Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Women’s refuge raided

Police in body armour broke a window to enter a refuge for Maori women and children in Taupo this morning.

Debs Te Tomo, the manager of Te Whare Oranga Wairua, says the police had a warrant to search for drugs. A dog was used to search the rooms.

Ms Te Tomo says the police did not appear to take anything from the safe housewhich was empty at the time.

She says no attempt was made to contact the refuge beforehand.

“With the Ruatoki stuff going down and the terrorism stuff going down, gosh, you would have thought they would have made some form of contact to allow us time ot come down and open it without them having to violate and enter it the way they did,” Ms Te Tomo says.

The head of the Taupo police, senior sergeant Tony Jeurissen, says the police obtained a search warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act to search the property, based on information received.

He says nothing was found, and police have replaced the window which was accidentally broken.


The largest Maori tertiary institution continues to attract large numbers of non Maori students.

At the time Crown managers were put into Te Wananga o Aotearoa two years ago, former tertiary education minister Trevor Mallard complained the number of non-Maori to Maori students was too high.

Craig Coxhead, Aotearoa's executive chairperson, says 48 percent of the almost 40 thousand students are still non-Maori.

That's despite the phasing out of programmes like Kiwi Ora, which gave basic instruction in New Zealand culture and society to new migrants.

He says it's a testament to the style and quality of the education on offer.

“I think everybody knows when you go to a wananaga it is a Maori kaupapa, and for us at Te Wananga o Aotearoa, we’ve always said that kaupapa is open to all, whether it be Maori or non Maori, and we continue to have high numbers of non-Maori who wish to experience the learning environment and the kaupapa that we provide,” Mr Coxhead says.

After three years of losses, the wananga is on track to make a profit of between three to four million dollars this year.


The Taua waka is taking its creator round the world.

Tearepa Kahi has just picked up the best short film award at the National Geographic All Roads Film Festival for indigenous and minority filmmakers in Washington DC.

The 15 minute film about a boy who shows compassion amidst rival Maori tribes at war, has also been shown in Edinburgh and the imagineNATIVE indigenous film festival in Toronto, Canaqda.

The west Auckland director says there are more festivals to come.

“The central focus of the story situates itself around a waka and I always sort of thought this waka would go to anywhere it wanted in the world and it seems to be the case. It’s got a little bit further to travel yet but it’s early days still, so it’s all boding well,” Mr Kahi says.

The success of Taua, and his earlier short The Speaker, should make it easier to get the backing for his next project.


The chair of Women's Refuge says a drug raid on a safe house for Maori women in Taupo has destroyed trust between the movement and police.
Mereana Pitman says the staff at Te Whare Oranga Wairua were shattered by the early morning search.

The police say they had a court warrant based on information received, but no drugs were found.

Ms Pitman believes it was no coincidence Taupo police recognised the large contingent of Maori refuge volunteers and staff at yesterday's in Rotorua yesterday in support of Tuhoe activist Tame Iti and his co-accused.

“All women's refuge worker are activists and there’s those kind of well, part of it is that we don’t know how police are going to act any more, and when they can come into a safe house and do this, well, there are links you know,” Ms Pitman says.

Taupo refuge workers feel betrayed and angry, because they thought they had a good relationship with police.


Te Runanga o Ngati Porou is stamping the country rounding up support for direct negotiations on the East Coast tribe's treaty claims.

Some hapu are fighting the proposal because they say it short circuits the Waitangi Tribunal process and will hand power over the tribe's affairs to an unrepresentative group.

But Te Rau Kupenga, a spokesperson for the runanga, says there is strong support for talks with the Office Of Treaty Settlements

“We've had those who’ve been both for and against but there’s been a strong support for direct negotiations. What people are saying is ‘come on, we don’t want to wait another eight years or 10 years to settle our claims.’ As one of our whanaunga said in Tolaga the other night, ‘get out of grievance mode. Don’t want our children to inherit these grievances. Let’s deal with them now, and let’s start living,’” Mr Kupenga says.

Consultation hui within the Ngati Porou rohe finished this week, and the runanga will talk with members in Hamilton tonight and Auckland over the weekend, in the lead up to a postal vote.


One of the characters of the far north was laid to rest at today at Kareponia marae near Kaitaia.

Ivan "Mussa" Erstich from Ngai Takoto and Ngati Kahu died on Monday when his house near Kaitaia burned down. He was 82.

