Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, October 19, 2007

$16b putea for investment in young

The head of Te Puni Kokiri says Maori organisations should be investing more in their young people.

The Maori development ministry has released a report on what Maori can expect in the future and where they should be putting their resources.

Leith Comer says new technologies and the emergence of new economic powers like China and India will influence the decisions Maori trusts, incorporations and iwi bodies make.

He says the Maori asset base has grown more than 80 percent since 2001.

“We have a strong collective asset base that we estimate to be about $16 billion, and that collective asset base should be used to invest in our young people to prepare them for the futures of tomorrow, or the opportunities of tomorrow,” Mr Comer says.

Maori can look for inspiration to their ancestors, who made extraordinary journeys of discovery to make their future.


A Maori Party MP says the police have vilified the name of the Tuhoe nation.

Te Ururoa Flavell says the lock down of Ruatoki in the Tuhoe heartland by armed police on Monday, and the arrest of high profile activist Tame Iti, means this weeks events are indelibly linked to the iwi.

The Waiariki MP spoke at today's protest hikoi in Whakatane by Ruatoki kohanga reo children and their supporters.

He says it is not a tribe that seeks a high profile, especially of the kind it's getting.

“Talkback, the newspapers splattered the name of Tuhoe across this land and even overseas, and so from now on the Tuhoe nation will always be known as the nation that harbours terrorists. For me, that is just not on, it’s over the top, it’s something that should never have happened, it’s something that should have been handled far better,” Mr Flavell says.


The kumara does not proclaim its own sweetness.

That applies to Richard Nunns, who with the late Hirini Melbourne led the revival of traditional Maori instruments.

A remix of the pair's 1993 album Te Ku Te Whe was judged Best Maori Album at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards in Auckland last night.

Artists who added their sonic wizardry to the album included Sola Rosa, Pitch Black, Salmonella Dub and Warren Maxwell.

Mr Nunns says he felt mixed emotions receiving the award without his late mate there to share with.

“I felt a fake up there because there’s so many creative people involved. There’s a whole long list of mixmasters and huge names in the music business that contributed to the nip and tuck the became Te Whaiao which is only – well Te Ku Te Whe is of course the puna for it, but so many people were involved and here I am up there getting all the glories,” Mr Nunns says.

He dedicated the award to Hirini Melbourne.


Waikato University Maori graduates have been testing their research in front of their peers and former teachers.

They've just completed the first Te Toi o Matariki conference at Hamilton's Playhouse Theatre.

Linda Tuhiwai Smith, the university's pro vice chancellor Maori, says it's all part of building up research capacity within Maoridom, and tapping into the strengths and passion of individual students to get the best results.

She says it's important that there are Maori scholars across all the disciplines.

“There's no point just developing capacity in one area like education or Maori studies. We really need to participate in the full range of knowledge. It’s hard to prioritise. We are needy in every area,” Professor Smith says.

The university is hosting another conference at Maketu Marae in Kawhia next week for Maori doctoral students from all New Zealand universities, on their role as Maori researchers


A couple of good sized pigs and any number of tuna will be hauled over the scales tonight as te iwi o Maniapoto gather in Te Kuiti for their biannual festival.

The flags were raised on Tuesday to signal the beginning of the hunting, fishing and magpie shooting competitions, which finish tonight with the weigh in at Te Kokonganui-a-noho Marae.

Organiser Janise Eketone says a march up Rora Street in Te Kuiti and the official powhiri tomorrow will mark the beginning of the 46 sports codes, including an exhibition rugby game between Maniapoto and Waikato.

The festival is always a good drawcard for iwi across the motu, especially the hunting and shooting competitions.

We're a rural community really, Maniapoto is in the heart of the bushland, so there’s pigs, there’s eels, there’s fish, we’re not urban people, we get out qand enjoy the great outdoors,” Ms Eketone says.

Up to 5000 Ngati Maniapoto are expected at the festive, which climaxes with kapa haka and a kai hakari on Monday.


For East Coast Maori into kapa haka, all roads lead to Wharekahika this weekend.

The annual Ngati Porou hui taurima is hosted by the small community known to most as Hicks Bay.

Ani Pahuru Huriwai, the hui co-ordinator, says the festival at Hinemauria Marae includes some of the best kapahaka roopu in the country, including this year's national champions Whangara Mai Tawhiti.

The focus is on whanaungatanga, and the non competitive format means groups are free to express their Poroutanga in any way they choose.

“Some of our pakeke refer to it as the wild abandon of kappa haka sometimes gets lost at competitive level because certain expectations of you on the stage, but at non-competitive festivals like the Ngati Porou hui taurima you see some of that wild abandon coming back where our pakeke and our kids can just perform kappa haka for the love of it,” Ms Huriwai says.

Whakatane march against ninja raids

Civil rights is the lesson for the day for kura and kohanga reo in the eastern Bay of Plenty.

They'll be taking part in a march through Whakatane to the police station this morning, to protest Monday's lock-down of Ruatoki by armed police.

Lawyer Annette Sykes says the small Urewera community was subjected to an extraordinary invasion by state forces - despite the fact one of their main targets, Tuhoe activist Tame Iti, was arrested at his Whakatane home.

“How would you feel if your three year old child who normally goes to kohanga reo sees a man who can walk on the bus dressed up in a black ninja outfit carrying a weapon. Most people would be outraged. It didn’t happen in Auckland. Why did it happen in Ruatoki. You’ve got to ask yourself this,” Ms Sykes says.

The hikoi starts at the end of The Strand at 9.30.


