Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

$97 million for aquaculture settlement

The Government has pulled $97 million dollars out of the hat to bring forward the Maori aquaculture settlement.

The signing of an agreement in principle with top of the South Island and Hauraki iwi was delayed because of the tangi of Parliament's kaumatua, Rangitihi Tahuparae, who sat on the Waitangi Tribunal hearing the Te Tau Ihu claim, but it should go ahead next Monday.

Richard Bradley, the chair of Blenheim-based Rangitane, says it means the iwi in the areas where most of the country's aquaculture industry is based don't need to wait until 2014 to get the 20 percent of pre-existing space promised to them in the 2004 deal.

He says Te Tau Ihu along with the Marlborough District Council went to fisheries Minister Jim Anderton with to make the case there was no more available space at the top of the South Island.

“It was their considered view that all the available space under the current regime is gone so in order for iwi to pick up their entitlement of 20 percent you’re into a situation of willing seller, willing buyer or you’ve got to change the plan, so let’s sort the past out and then look to the future,” Mr Bradley says.

It was the drive by top of the South Island iwi to get into aquaculture that sparked the whole foreshore and seabed controversy.


Labour leader Helen Clark says she's picking up conciliatary voices from the Maori Party, despite National's attempts to line it up as a potential coalition supporter.

Ms Clark says she's heartened by recent statements from Tariana Turia, given their long political relationship.

She is less impressed with the performance on the campaign trail of co-leader Pita Sharples, who claimed John Key told him National would not scrap the Maori seats without Maori agreement - something Mr Key has denied saying.

“There's no doubt in my mind that Maori voters overwhelmingly want our Labour-led government back. They’d be terribly disappointed, I think betrayed, if the Maori Party didn’t help make that happen,” Ms Clark says.

She says the media is overhyping the prospects of a relationship between the Maori Party and National.


We told you so.

That's the response of the Far North District Council's iwi liaison officer to subsidence problems at Ngawha prison which will need expensive repair work.

Ted Wihongi says the Corrections Department refused to heed warnings from kaumatua and local hapu about the consequences of building the $137 million Northland Correctional Facility on a swamp in an area known for its geothermal activity.

“You had a conflict between engineering information and cultural information of the local iwi, the ahi kaa who knew the history of that place. The warning signs were always there. The consequences of that is tangata whenua kaumatua saying it’s not a surprise,” Mr Wihongi says.

He says the Corrections Department needs to sit down and talk to Ngapuhi about ongoing concerns about the future viability of the prison.


A panelist on a new politics show hopes Maori apathy over elections will be a thing of the past.

Former MP Sandra Lee will join political scientist Ann Sullivan and other commentators on Kowhiri 08, which will screen twice-weekly on Maori Television until the election.

She says during the years of first past the post many Maori became cynical about the value of their vote, and Maori registrations and turnout have consistently lagged the general population.

But MMP and the rise of the Maori Party has sparked new interest.

“The more the political debate gets up, not just on Maori Television but across mainstream media, the more opportunities there are for Maori politicians whatever their political colours to get out on the hustings and broadcast their positions and their platforms, the more likely there is to be an increase in voter interest and therefore registration,” Ms Lee says.

Tonight's Kowhiri 08 opener features the Ikaroa Rawhiti contenders Parekura Horomia and Derek Fox, and includes the release of a poll done in the electorate for Maori Television.


Almost 400 warranted Maori wardens have gone through specialist training by police since the programme started in the middle of last year.

Jadine Buckey, the manager of the Police Maori wardens national project, says the courses aren't designed to turn wardens into police officers.

Instead they give the wardens more skills to deal with people with drug and alcohol problems or family violence issues.

“There's also training that Te Punk Kokiri have sourced in terms of conflict and negotiation training, advocacy when dealing with children under the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act, first aid training and defensive driving training,” Ms Buckey says.

Numbers attending the training courses will increase as the programme is rolled out to 14 regions nationwide.


A Maori academic wants the government to put more money into Maori boarding schools.

There are now six boarding schools, after the closures of St Stephens School and Queen Victoria School in Auckland at the start of the decade.

Taiarahia Black says the schools have a proud history of fostering Maori learning and leadership, and the government needs to offer the support needed to realise their potential.

“What we have at the moment is that with Maori boarding schools that are functioning, we should be putting more and more effort, and I do hope the government and our Maori ministers and people in the knowledge and economic society should be putting more and more effort into growing stronger the potential of those boarding schools,” Professor Black says.

He will present a paper on the boarding schools at The Toi Tauira mo te Matariki Maori tertiary education conference, which starts tomorrow at Waipuna lodge in Auckland.


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