Waatea News Update

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Sharples says racist motive in NZ First China stance

The Maori Party says New Zealand First's rejection of the Free Trade Agreement with China boils down to election year race bashing.

Co-leader Pita Sharples says his party is voting against the deal signed this week because there's not much gain for New Zealand, the tariffs will take too long to be withdrawn, and more could have been done to address China's human rights policies.

But he says the approach taken by New Zealand First leader and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters smacks of political expediency rather than principle.

“Winston Peters is a very clever politician. He knows when to push what. Every election he plays the race card, he plays the immigrant card and the crime card. He gets the support of that sort of section of the community, the rednecks and so on and somehow manages to get his five percent,” Dr Sharples says.

He says the Maori Party has been approached by Chinese people wanting to set up trade links with Maori, and it is keen to facilitate those links.


The Green's Maori affairs spokesperson is accusing Meridian Energy is trying to revive the Think Big mentalitiy of the 1970s and 80s.

Metiria Turei this week joined ecologists and West Coasters on a rafting trip down the Mokihinui River near Westport, which Meridian wants to dam for a $200 million hydroelectric scheme.

She says the river gorge includes a pohutakawa forest and is home to several endangered and threatened species, such as blue duck, western weka, kaka, kereru, kakariki and giant snails.

“It is right up there in some of our best river ecologies and ecosystems and we don’t need to destroy it to get power, you know there are other things we can do and this is just Meridian doing a think big project and think big died in the 1970s and it should stay buried,” Ms Turei says.


New research has found Maori put their membership of iwi and whanau above their identity as New Zealanders.

Auckland University sociologist Louise Humpage is looking into how ethnicity, gender, income and geographical location affects people's understanding of citizenship.

She says initial focus group work has found that while other ethnic groups see citizenship as important in an abstract sense, Maori put their tribal and families identities first.

“Maori were very critical of this notion of citizenship and actually saw it as an alienating term in a way, largely because they associated it with article three of the treaty which is around equal citizenship rights, so Maori will be treated the same as every other New Zealander, and they saw this as marginalising article two, which is around Maori self-determining things for Maori,” Dr Humpage says.

Maori say they are treated like second class citizens, but feel they are first class because of their indigenous status.


The associate minister of health is welcoming moves by a trans-Tasman health body to upskill its members on things Maori.

The Royal Australasian College of Paediatricians has launched a Maori Health Advisory Committee, led by Leo Buchanan from Te Atiawa, to advise on ways to treat Maori children.

Mita Ririnui says the committee should give paediatricians access to research and knowledge which may not be available through conventional channels.

“The college has the link through its Maori advisory committee to community initiatives. In other words, going back to the brass roots and seeing what initiatives have been undertaken and learning from positive models, looking at what’s working and what's not,” Mr Ririnui.


Politician and culture expert Pita Sharples is endorsing an initiative to teach younger people about tangihanga.

A wananga is being held this weekend at Whaiora Marae in Otara by kaumatua from Te Aroha Otangaroa Marae in Kaeo on the rituals surrounding funerals and the treatment of tupapaku.

Dr Sharples says it can't be taken for granted that people will know what to do at what is always a stressful time.

“There are a lot of our people who do not know our death customs, and it’s important they get to know them, because we’re in that transition phase now where a lot of people are in the city who never experienced tangihanga, and it’s time to educate them. I’m very pleased with that initiative,” Dr Sharples says.

He says the tangihanga is a way Maori honour all their dead, from the highest to the lowest.


Artist John Bevan Ford has been honoured with a posthumous retrospective, opening tonight at the Te Manawa gallery in Palmerston North.

Mr Ford, from Ngati Raukawa ki Kapiti and Ngati Wehiwehi, played a major role in the development of contemporary Maori art as a carver, sculptor, painter and as a teacher to a generation of artists at Massey University.

His wife, Anne Ford, says most of the works in the show were done in the living room of the family home.

“The works really represent the entire 30 years that I spent with John and I hadn’t properly realized that nearly all the works in the exhibition were done while we were together living here in the Manawatu so it was really like meeting old friends,” Mrs Ford says.

John Bevan Ford was best known for his series based around korowai or cloaks, which he started in the 1980s.

Clock ticking for Ngati Kahu offer

The Waitangi Tribunal has given the Crown three months to come up with a comprehensive settlement offer for for north iwi Ngati Kahu.

Settlement negotiations have been intermittent in the 12 years since the tribunal reported on the Muriwhenua land claims, although settlement offers have been made to Te Rarawa and Te Aupouri.

The Ngati Kahu Runanga sought a remedies hearing, where the Waitangi Tribunal could use its powers to order the Crown to hand over state owned enterprise land to the claimants.

But its lawyer, Te Kani Wiliams, says tribunal Judge Carrie Wainwright adjourned the hearing for three months to allow discussions between the parties.

“She's encouraging the Crown to come back to Ngati Kahu with a comprehensive treaty settlement offer which is an attempt to try and address those areas of land that Ngati Kahu have interests in that overlap with others as well as an independent settlement package that is Ngati Kahu-specific as well as other iwi specific so she’s asked all parties to come back to the tribunal in that three month period to what progress has or hasn't occurred,” Mr Williams says.

The Crown has also approached iwi in the Muriwhenua region about creating a regional forum to develop a settlement.


A Maori health provider wants stores and service stations to stop selling tobacco products.

Henare Anderson, from Te Hauora O Te Hiku O Te Ika, says smoking rate in Northland are 25 percent higher than the national rate and the cause of almost half of all deaths across the region.

