Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, April 18, 2008

Te Aute puts lease claim

Prominent old boys from Te Aute College are demanding action on the Maori boarding school's Glasgow leases.

A group including former Waitangi Tribunal chairperson Eddie Durie and Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples met today with Treaty Negotiations Minister Michael Cullen to explain how land gifted for the school's upkeep was leased out by the Crown early last century for peppercorn rentals.

Under the Glasgow system of perpetual leases, the valuable farmland is leased for about 5 percent of unimproved value, with rents reviewed every 21 years.

Dr Sharples says it's a continuing injustice.

“The school is broke and as many boarding schools are, finding it really hard to keep going, and it’s a shame that we own so much land there, and while the farmers are getting rich off that land, the school is suffering and could close,” Dr Sharples says.

Te Aute has lodged a claim with the Waitangi Tribunal, but it's also seeking direct negotiations.


Donna Awatere Huata says a Waitangi Tribunal claim could be the way to force the Crown to deliver equity in Maori education.

The former ACT MP says Maori education is in meltdown, with more than half of Maori boys leaving school without qualifications.

She says the solutions discussed this week at the Waipareira education summit are well known in academic circles, but they're not being acted on.

“The fact that all this research is not being implemented by teachers in schools, not being addressed by principals, not being addressed by Ministry of Education, I think that it’s criminal what is being done to snuff out the potential of Maori boys,” Mrs Awatere-Huata says.

She says problems around literacy could be turned around within five years if the government took action.


It's his first solo show, but Tairawhiti sculptor Simon Lardelli has tackled a big subject.

Iwi, which opened today at the Tairawhiti Museum in Gisborne, is based on what he saw last year in Turkey, accompanying his uncle Derek on a research trip to the Gallipoli battlefields.

The Waiariki-trained carver, who has quit his teaching job at Toihoukura to concentrate full time on his art, hopes he has conveyed the feeling of the place.

“You read a lot about the Anzacs and the Maori Battalion through books and the media as well but trying to experience it for yourself, the best place is in Turkey itself of in Gallipoli, visiting the Anzac cove and the burial sites and going to the museum and seeing the remains,” says Mr Llardelli, from Ngati Porou and Rongowhakaata.


A big turnout from Tuwharetoa and Te Arawa was on hand today as the ground was broken for a new geothermal power station near Taupo.

Nga Awa Purua is a joint venture between Tauhara North No.2 Trust and Mighty River Power, and the 132 megawatt station will be built by Japanese company Sumitomo.

Aroha Campbell, Tauhara's executive officer, says it's a big step up from the existing 34 megawatt station, where the landowners just have a licensing deal.

“We've had 10 years of monitoring and building our Relationship with Mighty River Power and monitoring the reservoir as to how it reacts to certain climate changes and so we were confident enough to take the next step which is the construction of this power station,” Ms Campbell says.

Once the station is commission in 2010, Tauhara North can expect seven-figure annual returns from license fees and dividends.


Waikato iwi are getting behind this weekend's V8 Supercar Championships in Hamilton.

Rally driver Marty Rostenberg, who bills himself the fastest Maori in Motorsport, says while there's no Maori in the top international field, they're a big presence behind the scenes.

“Obviously being in Hamilton in the heart of Tainui country, there’s kapa haka parties, lots of powhiris and really the opportunity to demonstate our local culture to the overseas guests as well,” Mr Rostenburg says.

Two hundred thousand visitors are expecting to invade the Waikato to see the V8's this weekend.


There's some unique challenges for a group building palisades around the old papakainga site at Okaahu Bay on Auckland's waterfront.

A television production company is filming the project this weekend as part of a new community arts show.

Ngarimu Blair, the heritage and resource manager for Ngati Whatua Ki Orakei, says the puriri, manuka and kanuka fence is designed to be transportable, so it can comply with heritage restrictions.

“Historic Places
Trust won’t let you dig a hole for anything so we’re trying to be clever in a way to design it so we can pin it into place in sections so perhaps one day people will drive along Mt Eden Rd and look up at the pa there and might see some of the palisades reconstructed to give a sense of what the place may have looked like at one time,” Mr Blair says.

The palisades will be available for use by other community groups.

Policy fails Green test

The Green's education spokesperson is rejecting National's prescription for curing problems in the classroom.

John Key is promising annual testing from age five so schools can diagnose where individual students need extra help.

Metiria Turei says test-driven systems don't create good learning environments.

She says research shows the best way to keep children advancing is to give teachers the right tools to create a good learning environment.

“You don't keep if kids are being focused on tests and their teachers are focused on achievements and tests as a way to measure progress with a child. That’s not the progress we want to see. We want every kid to have their full capacity developed to the best of their ability and of their school and teacher’s abilities, so testing them perpetually won't make that difference,” Ms Turei says.

She says says the resources National's standards testing would chew up should instead go into effective interventions, such as Te Kotahitanga, which changes how teachers interact with Maori students.


The National Screening Unit's new Maori strategy advisor says Maori-specific programmes are the best way to ensure equity.

Nina Scott says health services have tended to build services around Pakeha needs, ignoring methods which would encourage Maori to participate.

She says the success of providers like Breast Screen South, which achieved 70 percent screening for Maori woman in its catchment, show programmes can be effective if there is proper cultural input.

“That's an international first for an indigenous population, to have that 70 percent. It’s the way they go about it. They were the first to introduce marae-based screening, to have korowai for the women so they don’t have to expose their whole upper torso. They have taonga, gifts to give to the women,” Ms Scott says.

