Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

My Photo
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, July 13, 2007

Unions take indigenous path

The Council of Trade Unions' vice president Maori says the labour movement is a way for Maori to build their indigenous networks.

Sharon Clair has just been re-elected for a second four-year term.

She expects the term to involve more international activity, helping get indigenous perspectives heard in the wider movement.

“Working with the United Nations, we’ve just had one of our kaumatua come back from the Indigenous People’s Permanent Forum, I’m off to the International Labour Organisation again next week, we’ll continue to build our indigenous networks with other trade unionists around the globe,” Ms Clair says.


Ngai Tahu Tourism is feeling confident about the future.

Chief executive John Thorburn says the results of a long term building process are starting to show.

The company has just bought Nelson sea kayak and water taxi business Southern Exposure, which operates around Abel Tasman National Park.

Mr Thorburn says it's been a good year.

“We're enjoying the strong visitor numbers coming through from international visitors and we’ve made some good acquisitions that have really strengthened our portfolio so we’re feeling pretty confident about the future,” Mr Thorburn says.

Ngai Tahu Tourism now has so many brands in the market, it is giving some thought to merging and rebranding some of its operations.


Feilding-based Ngati Kauwhata wants to help its people prepare for a bird flu pandemic.

Spokesperson Dennis Emery says the topic comes up regularly at marae hui.

The iwi is holding an information morning at Aoirangi Marae later this month, with input from MidCentral Health's emergency planning team.

Mr Emery says natural disaster is still fresh in Ngati Kauwhata minds.

“Our people kept thinking back to the major flooding that we had in 2004 and so we have empathy for what’s going on in the north now because it’s exactly what happened to us in February 2004, so we’ve been remembering and it actually alerted us to the fact that we need to be prepared,” Mr Emery says.

A big turn out is expected.


A second volume of interviews with contemporary Maori artists is being launched at Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington about now.

Taiawhio II includes 17 artists including Sandy Adsett, Shane Cotton, Brett Graham and Rachael Rakena, whose collaborative work Aniwaniwa is currently on show at the Venice Biennale, and the Atamira Dance Company.

Editor Huhana Smith, the museum's senior curator matauranga Maori, says many of the artists have tacked issues like the foreshore and seabed debate and treaty claims.

They also look at relationships to tradition and whakapapa.

“They do refer back to some of the painted house traditions or they’re referring to the exceptional skills of master carvers like Rahururu Kupo and they use that visual vocabulary to enrich their own and to enrich their own ideas, so there’s a lot of this transference of information which you could say is a whakapapa interrelationship. That’s what makes this book so interesting. I’ve read it all. I love it,” Ms Smith says.

The original Taiawhio is now in its third reprint.


A 15 minute film about a war party carrying a canoe and a prisoner overland has won the Friends of the Civic prize for the best short at this year's Auckland Film Festival.

It's the second year in a row that director Tearepa Kahi from Ngati Paoa has won the prize.

Taua took a year to make, including six days filming in the Waitakere Ranges, and involved almost 300 people.

The 125 thousand dollar budget came from the Film Commission, National Geographic, and the Ngati Paoa Whanau Trust.

Mr Kahi says it's an idea he has been carrying for a long time.

“I've always grown up with Kotuitituarua at our marae, our waka taua, and the idea of portaging, of something meant for water traveling across land, always fascinated me. And then inspiration came by way of the idea of a good Samaritan in the midst of war, what happens when a young boy is forced to help a stranger in the midst of danger,” he says.

Mr Kahi says with two short under his belt, he's keen to step up to a feature film.

Taua will screen as part of a shorts programme at Sky City Theatre at five tomorrow and three thirty on Tuesday afternoon.


Matakana Island landowners are meeting tomorrow to discuss their response to the sale of a big chunk of the island in Tauranga Harbour.

An investment company has bought the shares in Te Kotukutuku Corporation, which has a 2000 hectare forest on the eastern side.

The vendor, TKC Holdings, had been trying for several years to develop up to 200 sections on a canal development, but opposition from locals has stymied plans.

Taeawa Kuka, who is organising the hui at Opureora Marae, says the community is trying to develop a consensus position on the development.


The editor of a new book on contemporary Maori artists says their involvement with social and political issues gives their work an extra edge.

Taiawhio II is being launched at Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington tonight.

Huhana Smith says the 17 artists interviewed have a wide variety of backgrounds and working methods, but they all show a willingness to engage with the issues of their society.

In the five years the book has taken to put together, many of the artists have done work on themes like the foreshore and seabed debate and treaty claims.

“There's kind of a socio-political edge to the book, which is fantastic because these are artists talking about the nature of their practice, but what they’re also involved in as far as determining context from their own turangawaewae or the relationship they may have with tribal areas and that kind of thing. That’s a really nice thread coming through, there’s this nice kind of edginess,” Ms Smith says.

Maori key to disaster relief

Local authorities need to involve iwi and marae networks more in their civil defence planning.

That's the view of Massey University researcher James Hudson from Ngati Awa and Ngai Tuhoe.

He's done a report for the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Science on the role of marae and Maori communities in disaster recovery.

Mr Hudson says Maori take a leading role in the clean-ups after events like this week's storms in Taranaki and Taitokerau, but their contributions are seldom recognised.

He says civil defence authorities should open up the lines of communication.

“The main players seem to be iwi social service and health providers because they’ve already got those networks among the whanau, they’ve got those networks amongst the Maori community in terms of the mahi they do with hauora and Maori housing, they already have experience in terms of mobilizing their communities. All they really need to know is what's going on,” Mr Hudson says.

Civil Defence should involve marae and hapu representatives in their training, and put civil defence kits on marae.


The Maori Party has come under fire for not backing up one of its MPs.

Lawyer Annette Sykes from Ngati Pikiao says if the party wants to be effective, its messages need to be consistent.

