Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Saturday, November 03, 2007

QC Williams probes Ruatoki truth

Auckland lawyer Peter Williams QC is spending the weekend in Ruatoki trying to find out what really happened during a police lockdown of the eastern Bay of Plenty settlement two weeks ago.

Along with fellow lawyer Heeni Phillips and private investigator Mike Crawford, a former police superintendent, he'll be collecting affadavits from residents.

He says police have no statutory power to stop ordinary people at roadblocks and take pictures of them.

“It's very important constitutionally and it’s very important to all the people of this country that we maintain our civil rights and our essential freedoms and the police are kept to their statutory functions and their statutory rights and they don’t have general permissions to do what they want in these circumstances,” Mr Williams says.

If he feels there is enough evidence to justify the allegations, writs will be filed against the police.


One of the performers in tonight's Pao Pao Pao showcase of Maori music wants more New Zealanders to share in the experience.

Rewi Spraggon teams up with Ricki Bennett to play taonga puoro.

Others on stage at the Wellington Town Hall will include Whirimako Black, Ngatai Huata, and Moana and the Tribe.

He says it's too good an event to keep in Poneke.

“I would really like to see it travel now. Cuzzie bros down in Poneke seem to have it every year. We need it everywhere. We need it in Christchurch. We need it in Auckland and we need it in Eketahuna. We need it everywhere,” Mr Spraggon says.

The annual event owes a lot to the late Hirini Melbourne, who was always looking for new ways to get Maori music to a wider audience.


Northern wahine Maori face their biggest fitness challenge tomorrow.

More than 100 women have registered for the Wahine Tryathlon in Kaitaia, which includes a 300 metre swim, 9 kilometre bike ride and 3 kilometre walk or run.

Helen Rewi, who describes herself as a working great grandmother, belongs to the Fab Five, a group of women from Te Hapua and Te Kao who have been training for the event for 12 weeks.

The school bus driver says eating the right food, learning breathing techniques and getting fit had has boosted the women's confidence.

She is already eyeing up her next challenge: a half marathon later this month in Kerikeri alongside her 13 year old moko.


Spectrum suitable for wireless broadband has been set aside from Maori.
The Government intends to auction off five blocks of 2.3 and 2.5 gigahertz spectrum next month.

A sixth 2.3 gigahertz block will go to a representative Maori group.

Tipene Chrisp, a senior policy manager at Te Puni Kokiri, says the focus will be on wireless broadband and the new Wimax standard, which expected to boost the use of the Internet on mobile devices.

He says it's a great opportunity for Maori to engage in the Internet not just as users but as owners of infrastructure

“The Maori language survey results show high levels of take-up among Maori on the internet for Maori language, so we think the allocation of this band of spectrum really does give the opportunity for Maori to get in at the infrastructure level and then to provide favourable conditions for Maori language and culture use, as well as the economic benefits of participating in the knowledge economy,” Dr Chrisp says.

The Minister of Maori Affairs will decide next week which Maori group will get the spectrum.

Mavis Mullins, the chair of Te Huarahi Tika Maori spectrum trust, says her her organisation is the most logical holder of the spectrum.


Pita Sharples wants Maori police officers to go back to Ruatoki to make peace with Tuhoe.

The Maori Party co-leader attended this week's Police Association Conference.

He says Maori and iwi liaison officers are still deeply hurt by how last month's anti-terror raids were conducted, and especially the lock down in the eastern Bay of Plenty.

“So I'm making it my business to get in touch with the commissioner, who’s a friend of mine, even though we don’t agree on these things, and I’m suggesting that he allow them to go to Tuhoe and make their peace and manaaki Tuhoe and therefore heal themselves because it’s not about or denying or justifying police action at all. It’s about giving them the space to stand tall again,” Dr Sharples says.

He says the good work of the Maori officers should not be compromised by the actions of other parts of the police force.


Singers at this weekend's New Zealand Aria competition in Rotorua are being encouraged to take on the classic Maori repertoire.

Judge Timua Brennan won the Maori section in the late 90s and went on to gain a masters degree in performing arts.

She says the Maori section is open to all the singers, and it's a great way to develop singers' confidence.

“When you put the kupu into a beautiful melody, it does touch your heart. For those who are non-Maori, just to be able to stand up and sing Hine e Hine or Pokarekare Ana, the real Ana Hato repertoire, it’s real inspiring to hear both Maori and non-Maori be able to do that,” Ms Brennan says.

The Aria competiton is at the Rotorua Convention Centre, just a stone's throw from Ohinemutu, where the classic waiata of Ana Hato, Deane Waretinin and the Rotorua Maori Choir were first recorded in the 1920s.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Promotion unchallenging for capable Jones

The workload for new Cabinet Minister Shane Jones is being described as a waste of talent.

The list MP was given the building and construction portfolio in this week's reshuffle, as well as associate duties in immigration, trade and treaty negotiations.

Willie Jackson, a political commentator and former Alliance MP, says Mr Jones is the most talented and able Maori MP in Labour.

“We haven't really seen that ability being utilized and it would be really maximized if he has a senior position in Cabinet, but being the minister of leaky homes is hardly a way for use to view the talents of Shane Jones,” Mr Jackson says.


But National's deputy leader says Helen Clark has been wise to start Shane Jones at the bottom.

