Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, September 28, 2007

Landcorp properties not for sale

Hauraki land claimants are celebrating the for sale signs coming off a piece of ancestral land.

The Government today announced a new process for sale of Crown land, to take into account heritage, cultural, local and recreational values.

As a result it is paying Landcorp more than $100 million over four years to hang onto nine properties, including Whenuakite on the Coromandel Peninsula.

John McEnteer, the claims manager for the Hauraki Maori Trust Board, says it shows the occupation of the land earlier this year was justified.

“The board, along with the people of Ngati Hei, we had two objectives. The first was to stop the land sale and the second is to get the land back. We’re quite delighted that the Government has taken Whenuakite off the open market. They’ve taken the for sale sign down permanently, so we’re please about that. We can now focus on getting the land back,” Mr McEnteer says.

Hauraki is keen to see the detail of the new policy, and how it can advance its settlement.


The Bioethics council Toi te Taiao is set to tackle ticklish questions on the tikanga of biotechnology.

It's just taken on three new Maori members - former Ngai Tahu chief executive Tahu Potiki, scientist Brett Stephenson and Huia Tomlins-Jahnke, an associate professor of Maori education at Massey University.

John Pennington, the council's programme leader, says they bring valuable skills, experience and insights which should help Toi te Taiao become more responsive to Maori concerns.

“One of the things thart has been on our programme for a while is project on tikanga and biotechnology, of which some initial work has been done, so I’m hoping now that now we’ve got a solid group of Maori council members, we’ll be able to take this forward in the near future,” Mr Pennington says.

The Bioethics Council is a ministerial advisory body established as a result of a recommendation by the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification.


Atamira has pole position at Auckland's Tempo Festival of Dance, premiering its new show tonight at the Town Hall Concert Chamber.

Dolina Wehipeihana, the creative producer, says the dance co-operative has developed two new work, Symbole et Realite by Kanak choreographer Richard Digoue and Whakairo by Moss Paterson.

Whakairo examines contemporary New Zealand society and Maori responsibility, and features a barbed wire whare hanging over the stage.

Ms Wehipeihana says Mr Paterson has gone a step further from his earlier works based on kowhaiwhai and carving patterns.

“Originally he just looked at the designs and looked at ways he could put those into movement, purely by looking at the patterns and doing those with his body. But in this particular piece he’s gone a bit deeper and he’s looked at the origins of whakairo and the legends by that and used that as influence conceptually in how he can bring in some of the ideas,” she says.

Whakairo runs through to Monday.


Labour's Maori Caucus is claiming credit for a Government U-turn on the sale of Landcorp properties.

The Minister of State Owned Enterprises, Trevor Mallard, today announced nine properties, including two occupied by land claimants earlier this year, will be put into a new Landcorp holding company.

Other surplus Crown land with high heritage, cultural or recreational value could also be put under Landcorp management.

Shane Jones, the chair of the Maori Caucus, says Labour's Maori MPs have been working behind the scenes for this outcome.

“It was an issue that was referred to us, in very very strenuous ways for Maori claimants. We took up the challenge, and lobbied away with our senior colleagues including Mr Mallard. So it’s a victory for the Maori caucus, it’s a victory for the claims process and anyone concerned about access to open space around the coastline,” he says.

Mr Jones says the land needs to be protected because the title is still in dispute until claims are resolved.


Maori are creating hapu away from home.

That's how Pita Sharples sees the shift of Maori across the Tasman.

Te Puni Kokiri is tomorrow releasing a major report on Maori in Australia - who is there, why they're jumping the ditch, and what they're doing there.

The Maori Party co-leader says many of the patterns which Maori established when they moved to the cities in the 1950s and 60s are being repeated.

He says many are drawn into hapu like structures.

“If they can create a hapu situation based on residence, not blood, then they’ll do it, and that’s what’s happened in Brisbane, on the Gold Coast. They’re living like hapu, and yet they’re not related. They’re Maori living together and carrying the traditions on together, so that carries them on, for the time,” Dr Sharples says.

He expects to see more marae being built in Australia as Maori there seek to hold on to their culture.


New Zealand is awash in Tongan pride.

In Auckland's southern suburbs where many Tongan families have settled, the red and white flags of the small Pacific nation are everywhere, as excitement builds for tomorrow night's World Cup showdown against England.

Matt Te Pou, the former New Zealand Maori coach, had the unique experience of having two sons line up in opposing teams when the Maori squad played Tonga.

That's because his wife is one of the many New Zealanders with both Maori and Tongan whakapapa.

He says Tongan team deserves its moment in the sun.

“They got a reason to feel proud. That team’s got an opportunity to go through to the quarters and the Tongans have never done that, and a lot of their players are playing for other countries, and for once they’ve been able to muster a lot of their top line players into one area, so we wish them well,” Mr Te Pou says.

Tauranga Moana iwi mandated by TOKM

Two Tauranga Moana tribes have become mandated to receive more than 10 million dollars in fisheries settlement assets.

Ngati Ranginui Fisheries Trust will get almost $3.9 million in deepwater quota, cash and shares in Aoteraroa Fisheries, while Te Runanga o Ngaiterangi Iwi Trust gets a $6.5 million dollar putea.

Peter Douglas, the chief executive of Te Ohu Kaimoana, says seven of the nine iwi in the Mataatua waka have now been mandated, as have their neighbours to the north in Hauraki.

This should speed up the process of agreeing on coastal boundaries, which is necessary before quota for inshore species is handed over.

“People are anxious to move to the next phase and they see these aren’t necessarily agreements over territory but just agreements on the sharing of the inshore fish and once people move to that sort of approach, the inshore agreement process can be much smoother and faster than some people may have anticipated,” Mr Douglas says.

