Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, June 22, 2007

Wanganui gang problems addressed

Whanganui iwi say gangs are killing off their own whakapapa.

Community and iwi leaders met yesterday with mayor Michael Laws to address the gang violence in the city.

Twelve Mongrel Mob members have been charge with the murder of a two year old girl in a drive by shooting.

Iwi representative Nancy Tuaine says rather than geting bogged down in in the current situation, the iwi will focus on preventing youth from entering gangs.

She says iwi have to wake up to what's happening.

“We have to take responsibility for the fact it’s our kids killing our kids. These two gangs, they whakapapa back to each other in whanau circumstances. So somewhere along the line we’ve lost that, and we need to take responsbilty for making them join back up as whanau,” Ms Tuaine says.

The taskforce will spend the next three weeks studying the community and identifying options for further action.


A new resource should make Maori customary concepts more accessible for lawyers, scholars and policymakers.

The 500 page book Te Matapunenga is being launched this evening at a seminar at the Tainui Endowed College on the place of Maori custom and tradition in New Zealand's common law.

Alex Frame from Waikato Law School's Te Matahauariki research institute says it's a compendium of references, grouped together by subject in chronological order.

“Our researchers, led by a very brilliant young scholar Paul Meredith, have been researching through the archives and the Alexander Turnbull Library for statements by people who might be expected to know something about it as to what Maori customary law is. The compendium includes those references,” Dr Frame says.


Taranaki iwi have lost their oldest member.

Werenia Papakura, known as Auntie Ivy, has died at the age of 105.

The loss will felt not only by her hundreds of whanau but by the many Maori whose lives she touched while working as the matron of a New Plymouth Maori hostel.

Te Tai Tonga MP Mahara Okeroa says Mrs Papakura lived a long and happy life.

He says while the whanau is grieving, there is also a sense of relief for their kuia.

“It must be hell of a lonely, e hoa, to be the last one in all of your peers and whanaunga, well, ko tira ara ra ko i rung ate ara, so in a way there’s a certain relief, not really celebration, that she has finally gone,” Mr Okeroa says.

Ivy Papakura has been taken to Owae Marae in Waitara, where her tangi is starting alongside the annual Maui Pomare commemoration.


Bitter cold and blustery weather haven't deterred the hundreds of people who've come to Owae Marae in Waitara for the start of the three day Maui Pomare commemorations.

A large contingent from Tainui accompanied King Tuheitia on his first official visit to the Taranaki rohe.

The first day is known as the Hari Mate, when people bring home the memory of relatives who have died during the year.

Waatea News reporter Te Kauhoe Wano says it's taken on a special dimension this year.

“The celebration of Pomare Day this year is being marked by the response to the tono from Taranaki for King Tuheitia to bring the wairua mate o Te Atairangikaahu onto our marae. It’s his first official visit as king. So it’s a time when we welcome our dead back from the previous year, and it’s been heightened this year because we’ve lost Ted Tamati, one of our well known kaumatua, who was buried today at Muru Raupatu, a marae just down the road, so he came on and sat on the marae a little after midday for a short time before he went up to the urupa, and then overnight Auntie Ivy Papakura, our 105-year-old kuia, passed away, and she was brought onto the marae just before Kingi Tuheitia,” Mr Wano says.


A large group from Ngapuhi is in Rotorua tonight making sure an old feud with te Arawa isn't revived.

The hikoi was organised after a Rotorua District Councillor objected to a large picture of Ngapuhi chief Hongi Hika featuring in a mural at the Rotorua Events Centre.

Hongi's raid into the region in the 1820s left more than a century of bitterness.

But delegation member Julian Wilcox says the invasion also led to important whakapapa links.

“As a result of that, we are very much whanaunga, and our genealogy, our whakapapa goes back even before that right up until Rahiri, when one of Rahiri’s daughters, or some people say granddaughters, married Pikiao, who of course is a well known tupuna from within Te Arawa itself, so those kindred ties, as we say in Maori, can't be broken,” Mr Wilcox says.

Ngapuhi will help launch a book by Rotorua historian Don Stafford on Hongi's invasion, A Wild Wind from the North.


You've heard of Iron Chef. Now try steam chef.

Five of Wellington's best chef's are at Te Papa tomorrow competing in a hangi cook-off.

Organiser Mere Boynton says it's a novel way to mark the Maori new year, and it could open people's eyes as to what can be done with the traditional earth oven.

“We're getting four or five different chefs from around Poneke of different ethnicities to put their own spin on a hangi, so they’re given the same ingredients but they bring their own condiments, so our Oriental guy is brining some spices and probably some lemongrass and creating his own Thai style of hangi, so that should be interesting,” Ms Boynton says.

The hangi cook-off will be followed by Matariki in the Town Hall, a five-hour free family concert.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Te Atiawa leader joins ancestors

Te Atiawa today buries one of its outstanding leaders.

Ted Tamati has been lying at Muru Raupatu Marae in Bell Block since he died on Tuesday, as iwi from around Mount Taranaki and further afield have paid their respects.

Mr Tamati, who was 81, was until recent years the chair of the Taranaki Maori Trust Board and the Paraninihi ki Waitotara Incorporation.

Former Governor General Sir Paul Reeves says his cousin cast a long shadow.

“He was a quiet person but he was always present to give leadership and support to people and we will absolutely miss him. His contribution to muru raupatu, to the Taranaki Trust Board and the PKW trust, has been invaluable over the years, He has been a great person and a great leader,” Sir Paul says.

Mr Tamati's death will also cast a shadow over the annual commemoration for Sir Maui Pomare, which is being held at Owae Marae in Waitara today and tomorrow.

A large group from Tainui is due there this afternoon to bring the kawe mate or memory of the late Maori queen, and other tribes will also remember their dead and celebrate the legacy of the ground-breaking Maori MP.


