Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, September 07, 2007

Rarawa settlement lost opportunity

One of the leaders of the Muriwhenua Claim says Te Rarawa is being short changed.

Te Runanga o te Rarawa today signed an agreement in principle with Treaty Negotiations Minister Mark Burton to settle the Northland tribe's historical claims for $20 million and 29 percent of the Aupouri Forest.

The claim was led through the 10 year Waitangi Tribunal process by the Muriwhenua Runanga, but the Office of Treaty Settlements refused to negotiate a region-wide settlement with Muriwhenua.

Chairperson Rima Edwards says it was a lost opportunity for the people of the far north.

“The Crown has won a major battle in my view, insofar as they were able to bypass the Muriwhenua Land Report where substantial assets were recommended to be returned. Te Rarawa will receive less than what they are entitled to,” he says.

Mr Edwards says the proposed settlement not only splits Te Rarawa from the rest of Muriwhenua, it also drives a wedge through the hapu around the Hokianga Harbour.


The hapu whose land was taken for Auckland International Airport is happy to see the back of prospective Middle Eastern buyers.

Dubai Aerospace has dropped its bid to buy a controlling stake in the airport.

Te Akitai kaumatua Sonny Rauwhero says the company got off on the wrong foot in consultations with Maori over the deal, by sending in a legal team rather than going for a face to face meeting.

“We Maori are humble people and ready to sit and talk with anybody, and rather than talk to a board that goes back to report to people and on and on and on it goes. Maori believe in a facial confrontation, whether it’s good or bad, at least they’ve had the outcome of talking things over, kanohi ki te kanohi,” Mr Rauwhero says.

Te Akitai was concerned that a change in ownership would threaten the role of the airport's new marae.


A top Maori ceramacist is looking to share his experience with native Hawaiians.

Baye Riddell from Ngati Porou and Whanau a Ruataupare is off next week for a two month Te Waka Toi residency at the University of Hawaii.

He'll be lecturing and running workshops, as well as seeking out the local potters.

He says like Maori, ceramics aren't part of the traditional Hawaiian material culture.

“They've a similar history in terms of ceramics in that they didn’t have ceramics before so they’re still developing their ideas and perspectives and approaches and that’s the reason for this exchange. I think it’s to encourage particularly younger ones to incorporate some of thri culture into their clay artwork in particular,” Baye Riddell says.

He's keen to work with some of Hawaii's volcanic materials.


A survey of homelessness in central Auckland has found half of those sleeping rough are Maori.

Wilf Holt from the Auckland City Mission says his Crisis Care team identified 150 homeless people within three kilometres of the Skytower.

He says the annual survey gives the mission a better sense of the people likely to use its drop-in centre and helps it plan services.

“If we say that rough sleepers form the most marginalized sections of our community, then unfortunately Maori are over-represented in our marginalized communities, whether it’s in prison, whether it’s achievement in education, etc, so we should expect no different,” Mr Holt says.

The Mission now employs two people to work with rough sleepers during the day, helping them find accommodation and deal with health and legal problems.


Maori anti-smoking initiatives are being credited with a dramatic drop in children being exposed to second hand smoke.

Mere Wilson from the Health Sponsorship Council says the number of Maori children in homes where people smoke inside has dropped from 35 percent to under 10 percent in four years.

She says Maori have been more responsive than non-Maori to the Smoke Free Homes campaign.

In part that's because campaigners listened to focus groups of Maori from low socio economic households.

“Focus groups said to us that we don’t want tikanga mixed with this message, that combining smoking and carving doesn’t work for us, so can you not do that, and it was also the message that we do not want to be targeted as Maori, so we had to modify what we were going to do so it would be still responsive to Maori and Maori were still able to identify with the concepts, but they saw them as appropriate, relevant and believable,” Ms Wilson says.


An Otago University researcher says the dispute over the burial of a Christchurch man illustrates the issues that can arise with cross-cultural marriages.

The wife of the late James Takamore is fighting with his relatives to get his tupapaku dug up from Kutarere Marae in the eastern Bay of Plenty and returned to the South Island for reburial.

Angela Wanhalla, who has just been given a $165,000 Marsden Fund grant to research two centuries of intermarriage in New Zealand, says it's the sort of story that makes the whole subject so fascinating to historians.

“When cultures come into contact there’s always going to be problems dealing with cultural protocols and coming into contact with ideas that may be completely different to the cultural world or the social world in which that person grew up in,” Dr Wanhalla says.

She will also be looking at the way the state and churches have managed inter-racial marriages.

Te Rarawa reaches $20m settlement

At Panguru today, Northland tribe Te Rarawa will sign an agreement in principle to settle its treaty claims.

While the iwi was part of Muriwhenua Claim before the Waitangi Tribunal, it conducted separate negotiations so its settlement could include hapu in the north Hokianga, which is outside Muriwhenua.

Chairperson Haami Piripi says while the Government values the settlement at $20 million, it will be worth more to the iwi because it boosts the value of other investments in eco-tourism, farming, fishing and forestry.

The package, hammered out over five years of monthly meetings, includes former Lands and Survey farms at Sweetwater and Te Karae and 29 percent of the Aupouri Forest, along with accumulated rentals.

“One of the things that emerges as a useful tool in discussions is the historical analysis of happenings in this area over the last 170 years and it’s very clear that Te Rarawa has played a very powerful leadership role in iwi affairs in this area and it’s appropriate that we receive redress that’s commensurate with the status that we once held when we welcomes the Pakeha into our area,” Mr Piripi says.

A key part of the settlement is acknowledgement Te Rarawa holds the mana whenua over the Conservation estate, which makes up a third of the tribal rohe.


A Northland marae no longer has to worry about cows getting into its water supply.

