Waatea News Update

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Restrained joy at deal

Wellington treaty claimants are keen to nail down their settlement before the next election.

Descendants of the four Taranaki iwi who lived around Port Nicholson when New Zealand Company settlers arrived in 1940 signed an agreement in principle to settle their claims yesterday.

The deal involves cash, return of 17 cultural sites including Pipitea Marae, and the right to buy Crown properties including Archives New Zealand where the Treaty of Waitangi is held, the High Court and former defence land at Shelly Bay.

A negotiator, Ngatata Love, says there was a small celebration after the signing at Parliament, as the kaumatua looked forward to the work ahead.

“They are a very quiet grouping of people who are quite satisfied with a cup of tea and a muffin and getting ready for the next round, because one of the things we have suggested in the final speeches is that although it has taken us a long long time to get to this point, the next step should be achieved in very short time,” Professor Love says.

The agreement will be taken out to the 17,000 beneficiaries and a settlement document prepared to be put before Parliament.


The Maori dairy sector is set to benefit from a jump in milk payouts.

Dairy giant Fonterra boosted its forecast to $6.90, with speculation it could hit $7 by the end of the season.

Roger Pikia, a Federation of Maori Authorities executive member, says Maori make up the biggest single group of Fonterra shareholders.

As long term players in the sector, they have learned to ride the good times and the bad.

“It has its spikes and dips but generally speaking over the last 20 years the growth has been significant, so just from the dairy sector alone it’s probably been the highest performing sector within New Zealand’s total economy,” Mr Pikia says.

He expects most Maori dairy farmers will invest the higher payout in infrastructure, or reduce debt.


The national carving school is reviewing its processes to ensure carvers contribute back to their iwi.

Te Wananga Whakairo o Aotearoa is celebrating its 40th year this weekend at the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute - Te Puia - in Rotorua.

Ngarepo Eparaima, the operations manager, says the school is concerned graduates might be lured by the money they can make from souvenirs, rather than maintaining and growing the traditional arts based around the marae.

“Once your marae committee knows that you are a carver then, instead of coming to us to do your work, that we’re actually putting it back in the hands of the carvers who are leaving here or have left here over the last 40 years, because it is only their own people that can lift them to the status of tohunga whakairo or master carver in their areas. We can't do that here,” Mr Eparaima says.

Almost 60 graduates are expected back at Te Puia this weekend.


Hawkes Bay iwi hope a High Court judgment will spell the end for attempts to build a windfarm overlooking their marae.

The court this week upheld an Environment Court decision to deny Unison Networks resource consent for a 37-turbine firm at Te Waka on the Napier Taupo Road.

Jolene Patuawa, the lawyer for Ngati Hinerua and the Maungaharuru-Tangitu Marae, says Unison has submitted an alternate application for a 34 turbine farm on the same site.

She says the strength of the judgment should encourage Hastings District Council to throw out the new application as an abuse of process.

“The court made a two pronged finding: firstly that the area was an outstanding landscape; and secondly that it was of immense spiritual significance to the tangata whenua. So the judge was saying those two aspects combined tipped the balance in favour of rejecting the proposal,” Ms Patuawa says.

Unison may still appeal the decision.


One of the largest kaupapa Maori service providers has won accreditation from standards body Quality Health New Zealand.

Te Roopu Taurima O Manukau Trust provides supervised whanau housing for about 250 people with intellectual disabilities.

John Marsden, the trust's chairperson, says it's an endorsement for Te Roopu Taurima's unique approach.

“To provide care to what we call our mokopuna, our turoro, and our mission is to achieve tino rangatiratanga for each and every one of them, to embellish their own beings, taking them out of their institutions, having more one on one care for them and being able to care for them in a very whanau orientated environment,” Mr Marsden says.

The accreditation should give gives assurance and comfort to mokopuna, friends and whanau.


Two previously unseen images from Tuwharetoa will go on show in Rotorua tomorrow.

They are part of a travelling show called Te Huringa or Turning Points, which explores Pakeha colonisation and Maori empowerment through the eyes of Maaori and Pakeha artists.

Peter Shaw, the co-curator, says the two portraits by Robert Atkinson should be of particular interest to Maori visitors to the Rotorua Museum of Art and History

“In 1889 he went to the Tuwharetoa area where he painted te Heuheu Tukino, called Horonuku, and maybe even more memorably he painted a beautiful large watercolour of his granddaughter, Te Wira te Heuheu, and these paintings have never been seen in public until this exhibition,” Mr Shaw says.

Te Huringa aims to give viewers an historical context to the works of art, which often represent romanticised versions of Maori life.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Port Nicholson claim agreement

The Crown is getting a new landlord.

The Government today inked an agreement in principle with the Port Nicholson Block Claims Team, representing more than 17,000 descendants of the Taranaki tribes living around Wellington harbour in 1840.

The offer includes $25 million cash, 17 culturally significant sites including Matiu and Mokopuna islands in Wellington harbour, Pipitea Marae and the former Wainuiomata College and Wainuiomata Intermediate.

