Waatea News Update

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

My Photo
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, August 03, 2007

Geothermal rights confirmed

Central North Island claimants are celebrating a Waitangi Tribunal upholding of their rights to ownership of geothermal resources.

In its latest volume on the region released today, the tribunal says before the arrival of European settlers Maori held all natural resources under customary tenure, just as they did land.

It says the way the Crown took over ownership of natural resources often breached the treaty, and Maori were excluded from any meaningful role in decision-making.

Jim Hill from Wairakei, a member of the Tuwharetoa Hapu Forum, says it's an overdue recognition of the tribe's relationship with its geothermal fields.

“It's a significant piece of our taonga. It’s all about Ngateroirangi as far as we’re concerned here in Tuwharetoa. That’s who gave us our geothermal resources we have, and they’re to be finally recognised that they do belong to tangata whenua, mana whenua. I think it's great news,” Mr Hill says.

Tuwharetoa will be working with other iwi to develop a negotiation strategy on the report.


Maori businesses have some fresh ideas to work with as the result of this week's Rangatahi Business Competition.

Teams from 25 secondary schools reported back on a number of firms and offered development advice.

Rotorua Boys High, Wesley College, Hamilton Girls High and Te Puke High won the regional prizes.

Ngaria Rolleston from Te Puke High says the competition involved three months of work, including special wananga at Waikato University's School of Management.

She says it gave competitors a better appreciation of the challenges businesses face.

“Well it taught us a lot about how businesses actually run and putting what we’ve learned at school into practice in real life situations with businesses and stuff. Also gave us a lot more confidence in public speaking and presenting and stuff like that,” Ms Rolleston says.

Te Puke High's case study was Ataahua Cultural Tours, which takes people around Maori sites in the Tauranga region on scooters.


The contribution kaumatua make to Maori arts will be recognised at a special ceremony in Wellington tomorrow.

Haniko Te Kurapa, the organiser of Creative New Zealand's Te Waka Toi Awards, says seven awards and two scholarships will be given out.

He says the role of elders in maintaining and developing traditional arts is critical, and the awards recognised a wide range of disciplines.

“Lot of them are kaumatua who have worked long and hard within their areas, and because it’s an arts award they may have been doing oral arts, whaikorero or karanga on marae, so that’s recognized, they mught have been a visual artist or performer, an actress or actor,” Mr Te Kurapa says.

Kaumatua are selected from their marae or hapu based on their lifelong contribution.


A Maori backed mobile phone company is welcoming a draft recommendation from the Commerce Commission that mobile phone roaming charges should be set by regulation.

Telecommunications commissioner Ross Patterson turned down a voluntary plan from Vodafone on how competitors could use its networks, because it would not encourage new entrants into the market.

The commission also wants to change the rules to make it easier for competitors to co-locate their equipment on the same cell sites.

The changes should help New Zealand Communications, which is building a GSM mobile phone network using radio spectrum allocated to Maori.

Chairperson Bill Osborne says they're long overdue.

“The powers to be are seing there are very significant hurdles for a new entrant to come into the New Zealand market and in fact they’ve been there a long time and if they had not been so great a barrier, perhaps we’d have more competition and the benefits of that in New Zealand today. I’m sure it will have a beneficial impact when it comes to getting to launch time,” Mr Osborne says.

New Zealand Communications is lining up sites for cell towers and radio masts, but it makes sense to be able to use existing sites.


The role of Maori cultural advisers in film and television will come under scrutiny at a workshop in Auckland this weekend.

Brad Haami from industry group Nga Aho Whakaari says the hui will cover issues such as how to treat elderly Maori on set as performers or extras, and what pictures should hang in the whare if a tangi scene is being filmed.

He says advisors provide an invaluable service to the industry in ensuring tikanga and kawa are observed on set.

“The advisor's role is ot look at the whole production, and make sure when dealing with Maori people and Maori issues, the imagery and portrayal of Maori on film, including the reo, that everything is kind of kosher and it’s correct. Because too many times Maori people have been offended on sets, and with Maori people, especially in television and film, if you don’t get it right, you’re not going to be accepted into those areas again,” Mr Haami says.


A bout of homesickness led to a Ngati Whatua woman creating an evening of performances by and for Maori women.

Ukaipo will be held this Sunday at Wellington's San Francisco Bath House.

Among the performers are Karen Clarke, Rangitunoa Black & Marama Mete, Sista J and Puawai Cairns.

Promoter Mei Hill says it's a chance to celebrate wahine Maori through song, poetry and even comedy.

“I just need it for my hauora, my own well being. Being away from home, I’ve been in Wellington for a couple of years now and I haven’t experienced this, so I thought I wanted to see if I could make it happen and it's now happening,” Ms Hill says.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Burton rejects treaty tribunal warning

The Minister of Treaty Negotiations is attempting to shrug off a Waitangi Tribunal report slamming the proposed Te Arawa land settlement.

On Wednesday the tribunal recommended the settlement with Nga Kaihautu o Te Arawa should not proceed in its present form, because of the negative impact on overlapping claims.

It said the Crown played favourites and made the deal with inadequate information.

But Mark Burton says Nga Kaihautu went through a rigorous mandating process.

He says the Crown and the iwi had acted in good faith, and the Government will work to honour its commitments to Nga Kaihautu.

The second part of the Waitangi Tribunal report on central North Island claims, including those of Te Arawa, will be released today.

It focuses on rights to geothermal resources.


Once relationships are established, business follows.

That's the view of Maori Tourism Council chair John Barrett, who has just returned from 10 days in China promoting Maori tourism products.