Breast Screen South had a strong governance structure, which helped it respond to Maori.


A Hawkes Bay community activist is calling for MPs to stop politicising tagging.

Parliament this week gave Manukau City Council special powers to control graffiti, including regulating the way shops display spray paint, banning its sale to minors, and allowing council staff to remove graffiti on private property if it is visible from a public place.

Denis O'Reilly says the government would do better to address the issues driving the behaviour.

The Black Power life member says like being in a gang, tagging is a symptom of people's frustration with their place in society.

“All we have got to do is come up with something that’s more interesting, more exciting. We could turn the energy of those young graffiti artists into that of graphic designers in a world that is thirsting for graphic design and content. But for some reasons or another, we do not see it like that. We just go looking for a bigger hammer and a larger jail
,” Mr O'Reilly says.


The author of a new book on Maori land sales says it's not another exercise in bashing the Crown.

Richard Boast, an associate law professor at Victoria University, has drawn on the historical research he has done for Waitangi Tribunal claims.

Buying the Land, Selling the Land covers land policy and practice between 1865 and 1929, when people like politician Donald McLean and government agent Gilbert Mair bought up of large tracts of land for Pakeha settlement.

He's used correspondence from Maori in the archives of the Native Land Court and and Department to tell the stories of ordinary people making hard choices about their tupuna whenua.

“I hope too that people will gain a sympathy for both sides in the process. I don’t necessarily think people like Mair and McLean are bad people They have their own vision and in many ways it’s a vision that is a sense and admirable one but also I want people to have a sympathetic sense for the plight of the Maori people at that time. It was really very harsh for them,” Dr Boast says.

The situation changed at the end of the 1920s, when Prime Minister Gordon Coates started trying to address the large rural population of landless Maori.


Three Maori boxers are among the ten-man team heading to Samoa this weekend for an Olympic Qualifying Event.

Isekeli Maama, Zig Zag Wallace and Kahukura Bentson need good results in Apia to book their tickets for the Beijing games in August.

Tui Gallagher from the Auckland Boxing Association says for many of the boxers it's their last shot at Olympic glory after years of training.

“We're not sure what Ziggy's
 going to do after this tournament. There’s talk he may turn professional if he doesn’t qualify. As with all of our amateurs at this stage, because they’re all in the senior ranks, they’ve all been in the national squads for a while now, and there comes a time when they think where to from here,” Ms Gallagher says.


An Maori health worker is to be recognised for her contribution to the East Coast community.

Georgina Paerata has been matron of at Te Puia Hospital for more than 40 years.

That will be celebrated at a special event at the hospital today.

Local MP Parekura Horomia says there are lessons in her exceptional loyalty and service.

“Big Maori got to look after little Maori and make sure our people, all down the pecking order, understand about loyalty, understand about opportunities and I know that is what Georgina has shown to a lot of people she’s worked for, worked with her and a lot of the patients she's cared for,” Mr Horomia says.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


More testing of tots, free tech for teens.

That's the National Party's formula for changes in the education system.
Leader John Key says this week's Waipareira education summit shows the importance of addressing issues such as the fact more than half of Maori boys leave school with no qualifications.

He says all children from the age of five will be rested each year against national standards of reading, writing and maths.

National is also taking note of advice from Te Wananga o Aotearoa that 60 percent of its new enrolments have no previous qualifications.

“Now if they're 16 or 17 under National, they’re going to fit into what we call our youth guarantee so we’ll actually pay for all of their fees to go to the wananga or a private training establishment or any other kind of polytechnic they might want to go to,” Mr Key says.

He says wananga won't get special treatment, but they're seen as providing choice rather than being an example of race-based funding.


Maori are being told they can provide a unique set of skills to physiotherapy.

Matire Harwood, who will be speaking to this weekend's conference in Dunedin of the New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists, says Maori have a higher rate of injuries which require rehabilitation.

She says mainstream providers need to consider cultural training for staff, and there also needs to be support in the profession for training more Maori.

Dr Harwood says having some background in the Maori community can help in the development of effective treatments.

“You know who to talk to when that patient comes in because often they might not give you the whole story, you might need to seek it from other people, but also informing them and educating them as part of that person’s treatment plan I think is something also I think Maori physios will do which is unique to them,” Dr Harwood says.

She says Maori massage or mirimiri can be incorporated into rehabilitation programmes.


What started out as a live billboard is now part of the Waitangi legacy.

A carving of a waka commissioned by Maori Television and built outside its Auckland studios in the lead up to Waitangi Day will be handed over to the Waitangi National Trust tomorrow at the Treaty Grounds in the Bay of Islands.

British woodcarver Mike Davies, who worked on the five metre piece alongside designer Blaine Te Rito, says his background in antiques restoration did not prepare him for the rich storytelling in Maori carving.

“Each cut or each piece of decoration is symbolic of part of Maori culture and history, so while technically I was adept at carving, it was a tremendous learning experience, because Blaine was teaching me the history and culture of the carving whilst we were producing the actual piece,” he says.

Mr Davies is researching cultural carving traditions around the world.


Parekura Horomia says tackling problems with Maori education may require taking a fresh look at the classroom.

The Associate Education Minister told the Waipareira education summit today that education is a shared responsibility between whanau and the school system.

He says kohanga reo and kura kaupapa Maori, which have improved outcomes for many tamariki, came from outside the system, and that may be where people need to look for innovation.

