Waatea News Update

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Filmaker, actor, mentor Don Selwyn dies age 71

Kau hinga tetahi totara i te wao nui a Tane.

Maoridom today lost one of its tallest trees.

Actor, singer, teacher and filmmaker Don Selwyn died of kidney failure today in North Shore Hospital, 40 days after he was admitted with a knee infection. He was 71.

His sister, Ivy Paho, says Mr Selwyn was from far north iwi Te Aupouri, but was born and raised in Taumaranui.

He trained as a teacher, and developed as a performer with kapa haka groups and with the New Zealand Maori Opera Company.

His credits as an actor included the television series Pukemanu and The Governor, Sleeping Dogs, Goodby Pork Pie, Came a Hot Friday, and as producer and director, The Maori Merchant of Venice.

Mrs Paho says her brother made sure any doors he opened stayed open for other Maori.

“ He was very passionate about young Maori and their talent, and that’s what his work was, when he ceased from being the actor or the entertainer, he made a concerted effort about bringing through the skills of young Maori,” Mrs Paho says.

Don Selwyn's body will be taken back to his family in Taumarunui.


The Ngapuhi runanga and Northland District Health Board want to improve water quality at the region's marae.

They are co-hosting a wananga on the issue at Kaikohe tomorrow.

Arthur Harawira, the runanga's hapu development coordinator, says with more than 100 marae in Tai Tokerau, it's not practical to visit each one.

Mr Harawira says the water systems at many marae can't cope with the demands being placed on them.

“In most areas there is no equipment, so a lot of the water that comes to marae is either straight from the ground or straight in or straight off the roof into the tanks. For vast numbers that attend marae, the need to have a better quality drinking supply has been the focus for the Northland District Health Board,” Mr Harawira says.

Marae are increasingly a part of civil defence strategies, so a secure water system becomes extremely important in times of crisis.


The late Maori queen Dame Te Ata i Rangikaahu will be remembered tomorrow with the inaugural presentation of a nursing scholarship bearing her name.

Waikato Institute of Technology created the scholarship for a nursing student of Tainui descent.

Anna Carter, Wintec's public relations manager, says it will be an emotional day for all concerned.

“It's extremely meaningful for Wintec. Dame Te Ata was much loved. She was interested and involved and had been on our campus on numerous occasions and so it’s very exciting that tomorrow the inaugural scholarship will be awarded, and each year another scholarship will also be offered to a student who is from Tainui,” Ms Carter says.

The first recipient will be Te Unuwai Kapea of Ngati Haua.


The late actor, director and filmmaker Don Selwyn is being hailed as an ariki whose contribution to New Zealand's arts was never fully appreciated.

Mr Selwyn died shortly after 1 this afternoon in the critical care unit of North Shore Hospital, where he had been for 40 days. He was 71.

Entertainer Sir Howard Morrison, who worked closely with Mr Selwyn over the years, was at his bedside this morning.

Sir Howard says with little support, Mr Selwyn blazed a path for other Maori to enter the film and television industries.

“His contribution has never really been appreciated. The magnificent Merchant of Venice, of what he did to Maori, was something that has never been done by any filmmaker in this country, white or brown, and will live on as his masterpiece,” Sir Howard says.

Don Selwyn's family says he will be taken back to Taumarunui, where he grew up.


The Government will work with Maori and other groups of care givers to develop a national strategy for people who provide care for sick or disabled family members.

Carers NZ, a coalition of 39 national charities, held a summit in Wellington yesterday and today to discuss issues within in the sector.

Disability Issues Minister Ruth Dyson says Maori form a distinct group in the care sector, and this has been recognised by the umbrella organisation.

“That is really important because we cannot accept that one cultural fit is appropriate to all New Zealand families so there will inevitably be other groups that pop up within the alliance as well, but the first to put their hands up is Maori representation, and that’s really good news,” Ms Dyson says.


Water Safety New New Zealand is working with the Kohanga Reo National Trust to distribute a kit aimed at cutting drownings among children under five.

Maori Water Safety Project manager Mark Haimona says the kit, Te Takaro Haumaru i te Wai or safer play near water, was developed in association with Tainui kohanga reo teachers and kaumatua.

He says too many Maori children drown because they are in the water without any adult supervision.

“Generally speaking most under fives usually drown in and around the home. It has been quite rare in the last five to 10 years that under fives have drowned in the open water. It’s usually in and around the home. It’s probably based around supervision. It’s leaving children near water to play,” Mr Haimona says.

