Waatea News Update

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

My Photo
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, August 15, 2008

NZ to share rongoa tips with WA

New Zealand is offering to help Western Australia develop its indigenous health services.

Mita Ririnui, the associate Minister of Health, signed an agreement with the state health department in Perth this week.

He says it will allow information sharing, including what has worked in the evolution of Maori health providers and what hasn't.

Information is expected to flow the other way from indigenous west Australians.

"They're a very traditional people. A lot of their focus is on traditional healing practices and that seems to have attracted a lot of attention from government agencies including private sector as to what rongoa or natural medicines they are using for a range of health needs," Mr Ririnui says.

The Australian health system has complex funding arrangements which must be worked through, with aged care a federal responsibility and primary and public healthcare done by the states.

New Plymouth District Council wants to work with a north Taranaki whanau to get the proper concents for an illegally-built wharenui.

In a judgment released yesterday, Judge Graham Hubble ruled that Tongaporutu farmers Russell and Parani Gibbs needed a building permit, even if they were building on Maori reserve land.

Simon Pickford, the council's customer and regulatory services manager, says the building looks sound, but the council needs to be sure.

"Our concern is that this is a wharenui that is potentially going to have people meeting in it, and even sleeping in it potentially, so we want to make sure all the things we would look at as we normally would do for a new building, making sure that it is safe for people to use and that it is compliant with the Building Act," Mr Pickford says.

The council could seek a $10,000 a day fine against the Gibbs if they don't cooperate, but he says that would only be a last resort.

The Greens' Maori spokesperson is warning a National Party shake-up of the Resource Management Act will shake Maori out of the planning process.

National has signalled it will review the RMA within 100 days if it wins the election.

Metiria Turei says the Act is not perfect, but it does allow communities to have some say in what happens in their area.

"If National attacks the RMA, the one of the first things that will go is Maori involvement in decision making, Maori consultation and some of the processes around identifying what is important to Maori and holding those areas, whether it is wahi tapu or rivers, those sorts of things, back from development, so it's a direct attack again on Maori having control of what goes on in their rohe," Ms Turei says. 


Otago University is tomorrow honouring one of its most distinguished alumni.

It's giving an honorary doctorate in laws to Mason Durie from Rangitane and Ngati Raukawa, Massey University's deputy vice-chancellor Maori and professor of Maori research and development.

Darren Russell, the director of Maori Development at Otago, says since graduating from the university in 1963 with bachelors degrees in medicine and surgery, Professor Durie has blazed a trail for Maori in medicine and other fields.

"Amongst Maori and non-Maori communities, particularly those in health, social policy, now obviously education research and development, he's provided enormous leadership, significant contributions academically, professionally, models such as Te Whare Tapawha which recognises dimensions of health have become pivotal in responding to Maori health," Mr Russell says .

Professor Durie has showed other academics new ways to get communities involved in their research so the benefits are shared widely.

It's still early in the election season, but Maori party co-leader Pita Sharples is already fed up with what he sees as the tired old tactics used by some of his rivals.

Dr Sharples says National has opted for division, sending coded messages to its supporters by going after the most vulnerable in society.

An example is the party's social welfare policy released this week, which includes new restrictions on solo parents.

"It's always that way. It's easy meat. It's easy meat for middle class middle New Zealand to down on benefits, treaty claims, anything where people are seen to get some benefit that excludes themselves," Dr Sharples says.

He says the Labour Party is not much better, with its policy of using tax credits to help working families leaving many types of beneficiaries in the cold.

Medals may be slow coming from Beijing, but a West Auckland Hip Hop team has been showing the moves which won it gold it in Las Vegas.

Sweet and Sour arrived back this week for a series of exhibition performances, having swept away the opposition in the varsity division of the World Hip Hop Champs.

A Hamilton crew, Supremacy, took bronze in the same division.

Ennaolla Paea, the director of Street Dance NZ, says the teams of young Maori and Pacific street dancers add kapa haka and Pacific dance to the traditional hip hop moves.

She says it's a style other countries are watching closely.

"I was quite interested seeing dance crews from other countries who were reflecting particular styles that we do here so in fact instead of our crews going over there to be inspired they actually inspired other peoples," Ms Paea says.

As well as trouncing 75 crews from 25 countries, Sweet and Sour appeared on NBC News and live on the ABC breakfast show.

Parekarangi Trust provides land for lock-up

A Maori land trust says it back the kaupapa behind a new youth justice residence for the Bay of Plenty and Waikato.

Parekarangi Trust yesterday leased Child, Youth and Family a 10 hectare site on the road between Rotorua and Tokoroa for the 40-bed secure facility.

Chairperson James Warbrick says as well as running sheep, dairy and tourism businesses, the trust has a responsibility to its community.

He says the centre has a positive purpose.

“We wouldn't look at a prison. This is youth rehabilitation, its kaupapa is about rehabilitating these young ones, giving them a second chance, turn them around before than last step is an adult prison which we try and curb,” Mr Warbrick says.

Parekarangi Trust members could benefit from employment and training opportunities associated with the facility, which is due to open in 2010.


