Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, May 16, 2008

Too much traffic on Mauao

Tauranga moana tribes are keen to discuss public access to Mauao.

Parliament this week vested ownerhip in the sacred maunga at Mt Maunganui in Ngai Te Rangi, Ngati Ranginui, Ngati Pukenga and Waitaha.

Mita Ririnui, the Minister of State, says it has taken generations of effort to reach this point.

He says public access needs to be reviewed, because of past damage to the mountain.

“They would never attempt to completely shut off public access but there are issues around the volume of traffic on the maunga- I understand it is up around 2500 to 3000 people a month, and there is only one track up and one track down,” Mr Ririnui says.


The first wave of Tangaroa's kaitiaki are throwing their caps tomorrow.

Graduates of the inaugural National Certificate in Seafood Maori – Customary Fishing Management are meeting at Motakotako Marae in Kawhia tomorrow after two years of work on the programme.

Manihera Forbes, is in his third year as a Pou Takawaenga working with Tainui West Coast Marae representatives on management Plans and submissions.

He says although Maori are competent commercial fisherman there is a lot of commercial pressure on areas.

“There’s a huge amount of recreational fishing, particularly for the charter industry, so Maori really have to have their wits about them to handle these new pressures in this ever-changing world. This certificate goes some way to helping Maori understand what they can do to further enhance their local area and also what they need to do to set up their own management plans so they have a strategic plan for where they want to go in the future,” Mr Forbes says.


The national advisor Maori for the New Zealand is in Invercargill for the re-opening of a marae twice damaged by arson.

Piki Thomas says the rebuilding of Te Tomairangi includes a state of the art sprinkler system

He hopes it will encourage other marae to do likewise, to help control the spread of fire and save priceless taonga.

Mr Thomas says there are on average six marae fires each year in New Zealand, and the whanau from Te Tomairangi have taken a sensible option of installing sprinklers.


It's the right decision.

That's the response of Mita Ririnui, the Minister of State, to a $7 million dollar contribution towards the re-establishment of the whare tupuna Mataatua in Whakatane.

It's the first time a government has agreed to fund such a project.

The Whare was acquired by the Crown in the 1880s.

It was returned in a damaged condition as part of the Ngati Awa treaty settlement in 2005.

Mr Ririnui says it's an important taonga.

“Whakatane o te Manuka Tutahi is the place where the Mataatua canoe originally arrived so the house was built there in remembrance of that but certain events happened and it was removed from their repossession and they’re wishing to reinstate it and that is now possible to the tune of $7 million,” Mr Ririnui says.

Ngati Awa will receive $2 million this year and $5 million next year to re-erect Mataatua as the centrepiece of a new tribal complex.


The MP for Tamaki Makauru is critical of a restructuring at Auckland museum which has forced the departure of the Maori curator.

The upheaval has led to several iwi groups asking how they can take back their taonga if they don't trust the museum to care for it.

Pita Sharples says the restructuring has been extremely badly handled, without proper consultation.

“We've just received a notice and some dates they’d like to consult with me about it in the future. Now, for heavens sake, they made the sackings now. Why dolt they consult first and get the views of everyone who relate to those taonga and things in there first before they make the move to cut down the staff and which staff to cut down,” Dr Sharples says.


Fisheries minister Jim Anderton has got the thumbs up from Great Barrier Island Maori for vetoing a marine reserve.

Martin Cleave from Ngati Wai says the Conservation Department's proposal to lock off almost 500 square kilometres around Aotea would have been a blow to the island's residents.

He says Maori and non-Maori have always gathered their kaimoana from the area.

“In Aotea you’ve got prevailing winds, you’ve got westerlies. If you’ve got westerlies, you gather on the east. If you’ve got easterlies, you gather on the west. So when it’s westerly, and there’s a marine reserve on the east, we can’t eat. If you take that away, we starve. It’s that simple,” Mr Cleave says.

House fund back door road deal

The government will today hand over a cheque for $7 million to Ngati Awa to restore its ancestral meeting house.

Maatatua, which had been in the Dunedin museum, was returned as part of the tribe's $42 million dollar treaty settlement.

The money is also being seen as a down payment on settling of a subsequent dispute over use of logging roads through the forests which came back as part of the settlement.

Hirini Mead, the chair of Te Runanga o Ngati Awa chair and its chief negotiator, says the iwi have been waiting a long time to restore its taonga.

“The ancestors represented in there are the ancestors of Mataatua tribes and part of the driving force behind getting the house was getting the tipuna back home where they belong. They’ve been waiting in Whakatane lying there waiting for the house to be built and just waiting to face the tribe again and face the world,” Professor Mead says.

