Waatea News Update

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Turanga AIP signed off

The Government has signed an agreement in principle to settle the historical claims in the Gisborne area.

The negotiations have involved a cluster of hapu and iwi coming together under the mantle of Turanganui a Kiwa.

Waatea News reporter and former Gisborne resident Marire Kuka has been reading the small print in the $59 million settlement.

Gathered at Mangatu Marae north of the city were representatives from Ngai Tamanuhiri ... Te Pou a Haokai, which includes Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Whanau a Kai, NgaAriki Kaiputahi, Te Whanau a Wi Pere and Te Whanau a Rangiwhakataetaea ... and Rongowhakaata, including Ngā Uri o Te Kooti Rikirangi.

It was the circumstances around Te Kooti's imprisonment and subsequent escape from the Chatham Islands in 1868 which gave rise to many of the grievances.

The claimant iwi, who represent about 12,000 members, are being offered $59 million dollars in commercial redress to buy about 20,000 hectares of Crown Forest Land, with the option to buy another 18 Crown-owned properties over the next two years.

Another 16 properties from the landbank of surplus Crown properties are being gifted, along with two Gisborne District Council properties which were subject to longstanding grievances about the way they were acquired.

Cultural redress includes more properties, recognition of Rongowhakaata's ownership of the house Te Hau ki Turanga, which is now in the national museum Te Papa, and the return of wahi tapu including Young Nicks Head Historic Reserve.


Maori Party co leader Pita Sharples says the Party is feeling strong empathy for New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters and his team as he comes under fire over donations.

Dr Sharples says he is confident that the other Maori in New Zealand First will be standing loyally with Winston Peters.

"He's quite rightly named his party New Zealand First and that's how he sees it so he's hell bent on pursuing economic and safety goals for ll of New Zealand and does not show any preference or priority for Maori issues in that sense but his pride in being Maori and enjoying life as a Maori is very clear and very evident," he says.

Dr Sharples says while this is in direct contrast to the Maori Party which is championing Maori rights and promoting Maori aspirations the two parties are heading in the same direction in terms of building strong New Zealand unity and nationhood.


New Zealand First MP Ron Mark is confident his leader Winston Peters and the Party will weather the storm surrounding political donations.

Ron Mark says there is pure hatred towards Winston Peters and New Zealand First by business and other interests who don't want to see them in Parliament.

"The goal for me right now and other New Zealand First MPs is to take care of the business that's before the House right now firstly and foremost, right through to when Parliament lifts, and then obviously to fight a campaign and make sure New Zealand First is back there, to make sure people understand what's happened to us, and don't allow these people to win in the long run," Mr Mark says.

Turanganui-a-Kiwa claimants have outlined a plan to turn the first land seen by Captain Cook's crew into a national reserve.

It's one of cultural redress items in a treaty settlement agreement in principle signed today at Managatu Marae near Gisborne by representatives of iwi in the 12,000-strong cluster.

The settlement covers a turbulent history.

On September the 24th, 1769, 12 year old Nicholas Young spotted mountains south of Poverty Bay.

To mark the feat, Captain James Cook named the landmark at the southern end of the Bay Young Nick's Head.

Tribes in the area knew it as Te Kuri a Paoa, and losing the name of their maunga was the first of many losses to those who came in the tall ships - of lives, of land, of language, culture and livelihood,

The settlement package which negotiators from Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Ngai Tamanuhiri will nail down over the next year includes a $59 million dollar commercial redress package of forests and surplus Crown land, as well as 18 properties which will be bought and leased back to government agencies.

A number of wahi tapu will come back, including the 38 hectare Young Nicks Head Historic Reserve.

It will be held and administered as a historic reserve, and declared a national reserve in recognition of its significance to the whole country.

The deal also includes $100,000 to build a memorial to those Tūranganui-a-Kiwa who lost their lives as a result of past Crown actions.

Fans of Ruben Wiki will be at Mt Smart this weekend as the Maori rugby league legend plays what is likely to be his last home game for the season.

The former Kiwi captain played 55 test matches... and became the first New Zealand player to play 300 first grade NRL games after stints with the Canberra Raiders and the New Zealand Warriors.

Gordon Gibbons, from Auckland Rugby League, says he's pretty sure that when the Warriors' season ends the Otahuhu-born prop will resist the temptation to head to the Super League competition in the UK.

"Regardless of the dollars I think Ruben being the family man he is will admit to the fact that's it and hang up the boots but hey, stranger things have happened," Mr Gibbons says.

The Warriors play the Penrith Panthers on Sunday


Welfare progress gets pass mark

Improving... but could do better.

That's the verdict on Maori in the Ministry of Social Development's Social Report for 2008.

The report pulls together information from a range of government departments and researchers to get a picture of what life in New Zealand is like... and how it's changed over time.

Don Gray, the Deputy Chief Executive for the MSD says there have been substantial gains for Maori since the 1990s... in employment, education and health.

Maori unemployment rates have dropped... far more Maori are getting educated... there are jumps in both early childhood and tertiary education... and Maori smoking and suicide rates have fallen ... which has contributed to an improvement in Maori life expectancy.

"The challenge is that we've still got disparities so even though we've got better employment rates for Maori than we had in the mid-90s, they're still lower than the general population. Similarly we've got an improvement in life expectancy for Maori, but there's still a gap between Maori and non-Maori," Mr Gray says.

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia has praised the work of embattled New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters.

