Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ngati Porou, Tainui join fish protest

More iwi have joined in a protest over a proposal to give the minister of fisheries the unchallengable power to cut fisheries quotas.

Tainui and Ngati Porou today joined 18 other iwi and Maori fishing groups opposing an amendment to the Fisheries Act which is now before Parliament.

They see the change as another attempt to impose the shared fisheries regime, which would have commercial quotas for inshore species like snapper and paua cut to leave more for recreational users.

But Api Mahuika, the chair of the East Coast Ngati Porou runanga, says the change will disadvantage Maori.

“We are the major fishing company and we are the major fishers in this country and every time there is a move such as this, it impacts largely on us. In terms of the shared fishery, we are the ones that suffer, because we are the ones that pay, we are the ones that can be sued,” Mr Mahuika says.

He says the Minister, Jim Anderton, is behaving in a dictatorial fashion.

A spokesperson for the Minister says the issue is still under consideration.


On Sunday, Parihaka will mark the 100 years since the death of one of the main prophets associated with the Taranaki settlement, Te Whiti o Rongomai.

Organiser Te Miringa Hohaia says the commemoration is combined with the iwi's annual meeting and with the monthly Ra day, a gathering instigated during the 1860s as a response to the Waitara war.

Two houses in Parihaka are associated with Te Whiti - Te Niho o Te Atiawa and Te Paepae o te Raukura, which burned down in 1960.

Mr Hohaia says a feast will be held over the foundation of Raukura to bring the community together.

“It's an indication too that one day we are going to stand that house back up again so holding the hakari there on Sunday is an important thing for us because since the house burnt down, there has never been a gathering held there,” Mr Hohaia says.

He says the hakari there will give whanau an opportunity to reflect on the legacy of peace left by Te Whiti.


A former Silver Fern wants a Maori team to be part of the next netball world cup.

Noelene Taurua, who now coaches the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, says the team would be competitive - judging by performances at this week's world championships in West Auckland, where the Cook Islands and Samoa made the top eight.

Ms Taurua says the event needs more competitive teams.

“There's a definite gap between the top four and everybody else so they’ve got to look at the format. Based on the talent I’ve seen around the countryside and what we have in the back pocket, definitely in the top eight position,” Ms Taurua says.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples is off to Geneva this weekend to discuss how indigenous people could be represented in a proposed United Nations parliamentary assembly.

The hui has been called by the Committee for a Democratic UN, a non-governmental organisation registered in Germany.

Dr Sharples says the assembly the committee is advocating would give ordinary people a say in world affairs.

The UN's business is currently done by appointed officials and diplomats, with country leaders and foreign ministers turning up occasionally to speak at the General Assembly.

“I'm going from the point of view of indigenous people to see if the indigenous peoples of the world can have a slot in that parliament so their views of minority groups and indigenous minority groups can be heard on a world stage,” Dr Sharples says.

About 50 indigenous leaders are expected at the meeting.


Maori communities could come out of the P epidemic stronger if they take a community approach to the problem.

That's the view of social activist Dennis O'Reilly, who is part of a trust working to persuade Black Power and Mongrel Mob gangs to stop their involvement in the sale and use of methamphetamine.

He says it's been an unpopular message, but as communities see the damage the drug is doing they are responding.

He says making war on drugs and trying to dissuade people hasn't worked, so it's time to embrace people and persuade them of the alternatives.

“When someone's high on a substance like meth, it ain’t a hell of a lot of use talking to them about that particular thing, you’re better to focus on that whanau because they’re the ones that are gong to be hurting, and how are they going to be painting a better future, it’s all about creating a future narrative, about what their life is going to look like in the future, and then helping them achieve that. And as the brother or sister who is using comes to their senses, you help them stop using,” Mr O'Reilly says.

He was reporting in his programme to this week's Community Action on Youth and Drugs hui at Victoria University.


Robyn Kahukiwa want to take her latest work off the canvas.

Superheroes for My Mokopuna opened at Auckland's Warwick Henderson Gallery this week.

The paintings were inspired by the superhero action toys and comics.

The Ngati Kahungunu artist says rather than using American heroes, she'd like to see the imaginations of tamariki inspired by the Maori and Polynesian figures of her work.

She's looking for backers to take the idea further.

“I wasn't having any luck getting the genre done, like the animated cartoons and the dolls and all that stuff, because I’ve just never been able to find anyone who’s invested in it. I mean I don’t make enough money to do anything so I’ve just got the ideas and everyone in Aotearoa could be inspired by these superheroes,” Ms Kahukiwa says.

New curriculum values Maori knowledge

The Minister of Youth Affairs says the new Maori curriculum is a move towards personalised learning.

Nanaia Mahuta says the curriculum launched yesterday, Te Matauranga o Aotearoa, was developed by the people working in Maori medium schools.

It will allow kura to offer learning relevant to their students, rather than delivering a Pakeha world view in the Maori language.

Ms Mahuta says Maori knowledge remains relevant.

“If you look at our scientific knowledge, via navigation, via astronomy, we do have a body of knowledge there that can be taught and has relevance within the education system,” Ms Mahuta says.

She says Maori medium schools are coming up with innovations which should be picked up by mainstream schools, where the bulk of Maori and Pacific pupils are taught.


One of the world's top science magazines has praised the role of the Maori Centre of Research Excellence in creating a home for Maori science.

The current issue of Science also profiled Nga Pae o te Maramatanga's founding joint director, Michael Walker, and his research on how animals use the earth's magnetic fields to navigate.

