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 20, 2007

Industry appeals kahawai judgment

The fishing industry has appealed a High Court decision ordering the Fisheries Minister to redo catch levels and quota allocations in the kahawai fishery.

Lawyer Bruce Scott from Chapman Tripp says Sanford Fisheries and the Tuna and Pelagic Fisheries Association are challenging the decision because they believe the judge was wrong in fact and law.

Justice Rhys Harrison said former minister David Benson-Pope fixed the total allowable commercial catch level for kahawai in 2004 and 2005 without having proper regard to the social, economic and cultural wellbeing of the people, and there wasn't enough left for recreational fishers.

Mr Scott says the industry is only entitled to 40 percent of the total allowable catch, which doesn't even cover the by-catch when other species like tuna and jack mackerell are targeted.

He says the industry hopes the appeal can be heard before the new fishing season starts in October.


With the prospect of climate change and rising ocean levels threatening coastal marae, Repurua Marae near Ruatoria is setting an example.

Former marae chairperson Emma Whangapirita says the Ngati Rangi hapu has built a tyre wall between the marae and the sea to halt severe erosion.

Mrs Whangapirita says the problem first emerged in the 1980s, when Gisborne District Council proposed relocating the Marae.

She says the council hasn't acted, so the hapu took matters into its own hands.

“If the sea broke through this particular area it would just take the marae, so that part is quite safe at the moment. The next move for that area is to fence it off and plant native trees in there, pohutukawa in there instead, just to stabilise that,” Mrs Whangapirita says.

Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi helped Repurua Marae with the anti-erosion project.


Maori balladeer John Rowles kicks off his 40th anniversary nationwide tour at the Telstra Clear Events Center in Manukau on Sunday night.

The man responsible for songs like "Cheryl Moana Marie", "Hush Not a Word to Mary" and "If I only had time" grew up in Kawerau, before making it big in Australia, Hawaii and the UK.

Mr Rowles is still recording and hopes to re-unite with his old friend Eddie Lowe to record an album next year.

He says it's hard to know now when you've recorded a hit song.

“With those ballads and those big songs, if you had the commercial hook line like Cheryl Moana Marie or the Delilah’s or all that stuff, you pretty much knew you had a hit, but today it’s pretty saturated with all sorts of music, it’s pretty hard to know what a hit is, but I’ll keep singing the beautiful ballads.” Mr Rowles says.

He's looking forward to visiting some of the smaller centres and performing songs that have made him a firm favourite with New Zealand audiences, both Maori and non Maori alike.


The number Pakeha churchgoers may be falling away but Maori congregations are stable and in some cases have increased.

That's the view of Bishop Kito Pikaahu from the Maori Anglican of Te Taitokerau diocese.

Bishop Pikaahu says Census data showing a decline in church attendance reflects the drop in the mainstream denominations.

“I've looked at all our own internal statistics of the churches and the congregations and in fact we’ve grown, but take those statistics over a national level and that’s how they draw those comparisons,” Bishop Pikaahu says.

The figures could also be affected by the fact many Maori did not fill out the census questions on religion.

Taitokerau diocese is holding its annual Hui Amorangi or the Holy Sepulchre on Auckland's Khyber Pass this weekend.


Tauranga hapu Ngai Tamarawaho has played a major role in the creation of a civic flagpole for the city.

Local car dealer Peter Farmer proposed the 27 metre flagpole after seeing that in the period of mourning after 9/11, there were no flags at half mast because there were no flagpoles in the city.

Mr Farmer says the idea grew from there.

“Council of course got very involved in this because they wanted to make it part of their entrance ad wanted to involve the local iwi because it was Maori land and also wanted to make it part of the whole community so they involved them and came up with a very good idea on the flagpole on the roundabout and a large Maori carving around the base of it which will look quite attractive,” Farmer says.

The flagpole will be on a roundabout at the entranceway to the city on Takitimu Drive.


It's a big night for a league mad whanau from the Waikato.

20-year-old Sam Rapira makes his international debut in the Anzac Rugby League test between New Zealand and Australia in Brisbane.

The Warrior's player has only a handful of first grade matches under his belt and is part of a kiwi squad featuring a new crop of talent, including Krisnan Inu, Greg Eastwood and Evarn Tuimavave

Sam's father, former New Zealand Maori rep Cliff Rapira, says Sam's koro and nana are proud of their mokopuna, and will be even more so if he's called on to lead the pre match haka.

“When we heard they were looking for somebody, straight away all the boys at work said ‘oh yeah, Sam would do it really well,’ because he led it for the Junior Kiwis, and for their provincial sides. I texted Sam about it and he just says he’ll see what happens and if it goes to him, he'll do it,” Rapira says

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Water claims won't affect publlc access

Maori Council member Maanu Paul says the public has nothing to fear from Maori pushing for greater say in what happens to the nation's water.

Tuwharetoa has called a national hui on the issue for next month at Pukawa, on the shores of Lake Taupo.

Mr Paul says the issue is being framed in the same way as the foreshore and seabed debate, with a deliberate attempt to mislead the public by insinuating Maori would deny non-Maori access to water.

“There does not exist anywhere in New Zealand a place or piece of water that has been denied to the public of New Zealand by Maori. But what they want to do is to confiscate that right of Maori and create licenses and sell it off to multinational water companies, because that is where the value is in water,” Mr Paul says.

The Government denies its proposed Sustainable Water Programme of Action has anything to do with ownership or privatisation of water.


More needs to be done to attract young Maori into the financial sector.

