Waatea News Update

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Warning as dairy success celebrated

Maori incorporations inspired by tonight's Ahuwhenua Trophy to switch to dairying are warned to go in with their eyes open.

Three operations are up for the title of Maori farmer of the year: Parekarangi Trust near Rotorua, Hauhungaroa Partnership's Taupo dairy unit and Dean and Kristen Nikora from Mangatewai Station in Hawkes Bay.

Awards committee chair Kingi Smiler, the former head of 2005 winner Te Pouakani, says many Maori landowners are looking at the high payouts for dairy products.

But he says it's not an easy business to succeed in.

“One has to be careful they are not just following a trend because certainly the cost structures also have gone up significantly in terms of fertilizer, fuel and labour costs which are roughly 80 percent of the total cost structure. They have probably gone up 30 to 40 percent in one year,” Smiler says.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy will be awarded at the Energy Event Centre in Rotorua tonight.


Maori riders and volunteers will be among the hundreds marking 25 years of the Ambury Park Centre for Riding Therapy this weekend.

The centre was established to in the south Auckland farm park to cater for people with disabilities.

Manager Anne Houston says these days it works with a wide range of people who can benefit from forming a working relationship with a horse.

There will be a fund-raising dinner tonight and an event for riders, volunteers and supporters tomorrow.


Tairawhiti Museum is marking the Maori new year by celebrating the East Coast's strong Maori creative sector.

Nga Rama e Whitu : Seven Bright Lights looks at the work of seven businesses with links to the region including Jack Gray Dance, Mauriora Productions, Metia Interactive and ta moko artist Mark Kopua.

Mr Kopua says the exhibition will include sessions where the artists, dancers and designers try to advise and inspire up and coming artists how to turn their hobbies into businesses.

He says Maori contemporary artists are continually dipping back into the traditional arts for ideas, inspiration and motivation.


Maori organisations are being invited to invest in a third mobile phone network.

Bill Osborne from New Zealand Communications says four percent of the company is now on offer to Maori trusts and companies, to bring the total Maori shareholding back up to 20 percent.

It has also taken on board British, Honk Kong and American investors with experience in building third and fourth mobile network operators in mature markets.

Mr Osborne says as well as using spectrum held by the Maori spectrum trust, the company intends to maintain a visible Maori presence.

“They see cultural aspects of Maori being very valuable to the values in the new business and they also see Maori as a very important partner in developing the opportunity in New Zealand and so they would like to see the Maori investment stay there. I would certainly like to keep the Mari investment up at 20- percent. I think it’s good for Maori, it’s good for New Zealand,” Mr Osborne says.

He says Maori organisations are more comfortable with land-based investments, and it may take a while for them to see the value in spectrum and network development.


A familiar figure round Tamaki Makaurau will be honoured this weekend.

Ngati Whatua is holding a special dinner on Sunday for kaumatua Takutai Wikiriwhi, to acknowledge his contribution to the iwi and celebrate the Queens Service Order he received in the New Year's honours list.

Grant Hawke, the chair of Ngati Whatua o Orakei, says the man known to many as Uncle Doc has been a steadying influence over the past two decades as the hapu has taken a prominent role in the affairs of Auckland city.

His deep understanding of tikanga and karakia has made him a walking wananga for whanau keen to learn the history of Ngati Whatua nui- tonu.

He says Rev. Wikiriwhi has worked not just with Orakei but with Kaipara Ngati Whatua as well.


New Zealand Post has released a set of stamps marking the Maori new year.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says it's a powerful acknowledgement of the growing importance of Matariki.

He says it's also recognition that New Zealanders are becoming more comfortable with Maori concepts.

“This is putting Maori right up front in mainstream New Zealand. They’re beautiful stamps. But what it really is is recognition of Maori culture and significance of a totally Maori festival as being relevant for all New Zealand,” Dr Sharples says.

NZ Coms seeking more investors

A company building a third mobile phone network is looking for more Maori money.

New Zealand Communications will use frequency reserved for Maori as part of its network.

Chairperson Bill Osborne says it has just brought in new investors, with United States private equity firm Trilogy International Partners replacing African company Econet as the cornerstone shareholder.

The Maori shareholding, including that held by the Maori spectrum trust, now stands at 16 percent.

It's looking to bring that up to 20 percent, which will bring in about $9 million.