Mr Horomia says that whatever the outcome of investigations into New Zealand First donations there is no denying that Winston Peters has done a good job as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

"I think he has been outstanding. I think he has done things that only Winston could have done. His skills and talents have really moved this country's partnerships forward. He's hard working and his international reputation has built up but he's certainly has to manage this issue at home and over the next couple of days hopefully all be revealed," Mr Horomia says.

He was surprised by the National Party decision that it wouldn't enter into a coalition with Winston Peters after the election commenting that people in glass houses should not throw stones.

The cream of Maori artistic talent will be heading to Wellington this weekend for Nga Taonga Toi a Te Waka Toi.

Garry Nicholas, from Toi Maori, says the awards recognise artists from a range of creative fields.

Past winners include singer Sir Howard Morrison, weaver Diggeress Te Kanawa, carver Cliff Whiting and the late Don Selwyn.

"They bring out some some of the people that work in the communities, that just operate quietly, as well as the iconic great leaders within the arts too," Mr Nicholas says.

Two $4000 scholarships will be given to rangatahi planning to study arts at tertiary level.

What is thought to be the last portrait painted by Charles Goldie has been sold at auction for more than $400,000.

A Noble Relic of a Noble Race, an oil painting of Ngati Manawa and Tuhoe rangatira Wharekauri Tahuna, was sold to an anonymous private buyer at an auction in Wellington last night.

Garry Nicholas from Toi Maori says prices like that puts many of these taonga out of the reach of their descendants.

However, through whakapapa, those tipuna continue to live on.

"Our only other consolation is that the people who purchase those do value them, not necessarily with the same value as us but they do have a value for it so it's unlikely it is going to be desecrated in any way that would diminish the value that we have for those old paintings and those tipuna," Mr Nicholas says.

Two other Goldie paintings... of Arawa chieftainess Ahinata Te Rangituatini, also known as Kapi Kapi... and Ngati Rauwaka and Arawa chief Tumai Tawhiti... are set to be sold at auction in Auckland in October.

World-renowned traditional navigator and waka-builder Hekenukumai Busby will launch his newest creation this weekend.

The double-hulled or 'Waka-haurua" sailing canoe with the help of the young man on his waka-building course will launch in Taipa tomorrow.

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says Mr Busby is a living gift to Maoridom.

"People like Hec Busby are rarities. He's an icon in his own right. He is one of the few recognised international navigators, in an elite group of about seven. He's quite a simple fellow but the knowledge that he has is enormous," Mr Horomia.

Mr Busby recently returned from the launch of a waka in Hawaii made in tribute to the late Bill Kapuni.

Historian Paul Moon says common sense quashed a complaint to the Human Rights Commission about a book he wrote on cannabilism.

An anonymous letter complaining about the book 'This Horrid Practice' was rejected after the Commission stated they do not uphold anonymous complaints.

Dr Moon says there is a movement of academics around the world who would like to pretend cannibalism did not happen.

He says this does not change the fact cannibalism is a part of Maori history.

"Basically they said the whole book was racist because it said Maori were cannibals and they said that was a racist statement so they wanted the book banned, and I think common sense prevailed and people realise what cannibalism did take place in this country so they rejected the complaint," Dr Moon says.

He says his research shows that cannibalism was not only ceremonial but a part of everyday Maori life.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Turanganui a Kiwa to sign AIP

Turanganui-a-Kiwa will tomorrow sign their Agreement in Principle with a claim settlement timeframe of two years in mind.

The iwi whakapapa to Te Toka a Taiau, is the first landing place of Captain Cook's Endeavour in Gisborne.

The Agreement in Principle will represent Rongowhakaata, Ngai Tamanuhiri and Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki and areas of significance will be researched in the two years following the signing.

Maori Affairs Minister, Parekura Horomia says the claim has been going for a long time.

"The Turanganui a Kiwa claim was to be the model of accelerating claim process. Chief Judge Joe Williams really led with that and got to a stage where we have been negotiating with them for the last three years and certainly they've been positioned and tomorrow we go to Mangatu to encourage them to finalise things," says Mr Horomia, who will take part in tomorrow's signing.

National MP Tau Henare believes his party should take credit for the speed Treaty of Waitangi claims are being dealt with.

The government have announced next Monday as the cut-off date for the lodging of all historical treaty claims.

Mr Henare says in the nine years Labour has been in power the only real progress has been noted in the past 12 months.

He says now the end of Treaty claims is in sight.

"I think if it hadn't been for the pressure put on by our side, things would have been meandering on. The government needed a bit of a kick up its backside in terms of its processes. we've certainly seen a rush of agreements in principle and I think it's a good idea that people get focused on a date in terms of the furnishing of a claim. The issue is, get the claims in, get them sorted, so we can move on," Mr Henare says.

He says the huge interest in the lodgement of claims shows Maori are able to work with the deadline.

It's the New Zealand Cancer Society's daffodil day tomorrow, and one of the most popular Maori chefs in the country says her new cookbook is aimed at people who are battling the disease.

Anne Thorp is the host of Kaiora,  a food show on Maori TV that features sumptuous meals using traditional and easily accessible Maori kai.

She says as a 10 year survivor of breast cancer, and having completed 3 series of her popular cooking show , she didn't hesitate when asked to write a cookbook for people dealing with the disease.

"Eating healthy is one of the major ways of getting better through any disease. My book is co-written and endorsed by Trevor Smith who is a leading New Zealand cancer and breast cancer expert and he'll be putting his two cents in for both of us to create a fabulous cookbook," Ms Thorpe says.

She's still gathering recipes for the yet to be named cookbook due out by mothers day next year.