National says its new Trade training policy will create opportunities for young Maori.

Leader John Key says too many Maori are leaving school without any qualifications or skills.

He says a focus on academic subjects has left many students behind.
National is proposing new funding structures to get qualified tradespeople into schools as teachers.

“The idea here is to day at the moment technology and trades training has largely been taken out of the schools, we have a programme operating called Gateway which is a little kind of taster about whether you might want to be a mechanic or a plumber or a hairdresser. This would be a significant ramping up and a lifting of the esteem under which trade training is held,” Mr Key says.


Pioneering Maori contributions to heritage protection will be noted at World Heritage Council's meeting in Christchurch this weekend.

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says Maori should feel pride that one of their own, Tuwharetoa leader Tumu Te Heuheu, is chairing the council.

Mr te Heuheu's ancestor gifted the central North Island mountains to the people of New Zealand, creating one of the first national parks in the world.

Mr Horomia says that's worth celebrating.

“Be one of the biggest international conferences held here for some time, New Zealand is already recognized as a leader in the sense of heritage sites and Tumu needs to be recognised on behalf of the effort put in by Maori people,” Mr Horomia says.


Some of the country's top legal and Maori brains are gathered at the Tainui Endowed College at Hopuhopu for the next three days to discuss how Maori customary law is part of the law of the land.

Alex Frame from Waikato Law School's Te Matahauariki Institute says a highlight of the Tuhonoho Custom and State symposium will be the launch of a compendium of references to Maori custom in case law, traditional Maori accounts and historical records.

He says customary law around the world is considered part of the common law, which is determined from time to time by the courts.

Dr Frame says the common law of New Zealand is not the same as the common law of Britain.

“New Zealand common law takes account of the circumstances and traditions of Aotearoa New Zealand, and so our common law is likely to be heavily influenced by Maori customary law. It doesn’t require any law change to bring that about. That is already the law,” he says.

Dr Frame says the reference work, Te Matapunenga, should help courts decide future cases involving Maori custom.


Historic relationships between Tainui and Taranaki will be further strengthened over the next two days.

As part of the annual commemorations for pathfinding Maori MP Sir Maui Pomare, a large party from Tainui is due at Owae Marae in Waitara today to bring the kawe mate or memory of the late Maori queen, Te Atairangikaahu.

Te Atiawa spokesperson Ruakere Hond says the commemoration started in 1936 after Pomare died of tuberculosis in California, and it has always been a significant date on the Maori calendar.

He says it's a time when Taranaki can return hospitality to other iwi.

“By asking the Kingitanga to recognize this day of Maui Pomare and to bring Te Ata on gives the ability to Taranaki as a whole to acknowledge Te Atairangikaahu and the work and the connection that we feel we have with Tainui right from the time of Tawhiao and Potatau te Wherowhero, that connection has been maintained between Taranaki and Tainui,” Mr Hond says.


Bay of Plenty schoolchildren are being encouraged to come up with new dances.

The Fresh Moves programme teaches children the basics of contemporary dance, so they can use body movements to tell stories.

Organiser Elzira Vermeulen says ten schools are taking part, and they'll hold a dance-off at the Baycorp Stadium next Monday.

She says the children are asked to draw on their own lives and experiences.

“They use that and interpret it and it becomes a creative sort of dance. So it will have contemporary influence, might have jazz, have ballet, might have a lot of gymnastic influence just depending on how each child’s individual background is being used,” Ms Vermeulen says.

A highlight is likely to be Tauranga's Gate Pa School, which plans to recreate the 1864 battle of 1864 between Ngai Te Rangi and British soldiers.

Misleading response to tribunal questioning

National's treaty spokesperson says the Minister of Treaty Negotiations is trying to brush off serious charges his officials misled the Waitangi Tribunal.

The tribunal's report on the Tamaki Makaurau Settlement Process said the sole official who gave evidence for the Office of Treaty Settlements "answered some questions in ways that were misleading".

The Minister, Mark Burton, told Parliament today that tribunal Judge Carrie Wainwright had clarified her statement to say that there was no intention to mislead.

But Chris Finlayson says in fact Judge Wainwright has stood by the original wording.

He says Mr Burton should dig deeper.

“If I was the Minister in charge of an office where criticisms of lack of candor had been made of counsel appearing for essentially my department, then I’d certainly be wanting to ask some questions and I don’t know that I’d be accepting bland assurances,” Mr Finlayson says.

National would prefer to take a non-partisan view on treaty issues, but the settlement process is in a state of crisis.


Students will now get a chance to test their knowledge of Te Ao Maori at Scholarship level.

Te Reo Rangatira, which includes not just the language but an understanding of the Maori world, becomes a scholarship subject from next year.

Associate Education Minister Parekura Horomia says it will give students at wharekura something more to aim at.

“The breadth of subjects includes tikanga, kawa and concepts of te ao Maori which are things they need to continue on. They’ve always been an integral and strong part of their learning processes so what this does is recognise that,” Mr Horomia says.

The change may encourage more Maori students to aim for places at university or wananga.


A traditional cure for warts may be set for a revival.

Waitahanui a Hei Marae near Te Puke has been working with Coast Care Bay of Plenty to repopulate the dunes at Otamarakau with a rare coastal plant known to Maori as Waiu o Kahukura.

Coast Care coordinator Greg Jenks says it used to be common in the area, but fell prey to grazing by stock.

He says the blue-green grass can be recognised by its magenta blooms.

“A use for it was to use the milky sap, and hence the waiu, for removing warts, so there was that knowledge there. All we have to do is get theplant back so people can see it again,” Mr Jenks says.

He says 70,000 seedlings of the Waiu o Kahukura have been planted since 2004, and the aim is to eventually re-establish it along 100 kilometres of coastline.