Sir Graham Latimer, who was at school and in the army with Mr Erstich during the occupation of Japan, says he was a welcome presence at hui throughout the far north, both for his often idisyncratic contributions on the paepae and for making sure everything ran smoothly behind the scenes.

He was also a long term Maori warden, keeping order in the region's pubs and streets.

“Sometimes I used to wonder why someone just didn’t bang him over the ear. He’d get up and threaten anyone who’d come along to stand by the law. That was a very strong policy of his, to stand by the law. He’d go where angels fear to tread. He’ll be a loss. His humour and his wit and on top of it his knowledge made him a tremendous man,” Sir Graham says.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Terror case moved to Tamaki

The action against Maori sovereignty advocates and environmentalists now moves to Auckland.

The Rotorua District Court was today cleared of spectators and supporters before the appearance of Tuhoe activist Tame Iti and two co-accused.

The Crown successfully sought to transfer the firearms charges against the three to Auckland for a special joint hearing with 14 other co-accused next week.

Mr Iti's lawyer, Annette Sykes, says the action has brought no credit to police in the Rotorua district, who are already suffering from the after effects of the trials brought against colleagues and former colleagues as a result of historical claims made by Louise Nichols.

“This particular police unit here is not one that is easily trusted in our community any more, for a whole variety of reasons. We’ve also had in this particular situation in this region, we’ve also had senior police officers now convicted of perversion of the course of justice,” Ms Sykes says.

Annette Sykes says people are extremely skeptical that a new report about assaults against police should come out days after police had attacked and traumatised the community of Ruatoki.


National Maori organisations are swinging in behind a new group set up to tackle child abuse.

Paora Maxwell from Te Kahui Manaaki Tamariki Trust says the endorsement by Te Putahi Paaho, which includes Kohanga Reo, the Maori Council, Congress and the Maori Women's Welfare League, shows the concern Maori feel about abuse in their communities.

Mr Maxwell says the trust intends to take a different tack to other violence prevention groups, which focus on parenting skills.

“What we plan to do is advocate for and lobby for tamariki Maori and whanau. It’s a huge kaupapa and we’re not naïve enough to think what we will do will a panacea for all ill but we are sure we can make a contribution,” Mr Maxwell says.

Te Kahui Manaaki Tamariki Trust is holding a hui in Auckland this weekend to work out how it can help Maori organisations become more effective in tackling abuse.


Maori architects, engineers, planners and landscapers are meeting in Hastings today to talk about what impact they can have on cultural landscapes.

Karl Wixon from Hawkes Bay consultancy Wiki Design says the public spaces where people work and play can tell stories about culture.

He says Maori want more say in the way New Zealand's landscapes are developed.

“There's a lot of our whenua under pressure from regulatory frameworks, from commercial developers which are governed by territorial authorities, but also an absence of our presence and our aahua in our public spaces,” Mr Wixon says.


The Minister of Maori Affairs says last week's police raids shouldn't be seen as an attack on Maori.

Tuhoe activist Tame Iti and two co-accused yesterday had their cases transferred from Rotorua to Auckland.

They've been remanded in custody to appear with 14 others at a special hearing next Thursday and Friday on firearms charges.

Parekura Horomia says people have been over-reacting, and they should wait until all the facts come out.

Mad Pakeha and excited Maori are not a good mix when you start getting into this forum, and the issue round the last three or four weeks with Tuhoe and the arrests made around all the country wasn’t just about Maori. It was Pakeha round the country too, so we need to be a bit more honest about what this exercise is about,” Parekura Horomia.


Meanwhile, a leading Te Arawa kaumatua is backing Tame Iti,

Anaru Rangiheuea, a former chair of the Te Arawa Maori Trust Board, supports police taking action against unregistered firearms.

But he says suggestions terrorism is involved strains credibility.

“I've know Tame Iti for a long time, and I don’t believe his motives connect to any form of terrorism. He’s an activist and a known activist. He will develop himself to the extent that his performance is to prove his tino rangatiratanga,” Mr Rangiheuea says.


New Zealand First has thwarted a bid by the Maori Party for a review of the treaty settlement process.

Pita Sharples, the Maori Party's co-leader, says the Office of Treaty Settlements is causing new breaches of the treaty rather than resolving old ones.

But despite National Party support, there weren't enough votes on the Maori Affairs select committee to address the situation.

“Government is not prepared to have a review of its procedures of the OTS, and Pita Paraone of New Zealand First, Winston’s party, supported them,” Mr Sharples says.