He says it's time Maori got real about the dangers of cigarettes.

“For years we've sort of putiputied a bit. It’s good the messages are out there but I think we need to stand a bit stronger, get a bit more aggressive in getting the messages across. It is definitely working but if I could be made redundant as an auahi kore worker, I’d be really happy,” Mr Anderson says.

One of the aims of the Te Tai Tokerau Maori Health Plan is to normalise smokefree environments.


Ngati Porou living in Auckland will benefit from a visit this weekend by a renowned authority on East Coast waiata.

Selwyn Parata will tutor the group, whose members are keen to reconnect with the sounds of their own rohe.

One of those members, Kotuku Tibble, says the roopu was formed to learn waiata that can be sung collectively whenever Ngati Porou meets.

“It's not just cool to korero, cool to be Maori these days, it’s cool to be tribal so those second, third generation brought up in Auckland, they’re really keen to reconnect tinana, wairua, physically, spiritually, mentally with home, and learning our waiata which has our histories and whakapapa naturally reconnects us back home,” Mr Tibble says.


A Maori arts promotion group fears the Free Trade Agreement with China doesn't contain enough protections for Maori artists.

Garry Nicholas from Toi Maori says artists are concerned the deal opens the way for an influx of cheap copies of taonga Maori.

He says the Toi Iho mark of authenticity might not be enough to stop people determined to circumvent the copyright mechanisms in the deal.

“In terms of the importation of look like, sound like, feel like Maori art, that is a major concern. The Toi Iho does give us some protection but until it is resourced to the level it can stand out strongly as being the voice for ‘this is real Maori art,’ we do face some difficulties in the future,” Mr Nicholas says.

Maori artists and art buyers need to be vigilant about what's in the market.


A bilingual school in Christchurch is fighting graffiti with graffiti.

The Richmond primary school, Te Rito o Te Harakeke, has commissioned artists to bomb their school fence.

Deputy principal Ruawhitu Pokaia says the school has been hit hard by vandalism and tagging in the past.

It decided a different approach was needed.

He says as well as dissuading taggers and brightening up the school, the art is a teaching resource.

“One of the whares there has been painted on with spray can of the whare at Waitangi depicting the bilingual status, the bilingual nature in terms of the treaty and it’s got Maori tamariki, kotiro, tane and also designs that are in line with the tangata whenua here, the Avon River that goes past,” Mr Pokaia says.

He says just because a rangatahi has a spray can in their hand doesn't mean they're a tagger - they could be an artist.


Maori organic growers on the East Coast are welcoming help from Tairawhiti Polytechnic to revive the growing of Maori kai.

Organic kai grown the Maori way is being revived on the East Coast.
Renata Tawhai McClutchie, from the Uepohatu Organic Growers Group, says while there are many older grower willing to share their traditional knowledge, new diploma level courses will help younger growers turn it into sustainable businesses.

“We have wonderful people coming together to ensure that these kaupapa or principles of growing gardens at home aren’t lost, because a lot of young people bow believe that to get a potato, you got to go to shops like Pak ‘n’ Save or Woolworths,” Mr McClutchie says.

Growers are looking at the feasibilty of exporting organic kai through a collective.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Paraparaumu zoning trickery

Local MP Tariana Turia has slammed the Kapiti District Council for procedural trickery over its approval of a major retail development on Paraparaumu Airport land.

The Maori Party co-leader says by changing the district plan in favour of the airport owners, it was in effect declaring the land surplus ... without triggering Public Works Act requirements for the land to be offered back to previous owners including Te Whanau a Ngarara.

Mrs Turia says the council has a treaty obligation to stick up for mana whenua rather than kowtowing to developers.

“Councils believe that they don’t have any of the treaty obligations of central government bit of course they cannot absolve themselves of that treaty relationship because in fact it is councils that impact day to day on our families' lives,” Mrs Turia says.

She says the argument that ancillary commercial developments such as shopping malls and services stations are needed to keep the airport economically viable is a gross stretch of the Public Works Act surplus land provisions.


National leader John Key says Maori enterprises should be well placed to benefit from the free trade agreement with China.

The Maori Party and New Zealand First have both attacked the deal, signed on Monday.

But Mr Key says China is a potentially huge market for this country, and Maori have things the Chinese need.

“If you look at their assets which are heavily involved in the agricultural sector, in forestry, in fishing, then I would have thought there is some tremendous opportunities there for Maori and realistically if you look at what the other side of the equation is, New Zealand in the past had very unprotected markets anyway,” Mr Key says.

He says the protectionist views of New Zealand First leader Winston Peters are well known, and his opposition won't be a deal breaker.


Iwi in the Aotea Harbour has have won back management control of their fishery.

A mataitai covering about 40 square kilometres off the south Waikato coast goes into effect next month.

Commercial fishing will be banned in the reserve.

Davis Apiti, a mataitai kaitiaki, says Ngati Te Wehi has pushed for protection of its sea resources for a decade.

“Because of the commercial element that’s in Aotea Harbour, our concerns were that it was playing a big effect on harvesting our patiki, our flounders, our mangoi, all these sorts of fish we can put on the marae table for poukai. Now we can manage it,” Mr Apiti says.

The mataitai should also help Ngati Te Wehi in its effrots to protect the endangered Maui's dolphin.


A Taranaki hapu is trying to block the auction of an ancestral pounamu mere.

Grant Knuckey, from Puketapu, says the club was taken from Rawiri Waiau during inter-tribal fighting in the 1800s.

It now belongs to David Williams, a descendant of a chief land commissioner at the time.

