Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, May 23, 2008

Maori Party wanting more out of Budget

The Maori Party is giving Finance Minister Michael Cullen a low mark for his ninth budget.

Co-leader Pita Sharples says there was little in it specifically for Maori, despite disproportionate levels of poverty in the Maori population.

He says Maori needs in housing and education were ignored.

“There's no 20 free hours for kohanga reo. There’s no money for kura kaupapa. There’s no money for wananga. There’s no money for all those Maori initiatives, teacher training and so on. Wardens got some, but they would give money to wardens because wardens is about punishing, control, law and order and stuff like this. And some for the health providers, that was okay, but the reality is Maori didn’t get much out of this budget at all,” Dr Sharples says.

He says it's disappointing the new 12.5 percent tax rate stops at $14 thousand, and that the government didn't take the opportunity to make the first income step tax free.


Ngati Whatua expects a big turnout of protesters and police this Sunday to mark the 30th anniversary of the occupation of Takaparawha, or Bastion Point as it was known then.

Event organiser Alec Hawke says many of the 700 police and 222 arrestees there on the day will want to remember their contribution to the country's history, and perhaps to make some sort of reconciliation.

The land, which was part of the 700 acre Orakei Block taken from Ngati Whatua, was occupied for 506 days to stop an exclusive housing development.

He says while the occupation divided the hapu, it drew back together around the Waitangi Tribunal claims.

“It brought a lot of differences of opinion. What that eventually collated into was one of all one mind. That coming together helped us get what we wanted for that particular take. We got the title back and a little amount of putea to go with it,” Mr Hawke says.

The event starts with a powhiri at Orakei Marae at 10.
There's also a two hour special on the protest on Maori Television on Sunday night.


Auckland City Art Gallery is marking 50 years of Maori modernism.

Turuki Turuki! Paneke Paneke!, which will be launched at the New Gallery tonight, includes work from five artists brought together by the late Matiu Te Hau for a show at Auckland University in 1958 - Arnold Manaaki Wilson, Ralph Hotere, Muru Walters, Katerina Mataira and the late Selwyn Wilson.

At the time the five were working as teachers in Northland.

Curator Ngahiraka Mason says the original exhibition captured the mood of the fifties, when Maori were moving to the cities.

“The generosity of the times and the general need to uplift the culture, because you have to remember these people were post-World War Two educated people and not just New Zealand but all countries were wanting to redirect their focus and look at education and what the future would look like, and I think they were leading lights in that respect,” Ms Mason says.

The show is subtitled When Maori Art Became Contemporary.


The opening of a new bilingual pre-school in Moerewa is being seen as a way to uplift the community still trying to recover from the arson of its kura kaupapa.

Mokopuna o Moerewa Early Childcare Centre opens tomorrow next to the site of Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Taumarere, which is still to be rebuilt after the fire earlier this year.

Kororia Slade, the kaitiaki of the pre-school, says the fire left a hole in the small Northland community.

“What this does do is offer something to the community that will uplift their spirits,” Ms Slade says.

There will be a powhiri at 9am followed by a blessing of the buildings, the opening by MP Shane Jones and a breakfast.


Men's spirituality and mana is the topic of discusson at a hui at the Hato Petera college marae on Auckland's North Shore.

Coordinator Rangi Davis a similar wananga last year attracted about 50 men to hear from a range of speakers.

Posing the questions tomorrow is Pa Henare Tate, who is writing a thesis on Maori theology and spirituality.

“How is mana activated, operated in the relationships? How is it intrinsic to the tangata potential power, things like that? I think it’s timely, especially with all the concerns of domestic violence, so the men have their own ways of doing things and maybe this is an opportunity for them to really explore it and korero about it,” Ms Davis says.


The final chapter in the story of Mihipeka Edwards will be written at Parawai Marae in Ngongotaha on Sunday.

That's when the performer, writer, teacher and mother will be laid with her Te Arawa ancestors, after spending the majority of her 90 years around Wellington.

Heeni Collins, who edited the third volume of her autobiography, says Auntie Mihi was a generous but firm teacher of Maori language and culture for generations of people around Poneke.

“She's quite a hard taskmaster top learn alongside. She can be quite critical. So that made it quite hard for those of us learning alongside her at times,” she says.

Ms Collins says Mihipeka Edwards’ three books will stand as a valuable record of Maori experience during the urbanisation and upheavals of the 20th century.

Budget big idea not fully formed

The Federation of Maori Authorities is lukewarm to a Budget plan for a new Maori business support agency.

The Government has committed $40.5 million to set up Maori Business Aotearoa New Zealand, with a further $35 million to come out of a restructuring of the Maori Trust Office.

Paul Morgan, the federation's deputy chair, says it's good to see that much money targeted to Maori, but more work needs to be done on the Maori Trustee and Development Bill, which sets up the new agency.

“As it currently stands in the bill, FOMA is not supportive of it. But we feel there should be further discussion and development of what is proposed to something that can meet the strategic interests of Maori economic development over the next two decades,” Mr Morgan says.

The budget also included $23 million to separate the Maori Trust Office from Te Puni Kokiri, and $17 million dollars to beef up the Maori Wardens.


Ngati Whatau has invited park managers to Orakei Marae today to hear an indigneous perspective on how public open spaces should be run.

Ngarimu Blair, the Orakei hapu's resource manager, says it's a break out session from an international conference being held in the city this week, which was organised without input from tangata whenua.

He says Maori and Australian Aboriginal participants wanted to challenge the high handed way many local governments manage open spaces.

Because of its treaty settlement, Ngati Whatua has a unique perspective to bring to the issue.

