Waatea News Update

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

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Cattle kai shared in drought

Maori farmers are being urged to share resources to combat drought conditions in the Waikato.

Roger Pikia, an executive member of the Federation of Maori Authorities, says he's flat out arranging alternative feed sources for members working the land.

He says Maori farms in less affected areas are helping, as they often do during adverse natural events.

“We saw our finalists from last year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy competition assisting one anther during last year’s drought season. I think Tuaropaki Trust sent up a unit load of silage bales or hay bales to Waiomatatini in Ngati Porou at Ruatoria there last year during their drought period, so I think we start to practice that whanaungatanga and lend a hand during extreme periods of need,” Mr Pikia says.


A significant site in the South Island may yet be saved from development.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker told this week's Waitangi commemoration at Okain's Bay on Banks Peninsula there wes no longer any legal obstacle to making Takapuneke a reserve.

The 14 hectare block just past Akaroa was a bustling trading pa in the 1830s, when it was sacked by Ngati Toa chief Te Rauparaha.

His chartering of an English ship to take him south for an inter-tribal battle was one of the events that led to the Treaty of Waitangi.

George Tikao, the chair of the Onuku Runaka, says it's been a long battle.

“It's been meeting after meeting with the appropriate people to help bring this property, because of its significance in the history of New Zealand, it certainly deserves to be marked somehow as a reserve,” Mr Tikao says.

The exact nature of that protection is still to be determined.


Groovers at this weekend's Splore Festival on the Firth of Thames will be given a bit of a history lesson.

While they're soaking in the sounds of Kora, Tiki, Tyra and the Tornadoes and taonga puoru duo Riki Bennett and Rewi Spraggon, they will be walking in the footsteps of Ngati Paoa and Ngati Whanaunga.

Amanda Wright, the festival director, says the venue, Tepapakanga Regional Park, still shows signs of several large kainga or villages.

Iwi are involved in the performances, and there are guided walks through the pa and stonefield garden sites.

“There's obviously some tapu areas that we keep the public away from but we make the people aware of it so they have an understanding of the significance and sacredness of the site as such,” Ms Wright says.


Tainui and Ngai Tahu have made their first major investment together, and it's familiar territory for the southerners.

Tainui Group Holdings and Ngai Tahu Holdings Group have jointly paid $49.5 million for a 6 percent stake in listed rest home operator Ryman Healthcare for $1.65 a share, 13 cents under today's market price.

The shares are the same ones Ngai Tahu sold a year ago to Australian investment bank Babcock and Brown for $2.10.

It will keep a 1.5 percent holding, bringing its total stake back to 8 percent, while Tainui will hold 4.5 percent.

Andrew Harrison, Ngati Tahu Group Holdings’ chief operating officer, says it's a good deal for the two post-settlement organisations, especially given the state of the markets.

“Both Ngai Tahu Holdings and Ngai Tahu Group Holdings see themselves as long term investors. We don’t really get spooked by the market. We’re looking at the value of the companies we’re investing in and we think Ryman is a good long-term investment. It should be a good defensive investment, if there are some volatile times,” Mr Harrison says.

He says the cooperation deal Ngai Tahu signed with Tainui last year means the companies were able to move quickly when the opportunity arose.


Pita Sharples says Shane Jones better watch his words, because he may be sharing the Cabinet table with the Maori Party.

Mr Jones has claimed any potential coalition between the Maori Party and National, which has been signaled this week, would be doomed.

Dr Sharples says the list MP is treading a well worn election year path of trying to discredit every other party.

“Shane better watch out. What if the Maori Party went with Labour and took over the Maori portfolio and the Maori voice became the Maori voice instead of the Maoris in Government. I mean, anything's possible,” he says.

Dr Sharples says no deals will be made with other political parties without the approval of Maori Party members.


"Dunk an Aussie", balloon animals and jandal throwing may not be things you associate with Waitangi Day, but they're the way Carrara on Queensland's Gold Coast is celebrating all things New Zealand.

Organiser Randall Cook says the celebrations this Sunday, only five days late, take the form of a family fun day

He's expecting more than 12,000 people at the Bond's Pirate Rugby Club, and a lot of them will be Maori.

“The guy who helps me coordinate the event, Butch Matini, moved over from Rotorua in 1979, and he’s a prominent local entertainer since that time. The local Maori rugby league clb does our hangi, and they do a fantastic hangi, and we’ve got a haka group, always do an act, and their leader does the traditional welcome for us,” Mr Cook says.

There will be stalls offering homesick Kiwis a fix of kina, mallowpuffs, gingernuts, and L & P.

Pahauwera wants rocky rights

A northern Hawkes Bay hapu has asked the Maori Land Court to give it what could amount to a veto right over mining on its foreshore and seabed.

Lawyer Grant Powell says Ngati Pahauwera wants an order from the court recognising that it still exercises customary rights including using the foreshore to land waka, gathering sea water as wai tapu for medicinal use, and collecting red ochre, driftwood, pumice, stones, sand and gravel.

That makes it different from Ngati Porou, whose settlement agreement in principle signed this week is based on its customary rights as owners of the land next to the foreshore.

He says a customary rights order won't affect existing user.

“Generally speaking it’s not going to affect existing mining usage just because of the way that the legislation is framed, but in a place like Mohaka where there hasn’t been a lot of commercial activity, then it certainly can affect the extraction of resources that would otherwise be available to be applied for under the Resource Management Act,” Mr Powell says.

He says it's a test case for the Foreshore and Seabed Act which will be watched closely by other hapu who no longer own coastal land.