Whakapara Marae has secured an $18,000 grant from the ASB Community Trust to drill and 85 metre bore.

Trustee Moeawa Hall says the 25-year old marae often had to buy water in for tangi and hui.

That's because the existing supply wasn't reliable.

“The water source came from across the road in a farmer’s paddock and it came from a spring, where the water was fresh but if the cows got in to the hole we had a big mess and we had to clean it all up so it meant nearly 10 years of going across the road and looking at our water source over there,” Ms Hall says.


Activist and unionist Sid Jackson will be buried today at his family marae near Hastings.

Up to 20 thousand mourners have been through Matahiwi Marae over the past three days to mourn the man who challenged not just Pakeha but Maori over issues like the need to revive the Maori language and give Maori a control over their own affairs.

Relative Parekura Kupenga says the funeral ritual led by Ngati Porou tohunga Amster Reedy will respect Mr Jackson's pursuit of tino rangatiratanga.

“The family has asked that only karakia Maori be preached on the day – none of the modern type karakia that comes from the Bible – but those which are back according to Maori philosophy,” he says.

Thousands of people have been passing through the gates of Matahiwi Marae near Hastings to pay tribute to the late Sid Jackson.

The unionist, activist and advocate for Maori cultural, economic and political self-determination died on Monday of cancer.

Parekura Kupenga says Ngati Kahungunu has done an extraordinary job welcoming and feeding the huge number of mourners.

He says the speeches have focused on the major impact Mr Jackson has made on New Zealand.

“They've talked about his early years in Nga Tamatoa and the kind of korero he had been introducing our people to, to which there was a lot of resistance, not just by politicians, Pakeha, but by our own people, which hurt him of course, but he understood why our people resisted,” Mr Kupenga says.

The funeral, which starts at 11, will be conducted according to pre-Christian Maori rituals.


Te Karere presenter Scotty Morrison is to combine the autocue with the blackboard.

The face of Television New Zealand's Maori news has been appointed an adjunct professor of Te Reo Me Nga Tikanga at Unitec's Puukenga school of Maori education.

Mr Morrison, from Ngati Whakaue and Te Arawa, has lectured at the west Auckland polytechnic since 2002.

He says the appointment marks a new focus on teaching Maori arts like weaponry, tikanga, language, culture, history and weaving at an expert level.

“We realise there's a lot of tertiary providers out there that have got the beginners’ courses and a lot of intermediate courses in all those different fields, but there’s not a lot of tertiary providers that have got the actual expert level there, so we’re looking at developing expert level courses in those fields so we can develop experts basically, and that ought to tie in with our marae which ought to be opening sometime next year,” Mr Morrison says.

He’s working on a PhD studying Maori broadcasting.


Replacements are starting to emerge for some of the key Warriors players.

There's a lot of concern about whether Wade McKinnon's ankle or Ruben Wiki's ribs will survive tonight's final eight clash with Paramatta at Mt Smart Stadium, let alone the rest of the series.

But former coach Tony Kemp, says front rower Sam Rapira, who was this week named the club's Young Player of the Year, is proving a formidible player.

The 20-year-old played every game this year, as well as making his international test debut.

"Pretty easy pick because he’s been an outstanding player this year. To keep a player like Reuben Wiki pushed out to the back row is no easy feat, and it just goes to show you the talent this kid has. And of course Sammy, coming from a staunch rugby league family in the Waikato, Rapira’s been around a long time that name in the game down there, and he’s doing his whanau proud,” Mr Kemp says.

Tonight's game kicks off at 8.30 before a sell out crowd.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Taupo protesters stand convicted

The secretary of a Taupo trust at the centre of land occupation believes the majority of owners still support development of the site.

In the Taupo District Court yesterday, Judge Chris McGuire convicted nine people of wilfully trespassing on the Hiruharama Ponui block at Acacia Bay, and ordered them to come up for sentence if called upon within 12 months.

Trust secretary Andrew Kusabs says the group includes a couple of shareholders, but the majority of those opposing the up market subdivision are outsiders.

“It seems that anyone can come along now to these things and make noises. Our owners are still definitely in favour of the development, and we will show that at our next agm,” he says.

The protesters say they'll appeal, but Andrew Kusabs says it's the eighth court action they've lost, and they'll lose again.


An international expert on restorative justice says New Zealand is backsliding on incorporating Maori culture and values into the justice system.

Fulbright scholar Howard Zehr from the Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia is making his sixth visit to Aotearoa.

He says while New Zealand led the world by introducing restorative elements into its youth justice system, it has done little to extend those ideas into the adult system.

Given New Zealand's rate of adult imprisonment being one of the highest in the world, particularly of Maori, that is a concern.

“There needs to be a deeper engagement between the Pakeha and the Maori community around justice values, justice processes and so forth. I think that could contribute to it, as it did to the youth justice model,” Professor Zehr says.

New Zealand should build on the work already done by the 30 groups doing restorative justice work with adults.


Pan Maori company Aotearoa Fisheries will be looking for new opportunites in the Hawkes Bay and East Coast regions to service its new processing plant.

The factory in a former meatworks in the Napier suburb of Awatoto replaces the Moana Pacific lobster plant at Ahuriri.

AFL executive chair Robin Hapi says it has a blasting facility to snap freeze fish almost as soon as they come off the boats, as well as more capacity to handle rock lobsters and developmental species such as red and king crabs.

“The plant that we had before was 5000 square metres. This one is just under 7000, so it gives us opportunity to expand, and there are a range of interesting developments in the Hawkes Bay region that we would like to investigate and we will be in the coming months,” Mr Hapi says.

The Awatoto plant makes Aotearoa Fisheries the largest fish processor in the Hawkes Bay region.


Taupo protesters hope their trespass convictions will help unravel a long-standing land dispute.

