Waatea News Update

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

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Election bottom line more honest

Tariana Turia is defending the Maori Party's pre-election release of its bottom line for coalition talks - entrenching the Maori seats so they can't be abolished by a simple majority of MPs.

Some political commentators say it weakens the party's bargaining power, and National's John Key warned bottom lines can lead to backtracking.

Mr Key wants to get rid of the seats by 2014.

Mrs Turia says it's one of the biggest issues for the party and its supporters.

“We would be being dishonest if we didn’t say that it is going to be one of the most significant things we discuss because otherwise what we’re doing is setting our party up for only another six years in Parliament, and I don’t think that’s what Maori voters want,” Mrs Turia says.

She says while it's undeniable Maori voters have a preference for Labour, they should wait and see what is on the table after the election before saying where the Maori Party should give its support.


The chair of the Ahuwheua Trophy says entering the competition for Maori farming excellence can be as valuable as winning it.

Entries have opened for sheep and beef operations to go through regional heats, with the finalists holding open days before the winner is announced next June.

Kingi Smiler says most Maori farming is now done on a large scale through land trusts and incorporations, so the competition highlights the best corporate farming practices.

He says the competition is not just looking for farms that believe they are performing at a high level.

“We're also looking for the spread, for those that it may be their first time and it’s a good opportunity for them to get good feedback on where they’re at so that in two or three years time when they re-enter the competition, they’ve got a very strong show of making the finals,” Mr Smiler says.

The last sheep and beef winner, Pah Hill Station in Ohakune, has since doubled in size by merging with a neigbouring block, and now runs 48,000 stock units.


Politics will take a back seat for Tainui MP Nanaia Mahuta this weekend.
She'll be at the annual Maori national rugby league nationals at Hopuhopu.

Ms Mahuta says the code has been the game of choice for generations of Maori, including King Koroki, who in the 1930's declared it the game for the Maori people.

Champion players of yesteryear will be inducted into the Maori rugby league hall of fame at a gala dinner in Turangawaewae tomorrow night, which will be hosted by King Tuheitia.

“The opportunity to honour our past heroes in rugby league is I think significant because Maori communities have been the backbone of the Rugby League movement in New Zealand and somewhat understate I think in terms of our contribution,” Ms Mahuta says.


The Greens Maori affairs spokesperson has prepared a bill to entrench the Maori seats.

Metiria Turei says all she needs is the numbers to get it passed.

The Maori Party has made it a bottom line of post-election cooperation that the seats will remain unless more than 75 percent of Parliament votes to abolish them - meaning they are likely to remain until Maori indicate they have no more need of them.

Ms Turei says it's an area where the Greens and the Maori Party share common ground.

“We fully support the retention of the seats and the repeal of the Foreshore (and Seabed Act). We don’t do bottom lines any more but that’s always on the table and if they are going to fight hard for those things, that’s great, and it’s important to do that. I’ve got a member’s bill already drafted for entrenching the seats so the legislations ready to go if we can get the numbers in the house, so that would be great,” Ms Turei says.


Fifteen years of research and interviews have gone into a new book on the 28 Maori Battalion to be launched tomorrow.

Nga Tamatoa, the Price of Freedom was put together by a team headed by historian Monty Souter, the director of Tairawhiti Museum.

He says it will be a taonga for the thousand descendants expected in Gisborne tomorrow.

“The phrase that’s been used for the launch is “amohia te mauri”, carry the legacy. I think the descendants will be very proud bit not until they read the book will they really get some insights into what their papas and korouas did, and if it changes their thinking about they opportunities they have got, then I thing the book will have served its purpose,” Dr Souter says.

The launch will include a renenactment of the homecoming march by Maori Battalion C Company survivors from the Gisborne railway station to Te Poho O Rawiri Marae.


Maori will be well served by the numbers entered into this weekend's Auckland senior tennis champs.

Dick Garret, who heads Maori tennis and is a former national seniors champion, says Maori players have had good success in the senior tennis champs over the years.

In Christchurch last year Mosey Harvey won the world over 75 seniors' title, the only New Zealand tennis player to have won a world title.

Mr Garret says other top Maori players like Tamati Reedy, Jack Parekura, Joe Tamati and Veronica Vercoe will be on court this weekend.

Ahuwhenua contest improving farming stock

A revived farm competition is being credited with turning Maori farmers into some of the best in New Zealand.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy was started as part of Apirana Ngata's land development programmes of the 1930s, and it was revived in 2003 to recognise excellence in Maori farming.

Entries have opened for the 2009 competition, which covers the sheep and beef sector.

Kingi Smiler, the chair of the competition’s management committee, says it gives established operation a chance to show how good they are, and it's also a way for farms in a state of development to benchmark themselves.

He says the quality of entries has improved since the relaunch, in terms of both governance and management.

“Now to be a finalist in the competition, they really are the benchmark not just for Maori farming but for agribusiness in New Zealand and the performance of the three finalists in the sheep and beef in 2007 and the dairy this year was quite exceptional,” Mr Smiler says.