The claimants can also buy and lease back $120 million of Crown properties, including Archives New Zealand, the National Library, High Court and Wellington Girls College.

They are also buying former Defence land at Shelly Bay, and have a right of first refusal on surplus Crown land in the city for the next 100 years.

Negotiator Ngatata Love says claims stemmed from what the Waitangi Tribunal found was the flawed 1839 purchase of the Port Nicholson area by Colonel William Wakefield of the New Zealand Company.

“The Crown picked it up and followed through, they did things again which clearly they should not have done, because they didn’t have legal title to the land and effectively examined it, and they are saying we were deprived of those lands and the opportunities,” Professor Love says.

The claim team is keen to finalise the settlement within the next year.


The High Court has knocked back Unison Networks' bid to build a wind farm on a range overlooking the Napier Taupo Road.

It upheld an Environment Court decision to overturn a resource consent granted by Hastings District Council, because the 37 turbine farm between Te Pohue and the Mohaka River would have an adverse effect on an outstanding natural landscape.

Jolene Patuawa, the lawyer for Ngati Hinerua and the Maungaharuru-Tangitu Society, says Justice Potter has strengthened the position of tangata whenua.

“The judge just really took a lot of note that the decision was quite strongly in favour of upholding Maori spiritual values. Although wind energy is important and climate change is an important issue, it doesn’t supercede those very important values for Maori, and I think she really upheld that in the decision.” Ms Patuawa says.

The decision could encourage Hastings District Council to reject an amended consent application from Unison, for a 34 turbine farm in the same area.


Ngati Awa lawyer Eddie Paul has been appointed a District Court judge.

The former Whakatane High School head boy got his start in the profession at the Grey Lynn neighbourhood law centre before taking part in a pilor project for public defenders in south Auckland.

His father, Maanu Paul, says the whanau is immensely proud of his achievement.

“He will be the first for our hapu of Ngati Rangataua, of Ngati Pukeko, of Ngati Hokopu of Ngati Awa, and the first for Ngai Moewhare and Ngati Manawa of Murupara, and I believe he’s the first also on his Tainui side from Ngati Mahanga,” Mr Paul says.

Eddie Paul is one of three lawyers in the family.


A change in the top is being credited with achieving the $170 million dollar plus settlement of claims to Wellington and the Hutt Valley.

The Government today signed an agreement in principle with the Port Nicholson Block Claims Team which includes cash compensation and expense payments or more than $30 million, transfer of almost $20 million in culturally sensitive sites, the purchase of $120 million in crown properties built on the old Pipitea kainga, and first right to buy surplus crown land in the claim area.

Ngatata Love, the lead negotiator for the Taranaki whanui claimants, says the settlement comes almost exactly 20 years after the claim was first lodged.

Talks had got bogged down until October, when Finance Minister Michael Cullen took over the Treaty negotiations portfolio.

“There was no question that when Dr Cullen came in, and he was joined by associate minister of treaty negotiations Shane Jones, there was a vitality and a new approach to matters which was heartening and we were able to work things through in a matter of weeks really rather than months,” Mr Love says.

The claim covers descendants of the four Taranaki tribes living around Whanganui a Tara or Wellington Harbour in 1840.


One of the authors of the Ngati Kahungunu Violence Free strategy says Maori are starting to take collective responsibility for domestic violence.

Mereana Pitman there is an increasing need for anti violence education that focuses on conflict resolution, rather than just offering counseling to victims and offenders.

She says there has been a shift in attitude over the past decade.

“There's a lot more awareness now and a lot more willingness to take some ownership and responsibility about what we do inside whanau. It’s not so much an issue of shame any more. It’s about how we treat each other so we share the shame. We share it and we get onto it and we do something about it rather than hide it away like we used to,” Ms Pitman says.


Six teenagers from a Palmerston North kura kaupapa are comparing their lives with young people in China.

The students from Mana Tamariki are recording video diaries during their stay at a high school in Beijing.

Producer George Andrews says the students are being directed by Mahanga Pihama and Maori Chinese director Peter Lee, with the aim of showing the results on Maori Television's Taku Whanau show early next year.

“So we're going to have these kura kaupapa kids with young Maori language directors making six video diaries of the experiences of these young people in China in the snow just before Christmas just before Olympic year,” Mr Andrews says.

He's keen to see how the students react to the screen culture of young Chinese - and how they handle the contrast between their own upbringing in a whanau environment and the Chinese experience of one child per family.

Iwi heads look at economic opportunities

A hui in Hamilton today could reshape the Maori economy.

Tainui has invited leaders of some of the largest iwi and Maori incorporations to discuss prospects for collaboration.

They want to build on a cooperation deal signed between Tainui and Ngai Tahu last month.

Tainui and Ngai Tahu have combined settlement assets of more than a billion dollars, and may be ready to take on bigger deals than property developments, acquisition of existing tourism ventures or dairyconversions.

After 10 years building their business acumen, they're wanting to take other Maori along with them.

Entry to today's meeting required participants to have at least a $1 million available for investment.