He says the remaining 11 iwi round the country should have gone through the mandating process by the middle of next year, well ahead of schedule.


The coach of the New Zealand Maori Rugby team is optimistic for the future, despite a falloff in the number of Maori playing the code.

Donny Stevenson says there are still talented Maori players coming through the national age group squads.

He says the New Zealand Rugby Football Union finally seems to be giving the Maori game some attention.

“I'm pretty confident with the community plan and what’s I’ve seen going round the sub-unions, and I’ve been doing a little work with the iwi liaison, Tiki Edwards, and there’s a lot of development programmes going on, things are looking promising. Those that are following the Air New Zealand Cup will see some wonderful young talented players coming onto the scene,” Mr Stevenson says.

The Rugby Union's decision by to field the New Zealand Maori team in next year's Pacific Cup competition, will be added incentive for players and and provide a pathway to higher honours.


A young carver from Rotorua is celebrating the similarities between Maori and Pacific Northwest culture.

Shannon Wafer, from Te Atiawa, Taranaki and Ngapuhi, is just back from a month long residency on a Tsimshian reservation 18 hours north of Vancouver, arranged through Toi Maori Aotearoa.

He says both peoples tell stories through wood, and the carvings in the traditional Tsimshian long house support the roof, just like a load bearing wharenui.

And although the tools and knives he used were different, the love for the wood was the same.

“Being an artist you can close those gaps really really quickly as soon as you strt talking about what we have in common. Because I was hanging out with wood carvers, one thing we have in common is wood. We all love wood and tools, so we all got on like a house on fire I suppose,” he says.

As part of the residency, Shannon Wafer worked on a totem pole for the community, carved masks and sculpted in the Tsimshian style alongside top native Canadian artists, and worked on pieces to show at the Spirit Wrestler Gallery in Vancouver.


A trip home to Ngaruawahia has given rangatahi from Australia a chance to catch up on their Tainui tikanga.

Turangawaewae Marae has this week hosted the first Tainui Rangatahi Summit.

Hana Nepia, the secretary of Te Timatanga Hou o Tainui no Brisbane, says for Maori born or raised in Australia it has been a valuable experience.

She says they're keen to learn Tainui's traditions and the way they should behave in tribal situations.

“People come over and say this is right, this is wrong, this is how you do it. We want things to be consistent and know that the information that we’re giving them is correct, because they’re going to be passing that information to their children, so you need to make sure that you’re getting it right from the get go,” Ms Nepia says.

Te Timatatanga Hou o Tainui no Brisbane is preparing for its 10th anniversary next week, which will be attended by King Tuiheitia.


Also heading across the Tasman is the Minister of Maori Affairs.

Parekura Horomia will be attending this weekend's Maori rugby league tournament, and visiting kohanga reo and Maori businesses.

He will also be releasing a comprehensive report by researcher Paul Hamer on Maori in Australia - who they are, why they left Aotearoa and what they're doing in the lucky country.

“We have generations there now who’ve never been to New Zealand. We’ve got people who are being born in Aussie and don’t know where their marae is, so there’s a whole lot of issues that we need to get through but certainly I’m looking forward to the few hours I have with them over there to launch the research,” Mr Horomia says.

One in eight Maori now lives across the Tasman.


One of New Zealand's oldest Maori schools is celebrating its 140th birthday this weekend.

Organisers are expecting more than 500 old girls and staff at St Joseph's Maori Girls College in Napier for the celebration.

Maori language teacher Kania Worsley, who is also a past pupil, says some whanau have sent generations of daughters to the Catholic boarding school.

She says its longevity could be put down to strong principles.

“The place is still thriving and still has a lot to offer and certainly still has its place. Perhaps one of the things that makes it the way it is today is the discipline for the girls, and just believing in them and trying to inspire that passion for learning in them and that confidence in their Maoritanga,” Ms Worsley says.

The St Joseph's jubilee will include plenty of time for reminiscing as well as viewing of archives and a fashion parade.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Students told money ties bind to iwi

Students told money ties that bind
Maori business students have been urged to never forget the generations who fought for treaty settlements.

Labour list MP Shane Jones told Auckland University business school's Maori business leader's dinner last night that the return of settlement assets is creating a demand for skilled and experienced people to manage them.

It is also creating more opportunities for Maori to get financial assistance to study subjects like business and commerce.

The former Te Ohu Kaimoana chair says that money comes with expectations people will contribute in future.

“Because there's one thing I believe will mark against you if you’re willing to take the financial assistance but you don’t feel obliged to contribute and add to the plaited rope that our ancestors started,” Mr Jones says.

Maori business students should learn some of their language and get to know their marae and whanau better, so they can be bicultural ambassadors in the world of commerce.

The dinner honoured Deutsche Bank New Zealand head Brett Shepherd as the year's Outstanding Maori business leader, and gave Te Toi Ururoa Kelly scholarships to Isaac Ralph from Te Aupouri and Whakatohea and Joanna Overall from Ngati Raukawa.


Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira is warning a campaign to remove the Treaty of Waitangi from legislation isn't dead yet.

Parliament's justice select committee says there is little public support for New Zealand First's Principles of the Treaty Deletion Bill, and recommended it not get a second reading.

Mr Harawira says the bill was doomed to failure, but its sponsors are persistent.

“Oh anybody who wants to ride on the back of racism is going to keep throwing those bills up now and again, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes up again and I would be just as not surprised if it gets thrown out again,” Mr Harawira says.

He's disappointed the Bill was introduced by a Party with prominent Maori members, but sees it as a bid by New Zealand First for the votes of older, more conservative Pakeha.


The life of one of Maoridom's first cultural ambassadors is celebrated in a new book.

