Waatea News Update

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Friday, December 07, 2007

Delamere launches utu on persecutors

David Cunliffe is set to follow Trevor Mallard into the dock.

The former immigration minister is one of seven people named in a private prosecution by former MP Tuariki John Delamere.

The Auckland District Court today confirmed it will issue summons against Mr Cunliffe, three Immigration Service officials and three present or former staff of the Serious Fraud Office.

The action related to the Serious Fraud Office's unsuccessful prosecution of Mr Delamere for fraud and forgery relating to his immigration consultancy.

He says that prosecution was malicious and based on illegal actions by those named.

“They were targeting me, and they used it by basically blackmailing people to produce documents which the Immigration Service knew those people did not have, had no right to have them and they threatened them with the loss of their permits if they did not provide them. Ultimately they did remove their permits, and that went all the way to the Minister,” Mr Delamere says.

Three of the people he wants to prosecute are working overseas, and one is now a district court judge.


Maori Television is encouraging more people to identify as Maori.

Andrew Sporle, a social statistics researcher, told an Australasian sociology conference in Auckland this week that brown faces on Maori and mainstream television and the high visibility of Maori role models has increased Maori pride in their ethnicity.

He says the jump in the number of Maori in the most recent Census cannot be explained by population growth alone.

“Growth in the Maori population is due to both our slightly larger birth rate but the fact we’re getting more people now who are identifying as Maori because they are either getting new knowledge about their ancestry but they’re also getting a sense of safety and pride about being Maori, whereas previously that never used to exist,” Mr Sporle says.

He says it's important to see brown faces on mainstream television, not just on Maori TV.


A Maori country singer hopes a new prize will kick start his career across the Tasman.

Dennis Marsh was judged best non-Australian artist in the Australian Country Music Association awards.

The prolific recording artist, who hails from Te Kuiti says it caps a bumper year, and opens the way for an even better 2008.

“Been a hat trick this year. It’s been a good year for me. First I get awarded a gold album for “To Get to You,” it came earlier in the year. Then I got a New Zealand Country Music Association country album of the year and this one was a bit of a surprise, coming from Australia. Really given me a good stepping stone into Australia now as a country artist,” Mr Marsh says.

He will record his 19th album over the summer.


Tuariki Delamere says a private prosecution is the only way he can prove his innocence.

The former immigration minister has taken action against officials responsible for his trial on fraud and forgery charges.

They include David Cunliffe, who was then immigration minister, Immigration Service chief executive Mary Anne Thompson and Serious Fraud Office deputy director Gus Andree-Wiltens, who is now a district court judge.

He's alleging blackmail, perjury and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

In March a jury found Mr Delamere not guilty, but the Serious Fraud Office is still fighting him over costs.

He says it has all the hallmarks of a malicious prosecution by the SFO.

“They deliberately failed to follow things through on a number of witnesses and provided evidence they knew was false. They were only interested in putting forward things they believed might help them prove my guilt,” Mr Delamere says.

Several of his immigration clients had their residency removed during the case, and it still hasn't been reinstated despite the fact a jury found no crime was committed.


One of Parliament's most well educated MPs says moves to restrict university entry are based on false premises and will adversely affect Maori.

Pita Sharples, the co-leader of the Maori Party, is a former research fellow at Auckland University's education faculty.

Auckland and Victoria Universities are considering capping open entry courses in subjects like arts, sciences, education and first year law.

Dr Sharples says a lot of Maori come out of secondary school without university entrance qualifications, but pursue tertiary study once they've had children and settled down.

“Everyone says Maori should get educated, then they close all the gates. There’s no need to lift the standard of the entry to a compulsory examination to produce good graduates. It’s a fallacy that when there’s a competition for places, you lift the level of entry. That's wrong,” he says.

Dr Sharples says the quality of a university degree should be the same at the end, whatever qualifications people had to get into university.


Something worth fighting for.

That's the feeling in Whanganui to a show which opened at the Regional Museum today.

Te Pihi Mata - The Sacred Eye features photographs by William Partington taken around the river in the 1890s and 1900s.

The collection of glass plate negatives was bought by the museum, the Whanganui Community Trust and Whanganui iwi after protesters from the iwi stopped their auction five years ago.

Che Wilson, the co-curator, says it has taken since then to put the show together.

“We restored, did a lot of conservation work, did a lot of research, going out to our people to find out and identify as many as we could, including using our recent Waitangi Tribunal hearings to take the photographs there while there was a lot of old people there to one, show them again, but also to identify them to help with the exhibition itself,” Mr Wilson says.

Te Pihi Mata also includes whanganui taonga and photos of the contemporary descendants of those in the Partington photos,

PISA leans towards NZ students

The Education Ministry believes programmes to boost Maori achievement will soon show up in international rankings.

The latest finding of the Programme for International Student Assessment... or PISA... ranks New Zealand students in the top four out of 57 countries in reading and science.

Mary Chamberlain, the ministry's curriculum manager, says while Maori students were represented at all levels of the survey, their over-representation at lower level could have affected the result.

She says programmes like Te Kotahitanga, which change the way teachers interact with Maori students, should change things.

“They're lifting our Maori students’ performance by up to a year, so the challenge now, we know what we’ve got, those improvements, sort of 200 and 300 schools at a time, we need to take that to scale and it’s then we expect to see those results reflected in a system measurement tool like PISA,” Ms Chamberlain says.

She says students respond to high expectations.


The Minister of Maori Affairs hopes an overhaul of the Maori Trust Office will help it track down missing owners.