Mr Knuckey says Mr Williams does not have the right to sell the taonga.

He says the hapu wants to put pressure on him to talk, or they will go to the high court.

“If he's tired of it, never cost him anything, so he should in a sense give it back. I think what it’s saying is it wants to come home and we should facilitate that, whatever shape or form that takes,” Mr Knuckey says.

He says Mr Williams has refused Puketapu's invitiation to talk.


The Minister of Maori Affairs says the Government is moving to address Maori frustration at the lack of progress on aquaculture.

Delegates at this week's Treaty Tribes Maori fisheries hui in Napier raised concerns at the failure of regional authorities to create any aquaculture management areas in the three years since the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Settlement Act.

Iwi are entitled to 20 percent of any new marine farming area.

Parekura Horomia says the complaints are being heard.

“There is justification for the frustration the Maori fishing industry has. The issue relevant to aquaculture is local authorities have been very slow. The government is trying to ensure the agreement in the deal happens,” Mr Horomia says.

The Government is giving almost $100,000 to Environment Canterbury to develop procedures for handling applications for new fish farms, and $24,000 to Environment Waikato to improve its monitoring of the environmental impacts of aquaculture.


An eastern Bay of Plenty school is bringing the radio into the classroom as a way to preserve the region's dialect.

Te Kura Kaupapa Motuhake o Tawhiuau broadcasts to the Murupara area on 99.7 FM from Monday to Friday.

Principal Pem Bird says senior students can earn NCEA credits from learning the technical side of running a station, interviewing and voice work.

He says there are plans to extend the coverage of Te Reo o Tawhiuau and make it an iwi station.

“Whilst we are a school, we are a tribal kura, and our mission is to ensure that our dialect endures into the future, and having this beaming out to the Maori speaking audience, we’re trying to excite people into speaking te reo Maori in their homes and on the streets,” Mr Bird says.

He says the radio work teaches the children to respect their audience and to conduct conversations with older people.

Samuels to appeal Matauri X costs

Dover Samuels intends to challenge an order he pay $40,000 costs for his unsuccessful challenge to a Northland development.

The Maori Land Court rejected the Labour list MP's claim that a 7 hectare block at Matauri Bay formerly owned by his parents should be excluded from a subdivision, which is being done to pay off debts racked up by the Matauri X Incorporation.

Mr Samuels is a major shareholder of the land incorporation.

He says an appeal is needed because the costs order by Judge David Ambler flies in the face of tradition and practice.

“I've certainly been involved in very long drawn out cases by shareholders and by Maori landowners who quite rightly see the Maori Land Court as a process whereby you can do away with lawyers, you can do away with huge court costs and an avenue to obtain justice in terms of Maori land,” Mr Samuels says.

He says it's a bit rich for the court to penalise him, when it approved the original mortgage that got Matauri X into financial strife.


A Te Arawa scientist wants Maori to lead the way in bioprospecting.

Doug Macredie, the Maori strategy manager at the Forest Research Institute, or Scion as it's now known, says companies are looking to nature for new cures, fuels and fibres.

He says because of the connection to the ngahere and the environment, Maori needed to position themselves as bioscience innovators.

“We're right up on fisheries and we’re right up on settlements in forestry, but when you say bio-prospecting, we’re behind the eight ball, so it’s about leadership, it’s about leading this move, not just being a part of it, and being protected. It’s about saying we are the logical leaders of bio-prospecting in New Zealand,” Mr Macredie says.

There is interest from scientists round the world in New Zealand's unique native flora and fauna.


If you turn on the radio in Murupara, don't be surprised if you hear tamariki running the show.

Te Kura Kaupapa Motuhake o Tawhiuau broadcasts Te Reo o Tawhiuau on 99.7FM Monday to Friday, all in te reo Maori.

The students earn NCEA credits for learning the technical side of running a station, interviewing and presenting.

12-year-old Hineteahorangi Ngaropo, who hosts a rangatahi programme, says she gets a confidence boost from knowing her school and community are listening.

“It's cool. It’s great. Like, everyone in the community listens to you. All my mates ring up and request things. You get butterflies sometimes because you might make a mistake and that,” she says.

School principal Pem Bird says Te Reo o Tawhiuau encourages people in the Eastern Bay of Plenty township to speak their dialect in their homes and on the streets.


Tainui Group Holdings has put two Waikato residential developments on hold because of the softening housing market.

Chief executive Mike Pohio says a high-end 14-townhouse development has been shelved because of lack of demand and high construction costs, and a 54-townhouse project near the Hamilton railway station was on hold until the market comes back.

Mr Pohio says progress at The Base at Te Rapa should keep the books healthy.

“We're just in the throes of trying to secure the anchor tenant in the mall which is a 26,000 square metre development, that’s the next stage. We’re still seeing demand form the retail segment. So developments of that magnitude, in the large bulk retail environment, as well as our other income streams, more than offset those smaller residential developments,” Mr Pohio says.

Sales of the remaining sections at the giant Huntington subdivision on the northeast edge of the city are expected to take three years, rather than the two earlier projected.


An urban Maori advocate says 20 years of work has done little to reduce violence in Maori homes.

June Jackson from the Manukau Urban Maori Authority says the violence seems to instead be getting worse... especially when it's driven by drug use.

She says a major hui at Hopuhopu last week to consult with the Maori reference group to the Ministry of Social Development's family violence task force failed to generate new thinking.

“I went with the hope perhaps of listening to some people who could give me another slant on an old subject in terms of how we approach this because while myself and others have our own ideas, we should never close our minds to other people who may be better than us, but regrettably I did not find that,” Mrs Jackson says.