“Really we wouldn't make any process unless we had title to the land, and that’s been proven time and time again. It really is about title, mana in the land, because without it, there’s lots of nice people we go to lots of meetings with but at the end of the day we need decision making power to have values and principles actively provided for,” Mr Blair says.

On Sunday, the 30th anniversary of the day 222 people were arrested on Takaparawha Bastion Point, there will be s remembrance and reconciliation ceremony on the occupation.


Fifty years ago, five Maori artists working as teachers in Northland exhibited together at Auckland University.

Tonight the Auckland City Art Gallery revisits that first show of Maori modernism, which featured paintings, sculture and ceramics by Arnold Manaaki Wilson, Ralph Hotere, Muru Walters, Katerina Mataira and the late Selwyn Wilson.

Ngahiraka Mason, the curator of Turuki Turuki! Paneke Paneke! - When Maori Art Became Contemporary, says it was an extraordinary group who went on to inspire and mentor several generations of Maori artists.

To coincide with the launch, the Auckland City Art Gallery is hosting talks on the work by Marilynn Webb and Jonathan Mane-Wheoki.


The Federation of Maori Authorities is welcoming the long promised overhaul of the Maori Trustee.

Yesterday's budget included $23 million dollars to allow the Maori Trust Office to stand alone, separate from Te Puni Kokiri.

The Trustee looks after more than 100,000 hectares of often uneconomic Maori land for more than 180,000 owners.

Foma spokesperson Paul Morgan says that's an indication a restructure is finally going ahead 20 years of reviews, reports, and prevarication.

“Reform is to go through and it needs to go through so the Maori Trustee is independent, there’s funding required to support the servicing of the current beneficiaries, the land owing interests, and the infrastructure of the Maori Trustee which is quite run down,” Mr Morgan says.

Foma still have major reservations about a new Maori business support agency which is funded through the budget, and believes the government needs to consult further on the idea.


Meanwhile, accelerated progress on treaty issues is reflected in this week's Budget.

The Government is putting an extra $5.3 million over four years into the Office of Treaty Settlements to help it meet the target of settling historic claims by 2020.

It's also appropriating $400 million over the next four years for historic treaty settlements, including $60 million for the next financial year.

That's not the total that will be spent on settlements - the central North Island deal now heading towards a deed of settlement will involve the transfer of more than $200 million in accumulated rents held by the Crown Forest Rental Trust.

There's also money for the Waitangi Tribunal to help with archiving - the claim process is generating warehouses full of documents which are overwhelming the tribunal's resources.


Te Wananga O Aotearoa's helping hand has decided to stick around.

Jeremy Morley, who was appointed by the Crown manager three years ago to sort out a financial crisis sparked by the institutions rapid growth, has shifted over to become its new operational chief executive.

He says by paring it back to the core, the wananga has been able to come back stronger.

Mr Morley says he came in as part of a team from accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers to do a short term restructuring, and found himself buying into the wananga's vision.

“I have this altruistic streak in me that I like to see everyone get the best opportunities they’re entitled to, and wananga offers that opportunity, not just in Maoridom but to New Zealanders as a whole in second chance learning, it picks up the disenfranchised and gets them back into education with better outcomes for a better style of life and puts them back into the workforce,” Mr Morley says.

He says there's a lot of people in the wananga who want to make a difference.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Budget puts $40m in Maori bank

A new business support agency and a big boost for Maori wardens are highlights for Maori in today's Budget.

There's also a surprise for Wellington.

The planned overhaul of the Maori Trust Office has run into heavy weather in Parliament, but the government’s determined to get the budget side through.

It’s spending almost $23 million to make the office a standalone organization, splitting it form Te Puni Kokiri.

The Maori Trustee and Development Bill, when it’s eventually passed,. Will also put $35m of the trustee’s accumulated profits Maori Business Aotearoa New Zealand, which will provide support, advice and loans to Maori business.

In the meantime the government is putting $40.5 million of its own as capital for the new agency.

A pilot programme to increase the capacity of Maori wardens has gone national, with $2.3 million in capital funding for new vans and equipment, and $14.9 million for operational costs, mainly new regional coordinators.

$12 million over four years is going into increasing the skills and number of Maori nurses, and there’s $7 million towards what’s called a wharewaka on Wellington’s waterfront to serve as a venue for Maori cultural events and stand as a monument to the bureaucrats who came up with the idea.


A new charitable trust has outlined to Maori MPs from across party lines its goal for the total eradication of child abuse.

Hone Kaa from Te Kahui Mana Ririki says last night's meeting got a positive response.

He says the MPs admitted their problems finding common ground on many issues ... but they would consider suggestions from community groups.

“If we could come to them with a proposal and lay it before them, they would have to take a look at it and in their own words, find a single waka and paddle together,” Dr Kaa says.

Te Kahui Mana Ririki has sought funding from government agenices, and it will also target iwi groups.


Ngati Raukawa is going back on the airwaves.

Reo FM will go to air over the next couple of weeks from new studios in Otaki.

Station manager Tipi Wehi Peihana says it's not eligible for funding from Te Mangai Paho, which has a cap of 21 stations.

It has backing from the iwi's runanga and its wananga, as well as some set up money from Te Puni Kokiri

He says the station aims to reach from Paraparaumu to Bulls and over to the Manawatu.


The occupiers of Bastion Point are being described as mould breakers who changed New Zealand.

Ngati Whatua o Orakei is marking the 30th anniversary of the end of its 506 day occupation of the point, now know by its original name Takaparawha.

Lawyer David Williams, who took part in the occupation and subsequent Waitangi Tribunal Claim, told a seminar at Auckland University's Waipapa Marae today that occupation leader Joe Hawke carried the pouwhenua over the Auckland Harbour Bridge during the 1975 Maori Land March, the first such hikoi over the bridge.

