Waatea News Update

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Waikato RIver settlement offer made

Tainui's Kauhanganui parliament will tomorrow consider an agreement in principle to settle the claim to the Waikato River.

Waatea News editor Adam Gifford says it's unfinished business from the tribe's 1995 Raupatu Settlement.

Talks started at the end of 2005, and this is believed to be the third offer presented by the Crown.

Despite efforts by Treaty Minister Mark Burton and Tainui negotiators Lady Raiha Mahuta and Tukoroirangi Morgan to keep the talks out of the public eye, there has been negative public reaction to the idea the tribe is asking for ownership.

Mr Morgan has emphasized the tribe’s main aim was to protect the river, and to have the tribe’s cultural, physical and spiritual connection to the Waikato recognised.

Indications are the deal being discussed by the Tainui executive today and the Kauhanganui tomorrow doesn’t use the word “ownership”, but it does give Tainui co-management of the river.

Waatea sources say Tainui has won pretty much all they were asking for, and in their hearts the river will once more be theirs.


Maori Party leader Pita Sharples says Television New Zealand chief executive Rick Ellis must go.

Mr Ellis has run into a storm of criticism for his response to select committee inquiries about Maori participation in mainstream television.

Dr Sharples says his answers showed a lack of vision which is reflected in the mainstream channel's attitude to Maori programming.

“Under this man, we’re not going to get any fair deal regarding representation of Maori programmes and when the same man spoke in response to our questions that he should get us better times, prime times for Te Karere and programmes like that, he just laughed,” Dr Sharples says.

He says Maori should boycott the TVNZ.


Moana and the Tribe are off to Russia on Sunday for the third time in as many years.

As well as a busy concert schedule, the award-winning band will give presentations on Pacific culture to university students.

Backing singer Ameria Reriti says it will also host a team building exercise for a group of international CEO's.

“They won't know what hit them because they’re going to have to put down a hangi and do some learning or reo and haka and performances they’re going to have to do and so we’re kind of looking forward to seeing how they are going to behave and perform outside of their usual comfort zones,” Rereti says.

The Russians are taken with kapahaka and weaponry, so noted exponents Scotty Morrison, Paora Sharples and Te Hira Paenga are accompanying the group.


National's treaty spokesperson says the Te Roroa people of Northland have been shortchanged.

National will oppose the Te Roroa Settlement Bill when it's reported back from the select committee next month.

Chris Finlayson says the settlement doesn't cover all the issues identified by the Waitangi Tribunal in its 1992 report.

Despite taking 15 years to negotiate, the deal fails to include the return of koiwi or remains taken from burial caves around the Waipoua Forest, and the $9.5 million price tag doesn't cover the value of the land coming back.

“This is an illustration of where the government’s treaty settlement process has completely gone wrong - that these Homeric epics have occurred over many years, and in thee meantime, land values have skyrocketed, so settlements can't be durable,” Mr Finlayson says.

The settlement will put Te Roroa in debt with no working capital.


The New Zealand Qualification Authority's chief Maori advisor says a new Maori strategic plan for the organsiation is a major step forward.

Arawhetu Peretini says Te Rautaki Maori gives the authority an action plan and timelines improve the quality of education undertaken by Maori.

Ms Peretini says it addresses issues like the relevance of qualifications, learner well-being, workforce planning and development and support for Maori communities.

She says it's about giving Maori choice.

“If it's being Maori choosing to do very generic qualifications, then how do we support Maori doing that. If it’s about matauranga Maori, then what are our systems here to support Maori doing that. So it’s being the range of choice we as Maori should have,” Ms Peretini says.


Maori Rugby will die unless the New Zealand Rugby Football Union gives the team some quality international fixtures.

That's the view of former Maori sports commentator Willie Jackson, who has traveled with previous Maori squads to South Africa and the Pacific.
Tomorrow morning the current squad plays the first game of its defence of the Churchill Cup in a four-way tournament in England.

Willie Jackson says that's not enough... and the national body must do.

“I’m sick of them treating us like New Zealand Universities or Junior All Blacks. Maori rugby has made a huge contribution to the pride of New Zealand rugby, but it has not been reciprocated by the NZRFU. They don’t plan consistent tours or games. We need to put the pressure on these guys, or Maori rugby will die mate,” Mr Jackson says.

Tomorrow's game against Canada kicks off at 7 am.

Big loss for Ngati Porou

Ngati Porou people are mourning the loss of one of their biggest personalities.

Miranda Grey Taufa from Tolaga Bay died on Wednesday aged 42.

She became a public face of obesity after she featured in two documentaries about the daily challenges confronted by obese people in New Zealand.

Gisborne iwi radio breakfast host Walter Walsh worked with Ms Grey Taufa on an album to raise funds to help other obese people in the region.

“By selling the CDs, she would have some money to help the group buy clothing for the obesity people whether they be men or women, buy proper swimming shorts and the shoes that they wear in the pool, to pay for the pool entry so that’s what she was doing with her music, helping other obese people,” Mr Walsh says.

Miranda Grey Taufa is at Te Rawhioro marae in Tolaga Bay. She will be buried on Sunday.


National leader John Key says his party will oppose the Te Roroa Claim Settlement Bill when it comes back to Parliament.

The claim, for land around the Waipoua Forest north of Dargaville, has been dogged by controversy for almost 20 years.

Allan Titford, whose former farm was caught up in the claim, has mounted a long-running campaign against the settlement, despite getting a $3.2 million pay-out for his property.

The Maori Affairs select committee is due to report the bill back to the House on June 1, but Mr Key says it won't get an easy passage.

