Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, April 27, 2007

New home could be turning point

The Minister of Justice says a new residential home in Hamilton will provide direction for many young offenders.

Mark Burton attended today's opening of Te Hurihanga or the turning point, an eight-room non-secure unit male offenders aged 14 to 17.

Mr Burton says the key to its success will be the contribution of provider organisations Youth Horizons and Matua Whangai.

“Their strong kaupapa in working with young Maori is going to bring a very important thread to the programme and the way that it operates in the centre for thse young people, so I think this is one of the strong and really positive features of this centre, the two provider organizations,” Mr Burton says,

The programme will be closely monitored to see if it can be applied elsewhere.


West Auckland community groups are holding a family picnic day tomorrow to launch a new family violence prevention programme.

Co-ordinator Ngaroimata Reid from Everyday Communities Waitakere says Hui tahi tupu tahi, or come together grow together, is funded by the Children and Young Persons Service.

Ms Reid says community groups will be encouraged to work together so people can find suitable help.

“There have been some key agencies, Maori agencies, like Tu Wahine Trust, Waipareira, Pacifica, branches of Maori Women’s Welfare League, that have been working in our communities whether we are involved in whanau violence or not, it’s number one knowing what it is and number two, where can I find help,” Ms Reid says.

The picnic kicks off at 11.30 at Falls Park in Henderson.


Tainui kaumatua Hare Puke is warning the Maori Party the tribe's votes won't be won easily.

As part of its push to win the Tainui electorate, Maori Party MPs turned out in force at the Tainui Awhiro poukai at Waingaro on Anzac day.

Mr Puke, a former Tainui Trust Board chair, says while attendance at the tribe's regular hui is commendable, the people want to see long term commitment.

“There's one thing about us, about Tainui. One appearance does not mean that you are already in. If they have to attend one poukai, they have to attend all the poukais. They’re not a one-off show,” Mr Puke says.

He says incumbent Nanaia Mahuta enjoys a lot of support on the ground because of her deft handling of some difficult issues.


The decision by whiteware manufacturer Fisher and Paykel to move its manufacturing to Thailand will hit many Maori and Pacific island families hard.

That's the view of Andrew Little, the national secretary of the Engineering Print and Manufacturing Union.

He says it's an example of how the high New Zealand dollar affects the people with the fewest dollars, and it will hit the whole south Auckland community.

“I think it's extremely disappointing and I think a large portion of the Fisher and Paykel workforce are Maori and Pacific Island, they live around South Auckland, and it’s businesses like Fisher and Paykel and the workforce that works for them that keeps that area alive. When you get a large chunk of jobs going like this, 350 jobs, it has a real impact on that local area,” Mr Little says.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says there could be an argument for sales of state houses to tenants.

While such sales have often occurred under National governments, Labour administrations have in the main opposed the policy.

Mrs Turia says housing was on the minds of people at a series of hui the party's MPs have attended this week in the Tainui rohe, as part of its efforts to win the seat at the next election.

She says there was a lot of korero that the government is ignoring the rural community, with housing a major issue.

Mrs Turia says many Maori can expect to spend their lives in rental housing, and they want a chance to get something of their own.

“People had been living in state houses for over 20 years and they felt that Housing New Zealand should give them the opportunity to by their homes for a reasonable rate, because what they’ve been paying for 22 years, they would have paid for the house they're in,” Mrs Turia says.

The Maori Party believes Labour's Nanaia Mahuta can be defeated next election.


But Waikato kaumatua Hare Puke says Nanaia Mahuta commands great respect in the Tainui electorate and will be hard to unseat.

Mr Puke says the three term MP has dealt effectively with many issues that could have tripped up someone with less political nous.

He says Ms Mahuta's style is admired by many elders.

“Nanaia in our opinion holds to her dignity, and this is what we do commend her, and that is the general consensus I do feel amongst our older people,” Mr Puke says.

He says the Maori Party will need to do more to win support from Tainui people than just turning up to one poukai.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Gardiner Key contact for te ao Maori

National's leader John Key says he's doing what he can to repair what has been a rocky relationship between his party and Maori.