Bill English, who has been working with Mr Jones on parliament's finance and expenditure committee, says there is no doubt about his ability and experience.

I think where Shane’s always going to struggle a bit is with the collective responsibility. Cabinet is an intensely collective way of doing business and individual opinions aren’t as important as the Cabinet’s ability to get it right, and so it tends to have a bit of an impact on a person like Shane, who as he says about himself has a fairly big ego,” Mr English says.


A Rotorua marae is fighting illegal dumping of rubbish.

Erana Waiomio, from Takinga Marae, on the edge of the Ohau Channel into Lake Rotoiti says the area is becoming littered with car wrecks, old whiteware, household rubbish and broken bottles.

She says her son went through the rubbish and found mail addressed to locals... but when confronted they weren't apologetic.

“No No they weren't. They were cheeky. He found the mail and he told them it belonged to them and they were very cheeky to him, and I thought oh no, I didn’t want him to get upset because you never know what will happen,” Mrs Waiomio says.

The next step may be talking to the council and the police about stopping the illegal dumping.

“The Church took it over in 1947 under the auspices of Fr Isaac Gupwell. He basically hand built the school and taught the kids and washed their clothes and caned them when they needed to be caned all by himself for a good 25 years I guess,” Mr Gemmell says.

There will be a special celebration for four former students who've just received Doctorates.


Sporting legend Peter Snell is among a group of international experts who have joined Maori researchers tackling diabetes among Maori.

Chris Cunningham, the director of Massey University's Centre for Maori Health and Development, says a symposium this week brought together some of the most advanced thinkers in the field to help set the research programme.

They included Dr Snell, who is now at the University of Texas, Gerald Reaven from Stanford University, who first linked diabetes to abdominal obesity and high blood pressure, and Kerrin O'Dea, an expert in the nutrition and health of Australian Aboriginals.

“You know I don't think we’ve had such experts in one place at one time so we’re very fortunate that they came. Very much that we’re accessing decades worth of experience that other people have had, but also how do we contextualise it both in a Maori setting and a New Zealand setting,” Dr Cunningham says.

Diabetes can take more than a decade to come on, so the key to addressing it in the Maori population is to identify it early and change behaviours.


Hundreds of haka kaikorikori will attempt a world record haka today.

As part of Push Play Day - a national initiative to get New Zealanders active - Harbour Sport is organising the synchronised haka at 2 pm.

While there are two official sites - Hato Petera College in Northcote and North Harbour Stadium - organiser Wiremu Mato says people can register online to join in at their own school, club or workplace.

There's even been a registration from Scott Base in Antarctica.

He says the most familiar chant was chosen to get the war dance into the record books.

“We're going to do Kamate Kamate, only because it’s probably the most well known one where we have a lot of buy in form a lot of the mainstream schools, so we thought we’d keep it something that was fairly simple,” Mr Mato says.


The cream of Maori musical talent will be on display at the Wellington Town Hall tonight.

The annual Pao Pao Pao concert will showcase everything from hip-hop to kapa haka, jazz to taonga puoro.

Organiser Ngahiwi Apanui says many of the top Maori musicians are now working a lot overseas, so it's a rare opportunity for Kiwi audiences to see acts like Moana and the Tribe or Whirimako Black.

“The big highlights for me will be the appearance and performance of Ngatai Huata, who was the founder of the Black Katz, so it’s kind of like acknowledging what’s going on today but also going back and acknowledging the trailblazers like Ngatai,” Mr Apanui says.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

English skeptical on terror charges

National's deputy leader says New Zealanders don't want to believe there is domestic terrorism.

Bill English says people are waiting to see whether the way the police went about rounding up Tuhoe activist Tame Iti and 16 others last month will be justified by the seriousness of the charges.

He says the police have a substantial hurdle to overcome in public perception.

“New Zealanders don't want to believe there could be domestic terrorism. It’s not the sort of country where that happens. We’ve had our tensions in the past but it’s not a word New Zealanders would associate with out own internal arguments over sovereignty or whatever it is, or political differences. And I’m among those people. I don’t want to believe anything too serious has gone on here, and I hope it hasn't,” Mr English says.

Those arrested were called over in the Auckland District Court today.
For the Crown, lawyer Ross Burns told the court the Solicitor General has been asked whether 12 of the 17 should face terrorism charges.

If they do, there will need to be two trials because evidence collected by surveillance for the terrorism charges cannot be used for the Firearms Act charges they also face.

Judge Patrick Treston lifted name suppression on Ira Bailey, the identical twin brother of another of the accused, Rongomai Bailey, and granted him bail.

Name suppression was also lifted from Moana Hemi Winitana.

There will be another callover on December the third.

Tame Iti will be back in the High Court in Rotorua next Wednesday to appeal an earlier refusal to grant him bail.


Maori landowners near Tauranga are taking the leap from farming to property development.

Mangatawa Papamoa Blocks Incorporation is joining with Christchurch developer Retirement Assets Limited to build a $120 million dollar retirement village on land between Papamoa Beach Rd and State Highway 2.

Chairperson Kevin Haua says the Pacific Coast Village will have 250 villa and multi-storey apartments, a cinema, Internet cafe, sports facilities, restaurant, and a sports bar.

The land will be leased for 99 years.

He says it will give Mangatawa shareholders a steadier income.