In the most recent statistical period 44 percent of the under fives who drowned were Maori.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Unemployment off low skill base

National Party Maori affairs spokesperson Georgina te Heuheu says low Maori unemployment figures shouldn't be used to hide the fact Maori still lag in earning power.

Mrs te Heuheu says the Maori unemployment rate is still twice that of non-Maori.

She says the dole queue may be shorter, but numbers on other welfare benefits have increased.

Mrs te Heuheu says the government needs to do more to raise Maori skills.

“For our people, it is an issue of lifting the skills base to makes sure that Maori get into better paying, longer term type employment that offers career opportunities and that sort of things, so there’s still a big job ahead of the government,” Mrs Te Heuheu says.

She says the improved job climate is more a result of buoyant economic times than government initiatives.


The organiser of a wananga on marae water hopes it will be the catalyst for upgrading the hundred marae in Taitokerau.

Arthur Harawira, Te Runanga O Ngapuhi's hapu development co-ordinator, says marae are increasingly being recognised as community facilities.

Mr Harawira says the runanga is concerned many marae might might not be able to cope in the event of civil defence emergencies and other crises.

“Historically they've just served a group of whanau or the Maori sector biut now there’s a move to include all those who live within that rohe, which will include Pakeha, Chinese, whoever, into the marare so it’s a community development programme,” Mr Harawira says.

Tomorrow's wananga in Kaikohe will discuss ways marae can improve the quality of their water.


The Maori Battalion Association wants to get as many surviving members of the 28 Maori Battalion as can travel to the All Blacks - France rugby test in Auckland in June.

Organising committee member Bert Mackie says the associaiton is attempting to raise 30 thousand dollars in 30 days to fund the project.

Mr Mackie says the trip will include a dinner function with current and past Maori All Blacks.

He says many Battalion members have never watched a live test.

“Not for a few years anyway, because a lot of them may have difficulty getting around. So we thought here we are, here’s a little way of saying thank you and so we decided this was what we'd do,” Mr Mackie says.

There are only 68 surviving Maori Battalion veterans.


A prominent Northland elder says he has no confidence in the ability of local or central government to manage water resources.

Nuki Aldridge says those same bodies are responsible for the pollution of most of the nation's waterways.

He says it is abhorrent to Maori tikanga to discharge human waste into the same streams and waterways used for drinking, yet that is what councils have allowed.

“They think they've got the answers, but when you look at the history of management, who are the polluters. The polluters are the local governments, the councils, and central government, and they’re saying they know how to manage water. I don’t think so. Let’s hear the voice of Maoridom to say leave our water alone,” Mr Aldridge says.

He says Maori have a better record in protecting water resources.

The paramount chief of Tuwharetoa, Tumu te Heuheu, has called a national hui at Pukawa Marae next month on water ownership and management.


New Zealand First law and order spokesperson Ron Mark says gangs are sending out rangatahi to commit crimes, because they know they can not be charged.

Mr Mark says that's one of the reasons he has put up a members bill to lower the age of criminal responsibility.

He says gangs are aware that rangatahi can't be charged with many crimes.

“It's very common. In fact, if I go back to my time before I was a member of Parliament, down in Christchurch, it was well know to police and to CIB that organized crime was recruiting and mobilizing young people to burgle homes to order, and that‘s been going on for years,” Mr Mark says.

He says youths now can't be charged for serious crimes like rape, aggravated robbery, and assault with intent to injure.


Ngai Tahu has added to its extensive South Island land holdings with the purchase of AgResearch's Tara Hills research farm at the southern end of the MacKenzie Country.

Ngai Tahu Properties chief executive Tony Sewell says the tribe has bought the 33 hundred hectare high country farm to farm.

Geoff Balme, AgResearch's chief financial officer, says Tara Hills had been used for research into merino sheep and dryland pasture research.

But he says dwindling science funding from the farming industry means that science can no longer be supported, and future research will be done in partnership with privately owned farms,

Mr Balme says Tara Hills is currently running 7 thousand merino sheep and 300 cattle.

National hui called on water

Ngati Tuuwharetoa paramount chief Tumu te Heuheu has called a national hui to discuss water.

Spokesperson Timi te Heuheu says the hui on May 16 and 17 will be at Puukawa on the shores of Lake Taupo.