That's the kaupapa of the annual Maori accountants network hui, which is being held today at Victoria University's Te Heranga Waka marae.

Chairperson Roger Dalton says many Maori see accountants as middle aged Pakeha men in suits huddled over their adding machines in dimly lit offices.

He says that's not the case, and rangatahi especially need to see that young Maori accountants have a valuable contribution to make to Maori business and development.

Mr Dalton says the sector needs more Maori input.

“There’s like 625 Maori accountants who are registered with out parent body, the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants, Now that sounds like a lot, but out of a total membership of 29,100, that works out to be 2 percent,” Mr Dalton says.

Many Maori accountants work for large organisations with few other Maori staff, and the yearly hui is a way for them to stay in touch.


The organiser of this weekend's United Nations Association conference in Tauranga says he'd like to see more Maori involved.

Gray Southon says many people don't understand the work done by the UN, or how they can contribute.

Maori got a taste of the UN in action last year when special rapporteur Rudolfo Stavenhagen visited the country and wrote a critical report on race relations in the wake of the foreshore and seabed debate.

Mr Southon says he sent the panui round a wide range of Maori organisations, but was disappointed at the response.

“Only about four or five groups were able to come along which highlights the difficulty of organisations in coming to terms with the importance of the UN, but it’s something we need to work towards,” Mr Southon says.

He says international stability is important to New Zealand as we trade with over 140 nations.


A Gisborne District Councillor says the independent inquiry into local government rates is too narrow, and a separate inquiry is needed into rating of Maori land.

The three member inquiry was in Gisborne this week consulting tangata whenua in an area where the skyrocketing value of coastal land and meant many Maori landowners have been hit with massive rate increases.

Atareta Poananga says while the panel seemed sympathetic to many of the concerns Maori raised, its terms of reference could mean little will change.

“What we think this might end up as is really a patch up job to placate various sectors of Auckland rating. Really, that‘s where this review came from and what we are concerned about is if Maori issues will not get a fair hearing,” she says.

Ms Poananga says the rating system fails to take Maori cultural values into account, including the fact Maori land is not for sale.


Maori accountants are looking at how they can contribute to Maori economic development.

Roger Dalton, the chair of the Maori Accountants network, says the annual hui in Wellington today and tomorrow will focus on te whakatipuranga - or growing our future.

He says it will look at the unique demands facing Maori working in the financial sector, and challenge Maori accountants, politicians and business leaders to outline strategies for the future.

“Where do we see the Maori economy in 20 years? Where do we want it to be. Where is it now, and what do we have to do to make it stronger? That’s what we want to pull out of those discussions and have a really good discussion about that,” Mr Dalton says.

Only 2 percent of the 29,100 registered accountants in New Zealand institute are Maori.


The new director of Southland DHB's Maori health programme says the biggest impediment to delivering services is the lack of staff with the skills to work in Maori communites.

Erina Rewi says as well as the board's own resoruces, there are four Maori health providers in the deep south.

Ms Rewi says that gives her a place to start, but as in all regions including the big cities, people will be the critical element.

“Maori workforce is a rare species anyway. We struggle to recruit staff who have the set of skills required to deliver effectively on Maori health,” Ms Rewi says.

She'll be looking for progress in treatment of chronic diseases which are killing Maori in disproportionate numbers, like diabetes, cancer, heart and respiratory diseases.

Rotorua lakes clean up gets boost

The government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Environment Bay of Plenty, Rotorua District Council and Te Arawa Lakes Trust to clean up the Rotorua Lakes.

Trust chairperson Toby Curtis says decades of farm run-off, sewage and other pollutants have left many of the lakes in poor condition.

The clean-up cost is estimated at $200 million, and central and local government are still arguing where the bills should go.

The government says it will fund projects on a case by case basis.

Mr Curtis says the memorandum should allow Te Arawa's voice to finally be heard in the process.

“We are delighted in the sense that we are now at the decision-making table with regards to the management of the lakes, and we see it as a matter of right,” Mr Curtis says.

He says there is a big education job to do to get Te Arawa people behind projects such as the wall which will channel Lake Rotorua's water away from Lake Rotoiti and directly into the Kaituna River.


The head of Wellington's Mary Potter Hospice says Maori are increasingly seeing hospices as a place to go for care in their final days.

Ria Earp from Ngati Pikiao and Ngati Whakaue, a former deputy general of health for Maori health, says in the past Maori have been wary of the idea of hospice care.

But she says there is a trend for Maori whanau to use hospice services for members with terminal illnesses.

Most hospices are really looking at how do they get more information about their services to Maori communities, and also looking at how they run and operate their own services so that Maori feel more comfortable,” Ms Earp says.

Hospices rely on community fundraising to cover running costs.


Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori wants tourists to take a bit of Maori home with them.

The Maori language commission today unveiled the theme for Maori language week in July - On the road with te reo.

Spokesperson Lana Simmons-Donaldson says it will focus on the tourism sector, with international and domestic operators urged to use greetings like kia ora and other Maori phrases.

She says that will improve the Aotearoa experience for visitors.

“Maori language and culture is one of the reasons tourists come to this country. It’s what defines us as a nation and it’s unique to Aotearoa and Maori language and culture and people are what makes it so,” Ms Simmons-Donaldson says.

The commission will again offer community awards for innovative ways of promoting te reo Maori through the week.


Occupiers of a farm at Whangape in the far north say the land includes a maunga of huge significance to both Ngapuhi and Tainui.

Richard Murray says the Ngati Haua hapu of Te Rarawa has been trying to buy the land for fair value, but successive owners have only been concerned at trying to ramp up the land's value for speculative development.