“This is a very valuable piece of land right on the ocean front at Papamoa. Its current value is about $1 million a hectare, so what we were getting back off that 50 hectares was about $16,000 a year in rentals, so us as trustees, we have a duty to get the best out of the land, so we shopped around for a joint venture partner and we come across RAL,” Mr Haua says.

Building could start in January if planning approval is granted.


The Public Health Association is drawing the link between Maori and a new study showing the relationship between obesity and cancer.

The report by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research identified obesity and inactivity as clear risk factors for cancer.

Gay Keating, the PHA's director, says the Ministry of Health has reported a disproportionate number of Maori are overweight.
She says the problem is made worse by poverty.

“Buying fruit and veg to fill up and get all those good nutrients that protect you from cancer is more expensive than fast foods, white bread, cereals that fill you up, and this puts people that are lower income, and that includes a huge number of Maori families at greater risk,” Dr Keating says.


The use of the word terrorism is having a disturbing effect of the court process.

That's the view of David Williams, the deputy dean of Auckland University's law school.

Some of the 17 Maori and environmental activists arrested last month on firearms charges were called over at the Auckland district Court today.

All but four of them have been referred to the solicitor general on whether they should also face terrorism charges.

Professor Williams says the defendants are facing extraordinary hurdles to proving their innocence.

“Judges are reluctant to give bail, or they only give bail on certain very restrictive conditions and all sorts of normal rules that would apply if you were charged under the Arms Act or failure to have a license or whatever it is, those rules somehow become huge matters of state security,” Dr Williams says.

If the Terrorism Suppression Act had existed during the 1981 Springbok Tour, protesters who blocked motorways would have faced trial as terrorists.


The new Cabinet line-up has the strongest ever representation of Maori.

The Minister for Maori Affairs, Parekura Horomia, went up two places to number 7, Nanaia Mahuta went from 19th to 14th and picked up the Local Government portfolio, and Shane Jones came in at number 20.

Mr Horomia says the collective nature of cabinet means the trio will have a significant impact on policy for Maori.

“What you now have is three ministers who have influence, and you have to look at the associate roles. I’m the associate minister of education, the associate of fisheries, the associate of state services, and the associate with the employment and training delegations. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out how influential those positions are,” Mr Horomia says.


An Australian researcher is trying to discover the origins of a collection of rare harakeke and wharariki in the Dunedin Botanic Garden.

Bronwyn Lowe has received a $100,000 Te Tipu Putaiao fellowship from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology for the work.

Dr Lowe, who works in clothing and textile sciences at the University of Otago, is working with a team of Ngai Tahu weavers to find out where the 60 South Island cultivars originally grew and what are their botanic and weaving properties.

“That gives a resource then that’s available for weavers locally. They can say ‘ah, that’s the one. It would be really good to get a lot of really nice muka, really nice fibre from that one, whereas that one over there is better for kete because it’s not easy to extract the fibre from it,’” she says.

Long term, the project could lead to the establishment of another plantation of the Dunedin Harakeke cultivars for use by weavers.

Jones learning tricks of trade

The newest Maori cabinet minister is looking forward to a period of intense learning and mentoring.

Shane Jones picked up the building and construction portfolio in yesterday's reshuffle, along with associate duties in immigration, trade and treaty negotiations.

He's expecting to learn many of the tricks of the trade from Trade Minister Phil Goff and new Treaty Negotiations Minister Michael Cullen.

Mr Jones says as both senior minister and attorney general, Mr Cullen is in an extremely influential position to resolve long-standing grievances.

“Marrying the treaty settlement portfolio with the attorney general responsibilities in terms of the treaty issues is a nice fit, and going forward obviously what he is going to need is a good two IC who can bring experience, vigour and some ideas to the table,” Mr Jones says.

His experience as chair of the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission gave him valuable skills and experiences to bring to the Cabinet table.


A trustee from the new Manaaki Tamariki Trust says multiple approaches are needed to tackle child abuse in Maori families.

Ella Henry says government departments responsible for the welfare of children overlook the need to improve parenting skills.

She says some Maori parents have never had a chance to learn those skills.

“How can you change behaviour if the people behaving that way don’t know any other way to behave. If they’ve grown up with sexual abuse and violence and substance abuse and drugs and poverty and hunger, if that’s where the level of dysfunction is, then we have to change a whole whanau to protect a tamariki,” Ms Henry says.

One useful step could be to train Plunket nurses to identify problems in homes so they can call in specialised help.


A Massey University researcher has scored a $107,000 grant to study ways to Maori are using the Internet.

Whetu Simon says the three year Te Tipu Putaiao Fellowship will look at the potential of online digital environments.

He'll be talking to Maori businesses, whanau, marae and iwi organisations who are using the net, and charitable trusts.

He hopes to identify successful models others can follow.

“If there was a Maori organisation that hasn’t made the move onto the Internet, this research will identify pathways where they can move onto the Internet and develop a web presence,” Mr Simon says.

He will do his research through Massey University's Centre for Indigenous Governance and Development.


Northland treaty claim researchers are meeting today to chart progress in collecting evidence for what will be the last major regional claim.

The hui at the Copthorne Waitangi Hotel is hosted by the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, which is funding the oral and traditional research projects.