We've got grave concerns about whether that settlement will be durable, and our view has always been that it’s critically important that once settlements are achieved, they are full and final and durable. It looks to us, on the balance of information that we have, that the Crown’s cutting corners here and the settlement just won’t stack up and on that basis we're not supporting it,” Mr Key says.

The proposed settlement will require Te Roroa to go into debt to get all the crown properties the hapu is seeking.


The head of Massey University's College of Education says a fear of being accused of inappropriate behaviour is putting men off primary teaching.

James Chapman says the sector is suffering from a lack of male teachers, and particularly Maori men.

The latest class to graduate from Massey included less than 10 percent of men.

Professor Chapman says children need male role models, but too few men see teaching as a career.

“I suspect that some of them have been put off by the possibility that they might be charged or the questions might be raised around inappropriate behaviors with children. Putting an arm around a child for comforting, touching a child, I guess a number of males just don’t feel safe with the possibility that these issues might arise,” he says.

Professor Chapman says he'd like to see more efforts to get Maori men into teaching.


Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton says he does not accept concerns by Labour's Maori MPs over proposed amendments to the Fisheries Act.

The amendment will introduce a precautionary principle into the act, so if there are any doubts about sustainability of fish stocks, the fisheries minister must err on the side of caution.

Iwi say this could lead to unnecessary quota cuts which will affect the viability of iwi-run fishing businesses, and amounts to a rewriting of the Maori fishing rights settlement.

Mr Anderton says he heard the views of the Maori caucus on the issues, but is confident the amendment will get the support it needs.

“It does make it more clear that sustainability takes priority, that’s true, but who in their right mind would suggest that it shouldn’t. I mean, it doesn’t take you long to figure out that if there’s no more fish to catch, any deed of settlement or any quota you’ve got is worthless,” Mr Anderton says.

He has agreed to give the Primary Production Select Committee another three months to consider the bill, which he says should be enough time to talk the issues through.


Maori and Pacific Island children and their parents are the targets of a new healthy eating campaign.

Health Sponsorship Council healthy eating manager Michelle Mako says the media campaign will deliver tips families can use to encourage better nutrition.

Ms Mako says it's tailored for the communities which are most at risk of developing obesity, diabetes or heart disease from poor nutrition.

“We have got some differences in nutrition outcome, so we’ve focused our campaign on speaking with Maori, Pacific and other low income communities. In terms of developing our campaign, we’ve contact tested all our thoughts and ideas with Maori and Pacific audiences primarily, to just double check that we’ve got the messages right and we’re getting through,” Ms Mako says.

Simple things can have significant results, such as eating together as a family or having tamariki help in the preparation of food.


A youth festival in Thames today aims to challenge the idea rangatahi lack a sense of community.

Tania Young, who is coordinating the national youth week event, says it will showcase the talents of Hauraki youth and give them a positive reason to get together.

She says like many regions, Hauraki struggles to hang on to its rangatahi.

“They're staying here for their education, and then those who are lucky enough to find themselves a job in their home town, they stay, otherwise there isn’t really much back here to hold them back. With the Hauraki Youth Festival, maybe it’s about moving all those talents that has moved out of the area back into the area and showing the community they’ve let some good things go,” Ms Young says.

The Hauraki Youth festival kicks off at the Thames skatepark at midday.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

TVNZ shows lack of charter understanding

A public policy specialist says Television New Zealand chief executive Rick Ellis's comments on Maori participation shows how the state broadcaster has failed to understand its charter obligations.

Mr Ellis told a parliamentary select committee that Maori actors or presenters in shows like Shortland Street and as Police 10-7 help fulfill the charter goal to represent a Maori perspective.

David Hay, who helped draft the Maori Council's submissions in the 1992 Broadcasting Assets case, says that case established the need for both autonomy and equity in Maori broadcasting.

He says while autonomy can be met by the Maori Television service, equity requires regular Maori programming on mainstream channels to encourage understanding between Maori and Pakeha.

“You'd think that some of that understanding between Maori and Pakeha would have been encouraged through the mainstream media and the reality is the government had to pass the legislation around the charter in order to basically tell TVNMZ to get in touch with what’s going on in New Zealand society, and I think Rick Ellis’s comments tell us TVNZ has pretty much failed to do that,” Mr Hay says.

He says the Television New Zealand board is too commercially-focused, and it needs some members who understand New Zealand society and culture and can drive the charter into the company.


The Maori Party says a report into the way Te Puni Kokiri administers its grant programmes shows how run down the ministry's monitoring function has become.

The Auditor General looked at 15 million dollars of grants delivered through five programmes and found scant checks for conflicts of interest and little evidence of monitoring once the money was paid over.

Grants were assessed the same way, whether they were for $600 or $600,000.

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says the report is a damning indictment of the Maori development ministry.

“They talk about instances of contracts that have been signed before they were checked by TPK legal team. They talk about many instances where recipients did not submit any reports as required under the funding contracts, so most of the procedures you would expect, because TPK has been around and has been a government agency for some time, you would expect them to be in place. The question is, are they being followed through by TPK staff, and the Auditor General says no,” Mr Flavell says.


Former All Black Norm Hewitt and former prison manager Celia Lashlie are in Ngaruawahia tonight talking about how to inspire the community's rangatahi.

It's the seventeenth such presentation the pair have given over the past year, and Mr Hewitt says it's about unlocking the answers which lie in every community.

He says the saying that it takes a village to raise a child still has a lot of truth in it.

“He tangata, he tangata, he tangata is the key to helping our young people. Celia talks to the wahine, I talk to the men, and collectively we talk to our rangatahi, so what could be more simple than just that,” Mr Hewitt says.


National Party leader John Key says the Kiwi Saver scheme will transfer wealth from Maori to wealthy New Zealanders.

