Waatea News Update

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

My Photo
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, July 18, 2008

Whangamata occupiers strike camp for now

The group occupying the site of a proposed marina in Whangamata have packed up their tents and gone home.

Hauraki Maori, local surfers and other community members were calling for the Minister for the Environment, Trevor Mallard, to take another look at the project's consents.

Pauline Clarkin from Hauraki says the existing resource consent failed to take into account the negative impacts on Maori, the community and a population of the scarce moko skink.

She says the 18 day occupation was a success, with the issue being taken up by Tainui MP Nanaia Mahuta.

"Nanaia's given her word that she's given all our information to her colleagues and they just need time to make their decisions so in an act of good faith we've taken that on board and are moving off site this afternoon," Ms Clarkin says.

The developers have promised not to start work until August the first..

The Waitangi Tribunal is holding hui round the country to remind claimants of the September the first deadline for lodging historic treaty claims.

Tribunal member Craig Coxhead says additional claims often emerge when the tribunal holds hearings, so the hui are in areas where there have been no sittings yet.

He says while the deadline means Maori can no longer lodge claims over alleged treaty breaches which happened before September 21, 1992, they can still claim about contemporary issues.

"There could be legislation that comes up which people object to and people may claim is in breach of the principles of the Treaty Of Waitangi and they could lay a claim for that, as what was done with the Foreshore and Seabed Act when that was put through," Judge Coxhead says.

The tribunal will be in Otaki on Wednesday, Taihape on Thursday and the Auckland Airport Centra on Friday.


A Bay of Plenty grandmother says a dose of rural living is often what is needed to get troubled kids on the right track.

Sue Church often has tamariki referred by CYPS to stay at Rerewhakaitu with her whanau, who are renowned as champion cowboys on the New Zealand rodeo circuit.

She says working with stock and animals can have a positive effect on city kids.


The leader of a protest against the planned Whangamata marina says the occupation has raised doubts about the resource consents issued for the project.

The occupiers broke camp today after Tainui MP Nanaia Mahuta took their concerns to the Minister for the Environment, Trevor Mallard, and Conservation, Steve Chadwick.

Pauline Clarkin says the group, made up of Hauraki iwi, surfers and environmentalists had made the case for an independent audit of the consents issued by the Thames Coromandel District Council.

"When we came on site 18 days ago we came with a goal to actively encourage the minister to undertake an audit around the whole Whangamata marina process, and we came with a goal to shed some light on the mistruths that have been expressed by the marina society," Ms Clarkin says.

The iwi expects a response from the ministers before the marinia society is due to start construction in August.

Tainui's commercial arm is beefing up staff to keep pace with growth and to contribute more to other parts of the tribe.

Tainui Group Holdings yesterday reported a $52 million profit and unveiled an ambitious development programme including completion of The Base retail centre at Te Rapa, a residential subdivision in Huntly and a five star resort and golf club on a former Landcorp farm near Lake Taupo.

Koro Wetere, a TGH director, says it's launching a programme to train two graduates of Waikato-Tainui descent on the job, and it's looking for other expertise.

"We've forecast in the strategic plan out to the year 2012 and beyond that it will require more staff, more expertise in the areas of investment. We've set up an investment committee to have regard to that and to get more efficiency in the administration itself," Mr Wetere says.

The company has a shared services model, with administration staff also helping its shareholding trust and the Te Ara Taura tribal executive.

Lisa Tamati's roasting run through Death Valley has made her the toast of Taranaki.

The New Plymouth native became the first Maori to complete the 217km Badwater Ultramarathon, crossing the finish line on Wednesday in 24th place.

Howie Tamati, the head of the Taranaki Sports Trust, says his cousin's idea of a training run is a quick sprint around Mount Taranaki.

He says her efforts are an inspiration to the whole community.

"I think everyone stands back in admiration that someone walks the talk, went out there and did it. She has done so much work to get there. I watched her training regime, and have nothing but admiration for Lisa," Mr Tamati says.

Tainui looks to share wealth

Tainui is looking at starting an iwi savings scheme as its commercial arm continues to return solid results.

Tainui Group Holdings yesterday reported a $54 million dollar profit in the year to March 31.

While that was 20 percent down on last year, rent reviews meant cash earnings were up, and assets now stand at almost half a billion dollars.

Mike Pohio, the chief executive, says a dividend of 10,5 million dollars was paid to Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust for tertiary scholarships, kaumatua grants for things like hearing aids and glasses, and capital works grants for marae.

He says the tribe is looking improving the wealth of its members, but its savings scheme will differ from Ngai Tahu's Whai Rawa plan.

"Ngai Tahu is more dedicated as a savings scheme. What we are trying to recognise the opportunity within the Kiwisaver scheme framework , so it's ore of a superannuation scheme rather than straight savings," Mr Pohio says.

Tainui's strong balance sheet means it's in a good position to take advantage of investment opportunties thrown up by the tough economic conditions.

A researcher on food security says it's unacceptable more than a third of Maori families run out of food.

Delvina Gorton, from the Auckland University's clinical trials research unit, says food shortages are caused by low income, larger household sizes, loss of land and pollution of kaimoana collecting spots.

The next step will be to look at solutions by running community workshops, with recommendations prepared for the Ministry of Heath and Health Research Council.

The research was a collaboration between Gorton's unit, Canterbury university, Wellington school of Medicine and Te Hotu Manawa Maori.

