,” Mr Morgan says.

He says it's wrong in Maori terms to separate land and water, as Tasman District Council plans to do.


Fighting words from Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon, as his stand-off with the South Island tribe's runanga escalates.

Mr Solomon rejected an offer put to him yesterday that he retains his title as kaiwhakahare but lets his deputy, university lecturer Don Couch, chair all runanga meetings and speak on behalf of the tribe until fresh elections in November.

He says his critics have failed to spell out what their concerns are with his performance, and he rejects their claim he is bringing the tribe into disrepute by refusing to go quietly.

“I did not, I have never brought Ngai Tahu into disrepute. I did not go to the media over my exit offer. Other people did and I refuse to be fettered for the actions of others,” Mr Solomon says.


A pioneer of Maori media says for all the resources put into Maori broadcasting, Maori news in English has been left behind.

Gary Wilson, whose efforts at the Journalists Training Organisation, Waiariki Polytechnic and Mana News opened the door to media careers for many prominent Maori and Pacific island journalists, says there has been no intelligent overview of where money for Maori news and current affairs is best spent.

He says since 1990 the focus has been on Maori language services, even though news in English can have a significantly wider impact.

“There's been no justification for the neglect of developing the expertise to produce significant Maori news and current affairs programmes in English that can not only serve the majority of Maori who are not fluent in te reo but also the majority of other New Zealanders,” Mr Wilson says.

He says a lot of important Maori issues are important New Zealand issues, and the wider public deserves to be informed of them.


While most early childhood educators are bemoaning the lack of male teachers, almost a third of kai ako in kohanga reo are men.

That success attracted favourable comment at the Early Childhood Council's annual conference in Christchurch.

Kohanga Reo National Trust spokesperson Titoki Black says the movement recognises Maori men have a special role with children.

“We're different from other early childhood providers in that we empower our fathers from day one and not just our fathers, our grandfathers as well, and for us it’s not just about enrolling their child. It’s about having to share their role as a male in kohanga with other children who do not have a father in their homes,” Ms Black says.

Jan Peeters from Ghent University's Child Care research centre in Belgium's University told the conference New Zealand's rate of less than 1 percent males in early childhood teaching is one of the lowest in the world.

Solomon tells runanga he won't be sidelined

Ngai Tahu chairperson Mark Solomon has rejected an attempt to sideline him.

Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu held a press conference today to announce that Mr Solomon would remain as kaiwhakahaere, but his deputy, Don Couch, would chair all meetings and be the runanga spokesperson.

Mr Solomon says that is unacceptable and he refuses to be fettered in his role of representing the South Island tribe.

He says his critics have never explained what he has done wrong, nor have they revealed what their purpose is.

Mr Solomon says the ball is now in the runanga's court, but the continuing division is causing huge damage to the tribe's reputation.


Massey University Maori Studies professor Taiarahia Black says National's plan to require more standardised testing of primary school pupils will swamp schools with paperwork and divert effort from important areas of the curriculum.

The party also wants schools to report on where they and their pupils rank against other schools.

Professor Black says there is not much new in the proposal, and there is little which will benefit Maori students.

“Where are the social indicators, Maori language, science, culture, custom. These are all things that impact on what’s already in place, What other aspects can National offer to clear a pathway for the current initiatives that are in place,” Professor Black says.

He says teachers are already weighed down by report writing and the need to allocate scarce resources.


The Auckland Police iwi liaison officer, Huri Dennis, says taha Maori intervention methods aren’t right for all young Maori offenders.

Senior sergeant Dennis says a taha Maori approach can help change the behaviour of rangatahi, usually where the police have whanau support systems they can tap into.

But he says a growing number of young Maori don't have those networks.

“There are those rangatahi that don’t have whanau, whether by way of choice or not. They’ve been on their own for a long time. And to be quite honest the state, the system perhaps or even the gangs have become their whanau, so it’s a complicated issue to an extent, in terms of the ahua, but I believe in some of the interventions, they’re not that hard,” Mr Dennis says.


Ngai Tahu's leadership crisis is a sign its organisational structure isn't properly democratic.

That's the view of Ngapuhi academic Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and Indigenous Studies at Canterbury University.

Mr Taonui says while the process of regional appointing executive members may have worked in the early years after the South Island iwi's treaty settlement, it is now leading to a gap between ordinary members and those at the top.

“Ngai Tahu's system of some runanga appointing through the marae committees has probably been fairly efficient in the start up phase, but it’s now obvious they need to fix that, and if they go to dully democratic elections, I think you’re going to get a better standard of behaviour at the top,” Mr Taonui says.

He says there are also dangers in being too democratic, as Tainui found in 2000 when its tribal parliament was too slow to respond to a crisis in the executive.


A South Island Maori language advocate says a community grant scheme administered by the Maori language commission is leading to innovative ways of encouraging use of te reo.

Applications for this year's round of Ma te Reo funding opened today.

Hana O'Regan says initiatives designed and administered by government often fail because they don't get buy in from Maori communities.

“If the community decides what they want you’re that much more likely to have a better product that’s coming out of that investment, because it’s really relevant to what the people actually needing and what the people want, and it’s timely as well,” O'Regan says.

The Ma Te Reo fund usually receives about six times more applications than the one and a half million dollars it has available.


Big clean-ups are underway at many Northland marae for one of the busiest weekends on the Maori calendar.

Taitokerau police iwi liaison officer Paddy Whiu says worst hit in last week's big wet was Matangirau Marae at Whangaroa. Several Hokianga marae were also damaged.

