Waatea News Update

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Treelord deal short changing iwi

The Maori Party says central North Island iwi are short-changing themselves in their pursuit of a quick treaty settlement.

The Central North Island Iwi Collective, which includes Tuwharetoa, Tuhoe, Ngati Whare, Ngati Rangitihi and Ngati Whakaue, yesterday signed terms of agreement to develop a commercial settlement for their historic claims, using Kaingaroa Forest assets.

Pita Sharples, the Maori Party co-leader, says the government is playing Maori off against each other.

He says iwi with overlapping claims are being shut out.

“That's what colonisation is and it’s really sad that we haven’t woken up yet and stood firm, and partly it’s because each tribe is trying to get the best deal for themselves without seeing that if we all stood firm together, we would get the total package,” Dr Sharples says.

He says the government is still trying to pick winners rather than see that justice is done.


Expect to hear more from the Maori Doctors Association, Te Ora.

It's taken on Ripeka Evans as its new chief executive to lead its strategic direction and growth.

Since her induction into the radical ranks at Bastion Point 30 years ago, Ms Evans has worked in broadcasting at Television New Zealand and Te mangai Paho, in academia, and most recently with the Eastern Bay Economic Development Agency in Whakatane.

She says her brief is to take Te Ora to a new level of activity.

“The organisation clearly wants to move into a more businesslike mode of engaging vigorously in the business of power and influence in Wellington, so that’s primarily my job,” Ms Evans says.

The new job means she has dropped her bid to becomes the Labour Party candidate for Waiariki.


It was the end of an era and a sad day for Panguru.

A poroporoaki was held at Ngati Manawa Marae today for the sisters of St Josephs, who are leaving after more than 90 years in the small Hokianga community.

Kaumatua Joe Topia says the Panguru Convent used to be home to 12 nuns, but falling numbers in the order means as they retire they have been replaced by lay teachers.

Sister Louise, who has been in the community almost her whole working life, is retiring to Hamilton, and the younger sister Christina is taking up another position with the order in Australia.

Mr Topia says the Holy Joes will be missed.

“We will no longer see the sisters at these occasions or any other occasions because they’ve been part of the community for so long that I think they’re just expected to be there and we’re saying it’s quite significant and it’s going to be a big gap in our community,” Mr Topia says.

He says the nuns have been leaders in the north Hokianga community.


Maori immersion schools will only be reviewed by staff who understand of te reo Maori me ona tikanga.

The change is contained in a new Education Review Office framework for kura kaupapa launched at Hoani Waititi Marae in West Auckland today.

Makere Smith, the office's national manager of Maori reporting services, says it was developed with Te Runanganui o Nga Kura Kaupapa Maori, the national body representing the 60 schools around the country.

“One of the things that the runanga has been really strong on is that people who review in kura kaupapa Maori have some ability in te reo Maori and I think that is something that we have respected and will always respect so that people from ERO who go into the reviews of kura kaupapa will have that understanding,” Ms Smith says.

The ERO has about 10 reviewers who can work in kura kaupapa.


Mana whenua will have a greater say in the Auckland's western rim thanks to a local bill passed this week.

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Bill involved extensive discussions with the Maori Party and the Greens.

She says amendments put up by Tamaki Makaurau MP Pita Sharples recognised a role for the area's tribes.

“It stipulates very clearly that Ngati Whatua and Te Kawerau a Maki hold mana whenua in the are and they’re the people to talk to when you’re talking about the future protection preservation and management of the heritage area, so it’s new, it’s different, it does provide for mana whenua to be consulted and engaged in decision making in the area,” Ms Mahuta says.

The Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area includes more than 27,000 hectares of public and private land, taking in part of the Manukau harbour shoreline, a regional park, water catchment dams, west coast beaches and native bush and wildlife.


Fans of Tainui's distinctive kapa haka style will have a feast ahead of them this weekend.

The Tainui Waka Kapa Haka festival is being held at Mystery Creek near Hamilton.

Kahurangi Muru, the festival secretary, says there are teams from the four rohe that affiliate to the waka, Waikato, Maniapoto, Hauraki and Raukawa.
There will be many familiar names and some new teams, including a second roopu from Te Pou O Mangatawhiri.

“Of course all teams are only allowed 40 performers, so when you have got a family of about 200 all coming to practice, they decided to take up that opportunity to put in a second group as well, so they’re there to support the kaupapa and the team standing on the day,” Muru says.

One of the highlights is likely to be Sunday's performance by a Taikura Roopu of over-50s showing the young ones how it's done.

Huge forest deal catches flak

Hapu with direct claims on parts of the Kaingaroa Forest say there is no legal basis to a proposed deal to use forest assets to settle some central North Island claims.

The Treaty Negotiations Minister yesterday signed terms of agreement with Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Whakaue, Ngai Tuhoe, Ngati Rangitihi and Ngati Whare to develop proposals on how the forest can be carved up to settle their historical claims.

Michael Cullen said membership of the group, known as the Central North Island iwi Collective, could be expanded in future.

Maanu Paul from the Ngai Moewhare hapu of Ngati Manawa says the deal ignores another group, the Kaingaroa Claims Cluster, which has challenged whether the Crown even has title to the forest lands.

“It has no legal standing and it doesn’t commit one to the other. All it does is commit both parties to trust each other to work together and we’re not about to allow our lands to be used to settle the government debts to other iwi,” Mr Paul says.