Mita Rininui, the Minister of State, will make the pre-budget announcement at 10am today at the runanga's office in Whakatane.


Two Rotorua midwives are bucking the trend by getting more pregnant teen and Maori women to attend antenatal classes.

A new national survey has highlighted the poor attendance at antenatal classes by Maori and Pacific Island women.

Tuia Mahima from Rotorua Lakes Midwives says the key is working with women right through their pregnancy.

That builds up rapport and leads on to antenatal classes.

“If they've attended the classes they have better birthing outcomes because they understand what their body is going through and what’ s going to happen during labour. They’re looking forward to it instead of dreading the fear of the unknown,” Mahima says.


Navy personnel who patrolled Mururoa Atoll in the early 1970's to protest French nuclear testing in the Pacific are gathering in Hawke's Bay this evening.

Henare Hawe, the organiser of the veterans' reunion says over 500 seafarers were aboard the frigates Otago and Canterbury for the three month assignment.

He says over half those sailors were Maori, and they still feel a connection to the region.

“Our people originally come from that area so we had to do something with regards to protecting people that still live there,” Mr Hawe says.

The reunion is also a chance for ex-servicemen to talk about health issues related to their trips into the nuclear test zones.

The Mururoa Reunion starts with a powhiri at the Hastings RSA this evening.


Ngati Awa's ancestral home looks finally set to get its make-over.

The Mataatua meeting house was returned to Ngati Awa in 1996 in partial settlement of Ngati Awa's historical claims.

The government today will announce a $7 million dollar payment to aid in the rebuilding of a Ngati Awa complex which will include the restored house.

Hirini Mead, the chair of Te Runanga o Ngati Awa, says over the years a team has been restoring the carvings, repairing the damage done to them over many shifts around the world and getting them ready for construction.


Kawhia-based hapu Ngati Hikairo is considering a Waitangi Tribunal claim over the government's Maori Purposes Bill.

It says the Crown is changing its boundary without consent.

After hearing public submissions on the Maori Purposes Bill, the Maori Affairs select committee had asked Te Puni Kokiri to seek further views of those who opposed the bill, including Ngati Hikairo.

Tony Spellman... a spokesman for Ngati Hikairo... said Te Puni Kokiri had failed to properly investigate the iwi's submissions... and the Bill was passed into law with no amendments last night.

He says the government has left them with no choice.

“It's a real disappointment to us that we have a government that is promoting itself as resolving treaty grievances creating another (grievance),” Mr Spellman says.


Maori entertainer Moana Maniapoto says for artists recording in te reo Maori, New Zealand music month is inconsequential.

The Auckland-based singer released her long-awaited 4th album, Wha, in Tamaki Maakaurau last night.

She says the failure of mainstream radio stations to pick up on kaupapa Maori music highlights the difficulties Maori medium musicians have getting their work out to a wider audience.

Moana Maniapoto says there is a demand for kaupapa Maori music... with full house signs up for last night's duel album launch with Ruia Aperahama at Auckland's Galatos.

Future ferment for fish farming

More upheaval in the marine farming sector is promised if National wins the treasury benches this year.

Leader John Key told the Seafood Industry Conference in Wellington this morning it's clear the law governing aquaculture management areas isn't working.

John Key says it's clear the industry has given up waiting for councils to declare new aquaculture management areas, and farmers are heading for Australia or Chile. That’s despite the potential of New Zealand’s long coast, and the quality of the science done here.

He says National will overhaul the marine farming act, to makes sure there are new aquaculture management areas, and that existing areas, such as the Marlborough sounds, can be expanded.

Keir Volkerling from Ngati Wai Fisheries, who has a long involvement in the industry says more radical change at this stage could freeze activity for another five years, just when people are working out how to make the current regime work.


Tauranga Moana tribes are celebrating the return of Mt Maunganui's distinctive maunga.

Legislation returning Mauao was passed in last night witnessed by sizeable ope from Ngai Te Rangi, Ngati Ranginui, Ngati Pukenga... and Waitaha from Te Puke, which has historic connections to the mountain.

Management remains with the local authority for an interim period, with improved lines of consultation for the iwi.

The Crown took possession of Mauao after the wars of the 1860s, but Parekura Horomia, says the tangata whenua always hoped for its return.

The Minister of Maori Affairs says the generosity of iwi in allowing public access to an area with wahi tapu needs to be recognised.


A bill creating a new legal structure for iwi has been called a good idea 15 years too late.

Fisheries commissioner Sonny Tau presented a submission yesterday on behalf of Te Ohu Kaimoana, where he told the Maori Affairs select committee 49 out of 56 iwi have created mandates iwi organisations to receive their assets from the Maori fisheries settlement trust.