He says the relationships formed by the delegation will be the basis for ongoing business with Chinese travel operators.

“I think we need to think strategically about how we leverage off this first exercise, but there’s business waiting to be done, there’s no question about that, and the feedback and the attendance at our seminars, people were keen to engage, no question about that,” Mr Barrett says.


The Minister of Maori Affairs says Maori prisoners will benefit from a new scheme which rewards good behaviour with study time.

Prison aid workers have raised doubts about the Prisoner Placement Scheme, because similar schemes into the past have been turned into opportunities to punish inmates rather than rehabilitate them.

But Parekura Horomia says too many prisoners are returned to society without skills.

“So we're trying to get people ready, so that when they get out, they’ve already got an entry into work. We’ve been doing it, but we’re just going to step it up, because it’s no good letting people out of prison if they’ve got nowhere to go, they've got no self worth,” he says.

Mr Horomia says the scheme should reduce reoffending.


A strategy for reviving the use of te reo Maori in the western Bay of Plenty over the next quarter century calls for Maori and Pakeha alike to make a commitment.

Author Reweti Te Mete says Te Whare Reo O Tauranga Moana was prepared in consultation with kaumatua, iwi, councils, marae and schools.

He says simple things like good pronunciation can make a difference.

“I have a Maori name and ever since I can remember, being in a non-Maori environment, non-Maori people have mispronounced that name. So if our children are going into these environments, and without a doubt they will, we want to be able to encourage our non-Maori peers to at least get our Maori names right,” Mr Te Mete says.

The strategy document is designed to help any individual or organisation who picks it up and wants to help.


John Key says direct intervention rather than advertising campaigns are needed to tackle child abuse.

The National Party leader says a proposed $14 million advertising campaign with urging a stop to domestic violence won't work.

He says people don't need a TV ad to tell them they're doing wrong.

“Physically abusing a child to the level that Nia Glassie was abused is not acceptable and they don’t need a TV ad to tell them to do that. So I think what we do need is to pick up that money and spend it in those communities in areas where we think there is greatest risk and really get literally on a one on basis I think and get in there and try and sort out some of those problems,” Mr Key says.

He says a young person dies at the hands of a parent or caregiver every five weeks.


There has been an unprecedented number of submissions on a proposal to restrict the numbers of poker machines in Manukau City.

Tristan Masame, the Problem Gambling Foundation's Maori health promotions advisor, says the 67-hundred submission show the community is concerned at the damage gambling is doing.

Gambling addiction is showing up in particularly vulnerable parts of the community, especially Maori and Pacific Island women.

She says the council needs to do more.

“The Manukau City Council is not using all the powers it has to protect Maori from gambling harm. The council should be taking every legal step it can to restrict the number of pokies and to lobby government to go into a high level for increased restriction on numbers,” Ms Masame says.

There is a lot of community support for what's called the sinking lid policy of reducing pokie numbers.


A research team based at Otago University wants to interview members of Kai Tahu whanau about how traditional knowledge is transmitted.

Tony Ballantyne from the university's history department says it's part of a multi-year project on the impact of colonisation on the deep south.

He says there is a huge amount of archive material on early encounters with sealers, whalers and missionaries up until the formation of the Otago settlement in 1848, so the researchers want to draw out some oral history on what Kai Tahu thought of their new neighbours.

Dr Ballantyne says while some customary knowledge may be too sensitive to be shared with outsiders, the team wants to know how groups maintain that knowledge.

“What we’re interested in learning from people is where did they learn whakapapa from, who taught them that, how was that done in what sort of social setting? Was it done in a marae? Was it done in wananga? Was it done in much more informal social settings? Was the transmission from parents to children or grandparents to mokopuna, how did that work,” Dr Ballantyne says.

The research will go into academic papers, reports for the six Kai Tahu runaka in the area and into a couple of books due for publication before 2011.

Screening could work if sensitive

A Bay of Plenty health worker says screening patients for signs of family violence can be done sensitively.

There has been a concern expressed that a new Health Ministry plan to get hospitals to question all women patients could discourage Maori women in abusive situations from seeking treatment.

But Raewyn Lucas says the Bay of Plenty District Health Board has successfully piloted a family violence scheme.

She says any questions need to be asked sensitively in a private, non-threatening situation.

The DHB is already training emergency department, Maori health and social work teams in the new violence intervention strategy.

“The Maori health team will be in a position to support any woman who discloses or who requests additional support from their workers, and that may be to enable them to access a service,” Ms Lucas says.

Women can be referred to community violence prevention programmes or Women's Refuge.


Pita Sharples is endorsing a call for the return of Maori welfare officers.

The Maori Party co-leader says the welfare officers, who used to work for the old Department of Maori Affairs, were an important part of community life in the 1960s and 70s.

He says such people could play a role today in tackling domestic violence and child abuse.

“You see the welfare officer was someone we loved to hate. That means it was our own uncles, they came into our homes, they bossed us around, but nicely, sort of family wise, and they were doing profiles of where we were, where the kids were, and they could get into the homes,” Dr Sharples says.

He says the getting rid of the old department or Tari Maori was an act of colossal stupidity by the fourth Labour Government.


The presenter of Maori Television's Code is crediting a marae style format for the show's success.

Code was judged best sports programme at the Air New Zealand Screen Awards last night, with the judges commenting on its humour and feel good factor.

Tawera Nikau says a lot of that comes down to the people behind the scenes infusing a Maori flavour and relaxing the manuhiri.