More than 100 Maori and Pasifika artists, including a 40-strong kapa haka group, are getting a chance to launch their international careers.

They're leaving today for America Samoa and the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts.

Muriwai Ihakara, Creative New Zealand's manager of Maori art at Creative New Zealand, says it's a great chance to build networks with other Pacific artists and cultures.

As well as visual artists, carver, weavers and ceramacists, the Aotearoa effort in Pagopago will include performances from Te Matatini winners Whangara Mai Tawhiti, Dam Native, Pacific Underground and King Kapisi.

The Waitangi Tribunal is going on the road to make people aware of the September deadline for lodging historic claims.
Member Craig Coxhead says the deadline applies to breached of the treaty which occurred before 1992.

He says the tribunal's experience is that when it goes into an area, other claimants will come forward with their stories.
Judge Coxhead says there's no pressure to lodge claims, and direct negotiation is always an option.

"They don't need to come through the tribunal route and a number of iwi choose not to. We want to make sure that for those inquiry areas we haven't had inquiries in, that the groups, if they do choose to go to the tribunal, then they are ready and the first step in getting ready is ensuring they have lodged a tribunal claim," Judge Coxhead says.

The tribunal will be in Opotiki today, and holds hui in Otaki, Taihape and Auckland next week.

New Zealand's Olympic campaign is taking on a Maori flavour.

The team in Beijing will have its own kaumatua - Amster Reedy from Ngati Porou, who played a similar role in the last Olympics.

The waharoa used at Athens will again mark the entrance to the kiwi village, and Ngai Tahu has supplied a mauri stone and pounamu pendants for all team members.

The chef de mission, Dave Currie, says Athens proved that Maori culture could be a unifying force for all members of the team, whatever their whakapapa.

"Wherever team members come from, whether they were born here or Australia, Germany, China, the sense of wanting to identify with things that are uniquely New Zealand and that are important and empowering to us, has been amazing," Mr Currie says.

The flag bearer at the opening ceremony will again wear a korowai presented by the late Dame Te Atairangikaahu.

Organisers of an exhibition of Maori contemporary art in Chicago have drawn on a traditional institution to set the kaupapa on the right track.

Close Encounters at the Hyde Park Art Center next year will feature Daniel du Bern, Maddie Leach, Lisa Reihana and Wayne Youle, working alongside four American Artists.

Co-curator Bruce Phillips says the Field Museum in Chicago is home to the whare Ruatepupuke II from Tokomaru Bay, so he and Hyde Park director Chuck Thurow used it to bring the artists together for the hui in May.

"Chuck and I saw a great opportunity to approach both the whanau and the museum to hold a hui there to open our project. We were interested in an art project that started off with a discussion and dialogue between artists and communities rather than just putting up some pretty paintings on the walls," Mr Phillips says.

As well as the hui, the curators took the artists on a field trip of the communities around the gallery to open them up to new ideas.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tainui profits drop but assets grow

Tainui Group Holdings released its results today, showing its profits for the year to March 31 dropped 20 percent to 52 million dollars, even as its assets grew 27 percent.

Tainui Group Holdings' main business is property, in line with its raupatu settlement that as land was taken, land should be returned.

It saw the property slump coming and mothballed two townhouse developments in Hamilton until the market improves.

But it's not only pushing ahead with the Base retail development of the city's northern fringe, it started the year by buying out its joint venture partner, The Warehouse.

That allowed it to bring the full $100 million value of the complex onto its books.

Add that to a $37 million investment in Ryman Healthcare an $23 million in property revaluations and the $14 million stake in Aotearoa Fisheries which came over as part of Tainui's share of the fisheries settlement and total assets grew 27 percent over the year to $496 million.

For the third year in a row, TGH paid a dividend of over $10 million to its shareholder, Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust.

The chief executive, Mike Pohio, says with property revaluations set to slow, what will count in the next couple of years that it can get for its existing investments.


National's leader says Maori will benefit from policies his party is developing to address the growing underclass.
John Key says the party is still finalising its Maori policy.
It wants to deliver better outcomes in areas like health and education, where Maori are often in a lowe socio-economic group which gets a rough deal.

"And you're going to see a couple of announcements from me soon which aren't specific for Maori but go back to tackle that issue of the underclass and I think we've got to accept there are in that group there are a significant number of our Pacific Islanders and Pakeha and a whole lot of other ethnicities, but a reasonable number of Maori in that group, and they're quite exciting things that I think can make a difference, positive, and i think they can be a changing dynamic over time," Mr Key says.

National is still considering whether to include work for the dole in its policies.

Whanau on the East Coast are mourning the death of Heni Materoa Sunderland.

The Turanga kuia died earlier this week in Manutuke at the age of 91 and was laid to rest after a service at Whakatoa Marae today.

Parekura Horomia, the MP for Ikaroa Rawhiti, says Mrs Sunderland was an important part of most of the Maori groups on the East Coast, including the Maori Congress, the Maori Council, the Wardens and the Maori Women's Welfare League.

She was a major contributor to Maori affairs policy in the 1970s and 80s, as well as upholding the culture through her work restoring marae such as Rongopai in Gisborne.


Tainui's commercial arm is battening down the hatches for tough economic times.

Tainui Group Holdings today announced profits had dropped 20 percent to $52.4 million for the year to March 31, but total assets, including fisheries, grew by $118 million to $496 million.

The chief executive, Mike Pohio, says once the company completes its development of The Base retail development at Te Rapa, assets will total well over $600 million.

