Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Tamaki claim back on the table

The Government is meeting Auckland cross claimants in an attempt to break an impasse over its Tamaki Makaurau settlement with Ngati Whatua o Orakei.

Paul Majurey, the lawyer for the Marutuahu tribes, says a hui is planned later this month between the Office of Treaty Settlements and Marutuahu, Ngai Tai, Ngati Te Ata and Te Taou and Kawerau a Maki.

Despite not having the votes in Parliament to get settlement legislation through, Treaty Negotiations Minister Mark Burton says the Crown has a good faith obligation to honour the agreement it made with the Orakei hapu.

But Mr Majurey says the Crown should heed a Waitangi Tribunal finding that that 90 million dollar deal was flawed, and should be put on hold until settlements are reached with the other iwi.

“What we clearly have in mind is exactly where the tribunal was at and that is the whole proposed settlement is flawed, and all the elements of redress, cultural, commercial, first rights of refusal, are all on the table as far as we're concerned,” Mr Majurey says.

The hui will discuss resourcing of claimants, commissioning independent historical research, mandating issues, setting up a single negotiating table over cultural redress sites like Auckland's volcanic cones.


The new Maori members of the Bioethics Council are expecting some tough challenges ahead on how competition between culture and science can be resolved.

Massey University professor Huia Tomlins-Jahnke, former Ngai Tahu chief executive Tahu Potiki and from Te Wananga o Awanuiarangi researcher Brett Stephenson have joined founder member Waiora Port to bring a greater Maori perspective to the council.

Ms Tomlins-Jahnke says her involvement in hapu-based research has exposed her to debates about the tikanga of science.

“Because there is no one view around any of these issues. Which is one of the reasons why the consultation activities are going to be so important. One of the roles of the council is stimulating dialogue around cultural and ethical and spiritual aspects related to bio-technology,” she says.

One of the issues the council will have to grapple with is pre-birth testing.


Ngapuhi artist Lisa Reihana has given Rome artlovers a taste of colonial New Zealand.

Her video installation Native Portraits has just finished a two week run at Roma University's contemporary gallery.

It's based on the colonial era photography of the Burton Brothers, and includes short performances of Maori doing a wero and other actors wearing 19th century costumes.

She says it got a great response, despite the language difficulties.

“The Italian people spent a long time looking at it and were really really interested and intrigued by Maori culture, so I spent the whole evening chatting and gesticulating and speaking very bad Italian, but I really liked the way culture and history is really important to them, and how they really wanted to know about New Zealand and what happens here,” Ms Reihana says.

Another installation by Lisa Reihana, Digital Marae, opens this Saturday at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth.


The Office of Treaty Settlements says the Crown is keen to get settlement with all claimants to the Auckland isthmus.

Talks have started with overlapping claimants including the four Marutuahu tribes, Hauraki Maori Trust Board, Ngai tai Ki Tamaki, Ngati Te Ata, Te Taou and Kawerau a Maki.

OTS director Paul James says a series of meetings between the OTS and the claimants will test scenarios and look at possible ways forward.

“The Crown maintains its goals of continuing to seek settlements of all claims in Auckland. The focus is the process of talking to those overlapping groups face to face and finding a way through what are some complex and difficult issues with those groups.

Mr James says the Office of Treaty Settlements is continuing to talk to Ngati Whaua o Orakei about ways to advance their settlement, which is stalled because the Government can’t get enough votes to pass it.


The Green Party's indigenous person's spokesperson wants the government to take stronger action over Burma's crackdown on democracy protesters.

Metiria Turei says the pressure needs to go on the country the military dictatorship has renamed Myanmar.

She says reports are coming in that monks and other protesters are being rounded up and carted away by the truckload.

“New Zealand were leaders in issues round East Timor and South Africa and we can take that position with Burma as well. What we have failed to do is act swiftly. If we truly support communities and people having control of their own lives and their own country, then we need to support the Burmese people and their struggle for freedom,” Ms Turei says.

She says the current restrictions on visits by members of the regime do not go far enough, and economic sanctions should be considered.


Marriage may not be a taonga for everyone.

A Maori academic says a claim by Tauranga woman Rosina Hauiti that her Tongan tane is a taonga isn't well founded in the culture.

She says expelling her husband as an overstayer breaches articles two and three of the Treaty of Waitangi.

But Rawiri Taonui, a senior lecturer in Maori Studies at Canterbury University, says taonga are usually things valued by the collective - such as land or language.

He's intrigued by what arguments may be put up by the Hauiti-Fonua whanau.

“We all believe that our tamariki are taonga. That’s true. So by extension I suppose you could argue mums and dads, husbands and wives are taonga of a sort as well,” Mr Taonui says.