Former Green MP Nandor Tanczos says young Maori men will be those most detrimentally affected by the Police decision to arm officers with tasers.

Police commissioner Howard Broad has announced that the Police are pressing ahead with plans to reintroduce 32 Tasers in the three Auckland districts and Wellington this year and throughout the country next year.

Mr Tanczos says while there is an argument for non lethal options to guns this avoids the fact that people like Steve Wallace in Waitara did not need to be shot in the first place.

"You go through the justice system top to bottom, and young brown men, particularly young Maori men, tend to be treated more harshly by the system - more likely to be stopped by police, more likely to be searched by police, more likely to be arrested is there's anything going on, likely to get a harsher sentence and certainly add Tasers into that equation and there's no doubt in my mind that primarily who's going to be Tasered is young Maori men," he says.

Mr Tancos says there is no effective sanction on Police if they breach the guidelines for using Tansers so there will be nothing to stop the Police randomly using Tasers.

National MP Tau Henare is continuing to accuse the Government of theft with its plans to use $35 million from the Maori Trustee to set up a fund for Maori economic development.

In parliament yesterday Mr Henare attacked the government for the planned move and continued the criticism on Radio Waatea this morning.

He says the Crown Law Office has said the money legally belongs to the Maori Trustee but the government still wants to take it from Trustee beneficiaries and use it for other purposes.

"Now the idea may be nice about Maori economic development in that you would find no one to stand in the way of Maori economic development but it's the way you go about it, and you shouldn't be able to go about stealing other people's money, because that's exactly what this is," Mr Henare says.

Maori celebrity chef Anne Thorpe wants Maori battling disease to eat better.

Anne Thorpe a 10 year survivor of cancer says an improved diet played a big part in her recovery.

Her Maori TV cooking show Kaiora features recipes using the finest Maori kai , and has been a hit with both Maori and non Maori foodlovers, both here and overseas.

The Pakiri beach based chef says her next series will show how food can help people recover from illness.

"The kai that I'll be focusing on is for all those people that have got diabetes and cancer and heart disease, who are overweight, such as myself, which are all prevalent conditions in Maori and of course for all of those who enjoy happy and healthy lifestyles," Ms Thorpe says.



Smaller claimants disadvantaged by deadline

Green MP Metiria Turei says smaller claimant groups are the ones who will be most diadvantaged by next week's deadline on historic treaty claims.

Maori have until Monday to lodge claims for Crown breaches of the treaty from 1840 to 1992.

Metiria Turei says while larger iwi have been able to develop relationships with the Crown, those groups who were worst hit by the processes of colonisation and war may miss out.

"Their claims aren't any less legitimate or even any smaller than other ones. It's just that they have ended up at the back of the queue. So it's a grossly disadvantageous and discriminatory thing to do especially since the government has no such deadline. They didn't change anything about their process to make sure it goes faster," Ms Turei says.

The Greens tried unsuccessfully to stop the deadline.

The head of a Maori business development agency says Maori are getting more savvy about business.

The Poutama Trust invests a couple of million dollars a year in small and medium size businesses, as advice, micro-loans or equity participation in ventures.

Chief executive Richard Jones says in the two decades the trust has been operating there have been marked changes in the way Maori go to market.

"If you asked then for a business plan or a set of financial accounts, you were lucky to get that sort of thing,. You were more likely to get a bank statement. Now when we ask for that, no problem, We get a relatively good business plan. We get a set of financial accounts which have been done up with the help of an accountant. People are getting more business savvy," Mr Jones says.

While urban based-Maori busiensses are still relatively small and entrepreneurial, the larger rural organisations are starting to diversify away from the primary sector or cluster together for greater efficiency.

A Maori dietician says the health of young Maori mothers and their children is suffering because they lack cooking skills.

Hiki Pihema, who works for the Tairawhiti District Health Board, says many Maori women are ill equipped  to provide healthy food for their whanau.

She says many of them don't get past frying or heating food up in a microwave, because parents and grandparents may not have understood the link between healthy eating and health," Ms Pihema says.

Maori health will be one of the themes of a Dieticians Conference in Hamilton next week.


A split in a leading Ratana family has been repaired, which could boost Labour's vote.

Last election Errol Mason, the son of tumuaki Harry Mason, was Labour's candidate in Te Tai Hauauru, while his brother Andre was telling church members or morehu they should cast their lot with the Maori Party.

This time Errol Mason is again contesting the seat held by Tariana Turia, and he's being backed by his brother.

Errol Mason says their shared commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi brought them together, and they're campaigning together.

"When we're going around talking to our people, we know they are passionate about the treaty and the fact we go back to what our founder was seeking in his time and it's that thing that turns the light on with a lot of our people," Mr Mason says.

He says the important thing is that Maori take part in the democratic process and vote.

Te Whanau-a-Apanui could benefit from a proposed hydro-electric dam on the Motu River in the eastern Bay of Plenty.

Haki McRoberts, a member of the iwi and chair of the Opotiki District Council's coast community board, says the region needs a more secure electricity supply.

Consultants have identified four potential dams on the river, and another three possible sites on the nearby Ruakokore River.

Mr McRoberts says Te Whanau-a-Apanui would need to be involved in any development, and it could even consider investing.

"There is a way Te Whanau a Ap-anui could get a good base from it money wise by hooking into them annd selling their power off at 10, 15, 25 cents, something like that, being part of it to build Te Whanau-a-Apanui's kitty," Mr McRoberts says.

The iwi is talking with Wellington based Horizon Energy about the venture.