Nine people were yesterday convicted of trespassing on waterfront land near Acacia Bay, which has been leased by the Hiruharama Ponui Trust for an 80 million dollar subdivision.

District Court judge Chris McGuire told the protesters he was bound by decisions of other courts that the lease was legal, so the developer had the right to remove occupiers.

Trust shareholder Moira Bramley, who unsuccessfully challenged the lease before the High Court and the Maori Appellate Court, says the group is looking forward to the appeal.

“When these trespassers were arrested, we lodged the appeal file, the Maori Appellate Court file, as their defence, so all of those issues are in that file so therefore it’s moved now into the High Court and we can use all of that evidence that we filed to sort this out,” she says.

Ms Bramley says she has run the cases so far, but she is now looking for a lawyer.


The Smokefree Environments Act is being credited with making a major difference to the amount of secondhand smoke Maori are exposed to.

Otago University researcher Richard Edwards told the Oceania Tobacco Control Conference the legislation is proving popular, and compliance is higher than critics predicted when it was passed four years ago.

He says it's made a real impact in workplaces and even in Maori households.

“About 27 or 28 percent of Maori were reporting exposure to secondhand smoke compared to about 18 percent of non-Maori and 2005 after the Act it was about 12 percent versus 7 percent, so the gap had narrowed and by 2006 it had narrowed further, so it was really quite a positive finding,” Mr Edwards says.


Otautahi kaumatua are learning how to turn their life experiences into resources for future generations.

The 15 elders ... average age 73 ... attend weekly classes at the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology's Maori learning centre, Te Puna Wanaka.

Kai Tahu kuia Naomi Bunker says members composes waiata and proverbs for rangatahi, play games, share life stories, write their memoirs and talk about their whanau.

Some of their work is being complied into a book and CD.

81-year-old Mrs Bunker says it's a welcome chance to make new friends near her own age.

“It's really really sharing, and no matter what it is, nobody downs anyone else, and you can say what you want to share and that’s it, and it’s a thing that I’ve missed because of the span between my age and the next we’ve got in our runanga,” she says.

Te Puna Wanaka head Hana O'Regan says by taking part in the classes, the kaumatua are inspiring some of their own mokopuna to learn.

More needed on restorative justice

An expert on restorative justice says New Zealand isn't doing enough to find innovative ways of dealing with its adult prisoners.

Professor Howard Zehr says this country's youth justice system as a world leader, in part because of systems such as family group conferences which were developed in consultation with Maori communities.

The senior Fulbright scholar says those systems can't be directly transferred to the adult justice system, but a similarly creative approach is needed.

“The most hopeful communities I’ve seen are where processes have been set in place to let indigenous communities handle their own problems, to use their traditional processes, and to build in the human rights monitoring and the interface with the system that needs to be there to make that work. There’s not a lot of those kinds of examples, but where there are, there’s been some very dramatic effects,” Professor Zehr says.

He’s based at the Conflict Transformation Program at the Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia. It’s his sixth visit to Aotearoa.


The Treaty of Waitangi became irrelevant within a few months of it being signed.

That's the claim of the author of a new book of Aotearoa in the 1840s.

In The Newest Country in the World, Paul Moon says while it was to come back again in terms of importance, in 1840 it was just the key that opened the door for colonial settlement.

“Between February and May there was a lot of work getting signatures for it. After May the government decides it’s had enough, calls it a day, and then the treaty’s sort of put in the dustbin, and dispensed with, no one really considers it much after that. It gets the occasional mention, but mostly it’s forgotten, and it’s interesting this great founding document, within months, is submerged out of view,” Professor Moon says.

Maori weren't concerned about the treaty either, because many communities were so busy growing food to sell to the new settlers.


One of the instigators of the era of Maori showbands is being buried in West Auckland today.

Jazz guitarist Johnny Bradfield died on Sunday aged 79.

He played in a range of bands at Maori Community Centre and other Auckland venues through the 1950s and 60s, and also ran a school which taught high standards of musicianship to a generation of Maori musicians.

Steel guitarist Ben Tawhiti says Mr Bradfield was always generous with his knowledge and skills.

“Johnny has made an impact with all the guitarists I would say, even myself, and even Mark Kahi too. Johnny was always perfecting his music,. He also backed the Maniapoto sisters on their albums, and now he’s an icon within Maniapoto,” Mr Tawhiti says.

Johnny Bradfield’s most important musical partnership was with his jazz singing wife Millie, who survives him.


A group of Native North Americans is today starting a two week tour of the country to study maori langauge initiatives.

The trip will include particpation in a two day indigenous language symposium in Hamilton later this month, hosted by Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

The group from the New Mexico-based Indigenous Language Institute includes Cherokee actor and language teacher Wes Studi, whose films include Dances with Wolves and Last of the Mohicans.

Wananga chief executive Bentham Ohia says New Zealand has become a magnet for groups wanting to save their native tongues.

“They see Maori as pioneers from the many efforts of our papas and our mamas and our grandparents, and they see the kohanga reo and the kura kaupapa and those kinds of movements as quite pioneering movements that have had relative success, so they don’t want to go reinventing the wheel so to speak and want to leverage from the experiences and investments we have put in place here in Aotearoa,” Mr Ohia says.

The visitors are also keen to learn how Maori are harnessing radio and television for language revival.


Aotearoa Fisheries is opening a new processing plant in Napier this afternoon.

Chairperson Robin Hapi says it will put the pan-Maori company in a better position to handle developing fisheries such as red and king crabs.

The new plant in a former meat industry site at Awatoto also replaces the Moana Pacific lobster depot at Ahuriri, which was unsuitable for expanding or renovating.

Mr Hapi says it makes Aotearoa Fisheries the biggest fish processor in the region.