“We have to be lateral enough to believe that the classroom will be different in the future. Whether there will be a need for classrooms. Is education just within the four walls. But what we do want to make sure is that up to 18 years of age people stay within an education forum when they are not working, And that is a challenge when the economy is high and there is plenty of work,” Mr Horomia says.

He says Labour has opened 14 new kura, taken on more than 5000 new teachers, and launched the Ka Hikitia Maori education strategy.


But the Green's education spokesperson is warning against too much innovation.

Metiria Turei says there has been a lot of research into what works for Maori students and what doesn't.

She says resources should go into effective interventions, such as Te Kotahitanga, which changes how teachers interact with Maori students.

“The key is not to keep looking for new and exciting ways of doing things but to focus on what works. And we know that kura works, we know that good relationships and good understandings by teachers work. We know that investment in resources, creating smaller classrooms sizes for example, that works. So invest in what works,” Ms Turei says.

She says the National Party is going off on totally the wrong track with its promise of more standardised testing, which can have a negative effect on children's learning.


A Black Power life member says the current anti-gang hysteria looks like thinly-masked Maori bashing.

Wanganui MP Chester Borrows' bill outlawing gang insignia in the river city passed its first reading last night and has been referred to a select committee.

Dennis O'Reilly, a long term community development activist, says gangs can range from the youth who puts his colours in his back pocket during church on Sunday morning and plays up on Sunday night, to organized criminals.

“And a lot of excitement seems to be around not gangs per se but Maori gangs, and I often wonder if it’s a sort of deep-seated settler apprehension about the Maori warrior coming to collect the rent as it were, because just like we’ve got didymo in our rivers now, coming in from abroad, we do have real international gangs, here, except they don’t look like our paradigm of what a gang member looks like,” Mr O'Reilly says.

Ngati Porou seeks confiscation compo

The Ngati Porou Runanga is hoping for a settlement to East Coast claims by the end of the year.

The Crown yesterday recognised the runanga's mandate to negotiate the claims, sidelining the current Waitangi Tribunal hearings.

Chairperson Apirana Mahuika says the runanga is setting up a subcommittee to represent all its hapu and marae and work alongside the core negotiating team.

He says a lot of the groundwork has been done, and the runanga is confident it can win fair recognition of its historical grievances.

“Ngati Porou has always been a great supporter of the Crown. While people call us kupapa – well, that’s their word for us – but the Crown has not reciprocated in terms of the loyalty of Ngati Porou for the Crown. That’s an important factor. And also there have been lands that have been confiscated in Ngati Porou, contrary to what people think, but we have had a substantial amount of land confiscated as well,” Mr Mahuika says


Te Ohu Kaimoana has condemned the Minister of Fisheries for his claims Maori commercial fishers are plundering the country's fish stocks.

Peter Douglas, the chief executive of the fisheries settlement trust, says Jim Anderton is using loaded language to falsely imply that all Maori are over-fishing.

He says the implication Maori are not interested in sustainability is being used by the minister to justify his bid for more power over the industry.

“Over and over I’m reminded in my meetings with Mari fishermen, whether those are commercial or customary or recreational, that we were fishing 100 years ago and we intend to be fishing in 1000 years tome, so if we’ve got that as an underlying principle, having an attitude towards sustainability which is not sustainable would be a reckless approach to the whole thing,” Mr Douglas says.

He says the real issue is Mr Anderton made wrong decisions, which led to one non-Maori fishing company successfully challenging him in the High Court.


An exhibition of taonga associated with a controversial 19th century soldier and administrator has brought some important treasures home to Tauranga.

The city's museum is the last stop for the Ko Tawa exhibition of 28 items collected by Captain Gilbert Mair during and after the land wars, and later gifted to the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Dean Flavell, Tauranga's Maori curator, says the show includes the greenstone mere Te Raukaraka, which belonged to Tauranga chief Koraurau, and a whalebone tewhatewha or long club dug up at Gate Pa in 1875.

“We are going through a programme called Hokinga Mai which identifies objects such as these two currently situated in museums throughout this country and overseas and it’s about negotiating how we can bring these things home, so Ko Tawa is a good example of how we are able to carry out this request from our people,” Mr Flavell says.

Gilbert Mair retired to Tauranga and died there, so it's fitting Ko Tawa's three-year tour should end in the city.


A leading researcher on Maori education says what's good for Maori is good for everybody... but the reverse isn't always the case.

Russell Bishop from the University of Waikato told the Waipareira Education Summit in West Auckland yesterday that teacher attitude is the major barrier to Maori achievement.

He says his Katahitanga Project is offering practical ways to turn that around in mainstream schools, where 90 percent of Maori students are enrolled

“Our teachers in our schools can educate 80 percent of our students to an internationally excellent level. It’s just that they can’t do it for Maori and for Pasifika students and for other students who are in minority groups, and the major reason they can’t is because they don’t know how to relate to the kids, so what our project is about is supporting teachers to learn how to relate to Maori kids,” Professor Bishop says.

He says as soon as teachers start treating Maori pupils as if they have potential rather than as if they had learning difficulties, achievement levels improve.


The National Party is raisng concerns about a proposed new framework for Maori organisations.

Georgina te Heuheu says the Waka Umanga Bill now before Maori Affairs Select Committee will the create unnecessary bureaucracies.

She says there's no real demand for it.

“There are some real traps in it, we think, and one of the underlying things is it will add to the sort of proliferation a body may set up without any discernible benefit,” Mrs te Heuheu says.