Mr Key has been getting out to marae in various tribal areas to hear Maori concerns.

He says the people have been very welcoming, and he's getting guidance on how to proceed from a former head of the Ministry of Maori development.

“I'm lucky to have someone like Wira Gardiner, and Wira’s had a long association with the party. He’s been Maori vice president for a long period of time, He’s hugely knowledgeable in those areas and has helped me a lot,” Mr Key says.
He says many Maori believe National will win the next election, and they want reassurance they will be treated fairly by the new government.


The new draft school curriculum is getting qualified support from teachers and sector groups, but Maori academic Rawiri Taonui says it should have made te reo Maori compulsory.

Colmar Brunton analysis of the 9 thousand submissions received by the Education Ministry about 80 per cent of respondents felt the draft reinforced the direction schools are going, and 72 per cent of thought it provided the right amount of flexibility.

Mr Taonui, the head of Maori and indigenous studies at Canterbury University, says schools can teach about the Treaty of Waitangi, they don't have to.

“The Treaty's a foundation document for our country, we have large immigration at the moment and migrants will come in and their children will go to school. They won’t know a key ingredient in our history. There’s encouragements to broaden the options in te reo, which is good, but they’re only optional,” Mr Taonui says.

He wants all school teachers to be competent in te reo Maori.


A Taranaki woman has found a new use for harakeke.

Joanne Tito has is using paper made from the native flax to print photographs.

She says harakeke paper is excellent for photographic use because it's strong and stable.

Tito, who also has an interest in rongoa or Maori healing, says the paper gives her work a direct connection to the land.

“Here in Taranaki with the harakeke, there’s so much harakeke here, and harakeke’s very much a resource that our tipuna used a lot, so there’s that connection as well, and it’s just a wonderful medium to work with,” she says.

Tito is off to the United States next month to exhibit her photos in a gallery in Arizona.


A treaty historian says the place for treaty education is in schools, not on the back of a truck.

Paul Moon from Auckland University of Technology says the Treaty 2-U Roadshow, which is being taken round the country by Te Papa, the National Archives and the National Library, is a waste of millions of dollars.

Professor Moon says there seems little public interest in the roadshow, and it's a desperate effort by the government to show some commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi.

He says the only way to achieve greater understanding is to make treaty education compulsory in schools.

“If the treaty had a good presence in the education system and a compulsory presence so you had to know about it, then within a generation you’d get a whole group of people who’re sort of familiar with it, and the consequence of that is a lot of the antagonism that exists in a lot of the public now towards treaty settlements would change. If people became educated as to why these claims existed in the first place, they’d be less inclined to oppose them,” Mr Moon says.

Treaty 2-U project manager Kit O'Connor says the roadshow has had more than 30,000 visitors from Waitangi to Gore, and it is over-booked with schools who want to get a concentrated lesson in the nation's founding document.


There are no simple answers to problems of Maori health.

That's the warning from Teresa Wall, the acting deputy director general of Maori health.

Ms Wall says the Health Ministry needs to work with other government agencies to address the various issues which contribute to the negative patterns of Maori health.

“It's usually framed as though if Maori would only pull iup their socks. If that was the simple answer, we’d have done it. The issue is it’s much more complex so a lot of the causes of Maori ill health if you like sit outside of the health sector,” Ms Wall says.

She says better access to good housing, jobs and education are key factors in turning around negative Maori health statistics.


Tainui will reinforce its historic links with Taranaki by taking the kawe mate of the late Maori queen to the annual Maui Pomare commemoration in Waitara in June.

Waikato kaumaatua Taotahi Pihama says the decision to carry the spirit of Dame Te Atairangikaahu to Owae Marae acknowledgement of the close ties between the areas which share a history of raupatu or land confiscation.

Mr Pihama who is also of Taranaki descent says the link between the two stretches back a long way.

“The relationship between Tainui and Taranaki in terms of Kingitanga is very close because of Potatau Te Wherowhero and his relation to Whiti and Tohu. It seemed natural for them to do the kawe mate on Sir Maui Pomare Day, awesome symbol of kotahitanga,” Mr Pihama says.

