Waatea News Update

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Tears at river deal signing

About 1000 people from iwi in the Tainui waka gathered on the banks of the Waikato River at Ngaruawahia about noon today to witness the settlement of Waikato-Tainui's historical treaty claim.

The mechanics of the deal, a Guardians of the River group which includes the iwi, was spelt out in December's agreement in principle.

Today's announcement included the fuel - a contestible clean up fund to which the Crown will contribute 7 million dollars a year for 30 years.

Waatea News reporter Mania Clark says Waikato Tainui has waited a long time for this day.

It was a very emotional day for all the iwi of Waikato Tainui who witnessed this historic moment, the recognition and return of the mana of their tupuna awa.

Tears of remembrance and joy flowed down the cheeks of young and old to acknowledge Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu, Sir Robert Mahuta and those whose ancestors had long fought for recognition of their role as kaitiaki of the awa.

Negotiator Tukoroirangi Morgan says it’s a good starting place: a contestible clean up fund which allows further study to investigate whether there will be any more costs that haven’t been foreseen.

He says if there needs to be more money put in, the Crown has agreed to pay.


The Greens have challenged the Maori Party to go public with its environmental policy.

Maori affairs spokesperson Meteria Turei says it's a critical area in this year's election.

She says neither Labour nor National's policies are strong enough, and while the Maori Party has supported green initiatives, it's time it spelled out exactly where it sits.

“We're yet to hear any details of their environmental policy. They have good principles on which to base they base their environment policy around kaitiakitanga, manaakitanga whanaungatanga, all good principles, but there’s a lot of detail that needs to come out,” Ms Turei says.


Health managers hope a new training centre in south Auckland will to boost the number of Maori health workers.

Bernard Te Paa, the manager Maori for Counties Manukau District Health Board, says a centre for health innovation to be built next to Middlemore hospital will cater for up to 500 trainee health workers.

He says it's hard to get Maori to study away from where they live, so it's important to create opportunities in areas like south Auckland which have a high Maori population.

“It's going to be a bit of a centre for any new innovation at all and to have it situated out in south Auckland has got to be good for Maori because it’s where a huge amount of the population is. We’re going to be right there at the hub where new innovations come in, get explored. That’s really positive for us,” Mr Te Paa says.


A new book is raising questions about last October's police action against alleged terrorist training in the Urewera.

Terror in Our Midst, published this week by Huia Publishers, brings together a range of academics, historians and activists, many of them from Ngai Tuhoe.

Editor Danny Keenan from Victoria University says it arose from discussions at the university's Maori studies department of analyses of the police action by lawyer Moana Jackson.

He says the writers couldn't comment directly on the evidence the police may use against those arrested in the raids, but they are able to put the incident into historic, social, political and international context.

“The police have to show their hand eventually and they are going to have to do that during depositions and the question is to what extent are they going to force through arms charges against some of these people who were arrested who were clearly, form what I’ve been able to discover, the arms charges are drawing a long bow to say the least,” Dr Keenan says.


Maori hopes for guaranteed representation on the Auckland City Council have been quashed... at least until 2010.

The council's Finance and Strategy Committee has voted against bringing in either separate Maori wards or a Single Transferable Vote system.

Denise Roache, the councilor for the Hauraki Gulf Ward, says a lot of Maori live in the city ... and they need a guaranteed voice at the table where decisions are made.

The first-term councilor, who affiliates to Tainui, Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Huri, says most councilors refuse to acknowledge the special status of Maori.

“There seems to be a lot of ignorance from councilors who continually say things like ‘we should have seats for Pasifika, we should have seats for Asian people.’ Yes, those people should be represented. However, we have a specific duty for representation because of our partnership, our founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, it comes back to that all the time,” Ms Roache says.

It may require intervention, either by the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance or by central government, to force councils to take their Treaty responsibilities seriously.


Scholar and artist Bob Jahnke says many Maori artists find it difficult to push their work in the academic environment.

Professor Jahnke, the head of Maori Studies at Massey University, is one of the speakers at this weekend's Toi Awhio Research Symposium at Te Wananga o Aotearoa's Palmerston North campus.

He says Maori students and teachers often don't do themselves justice in the way they present the portfolios which are used for marking or grant funding.

“A lot of the art educators in the wananga area, like most Maori, tend to be a little bit reticent about putting themselves forward and this whole drive in terms of performance research outputs, it’s really about the kumara calling the kumara sweet, which is kind on an antithesis to a Maori approach I guess,” Professor Jahnke says.

River claim signing today

The Crown and Waikato Tainui will this morning sign a final settlement on the tribe's long-running river claim.

Since an agreement in principle was signed last December, the iwi has been working with local and central government officials on the structures required to give it a real say in the management of the awa.

Parekura Horomia, the Minister of Maori Affairs, says the document which will be presented at the Koroneihana Hui at Ngaruawahia will set international precedents.

"The newness and the greatness of this is about serious partners recognising that each has their own mana and at the end of the day there will be times where there's scope for them to disagree but most of the time they will agree and get on with the business," he says.

Mr Horomia says the settlement moves on from questions of ownership to address what is best for the health of the river ecosystem.

National's leader John Key has defended the ranking of former cabinet minister Georgina te Heuheu in his party's list.

Metiria Turei, the Greens' Maori affairs spokesperson, says putting Mrs te Heuheu behind two first term MPs and former party president Stephen Joyce is a sign of disrespect to the lawyer and former Waitangi Tribunal member.

But Mr Key says number 17 is a promotion of four places on her caucus ranking.

He says the list was used to promote greater diversity in the party, especially in the group from 35 to 38.