She says it's better for tribes work out their own post-settlement structures and then get the government to legislate them ... which is the system Waka Umanga are designed to replace.


A new youth smoking cessation programme is expanding.

Auckland University's clinical trials research unit has been trialling Stub IT, which uses mobile phone messages and other multimedia to encourage rangatihi to keep from lighting up.

Project leader Robyn Whittaker says it will now cover subscribers in the top half of the North Island.

She says because 30 percent of target age smoker are Maori, it is important to use something that worked for them.

“Cellphones are there main means of communication. It’s the way they talk to each other, peer to peer, so it makes sense to use what is already highly embedded in their lives to access a smoking programme, rather than making the do something which is out of the ordinary or difficult like turn up to a clinic or speak to a counselor,” Ms Whittaker says.

Stub IT uses rangatahi who have been through the quitting process as role models, including a young pregnant mother, a sportsman and a kapa haka enthusiast.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ngati Porou mandate given

The Crown has brushed aside loud dissent and recognised the mandate of Te Runanga o Ngati Porou to represent the East Coast iwi in the negotiation of its historical Treaty claims.

The runanga angered many of the named claimants by stepping aside from Waitangi Tribunal hearings and seeking direct talks.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Michael Cullen says the runanga demonstrated the strength of its support through a thorough mandating process.

Apirana Mahuika, the runanga's chairperson, says it's time for people to put their differences aside and work for the good of the whole tribe.

“We've had ruffled feathers before, even when we were discussing the foreshore and seabed, and I think that if you let ruffled feathers interrupt with positive processes, then we will lost the positive outcomes we are seeking. Because at the end of the day, statistically speaking, we have the support of a majority of our whanau and hapu,” Mr Mahuika says.

The runanga will visit all its hapu in the next few weeks to form a negotiating team, with the aim of getting a settlement by the end of the year.


National's spokesperson on Maori education is accusing the government of having its head in the sand on Maori under-achievement.

Georgina te Heuheu says this week's education summit called by Te Whanau o Waipareira timely and important.

She says it is unacceptable for more than half of Maori boys to fail NCEA level one, and a National government will introduce more stringent monitoring of what's happening in our schools.

“We're going to put a huge emphasis on education, on standards, on parents being involved, knowing where their tamariki are in the system, how they are doing, because if no one is keeping a check on how children are doing, how tamariki are doing, how students are doing, then we are none the wiser as to how they are going to turn out at the end, are we?” Mrs te Heuheu says.


The Montana New Zealand Book Awards has added a new category for books written in te reo Maori.

The judge for this year's competition is writer and editor Hone Apanui.

Awards administrator Carmen Houlahan says as well as acknowledging Maori as an official language, the category is looking towards the future.

“We do believe it’s an area that is going to grow, that there will be in the future a lot of Maori writers and publishers coming forward to do a lot more of this work. Obviously Huia Publishers are working a lot with Maori writers now,” Ms Houlahan says.

The winner will get a $5000 prize.


Claimants squeezed out of Ngati Porou treaty claim negotiations are considering their next step.

The Crown today recognised the mandate of Te Runanga o Ngati Porou to represent the East Coast tribe in all its negotiations.

Lawyer Charl Hirshfeld, who acts for several claimant hapu between Tokomaru Bay and Te Araroa, says the runanga's mandating process wasn't as robust as the Minister of Treaty Negotiations says it was.

“It was only a vote taken of its own members so it was in many ways designed to be a self-fulfilling prophesy. There is a strong feeling about the identities of the constituent iwi up and down the East Coast, and that’s an issue that hasn’t been properly addressed and needs to be addressed before there is a rush towards a negotiated settlement,” Mr Hirschfeld says.

He has instructions to seek a review of the mandate through the Waitangi Tribunal.


The National Screening Unit's new Maori strategic advisor says Maori shouldn't be blamed for low screening rates.

The unit has just completes a symposium on challenges, benefits and harms of screening for various diseases and medical conditions.

Nina Scott says health services tend to blame Maori for not turning up rather than looking for ways to achieve equity.

“Is it us being not quick on the uptake or is it the screening programme not working well for us so you can’t blame us as Maori for having low screening rates. It’s the responsibility of the service to reach those who can benefit most and that’s where we need to go,” Ms Scott says.

Some Maori health providers have run extremely effective screening programmes, and the mainstream should look and learn.


Relatives and friends of Mahinerangi Tocker have flowed through her west Auckland home today to farewell the singer-songwriter, who died yesterday after complications from an asthma attack.

Her death at 52 has affected not only the Maori and music worlds but people she touched in other areas, such as those struggling with mental illness.

Green MP Metiria Turei says Tocker was an inspiration for many, including herself.

“Her music was part of my teenage awakening about what it was to be Maori and what it was to be a woman and feminism and strength and the battles so for lots and lots of us it‘s like losing someone who was with us during those really tumultuous times of figuring out who we were and how we were going to fight back,” Ms Turei says.

Mahinarangi Tocker's body will be taken tomorrow morning to Kauriki Marae in Taumaranui, with the funeral set for Saturday morning.

Waipareira education challenge

A speaker at the Waipareira Education summit says it won't be a blamefest or a talkfest, but a time to come up with solutions for deteriorating Maori literacy standards.

Tom Nicholson from Massey University's centre for literacy excellence will tell the hui at West Auckland's Trust Stadium how to get Maori to number one again by 2018.

He says that goal is achievable if there are changes in the way reading is taught.

Professor Nicholson says literacy rates among New Zealand children, including Maori, were once the envy of the world.