It's puha and Ponsonby this weekend, as Northland's Hatea choir meets Auckland's Heaven Bent gospel singers for a celebration of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The choirs are holding a concert at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Khyber Pass tomorrow night.

Haatea topped the choral section at this year's Te Matatini national kapa haka comps.

Heaven Bent member Dave Christenson says the choirs were first brought together during this year's Waitangi Day commemorations by Bishop Kitohi Pikaahu, who invited them to stick around and reflect on what the treaty meant.

“We went up there and for the first time for many of us stayed on the marae, experienced our traditional New Zealand culture, and we just had such a wonderful time. It was an amazing weekend and we came away with some wonderful feelings, not just for ourselves but our country as well and the potential for our country,” Mr Christenson says.

Te Wairua o Waitangi will also feature poet Kevin Ireland.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Maori leaders' computers seized

The lawyer for Tuhoe activist Tame Iti says other Maori leaders are being targeted by the police investigation.

Mr Iti and two co-defendents on firearms charges were back in Rotorua District Court today, where the Crown sought to move the cases to Auckland.

Annette Sykes says prominent Maori leaders have had homes searched and their computers taken, but they haven't been arrested.

She says it amounts to systematic abuse by a police force that has lost credibility with the Maori.

“Just because we have an intellectual, a philosophical belief system, which is not of itself illegal, does not give the right of any police officer or police force to come in and try to destroy the very mechanisms, the tools form which those belief systems can be transmitted to this modern world, which is through computers, and that’s essentially what’s been happening here,” Ms Sykes says.

Support is flooding in from those arrested, with many veterans of previous sovereignty protests and land occupations coming to Rotorua to join the protests.


Meanwhile, the Minister of Maori Affairs says politicians should stay out of what the police are calling Operation O.

Parekura Horomia says Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell has shown himself up with his comments about last week's arrests and police lock down of Ruatoki.

He says people should wait all the information comes out.

“There are certain issues you don’t play the political ticket on. I see one of my whanaunga over there have already backtracked over the police boarded the bus. It wasn’t true. About other issues that weren’t true. And I think Maori have grown up and over that,” Mr Horomia says.


A handbag fight is how Tau Henare is describing his tussle in the lobby with Labour's Trevor Mallard.

The pair squared off after the National backbencher interjected about Mr Mallard's private life.

He says there were no injuries - except to dignity.

“I think it was more a case of handbags really. A few slaps and that was it,” Mr Henare says.

He says Mr Mallard apologised, and that's the end of the matter - unless the
Prime Minister wants to take further action against her minister.


A Te Atiawa rangatahi has booked a trip to London to learn from the bard.

18-year-old Joseph Tamihana was selected to study with the Young Shakespeare Company next July, leading up to a performance at the rebuilt Globe Theatre.

He's reaping the dividends of his decision to give everything a go in his last year at Nelson's Gavin College.

“Some people asked me if I wanted to do a Shakespeare competition so I thought ‘Why not?’ I done it and I loved it and then I got to the nationals and it was just amazing. Then they told me I’m going to London and I’m like ‘Whooa, extreme.’ I’m real excited,” Mr Tamihana says.

He is now trying to raise the $7000 needed for the trip.


The Prime Minister says while the government had prior knowledge of the raids that have resulted in 17 people being arrested on firearms charges, but it wasn't its role to intervene.

Helen Clark says Police Commissioner Howard Broad, who ordered the raids, is known as a cautious man.

She says the police will be judged on the facts they present in court.

“The police advised government as a courtesy that they were mounting this operation. We’re in the position where we neither approve of it nor disapprove of it. It is a police operation and I’ve felt it’s not appropriate to keep up a running commentary on it. Obviously the police are judged on the court of public opinion as they are judges in the courts of the land on the strengths of their case," Ms Clark says.

The Crown today won its bid to transfer the cases of Tuhoe activist Tame Iti and three co-accused from Rotorua to the Auckland district court.

It's planning a special joint hearing on November 2 and 3 for the 17 people arrested last week.


Entertainer Sir Howard Morrison is fronting a new initiative aimed at turning around a shocking health record among Maori and Pacific Island people.

Yesterday in Rotorua he unveiled his Fight For the Future programme, which will promote basic health management, healthier lifestyles and regular check ups.

He'll take part roadshow around the country which will screen for diabetes, body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol and other conditions.

Sir Howard says too many Maori don't access health services.

“Maori and Pacific Island health are in crisis. The services are there to treat anyone with any illness but unfortunately, too many of them are either mangere or wait until they get very very sick, and sometimes it's too late,” Sir Howard says.