Hinerangi Himiona, who has been interviewing Hokainga elders, says researchers have to tread carefully to get the kaumatua and kuia to share their personal, family and tribal histories.

She says taking other kaumatua along can often be the key to unlock those stories.

“We've got to interview either individuals or groups of people. I’ve preferred to go with groups of people so they can help keep each other accountable to their korero, and I think they’ve liked that, being brought together and talk about and some value given to them in their lives and what they know,” Ms Himiona says.

Today's hui will help claim managers decide whether the claimants are ready to start seeking hearing dates from the Waitangi Tribunal.


Wanganui District Council hopes to turn around its sometimes chilly relationship with Maori.

It has established a Maori standing committee, headed by its two Maori councilors, Rangi Wills and former MP Rana Waitai.

Mr Wills says the council has had structures to deal with Whanganui iwi, but other Maori living in the rohe may not have been well served.

“People who are not tangata whenua will have an opportunity to speak. The difficulty in doing so is there are not what you would call large representative groups who have spokespeople, who have committees and elected representatives who can come to the committee,” Mr Wills says.

He says the new committe will allow the council to respond to law changes requiring better Maori representation.


Maori and environmental activists caught up in police anti-terrorism raids will be back in court in Auckland today.

The hearing is expected to be largely technical, as the court tries to establish a timetable for pre-trial hearings for the 17, who currently only face firearms charges.

Meanwhile two layers working on the case, Annette Sykes and Moana Jackson, will be fronting a panel discussion at Auckland Central Library this evening.

Hui organiser Tia Taurere from Conscious Collaboration says the aim is to tell people about the implications of the new anti terror laws, and to support the whanau of those arrested.

“They're sort of living in fear and shock at the moment, so organising a lot of support for them. Fundraising money because they need to be able to get up to court to be here for their families, their brothers and sisters and fathers that are being held captive and just to educate them a little bit more on the processes of court and what’s happening now, where to go to from here,” Ms Taurere says.

The hui starts at six, with entry by koha.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mahuta, Jones get Cabinet promotion

The new minister of local government will be pushing for more Maori participation.

Nanaia Mahuta picked up full responsibility for the portfolio in today's Cabinet reshuffle, along with the associate tourism role vacated by the departure of Dover Samuels from ministerial ranks.

She says her predecessor Mark Burton has done a huge amount of work which need to be continued, including responding to the inquiry into rates and the just-announced Royal Commission on Auckland governance.

She also wants to address poor turnout in local elections and the low number of Maori and Pacific Island people elected.

“The real issue comes back to Maori people seeing local government as a really important part of their lives and getting involved with the decision-making process. I think we’ve advanced to the point where we can’t just let things happen to us. We’ve got to be part of making a difference to what we want to see,” Ms Mahuta says.

She says the elevation of Shane Jones to ministerial status means there are now a record number of Maori around the Cabinet table.


Women's Refuge has told police a drug raid on a Taupo refuge safehouse last Friday showed poor judgment and was a breach of trust.

Heather Henare, the chief executive of the National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges, says she has discussed the incident at
Te Whare Oranga Wairua with police at national and district level.

She says the police more than anyone should realise refuge deal with extreme and emotionally charged situations, and can be subject to malicious allegations.

“We don't always intervene in the way people want us to. Certainly the women want us to, but the partners are often at conflict with Refuge and do not wish us to, and don’t thank us for the work we do. And so we are at risk from accusations and innuendo,” Ms Henare says.

Police assured Refuge the raid had nothing to do with the presence of Taupo refuge staff at a march in support of activist Tame Iti in Rotorua the previous day.


Once were warriors, but they were peacekeepers too.

That's a project a trustee of the new National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Otago University wants to see some research on.

Maui Solomon says while people may know about the peace traditions of Parikaha and his own Moriori people of the Chatham Islands, other tribes had sophisticated ways of managing conflict.

“Maori were a warrior people but peacekeeping was also very important so I think it would be interesting to explore that side of our culture as well, but not just working with the tangata whenua history of peace – clearly New Zealand does have an international reputation for peacekeeping, its anti nuclear stance, peacekeeping initiatives round the Pacific and around the world,” Mr Solomon says.

He says peace is an aspiration, even if people don't always achieve it.


Expect some decisive leadership.

That's the reaction of Maori Council chair Sir Graham Latimer to the elevation of fellow northerner Shane Jones to Cabinet.

Mr Jones has been given responsibility for building and construction, and associate roles in trade, immigration and treaty negotiations.

Sir Graham says the Labour list MP is well prepared for the latter role through his years on Te Ohu Kaimoana, where he successfully resolved years of conflict over how the Maori fisheries settlement should be shared out.

“Making a decision, up until then it was hard to find anyone who would make a decision. While they would hive around the honey, they wouldn’t make a distinct decision. Whereas he’s been in a position where he’s had to do it,” Sir Graham says.

The people of Northland should celebrate having one of their own in Cabinet.


Unresolved disputes over land and roading have led to Tuhoe hapu to block access to part of the Urewera Forest.

Ngai Tama Tuhirae says the Waimana Valley Road into the northern part of the forest is closed to tourists, fishers, hunters and trampers until the end of February.

Maui Te Pou, a hapu spokesperson, says part of the road goes across land taken from Omuriwaka marae, after floods in the 1960s washed out an earlier road.