Mr Osborne says it's proving a hard sell with traditional land-based trusts and incorporations.

“The focus is traditionally on land-based assets and it’s very difficult to understand the value of spectrum and the development of mobile telephony so it is a hard one for Maori to free up their capital to invest in this sort of technology platform. It’s just a little bit foreign to the traditional investment cycles,” Mr Osborne says.

New Zealand Communications has also managed to attract a new chief executive, Mike Reynolds, who has been running Star Hub, Singapore's second largest communications company.


The country's best Maori dairy farmer will be known tonight.

Kingi Smiler, the chair of the Ahuwhenua Trophy committee, says the three finalists are all using innovative ways to improve the environment.

They include Rotorua's Parekarangi Trust, Hawkes Bay dairy farmers Dean and Kristen Nikora and the Hauhungaroa Partnership's Taupo dairy unit.

Mr Smiler says as well as taking care of day to day business, the finalists are tackling problems caused by dairy run-off.

He says the Parekaringi Trust has worked with HortResearch to plant blueberries and rongoa plants to soak up excess run-off.

“They have sophisticated meters around the farm measuring quite accurately the nitrate levels from the fertilizer that is being applied to the extent that in their blueberry trial for example, that will mitigate the amount of leaching that might come from those nitrates,” Mr Smiler says.

The winner will get cash, services and farm products.


The Maori Party is crying foul over prospecting licences for the seabed off the Waikato coast.

Its Hauraki Waikato candidate, Angeline Greensill, says Trans-Tasman Resources will be able to prospect from Mokau to the Manukau heads.

She says the government is being inconsistent in shutting out
commercial fishers while opening the gates to miners.

“So they sort of pass legislation abut one issue, saying it’s because we’ve got Maui dolphin we have to protect them, and on the other hand they’re giving prospecting licenses which eventually lead to mining which is even more devastating to the environment and to that species I think,” Ms Greensill says.

She says the government should talk to all affected hapu rather than cherry-picking the Maori they want to deal with.


Ngati Whatua o Kaipara is breathing easier now its treaty claim has been set down for negotiation.

It signed terms yesterday with the Minister of Treaty negotations, Michael Cullen.

Its claims manager, Margaret Kawharu, says the claim covers five marae from Muriwai to Riverhead and the southern half of the Kaipara Harbour.

The claim relate to the Crown purchases and the operation of the Native land laws, particularly in relation to the Woodhill Forest.

Ms Kawharu says it's good to be finally at the table 16 years after the claim was first lodged.

“We're really relieved because we haven’t seen much movement ever since our interim report in 2002, that’s six years where we could have been engaged in negotiations and we haven’t been, so we’re anxious to move,” Ms Kawharu says.

The terms of negotiations indicate an agreement in principle by March next year.


New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is flattered the Maori Party see him as a political role model.

MP Hone Harawira has acknowledged his fellow northerner's political nous, and cited his ability to operate effectively as a minister outside cabinet as something to emulate.

The prospect of Pita Sharples becoming Minister for Maori Affairs as the price of Maori Party support is being floated.

Mr Peters says that idea can't be discounted, but the devil would be in the detail.

“Anything is possible but it comes down to thrashing out what you’re going to do and having total agreement on that. If there’s any disagreement on that, then there could be problems into the future. You’ve got to know and have got agreement accepted and clearly written down that this is the plan and we’re all going to stick to it,” he says.


Novelist Patricia Grace is tackling a take of love in a time of war ... and it's not fiction.

She's been asked to write the story of former Maori Battalion soldier Ned Nathan, who got left behind in Crete during World War Two.

He was shielded by locals, and his love affair with Katina led to marriage, three sons, and a new life back in New Zealand.

Grace says this is the first time she's tackled a lengthy work of non-fiction.

“When (Ned and Katina’s sons) Alex and Manos and Evan came to me to ask me to write the story, my first thought was I’m not a non-fiction writer. You can’t make it. But what I did understand was this was a story that needed to be told,” she says.

Patricia Grace's most recent publication is a children's book, Maraea and the Albatross.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Tamaki ki Raro missing in Tainui equation

The Waitangi Tribunal has asked the Crown whether it has considered Ngati Te Ata in its proposed settlement of the Waikato River claim.

