Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, February 15, 2008

Tamaki tribes again pushed aside

Auckland iwi fear a new housing initiative will cut the amount of land available for any treaty settlement.

The Government has promised an audit of Crown land around the city to identify sections which could be made available for affordable homes.

Paul Majurey from Marutuahu says when iwi challenging the proposed Tamaki Makaurau settlement with Ngati Whatua tried to find out how much land the Crown held, officials refused to answer.

He says Marutuahu and other iwi aren't convinced by Crown assurances there is enough land for all, and they again feel their claims are being sidelined.

“As we understand it those other tangata whenua, Ngai Tai, Ngati Te Ata, Kawerau a Maki, Te Taou, and others from Tainui waka, are very concerned about the policy approach that seems to be that Crown land might be something of a panacea for state housing. That can’t be at the prejudice of those few Crown assets available for treaty settlements,” Mr Majurey says.

The way the Crown acquired the land was in breach of the treaty, so they should not be selling it off now.


Some of New Zealand's top runners will be in the far north tomorrow trying to emulate the feat of an ancestor.

It's the 16th year of the Te Houtaewa Challenge, a 63 kilometre ultra-marathon along Te Oneroa a Tohe or 90 Mile Beach.

It's in the footsteps of Te Aupouri chief Te Houtaewa, who ran home up the beach after stealing kumara from Te Rarawa.

Organiser Peter Kitchen says if people don't want to do the whole course, they can do a regular marathon, a half marathon run or walk or a sedate six kilometre walk.

They can also take part in the waka ama challenge, which has been introduced this year.

“It's the only surf challenge in New Zealand that goes straight out into the surf. There’s a 1000 metre sprint, a 2000 metre sprint and 3000 metre sprint, for men and women. Straight after that, we’ll go back to the Korou Marae where we’ll have a dinner and have the festivities after that,” Mr Kitchen says.


Madonna, Prince ... now a Ngati Maniapoto singer is joining the ranks of other musicans known by one name.

Mihirangi is one of the acts at the Soundsplash 008 Festival in Raglan this weekend.

She was raised in Te Kuiti before moving to Australia at 16, whe she eventually built up her act in front of a 12-piece band.

Mihirangi says that became a logistical nightmare, so she pared back her act.

“The guitarist came to a gig one day with a loop pedal and I asked if I could have a go on it, and I did and I just loved it, it was so much fun, and a week later I’d rewritten all my songs on this loop pedal and I thought what am I doing, this is a big band sound, I should just do this on my own, so I did, I got rid of the band,” Mihirangi says.

As a solo act she's been able to tour the world, appearing at events like the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Womad and Amsterdam Roots Festival.


The Treaty Negotiations Minister has been challenged to negotiate directly with tribes with actual claims to the Kaingaroa Forest.

Michael Cullen was in Taupo today to meet with Central North Island claimants on a plan to use Crown forestry land to settle their historic claims.

Maanu Paul from Ngai Moewhare says his Kaingaroa Cluster, which represents the tribes whose ancestral lands lie within the forest, had to gatecrash the hui to get a hearing.

He says Dr Cullen has been badly advised by the Office of Treaty Settlements on how to handle the claims.

“He talks about including all of us, but in case he’s still running with Tumu te Heuheu and the central North Island collective, which is simply saying that those people who are predominantly in that lot, who don’t have direct claims, are going to get settled s a result of capturing our direct claims and using that as a commercial redress to settle people who have got no claims in the Kaingaroa Forest,” Mr Paul says.

He says Dr Cullen refused to commit himself on future talks.


Sport is one of the best ways to bring Maori together.

That's the view of one of the organisers of this weekend's Tainui Festival at Hopuhopu.

Rahui Kapa says teams from 40 Tainui marae have entered, and the draws will allow whanau to play together.

“It can cater for tamariki right through to kaumatua, men and women, promote unity right across the board in Maori families, and that’s something that needs to be celebrated as much as we possibly can,” Mr Kapa says.

Highlights of the festival, which is expected to attract up to 20,000 people, will be an attempt to break the mass haka record, a business expo, and a fishing, eeling and pig hunting auction to raise money for the various marae.


Also on this weekend, Te Papa celebrates its 10th birthday with pipe bands, Dutch organs, Cook Island drummers, kapa haka, and a performance by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra of the composition written for its opening by Gareth Farr.

Mere Boynton, the kaikaranga for the 1998 concert, says she's looking forward to doing it again.

“It's about Te Papa being a new place where new experiences can happen, where we can meet as two different cultures but on the same papa,” Ms Boynton says.

And in Raglan, Soundsplash 2008 is chock full of Maori acts.

It's also attracted Jamaican star Tanya Stephens, who's struck by the way Maori have adopted reggae music.

“Reggae has been about finding yourself and identifying who you are and asserting, and it’s been about breaking away from things that didn’t define you or things you don’t want to work with any more. It’s a little bit rebellious,” Stephens says.

Axes out for forest deal

Michael Cullen could be walking into a forest fire today when he meets with Central North Island claimants in Taupo.

A spokesperson for the Minister for Treaty Negotiations says the hui is to discuss using Crown-owned forest land in the region to settle historical claims.

He says the Crown has committed to help the collective, led by Tuwharetoa chief Tumu te Heuheu, to develop the proposals.

But Maanu Paul from the Kaingaroa cluster of forest tribes says the Government is ignoring those with direct claims to the forest land.