He says iwi fear the Waka Umanga Bill will encourage groups to challenge well-established mandates.

It could also dilute the relationships between existing iwi and the Crown.

The bill also came under fire from the Maori Lawyers Associations, who say while they support its broad intent to create a flexible structure for Maori to organise around, the bill as drafted does not deliver that.


National's leader says a bill creating a new template for Maori organisations could pit Maori against each other.

The Waka Umanga Bill is now before a select committee.

John Key says the bill is is patronising and complicated.

It's supposed to create a ready-made structure iwi can use to receive treaty settlements, but he's not convinced it will work.

“It's also about control of their own destiny, making sure they construct themselves in a way that they want and on that basis we don’t think the Waka Umanga Bill will work and we’re not voting for it,” Mr Key says.


Eels taken from the Whakatane River may have contributed to high levels of dioxin in former sawmill employees.

Green MOP Meteria Turei, who was in the Eastern Bay of Plenty town this week as part her tuna tour drawing attention to the state of both the eel fishery says the health of eels reflects the health of the environment.

“When you have


Two of the pioneers of contemporary waiata Maori are launching their new albums in Auckland tonight.

Moana Maniapoto, from Tuwharetoa, has been at the forefront of the Maori music scene since teaming up with the Moahunters in the late 80's.

Her fourth album called naturally enough Wha, follows in the tradition of the band's previous efforts, Tahi, Rua and Toru.

The Auckland-based entertainer says Wha is her first album totally in te reo... but she's convinced her audience is ready.

“I'm not on a mission to be conceived as a Maori language artist. I write in whatever the song warrants, so some of my songs are in English, some are bilingual and some are Maori and that’s a good expression of where Maori are today, we’re kind of comfortable in both realms,” Maniapoto says.

Ruia Aperahama will also release his new album called 12-24, at Auckland's Galatos tonight.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Help for environmental certificates

The Minister of Fisheries has promised the fishing industry help to prove its environmental sustainabilty.

Jim Anderton told the New Zealand Seafood Industry conference in Wellington that he has approved the criteria for a contestible fund of up to a million dollars a year to part-fund the costs of independent environmental certification.

He says Sanford, Argos and New Zealand Longline have already announced their intention to get Marine Stewardship Council certification of the Ross Sea Antarctic toothfish fishery.

He says environmental certification will be increasingly important to consumers in the years ahead, and New Zealand companies need to be on the right side of the line.

Mr Anderton took a more moderate tone to the conference than to a Maori fisheries event last month, where he chided the audience for not backing his attempts to get more powers to cut catch limits when he feared for the sustanability of a fish stock.


A senior priest in the Anglican Maori Church is condemning a proposal which could result in gay bishops being defrocked.

Archdeacon Hone Kaa, a supporter of gay ordination, says the covenant will centralise authority within the church.

He says it was sparked by the ordination of a gay bishop in the United States, and the agenda is to bring congregations into line so that would not occur again.

Dr Kaa says in the interim, there seems to be an unwritten agreement not to ordain homosexuals or takataapui.

Hone Kaa says the covenant will take away the hard-won sovereignty of Maori congregations within the Church.


The head of the Rotorua Lakes Trust hopes a new walking track around Lake Tarawera will speak a revival in Maori guiding.

The proposed 42 kilometre track is mostly on Crown-owned land, but about 8 kilometres runs over land owned by Maori trusts.

It's a joint venture between the Department of Conservation, Tuhourangi and the Ministry of Maori Development.

Toby Curtis says the hapu has a long history of hosting tourists.

He says there could be opportunities to create businesses around accomodating walkers and telling Tuhourangi's stories.


Pita Paraone is surprised the Waitangi Tribunal has allocated a claim number to David Rankin from Te Matarahurahu.

Mr Rankin is seeking the return of the Treaty grounds. He alleges the purchase of the land by James Busby from Hone Heke and Tuhirangi Pokaia was never assessed by the Crown, though it promised to review all land transactions before the 1840 Treaty.

Mr Paraone who is a board member of the Waitangi National Trust says the legislation which established the Tribunal makes it clear that they can only order the return of Crown-owned land... and the Treaty grounds at Waitangi are in private ownership.

He doubts the claim will suceed... and he's concerned that it may trigger unrealistic hopes to privately owned land in other Maori.


A Maori political commentator expects a rush of Treaty settlements before this year's general election.

Rawiri Taonui the head of Maori and indigenous studies at Canterbury University says the Treelord deal for cdentral north Island forest lands should be finalised in the next 4 to 6 weeks.

He also expects a deal with Tainui over its claim to the Kawhia Habour, in the hope of boosting Nanaia Mahuta's chance of retaining her seat.