He says revaluations contributed less than last year, but the five year rent reviews on most of its major properties meant more cash was coming in.

"Those property revaluations are beneficial but we know that they won't continue. We've had the benefit of those over the last three years, and that's been fantastic in terms of providing us with leveraging capacity.

We've borrowed $80 million. We're now looking to borrow another $120 million. So largely those property revaluations have put us in that position," Mr Pohio says.

Tainui Group holdings has paid its shareholder, the Waikato Raupatu Lands trust, a 10,5 million dollar dividend which will be used for marae, education and kaumatua grants.

An health researcher has found more than a third of Maori families run out of food because of a lack of money.

Delvina Gorton, from the Auckland University's clinical trials research unit, is collaborating with the University of Canterbury, Wellington school of medicine and Te Hotu Manawa Maori on a project looking at food security.

She says about 20 percent of New Zealand household with children says they don't have enough money to eat properly.

For Maori, income is only part of the issue.

"Things like having to give koha to tangi, family, to whanau, larger household sizes which created additional costs. There are also issue around access to land, loss of land and therefore the loss of use of the land as an economic base or to grow food and there are also issues around abuse of fisheries, pollution, so there is not access to kaimoana for Maori to access food that way" Ms Gorton says.

Maori can foster food security through strong whanau networks and community support.

About 130 Maori and New Zealand Pasifika artists are packing their bags for the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts, which starts in Pago Pago this weekend.

Muriwai Ihakara, the manager of Maori arts at Creative New Zealand, says the delegation will represent both Maori customary and contemporary art.

He says the festival involving 28 Pacific nations offers a chance to build whanaungatanga and encourage people to retain their cultural traditions.

Health service for rural marae

Rural marae in south Auckland and north Waikato will benefit from a new health service.

It's a partnership between Huakina Development Trust and general practice group ProCare Network Manukau.

Kate Moodabe, ProCare's executive officer, says whanau will be transported to the 14 marae covered by Huakina to three hub marae, where clinics will be run by GPs and primary health workers.

She says a lot of research has gone into the needs of the 6000 Maori in the rohe.

"We've had 400 needs analysis come back of what the marae populations see as important to them and it's come back as needing help with drug and alcohol addiction and violence, much better diabetes management and care, cardiovascular screening and quitting smoking help," Ms Moodabe says.

The area Huakina covers is considered very high need.

The way school governance affects Maori will be high on the agenda today for the Maori arm of the School Trustees Association.

Te Koru Puawai O Aotearoa is holding its national hui at Te Rehua Marae in Otautahi before the association's three-day conference.

Spokesperson Roberta Karangaroa says the aim is to improve outcomes for Maori students.

The Christchurch hui will also look at the new Maori curricula developed for mainstream schools and kura kaupapa.

The matriach of a famous Maori rodeo whanau says Auckland City Council is a horse's posterior.

The council has passed a bylaw banning rodeos on its land, in response to submissions from the group Save Animals From Exploitation.

Sue Church from Rerewhakaitu, who along with husband Merv has raised generations of champion cowboys, says it's a whanau sport.

She says the animals are well cared for, and a vet is on hand at each event.

"Racehorses are treated worse than our horses. They only buck for eight seconds, and that's it for the year. They don't know what they're talking about. They need to go to a rodeo and see," Mrs Church says.

The national rodeo season starts in October, with most rodeos run on private land.

The guitarist for a band of blind musicians who have entertained New Zealand for more than 50 years has died.

Ray Lemon from the Radars died on Monday and is being taken this morning to his marae at Awaru, just out of Kaikohe.

Allan Witana, a longtime musical colleague, met Mr Lemon as a teenager at the Blind Institute in Parnell in 1957.

His friend broke ground with his guitar, playing sounds which players not try to emulate with effects boxes.

E te tohunga puoro, tohunga waiata, moe mai ra.


The Maori Party's Te Tai Tonga candidate will be relying on whanau and friends to get her campaign message out to the huge electorate.
Rahui Katene was selected by party members over the weekend to replace the late Monte Ohia, who died last month.

The Wellington lawyer and treaty consultant says with her links to Ngati Koata, Ngati Kuia, Ngati Toa and Kai Tahu she has family links throughout the South Island and lower North Island she will be calling on.

She hopes the same support which won her the chance to take on Labour's Mahara Okeroa will be there for big job.

"Two weeks the nominations were open and the first week I had pneumonia so I couldn't do anything so I only had one week to get the thing up and running and so I had to really depend on all the supporters to do it themselves," Ms Katene says.

Her campaign will be helped by the groundwork laid by Monte Ohia, and lingering resentment over Labour's record on issues like the foreshore and seabed.

Support from kaumatua is keeping the spirits high of the group occupying the site of a planned marina at Whangamata.

Members of Hauraki iwi and other residents say the ministers of Conservation and Environment should take another look at the project, because variations in its resource consents have greatly changed its scope.

Pauline Clarkin, the protest organiser, says marina supporters have hurled and in one case threw a punch at an occupier.

She says the occupiers have maintained a peaceful stance over the past fortnight, which has been reinforced by elders from Hauraki and

"We've had our kaumatua come thorough, but we're sort of encouraging them to just come during the day, the warmer days. It really isn't the kind of weather for our kaumatua to be sitting out here. We've had a number call in from around the country, so that always adds to the morale of the stand we're taking," Ms Clarkin says.