“The directing and the producing, we’ve got really talented people on Maori Television, Te Arahi Maipi, Kiri Wharepouri, Te Kauhoe Wano, Bailey Mackie. It’s a bit like the marae, everything good out the back, then the front should be sweet, so it’s pretty awesome to have all those guys behind the scenes doing all the hard work,” Mr Nikau says.

Other winners include Television New Zealand's Waka Huia for best Maori language programme and Maori Television and Screentime's Anzac Day coverage for best event broadcast.


The Fisheries Ministry is being criticised for not doing enough to stop excessive taking of kaimoana from a popular Wellington fishing spot.

The Ministry has imposed a two-year rahui over the coast from Pukerua Bay to Paekakariki at the request of Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira.

Runanga spokesperson Miria Pomare says stocks of paua and kina recovered during an earlier four-year ban, but were cleaned out after it expired last December.

She says Ngati Toa could see people taking undersized shellfish, but couldn't get enforcement officers to act in a timely fashion.

“The Ministry of Fisheries were alerted regularly to people being in the area and as I understand it Fisheries were out there on the coast trying to monitor the Pukerua area as well as they could but it wasn’t enough. Before the fisheries really acted I think, most of the damage had already been done,” Ms Pomare says.

Toa Rangatira will push for some other form of customary management after the two year rahui ends.


The Scout Association wants more Maori to join.

The movement is celebrating 100 years in New Zealand, where national programme manager Tony Hickmore says it has almost 13,000 members.

But he says that includes fewer Maori than it would like.

The association is talking with the Minister of Youth Affairs, Nanaia Mahuta, and Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples, himself a former scout, on ways of encouraging more Maori rangatahi to join.

"We've always had a relatively strong Maori involvement in scouting. We have good Maori leaders and a number of Maori groups. We would like to see more Maori children because you could say it’s not quite representative of the number of Maori kids,” Mr Hickmore says.

Scouting started in this country only about a year after Lord Baden-Powell first kicked off the movement in southern England.


Maori storytelling traditions were to the fore last night at the Taranaki international Festival of the Arts.

It was the opening of Strange Resting Places, a play about the 28 Maori Battalion which is delivered in a mix of te reo Maori, Italian and English.

Writers Rob Mokaraka from Hokianga and Paolo Rotondo from Italy collated dozens of stories from men who served with the battalion.

Mr Mokaraka says five featured in last nights performance.

“We've made it quite versatile so we can take it to marae. Last night we opened at Muru Raupatu Marae here in Taranaki, which was the perfect place for us, because when you see all the photos up on the wall in the wharenui, we just go ‘Well, this is about our ancestors and who better to have the people come than have our ancestors watching us, tell some of their stories,” Mr Mokaraka says.

The pair hope to take the play on a nationwide tour early next year.

Tribunal CNI hui plan endorsed

A Kaingaroa claimant is endorsing a Waitangi Tribunal call for the division of Central North Island forestry assets be left up to the region's iwi.

In a report released yesterday, the tribunal said the Crown should put on hold a settlement with Nga Kaihautu o Te Arawa, because it does not take into account the interests of competing claimants.

Maanu Paul from Ngai Moewhare says the Crown acted outside the law and tried to cut corners for favoured claimants.

He says the tribunal's recommendation of an all parties hui to come up with principles for allocation of Crown forest licence land is in keeping with tikanga or custom.

“That's based on mana whenua which says you don’t declare your boundaries, it’s the hapu around you who says yes, those are the boundaries belonging to that hapu and that’s the Maori way of defining your tangata whenua status of your land,” Mr Paul says.

Ngati Manawa has called a hui of Central North Island iwi at Kaingaroa Village on Sunday to discuss the next step.


The head of the Manukau Urban Maori Authority says Maori service providers need to work closer together to curb domestic violence.

June Jackson says Maori organisations have neglected opportunities to work together.

Doing so would make more skills and experience available to address the problems facing Maori communities.

“We've got a lot of Maori providers out there, but sometimes I think they all protect their patch, and they don’t kind of share out their resources. I’m not talking about money. I’m talking about their knowledge base, to be inclusive so that we’re all working in with each other. We don't do that,” Mrs Jackson says.

She says drug and alcohol problems lie behind a lot of the violence and child abuse, and those issues need to be tackled up front.


Supporters of Te Kotahitangi are preparing to celebrate the 90th birthday of the movement's enigmatic founder.

Organiser Ruben Collier says more than 5000 of Alexander Phillips' followers are expected at Manu Ariki Marae near Taumarunui this weekend.

Mr Phillips established Te Kotahitanga Building Society in 1961.

He's revered as a faith healer and prophet by his followers.

Mr Collier says Mr Phillips is expected to deliver a special spiritual message.

“I think this will be very close to the climax of his life, to have everybody together at one time coming from all parts of the world. It’ll be something of a special nature,” he says.

Mr Collier says Alex Phillips has an international reputation and following. He's also acknowledged by this country, being made a Commander of the British Empire in 1995 for services to Maori.


Young Maori are more likely to miss school because they feel unsafe.

That's one of the findings of a survey of the health and wellbeing of secondary school students.

Judi Clements from the Mental Health Foundation says the survey paints an alarming picture of New Zealand life.

She says there is a correlation between exposure to violence and depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

It also leads to increased rates of problem behaviour, substance misuse and relationship problems.

“Exposure to violence for young people is associated with problems that can start and continue through life about their mental health and wellbeing and their behaviour and that we need to be vigilant in all the agencies that young people come into contact with,” Ms Clements says.

As well as skipping school, Maori are excluded from schools at an unacceptably high rate.


National MP Tau Henare says Maori could learn from the Irish on how to tackle deep-rooted social problems.

