Waatea News Update

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Further charges against Urewera five

A Tuhoe leader says the laying of new charges against five of the 17 people arrested a year ago in connection with camps in Te Urewera has sunk attempts by police to patch up relationships with the iwi.

Crown prosecutor Ross Burns has told defence lawyers that Tuhoe activist Tame Iti and four others will be charged with participating in a criminal group.

He also intends relaying arms charges which the judge at a preliminary hearing threw out because of lack of evidence.

Tamati Kruger says the Crown has abandoned empirical evidence and is now trying to prove guilt by association.

He says the arrests make a mockery of talks Tuhoe leaders have been having with police about last October's arrests and lock-down of the Ruatoki valley.

“Those talks now I think have become a lot more difficult in light really of what we see as the trawling through laws to find something that may save the police from utter disgrace over this whole painful incident,” Mr Kruger says.

He says the new charges won't diminish support in Ruatoki for Tame Iti, nor diminish Tuhoe's determination to defend its reputation and honour.


Meanwhile, the Maori Party wants the Attorney-General to check whether the new charges are legal.

Co-leader Pita Sharples says special powers of search and surveillance granted under one Act shouldn't be used to lay lesser charges under other Acts.

He says the police operation was a farce which should be brought to a halt.

“It was a bully tactics, the way it was carried out, and we’re considering now taking steps to have the Attorney General squash the whole thing. It’s gone on too long. It’s a farce. The investigation was done under the Terrorism Act and yet the charges were laid under the Firearms Act and that's gotta be wrong,” Dr Sharples says.


The chair of the Te Aute Trust Board is trying to keep the door open on a bail-out offer for the Hawkes Bay Maori boarding school.

Stan Pardoe wrote to the government on Wednesday pulling out of negotiations.

That was before he saw a letter from Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia and Finance Minister Michael Cullen, promising support and funding to improve facilities and courses at Te Aute and sister college Hukarere.

The letter was dated October the 14th, but only sent to negotiators this week.

Mr Pardoe responded this afternoon, asking the ministers to focus on the Crown's abuse of Te Aute's endowment lands, which has starved the schools of resources over the past century.

“The Crown has since 1916 put its attention on the education. It’s never addressed the endowment, and the endowment is the problem. We’re asking this time, leave the education issues aside, there’s a body of people that can work on that from the schools, from the ministry of education. We’re happy with the that, but the focus should be on the endowment, and until we address that, we will continue to have problems,” Mr Pardoe says.

He says the Education Ministry has forced the Te Aute Trust Board to pay for building upgrades which were the government's responsibility.


Tuhoe leader Tamati Kruger says new charges against Tame Iti and four others are a threat to traditional Maori social structures.
The Crown says it will charge Iti, Tuhoi Lambert, Emily Bailey, Urs Signer and Whiri Kemara with participating in a criminal group, which carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.

That's on top of arms charges laid as a result of their participation in camps in Te Uruwera last year, at which weapons were allegedly present.

Mr Kruger says it's an attack on free speech and the rights of Maori to associate together.

"Organisations, social structures like whanau, marae, hapu are pretty much now part of this conversation. The people that Tame associates with are people related to him as well as people he shares interests in and they share, besides a political view, social and cultural interests as well,” Mr
Tamati Kruger says.

He says people in Tuhoe knew about the long-running camps and supported their aims ... which did not have the criminal intent the police are alleging.


Early voting and kaumatua cars are being used to help boost the Maori vote in this year's election.

Turn-out in Maori seats has traditionally been lower than in general seats ... with rangatahi aged between 18-25 a particular concern.

Nanaia Mahuta, who is contesting the reconfigured Tainui seat of Hauraki-Waikato from Labour, says getting Maori out to vote is crucial.

It is possible for voters to enrol until November the SEVENTH... the day before the general election.


Still in Hauraki-Waikato ... it may not be on quite the same scale as the US presidental debates, but undecided voters will have a chance to check out the two top candidates in Waharoa on Sunday.

Organiser Russell Haimona says the get-together with Labour's Nanaia Mahuta and the Maori Party's Angeline Greensill in the Gateway Cafe should produce civilised, marae style korero.

It will be a chance for people ask the candidates about issues that concern them.


The Government and 48 hapu of Ngati Porou today signed a deed of agreement recognising their customary rights to the foreshore and seabed on the East Coast.