Those able to pony up include Te Arawa, Tuwharetoa, Ngapuhi and Tuaropaki, a central North Island incorporation with more than 200 million in assets including farms, a geothermal power station and a telecommunications company.

Iwi leaders are tight lipped about what might be on the table - they have already picked up alarm from the Pakeha business community about the prospect of cashed up Maori muscling into the market.


Maori could be locked out of university study by changes in the way tertiary institutions are funded.

That's the fear of Metiria Turei, the Greens' education spokesperson.

It's likely Auckland's move to end its policy of open access for many undergraduate courses will be followed by other universities.

She says the remedy being offered, quotas for minority groups, puts Maori in a precarious position.

“They have said that their primary tool for making sure that Maori in particular get access is the use of quotas, and quotas are useful but they are highly politically sensitive and it is too easy for them to be ditched,” Ms Turei says.

She says the scrapping of the Manaaki Tauira scholarships in the wake of Don Brash's Orewa speech shows the risks of ethnically linked funding.


A Wellington kaumatua says his marae housing plan is the solution to the city's homeless problem

Bruce Stewart has been fighting for more than a decade to develop houses on 50 acres beside Tapu Te Ranga Marae in Island Bay.

He says city rents are too high for many young Maori, who often end up in substandard accommodation or on the streets.

“We want to build a village for Maoris that is very economical for them to be housed, not a place to live, a way to live. We have renewable energy so we have zilch cost for our power and heating our hot water and our houses where we can look after our old people again,” Mr Stewart says.

Tapu Te Ranga was built in 1974 by young Maori homeless.


The Green's Maori spokesperson wants a proposed Maori business fund used for smaller scale regional development.

Metiria Turei says the Greens will back the Maori Trustee and Maori Development Amendment Bill, which will use $35 million of the trustee's accumulated profits to start such a fund.

She's waiting to see details of how the fund will work, but says the focus shouldn't just be on big schemes.

“We've got this huge vast amount of unproductive land that we haven’t had the money to develop yet. We’ve got a huge amount of community economic initiatives in quite poor places that need support to get going and if they do get going they can be quite good businesses and employ local people, so I want to see how the criteria for using the money is set,” Ms Turei says.

She says it is positive that the bill will make the Maori Trust Office a standalone agency, instead of being part of Te Puni Kokiri.


More effort is need to address low literacy and numeracy among adult Maori.
Phil O'Reilly from Business New Zealand says it's a problem which affects the country's productivity.

An international survey has found that while overall literacy skills of New Zealanders improved over the last decade, 75 percent of Maori had numeracy below the level needed to function effectively in a knowledge economy.

He says while the government is tackling issues of Maori under-achievement in the school system, that avenue is closed for thousands of workers.

“The vast majority of young Maori and old who can’t read, write and add up enough to do their jobs are already in the workforce, so a lot of the work needs to happen there, and we’re working with government and with the trade unions on some programmes to enable a much wider delivery of literacy and numeracy skills in the workplace,” Mr O'Reilly says.


Involvement from the whole community is needed to stop prisoners reoffending.

That's the philosophy of Barney Tihema, a former head of Hawke's Bay Prison's Maori Focus Unit and now an advisor on Maori services for the Department of Corrections.

This week the unit celebrated its tenth birthday.

Mr Tihema says it only succeeded because of the efforts of kaumatua, whanau liaison workers and other volunteers who were willing to stand by inmates on their journey.

“They take hold of tikanga Maori. They learn their whakapapa. They start to identify with where they belong and sometimes that’s not reflected the community. It’s something we find really difficult, but it‘s about us working more closely with the community and involving them more in our core business of rehabilitation and reintegration,” Mr Tihema says.

The Maori Focus Unit grew out of reo and kapa haka programmes, and now includes a range of services including Maori therapeutic programmes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Nga Tamatoa role overstated

Veteran politician Winston Peters is warning against overstating the influence of Nga Tamatoa.

The Maori Party co-leader, Pita Sharples, would like to see a reunion of the 1970s protest group, and believes its former members could still have a lot to contribute to his party.

He credits them with sparking the Maori language revival.

But Mr Peters has different memories of the group, many of whom were his contemporaries at university.

“Their clarion call was that the treaty was a fraud. Now, it is the cornerstone of every argument that Maori make. You can’t have it both ways. And I can recall some of the protests which were not impressing the people who were doing the substantial work, one of the key ones of which was the Maori Land March. Nga Tamatoa were not there at the start, were not involved in any way, shape or form in its reality. I know that, because I was there the night Whina Cooper decided to start that march,” Mr Peters says.

He says the revitalisation of the language was an initiative that came from women like Whina Cooper and Mira Szaszy of the Maori Women's Welfare League.


Business New Zealand is concerned at the long term economic implications of Maori under-achievement.

An international survey has found 75 percent of Maori don't have the numeracy skills needed to function effectively in a knowledge economy.

Phil O'Reilly, the business lobby's chief executive, says it's hard to build a high-wage productive economy when large sections of the community can't contribute.