Issues over the ownership and management of water have been heightened by consultations on the government's Water Programme of Action and by treaty negotiations in Tainui and Te Arawa.

Mr Te Heuheu says while those iwi have been to the fore, other iwi have interests.

“Obviously there's always going to be a kaupapa important for them. Hopefully we can all agree on the principles as we sift through the detail of issues they are particularly interested in, as are we all, and gain a bit more clarity,” Mr te Heuheu says.


The National Party is turning its guns on a scheme aimed at more teachers in priority areas such as Maori and early childhood.

Maori Affairs spokesperson Tau Henare says too many students are failing to complete their training under the TeachNZ scheme.

So far $360,000 has been paid out in scholarships to students who drop out, including $54,000 to would-be Maori teachers.

Mr Henare says rather than keep paying out, a review is needed.

“Let's figure out why people are bailing halfway through the courses. Is the course too hard? Is it not interesting enough? Let’s do some research on figuring out, if we’re going to give all these people these scholarships, why aren’t the students staying until the end? Then we might get value for money,” Mr Henare says.

Only 60 percent of recipients of the early childhood and Maori medium scholarships complete courses.


The National Film Archive is giving Taranaki people a chance to see rare footage of their tupuna.

It's part of its Te Hokinga Mai o Nga Taonga Whitiaahua programme, which aims to return treasured images to their home areas.

Taranaki spokesperson Wharehoka Wano says there is keen interest in the footage, which includes Sir Maui Pomare, Sir Peter Buck, Sir Paul Reeves and other Taranaki identities.

Mr Wano says three shows are planned, starting at Taiporohënui Marae in Hawera on April 16, Parihaka on April 18 and Owae Marae in Waitara on April 19. Screenings start at 7pm. They are open to the public and admission is free.


A high Maori population is being cited as being behind high rates of teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections in Rotorua.

Eugene Berryman-Kamp, the Maori health manager for the Rotorua public health organisation, says teenage pregnancies in the region are twice the national rate.

Mr Berryman-Kamp says because of the lower media age of the Maori population, Rotorua has more teenagers than other regions, and it needs to develop programmes to address their needs.

“Traditionally I think people have viewed sex education as something that happens mid teens, 13, 14 years old. The critical issue really is we’ve got to face the facts and get that education in there sooner, 10, 11 years old,” Mr Berryman-Kamp says.

Some health practices in the city find more than half of their consultations are on sexual health matters.


The New Zealand First spokesman on law and order says Maori families need to turn their backs on gang culture.

Ron Mark says too many young Maori are being lured into gang life by their own whanaunga.

He says gang culture breaches Maori tikanga, and undoes a lot of good work being done in Maori communities.
“There is no warrior status in being a gang member, and we should be making it clear to all Maori who are leaders of, participants in, supporters of gang activities, for any of them to be actively involved in gangs or to be actively promoting young Maori to being prospects, that’s an issue that we as a nation of Maori people need to deal with ourselves,” Mr Mark says.


A much-loved Taranaki kuia has celebrated her 105th birthday.

Ivy Papakura, or Aunty Ivy, as she is known to hundreds of her whanau, was a former matron of the Maori hostel which served as New Plymouth's Maori Land Court for many years.

A relative, Whero Bailey. says Mrs Papakura's motto is hard work is healthy because it keeps the mind active.

Mrs Bailey says she offered some other advice on her 100th birthday.

“This was at midnight, and she was line dancing, would you believe it. When she sat down, I was sitting by her, and I asked, in Maori of course, what was the secret of her long life. And she looked at me and smiled and patted my hand and said ‘Well it’s like this pet. When you got to bed at night you go to bed with happy thoughts, and when you wake up in the morning you wake up with a smile,’” Mrs Bailey says.

Aunty Ivy Papakura celebrated her birthday with whanau and the other residents of the Norfolk Lodge Rest home in Waitara.

Maori unemployment below 10,000

A long time worker with the unemployed says while the government should be congratulated for getting the number of Maori on the dole queue below 10,000, it needs to give Maori more flexibility in tackling the remaining hard core unemployed.

Since the Labour led government was first elected in 1999, the number of Maori unemployed has dropped from 44,000 to 9902.

Dennis O'Reilly says much of the credit must go to a strong economy and the Working for Families package, which creates incentives for people to get off benefits.

