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Friday, February 29, 2008

Foreshore deals fall short for MP

The Maori Party says Te Whanau a Apanui is short-changing itself on its foreshore and seabed deal - but it's the tribe's right to do so.

The eastern Bay of Plenty iwi signed an agreement in principle this week spelling out its rights and how it will interact with regional and central government organisations in managing the coastal area.

Tamaki Makaurau MP Pita Sharples says Te Whanau a Apanui's rangatiratanga to make such a deal must be respected, but it's a major compromise to the Crown over the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

“What we are just saying is a repeal of that Act would in fact give them the opportunity to get real tino rangatiratanga where they have governance and even ownership possibilities as opposed to what they are getting now which is part management of a few facets of their foreshore and seabed,” Dr Sharples says.

The agreement includes exemptions from fishing permits for locals and the ability of Whanau a Apanui to make by-laws.


The recipient of a distinguished alumni award from Auckland University says the honour belongs with those working for Maori health in Northland.

Lynette Stewart from Ngati Wai has headed the Te Taitokerau Maori health services purchasing organisation or Mapo since its inception in 1996.

She says it's been the most exciting time of her life, as iwi in the north have taken up the challenge.

“I appreciate and I honour the iwi because the iwi picked up the responsibility of health services to their own people, every single one of them: Whakawhiri Ora Pai in the far north, Te Rarawa, Te Houora o te Hiku o Te Ika, Ngati Hine, and Kia Ora Ngati Wai, each of those providers has done a tremendous job,” Ms Stewart says.

She will receive her honour at a ceremony next week, along with High Court Justice Lowell Goddard, writer Carl Stead, surgeon James Church, businessman Sir Ron Carter and botanist Carrick Chambers.


The second installment of Puke Ariki's history of Taranaki opens this tonight at Puke Ariki.

Kate Robert, the museum's service delivery manager, says the Common Ground series aims to cover Maori and non-Maori perceptions of the region.

The first show looked at the experience of migrants and the Maori response.

The new show, Taranaki Whenua: Life - Blood - Legacy, looks at the relationships both groups had with the land.

“There are perspectives for settlers and from families who have been here for four generations so it should be interesting for both Maori and non-Maori to see some of the views that are expressed,” Roberts says.

Taranaki Whenua includes work by Taranaki artists and many photographs, survey maps and artefacts from the Puke Ariki collections.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says the foreshore and seabed deals the government is doing with individual iwi are demeaning.

Te Whanau a Apanaui and Ngati Porou signed agreements in principle this month, and two other iwi are in talks for similar deals.

Dr Sharples says his party supports the rangatiratanga of iwi to do what they think is best for their people, but every settlement is a compromise forced on them by the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

“Once again we have got to go on bended knee to prove we are Maori, to prove we have occupation of the foreshore and seabed, to prove this and that, and we’ve got these connections, and it’s always that way, so real tino rangatiratanga is when we’re accepted as Maori because we’re Maori and we don’t have to go and give the papers, go through meetings, and prove stuff all the time,” Dr Sharples says.


But negotiator Dayle Takitimu says the deal signed this week upholds the mana of Te Whanau a Apanui.

She says the deed includes a statement the iwi still opposed the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

“What we've tried to do is sit down with our treaty partner when a difficulty has arisen, a difficult issue, and say let’s work out how we’re going to coexist in this space, and your interests and your world view and our interests and our world view be respected, and we’ve got a way to go yet, it’s not the end of the deal or the end of the negotiations, this is a milestone, but we think we’ve gone some way to finding a balance for that,” Ms Takitimu says,

Te Whanau a Apanui owns most of the land along its coastline, so it already has a huge say in whatever happens there, whatever the law says.


Salmon sushi, king prawn kebabs, buttery paua fritters on rewana bread... however you like your seafood there will be something for you at the first Maketu Kaimoana Festival tomorrow.

As well as kai there'll be cooking displays from Kai Time on the Road presenter Pete Peeti, arts, crafts and music frOm Bay of Plenty musicians.

Organiser Charles Peni from the Maketu Rotory says the festival is an example of what the non-profit service organisation can do for the community, and it's a pity more Maori don't seek it out.

“They think that Rotary is a Pakeha thing, but it’s not. They also don’t understand I guess the whole meaning of what Rotary’s about, and that’s community oriented,” Mr Peni says.

Leap day chance for frogs

It's a leap year... and leap day... so those keen to protect our indigenous frogs have made today Frog Day.

New Zealand's native frogs don't croak like most frogs... they have round rather than slit eyes... they have no external eardrum... and their tadpoles develop in eggs before hatching as tailed froglets.

While frogs may not generate as much sympathy as whales, Metiria Turei from the Greens says we need to hang on to our indigenous species.

“New Zealand has four indigenous frogs. All four are highly endangered. One of them, the Archeys, is probably the most endangered frog, it’s number one on the list of the 100 most endangered frogs in the world,” Ms Turei says.

To mark Frog Day, reggae band Katchafire is playing tonight at Auckland Zoo, which has a new breeding facility aimed at producing a self-sustaining captive population of native frogs.


Maori health is a priority in Auckland Regional Public Health's strategic plan to 2012.

Amiria Rereti, the service's Maori development manager, says it has been working with Ngati Whatua and Tainui on ways health disparities can be addressed.