He laid the first claim with the Waitangi Tribunal, after he was prosecuted for collecting kaimoana to feed the marchers, and he pointed the way for future protest when he moved to stop Ngati Whatua's ancestral land being developed for high priced housing

“The Maori Land March really I think for Pakeha opened the eyes of the nation. Maori, Takutai and all his people up at Oruawharo were talking about all these things in te reo Maori and no one understood it and no one cared. But after that land march, everyone knew about it, but what was going to happen next. What happened next was Takaparawha,” Dr Williams says.

He says the Bastion Point Occupation opened the way for the historical claim settlement process.


A successful pilot programme to support the Maori wardens is to be extended.

Michael Cullen's ninth budget has a putea of just under $15 million in operational funds for the wardens, and two point three million in capital.

This comes on top of the two point five million in last year's budget for vans, paid co-ordinators, and training run by the Police.

Tunui McLean, who chairs the Manurewa branch of the Maori Wardens, says the additional funding is recognition of the valuable work the volunteers do every day.

Other budget bonbons for Maori include just over $40 million dollars for a new Maori business support agency, $23 million dollars to separate the Maori Trust Office from Te Puni Kokiri, and $1.4 million to Te Mangai Pahoi to preserve historic Maori film and video footage.


The man who helped put Te Wananga O Aotearoa's finances on an even keel says the largest Maori tertiary institution has huge opportunities ahead.

Jeremy Morley this week became the wananga's operational chief executive after spending the last three years as a Price Waterhouse Coopers accountant working for its Crown Manager.

He says it has a strong balance sheet, plenty of working capital and sensible cost structures, which is reflected in the better programmes and service delivery.

A lot of work has gone into developing best practices and educating staff on why they need to be followed.

“You need to balance that up between what is ultimately a Maori organisation and the way the Crown entities need to operate. One size doesn’t necessarily fit all and it’s the old adage, viva la difference, but we need to make sure we don’t get ourselves back to where we were three four years ago,” Mr Morley says.

He says the wananga is an amazing institution which has been unfairly vilified.

Mihipeka Edwards joins ancestors

Mihipeka Edwards died in Wellington on Tuesday afternoon at the age of 90.

Her life story, contained in three volumes of autobiography published over the past two decades, gave readers a glimpse of how Maori coped with discrimination and challenges in the transition from rural to urban life during the middle years of last century.

Wellington kaumatua Clem Huriwaka says she was a stalwart of the Ngati Poneke Maori Club and worked to build communities and pass on her knowledge and experience.

“She wrote and she taught Maori. At the tender age of 60 she was out teaching Maori. She did the waiatas – she had a beautiful voice,”
Mr Huriwaka says.

Mihipeka Edwards will be taken this morning to Wehiwehi Marae near Otaki, and on to Ngongotaha for the funeral on Sunday.


A media watchdog group says negative depictions of Maori and treaty issues damage Maori health and wellbeing.

Ray Nairn from Kupu Taea says the group's second audit of newspaper and television news coverage found the mainstream media conmtinues to frame Maori issues in a confrontational and negative way.

He says feedback from a Maori focus group conducted as part of the research found that had an impact in the workplace.

“It means that you have to watch the news, because you know that’s what you are going to be hassled over tomorrow, which I think as a health worker is very concerning. People are actually having to gear up to go to work knowing that they are going to be asked to explain, they’re going to be called to account, they’re going to be asked to speak on behalf of all Maori people,” Dr Nairn says.

A non-Maori focus group also found the news was needlessly negative about Maori.


Career diplomat John Mataira from Ngati Kahungunu and Ngati Porou has scored the plum post of consul general in Los Angeles.

He's previously served in the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Japan.

Mr Mataira says he joined Foreign Affairs 20 years ago after finishing his law degree, because he wanted to live and work overseas.

He says as Maori diplomats can bring a different perspective to overseas representation.

“We certainly offer a unique face of New Zealand that is recognisable overseas as part of the brand New Zealand so I think, it’s also good that we are also representing New Zealand at a more formal level,”
Mr Mataira says.

New Zealand has many links with the western seaboard of the United States in the entertainment, high tech and biotech industries, and he's keen to build on his current work as deputy director of the ministry's economic division.


National's Maori spokesperson says Maori can expect little from today's budget.

Georgina te Heuheu says since Labour dropped its closing the gaps policy in its first term, there has been little for tangata whenua in the annual spend-up.

She says National could have some cleaning up to do after Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia.

“The current minister of Maori Affairs, if we take power in a few months, he leaves a bit of a legacy of increasing poverty among our families, a rise in basic foodstuffs, petrol hitting our families hard, growth of P in those communities that are already struggling to make ends meet and to see a future,” Mrs te Heuheu says.


Picking the right subjects could be the key to getting more Maori into tertiary study.

That could be one of the findings of research being done at Auckland University.

Tikipunga High School in Whangarei has joined several Auckland schools in the Starpath study, which aims to increase the number of Maori, Pacific and students from low-income backgrounds attending university.

Project director Elizabeth McKinley says preliminary findings are that Maori students aren't taking subjects which lead to university.

She says because parents are confused by the NCEA system, they leave subject choice to students and teachers.

“We find far too many Maori students and of course Pasifika students, students in low decile schools, many of them are not being guided into taking unit standards or achievement standards, the NCEA programme which will actually give them the choice at year 13 to go on to tertiary study,” she says.

Associate Professor McKinley says there seems to be little difference in outcomes between rural schools offering a limited number of subjects and larger schools with what can be too many options.