The appointment of former silver ferns captain Waimarama Taumaunu as assistant coach of the national netball squad has been welcomed by Southern Steel centre Jenny-May Coffin.

She says Ms Taumaunu forged an enviable reputation on court in the late 80's and has gained solid international experience working with the English National squad.

Ms Taumaunu, who affiliates to Ngati Porou, replaces Leigh Gibbs as Ruth Aitken's assistant coach of the Silver Ferns... effective immediately.

Ms Coffin says Ms Taumanu has the x factor, and will be invaluable to the national team.

Waimarama Taumaunu was inducted into the Maori Sports Hall of Fame at last years annual awards.

Minister tones down rhetoric

The Minister of Fisheries has toned down his demands for more leeway to cut quotas.

Jim Anderton's speech to the New Zealand Fisheries Conference in Wellington this morning was in stark contract to a combative speech to a Maori Fisheries Conference in Napier last month.

There Mr Anderton demanded Maori fishers support a change to Section 10 of the Fisheries Act giving him more power to cut quotas if he had concerns over sustainability.

He later told Waatea News that fishing vessels chartered by Maori were plundering fish stocks.

His message today to a mainly Pakeha audience was more moderate.

He said many species were now in better shape than they had been for years, because of the quota management system and the restraint of commercial fishers.

But questions of sustainability would continue to affect the way customers saw the industry, and New Zealand's reputation had to be spotless.


A proposal to unify the worldwide Anglican community will threaten Maori sovereinty says a senior priest.

Hone Kaa, an archdeacon within the Maori branch of the church, says the ordination of a gay bishop in the United States was a catalyst for the covenant - which seeks to centralise the churchs authority, and may lead to some churches being cut off.

He argues the proposal will not sit well with the tenets of the Anglican faith - who prefer authority to be shared, rather than centralised around a single person... such as the pope.

Dr Kaa believes the move would also rub Maori the wrong way as it smacked of colonialism.

The General Synod of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia is meeting in
Wellington this week.


Mainstream courses for pregnant women aren't appealing to Maori mums... according to a Tai Tokerau midwife.

A new national survey has highlighted the poor attendance at antenatal classes by Maori and Pacific Island women.

Wiki Davis, an independent midwife in the Far North, says classes designed specifically for Maori whanau would have a better result.

She says imported techniques like Lamaze or the Bradley method don't automatically fit with Maori tikanga.

Wiki Davis says Maori midwives from Whangarei to Kaitaia are meeting this month to work out a way to offer culturally appropriate classes to their clients.


The man behind a claim for the Treaty Grounds at Waitangi says he wants it dealt with separately to the main Ngapuhi claims.

David Rankin from Te Matarahurahu says the alleged purchase of the land by James Busby from Hone Heke and Tuhirangi Pokaia was never assessed by the Crown, though it promised to review all land transactions before the 1840 Treaty.

The Waitangi Tribunal has given the claim the WAI number 1466.

Mr Rankin is excited the claim now owned by the Waitangi National trust wasn't knocked back.

He says the hapu will resist any attempt to cluster its claim with others in
the North.


A Maori academic says a claim for the Waitangi Treaty grounds was forced by the artificial deadline for lodging historic claims.

Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and indigenous studies at Canterbury University, says the September deadline was a knee jerk reaction by Labour to then National leader Don Brash's Orewa speech in 2004.

He says no such deadline exists for the elimination of systemic discrimination against Maori.


One hundred and fifty rangatahi are headed to the capital for the third Aspiring Leaders' Forum tomorrow.

They will have the chance to rub shoulders with actual leaders... such as the Minister of Youth Affairs.

Nanaia Mahuta says the focus is not just politics: it is also about encouraging young people to lead in the areas they are already involved in, such as the arts, business, politics or sport.

Nanaia Mahuta says an increasing number of Maori rangatahi are taking part in the forum.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Long term view taken of fisheries

The CEO of Te Ohu Kaimoana says as long term players in the seafood industry, Maori fishermen have a vested interest in the development of strategies to protect marine resources.

Peter Douglas will be at the annual Seafood Industry Council conference which starts at Te Papa in Wellington today.

He says Maori fishermen are not plundering fish stocks, and he's advocating the integration of traditional Maori practises such as rahui, where fishing in an area is banned, to help protect vulnerable species.

Mr Douglas says Maori occupy a significant role in the New Zealand fishing sector, and will work with the industry to ensure the survival of fish stocks into the future.


Migrants need more manaakitanga to help them fit in.

That's one of the conclusions of a study of migrants who've been in New Zealand for five years.

James Liu from Victoria University's Centre for Applied Cross Cultural Studies says the migrants found very little government or community support to help them adapt.
He says Maori culture could provide an answer.