Treaty 2U strikes dark side of Moon

A treaty historian says the government's Treaty 2-U roadshow is a huge waste of time and money.

The truck and trailer unit is touring the country with replicas of the original treaty documents, videos, cartoons and other material put together by the Museum of New Zealand, National Archives, and the National Library.

Paul Moon from Auckland University of Technology says the roadshow has been poorly attended, and it is being undermined by a group from the One New Zealand Foundation who have shadowed it touting a bogus version of treaty history.

Professor Moon says it would be far more effective to put the Treaty of Waitangi into the school curriculum, as other countries do with their founding documents.

“Talk to just about any American and they’d be able to tell you the basics of their founding documents – the Declaration of Independence, their Constitution. And the reason is that is has a pronounced presence and a compulsory presence in the school syllabus, and our treaty doesn’t have that, so we’re forced to try selling it, quite literally out the back of a truck,” Professor Moon says.

He says the roadshow is doing more harm than good.


The Minister of Veterans Affairs says an agreement between the Government, the Returned Services Association and the Vietnam Veterans Association should improve the way veterans' health is addressed.

The parties signed a memorandum of understanding to identify and act upon concerns raised by the Vietnam veterans.

Rick Barker says the government will still need scientific proof the vets' health problems are the result of their tour of duty.

He says the government is acting on suggestions from Vietnam Veterans, and making contributions of its own.

“One of the things which is very good about the package but not asked for is the trust fund that’s been set uyp, controlled and run by the veterans themselves, and it will give them flexibility to address issues that they have within their community, issues within the family of Vietnam veterans which the state itself would find difficulty in doing,” Mr Barker says.

He says the Vietnam Veterans Association is better positioned than the government to identify health problems among veterans and their families.


Taranaki's tales of traditional Maori healing have been recorded for a new a book.

Mataraakau is a collaboration between Karanga Ora, a group of healers in the region, and artist Joanne Tito.

Ms Tito, from from Taranaki, Tuhourangi-Ngati Wahiao and Ngati Pikiao, says it's the first time many of the stories have been written down, and the book will offer a multi-faceted view of rongoa Maori.

“There's spiritual, there’s rongoa in the physical sense, there’s rongoa as well being, people talk about the holistic approach to well being, making our own kai from having our own gardens and fishing and that kind of thing as well,” Ms Tito says.

Mataraakau will be published in June.


A Maori mental health worker is backing a call by the new president of the 28 Maori Battalion Association for a return to compulsory military training.

Taotahi Pihama says a taste of military discipline would benefit the many rangatahi who lack direction in their lives.

Mr Pihama says it could start in the school system.

“I went through that at secondary school, and it rounded off me anyway, and it was something I enjouyed too. It took me out of my hautitu comfort zone into one where I had to respect discipline and have routine in my life,” Mr Pihama says.

National service was abolished in 1972.


A high flying Maori woman says greater involvement in tertiary education is helping Maori women win top jobs.

It's Mana Wahine week, and Teresa Wall, the acting deputy director general of Maori health at the Ministry of health, says Maori women should celebrate how much they have achieved.

Ms Wall, who is from far north tribes Te Rarawa and Te Aupouri, says Maori women who complete their university studies are highly sought after in the government sector because of their wider experience of the world.

“You're talking about a number of world views, if you like. Being a woman you have a certain view of the world, and being Maori too is another layer,” Ms Wall says.


The finishing touches are being added to tomorrow's inaugural Maori Market in Wellington.

Toi Maori operations manager Tamahou Temara says the market grew out of an exhibition of Maori art in San Francisco.

The participating artists saw a successful First Nations art market in the Bay Area, and brought the idea back.

Mr Temara says the market will give more than a hundred Maori artists and craftspeople a chance to show their wares, from the big to the small.

“The waka Hinemoana, carved by Hector Busby to small tiki that have been crafted by people like Rangi Kipa, our weavers, our ta moko artists, clay artists, there’ll be a whole range of people here displaying their wares,” Mr Temara says.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Anzac Day chance for Malaya look

The national secretary of the Malayan Veterans Association says the veterans are only slowly getting the acknowledgement they're due.