The protesters are still waiting for a response from ministers.

Recreational fishers in Poverty Bay have been accused of gamesmanship in their attempts to get preferred access to crayfish near Gisborne.

The recreational representatives have walked out of a forum designed to bring Maori,  commercial and amateur groups together to manage the fishery in the region.

They included the Maori representatives of putting their commercial interests first.

Stan Pardoe from Rongowhakaata says Maori aren't opposed to the principle of reserving some areas for recreational and customary use, but it will take some time for commercial fishers to change their harvest plans.

"They wanted it to happen this year. They've got a big meeting in Gisborne this coming weekend and they want a big announcement in Gisborne here that they've got a closed area here during the summer months for recreation only and that couldn't be delivered, and they decided to spit the dummy, go public," Mr Pardoe says.

He says the walk-out has backfired on the recreational lobbyists, with the public mood going against them.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rahui Katene Maori Party pick

The campaign started today for the Maori Party's Te Tai Tonga candidate.

Rahui Katene was picked from a field of three to replace the late Monte Ohia, who died suddenly last month.

The Wellington lawyer and treaty consultant is taking on Labour's Mahara Okeroa, the Minister of State and associate minister of conservation, arts and heritage and social development and employment.

Ms Katene says her opponent has a higher profile after almost nine years in Parliament.

"That's not to say he has an advantage because of that higher profile because people are still dissatisfied with the way the Labour Party has treated them. Don't forget that it was Te Tau Ihu that started the Maori Land Court case on the foreshore and seabed and who took it through the whole way, People there are very aware of how they've been short-shafted," she says.

Ms Katene is the daughter of Ngati Koata leader John Hippolite and also has links to Ngati Toa, Ngati Kuia and Kai Tahu.

Pukekohe-based Huakina Development Trust will this evening sign a memorandum of understanding with a general practice group aimed at improving health services to Maori in Franklin.

Kate Moodabe from ProCare Network Manukau says the two organisations have worked together on marae-based health promotion.

That will expand to providing primary care at three hub marae, giving people access to many services for the first time.

She says it will give ProCare a much better indication of the health status of the marae population and put in interventions which can extend life expectancy.

The service will include a GP, practice nurse, podiatrist, psychologist, smoke cessation councillor, self management facilitator and a community health coordinator.

Communities around Hokianga are mourning Joe Topia, who died yesterday from cancer.

The kaumatua was a founding member of the Hokianga Health Enterprise Trust and chaired Health Care Aotearoa Kaunihera Maori.

He also chaired Panguru Area School and was a member of Te Taitokerau Catholic Regional Pastoral Council, the Pompallier Hokianga Trust and the Panguru parish council.

A lifelong friend, Bob Newson, says he was one of the better speakers of te reo Maori in the north.

"A guy that had a lot of humour in his korero but also vocabulary from the old people, these Maori words. Joe was also part of the group working on a Ngapuhi dictionary, so he has retained a lot of knowledge from the old people. We certainly mourn the loss of a very great rangatira," Mr Newson says.

Joe Topia is lying in state at Waipuna Marae in Pangaru.

It's a meaty topic, but it's not about mana.

That's the conclusion Auckland historian Paul Moon has come to in his study of Maori cannibalism.

He says claims in some academic quarters the practice never existed aren't backed up by a review of the archaeological evidence, the eyewitness accounts of European explorers, whalers and missionaries, and by tribal histories.

But the interpretation that emerged in the second half of the 19th century, that people were consumed for their mana, doesn't pass muster.

"If you look at a lot of the oral history of most hapu and iwi, you donlt find a lot of people who are remembered because they ate lots of other people. In other words, you didn't earn your mana through eating lots of people. You earnt it though being able to look after yourself, handle yourself in battle, be a good leader or whatever. that's what people looked up to. People didn't look up to you because you ate 26 people," Dr Moon says.

This Horrid Practice will be published next month.


A Maori Party MP says the Immigration Service needs to involve Maori more in the way its policies are implemented.

Hone Harawira says the party wants Maori to have a say in who settles here.

He says the Immigration Service has a comprehensive section on the Treaty of Waitangi on its website, but the message gets lost in the real world.
"Stuff up there is very good stuff. It is not being enacted in terms of being translated to those people who are coming in. The relation between the theory of the treaty and the practice of the treaty in reality,. So we wanted a role in both places, in policy making and in policy delivery," Mr Harawira says.

One of New Zealand's leading architects wants to see more Maori influence on the way buildings are designed in this country.

Ivan Mercep has just received the the New Zealand Institute of Architects' gold award for more than a half century of contributions to the profession.

The 78-year old says Maori can offer a unique cultural perspective which challenge familiar practices of construction and design.

"The more Maori that get involved in that, the more impact they can probably have on the direction of New Zealand architecture and particularly how it might relate to both cultures. There are some benefits there in terms of openness of planning and relationship to topography, something that sits naturally in the landscape. Those are the sort of things that are important for New Zealand and reflects our climate and the land we live in in a sense," Mr Mercep says.

His long career includes designs for several marae, including Whaiora, Hoani Waititi and Waipapa in Auckland.

Settlement allows Atihau to invest in future

Settlement allows Atihau to invest in future
The Atihau-Whanganui Incorporation has big investment plans after winning $23.5 million in compensation from the government.

The settlement, which was negotiated on the incorporation's behalf by former prime minister Jim Bolger, relates to law changes early last century which changed leases to make them heavily in favour of Pakeha lessees.

