Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, December 24, 2007

Protest peeves Whangaroa claim negotiator

One of the negotiators of a far north claim says there is little sympathy for a whanau who wants the whole lot to itself.

The signing of an agreement in principlae to settle Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa's settlement was disrupted on Saturday by members and suporters of the Peterson whanau who have been occupying Stoney Creek station, North of Kaeo.

Ella Henry says the former Landcorp farm is the only substantial asset in the iwis rohe still in Crown hands

She says attempts to reason with the whanau have led to increasing hostility, as was evidenced by the events of the weekend.

"We need to be able to move on, we need to get out of grievance mode, and we need a sound economic foundation to build a fuiture on. Because Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa isn’t a big tribe. We’re not one of the big seven. We’re just a little whanau base. So when one family, and it predominantly is one family, are saying they want the land back entirely for themselves, then you have to say something has gone horribly wrong in their thinking,” Ms Henry says.


The Minister of Maori Affairs is labeling police actions in Ruatoki in October as shameful.

Parekura Horomia has in the past steered clear of condemning the police for the day long lockdown of the small Bay of Plenty settlement, which was done during a nationwide sweep to arrest people who police allege attended terrorist training camps in the nearby Urewera mountains.

Mr Horomia today told Waatea host Willie Jackson the police needed to take a hard look at their tactics.

“The reason for them going there is why I am still interested and still supportive of that fact, but their performance was shameful on the day and I think it is something we have all learnt a lesson out of,” Mr Horomia says.

He believes in general police are fair.


Forgot to buy a present for that mokopuna?

Don’t worry, Michelle Mako from healthy lifestyles programme Feeding our Futures has some last minute shopping advice.

It’s don’t shop. Sometimes the best thing you can offer the whanau are the traditional kai, the fruits of the land and the sea, and the wisdom of the ages.

“People are so busy all year round. Christmas is such a great time for people to come together. It’s a time when kaumatua can teach kids her traditional skills or traditional knowledge of the whanau, and those gifts actually will last forever. They don’t break, like a $2 shop gift might,” Ms Mako says.

Whanau members can offer their labour or skills, rather than bought gifts.


A Northland MP says Saturdays attack on treaty negotiations minister Michael Cullen was a sign of the bizarre state of current protests.

Shane Jones along with his son, kaumatua Rudy Taylor and Labour’s Taitokerau candidate Kelvin Davis, had to shield Dr Cullen from an angry mob at a ceremony at Taemaro.

He says the deal the minister eventually signed to return Stony Creek station to Ngati Kahu ki Whaingaroa is worth tens of millions of dallars to the iwi, but the protesters seem to be unconcerned about the merits of the deal or the mana of Ngati Kahu.

“The only thing missing from the day, given the bizarre nature of the protest, was Woody Allen hiding in a bush with a camera. It was quite weird, the whole protest, completely unrelated to the land going back to Ngati Kahu,” Mr Jones says.

He says Dr Cullen kept a cool head during the fracas.


The earth may have shaken in Gisborne, but that won’t be stopping kapa haka teams shaking the stage there.

The high energy, high impact Super 12 Series will go ahead at the Gisborne Outdoor Theatre on December the 29th.

Organiser Willie Te Aho says there was some controversy when the competition for 12-member teams started, but it respects the tradition while taking it a step on.

“We just wanted to create a space where our people could think outside the box, keep the heart and the values of our culture together but express it differently, and that was back in 2000 when we held the first kapa haka super 12 festival, 12 people n the stage for 12 minutes, and you’ve got to demonstrate elements of our kapa haka culture,” he says.

Mr Te Aho says the Super 12 has become a place to test ideas which go into the 40-member culture group performances.


The call is out for volunteers to help make the third Parihaka International Peace Festival in Taranaki a success.

John Dix from the organising committee says the event being held early next month, is gaining popularity both here and overseas.

He says people are keen to hear bands like Katchafire and Moana and the Tribe, but also the lineup of international speakers who acknowledge the history of passive resistance at Parihaka.

Mr Dix says it was volunteers who made the inaugural festival two years ago possible, and their input will be vital again this year.

“When word got out that we were struggling a little bit, people came from all over, from North Auckland, from the East Coast, just turned up and said what can we do. And to a degree we do rely on volunteers. Any large event does. You can ask the guys in Cornerstone Roots with Soundsplash. Every large event needs volunteers to get through it, and Parihaka perhaps more than most,” he says.


The festive season presents challenges for many men not long out of prison.

Kim Workman, the head of Prison Fellowship, says a majority of inmates have drug and alcohol problems.

Those released close to the festive season often find little support for their efforts to get a control on their addictions.

“One of the difficulties is some of these guys do clean their act up and they come back into a family where drugs and alcohol are prevalent and so sometimes they are forced to look elsewhere for support and that’s a struggle,” Mr Workman says.

