Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, March 14, 2008

Heart disease needs community focus

Health workers met in Wellington today to discuss ways to target the biggest killer of Maori men.

Marama Parore-Katene, the Maori health manager at Pharmac, says the drug funding agency's One Heart Many Lives conference was a way to get messages about heart disease prevention out to primary care providers.

She says it's not just general practitioners who need more support and training.

“What about nurses? What kind of training do they need in doing cardiovascular risk assessments? What about community health workers? How are they educating whanau and individuals about medicines, medicines management, eating healthier, getting more active? So there’s a whole bunch of support we need to be putting in to that group of people,” Ms Parore-Katene says.

She says Maori health providers are making significant changes in their communities.


A kapa haka expert turned politician says organisational changes have improved this year's Polyfest.

The annual Auckland secondary schools Cultural Festival has attracted 200 groups from 67 schools to the Manukau Events Centre.

New elements include speech competitions on the various Pacific Island stages, a non-competitive diversity stage for Indian, Chinese, Sri Lankan, Korean, Japanese, Filipino and Middle Eastern groups, and splitting the Maori teams into three divisions.

Pita Sharples says streaming the talent could be something the senior kapa haka competitions should look at.

“It's more prizes, more people get rewarded. People are up against teams of their own quality generally. It’s a great thing they’ve adopted, almost like the old system of first division, second division, third division rugby, but it actually worked and they’ve done it well and the standard’s high, innovation is in but there’s also real strength in the traditional stuff that's coming through,” Dr Sharples says.

The top Maori teams take the stage tomorrow.


Surviving members of the 28 Maori Battalion are mourning the death of another of their own.

Tamati Paraone of Ngati Hine, a member of A Company, died yesterday in Kawakawa at the age of 92.

He is lying in state at Otiria Marae.

Nolan Raihania, the president of the 28 Maori Battalion Association, says during his own term as president, Mr Paraone showed firm leadership against a drift towards outsiders having too much say in the association’s affairs.

“It was Tamati that stood up and said there had to be a stop to that and drew up a new constitution. Anyone can have a say but when it comes to actual voting, only 28 (Battalion) members can have a vote,” Mr Raihania says.

Tamati Paraone's death, and that of Edison Wineera last month, will cast a shadow on the annual battalion reunion in Gisborne over Easter.


Happy Birthday Waka Huia.

The archival television series celebrates its 21st birthday today - and more than 800 programmes recording the life and history of hapu throughout the motu.

Reporter Kawariki Morgan says tonight's party at Television New Zealand will pay tribute to Whai Ngata and the late Ernie Leonard, who created the show, as well as to the commitment of reporters and crew to te reo and tikanga Maori.

“The kaupapa itself has been the springboard for a lot of Maori broadcasters and for spin off programmes,” Mr Morgan says.


Rotorua District Council is asking Te Arawa to contribute to a review of its district plan and rating system.

It's holding a series of hui, beginning tomorrow at Hinemoa Point.

Bella Tait, the council's Maori research officer, says Maori were overlooked in earlier reviews.

“It's an attempt to do it differently from how we’ve done it in the past, which has been reliant on the media and paper trails, so we’re always looking for better ways of communicating, particularly these two take because they’re so complex and they’re really significant in terms of Maori landholdings and our marae,” Ms Tait says.

The council is considering whether to rate land on the basis of capital value.


There'll be ceilidh and kai galore at the second Maori Irish St Patrick's Day in the Hawke's Bay.

The Waiohiki Creative Arts Village near Taradale is staging a hui huilli starting on Sunday.

Denis O'Reilly, an Irish Catholic whose kids are Maori, says it's a chance to celebrate the shared histories of the two peoples.

“Many sort of cultural threads and historic threads as well. Indigenous peoples who had to struggle against colonial yokes, and the Irish revolution has happened economically and culturally and one gets a sense that the Maori revolution is happening as well,” O’Reilly says.

On Monday there is a St Patrick's Day Maori-Irish golf tournament at Waiohiki, the course where Kurupo Tareha introduced the game to the Maori community on his return from Queen Victoria's 60th birthday in 1896, during which trip he played a round at St Andrew’s in Scotland.

Tamati Paraone of Ngati Hine dies

Ngapuhi is today mourning the loss of one of its leaders for much of the 20th century.

Tamati Paraone died yesterday in Kawakawa Hospital at the age of 92.

He is now lying in state at Otiria Marae.

Mr Paraone represented New Zealand Maori and North Auckland in rugby, served in North Africa and italy during World War 2 and was a past president of the 28 Maori Battalion, and carved out successful businesses in farming, orcharding and commercial property.

His nephew, Erima Henare, says he was one of a handful of Northland kaumatua to survive into their tenth decade, and provided a valuable link to the past.

“These are people who have seen the arrival of the car in Northland to man landing on the moon. In 1932 through to 1940 with the revival of the te reo and culture and tikanga within Ngapuhi to the culture-proud Ngapuhi of today, these were the people that were its vanguard,” Mr Henare says.

Tamati Paraone is survived by six children, including New Zealand First MP Pita Paraone.


A veteran social worker says the law needs to be changed to give Maori more power to look under their own.

An amendment to the Children And Young Persons Act is now before Parliament.

Malcolm Peri says when the Act was first introduced in the wake of the Puao Te Ata Tu report on a Maori perspective for the Department of Social Welfare, there was an expectation Maori would have more room to develop their own solutions.

That didn't happen.