The deputy mayor of South Taranaki says the Patea community has been left with more questions than answers from this week's asbestos scare.

About 300 residents were evacuated on Tuesday when after fire swept through the former freezing works buildings, filling the town with toxic smoke.

Debbie Packer says given the history of the area, the incident was hugely stressful to the mainly-Maori residents.

“Only time a lot of these whanau ever left home was during the muru raupatu so this isn’t something a community can easily take and people have said there’s minimal impact, you probably haven’t breathed in anything. Well, then why on earth have then been asked to return him and keep their windows closed,” Ms Packer says.

She says the buildings should have been demolished when the freezing works was closed a quarter of a century ago.


John Key has joined the Tame Iti fan club.

The National Party was led onto Te Tii Marae on Waitangi Day by veteran activist Titewhai Harawira, and almost immediately struck up a conversation with the ta mokoed Tuhoe rights campaigner.

He says the opportunity to meet people face to face provides a chance to get behind the headlines.

“I met him when I went to Tuhoe and I saw a side of him there where I got a chance to talk to him one on one which I think is a very different side than the one that’s presented to the public and that is a man who does a lot for young children, who looked like he’s got a pretty good heart on him, I've got to say,” Mr Key says.

He says after a year and a half in the job he feels comfortable about going in to Maori situations.


Water Safety New Zealand's Maori coordinator is begging Maori men to set a better example in the water.

Mark Haimona says a spate of drownings over the summer of Maori collecting seafood shows its message is not getting through.

He says when Maori whanau go to the water for kai, its usually the men who organise the trip ... and they don't take water safety seriously.

“You've still got that bulletproof male mentality out there that ‘I’m the skipper, I’m the captain and what I say goes,’ yet they’re coming to grief, and when you’ve got a group with you that’s unprepared and don’t have the ability to rise to the occasion when they get into danger, then a lot of trouble starts to happen and that’s what we've seen,” Mr Haimona says.

Too many people are going out to collect kai at dusk or even in the dark, when rescue services can't help them.


John Key is tying National's pledge to get rid of the Maori seats to the settlement of historic claims.

He says once those historic grievances are off the table - and the Labour-led government has set 2020 as the target for that - it will be practical to make the move.

He says the seats haven't delivered economic and social gains for Maori, and the political picture for Maori is changing.

“The power base is changing. Look at shared fisheries and the issues around that. Maori didn’t go through the seven Maori seat holders. They can and spoke to the political parties. The power is being increasingly held in the iwi and the runanga and the general interaction with Parliament,” Mr Key says.

He says MMP delivers effective Maori representation


A Tuhoe actor makes his dramatic debut in Auckland tonight.

Seventeen year old James Kara is in the Herald Theatre production of The Cape, a coming of age story set in 1994 about four young men on a road trip from Wellington to Cape Reinga.

Kara says his background in kapa haka and drama at Waiheke High School did not prepare him for the hard slog of the professional actor.

“It's hard work but fun. My dad doesn’t reckon, I talk to him, he says ‘How was your day,’ I say “It’s quite a hard day at work today, and he just laughs. I don’t think he thinks that acting is a hard job but I find it quite hard, just because young need to be so focused mentally just to get down what you need to get down,” Kara says.

Acting may not pay the bills, so he also intends to study law.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Iwi toxic on Patea fire

Iwi in South Taranaki are outraged and the way they've been treated in the wake of yesterday's fire which destroyed the derelict Patea freezing works.

About 300 residents were evacuated because of the asbestos threat from the smoke and debris.

Haimona Manuera, the interim chairperson of Ngati Ruanui says, says people don't believe the regional council's advice that it's safe to go home if they wear masks and close their windows.

He says communication between tangata whenua and Civil Defence and local government has been almost non-existent.

“The majority of people who are affected are Maori, ewither Ngati Ruanui or Nga Rauru. And we found we haven’t been part of the process either of Civil Defence or even up to date now with the discussions and the continuation as to what’s going to carry on,” Mr Manuera says.

He says many in the tribes rely on farming or fishing, and they're anxious their kai could be contaminated.


The five iwi which have already settled forestry claims want changes so they're not penalised by climate change legislation.

The concerns of the five - Waikato-Tainui, Ngai Tahu, Tuwharetoa ki Kawerau, Ngati Awa and Te Uri o Hau - were among the issues put to ministers by a delegation of iwi leaders at Waitangi this week.

Consultant Willie Te Aho, who has been organising climate change hui, says they're concerned the new law will slash the value of their settlements.

“They bought those forest lands at highest and best use price. Now they are being told that those lands must remain within forestry, and if they do not keep them in forestry and wish to deforest or change the use for higher better economic use, they must pay the equivalent penalty, and that is estimated to be about $13,000 per hectare,” Mr Te Aho says.

The Government also wants to hold back carbon credits on Crown Forest Licence land as a bargaining chip in negotiations with other iwi.


Unpredictable weather is playing havoc with plans to circumnavigate the North Island in a traditional waka.

Hekenukumai Busby wants to lead a crew on his fourth trip around Te Ika a Maui in the double-hulled Te Aurere, but the constant headwinds means it's not safe to set sail.

Instead the Taitokerau-based tohunga may hold wananga in regions the waka had intended to visit.

The promise of a week-long wananga in the north for the best students may be all the motivation they need to learn.

“It's surprising how quick they can learn. Of course they’re all keen and if they keep making mistakes, they won’t actually be allowed to pull a paddle,” Mr Busby says.


Maori in Patea are seeking independent medical advice after yesterday's fire at the town's derelict freezing works.