The office looks after more than 2000 land blocks for 186,000 owners, but only has valid addresses or bank account numbers for 42,000 of them.

Parekura Horomia says it's the sort of issue which sparked the reform bill now before Parliament.

“Generally one third of the owners get paid out because they know where their addresses are, another third they don’t know where they are and another third aren’t succeeding to their interests,” Mr Horomia says.

The changes should also allow the Maori Trustee to play a greater role in Maori economic development, especially for small business.


Whales loom large in new works by a Kai Tahu printmaker and painter.

Simon Kaan, who also has Chinese and Pakeha whakapapa, has previously done seascapes featuring mokihi, the reed boats Kai Tahu use for fishing and travel.

He says a pirated copy of Whale Rider he saw during a three month residency at the Red Gate Gallery in Beijing made him homesick... and may have influenced his painting.

“They're sort of open for interpretation with a whale being a store of knowledge as well and the explorer is a metaphor as well but also from an ecological perspective I suppose it’s quite a strong symbol as well, so it’s multi layered if you want to interpret it in that way,” Mr Kaan says.

"When" is at the Anna Bibby gallery in Auckland.


The Education Ministry's curriculum manager believes New Zealand could go even higher in international school rankings.

The Programme for International Student Assessment, or PISA, has ranked this country's students third out of 57 in science and fourth in reading.

Mary Chamberlain says it's an excellent result, but schools are trying to do better.

She says a lot depends on lifting Maori achievement, and research programmes like Te Kotahitanga are point to ways that can be done.

“Maori students that experience high expectations, that have teachers that like and care about them, who know what they’re learning and why it’s important an who get really focused and good feedback, they do improve and they achieve just as well as their counterparts,” Ms Chamberlain says.


A serious rugby injury set Dion Seeling on a path of creativity.

The Ngati Ranginui artist is holding his first solo exhibition at Gate Pa in Tauranga tomorrow.

The 47 pieces are inspired by Maori Warrior ideology and the female form.

He studied for an art diploma from home after an accident left him wheelchair bound.

“When I was 18 I broke my neck in a rugby accident and my life change pretty drastically so I spent a few years not knowing what to do after that and as soon as I started painting it was a form of rehab to get my body going again and I just took it ion form there. It was a lot of hard work, it wasn’t natural, but I did find I did like it,” Mr Seeling says.

He's exhibiting from his home to save money on gallery costs.


An American alternative to gang battles is being promoted here as a way to reduce youth violence.

Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust has brought krumper Tommy The Clown and other Los Angeles-based dancers to give demonstrations at the New Zealand krumping championship this weekend.

Krumping is entertaining but also carries messages against gangs, drugs and violence.

Participants square off against one another, and dance as though they're getting electric shocks.

Wiki Wolfgramm from West Auckland Youth Services says Aotearoa's krump crews have devised a local variant that works kapa haka moves into the battle.

“It provides a physical outlet for young people to express their frustration in a safe way and allow young people to gain respect from their peers and their community by just krumping, battling against each other. There’s no contact involved and iot is a pure art of dance. It's quite amazing actually,” Ms Wolfgramm says.

Tommy and his Hip Hop Clowns will be battling the LA-based Krump Kings at Henderson Trust Stadium this weekend.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Horomia has small vision for trustee

The Minister of Maori Affairs wants the Maori Trustee to get into the business of small business lending.

Parekura Horomia says Maori supported the review of the Maori Trust Office, which proposed it be separated out from the Ministry of Maori Development.

The Maori Trustee bill now before parliament includes major changes which were not included in the consultation document, including using $35 million of the trustee's accumulated profits to form a Maori business development corporation.

Mr Horomia says it's a way to build on the Maori Trustee's strengths.

“It's a very good organisation and I just thin it’s time to ensure that those people who want to be in business or who are in business a help up from their own, a leg up form their own, to sustain themselves, to develop themselves,” Mr Horomia says.

He also wants to see money held by the Poutama Trust tipped into the new organisation.


A Far North scheme aimed at getting young people drivers’ licences and legal cars is cutting jobless rates among far North Maori.

Project Wheels is an initiative of the Far North Safer Community Council, Work and Income, ACC, Police, Far North District Council and Skills NZ.

It covers warrants of fitness, vehicle registration, learner and restricted drivers licenses and fine diversion.

Participants also learn some car maintenance and auto engineering skills.
A coordinator, Rawiri Te Paa, says the majority are young Maori male on a benefit.

But most finish the course with jobs lined up.

“We've got no public transport system so even if you’re only 10 minutes out of Kaitaia staying out at the beach say at Ahipara, you still need a vehicle to get to work and one of the big industries up here is JNL and the forestry and there’s so much traveling and if you don’t have a vehicle, you’re pretty much unemployable,” Mr Te Paa says.

Project Wheels will be extended to Kaikohe, Hastings, Chrischurch,and Wellington.


The New Zealand Breakers face their toughest opposition tonight, taking on the Sydney Kings at the North Shore Events Centre.

Te Arapi Maihi, who covers the Breakers games for Maori Television, says win or lose the Breakers have shown this season they can foot it with the best in the Australian Basketball League.

He says the players... including Paul Henare and Paora Winitana... had a lot of close games, but found a way to win.

Halfway through the season the team is fourth in the competition with 9 wins and 6 losses

“Last year they were 11 and 22 for the whole season so this is the first game into the second part of the season, we’re only two games away from equaling how many wins they had last year so Andre Lamanis I’m sure would be pretty proud of his boys,” Mr Maihi says.