Mr Murray says the hapu refuses to accept the land was fairly taken, because of the presence of so many significant waahi tapu or sacred sites, including the maunga Whakakoro.

“The connection is between our ancestor Ueoneone, who actually married a wahine from down in Waikato, from Tainui, and through their union the whole of Ngapuhi and Taitokerau can whakapapa back to those two common tupuna, ancestors,” Mr Murray says.

Ngati Haua occupied the land because the owner was trying to sell it without warning prospective buyers of the claims on it.


Southland District Health Board's new Maori health programme director wants health workers in the region to be more aware of how unacknowledged racism can affect Maori health.

Erina Rewi, who's from Waitaha, Kati Mamoe and Kai Tahu as well as Ngati Kahungunu, says Southland has the highest Maori population in the South Island.

Recent research shows that even when education levels and socio-economic status are taken into account, Maori still have disproportionately poorer health than other groups.

Ms Rewi says the research points to institutional racism, which health workers need to address.

“Part of that is getting an understanding of how much of that information has reached the front line, what are the barriers to getting that information to the front line, and how as a team are we able to work with that,” Ms Rewi says.

Maori health needs to focus on more than chronic diseases like diabetes, heart and respiratory diseases.


Ngapuhi claimants want the Waitangi Tribunal panel which hears their claim to include a representative from the United Nations.

Titewhai Harawira, who is on Ngapuhi's claims design team, says preparation is well advanced for a judicial conference at the end of the month, at which the tribunal may indicate whether the claim ready to go to hearings.

Mrs Harawira says the claimants want to be assured of the tribunal's independence.

“Ngapuhi's insisting on having someone from the United Nations sit on the tribunal. The government takes no notice of the tribunal anyhow, but at least it will give Maori, and Ngapuhi in this case, the opportunity of hearing an independent voice about how they see this treaty settlement,” Mrs Harawira says.

High Court sets rules for Crown forest trustees

The High Court says that the Crown Forestry Rental Trust cannot make any payments to the Crown or to Te Arawa claimants until a challenge by the Maori Council and the Federation of Maori Authorities is heard.

The two organisations, which appoint the three Maori members of the CFRT, say the proposed Te Arawa land claim settlement is a breach of the trust deed.

The Government wants the trust to hand it a third of the Kaingaroa Forest and more than $60 million in accumulated rents, so it can then hand the land on to selected Te Arawa hapu.

The High Court will hear the case next week.

In a memorandum released to the parties this week, Justice Simon France also said the Crown Forestry Rental trustees should participate in a limited manner in next week's hearing, to ensure all issues are put before the court, but they should not take any position on the outcome.

Peter Charlton, the chairperson of the Federation of Maori Authorities, says the two organisations are making sure the government plays by its own rules.

“Crux of the argument is that the Waitangi Tribunal has not ruled. There are other applicants for this particular forestry and the sums of money, who have filed their claims with the tribunal, and they will be disadvantaged if this is not heard,” Mr Charlton says.


This year's Maori language week will focus is on the tourism sector.

Lana Simmons Donaldson from the Maori language commission, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori says the language is a point of difference for visitors from overseas.

She says it's common to hear kia ora on televison and radio, and she'd like to see tourism operators, both Maori and non Maori greeting their visitors with the Maori welcome.

“We've come up with a tag line ‘On the road with te reo – he korero mo Aotearoa.’ Whether you’re a teacher, mother, bus driver, or a cabin crew flight attendant, we want at least for people to say kia ora,” Ms Donaldson says.

Maori language week is the last week in July.


It's mushroom season, and those listeners living outside the urban centres may have noticed that this year, with its combination of warm days and abundant rain, is a particularly good one for fungi.

Chef and librarian Rewi Spraggon has investigated how Maori used mushrooms in the early days.

He says they were well known to the old people, and added flavour to many a hangi.

“One of the most common mushrooms are the field mushrooms, the button top and then they get a bit larger with a tall stalk and go into a flat top, they’re called harore and they’re very good in boil up and also making stew and soups with,” Mr Spraggon says.

Fungi were also used in rongoa or medicine, including the hallucinogenic magic mushroom.


Far North hapu Ngati Haua has again occupied land at Whangape Harbour it claims was illegally alienated.

Ngati Haua first occupied the land in 1992, when it was sold to Lotto winner Robert Buchanan.

Hapu spokesperson Richard Murray says Mr Buchanan reneged on an agreement to sell the land back to Ngati Haua, and two years ago he sold it to Auckland property developer Kim Spencer for four and a half million dollars.

Mr Spencer flicked it on for $10 million when Ngati Haua blocked his development plans, but the new owner is now trying to get out of the deal.

Mr Murray says the hapu has a Waitangi Tribunal claim challenging the way it lost the land, but prospective buyers aren't being warned.

“You get successive buyers coming into Whangape, looking at the property, and thinking that there’s no real issues, there’s no encumbrances noted on the title with regards to the tangata whenua issues, and they seem to think that they can continue on with this type of development,” he says.

About 30 occupiers are camped at a house on the site, and they're trying to get the ownership finally resolved in their favour.


Maori Council member Maanu Paul says the demand for rates on Maori land amounts to government double dipping.

Mr Paul says the council is considering a challenge to the rating system before the Waitangi Tribunal.

He says councils charge rates for roading and community facilities, but Maori have already given.

“We have already been taxed for the establishment of towns, roads, railways, ports etc. This is double dipping by the government. We have already contributed to the public good of this country, and we ought not to be taxed again,” Mr Paul says.