National's Maori affairs co-spokesperson says the furore over child abuse affects Maori because of where they are in the social and economic ladder.

He says other communities have faced similar problems in the past, and education and jobs are the key to turning things around.

“I look at the Irish and they were in the same boat – appalling statistics, appalling educational standards, and really the only way to get out of the cycle of abuse is actually to make sure that mum and dad have got jobs and that they’ve got food on the table are the kids are happy and getting educated, because if you get those basics right, there’s no reason why any of those kids should be abused,” Mr Henare says.


New Zealanders are in danger of becoming complacent about the preservation of te reo Maori.

That's the warning from Massey University Maori language head Tai Black on the 20th anniversary of the Maori Language Act.

Professor Black says language revitalisation has focused on the education sector, but its long-term survival requires te reo Maori to be sustained from within the whanau.

He wants to see more non-Maori speaking the language.

“Not only is Maori responsible for te reo Maori but non-Maori has a responsibility as well to formulate a concept of a bilingual, bicultural, multilingual society,” Professor Black says.


Maori tourism operators in the Hokianga are celebrating the announcement of a regular bus service to the Bay of Islands.

Koro Carmen, who runs the award winning Footprints over Waipoua, says it connects the region with the north's accommodation hub.

He says operators in Rawene, Opononi and Omapere have suffered by being off the well worn tourist trail.

“Our objective is to ensure that Hokianga becomes a managed destination and helps create us some opportunities because we’ve lacked that in the past but now things are starting to happen and the latest memorandum of understanding with Inter City Group is icing on the cake,” Mr Carmen says.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Arawa settlement defended from tribunal slam

The Waitangi Tribunal got it wrong.

That's the response from Nga Kaihautu o Te Arawa to a recommendation its settlement be delayed while overlapping claims are dealt with.

The Waitangi Tribunal says it has grave concerns about the impact of the settlement on other iwi and on the durability of future central North Island settlements.

The group, which represents about half of Te Arawa, will get 51,000 hectares of Kaingaroa Forest land valued at about $85 million.

Chief negotiator Eru George says Nga Kaihautu and the Office of Treaty Settlements gave overlapping iwi the chance to be involved.

“Everyone that had been able to put their case to this recent tribunal all had the same opportunity that we did, and that was to go into a comprehensive settlement with the Crown forest lands as the jewel in the crown. Those who decided to withdraw did so at their own choice,” Mr George says.

Nga Kaihautu, or Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa as it is now known, is keen to work with other groups to resolve their concerns.


Refuge workers are warning a culture of fear among abused women and a lack of funding for follow up work could stymie plans for public hospitals to screen all women for domestic violence.

Shane Wilson, from the Maori development unit of the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges, says the scheme could lead to abused women staying away from hospital.

He says women experiencing family violence often will not talk to strangers.

“They would rather talk to someone they know, so when approaching a place like a hospital and you come across a stranger who is actually questioning you, it comes across partially like interrogation, so we believe that may create a bit of fear,” Mr Wilson says.

He says Women's Refuge doesn't have the money to cover the extra services it believes will come out of the screening programme.


Maori students from 25 secondary schools are gearing up to prove who was the best business nous.

Organiser Duke Boon says the rangatahi business competition at Hamilton's Founder's Theatre tonight and tomorrow is designed to open the young people's eyes to new possibilities.

The students have been working in teams over the past three months to develop case studies of Maori busineses and plans for new ventures.

He says the event, which is the brainchild of Waikato University's School of
Management Studies, has captured the imagination of a people in transition.

“Not too long ago we were the generation of meat factory workers, whereas now things are looking a lot brighter for us, we’re developing ourselves through education and it’s one of the key messages this competition promotes,” Mr Boon says.

The teams are competing for regional prizes of $2,500.


One of the claimants for Kaingaroa Forest lands says the Crown's policy of picking favourites to negotiate with has come unstuck.

The Waitangi Tribunal has recommended the Government delay its $85 million settlement with Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa until all central North Island iwi have determined how forestry assets in the region should be allocated.

Maanu Paul from Ngai Moewhare, a Ngati Manawa hapu based deep in the forest, says the tribunal recognised the proposed settlement was not durable.

He says the Crown excluded legitimate claimant groups and adopted a policy of favouritism.

“It would negotiate and settle with those who would settle in the way the Crown wanted to settle, and that was contrary to the Crown Forest Assets Act and that’s why the tribunal was highly critical of the Office of Treaty Settlements because it did not provide a rigorous process so there was no doubt in anyone’s mind as to who owned the land,” Mr Paul says.

Ngai Moewhare has called a hui this weekend at Kaingaroa Village for central North Island iwi to try to find a way forward.


An advocate for Maori prisoners is disappointed at the lack of consultation on a new rehabilitation scheme.

The Prison Placement System will reward inmates for good behaviour by offering them time to study or learn new skills.

Kim Workman from Prison Fellowship says the scheme was sprung on the sector in a press release from Corrections Minister Damian O'Connor.

He says groups like Prison Fellowship and the Salvation Army with histories of working with inmates could have provided valuable input.

“Stakeholders right across the board, whatever their position is, should have had to opportunity to comment. Now I might be wrong, this might be a very minor programme which is opart of an operational process, but looking at the press release, that doesn’t seem to be the case,” Mr Workman says.

Similar schemes have failed in the past because prison officers use withdrawal of study privileges as a way to punish prisoners.


Contractors working on a bus lane on Auckland's North Shore have uncovered a large shell midden.

Work on that part of the project is delayed while archaeologists assess the find, which was under the roots of a large pohutukawa tree on Esmonde Road.