She says public health services don't operate in a vacuum, so they need to develop relationships with other providers and agencies which have an impact on health.

“Housing can contribute to that, employment, so minister of Social Development, Housing Corporation, all have an interest in improving the health gain of everyone and we’re just signaling in this strategic plan that we want to make sure that we up the emphasis on improving Maori health,” Ms Rereti says.


A link with the great era of Maori showbands is no more.

Missy Teka, the widow of the late Prince Tui Teka, died yesterday when the car she was driving collided with a truck on State Highway 2 at Mangatawhiri.

Toko Pompey, who lives near the crash scene, was part of the exodus of Maori musicians to Australia in the early 1960s.

He says Tui Teka was one of the biggest acts on the scene, and Missy was by his side.

“Missy was there as a foil and a support singer, ne. Tui would no so much flick his finger and she’d come along with My Dingaling and all these silly antics of his and Missy was there just to look pretty,” Mr Pompey says.


After four years of negotiation, Te Whanau a Apanui now has a document setting out its relationship with the foreshore and seabed of the eastern Bay of Plenty.

Attorney General Michael Cullen and other ministers were in Te Kaha yesterday to sign an agreement in principle which will give the iwi a greater say in how the takutaimoana is managed.

Negotiator Dayle Takitimu says the intitial response from the hui a iwi was positive, and the 200 page document will now be studied in detail.

She says the time taken in negotiations, and the length of the agreement, reflect the complexity of the issue.

“When we walked into negotiations there were more than 17 pieces of legislation that somehow that somehow intersect or cross over or have some function to do with the foreshore and seabed area and so each of those we’ve tried to unpackage and have a look at and see where it’s appropriate for the hapu to have greater participatiuon, if that’s what’s necessary, or for their mana to be reflected,” Ms Takitimu says.

She says the deal does not mean Te Whananu a Apanui is dropping its opposition to the Foreshore and Seabed Act.


Teaching rangatahi about human rights will be one of the priorities for the new Human Rights Commissioner.

Karen Johansen from Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki and Ngai Tamanuhiri has spent 37 years a teacher... the last 12 as principal of Gisborne Girls' High.

She says the new curriculum's inclusion of values means creates opportunities to teach human rights as part of social sciences or health education.

“Some of those values are about diversity and about equity and about community and ecological sustainability which all have resonance inside the human rights framework,” Ms Johansen says.

Also appointed for a five year term is international legal expert Jeremy Pope


Learning Maori is not just for tangata whenua.

Language expert John Moorfield says in the 20 years he's been teaching te reo, attitudes to our indigenous language has changed dramatically.

Not only are more speakers of New Zealand English peppering their conversation with Maori words, more Pakeha are making a serious commitment to learn te reo - as can be see at the Auckland University of Technology.

“The proportion of students in the beginner classes is very much weighted towards Pakeha and that’s because I guess they feel a need to learn the language so it probably helps that we have no fees for learning the Maori language here, but that would happen anyway probably,” Professor Moorfield says.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Missy Teka dies in SH2 smash

One of the icons of Maori music has died in a car crash south of Auckland.

Missy Teka, the widow of the late Prince Tui Teka, was driving a late model car which collided with a truck on State Highway 2 near Mangatawhiri this afternoon.

The driver of the truck was taken to Thames Hospital with moderate injuries.

Showband musician Toko Pompey says Missy Teka was part of the group of Maori musicians who took the distinctive Maori style of entertainment to Sydney in the 1960s.

“There was the Howard Morrison Group in one area, there was the Volcanics in one area, and there were the Troubadours in another area, and that was Tui Teka’s lot with Robbie Ratana, so Missy was there as a foil and a support singer, because Tui was god. She was his girlfriend and she brought a beautiful took to all these ugly men who were so brilliant musicans,” Mr Pompey says.


The Minister of Maori Affairs says today's foreshore and seabed deal is about reality rather than rhetoric.

Parekura Horomia joined treaty negotiations minister Michael Cullen and associate minister Mita Ririnui in Te Kaha for the signing of an agreement in principle with Te Whanaui a Apanui.

The document is similar to once signed earlier this month with Ngati Porou, recognising the iwi's relationship with takutai moana alongside its land and giving it a say in Resource Management Act processes and marine management.

Mr Horomia says the practical approach taken by Te Wahanau a Apanui contrasted with that taken by critics of the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

“People talk about rights and protection but in contemporary and modern times a lot of our young people don’t even understand that or live that,” Mr Horomia says.

The agreement will allow Te Wahanau a Apanui to maintain many of their customary practices which may otherwise slip away.


A spell trying to teach te reo Maori in Hawaii proved the inspiration for a new set of textbooks.

Te Reo Taketake - Ko te Pu was launched today in Hamilton.

Its creator, Rapata Wiri, says he looked for textbooks when he was developing language programmes for the University of Hawaii.

What was available didn't suit his teaching methods, or were 40 years old and did not suit modern learners.

“I was teaching in a foreign country, and they had absolutely no idea of Maori language or even where New Zealand was, so I decided to write this new book as a way of explaining to people with no prior knowledge of the language as a resource for teaching them how to speak Maori,” says Dr Wiri, who is now at the school of Maori and Pacific Development at the University of Waikato.


Maori knowledge may be key to creating new products for the global marketplace.