He says the Central North Island Iwi Collective is panicking because Dr Cullen has made it clear he wants a settlement locked in by March 31.


The long hot days of summer are proving a boon for a Maori wine company.

Marlborough-based Tohu Wines is predicting a harvest of 1200 tonnes of grapes, enough to make 100,000 cases of sauvignon blanc.

Tohu's chief executive, James Wheeler, says that should help keep the market satisfied.

“We had a bad experience a year ago when we lost quite a bit of fruit to frost so we put a big frost protection plan in on all our vineyards over this last 12 months and we haven’t lost anything from frosts this time around,” Mr Wheeler says.

Tohu Wines' main market is the United States, where New Zealand has hardly scratched the surface for sauvignon blanc sales.


Doing up an old wharekai will be a glimpse into the past for rangatahi.

That's the sales pitch Chris Atama is making as he rounds up workers to join a Marae DIY working bee at Te Patunga marae in Kaeo.

He says the marae opened a new dining hall last year, but it's hanging onto the old wharekai, Ki Koopu, because of the memories it holds.

“The old one has still got the mud floor and they haven’t pulled that down. They’ve left that so the next generation can see what it was like. They’ve got the corrugated iron and the old posts to hold it together, still the old puriri logs that they cut down with axes and that sort of thing,” Mr Atama says.

Anyone with connections to the marae should turn up with paint brushes, saws and hammers on March 6 to 9.


The Maori film and television industry is expected at Whangaehu Marae near Wanganui tomorrow to pay tribute to one of the industry's pioneers.

Filmmaker Barry Barclay has been brought home by Ngati Apa and is lying in state at the marae.

The director of the landmark Tangata Whenua documentaties, Ngati and Feathers of Peace died at his home in the Hokianga on Monday at the age of 63.

Actor Rawiri Paratene, who accompanied the tupapaku from the north, says Barclay was one of the leaders of a generation of pioneers in Maori film.

“His constant battle cry was we have a right to tell our own stories and our own stories need to be told by us and other battle cries but they were all around the same theme and he paved the way for people like us who came along on the next wave as it were,” Mr Paratene says.

The funeral for Barry Barclay will be held at 11 tomorrow, before his burial at Wheriko near Bulls.


The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation says there's a hidden respiratory disease crisis among Maori.

Its executive director, Jane Patterson, says Maori are more than twice as likely than non-Maori to die from ailments like asthma, bronchitis and emphysemia, even though there is a similar prevalence to Pakeha.

She says a range of factors may be contributing to the problem.

“They're not getting appropriate care at primary care level for whatever reason, their housing situation isn’t ideal for their health either, and in some areas DHBs are actually paying to put insulation in housing and that’s something that needs to happen in a coordinated way and much more widely,” Ms Patterson says.

The foundation wants to see national reporting of Maori respiratory disease, so it is treated more seriously by District Health Boards and the Health Ministry.


It wowed the world... and now it's headed home.

Rachael Rakena and Brett Graham’s installation Aniwaniwa will open at Wellington's City Gallery tomorrow.

The work uses the flooding of Ngati Koroki Kahukura's papakainga by Lake Karapiro to address issues of culture loss and global warming.

Graham says when it was shown at last year's Venice Biennale, Aniwaniwa took on a different meaning.

“Venice is in danger of sinking and when we actually went back in October to take the work down, everyone was walking around in gumboots ankle deep, wherever you walked, because the tides were rising so they could relate to the idea of losing culture and losing some of their history under the water like that,” Graham says.

The multimedia work, which consists of screens in carved waka huia suspended from the ceiling, also includes contributions from singers Whirimako Black and Deborah Wai Kapohe and musician Paddy Free

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Agreement signed to push forest settlement

The Government is pushing ahead with plans to use Kaingaroa Forests land to settle the historic claims of some central North Island tribes.

The move is opposed by iwi and hapu with claims to the actual forest land, and watched with suspicion by Te Pumautanga o te Arawa, whose settlement involving part of the forest is stalled.

But at Parliament today, the Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Michael Cullen, signed terms of agreement with the Central North Island iwi Collective to develop proposals for the allocation of Crown-owned forest lands.

Parekura Horomia, the Minister of Maori Affairs, says the pressure is coming from Maori to get settlements completed.

“You know our people have got pretty experienced. They have seen a lot of our older people pass on. A lot of them have been doing it for a long time. There’s a bit of weariness. But through sharp wariness, they know the thing to do is get it sorted and in a lot of situations the tension isn’t on the Crown side, it is amongst ourselves as Maori,” Mr Horomia says.

He says central North Island claimants want to settle so they can get on other commercial opportunities.

The government also signed provisional agreements today with Te Arawa hapu Ngati Makino and Waitaha, and with Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa.


New Zealand First law and order tough guy Ron Mark isn't upset criminals may have profited from the return of the stolen military medals.

He says getting back the haul stolen from Waiouru is worth whatever it costs.

A reward of $300,000 was paid to recover the 92 medals, and police are still seeking the thieves.

The former career soldier says it’s galling money was paid, but the alternative was unthinkable.

“What we would have mourned for decades hereafter is if we had found that the thieves were New Zealanders, that they were in country, that the medals had not left the country, and they just became so fearful of being caught with them that they destroyed them. That would have just been so unbelievably sad for us as a nation,” Mr Mark says.