She says instead of supporting Hone Harawira's attack on Australian PM John Howard, the party went into damage control.

Co-leader Pita Sharples rebuked the Tai Tokerau MP for getting personal in his comments, against party kaupapa.

But Ms Sykes says Mr Howard's planned intervention into Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory is worthy of the strongest language.

“If the Maori Party accepts that a policy is racist, then surely it follows that the person that developed the policy or is imposing the policy is also racist in the way that the policy is being developed and imposed,” she says.

Ms Sykes says there is no need to apologise to John Howard.


The producer of a film about a five year old Maori girl's first days at school says it looks like a million dollars.

Hawaiiki has been nominated for the short films section in next month's New Zealand film awards.

Libby Hakaraia says the film has already won international acclaim at Toronto's ImagineNative Film Festival, where it took the Best Short Drama Award, and it's been picked up for film festivals around the world.

“We put it up because we believe the film, in terms of the craft of it, the look of it, is a really beautiful film. The crew worked really hard and produced something that has a beautiful look to it. We make these films on really limited budgets and really they just pulled out all stops and it just looks a million dollars,” Ms Hakaraia says.

Hawaiiki will screen tonight at a Matariki short film festival at Corban Estate Arts Centre in west Auckland.


A Massey University researcher says Maori are a key part of clean-ups after natural disasters like this week's storms.

James Hudson from Ngati Awa and Ngai Tuhoe has studied the role of marae and Maori communities after floods in the Bay of Plenty and Manawatu.

He says communities quickly swung into action, but their efforts are seldom recognised or used by civil defence authorities.

“It's just a lack of awareness on the local authorities’ part at what resource are actually available that Maori authorities have, particularly service providers, particularly runanga and marae. They really don’t seem to be aware of just how we can, as Maori, mobilise ourselves,” Mr Hudson says.

Civil Defence should involve Maori in training and preparation, so the lines of communication can be opened immediately disaster strikes.


Ngati Apa is looking forward to getting more people back on its ancestral lands once its treaty settlement is signed off.

The Rangitikei tribe yesterday signed an agreement in principle for a $14 million settlement.

Most of the settlement will come from the handover of Crown forest lands, but some significant sites and two lakebeds are also in the package.

Ngati Apa also has a right to buy the land under Ohakea air force base, Bulls police station, and the Turakina and Whangaehu schools.

Negotiating team member Pahia Turia says a key part of the cultural redress for the 5000-strong tribe is land for housing.

“We've been able to secure nearly 100 acres for papakainga housing throughout the Ngati Apa rohe, so we see that as the opportunity to reestablish ourselves as Ngati Apa communities in those respective hapu areas,” Mr Turia says.

It could take another year to finalise the settlement.


Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa iwi Ngati Kahungunu has signed a deal which will see a Southland company catch, process and export all its crayfish quota for the next five years.

Harry Mikaere from the Kahungunu fisheries asset holding company says as part of the deal, the tribe has taken a shareholding in Fiordland Lobster.

He says it will get full market price for its catch, while managing the risk in the industry.

Fiordland Lobster already processes more than 450 tonnes of live crayfish a year.


Two Maori filmmakers have scored an invite to the presitigious Sundance laboratory for independent producers.

Libby Hakaraia from Whenua Films and Lara Norcroft, from Blue Bach Films leave for the United States at the end of next month.

Ms Hakaraia says as well as workshopping film ideas, the laboratory will give them valuable contacts within the film industry.

We're always talking about making films with other investors in terms of big big films that we can’t afford to make here, so we’re going up there with a kete full of ideas and who knows,” Ms Hakaraia says.

Other Maori filmmakers who have benefited from the Sundance experience include Taika Waititi, Ainsley Gardiner and Rhonda Kite.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Maori staff ousting not in strategy

Otago University has adoped a Maori strategic framework, at the same time it has lost two of its most high Maori profile staff.

Tania Ka'ai, the dean of Te Tumu School of Maori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, and John Moorfield, one of the leading experts on the Maori language, were stood down earlier this year and have accepted new positions at the Auckland University of Technology.

Otago chancellor Lindsay Brown says he won't comment on matters before the Employment Tribunal.

But he says the aims of the new framework include growing and developing Maori staff and students across the university.

“Te Tumu, which is the department of Maori and indigenous studies is only one element of the whole relationship with Maori. It’s a much wider relationship with Maori and for Maori that we are talking about in this strategy that we've released,” Mr Brown says,

The strategy also includes stronger partnerships with Ngai Tahu and other iwi, and developing research which contributes to Maori development.


A Ngati Apa claims negotiator says the hard work starts now securing the iwi's $14 million treaty settlement.

The 5000-strong iwi, which lies between Whanganui and Rangitikei, signed an agreement in principle with Treaty Negotiations Minister Mark Burton at Tini Waitara marae in Turakina this morning.

As well as $13 million of crown forest land, Ngati Apa has a right to buy the land under Ohakea air force base, Bulls police station, and the Turakina and Whangaehu schools.

Pahia Turia says while the final settlement will include a Crown apology for historical breaches of the treaty of Waitangi, the deal is about looking forward.

“This isn't about seeking justice for the injustices of the past. Really let this be seen as an opportunity to capitalise on this process and use it to springboard us into the future for us as Ngati Apa and being able to provide a sustainable future for our people and life's chances for our people,” Mr Turia says.

A unique feature of the settlement is the provision of about 100 hectares for papakainga housing.


A film about a five year old Maori girl coming to terms with school is in the running for best short in the New Zealand film awards.

Hawaiiki was directed by Mike Jonathon from a semi-autobiographical story by Tere Harrison.

Producer Libby Hakaraia says it has already won the Best Short Drama Award at Toronto's ImagineNative Film Festival.