But he says Work and Income's approach of matching up unemployed people with employers won't work for the remaining hard core unemployed, and other programmes aren't run in ways Maori can relate to.

“People in Maori communities will solve their own problems if government is prepared to get right behind them and get quite flexible there. So on one hand, lots and lots of praise for good macro policies. On the other hand, we’ve got to get smarter at the micro policies,” Mr O'Reilly says.

Maori are still three times as likely to be unemployed as non-Maori.


Maori communities in coastal areas are being urged to check the ability of their urupa in the face of global warming.

Apanui Skipper, the manager of Maori services for the National Institute of Water and Amospheric Research, says climate change will threaten many treasured pieces of land.

Mr Skipper says many Maori burial sites are on the coast in areas vulnerable to time, tide and rising sea levels.

“I see it quite often in rural areas where a lot of these cemeteries, urupa, are found in the mudflats now because they’ve been totally inundated, over time, but we don’t get to see or hear about these sort of things in the general public because only these communities know about these sort of areas,” Mr Skipper says.

Disturbed weather patters could also raise the flood risk on many marae.


The next generation of Maori political leaders are being groomed from an early age.

Year 7 and 8 pupils at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Rotoiti have been encouraged to form torangapu political parties as part of student council elections.

Principal Hawea Vercoe says the children are taking their responsibilities seriously.

Mr Vercoe says the exercise is about raising awareness of what political action can achieve.

“I hope that each of them and all the students that were part of the campaign team see how it all works, and in the future they will stand up and be involved as adults and take a lead in making a difference, rather than being part of the flow. That’s what education is all about,” Mr Vercoe says.

He says the Rotoiti kura students haven't resorted to some of the tactics employed by their real life role models.


There are fewer Maori on the dole queue, but too many compared with non-Maori.

That's the reaction of Hawkes Bay community worker Denis O'Reilly to Maori unemployment dropping below the 10 thousand mark for the first time in more than two decades.

Mr O'Reilly says while a strong economy has soaked up most of the unemployed rolls, more needs to be done to address the causes of inter-generational Maori unemployment, which emerged in the early 1980s.

“Maori unemployment up until then always recovered faster than mainstream unemployment. Maori entered back into the workforce much more quickly than the general population. And so this is a hangover I think from the kick in the guts Maori communities got from the changes of the 1980s,” Mr O'Reilly says.

He says the government needs to give Maori communities the resources and flexibility to deal with the rump of long term unemployed.


It's time for Maori communities to take climate change seriously.

That's the word from Apanui Skipper, manager of Maori services for the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

Mr Skipper says Maori don't have to look far to see the devastating effects of global warming.

“Talk to the peole down at Matata. Talk to the people down at Manawatu, and to our people up in Tai Tokerau. We seem to be having these 100 year events now every year. Talk to those communities and they’ll let you know all about it. It is very very real for them.” Mr Skipper says.

Maori should be particularly concerned at the risk of rising sea levels on coastal urupa.


A Christchurch company which prints replicas of old maps has developed a faster way of identifying old survey plans of Maori land.

Chris Rennie from Heritage Imprints says Land Information New Zealand requires searchers to know the legal description of land.

He has developed an alternative database which matches the 450 thousand plans to geographical locations.

Mr Rennie says the old plans can be of huge value to claim researchers and to people interested in the history of their hapu or whanau.

“The plans of course are full of whakapapa, the details of old pa and marae sites, original place names and even the signatures of chiefs and whanau, because in many cases they were the vendors of the land and their signatures appear on the survey plans,” Mr Rennie says.

Heritage Imprints is giving free access to the database information to registered marae and historical societies.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Pahauwera marae razed

Ngati Pahauwera of the northern Hawke's Bay are having a tangi today for Te Huki Marae at Raupunga, which was virtually destroyed by fire last night.

Firefighters from Wairoa and Puturino were called to the blaze just after midnight.

Colin Culshaw, who helped build the whare with his cousin Sandy Adsett in the early 80's, says the whanau had been renovating the kitchens and memorial hall.

“Our memorial hall is gone. I watched it collapse last night. On the inside we had done carvings, No one in New Zealand had seen a hall like it, because we had all our in there, inside. It's so sad,” Mr Culshaw says.

Fire safety officers and police are still investigating the cause of the fire.


Bay of Plenty Maori are celebrating a decision by the Local Government Commission that downsizing the Bay of Plenty regional council will not affect its three Maori seats.