Tenaari Wright, Ngati Ruanui's environment officer, says the iwi believes the risk factors have been played down.

She says the people don't trust what the local councils are saying about the after affects of the blaze.

“The fire brigade, they wouldn’t enter there to put the fire out for several hours because of those risks and given that all of that asbestos went up into the atmosphere, where does it go to. It lands all over the trees, all over the rooftops, gets the water ways, into our children's clothes,” Mrs Wright says.

She says Patea's marae have been checking on the immediate needs of iwi members.


Northland's police iwi liaison officer is thanking the Maori wardens for what he's calling one of the best Waitangi Days.

Paddy Whiu says with almost 50,000 people crossing the bridge to the Treaty Grounds, there were only a handful of minor incidents.

Even the ritual hikoi and stand-off around the flagpole were relatively brief.

He says it was the first year wardens took responsibility for security, and the extra resourcing and training they've had in the past couple of months showed its value.

“Their ahua, their attitude, their way of walking around our people and in amongst them was a calming effect but also our people respect our warrens, and they had a fantastic impact on Waitangi Day,” Mr Whiu says.

The Taitokerau wardens were supported by others from around the country.


It's the anniversary of a significant event in the Land Wars.

On this day in 1863, the HMS Orpheus loaded with British reinforcements for the invasion of the Waikato sunk on the Manukau Bar.

The 21 gun steam-driven corvette was modern and powerful, but it was no match for the taniwha at the harbour entrance, where channels change daily.

Marlene Boyd from the National Maritime Museum says that the ship had out of date charts and missed signals from the shore indicating it was headed for trouble.

189 of the 259 people on board died in what is still the country's worst maritime disaster.

“It's a very sad story given that nobody on board the ship could swim, and that was the norm with sailing and steamships of that era, so if they did end up in the sea, they would drown quickly,” Ms Boyd says.

Te Aute principal quits

There's a change at the helm of Te Aute College near Hastings with the decision by Tauira Takurua is step aside as principal after three years.

John Tangaere, who chairs the board of the historic Maori boarding school, says Mr Takurua has helped maintain the special character of the college, including its links with the Anglican church.

He says the board is working hard to address academic performance and health and safety concerns highlighted by the Education Review Office.

Mr Tangaere says while the board are disappointed at Mr Tukurua's decision to resign, they're optimistic about the future.

“Our main challenge is to address the recommendations from previous years’ ERO reports, and we’re well on the way to doing that. We’re working hard with the Ministry of Education in the local office here and we’re on the right track,” Mr Tangaere says.

In the interim, the deputy principal Wiki Osborne will be in charge.


Single parent families have emerged as one of the major reasons primary schools are seeking more male teachers.

The percentage of men teaching in New Zealand primary school has dropped from 42 percent to 18 over the last fifty years.

Penni Cushman, who lectures in health education at the University of Canterbury, surveyed primary school principals around the country about the drop and what they're looking for.

She says principals felt pressured by their Board of Trustees, parents and school communities to hire male teachers to provide role models for kids who don't interact with men at home.

Maori principals wanted male teachers even more than their mainstream counterparts.

“They felt that male teachers in their schools was even more important because of the role with powhiri and with Maori traditions so with Maori children it was really important to have Maori teachers,” Ms Cushman says.


Across the other side of the globe, in a couple of hours, Maori in London will be gathering for a Waitangi Day hakari and kapa haka concert.

Alana Watson, the chair of Ngati Ranana, the Maori cultural group which has been going in London since the late 1950s, says they'll be gathering at a Maori-owned pub in the city.

She says for many Maori living in England's largest city Ngati Ranana is a whanau away from home.

We've got this big whanau unit, must be going on 80 of us now, so we meet every week to touch base with home and keep our contacts going so we’re a very strong roopu,” she says.

London also plays host to a Waitangi Day pub crawl, where Kiwis on their OE ride the Circle Line, stopping at pubs along the way, and finishing with a mass haka at Parliament Square in front of Westminster Abbey.


Calls by Te Puni Kokiri for Maori businesses to make more use of their "Maori edge" internationally are being met with cautious approval.

Duke Boon is the founder of the rangatahi business charitable trust. He says the discussion paper from Te Puni Kokiri is timely.

He argues Maori businesses could capitalise on international interest in things Maori but they also need to use cultural imagery and practices appropriately to retain their integrity.

He says Maori have often underestimated the important role their culture plays in marketing goods and services and TPK are promoting what many Pakeha businesses have known for years.

“Encouraging Maori enterprises and businesses, as we start to gain a lot more momentum, to capitalize on that brand, because it belongs to us as a people, and it shouldn’t be used by Pakeha and others. It should be used by the people who rightfully own it, and that is Maori and Maori businesses
Dur...17 sec
Duke Boon.


A residency in the United States is offering a Rotorua artist a chance to share cultural practices with Native American artists.

June Grant, from Te Arawa, Ngati Tuwharetoa, will be spending almost three months at Evergreen State College in Washington as part of Creative New Zealand's Toi Sgwigwialtxw (pron Skwee-see-ow) Residency.

Mrs Grant says the trip will be her second to the college, which is one of only two universities in the States that has a Native American Longhouse on campus.

She says there's a number of similarities between the Native Americans and Maori.

“The longhouse is like one of our whare tupuna, just a beautiful house which often has powwows and gatherings and exciting ceremonial functions, and I’ll be part of that while I’m there for the three months,” Ms Grant runs.

She runs Te Raukura Art gallery in Rotorua and will undertake the Toi Sgwigwialtxw Residency from April to June this year.