Maori members of the Salvation Army have been given a taonga from the movement's earliest days in Aotearoa.

At the army's national hui, descendants of Ernest Holdaway returned a korowai, piupiu and poi gifted during to the missionary during his work among Maori more than a century ago.

Garry Melsop, the army's archivist, says they are a reminder of the contribution Major Holdaway made, especially on the Whanganui River.

“They're actually something tangible from that era, of which we have very little. It’s absolutely fabulous that we can have these items in our collection. It just helps to sort of tell the story of what has happened in our past,” Major Mellsop says.

The hui also launched a Te Ope Whakaora: The Army that Brings Life, a collection of documents about Ernest Holdaway's work and the history of Maori within the Sallys.


The Maori Language commissioner wants 2008, the United Nations International Year of Languages, to be the year te reo Maori is assured of its future.

Erima Henare says too many people take their language for granted.
But more then half the world's languages are likely to be extinct within a few generations.

“As many languages die each year as species that disappear off the face of the earth. Now we jump up and down about the animals disappearing but no one seems to be concerned about peoples’ language loss, so anything that raises awareness around language loss, around language retention and language revitalization has to be a good thing,” Mr Henare says.

At Te Papa today, the Race Relations Commissioner, Joris de Bres, said the year should be used to develop a national languages strategy, building on the good progress made in recent years to make languages a core area in the New Zealand curriculum.


The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation wants better reporting of respiratory problems among Maori.

Jane Patterson, the foundation's executive director, says Maori are suffering a health crisis in the area.

Maori are as likely as non-Maori to get a respiratory disease like asthma and bronchitis, but they're two and a half times more likely to die from it.

She says care for Maori is fragmented, and the statistics seem to be ignored.

“You've got 21 DHBs and I’m not knocking anybody but nobody’s coordinating it, nobody’s saying this is a real issue and we’ve got to put some resources into it to make sure we really get some improvement and it’s not a health priority and so DHBs aren’t required to report on it and our view is if you have to report on something, you pay much more attention to it,” Ms Patterson says.

Maori are missing out on primary health care, and too many are living in damp and draughty housing.


New migrants in Whangarei are being offered a chance to immerse themselves in Maori culture.

The District Council's settlement support unit is organising weekend stays for migrants at Matapouri marae.

Co-ordinator Ellen Altshuler says many migrants arrive with a negative view of Maori because of what they learn from the media.

Collecting kaimoana, weaving, preparing hangi and spending time with local iwi can help change those perceptions.

She says migrants often say it's hard to meet Maori and learn about their culture.

“I think a lot of people come to New Zealand knowing a little bit about Maori and a little bit about the treaty and being very interested and curious, and finding it hard, when they get here, to connect with Maori people and to learn what they want to learn," Ms Altshuler says.

The hui will also give the 30 registered migrants a chance to learn how their presence affects Maori.

Stony creek reoccupied

Protesters occupying empty buildings on Stony Creek station in the far north are preparing for a visit from the police.

In the latest an the ongoing saga, some members of Ngati Aukiwa hapu and their supporters reoccupied the buildings on the weekend while the rest of Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa was at a hui discussing progress on their settlement.

Protest leader Wilfred Peterson says the rest of the iwi has no rights to the land, which is all that is left in Crown hands.

He says the occupiers don't fear police action.

“There's just a manager on the block and there’s no workers on it, and while the homes are getting left vacant, Ngati Aukiwa is taking over, and that’s what the problem about with the police now. We’ve got korero from reliable sources that the police will be here to arrest anybody that’s in the house,” Mr Peterson says.

He says his tupuna allocated land for all the hapu in Ngati Kahu, and those who have sold theirs are now after Ngati Aukiwa's.


The Council of Trade Unions is picking Maori and workers' rights as issues for this year's election.

The organisation has been in Rotorua looking at its political strategy and the future of the labour movement.

Sharon Clair, the CTU's Maori vice president, says the cornerstones of the strategy are protecting and enhancing workers' rights, stronger public services, and higher wages.

The role of Maori in the workplace is also important.

“We are the ones who are at the bottom of the rung, particularly Maori women, when it comes to income, and skill and qualification, and this is all of course a continuation of colonialism and the impact of that upon us in our development,” Ms Clair says.

The CTU wants to see more skill development and employer investment into the Maori workforce.


A Bay of Plenty timber town has received the dubious distinction as the gambling capital of New Zealand.

John Stansfield from the Problem Gambling Foundation says it's a result of poker machine operators targeting brown towns.

That will be an item for discussion at an international conference on problem gambling in Auckland today.

Mr Stansfield says gambling is a huge burden on Maori communities.

“The place where it’s worst to be a gambler in the whole country, and this is to say where families are losing, each individual man, woman and child, losing $480 a year on pokie machines, and that is in Kawerau. It’s a long time since Kawerau was a rich town. This is a poor, brown town,” Mr Stansfield says.

The place that gambles the least is the Christchurch suburb of Selwyn


The Maori Party hopes the new Policing Bill will improve liaison between police and Maori.

Co-leader Pita Sharples says the police have a lot of ground to cover to restore Maori confidence.

He says his party will back the bill, which aims to strengthen Police governance, accountability and organisation.

But it wants to see a lot more consultation, which has been lacking in significant initiatives like the taser trials.