Professor Walker says the centre's efforts to increase the number of Maori PhD students is laying the foundation for new insights in science.

“What that brings is that you ask different questions or you have the potential, as Maori coming into the sciences, we are New Zealanders, we are also Maori, we can look at the world from two different points of view, and it means you can see different things. Whenever you look at the world from a different perspective, you see something different,” Professor Walker says.

Maori are underrepresented in the field because few of Maori high school students stick with science subjects after year 10.


A new history of New Zealand accuses artist Charles Goldie of manufacturing a completely fictitious Maori past which embedded itself in the mind of urban New Zealand.

The Big Picture is a book and six part television series by Hamish Keith, kicking off this Sunday.

The former Arts Council chairperson says he's tried to write about New Zealanders, using art as the window.

He says while Maori art has always been strong, it has often been ignored or consigned to the past.

In the meantime, artists like Goldie, Gottfried Lindauer and Louis John Steele mined the Maori world for subject matter.

“I see them all and I describe them as people enrolling to become pallbearers or what they thought was a dying race and a dying culture. And they were quite wrong of course because I think the 1901 census showed an increase in the Maori population, the first since the 1850s. So they were enrolling at the wrong funeral,” Mr Keith says.

He says while Maori leader Apirana Ngata is credited with preserving the culture, he was in fact mummifying it, while prophets like Te Kooti, Rua Kenana and Tahupotiki Ratana kept it evolving and growing.


A Labour Maori MP says the Government needs to engage immediately with Tuhoe to resolve tensions brought to the surface by last months anti-terror raids.

Nanaia Mahuta says she wants to see ministers sitting down to with the residents of Ruatoki and other Tuhoe communities to look for ways forward.

She says there is a lot of emotion round at the moment, but the sort of misguided abuse being thrown at MPs during this week's hikoi on Parliament isn't helpful.

“The way forward to ensure that Tuhoe achieve their real aspirations ifs for the Government to work with them on their treaty settlements, for the Government to have a constructive process to sit with them right now in terms of the police actions and find a constructive way forward, for education outcomes in that community to continue to succeed because they do have some good educational outcomes so it’s not all doom and gloom,” Ms Mahuta says.

She says the collapse of the police's anti-terrorism case against the Urewera 17 seems to confirm that the Terrorism Act is more geared towards external threats, as it was originally conceived.


Local faces are the key to lowering smoking rates.

That's the thinking behind a series of auahi kore posters just launched in Te Arawa.

Phyllis Tangitu, the general manager of Maori health from the Lakes District Health Board, says they wanted familiar faces to promote the smokefree message within Te Arawa.

Among those featured are five generations of the MacFarlane whanau, and the late Witarina Harris with her moko Parewhaika Harris.

“Maori are disproportionately represented in a whole range of smoking related disease areas and the posters are just one endeavour to try and help with the reduction of smoking among our whanau hapu and iwi,” Ms Tangitu says.

The DHB is working on a similar series of posters featuring whanau from Ngati Tuwharetoa


A micro-organism that lives in the boiling mud of Hell's Gate is attracting interest worldwide.

The scientific journal Nature has published an article on Metholkorus infernorum, a bacteria which eats methane.

Methane plays a major part in climate change, because it traps 20 times more heat than carbon dioxide.

Microbiologist Peter Dunfield from the GNS Science crown research institute, who found the bacteria in the Maori-owned Rotorua tourist attraction, says it's an exciting discovery.

“So it prevents the methane coming out of the earth from ever getting to the atmosphere because it eats it up before it gets there, and this is an extremely tough organism that grows at very acid conditions and very high temperatures, so it was a very exciting organism to us,” Dr Dunfield says.

GNS Science has an agreement with the Hells gate owners, the Tikitere Trust, to share any scientific and industrial benefits from the research.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ngai Tahu develops university town

Ngai Tahu and Lincoln University are to build a $130 million town on surplus land next to the Christchurch campus.

Over the next 12 years up to 1000 residential sections will be developed on the former dairy farm.

Mark Solomon, Ngai Tahu's kaiwhakahaere, says the joint venture builds on the relationship the iwi has with Lincoln's Taumutu Runanga Marae and with the university itself.

He says the Lincoln's surplus land helped further Ngai Tahu's vision for education.

“And it's something that Ngai Tahu’s promoted quite a bit. Institutions like the universities, like local government, they’re long term players like iwi, they’re here for the long haul, and we think they make perfect partners,” Mr Solomon says.

Ngati Tahu is also working with the university to get Ngai Tahu and other Maori in the South Island into tertiary education.


The new Broadcasting Minister is welcoming the emergence of younger Maori in film and television.

Trevor Mallard told the Screen Production and Development Association's Conference in Wellington today that the launch Maori Televisions new te reo channel on the Freeview digital platform is a significant change.

He says local content has grown fivefold over the past two decades, with 10 thousand hours broadcast last year across six free to air channels, compared to 2000 hours on two channels in 1988.

That has created opportunity for Maori broadcasting.

“There is a lot more, and probably because there is a lot more there are a lot more young programme makers involved, young producers, young directors, and it’s meant the quality has really improved over a period of time and the best stuff is absolutely excellent,” Mr Mallard says.

He says Maori Television's two Anzac Day specials and its coverage of the tangi of the Maori queen helped earn it widespread public support.


Organisers of the Pare Hauraki kapa haka competition want more marae to join the annual event.