A dozen Christchurch rangatahi have reached back to their Maori heritage to help them find alternatives to drugs and other self-destructive behaviour.

The rangatahi, who are studying with the Agape Alternative Education Trust, were given cameras to help them document the natural highs in their lives.

Project worker Michael Herman says they came up with photos and stories about catching crayfish, diving for kina and strengthening their whanau links.

“Going out to get kai was quite a common theme. The other very common one was fellowship, being with their friends and they engage as a whanau, and often that was an important theme, being with mates and belonging,” Mr Herman says.

The Natural Buzz photo exhibition is on show at Our City O-Tautahi in Oxford Tce as part of the Waru Pacific Arts Festival, and there is also an online blog of the project.

Little room for Iti protest

A veteran protestor says the time for protest at Waitangi has gone.

Tame Iti has been coming to Waitangi since 1972... a trip that used to take 6 hours on the bus from Auckland.

He says Maori still need to talk about mana motuhake and tino rangatiratanga, but that discussion needs to be in every whanau and hapu.

Mr Iti, who is still facing trial for arms offences in connection with last October's anti-terror raids, says he's still a fighter for freedom: the freedom to be a Tuhoe, the freedom to be Ngapuhi, the freedom to be whoever you are.


Still in the North and there will be no more formal invitations to attend Waitangi commemorations at Te Tii Marae.

That's the word from marae chairman Kingi Taurua.

The Prime Minister has come under fire for sidestepping the lower marae at the Treaty grounds over the last few years... and the focus is on who will or won't attend, rather than the korero on the marae atea.
So rather than sending individual invitations, the marae will change how they do things

“The last 2 or 3 years we sent and indication and then they decline it so embarrassment on their side and embarrassment on our side so there will be no more invitations sent any more. So if they come they will be welcomed onto the marae, and if they don’t come, that’s fair enough with us,” Mr Taurua says.


Knowing about the Treaty could pay off for New Zealand businesses.

That's the word from a South Island-based Treaty educator.

Robert Consedine has been running treaty workshops for over 20 years. He says while many individuals and public servants have made a point of learning more about New Zealand's founding document, the same can't be said of the business community.

“There are still a large number of New Zealanders who are not what I would call treaty literate, and I think the business community for example, has almost totally missed out on getting to grips with this because obviously there’s no requirement they need to, so that’s an area of New Zealand life I think remains largely untouched,” he says.

Mr Consedine says the Maori economy is growing rapidly and it's in the business community's interest to get on top of their understanding of Treaty issues.


Ngati Porou says its foreshore and seabed deal shouldn't be used to limit other tribes.

The Greens and the Maori Party claim the Government will use the deal to argue iwi have now accepted the controversial foreshore and seabed law.

The Prime Minister has revealed that up to 13 iwi could enter negotiations for customary title agreements similar to the East Coast deal signed this week.

Apirana Mahuika, one of the negotiators for Ngati Porou, says other iwi need to control their own negotiations.

“What reactions the give to Ngati Porou in regards to this matter is not an issue for us. Because iwi can speak for themselves with regard to their own mana and by the same token we also are of the opinion that other iwi should not be criticizing the processes that Ngati Porou has achieved for itself,” Mr Mahuika says.


While most Maori are busy commemorating the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi... others are also celebrating the birthday of a significant influence on the Maori Renaissance of the 1970s and 80s.

Bob Marley would have been 63 today... and fans honoured the late reggae singer with concerts in Wellington and Christchurch.

Ruia Aperahama, along with his brother Ranea, recorded a Te Reo Maori tribute album to the Jamaican artist a few years ago.

He says that Marley's music was inspiring to a generation of young Maori struggling to define themselves in urban settings... battling for recognition of the Treaty, the survival of te reo, and rediscovering pride in being Maori.

“To most indigenous people throughout the world, the spiritual and political leadership that he offered at a time that lots of indigenous youth were looking – we were looking amongst our own people, our leadership. We couldn’t find it. And lo and behold, it came out of a little country called Jamaica,” he says.

Ruia Aperahama performed at Waitangi Day celebrations at Okahu Bay and Manukau today.


"Ka mate, Ka Mate" was kicked to the curb when Kaiapoi tackled the world record for the largest number of people simultaneously doing a haka.

During the North Canterbury town's first Waitangi Day celebration 2174 people learned and performed the first verse of the All Black's haka "Kapo o Pango".

That supercedes an Okahu Bay effort by more than 700.

Ben Brennan, who organised the record attempt, says "Ka Mate, Ka Mate" may be more widely known, but it wasn't right for a South Island setting because of the raids there by its author, Ngati Toa chief Te Rauparaha.

“We didn't want to do Ka Mate down here in the South Island because we don’t want to be teaching our local people that great haka the All Blacks do but we did want to do something original and that was simple for people to learn but had a bit of meaning,” Mr Brennan says.

Foreshore deal divisive


Striking deals with the Crown over the foreshore and seabed will put hapu at one another's throats, according to Tariana Turia, the co-leader of the Maori Party.

She says there are 25 hapu who'll be casualties of the deal signed yesterday by Ngati Porou and the Crown.

The MP for Te Tai Hauauru is predicting that cross-claimants will be concerned that their interests have been marginalised. But she doesn't hold the East Coast iwi responsible.

These behaviours of the Government are incredibly divisive and it’s highlighted here with this particular iwi and I have no doubt, given the Government’s record on settlements, that there will be huge division with other iwi too who choose to go into this arrangement with the crown,” Mrs Turia says.


Labour's new Tai Tokerau candidate says Maori values are very similar to Labour's social democratic principles.