A Hawke's Bay historian has invited Maori to take part in sharing stories
about the region.

The first of monthly lectures by the Landmarks History Group was held last night at the Hastings District Library.

The group will also develop a website to store oral history from elderly residents.

Historian Michael Fowler says the area has a rich past, and it's important both Maori and non-Maori with stories to share do so... to preserve them for future generations.

He says because Maori passed their history on verbally there is little to be gleaned from written records such as the newspapers of yesteryear.

He was reminded of that when rearching a book on the 1930's Napier Earthquake.


Maori men may benefit from a new study into a common stomach disorder in older men.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm happens when the main artery that runs through the stomach blows up like a balloon... and can cause death if it bursts.

Otago Medical School's Vascular Research Group is working with British researchers from Leicester University to create a genetic screening tests.

Greg Jones, the research director, says they're looking for clues in the DNA which might help understands the condition's biology and point to drugs which can treat it.

He says while Maori men over 65 have about the same incidence of the condition, about six in 100, they are almost two and a half times more likely to die from ruptures.

He says given its prevalance among Maori, it's important some of the research be done in Aotearoa.

Dr Jones says his group wants to do national research, because it's hard to find enough Maori in Otago-Southland to get to get good statistical information.


Look up and Look out... that's the message from ACC's forestry injury prevention manager.

Don Ramsay says rangatahi working in the forestry sector will benefit from new research into safety on the job.

He says a sudden rise in the number of on the job injuries, and a fatality a few years ago, prompted a video study to assess... among other things... how often tree fallers looked up.

Camera's mounted on workers headgear found that experienced workers looked up earlier and more often, and were less likely to be injured by falling branches than novice workers.

He says ACC is encouraging forestry workers, the majority of them Maori, to pass their unit standards by revisiting and refreshing their safety training after they have found jobs.

Don Ramsay says as well as making the job safer, the research is expected to increase productivity among forestry workers.


A Maori artist based in Christchurch has had her work in prisons recognised.

Moana Tipa, from Ngai Tahu, Kati Mamoe and Ngati Kahungunu received her "Big A" award in Wellington last night.

The awards, sponsored by Arts Access Aotearoa, celebrate work which enhances the wellbeing and artistic potential of marginalised people.

Seven years ago Ms Tipa convinced the Corrections Department in Otautahi to allow her to run arts courses in Christchurch prisons.

Ms Tipa says while she's never been interested in the reasons her students are inside, she's constantly amazed by their artistic talent.

Issac Marsh, a 16-year-old from Tokoroa was also recognised for his mahi with Jim Moriarty's rangatahi drama group Te Rakau Hua O Te Wao Tapu Trust.

Maori management good for fishery

May 13
The chief executive of Te Ohu Laimoana says the seafood industry could benefit from traditional forms of Maori marine mangement.

Speaking on the eve of the Seafood Industry Council's annual conference in Wellington, at which fisheries minister Jim Anderton will talk on sustainability, Peter Douglas says Maori fishers are conscious of the need to protect fish species.

He says the traditional concept of rahui, resting areas from fishing, or shelving quota for a period, have proved successful in helping to replenish fish stocks..

Peter Douglas says while this country's fisheries quota management system is a world leader, there is room for improvement.


A Maori company from the Hawkes Bay is putting a healthy spin on fast food.

Keri Gardiner and Leon Harrison's The Hearty Kiwi Food Company makes low fat gourmet beef and lamb patties for supermarkets.

Ms Gardiner says concern at high obesity levels among Maori spurred them to develop a healthier alternative to the traditional sausages and chips offered at schools, sports clubs and other social events.

She says The Hearty Kiwi Food Company aims to have its products available nationally by the end of the year.


There's been a big turn out for a fundraiser for Taranaki rugby league player Ben Hekenui, who has lost both legs in an industrial accident.

Howie Tamati, the chair of the Taranaki Sports Trust, says support for the invitation game at Bell Block on the weekend shows how close the rugby league fraternity in the region is.

There was also support from players in Manawatu, where Hekenui comes from.


A social researcher says that self identification as a "Kiwi" is often an indicator of resentment of Maori.

The Centre for Applied Cross-Cultural Research at Victoria University has been looking at New Zealand identity and why new migrants find it hard to identify with the term Kiwi.

James Liu says migrants find it hard to work out exactly what the term means, and while Census data isn't specific on who is writing in their identity as Kiwi or New Zealander, his research points to people of European ancestry.

He says it's an extreme reaction against biculturalism.

Associate Professor Liu says most Pakeha New Zealanders are happy to incorporate Maori symbolically into the national identity, but theY resist affirmative action or programmes which transfer resources to Maori,


Skills learnt in hapahaka can prove valuable in the classroom.