“As a central North Island claimant, Ngai Moewhare, Ngati Manawa are not in favour of the idea that our forests be used to settle the Crown’s debts to other people. That is just an injustice as we're concerned,” Mr Paul says.

He says if Dr Cullen wants to settle the claims, he needs to talk with the claimants, not their wealthy neighbours.


The new head of the Pacific Business Trust is looking for opportunities for Maori and Pacific Island to work together.

Richard Reid, from Te Arawa, says the trust's job is to help Pacific peoples develop and sustain businesses.

There are social and cultural reasons for bringing Maori into the equation.

He says some iwi already have investments in the islands, and discussions are under way on future collaboration.

“The big advantage Maori obviously have is the assets so for Pacific peoples we also have to be certain what are we bringing to the table ands what I see that we can bring to the table is that we have definitely got some very skilled people and I think that there are some opportunities,” Mr Reid says.

He was previously the managing director for the New Zealand and Australian operations of Japanese conglomerate Dainippon Ink & Chemicals.


The director of Maori knowledge at Te Papa says the national museum's repatriation programe has done has helped change the way institutions around the world operate.

Te Papa is celebrating its 10th birthday, and Arapata Hakiwai says from day one it flagged repatriation of koiwi tangata Maori as a priority.

With iwi and government support, it has been an extremely successful programme.

“Museums in most nations, countries are support and we’ve carried out a kit if repatriations from the United Kingdom, Scotland, South America, America and that’s great. I think the mood in the international museum arena is changing and I think Te Papa has played a leading role there,” Ms Hakiwai says.

Celebrations will continue over the weekend with classical and pipe band concerts, Cook Island drumming, kapa haka, weaving demonstrations, hula workshops and a 20 metre chocolate lamington birthday cake.


It's a kia ora day from the past today for Mahara Okeroa.

The associate minister of culture and heritage is in Arras in northern France for the opening of the Wellington Cavern museum, marking the New Zealand contribution to France's defence.

Ministry historian Brownyn Dalley says the cavern was part of a network of tunnels dug in the chalk under the town by Maori troops in World War One.

The tunnels allowed allied troops to reach the front lines three kilomtres from the town in relative safety, and to shelter up to 20 thousand people during bombardments.

“Underneath this town is a huge network of tunnels and a lot of them have New Zealand names so you can sort of trace New Zealand right from Bluff up to Russell,” Dr Dalley says.

The soldiers also did a bit of tagging, and on one wall you can find a large ‘Kia Ora’ flanked by ferns.


Twenty thousand people are expected at Hopuhopu over the weekend for the bi-annual Tainui Festival.

Forty marae have registered to compete for bragging rights in touch, waka ama, basketball, bowls, table tennis and other sports.

Hemi Rau, the chief executive of the Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust, says there's also a focus on business, with businesses and professional service organisations using the hui to reach out to marae committees.

“Sixtyfive exhibitors are coming to discuss with marae trustees and committees about the products and services they provide, which is something new for us. The previous year we only had about eight or 10, but we didn’t have a high focus. However with a new tribal development unit, that has been one of the key focuses over the past 12 months,” Mr Rau says.

Waikato-Tainui gets together regularly at its poukai and koroneihana hui to discuss political and tribal issues, so the festival is a chance to hang out with the whanau and have fun.


The Health Ministry is planning a social marketing campaing later this year to encourage Maori and Pacific Island mothers to breast feed their babies longer.

Steve Chadwick, the associate minister of health, says in this country only a quarter of mothers are still breastfeeding after six months.

She says that's how long the World Health Organisation recommends feeding should continue for maximum benefits.

“We are concerned at the number of women who seem to manage to feed very well for six weeks, and then peter out by six months, and so this whole campaign that we’ll be launching this year is about trying to increase the number of women who manage to successfully feed for six months,” Ms Chadwick says.

There are many reasons mothers stop breastfeeding, including negative social pressure, having to return to work for economic reasons, and having helpful whanau who offer to bottle feed so mum can rest,

Sorry the right thing to say

February 14
Tamaki Makaurau MP Pita Sharples says every Maori would support yesterday's apology to Australia's stolen generation.

He says the text of the apology read by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was excellent, and sincere emotion could be heard in his voice.

He says over the years Australian politicians have asked him what they should do for the Aboriginal, and his advice has always been to say sorry.

“Now it's happened it’s cleared the way and I look forward to some realistic projects bringing the Aborigines into today’s times and so in their education, their health and the other things that have lagged behind,” Dr Sharples says.


And National's leader also rejects the idea of a global apology to Maori.

John Key says apologies are an important part of individual treaty settlements, and will continue to be done in that context.

He says while there elements in common with Australian situation, the overall picture is different.

The whole situation for indigenous people in New Zealand is radically different than it is in Australia and I think in a sense we’ve come a ling way in the last 30 years and we’ve traveled a pretty interesting road and I think in that I feel things are very different over here but apologise are most likely to continue within the settlement process,” Mr Key says.

He says the momentum among Maori seems to be to llok forward, rather than to continue to dwell on the past.


The weather beaten dog tags of a Te Aupouri soldier are coming home.

Richard Keepa survived World War 1, but lost the tags during the battle of the Somme.

They were found in a field last year by a six year old schoolgirl, and they're being handed over to today to Mahara Okeroa, the associate minister for culture and heritage, in the French town of Albert.

Bronwyn Dalley, the ministry's chief historian, says Mr Keepa left Te Kao in 1914 and was one of the few Maori in the main contingent.