11 secondary school teams from Hauraki, the Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Auckland competed last weekend at Ngahutoitoi Marae in Paeroa.

Organiser Kiri Karu says the competiton started in 1972 as a way to raise funds for marae in the rohe, and it was only opened up to school teams in the 1980s.

She says many whanau are concerned marae no longer enter.

“A lot of whanau said yes it’s timely we do go back and look at how we’re structured and we review it and bring back our marae groups, even if we have our koros with out mokos and our pakeke standing in - it could be a small group of 10, 15, 20,” Ms Karu says.

Mount Maunganui College confirmed the dominance it has shown over the past six years, taking 12 of the 13 trophies available, leaving one for Te Aroha College.


Whanau and kaiako at Maori immersion schools will have more say in what students are taught under a new draft curriculum launched today.

The draft is being put out for six months of consultation.

Laures Park from the primary teachers union, Te Rui Roa, which has been closely involved with the development of Te Matauranga o Aotearoa, says it's a fresh approach rather than a translation of the mainstream curriculum.

“This one here is very much based on Maori medium. Doesn’t stop anyone else from the rest of the sector using it if that’s what they choose to do but it’s very much from an indigenous framework,” Ms Park says.

It could be 18 months before the 17,500 students in kura kaupapa Maori see any changes.


A Maori scientist has been recognised internationally for his work on animal navigation.

Michael Walker from Auckland University's school of biological sciences is profiled in the current issue of Science, one of the world's top science journals.

It says his findings on how birds and other animals use magnetic fields to find their way over vast distances has shaped research in the field.

The journal also reported on how Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, the Centre for Maori Research Excellence headed by Professor Walker, is creating a home for Maori science.

“It's about as good as it can get. In essence it’s a great international endorsement for the work that is being done through the centre and for me personally, it’s a real honour to have a spread like that written on the work of an individual,” Professor Walker


Rob Hewitt has turned his 75 hours lost at sea into a book.

Treading Water follows the 38-year-old Ngati Kahungunu man from childhood, through his career in the navy... to February last year when he went missing while diving off the Kapiti Coast.

He says choosing a Maori publisher seemed the right way to get the story out.

“It was about whanau. It was about family. I had gone to several other publishers but as soon as I walked in the door at Huia, you just felt that whanau, felt that sense of belonging, and talking to Brian and Robyn Bargh, they are both water people, they are fishermen, so they have that understanding and connection to the sea,” Mr Hewitt says.

National Geographic is working on a documentary on his ordeal.

Leaks could taint Urewera 17 trial

A lawyer supporting members of the Urewera 17 says the leaking of surveillance information could have ruined the chance of a fair trial.

The Dominion Post and Christchurch Press yesterday ran extracts from the 156 page affadavit used by the police to get the search and arrest warrants needed for the anti-terror raids on October 15.

They did not identify which of the accused made the statements, or even if they were said by some of the undercover police who infiltrated alleged military style training camps in the Urewera.

David Williams, a professor of law at Auckland University, says because terrorism charges were dropped, there is no way the statements could have been tested in court and alternate explanations or context put up by the defence.

“I just want the public at large to realise how unfair to the process of trial by a court, where the jury can hear all the evidence, rather than trial by the media, where selective juicy bits are put out and then that tars the cases of all the people involved in this, even though they might have had nothing to do with any of those conversations,” Professor Williams says.

He says a commission of inquiry into the police actions is the only way to settle the questions raised by the leak.


One of the architects of the kohanga reo movement says the expertise of kuia and koroua is being overlooked.

Iritana Tawhiwhirangi is attending He Maanaki Nga Kaumatua, a three day hui in Hamilton looking at the needs of older Maori.

She says an important feature of Maori culture is that old people are valued and allowed to participate.

That was one of the inspirations for the Maori immersion pre-schooling, but over the years kaumatua with beautiful reo have been sidelined.

“They've been marginalised because you have thing coming like they have to have qualifications, they have to be teachers, and all this sort of thing, so the compliance coming in from the general society, they mean well those compliances but they don’t fit in a cultural framework,” Mrs Tawhiwhirangi says.

She hopes that the new minister of education, Chris Carter, will find ways to get kaumatua back into kohanga reo.


A Green MP is calling on Maori to boycott wood from Papua New Guinea.

Meteria Turei is just back from PNG where she met with indigenous groups who oppose logging of native timber.

A lot of the wood ends up here in decking or garden furniture.
She says the country's indigenous peoples rely on their forests for sustenance, and Maori should be careful what they buy.

“If we choose not to buy it, then the companies won’t have a market to sell it and they will reduce their logging impact over there so it’s really up to us, particularly Maori, because if we support other indigenous peoples we’ve got to support their way of life and that means for us here is not buying quila,” Ms Turei says.


Health sector high flyer Hayden Wana is switching hats.

He's stepped down as chair of the Taranaki District Health Board to be chief executive of Hauora Taranaki.

He'll keep his other day job heading Tui Ora Maori Development organisation.

Mr Wano, from Te Atiawa, Taranaki, Ngati Mutunga and Ngati Awa, is keen to see the sector from the other side.

“The role as the chairman of the district health board is very much at the governance level so you are tending to fly in the stratosphere whereas my day job involved dealing at a grass roots level so in a sense it’s the other side of the equation. It’s putting into practice the policies the DHB and the health sector is driven by,” Mr Wano says.

During his time the DHB improved its engagement with iwi, which fed into planning and policies.


Maori representative have met with senior ministers to put their case for a fairer climate change emissions trading scheme.

