Waatea News Update

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Ngapuhi hearing high on symbolism

Ngapuhi has told the Waitangi Tribunal it wants to start claim hearings next year with an examination of the Declaration of Independence signed by northern chiefs five years before the Treaty of Waitangi.

About 400 people attended a judicial conference at the Copthorne Bay of Islands today to hear the recommendations of the Ngapuhi nui tonu claim design group.

Ngapuhi chairperson Sonny Tau says some elements in the iwi went to war in 1845 over breaches of the treaty, and constitutional issues around need to be considered ahead of the economic and social effects of colonisation.

“A lot of the grievance were driven by the non-adherance to Te Tiriti o Waitangi as we know it, as it was discussed at Waitangi and signed at Waitangi,” Mr Tau says.

Ngapuhi wants its hearings to start on October the 28th next year - the 174th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.


Retiring Labour MP Dover Samuels is rating his restructuring of Te Puni Kokiri as a highlight of his 12 years in Parliament.

The former commercial fisherman, resort owner, entertainer and Far North District councilor says when he became Minister of Maori Affairs in 1999, his ministry was focused on monitoring other government agencies.

He gave it an active role in helping Maori take advantage of new opportunities, through things like the business facilitation service.

Mr Samuels says he's also been able to make a positive contribution to the development of the Maori tourism section, and got about 800 homes built on Maori land.


One of the most popular talent shows on telly winds up another season tonight, after unearthing yet more Maori talent.

Te Hamua Nikora, the host of Maori Television's live karaoke show Homai Te Pakipaki, says he's constantly impressed by the level of performances.

Up to 60 singers have turned up at the Newmarket studio every Friday night during the series to undergo a quick audition, with 15 making it in front of the camera.

Mr Nikora says the winners of the ten lead-up shows will tonight compete for the $10,000 putea.


Tariana Turia is defending the Maori Party over allegations its support of gangs undermines its claims of integrity in the censuring of Winston Peters.

Cabinet Minister Shane Jones says the Maori Party's vote against the New Zealand First leader is as devoid of principle as its backing of Waitangi Tribunal claims lodged by Mongrel Mob women and Black Power.

Mrs Turia says when she sees Maori making claims, she doesn't see gang patches.

“This is not, for us as a political party, an issue of gangs. This is an issue of Maori people who believe they have been alienated and dispossessed in any way through government policy, that they have a right to take their claim to the tribunal and for the tribunal to decide whether it’s wrong, not politicians,” Mrs Turia says.

She says the Maori Party voted to censure Mr Peters over the Owen Glenn donation out of respect for the integrity of Te Ururoa Flavell, its representative on the privileges committee.


One of the judges of this week's Nga Manu Korero Speech competitions was thrilled by the junior talent emerging from Te Waipounamu.

Rihari Ratahi from Te Wharekura a rohe o Te Whakapumau in Christchurch won up the Korimako trophy for senior speeches in English, a rare victory for the South Island.

Otaki student Toko-aitua Winiata won the Pei te Hurinui Jones trophy for senior Maori.

In the junior competition, Rakei Hakeke Whauwhau of Nga Taiatea Wharekura in the Waikato took out the Rawhiti Ihaka Maori section, while Mitchell Spencer of Whakatane's Trident High School won the Ta Turi Kara Junior English.

Linguist Wayne Ngata from Ngati Porou and Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti says South Island students haven't been strong contenders in the past, but those who presented this year were very confident.

While the standard of students from kura kaupapa and wharekura students was consistently high, the standard from mainstream schools was also very good.


While most league fans will have an eye firmly on tomorrow night's Warriors-Manly match up, the Maori management of the Warriors Under 20 squad is being praised for guiding a new team to within striking range of its own grand final.

Gordon Gibbons from Auckland Rugby League says the introduction of the under-20 competition this year benefited New Zealand teams most by bridging the huge gap between local competition and the NRL.

He says the manager, former New Zealand Maori captain Dean Bell, and coach Tony Iro shaped the team into a disciplined group of youngsters.

The Warriors Under-20 team line up against the Broncos juniors in a curtain raiser for tomorrow's Warriors-Manly clash, with Canberra and St George-Illawarra battling out the other semifinal tonight.

Turei sees barb in seabed extension

The Greens Maori spokesperson says Maori were deliberately excluded from moves to extend New Zealand's continental shelf.

A United Nations commission has granted this country the rights to control mining or resource extraction over an extra 1.7 square km of continental shelf seabed, on top of the 4 million km Exclusive Economic Zone.

Metiria Turei says the process of mapping the seabed had already started when the Government introduced the law stopping Maori pursuing claims to the Foreshore and Seabed through the courts.

“I think part of the drive to take that legal right off us was so they would have control over these resources. So it’s a huge economic advantage for the Government that they now under that law own and control solely and Maori have been completely locked out of any entitlement or rights that they may have had to it,” Ms Turei says.


But the director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' legal division says there was no need to consult Maori or anyone else, because the government was just applying for its legal rights under the Law of the Sea.

Gerard Van Boheman says the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf has defined where New Zealand has a right to expolit resources.

“It sets the outer limits of what’s basically New Zealand’s sovereign rights or sovereign territory. How those rights are then managed within New Zealand is an issue for New Zealand. It’s not an issue for the UN. The UN process has defined basically the line between New Zealand’s sovereign rights on the one side of the line and on the other side is the deep seabed which is the common heritage of mankind,” Mr Van Boheman says.

Fishing rights, which Maori have a share in through the fisheries settlement, only extend to the 200 nautical mile EEZ.


Maori involvement in the Vietnam war is coming under the spotlight.