Makareti: Taking Maori to the World is being launched this evening at Nga Mareikura at the entrance to Whakarewarewa Thermal Village, where Margaret Thom, also known as Maggie Papakura, began her career as a guide.

She moved to Oxford in England, and at the time of her death in 1930 had almost completed a thesis on the customs of Te Arawa from a woman's point of view.

Author Paul Diamond was inspired to write the book by a photo of Makareti and the fact she died so far from home.

He says she was an extraordinary character.

“Wherever she was she was a proud Maori New Zealander, which is why we’ve called the book Taking Maori to the World, because even when she was here as a guide, for many people, that would have been the only Maori they ever met, so their view of what Maori was in the world was through her, and so wherever she was she was taking this message of Maori and our life and our culture to the world,” Mr Diamond says.


A Maori special effects expert is being remembered as a dreamer always looking for the next big effect.

Conway Wickliffe from Ngati Tamatera died in England on the set of the latest Batman film, when a four-wheel-drive he was in crashed into a tree.

Whanau member Russell Karu, who grew up with Mr Wickliffe in Paeroa, says his film credits included the last two James Bond movies, the Tomb Raider films, Black Hawk Down, Harry Potter 4 and The Da Vinci Code.

He specialised in building vehicles such as Batmobiles and Special Agent 007's four-wheel-drive Aston Martin.

Mr Karu says his life is a testament to what hard work, vision and dedication could do.

“He was a dreamer in many ways in the sense that he went from little old Paeroa to some pretty amazing movie sets and always I guess thought beyond where he came from but actually very much stayed the Maori boy from Paeroa, even though he spent his recent years in London,” Mr Karu says.

British police are investigating the accident.


A successful Maori businesswoman wants to give Maori families a face to talk to in local government.

Christine Panapa is standing for the community board in Manurewa, which has one of the highest concentrations of Maori population in the country.

She says her experience as an advocate is that when Maori have problems with council, they are more likely to be open with someone from their own culture.

“They're very whakamaa on who they talk to. With Maori, if we’re there to represent our people, they will feel a lot more confident, by just coming to someone who is Maori and sharing their problems, their issues, so this is the reason I’ve put my name forward,” Ms Panapa says.

She runs a screenprinting company, and chairs New Zealand Women's Rugby League.


The inclusion of the New Zealand Maori Rugby team into next year's Pacific Cup is being hailed as a shot in the arm.

The New Zealand Rugby Union has substituted the Maori team in place of the Junior All Blacks, who have dominated the competition over the past two seasons.

Coach Donny Stevenson says the Pacific Cup will give the squad regular international competition.

“We've appreciated the Churchill Cup in terms of it’s given us a tournament for our Maori players to aspire to but the Pacific Cup gives us a chance to play at home and that’s probably something we’ve missed since the Lions tour in 2005 so that’s great news from players and management point of view,” he says.

Mr Stevenson says exposure in the Pacific Cup will give Maori players a chance to stake their claims for inclusion in other top teams.

Waikato challenged to help in new prison

North Waikato Maori are being challenged to help with the rehabilitation of inmates in the new Spring Hills Prison.

Kim Workman from Prison Fellowship says many Waikato Maori opposed the new prison facility being put on their doorstep, but the time for criticism is over.

He says the Corrections Department is trying to create prisons which encourage behavioural changes, and the people of Waikato can help.

“We know that there is less corruption in prisons where there is a lot of volunteers and community organisations engaged, and the challenge for Waikato is not to criticise it but to actually engage with it and make it part of their community,” Mr Workman says.

Many Maori prisoners never have visitors, or get the chance to build up support networks they can draw upon when they are released


The government's disaster awareness website has been translated into Maori.

John Hamilton, the director of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, says the getthru.govt.nz site gives tips on how to prepare for and recover from earthquakes, floods and tsunami.

He says putting the information in te reo ackowledges New Zealand's indigenous language and creates a valuable resource.

“I think it's an excellent teaching resource for te reo so people can use it in that manner. But at the same time it imparts that information and knowledge to communities about how they might be better prepared. Because there are a number of maraes throughout the country who play a very critical role in providing emergency assistance in communities where there has been a disaster,” Mr Hamilton says.

The site has also been translated into Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Samoan and Tongan.


Maori have been able to take many of their traditional organisational and cultural practices into the world of business.

That's what Rachael Wolfgramm found on the way to earning a doctorate from Auckland University's school of business.

Her thesis was on how Maori are organising themselves to advance their individual and collective aspirations.

Dr Wolfgramm, who is of Te Aupouri, Whakatohea and Tongan whakapapa, says Maori organisations are not single-mindedly focused on business.

Cultural, social, spiritual and economic aspects are also important.

“Not always do you just have a business-centric face to Maori organisations. There are other things going on at the same time. So we’re looking at how ways of doing business are embedded in bigger social and cultural contexts and what facets inhibit moving forward or facilitate that inside of being innovative institutionally,” Dr Wolfgramm says.

A lot of what she saw in Maori business had no parallels in mainstream or international business.


This year's outstanding Maori business leader says Maori are becoming increasingly savvy in their dealings with the international financial sector.

Brett Shepherd from Ngati Maru and Ngati Tamatera received his tohu from Auckland University's business school at a gala dinner last night.

He's been working in the commerce and investment sector for over 20 years, and has headed Deutsche Bank New Zealand since 2002.

He's also helped iwi manage and grow their treaty settlement assets.

Mr Shepherd says now they have consolidated their domestic assets, such iwi are looking offshore for investments.

“As they do that, not only in trade, straight away we find ourselves getting influenced by finance, what kind of loans we can get, what type of capital markets we can access as well as foreign exchange issues that arise, so I think they’re getting more educated and more and more savvy on how to play the game that the rest of their competitors are playing,” Mr Shepherd says.