He says the odds of the tribunal agreeing to hear the case are probably less than 50-50.

Think Big at Waitangi Treaty grounds

The Waitangi National Trust has unveiled ambitious plans for a $15 million visitors' centre at the nation's birthplace.

The project manager, Larry Jacobson, says the trust expects to lodge its resource consent application this month.

The complex will sit on to the north of the treaty House and Whare Runanga, where the land slopes away to the sea.

It will include ticketing facilities and toilets, a cafe and two theatres.

He says it isn't designed to take attention away from the historic precinct where the treaty was signed in 1840.

“It's a low profile building that hugs the land, fits into the landscape, so it’s not meant to be visually significant. The idea is it’s meant to be a part of the land. The design sees a lot of planting round it and in fact trees growing into the building virtually and a stream running through the middle of the building,” Mr Jacobson says.

He says the existing centre can't cope with the 200 thousand visitors coming through the treaty grounds each year.

The Government is opposed to the plan, because it is concerned the trust is taking on a large commercial burden which puts the nation's heritage at risk.


A Te Aupouri kaumatua says the Government is jumping the gun in trying to push through a settlement with the far north tribe.

The Office of Treaty Settlements is consulting with neighbouring iwi on what will be in its $12 million remedies package, including areas such as te Paki Station, Te Rerenga Wairua and Spirits Bay.

But Kingi Ihaka, the chair of a group representing Te Aupouri members living in Auckland, says the tribe's supposed negotiators don't have a mandate and haven't been transparent about the talks.

He says by only talking to people in the ahi kaa or home area, the Crown has avoided facing Te Aupouri's more skilled and able members.

“Generally speaking ahi kaa have limited understanding of the politics involved and who to speak to, how to speak to them, and it has to be robust. Traditionally my people have sort of a sat back and taken a sense of humility rather than one of robustness,” Mr Ihaka says.

The negotiations should start again with a properly elected and mandated panel.


A Hawkes Bay mayor believes compensation awarded to Maori landowners for an unauthorised water system sets a dangerous precedent.

In 1976 the predecessor to Central Hawkes Bay Council put two tanks and three 800-metre pipes across two multiply-owned blocks at Porangahau, to supply a beach settlement.

Landowner Helen McGregor went to the Maori Land Court for back rent, and won $20,000 plus an order the now obsolete tanks and pipes be removed.

Mayor Tim Gilbertson says the claim was absurd and flew in face of community spirit.

“Thirty years ago things were done on a handshake, it worked really well, and the community now has to find $20,000 to pay the landowners for something we think is worth $1200 at most. But that’s the law and so the law must be observed,” he says.

Mr Gilbertson says the ruling means anyone who has given anything for a community use could come back and demand back rent.


Whakatane's Ngati Awa has become the first Maori tribe to sign a treaty recognising the right to indigenous peoples to govern themselves.

Jeremy Gardiner, the chief executive of the Ngati Awa Runanga, says the United League of Indigenous Nations Treaty was developed in Washington DC in August as a response to the wrangling over the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

It has been signed by first nations peoples from the four countries which voted against the declaration - New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States.

He says it seeks to spell out their rights... and build relationships between their communities.

“The first stated purpose of the treaty is to establish the bonds between indigenous nations to undertake political, social, cultural and economic development, protection and recovery of homelands, and general well being, so its core purpose is that close relationship, nation building and supporting other indigenous nations,” Mr Gardiner says.

The Treaty will be brought to New Zealand in November for signing by the tribes of the Maataatua Assembly and other tribes.


A Northland MP fears a proposed 15 million dollar visitors' centre at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds could put the nation's birthplace at risk.

The Waitangi National Trust is about to seek resource consent to build the complex, which includes a cafe, restaurant and 200-seat theatre.

It will sit north of the Treaty House and Whare Runanga, on the slope down to the sea.

Shane Jones says the independent trust which controls the treaty grounds is wrong to head off in a commercial direction which will impose high ongoing maintenance costs.

“Now the cash flow can only come from one of two places. The current entrance fee, which in my view should not exist, and the ongoing commercial fees associated with people wanting to use the facility. And as time progresses you’ll find the place that’s supposed to be known as Waitangi, the heart of the nation will come to be known as Waitangi, the commercial cost centre of the nation,” he says.

Mr Jones says the think big project is clear evidence the governance structure of the Treaty Grounds is flawed and needs to be overhauled.


A Wellsford teenager is running programmes for children affected by violence because he doesn't want kids to go through what he has been through.

Wiremu Te Mapihi-Livingstone will be a keynote speaker at New Zealand's first national hui of child advocates in Hamilton today.

The 15-year-old is a whanau support worker for Te Korowai Aroha O Ngati Whatua.