The convoy will to visit any area with a high Maori population in the northern half of the North Island.


Two Hawkes Bay filmmakers want to take their documentary on an extraordinary Ngati Kahungunu family to the Sundance Film Festival

Tom Burstyn and Barbara Sumner-Burstyn have just won a prize from the Wyoming-based Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival for their previous doco, about an elderly gardener leading an agricultural revolution in India.

Ms Sumner-Burstyn says when they heard about Peter and Colleen Karena, they knew it would make a great film.

The Karenas took to the hills with their six children and 50 horses after their home burned down.

“They have a hut right up in the Kaimai ranges, and it’s like a two, three day horse trek to get there, so that’s a very extreme environment that only very few people in the world any more have the ability to survive and thrive in that environment,” she says.

Ms Sumner-Burstyn says the Karenas are the living embodiment of a uniquely Maori way of relating to the environment.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tuhoe Suppression Act backfires

A Tuhoe elder and academic says if last week's police action in Ruatoki was intended to bring the people of Tuhoe into line, it has backfired.

Tamati Kruger says the armed officers simply reinforced attitudes the tribe has held towards the Crown since its land was confiscated during the land wars of the 1860s.

The people who remain in the Urewera have little time for the Crown, local authorities, or the dog control officer.

“It's almost genetic, the way in which Tuhoe displays its disrespect for the Crown, and it does go back to the last 150 years. Where the Crown can use either coercion or fear to bring the population in to line, that tactic largely doesn't work here,” Mr Kruger says.

Tuhoe knows the difference between terrorism and tino rangatiratanga, but the police don't seem to.


Good communication and community support is seen as the key to lowering the number of Maori children being abused.

Anton Blank, the project manager for next month's Nga Mana Ririki summit in Auckland, says national campaigns on smoking and other health issues have shown Maori communities will respond if the message is delivered in a culturally appropriate way.

He says a lot of resources are already going into child abuse, but they need to be properly focused on programmes the Maori community will get behind to keep tamariki safe.

“When you look at other campaigns that have been really successful, like Smokefree for example, they’ve also been underpinned by really good communications, and I think that’s really important as well as we look forward, that we need good resources for families and we need to keep the message out there in front of them,” Mr Blank says.

The summit may set specific targets for iwi and health providers Waikato, Auckland and Northland to achieve.


If the Maori language is to survive it must be spoken at every opportunity.
That's the warning from Laurie Bauer, a linguist at Victoria University.

He says half of the world's languages are under threat because they are not being passed on to the next generation.

While a government can provide opportunities and resources... such as schools and radio stations... there is a limit to what it can achieve.

“What the government can't do is speak the language for you. And unless people speak the language, the language is doomed. Somebody who can speak fluent Maori and doesn’t is is helping the Maori language disappear,” Professor Bauer says.

New Zealanders need to become comfortable with Maori being spoken in every setting - and Maori should encourage non-Maori to speak te reo.


Bentham Ohia has been confirmed as the chief executive of Te Wananga o Aotearoa for a further five years.

His appointment to the troubled tertiary institution last year was controversial because of his perceived closeness to wananga founder Rongo Wetere.

But Craig Coxhead, the wananga's executive chair, says Mr Ohia was won support from staff, students and the board because of his effectiveness in leading the organisation through a difficult period.

The number of full time equivalent students now stands at 18 thousand 500, and the wananga is heading for a profit after three years of losses.

“We're looking at a $3 million to $4 million surplus, which in the current environment for tertiary institutions we think is quite good, quite reasonable, because it’s tough, not just for us but for all tertiary institutions it’s tough at the moment, with student numbers a lot less than they have been previously, so we’re quite happy. We have budgeted on a $3 to $4 million surplus this year, and we will achieve that,” Mr Coxhead says.

The accounts for 2004 and 2005 should be tabled in Parliament early next month.


A Tuhoe academic says the police seem to feel they can ignore his people's civil rights by waving around the Suppression of Terrorism Act.

Tamati Kruger says last week's arrests in the eastern Bay of Plenty were marked by what seemed to be deliberate misinformation by police.

As well as the 17 people arrested around the country and charged with firearms offences, a number of people were arrested in Ruatoki and taken to Rotorua for questioning before being released.

Mr Kruger says police at Te Ngae station used underhand tricks to deny people legal representation.

“A lawyer turns up and says I’m here to represent Mr X, would you please sir advise Mr X that I am here, the lawyer is then told Mr X does not want to see you,. After the interview we find that Mr X was not even told,” Mr Kruger says.