That's the finding of Paul Whitinui, who received his education doctorate last week from the University of Auckland, where he has been looking at the educational benefits of Maori performing arts for secondary students.

He says kapahaka gives Maori students a sense of responsibility to the group, as well as skills in decision making and leadership.

It also gives them enthusiasm for other subjects.

Paul Whitinui says the traditional education system can struggle to respond to other cultures.


Maori netballer Joelene Henry is singing the praises of her Waikato Magic coach, Noelene Taurua.

The Waikato magic defender played a prominent role in her team's 59-45 win over the Northern Mystics in Auckland last night, to share top spot with the Queensland Firebirds in the ANZ Trans tasman netball championship.

Ms Henry who grew up in Wanganui, says her coach, a former Silver Fern, knows exactly how to get the best out of her players.

She says while the Magic was ahead by 4 through most of the game, a rev up by the coach at threequarter time lifted its game.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dole leads to drugs says JT

The head of a west Auckland urban Maori trust says times are so tough for beneficiaries, many are turning to crime.

John Tamihere from Te Whanau o Waipareira says that won't change unless the government changes the way it deals with the unemployed.

A Ministry of Social Development study has concluded that in real terms beneficiaries are now worse off than after Ruth Richardson and Jenny Shipley's welfare cuts in the 1991 mother of all budgets.

The former Tamaki Makaurau MP says in those conditions, many beneficiaries find themselves the distribution and supply side of organised crime.

“People locked into inter-generational dependence and dole addiction, they’ve actually migrated into organized crime or crime generally speaking. If you continue to manage beneficiaries the way we’re managing them, you continue to burden the state with paying them, they produce children who will burden the state and you incentivise them to become criminals,” Mr Tamihere says.

He says more need to be done to create the right incentives for people to get into productive work.


It's taken more than a decade, but a northern Hawkes Bay confederation is finally sitting with the crown to negotiate its land and foreshore and seabed claims.

Toro Waaka, the chair of Ngati Pahauwera's negotiating committee, says the hapu has gained favourable reports from the Waitangi Tribunal, but in the past it couldn't get past the gatekeepers at the Office of Treaty Settlements.

The Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Michael Cullen, invited the group to talk after Maori Land Court hearing earlier this year on customary rights to the Mohaka River.

Mr Waaka says Ngati Pahauwera is glad it stuck to its guns.

“Treaty claims are not just about getting a settlement. It’s about getting a settlement on your terms. Tino rangatiratanga is very important. They can throw money at you, but you can earn money. They can throw land at you; you can buy land. What’s important is that you maintain your heritage and your tino rangatiratanga. You have a say and a choice about how your people proceed into the future,” Mr Waaka says.

Ngati Pahauwera is consulting its members on the terms of negotiations, with the aim of getting a deal before September.


The chair of Maori Rugby League is on his way to Australia this morning to finalise details of the curtainraiser to October's World Cup final in Brisbane.

Howie Tamati says while the Maori team can't compete in the tournament proper, the Australian Rugby League is offering concessions.

It will make all NRL players with a Maori whakapapa eligible to be picked play a full strength Aboriginal squad.

“Our plans are fairly long along the way now. Australian Rugby League have certainly gotten behind us to make certain the curtainraiser for the world cup is a success,” Mr Tamati says.

He'll also use the trip to go over the final draft of a book on the first century of Maori rugby league, put together by league historians John Coffey and Bernie Wood.


The Greens' Maori Affairs spokesperson says her party's list selection process is one of the best for ensuring representation for Maori.

Metiria Turei has been ranked at number four on the list, with resource management specialist Dave Clendon from Nga Puhi at number 10 and Mikaere Curtis from Te Arawa at 16.

She says the rankings submitted by of party members are weighted for gender, ethnicity and regional interests.

“Our list requires our candidates to really work with membership and let themselves be known for doing good work in the party and to demonstrate skills for being and MP. Our list is not an award for long service, it’s an indication of those people who are committed to the party, the Green kaupapa, and have the skills to be a good member of Parliament,” Ms Turei says.


A new Muriwhenua forum is starting a round of consultation hui on how far north tribes can secure a region-wide settlement.

Mangu Awarau, who was elected chair of the regional forum at a hui at Taipa on the weekend, says after a decade of being fragmented, the five iwi are learning to work with each other again.

He says they're trying to avoid the mistakes of the past.

“The forums have decided the meetings will be shared among the five tribes. They will be transparent and they will be inclusive. The Crown’s proposals is that there will be mandated iwi who will discuss on behalf of the tribal groups, meaning basically those who have been mandated in partnership with the Crown,” Mr Awarau says.