Jim Perry from Ngati Porou says Anzac Day programmes have mostly overlooked the contribution made by New Zealand forces in Malaya in the late 1950's and early 1960s.

He says the veterans are keen to take a greater role.

“We are overlooked and we are almost a forgotten group of people, even though there were 35,000 of us who were sent to Malaya. About 60 to 65 percent were Maori. The Maori volunteers made up the biggest proportion of all the battalions that left New Zealand,” Mr Perry says.

Most of the soldiers who served in Vietnam had already done a tour of duty in Malaya.


The Prime Minister says the kohanga reo movement has proved a solid foundation not just for children but for helping young mothers learn skills needed in the workforce.

Helen Clark says the movement’s contribution should be celebrated during Mana Wahine week this week.

She says it has been the catalyst for many Maori women to move into higher study and build careers.

“The skills they the skills they got there increased their confidence to then go on to work, and I think that’s terrific. Look at the confidence within Maoridom now as people know there is a chance out there for you, particularly if you stay in school a bit longer and get some qualifications, which you can then move up the staircase. Great week to be showing pride in mana wahine,” Ms Clark says.


The head of the Maori Tourism Council says the relationship Maori have with their ancestral lands is a selling point for overseas visitors.

Johnny Edmonds says while the traditional focus for promotions has been scenic beauty, tourists are now more interested in experiences that are out of the ordinary.

He says that's something that Maori-run tourism ventures can offer, and they should be marketed more effectively.

“New Zealand is not just a destination like any other destination. New Zealand is an experience because of the combination of people and landscape and Maori association with their ancestral lands and the stories there are one of the keys we believe going forward from New Zealand,” Mr Edmonds says.


A Maori Vietnam veteran says many of those who fought in South East Asia still don’t get into the spirit of Anzac Day because of the way they were treated.

Kingi Taurua was the third New Zealander to be wounded in the campaign, and says successive governments have failed to properly address the health concerns of those who fought in Vietnam.

He says those who served in Vietnam weren’t welcomed home, and many kept their service secret for years because of anti war protests.
Mr Taurua says even on Anzac day, he and many of his Maori comrades still feel on the outer.

“When I came back from overseas, I was really reluctant to join the RSA or to attend Anzac day, and even now they have what they call a Vietnam day every year, and I’ve never never attended those days. I don’t want to do to those commemorations to remember the foolishness of war,” Mr Taurua says.


The Prime Minister is rejecting claims that migration is bad for Maori,

Immigration policy has come under fire in recent weeks from Maori Party and New Zealand First MPs who say new migrants take many low skill jobs which previously went to Maori and Pacific Island people.

Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia says many migrants have little or no understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi or tangata whenua, so are less likely to support Maori initiatives.

But Helen Clark says while new arrivals might not know much at first about where Maori fit in, they are interested.

“I think they're overall pretty open and receptive to listening to what Maori have to say. I mix a great deal with new migrant communities in my own electorate in Auckland and the wider Auckland area, and I’ve found them actually incredibly respectful of Maori and interested and wanting to know more,” she says.

Ms Clark says migrants are needed to replace the steady flow of New Zealanders who take their skills overseas.


National's Maori Affairs spokesperson says setting new national standards for graduating teachers may not be the most effective way to address the needs of Maori students.

The new students include things like appropriate use of Maori language and customs and the recognition of the Treaty of Waitangi.

But Tau Henare says the resources might have been better used in expanding Te Kotahitanga programme, which is delivering improvements in student achievement in the handful of schools using it.

“If they are looking for a programme that will boost not only the competence of the teachers but also the skill level of the teachers in being able to deal with our kids, then may be they should all be looking at Te Kotahitanga instead of coming up with some new fandangled standards,” Mr Henare says.

He says Te Kotahitanga methods should be taught in training colleges.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Military training for rangatahi call from past

The new president of the 28th Maori Battalion Association is calling for the reintroduction of compulsory military training for Maori youth.

National service was abolished by the incoming Kirk Labour government in 1972.

Nolan Raihania, from Ngati Porou, says many young Maori face challenges in their teenage years, and a taste of military discipline would give them respect for authority and for themselves.