“We can't afford to have a large proportion of our population falling behind in these stakes. If New Zealand’s going to be competitive out in the world, we need to be nimble, we need to be a knowledge sort of country, a knowledge economy. We canlt do that if we have large gaps of low literacy and numeracy, so it’s a real issue for us,” he says.

Mr O'Reilly says the types of jobs being created now need greater skill levels than in the past.


The remains of an old Maori settlement and military site has been found at Tauranga Domain.

Work on a new athletics track revealed middens as well as a military trench, redoubts and rifle pits dating to the wars of the 1860s.

Ken Phillips, the archaeologist overseeing the dig, says it's a reflection of the area's rich past.

“This is the northern end of the Te Papa peninsula and there’s a lot of pre-European activity going on here. There’s a pa site at the end of the point and a lot of undefended settlement around the pa and then when the missionaries arrived there was further resettlement in the area, so it’s one of the busiest areas in Tauranga,” Mr Phillips says.

Tauranga hapu Ngai Tamarawaho is helping with the dig.


A Bill offering a new way for Maori to organise collectively is now before Parliament.

The Waka Umanga (Maori Corporations) Bill came out of work done by the Law Commission about deficiencies with existing trust board and incorporation structures ... particularly when it came to handling treaty settlement assets.

Green MP Metiria Turei says Maori communities can waste a huge amount of energy arguing about how they should organise themselves, rather than getting down to the mahi they need to do.

Some Maori commentators have attacked Waka Umanga as the Crown again imposing structures on Maori, but Ms Turei says the bill is a step in the right direction.

“We're going to support the bill and we’ll probably support it all the way through but it’s probably going to go to select committee and there will be a long period of submissions on it next year. People will be able to make submissions up until about March or April. If anyone does have real problems with it, we will hear about those and try to fix it, and if it’s unfixable, we can always just ditch it,” Ms Turei says.


Te Atiawa elder Sir Paul Reeves is trying to broker a resolution to the Fiji coup.

The former governor general and Anglican Archbishop of New Zealand confirmed he was in Fiji last week meeting coup leader Frank Bainimarama, but said we could not talk about the discussions.

Sir Paul was part of the team which wrote Fiji's 1998 constitution.

According to the Fijivillage.com web site, he was asked to make the trip by the Commonwealth Secretariat.

He also met with deposed prime minister Laisenia Qarase.


Three outstanding scholars have been given a boost with John McLeod Scholarships for Maori studying in the health and disability arena.

Former Plunket nurse Rauroha Clarke is in her second year of nursing training at Waiariki polytechnic, physiotherapist Catherine Waetford is studying towards a masters degree in health sciences and Maori health at Auckland, while Bryce Kihirini is studying medicine and surgery at Auckland.

Mita Ririnui, the associate health minister, says they are all future leaders.

“This is not an award or a scholarship that you apply for. This is a scholarship that people nominate you for based on your performance and your determination and your commitment, particularly your potential to become a leader in the profession, so this is about promoting Maori leaders in the medical profession,” Mr Ririnui says.

Gambling seeps into homes

Some 38 percent of Maori know someone in their household or wider family who has got into financial trouble through gambling.

That's one of the findings of an Auckland University of Technology study led by Max Abbot, the dean of health and environmental sciences.

The Maori rate of 38 percent is 10 percent higher than Pacific people, while only about 12 percent of Pakeha and Asian households are affected.

Sue Walker, from the Health Sponsorship Council, says the snapshot survey of 2000 people nationwide will help the council monitor the effect its advertising is having on problem gambling.

“We were pretty interested to see what people in Maori communities knew about gambling harm, what they knew about the way it might affect them, whether or not they were aware of what they could do to avoid harm so we have a lot of new information here that’s going to help us direct our campaign and also our services to help people in Maori communities,” Ms Walker says.

The Health Sponsorship Council is sharing the results of the survey with Maori health providers and community groups.


Pressure could soon come on wananga to restrict entry.

That's the prediction from David Bedggood from the Association of University Staff, in the wake of Auckland University's decision to cap places in all undergraduate courses from 2009.

He says all tertiary institutions will come under pressure because of a new funding regime designed to bring spending in the sector under control.

That means the social concerns which sparked the creation of Maori tertiary institutions could be set aside.

“The philosophy behind wananga and so on which for all the people, given to common values They presumably will hold out against this pressure but it will be very tough for them, after what happened to Te Wangana o Aotearoa, and again that was because the budget comes first, the profits come first, and the needs of the people come last,” Dr Bedggood says.

He says Maori and Pacific island are likely to blocked out by new university entry criteria.


A unique insight into the tangihanga of the late Maori Queen is on view at the Waikato Museum.

Peter Drury from the Waikato Times was the only photographer with access to every part of the week-long tangi.

He's been a regular at Tainui events for more than 20 years.

Mamae Taakerei, who curated the show, says the 18 images will amaze visitors.

“It captures from the marae during the tangihanga and the process rom the marae to the hill, to Taupiri maunga, on the river and it’s absolutely beautiful. You’ve got these huge images of these men carrying Te Arikinui, they’re all short of life size,” Ms Takarei says.

