Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, October 17, 2008

Marae restoration in Makino deal

A negotiator for Ngati Makino says the Bay of Plenty iwi got a better settlement by going it alone than if it had stayed within a Te Arawa or central North Island collective.

The iwi yesterday signed an agreement in principle to settle its historic claims relating to confiscations and Crown land purchase activity in the 1800s.

Lawyer Annette Sykes says the deal is worth about $20 million, including grants for marae restoration, $6.6 million in cash compensation and 40 percent of the Rotoehu Forest.

“If we'd stayed in the CNI we would have been in an argument for at least two years over who has mana whenua over which part, and Ngati Makino has already been waiting too long and the mana whenua argument may require some significant compromise which we felt we we’d already been subjected to by the imposition of earlier Crown policies,” Ms Sykes says.

The government also signed an agreement with Te Puke-based Waitaha, including $7.5 million in financial redress, funding for education and marae restoration, and the transfer of several public reserves.


The Council of Trade Unions is inviting the government to attend a hui to discuss implementation of the United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.

Maori vice president Sharon Clair has just returned from a meeting of the Indigenous People's Caucus in Geneva, which was observing the deliberations of the Expert Mechanism, a new group which will provide advice to the Human Rights Commission on issues of concern to indigenous people.

She says even though New Zealand is one of only four countries which refused to sign the declaration, it is willing to look at it on an issue by issue basis.

“There is a general support and excitement about this group and New Zealand government also at the forum stated their support for the Expert Mechanism, so whilst we are taking small steps, those small steps are being taken and are gaining greater understanding and hopefully ratification of that declaration,” Ms Clair says.

The hui will be held in Wellington next week, whether or not the Government turns up.


The Minister of Maori Affairs is staggered by the Maori Party's plans to introduce a "work for the dole" scheme if it makes up part of the government after the next election.

Parekura Horomia says it adds weight to the idea the Party may link up with National and Act after November 8.

He says if the aim is to get more Maori into work, cutting benefits is not going to get the job done.

“You gotta understand the labour market and cutting benefits doesn’t correct the issue. You can cut people’s benefits, but what you’ve got to do is build their skill sets and make sure they have a pathway into employment, income and have quality training and that’s what’s our Schools Plus and the focus on tertiary education is about at the moment,” Mr Horomia says.


Te Wananga o Raukawa finally has money for brick and mortar - but it has found Maori prefer to do their tertiary study on marae.

The Government has signed off on a settlement of the wananga's claim that it was denied the capital funding that went to the rest of the nation's universities.

Turoa Royal, the chair of the wananga's council, says it's in no hurry to spend the $50 million putea.

He says many of its 1700 students prefer to do their courses on a network of affiliated marae, rather than come in to the Otaki campus.

“Now we have marae-based studies and most of the students are studying their degrees, their programmes, on their local marae. It’s helped us in terms of capital works. We didn’t have to outlay funding for buildings. They’re already there with the marae already having the facilities for us to teach and sleep and eat,” Mr Royal says.

He says marae are the ideal place to produce bilingual and bicultural graduates.


Meanwhile, Maori post-graduate students are being urged to apply their skills to benefit their iwi.

Patricia Johnston, the indigenous graduate head at Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, says that's the focus of this Maori Doctoral Conference at the Whakatane-based campus this weekend, which has attracted more than 100 Maori PhDs and doctoral students from Kaitaia to Otako.

Professor Johnston says graduates are looking for ways to return something to the people they came from.

“We've often heard people say ‘these people with doctorates, they can’t help us’ and so one of the primary focuses has been about trying to make those sorts of connections between what we do and how it can benefit our communities more meaningfully. It goes beyond the individual. Whatever they do can benefit back into Maori communities,” Professor Johnston says.


The 18 people arrested in the so-called terror raids of a year ago find out today if they will be tried on arms charges.

Police allege the 18, including artist and Tuhoe rights campaigner Tame Iti, attended camps in the Urewera ranges last year at which guns were present.

The Solicitor general refused to allow the police to lay charges under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

Judge Mark Perkins, who will give his reserved decision at the Auckland District Court this morning, barred reporting of evidence given at the depositions hearing because of concerns publication could prejudice a trial.

Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira says whatever the judge's decision, police commissioner Howard Broad should resign for the way the police acted, particularly in the eastern Bay of Plenty.

“He's the one who went and big-mouthed terrorism to the whole nation and scared everyone into backing the police action when in fact he failed. He failed miserably. He surrounded the whole of Ruatoki and only got one person. He harassed the lives of a whole community for one arrest,” Mr Harawira says.

He says the Maori Party will always back the principles of freedom of speech and the right of Maori to protest the loss of their land.

Young Bailey walks free from court

One of the people arrested last year in connection with camps in Te Urewera says the police have taken people's actions out of context.

Rongomai Bailey was today discharged from the proceedings after Judge Mark Perkins found insufficient evidence to try the six charges against him.

The 17 other defendants including Tuhoe rights campaigner Tame Iti were ordered to stand trial in the Auckland District Court next year on arms charges.

Mr Bailey says he's relieved he no longer has to report in to police every week.

He says the trial is a complete waste of money and based on misinterpretations.

“I think a lot of it was people taking things out of context, say sipping a latte in Ponsonby and talking about a revolution or something, but if you don’t know the people and you don’t know the context, they you just know they’re full of shit and they like talking big, but because they’re taking in that way, people think they’re serious, whereas I don’t know … they’re just living in a fantasy land,” Mr Bailey says.

The 17 remaining defendants were released on bail until February 17, but Judge Perkins says there are applications before the High Court which if successful would lead to almost all the remaining charges being thrown out.