“No consultation with Maori and yet 56 percent of those who have been tasered and Maori or Pacific Island so one would have thought there are implications for Maori with the use of that particular weapon, but no, there was no consultation,” Dr Sharples says.

He says this week's further arreats in relation to relation to a so called terrorist camp in the Ureweras show police have learned little since last October's Ruatoki raids.

Epidemiology Hui
Wellington medical students will spend part of the summer learning how kaupapa Maori might help track patterns of disease.

Rhys Jones from Ngati Kahungunu says the Maori have been the missing factor in epidemiology, the study of health in populations.

He says Maori can benefit from the changed approach.

“We know that if we go on doing things we’ve always done in a status quo sort of way where Maori tend to be marginalized, you end up benefiting non-Maori more than you do Maori and so actually increasing inequalities, which is not what we are about, so we basically need special efforts and special resources directed to Maori io address some of these issues,” Dr Jones says.

The Wellington School of Medicine will hold workshops on how students can incorporate Maori into their research and practice.


A community trust wants to target more of its resources towards Maori and Pasifika underachievement in education.

The ASB Community Trust is holding hui in Auckland and Northland next month to explain the strategy.

Chief executive Jennifer Gill says it will offer up to five years' funding for innovative projects that challenge the status quo.

She says that the Trust doesn't have all the answers but the community does.

“We believe that there are many people in the community, either in institutions or in iwi or in community groups or in kohanga, who actually have ideas about how we might address the issue, which is an issue of national importance,” Ms Gill says.

Projects could range from anti-truancy programmes to work in preschools or universities.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Multiple land not right for housing need

The Minister for Building and Construction is pouring cold water on the idea multiply-owned land is the answer to Maori housing needs.

Shane Jones is working on a new consent process which will allow councils to automatically approve some basic house designs, as long as there are no engineering problems with the site.

He says while high land prices make the idea of building on whanau or hapu land attractive to many Maori, it has not proved practical in most areas.

“Building on multiply-owned land is a really good contribution. The difficulty is a lot of our remaining blocks of multiply owned land are not really proximate to where the population pressures are,” Mr Jones says.

Taurangamoana may be the only urban area still with reasonable amounts of Maori land suitable for papakainga housing.


An urgent hui is will be held in Northland tomorrow to push for a greater Maori say in whale strandings.

Tui Shortland from the Ngati Wai Trust Board says changes to the Marine Mammal Protection Act will affect the role Maori have in strandings as well as the way taonga can be taken from whales.

The hui at Roma Marae in Ahipara is the first time the Department of Conservation, has consulted with Taitokerau Maori on the issue.

She says the proposed changes don't go far enough.

“The current Marine Mammal’s Protection Act doesn’t recognise Maori and in the past we’ve seen science prioritized above customary resource recovery and those things concern us and we see them still happening in other areas,” Ms Shortland says.

She says the Act needs to reflect the range of responses different iwi have to whale strandings.


A Ngati Porou artist has tackled the foreshore and seabed legislation in corrugated iron.

Chris Bryant's new work Ahuriri and the Sublime Ripple has opened at the Hawke's Bay Museum and Art Gallery.

He says coming home to Napier after years away allowed him to look at the landscape with fresh eyes.

The sculptures look at the environmental destruction of the Tutaekuri river, the way land is used, and the control of the takutai moana.

“The corrugated iron has become a metophor for the moana because of its lovely shape and I’ve been working with just cutting out the corrugated iron to create images of Te Matou o Maui which as we know is Maui’s fishhook but which Pakeha would see it would be an outline of Hawkes' Bay,” Mr Bryant says.

Ahuriri and the Sublime Ripple runs until April.


The co-leader of the Maori Party is blaming the Office of Treaty Settlements for a dispute which threatens to derail a far north settlement.

Members of a whanau of Ngati Aukiwa hapu have occupied a house on the Stony Creek Station near Kaeo because they don't want it returned to a wider group representing all of Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa.

As the current landowner the OTS has had to clear the group several times, and Ngati Kahu fears that vandalism and security costs will make it harder for the property to be returned as a working farm.

Tariana Turia says the process used by the OTS creates huge division.

“They enter into agreements which in the end create conflict between whanau and I think that’s really really sad and I’m very sorry to hear that this whanau are at the point of losing their whenua and I guess my view is kia kaha, kia maia, kia mau,” Mrs Turia says.

She says the Government is aware of problems with the Office of Treaty Settlements, but refuses to act.


A 160-year-old Northland fighting pa has been honoured for its design.

The Institute of Professional Engineers has named Ruapekapeka a national site of engineering significance.

Ripeka Taipari, who chairs the Ruapekapeka management trust... says the pa was built by Kawiti for one 10-day battle with British troops in the Northen War, then abandoned.

“The most distinguished engineering feat was the fact they had no tools, so how did Maori build trenches that deep without any tools? How did they move trees that were some two feet across without any tools, and how did they do all of that from the time the British left Ohaewai to come down to Ruapekapeka,” Ms Taipari says.

The trust has improved access to the pa just south of Kawakawa, and it's now planning a visitors' centre.


The decision by Fidel Castro to step down as president of Cuba has brought back memories for one Maori nationalist.

Ripeka Evans, along with Donna Awatere and Josie Keelan, went to an international youth festival on the Caribbean Island state in 1978, shortly after they were evicted from Bastion Point.

She met President Castro and his brother Raul, and was impressed by his exceptional ability as a communicator.