A Whangarei marae which has been closed because of its poor state is in line for an overhaul.

The wharekai at Te Aroha Marae in Mangakahia was pulled down six months ago because of safety concerns.

It's just been awarded a grant from the ASB Community Trust towards the half million dollar repair cost.

Marae trustee Moana Eruera says it's now waiting for confirmation of a further grant from the Lotteries Marae Heritage before work starts.

As well as a new wharekai, the 50-year old marae needs new drains, plumbing, sewerage systems and water storage tanks.

She says it's a challenge many marae must face.

“Certainly up in the north there’s heaps of marae that are really run down, that need to be working through the kinds of processes, there’s a huge amount of time and commitment needed from the marae trustees and whanau to get it to that point,” Ms Eruera says.

Ngati Te Rino hopes to have to reopen the marae by next April.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Jazz guitarist Johnny Bradfield dies

Musicians are mourning the passing of one of the key musicians of the Maori showband era.

Jazz guitarist Johnny Bradfield died on Sunday aged 79.

Born and raised in Freeman's Bay, Mr Bradfield was a key member of Bill Wolfgramm's Islanders in the early 1950s, and played with many of the musicians associated with the Maori Community Centre such as the Deuces and the Maniapoto Singers.

His longest musical partnership was with his wife Millie from Ngapuhi, a noted Jazz singer.

Former promoter Matiu Tarawa says his most important contribution was his ability to teach a high standard of musicianship and professionalism, especially through a music school he ran under his own name in the late 1950s.

“We started to lay the foundation down for what we know as showbands now in the music studio right throughout the whole country. What we know as the Quin Tikis today, the Hi Fives and all of that,” Mr Tarawa says.

Johnny Bradfield's his funeral is being held in West Auckland tomorrow afternoon.


Students at Turakina Maori Girls' College are tackling the high rates of smoking among young Maori women.

The school started the project this year after a survey found almost half of its 135 students were smokers.

Year 12 student Ariana Waller says the girls have found a variety of ways to push the smokefree message, including an open days, special activities at the school gala, a wearable arts challenge, newsletter columns and events which involve whanau from around the country.

“We come from all places in New Zealand, and we’ve seen what smoking can do to people, what it’s done to our families, our friends, and we really don’t want to escalate that more for a bigger number in the statistics, so that’s why the project was designed so that we could maybe put in place a better support for our girls and also that we can also get our families and wider community to get in and support us as well in this project,” Ms Waller says.

Five Turakina students spoke about the school's experience to the Oceania Tobacco Control Conference in Auckland today.


The Defence Force's kapa haka group is to represent this country as Malaysia celebrates a half century of independence.

The 35-strong Te Ope Katua o Aotearoa would perform weapon display, poi, haka and action waiata at a three day an international military tattoo in Kuala Lumpur over the weekend.

The group includes members from the frigate Te Kaha, the air force and the army.

Senior member Mark Pirikahu, a Navy warrant officer, says it's a special honour.

“We're the unique roopu that’s over here because all the other countries are presenting bands and music, which is quite common within the defence force worldwide, but one thing we’ve got I suppose over everybody else is we’re combining our New Zealand military culture and our Maori culture with our performance, and no one has seen anything like it,” Mr Pirikahu says.

Service groups from 13 countries will take part in the tattoo.


Massey University's professor of Maori health says collective approaches are needed to get Maori to stop smoking.

Chris Cunningham has been talking to the Oceania Tobacco Control Congress on the university's research programme and the success of cessation programmes.

More than a third of this country's 750,000 smokers are Maori, making Maori one of the highest smoking populations in the world.
Professor Cunningham says many Maori are keen to give up, typically for one of three reasons.

“Affordability is a significant issue for us. The health effects, and people understand there are negative health effects. And the third reason they often give is the feeling they are negative role models to mokopuna. The answer is we’ve got to help entire whanau I think to become smoke-free,” Dr Cunningham says.

Smoking cessation programmes only reach about 10,000 people a year, and more resources are needed to get to the more addicted smokers.


Poverty, neglect, low achievement, and violence against children are issues for the whole community, not just Maori.

That's the word from Barnardos chief executive Murray Edridge, the chair of today's Every Child Counts conference in Wellington.

The conference examined government policies on children and looked for ways iwi, community groups, and local and national government agencies and politicians could work more effectively.

Mr Edridge says there are no quick answers.

“Often the children who are disadvantaged have multiple disadvantages, and we’re talking about things like education disadvantage, economic disadvantage, issues around family violence, and unfortunately Maori children are disproportionately represented in the statistics around those, biut it’s not a Maori issue, it’s a community issue,” he says.

Mr Edridge says people need to be enabled to take charge of their own lives and the care of their children, rather than have outside agencies do things to them.


The author of three books on tohunga Hohepa Kereopa says his death will be an enormous loss.

Mr Kereopa died yesterday at his home in Waimana, and is now lying in state at Tanatana Marae.

Paul Moon says the Tuhoe kaumatua, who was about 60, was picked to be a tohunga at the age of two or three.

He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the natural world as well as its Maori spiritual dimension.

“He was very good at natural remedies and combining the physical and the spiritual, but also in a very pragmatic way. I think some people see it as some sort of faith healing episode. In a lot of cases when people would say ‘What should I do about this particular ailment?’ his advice was ‘see a doctor.’ It was very practical. But there were a lot of things he could do,” Mr Moon says.

Hohepa Kereopa was was keen to get as much of his knowledge as he could set down in writing. The pair's third book will be published early next year.

Tohunga Hohepa Kereopa dies

Ngai Tuhoe is mourning the loss of one of the leading authorities on its traditional knowledge.