"That group is Hekia Parata, someone I have enormous respect for and on her ranking will be a member of Parliament, Melissa Lee, who will be New Zealand's first Korean MP, Kanwal Bakshi who will be our first Indian MP and Sam Lotu-liga who will be a very important member of our team and is of Pacific Island ethnicity," he says.

Mr Key says at 48 on the list, Paul Quinn from Ngati Awa is also assured a seat in parliament unless national performs worse than it did in 2005.

Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa is considering a treaty claim over its dealings with the Hamilton City Council.

Matiu Dickson, who chairs the city's urban Maori authority, says the relationship runs between warm and cold, depending largely on who is the mayor.

He says while the council is failing in its responsibilities towards Maori under both the Resource Management Act and the Local Government Act, the claim will be against the Crown, which has the power to mandate how councils interact with tangata whenua.

"It's to do with making a piece of legislation that was intended to work for us Maori people work for us, and it just doesn't at the moment, and our situation is no different from any other group of Maori people at any other local authority too," Mr Dickson says.

The council has little budget for Maori issues and there is no representation for Maori on the council.


A Taranaki surfer wants the South Taranaki District Council to sort out access to a popular beach which is alongside waahi tapu.

Maori owners at Mangahume, just south of Opunake, have put a two metre fence around three urupa, blocking access to what surfers consider a world-class break.

Wharehoka Wano from Maori Television's surfing show "Te Hikoi Mahanga" says while he sympathises with the concerns of the whanau, the problem can be fixed with goodwill and leadership.

He says most of the surfers respect the waahi tapu, but the problem has flared up because the council put the problem in the too hard basket.

A Maori lawyer says Winston Peters' relationship with his lawyer is something anyone who works in te ao Maori will appreciate.

The New Zealand First leader is under fire for a donation paid to his lawyer Brian Henry to settle legal bills, which was not declared on the party accounts or the register of MPs' interests.

Mr Henry told Parliament's ethics committee it's his policy not to tell politicians where donations come from, and he never bills Mr Peters directly.

Willie Te Aho says Maori lawyers are expected to work on behalf of whanau or iwi, and Pakeha lawyers face similar obligations.

He says those who do pro bono or aroha work do not expect payment, but if they do get a payment it's a bonus.

Maori artists are looking at how traditional and contemporary artforms can be used to research and teach indigenous knowledge.

Artists including Bob Jahnke [Pron 'Yaanke'], Donna Campbell and Kura Te Waru Rewiri are among those who will be at the Toi Awhio

Research symposium at Te Hotu Manawa o Rangitane Marae in Palmerston North this weekend.

Kim Marsh, the curriculum manager for hosts Te Wananga o Aotearoa, says one of the highlights will be a puppet show of the story of Pingao and Kakaho. which talks of the peace between Tangaroa and Tane.

Ms Marsh says it's a way to show the kai ako different ways of learning and presenting information. 


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Trawler beaching puts toheroa at risk

Far North iwi fear a diesel spill on Ninety Mile Beach could have long-lasting effects on the natural resources of the area.

Up to 5000 litres may have leaked from the 23 metre trawler Kumea II, which beached at Waipapakauri Ramp on Monday.

Reuben Porter from Te Rarawa says while the Northland Regional Council has assured the iwi that the contamination is under control, the health of the iwi is at stake.

"Where that trawler is right now is full of tuatua and toheroa. The owner says its a $1.5 million investment he's lost because of the accident. That's our sustenance for our people, and if we lose that, it's a bgt more significant than a fishing boat," Mr Porter says.

The area round Waipapakauri is disputed between Te Rarawa, te Aupouri and Ngai Takoto.

King Tuheita has marked the second anniversary of his coronation with a rare public speech.

He reached back to the words of his ancestor, the second Maori king, Tawhiao, that Tainui be resolute in pursuit of the health of the people.

Health and unity were the key focuses, referring back to the traditions of the ancestors who practiced the use of karakia and water for healing. He encoruaged people to use both traditional practices and western medicines to improve health.

These things also reflected his thoughts in light of the signing of the Waikato Tainui river settlement tomorrow in which he says if the river is well, so too are the people, and as long as the river is fit, the battle will never cease for the health and well being of the river.


The Koroneihana has drawn politicians to Ngaruawahia, including deputy Prime Minister Michel Cullen, who is still negotiating the fine details of tomorrow's river settlement, and National's leader John Key.

Mr Key has previously met King Tuheitia informally during the Mystery Creek fielddays, but this was his first visit to the official headquarters of the Kingitanga.

"It was really nice reception down there. It's a good feeling in Tainui. Obviously they've got the river settlement on Friday, and just physically being there, going into the ancestral meeting house (Mahinarangi) afterwards for a cup of tea, it's really a beautiful meeting house I've got to say, and a lot of the artifacts sitting in the front, it's remarkable really," Mr Key says.

He's feeling more comfortable on marae as he gets used to the tikanga.


The fate of Waikato's west coast harbours has been left for another day.

The harbours have been excluded from the Waikato River settlement which is expected to be signed at Koroneihana celebrations at Turangawaewae tomorrow morning.

Waikato-Tainui negotiators have been talking all this week with the Minister of Treaty negotiations to finalise the deal which will give the tribe a greater say in how the river is managed.

Maori Affairs minister Parekura Horomia says getting a timely deal meant the parties had to leave out the harbours.

"Certainly that's the next stage, that's how they set it up there, and when they did the raupatu and the lands they were quite specific about sorting this and I think their negotiators, Raiha Lady Mahuta and Tukoroirangi Morgan have done an outstanding job, as have our senior officials who fronted the negotiations with the group of ministers," Mr Horomia says.