About 300 people were at Parliament for the signing, the first of its kind.
Api Mahuika, the chair of te Runanga o Ngati Porou, says the iwi opened negotiations in 2003, when it first got wind the Government was considering changing the law to stop Maori pursuing foreshore claims through the courts.

“The Crown by the Foreshore and Seabed (Act) confiscated or took away the mana of Ngati Porou to its foreshore and seabed. The deed today was the revitalisation of the mana that had always been in there and brought it back again into reality, and the Crown recognition of that mana is important to us,” Mr Mahuika says.

The settlement legislation, when it is passed, will give the iwi and its hapu a greater say over developments and regulatations affecting its takutaimoana.

Hope still in Te Aute talks

One of the negotiators for Te Aute College says a settlement is still possible to the Hawkes Bay Maori boarding school's long-running claims.

Te Aute Trust Board has sent a letter to the Prime Minister pulling out of talks because of frustration at a lack of progress.

The board says Te Aute and sister school Hukarere are economically unsustainable because the sold off or leased out the land given in 1855 for their upkeep.

Negotiator Neville Baker says some progress was made since Treaty negotiations minister Michael Cullen visited the school in April, but not enough to satisfy everyone on the board.

“The people that we’re representing and the supporters of Te Aute and Hukarere are frustrated by the length of time it’s taking and we’re also finding difficulty making sure we can maintain the momentum to get a final conclusion to what is in a fact a 100 year old problem. The way forward should still be kept open,” Mr Baker says.

The government wants to see improvements to the school and its governance before it will tackle the problem of the endowment lands, but it has so far failed to come up with money for upgrading facilities and boosting student numbers.


Meanwhile, a Northland iwi chair is warning tough economic times could again be used as an excuse for putting treaty settlements on the back burner.

Haami Piripi from Te Rarawa says iwi in Muriwhenua have waited decades for justice.

He says while there has been progress over the past year, with Te Rarawa offered a partial settlement, a lot could depend on global economic conditions.

“We're probably gonna be asked to carry the burden of New Zealand’s economic crisis and put our claims on the back burner for a while until our country’s able to afford them and once again we’re in a situation of having to carry the nation. We’ve done this generation after generation,” Mr Piripi says.


Ngati Kuri is mourning kuia Nina Subritsky, who died on Tuesday in her home at Houhora in the far north.

Mrs Subritsky's 100th birthday in August drew more than 600 relatives and descendants to Waiora Marae in Ngataki.

Many of them will be back this morning for her funeral service.

Grand-nephew Waitai Petera says she was a source of strength and support to the iwi.

Mrs Subritsky and her husband Arthur spent most of their lives around Ngataki, joining the migration from Te Hapua during the depression to work in forestry jobs, then dairy farming in the 1940s.

Nina Subritsky is survived by three of her 10 children.

E te tupuna whaea more mai i roto i te ariki


The impact of the foreshore and seabed as an election issue could be blunted by an event in Wellington this morning.

Ngati Porou representatives are gathering at Parliament to sign an agreement recognising the East Coast tribe's territorial customary rights to its takutai moana.

Runanga chair Apirana Mahuika says there will be 48 signatories to the agreement, representing all the significant whanau and hapu along the coast.

He says Ngati Porou still owns much of the land next to the coast.
Once legislation is passed, Ngati Porou's mana over the foreshore will be taken into account in consent processes under the Resource Management Act and Marine Reserves Act, and the iwi will be consulted on fisheries and conservation issues.


A far North iwi is pointing the finger at the Far North District Council for sewage contamination of seafood beds.

Victor Holloway, the environment manger of Te Runanga A iwi o Ngati Kahu, says two recent spills caused by equipment faults have contaminated kaimoana at Parapara, just north of Taipa.

He says Doubtless Bay residents deserve a better sewage treatment system, and the community is outraged at delays in getting the problem fixed.

He says the council should improve screening of the sewage residue, and explore land based disposal options rather than pumping material into rivers.

He hopes to hear from the council next week on plans to address the problem.


Te Rarawa is hoping manuka honey will be a sweet investment for the tribe.

The Far North iwi is teaming up with Watson & Son and Enterprise Northland to train up to 200 bee-keepers over the next five years.

Runanga chairperson Haami Piripi says the region has large areas of manuka scrub.