Entries for the Ahuwhenua Trophy close at the end of January, with regional judging done in March and the supreme winner announce in June, after field days on the finalists' properties.


National Party leader John Key says Labour's treaty settlements should be seen as a desperate attempt to ingratiate the party with Maori voters.

Settlements worth hundreds of millions of dollars have been agreed in principle, signed off or passed into legislation since deputy prime minister Michael Cullen took over the treaty negotiations portfolio a year ago.

Mr Key says while the pace has been impressive, it came after eight years of inaction from Labour.

“They're in a lot of pressure in the Maori seats that they don’t lose all seven of them to the Maori Party so they’re trying to do deals to shore up the vote, particularly with Tainui, and I suspect that was a lot of what was driving the Waikato River deal, and the central North Island forestry deal, Treelords, were other iwi they were trying to ingratiate themselves with,” Mr Key says.

Many of the deals are just agreements in principle, and a lot of work has been left for a future government.


Mangere MP Taito Phillip Field is hoping his new Pacific Party can match the level of representation the Maori party has achieved.

The fledgling party is standing eight candidates next month.

The former Labour MP says Pacifika peoples make up about 8 percent of the population, and if they unite their vote, they can have a stronger voice.

“So I'm really, fair representation is there a unity of the vote, so that’s what I mean about Maori showing us the way, the Maori Party success in terms of the unity of the Maori vote and there’s no reason why the unity of the Pacific vote for the New Zealand Pacific Party can’t achieve a similar thing to the Maori party,” Mr Field says.

He is standing for the Pacific Party in Mangere.


Gisborne is bracing itself for a re-enactment of a special day 62 years ago.

It's part of the launch of Nga Tamatoa, a book containing oral histories about C Company of the 28 Maori Battalion, known as the Cowboys because of its recruitment from the East Coast.

Author Monty Souter says it's the realisation of a challenge made by Sir Apirana Ngata in 1946, that the battalion's efforts be properly chronicled.

Descendants of battalion members will tomorrow re-enact the march returning troops made from the Gisborne railway station to Te Poho O Rawiri marae.

“One thousand descendants of those men are going to march that route. We’ve got 900 photographs they’re going to carry to that marae of each one of those men, not just the 188 who came home at the end of the war but each one of the soldiers who served in World War II from this region,” Dr Souter says.

Three out every four who fought for C Company never returned.


Urban Maori Authorities are divided on whether they should let Destiny Church into their club.

Willie Jackson, the chair or the National urban Maori authority, says there's no guarantee the church will be allowed to join.

Destiny is marking its 10th anniversary this weekend, and recasting itself as a provider of social services.

Mr Jackson says it has a record of helping Maori.

“Some of the people on our executive have reservations and that’s fine. All I’ve said is you might have reservations about Destiny Church but you can’t doubt the work they’ve done in terms of turning around the negative statistics of our people. They’ve decided to become an urban Maori authority. Good luck to them. Whether they become part of us, that’s yet to be decided,” Mr Jackson says.

As a recognised urban authority Destiny could have a better chance of getting government contracts to provide social services.


Maori surfers have their fingers crossed for clean waves and a big Taranaki swell this weekend.

Surf conditions on the day will determine on which of the region's beaches the annual Maori surf champs will be held.

Chris Malone, a former winner of the Maori open title, says the Maori nationals are less intimidating than other events to talented but sometimes shy Maori surfers.

“It's the Maori finals and it’s a bit more of a whanau thing as well and tikanga, it brings a lot more people together and it also brings out a lot more of those Maori boys and girls that are a bit too scared to go in the big comps. They’re all naturally talented so it gives them a chance to come out of the woodwork and display their surfing,” says Mr Malone, who is the Maori coordinator for Surfing New Zealand.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ultimatum megaphone politics

National's leader John Key is warning a potential coalition partner of setting bottom lines too early.

The Maori Party says the price of its support for the next government would include entrenchment of the Maori seats, so they could not be abolished without the approval of 75 percent of MPs.

National's policy is to get rid of the seats as soon as all historic treaty claims are settled, which it says could be by 2014.

John Key says it is campaign season megaphone politics from the Maori Party.

“MMP is such a matrix of parties that can come together that once you start spelling out bottom lines you get to a point where everything you announce you have to start back-tracking about whether it really is a bottom line and how bottom the bottom line is so from our point of view we’ve got a process. I think that’s a better position to be in. The process is that if we’re in a position to put together a government, then after the election we will talk to the relevant players,” Mr Key says.

He says National has a good relationship with the Maori party.


Meanwhile, a rousing haka in downtown Sydney has signaled the opening of the first overseas polling booth for expatriates.

Yesterday's haka was organised by Ian Gemmel from the New Zealand Your Rights at Work Committee, made up of delegates from trade unions in Australia.

He says it was a way to encourage the 80-thousand Sydney-based kiwis to vote.

New Zealanders living in Australia can vote if they have returned home at least once in the past 3 years.


Tauranga Maori are taking a break from their raupatu claims to celebrate themselves.

