Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, June 27, 2008

Equal shares good call for top of south

An iwi negotiator is welcoming a Waitangi Tribunal recommendation that any northern South Island settlement should be shared equally among the eight tribes in the region.

Richard Bradley from Rangitane says it was an approach suggested several years ago by his Kurahaupo Cluster, but rejected by other iwi who claimed their history of conquest entitled them to a larger share.

He says the tribunal's pre-publication report rejects that argument and upholds customary ownership by the people living on the land.

Mr Bradley says it will be hard to get a settlement package that makes everyone happy.

“I think all of the iwi in the top of the south are disadvantaged because a large percentage of Te Tau Ihu is national parks now, and so some of the cultural redress that might be available isn’t available under the current Crown policy because national parks are super super tapu on behalf of all New Zealanders, irrespective of how the Crown got it,” Mr Bradley says.

The Kurahaupo cluster is close to reaching an agreement in principle with the Crown.


John Key is promising to get tough on schools if it becomes the next government.

The National Party leader says it's unacceptable so many Maori leave schools with no qualifications.

He says standards need to be lifted.

“A National government will be a lot more demanding about educational standards, a lot more demanding about underperformance in schools, a lot more demanding on failing schools. That is going to reflect over time in a lot of New Zealanders and Maori New Zealanders with a much better education and therefore a much better future,” Mr Key says.


Marae in Wairoa are learning the best ways to handle emergencies.

Trevor Stone from Civil Defence says meeting houses are often the gathering points for communities in times of trouble.

He says while that works in some situations, such as after the recent fire in the disused Patea freezing works, there are other times when a Plan B is needed.

“Particularly for arguments sake something along the line of pandemics when gathering everyone together may not be the ultimate choice that we may have, and how they would support in a pandemic particularly vulnerable people, elders and people with disabilities that are scattered around the marae area,” Mr Stone says.

While marae often have an informal system of dealing with an influx of manuhiri, a set plan allows everyone to know what to do if the usual kaimahi are cut off by natural disasters such as flooding or earthquakes.


Port Nicholson Block negotiators are hoping for a quick response from their beneficiaries to the draft Deed of Settlement signed off yesterday.

It covers the loss social, economic and cultural opportunities claims by Taranaki Whanui because of the way they were deprived of their land around Wellington.

The settlement includes more than $25 million cash, and the right to buy and lease back $120 of government properties around the city.

Chief negotiator Ngatata Love says the deal is even better than the one set out in last year's agreement in principle, and it's likely to win favour.

“There will be the opportunity if there is a need to look at some of the ideas that have come through but we’re relatively confident that what we will be taking out will be acceptable to people because of the time that has gone into it over many years and the consultation that’s taken place in the past,” Professor Love says

There will be hui throughout the country, as well as in Sydney and Brisbane.


A Whangarei general practioner has just landed a job with one of the world's top universities.

Shane Reti, from Ngapuhi and Tainui, is currently studying at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.

He's been asked to stay on after his Harkness Fellowship ends in September.

One of his first jobs will be helping the United Arab Emirates reform its health system.

“Well what a wonderful opportunity. How many times in your lifetime do you get a chance to help design a whole new health system from scratch in a country with money. That comes very rarely and will be a huge set of skills that I look forward to bringing home,” Dr Reti says.

His Maori approach to presentations, including poroporoaki and waiata, intrigued the Americans... and opened a lot of doors.


A team of the country's best Maori surfers is off to ride the waves off Tahiti.

The twelve-strong team is contesting the Oceania Cup alongside indigenous surfers from eight other Pacific nations including Hawaii, Rarotonga, Fiji and Australia.

Team manager Chris Malone from Te Aitanga mahaki says they're out to retain their number one ranking.

He says it's the most culturally rich professional event, as the various islands come together and show each other their culture.

Malone will be trying to maintain the form that won him the Billabong open men's final in last weekend's Maori Tri Series at Raglan.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Port Nicholson deed done in pencil

Port Nicholson claimants have moved a step closer to becoming the government's landlord.

At Parliament this afternoon, representatives of Taranaki Whanui initialed a draft deed of settlement to be taken out to members for ratification.

The deal includes a cultural redress package to transfer 17 culturally significant properties in the Wellington region.

There is also financial and commercial redress including more than $30 million in cash, and the opportunity to buy the former Shelly Bay air force base, the Wellington Railway Station building, land and airspace, and other Crown owned properties, many occupied by government agencies.


Meanwhile, better jobs, education and health for central North Island Maori could come from yesterday's Treelord deal.

Tuwharetoa leader Tumu te Heuheu, one of the architects of the largest ever treaty settlement, says it's about more than forestry.

He says the tribes involved will each have their own ways of passing on the benefits of the deal, but there will be a desire for the benefits to flow in a range of ways.