He says New Zealand was built on Maori assets stolen or bought cheaply.


A Maori photographer from Waitara working out of Sydney has picked up a prestigious award.

Tania Niwa beat off 2800 entries from 35 countries to win the Wedding and Portrait Photographers society's photographer of the year award, with her tribal portrait series.

Ms Niwa says her schoolteacher father got the whole family interested in photography.

She worked for a studio in New Plymouth before starting her own business across the Tasman.

Ms Niwa feels part of the push to take Maori art to the world.

“I feel that I can be a part of that by creating my Maori imagery and having that seen in other countries, almost like a branding or a marking or an image point of view I can create some imagery representing the people of our culture in a really eye-catching way that actually triggers people’s emotions and that they are captivated by it,” she says.

Some of Tania Niwa's work will be on show at next week's Maori Market in Wellington.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Court races ahead with Forest Trust challenge

The Federation of Maori Authorities and the Maori Council are full steam ahead with their confrontation with the Government over the Crown Forestry Rental Trust.

The High Court has set aside two days next week to hear their challenge to the Te Arawa land settlement.

The Government intends to take n 50 thousand hectares of the Kaingaroa forest and more than 60 million dollars in accumulated rent from the trust, and then hand the land over to some Te Arawa iwi.

Federation chairperson Peter Charlton says the plan breaches the Crown Forestry Rental Trust's establishment deed.

“What's at stake here in this particular case is the Crown stands to take $63 million which we believe may belong to the iwi and hapu of Te Arawa, and it sets a precedent if they are able to get away with it, and we may have problems in the future,” Mr Charlton says.

In an associated action, the High Court yesterday ruled that the Crown Forestry Rental Trust make no payments to the Crown or Te Arawa until the court has made its decision, and that trustees should take part in next week's hearing to ensure all issues are covered, but they should not take up any position on an outcome.


A project aimed at curbing childhood obesity has won a $1 million boost from the Waikato DHB.

Project Energise was launched two years ago and now involved 10 thousand children.

District Health Board member David Gilgen, a GP for Te Whare Hauora Whanau in Hamilton, says staff from Sport Waikato act as personal trainers at 60 Waikato schools helping with nutrition and physical activity.

“And what's exciting about Project Energise is it’s translating through to the families and into the homes, so we’re getting parents’ involvement to the entire programme and philosophy of Project Energise,” Dr Gilgen says.

He hopes all schools in the country will eventually be able to take up the Energise programme.


An unfinished waka buried in a swamp for more than 150 years has gone on permanent display at Otorohanga Museum.
Restoration co-ordinator Nan Owen says it has taken almost five years to dry out Te Waonui o Tane so it can be shown to the public.
Mrs Owen says the 13 metre totara waka offers insights into the way canoe were built.

“It's a very revered revered taonga. It has a lot of mana. It’s a unique taonga nationwide in that it’s the only ancient dug out canoe – half dug out – waka found still on its carving site, and the roots are still on the log,” Mrs Owen says.

Te Waonui o Tane is owned by the Crown, but the museum is allowed to keep it after building a special house and setting up a management partnership with tangata whenua.


Ngati Hineuru and Ngati Tu are celebrating a win in the Environment Court against the expansion of a wind farm planned for a ridge west of Hawke's Bay.

The court overturned a consent from Hastings District Council allowing Hastings-based lines company Unison to add an extra 37 turbines to the Te Waka Range on the Napier-Taupo Road.

It has permission to build 15 turbines, and Hawke's Bay Windfarms has consent for a 75-turbine farm nearby.

The court said that's enough, and any more would offend Maori spiritual values, including the site's history, water and sacred areas.

Jolene Patuawa, a lawyer for the two hapu, says it's a particularly sensitive site.

“It's the site where Maui’s uncle’s waka was turned to stone after he pulled up Te Ika a Maui (North Island) so it was a site which was verry significant to both those tangata whenua and to all tangata whenua nationally,” she says.

Jolene Patuawa says Unison should consulted tangata whenua properly before it selected the site.

Unison says it will appeal.


A Northland health worker is encouraging marae to develop risk management plans for their water systems.

Tahi Morton from Northland District Health Board's public health unit is working full time on improving the quality of drinking water in smaller communities and marae.

Mr Morton says marae have to cater for large numbers of people at short notice, so they need systems in place to make sure things go smoothly.

He says marae need to take a good look at their supply and look for any contaminants like sprays, dirt or sewage.

“Some water supplies, they get rainwater. We want them to have a look at it, and look at it and say ok, if the spouting needs to be cleaned, let’s get out there and clean them. The roof needs cleaning, let’s clean that, and the tank. Let’s just do what we can do,” Mr Morton says.

There is government funding available for improving water supplies.


Taika Waititi's film Eagle Vs Shark has been picked up for UK distribution.

Film Commission sales manager Kathleen Drumm says Optimum Releasing plans to release the quirky romantic comedy in early August, two months after it goes on to North American screens.

Ms Drumm says Optimum is a fast growing distributor which handles a lot of major independent films.

She says there were three distributors bidding for the rights, and the commission was able to win a good deal.

“It's the most lucrative UK deal that we’ve done since The World’s Fastest Indian, and when you compare the budget of that film with the very small by comparison Eagle vs Shark has, it’s quite an extraordinary achievement,” Ms Drumm says.

Eagle vs Shark, which cost less than $2 million to make, will also be screening at the Cannes Film Festival next month.