Social workers from Austria, Finland and India are in the country to look at restorative justice and other innovative programmes.

Werner Hofmann, an Austrian penal mediator, says they're interested in the contributions Maori have made to social work practices like family group conferences.

He says much of what the group has seen is innovative, but concepts like whanau may not be applicable in all cultures.

“I don't know how this would apply for instance in Austria where I’m coming from because we don’t have these indigenous populations and I don’t know what parts of this method could be useful and I’m really curious to find out about this a little bit more when I can maybe watch a family group conference,” Mr Hofmann says.


An increase in the number of Maori getting higher degrees is trickling down through whanau.

Tracey McIntosh, the new co-director of the centre for Maori research excellence, Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, says an ambitious five year target of getting 500 Maori on post-graduate or doctoral degrees has been met.

She says graduation ceremonies now will now include multiple generations from the same family.

“Because of a much more collective orientation, your academic success may affect your cousins, your nieces and nephew. They affect not just the teina but the tuakana as well, and so that we actually see an accelerant effect by one graduate actually draws and entire whanau into academic success,” Dr McIntosh says.

She says the increasing number of Maori graduates is transforming their communities.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Brett Shepherd gets top business honour

Leading Maori businesspeople are this evening being celebrated for their commercial acumen and their contributions to iwi.

Auckland University's business school has named Brett Shepherd from Ngati Maru and Ngati Tamatera, the chief executive of Deutsche Bank New Zealand, as the 2007 outstanding Maori business leader.

Manuka Henare, the associate dean of Maori and Pacific Development, says tonight's gala dinner will also honour two alumni involved in tribal businesses, Hamuera Mitchell from Ngati Whakaue and Wayne Mulligan from Taranaki and Te Atiawa.

He says the awards illustrate the growing scope of Maori business.

“In the case of someone like Brett Shepherd, where he deals with multi-billions of dollars in investment, and then to be an advisor in Maori business development, the two worlds are wide apart but the business problems are similar. The difference is in the scale of things and the difference also is in the culture of things,” Dr Henare says.

He says the growing Maori asset base has boosted the number of Maori students looking for new skills in economic and business development.


A former head of Corrections is welcoming the inclusion of a Polynesian unit at the country's newest prison.

Spring Hills Prison in the north Waikato, which opened yesterday, includes a whare for Maori inmates and, for the first time, a fale for prisoners with a Pacific Island whakapapa.

Kim Workman from Prison Fellowship says it's building on the success of Maori units.

“It's really modeled after the Maori focus units which have had a really positive effect because a lot of the guys that go in, they don’t have anything – they don’t have culture, they don’t have any spiritual understandings. Providing them with values that are centered around a culture, that can be a foundation for change,” Mr Workman says.


The Greens says new incentives to attract fluent Maori speakers into teaching are on the right track.

Metiria Turei, the party's Maori affairs spokesperson, says the 30 thousand dollar a year scholarships should short circuit some of the problems getting enough suitable teachers.

“It's a very good idea to get people who are already reo speakers, who have already made that commitment, to do teaching, rather than always trying to start at the beginning by getting young people who don’t necessarily have the reo doing both the reo and teachers’ college stuff and then hoping that in three years time there will be enough,” Ms Turei says.

The TeachNZ scholarships are aimed at encouraging people with work experience and existing degrees to switch careers.


An investment banker who's no stranger to multi million dollar deals says he's humbled to be named this year's Outstanding Maori Business leader.

Brett Shepherd, from Hauraki iwi Ngati Maru and Ngati Tamatera is due to receive his tohu within the hour at Auckland University Business School's fifth Maori alumni dinner.

The 45 year old is chief executive of Deutsche Bank New Zealand and head of its global investment arm.

Mr Shepherd hopes recognition of his achievement encourages other Maori to consider careers in commerce.

“Very humbled by it, and at the same time proud to receive it when I look at the past recipients like Rob McLeod who is recognized as a significant contributor to the New Zealand economy and the New Zealand Tax Act. When I look at other people who have been recipients, it’s a humbling thing for me, but great for the recognition,” Mr Shepherd says.

Also being recognised are two of the school's former students, Hamuera Mitchell, who chairs many Ngati Whakaue land trusts and businesses, and Wayne Mulligan from Taranaki and Te Atiawa.


Tainui rangatahi living in Australia are this week reconnecting with their roots.

They have joined other young people from the tribe at the first Tainui Rangatahi Summit in Ngaruawahia.

Waatea News reporter Mania Clarke says it was an emotional homecoming for some who had never been to New Zealand before.

She says there was little support for a suggestion to the hui from Anglican priest Hone Kaa, who has worked across the Tasman, for Maori in Australia to build their own tikanga.

“They want to build a base and a relationship and a partnership and build ways that they can heave people come over and have their tikanga taught. They want to maintain Tainuitanga. They want to retain our tikanga and tangihanga and just the way things are run. They don’t want to be severed from that and they want to keep those things and maintain those things with their lives and their families while they are living in Australia,” Ms Clark says.


A writer whose work seems destined to gather dust in the drawer is today launching her second novel.

Isabel Waiti-Mulholland from Uepohatu had completed several manuscripts before she came to the attention of Huia Publishers.

She says while she doesn't set out to write from an obviously Maori perspective, just writing about New Zealand kids in New Zealand settings makes Maori content inevitable.

The new book, Inna Furey, is the first in a series of five.

“My aim with these stories is to write stories that kids want to read. There’s no other reason to write for anyone really. But I also wanted to write stories that have close ties to our land, and in particular our flora and fauna, past and present,” Ms Waiti-Mulholland says.