The settlement is expected to set an international precedent in indigenous co-management.


An ancient Rotorua village has made the Lonely Planet travel guide's list of its top 10 Maori experiences.

Whakarewarewa is built in a geothermal valley on the edge of the city.

Justin Te Hau, the village's marketing co-ordinator, says it's home to Ngati Wahiao and to Tuhourangi descendants of the survivors of the 1886 Mount Tarawera eruption.

He says visitors appreciate a slice of life which is unique even in Maori terms.

"When people do come they say they love the fact there are normal houses, there's washing on the line, there's people walking around, three, four, five generations of descendants of the guides at the original Pink and White Terraces so you're going to get family history, them growing up, jumping off the bridge, going for a bath, cooking in the hangi, cooking in the steam and the hot water," Mr Te Hau says.

Inclusion in Lonely Planet should boost visitor numbers.

A full strength New Zealand Maori rugby league team is set to tackle the All Golds in Taranaki on October the 12th.

It's the first time the All Gold jersey will have been worn on these shores since the first game of league was played here by a joint Australia-New Zealand team a century ago.

It will be a tribute to former Kiwi skipper Ruben Wiki, and the players are treating it as a build-up to the World Cup later that month, when the Maori team plays an opening night curtain raiser against an Australian Aboriginal team.

The chair of New Zealand Maori Rugby League, Howie Tamati, says apart from the Kiwi squad members playing in the All Golds, the Maori selectors can pick from all the top tier players.

"This is the first time we've had access to NRL and Superleague quality players so the team that runs out on the park both at the All Golds game in New Plymouth and the world cup opener will be the best we can filed, all experienced professional rugby league players," Mr Tamati says.

Former NRL player Luke Goodwin is the new Maori coach, and he's getting advice from former Aussie coach Chris Anderson.

Ngati Koroki Kahukura files awa claim

On the even of Waikato-Tainui signing its historic river settlement with the Crown, a hapu further up the Waikato River has filed a last minute Waitangi Tribunal claim to protect its interest in the awa.

Ngati Koroki Kahukura has mana over the river from Karapiro to Arapuni, but because its territory is outside the raupatu confiscation boundary its claim is not included in tomorrow's settlement.

Negotiator Willie te Aho says it fears the settlement could prejudice its prospects of reaching a fair deal with the Crown.

"The concern is that the Crown needs to recognise that others have rights and they need to demonstrate how those rights can be accommodated so they're in discussions with Raukawa and also Te Arawa that have interests on the Waikato River, particularly Ngati Tahu from the Reporoa area, and we want to make sure that Ngati Koroki Kahukura is a part of those discussions as well," Mr te Aho says.

Marutuahu from Hauraki could also join the claim.

The Counties Manukau Distrct Health board is taking steps to make its workforce reflect south Auckland's ethnic diversity.
It's entered a joint venture to build a centre for health innovation next to Middlemore Hospital which will cater for up to 500 trainees.
Bernard Te Paa, the DHB's manager Maori, says the centre should attract more Maori to the health profession.

"Counties Manukau's population is going to be roughly a quarter European, a quarter Asian, a quarter Maori and a quarter Pacific. We can move towards that by making sure these sorts of innovations and opportunities are based out here in south Auckland," Mr Te Paa


A Massey University professor is advocating marae classrooms to emphasise the importance of education to Maori Children.

Tom Nicholson says Maori children can become number one in international literacy if the right steps are taken.

He presented his 10-year plan to an education wananga at Nga Maata Waka marae in Christchurch this month, with an emphasis on phonics, one on one tuition and raising expectations of Maori children.

He says culture-based education is the key.

"It just made to me so much more sense. Sitting in the marae it was just so powerful and strong, and I thought if we could have those programmes after school, in the summer school holidays, in the marae itself, that would be a really great way of sending out a signal that Maori people want things to change," says Professor Nicholson, who is the joint head of Massey University's Centre of Excellence for Research on Children’s Literacy.


The Greens Maori affairs spokesperson has gone in to bat for one of her political opponents.

Meteria Turei says National MP Georgina te Heuheu has been slighted by her placing at number 17 on the party list.

That's behind newcomer Steven Joyce, the former Party President, who is being tipped to be parachuted into Cabinet if National wins.

"It is a disgrace. She has been ranked lower than two first time MPs, and she is an ex-cabinet minister. I'm shocked they have ranked her below those other three, who have nowhere near her experience or mana," Ms Turei says.


A Fulbright scholar is setting out to prove cultural expression in Aotearoa can be measured through t-shirt slogans.

Chanel Clarke will has been funded to present a paper on Horiwear at the Textile Society of America's biennial symposium in Honolulu.

Ms Clarke is looking at the way the designers have taken negative stereotypes, such as the word Hori, and turned them into a positive expression on fabric.

She says a sense of pride comes with the transition.

"This kind of tongue in cheek aspect that comes with the t-shirts, Horiwear being one of the good examples in turning what has always been a negative stereotype into a postive. There was a lot more staunchness, right down to your tribal t-shirts when everyone has their Te Arawa or their Ngapuhi or whatever, so there was all that kind of pride," says Ms Clarke, who is Auckland War Memorial Museum's curator Maori.

There's few places as lonely as Koroniti on the Whanganui river, but Lonely Planet is making it less lonely.

Koroniti Marae is one of the grassroots Maori tourism ventures highlighted in the latest edition of the influential travel guide as giving independent an authentic experience.

Sonny Teki, who hosts groups on the marae over the summer months as part of a Journeys on the Whanganui package, says the endorsement helps bring a steady stream of mainly German and Dutch travellers.