“Maori achievement has not been able to get back to where it once was. Lots of things have been tried over the last 20 to 30 years but we have to get better solutions and the fact that Maori people are tacking the issue themselves and holding a summit that is driven from the bottom up so to speak, I think that is really important,” he says.

Speakers today include Education Minister Chris Carter, Auckland University Professor Dame Anne Salmond and Professor Russell Bishop, whose Te Kotahitangi professional development programme aims to raise teacher expectations of Maori children.


The Prime Minister is scoffing at John Key's contention the Maori seats should still be seen as a temporary measure.

The Opposition leader told a television interviewer that the country has moved on from 1867, when the seats were created because Maori didn't qualify as voters under the land-based franchise system.

Helen Clark says it's a funny kind of temporary, when it works successfully for more than 140 years.

“I know he'd like them to be temporary because the National Party doesn’t like them and one would hope that the National Party’s determination to take away the Maori seats would banish any consideration of the Maori Party ever thinking of backing a National government,” Ms Clark says.

Labour's position is to retain the seats until Maori ask for them to go.


Supporters of King Country prophet Alexander Phillips are mourning the death of their charismatic leader.

Although relatively unknown in wider circles, Mana Ariki near Taumaranui, the headquarters of his Te Kotahitanga Building Society, is one of the largest marae in the country.

Whanganui River elder Morvin Simon says Mr Phillips had considerable support on the upper reaches of the river, with some communities gathering large quantities of eels every year for Mana Ariki hui.

He says Mr Phillips’ message of religious tolerance, and his healing drew many people to him.

“He as a kaumatua leader and matakite in terms of being a healer and seer has over the years been helpful to many many people,” Mr Simon says.

Alexander Phillips is lying in state on Mana Ariki Marae. His funeral is at 11 on Saturday.


A literacy expert says Maori need to come up with new ways of improving reading standards, because the status quo isn't working.

Tom Nicholson, the head of Massey University's centre of literacy excellence, is one of the speakers at a three day education summit starting today at Trust Stadium in West Auckland.

He says too many Maori believe the responsibility for lifting achievement belongs to schools and teachers, and parents don't see a role for themselves.

“It's that mindset that I think we need to change. We may just need to revolutionise the way we’re teaching children, particularly Maori children and Pasifika children, to think totally outside the square, because what we’ve been doing so far is getting nowhere,” Professor Nicholson says.

The summit, which is organsied by urban maori trust Te Whanau o Waipareira, will be looking for solutions rather than dwelling on blame.


A group learning to build palisades has found new respect for their tupuna.

Nagrimu Blair, the heritage and resource manager for Ngati Whatua ki Orakei, says the fence will go up this weekend around the old papakainga at Okaahu Bay.

The work will be filmed for a community arts programme.

He says a wananga last weekend to gather manuka and kanuka from Umupuia near Maraetai gave an insight into how hard it is to build a pa.

“I mean we're only doing a 100m fence with chainsaws and trucks and imagine doing a 1km long palisade on a terrace on Maungakiekie with puriri and totara. It opened our eyes up to how tough our tupuna were and how fit they were and how smart they were in terms of their organization,” Mr Blair says.

The palisades are designed to be moveable, so that they can be used by other community groups.


The head of the Mental Health Foundation has joined the chorus mourning the death of Mahinarangi Tocker.

The Taumaranui raised singer songwriter died in Auckland yesterday of complications from an asthma attack.

Judy Clements says Tocker's willingness to front the foundation's Like Minds Like Mine campaign has paid dividends in reducing the stigma associated with mental illness.

“She was prepared to put her own story and talk about how she handled her own mental health problems which I think inspired people and the genuine warmth and humour she brought to that as well as the extraordinary musical talents she was always prepared to share,” Ms Clements says.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Prophet Alec Phillips dies

Ko hinga tetahi totara nui o te wao nui a Tane.

Alexander Phillips, the charismatic leader of Te Kotahitanga Building Society, has died.

Mr Philips, also known as Arekahanara Piripi, built one of the largest marae in the country, Mana Ariki near Taumaranui, as a sacred place to unite the twelve tribes of Israel.

More than 5000 supporters gathered at the marae last August to celebrate his 90th birthday.

Reuben Collier, one of his assistants, says he was the last Maori prophet.
“He's a leader of many many people, of many many nations throughout the world. His main cause, his main kaupapa, was to unite the people, despite our colours and our creeds,” Mr Collier says.

Alexander Phillips received a Queens Service Medal in 1986 and was made Commander of the British Empire in 1995 for services to Maori.


And in another sad loss, singer Mahinarangi Tocker died this afternoon.
She had been on life support in North Shore Hospital for a week after an asthma attack cut off oxygen to her brain for several minutes.

The 52-year-old, who always declared her pride for her Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Maniapoto, Jewish and Celtic ancestry, left behind a partner of 19 years and a daughter.

Fellow musician Ngahiwi Apanui says Tocker made a huge contribution to New Zealand music over the past three decades.

“Her voice was an absolute revelation when I first heard it. I thought she was an overseas performer but to actually put a name to it and know it was a Maori was a wonderful thing for me because our people are so talented. I think Mahinerangi was a special talent and she was a talent that transcended a lot of societal and racial barriers. You will find she has as many Pakeha fans as she has Maori fans,” Mr Apanui says.

Mahinerangi Tocker became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in January for services to music.


The Government has no intention of taking the Maori Party's advice to buy out the top up clauses in the Tainui and Ngai Tahu settlements.