Labour list MP Dover Samuels will be dancing to a different beat this weekend, as formerf members of the Maori showbands gather in the Gold Coast for a reunion.

The former Taitokerau MP was an accomplished entertainer in his younger days, filling in at times for members of the Maori Volcanics and the Quintikis.

He says at least 30 Maori entertainers of yesteryear are expected at a powhiri today, and the sold out sign is up for the gala performance at Billys' Beach bar on Saturday night.

Mr Samuels says while the reunion is being held across the Tasman to make it easier for Australia-based entertainers to attend, the Maori Community Centre in Auckland was where it all started.

"They formed different groups like the Volcanics, the Hi Fives, the High Quins, and the demand for that type of live entertainment really launched the whole concept of Maori showbands not just in New Zealand but right around the world," Mr Samuels says.

It was their incorporation of Maori humour and culture into a musical entertainment that made the showbands unique.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Greens win insulation from climate change back down

The Green's Maori affairs spokesperson says low income Maori families will be among the first to benefit from a deal the party won for its support of the Government's emissions trading scheme.

Meteria Turei says support was price was the establishment of a billion dollar fund to be used over the next 15 years to insulate state houses and those of low and middle income earners.

She says families living in cold damp overcrowded conditions are vulnerable to respiratory conditions like bronchitis and asthma, which put a burden on the health system.

"By trying to fix the problem through this emissions trading scheme and this mechanism we've managed to get a real gain out of it for both the health and well being of our families but also helping us to save money to at a time food is going up, fuel is going up and because we're the ones generally tending to the bottom of the income bracket we're the ones going to suffer the most," Ms Turei says.

Roof and floor insulation and water and hot water cylinder wraps are proven to help, but they're often out of reach for poor families or those in rental accommodation.

A member of a Maori development think tank says Maori organisations have to start making their assets work for them.

Shaan Stevens from the Hui Taumata task force addressed a Maori Business Symposium in Dunedin this week on the growth of Maori entrepreneurship at the individual and group level.

He says many land trusts and incorporations are starting to work with outside organisations like Crown research institutes on how they can unlock the potential of their land and people.

He says the days of ultra-conservative management are on their way out.

"If you've got the land or assets you've either got to use it or lose it. We've seen a lot of Maori trusts and incorporations who are doing nothing with their resources because sometime they think that's the safe thing to do, whereas often they're not even generating enough to pay the rates and pay other bills and putting the thing they were trying to protect at risk inadvertently," Mr Stevens says.

Danniverke-based Rangitane o Tamaki nui a Rua wants Contact Energy to do a cultural impact study on a proposed windfarm on the Puketoi ranges.

Cultural advisor Manahi Paewai says the 65-turbine farm east of Pahiatua could affect the ecosystem of the Mangaatoro stream.

He says the area is significant to north Wairarapa iwi.

"Branches of Rangitane are (associated) with that range and of course we still have descendants of those groups in our area. We will be going in to talks on the composition of a cultural impact report," Mr Paewai says.

He says it's too early to say if iwi will support or oppose the Contact plan.


A leading treaty historian warns some of the current surge of settlements will fail ... but they're a sign the Government has learned important lessons about dealing with Maori.

Michael Belgrave gave the chancellor's lecture at Massey University today on whether there is an end in sight to treaty settlements.

He says the September the first deadline for lodging historical treaty claims was a non-solution to a non-problem, as the Waitangi Tribunal was well advanced on reporting on claims region by region.

The bottleneck has been the Crown's ability to negotiate settlements, and that became bogged down in bureacracy until the portfolio was handed to deputy prime minister Michael Cullen.

Professor Belgrave says recent deals like the Wellington Harbour and Waikato River settlements are just the tip of the iceberg.

"Will these settlements be successful? Some of them won't. Some of them will turn out to be too riushed. Some of them won't turn out to have the mandate that is expected. And you have to be careful because often a settlement is announced when really all that is being announced is an agreement to work towards a settlement," Professor Belgrave says.

He says Dr Cullen has learned the lessons of George Grey, Duncan McLean, Michael Joseph Savage and Jim Bolger ... that settlements need to be conducted at a high level, and a flexible approach is needed.

Meanwhile, New Zealand First is indicating support for the Treelord settlement if the Government can get legislation through its stages before the house rises.

Leader Winston Peters says the party has done what it can to help the Treaty Negotiation Minister, Michael Cullen, bring the central North island forestry claims to a conclusion.

That included using what influence it had among the tribes to push for a unified settlement.

"Because all I could see was another 20, 25 years of wasted time and arguments and it's counterproductive for this country and so yes, in that context I have been supportive and I've put a lot of time and so have a lot of my workers, put a lot of time into trying to get that unity and we've seen the consequence this year, just a short while ago when we got a settlement no one thought was possible at the start of the year 2008," Mr Peters says.

He says central North Island Maori have a chance of a lifetime to put the past behind them if they can put aside internicine arguments.

A veteran Maori journalist says Maori and migrant nations are not being accurately reflected in the media.

Ana Tapiata from Kawea Te Rongo, the Maori Journalists Association, spoke to yesterday's Human Rights Commission Diversity Forum, which focused on languages, religion and media as part of the face of changing New Zealand.

She says Maori make up only about three percent of the journalism workforce, 1 percent are Asian and a similar amount Pacific Island, so Maori people's stories and those of others aren't being accurately reported in the media.

Maori managers flex their wings

The managers of Maori collectively-owned assets are starting to show a more entrepreneurial bent.