Tainui is gearing up for next week's coronation hui for King Tuheitia, but today the focus is on the late queen.

Spokesperson Rahui Papa says today's Te Ra Whakamaharatanga mo Te Arikinui will celebrate the life of Te Atairangikaahu, who died two years ago.

He says some of the kapa haka at Turangawaewae Marae will perform songs composed for Dame Te Ata and some of her favourite waiata, like her aunt Te Puea Herangi's E noho e Ata and He Wahine Toa by Ngapo and Pimia Wehi.

“It's a celebration of the 40 years of Te Arikinui so it is a very happy occasion, the time for mourning is past and the time for remembering all of the feats and wonderful things she did in her reign as Te Arikinui, in memory of her reign in those 40 years,” Mr Papa says.


A Ngai Tahu artist is rescuing hei tiki from museum draws and giving them new life.

Fiona Pardington's giant photographs of taonga held at Whanganui Regional Museum feature in a show which opened at Auckland's Two Rooms Gallery this week.

She says while some people find the scale of the work overwhelming, it brings out the individual personalities of the pieces.

“One of my favourite works looks like a modernist sculpture, a bit like Brancusi, so much fun and they’ve all got so much life in them, each individual hei tiki is just so beautiful, it’s like a portrait really. I’m quite addicted to it really. I just want to keep on meeting all of these new hei tiki and making these works,” Pardington says.

Her work is paired with Mark Adams' photographs of sites in the South Island where the pounamu came from.


A Green MP says wind farms on marginal Maori land makes is a better way to deal with New Zealand's energy needs than drilling for gas.

Metiria Turei says Maori trusts are also making their resources available for geothermal power generation, says as the Rotokawa joint venture between Tauhara North Number 2 Trust and Mighty River Power.

She says it's a better approach than the energy policy the National Party released this week.

“National's taking very much a Think Big approach to electricity generation and what we know is it fails and it destroys our natural resources beyond the advantage of getting cheap electricity and what we need is a better planned diversified programme of electricity generation across the country, and by focusing on renewable we can do that,” Ms Turei says

She says National's energy plan is expensive and it won't work.


A documentary about last year's national weavers’ hui in Te Whanau A Apanui is going on the road.
Garry Nicholas, from arts promotion group Toi Maori says Whiri Toi, by Fijian producer Lala Rolls, features interviews with newcomers to mahi raranaga and a commentary by Edna Pahewa, the chair of the national collective.

He says it celebrates a unique gift Maori can share.

“There are gifts that we have as Maori that need to be shared to the world and that is our contribution to it, and the weavers are one of those great gifts. They have a philosophy about life and they work with a material that on its own is not that spectacular, but what they are able to make for it epitomises a kaupapa we all look for as a nation of people, and that is being able to weave us together,” Mr Nicholas says.

Whiri Toi is screening at Our City O-Tautahi on Oxford Terrace, Christchurch tomorrow afternoon.

Information on other screenings is on the Toi Maori website.


Some of Maoridom's top musical talent is getting ready for Sunday's tribute concert for Sonny Day in Auckland.

The former Sundowner, whose career stretched from the Maori showbands of the 1950s and 60s to his All Stars blues band of the 80s and 90s, died in his Auckland home a year ago at the age of 64.

Singer Josie Rika says she first heard Sonny Day singing a version of Wolverton Mountain when she was 11, so she jumped at the chance to sing with him as an adult.

“Yeah I did work with him in the All Stars with Beaver and the wonderful Tama Renata and Grant Ryan, Neil Edwards, all the boys, had a fabulous time and just a real beautiful man to work with,” Rika says.

Organisers say tickets are almost sold out.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

More Te Arawa iwi enter talks

Te Arawa tribes Tapuika and Ngati Rangiwewehi, which together cover the territory from Ngongotaha to Te Puke, were at Parliament today to sign joint terms of negotiation for their treaty claims.

The iwi aren't part of Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa or the central North Island forestry collective.

Kahuarikirangi Hancock, a member of Te Maru O Ngati Rangiwewehi's claims team, says the main issues are Crown purchases and confiscations, land taken under the Public Works Act and the ownership and control of Hamurama and Taniwha Springs.

She says they're building on the dreams of their ancestors.

“Our people are really happy that we’ve been able to get this process locked down, particularly with the elections coming up. What we will focus on now is to bring the recognition back of what (our ancestors) were trying to achieve,” Ms Hancock says.

Tapuika-Ngati Rangiwewehi are aiming for a final settlement by this time next year.


International tourists may know less about Maori culture than has been assumed by the industry.

That's one of the findings of a four-year study by Landcare Research.
Researcher Chrys Horn told the Ecotourism New Zealand conference in Greymouth that the only way many tourists can spot a Maori is by the costumes worn by performers at concert and hangi ventures.

“It's surprising what international visitors do not see, so they don’t recognize even design elements in a brochure as being Maori. Internationals are not even at that stage. New Zealand is foreign enough so they kind of see Maori culture as a New Zealand thing. They’re just not distinguishing the nuances of different cultures within New Zealand,” Ms Horn says.