The Crown has indicated a settlement will involve transfer of the Aupouri Forest, the Landcorp farms in the region and some arrangement on foreshore and seabed rights to Te Oneroa a Tohe, 90 Mile Beach.

The Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Michael Cullen, is expected in the region next month to lay an offer on the table.


A Maori educator wants quotas for radio stations to play te reo Maori music.

Tihi Puanaki, the driving force behind Christchurch kapa haka roopu Te Kotahitanga, says it may be New Zealand music month, but Maori musicians are missing out.

She says mainstream radio won't play their waiata, and they're short changed by the way sales are counted for the annual music awards.

“We sell through whanau networks that will well thousands. I’m not sure people in the music industry are aware that happens and the sales are there, but they don’t count towards the awards,” Ms Puanaki says.

The only number one in te reo Maori waiata was Poi E in 1984.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Whanganui in H of a fight

Whanganui Maori are making another attempt to put the H back into their city's name.

The issue of spelling was raised during the current claim hearings before the Waitangi Tribunal, and Te Runanga O Tupoho is preparing an application for the Geographic Board.

Ken Mair, a spokesperson for the hapu, says a 2006 referendum which found 82 percent of voters wanted the status quo was a piece of political grandstanding by mayor Michael Laws.

He says the correct pronunciation isn't hard for those who are prepared to open their minds and their ears to the regional dialect.

“They soon pick it up in regard to a gutteral sound for w-anganui or w-anau. You hear people attempting to say it like funganui, but it’s not quite like that. Certainly not wanganui or wonganui. For those who are used to listening to our dialect and the meta of our reo, they soon pick it up and know exactly where we are coming from and where we are from,” Mr Mair says.

He says the change is inevitable, and many organisations or businesses in the region have already added the H.


A new study will compare heart disease risk of North Island rural Maori with populations in Christchurch.

Researcher Suzanne Pitama, from Otago University's Christchurch-based Maori-Indigenous Health Institute, says a random sample of Christchurch people will be offered free heart checks.

The results will be compared with a similar study done last year in Wairoa.

“We'll be able to do a comparison between the rural Maori group with the urban Maori group and we’ll also be able to do a comparison with the non-Maori Christchurch group with the Maori group and hopefully what it will do is give us in New Zealand some evidence around what’s happening in our communities and not just let people talk about what they think is happening,” Ms Pitama says.

The study aims to identify the difference in risks between Maori and non-Maori of the same age, and whether there are differences in their access to medical services and their treatment.


The new organisers of the national Maori performing arts competition are pledging to take the Te Matatini back to basics.

Wharehoka and Emere Wano have a background in event management, with experience on WOMAD and the Parihaka Peace Festival.

Wharehoka Wano says experiments with hip hop performances and art markets haven't improved the bottom line, so they're keen to put the focus on the main stage, where the top kapa haka groups in the country strut their stuff.

“It would be nice to have a little bit in reserve so we could put it back into the art form but certainly at the least just to break even. Those are sorts of little goals and I think they’re achievable goals,” Mr Wano says.

Te Matatini 2009 in Tauranga already has financial support from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and Te Puni Kokiri, and it's also seeking sponsors.


Two Maori have won top ten spots in the Green Party list.

If the party scrapes over the five percent mark, sitting MP Metiria Turei's number four spot will guarantee her another term.

But it needs to get about 8 percent of the vote for Dave Clendon to get to Parliament.

Ms Turei says the resource management lecturer from Ngapuhi and Te Roroa will be an asset to the caucus.

“He's from the north and he has long experience of working with communities on sustainability questions, environmental issues, that sort of background, and that’s been very valuable to us. He used to be a co-convenor of the party so he’s been involved with the party for a very long time so it’s great he's at number 10,” Ms Turei says.

Dave Clendon will stand against John Key in Helensville.


A Maori mussell grower says iwi need to put more strategic focus on marine farming.

Harry Mikaere from Coromandel says a new bilingual teaching resource on aquaculture aimed at intermediate schools should encourage some tamariki to consider careers in the industry.

Today's year six and seven students will enter the workforce about the same time the iwi are due to get marine space or cash as part of the Maori commercial aquaculture settlement.

He says iwi need to look at the potential there, rather than rely only on their annual catch entitlements (ACE) from fisheries quota.

“If you have a look at the feral stock fisheries in terms of ACE at the moment, there have been enormous rumblings about the sustainability of that and therefore we need to pick up where that particular part of our industry’s at and replacement of that feral stock with the introduction of aquaculture into the finfish,” Mr Mikaere says.

He says aquaculture has the potential to triple in value to become a billion dollar industry in a decade.