Mr Key says Maori are over-represented among low and middle income earners, who stand to get less out of the scheme from higher earners, and are less likely to join up.

He says Finance Minister Michael Cullen is asking all New Zealand workers to forego tax cuts and pay increases to pay for the new pension scheme.

“What that means is lower to middle income New Zealanders will cross subsidise higher income New Zealanders who are already saving. For the Maori population, that means for a lot of them, they won’t be getting any from Kiwisavers but what they will be doing is having lower wages to cross subsidise higher income New Zealanders and for me that just doesn't make sense,” Mr Key says.


The head of Massey University's College of Education says more needs to be done to encourage men, and particularly Maori men, into teaching.

James Chapman says research is needed into the reasons behind the low number of men graduating as teachers.

Men made up less than 10 percent of the latest group of early childhood and primary teachers to graduate from Massey.

Professor Chapman says the government isn't doing enough.

“I would like to see a greater degree of proactivity on the part of government in terms of attracting Maori into teaching, both male and female, but especially male. I would like to see more proactivity around supporting Maori who are competent in te reo coming in to Maori immersion teacher training programmes,” Professor Chapman says.

The lack of strong Maori male role models in schools is unfortunate and unhealthy for children's education.


A Christchurch school wants to set up a bilingual unit, something that's fairly uncommon in te Wai Pounamu.

Stephanie Thompson, the principal of Aorangi School in Bryndwr, says parents are being approached this term to see if they would like their child to be part of the bilingual class.

Ms Thompson says it will try to build on language skills already present in families.

She says the bilingual unit fits in with the school's four guiding principles.

“They are being inclusive, multiculturalism, building capacity with their community, and having an innovative curriculum,. Setting up the bilingual unit strengthens all of those foundations. Here at Aorangi we’re quite a diverse, multicultural community, and it’s important that ewe celebrate and strengthen that, and again that’s part of what the bilingual unit is about,” Ms Thompson says.

Aorangi will investigate whether the unit will qualify for any of the extra $102 million dollars in the budget for building kura.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

TVNZ grab for Maori funding challenged

Television New Zealand has been accused of hypocrisy for its bid for a share of the contestable funding available to promote te reo Maori.

Community worker Dennis O'Reilly says support for the Maori language should be part of the broadcaster's mainstream commitment, and not just something it does to get extra state funding.

Mr O'Reilly was cut off by Close Up host Paul Henry when he tried to deliver a poroporoaki for slain two-year old Jhia Te Tua, during a segment on gang violence in Wanganui.

“Not only was that insulting in the moment, it then becomes hypocritical for Rick Ellis, the chief executive of TV1, to then apply for the $13 million of contestable funding through Te Mangai Paho to promote te reo Maori. You’ve got to be consistent,” Mr O'Reilly says.

Rick Ellis and Maori programmes head Whai Ngata yesterday faced a grilling from Parliament's Maori Affairs select committee on TVNZ's Maori plans.


A Maori exhibitor at this week's TRENZ tourism showcase in Rotorua says everyone in the sector realises the benefits of working together.

Melissa Crockett from Auckland-based Potiki Adventures says there is a real sense of whanungatanga among Maori operators, and she has no hesitation recommending other Maori tourism products and services.

She says there is real diversity on offer for overseas visitors.

“They can do sightseeing and tourism experiences all over the country that are really different from Pakeha experiences in that, if they take the indigenous route, they’re going to be adding a lot more levels to the tour for their clients so it’s really important for all of us to walk together, and we do, to try and showcase that Maori culture,” Ms Crocket says.

TRENZ has allowed Potiki Adventures to get valuable face time with industry heavyweights from around the world.


The Minister of Youth Affairs says many councils are unsure about how they can gauge the views of rangatahi.

Nanaia Mahuta says councils serving areas with a high number of young people have a duty to consult.

She says the theme of this week's Youth Week, your community needs youth, is a challenge to decision makers.

Ms Mahuta says councils show a range of capability.

“Some might have a council of rangatahi and some might have rangatahi advisers and they have focus groups and meetings with rangatahi to get their views. Some councils, they’re way back in the dark ages and they have no idea of what's the best approach,” Ms Mahuta says.


Whanganui Maori tourism operators are using the annual TRENZ tourism showcase in Rotorua to trial a new marketing intitiative funded by Trade and Enterprise.

Journeys on the Whanganui coordinator Noko Tangaroa says the 16 Maori and non-Maori operators in his group offer experiences from the mountains of the central plateau to the sea.

He says the new Te Kahui Tupua framework allows tour wholesalers to construct a wide range of packages within the rohe.

“We're all operators in our own right. We all have our own stories and experiences to share, but to tie that in with the brand, which is almost a sort of promise that people will come to the region, dig a little deeper, look for a much more deeper and meaningful experience. That's what we're offering,” Mr Tangaroa says.

Te Kahui Tupua allows Pakeha operators to slot into the Maori tourism network and kaupapa.


The Bay of Plenty regional council is this week holding its annual hearings, with most of the submissions challenging its plans to move its headquarters from Whakatane to Tauranga.

Tangata whenua from the eastern bay say this will take it away from the concentrations of Maori population, and it will make it much harder to make their concerns heard.

Maanu Paul from Ngati Awa and Ngati Manawa says some of the reasons Environment BOP is giving for moving don't stack up.

“The rationale for setting up the office in Whakatane still hasn’t changed. Floods still occur in Whakatane, not in Tauranga. Earthquakes still occur in the eastern Bay of Plenty, they don't happen in Tauranga,” Maanu Paul.

Environment BOP chair John Cronin says even if the relocation doesn't happen, the regional council's Tauranga presence will still need to be boosted to handle extra workloads in land use, compliance and transport areas.