Many international tourists associate kapa haka with other Pacific indigenous performances, showing they do not distinguish Maori as a separate culture.


An exhibition of photos which opened in Auckland last night looks at where pounamu comes from and what it was used for.

It features Fiona Pardington's pictures of hei tiki and other taonga held in the Whanganui Museum, and Mark Adams' plate camera images of the Greenstone Trails.

Mr Adams says many of his pictures date back to the 1970s and 80s, when he started looking at the South Island landscape from a cross-cultural historical perspective.

“I was looking at how pre-European tribes down there used the land, how they used the resources, and then how the resources have been compromised by the burgeoning colony of us, so that set of pics is a set of images that shows the parts of the South Island where pounamu came from,” Adams says.

The show by Mark Adams and Fiona Pardington is at Two Rooms Gallery in Newton for the next month.


A Rotorua Maori trust today leased its land to Child, Youth and Family to build a 40 bed secure youth justice residence.

The deal with Parekarangi Trust is for a 10-hectare site on State Highway 30 about 10 kilometres south of the city.

Chairperson James Warbrick says it was land the trust had identified for commercial development, to complement its sheep, dairy and tourism businesses.

He says Parekarangi Trust is keen to be more than just the landlord, and could offer work or training opportunities for residents.

“We believe we could offer something, I don’t know what it is, but we’re prepared to come to the table and have a range of activities that might inspire the kaupapa of the facility and we’re keen to build that picture,” Mr Warbrick says.

The trust will hold a karakia over the land next month before construction begins... and the doors are scheduled to open on the new facility in 2010.


National Party leader John Key is welcoming the Maori Party's overtures in his direction as a sensible response to MMP politics.

Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, who in the past has been the most hard line of the party's four MPs in his opposition to working with a National led government, is now embracing the possibility.

John Key says that's the pragmatic approach.

“If they were only ever going to go with Labour, then they’re just and adjunct of the Labour Party and the whole purpose of the Maori Party as I see it is to give an independent voice for Maoridom which can oscillate between whoever’s in government be it Labour or National, and look aut and strike the best deals that can get the greatest representation for Maori people. And if they are only going to do that with a Labour government, history tells you at various times they will be locked out of the debate,” Mr Key says.

He says under MMP any kind of deal is possible.


The Accident Compensation Corporation is heartened by the response by non-Maori to a new resource on treating Maori patients more effectively.

The DVD, Te Tuuoro Maori me o Mahi or The Maori Patient in your Practice, is available to every doctor and health professional in the country.

Paula Snowden, the ACC's Maori and Community relationships manager, says it's a non-threatening introduction to tikanga Maori.

“Most people just want to do the right thing by their patients, but need a bit of guidance, what are the differences, what are the things to look out for. The majority of the people on the DVD, half of them at least are non-Maori practitioners talking about the things they have done to deliver better consultations for their Maori patients,” Ms Snowden says.

Much of the advice on the DVD could apply equally well to patients from other ethnic groups.

Sir Graham Latimer subject of symposium

Former prime ministers, judges and iwi leaders are lining up to take part in an October tribute to the long-serving chair of the New Zealand Maori Council, Sir Graham Latimer.

Jim Nichols, the council's deputy chair, says the symposium at Te Papa will look at his contributions Maori economic and social development, and to treaty claims on land, forestry, fisheries, the Maori language, broadcasting and the status of the Treaty of Waitangi itself.

Mr Nichols says Sir Graham has always shown humility.

"His achievements have been done in a very quiet way and it is not his style to be out in front of the public although what he has done has forced him to be in fort of the public, so he is not one of those leaders that stands out and shouts form the balcony how good they are and it is only on occasions like this that one is able to reflect and acknowledge his real contribution to Maori and the nation," Mr Nichols says.

Sir Graham continues to make an active contribution to the nation, more than 50 years after he joined the Maori Council.

The Green's Tamaki Makaurau candidate says he was drawn to the party because of Pakeha members' support of Maori issues.

Mikaere Curtis from Te Arawa and Ngati Rongomai was confirmed as the candidate at the weekend.

He says there's little chance of unseating incumbent Pita Sharples, and he's out to boost the Green's share of the party vote.

The computer software designer joined the party after attending its conference six years ago.

"One of the Pakeha made a comment about 'how we're bending over backwards for Maori and how Maori have all this privIlege' and I thought I was going to have to get up and put him right, and all these Pakehas started standing up and telling him what the real deal was, and I thought here we have a situation where the Maori don't have to fight their own call all the time and you've actually got Pakeha who're educated on te tiriti and I thought give these guys a go and they're actually a great party to work with," Mr Curtis says.

He is the son of veteran Maori educator, Toby Curtis.

Century-old wooden grave markers from an urupa in the south Hokianga have been removed for restoration.

The carved totara markers feature a mix of Maori and European carving influences, and are similar other plaques found through the north.

Rima Edwards, a Tai Tokerau kaumatua and member of the Historic Place's Trust's Maori heritage committee, says it's likely one of the carvings removed at a ceremony this weekend marks the grave of Whakarongahau Titore, the daughter of the prophet Papahurihia or Te Atua Wera.