Chairperson Dana Blackburn says since the 101 thousand acres between Ruapehu and the Whanganui River came back to the owners in 1970, the Incorporation has pursued a policy of buying back leases when they come up for renewal.

"Through prudent management we've been able to buy back about 80,000 of the original 101,000 (acres). It's ben a huge cost to us. This settlement will be offset against debt, which relieves a lot of that burden, but it also releases us to be able to move forward and develop the properties and lift their production levels to the same as everybody else," Mr Blackburn says.

As well as fertiliser and better breeding stock for its sheep and beef blocks, Atihau-Whanganui is considering investing in windfarms and other non-farming activities.

A Waikato University demographer says Maori don't need to feel overwhelmed by immigration.

Richard Bedford and colleague Elsie Ho from the university's Population Studies Centre have just completed a study of changing Asian populations in New Zealand, based on the 2006 census.

He says the term Asian covers at least 27 nationalities and multiple ethnicities and language groups.

Professor Bedford says people also need to distinguish between recent migrants and populations that have been in Aotearoa for several generations.

"We have to be much more nuanced and much more understanding of that diversity if we are to avoid perpetuating stereotypes and constantly creating nervousness and concerns which might be quite unwarranted in the population," Professor Bedford says.

He says it's understandable that some Maori are concerned about the volume of immigration, because of the swamping experienced by their 19th century ancestors.

Two of Maoridom's top dancers have brought together two of the country's top choreographers.

Taiaroa Royal and Taane Mete of the Okareka Dance Company are developing a 70-minute show which will include sections by Douglas Wright and Michael Parmenter.

Mr Mete, from Ngati Kahungunu, says they're filming a piece called Pito this weekend to serve as the opening sequence.

He says the end of Tama Ma will remember another artistic icon, the late Mahinaarangi Tocker, who named the last act Whanaungatanga.

Taane Mete says Tama Ma will debut at the Tempo Festival in Auckland in October.


Ngapuhi is putting its weight behing a case which aims to preserve kahawai for Maori and recreational fishers.

It has joined recreational fishing groups in an appeal against the way quota for the species is set.

They want the Supreme Court to uphold a High Court judgment which gave more weight to the needs of Maori and recreational anglers.

Commercial fishers successfully overturned that decision in the Court of Appeal.

Sonny Tau, the chair of the Ngapuhi Runanga, says the fishery is being abused by the commercial sector.

"Kahawai that is exported, mainly to Australia, is used mainly for crayfish bait, catfood and dogfood. So that is the obnoxity - kahawai for Maori is one of their staple diets," Mr Tau says.

Lincoln University scientists are looking into whether toxins in native plants can provide a safe way to control animal pests.

Shaun Oglivie, from Te Arawa and Ngati Awa, says the idea came to the university's wildlife management team when they were discussion 1080 poison drops with iwi groups.

The project has won funding from Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, the Maori centre of research excellence.

Dr Oglivie says while possums are an introduced species, Maori knowledge of toxins could provide clues to their control.

"Plants that are in the bush that are known to be toxic, we are looking at what the active compounds are and whether any of those might be useful for control of things like possums and rats and mice and things like that too," Dr Oglivie says.

Lincoln will work with two Tuhoe groups in the Urewera ranges.

A new web portal aims to make Maori doctoral students feel less isolated.

The site will be launched in Palmerston North today at a symposium of 70 Maori PhD candidates.

Te Kani Kingi, the director of Massey University's Academy for Maori Research and Scholarship, Te Mata o Te Tau, says similar technology is proving useful in developing the Maori mental health workforce.

He says it has three elements: a cyber community; a web portal containing resources for Maori doctoral students; and an audiovisual system which allows institutions to provide online support for students.

The portal was designed by doctoral student Audrey MacDonald and will be coordinated by Massey researcher Dr Rangi Mataamua.

An award for one of Maoridom's top tourist attractions.

The Property Council has judged the redevelopment of Te Puia ... the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and the Whakarewarewa Thermal reserve ... as top in its tourism and leisure property category.

The council's chief executive, Connal Townsend, says the architectural refit of the Rotorua attraction kept faith with the original Maori design elements.

"More than that, it really lifts quite an older, well established tourism project and gives life and soul back into that part of Rotorua. I think it's just great," Mr Townsend says.

The Rotorua attraction has hosted tourists for more than 135 years.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ngapuhi joins fish fight

Ngapuhi has joined a Supreme Court appeal by recreational fishing groups on kahawai quota.

The Court of Appeal knocked back a High Court decision which would have given more weight to the needs of recreational and Maori anglers before the total allowable commercial catch was set.

Sonny Tau, Ngapuhi's chairperson, says the law as it now stands makes no distinction between the rights of commercial, customary and recreational fishers to the inshore species.

"The quota is a creature of statute and statute in no way supercedes our tikanga or our basic right to feed our whanau. The tikanga must come first, our right to fish and feed our babies and feed our mokopuna and our right to manaaki our manuhiri," Mr Tau says.

He says while Ngapuhi has kahawai quota, it puts sustainability before commerical exploitation.

The author of a new book on Maori-Pakeha identity says people shouldn't rush to judgment because of the way Maori may look or talk.

Melinda Webber from Auckland University's education faculty says people with dual heritage often feel forced to justify their ethnicity.

For her book Walking the Space Between, Ms Webber interviewed semi-professional and professional people about their identity, and about how they were treated during their tertiary study.