The south Auckland iwi is seeking an urgent hearing because it says it has been kept out of the negotiations and the proposed river guardians group, even though it is the kaitiaki of the river downstream of Meremere.

Spokesperson Roimata Minhinnick says the iwi has its own identity, but this seems to ignored by other parts of the Tainui waka.

“We understand the saying within the waka, Mokau ki runga, that’s Maniapoto, Tamaki ki raro, well that’s us. Then there’s Pare Hauraki, our whanaunga over in Hauraki, and then there’s Pare Waikato, and that’s Waikato. That’s the river tribes. And I think the part they’re kind of forgetting is the Tamaki ki raro, which is who we are,” Mr Minhinnick says.

He says the agreement in principle will give Waikato-Tainui rights to river islands and banks which traditionally belonged to Ngati Te Ata o Waiohua.


A Maori environmentalist says accepting a Queens Birthday honour was a way to reinforce the value of Maori initiatives.

Mike Mohi is from Nga Whenua Rahui, which protects private Maori land with significant conservation values.

He says accepting the Queen's Service Medal was about what was good for the sector, rather than for himself.

“You actually have to do that to keep the funding going for Maori, and if you sort of snub your nose at it, in the end they’re the ones controlling the putea and we as Maori are always grizzling we’re not getting enough, so it’s people who are in the front line have to stand up and say we’re doing this for the good of the nation and by doing this keep the funding rolling in for Maori generally,” Mr Mohi says.

His daughter, singer Hinewehi Mohi, was also on the honours list as a member of the Order of New Zealand.

Writing can be a solitary exercise ... but a leading Maori writer says her latest project was a family affair.

Patricia Grace is best known for adult novels such as Potiki and Dogside Story, but she has also written for tamariki, from one of her earliest books, The Kuia and the Spider.

Her new children's book ... Maraea and the Albatross ... is about a kuia who lives high on the cliff tops near an albatross colony.

She says it’s been translated into a Maori version by her husband, Dick Grace, and the illustrations were done by her brother, Brian Gunson.


The Crown has added another iwi to its crowded negotiation schedule.

The Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Michael Cullen, today signed terms with Ngâti Whatua o Kaipara which is aimed at getting an agreement in principle by March next year.

Margaret Kawharu, the iwi's claims manager, says the main grievances relate to the Woodhill State Forest, which contains many significant waahi tapu, and the Riverhead forest.

The claim was lodged in 1992, and a final Waitangi Tribunal report came out almost three years ago.

Despite the government having another dozen negotiations on the go, Ms Kawharu says Ngati Whatua is optimistic about progress.

“We're very heartened by Dr Cullen’s approach. We’re anxious to move while we have this minister, this government. Who knows what will happen but I expect the Office of Treaty Settlements will carry on the work, whichever government is in place,” she says.

Ngati Whatua o Kaipara has been ready to talk since the Waitangi Tribunal issued an interim report six years ago.


The Minister of Maori Affairs expects American presidential candidate Barack Obama to be in for a torrid time as he juggles the desires of different interest groups.

Parekura Horomia says as the first African-American to secure of the Democratic Party nomination, Mr Obama will always face questions over race.

He says Maori MPs have faced similar challenges.

“What you do realise as a coloured person as people put it, or indigenous person in politics that you’ve got to insure, in getting your people’s activities forward and putting them in a better place for the future, is that there are a lot of other interest groups that you have got to struggle against over a period of time, and he will certainly have that,” Mr Horomia says Barack Obama is a great modern American.


A book produced for Bay of Plenty students has been given a national release.

Toni Rolleston Cummins, a journalist turned teacher, wrote The Seven Stars of Matariki as a resource for Maketu Primary school.

A copy found its way to Huia Publishers, who picked it up.
She says the reaction to her first book was inspiring.

Ms Rolleston Cummins says she has since written a large number of mythological stories, many drawing on Te Arawa landmarks.

The Seven Stars of Matariki will be launched at Matariki celebrations at Te Papa in Wellington on Saturday.

Ngati Te Ata snag in river deal

A south Auckland iwi is demanding a say in the proposed Waikato River settlement.

Nganeko Minihinnick from Ngati Te Ata o Waiohua, who lodged the trailblazing Manukau Claim 25 years ago, has asked the Waitangi Tribunal for an urgent hearing on the Agreement in Principle with Waikato Tainui.