She says groups who do try to tackle family violence find a lot of their energy goes into meeting the high level of compliance that comes with government funding.


The first Te Haerenga roadshow has been so successful, police want to do it all over again.

Glenn Mackey, the police Maori strategy responsiveness manager, says the three-week nationwide kanohi ki te kanohi tour struck a chord with Maori.

Almost 400 signed up to find out more about a career in the force, and 600 more came along to tautoko.

Senior sergeant Mackey says there will be more culturally focused recruitment drives.

“We're already speaking about planning next year, and some of that already from Superintendent Wallace Haumaha is about ‘let’s add a Pacific component, if not their own roadshow.’ It’s no secret we don’t have enough Maori or PI in the job,” Mr Mackey says.

Only 900 of the 11,000 police officers identify as Maori.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tagging law legal graffiti

The Children's Commissioner says there's no need for a new anti-tagging law.

Cindy Kiro has told the select committee looking at the Summary Offences (Tagging and Graffiti Vandalism) Amendment Bill, it should look for long-term, rather than short-term solutions to the problem of rangatahi marking their environment.

She says a distinction needs to be drawn between bombing... which is an art form and a reflection of youth culture ... and tagging... which even young people recognise as nuisance vandalism.

“Tagging is a symptom of a problem, and we’ve got to deal with the cause of the problem, not the symptom of the problem,” Dr Kiro says.

She says there is evidence community policing and council initiatives which acknowledge young people's creativity and engage them in public spaces have a much greater effect on behaviour than measures such as restricting spray paint sales.


The Minister of Fisheries is rejecting charges from Maori commercial fishing interests that he's ignoring their input.

Jim Anderton fronted up to this week's Treaty Tribes fisheries conference in Napier to tackle criticism of his policies, including his drive for more power to cut quotas if he has doubts about the sustainability of a species.

He says Maori should share his concerns about fisheries like orange roughy, but the commercial ambitions of iwi seem to overshadow traditional principles.

“The way they fish from a recreational, customary point of view is conservation minded, I know that, but when it comes to the commercial fishery, you hire chartered vessels, Maori do, and you put them into areas, and you plunder the fish until there’s none left, what’s the treaty worth then, what’s the quota rights left then?” Mr Anderton says.

He says his door was always open to Maori fishers, but most of his critics had made no effort to meet with him.


The new trans-Tasman netball league is providing opportunities for more Maori talent to emerge.

Joline Henry, who plays defence for the highly-favoured Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, says the semi-professional competition gives more time for training.

She says the 69-game season - all televised - will showcase new Maori players.

“Down south you’ve got the likes of Liana Barrett-Chase, who is been part of the New Zealand squad for a year now and who is just coming along in leaps and bounds, and her flair and athleticism will be something to look forward to. Jamilah Gupwell in the Wellington area. As you move north we’ve got a wealth of Maori talent in the likes of Laura Langman, a lot of our Maori and Polynesian youngsters in Auckland sides, so we're just everywhere,” Joline Henry says.

The Magic takes on the Northern Mystics at Rotorua on Sunday.


The Green's Maori spokesperson says New Zealand First's opposition to the free trade agreement with China comes too late to make a difference.

Metiria Turei says the Greens have consistently opposed the deal because of concerns about China's record on human rights, Tibetan independence and its effect on manufacturing jobs.

She says it doesn't send a strong signal to oppose the deal only after it was signed.

“We've been really strong on our opposition. I’m glad that New Zealand First has joined us, but we needed them to be really staunch before it was signed, because that’s when the pressure was most on the Government to change their position or reconsider the contents or the way they were negotiating with China,” Ms Turei says.

She says the deal might help some Maori in fishing, dairying and forestry, but manufacturing workers will be hit hard, with a ripple effect across lower income whanau.


There are new rules on organ donation, highlighting the need for people to talk with their whanau about what they want done with their tupapaku.

The Human Tissue Act passed yesterday, giving the immediate family a say in consent for organ donation if an individual has not left instructions.

Naida Glavish, tikanga advisor for the Auckland District Health Board, says it's a complex issue for Maori.

There are implications for tikanga, as well as people's psychological and emotional well being, so it's important individuals have the discussion with whanau.

“I think it is something that they should be thinking about, considering, talking about now, don’t wait until the time comes, and if anyone has ticked that driver’s licence, they should actually have spoken about it with their whanau. They should not just pick it and so sad too bad, and let them find out after the fact,” Ms Glavish says.


A Black Power life member wants to use his new Masters in Social Practice in his fight against P.

Denis O'Reilly graduated today from Unitec.

The Napier father of six says policy makers in Wellington tend to cite North American and English models for dealing with New Zealand's problems.

He believes Maori communities can generate their own answers to the problems they face, and he wants to provide the sort of research and academic literature agencies like Te Puni Kokiri can use.

“If people have got a goal, and they’re clear about what they want as their whanau future, and we call that whanau ora, they can self-identify the things that are getting in the road, and they might be P for pokies, P for piss, P for P, whatever it might be, and then how do you back that up so it’s got sort of rigour and so it stacks up when you have a policy argument,” Mr O'Reilly says.

He says policymakers are still failing to understand many Maori social problems.

Claims deadline looking achieveable

The Minister of Treaty Negotiations says settling the central North Island forestry claims will make a 2020 deadline for settling all historic claims more achievable.

A collective of iwi presented a settlement proposal to Michael Cullen last week involving the transfer of 90 percent of the forests in the region to a central trust.