Shaan Stevens from the Hui Taumata Taskforce told a Maori Business Symposium in Dunedin that views of what makes an entrepreneur are changing - and Maori are increasingly demonstrating a flair for making money for themselves or their wider group.

At an individual level that can mean turning hobbies or interests into businesses.

At a collective level it means exposing themselves to a bit more risk.

"We're seeing a number of iwi groups start to looking at how they can use their resources, whether that be their people or their land, in different ways to create value, and they're starting to realise they need to find partners and they need to take a stocktake of where they are so we see a lot of the iwi groups now working with CRIs and others to see and identify what are the opportunities on creating businesses from their resources. where otherwise there may not have been any opportunities there," Mr Stevens says.

He says the way to tell a Maori entrepreneur is often to look for the person with the arrows in their back.

The Maori Party is urging whanau and iwi to move fast if they want to retain the right to reclaim land taken by the Crown.

There's just five days to go for the cut-off for lodging historic treaty claims.

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says there's no way get around the September 1 deadline.

"Get something in on paper and worry about the details later, and if it is in the wrong place, in other words if it's not historical and it's contemporary, at least you've got something on the table anyway," Mr Flavell says.

There's debate about whether some claims for natural resources such as water or geothermal energy are historic or contemporary, but it will be left to the Waitangi tribunal to sort out.

South Auckland police are taking up a presence in the city's schools to tackle problems before they spill out onto the streets.

Dexter Trail, the manager of the cops in schools programme, says 10 secondary schools are now involved, serviced by five officers, with more schools looking to join the scheme.

He says there have been teething problems about what should be done with information picked up in schools, but they are being dealt with sensitively.

"There's a lot of things that happened in our day that teachers and parents dealt with in the school and it didn't come to note with the police and so we're working round those issues to make sure we're not taking the autonomy from the schools to deal with children the way that children and young people are supposed to be dealt with. All we are is to assist with the process and to assist with some of the experiences our people have," says Mr Trail, who's from Kahungunu and Rangitane.

He says police hope that dealing with an emerging criminal element at an early stage will lead to long term benefits for society.


A Bay of Plenty claimant says the co-management set out in Tainui's historic Waikato River settlement is a setback for Maori.

Maanu Paul says the Waitangi Tribunal's 1996 report on the Ikawhenua rivers report found his iwi had rights over the Rangitaiki and Wheao rivers akin to ownership.

He says the Waikato river settlement appears to give tino rangatiratanga to Waikato-Tainui, but the Crown retains ownership.

"For the Maori it's an evil. it's a taniwha that ought to be struck down and destroyed. It seduces Maori into believing they can have a say in the operation of their taonga but in actual fact it's a bit of a Clayton's ownership. I'm very disappointed Tainui have done this," Mr Paul says.

He says the Waikato River deal will be used as a template to be imposed on other natural resource claimants.


Now the deadline for lodging historic treaty claims is almost upon us, a leading treaty historian says it's unlikely to have much an effect on the settlement process.

Maori have until the first of September ... next Monday  ...  to lodge claims about Crown actions or breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi between 1840 and 1992.

Michael Belgrave, who teaches history and Maori studies at Massey University, says the government's commitment to settlements this year has given claimants some hope.

He says there are so many claims in the system, it's unlikely the deadline will affect the timetable.

"This is really just a political sideshow. The critical issue is the tribunal continuing with its managed programme and a really strong commitment from government, whoever the government happens to be, to deal with Maori in a reasonable and flexible kind of way and do so from the top down," he says.

Professor Belgrave will be giving a public lecture at noon today at Massey's Albany campus on recent developments in the claim process.

Te Wananga o Aotearoa has gone into the film business.

It's hosting the first Aotearoa Film Festival of screenings and workshops at campuses in Gisborne, Waiariki and Manukau over the next two weeks.

Chief executive Bentham Ohia says it has brought together 10 indigenous filmmakers from Aotearoa, Australia, Hawaii and North America, with help from Hawaii's Pacific Islanders in Communications programme, the Sundance institute and National Geographic's All Roads Film Project.
That's creating a sense of excitement in the post-screening question and answer sessions and the workshops.

"The students were having three hour workshops with these directors. It was awesome actually. That's the difference in terms of what we're trying to do with this festival, is to really bring it down to a community grassroots level, break down access for our whanau to view these flash films which are usually shown at festivals around the world," Mr Ohia says.

The filmmakers are today attending a wananga at a Waitomo marae to share experiences and discuss future collaboration or training opportunities.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Whanau claims miss out in deadline rush

The author of a book on the Waitangi claim process says whanau claimants are the group most likely to lose out from next Monday's deadline for lodging historical Treaty claims.

The Waitangi Tribunal has received a surge of claims as iwi groups scramble to ensure all their issues will be heard.

But Michael Belgrave, a professor of history at Massey University, says individuals with smaller localised claims will miss out.

"A huge number of whanau issues would never be dealt with anyway. You're only going to deal with representative issues in terms of whanau concerns about relatively small pieces of land," Professor Belgrave says.

He says the current historical settlement process has limits, and the whanau claims may have to be dealt with by a future generation.

Professor Belgrave is giving a public lecture tomorrow on Treaty Settlements: is there an end in sight, in the Neil Waters Theatre on Massey's Albany campus.

The New Zealand Film Archive is picking a new multimedia resource on the Treaty of Waitangi to be one of its most requested titles.

The three-DVD set, which is was released last night, is part of the growing On Disk series for loan to schools.