The National Party says the Government has given up on trying to get durable treaty settlements.

Leader John Key says the reports by the Waitangi Tribunal on the Tamaki Makaurau and Te Arawa settlements point to a process in disarray.

He says the Office of Treaty Settlements has got into a mess with trying to rush through settlements, because it has ignored earlier advice from the tribunal on process.

“The whole process and the ethos under which the settlement process was being undertaken is that they’re durable, they last, and they’re effectively done with agreement, and essentially what the Waitangi Tribunal’s saying if I read it correctly is that in fact OTS is negotiating under the wrong terms and conditions and that doesn’t look very encouraging,” Mr Key says.

He says there is a risk the treaty settlement process will grind to a halt.


A Rotorua Maori welfare organisation is offering marae-based lessons for students excluded from mainstream schools.

Three secondary schools have already referred students to Maatua Whangai for the programme, which is based at Taharangi Marae in Ohinemutu.

Tutor Kathline Butterworth says the behavioural issues which make some students disruptive in mainstream schools are often a response to learning difficulties.

She says the adherence to tikanga Maori gives structure to the students' lives.

“It's the only marae based in the Rotorua area introducing the tikanga and kawa back into their daily lives. It’s structured around how a marae establishment is, and they actually have to participate in powhiri and ongoing learning that happens here on the marae,” Ms Butterworth says.

Maatua Whangai hopes many of the students can be reintroduced to mainstream schools.


Two of our best Maori tennis players are in Germany honing their skills on clay courts.

Dick Garrett, the organiser of the Maori sports awards, says it's a great chance for the pair to move up the international rankings.

They are accompanied by Ra Durie, who has a tennis academy near Feilding.

“His daughter has played over there for the past two years, so this year we’ve taken over Barrett Franks from Christchurch, who was in the world youth team for New Zealand last year, and of course our Maori singles champion, Austin Childs. They’re at present competing in inter-club in Germany and having coaching and training experience on clay,” Mr Garrett says.

At the other end of the age scale, a team of Maori players will compete at the Queensland Veterans Tennis championships this weekend.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Burton denies bad faith at OTS

The Minister of Treaty Negotiations has come out fighting against claims his officials failed to act in good faith.

Two Waitangi Tribunal reports in the past week have been sharply critical of the Office of Treaty Settlements.

The first challenged the way it went about negotiating a settlement of Auckland claims, and accused the Crown of trying to withhold evidence from its inquiry.

The second said OTS did not act honourably and with the utmost good faith, in accordance with Treaty of Waitangi Principles, while negotiating a deal with Nga Kaihautu o Te Arawa in the Bay of Plenty.

Mark Burton says settling treaty claims is complex, and the tribunal was reading the situation wrongly.

“Anyone's capable of making errors in judgment or mistakes in such a complex process, of course they are. If that’s been the case, and it may have been in some cases, then you wear that criticism, take that on the chin. But do I think people have consciously acted in other than good faith and with integrity, not I do not, and I see no real evidence of that,” Mr Burton says.

The government is studying the tribunal's reports to see if there are ways the settlement process could be improved.


Students of Maori can now be tested in the language at university scholarship level.

Maori educator Wiremu Docherty says that's a major advance for te reo rangatira.

The head of Maori at the Manukau Institute of Technology says in the past secondary school pupils have only been able to take the language up to sixth form level in the National Certificate of Educational Achievement.

He says the change is long overdue.

“Those students who wish to follow and continue their study in Maori, in te reo rangatira, had no avenue to have that subject as a scholarship subject, so I’m pleased to hear that,” Mr Docherty says.

He says the scholarship exam will challenge students in wharekura immersion classes to take their language skills to a higher level.


A former Maori All Blacks coach says the team is being set up to fail.

Matt Te Pou says the Maori team has an impressive record in international rugby, and deserves more frequent matches against top class opposition.

He says the loss of the Churchill Cup says more about the team that didn't go rather than the one that did.

Many players were left behind because the large All Black squad and the junior All Blacks took priority.

“So consequently you send a Maori team away, some of the players are effectively C team players, and that’s how it is. They pull on a jersey, and without a doubt they’re Maori All Blacks, but the fact is when you look at that New Zealand Junior All Black side, there are top line players in there who should be in that Maori team,” Mr Te Pou says.

The Churchill Cup competition is more about developing rugby in Canada and the United States than helping grow Maori rugby.


The Greens' Maori spokesperson says changing the government won't improve the way treaty settlements are done.

Meteria Turei says the problems identified by the Waitangi Tribunal in the Tamaki Makaurau and Te Arawa settlement reports stem from the imbalance of power in the system.

Other opposition parties say the treaty process needs a major overhaul.

But Ms Turei says the the problems are a result of the political climate.

“This is the way Governments treat Maori when they have a strong constituency that is saying settle these claims quickly because we’re tired of hearing about Maori issues,’ and so they’ve got a big vote base, both National and Labour, and making sure those things are done quickly, regardless of the fairness, and the Maori vote is not as relevant,” Ms Turei says.

The proposed Nga Kaihautu o Te Arawa settlement will come under further scrutiny next week, when the Waitangi Tribunal holds a three day hearing in Rotorua to consider the way the Crown intends to put a large part of the Kaingaroa Forest into the settlement package.


A diabetes campaigner says efforts to fight the disease must be measured in the long term.

The Auditor General has criticised the effectiveness of the Get Checked anti-diabetes programme, and says it needs to reach more Maori.

But Chad Paraone, who runs a diabetes campaign for Counties Manukau Health, says getting people to change their lifestyles takes time.

He says people need encouragement to switch diets and take up exercise.

“The quit smoking thing’s been round for 10 years or more, and it’s taken that long to make some small changes. We think it’s going to be the same with this stuff. The Let’s Beat Diabetes is a five year strategy, but it’s aiming to get the big results in 15, 20 years,” Mr Paraone says.