The life and times of a 19th century Ngati Wai rangatira has drawn an expatriate writer back home.

Paula Morris, who's also from Ngati Wai, is returning from her New Orleans base later this year to take up the Frank Sargeson Fellowship, which gives her five months residency in a flat in Auckland's Albert Park.

She'll work on a novel about Paratene Te Manu, one of Hongi Hika's fighting chiefs who converted to Christianity in the 1830s, traveled to England in the 1860s to meet Queen Victoria and spent his final years on Hoturu - Little Barrier until the army forcibly removed his iwi to make way for a nature reserve.

Ms Morris, who teaches creative writing at Tulane University, says it will be fiction rather than a biography.

“He wrote an incredible little diary of the shipboard experience going to England, the months they spent on ship. I’ve got fragments of things he wrote but otherwise information is quite scarce and I would rather approach it as a novel where I’m much more free to imaginatively re-create his life,” Ms Morris says.

She first found out about Paratene Te Manu when she was researching her second novel, Hibiscus Coast.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Michael Walker injured pig hunting

Top Maori jockey Michael Walker is fighting for his life in Auckland Hospital after a pig-hunting accident near New Plymouth.

The 24-year -old is in a critical condition in Auckland hospital with head injuries after falling over a bluff into a gorge on Monday.

Racing commentator George Simon says the accident will end Walker's bid to become the first New Zealander to ride 200 winners in a season.

His total to date is 173, and he was on course to make the record before the July end of the season.

Mr Simon says Walker is a superb athlete.

“Michael has fought back from adversity previously and I’m sure he is going to do that again. But it’s terrible news, and our thoughts and prayers are obviously with him and his immediate family,” Mr Simon says.


A media watchdog has slammed mainstream media organisations for continuing to label Maori newsmakers as radicals or activists.

Kupu Taea has released its analysis of coverage of Treaty of Waitangi and Maori issues during February and March last year.

Spokesperson Ray Nairn says the labels diminish the seriousness of Maori kaupapa.

“The terms are not being used by people being interviewed. They are being used by the journalists. So this is something that journalists presumably choose to use because it captures something they see as the centre of the story. It’s very notable that this is something simply applied to Maori and almost nobody else,” Dr Nairn says.

He says the mainstream media acts as a watchdog for Pakeha interests, overlooking treaty breaches and being overtly skeptical of Treaty-based initiatives or points of view.


A group of Auckland rangatahi hope to inject a fresh flavour into the Las Vegas dance industry.

Hadleigh Pouesi, a youth worker in South Auckland, started Sweet N Sour to give kids who like hip hop a chance to make something of themselves.

It won the New Zealand Championships, giving automatic entry into the World Championships in Las Vegas in July.

Mr Pouesi says the dancers, who are aged from 16 to 20, use their Maori, Tongan, Rarotongan, Samoan and Yugoslav backgrounds in their routines.

“We're a good mixture. We bring different cultural backgrounds into our sets and into our dances and it really brings a different flavour into the hip hop scene. It set us apart at the nationals. We performed Samoan dancing in the middle of a hip hp dance, which kind of shocked everybody, and we’ve won comps before by doing kapa haka in the middle of our dances. It’s just something different eh,” Mr Pouesi says.

As well as fundraising for their American trip, the group is preparing a production to tour New Zealand.


Mihipeka Edwards, one of the stalwarts of the Ngati Poneke Young Maori Club, has died in Wellington at the age of 90.

Mrs Edwards was born in Maketu in the Bay of Plenty in 1918, but her mother died three weeks later in the influenza epidemic.

She eventually settled in Wellington in the late 1930s, and was active in both Maori and mainstream community life.

The first volume of her autobiography, published in 1990, was an extraordinary story of an ordinary Maori woman making the transition from rural to urban life, and it sold 8000 copies.

Heeni Collins, who worked with the woman known as Aunt Mihi on the third volume of her autobiography, says she wanted to tell people the truth about things like discrimination and being hit at school for speaking Maori.

“A lot of people related to those themes of being made to feel ashamed of being Maori and trying to fit in to the wider society as she did in her early life and just her courage and her humour that she expressed in that book reached people and touched their hearts,” Heeni Collins says.

Mihipeka Edwards will be taken from her son's house tomorrow morning to Wehiwehi Marae and Manukau near Otaki, and then on to Ngongotaha for the funeral on Sunday.

No reira e te whaea okeoke atu ki te tokotoranga o o matua tuupuna.


Maori students at Whangarei's Tikipunga High School are under the microscope.

Auckland University researchers will track them from years 9 to 13 to find why some go on to tertiary study and other finish at high school level.

Elizabeth McKinley, the director of the Starpath project, says the aim is to get more rangatahi Maori into universities and polytechnics.

She says Maori outside the main centres can find moving a major hurdle to study.

“Being away from home has a greater financial pressure for students. Also the notion of being away from home. A lot of our Maori students like whanau being around them in terms of the support they get, and coming into places like Auckland or down to Hamilton, these are places a long way from home and students have to deal with homesickness to some extent,” McKinley says.

Starpath hopes to develop strategies for schools and students to overcome barriers to achievement and retention.


A National Maori MP says her party will have complete Labour's treaty settlements if it's convinced they are backed by the tribes.

Georgina te Heuheu says after years of inactivity, the new Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Michael Cullen, has generated a huge amount of work for the Parliament.

She says time is running out for the settlement legislation before the election, which National expects to win.

“My understanding is he does want to get legislation introduced into the House, but the reality is, that will not go through before the election, which means National will inherit the AIPs he has been putting together. That’s fine. Providing that we are satisfied that there’s almost universal buy-in from the tribes involved,” Mrs te Heuheu says.