"Often te ao Maori and te ao Pakeha were polarise, like they're on completely different ends of the spectrum, which I think misrepresents the reality of our lived experiences. They're not on opposite ends of the spectrum for everybody. So i just wanted to talk about some of the things from that experience that shaped their response to 'who are you?'" Ms Webber says.

None of her respondents felt able to say what their Pakeha side brought to their identity.


The links between the Kingitanga and the Order of St John have been strengthened.

King Tuheitia was admitted to the order at Turangawaewae Marae on Saturday, following in the footsteps of the late Maori Queen, who was invested in 1996.

A spokesperson, Rahui Papa, says the kaupapa of the Order is much broader than its ambulance and paramedic service.

"It's to relieve poverty, it's to aid the bereaved, much like the original essence of the poukai, the tribal gathering within the Kingitanga," Mr Papa says.

The king was one of 38 people invested or promoted at the ceremony, which was presided over by the Governor-General, Anand Satyanand.


An Incorporation which farms 41,000 hectares between Ruapehu and the Whanganui River has settled its century-old land claim.

The Government paid $23.5 million to the Atihau-Whanganui Incorporation in compensation for past policies which denied owners use of their land for most of the last century.

Dana Blackburn, the incorporation's chairperson, says over the past three decades it has racked up millions of dollars in debt buying back leases.

He says the problem stemmed from changes made by the Crown soon after the land was put under the Aotea Maori Land Council for development in 1902.

"They were getting pressurised by the lessees to change the terms of the leases so they introduced legislations which, putting it in a nutshell, moved the goalposts. When the incorporation was formed in 1970, through an order in the Maori Land Court, it inherited the same conditions. This has placed quite a burden on the original owners achieving their wish to farm their own land," Mr Blackburn says.

The settlement means Atihau-Whanganui can invest in improving the quality of its land and stock, rather than seeing profits eaten up in interest payments.

The Maori Party's Ikaroa Rawhiti candidate wants the electorate to step out from under the shadow of its longest serving MP.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the death in 1950 of Apirana Ngata, who held the Eastern Maori seat from 1905 to 1943.

He used his position to advance Maori economic and social development, as well as spearhead a revival in traditional culture.

Derek Fox says it's a huge legacy, but people need to look at the challenges of the 21st century.

"It's almost getting to be an unhealthy influence now in that people continue to invoke his memory, not as much as they used to in days gone by, but I always felt he needed to rest now and maybe it was time for other people to step forward but he was a huge influence," Mr Fox says.

Be prepared to brush up on your reo next time you take an Air New Zealand flight.

The airline has signed up a the main sponsor for Maori Language Week.

Erima Henare, the Maori language commissioner, says it's a major investment in time, effort and money, which will include travellers being given brochures and packs of simple phrases.

He's already noticed the difference on a recent flight to Auckland.

"The Pakeha air hostess in very measured and god Maori said 'naumai, haere mai ki Tamaki Makaurau and went on to give a brief description of what was available at the airport and then turned into English. Ten years ago I think you would have heard people grumble about the fact that this was a major difference in the way they were receiving their services but there was none of that, and to the listener it appeared that most people were happy with the fact that there were now two languages being used," Mr Henare says.

The Maori Language Commission will have a long term relationship with Air New Zealand training staff in te reo Maori.

Drunk off your face in A&E

A new report on facial injuries is being seen as a reminder of the harm alcohol abuse is causing.

Tuari Potiki, the strategic operations manager for the Alcohol Advisory Council says analysis by two Christchurch surgeons indicates alcohol was a factor in half of the facial injuries treated in the city over the past decade.

Most of those affected were men aged between 15 and 30.

Mr Potiki says hospital accident and emergency departments see the results of the country's binge drinking culture.

“Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, upwards of 80 percent of all of the people they see are affected by alcohol. Within that group, Maori are hugely over-represented, injusties often from fighting, car crashes, falls, the whole range of alcohokl-related harms that people experience,” Mr Potiki says.

He says A and E departments may get hoha and stick drunks at the back of the queue.


Yesterday was the 58th anniversary of the death of Apirana Ngata, and one those going for his old seat says the Ngati Porou politician still has a strong influence on East Coast people.

Derek Fox from the Maori Party says growing up on the coast, he couldn't help but be influenced by what Ngata achieved.

His work in land development and the revival of Maori culture shaped not just Ngati Porou but other tribes.

“He's one of those iconc figures, and iu think he’s one of those guys that it wouldn’t mnetter where he grew up, or where he was born, he just had something about him that was always going to be great,” Mr Fox says.

His father was one of the ringawera at Apirana Ngata's tangi in Ruatoria in 1950, and used to talk about so many people needing to be fed that bulldozers were used to cover the hangi pits.


Some extraordinary links with Tuhoe history have gone on display at Whakatane Museum.

Hihita and Hoani features items collected early last century to two Presbyterian missionaries, Annie Henry and John Laughton.

Carl Chittam, the curator, says the pair earned the trust of Tuhoe people though their work in Te Urewera, and many valuable taonga were entrusted to them.

They included ancient items, such as a belt believed to have come on the Mataatua waka, and a more recent item of clothing known as Toko's cloak.

“Toko was Rua Kenana's son, and he was shot in a police raid on Maungapohatu in 1916, so we’ve got that cloak which belonged to Reverend Laughton and we’ve also got a cloak that is thought to have belonged to Te Kooti as well,” Mr Chittam says.