It has been screened in Berlin, Finland, France, Russia, Taipei, and it's about to head to Mexico and Palm Springs.

“You know it's worlds away for where we filmed it which is where it is set which is Ngaio in Wellington, about a little tamahine, her relationship with her papa, her father, so yes it’s world’s away from all that being shown all around the world, but it is pretty exciting for all of us,” Ms Hakaraia says.

Hawaiiki will screen at the Corban Estate in Auckland tomorrow with other Maori short films, and it's getting a run on Sky and Maori Television later this month.


A south Auckland health promotions advisor says communities have the answers to their own community health problems.

Maria Rehu says health initiatives in Otara have succeeded because the community helped design and implement them.

Otara Health Incorporated asked the community to identify houses which needed insulation, and it tapped into the same networks to spread the message about the need to immunise against meningicoccal disease.

Well known community identities were also invited to be part of an adult exercise programme, in the hope they would influence others to join.

Ms Rehu says word of mouth is often more effective than media campaigns.
“It is about involving them right at the beginning of the plan, in that design, because it’s our own people in that community whether it be Maori or Pacific Island, it’s abut us in terms of Otara helping to balance that control, so getting theme involved in the decision making, in the planning, and moving us forward,” Ms Rehu says.

Otara Health Incorporated has shown there is no justification in claiming Maori and Pacific people are hard to reach for public health campaigns.


The Ministry of Culture and Heritage is looking for an owner for 10 centimetre greenstone adze.

The pounamu was found in May by a home-owner excavating a basement under a Timaru house.

Brodie Stubbs, the ministry's heritage operations manager, says while the finder can claim custody of the pounamu, ownership of such ancient taonga must be determined by the Maori land court.

“The Ministry can put in an application for the Land Court to award ownership but that would only be to someone who had a particular interest in it, so that takes us back to the local runanga,” Mr Stubbs says.

People who find taonga tuturu should contact the nearest museum, so the ministry can search for owners.


The next coach of the Kiwi rugby league team could be from Ngapuhi.

The position is vacant because incumbent Brian McClennan is taking his skills to British Super League club Leeds.

The New Zealand Rugby League team has enforced its residency rule, which says the Kiwi's coach must live in this country.

Former Kiwi international Tawera Nikau says there are some contenders, but he'd like to see his teammate and former Warriors' boss Tony Kemp from Nga Puhi in the top job.

“It's going to be a tough job trying to replace him. I know Graham Norton was part of the assistant crew and Tony Iro with the Kiwis last year were two guys in those coaching ranks. Tony Kemp, who resides here, would probably be our highest qualified coach in New Zealand,” Mr Nikau says.

McClennan's tenure was marred by a lack of communication with former coach and key administrator Graham Lowe.

Marae provides despite extreme weather

Despite being inundated with water, a Kaeo marae remains the centre of its community.

Hayley Kareko from Mangaiti Marae says Tuesday's flood in the Northland township left the wharehui and other buildings covered in 10 centimetres of mud and sludge.

But because power has been out in the valley, the kitchen has to stay opening.

“They have just a lot of water damage in the wharekai, the ceilings are leaking, and that’s our kai place at the moment because we’ve got gas cooking over there so that’s what we’re using to help supply and cook for the families around the marae,” Ms Kareko says.

Mangaiti Marae will need outside help to clean up.

Another Whangaroa marae, Karangahape near Towai, was also flooded out.

Its chairperson Roger King says the hapu is trying to raise funds to lift the buildings up, or rebuild them on higher ground.


A leading practitioner of Maori medicine is unimpressed with a government proposal for a voluntary register of traditional knowledge.

The idea is in a working paper on ways to manage pharmaceutical companies bio-prospecting, or looking for plants which could provide the basis for new drugs.

Rose Pere from Ngai Tuhoe and Ngati Kahungunu says rather than make things easier for the drug companies, the Government should be protecting Maori matauranga or knowledge from exploitation.

“Rongoa is here for the whole of humanity. It shouldn’t be privatised or taken under control by any government, and what they’re trying to do is take control of Maori rongoa, traditional healing, That’s where I stand up and speak straight out against the government,” Ms Pere says.

She says the Government hatched its bio-prospecting plan without properly consulting Maori.


The Water Safety Council says more accurate information is helping identify why a disproportionate number of Maori die by drowning.

Maori strategy manager Mark Haimona says the council's drowning database now identifies enthnicity.

He says that has revealed a higher proportion of Maori than Pakeha die during recreational situations, often during the gathering of kaimoana.

“A lot of the drawings that occurred were about diving, they were about diving in and around the water about zero to one kilometer off, and it’s by researching that that drown base and analysing statistics that we can kind of make better headway into where Maori drown, what they’re doing when they drown, the age group they are, the areas that they're in,” Mr Haimona says.

The Water Safety Council will use the information to develop targeted information campaigns.


Ngai Tahu has added another waka to its business.

Subsidiary Kaitereteri Kayaks has bought one of its competitors, Southern Exposure.

Both firms run trips along the coast of Nelson's Abel Tasman National Park.

John Thorburn from Ngai Tahu Tourism says Southern Exposure also has a water taxi business which complements another Ngai Tahu business, Abel Tasman Aqua Taxis.

He says the businesses should be merged and rebranded by summer.


A government plan for a register of traditional Maori knowledge has got the thumbs down from a leading expert in matuaranga Maori.

The idea is contained in a discussion paper on regulating bio-prospecting, which the government had developed in advance of the Waitangi Tribunal releasing its long awaited report on the Wai 262 indigenous fauna and flora claim.

It says such a register could help officials dealing with pharmaceutical companies looking for new plant-based drugs.

But Rose Pere says practitioners of rongoa Maori or traditional healing are unlikely to want to put their knowledge in such a database.