Academic Charles Royal says the battle for Maori participation in the wider economy is largely won... with Maori involved not just in forestry and agriculture, but in industries like fishing, manufacturing and tourism.

He told a Hui Taumata Trust workshop on Maori innovation at the AUT University Marae in Auckland yesterday, the new challenge is to bring Maori knowledge to the marketplace.

Dr Royal says they can look for inspiration in their past.

“Our whole founding story of being Ngati Raukawa is based on a perfume, so we had perfumes in history, so the question for us is: ‘is is possible for us to create a perfume today, based on what we know about our perfumes in the past, and then commercialise that,” Dr Royal says .

Yesterday's innovation hui went so well he wants a whole series on topics like Research and Development, Intellectual Property and the Wai 262 claim.


A Maori anti-smoking campaigner is backing the new requirement for cigarette packets to show the damage caused by tobacco.

Shane Bradbrook from Te Reo Marama says one advantage of carrying pictures of gangrenous toes, rotting gums and cancerous lesions is it cuts the amount of advertising space on the packets.

He says there's no simple way to stop people smoking, but public health campaigns and the free Quitline are having an impact.

“They are working across the board for Maori, particularly our rangatahi. You’re seeing on average a 2 percent drop every year. When you’re looking at mainstream it’s something like 0.8 to 1 percent, so Maori are responding, and again it’s about having a complete package, not just one-off things,” Mr Bradbrook says.

The Maori anti-smoking coalition's next campaign is to get rid of in-store displays of cigarettes.


A wahine toa's act of compassion towards a dying colonial solider has provided the story for a new children's book.

Battle at Gate Pa tells the tale of Heni Te Kirikaramu, who went onto the battlefield at night to give water to dying men.

The mission-educated woman was inspired by passage from Proverbs: If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water.

Author Jenny Jenkins says she was incredibly courageous.

“Most of the women and children had been sent out of the pa the night before but she’d refused – she said ‘I can fight as good as the men’ and she was actually quite a crack shot with a rifle. When the battle began the next day she was not just helping the wounded but she was actively involved in the fight,” Ms Jenkins says.

The book is being launched tonight at St George's Church, which is on the Gate Pa battle site and features a stained glass window showing Heni te Kirikaramu giving water to Colonel Booth.

Whanau a Apanui foreshore deal

Another foreshore and seabed settlement will be confirmed today.

The treaty negotations minister will be at Te Kaha in the eastern Bay of Plenty to sign an agreement in principle with Te Whanau a Apanui on its territorial customary rights claims.

The deal is expected to be similar to that signed by neighbouring Ngati Porou earlier this month.

Dayle Takitimu, a negotiator for the iwi, says the signing will happen after the document has been discussed clause by clause with the whanau and hapu at the hui a iwi.

She says during the four years of negotiation, the iwi has sought to get legal recognition of the mana its hapu have over the foreshore and seabed.

“So we've been trying to work out how that recognition should be worded in law, and then what sort of instruments can give effect to that in law so that we can actually look at the successful implementation or the enduring implementation of that mana,” Ms Takitimu says.

There will be extensive consultaiton before any final agreement is signed.


A national award is being credited with lifting the performance of Maori agribusiness and farming.

Roger Pikia, one of the judges of the Ahuwhenua Trophy, says all 10 entries are of a high standard.

Seven of the contestants are employed by trusts, and three are independent owners.

This year's competition is for dairy farms, with sheep and beef enterprises in the spotlight next year.

He says the opportunity the competition gives farmers to get expert scrutiny of their operations and benchmark them agains their peers is raising standards.

“We're definitely seeing improvements on farm performance, business performance, financial performance right across the board, and then governance capability, particularly as the corporate farmers that we are, so we’re seeing that performance being lifted across the board which is very pleasing to see and it’s being reflected in the bottom line,” Mr Pikia says.

Judging starts next week with the winner announced in June.


The creator of a new Maori language textbook says the time was right for a new approach.

Te Reo Taketake - Ko te Pu is being launched today in Hamilton.

Author Rapata Wiri, from Waikato University's school of Maori and Pacific Development, started on what will eventually be a three-book series when he was teaching Maori at the University of Hawaii.

He says neither the Te Whanake series nor John Waititi's 40-year-old Te Rangatahi series suited his needs.

“I looked at Hoani Waititi’s book and I found it a little outdated. It had kids riding to school on horses and a family riding a Bedford truck. I though, that my be a little old to use as a textbook,” Dr Wiri says.

He intends to trial Te Reo Taketake in universities and high schools.


A proposed Free Trade Agreement with China is raising red flags for the Greens.

Metiria Turei says while agricultural and forestry will benefit from access to China's markets, Maori in manufacturing jobs will be hit hard.

She says the reforms of the 1980s are an indication of the risk.

“A Treasury paper showed that Maori were much worse off 10 years after that trade liberalization had begun than they were before it and Maori in particular because the jobs losses were in that manufacturing, working class level jobs and that would be the same with the free deal with China,” Ms Turei says.

She says any agreement should be based on fair trade rather than free trade, with protection of the environment, human rights and worker rights built in.


The new chair of Te Wananga o Aotearoa says the country's largest Maori tertiary institution has a solid platform for growth.

Richard Batley from Ngati Tama and Maniapoto was elected to the past as part of the organisation's transition out of Crown management.