Her son, Roimata Minhinnick, says Ngati Te Ata is the kaitiaki or guardian of the river from Meremere to its mouth.

He says the iwi has been excluded from the proposed Guardians of the Waikato River, and negotiators are refusing to meet and discuss its concerns.

He says the agreement shows Waikato-Tainui doesn't know the area it is claiming.

“They mentioned whitebait and tuna but, if you come to the river mouth right up our way November December and you are going to get a ton of kaimai and certain spots have got kahawai and there’s a whole lot of fish they are missing out and they wouldn’t know because they obviously don’t get it further down wherever they are,” Mr Minhinnick says.

He says the agreement will give Waikato Tainui the right to land beside the river, including traditional Ngati Te Ata waahi tapu, battle sites and customary fishing spots.


Seven thousand Maori voters have been purged from the Maori seats.

They are some of the 50,000 names removed in a pre-election clean up of the electoral rolls.

Murray Wicks, the national manager of the Electoral Enrolment Centre, says people who don't notify the centre of their address changes can miss out on their vote.

He says the centre is always looking for better ways to remind voters to keep their information up to date, and a texting campaign has been every successful.

Voters who text their name and address to 3736 will receive an enrolment pack.


There's a fresh push for a marae in a southern Hawkes Bay town.

The Waipukurau Community Trust has been trying for more than 20 years to build a place for tangi and other events, rather than have to use people's houses.

Spokesperson Robert Ropiha says land was secured in 1985, but the project ran out of steam after a kohanga reo and kaumatua flats were built.

The trust is trying to raise $4.2 million for a wharenui, dining hall and ablution block.

He says it's a chance for people to immerse themselves in the culture by doing the carvings in-house, rather than getting them made elsewhere like other marae have done.

The Waipukurau Community Trust will be comparing strategy with other new urban marae, Te Aranga in Flaxmere and Pukemokimoki in Maraenui.


Retiring Green MP Nandor Tanczos is being hailed as a strong advocate for Maori issues.

Colleague Metiria Turei says the Rastafarian MP made the Treaty of Waitangi the subject of his maiden speech, saying it gave him legitimacy as a Pakeha within New Zealand.

He was willing to use the treaty to cast light on complex issues such as the police shooting of Stephen Wallace in Waitara and the new prison at Ngawha.

“His marae based justice and restorative justice work, even cannabis law reform, all of that stuff he infused with the analysis around the treaty, that those issues were treaty issues, in some form, Maori issues in some form, and that analysis had to be made if justice was to be done,” Ms Turia says.

Mr Tanczos is expected to retire from Parliament when the House resumes ... making way for Green co-leader Russel Norman to become an MP.


A new study has estimated a breathing disorder common among Maori is costing the country around $40 million a year.

The Thoracic Society study says 4 percent of the population has sleep apnoea, which can leave sufferers feeling exhausted, even after a full night's sleep.

Sleep expert Alister Neill from Otago University says Maori and Pacific people are three times more likely to have the condition than Pakeha.

That’s because of higher levels of obesity and smoking.

“When that weight is carried in and around the neck, with a higher neck circumference, then that somehow seems to put pressure on the upper airway which makes it more likely to narrow and collapse while you are sleeping,” Dr Neill says.

The government needs to see sleep apnoea as a long term health issue and invest more on research and treatment.


Past and future come together in a new book of Maori art.

Te Kahui o Matariki looks at the evolving history of the Maori new year commemoration.

Editors Libby Hakaria and Colleen Waata Urlich have colected images and words from 41 senior artists.

Ms Hakaraia says they wanted to find the thinking behind the work.

She says they've collected the works and words of 41 senior artists who can be considered tuakana.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Turei anti-Turia on vote splitting

The Green's Maori affairs spokesperson says vote splitting is the best option for Maori Party supporters.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has rounded on the Greens for proposing a deal on party votes, saying her party is running a strong two tick campaign.

But Metiria Turei says the Maori Party has no chance of going over the five percent threshold, and its future lies in holding the Maori electorates and having a supportive partner in the Parliament.

She says that makes a simple equation for Maori Party voters.

“To use your vote, the most practical way to get the best pro-Maori support in Parliament is to split it and to make sure that we have the party vote because otherwise it will be wasted. It’s just a fact. It’s not a supportive or not supportive issue, it’s just a fact about how you use the two votes that we have,” Ms Turei says.