Maori are being urged to diversity their asset base and the skills oif their people.

Te Puni Kokiri has launched a new publication, Nga Kaihanga Hou - For Maori Future Makers, spelling out some of the trends and technologies decision makers should be aware of over the next quarter century.

The head researcher, Hillmare Schulze says the world is changing so fast, Maori need to change today to ensure they have a role to play tomorrow.

She says young Maori need to pick up the skills, including knowledge of the sciences, which will be needed to participate in the innovation economy.

“We have worked out what we think are the key enablers for us to move into the future and the focus for us will first be diversifying the Maori asset base – all assets including people. To maybe move into new sectors as well as exploring new opportunities in current sectors,” Ms Schulze says.

Areas for Maori to look at include biotechnology, bioprospecting and alternative energy sources such as geothermal.


Weavers are converging at Maraenui Marae in the eastern Bay of Plenty for the national Maori Weavers Hui.

Organiser Kylie Tiuka from Toi Maori says the 300 places for the biannual event have been booked out for months.

She says the craft's profile has grown because of exhibitions like The Eternal Thread, which is reflected in the number of tertiary institutions offering programmes in Maori arts.
“We have small pockets
OUT: ... throughout Aotearoa,” Ms Tukia says.

Highlights of the hui will include a powhiri for Te Arikinui Kingi Tuheitia and a presentation for Dr David Tipene-Leach, but most of it is about sharing skills and knowledge.


Maori activists could be convicted of crimes without ever seeing the evidence against them.

That's the warning from a leading human rights lawyer in the wake of this week's raids on Maori, peace and environmental activists.

The searches were conducted under the Firearms Act and the Suppression of Terrorism Act.

Peter Williams QC says proposed amendments to the Terrorism Act, which are currently before Parliament, will allow the police to give the judge evidence which they don't have to make available to the defence.

“The police can have a folder full of absolute lies about you, and they can hand that up to the judge who can read it at his leisure but you the defendant has no access to it, nor does your lawyer, which means you can be convicted on information of which you’ve got no knowledge,” he says.

Mr Williams says the law is abhorrent and should be thrown out.


Meanwhile, supporters of kohanga reo and kura from Ruatoki are gathering in Whakatane about now to march on the police station in protest at Monday's lock-down of their town by armed police.

Mere Nuku, from Taawhaki Kohanga Reo, says she's reported Monday's events to the Ministry of Education.

She says the action of what the tamaraki called the ninja army could have long term effects.

She wants the government to send in child psychologists and other experts to advice parents and kohanga staff on what then need to do to reassure the children.

“What are the signs that they need to be looking for to make sure the damage that’s been done to these children mentally is identified and so they can be properly counseled though it or supported through to the healing part of it,” Mrs Nuku says.

The kohanga are upset they weren't able to do their duty to keep the children safe, because of heavy handed police tactics.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tots protest against ninja raid

A Ruatoki kohanga plans to march through Whakatane to the police station tomorrow morning to protest police actions during Monday's lock-down on the eastern Bay of Plenty township.

Mere Nuku from Taawhaki Kohanga Reo says the actions of armed, black-clad police has left Ruatoki's children are still unsettled, and could have long term consequences.

There's conflict over whether armed police searched buses taking children to the area's five kohanga reo.

The police and government ministers say the police were unarmed, but Mrs Nuku says that's not true.

She says there needs to be a law to protect buses transporting children.

“If they need to be questioned or searched, that they put vehicles behind them to go there until our babies are safely inside the kohanga or the kura, then do the search and talk to the adults,” Mrs Nuku says.

She says Monday's search has undone the kohanga's efforts to stop children playing with toy guns, or to teach them the police are their friends.


Maori are being challenged to shift out of sunset industries and embrace the technologies which will drive the economy in the future.

In a new publication Nga Kaihanga Hou - For Maori Future Makers, Te Puni Kokiri analysts have attempted to predict what Maori will be doing in 2030.

Chief executive Leith Comer says they have considered new technologies like bio, nano and information technology, economic factors and the need for environmental sustainability.

He says the relative youth of the Maori population means it's important to look ahead at how people can participate fully in the economy.

“We are culturally sound and strong in our identity, and that’s important when you think about most of the opportunities will be global, and people who have a strong sense of self and a strong understanding of their turangawaewae will be able to enter into those global markets a lot more secure in who they are,” Mr Comer says.

Nga Kaihanga Hou is being launched at a function at the Ellerslie Racing Club this evening.


A Canterbury bilingual teacher hopes his new book will spark children's interest in conservation.

In Te Haiata/The Dawn, a young boy tries to take revenge on all predators after a wild cat kills his friend Kiwi.

Mike Davey wrote Te Haiata in Maori, but Reed Publishing decided to issue as a bilingual book.

The first time author says there's a double message in the simple tale.

“The dawn chorus has become very quiet in the forest and te reo Maori has become very quiet on the land, so while we’re trying to revitalize both those areas, that’s an underlying metaphor in this story,” Mr Davey says.


Ma te ture te ture e patu - Let the law beat itself to death.

That's the response lawyer Peter Williams QC wants to see to this week's police raids under the Suppression of Terrorism Act.

He says all New Zealander should be concerned their rights are being stolen, not just those for the residents of Ruatoki.

“There should be an action brought there and there should be a group of lawyers, possibly Maori lawyers going down there and making investigations and also some private investigators to help get a battery of statements and bring and action to the High Court of exemplary damages and compensation for all those women and children and so forth that have been so badly treated,” Mr Williams says.