The Crown stepped in three years ago after rapid growth raised doubts about the wananga's financial stability.

Mr Batley says those doubts have been laid to rest, and it now in a better position than many of the polytechnics.

“We have an unaudited result for 2007 of between $4 million and $4.5 million. We enter the new year predicting that we will have a similar result. That is quite rare in the current tertiary environment, so relative to other tertiary institutions, you might say we are comfortable,” Mr Batley says,

About 40,000 students are enrolled, half of them non-Maori.


Hawkes Bay Maori want the Hastings District Council to buy a coastal block they say is a significant waahi tapu.

Marama Laurenson, the council's cultural and heritage advisor, says the 3 hectare block near Tangoio Marae is the site of a former pa and canoe landing area.

She says it's important to proceed reasonably quickly because the land is part of a subdivision.

“If in fact we’re too tardy about it they may end up selling the land to somebody else and we’ll have to start again in our negotiations with new owners. That’s probably the only risk. But the goodwill from council is there and the goodwill is there from Tangoio whanau whanui to work with us to meet their needs and we’ve had very good meetings with the landowners,” Ms Laurenson says.

The Hastings District Council's Maori joint committee is looking at a reserve management plan to cover the pa site.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wai fight shaping up

The fight for water rights could rival the battle over the foreshore and seabed.

Green MP Metiria Turei says water allocation could turn into a major election issue for Maori.

It's is already causing ructions in the South Island, where Central Plains Water has applied to draw water from the Rakaia and Waimakariri Rivers for irrigation.

Ms Turei says the Government's policy is to put central and local government in charge of natural resources, with no voice for Maori interests.

“We've got to continue to argue for the Maori right to be involved in decision-making over natural resources that they were guaranteed would be protected and retained in their care under the treaty, and it’s a fair argument to make,” Ms Turei says.

She says the current system encourages the commercialisation of water and ignores other cultural ideas such as kaitiakitanga or guardianship.


National is counting on picking up between 10 and 15 percent of the Maori vote in this year's election.

That's a big jump on 2005, when the party polled fourth in the seven Maori electorates, picking up less than 4 percent of the party vote.
Tau Henare, its Maori co-spokesperson, says the party's polling is showing a positive trend in the Maori vote.

“Ten, 12, 15 cent of Maori are going to vote for National. I mean that’s based on the polls. It’s ours to lose, quite frankly, and we’ve just got to make sure we’re out there on the stump and saying the right things, offering people the opportunity to have a look at National and all its policies as well,” Mr Henare says.

He says the advent of the Maori Party has helped National by giving Maori a choice which isn't Labour.


A waahi tapu on the coast near Napier could become a public reserve.

Marama Laurenson, the Hastings District Council's heritage advisor, says the land is part of a subdivision, but the landowner is prepared to sell.

She says the council's Maori committee is looking at developing a reserve management plan.

“We're just beginning negotiations, they’re going quite well, and we’re awaiting further input from the whanau about the provenance and value of those sites to them so that we can acknowledge them properly so we’re just having discussions with the landowners to see how far we can get with establishing a reserve strategy,” Ms Laurensen says.

Whanau from nearby Tangoio Marae says the three hectare block includes a former pa and a canoe landing site.


The new chair of Te Wananga o Aotearoa is looking for innovation and controlled growth.

Richard Batley from Ngati Maniapoto is an accountant with long service in Maori and public service organisations.

He was elected unopposed to the post today, filling the vacancy created when Craig Coxhead was been appointed to the Maori Land Court.

The wananga has come out of a period of Crown management, imposed after rapid growth raised concerns about its financial and organisational infrastructure.

Mr Batley says it's now poised to resume growth.

“We need to continue to be innovative in a controlled fashion. I have spoken to my council on what my vision is for the organisation and it is actually one of controlled expansion. I do not want to hinder innovation at all,” Mr Batley says.

The wananga is considering a greater investment in trade training.


A shot across the bows for the water traders.

Ngai Tahu's chairperson says he's concerned at the way the Government's national plan of action on water is tackling long term water rights.

He says a lot of the work he has seen is idealogically dry, with a push on for tradable rights.

“The government has come out stating no one owns the water, and we could accept that, but if there is going to be a model where the water allocation becomes a transferable property right, then certainly we will have our hand up asking where is our share,” Mr Solomon says.

The issue of water ownership was specifically left out of the Ngai Tahu settlement.


Maori musical history is being revisited in Wellington this week.

The Tama Tu Tama Ora concert, part of the International Festival of the Arts, brings back some of the songs from the 70s, 80s and 90s.

Organiser Wharehoka Wano says it was a dynamic period which included the birth of Kohanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa and Wananga, the emergence of Maori health providers and a Maori radio and television industry.

He says the music captured the renaissance and voiced Maori political and social aspirations.

“As our musicians in kai waiata and kai tito did traditionally, it was our musicians that recorded a lot of our history in their song,” Mr Wano says.

Tama Tu, Tama Ora is on at the Pacific Blue Festival Club in Frank Kitts Park this Thursday and Friday.

Dry spell exposes dry policy

The head of Ngai Tahu says this summer's dry spell in the South Island could show up flaws in the government's emerging water policy.

Lake levels are the lowest they've been since 1992, and little rainfall is expected in the Southern Alps catchment for several months.