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell told a symposium that the clauses, which guarantee the tribes 17 percent of the total spent on settling historical claims, were now proving a barrier to settlement of other claims.

But Prime Minister Helen Clark says they were an acknowledgement of the risks the iwi took in being the first to settle.

“I don't think we’re at the point where you would think about triggering that clause. The Government’s getting on and settling in good faith with iwi, and of course it has got to be remembered that those who settled early, and with Tainui we are talking 1995, so this is 13 years ago, they have had the benefit of a large putea which has been able to be invested and the asset has grown enormously,” Ms Clark says.


There is a new guide for Maori who want to build houses on ancestral land.

The Papakainga Development Guide is a joint effort by Te Puni Kokiri, the Maori Land Court and Hasting District Council.

Marama Laurenson, the council's cultural and heritage advisor, says building on multiply-owned land means taking account of the three Ws - whanau, whenua and whare.

The book takes people from planning issues within whanau, going through the court to get occupation licenses, and the consents needed from the council.

She says the fact there are only three papakainga in the council's region shows the need for a guide.

“Maori landowners were being confused between our agencies because we had different protocols and procedures, so we thought it would be to their benefit and to ours if we worked together to harmonise our statutory requirements in terms of processes that worked for people,” Ms Laurenson says.

Te Puni Kokiri and the Maori Land Court intend to pick up the guide and prepare versions for other council rohe.


AUT University has joined a World Health Organisation initiative to measure quality of life.

Chris Krageloh, the co director of the new centre, says academics and health professionals will use a standardised methodology to track psychological, physical, social and environmental wellbeing.

He says its work should give policymakers better information to develop programmes for Maori.

“Quality of life is always changing and hopefully to the better and that is also a way in which you can track government policy. You can see this is quality of life now and after that policy has been a certain trend so you can monitor changes in the quality of life both for the whole society and as well different sub-populations such as Maori in this case,” Dr Krageloh says.

He says district health boards and health agencies measure quality of life in so many different ways, it makes comparing groups difficult.


One of the countrys most respected broadcasters says she's honoured anchor Maori Televisions Anzac Day broadcast from Gallipoli.

Judy Bailey says it will be her first visit to the battlefield that forged the Anzac spirit.

“It's an absolute honour for me to be asked to be part of the Maori Television coverage. I look on it really as one of the highlights of my career. And this year we’re having a degree of input into the Chanuk Bair service, the commemoration that marks the battle called our finest and cruelest hour,” Ms Bailey says.

She says Maori Television's coverage won't glorify war, but aims to remind Maori and non Maori of the sacrifices made to win the freedom New Zealanders enjoy today.

Relativity clauses hamper settlements

The Maori Party says the Government should buy out the relativity clauses in the Tainui and Ngai Tahu settlements.

The Crown is required to top up the tribes' settlements if the total spent on resolving historical claims exceeds $1 billion in 1995 dollars.

Treaty spokesperson Te Ururoa Flavell says even though the Government says the fiscal cap is no longer policy, the relativity clauses have had a dampening effect on how much the government is willing to pay other iwi.

“All the other iwi that didn’t have a relativity clause have been stuck with what they got, and there hasn’t been a standard way of settling across the board, and the only way to deal equitably with some of the other tribes in a better way is to put a proposal to Tainui and Ngai Tahu about the possibility of buying out their clauses,” Mr Flavell says.

He says the Government is going in for some innovative accounting to try to keep its settlement total below the $1 billion.

Tanui and Ngai Tahu both refused to comment on the Maori Party's proposal.


Donna Awatere Huata says her 4-minute reading programme is three times as successful as reading recovery programmes.

The former MP is now running her reading programmes out of West Auckland’s Te Whanau O Waipareira Trust.

She says this week’s education summit being hosted by the Trust is an opportunity to reinforce the potential of her 4-minute reading programme, which is more effective than reading recovery programmes now available in schools.

“The reason they do that is we bring in the parents. We actually teach the parents how to teach their own kids to read, the whakamana their children’s reading, and doing it at home, it boosts the kids’ esteem, it boosts the relationship between the parents, but also, the way we teach reading now is shot, it doesn’t work for Mori, it doesn’t work for many Pacific Island children, and it doesn’t work for many Pakeha children,” Mrs Awatere Huata says.


A Wellington adventurer is standing by a charity ride that police slammed as foolish.

Ihimaera Patuwai crossed Cook Strait by kayak, then cycled to Invercargill.

A national search was called after friends reported him missing.

But he says it was worth it to draw attention to the plight of at-risk kids - even if he didn't raise much money.

“I raised $107.30 but going down there I think I spent about $460.80, not that I care because the whole purpose was for charity. In that area I’ve got to be a bit more prepared,” Mr Patuwai says.


A Maori Party MP says New Zealand First shouldn't use arguments about Maori disadvantage to justify its anti-Asian rhetoric.

New Zealand First president Peter Brown says immigration from Asia is changing the face of New Zealand and compromising the Maori position within New Zealand Society.

Hone Harawira says that's a bit rich coming from a party with a less than enviable record of supporting Maori initiatives.

“Far be it for New Zealand First who’s trying to take the treaty out of legislation, introduce 12-year-old prisons, and keep Maori from serving on the Waitangi Tribunal, to be the lead agent in defending Maori rights. That’s the Maori party position and our position on immigration is not about being anti-Asian or anti-anything, it’s about defending the rights of Maori people,” Mr Harawira says.