An oral history project by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage's history group is talking to people involved in all sides of the conflict.

Researcher Paul Diamond says it grew out of a 2006 Memorandum of Understanding with Vietnam war veterans.

He says much of the material which is being uncovered through interviews and contributions to a special website indicate a large percentage of the New Zealand troops who served in south east Asia were Maori.

“We don't know the exact figure. What we do know is it was way higher than the proportion of Maori in the population at the time. And if you look at any photo of New Zealanders in Vietnam, kauri kore, kotahi kite kanohi Maori i reira so always,” Mr Diamond says soldiers and their whanau from all over the world are starting to contact the project through the vietnamwar.govt.nz website.


A small Northland iwi is today contemplating how it can make its 9 and a half million dollar treaty settlement work.

The Te Roroa Claims Settlement Bill was enacted by Parliament yesterday, giving the iwi rights to buy Crown-owned properties north of Dargaville, as well as have a greater say in the management of the Waipoua Forest.

Negotiator Alex Nathan says while the claim has taken more than 20 years to bring to a conclusion, the iwi has been laying the groundwork for an enhanced role in the rohe.

“We've over the years actually built a lot of these relationships. We’ve established profile and a level of credibility with local authorities, CRIs and other Government departments, and that was all done in the absence of any settlement but I think there was perhaps acknowledgement ultimately that we would be an asset base that the iwi would be responsible for,” Mr Nathan says,

Enhancements to the original settlement offer means Te Roroa will be getting the land back without crippling levels of debt.
Parliament also passed the Affiliated Te Arawa Iwi and Central North Island forestry settlements, and got the Port Nicholson Block and Waikato River Settlements through their first readings.


Labour Cabinet minister Shane Jones is accusing the Maori Party of falling short of the standards it is demanding of others.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples has claimed a senior government minister and a New Zealand First staff member pressured him over the censure vote against New Zealand First leader Winston Peters over his failure to declare a donation from businessman Owen Glenn.

Mr Jones says the Labour MPs were just reminding Maori Party members of their earlier expressions of support for Mr Peters ... before they felt they needed to show their fidelity to National leader John Key.

“They're lecturing us about integrity, and whilst they’re trying to shaft Winston and deny him fair process, they’re busily filling in claim forms for the Mongrel Mob to go to the Waitangi Tribunal. There is no integrity in backing the gangs and there is no integrity in my view in trying to shaft Winston. They can’t have it both ways,” Mr Jones says.

He says there is regular dialogue between Labour and the Maori Party, and MPs shouldn't cry foul if they are told unwelcome truths.


It went down to the wire in Rotorua last night as students from around the country took the stage for Nga Manu Korero, the national speech competitions.

Makoha Gardiner, from the organising committee, says the final results often depended on aggregate scores across a range of categories.

The Pei te Hurinui Jones trophy for senior Maori went to Toko-aitua Winiata from Te Kura a iwi o Whakatipuranga Rua Mano in Otaki.

Rihari Ratahi from Te Wharekura a rohe o Te Whakapumau won the Korimako trophy for senior speeches in English.

Ms Gardiner says there was a clear change in subject matter from previous years, when tribal identity was to the fore.

“Talk was always around taku iwitanga, taku Tuhoetanga, taku Te Arawatanga, those sorts of things. This year there was an amazing number of speakers who spoke confidently about politics,” she says.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Arawa, CNI, Te Roroa settlements enacted

It was a bumper day for treaty claims, with Parliament passing the final stage of three settlement bills and introducing two more.

They included the largest composite deal, the $400 million Central North Island Forests Lands Collective Settlement and $38 million Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi and Hapu Claims Settlement, as well as one of the smallest, the $9.5 million dollar Te Roroa settlement for land around the Waipoua Forest in Northland.

Negotiator Alex Nathan says while the up front cost to the Crown is the same as the small Northland iwi negotiated on the eve of the 2005 election, $6 million in sweeteners has been added to make the deal viable.

“At least those assets which were made available to us, we’re able to acquire them unencumbered, at least financially unencumbered, which is a major move from where it was, which have made it very difficult to make this work, if at all, unless there was some adjustment made, and that’s clearly what's happened,” Mr Nathan says.

Te Roroa will be able to take a more active role in looking after the health of the Waipoua forest.

The Port Nicholson Block claims settlement bill and a bill to settle the Waikato River claim were also read for the first time.


A Maori health researcher says Maori women are less likely to give birth by Caesarian section than non-Maori.

Dr Ricci Harris from the Eru Pomare Research Centre says the 2007 national review showed 13 percent of Maori babies birthed through an abdominal incision, compared with the total figure of 21 percent.

World Health Organisation guidelines says only between 10 to 15 percent of births need to be caesarians.

Dr Ricci says more research is needed on the implications of the gap.

“An interpretation of that may be the Maori caesarian rates are better than non-Maori because we’re close to what the World Health Organisation recommends. You can’t make that assumption unless you know what the birth outcomes are for Maori women and their babies so that’s what we are trying to do with this other study, trying to see if any disparities in obstetric care translate into disparities in birth outcomes for mothers and babies,” Dr Harris says.


Te Waka Toi wants to benchmark the health of Maori Heritage Arts.

Puawai Cairns, a policy advisor for Creative New Zealand, says the research project will help the organisation when it is making grants.

“Customary Maori art forms in things that are intrinsically Maori, and that refers to things like toi whakaaro, kowhaiwhai, whaikorero, karanga, waiata, moteatea and pao, ta moko, te raiwaka, haka, whare maire, so it’s looking at all these different art forms that have continued on through colonization into modern day, so Creative New Zealand has considered it a priority to make sure we continue to develop and fund those heritage art forms,” Ms Cairns says.