She says arrangements are being made to return the tags to his family.

“We traced Richard and his whanau back to Northland and one of Richard’s sons is still alive living in the UK, he’s in his 60s now, but it’s a lovely thing to be able to bring back something like this to the family, personal remains that were sitting against the guy’s skin, against his neck, and bringing these back to the family it's just wonderful,” Dr Dalley says.

Because of the find, a relationship has been formed between Albert school and Te Kao Primary.


The Minister of Maori Affairs wants Maori land trusts to do more for their people's housing needs.

Parekura Horomia says this week's housing package should free up more land for affordable housing.

The package includes a review of Crown land holdings in urban areas, a shared equity scheme for first home buyers, and a requirement for affordable housing to be included in large scale developments.

The package has come under fire for not addressing long standing barriers to Maori building on multiply-owned land.

Mr Horomia says the reality is most Maori now live in the cities, and will get their housing assistance through mainstream agencies.

But he says more could still be done in rural and provincial areas.

“In places like Wanganui, Hawkes Bay, East Coast there is land, but it’s also about some of our big incorporations thinking more laterally like the ones in Maniapoto who actually make the land available, back the deposit and get their people in and put their contribution out for 30 years or something like that,” Mr Horomia says.

He says Kiwisaver will help many Maori, because it offers the chance to save a deposit for a low cost first house.


John Key is shaking off jibes about his Waitangi Day hongi with Tame Iti.

Winston Peters brandished a newspaper photograph of the greeting in Parliament, and questioned how the National Party could take a strong stand on crime when its leader was publicly consorting with someone facing serious firearms charges.

Mr Key says he's met the Tuhoe activist several times, and he's not ashamed of the greeting.

“I only had two options. One was completely cut the guy dead and walk past him, or acknowledge him in a way I thought was appropriate. I did the latter, and I don’t intend to bow down to Winston or anyone else for that,” Mr Key says.


It's one of the most-visited wharenui in the country, and one of the most original.

It's Te Hono ki Hawaiki in Wellington's Te Papa, and it's celebrating its tenth birthday this week.

The house was the work of Cliff Whiting, the museum's first kaihautu, whose radical design continues to make waves.

He says his brief was to create a multi functional facility for a multi cultural audience, and he thinks its success over the past decade shows that brief was met.

“That was the whole concept behind it but then of course you have to also understand that a marae have protocols that iwi were used to. The big challenge of course when I took it on was to make a marae for all people of New Zealand so it is not only for iwi but for all people,” Whiting says.

His sculptures can also be seen at the National Library and National Archives, the High Court in Christchurch, and many marae including Te Rau Aroha at Bluff.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Whanau walk away from shoddy housing

The chair of Ngati Kahungunu is warning the government's affordable housing plans will fail if building standards aren't improved.

The Government has proposed a range of measures to boost the housing supply, including using Crown land and entering public-private partnerships with developers.

Ngahiwi Tomoana says his Hawke's Bay iwi has attempted to work with government agencies and the private sector for more than 20 years to house its people.

It's learned a lot about what doesn't work for Maori, and why.

He says an iwi survey some years ago of low cost housing in Flaxmere found 60 percent needed to be repaired within their first five years, and 10 percent reached a chronic state within that time.

“Now if you're struggling just to pay the mortgage and pay the increase in rates and suddenly you’ve got repair bills, people walk. They throw up their hands and rather give whatever equity they’ve got in the house away than flog a dead horse or a rotting horse,” Mr Tomoana says.

Maori are keen to work with government on housing, but the response has never been satisfactory.


Te Papa Tongarewa is celebrating its tenth birthday today.

Arapata Hakiwai, the national museum's acting kaihautu and director of Matauranga Maori, says it started with a vision of being a bi-cultural taonga for all people, and it's succeeded.

Highlights of the decade include repatriating moko mokai and other Maori remains from institutions around the world, the iwi exhibitions, Matariki celebrations and education programmes for kura.

He says other institutions could learn from Te Papa's bi-cultural management model of Te Papa's management was something other orgnisations could learn from.

“It's one of the only ones in New Zealand that I know we have a shared bicultural leadership structure, we have a chief executive and a kaihautu who share the strategic leadership, and many of our policies and practices go in line with that and I think it’s part of the difference,” Mr Hakiwai says.

He says Te Papa has succeeded in attracting a larger number of Maori to visit the museum.


There's another significant anniversary today.

On this day in 1915, 500 Maori soldiers left Wellington for Egypt aboard the SS Warimoo, the first formal contribution of Maori troops to a foreign war.

Monty Souter from the Tairawhiti museum, an authority on Maori military history, says British commanders had reservations about natives fighting alongside British soldiers.

But the need for reinforcements and developments in India prompted a change of heart.

“Indian troops were recruited for the British army and they were accepted so the New Zealand government couldn’t very well use that as a reason to keep Maori troops from serving as part of the New Zealand force that was going overseas,” Dr Souter says.

Most of the soldiers were from Te Arawa, Ngati Porou and North Auckland, because Maori leaders in Waikato and Taranaki opposed enlistment as a protest against land confiscation.


A tohunga of the Maori art world says Maori artists must continue to work on marae.

Cliff Whiting, whose work graces houses at Turangawaewae, Te Papa and many marae through the country, says marae are still the best places where the whole range of Maori art forms can be combined.

He's still working on marae at Kaikoura and in the Manawatu, and says Maori artists have an obligation to use their skills where they are needed most.

