Waatea News Update

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

My Photo
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, March 28, 2008

Car hire firm Whaka up down

The struggle continues to win respect for Te Reo Maori.

An Auckland car rental company has taken down a billboard making a play on the names Whakatane, Whakamaru, Whakamoa and "any whaka" after a complaint from the Maori language commission.

Te Tuara Whiri chief executive Huhana Rokx says the ad was highly offensive.

She says experimenting with the language is encouraged, but treating it as the butt of a smutty joke is unacceptable.

“The Maori Language commission and I’m sure most Maori language speakers are not averse to people playing around with the language, and I use that expression very carefully too, but what we’re saying is be informed, be advised well, know what it is you are doing when you are wanting to play with the language,” Mrs Rokx says.

She says a majority of New Zealanders appear to respect the language, there was still ignorance by some.


Happy Birthday to Maori Television.

It celebrated its fourth birthday with the launch of a new digital channel, which will broadcast 100 percent te reo content for three hours a night.

The Minister for Maori Affairs, who secured the funds for the new channel, says the service has been able to hold its head high at this week's Indigenous Television Broadcasters Conference in Auckland.

“There are not many countries in the world that have a full indigenus channel, and it’s survived four years, it has good management, it has 170-odd staff and a lot of those are Maori and it is progressive in my mind as anywhere in the world,” Mr Horomia says.


People looking for an alternative to the supermarket can stop in Tolaga Bay tomorrow to buy organic Maori kai.

East Coast Maori organic growers will be selling traditional vegetables like kamokamo, kanga Maori corn and riwai at the first organic festival at Hauiti Marae.

Fraser Taiapa, a Ngati Porou kaumatua and the maker of a kumara wine, says they all try to uphold the tikanga that goes along with maara kai.

“For me I don't like the word organic because it takes away the tuturutanga o nga tipuna, nei. Even though the way we plant, we’ve always planted according to the marmaka, the seasons, and also how we utilize our whenua, and what we put back into it,” Mr Taiapa says.

Scientists from Crop & Food Research will be on hand to demonstrate how Maori growers can improve the health of their crops.


Indigenous television broadcasters from round the world have united into a new network.

Maori Television head Jim Mather says that's the outcome of this weeks World Indigenous Television Broadcasters' Conference in Auckland.

He says previously the nine broadcasters have been working in isolation - and they were surprised how much they have in common.

“Much of the work we are doing is very very similar and there is a lot of benefits to be gained form staff exchanges or sharing particular areas of expertise and a big surprise was that we hadn’t done this before and I suppose Maori Television, we’re only four years old, so we’re one of the newer ones, but we thought we needed to take a leadership role in this area,” Mr Mather says.

The next indigenous broadcasters conference will be in Taiwan in two years time, with Wales and Canada hosting subsequent conferences.


The Sir James Henare Research Centre is back and open for business.

The centre was rededicated at a ceremony at Auckland University's Waipapa Marae today, after going into recess three years ago.

Erima Henare, a son of the late northern leader, says in the interim the university has consulted with communities in Te Taitokerau about how the centre can fulfil its mandate of contributing to the economic and social development of the north.

He says the Henare whanau and Ngati Hine want to see the centre continue Sir James's work, particularly in encouraging education.

“I remember him saying in 1963 in a campaign speech when he first ran against Matiu Rata, he said at the time that any government ignored the situation of Maori education and the plight of Maori in education did so at its peril. A lot of that has come to pass in that we have a large grouping, corpus of unskilled Maori that we need to turn around,” Mr Henare says.

Auckland University vice-chancellor Stuart McCutcheon played a major role getting the centre-reopened and funded.


An East Coast roopu is turning kumara into wine.

Fraser Taiapa says his venture takes less land than growing grapes, and suits small Maori landholdings.

The Ngati Porou kaumatua says it's a special treat.

“You can get drunk on it, but the idea here is that this kumara wine is a dessert wine, it is more of a satisfier rather than something to get haurangi on,” he says.

Fraser Taiapa's Kumara Wine Delight Special is being launched tomorrow at the first East Coast organic festival at Hauiti Marae in Tolaga Bay.