“I've been there and done that and experienced violence, and I didn’t like it one bit, so I’m doing this because I know what it feels like and I don’t want the younger generations of these days to go through the same thing,” he says.

Wiremu Te Mapihi-Livingstone and his grandmother, Adell Dick, developed and run a programme called Atawhaingia Te Pa Harakeke, or Nurture the Family of Flax, which tries to impart the traditional values which underlie non-violent child rearing.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Joint deal sought on Kaingaroa Forest

Central North Island iwi are attempting to put together a comprehensive settlement for the Kaingaroa Forest.

Representatives of some of the iwi met with Finance Minister Michael Cullen last week to find out if the Government was willing to engage, now that a proposed Te Arawa settlement has stalled.

The government doesn’t have the votes to get its $80 million settlement with Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa through Parliament.

That’s because of outrage over the way the deal ignores a 1989 agreement with Maori on how forestry claims would be dealt with, and because of concerns it disadvantages neighbouring iwi who stuck with the Waitangi Tribunal process.

Thiose iw3i now have a report favouring their claims, but say the Crown has promised their customary land to Te Arawa.

Last week a group including Tuwharetoa chief Tumu te Heuheu, and representatives from Ngati Whare, Ngati Makino, Ngati Whakaue and Te Pumautanga, Met Michael Cullen to see what they could salvage.

Dr Cullen agreed to the Crown engaging with the group once mandates and other issues are sorted out, but no one is expecting quick progress.


The risk of protests is putting developers from getting involved with Maori landowners.

That's the fear of the secretary of a Taupo trust caught up in a land occupation.

Andrew Kusabs from the Hiruharama Ponui Trust was reelected at the trust's annual meeting on the weekend by almost 90 percent of the vote.

Candidates from a faction opposing the trust's lakeside residential development failed to win shareholder support.

The development has been interrupted by court challenges by the minority faction, an occupation and the discovery of bones on the site, which police say turned out to be of animal rather than human origin.

Mr Kusabs says the shareholders suffer from the disruption.

“It's a marvelous opportunity for Maori to use their lands this way, and now these developers and other developers who were considering Maori land have all flown the coop. They don’t want to know anything more about it. And Symphony, who to their credit are hanging in there despite the losses they’re incurring, to make sure this one works,” he says.

Mr Kusabs says the trust now fears the protesters will use even more extreme tactics to stop the development.


This year's top secondary school Maori speaker puts being Maori ahead of speaking the reo.

Tupoutahi Winitana from Turangi-based whanau school Te Kura o te Ahorangi won the Pei Te Hurinui Jones trophy for senior Maori at the Maanu Korero awards, topping both the prepared speech and impromptu events.

He says the language is just a vehicle for getting thoughts across.

“Thinking you can speak in Maori doesn’t make you a Maori. So if I put it in reverse, if I learn to speak Japanese, does that make me a Japanese? No. You need to think like a Maori. You need to feel like a Maori in your heart and your head you need to be there. If not, ah, ka mou mou to reo. Your language will just be that, the Maori language, nothing more, nothing less,” Mr Winitana says.

He's considering training as a teacher.


A Maori Vietnam veteran says giving veterans the New Zealand General Service Medal doesn't go far enough.

The acting Prime Minister, Jim Anderton, told the Returned Services’ Association’s annual meeting in Wellington today that the medal with a special clasp would go to military personnel, accredited members of philanthropic organizations, and accredited war correspondents, who served in Vietnam between December 1962 and January 1973.

Kingi Taurua, who was the third New Zealander wounded in the campaign, says the medal won't help soldiers and their families affected by Agent Orange herbicide.

“It is important the government make compensation and look at how the soldiers were poisoned and how they are feeling at the moment. Some of them can’t afford to go to doctors. Some are dying. That for me is more important than this shiny medal the government is going to present. It doesn’t make me happy at all. It doesn’t give men any flutter in the heart,” Mr Taurua says.

The medal was part of a deal reached last year between the Government, Vietnam veterans and the RSA.


The Green's treaty spokesperson believes high turnover and poor systems in the Office of Treaty Settlements is hampering the claims process.

Metiria Turei says the new rules on the sale of surplus Crown land are necessary because OTS's landbanking system broke down.

The Government reviewed the system after claimants in Coromandel and the far north occupied farms Landcorp wanted to sell.

Ms Turei says OTS had rigid rules which ignored the needs of individual hapu, and officials clearly didn't listen to hapu about what blocks were important.

“Because they change personnel all the time and the files are being shifted from one person to another perpetually, then any understanding of what’s important by one OTS person will be lost at the files get transferred to other people because people are leaving, they have a relatively high attrition rate of staff,” Ms Turei says.

She says government departments and companies haven't done enough to sort out Maori claims to their land.