A Maori author says encouraging Maori children to write their own stories could be the way to overcome a shortage of books aimed at tamariki.

Tim Tipene has published five books in the Warrior series targeting Maori children and adolescents.

He says literacy levels can be improved by giving children stories about things they are familiar with.

Mr Tipene says tamariki respond well to his books when he takes therm into the classroom.

"Their attention was full on. They were wanting to listen. They were wanting to be part of it. They were asking questions. So I think a lot of the books they were given they can’t relate to. I don’t think we have enough material out there. I think we really need to keep things cooking and encourage our children to write," Mr Tipene says.

His books are a tool to promote healthy lifestyle and anti-bullying messages in schools.

Fisheries amendment kicked to touch

Labour's Maori caucus is celebrating a three month delay in reporting back a Bill which would strengthen the hand of the fisheries minister to make quota cuts.

The caucus met the minister, Jim Anderton, last night, to reinforce a select Committee's request for more time to consider the Fisheries Act Amendment Bill.

Te Ohu Kaimoana claims the bill's stated aim of meeting New Zealand's international obligations doesn't stack up, and it is being pushed through to counter industry challenges to quota courts.

List MP Dover Samuels says Labour's Maori MPs support sustainable management of fisheries, but they're not convinced the amendment is necessary.

“It's very important that if there is going to be a change in the law, then that change will be effective and bring out the required results, rather than changing the law simply because one administration or the others, whether it’s the stakeholders, whether it’s the commercial fishermen, whether it’s the ministry, whether it’s Maori have not utilised the process in the right way,” Mr Samuels says.

He's optimistic there's a way forward after last night's meeting.


Healthy breakfasts are on the agenda at the nutrition and physical activity conference in Rotorua this week.

A report released at the conference shows almost a quarter of Maori children and 40 percent of Pacific island children don't eat breakfast.

Massey University researcher Meihana Durie says public health campaigns may be a way to teach young parents how to feed their children in a healthy way.

Mr Durie, whose own research looks at how cultural protocols can affect lifestyle, says it's a matter of education rather than money, and the old foods are often the best.

“Porridge is cheap and porridge has a lot of good energy in it as well, so it keeps the levels up for a long time and it’s a good food, it doesn’t cost much, so those types of food, porridge and a bit of fruit for breakfast, are going to be good for kids,” Mr Durie says.

He'd like to see new types of kawa developed to get Maori embracing healthy lifestyles in a culturally appropriate way.


A Maori comedian says trying to make a living in this country is no joke because of the attitude of TV broadcasters.

Mike King says this month's Comedy Festival shows the depth of talent here, but it's not making the jump from the small stage to the small screen.

He says that's why The Flight of the Conchords - Bret McKenzie and Maori actor Jemaine Clement - are virtually unknown in their own country despite winning series on the BBC and United States cable network HBO.

“Comedy has to be on tv to get traction and this current administration at TVNZ and TV3, they hate New Zealand comedy. Comedy ranks below kids’ programmes. It ranks below documentaries. It ranks below programmes for gay and lesbian people,” Mr King says.

He says New Zealand broadcasters have stopped inventing their own television, and are now following imported formats.

Pouring rain did little to dampen spirits at the final Koroneihana Hui in honour of the late Maori queen at Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia.

Waatea News reporter Mania Clark says speeches ran more than two hours over time, as manuhiri remembered the women who let the Kingitanga movement for four decades.

She says it was especially poignant for the marae community.

“For the last 40 years they’ve held her coronation at Turangawaewae, so for them it just seems fitting to close her 40th year with a memorial, a remembrance day for her, so that was the purpose of the day. The groups that were invited were those that Te Ata was particularly involved with, because she was the patron of many Maori groups, so they came along in numbers. We had Kohanga Reo, te roopu wahine Maori took o te ora, Maori Women’s Welfare League, different iwi also came, Parekura Horomia was also there, a political presence, but really it was an informal gathering just to remember her,” Ms Clark says.

The year of mourning will not end until August 15, at the start of a week of coronation celebrations for King Tuheitia.


Young Maori are outshining their peers in their contributions to their communities.

That's the finding of a study into voluntary work by the Association for Adolescent Health and Development.

Executive officer Sarah Helm says Maori rangatahi often get painted with a negative stereotype, but that's far from the truth.

The average young person aged between 12 and 24 does over 70 hours of unpaid work outside the home each year and 30 hours participating in religious, cultural or civic activities.

Ms Helm says young Maori give significantly more time than the average.

“Every statistic that you hear about young Maori is incredibly negative and I think it’s really important that we start to shatter those myths and have some facts come through, and the facts about how much time young Maori give to their community illustrates to me those stories aren’t really the full picture,” Ms Helm says.


The chair of the trust which administers the Rakiura Tiitii Islands says a bumper muttonbird season in the deep south bodes well for the future.

Tane Davis who says the number and the quality of chicks and adult birds has been high, and the Ngai Tahu whanau with birding rights report exceptional returns.

He says the weather has been settled enough to allow the parent sooty shearwaters to fly up to 1500 kilometres to get the food the young titi need to thrive.

“They've been getting that right type of kai as well which has the proper nutrients in it for them to breed a chick, lay an egg, continue that regular source of food, and the krill as well, is a major food source, the young squid, the tiny squid,” Mr Davis says

Kawa could be key for Maori diet programme

A Maori doctoral researcher says new forms of kawa may be the way to encourage healthier lifestyles.

Meihana Durie from Massey University is presenting his research into kawa or cultural protocols to the nutrition and physical activity public health conference in Rotorua this week.

Mr Durie says urbanisation means many whanau lost touch with the practices that had ensured a healthy lifetyle.