He says the venture has been a lifeline for the marae, which is about an hour's drive from Wanganui.

"If we didn't have this the marae would fall to rack and ruin, because all the marae makes at the moment is just enough to pay for the wear and tear of the buildings and the upkeep. Me and my wife work for nothing but everyone else gets wages but what we do is put the money back into the upkeep of the marae, and that's just the way it is," Mr Teki says.

As well as a concert and hangi meal the 24 hour stay on Koroniti Marae can include bush walks and waka journeys on the Whanganui river.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Politicians told keep it low key

It's a big day at in Ngaruawahia, at the annual coronation hui.

More than 1000 people have been through the gates of Turangawaewae Marae, bringing their issues and the memory of their loved ones.

"Waikato turned on a beautiful day to welcome nga iwi o te motu who bought their kawe mate today on this, the second day of celebrations for the second Koroneihana of King Tuheitia.

Tariana Turia and members of the Maori Party came on support of their former candidate for Te Tai Tonga, Monte Ohia, whoe died a couple of months earlier.

Later on this afternoon a second powhiri was held for political parties, a significant day for John Key, as this was his first time at Turangawaewae Marae.

PM Helen Clark won't be present because she's at the Pacific forum in Niue.

Tom Moana of the organising committee says while the appreciate the fact it is election year, they didn't want the celebrations to be overshadowed by their campaigns to gather more support.

The Green Party is chasing the votes of Maori living overseas.

Maori affairs spokesperson Metiria Turei says its campaign is under way in Australia, where more than 100 thousand Maori now live, and it is also targeting expatriates in Britain and Japan.

She says the Greens have traditionally done well from the special votes of New Zealanders living abroad.

"People overseas look back at New Zealand and realise what a precious cultural and natural resources that we have here. They realise that we are enormously blessed. Other countries perhaps where they are living destroy their environment with a great deal more rapidity that we do here and we have something to protect," Ms Turei says,

Easy Internet enrolment easy and the ready availablity of party information online is contributing to a big increase in overseas voting.

A Victoria University education lecturer is keen to compare the experience of Maori children in classrooms with that of other indigenous children.

Joanna Kidman, from Te Arawa and Te Aupouri, is off to the University of New Hampshire on a Fulbright Scholarship to take part in a joint project with researchers from Taiwan and Belize.

Dr Kidman says by comparing her data with that from other countries, she hopes to get a better understanding of how Maori children respond to subjects like science.

"I want to bring in wider indigenous perspective from other groups and think about how other indigenous children are thinking about these things in other parts of the world and seeing if there are similarities where the differences are and where we can learn from each other and contribute to each other as tangata whenua of these various lands," Dr Kidman says.

She's also keen to get some hard data on what impact culture and being Maori has on what happens in the classroom.


Iwi leaders are taking advantage of this week's Koroneihana hui at Ngaruawahia to work on plans for the future.

Tainui's Tukoroirangi Morgan, along with Mark Solomon from Ngai Tahu and elder statesman Api Mahuika, have been at the forefront of efforts to network the emerging generation of leaders.

As tribal organisations grow economic muscle in a post-settlement environment, they're also trying to add political and lobbying clout.

The leaders have been invited to a dinner at Waikato-Tainui's Hopuhopu headquarters tonight, to discuss some of the issues which Maori will want to take up with any new government.

Mr Solomon will talk on climate change policies, which are of particular interest to iwi with forestry holdings, Mr Mahuika will talk on water policy and Mr Morgan will discuss the need for Maori involvement in constitutional change.

Tomorrow the Koroneihana will hear from King Tuheitia, in only his second major public speech.

Maori rugby stands to gain from news All Black halkback Piri Weepu has re-signed with the NZRFU for another two seasons.

The talented playmaker from Wainuiomata is in South Africa for the Tri nations, having earned his way back into the team with solid performances for the Maori All Blacks in this year's successful Pacific Nations' Cup campaign.

Whetu Tipiwai, the kaumatua for the Maori squad, says Weepu had a strong influence within the team, not only with his skill but with the support he gave younger players.

Though he's only 24,Weepu has played 41 games for the Wellington Lions, 56 for the Hurricanes and 22 for the All Blacks.


There's been an emotional send-off in Thames for bushman turned artist Rei Hamon, who died at the weekend at the age of 88.

After a farm accident Mr Hamon, from Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki, turned his experiences of the Coromandel bush into hundreds of finely drawn pointillist images.
Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says his fellow Te Aute College old-boy was not only an unique artist but a committed conservationist.

"The care that he put into his work, really the legacy that he leaves behind, not only for his family but for us all, very proud of him, just a legend really in the whole art area. It's just that his style and the feeling that he put into his artwork was so unique, that made him a special person," Dr Sharples says.

Haere, haere e te kai whakairo a tuhi ngahere ki tua o tawauwau,

Kawe mate o te motu at Koroneihana

At Ngaruawahia today, Maori from around the motu are taking time out to remember their dead.

Through the day whanau will be bringing their kawe mate onto the marae atea at Turangawaewae, often bringing photographs of those who have died in the course of the year.

It's an important part of the annual coronation hui, and it will provide an additional impetus to the Maori Party's hikoi there today.

Co-leader Tariana Turia says their primary reason for being their this year is to support the family if the party's former Te Tai Tonga candidate.

"We're taking Monte Ohia's hare mate onto the marae and joining with Monte's family," Mrs Turia says.

She says MPs will probably stay for the actual Koroneihana itself on Thursday, when King Tuheitia will speak.

This evening will be given over kapa haka.