The Tauranga Moana - Tauranga Tangata festival starting today features a rangatahi play, 'Tauranga's Got Talent', a top town style inter-marae competition and a kapa haka contest.

Organiser Jack Thatcher says there's also a parade on Saturday, where the various marae will march with their flags.

He says it's about lifting up people's spirits after years of Waitangi Tribunal hearings on the confiscations of the 1860s and their aftermath.

“We were talking about what the raupatu was doing to our community, Everyone was in that grievance mode. What we wanted to do was have a festival that celebrated who we are as a people living here in Tauranga Moana - Tauranga Tangata, getting out of grievance mode and into celebration,” Mr Thatcher says.

A moko wananga and a taupatupatu debate will add to the fun.


The Maori Council could be in for a substantial overhaul, as a result of a symposium looking at the achievements of its long-serving chairman, Sir Graham Latimer.

Many speakers said there was still a role for the council, despite the rise of iwi-based organisations over the past 20 years.

Former Maori Trustee Neville Baker said the chair of the Maori Council has a unique statutory role which Sir Graham used in the courts and the Waitangi Tribunal to win advances for Maori in areas like broadcasting, fisheries and forestry.

He says some kind of national organisation is needed to make sure Maori views are heard, things Maori treasure are protected and the Crown is kept honest.

“There is a need to have an entity that can actually challenge the Crown, that can actually maintain that the Crown is of good behaviour and that it is responsible to those things that have been set in place in the past,” Mr Baker says.

He says it's up to Maori to decide the future of the council.


Former Alliance MP Willie Jackson is questioning where the Maori Party is getting its political strategy.

The party has set out bottom lines for post election discussions, including repeal of the Foreshore and Seabed Act, compulsory treaty training for new migrants and the entrenchment of the Maori seats.

Mr Jackson says such demands will make it difficult for the party to work with National, if it wins more seats than Labour.

“I wouldn't have done it because I think you need to be in a real position where you can negotiate and I would have left it for after the election so you could have played the two parties off. They forced National to say basically ‘we can’t do this’ so it starts restricting their bargaining power, their negotiating power, I wouldn’t have done it, but I’m not in charge of the Maori Party am I,” Mr Jackson says.


The Minister of Youth Affairs says the Government's decison to build nine preschools alongside existing South Auckland schools will be repaid in years to come.

Nanaia Mahuta says children who attend preschool are better prepared for the challenges of primary and secondary school.

She says facilities should boost the number of Maori and Pacifika children in the region in preschool education, which is relatively low.

Treaty litigation suspended

The Crown and Maori litigants have stepped back from a Supreme Court challenge to a central North Island forestry settlement.

The Maori Council and the Federation of Maori Authorities sued over a plan to allow Te Arawa claimants to buy a large part of the Kaingaroa forest.

Federation spokesperson Paul Morgan says the case had been overtaken by events, with Nga Pumautanga o te Arawa putting aside its deal and joining other iwi in a region-wide forestry settlement.

That left a Court of Appeal judgment on the books which could have limited the rights of all Maori under the Treaty of Waitangi.

“Having concern for that, we had to push on and take the matter up to the Supreme Court. The court suggested to us the parties, Crown and Maori, work through a consent order, which on agreement is submitted for minuting in the court and essentially is appended to the Court of Appeal decision which makes a number of aspects of that decision obiter, which as I understand it legally essentially rules out the decision,” Mr Morgan says.

The wording of the consent order was agreed last Friday, so it should go to the Supreme Court in the next few days.


The chairman of a south Wairarapa hapu says farming and development is causing damaging an historic pa site.

Ngati Hinewaka has been working with the Historic Places Trust and Martingborough Coastal Developments to mitigate the effects of a 24-lot coastal subdivision at Tora.

Haami Te Whaiti says the problem is wider that one developer.
IN: We've had damage to pa sites, garden areas, exposing koiwi through earthworks over several years, generally from development and normal farming activities like building roads. Landowners don’t know they’ve got these sites on their farm,” Mr Te Whaiti says.

Ann Neill, the Historic Places Trust's central region manager, says the onus is on district councils and consent applicants to do thorough assessments of potential archaeological and heritage sites.


The Whakatohea Maori Trust Board is looking at non-traditional species for its planned seafarm off Opotiki.

The 3800 hectare farm gained its consents last week.

Chief executive Watene Horsefall says while the mainstay will be mussels, the joint venture with Chinese aquaculture giant Oriental Ocean has commissioned research on the sea cucumber.

It is also looking at finfish and other high value species to grow.


The Federation of Maori Authorities is counting the end of its Supreme Court action as a significant win for Maori.

FOMA and the Maori Council challenged the Crown's attempt to bypass the rules covering the Crown Forestry Rental Trust to settle a Te Arawa Claim to the Kaingaroa Forest.

Deputy chair Paul Morgan says Te Arawa's decision to join other central North Island iwi in a region-wide forestry settlement meant the case was overtaken by events.