“There were a lot of kawa that revolved around kai. The distribution of food for example to whanau round the area after fishing, planting, even eating or consumption of kai was regulated, and I think it was regulated to ensure the health was kept intact and people were kept safe while they were doing it, but some of those things seems to be lost over time,” he says.

Mr Durie says a large scale social programme involving kanohi ki te kanohi or face to face contact with families may be the best way to get the healthy living message to Maori.


For the last time, Maori froum round the country are gathering in Ngaruawahia this Wednesday to mark the coronation of the late Maori Queen, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu.

Turangawaewae Marae Committee chair Pokaia Nepia says the programme includes a marae tour and exhibition, a display of Tainui's three waka, kapa haka and cabaret performances.

Mr Nepia says Kingitanga is experiencing a surge of interest and a lot of support for Kingi Tuheitia.

“We've gained a lot more support now since her tangihanga. We feel it at the marae and even the other poukai marae, now that Tuheitia is sitting where she used to be, it’s gone more more bigger,” Mr Nepia says.

Seven kowhai trees will be planted on the Waikato river bank, symbolising Dame Te Atairangikaahu's seven children and celebrating her role as a mother and nurturer of people.


Fishing guru Bill Hohepa says he's constantly amazed by inventions Maori come up with to catch more fish.

The Snells Beach based fisherman was swamped at last weekend's New Zealand Boatshow by anglers keen to hear about the sea band invented by a Maori fisher from the Waikato.

It's a type of bungy cord used on fishing tackle which means fish are less likely to slip the hook when they get close to the boat.

Mr Hohepa says he's also impressed by a handy trick for pulling up anchors, devised by Cardy Reihana in Napier.

“Have a 20 litre drum and shackle that to the anchor rope. Pull the rope to wherever you are in the driving pit and drive, and the drum sort of goes down the back, down the line, and the chain goes through the shackle, the anchor turns up. Go back and pick up a whole bunch of loose rope and pull the anchor up it just saves a hole lot of time pulling anchors,” Mr Hohepa says.


New Plymouth District Councilor Howie Tamati says it's important archological sites and waahi tapu are noted on the district plans.

The council came under fire from community board members when it went into closed session to consider plans to update planning maps to include archaeological and Maori waahi tapu sites.

Mr Tamati says the issue can raise heated emotions, but the council has to follow proper procedures.

He says including sites on plans can ensure their protection, even if there is little physical evidence of what was there before.

“It may well be a puna. It may be a waterfall, tauranga waka, something like that. No visual evidence but these areas are of significance, that may well be owned by Pakeha owners, and if the farmer’s proposing subdivision of the land, these archaeological sites, waahi tapu sites, are not disturbed and not damaged,” Mr Tamati says.


The Prime Minister says changing demographics are putting a lot of pressure on Maori elders to pass on cultural information to rangatahi.

It's national youth week, and Helen Clark says the majority of young people are doing themselves and their families proud by studying and working, rather than racing cars or hanging our in street gangs.

She says because rangatahi make up such a big percentage of the Maori population, it's vital they get the cultural training they need.

“The Maori population is a young one, 40 to 50 percent would be under 25. That means a lot of responsibility I think on the elders in terms of transmission, passing on of culture, and te reo and values, because this young bow wave coming on through,” Ms Clark says.


The patron of the latest wing to graduate from the Police College in Porirua says cultural responsiveness is now a vital part of police training.

Naida Glavish first came to public attention when as a toll operator she refused orders to stop saying kia ora to callers.

She's gone on to fill a number of prominent roles in te ao Maori, and she's also part of the Police commissioner's advisory taumata.

Ms Glavish says the feedback after co-hosted a session on the police's Maori responsiveness strategy shows how much policing has changed.

“There were recruits coming up to us and saying to us, of the five months of being here, those last two days had been the best two days to them because they can get that other training at any time, but what we were treating them to in terms of cultural responsiveness and Maori responsiveness is something they considered very special,” Ms Glavish says.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Historians crucial to claim progress

The director of the Waitangi Tribunal says finding enough specialised historians is now the main obstacle to progress on claims.

The Government has boosted the tribunal's operating budget by 25 percent so it can meet its objective for completing all inquiries into historical claims by 2015.

The government has set 2020 as the date for all such claims to be negotiated and settled.

Darrin Sykes says the extra $7.7 million spread over the next four years will put the tribunal in a better position to get the resources and expertise it needs.

“Getting historians involved in the treaty sector is very tough for all involved, Crown, claimants and the tribunal. It’s a very small sector. The additional funding will be a significant improvement in terms of being able to recruit historians in the sector,” Mr Sykes says.


The chief executive of Te Ohu Kaimoana says the Maori fisheries trust is attending this week's International Whaling Commission meeting to support other indigenous people, rather than to push for an increase in whaling.

Peter Douglas says indigenous rights will be a major part of the agenda, with the United States pushing for renewal of the five-year Bowhead whale quota for its indigenous hunters.

New Zealand supports the move, but Japan is threatening to oppose it unless the definition of indigenous whaling is widened to include some of its own activities.

Mr Douglas says Te Ohu Kaimoana is there to learn what it can, because there is a broad range of Maori opinion about whaling.

“There're Maori people who want to preserve whales, there are people who want to utilise whales that are beached. There are even some who want to go hunting whales again for commercial purposes. So we’ve got to be able to understand as many of the issues as they arise in the sort of forums so we can have as informed a position as possible,” Mr Douglas says.

Maori have appreciated the support they have got from other indigenous peoples in the past on fisheries issues.


A Taranaki duo who met while studying Maori at Victoria University has released its first album to coincide with New Zealand Music month.