Creative New Zealand is also looking at the health of Pacific heritage arts and at cultural engagement in the wider population.


Affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapu are tonight celebrating the passing of their treaty settlement into law.

It was part of an extraordinary amount of treaty-related activity going through Parliament under urgency today, with the related Central north island Forestry Collective and the Te Roroa claim settlement bills also passed.

Eru George from Te Pumautanga o te Arawa says flexibility and a willingness to compromise, as well as goodwill on both sides were key to achieving the settlement.

He says there is still a lot of work to do, especially with regards to the crown forestry land which makes up the bulk of the commercial settlement.

“We will be working alongside the CNI grouping and address the issues around mana whenua and then work on the maps and the land and how the titles will be changed and then look at the 35 year picture to when the land will eventually be returned to mana whenua,” Mr George says.

Now the settlement is complete Te Pumautanga will be moving towards elections for new trustees and corporate structures to manage the tribal assets.


National Party leader John Key says the global financial crisis emphasises the need for post-settlement Maori organisations to manage their assets carefully.

Mr Key says the historical treaty settlement process is returning significant resources to iwi, which can be used to drive change.

But he says there is risk, which iwi organisations are aware of.

“They are very conservative and I think that’s a sensible thing in one degree and that is that this is an economic payment that won’t be repeated. It’s a one-off and therefore it’s really important that it’s preserved and enhanced and it’s not put at risk beyond any normal commercial risk and even that’s got to be managed carefully,” Mr Key says.

Good leadership is going to be needed to get the most out of settlements.


The Ministry of Culture and Heritage is using the Internet to uncover stories about New Zealand involvement in the Vietnam war.

History group member Paul Diamond from Ngati Haua, Te Rarawa and Nga Puhi says a disproportionate number of those who served were Maori, and they took their culture with them.

He says the researchers working on a four-year-long oral history project posted a photo of a hangi being lifted in Saigon under the direction of the head of V Force, Lieutenant Colonel Valentine Brown ... whose son was also in the picture.

“This boy's father passed away in a car accident about four years ago and we didn’t really know how to get in touch with him so we put this photo up of this hangi with this little kid in the corner of the photo watching the hangi baskets being pulled up and within a few days, over the weekend, the son had logged on to the website and started putting his photos on of the dad and the driver and the other soldiers have been identifying people in the photo and it sort of building up from there, so it’s a very exciting, rewarding project be involved with,” Mr Diamond says.

The Oral History group is keen to hear from all people involved in the Vietnam war... including those who protested against New Zealand's involvement and Vietnamese soldiers and civilians.

The why of wai examined

The Environment Ministry is trying to get Maori perspectives on the way the country's fresh water is managed.

It's seeking proposals for two research projects looking at current approaches to water allocation, and ways tangata whenua science is included in environmental flow-setting decisions.

Spokesperson Kevin Curry says the ministry has consulted extensively with Maori in recent years, and it's now looking to get a nationwide perspective on the issues, as part of a joint work programme agreed by iwi leaders.

“Clearly there are significant Maori dimensions to the management of water and Maori have significant interests in water from a variety of perspectives so we’re wishing to ensure that this is well incorporated into decision-making at national and regional levels,” Mr Curry says.

The research needs to be completed by April so it can feed into a wider reform of water management.


The Tourism Minister is expecting an upsurge in heritage-based tourism ventures in Taitokerau.

The area from Kaipara to Cape Reinga is dropping its Northland Naturally and focusing on its heritage as a place Maori and Pakeha had so many early contacts.

Damien O'Connor says Maori can built tourism ventures around events such as the signing of the Treaty at Waitangi and the establishment of the first capital at Russell ... and add their own special touches.

“Kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga are two values that underpin the New Zealand tourism strategy and that of Northland as well, so understanding that it’s more than just hospitality and service, it’s about sharing the culture, and it’s more than just protecting the environment, it’s about understanding and enhancing it,” Mr O'Conner says.

Visitors who stray off the beaten track into places like the Hokianga Harbour and Waipoua Forest can get a taste of what the region was like in early settlement times.


Boxing fans will be looking for a knockout when Maori boxer Shane Cameron goes into the ring on Saturday.

The man dubbed the Mountain Warrior is up against 37 year old Terry the troublemaker Smith from Little Rock, Arkansas.

The American has 30 wins, 5 losses and a draw, but he's never been knocked out.

Commentator te Arapi Maipi says Cameron, who is sitting on 21 wins and one loss, will need to change that if he's to move up a tier.

“If he can that kind of aggression, intensity, and be able to finish off Terry Smith for the first time, that will go a long way to boosting Shane’s reputation as a heavy hitter. Everyone knows in the heavyweight division, they want to see knockouts. So if Shane shows that it will go a long way to improving his rankings and getting into that top tier of fighters,” Mr Maipi says.

Shane Cameron is ranked number 8 with the WBO, and 15 with the IBF.


A new gateway to Te Rerenga Wairua has been inspired by the first map drawn by a Maori.

Carin Wilson says the waharoa draws on forms Tuki Tahua drew in the map given to Governor Philip King in 1793, after the Tai Tokerau chief was kidnapped and taken to Norfolk Island to reveal the secrets of flax dressing.

He says it’s the ideal image for the place where the spirits depart.

“His map recognises Te Ara Wairua and the course that it takes through Te Ika a Maui, the North Island. That pathway loomed strongly in the imagery of our people. He also recognized the exact point of departure. There’s this little tree that’s drawn as Spirits Bay, so to draw that in to the imagery we are now generating a couple of hundred years later I thought was a splendid opportunity,” Mr Wilson says.