Mark Solomon says a lot of the planning for water seems to be based on overly rosy assumptions about supply.

There are also signs the government wants to move towards a tradeable water rights regime, which will precipitate a flood of protest from Maori.

“There has been no decision on whether Maori have rights or not to water. There is an assumption by the Crown that no one owns water which is just there with the Crown having the right to allocate, and if you look at the Ngai Tahu settlement there is a specific clause saying the issue of water has not been addressed,” Mr Solomon


There's no rewind for the cassette tape - Auckland University of Technology is dumping that language lab technology for podcasts and web-based lessons in te reo.

Hohepa Spooner, a lecturer and multi-media designer at Te Ara Poutama faculty of Maori development, says it should appeal to rangatahi who use technology like Bebo, Facebook and Playstation every day.

He says the original idea came from North Carolina.

“We started with the idea from Duke University in America. They started in 2001 using them in their music classes and their language classes and once I looked at their university web site and what they were doing I was able to get enough ideas to trial it over here in our university,” Mr Spooner says.

The iPod exercises complement a weekly three hour lesson, and students also need to attend two weekend wananga for face to face learning.


An Austrian artist who incorporated Maori motifs into buildings in Vienna is to get a living memorial in Taitokerau.

Whangarei District Council is to turn a building by the town basin into an international arts centre, working from plans drawn up by the late Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

Kahu Sutherland, Whangarei's deputy mayor, was in Vienna last week discussing the $9.5 million dollar with Hundertwasser Foundation chair Joram Harel.

He says he didn't realise the scope of the work done by the one time Bay of Islands resident until he saw some of his buildings.

“In the design of his buildings where he’s got trees and things coing out of them and grass on the roofs, natural filtering systems and that operating throughout his buildings, that whole thing was an experience of a lifetime and a life changing experience as well,” Mr Sutherland says.

He says the Whangarei centre could become part of a Hundertwasser tour of the north, also taking in the Kawakawa toilets the artist designed.


The Prime Minister says the Crown needs to take the interests of the greatest number into account when making treaty settlements.

The Government has kicked off the year with a surge of negotiations, including an ambitious attempt to use the Kaingaroa Forest to settle historical claims in the central North Island.

It's coming under fire over who it's choosing to talk to, and what it's aiming to do.

But Helen Clark says it can't wait for all claimants to be ready.

“Sometimes the hapu and the iwi don’t get their own act together. Sometimes the decision is made in favour of the greatest number. I well remember going to the signing of the Tainui settlement at Turangawaewae, and Eva Rickard, the late Eva Rickard, was conducting a tangi on the footpath, she was so opposed to it, and we all delicately stepped around Eva. Who would now say that Tainui was wrong? Ms Clark says.

She says the economic and social implications of settlements outweigh the negatives.


Hitting the streets will take on a new meaning for the Police.

Ten Maori officers are touring the country next month to entice rangatahi to consider a career in the blue line.

Wally Haumaha, the manager of Maori and ethnic services, hopes the kanohi ki te kanohi approach will lift the number of officers above the current 7 percent.

He says the face of policing needs to change.

“The demographics of the country are going to change over the next 17 years and the percentage of Maori is predicted to grow to almost 17 percent and likewise with the Pacific community and the ethnic community so we need to attract a diverse range of people with those skills to service those specific groups,” Superintendent Haumaha says.

He says the Te Haerenga tour has the support of many Maori leaders.


The Ngai Tahu Maori Rock Art Trust will be a beneficiary of a new line of luxury apparel.

Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu is using weaving technology developed by Agresearch to make shawls from a merino wool and possum fur blend.

The first Aho brand shawls feature designs by Ngai Tahu artist Ross Hemara, drawn from ancient rock art designs.

Anake Goodall, the runanga's chief executive, says the Timaru-based trust will get some of the profits.

He says the project raises questions about intellectual property, kaitiakitanga and the tribe's cultural revival.

“How do you support our own artists to reconnect with our own traditional art form and bring life back to that. How can we generate some revenue so we can protect the art itself, support the art and the communities that have got the kaitiaki burden for these taonga, and bundle all those ideas along with some contemporary technology developed by AgResearch, and we’re seeing where we can take these ideas together,” Mr Goodall says.

The Aho brand may be used to commercialise other products made by Ngai Tahu artists and craftspeople.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wilson snub has price

The negotiator for Ngati Makino says the government will have to pay a price for ignoring the Bay of Plenty iwi.

The iwi, whose rohe runs from Lake Rotoiti to the coast, signed an agreement to negotiate after a meeting earlier this month with Treaty Negotiations Minister broke a decade-long impasse.

During that time its neighbours, Ngati Awa and Tuwharetoa ki Kawerau, won settlements.

Te Ariki Morehu says Ngati Makino got a mandate to negotiate back in 1997, but it was ignored by Labour's first treaty minister, Margaret Wilson.

“When the National government went out, of course, it was a new regime then. Ngati Awa took the opportunity to approach them when they were green – I would say green – because they certainly didn’t take any notice fo the Waitangi Tribunal recommendation, just ignored, Wilson, totally ignored us,” Mr Morehu says.

The Crown will have to find other settlement assets to make up for the Rotoehu Forest on Ngati Makino land, which was given to the neighbouring iwi.


Ngai Tahu has teamed up with AgResearch to develop a line of high quality possum fur and merino wool shawls.