Ngarua is Acushla O'Carroll from Nga Ruahinerangi, Ngati Ruanui and Te Atiawa, and Christine Waitai-Rapana from Ratana.

Ms O'Carroll says they've been working on their self-titled debut for six months.

The songs, all in Maori, talk of issues like language revitalisation, the Treaty of Waitangi, Mount Taranaki, and the Maori Queen.

Ms O'Carroll says they're still not sure if a career in music awaits.

“We just want to get our waiata out there to nga iwi Maori katoa o te motu, and from there if people kind of pick it up and run with it then we’re definitely keen to do some small kind of tour probably to different marae or different strongly Maori populated areas, where out music will be most appreciated,” Ms O'Connell from Ngarua.


The head of the National Maori Wardens Association says thought may have to be given to paying wardens for their time on the streets,

Peter Walden says the $2.5 million in the budget will pay for training, uniforms, communications and some regional coordinators.

He says the one-off funding is welcome, if overdue, but long term the Wardens need some sort of secure income.

“All the wardens, it is a labour of love, they love what they’re doing, but they need to be, with some urgency, recognised that you can't be voluntary in that field for ever,” Mr Walden says.

The role of wardens is also being reassessed.


A nutrition hui in Rotorua tomorrow will look at some innovative tribal initiatives to improve Maori health.

Christina McKerchar, the national co-ordinator for Agencies for Nutrition
Action, says the three-day event is a chance to evaluate models used to combat obesity diabetes and heart disease in Maori communities.

Ms McKerchar says some iwi are actively spreading health messages, such as the Ngati and Healthy programme on the East coast.

“A lot of our iwi have been working on hauora for a while. I think Ngati Porou Hauora, they’ve done really well, and they’ve done some incredibly research in this area and they’re really taking control,” she says.

A healthy eating multi media campaign will be launched at the conference.


Maori wanting to break into tourism are being urged to took no further than the associate minister for tourism, Dover Samuels.

More than 400 tourism operators are in Rotorua this week showcasing their products to travel wholesalers and international journalists.

Prime Minister Helen Clark says it's encouraging to see the number of Maori operators who have taken stalls.

Ms Clark says Mr Samuels has been a great advocate for Maori tourism, and people can learn from him.

“Well you can probably say Dover was one of the first operators, because he had to motel up at Matauri Bay and of course the diving, so he was up there entertaining, showing people how people lived at Matauri Bay down the ages, getting them out on the water, showing them traditional fishing skills, so yeah, he was one of the first,” she says.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Minister takes precautionary approach

Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton ventures into the shark cage today, delivering the opening address to the Seafood Industry Council's annual conference.

Since taking over the portfolio Mr Anderton has clashed with Maori and industry over his proposed shared fisheries regime, which would take quota off commercial fishers to make more available for the recreational catch.

He is in a new fight over an amendment to the Fisheries Act which will require him to take precautionary approach to sustainability, something Maori believe will lead to more quota cuts and a reduction in the value of the Maori fisheries settlements.

Seafood Industry Council chief executive Owen Symmans says while the minister can expect a fair hearing, the industry will make clear its view the amendment is unnecessary.

“We know that the current legislation meets all our international obligations,. It’s consistent with international law, and the case law in New Zealand has actually supported the view that sustainable utilisation is quite clear and explicit in the current legislation,” Mr Symmans says.


A Maori politician who helped breathe life back into the Maori wardens movement in the Wairarapa says army courses should be available to younger people.

Edwin Perry says many of the rangatahi he sees as a warden get into trouble because they have no focus and too much time on their hands.

He says rather than see young people heading down a criminal track, he'd like to see them in scheme like the army's limited service volunteers.

“When I was a list MP in the Wairarapa I sent two kids away, two kids no different to the ones I see on the streets today. The problem with the LSV course, it only takes kids at age 18. Kids are getting into trouble at 15, 16, 17. It needs to be lowered,” Mr Perry says.


A Maori magazine is changing direction to accommodate the country's changing population mix.

Editor Ata Te Kanawa says after nine years covering just te ao Maori, Tu Mai will now include more Asian and Pacific content in each edition.

She says it's a commercial decision, based on predictions about population trends.

Ms Te Kanawa says it won't be at the expense of Maori readers.

“We don't think we’re going to risk losing our Maori support, because it’s a reality. We’re all got Polynesian mokopuna, Chinese neighbours, the society is becoming more mixed than it ever has been before, and the reality is Maori do only make up 15 percent of the population,” Ms Te Kanawa says.


Representatives from Te Ohu Kaimona Maori fisheries settlement trust are off to Alaska to push for indigenous whaling rights at this week's International Whaling Commission meeting.

Trustee Ngahiwi Tomoana from Ngati Kahungunu says while the New Zealand Government opposes all whaling including indigenous whaling, Maori support the traditional rights of Inuit, Faroe Islanders and other groups to harvest marine mammals.

Mr Tomoana says it's unfinished business from the Maori fishing rights settlement.

“Any whale that lands here, we want the whole whale. And under the Marine Mammals Act, it has to be buried within 12 hours, and we miss out on all that taonga, that koha from Tangaroa, so we’ll be really strident in putting our view that any whale that lands should be used by us totally,” he says.

Mr Tomoana says Te Ohu Kaimoana doesn't support Japan's plans to resume commercial whaling.

Japan has told the indigenous whalers it will oppose their claims unless they support Japanese commercial hunts.


Maori politician turned broadcaster John Tamihere wants to see more hotels on Maori land.

Mr Tamihere says this week's TRENZ tourism industry showcase in Rotorua serves as a reminder of the huge potential for Maori in the sector.

He says international tourists are increasingly looking for a uniquely Maori experience, but Maori operators should be careful who they target.