“People talk to us about our responsibility but in fact when you’re not empowered we can’t respond with ability. We tend to respond with disability. While the object of the act was aimed at helping Maori families and Maori systems to respond with ability, the authority for the empowerment didn’t come with that act,” Mr Perry says.

He says the Amendment Bill doesn't properly address Maori concerns.


Tamariki and rangatahi from across the Waikato are in Ngaruawahia today for the first day of the Tainui Regatta.

Organiser Tangihaere Ormsby says the two day event celebrates the river tribe's rich traditions, and is one of the rare occasions when all four of its waka taua are seen on the River.

Taahere tikitiki, Rangatahi, and Tuumanako are housed at Turangawaewae Marae, while Te Winika is usually on display at the Waikato Museum in Hamilton.

It's the 121st regatta.

“Because the regatta is so old it’s a special event where we express our tribal identity, our river culture. It enables our tribe to maintain the special relationship we have to our awa tupuna,” Ms Ormsby says.

Also today is the first meeting of the Guardians of the Waikato River, which includes representatives from Tainui, other river iwi, the Crown and local councils.


The woman challenging the Maori Party's selection for the Ikaroa Rawhiti nomination isn't winning the support of her fellow candidates.

Gisborne lawyer Atareta Poananga says there were conflicts of interests in the process which saw broadcaster Derek Fox emerge as the candidate.

But Mereana Pitman, who was one of the five contenders, says while it was grueling and logistically challenging, the 14 selection hui put all candidates on an equal footing.

She says Ms Poananga should look in the mirror.

“She sowed a fair few seeds of dissent and discontent herself. That’s abut as much as I will say about that during the whole road show, and to a certain extent you reap what you sow. If you sow discontent you will bring discontent and you’ll have discontent come and visit you,” Ms Pitman says.

She won't be supporting Derek Fox's campaign, but she will help Angeline Greensill in Waikato-Hauraki.


More Maori should drop the stresses of daily life, take a deep breath and walk the footsteps of their ancestors.

That's the recommendation of Rawiri Taonui, who just completed a solo hikoi across the South Island.

The head of Maori and Indigenous Studies at Canterbury University spent 16 days walking 450 kilometres along the greenstone trails, taking in nine alpine passes from Wairau to the Arahura River mouth.

He says for Maori who have lost their way, hikoi are an appropriate way to reconnect with cultural roots.

“A lot of our spiritual beliefs and symbols and motifs, moko carving etc, they all come from things in the natural world, and we don’t really spend enough time there. So going out and doing these journeys is really like revisiting the origins of where all our beliefs came from because they were born of a deep seated intimacy with the gods in nature,” Mr Taonui says.

He intends to eventually walk all the 30 alpine passes tupuna used for the greenstone trade.


An expert in traditional Maori kites and games is finding more interest overseas than in Aotearoa.

Harko Brown is taking 18 kite makers and kapa haka performers from Kerikeri High School to Italy next month for the Cervia Kite Festival.

The event attracts up to half a million visitors and kite enthusiasts from 60 countries.

He says He Manu o Aotearoa is constantly on the look-out for advice and designs from local and international sources.

“You link in with local communities and the information comes out if the ahu is right. They’ll let the information come out to you and they’ll let you build on it, so we’re very lucky that people have helped us a lot with different designs. I think there’s about 17 designs in the last tow years that we’ve been able to build or know about, so we’d like to develop some of them,” Mr Brown says.

Once the group gets back from Italy, He Manu o Aotearoa will prepare kites for showing at Te Papa in Wellington during the Matariki Festival in June.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Paraparaumu land open for development

Descendants of former owners of Paraparaumu airport land say their concerns have been ignored by commissioners looking at a planned development of the site.

The three commissioners have recommended the Kapiti Coast District Council change its district plan to allow a business park and shops be built around the airfield.

Peter Love from Te Whanau a Ngarara says the process has once again exposed the 1995 sale of the airport as a sham.

The then-National Government argued it did not have to be offered back to former landowners because there was no change of use.

Mr Love says the commissioners gave the developer-friendly council the outcome it sought.

‘They're not addressing the issue that the surplus land at the airport is being built over by this development and once they’ve built over it, we’re unlikely to get it back,” Mr Love says.

He says the pressure will now go on the council to reject the recommendation.


The editor of a new Maori public health journal says Maori health providers could do more to market themselves.

Anton Blank says most have no media strategy and only advertise their services in marae or their clinics.

He's challenging Maori health providers to strengthen their relationships with the media.

“Our health providers tend to invest heavily in things like brochures and pamphlets and web sites. What I think they need to do is start being brave enough to get their issues out into the media because that is the way that people receive information so our people are far more likely to be listening to the radio, watching tv so things like advertising, getting our message into the media, those are really important strategies,” Mr Blank says.

He says many worthwhile Maori health initiatives are going unreported.


A Hawkes Bay marae has hosted a special day to raise funds to help Te Huki Marae near Wairoa, which lost several buildings to fire last April.

Organiser Mei Whaitiri, from Kohupatiki Marae near Clive, says the focus was on the kuia of Ngati Pahauwera.

She says men get honoured all the time, but it's the nannies who keep communities together, especially in times of strife.

“It was just a different way of celebrating the nannies of Ngati Pahauwera and a way of gathering the finances to help rebuild Te Huki marae. And the nannies absolutely enjoyed the day, we enjoyed hosting them at Kohupatiki and we really spoilt them,” Mrs Whaitiri says.

More than 200 whanau came to the hui, raising around $7000 towards the cost of rebuilding.


Ka hinga he totara mai te wao nui o Tane.