Gary Thompson from Ngati Paoa says iwi did not ask for the delay, but they do expect to be notified when such habitation sites are found.

“It just records for us the footsteps of our tupuna, and North Shore City Council and iwi have developed a set of protocols when these sites are found and in this instance the developer stopped work straight away and we were contacted and took our kaumatua and other iwi down to the site and we had our service,” Mr Thompson says.

Dream of violence free family

Women's Refuge says programmes to stop child abuse need to start before children are born.

Heather Henare from the National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges says abuse isn't just a Maori problem, but Maori cases always seem the most highly publicised.

She says Refuge has started working with iwi on strategies which will give Maori families a vision of a future without violence.

“How do we want our families to be. What’s our dream. And how do we keep our families safe within that dream. So how do we get families taking responsibilities for violence with their whanau before children are born, before young people decide to have relationships, before kids go out in the community there. I mean how are we defining how out whanau looks in the future,” Ms Henare says.

A plan to have public hospitals screen women and children for domestic violence has significant pitfalls, and could drive women underground and away from treatment.


Prison officers will be the key to the success of a new prisoner placement scheme.

That's the view reaction of Prison Fellowship head Kim Workman to the idea of rewarding prisoners for good behaviour, by giving them more time to study or learn skills.

The Minister of Corrections says the scheme will enhance prisoners' rehabilitation.

Mr Workman says similar schemes have been tried in the past and failed.

That's because prison staff turn them into punishment regimes by withholding privileges.

“It relies on the maturity and experience and c commitment of prison officers who have values that are directed towards rehabilitation and changing prisoners. If they have values that are directed towards punishing people, then the system can very well and very easily work in reverse,” Mr Workman says.


A rahui banning the taking of kaimonana from the reefs between Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay has been reimposed after the resource was hammered over summer.

Miria Pomare from Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira says the iwi wanted the previous rahui rolled over when it expired in December, but the Fisheries Ministry didn't process the paperwork in time.

That led to an onslaught over the summer months, with many people taking away large numbers of under-sized paua.

She says the iwi was disappointed with the ministry's lack of enforcement, but it is pleased that the rahui achieved its aim of rebuilding stocks.

“We've seen what benefits can actually occur over a four year period of abstinence and that’s been really encouraging, so we know the stocks can regenerate pretty quickly, but of course it’s pretty gut wrenching to have to start all over again,” Ms Pomare says.

By the time the current two-year rahui expires, Ngati Toa Rangatira hope to have in place longer term management such a mataitai reserve.


A Maori social scientist says Maori must be wary of attempts to take away their rights during the current furore on child abuse.

Psychologist Fiona Te Momo says some commentators are turning concern over two appalling child abuse cases in Rotorua into an attack on maori communities.

She says the call by Wanganui mayor Michael Laws for profiling of possible abusers, is a dangerous path.

“When you start to profile and say ‘ok if you’re Maori, you have a child, and you have drug problems,’ he made that profile up and then he said ‘we can go and take your children off you,’ and that’s where we as a community need to start being concerned as how what’s said nationally can start to alter and have a big impact on our own communities,” Dr Te Momo says.

Government agencies should avoid getting caught up in an environment of fear and anger when they address social issues.


Local Government New Zealand is being challenged for lacking commitment to Maori representation.

Atareta Poananga, who is seeking her fourth term on Gisborne District Council, says the association scrapped its Maori councilors' forum, Nga Mata Kokiri.

The forum provided support for the small number of Maori councilors, and it also tried to find ways to encourage Maori to vote and to stand for office.

She says the loss will be felt in this year's elections.

“If we had an active, elected Maori group that was out there trying to promote local government for Maori, then I think we’d have far more people getting elected and far more people having their say and changing things for Maori wherever they might live,” Ms Poananga says.

She says there is considerable resistance in the local government sector to Maori having more say.


A last minute plea from Maori to nominate their sports coaches for Volunteer Coach of the Year.

Russel Preston from the Counties Manukau Sports Trust says nominations close today, and he'd like to see more Maori coaches up for the Watties-backed awards.

He says they're a chance to say thanks to people who unselfishly devote their time to their sports, who're usually not the type to put their names forward themselves.

“You can't put a price on that for the community, and for those volunteers, most of them are very humble and particularly with Maori people, when you talk to them they just go ‘oh no shucks I’m just doing it for my whanau or for my cousin or my son or whatever,’ so I would certainly encourage them to put their names forward,” Mr Preston says.

There are awards for student coach, newcomer, general and lifetime achievement.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Public Works Act bill drawn from ballot

A bill putting pressure on the Crown to return surplus land to Maori is being welcomed by groups fighting historic loss of their properties.

The members bill sponsored by Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell has emerged from the ballot.

It would give Maori owners or their descendants first option on land taken for crown purposes but no longer needed.

Peter Love, the spokesperson for a group challenging the sale of Paraparaumu Airport, says that's a case of the Public Works Act being abused.

He says it will keep the pressure on what has been a long-standing source of grievances.

“So it's very exciting really for Maori because this is now parliamentary bill number two which has direct bearing on the former Maori ownership of the Paraparaumu Airport,” Mr Love says.

Labour MP Darren Hughes' bill to ensure Paraparaumu Airport remains in operation is now before a select committee.


The Maori Council is backing Pita Sharples' call for Maori to take responsibility for the problems of child abuse.

Sir Graham Latimer says the Maori Council, along with the Maori Women's Welfare League, has the structures and legislation allowing Maori communities to tackle the issue.

But he says government has refused to resource the council properly, and the system of Maori welfare officers which used to work with problem families was done away with in the 1970s.