He says the hapu also wants to stop forestry company Rayonier from logging land up the valley.

“According to Rayonier, the land is freehold land, and they’re the owners, and the trees, they own the trees. That’s the issue. And the whanau at Omuriwaka are saying no, as far as they see it, it is still Maori customary land,” Mr Te Pou says.

The action has nothing to do with this month's police terror raid on Ruatoki.


Software developed to dub cartoons into te reo has won a Maori company recognitions in Hollywood.

Judges in the Hollywood Post Alliance Engineering Excellence Awards created a special award for Kiwa International's VoiceQ system.

Kiwa director Rhonda Kite invented VoiceQ five years ago to dub animation for TV3.

It is now used extensively for cartoons aired on Maori television.

Ms Kite says she was looking for a cheaper and better way of handling translation.

“No one had really been looking at and going, how can we make this more efficient, and how can it improve my business. Because I think people just get stuck in the same way of doing things and every now and then someone comes along and says, I’m sure we can do this a bit smarter,” Ms Kite says.

The award is generating extra work for Kiwa, including a deal with Disney Studios.

Maori gagged by raids

A leading Maori lawyer believes anti terrorism raids have gagged the Maori population.

Nin Tomas from Auckland University's law faculty says the arrests of Tuhoe health worker Tame Iti and other Maori sovereignty and environmental campaigners is seen as part of the same history of oppression as detentions without trial during the land wars and the attacks on Parihaka and Rua Kenana.

She says the way the police are withholding information about the charges and the extremely wide scope of the investigation means Maori no longer know where they stand.

“People are unsure and because they’re unsure they’re going to be conservative, they’re going to watch what they say. Which is not good in a society that sees itself as a hallmark of free speech, of democracy. It sort of undermines democracy as we know it,” Dr Tomas says.

The Maori world often holds views which are at odds with the majority of New Zealand society, such as the debate over the foreshore and seabed.


Maori tamariki need to learn to swim, even if they don't have easy access to pools.

That's the advice from Mark Haimona of Water Safety New Zealand, who is trying to bring down the number of deaths from drowning.

He says many communities, especially in country areas, no longer have pools, but kids are still surrounded by water.

They need to know how to act around rivers, drains and tidal pools.

“Of course one of the most important things is learning how to swim, and that’s a key effort too, pushing that swim for life message so that our kids are getting the chance to get in the water and learning how to swim, and ideally it’s best if they learn alongside their parents, That’s the parents in the water, not the old days where we used to get chucked in,” Mr Haimona says.

Water Safety New Zealand has developed resources for kohanga and year one and two kura students which look at the tikanga around place names... and what water safety messages are included in those ideas.


While most Maori are valuing traditional language and culture more highly, young Maori males are valuing it less.

That's the surprise finding of a survey of 1500 Maori conducted by Neilsen Research.

Researcher Anthony Wilson says the survey was the first to break down Maori into five groups - cultural traditionalists, upbeat achievers, strivers, young battlers, and disaffected youth.

That last group is the one causing many of the problems in the community, and they may be hardest to reach.

“They don't think there's very strong Maori role models for them, and in some ways they’ve probably replaced those role models with Snoop Dogg and 50 Cents and whoever else. They also have decided to turn their back to the culture in terms of whether it’s relevant to them or not,” Mr Wilson says.

The research should help policymakers and government agencies target their programmes.


Maori see their radicals as being part of the whanau - but now they're told they're criminals.

Nin Tomas from Auckland University's law faculty says this month's terror raids are putting the whole of Maoridom on notice.

Maori are concerned people can detained seemingly indefinitely, with the police giving very little information about any alleged offences - harking back to the detentions without trial of 19th century leaders like Te Kooti and Te Whiti.

She says the police seem to be trying to criminalise protest.

“You know we've always thought that Maori protest has been part of the political life of New Zealand. One of the worries that’s occurring now through the community is that people are worrying that any protester may now be termed a criminal or a terrorist, so there’s quite a bit of concern if not fear out there now in the Maori community,” Dr Tomas says.

The effect of the police raids has been to make Maori people feel they no longer have a right of free speech.


Cheaper child car seats - and installing them properly - is the key to reducing the number of tamariki injured in car accidents.

That's the experience of the Ngati Hine Health Trust, which has been selling car seats at cost.

Trust member Karen Mackie says the main townships in Ngati Hine's rohe all lie on State Highway One.

She says over the past decade Northland has gone from having the lowest use of child restraints to having the highest.

“There's more child safety restraints being used by whanau, because they can get them at a lower cost. An ACC statistic in Northland, the injury rate has decreased by 3 percent,” Ms Mackie says.

Ngati Hine is training workers from the Kohanga Reo Trust with the aim of rolling out the child restraint programme nationwide.


Young people play sport for social rather than health reasons.

That's something Maori community workers have known for years, and they've used it to try to get rangatahi onto the straight and narrow through involvement in team sports.

And it's been confirmed by research at Waikato University.

Clive Pope, a senior lecturer in sport pedagogy, says while adults focus on the health benefits of sport, rangatahi have different ideas.

“That is not the main driver for participation for many of these young people. It’s the social driver that really gets them involved. They like to be with their peers and they like to be doing something together, so why not participate in sport, The more options we give to them, the more they will come to the sporting activities,” Dr Pope says.