“That has real meaning because it really is the glue that holds everything together. If we lose all of thiose interconnected art forms and the way in which they interact with one another, then I think we would have lost the essence of what our culture is about,” Whiting says.


International scrutiny can make a difference in the battle for human rights.

That's the word from Andrea Carmen of the International Indian Treaty Council, who's been consulting Maori about the anti terrorism raid on Ruatoki last year.

The IITC represents tangata whenua in in the Americas and across the Pacific.

It has consultative status within the United Nations which gives it a voice in international human rights bodies.

Ms Carmen says the Maori representative on the council requested an investigation of the government's behaviour towards Tuhoe.

She says it’s crucial to monitor treaty breaches and violations of the rights of indigenous populations.

“Countries like to point the finger at everybody else. They don’t like their own violations to be pointed out. So it does create a pressure and an effect on them when they know that they are being charged with human rights violations and their actions are under scrutiny,” Ms Carmen says.

She says the New Zealand Government needs to recognise the UN's Declaration of Indigenous Rights.


Love is all around today, including in Maori lore.

Jock Phillips, the editor of New Zealand's online encyclopedia, Te Ara, says the site includes a large number of Maori love stories.

Tales about gods and ancestors like Papatuanuku and Ranginui or Mauao and Puwhenua help explain the origins of iwi, and leave their mark in landmarks around the country.

Dr Phillips says Pakeha don't tend to be as romantic.

“For Maori, there’s no question that love makes the world go round, that actually there is a whole series of famous love stories, but for Pakeha New Zealanders, it’s really hard to find those mythic love stories that are the beginnings of traditions or the things we fantasise about and remember,” Dr Phillips says.

Te Arawa's tale of Hinemoa's night swim to her lover Tutanekai on Mokoia Island is one of New Zealands greatest Valentine tales.

Housing plan deck of cards

The head of a Hawkes Bay iwi is skeptical the Government's new housing proposals will help it address its peoples' needs.

The Government plans to identify public land which can be used for housing development, and to create a new agency to boost the supply of affordable homes.

Ngahiwi Tomoana from Ngati Kahungunu says the plan doesn't address issues of income and existing debt levels which stand in the way of many Maori buying their first home.

He says the Hastings-based Heretaunga Taiwhenua is working with a private developer to build 138 houses near Flaxmere on land the iwi bought 20 years ago.

“None of the previous policies and activities and strategies of the ministry of Housing have been able to connect with our local situation. Maybe this one will. Maybe it won’t. But we are going to carry on anyway,” Mr Tomoana says.

He says if Crown land is available for houses, iwi should have first call.


Today's apology to the stolen generation by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd brought back memories for one New Zealand MP.

Not the Maori Party's Hone Harawira, who was in Canberra for the kupu muru hara, but the Greens' Sue Bradford.

She visited the Aboriginal tent embassy outside the Australian parliament in the early 1970s, when it had just been set up, to give the support of New Zealand's unemployed rights movement, and has followed the long struggle for justice.

“The Australians are so far behind us but reading the text of that apology it’s a fantastic first step that neew government over there is taking and good on them and great that Hone is there to tautoko as well,” Ms Bradford says.


The New Plymouth District Council has unveiled a new walk to raise awareness of significant Maori sites.

Spokesperson John Leslie says the Oakura walk takes in Te Koru Pa on Surrey Hill Road, which was internationally significant because of what can still be seen of its pre-European defences, stone-faced scarps and storage pits.

He says the council has waahi tapu on many of its parks and reserves, and the walks help the public acknowledge and respect these areas of significance.

“I think it's about showing people where these places started. A lot of our place names obviously have Maori names as well so we explain to people what the name means, a lot of the time it relates to the foliage within the plantings in the park, and we can relate that back to the settlement when the Maoris were there,” Mr Leslie says.

The council runs guided walks with the Department of Conservation and Puke Ariki museum.


A Green MP is questioning why the Government's new housing plans are silent on Maori land.

Kaitaia-based Sue Bradford says the government is aware of the obstacles Maori face from councils and banks when they try to build on multiply owned land.

It's something another Northland list MP, Labour's Dover Samuels, has raised often.

But she says Maori hoping for something in yesterday's housing affordability package would have been disappointed.

“This was an issue that the government has given particular attention to yesterday which I think was a good thing, and some of the new proposals they’re putting up are really good, but there are a lot of people and a lot of situations that have been left out and continue to be left out and I couldn’t see any references to housing on Maori land which have been brought so often to our attention and are so often ignored,” Ms Bradford says.


Wellington is awash with web developers this week for the annual Webstock geekfest.

Tahi Tait from Naumai dot com says it's a great place to get schooled up on emerging internet trends and standards.

His Rotorua-based firm has a mission of connecting at least 600 marae communities to the Internet, and it has already built pages and trained content managers for more than 100.

He says it's sent some of those content managers along to soak up what they can.

“I think it's really critical at this stage that we have more than just a presence. Maori are one of the highest users of the Internet and we’re an emerging population that really gets this new technology, so we are going to be the biggest users of all the new technology that comes out,” Mr Tait says.

He says the relative youth of the Maori population means the internet offers a way for hapu to reach out to their members.


It's wai ora time for many rural marae.

The Ministry of Health plans to spend more than $3 million this year upgrading drinking water at 19 marae and Maori communities this year.
Paul Prendergast, the ministry's the principal public health engineer, says protecting and treating water supplies can be a struggle for small communities.