The exhibition also includes footage from the last interview with Te Atairangikaahu, filmed in the lead-up to her 40th anniversary as the Maori monarch.


The co-author of a new book on child homicides says people are too quick to point the finger at social workers when a child dies.

Lives Cut Short: Child Death by Maltreatment by Marie Connolly and Mike Doolan includes detailed analysis of the 91 killings of children in New Zealand during the 1990s.

The majority were killed by a biological parent, and 52 percent were Maori.
Ms Connolly, Child Youth and Family's chief social worker, says the rate seems to be going down.

That could be because agencies are picking up problems in families before they escalate and offering support - and that should be encouraged.

“We need as a broader community to be coming behind both our families and the workers that try to support those troubled families, and that’s across the whole range from Child Youth and Family and any other professional that looks after and tries to protect the interests of children,” Ms Connolly says.


Maori men may be getting the message that they're not bullet proof.

A Kaikohe public health organisation is seeing a steady increase in men coming forward for health checks under its Have a Heart programme.

Cathy Turner, a manager at Tihewa Mauriora PHO, says screening for risk factors is just the first step.

“Some of the things we found is we’ve got a big problem with weight. We’ve also got still a significant problem with smoking and lifestyle factors such as exercise, and these are all something we can do something about within our own lives,” Ms Turner says.

Men not feel ill now, but the programme is about the risk of dying early because of lifestyle.


Horopito and Kawakawa-based flavourings may end up on the supermarket shelves.

The Foundation for Research Science and Technology has funded a four-year, one million dollar project to investiate Maori food flavours.

Meto Leach, the head of Maori research at Crop & Food in Palmerston North, Dr Meto Leach, says it will identify potential flavours and work out how they can be produced in commercial qualities.

“The research is about trying to develop a preparation method that enhances that flavour, so there is one important component of a flavour ingredient and that is it needs to be a consistent flavour throughout the year,” Dr Leach says.

Crop and Food is working with the Federation of Maori Authorities to identify knowledge of indigenous plants and flavourings.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Treaty deals before Santa

The Prime Minister is promising more treaty settlements before the year ends.

The government has come under fire for the pace of the settlement process, which is well short of the rate needed to meet its target of setting all historical claims by 2020.

Proposed deals with Auckland's Ngati Whatua hapu and with some Te Arawa hapu stalled amidst wrangles over the treatment of overlapping claimants, and the Te Roroa settlement is in limbo because Opposition parties don't believe it is fair to the Northland hapu.

But Helen Clark says the economic impact of settlements on iwi like Ngai Tahu, Tainui and Te Uri o Hau means it's vital the process continues.

“As the settlements roll out, it’s giving a lot of renewed confidence and that’s why I’m so determined that we’re going to make our best efforts to get on with these settlements and I’ve now got Dr Michael Cullen, my deputy, driving the process. He’s in a frenzy of meetings and I think I would be correct in saying we may well see a little more progress before the end of the year with some announcements,” Ms Clark says.

In its October briefing to the incoming treaty negotiations ministers, the Office of Treaty Settlements says it is negotiating with Waikato-Tainui about the Waikato River, with iwi round Gisborne, Moriori in the Chatham Islands ... and it is close to an Agreement in Principle with central Wellington claimants.


Auckland University is being accused of putting money before human potential.

David Bedggood, a sociology lecturer and member of the Association of University Staff, says the 14-2 vote by the University Senate to end open access to undergraduate courses show all that matters now is profitability.
The university says changes in the way the government funds the tertiary sector means it can't cater to everyone who wants to learn.

Dr Bedggood says the change will have a negative effect on society.

“There is a good chance that Maori will be more affected than anyone else because Maori are still pretty much down at the bottom of the socio economic status or class ladder in our country, and a lot of people see education as a way to climb up that ladder, and what is happening now is a couple of rungs or three rungs have been taken out,” Dr Bedggood says.

Many secondary school students may become disheartened once they realise there is little chance of getting a university place.


Give the whanau some healthy kai and something words of wisdom for Christmas.

That's the anti-shopping advice from health group Feeding our Futures.

Programme manager Michelle Mako says rituals of exchange are an important part of Maori culture - but that doesn't mean going wild in the two dollar shop.

“For parents, gifts they can give their kids around korero pu rakau, talking about where we come from, our whakapapa, are also really helpful gifts that people can give. Gifts of people’s time are also really valuable ways of expressing how you care for someone at Christmas time,” Ms Mako says.

Traditional Maori kai like rewana or seafood can be a great Christmas meal.


Better support and strong whanau systems could be the best way to tackle high child homicide rates.

That's the view of Marie Connolly, who has just co-written a book with Mike Doolan on the problem.

Lives Cut Short: Child Death by Maltreatment looks at the 91 homicides between 1991 and 2000.

More than half were killed by a biological parent.

Ms Connolly, who is the chief social worker for the Child, Youth and Family Service, says while 52 percent of the cases were Maori children, ethnicity is not a key factor.