“I'm hoping that it’ll be reflected in work opportunities and also education, the needs of the local communities, local people hopefully will also benefit from better health initiatives. It will be creating the business ethic that will hopefully develop more work opportunities for our people,” Mr te Heuheu says.


National's leader John Key says the forestry settlement is a huge achievement for the country.

Mr Key says the half billion dollars in resources flowing to central North Island iwi will help their economic and social development.

It will add to what is already a strong part of the economy.

“It's probably not understood what a powerful part of the economy the Maori economy will continue to be. You go forward a decade or two you are going to see large ownership as we already see today, in forestry, fisheries, farming, quite a number of creative businesses from Maori, they will be a very powerful economic bloc and they’ll be making a big contribution to the New Zealand economy,” Mr Key says.

He says creating closure to aspects of the past such as the Maori land wars and inappropriate behaviour by the Native Land Court will bring the nation together.


A new organisation will help Maori and Pacific Island people with HIV.

Founder and director Marama Pala says the INA Maori Indigenous and South Pacific HIV Aids Foundation is organised on whare tapa wha principles, so whanau are supported as well as those with the disease.

Ms Pala, who has been HIV positive for 15 years, says the Maori and Pacific people make up about 11 percent of those with HIV in the country felt they needed their own roopu, because otherwise their issues become swamped in the mainstream.

INA will run community focused prevention and education programmes.


After yesterday's focus on central North Island claims, today the Cook Strait area was in the spotlight.

The Waitangi Tribunal released a pre-publication report on the claims of the eight iwi and hapu of Te Tau Ihu, the top of the South Island.

And Taranaki Whanui signed a draft deed of settlement for its claims to Wellington.

Port Nicholson Trust negotiator Ngatata Love says after years of struggle, there is a real willingness to settle.

He says the package is an advance on the initial agreement, which promised a number of culturally significant properties as well as the right to buy and lease back many of the buildings occupied by government departments and Crown agencies around central Wellington.

“We feel very positive that now we’ve reached a stage where we can take it out to the people and we believe that we’ve worked closely with the Crown to get what we believe is a very good settlement for our people, and the Crown are comfortable with it,” Professor Love says.


Across Cook Strait, a claim negotiator says the Waitangi Tribunal's report should bring talks in Te Tau Ihu to a speedy conclusion.

The tribunal found the Crown used unfair means to acquire most of the land in the northern South Island by 1860, and made predetermined decisions as to ownership which ignored the rights of many customary owners.

It recommended the settlement quantum be shared equally between the eight iwi.

Richard Bradley, the negotiator for the Kurahaupo cluster, says that's a sensible outcome given the intertwined interests of the iwi.

He says the tribunal has put to bed some myths which were creating unrealistic expectations among some iwi.

“Their report seems to break the cycle and say to people it’s time to fess up, there is no Easter Bunny, there is no Father Christmas, here’s the way it is. The best active title is actually ancestral title. If you conquer and don’t occupy, then that’s a historical fact but it doesn’t really have a strong base in custom if there are other people still in occupation,” Mr Bradley says.

He says the Kurahaupo iwi are almost at the agreement in principle stage, and the other to iwi clusters shouldn't be far behind.


A long term advocate for Internet access by all is lauding the technology leadership shown by Ngai Tuhoe.

The iwi is set to launch a WiFi network to connect schools, marae and homes throughout the Urewera rohe.

Lawrence Zwimpfer from the 2020 Communications Trust, which has helped Tuhoe with the project, says the iwi saw it was missing out on the broadband investment the major companies were making in the cities.

“They've given up for Telecom and Telstra to get them decent connectivity and have been building this fantastic wifi network. They’ve called on assistance but they’ve put a lot of resource and energy into it themselves and are creating something that’s actually a model not only for other rural parts of New Zealand but it’s also got a lot of interest in some of the Pacific island countries,” Mr Zwimpfer says.

Iwi in Tokomaru Bay are working on a similar WiFi network.

Hard work bedding in Treelord

The biggest treaty deal yet has been signed, and now the hard work begins.

A collective of iwi yesterday signed off on a settlement which will given them almost 90 percent of Kaingaroa and other central North island forests as well as $220 million in accumulated rents.

It’s just the down payment.

Yesterday's Treelord deal covers the commercial part of the settlement, using assets which have been held in trust while ownership of the land under the forests was worked out.

That proved too hard over the past two decades, but a the end of last year Tuwharetoa leader Tumu te Heuheu approached the government with a radical proposal – let the tribes sort it out.

A thousand tribes people were on hand yesterday to assert that they had sorted it out.

While a company is set up to run the forests, the individual iwi will go back in to finish off their individual settlements of historic grievances.

Tuhoe is already talking.