He says this week's actions should encourage more people to join groups fighting for civil rights.


A major indigenous conference has wound up in Rotorua this afternoon.

The International Network of Indigenous Health Knowledge and Development brought together almost 300 people from Aotearoa, Australia, Canada and the United States.

One of the speakers, Linda Smith from Waikato University, says the conference is unique because it brings together researchers, academics, practitioners and community-based service providers.

That means it wasn't too academic, and it opens the door to valuable international collaborations.

“Our providers are able to share ideas and resources around how to develop programmes, our academic researchers have made the links they need to make, so I think it’s a really good model for a conference,” Professor Smith says.

Many of the conference delegates took time out during the week to gather outside the Rotorua District Court in support of jailed Tuhoe health worker Tame iti.


A leading Maori band is putting tino rangatiratanga into action with the release of its first album.

Kora has stayed away from record companies, releasing and distributing its dub-driven grooves itself.

Vocalist Laughton Kora from Ngai Tuhoe and Ngati Pukeko says that ensures he and his three brothers and bass player Dan McGruer keep control of their direction.

The Kora brothers grew up surrounded by music, with their musician dad Tate putting them in bands from a young age.

The one thing he did teach us was to respect all musicians, not genres. You get amazing country players, blues players, metal, funk, everything that music can encompass,” Mr Kora says.

Police seeking excuse - Green

A Green Party MP believes New Zealand authorities have been itching for an excuse to implement legislation drafted after 9-11.

14 people including Tuhoe activist Tame Iti were arrested on Monday after police raided addresses around the country using warrants issued under the Suppression of Terrorism Act.

They have been charged with firearms offences.

Keith Locke, the Green's foreign affairs spokesperson, says it sounds like the New Zealand police are trying to match colleagues overseas.

“There's a temptation for the plice, the Security Intelligence Service to kind of have their terrorist to keep up with America or Britain or wherever, so I think there’s a bit of it in this, For years there’s been all this talk in the police of and security intelligence reports about the Maori radicals so it’s against that background of wanting to have their terrorists I think,” he says.

Mr Locke says accusations the mix of environmentalists, peace activists and Maori sovereignty advocates are part of a paramilitary organisation sounds like the police are clutching at straws.


There's concern changes to the liquor laws could adversely affect young Maori males.

After a review into the sale and supply of alcohol to minors, the Government has flagged its intention to impose a zero alcohol limit for young drivers and target people who supply alcohol to minors.

Police statistics show young Maori men are more likely than non Maori to be searched and arrested in public places, so they are likely to be caught up in the new laws.

Gerard Vaughn, the chief executive of the Alcohol Liquor Advisory Council says it's important any new laws be implemented fairly.

“The drinking problems we have are ones experienced by all parts of our community and certainly at the Alcoholic Advisory Council, we would not want the indiscriminate application of laws that would disadvantage certain groups. So I agree there is some realities around that and that’s something that will have to be watched very carefully, he says.

Mr Vaughn says the Government's review focused on the drinking habits of rangatahi, rather than who is buying the booze for them.


A Maori triple international has welcomed the return of Temepara George to the Silver Ferns.

The 59-test veteran has gone on standby to replace injured centre Laura Langman if she doesn't recover in time for the World Cup.

June Mariu, who played netball, basketball and softball for New Zealand, says at 31 Ms George's experience will be invaluable to the Silver Ferns' campaign.

She was nothing short of brilliant in helping New Zealand win the last World Champs in Jamaica four years ago, and if needed will again do New Zealand proud.

“If they're going to allow her to do that, not having trialed this time or not being available to keep on the side, it just shows the caliber of the girl and I’d feel good, having her back in there, and I think they’re beginning to look at the squad and where we’re at and what we've got to do,” Mrs Mariu says.


Tuhoe will never forget the way police cordoned off the community of Ruatoki earlier this week as they searched for evidence of an alleged paramilitary training operation in the Urewera ranges.

That's the view of Toi Iti, the son of Tuhoe activist Tame Iti.

Tame Iti was again denied bail yesterday on arms charges, and will be in custody until at least next Wednesday.

Toi Iti says the police raids will be etched into the minds of Tuhoe rangatahi for decades to come.

“Someone's head will have to roll. We can’t forget what they did to those kids with guns, with the buses going in, and the kind of treatment they showed Ruatoki that day, and the way they went in and bullied them about. We can’t forget that and we have to hold them accountable for the way they've behaved,” Mr Iti says.


A Massey University sociologist says it's up to New Zealanders to say whether they want the more militaristic style of policing on display this week.

Warwick Tie says this week's simultaneous raids under anti-terrorism laws were a clear departure from what New Zealanders have come to expect.

He says in the post 9-11 environment, police forces in many countries have adopted more military style equipment and made covert operations a central part of police activity.

“The police themselves don’t drive that shift. It is very much driven by the political tone of the societies that they are in. Now my sense is that we are on the edge of that in Aotearoa New Zealand, but we are being caught up I sense in that same general trend. So really New Zealanders have to be debating what we make of this,” Dr Tie says.


The Waitangi Tribunal has again knocked back a request for an urgent hearing into a claim that a woman's Tongan husband should be considered a taonga.

Rosina Hauiti is trying to precent her tane from being deported as an overstayer.

Tribunal deputy chairperson Carrie Wainwright says further submissions from Ms Hauiti's immigration advisor, Tuariki Delamere, were about human rights rather than whether the Treaty of Waitangi has been breached.