The kauri industry of the late 19th and early 20th century is the focus of a new Department of Conservation visitors centre opened by Hauraki iwi at dawn today.

Hauraki Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta says the centre in the Kauaeranga Valley, 30 minutes from Thames, should stimulate other historical and eco-tourism opportunities and bring more international visitors to the region.

She says the electorate has a large conservation estate, which needs to be used sustainably.

“My hope long term is Hauraki becomes a foundation component of that eco-tourism experience and long term management of the DOC estate,” Ms Mahuta says.


A hui in Wellington this weekend will try to feed a growing appetite for Maori stories ... both here and overseas.

It brings together established and aspiring Maori writers with publishers and industry heavyweights.

Charlie Holland, who helped organise the gathering, says there's a demand for all kinds of work... fiction and non-fiction, traditional and contemporary tales.

She says it's a chance for aspiring writers to get advice and support and network with other writers.

The Maori Writer's Hui opens tonight at the National Library with presentations from storyteller Apirana Taylor and filmmaker Nancy Brunning.


The ordeal is over for one of the people arrested a year ago in connection with camps in Te Urewera, but 17 others will go on trial on arms charges.

In a reserved judgment delivered at the Auckland District Court today, Judge Mark Perkins said there was insufficient evidence from camps run in November 2006 and April and August last year to allow arms charges stemming from those camps to go ahead.

That means Rongomai Bailey was discharged from the proceedings.

Mr Bailey says he and his partner have moved to the Coromandel peninsula, where they are trying to put the past year behind them by growing plants and trying out ecologically sustainable ideas.

He says police misinterpreted what was going on in the camps near Ruatoki, and the trial has been a massive waste of money.


Maori doctoral graduates and students are looking for ways their skills can be used in their iwi.

Patricia Johnston from Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi says that's the main theme of this year's Maori Doctoral Conference at the Whakatane wananga this weekend.

Speakers including Takirirangi Smith, Riri Ellis and Jenny Lee will share their experiences of returning to work in their communities after post-graduate study and research.

Professor Johnston says it's not an automatic pathway.

“There's no straight recipe or formula for that to happen and that’s what part of the conference is going to look at this weekend, what are some of the ways this can happen, because it’s not necessarily straightforward or easy,” Dr Johnston says.

More than 100 people have registered for the conference, which began this afternoon.


Auckland school kapa haka groups will this weekend compete in a breakaway competition.

Organiser te Keepa Stirling says Te Ahurei broke away from the huge annual Polyfest a decade ago as an affirmation of tino rangatiranga and a protest against the corporate drift of the larger event.

He says 13 schools will take part in the competition at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori a Rohe o Mangere.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Raukawa wananga gets $50m payday

The country's oldest wananga is $50 million dollars richer after the government settled a decade-long claim for capital funding.

The ministers of Maori Affairs and tertiary education minister were at Te Wananga o Raukawa in Otaki yesterday to sign off on the deal.

Parekura Horomia says it puts the wananga on the same footing as other government funded tertiary institutions.

“When they started they didn’t have the resourcing or the consolidated funding that any new tertiary organisation gets so this was simply about comparability and they were paid that amount of money and it’s well deserved,” Mr Horomia says.

He says the wananga plays a key role in providing choice in education for Maori students.


Veteran social activist and Green MP Sue Bradford says last year's so called terror raids have dampened political activism.

The former head of the Unemployed Workers Union says the impact of the October 15 police raids was felt way beyond those arrested.

She says the raids came as a shock to people working for social and political change.

“A year later I think there’s a reluctance to engage in activism as a result of the chilling effect of what happened that day, and that was always my worst fear, that when you have this kind of clamp down on democracy, a lot of people become ultra-cautious about political activism, and that’s a really sad thing,” Ms Bradford says.

The Tuhoe community in the Ruatoki Valley is holding a series of events to mark the anniversary, and the 18 people arrested will find out tomorrow whether they will be sent for trial on arms changes.


The closure of two of Carter Holt Harvey's Mills is being seen as a warning to Maori receiving assets under the central North Island forestry settlement.

Lawyer Willie Te Aho, an advisor to Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa, says the tribes are upping their stake in the industry at a time of great stress.

He says the 300 plus redundancies at Putaruru and Mount Maunganui are probably the tip of the iceberg as the world economic slowdown hits the building sector.

“We in the CNI need to ensure that when we look at our future commercial developments, we have an eye for the future and can be more sustainable than the current operations,” Mr Te Aho says.

While much of the $230 million coming across in accumulated rentals will be needed to replant pre-1990 forests as they are milled, a research project funded by the Ministry of Economic Development is looking at the best use for the $200 million of land coming across.


Bay of Plenty iwi Ngati Makino and Waitaha have today signed agreements in principle settling their historic treaty claims.

Ngati Makino stretches from Maketu on the coast to lakes Rotoehu, Rotoma and Rotoiti, while Waitaha is based around the Te Puke area.

Annette Sykes, the lawyer for Ngati Makino, says the staged settlement negotiated with Crown facilitator Jim Bolger is worth about $20 million to her iwi, starting with a $1 million grant for the restoration of two key marae.

She says it includes a 40 percent stake in the Rotoehu forest, making it the largest shareholder alongside Ngati Awa and other iwi.

“That particular area is part of a process of confiscation which saw Ngati Makino’s lands completely dispossessed from them after the New Zealand Settlements Act confiscations and a vigorous crown purchasing regime so the forest returned in the tribal heartland off Ngati Makino’s territories is something the tribe has been working to for many years,” Ms Sykes says

The major issue to be negotiated for the final deed is a co-management regime for scenic reserves in the Ngati Makino rohe.