A child advocate is promoting traditional Maori values as the way to break the cycle of family violence.

Adell Dick from Te Korowai Aroha O Ngati Whatua in Wellsford runs Atawhaingia Te Pa Harakeke, a programme for children affected by violence.

It tries to teach traditional values such as seeing women as tapu and children as taonga.

She says many violent parents have lost touch with those values.

“Some of them think they know but really most of them don’t even know what waka they’re from, they don’t know what maunga they’re from, and these children don’t know and so they don’t have a firm foundation to start with,” Mrs Dick says.

Her partner on Atawhaingia Te Pa Harakeke, her 15 year old grandson Wiremu Te Mapihi-Livingstone, will explain the programme to the first national hui of child advocates in Hamilton tomorrow.

Husband a taonga Tonga

A Maori-Tongan woman has asked the Waitangi Tribunal to rule her Tongan husband is a taonga who should not be deported.

Rosina Hauiti claims the Immigration Service is trying to remove her husband, Mofuike Fonua, on the grounds it was not a genuine marriage.

Immigration consultant Tuariki Delamere, who is acting for Ms Hauiti, says officials have never met the couple.

He says what's at stake is the right of a Maori to enjoy the right to retain and be with their taonga.

“We consider taonga are trees and fish and other such things. Well as far as I am concerned, a husband, a wife and a child are taonga, much more so than a tree or a fish, and while this may well be a new area of jurisprudence, I would hope the tribunal would recognise our immediate family are taonga. I would say tane comes before Tanemahuta,” Mr Delamere says.

Ms Hauti wants the hearing at her family marae in Tauranga Moana.

Waitangi Tribunal Judge Carrie Wainwright has asked for more information before she accepts the claim for hearing.


Aquaculture New Zealand wants to speed up the expansion of Maori into the fish farming industry.

Mike Burrell, the chief executive of the Nelson-based organisation, says a new Maori development manager will promote Maori participation at board level and liaise with Maori already in the industry, or who want to be.

Riki Ellison from Ngai Tahu, who is currently a senior manager at the Environment Ministry, has been hired for the job.

Mr Burrell says it's a change in strategy.

“Rather than us taking a reactive approach, reacting to different approaches from Maori organisations and Maori businesses who might be interested in aquaculture, this is about actually taking a proactive approach and going out and saying here’s the opportunities for Maoridom in terms of aquaculture, here’s hw you might go about participating in the industry,” Mr Burrell says.

Under the commercial aquaculture claims settlement, iwi will get 20 percent of all new aquaculture space, on top of the considerable investments Maori have already made in the sector.


Golden Bay Maori have opened their doors for people who have found taonga in the area's riverbanks and beaches.

Two dozen residents bought almost 150 items to Onetahua Marae in Pohara over the weekend, including adzes, fish hooks and pendants.

Chris Hill from Manawhenua ki Mohua says after the manuhiri were welcomed on by kaumatua from Te Atiawa, Ngati Tama and Ngati Koata, the items were measured and catalogued by four archaeologists.
She says some people left the taonga with the iwi collective, which is a registered collector under the Antiquities Act.

“We haven't got a hunger to have these sorts of things. We’re not trying to grasp them. But quite a few folks said it was just wonderful to have a hui provided that was very open for people to be able to come, and for people as well for people that want to take their things home and keep them, but they were willing to show us, because we often wonder what’s out there. We know that people are finding things all the time along our coastline,” Ms Hill says.

The taonga help reveal Golden Bay's cultural heritage.


Bones which sparked the occupation of a Taupo development have been found to be not human.
Taupo police say bones handed to the police by protesters occupying land at Acacia Bay have been examined by archaeologists from the Historic Places trust ... who believe they came from either a sheep or a pig.
Andrew Kusabs, the secretary of landowners the Hiruharama Ponui Incorporation, says the find casts doubt on the credibility of the protesters, and of the so called kaumatua who supported them by placing a rahui on the land.
Hiruharama Ponui leased the land to Symphony Group for a residential development.

Mr Kusabs says the protesters have no support from the rest of the owners - as was proved at last weekend's annual meeting, when he and fellow trustee James Alexander were reelected with almost 90 percent of the voting shares cast.


A Maori owned company was won a deal to sell its revolutionary car parking system into India, the Gulf States and North Africa.

Phil Jones from Ahu Development says the manufacturing deal with a Mumbai company is worth more than $60 million over the next three years.

Mr Jones, who's from Tokoroa, came up with the U-Parkit car stacking system after watching the way timber was stacked.

He says the idea has taken off, and the best way to manage growth seems to be to sell distribution rights.