Maori in Waikato can expect more health funding.

The Waikato District Health board has made Maori health a priority in its new Reducing Inequalities Action Plan.

Board chair Michael Ludrook says it's the best return for the investment.

“We know with Maoti that an adult male Maori will probably live eight to nine years shorter than a non-Maori and clearly we need to be better understanding and better targeting causes of that,” Mr Ludbnrook says.
Michael Ludbrook says the plan includes one and a half million dollars for new initiatives for economically disadvantaged groups.


For taonga puoro to survive, the traditional instruments need to be used across a range of musical styles.

That's the view of Richard Nunns, who worked with the late Hirini Melbourne to revive ancient Maori instruments such as koauau flutes and purerehu or bullroarers.

He's always looking for ways to release the musical sounds and reach a wider audience.

“It's part of this journey the puoro are making into this new world, and part of their job, as it always was, in the very traditional work, but if they are to survive, they’ve got to find their way into trance, dance, electronica, chamber, orchestral, the works,” Mr Nunns says.

Tonight at Te Papa in Wellington, Richard Nunns and chamber group Tuhonohono will perform works by composer Gillian Whitehead.

Burton defends treaty negotiators

The Treaty Negotiations Minister says criticism of settlements is an insult to iwi negotiators.

The Waitangi Tribunal has identified what it says are flaws in the way proposed settlements were reached with Ngati Whatua o Orakei and Nga Kaihautu o Te Arawa.

Opposition parties have seized on the reports, calling for the settlement process to be overhauled.

But Mark Burton says the critics ignore the enormous amount of progress that has been made, and the years of work that go into each settlement.

“In a sense it's insulting to those who have done that work to somehow look back and try and say they didn’t get it right. Who is anyone else to say to a mandated negotiator or group of negotiators who have earned the mandate of their people, who’ve gone backl and had the endorsement of a decision of their people, who is it for someone else to day ‘no, you've got it wrong,’” Mr Burton says.

The Government is studying the Waitangi Tribunal reports for ways the process can be improved, but he believes many of the criticisms in them are not well founded.


Bay of Plenty Maori are taking advantage of a regional council fund to clean up local sites.

Administrator Sandy Hohepa says the council's environmental enhancement fund has $450,000 a year for community groups.

Recent projects have included cleaning up a reserve named after Kawerau's first Maori councilor, Monika Lanham, and a plan by Taneatua Primary School to help revegetate Otarahio hill.

“They're going to try and revegetate that whole hill and replant it and I went out for their first session and I was quite amazed at home much these little kids from the Taneatua school had done in two hours,” Ms Hohepa says.

Applications for Environment Bay of Plenty's environmental enhancement fund open next week.


Maori secondary school students are being invited to try their hand at business consulting.

Waikato University's School of Management is asking the Year 12 and 13 students to producing case studies and recommendations for real businesses.

Organiser Duke Boon says 25 schools from four regions have signed on to the Nona Te Ao Rangatahi Competition.

Competitors are mentored by senior management students at Waikato University, and they're chasing cash prizes of 25 hundred dollars for the best advice.

“Telling the businesses this is what the theory says about you, and this is what we think could help you improve for your future ambitions. We are offering a few scholarships as an incentive for the students to take part. But what I’m really happy about is that the prize is secondary to them learning more about business, and that’s encouraging for us to see,” Mr Boon says.

The competitors will gather in Hamilton in August to give 10-minute presentations on their research.


The National Party wants to know why a treaty information project is being funded out of the Maori affairs budget.

MP Georgina te Heuheu says that money should be spent on Maori development and addressing negative statistics, rather than teaching history to Pakeha.

She says the budget allocation shows a worrying shift in the way the government sees the treaty roadshow.

“The Treaty 2 U programme, which the National OpposItion had doubts about anyway when they rolled it out three or four years ago, $6 million under the State Services Commission, and now it’s come under Parekura Horomia’s responsibility. It’s a bit difficult to understand that,” Mrs te Heuheu says.


The pressure will stay on the government over its proposed Te Arawa land settlement.

The Waitangi Tribunal is to hold a three-day hearing on the settlement at Tamatekapua Marae in Rotorua next week.

The hearing will cover issues around the use of forestry assets in the settlement, which is with the Nga Kaihautu group which represents about half the iwi in the Te Arawa confederation.

The tribunal has already reported on mandate issues, but held off on forestry to avoid a conflict with action being taken in the High Court by other groups.


Maori are earning almost 20 percent less a year less than their Pakeha neighbours.

That's the finding from personal income data from the 2006 Census.

The median income on Census night was $24,400, a jump of $6000 from 2001.

While the median for Europeans was $25,400, for Maori it was $20,900.

That was only $400 more than the figure for Pacific people, but higher than for Asian, Middle East, Latin American and African people.

The highest median incomes were found in Wellington, Auckland and Waikato, while Gisborne and Northland, where there are large Maori populations, had some of the lowest income leves.


Many women in Rotorua are stepping more lightly this month.

They've been losing weight for the Te Arawa sports foundation's 12 week Wahine Challenge.

The big weigh off is next Monday, with the wahine who drops the most kilos taking home a cheque for $2500.

Organiser Laurie Watts says the challenge was instigated by women in the community wanting help with their health.

The foundation, Te Papa Takaro o Te Arawa, held weekly hui which included advice on shopping, food labels and nutrition.

Mrs Watts says the challenge is helping the whole whanau.

“If they look after themselves, obnvioulsy they are going to be a little more cautious looking after their own whanau. Being able to show them healthy lifestyle options. For example one of the mothers on the programme lost some weight, and her five year old son also lost four kgs,” Mrs Watts says.