Treaty water case set out

Tainui chairperson Tukoroirangi Morgan says Maori should have a case for co-management of water based on the Treaty of Waitangi.

Mr Morgan is one of the negotiators for Tainui's remaining claim to the Waikato River and harbours.

He won't reveal the tribe's position in those talks, but he says the issues are well understood in Maoridom.

“We all understand the tenets of the treaty. Our old people did not surrender their rangatiratanga, their mana, over their taonga. And that included water, their lands, their forests their fisheries. They agreed to have a governance structure, but the issue of rangatiratanga, of mana, always remain in the hands of Maori,” Mr Morgan says.

He says a national hui next month beside Lake Taupo should be used by Maori to come to a collective position on future water policy.


Ngati Whatua o Orakei is asking for volunteers for its efforts to reforest its land at Takaparawha or Bastion Point.

Heritage and resource manager Ngarimu Blair says the hapu has planted more than 100 thousand trees and shrubs since 2000.

Mr Blair says it's already having an impact, especially on the cliffs overlooking Tamaki Drive, the gateway to Auckland's eastern suburbs.

“Most Aucklanders know that every big rain, some of our land is lost as it slips down into Tamaki Drive, but since we’ve undertaken the planting, whch has taken up a lot of the water that used to just sheet over the edge, we’ve noticed the erosion has slowed down significantly,” Mr Blair says.

There will be four community planting days this winter, with the first on May the 12th.


Maori Party education spokesperson Pita Sharples says the work of the late Dame Marie Clay was of enormous benefit to Maori children.

Dame Marie, who died last week aged 81, developed the Reading Recovery programme used in many New Zealand schools.

Dr Sharples says Reading Recovery is part of the solution for Maori educational under-achievement, but the cultural dimension needs more work.

“The brilliant programmes like Marie Clay’s can only have limited success unless they’re coupled with a recognition that Maori culture still exists and a different way of viewing learning and so on is available and should be promoted through mainstream education funding,” Dr Sharples says.

A memorial service for Dame Marie Clay will be held at Auckland University's Maidment Theatre at 10 on Thursday.


Auckland iwi Ngati Whatua is looking to use 14 hectares of its land at Orakei for papakainga housing.

Ngati Whatua o Orakei Trust Board resources manager Ngarimu Blair says stage one is likely to involve a small cluster six to 10 units on the fringes of Takaparawha-Bastion Point.

He says the Board is trying to keep construction costs low with innovative design and using whanau labour.

Mr Blair says as kaitiaki of the land, the board must consider questions which would not occur to other developers.

“What should we be doing in terms of our stormwater treatment, our wastewater treatment, and also our freshwater demand? Should we still be taking water from outside of our rohe, ie the Waikato or high in the Waitakere ranges? Perhaps there’s other ways we can manage our water,” Mr Blair says.

Ngati Whatua eventually wants to have housing for up to 1200 whanu on its whenua so it can keep the marae warm.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says unskilled immigrants are competing with Maori for social services.

He's endorsing the findings of Massey University economist Greg Clydsdale, who claims current immigration policies are bad for Maori.

Dr Sharples says Maori should have more say in who settles here.

“We are in fact importing now, and 40 percent was the figure, of unskilled people from different ethnic groups and they are going to make it even more difficult for Maori to get state housing, social services and jobs when the squeeze comes on at different times,” Dr Sharples says.

He says Maori leaders should push for a review of immigration policy.


The research director for the revived James Henare Research Centre says she's looking for projects which will benefit the next generation of Maori leaders.

The centre is funded by Auckland University and other sources to do research which will benefit Maori communities in Tai Tokerau.

Merata Kawharu says the research needs to be community-driven, and she expects issues of identity, heritage and leadership will be to the fore.

“We need to look at those aspects that are successful of our traditional leadership. Also what other kinds of new leaderships are required, especially now that a lot of our people are in possession of large assets through perhaps treaty settlement processes and perhaps land finances, so that requires a whole new set of accountabilities and responsibilities,” Dr Kawharu says.

Her major challenge is likely to be balancing the priorities of government research funding agencies with the needs of Tai Tokerau iwi.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Imigrants no excuse for Maori failure

Former immigration minister Tuariki Delamere says claims immigration is hurting Maori aren't backed by the evidence.

Massey University economist Greg Clydesdale says 40 percent of migrants are unskilled or low skilled people allowed in on humanitarian or family reunification grounds, and they compete with Maori for jobs, state housing and social services.

But Mr Delamere says with Maori unemployment the lowest it has been in decades, that argument doesn't hold up.

Mr Delamere, who is now an immigration consultant, says Dr Clydesdale's research seems designed to fuel the discontent of a small minority of Maori.

“Maoris who are go-getters, immigration doesn’t bother them in the slightest. They take advantage of it and they embrace it and they go forward and work hand in hand. Those unfortunately who want to blame something for their inability to make progress economically often choose immigration as a reason for their not making progress economically,” Mr Delamere says.

He says the expansion of the economy in recent years is largely due to immigration.


A five day waka hikoi down the Whanganui River helped 14 Whanganui rangatahi learn about leadership and their roles as young Maori.

Taumata Hauora community development coordinator Jay Rerekura says the rangatahi, aged between 14 and 18 were selected for their leadership qualities.

Mr Rerekura says they learned bushcraft, navigation, canoeing, communication and leadership in a tikanga Maori environment.

“I know a lot them, before we get on the awa, they’re a little bit scared, they donlt now what to expect and they’re actually not that keen. Once they get on the river they love it, and on the last day they don’t want to get off,” Mr Rerekura says.