The Breakers are about to have their ranks boosted with the arrival of NBA point Guard Orien Greene.


New Zealand's only carving school is celebrating its 40th year by doing what it does best - building houses.

Students from Te Puia in Rotorua have just delivered the carvings for a new meeting house at Wharekawa Marae on the Firth of Thames.

Their tutor, Ngarepo Eparaima, says the marae supplied the totara and matai for the job, and came up with the stories and histories they wanted chiseled into the wood.

“That took a long time to get that passed, and then we started it and in three months we had all those pieces carved and ready to9 take back up to them. It’s what we’re here for. We were set up in 1967 to keep this carving art alive,” Mr Eparaima says.


While many are thinking of santa and gifts, some Maori take a more cosmic view of the Christmas season.

The Summer Solstice is celebrated by cultures around the world as a time to worship gods, make pledges and thank the sun for good crops.

Richard Hall is from Stonehenge Aotearoa, a working observatory and henge in the Wairarapa which incorporates Egyptian, Babylonian, Celtic and Maori navigation and astronomy.

He says the design shows Maori took a keen interest in when the sun reaches its most southerly point.

“If you look at the way the stones are arranged, what we call the heel stones, they mark out the solstice and equinoxes. Now if you go back to the original Maori stories of creation and you talk abut the first house, the first whare kura, you fid the posts of the first house are exactly the same as the stones laid out in Stonehenge Aotearoa,” Mr Hall says.

The solstice this year falls on December 22.


A Te Atiawa woman is preparing for one of the toughest races in the world.

Lisa Tamati-Luskandl has been running ultra marathons for 12 years, and last weekend finished a 150 kilometre run around Mt Taranaki in 19 hours.

She's setting herself for the Death Valley Cup next July.

The race through the California desert is known for temperatures up to 60 degrees celsius, and it climbs from below sea level to the top of 2500 metre Mount Whitney.

She says it's a rewarding sport.

“There's a lot of pain involved. There’s a lot of dedication and training and all that sort of thing. But for me the rewards far outweigh the time and effort involved. I meet wonderful people. I learn to find my own limits and go beyond them. It gives me a real strength for life,” Ms Tamati-Luskandl says.

Because extreme sports fall outside usual funding criteria, she's dependent on sponsorship and donations.

Ngati Haua buy back pa sites

A Waikato real estate developer has returned two pa sites to mana whenua.

Te Titoki Estates is developing a 100 hectare block near the turnoff to Hamilton Airport, and a smaller block in Tauwhare.

It has sold 11 hectares, covering two pa sites, to Ngati Haua, for half market value.

Wiremu Puke, who has been working to secure the return, says the airport site is particularly significant.

“One was Maniapoto Pa which marks the birthplace of Wiremu Tamehana. He was the first kingmaker. And in the documentation from 1883 from Tukutai Ngakawa, the second kingmaker, describes this pa as being the place where his father Wiremu Tamehana or Tarapipipi was born,” Mr Puke says.

Both the Maniapoto and the Mangaharakeke pa sites will be marked with carved pou.


Maori university graduation rates are falling ... and a $40 million package to tackle the problem isn't enough.

That's according to Peter Adds, the Head of Maori Studies at Victoria University.

He says money in this year's budget to increase achievement of under-represented groups works out to just over a million dollars a year for each of the eight universities.

That won't help many Maori.

“While we comprise roughly 15 percent of the population as Maori, we’re nowhere near that in terms of graduation rates from any of the universities in New Zealand, and the stats at Victoria University indicate that form about 1998, where at a peak we had 6 percent of graduates were Maori, now we’re down to 5.2 percent,” Mr Adds says.

Maori graduates are snapped up by government departments and private sector employers, making it hard for university departments to recruit and retain staff.


A Buy Kiwi Made campaign is uncovering a dirty secret about many Maori souvenirs - they're not made here.

Metiria Turei from the Green Party, which pushed for the government-funded campaign, says people need to be vigilant about what they buy.

She says many items people assume are kiwi - like little souvenir kiwis - are made overseas.

Even items like pounamu in souvenir shops need to be checked.

“A lot of the Maori stuff that you can buy in those shops is made by Chinese carvers and a lot of the greenstone and stuff comes from overseas and is made overseas. You have to check very carefully. You just aren’t going to tell. And the whole point around the Buy Kiwi Made campaign is to keep ourselves in job and keep our skills up so we can take care of ourselves and be a bit more independent in the things that we make and buy,” Ms Turei says.

Shoppers can be assured getting Maori made goods if they buy items with the Toi Iho Maori Made Mark.


The Green Party's education spokesperson is appalled by Auckland University's move to restrict entry.

Metiria Turei says the university is using a change of government policy as an excuse to save money.

She says dropping open entry in arts, sciences and education courses will deny thousands of Maori the chance to get advanced skills and qualifications.

She says it will particularly affect older Maori women, who make up almost two thirds of the Maori student population at universities.

“A lot of them are ones who are returning. They haven’t got secondary qualifications. Less than 20 percent of Maori women leave secondary school with a qualification so these are women who didn’t have a chance at school, school failed them, they go to university as adults because they know that getting a degree will help them and their whanau. They are going to be the ones suffering most from restricted access,” Ms Turei says.

Maori women with degrees are highly sought after by public and private sector employers and they have a higher median income than other women with university degrees.


A worker with the homeless says young Maori are developing a distinct culture on the streets.