Ngati Raukawa signed terms of negotiation yesterday afternoon, which include its relationship with the Waikato River.

Ngati Manawa will pick up negotiations suspended while the CNI deal was hammered out, and two iwi not in the collective, Ngati Makino and Waitaha, are also in talks.

And at the head of Te Ika a Maui, the Port Nicholson claimants are this afternoon due to sign a draft deed of settlement for claims around the Wellington harbour.


Now comes the hard part.

That's the warning to tribal leaders in the Central North Island after the historic deals signed this week, from New Zealand First Maori Affairs spokesman, Pita Paraone.

The deal is worth $200 million dollars in forestry assets and $220 million in cash.

Mr Paraone says the challenge facing iwi, is to ensure all all tribal members benefit from the deal.

“It’s one thing to have fought the battle to have their claims settled but I think the war is just beginning. It’s one thing to get the resource but it’s another thing to look after it, to develop and grow it so that the tribe benefits as a whole,” Mr Paraone says.

He says land returned is safe in Maori hands and won't be sold to overseas interests.


He is known for his challenging performances on marae and public spaces, but Tame Iti says he doesn't do the haka any more.

That's because its impact has been diluted by the highly-schooled moves of the Maori performing arts groups.

The Tuhoe controversialist says he finds today's haka slick and boring.

“Haka ought to be something that creates a dialogue, that provoke, like being on the marae atea. Now kapa haka becomes on stage, looks good and got no true meaning,” Mr Iti says.

He stopped doing the haka after the 1990 Waitangi protest.


A Maori historian says trusting the tribes is paying dividends for the government

The Crown yesterday signed a deed of settlement with a collective of Central North Island iwi, which will put almost 200 million dollars in forestry assets and a similiar amount in cash into their hands.

Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and Indigenous studies at Canterbury Univeristy says the government has learnt from criticism from the Waitingi Tribunal about the way it has been negotiating claims.

He says the flexible new approach appears to be working.

“You'd have to take your hat off to Cullen for this and it’s really apparent in the CNI deal and in the Te Arawa deal that there’s a lot more trust in tribes. Tuwharetoa, Ngati Rangitihi, Tuhoe, Te Arawa, they were lest to work out their problems amongst themselves in terms of crossovers and boundaries and things like that and they did a really great job and so it’s been a huge success,” Mr Taonui says.


A new trust wants to bring tamariki in Te Tai Tokerau the benefits of technology.

Lawrence Zwimpfer from the 20/20 Far North ITC Trust says rural kids should have the same access to computers as their city cousins.

The trust wants to make sure that when broadband finally arrives households and marae can make good use of the technology.

He says while 87 percent of urban children have access to computers at home, less than half the households in the Far North are online.

Lawrence Zwimpfer says the trust wants to see a computer connected to the internet in all homes with school-aged children


Tobacco control workers from around the country have gathered in Wellington to talk about the best ways to tackle smoking.

Kapuarangi Kaka from Aukati Kaipaipa says the inaugural hui is a one stop shop for health workers, allowing them to swap ideas with others on the front line.
She says for Aukati Kaipaipa, a key to their success is meeting people kanohi ki te kanohi, face to face, so they casn work out the best interventions and treatment.

Treelord deal signed

Wednesday June 25

The largest treaty settlement ever has been signed.

Members of the central North Island Collective of iwi filled Parliament this morning to witness the signing of a deed of settlement for central North Island Forestry claims.

Tears, pride, passion and fiery oratory were in ample supply at Parliament this morning as a collective of Central North Island iwi signed an on-account settlement of their historic claims.

The deal empties out most of the assets which have built up in the Crown Forest Rental Trust over the past 20 years – 176,000 hectares of Kaingaroa and surrounding forests, to be run by a joint iwi company, and $220 million in rent, split roughly on population among the 100,000 strong collective.

For the affiliate Te Arawa group, its 16 percent, along with other redress in the Rotorua area, marks a full settlement.

For Tuhoe, Tuwharetoa, Ngati Manawa, Ngati Whakaue, Ngati Whare and Raukawa, it’s a down payment, with other redress to be worked out later.

But they will be negotiating from a much stronger financial position, able to show their people some reward for years of struggle.


Businesses who want to access the brown dollar are being offered a helping hand by the University of Waikato.

The university is offering a paper for those who need to know how to handle powhiri, hui and generally be comfortable in Maori environments.

Tom Roa, a senior lecturer at the business school, says people who are willing to engage with Maori can find they have tapped into a large market

“Businesses in particular who are interested and businesses who are at present or in the future considering working with Maori communities, iwi authorities, hapu collectives, this course will be a help to them,” Mr Roa says.


The future of Maori surfing is looking good.

That's according to Chris Malone, who has just won the open men's title at the third Annual Auahi Kore Tri Series in his home surf at Raglan with 18.5 points out of a possible 20.