Kelvin Davis launched his campaign yesterday at his home marae of Karetu on the southern edge of the Bay of Islands.

In a bit of political theatre which took some of the attention away from Waitangi, Ngati Manu handed over Kelvin Davis to the Labour Party.

The former Kaitaia Intermediate School principal showed he’s not afraid to ruffle a few feathers.

He told the hui he’d heard a lot about tino rangatiratanga over the years: It’s great if you’re a rangatira, but not so good if you’re a commoner. That’s why he’s attracted to Labour’s social democratic principles. He says they’re very much in keeping with Maori values.

It will be an uphill battle for the first time challenger to wrest the seat from Hone Harawira, but he’s quit his job to focus on the campaign.

Prime Minister Helen Clark says he’s an outstanding candidate.


The National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges is taking advantage of the high numbers of Maori commemorating the Treaty in Waitangi today by launching its new Maori strategy.

The chief executive, Heather Henare, says the Maori Tau framework is run under the collective's Maori unit, Hau Purea, and aims to bring about balance, wellbeing and harmony within whanau.

Ms Henare says, with over 50,000 people at Waitangi, many of whom are Maori, the Bay of Islands is an ideal place to spread the message.

“But the other thing is it links in with the whole issue of oppression and rights, like we consider violence a human rights issue, the right of women and children and whanau to be safe, and so it kind of fits into the kaupapa too,” Ms Henare says.

Heather Henare says the collective now has joint ventures with Tuwharetoa, Ngai Tahu and Ngati Toa, to take the preventative strategy into their communities.


In the South Island today, at Kaiapoi, haka enthusiasts will try to break the world record for the number of people doing a haka simultaneously... as the North Canterbury town commemorates, for the first time, the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Ben Brennan, the organiser of the attempt, says the record stands at 1400 people, and was set last year at Okahu Bay in Auckland.

Today he's hoping for at least 2000 participants, no matter what their age or ethnicity may be.

“I had a 72 year old year old lady come up to me in the workingmen’s club on Friday evening and she said ‘Young man, I’m going to come down and I’m going to try and do the hacker with you,’ and that’s what it’s really all about, it’s trying to get together for the mass haka, It’s also about Maori culture being our New Zealand culture and trying to bring everyone together as one,” Mr Brennan says.

For many of the performers, it'll be a new haka - it won't be Ka Mate.


Among the manuhiri at Waitangi is Andrea Carmen, a representative of the International Indian Treaty Council.

The IITC represents tangata whenua in North, Central and South America and across the Pacific... working for the recognition and rights of indigenous people.

During her New Zealand visit, Ms Carmen will be talking with Maori and others about how Treaty rights are observed... and how breaches of the Treaty are dealt with.

“I think it's very important that we as indigenous peoples and especially as treaty nations continue to recognise and talk about the importance of our treaty with the federal governments and particularly how they can be implemented and upheld today,” Ms Carmen.

She will also be discussing last year's so-called anti-terrorism raids ... and the need for the New Zealand government to sign the United Nation's Declaration on Indigenous Rights.


For Maori Anglicans in the lower North Island ... today will be a big day.

It's Waitangi day.... it's Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent... and it's also the 150th anniversary of the diocese of Wellington.

There's a special service at the historic Rangiatea Church in Otaki, which the head of Te Pihopatanga o Te Upoko o Te Ika, Muru Walters, says is a chance to reflect on the Treaty relationship.

“It's the opportunity for the two partners to get together to observe Waitangi Day and at the same time to acknowledge this long history of survival and co-operation really,” Bishop Walters says.

Among those attending will be the son of a former governor general, Bernard Freyberg, who will return an offertory bowl carved from timber of the original church, which was presented to his father 40 years ago.


While many politicians and journalists are focusing their attention on the action on the Treaty grounds in the Far North, communities around the country are increasingly marking the signing of the Treaty in their own way.

Claudia Orange, an historian who's especially familiar with our founding document, says the public holiday today offers an opportunity for people around the country to enjoy the company of their families, as well as relish a day off work and a picnic in the sun.

Dr Orange says these other events don't detract from Waitangi itself, but give communities elsewhere a chance to organise their own occasions.

“Sometimes that will have an historical basis because of the relationship of the treaty to a particular place. In other situations, it will be more an effort to feel good about being New Zealanders,” Dr Orange says.

There are other Treaty events being staged in Japan, the United States, Britain and Australia.

Ngati Porou inks foreshore deal


The leader of the Ngati Porou runanga says today's foreshore and seabed deal with the government recognises the tribes mana as tangata whenua on the East Coast.

The agreement, which recognises the iwi's relationship with the takutai moana, is the first deal signed under the contentious Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Once finalised, it will require legal recognition of Ngati Porou's territorial customary rights... although the exact area covered by the agreement is still to be finalised.

It will also require the Government to consult with the tribe on issues such as conservation and fisheries management in their rohe.

Apirana Mahuika says it’s a good outcome after more than three years of negotiation.

“It's reaffirmation of Ngati Porou's mana over foreshore and seabed. Nothing more, nothing less. And it’s got nothing to do with money at all. Because money cannot buy the reaffirmation of one’s mana,” Mr Mahuika says.


Iwi leaders are seeking a meeting with ministers to express their reservations about the Government’s climate change policy.

The leaders met at Waitangi yesterday to discuss a range of issues including the way carbon credits are to be treated.

A lot of the Maori asset base is tied up under trees, and there’s more coming under treaty settlements.