The Drinking Water Assistance Programme advises communities on what they need to do, and can fund up to 90 percent of capital work.

The Drinking Water Assistance Programme has identified $11 million of projects to be done this year.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New model for social work needed

The architect of the highly successful Tu Tangata programme says a $446 million boost for non-government social services should be used to reshape the way assistance is put into communities.

As secretary for Maori Affairs in the early 1980s, Kara Puketapu harnessed the energy of Maori to come up with innovative programmes like maatua whangai and kohanga reo.

He's now leading a new initiative, Tamaiti Whangai, which coordinates multiple Maori, local and central government agencies to work with young people and their families in places like Wainuiomata, Wairoa and Whangarei.

He says it's a model that will work around the country.

“Let's all get together in one contract and highlight the priorities that we can address better with those families and so you haven’t got half a dozen or more pieces flying at the communities from different directions at the same time,” Mr Puketapu says.

He says the old way of bringing in outside social workers doesn't work, and Tamaiti Whangai has come up with a new model of advocates drawn from within communities.


Meanwhile, the Families Commission intends to spend $800,000 telling people parenting is the best job they will ever do.

Rajen Prasad, the Chief Commissioner, says parents want their mahi acknowledged ... and they want more information to help them parent properly.

He says it's a way of solving tomorrow's problems.

“If we got into a culture of people saying ‘it’s ok to ask for information about this’ and saying no stigma with this, saying ‘gosh my baby’s not feeding well but I can go somewhere, teenagers playing up, what do I do now, kids not going to school, what do I do now,’ and it’s that kind of stuff, and if we start began to do that in a preventative king for way for the next period we could break that cycle,” Dr Prasad says.

To get parenting messages across the Maori, the Families Commission hopes to use social marketing techniques which have led to a reduction in Maori smoking.


Maori nurses believe having their own school will leave to improvements in Maori health.

Hineroa Hakiaha from the National Council of Maori Nurses has asked the Nursing Council to back such a school, probably based in Whakatane or Auckland.

She says it's a 30-year dream for the kaunihera, driven by concerns at the way the mainstream system interacts with te ao Maori, the Maori world.

“We want to provide a kura for women who want to come back and become nurses or even for our own tamariki mokopuna who want to become nurses, that we have a kura where we’re allowed to use te ao Maori as part of our health,” Ms Hakiaha says.

She says Maori nursing involves much greater collaboration with iwi, hapu and the community at large.


The head of the Maori Council is warning the government's new affordable housing package could spark treaty claims.

In her opening speech to Parliament yesterday, Helen Clark said officials would review public land holdings to see what can be developed for affordable housing.

Sir Graham Latimer says 20 years after he led a case successfully challenging the transfer of Crown land to state owned enterprises, the government is still acting as if it had clear title to all its land.

He says the system of Section 27B memorials, allowing the Crown to buy back land to return to treaty claimants, hasn't brought the benefits Maori expected.

“Time probably has come where there should be a commission set up to look at the bits and pieces of land and everything. All those 27Bs still belong to the Maori. It’s a matter of whether we’re ever going to get around to transferring it or developing it, and I don’t think you’ve got a show in hell of being able to develop it,” Sir Graham says.

He says local authorities are the key to affordable housing, because they enforce the rules for land use and building.


Today's the day Australia's new prime minister will offer a formal apology for the policy of taking Aboriginal children from their families.

Watching Kevin Rudd make the kupu muru hara to the stolen generation will be Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, who was a harsh critic of the race relations policies of the John Howard government.

He says Aboriginal people believe an apology is a necessary part of improving indigenous health, education and living standards.

“Whenever I talk to them even they say an apology is something they really yearn for but even they know that there’s more to it than that in terms of what’s happened to their people, their land, their culture, their very status as citizens of Australia. They know that there’s more that needs to be done,” Mr Harawira says.

There's a push in Australia for a body like the Waitangi Tribunal to investigate historic grievances, but he's warning of some of the flaws in the New Zealand process.


The lawyer for Tuhoe activist Tame Iti has slammed some Maori media outlets for their coverage of the afternath of the Tuhoe terror raids.

Annette Sykes says some Maori journalists in mainstream newspapers and on Maori Television lacked the analysis and experience to deal with the complex legal matters raised, including rules of name suppression.

She says Maori Television had adopted the same approach to coverage of Mr Iti as its mainstream rivals.

“We see his buttocks on the television all the time. We see him spitting all the time. But we very rarely see the Tame that most of us know, which is the father and grandfather and lover. There’s no balance, and kaupapa Maori surely requires that those deep philosophical principles of whanau, hapu iwi surely to be the guiding principles,” Ms Sykes says.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Divison on foreshore deal

What's good for Ngati Porou is not necessarily good for Maori, according to a Green MP.

Metiria Turei. the party's spokesperson on Maori Affairs, says the agreement in principle recognising the mana of Ngati Porou over its foreshore and seabed is fabulous for the East Coast iwi.

But she says it came at the cost of dividing Maori opposition to an unjust policy.

“At the time of the foreshore and seabed (battle) we needed everybody to fight for the right thing, that every hapu has customary rights, that every one of them are entitled to have those recognized in law, not by the government deciding you’re good enough to get them, and we should have been able to fight for that stronger, and if we had people like Ngati Porou leadership on board who had heaps of influence, we might have been able to get a bit further,” Ms Turei says.

She says the message coming from the Government is that it will make deals with iwi leaders who support it.


The National Council of Maori Nurses is planning a Maori nursing college.