Tohunga Hohepa Kereopa died yesterday at his home on Waimana of cancer. He was believed to be about 60.

Tuhoe elder and scholar Timoti Karetu says Mr Kereopa was extraordinarily generous with his knowledge of the natural world, traditional remedies and the Maori universe.

He was also a fine linguist.

“I think the other reason the Maori world will mourn is he was a very fluent speaker of Maori and also spoke English very well, so those sort of true bilinguals are getting fewer by the day. There’s a new generation coming on but there’s a certain je ne sais quoi that that generation had that the new up and coming speakers don’t quite have as yet,” Professor Karetu says.

Hohepa Kereopa's tangi will be at Tanatana Marae in Waimana.


A leading Maori health researcher says more needs to be done to held self-described "hard out" Maori smokers to quit.

Chris Cunningham, the Professor of Maori Health at Massey University and a Quitline trustee, is a featured speaker at this week's Oceania Tobacco Control Conference in Auckland.

He says it's time for the Government to do even more to restrict the availability of tobacco products, whether through pricing, quotas or reducing nicotine levels.

About 270,000 Maori smoke tobacco.

Dr Cunningham says Massey researchers have discovered Maori smokers describe themselves as hard out smokers or hoha smokers, who smoke other people's cigarettes and usually smoke in company or at social events.

“I think what we're seeing is that many of the cessation services that we have, have been very successful at helping the hoha smoker to give up, because actually they don’t need much intervening. What’s been left is this hardened core of people with strong addictions and there needs to be much more overt attention paid to helping that kind of Maori smoker quit,” Dr Cunningham says.

He says hard out Maori smokers are in a race to see if it's cardiovascular disease or cancer that will kill them.


The president of the Maori Party says shifting Te Karere demeans the Maori language.

Whatarangi Winiata led the fight for Maori broadcasting through tribunals and court in the 1980s.

He says Television New Zealand's plan to run its Maori news bulletin at 3.45 in the afternoon and a quarter to six in the morning is a slap in the face for those who've fought to raise the status of te reo Maori since television started.

It puts in context the broadcaster's bid to triple its Maori programming content - if it can capture more funding from Te Mangai Paho and New Zealand on Air.

“It is significant that it’s just on 50 years that they’ve come to the view that they should be doing much more, but there isn’t a total commitment behind it, because what they’re saying is we’ll do this if Maori will share their funding,” Professor Winiata says.

TVNZ should fund any extra programming itself.


A front person for a new anti violence campaign says he accepted the role to support his formerly violent father.

Freestyle BMX rider Haimona Ngata says over time he has come to understand some of what may have been behind the violent outbursts that punctuated his childhood.

His father is no longer like that, so Mr Ngata joined the Families Commission's Campaign against Family Violence to show change is possible.

“He actually appeared on a couple of documentaries talking about what he’d done and his experiences and how violence was rife in his family when he was growing up so just to support him and I thought it would be a good idea to get involves with the campaign and it’s a message you can’t really close your eyes to anything like that,” Mr Ngata says.

Other Maori on the campaign include league player Reuben Wiki and Ask Your Aunties presenter Mabel Wharekawa-Burt.


The Prime Minister has remembered Maori activist Sid Jackson for his soft spoken manner and logically presented arguments.

Helen Clark has sent her sympathies to the whanau of Mr Jackson, who died on Monday at the age of 68.

She first encountered him as a young political science student at Auckland University, about the time of the founding of Maori rights group, Nga Tamatoa.

“In those days there were not many Maori students at the university, and Sid, though he had firm and strong views, always stood out to me as a person who could express those views in a very mild mannered and reasonable way, and that will always be my lasting memory of him,” Ms Clark says.

Sid Jackson is lying in state at Matahiwi marae near Hastings, and will be buried on Friday morning


The Wairoa Maori Film Festival is spreading its wings.

Director Leo Koziol says the third festival will run at Wairoa's Gaiety Theatre next Queen's Birthday weekend.

The focus will broaden to include more indigenous films from around the world.

Mr Koziol says some of the programme will also screen in the major centres.

Mr Koziol says screening in the bigger cities will enable more indigenous feature dramas and short films to be seen by a wider population.

“There's lots of movies that come to Wairoa that didn’t actually get to go anywhere else in the country. Other mainstream film festivals just don’t pick them up. So we’re going to be traveling a portion of our programme to Tamaki Makaurau and to Wellington,” he says.

Mr Koziol says the Wairoa festival is part of a growing network of small specialist film festivals.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Domestic violence face been there, been done

The face of a campaign to reduce domestic violence says she's a survivor.

Mabel Wharekawa Burt was beaten for 13 years before she got the courage to leave her husband.

She says a Families Commission campaign launched this afternoon in Wellington makes it clear family violence is not okay, and it's okay to ask for help.

Maori can no longer turn a blind eye to violence in their whanau or over the fence.

“Yeah we can blame the law ands there’s this privacy stuff, but somewhere along the line we’ve got to make a commitment and we’ve got to carte about our neighbour, and that’s not just the person next door but your neighbour is someone who participates anywhere in your life, as far as I’m concerned, so that’s my biggest reason for involvement in this campaign,” Ms Wharekawa Burt.

Police deal with 70,000 family violence calls every year.


An Maori-owned Internet Service Provider is teaming up with hauora groups to create a network of Internet cafes in small towns with high Maori populations.

Arataki Communications and Poutiri Trust opened the first one at Waiuku on the weekend, with another 11 Our Space cafes due to open before Christmas in places like Matakana Island, Taneatua and Opotiki.

The initiative has won funding from the Government's digital strategy taskforce.

Director Ngaire Schmidt says Our Space aims to build confidence among people unfamiliar with information technology, and encourage demand for broadband Internet connectivity.