He says a cooking pot in the show is believed to have come from Captain Cook's ship the Endeavour.

The Maori Language Commission has signed up Air New Zealand as its major partner and sponsor for next week's Maori language week.
Erima Henare, the commissioner, says airline staff are already extending the range of Maori greetings and explanations they give.
He says it fits in with Te Taura Whiri's aim to that te reo is not just spoken by Maori.

“So I think the great thing with Air New Zealand and the large number of people It carries will help the process of normalizing the language by allowing people to hear it, by allowing an English translation to follow with it, and therefore bring greater enlightenment to those who listen to it, and hopefully to encourage those who listen to it to use it,” Mr Henare says.

Air New Zealand is making a significant contribution in money, time and mana.


A new book on people with both Maori and Pakeha heritage concludes that identity can be a treacherous thing.

Melinda Webber, of Te Arawa, Ngapuhi and Pakeha, called her book Walking the space between: Identity and Maori/Pakeha.

She says people of mixed descent are often challenged about whether they are authentic or artificial, and Maori society uses language and tikanga to both include and exclude people.

That leads many rangatahi are chose their own ways to identify as Maori.

“Young Maori are finding other ways to represent their Maoriness. I’m often amazed at the number of tattoos young people have on them and finding other more subversive ways of indicating I am Maori and this is how I choose to chose to identify as that,” Ms Webber says.


One of the country’s most renowned architects has paid tribute to a Maori master carver who helped him understand the complexities of marae construction.

Ivan Mercep has been awarded the New Zealand Institute of Architects Gold medal in recognition of his contribution to the profession over more than half a century.

The Taumaranui raised architect says he was privileged to work with Pine Taiapa, a renowned East Coast kaumatua and tohunga whakairo, on Whaiora Marae in South Auckland.

“And that led to Hoani Waititi with Mavis Tuoro and Lettie Brown and then Pita Sharples, and that took a long time. First they had to acquire the land and then develop it, and that was probably the first urban marae. Being pan-Maori was a bit of an issue for a while. A lot of people thought it wouldn’t work, and so that was pretty exciting, and that was the first real marae I started from scratch,” Mr Mercep says.

More Maori architects are needed to put a unique cultural perspective into New Zealand design.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Maori Party cries foul on Fox cover

A Maori Party co-leader wants Maori Television to lay off its former boss.

Tariana Turia says the channel has been consistently negative about Derek Fox, its founding chairperson, since he was picked to contest Ikaroa Rawhiti in a selection battle that included one of his former partners, lawyer Atareta Poananga.

She says it got even worse with last week's coverage of newspaper reports that Mr Fox had been violent towards some former partners.

Mrs Turia says it's a relationship that needs changing.

“Both need to sit down and talk that through, because that’s not helpful either. Maori TV have run a campaign for quite some time, since Atareta was on air. We expect something a bit different from Maori media. We expect to be accountable, but we don’t expect a running campaign and that’s what I believe he reacted to,” Mrs Turia says.

A Maori Television spokesperson, Sonya Haggie, denied there was a campaign against Mr Fox.

She says reporters have covered the story as it developed.

Ms Haggie says the channel's chief executive, Jim Mather, met with Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples today to discuss and clarify the issue.


A beachcomber is looking forward to finding the descendants of Private Kepa.

Phil Disberry found a First World War service medal awarded to the soldier while running his metal detector over Bucklands Beach in east Auckland.

Publicity about his find drew calls from people who believe they know Private Kepa's whanau, and he's keen to return the taonga.


A former Kiwi says Ruben Wiki is an inspiration for an emerging generation of Maori and Pacific Island players.

The Warriors hardman played his 301st NRL game on the weekend, joining an elite group of players.

Duane Mann, a former coach of the Tongan national squad, says Wiki's Samoan and Maori whakapapa makes it easy for him to relate to the young Polynesian talent surfacing through the Auckland based club.

The end of game presentation by Dean Bell and Stacy Jones showed the club's respect for the prop on and off the field.

The Warriors didn't disappoint either, downing the North Queensland Cowboys 24-14.

The ASB Community Trust wants to spend what it calls a significant sum lifting Maori educational achievement.

Jenny Gill, the trust’s chief executive, says Education Ministry figures showing half of Maori children were leaving school without NCEA level one qualifications, compared to just 21 percent of Pakeha children, shows the extent of the problem.

She says the call has gone out for innovative projects to lift literacy levels, and the trust is prepared to fund multiple initiatives.

“What's happening either in schools or in community or in kura or on marae that’s attempting to address issues of underachievement or Maori children not staying in school, those kind of issues,” Ms Gill says.

About 300 proposals have come in so far, and a shortlist will be prepared later in the month for projects which will be funded for five years.


Maori Party members have finished voting for a replacement candidate in Te Tai Tonga.

Turnout at the 10 hui around the southern electorate was lower than at the original selection hui in February, when the late Monte Ohia was chosen.

About 100 members voted in the largest of the hui in Christchurch on Saturday, and half that number were at Lower Hutt on Sunday, the only hui attended by all three candidates.

Only one of those candidates, Wellington lawyer Rahui Katene, is trying again.

Party Co-leader Tariana Turia says she's disappointed the other survivor from the February round, Otago farmer Edward Ellison, didn't put his name forward again despite encouragement from the party.

“The decision to not stand was absolutely his own and we were very disappointed because we know what a significant contribution he could have made,” Mrs Turia says.