She says whether or not Ms Hauiti considers her husband a toanga is a distraction from the main point at issue, and the proper place for the case to be considered is through the immigration processes.

Mr Delamere says he's disappointed by the decision, and believes the tribunal must eventually grapple the relationship between immigration laws and the treaty.


The dozen Maori elected on the weekend to District Health Boards across the country will provide valuable knowledge of the communities they represent.

Rangi Pouwhare, the Maori manager for the Health Ministry, says the representatives are spread across nine district health boards.

She says their input will give board members an insight into the health needs of their Maori clients, and give Maori the chance to learn more about the process from a board perspective.

“These people that got there are part of their local communities and only they know what is happening in their communities. That’s why it is important for them to be there. They will be able to have some influence in the funding of projects and services within their communities because they know it,” Ms Pouwhare says.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Brown line image blue

Police iwi liaison officers are scrambling to mend their image after this week's terrorism raids.

Four officers including Wally Haumaha, the national manager for Maori, Pacific and ethnic services, fronted up to Tuhoe elders in Ruatoki yesterday to explain Monday's lock down of the eastern Bay of Plenty community, following the arrest of health worker Tame Iti and two others.

Inspector Haumaha says he wanted to assure the people the action wasn't directed against Tuhoe itself.

He says Maori police are coming under a lot of flak, and a decade of hard work has been forgotten.

“Some of the important work where we’ve got close to our people and done some significant work that they will always remember those officers for, and to judge and call our officers Uncle Tom, which I haven’t heard probably from the (1981) Springbok Tour and a couple of years following that, I find it sad that they judge a group of officers who are doing their utmost best for the people,” Inspector Haumaha says.

One of the tasks he was given was to ring Maori leaders around the country to explain the police position that Maori weren't being deliberately targeted in the operation.


Meanwhile, Labour's Nanaia Mahuta says Maori want more answers from the police about their tactics during the raid on Ruatoki.

The Tainui MP says the setting up of barricades on what is known as the Confiscation Line has caused a huge amount of concern.

She says a lot will depend on how they make their case.

“The police are there to keep us all from harm. They’ve got to have a pretty tough case if they start going into communities and acting in such a way. The courts will be the final judge of that, and no doubt arguments will be put up by both sides, but what we’ve got to remember as general citizens is we need to have people acting lawfully in our country,” Ms Mahuta says.


Researchers at Otago University want to find out how Maori and other New Zealanders use their local rivers.

Shane Galloway, a Physical Education lecturer, says an online survey to be conducted over the next month should help build a picture of the nation's rivers.

He says while there is a lot of data on commercial and government activity, the scope of recreational use, especially by Maori, is unknown.

“This type of study has been done a great deal, mainly in North America, but also in New Zealand and Australia, looking at a particular ac titiy on a single river. Because of the size of New Zealand and its existence as an island it’s relatively easier to get a look at what a national picture would be, so it’s the first of its kind in that way,” Dr Galloway says.

The survey is online at www.riversurvey.otago.ac.nz .


There's a call to reintroduce a universal child benefit.

Janfrie Wakim, the director of the Child Poverty Action Group, says as it's International Anti-Poverty Day, it's a good time to reflect on the widening gap between rich and poor in this country.

She says tax-based initiatives such as the Working for Families package disadvantages children whose parents are not working, and are a less effective backstop for families than the family benefit, which was scrapped 20 years ago.

People should be concerned at the growing numbers forced to live in poverty.

“It is an issue that affects Maori and Pacific families disproportionately, there’s no doubt about it, but half of the children in poverty are not Maori or Pacific children, so it is something that affects all of society,” Ms Wakim says.

As children don't choose the circumstances they're raised in, they shouldn't be punished financially.


Tame Iti's son says his father's personality would make him more of a liability to a terrorist group than an asset.

The Tuhoe health worker and veteran protester was again denied bail when he appeared in the Rotorua District Court today, and police filed a further three arms charges against him.

Since his arrest on Monday as part of a nationwide sweep, lurid allegations have emerged that Mr Iti was training an IRA-style paramilitary group to make war on New Zealand.

Toi Iti says the stories are ridiculous.

“Hey it's not his style. He’s not the sort of person to go and blow up innocent children inside malls or start assassinating people. It’s just not he style. He doesn’t do that. He’s a 55-year-old man with diabetes,” he says.

Toi Iti says his father's only crime is advocating justice.


Meanwhile, another one of Tame Iti's sons is making his own kind of revolution.

Wairere Iti is a percussionist and vocalist with 13 member Auckland band Batucada Sound Machine, which has just released its first studio album, Rhythm and Rhyme.

He says the band grew out of sessions at an Auckland bar jamming on Brazillian rhythms, and over time it has added a horn section and DJs to create a fusion of influences and cultures from samba and reggae to Maori music.

“Because we come from New Zealand we’re fusing a lot of the cultures together. We’ve got people from Peru, from Brazil, from New Zealand, there’s a real fusion of cultures, and that comes out in the music. One of the songs, Ashay, talks about the Brazilian god of the sea and we sort of fuse that with the Maori gods of the sea.” Mr Iti says.


West Auckland's Kura Kaupapa Maori o Hoani Waititi has taken the top prize in the national primary schools' kapa haka competiton.

There were two second place getters - Huntly's Te Wharekura o Rakaumangamanga, and Te Kura o Mokoia from Rotorua.

19 teams made it through the regional play-offs to compete at the Manukau events centre.

Tokomaru Bay was selected to host the 2009 contents.