“There are other marae where there water supplies have been interrupted so they’ll be working hard there to get their water supplies gong again and bearing in mind this weekend is Easter weekend and a lot of our families come home for this weekend for either unveilings or family get-togethers, so they’ll be trying to get those services back into play,” Mr Whiu says.

Maori settlements need to work with the region's councils on infrastructural improvements which could lower the risk of flooding.


Ngai Taamanuhiri chief negotiator Na Raihania says the Poverty Bay tribe's fishing settlement wouldn't have been achieved without the support of neighbouring iwi.

The iwi has become the first to secure its full settlement by reaching agreement with neighbours on their boundaries.

It will now get $1 million in inshore and freshwater quota, to go with the $700 thousand in shares and deepwater quota it has already received.

Na Raihania says the important thing for Ngai Taamanuhiri was to maintain its tikanga through the process.

“We've struggled and fought and built strong relationships in our own sphere of influence, that allowed us to move through. And I do take this opportunity to mihi to Rongowhakaata, Mahaki and Ngati Porou amd Kahungunu because we are all in that SMA 2 area together, And it was really building on those strong relationships that allowed us to move forward,” Mr Raihania says.

Ngai Taamanuhiri will get an immediate gain from no longer having to pay lease costs for its quota.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Solomon verdict still hanging

Ngai Tahu members should find out today the fate of their embattled chairperson Mark Solomon.

Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu spent most of its two day meeting in Christchurch on Friday and Saturday in committee, angering many of the kaumatua gathered outside the hui.

Deputy chairperson Don Couch came out at four to say the executive had reached a compromise which needed to be put to Mr Solomon.

Mr Solomon, who has been under fire for three years from a nine-member faction on the board, had left the hui by that time.

Kaumatua Richard Parata, a former director of Ngai Tahu Group Holdings, says the outcome of the hui indicated Mr Solomon was not the issue, but was rather a symptom of an undemocratic and dysfunctional system.

Mr Parata says a change in the runanga’s charter in 2003 means executive members are no longer elected by and accountable to beneficiaries, but are appointed by electoral colleges.


Tuhoe kaumatua Tawhiao Tioke says new regulations on the size of eels are the result of over-fishing by Pakeha operators.

Commercial fishers will no longer be able to take eels over 4 kilograms, which are females of breeding age.

Mr Tioke, an expert in Maori tikanga, says the eel, or tuna has been a vital part of the diet of inland Maori, and traditional conservation methods ensured a plentiful supply.

He says that has been disrupted as the fish is seen as just another commercial species.

“We’re the ones that has lived with the tuna, knows the tuna, but he Pakehas run out of the fishes, they overfished the sea for money, now they couldn’t produce enough fish, now they turning to the rivers for the tuna, not because they like it but because they want the mahi moni,” Mr Tioke says.


Dargaville’s waka Te Wairoa has a new giant-sized trailer, giving it a new lease of life.

Mack Harry from Te Roopu Whakapiringa Maori Centre says the 14 and a half metre steel trailer means the waka can be moved around Northland for ceremonial events and training.

Mr Harry says there are many young people in the area interested in training on the waka, but it has been too hard to get the vessel in and out of the water.

“It was confining us to the shore, the means of transporting us around eh, but now we're ready to fly,” Mr Harry says.

Te Roopu Whakapiringa has a water safety course planned for the Kai Iwi lakes, just north of Dargaville.


A Ngai Tahu kaumatua says this weekend’s hui over the South Island tribe’s leadership shows a constitutional review is essential.

Richard Parata says kaumatua were kept out on the street while the 18-member executive stayed in committee to discuss the fate of the tribe’s kaiwhakahaere, Mark Solomon.

Mr Solomon has survived several attempts to unseat him from the chair to the country’s richest tribe, but the attacks keep coming.

At the end of the hui deputy chair Don Couch said a compromise had been reached, but details will not be released until later today after negotiations with Mr Solomon.

Mr Parata says there is widespread anger among the tribe at the executive, and considerable grass roots support for Mr Solomon.

He says because executive members are appointed by electoral colleges rather than directly voted in, they are not responsive to beneficiaries.


Gisborne's Tairawhiti Museum has a reprieve after securing new sources of funding.

Director Monty Soutar says the museum, which holds many taonga from East Coast iwi, was threatened with liquidation last year because the Gisborne District Council wasn’t willing to keep pouring money in.

Dr Soutar says an operational overhaul has improved service to the public and cut costs.

He says organisations like the Ministry of Education and Te Puni Kokiri have been willing to put money into the museum because of its role in the community, taking pressure off the council.

“They gave us back in August some survival money and we’ve put in initiatives to sensure wer’re not relying soleluy on our council for funding and we’re generating income form other sources, so 25 percent of our income now is through sources from outside the Gisborne District Council,” Dr Soutar says.

Ngati Porou and leading businessman Rob McLeod are sponsoring a major taonga Maori exhibition in November, which will allow many of artifacts to be brought out of storage.


An ecotourism course at Greymouth's Tai Poutini Polytechnic is helping non-Maori learn more about the history and people of Aotearoa.

Co-ordinator John Kennedy says ecotourism is the fastest growing sector of the industry, and a big part of the experience for tourists is learning about the Maori dimension to the natural and cultural environment.

He says tutor Bunty Mason is able to weave lessons in te reo, Maori history and rongoa Maori into the curriculum.

Mr Kennedy says it requires a shift in thinking for many students.

“We've had a lot of students who’s come in from a real South Island background, so they’ve had to have a real paradigm shift in how they view basic issues of culture and race relations in New Zealand,” Mr Kennedy says.