Wilf Holt from the Auckland City Mission says there are a disproportionate number of young Maori among the city's homeless.

He says apart from a few Maori working on the streets, few in the homeless support profession have set out to understand how Maori rough sleepers interact with each other.

“That phrase street life is very much their own and street life is a very nice way of putting it. It is their life, their being, the way they behave towards each other, and drawing support from each other is very much, you could almost say the street is their marae,” Mr Holt says.

He says this week's National Homelessness Conference almost ignored the Maori dimension to the problem, which needs to be addressed for next year's hui.


A Rotorua public health organisation has hired lifestyle coaches in a bid to help Maori men live longer.

The coaches and an advisor on stopping smoking are part of a $600,000 dollar cardiovascular disease screening programme.

Eugene Berryman-Kamp, Health Rotorua's chief executive, says the aim is to get men at risk of heart attack or a stroke in the next five years to change their lifestyles by quitting smoking, eating nutritious food and exercising more.

“Traditionally it was ‘can you prescribe a pill for that?’ Now there are pharmaceutical treatments that help, but it’s all about engaging in a healthier lifestyle so you can live longer,” he says.

After Maori, Pacific and poor men aged 35 to 45 are targeted, the programme will be rolled out to women in those groups from 45 to 54.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

FOMA wants trustee independence

The Federation of Maori Authorities believes an overhaul of the Maori Trust Office doesn't go far enough.

A bill before parliament will separate the office from the Ministry of Maori Development and give it a development role of its own, using profits it has accumulated from investments and managing more than 100,000 hectares of Maori land.

Paul Morgan, FOMA's executive director, says the Maori Trustee already has considerable power, but his office hasn't filled the development role many Maori expected of it.

"They're providing a service now for in many cases uneconomic land interests. That’s a back room servioce. There’s a whole lot of things a Maori Trust Office with its infrastructure and people potentially could provide Maoridiom, but it would need to come under the guise of a board of directors that could give it that strategic direction and agree on a strategy and a plan," he says.

FOMA recommended the Maori Trustee be accountable to independent commercial directors, but the bill proposes it has a government-appointed board.


Kaitaia Hospital has opened a wharenui in response to calls by iwi for greater involvement.

Ross Gregory, who has led the team carving the building, says it came out of the successful campaign to keep the hospital open.

He says the carvings represent all iwi and reflect the Treaty of Waitangi.

"Right in the front I’ve got one that shows rainbows and a hongi. Now that was really the one that was brining the races together, I said it’s only through the hongi that we are going t come together, so I did a carving showing a European and a Maori doing a hongi, the mingling of their life force and so on. The rainbow was the promise from god almightly that everything will come right," Mr Gregory says.


A Parihaka artist is using poi to tell the story of the historic Taranaki community.

Ngahina Hohaia's show Roimata Toroa - the Tears of the Albatross, opens next week at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth.

Her installation incorporates 392 poi embroidered with symbols telling the story of the passive resistance campaign against land confiscation and the invasion of the coastal settlement by armed constabulary.

“The idea that I'm trying to create is that the poi is the storyteller. The ceremonial practice of the poi that I’ve based this on is called poi manu, so the poi becomes the manu, the storyteller and the messenger,” Ms Hohaia says.

She says the message of Parihaka prophets Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kaakahi is still relevant to the world today.


The leaders of Tainui and Ngai Tahu are trying to bring other iwi into their mutual assiatance pact.

The two largest post-settlement iwi signed memorandum of understanding to work together on tribal, political, legal and commercial matters.

Mark Solomon, Ngai Tahu's Kaiwhakahaere, says leaders of nine other iwi have been invited to a hui in Hamilton next week to investigate similar initiatives.

“All iwi are trying to deal in the same arena and my view is that we needs to be sharing information, supporting each other so that we grow the economy together. We just want to explain what we’re doing together, how it’s going to work and there will be an offer for others to join with us,” Mr Solomon says.

He'd also like to see iwi working closer with Maori land trusts and incorporations.


Auckland University's move to restrict enrolment is likely to be adopted around the country.

It is citing Government funding changes for its decision to scrap open entry into courses in arts, sciences, education, theology and first year law.

Peter Adds, the head of Maori Studies at Victoria University in Wellington, says funding is to be capped for the eight universities at 2006 levels - regardless of how many students who want to enroll.

That will affect many Maori with plans for tertiary study to increase their opportunities.

“Well if Maori are half the NZ population by 2050, we need to make sure the Maori half of that population has had a decent education, so that New Zealand can remain competitive in the world, and unless half our population gets the education they need, that’s simply not going to happen,” Mr Adds says.

He says the country needs to rethink its approach to tertiary education.


Hamilton Maori are making their old pa sites more visible.

Ngati Wairere has erected an 11-metre totara pou at Miropiko Reserve by the Waikato River.

Designer Wiremu Puke drew on images from colonial painter George Angus, and from an ancient paepae pataka found in the area 30 years ago.

He says the plan to put carved markers on significant sites is a joint venture between Hamilton City and Nga Mana Toopu o Kirikiriroa.

The Miropiko site is one of three pa in reasonable condition out of the 40 once active in the area.

“It was abandoned at the time of the Raupatu where our tupuna left under quite sad circumstances, went out to Hukenui and we settled out there, at Gordonton. For us, it’s a way of healing the wounds of the Raupatu, be reinstating the mana of what those sites mean to those descendents,” Mr Puke says.