Dean Whiting, the trust's chief Maori conservator, says despite their worn look the carvings are salvagable.

"Some are reasonable. They certainly have suffered from such a long time standing in the ground. Some had actually fallen over so also had a bit of decay damage round the bases as well. So whilst they can be put back, there's still a lot of work in terms of stabilising them and making them sound enough to survive another 100 years," Mr Whiting says.


The author of a book which exposed National's 2005 campaign strategies says this year's election is looking like an exact re-run.

Nicky Hager says the leaked material he used for The Hollow Men showed the Maori bashing of former leader Don Brash's two Orewa speeches was deliberately and cynically put in to appeal to the prejudices of soft supporters.

He says while John Key is being painted as friendly, approachable and centrist, the content and delivery of this week's social policy release is almost identical to the message dished up by Dr Brash.

"The speech he gave the other day and the policy he released is pretty well identical to the one Brash gave three years ago. In other words, they're rerunning exactly the same tricks aimed at the same people, and it's not because they think that 30 or 40,000 people on the DPB have to be pushed into jobs to help the economy ands save the country from welfare dependency, it's just a nice easy way to grab those central votes by getting people angry and against somebody and feeling indignant," Mr Hager says.


Maori patients will benefit from a new dvd being sent out to GP's and health professionals by the Accident Compensation Corporation.

Paula Snowden, the ACC's director of Maori and community relations, says Te Tuuoro Maori me o Mahi or The Maori patient in your practise is a guide to what health providers need to know of tikanga Maori.

She says the guideline could also apply to other cultures.

"Some of it is really relationship 101. It's just good communications, good effective communications but recognising that culture and nationality do play a role in how you engage with patients," Ms Snowden says.

She says the dvd has got a positive response from health professionals.

The younger generation of Maori are being given a special role at a reunion for some of the oldest.

Len Robinson from the 28th Maori Battalion says next February's reunion in Whanganui will include a parade of battle honours through Motoa Gardens.
He says tamariki from kaura kaupapa Maori will carry the banners on behalf of the veterans.

He says the battle honopur relating to Turanganui a Kiwa Ngarimu VC has been reserved for his hapu, and will be carried by the kura kaupapa from that area.

About 500 veterans and whanau are expected to attend the reunion, which is hosted by D Company.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Green candidate only there for list keeping

The Greens' candidate for Tamaki Makaurau says unseating Pita Sharples is not his aim.

The party has confirmed Mikaere Curtis, a computer software developer from Te Arawa, as the candidate.

He says the Greens are want boost their share of the party vote in the Maori electorates, and he's also keen to encourage as many Maori as possible to become involved in the political process, across the spectrum of parties.

"It's quite clear that Maori feel disenfranchised to some degree in terms of disengaging from the process because for so long there was scant regard for Maori aspirations in terms of what the parliament was up to but that's changing and I think the more people get involved the better it will be all round," Mr Curtis says.

He decided to run himself after working on Green MP Meteria Turei's previous two campaigns.

New Plymouth District Council has backed a developer over tangata whenua in the naming of streets in a new residential subdivision.

The council invited its iwi liaison sub committee and Puketapu hapu for suggestions on names for the Links development next to the Ngamotu golf course.

But Heather Dodunski, the chair of the policy committee, says those didn't suit project manager Peter Snowden, who was determined to name the streets after international golf courses.

She's disappointed by the council's failure to take up the opportunity to acknowledge local history.

The hapu rejected a compromise proposal that they give Maori names to the artificial lakes and green spaces being created in the Links.

The Historic Places Trust is helping the hapu at Omanaia in the south Hokianga to restore some early wooden grave markers.

Dean Whiting, the Maori heritage manager, removed two of the totara pieces at a ceremony at the weekend.

He says they were probably carved around 1900, and are similar to others around the Hokianga and Waimate North.

"They seem to have been done by one carver, which we are still looking to find a bit more about, who obviously had training in whakairo but also possibly other European styles of carver as well, so they're an interesting mix of different carving tradition," Mr Whiting says.

Once the pieces are restored, the trust will work with the marae community on returning them to the urupa, and on preserving other pieces.


Whangara landowners have blocked vehicle access to the area where the Whale Rider was filmed.

Hone Taumaunu from Ngati Konohi says the hapu was concerned at the disrespect shown to land and the beach by some members of the public.

He says a gate on the side of Whangara Marae has been padlocked, because people were bringing trucks onto the beach at night and raiding the kaimoana.

He says people can still walk to the beach.


National's Maori Affairs spokesperson is denying its plans to make domestic purposes beneficiaries look for work amounts to beneficiary bashing.

Tau Henare says when people have been out of the workforce for several years, they can need help to get back into it.

He says making people work part time or enter training once once their youngest child turns six, is helping them back into work is part of a sensible package of measures aimed at helping solo parent families.