Maori TV launches te reo channel

Kaumatua, kuia and kura kaupapa kids are the target of a new Maori language channel launched today.

It's Maori Television's fourth birthday, and its present to viewers is a commercial free te reo only channel broadcasting from eight to eleven each night.

Chief executive Jim Mather says the existing channel will retain its mix of Maori and English.

The new channel is designed with fluent and intermediate speakers and total immersion households in mind.

“The traditional fluent speaking, older audience, many of whom will be based in rural areas as well, so they make up a key past of what we call our core audience,” Mr Mather says.

Viewers of Te Reo will need Sky Digital or a Freeview decoder.


Auckland University will today rededicate its James Henare Maori Research Centre.

The centre, which was set up in 1993 to advance cultural, social and economic development in the North, was put in recess four years ago.

Today's ceremony at Waipapa Marae will be attended by representatives of the Henare whanau and Ngati Hine.

The executive director, Te Tuhi Robust, says the relaunch follows a comprehensive look at the centre's role and resources, to see where it can be most effective.

“We've actually been out in the community and we’ve looked at many strategic plans and directions for example that each of the runanga are doing, particular treaty claimants, talking with whanau, individuals, where they see that a need is there that we can contribute or support to,” Dr Robust says.

Research projects include work on identity, rangatiratanga in practice, sustainable development, governance and Maori politics.


From its humble beginnings in Wairoa, the Maori Film Festival is spreading its wings.

After this year's festival in the Hawkes Bay town during Queen's Birthday weekend, selected films will be shown in Wellington, Auckland and Taumarunui.

Chairperson Huia Koziol says this year's theme is the environment - Te Karanga O Papatuanuku, Te Waiata O Te Whenua.

Featured films include The Neglected Miracle by the late Barry Barclay, Herdswoman, about indigenous Suomi herders of Lapland, and Blowin' in the Wind, about Australian Aborigines caught up in atom bomb tests.

Actor and director Don Selwyn will also be remembered with the screening of the classic comedy Came a Hot Friday.

“Don was one of our original patrons. He died, and so we are going to celebrate his participation in our festival, and one of our traveling shows will stop by Taumarunui, which is his home town, and we will have a special screening there,” Mrs Koziol says.

The festival was moved back to June to coincide with Matariki celebrations.


Labour Cabinet Minister Shane Jones is challenging National's Maori MPs to come clean on their party's plans for Maori Television.

Georgina te Heuheu has been attending the World Indigenous Television Broadcast Conference in Auckland, but refused to make any policy announcements.

Mr Jones says National had plans before the 1999 elections to privatise TVNZ, and it has blown hot and cold on the indigenous broadcasting industry.

“We know that they’re going to get rid of the Maori seats as the claims ebb away, and I fear that they will put Maori TV on the block or make a call for iwi to start paying for TV in a post-settlement phase. It’s just not good enough for them to wander around, gracing these hui but at the same time being conspicuously vague about what they are going to do about policy, so she needs to come clean and stop swanning around,” Mr Jones says.

He says it's only because of the support of the government that Mori Television was able to get the extra funding needed for a 100 percent Maori language channel, which will be launched today.


Maori Aids prevention campaigners are moving their efforts online.

They're launching a new site, BroOnline.co.nz, aimed at takataapui tane.

Jordon Harris from the Aids Foundation's Hau Ora Takataapui Maori health promotion team says the popularity of social networking sites like Bebo and Facebook is showing the way to reach a new generation who may not be aware of some of the risks of unsafe sexual behaviour.

He says Bro Online will include, profiles, chatrooms, and information.

“We also have a comic strip which follows a bro when he’s hooking up with men and talking up with issues about where you meet men like bars and places where we engage with our community and we also have virtual bro which talks about online health advice. We’re utilising the chatting social networking site to get out information out to a wider selection of the community,” Mr Harris says.

Ten Maori contracted HIV in 2007, a significant jump from the year before.


Te Ore Ore Marae east of Masterton is the scene for a revival of the Maori trade training scheme.

This afternoon a dozen rangatahi will start training as carpenters, and hope to land apprenticeships further down the track.