“Me with my bad Spanish could pretty much understand what he was saying without the benefit of the translators that we had. He is an imposing character that emanated leadership really wherever that you went to,” Ms Evans says.

She says while the change in leadership may not mean a change in ideology, it could lead to a thawing of relations with the United States, which has maintained a blockade for almost 50 years.

Police in wrong place

Putting a bandaid on a big sore.

That's how Te Ururoa Flavell describes a plan to put police in South Auckland Schools.

Maori Party's education spokesperson taught at Mangere College.
He says the aim is to stop tagging, but most of the graffiti is done by rangatahi who aren't at school.

“Having police in the schools. Jingers, I’d suspect it would be better to have more police in the community working with those groups, or community workers working with those groups such that they can get them involved in some sort of project, whether that be alternative, whether it be trying to get apprenticeships going, something like that,” Mr Flavell says.

He says with more than half of Maori boys and almost as many Maori girls still leaving school without qualifications, the focus should be on lifting educational achievement.


The tunnels, trenches and stockades of Ruapekapeka protected Te Ruki Kawiti and his taua from 10 days of cannon fire.

Now the pa southeast of Kawakawa has been declared a site of engineering significance by the Institute of Professional Engineers.

Spokesperson Trevor Butler says engineering is about finding solutions to new problems.

That's what Ngati Hine faced 160 years ago in one of the last battles of the Northern War.

“Kawiti developed a defense mechanism with tunnels and stockades that proved to be very effective in defense against cannon fire. The British later studied the pa that was built by Kawiti and adopted some of the methods in engineering that he used and it came to be used later in the Crimean was and later in World War One,” Mr Butler says.

The institute has recognised about 50 sites of significance.


Barry Barclay is being remembered as a fighter for a Maori vision of cinema.

The director of Ngati and Feathers of Peace died at his Hokianga home on Monday at the age of 63.

Keri Kaa met Barclay when she was called in to do voiceovers for his documentary The Neglected Miracle, on the appropriation of seeds and plants from indigenous peoples by multinational companies.

She says in Ngati, which starred her brother Wi Kuki Kaa, Barclay showed a sensibilty to that of the great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa in his film Ran.

“When Wi Kuki and I saw that film we both thought it was a superb example of what Maoris call tangata whenua which in our family we always interpreted as people who are the land and Kurosawa would kind of plae his actors on the landscape as if they grew from the soil, and Bazza had that kind of eye. He had a gift, and he shared it briefly with us,” Kaa says.

Barry Barclay fought battles in the boardroom and on the film set which made it easier for the next generation of Maori filmmakers.


A parliamentary select committee is recommending teachers only get full registration if they raise student achievement.

The move is aimed at tackling the large number of students who leave school with little or no qualifications.... a disproportionate number of them Maori or Pacific Island rangatahi.

Rhonda Tibble, who heads the Maori Department at Lytton High in Gisborne, says it's a mistake to focus on new teachers and ignore those already registered.

“There's more of us in there than there is likely to be ones coming in new so the policy itself needs to look at what would happen within existing school cultures to bring that into line with the notion of registration only against success of improving educational outcomes. You can’t bring one new in and leave the existing system doing nothing,” Ms Tibble says.

Teachers would be skeptical about how success might be measured under the proposed regime.


The national Maori vegetable growers collective sees new optimism among landowners.

Tahuri Whenua has been holding a five day hui-a-mahi in the top of the South Island to study Maori horticulture initiatives.

Nick Roskruge, the chairperson, says the tour took in large exporters and small growers.

He says the businesses were well managed, and while there are reasons to be cautious, it's important to point out examples of good practice.

“A lot of it is issue that go with Maori land, the small holdings and multiple ownership and all those things that create barriers to moving on and a good business can’t wait two or three years for the nod to move on and do things, You’ve got to be able to respond top things as they arise or as the opportunities happen,” Dr Roskruge says.

He says with their undeveloped land resources and their people, Maori are the largest untapped resource left in the country.


Hip hop is associated with tagging and trouble, but it's being embraced by one part of the Manukau City Council.

Manukau Arts and Parks and the Counties Manukau District Health Board are offering free hip hop classes on Tuesday nights in Manukau Square.

Chantelle Whaiapu, the council's arts co-ordinator, says there's benefits for the whole family, not just rangatahi.

“It's a good way for parents to take part with their children. It’s a good way to spend some whanau time together. It’s only an hour, but it’s enough for parents to see what their children love, what they’re into. I guess it’s rangatahi culture and a different level to when we were all rangatahi as well and it's free,” Ms Whaiapu says.

If people aren't hip to hip hop, on Wednesday night there is free salsa.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Barry Barclay shoots final reel

Filmmaker Barry Barclay is being remembered as a trailblazer who brought other Maori into the film industry.

Mr Barclay from Ngati Apa died at his home in the Hokianga yesterday aged 63.

After learning his craft in trade films, advertisements and documentaries, he worked with the late Michael King to make the Tangata Whenua documentary series in 1974, creating a new way of showing Maori on screen.

His 1987 film Ngati, about an East Coast community facing the closure of its freezing works, was the first feature directed by a Maori.

John Miller, who was stills cameraman on Ngati and the later Feathers of Peace, says Mr Barclay encouraged Maori talent.