Te Papa Takaro is now considering a men's challenge.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Taranaki mourns quiet leader

Taranaki tribes are gathering at Muru Raupatu Marae in Bell Block to mourn the loss of a humble leader.

Ted Tamati died yesterday at the age of 81.

He was a former chairperson of Tamaki Maori Trust Board, Paraninihi ki Waitotara Incorporation, Parihaka X farm and many other tribal and Maori organisations in the region.

Peter Moeahu from Te Atiawa says as a leader Mr Tamati was able to bring people together and make progress on long standing grievances like the raupatu confiscation claims and the unfair leases on Maori reserved land, which affected all Maori in Taranaki.

“One of the things he will be remembered for is his humility and his unwillingness to be in the forefront but always very happy to be in the background supporting any take that was going to make progress for our people,” Mr Moeahu says.

The funeral for Ted Tamati will be at Muru Raupatu Marae on Friday.


The Green Party says the Government needs to change its 2020 deadline for settling Treaty claims.

Its Maori affairs spokesperson says negative reports by the Waitangi Tribunal on proposed settlements with Auckland and Rotorua iwi show the change for quick deals is damaging relations between tribes.

Metiria Turei says there seems to be no strategy to reach out to smaller iwi, or look after the needs of those without strong advocates.

“If they have any modicum of sense about not creating any more injustices, then they will reform the process with Maori, and that will mean they’ll need to take a bit longer because they’ll need to deal with more groups,” Ms Turei says.

She says the only way the Crown can meet its 2020 deadline is by abusing the rights of claimants, which means settlements are unlikely to last.


The head of Maori arts marketer Te Waka Toi hopes the waka Te Ika a Maui will still get a chance to support New Zealands Americas cup team.

Alinghi boss Ernesto Bertarelli is reported to be trying to ban the waka from accompanying NZL 92 to the start line.

But Garry Nicholas says Mr Bertarelli doesn't make the rules.

A bigger problem is that the crew is now back in New Zealand.

“If we were to try to book, Emirates is already booked out, they have no flights available. Accommodation is at a premium, the prices have gone up, but more importantly, the rooms have all been booked out. So whether the logistics will allow us to respond to a phone call, we don’t know, but all I’ve asked the waka boys is to be on standby,” Mr Nicholas says.

When the waka crew first went up, Team New Zealand had just a small support group in Valencia, but now thousands of kiwis have flocked to the town, leaving little room for the paddlers to haka.


Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says the crown does not have to live with the pain created by the treaty settlement process.
He says irreparable splits may have been caused as hapuu and iwi jostle to have their grievances heard.

Marae trustees have been taken to court, there have been physical confrontations and there have been three Waitangi Tribunal reports critical of the Crown's mandating processes.

Mr Flavell says officials don't have to go back to the marae to see the problems they have caused.

“It doesn't actually matter to the Crown if those sorts of things happen, but on the ground, back at home where it counts, those things still linger in the minds of many kuia and koroua, so we have splits in whanau, splits in hapu, splits in confederation, and so it’s serious stuff,” Mr Flavell says.

Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal has reserved its decision on a challenge to the proposed settlement with Nga Kaihautu o Te Arawa, which is being brought by the Federation of Maori Authorities, the Maori Council, Ngati Tuwharetoa and Ngati Makino.

Crown lawyers told the court the settlement legislation won't be introduced until August at the earliest.


The Kingitanga is strengthening its links to other Pacific peoples.

Hawaiian leader Kalani Meineke will be at at Hopuhopu this weekend to address a wananga on this history of the Hawaiian royal dynasty.

That will be followed by a history of the Tongan kings by educator Emile Wolfgram.

Mr Meineke will be supported by performances from a 22-strong group from the Kaneohe Community College in Oahu.

Kingitanga spokesperson Mamae Takerei says the Hawaii connection is important for the movement.

“They continue to come back to Aotearoa every two years. They’ve already established a whanaungatanga. They will then, in the last part of their programme, convey in koha form a gift to King Tuheitia. This particular wanaga will be the climax of all the Kingitanga seminars that we have delivered,” Ms Takerei says.


A Rotorua health worker hopes shedding 45 kilos will inspire other Maori.

Phyllis Tangitu, the Maori health manager for the Lakes District Health Board, says she didn't feel much of a role model when she hit 160 kilos on the scales.

Ms Tangitu joined the Te Hua o Te Miro Healthy lifestyle programme run by hauora provider Te Papa Takaroa o Te Arawa.

She says it gave her a better perspective on the job.

“When this programme came up I contacted Te Papa Takaroa and said I’m here to do whatever I can to support the kaupapa,” Ms Tangitu says.

She's lost another few kilos taking part in Te Papa Takaro's 12-week Wahine Challenge, which offers a prize for the woman who loses the most weight.

Appeal Court hears Te Arawa challenge

A challenge to the Te Arawa land claim settlement may be headed for the Supreme Court.

The Federation of Maori Authorities and the Maori Council have been in Court today arguing against the Government's intention to take possession of a third of the kaingaroa Forest and onsell it to Nga Kaihautu o Te Arawa.

The Appeal Court has reserved its decision, but a Maori Council executive member, Maanu Paul, fears it will uphold the High Court's decision that the courts can't stop Parliament approving the deal.

Mr Paul says the Government is tearing up one treaty settlement to do another.

“The Crown Forestry Assets Act that gave rise to the Crown Forestry Rental Trust and was negotiated by Graham Latimer, Tama Nikora and myself, was based on good faith and reasonableness. The Crown is trying to circumvent that,” Mr Paul says.

He says the Crown wants to use one tribe's assets to settle another tribe's claim.


The Prime Minister is dismissing calls for a complete overhaul of the treaty settlement process.