Whanau should support their rangatahi to stay involved in sports even after they have left school.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Separatism a right for Tuhoe

Former Labour Northern Maori MP Bruce Gregory is defending Tuhoe's right to establish its own systems.

The eastern Bay of Plenty tribe has come scrutiny because of the arrest of activists including Tame Iti, who has long advocated the mana motuhake or independent authority of Ngai Tuhoe.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is labeling it apartheid, and backing the police crackdown.

But Dr Gregory says Mr Iti's vision has nothing to do with the race-based separation imposed by the former South African regime.

“It may be a system of separatism, but who is to say that separatism is a bad thing? The prevention of it is certainly not helping Maori people. We’re not saying to the Pakeha that we’re imposing our system on you. We’re saying that we want to practice under the systems that are ours, on our people,” Dr Gregory says.

He says because Tuhoe did not sign the Treaty of Waitangi, it should be free to practice its rights a a people within its own boundaries.


Triumph has turned to despair for this year's national waka ama champions.

The Orange Country Choppers returned from picking up an award as Te Arawa Sports Team of the Year to find vital equipment had been stolen from the Te Au Rere Waka Ama Club compound beside Lake Okareka.

Hellen Messenger, the club's manager, says the thieves took two ama or outriggers, but were unable to life any of the waka over the high walls.

She says the gear is needed for the team's preparation for the regional competitions in three weeks.

“We can't just buy these things off the shelf. We have to reorder them and get them made again and that takes weeks to get that equipment made up for us because there’s huge demand for them right now, moving into our summer season, so in the meantime we have to borrow and share and it's not ideal,” Ms Messenger says.

The theft could also affect training for next year's World Waka Ama Championships in Sacramento.


One of the country's foremost weavers has had her contribution recognised by Waikato University.

Diggeress Te Kanawa from Ngati Maniapoto and Ngati Kinohaku was awarded an honorary doctorate during the university's graduation ceremony at Te Kohinga Marama marae.

It was a double celebration for the whanau with her moko, Aubrey Te Kanawa, picking up his Bachelor in Management degree.

Her daughter Ata says the attention came as a bit of a surprise for the 87-year-old kai raranga.

“Yesterday was pretty overwhelming for her, and she didn’t realise it was going to be a big deal, which is kind of typical of her, so once proceedings started she just wanted to end and go somewhere for a nice cup of tea,” Ata Te Kanawa says.

It's a big week for the whanau, with many of the 12 children and dozens of mopopuna expected home this weekend to celebrate the 90th birthday of Diggeress's husband Tana Te Kanawa.


Cultural traditionalists, upbeat achievers, strivers, young battlers, and disaffected youth.

They're the five categories developed by market research firm Nielsen and researcher Anthony Wilson to define the Maori marketplace.

Mr Wilson says Neilsen talks to about 1500 Maori each quarter as part to a 12,000 person survey of trends and issues.

He says taking a more segmented approach will help government agencies develop policies, rather than their previous one size fits all method.

“You just call together a whole lot of Maori people, not knowing that each one of them has different behavioural patterns and each one of them has different attitudes towards culture. So what you would get is sort of this one big group of people that has no definition, and therefore your policy or your programme development may not be targeted that well at the groups that really need it,” Mr Wilson says.

The Nielsen survey is finding Maori increasingly recognise the importance of traditional cultural values, role models and language.


Maori men are being urged to be realistic about how their gear... and their bodies.... may have aged before they get in the water.

Mark Haimona from Water Safety New Zealand told this week's Injury Prevention Network hui in Napier that children and Maori men are the two groups who most need to heed water safety messages.

He says tane often get in trouble for reasons which are preventable.

“Maybe not having the correct equipment or maybe just going a it out of your depth or extending your limits a bit more. You might not be as good as the last year,” Mr Haimona says.

Water Safety New Zealand is using Rob Hewitt, who survived 75 hours in the water after being lost on a diving trip, in a campaign to show divers the safest way to collect kai for their marae.


Maori from the top of the South Island have been celebrating their culture.

More than 400 primary and intermediate school children from a dozen kapa haka groups shook the floors at the biannual Te Huinga Whetu festival in Nelson over the weekend

Dayveen Stephens from Te Kaunihera Kapa Haka Maori o Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka a Maui says opportunities to practice their traditional culture in the region are rare, because the Maori community is relatively small.

Nelson's Te Whatukura community club won both the junior and intermediate grades.

New peace centre at Otago

Maori traditions of peace will be explored by a new centre at Orago University.

The National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies was established with a $1.25 million grant from a trust which includes academics, church people, human rights advocates and Moriori lawyer Maui Solomon.

Clive Matthewson, the university's director of development, says the centre will have a distinctively New Zealand flavour.

“There are peace centres elsewhere. Queensland. Bradford in England. But here the donors, and we’re very happy to do this, wanted us to sign a memorandum of understanding that quite a flavour of our peace centre will be the relationship wiuth tangata whenua and drawing on some particular peaceful traditions of Moriori and Parihaka for example,” Dr Matthewson says.

The centre will bring together academics, students and visitors from a wide range of disciplines to find new ways to work against violence and sustain peace.


South Taranaki's new deputy mayor says more Maori need to put themselves forward for office.