“In Tokoroa we believe we can provide up to 3000 cells a year around the world, and by the looks of it, 3000 cells a year will go into New Zealand and Australia, so we’ve got huge demand in other places so we’ve had to think about manufacturing in closer proximity to the demand. Hence the need to form manufacturing partnerships in places like India,” Mr Jones says.

U-Parkit stacks cars eight high - meaning it uses less land than conventional car parking systems.


The editor of an updated book on traditional Maori weaving says the art is growing.

Ata Te Kanawa says Weaving a Kakahu by her mother, Diggeress Te Kanawa, has been a valuable resource for people learning raranga since it was first published in 1992.

The book shows the process of making a cloak from selecting the flax and preparing the fibre, dyeing, weaving, shaping and adorning the final garment.

She says the reprint reflects the modernisation of the artform and its increased visibility.

“It's had a growing popularity in contemporary fashion. Like with the plethora of fashion shows connected with Matariki events. There’s at least a dozen of them all over the country,” Ms Te Kanawa says.

The popularity of raranga can be guaged by the unprecedented demand for places at the Maori Weavers National Hui at Maraenui Marae in the eastern Bay of Plenty over Labour Weekend.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Damp house inquiry needed

The Public Health Association has backed a Maori Party call for an inquiry into state rental houses.

Director Gay Keating says the links between poor housing and poor health are well-known, with problems like bronchitis, pneumonia and asthma common among people living in damp and overcrowded houses.

She says it's not just a problem in Porirua but across the country, and it disproportionately affects Maori on low incomes.

“It seems to be that rental housing is least well maintained. It’s most likely to be damp. It’s least likely to have adequate hearting. And so Maori, and other people who are on low incomes, who are renting, are most likely to be affected,” Dr Keating says.

She says any inquiry should look not just at state housing but the private market at well.


An expert in designing new constitutions says many states are grappling with how to recognise their ethnic minorities.

Yash Ghai is delivering the annual Sir Douglas Robb Lectures, starting at the University of Auckland tonight.

The Kenyan lawyer has advised nations from Fiji to Samoa and Afghanistan to Sri Lanka on how democratic constitutions can be fair and workable.

He says many ethnic minorities have similar concerns to Maori about official protection of their culture.

“Traditionally most states relied on what we call individual rights, but today many communities feel that they also have their own culture, way of living, way of relating to others, and that the low should provide protection or recognition of these community institutions and values,” Dr Ghai says.

He says the human rights frameworks are changing to recongise these wider community interests.


A how-to book from one of our most respected weavers has been updated.

Weaving a Kakahu by Diggeress Te Kanawa takes the reader through weaving a cloak from selecting and preparing flax, dyeing the fibre, weaving, shaping and adornment.

It's been out of print since 1994.

Editor Ata Te Kanawa says the book was part of the effort by her mother and her grandmother, the late Rangimarie Hetet, to revive interest in traditional weaving by sharing their skills.

“Given now that mum’s 87, clearly she’s not up to doing what she used to do as far as tutoring and stuff, but the good thing about the book is it’s actually a tangible resource. People don‘t need to be taught under her guidance. The book pretty much says it all,” Ms Te Kanawa says.

The updated version was backed by Creative New Zealand and Puwaha ki te Ao Trust.


Gale force winds have delayed the processing of a whale stranded in Northland over the weekend.

Ngati Wai members were out this afternoon trying to deal with an adult male baleen whale washed up on the beach at the southern end of the Waipu estuary.

Te Tui Hoterene, the iwi's stranding coordinator, says there have been 111 strandings in Ngati Wai's rohe since they began liaising with the Conservation Department in 1996.

If the whales die a ceremony is held to return its mauri to the sea, before the flensing begins.

“The entire whale is named, and then if pieces of the whale, say the bone or the teeth are given away and separated from the original skeleton, those pieces are given anther name, so there’s a whakapapa that is created during that process of distribution,” Ms Hoterene says.

Ngati Wai is also working with scientists from the Auckland University of Technology who conduct post-mortems on the whales and analyse their stomach contents to determine the health of the whale population.


Aquaculture New Zealand's new Maori development manager is considered a good catch.

The Nelson-based organisation has secured the services of Riki Ellison from Ngai Tahu, who is currently the environment stewardship manager for the Environment Ministry.

Mike Burrell, Aquaculture NZ's chief executive, says Mr Ellison will drive the organisation's strategy to promote greater participation of Maori businesses in the industry.

“He's a real catch for us. We’re really pleased he’s coming onboard because he brings a lot of skill, a lot of mana and a lot of expertise dealing with iwi across a whole range of different sectors, so bringing that level of knowledge and speciality to our organisation is very important to us, so we’re absolutely delighted actually,” Mr Burrell says.

Maori already own close to half the aquaculture industry.


Kiwis' coach Gary Kemble has high hopes of young Maori prop Sam Rapira for this month's trans-Tasman test.