“The victimisation of Maori children is probably more a reflection of the disproportionate representation of Maori in statistics for poverty, poor health, unemployment, poor housing, those kinds of things,” she says.

Ms Connolly says the downward trend in child homicide numbers may be due to whanau support services picking up problems in families before they escalate.


The Human Rights Commission is looking for a new way to improve its links with tangata whenua.

It's training volunteers to take on the role of takamanawa, acting as a link to marae and Maori communities.

Rosslyn Noonan, the chief commissioner, discussed the concept at a hui at Opape Marae in Opotiki yesterday.

She says as a small organisation, the commission can't offer the kind of kanohi ki te kanohi or face to face service Maori prefer - but people like Paula Pirihi at Opape are showing they can bridge the gap.

“So she's able to provide advice and guidance and assist people, often help them sort things out locally without even coming to the commission, but they certainly said there needs to be more of that and we should be doing it in communities around New Zealand,” Ms Noonan says.

She says the success of the Takamanawa pilot on the East Coast means it will be rolled out to Taitokerau in the New Year.


Hana Koko or Santa Claus is headed for the Maori wardens.

The 500 registered wardens are getting high-visibilty jackets and torches to help them with their community work, and six regions will take delivery of 12-seater vans equipped with police radios.

Also included in the $2.5 million investment is six regional co-ordinators.

Te Rau Clarke, who is managing the project for Te Puni Kokiri, says the wardens have been asking for administrative help.

He says the next step is a recruiting drive, with the aim of quadrupling the number of wardens on the street.

Glavish defends ex top cop

A Maori woman leader says ex-cop Clint Rickards should be left to get on with his life.

The former assistant commissioner finalised the terms of his split with the police on the weekend, and marked his new found freedom with a wide ranging interview with broadcaster Willie Jackson on Radio Waatea.

Mr Jackson followed up by talking to Naida Glavish, the chair of Te Runanga o Ngati Whatua, who worked with Mr Rickards in police advisory roles.

Nothing she saw coming out of his two trials on historic sex changes caused her support to diminish.

She says people can't live in the past.

“Tomorrow is a mystery and yesterday is history. Do we want to live a life of history in our future. And I don’t know actually what he did. All I know is that he was found not guilty, twice, by a law of this land which he himself swore to uphold,” Ms Glavish says.

Clint Rickards' resignation is a loss, because of the influence he was able to exert in improving relations between the police and Maori communities.


Maori are more likely to suffer from medical misadventure in hospital than other New Zealanders.

Researcher Andrew Sporle says that's one of the disturbing findings by Auckland University's Family and Whanau well being study.

Its analysis of census data and other records from the past 25 years shows Maori and Pacific patients are treated differently than their Pakeha counterparts.

He says not much seems to have changed since the early 1990s, when Eru Pomare and Neil Pearce identified differences in the way children with asthma were treated.

“Eru and Neil found that if you’re a brown kid you got one treatment, and if you’re a Pakeha kid you got another treatment, and the clinicians didn’t even realise they were doing it. It had almost become structural. Automatic. When it was pointed out to them the clinicians were horrified, they said ‘we're not racist,’” Mr Sporle says.


Two Rotorua Maori tourism attractions are burying the tomahawk.

A locked gate has separated the Whakarewarewa village from the Maori arts and institute Te Puia for a decade.

Grace Neilson, the chief executive of Whakarewarewa Thermal Village tours, says the two groups are now talking about how they can work together to protect the area's unique environment and culture.

“It is a way of life for people here, so it is ensuring that is sustainable for the future. And that is about hw the geothermal is managed, looked after, protected, not just as a tour company but to continue with our way of life with natural hangi, the baths, and all the springs that are in this area,” Ms Neilson says.

The village plans a celebration on Waitangi Day of its first 10 years as a standalone tourism venture.


The Human Rights Commission has used International Human Rights day to urge New Zealanders to be more vigilant.

Rosslyn Noonan, the Chief Commissioner, says rights including being free of violence and abuse, being free to participate in society, and being able to speak out and associate with who we wish.

There is also concern about entrenched inequalities that separate Maori and Pacific Islanders from other New Zealanders.

She says things people take for granted can quickly come under threat.

“I think we've seen, in terms of the public debate around a number of issues recently, that these rights can be very fragile, and I think in the area of economic, social and cultural rights, there’s still quite a long way to go,” Ms Noonan says.

The Human Rights Commission yesterday launched a book outlining ten cases which illustrate how people can stand up for their rights.


A trust which helps young Maori golfers is celebrating the success of recent graduates.

Josh Carmichael, Doug Holloway and Brenden Stuart, all made it to the New Zealand Open, at The Hills near Queenstown earlier this month.

Mick Brown, the chair of Ngaki Tamariki Trust, says young Maori often struggle with the high tournament and coaching expenses of the sport, so the trust tries to help out.

It now has graduates competing all over the world.

“We have sent people to Canada almost on an annual basis if we feel they’re up to the standard for competition there, and back and forth to Australia,” Judge Brown says.