Tauranga City Council is reviewing whether it should establish a separate Maori seat.

Huikakahu Kawe, the chair of the council's Tangata whenua consultative committee, says under the Local Governemnt Act the question needs to be looked at every six years.

He says while there's still a lot of talking to be done, Maori at this week's representation workshop were keen to have their own representative on the full council.

"That's always been our goal, because we've said for many years that it's good to have consultation, but the real decisions are made around the table where the full council sits, and while we can made recommendations to them, it doesn't mean we take note of them," Mr Kawe says.

He says the growth of Tauranga means Maori feel their views are swamped by the Pakeha majority.

A Maori land law expert says there's little point in a north Taranaki farmer appealing a district court judgment that he can't build on his land without a building consent.

Russell Gibbs from Tongaporutu faces a $10,000 a day fine unless he talks with New Plymouth District Council about getting a permit for his new wharenui.

Mr Gibbs says it's on a Maori reservation, so the law doesn't apply.

But Tom Bennion, the editor of the Maori Law Review, says the court cited similar cases where people were told the Building and Resource Management Acts apply to Maori freehold land.

"This is a little bit different because it's a Maori reservation, but the same general principle the judge is saying applies, that is the Building Act says all building work, it doesn't talk about any particular bits of land, it says all building work needs building consents, an in fact even within that Building Act it talks about Maori land and how you send notices to multiple owners, so there is just no basis for saying Maori reservations wouldn't be covered," Mr Bennion says.

He says the Judge did suggest the Building Act could allow a different consent process for customary Maori buildings, but that would require Mr Gibbs to open dialogue with the the New Plymouth District Council.


A Ngati Wai hapu hopes a promised re-survey of a Northland coastal reserve will lead to the protection of its waahi tapu.

Kris Macdonald, the chair of Te Whanau o Rangiwhakaahu hapu trust, says a 1999 survey done for the Department of Conservation by the Department of Land and Survey Information miscalculated and area at Matapouri which was set aside as a reserve in 1970 by the Maori Land Court.

The trust and Pakeha residents have placed poutiaki to make the disputed site, and they're joining forces for a High Court action against the departments.

He says DoC has indicated it is willing to resurvey ... which will please Maori and Pakeha residents alike.

"The Pakeha of the Matapouri community have been brought up with our grandparents and great grandparents. They eat at each other's houses. They were more like a Maori community than a Pakeha community. The waahi tapu is as special to them as it is special to the tangata whenua," Mr Macdonald says.

Maori consumers are being encouraged to chose carefully when they buy fish for dinner.

Green Party MP Metiria Turei says Maori should be concerned about the overfishing of tuna as it moves between the Pacific islands.

She says demand drives the overfishing ... so Maori consumers can make a difference for their Pacific whanaunga if they buy carefully.

"Those fish stocks, big eye and yellowfin, are over-fished. They're in decline, and they're enormously important to a variety of Pacific Island nations, both for subsistence fishing but also economically," Ms Turei says.

The Greens want New Zealand should push for a marine reserve in international waters ... which will push fishing boats into territorial waters where sustainability-based management systems can be put in place.

A Maori researcher has been picked to take part in an international study on the role culture plays in motivating students.

Joanna Kidman, from Te Arawa and Te Aupouri, has a Fulbright Scholarship to join a multidisciplinary group of indigenous education researchers from the United States, Hawai‘i, Canada, Taiwan and the Russian Altai Republic.

The senior lecturer in education at Victoria University says more work needs to be done on  what culture really means in education.

"In New Zealand there's an awful lot of talk between policy makers and teachers and researchers about how culture matters and abut how being Maori matters but there's not a lot of actually thinking about where do you go from that and in what way does it matter," Dr Kidman says.

The Fulbright scholarship will take Dr Kidman to the University of New Hampshire, where she will compare her data on Maori children's achievement with that of other researchers in the project.



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lonely Planet gets down to the pa

Grassroots Maori tourism ventures have made a big impression on the Lonely Planet.

The latest edition of the guidebook advises independent travellers that small-scale Maori operators can give a more genuine experience.

Its highlights include the Footsteps over Waipoua, Whakarewarewa Village and the Kawhia Kai festival, as well as tiki touring round the East Cape.

John Barrett, the chair of the Maori Tourism Council, is welcoming recognition of the character and quality of the Maori sector.
"We've been banging on about it for a few years now and the international market is certainly picking up on it. Lonely Planet put some of its spies into the marketplace and came across some of our really great and unique little Maori operations scattered around the country and they've certainly got appeal," he says.

Mr Barrett says operators who get into the Lonely Planet need to keep their standards up to ensure a consistent experience.

The deed's been signed, and now Port Nicholson Block claimants are getting down to the business of becoming one of Wellington's biggest landlords.

There was a large turnout at Pipitea Marae this morning to witness the settlement marking the end of almost 170 years of protest by Taranaki Whaanui that the terms of their deal to sell land around Wellington harbour was never honoured.

Through a combination of direct land transfers, lease back arrangements with government agencies and the right to buy surplus Crown land, the 15-thousand strong claimant community will end up with a large property portfolio.

Shane Jones, an associate Minister of Treaty Negotiations, says while the settlement will require significant commercial acumen to administer, the claimants aren't losing sight of the cultural and social implications.

"Well what I was excited about when I heard the Wellington Tenths leadership speak is that they actually wanted to do very practical things, quite apart from property management. They want to see more of their people housed. They want to do partnerships with the Government. They want to see more of the land and resources they are going to get back turned not only into commercial development but as homes and residences for both young and old," he says.