Roger Pikia, the co-chair of the Maori climate change consultative group, says Maori forest owners haven't had the flexibilty to shift to other land uses, so they could be prejudiced by any regime change.

And because a lot of Maori land is still covered with indigenous forest, they're concerned at disparities between the way native and exotic forest is treated.

He says the biggest concern coming from the 26 consultative hui and last weekend's Federation of Maori Authorities hui is what happens to credits from pre-1990 plantings.

“Maori generally subscribe to the intent of the emissions trading scheme, particularly as it applies to sustainability, but I guess it comes back to the architecture and design of the scheme that recognises contribution and allocates any benefits, should there be any, accordingly or equitably,” Mr Pikia says.

Another meeting with ministers is scheduled before the end of the year, and the Maori group is also working with officials.


A Maori team in the next Rugby League World Cup will add depth to the code in this country.

That's the view of Samoan sports commentator Ken Laban.

He says the lack of depth was highlighted by the Kiwis 58-nil loss to the Australians in Wellington last month, and the three zip series loss to Great Britain.

Many former internationals were unavailable, and the shortage of top class replacements was frustratingly obvious.

He says Pacific Island nations who have opposed the inclusion of a separate Maori team should think again.
“New Zealand Maori have worked very hard to get represented and let Maori come into it and let Tongs, Fiji, Samoa and other Pacific Islands look at it in a different way perhaps,” Mr Ken Laban says.

Indications are former Kiwis Tony and Frank Puletua, Reuben Wiki and Nigel Vagana will all turn out for Samoa in the World Cup - but Maori players get no such second chance.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuhoe hikoi heads to Parliament

One of the leaders of today's Tuhoe hikoi to Parliament against terrorism laws says the treatment of Maori families in Ruatoki can never be justified.

Taiarahia Black, a professor of Maori Studies at Massey University, said support has come from across the country over the October 15 anti-terrorist raid.

While only one person was arrested in the township, scores of houses were searched, people were held for hours at checkpoints by armed police, and property which was taken has still not been returned.

Professor Black says the march is not about tribe member Tame Iti and his associates.

“What it has got to do is the violation of a rural Maori community by the armed constabulary. Our homes were invaded. I was talking to one solo mum yesterday, two kids, she woke up to an infrared light on her body, on her head, looking down the barrel of a rifle from a ninja turtle,” Professor Black says.

He says because of the raids, Tuhoe will forever be branded with the terrorist label.


Money woes mean two South Taranaki hapu have dropped a legal battle to stop wastewater discharges over their fishing reefs.

Inuawai-Okahu and Kanihi-Umutahi from Ngati Ruahine appealed to the Environment Court a year ago against a consent for the $6 million Eltham-Hawera pipeline.

Appellant Mere Brooks says the hapu believe it is abhorrent to discharge human waste into the sea.

But continuing the case would have cost more than $60,000.

“We are a small rural based hapu with no funding at all and people working voluntarily so this has taken us three to four years to get this far, We’ve halted them for that long, but at the end of the day the resources to go to court weren't there,” Ms Brooks says.

She says council have agreed to review the facility the hapu says is faulty, increase monitoring and upgrade settling ponds.


Kapiti Island will next year welcome its first Maori writer in residence.

Tu Mai Kapiti Trust will offer the two month paid residency at the northern end of the island sanctuary, to coincide with next year's Matariki.

Project manager May Hill says Kapiti's rich Maori history and unique environment should be inspirational.

“This kaupapa really allows one of our writers to really honour their craft, just taking time to actually do their mahi and underpinning it all is our stories by our people,” Ms Hill says.

Applications for the residency open next week.


Kohanga Reo says a leaked report critical of its management and operations was intended to spark reform.

The report said the Kohanga Reo National Trust had lost sight of its duty to the individual Maori language pre-schools, and it had tolerated the emergence of dysfunctional beliefs and behaviour among staff.

Timoti Karetu, the trust's chairperson, says the report was a frank snapshot of how staff felt late last year.

“It is not a report that had wide currency. It was a report initiated by the CEO at the time, to get some feedback ads to what the staff thought, and I think in lots of ways he might regret having done that, but now that the report is out, we have to take some cognizance of what the staff had to say,” Dr Karetu says.

The board and the new chief executive, Titoki Black, are traveling the country getting feedback from kohanga reo whanau which will help the movement develop a strategic plan for its second 25 years.


Maori working voluntarily may be paying more tax than they need to.
That's the advice from Tim Burns, the executive director of Volunteer New Zeraland.

Inland Revenue is reviewing policies relating to the voluntary sector, which is estimated to contribute more than $3 billion a year in unpaid work to the New Zealand economy.

Mr Burns says it's important Maori give feedback on the review.

“For many Maori contributing on their mare, they don’t quite see it as volunteering, but they are contributing on an unpaid basis and they may be meeting expenses out of their pocket that the marae may wish to refund to them, so it’s important their voice is there as well,” Mr Burns says.

Under current rules, people who cover expenses associated with their voluntary work can be hit by tax if they are reimbursed.


More Maori are exhibiting at the annual Ellerslie Flower show.

Kate Hillier, the show's exhibition manager, says last night's powhiri last night at the Auckland Botanic Gardens in Manurewa was an eye opener for the many international exhibitors.

They were particularly impressed with the exhibit from Warkworth-based Clive Cottrill, who incorporated many Maori themes.