One of the country's most well known former protesters is blaming debt for the lack of activism among students.

Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira and the Maori Party's Hauraki-Waikato candidate Angeline Greensill met Maori students at Waikato University yesterday.

He says the students still have a social conscience, but their main concern is the cost of study.

That creates pressures that weren't there when he was studying and protesting 30 years ago.

“You could address social issues, and if you missed a paper, come back the next year. Now because you’ve got an almighty loan hanging over your head, you tend to say ‘to hell with social issues, I’ve just got to get through so it doesn’t cost me too much,’ so our kids are forced into being robots rather than intelligent socially active young people,” Mr Harawira says.


One of Maoridom's most influential contemporary artists is being honoured in an exhibition opening tonight.

Kaikohe-born Buck Nin, who died in 1996, was the uri of Choung Nin, who was born in Canton, China, and Pare Hikanga Tatana of Raukawa and Toarangatiira descent.

His interest in art was sparked at Northland College by influential teachers Selwyn Wilson and Kataraina Mataira.

After further study at Ilam art school in Christchurch and in the United States, Nin returned to New Zealand in the 1970s and worked with Rongo Wetere to set up art education at Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

Curator Serene Tay says the exhibition at Mangere Arts Centre is of work by former students of the Mangere-based Buck Nin School of Fine Arts.

She says the paintings, sculpture, ceramics, photography and raranga should have an audience beyond south Auckland, and the collective hopes to eventually exhibit in Asia.

The Students of Buck Nin show runs until November 8.

Old idea for new bank

The Maori Party wants to see Maori community banks, but it's wary of the amount of government involvement in such institutions.

Plans by the government for a Maori bank funded out of the profits of the Maori Trust Office stalled at the select committee stage, with the Maori Party one of its critics.

But co-leader Tariana Turia says there are examples of successful small-scale lending programmes, such as the Maori Women's Development Incorporation and the Ngai Tai-run credit union which funded 21 whanau into new homes in the eastern Bay of Plenty.

She says the Whanganui Regional Development Board, which she helped to start in the 1980s, also enjoyed early success until it took over the administration of a government loan scheme.

“When the development board had their own money, the interesting this was the repayment rates on those loans were really high. Once Mana Enterprises came along, people asked for greater amounts of money. They didn’t need to have to collateral, which I thought was wrong, and many of those loans fell over,” Mrs Turia says.

The Whanganui Regional Development Board also provided much needed early funding for intitiatives such as the rohe's kura kaupapa and iwi health provider.


The chair of Tauranga's Ngaiterangi iwi says layoffs at Carter Holt Harvey's Mount Maunganui plywood mill will hit Maori in the region hard.

The company is axing 100 jobs at the mill and another 200 at its Putaruru sawmill.

Hauta Palmer says it will have a devastating effect on hapu and whanau close to the Christmas holiday period.

“We're having the elections and they’re handing out all of these nice things but what about for all the people who’ve just lost their jobs and it goes back to that same thing about Maori being last on and first off,” Mr Palmer says.

Many of the Maori workers at the mill may find it hard to get back into paying work.

The Engineers and Northern Distribution Unions will hold a site meeting at Putaruru today to develop a plan to keep parts of the sawmill going.


Hauraki's principal fisheries negotiator wants more attention paid to the eel fishery.

Harry Mikaere says the early settlement of the Maori commercial aquaculture settlement is an opportunity to set some new directions for the industry.

He says overfishing and pressure on habitat has put pressure on the tuna or freshwater eel, and action is needed now.

“We haven't really treated that species well. You’ve almost got to have economic failure of a species before it brings the industry to attention. I think that’s not acceptable or excusable, but it does happen like that,” Mr Mikaere says.

He says tikanga helps Maori find a balance between environmental sustainability and commercial development.


A last minute recovery by New Zealand First would boost the number of Maori in Parliament.

The party's list for the 2008 election includes five Maori in the top ten slots.

If leader Winston Peters fails to take Tauranga but gets the party over the five percent threshhold, Ron Mark at number three and Pita Paraone at number six will extend their parliamentary careers.

A stronger showing could bring back eighth ranked Edwin Perry to the House, after a spell back in the community organising the Wairarapa Maori wardens,

Former television weather man Brendan Horan, who is standing in East Coast, brings up the 10th position.


The Greens industrial relations spokesperson says the world wide economic crisis has hit the South Waikato, and Maori workers are among the first to suffer.

Sue Bradford says the closure of the Carter Holt Harvey sawmill in the town, with the loss of over 200 jobs will have a huge impact on an already struggling community.

She says it's an unwelcome echo of the economic downturn of the late 1980's when many lost jobs in the manufacturing sector.

“It's really sad to see this happen. It’s the centre of economic life for the town. Many Maori workers, will be affected, not just the people working in the mill but their families and all the shops and other businesses around them. What we’re seeing here is the beginning of the recession, even though you’re sitting in the middle of south Waikato you might not realise you’re part of a global situation but I think they are,” Ms Bradford says.

Workers are meeting with unions on the site today in an attempt to find ways to keep parts of the sawmill going.


One of Ngati Porou's cultural treasures is being remembered as someone who always led from the front.

Merekaraka Saani Ngarimu died yesterday aged 86 and is lying in state at Hiruharama Marae in Ruatoria.

She is the only woman to lead the haka Ruaumoko, a task given to her in 1945 by Apirana Ngata, and during her life she schooled thousands of people in waiata ringa, moteatea and other performing arts.

Cousin Amster Reedy says Mrs Ngarimu had a commanding presence.