Dr Cullen says the initiative led by Tuwharetoa chief Tumu te Heuheu built up strong momentum for settlement, after earlier attempts went off the rails.

“And that momentum built up. People really realized the train was leaving the station and wanted to be on board and wanted to be part of it. There’s broad agreement around that there should be a single arrangement for managing the forest land and also a real understanding that this only settles the commercial forest lands claims, that each individual iwi will have further discussions with the Crown around other elements of their claims,” Dr Cullen says.

There's still some work to be done over public access rights to the forest lands and how the settlement benefits will be allocated among iwi.


The chief executive of Ngai Tahu Seafood is off to Beijing this weekend to see if the iwi can capitalise on the New Zealand-Chine Free Trade Agreement.

Geoff Hipkins is following in the footsteps of Ngai Tahu Holdings chair Wally Stone, who is already in the Chinese capital as part of a 192-strong New Zealand business group.

He says it's an excellent deal for this country.

“When you look at the actual states, China is New Zealand’s fourth largest trading partner. From China’s point of view, we are number 50 on their list. So they’ve obviously used New Zealand as a test case, as a blueprint to work through this free trade mechanism and agreement, so that’s a real plus for us and a real boost,” Mr Hipkins says.

The seafood industry has taken a pounding in recent times because of high fuel prices and the whole dollar, but the prospect of developing long term business in what is already an important market has excited the sector.


If gangrene in the toes and frightening statistics doesn't dissuade smokers, maybe pleas from their tamariki might.

The Auckland Tobacco Control Research Centre is running a research project in which students at south Auckland intermediates compete to win a computer by sponsoring a member of their whanau to quit smoking.

Director Marewa Glover says the centre wants to see if the Keeping Kids Smokefree project reduces the uptake of smoking by changing the behaviour of parents.

“A lot of parents think that children mainly take up smoking because of their peers or who they’re hanging out with or because of actors smoking in the movies but parents actually play a much more important role than they think and they do have the power to turn it around and break the cycle with their kids,” Dr Glover says.

Parents and family of the students can get free stop-smoking support.


A veteran Labour MP says the Maori Party's opposition to the free trade agreement with China goes against Maori interests.

Dover Samuels says Hone Harawira, the man who beat him for the Tai Tokerau seat, is showing his lack of vision.

Mr Harawira says his caucus has major concerns about China’s lack of respect for human rights and the environment, and China’s repression of dissent in Tibet should make Maori concerned about its respect for the rights of indigenous people.

Mr Samuels says those issues can be addressed better once the door is open.

“I've heard a lot of humbug coming out of Hone, taking about the treaty, talking about sovereignty, talking about human rights. I’ve heard it all before. It’s all negative claptrap when we have some of the major corporations, the major businesses that are owned by Maori have a real opportunity to sell our wares, sell our products, to enter into trade agreements with different companies in China,” Mr Samuels says.

He says Maori own the biggest New Zealand fishing company trading into China, and Maori farmers in other sectors are also major exporters there.


A Maori lawyer who specialises in international indigenous issues says Martin Luther King had an influence on a generation of Maori thinkers.

This week is the 40th anniversary of the assassination of the African American human rights campaigner in Memphis.

Moana Jackson says Maori in the late 1960's and early seventies drew inspiration from the writings of Doctor King and others like Malcom X, Eldridge Cleaver and Angela Davis, who visited New Zealand last year.

Their influence on events like Land March and Bastion Point occupation should not be underestimated.

“African American writers were influential not just in terms of the strategies they espoused but also the hope that I think they gave to other struggles and people such as Martin Luther King and other African Americans have a big role to play,” Mr Jackson says.


Tainui kai hoe are recovering after four exhausting days on the Waikato River.

The paddlers, who were nominated by their marae, travelled from Lake Karapiro to Te Puaha O Waikato to reconnect with their tupuna awa and learn about environmental issues affecting the river.

Coordinator Tahi Rangi Arthur says it will be a life changing experience.

“They just loved it. We had a bit of a korero after it and everyone just couldn’t get over it and the experience they had and the feeling they have for the river now from what they had before, so it’s good that we can share it around all our marae so they can look at the environment effects and just get that spiritual connection back into our river,” Mr Arthur says.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Still short of treaty top-up

The Minister of Treaty Negotiations says the huge Central North Island commercial forestry claim won't trigger ratchet clauses in earlier settlements.

Tainui and Ngai Tahu will get top ups if and when the total spent on historical claims exceeds a billion in 1995 dollars.

Michael Cullen says the proposal tabled by a collective of iwi at Waihi Marae near Turangi last week involves land under the control of the Crown Forest Rental Trust, which has its own set of rules.

“The total package will be worth close to $500 million for the central North Island iwi. A large part of that, indeed the largest single part, is the accumulated rentals, which of course the Crown doesn't own anyway. It’s not as if the Crown is transferring that to the iwi. That is being held in the Crown Forestry Rental Trust on behalf of those iwi who receive land settlements, so the cost that counts against the billion is the cost of the land, and that’s more in the region of $200 million," Dr Cullen says.

He says as the rate of settlements accelerates, it won't be too many years before the Crown may need to top up Tainui and Ngai Tahu.


A Maori fisheries group says the way the Fisheries Ministry is regulating customary fisheries is creating turbulence between iwi and hapu.

Customary fisheries were on the agenda today at a conference in Napier hosted by the Treaty Tribes Coalition.

Chairperson Ngahiwi Tomoana says the ministry is coming up with poorly designed solutions to ill defined problems.

He says by encouraging selected coastal hapu to manage customary fisheries, the ministry is undermining the Maori commercial fisheries settlement, which is managed at iwi level.