Environment Bay of Plenty wanted to cut its number around the table from 14 to 10, but the commission has ruled only one general seat in the Rotorua ward can be axed.

The commission said each Maori seat represented a separate community of interest, which outweigh population considerations.

Hawea Vercoe, a member Rotorua District Council's Te Arawa standing committee, says the decision is the right one given the different tribal affiliations of the council's Maori constituents.

“I'm pleased about the local government commission’s decision. It says that someone’s thinking and that someone believes in proper representation from Maori as the treaty would have it,” Mr Vercoe says.


A former New Zealand Rugby League standoff and the only Maori to coach in the NRL, says the Kiwis will be forced to field a young squad against Australia in the ANZAC test in Brisbane in a fortnight.

Tony Kemp says the Kiwi leadership ranks have been thinned by retirements and the knee injury sustained by David Kidwell at a family barbecue over the weekend.

29 year old Kidwell, from Otautahi, has been in devastating form since switching from Melbourne to the South Sydney Rabbitohs at the end of last year.

Mr Kemp says Kidwell's season-ending injury robbed him of the chance of captaining his country.

“Unluckiest accident ever, especially with the New Zealand captaincy up for grabs. I’d say he would have been a frontrunner for that. We have lost another senior player. We’ve lost the likes of Reuben Wiki, Stacey Jones, and Nigel Vagana last year, and to lose David Kidwell who is basically the four leaders that have taken them through the last two tri-series, it’s just going to be interesting to see who he names as the skipper of that Kiwi team,” Mr Kemp says.

Kiwi coach Brian McClennan will have to look at younger players like Sonny Bill Williams and Benji Marshall to lead the troops in the Anzac test.


The Green's Maori affairs spokesperson says the Government's review of water management is ignoring Maori customary interests.

Metiria Turei says Maori mare put at a disadvantage because day to day management of water is in the hands of local government, who tend to rank Maori interests below those of agricultural and commercial users.

She says that is unlikely to change without firm direction from central government.

Ms Turei says Government is assuming the Crown has the final say in how water is managed, but that remains to be tested against Maori customary title.

“There is a huge assumption, and the law has said that assumption isn’t justified, and they will have to try to prove they’ve got ownership and in the absence of that proof, then customary title remains valid, and that’s a perfectly reasonable legal position, but the Government just refuses to accept it,” Ms Turei says.

She says the government's first obligation should be to upholding Maori interests guaranteed in the Treaty of Waitangi.


A member of Te Arawa's local body standing committee says Environment Bay of Plenty should reconsider its plan to move its head office from Whakatane to Tauranga.

The regional council has just been knocked back on its plan to downsize itself, with the Local Government Commission ruling that only one general seat could disappear, and the three Maori seats must stay.

Hawea Vercoe says that's a good outcome for Bay of Plenty Maori, and the council should now reconsider some of its other plans.

Mr Vercoe says the estimated $25 million cost of the relocation is just the start of the bill.

“Every year the costs of operating out of Tauranga as opposed to out of Whakatane are going to be a lot more as well, and who is going to pay that? We’ll see an increase on our Environment Bay of Plenty rates,” Mr Vercoe says.

Most Maori in the region live in the eastern bay, so they face increased costs when dealing with environmental matters.


The top Maori secondary student in the country says many of his peers don't extend themselves because they don't want to be seen as out of the ordinary.

16-year-old Mataanuuku Parata did his early schooling at Te Kura Kaupapa o Waiu, before a stint at Rotorua Boys High and 7th form at Lytton High School in Gisborne.

Mr Parata says many high school boys don't push themselves hard enough.

“Lot of my mates here, they all have that sort of aahua, but muyself, I always wanted to do my fam,ily proud, and donlt really worry about anyone else,” he says.

Mr Parata is working a year on the family farm in Ruatoria before heading for Waikato University next year.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Trusts need help to house people

Labour list MP Shane Jones says ways need to be found so Maori trusts can house their own people.

Mr Jones and other members of Labour's Maori caucus were in Nelson and Motueka yesterday hearing from local Maori about problems such as affordable housing.

He says Motueka iwi own land collectively, but lack of support from local government and difficulties with finance means it isn't being used for housing.

Mr Jones says it's a ridiculous situation.