The 5 metre long concrete and plywood waharoa will be officially unveiled once Ngati Kuri and Te Rarawa have made their input.


A Ngai Tahu singer-songwriter says her music is the right fit for the Wearable Arts award.

Ariana Tikao is a featured soloist at tonight's spectacular in Wellington.

She says her mix of taonga puoro with modern beats should go down well on the catwalk.

She’ll perForm, Tuia, the title track of her second album, which translates as stitched and sewn together.

“It’s kind of about unity for me and bringing together elements of my whakapapa and celebrating that,” Tikao says.

Her next big event after the Wearable Arts Show will be the Maori music festival PAO PAO PAO.


The buzz around the Warriors shows no signs of abating as the team heads off to Sydney for Saturday's NRL semifinals clash with Manley.

It will be a special night for the Rapira whanau from Hamilton, which has two brothers representing the club in two grades of the playoffs.

Sam Rapira will play for the top side, while younger brother Steve turns out for the under 20's in their knockout match with Brisbane.

They're the sons of Cliff Rapira, a force to be reckoned with in the Waikato Cougars and New Zealand Maori teams.

Steve Rapira will join the North Queensland Cowboys NRL squad next year.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Maori invisible in health study

A report on the primary healthcare workforce has been slammed for missing out Maori.

The Workforce Taskforce was commissioned by the Health Minister last November to report on issues in the workforce, but admitted it was unable to consult with all interested parties and more work is needed on issues specific to Maori, Pacific and rural populations.

Ripeka Evans from the Maori Medical Practitioners Association says the omission of Maori was lazy and sloppy.

“The ministry was well resources to be able to pick up the phone and initiate the participation of Maori primary healthcare providers. Maori doctors and nurses are involved every day at the coalface in delivering primary healthcare and there’s no excuse to omit the participation of Maori in creating such a strategy.” Ms Evans says.

She says by not including Maori issues, the Workforce Taskforce skewed the report in favour of the wealthy and healthy non-Maori population.


Winston Peters says the Maori Party's support of a censure motion against him was driven by electoral politics rather than the facts of the case.

On the advice of its representative on Parliament's privileges committee, Te Ururoa Flavell, the party accepted the committee's finding the New Zealand First leader knew about and should have declared a $100,000 donation from billionaire Owen Glenn in the register of pecuniary interests.

Its four votes, when added its four votes to those of National, ACT, the Greens, United and the two independents, allowed the censure motion to pass.

Mr Peters says that's after Maori Party MPs had gone round marae and radio stations telling Maori they were supporting him.

“When it came to the crunch, they lined up for a political alignment with National and the ACT Party and I couldn’t believe it when I saw that was going to happen because it told me they weren’t focused on this hearing at all. They were focused on the next election and what might be the outcome, and I think that's a travesty,” he says.

Mr Peters says he's been convicted of breaking a rule that didn't exist at the time the donation was made.


Meanwhile, a former New Zealand First MP says the censure is a blow to Winston Peters' self-made image of political integrity.

Tau Henare, who is now a National list MP, says the majority on the privileges committee was clear Mr Peters must have known about the donation from Owen Glenn, and acted accordingly.

“He touted himself around the traps as being the one clean person in the world and that’s been Winston’s moniker for the last 25 years and all well and good to him but he just got caught out this time,” Mr Henare says.


Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell is defending his advice that the party censure Winston Peters, despite earlier expressions of solidarity by his colleagues for the embattled New Zealand First leader.

Mr Flavell was on the privileges committee, and signed the majority report which found Mr Peters knew about a $100,000 donation from billionaire Owen Glenn, and should have declared it in the register of pecuniary interests.

Mr Peters has accused the Maori Party of playing electoral politics in anticipation of a National Party win in the election.

But Mr Flavell says he went on the evidence.

“In the end I’m not too much fussed about anything else and I didn’t take any cognisance of how anyone else was voting. I tried to stay focused on those issues and as I say for me and indeed with the support of my colleagues all of the evidence lined up and it was a clear issue of contempt,” Mr Flavell says.

He says there is no way he would back another MP just because he or she is Maori.


Winston Peters meanwhile says the censure motion is the height of hypocrisy at a time when the National Party leader has admitted asking parliamentary questions about shares he was trading.

The New Zealand First leader is standing by his claim he had no knowledge of the Owen Glenn donation to his legal fund until July this year - and even if he had known, he got no personal pecuniary benefit that needed to be declared.

He says the Maori Party is aligning itself with the National Party at a time its leader John Key has admitted a far more serious breach of parliamentary standards.

“He went out there and was trading in the market at a time he was asking questions about the rail shares and the value of them. He made tens and tens of thousands (of dollars) out of his transaction and I just lost (my electoral petition) and there he just sits in judgment on me on the basis I can’t be trusted. I’ll tell you who can’t be trusted: somebody who asks parliamentary questions who’s got a private and personal reason why he's asking them,” Mr Peters says.


Taitokerau has a new image ... or rather a new old image.

Enterprise Northland is dropping its Naturally Northland brand and promoting the region as the birthplace of the nation.

Tourism minister Damien O'Connor says it's a chance to make tourists aware of the area's rich Maori and Pakeha heritage, especially in places like Russell and Waitangi where there are well-developed facilities.

“The relationship between Maori and non-Maori and Pakeha development early on is so unique and something we should be proud of. While not perfect, understand the challenges that were there and the need to work with Maori who were there in the communities and build a strong relationship is something that is often not well understood by other New Zealanders or people from elsewhere in the world,” Mr O'Conner says.