FOMA fears government interference

A plan to create a Maori development organisation with funds held by the Maori Trustee is ringing alarm bells for the Federation of Maori Authorities.

Paul Morgan, FOMA's executive director, says the government consulted on plans to restructure the Maori Trust Office - but it failed to mention it was planning a grab for $35 million dollars of the trustee's accumulated profits for a new statutory corporation, Maori Business Aotearoa New Zealand.

He says the Maori Trustee, who is a trustee of last resort for uneconomic Maori land, already has considerable powers and freedom to act, but has lacked strategic direction.

The bill now before Parliament indicates officials don't fully understand the role of the trustee, or the needs of Maori business.

“Maoridom now, we don’t need the government to tell us how to manage our affairs and develop. We need to partner up and work with the government of the day. But the decisions for development will lie with Maoridom and no one else,” Mr Morgan says.

He says the Maori Trustee needs to be overseen by an independent board - not one hand picked by the Government, as the bill proposes.


A Northland woman is trying to find out what makes a harbour healthy.

Kura Heke has won a scholarship from the Conservation Department's Nga Whenua Rahui fund to track changes in the Herekino Harbour southwest of kaitaia.

She's taking a break from her teaching job to do the mahi, which involves talking to kuia and koroua about traditional ways of caring for resources, and comparing those with conventional science on erosion and water pollution.

“I do a lot of work in the local school teaching about what sort of plants we can use to stop erosion and we plant the pingao, the native grass that grows on the sand dunes as a buffer between the sea and the land so we grow those seeds and we’re hoping to transplant some next week,” Ms Heke says.

Her research will feed into a management plan for the Owhata Herekino area.


It's International Volunteers Day, and that means it's a chance to celebrate the mahi tens of thousands of Maori do for their communities, their kaumatua and their marae.

Tim Burns, from Volunteering New Zealand, says Maori are more likely to participate in unpaid work than their fellow New Zealanders.

He says the recent Mahi Aroha report found culture was a major driver for Maori.

“That was one of the messages that came out, that one of the reasons for Maori being involved in their contributions to their community is to keep the culture alive and growing,” Mr Burns says.

Statistics New Zealand calculated that Kiwis did 270 million hours of formal, unpaid work for non-profit organisations in 2004, creating more than $3 billion of value.


Maori dairy farmers are concerned about the long term future of Fonterra.

The giant dairy co-operative is holding hui around the country to talk about introducing outside shareholders.

Roger Pikia, a dairy farmer on the executive of the Federation of Maori Authorities, attended all of Fonterra's consultations with Maori.

He says Maori make up one of the largest shareholder into Fonterra, with people at the various hui responsible for more than 10 million kilogrammes of milk solids.
A well as concerns about returns to farmers, a major talking point was how the new capital structure would affect the company's long term survival.

“Maori dairy farmers have supplied that cooperative for as log it has been in existence and for the capital structure, the potential of becoming a multinational company, the question is will it still be around in another one hundred years,” Mr Pikia says.

A second round of consultation will be held in February, after feedback from the initial round is analysed..


Auckland University's vice chancellor is conceding a new enrolment policy could mean fewer Maori students.

Stuart McCutcheon says the university is looking at how under-represented groups can still gain places in the arts, sciences, education and law courses affected by the proposed change.

He says the effect of the policy on Maori and Pacific communities was discussed at this week's meeting of the university senate.

“We've also agreed to establish a task force that will look at how the university can best ensure that it meets its equity objectives while also dealing with the fact that the government is not now going to fund every student who applies for admission to the university,” Professor McCutcheon says.

Individual faculties within the university are developing their own minority access programmes.


A document marking an early attempt to get the government to address Treaty breaches could end up overseas.

Ngapuhi man David Rankin says the document up for sale by Webb's Auctions in Auckland isn't covered by laws preventing the export of historic taonga.

It's statement written in gold leaf thanking MP Thomas McKenzie for a speech supporting the introduction of the Native Rights Bill in 1894.

The majority of MPs refused to debate the bill, which was drafted by Mr Rankin's tipuna, Hone Heke Ngapua.

The signatures on the document gives it value to Maori even outside Ngapuhi.

“It's got names like Maggie Papakura, Tukino te Heuheu, Tuta Nehoneho, Mangakahia from Ngati Maru, all of those kaumatua, Penitaui, all of those ingoa, those rarangi ingoa on that document are actually sacred names because those are our matua tipuna, rangatira of that time who wanted Maori unity, who wanted to develop a better future for us Maori,” Mr Rankin says.

He wants Te Papa, or some other New Zealand museum to buy the document.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Grameen bank of Aotearoa

The president of the Maori Party says a proposed Maori development bank or agency should focus on getting low income Maori groups into business.

The Government has a bill before Parliament to set up a new agency, Maori Business Aotearoa New Zealand, with initial funding of $35 million from the Maori Trustee.

Whatarangi Winiata, who has long advocated a Maori bank, says poor Maori would benefit from an organisation like the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh which provides small loans, training and support.

He says any bank must recognise Maori are distinctive people.

“We have different kinds of social commitments. We have different kaupapa, different values. We are motivated by those values that are inherited. So the bank would need to design its policies and its practices, its tikanga, to be responsive to kaupapa driven businesses,” Professor Winiata says.

He says established land trusts and iwi organisations have strong relationships with mainstream financial service providers, and are unwilling to switch.


A sacked Auntie says Maori Television is falling down on its social role by axing its popular advice programme.

The channel is dropping Ask Your Aunties to make way for te reo Maori programmes in the prime time slot.