“From that day to this I’ve asked every Prime Minister, can you reinstate the welfare officers. You need people that are committed to doing the job and with their own people so they can at least be with them,” Sir Graham says.

He says welfare officer were more effective than today's social workers because they were closer to the community.


Maori Television is aiming for even more te reo Maori content.

The service is launching a second te reo Maori only channel next year on the Freeview digital platform.

But chief executive Jim Mather says that isn't enough.

He says if the service is to meet the needs of its core audience of fluent Maori speakers and learners, it needs more reo on its existing channel.

“At the moment it’s round 55 percent. We think that’s slightly low. We’d like to incrementally increase it up to about 60 percent. As well as preaching to a broad audience, we want to make sure we don’t overlook the core viewers of Maori Television, ie the fluent speakers,” Mr Mather says.

He says the channel's research indicates its current mix of reo, bilingual and English language programming is the right mix for a broad viewing audience, but Maori language is the primary reason for its existence.


A Gisborne District Councilor says her fellow councilors aren't interested in getting Maori more involved in the political process.

A Massey University research report has found councils have a poor record of reaching out to Maori communities, and most lack the skills to communicate with Maori.

Atareta Poananga says that's how too many of her fellow councilors like it.

She says it's a way of keeping political power away from Maori at the local level.

“For a long long time Pakeha councilors have called the shots no matter where they might live, and it’s the same even in Gisborne where the majority of councilors are quite ignorant of Maori issues and a not really interested in listening about them either,” Ms Ponanaga says.

She says few councils understand the impact of their decisions on Maori.


A Maori lawyer says Maori need to plan for an explosion in the number of people needed for governance and management positions.

David Tapsell, who helped negotiate the Te Arawa Lakes settlement, says treaty settlements have changed the face of Maori organisations over the past two decades.

He says in a relatively short time Maori are being required to find a large number of trustees and directors.

“I'm making an assessment with my colleagues. Where are all these pole going to come from. Because even if you look at the Fisheries Act itself, if you tally up how many mandated iwi authorities there must be and then fishing companies, we’re looking at essentially hundreds and hundreds of governors that we are going to have to start to produce,” Mr Tapsell says.

Iwi need to start looking seriously at succession planning, so the load doesn't fall on a few people.


A Northland couple has taken on starring roles in short films for the deaf.

Ivan Tamepo, who is originally from Ngati Porou, plays in Retro Deaf Kiwis, while his wife Hilda won a best actress award her role in Goodbye Buzzy.

They're among the 15 films produced for this year's Deaf Short Film Competition, which were directed, produced or acted in by deaf people to raise awareness of the deaf community and sign language.

Catherine Bagley, who's organising a Deaf Short Film Festival in Whangarei next month, says the Tamepos are naturals.

“Ivan is a local deaf Mori kaumatua here in Northland who travels around doing powhiris and things like that around the country. He hasn’t had any acting training, and he was pretty lifelike, just natural, totally natural,” Ms Bagley says.

FOMA, Maori Council seek leave to appeal

The Federation of Maori Authorities and the Maori Council are off to the Supreme Court to challenge a Court of Appeal judgment that there is no special relationship between Maori and the Crown.

The two national Maori organisations and Ngati Tuwharetoa want to stop the Crown taking ownership of a third of Kaingaroa Forest and turning it over to a Te Arawa group to settle land claims.

Paul Morgan, the federation's executive vice chair, says appeal papers were lodged yesterday.

He says the proposed Te Arawa settlement ignores the Crown's duty to act in good faith towards Maori.

It's also in breach of a 1989 settlement which set up the Crown Forestry Rental Trust to manage the forestry claim process.

“Our position is it's a contract and on that basis, the fact that it’s an Act and a trust deed, we believe that’s enforceable and we’re seeking leave on those grounds,” Mr Morgan says.

The Waitangi Tribunal will tomorrow release a report which is expected to be critical of the proposed forestry settlement.


A major Maori asset is getting a $6 million upgrade.

The Copthorne Bay of Island Resort Hotel at Waitangi, which is 51 percent owned by the Tai Tokerau Maori Trust Board, is getting another 35 rooms.

BK Chiu, the managing director of Tai Tokerau's joint venture partner, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels New Zealand, says it will take the total number of rooms and suites to 180.

He says it will allow the hotel to keep up with increased demand from tourists, conferences and domestic travelers.

“We'll be building on top of one of the current wings. Most of these will have the views. The key is to blend in with the environment, so you find the construction is all in a very traditional timber frame. In fact we are building a big traditional New Zealand house, in line with the environment and the architecture,” Mr Chiu says.

The joint venture is also making a large donation to the upgrade and upkeep of the neighbouring Waitangi National Trust visitor centre.


A veteran rugby commentator says there could be a challenge getting more Maori into the All Blacks.

The World Cup squad is light three Maori, with Piri Weepu, Rico Gear and Troy Flavell being denied tickets to France.

Keith Quinn says that still leaves Leon McDonald, Luke McAllistair and Carl Hayman, who he rates as one of the best props in the world.

He says Maori have been such an important part of All Black rugby, ways must be found to encourage a new crop of talent.

“We only have to look at the personalities who have come out and been fantastic parts of All Black rugby in history like George Nepia, like Sid Going, like Buck Shelford, Waka, Hika, Tane. There’s no question about the contribution, but the challenge perhaps now is to work harder, to get it back to where it is out of a team of 30, there are six or seven or eight or nine of Maori background who are in the team,” Mr Quinn says.


The Government's settlement of Rotorua land claims faces a double challenge.