Hineroa Hakiaha, a member of the executive, says it just needs the green light from the Nursing Council of New Zealand.

It's considering sites in Whakatane and Auckland, using polytechnics and high schools for lab support.

Ms Hakiaha says it's a 30-year dream of the kaunihera to blend mainstream nursing practice with the strengths of the Maori world.

“When we set out to do it, te ao Maori would flow though all our curriculum. What is it that we are going to give that would sustain this person both in the world of tauiwi and the Maori world. It’s about having the hapu and iwi and the whanau part of the well being for our whanau and that’s going to look really different compared with how nursing is today,” Ms Hakiaha says.

She says a corps of nurses trained in a kaupapa Maori environment could change the face of Maori health.


Patea's deputy mayor says businesses need to be held accountable for their rubbish.

A hui was held in the South Taranaki town yesterday to hear about progress cleaning up after the fire which razed the derelict freezing works on Waitangi Day.

Debbie Packer says the building should have been demolished when it closed down in the 1980s, leaving its mainly Maori workforce on the dole.

She says there are empty buildings throughout south Taranaki towns that need to be dealt with before another tragedy occurs.

“Don't just stop at the Patea freezing works. Look at our other communities. They’ve had real headaches from these big entities set up in their town and then buggered off and left them to clean the messes up. When we invite these people into our community, when they leave they should clean up, like good manuhiri should,” Ms Packer says.

The townsfolk are skeptical at test results showing dirt and air samples from the area were asbestos-free.


The head of one of the country's largest Maori social service providers says today's government stimulus package is long overdue recognition of the non-government sector.

The government is promising an extra $446 million over four years for NGOs running parenting and family violence programmes, youth programmes, women's refuges and victim support.

John Tamihere from West Auckland's Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust says NGOs deliver better results for less money than state agencies, but have faced competition for resources and staff.

“The state has funded itself extraordinarily well in building itself back up again and in doing that has placed pressure on our wage rates, our salary rates and our conditions of employment and we haven’t received an increase in contract value to meet the expectation of our staff, so in consequence they've been poached,” Mr Tamihere says.

He's not sure $100 million a year across 4000 NGOs will be enough... but he's welcoming the money.


The Prime Minister says attacks on the first negotiated settlement of a foreshore and seabed rights claim are sour grapes.

The Maori Party and the Greens have attacked last week's agreement in principle to recognise Ngati Porou's mana over the coast adjoining its East Coast landholdings.

Green MP Metiria Turei says while the deal may be good for Ngati Prou, it undercuts the attempts of other iwi to have their customary rights recognised.

Helen Clark says they're upset because the Foreshore and Seabed Act isn't the grave injustice they've made it out to be.

“The reality is that from the beginning Ngati Porou saw the potential of the foreshore and seabed legislation to give them formal recognition of what they believe their interests and rights in the foreshore and seabed area were and they have worked very very hard with the Crown over three and a quarter years of negotiation, and look at the result,” Ms Clark says.

Another two iwi are in talks about their takutai moana and anther dozen are waiting in line.


A rahui has been declared over part of Whangarei harbour because of the discovery of a skeleton.

The remains were found by a kayaker near the Otaika River 10 days ago.

They're believed to be those of Myke Howard, who was last seen drinking with a group of people at the Whangarei Town Basin five years ago.

Fred Tito from Te Parawhau says the hapu is asking people not to gather seafood from the upper harbour until February 23.

He says even though the skeleton may have been in the harbour a long time, the rahui is a sign of respect.

“Because he's still a human and respecting and acknowledging that family and it could have been anyone’s mokopuna. Respect and condolences to that family,” Mr Tito says.

He says locals usually respect rahui.

Porou shore deal disgraceful

A Green MP has slammed Ngati Porou's foreshore and seabed deal as disgraceful.

Metiria Turei says the Government will have a fight on its hands if it tries to get enabling legislation through before the election.

She says the East Coast tribe has done the right thing for its own people, but it's not good for other iwi.

The government played favourites, using the negotiation process to divide Maori on the issue.

“Ngati Porou were constrained in their opposition to the foreshore and seabed legislation, they’re the first cab off the rank. Their agreement is very good for them but it does not mean that any other agreements will be as good for other iwi because the rules are so tight and they rely on government largesse for getting a good deal,” Ms Turei says.

She says the government should recongise the customary rights of every hapu to the foreshore and seabed.


Te Ohu Kaimoana is looking for graduates who want to spend a year in Japan working for one of the world's largest fishing companies.

The Global Fisheries Programme is offered by Nippon Suisan Kaisha, which owns a 50 percent stake in Sealord Group.

Peter Douglas, the Maori fisheries settlement trust's chief executive, says the scholarship is an extraordinary opportunity for young Maori to kick start a career in the fishing industry.

“You get a perspective on fishing from their point of view which gives an insight into the scale of the industry, the significance it plays, the exact approach they take to hygiene, processing, the development of pharmaceuticals from fish and fish products and oils and things like that and a range of connections,” Mr Douglas says.

Students who have done the Global Fisheries Programme are keenly sought in the New Zealand industry because of the international perspectives they can offer.


There's life after the Warriors for a league legend.

That's the reaction of another legend, Stacey Jones, to news 2008 will be Ruben Wiki's last with the Auckland-based club.

By the end of the season the 34-year-old prop, who has Maori and Samoan whakapapa, will have played more than 300 NRL games.