Inna Fury features the extinct Pouakai or Harpagornis moorei , the largest eagle ever known.

Wairau Lagoon threatened by sewage

Marlborough iwi are pushing for an ocean outfall to keep Blenheim's sewage out of kaimoana and mahinga kai areas.

Rangitane chairperson Richard Bradley says a proposed upgrade of the Marlborough District Council's waste water treatment doesn't address long-standing problems.

The council is seeking resource consent to discharge some of its sewage onto land surrounding the treatment plant, with the rest going through a wetland to the Wairau Estuary on the outgoing tide.

Mr Bradley says a cultural impact report commissioned by Rangitane, Ngati Rarua and Ngati Toa found such wetlands are the worst option.

He says on some tides, sewage would end up in the Wairau Lagoon.

“The Wairau Lagoon and Wairau Bay areas are not only sites of national importance, it also, because of its association with the earliest Polynesian explorers, is internationally regarded as one of our most prestigious archaeological sites, and it just seems bloody crazy that the best thing the council could come up with for utilizing the site is using it for the town's sewage tank,” Mr Bradley says,

He says while an ocean outfall could cost three times as much, it was better for the long term health of the community.


Ngati Maniapoto has been evicted from Tainui.

Redrawn boundaries for the renamed Hauraki-Waikato electorate pushes the King Country iwi into an alliance with Ngati Raukawa instead, in Tariana Turia's Te Tai Hauauru seat.

Tiwha Bell, the chair of the Maniapoto Trust Board, says the boundary ignores the tribe's manawhenua and its long association with the Tainui waka, which landed at Kawhia.

“We're not a tribe that wanders around or were kicked out by any other tribe. We held our mana over the area where our tupunas came here and we’ve always held it and to have a small government group that chucks you out of your decision-making area,” Mr Bell says.

The new boundaries will be used in the next two general elections.


A Tuhoe academic believes Pakeha are becoming increasingly attracted to Maori rituals for dealing with death.

Tracey McIntosh from Auckland University has studied the sociology of death.

Cases such as the furore over the burial of Christchurch man James Takamore and the Sydney coroner's treatment of Shane Hau's brain show the wider community still has much to learn about Maori tikanga.

However Dr McIntosh says once it's explained, Pakeha usually see benefit in the way Maori approach the death of a whanau member.

“We see a lot of the elements that we see as critical or very important elements within Maori ways of understanding death, we’re now seeing those imported into non-Maori ways of experiencing death,” she says.

Dr McIntosh has just been appointed joint director of Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, the Maori Centre of Research Excellence at Auckland University.


Cuts in the major commercial deepwater species aren't as severe as Maori fishing companies expected.

Jim Anderton, the Minister of Fisheries, has cut hoki quotas by 10 percent, closed the orange roughy fishery off the central West Coast, and cut roughy quota on the Chatham Rise by 9.5 percent.

Robin Hapi, the executive chair of pan-Maori company Aotearoa Fisheries, says the industry has led the reduction of hoki quota from the 250 thousand
tonnes being caught seven years ago.

“We advocated to the minister a reduction down to 80,000 metric tones, the minister has decided at 90,000 metric tonnes. Our concerns were to ensure the sustainability of this particularly important fish stock, but we accept that it’s the minister’s discretion. That’s his decision, so we accept it,” Mr Hapi says.

Cuts in South Island red cod and Southern flatfish were expected because the existing quota levels had bever been caught, but the cuts in North Island eel quotas of up to 78 percent could affect some Maori fishers.


Almost a quarter of Maori students in Christchurch will leave school with little or no formal qualifications.

That compares with 9 percent of non-Maori.

The Ministry of Education's southern regional manager, Mike De'Ath, says
Christchurch is the sixth largest centre of Maori population, and while the figures are in line with Maori under-achievement in other parts of the country, they're not acceptable.

He says all teachers need to take responsibility for improving student results.

“I think that if we keep talking about that it’s about having Maori teachers in the system, then I don’t think that is going to give us the sort of result we want. This is about good quality teaching. The research, the evidence tells us it’s quality teaching that makes a very significant difference and all teachers can and do deliver quality learning environments for their students,” Mr De'Ath says.

He says teachers in the region are committed to finding ways to improve the situation, as could be seen from the postivie response to a two day conference on Maori education organised by the ministry and Ngai Tahu.


The Maori Women's Welfare League is embarking on a strategic review to ensure it's still relevant to today's needs.

President Linda Grennell says most of the league's work is done away from the limelight, which is why it has been able to retain the trust and loyalty of many whanau.

She says membership is up, and there was a real sense of rejuvenation at the annual hui at the weekend, with many younger professional women lending their skills to the 56-year-old roopu.

“The professional women that are coming into it are very keen to give their voluntary support on submissions and helping in those kind of roles, which is exceptionally helpful, but most of it is still very much the women working in the community and in the voluntary role,” Ms Grennell says.

The League is gratified it is able to maintain links dating back to its founding with the Kingitanga, with Te Atawhai Paki, the wife of King Tuheitia, accepting the role of patron held for 42 years by the late Maori queen.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hoki quota cut further 10 percent

Major cuts to hoki and orange roughy catch levels in the forthcoming fishing season were expected by Maori companies.

Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton has cut hoki quota by 10 percent to 91,000 tonnes and roughy by 9-point-5 percent on the south and east Chatham Rise.

The orange roughy fishery off the central West Coast of the South Island was closed.

South Island red cod, Southern flatfish, oreo and North Island eel were also cut.

Robin Hapi, the executive chair of Aotearoa Fisheries, says the cuts will have a significant impact on Aotearoa and its subsidiary Sealord Group.

But he says the industry was pushing for the hoki catch to be cut to 80,000 tonnes, but accepted the minister's judgment the fishery was sustainable at the higher level.