He expects to see more ventures focusing on early Maori and Pakeha stories.

Moa dung for science gets up Harawira nose

Funding for research into the moa's eating habits has been slammed by a Maori Party MP who says spending money on such things shows how out of touch with reality the government is.

Research into the grazing patterns of the extinct native bird by looking at fossilised Moa dung has been allocated $768,000 dollars over three years by the government funded National Science Academy's Marsden Fund.

Hone Harawira says although its a tragedy paying for dung isn't unusual around parliament.

“I'd laugh if it wasn’t so tragic. We have 230,000 children in this country who are listed as living below the poverty line and somebody’s got the cheek to spend $800,000 on moa dung,” Mr Harawira says.

Landcare Research scientists Jamie Wood and Janet Wilmshurst and New Zealand scientists Alan Cooper and Trevor Worthy from the University of Adelaide will examine 1500 specimens of fossil dung from rock shelters across southern New Zealand.


Maori are suspicious of the government's decision not to release details of a United Nations committee decision to give New Zealand rights over 1.7 million kilometers of seabed announced by Prime Minister Helen Clark.

The additional area covers the continental shelf beyond New Zealand's existing 200- nautical mile exclusive economic zone.

Hauraki Trust Maori Trust board spokesperson John Mc Enteer says the fact that the government is not prepared to release the UN decision leads him to question their motives.

“We've got what seems to be a very positive press release from the Prime Minister but when I’ve asked the officials for the actual United Nations decision, they won’t provide it. They say the matter is confidential. I think it has to do with the Government’s desire to grab these things for itself,” Mr McEnteer says.

He says with the Foreshore and Seabed legislation the government grabbed Maori customary rights over $100 million worth of assets and the current move looks like a further move to deny Maori their rights.


The first woman Golden Shears Society President says there's glamour to be found in the dirty business of shearing sheep.

Mavis Mullins of Rangitane and Te Atihaunui-a-Paparangi takes on the roll excited about the prospects of the New Zealand Shearing industry.

The former Golden Shears champ and Maori business woman of the year says as a major shearing contractor, the company she runs with her husband Koro sees all sides of the industry.

“We still handle close to over 1 million sheep a year based out to Danneverke. The competition and Golden Shears is kind of seen as the glamour side of things. It’s kind of like the Sex and the City part of a hard job,” Mrs Mullins says.

A highlight of her position will be planning for the 2012 World Shearing Championships in Masterton.


The government is being criticised for moves to exclude Maori from New Zealand's claim over 1.7 million square kilometers of the seabed confirmed by a United Nations commission.

The claim announced by Prime Minister Helen Clark covers the continental shelf beyond New Zealand's existing 200- nautical mile exclusive economic zone.

Hauraki Maori Trust Board spokesperson John Mc Enteer says with the Foreshore and Seabed legislation the government grabbed more than $100,000 worth of assets from Maori and their current action in excluding Maori from the new area looks like eroding Maori rights even further.

“What I say is the move by the Government today to grab for itself this extra 1.7 kilometres of seabed without any type of arrangement or partnering with Maori, continues to marginalise us even further, and it erodes and ignores the rights of Maori in this area,” Mr Mc Enteer says.

The Hauraki Trust Board suggested in 2004 that moves to claim the continental shelf should be done in partnership with Maori but the Government refused to do this.


The Federation of Maori Authorities is welcoming news of a Free Trade Deal with the United States of America.

Paul Morgan, from FOMA, says Maori involved in agribusiness will welcome the removal of subsidies in America... which will allow their products to compete on an even footing.

The agreement... or rather the agreement to work towards an agreement with the US is not a straight country to country deal... but rather one involving the P4 - a group which includes New Zealand, Singapore, Chile and Brunei.

“Most of New Zealand's export business is done on the Pacific rim, and by the US wanting to engage with Pacific rim countries, that’s where most of our sales are. That bodes well for New Zealand and for Maori going forward so we really do congratulate the government in this breakthrough and encourage the officials to bring this to a timely conclusion, not four years, maybe one,” Mr Morgan says.

A free trade deal would open the way for companies to do the real work of developing business to business relationships.


Five pieces of burnt carved totara found in old swamp land on a farm near Bulls are definitely part of a hundred year old Maori canoe.

The waka was uncovered in a swamp by a contractor who was smoothing out hills for a farmer and handed over to Te Manawa, the regional cultural centre in Palmerston North.

Manu Kawana, the kaihautu at Te Manawa, says at first glance there was no carving or any design features to help establish where the waka came from.

However, he says, a row of small evenly spaced holes along the top edge of the side of the canoe suggest it was a waka tete or waka tiwai... which was used for fishing.

“Those are likely to be the places where the lines were attached to, especially for the trawling for fish like kahawai ior kanai, the mullet, where the paddlers would go like crazy down there by the river mouth with their hooks trailing behind, with the idea of catching kahawai or mullet on those lines,” Mr Kawana says.

The unearthed pieces will be held at Te Manawa while Ministry of Culture and Heritage experts and local iwi decide the future of the waka.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hat trick of settlements in urgency

Prime Minister Helen Clark says as parliament comes to a close Treaty settlements are right at the top of the Government's agenda.

She says there will be great joy across Maoridom with the passing of legislation for three major treaty claims and two more bills getting their first reading this week.

“Are we ever busy with treaty settlements. Let me tell you the full story here because it’s a fantastic story for Maoridom. We are going to pass three significant settlements through all their remaining parliamentary stages, right through to the third reading and then off to the governor general for signing,” Ms Clark says.