Ngaki Tamariki sent Aaron Lougher from Mount Maunganui's and Rotorua's Landyn Edwards to Singapore's under 19 tournament last week, where they secured top three places.


New Zealand's oldest European settlement is celebrating its links with Maori.

Riverton opened its new heritage centre at the weekend, including a museum, art gallery and information centre.

Director Daniel McKnight says professional set builders and prop-makers were used to give visitors a sense of how harsh the environment would have been for the early settlers, but how rich it was in natural resources.

Local Maori used the area's stone to make tools, and collected kai such as muttonbirds and seals.

It was the latter that attracted the Pakeha.

“Our people here were hit by the worst peole we could possibly imagine on the planet at the time, sealers and whalers form across the ditch, across in Australia. Quite an unsightly and unkempt bunch of people, and unfortunately ended up being the first people that integrate with those. But we don’t have many stories of battles, the early people that come here intermarried quite quickly,” Mr McKnight says.

The town's population of just 2000 people raised $400,000 towards the project, and they have been generous with loans and gift of taonga - including 94 toki or adzes found on one farm.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Support still there for Clint Rickard

The kaumatua for the police in the Bay of Plenty is steadfast in his support for Clint Richards.

Mita Mohi, who has run tikanga programmes on Mokoia Island for at-risk youth for more than 20 years, says it's sad to see the former deputy commissioner dragged down for what he calls "that little incident".

In an interview broadcast today, Mr Rickards told Radio Waatea host Willie Jackson his main accuser, Louise Nicholas, was a liar who needed help, and that he had quit on the even of an internal disciplinary hearing to spare his family any more stress.

Mr Hohi says Mr Rickards had an outstanding record or work and positive engagement with Maori communities.

“The work, especially when he was in the Waikato area, a lot of the boys that came from Mokoia came from there. The police would come down and supportive of it and they’d be part of our programme on Mokoia and seeing the skills that he had while working with the police. It’s pretty hard getting up the top there, very difficult,” Mr Mohi said.

He had hoped Clint Richards would eventually become the first Maori police commissioner.


It was only fertiliser, but it still has staff at an Auckland television production house spooked.

Police are investigating who sent envelopes of powder to Greenstone Pictures and Television New Zealand.

Greenstone's Dominion Road offices were evacuated for three hours.
Waimihi Hotere, a trainee producer on Ask Your Aunties, says even though the substance was not anthrax or any other poison, the effects of the scare will last.

“We've been offered victim support because obviously opening letters and any mail in the future would have quite a bit of weight on it, Our receptionists now are wary of opening anything just in case it could be some poison,” Ms Hotere says.


A trust which supplied a korowai for the winner of the New Zealand Golf Open is disappointed the prize was almost ignored.

Mick Brown, the chair of Ngaki Tamariki Trust, says Englishman Richard Finch received the cloak in a ceremony attended only by tournament officials and volunteers, with no television coverage.

The korowai stays in Aotearoa, but Mr Finch was also given a carving to take away with him.

Judge Brown says the trust, which promotes golf among young Maori, wanted to give the tournament a disnctintvie flavour.

“It was slightly disappointing that it wasn’t done. We’re not looking for publicity but rather that it is something that I think particularly overseas players would appreciate, like it would be a photo that they would keep,” Judge Brown says.


Staff at the Crown Forestry Rental Trust are mourning the death of one of the most experienced managers in the Treaty sector.

Jacqui Ngapera died in a diving accident off Wellington's Makara coast on Saturday.

She was 37, a mother of three children.

Ben Dalton, the trust's chief executive, says Ms Ngapera was from Te Rarawa, raised at the northern Hokianga community of Panguru.

She came to the CFRT 12 years ago after spells at the Waitangi Tribunal and Telecom, and was also studying part time for a Masters in Business Administration at Victoria University.

He says the depth of her knowledge of the treaty process and her life experience was a huge help to groups preparing to present or negotiate claims.
“She had a real empathy with the claimant groups having lived the life tat they themselves lived, and I can often remember sometimes we’d be at meetings and claimants would say ‘You don’t know what it’s like, it’s alright for you to come from Wellington, you don’t know how it works on our side,’ but we’d be in the plane on the way back and she’d say ‘we do know, we’ve all come from those communities,’” Mr Dalton says.

The tangi for Jacqui Ngapera will be held in Wellington.


A former top policeman says the process that led to his departure from the force was deeply flawed.

Clint Rickards was found not guilty by juries in two historical rape trials, but quit on the eve of an internal disciplinary hearing.

He told Radio Waatea host Willie Jackson he was grateful for the support he got from Maori, including many elders and Maori MPs like Nanaia Mahuta, Parekura Horomia and Pita Sharples.

He says Operation Austin, the internal investigation of historical sex allegations against police, didn't follow the procedural standards he expected of the force.