“We're an industry that advocates decisions being made that ensures the continued viability and sustainability of our fish stocks. Much of what the minister has done leads us in that direction,” Mr Hapi says.

The cuts, along with unfavourable exchange rates and variable fuel costs, illustrate the complexity of the fishing industry.


The new director of the Maori Centre of Research Excellence at Auckland University wants to make research more relevant to Maori.

Tracey McIntosh from Tuhoe, a sociologist, has worked in France, Burundi, Fiji and the United States.

She replaces Linda Smith, who has a new position at Waikato University, and she'll share the role with Professor Michael Walker.

Dr McIntosh says as a centre drawing from several universities and with strong links to Maori, Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga is well placed to contribute to Maori society.

“One of the things that Nga Pae can do very successfully is around connecting people to work together in ways you can get greater levels of leverage, where you can draw on each other’s expertise and knowledge,” Dr McIntosh says.


For Ngati Porou veteran Alexander Reedy, a trip to Passchendaele will mean tracing his father's footsteps.

The Korean War veteran is traveling with nine others to Belgium to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the battle.

They will attend Anzac services and visit the Tyne Cot cemetery where 12 thousand Commonwealth soldiers are buried.

Mr Reedy is looking forward to seeing the fields where his whanau fought.

“I'm up in the clouds because my dad went over there, 1914-1918. He went over there as a 15 year old so I’ll be retracing his steps and my uncles, I had two uncles, and some more whanau from here, from Ngati Porou, Tairawhiti area, and a few more. Well, we are going over there to remember them,” Mr Reedy says.

The veterans, who were chosen by ballot, include two from the Second World War, one from J Force, two from Korea, three from Malaya and two from Vietnam.


It's not a good decision, but it's one she can make work for her.

That's the reaction of Tainui MP Nanaia Mahuta to boundary changes which see her electorate losing the Ngati Maniapoto areas in the King Country and pushing north into Manurewa.

She says the renamed Hauraki-Waikato seat loses some of its tribal integrity.

“It does change the general dynamic of the seat. Historically Western Maori has always had Waikato Maniapoto aligned and now the seat will go from Waikato largely across the Waikato, but you know, what that shows is there has been huge population growth, large concentration in the city areas,” Ms Mahuta says.

She says the changes are likely to accelerate the trend for Maori voters to move from the Maori to the general roll.

Of the other Maori seats, only Te Tai Tokerau and Waiariki retained their 2005 boundaries.


The Government is offering a new $30,000 scholarship to encourage Maori language speakers to train as teachers.

Parekura Horomia, the Associate Educate Minister, says it's being created as part of an overhaul of the TeachNZ recruitment scholarships.

He says a bouyant job market has created a shortage of Maori language speakers available to staff kura kaupapa and bilingual units.

“It was the advent of Maori TV, the consolidation of iwi radio stations, the expansion of the Maori language strategy and Maori kura and kohanga. There certainly is a very viable future for those who are keen to use the language and keen to train as teachers and we need them,” Mr Horomia says.

Applicants will need either six years of work experience, or three years' experience and a degree.


Danyia Williams is about to start a month of fasts from dawn to sunset.

The kohanga reo teacher from Ngati Porou, Ngati Ruanui and Ngati Apa is a recent convert to Islam, whose holiest month, Ramadan, is just starting.

She was born Mormon, raised a Christian, and developed a keen interest in tikanga Maori, but says there was always something missing.

Ms Williams says converting wasn't easy, and involved weekly classes to learn Arabic and the Muslim holy book, the Ko'ran.

“At the beginning it was very hard and very hard on the people around you, your family and your children. What I mean hard is like straight away dressing Muslim, being covered, praying, to eating Halal food,” Ms Williams says.

There are more than 1000 Maori Muslims, with numbers increasing.

Ngati Toa ready for talks

Ngati Toa Rangatira has the green light to begin Treaty negotiations.

Representatives of the Cook Strait iwi signed terms with Treaty Negotiations minister Mark Burton at Parliament yesterday - almost two years after their mandate was recognised.

Chairperson Matiu Rei says the delay was caused by the resources the Office of Treaty Settlements was willing to put into the talks.

He says Ngati Toa was on the front line of the colonisation project, because of the interest of the New Zealand Company in the Cook Strait area.

“New Zealand Company had targeted both Wellington and Nelson as being the centre of their expansion. That brought them slap bang against Ngati Toa. So yes, we were critical in early settlement, and obviously because of that suffered greater than most tribes,” Mr Rei says.

The iwi has agreed on a 21-month work programme with the Office of Treaty Settlements ... which is probably an optimistic timetable.


Tangata whenua in the north Waikato say the time for fighting the new prison is over, and they have to learn to live with it.
Spring Hills Correctional Facility, just north of Te Kauwhata, opens today.

It can take up to 650 male inmates, ranging from minimum to high-medium security status, and includes a special unit for youth offenders and one for Pacific prisoners.

Pat Kingi from Tainui says the locals didn't want the prison, but they will make the best of a bad situation.

“You know what the government's like. They bought the land. You’ve got no say. Kept on going, trying to get our people in there, get some jobs,” Mr Kingi says.

Tainui protocol, which requires women to sit behind the men, will be strictly enforced at today's opening ceremony - despite earlier incidents where Corrections staff and National Party MPs have complained about the practice.


Teaching parenting skills to parents is the best way to affect a child's development.

That's the latest finding from the long-running Christchurch Health and Development Study.

Head researcher David Fergusson says the study was able to dispel some myths about supposed differences with Maori methods of child raising, and about whether there were one or two parents in the family unit.