He beat Brooke Elliot of Te Arawa and Jessica Santorik, who opted to surf among the boys.

Mr Malone says the Tri-series is great preparation for the Maori Nationals in October, and chance to introduce up and coming talent to competition surfing, with children as young as five taking to their boards.

Martin Matenga from Tainui, took out the longboard section, while Haami Martin won the junior men’s title.


A thousand members of central north island iwi were at the Beehive today to witness a down payment on their claims.

After the settlement deed was signed by the crown and iwi representatives, many in the crowd moved to Parliament's galleries for the first reading of the settlement legislation.

The innovative deal thrashed was brought to the Government by iwi, and removes a tricky political situation.

Twenty years ago the Maori Council, the Federation of Maori Authorities and other iwi leaders stopped the sale of state forest land.

The forests were instead leased out, and the land and rents were held by the Crown Forest Rental Trust until claims could be resolved.

Two decades on and the accumulated rents are worth more than the land, offering a tempting target for politicians.

That temptation is now gone.

Today Treaty Negotiations Minister Michael Cullen signed a deed to put the largest group of assets in the trust, the central North Island forests, into the hands of an iwi collective.

Tuhoe, Tuwharetoa, Ngati Manawa, Ngati Whakaue, Ngati Whare, Raukawa and Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa will share $220 million in cash and the ongoing rents from 176,000 hectares of forest for the current rotation.

They will sort out among themselves who should own the land, using principles of mana whenua.

Former Maori Affairs Minister Doug Kidd, who now sits on the Waitangi Tribunal hearing central North Island Claims, says the deal puts rangatiratanga back in the hands of rangatira.


Fifteen Taitokerau schools are taking a fresh look at their environment.

They've been given small grants from the Northland Regional Council for projects such as wetland restoration, building glasshouses and establishing native gardens.

Teresa Rudgly, the council's environmental education officer, says some schools are planting trees known for their use in rongoa or medicine, while Whangaruru school has a different garden in mind.

“With their edible gardens encourage kaumatua into the school to talk about planting cycles according to the Maori calendar to get the old knowledge and to incorporate it into what they’re doing in the school, which is really cool,” Ms Rudgley says.

She says the younger students get involved in such projects, the more likely they will be environmentally conscious adults.


Eric Rush says Tanirau Latimar won't let the All Blacks down.

The former All Black and Maori player says it was only a matter of time before the talented flanker from Ngati Rangi would pull on the black jersey.

He's been in top form for the Maori team in the Pacific Nations Cup and is a leading candidate to replace injured All Black skipper Ritchie McCaw in the scrum.

Rush says Latimer is a class act.

“He's definitely got the skills, He’s a tidy little player. Whether he’s up to All Black level yet I’m not sure. But I know he eventually will be. So he’s the type of player if he gets the chance, he won’t let the jersey down, that's for sure,” Mr Rush says.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

CNI claims progressing

Major progress has been made on settling historical grievances of central North Island iwi.

Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa, which represented 11 affiliate iwi and hapu in the Rotorua area, was at Parliament yesterday to witness the first reading of the bill settling their land claims.

Half the value of its $100 million dollar settlement is tied to the $500 million Treelord forestry settlement, which will be signed this morning by the Central North Island Collective of iwi.

Pumautanga negotiator Rawiri Te Whare says the signs are extremely positive, after years of struggle.

“The expectation is for both settlements to move through legislation in tandem because they are inextricably linked through the forestry arrangements and I think the comments expressed in regard to the Pumautanga settlement getting through the election is also the same sentiments for the CNI settlement,” Mr Te Whare says.


Also in Wellington this morning, anti-smoking advocates are gathering for the first National Tobacco Control hui.

Graham Tipene from Te Hotu Manawa Maori, the National Heart Foundation, says the conference at Te Papa Tongarewa will look at pharmacological and practical approaches to giving up smoking, well as offering professional development for those working in the field.

He says a Health Ministry survey showing Maori youth smoking rates dropping is a welcome boost for health workers.

“That's pretty much the trend we want to see all over, just keep it dropping, so that kids don’t pick up cigarettes, don’t start smoking and so the health stats for our people get better,” Mr Tipene says.

By drawing together organisations like Aukati Kai Paipa, Auahi Kore and the Cancer Society, the hui will be able to focus on specific Maori targets.


The outgoing head of Television New Zeland's Maori programming has reflected on the changes to the media.

When Whai Ngata started in journalism forty years ago, he was one of the few Maori reporters covering protests about land and language.

He says today's acceptance of te reo Maori is more than the Maori journalists of that time could have dreamed of.

The language where it is now, in broadcasting, in schools, is a consequence of all those things happening almost to the fact now that te reo is an acceptable part of the New Zealand psyche,” Mr Ngata says.