"We're the only party that has said we will link the benefit to the CPI move, the consumer price index. We've had a Labour Government for nine years that haven't even done that. And what that shows you is we are not into cutting benefits, not into doing that, we're not going to entertain any thoughts like that," Mr Henare says.

Ambitious plans are being put in place for the next Maori Battalion reunion.

The February event will be hosted in Whanganui by D Company, and will include a parade through Pakaitore-Motoa Gardens.

Len Robinson from the 28th Maori Battalion Association says town holds particular significance for the many of the 57 surviving veterans.
"They arrived back in Wellington and two trains left to bring the troops home. The first went up the main trunk line, Te Arawa, Mataatua, Te Tai Tokerau. The other train came the Whanganui and Taranaki. The first stop off was at Putiki, and for many of the vets it will be the first time they have been back to Whanganui since they came home in 1945," Mr Robinson says.

The two day celebrations will also include a gala concert featuring the Maori Volcanics.

Tuhoe leader want time out for tribe

A Tuhoe leader says the iwi is being swayed by the prospect of quick settlements, and needs to take a step back.

Tama Nikora says the process in the Central North Island forestry settlement bill for resolving ownership of the underlying land is a denial of natural justice.

He says corners are being cut which will affect the tribe's prospects of securing a good outcome for its other treaty claims.

The former secretary of the Tuhoe Maori Trust Board says the Crown is having too much say in who in the tribe it talks to.

"The trouble with Te Kotahi a Tuhoe and all of that who have been running around it, they have been funded by the state, by Crown Forest Rental Trust and all of that, but they're not properly elected people. You can't keep up with them because of the funding, hence they've been able to hop in the middle and away they go and they're recognised by the government. This mandate process is thick as thieves on the road, it's worse than Mugabe," Mr Nikora says.

He says the first thing Tuhoe needs to do is merge its various representative organisations into one runanga.


But Tuhoe's chief negotiator says the iwi is dealing the hand it was dealt.

Tamati Kruger says there are a range of views in the tribe about how its claims should be settled, and the sorts of political arrangements or mana motuhake it should seek.

He says it's important to use the current appetite for settlements to move forward.

"If we want our political issues addressed and resolutions sought, we have no choice but to follow the process that the Crown has in place. It's not as if there is another vendor down the road that is dealing with Treaty of Waitangi claims," Mr Kruger says one thing all Tuhoe seem to agree on is the full unconditional return of Te Urewera land.

A major study has shown community initiatives can reduce the number of Maori contracting type two diabetes.

Te Wai o Rona, which brought together the Waikato District Health Board, community health groups and universities, tested 5000 Maori and set up large intervention and control groups.

The research leader, Elaine Rush from AUT University, says the project was cut short after three years, but it proved a  national diabetes prevention strategy was possible.

She says the key to it was the way Maori health workers who were known in their communities were able to get across simple messages about diet and lifestyle change, which were taken up by their relatives and friends.

"The main finding was that it could be done within a community,. No other diabetes prevention strategy has been aimed through the community. The big one in America was one on one individualised advice, but this one was for the whole family for the whole community," Professor Rush says.

Six percent of the 5000 people pre-screened for Te Wai o Rona were found to already have diabetes and were immediately put on treatment programmes.


Hepatitis B campaigner Sandor Milne wants to prove vaccination booster shots for the disease aren't needed and the money should be better spent ensuring all Maori and Pacific Island children are immunised.

The former Whakatane Hospital lab worker challenged the health establishment with his research proving the disease had been in the south west Pacific for centuries... and indigenous populations such as Maori have been particularly hard hit.

He's now looking for funds to test people vaccinated 20 years ago, to confirm they still have immunity.

He says a positive finding will comfort front line workers like police, prison officers and health workers.

"If they've been vaccinated against hepatitis B, that's it. They don't need to worry, they don't need more tests, they don't need boosters and they're OK. But would they please turn their minds to making sure babies get protected," Mr Milne says.

He says a quarter of New Zealand infants, the majority of them Maori, are still not getting the hepatitis B vaccination they need.

The $2 million mussel spat industry... which supplies a $70 million mussel farming industry... is causing headaches for a Far North hapu.

Ruben Porter from Te Rokeka hapu of Te Rarawa says spat collectors used to operate in Ngati Kuri territory, but they've now moved their operations to the southern end on Te Oneroa a Tohe, 90 Mile Beach.

He says the collectors have the government permit they need, but the hapu are angry there was no consulation with them.

"The companies that do mussel spat gathering have been told that should they come into the region of Te Rarawa, south of the Waipapakauri ramp, that they will be confronted by the hapu," Mr Porter says.

The hapu is not ruling out confiscating harvesting machines.

Labour's Te Tai Tokerau candidate says the Maori seats are too important to play games with.

Kelvin Davis says the way for Maori to ensure they continue to have separate dedicated representation is to vote for a Labour government ... and the quickest way to lose the seats forever is to back a National win.

He says his rival Hone Harawira's admission he is now prepared to work with a National government shows the party which holds four of the seats can't be trusted.