People were also told their friends or relatives had been released, when in fact they had just been moved to a different police station.


A Maori health researcher believes people are getting complacent about the spread of HIV-AIDs.

Clive Aspin says a sharp jump in the percentage of those infected with HIV being Maori could be an early warning that infection rates among Maori could be on the increase.

The AIDs Foundation says the sample is too small to be significant.

Dr Aspin says the risk to Maori of HIV and other diseases from unprotected sex is being overshadowed by the attention given to other diseases such as diabetes.

“A lot of people think that HIV is under control, but the reality is there is no vaccine in sight, HIV rates are increasing around the world, that there are more and more women getting HIV, and we are seeing some serious changes around this epidemic that people are just not aware of,” he says.

The awareness effort needs to come not just from the AIDs Foundation but from all groups working in sexual and reproductive health.

No mana in police raids

Hone Harawira isn't backing away from his attacks on the police and the government over last week's raid on Ruatoki and the arrests of Maori and environmental activists.

Fellow MPs attacked his speech during the debate of the Protected Disclosures Act, when he urged Maori officers to blow the whistle on their police superiors for making fraudulent allegations of terrorism and ordering the use of force against innocent citizens and children.

The Taitokerau MP says he's speaking for the people who voted for the Maori Party to be in Parliament.

He's also rejecting suggestions he is demeaning the mana of the police.

“There is no mana smashing into people’s homes dressed in black with your face covered in a mask. I don’t think there is any mana in that, and I won’t be apologizing for what I said in the house yesterday,” Mr Harawira says.

He says the raids were a threat to Maori society, Maori thinking and to everything Maori hold dear.


There's division over whether a spike in the number of Maori becoming infected with HIV is a trend or a statistical blip.

In the first six months of this year, 11.4 percent of HIV notifications were Maori, compared with only 6.4 percent throughout 2006.

The AIDs Foundation says because the overall numbers involved are low, a small change can look like a big leap.

But medical researcher Clive Aspin, a former chair of the foundation, says differences have emerged with indigenous populations around the world, and it could be happening in Aotearoa.

“These are early warning signals and we could ignore them, or we could wait five, 10 years down the track and say ‘Hey, why didn’t we do anything back then?’ And I think that’s the approach we need to be cautious about. We need to be aware that there are possibly differences happening that we need to take stock of,” Dr Aspin says.

HIV-AIDs has gone off the radar screen for many people, but the reality is there is still no vaccine and HIV infection rates are increasing around the world.


Te Papa isn't giving up hope of getting a shrunken head returned from a French museum.

The new French minister of culture is trying to block the Rouen Museum returning the Maori head, which it has held since 1875.

Christine Albanel says the precedent it sets could threaten the integrity of France's national heritage.

Paul Brewer, Te Papa's head of communications, says the Museum of New Zealand takes a long term view of negotiating repatriation of heads and other human remains.

“This particular one was an offer from the Rouen Museum to Te Papa. We didn’t approach them, and they approached us as recently as July this year, so in terms of the timeframes for negotiating repatriations, it’s a pretty early days yet,” Mr Brewer says.


A Tuhoe elder say the tribe is standing by its view that armed police searched a kohanga reo bus.

Police have denied the incident happened during last week's lock-down of Ruatoki following raids on suspected terrorism suspects.

But Tamati Kruger, who was caught up in the police roadblock, says Tuhoe trust their own witnesses before the police.

“From our account the kohanga reo driver and the people on the bus are quite adamant to their statement that the kohanga reo bus was stopped at a checkpoint and an armed policeman boarded the bus, asked them all to leave, that person was armed, and then searched the bus. We will all quarrel over that point,” Mr Kruger says.

The people of Ruatoki have been overwhelmed by the support from people around the country in the wake last week's police raids.

The small eastern Bay of Plenty township may have been singled out for attention because it is on the doorstep of the Urewera ranges, where police allege activists held military style training camps.


An Auckland University study has found Maori girls are more likely to be sexually abused as children than non-Maori.

The Violence Against Women study interviewed almost 3000 women from the Auckland and Waikato region about their experiences of violence.

Researcher Janet Fanslow says about a third of Maori women reported childhood sexual abuse, compared with one in five non-Maori.

She says there need to be more programmes to address the problem.

“Some of the things we ought to do about it may be figuring out ways we can supervise our children. Some of it might be around rehabilitation of people who are known sexual abuse offenders. Some of it needs to be around activities of how do we prevent it happening in the first place,” Dr Fanslow says.