Debbie Packer, a member of the Ngati Ruanui Runanga, stood for the council because she wanted to increase Maori participation in local matters.

She says the council could make a big difference to the quality of life in the area, but it had lacked diversity.

“I look to my left and my right and mo matou ki Taranaki, people are leaving and are not coming home. People with expertise. The government is dishing more and more responsibilities to local council and who the heck’s going to be left to represent that? The same ageing councilors we have got now or people like myself,” Ms Packer says.

She joined Simon Rangiwahia on the council.


The first Maori woman to win the Auckland Marathon says you don't have to be svelte to be successful.

Ady Ngawati won Sunday's race on the back of a win in her home town of Whangarei four weeks ago.

The former top triathlete says distance running compliments her day job as a lecturer in sports and recreation, even if her build is not that of a typical marathon runner.

“That's what is a fantastic thing, because I’ve got that Polynesian blood, so I’m not this skinny little marathon runner, the normal build that you see. It goes to show it’s not all about your physique, it’s a power to weight ration,” Ms Ngawati says.


A former Labour Cabinet minister believes Trevor Mallard should face some formal censure for his attack on National MP Tau Henare.

John Tamihere's own career as an MP was marked by ups and downs, because of allegations about his activities before he entered Parliament, and because of unvarnished criticism of his Labour colleagues.

But he never hit a fellow MP, despite a lot of provocation at times.

He says there seem to be different rules in force for Mr Mallard.

“I am a bit amazed all of a sudden it’s okay for a Labour cabinet minister to thump someone. But down in the district court this morning, whether it’s in Opotiki or Kaitaia or Otorohanga, there will be peole arraigned before the court for doing exactly the same, might have had the same stress, may have had the same provocation. I guarantee they won’t be getting a pat on the back for giving a bald headed Maori turncoat, now a member of the National Party, a thump,” Mr Tamihere says.


The director of a Maori production company says Maori need to use the Internet more to get their stories out.

Claudette Hauiti says Front of the Box's new Internet protocol TV service, Gogglebox, will give people an easier way to share their programmes.

She says mainstream coverage of the Police terror raids in the Urewera region has failed to give the Maori perspective the Internet can offer.


Marathon runner Ady Ngawati wants inspire collegues and members of her whanau to tackle long distance running.

The former top triathlete was the first woman home in Sunday's Auckland Marathon.

She focused on distance running after returning home to Whangarei to lecture in sports and recreation.

Ms Ngawati says marathons are a great challenge for women, and she's even persuaded her masseuse to start training for next year’s Rotorua marathon.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Samuels gets in behind

Labour's Dover Samuels is backing Winston Peters' attack on supporters of imprisoned Maori sovereignty and peace activists.

The New Zealand First leader told his party's annual conference at the weekend that protesters who marched against the police terror raids backed Tuhoe activist Tame Iti because he was brown ... not because he might be innocent.

Mr Samuels the terror raids are not about Maori or any group of Maori.

“We certainly don’t see this as a Tuhoe issue but an issue dealing with certain people that very clearly need investigating,” Mr Samuels says.

He says Winston's Peters vision of progress for Maori through education is the true tino rangatiratanga.


But John Tamihere says Winston Peters is showing signs of desperation.

The former Labour MP says with New Zealand First below 3 percent in the polls, its leader knows he has to lift his game.

Even though he is a de facto a member of the Labour Government, Mr Peters needs to re-establish a separate brand in the lead up to next year's election.

“What does he pick on. He picks on the values of immigrants, he picks on the separatism of Maori and he picks on the flag, we’ve got to have a flag raising and ra de ra de ra. He’s got three issues there. They’re vintage Peters’ issues, and they’re about branding him and lifting him in the polls,” Mr Tamihere says.


A Maori production company says its interactive television site opens the way for Maori stories to reach a global audience.

Claudette Hauiti from Front of the Box Productions says Internet protocol TV allows people to upload and download material on demand.

The Gogglebox service launched today on the front of the box web site includes six channels of news and current affairs, pacific issues, gay issues, sports and music.

She says Gogglebox means Maori communities will be able to post their own news, rather than having their stories filtered through Pakeha media.


The Maori Party expects to name its candidates for next year's election by Christmas.
The party held its annual hui over the weekend, reviewing its achievements so far and setting strategy for the year ahead.

Co-leader Tariana Turia says the party is consulting widely as to who will stand in the three Maori electorates the party does not already hold.

She says both Ikaroa rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia and Tainui's Nganaia Mahuta won by relatively slim margins last time, and they're eminently beatable.

“Parekua won by 2000 votes, which isn’t a lot, given he was the minister. If we work hard and we can convince 1100 people to move their vote to the Maori Party, then we feel very comfortable that we will beat him,” Mrs Turia says.

She says a shift of only 700 votes will give her party the new Waikato-Hauraki seat.


Researchers are trying to find out why the injury rates among young Maori drivers stays persistently high.

Anna McDowell from the Injury Prevention Research Unit is looking at newly-licensed Maori drivers, as part of a larger New Zealand Drivers study.

She will be considering the differences between rural and urban areas, behavioural and personality factors, drug and alcohol use, and pre-licence driving experiences.

The findings could help Maori communities wanting to cut down the number of crashes their rangatahi are involved in.