The first - the Central North Island forests land collective settlement - will to be passed on Thursday.

The Affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapu claims settlement will follow, then the Te Roroa Claims settlement around Northland kauri.

Helen Clark says at the same time two major pieces of legislation - the Waikato River Settlement Bill and Port Nicolson Block Bill affecting central Wellington will get their first reading before parliament closes.


The Maori Party want to be Treaty partners rather than coalition partners in any post-election government.

Its president, Whatarangi Winiata, says a precedent was his restructuring of Anglican church to share power along Treaty lines.

The three houses or the church, tikanga Maori, tikanga Pakeha and tikanga Pacifica, preside over their own affairs but come together to make decisions affecting the entire church.

He says if the Maori Party sweeps the seats it will be perfectly placed as the tikanga Maori house within parliament.

“Our current electoral system has provided for seven seats to represent the Maori partner, and if all of those are within the Maori Party then it can be said that the Maori Party, its representatives in the House, form the tikanga Maori house,” Professor Winiata says.

The Maori Party won't make a final decision on which major party they will align themselves with till the 2008 election result is well and truly confirmed.


While Wellington celebrates the efforts of their Ranfurly Shield winning rugby team... a number of players and officials are making plans to cross the Cook Strait for the funeral of Maori rugby legend Jim Joseph.

Mr Joseph... father of Wellington coach Jamie Joseph... died in Blenheim on Sunday night after losing his battle with lung cancer. He was 70 years old.

He played 142 matches for the Marlborough Red Devils mainly at tight-head prop between 1963 and 1977... winning the Ranfurly Shield in 1973.
He was a cornerstone of the Marlborough team, played for the NZ Maori... and came close to being an All Black.

Jim Perry, a contemporary of Mr Joseph says on and off the field he was a sight to behold.

“He was a quietly-spoken fellow, but you could see the reverence that was there from the rest of the players. They looked up to him as one of the leaders of the whole team, so almost like a kaumatua if you like,” he says.

Jim Joseph's funeral is Wednesday afternoon at the Wairau Pa Marae and will be followed by his burial at Maori Island cemetery in Grovetown.


The president of the Maori Party says they will align themselves with whomever the Nation votes for.

The Maori Party, which could hold the balance of power after the election, says it will not decided who it may align itself with until it has consulted widely with its supporters after the election.

However Professor Whatarangi Winiata says the party is unlikely to go against the way the country votes.

“It can be said that the Maori Party will be very careful not to stand in the way of the preference being expressed by the nation. If there is a cluster that shows a clear majority, I expect that the Maori Party will not try to upset that,” Professor Winiata says.

He is confident the party will win all seven Maori seats.


Prime Minister Helen Clark says the Government's commitment to Maori is born out by its determination to get legislation for three major Treaty settlements passed before parliament closes this week.

The Central North Island forests land collective settlement will be passed on Thursday morning, to be followed by the Affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapu claims settlement and the Te Roroa Claims settlement covering Northland kauri forests.

“You can see that as this Parliament comes to the end of its business, Maoridom is right up there at the top of the agenda,” Ms Clark says.

At the same time two major pieces of legislation - the Waikako River Settlement Bill and Port Nicolson Block Bill affecting central Wellington will get their first reading before parliament closes.

She says this will please many Maori throughout the country.


The release of a CD single of one of Maoridom's influential composers is a preview to a documentary on her life.

The life and works of Kohine Te Whakarua Ponika, titled 'Ka Haku Au' will be screened on Maori Television later this year.

Ngahuia Wade a granddaughter of Kohine Ponika, who affiliated to Tuhoe and Ngati Porou, says the documentary and its soundtrack is a chance to expose the person behind some of Maoridom's enduring songs.
Unlike other composers of the time... who took popular Pakeha tunes and put Maori lyrics to them... Kohine's work was totally original.

“Most people will know some of her songs but they won’t know she was the composer. She never read a note of music. She lived in Ruatoki and then she moved to Turangi, so she wasn’t a city dweller or anything like that, but she wrote these compositions that have stood the test of time,” Ms Wade says.

Kohine Ponika's songs were loved by people such as Sir Apirana Ngata who played her songs throughout the East Coast and were soon captured by many other iwi around the country.

Ngahuia Wade says the release of 'Poi Porotiti Atu' will be heard on iwi radio.

Waste not want not

A prominent Maori actor turning his hand to politics is calling on Maori to vote strategically and give their party vote to the Greens.

Maori actor Rawiri Paratene who has announced he is standing for the Greens in the Auckland electorate of Maungakeikei says Maori will waste their party vote if they give it to the Maori Party.

“There will be nowhere in this campaign where I will be denigrating the Maori Party. To the contrary, and see the Maori Party and its MPs as a fantastic addition to Parliament but I do think a party vote for Maori by Maori for the Maori party could be a wasted vote,” Mr Paratene says.

The Whale Rider star says in order for the Maori Party to get just one more member in parliament they would need to get something like 8 percent of the party vote and he says it is not going to happen.


However Maori Party Co leader Tariana Turia says Maori don't come first for the Greens.

The MP for Te Tai Hauauru says while she has a lot of respect for actor Rawiri Paratene, Maori should not be swayed by his call for them to give their party vote to the Greens.

“This is not a political party that believes in treaty relationships, because if they did it would be reflected in their list, and it’s not. They’re quite happy to go out and get significant people to stand for them, to try and influence our people that this party has their interests at heart, and I know that at the end of the day we don’t come first,” Mrs Turia says.

She says the Greens do not support the return to Maori of the DOC Estate, and plans for marine reserves would deny Maori access to kaimoana.