She says the Greens have built up a good working relationship with the Maori Party.


A Hauraki elder says a state of the environment report on the Hauraki Gulf confirms the warnings of tangata whenua.

The report by the Hauraki Gulf Forum documents problems such as heavy metals accumulating in Auckland's upper harbours, large amounts of nitrogen entering the Firth of Thames from dairy farming, increased sedimentation and loss of kaimoana and bird habitat.

Waati Ngamene, the chair of Te Runanga o Ngati Manu, says he also has concerns about the use of the gulf for marine farming.

“I don't think there's enough study into the long term effects of marine farming and the paru that they produce and the extent of the licences that have been issues in Tikapa itself. There’s a lot of issues and they‘re not new and that’s why the report is no surprise,” Mr Ngamene says.

The report called for better coordination of the initiatives going on to clean up the Hauraki Gulf.


A change in the rules has led to a big jump in entrants for the Maori category of the children's book awards.

Eddie Neha, the convenor for the Te Kura Pounamu Award, says because most children's books in te reo Maori are distributed free to schools and kura, they didn't meet the previous sales criteria.

Dropping that condition means entries jumped from the usual four or five to 44.

He says it shows the depth in the field.

“You have writers such as Huirangi Waikerepuru, Katarina Mataira, Gavin Bishop who have been true tohunga in terms of reo. They not only write their own, they do translations so the caliber’s great. You also have newer reo exponents such as Hana O’Regan who are developing the landuage to suit the times and the kids of today,” Mr Neha says.

The LIANZA Children's Book Awards winners will be announced in Library Week in August.


The Prime Minister says Maori have cause for concern about the future of treaty settlements if National becomes the Government later this year.

Helen Clark says it would be disappointing if National tried to make opposition to the Treaty of Waitangi a vote winner.

She says unlike the past convention of cross party support for treaty settlements, National under John Key and his predecessor Don Brash has not backed any of the deals the Labour-led government has negotiated.

That's in contrast to the leadership shown by National under Jim Bolger, Jenny Shipley and even Bill English.

“These latter two leaders have not been good and what we’re sensing as we move around Maoridom, as we do a lot, is that Maoridom would be very worried about a National government because they don’t want the momentum that is now there to settle these outstanding grievances slowed up at all,” Ms Clark says.

While the pace settlements are coming together may seem extremely fast, it is possible because of the detailed work that has gone in over the past eight years.


A Landcare scientist says resolving the issue of when Aotearoa was first settled opens the door for a other valuable research.

Janet Wilmshurst led an international team which reexamined bones from the kiore or native rat, and found they were only about 700 years old, not 2000 years as earlier carbon dating had claimed.

That confirms the kiore arrived with the first Polynesian migrants, as the date of 1280 or thereabout fits in with whakapapa and with evidence of man-made environmental change about that time.

Dr Wilmshurst says debate about settlement dates has also been going on in other eastern Polynesian islands like Hawaii, Rapanui, French Polynesia and the Cook Islands.

“If this approach could equally be applied to those islands and we get really precise dates of when people arrived, then you can start to piece together whether this last migration from west Polynesia to east Polynesia a really rapid affair and which islands were colonised first so I think it’s quite exciting really from that perspective,” Dr Wilmshurst says.

Having a more precise age can help scientists working on questions about rates of extinction and cultural development.


Harakeke has given a Ngati Kahungunu fibre artist a ticket to his mother’s homeland.

Troy Gardiner, a teacher of Maori language and contemporary Maori arts at Taikura Rudolf Steiner School in Hastings, is weaving pieces to take to the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts, in Pago Pago, American Samoa in July.

He’ll be part of a 120-strong New Zealand delegation.

He says in the 15 plus years he’s been working with flax, he’s seen some major changes in the way the craft has evolved.

“It used to be just kete and korowai and different forms of kakahu but now people look at the artistic sphere. Like it’s artistic to do other things like kete, but it’s good to bring it into the contemporary world because it makes it more tangible for people instead of just being this Maori thing that people do,” Mr Gardiner says.

A lot of his work is inspired by things he saw growing up in the houses of his mother’s Samoan family.

Turia spurns Greens

The Maori Party isn't giving up its party vote to help the Greens.