“The actual community suite is just a place to give them to come down and learn as a community, because we understand in some of the smaller communities they don’t have some of the training facilities or the services that are available in the bigger towns, so what we’re trying to do is get the community to help teach each other,” Ms Schmidt says.

The initial response is positive, with many of Waiuku's kaumatua booking in for training on the world wide web.


The Council of Trade Unions says the labour movement has lost a friend.
Syd Jackson, a former Clerical Workers secretary and founder of a Maori union, died yesterday aged 68 after a long battle with cancer.

Sharon Clair, the CTU's Maori vice president, says Mr Jackson's family connections in the Hawkes Bay freezing works set him on a strong trade union path.

He was also instrumental in establishing a runanga within what was then the Federation of Labour.

Ms Clair says he will be remembered as a strong but supportive leader.

“He made room for people to flourish, to speak their minds and their hearts without fear, and we lose not only a leader who was a strong advocate for people’s rights and workers’ rights. More importantly we’re losing a very dear friend to the union movement,” Ms Clair says.

Syd Jackson's body is being taken back to Matahiwi Marae in Clive today.


The Correspondence School wants to develop stronger links with iwi as part of a drive to improve the education outcomes for its Maori students.

The school has announced restructuring which will result in 22 jobs being disestablished and 32 new positions created.

Chief executive Mike Hollings, from Ngati Raukawa, says a quarter of its 13,000 students are Maori, the majority of them secondary students who have become alienated from their previous schools.

He'd like to hire more Maori teachers and regionally-based kaiarahi to develop relationships with students, whanau and communities.

“We want have a lot greater focus on what’s happening in communities and giving in-community support so we are greater connected with families and whanau and communities, which will include hopefuylly that we get greater connections with iwi hapu and whanau,” Mr Hollings says.

The new Correspondence School structure should be finalised by November, after consultation with parents and other stakeholders.


Transit is confident it has iwi backing to widen and seal the last stretch of State Highway One to Cape Reinga.

There was a small protest at last week's launch at Te Rerenga Wairua.

Some of the 17 kilometre stretch lies within territory claimed by Ngati Kuri and Te Aupouri, who say their claim should be settled before the three year project starts.

The Ngati Kuri Trust Board is in limbo because of legal challenges by former officeholders, but Peter Spies, Transit's Auckland region manager, says the roadbuilder consulted extensively with the tribe's Taumata of elders.

“We are certainly aware there were some protests at the opening ceremony, but by and large we have the mandate form the community to proceed with the project. We’re also mindful of community’s desires to ensure that the road is constructed in an appropriate way and we do use local plants,” Mr Spies says.


A Maori historian says indigenous religion is an overlooked feature of early colonial life.

Paul Moon has just published The Newest Country in the World, his account of Aotearoa in the 1840s.

It was a tumultuous time, with the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, the death of governor William Hobson and arrival of George Grey, formal European settlements in Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin, Hone Heke's rebellion and the movement of the capital to Auckland.

Professor Moon says he took a fresh look at the impact of Christianity.

“When they talk about religious activities in New Zealand in the 1840s, it’s always about the missionaries doing this, the Catholics doing this and so on, but they all tend to ignore the fact that there was an indigenous religion in this country and what was happening in a lot of cases was a process of fusion. You get traditional tohunga in some areas taking on Christian elements into their own views and forming new religions,” he says.

Dr Moon says the Ngakahi sect created by Ngapuhi tohunga Papahurihia was an example of the fusion between Old Testament and old Maori beliefs.

Tribunal sets Te Tau Ihu finding aside

A top of the South Island claimant says the Waitangi Tribunal has righted a recent wrong.

The tribunal yesterday found in favour of six te Tau Ihu tribes, saying they had customary interests in land which falls within the Ngai Tahu claim boundaries.

Before they could state their claim, the tribes had to go as far as the Court of Appeal to establish that the tribunal panel was not bound by a 1990 Maori Appellate Court decision that Ngai Tahu had sole ownership rights to the Kaikoura and Arahura Blocks.

Richard Bradley from Rangitane says his iwi's story has finally been told.

“The tribunal had the benefit of looking at the full range of evidence that was available from not only the iwi parties but also the Crown. Whereas in the Maori Appellate Court process, the Crown took this sort of petulant approach that they can’t get involved in matters between iwi, even though they were the keeper of the record,” he says.

Mr Bradley says Rangitane and other Te Tau Ihu iwi hope the tribunal's report will speed up negotiations, so the claimants don't have to wait another generation for justice.


The Minister for Senior Citizens says many Maori don't get financial assistance they're due because of informal arrangements within whanau.

Ruth Dyson says many Maori take over the care of their grandchildren under the whangai system.

While it's similar to adoption, it's just seen as a family responsibility and government agencies aren't informed.

“In Pakeha culture it isn’t that way at all. It’s much more formalized, much more documented, and they tend to get their financial support. So we have to make sure that our bureaucracy responds better to the fact that in Maori culture this is not something they want to have to go through a formal process but make sure those people get the financial support they need,” Ms Dyson says.


An Auckland mayoral candidate wants to Maori become an even greater presence in mainstream society.

John Hinchcliff is campaigning on his 20-year record of running Auckland Technical Institute, which is now the Auckland University of Technology.

When he started there was one Maori on staff, a drop out rate of 50 percent among Maori students, and no noticeable Maori cultural presence on campus.

“And when I left there were 80 Maori on staff, we had a Maori faculty, we’d built a marae. Because we’re empowered Maori to learn in a Maori way with Maori support networks, the drip-out rate was only 15 percent, and I really though that spoke volumes for what Maori can do if Maori are given the opportunity to do what Maori should do,” Professor Hinchcliff says.


One of the major figure's behind today's Maori language revival has died.