“She had a wonderful voice and was very authoritative. There were times when I’ve seen her correct people by just standing up the top and singing over them. They didn’t take offence because they were already losing their way but nothing like Saani or Merekaraka to get in there and straighten things onto the pathway again,” he says.

Merekara Ngarimu was last year given a Sir Kingi Ihaka award for her lifetime contribution to Maori performing arts.

Her funeral will be at Hiruharama Marae on Saturday morning.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sawmill cuts hurting Maori workforce

Workers in Carter Holt Harvey's Putaruru and Mount Maunganui sawmills are facing the dole queue as the company cuts more than 300 jobs.

Rawiri Daniels, an organiser for the National Distribution Union which has about 80 workers on the Putaruru site, says up to 90 percent of the workforce there is Maori.

He says they'll be looking at what options they have in an industry which looks like it again entering tough times.

“The town of Tokoroa’s close by so there’s another 50 or 60 jobs possibly at the plywood plant that’s going to come across from the Mount so that’s going to give some opportunity for some people but it’s still only going to cover 25 percent of the workforce from a site of 200,” Mr Daniels says.

The unions will hold an on-site meeting together with the aim of putting a proposal to the company which could keep parts of the operation going.


Dieticians are coming under fire for trying to communicate with Maori without even knowing how to make a boil-up.

Hiki Pihema, a dietitian at Gisborne Hospital, says dieticians aren't taught tikanga Maori, but it's an important part in teaching Maori about healthy eating and lifestyles.

She says fewer than a dozen of the country's 400 certified dietitians are Maori, and they feel the absence of a Maori dimension in the profession.

“If we don’t have a tikanga focus, we can’t relate to our own people, we can’t encourage the changes, we can’t empathise with them, we can’t korero with them. A lot of what we do is based on our tikanga,” Ms Pihema says.

She says Maori would benefit if wananga started training dietitians.


The University of Waikato is setting aside a day to celebrate the Kingitanga and its current leader.

King Tuheitia will attend a series of seminars this month on the 150 year old movement and its future.

Panelists include Sir Douglas Graham, who negotiated the Tainui settlement on behalf of the Crown, Tainui Group holdings director Koro Wetere and broadcaster Wena Harawira.

Professor Pou Temara says the seminars aim to illuminate the community about Kingitanga, and set the stage for a permanent commemoration, King Tuheitia day, on the kind’s birthdate, April 21.


Residents of the Ruatoki Valley are welcoming manuhiri to help the commemorate the so called terror raids of a year ago.

Teina Boazadean, a spokesperson for the organising committee, says the armed raids on the small Tuhoe settlement were an affront to the human rights of all New Zealanders.

She says Tuhoe leaders have been talking with police liaison officers to try to prevent such a thing happening again, and the commemorations are a chance for the community to review what still needs to be done.

“These next four days are to put a positive orientation on something that was particularly negative and heinous and a major violation not just to our community’s but to the civil rights of all New Zealanders, and I think that’s going to be represented again as the manuhiri and visiting groups arrive this evening,” Ms Boazadean says.

Tonight's feature is a theatre piece called I Am.

On Friday in the Auckland District Court Judge mark Perkins will deliver his reserved judgment on whether any of the 18 people arrested last year will face trial on arms charges.


Tariana Turia says benefit reform is a strategic direction her party wants to pursue.

The Maori Party co-leader wants to see more government and community-driven job creation schemes.

She says while cutting the dole wasn't included in the official policy launch, it's something that will be put on the table post-election.

“Our people need to restore the pride in ourselves and we need to be working. It has been very destructive. Idle hands of course mean that our young are more likely to get engaged in things we wouldn’t want them getting engaged in, and I don’t think it’s healthy for any people to think it is okay to receive money for doing nothing,” Mrs Turia

She says despite the overall unemployment figure being low more than 20 percent of Maori under 24 are jobless.


Ngati Porou is mourning the death of kuia Merekaraka (Saani) Ngarimu, who died today at the age of 86.

Mrs Ngarimu was last year given a Sir Kingi Ihaka award for her lifetime contribution to Maori performing arts.

As a young woman she was trained by Apirana Ngata to lead the great Ngati Porou haka Ruaumoko at Whanganui in 1945, to kick off fundraising for the Ngarimu Scholarship.

She reprised the role for Queen Elizabeth's 1953 royal visit, and remains the only woman to have led that haka.

Mrs Ngarimu passed her knowledge of haka, waiata and other performing arts to generations of Ngati Porou and others.

She was awarded a Queens Service Medal in 1984.

He tohunga waiata kua wahangu, he ruanuku no tuawhakarere kua ngaro, more mai e te tipuna koka.

Two tick strategy wasteful folly

Prime Minister Helen Clark says the Maori party's two ticks strategy does not make any sense and if Maori want a Labour-led government they should give their vote to Labour.

Helen Clark says overwhelmingly Maori are saying they want a Labour led government and the way to ensure that happens is for Maori to vote so Labour is in a position to form a government.

“I don't think the two tick strategy makes a lot of sense for them because there’s never been any sign that the Maori Party could go over 65 percent so giving the Maori Party a party vote is a vote that could have got to Labour to put it in a strong position vis a vis National so no I don’t think that makes a lot of sense to run two ticks for the Maori Party.

“It makes a lot of sense for Labour. We are a large party. We can be the largest party on the party vorte, as we have been for the past three elections, and we win a lot of electorates including Maori electorates,” Ms Clark says.

She told Radio Waatea News this morning she has seen a big mood change in the country with the international financial crisis and a surge of support for Labour from people who don't see it as a good time to change horses.


Meanwhile the Maori party is being told by many non-Maori that they will be giving them their party vote because they believe in the party's philosophy.