Waikato-raised Rapira was one of the form props of this year’s Rugby League, and although still in his early 20s will front a powerful forward lineup for the Kiwis.

Mr Kemble says his young side was picked with an eye on the future ... and he expects Rapira to feature in the squad for many years to come.

“With losing Nathan Cayless, a lot of responsibility will now be on him, Roy (Asotasi), Fuifui (Moimoi) and Jeff Lima. Roy’s the most experiences of the lot of them but I’ve said to Sam ‘Look you’ve had another good year in the NRL, you have to step up now. Unfortunately it’s a little bit earlier than what we thought, but he’s going to take it with both hands,” Mr Kemble says.

The Kiwis play Australian in Wellington on the 19th of this month, before heading to England for a tour marking 100 years of Rugby League tests between New Zealand and Great Britain.

Iti offering olive branch from coupsters

A Tuhoe activist says Fiji's coup leaders are keen to talk to Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters.

Tame Iti made a flying visit to Fiji last month to get his name taken off a border blacklist, and ended up meeting with coup leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

He says this country needs to be opening up a dialogue, rather than condemning the Fijians through the media and in the United Nations.

“There ought to be ongoing dialogue, if that’s possible. That’s really why I went across there, to try to find to mediate, if there is a possibility. They’re keen as to have some meeting happen between themselves and Winston Peters. I just want to crack that kind of korero, if that is possible,” Mr Iti says.

He's tried to get in touch with Mr Peters, but so far has had no response.


Quota cuts for key commercial species mean small iwi could struggle to make a profit this fishing season.

The Fisheries Minister has imposed a 10 percent cut in hoki quota and a similar cut in some orange roughy quotas.

Ben Waitai, who managed fisheries for two small far north iwi for more than a decade, says many of the quota parcels held by iwi now are barely economic.

He says Ngai Takoto, which got less than a million dollars in settlement assets, could struggle because of the fixed costs in running a fishing operation.

“Whether you've got a big company like Ngapuhi has, or a small company like Ngai Takoto has, the compliance costs are still the same. And that’s the part for Ngai Takoto that there will be very insignificant returns for Ngai Takoto,” Mr Waitai says.


A leading Maori writer is seeing a new Maori literature emerging.

Patricia Grace has just won the 2008 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, which is considered the most prestigious award for a writer after the Nobel Prize.

While the award cites her novel Baby No Eyes, it is granted based on the body of a writer's work.

The Plimmerton-based writer says for many years it seemed that she and Witi Ihimaera were the only Maori being published regularly, but that has changed in recent years.

“Witi and I used to talk about this and say where are they. We’d run all these workshops. He in particular collected work by Maori writers in anthologies and so forth. But they are coming forth now and they’re coming from all sorts of different backgrounds which I think is good,” Mrs Grace says.

The diversity of emerging writers, from different backgrounds and experiences, is giving people a much wider impression of what it is to be Maori.


The Office of Treaty Settlements has started consultations with far north iwi on its proposed $12 million settlement with Te Aupouri.

It's trying to build on the momentum of the agreement in principle reached with southern neighbours Te Rarawa for a $20 million settlement.

Winiata Brown, the chair of the Aupouri negotiators, says yesterday's hui with neighbours Ngati Kuri at Te Hapua highlighted the problems of settling with closely-related iwi with overlapping territories.

There was some hostility when the officials revealed Te Aupouri's interest in areas like Te Paki Station, Te Rerenga Wairua, Spirits Bay and the North Cape scientific reserve.

“Aupouri has been very quiet and subtle about it but I don’t think we can keep in the background. We have to come up and say we are related together, we all come from the same tupuna,” Mr Brown says.

He says the negotiators feel the consultation is starting too early, and there is still a considerable way to go before a settlement is ready for ratification by members.


The Minister of Maori Affairs says a new process for selling Crown land gives Maori more chance to have their interests taken into account.

The process is a response to the occupations of farms Landcorp attempted to sell in Coromandel and the Far North.

Mr Horomia says the previous landbanking system did not take into account many heritage, cultural and recreational values.

“What it does give us is the scope and opportunity to widen out and recognise all the issues relevant to that land. Generally for a while now we’ve been fighting in the Maori caucus that the Maori issues are generally relevant to waahi tapu. Well waahi tapu is quite limiting,” Mr Horomia says.

The new process will involve the ministers of state owned enterprises and land information, but not maori affairs or treaty negotiations.


Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell is having a crash course in other proportional voting systems.

He's part of a five-member parliamentary delegation looking at how MMP works in Germany, the Netherlands and Norway.

It will also visit the World Court in the Hague.

He says what he learns could help Maori in future, even though no change is imminent.