"The Maori Party will dice with the devil basically by saying they're happy to go into coalition with them. I think that's really dangerous stance they are prepared to make and I'm not sure why they are prepared to jeopardise the Maori seats," Mr Davis says.

Only Labour has a constitutional requirement to put Maori high enough on its party list to make it into Parliament.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Brown tinge for green tourism

Ecotourism operators are being challenged to introduce more Maori elements into their business.

The message to the two day Ecotourism New Zealand Conference in Greymouth is coming from the chair of Maori Tourism, John Barrett from Ngati Toarangatira and Te Ati Awa.

He says Maori growth within the sector is moderate but increasingly important.

Mr Barrett says the industry hasn't been good at communicating with Maori operators.

"There's been a lot of nervousness and a lot of ignorance in terms of developing Maori components by non-Maoir operators. I'm going to be suggesting to the non-Maori part of this conference that unless we do start collaborating well, development of ecotourism in the country won't go as smoothly as it should," Mr Barrett says.

Principles like kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga should be embraced by all ecotourism operators.

The Prime Minister is warning National's beneficiary policies shows it's planning another assault on Maori families.

John Key is promising to make solo parents on the domestic purposes benefit do at least 15 hours work or training a week once their youngest child reaches the age of six.

Helen Clark says once again some of the country's richest people are attacking some of the poorest.

Maori have already seen the consequences of that.

"We always knew that nothing had changed since the 1990s when Jenny Shipley came in, slashed benefits, they put state house rentals up to market levels and forced people to pay to go to the emergency department of the public hospitals, the horror story went on, and here they go again," Ms Clark says.

She says parenting is one of the most important jobs in the country, and it's not right single parents be forced to compromise on raising their kids to prove a political point.

Participants in a research programme looking at diabetes prevention strategy have been getting the simple message that eating less fat and exercising more can reduce the risk of catching the disease.

Elaine Rush from AUT University, the chief researcher, says Te Wai o Rona has proved the feasibility of using community health workers to drive the strategy among Maori, and it is likely to result in significant reductions in the incidence of diabetes.

"She says the children of the participants will benefit the most from the three year project.

"Within another three years we will see a slowing down in the rate of new cases of diabetes but I think the biggest bang for the buck is going to be the children of those women who have taken part, how much healthier they are and the children that they have," Professor Rush says.

Te Wai o Rona community workers made sure their food recommendations were achievable by breaking them into low, medium and high cost bands.


Te Rarawa is considering extreme measures to uphold its kaitiakitanga or guardianship of the lower 90 Mile Beach.

Spokesperson Reuben Porter says it is warning companies collecting mussel spat mechanically to expect confrontation with hapu.

Recently a tractor gathering spat near Waimimiha got stuck in the sand below the high tide mark,  setting off a 12 hour saga as a succession of rescue vehicles also got bogged down.

Mr Patterson says the companies may have legal permission, but they also need to respect the hapu.

"We'll go through a process of asking them to remove themselves from that area, recording the situation if they refuse us. If they force us to take other actions, and that means confiscating their vehicles, it may mean perhaps physical confrontations at the extreme, we don't want to go there but we are very serious about protecting our resources," Mr Porter says.

The Labour Party Te Tai Tokerau candidate says the only people who should be making decisions about the Maori seats are the Maori who choose to vote in them.

National has promised to abolish the seven seats once the historic treaty claims settlement process is complete ... but it won't start anything in its first term if elected this year.

Kelvin Davis says that's a promise National has no intention of keeping.

"Their call for a referendum on MMP is another way that they hope to get rid of the Maori seas, to do it by stealth. What they'll do is ask the country whether there needs to be a change, The country will probably say yes and one of the changes they'll more than likely make is to get rid of the Maori seats," Mr Davis says.

The Maori he's meeting as he goes around the electorate want a representative answerable specificially to them, and not to everyone else in New Zealand

A Maori ecotourism operator is making whakapapa his point of difference.

Joe Doherty of Te Urewera Treks provides day walks and overnight camping in the rugged forests.

He's set up Te Urewera Rainforest Route as a brand so ecotourism operators from the area, both Maori and non-Maori, can point international clients towards an indigenous experience.

"Our key point of difference is I'm Tuhoe no te Urewera ae and we share with our visitors some of our history, how we as an iwi interface with the ngahere, the trees and the birds and other things that live in the ngahere, so basically that's what Te Urewera Treks is about and most of our clients are international clients," says Mr Doherty, speaking from this week's Ecotourism New Zealand Conference in Greymouth.

FOMA fears forest lock in

The Federation of Maori Authorities is still trying to get last minute changes to the bill setting up an emissions trading scheme.

The bill would impose penalties on changing the use of land which was in forest before 1990.

Paul Morgan, the federation's chief executive, says that would affect about 700,000 hectates of Maori land, as well as land returned under treaty settlements.

He says it will have a serious negative effect on the value of those lands.

"They will be locked up into forestry. many of those lands have actually got a far better use. They should be used for higher value activity and it's still a major issue for Maori, the loss of value and the loss of flexible land use," Mr Morgan says.

The Bill as it stands could expose the Government to billions of dollars in compensation claims.