“And I'm sick and tired of government agencies tapping into our knowledge, tapping into our resources, simply because they use it to suit themselves,” Dr Pere says.


Northland rangatahi are starting to get behind a garden challenge.

Reuben Porter, who manages organic gardens for Maori trust in Ahipara, launched the challenge after hearing kaumatua lamenting the lack of opportunity for their young people.

He says many rangatahi lack direction, and, if they don't leave the district, may join gangs or get caught up in drugs and alcohol.

Mr Porter says horticulture can be lucrative, and rangatahi can learn valuable skills.

“This is just another avenue that we can utilise, pick our young people up, and give them a sense of price, learn again these skills not only of our tupuna mai rano but also the modern technology today so that we can utilise our resources,” Mr Porter says.

The garden challenge will be held over summer - the region's best growing season - using currently unworked Maori land.


A Mapua children's author says her use of Maori words and concepts gives her books a uniquely New Zealand flavour.

Melanie Drewery from Ngati Mahanga has taken an interest in some of the lesser known Maori monsters.

Her 14th book for tamariki, the Grumble Mumble Rumbler, is a pop up book featuring a cast of fearsome beasts.

They include the taniwha... the maero.. wild hairy people with long bony fingers and sharp tails...the taipo, a small goblin able to change shape ... and the nagarara, a legendary giant with bat wings, much like a dragon.

Ms Drewery started writing when her own children were at playcentre.

“I'm not a fluent speaker and I really wanted to introduce my children into their culture in an easy way, and doing I this way it’s not threatening, that people who in the past would have picked up a book and say ‘ No I’m not reading that stuff, it’s got Maori in it, would read it and learn by accident,” Ms Drewery says.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Floods engulf Kaeo marae

Marae around Kaeo are cleaning up today after the floods which devastated the small Northland settlement.

Charlie Kareko from Mangaiti Marae says the marae, which lies between two creeks, was inundated from first light to dark yesterday.

The whanau is today cleaning the mud and silt coating floors and walls.

The gas stoves in the marae's kitchen are also in use, because the power is still out for the homes around it.

Mr Kareko says the flood was the worst he has seen.

“Honestly it's heartbreaking and to see it the way that it is, my tupunas would be turning over in their grave,” Mr Kareko says.

He says the Far North District Council needs to put some resources into flood protection for the valley.


Metiria Turei has added her voice to a chorus of opposition from Maori MPs to the Australian Government's takeover of Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory.

The Maori Party's Hone Harawira made headlines on both sides of the Tasman for calling Australian PM a racist bastard for the policy, which will see the army used to back up initiatives aimed at stemming family violence and child sexual abuse.

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia has also said he doesn't support Howard's actions.

Now the Green's only Maori MP says while she is unhappy with the way Mr Harawira personalised the issue, he has highlighted a serious concern.

“Aboriginal people are being colonized all over again in an incredibly vicious way for the purpose of Howard getting votes,” Ms Turei says.

A poll yesterday in The Australian newspaper found 61 per cent of voters agree with Mr Howard's actions in the Northern Territory.


Contemporary Maori short films are on the programme at a Matariki event at the Corban Estate Arts Centre in West Auckland on Friday.

Organiser Andrea Tunks says the shorts include Robert George's Goodbye, Mike Jonathan's Hawaiiki, and The Speaker by Te Atatu resident Te Arepa Kahi, which has won awards in Russia, Germany and the Auckland and Wairoa Maori film festivals.

Ms Tunks says shorts often get a better response from audiences than longer Maori films.

“Because the short films are all a reflection of Maori experience, little snapshots you wouldn’t get otherwise and you don’t get in feature films, they’re very well received,” Ms Tunks says.

The event will also feature Guardians of the Mauri, an animated film made by Waitakere City Council and Te Kawerau a Maki Trust as a classroom resource about life in an urban stream.


Northland Maori communities spent today cleaning up after yesterday's storm.

Marae round Whangaroa Harbour were particularly hard hit, with floods inundating Mangaiti Marae at Kaeo and Karangahape Marae near Towai.

Roger Kingi, the chair of Karangahape, says the whanau spent the day pushing mud out of the whare hui, but it can't hose it down because there is no power to work the pumps.

He says it's a regular occurrence, but not because the marae was built in the wrong place.

“The biggest cause of our flooding is when they upgraded the road between us and Tauranga Bay, they lifted the road, we have this problem where the road creates a dam and there is not enough gaps under the bridge to allow the volume of water to escape. The water used to, when I was younger, flow over the road instead of being stopped by the road,” Mr Kingi says.

The marae plans to relocate or raise up the buildings over the next three years.


Ngati Tuwharetoa today started summing up its case for the return of the central North Island volcanoes.

The Waitangi Tribunal is at Ruapehu College in Ohakune hearing final submissions on the National Park claim.

Tuwharetoa spokesperson Paranapa Otimi says the iwi tried to bring the Crown into joint management or the mountains in the 1880s, but the Crown seized total control by claiming it had been gifted the area.

He says the iwi now wants to renegotiate that relationship.

“We're saying all development be removed form what is called the exclusion zone on the mountain, that any development planned on the mountain cease, we oppose the National Park management plan completed by the Department of Conservation, and that we call for the Crown to return to peaks to Ngati Tuwharetoa and the other tribes of the peaks,” Mr Otimi says.

The Crown has already conceded that it has never paid for some of its landholdings around the mountain.


The primary teachers union says more speakers and teacher of te reo Maori are needed in the school system to keep the language alive.

Laures Park, NZEI Te Riu Roa's Maori national secretary, says kura kaupapa and immersion classes in mainstream schools are struggling to attract staff.

She says kura kaupapa often miss out because mainstream schools can offer bigger pay packets.

Education Ministry figures show more than 4 percent of te reo teaching positions are vacant this year.