Tamati Paraone, a rangatira of Ngati Hine and one of the oldest members of the 28 Maori Battalion, died this afternoon at Kawakawa Hospital. He was 92.

His nephew, Erima Henare, says Mr Brown was a noted sportsman in his youth, representing New Zealand Maori and North Auckland on the wing.

Because of his speed he was also third challenger for Ngapuhi in wero from the first great hui in 1934 to 1950.

He was an entrepreneur who pioneered horticulture in Kerikeri, and was generous with his wealth for tribal purposes.

Mr Henare says his death is a huge loss for Ngati Hine.

“Tamati is a descendant of the great Ngati Hine chief and warrior Kawiti’s eldest son, Taura, and therefore held an important rank and role in Ngati Hine affairs. His passing is the passing of a great peacemaker and mediator in a lot of issues and disputes that Ngati Hine have had within themselves,” Mr Henare says.

Tamati Paraone will be taken to Otiria Marae this evening, and the tangi is expected to last until Monday.


One of the defeated candidates for the Maori Party's Ikaroa Rawhiti nomination says the party is top heavy with men.

Mereana Pitman won't support Derek Fox, who won the right to challenge for the East Coast seat ... but she also has little sympathy for the claims of faulty procedure by Atareta Poananga, who is challenging the result.

She'll instead back Angeline Greensill's efforts to win the Waikato-Hauraki seat.

Ms Pitman says Maori tend to undervalue the contribution of women, who do a lot of the word work on kaupapa Maori issues.

“I think it is too top heavy with men. We have to look at some equitable way of getting some women in there as well, because I think that’s what it needs. For a party that preaches balance, it needs to practice balance,” Ms Pitman says.

She says the selection process in Ikaroa Rawhiti of 14 hui in six days was ludicrous and grueling, and members seemed swayed more by image than substance.


The organiser of the first Takitimu Festival of the Arts is trying to attract interest from around the Pacific.

Tama Huata says he wants to bring together artists from across Te Moananui a Kiwa who share a whakapapa to the ancestral waka.

An invitation to the Raraotongan community has been well received, and they are looking forward to the opportunity to meet their cousins from Aotearoa.

“See they've got their side of their stories. With us here at home, we’ve got the end of the story. And then we can’t forget our Samoans either and the Fijians, Tongans, Tahitians, all that lot who are connected with the waka, bringing our best artists together in a great celebration, so giving us an opportunity to really have a good look at our history as well,” Mr Huata says.

The Takitimu Festival will be held in the Hawkes Bay in November.

Peters wants Maori involved on Maori seats.

New Zealand First's leader says Maori people need to be consulted on the future of the Maori seats.

National has pledged to scrap the seats, probably as soon as 2014, once historic treaty claims are settled.

But Winston Peters says it can't be done unilaterally.

He says the best argument for getting rid of the seats was made by the commission of inquiry into the electoral system, which said a mixed member proportional system was a better way to assure Maori representation in Parliament.

“The number of Maori in Parliament has improved dramatically since the 1996 election and what we said as a party two elections ago. That we believe it’s time for Maori people to be consulted on this issue on the promise that was set out by the electoral commission and see what Maori people think about that,” Mr Peters says.


Many Maori are walking around without realising they have kidney disease.

Carmel Gregan-Ford from Kidney Health New Zealand says Maori make up about a third of the people receiving dialysis treatment or kidney replacements, in part because of their predisposition to diabetes.

To mark World Kidney Day today, her organisation is screening parliamentary staff.

She says early detection of a disease which affects one in 10 New Zealanders means early treatment.

“The major barrier to the detection and treatment is that up to 90 percent of the people with chronic kidney disease don’t actually know they have it. For Maori it’s a very simple test. They can di it in their own home. So it’s something we’re feeling quite excited about and it’s something we’re going to tray to make more accessible, particularly for the at risk populations, which includes the Maori and Pacific Island people,” Ms Gregan-Ford says.

Kidney Health New Zealand has plans for screening programmes through marae and iwi health providers.


The third and final volume of the teachings of a Tuhoe tohunga is now on the shelves.

Hohepa Kereopa died last September, but not before having a chance to read the manuscript of The Tohunga Journal.

Author Paul Moon, the head of history at AUT University's Te Ara Poutama school of Maori development, says the material was collected during many long sessions beside the tohunga's hospital bed.

The first two books covered Maori principles and concepts and gardening and natural remedies.

“There's this other topic that was always within him. We’d talked about it for years. It was to do with Rua Kenana, the mountain Maungapohatu and the whole movement that took place there 100 years ago. He has a very strong connection with that and had some interesting and provocative ideas about that whole thing. It covers a lot of ideas to do with religion and spirituality,” Dr Moon says.

The Tohunga Journal has been flying off the shelves, as many people were waiting for its publication.


Radio station manager turned politician Hone Harawira wants more attention paid to the needs of Maori radio and television.

The Maori Party MP says the Broadcasting Amendment Bill now before Parliament could do more to consolidate gains in the sector.

The party is backing the bill, which will allo Maori broadcast funding agency which will allow Te Mangai Paho to fund the archiving of Maori programmes.

But Mr Harawira says it could go further and address important governance issues.

“Given that Maori Television is run by a board appointed by both Crown and Maori, why is it not possible to extend that same governance arrangement to Te Taurawhiri o te Reo and Te Mangai Paho so that those people are seen to be actively represent the interests of both the Crown and Maori,” he says.

Mr Harawira says Maori broadcasters still don't have guaranteed funding, and the operational grant for iwi radio stations has only been increased once in 20 years.