“Where you have a need for lots of blue collar labour, and we need to work better with the Maori trust down there to find housing solutions so their own people can end up owning their own home, rather than being distant shareholders on blocks of land that grow in capital value, but meanwhile the shareholders can’t even afford to get into their own home. There’s something seriously wrong there,” Mr Jones says.

Housing New Zealand has shown in the past it is possible to build housing on multiply-owned land.


Taranaki District Health Board chair Hayden Wano says more needs to be done to address the disparity between Maori and non-Maori health.

New research shows Maori can expect to live longer than their indigenous counterparts overseas.

Mr Wano says while an increased focus on Maori health has contributed to a steady increase in expectancy over the past 50 years, on average they still die seven years younger than non-Maori.

“Maori men lived to about 58 or 59 in 1950 and Maori women 51 or 52, so that’s the situation about where Australian aboriginals are now, and the trend over the past 50 years of so has been in the right direction but I don’t want to lose sight of the fact there is still disparity there between Maori health and non-Maori health,” Mr Wano says.


Waiohua kaumaatua Sonny Rauwhero hopes a plan to establish a public park on Puketutu Island in the Manukau Harbour will help clean up the surrounding mudflats.

The Kelliher Charitable Trust, which owns the island volcano, has struck a deal with Watercare Services which could mean it eventually is owned by the Auckland Regional Council or a charitable trust, similar to the one which own Cornwall Park.

Puketutu was occupied from the 12th century by Maori attracted to the area's abundant kaimoana, but those shellfish beds became unusable when sewage ponds were built between Mangere and the island.

Mr Rauwhero says Waiohua has been waiting a long time for its food basket to be restored.

“These people say they’re going to do this, they’re going to do wonders. I’m sick of waiting for them to do their wonders, so we’re still paying for it. But still, if it’s going to beautify and get things right for us up this area, well ka tautoko,” Mr Rauwhero says.

Puketutu was once home to the first Maori King, Potatau Te Wherowhero.


The promoters of an 850 unit coastal development on Maori-owned land northeast of Auckland say there should now be nothing stopping it.

Rodney District Council has accepted an application for a variation in the district plan to allow the Te Arai Coastal Lands development to go ahead.

It's a joint venture between developer New Zealand Land Trust and Te Uri o Hau, which bought the land south of Mangawhai from the government in 2002 as part of its treaty settlement.

Critics say the scheme threatens rare fairy terns and northern dotterel.

But Sir Graham Latimer, the chair of Te Uri o Hau's commercial arm, says the land was bought on the understanding it was available for commercial development.

Sir Graham says everything has been done to ensure the natural and human environment is protected.

“We've gone to no end of trouble to ensure that we set it in to society and that we will grow our people with society through Mangawhai. It is the base of everything that we stand for, so we made absolutely sure that we covered every aspect that we had to cover,” Sir Graham says.

Te Uri o Hau and its partner have already spent almost $3 million dollars on the project.


A Victoria University economist says well educated Maori women are less likely to have a Maori partner than their poorly educated sisters.

Paul Callister is leading a project looking at why fewer Maori males are participating in tertiary education than Maori women.

Dr Callister says one thing the research has thrown up is the effect of tertiary education on forming relationships.

“The well educated Maori woman, for a variety of reasons, partly because they meet partners at university and suchlike, are more likely to have a non-Maori partner,” Dr Callister says.

He says when Maori are not in work, they are less likely to be in relationships and can get marginalised.


Maori netball administrators will make a beeline to the Beehive, to follow up a promise of more international competition.

Aotearoa Maori Netball chairperson Evelyn Tobin says when he visited the national Maori netball championships in Auckland over the weekend, associate sport and recreation minister Parekura Horomia pledged to do all he can to ensure Maori teams play international squads.

Mrs Tobin says the players need that sort of competition to bring out their potential.

“We're very fortunate that Parekura Horomia continues to be enthusiastic and clearly committed, so that kind of offer certainly will be picked up and followed through to something really tangible,” Mrs Tobin says.

Aotearoa Maori Netball is disappointed its efforts to get a team in the Netball World Cup in Waitakere later this year were rejected.

Cook Strait challenge for Kahungunu granny

A grandmother from Ngati Kahungunu has become the oldest woman to swim the Cook Strait.

Forty six year old Hana Wolmak took just under nine hours to make the crossing yesterday.

She says the swim fulfilled a promise she made to her mother before she died in 1978.