“My newly-licensed Maori driver part is looking at the pre-licence profile of these drivers s it’s more aimed at the driver education programmes and things that people run in their communities. I’m hoping that the rural-urban distinctions may help target specifically what’s happening to people in their areas,” Ms McDowell says.

She's still recruiting rangatahi to be part of the study.


Te Aupouri has lost one of its rangatira.

George Witana was chair of the far north tribe until ill health forced his retirement about two years ago.

He died last week and was buried in Te Kao on Saturday.

MP Shane Jones, a member of Te Aupouri, says the former school teacher took on senior roles in the tribe's affairs from a relatively young age.

In recent years he led Te Aupouri's attempts to negotiate a settlement of its treaty claims.

“He was a tremendous public speaker, an orator in that Maori sense, but a gifted public speaker in English, and a brillant letter writer, and something of an entertainer who was able to defang situations of tension, and he knew how to knit the races together,” Mr Jones says.

George Witana was also known as a progressive who had little time for Maori who wanted to harbour past grievances.

Call for Horomia to resign over raids

The Maori Party has called for the resignation of the Minister of Maori Affairs over his failure to take action on police terrorism raids.

The raids which led to the arrests of 17 people on firearms charges dominated the party’s annual conference in Hawkes Bay over the weekend.

Co leader Tariana Turia says all Maori feel threatened by the police actions, especially Tuhoe of the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

“We have had a whole iwi around Ruatoki, around the Urewera, who have been under siege by the police. Now, I’m sure if this happened up in Ngati Porou, the minister would by now have done something about it,” Mrs Turia says.

She says Parekura Horomia is only too keen to take the credit when maori do positive things, but runs away when things get tough.


Maori in the creative arts have a new source of advice on how to protect intellectual property and matauranga Maori.

It's Te Mana Taumaru Maatauranga, a publication from the Ministry of Economic Development.

Judith Tizard, the associate minister of commerce, says commercialisation of Maori imagery or words by overseas advertising agencies, fashion labels and even security firms has highlighted the complexity of the issue.

The guide covers trademarks and patents, performers and artists intellectual property rights and the protection of traditional knowledge.

“What we're hoping is this intellectual property guide for Maori will be used iin businesses and in school and in communities and artists’ groups that say okay, are we looking after ourselves and are we sure that we are respecting other people as we do work that may be based on their work,” Ms Tizard says.


An award winning director would like to see more co-ordination of Maori filmmakers doing the rounds of festivals with their wares.

Tearepa Kahi is riding high with Taua, a short film about a boy who shows compassion to an enemy warrior during a raid.

It's just been judged best short film at National Geographic magazine's All Roads indigenous and minority film festival un Washington DC, and it's also booked for screenings at the Sundance and Berlin film festivals early next year.

Mr Kahi says it can be a lonely road promoting films, and it would be good if emerging artists can benefit from the experience of celebrated filmmakers like Taika Waititi and Mike Jonathan.

“You know you've got a small core of Maori filmmakers, but then there’s all those ones on the periphery as well. There’s a national body, but there’s nothing too formal keeping everyone together. As an artist you’re usually stuck in your room, going hard, going for gold really,” Mr Kahi says.


The Maori Party says Parekura Horomia is failing in his duty to protect Maori.

Co Leader Tariana Turia says the police anti terrorism raids are seen by Maori as an attempt to suppress legitimate debate on New Zealand’s bicultural relationships.

She says in his unquestioning support for the police, the Minister of Maori affairs has shown he's out of touch with Maori opinion, and failing Maori people.

“It's one thing for the minister to take all the kudos for all the good things that happen amongst our people, but he also has an absolute responsibility to also provide some protection for our people as well,” Mrs Turia says.

She says Parekura Horomia should resign over his poor performance.


The Maori community may need to go smokefree marae by marae.

That's the view of Mark Peck, the director of the Smokefree Coalition.

He says the decision by the government superannuation fund to stop investing in tobacco companies shows how public attitudes are changing, but there are still challenges with the disproportionately high number of Maori smokers.

He says the future is in the community's own hands.

“Iwi by iwi, marae by marae, people need to sit down and say our kaupapa is no smoking, no tobacco, and if you’re given the kawa for a marae, you respect that. If a marae goes smokefree, that’s exactly what it means. I think it’s in the hands of Maori to start doing something about it,” Mr Peck says.

He's backing the push by Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira to ban the sale of all tobacco products.


The Tamaki brothers are working on a new way to sell New Zealand as a tourism destination.

The Rotorua-based pair are planning a new development in Manukau next to the Telstra Clear Pacific Events Centre.

Mike Tamaki says it will focus on the great migration from Hawaiiki.

The Rotorua will continue to focus the emergence of separate iwi within Aotearoa and their individual stories, while the new Christchurch village takes the story from colonial times to present day.

He says the Tamaki Heritage Village in Christchurch is proving the shift from the traditional hongi, haka and hangi format is popular with tourists and locals alike.

“The amount of visitors that we have been taking through in the last 16 weeks have been 50 percent of local Cantabrian people and they’re coming out the other end really loving the whole story, because this is a prototype down here in Christchurch of what we’re going to do in Manukau and how we are making changes happen in Rotorua,” Mr Tamaki says.

The Manukau venture, which is due to open in 2010, will be part of an art, tourism, hotel and business complex.