Mr Jones says it's an amazing feat that the five tribes involved have remained a united and coherent body in the 21 years since the claim was lodged.

Ancient Maori gardening practices are being revived central Hamilton with the help of Lottery funds.

The lotteries Commission's Significant Projects Fund has given $438 thousand to the Hamilton City Council to complete Te Parapara Garden.

Wiremu Puke, the council's cultural advisor, says the maara in Hamilton were once abundant, feeding not just the Waikato tribes but the new settlement in Auckland.

"The preparation of a maara reaches to the core values of our culture, particularly where kai is concerned. The basis of traditional food preparation is centered around a celebration of kai," Mr Puke says.

The design of the garden is based on oral knowledge and on descriptions by travellers like Edward Shortland, who journeyed up the Waikato river in 1842.


Tainui leader Tukoroirangi Morgan says a memorandum of understanding signed at Turangawaewae today with the Squamish people of British Columbia unites like minded people.

Senior leaders of the Vancouver-based First Nations people are at Ngaruawahia to pledge cooperation on cultural and economic initiatives.
Mr Morgan says the Squamish are one of the Canada's most commercially successful indigenous groups, with assets totalling over $4 billion including a major marina in downtown Vancouver.

"We're very careful about who we have a strategic alliance with, both cultural and economic, even in this country. We have to be cautious and selective about who we line up (with) commercially, and the Squamish nation is hugely successful," Mr Morgan says.

The MOU will open doors to global opportunities.

The Koroneihana hui continues tomorrow with kawe mate mo te motu, followed by an evening of kapa haka.


Hauraki iwi say a rare whale which is on its way to Te Papa is a tohu mai Tangaroa - a sign from the sea.

The melon-headed whale, which beached itself last year on the shore of Te Whanganui-a-Hei, has been buried under the sand in front of Ko Te Ra Matiti Marae near Whitianga.

Joe Davis from Ngati Hei says it was nicknamed 'Ki Uta', which means come ashore.

He says a whale stranding is always considered a sign from Tangaroa, but Ki Uta was a bit more special.

"This particular whale, when we found out it was a very rare one, the status of that particular tohora became quite clear to us and quite important to us. We looked at that and felt that this tohora was great promise, it looked like it could be changing times ahead not just for Ngati Hei but also Hauraki and maybe even Maoridom," Mr Davis says.

By exhuming the whale, Ngati Hei is building up its relationship with Te Papa, and it intends to be involved when the bones are displayed in about five years time.

After two decades in the music business, Maori country music star Dennis Marsh has won recognition from his pee's

At the national awards in Hamilton on the weekend, Marsh was named Male Country Music Artist of the Year at the National Awards in Hamilton.
The former trucker and carpenter began his musical career began in 1984 after he was dragged along to his first country music club in Manurewa and cajoled into taking the mic.

He's released 20 albums, including two this year, and says his voice is getting better with age.

Dennis Marsh will be on the road for 17 solo shows later this year; and he's also been asked to join a Legends of Country Music tour.


Port Nicholson signing today

It's a new dawn for Wellington, with Taranaki Whanui and government ministers gathering at Pipitea Marae this morning to sign the Port Nicholson Block Claim settlement.

Ngatata Love, the lead negotiator, says teams were working through the weekend on the final text of the agreement.

The deal includes the right to buy a portfolio of Crown properties, which will make the iwi landlord to a range of government agencies.
Professor Love says it's a measure of what the tribes' ancestors were seeking.

"Much of this land was acquired by various agencies in the past in a manner which the tribunal reflected wasn't the proper way to go so it's really taking us back to some degree, not the full degree, of where we were but it's our task really to revitalise the people now, al of Taranaki Whanui, and to move forward," he says.

The settlement bill is expected to be introduced this week, and Professor Love hopes it can go through all its stages before the election.

Waikato Tainui will today sign a memorandum of understanding with one of the Canada's most prominent first nations groups.

The Squamish is a nation of 3 and a half thousand people whose ancestral home is around Vancouver in British Columbia.

In 2000 it got a (C)$92.5 million dollar settlement from the Canadian federal government, and its asset base includes a huge marina in downtown Vancouver.

Tukoroirangi Morgan, Tainui's executive chairperson, says the MOU reinforces Waikato-Tainui's strategic plan.

"We visited them last year in a delegation led by King Tuheitia to try and find strategic alliances with First Nations peoples who are driven by similar principles and that the kaupapa that underpins the things that they do are very similar to the kaupapa that drives Waikato Tainui," Mr Morgan says.

Today is the first day of the annual Koroneihana hui, with most of the day set aside for kawe mate, or remembrance of those who have died over the year.

One of National's prominent Maori list candidates is looking forward to working on treaty settlements and sport, if he gets the chance.

Paul Quinn, a former Maori All Black captain, has a better chance at coming into Parliament at number 48 on the list than he has of beating Trevor Mallard in the Labour stronghold of Hutt South.

He's made party bosses aware of his track record in the treaty area with Ngati Awa and foresty claims.

"Chris Finlayson is clearly the spokesperson for treaty issues and I've indicated to Chris I would love to be involved. I'm very keen to assist Maori to resolve these issues and letting them get ion into growth mode. The other area of course is I am keen to assist in the sport and recreation area," Mr Quinn says.

He says like National supporters, Maori are conservative and have had enough of the nanny state.


Taranaki Whanui members are gathering at Pipitea Marae near Parliament about now to witness the end of their claim for land around the Wellington Harbour.

The claim goes back to the initial European settlement of the city, when promises to set aside land for the indigenous inhabitants were quickly broken.