“Where we've got to position ourselves is at the higher spend area of the market. I think that’s doable. I think there’s a lot of superb Maori freehold land still available only on lease, not for sale, for long term leases to develop hotels and get into that sort of business. I think it’s a good business to be in,” Mr Tamihere says.


The author of a new book on biculturalism says it has proved a dead end for Maori development.

Dominic O'Sullivan says biculturalism allowed the government to remain firmly in control and positioned Maori in a junior position.

The Waikato University research fellow says as settlements giving Maori a more secure financial base, they see opportunities in partnerships beyond the state, and therefore beyond biculturalism.

Dr O'Sullivan says despite the amount biculturalism was talked about in social policy circles, few people seem to understand what it is or how it affect Maori.

“I saw a lot of people, Pakeha people in particular, walking around wearing bone carvings and saying kia ora, thinking that was a path to a better, more just society. And while there’s nothing wrong with those things in themselves, Maori aspirations I think are a bit deeper than that and the resolution to the injustices we are confronting now go much deeper than that,” he says.

Beyond Biculturalism, The Politics of Indigenous Minority, is published by Huia.

Kokiri Paetae gets blast from private sector

The editor of a monthly Maori magazine says Te Puni Kokiri should not be competing with the private sector.

Ata te Kanawa, editor of Hamilton-based Tu Mai magazine, says Ministry of Maori development's glossy Kokiri Paetae magazine makes it hard for other Maori publications to survive.

Kokiri Paetae is delivered free to 50 thousand homes.

Ms Te Kanawa says while other government departments produce material around their own activities, Kokiri Paetaes' brief seems to encompass the whole range of Maori activity.

“The sea is too small for us to be fishing in, and we cannot match the resources they obviously have. They distribute free. Hey, Hone and Hine in Huntly see me on the newsstand for $5.20. Why should the commit to that when they can get a free one delivered in their post,” Ms Te Kanawa says.


On Checkpoint this evening, just prior to the 6pm news, your Waatea News lead story related to the Kōkiri publication (formerly named Kōkiri Paetae) published by Te Puni Kōkiri.

No comment was sought from Te Puni Kōkiri, had we been given the opportunity to provide a little balance or perspective, this is what we would have said.

For many years, Te Puni Kōkiri, the government agency which delivers services to Māori people has produced a publication to inform staff, Māori and other citizens - about what it is doing. It has done this because it has a responsibility to do so and because those services aren't always covered fully by the media.

Kōkiri is the latest of these publications. It has recently had a face-lift and tells people about the work and programmes being delivered by Te Puni Kōkiri, and the people who are doing it. It concentrates on Te Puni Kōkiri matters and is not set up in competition with any other publications in the private or public sector.

Further, we print 35,000 copies with a mailing list of around 11,000, (not the 50,000 homes alluded to in your news item). It is a bi-monthly publication.

That such a prominent person has highlighted Kōkiri possibly reflects a lack of understanding about Kōkiri’s purpose. Kōkiri highlights initiatives and events that Te Puni Kōkiri has almost always had some involvement with; it does not cover the plethora of Māori issues.

Kōkiri is Te Puni Kokiri’s main external publication and its primary purpose is to inform Te Puni Kokiri stakeholders of its key messages and achievements. These include, celebrating Maori achievement, realising Maori potential and Maori succeeding as Maori.

Ngā mihi
Jaewynn McKay
Communications Director
Te Puni Kōkiri, Ministry of Māori Development


The chief executive of the Maori Tourism Council says Maori businesses don't need to be big to appeal to overseas visitors.

Johnny Edmonds says almost 10 percent of the 400 businesses touting their wares at this week's TRENZ tourism industry showcase in Rotorua are Maori.

Mr Edmonds says while there is a lot of focus on cultural experiences like the Tamaki Brothers Village or the Te Puia Maori arts and crafts institute, many travellers are looking for a more intimate experience which gives them an insight into everyday Maori life.

He says their biggest thrill often comes from whanau-based businesses without an obvious cultural focus, like bush walks, canoe trips or horse trekking.

“The experience of course is the whanau running these horse treks. So we find by being able to participate in activities such as horse trekking, what is happening is the whanau, they’re sharing stories of themselves, of their tupuna, of their whenua,” Mr Edmonds says.


The only Maori to have coached at NRL level says the Huntly Hurricane should be given the number 7 jersey for the Warriors.

That's the name fans have given to Lance Hohaia, who made an impact working off the bench in yesterday's 28-24 loss to the Western Tigers at Mt Smart Stadium.

Tony Kemp, a former coach of the Auckland-based team, says after their third consecutive loss, the Warriors need to give serious thought to Hohaia for the halfback role.

“When he was on as first receiver and we saw exactly what his capabilities were as he sliced through to put them back in the game. He was earmarked as a halfback a number of years ago by myself and Daniel when he first got to the club, so we’ll have to wait and see. He’s not too far off from making it,” Mr Kemp says.

Hohaia has re-signed with the Warriors until the end of 2009.


The Ngapuhi Runanga is breaking ranks with other iwi and supporting an amendment to the Fisheries Act which the Government claims will promote sustainability.

Te Ohu Kaimoana fisheries settlement trust is opposing the change, because it says sustainability is already written into the quota management system.

But Paul Haddon, the Ngapuhi representative on the Hokianga Award group, says Te Ohu Kaimoana is driven by commercial aims, and sustainability must take priority.

Mr Haddon says under the existing regime, commercial fishing pressure on key species is affecting the ability of customary and recreational fishers to catch a feed.

“We support measures that aim to approve the abundance,. Because we’ve got to look to the future, and when Maori go fishing, 99.99 percent of the time, they’re categorised as recreational fisheries,” he says.