The iwi say the climate change policy denies them the carbon credits they’re due, and they also fear the prospect of being locked into forestry because of penalties imposed when lad is converted to other uses, such as dairying.

Tumu te Heuheu, the paramount chief of Ngati Tuwharetoa, says the hui endorsed the work of a group which has been consulting with government on the issue.

He says they’ve been mandated to go back to government to reiterate that the proposed legislation fails to recognise Maori rights under the Treaty of Waitangi.


Organisers are promoting Waitangi Day as a family event and one of the country's best-known protestors is happy with that.

Tame Iti says he's only going this year because his son has persuaded him he needs to show his face.

Mr Iti arrived this afternoon and has already exchanged greetings with National Party leader John Key.

He says doesn't intend to stage high-profile protest actions in another iwi's territory, but people are keen to hear about the aftermath of the October antiterrorism raids in Tuhoe.

“The idea of us going over to Waitangi as a whanau to be seen as a whanau so I’m going under that umbrella. Also to share the view about Mana Motuhake o Tuhoe,” Mr Iti says.


Parekura Horomia is dismissing criticism of today's foreshore and seabed deal with Ngati Porou.

Tariana Turia, the co-leader of the Maori Party, says the government has opened the doors for the iwi because of the presence of Mr Horomia in cabinet.

The MP for Ikaroa Rawhiti... who affiliates to Ngai Tahu as well as the East Coast tribes of Ngati Porou and Whanau a Apanui ... says he's disappointed with the comments, but he's happy with the deal signed at parliament this morning.

“In opposition you can say whatever you like and promise whatever you like but not deliver. This is about delivering a serious protection for people who have a long, long coastline, one of the longest that is aligned with their lands, and I’m proud to be supporting it,” Mr Horomia says.

He says Whanau Apanui and Hauraki are close to a deal, with at least 10 other iwi in talks with the government.


Meanwhile a number of well-qualified Maori are lining up to take on Parekura Horomia in Ikaroa Rawhiti.

Veteran broadcaster Derek Fox has added his name to those seeking to stand for the Maori Party against the Minister of Maori Affairs.

Mr Fox stood in 1999 as an independent and came within 695 votes of taking the seat.

Also believed to be putting their names forward are lawyer and Gisborne councillor Atareta Poananga, and Mereana Pitman, a treaty educator who helped set up Rape Crisis.

The Maori Party will finalise the candidates on Saturday.

Annette Sykes, a Rotorua-based lawyer, is impressed by the range of people putting themselves forward for the Maori Party, not only one the East Coast, but also in Te Tai Tonga.

“The best of the Maori intelligensia, the best of the Maori workers, are putting their names forward and I think the Maori Party is going to have an exciting opportunity in the next month to select great leaders to take forward those particular electorates,” Ms Sykes says.


While other parties rub shoulders and noses with the likes of Tame Iti today, Labour had serious business twenty minutes south.

It was at Ngati Manu marae at Karetu, selecting its candidate to take on the Maori Party's Hone Harawira in the Tai Tokerau seat.

Ngati Manu handed over its mokopuna, Kelvin Davis, to Helen Clark to be Labour’s candidate for Tai Tokerau.

The former Kaitaia Intermediate School principal chose to open his campaign from his home marae, and in the process, took some of the attention away from events at Waitangi.

Mr Davis reminded the hui of the words of the late Sir James Henare, whose tupuna also came from Karetu – why should any Maori want to be a poor Pakeha when their destiny is to be a great Maori.

He says as a teacher, he tried to make his pupils aspire for greatness, and he will try to do the same thing if he is elected MP.

Helen Clark said Mr Davis is an outstanding candidate who represents the hopes and dreams of the current and future generation of Maori leadership.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Foreshore deal credited to minister

The Minister of Maori Affairs is being accused of favouring his own tribe over others.

Ngati Porou is due at Parliament this morning to sign a settlement recognising its customary rights over the foreshore and seabed around the East Coast.

Tariana Turia, the co-leader of the Maori Party, says the government has opened the doors for the iwi because of the presence in Cabinet of Parekura Horomia, the MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti.

“The minister of Maori Affairs is prepared to advance the rights of his iwi ahead of all the others and there are many iwi who have historical rights. In fact, it was shown in the Court of Appeal that the rights of iwi had never been extinguished,” Mrs Turia says.

Today's deal is expected to give coastal hapu the right to develop management regimes and set bylaws for their foreshore.

Te Whanau a Apanui in the Eastern Bay of Plenty is close to a similar deal, and it's likely to serve as a template for other parts of the country.


Maori businesses are being encouraged to play up their cultural strengths.

A discussion paper written for the ministry of Maori development by the Institute of Economic Research says Maori are succeeding in business, even if most organisations don't have a public profile.

Leith Comer, the chief executive Te Puni Kokiri, says Maori can lead the way for the wider New Zealand economy.

He says a focus on building strong relationships which recognise cultural differences helps Maori in non-European markets such as China and Japan.

“We are in the business of creating long term sustainable business relationships with new friends and the way you do that is through establishing and putting time and effort into making sure the foundations of those relationships are sound before you start building on those with commercial activity,” Mr Comer says.

He says businesses can capitalise on international interest in things Maori, such as the fascination with ta moko.


The naming of streets is a hot topic in Taranaki.

The developers of a $40 million Bell Block subdivision have proposed to name the seven new streets after famous golf courses.

But Grant Knuckey from Puketapu hapu says names like St Andrews Parkway and Pebble Beach Court reflect neither the Maori nor the European history of the area.

He says street names give a sense of place for locals.