Co-leader Tariana Turia has spurned a feeler from the Jeanette Fitzsimons that Maori voters be encouraged to party vote Green - perhaps in exchange for the Greens not contesting the Maori seats.

She says the Maori Party will run a vigorous two tick campaign as a way to fend off criticism that its parliamentary representation is disproportionate to its wider electoral support.

“We still want the party vote because we don’t want the overhang in Parliament either. And so we are saying to our people and to all of those other people who support us, ‘you can’t support two masters. You need to give us both your votes so we can do the very best job we can,’” Mrs Turia says.

If the Maori Party's party vote doesn't match its electorate success, there could be as many as four or five estra seats in the next Parliament.


A Maori environmentalist is backing the government’s radical response to the threat to Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins.

Over the objections of commercial fishers and many coastal communities, Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton has created dolphin sanctuaries in Southland, Marlborough and the North Island west coast from Aotea to Kaipara Harbours.

It includes extending a set net ban out to seven nautical miles.
Bevan Tipene Matua, the director of research and development at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, says with only about 100 Maui’s dolphins left, extreme measures are called for.

“I know this is probably hard for the commercial sector to take businesses recover, people are not going to dies a a result of the impact on a business, but once a species is gone, it’s gone for ever, so it might seem radical, but the situation is extreme,” he says.


There's hope the Maori squad's performance over the next six weeks will bring some pride back for rugby fans.

The team plays Tonga on Saturday at North Harbour in the first round of the IRB Pacific Nations Cup, which also involves Manu Samoa, Fiji, Japan and Australia A.

Commentator Ken Laban says many fans are still bitter about the All Blacks' failure at last year's World Cup, the reappointment of Graeme Henry as coach and the loss of Robbie Deans to Australia.

He says the Donny Stevenson-coached squad should play the style of rugby needed to brighten their spirits.

“There's so much frustration about New Zealand rugby, it needs the New Zealand Maori team to get out on park, play the sort of footy in the six nations Pacific Cup we know they can, and win the hearts back of some of the public,” Mr Laban says.

The captain's job for the Maori squad will be shared by Tamati Ellison from Ngati Porou and Liam Messam from Ngai Tuhoe.


A fresh look at the evidence has put paid to theories than anyone arrived on Aotearoa before Maori.

A team led by Janet Wilmshurst from Landcare Research reexamined bones of the kiore or native rat, which earlier researchers had said were more than 2000 years old.

Dr Wilmshurst says the new carbon dating found they were about 700 years old ... which confirms other evidence that humans ... and their rat passengers ... arrived around 1300 AD.

She says the find should end fanciful speculation.

“People used those old rat bone dates to support their ideas that maybe Maori weren’t the first people to discover New Zealand, that other transient people had discovered it a long time ago, but this really confirms the origins of the colonists were in fact Maori and not some other group of people which was always possible if you accepted those old rat bone dates,” Dr Wilmshurst says.

She says the research methodology should allow a comprehensive picture to be built up on the sequence and pace of Polynesian migration.


The Maori Party says Winston Peters may have pointed the way for post election negotiations.

The party expects to win all seven Maori seats in this year's election, and it is already planning on how it may exploit its numbers in the next parliament.

MP Hone Harawira says New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has shown it doesn't need to go into a coalition to be effective.

“He has certainly suggested a new way of handling arrangements as a partner without being fully in coalition like Jim Anderton - he’s just a just a lapdog of Labour,” Mr Harawira says.

The Maori Party says is will campaign vigorously for both the electorate an party votes, ending hopes of a pre-election support deal with the Greens.


A Ngati Manuhiri songwriter's concern for workplace safety has won her a leg up in the music industry.

Hokimaianahera Roseur won the Write your Rights competition run by Niu FM and the Department of Labour.

The song, which has been remixed at Dawn Raid studio, is being sent out to secondary schools to encourage rangatahi to take care when they enter the workforce.

She says young people don't realise how quickly things can go wrong on the job, and she wrote the song out of worry for her partner going to work every day.

Hokimaianahera Roseur picked up her prize at the Pacific Music Awards in Auckland over the weekend.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Maori Party snips Green feeler

The Greens have received a slap down in their bid for the party votes of Maori Party supporters.

After the Green Party’s weekend conference, co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons indicated she was wanted to develop a mutually beneficial strategy going into the election.