Alex Burton, the education programmes manager, says rather than being a dry project, it turned out to be an exciting compilation with early silent films of Maori life early last century, newsreels from the 1930s and television news footage and documentaries about treaty protests and claims.

He says it's the sort of thing schools are crying out for.

"The treaty over the years has gradually gained increasing importance in the curriculum document and the revised curriculum last year placed it higher still and also inserted it as a social studies learning objective so now every New Zealand student will study it in their year 9, 10 schooling," Mr Burton says.

The DVDs include material from the Film Archives, National Archives and the National Library.

North Kaipara Maori are embracing the country's first community circus.

Dargaville-based Circus Kumarani started five years ago, and member Claudia Guthrie says Maori now make up a third of the 60 members.

They learn skills like juggling, tightrope walking, clowning, unicyle riding and how to swing poi.

"We offer a variety of circus skills. Some of them get a chance to perform at events we are invited to," Ms Guthrie says.

Circus Kumarani has inspired similar efforts in Kaitaia and Whangarei, and it will be hosting New Zealand's first national community circus convention next month.


Cops in schools are getting a passing grade from teachers and pupils in South Auckland schools.

Manager Dexter Trail, from Kahungunu and Rangitane, says the programme began in May at James Cook High School, and 10 schools are now involved, with one officer taking responsibility for two schools.

There's been a few teething problems... but so far the feedback, from the participating police officers as well as the teachers and students, is that things are going well.

"We'll dealing with a whole raft of small criminal element down there but dealing with it at that level, I think we're going to have positive spin-offs in the long run and then who knows ... better society, better community," Mr Trail says.


A former Labour Maori MP says the Maori Party could be holding the ace card going into this year's election.

John Tamihere, who lost his Tamaki Makaurau seat to Pita Sharples, says the Maori Party has made a solid impact in its first full term in parliament.

He says the major parties are now factoring it into their post-election strategies.

"We all know there is the possibility of the Maori Party choosing who will rule, whether it will be National or whether it will be Labour. it's an amazing position to be in really (for a party) four years old," Mr Tamihere says.

The Maori Party needs to gets its campaign strategy right if it is to best capitalise on its post-election potential.

A pioneering Maori film maker is putting her stamp on the first Aotearoa Film Festival, which opened in Hamilton last night.

Patu director Mereta Mita is the patron of the festival, which brings together 10 filmmakers from Aotearoa, the Pacific, Australian and North America.

They are holding screenings and workshops at Te Wananga o Aotearoa campuses in Waitomo, Gisborne, Rotorua and Manukau over the next two weeks.

Organiser Russell Harrison says Hawaii-based Mita set the kaupapa for the venture.

"Bringing someone on board like Mereta to our festival has brought a lot of credibility and has helped us uphold any integrity when it comes to disseminating the films, talking to the filmmakers, and making sure the community gets a really great chance to get a learning experience from it as well," he says.

The Aotearoa Film Festival is a joint venture between the Hawaii based Pacific Islanders in Communication programme, Te Wananga o Aotearoa, the Sundance institute and National Geographic's All Roads Film Project for indigenous filmmakers.

Hapu carping about spray use

Lake Tutira, north of Napier to be ground zero in a battle between Biosecurity New Zealand and the hydrilla weed.

Hydrilla crowds out native plants and forms dense mats of vegetation.

George Ria, the head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry's Maori strategic unit, has been talking with iwi about ways to tackle the ngarara.

He says Hawkes Bay tribes Ngati Tu and Ngati Pahauwera want MAF to use carp rather than poison to eradicate the weed before it gets well established in the lake.

"They're the ones that did not want the use of the spray but their objective is they do not want the weed, so while they have a concern about using the spray, their option was really the carp. If there was to be use of the spray, they would reluctantly support that," Mr Ria says.

Biosecurity NZ hopes to start its eradication programme in spring.

A tourism researcher believes Maori ecotourism ventures need more marketing to become sustainable.

Chrys Horn from Landcare Research says it's one thing to develop products, but many international visitors don't appreciate what a unique experience they can get by booking in to Maori ventures.

Her four-year study Te Tapoitanga Maori - Growing Regional Maori Tourism found that many tourists know almost nothing about Maori.

She says tapping the market will need good business heads.

"It's quite a subtle business attracting people into a new area and into Maori culture where they may not have a good understanding of what that culture entails or what it is they might be getting when they buy a product. It's not a straightforward business. You can't just develop a business and expect people to come. There's a lot of work in the marketing and selling it to people," Ms Horn says.

Most non-Maori New Zealanders are ven less interested than internationals tourists in Maori experiences ... though a small number are very keen.

One of Michael Campell's early mentors says the former US open champion can regain tournament-winning form with patience and hard work.

Campbell finished eighth equal in Dutch open, his best result this year.

Vic Pirihi,  who helped develop hundreds of Maori golfers including Campbell and Phil Tataurangi,  says the former Titahi Bay resident is much better than his current form suggests.

"He's been having a bad run and when your confidence is low it's bloody hard to pull anything together but he's too good to stay there. the wheel always turns," Mr Pirihi says.


Secondary school students will now have access to material on the Treaty of Waitangi long buried in the nation's archives.

A three-DVD set of documents and film material was launched last night at the New Zealand Film Archive

It includes 1930s newsreels of Lord Bledisloe, television documentaries of the protest movement of the 1970s and 80s, and backgrounders on the claim settlement process.

Judith Tizard, the associate minister of Minister of Culture and Heritage, says it's the warts and all story.