“The previous year he had a one month film wananga at the Hawkes Bay Community College where he gathered together a number of local young people, mainly Maori but not exclusively so, and through that course he actually trained up a number of folks in the various departments, lighting, camera and so forth, and some of these folks did come and work in Ngati early the following year,” Mr Miller says.

He says Barry Barclay was a pleasure to work with.

Barclay will be taken back to Whangaehu Marae near Wanganui.


A crackdown on underage drinking could curb violence on South Auckland streets.

Maori Wardens have police checking out pubs and hotels in an initiative called "Project Walkthrough".

Thomas Henry, the chair of the Mangere wardens, says underage drinking is rife.

“We're finding that a lot of liquor outlets are providing liquor to underage, to some of our rangatahi, or it’s being bought by someone older and given to our rangatahi. We’re also trying to concentrate on the Pakeha areas where we are having a lot of conjugation of rangatahi,” Mr Henry says.

The Maori warden model of community work might be adapted to include Pacific Island and other communities.


A women's wananga in the Bay of Plenty has highlighted the pressure on the environment.

It was held at Whakaue Marae at Maketu beside the Ongatoro estuary, the final landing place of the Arawa canoe.

Organiser Raewyn Bennett, one of the Maori representatives on Environment Bay of Plenty, says the 30 women discovered that despite the huge amount of work has put into protecting the estuary in the past two decades, much remains to be done.

“We're at the end of Tauranga and all its huge developments and we’re also at the end of Rotorua and their diversion of all the lake pollutants down the Kaituna River to the estuary so there is a lot of pressure on the estuary and we all need to work together hard in whatever capacity we can contribute to protecting the estuary,” Ms Bennett says.

Another women's wananga on the estuary will be held in April.


The Foreshore and Seabed Act should be able to deal with all situations, not just those where Maori own coastal land.

That's how the Prime Minister sees the surge of activity following the agreement in principle to recognise Ngati Porou's mana over its takutai moana on the East Coast.

Helen Clark says deals are also close with Whanau Apanui and Ngati Porou ki Hauraki, whose negotiator, former Labour MP John Tamihere, is one of the architects of the act.

She says while it's easier for iwi with coastal land to demonstrate unbroken customary use, the act should be flexible enough to recognise other circumstances.

“There are many other kinds of agreements that can be negotiated that also recognise interests, so I think the Ngati Porou agreement does show what the act is capable of and I would really encourage iwi to come forward and engage with the Crown around the legislation.” Ms Clark says.

While progress appears slow, it takes time for iwi negotiators to establish their mandate and collect the information they need to prove their claims.


It's the third largest crop in the world and a living example of kaitiakitanga.

The national Maori Vegetable Growers Collective is planning hui to to celebrate the humble potato.

Nick Roskruge says the collective wants to mark the International Year of the Potato and show people the work that is going in to preserve the ancient species or taewa.

“Potato's probably in the Kiwi psyche full stop as one of the core vegetables but for Maori tghere’s a relationship with the taewa that is unique. It’s an old relationship, it’s one of kaitiakitanga that we’ve maintained associations with varieties that are no longer available in other communities and they've been a favourite,” Dr Roskruge says.

There will be workshops and presentations where members of the growers' collective will cook and prepare the taewa.


He's being remembered as a uniquely Maori voice in New Zealand filmmaking.

Barry Barclay died yesterday at his home in the Hokianga at the age of only 63.

Film producer Larry Parr says the director of Ngati and Feathers of Peace paved the way for other Maori in the industry.

He also showed them the importance of telling stories from a distinctly Maori perspective.

“He had an ability to take something and delve into it and then come out with something that was an original indigenous thesis on things that were indigenous. Tangata Whenua was ground breaking. Ngati was groundbreaking. More latterly Feathers of Peace and his documentary on the Kaipara, uniquely Barry Barclay,” Mr Parr says.

Poananga stands up for women

One of the contenders to stand for the Maori Party in Ikaroa Rawhiti says she'll play second fiddle to no man.

Atareta Poananga broke off her 12-year relationship with broadcaster Derek Fox last month when he told her he was also chasing the nomination.

They're the two front-runners in the five-strong field. Mr Fox missed out by about 750 votes in 1999, and Ms Poananga was 2000 voted behind Labour's Parekura Horomia last election.

She says her loyalty to women is stronger than to her former partner.

“We're second class citizens in the political arena, whether it be in local government or in Parliament, and I’ve been one of the few Maori womenthat have been able to break that hold, the male preserve of politics. We do need that balance in Parliament of mana wahine and mana tane working together, because if we don’t have that, we have an imbalance in the aspirations and needs of our people,” Ms Poananga says.


Marlborough Maori are set to cash in on the high profile of Omega-3.

Te Atiawa Manuwhenua Ki Te Tau Ihu Trust has entered a partnership with King Salmon to open a $4 million farm at Clay Point in Tory Channel.

Jane de Freu says the demand for salmon is increasing a more people pursue the health benefits of eating the oily fish.

She says the iwi has been looking for the best use for the marine farm since it won the space in the early 1990s.

“We tested it with one mussel line, and it certainly didn’t prove to be productive for mussels so we then looked at what the next option was, and that’s how the King Salmon partnership developed,” Ms de Freu says.

The Clay Point sea farm will create 32 new jobs and revenue of $25 million at current salmon prices.


A South Westland hapu is cracking down on the black market trade of pounamu.

David Saxton and his son Morgan were last week jailed for stealing $800 thousand of South Westland greenstone from the remote Cascade Plateau.