“I thought it was terrific because some of the young people who came out of that, they went in, I wouldn’t say hobos but virtually, and when they came out they were very respectful and clean, upright and it was excellent for them, CMT,” he says.

Mr Raihania joined the army's overseas service at age 16.

The 28th Maori Battalion Association held its reunion earlier in the month, so members will commemorate Anzac Day tomorrow at a local level.


Green's Maori spokesperson Metiria Turei says new standards for graduating teachers should improve the way Maori culture and language are treated in schools.

The Teachers Council wants to ensure new teachers come up to consistent levels of quality.

Ms Turei says the standards include a welcome focus on the appropriate use of Maori language and customs and the recognition of the Treaty of Waitangi.

“That is an area that needs a huge amount of work and development, Teachers are very committed to it, but they don’t get access, when they are actually in teaching, to develop that area of their profession, so it’s good the standard will be dealt with at the exit level from teachers college,” Ms Turei says.

She says students should benefit from the change.


One of the country's two tri-lingual interpreters is disputing figures showing that a quarter of people who speak New Zealand Sign Language also speak Maori.

Tania Simon, from Ngapuhi, works for the Deaf Association as an interpreter.

Ms Simon says the Census data showing that 6 thousand of the 24 thousand people who use New Zealand sign also speak Maori and English is wrong.

She says it reflects the number of people who have done an introduction course in sign language.

“A lot of people who completed their beginning courses in New Zealand sign language automatically assume that they can go out and interpret for their whanau, who are teri, and that is not the case. You might be able to say two sentences in te reo Maori, or you might be able to understand te reo Maori, but if you can’t output into English, then how can you output it into New Zealand sign language,” Ms Simon says.

About 40 percent of New Zealand's deaf population are Maori.


The new president of the 28th Maori Battalion Association says he's come a long way from buck private.

80-year old Nolan Raihania from Ngati Porou joined the army at 16, along with his classmates from Te Aute College, and was shipped off to Italy.

Mr Raihania says the support given to the dwindling band of veterans is a great help in his new job.

“I'm not one for these top positions, I was buck private in the army and I was quite happy to be there. This comes as a big step forward, being nominated and palcesd imn this opositiojn, from a privte right to the top, it’s a big step up,” Mr Raihania says.

He will attend the Tokomaru Bay Anzac service tomorow before heading home to Muriwai for the service there.


After its ground-breaking Anzac Day coverage last year, Maori Television is promising the same and more tomorrow.

Programming kicks off at 5.30 in the morning and goes through to 11 at night.

Executive producer Tainui Stevens says New Zealanders responded to the channel's fresh approach to history and traditions shared by Maori and Pakeha alike.

“Last year proved that the idea worked, and it’s a great idea. So for this year, we’re mindful that other broadcasters have suddenly developed an interest in pursuing Anzac with more vigour so we want to grow what we did last year, try different things,” Mr Stevens says.

As well as archival footage of past campaigns and interviews with veterans, the day will include documentaries on Haani Manahi and on Gallipoli from a Turkish perspective, dramatisations of soldiers' letters from the front, the inaugural Anzac address from Judge Mick Brown, and a live link to Wena Harawira on the battlefield at Gallipoli.


While other parts of the country commemorate Anzac Day, Tainui will gather tomorrow at Waingaroa Marae on the road to Raglan.

Tainui spokesperson Tom Moana says the annual poukai is dedicated to the memory of Te Atairangikaahu, the mother of the late Maori queen and grandmother of King Tuheitia.

It's a chance for Tainui members to sit and share a meal with the king, and to debate issues of the day.

Mr Moana says because of the raupatu of land confiscations after the wars of the 1860s, Tainui did not sign on to the wars of last century.

“Because we were hit by that confiscation and it come to the situation now where it’s not our war, it’s your fella’s war, that’s how we looked at things ion our great grandparents, our grandparents time, and all of that you know,” Mr Moana says.

He says many younger people have started attending poukai since King Tuheitia was appointed, and upwards of 500 people are expected tomorrow.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Maori land over-valued for rating

The head of an independent review panel on rating says a lot of Maori land is over-valued for rating purposes.