The head of a Whangarei public health organisation says parenting courses are needed for the region's teenagers.

Chris Farrelly from Manaia PHO says more than half the children born in Taitokerau each year are Maori.

He says child poverty in the region is high, leading to high rates of illness.

He says putting pressure on beneficiary parents to get part time work, as National is promising, isn't the answer.

"What I do back is increasing work being done in our teen parent units, in our ante-natal units, education, in actually preparing our young people for parenthood. That is a huge issue we have to address and get working rather than coming in from the other side and hitting the benefit side," Mr Farrelly says. 

Manaia PHO is backing the Children's commissioner's call for sustained action to end child poverty.

A love of kaimoana spurred a Pukekohe wahine to publish her first children's book.

Candice Reading's book The Maketu Whitebait, illustrated by Vonnie Sterrit, was launched on Saturday.

It describes the life story of three juvenile whitebait.

Reading, who writes under the name Werohia, says she was promoted to write the book by a cousin who knew of her long invovlement in conservation issues.


Organisers of the first Rangitaane Festival hope to bring together the tribe's scattered branches.

More than 5000 people are believed to affiliate to the iwi, which is spread in pockets from Manawatu and Hawke's Bay down to the top of the South Island.

Bridgette te Awe Awe Beavan says more than 1000 are expected at the three-day festival in Palmerston North in November.

They're hoping to make a similar impact to the festivals held by iwi like Takitimu, Ngapuhi and Tainui.

The festival will include sports, kapa haka, historical and cultural events and a whole lot of whanaungatanga.


Retiring Labour MP Dover Samuels is stunned Maori voters could support a party which will work with people hell bent on destroying its chances of parliamentary representation.

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira has told Waatea News he's willing to work with National if they win this year's election.

Mr Samuels says Maori Party supporters must be are walking around with blindfolds  if they are unaware of National's intentions.

"One of their not-negotiable policies was to get rid of Maori representation in the Parliament. And then we hear Maori members of the Maori Party saying they could work with the Tories. Now I'm absolutely mind boggled," Mr Samuels says.

This Sunday's Sonny Day tribute concert in Auckland is bringing together two highly regarded Maori musicians for the first time.

Bulls-based singer songwriter Mahia Blackmore is road testing material with blues legend Bullfrog Rata on the way up the island this week.

She's confident the collaboration will sit well with those gathered to acknowledge the contribution to New Zealand music made by Day, who died a year ago

Monday, August 11, 2008

Warm houses means fewer sick kids

A programme to insulate Northland homes is cutting the number of children getting sick with respiratory illnesses.

Chris Farrelly, the head of Whangarei-based Manaia public health organisation, says 250 homes have been insulated over the past few months.

He says up to 4000 more will be done over the next five years.

"Go into these homes and people will say, 'this time last year we were taking our kids to the doctor every second day. We haven't been to the doctor once this winter.' To prevent little kids going to the doctors with severe respiratory issues is just stunning and it's not rocket science. It's on thing we can do," Mr Farrelly says.

Priority in the insulation programme is being given to houses where there are lots of children, or elderly or disabled people.

Waikato-bred Warrrior Lance Hohaia is getting praise for his willingness to cover a multitude of positions for the Auckland based NRL side.

Hohaia has been dropped as starting fullback to make way for Wade McKinnon, who is back from injury.

But the man known as the Huntly Hurricane came off the bench on Saturday to make a valuable contribution to the 16-12 win over the Brisbane Broncos at Mt Smart.

Duanne Mann, a former Kiwi and founding Warrior, says a new maturity in the utility's game makes him a valuable asset as the team makes a desperate effort to make the final eight.

"The players love what Lance is doing this year with his form. He is the true utility. He's happy to give it a shot whenever he can and when he gets on the field he'll give it his best. A lot of maturity coming from Lance this year both on and off the field and Wade McKinnon is our number one fullback, but Lance, whatever number he wears on his back, he'll give it his best," Mann says.

The haka may give New Zealand's Olympic athletes a sporting edge.

Veteran broadcaster Kingi Ihaka says criticism that the haka is being overused in Beijing fails to see it's a strong motivator - as other codes have shown.

"At the level the All Blacks perform it at, it does give them a slight edge, because soon after that haka they are fizzing. Many sports people organising rugby have tried to dampen it down because of the edge we get," Mr Ihaka says.

He says the use of the haka is a good sign tikanga Maori is alive and well.


A former Labour cabinet minister is offering guarded support for John Key's new social welfare policy.

The National leader is promising to make solo parents do work or training for at least 15 hours a week once their youngest child reaches the age of six.

John Tamihere, who now heads west Auckland's Te Whanau O Waipareira Trust, says creating an expectation that beneficiaries should work if they are able to can be positive.

"I've got huge sympathy for those that are trapped there. In the other hand, a number of our people have got it as a lifestyle now and can't break out because whilst it was a safety net it has now trapped them so badly they will need some management processes out of it," Mr Tamihere says.

He would have concerns if work was used as a punishment for beneficiaries.