"What we want to do is make sure the real story of New Zealand's founding and our history since the treaty is out there, but this particular part I think is going to be really exciting. No kid in a New Zealand school will be able to say they didn't get told the real story by real people who were part of both the early signing of the treaty and all the things that have happened since," Ms Tizard says.

The Treaty: Te Tiriti o Waitangi is part of the On Disk library, a lending service for schools.

The principal negotiator of Tainui's Waikato river settlement says a $210 million clean-up fund will be open to everyone.

Tukoroirangi Morgan says the welfare of the awa tupuna is at the heart of the deal.

He says it will take decades to address more than a century of degradation caused by unsafe environmental practices and  runoff from farms.

The settlement recognises everyone has a role to play.

"The cleanup fund is a fund we've negotiated that will be accessible to anyone who has a fantastic idea to clean the river up, whether it's riparian growth, planting trees or restoring some of the land back into wetlands or whatever, that fund is there for everyone, whether you're Maori, Pakeha, if you've got a good idea to clean this river up, you'll get some funds to do it," Mr Morgan says.


The Arowhenua Runaka is backing the Geographic Board's refusal to change the name of an area near Fairlie in south Canterbury.

Local historian Jeremy Sutherland wants to revive the name Te Ngawai, which was replaced on the map in 1963 with the names Camp Valley and Limestone Valley.

But runaka spokesperson Mandy Waaka-Home says that was the name lazy settlers gave the 35 kilometre long river and former township.

She says local hapu Kati Huirapa called it Te Ana a Wai, after the caverns found in the river.

"The korero is there and it's an old trail. There are caves the water runs through and the other caves have disappeared because they were limestone and the waters washed them out," Ms Waaka-Home says.

The runaka is considering consulations with the community about putting a case to to Geographic Board to go back to the correct name.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Flaws in aquaculture plan

Parliament's primary production select committee has highlighted problems with the government's commercial aquaculture settlement with Maori.

Under the settlement, Maori get 20 percent of all new marine farming space created after 2005, and the equivalent of 20 percent of aquaculture space created between 1992 and 2004.

The committee's report on the estimates of the Fisheries Ministry says the government now estimates the cost of the settlement is likely to be between $50 million and $120 million.

National MP David Carter, the chair of the committee, says the Governemnt has so mishandled the aquaculture sector, Maori are getting no benefit.

"The settlements for Maori in aquaculture occur as new aquaculture areas are established but the law now is so bad that no new areas have been established so it's been difficult to progress the settlement with Maori interests with aquaculture space. As some stage in the future, unless new areas are created, the government is simply going to have to write a cheque," Mr Carter says.

Internationally aquaculture provides more than 40 percent of the world's fish supply, but in New Zealand it only accounts for 20 percent.

A senior Maori policeman is crediting Maori wardens with reducing crime in some key provincial areas.

Wally Haumaha, the manager of Maori, Pacific and Ethnic Services, says over the past year dozens of wardens have been through courses at the police College, getting new skills and learning about their unique powers under the Maori Community Development Act.

He says they're been able to bring that training and their understanding of te ao Maori into play in areas like Northland, Gisborne and Rotorua which have high Maori populations.

"It's made an impact already in terms of their presence on the street, they way they talk to our young Maori, the way they connect with a lot of kaumatua, so they are having a significant impact in terms of their communications skills but I think already in the shore term their productivity levels thjat have come back in terms of reducing crime in key areas has made a huge impact," Mr Haumaha says.

He says crime rates in Hamilton and Rotorua dropped by a third over the Christmas period.


A doctoral student is trying to uncover what can't be taught at university about te reo Maori.

Agnes Macfarland, a lecturer at Massey University, is researching the way the language is transmitted, captured and revitalised.

Ms Macfarland says students can't learn dialects in tertiary institutions.

"They need to go home to their wa kainga and learn their own dialect. Here you can perform, you can practice, you can learn the linguistics but you can never learn your dialect in a whare wananga. They need to go home to their own wharekura, their own marae," Ms Macfarland says.

She intends to present her thesis in a Tuhoe dialect,  'Te Käkahu Whakataratara'.


It's an all-Maori lineup for the Maori Party in this year's general election.

The top spots on the party list are filled the four existing MPs and the three other Maori seat candidates -  Angeline Greensill, Derek Fox and Rahui Katene.

While Pakeha were included on the list for the last election, this time it's tangata whenua in all of the 19 places.

Naida Glavish, the chair of Auckland iwi Ngati Whatua, who is at number eight, says Pakeha have their place.

"The Maori Party is recognising the strength of Maori within Maori but we all know we're not going to make it on our own so everybody needs good allies, and while we have a full Maori list that's not to expel or dispel any of the good allies that everyone needs," she says.

Other list candidates include former Kohanga Reo chief executive Iritana Tawhiwhirangi and Ngati Whatua o Orakei chair Grant Hawke, who's the brother of former Labour list MP Joe Hawke.

The only Maori councillor on the Auckland City Council is disappointed Maori won't have a guaranteed seat at the Council table.

The council's finance and strategy committee has voted to block separate Maori wards.

Denise Roache, who affiiliates to Tainui, Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Huri, says most councillors refuse to acknowledge their obligations under the Local Government Act to engage with Maori in their community.

She says the Citizens and Ratepayers majority on the committee argued that diversity occurs naturally, so there is no need for separate representation.

"We know this isn't about diversity. This is about partnership and our relationships we should be continuing to foster in local government and through the Treaty of Waitangi," Ms Roache says.