David Shand says some clear messages have come out of a series of consultation hui, including problems with valuation, a lack of willingness by councils to engage with Maori on land issues, and questions over whether the rating system is consistent with the Treaty of Waitangi.

Mr Shand says it's clear a hard look is needed at the basis for valuation of Maori land.

“There's plenty of examples of what appears to be completely inappropriate valuations of the land and of course the basic principle that land is valued on the basis of willing buyer-willing seller is not appropriate for Maori land, so there are clearly some major problems regarding over-valuation of the land for rating purposes,” Mr Shand says.

Maori are substantial landowners and ratepayers in many areas, and their concerns need to be better addressed.


A former head of the Kohanga Reo National Trust says the Maori pre-school movement has empowered a generation of women.

Iritana Tawhiwhirangi says their achievements should be celebrated as part of Mana Wahine week this week.

Mrs Tawhiwhirangi says kohanga reo worked on a whanau model, relying not just on kai ako or teachers but on mothers and grandmothers taking part.

She says in the early years, much of the language was being delivered by older kuia, while mothers were learning vital lessons in administration and management.

Mrs Tawhiwhirangi says it wet their appetites for more.

“The kohanga reo is like they used to have kumara plants planted together to be able to plant out later. That was really the concept of these parents, mothers, being there, that they would, once their children moved on, they would then pursue their own talents,” Mrs Tawhiwhirangi says.

She says many of that first generation of kohanga reo mothers are now in senior positions in the Maori world or in academia.


The head of the Maori Tourism Council says Maori operaters could be using the Internet more effectively.

Johnny Edmonds says New Zealand has been marketed as a destination, rather than a tourism experience.

He says most Maori tourism operators have web sites, but they fail to give prospective visitors a taste of the sort of memories they could take away from an encounter with tangata whenua.

“To what extent are the websites enabling visitors to understand the experiences that they could have if they were to come here, and hen supporting that with products and services. Just having products and services there for convenience may in itself not be enough,” Mr Edmonds says.


The head of the Local Government Rating Inquiry says councils haven't done enough to tackle Maori concerns about rates.

David Shand says it's clear much Maori land is inappropriately valued, so the rates on it are too high.

He says a consistent theme which came through from consultation hui was a lack of willingness by councils to engage with Maori on land issues.

“It's all just too hard and nobody has any training. People write to the council about issues of valuation and get fobbed off. Some councils don’t do a good job. They just can’t be bothered training their people to properly handle Maori land issues,” Mr Shand says.

Councils need sensible policies about dealing with accumulated rates, so they are not discouraging development of unproductive Maori land.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says new migrants need Treaty of Waitangi training to counteract negative attitudes towards Maori.

Mrs Turia says the New Zealand Ethnic Council has taken some steps down that road, and she's been impressed by its efforts.

“They think it’s very important for their people coming into this country to know the history of this land so they can participate in a way that’s about understanding the issues rather than speaking against,” Mrs Turia says.

She says Maori want to have input into immigration policy.


Maori artist Robyn Kahukiwa is welcoming a proposals to charge a royalty on the resale of artworks.

The government has released a proposal that dealers and auction houses pay an artist or their estate a percentage of the resale price.

Kahukiwa says while her paintings are now highly sought after, art is rarely a lucrative career and taking up painting full time requires faith and sacrifice.

“Even though I was married and had children, I had to support myself. My husband was very keen on me giving up teaching and doing art, but it’s always been a struggle. I think a lot of Maori artists would be love to do it all the time but they can’t get that financial base to even just survive,” Kahukiwa says.

She regrets she has had to sell many of her best works ovcer the years to keep the bills paid.

Maori truancy needs attacking

National education spokesperson Katherine Rich says the government isn't doing enough to address Maori truancy.

Ms Rich says while the overall truancy rate rose 41 percent over the past five years, the truancy rate for Maori pupils increased by 46 percent.

Seven percent of Maori girls now regularly wag school.

Ms Rich says it's time to tighten the rules.

“When you look at the kids who fail to get a good education and leave school without the ability to read or write, Maori in particular are over-represented. We’ve got to do better for these kids,” Ms Rich says.