Model waka taua discovered

Tohu Wines is looking for the owner of a model waka taua which has languished in the attic of a Hutt Valley factory for 40 years.

James Wheeler, Tohu's chief executive, says the canoe surfaced when some acquaintances were clearing out a storage area at a Naenae plastic moulding firm.

He says the four metre kauri waka was dropped off by two Maori men who asked for a mould to be made - but never came back.

It's carved in the Ngapuhi style, so northern waka expert Hekenukumai Busby has been asked to help restore it, including carving a tau ihu or bow post.

“The carving is just very very high quality. It’s carved onto the barge boards which are now laced into the body, all traditional lacing, a couple of places where it might not be quite right but Hec can fix that,” Mr Wheeler says.

If owners can't be found, Tohu consulting other iwi on where it should go.


An Auckland artist says the police have gone out of their way to crank up the level of threat and intimidation in their investigation into terrorism allegations.

Gordon Hatfield, a moko artist and carver, was questioned over a text exchange a year ago with Tuhoe activist Tame Iti, regarding his possible involvement in a wananga in the Urewera country.

He says the raid on his home left his shocked and shaken - and he feels for the community at Ruatoki, which had to face a similar level of police intrusion.

“These guys came in like GI Joes and one officer in particular was swearing at me and things like that in my own house,. Another officer was saying things like ‘I don’t understand why you’re so upset, we’re just doing our jobs as police officers,’ and I’m thinking to myself “Hey, if I was to come barging into your house, regardless of whether I had a uniform on or whatever, you’d be pretty upset as well,’” Mr Hatfield says.

He says Tame Iti is a man of honour, and he's confident there was no sinister motive for the wananga.


Otago University is asking how Maori people use rivers.

Shane Galloway from the school of physical education says it's a key focus of the online survey on kiwi attitudes to their awa.

That means not just fishing and food gathering, or mahinga kai, but contemporary Maori activities like waka ama.

“My definition of recreation is fairly broad. It’s something that’s freely chosen. It’s something you do as part of who you are. So that would include cultural use of the river. And the same thing could be said of fishing or kayaking, even though it’s different,” Dr Galloway says.

People can pre-register for the survey at www.riversurvey.otago.ac.nz.


Indigenous access to health service is emerging as a theme of a major hui in Rotorua.

Health workers from Australia, Aotearoa and North America are here for the third biannual Indigenous Health Knowledge and Development Conference.

Jacinta Elston from the Kalkadoon people in North West Queensland says it's a ways to share some of the innovations coming out of community-led health projects.

She says Australia’s 140 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services have had some success, including improving low birth weights for Aboriginal babies, but there is still a lot to be done.

“Like here in New Zealand for Maori, there are still significant issues around access to services, access to pharmaceutical services, even access to hospital care, and the barriers to access are things that still need to be addressed here as well as in our own country,” Professor Elston says

A major benefit of the hui is that academics and health professionals can interact on equal terms with traditional healers and community workers.

A large number of the overseas delegates took time out to gather outside Rotorua District Court in support of Tuhoe health worker Tame Iti, who was seeking bail on firearms charges.


Two young mothers have won some heavyweight help for their first book of poems.

Kupu, by Hana O'Regan and Charisma Rangipunga, was initially indended to be only in te reo Maori.

But Ms O'Regan says editor Timoti Karetu, a former Maori Language Commissioner, convinced them to include English translations.

Sir Tipene O'Regan edited the English, and Witi Ihimaera contributed a forward.

“We had intended this to be read by people who can speak Maori and we are quite nervous about how people are going to take it now that it is translated into English and whether or not we even reach the bar in terms of what is expected in the world of English poetry but we felt a little bit more confident after we received the words of Witi Ihimaera, who is one of my long time idols, and also Timoti Karetu and my father,” Ms O'Regan says.

The hundred poems in Kupu include stories of love, heartbreak, motherhood, te reo, world issues, identity and observations on the Maori community.


Global warming is the theme of a new show by a Maori artist better known for his depictions of demi-gods and ancient beings.

John Walsh from Te Aitanga a Hauiti artist says he's tried for new techniques and a larger scale than previous shows - while also including landscape elements and mythology.

The former Te Papa curator says painting puts him in an alien space where he hopes viewers can join him.

“When you're standing in front of the works I think the colour range that I use and also the technique, the way I paint, I think it lends itself to an airiness or a sort of a twilight zone. It’s good to play in there, and I find themes I can develop them easily,” he says.

John Walsh's show at the John Leech Gallery in central Auckland runs until November 10.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


An artist caught up in yesterday's terrorism raids is standing by the man who appears to be the main target of the massive police exercise.

Tattooist and carver Gordon Hatfield was questioned yesterday at his Auckland home by armed police, and computers were seized after a search.

He says the interrogation was sparked by a text exchange with Tame Iti a year ago, about his availability to contribute to a wananga.

Mr Hatfield says he receives such requests to do workshops all the time, and saw nothing sinister in the Tuhoe activist's request.

“Wananga just means there is an opportunity to go and share knowledge, and I didn’t look any further into that. I would trust Tame, I would say more than some of my own family. I’ve known Tame for years and I know that Tame is a man of kaupapa and a man of honour, so I wasn’t about to question his motives of what the wananga was about,” Mr Hatfield says.

He wasn't arrested - but police have demanded a DNA sample.


Maori Anglicans from the Wellington diocese are willing to take a more inclusive approach to same sex partners in their parishes.

The diocese held a hui at Waiwhetu Marae over the weekend to discuss sexuality and transgender issues, as part of wider consultation within the church on the issue.