Tomorrow the Waitangi Tribunal releases its report into the use of Crown forest assets in the settlement with Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa.

Other Te Arawa hapu, neighbouring iwi and national Maori organisations challenged the inclusion of a third of Kaingaroa Forest in the deal.

And the Federation of Maori Authorities, the Maori Council and Ngati Tuwharetoa yesterday asked the Supreme Court to overturn an Appeal Court decision that the courts could not interfere with the government's plans.

FOMA spokesperson Paul Morgan says the Court of Appeal tore up an earlier judgment that the Crown must protect the interests of Maori.

“They've said that it’s not effectively applicable in New Zealand law in the New Zealand law of equity. We’re arguing that that’s an inappropriate decision, and that there is a fiduciary duty under the Treaty of Waitangi, and they have a duty of care responsibility, an obligation to act in good faith on those matters,” Mr Morgan says.


Maori legal issues are on the table elsewhere today.

Some of the top lawyers working in treaty claims, resource management, Maori land and fisheries are sharing their insights and experiences at the sixth Maori Legal Forum at the Wellington Town Hall.

Conference chair Russell Karu says the forum has become a valuable place for people to catch up on highly specialised areas of the law.

“It's a chance to get together and discuss these issues and to actually be able to deliver some key messages on some of the key areas that Maori organisations, the complex areas that Maori organisations are dealing with at this moment,” Mr Karu says.


Auckland District Health Board's tikanga Maori advisor says some for the blame for an upsurge in violence against children should be laid with Crown agencies.

Naida Glavish says when cases of child abuse involving Maori whanau hit the headlines, all Maori take a hit.

She says Maori must shoulder much of the responsibility, but are not alone.

“In the prisons, who heads the top of that? Who heads Corrections? Who heads everything really, where Maori are involved? Certainly Maori are not at the top making those decisions,” Ms Glavish says.

Crown agencies need to communicate with each other and with Maori community groups when dealing with dysfunctional whanau.


The All Blacks will regret leaving Troy Flavell at home.

Thats's the prediction of sports commentator Ken Laban.

He says the three Maori players dropped from the World Cup squad ... Flavell, Rico Gear and Piri Weepu ... have an imposing physical presence.

He says the big lock knows how to make his mark at top level.

“Big, aggressive, he’s a brute, never takes a backward step. Look at the turn around of the Blues from 2006 to 2007. The question is, who’s had the biggest impact over that turn around,” Mr Laban says

Monday, July 30, 2007

Kiro warns on abuse punishment

The Children's Commissioner says that taking a big stick to whanau who abuse their tamariki won't solve the problem.

The Sensible Sentencing Trust is calling for tougher penalties for perpetrators, in the wake of two separate child abuse cases in Rotorua which involved Maori.

But Cindy Kiro says the trust lost its credibility when it opposed legislation which tries to stop children being assaulted in their homes.

She says whanau still aren't facing up to their responsibilities.

“The recent two cases of babies that had been tortured just shows how possible it is for whanau to actually tolerate levels of behaviour in its members that are simply not acceptable. People within those family networks that see that need to act on it and also we need to recognise that at some point, somebody has to intervene,” Dr Kiro says.


Older Maori smokers are getting support to give up from a new online community.

Maori services advisor John Royal says more than 20 percent of Quitline's Online Quit forum are Maori.

The oldest is 65, the youngest 16.

“You get some older Maori who may be a bit shy to use it and there are other older Maori who are quite happy to be on the Internet and see it as a whole new world and pick up the challenge and that’s what seems to be reflected. I mean it’s not great numbers but what we’re enthused about is the older Maori are using this way of communicating,” Mr Royal says.

The forum allows smokers to share quitting stories and advice with each other.


Government agencies want to hear a wide range of Maori views on bioprospecting, intellectual property and biodiversity.

Te Puni Kokiri and the ministries of Economic Development and Foreign Affairs and Trade are holding a series of hui on the way Maori use of plants for medicinal purposes and whether protection is needed to protect that knowledge against commercial exploitation.

Consultant Willie Te Aho says the hui are not just for academics and science professionals.

“This is also for our people that are involved in whakairo, ta moko, visual arts, performing arts, and even our reo. A lot of wine companies in particular are branding their products by using our reo,” Mr Te Aho says.

The next hui is in Wellington tomorrow.


Two Rotorua carvers have made the leap from artists to writers.

Todd Couper and Roi Toia are waiting to see whether Kahui Whetu: Contemporary Maori Art - a Carvers Perspective wins them a prize at tonight's Montana Book Awards.

Mr Couper, from Rongomaiwahine and Ngati Kahungunu, says they tried to put wrap their 35 years of collective experience into the pages.

“When we found out we were nominated, we thought that was a big thrill for us, not realising it would go any further. When we found out we were finalists, we were quite excited about it. It is a big deal for us, because really, we’re sort of artists before we're writers,” Mr Couper says.

The pair intend to do another book.


The MP for Waiariki believes more direct investment into the Maori community can help it tackle problems like child abuse.

Te Ururoa Flavell says he is horrified and distressed at the two abuse cases which emerged out of Rotorua this weekend.

He says Maori have solutions, but control is in the hands of government agencies which are divorced from the community.

“Some of the solutions are back in the hands of our communities, and that’s where we want to focus. There are people are doing work in the community focusing on these issues, and we want to start looking at focusing back on that. The problem with of course is that those groups that are working within the communities are usually volunteers, and the time has come really that they’re the experts within the community, we need to give them some funding to do the job,” Mr Flavell says.

Maori need to become responsible family members and good neighbours who step in when they see negative and violent actions.