The little general says his former teammate will have no trouble getting work if he wants to finish up his career playing in the lucrative European Super League.

“Ruben's got a huge amount of respect over there as a person and as a player. You don’t hear anyone say one bad thing about Reuben over on that side of the world and I’d say there would be a lot of clubs out to get him,” Mr Jones says.


A leading treaty lawyer says the Government's failure to create a consistent approach to treaty settlements is undermining the whole process.

Grant Powell says in its eight years in power Labour has squandered the goodwill built up by the Tainui and Ngai Tahu settlements.

He says successive ministers have given the portfolio a low priority, and there are problems at every step, including mandating, the way negotiations are conducted, the type of redress available to claimants, and the type of governance entities claimants can have post-settlement.

Mr Powell says the Government needs to admit it has a problem.

“The old way of doing things is no longer working, and instead what’s happening is the rules as they’re being applied are becoming increasingly inconsistent, which is directly affecting the ability of claimants to get into negotiations, to successfully conclude negotiations and to start moving on into the future,” Mr Powell says.

It would be a mistake to try to push more settlements through under the current inconsistent rules, because they are unlikely to be sustainable.


The founder of the Maori Internet Society says Maori need to careful about what they put online.

A Justice Ministry study has found Maori, women and young people are most at risk from electronic crime, including identity theft and email harassment.

Ross Himona says young Maori are embracing social networking sites like Bebo and Facebook, but exposure carries risks.

“Young people in particular like to be highly visible and like to have a high profile and if that’s the case then there are consequences,” Mr Hi\mona says.

He says people should avoid publishing their email address or phone number.


The Kiwi League team have a new man at the helm.

The NZRFL have just appointed Steve Kearney, who's Te Atiawa ki Whakarongotai, to the top job.

The second-rower played 45 tests for the Kiwis, including a stint as captain. He won a premiership with the Melbourne Storm in 2007, where he is now the assistant coach.

The rookie national coach will be supported in the role by Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett. He succeeds Gary Kemble, who was to have guided the Kiwis through to the World Cup but resigned last month after a player revolt, having been just five months in the job.

The Kiwis next game is the centenary test against Australia on May the ninth in Sydney.

Gang picnic could ease street woes

The head of the police Maori strategy hopes last week's gang day out at Waitangi will reduce tension on south Auckland's streets.

MP Shane Jones has criticised Waitangi organisers for allowing gangs to set up a base beside Te Tii Marae and embark on what he called recruiting.

But Wally Haumaha says the decision to take young gang affiliates to Waitangi was made by older gang members who are concerned about increased violence and killing in the city.

He says the fact gang leaders were talking could have benefits.

“If they sit down on at Waitangi and call a truce on the day the treaty was signed, I guess in their own way they were saying let’s sign a truce between ourselves so that when they go back to south Auckland these are the rules, we stay out of each other’s way, we reduce the harm on the streets and the violence on the streets if we can keep the truce and peace together with those sorts of agreements between us,” Mr Haumaha says.

Police iwi liaison officers don't condone gang recruiting and would have stepped in if they had seen it occurring.


Maori, women and young people are most at risk from electronic crime.

A Justice Ministry study has found those at the lower end of the socio-economic scale are more often victims of email and mobile phone harassment or identity theft.

Ross Himona, who founded the Maori Internet Society, says e-crime is nothing new.

He says Maori can take some simple precautions, like being careful who they give their phone numbers and email address to.

“Young people especially tend to broadcast their addresses and phone numbers to all and sundry and of course once those contacts are out there, people will use them. So if people are having problems at the moment, they should change their address and change their phone number. It’s as simple as that,” Mr Himona says.

To keep safe from viruses, worms and spyware, people should use proper filters and firewalls and not open attachments unless they are from a trustworthy source.


Chef turned comedian Mike King is toning down his act.

Since his stroke last year, the Ngapuhi entertainer has reassessed his priorities, including what he says on stage.

He likes the way his stand up routine is being received.

“The angry swearing comedian is fading slowly into the background and whilst the comedy’s still there it’s a little more positive and I’m having a lot of fun up there and it’s really surprised me how people have taken to it, even though I’m not up there swearing my head off like I used to,” Mr King says.


She's leaving a clear field of battle.

That's the reason Metiria Turei is giving for putting her name forward for Dunedin North this election, rather than standing again in Te Tai Tonga.

The Green MP says her votes last time weren't enough to make the difference.

“Even if everybody who voted for me had voted for the Maori Party, they still wouldn’t have got the seat. It will be closer this time, and I’m not going to be in the middle of that fight. I’m the candidate for Dunedin North. That’s a gift for both Labour and the Maori Party, it gives them a clear fight in that seat, which is highly contested, so I hope they both appreciate it and I’m sure they do,” Ms Turei says.

She says the Greens have worked closely with the Maori Party, and the party has been a staunch advocate in Parliament of Maori issues.


The lawyer for hapu opposing a wind farm overlooking the Napier Taupo road expects strong public support for their stand.

The Environment Minister, Trevor Mallard, has sent Unison Networks' proposal for a 34-turbine wind farm near the Te Waka Range directly to the Environment Court, bypassing the Hastings Regional Council.

Jolene Patuawa, who acts for Ngati Hinerua and the Maungaharuru-Tangitu Society, says the hapu have already defeated a 37-turbine plan because they were able to prove the landscape was sacred.