Mike Kawana from Rangitane ki Wairarapa says because of its community backing and marae setting, the Nga Kanohi project has more to offer than just trade skills

“It's also a way of introducing those who have gone off on the wrong tracks or they’ve lost what cultural background they had, bringing that back into place as far as a cultural base for everything is concerned, hence the marae being the base from which everything will focus on,” Mr Kawana says.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Te Papa kaihautu looks to young Maori

The new Maori head at Te Papa is battling for the attention of a new generation of computer literate Maori.

Michelle Hippolite comes from background in senior policy roles within government.

She is looking forward to building on the work of past Kaihautu, especially Cliff Whiting, who created a place at the national museum for Maori.

A particular focus is working out how to present Maori culture and history to the next generation of tamariki.

“They use their cellphones, they use the Internet, they use Skype and a whole lot of other tools to do things we would have never dreamed of when we were their age so we’re having tio think through how do we best present something that taps into their minds and heart about the treasures and the taonga we have here in Te Papa,” Ms Hippolite says.

The musuem's equal leadership between kaihautu and chief executive was unique in the government sector and helps give Te Papa its flavour.


A Maori Party MP says any review of building codes should take into account the cultural needs of Maori and Pacific peoples.

The Minister of Building and Construction is proposing a fast track consent process for pre-certified building designs.

Hone Harawira says it's a good idea, but it also needed to apply to state houses, which have often failed to meet the needs of large Maori families.

“In a little state house, you’ve got a tiny little corridor, tiny little everything quite frankly, tiny little sitting room, tiny little kitchen. Bigger houses, less flash little bay windows and step ins and all that carry on and just nice and square but big, creating more space so that when people come to visit, there’s space to sit and talk,” Mr Harawira says.


One of the leaders of the Maori language revival says it may be time for iwi to start their own television services.

Huirangi Waikerepuru says this week's World Indigenous Television Broadcasting Conference in Auckland is hearing inspiring stories from people around the world.

He says many have faced greater challenges than in Aotearoa, where broadcasters have been able to build on the treaty claim he led for te reo Maori.

“They are doing it in a different way and not necessarily depending on government funding, which is a useful approach and one that we perhaps could think about ourselves in many ways because in the new set up, iwi development can come into play,” Mr Waikerepuru says.

Television has proved to be an effective way to normalise the use of indigenous languages in the home and among Maori people.


The author of a new book on Maori art of the last century says the carved meeting house proved to be an essential part of keeping a whole range of traditions alive.

Damian Skinner's The Carver and the Artist was launched in Tairawhiti yesterday.

it focuses on the carving tradition from Pine Taiapa to Lionel Grant, as well as modernists like Arnold Wilson, Para Matchitt and Selwyn Muru.

He says all Maori artists owe a huge debt to Apirana Ngata, the preeminent Maori political figure of the first half of the 20th century, who used his position to revive the traditional arts through house-building projects.

Ngata drew on his own childhood experience learning all the old chants and haka in preparation for the opening of the great Ngati Porou house Porourangi.

“He didn't see a wharenui or a whare whakairo just as a kind of building with art inside it. He actually saw it as the heart of a Maori community’s knowledge of itself, a Maori community’s ability to have cultural capital, to know who it was, the songs they should sing, the whakapapa. He saw it as a production that was well worth a group of people pumping a lot of resource into because it would actually keep the culture alive and sustain it in certain ways.

“And that’s where it was very interesting. His consolidation schemes and his economic development would always almost usually have a wharenui as part of them, and that was because they did all that stuff that he’d observed as a kid when Porourangi was being built and the importance of that, not just in terms of keeping art alive, like keeping carving or tukutuku or kowhaiwhai alive, but of but actually keeping the oral arts alive, keeping performance arts alive and giving a whole other generation the chance to experience those things,” Mr Skinner says.

Damian Skinner says Ngata's innovations quickly turned into a conservative set of rules, leading some of the younger artists to turn away from tradition and look for inspiration in western masters like Pablo Picasso.

The Carver and the Artist is published by Auckland University Press

Rotorua lakes’ clean-up gets funding

Cleaning up the Rotorua Lakes is going to take a huge effort from Maori and Pakeha alike.

The Government has committed to fund half of the estimated $144 million price tag to restore the health of the region's dozen or so lakes.