She says the Education Ministry should be prosecuting more parents for not ensuring their kids attend school.


Taranaki iwi Te Atiawa could be back in talks with the Crown about its treaty claim settlement as early as September.

After seven years of talks towards what the government says will be a 34 million dollar settlement, Treaty Negotiations Minister Mark Burton says he no longer recognises the mandate of Te Atiawa Iwi Authority.

Authority chairperson Wikitoria Keenan says the move was not unexpected, and it gives the iwi a chance for a fresh start.

Ms Keenan says while it could take until the end of the year to develop a completely new negotiating group, the people might opt to use the Te Atiawa Settlement Authority, which will be voted on by all beneficiaries.

“We're having elections for that in August, because at the moment we’ve only got interim trustees, so we’re having an election for permanent trustees. One of the models we might use is for Atiawa people to give their mandate to thee incoming trustees on the settlements trust. That would be quite a simple process, and that could happen as early as September,” Ms Keenan says.

Wikitoria Keenan says despite the mandating issue, Te Atiawa negotiators are now working more closely together than an any time over the past seven years and are focussed on achieving a settlement.


The creative team behind Maui - One Man Against the Gods believe stage the glowing reviews and positive audience response to the stage spectacular shows they have gotten it right.

The second season of the show, based on the legends of Maui, is running at Auckland's Civic Theatre until this weekend.

Artistic director Tanemahuta Gray says he keeps learning new aspects of the Maui story.

“That's why it’s taken so many years to get this story to the stage, because we’ve spent so much time debating and arguing how to get the right balance of making it available to an audience, especially an American audience, their only understanding of a lot of them of Maui is it’s an island in Hawaii, and for us it’s trying to find that link for them to go ‘My gosh, this is the greatest Polynesian ancestor of all time,” Gray says.

Maui - One Man Against the Gods moves to Hamilton next week.


Leading Maori artist Darcy Nicholas says a proposal for a royalty on the resale of art works is unworkable and unnecessary.

The government has a discussion paper out suggesting artists may get a 5 percent royalty if art is resold through dealers or auctioneers.

Mr Nicholas, from Te Atiawa, says a new bureaucracy would be needed to enforce the law, and it's likely to lead to more work being resold privately.

He's happy to see his work resold for a profit.

“So whoever bought it now has enjoyed it, they’ve seen it appreciate and good on them. I’m still creating work meanwhile which is just as good if not better. That’s the other part of it, you’ve got to keep creating new work, same as people like Picasso did, and just keep innovating and expressing all the new things that happen in your life, Mr Nicholas says.

Rather than feel cheated when early works sell for big sums, artists need to give more thought into how they can manage their careers so they can make a living as they go along.


Social activist John Minto says the increased activities of loan sharks in many of the country's poorest suburbs shows credit control laws need overhauling.

Mr Minto says many low paid Maori and Pacific Island workers borrow money for cars or family emergencies, then find they're hit with exorbitant interest and fees.

Mr Minto says some finance companies are deliberately targeting the poor and powerless.

“They're not in our middle or high income communities. They’re clustered around South Auckland, West Auckland, Porirua, Newtown, and low income communities in Christchurch. Those are the three main areas. And these people are making a killing, Mr Minto says.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says a review of immigration policy has been put into the too hard basket.

Mrs Turia says such a review, with Maori input, was being considered when she was in the Labour Party, but it seems to have been shelved.

She says Maori are disadvantaged by the numbers arriving.

IN: We're not saying that we don’t believe that anyone should come here, but we do think our people should be consulted and we do think that it should be monitored and that the numbers should be considerably lowered, because of the impact on our infrastructure and our social situation here,” Mrs Turia says.

She says there is no hard evidence immigration brings economic benefits.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Noted weaver, Florrie Berghan, dies

Te Rarawa and Ngapuhi will today farewell kuia Florrie Berghan, who died on Friday age 88.

Mrs Berghan has been lying in state at at Koraukore marae at Ahipara.

Her nephew, Haami Piripi, says Mrs Berghan was a renowned weaver of
cloaks and kete.