“The bar's pretty for proving that a site is sacred and that it has the appropriate values. We’ve reached that bar in this case according to the Environment court, according to the High Court, so that I like to think if people want to take an informed approach, they’ll read those decisions and realise it’s not a decision that is taken lightly and they will have respect for that,” Ms Patuawa says.

People have four weeks to make submissions.


Maori are being asked for their views on genetic modification.

AgResearch today held the first of 11 hui on its plans to expand the development of new products from milk.

Jimmy Suttie, the general manager for applied biotechnology, says it already has transgenic cattle at Ruakura near Hamilton, and a good relationship with local hapu Ngati Wairere.

It's an opportunity for Maori to hear AgResearch's plans and what the benefits may be to for human health and nutrition.

“But also to be looking for the Maori values and to find out whether the technologies we’re discussing would be compatible with Maori values, and if they’re not, to actually look at the balance between the two and then come to a position,” Mr Suttie says.

Whangarei and New Plymouth will host hui tomorrow.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tainui invests in old age

Tainui Group Holdings has taken its first step into direct investment in shares, with Ngai Tahu Group showing the way.

The two iwi companies jointly spent $49.5 million for six percent of listed rest home operator Ryman Healthcare.

They're the same shares Ngai Tahu sold a year ago to Australian investment bank Babcock and Brown for $63 million.

Mike Pohio, TGH's chief executive, says Tainui has invested in mutual funds holding shares on the New Zealand, Australian and Asian markets, but this is the first time it has directly invested in a listed company.

He says Ryman has showed strong performance, and it has a valuable land bank for future developments.

“Population's getting older and the number of those that are heading towards retirement is also continuing to grow so I guess there’s some underlying demographics about Ryman’s business that are encouraging and positive,” Mr Pohio says.

Tainui holds a 4.5 percent stake in Ryman, while Ngai Tahu has increased its holding to 8 percent.


The Federation of Maori Authorities is using its extensive networks to find help for Maori farmers in drought hit areas.

Executive member Roger Pikia says it's in times of trouble that the values of whanaungatanga and manaakitanga come into their own.

He says FOMA is co-ordinating communications among members so resources get where they are needed.

“Feed shortage is the biggest issue at the moment, particularly in the Waikato. It’s a matter of identifying those of our members that may have surplus feed available for sale that some of our farmers within the Waikato region could potentially access,” Mr Pikia says.

FOMA activities like the competition for the Ahuwhenua Trophy have strengthened links between Maori farmers.


An emphasis on storytelling is being credited with Maori have the earliest childhood memories of any culture studied.

Elaine Reese from Otago University's Department of Psychology says young Maori adults on average can remember back to when they were two and a half years, whereas non-Maori usually don't remember anything that happened before they were 3 and a half.

Her research was aimed at finding out the reasons for this.

She says Maori culture emphasises memory and storytelling, and the way Maori mothers talk with their children helps to shape memories.

“Compared to the Pakeha mothers and children, the Maori mums were talking in a richer way, especially about the child’s birth story, in comparison to how they were talking about more mundane events in the children’s lives and they were especially using more talk about emotions and talking about time more often in their stories,” Professor Reese says.

Early memories may help adolescents form a stronger sense of identity.


The man who cut down trees on a farm which is to be returned to treaty claimants says charges against him were a sick joke.

Wilfred Peterson Junior is one of 11 people set to appear in Kaitaia District Court next month on charges of trespassing on Stony Creek station near Kaeo.

The land is being held by the Office of Treaty Settlements for a trust representing the six hapu of Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa.

Mr Peterson says the $30 million farm should go only to those whanau of Ngati Aukiwa hapu whose ancestors actually lived there.

The logging was just the latest in a long running protest by whanau against the settlement.

“The trees we just wanted to make a statement that we are still here. We wanted to see what they would charge us with, and basically the claim was of theft. Which is pretty fresh coming form the Crown, given that they have admitted that the land was illegally taken from Ngati Aukiwa. It’s like the kettle calling the pot black. They’re telling us they’re charging us with taking trees off the land that they’ve admitted taking off us all those years ago,” Mr Peterson says.

He says Conservation land next to Stony Creek should also come back to Ngati Aukiwa.


A philanthropic trust wants more Maori to apply for its putea.

A review of the JR McKenzie Trust revealed a lack of engagement with Maori, so it's set up a new programme, Te Kawai Toru, to support projects run by Maori organisations.

PJ Devonshire, its kaitohutohu and grants advisor, says there are advantages in dealing with private organisations like the trust, Rotary and Lions.

“It's private money from a philanthropic area so we do have a little leeway in areas than maybe government funding with all the headaches that go with that sort of grants. We have a bit more leeway to do a few more things,” Devonshire says.

The average regional grant from the McKenzie Trust is about $3000, with national projects averaging four times that.


Maori men have struggled to deal with two cultures.

That's what an Otago University professor argues in his new book The Ship of Dreams: Masculinity in contemporary Pakeha and Maori fiction.

Alistair Fox looked at how Maori and Pakeha writers, including Witi Ihimaera and Alan Duff, portrayed the male psyche.

He says early Pakeha settlers brought with them a puritan ethic, working hard but often being emotionally detached from their sons.

Maori had their own inter-generational conflicts as they struggled to meet the expectations of their elders, as well as move in two cultures.

“One of the problems for young Maori men, as both Witi Ihimaera and Alan Duff present it, is that their dream are different from both their parents and grandparents. They want to be allowed to pursue those dreams and really make a brave new world, and sometimes they feel they don’t have scope to do that,” Professor Fox says.