Ms Wolmak's previous attempts, including one in January, were thwarted by asthma.

But with medical help on hand yesterday, she was able to manage her condition and cross successfully.

Ms Wolmak says she's pleased not just for herself but for her support crew.

“I've experienced so many times coming back on the boat where your whole team’s just so disappointed for me and you see the look in their eyes, and this time it was of elation, and everyone’s crying and happiness, and my sister Liz was there to karakia me off the boat,” Ms Wolmak says.

She hopes her swim provides inspiration to other asthma sufferers.


One of the organisers of the Hui Aranga says the involvement of young people in the annual Maori Catholic hui bodes well for the future.

Morvin Simon says almost 80 percent of the people who gathered at Cullinane College in Wanganui for kapa haka, sports and other events were rangatahi.

Mr Simon says they're keen to be involved in the church and its activities.

“With our own children anyway we involved them right into the very guts of the matter so they are able to see the machinations of how things work and how things tick over and that the embellishments of the things that they see are really only just the icing on the cake rather than the ingredients eh,” Mr Simon says.


The top Maori secondary school scholar last year has been found.

16-year-old Te Rangi Maataanuku Parata from Ngati Porou was a student at Gisborne's Lytton High School.

The school's Maori department head, Rhonda Tibble, says Maataanuku was an outstanding student who has been through both Kura Kaupapa and mainstream systems.

Ms Tibble says Mataanuku has opted to work for a year at home in Ruatoria before taking on university, but his talent has already been spotted.

“Mataanuku was offered last year the vice chancellor’s scholarship award from Waikato University, before he had actually got his qualifications to allow him fully into university, so he has amassed $14,000 of scholarship moneys to help him along his way with his university studies,” Ms Tibble says.

Mataanuku Tibble will be off to Wellington next month to pick up his award from the Governor General.


Te Puni Kokiri is working with Womens Refuge to address the increasing number of Maori women seeking refuge.

Womens Refuge national manager Heather Henare says the Maori development ministry has funded a project manager for the past 18 months to work with iwi in developing a Maori growth strategy.

The ministry is now supporting a new development unit which will work with Maori providers, kaumatua and kuia on ways to stop violence in the community.
Ms Henare says a disproportionate number of Maori women are using refuge, so something different needed to be done.

“Traditional women's refuges only worked with women and children. What the strategy means is that we will be working with whanau, and we will be looking at violence in the context of whanau as opposed to the context of just women and children,” Ms Henare says.

Refuges are seeing the third generation of some whanau, indicating there need to be different ways of working with Maori families.


Members of Labour's Maori caucus were in Motueka today with West Coast Tasman MP Damien O'Connor to hear about housing concerns at the top of the South Island.

Caucus chairperson Shane Jones says region's population is growing fast, but low income Maori and working class people can't afford to buy homes.

Mr Jones says members of Ngati Rarua told the MPs at a hui at Te Awhina Marae that even though their iwi had got back land in the area from the Anglican church, it was not being made available for housing.

He says it's a common problem round the country.

“One of the greatest impediments to going into home ownership is the inflated value of the land. Well an area there is land highly accessible is multiply-owned land. You don’t have to buy the land if you belong to the whanau, the hapu, the iwi who has ownership rights in the land, then more of our Maori trusts should be treating that land as a resource to house the people,” Mr Jones says.

He says Tasman District Council seems to be placing impediments in front of people wanting to use Maori land for housing.


Canterbury University Maori studies head Rawiri Taonui says the solution for Maori educational underachievement is more Maori teachers.

Mr Taonui says while programmes like Te Kotahitanga have some value for Maori in mainstream schools. it's hard to get teachers to teach someone else's culture.

He says Maori children respond well to Maori teachers.

“Problems in our schools, 90 percent of those problems will be solved by more Maori teachers, problems will be solved with out Maori youth by putting good Maori male role models in front of them, and then the last 10 percent is changing the attitude of Pakeha teachers. We do those three things and we will go a long way down the track to fixing the issues our children face in schools,” Mr Taonui says.

He says the Government moves to do more to recruit Maori males into teaching.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Top of South Island report released

Kurahaupo Trust chairperson Richard Bradley says the release of a Waitangi Tribunal report upholding the claims of the top of the South Island tribes means it’s now time for the government to show the same commitment to justice as the tribes’ old people.

The trust represents three of the eight tribes - Ngati Apa, Ngati Kuia and Rangitane o Wairau.