Under a law passed as part of the Ngai Tahu settlement, all pounamu belongs to the iwi.

Tui Cadigan, the chair of Te Runanga o Makaawhio, says the iwi is still recovering from the cultural, spiritual and economic damage of the theft.

She says the Saxton's use of helicopters was a wake up call for the iwi, who were used to the traditional way of taking out only what they could carry.

“We were not I guess on the ball enough when helicopters became quite prolific in south Westland to realise the potential of what could happen to us, so it has been a wake up call for Makaawhio as well as Ngai Tahu and I think that in the wake of that we’ve really made a commitment to tighten up the security around the way in which we function,” Ms Cadigan says.

Anyone found with illegal pounamu could be prosecuted.


One of the architects of the Foreshore and Seabed Act believes critics of deals done under the act may end up with egg on their faces.

Former Labour MP John Tamihere is negotiating a foreshore deal for his Hauraki iwi in the wake of Ngati Porou's agreement in principle this month.

He says it's taken time for the Crown and Maori to come to terms with the Act he voted for back in 2004, but a lot of iwi are now in similar talks.

He says critics like the Maori Party haven't put up credible alternatives.

“Even if a court had awarded common law customary rights, what would they have looked like and how would they have worked? So what we have now is a process in place and it’s very interesting if it does work out to achieve what we’d always wanted, so a few people have egg on their face I reckon,” Mr Tamihere says.

If the process fails, then people can say there were ripped off.


The administrator of an indebted Northland Maori land incorporation says Dover Samuels needs to pay for flogging a dead horse.

Matauri X is seeking $50,000 in legal costs against the Labour list MP.

Mr Samuels tried to exclude a block previously owned by his family from a subdivision the incorporation is doing to pay off a $6 million debt.

The Maori Land Court ruled against him, saying he had the same rights and obligations as other shareholders.

Kevin Gillespie says the case should never have gone to trial, as the likely outcome was clear from an early stage.

“The injunction judgment which came up before the substantive hearing gave an indication the court was going to be rather unwilling to find in his favour. It was land that had been acquired by his step-father. It wasn’t ancestral land, and that put it in a bit of a different category,”
Mr Gillespie says.

The coastal subdivision is about halfway towards breaking even.


A Maori academic says just banning television advertising for unhealthy food would have little effect on the health of Maori.

A poll on behalf of the Chronic Disease Prevention Peak Group found 82 percent support among caregivers for banning junk food ads aimed at children.

Leonie Pihama, the director of the International Research Institute for Maori and Indigenous Education at Auckland University, says Maori need to take a wider view of the problem.

She says problems like obesity aren't new.

“Obesity is an outcome of colonisation and it’s an issue that has been with us for quite a long time in terms of the way in which our food source has been changed so we have to have a wider take on it,” Dr Pihama says.

Maori need to consider going back to growing or collecting their own food.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Ikaroa-Rawhiti battle of the heart

The battle for the Maori Party nomination in Ikaroa Rawhiti has turned into a battle of the heart.

Among the five candidates are Atareta Poananga, who polled almost 2000 votes short of incumbent Parekura Horomia last election, and Derek Fox, who was 700 votes behind in 1999.

Ms Poananga told broadcaster Willie Jackson on iwi radio today she's been Mr Fox's partner for the past 12 years, until the rivalry ended the relationship.

“We had some discussions about which one of us should stand for the Maori Party and it was a very difficult decision that we had to make because one of us probably needed to step aside because we both know that both of us are not going to get elected, only one can and yet we are both striving for the same goal. It’s very hard to do that in that situation so we decided in the end we would both put our nominations forward.”
Jackson: “So it was quite amicable was it?”
Poananga: “Not especially.”

Derek Fox says he had been asked to stand by many people inside and outside the electorate, and he would not comment on his personal life.


Maori health workers want the United Nations to look at the wider causes of drug use.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the Vienna-based Committee on Narcotic Drugs are consulting on a new policy to replace its previous 10 year plan, for a Drug Free World by 2008.

Catherine Clark from Auckland Maori provider Hapai Te Hauora says today's hui in Wellington identified some of the questions that need to be asked.

“What are the current policies that disenfranchise people? What is it abut our society and the way we treat each other and don’t address things like racism and poverty or education or poor housing? We don’t focus enough on those issues. What we tend to focus on is the treatment end of things,” Ms Clark says.


East Coasters are lining up to see their taonga.

Monty Souter, the director of the Tairawhiti Museum, says they've just had one of their busiest summers, with both Maori and non-Maori keen to see rare artifacts from the vaults.

“We've got 1600 taonga that are either loaned or donated to the museum which haven’t seen the light of day since the 1950s, a lot of it, so we’ve hauled out something like 130 pieces which relate really top those region and put them on display for the community, so we’ve had the largest number over the Christmas January period that we’ve had for a long time,” Dr Souter says.

One of the most popular items in the exhibition was an extremely rare whalebone taiaha.


One of the contenders for the Maori Party's Ikaroa Rawhiti nomination says party members have to decide who has the best chance of taking the East Coast seat.

The broadcaster, who lost to Parekura Horomia as an independent in 1999, is one of five contenders.

Atareta Poananga, the defeated Maori Party candidate last time, says the broadcaster's decision to put his name forward spells the end of their 12 year relationship.