“The difficulty is finding someone to take the class and in most cases it is people who have limited reo but are willing to actually take the job on, which makes it doubly hard for them, and also very hard for the people in management at that particular school,” Ms Park says.

NZEI Te Riu Roa is working with the government on the issue.

Med students get extra tuition in Maori

Auckland University's year two medical, nursing and pharmacy students are giving up the first week of their holidays for a crash course in Maori health.

Papaarangi Reid, the medical school's tumuaki, says it's all part of creating a health workforce responsive to the needs of Maori and other cultures.

They're hearing from speakers about the Treaty of Waitangi and Maori history, and working through some case studies of Maori health issues.

Dr Reid says most of the students came through science streams, where they had little exposure to New Zealand history or Maori stories.

“And so have possibly taken on board some very misguided messages about underlying causes of Maori health, New Zealand history, the treaty, and various things which contribute to Maori health and so for them to understand before they see Maori patients and work in Maori communities,” Dr Reid says.

The students are also getting basic te reo lessons, so they can pronounce the names of their patients.


The manager of an Alice Springs Aboriginal media network says indigenous peoples worldwide are rising up at the way the Australian Government is treating communities in the Northern Territory.

Jim Remedio from CAAMA, the Central Australia Aboriginal Media Association, says the support coming from Maori like Hone Harawira is appreciated.

Mr Harawira, the MP for Tai Tokerau, has called Australian Prime Minister John Howard racist for sending in the army to enforce a campaign against alleged child abuse in Aboriginal settlements.

Mr Remedio says Mr Howard is using long standing social issues in those communities for election year politicking.

“The programmes that were being run out of the women’s centres to look precisely at these issues of family violence and abuse were cut by this government. They’re just not happening out in these communities now. This is duplicity now you see. After having cut the programmes, they’re coming back now and saying ‘we’re going to do something about this. And they’re using a military style operation to do that,” Mr Remedio says.

Maori will understand the Howard Government is mounting a grab for Aboriginal land under the guise of tackling social problems.


One of the country's most experienced dancers is celebrating an influx of Maori into the contemporary dance scene.

Taiaroa Royal has spent time with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Limbs and Black Grace.

He says in the past, there wasn't enough steady work to encourage rangatahi into contemporary dance.

That's changing as productions like Maui One Man Against the Gods have shown innovative dance theatre has international potential.

“We're lucky in that we have a lot of stories to tell, and with the intervention of contemporary dance and contemporary theatre, it makes it exciting for us to be able to tell our stories in a very innovative way in a medium that everyday people are starting to become more accustomed to, and that's the theatre,” Mr Royal says.


The future of the Tongariro National Park and the central North Island skifields could rest on a Waitangi Tribunal hearing this week.

The tribunal is in Ohakune hearing final summaries in the National Park claim.

Tuwharetoa, Ngati Hikairo, Ngati Rangi, Ngati Haua and other hapu are contesting the way their iconic mountains came into Crown ownership.

Tuwharetoa spokesperson Paranapa Otimi says the Crown has consistently misrepresented how it got the mountains from the iwi.

“The original intent was that it would be protected by 129 chiefs, and the Queen would be invited to come alongside of those 19 chiefs to protect our mountain peaks, our most sacred taonga, and that’s what we want recognised. We want the national park returned to the tribes of Tongariro,” he says.

Mr Otimi says Tuwharetoa wants all developments removed from the mountains, and it's opposing the Conservation Department's Nationap Park management scheme.


The head of a Maori school trustees group says schools should be more collaborative.

Richard Orzecki says too many schools try to offer all curriculum choices, rather than developing specialist areas.

That could involve students studying te reo and tikanga at a kura kaupapa, computing at the local high school and going to specialist education centres for other subjects.

He says schools are doing work, but too often their efforts are in isolation.

“We got a lot of education here but they’re all more or less siloed where they teach quite independently and we don’t think about sharing our teaching around. Now whether we can do that or no I don’t know, but it’s certainly within the realms of trusteeship to look at that as a future for our children,” Mr Orzecki says.


The head of Manukau City's Turehou Maori wardens is welcoming new resources for the movement.

Te Puni Kokiri has ordered uniforms, vans and and communications equipment for six regions where wardens are most active, and the police will provide training.

Merena Peka says the wardens have relied on the goodwill of members for too long.

“You know it's been a long long time coming. Our wardens out there on the street doing the mahi that they’ve done for years have struggled and have for many years pulled out of their own pockets to make the mahi that they do successful,” Ms Peka says.


The annual secondary school Stage Challenge is being credited with getting more rangatahi involved in dance and drama.

Taiaroa Royal, a professional dancer for almost 25 years, says is rehearsing a new dance work, Renu o te Ra, about young people's views on society's impact on the environment.

He says many of the cast got their first taste of the stage in their school's challenge teams.

“Huge influence, not only in performing but in choreographing as well and coming up with interesting ideas and things that are poignant to them really, so yes, Stage Challenge is really a huge influence on them,” Mr Royal says.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Horomia opposes Howard Territory raid

The Minister of Maori Affairs says he doesn't support the Australian Government's moves against Aboriginal communities.

But Parekura Horomia says there's no call to hurl personal insults across the ditch.

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira has called Australian Prime Minister John Howard a "racist bastard" for sending the army into Northern Territory communities, ostensibly to tackle problems of child abuse and alcoholism.
Mr Horomia says that comment is going too far.

“I do not support what Howard is doing but let’s have a policy debate about it, not just fling insults around. You know there’s a lot more damage done by doing that stuff to trade and whatever else, and we don’t know the detail,” Mr Horomia says.

He says Hone Harawira's outburst doesn't enhance the image of Maori overseas.


But a Ngati Raukawa man working for Australia's largest indigenous media network says the Taitokerau MP is winning fans in the Northern Territory with his attacks on the Australian PM.