Mabel Wharekawa-Burt says the panelists receive hundreds of letters and emails asking for help.

She says many of the queries are referred to social and mental health agencies.

“At least half our letters are violence related and I know the atmosphere that creates. We don’t reach out to anyone but if they can be anonymous, and they know now there are two or three of us who come from that background, where will they go, where will the kids go when their parents are hitting them. Because I don’t believe Maori TV has another service programme like it,” Ms Wharekawa-Burt says.

She says the cast was told the contract would not be renewed the day after the filming of a Christmas special.


A participant at yesterday's National Homelessness Conference says not enough attention is being paid to the number of Maori sleeping rough.

Wilf Holt from the Auckland City Mission says that number is disproportionately high, and contributes to the unique nature of the problem in this country.

Before next year's conference there will be research done into the cost of homelessness to the rough sleeper and to society.

Mr Holt says work on Maori issues is also needed.

“There's as growing realization perhaps belatedly that we really do need to focus on Maori issues in terms of homelessness and I would like to think that the next annual conference may very well have a pretty well total focus in that area,” Mr Holt says.

He says many of the young Maori homeless congregate in groups and make a life for themselves on the streets.


Labour is still hoping for the Maori Party's support after the next election, even if it refuses to enter a coalition.

The Maori Party president, Whatarangi Winiata, says being in coalition would restrict his MPs from speaking out on behalf of Maori.

But Labour leader Helen Clark says the MMP system allows for considerable flexibility.

She says Labour has appreciated the support of the Maori Party on various issues this term - and there has been no restriction on the new party's ability to speak out.

“We only have one coalition partner and that’s Jim Anderton, one person. Apart from that we have arrangements with New Zealand First, with United Future, with the Green Party, and informally, we work with the Maori Party. They’re in the loop on many things, so there’s lots of ways you can have a relationship,” Ms Clark says.

She says if Maori want the continuation of policies which promote low unemployment and investment in families, they should give their party votes to Labour rather than Maori Party.


John Tamihere says his west Auckland Maori trust is being frozen out of official efforts to tackle domestic violence.

The former Labour MP says Te Whanau o Waipareira has developed an integrated Family Management Plan to get into dysfunctional whanau and tackle the problem at its source - but it can't get the $1.3 million dollars needed to fund it.

He says it's part of a pattern of behaviour by government departments which discriminate against Maori providers.

“It’s become apparent that no government department wants to entertain any kind of consultation process with Waipareira or any process that allows us to evolve a community-based solution to a major and growing problem,” Mr Tamihere says.

He says the only effective way to get on top of domestic violence is through Maori community providers.


A Ngapuhi man is defending his challenge to the auction of a document linked to his tipuna.

David Rankin withdrew his objection to Thursday's sale after talking to Webb's Auctions.

The document was presented by Northern Maori MP Hone Heke Ngapua to fellow MP Thomas McKenzie for supporting his right to introduce a Native Rights Bill.

Other MPs in the 1894 Parliament left the House, forcing the bill to lapse for lack of a quorum.

Mr Rankin says he needed to confirm it wasn't a similar document stolent from the Matarahurahu hapu's whare tapu in the 1960s.

He says Maori communities need to keep an eye on the taonga passing through auction houses.

“What they used to do in the old days is advertise in the paper for Maori taonga so a lot of farmers would find Maori caves and tahei all the taonga out of it like the Nankivell, so they would sell them off to collectors and the collectors would sell them off to museums around the world,” Mr Rankin says.

He hopes the document will be bought by a museum rather than a private collector.

Mix and mingle bad for party

The president of the Maori Party says coalition politics could blunt his party's effectiveness as a Maori voice.

The party hopes to increase the number of seats it holds after the next election.

Even if it holds its current four, it is likely to be courted as a potential partner in the next government.

But Whatarangi Winiata says the party stands for tino rangatiratanga or Maori authority over their own affairs - and that will inevitably create tension with kawanatanga or state authority.

He says that rules out a coalition, unless the majority party is prepared to guarantee his party's independence to speak out for Maori.

“We cannot give up the strong Maori independent voice in Parliament. That would render the movement towards a tikanga Maori house ineffective,” Professor Winiata says.

He says the party's MPs have gone a long way to getting tikanga Maori accepted within Parliament's procedures.


Government structures make it impossible to fund innovative and effective family violence programmes.

That's the verdict from former MP John Tamihere, who is trying to launch a programme through west Auckland Maori social services provider Te Whanau o Waipareira.

He says Waipareira's Family Management Plan will cost just $1.3 million - but it can't get departmental support because it bridges health, justice, education and social welfare.

Mr Tamihere says departments seem set against community-developed solutions, particularly those from Waipareira.

“You wonder why violence is out there. You wonder why a whole bunch of other stuff is out there. Well, the only people that have the penetration capacity and the ability to get amongst those communities are in large part Maori delivery mechanisms, and our one in particular is not being supported,” he says.

Mr Tamihere says there is no need for more government hui on family violence, if it won't fund solutions.


The Maori students' organisation fears Auckland University's plan to restrict enrolment could shut out Maori.

The country's largest university plans to cap all undergraduate courses from 2009, while boost post-graduate numbers.

Kahurangi Tibble from Nga Tauira Maori says the move has devastating consequences for society.

“If you continually close these doors, especially to Maori, then Maori aren’t going to be able to get the opportunity to educate but also the other people that take up arts or science as a degree don’t get the opportunity to converse with Maori in all sorts of facets through the university,” Mr Tibble says.