The artistic director of a stage spectacular on the deeds of Maui hopes it will change the lives of some of the audience.

Tanemahuta Grey says Maui - One Man Against the Gods will be taken overseas once its current three city tour ends.

Mr Grey says rangatahi from some of Aucklands poorest schools have been invited to matinee shows to get a taste of the theatre.

“Most of these kids have never ever even been in to a theatre in their lives before, and we know this production just changes lives in one two-hour session in the theatre for these kids. For us, it’s quite a big buzz to be able to get 8000 kids to have this opportunity in Auckland to see the show,” Mr Grey says.

Maui - One Man Against the Gods starts at Auckland’s Civic Theatre tomorrow night, after a sellout season in Wellington last year.


Keeping the tribe together is on the minds of candidates for the runanga or Hawkes Bay iwi Ngat Kahungunu.

Riwai Meihana from Nuhaka, who is standing for the chairperson's position against incumbent, Ngahiwi Tomoana, says some members of coastal hapu are threatening to break away.

Mr Meihana says that's not on.

“I disagree with people splitting the iwi up. That’s the trouble with us Maori. We’re our own worst enemy. Everyone’s always trying to fight the next fella instead of getting on and working as one unit and let’s walk forward together,” Mr Meihana says.

After two terms heading one of the six taiwhenua or sub-tribal authorities within the Kahungunu rohe, Mr Meihana believes he's ready for the top job if his people want him.


The research director for the revived James Henare Research Centre says her challenge will be to match the research needs of Northland Maori communities with the government's funding priorities.

Auckland University funds the two core staff for the centre, which focuses on the needs of Maori communities north of Auckland, but outside funding is needed for research projects.

The centre went into recess at the end of 2003 when funding dried up.

Merata Kawharu says with that history, the centre will need to tread carefully when it works with Tai Tokerau communities to identify possible research projects.

“One of the biggest challenges for me will be, on one hand, getting a really good idea of what Tai Tokerau people are saying, and what their needs are, and on the other, looking at what the government sees as its priorities for research and what it intends to fund, and I’m sure it will be a meeting point but ultimately they’re two different sets of ideas and thinking,” Dr Kawharu says.

She'd like to pick up some of the work the centre was planning before it went into recess, such as a dictionary of the Tai Tokerau dialect.


A comedy feature about Maori claims has been selected for this year's Melbourne International Film Festival.

The Waimate Conspiracy was written and directed by Christchurch community constable Stefen Lewis.

It's based on his 1999 novel, The Waikikamukau Conspiracy, in which the discovery of a cannonball buried in a paddock sparks the belief by locals that the land was forcibly confiscated from Maori.

Mr Lewis says the film takes a light look at a serious subject.

“I just wanted to say something about what it’s like to be disenfranchised and lose your land like that, and that’s why I invented this character, George Kepa, and George is a really hard case sort of larrikin really,” Mr Lewis says.

The Waimate Conspiracy, which cost $15,000 to make, is also due to screen in Canada in June at the Dreamspeakers indigenous film festival.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Tainui declares marae dividend

A momentuous year for Tainui is being reflected in a special payment to the tribe's marae.

Chairperson Tukororiangi Morgan says Tainui's commercial arm has performed well over the past couple of years, and its board has delivered operational savings as well as profits.

Mr Morgan says each of the 67 marae in the rohe will receive a one-off payment of $50,000.

“The board decided that is is an extraordinary year. We lost Te Arikinui six months ago. It’s an opportunity to honour her passing and to begin to spread the wealth and pass on the financial capacity back to our people,” Mr Morgan says.

Tainui is planning a savings scheme for its members to run alongside the Government's Kiwisaver scheme.


A Kaitaia fork hoist operator is praising his union for helping him to restore his mana.

The Employment Court ruled that board mill operator Juken Nissho was wrong to sack 55-year-old Anthony Housham for allegedly fighting, because he was defending himself.

It awarded him 40 thousand dollars in compensation.

Mr Housham says the incident tarnished his reputation in the community.

He's a member of te Runanga o Ngati Kahu, the Maori Anglican Church, the 28th Maori Battalion Association and other community groups.

Mr Housham says he's been a union member for 38 years, and it paid off.

“If I was a private citizen trying to take the company on, there’s no way in the world I would have been able to do this. I’m very grateful I’m a member of the National Distribution Union. There’s a lot of people who work with me who won’t join the union. I hope they realise that this could happen to them, and if the fan hits the proverbial, you’re on your own,” Mr Housham says.

He decided against reinstatement, and he's now working on decommissioning the HMS Canterbury at Opua.


The Maori film and television industry has made its way to Taumaruni over the past two days to pay tribute to the actor and filmmaker Don Selwyn, who will be buried today.

Hundreds of people have been through the gates of Wharauroa Marae, including many Mr Selwyn trained or gave a break to.
One is Ella Henry, one of the hosts of Maori Television's Ask your Auntie's show.

She says Mr Selwyn, along with Selwyn Muru, Mereta Mita and Barry Barclay, was a driving force behind Maori film industry group He Manu Aute.

The group lobbied through the 1980s for more resources for Maori to tell their own stories and set up the programmes which trained many of today's Maori broadcasters and technicians.

“Without the contribution that they made, not just as activists but as teachers and professionals and mentors, we would not have the rich and robust Maori production capacity that we have today, right across the spectrum of moving images,” Ms Henry says.

Don Selwyn's funeral starts at 10 this morning.