Reacting strongly to suggestions by ACT leader Rodney Hide that it would be dangerous if the Party ended up as king Maker after the election, because people will ask why a party they could not vote for should determine who governs.

Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia says the party's kaupapa is universal.

“We have shown in the lat three years of Parliament that we are a very responsible political party to a degree where we are having lots of Pakeha people email us and call us to tell us that based on that they believe that they will give their party vote to the Maori Party because we are one of the few parties that have an integrity and treat other people with respect and focus on the issues rather than the personalities,” Mrs Turia says.

If the Maori party wins all seven Maori seats as she predicts they will have done so because people have voted for them and they will have the right to determine who governs.


A new study aims to find ways Maori women could benefit from tikanga Maori focused maternity services.

The Eru Pomare Research Centre is conducting a study into unequal health services of Maori and non-Maori women particularly in the maternity area.
Researcher Sarah-Jane Payne says the study will examine the hospital records of mothers and their babies over the next year looking at the 9 months of pregnancy, birth procedures and post-natal care.

“ An important part of the overall study is developing resources for Maori patients, their whanau and communities, based on the findings. One of the resources that we developed for the maternity project may have a focus on what Maori providers are available for women, giving Maori women a range of options for them to choose during their pregnancy to enable a good pregnancy for them and their baby,” Dr Payne says.

The findings of the study will be available around March 2009.


Prime Minister Helen Clark says abolishing parental limits for student allowances will benefit many Maori.

She says it is ridiculous that a student whose family on the average wage of $45,700 has their allowance reduced.

“Think back to the 1990s when under National Maori unemployment reached 25 percent. That wasn’t because Maori didn’t want to work. Maori desperately wanted to work. Create the opportunity and you get Maori unemployment down as we have. So I think it’s the same with student allowances, if we can send them the message that every young person who has got potential should take that potential all the way, and we are going to relieve the burden on them and their family, I think that’s a really powerful message,” Ms Clark says.

She says the country must invest in its people because it needs more educated and skilled people.


The Prime Minister's comments have been endorsed by a Maori graduate.
Duke Boon, from Ngati Maniapoto, has finished his degree but is still paying off his student loan.

He says Maori students whose parents work usually don't qualify for assistance under the current rules. They have had to borrow just to live... and will benefit from the change.

“If you look at student loans, you will see that 70 to 80 percent of that is made up of people having to borrow $150 a week for living costs, so to be able to have a basic universal student allowance starting from 2012 will benefit Maori and Pacific families greatly,” Mr Boon says.

He says phasing the scheme in takes account of the present economic crisis... and if it were truly an election bribe it would have kicked in immediately irrespective of the financial implications.

Under the plan announced by Helen Clark yesterday the parental income threshold slowly rises year by year, until it is abolished in 2012... affecting around 50,000 students.


The Maori Party has reacted angrily to suggestions by ACT leader Rodney Hide that it would be dangerous if the ethnically based Maori Party ends up King Maker after the election.

Yesterday Act leader Rodney Hide told Waatea News that while the country was lucky the Maori party had acted in the interests of New Zealand, if the party is in the position of King Maker people will ask, how a party they could not vote for has ended up deciding whether there is a Labour or National government.

However Maori Party co-leader Turiana Turia says Mr Hide is just playing a political game knowing that ACT will never be in the position of deciding who will govern.

“We are not an ethnically based political party. The word Maori means natural, and that’s the name of our party and our kaupapa, while they are sources philosophically within our tikanga, in Maori tikanga, they are in fact universal philosophies no different to those of the Labour Party having their philosophies, ACT, National having theirs etc,” Mrs Turia says.

She is disappointed Rodney Hide has raised the ethnicity issue.

Ngati Whatua harbouring big ambitions

Ngati Whatua say they have big assets to bring to the table for their settlement negotiations.

The iwi which stretches from the Manukau Harbour to Tutamoe signed their terms of negotiation yesterday and say a deed document will be signed within a year.

Ngati Whatua spokesperson Tame Te Rangi says major resources within the Ngati Whatua tribal area will be their best playing cards.

“The Kaipara Harbour, Mangawhai Harbour, Whangarei Harbour and Waitemata Harbour, those are probably the significant areas that will be on the table in working through a process that probably amounts to co-management knowing full well that the Kaipara Harbour especially was left out of the Sealord negotiations and settlement, it’s clearly a big part of the estate of Ngati Whatua as it were,” Mr Te Rangi says.

Tame Te Rangi says interest in potential electricity operations in the form of underwater-turbines has been expressed for an area of the Kaipara Harbour.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Michael Cullen says the negotiations were a chance to settle the overall iwi's remaining claims.

He says it is important that the final remaining claims of Ngati Whatua will all now be progressing to settlement.

Dr Cullen says once achieved, it would be another step on the road to meeting the Government's historic treaty settlements deadline on 2020.


The Green Party say concentrating on the party vote eliminates small political party problems.

Green List MP Metiria Turei says problems start when small parties concentrate on getting electorate votes.

“I think that's why with Jim Anderton and Peter Dunne and Rodney Hide, as soon as they go for a seat as their primary campaign to secure them representation, they lost massive amounts of party vote.

As a small party you just don’t have the resources to run two major campaigns like that. And I think the Maori Party is suffering the same thing, because they are seeking the electorate vote, it’s very difficult for them to put resources into a party vote campaign, so we’re just choosing party vote the whole way,” Ms Turei says.

While candidates have been selected to campaign for the Maori seats they will pose as a face and a name to increase the party vote.

A party needs a minimum of 5 per cent of the total vote to get into parliament which will allow them four to five seats.