“It's not a literal Maori village but it will give people a really nice impression and he was also involved with the creation of a fantastic almost glowworm cave in the starlight marquee, had a lot of people coming form both local maraes to help out. It’s been wonderful,” Ms Hillier says.

Language strategy passes Brady test

More Maori can speak, read, write and understand te reo.

In his first five year report on the Maori language strategy, the Auditor General reports a 10 percent increase in the number of Maori adults with some level of language proficiency.

Tipene Chrisp from Te Puni Kokiri says the report confirms feedback to the ministry and the Maori language commission that Maori are happy with progress.

“What's come through from Maori in the hui taumata hosted by Te Taura Whiri was really the important on continuing and strengthening the focus on whanau language development and te reo within the community so those are obviously areas we will need to focus on and strengthen our engagement,” Dr Chrisp says.

The Maori Language Strategy is a 25 year project started in 2003.


Ngai Tahu's head is insisting the South Island tribe's operating divisions do even better next year, after a big boost in its 2007 profits.

Ngai Tahu Holdings reported a surplus of $80.3 million dollars, 71 million more than 2006.

Operating profits increased 46 percent to $21 million because of better performance in fisheries and tourism, but property earnings declined after the board opted to hang on to some developments rather than sell them on.

Kaiwhakahaere Mark Solomon says the bottom line was affected by the sale of $63 million of shares in rest home operator Ryman.

“That was a deliberate move and it wasn’t to achieve budget, it had nothing to do with the budget. I would say that was an extraordinary dividend, that section of it. The only that was down on budget was property, and that was because of a board decision to stop a sale, so things are very well on track,” Mr Solomon says.

Ngai Tahu members are warming to the tribe's Whai Rawa benefit sharing scheme, with more than 2000 signing on in the past month alone.


Kaumatu and health workers are gathering in Hamilton today to look at issues faced by Maori over 55.

Organiser Yvonne Wilson says kaumatua often have the answers, but need help to implement them.

On the agenda are access to healthcare and help for kaumatua raising mokopuna.

But the three-day He Maanaki Nga Kaumatua won't be all serious - it
ends on Friday with the Kaumatua Olympics.


The Film Commission has teamed up with Maori film and television group Nga Aho Whakaari to get Maori stories to the screen.

Te Paepae Ata ata will allow senior Maori in the industry to mentor films written, produced and directed by Maori.

Commissioner Tainui Stephens says its a way to carry on the legacies of people like Don Selwyn and Hirini Melbourne, who did so much to find and foster emerging Maori talent.

“Te Paepae Ataata is really a chance to give resource to the development of Maori scripts to become Maori films, with Maori writers, Maori directors, and wherever possible, Maori producers, and more and more of our people are getting the skills to do this sort of thing,” Mr Stevens says.

Each script received would be treated as a taonga.


Victoria University graduations are to have more of a Maori flavour.
Instead of Maori students getting capped at the University's marae, they will be joining in the main event.

Piri Sciascia, the University's Pro Vice Chancellor Maori, says it will be a chance to bring the ceremony and the wairua of the marae into the mainstream.

“The chancellor actually who is the head of ceremonies has been coming to the marae and said look, this is so wonderful, would you consider bringing your graduation, all of what goes on at the marae, in to the Michael Fowler ceremony,” Professor Sciascia says.

He says Victoria University's five major student bodies - including the Victoria University Students Association and the Post-Graduate Students Association - are currently headed by Maori students.


The Child Poverty Action Group has used the opening of the Ellerslie Flower Show to highlight inequalities in society.

It is selling a fundraising calendar during the event at the Auckland Botanic Gardens in Manurewa, with artwork supplied by students from south Auckland's Wesley College.

Director Janfrie Wakim says government policies such as Working For Families breach the Human Rights Act by discriminating against children on the basis of their parents' employment status.

She says the same principles apply to plants as children - they need nutrients to grow properly.

“The needs of young people, the needs of tamariki, the needs of our nation depend on enabling the young to get a fair chance, a fair start in life, to get all the nutrients around them to make their development flourish,” Ms Wakim says.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Plan to boost Maori film

There could be a long overdue boost for Maori filmmakers.

The Film Commission and Maori filmmakers' group Nga Aho Whakaari is launching a new initiative to encourage the development of development of films written, produced and directed by Maori.

Board member Tainui Stephens says under Te Paepae Ataata, senior Maori in the industry would oversee the productions.

“A paepae itself is the speakers’ bench, where people who sit on that bench have authority, they have experience, we pray they have wisdom. They’re the kind of people who make decisions, who interpret the world. And so we thought that kind of thinking was appropriate for coming up with a way of giving authority to supporting of filmmakers,” Mr Stephens says.

Te Paepae Ataata is a way to carry on the work of his predecessors on the commission like Done Selwyn and Hirini Melbourne.


Lifting makutu is not easy and must be done by the appropriate people.
That's the word from an Anglican Archdeacon who has conducted exorcism ceremonies.

Police are investigating the death by drowning of a 22-year-old woman in Wainuiomata last month during a ceremony.

They says a 14 year old girl from the same whanau was taken to hospital after the same ceremony.

Hone Kaa from St Johns Theological College often gets calls from people who believe a whanau member has a makutu or curse on them.

If they're not from his own iwi, he usually refers them to specialists in their own tribal group.

“I don't like dealing with people from outside my own iwi. You can lay yourself open to other wairua that may well be lurking and you don’t know about them. I’m pretty careful about doing that, because that’s what my kaumatua and particularly my mother warned me about, take a great deal of care about what you are doing and who you are doing it with,” Dr Kaa says.