Anake Goodall, the chief executive of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, says the weaving process developed by the Crown research institute allows a wider range of patterns than other wool-fur blends.

Ngai Tahu artist Ross Hemera has incorporated ancient rock art images into the design for the first set of Aho brand shawls.

Mr Goodall says as well as its commercial potential, the Aho project allows artists to speak for their communities.

“We're blessed with a lot of Ngai Tahu artists and it’s exciting to be playing with media and ideas and stories when we can support out artists to again start telling our stories, as of course our old people did in those caves with their charcoal and so on on the ceilings, so there’s an aspect of rejuvenation of culture which is an important component of these ideas as well,” Mr Goodall says.

Some of the profits from the shawls, which sell for between $100 and $200, will go to the Timaru-based Ngai Tahu Maori Rock Art Trust.


A Ngapuhi kaumatua is welcoming a special contribution to peace in Taitokerau.

Tibetan Buddhists have built a stupa at their centre on a hill overlooking Whangarei.

Patu Hohepa, who took part in the weekend opening, says the stupa, a dome rising from a square base, promotes harmony and good health.

He says iwi in the north have embraced the Tibetans and the message they bring.

“These are people who believe in peace and harmony, and furthermore they were the ones that have been ejected from their own country and found Aotearoa as a place that had accepted them where they could live without fear,” Dr Hohepa says.

The four sides of a stupa's base, which is known as the Lions Seat, refer to four qualities the mind needs to attain enlightenment - love, compassion, joy and equanimity.


The Government may have a $5 million dollar problem in Patea.

The South Taranaki District Council says it has legal advice the Crown owns that part of the derelict freezing works which burned down on Waitangi Day, because the company which bought it went belly up in 1994.

That would make the government liable for clean up costs.

Haimoana Maruera, the acting chair of Ngati Ruanaui, says the Crown has been devious.

“It wasn't offered to us the the settlement, and so we presumed it was all totally owned by prvate owners, but now we find through our own means that the Crown has been pretty devius we say, in that they;’ve owned the building siunce 1994, went through two settlement, that of Ngati Ruanui and Nga Rauru Kitahi, and it wasn't offered then,” Mr Maruera says.

The Environment Minister, Trevor Mallard, says there was no record of any such land transfer, so he's asked for his own legal advice.

And Paul James from the Office of Treaty Settlements says if it's proven the land does belong to the Crown, the department that owns it may offer to sell it to the iwi.


iPods have become the latest weapon in the fight to retain te reo Maori.

AUT University students are getting podcasts of language lessons drawn from linguist John Moorfield's Te Whanake textbooks.

They can also do exercises based on 15 animated modules posted on the web.

Professor Moorfield says it's the first language learning site he has seen with animations.

“I've looked at sites which have German and French and things like that, but they don’t have animation so in a way it’s cutting edge that we’re moving into for any language really, and certainly for indigenous languages,” Professor Moorfield says.

AUT University and former Maori language commissioner Quinton Hita are developing 100 half hour programmes for beginning learners to be screened on Maori Television from later this year.


Geothermal cooking is the food of the future, but you can't get it outside Rotorua.

Paora Liddell, the guide supervisor at Whakarewarewa Thermal Tours, says visitors are always fascinated by the way Te Arawa whanau use steam from the hot pools to cook traditional kai, the way their tupuna have been doing it for centuries.

He says the taste is nothing like the earthy, smoky flavour of underground hangi, or even the city it comes from.

“A lot of people tend to think that the sulphur smell may leave a taste in the food but definitely not. The tastes are natural, and the food retains the vitamins and the nutrients,” Mr Liddell says.

Ngati Makino tries to claw back claim

A Bay of Plenty iwi faces an uphill battle to win a treaty settlement because the forests on its land have already been given to other claimants.

Ngati Makino and neighbours Waitaha signed terms of negotiation with the treaty minister Michael Cullen last week.

Negotiator Te Ariki Morehu says Ngati Makino's mandate was recognised in 1997, but Labour's first treaty minister, Margaret Wilson, ignored the iwi.

As a result the Rotoehu Forest went to its neighbours.

“It's already been given to Ngati Awa and Tuwharetoa, and we’re not happy about that. This is what we have to work through with the government. What’s going to be the result of that? We’ve already lost it, so what are they going to do about it?” Te Ariki Morehu says.

He says Ngati Makino forced the government to the table by seeking resumption orders from the Waitangi Tribunal, which would compel the Crown to hand over certain classes of land.


The chair of Ngai Tahu's commercial arm believes the tribe is well placed to take advantage of any deals thrown up by a predicted economic slow down.

Ngai Tahu Group Holdings reported a total net profit of $18.6 million in the six months to the end of December, including some asset sales, and it's predicting a full year profit of close to $40 million.

Wally Stone says with more than $500 million in assets and debt only a tenth of that, it can cope with tighter market conditions far better than more highly-geared companies.

“Those companies like Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation who maintain a very strong balance sheet, who have minimal debt, and therefore are lowly geared, are probably in a good position because I think right now it’s a buyer’s market and those that have strong balance sheets will find there’s a lot of very good deals available in the market right now,” Mr Stone says

Ngai Tahu's property and fishing businesses are trading well, and its tourism business expects a better second half after last year's Rugby World Cup in France kept many visitors away.