The university's open entry policy has served it well, earning it a ranking of 32nd in the world for Arts and Humanities and 35 for social sciences.


An urban Maori leader is warning against the growing divide between tribal members who are benefiting from treaty settlements and their city cousins.

John Tamihere, from west Auckland's Te Whanau o Waipareira says tensions between urban Maori and ahi kaa have lessened in recent years, as the debate over fisheries asset allocation came to an end.

But there is a still a gap that needs to be bridged.

“It is incumbent on iwi leadership that have been rolling around in the fish money and rolling around in the settlement money and rolling around in the profits out of a whole range of other things that are achieved in the name of everyone that they understand where everyone is and they’re going to have to start building bridges into the cities where the majority of their beneficiaries reside,” Mr Tamihere says.


Maori students are crying foul over Auckland University's plans to restrict undergraduate student numbers.

The proposal to cap places in courses that traditionally have open entry will be put before the university council next week.
The new regime will start in 2009.

Kahurangi Tibble from Nga Tauira Maori says neither of the two student associations were consulted.

He says while the university is under pressure to make a quick decision so information can be prepared for high schools, the timing is suspicious.

“As we all know it’s that time of year when exams are over and all of our students are on holiday and looking for work so we have to look at the timing of this and asking why they are pushing the issue now when students are away from university,” Mr Tibble says.


Rural Maori communities could be in the forefront of awareness of the effects of climate change.

Tia Taurere from Greenpeace is on the Be the Change Bus Tour, a joint intiative with Oxfam and Forest and Bird to look at the impact of climate change in Aotearoa.

The biofuel-powered bus is heading for Northland, where it will visit communities and marae affected by last winter's floods.

She says such natural events bring home how the challenge will affect people's lives.

“They're seeing a lot more of these things and the weather patterns, water levers rising in their rivers, floods that have never happened in that area before so just to show people that the changing of the climate and the impacts of it is happening today and we need to start changing our way of thinking,” Ms Taurere says.

The bus tour allows the campaigners to reach people kanohi ki te kanohi or face to face, which is particularly effective for spreading the message to whanau in smaller communities and schools.

Monday, December 03, 2007

New directors for AFL

The chief executive of Te Ohu Kaimoana says Maori will be well served by new directors on the Board of Aotearoa Fisheries.

Peter Douglas says the appointments of Harry Mikaere, Fred Cookson and Wayne Peters will allow the board to continue it's role at the forefront of the fishing sector.

He says Mr Mikaere has 30 years experience, having represented iwi on a number of fishing consortiums.

Fred Cookson is an accountant from the Bay of Plenty and a director of Te Ohu Kaimoana, while Mr Peters is a Whangarei based lawyer who has previously represented Ngati Wai on fisheries cases.

Mr Douglas says the $400 million company will benefit from their combined experience.

“It's a complicated set of responsibilities that the directors have on a board like this and nobody takes them lightly. We’re fortunate enough to have good candidates in these and the other members on the board are very good, every experienced as well, so it all augurs well for the future," Mr Douglas says.

Existing directors include lawyer Mataanuku Mahuika, accountant Keith Sutton and former Fonterra chief executive Craig Norgate.


A treaty signed by some Bay of Plenty iwi and hapu may be the vehicle for closer co-operation between Maori and other indigenous peoples.

First nations peoples from the United States, Canada and Australia were in Whakatane for last week as members of Te Hono o Mataatua put their names to the United League of Indigenous Nations Treaty.

Sheldon Cardinal from Canada's Cree nation says the treaty promotes collaboration on cultural, environmental and economic opportunities.
He says they all face challenges over the loss of land and language.

“We're really proud of what the Maori have been able to do with respect to their universities, the protection of their language and their culture, and we want to try to replicate that and put a first nations angle on it for our people in our country,” Mr Cardinal says.


Low Budget maori films may get their first releases on a marae circuit.
Veteran producer Tainui Stephens says that's one of the possibilities opened up by new digital film making technology.

He says an agreement between the Film Commission and Maori film and televison group Nga Aho Whakaari paved the way for more innovative ways of making and distributing work by Maori.

“The notion of film screenings on a marae is a good one, so the paepae may decide a digital film for marae exhibition only which cuts out all the distributors if you don’t want to go is an option. Once they’re made a film for marae exhibition and it goes down really well on the marae, a distributor may pick it up and it may find its way into the theatres,” Mr Stephens says.

Showings of archival films on marae have always been extremely successful.


A document representing a largely unknown part of New Zealand history is going under the hammer in Auckland tomorrow.

It's a complaint by Northern Maori MP Hone Heke Ngapua about Parliament's refusal to accept his Native Rights Bill, which he introduced after his election in 1893.

Historian Paul Moon, who has written a book about the northern leader, says it was an attempt to create a separate Maori Parliament.

“Now this wasn't back in the 1840s. This was 1894. He introduced the bill into Parliament. What happened, probably the only time in New Zealand’s history, all the other members of Parliament either stood up and walked out or turned their back to him. And it was devastating for him because this was really the purpose of his life, to set up a kotahitanga parliament, and it was completely rejected,” Dr Moon says.

Also in the Webb’s auction are a Charles Goldie oil and a work from Ralph Hotere's Requiem series.


Come to our place. That's the call Pita Sharples has made to a new international forum.

The Maori Party co-leader attended last month's meeting in Geneva of indigenous groups called by the Committee for a Democratic UN, which is pushing for an elected assembly within the United Nations.