He says water is used in exorcisms, but usually in small amounts.


Maori involvement in the dairying sector is strong and growing.

Nominations have opened for next year's Ahuwhenua Trophy, which will focus on Maori excellence in dairy farming.

Allan Fraser, the award's organiser, says Maori trusts and incorporations have joined the rush to convert their large traditional sheep and beef farms into growing milk.

He says recent campaigns to draw young Maori into the industry have worked, with many young people coming in as sharemilkers.

“We're seeing more young Maori people starting to assume a role in the governance as well, and they’re bringing in their experience from business outsite of agriculture, but that really complements the other trustees who have real strength of knowledge of agriculture itself.
Mr Fraser says.

He says many farms enter the competition so they can benefit from the advice they get from the judges.


The Maori language strategy appears to be working.

A new report from the Auditor General says 52 percent of Maori adults have some level of Maori language proficiency ... up 10 percent over the past five years.

Tipene Crisp, a policy director at Te Puni Kokiri, says iwi radio, Maori television and the flow of children through Maori immersion education is contributing to the increase.

He says the increase in Maori between 16 and 24 with higher language skills is particularly exciting.

“Our focus is on intergenerational transmission and if these kids coming out of kura, kaupapa Maori are using Maori with their children when they become parents, then that really bodes well for the future of the language,” Dr Chrisp says.

There will be another review in five years.


The most effective way to keep Maori rangatahi healthy is to cut off their access to drugs.

That's the view researchers from Massey University's Centre for Social and Health Outcomes shared with this week's annual hui or Community Action on Youth and Drugs in Wellington.

SHORE's Sally Liggins says it's more effective than blaming individuals for their behaviour.

In Northland, whanau in Whangaruru are discouraging drinking and dakking at local parks and beaches.

In other areas communities are working with the Black Power and Mongrel Mob to convince them not to manufacture or supply P, especially to young people.

“That's where we bring the supply aspect in because if we can influence supply there’s a lot of evidence in the research literature about if we can stop supply or reduce supply, we reduce harm. It makes sense,” Ms Liggins says.


A Ngati Kahungunu hapu is sharing its treasures.

A show of photography, literature and art has gone on display at the Hawkes Bay Exhibition Centre in Hasting until January.

Te Poho is curated by artist Sandy Adsett and features images by Wellington photographer Sal Criscillo of taonga of the Ngati Kere hapu.

There is also contemporary work by Ngati Kere artists including Romaine Ferris, James Molner and Donna Walford.

Piri Sciascia, who launched the exhibition, says they capture the spirit of the land, sea and people of the coastal area of Porangahau.

“We named the exhibition because it’s about Porangahau, the land, the sea, its people, its culture and its taonga and its artists, we thought all that lies at the heart of Porangahau koe ra Te Poho,” he says.

Piri Sciascia says Te Poho also includes the taurapa of the waka Ngati Kahungunu built at Porangahau for the 1990 commemorations.

Fishy power grab unscientific

Iwi are fighting a plan to give the Fisheries Minister more power to cut quotas.

Jim Anderton says the change to the Fisheries Act will allow him to improve sustainability.

The bill is due to be reported back to Parliament, after a selected committee deadlocked on changes.

Sonny Tau, the chair of Northland's Ngapuhi, says iwi representatives believe the Minister has all the power he needs.

“He's talking about changing the law so it allows him to make a decision even though he hasn’t got the scientific information to support those decisions that he makes. That’s why we’re up in arms at this point in time,” Mr Tau says.

Maori-controlled fishing companies and Te Ohu Kaimoana pushed for cuts in hoki and other species, because they also have concerns about sustainability.


A leading Maori cleric says exorcisms in the Maori community are more common than people know.

Police are treating the death of a 22 year old Wellington woman, as suspicious.

Janet Moses drowned after she was held under water during a ceremony to lift a makutu or curse.

Hone Kaa from St John's Theological College says similar ceremonies happen at least once a month, but most people never hear of them because they are done quietly and nothing goes wrong.

He says water is used, but usually in small amounts.

“I personally would not use the amount of water that they say was used in this one. I use a little bit of water and I sprinkle it on the person. I’ve never heard of large amounts of water, and I don’t want to speculate on what happened there, because it’s now a matter of a police case,” Dr Kaa says.

He prefers to do exorcisms only for people in his own iwi, because of the risks involved.


A legendary Hollywood actress is being claimed as a member of Ngati Kahungunu.

Dorothy Lamour was best known for her role in a series of "Road to" movies with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.... and during the Second World War she was a popular pin-up among american soldiers.

Rakai Karaitiana says his Napier-based family believes the star was the daughter their aunt Maud gave up for adoption at the start of World War One, after an affair with a French-Tahitian trapeze artist.

While the official biographies say Dorothy Slaton was born in New Orleans in 1914, Mr Karaitian says there are clues in her career.

“They claim that she's white but throughout her Hollywood career she was typecast as a native. She did a whole series of films Road to Bali, Road to Zanzibar, where she was always typecast as a naive native girl,” Mr Karaitiana says.

The family legend is the reason he called his Napier fashion and design store Dorothy Lamour.


The last obstacle to a rescue plan for a troubled Northland land incorporation has been cleared away.

The Maori Land Court has dismissed Labour MP Dover Samuel's request to partition out a beachfront block from the Matauri X Incorporation.

It said Mr Samuels waited too long - more than 20 years - to act on a motion by the incorporation allowing the split.