She says if Michael Cullen wanted to make progress before the election, he should have briefed National on his plans.

Elective election surgery not good enough

A Hawkes Bay Maori health provider says a $160 million boost for elective surgery will be of little benefit to Maori.

Jean Te Huia from Choices says the promised injection in this week's Budget is an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

She says although Maori had a great need for health treatment, they get surgical care less often, and would get more from more preventative healthcare.

“Maori do not have the same level of surgical treatments that our counterparts in society have. We generally seem to have a greater number of heart diseases. However, Pharmac can support the notion that Maori are the lesser recipients of medication as well in that area,” Ms Te Huia says.

She says the community needs to question why expensive health services like surgery are provided by the taxpayer for people whose conditions may have resulted from unhealthy lifestyle decisions like smoking.


A veteran Maori broadcaster is questioning Te Mangai Paho's single-minded push for Maori language broadcasting.

Derek Fox says this week's celebration of half a million hours of te reo on radio and television is a sign of worthy but misdirected ideals.

He says the aim of the pioneer Maori broadcasters was the normalisation of the language and to get Maori news and views onto the airwaves, regardless of language.

The Maori broadcast funding agency turned it into an education scheme.

“I don't believe it‘s the job of broadcasters to revitalize the language. I don’t think it’s something that you say to a radio station ‘it’s your job is to revitalize the language.’ That’s not The radio station’s job at all. The radio station’s job is to adequately inform our people on what is happening around the world as it affect them, around the country and around the world,” Mr Fox says.

He says with a few exceptions, most broadcasters brought into the system by the increased funding don't have journalism skills to match their expertise in te reo Maori.


It's 30 years ago this week, but for some people the memories are still fresh of the end of the occupation of Takaparawha-Bastion Point.

It's when 700 police arrested 222 people who were trying to stop the then National government developing land taken from Ngati Whatua o Orakei at the gateway to Auckland's eastern suburbs.

The hapu is marking the event with exhibitions, seminars, and on Sunday a ceremony of reconciliation at Orakei Marae.

The Prime Minister, Helen Clark, says it's something she won't forget.

“Who can forget Robert Muldoon trying to sell Ngati Whatua land. It was horrible. Everything that happened up there was horrible. There was a small child who tragically died. It was a bleak period of our history. But hey, we’ve managed to settle. Ngati Whatua is getting on with all sorts of things, their head is high, they’re well respected,” she says.

Ms Clark says it's hard for people who weren't there to appreciate how bleak life was under Robert Muldoon's National Government.


The Green's Maori affairs spokesperson has won Budget funding which will can be used for biodiversity projects on Maori land.

Metiria Turei says in the past Maori have struggled to get support from the existing biodiversity fund, because their land did not qualify as private land for funding purposes.

But they should be able to tap into a new $4 million dollar National Community Biodiversity Fund to support restoration projects on public land.

“There's heaps of Maori groups for example doing restoration work on dune lands. It might not be Maori land. It’s council own land. But they can’t get the support for the planting of pukawa and other native duneland plants that will help protect those dunelands and act as a climate change mitigation for ocean level rise and that sort of stuff. Maori have an entitlement to access these funds as well,” Ms Turei says.

She also won her bid for $8 million over four years for five major research projects on climate change on conservation land.


Civil defence planners in the Hutt Valley are making marae a focal point of their planning.

Paul Nichols, Hutt City's emergency management controller, says the area is particularly prone to floods and it's also in a high risk earthquake zone.

He says Maori communities are being targeted to increase their disaster preparations, after a survey found few Maori households had set aside the recommended three day supply of food and water.

But he says Maori have other forms of disaster preparation which can help the wider community.

“Each marae has excellent cooking facilities. They have people who really know how to cater for big crowds, who know how to look after people and give them that love and care that people do need when they are out of their homes and stressed. Those things are the things that iwi are able to give the rest of the community as a great example,” Mr Nichols says.

Hutt Valley marae provided invaluable assistance during the last big floods in 2004.


A police expert on youth gangs says emerging groups are based more on neighbourhood than ethnicity.

Jason Hewitt says a lot of the work around countering gang culture is understanding what drives it and who is involved.

After a spate of youth gang-related homicides in Auckland in 2005 and 2006, the police in south Auckland have been working with other government agencies to take an integrated case management approach to gang members and prospects.

He says while the gang members are predominantly Maori or Pacific Island youth, it's not a membership criteria.

“What we are seeing is they are more locality based. In fact some of the gangs name themselves after the streets or the towns where they live, and we will have a mix of ethnic backgrounds in one gang. I’ve seen groups that will have Pacific, Maori and even Africans as well as Pakeha involved in that same group because of where they come from,” Mr Hewitt says.

The multi agency approach and an increase in youth workers has led to a drop in gang numbers in south Auckland.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cut your own toes off

A Hawkes Bay Maori health leader says an extra $160 million for elective surgery is a short term approach to health problems.

Jean Te Huia from Choices, which runs clinics in the Kahungunu rohe, says a lot of the surgery is to clean up the complications of preventative diseases like diabetes, obesity and smoking-related illness.

She says people can't expect a bottomless barrel of money for surgery, and the money might better be spent boosting primary health initiatives.

“If you're going to sit around smoking and drinking and eating the wrong diet, I’m sorry mate, when it comes your tome to get dialysis, and have your toes amputated for gangrene because you’ve got diabetes, it ain’t going to happen. It’s not going to be there. People are going to be expected to be responsible for their own health needs,” Ms Te Huia says.

Maori are less likely to get elective surgery, so they will benefit more from prevention programmes.