The loss of Taranaki sports stalwart Jack Knuckey will be felt not just on the league fields but also the dining rooms of Taranaki marae.

That's the view of Te Kauhoe Wano, a sports broadcaster from Taranaki, one of many to pay tribute to the former New Zealand Maori rep who died over the weekend after a long battle with cancer.

Mr Wano says Jack Knuckey commanded a lot of respect from the Taranaki Sporting Community for his unwavering support.

He says that support wasn't confined to the sports fields.

“Jack was a great kaimoana gatherer. Any of the tangis, especially around the Waitara New Plymouth area, he would be there, because his lines of descent are Te Atiawa-Puketapu, so he was well known in all those circles back home but bringing back all the paua and the kina to the tangihanga was something Jack Knuckey was well known for,” Mr Wano says.

The funeral service is at Kairua Marae on Wednesday at 11am.


Over three thousand people are expected through the doors at Nga Manu Korero, the annual Maori secondary school speech competitions which start in Rotorua today.

Event organiser Makoha Gardiner says for over 40 years the speech contests have been a stepping stone for orators who have gone on to make significant contributions to the Maori community.

They include Hekia Parata, Shane Jones, Donna Awatere Huata and more recently, Maori Television presenters Julian Wilcox and Matai Smith.

Ms Gardiner says four representatives from fourteen affiliated regions will vie for top honours in both the junior and senior sections where they speak in either te reo or English.


Labour MP Shane Jones says he has recieved strong support for his stance that gang treaty claims should have no place in New Zealand.

Following news that Black Power had lodged historical claims under the Treaty of Waitangi the MP for Northland said treaty claims belong to iwi and gang involvement in the Treaty process would find no public sympathy.

“I just fear that it makes a mockery of the claims process. I accept that they think they have a story to tell about how colonisation and urbanisation has ruined a lot of Maori families, but where’s free will? Where’s choice? To suggest that until we address the ills of British imperialism and colonisation there’ll be no more child abuse, there’ll be no more Maori on Maori violence, there’ll be no more woman abuse, there’s be no more gangsterism, I just can’t agree with that and I won’t be,” Mr Jones says.

There is nothing to be gained by giving legitimacy to criminals in the gangs through the Treaty process.


A political commentator with close ties to the left says political polls are weighted against Labour for a number of reasons which makes the election closer than many think, with the Maori Party likely to decide who forms the next government.

Former Alliance president Matt McCarten says polls are traditionally under-estimate the centre left vote and this could be even greater today.

Young people tend to vote centre left. They don’t have home phones. They tend to have cellphones. And of course poorer people tend not to have home phones as well, 10 percent don’t have home phones. In one sense it’s not a lot but also people are working long hours so the worker is out during the day and night, they’re working shift work, they wouldn’t be home when the phone goes,” Mr McCarten says.

He says only the Maori Party which can deal with both major parties, which is putting it in a very strong position.

Monday, September 22, 2008

GST on food sparks protest

Maori actor and director Jim Moriarty has joined the growing chorus of kiwis calling for the GST component on food to be removed.

The Wellington based producer says the Peoples Procession to Parliament, which started in Kaitaia this weekend, is a chance for Maori to be better informed on food choices.

“This is a good honest initiative by people right across the social strata, rich, poor, whatever. It’s really important for all of us, particularly Maori and Pacific peoples to continue to make our people aware that what little money you’ve got, and if you get an extra 12.5 percent, to use it in a clever way rather than piling yourself into all those statistics that are going to bring about an early demise,” Mr Moriarty says.

The two week motor caravan is collecting signatures on a petition to ban GST on food to be presented at Parliament on October 3.


Meanwhile another Maori actor Rawiri Paratene has turned to politics in a bid to lift the Greens share of the Party vote.

Rawiri Paratene, who is best known for his 35 years on stage and screen, including playing Koro in the film Whale Rider, has decided to stand for the Green Party in the Auckland seat of Maungakiekie.

He says, for him, the Green's focus on conservation and social justice fit well with his definition of tino rangatiratanga.

“I hope to double the party vote from last time. The candidate last time got 1000 votes and I’m hoping to at least double that,” Mr Paratene says.

He's just returned from French Polynesia where he's been filming a documentary on ocean pollution and the impact it has on whales.


A prominent advocate for the United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous people says Maori are failing to protect their interests by not challenging the government's decision not to sign the declaration.

Aroha Mead from Victoria University says Maori are standing by while the New Zealand Government seeks a spot on the UN Human Rights Council despite turning its back on the declaration.

“Should they win a seat on this council then I think that we really have to look not at the Crown’s behaviour, because I think they’ve been quite consistent. We have to look at ourselves, like how far are we prepared to be trampled on and just sit back and let it happen without comment,” Ms Mead says.

The decision on the spot on the UN Human Rights council is due soon.


A Victoria university expert on indigenous rights says Maori themselves must take some blame for the Government's decision not to sign a United Nations declaration on indigenous peoples rights.

Aroha Mead says the New Zealand decision not to support the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous people was illogical, irrational and shameful.

“I think we should not only be shamed at government’s stance but I think we should really be questioning our own sense of commitment to Maori rights and indigenous rights because we seem to be rather apathetic about this issue. It’s not being brought up in the different parties political policies and I’m sure they’re not bringing it up because there aren’t enough Maori saying to them this issue matters,” Ms Mead says.

She says the government is blocking the attempts of other parts of the UN system to implement the declaration on indigenous rights.


A leading Maori actor believes Maori are being trapped into bad food choices by advertisers.

Jim Moriarty says there is an urgent need for better education over food choices.