The land is part of an area being subdivided to clear the $6 million debt racked up by previous managers on a failed water bottling venture.

Administrator Kevin Gillespie says about 40 sections have sold already, but another 40 need to be sold to break even.

“There's been some fairly strong demand and I believe Matauri Bay is special place and a lot of people are very attracted to Matauri so we’re hopeful we’ll get the sales. We’re not panicking. We have a loan facility running through to October next year, so we think we’ll get there Okay,” Mr Gillespie says.


A majority of the country's iwi say a proposed change to the Fisheries Act is a unilateral rewrite of the Maori fisheries settlement.

Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton wants to change the law to make it easier for him to cut catch levels, if he believes the sustainability of a species is in question.

But Sonny Tau, the chair of Ngapuhi, says iwi believe the minister already has all the power he needs.

He says Mr Anderton is refusing to listen to the fishing industry or consult with Maori, threatening the basis of the 1992 Sealord Deal.

“Before the Crown can go and tutu or change that deal they need to consult with Maori. That’s why Maori get upset, because the Crown set a deal and now they want to unilaterally change it. It’s called justice I think,” Mr Tau says.

Iwi are calling on Parliament to throw out the Fisheries Amendment Bill when it comes back for second reading.


A hapu near Wairoa is finalising designs for its new marae complex.

Ngati Pahauwera's Te Huki marae at Raupunga, including two meeting houses, a wharekai and a kohanga reo, were destroyed by fire in January.

Artist Sandy Adsett, who had been refurbishing the original century-old wharenui before the blaze, says the community wants to do more than just replace what was lost.

“So there's a different type of requirement hat we are looking at as far as how we design the place, how it can be used in a way that keeps going. We don’t want something that is gong to sit there empty month after month,” Mr Adsett says.

Building at Raupunga should start in February.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Samuels loses Matauri partition bid

The Maori Land Court has knocked back an attempt by Labour MP Dover Samuels to carve out a block of beachfront land from the Matauri Bay incorporation.

Mr Samuels said the incorporation agreed in 1988 to partition off land which had belonged to his stepfather.

But Judge David Ambler says Mr Samuels waited far too long to bring the case - and he only did so to avoid the fall-out of Matauri X's disastrous investment in a failed water bottling business, which left the incorporation with a debt of more than $6 million.

Kevin Gillespie, the incorporation's court-appointed administrator, says development of the land for leasehold sections is well advanced.

“The roading is just about completed. Sections have been marked out. There’s some latter stages that will be done a bit later on, but we’ve now got it in a position where the people can get access to the sections and hopefully over the summer months we’ll get some more sales. There are about 40 sections sold so far, but we need to at least double that to get to the break even point,” Mr Gillespie says.

Mr Samuels' court action cost Matauri X about $50,000 in legal fees.


Otago University researchers have found marked ethnic differences in childhood obesity rates.

Ailsa Goulding, from the Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, says the National Children's Nutrition Survey found extreme obesity affected one in 10 Pacific Island children and one in 20 Maori children, compared to one in 100 Pakeha or other children.

She says many parents don't associate fatness with bad health.

“They see large children and they think ‘nice large child’ but perhaps it’s not quite like that, perhaps those children are already on the path to getting far too heavy,” Dr Goulding says.

Childhood obesity has been linked to the prevalance of diseases like diabetes among Maori adults.

Whakatane's indigenous university is still waiting to see how much can be salvaged after a suspicious weekend fire.

Whakatane police are investigating the blaze which broke out at Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi just after four on Sunday morning.

Hirini Moko Mead, the chair of the wananga council, says it could disrupt some departments.

“It's damaged one of the smaller buildings at Awanuiarangi and the home of the education department, and I believe the damage is quite extensive,” Professor Mead says.

Staff are waiting for police and fire investigators to complete their reports.


Iwi are calling on Parliament to reject a change to the Fisheries Act which could lead to widespread quota cuts.

The minister, Jim Anderton, wants to be able to cut catch levels if he doesn't have enough information needed to say the species is sustainable.

The primary production select committee was deadlocked on whether the bill should go forward, so it is due to be reported back unchanged.

A statement signed by iwi leaders representing more than half the Maori population says it's a power grab by the minister.

Mark Solomon, the chair of Ngai Tahu, says Mr Anderton's shared fisheries proposal to shift catch from the commercial to the recreational sector failed because of widespread opposition, so he's now trying again through the back door.

He says rather than punish commercial fishers, the minister should look at reporting requirements and bag limits in the recreational sector.

“I'm entitled to take 15 kahawai a day. There’s no way in the world my family of six could eat 15 kahawai. I’m allowed to take 10 blue cod. Again, no way could my family eat it. In Kaikoura, I’m entitled as a family to take 900 cockles a day. That is absolute nonsense,” Mr Solomon says.

He says iwi feel insulted by Mr Anderton's claims they are sops to the industry who don't understand how the quota system works.


Northland's medical officer of health says overseas-trained doctors may need a crash course in New Zealand diseases.

The Northland District Health Board is planning to swab the throats of all Kaikohe schoolchildren next year, so it can pick up streptococcus A infections which can trigger rheumatic fever.

Jonathan Jarman says the illness strikes about 20 children a year in the region, and in recent years they have all been Maori.

Rheumatic fever can cause heart damage, which lessens life expectancy.

Dr Jarman says many doctors trained in the United Kingdom and other places don't treat strep A throat seriously, because the risk of complications is so low in their home country.