Sid Jackson died yesterday afternoon at his Auckland home after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 68.

Fellow activist Titewhai Harawira says rangatahi owe a debt of gratitude to Mr Jackson, who was one of the instigators of the Nga Tamatoa campaign for Maori to be taught in schools.

Like many in the protest group, he was not a speaker himself, but he was determined younger Maori should have that chance.

Mrs Harawira says it was a struggle not just with the Pakeha establishment but within Maoridom itself.

“I remember us locking our arms together and in the early ‘70s fighting for our language and us physically being thrown off maraes up and down this country, one because we were young, two because a lot of us were women and three because we didn’t speak the reo, but it didn’t make any difference to us,” Mrs Harawira says.

Sid Jackson was also known as an outstanding Maori scholar, a forceful union official, and a pioneering broadcaster with his long running Liberation Talkback on Aotearoa Radio and Radio Waatea.

From Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu, he is being taken back to Matahiwi Marae in Hastings for burial.


An organiser of Auckland University of Technology's Maori expo believes it may need to merge with a Te Puni Kokiri backed event.

Renata Blair says while turnout at last Friday's event topped the five previous expos, it could have been even bigger.

He believes Atamira, Maori in the City in July gave some people their fill of big Maori events for the year.

“We seriously need to plan these out properly so the Maori whanau, there’s not a huge investment out of their household to come to these events, because we’d like to stage them so they both complement each other. They’re the same communities who come, but we definitely need to have a discussion with TPK about how we programme these events,” Mr Blair says.

He says a combined AUT-Atamira expo has the potential to attract as many visitors as Pasifika.


A change in timeslot for Television New Zealand's flagship Maori language news programme is being seen as a deliberate snub to te reo.

After a high profile launch of its plans to almost treble its publicly-funded Maori programming, the state broadcaster let slip its plans to shift Te Karere back to 3.45 in the afternoon, with repeats at midnight and 5.45am.

Quinton Hita, an independent producer and former Maori language commission member, says that's just demeaning.

“Relegating Maori programmes to 3 o’clock in the afternoon and midnight. What does that say about the status of Maori language in the mainstream. It’s very detrimental to the status. And one key factor in bringing Maori programmes into mainstream is status. So to give a show like Te Karere status you would extend it by a quarter hour, turn it into a half hour news show, include it in the mainstream news perhaps,” Mr Hita says.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Warrior Syd Jackson dies

One of the leading voices of the Maori rights movement for more than four decades has died.

Syd Jackson from Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu died at his home just after five this afternoon of cancer. He was 68.

Mr Jackson was one of eight children of Everard Jackson, a Maori All Black of the 1930s.

An outstanding scholar, he earned an MA in politics before making a career in the union movement.

With his then wife, the late Hana Te Hemara, he was a founding member of Nga Tamatoa, the young warriors, and spearheaded protests such as a petition to allow Maori to learn their language at school.

In recent years he built up south Auckland-based Turiki Healthcare into a major Maori provider.

His nephew Willie Jackson says his uncle battled cancer for several years.

“He's been an amazing fighter and he fought the cancer perhaps how he approached life. He was a bloke who never gave up on a kaupapa and so he fought this right to his last breath,” Mr Jackson says.

Syd Jackson's body will be taken back to Hastings for burial.

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


Saturday was National Gambling Free Day, with protests in Auckland and Christchurch.

Some venues even took the hint and turned off their pokeys for the day.

Bill Bradford, the director of social marketing for the Gambling Foundation, was heartened by the number of Maori who protested.

He says it's a growing problem in Maori and other low income communities, as was highlighted by some recent campaigns.

“We ran a campaign around getting people to make submissions to Manukau City around their gambling policy, and we got 7000 submissions. They came mainly from Maori and Pacific Islanders. These pokeys are hurting our whanau, it’s responsible for people spending money that they can't afford to spend,” Mr Bradford says.


Child advocacy workers within the women's refuge are looking for ways to stop escalating rates of child deaths and abuse.

More than 40 refuge and Maori development unit staff are holding a hui in Wellington this week to share experiences and ideas.

Spokesperson Kerri Donoghue-Cox says with more than 12,000 children using refuge services over the past year, there will be common issues and themes which will help the workers improve their effectiveness.

“We can't get together often enough and don’t have direct links to be able to have that on our doorstep, whichever level you’re at, so we want to be able to bring it all together and that’s what we feel is our gap as child advocates is that we don’t have a tight formal network and this is going to help create that,” Ms Donoghue-Cox says.

Children make up almost half of those killed in acts of domestic violence in the 12 years since the Domestic Violence Act was passed.


A Waitangi Tribunal finding that other iwi have customary rights within the Ngai Tahu rohe has been welcomed by one of the two surviving original top of the South island claimants.

Richard Bradley from Rangitane says the finding his tribe had overlapping interests down to Waiau-toa or the Clarence River should help its current negotiations.

The tribunal also upheld the claims of Ngati Apa to interests as far as Kawatiri or the Buller River, and Ngati Rarua, Ngati Tama, Te Atiawa and Ngati Toa had similar claims upheld.

Mr Bradley says the finding means the iwi will need to involve their larger neighbour in the settlement talks.

“I'm really hopeful that we would be able now in the light of this latest report sit down with Ngai Tahu and have some rational discussions about how we might jointly receive some benefit from Crown assets in that area, because after all there’s no disputing the fact that Ngai Tahu were similarly disadvantaged by the Crown purchasing process in the 1960s as Rangitane were,” Mr Bradley says.

He's encouraged by the Tribunal's finding that there is nothing in a 1990 Maori Land Court judgment on tribal boundaries nor in the Ngai Tahu Settlement Act which prevents recognition of overlapping customary interests.