While there is still resistance to Maori language and culture in some quarters, its widespread teaching in Maori and mainstream schools should guarantee its take-up by future generations.

Whai Ngati has been succeeded in the TVNZ Maori role by independent producer Paora Maxwell.


A Te Arawa claim negotiator credits good leadership for today's massive settlement.

The Crown will this morning sign a deal which will deliver half a billion dollars in forestry assets to a collective of Central North Island iwi.

The Crown has held back just over 10 percent of its forest assets in the region for other claimants who have not joined.

Rawiri Te Whare from Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa, which gets 16 percent of the collective settlement, says it can be a hard task to bring claimants together and hold them over the years it takes to secure a deal.

“It's going to take good leadership. Some hapu just can’t decide to settle. You need to have good leadership, well organised, focused and want to settle. And really, if that’s not there, you make up all sorts of excuses about why settlements are not happening,” Mr Te Whare says.

Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa now needs to establish the structures to manage its settlement assets, which also include 19 significant sites in the Rotorua area.


A controversial change to the Crimes Act is being credited with making a real difference to domestic violence.

This week is the first anniversary of the removal of reasonable force as a defence for hitting children.

Ngaroimata Reid, who manages anti-violence projects for Te Korowai Manaaki Maori Caucus in west Auckland, says attitudes have changed over the past year.

She says that makes a difference if a child turns up at school with welts or bruises.

“There are a lot more schools, there are a lot more whanau, Maori community groups that are actually taking on and uplifting the well-being of their children so if kids do turn up with that, it’s not put to the side and nobody says anything like we have in the past,” Ms Reid says.


A financial literacy expert says cultural differences need to be taken into account when teaching children the value of saving.

Lester Taylor, the Retirement Commission's education projects manager, says a programme being trialed in 10 schools will teach children as young as five how to handle money.

He says while many of the concepts of financial literacy are universal, there will be different priorities.

“It doesn't matter what your ethnic background is in New Zealand. You’re living in the same financial environment, but different cultures have very significant differences to their value structures, to their priorities, and to the way in which they wish to allocate the use of their money. So the concept of whanau and extended family responsibility, the framework we designed had to deal with that,” Mr Taylor says.

The personal financial education programme may be handed over to the Ministry of Education to run.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Te Pumautanga bill read

Supporters of Te Pumautanga o te Arawa packed the halls of Parliament this afternoon for the first reading of a bill settling historic claims in the Rotorua region.

The settlement was modified to fit in with the larger central North Island forestry settlement, which will be signed tomorrow.

Chairperson Eru George says Te Pumautanga's patience and flexibility has paid off, with the revised offer being substantially larger than the initial deal two years ago.

He says there's a great feeling of jubilation among those in Wellington, and back at the hau kainga.

Te Pumautanga is holding high level discussions about how the Te Arawa lakes, lands and fisheries settlement trusts can work together.


Meanwhile, the Prime Minister says the economic benefits of treaty settlements are improving the way Maori are seen around the motu.

Helen Clark says because they are tangata whenua, iwi tend to invest their settlements in their own regions rather than move the capital offshore.

She says Ngai Tahu and Tainui have become major economic players in their own regions, and that will be seen elsewhere.

“You see the potential for iwi across the land to become very significant players in economic development and investment and also in social and educational and other development as well. It has completely changed the way Maori are viewed by the general community. It has raised status. It has raised esteem. It has meant Maori have been able to take their rightful place. I think it's fantastic,” Ms Clark says.


Retirement may mean rest and relaxation for some, but not for Whai Ngata.

The outgoing general manager of Maori Broadcasting at TVNZ is already working on his next project - updating an English - Maori dictionary.

The second edition will include words that weren't around when it was published in 1993, but are in common usage today.

Mr Ngata says many of them, like the word for computer, rorohiko or electric brain, draw on Maori concepts rather than transliterate from English.

Whai Ngata took over preparation of the H.M Ngata dictionary after the death of his father Hori Ngata in 1989.


The police Maori strategic advisor says a small number of families are responsible for the perception there is a lot of Maori crime.

Huri Dennis says all Maori end up bearing the brunt of misconceptions about Maori crime.

He says it's not as big a problem as it appears.

“There is a core group, potentially some families perhaps, who are committing repeat offences in areas and they are just blowing this whole thing, these statistics, and putting them in areas where they are, and our focus is around these groups, is around these potential families, and we’re getting as little bit sharper in terms of identifying who these people are and dealing with them,” Mr Dennis says.

Police are using partner agencies and Maori service providers to help the families help themselves to change.


A mysterious skull found in the Hokianga has sparked the curiosity of authorities and local hapu.

Police were initially worried about a bullet-shaped hole in the skull found near Opononi, but forensic examination established the koiwi was pre-European.