“It’s been a two year process, cost a lot of money. We’ve had a good outcome in terms of a turnaround in the treaty process in terms of the Government’s thinking and a practice approach by Michael Cullen and very positive on that. We think that’s a plus. Obviously the settlement of the Kaingaroa, which is a very significant asset to be resolved, but more importantly, it’s giving more certainty to other claimants all over New Zealand regarding Crown forest lands, that the officials in future governments won’t get up to inappropriate behaviour one might say,” Mr Morgan says

The parties will ask the Supreme Court to issue a consent order suspending the case, and setting aside the earlier High Court and Court of Appeal judgments which could have affected the treaty relationship between Maori and the Crown.


Destiny Church founder Brian Tamaki says Maori should aspire to his wealth.

The church is trying to shrug off charges of being a cult, as it seeks urban Maori authority status so it can access government funding for its social programmes.

Bishop Tamaki says rather than accuse him of living a lavish lifestyle, people should by asking why so many people live in squalor.

“I don't believe our people are destined to live on the bare bones of their backside in state housing, haven’t got enough to just pay bills but to look after the children properly. That should never be normalised as being an average existence, and if we raise the bar to where we have a reasonably good life, and that’s what all governments crow about, and lift the living standards, then where I’m living should be average,” Bishop Tamaki says.

He says he already gives away more than half his income, and intends to sell his bikes and car to put into the church's education and health programmes.


Tauranga Maori are setting aside their raupatu to celebrate themselves.

The Tauranga Moana - Tauranga Tangata festival starting today features a rangatahi play, 'Tauranga's Got Talent', a top town style inter-marae competition and a kapa haka contest.

Organiser Jack Thatcher says there's also a parade on Saturday, where the various marae will march with their flags.

He says it's about lifting up people's spirits.

“We were talking about what the raupatu was doing to our community, Everyone was in that grievance mode. What we wanted to do was have a festival that celebrated who we are as a people living here in Tauranga Moana - Tauranga Tangata, getting out of grievance mode and into celebration,” Mr Thatcher says.

A moko wananga and a taupatupatu debate will add to the fun.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sir Graham Latimer honoured with study

The chairman of the New Zealand Maori Council has been hailed as heading a network of modern Maori leadership that extends well outside his own organisation.

Summing up a day long symposium on the life of Sir Graham Latimer, Massey University professor Mason Durie said Maori progress is being driven by collective action rather than charismatic individuals.

He says in a network developed over the past three decades that spans iwi, communities, institutions and political persuasions, strategic vision and the ability to read the signs of change are especially valued.

Sir Graham, who has been part of successful claims over fisheries, forests, state owned lands, broadcasting and the status of the Treaty of Waitangi, has been at the heart of the network.

“He has shown sustained tenacity, endurance, resilience, a knack for sensing the right moment for action and for picking the right people to act with, or to act against.

“His breadth of thinking, combined with a healthy dose of pragmatism and an uncanny intuition set him apart as a master of confrontation, of negotiation, of timing and of expedience.

“In his several capacities he has been a navigator across turbulent waters, an architect of change, a chair for the boardroom, a servant of his people and an unswerving champion for Maori,” Professor Durie says.

Because of the efforts of Sir Graham and his network, Maori entered the 21st century with greater certainty than when they stumbled into the 20th century.


After 15 years of fighting local councils, the descendants of 19th century Ngai Tahu ariki Te Maiharanui have succeeded getting his landing place recognised as an historic reserve.

George Tikao, the chair of the Onuku Runanka, says Takapuneke near Akaroa has been site of a rubbish dump and effluent treatment plant.

Its significance is now to be recognised by the Christchurch City Council and the Historic Places Trust.

Mr Tikao says Ngai Tarewa and Ngati Irakehu have plans to rehabilitate the reserve.

“We have now become successful in hopefully allowing this property to regenerate what it used to be like. Indigenous forests practically came down to where Te Maiharanui had his village,” Mr Tikao says.

In 1830 Te Maiharanui and 200 of his people were captured and killed by Te Rauparaha and a Ngati Toa taua, which had been taken to Banks Peninsula on a British ship.


Destiny Church founder Brian Tamaki has pledged to give away some of his personal wealth to fund new health and education programmes.

The 10-year old church is seeking to be recognised as an urban Maori authority as it boosts its welfare programmes.

Bishop Tamaki says while he has been accused of an extravangant lifestyle, he gives away almost 60 percent of his income.

“We're big givers. We want to give 90 percent away and live on 10 percent. I’m putting up my bikes and my car and some of the profits from some of my assets to invest n our children’s schooling and health facilities we are setting up in the next five years, so Hera and I, we know in our hearts that we hold on to everything with an open palm,” Mr Tamaki says.

Hbe says about 80 percent of the 7000 destiny members are Maori, but there are also growing numbers of Pasifika, Asian and Black African immigrants.


The Historic Places Trust is defending its actions over a development which threatened an archaeological site on the south Wairarapa coast.

Haami Te Whaiti from Ngati Hinewaka says the trust and local council aren't doing enough to protect sites in the area.

But Ann Neill, the trust's central region manager, says a resource consent allowed Martinborough Coastal Developments to put a boundary fence for a 24-section subdivision at Tora along a ridgeline ... cutting through a terraced pa.