An altar cloth honouring the late Haane Manahi has finally been hung in St Faith's Anglican Church at Ohinemutu, bringing closure to efforts to have him recognised for his VC cross deserving efforts.

Two years ago Te Arawa representatives made a case to Buckingham Place for the posthumous award of a Victoria Cross to the 28 Maori Battalion lance sergeant for his actions at Takrouna Ridge in North Africa in 1943.

The award had been recommended at the time by all his field commanders, but turned down by senior British brass.

Te Awawa representative Trevor Maxwell says Queen Elizabeth determined she could not reverse a decision signed off by her late father the King, but she would honour lance sergeant Manahi's remarkable bravery by three gifts inspired by the refrain from the Maori Battalion marching song, for God! for King! and for Country!

The altar cloth represents God.

“We got a portrait of it last year but it was completed just recently and we has a ceremony yesterday which for us put a closure on the 30 years of trying to get Haane recognised with the Victoria Cross,” Mr Maxwell says.

A letter from the Queen has been hung in the Tamatekapua Meeting House "for King" and a sword belonging to his grandfather was presented last year by Prince Andrew on a visit to New Zealand "for country".


The chairman of Aotearoa Fisheries Limited says a move of the company's headquarters to Auckland will allow more to be extracted from their resources.

Robin Hapi says a move by the company set up in 2004 to manage the commercial arm of a unique pan-iwi agreement brings the corporate team closer to operations they own such as Moana Pacific and Kia Ora Seafoods.

“We want to look at growing the value of the resources that we have in our company, further consolidating the relationships that we have with our iwi shareholders. Iwi are providers of quota to the company. We believe that more value can be extracted from the resources,” Mr Hapi says.

Around 100 people attended the opening ceremony for the new head office today at the Viaduct including representatives from Tainui and Ngati Whatua.


Maori rugby league legend Ruben Wiki has announced his retirement.

The former Kiwi captain, who has a Samoan and Nga Puhi whakapapa, announced today that he was hanging up his boots... despite having the option to play in the English Super League.

Howie Tamati, a former Kiwi and the chairman of New Zealand Maori Rugby League, says Ruben is a truly impressive player and man who should have no trouble adjusting to life after rugby league.

“He's articulate and he’s got aspirations and prepared to train to develop skills around personal training, so I’m sure both he and his wife Sandra will be in huge demand from that perspective,” Mr tamati says.

The 35-year-old prop had a fairytale finish to his playing career, captaining the All Golds to victory the New Zealand Maori team in Taranaki over the weekend, and running 70 metres to score the final try of the game.


A stalwart of the Te Arawa Kapa haka scene says there is an intensity in practice as the groups nominated to represent the rohe shape up for next year's Matatini nationals in Tauranga.

Trevor Maxwell says there is a sense of excitement among the performers who are putting in long hours of practice to be at their best for the competitions being hosted by Mataatua.

“Four of our groups from here have qualified, Te Matarae o Rehu, Manaia, Tuhourangi-Ngati Wahiao, and Nga Uri o Te Whanua, and they’re rehearsing now and building up for the February 19 competitions in Tauranga, and there’s an air of excitement and wanting to be back and part of the whanau again,” Mr Maxwell says.

With Te Arawa teams absent from the last few nationals, there's a new enthusiasm to showcase Te Arawa traditional performing arts.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Vote early but count late

The Maori party candidate for Waikato Hauraki is encouraging Maori who will be out of the electorate on November the 8th, to vote early so an accurate count can be made on polling day.

Angeline Geeensill says she's aware of significant events being held outside the rohe on election day and that could skew election night results.

"There is a poukai that happens outside out electorate of election day, and there is also a Ratana hui on the same day, so Maori are going to be leaving their electorates in droves and we're trying to get them to advance vote. They won't be counted for some time, so we will get a distorted picture of election day results," Ms Greensill says.

She has been getting a good response at the poukai she has been attending in the Tainui region.


Maori Affairs minister Parekura Horomia is predicting Maori will be the key
players in the broadcasting fraternity in the next five to ten years.

He says the Government has brought a huge number of Maori to the broadcasting platform by helping Maori radio and television, while the mainstream broadcasters haven't brought youngsters through.

He says it is measures like this that voters will remember on election day.


A Maori academic says mainstream institutions lack a deep understanding of
Tikanga Maori.

Auckland University's Dr Te Tuhi Robust says the lack of cultural understanding can be found through the establishment of University based Marae such as that set up at Auckland university.

"Because of the protests that were part of the history of this marae in the mid-80s, the university council and management went about and had a marae designed. They then summoned Sir Hugh Kawharu and he said 'That's nice. Now what are you going to do with it.' He indicated they needed to go and talk with the local people," Dr Robust says.

Marae are a way for Maori students and faculty to acknowledge their culture appropriately within the context of the tertiary education.


Ngapuhi Maori are calling on the Corrections department to sit down with
them and sort out problems surrounding Ngapha prison near Kaikohe which has
suffered extensive construction problems due to local advice being ignored.

Iwi liaison officer for the Far North District Council Ted Wihongi says it
will cost at least $2 million to rectify structural problems with buildings
sinking but the issue goes far deeper.

Ted Wahongi says the mana of the kaumatua was ignored when outsider advice
that the site was suitable was listened to.


The Maori party candidate for Waikato Hauraki Angeline Greensil says the
Maori party recognise the loyalty many Maori voters have for the Labour
party that they have traditionally voted for and she is comfortable with the
call to split votes in her electorate.