One of the negotiotors for the Port Nicholson Block Claimants, Ngatata Love, says the deal was constrained by the government's desire not to upset relativities with other iwi settlements, but it's enough to build a solid foundation for the future.

"We don't get our gardens back at Pipitea Pa because Parliament buildings, the Beehive is now built on them but we've decided, the negotiation team, that it is now time to do what we can and look forward to the future rather than hang in there for another 20 years, and so the time now is to move ahead," Professor Love says.

Taranaki Whanui intends to work closely with the region's local authorities to ensure the orderly development of its new asset base.

Meanwhile in Ngaruawahia, Maori from around the motu gather at Turangawaewae marae for the annual hui marking the anniversary of the coronation of Kingi Tuheitia, senior Waikato- Tainui people are hard at work trying to finalise the Waikato River settlement.

The aim is to have a document ready to sign on the last day of the hui, Friday.

Negotiator Tukorirangi Morgan, the chair of Waikato-Tainui, says if the deal is done it will be an historic week for the tribe.

"We are still engaged in talks with the Crown and we are confident we can get some resolution so this week is going to be a very exciting week. It is going to be a watershed week in the life of Waikato Tainui and the ramifications will ripple across this country," Mr Morgan says.

Details which have emerged from earlier stages of the negotiations include a co-management role in the river not only for Waikato Tainui but for other iwi along the awa.

A Maori children's book author and illustrator says the next step for his Pukunui series is live animation.

James Waerea has published five books about Pukunui and his pet Moa,  and a play titled Moa can't fly which is touring schools until the end of the year.

The former school teacher says he's keen to take it into a new medium.

"This is gonna be an indigenous character. The book just talks to you and the character comes alive and we've got a hand that turns the pages and like a normal book but it comes alive," he says.

Waerea wrote the Pukunui series to address what he saw was a lack of opportunities for Maori children to learn their indigenous value systems.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Appeal planned on Tongaporutu wharenui

A North Taranaki farmer has vowed to fight a judgment that a whare built on his land needs a building permit.

Russell Gibbs says the whare tipuna is on land set aside as a Maori reservation, so he doesn't need to ask the New Plymouth District Council for permission.

But the district court has sided with the council, and threatened to fine Mr Gibbs and his wife Parani $10,000 a day unless they comply.

Mr Gibbs says the case should have been heard by the Maori Land Court, which has a better understanding of the issues.

"We are very sure it does not apply on Maori reservation. It's not for councils to say whether or not you can construct a wharenui and it's not for them to lay down their kawa. The hapu were building wharenui in 1839. They were building them in 1841. We don't see what's changed," Mr Gibbs says.

He says if the judgment is allowed to stand, it makes the idea of a Maori reservation meaningless.
Despite plummeting property prices, Ngai Tahu is planning a massive subdivision at the northern edge of Christchurch.

The new suburb called Prestons will cover a 200 hectare block in Marshland with up to 2500 sections and a commercial area.

It's a joint venture between the South Island tribe, Singapore-owned CDL Land New Zealand and supermarket giant Foodstuffs South Island.

David Schwartfeger, Ngai Tahu Property's development manager, says a slowdown in the property market won't have a significant impact on the project.

"Well it's been two years in design so far and it will be another two years in the consenting process. We will expect to see in the life of this project ups and downs in the housing market. We're a long term player and 2500 houses are going to take a long time to work its way through and we're prepared for the long haul," Mr Schwartfeger says.

Ngai Tahu is looking for a sustainable community, taking into account issues such as recreation spaces and public transport links.

A play based on a series of children's books is touring schools around the country until the end of the year.

Moa can't fly, features big-bellied Pukunui and his pet moa.

Author James Waerea says he's set his long-running series in pre-European times, because it's a way to teach the values of te ao Maori.

"The value systems that Maori had prior to the European, how they actually related to al the elements in nature as being living beings, like Pukunui talks to the sun and to the stars and he talks to the wood in the trees as though they were human beings because I believe at that particular time Maori were closer than they are today," Mr Waerea says.

He has published five books in the 'Pukunui' series and is working on an animated series.


National could have six Maori in its next caucus is electorate and list votes fall the right way.

The Party list released yesterday includes sitting list MPs Georgina te Heuheu at 17, Tau Henare at 26 and Paula Bennett at 41.

Ms Bennett is ranked behind its Mana candidate, former Te Puni Kokiri policy manager Hekia Parata, who at number 36 has a strong chance of getting into Parliament this time, after being one list place off in 2002.

Former All Black Paul Quinn has no chance of winning Hutt South, but on current polling his number 48 list placing could get him on the on the Treasury benches.

And at 51 Simon Bridges will almost certainly have to win Tauranga seat to get in.

Former Labour MP John Tamihere says most of the candidates are well known in Maoridom.

"Paul's been around, apart form that fact that in our day he was an exceptional footballer , a gritty determined one too, and that often tells you the type of character a bloke's got when you've seen him on the footy field stepping up. He's there. Hekia Parata we all know is a very capable person. Georgina te Heuheu, without her there wouldn't be Maori in the National Party," he says.

Mr Tamihere says National is trying to send a message it's no longer just a white man's party.

An Auckland university researcher says political attacks on the DPB may be playing on a mistaken popular belief that a majority of domestic purposes beneficiaries are Maori.

The National Party has made new work conditions for solo parents part the centrepiece of its social welfare conditions.

Christine Todd says her post-graduate research involved interviews with single parents, as well as an extensive study of newspaper coverage of the issue over the past decade.

She says inaccuracies abound.