John Klaricich, a kaumatua of Ngati Korokoro, says it did not come from a known urupa or burial cave.

He says the hapu hopes the examination can determine the gender and age of the tupuna.

“When something like that exposes itself in a place where nothing like that has been found before, but still in proximity to the old pa sites and that, there’s always a curiosity. There’s always that cultural thing, to deal with it as sensitively as you can, but there’s also a point, it’s like someone arriving on your doorstep and saying hello to you, and you not asking who they are,” Mr Klaricich says.

Ngati Korokoro will try to locate the rest of the remains so they can be reintered with the skull.


The New Zealand Maori rugby team has notched up three wins in the Pacific Cup, and it will be out to keep up its 100 percent record against Japan in Napier this weekend.

Former All Black and Maori flanker Eric Rush says they were great performances against Fiji, Tonga and Samoa, given the unavailability of many top players when coach Donny Stephenson picks his squad.

He says many top Maori players are now plying their trade offshore.

“They've lost a lot of guys overseas, you know it’s the guys just under the All Blacks used to go but now it’s all the All Blacks and the guys in the next level so you can only bleed players for so long before the barrel starts to look bare so there’s probably a lack of depth there, that's for sure,” Mr Rush says.

He picks the Maori team to play off against Australia A to make the final of the six nation tournament.

Pumautanga to witness bill reading

Parliament's galleries will be packed this afternoon with members of Te Pumautanga o te Arawa.

They've come to Wellington to witness the first reading of a bill settling the historical claims of iwi and hapu from around Rotorua.

The original proposal signed in 2006 was changed to fit in with the wider central North Island forestry settlement, which Te Pumautanga is also now part of.

The revised deal is worth about $100 million, and includes the transfer of 19 sites of significance and a say in the management of Crown land.

Eru George, the chair of Te Pumautanga, says it's worth the wait.

“We've done quite well out of it and we didn’t know how we were going to approach the situation. We were given guarantees by the Crown that our settlement would not be harmed in any way, and so working through the negotiations to life our settlement higher has meant we will walk away with money in the hand and not a debt,” Mr George says,

Many in Te Pumautanga will stick around to take part in Wednesday's signing of the Treelord forestry deal.


Maori are some of the most trusted and least trusted New Zealanders.

The eighth annual Reader's Digest Most Trusted survey listed Victoria Cross winner Willie Apiata as our most trustworthy citizen.

But Maori dominate the bottom of the list.

Former cop Clint Rickard is the least trusted, Tuhoe artist Tame Iti is third from bottom and Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia only two places up.

Mr Iti says that's the price Maori pay for speaking out.

“I mean you ask many people who know me and Tariana, we’re not bad people, we just have a strong opinion which is different to the mainstream opinion, so I’m quite happy to be listed as number three,” he says.

Mr Iti leaves for London today for further performances of Lemi Ponifasio's The Tempest, after being forced to return from Europe during a break in production as a condition of his police bail.


A Ngati Wai artist says his papakainga was the inspiration for his latest work.

Carwyn Ngere is showing bone carvings, paintings and screen prints as part of a Matariki group show at Whangarei's Porcine Gallery.

He drew on memories of growing up in Whangaruru, on the coast northeast of the city.

The exhibition also includes a sound art piece about Ngere’s childhood in Whangaruru.


A former adversary believes Winston Peters may have the formula to reclaim Tauranga.

in current polling, the New Zealand First leader's political future depends on winning back the seat he lost last election.

John Tamihere says Mr Peters' strongest supporters tend to be men aged 55 and older who respond to his mix of nostalgia, Maori bashing and immigrant bashing.

But the former Labour Cabinet minister says they will need to overlook their champion's track record.

“He's got more positions than the Kama Sutra on things. I mean the longer that you stay there, you’re all over the shop. You’ve been supportive of one policy. Three years later you’re absolutely against it and can articulate a wonderful response. So hypocrisy’s probably too harsh a comment but people say if you’re slimy, smarmy, can lie well and are a hypocrite, you will be a good politician,” Mr Tamihere says.


Six down, 400 to go.

That's the sort of count Te Papa Tongarewa is looking at in its efforts to bring home the remains of Maori held in overseas museums.

Four koiwi tangata or bones and two toi moko or preserved heads held by Canadian museums were returned last week and placed in the museum's waahi tapu.

The repatriation manager, Te Herekiekie Herewini, says it took three years to negotiate their return.

He says similar talks are going on with institutions around the world.

“Based on our research of holdings of our tupuna in Europe and the United States and other countries we have about 453 of our tupuna overseas that we want to repatriate, probably over the next five to ten years,” Mr Herewini says,

The museum will try to identify where the repatriated koiwi originated, so they can be returned to their tribal areas for burial.