Hapu land grab disrupts Whangaroa signing

A rowdy protest on Saturday failed to stop a deal to return a former Landcorp farm to a far north iwi.

Sovereignty protesters surrounded the Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Michael Cullen, when he arrived at Taemaro Bay northeast of Kaeo, forcing an early end to the hui.

But the minister and elders from Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa signed the agreement in principle later that afternoon in Kerikeri.

The iwi will get back what remains in Crown hands of land taken in the 1840s, including the 2200 hectare Stony Creek Station.

The farm was estimated to be worth $39 million dollars. Its value was discounted for the settlement by covenants protecting coastal and scenic areas, years of neglect, and damage caused by occupiers who wanted it returned to one family, rather than the whole tribe.

Pita Pangari, who led the claim through a quarter century of Waitangi Tribunal hearings and negotiations, says it’s a new start for the iwi.

“What we have is a running business, which is a farm, and it has proven to be a good farm, stock to be retained, all its machinery, everything that is on the land, sitting on the land, and under the land is all part of the settlement,” Mr Pangari says.

The agreement will be taken back to the people for ratification.


The positive message of kapa haka may be getting lost for many Maori youth.

Tuari Pokiri, the new manager of strategic operations for the Alcohol Advisory Council, says some teenagers are using what they learn of haka and Maori martial arts as a way to beat people up.

It’s one of the issues the council is looking at in the messages it is trying to get across to young Maori about lifestyle choices.

“Unfortunately there are some picking up a message that it is still about Maori men being really staunch and picking up that connotation from it rather than the bigger tikanga, identity issues that are involved in it, so I guess it’s just how we get our messages out and making sure we have role models who can maintain a standard, whether they are in a suit or a piupiu,” Mr Potiki says.


A new venture is giving visitors the Maori history of Mokoia Island in Lake Rotorua.

Four Te Arawa iwi are involved in company and are sharing their stories.

Director Bryan Hughes, who also heads award-winning tourism operations at Hell's Gate and the Wai Ora Spa, says a boat has been built to deal with lake conditions.

As well as a traditional welcome, visitors will get a guided walk around the island, a look at Hinemoa's Pool where the Arawa ancestor wooed Tutanekai, and a sample of Maori kai flavoured with indigenous plants.

“The history, the culture, the birds, the whole site is absolutely magic, so one of the things we do when we get on the island, we actually ask people to have a bit of silence for a moment and let the island talk to you, and it certainly does,” Mr Hughes says.

The venture will target local as well as overseas visitors, because few Rotorua residents have had a chance to visit the island.


High costs and low returns have spelled the end for an iwi-owned fishing company.

Raukura Moana Fisheries, a joint venture between Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Maniapoto and Waikato-Tainui, is to be wound up at the end of the month with the loss of five jobs.

Its chairman, Vance Winiata, says the company has operated a joint venture with Polish fishing company Dalmor to fish the annual catch entitlement or ACE held by the shareholders and other iwi.

But a range of factors meant directors decided to pull the plug now before losses mounted.

“The continuing high dollar, the increasing costs around your fuel, your wages, and also the cost of leasing ACE now has taken a substantial leap. Quota is king but to lease ACE is a huge cost. The other side of the coin of course is the low price we were getting,” Mr Winiata says.

The three iwi will continue in the industry, leasing out their quota to other operators.


The head of Prison Fellowship wants to see offenders in community based drug and alcohol rehab centres, not prisons.

Kim Workman says Police research showing more than two thirds of offenders tested positive for illegal drugs at the time of their arrest highlights the extent of the problem.

He says two thirds of prison inmates have issues with drug and alcohol abuse, and with Maori making up half the prison population, it is a kaupapa that needs addressing by Maori leaders.

Drug courts and community rehabilitation centres are used in the United States and he'd like to see New Zealand follow that lead.

“One of the difficulties in New Zealand is the absolute lack of those sorts of centres in the community. We’re face with the prospect when you have someone who is willing to go into rehab or even if they are not willing, that there is nowhere to send them,” Mr Workman says.

Prisoners released at this time of the year often struggle because the opportunity to indulge in alcohol and drugs may be higher.


It's the time of the year where people are reconnecting with their families.

For some, that doesn't come easily.

The Salvation Army Family Tracing Service is especially busy at this time.

Bronwyn McFarlane says there are a surprising number of Maori on the missing list.

“We didn't ask people ethnicity until quite recently, and all the inquiries that come in from overseas, they don’t have ethnicity stated either, so we’re appear that it is more than it appears to be because of the number of people that we actually find listed at some stage on the Maori electoral roll,” Major McFarlane says.

While most people are willing to re-establish contact, the tracing service only discloses their whereabouts to family with their consent.