Damning Waitangi Tribunal reports on the way deals were reached with Ngati Whatua and Te Arawa claimants have raised questions about the role of the Office of Treaty Settlements.

But Helen Clark says the process has produced many settlements over the past decade.

She says all settlements require two willing partners.

“Obviously the government would take legal advice, but we would not want the momentum that is there for iwi to settle with the Crown to be thwarted. I think iwi all over New Zealand can see the considerable benefits that have flown to others who have been able to conclude a settlement, and it’s not fair to hold that process back,” Ms Clark says.

Direct negotiations are only entered into when the Crown believes the case for compensation is absolutely clear-cut, so the claim doesn't have to go through the Waitangi Tribunal.


A Kauri log from the far north is to be the centre point of a new marae in Auckland.

The log from Taipa was a gift from the Muriwhenua tribes to the marae at Unitec's Carrington campus.

Hare Paniora, the polytech's pae arahi or Maori liaison, says it will be raised by block and tackle to stand on top of a mauri stone, which has been buried on the site.

He says just getting the log in place needed many hands.

“We carried the pou tahuhu, the pou tungarongo and two of the heke by human. The one that was challenging was the pou tahuhu because it weighed about 1.8 tonnes, so we needed 60 people and 60 people did carry it,” Mr Paniora says.

With the log is in place, master carver Lyonel Grant and his team will be able to work on site to complete the project.


A great totara of Taranaki has fallen.

Ted Tamati, a former chairperson of the Taranaki Maorti Trust Board and the Paraninihi ki Waitotara Incorporation, died this morning in Taranaki Base Hospital at the age of 81.

Former board secretary Neville Baker says Mr Tamati inherited his seat from his father Pehimana Tamati, a long time chair of the trust board.

He says Mr Tamati took the top job at a difficult time.

“The settlements process was in place, iwi hapu were taking over and didn’t see a great role for the trust board and probably still don’t, and also contentious issues over Paraninihi ki Waitotara Incorporation and the whole question over renewal of leases, Ted was right in the middle of that. So he’s probably benn the person that has had the most pressure of anyone of the home people," Mr Baker says.

Ted Tamati is at Muru Raupatu Marae at Bell Block, where the funeral service will be held on Friday.

No reira e te rangatira, takoto mai, takoto mai, moe mai.


There's a warning the Crown may be sacrificing durability for quick settlements.

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says many hapu are growing frustrated at what they see as shoddy treatment by Crown officials.

He says it's the sort of frustration which leads to mass actions such as the foreshore and seabed hikoi, or to land occupations.

Mr Flavell says the sort of deals the Crown is doing now fall short of what many younger Maori want.

“I don't think the next generation is going to stand for some of the things that have been done thus far, albeit some have settled in the spirit of good faith and I can’t necessarily criticize all those because people went into the process, but I’m fairly confident that the next generation won’t let it lie at that, and if the Crown thinks it’s full and final, they’ve got another think coming,” Mr Flavell says.


The man who arranged for a waka to travel to the America's Cup regatta is disappointed it won't accompany Team New Zealand to the starting line.

The 16-paddler waka Te Ika a Maui headed out with NZL 92 for the Louis Vuitton challenger races, but Cup holder Alinghi has refused permission for that support to continue.

Trevor Maxwell from Maori arts organisation Toi Maori says it's part of the gamesmanship which goes with major events.

“It was to be a bonus, but we donlt want to go there if it will cause a distraction for our own team. I think they’re wanting to focus. It’ll make its way back, and we can probably assist with a giood welcome home for the team, win lose or draw, maybe in the Auckland harbour later on in the year,” Mr Maxwell says.

Alinghi's action is on par with countries trying to ban the All Black haka before tests.

Heed Tribunal advice says Arawa leader

A Te Arawa leader says the Government should listen to the Waitangi Tribunal and try to reach a comprehensive settlement of the central North Island tribe's claims.

The tribunal has slammed the way the Office of Treaty Settlements went about negotiating with Nga Kaihautu o Te Arawa, which represents about half of the Te Arawa confederation.

It recommended changes to the proposed settlement, and said talks with the rest of the iwi should be given priority.

Toby Curtis, the chair of the Rotorua Lakes Trust, says if it wants a durable settlement, the Crown needs to finish what it started in Te Arawa.

“When you don't involve everyone in a way that they are satisfied with the settlement, then it can be seen as causing some discomfort amongst those claimants who believe they weren’t properly heard,” Mr Curtis says.


A project to build houses from mud and flax fibre is being used to interest Maori students in science and technology.

Architect Rau Hoskins and engineer Kepa Morgan have turned their research on whare uku or earth fibre housing into a web and dvd resource in te reo Maori for intermediate students.

Mr Hoskins says there are many scientific principles involved in building traditional houses.

He says the skills involved were common in Maori communities two or three generations ago, but must be re-learnt.

“We haven't been actively engaged in the provision of their own housing for a couple of generations now, probably the Second World War when people moved to town. They left behind those skills round whare nikau, whare raupo and other housing techniques which were very relevant and worked well,” Mr Hoskins says.

The Whare Uku resource was developed in association with the Centre of Maori research Excellence, Nga Pae o te Maramatanga.


The contentious settlement of Tamaki Makaurau claims hasn't stopped one of Auckland's tangata whenua from celebrating the Maori new year in his traditional way.

As part of the settlement which the Waitangi Tribunal says should be put on hold, Ngati Whatua o Orakei is to be given exclusive mana over Maungawhau or Mount Eden.

But that's maunga which Pita Turei of Ngai Tai ki Tamaki uses as his observatory.

He says his evening guided walks are going ahead, in a low key fashion.

“We haven't made these too big because with all the discussions about the maunga and the treaty settlement process and everything like that, I didn’t want to take any of the discussion away for where it needed to be,” Mr Turei says.