It may have won newspaper of the year in the Qantas awards, but the Sunday Herald is being challenged by a prison reform group for its coverage of killer Junior Bailey Kurariki.

Kim Workman from Prison Fellowship says since his release on parole after seven years in jail for the manslaughter of pizza delivery man Michael Choy, the 19-year old has been subject to intense media scrutiny ... including a story last Sunday on his personal life, diet, and his birthday presents.

Mr Workman says research shows that if people come out of prison wanting to change their lives and not reoffend, the support they get in the first year is critical.

He says the media seems to want Kurariki to fail.

“What this seems to be doing is that the media seem intent on contributing to further offending and further victims in our community and it seems to us that this is beyond the bounds of what New Zealanders would consider to be right thinking,” Mr Workman says.

The court has made an order preventing Kurariki speaking to the media, so he is unable to defend himself.


The Prime Minister says Labour has cause to be proud of its support for Maori broadcasting.

In Parliament last night, Te Mangai Paho celebrated half a million hours of Maori language broadcasting.

Helen Clark says the bulk of those hours have come in the past nine years, as her government has responded to its treaty commitment to protect Maori language and culture.

“We had to pick up from the completely failed attempt of the National Party to set up Maori television. They just couldn’t make it work. It fell over, gave it a bad name, and we had to start again and work with the stakeholders in Maoridom to get a credible channel and I’m really proud of what Maori Television has achieved. I’m really proud they have got a second channel now,” Ms Clark says.

Maori radio stations are also important, because they can broadcast Maori perspectives in Maori or English.


A police expert on youth gangs says many parents don't know the signs their children are involved.

Jason Hewitt says a multi agency strategy involving CYFS, Housing New Zealand, the Ministry of Social Development and the police is stemming recruitment into South Auckland street gangs.

That's a big change from two years ago, when there were 10 homicides related to youth gangs.

Mr Hewitt says having more youth workers and integrated case management is having an impact, but parents can do more.

“They may see three-letter tags scribbled on school bags and school books. They may see a bandana or some form of other colour handkerchief hanging out of their pockets, wrapped around a wrist or worn on their heads, and we hear back from parents, ‘oh, I just thought that was what kids wore today.’ They don’t realise the significance of what they are seeing. They don't understand,” Mr Hewitt says.

There will always be gangs, and many of the current gangs are here today, gone tomorrow.


Maori families in the Hutt Valley are being asked to increase their readiness for a civil emergency.

Paul Nichols, the emergency management controller for Hutt City, says while more than half of the region's households have back-up supplies of food and water and food, many young people and Maori and Polynesian families haven't made any preparations.

He says it's a high-risk location.

“We've got the highest population living on a flood plain in New Zealand, and we activate quite regularly with flooding events. Of course we live on the fault plain and we know we’ve got it all. So we try and have our preparedness very high. We know we’ve got one of the highest in the country, but we know it’s not good enough,” Mr Nichols says.

Civil defence is talking to people in malls and shopping centres to raise awareness, and running exercises on the region's marae.


The Public Health Association is applauding a move to make state houses warmer and dryer.

This week's budget will include $53 million dollars to insulate state houses.

The association's national executive officer, Gay Keating, says Maori, Pacific Islanders and migrants make up the majority of state housing tenants.

She says retrofitting the houses will help family incomes by cutting power bills, doctor's visits and days off work.

“A lot of Maori families are being exposed to additional cold and mould, and the family as a whole, but in particular the children are having their health suffer as a consequence,” Dr Keating says.

The Public Health Association also wants to see more incentives for private landlords to insulate their properties.

PKW hit for $23m loss at Gabba

Taranaki's Paraninihi ki Waitotara Incorporation is facing a $23 million loss on a property development in Brisbane.

That equals about 10 percent of its asset base, but general manager Dion Tuuta says staff and directors are working hard to limit the damage before the financial year ends next month.

He says all but 30 of the 270 apartments in the Gabba Pavillions have sold, and it is looking for buyers for the retail space.

Mr Tuuta says the incorporation has made other successful investments across the Tasman, as it sought to diversify from its base of Taranaki leasehold land, but the Gabba project encountered unforeseen difficulties.

“When they excavated for the foundations they found some instability there which needed to be reinforced and that pushed out the overall project by about 12 months while it was corrected and unfortunately that delay has coincided with the downturn in the property market and the global credit crunch caused by the sub prime mortgage issue,” Mr Tuuta says.

He says there is no cause for panic, and Paraninihi ki Waitotara's other land and farming businesses are performing well.


The organiser of a hui of Maori MPs to talk about child abuse is rejecting criticism of his efforts from a Destiny Church-backed political party.

Richard Lewis from the Family Party says Canon Hone Kaa can't tell the difference between responsible corrective discipline and violence against children.

But Dr Kaa, who maintains that removing the Crimes Act defence of reasonable force was an important part of the battle against abuse, says churches which support smacking don't know their New Testament.

“Jesus says let the children come to me. He doesn’t say smack the children who come to me. That’s the basis on which I operate. I am aware of the fact some people cannot tell the difference between a Biro pen and a baseball bat when it comes to the smacking of children. So we have to make a clear mark in the ground and say ‘this is where it stops,’” Dr Kaa says.

He says adults need to be models of good behaviour for their children.


Waikato University's waka week is a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Kingitanga.

Tom Roa from the School of Maori and Pacific Development says the annual event focuses on the descendants of a particular waka, iwi or hapu, and this week it's Tainui's turn.

The library is displaying taonga such as the apology from the Crown which was part of the 1995 Waikato Raupatu settlement, and on Thursday experts will talk about the origins, history, and future of the king movement.