And Women's Refuge says constructive action, rather than Maori-bashing is needed to tackle child abuse.

Chief executive Heather Henare says lashing out at Maori could just alienate whanau.

The challenge is to break the cycle of violence within hapu and whanau.

Refuge has set up a Maori Development Unit to work with iwi on violence and abuse.

Ms Henare says Maori acknowledge the problem of violence within their own communities and are willing to face up to it.

She says Maori are taking leadership for what is an issue every part of society needs to confront.


A Waikato Maori health worker wants to see changes in the way mainstream services screen Maori women.

Ramari Maipi coordinates cervical and breast screening promotion for Raukura Hauora o Tainui.

Only 34 percent of eligible Maori women in the Waikato District Health Board area have been screened, less than half of Breastscreen Aotearoa's target.

Ms Maipi says Maori women register, but often don't turn up for appointments.

She says that's because the services aren't sensitive to cultural differences.

“Maori front up to the service and sometimes it’s culturally unsafe. Sometimes it’s not a convenience as we see it, you know, we like to go as a group. Sometimes you like to book out so that if two are going, you try to book in five. There’s a whole range of best ways of delivering services to our people, and I never will accept that Maori women should now better and that they should all line up to have a breast x-ray,” Ms Maipi says.

Screening could be wrapped in with other women's health services.


In a few minutes the results of the Montana Book Awards will be known.

Sitting on the edge of their seats at Auckland's Sky City are several Maori finalists.

Novelist James George from Ngapuhi is a finalist for the second time with his multi-generational family novel Ocean Roads.

His publisher, Huia, is also in with a chance the reference category Tirohia Kimihia: A Maori Learner Dictionary, published in association with the Ministry of Education.

Rotorua-based carvers Roi Toia and Todd Couper are contenders in the culture section with their Kahui Whetu: Contemporary Maori Art.

And Auckland University research fellow Hazel Petrie has Chiefs of Industry, her study of Maori Tribal Enterprise in Early Colonial New Zealand

Council role considered in warden’s review

A review of the Maori Wardens will be asking some hard questions about whether the Maori Council will continue to have an oversight role.

Te Rau Clarke from Te Puni Kokiri, which is overseeing the review and the investment of new funds in the organisation, says while the council and the wardens come under the same Act, they have developed in different ways.

He says the focus of the review has to be on what administrative system is best for the wardens.

“I'm not saying that New Zealand Maori Council or district Maori councils aren’t the best organisation to do it, or even the New Zealand Maori Warden’s Association. What I’m saying is this formalises a process of analysing what exists now and what could be,” Mr Clark says.


The author of a study of Maori in local government says many Pakeha organisations lack the skills to communicate with Maori.

Christene Cheyne says more could be done to encourage tangata whenua to become part of the decision making process.

Councilors and their staff have little understanding of the Maori communities they represent, and the two sides are operating in different spheres which do not meet.

“There are different leadership structures, there are different networks and there are different values that people bring to their interactions within Maoridom, so you know the importance of tikanga and karakia and so on for many Maori, those are important things that I sometimes don’t think are well understood in Pakeha organsiations,” Dr Christine says.


A Waikato University lecturer hopes his new book and DVD will give students a crash course in the Maori world.

Rapata Wiri, from Ngati Hinekura and Ngati Whakaue, says he wrote Te Ao Maori to explain Maori protocols and tikanga.

Dr Wiri says it will save time in the classroom.

“Had to explain the protocol and the tikanga to the students, so I thought it would be a good idea to publish a book and create a DVD to go with the book that explains all the carvings and the meeting house without me having to be there,” he says.

Dr Wiri’s second book, a Maori language primer, is due to be published in October.


Tauranga Moana Maori are divided on whether the region needs a total immersion Maori secondary school.

The Education Ministry and Tauranga iwi are currently consulting on the plan.

Tangiwai Nikora, the principal of Matapihi Primary School, says while there is support for a whare kura, many Maori parents want to see bilingual education at secondary level.

She says that gives Maori children more choice.

“Not all our kids can go into media. That’s how I think. There’s people out there saying ‘No Tangiwai, it’s a bit more than that,’ and yeah, I suppose it is for them, but for me, I’m just looking at our kids and how we’re teaching them here,” Ms Nikora says.

Matapihi has a total immersion Maori class up until Year 5, when pupils switch to bilingual classes.


The poor state of dental health among Maori is one of the priority areas for new research funding.

The Oral Health Research Fund will spend up to $100,000 a year over three years on short-term research projects targeting Maori, children, people with disabilities, low income families and older adults.

Robin Whyman, the Health Ministry’s chief adviser for oral health, says it’s an opportunity for Maori health providers to get involved in some primary research.

“The fund is about providing resources to help with the evaluation, and we hope there will be some partnerships in this, that they’ll work with universities or local district health board groups who’ve got some of the skills around the research that might need to be done, working with the provider organisations to look at some of the evaluation,” Dr Whyman says

Maori still have unacceptably high levels of dental disease compared with other sections of the population


A strong response from secondary schools and wharekura has led to a record number of entries to the annual Pikihuia awards for emerging Maori Writers.

Huia publishing manager Bryan Bargh says more than 300 entries have been received.

He says the awards have become a valuable career entry point for writers, with past winners including James George and Kelly Ana Morey … who are on this year’s judging panel.

“The kids have got right behind it this year and it’s over double what it was last year and we hope for an increase next year because that’s the talent that’s out there, aspiring talent starting to come through,” Mr Bargh says.

Winners will be announced in September, when Huia will also publish collections of the best stories in English and Maori.