The next opportunity to revisit the issue is after 2010, when a new council is elected.

A restaurant which has bought flavour of the marae to central Wellington is to close.

Restranteur Bill Hamilton is closing the doors of Kai in the City on Wednesday after three years of serving gourmet boil up, high class hangi and piripiri-rubbed steak.

He says he's proved it's possible to make a Maori-themed restaurant a success.

"The product we've tried to sell is manaakitanga and the food part of that is the sort of things I was brought up as a kid. Things like pikopiko, the stuff to tell stories of Maori kai, so we've got a hangi meal but it's a cuisine hangi. We've got a boil up, but it's made from the nicest parts of wild pork cut into little squares. We've have whitebait, we've had muttonbird on the menu, we've had eel," Mr Hamilton says.

His day job and his tribal work means he doesn't have the time to devote to the business.



Committee skeptical on dolphin science

A parliamentary committee has cast doubt on the restrictions imposed to protect Hector's and Maui's dolphins.

In May Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton banned set net and draft net fishing in large parts of the coast, upsetting many iwi, recreational and comercial fishing interests.

David Carter, the chair of the primary production select committee, says the committee asked Mr Anderton to produce the science the decision was based on.

"He subsequently sent us information but it is not science information at all. A lot of it is opinion from various people abut the threat to dolphins from fishing so the committee felt he had made a decision he couldn't actually back with sound science," Mr Carter says.

The committee wants to see what effect the new rules have on increasing populations, and it wants the ministry to broaden its research to ensure the fishing industry is not hampered more than is strictly necessary to protect these species.

The Maori Party is counting on high profile names to attract the list vote.

Last election the party's wins in four of the seven Maori electorates gave it seats in excess of its share of the party vote, leading to criticism of its two-tick strategy.

But the party is persisting with the strategy, and its party list includes the Maori electorate candidates in the first seven slots, followed by two prominent women - Ngati Whatua chairperson Naida Glavish and former Kohanga reo trust chief executive Iritana Tawhiwhirangi.

President Whatarangi Winiata says the list has been chosen for national appeal, as the party tries to build on the success of its inaugural caucus.

"The tikanga Maori House has arrived. It is a reality. Its influence will grow and the number of seats grows and we're hoping this year and working towards this that there will be a much greater contribution to the house as a consequence of the party vote," Professor Winiata says.

Maori media is being urged to make links with other communities.

The Human Rights Commission is holding a National Diversity Forum in Auckland to look at diversity in media, languages, faith and public policy.

Gilbert Wong, the commission's media advisor, says honouring the Treaty of Waitangi and respect for tangata whenua are the foundation for diversity.
But he says other cultures in Aotearoa need to be embraced.

"Maori media is there, it's got its own kaupapa, which is to try and tell the stories of its community, but the Maori community is not in isolation. If we live here in New Zealand we have connections, there's going to be different stories that are relevant. There's always a place for different people to put out connections really," Mr Wong says.

He says recent Asian concern about crime in south Auckland was an example where media could reach across barriers.

One of the men credited with bringing on a generation of Maori golfers says Danny Lee's US Amateur championship win this morning will boost New Zealand's chances at the Eisenhower cup in October.

The Korean-born 18-year-old will join James Gill and Maori golfer Jarrod Pender in the squad for Adelaide.

Vic Pirihi says New Zealand last won the title in 1992, when Michael Campell, Phil Tataurangi, Steven Scahill and Grant Moorehead blitzed the opposition.

He says the Lee team could match that finish.

"I think they've got as good a chance as any. Danny Lee's obviously the form player worldwide but Jarrod Pender and James Gill are very good back-up, don't worry about that," Mr Pirihi says.

The presence of coach Jamie Cooper and manager Murray Martin gives the Eisenhower team a strong Maori flavour.

An Auckland City Councillor wants to see the Maori Party involved in local body elections.

Denise Roche is upset the Citizens and Ratepayers majority on the council's Finance and Strategy Committee blocked consideration of a Maori ward.

She says it's hard to advance Maori kaupapa through the council, but the inclusion of Maori Party with its record of getting Maori involved in the political process could make a difference.

"If the Maori Party were active in local body elections then I think we would get much better quality representation and there's some major issues around the environment and the role of Maori for kaitiakitanga that cuuld be driven up as an election issue for local bodies, so I'd really like to see the Maori Party getting active there," says Ms Roche, who holds the Huaraki Gulf ward, but also affliates to Tainui, Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Huri.

The chair of Parliament's primary production select committee, National MP David Carter, wants to see more action in resolving concerns over shared fisheries.

The Fisheries Ministry has backed off its initial plans to redistribute quota in key coastal species like paua, snapper and kahawai in the face of opposition from Maori, recreational and commercial fishers.

Mr Carter says the select committee found the idea hasn't gone away, but the ministry has asked the users to develop a solution.

"Mr Anderton has been a past master of forming committees and expert advisory groups whenever he is confronted by a problem. They spend a lot of time talking about it, but at the end of the day nothing concrete has come out of that process to advance the concept of shared fisheries," Mr Carter says.

The distinct west coast reo was on show at this weekend's Aotea kapa haka regional finals at New Plymouth Girls High School.

Ratana Pa's Te Reanga Morehu was judged top of the 10 groups competing.

Another long-established team, Te Matapihi Moemoea from Whanganui, was second, while newcomers Nga Purapura o Te Hauauru from Waitara were third with what judge Raymond Kaiki says was a vibrant and youthful performance.

The three teams will go through to Te Matatini finals in Tauranga in February.