The meeting discussed how indigenous people could be represented within such a world parliament.

“I spoke enough to invite the people to New Zealand for the next big hui which is in the summer of 2008-2009. And so the world will be descending on Auckland on that day, so goodness, gracious, what have I done,” Dr Sharples says.

He says an elected world assembly could look at issues like global warming, disarmament and poverty without kow-towing to the interests of the big five nations in the United Nations.


A move into jazz has brought an almost completely new audience for Maori songstress Whirimako Black.The Tuhoe singer is just back from Australia, where she was promoting her new album.

After years of recording contemporary waiata Maori in te reo, the reaction to her collection of jazz ballads came as a surprise.

She says 95 percent of her new audience is non-Maori.

“It's nice. I get to wear two potaes. I get to service my iwi Maori and do my Maori thing and then I get to jump on to the other side and introduce our reo to a jazz audience, which is predominantly a Pakeha audience,” Black says

Winiata rules out coalition

The president of the Maori Party of ruling out a coalition after the next election.

Whatarangi Winiata says the party's four MPs have changed the culture of Paliament to allow for a Maori tikanga or way of doing things.

But there is a long way to go to reconcile the Maori desire for tino rangatiratanga or authority over their affairs and kawanatanga, the authority of the state.

He says the party can't afford to make itself subservient to any other.

“There has to be the independence, the freedom to speak as we think as we view the world through Maori eyes and the freedom to express the kaupapa we have inherited from a people who were here 1000 years and who survived, built us their society around those values, and they are relevant today,” Professor Winiata says.

He says the Maori Party MPs have shown they don't need to be in a governing coalition to be effective.


A climate change awareness tour is heading north to bring its message to Maori hit by last winter's floods.

The Be the Change Bus Tour is a joint initiative by Oxfam, Forest and Bird, and Greenpeace.

Tia Taurere from Greenpeace says it's trying to show people kanohi ki te kanohi what they can do to reduce greenhouse emissions.

The bus has got round the South Island on biofuel and solar power.

It's now off to Northland, including a stop at Te Huia marae in Kaeo, which was submerged in the flood.

“I'm sort of focusing a lot on Maori because we need more of a voice in that area because there were a couple of marae flooded. I’m keen to talk to a lot of kuia, kaumatua and locals up there about what’s happening to them, get their stories out,” Ms Taurere says.

The face to face approach is helping reach whanau in smaller communities and schools.


The Maori Barry White is bringing his brand of aroha to audiences in Aotearoa.

Ash Puriri has carved out a niche with tributes to the deep voiced American soul singer, and he's released albums overseas or for sale on cruise ship tours.

But Aroha Love is a collection of love songs, mostly in te reo Maori, for release here.

The Hastings-based singer says it was time to offer something for the folks back home.

“The whole theme is based on love and aroha so you’ll hear a whole lot of that in the mix and it reaches all age groups and reaches out to a wide genre as well as a couple of big opera arias I composed are also on this album as well called Te Maunga o Te Atua,” Mr Puriri says.

His anthem for Maori King Tuheitia, which he premiered at the Maori Sports Awards - is also on the album.


The Minister of Treaty Negotiations wants to talk to Tainui and Ngai Tahu about the way future treaty settlements are done.

Under the settlement terms made with the two iwi a decade ago, if the total of all historic settlements goes over the billion dollar mark, each will receive a top-up to ensure their shares stay at 17 percent each of the total.

That is causing problems with current negotiations, with claimants unhappy at what they see as insultingly low offers from the Crown.

Michael Cullen says he is looking for a more flexible approach to how settlement offers are valued, but the ratchet clauses mean any change will need agreement from Tainui and Ngai Tahu.

“I don’t think there is any doubt that the large increase in land values since 1985 does create some difficulties in the trade off between the relativities and fairness to people we are now settling with in terms of the amount of land which is on offer,” Dr Cullen says.

He says it is important to maintain relativity between settlements, or iwi will feel hard done by.


Northland iwi liaison officer Paddy Whiu is defending the police commissioner's controversial visit to a Whangarei marae last week.

Many northern leaders boycotted Howard Broad's appearance, and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira told him he should first go an apologise to Tuhoe for the October 15 terror raids.

Mr Whiu says the commissioner was keeping a promise to return to the area and hear how well his department and the local community are working together.

He says while the discussion was at time robust, there was an overriding concern that iwi liaison officer not be marginalised, as happened in the Bay of Plenty.

“If these sort of things happen in Taitokerau, our relationship and that with our police here in Taitokerau is sound enough that if we are included in those decisions or we have an early intervention,” Mr Whiu says.

He says Waitangi Day is a good example of how iwi liaison officers and other police can work with Maori communities on sensitive issues.


Eastern Bay wheelchair athlete Matthew Lack had a big 2007.

The disabled Maori sportsperson of the year won eight gold medals in eight track events in the under 18 wheelchair section at the Australian Junior Nationals in Sydney earlier this year.

That's on top of the four silver medals and the bronze he brought home from the World Junior Games in South Africa.

The 16 year old Opotiki College student is training for his next challenge in Sydney next month, where he will compete in the under 23 section against some of the worlds’ best paralympians.

“They call it the summer down under series and it’s an event that I’ve been to most years that I’ve been wheelchair racing. It’s a senior event. And then I’ve got junior world champs in America in July,” Mr Lack says.

He says as 16 it feels strange to be called a role model.

Today is the International Day of Disabled Persons