“People need to have a sense of place where they live. If it becomes the same as names in New York or somewhere else doesn’t in my view give some sense of place which is pretty important really,” Mr Knuckey says.

The council has asked the iwi to suggest names, which could be a way forward.


The head of Te Puni Kokiri believes Maori businesses are well placed to withstand any global downturn.

The Ministry has just launched a discussion paper, A time for change in Maori Economic Development, written by the New Zealand Institute for Economic Development.

Leith Comer says the Maori sector is the sleeping giant of the economy, which is slowly waking up.

He says as if the crisis hitting United States financial markets pushes larger economies into recession, the conservative nature of Maori business may prove an asset.

“If you look at the 1987 share market crash in New Zealand, it had minimal effect on Maori businesses because Maori businesses are cautious and therefore not at the high risk area and therefore able to withstand shocks,” Mr Comer says.

He says the Maori way is to develop long term relationships, which can lead to strong commercial ties.


Genuine engagement is how the Race Relations Commissioner describes the relationship between the government and the United Nations on Maori issues.

In the treaty issues section of his annual report, Joris de Bres says there were significant developments on the Waitangi front.

Te Ururoa Flavell from the Maori Party says the report is a farce because it ignores the government's attitude towards UN inspection and its vote against the Declaration on Indigenous Rights.

But Mr de Bres says outsiders can't be expected to solve New Zealand's problems.

“I think the issues raised by the UN are in some cases pretty complex because they’re about the whole nature of our constitution, they’re about the whole nature of the Waitangi Tribunal, the settlements process. They’re big issues which have in a sense been both in operation for some time and challenged for some time,” Mr de Bres says.

He says the Government has already responded to some of the UN's recommendations by reinserting references to the Treaty in the school curriculum, and voting down a bill to delete references to the Principles of the Treaty from legislation.


A billboard carved for Waitangi Day is being dedicated in a ceremony in Auckland this morning.

Carvers Blaine Te Rito and Mike Davies put the finishing touches to the work outside Maori Television's Newmarket studios yesterday, placing paua in the eyes.

The design is of a waka with two figures representing the crown and tangata whenua, to celebrate the relationship between the two partners in the treaty.

Mr Te Rito says billboards usually have a short life, but his work has a life after Newmarket.

Because so much work has gone into it they’re looking at moving it eventually from here to the Aotea Centre for the international indigenous television broadcasting conference at the ned of February and form there it will be moved up to the National Waitangi National Trust in the Bay of Islands,” Mr Te Rito says.

Footage of the pair carving the work will be run on Maori Television tomorrow.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Pit bull powhiri peeves politician

The marae is not the place for young dogs or young men copying them.

That's the reaction of Labour MP Shane Jones to a trend for warriors doing the wero to snarl and growl.

He says it's a recent development, and is often seen in powhiri for members of parliament or public servants.

He blames the influence of gang culture, kapa haka fashions and activists like Tame Iti, who have taken to spitting and other offensive behaviour to show their dislike of visitors.

“Once you start to normalise that, then it’s about time that we abandon a lot of these rituals if that is all we’re going to do. When your manuhiri come to the marae you dignify them. If you don’t want to dignify them, then don’t ask them to come to your place. If all you’re going to use the powhiri for is an opportunity to get your personal ego staunchness out in front of everyone, then go and start boxing, go and take up rugby league. That's not for the marae,” Mr Jones says.

He says the traditional use for dogs was to fatten them up and eat them.


The Race Relations Commissioner is defending his finding that 2007 was a year of significant developments for the Treaty of Waitangi.

Te Ururoa Flavell from the Maori Party says the treaty chapter of Joris de Bres' annual report on race relations ignores critical reports from the Waitangi Tribunal on the settlement process, and the refusal of New Zealand to sign the international declaration on the rights of indigenous people.

But Mr de Bres says the report's purpose is to catalogue progress and indicate what still needs to be done.

The race relations report is not a polemic and it’s not an apology. It’s a record of events primarily and I draw some conclusions out of that when we publish the report,” Mr de Bres says.

He says positives in 2007 include the tribunal releasing five reports, the return of Mauao to Tauranga Moana iwi and the Wanganui courthouse to river iwi, and the allocation of fisheries settlement assets.


Maori Television's living billboard has been completed in time for Waitangi Day.

Carvers Blaine Te Rito and Mike Davies have worked round the clock for a month perched outside the channel's Newmarket studios.

It features a waka with two figures representing the crown and tangata whenua.

Mr Te Rito says he and Mr Davies, who is English, wanted to celebrate the spirit of the Treaty.

This waka is moving into some point in the future and the representatives of the Crown will be holding on to a hoe, the paddle, steering the waka, but the Maori will be in the front directing, so the final destination isn’t judged by one party. It’s a negotiation between the two parties,” Mr Te Rito says.

The billboard will eventually find a home at the Waitangi National Trust in the Bay of Islands.


Tuhoe activist Tame Iti is being blamed for increasingly uncivil powhiri being given to MPs and civil servants.

Labour list MP Shane Jones says he's fed up with young men snarling and growliing like dogs when they present the taki or challenge.

He says it's a new development which is not based on tradition.

"I suspect that this is partly being fed by this machismo culture of intimidation that the gangs are feeding to our young people at the moment and I also blame Tame Iti and his ilk, the way that they completely corrupted the powhiri ceremony there in the Bay of Plenty where if you went there and they didn't like you, they were spitting on the marae, and I think that once you start to nomalise that, then it's about time that we abandon a lot of these rituals if that is all we are going to do," Mr Jones says.

He says it's the sort of aggressive behaviour which turns young people away from the marae, and destroys the culture.