"My perceptions of the stereotype in the newspaper and the media and from my readings was that the majority were young, were Maori, there's other kinds of stuff that goes with it that they were promiscuous, that they ere substance abusers, there's all kinds of stuff that gets perpetuated in the media, and from my reading and my research I knew that just wasn't the case," Ms Todd says.

Fewer than three percent of beneficiaries are under 20, and the majority are Pakeha women.

Rangitane o Wairarapa say the aroha has run out when it comes to providing free advice to local government.

Mike Kawana from the Masterton-based runanga says after 20 years of consultation on resource consent applications, waahi tapu notification and fisheries, the iwi wants a fee.

It is asking the region's councils to pay where specialist iwi knowledge is likely to be sought.

He says the councils are happy to pay other people and groups for consultation.

"For far too long now we've gone ahead and done things and we've done them because of this aroha we have for our whenua, our kaumatua and our kuia, and they're now saying aroha is not going to feed our moko, and although we still have that aroha, it's time that our time, our experience, our expertise was valued," Mr Kawana says.

Rangitane o Wairarapa. hasn't established a set fee scale.



Wai part of Ngai Tahu town planning

Ngai Tahu is planning a giant new subdivision for Christchurch.

The Prestons Road project for 2500 sections and a commercial area is a joint venture between Ngai Tahu, supermarket giant Foodstuffs South Island and the largely Singapore-owned CDL Land New Zealand.

The parties have all been buying farmland in the area on the northern fringe of the city.

David Schwartfeger, Ngai Tahu Property's development manager, says the Maori elements in the design will be subtle but crucial.

“Ngai Tahu takes the waterways very seriously and great care is being taken in protecting the waterways, recycling the water where possible, keeping the waterways in the same areas and probably returning areas that have been scoured out and drained and channeled into wetlands and waterways that are more traditional
Mr Schwartfeger says.

Prestons Road is being thought of as a 20 year project, so the developers aren't concerned at the current state of the property market.


Maori contribute more than $450 million dollars to the Taranaki economy, and they're looking to contribute more.

The figure came out in a Business and Economic Research Limited report commissioned by Maori development organisation Tui Ora and Venture Taranaki.

Hayden Wano, the chief executive of Tui Ora, says the report shows the measurable Maori asset base in the province is more than $750 million dollars.

He says the challenge now is to turn around a fragmented approach to development which has limited Maori business.

“It hopefully is a galvanizing point. It hopefully is a place that Maori leaders and leaders in the wider community also can use as a reference point for helping them develop plans and also create opportunities through collaboration across sectors and across businesses and across iwi boundaries to work together,” Mr Wano says.

The report found most Maori employers in Taranaki are in primary industry, mainly agriculture, followed by construction, retail, property and business services.


A distinguished Rangitane scholar and psychiatrist has added another qualification to an already brimming collection.

Mason Durie, the Professor of Maori research and development at Massey University and the university's deputy vice-chancellor Maori, was this weekend made an honorary doctor of laws by Otago University.

Darren Russell, Otago's director of Maori Development, says since graduating from medical school in Dunedin in 1963, Professor Durie has changed the way health is delivered, not just to Maori.

He has also changed the way universities work.

“His work at Massey and his support of Maori education across the tertiary sector beyond Massey into every university is undeniable and he continues to impassion Maori studying but also impassion non-Maori in issues associated with Maori and I think that’s a success across the tertiary sector, not just for Massey,” Mr Russell says.

The Port Nicholson settlement, which is due to be signed tomorrow, could face a last minute hitch over the future of Pipitea Marae.

The marae by Wellington's railway yards has been home to Ngati Poneke Young Maori Club since it was built with Crown and Maori Trustee funding in the 1970s, but now Taranaki Whanui claimants want it to come home.

While Ngati Poneke no longer fields a kapa haka team in competitions, the club wants the Maori Trustee to renew its lease of the marae, for which it pays a peppercorn rental and collects revenue from an underground carpark.

Ngatata Love, the chief negotiator for Port Nicholson Block claimants, says the land should come back to Taranaki Whanui without conditions.

“We want to work with the people that are there now but more particularly we want to work with the people who are coming forward now. The growth of our young people in terms of numbers, their desire to learn, to participate in all of the cultural activities, it’s the ideal venue for that and we want to use that. I’d like to see it used 15, 16 hours a day every day of the week because it can be a home for so many,” Professor Love says.


Marae are lining up for a government fund aimed at improving water supplies in rural communities.

Mita Ririnui, the associate minister of health, says the $1.5 million putea for marae is part of this year's $7 million spend nationwide on the Drinking Water Assistance Programme.

Half the money is already committed to projects in the Bay of Plenty, with Taneatua, Matata, Murupara and Torere-Ngaitai set to benefit.

“Some communities who have real serious problems in terms of water quality, many of them on the old septic tank systems and get a lot of seepage into the underground water supply, it’s all linked to community health, primary health, and the health of families, because the best water quality we can provide to families is essential in terms of their health status,” Mr Ririnui says.

Safe, clean water is central to the principle of manaakitanga.


The Parihaka Peace Festival aims to make its next outing more whanau friendly.

Organiser Te Miringa Hohaia says acts are firming up for the January event.

In respect for the Taranaki settlement's history as the home of non-violent resistance to land confiscation, the festival has rejected alcohol sales and sponsorship to balance its books.

Mr Hohaia says it's a place people come to learn new things.

“We're more than just another summertime music even because our speaking forums, eco forums, children’s forums, the film and poetry and the healing forums all take an important place in the festival and that way we’re creating a family atmosphere at our event, which is in keeping with the whole Parihaka ethos,” he says.

To emphasise the family approach, entry is $10 for children, $20 for kaumatua and $150 for everyone else.