He'll be hosting evening stargazing walks on Maungawhau for the next three Mondays.

People won't see Matariki though ... those stars are still only visible low on the pre-dawn horizon.


An inspirational teacher who spearheaded the revival of te reo Maori in Taitokerau is being laid to rest today.

Kath Sarich from Ngati mahurehure and Ngati Korokoro died on the weekend and will be buried today Waimate North.

Former schools' Maori language advisor Kepa Stirling says Mrs Sarich was one of the native speakers who were brought into the education system as teachers of te reo in the mid 1970s, as the pressure came on from Maori for language revitalisation .

In recent years she has worked on the Tai Tokerau dictionary, and with her husband Andy has been a mainstay of the Maori languague commission's efforts in the north.

Mr Stirling says she was known for her drive and persistence.

“She was one of those special people who when she did something, it affected not only the student in the classroom, it affected the whole family, it affected the whole of that particular area. I worked with her right across the north, and every teacher throughout the north respected her as a very special person,” Mr Stirling says.


Tauranga Maori will today learn what mainstream health services have to offer.

Huria Marae has invited 30 providers including physiotherapists, brain damage rehabilitation, home based care and alzheimers support to an expo.

Marae manager Te Moata Willison says many Maori health providers aren't aware of what other services they can tap into.

“The objective is really about exposing those providers of those services to our people to our hauora, because we know that a lot of our hauora and a lot of our people don’t know what’s available to them out there.” Ms Willison says.

The expo could become an annual affair.


The head of the Rotorua Lakes Trust says a proposed settlement of Te Arawa land claims has damaged iwi unity.

The Waitangi Tribunal says the way the Office of Treaty Settlements went about negotiating with a goup representing only half the iwi ignored its duties of honour and good faith to the other half.

It recommended changes to the settlement to protect the rights of other hapu.

Toby Curtis says the process has been bruising.

“When you have people from the same tribe challenging an outcome, and for some people and for those they represent, Kaihautu can be seen to have achieved a good settlement, but it would appear that it may have been at the expense of those groups challenging them, so it is not good for any iwi,” he says.

Mr Curtis says the Government should heed the tribunal's recommendations and reopen negotiations with the rest of the iwi.


National's Maori Affairs spokesperson says the current minister is clearly not on top of his portfolio.

Georgina Te Heuheu says when Parekura Horomia fronted up to the Maori affairs select comittee to discuss his ministry's finances, every spare seat in the room was taken by officials.

She says the committee struggled to get straight answers, as Mr Horomia kept turning to his officals for help.

“It's disappointing because the committee wants to see that a minister is on top of his portfolio, that he can front foot it himself, and doesn’t have to refer to officials every second minute to give us the answers,” Mrs Te Heuheu says.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Tribunal slams Arawa settlement

The Maori Party says the government has to develop a new treaty settlement process.

Last week a Waitangi Tribunal panel called for the Auckland settlement with Ngati Whatua to be put on hold, and today another panel has slammed the proposed Te Arawa settlement for land around Rotorua.

It said the Office of Treaty Settlements had failed to act as an honest broker, and the package it offered to Ngai Kaihautu o Te Arawa should be modified to protect the interests of hapu which did not sign on to the negotiations.

Pita Sharples says the tribunal is showing up how the government is pitting iwi against iwi.

He says it's a crooked system where the Crown chooses who wins and who loses.

“The only real way is if all Maori turn their back on the process now and insist on a restructuring of the whole process so you don’t pit Maori against Maori, so that every hapu can be included, because every hapu was involved in the confiscations and the taking of land,” Dr Sharples says.

He says unless the government develops a new process, it will be unable to meet its 2020 deadline for settlement of historical claims.


One of the people tagged by Michael Laws as a gang apologist says the Wanganui mayor should look for solutions to gang problems rather than attack those who are trying to help.

In his Sunday newspaper column on the arrests of 12 Mongrel Mob members for the murder of 2-year-old Jhia Te Tua , Mr Laws singled out local MP Tariana Turia, fellow Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples and social worker Dennis O'Reilly for trying to turn gang members around.

Mr O'Reilly says the mayor's comments can't be taken seriously.

“Pita, Tariana and others are doing real ground up work, serious stuff, and it’s making good progress. It’s sad that the community there is really cut a lot of its young people off, and it’s a question of trying to reengage them, get them back to being decent kiwis, mums and dads,” he says.


Now we've had the first new moon after the rising of the constellation Matariki or Pleides in the morning sky, Te Papa has kicked off two weeks of events in Wellington to mark the Maori new year.

Organiser Mere Boyton says they include concerts, seminars, workshops, kapa haka and a Matariki Gala at the end of the month.
She says the museum will also put the event in its Pacific context.

“Matariki is also celebrated by people in Hawaii, Japan, depending on when Pleiades appears in their skies, and it’s a tradition that involves kai and also involves a lot of ceremonies,” Ms Boynton says.

Other museums around the country also have special Marariki programmes.


A Maori lawyer believes the way the claims process was set up is the cause of problems with treaty settlements in Auckland and Rotorua.

The Waitangi Tribunal says the Tamaki Makaurau settlement with Ngati Whatua o Orakei should be put on hold until other Auckland claimants are dealt with, and the settlement with Nga Kaihautu of Te Arawa should only go ahead with major modifications to protect the interests of other Te Arawa hapu.

Moana Jackson says the Office of Treaty Settlements is working to a script it wrote a decade ago.

“The flaws in the Fiscal Envelope are now well catalogued, and that needs to be reviewed again, because as the process goes on within the Fiscal Envelope those iwi that are at the end of the queue are going to have less resource available to settle their grievances,” Mr Jackson says.

He says the settlement model is causing unnecessary division among iwi.


Maori children with weight problems are being targeted by the Canterbury District Health Board.