The pan Maori group which appoints the board of Maori Television is concerned at what the channel is doing with its new te reo service.

The digital channel was launched in March and broadcasts three hours of commercial-free Maori language content a night.

Tu Williams, the chair of Te Putahi Paho, says the programming was discussed at a hui last week.

"We're getting feedback so it's not only us sitting round a table as Te Putahi Paho, our constituency would expect us to ensure that the kind of programming that is coming across on the new channel is programing that is quality in terms of the content, the language and the genre as well, the range of genres," Mr Williams says.

Te Putahi Paho intends to meet with Maori Television in the next few days so its concerns can be incorporated into the board's strategic planning meeting this month.

The Ngati Porou Runanga is going back to its members to get agreement on the wording to its historic foreshore and seabed settlement.

Negotiator Mataanuku Mahuika says the runanga has made considerable progress since the heads of agreement was signed in February.

He says the constituent hapu, whose rights are being protected throught the deal, are keen to see the fine print of the Deed of Agreement initialled last week.

Time is tight, but a lot of the groundwork has been done.

"There's a reasonable amount of information already been circulating. In the lead up. we will have another hui of some description with key hapu contacts that we have been working with in relation to this, and then we will go into the ratification process proper. The aim is to get it completed by the second half of September," Mr Mahuika says.

Future is brown for retirement income

The Children's Commissioner is warning the quality of life enjoyed by future retirees will depend on the education and healthcare offered to Maori and Pacific children today.

Cindy Kiro says population changes mean that those expecting to retire in twenty years time will be relying on a workforce that is predominantly Maori and Pacific.

She says when children born today enter the workdorce, the number of people aged 65 year and over they will be expected to support will be twice what it is today.

"We know that Maori have slightly higher fertility and replacement rates than non-Maori, and Pacific rates are even higher again, so those children that we are going to rely on in the future are actually Maori and Pacific and new migrant children who are the very one in the under-achieving tale and if we don't get that right, if we don't make the investment, we're all going to pay that price," Ms Kiro says.

She says no one can afford to ignore the quality of education offered to Maori and Pacific children.

The Maori Party is reaching out to non voters.

Co-leader Pita Sharples is touring secondary schools over the next few weeks, starting in South Auckland.

He'll be talking to rangatahi about the parliamentary process... and possible careers in Wellington.

"Well I'm talking to them about politics and why they need to participate and the whole exercise is to encourage them to enroll, get themselves on the roll and vote for whoever they want to vote for," Dr Sharples says.

The tour is a way to put his party's kanohi ki te kanohi, face to face principles to work and show the students whey it's vital they become politically active.

Regions around the country have been sorting out their top kapa haka teams with an eye to next years national competition.

This weekend it was Rotorua and Wellington's turn.

In Rotorua Tuhorangi ki Ngati Wahiao took the title, while in Wellington Tu te Maungaroa took top honours.

Tamahou Temara who was at the Wellington competition says while every contestant put in maximum effort... the number of teams was down on previous years, so only Nga Taonga Mai Tawhiti will join Tu-Te Maungaroa at the nationals in Tauranga in February.


Ngati Rehia has some hard questions for the Far North District Council about the former Kerikeri War Memorial Hall.
The council sold the 7200 square metre site to its Far North Holdings trading subsidiary, which started demolishing the hall last week.

Nora Rameka says the land has great historical significance to her Northland hapu.

"Due to the fact that there was no consulation in their process for that piece of land and that memorial hall then i think that they didn't meet their obligations to us as a hapu and kaitiaki of this area," Ms Rameka says.

Ngati Rehia hopes to talk to the Far North District Council this week ... with return of the land for Maori or community use on the agenda.

The use of tikanga Maori by the New Zealand Olympic team has increased in the four years since Athens.

Amster Reedy, the team's advisor, says individual sports now recognise the how Maori culture can reinforce team culture.

This was clear when the women's soccer team was welcomed to the athletes' village with a powhiri.

"They not only replied to our thing but did a karanga when they came on and they had this wonderful haka which threw us off guard when they replied to our welcome so there was all that sort of stuff going on," Mr Reedy says.

Te Arawa kapa haka groups are returning to national competion.
Over the weekend four clubs won the right to represent the region at Te Matatini in February: Tuhourangi ki Ngati Wahiao, Te Matarae-i-Orehu, Manaia and Nga Uri o te Whanoa

Te Arawa pulled out of the competition six years ago in a dispute over organisation and broadcasting rights.

After the departure of Tama Huata as Te Matatini chairperson this year, moves were made to heal the rift which has deprived the competition of some of its strongest teams.

Wetini Mitai-Ngatai, the choreographer for Te Matarae-i-Orehu, says the gap has strengthened their appetite.

"None of us wanted to leave in the first place. That's the biggest hui for our people and to be a part of that movement, so we're all happy to go back and whoever represents our people are very happy. Our young people have been starved for the last four, five years. Actually, 2002 was the last time so they're all pretty hungry," Mr Mitai-Ngatai says.

The Arawa region includes past winners Ngati Rangiwewehi and Te Matarae-i-Orehu.