The rest will come from Rotorua District Council and Environment Bay of Plenty, with Te Arawa Lakes Trust also helping to oversee the decade-long project.

Mita Ririnui, Labour's Waiariki-based list MP, says everyone has a stake in its success.

“From a Te Arawa perspective, the lakes are considered to be a taonga tuku ihoa passed down from their forebears, and for the nation as a whole, Rotorua is considered to be the home or the centre point of a lot of our tourism. So the quality of the water and particularly the lakes is a key issue in terms of our clean green image,” he says.

As well as upgrading sewerage and building wetlands to filter farm run-off, the region's farmers, who include many Maori trusts and incorporations, may have to change the way they operate.


The manager of the national Push Play programme says it is having a positive impact on Maori communities.

The programme challenges children and adults to maintain a daily exercise regime.

Deb Hurdle from Sport and Recreation New Zealand, or Sparc, says too many Maori show up on the negative side of health statistics because of poor diets and little exercise.

“Physical activity can make a really positive impact on some of those health risk factors and I think that’s really important for Maori because statistically some of those conditions are high in Maori and if we can find an easier way to get rid of them and not just have to pump people full of drugs, the I think we should try and follow that path,” Ms Hurdle says.


A return home has inspired Te Arawa actor Grace Hoete to record the stories of the aunties in her life.

She's using a three month performing artist residency in Rotorua to overhaul her play, Sisters Wha.

Hoete says the challenge is to blend Maori mahi toi with western theatre forms.

She wants to find new ways to describe the experiences of Maori wahine like her mother and aunties.

“We see too many negative roles for Maori women being shown on TV and we’re kind of stereotyped and cast, but we’re complex characters. We’re very complex and interesting beings, and I want to show that there is many different facets to us. We’re a diamond basically with a lot of different facets, and that’s how I want to portray our aunties,” Hoete says.

She hopes to premiere the play in Rotorua early next year.


The chair of the Waitangi Tribunal says Maori broadcasting has outgrown its roots in treaty settlements.

The Tribunal's Te Reo Report in 1986 laid the foundation for the establishment of state-funded Maori radio and television as a way to protect and revive Maori language and culture.

Joe Williams told the World Indigenous Television Broadcasting Conference in Auckland that Maori broadcasting was now about numbers, not policy.

“The demographics mean that Maori Television would be necessary anyway, that the time is right. The treaty provided a basis for its development in the 80s. But I suspect that even without it, the place of Maori in the country is such a burning issue, treaty or no treaty, there would be a need and a justification for a Maori television channel and for Maori radio,” Chief Judge Williams says.

Maori broadcasters will make an essential contribution to the development of New Zealand's national identity in the years ahead.


Marae in the Wairarapa will get much-needed facelifts from a new trade training programme.

Wairarapa District Councilor Edwin Perry says 13 workers nominated by their marae will work on restoration projects over the next three years.

The Ministry of Social Development is funding the $600,000 Nga Kanohi project, which is overseen by the Council.

Mr Perry, who also heads the Wairarapa Maori wardens, says every marae in the region has been surveyed.

“We know priority wise which ones need work. First may be the wharepaku. Then it may be the kai area. What we’re trying to do is build this training programme up around the marae, get them knowing what their marae stands for,” he says.

Because the workers representing their marae and hapu, he expects they will be more committed to the task than if they were participating as individuals.


Waka ama is winning converts among Taranaki teenagers.

Howie Tamati from Sports Taranaki says six of the region's secondary schools now field teams.

That means there's enough kai hoe available for the province to be represented at next week's national secondary school waka ama championships on Lake Karapiro.

“We're taking away 12 teams to the nationals, which is the first time ever for Taranaki waka ama. It’s great to be able to go down on Thursday night and see all the secondary school kids on the water in a sport that is predominantly Maori and Pacific Island,” Mr Tamati says.

Almost 600 teams will compete at the nationals.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Broadcasters help shape national identity

Maori broadcasting has become critical to the national identity.

That's the message Waitangi Tribunal chairperson Joe Williams had for the World Indigenous Television Broadcasting Conference in Auckland today.