Gerry Lyons is a broadcaster at CAAMA, the Central Australia Aboriginal Media Association in Alice Springs.

He says Aboriginals value international support, and Mr Harawira is voicing the thoughts of many of Australia's tangata whenua on the Howard government's heavy-handed policies.

“It is front news here as well, and yes the response has been one of pride that the brothers and sisters, the cuzzies from across the ditch are awhi-ing, supporting aboriginal values, Aboriginal ways, so it really has strengthened the connection between both tangata whenua,” Mr Lyons says.

Aboriginal people resent the lack of consultation before troops were sent in to their communities.


A Waikato marae justice advocate says convicted killer Bailey Junior Kurariki will need a lot of support if he is to integrate into the world outside prison.

The Parole Board will hear Kurariki's application later this week.

He's serving a seven year sentence for the manslaugher of pizza deliverer Michael Choy in 2001.

Kurariki was 12 at the time.

Aroha Terry says whether he gets parole or not, Kurariki will be released in September 2008.

She says it's likely any rehabilitation will have to happen outside the prison gates.

“I have my doubts that what he went in for, he’s been treated for, good intensive therapy to process him through what he done, because there’s several stages to that. I doubt the system has given him good treatment in there,” MsTerry says.

She says most young prisoners come out of jail worse than they went in because of the behaviours they learn inside.


Too many Maori are drowning while gathering seafood.

Water Safety New Zealand says two thirds of Maori who drowned last year were taking part in recreational activities like fishing or gathering seafood.

Only a quarter of Pakeha drownings were recreation-related.

Manager Matt Claridge says it's a long-standing problem.

“New Zealand has always had a reasonably high number of drawings with out fishing and kaimoana seafood gathering, and I think it’s with reasonable logic, if you look at our ethnic breakdown in New Zealand now with our Maori and Pacific peoples,” Mr Claridge says.

Water Safety intends to step up its education and awareness programmes.


The manager of Australia's largest indigenous media network says Aboriginal people are welcoming support from Maori.

Jim Remedio manages CAAMA, the central Australia Aboriginal Media Association broadcasting out of Alice Springs.

He says Maori MP Hone Harawira's attack on the Howard Government's military intervention into Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory is similar to what Aboriginals are saying.

He says support is coming in from around the world.

“In terms of support we’re getting form Maori, we’re getting support form all ethnic peoples in this country. People can see that this is just a straight out grab for land, and it’s also an attack on the indigenous people in the Northern Territory,” Mr Remedio says.


Gambling Helpline's new kaumatua says Maori need to help deal with problem gamblers in their whanau.

Mereana Peka from Ngati Hine has has been brought in to offer support in tikanga and te reo to the helpline's Maori service and client.

As a long time community worker and Maori warden in south Auckland, Mrs Peka has seen first hand the devastation caused by gambling addiction, when whanau are unable to pay bills and rely on foodbanks for survival.

She says a Maori response is needed.

“I'm not making excuses for people who gamble. I’m just saying it’s really hard top break the cycle, and I think that we also need to put our hand up and say we’re part of the problem and we should be part of the solution for this,” Ms Peka says.


The north has lost one of its leading orators and advocates.

Rewa Marsh died on Sunday aged 88.

Her tangi is being held at Tauwhara Marae in Waimate North, where she will be buried tomorrow beside her late husband Rangi.

Mrs Marsh was instrumental in setting up the Taumata Kaumatua o Ngapuhi, originally as a protest against the role Ngapuhi's then leaders played in the Maori fisheries settlement.

She also led protests against the building of the regional prison at Ngawha.

Ngapuhi kaumatua Andy Sarich says although Mrs Marsh came originally from Tainui, she was a fount of knowledge of Maori history, language and tikanga.

“She was a great orator. She was the equal of any man, in my opinion, I might be wrong, but I’ve known her for over 60 years so I say she was one of the best,” Mr Sarich says.

Rewa Marsh's death is a major loss for Ngapuhi.

Northern kuia Rewa Marsh dies

Taitokerau and Tainui are today mourning kuia Rewa Marsh, who died on Sunday.

Mrs Marsh was raised within the Kingitanga, but after her marriage into Ngapuhi became an important part of the cultural and social life of the north.

She was one of the leaders of the claim against the building of the Ngawha prison.

Her knowledge of tikanga Maori, history, whakapapa and language made her a welcome presence on marae in the rohe.

Mrs Marsh's tangi is Tauwhare Marae in Waimate North. The funeral will be held on Wednesday.

No reira e te pou kuia o Ngapuhi. Moe mai, moe mai, moe mai ra.


Maori want a fairer deal out of the rewrite of the Television New Zealand charter.

That's the feedback veteran breakfast host Henare Kingi of Wellington radio station Te Upoko o te Ika is getting from his listeners.

TVNZ has called for submissions on a redrafted charter, which will be fed into the government's five-yearly charter review process.

It is proposing to reiterate a commitment to provide entertaining and informative programming that reflects Maori interests, culture and language ... and to convey those interests to a wider New Zealand audience.

Mr Kingi says a lot of criticism of TVNZ stems from the cavaliar fashion it treats is daily te reo Maori news programme, Te Karere.

“It's fairness for our Maori programmes. They set times for our Maori programmes and yet they can change them as they like. And yet other programmes which is not worth looking at, they don’t change those sorts of programmes. They unfair because they can change it when they like, for tennis or any other games,” he says.

Mr Kingi says from the outside Television New Zealand seems to lack strong Maori leadership.


Two south Waikato hapu says their economic prospects are being sacrificed to Auckland's Power needs.

Willie Te Aho from Ngati Koroki and Ngati Kahukura says the hapu is not only opposing Transpower's proposed upgrade of its network from Whakamaru to Otahuhu, it also opposes the existing pylons.