The head of Cook Strait iwi Ngati Toa Rangatira says the Waitangi Tribunal's Te Tau Ihu report is a chance for the region's tribes to have their place in history recognised.

Matiu Rei says the eight top of the South Island iwi and their relatives around Wellington bore the brunt of early settlement, because of their deepwater ports and fertile plains.

Mr Rei says settler pressure was behind what the tribunal says was a process of ruthless extortion, by which the Crown acquired millions of hectares of land from Maori.

“The real settlement or immigration of settlers to this country happened down here. The north was first populated with Pakeha, but the actual settlement people arriving in droves, happened in Wellington and Nelson, and so we bore the first brunt of immigration into this country,” Mr Rei says.


Waipareira chief executive John Tamihere says he's got the backing of the West Auckland street, despite the upheavals at the urban Maori trust.

A group led by Mr Tamihere won back control of the trust last year and set about unwinding bad business deals and winning back social services contracts.

Mr Tamihere says old guard tried to fight back, but he believes the Maori community gave its support to his team.

“I don't think on the street it was ever lost, otherwise I wouldn’t have been elected back on the board with a ticket to change it. It’s only when people can control the cheque book can control a few tunes. So they’re gone because of how backward we went, but that was yesterday, we’re moving on, and things are looking better all the time out here,” Mr Tamihere says.

This month's annual meeting of the trust will hear how it intends to go about rebuilding itself after losing $16 million over five years.


A tono for Maori filmmakers,

Broadcaster and academic Ella Henry is challenging to make sure projects Don Selwyn was working on before his death last week are completed.

The veteran actor and filmmaker will be buried this morning in Taumarunui.

Ms Henry says two projects in the development stage were a feature film set in the far north gumfields, with a script in Maori, English and Dalmatian, and a documentary on the links between New Zealand and China forged by Rewi Alley.

Ms Henry says they may have to be picked up by a younger generation of filmmakers.

“All that we can hope is that the amount of work that Don put into preparing all of us to continue to work in this industry is going to pauy off. Those of us who are left have a responsibility to ensure that Don’s work wasn’t wasted and that we make damn sure we finish of the projects that he started,” Ms Henry says.

The funeral service for Don Selwyn starts at 10 this morning at Wharauroa Marae in Taumarunui.

Gang patch bill good idea but unlikely to succeed

A proposed bill to allow towns to ban gang patches has won support from someone who's tried it in the past.

Whanganui MP Chester Borrows has written the bill, after the Wanganui City Council dropped its plans for a by-law.

Former New Zealand First MP Rana Waitai, who is now a Wanganui-based lawyer, says he banned gang patches in Ruatoria in the early 1990s when he was the police Gisborne district commander.

Mr Waitai says the move worked to curb the activities of the Mongrel Mob in the town, but it ran foul of civil liberties groups.

“I said at that stage, I said ‘mark my words if they keep wearing that gear round here, someone’s going to get killed.’ And six months later someone got their head shot off,” Mr Waitai says.

He says Mr Borrows will probably find his bill runs afoul of civil liberties.


West Auckland urban Maori authority Te Whanau o Waipareira is getting ready to restructure itself as it seeks to rebuild after years of financial misrule.

Chief executive John Tamihere says accounts to be tabled at this month's annual meeting will show the trust has turned itself around, after losing more than $16 million over the past five years.

Mr Tamihere says the trust probably lost three times that sum in opportunity costs, but it was now debt free.

He says the new committee has been consulting extensively as to where it should go, but its survival is not in doubt.

“You just have to rebuild from a zero base again, although thankfully elders like Uncle Jack Wihongi and Auntie Tuini and all those who came before us, they set a very good platform, and it’s pretty hard for any idiot to blow up, the foundation stones that they put in place for us, so we’ve just got to add the flesh again,” Mr Tamihere says.


It will be the only marae in the country where you can see Mt Aoraki.

Te Runanga o Ngati Waewae is building a 1 point 7 million dollar complex on a hill overlooking its pa at Arahura, just north of Hokitika.

Project manager Ben Te Aika says it should be finished in 2009.

Mr Te Aika says the hapu is looking forward to moving its hui out of marquees and school halls.

“We've been accommodating a lot of our tangihanga and powhiri in facilities that aren’t too flash, and really it’s a wionderful time to be starting a project like this because it’s a tohu of our growth I suppose and our return to the landscape in a culture sense, so yeah wonderful,” Mr Te Aika says.

The only other marae on the West Coast is at Bruce Bay in South Westland, which Te Runanga o Makaawhio opened in early 2005.


Tainui chairperson Tukoroirangi Morgan says Maori need a united front in the debate over water rights.

Mr Morgan says the hui called for next month by Tuwharetoa leader, Tumu Te Heu Heu deserves iwi wide support.

He says many Maori believe their tupuna never ceded rights to water when they signed the Treaty of Waitangi, and the issue could be as volatile as the foreshore and seabed debate.

“This issue has to be talked about. It’s got to be done by all Maori. The opportunity that’s been provided by Tumu te Heuheu of Tuwharetoa is an excellent forum for people to come together and have their say around the status of water,” Mr Morgan says.

He says 75 percent of the water used in Auckland comes from the Tainui rohe.


A veteran Maori broadcaster says young speakers deserve support from the older generation rather than criticism.

Te Upoko O Te Ika breakfast host Henare Kingi was honoured at the Maori Media Awards this weekend for his contribution to Maori language broadcasting.

Mr Kingi says people from his own generation often put down younger speakers for using new words.

He says te reo Maori must evolve.