Last week fellow Maori party MP Hone Harawira spoke at tainui poukai where
he suggested Maori voters could get two MP's as Labour's Nanaia Mahuta is
guaranteed a spot on the list.

Maori Party Co leader Pita Sharples says while that strategy suits the
special circumstances of the Waikato Hauraki electorate the party
maintains its 2 tick strategy nationally.

Angeline Greensill says she does appreciate that for many Maori voters
loyaly runs deep.


Meanwhile Act leader Rodney Hide says it could be very damaging if the Maori
party ends up in the role of King Maker after the election.

The colourful MP for Epson says while the country is lucky because the Maori
party has put New Zealand's interests first he is opposed in principle to
ethnically based political parties.

Mr Hide says Indians, Chinese and white Europeans could find themselves
asking where is their seat.

ACT leader urges Maori to take Cabinet posts

Act Leader Rodney Hide says it's important the Maori Party takes a
leadership role in the next parliament.

Rodney Hide says he has spoken to Maori Party co-leaders Turiana Turia and
Pita Sharples and his advice was to become part of the cabinet if they have
the opportunity.

"Get into the big table, the cabinet, and I know it's going to be hard for their supporters, National is going to be the government, but I think they can make an impact and make a difference inside the tent, and I think also that if we are going to have New Zealand go forward Maori are part of that and the Maori Party is the obvious expression of Maori hopes and ambition," Mr Hide says.

The colourful MP for Epsom says although there are areas where the two
parties disagree such as the retention of the Maori seats they also share a
lot of common ground like the foreshore and seabed legislation.


Taranaki sports fans were treated to a triple dose of haka yestarday as the
New Zealand All Golds lined up against the national Maori rugby league squad
in New Plymouth.

Howie Tamati, the chair of Maori League and the head of Sport Taranaki says
the haka set the tone for the history making clash, which saw the All Golds,
a shadow kiwi team, run out winners 46-10, after solid early play from the
young Maori side.

Mr Tamati says the game served a dual purpose, as a buildup for the Kiwis
world cup campaign, and the Maori team's clash with the Aboriginal squad in
Sydney in two weeks.


The Auckland museum is safekeeping the future of Maori tool-making by
teaching the methods to kids.

Programme Coordinator and Archaeologist Ma'ara Maeva says 35 children
attended a session on Maori archaeology at the museum during the school
holidays involving the Tuwiri, a traditional pump drill.

The drill was made from a type of quartz called 'chert' and
attached to a shaft using a cord at one end maneuvered to drill holes in
rock and bone.

He says the workshop on the Tuwiri was one of a number aimed at teaching
children traditional archaeology methods in a fun and creative way during
the school holidays.


A Maori academic says mainstream institutions lack a deep understanding of
Tikanga Maori.

Auckland University's Dr Te Tuhi Robust says the lack of cultural
understanding can be found through the establishment of University based
Marae such as that set up at Auckland university.

Dr Robust says Marae are a way for Maori students and faculty to acknowledge
their culture appropriately within the context of the tertiary education.


Political commentator Chris Trotter is predicting Winston Peters and New
Zealand First will get back into parliament at the next election.

And he says the way the media has treated Winston Peters over the political
donations sage has only enhanced his chances.

Chris Trotter says Winston Peters being cleared by the Serious Fraud Office
has gained minor media coverage compared to the publicity given to the
charges against him.


Maori entertainer Mika says New Zealand singers lack originality.

The extravagant performer has recently revived his singing career with the
release of 'The Closer I Get To You' a remake originally made famous by
Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway.

The single features American hip hop artist Mirrah and is
being released by New Zealand-based label Brown Blonde Entertainment.

Mika says although the song is a great soul remake originality is key.

Mika says the 'who's who' of the industry will be out at the launch of the
single at NV bar on K' Rd this Thursday.

Marley interest in Aotearoa tweaked

A strong contingent of the late reggae musician Bob Marley's whanau are
thinking of visiting Aotearoa to meet with Maori reggae musicians.

This follows the visit to Jamaica of musician Ruia Aperahama to make a
documenatry on the influence of reggae music on Maori.

He met with Bob Marley's youngest daughter Stephanie Marley, and presented
her with two cds of her father's songs... sung in te reo Maori.

Ruia Aperahama says the Jamaicans with their history of colonial
dispossession... have many experiences in common with Maori.

He says although the level of poverty was very intimidating many of the
Carribeans commented positively on the Maori culture's emphasis on

Bob Marley's sons... Ziggy and Stephen Marley... are taking part in the
Raggamuffin concert in Rotorua on Waitangi Weekend with the late Bob
Marley's birthday falling on Februrary 6.

Ruia Aperahama says other family members... including Bob Marley's widow,
Rita... are now thinking about joining them in Aotearoa to have further
discussions with Maori musicans.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says if all Maori went on the Maori roll
and voted for the party it would have 16 seats in parliament and would be so
powerful it would have to be in any government into the future.

Pita Sharples says with just four seats at present the party may as well not
be in parliament but if all Maori got behind the Maori party there could be
real progress in achieving Maori aspirations.

He says fellow Maori Party MP Hone Harawira's call for Maori to
split their votes between Labour's Nanaia Mahuta and the Maori party's
Angeline Greensil in Waikato/ Hauraki should be seen as a micro regional
strategy and not as abandonment of the party's two ticks stratgey.


Nominations are pouring in for the Maori Sports Awards to be held in Rotorua
in early December.

Organiser of the Awards Dick Garrett says while there are many high profile
nominations such as Rueben Wiki for Maori Sportsperson of the Year there
are many young Maori throughout the country going largely unnoticed.

Nominations for the various categories will close in a week.