King Tuheitia will be given a private tour of the library, which houses taonga from the collection of former Tainui Trust Board secretary Pei Te Hurinui Jones.

“Translations of Shakespeare. Pei’s notes on Nga Moteatea, material given to Pei by descendants of Te Rauparaha, as well as Te Puea, so it’s an honour the king is able to view these artifacts as well as catch something of the brilliance of Pei Te Hurinui Jones,” Mr Roa says.

Both Pei Te Hurinui Jones and King Koroki helped get Waikato University established in the 1960s.


Taranaki's Paraninihi Ki Waitotara Incorporation is reviewing its investment strategies after a major set-back in Australia.

Dion Tuuta, the general manager, says the incorporation's 9000 shareholders have been warned the full year result will be affected by a $23 million loss on a large residential and retail development near the Gabba cricket stadium in Brisbane.

He says the project went over time because of problems with the foundations, which means it has been adversely affected by slower sales and higher finance costs caused by the current credit crunch.

Mr Tuuta says with its 18,000 hectares of leasehold land and 14 dairy farms, the incorporation is able to weather the loss.

“It is just one part of our overall portfolio. It does not affect our farming business or our corpus land holdings which are our core assets in our core businesses. Those businesses are continuing to do very well on the back of our current economics surrounding the dairy industry, but nevertheless the Gabba project is quite a large project,” Mr Tuuta says.

Paraninihi Ki Waitotara has other successful investments across the Tasman, including a dairy farming company in Western Australia.


Killer whales and tidal waves feature in a new documentary about North Auckland tribe Ngati Wai.

Filmmaker Martin Cleave says Seven Canoes is based on the myths and legends of the people of eastern Tai Tokerau.

He says it was an opportunity to record the stories of a generation who learned their history orally from their elders

“They talk about our kaitiaki, the killer whales, towing us over in the waka, followed by a tsunami that got us here in three days. It’s that sort of korero and if we lose that, I mean these people are already on the endangered species list, so we lose that korero, we lose it forever,” Mr Cleave says.

Seven Canoes: Ngati Wai will premiere at a Whangarei marae at the end of the month


Rap has stirred a new interest in poetry among Maori teenagers.

Poet Karlo Mila, who is working towards a doctorate in Sociology says she has found the freedom of poetry appeals to "at risk" youth.

She says they're keen to improve their word power.

“Rap is such a big thing and rap of course stands for rhythm and poetry, and all these young guys, even the most hard core, really want the improve their rapping lyrics and recognize that poetry forms the basis for any kind of rap, and if the words don’t work, nothing else is going to, so it’s such an easy sell,” she says.

Karlo Mila's second collection of poems, A Well Written Body, has just been published by Huia Publishers.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Freehold carrot for Waitara talks

A Te Atiawa negotiator is raising the possibility of freeholding residential sections the Taranaki tribe hopes to get back in its raupatu settlement.

The High Court has rejected leaseholders' claims that the New Plymouth District Council's plan to sell about 800 sections in Waitara breaches the Fair Trading Act.

That clears the way for the council to sell the land to the Crown for use in a settlement.

Grant Knuckey says now the case is over, it's time to get some of the emotion out of the debate.

“We've got a history of being landlords for leasehold property and we develop good relationship with our tenants so it’s time for the leaseholders to consider direct negotiations with us about what the options are in terms of possibly freeholding,” Mr Knuckey says.

Many Te Atiawa members live in Waitara, and the iwi is keen to see the town grow.


Otago University has snapped up Auckland Museum's unwanted tumuaki Maori to head its school of Maori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, Te Tumu.

Paul Tapsell was laid off last month as part of a controversial overhaul which involves the shedding of almost 100 jobs, including a dozen from the Maori department.

David Skegg, Otago's vice-chancellor, says Dr Tapsell's expertise in anthropology and ethnology will be valuable to the university.

“Of course he's best known as a museum ethnologist and a guardian of Maori taonga. He’s a first rate academic. He had first class honours from the University of Auckland. He’s got a doctorate from Oxford University. He’s been a post-doctoral fellow in Canberra. We’re convinced Paul is the right person to lead our school of Maori studies,” Professor Skegg says.

Once Dr Tapsell takes over at Te Tumu next February, the acting dean, Michael Reilly, will be appointed to a personal chair in Maori, Pacific and indigenous studies.


Thousands of Maori are unknowingly living with a chronic disease.

It's World Hepatitis Day, and the Hepatitis Foundation says only a quarter of the 50 thousand New Zealanders living with the curable Hepatitis C have been diagnosed.

Chief executive John Hornell says about 5 percent of Maori over fifteen have incurable hepatitis B.

It can be managed with antiviral medication, but untreated it can lead to liver failure, cirrhosis and cancer.

He says risk factors include needles, including tattoos, surgery and acupuncture, working in the sex industry or health care, having family members with hepatitis, or getting a blood transfusion before 1992.

“If you think you are at risk, you must go and get tested for it, and if you’ve got it, you then have to be followed up. To ignore the problem is just as bad as not being tested. If you have Hepatitis B, there are treatments you can go on if your clinician thinks it will benefit you. The vast majority of people with Hepatitis B will live a normal healthy life,” Dr Hornell says.

The disease is hard to diagnose because of its lack of symptoms.


Old land rights protesters were out in force at Auckland Central Library this morning to open an exhibition marking the end of the Bastion Point protest 30 years ago.

That's when 700 police backed by army and navy personnel arrested 222 people who were occupying Ngati Whatua's ancestral whenua at Orakei.

Alec Hawke, who is organising events around the anniversary, says it was a defining moment in New Zealand history.

He says there were many fine photographers around to record events as they unfolded during the long occupation and the arrests.