It comes after the Government-backed Healthy Eating Action programme realised it wasn't reaching Maori and Polynesian children, who have a high risk of obesity.

Its strategy is now being rejigged to include increased promotion of breastfeeding among Maori and Pacific Island mothers.

It's also extending the fruit in schools programme, and giving more training to health professionals who promote healthy diet and exercise.

Here's campaign development manager, Cathy Robinson

“We are prioritizing Maori and Pacific. That’s key to all the work that’s happening in HEA, to reduce inequalities. And also looking at primary and secondary care, so that’s where it first in with child and young persons and whanau, to make sure that we’re looking at that holistically,” Ms Robinson says.


Traditional Maori sounds will be woven this week with classical instrumentation in new works by composer Gillian Whitehead.

The works will be performed in the Auckland Town Hall concert chamber tomorrow and Te Papa in Wellington on Thursday by Tuhonohono, a chamber group including flute, bassoon, cello, piano, and taonga puoro player Richard Nunns.

Ms Whitehead says she is trying to develop pieces which blend her Maori and European background.

She says that leads to new ways of working, such as in the piece Hine Te Kakara, writen with Aroha Yates-Smith.

“There's a composition if hers embedded in a composition of mine, with Richard Nunns’ sounds weaving the two compositions together, so it’s like three different inputs,” Ms Whitehead says.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Atihau-Whanganui wins farm trophy

The so called Maori renaissance is having an impact the farming sector.

That's according to Whatarangi Murphy-Peehi, who chairs the trust that took away the Ahuwhenua Trophy for the Maori farm of the year.

Pah Hill Station, 15 kilometres southwest of Ohakune, is one of 10 properties farmed by the Atihau Whanganui Incorporation.

Mr Murphy-Peehi says a policy of reinvestment in the land and improved governance is behind the win.

He says like many Maori landowners, Atihau Whanganui is looking out for the next generation.

“There's a transitional stage for us as Maori farmers, and we’ve got a wealth of younger people in our rangatahi coming through the system. They look at it in a more economic way but also with the language and the cultural sense as well, so I’m quite excited for the future,” Mr Murphy-Peehi says.

Runners up were Tuaropaki Trust near Taupo and Matariki Partnership near Ruatoria.


A restructure at the Health Ministry could mean big changes in the Maori health sector.

The new director general of health has called for a leaner, better performing ministry.

Hector Matthews, the Maori health services manager at Canterbury District Health Board, says Maori health objectives will be part of the review.

He says Maori will be pushing for a higher priority.

“Maori health used to be said quite loudly from a government policy perspective, and now Maori tend to be grouped into the group that needs health inequalities improved, and not specified necessarily as Maori, so we are waiting to see what happens with the Ministry and their Maori health branch,” Mr Matthews says.


Maori are being called on to help in efforts to save New Zealand's most endangered marine mammal.

There only about 100 Maui's dolphins in their habitat along the west coast from Taranaki to Northland.

Karl McLeod, a Conservation Department marine ranger, says a proposed set net ban along the coast would be a positive step, because many dolphins become trapped in set nets in the harbours.

He says the department is meeting commercial and recreational fishers, community groups and Maori who rely on kaimoana from the area to discuss a way forward.

“Really we're trying to achieve some balance where we achieve protection for what’s really an iconic, really critically endangered species of dolphin but not impinge too greatly on the rights of communities to do what they’ve done for generations,” Mr McLeod says.


Putting profits back into the land has paid off for Atihau Whanganui Incorporation, with its Pah Hill Station southwest of Ohakune snapping up the Ahuwhenua Trophy for best Maori farm.

Chairperson Whatarangi Murphy-Peehi says strategic reinvestment has doubled productivity on the incorporation’s 10 farms over the past five years.

He says it now has more than 200,000 stock units, making it the largest farming enterprise in the region.

“For our five year strategy we’ve put a lot of capital back into the farm, like with new woolsheds, fencing, fertilizer. That’s where Pah Hill has just steadily, over the last few years, slowly just building up the fertility,” Mr Murphy Pehi says.

Atihau Whanganui Incorporation has been buying back leases when they come up for renewal, giving it more land to farm directly.


Maori could benefit from research at Massey University into attitudes towards electronic storage of health records.

John Waldon from the centre for Maori health and development is part of the research team.

He says new systems and technologies, particularly around health, are often the source of public concern, but they can also mean greater options for healthcare for groups like Maori.

“The right information is not getting to the right people at the right time. This research is important to Maori because it will help us improve how health information is used. Tikanga and kawa have been very important components of the process,” Mr Waldon says.

The research is funded by a $160,000 Health Research Council grant.


Waipareira trust and Manukau Urban Maori Authority have joined forces to create opportunties for Auckland rangatahi.

General manager Paul Stanley says the Waipareira will expand from its west Auckland base into south Auckland, offering programmes at MUMA facilities.

It will bring in services such as MUMA road safety so young people can train for drivers licenses.

He says it's a natural progression.

“This whole thing about sharing knowledge, sharing experiences, in order to strengthen what we do well, to be able to look at ways to work together, and this is a prime example between Te Whare Waatea and Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust,” Mr Stanley says.

Waipareira will consider joint ventures with urban authorities in other centres.


A new book will put into words the stories of Marlborough and Nelson Maori.

Te Ara Hou: The New Society by John and Hilary Mitchell follows on from the pair’s Te Tau Ihu o te Waka in documenting Maori in the area from the 1840s.

It’s being co-published by Huia Publishers and Wakatu Incorporation.

Wakatu chair Paul Morgan says the history of the area will be explained.

“It has a lot of stories of that period, with the families, what happened with the land, the engagement with the people. It will have some wonderful photos of the time and our tupuna, so we’re really excited about it,” Mr Morgan says.

The 500 page hardback is expected in September.