There's a new publication devoted to Maori public health issues.

Oranui is the work of Anton Blank, a communications consultant who has spent 25 years working in the health field.

The first issue of Oranui includes contributions from Massey University professor Mason Durie, general practioner and researcher David Tipene Leach and Maakere Jordan Kaa.

Mr Blank says there's been no journal specifically about Maori health.

“I've found that working around Maori public heath is there is a lot of work going on that’s not being captured and I guess my idea in terms of pulling the journal together was we start building a sense of history, off what’s developing, so it’s a lot of really innovative work and I wanted to start recording that,” Mr Blank says.


The NRL season gets underway this weekend, but the assistant coach for the defending premieres has his mind on a date in early May.

Steven Kearny from Paraparaumu is assistant coach for the Melbourne Storm, who take on the New Zealand warriors in Melbourne on Monday night.

The 35-year-old former Kiwi captain also coaches the national squad.
He says that means getting ready for the centenary trans-Tasman test against Australia in Sydney in May.

“I'm confident that we can provide the players with the right kind of environment to play well on May 9. We’ve got Dean Bell there, the mana that he carries, (Reuben Wiki) will be on board as a mentor-type role for the week. That’s my focus as a coach, to restore that pride and that mana back into the Kiwi jersey,” Mr Kearney says.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Reading plan bypasses teachers

Donna Awatere-Huata wants education to be taken back into the whanau.

The former MP has reworked her four-minute reading programme into a whanau literacy programme for West Auckland's Waipareira Trust.

Catch Kapohia involves training up people to assess the literacy levels of family members and deliver reading programme.

Mrs Awatere-Huata says Maori need an alternative to the school system, which has failed Maori for more than 30 years.

“What you're doing is putting the knowledge back in the family rather than relying on them going to school and leaving it for a teacher to do. (In) 2006, 53 percent of Maori boys failed NCEA level one literacy and numeracy. I mean, get real. Our children are bright. They’re not learning to read because of the way they're being taught,” Ms Awatere-Huata says.

Unless Maori help themselves they will spiral into failure.


Labour will have to convince New Zealand First of the wisdom of its planned Maori development bank to get it through Parliament.

The plan to use $35 million of the Maori Trustee's accumulated profits to create a new statutory corporation is opposed by National and the Maori Party.

Winston Peters says his party voted to send the Maori Trustee Amendment Bill to a select committee so it could find out how Maori Business Aotearoa New Zealand would work.

“This idea could work, but I’ve not seen anything of the past that would give me a belief it would work at this point in time, so New Zealand First’s position is we want to know exactly what’s going to happen, whether there is a chance of imperiling the fund that is over 90 years old and belonging to 140,000 people, and it’s their money, we’re entitled to know where it's going,” he says.

Mr Peters says past loan schemes like the Mana Enterprises of the 1980s had failed to deliver on their promise of Maori development.


Maori printmakers have joined together to promote the artform to Maori.

Toi Wakataa Press co-founder Vanessa Edwards says the collective now has 15 members.

She says while print making is not a traditional Maori form, there are elements about it that feel familiar.

“We've discussed the idea of why we were attracted to the form of printmaking and there’s that idea of carving when it comes to woodcuts and cutting out those relief carvings and sculptures and things like that, and printing them up and inking them, and there’s also this nice idea about ink and line with ta moko and pushing the ink into the line and wiping it back and pulling out an image,” she says.

Edwards' etchings of Pakeha women wearing moko kauae or chin tattoos are currently on show at the Solander Gallery in Wellington.


It’s the Fox fighting fund.

That's Tau Henare's name for a proposed new Maori development agency, to be set up with accumulated profits of the Maori Trustee.

The National list MP says that money should go to the 180,000 owners whose land the trustee administers.

He says the statutory corporation, Maori Business Aotearoa New Zealand, is a bad idea by the Maori affairs minister, Parekura Horomia.

“It's going to be a bank. It's going to be a development fund for his mates and for his pet projects. Who chooses these people who are going to be on this corporation? The minister of Maori affairs. Who chooses the chairman? The minister of Maori affairs.

“This guy is under pressure now on the East Coast now that Derek (Fox) has been elected as the representative of the Maori Party. He is under major pressure,” Mr Henare says.

He says rather than spending the money, the government should be trying to find all the Maori Trustee's beneficiaries.


The founder of a leading contemporary dance company says culture festivals are helping develop the next generation of Maori and Pacific Island dancers.

Polyfest, the Auckland secondary schools' Maori and Pacific Island cultural festival kicked off today in Manukau.

Neil Ieriemia from Black Grace the huge festival it gives young people the chance to learn about their culture and link it to future careers.

“People from our cultures generally don’t consider dance as a valid career path because it’s so much a part of our everyday life. We go to a tangi or a wedding, we sing and we naturally get up and we’re storyteller, so we don’t see it as part of our daily lives, but something like Polyfest helps to reinforce that for people,” Ieriemia says.

Black Grace is performing at WOMAD in New Plymouth this weekend.


Maori kites will be flying in Italian skies next month.

Kerikeri high school teacher Harko Brown is leading a group of students to an international kite festival in Cervia.

As well as flying seven traditional kites, the group will perform kapa haka and demonstrate Maori games.

“The kites we made are specific to the event and the event we’re making at Cervia this year, it’s more the emphasis on Maori games and Matariki. The biggest one we’ve got is a three metre round kite called the tuwharekiarahi, and those are the kites that were flown when game playing was going on at marae in the pa,” Mr Brown says.