“What we did was work very hard with the landowner and iwi and facilitated an agreement with them all that while that legal boundary would stay as drawn, the fenceline wouldn’t go down that ridgeline so the cultural site could be intact both physically and culturally, and the new fenceline would go round the bottom of the hill at the base of the site,” Ms Neill says.

The developer started work without the required consultant archaeologist on site, which allowed the trust to stop the work once it was informed of Ngati Hinewaka's concerns.


The Prime Minister is urging Maori voters to looking at what has happened in their everyday lives under Labour rather than hark back to the row over foreshore and seabed claims.

Helen Clark says Maori unemployment reached 25 percent under the last National-led government.

She says it's now less than a third of that.

“We've got a big increase in the number of children in early childhood education. We’ve got people living longer. Maori life expectancy is up. Cultural renaissance in Maoridom, Maori television, the support for iwi radio, support for culture, people’s real lives, incomes, jobs, schooling, further education, interest free loans, student allowances, you name it, things are better,” Ms Clark says.

The government has made significant progress settling foreshore and seabed claims through negotiations with individaul iwi and through the Maori commercial aquaculture settlement.

Clark denounces Destiny cult

Prime Minister Helen Clark has described attempts by the Destiny Church to become an Urban Maori Authority as ridiculous.

Helen Clark says the church is a "cult" which should have no place acting as an Urban Maori Authority.

“I think probably most people in Maoridom will be thinking what is going on here? This is not an urban Maori authority. This is a cult. It’s ridiculous, as is, in my view, any suggestion of a treaty claim by Black Power or the Mongrel Mob. It’s not real. It’s not serious,” Ms Clark says.

However the Federation of National Urban Maori Authorities has welcomed an approach by Destiny Church inviting it to lodge a formal application for membership which will be sponsored by existing member the Manukau Urban Authority.

NUMA executive officer John Tamihere says he is not surprised by Helen Clark's attitude as the church has opposed three of the government's major pieces of legislation, the Civil Unions Act, the Prostitution Act and the Crimes Act Amendment known as the anti-smacking bill.


A hui on the life of Sir Graham Latimer has led to calls for a revitalisation of the Maori council.

A symposium at Te Papa in Wellington yesterday attracted an extraordinary gathering of Maori leaders.

The symposium brought together many of the people that 82 year old Sir Graham Latimer and his wide Lady Emily have worked with in the past four decades in the Maori Council.

They have talked of his unique leadership style and his deal-making ability which has led to advances for Maori in treaty claims, forestry, fishing, broadcasting and the protection of te reo Maori.

Former protester Donna Awatere-Huata pointed to the way Sir Graham was able to use the activities of the protesters on the street to get concessions out of those in power.

She said under his leadership the Maori Council allowed the voice of ordinary Maori to be heard.

She says it needs to be reborn anew, with the fibres of the old net interwoven with the new net.


The Electoral Enrolment Centre has hit back at criticism from the Maori Party's Waikato Hauraki candidate.

Angeline Greensil says many voters she came across during weekend campaigning were confused as to whether they were in her electorate or Pita Sharple's in neighbouring Tamaki Makaurau.

However the Electoral Enrolment Centre National Manager Murray Wicks says considerable effort has been put in to inform voters about such things as boundary changes.

“In May every registered elector was sent a pack with a form showing their current details and what their new electorate was. In late July election rolls were published so people could go along and check their names and what electorate they were in,” Mr Wicks says.

He says now rolls have closed information packs will be sent to every registered voter showing which electorate they are in.


The Federation of Urban Maori Authorities is not surprised by Prime Minister Helen Clark saying it is ridiculous that the Destiny Church should be considered for membership of the organisation.

Helen Clark says the church is a cult which should no more be considered as an urban Maori Authority than the Black Power or Mongrel Mob should have treaty claims acknowledged.

However the Federation of National Urban Maori Authorities has invited Destiny Church to make an application for membership supported by existing member - the Manukau Urban Authority.

NUMA Executive officer John Tamihere says he is not surprised by the Prime Minister's attitude.

“Well she doesn't believe in God. They do. They don’t believe in prostitution. She’s sponsored bills and voted for them. They don’t believe in civil unions. She does. They don’t believe in the anti-smacking legislation. She does. So does tens of thousands other kiwis and Maori. So that’s no surprises to anyone, is it,” Mr Tamihere says.

The question is not whether the group making application is Christian or not but does the group advance the cause of Maori people on the street day in and day out and the Destiny Church clearly does that.


Ngati Hinewaka hapu is concerned it doesn't have the authority to stop damage from a 24-lot subdivision on coastal land at Torea on the Wairarapa coast.

Chair Haami Te Whaiti says councils and the Historic Places Trust are the ones who should be protecting such significant Maori land sites but they are not doing so.

“We'd like to think that instead of fighting a rear-guard action, that councils and the Historic Places Trust are being more proactive. They’re the ones that have the authority to be able to do this work. We’ve identified that there are areas that are sensitive to that type of development. We’d want them to be working towards protecting those values,” Mr Te Whaiti says.