“I've got no gripe against the police whatsoever. There’s some personnel, some areas in the police I’ve got major issues with. And those are the sorts of issues I want to develop further to see if improvements can be made there. But look, let me say emphatically I have no gripe or issues against the police. I’ve said that before. I’ve spent 28 years in the organisation. I’m not about to bag the police now that I've left,” Mr Rickards says.

He's studying towards a law degree, and is also keen to do work for his iwi.


Tainui has celebrated another milestone with the opening this morning by King Tuheitia of the three star Ibis Hotel in Hamilton.

It's a joint venture between Tainui Group Holdings and Hamilton City Council with 42 percent each and the balance held by French hotel chain Accor, which also operators the neighbouring Novotel.

Tukoroirangi Morgan, Tainui's chairperson, says it's a significant investment.

He says it shows the commitment the tribe has to the city andthe region.

The 126 room hotel already has bookings up to the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Nga Tamatoa reunion call

The time is right for a reunion of the young warriors.

Pita Sharples, the co-leader of the Maori Party, says 1970s Maori student protest group Nga Tamatoa paved the way for many of the advances Maori have made.

He says its principled stands and clear focus were an inspiration for those who have come after.

“You can't underrate, undervalue the job Nga Tamatoa did and the effect they had. There they were, just a group of students, taking every opportunity to oppose actually the worst aspects of colonization: the suppression of Maori language, the ridicule of customs out front and all that kind of stuff, and they made the stand that woke people up,” Dr Sharples says.

He says a forum involving original members of Nga Tamatoa and their descendants could be valuable in helping set priorities for the Maori Party.


A Tauranga-based Maori drug and alcohol service has been running random drug tests on its staff.

Saandra Mauger from Ngaiterangi’s community action on youth and drugs programme says the results have been negative, which is positive for the service.

She says the tests began two years ago for five substances including methamphetamine, cocaine and cannabis.

“We’ve been advocating that staff or employees who work in the alcohol and drug field, whether that be government or non-government agencies, that they be open for random drug testing which demonstrates that we are walking the talk and raising credibility with funders but also credibility with the people that we work with,” Ms Mauger says.


Whina Cooper used to say intermarriage was the cure for poor race relations, and it looks like Maori are taking the late northern leader’s advice.

Analysis of census data shows the proportion of Maori men partnering non-Maori women has jumped from 35 percent in 1981 to almost 50 percent last year.

Some 45 percent of the partners of Maori women were non-Maori, although Maori women under 30 were more likely to seek out a Maori mate.

Lyndon Walker from Auckland University’s Social Statistics Research Group says it’s hard to say what is responsible for the change.

“Certainly there’s anecdotal evidence that people are becoming more inclined to take a partner of different ethnicity and so the figures to some degree backed that up,” Mr Walker says.

Changes in the census question on ethnicity can make it had to make firm conclusions about the differences over time.


Income gaps between Maori and European families with children paint a disturbing picture of New Zealand society.

Andrew Sporle, a research fellow at Auckland University, says over the past 25 years the gap has widened, as the real incomes of Maori lag those of Pakeha.

He told a sociology conference in Auckland that lower rates of home ownership among Maori meant the gap would persist, and overcrowding in Maori households has increased over the past five years as housing costs rose.

“I think it’s incredibly disturbing that in the 10 years that we’ve had pretty much continuous economic growth that we also continue to have these major ethnic disparities in family level well-being, especially when there are children in the house and those children are our future, and by having persistent inequalities at a time of relative prosperity, I find that extremely disturbing,” Mr Sporle says.

He says the census data shows one size fits all policies aimed at addressing poverty and under-development haven’t worked.


Don't always point the finger at rangatahi.

That's the view of Saandra Mauger, who runs a drug and alcohol programme for Tauranga iwi Ngaiterangi.

Otago University researchers have found an increase in the number of teenagers with alcohol problems.

But Ms Mauger says that finding takes attention away from those mostly responsible – the adults who are allowing a disproportionate number of liquor outlets in low socio economic areas which have a youthful population.

“We can't just keep pointing the finger at the young ones when it’s the adults who develop them, adults who advertise them and adults who make decisions on where to put what outlets, so I’m not ok about pointing the finger at rangatahi. I will encourage who’s making decisions in what capacity and the impacts they’re having on different socioeconomic groupings,” Ms Mauger says.

Rather than impose solutions, the Ngaiterangi community action on youth and drugs programme takes direction from hapu and marae as to what substance abuse problems in their area need addressing as a priority.


Maori students find it hard to ask for what they need to get through university.

That’s the finding of a Massey University librarian who is making a study of how senior Maori students access information.

Spencer Lilley has won a Claude McCarthy Fellowship to research how Maori teenagers find out about career option, academic work, homework, and about tikanga or whakapapa.

He says the work grew from his observations at the library desk.

“When they come in, a lot of Maori students struggle with finding information within the university system to assist them with their studies. I wanted to see what barriers they faced so it would give us some understanding of those barriers and whether there are ways we could develop strategies to break down those barriers,” Mr Lilley says.

He says Maoris secondary and tertiary students will try to find information from trusted friends and family members, rather than asking teachers, guidance counselors, kuia or kaumatua.