“So we have hapu tension with iwi, we have ministry fueling hapu expectations about customary fisheries but the issue has never been raised with iwi, which the settlement is all about. So we say customary regulations as they are is unfinished business," Mr Tomoana says

He says the Fisheries Ministry is ignoring its duty to engage with Maori as a treaty partner.


Four thousand young Catholics began a 100-day pilgrimage today, leading up to the largest youth event in the world.

The ope from parishes and schools around the country gathered at Auckland's Aotea Square today to prepare for World Youth Day in Sydney in July, which will be attended by Pope Benedict the sixteenth and hundreds of thousands of young people from around the globe.

MC Manuel Beazley, from Ngapuhi, says students from Hato Petera and a contingent from the Maori Catholic Runanga will ensure a strong Maori voice in the events.

“Organisers from the World youth Day in Sydeny have asked that the indigenous cultures, the indigenous peoples from the Oceania Pacific region join with the Aboriginal people as hosts for this event to welcome the other cultures, the other youth of the world,” Mr Beazley says

He says World Youth Day will be a chance to celebrate not only a shared faith by many different identities.


A South Island iwi is looking for opportunities from the free trade pact with China.

Geoff Hipkins from Ngai Tahu Seafood says the agreement recognises the Treaty of Waitangi, and specifically allows policies which aim at giving a leg up to Maori-owned business.

He says iwi with a commercial orientation would benefit from a closer economic relationship with China.

“The seafood tariffs are due to phase out over a five year period so that will give the potential to increase earnings, but more importantly it opens up and legitimises trade into China which I’m sure, once people get into the marketplace, there will be a lot more opportunities developed,” Mr Hipkins says.


Former owners of Paraparaumu Airport land are disappointed Kapiti Coast District Council has given the green light to a $450 million retail development of the site.

George Jenkins from Te Whananu a Ngarara says the 5-4 vote confirms the former owners' contention that the land was surplus to airport requirements, and should have been offered back under the Public Works Act.

He says the council should have waited for the outcome of a meeting between Te Whananu a Ngarara and the airport company, organised by Otaki MP Darren Hughes.

“We were asking council to show a little bit of leadership in terms of being courageous to take the right road, to do the right thing rather than what was perhaps legally expedient. We were asking only for a deferral of their considerations until after this meeting on the 18th,” Mr Jenkins says.

The former owners are happy to repurchase the land and lease it out for development.


A Maori tobacco researcher wants more research into a gene which may explain why disproportionate number of Maori become addicted to tobacco.

Marewa Glover from the Auckland Tobacco Control Research Centre says an international study with contributions from Otago University researchers has important implications for Maori.

The study found half the population has a gene variant that predisposes towards tobacco addiction and increases the risk of lung cancer, and 10 percent had two copies.

Dr Glover says the study is interesting, but a larger sample of Maori would be needed to draw firm conclusions.

“Your research is expensive and you have to make a special effort and you have to go to extra lengths t ensure you have got enough Maori in these big studies so that we can have results for us as well that tell us something,” Dr Glover says.

She says the double whammy gene might contribute to the higher rates for smoking among some whanau.

Tribes: Fishing Ministry ignores treaty

A Maori fishing industry group is challenging the Fisheries Ministry to start treating Maori as a treaty partner.

The Treaty Tribes Coalition is hosting its third annual Maori fisheries conference in Napier.

Chairperson Ngahiwi Tomoana says Maori are tired of responding to the ministry's poorly designed solutions to ill defined problems.

He says in the years since the Maori Fisheries Settlement confirmed the significant relationship between Iwi and the Crown over fisheries, the ministry has worked to whittle away the gains.

“We of the tribes can improve the performance of the ministry and we would rather work shoulder to shoulder than currently where we react ing. We’re looked upon like any other stakeholder, rather than as treaty partner. Not only are we the treaty partner, we have huge interests in every sector,” Mr Tomoana says.

He says fisheries minister Jim Anderton told the hui last night that his door was open for discussion - and he'd be taking up that invitation at the earliest occasion.


A new multi-party group is looking for practical ways to improve the water quality in Rotorua's lakes.

Rick Vallance from Ngati Whakaue Tribal Lands is chairing the Land Use Future Board.

He says cleaning up the lakes is not as simple as putting the boot into farmers, and the board will be encouraging wide ranging research and discussion.

Even dieting can help, with a new study showing the amount of nitrates emitted by cows can be halved through a change in feed.

“Out of the whole 100 percent farm currently in pasture at the moment it may be possible to take 20 percent out and put it into trees on the steeper less productive slopes, do something with the flat land, fiddle with the cows a wee bit, and lo and behold you may reduce your total footprint by 50 percent but make more money,” Mr Vallance says.

About 70 percent of the land around the lakes is owned by Maori.


The man charged with enhancing the relationship between the police and Waikato Maori wardens wants the wardens to be paid.

Police pouwhakataki Anaru Grant says the Hamilton Maori Wardens intervention project, which involves weekend patrols of licensed premises and known trouble spots, has reduced offending in the city centre.
He says it's a significant contribution to the work of the police.

“There's no way that our wardens should be doing the mahi for nothing because at the end of the day they are volunteers. If you put it in man hours, the cost would be huge. It’s our business community and all the other government agencies, if we all come together and we say okay, let’s put some money towards our wardens to help our people on the streets,” Mr Grant says.

The wardens are seen as non-threatening, and they're able to persuade intoxicated people to be taken home, lessening the chance of trouble on the streets.