The head of the National Urban Maori Authorities says supporting Maori education initiatives is making good use of hard won fisheries money.

John Tamihere says this week’s Waipareira-sponsored education summit will come up with community answers to problems of Maori underachievement in schools.

He says the putea secured by urban Maori interests from the fisheries settlement does not have to be used on fishing related kaupapa.

Mr Tamihere says there is urgent need to lift the performance of Maori students, and the trust set up to distribute fishing funds on behalf of urban Maori will support Maori children irrespective of their tribal origins.

“We can't wait for politicians, governments and everybody else. We’ve really got to get cracking on this thing as soon as possible. It’s no use having a wonderful half a billion dollar balance sheet if your people, who are the beneficiaries to that balance sheet are trafficking themselves into prisons, dropping out of schools and so forth,” Mr Tamihere says.


Maori softballer Nathan Nukunuku was to the fore in the Black Sox win at the Oceania playoffs to secure positions in next years world cup in Canada.

Commentator Te Kauhoe Wano was at Albany over the weekend and says the national softball team benefits from the infielder’s experience.

The 27 year joined his older brother Dion in the Black Sox when he was just 19, and has won two world championships with the national team.

Mr Wano says Nathan Nukunuku's input can't be underestimated.

“He leads off in the batting. His role is not so much to hit big but to get on to first base so a brilliant in-fielder as well, Nathan. Him and Rowan Gabriel are the two sprinters of the team, so a big part of their role is to try and get on to base and let someone else hit them through so they can do quick runs between bases and then finally on to the home plate,” Mr Wano says.

The Black sox qualified first in the Oceania Pool with a 5 nil win over Australia in the final.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Tribunal asked to stymie Treelord deal

Kaingaroa-based hapu have asked the Waitangi Tribunal for an urgent hearing to block the proposed Treelord central North island forestry settlement.

Maanu Paul from Nga Moewhare says the proposed $400 million settlement breaches the Crown Forest Assets Act.

He says the Kaingaroa cluster also includes Ngati Whaoa and Ngati Rangitihi, who have claims to parts of the forest based on Maori Land Court titles.

“Ngati Whaoa has a title to its lands in the Kaingaroa Forest and it’s in the same position as Ngai Moewhare, and because we’ve banded together as the Kaingaroa cluster, that then provides a solid entity to go to the tribunal or to go to the Supreme Court of wherever we think we might get redress from some judicial body,” Mr Paul says.

He says the Kaingaroa Cluster hapu were refused entry to the Central North Island collective led by Tuwharetoa chief Tumu te Heuheu.


Te Wananga o Aotearoa has been hosting National's leader John Key at its Auckland campus today.

The last election campaign included a lot of political heat on the wananga, resulting in the departure of its then chief executive and the appointment of Crown managers.

Bentham Ohia, the pouhere, says he'd hate to see any repeat this time round after three years of rebuilding.

He says aligning its business around the Government's new tertiary strategy has galvanised the country's largest Maori tertiary institution.

”We've had to go through some tough times but we’ve repositioned the organisation well for the future. In terms of National, if they were to become the government, I don’t necessarily see much in terms of potential changes or risks to our institution. What we’ve focused on is ensuring students who have enroed in Te Wananga o Aotearoa get a quality positive learning experience,” Mr Ohia says.

He says the wananga welcomes any political parties which share its philosophy of removing the barriers to tertiary education for Maori.


One of the finalists in the country's top contemporary art award is glad to be following the footsteps of great Maori artists.

Lisa Reihana from Ngapuhi is in the running for the $50,000 Walters Prize for her work, Digital Marae.

The work, which was made for New Plymouth's Govett Brewster Art Gallery, used large scale digital photographs to represent Maori ancestral figures.
She says the skies the limit for contemporary Maori art.

Ms Reihana says she is reaping the benefits of a society more aesthetically aware than ever before.

“I'm of a generation able to maximize the opportunities that probably were set in place by an earlier generation of Maori artists, so we are really benefiting from people like Arnold Wilson or Fred Graham or Para Matchitt, there are a number of senior Maori artists who really paved the way for us to follow in these great footsteps,” Reihana says.

Also on the shortlist is Ngai Tahu artist Peter Robinson, painter John Reynolds and photographer Edith Amatuinai.


Maori residents in Papakura are being urged to make submissions on a proposal that would spell the demise of the south Auckland town's council
Council officers were on the streets today handing out Papakura passports to spur residents get fight for their future.

Peter Goldsmith from Ngati Porou, the deputy mayor, says a proposal before the Royal Commisson on Auckland Governance to merge the Papakura, Franklin and Manukau councils won't benefit Papakura residents.

“Papakura's got 27 percent Maori. We have a strong relationship with our mana whenua groups, and there are five of them, so it’s a really important issue for Maori as well. We’ve had a number of discussions with out Maori community and they are also adamant that at a local level, local delivery and local decision-making, Papakura should retain its identity,” Mr Goldsmith says.


One of the world's most respected journalists and war correspondents will take centre stage on Maori Television's Anzac day broadcast.

Chief executive Jim Mather says Peter Arnett will make the Anzac Day address.

He says the former CNN reporter welcomed the opportunity to return home.

“One of the if not the most respected war correspondents in the world, the proud son of Ngai Tahu, Southland born and we really wanted to get Peter to come back to Aotearoa and deliver this special Anzac Day address an share his vast experience with all of us on reporting from the various hot spots around the world
,” Mr Mather says.