“When those doctors come to New Zealand, they’re extremely well trained doctors, but of course we have some diseases in New Zealand that are different from what they may have experienced in the country that they come from, and rheumatic fever is one of those diseases,” Dr Jarman says.

A similar swabbing operation in Whangaroa schools has cut rheumatic fever in that area.


A programme about an apparent hate crime has won a Maori-owned production company this year's Media Peace Award.

Takatapui, an indigenous gay, lesbian and transgender series on Maori Television, explored the unsolved murder of Stanley Waipouri, who was bashed to death.

Producer Jude Anaru from Front of the Box Productions says the award is special because it says the programme made a contribution to battling violenece.

She says cast and crew were physically and mentally exhausted by the shoot.

“It was told by the whanau and friends who spoke about their personal loss, about their personal anger, about their personal feelings about liosign someone who was so dear to them, and we managed to hop onto it pretty quickly after the event. Even though it was a few months after the event, everything was still fresh in their mindsm” Ms Anaru says.

Front of the Box was also highly commended for its documentary ‘Taa Moko’ which screens at the Oceania Film Festival later this year.

Humble apology called for

Go back to Ruatoki - with your heads bowed down.

That's the message Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples has for the police.

He says the failure of the anti-terrorism prosecutions against Maori and environmental activists shows the October 15 blockade of the eastern Bay of Plenty township was unjustified.

Repairing the damage will take time and effort.

“I want to see them do a meaningful apology. I’d like to see that squad that went up there in there ninja suits go up there and undress in front of the people and become ordinary people and say we’re sorry we came in so heavy, we were exercising duty, it’s the first time we’ve done this, and offer and apology on the marae humbly,” Dr Sharples says.

He says the time has come to create the position of a Maori assistant police commissioner.


Less paper shufflers, more research.

That's the recipe National's fisheries spokesperson has for the Fisheries Ministry if his party takes the treasury benches next year.

Phil Heatley told a hui of the Hokianga Accord, a gathering of Maori, recreational and commercial fishing interests, that the ministry clearly has some of its priorities wrong.

He says National would increase the number of fisheries officers, both honorary officer and the full time enforcement staff needed to back them up.

It would also boost research, so decisions on catch levels are less controversial.

“When you talk about shared fisheries or anything like that, you cannot make a decent decision about what’s needed in terms of recreational, customary or commercial fishing unless you have good solid research, and so we have to put a whole lot of those resources essentially into research,” Mr Heatley says.

He has been unable to get a clear answer why the Fisheries Ministry refuses to consult with the Hokianga Accord.


Northland health authorities plan to extend a throat swabbing campaign which has cut the number of Maori getting rheumatic fever.

Jonathan Jarman, the medical officer for the Northland District Health Board, says there are up to 20 cases a year in the region among children from 5 to 19, all Maori.

It can lead to heart damage which shortens life expectancy.

Dr Jarman says it's triggered by infection from streptococcus A, so GPs need to take sore throats in children more seriously.

“We know that Group A strep is more common in people who live in crowded situations, who live in housing that’s not particularly warm, and of course the complications of rheumatic fever occur in people who don’t have good access to seeing a general practitioner,” Dr Jarman says.

Routine throat-swabbing in schools had eradicated high levels of rheumatic fever in Whangaroa over the past six years, and swabs start in Kaikohe schools next year.


The Hauraki Maori Trust Board believes government agencies are bungling protection mechanisms for culturally sensitive land.

The protection system was changed after protests stopped the sale of Landcorp's Whenuakite Block on the Coromandel Peninsula.

But John McEnteer, the board's treaty manager, says it failed in the case of a farm south of Orere Point on the Firth of Thames.

The Overseas Investment Office approved the sale of the 1400 hectares to an Australian beef farming company after getting a letter from a Ngai Tai group.

But Mr McEnteer says the OIO should have talked to Ngati Paoa and Ngati Whanaunga, who have ancestral links to the land.

“This new process is not working and the officials are absolutely bungling this new process. The ink is hardly dry on this new policy, and that’s what is of concern to me. Because how much longer do we need to continue with this inept and incompetent government approach to things,” Mr McEnteer says.


A Maori Party MP says the police should never be considered above scrutiny.

Hone Harawira came under fire from fellow MPs for speaking out against the arrests of Maori and environmental activists alleged to have attended terrorist training camps in the Urewera.

The solicitor general refused to allow proseuctions under the Terrorism Act, and the 16 people arrested have been released on bail while they await trial on firearms charges.

Mr Harawira says the police tried to change the way dissent was treated - and they failed.

“This was never a time for us to back off and be quiet like all the others were saying. When people say keep quiet, the police know what they’re doing, that’s the time for us to step up to the plate and say ‘Hell no.’ Of all people in this country, Maori ought to know that you never shut up when police are pulling stunts like thins. You go out and you go on the offensive all of the time, and now, we’ve been proved to be right,” Mr Harawira says.


Clean fat and home-made chips are behind the success of a Lyttelton Fish and chip shop.

Lyttelton Fisheries was judged the country's best chip shop through consumer text voting.

The business has been owned since July by professional chef Jason Otene and his wife Caroline.

Jason hails from a well known far north whanau, but he's lived in Otautahi since the 1970s.

He says they have a simple recipe for customer satisfaction.

“My wife is always changing the fat over, and the chips we have, we make ourselves, and they’re quite big chips. Plus I suppose it’s the attitude of all the workers there as well. Can’t have a good product without a good team eh,” Mr Otene says.