He says researchers interviewed 230 parents who are enrolled in the Early Start, a programme where social agencies offer regular help and advice to at-risk families, and compared the results with a control group of similar size.

“They had better healthcare, lower rates of child abuse, they attended pre-school more often, their parents were less punitive and they had fewer problem behaviours. And very interesting and I think most importantly we were able to show these results held equally well for Maori and non-Maori,” Professor Fergusson says.

The research can improve the way whanau support programmes are targeted.


National's plans to sell off shares in state owned enterprises could be stymied by unresolved Maori claims.

National finance spokesperson Bill English believes New Zealanders would be keen to invest in the companies.

But Maori Council spokesperson Maanu Paul says the council successfully challenged the transfer of Crown assets to SOEs 20 years ago - resulting in a system of memorials where those assets can be clawed back to settle treaty claims.

He says that will make pricing shares in SOEs a major headache for any future government.

“I don't see the deal we had over state owned enterprises being threatened in any way at all. What we did with the government at that time binds the existing governments and when National will try to do\ this, they will come up against the memorials we agreed to and I think it will be a dead horse,” Mr Paul says

Bill English's plans are likely to run into the same problems which have caused the Government to put on ice its proposed settlement with some Te Arawa hapu.


A Rotorua bar owner has been refused a manager's licence for making disparaging comments about Maori.

Maori wardens recommended Ray Sayed be refused the licence because of the way he ejected them from Rotorua's Mitchell Downs Tavern last year.

The Liquor Licensing Authority agreed, with Judge Edward Unwin describing Mr Sayed as a seriously flawed individual, seriously lacking in insight and displaying of bigotry and prejudice.

Clare Matthews, the secretary of the Rotorua Maori Wardens, says it's unfortunate the ban only applies to Rotorua.

“It's a shame it didn’t cover the whole of New Zealand, because with that sort of attitude, he’s not a fit person to be given a position of responsibility. There’s always going to be Maori in hotels, always,” Ms Matthews says.

The Wardens have a contract with the Rotorua District Council to ensure bars are complying with the terms of their liquor licence, and they also have powers under their Act to enter any licensed premises.


Getting teenagers to talk is the aim of the Tainui Rangatahi Summit.

One hundred and fifty young people from marae in Tainui Waka and manuhiri from as far afield as Invercargill and Australia are expected in Ngaruawahia for the rest of the week.

Along with the speakers, workshops and forums, there will be plenty of chances to socialise.

Organising committee member Johnine Davis says Tainui wants to find out the aspirations and goals of the rangatahi and what the iwi can do to support those goals.

She says it wants to identify the leaders of the next generation.

“Leaders are not only at the front. They are in the middle and the back, They can be the quiet observers and the practical hands-on approach, They can be people who are natural hosts and hostesses in terms of manaakitanga and hospitality and things like that, so it’s a whole host of things,” Ms Davis says.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Climate changing for Maori

The Federation of Maori Authorities fears new climate change policies could have a disproportionately negative effect on Maori.

Executive director Paul Morgan says proposed fuel levies included in the proposed emissions trading scheme will push a lot of the cost on low income earners, including many Maori.

He says while the Government has compromised on sharing carbon credits with forest owners, there are still significant penalties for Maori landowners who want to switch out of growing trees.

He says the rules are extremely complex and hard for most people to understand.

“If you are to honour the rules, we need to put in place policies that will have impacts on all of us, that’s every New Zealander, but particularly Maori, and our focus is to ensure they do not lock up the residual asserts that Maori own today, Mr Morgan says.

FOMA needs to consider whether the climate change emissions policy conflicts with treaty guarantees that Maori have undisturbed posession of their forests and other lands.


The Government is hoping to get another far north settlement off its to do list.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Mark Burton says it intends to consult with overlapping claimants on the redress it is offering Te Aupouri.

This follows the agreement in principle it signed with neighbours Te Rarawa earlier this month for a $20 million settlement.

Mr Burton says the Crown is prepared to offer the slighly smaller iwi a $12 million dollar deal.

Te Aupouri came close to signing a deal just before the last election, but talks stalled over the issue of the Ninety Mile Beach.

It seems the Crown is now prepared to consider a co-management arrangement.

Negotiators have managed to push up Te Aupouri's share of the forest named after the tribe to 42 percent, and they are also seeking to buy Landcorp's Cape View Station and half of Te Paki Farm Park, just south of Cape Reinga.

Consultations open with Ngati Kuri next Monday.


The Maori Women's Welfare League is looking to recruit younger members as it heads into its second half century.

Te Roopu Wahine Maori held its annual hui in the Bay of Islands over the weekend, with several hundred women making the trek north.

Auckland lawyer Pru Kapua says there were strong remits passed about domestic violence, P, and the need for the Government to respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

She says as well as the older faces, including a handful of founder members, there were many young mothers, professional women and even some school age members.

“In order to continue to draw people to the league, we need to continue to have that mix, we need to have the members who’ve got the very strong ties ands have been there for a long time and we need to have the younger members coming through as well,” Ms Kapua says.

The league named Te Atawhai Paki, the wife of King Tuheitia, as its new patron, replacing the late Maori queen in the role.


Maori fisheries settlement company Aotearoa Fisheries has gone to the forestry industry for its new chief executive.

It's hired Jeremy Fleming, a former chief executive of Carter Holt Harvey Forests, who is currently an independent forestry consultant.

Robin Hapi, the chair of AFL, says much of Mr Fleming's experience is applicable to the fishing industry.

He says there was strong competition for the role.

“We were very fortunate in that we did have some high caliber Maori applicants for the position, but in the end Jeremy’s background, experience, qualities pulled him to the fore,” Robin Hapi says.