Bishop Muru Walters says the theological and historical traditions within the church can point to such an approach, and the congregation is ready.

“Our own people have got rich experiences. I think they’re ready and able to provide support wherever there’s any sense of discrimination, that they will resist it and support the people that have been discriminated against, marginalized and so on. I think you’re not the church if you weren't doing that,” Bishop Walters says.

The issue will be discussed further at next month's Maori synod in Christchurch, and referred to the General Synod next year.


It's kapa haka time this week for primary and intermediate school students from around the country.

Rahera Herewini, the organiser of the bi-annual national competitions, says students from 19 schools from Rangitane to Te Tai Tokerau are competing at the Manukau events centre.

She says they're setting new benchmarks for performance at that level - and bringing a lot of emotion to the task.

“When they get off stage all happy and glowing and even some of them crying because they could feel the ihi and the wehi while they were on the stage, that sort of thing for us the committee that is running this, that is what we are wanting to see the kids enjoying themselves,” Ms Herewini says.


An Aitanga a Hauiti artist believes yesterday's police raids on the Maori community in Ruatoki could spark some great art.

John Walsh says one of those arrested, Tame Iti, is, among other thing, an artist ... whose past work has placing a row of painted car wrecks along the line marking where Tuhoe land was confiscated in the 1960s.

He says art is often driven by a sense of history or injustice.

“These dawn raids yesterday, it’s another amazing chunk of New Zealand history being born here, Those sorts of things create good art, with a bit of luck, and help to get people to think about what's happening,” he says.

John Walsh's latest exhibition, on the theme of global warming, is on at the John Leech Gallery in Auckland


The Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology is addressing its failure to attract Maori students.

Sandra Williams, its marketing and student services director, says only 155 of the 1617 students enrolled last year were Maori.

The polytechnic has appointed someone to liaise with the region's eight iwi, and it is also looking at upping the completion rates of existing students.

“One part is about recruitment and the other part is about successful outcomes for those students as well, and we’d like to get more students studying at diploma and degree level, not just the foundation and entry level programmes,” Ms Williams says.


Meanwhile, Christchurch Polytechnic believes a whole of whanau approach is the key to getting more Maori through its doors.

Hana O'Regan, the dean of the Maori faculty Te Puna Wanaka, says the education can transform a whanau.

But she says many whanau have more immediate concerns, which the faculty needs to take account of.

Education or language isn’t often on the priorities for people when subsistence is right in front of their faces. Issues of poverty and abuse and some of the pressures that our people are living under, education and furthering your reo doesn’t necessarily and present itself as the most important thing for a lot of our community,” Ms O'Regan says.

Initiatives like kaumatua courses and bilingual childcare are making Te Puna Wanaka more relevant to the community.

Police over-reaction feared

The MP for Waiariki says the police may be misinterpreting legitimate dissent by his constituents.

Armed police sealed off Taneatua yesterday to arrest Tuhoe activist Tame Iti.

Thirteen other people, including peace and environmental activists, were arrested in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch, and jointly charged with Mr Iti under the Firearms Act.

Te Ururoa Flavell says the Taneatua raid was hugely distressing for the Tuhoe community. - particulaly the way armed police set up a road block on the Raupatu Line, which marks where Tuhoe land was confiscated in the 1860s.

He says Maori Party warning the Terrorism Suppression Act could be used to stifle legitimate dissent could be borne out by yesterday's raids, which were conducted under the Act.

“If we have people who may be passionate about environmental issues, passionate about the notion of a Tuhoe tribal nation, you know, these are things that have been round with us for a while and take and armed offenders squad and pull out 14 people around the country and have them all associated with the Urewera National Park, as we look at it from a distance, I think it’s pretty much over the top action,” Mr Flavell says.

A bail hearing for Mr iti will be held in Rotorua this afternoon.


The Maori Anglican Church has been challenged to review its attitudes towards homosexuality.

The church held a hui at Waiwhetu marae in Lower Hutt to discuss sexuality and transgender issues, as part of a wider discussion in the church on the issue.

Prominent members of the gay and transexual communities as well as the Human Rights Commission and the Aids Foundation took part.

Writer Anton Blank from Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu says church and culture can come into conflict over issues of sexuality.

“It's all about whanau, so if you say homosexuality is wrong, you’re talking about a lot of your own family, so people need to think about if you are carrying those beliefs, what am I saying about my own. I’m actually not speaking about other people, I’m talking about myself and my family,” Mr Blank says.


Breast Screen Aotearoa is trying to find new ways to reach the thousands of Maori women who are being missed by a free national screening programme.

Madeline Wall, the programme's clinical director, says 11 mainly iwi service providers have contracts to screen women in rural areas.

It's also stepping up health promotion activities at community events and trying to get referrals from GPs.

She says only about 40 percent of eligible Maori women are being screened, increasing their risk of dying if they do get cancer.

“Maori women who were screened by Breast Screen Aotearoa in the first few years are over 50 percent less likely to die of breast cancer than Maori women who don’t screen. So that’s really good news,” Dr Wall says.

Maori women with breast cancer have a 60 percent greater chance of dying of breast cancer than non-Maori.


A lawyer who has acted for Tuhoe treaty claimants says yesterday's Bay of Plenty terrorism sweep says the whole Tuhoe community feels under attack ... again.

Jason Pou says the arrest of Tame Iti on arms charges seems a repeat of the case against the Tuhoe activist over a dramatic powhiri for the Waitangi Tribunal in Ruatoki - which was aimed at conveying the feelings the iwi had when they were invaded by armed constabulary.