The Awhea Subdivision by Martinborough Coastal Developments is damaging historic Pa, traditional maara and exposing bones or koiwi.


Maori attitudes to organ donation are changing according to an advocate for maore maori involvement in organ donation.

Phil Heremaia, who has worked in the Maori health sector for many years, says Maori organ donation rates have traditionally been very low.

However he says with education this is changing as evidenced by recent organ donations from Maori whanau.

“They’re saying the wairua’s gone, it’s just a shell sitting there, the tupapaku, and if we can give help to someone when we’re gone, so be it,” Mr Heremaia says.

With many Maori patients reliant on donated organs the key is to provide people with the information to make the choice that's right for them and their whanau.

Boundary issues in south Auckland seat

The Electoral Commission has come in for criticism from the Maori Party which has found confusion among voters over which electorate they are in during campaigning in the new Waikato Hauraki electorate.

The Maori party candidate for the electorate Angeline Greensill says during weekend campaigning with co leader Pita Sharples, who is expected to win neighbouring electorate, Tamaki Makaurau, she found many Maori voters unaware of boundary changes.

“The problem we’re got is people are still unaware they’re in the Hauraki Waikato electorate, they still think they’re in Pita’s territory and so have Pita with me door knocking was really good for them,” Ms Greensill says.

Some voters living on the eastern side of the southern motorway near the botanical gardens wrongly assume Pita Sharples is still their representative in parliament.


Political commentator Chris Trotter says the smaller parties including the Maori party are going to have to project themselves into economic debate or they will be completely over-shadowed by the big parties during the election campaign.

Chris Trotter says the economic climate has completely changed but parties like the Greens don’t seem to have acknowledged this.

“They dropped the ball a little in terms of this global economic crisis because they haven’t got their heads around the fact the rules have changed. You can’t go promising big things now because the money just ain’t there. We’re heading into some very stormy seas and I think the same applies to the Maori Party. Their economic policy is a policy for the very sunny economic times,” Mr Trotter says.

The same could possibly be said for New Zealand First.


The CEO for the Whakatohea Maori Trust Board says a hectare of the seafarm they are developing off the Opototiki Coast could one day be worth as much as a hectare of land in the rohe.

Last week the government gave approval for the 3800 hectare marine development 8 km off the coast.

Watene Horesfall the Trust Board’s CEO says with careful planning and technical expertise the seafarm will not only create much needed jobs , but could one day rival land in value.

“This seafarm is something very special. In the eastern bay, it is about $34,000 to buy a hectare of land because of the price of milk solids, and this area is very good for dairying, but if this farm takes off the price per hectare is greatly going to exceed the price of land,” Mr Horsfall says.

The Board has a 54 percent stake in the venture, which includes a Chinese company and Nelson based Sealords.


Leaders of Te Ao Maori and Te Ao Pakeha have turned up to pay tribute to the long-serving Chair of the NZ Maori council Sir Graham Latimer

A symposium at Te Papa in Wellington today has been looking at Maori social and economic development and the status of the Treaty of Waitangi.


Prime Minister Helen Clark says she would get on like a house on fire with American presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

Speaking on Radio Waatea News this morning she said while a Labour led government would work with whoever is elected in the United States, Labour has particular affinity with Barack Obama's Democrat party.

Helen Clark says the US campaign is absolutely riveting being a tussle between Republican John Mc Cain, the old Vietnam veteran war horse and the charismatic gifted Democrat senator Barack Obama who she says many Maori will identify with.


Soccer Commentator and former All White International Heremaia Ngata says the under 17 women’s world championships which begin at North Harbour tonight may be the catalyst to more Maori involvement in the game.

Mr Ngata or Harry as he's known to New Zealand soccer fans says although there are not many Maori playing soccer at top level, international competitions like this are needed to encourage more tangata whenua to get involved.

The under 17 womens world cup in which 16 teams are competing kicks off tonight when New Zealand host Canada.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Maori Party assesses options

The likelihood that the Maori party won’t do a deal with either National or Labour even if it finds itself with the ability to be king maker after the election has been reinforced by the party's president Whatarangi Winiata.

Professor Winiata says it important the Maori Party talks to all the parties to let them know that the party is firm in its resolve to be a strong, independent and united Maori voice.

“I think we can serve the nation and serve the Maori signatory to the Treaty of Waitangi better as an independent voice and not there to undermine any one. Not that we’re there to support anyone but rather to consider the issues as they arrive and do what we think is best for the nation,” Professor Winiata says.

Party MP's who have suggested coalition are simply exploring ideas.


NUMA, the confederation of national maori urban authorities are building affiliate capacity and have big ambitions for the future.

Executive officer John Tamihere says the organisation has been slowly gaining support, and moves by an arm of Destiny Church to become affiliated to the national body are welcomed.

“We will be in the next five years one of the most powerful confederated organisations in the Maori world but we’re just building that affiliation capacity up, and it’s good that someone like Destiny has finally put their hand up,” Mr Tamihere says.