The emergence of first Maori radio and more recently Maori Television was made possible by claims in the tribunal and the courts during the 1980s that the Crown had a duty to protect Maori language and culture.

Chief judge Williams says Maori broadcasting reflects a changing society.

“The demographic changes over the next generation and a half, maybe two generations mean that national identity, the success of the national project as well as the Maori project will depend on Maori broadcasting operations like Maori tv and Maori radio succeeding in being the facilitator of the interdependence between the Maori community and the wider community, being the platform on which that discussion is able to take place,” he says.

Williams says what is happening in Maori broadcasting is organic, with no state agency pulling strings.


Tuberculosis is a disease that is not going away for Maori in the Far North.

Jonathan Jarman, Northlands chief medical officer, says 15 cases were reported last year - half the previous year's total, but still a major concern.

Unlike the rest of the country where TB tends to be found in people coming from overseas, in Tai Tokerau it's a home grown problem, with a high number of Maori children affected.

Dr Jarman says early detection is critical, which requires strong primary healthcare systems.

“It is a problem for some of our patients to see a doctor. For example, if you have tuberculosis in women, they are more likely to be concerned about their children or about their husband and so they are the last one that will go and see a doctor. They may not have money. They many not have a car to get to a doctor,” Dr Jarman says.

People with untreated tuberculosis can become increasingly infections and pass on the disease to their children.


Maori police report a huge response to their recruitment roadshow.

Glen Mackey, the Maori responsiveness strategy manager, says the kanohi ki te kanohi, or face to face approach, is again proving the best way to connect with a Maori audience.

The Te Haerenga roadshow is in response to a wero from Ngati Porou kaumatua Api Mahuika.

“He was sitting on the paepae welcoming 80-odd UK police into the New Zealand police and he turned around and said ‘Hey, why are we going overseas when we haven’t done anything on our own back door step, yet,’ so Te Haerenga, we’re on the road now, aprt way through it, and we’ve had a brilliant response from everyone we’ve engaged with,” Mr Mackey says.

More than 60 people turned out for Te Haerenga in Tauranga last night. The blue crew will be in Gisborne tonight.


Maori landowners will be called on to play a role in the clean up of the Rotorua lakes.

The Government today pledged to pay half of the $144 million cost of the lakes restoration programme.

The rest will come from Rotorua District Council and Environment Bay of Plenty.

Mita Ririnui, the Waiariki-based Labour list MP, says the money will go on sewerage projects, the creation of wetlands and weed removal, but there will also be land use changes.

He says Maori trusts and incorporations who farm around the lakes are committed to supporting the project.

“Maori in the area have always been responsive to the issue of water quality to the extent we’re probably looking at the way we farm our lands. We’re looking at better farming practices,” Mr Ririnui says.

The restoration is likely to take 10 years.


The government has been rapped on the knuckles for ignoring the United Nations day for the elimination of racism.

Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and Pacific studies at Canterbury University, says New Zealand has always found it hard to admit to the wider world the historical racism in this country.

He says despite the work done through the claim process to address past injustices, the day designated to draw attention to racism worldwide passed unmarked here.

“As a country we did absolutely nothing. (The government) always steps away from saying ‘hey, the history of the country with respect to Maori is one that reflects racism.’ It all has to do with historical racism and the sooner we’re able to front up to that and participate in those sorts of occasions, the sooner we’ll get to better solutions,” Mr Taonui says.


An old school swimming pool has been put to good use at Rhode Street School in Hamilton.

The school, whose roll is 80 percent Maori, converted the pool into a greenhouse as part of its Sustainable Kids pilot programme funded by the Ministry for Social Development.

It's also put in 10 vegetable gardens, an orchard, a commercial kitchen and hydroponic tables.

Shane Ngatai, the principal, says pupils are learning life skills and sustainability by growing, harvesting, cooking, preserving, dehydrating, marketing and selling their kai.

They also learn traditional Maori growing methods.

“We've got our heirloom vegetables like our Maori potoatoes, kamokamo and corn, so they’re learning the old Maori ways of preserving as well by using salt and wind, by pickling with our watercress and they’re also planting by the matariki calendar,” Mr Ngatai says.

The pupils are also learning about medicinal plants, and are making soap and conditioners out of herbs.