That's because the wires run between their marae and their urupa.

He says the power pylons also limit the hapu's options.

“Future livelihood in the Maungatautari area is clearly around tourism, and we want to ensure that the intrinsic aesthetic beauty of our area round Karapiro, Maungatautari is maintained,” Mr Te Aho says.

The hapu could go back to the Waitangi Tribunal to oppose the new transmission route.


Gambling Helpline has appointed a kaumatua to help it improve its services to Maori.

She's Mereana Peka, who is well known in the South Auckland community for her work with the Maori Wardens, the police and as a kaumatua for Inland Revenue's Manukau office.

Krista Ferguson, the chief executive of Gambling Helpline, says Maori continue to be disproportionately represented among those presenting with gambling problems.

She says Ms Peka will bring a new level of expertise.

“We've got a Maori gambling helpline team who are Maori and provide by Maori for Maori support but we wanted to give them extra support around tikanga and te reo and to provide them with that sort of level of support so they can provide appropriate support for people coming forward for help,” Ms Ferguson says.


Forty Maori secondary school students from around the North Island are in Auckland this week to see whether they want to pursue careers in the medical sciences.

Papaarangi Reid, the tumuaki Maori at the Auckland University medical school, says it's the sixth year of the Whakapiki Ake project, which targets Maori senior students studying science.

She says too few Maori think of the health sciences as a career, and too many schools stream their Maori students out of science subjects.

“Forget Once Were Warriors, once were scientists. Everything about matariki, everything about navigation, everything about boat building, about horticulture, about food preservation, body preservation, that’s all science. Surfing a wave is science, you know that’s wave motion. We really have to forget the colonizing thought that science isn't for us,” Dr Reid says.

If students identified by the Whakapiki Ake programme want to pursue their interest, Auckland University can channel them into a foundation certificate in health sciences before they select professional courses like medicine or pharmacy.


The chief electoral officer says going on previous trends fewer the half of eligible Maori voters will cast their vote in this year's local body elections.

Murray Wicks says his staff are busy at hui, making contact with people who may have moved house, and who are not listed on the electoral roll.

He says the Maori enrolment rate is high, but turnout could improve.

“Enrolment is currently sitting around 95 percent. As far as participation itself is concerned, that varies from local council to local council and obviously from area to area, but it averages at around about 50 percent voter turn-out,” Mr Wicks says.


The head of the Gambling Helpline says research is needed to determine whether current programmes are helping address Maori gambling problems.

Krista Ferguson says the appointment of respected south Auckland woman Mereana Peka as the service's kaumatua is an important part of the development of its Maori strategy.

But she says it's hard to assess whether the specialist Maori team or the mainstream helpline if having an impact without a comprehensive research project.

“Well last year we had the highest proportion of Maori contacting our services for the past eight years. That might be good news in the sense that more people are coming forward for help, or it might be bad news in the sense that it shows again that Maori are really being affected by gambling harm,” Ms Ferguson says.

She says 70 percent of the Maori who contact the service say their problems stem from overspending on the pokies.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Transmission route shock for claimants

South Waikato Maori are considering going back to the Waitangi Tribunal over Transpower's proposed transmission network upgrade.

Transpower has been given the green light to build more pylons from Whakamaru to Otahuhu.

Lawyer Willie Te Aho says the route cuts through ancestral land of several hapu and iwi, including his own Ngati Moekino.

They, along with Ngati Haa from Whakamaru and Ngati Koroki and Ngati Kahukura from Maungatautari, have already received a finding from the Waitangi Tribunal that as a state owned ennterprise, Transpower must honour the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

“What the tribunal also said was, by all means go through the Electricity Commission process, go through the Resource Management Act process, because those are specialist forums, but if the issues relating to the treaty and the treaty relationship are not properly addressed, then by all means come back to us for urgency or for a full hearing,” Mr Te Aho says.


The sponsor of a bill to stop Maori Land Court judges serving on the Waitangi Tribunal is denying it is an attack on the judges.

Pita Paraone has come under fire from the Maori Party and from people familiar with the claim process for his Treaty of Waitangi (Removal of Conflict of Interest) Bill.

Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira says it's a bill he's expect from a bigot, a redneck, a racist, or an idiot rather than from one of his relatives.

Mr Paraone says that criticism hurts, as New Zealand First believes there is an inherent conflict of interest in the current situation.

“A lot of the claims are based on decisions made by the Maori Land Court representative of the Crown. People who are sitting on that jurisdiction now, sitting on the tribunal itself, sitting in judgment of those decisions that the Maori Land Court may have and have made in the past,” he says.

Mr Paraone denies the bill would adversely affect the quality of tribunal members.


Former MP John Tamihere says the age structure of the Maori population almost guarantees a low Maori turn-out in this year's local government elections.

The Electoral Commission is cleaning up the electoral rolls in advance of the poll, and commission staff were also visible at this weekend's Maori expo in Auckland trying to sign up voters.

Mr Tamihere, who now heads West Auckland social service provider Te Whanau o Waipareira, says it's likely to have little impact on voting.

“You got to watch our population skew, it’s still very young. Young populations are busy courting. They’re busy getting trade certificates or qualifications. They’re busy doing a whole bunch of other things. They don’t start to participate fully in politics until their mid thirties,” Mr Tamihere says.

Maori turn-out at the last Waitakere City Council elections was under 30 percent.


The MP for Waiariki says the government's intentions to use Maori money to settle central North island land claims is repugnant.

Te Ururoa Flavell says a refusal by the Court of Appeal to intervene in the proposed settlement with Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa is a major disappointment.

The Federation of Maori Authorities and the Maori Council are still weighing up an appeal, because they say the way the Crown intends to put 50,000 hectares of Kaingaroa Forest into the settlement package is a breach of a 1989 agreement on how forestry claims would be handled.