He says as long as those seeking to join NUMA share the organisation's goal of supporting the needs of Maori living in the cities, they have a role to play.


Tourism Minister Damien O Conner says the mana of New Zealand's tourism industry has been recognised by the country being voted favourite long haul holiday destination by British travelers.

Damien O Connor says that readers of the Observer and Gaurdian newspapers voted New Zealand the top destination reflects the effort put in by the New Zealand tourism industry to provide a world-class experience for tourists.

Twin will reinforce Tourism New Zealand's $7.3 million marketing campaign in the UK launched last month.


The Green Party is hoping that by spelling out who they're prepared to deal with after the general election, more Maori will feel comfortable splitting their votes... and giving the Greens their party vote in the Maori seats.

Metiria Turei, the party's Maori Affairs spokesperson, says many Maori voters can't bring themselves to vote for Labour in the wake of the foreshore and seabed raruraru... but they know the electoral maths means a party vote for the Maori Party may be wasted.

While the Greens have ruled out supporting a National-led government... and would prefer to deal with Labour ... this would require certain conditions being met in post election talks.


Maori Party president Whatarangi Winiata who has come out strongly against either a coalition with National or Labour says it is important that this stance is discussed with other parties.

Professor Winiata says the Maori party will be in the strongest position if it remains a strong, independent and united Maori voice in parliament outside of any coalition agreement.

The likelihood that the Maori party could end up as king maker after the election has increased as the gap between National and Labour has narrowed in recent political polls.


Sports commentator Ken Laban says a number of Maori have stepped up and staked their claim to be included in the All Black team to be announced on Sunday to tour the United Kingdom.

Ken Laban says Hosea Gear and Richard Kahui should to be first off the block choices for the All Black's while it is pleasing to see other Maori being recognised.

Laban has been a longtime fan of fellow centre Conrad Smith but he thinks that Richard Kahui's recent performance should make him run on favourite for the position.

Greens backing Maori institutions

The Green's Maori affairs spokesperson Metiria Turei says Maori issues were one of the key reasons the party has ruled out supporting a National-led government.

She says Maori issues played a key role in their deliberations before they released their preference for a post-election partner at a press conference in Wellington today.

“We're looking to see how far they’re going to advance the Green Party kaupapa and in terms of Maori issues in particular whether they are going to fix the inequities in the treaty settlement process, whether they are going to ensure ongoing Maori representation in Parliament and whether they’re committed to independent Maori institutions like for example a Maori justice system,” Ms Turei says.

She says knowing how a party will act after the election allows voters to cast their ballots strategically.

However she says support for Labour would be conditional on key concessions in post-election talks


The settlement of a longstanding treaty claim with the Otaki based Te Wananga o Raukawa for $50.6 million has been welcomed as recognition of by the Crown of the Wananga's ability to manage rangatiratanga.

Wananga spokesperson Whatarangi Winiata says the settlement puts the wananga on equal footing with other tertiary institutions.

“I think that it is that we here at the wananga are learning to manage rangatiratanga and I think for us this is fair to say an expression of managing tino rangatariatanga as provided for in Te Tiriti of Waitangi,” Professor Winiata says.

The money will be used for building work, updating equipment and offsetting risks into the future.


Contrary of public perception South Aucklanders love the place.

That's the finding of a Customer Focus study by Manukau City Council according to chief executive Leigh Auton.

Leigh Auton says the community is very upset about the way the area is portrayed by people outside the area who don't really know what it is like to live in South Auckland.


The Executive Officer of the national Urban Maori Authorities says religious belief is not a barrier to the successful delivery of social service programmes to Maori.

John Tamihere, who also heads West Auckland based Te Whanau O Waipareira Trust says an application by an arm of the Destiny Church, for ratification as an urban Maori authority is being discussed at a special meeting of the NUMA executive council tonight.

He says while there may be some surprise at Destiny's wish to become an urban authority, of more importance is their ability to deliver, accountability, transparency and that they have an appropriate constitution.

“Is their kaupapa on the same kaupapa as us in lifting the performance of our people out of their difficulties. A number of boxes are ticked straight away, so you start asking why should we be prejudicial solely because their kaupapa is more based on bibilical matters and church based matters,” Mr Tamihere says.

He says it's timely that Destiny has put its hand up as NUMA wants to build capacity to be one of the most powerful confederated organisations in the Maori world.


National's a no-go ... and while Labour is the Green party's preferred coalition partner after the election the deal is far from done with Maori issues likely to be a key consideration.

Greens Maori affairs spokesperson Metiria Turei from the says while they announced today that they won’t be supporting National.

Labour still has to assure them that they have enough policies in common to warrant a Green's endorsement... either in, or out, of a coalition.

“The key issues will be protecting low income people from the ravages of the recession. For Maori this is crucial. This means investing in housing, building more homes particularly in rural areas where Maori housing is no appalling. It also means making sure there is hob security and investment in real jobs, not just work for the dole,” Ms Turei says

Knowing how a party will act after the election allows voters to caste their ballots strategically.