“John Miller, Gil Hanly, we also have from people who were within the camp, Margaret Jones’ private collection, other photographers, other private whanau collections, and paraphernalia that has been collected by the library and archived, so it is a pretty comprehensive collection of photos,” Mr Hawke says.

Other anniversary events this week include a panel discussion at Waipapa Marae on Thursday, hui on indigenous land management of Friday and a commemoration ceremony at the marae on Sunday.


A veteran maori broadcaster says it's time for a rethink of funding for Maori radio and television.

Te Mangai Paho is tonight celebrating 500 thousand hours of Maori language broadcasting.

Derek Fox says while the funding agency can be congratulated for the amount of Maori which has been aired, its policy of only funding te reo Maori broadcasting has been detrimental to wider Maori interests.

“That was not their brief as far as I’m concerned. Now my brief was that they actually needed to get quality Maori broadcasting on the air, and if that was in the language, so be it. But what about the huge number of our people who, for reasons other than their own failures, couldn’t understand Maori. How do they get on and where do they turn to get the real story of what's happening with Maori issues,” Mr Fox says.

There needs to be a focus on quality rather than bulk funding of anything in the reo.


The president of the Forestry Institute says lack of certainty round the government's carbon trading scheme is creating unnecessary problems for Maori landowners.

Andrew McEwan says the issue was front and centre at the institute's conference in Palmerston North last weekend.

He says forestry should be an important part of New Zealand's response to climate change, but the way the government is interpreting its obligations under the Kyoto Treaty made little sense.

“It'd be much better if the government’s domestic policy was simply aligned to can we encourage more forests. And if you encourage more forests, you’ll actually do something for climate change. But I’m afraid that government policies over the past few years and the way policies have changed have discouraged more forests,” Mr McEwan says.

While Maori and Pakeha landowners face similar challenges, the complex nature of Maori land ownership means it can be hard for managers to respond quickly to changing conditions.

Anderton kudos for Aotea veto

A ministerial visit to Great Barrier is being credited for ending the threat of a giant no-fishing zone.

Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton has vetoed the Conservation Department’s plan for a 500 square kilometer marine reserve along the north side the Hauraki Gulf island, known to Maori as Aotea.

Martin Cleave from Ngati Wai says Maori and non-Maori residents alike feared the threat to their sustenance.

“Jim Anderton come down for a hui which again through the concurrence process he was not obligated to do so. Having the minister come down and listen, unlike his counterparts, was fantastic. Did we believe he was going to reject the marine reserve? The answer was no. So for him to reject it and ultimately support the tangata whenua, we’re overwhelmed,” Mr Cleave.


An exhibition in Whakatane is looking at the way Maori embraced and adapted haki or flags.

In her show Tangi, Rona Ngahuia Osborne looks not only at how Maori grieve for their dead, but at the way flags were incorporated into the process.

The Auckland-based artist also looks at the way prophets like Rua Kenana and Te Whiti o used haki.

“They also took over the role that traditionally the kite or manu aute or that type of thing would have played, which was a sort of physical connection with the gods and the act of flying it was a way of connecting us with the heavens,” Obsorne says.

Also on at the Whatakane Gallery is Taku Tuhoetana, a photographic installation by Aimee Ratana.


A member of the Ngapuhi claims committee says the iwi isn’t concerned about a new claim for the Treaty Grounds at Waitangi.

Titiwhai Harawa says preparations for either tribunal hearings or direct negotiations of the main claims are well advanced.

She says the new claimant, David Rankin from the Matarahurahu hapu, is deliberately sidestepping the tribe’s process.

“Ngapuhi is in a process at the moment with Muriwhenua talking about our maunga and talking about settlements, whether they’re just and all those sorts of thing, and that kaupapa did come up over the weekend but Ngapuhi collectively are saying we’ll wait and see if it has any substance,” Mrs Harawira says.

David Rankin says he’ll resist his claim being considered as part of an umbrella process.


Half a million hours of Maori.

That's the milestone being celebrated tonight in Parliament’s grand hall by Maori broadcast funding agency Te Mangai Paho.

Whatarangi Winiata, who drove the Maori Council’s broadcasting claim in the 1980's, says it has had a profound effect on the nation.

“Maori radio and television have meant that entertainment, education, news, information, have reached tens of thousands of ears with a different world view, a Maori world view. Yes, it certainly is something to celebrate,” he says.

Professor Winiata says the availability of Maori speaking for themselves has led to a revival of tribal dialects.


Maori are being urged to tackle their own carbon emissions and not wait for government to act.

Willie Te Aho, who has been leading consultations on the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme says an average household produces 18 tonnes of emissions a year.

He says Maori should support action which will enhance the environment.

“In Maori terms we see a direct connection with Ranginui, Papatuanuku, Tangaroa, Tawhirimatea, and if we’re serious about that connection, we should be looking for a way forward that actually enhances that relationship and nurtures and sustains those resources,” Mr Te Aho says.


A new show by a young Tuhoe artist is exploring her connection with early 20th century prophet Rua Kenana.

Aimee Ratana’s Taku Tuhoetana at the Whakatane Museum and Gallery uses photographic images from the museum’s archives as well as self-portraits and pictures of modern Tuhoe life.

She’s used several images of one of the prophet’s wives, Te Arani, who was her father's grandmother.

“Dad would tell us stories about the arrests up at Maungapohatu and her hiding in the bushes with a revolver but not knowing how to use the gun and so those are why those images are in the show, the images of Rua and his wives and there’s some of her when she was younger and then there’s images of her when she was older and also some of our other tupuna in there,” Ratana says.

She installed the images in the gallery the way they would be displayed on a marae.