Mr Flavell says the government is putting the whole claim process at risk.

“They've broken that agreement and not only that, the Crown has legislated themselves into the riole of a confirmed beneficiary to those Crown forest lands, and therefore they get from that access to about $61 million in trust funds, so that’s the length and breadth of the amount of money they’ve taken out for themselves, and that money rightly should have gone in fact to claimants,” Mr Flavell says.

He can't see how the Government can lecture Fiji about democracy when it abuses this country's democratic processes.


The Electoral Commission has set up a website to encourage more rangatahi to get involved in the political process.

Chief electoral officer Murray Wicks says ivotenz.org.nz compliments the enrolment information packs being sent this week to all eligible voters.

He says the Maori population is relatively young and mobile, so many are likely to have moved since the last election.

They'll need to inform the commission of their current addresses to ensure their votes count.

Mr Wicks says many first time voters will have their say in this year's local body election, and his staff have been busy at hui and in secondary schools telling people of their rights.

“We've just finished, for the first six months of this year, running a campaign through schools talking about the right to vote and taking part in the democratic process and the need to be enrolled and keep your details up to date. We collected form that exercise about 21,000 new enrolments from young people,” Mr Wicks says.

Local body turnout on average is about 50 percent.


The Minister of Maori Affairs wants a repeat of the Atamira Maori expo as early as next year.

Parekura Horomia says the expo at the Auckland showgrounds, which finished yesterday, cost about half a million dollars to stage.

He says that was value for money, given that it attracted about 100 thousand people over the three days.

“This is reasonable cost for a huge Maori event. This would be one of the biggest Maori show events that we’ve had for many a year and if I have my idea we’ll do it again next year or sooner and we’ll model it around the country,” Mr Horomia says.

Te Puni Kokiri intends to stage a repeat in 2009.

Economic strength recognised

The head of the Ministry of Maori development says Maori are finally starting to take their rightful place in the New Zealand economy.

Thousands of Maori and non-Maori have packed Auckland’s ASB showgrounds this weekend for a celebration of Maori business, culture, and entertainment.

Leith Comer says the Atamira... Maori in the City event is a sign of how things have changed for Maori.

“You couldn't have an economic discussion anywhere in New Zealand without Maori being there by right. And that’s a significant change from people thinking we were a bit hard case to now people understanding how hugely important the Maori dimension to economic development is,” Mr Comer says.

There will be another Maori in the City expo in 2009.


The president of the School Trustees Association says trustees will take to heart a call for them to lift Maori achievement.

About 600 trustees met in Wellington for their annual conference, which ended on the weekend.

Lorraine Kerr says a highlight was a call by Massey University’s Professor of Maori Research and Development, Mason Durie, to move away from blaming anyone for student under-achievement.

Professor Durie urged delegates to instead use their power to look for solutions to problems.

Ms Kerr says it will be a challenge.

“It takes a little while for trustees to realise that they do have an obligation. It also takes them a little while to know that it’s not just abut the achieving kids, and often with a lone Maori on the board, that’s hard work,” Ms Kerr says.

While there were more Maori present than at previous conferences, many were the only Maori on their boards.


North Island Maori are moving in big numbers to Te Waipounamu.

That's the conclusion of Statistics New Zealand, based on a 13 percent increase between the 2001 and 2006 censuses.

Statistics iwi relationships manager Tamiti Olsen says one indication of the increase is the expansion of Maori business networks, which are playing a prominent role in the regional economy.

“Te Kupeka Umaka Maori ki Arai te Uru, the Southland Maori business network, they’re really onto it, over 100 people in that network, all Maori, all own their own businesses down there, employing Maori, a whole diverse range of businesses, so there’s certainly opportunities down there, and most of them are from the North Island,” he says.

Mr Olsen says Maori businesses should make more use of census data in planning their strategies.


This year’s Public Health Champion says Maori demands for cultural acknowledgement has led to improvements for other cultures within the health service.

Papaarangi Reid, the dean of Maori at Auckland University’s medical school, was given the award at last week’s Public Health Association conference.

In her 20-years as a researcher and teacher, she's seen major changes in the health system.

She started as debate was raging over the late Irihapeti Ramsden’s report on cultural safety.

Dr Reid says despite that report, the most dominant culture is still the medical culture.

“And that was acknowledging this monumental machine that you go in to when you become sick and it almost engulfs you and lies you nearly naked in a bed with people doing terrible things to you and so it becomes the dominant culture and our humanity is almost lost,” she says.

Dr Reid says Maori demands their culture be respected in the system made waves internationally.


Too many Maori allow oral health to fall down their priority list.

Margaret Rolleston from Rotorua public health organisation Tipu Ora says the state of people's teeth plays a significant role in their overall health.

Bad teeth mean people don't chew food properly, which can contributes to an expanding waistline that puts pressure on the heart.

She says it's hard to get the dentistry message out to Maori.

“Oral health is kind of at the bottom of the heap when they look at their budget for starters or when they’re considering what they might consider next in their wellness. It’s one of those areas that gets overlooked unfortunately,” Ms Rolleston says.

Having dental work done also lifts self esteem.


Organisers of Atamira - Maori in the City expo estimate up to 100,000 people passed through the Auckland showgrounds during the three day event.

It was jointly hosted by the Ministry of Maori Development and Ngati Whatua, to showcase Maori business, arts and entertainment.

Te Puni Kokiri Auckland manager, Pauline Kingi says the event looks like breaking even from stallholder fees and entries to Fridays Thrive Tangata Maori business forum.

She says stall-holders were well pleased.

“They are not only enthusiastic, they’ve done extraordinarily well, the stallholders. With the product sales and the volume of people going through means many of the stallholders have replaced their stock two or three times through the three days,” Ms Kingi says.

Te Puni Kokiri is keen to sponsor future such events.