A Maori fisheries conference has heard that Maori are still to receive any benefit from the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Settlement Act.

Consultant Graeme Coates told the Te Matau a Maui hui in Napier that since the Act came into effect three years ago, the whole industry has stalled.

He says marine farmers are looking for strong and positive leadership from government to overcome the complexities of the law.
Meanwhile, the settlement Maori thought they were getting hasn't come through.

“From the period January 1, 2005 and January 1, 2008, iwi Maori would get 20 percent of any new aquaculture management area. That couldn’t happen because there were no new applications or any granting of any new aquaculture management areas throughout the country,” Mr Coates says.

The Crown is now working through a valuation process so it can buy marine space for the settlement, but it will be at least another five years before it is required to hand over any to iwi Maori.


A former Tamaki Makaurau MP says any moves to create a supercity in Auckland must take Maori needs into account.

John Tamihere says he's not opposed to amalgamation, if there's a convincing business case.

But he says his West Auckland-based Te Whanau O Waipareira Trust is not going to give up the rights it had confirmed through its claim to the Waitangi Tribunal on the status of urban Maori authorities.

“You don't bowl over communities of interest that are very special and have special rights. Our rights are ambulatory. They walk with me. They crystalise where I sit. What we won’t do is contest Resource Management Act issues, that’s mana whenua, not a problem. But any issues that impact on Maori: health, welfare, education - and local government does that all the time - justice, we’ll be standing up for a say and we will want a seat at the table,” Mr Tamihere says.

He says the 2002 Local Government Amendment Act he was involved in gave councils the power to create greater representation for Maori, but those powers aren't being used enough.


A Maori actor and broadcaster is welcoming a new guide for filming in Maori communities.

Waihoroi Shortland, who played Shylock in the Maori Merchant of Venice, says producers and directors often blunder in their depictions of Maori communities and events.

He says Maori tales are dramatic, entertaining... and often complex, such as the stories behind so called body-snatching.

That's why they need to be told accurately and authentically, and that's where Brad Haami handbook Urutahi Ko-Ata-Ata will help film and tv crews.

“Yeah anything that allows people to cast their mind over the minefiled that is kaupapa or tikanga Maori must bring some good,” Mr Shortland says.

Monday, April 07, 2008

New skills needed for free trade workplace

The Maori vice president of the Council of Trade Unions says the free trade agreement with China highlights the need to upskill the Maori and Polynesian workforce.

Sharon Clair is in Beijing as part of the delegation signing the historic agreement.

She says while the deal has the potential to create jobs her in the primary produce and tourism sectors, it could lead to further pressure on manufacturing, where there is a concentration of Maori and Pacific Island workers.

She says the CTU wants a nationwide strategy to address the risk.

“Been pushing at the CTU for a national strategy which is about investment in skills for the Maori and Pacific workforce. We’re becoming a knowledge economy and we need to know that our skills can be transferred into other work areas,” Ms Clair says.


It's all go in the treaty sector as officials scramble to keep pace with the new minister for treaty negotiations.

Ben Dalton, the chief executive of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, says the proposed $400 million Central North Island forestry settlement is just one of the negotiations Michael Cullen has fired up since taking the job.

The trust has so far spent more than $1.6 million funding all the iwi involved in the CNI collective, whose claims cover more than half the forest land licensed by the trust.

Mr Dalton says after years of frustration, both Crown and Maori feel progress can be made under Dr Cullen.

“Everybody is full pelt on this. All resources are totally committed to keeping pace with the direction he’s heading in. My riding instructions from our board were stick within the trust deed but be as flexible and as responsive as we can,” he says.

Mr Dalton says while there is a need for speed, the Trust and the Crown also have to make sure the assets go back to the right groups.


Taurangamoana iwi Ngati Rangitihi is celebrating a half century of close links with the Kingitanga.

More than 300 people including King Tuheitia attended the fiftieth Taurangamoana poukai at Huria Marae on Saturday.

A highlight was the launch of a book about the connection.

Co-author Tracey Ngatoko says Te Mahuritanga o te Poukai acknowledges the contribution of scholar Maharaia Winiata, a former secretary to the King movement, who led the building of the house Tamatea pokaiwhenua on the marae and is buried in its shadow.

“We sort of start off with what the Kingitanga movement’s about and its significance to Ngati Ranginui as a whole, and in the times of Te Karehana, for Taurangamoana wide, the relation ship that Maharaia Winiata had with Tainui and Tainui with him and how those links are still maintained today,” Ms Ngatoko says.

The book includes many rare historical photos of Tainui and Taurangamoana elders.


A member of the trust responsible for helping Maori in freshwater fisheries believes Maori are poised to dominate the sector.

Morrie Love says pan-iwi settlement conglomerate Aotearoa Fisheries already owns most of the eel processing capability, and Maori fishers have strong interests in both the commercial and customary take.

He says many quota holders are nearing retirement age, and could exit the industry in the next few years.

“If iwi are smart now, they’ll look at getting full control on the commercial sector by getting both the quota interest, part of which they get through the settlement, others they’ll need to buy, plus taking over the catching sector,” Mr Love says.

That level of control means iwi would be in control of making decisions about whether balancing commercial and customary harvest for long term sustainability.

Maori fishers are in Napier today and tomorrow for the third annual Maori fisheries conference, Ta Matau a Maui.


A union organiser is picking Maori and Pacific Island manufacturing workers to be the big losers from the free trade deal with China.

John Minto from low income workers' union Unite says since tariffs were lifted on imported Chinese goods in the mid 1990s, more than 50,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost.