While in Italy He Manu o Aotearoa will also visit the abbey at Monte Cassino to pay their respects to the New Zealanders who fell in World War II.

Coastal statement input sought

Maori are being encouraged to have their say on a revised Coastal Policy Statement.

Mahara Okeroa, the associate minister of Conservation, says the social and political environment has changed since the initial statement was prepared more than a decade ago to guide the work of councils administering the Resource Management Act.

Having the right policy settings can prevent the sort of fight his own Te Atiawa people at Waitara went through 25 years ago to stop their reefs being polluted by the Think Big methanol project.

“They had to fight hugely against bureaucratic inertia and policies in order to get people to understand that you can’t continue to whakaparuparu mai te awa, whakaparuparu mai oki moana.

“You’ve got to have respect for the natural phenomena in our environment. I think we all as people understand that. We’re a coastal peole, whether we’re Pakeha or Maori, and we have those same concerns,” Mr Okeroa says.

People should make submissions to the board of inquiry set up to consult on the Coastal Policy Statement.


The kapa haka talent of tomorrow is on stage today.

The Auckland secondary schools Polyfest kicks off this morning at the Manukau events centre.

From humble beginnings in 1976 when four schools took part, Polyfest now boasts hundreds of cultural groups from 66 secondary schools around Tamaki Makaurau.

Tama Huata from Te Matatini, the kapa haka national competition, says the rangatahi are learning valuable skills.

“They're coming through with all the elements that actually carry them in pretty good stead when they come up into senior kapa haka: stagecraft, their linguistic skills, their language, their ability to interact with audiences. Those are really the important ingredients of what these rangatahi are actually preparing themselves for,” Mr Huata says.

Polyfest runs until Saturday.


Images of Pakeha women with chin tattoos are causing some raised eyebrows around Wellington.

They're in an exhibition of etchings at Solander Gallery by Vanessa Edwards.

The Tuwharetoa printmaker says her use of moko kauae was a way to comment on how Maori culture affected Pakeha culture, and vice versa.

“It's a comfort zone thing, at people arte more comfortable with them being Maori women, or more traditionally it should be Maori women, but I guess it made me think about why did I make that and it was to create the discussion about where are we going with our Maori expression and our ta moko and who’s doing it, how is it being represented, and what are we doing to join that conversation,” Ms Edwards says.

She says ta moko seems to be becoming a form of national expression, rather than specifically Maori.


The Prime Minister believes the Maori Party will try to keep everyone guessing about what it will do after the election.

The party's overtures to National have again come unstuck over John Key's plans to ax the Maori seats.

Helen Clark says Labour isn't giving up on the Maori seats, and it will also be going hard to win the party vote from Maori voters.

“We're seen by the Maori Party as very much a competitor. The National Party on the other hand which doesn’t believe in the Maori seats and doesn’t run in them seems to have a different relationship with them. So for the time being I guess we’ll all paddle our own canoes. I don’t think the Maori Party will declarer one way or another what it will do if it is still in Parliament after the next election,” Ms Clark says.

She says Maoridom has no interest in having a National-led government, which could upset the momentum of treaty settlements and employment growth.


Meanwhile, a treaty historian says claim deadlines are looking increasingly unrealistic.

Maori have until September to lodge claims for historic treaty breaches.

Labour aims to settle those claims by 2020, while National says it will do the job by 2014.

Paul Moon from AUT University says neither target will be met, because the resources aren't going to the right places.

“The Waitangi Tribunal, even at the present rate, without those extra claims, isn’t able to deal with all the business it’s facing, so there’s a huge backlog at the moment The backlog will only get bigger, and it’s almost impossible that in six years it will all be dealt with,” Mr Moon says.

He expects a rash of sketchy claims leading up to September, as hapu strive to get their issues into the system before the deadline.


The fastest Maori in motorsport is racing to the clouds.

Marty Rostenburg from Ngati Kahungunu has been confirmed as a starter in this year’s Pike’s Peak Hillclimb in the Colorado Rockies.

He's preparing his space framed carbon fibre Mitsubishi EVO for the rally in July, regarded as the toughest of its type.

He's won New Zealand's premier hill climb, the Race to the Sky, but altitude factors come into play at Pikes Peak.

“The finish line is the equivalent of halfway up Mt Everest. The engine is going to be starved of oxygen, and I’m going to be starved of oxygen as well, because even the start line is higher that the finish line at Race to the Sky down in Cardrona. This one is called Race to the Clouds and you definitely are up in the clouds if you are lucky enough to get to the top,” Mr Rostenburg says.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Candidate defends process in Ikaroa Rawhiti

One of the unsuccessful aspirants for the Maori Party's Ikaroa Rawhiti nomination says the process was fair, open and transparent.

The selection of broadcaster Derek Fox to take on Maori Affairs Minister Parekura has been challenged by the 2005 candidate, Atareta Poananga, who is claiming conflicts of interest by electorate officials.

But Keriana Tawhiwhirangi says there were daily meetings by nominees, scrutineers and electorate officials to ensure the multi-hui selection process went smoothly.

“Every day, every one of us had a chance to put issues on the table, concerns on the table to be addressed and issue s were put on the table and they were dealt with and there were assurances to improve on a range of different things so there was ample opportunity for us to air our concerns as the days went by,” Ms Tawhiwhirangi says.

She says the selection process had encouraged a large number of people to get involved with the Maori Party.


A treaty historian says National's Maori seats policy reeks of empty political posturing.

Leader John Key says National will introduce legislation to scrap the seven seats once historical treaty claims are settled - which he believes will be about 2014.