They were the newest group, but Nga Pou O Roto made a big impact at the Tainui kapahaka festival over the weekend.

The Huntly-based group took third place, behind Te Iti Kahurangi and Te Pou O Mangartawhiri.

Kahurangi Muru, the coordinator, says the secret weapon was the inclusion of members of Taniwharau.

That long-standing roopu has not performing competitively since the death of the Maori queen, Te Atairangikaahu, in 2006.

“It was her whakaaro years ago for Taniwharau to go tautoko so we could get more Waikato representation, Tainui representation at Te Matatini,” Ms Muru says.


Northland's Maori health manager says having more medical professionals in the area will address a long-standing health deficit.

Northland District Health Board and the Whangarei, Kaitaia, Rawene and Dargaville hospitals have launched a scheme to bring senior students from the Auckland University medical school for 35 weeks of clinical practice.

Kim Tito says the prevalence of diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer lowers life expectancy among Maori, especially in areas like Taitokerau.

“They need high comprehensive services 15 years earlier than their non-Maori counterparts. If we’re really to address that sort of imbalance, then we need to have a delivery system that is operating well for Maori both at the primary care level and at the secondary level,” Mr Tito says.

The Pukawakawa scheme aims is to show future doctors how they can work with Maori health providers and other community groups, and encourage them to settle in the north after graduation.


The umbrella group for kura kaupapa is pushing for a bigger say over the way Maori immersion education is run.

Hone Mutu, the chair of Te Runanganui O Nga Kura Kaupapa Maori, says a new framework for reviewing kura kauapapa is a step forward.

The framework requires reviewers to operate within the principles of Te Aho Matua, the philosophy underlying immersion schooling.

He says as well as oversight by the Education Review Office, the 60 kura should have some collective say.

“If we see a kura may not be up to scratch in terms of Te Aho Matua, what are our rights as Te Runanganui to say to that whanau either come up to this mark or perhaps you should look at another directions instead of kura kaupapa Maori,” Mr Mutu says.


There's a new call for Maori to push for a name change for the country.

Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and indigenous studies at Canterbury University, says New Zealand was a name given by Dutch mapmakers who never visited these shores - and they spelt the name wrong.

He says it could be retained, but it's time to put it alongside a name more reflective of the people who live here.

“Although it’s an original spelling mistake from an irrelevant place in Europe where we don’t know where that is, you still have to respect that it’s built up an identity itself, and that’s where you would have to say something like Aotearoa New Zealand would be kind of a cool thing to have. It’s bi-cultural, multicultural,” Mr Taonui says.

The flag could be changed at the same time.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Poll leader too good to be true

He may be up to 44 percent in the preferred prime minister polls, but some Maori are still skeptical of what they can expect from John Key.

Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and indigenous studies at Canterbury University, says the National Party leader could just be Don Brash with a better face.

He says Mr Key is trying to promote himself as less right wing than his predecessor, but it's clear the same policies are in place.

“The motivation there is not to make treaty settlements fairer. It’s just to finish them off. Which is what the right wing Pakeha vote wants to do. And then after he’s finished the treaty settlements he wants to get rid of the Maori seats. So the rhetoric is nicer, but the message underneath is still pretty much the same,” Mr Taonui says.


The Taitokerau Warm and Healthy Homes project is set to roll.

Health providers will tomorrow put a plan to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority to assess up to 6000 homes in Northland, with the aim of insulating any that don't make the grade.

Kim Tito, Northland District Health Board's Maori manager, says as well as assessing the health of the buildings, public health nurses will assess the health of the occupants,

He says the link between housing and health is a simple equation.

“Some of the anecdotal research that has been completed following the pilots shows a significant reduction in the numbers of admissions by the same individuals and whanau for respiratory diseases following their housing solutions being provided to them,” Ms Tito says.

Retro-fitting insulation could cost about $2500 a house.


An acclaimed novel by Patricia Grace is to be made into a film.

Producer Rhonda Kite says work on the adaptation of Cousins is going well, and she hopes filming can start before the end of the year.

It's co-produced by Robyn Laing, who is currently filming The Vintners Luck with director Niki Caro.

Ms Kite says the story, about the way three female cousins dealt with the loss of men in their whanau in World War II, is shared by people around the world.

“We look at this family and the transition that they had to make in being Maori and continuing with the loss of our elders, or our potential elders as they were to be, post World War II,” Ms Kite says.

She's excited to be working with Patricia Grace, who is writing the screenplay.


Ngai Tahu is looking for a full year profit of close to $40 million after a strong first half.

In the six months to the end of December its commercial arm reported a net trading profit of 16 point nine million, up 172 percent on the same period the previous year.

Wally Stone, the chair of Ngai Tahu Holdings Group, says it restructuring to get rid of under-performing businesses is paying off, and there have been good returns from fisheries, tourism and property.

“Based on current performance we’ll probably exceed our annual plan so we’re really bullish, we think the first six months has given us a very solid platform. Our annual budget was around $35 million and we’re very confident we’ll be closer to $40m million,” Mr Stone says.

Ngai Tahu has low debt levels, so it should be well placed to take advantage of opportunities if markets turn down.


A new Educational Review Office framework could be a step towards kura kaupapa Maori reviewing themselves.

That's the view of Hone Mutu, the chair of Te Runanganui O Nga Kura Kaupapa Maori, which represents the nation's 60 kura.