The issue is likely to be keenly debated by Maori and the industry at the Seafood Industry Council's annual hui in Wellington this week.


The chief executive of the Institute of Chartered Accountants says every Maori worker should be looking at making at least the minimum contribution to a KiwiSaver account.

Garry Muriwai from Ngapuhi says while the scheme unveiled in the budget has been criticised for delivering disproportionately to middle and upper income earners, it will still benefit the lower-paid, especially if they have yet to buy their first home.

Mr Muriwai says the scheme has benefits for the whole whanau.

“This money is able to be passed on, so you can bequeath this. Unfortunately, with lower life expectancy rates, that’s another area Maori need to think about. That sounds a bit negative, but it’s something that needs to be kept in mind, The positive side is that not only are you getting employer contribution, you’re getting government contribution as well and that’s your money, that’s got your name on it,” he says.

Mr Muriwai says returns from Kiwi Saver will be far higher than other superannuation products.


Playwright and now screenwriter Briar Grace Smith is celebrating another milestone on the way to her first feature film.

Innovative German company Pandora Film has come on board as co-producer of The Strength of Water, which is due to be shot around Hokianga from August.

Pandora co-produced Whale Rider, and its other credits include a wide range of films being made by innovative directors and screeenwriters around the world.

Ms Grace Smith says she's happy with progress so far.

“I'm feeling really positive about it. It’s a really long process, writing the screenplay. The idea was conceived about six or seven years ago so it’s been ongoing since then so to see it finally being made is quite incredible,” Ms Grace Smith says.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

New beginning for wardens

The president of the Maori Wardens Association says a $2.5 million budget infusion will help the organisation push for autonomy.

Peter Walden says the money, which is earmarked for vehicles, communications, uniforms, training, and improved governance, is overdue but welcome.

The wardens come under the authority of the Maori Council, but in practice the council has let them chart their own course.

Peter Walden says the situation is still unsatisfactory, and this may be a chance to do something about it.

“I would like my organisation to build the infrastructure inside relationship building,” Mr Walden says.

Te Puni Kokiri is putting together a project team to determine where the money will be spent.


Ngai Tahu is backing 1080 for pest control until a better alternative is available.

The Environmental Risk Management Authority is holding hearings into whether the Department of Conservation and the Animal Health Board can continue importing the poison.

Ngai Tahu environment spokesperson Edward Ellison says the tribe's vision is to enhance the natural environment, which is under threat from possums.

“1080 is the option we have at the moment. It has the potential to reduce numbers so we go with that, but our message to ERMA is our support is condition that they actually change the policy to extinction of these pests,” Mr Ellison says.

The hearings end in Wellington this week.


A veteran social worker says while the domestic purposes benefit has helped many Maori women get out of violent relationships, it has also contributed to break-ups.

West Auckland-based Lovey George is now working in programmes to reduce domestic violence.

She says the DPB has empowered many wahine who in the past would have been locked into unsatisfactory relationships.

A downside is some women use it rather than finding ways to work through relationship problems.

“Some wahine do take the easy way out and go for the DPB when they get hoha. DPB has lead to the break up of a lot of whanau,” Ms George says.


The German production company which backed The Whale Rider has swung in behind another film with a Maori theme.

Pandora Film from Frankfurt will co-produce The Strength of Water, written by playwright Briar Grace-Smith of Ngapuhi and Ngati Wai.

The film, about twin children living on a Northland chicken farm, will be shot around the Hokianga starting in August.

It's due for completion midway through 2008.


Maori operators will feature prominently at the tourism industry's annual conference starting in Rotorua today.

Deputy Mayor Trevor Maxwell says 350 international wholesale travel agents and 400 New Zealand businesses are expected in the sulphur city.

Mr Maxwell says it's the first time Rotorua has hosted the TRENZ conference, despite its history as a tourism destination since the days of the pink and white terraces.

“It's actually having all themovers and the shakers, n0t only from around New Zealand, but from overseas, and it’s another way of showcasing what we’ve got, and there will be a lot of Maori businesses there, that's for sure,” Mr Maxwell says.

Rotorua is expecting even more international travellers keen to experience kiwi and Maori hospitality once extensions to the Rorotua Airport runway are complete.


Simultaneous translations in Parliament's debating chamber will lead to greater understanding, according to one of the men who will provide the service.

Last week's budget included $230,000 to pilot the idea.

Rangi McGarvey, who has worked in parliament for nine years, says it will be more effective than the current system, where the translator stands up after the speaker finishes.

“Probably one of the most difficult assignments for the interpreter is the simultaneous interpretation, but the advantage is the speaker, the flow of his words is not interrupted, his korero is not interrupted, peole who are listening and engaged are not interrupted, hearing te reo Maori,” McGarvey says.


A show in a Nelson gallery of paintings using traditional Maori pigments is sparking considerable interest.

Artist Robin Slow from Ngati Tama says Ko Te Kura I Huna Ki Roto Ki Te Toto - or, It is a Treasure Hidden in the Blood, draws on the history of Golden Bay, known to Maori as Mohua,

The paintings include pigments like soot and ironstone, or kokowai, which creates a red pigment.

He says the materials generate their own stories.

“If you go back to the separation story in Rangi and Papa, when Rangi, his arms were wrenched apart, it was the blood that dripped down on to Papa and eventually Tane took that and formed the first woman. Now within that there are a whole lot of incredible stories. There are incredible values. There are all sorts of ways of looking at it, and it is another way of looking at the land here it’s a different way of looking at the landscape and the way people have moved on it and the histories that go with it,” Mr Slow says.

The exhibition at the Catchment Gallery in Nelson runs for another week.