The candidate should be known by Wednesday


A Maori sports commentator says Graeme Henry blew Saturday night's test by ignoring experienced Maori talent.

Te Kauhoe Wano says locks Jason Eaton and Ross Filipo are in form, having just come off a win in the Pacific Nations Cup.

Instead the All Black coach turned to relative newcomers when Ali Williams went off injured, and the Springboks went on the win 30-28

“What's the point of having these guys playing international rugby and not putting them in the All Blacks when they’re needed, because if there was a time they needed experience in that department, but across the board, because we’re lacking it all over, was in the locking department and I can't believe it,” Mr Wano says.

He says Eaton and Filipo had earned a spot in the Dunedin lineup.

ASB Ttrust funds marae revamps

The Three Northland Marae are getting some overdue refurbishment thanks to the ASB Community Trust.

In its latest funding round, the trust made grants to Te Paatu Marae
near Kaitaia, Rawhitiroa Marae near Kaikohe, and Whare Marama O Parirau Marae in Kaipara.
Jennifer Gill, the trust’s chief executive says that’s on top of the $1.8 million in grants last year.

She says the trust recognises the role marae play in rural communities.

“We are firmly of the view that a marae is pivotal to a healthy community and it’s really important those facilities are there, both for things like tangi but also as important meeting places and community centres,” Ms Gill says.

The ASB Community Trust will have another round of grants this year for initiatives to raise Maori educational achievement.


There’s concern Maori whanau may not be doing enough for children with autism or Asberger’s syndrome.

Margaret Mikaere from Autism New Zealand says Maori are often very accepting of difference.

But she says that may mean children aren’t getting the help they need for their condition, which affects their mental and social development.

“We don’t make a big fuss over things, they’re just our mokopuna. I wonder really are we really coping. Could this be some of the causes of why there’s sop much abuse in the home, because we’re not actually working with that child because that child thinks differently. We’re trying to make a square peg fit a round hole,” Mrs Mikaere says.

Autism New Zealand has teamed up with Auckland-based Oho Mairangi Trust to develop a 0800 support line for families with autistic children.


Maori tourism operators are being urged to target an emerging high end Asian ecotourism market.

Oscar Nathan, the chair of Maori in Tourism Rotorua, says the total number of inbound tourists is currently down, but Australia and China have bucked the trend with slight increases.

He says Asian tourists are particularly keen for unique experiences that include a flavouring of Maori culture, such as the Footprints over Waipoua tour.

“In the past you think of Chinese or Japanese groups as very much ‘come here and have a look at this’ and away they go. But there are emerging pockets in the Chinese market, particularly at the upper end, particularly out of Singapore and other places like that, south east Asia, they are very much into Lonely Planet and very much into off the beaten track,” Mr Nathan says.

Tourism is worth almost $9 billion a year to the New Zealand Economy.

An armed police raid on an Urewera township has been brought to the big screen in dramatic fashion.

It’s not Ruatoki 2007 but Maungapohatu in 1916, and it’s the centerpiece of a new film by Vincent Ward.

For Rain of the Children, Mr Ward returned to the Waimana Valley to dig deeper into the life of Te Puhi, who as an 80-year-old kuia featured in his first film, In Spring One Plants Alone.

He says the film could not have been made without the support of Ngai Tuhoe.

“I’ve been very lucky. Something like 50 elders shared their stories with me about Puhi’s background, growing up with Rua Kenana at Maungapohatu, known as Rua the prophet, the police raid of 1916 where her husband was arrested and her lover killed, and the stories that surrounded her to do with the fact that she believed that perhaps there was a curse on her and how she tried to deal with that, and so people have been pretty open,” Ward says.

Several hundred Tuhoe people in the audience for its New Zealand premiere at the Auckland film festival on Saturday, descendants of Te Puhi and of Rua Kenana.


A Green MP says Maori should reach out to indigenous people fleeing violence and oppression in their own countries.

The Maori Party says it’s picking up concern from members about immigration from Asia and how it affects their place in society.

But Metiria Turei says some of those coming in have a lot in common with Maori.

“Some of the Sri Lankans who come here, a lot of them are Tamil Tigers, and they’re fighting a resistance movement in their own country for control over their own land. They have a really strong indigenous sovereignty issue going on there and they come here for relief from those struggles and it’s a real kind of awhi thing from one indigenous population that’s struggling to another,” Ms Turei says.

While the Tamil Tigers, or the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, is considered a terrorist organisatin by Australia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it has not been designated as a terrorist entity under New Zealand law.

Earlier this year, New Zealand expressed concern over the withdrawal by the government of Sri Lanka from a 2002 ceasefire agreement and urged both sides to return to the negotiating table.


International museums have been hearing from New Zealand about how to develop shows with Maori and Pacific peoples.

Two curators from Te Papa, Sean Mallon, and Arapata Hakiwai, presented papers at a conference at the Musee du Quai Branley in Paris.

Mr Mallon says the recent exhibition of the history of Pacific Peoples, Tangata o Le Moana, is an example of the approach developed in this country.

“The approach we took was very much in line with the way tangata whenua exhibitions are developed do there’s lots of community consultation and discussion around the concepts. A lot of the specialist knowledge rests in our communities. A lot of the stories about our communities’ histories in New Zealand are in the communities, so we went to them,” Mr Mallon says.

Other Pacific region curators at the conference had similar perspectives on the challenge of representing Polynesia to outside audiences.