Mr Fox says his private life is off the agenda, but the needs of the Maori party are definitely on it.

“Winning the seat and winning the rest of the Maori seats has to be the goal of the Maori Party in order to be able to establish itself as a party who is able to influence the direction of government regardless of who is able to hold the majority of seats, whether it's National or Labour,” Mr Fox says.

He says the polls are saying Labour won't form the next government, so Maori need to consider how they can exert their influence.


Meanwhile, the Maori Party's Te Tai Tonga candidate is confident he can take the seat off Mahara Okeroa in his second attempt.

Monte Ohia was confirmed this weekend as the party's candidate in an electorate which covers the South Island and Wellington City to Porirua.

Since the last election he's moved to Christchurch to take up a job at the polytechnic, and say that's given him the opportunity to meet a lot more people in the rohe.

He's going to make education a priority.

“We have the worst statistics in Southland, Otago, West Coast and Canterbury for the non-achievement of Maori students in secondary schools in the country, we have the worst,” Mr Ohia says.

40 percent of the votes are still in Wellington.


(Sound of haka Ka mate)

That's 3264 Tainui, led by Rahui Papa, performing a mass haka at this weekend's Tainui Games.

The attempt on the world record, which previously stood at 2200, was a highlight of the event which attracted almost 20,000 people to Hopuhopu.

Many were there for competitions between Waikato-Tainui marae in sports ranging from netball and touch to table tennis and indoor bowls.

Closing the three-day festival yesterday, King Tuheitia said he wanted it to become a yearly get-together.

Monte Ohia gets second run at south

The president of the Maori Party says the reselected candidate for te tai Tonga stands a much better chance second time round.

Monte Ohia's selection was confirmed over the weekend at Pipitea Marae in Wellington at the last of nine regional hui held across the vast electorate.

Professor Winiata says Mr Ohia’s chance of unseating the sitting Labour MP Mahara Okeroa is enhanced by the Greens decision not to field a candidate.

He says another plus is that three years ago many Maori voters took a punt backing a new party, but this time the party’s track record speaks for itself.

“That was absent. It was speculative when our people voted for the four members and didn’t vote quite enough for Monty and Atareta and Angeline but each of them will have the favourable experience of the Maori Party behind them on this occasion,” Professor Winiata says.


Taranaki Maori providers are looking for new ways to address Maori health.

Donna Leatherby, the health promotion co-ordinator for Hauora Taranaki, says they're holding a series of hui to stimulate discussion.

She says problems like obesity, diabetes and heart disease need a response not just from the Health Ministry and the District Health Board but from the community.

“We've buried far too many Maori to diabetes and to cancer and I feel very strong about how we can all work together as Taranaki whanui to address some of these issues and support one another as providers, hapu, iwi, whanau and start planning on strategic thinking,” Ms Leatherby says.

The providers have proposed growing vegetable gardens and fruit orchards in kura and marae as a possible initiative.


It's up to those living away from the hau kainga to retain the dialect of their own people.

That's the view of Vapi Kupenga, the head of the taurahere, representing Ngati Porou members living in Auckland.

Over the weekend, they launched a series of wananga to help iwi members retain the unique features of their own tongue.

She says there has been a resurgence in te reo Maori back on the East Coast.

“We are the ones who are living away from Ngati Porou who are needing te reo ake o Ngati Porou. It’s nopt those ones at home. They’re well along the way. Our children are speaking so fluent so it’s fitting that we who are away recover our own reo,” Vapi Kupenga.


Pita Sharples wants a Kevin Rudd style apology to Maori.

The Maori Party co-leader says last week's kupu muru hara to Australia's stolen generation should mark a fresh start across the Tasman.

He says while there are apologies included as part of individual treaty settlements, there are many past government policies which adversely affected all Maori, such as suppressing tohunga and punishing children for speaking Maori in school.

“All these events have never been acknowledged. They’re a major force in the loss of tikanga Maori and culture in this country. So I guess the Prime Minister’s done the Samoans. She’s apologised to the Chinese, and I believe the gay people. We must be on the list though. Maybe we’re after the animals, I don't know,” Dr Sharples says.


Tairawhiti Museum can't find many of its taonga.

Director Monty Souter says an audit last year identified problems with some of the work put into the museum's care.

The old cataloguing system lacked essential data, so while many items are missing, they may have been misplaced rather than stolen.

“Eight percent of the collection wasn’t where it was supposed to be. Some we’re still looking for. So the exhibition explains to the public of the Gisborne-Tairawhiti region what the audit was about and what the findings were, and that’s quite a brave thing to do by any museum but we’re really wanting to be transparent about the history of this museum and the state that we find it in,” Dr Souter says.


The Maori Party candidate for Te Taitonga will not be overshadowed by his political colleagues.

That's the view of the party president, Whatarangi Winiata in the wake of the reselection of Monte Ohia as the candidate in the Te Tai tonga electorate.

Professor Winiata says a rigorous selection process held over nine hui through the vast electorate opted for Mr Ohia, who has spent most of his life working in education, the last few years as kaiarahi at Christchurch Polytec’s Institute of Technology.

He says while the party’s current MP's now have high public profiles, that wasn't always the case, and with training expects Mr Ohia to also become a prominent figure in Maori politics.

“I think Monte will be fine. He’s highly articulate in both languages with a sound understanding of the Maori world view and a very good understanding of the political scene in Wellington,” Professor Winiata says.