Television New Zealand's claim to leadership in Maori broadcasting is being challenged by one of the original Maori broadcasting claimants.

The state broadcaster says it intends to increase its Maori-focused programming, as part of its strategy of being a local content leader.

But Whatarangi Winiata says TVNZ has lost its claims to leadership through years of inaction.

“They are not equipped to do that sufficiently and they are not in an environment that allows them to do that. Whakaata Maori is doing that and Maori radio is doing that. They are the leaders in Maori broadcasting, so I think the presumption that they have a leadership role is inappropriate,” Professor Winiata says.

At the same time TVNZ claims to be boosting Maori content, it is demeaning the Maori language by shifting Te Karere to a less visible time slot.


Ngai Tahu artist Shona Moller is going to what some New Zealanders used to call Home to make a point about colonisation.

Her work version of the London Underground map, with the tube stations replaced by Maori names, will feature in a solo exhibition in London next June.

Waterloo has become Tirau, Leicester Square has become Taupo, Bond St has become Taihape and Canary Wharf is now Paeroa.

Ms Moller says it's a commentary on the Anglicisation of Aotearoa and the arrogance of colonisers who imposed their own names in the landscape.

“It's a little bit of a tongue in cheek thing. How would they feel really if we sailed our waka up the Thames and all climbed out and changed their place names, Picadilly becoming Paekakariki and things like that,” Ms Moller says.

Prompt action needed on rates

The Maori Party wants to see prompt action from councils on an independent inquiry into rating.

The inquiry said Maori land was over-valued for rating purposes, and many councils fail to adequately engage with Maori landowners when they strike problems.

Party co-leader Pita Sharples says the inquiry has put out in the open what Maori have been saying for years about the way local government works.

“It tells councils to look at a different formula, and it tells councils for the first time to negotiate positively with Maori because councils aren’t renowned for negotiating with Maori at all even although they have special committees at the end of the day they seem to call the shots and ask for Maori to support it ... rather like central government,” Dr Sharples says.

He says the government needs to take the lead role in reforming the system, and the Maori Party will try to make sure it picks up the recommendations relating to Maori land.


Tararua District councilor Koro Mullins is bowing out to go back to kura.

The Danneverke shearing contractor says he's been wanting to learn to speak te reo Maori for a long time, and that means reducing come of his commitments so he can study.

He only served a third term because no other Maori would step forward, and it's still proving hard to find any Maori willing to stand.

“We as Maori, we’re a bit frightened. We stand up and if we don’t win we all go in there and we’re going to win and that’s the crazy thing a lot about Maori people, they don’t like not winning and that’s what holds lot of people back.
Mr Mullins says.

Even if there are no Maori councilors, many of its members and key staff have strong connections to local iwi.


An Auckland Maori women’s trust is turning its attention to the parenting skills of Maori men.

Mana Wahine Taumatatanga usually hosts weekend wanaga for women, but it’s responding to feedback that tane need similar opportunities.

Pio Terei, who is one of the presenters for next weekend’s hui at Hato Petera College Marae, says the needs of Maori men are often overlooked.

“I think one of the big problems for us as blokes is we get a bit whakama and we also lose perspectives of issues and things, we think ‘I’ve been hitting the bottle a bit’ or ‘the old anger thing’ but it’s also important to have the courage to open up our hearts a bit and talk about the stuff that’s going to help us contribute to our whanaus,” Mr Terei says.

He will be joined at the post-Father’s Day hui by politician Pita Shaples, Corrections Department Maori consultant Mate Webb and yoga tutor Ojasvin Davis.

Contact for Saturday's hui: Rangi Davis 09 480 2362 rangidavis@value.net.nz


Bones found at an East Coast school are being reburied in a public cemetery.

About 40 skeletons have so far been removed from a cemetery discovered during foundation work for a new art block at Tolaga Bay Area School.

Archaelogists were called in, and discovered other signs of the Anglican mission station built at the site in the 1840s.

Principal Nori Parata says many of the bones belonged to children, who probably died of introduced diseases like smallpox and influenza.

She says the find came as a complete surprise to the school's population.

“The irony is for many decades our children have been running all over this whenua, unknown to them or unknown to anyone that the urupa was underneath them. However now that we know, we’d like to think that they’re probably saying to us that they’d like to move us to a more restful place, so that what's going to happen,” Ms Parata says.

The children have been getting an impromptu history lesson based on what the archaeologists are digging up.


The only Maori standing for Northland Regional Council is frustrated at the failure of Maori voters to do their bit.

Mike Kake from Ngati Hine says he had to face Maori apathy last election, when he tried to get a seat on the Whangarei District Council.

He says iwi complain they have no control over what happens to their whenua and awa, but they don't make the effort to tick a box for tangata whenua who want to take on that essential kaitiaki role.

“Our people do not vote. They don’t like paperwork. I don’t know what it is, but they just do not take part in the process, and they need to, It is absolutely vital that we as Maori have a voice where these decisions are made around resource consent that affect our whenua. We’re left out of the loop in a lot of this stuff,” Mr Kake says.


An Auckland tennis club which has been home to many Maori players is looking forward to bringing on the next generation of champions.

Mangere Central opened its renovated clubrooms and resurfaced courts on Saturday.

Club president Dick Garret, who also heads Aotearoa Maori tennis, says the facilities near Auckland International Airport will give young tennis players the chance to play alongside some of the best in the business.

He says many of the top names in Maori women’s tennis will represent the club in the Auckland senior women’s competition this year.

“We’re headed by young Lucy Barlow there from the Waikato. She’s playing at number one, and Manamea Durie from Feilding, captained by Rewa Hudson, former number one world ranked junior doubles player. Of course Shelley Stevens will be coaching them and putting them through their paces,” Mr Garrett says.