“The main thing is to look at developments in the hope that perhaps down the line, if there was a desire to change, then at least we come from an informed position,” Mr Flavell says.

The Maori Party is the only one in Parliament with no list seats, because it won more constituencies than its share of the party vote.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Under the radar in land of Oz

Maori in Australia need to look more to the Government there for assistance.

That's the view of the author of a major study on Maori living across the Tasman.

Paul Hamer, a Te Puni Kokiri policy analyst, says more than 100,000 Maori have hopped the ditch in search of a different lifestyle and better material opportunities.

He says they tend to fly under the radar of Australian authorities because they speak English and have high workforce participation, so they don't get the sort of support the government there gives other new migrant groups.

“They arrive there and they’re in a country where they’re in an enormous melting pot and it’s really up to them, and often they don’t go seeking from the Australian government what they’re entitled to either. They don’t know how or they think they’re displaced New Zealanders and they continue to look to the government in New Zealand,” Mr Hamer says.

Maori in Australia are keen to keep their culture alive, and appreciate help in that from this side of the Tasman.


The Deaf Foundation wants to see more interpreters who can translate te reo Maori into sign language.

Board member Nigel Murphy says there are only two interpreters who can sign in Maori.

That's despite the fact 30 percent of the deaf community are Maori, and Maori children under 19 make up almost half of deafness notifications.

He says translation can make content more widely accessible for the deaf.

“We need more Maori who can speak te reo to train as sign language interpreters. I mean sign language is the third official language of New Zealand, and we applaud initiatives in the Maori community like Maori TV. They have the only tri-lingual show, a gardening show called Kiwi Mara,” Mr Murphy says.

The high rate of Maori deafness seems to be a combination of genetics, health and socioeconomic factors, such as an unacceptably high rate of glue ear which goes untreated.


Patricia Grace has won what's considered the most prestigious international prize after the Nobel Prize in Literature.

A jury from 10 countries has awarded the Plimmerton-based writer the US$50,000 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, which is administered by the University of Oklahoma.

Mrs Grace, from Ngati Toa, Te Atiawa and Raukawa, is the first indigenous writer to win the biannual award and only the fourth woman to win it.

She says her ideas comes from her family and the things that happen around her, as well as the inspiration of earlier writers.

“There were some pioneers of writing by Maori writing in English who didn’t get books published in the early days, like Arapera Blank and Jacqui Sturm and I think particularly Hone Tuwhare who did have a book out in the early days. I think his may have been the first by a Maori writer in English, and he was an inspiration to us all,” Mrs Grace says.

She was nominated from the Neustadt Prize by Native American writer and performer Joy Harjo, who described her writing as a weave of Maori oral storytelling in contemporary Western literary forms.


A campaigner for the return of Paraparaumu airport land to customary Maori owners is comparing a former National cabinet minister with Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe.

Te Whanau a Te Ngarara is trying to unwind then-transport minister Maurice Williamson's 1995 decision to sell the airport without first offering it back to previous owners.

The land was taken under the Public Works Act during World War Two.

Peter Love, a spokesperson for the whanau, says people who condemn Zimbabwe's confiscation of white-owned farms should find similar outrage for what happened at Paraparaumu.

“Robert Mugabe's a nice guy alongside Williamson, who actually signed off on this thing. I mean Maurice Williamson took the land, got the land, and then actually had the audacious nerve to sell it, and instead of offering it back or even offering us to consider buying it or anything else, he pushed us out of the way, sold it, and put the money in the bank,” Mr Love says.

Unless there is some action soon on their claim, Paraparaumu Maori could occupy the tarmac.


Associate minister Dover Samuels is defending the Government's hand-picked nominees to represent Maori on a climate change consultative group.

National organisations like the Maori Council and the Federation of Maori Authorities were bypassed to install Ngati Porou chair Api Mahuika and Tuwharetoa member Timi Te Heuheu on the 31 member group, which is chaired by The Warehouse founder Stephen Tindall.

The selection process has been challenged by Maori Council member Maanu Paul, who says it marginalises Maori.

But Mr Samuels says the government wants the best people for the job.

“Climate change is a complex issue and I have utter faith in Api and Timi actually representing the views of modern Maori,” Mr Samuels says.

He says the Maori Council is a dinosaur which should acknowledge it has become extinct.


Today is World Hepatitis Awareness Day, and the Hepatitis Foundation is encouraging Maori to get tested for the disease.

Its chief executive says a disproportionate number of Maori are carriers of Hepatitis B.

John Hornell says despite the fact a vaccine has been available for 20 years, three percent of Maori under 15 carry the disease, which is high in world terms.

He says extended family living could be a factor.

“Hepatitis B is a very easy virus to spread on. It’s spread by daily contact, by bodily fluids. It’s predominantly spread by blood to blood contact, and when people live in close proximity, you have a much higher prevalence,” Mr Hornell says.