Pressure on to house people

The Minister of Building and Construction believes Maori should put the acid on their trusts and runanga to develop housing.

Shane Jones is proposing a new simplified building permit system so pre-approved designs can be fast tracked through councils' building consent processes.

He says once the red tape is removed, there should be no excuse for iwi not to move forward with initiatives such as papakainga housing, where occupation leases are given to allow building on multiply-owned land.

“Our own trust board, Te Aupouri, about 20 years ago set up a papakainga with about 20 sections where there was a joint venture between the Housing Corporation and the trust board. If they could do it up in the winterless, north, the more large tribes who have populations proximate to metropolitan New Zealand shold be able to kick a goal there in the way we did up north,” Mr Jones says.


The head of the Wairarapa Maori wardens has had a gutsful of spitting.
Edwin Perry, who is also a Wairarapa District Councilor, is pushing for a bylaw banning the practice in Masterton's main street.

He was moved to act after seeing two young men spit in front of an old Maori woman and her pakeha friend.

“And look I'm no going to just lay the blame on use as Maori but it seems to be more of our young people doing that and of course obviously the ones I see doing it either have hoodies on their heads and no respect for anything around them,” Mr Perry says.


The author of a new book on Maori art in the 20th century hopes it will bring the artists the recognition they are due.

The Carver and the Artist focuses on people like Pine Taiapa and Tuti Tukaokao, who kept the traditional crafts alive, and artists like Arnold Wilson, Selwyn Muru and Para Matchitt, who developed a particularly Maori form of modernism.

Damian Skinner says because museums didn't start collecting the work of Maori modernists until the late 1970s, a lot of important work from the 1950s and 60s is little known by the art public.
He says the artists also got missed out of books on New Zealand art.

“There could be no credibility in writing a story about modernism, about the 20th century in New Zealand, without including Maori art in it, given that there’s such a strength in the people working in it and they’re doing such interesting things, but of course up to now that has been the way it has been done. You can concentrate just on Pakeha. So hopefully some of the stuff that changes with the book being there is people can see the quality of this work,” Mr Skinner says.

The Carver and the Artist will be launched at the Tairawhiti Museum this evening.


Whanau of the Moerewa kura kaupapa are pinning their hopes on the education minister to fast track rebuilding after the weekend's arson.

Five classrooms and the administration block of Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Taumarere were razed on Saturday.

Peter Tipene, an advisor to the board, says with a current roll of 49, the school may only be entitled to two classrooms.

He says when Chris Carter arrives to see the damage later today, he'll be told the kura wants to build for growth.

“We just want to make sure that the rebuild allows us to carry on with or vision for education in te reo Maori in this area. We want to make sure that the minister can assure us that that will happen,” Mr Tipene says.

There are enough buildings on the site, which is the former Otiria Primary school, to continue classes during the rebuild.

A 16-year-old girl appeared in Kaikohe Youth Court yesterday charged with arson, and a 13-year-old girl, a 13-year-old boy and a 12-year-old boy were referred to youth aid.


An indigenous broadcasting conference starting in Auckland today could pave the way for greater international cooperation.

Jim Mather from Maori Television says 60 overseas delegates have registered, including a group from Welsh indigenous broadcasting pioneers S4C.

He says it's a chance to network and exchange information, and there's hope the work will continue after the conference had ended.

“What's happening in New Zealand with Maori Television is happening in many other countries. We have been working in isolation but the reality is there’s a lot of parallels and a lot of potential benefits that could arise from us getting connected and working together,” Mr Mather says.

The conference ends on Friday, when Maori Television celebrates its fourth anniversary with the launch of its new te reo digital channel.


Maori Netball came of age over Easter, as the Wellington team took home the top prize from the 21st national championships.

Ikaroa Ki Te Tonga beat Waiariki 32-28 in the final round to take the premier title, with Tamaki Makaurau coming third.

It also won the aggregate prize, with several of its younger teams winning their grades.

June Mariu, the national co-ordinator for Aoteara Maori Netball, says hosts Taitokerau made it a great celebration not just of sport but of healthy lifestyles.

Tainui will host the championships next year.