Paul Moon from AUT University says that target is unrealistic - and there is no logical connection between the seats and treaty claims.

He says if a future National government wants to abolish the seats, all it needs to is introduce the legislation ... and try to get the votes from other parties to get it passed.

“What they're really trying to say is we’re going to put off this issue, we’re going to have our cake and eat it, we’re going to satisfy some voters by saying ‘yes, we’re getting rid of them, you should vote for us,’ but can also satisfy people on the other side by saying ’hey, we’re not going to do it now, we hope to do it in six years,’ and we all know what politicians hopes are like,” Dr Moon says.

He says setting deadlines for claim settlements is driven by populist politics, rather than any desire to see justice for Maori for what happened in the past.


Two Maori musicians have made the finals of the prestigious International Songwriting Competition.

Piki Kake Ake by Ruia Aperehama is in the world music category, while a waiata by Mahara Tocker has made it through in the pop section.

Moana Maniapoto won the competition in 2003 with her song Moko.
Mr Aperahama says the Nashville-based competition attracts songs from across the globe, and winning it can be a tremendous boost.

“For New Zealand, Kiwi, Maori songwriters, this is another opportunity to get global world recognition for our talents and our skills. Little countries like New Zealand can stand up against America, Japan and China and make a big difference and as Moana has shown, take out the competition,” Mr Aperahama says.

Other finalists from New Zealand include Rotorua blues musician, who has a song in the Americana category, Daniel James McGuire from Wellington in the rock section, and Radha and the Kiwi Kids, who have an entry in the children's section.


A Maori coroner is welcoming moves to give police the power to stop body-snatching.

Brandt Shortland from Te Taitokerau says a suggestion by the acting chief coroner that all bodies come under a coroner's care could be a way out of the current situation.

He says there is currently no legal framework to cover people uplifting a tupapaku during a dispute over where a burial should take place.

“As we've seen, everyone stands by powerless. It doesn’t fit into criminal law, it’s a civil matter, the tupapku is not a chattel, it’s not a possession. Someone said to me today that knowing full well that there’s a tupapku inside the coffin, maybe they can pick them up for theft of a coffin. Someone must own that. So people are clutching at straws trying to find a way to resolve these issues,” Mr Shortland says.

He says body snatching is usually a problem of communication rather than culture, and the proposed law change could allow coroners and police to mediate a solution family members can live with.


Then Prime Minister says Parliament is losing one of its true characters.

Labour list MP Dover Samuels is retiring from politics, and plans to move to Australia after the election.

Helen Clark says he's been a leading figure in the party since returning from across the Tasman in the late 1970s, and was the Maori vice president when she first became an MP.

“Dover's just always been there for us, worked hard, been very helpful. We’ve had our ups and downs for sure but he’s always been just very very staunch and we’re all going to miss Dover, going to miss the hat, going to miss the sense of humour, going to miss the song. He’s been one of Parliament's genuine characters,” Ms Clark says.


The opening salvo in the Northern Wars was commemorated with a dawn service in Russell this morning.

March the eleventh was when Ngati Hine rangatira Te Ruki Kawiti distracted the British garrison while Hone Heke chopped down the flagpole for the first time.

He eventually chopped it down four times... provoking the British forces into battles at Ohaewai and Ruapekapeka.

Raumoa Kawiti is a direct descendent of both Te Ruki Kawiti and Maihi Paraone Kawiti, who re-erected the flagpole 12 years later.

He says the attack was a protest about the Crown encroaching into what Heke saw as his domain.

“After the signing of the treaty, all the fees they got from the boats coming from all round the world, after the treaty was signed the Crown took over all the running, all the money that was coming to Hone Heke and Pomare,” Mr Kawiti says.

Kawiti's forces took time out from the battle to ensure non-combatants were evacuated from Kororareka.

Geothermal power circle of life

The Maori owners of a Taupo steamfield say there's more than enough there to drive a second geothermal power station.

Tauhara North Number 2 Trust is in a joint venture with Mighty River Power to build a $450 million station at Rotokawa.

Aroha Campbell, the trust's chief executive, says the original Rotokawa plant has been running smoothly for more than ten years.

She says geothermal power isn't subject to the same climactic risk as hydro schemes.

“It's renewable and because the resource will be reinjected and over time used again, that it has that circle of life,” Ms Campbell says.

The joint venture aims to break ground next month, once procurement contracts are sorted out.


Retiring Labour MP Dover Samuels has lashed out at what he calls sewage politics becoming part of the political discourse.

The Northland list MP was suspended as Maori affairs minister in 2000 because of what the prime minister said were allegations swirling around him of an historic relationship with a staff member at his Matauri Bay motel.

An investigation cleared him, but his subsequent ministerial appointments were outside Cabinet.

Mr Samuels says he bears Helen Clark no ill will ... and she has also faced denigrating attacks about her family and private life which have become all too common.

“That is a sad state of affairs for New Zealand politics, and I hope the next generation of politicians would not even go there, would not even entertain that type of attitude and make that type of comments in the House or outside the House and I think it is cowardly to raise those issues in Parliament, in the debating chamber, in the house of representatives when you know you’ve got parliamentary privilege protecting you, because you’d never say it outside,” he says.

Mr Samuels says Helen Clark is one of the best political leaders he has worked with.


A week at the Australian Performing Arts Market has convinced a Maori arts administrator that Maori artists have some clear advantages on their indigenous counterparts.

James Ashcroft, the Creative Director of Taki Rua Productions. says it was a change to gauge how the Wellington company stacks up internationally.