A very modern, very Maori take on The Tempest opens at the London International Festival of Theatre this week.

Tame Iti, who has the lead role of Prospero, says he wasn't familiar with the play when he was first approached by director Lemi Ponifasio.

His performance is entirely in te reo Maori, but he says body language can convey a lot of the story ... especially to a theatre savvy crowd.

“Tempest is the korero around that fella on the island, and he happens to be the magical fella, and so I am the Tempest and the little island is the rohe potae of Tuhoe in the Urewera, so it’s based around that story of civil rights so the korero is around that. I love it. I think there is a lot of potential in that kind of approach,” Iti says.

He leaves for London today after being forced to return from Europe during a break in production to meet conditions of his bail on charges relating to October terror raids.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Waikato Tainui signs off on vision

Waikato-Tainui is celebrating a milestone in protection of its awa.

The Guardians Establishment Committee, made up of iwi, Crown and local government representatives, has disbanded after presenting its vision and strategy for restoring the Waikato river.

Waikato-Tainui chairperson Tukoroirangi Morgan says the committee, which was set up in March, has come up with a strategy that all stakeholders can be a part of.

“The vision is for a future where a healthy river sustains abundant life and prosperous communities who in turn will be responsible for restoring the health and well being of the river for generations to come. Now that’s a pretty significant vision because it sets bottom lines and a core strategy that does with that that provides a roadmap for implementation,” Mr Morgan says.

A permanent guardians group will be set up once the Crown and Waikato Tainui finalise the deed of settlement for the river claim, which is expected before the end of the year.


It's the end of a ground-breaking partnership.

After 10 years of working together to provide government-funded programmes to Maori and Pacific families in West Auckland, the city's Pacific island Fono has indicated it wants to go it alone from Waipareira Pasifika.

John Tamihere, the chief executive of Te Whanau o Waipareira, says the break-up was probably inevitable, despite the similarities between the target groups.

“We must assert the fact that we have absolutely different rights from the Pacific Island community. They are part of the Crown. We are part of a treaty relationship that has different constitutional rights. We will start to assert those rights. So it’s regretted we’ve come from being collaborators or complementary to being competitors, but they’ve chosen to go down this path,” Mr Tamihere says.

Waipareira Pasifika runs Family Start, Parents As First Teachers and the West Auckland Youth Services contract.


A Ngai Tahu scientist is using music to raise the profile of New Zealand's most endangered species.

Gemma McGrath has put together a compilation CD, Music 4 Mauis, featuring songs by The Black Seeds, Ariana Tikao, Don McGlashan, Pitch Black and other bands.

It came out of a tour the Otago University masters student made of last summer's music festivals to raise awareness of the plight of Maui and Hector's dolphins.

“I think it's about getting into people’s hearts, stirring up the wairua a bit, because if you can do that and get the dolphins in there, then the conservation ethic and the kaitiaki just naturally looks after itself. Because these dolphins are kaitiaki,” Ms McGrath says.

Her concern was spurred by seeing a dramatic decline in the population of Hector's dolphins during seven years she lived in Kaikoura.


National's Maori Affairs spokesperson is promising to clamp down on spending if he is given control of Te Puni Kokiri after the election.

Tau Henare has attacked the Ministry of Maori development for spending $240,000 on staff conferences last year.

They included a three-day relationships and information national hui at the New Zealand International Campus at Trentham, which cost just over $500
a head for the 132 staff who attended.

Mr Henare says he ran a lot tighter ship when he was minister between 1996 and 1999.

“I'm all into professional development and making sure your workers have the skills for the job but if it’s just to have a yarn with each other, like team building, well maybe they can do that in lunchtime,” he says.

Mr Henare says Te Puni Kokiri has lost its focus, and needs to get back to developing policy and monitoring other government departments, rather than handing out money to sports groups.


Human remains held by Canadian museums have come home.

Four koiwi tangata or bones and two toi moko or preserved heads were placed in a waahi tapu at Te Papa Tongarewa last week.

Te Herekiekie Herewini, the national museum's repatriations manager, says the items from three separate institutions were taken from New Zealand between 100 and 200 years ago.

He says the next task is to establish who the koiwi tangata were.

“And if we can confirm their provenance we usually negotiate with the iwi that they most likely belong to around returning them back to the hau kainga. If we are unable to locate where they come from originally, we’re looking at establishing either a regional urupa or a national urupa for the tupuna,” Mr Herewini says.

Another toi moko is likely to be returned later this year from Montreal, along with koiwi from the United States.


A veteran actor says Maori actors and writers need to look beyond the established theatre as an outlet for their work.

Rawiri Paratene will be taking part in Matariki Playwrights, a forum in Auckland next weekend to discuss the current state of Maori drama in the city.