“McDonalds and all the other takeaway organisations and Coke continue to promote their food in such a manner that those on low wages are almost compelled to buy it. We know when a two litre bottle of Coke is cheaper than two litres of milk, there’s something more insidious going on in terms of entrapping the people into continuing to feed all those negatives statistics around diabetes, around obesity, all that sort of stuff,” Jim Moriarty says.

He says education should accompany the taking of GST off food which is being called for in a petition being taken to parliament in a hikoi which started in Kaitaia at the weekend.


The Maori Party is making plans in anticipation that it could hold the balance of power after the election.

MP Hone Harawira says it is important that the party prepares now for this possibility.

“What we are working ion is a couple of scenarios. If we are the player, if we are the only party who can either make or break a government, well we’re preparing a range of options to table at that time. We’re also preparing a position paper on the basis of we are just one of a number of players,” Mr Hariwara says.

The party does not want to be running around after the election trying to scrabble things it wants together.

Two tick strategy doubt

A political scientist says the Maori Party's two tick strategy is unlikely to win the party any extra seats.

The party vote of Maori voters is keenly contested this election, with Labour, the Maori Party, the Greens and New Zealand First all wanting a piece.

Tariana Turia says the Maori Party is capable of getting to 8 percent, giving it MPs outside the Maori electorates ... and taking party votes away from Labour.

Raymond Miller, the head of Auckland University's political science department, says that sounds extremely ambitious in the current political climate.

“Because many Maori Party voters are traditional Labour voters, they may well continue to split their vote between the Maori Party with their electorate vote and the party vote going to Labour so it really is very hard to see at this stage how they can get to 8 percent, but nothing is impossible,” Dr Miller says.

The Maori Party could be looking ahead to possible changes to the voting system, which would make it prudent to shore up its party vote.


One of the lawyers helping with Black Power's treaty claim says political opposition to the claim threatens every Maori's rights.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Michael Cullen said there was no legal standing for the claim, which wants the tribunal to link the origins of the gang to the effects of colonisation on Maori.

Other Labour MPs have called on the tribunal to reject the claim out of hand.

Moana Jackson says the claim raises legitimate issues, and the political response is unreasonable.

“By seeking to deny the right of these people to make a claim, you go down a slippery road where who do you deny the right to next? Do you deny it to Maori who have dreadlocks or do you deny it to Maori who are blonde-haired and blue-eyed? It’s a really dangerous as well as a fabricated and misleading stance that the politicians are taking,” Mr Jackson says.

He says Dr Cullen's response shows the minister either hadn't read the claim or hasn't read the Treaty of Waitangi Act.


Two ta moko artists are in London this week to tell their international colleagues the rights and wrongs of using traditional designs.

Patrick Takoko and Richard Francis from Te Uhi a Mataora are at the 10th annual International Tattoo Convention.

Mr Takoko says there is a vogue for ta moko designs outside Aotearoa, but most of those doing them have no understanding of the tikanga of the tattoo.

“If they see something on the Internet, if they see something on the TV, there’s the pause button on the DVD. They can pause it and they are probably able to copy it. But they don’t have the intellectual property. In terms of the design, yeah, they’re bastardising, stealing ideas, and there’s no real integrity there,” Mr Takoko says,

He'll be explaining the difference between ta moko, which depicts the whakapapa of its wearer, and kiri-uhi, which is influenced by moko and can be worn by non-Maori.


A Maori actor turned politician is encouraging Maori voters to keep splitting their votes.

Rawiri Paratene is chasing the Green Party vote in the Auckland general seat of Maungakiekie.

He says Maori have voted strategically since MMP was introduced... and he's hoping voters will stay smart.

Mr Paratene says while the Maori Party is pushing hard for two ticks from supporters, that party vote will be wasted because of the number of electorate seats it's likely to win.

“They have to poll around around 8 percent of the vote. They’re not going to do that. The most that they could expect, and it would be a huge victory for the Maori Party, if they could get around 3 percent. So they’re not going to get any extra votes. So a party vote for the Maori is not going to be in the trend of intelligent voting that Maori have showed in the past,” Mr Paratene says.

He says if Maori give their party vote to the Greens, it will give the Maori Party a strong partner for the future.


East Coast Maori businesses are grouping together for whanaungatanga and support.

Robyn Rauna, the chair of the newly-formed Tairawhiti Maori Business Network, says its first major event, a Maori business expo, was well received by the community.

She says the ability of Maori to work together is a strength.

“Part of being Maori and being from this areas is our natural inclination to act collectively. Clearly we’re different because we’ve got a Maori face but also we have a different approach to business. It’s not in our psyche to stand up and say ‘have I got a good deal for you,’” Ms Rauna says.

The next major event is in December, highlighting businesses run by men.


Traditional Maori potatoes are becoming an increasingly common sight in city market, and growers are ramping up production.

Ricky Houghton from Kaitaia's He Korowai Trust says growers in the far north are waiting for the wet weather to ease so they can get in disease-free seed for the Christmas crop.

It's proving an economic use of previously undeveloped Maori land, with the peruperu attracting a premium, as he proved at a food fair in Auckland earlier this year.

“We took down half a tonne. We were selling 100kg a day. Started off at $5 on the Monday, $6 on the Tuesday, $7 on the Wednesday, then on the Thursday we were getting between $8 and $9. There’s huge interest, huge demand. The cooking catering industry is using peruperu now in garnishing for a lot of high class meals so there’s huge demand, huge interest,” Mr Houghton says.

The first potatoes to come through will be the uenuku, which is purple right through, and the tawhiao, which has a yellow and purple skin.