Aotearoa Fisheries is owned by te Ohu Kaimoana iwi, and after an initial bedding in period it will be required to provide a steady dividend stream to those shareholders.


Harking back to traditional Maori ways of raising children isn't going to solve problems like child abuse.

That's the view of Christchurch School of Medicine professor David Fergusson, based on a longitudinal study of more than 1000 children born in 1977.

He says that changes in the way people live their lives mean that it's unrealistic to return to traditional Maori ways of raising children.

“When you just think of the difficulties of a single mother who’s run out of money and doesn’t know what she’s got to do. And she’s got to navigate the benefits system. Traditional support systems won’t help her. You need someone who’s sophisticate and knows how to go through the benefit system, to get accommodation and furniture and all of that,” Professor Fergusson says.

Rather than expecting there to be functioning community networks, more effort needs to go into providing parents with skills to raise their children.


Waiariki Institute of Technology is justifying changes to its marae graduation ceremony.

Some students were upset they were losing the option of picking up their diplomas and degrees on the Rotorua polytechnic's Tangatarua Marae.

But Pim Borren, the chief executive, says what's planned is a new ceremony involving both the marae and the Rotorua Events Centre.

He says that means classmates aren't split, and it acknowledges the bicultural make-up of the student body.

“It's actually an acknowledgement of Maoridom for all students and for Maori tradition as it is about incorporating what has been a long standing European tradition around graduation processes and graduations themselves,” Mr Borren says.

Every student is welcomed onto the marae as part of enrolment process.

MWWL has tentacles everywhere

The Maori Women’s Welfare League has been praised as the most effective organisation for getting through to Maori.

Mana magazine editor Derek Fox says this weekend’s annual conference in the Bay of Islands showed the 56-year-old organization was still in touch with flax roots communities.

The league came under fire last week from Maori Party co-leader Peter Sharples for abandoning its advocacy role on issues like domestic violence.

But Mr Fox says there was no sign this weekend Te Roopu Wahine Maori is slowing down.

“They still have tentacles that go right down into our society, and they have membership all round the place, and I don’t write the league off at all. I think the league is one of the greatest institutions that we have around, with people that are still able to tap down into our society,” Mr Fox says.


Deaf students could be studying Maori through their computers by mid next year.

The Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology has won a $100,000 grant from computer manufacturer Hewlett-Packard to develop technology for teaching te reo Maori to the hearing impaired.

It could also help teach mathematics and software design.

David Weir, the head of the school of computing, says the system will be based on emerging per-to-peer sharing technologies which make it possible for computers to communicate with each other in real time.

“Imagine you've got a small class of maybe a dozen, all hearing-impaired Maori students, and you’ve got a Maori tutor in the classroom, and they’ve all got these PCs. The machines, because they can talk to each other using the inbuilt capabilities, they can communicate using the machines directly,” Mr Weir says.

The system will be a practical project for students doing the Bachelor of Information and Communication Technology.


Entries are rolling in for a sporting contest with a difference - Iwi State of Origin.

Wiremu Mato, a kaiwhakahaere of Maori sport at Sport North Harbour, says the October 13 event will feature touch, netball tug o war and a hikoi.

He says a quarter of all Maori live in Auckland, and the event is a chance for them to re-establish whakapapa connections while and at the same time supporting a healthy kaupapa.

“Maori love to play sport. It’s also about trying to realign yourself with your traditional iwi. Many of us are lucky enough to have Pa wars and see the benefits that it has within our respective regions, so we’re going to start from humble beginnings, but even saying that, I’ve had a heck of a lot of interest already,” Mr Mato says.

Entries for iwi state of origin are available at www.harboursport.co.nz


The head of New Zealand's largest hoki fishing company says recognition the fishery is sustainable is good news for the Maori fisheries settlement.

The Marine Stewardship Council recertified the hoki fishery after looking at the scientific data and the way New Zealand companies harvest and process the deepwater species.

Robin Hapi, the executive chair of Aotearoa Fisheries Limited, says hoki is a major business for Aotearoa and its subsidiary Sealord Group.

“Hoki is important to Sealord, and Sealord is important to Maori, and the fishing industry is important to the New Zealand economy, so from our perspective, to have this sort of pick is quite important,” he says.

Mr Hapi says the industry has done what it can to protect the fishery, including voluntary catch reductions and closing off large parts of New Zealand's exclusive economic zone.


A former colleague believes the public never got to see broadcaster Robin Kora at his best.

The 58-year-old teacher, actor, newsreader and poet died over the weekend.

A former head boy at Te Aute College, Mr Kora was one of the first Maori to be seen fronting television news, presenting Television New Zealand’s Midday News and Eyewitness during the late 1980s.

Derek Fox says he faced the challenges common to many trailblazers.

“I think in a way he was almost miscast in that he was caught up in a time when there were people pressing that there should be Maori presenters, and of course the broadcasting authorities were dramatically resisting that, doing the most minimal thing they could, and I always felt a little sad Robin was being pulled and pushed in certain directions, and he didn’t stay very long in that role, and then he moved off,” Mr Fox says.

Robin Kora is being taken back to his family marae in Levin for burial.


Sir Howard Morrison believes it's a lot harder for artists to get a start today.

The entertainment legend was yesterday presented with Te Tohu Tiketike from Te Waka Toi, the Maori arm of Creative New Zealand, to mark his half century of achievement.

The award was made at his home marae in Rotorua, Te Papaiouru - the same place he was invested with his knighthood.

He says there are higher standards of professionalism demanded of performers today, and it's harder to reach an audience.

“We didn't have the constraints they have these days, but then again, we never had the technology they have these days, so it’s a paradox really. Our success was on the back of the fact that people went out the be entertained. There was no television,” Sir Howard says.

The key to success is being prepared to back yourself.