The Maori mid-field pairing of Benji Marshall and Thomas Leuluai is getting the thumbs up after the Kiwi league team outclassed Tonga 56-8 over the weekend.

Richie Barnett... who represented the Kiwis at the 1995 and 2000 world cups... says the mid-field combination... usually a problem area for the Kiwis... looked sharp.

He says the players outside Benji Marshall will need to use the time before the World Cup to adapt to his unpredictability which is one of his great strengths but needs those around him knowing what he is up to.
The team now head to Australia for the World Cup.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Election still hurdle for party

The Maori Party seems to be flavour of the month - election month that is - but a Maori lawyer is skeptical the interest can be translated into post-election gains.

Moana Jackson says there's a lot of game playing around MMP.

He says while the Maori Party may be in a position to decide who the next government will be, it's not so long ago it was an outcast.

“Pakeha political commentators and the Pakeha parties suddenly see the Maori Party as being really important. I mean it was only three years ago that the National Party didn’t want to know them and only three years ago that Helen Clark said they were the last cab off the rank,” Mr Jackson says.


Pita Sharples is pouring cold water on the idea the Maori Party will determine the next government.

He says depending on the way the votes go, the party will need to decide whether the interests of its members are best suited by entering a coalition with Labour or National, or continuing to sit on the cross benches.

“It's silly to assume that there’s only going to be one outcome, that the Maori party’s sitting in the middle and they could make a Labour or a National government. I think that’s only one of about 10 options that are available, possible, and I just feel a little fenced in how everybody sees it so narrowly,” Dr Sharples says.


Initiatives to encourage more Maori to take up teaching careers seem to be missing the mark.

The Ministry of Education is offering $10,000 TeachNZ scholarships for Maori language teachers and a $30,000 allowance for fluent Te Reo speakers with previous experience.

Mere Forbes, the manager of Auckland University's Te Korowai Atawhai academic support service, says despite the subsidy only 28 people enrolled this year for the Bachelor of Education Huarahi Mäori.

She says many older Maori students have whanau commitments which clash with study.

“Financially it is tough. I am constantly privy to student narratives about obligations and responsibilities to whanau. Is it enough? Often it’s never enough,” Ms Forbes says.


Ngai Tahu says problems with an E Coli outbreak is affecting the mana of Southland marae.

Murihiku environmental issues spokesperson Michael Skerrit says people have been warned warning against collecting kaimoana from the mouths of the Oreti, Aparima and Mataura rivers.

High levels of faecal coliforms are often detected in the rivers after heavy rains in the region, which has been subject to a big increase in dairy farming and irrigation.

“It affects your mana, not bveing able to provide for your manuhiri. As tangata whenua, we have kaitiaki responsibilities. We’ll be right behind council backing up these initiatives to address this problem,” Mr Skerrit says.


A Bay of Plenty iwi says cultural revitalisation is the main focus of its historic treaty settlement.

Waitaha, a Te Arawa iwi, last week signed an agreement in principle which will give it $7.5 million dollars in economic redress, some land and scenic reserves in the Te Puke and Papamoa area, a pardon for its 19th century ancestor Hakaraia and $3 million for an education endowment in his name, and $500,000 to restore Hei Marae.

Spokesperson Sandy Potaka says the tribe was hard hit in the New Zealand wars.

“We were actually the victims of the scorched earth policies in the 1860s where they burnt down settlements, killed livestock, burnt down the crops so we were left without any economic base. We believe we’ve got to get our cultural base first and then we can work on our social and economic development after that,” Ms Potaka says.

Waitaha is now working on how to transfer reserves and set up a post-settlement body.


Culture took priority over campaigning for the Maori party co-leader this weekend.

Pita Sharples went home to Ngati Kahungunu to oversee the nine kokiri or groups involved in the powhiri for next month's Takitimu Festival.

More than 1500 artists from eight iwi and three Pacific nations associated with the Takitimu canoe are expected at the Waikoko Gardens in Hastings.

Dr Sharples says it's a massive undertaking, with eight challenges happening simultaneously.

“Eight wero go out at once to the different groups and bring them in, and then the arikis are seated on a platform, the paepae, the speakers are there, and then of course the final wero will probably go to King Tuheitia, and they’ll be brought on,” Dr Sharples says.

He's written a new haka for the powhiri.


A champion rower from the 1930s is to be inducted into the Maori Sports Hall of Fame later this year.

John Hoani MacDonald from Picton won gold with the fours in the Empire Games... and carried the flag for New Zealand team at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.

He later played rugby, and was selected for both the Maori and the All Black teams on the same day.

After going to England with George Nepia to play professional rugby league, McDonald ended up in the New Zealand Services teams during the war.

Dick Garret, from the Maori Sports Awards, says he was an impressive athlete.

“He was outstanding in tennis, boxing, billiards, wood chopping, you name it. And of course his family, all outstanding athletes, his nephew John, who captained New Zealand basketball, will be receiving that posthumous award on his behalf,” Mr Garrett says.

All Black Leon MacDonald is also part of the whanau.

The Maori Sports Awards will be in Rotorua on the 13th of December.