National's Maori affairs spokesperson is rejecting claims John Key is planning an election year attack on Maori rangatahi.

Green MP Sue Bradford claimed the National leader's agenda setting speech last week was a case of dog whistling, sending a message to voters that a National Government would crack down on the young.

But Georgina te Heuheu says since under Mr Key, has focused on opportunities for young people and the way they are prepared for the workforce.

“We need to create an economy and create a society where we don’t have 70,000 of our people moving over to Australia every year We need them over here, growing our own economy, and that goes particularly for Maori because the bulge in the Maori population is high at the youth end,” Mrs te Heuheu says.

She says last week's National caucus retreat focused on the economy, rather than on any specific Maori policy.


A top of the South Island iwi still hopes to have its own airline.

Ngati Koata Trust put on hold its plans for a Nelson-based charter and freight service using leased planes.

Roma Hippolyte, the trust's chair, says its partners had pulled out, making the venture too risky.

Circumstances could change.

We've got everything still sitting there. If in the future it all lines up with backers and availability of aircraft and it still makes financial sense, then we would look at it again, but at this point we are not,” Mr Hippolyte says.

Apology will take work

Sorry is only the first step.

That’s the advice Hone Harawira has for Australia’s new prime minister, who has offered to make a formal apology to the country’s Aboriginal population.

The Maori Party MP made a stir last year he left a parliamentary trip early so he could visit outback communities around Alice Springs, shortly after calling then PM John Howard a racist bastard for his policies towards Aboriginals.

He says Kevin Rudd is moving in the right direction, but previous policies like taking children from their parents will take
generations to repair.

“The first step is to acknowledge fault and I think on behalf of the Australian government someone had to do it. It’s been a long time coming. So the apology is appropriate. It’s what is the next step. Because any assumption that that is going to be enough to repair over the past couple of hundred years is wrong. There needs to be more than just an apology,” Mr Harawira says.


The Maori fisheries settlement trust may reach out to environmentalists in a bid to preserve its interests in the fishing industry.

At the Te Ohu Kaimoana annual hui in Wellington on Friday, there were warnings that lobbying by environmental and recreational groups, and unnecessary proposals like the government’s shared fisheries plan, were undermining the value of Maori commercial fisheries.

Ngahiwi Tomoana, the trust’s deputy chair, says Maori take seriously their responsibilities to ensure fisheries are sustainable, and are concerned that some groups are acting on emotion rather than good science.

He says more dialogue might help.

“There's attacks coming from all directions from the environmental lobbyists from the ministry, from recreational, so we talked about taking the front foot approach by meeting those groups early, start talking to them kanohi ki te kanohi, and find ways around these issues before they gets confrontational,” Mr Tomoana says.


Special trade training schemes could be the answer to the low number of Maori doing apprenticeships.

Figures released by the Minister of Maori Affairs indicate only about half the number of Maori have signed on to the modern apprentice scheme as might be expected, based on population figures.

Wiremu Doherty, the director of Maori at Manukau Institute of Technology, says the Industry Training Organisations are failing in their duty to Maori.

He says most Maori tradespeople came through the training schemes run by the old Department of Maori Affairs, which ended 20 years ago.

“We have a very quickly aging population in certain trades where the next wave of people coming through to keep the continuation occurring is not there. Hence the urgency in reestablishing schemes such as the Maori trade training schemes,” Mr Doherty says.


Porirua-based Ngati Toa Rangatira says a proposed settlement with Taranaki Whanui claimants leaves nothing for other Wellington claimants.

Chairperson Matiu Rei says the Waitangi Tribunal has found Ngati Toa was unfairly excluded from early Wellington land sales, so it has struggled to get its interests in the city recognised.

Under an agreement in principle now out for consultation, Port Nicholson Block Claimants are to get $25 million in cash, land at Shelly Bay, a $120 million property portfolio to be leased back to the Crown, and the right of first refusal over other Crown properties in the area for 100 years.

Mr Rei says that’s a problem for overlapping claimants.

“A raft of properties will be held for 100 years giving Taranaki Whanui rights of first refusal. Now what that means is there are very few Crown properties left within Wellington to satisfy the Ngati Toa claim,” Mr Rei says.

He says the Crown seems to have made the same mistakes as in the disputed Tamaki Makaurau and Te Arawa settlements, where it failed to leave anything for other iwi with traditional connections to the same areas.


Marae based youth programmes are being mooted as a solution to south Auckland’s youth gang problems.

A wide range of people attended a hui at Manurewa on Friday to discuss the suburb’s violent summer, with a further hui being held this week to take some of the proposals forward.

Anne Candy, Manukau City's deputy mayor, says the community has resources which aren't being used in the way they could be.

She says one suggestion was for the 25 marae in Manukau to host youth programmes.

“Getting those kids down to an environment that they may not be used to, because they may be third generation urban, but you’re also involving the kaumatuas, the kuias, the kappa haka, the history of their area,” Ms Candy says.

Other suggestions included appointing street wardens in the area.


The head of the Ngapuhi Runanga says people shouldn't be concerned about their safety during treaty commemorations at Waitangi this year.

The Prime Minister has indicated she won't be attending events on the lower Te Tii marae where she has faced abuse and jostling in the past.

Sonny Tau says security this year is the responsibility of the reinvigorated Maori wardens and he's confident they're up to the task.

“The wardens have been designated as the lead agency for security with all our Maori liaison police from all over the country coming in to assist and I think they should be commended because it’s a huge undertaking for them to take the lead in the security,” Mr Tau says.