The Maori Party says raising the minimum wage and having a $25,000 tax free
threshold rather than National or Labour's tax policies would make a real
difference to people on lower incomes.

Co-leader Pita Sharples says National and Labour are indulging in tit for
tat politicking when real measures are needed to put cash out there so
people can keep buying and the economy keep going.

He expects that the Reserve Bank will lower intrest rates
by three quarters of a percent within two weeks which will further stimulate
the economy.


The ACT candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Peter Tashkoff, has come out strongly
against the Foreshore and Seabed legislation.

Peter Tashkoff says New Zealand should not be telling other countries such
as Fiji and Zimbabwe what they should be doing when its own record on human
rights is not good.

Peter Tashkoff says truth and justice should begin at home and New Zealand
needs to clean up its own backyard before getting high and mighty with


The earth throughout the country is literally expected to move at 11 o'clock
on November 7.

That's the day a simulatanous haka is being planned to get into the Guiness
Book of Records.

Organiser Wiremu Maato of Harbour Sport says the number participating will
be recorded on the organisation's website.

A dummy run last year drew more than 16,500 participants
and he is expecting many more for the real thing.

Wananga driving interest in bird sanctuary

A Kapiti Island based tourism operator says Maori tertiary institutions are
behind increased interest among Maori in birdlife on offshore islands.

John Barrett who heads the New Zealand Maori Tourism Council says
uncontrolled forest growth has seen an increase in the numbers of tieke
saddlebacks, kakariki and kokako numbers on Kapiti.

"What we're seeing now more and more is the students are starting to take
notice and take advantage and come to respect the taonga they have. it's a
slow process but I've noticed in the past five years particularly from
those young students to realise they've got something pretty special," Mr
Barrett says.

He says as long as islands such as Kapiti and Tiritiri Matangi Island in
the Hauraki Gulf remain predator free, birds under threat on the mainland
do well on offshore islands.


The Maori head of the National Library of New Zealand says Matauranga Maori
will be recognised on an international stage.

Maori placenames have been added to the U.S. Library of Congress in
Washington DC and will be available in bibliographic records available on
the National Bibliographic Database for worldwide use.

Kaiwhakahaere Maori John Mohi says the names including Aoraki formerly
known as Mount Cook and Rakiura for the Stewart Island have been
recognised by the National Geographical Board.

Mr Mohi says accessing matauranga Maori you need to use Te Reo Maori.

"It's fundamental and it's a first step to address matauranga Maori and to
address the place of taonga. This use of te reo Maori in these place names
is really a key first step in saying to access where matauranga sits you
have to be using te reo Maori," Mr Mohi says.

He says the National Library will continue to work with the Library and
Information Association and Te Roopu Whakahau to include future Maori
place names.


Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says he willing to help the Maori King
Tuheitia kick his smoking habit.

Mr Harawira attended a Poukai at Waahi Pa this week in his whaikorero he
mentioned the leader of the Kingitanga Movement's habit.

"He laughed.I did it in an open forum. People laughed. I didn't say it in
a condemning way. I just think he could be a huge role model for young
Maori in terms of kicking that habit, and If there is any way I can help
him do it, happy to do so," Mr Harawira says.

Tainui leader and smokefree advocate Tukoroirangi Morgan supports Hone
Harawira's comments and says regardless of status smoking is a huge
problem among Maori.


A 180 year old Pa site in downtown Wellington City to be unveiled tomorrow
(Saturday) will give visitors a sense of how Maori lived in the area.

Discovered under a multi-million dollar development in 2005, Te Aro Kainga
was built by Ngati Mutunga of Taranaki in 1824.

Later split into two sites it was occupied by Ngati Ruanui, Ngati Haumia
and Ngati Tupaia.

Associate Minister of Culture and Heritage Mahara Okeroa says Te Aro Pa
Heritage site raises many questions of intrest.

"What we have here is a piece of a picture of a major pa site and what's
been preserved, the foundations of maybe two whare and if tat's what's
been uncovered in that corner the question is how much has been destroyed
in the past and how much is just sitting under the ground and I suppose it
gives people a glimpse what was there," Mr Okeroa says.

After the 1844 Crown purchase, an earthquake in 1955 drained low lying
areas in Te Aro diminishing a crucial food source and economic trade.


Maori Party MP Hone Harawira is calling for Hauraki Waikato voters to split
their vote to get two Maori MP's into parliament.

Mr Harawira says voters should elect Maori Party Candidate Angeline
Greensil in as the Hauraki Waikato MP, while Nanaia Mahuta sits at number
10 on the Labour Party list.

The Tai Tokerau MP says it's about making the best decision the electorate.

"I have a lot of respect for Nanaia as a member of Parliament and I have
great respect for Angeline's ability, her knowledge, her strength and her
commitment, and I was just saying it would be nice if Hauraki-Waikato
could see their way to voting in such a way to enable both of them to get
in," Mr Harawira says.

The call goes against Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia's who
has appealled to Maori to give both votes to the party.


A Maori academic says methods of traditional Wananga should be included in
maintream tertiary education models.

James Henare Research Center director Te Tuhi Robust says numbers of Maori
entering into tertiary education are now growing at a strong rate.

However he says despite universities and polytechnics repositioning
themselves to capture Maori this hasn't happened.

Dr Robust says Maori knowledge in the form of Wananga has a lot to offer

"Tohunga were benchmarked. they used to go to other wananga with other
tohunga to discuss and put their work of their skills up for scrutiny by
others, like reviewing and evaluating, benchmarking and peer reviewing.
There's a wish for recognition of things Maori within the field of
academia," Dr Robust says.

The James Henare Research Centre has been recognised as an affiliate group
of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.