She was one of the artists featured in a recent book, He Kete He Korero - every kete has a story.

Mr Piripi says those lucky enough to have one of Mrs Berghan’s pieces received it from her in the age-old way, as she refused to sell any of her work and known as the kuia who swapped kits.

“She was very well known as a person who would be carrying the most beautiful and exquisite kit and would go to a marae and see an old lady from Hokianga perhaps and she would swap her exquisite kit for something that was old and ragged. She practiced the old ethic in relation to nurturing and caring for taonga,” Mr Piripi says.

Florrie Berghan will be laid to rest this morning at the Pukemiro urupa in Ahipara. Haere atu ra e kui.


New Zealand First's Maori spokesperson says Maori have little to gain from the influx of Asian immigrants.

Latest census data shows Asians are the fastest growing ethnic group, increasing from 238 thousand to 354 thousand between 2001 and 2006.

Pita Paraone says as well as soaking up many jobs which might once have gone to Maori, the new migrants are bringing in a different set of religious beliefs

“It'll be just a matter of time when Government will make place for those religions under legislation. We’ll lose the status of being a Christian country, I believe,” Mr Paraone says.

Maori are more comfortable with migration from the Pacific Islands, because the people has a close cultural relationship with Maori and many of the same values and beliefs.


A pioneering Maori publisher says Maori writers are gaining confidence as they see more material with a Maori perspective making it into print.

Robyn Bargh from Huia Publishers says her firm’s biannual Pikihuia writing competition draws in more manuscripts each time, from short stories to novels to screenplays.

She says Maori readers benefit as well.

“Maori are then more interested in reading those books and stories because there are more stories that have characters that we know and stories that we know and places that we know, and it’s good for New Zealand literature because it means out literature then has a lot more Maori perspectives in it,” Ms Bargh says.

Entries for the Pikihuia Awards close on May the 15th.


Taranaki iwi Te Atiawa is trying to set up a new mandating process so it can resume treaty negotiations with the Government.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Mark Burton last week told Te Atiawa Iwi Authority that after seven years of talks he was no longer confident in its ability to deliver a durable settlement.

The Crown has offered about $34 million to compensate the iwi for grievances arising from the confiscation of its land during the wars of the 1860s.

Te Atiawa treaty claim negotiator Grant Knuckey says it's a positive development.

“We're telling people it’s a new beginning so hey, we know we’ve made some mistakes, let’s unload the old baggage and get on, then let’s work for the positives, and if there are some issues we need to work out, let’s sit down and sort them out,” Mr Knuckey says.

The new negotiators need to be elected by the whole iwi, rather than just being hapu representatives like the previous team.


Maori are looking at different ways of expressing their spirituality.

That's the conclusion of Victoria University academic Jim Veitch to the latest census data on religious identity.

Professor Jim Veitch says the number of Pakeha involved in the main denominations is declining, and there is a smaller fall-off in Maori participation.

But he says growing numbers of people who identify with Maori religions like Ratana and Ringatu show Maori are shopping around.

“There's a kind of a question mark about the intellectual credibility of Christianity that’s at this stage of the history of Christianity, is very much to the fore I think. Not that it’s debated much but I think it’s there in people’s lives and in their thinking, so there is an exploration of other ways of expressing one's spirituality,” Professor Veitch says.

At the 2006 census, 11 percent of the people of Maori ethnicity who answered the religious affiliation question said they identified with a Maori Christian religion.


It's Mana Wahine week, when the achievements of Maori women are celebrated.

Sonya Rimene from the Ministry of Women's Affairs says this year's theme is Maori women as leaders creators and innovators.

Ms Rimine says it's not just a week for women.

“Mana wahine is for our Maori men to champion and celebrate that. You know, ma te tane, ma te wahine. Maori women will make decisions in the context of the collective they belong to. They won’t move without Maori men. We’re looking for Maori men to champion and celebrate our Maori women,” Ms Rimene says.

The Women's Affairs Ministry and Te Puni Kokiri are co-hosting an event tonight in Wellington featuring businesswoman Kathy Tait-Jamieson and Caaren Fox, the first woman to be appointed a Maori Land Court judge.