The AIDs Foundation says there is no cause to panic over an increase in the proportion of those newly-infected with HIV being Maori.

In the first six months of 2007, just over 11 percent of new notifications came from Maori, compared with 6.4 percent last year.

Tariana Turia, the Maori Party's health spokesperson, says it's an early warning that should not be ignored.

But Rachael Le Mesurier, the foundation's executive director, says the numbers of people in New Zealand with HIV are actually extremely low.

“That means a small change can look over a very brief period of time like a large leap. If we step back and look over a couple of years, it’s not uncommon to see those numbers readjust so it is most important we don’t react to what looks like a trend until we know it is or isn't,” Ms Le Mesurier says.

New Zealand is one of the few countries where the indigenous population is not over-represented in HIV infection rates.

Community backs abuse hui

The man behind next month's Maori summit on child abuse says the community is driving the kaupapa.

Hone Kaa, a senior Anglican cleric, says iwi, health and social services organisations want to keep the issue on top of the agenda.

The three day hui, at the church of the Holy Sepulchre Auckland, will bring together experts and community workers in Northland, Auckland and Waikato.

Dr Kaa says the health of the whole community is at stake.

“It is a health issue, and it’s to do with redeveloping a great sense of the power and authority that rests in the young and how tio jkeep that from being damaged any further,” he says.

Dr Kaa says while it's not just a Maori problem, Maori people need to find solutions which will work for them and their communities.


Australian Aboriginal tourism groups are looking to Maori operators for tips on how they can take their industry forward.

Dover Samuels, the Associate Minister of Tourism, is in Broome in Western Australia this week for the Australian Indigenous Tourism Conference.

He says there's a lot of interest in the system here, where a government-funded Maori Tourism Council and 13 regional Maori tourism organisations have helped make Maori an integral part of the industry.

“Our point of difference in terms of the way we market New Zealand as a toursim destination stands out very starkly because of the Maori dimension and the indigenous dimension that we’re privileged to have in New Zealand, and they see this as a point of difference, to be able to share their stories, not unlike us as Maori, with their overseas visitors,” Mr Samuels says.

He has invited Aboriginal tourism leaders to come across and see the Maori sector in action.


A Maori-controlled marine reserve near Te Kaha in the eastern Bay of Plenty has just got bigger.

The Raukokore mataitai has gone from 19 to 27 square kilometres, after a redefinition of the local hapu's traditional marine boundary.

Joe Rua, the chair of the mataitai trust, says objections have waned in the two years the reserve has been operating as a non-commercial fishery.

He says most commercial operators now respect the ban on fishing in what is the traditional kaimoana gathering area for the hapu.

“We're always going to have the odd incursion, largely due to ignorance. One of the major factors with a mataitai of course, there is no commercial fishing. Whether we allow it in the future, those are issues we need to work our way through. We’re not opposed to commercialism, but the important issue for us in all types of use including commercial is the sustainability of the resource,” Mr Rua says.

He says the Raukokore experience shows hapu management of the coastline does work.


The country's largest teachers union is welcoming the return of the Treaty of Waitangi to the classroom.

The New Zealand Educational Institute was part of the reference group providing feedback to the Education Ministry about the new curriculum.

Laures Park, the Matua Takawaenga for the primary teachers' union, says members were outraged when references to the treaty were left out of a draft document.

“It's important for the curriculum, but it is also important for Aotearoa as a country. Because if we are not pushing that whole exercise with our tamariki, and also with parents and teachers and so on, then the whole concept gets lost. If it’s not right up front and people can see it, then they’re not going to respond and do what's necessary,” Ms Park says.

Schools have until 2010 to implement the new curriculum.


The chair of an eastern Bay of Plenty mataitai says hapu-managed reserves guarantee a better deal for all kiwis.

The customary fishing reserve at Raukokore near Te Kaha has just been extended from 19 to 27 square kilometers after two years in operation.

Joe Rua says commercial fishing is banned for now, but anyone is free to gather kaimoana or seaweed for personal use.

He says the mataitai is restoring some balance to the coastline.

“Under the current laws, the quota management system, the commercial fishermen would want to take 100 percent of legal sized fish form our rohe, and by and large that is what has been happening up until the declaration of the mataitai. We don’t think that's fair go," Mr Rua says.

Opposition to the mataitai has waned as people see it in action.


Last weekend's Maniapoto Festival took a very black and white view of the birdlife.