But Tariana Turia says that's not going to happen, and the Maori Party is looking to confirm its mandate at both the electorate and the national level.

“We've got a good relationship with the Greens, and we’ve worked hard at it, but we’re not going to have somebody climbing on our backs now that it’s election time to try and get our party vote. We want that party vote,” Mrs Turia says.

She says if all Maori as well as the party's non-Maori supporters give their party vote, the Maori Party could have 10 seats in Parliament.


A former Te Puni Kokiri chief executive honoured for his trouble-shooting role in Maori organisations says his current job is one of the most exciting yet.

In the Queens Birthday honours list, Wira Gardiner was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Maori.

Since leaving the Maori Development Ministry to set up a consultancy, the former soldier has stepped into a number of troubled organisations including Te Mangai Paho, Te Wananga o Aotearoa and Te Wananga o Awanuiarangi.

He's now facilitating the Crown's effort to use its forest assets to settle the historic claims of a coalition of central North Island iwi.

“The Kaingaroa forest settlement will be fantastic. It’s the Sealords deal, Tainui and Ngai Tahu combined. Put that economic wealth in the hands of the number of tribes that are involved, and if we can cut down across parochial internecine warfare among tribes to achieve that, anything's possible,” Mr Gardiner says.

He's hurt by people who call him a kupapa for his work for the Crown, but he just gets on with the job.


A tohu also went to another person working on central North Island settlements.

Tuhourangi kaumatua Anaru Rangiheuea was made Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, the third highest honour.

He was made an officer of the order in the 1999 New Year's list, and since then he played a major role in settling Te Arawa's Rotorua Lakes claim.

He says young people need to step up and play their part towards the health of their iwi and community.

“You've got to be involved to work with your people and work with your tribe. Get involved in community affairs. There’s a big need for younger people, who have a lot of skills, and they need to put it together and work for the benefit of all of us,” Mr Rangiheuea says.

He is currently consulting with Te Arawa people around the country on the proposed Pumautanga o Te Arawa land settlement, which is running alongside the central North Island forestry deal.


West Auckland groups dominated the Tamaki Makaurau regional kapa haka competitions over the weekend.

Former national champions Te Waka Huia again set the standard taking the top award from relative newcomers, Nga Tumanako.

Manutaki and Manuhuia took the other two slots to represent the region at next year's Te Matatini nationals in Tauranga.

Tumamao Harawira, from Nga Tumanako says the group's guiding tea ho matua philosophy comes from the members' days together at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Hoani Waititi.


A Victoria University law lecturer hopes her Maori legal dictionary will help with the normalisation of te reo Maori.

Mamari Stephens has received a grant from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology for the work, which will draw on thousands of translations of early acts of parliament stored in the Alexander Turnbull Library.

She says those translations helped the tupuna dealt with legal concepts, but there is now no shared legal vocabulary among Maori speakers.

“Legal jargon is very difficult and Maori is such a flexible language. We don’t want Maori to be straightjacketed in its interpretation of those concepts but we want to see how our tupuna did it and also how government translators did it as well, because a lot of that material comes from Pakeha who were fluent in Maori,” Ms Stephens says.

She says the dictionary will be of value to Maori who want to present cases or petitions in te reo, students who want to write essays in the language, and government agencies of committees who want to produce report in Maori.


For Ngati Porou soccer legend Wynton Rufer, a Queens Birthday honour is the icing on the cake.

He was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his work with young people through his Wyners Football academy.

Rufer is also a member of the New Zealand and Maori sports halls of fame, the Oceania player of the century, and the International Football Federation's player of the decade for the 1990s, and one of their 100 legends of the game in 2004.

He says he's most proud of his work with rangatahi in Mangere and Otara, including a lot of Pacific Island and Maori youth in low decile schools.

Mr Rufer says his work as a FIFA ambassador against racism near the end of his professional career made him realise the importance of being a role model for youth.

Whitehead, Gardiner top Queen’s honours

A soldier turned bureaucrat and a classical composer were two of the leading Maori honoured in the Queens Birthday list.

Former Te Puni Kokiri chief executive Wira Gardiner, who has been helping the government bring central North Island iwi to settle claims to forestry land, was made a Distinguished Companions of the New Zealand Order of merit.

Also made a distinguished companion was Gillian Karawe Whitehead, who returned to New Zealand a decade ago after carving out a distinguished career as a composer and teacher in Britain, Europe and Australia.