Meanwhile at Silverstream near Wellington, more than 1500 people attended the Catholic Hui Aranga for a weekend of sport, kapa haka, speech and singing competitions and prayer.

Ruapehu Maori Catholic Club took away the aggregate shield, with Waipatu from Hawkes Bay, Tauranga-based Te Puna and new Palmerston North club Waiora the runners up.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Maori Battalion continues to inspire

There may not be many left, but the Maori Battalion still inspires younger generations.

Thirty three of the 59 surviving veterans gathered in Gisborne over Easter to share memories and relax in each other's company.

The Prime Minister says the archival footage always shown around the time of such reunions is a reminder of why the Battalion remains a legend.

“You look at those photos and you take 60, 65 years off the ages of the men we see today, those young guys had just so much energy and zeal. It’s just fantastic to see, and I think that they should inspire young Maori today, because they were great men, a great generation,” Ms Clark says.


A Waikato incorporation is considering a change of land use to complement its new energy venture.

Taharoa C has a joint venture with Mighty River Power and a Japanese firm to build a wind farm on its land south of Kawhia.

Its chairperson, Monty Retemeyer, says work can't start until scientists have determined the turbines won't affect birdlife.

While the monitoring is going on, the incorporation has been harvesting its mature pine forest.

It may not replant if the windfarm goes ahead.

“We've found that the windmill and pines don’t work together. The pines create disturbance into the flow into the turbines. Maybe we may have to plant other crops,” Mr Retemeyer says.


Working with violent men inspired a Ngapuhi man to write children's books.

Tim Tipene has just published his sixth book, Rewa Finds his Wings, about an unhappy boy whose mother sends him to a tohunga to find direction.

He says his books are designed to show tamariki some alternatives.

“When I was working with adults and doing anger management with men and living without violence programmes was the shame, so they had started doing things they were ashamed of at quite an early stage. The idea of working with the children was to get there before that shame really took over, get there before they started to make these big mistakes in their lives, and try to get them to make different choices,” Mr Tipene says.

He has also developed a community martial arts programme for children, Kura Toa Warrior School.


The Minister of Building and Construction says his new permit policy will assist Maori establish papakainga housing.

Shane Jones wants simple house designs to be fast tracked through the consent process.

That could shave up to 10 percent from the cost of a new home.
He says it could have particular application for development of multiply-owned land around marae, where whanau are trying to keep costs affordable.

“If you're doing a large scale papakainga development, I’m rooting for one permit for the whole complex that will require an individual inspection to check the quality of the land you’re plonking the house on, but if the houses are largely of a uniform nature, I don’t think it’s wise that we should duplicate the effort on each and every dwelling when basically they’re much of a muchness,” Mr Jones says.

“There's no point in encouraging people into home ownership if they end up ensnared in the building consent process.


Waikato Maori are critical of how Transpower has consulted on its proposed transmission network upgrade.

Hearings opened in Hamilton today and are expected to last 8 to 10 weeks.

Willie Te Aho, the lawyer for Ngati Koroki Kahukura, says the proposed route from Whakamaru to Otahuhu, as well as the existing line, cuts through ancestral land including urupa and papakainga.

He says iwi are making a big effort to put their case to the board of inquiry because Transpower has so far ignored their objections.

“Although they've opened the door and come back to us in the last six months, the reality is if they had got this right at the front stages when they were looking at options, we could have worked through this with them, and so that’s why we went to the Waitangi Tribunal and so from a consultation point of view, it’s been very very poor,” Mr Te Aho says.

As well as its environmental and cultural impacts, the Transpower network could upset iwi plans for ecotourism ventures.


Give Lance Hohaia a chance at halfback.

That's the view of Maori sports commentator Te Arahi Maipi after the Tainui man's faultless performance at fullback in the Warriors' emphatic win over the Parramatta Eels on the weekend.

He says Hohaia's best football comes when he is playing in his specialist position at halfback or stand-off, rather than when he's treated as a utility player.

“Couple of seasons
 ago when they were short at centre he came in and scored a couple of tries against the Roosters. Couple of games later they lost and he was dropped again. So that’s my biggest fear, that if Lance playing at fullback, the Warriors don’t perform well, that they don’t use Lance as the scapegoat for an irregular performance
,” Mr Maipi says.