One of the events was a magpie shoot.

Organiser Kingi Turner says it's one sort of maanu that is a hoha or a nuisance.

Magpies were introduced from Australia in the 1860s to control insect pests in pasture, but they're now wreaking havoc on native birds in Maniapoto's King Country rohe.

“E tino hoariri te magpie te tatau ake manu tuturu o Aotearoa nei, and we said ‘Oh well, if they’re going to start being hoariri to our manu tuturu, we’ll do something to help our many. And also it’s been deemed a pest and therefore it's a hoha,” Mr Turner says.

It was the only species hunted over the weekend that didn't go in the hangi.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Summit to seek child bashing end

Leading Anglican cleric Hone Kaa wants Maori experts on child abuse to do something practical about the problem.

He's called a three day summit, Nga Mana Ririki or The Power of the LIttle Ones, the be held at Auckland's Holy Sepulchre complex at the end of November.

He says the fact Maori children are almost twice as likely than non-Maori
tamariki to be abused or neglected is an indictment, and Maori solutions need to be found.

“Part of the trigger for mew was I was tired of people blaming the problem on Maori and I just thought it’s about time we stood up and said this is a nationwide problem and we will do our best from our perspective, our Maori perspective, to try and alter this situation,” Dr Kaa says.

Support is coming from iwi and Maori social services providers keen to move the problem from a talk to action.


The Maori Party is backing moves to increase the driving age.

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says the number of Maori involved in road accidents is too high.

His party is supporting a United Future bill to increase to 16 the age young people can apply for a driver's licence.

He's seen too many whanau affected by road smashes.

“Cited examples in our own region of a large number of our own people involved either as drivers or as casualties of road crashes. We want the debate to happen and it’s all about trying to keep our own roads safe. There’s still a hell of a lot of discussion to go and various speakers introduce new discussion around it, but we’re just happy to open the door up on the debate and see what comes through the door,” Mr Flavell says.


A kohanga which has become a second home for whanau living in London is celebrating its tenth birthday.

Te Kohanga Reo o Ranana allows tamariki living far from home to learning poi, waiata, haka and some reo, despite the fact they may never has set foot in Aotearoa.

Sharon Hathaway, a former kaiako at the kohanga, says it's a lifeline for expatriates.

“As soon as people come along they generally become really committed to Te Kohanga Reo over there and as you’d expect it’s a real whanau kind of environment and people are really out there just to tautoko each other no matter where you’re at or where you’ve been or what your level of reo it. It’s a great environment to learn,” Ms Hathaway says.

Ranana is also one of the schools to be featured in a new BBC television series, Take A Bow.

The 28 children have been filmed performed singing and talking in front of Hinemihi O Te Ao Tawhito in Surrey, a focal point for the Ngati Ranana club.


The head of one the country's most active Maori wardens groups says the police could learn from them how to relate to Maori.

Jack Taumanu from the Waitemata Wardens has just completed the first course for wardens run by police liaison officers at the Police College in Porirua.

The training was part of a package of measures in this year's budget.

He says the wardens would like to be regular visitors to the college.

“We can provide the necessary Maori wardens who are skilled, to be able to teach the recruits who are at the police college another dimension of how to handle our people,” Mr Taumanu says.


Maori surfers brought their unique style to the sport this weekend.

This year's Auahi Kore Maori Surfing Championships were held back where it all started 15 years ago, at Oakura beach in Taranaki.

Kahungunu's Richard Christie secured his place in the New Zealand team for the 2008 Oceania Cup by taking out the open men's division.

Also booking their tickets for Tahiti next June are Open women's winner Jessica Santorik and Bodhi Whitaker, who topped the Junior Men.

Te Kauhoe Wano, a former over 40 champion, says the atmosphere is a lot less aggressively competitive than the nationals or even the regional events.

“When you're in that competition mode it’s very little discussion with each other as you prepare, and very little discussion after as you react to either winning or losing. At the Maori titles, it’s that really whanau vibe, sitting on the beach, hanging out, joking, like all Maori wanting to win when you get in the water but when you come out, sharing a kai together,” Mr Wano says.

A highlight of the weekend was the powhiri, with many of the surfers learning to haka for the occasion.


Maori rugby league officials from both sides of the Tasman are trying to work out how they can work together better.

For the first time in several years there was no Australian team at the annual Maori tournament in Rotorua this weekend.

There has been tension in recent times because of a bid by Sydney-based Maori to affiliate with the New South Wales league.