He says the agreement signed in Beijing today will encourage New Zealand manufacturers to move their businesses offshore chasing cheaper labour.

“Instead of people making shoes, we end up with jobs stacking the shelves of The Warehouse with shoes from China, so we go from relatively well paid jobs for people to low paid jobs in the retail and the service sector, and that impacts disproportionately on Maori and Pacific workers in New Zealand,” Mr Minto says.


Waiariki Institute of Technology has a new number two.

Keith Ikin, from Ngati Maniapoto, has taken up the role of deputy chief executive of one of the largest tertiary institutions in the country with campuses in Taupo, Tokoroa, Whakatane and Rotorua.

The former broadcaster with more than half its students being Maori, the polytechnic needs to be aware of the needs of iwi as they move towards a post-settlement environment.

“For most iwi, education is a big part of that, so we’re now having some really meaningful discussions with iwi directly on what they see as their priorities for tertiary education and as a tertiary institution if we want to be up with the play, we’ve got to align ourselves with what iwi want for the future,” Mr Ikin says.

Waiariki Institute of Technology wants to get more of its Maori students into higher-level qualifications, rather than preparing them for the forest floor or the milking shed.

CNI deal good for development

The Minister of Maori Affairs says the proposed central North Island forestry settlement will be a powerful force for development in the region.

A cluster of iwi put a proposal to the Government on Friday to put more than $400 million in Crown forest land, forestry licenses and accumulated rentals into a trust, to be managed collectively.

Questions of allocation will be determined later by the iwi, according to tikanga Maori principles.

Parekura Horomia says the plan could resolve a problem which has been simmering for 20 years, and it makes sense to treat the forests as a single commercial asset.

“A lot of iwi in this cluster, they’re not new chums at business management or anything else. There are some iwi in there that need a lot of help and I think the great thing is those that are kosher in business will certainly help those others, and I think it is exciting,” Mr Horomia says.

A lot of detail still needs to be worked out before the Crown can accept the settlement.


A group of Aborigines from the Northern Territory is here to look at how Maori manage fisheries assets.

Samuel Blanasi, the deputy chair of the Northern Land Council, says they're positioning themselves for the outcome of a court battle by traditional owners from Blue Mud Bay in the Gulf of Carpenteria for exclusive access to waters between the high and low tide mark.

A federal court ruled in favour of the traditional owners, but the case is under appeal.

Mr Blanasi says while the legal environments between Australia and New Zealand are different, his council can learn a lot from iwi.

“We're looking to track information to take back with us to Darwin, Northern Territory. We’re only looking for facts so we know how we are going to do ours when we start negotiating our deals with the fisheries and the mud crab and the commercial fisheries,” Mr Blanasi says.

the group will attend this week's Treaty Tribes fisheries conference in Napier next week before heading home.


There's a new twist in the fight by a Rotorua hapu to stop the expansion of the sulphur city airport.

Blanche Hohepa-Kiriona from Ngati Uenukukopako has lodged a claim with the Waitangi Tribunal for protection of the airspace over Ruamata Marae.
She says planned extensions to the runway to cater for international flights poses a threat to the marae and its associated kura.

The hapu has already made compromises for the airport.

“In the 1960s we were forced to move our whare tupuna, Uenukukopako, to where he currently stands, because the Crown and local government declared our tupuna as an obstruction of the flight path. This was despite our whare tupuna being there before they introduced the flight path,” Mrs Hohepa-Kiriona says.

She says the noise of the planes drowns out karanaga and whaikorero, and the vibrations make nails pop out of the meeting house roof.


A boycott of Ngai Tahu businesses to show solidarity for two pilots jailed for stealing greenstone has been labeled misplaced aggression.

David and Morgan Saxton are serving two and a half years in prison terms for stealing $800,000 worth of pounamu.

A trust has been set up a trust to raise funds donations for the Saxtons' appeals, and some of their supporters have called for a boycott.

Tahu Potiki, the chair of the Otakou Runaka and a former Ngai Tahu chief executive, says any concerns about the conviction and sentence should be taken to the court, rather than the tribe.

“Ngati Tahu has very little ability to influence a court in terms of the nature of the sentence. All they were able to do was identify to the police that they believed that stone was being taken without a licence. After that, it was out of Ngai Tahu’s hands and clearly in the hands of the police system, the court system,” Mr Potiki says.

He says the Saxtons are making themselves out to be the victims, when in fact it was the tribe which was the Saxtons' victim.


A Hastings urban marae is joining with police to tackle crime in its community.

Brian Smith, the sergeant in charge of the Flaxmere station, says Te Aranga Marae will today adopt the station in a special ceremony, strengthening the informal arrangements now in place.

“It's just a joining together of resources going in the same direction and it can be a place where we can go to speak to the elders and discuss community issues and try to problem solve if we have problems,” Mr Smith says.

Police will use the occasion to introduce the Flaxmere community to two new constables who will be responsible for a number of youth initiatives.


Maori feet are made for walking, and that's just what they do ... according to new research published in the New Zealand Medical Journal.

An Otago University study found that while only a third of Dunedin primary school children walked to school, Maori children were 50 per cent more likely to get there on foot than non-Maori children.

Tony Reeder, the director of Otago's social and behavioural research unit, says it's a good sign in the fight against obesity.

“Once children get to do some walking and actually enjoy it and perhaps do it as a group and with support from their family, whanau and friends, that it’s actually a positive thing and can be not only beneficial healthily but socially reinforcement to do it on a regular basis is an important thing I think,” Mr Reeder says.

How close families are to school and whether they own a car are major factors influencing whether children walk to school.