Ms Whitehead says she has no trouble marrying Maori and Pakeha musical traditions together.

“I spent a lot of my life overseas, away from the Maori traditions, and when I came back here, that whole Maori renaissance was happening, and it just seemed the most natural things in the world to bring the elements of the two cultures together,” Ms Whitehead says,

Gillian Whitehead says current projects include working on a piece with poet Glenn Colquhoun, and developing an opera with a large Maori component.


Crown officials and Central North Island iwi collective negotiators today go into the heart of the Kaingaroa Forest to explain the proposed Treelord settlement to those who live there.

Bill Bird from the Ngati Manawa runanga says the consultation hui at Murupara is a chance to clear up misconceptions about the half billion dollar deal.

He says shares in the post-settlement company which is being set up to run the former state forests will be allocated to iwi on a population basis, to settle historic treaty claims.

That doesn’t mean Ngati Manawa is giving up its claim for customary ownership of most of the Kaingaroa number one block.

“ And we’re an iwi who are basically wanting our land back.They can keep their dollars. We want the land back. I riro whenua atu, nei hoki whenua mai. Land was taken, land should be returned. There are iwi around that collective table who only have minor interests in those lands, but they have huge populations,” Mr Bird says.

The forest lands are leased out for another rotation, so there is plenty of time to sort out who owns the mana whenua, as well as resolve other aspects of the redress package such as ownership of waterways.


Old land deeds and letters are being trawled to find words for a Maori law dictionary.

Mamari Stephens from Victoria University’s law faculty has received a $593,000 grant from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology to produce the dictionary, which is designed to help Maori discuss the law in te reo Maori.

She says it’s not an unusual concept when seen in the historical context of where the words are coming from.

“There are thousands of pages of land deeds for example. There are copious amounts of correspondence between the government and petitioners about western legal concepts so a lot of that work has actually been done, a lot of that vocabulary is already there, but we have lost contact with it because that material is archived,” Ms Stephens says.

She says the dictionary is part of the process of normalising the use of te reo Maori in every sphere of New Zealand life.


A leader in the revival of ta moko says his Queens Birthday honour is a mark of mana for the artform.

Derek Arana Te Ahi Lardelli was made an Officer of the Order of New Zealand.

The tattooist, sculptor and kapa haka expert from Ngati Porou, Rongowhakaata, Ngati Kanohi and Ngati Kaipoho says the award recognises the importance of ta moko to all New Zealand.

“It recognises the value of Maori culture to our society and especially Maori art and specifically ta moko. The award can not belong to one person. I am just there to pick the award up on behalf of a lot of people,” Mr Lardelli says.

Two Maori were made Distinguished Companions of the New Zealand Order of merit, the equal of a knight or dame in the old honours system... former Te Puni Kokiri chief executive Wira Gardiner, who has been facilitating the Crown’s attempts to settle central North Island forestry claims, and composer Gillian Karawe Whitehead.

New companions of the order include former Te Arawa Trust Board chair Anaru Rangiheua and soccer player Wynton Rufer.

Awards also went to Bastion Point protest leader Joe Hawke, academic Ngapare Hopa and singer Hinewehi Mohi.


The Ministry of Health's chief advisor on child health is urging Maori parents to get being a new immunisation campaign.

The list of vaccines for babies now includes Prevanar, which builds up immunity against the pneumococcal bacteria which can cause pneumonia, ear and sinus infections and even a form of meningitis.

Pat Tuohy says it’s a bacteria that hits Maori families hardest, with Maori children twice as likely to get the illness, and two to three times more likely to be admitted to hospital than European children.

Dr Tuohy says the Prevanar vaccine is safe, cheap and effective.


If the weekend’s Maori film festival has whetted the appetites of film buffs to find out more about their favourite titles, the New Zealand Film Archive in Wellington has the answer.

It has just opened the Jonathan Dennis Library, which holds extensive collections on the history of the local industry.

Kristen Wineera, who manages the documentation collection, says it includes a huge amount of supporting material which can help researchers to put productions in context, including photographs, unpubblished papers, company archives from production houses and film societies, oral history and posters.

She says the collection goes back to some of New Zealand’s earliest films, including material relating to Rudall Hayward’s Rewi’s Last Stand and The Te Kooti Trail.