Rangatahi should benefit from a sports initiative being launched in Manukau tonight.

Field of Dreams is the initiative of city councillor and Olympic middle distance legend John Walker.

Duane Mann from the Counties Manukau Sports Trust says it aims to encourage the region's young people into active healthy lifestyles, including sport.

The former international league player says sport helps keep rangatahi off the streets.

“Using sport as a vehicle to provide some inspiration, motivation, and get young people busy so it’s about participating. If you start moving, you’ll feel good about yourself. Sport is just one area of a number where there’s a whole lot of people out there just trying to make a difference,” Mr Mann says.

Heart research seeking random samples

A Christchurch Maori-led health research group is offering free heart checks.

The Maori-Indigenous Health Institute and the Christchurch Cardio-endocrine Research group is randomly selecting people for the tests as a way to identify risks in both Maori and non-Maori.

Study leader Suzanne Pitama says previous national studies have only looked at those who presented with symptoms, missing out people with undiagnosed conditions.

The study will also look at both the public health and the clinical aspects of

“Heart disease in Maori is complex and we’re hoping that by putting biological factors and public health factors and access factors together in one study we might actually start coming out with some good solutions for healthcare for Maori,” Ms Pitama says.

Funding is coming from the Health Research Council, the Heart Foundation and Pharmac.


A pioneer of Maori marine farming is welcoming a new teaching resource for intermediate schools.

Harry Mikaere from Hauraki says the Aquaculture in Action or Te Ahumoana a mahi fact sheets should help the next generation understand that marine farming does not need to conflict with the conservation or recreational use of coastal space.

He says it highlights the huge potential of the industry.

“It’s going to do a whole range of new learning, particularly round the opportunity for these young people that will have a greater understanding of the industry from a primary production through to the secondary area of processing and then ongoing into the marketplace,” Mr Mikaere says.

By the time today’s year 7 and 8 students start entering the workforce, the Maori commercial aquaculture settlement means there should be new job opportunities coming on stream in the industry.


While politicians used their three week recess to start gearing up for this year’s election campaign, Pita Sharples took time out to talk to a group of ethnomusicologists at Auckland University about kapa haka.

The Maori Party co-leader led west Auckland group Te Matatini for 30 years, and he’s also an expert in Maori weaponry.

He says the Maori performing arts need to be seen as a living part of a living culture.

“We do haka but it’s not just an item we do. We use it in our normal life to welcome people, to celebrate things, the nation’s picked it up for challenges in sport. We compose waiata on the spot to suit the occasion as part of the kinaki or compliments of the speech,” Dr Sharples says.

He says kapa haka and Maori-dominated sports like Touch and waka ama are ways many young Maori affirm their identity.


Maori children may be ending up in hospital with preventable diseases because their parents can’t afford to take proper care of them.

Innes Asher, a paediatrician at Starship Hospital in Auckland and a member of the Child Poverty Action Group, says there has been a major increase in hospital admissions for preventable conditions like gastroentrisis, skin infections and respiratory problems.

She says low income limits the choices parents have, and children can miss out on good housing, nutritional food and primary healthcare.

Professor Asher says Maori and Pacific children have been hit hard by government policies such as the removal of universal child benefits.

“A tipping point was reached for the disadvantaged in the early 1990s with the surge of preventable diseases which while it has plateaued it has not fallen for most of these diseases and that’s profoundly concerning,” she says.

Professor Asher is one of the authors of the Child Poverty Action Group’s new report, Left Behind: How Social and Income Inequalities Damage New Zealand Children


New Plymouth hapu Ngati Te Whiti is backing a new 1400 hectare marine reserve near the city.

Tapuae adjoins the existing Sugar Loaf Island Marine Protected Area.

Peter Moeahu says the hapu dropped its objections after the proposed size of the reserve was cut, and concerns about customary fishing were addressed.

He hopes Tapuae will improve fish stocks in surrounding waters.

“Our coast is pretty rough and rugged and most of the marine life off our coast don’t grow to great size, so the marine reserve is viewed as a good opportunity for us to encourage marine growth,” Mr Moeahu says.


A popular Maori-Pacific cabaret act is heading off next month to please its fans in the United States.

Over the past decade Auckland-based vocal harmony quartet Jamoa Jam has carved out a niche in the festival and corporate circuit.

Singer Fred Lemalu says they've been able to draw from their shared heritage.

“Going from Maori to Samoan to Tongan to Cook Island, it’s actually enriched us a lot in that we’ve learned to embrace the whole of the Pacific Islands and New Zealand, and that’s I guess what Jamoa Jam set out to do in the first place,” Mr Lemalu says.

Jamoa Jam has a strong following in California among expatriate kiwis and American-resident Polynesians