He says Australian companies are still trying to build up an audience.

“In terms of Maori theatre, I think we’re very lucky in that we’ve been able to have access to stages and audience nationwide and there’s actually a need from audiences, both urban and rural, Maori and Pakeha alike to view and share in those stories, so I think we’re very lucky,” Mr Ashcroft says.

Taki Rua is keen to send some of its productions across the Tasman, such as the Second World War drama Strange Resting Places.


A Maori coroner says Maori culture is not to blame in a series of high profile body snatching cases.

The acting chief coroner is recommending a law change to make coroners responsible for all tupapaku.

This means they can hang on to bodies if disputes arise about burial arrangements, and attempt to mediate between family members.

Brandt Shortland of Nga Puhi, the coroner for Te Taitokerau, says it's about family members not being able to communicate with each other.

“It's not about Maori and it’s not about culture. It’s about the break down in communication between family, whanau. And as we know tikanga-wise, when one whanau comes to challenge another whanau for tupapaku, under tikanga there’s a way of resolving this where the kaumatua meet and they talk and they greet and they debate, they tend to find a way to resolve it so everyone’s happy, and that’s how it’s been for hundreds of years,” Mr Shortland says.

His most recent dispute over a body involved a completely Pakeha whanau.


A veteran Maori social worker says changes in the law regarding young people need to be accompanied by new approaches to social work.

The Government is bringing 17 year olds into the jurisdiction of the Youth Court, to comply with international human rights obligations.

Malcolm Perry worked for the Social Welfare Department's maatua whangai programme in the 1980s when the Children And Young Persons Act was first brought in.

He says the original bill offered hope that Maori communities could take responsibility for wayward children... but the promised programmes to reinvigorate whanau and hapu did not eventuate.

“While the object of the Act was helping Maori family and Maori systems to respond with ability, the authority or the empowerment didn’t come with that Act and as a consequence we are not different than we were before,” Mr Perry says.

Any reform of the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act will have an impact on Maori children.


Outspoken Labour MP Dover Samuels says he needs to get out of Parliament while he's still got his health.

The Northland-based MP is entered Parliament in 1996 on Labour's list, and then held the Tai Tokerau seat for two terms.

He says he's had a good run, and while he's pushing a young 70, a slide is inevitable.

“I've got all my marbles with me and the family jewels and healthy and looking at 10 years ahead I think I’ll spend time with my son and my family on the Sunshine Coast,” Mr Samuels says.

He's got over the events which led to his departure from Cabinet in 2000, and he rates Helen Clark as one of the best political leaders he has been associated with.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Path to seat paved in party riches

The Maori Party's Ikaroa Rawhiti candidate is looking forward to a big team and a decent budget for this year's election.

In 1999 Derek Fox came within 695 votes of stopping Parekura Horomia winning the seat.

The veteran broadcaster says in that election he was fighting a tide coming in for Labour across the country, he was standing as an independent with no party machine, and he had just over a month between announcing his candidacy and election day.

“This time there's the support of a party so there’s the opportunity for billboards and other party support which we never had last time. Last time it was just handful of people, driving around the electorate talking to people, didn’t have any campaign funds apart from what I was able to borrow from the bank,” Mr Fox says.

He won't be attacking the sitting MP, but will ask voters whether the seat should be held by a party based on tikanga Maori or by a non-Maori Party.


A leading Maori public health specialist says the low quality of life many Maori experience is reflected in high rates of mental disorder.

Lorna Dyall from Auckland University's faculty of medical and health sciences says Schizophrenia Awareness Week is a good opportunity to look at the wider issues affecting mental heath, such as poverty and substance abuse.

She says about half of Maori people will have a period of mental ill health, ranging from anxiety and mood disorders to a full fledged illness.

That raises questions about the lives they lead.

“What is the quality of life that most Maori people have in New Zealand? What is the quality of life for our young people, for those in their middle years, and for those in their elder years? Most of us don’t actually have a great quality of life. We live in poverty, we live under stress, our families are under stress and trauma, and we experience poor health,” Ms Dyall says.

While Maori have a high rate of mental diagnosis, they tend to seek treatment outside the system ... or just get on with life.


Rotorua wahine took International Women's Day seriously this year.

The Waiariki branch of the Maori Women’s Welfare League hosted a breakfast yesterday to look at the role of women in society.

Branch president Merlene Tahata says there were some inspirational messages from the speaker, chief human rights commissioner Rosslyn Noonan, especially for the large group from Rotorua Girls High School who represent the league's future.

“Whether it's education, whether it’s their own background, their whakapapa, their iwi base, hapu base, they’re the ones that have to promote that and go with it, and that’s what we encourage them to do and that’s what Ms Noonan said, follow your dreams and work to the highest of your potential,” Ms Tahata says.

She says the league is encouraging more women to run for boards and councils in their communities.


Derek Fox is promising a clean campaign to wrest Ikaroa Rawhiti from Parekura Horomia.

The veteran broadcaster has been confirmed as the Maori Party candidate for the East Coast seat, barring an appeal by 2005 candidate Atareta Poananga.

Since Mr Fox missed out on the seat in 1999 by 695 votes, he spent some time as the Government-appointed chair of Maori Television, and has also done consultancy work for the Maori affairs minister and the Ministry for Maori Development.

He says blood is thicker than water.

“I certainly don't intend saying anything offensive about my whanaunga. I just don’t do that. I don’t intend bagging him. I really do see this as just a philosophical struggle, the struggle being should Ikaroa Rawhiti be held by a Maori party that is based on Maori philosophy and tikanga that is aimed to advance Maori hopes and aspirations as opposed to being held by a political party that is driven not by Maori but by some other philosophy,” Mr Fox says.