The report released over the weekend has upheld the claimants’ version of events that they were cheated out of their land by Crown agents.

Mr Bradley says negotiations with the mandated Kurahaupo group officially started last August, but progress has been slow while the Crown waited for the tribunal to report.

“We're now hoping they can stop the delaying tactics and actually enter into full and final settlement negotiations. The tribunal report certainly lays a foundation for that to happen and we just hope that the Crown now has the same courage that our old people have had to show over the last 20 odd years, getting these claims to the hearing stage,” Mr Bradley says.


A Maori language advocate says apathy could still kill te reo Maori.

Hana O'Regan from Christchurch Polytechnic says there still needs to be constant work at the community level if the language is to survive.

The Maori language commission Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Maori has called for applications for its Ma Te Reo fund, which gives out about $1.5 million a year for community-based language activities.

Ms O'Regan says kohanga reo and kura kaupapa schools aren't enough on their own.

“I think there is a level of apathy, and among my own people it’s something that drives me insane. Because of the success of movements like kohanga reo and kura kaupapa, people have wrongly assumed that we’re okay. They say ‘I might not have to learn it, but it’ll be around now,’ so the level of urgency’s not there, and it’s a wrong assumption,” Ms O'Regan says.

She says international research shows indigenous languages can disappear in one generation.


Tainui won the teams aggregate award at the 20th national Maori netball tournament hosted by Tamaki makau rau over the weekend.

Over 50 teams from 14 rohe took part, with a highlight being the release of a commemorative book on Maori netball.

Three long serving contributors were also made life members of Aotearoa Maori Netball.

One of them was Jim Rutene from Tainui, who paid tribute to his fellow recipients, Te Kararaina Kaa from Tamaki Makau Rau, and Mark Harawira from Waiariki.

“Mark’s been a stalwart of Maori netball, and it’s good to see him being recognized for that. Te Kararaina, she’s been the backbone I would say of Tamaki Makaurau, whether it had been of Tainui or Te Waiariki or wherever, and it’s good that she’s been recognized,” Mr Rutene says.


The Chief negotiator for Ngati Tama in the top of the South Island says the Waitangi Tribunal has come down solidly on behalf of the claimants’ view of history.

The tribunal’s report into the Te Tau Ihu claims, released over the weekend, says the way the Crown acquired millions of acres from the eight tribes were invalid under British and Maori law and breached the treaty.

Dr Mitchell says while claimants can be wary about presenting their history before official forums, in this case their confidence in the tribunal was justified.

“Until you get it course, you are never confident that they are going to have interpreted our history the way that we see it, so it was a pleasant surprise when the general findings that they have come up with were pretty supportive of the case that we had made about circumstances under which land had been wrested without proper compensation – in many cases no compensation,” Mr Mitchell says.

The claimants will be seeking a mixture of land, money and a greater say in management of resources.


Maori fisheries have been fertile waters for lawyers for the past couple of decades, and now Auckland University's law school has hired an expert.

Valmaine Toki, from Ngati Wai and Ngapuhi, grew up on Aotea or Great Barrier Island with fishing in her bones.

She was supported by Te Ohu Kaimona through her honours law degree and subsequent MBA at the University of Tasmania, and spent the past couple of years working for the Maori fisheries settlement trust.

Ms Toki says her experience in maritime issues will help her teach contemporary Maori issues.

“My dissertation at the end of the MBA was managing the assets post allocation and just identifying some key issues for Maori to be aware of as they develop their asset, and how they can be very instrumental as to guiding the future for fisheries, not just for Maori but for New Zealand,” she says.


Maori motorsport ace Marty Rostenburg leaves today..(tuesday) to compete in the International rally of New Caledonia.

The Ngati Kahungunu driver says a high nickel content in the soil creates a fine red dust that in the dry can be like talcum powder on a dance floor.

In the wet it turns the roads into slippery clay.

Mr Rostenburg says he also needs to get familiar with the left hand drive Mitsubishi EVO 8 he'll be driving there.

“Just getting used to left hand drive is something that is not natural, and we did a test a couple of weeks ago in the car, and the car went very well but a couple of times I went to change gear and opened the door handle instead of changing gears, so there’s a little bit of getting used to, but as long as we don’t put too much pressure on ourselves, we should be okay,” he says.

The New Caledonia rally is the first round of the Asia Pacific Rally.