“We have people criticising the different kupu and all that, and I’m saying to the people on Te Upoko o te Ika, hey, give our young people a chance. Let them do it, because it doesn’t matter how much we the old people growl and moan, this is going to be te reo of tomorrow, and we should be right behind them 100 percent, not moaning,” Mr Kingi says.

He says the young people are the ones who have to take the language forward.


The curator of the Ngai Tahu Rock Art Trust says education may be the best way to protect the country's store of irreplacable rock art.

The trust is building an information centre in Timaru.

Amanda Symon says the south Canterbury town was chosen because of the area's high number of rock art sites.

Ms Symon says many of the South Island's 550 Maori rock art sites risk being destroyed by stock or weather.

She says landowners would value the sites more if there was greater public awareness.

“The general public is kind of unaware that rock art exists. They are aware Australian Aboriginals create rock art, and they may be aware that there’s rock art in France or in Europe, but they’re not aware that there’s actually quite a lot of sites within New Zealand,” Ms Symon says.

She believes the Rock Art Trust's education centre will be a world class tourist attraction when it's finished, some time next year.

Don Selwyn remembered

Actor, teacher, filmmaker, and a dedicated member of the Anglican Church.

That's few of the sides of Don Selwyn, whose tangi is being held today at Wharauroa marae in Taumarunui.

Mr Selwyn died last week of kidney failure at the age of 71.

Whakahuihui Vercoe, the former Bishop of Aotearoa, says Mr Selwyn was a long time friend and associate who used his skills to help a wide range of Maori endeavours, including the church.

“He was very much part of the Anglican Church in his faith and in his practice, and he also put on tape a lot of the history of Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa, so he maintained for us a historical sequence of things that happened, and of things to come. I’m sure the whole of Maoridom will be mourning his passing,” Bishop Vercoe says.

Don Selwyn and will be buried tomorrow.


Too many Maori children are dying because they're allowed to play near water unsupervised.

That's the conclusion of research into drowning which has stirred Water Safety New New Zealand and Kohanga Reo National Trust into action.

Maori Water Safety Project manager Mark Haimona says the two organisations are working together to distribute an education kit to every kohanga reo and marae in the country.

Mr Haimona says lack of adult supervision seemed to be a theme of recent statistics, with it being a particular problem for Maori.

“The under fives were a big area that surfaced in drowning statistics, and within that stat there were 44 percent of the total drownings were Maori,” Mr Haimona says.

Water Safety New New Zealand developed its safer play near water kit, Te Takaro Haumaru i te Wai or safer play near water, in association with Tainui kohanga reo teachers and kaumatua.


The Maori language media industry celebrated its own this weekend, handing out awards for those who bring te reo to the airwaves.

The Ta Koha o te Tau award, which recognizes the fledgling industry’s veterans, went to breakfast host Henare Kingi from Wellington station Te Upoko O Te Ika.

Awards convener, Doug Hauraki says Mr Kingi has maintained a lifelong commitment to advancing the Maori language.

“It's the standard of his te reo Maoir and his arrogance in continually promoting the sustainability of our language not only at his age level, but all of those generations that are following,” Mr Hauraki says.

Other winners included Orini Kaipara from Maori Television, who was judged best Maori language presenter, and Auckland urban Maori radio’s Kingi Taurua for radio presenter of the year.


Large numbers are expected at Taumarunui’s Wharauroa Marae today and tomorrow for the tangi of filmmaker Don Selwyn.

And while is widely recognised for his contribution to Maori film and television, broadcaster Tainui Stevens says his impact on other the way other cultures are now telling their stories shouldn't be underestimated.

Mr Stevens says the training schemes Mr Selwyn ran in the produced an extraordinary number Maori and Pacific Island graduates who made their way into the film and television industry as technicians, actors, directors and producers.

He says Don Selwyn was always interested in good stories, irrespective of who was trying to tell them.

“He was so very very Maori, but he was so very very inclusive of all peoples. And his work with the Pacific Island communities, and more recently with the Chinese communities, because he was working on a movie about Rewi Alley, wherever the stories took him, he was keen to use the people of that area,” Mr Stevens says.

Don Selwyn died in Auckland on Friday after a long illness. He will be buried in Taumarunui tomorrow.


A Rotorua Maori health worker says he's like to see more dedicated funding to address the high rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease in the region.

Eugene Berryman-Kamp, the Maori health manager for the Rotorua public health organisation, says a high Maori population means a lot of young people in the city, which is one of the reasons the teen pregnancy rate is twice the national average.

Mr Berryman-Kamp says sexual health accounts for 60 percent of the consultations at a youth health centre part-funded by the PHO, but more could be done with more funding.

“Obviously all of the GP practices also see youth. We have secondary school clinics which have a similar load on them as well but relatively speaking, they’re really not funded to the level I would like to see them funded to get the mahi done,” Mr Berryman-Kamp says.


Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairoa say they're getting the brush off from local government over the likely impact of a new timber drying mill near the northern Hawkes Bay town.

Julie Amato from Takitimu Marae says the nine marae in the area are concerned about traffic, air pollution, and possible chemical discharges into the Wairoa River.

The North Clyde mill was approved by Wairoa District Council and Hawke's Bay Regional Council without going through a public notification process.
Ms Amato says local Maori are getting upset because they're not getting answers.

“We don't need the jargon. We just need information we can relate to. We don’t need to be brushed off because we’re not coming from a scientific level or a technology level. We want to know would that work if you did this?” Ms Amato says.

Construction of the four-kiln dry mill has already begun at the old Tapuae sportsgrounds.