He says over the years he has seen few Maori in theatre audiences, even for Maori productions.

That's a wero or challenge for the talented young Maori playwrights coming through.

“Maybe they shouldn't bother with Downstage, which is dying anyway. They shouldn’t bother with Auckland Theatre Company, which has kind of niched itself for a different market that doesn’t include us. Maybe they should take their plays to where the Maori audience is, and the Maori audience goes to kapa haka. Maybe they should set up a festival circuit there. There’s their audience, thousands and thousands and thousands of them,” Mr Paratene says.

Crown not the ref - Cullen

The Minister of Treaty Negotiations says he won't act as a video referee between tribes.

Michael Cullen will this week sign agreements settling a range of historical claims for several central North Island iwi, using half a billion dollars of Crown forestry assets.

The deal has come together since December after several years of failed attempts.

Dr Cullen says the Government has learned to step back and try and facilitate agreement, rather than pick between overlapping claimants.

“I don’t think the Crown’s very good, and certainly as minister I’m not very good, at acting as some kind of historical video referee where people go upstairs to the video referee to say ‘did it get over the line or didn’t it?’ when there are arguments between individual iwi-hapu around particular issues,” Dr Cullen says.

This week's settlements will address the commercial aspects of the claims, and other aspects such as cultural redress and the historical account for individual iwi will be sorted out later.


Meanwhile, the MP behind a bill to stop Maori Land Court judges serving on the Waitangi Tribunal isn't giving up.

Pita Paraone's Treaty of Waitangi (Removal of Conflict of Interest) Amendment Bill was voted down last week after its report back from select committee.

The New Zealand First MP argues the actions of the Maori Land Court or its predecessor could be the subject of claims, so it makes no sense for the two organisations to share members.

“We still cannot see any reason why the chief judge of the Maori Land Court should also be the chairman of the Waitangi Tribunal and we believe that the chairman of the Waitangi Tribunal should be held by a retired High Court Judge or a retired Maori Land Court Judge,” Mr Paraone says.

New Zealand First still hasn't decided whether support for a similar bill will again be included in post-election coalition discussions.


The new head of Television New Zealand's Maori programmes is promising no surprises in his first few months.

Paora Maxwell, the head of independent production house Te Aratai Productions, is stepping into the role left vacant by the retirement of Whai Ngata.

He'd like to expand the division's output, but says radical changes are unlikely in the short term.

“My job is to go in and look at the big picture, understand the work that television New Zealand is doing, to understand the Maori programming department and the programmes that they produce, and also just to reassure all stakeholders that we have new leadership but pretty much we’re going to be producing the best programmes that we can,” Mr Maxwell says.

He will be looking for new opportunities for the Maori programmes department.


A Maori lawyer says debate climate change needs to be brought down the marae and whanau level.

Tama Potaka from Whanganui and Taranaki made a submission on the Emmissions Trading Bill on behalf of his daughter, Ta Araia, when she was just six days old,

Parliament's finance and expenditure select committee has reported back the bill with more than a thousand mainly technical amendments.

Mr Potaka says there is a lot of room for change to environmental practices in communities, marae and homes.

“Discussion on the climate change bill is one way to catalyse and facilitate better awareness about our engagement and our interaction with papatuanuku, tawhirimatea, tangaroa other atua and te tai ao, te tai turoa,” Mr Potaka says.

Despite the changes to the bill, the Government has still not won clear support from the Greens, New Zealand First, or the Maori Party.


A Maori Party MP has launched a personal attack on Labour's Maori MPs for upholding their party's confidence and supply agreement with New Zealand First.

Labour last week voted down a bill which would have stopped Maori Land Court judges sitting on the Waitangi Tribunal, after allowing it to go to a select committee.

That's not good enough for Hone Harawira, who says it should never have got that far.

“I would naturally expect that Maori would take one look at this piece of legislation and chuck it in the rubbish, bit no, no, no, not the Labour Maori MPs. They voted to support getting rid of Maori judges from the Waitangi Tribunal and the Maori Land Court,” Mr Harawira says.


The MP for Waiariki says getting young people involved in cultural activities would be a more effective way to stop tagging than the bill passed last week.

The Maori Party and the Greens were the only ones to vote against the Summary Offences (Tagging and Graffiti Vandalism) Amendment Bill.

Te Ururoa Flavel says it's a knee-jerk response to a serious problem that affects many Maori communities.

He says last week's secondary school kapa haka competitions pointed to a different path.

“People talk about tagging and crime and generally try to link some of our people with that stuff. But I notice that many of the programmes that are all about rehabilitation are actually about bringing people back to home base or refocusing people about being Maori again, and kapa haka of course is one of those avenues,” Mr Flavell says.

Kapa haka can teach discipline, teamwork, time management and dedication.