That case was eventually thrown out by the Court of Appeal.

Mr Pou, who is acting for another one of the 14 people arrested yesterday, says the dawn raid on Mr Iti's home at Ruatoki was extended to a lock-down on the whole valley, with residents finding their movements inhibited.

“They've found it difficult to leave, they’ve been photographed as they left, they felt persecuted, and basically everyone in the Ruatoki Valley has been treated as if they are actually guilty when no charges have actually been laid,” Mr Pou says.


The Maori Party wants some of the $7.9 billion dollar budget surplus targeted to Maori priorities.

Co-leader Tariana Turia says those priorities could include turning around poor educational performance of Maori boys, improving health delivery and upgrading the quality of state houses.

She says the Minister of Maori Affairs, Parekura Horomia, continues with the failed policy of mainstreaming services to Maori, instead of building on the positive work done by Maori providers.

“This is a Minister who over the years has got very little funding. His money has gone back into mainstream budgets, so what he does is he’s hanging on the coat tails of other ministers, always having to argue with them about how they are spending their money to ensure Maori people are getting access,” Mrs Turia says.

She says some of the surplus should be spend extending assistance to low income children who don't qualify the under Working For Families scheme.


A Rotorua public health organisation hopes a new early intervention programme will help Maori with mental illnesses before their condition spirals out of control.

Under a two year national pilot, people with mild depression or anxiety can get free counseling and GP visits.

Eugene Berryman-Kamp from Health Rotorua says it should ease the pressure on mental health services, where the cost of counselling and treatment is high.

He says as more than half of mental health patients in Rotorua are Maori, they should see the greatest impact.

“Access to primary preventative mental health care may help prevent the issue developing into a more serious or more severe condition that is of course harder to treat and has a much higher impact on the individual and the whanau,” Mr Berryman-Kamp says.

Health Rotorua is looking at incorporating traditional Maori healing methods into the service to make it culturally appropriate.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Innocent explanation for “terror” training

A former soldier invited by Tuhoe health worker Tame Iti to conduct bushcraft training in the Urewera ranges believes the sessions had an innocent purpose.

Mr Iti and at least 13 other people were arrested in a series of police raids around the country conducted under the Suppression of Terrorism Act and the Firearms Act.

Mr Iti appeared in Rotorua District Council this afternoon on firearms charges and was held over for a bail hearing tomorrow.

Radio Waatea host Kingi Taurua was interviewed by police this morning over text messages with Mr Iti concerning the training courses.

Mr Taurua, whose career includes military service in Vietnam and as a guard at Buckingham Palace, 19 years in the Corrections Service and nine years as an advisor to successive ministers of social welfare, says iwi commitments meant he was unable to conduct any training.
But he saw nothing sinister in the proposal.

“I was under the impression that Tame Iti was part and parcel of a Tuhoe health group, a hauora. That he’s going to take these children into the bush to teach them wellbeing and to hunt and that kind of thing,” Mr Taurua says.

He says Tame Iti has always held a consistent view on the mana motuhake or independence of the Tuhoe nation.


Don't expect a dramatic increase in spending on Maori, despite a $7.9 billion surplus in the government's accounts.

The Minister of Maori Affairs says the surplus is the result of prudent fiscal management and that the government won't be changing its approach anytime soon.

Parekuara Horomia says while he will tono to increase his department's budget, Maori are benefiting from changes made across government.

“Seven or eight adjustments in the minimum wage have certainly been about going to Maori. I know a whole lot of activities in education have been about going to Maori. So that sort of thing, quite simply, a lot of Maori benefit by that,” he says.

He doesn't expect any extra money for treaty settlements, and the focus for his ministry is getting Maori school leavers into better jobs.


The poor showing of Maori candidates in this month's elections show a new voting system is needed if tangata whenua are to have a voice in local government.

That's the view of political strategist Matt McCarten, who worked on the unsuccessful mayoral campaigns of John Tamihere and Willie Jackson.

He says only three of the 236 people elected in the Auckland region were Maori, despite 10 times that number putting themselves forward.

It's in marked contrast to the number of Maori elected at a national level.

“The advantage with national elections of course is you have Maori seats, and don’t think for a minute that people like Pita and Hone and Tariana and that would have a chance in general seats,” Mr McCarten says.

He says the answer is dedicated Maori wards or seats at local government level.


The Maori Party is accusing the police of heavy-handed tactics in its raids in the eastern Bay of Plenty today.

Armed police closed off on Taneatua and Ruatoki this morning and arrested several people, including health worker Tame Iti.

He was charged with firearms offences.

There were other raids and arrests in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington, and Police Commissioner Howard Broad says charges under the Terrorist Suppression Act may also be laid against some of those arrested.

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says terrorism is a serious charge, and there could be an innocent explanation for what police allege was military style weapons training.

“Of course if you go up in the Ruatoki Valley you will find guns and you will find some ammunition because a large number of them are going out into the Urewera forest hunting for food to put on the table for their families. There are a number of programmes run in the Ruatoki Valley to rehabilitate kids who have gone off the rocks,” he says.

Mr Flavell says it's extraordinary that only days after Parliament removed the charge of sedition - used notoriously against Tuhoe prophet Rua Kenana in 1916 - the police would use the new Suppression of Terrorism Act to go after another high profile advocate of Tuhoe sovereignty.


It's back to the future for trade training, with a new Youth Apprentices Programme to be trialed in 10 schools next year.

Students will get some work experience and earn credits towards an apprenticeship, while they are still at school.