The framework requires those reviewing kura kaupapa have a sound understanding of te reo me ona tikanga, and Te aho Matua, the guiding philosophy behind Maori immersion schools.

He says Kura staff will better understand the expectations of the Educational Review Office.

“It's a step closer to the ultimate reality, which would be Te Runanganui reviewing kura kaupapa Maori as an external body and it’s a way that Te Runanganui can also upskill our people, because we have a person on each review, to give us the evaluation knowledge and skills,” Mr Mutu says.


Northland hospitals hope a new programme will encourage more Maori health workers to come and work in the area.

Under the Pukawakawa scheme, 20 fifth year students from Auckland University's medical school will do 35 weeks of clinical practice, based out of the Whangarei, Kaitaia, Rawene and Dargaville Hospitals.

Some 20 fifth year medical students will experience 35 weeks of clinical practice working in the community.

Kim Tito, the Maori health manager for the Northland District Health Board, says the selection panel looked for students with ties to Northland or Northland iwi, who wanted to work in a rural area.

“We're giving them opportunities to come out and look what it’s like, be part of a community that is interested in having them come back and work, and to be part of a community where they are actually supported while they're being trained,” Mr Tito says.

Northland's high Maori population means it needs comprehensive medical services available.

Wairarapa schools missed from landbank

Wairarapa iwi are attempting to stop the sale of several closed schools.

Mike Kawana from Rangitane O Wairarapa says his runanga holds records with details of the pa which existed on the sites.

Rangitane and Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Rangitane O Wairarapa assumed the properties were landbanked, so they were alarmed when the Office of Treaty Settlements were advertised them for sale late last year.

Mr Kawana says the OTS processes are frustrating.

“It would be good to see the government face to have, have them come in and talk and let them know exactly what those places, sites, areas that they’re looking at selling off to people, what they actually mean to the iwi kainga,” Mr Kawana says.

The iwi expect a report on their claims from the Waitangi Tribunal later this year.


The Maori Party is hailing a few small words inserted into a local Bill as a major victory for Maori.

The Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Bill includes a requirement to consult on management issues with the mana whenua tribes of west Auckland, Ngati Whatua and Te Kawerau a Maki.

Pita Sharples says his party had to fight for the amendment.

“I had about 31 meetings before and I would not give in and we finally won it through. Why that’s so important is that this is a precedent and hopefully other iwi will insist that when there’s local laws affecting them, they’ll insist on that clause ‘must consult’ and name the hapus and iwis,” Dr Sharples says.

The bill governs what will happen on more than 27,000 hectares of public and private land on Auckland's western edge.


Maori doctors want to have a bigger say in the way the profession works.

The Maori doctors' association, Te Ora, has hired one time activist Ripeka Evans as its chief executive.

Its chairperson, David Jansen, says her experience at executive level in broadcasting and economic development and her academic background will be a valuable asset for Te Ora.

Ms Evans says there are now more than 100 Maori doctors and more coming through the medical schools, putting the association on a firm footing.

“There's a critical mass of Maori doctors but in terms of workforce development we’ve certainly got to look at the specialist areas and looking also across the board much more at influencing in terms of decision making, looking at things like any legislation, obviously government programmes,” Ms Evans says.

Te Ora has built strong links with Pacific rim doctors in Hawaii and Australia.


The Green's Maori spokesperson believes her party can make inroads into the Maori vote at this year's election.

Metiria Turei says Maori who connect to coastal communities are becoming increasingly aware of climate change and environmental issues.

She says parties seeking Maori support will need to clearly spell out their policies towards the whenua.

“The environmental impacts of climate change on poorer communities, of which Maori form a large part, so if you’ve got huge adverse effects like floods and droughts, that’s going to have a big impact on Maori communities, particularly coastal ones. And we have to have mitigation and protection mechanisms for them, and that’s something else Maori need to talk about,” Ms Turei says.


The Paediatric Society is applauding a drop in Maori infant mortality rates.

Maori infant mortality is still higher than the rest of the population, but has dropped by a third in the past decade to 6.5 deaths per thousand live births.

Rosemary Marks, the society's president, says campaigns encouraging parents to keep cars and homes smoke free and to make sure babies sleep on their backs are showing some success.

She says parents needed the support of their whanau and wider community to provide a safe environment for babies.

“All parents want to do the very best for their children, so therefore we as a community have to give them the best information and make it as easy for them to do the things that they want to do. Wider whanau supporting mums to do things like give up smoking by not smoking around them or offering cigarettes and so on,” Dr Marks says.

Parents should sleep close to their babies, but not in the same bed as is common among Maori families.


A return to the kapa haka nationals may be on the cards for former winners Ngati Rangiwewehi and Te Matarae i Orehu.

The Rotorua region withdrew from Te Matatini four years ago because of concerns over the national committee's direction.

Last year the festival included performances by hip hop, reggae and Pacific funk artists, as organisers tried to broaden its appeal beyond the core kapa haka audience.

Trevor Maxwell, from Ngati Rangiwewehi, says the organising committee may be reconsidering its approach, which would pave the way for Arawa to return.

“I think it's still a little bit of early days, but from what we hear it’s good progress towards us warming towards a possible return,” Mr Maxwell says.

Te Matatini will be held in Tauranga next year.