Prison service coping with mad Maori


The Prison Service has got a tick for the way it deals with Maori inmates with mental health problems.

A report by Auditor-General Kevin Brady says services are under pressure because of rising musters, but those with severe conditions are generally well cared for.

He says prisoners are three times more likely to require access to specialist mental health services, but treatment can deliver significant benefits.

Neil Campbell, the Department of Corrections' partnership manager for the northern region, says problems are often complex and require sophisticated interventions, such as the kaupapa Maori programmes.

“There's also initiatives like the bicultural therapy model which also involves kaumatua, tohunga in that area. Absolutely we see the need to involve those aspects when assessing prisoners, whether in their physical health care, spiritual health care or indeed mental health care,” Mr Campbell says.

The mental health of every inmate is assessed when they enter prison.


A Waikato Maori incorporation is optimistic its windfarm proposal will pass environmental tests.

The joint venture between Taharoa C, Mighty River Power and a Japanese company has resource consent from Environment, Waikato, but the project start was delayed because of concern by the Department of Conservation that birds could fly into the turbines.

Chairperson Monty Retemeyer says the incorporation has tracked flight patterns on its coastal land south of the Kawhia Harbour for almost a year.

“The monitoring so far has found that most of the birds are flying well out to sea and the local birds are flying well below the 80 meters so there is some light there that we will progress,” Mr Retemeyer says.

The monitoring has also shown that pine plantations can disrupt windflows, so Taharoa C is looking at other uses for the balance of its land.


A former Rugby League international says Benji Marshall isn't getting a chance to prepare his body for the weekly demands of the NRL.

The Western Tigers' halfback injured his knee in the first game of the season, and is on the sidelines for at least six weeks.

Tawera Nikau says Marshall carried injuries into the past few off-seasons, and that's hampered his preparation.

“You know unless you’ve got as really good off season and you’ve got four or five of those behind you, your body doesn’t get able to build yourself with your strength, your muscles, your ligaments and everything, so the last four year’s Benji’s been injured in the off season and that’s the time when you build your body up. You do off the hard work, and if you haven’t done that. You’re always playing catch up to get back in there,” Nikau says.


The race relations commissioner says the central challenge in New Zealand is how Maori and non-Maori get along.

Today is the United Nations' Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and Joris De Bres says this country can be proud of progress over the past 30 years.

Highlights include the creation of the Waitangi Tribunal, the revival of te reo, and Maori health and education initiatives.

But he says while Maori are bi-cultural, able to interact daily on Pakeha terms, it's only recently that Pakeha have begun to value things Maori.

“We're still possibly in a new learning phase because all New Zealanders, all non-Maori New Zealanders are still coming to terms with an understanding of Maori culture which is the indigenous culture of New Zealand,” Mr De Bres says.

Maori still miss out on opportunities in the social and economic spheres.


The deputy mayor of Rotorua is opposing his council's plan to take more water from the Taniwha Springs.

Trevor Maxwell joined his Ngati Rangiwewehi people last week at Tarimano Marae for an Environment Court hearing on the plan.

The council says it needs the water to service the growing population in Ngongotaha and Kawaha Point.

Mr Maxwell says it's been an issue in the 30 years he's been on the council.

“Whilst Ngati Rangiwewehi, our people, are not against the draw - of course we want to share and play our part in our community – but there were eight other options that should have been pursued and what happens, it falls back to us again, so the river, the Awahou River, is important to us,” Mr Maxwell says.

The Rotorua District Council will put its case at a second hearing next month.


A Nga Puhi artist says he doesn't need to dwell on Maori themes to express his identity.

Christchurch-based Wayne Youle is showing his latest paintings at the Tim Melville Gallery in Auckland.

Tall Tales draws on tattoo imagery to explore themes of mortality and spirituality.

He say he doesn't consciously include... or exclude Maori imagery from his work.

“The mahi itself sometimes it changes, Sometimes it is quite clear and has that kowhaiwhai element or will have that carved element or a photograph may have some whanau content, but other times it may be about my whanau or and that might not always culminate in something graphically Maori but it will have that idea of Maori whanau and that sort of thing is important,” Mr Youle says.