Trade training used to be a staple of Maori affairs programmes, leading to criticism Maori were being steered away from professional careers.

Nanaia Mahutu, the Minister of youth development, says there's a place for trade skills, and tertiary education isn't the only pathway to a successful career for Maori.

“You can earn quite a high wage as a tradesperson and quite a lot of tradespeople go on to own their own business. What I know is that’s generally the picture for young Maori these days is they want skills that are relevant and ultimately earn a good wage and perhaps own their own business and contributing back to their whanau is a big part of the picture.” Ms Mahuta says.

She expects Maori boys to be among the keenest adopters of the Youth Apprentices Programme.


High death rates for Maori women from breast cancer could be eliminated if they can be brought into screening programmes.

That's the message Breast Screen Aotearoa is putting out Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Madeline Wall, the clinical director of the national screening programme, says only about 40 percent of eligible Maori women aged between 45 and 69 are being screened.

“Maori women have a slightly increased risk of getting breast cancer but a much greater risk of dying of breast cancer - 60 percent greater than non Maori women. And that we think from our preliminary data can be virtually eliminated if we can encourage more Maori women into breast screening,” she says.

Dr Wall says Breast Screen Aotearoa will target community events and GP referrals to encourage more Maori women to enroll on the screening programme.

Wards answer to council drought

A Gisborne District Councilor says it’s time for central government to step in and create Maori wards across the country.

Atareta Poananga and Hemi Hikuwai were returned as Gisborne District councilors, but no other Maori were elected despite the high percentage of Maori in the region’s population.

Ms Poanaga says thats because the age spread means that the Maori population is younger and less likely to participate in local government elections.

She says the failure of other high quality Maori candidates to win in council and district health board contests shows the problem is in the system

“It’s really up to central government now to make those changes in legislation. They could do it overnight should they wish to have more Maori in local government and the health boards, but they choose not to do that. They could create Maori wards in every single part of this country, and then you would have 50 percent more Maori in local government,” Ms Poananga says.


One more term is all Tariana Turia is promising her supporters.

The Maori Party co-leader says by 2011 she will have been in Parliament for 15 years.

She says there will be no shortage of people to replace her, when she eventually moves off.

“No one's indispensable and I think we’re very lucky in the party. We’ve got three members who came in at the last election, hit the ground running, and mainly because they’d already been leaders in their field out in the community, there’s very good safe hands in the Maori Party,” she says.

Mrs Turia says the party has consolidated its electoral success, and proved it can speak from a Maori perspective to every piece of legislation introduced to Parliament.


Almost 300 health workers from Aotearoa, Australia, Canada and the United States have gathered in Rotorua for the third meeting of the International Network of Indigenous Health Knowledge and Development.

Convenor Paul Robertson says the theme of the hui is how to turn the knowledge held by whanau into action.

He says the earlier meetings of the network at Townsville in 2003 and Vancouver in 2005 led to valuable exchanges of knowledge and experience, which have already influenced medical training.

“The Australasian medical Council has come up with some quite high level policies around inclusion of indigenous health within the medical curriculum, which has been of real benefit for us in New Zealand because it’s given us some of that macro level support for some of the things that we’re doing quite well at a micro level. Which of course helps to continue the support of increasing hauora Maori as part of the medical curriculum,” Mr Robertson says.

The hui starts this morning and runs until Thursday.


John Tamihere isn't ruling out another shot at the Waitakere mayoralty.

The West Auckland based politician turned broadcaster polled 5000 votes less than the incumbent mayor, Bob Harvey.

Mr Tamihere says he has no regrets about standing, and may do so again.

He says West Aucklanders signaled they want change.

“The analysis is 60 percent wanted a change. They didn’t coalesce around one candidate. It was a very good healthy challenge, so I’m very pleased with the way that went on. No downsides. It was there for the winning, but if you didn’t get there, you don't get there,” Mr Tamihere says.

Other high profile Maori mayoral candidates, Willie Jackson in Manukau, Trevor Maxwell in Rotorua, Ray Ahipene Mercer in Wellington were also unsuccessful.


Generations of New Zealanders are missing out of the richness of the country's history.

That's got to change, according to Pita Sharples.

The Maori Party co-leader says this country should take a dead from across the Tasman, where Prime Minister John Howard has pledged to make Australian history a compulsory subject in schools.

He says New Zealanders get a narrow view of their past.

“Sick of hearing Captain Cook, Captain Cook, Captain Cook. It’s time we talked about Tewhati Apiti, Paora, all those people who were kings and generals. It’s time we got real and honest in New Zealand and started teaching this stuff in our education programme,” Dr Sharples says.

He says ignorance about the Treaty of Waitangi creates friction in the community between Maori and Pakeha.


Northern iwi want the Fisheries Ministry to modify a plan aimed at protecting Hectors and Maui's dolphins.

Ngapuhi and Ngati Whatua say the plan to create a west coast marine mammal sanctuary from Taranaki to north of Dargaville is based on flawed research.

Sonny Tau, the chair of the Ngapuhi Runanga, says the plan involves locking not just the coast but the harbours, even though there is no evidence the dolphins come into the harbours.

He says the Ministry and the Department of Conservation are trying to bully the industry, recreational fishers and Maori.

“All we want to do is sit down and talk to them through the issues, out the facts on the table pretty much like the shared fisheries proposal they had that didn’t fly because they hadn't consulted properly,” Mr Tau says.

He says no Maui's dolphins have died from fishing-related activities since the industry implemented voluntary controls.