John Devonshire from the Maori Rugby League says some officials did come over from Australia for the tournament, and useful discussions were held.

He says the next transTasman clash is between the women's sides, with the Maori squad named at the end of the tournament.

“In a couple of week’s time they’ve got two test matches against the Australian women, in Rotorua, so Annette Thompson and her crew, it’s exciting for them to name their team and go into battle with the Australian team, so it’s just an extra edge in our wahine toa this year,” Mr Devonshire says.

On the field, Tainui beat Muriwhenua in the waka division, Auckland won the rohe trophy, and in the wahine division, Te Aupouri beat Ngati Kahungunu.

Bugs record bravado

A former Labour cabinet minister is warning about the potential misuse of interception warrants by the police.

John Tamihere says the arrests of Maori sovereignty and environmental activists last week involved almost two years of surveillance by the police

He says that may have given them a lot of sensational rhetoric to use against those arrested but it isn't evidence any crime has been committed.

“18 months of telephones being surveiled and bugged, there would be huge segments there that if you cut them out and put them on the front of a page of one of our dailies, you’d get a sensational headline. There’s no doubt a bunch of people were into bravado. Whether that bravado extends to terrorism requiring suppression is another issue,” MR Tamihere says.


What could be the next generation of rangatira will be at the Wellington Town Hall this morning for the Young Maori Leader's Conference.

Organiser Te Kohu Douglas from the Foundation for Indigenous Research, Science and Technology says the conferences have proved a valuable place for rangatahi to network and pick up knowledge.

Unlike the original young leader's conferences which were run in the 1950s and 60s where young people heard from kaumatua what was expected of them, the rangatahi themselves have set the agenda.

He says the first topic of discussion is sure to be last week's police raids, but other issues will come to the fore.

“There's a need to look forward, and so the second issue will be, how can we become people that can make a difference to our tribe, or to our people generally, even though we don’t live within the bounds of our tribal region or have a day to day association with our maraes,” Mr Douglas says.

The hui runs until tomorrow.


The future of Maori weaving is in good hands.

That's the view of Te Aue Davis, an expert kai raranga from Ngati Maniapoto.

300 weavers spent the long weekend at Maraenui in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, sharing skills and knowledge at the biennial national hui.

Ms Davis says new artists coming through polytech courses are taking raranga in a new direction.

“They've sort of branched away, they’ve flown away, they’ve learnt the importance of learning to weave. Having done that. They’ve gone into weaving things for this world, their world, and I have no problems with that. I love it as a matter of fact to see the work that they're doing,” Ms Davis says.


The gaps are closing, but not enough.

That's the conclusion being drawn from the Ministry of Social Development's latest Social Report.

Conal Smith, the ministry's policy manager, says the lag between Maori and non-Maori is shrinking in areas like life expectancy, early childhood and tertiary education, employment, and housing affordability.

He says Maori have benefited from a long period of national prosperity.

“There's such a high demand for labour at the moment, even some of those affected by the worst recessions of the 1990s are finding it possible to get aback into the labour market. The younger generation of Maori that acre coming through aren’t having the same outcomes that their parents did, who were affected by the recessions of the 1990s. We’re seeing that coming through a bit too,” Mr Smith says.

There's improvement in almost every index except obesity - the number of fat Maori has stayed the same, but everyone else is carrying more weight.


The Council of Trade Unions has appointed a kaumatua to take care of its Maori members.

Kiwhare Mihaka from Te Arawa has belonged to a union for more than 50 years.

He says Maori should have a special affinity with the collective principles of the union movement.

“This ture of whakawhanaungatanga does assist us in that way to get our people on the move in terms of getting involved as a delegate and ensure that our workplace conditions are good for all workers,” Mr Mihaka says.

He's particularly encouraged by the number of Maori in YUM, the Youth Union Movement.


The Obesity Action Coalition believes making healthy kai cheaper can help Maori live longer.

Coalition head Leigh Sturgiss says too many Maori are dying from preventable diseases triggered by being overweight.

She says better nutrition and more exercise are the key to longer life, but healthier choices often have a financial cost.

The coalition wants GST taken off healthy food.

“It just doesn't seem right to us that buying fruit and vegetables is actually a lot dearer than buying fish and chips, or the fact that milk is more expensive than a can of coke. Removing gst on primary produce would we think be a simple solution to a major problem,” Ms Sturgiss says.

She says a good place to start on the path to healthy eating is the food safety tool kit put together by Te Hotu Manawa Maori.