Maori aged between 25 to 45 are at most risk and should have blood tests regularly.

Maori Oz migration mapped

Maori across the Tasman could get more support from Te Puni Kokiri if the recommendations of a new report are heeded.

The report estimated more than 100 thousand Maori live in Australia, drawn by economic opportunity and the chance to leave behind Pakeha negativity about Maori issues.

The Minister of Maori Affairs says it’s a valuable document.

Parekura Horomia, who launched the report in Sydney on Saturday, says Maori in Australia are keen to have more contact with the Maori development ministry.

“Well they drove a fair bit of it. They’ve been trying to get together, clear things. There’s been no benchmark, framework, baseline, of why people are there and what they do to survive,” Mr Horomia says.

He wants to go back later in the year to get feedback, and he's considering a suggestion for a hui taumata of Australian Maori Leaders.


Researchers have identified disparities in the way Maori stroke victims are treated.

The Maori and Pacific Stroke Study has been looking at the experiences of Auckland women from different ethnic groups.

Study member Matire Harwood says survival rates were good for all groups, reflecting the fact that people were getting into hospital quickly and using rehabilitation units to help recover.

But Maori women are ending up in a more disabled state after discharge, with problems walking, dressing themselves or speaking.

“A lot of the stroke care is funded by the Ministry of Health for those people over the age of 65, whereas because we are a younger population, many Maori are having their stroke younger that that age, so they’re having to wait longer before they get the proper rehabilitation,” Dr Harwood says.

The research should lead to more care in the community and improve outcomes for Maori people and their whanau.


Maori artists looking to make it big in North America have a more direct route thanks to a new air link.

Air New Zealand will fly direct to Vancouver from November.

Toi Maori Aotearoa has been promoting Maori art for the past four years into the region, from northern California to British Columbia.

Garry Nichols, its general manager, says the push has had strong support from the airline and from Tourism New Zealand.

He says Toi Maori is keen to add its brand to the new service, which will benefit the airline and the artists.

“It's a great opportunity for us to be seen as part of that cutting edge. The businesses that can then take advantage of those direct flights are going to be those that want to expand their business into Canada, and flying there is much better process than all the way through LA or San Francisco or Hawaii,” Mr Nicholas says.

He'll be on the first flight, along with artist brother Darcy Nicholas, storyteller Joe Harawira, Air New Zealand's kapa haka group, singer Hollie Smith and a trade delegation led by Trade Minister Phil Goff.


The Maori Council is challenging the way the Government has picked the two Maori members of a new climate change forum.

31 business and sector leaders, under the chairmanship of The Warehouse founder Stephen Tindall, will report to Climate Change Minister David Parker and Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen.

The forum includes two Maori - Timi te Heuheu, brother of Ngati Tuwharetoa paramount chief Tumu te Heuheu, and Apirana mahuika, the chair of Te Runanga o Ngati Porou.

Maanu Paul, a Maori Council executive member, says the Government is bypassing the council, which has a statutory duty to represent all Maori, and it is bypassing other representative Maori bodies.

“The Crown continues in this manner, and in doing so it marginalises Maori, because those two members, while personally they have high profile, they do not represent all Maori, and being token Maori is one of the worst sins in this country,” Mr Paul says.

The Government should fund the Maori Council to coordinate a national Maori response to climate change policies.


The face Rotorua presents to the world is Maori, but not in the way it's governed.

Now its deputy mayor wants to change that.
After 30 years on the council, Trevor Maxwell is having one last tilt at the mayoralty.

He missed out last time by just 250 votes, so he's been on the hustings drumming up support.

If he wins, Mr Maxwell will break new ground.

“They've never had a Maori mayor since the inception, and bit of an indictment for our region I think, but we’ve had three deputy mayors: Pakake Leonard, Sir Peter Tapsell and myself. So we just need to take that big step up,” Mr Maxwell says.


It's Arthritis appeal week, and researchers want to know why disproportionate numbers of Maori suffer ... and suffer .. from a crippling form of arthritis.

Toni Griffiths, from Arthritis New Zealand, says Maori seem to be particularly susceptible to gout, which is caused by the build up of uric acid around the joints.

She says many Maori feel that because it runs in their families, they have to live with it - but there are effective treatments available.

It's a disease many people feel whakamaa of having.

“A lot of people ore a bit ashamed of it because people say ‘oh yes, you must live the high life, you drink too much and you must eat all the rich food.’ Well in fact there is an element of food in terms of developing and having flares of gout, but that is not the main cause,” Ms Griffiths says.

Arthritis New Zealand is working with district health boards to develop programmes for Maori to help with the self management of gout and other forms of arthritis.