Maori Television's live coverage of the dawn service at Gallipoli will be reported from the site by Judy Bailey.


An exhibition of taonga collected by Captain Gilbert Mair has ended up in the same place as the land wars soldier.

Ko Tawa, which includes 28 works held by the Auckland War Memorial Museum, has spent the past three years touring New Zealand and Australian museums.

Dean Flavell, the Tauranga Museum's Maori curator, says Mair was a larger than life character known not only for his military exploits but for his later afforts to assisting Maori to manage the effects of colonisation.

“Gilbert Mair actually died here in Tauranga, retired and died, and his body lay in state her on one of the local marae in Tauranga and waited for the Te Arawa people to come though and receive his body and take it back to Rotorua where he was eventually buried at Ohinemutu Point.” Mr Flavell says.

Unlike many collectors for the period, Gilbert Mair recorded where the taonga came from, who they represented and their histories, providing invaluable information for later guardians.

Fishers peeved at plunder tag

The Fisheries Minister has riled Maori commercial fishers by accusing them of plundering fish stocks.

Jim Anderton dressed down a Maori fisheries conference last week for accusing the government of siding with environmentalists against the industry.

He followed up by telling Waatea News that chartered vessels hired by Maori plunder the fish until there’s none left.

Ngapuhi chairperson Sonny Tau says the minister's comments smack of election year Maori bashing.

“I was appalled at his comments, especially a minister of that standing, singling out Maori as the commercial plunderers of the resource, when it’s his ministry that sets the total allowable catch, the commercial catch and allocates quota,” Mr Tau says.

He says Jim Anderton needs to improve the quality of advice he is getting from his ministry.


Tariana Turia says water will be a key election issue for Maori.

The Maori Party co-leader says despite their denials, the government and local bodies act as if they own water ... and can in effect on-sell it.

She says Maori don't accept that premise... which is why her own iwi of the Whanganui River have been fighting their river claims for almost 140 years.

“The reason why Government finds it difficult to settle with Whanganui is Whanganui will not accept that you can have a river without water. It’s all very well for the government to bring up these concepts where you can own the banks and you can own the bed of the river, but you can’t own the water. Well, it isn’t a river unless it’s got water in it,” Mrs Turia says.


A new study has found Maori still feel they're treated as second class citizens - but they feel first class.

Auckland University sociologist Louise Humpage has a Marsden Fund grant to research citizenship in New Zealand.

Her initial focus groups have found a marked difference in the way Maori and non-Maori view citizenship.

Dr Humpage says Maori pointed to examples where they thought Maori were treated as second class citizens, such as the treatment of returned servicemen after World War Two and the so called terror raids on Ngai Tuhoe.

“But the irony of it was we had a question at the end saying ‘do you feel like a first class citizen?’ Maori are actually much more likely to answer ‘yes’ to that question than other focus group participants and that seemed to be because they were saying ‘yeah, we’re first peoples, we’re indigenous peoples, so we have these special rights. We may not be treated as first class, but we are,’” Dr Humpage says.

While non-Maori took their citizenship for granted, the Maori in the groups put a higher priority on their identity within their whanau and iwi.


A former fisheries commissioner says the Fisheries Minister is disrespecting not only the Maori fishing industry but his Maori colleagues.

Jim Anderton told Waatea News last week that Maori commercial fishers were plundering fish.

Naida Glavish, the chair of Te Runanga o Ngati Whatua, says the Sydenham MP seems to think he can get away with saying things about Maori fishers he wouldn't say to others in the industry.

She says Mr Anderton's comments to last week's Treaty Tribes fisheries conference were in sharp contrast to the speech early the same day by his associate, Parekura Horomia.

“We also have a Maori minister of fisheries – two IC to Anderton – and so why is he not consulting with Parekura when he makes stupid statements like that,” Ms Glavish says.

She says Labour's Maori MPs should stop behaving like neutered lapdogs and speak out against Mr Anderton's attempts to impose himself on the industry.


Two more iwi have taken control of their fisheries assets.

Te Aupouri in the far north have completed the mandating requirements to pick up $5 million in fish quota, cash and shares in Aotearoa Fisheries, while Ngaruahine in Taranaki have a $2 million dollar payday based on tribal population.

Allie Hemara-Wahanui, the secretary of Ngaruahine, says the iwi took its time so that its hapu understood the process.

She says negotiations on boundaries have been completed with neighbouring iwi Taranaki and Ngati Ruanui, so it should soon be able to collect the balance of its settlement quota, which is distributed according to coastline.

For the immediate future it will continue leasing its quota through an iwi consortium.

“Te Tai a Kupe has a number of Taranaki iwi that are shareholders and we’ve been with it for a number of years so at this stage well continue with them until we’ve developed our own strategy,” Ms Hemara-Wahanui says.

Only nine out of 63 iwi are still to achieve mandated iwi organisation status.


The end of summer means harvest for Maori potato growers.

Tutor Nick Roskruge says students involved in a Massey University research project to re-establish taewa Maori as a commercial species produced a good crop this year, despite the long dry.

They're now helping other growers get their crops in.

He says the university now has 18 different cultivars in its seed bank.

“We keep enough for seed bank for next year, so year by year we maintain each variety as a seed bank, and then eating ones will be sold to recover some fo the costs during the year and the seed ones we will make available. We have people coming through the growers’ collective wanting seed for gardens and marae and different things,” Dr Roskruge says.

Once the harvest is all in, there will be a hui in July at Waipatu in Hastings to celebrate the year of the potato.