She's enrolled in a seat her party says shouldn't exist.

That's the challenge faced by National list MP Georgina te Heuheu.

As one of the party's spokespeople on Maori affairs, she's backing National's policy of scrapping the Maori seats after historical treaty claims are settled - probably in six years.

Until then, she intends to stay enrolled in the Waiariki electorate.

Mrs te Heuheu says she never questioned where she would be signed on.

“It provides me with another avenue to affirm my Maoriness. Now, if the Maori electorate wasn’t there, I wouldn’t feel less Maori, but looking at it in a positive way, I’m on that roll because to my mind it affirms the fact that I am Maori,” Mrs te Heuheu says.

She says if all Maori gave their party votes to the Maori Party, it could remain in Parliament without winning any electorates.


A taonga puoro master says he's been reduced to tears by what's coming out of a collaboration between players of the traditional Maori and Irish instruments.

Richard Nunns has been rehearsing with Irish bouzouki player Donal Lunny and other musicians in preparation for next weekend's appearance at Womad in New Plymouth.

He says the Greenfire Islands project exceeded his expectations.

“There's genuine, the word I use is raranga, there’s genuine weaving going on that I think would be very hard for people, regardless if they know anything about Irish music, it will be very hard for people not to be bound up in this extraordinary occasion, and I’m absolutely amazed and of course thrilled to be part of it,” Mr Nunns says.

Fox takes on minister

Get ready for the rematch...

The Maori Party has chosen veteran broadcaster Derek Fox as its candidate for the East Coast Ikaroa Rawhiti seat.

That puts him up against the Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia for the first time since 1999, when Mr Fox trailed on the day by just over 700 votes,

Pita Sharples, the Maori Party co-leader says in that election Mr Fox was running as an independent.

“He actually went alone, as an independent, and he jolly near took Parekura out then so of course Parekura’s been a minister for some time and very handy with his cheque book so he’ll be a little bit harder this time around, so it’s quite exciting they’re getting another go at each other,” Dr Sharples says.


A waahi tapu has nixed Raglan as the venue for a major international surfing event.

Greg Townsend, the chief executive of Surfing New Zealand, says the popular beach on Waikato's west coast was considered for Search in August.

But the sponsor, Rip Curl, wanted to include a left-hand point break known as the Indicators, rather than stick to the more well known Manu Bay.

That wasn't possible because the dunes and foreshore at that part of the beach are sacred Maori land.

“It would have been fantastic for New Zealand, but after talking to the local iwi, landowners and the surfers explained to me the meaning of that area and what it meant to me, and the decision was quite clear. It’s more important to have relationships in major event, and we’re totally respectful of cultural sensitivities of both Maori and the surfers,” Mr Townsend says.

He says it's important for any event to maintain community support.


Theres more to koauau than meets the eye.

That's what the curator of a touring exhibition of Maori wood flutes has discovered.

Rob Thorne, an anthropologist and musician from Ngati Maru and Ngati Tumutumu, worked with carver Warren Warbrick to make 15 taonga puoro for the show.

He says the exhibition is about what's inside the koauau.

“A lot of the pieces appear to be unfinished or just appear to be sticks or bits of wood, but the inside bore has been made and all of the instruments are highly playable, or exceptionally well playable actually, and that’s the cool thing, people see these things and they go ‘whaor, that’s just a stick.’ And then they realized they’re surrounded by sticks, and they too can just whip one up and play it,” Thorne says.

Koauau can be seen at Te Manawa Museum in Palmerston North until May.


Ngati Tuwharetoa interests have teamed up with former ACT leader Richard Prebble to develop a major subdivison near Turangi.

Dixon Chapman, a director of Te Whenua Ventures says it is on a former Landcorp block bought by Tuwharetoa trusts for $10 million two years ago.

He says land land use restrictions caused by efforts to reduce the levels of nitrate in Lake Taupo means the owners had to find alternative uses for the 650 hectare block.

“Turangi has been locked in because of the various landholdings around it and this block presented an opportunity where we could develop a significant number of sections, a subdivisional development and still retain over 50 percent of the block,” Mr Chapman says.

He says the development could take up to thirty years to complete.


Derek Fox will have some old friends around him if he wins the Ikaroa Rawhiti seat in this year’s election.

The veteran broadcaster beat out four other contenders for the Maori Party nomination in a grueling series of iwi meetings.

Pita Sharples, the party’s co-leader. says all of the candidates were of a high calibre.

He says Mr Fox is well known in the electorate and in the party caucus.

“Derek and I go way back and I guess all Maori who are out there in the front line know each other inside out so I am really pleased. Actually all five candidates were really excellent candidates but Derek’s been chosen and we’re quite excited about that,” Dr Sharples says.


A Dutch-born photographer who has been documenting New Zealand life for almost fifty years says she has witnessed an enormous change in the way Maori live.

Ans Westra's touring exhibition Handboek has now reached the Tauranga Art Gallery.

Its 200 images include a lot of her most well know shots of Maori life in the 1960s.

Ms Westra says when she came to Aotearoa in 1957, from Holland, nobody else seemed to be documenting Maori life.

She's grateful she was able to record a significant slice of Maori history.

“In the 60s the idea was to leave Maori things behind and become Europeanised and in there early 70s there was a total reversal because people thought they were losing too much so there’s been this Maori renaissance. Yeah, I witnessed all of that,” Westra says.