The venture believes honey produced in the rohe could show high levels of UMF or unique manuka factor which makes it suitable for the lucrative biomedical market.

Mr Piripi says Te Rarawa has known about the medicinal properties of manuka for generations.

He says Maori people have tried to extract oil from manaku, but are now switching to the honey that comes from the manuka.

Watson & Son is providing half a million dollars in seed funding, and graduates will be bonded to the firm for a set period.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Te Aute talks break down

There's frustration among supporters of Te Aute and Hukarere colleges about the slow progress towards settling a claim over the historic Hawkes Bay boarding schools.

Te Aute Trust Board says it is pulling out of talks because the government refuses to address a long-standing grievance about the endowment lands which were supposed to fund the schools' operations.

The Crown sold off 1760 acres in 1859, and leased the rest in perpetuity at peppercorn rents in 1916, costing the schools more than $100 million over the past century.

Negotiator Neville Baker says the school is pushing for restoration of the endowment.

“We say there has been a raid on Te Aute’s endowment that has resulted in financial hardship for the schools over the past century,” Mr Baker says.

While limited progress had been made in talks with ministers Michael Cullen and Parekura Horomia, it's not enough for some members of the school community.


The Western Institute of Technology in Taranaki, or WITT, is adopting digital technology to revive the region's distinctive language.

The polytechnic was chosen as the first one outside the main centres to use iPod-based teaching systems developed at AUT University's Te Ipukarea Maori Language Institute.

Maori faculty head Lisa Ferguson says instead of being stuck in language labs, students will be able to carry their lessons with them, downloading new course materials and podcasts off their computers.

“Of course it doesn’t remove teaching time in the classroom but instead of carrying five textbooks, it’s all there. Instead of carrying the dictionary, it’s all there on a little iPod,” Ms Ferguson says.

WITT was chosen for the programme roll-out because of the contribution of Taranaki kaumatua Huirangi Waikerepuru, who led the Te reo Maori claim to the Waitangi Tribunal.


One of the leading forces behind the Pahauwera claim has died just weeks after the northern Hawke's Bay tribe signed an Agreement in Principle to settle its historic treaty and foreshore and seabed claims.

Tom Gemmell was laid to rest yesterday in Mohaka after suffering a heart attack after a function at the marae on Saturday. He was 66.

The Minister of Maori Affairs, Parekura Horomia, says the former teacher and Maori Affairs official had put a huge amount of energy into uniting the iwi and taking it forward.


A Maori anti-smoking campaigner says the Government isn't doing enough to target Maori smokers.

Te Reo Marama, the Maori Smokefree Coalition, has launched a Maori killers campaign featuring cigarette packets stuffed with anti-smoking messages.

Director Shane Bradbrook says it takes on the tobacco companies, rather than blaming the victims of the drug.

He says as the group whose members are most likely to smoke, Maori aren't getting the resources from government they need to address the problem.

Mr Bradbrook says compared to the amount of money spent by Maori on smoking, government effort is lacking.

“They put $12 million. Our people who smoke spend over $300 million a year on tobacco. Trying to stem that with $12 million is a bit pathetic really,” he says.

Mr Bradbrook says the tobacco companies don't care about Maori, they're only concerned with money.


Over 30 years of a revolutionary language learning technique is being celebrated on the east Coast this week.

Teachers of te Ataarangi, which uses coloured rods to spark basic dialogue in te reo Maori, gathered in Mangatu today for their annual hui ... which this year incorporates the first Indigenous Language Revitalisation and Teaching Conference.

They were joined by international language specialists from Hawai'i and Israel.

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia, says Ataarangi's strength is its whanau approach to learning, which allowed people to learn the reo in a way which didn’t cause embarrassment about progress.

He says Te Ataarangi is one of the success stories of Maori language revitialisation.

After the Mangatu hui the international delegates will head to Tamaki Makaurau for the Maori Language Symposium being held at AUT University.


There's word of caution from Tohu Wines to other Maori landowners considering getting into viticulture.

Marketing manager James Wheeler says while he welcomes more Maori involvement in the industry, there is a high cost of entry.

He says there may be a more lucrative uses of unproductive Maori land that don’t take as much capital.

James Wheeler says Tohu has 400 acres in production in Marlborough and the East Coast, and growing demand for its wines here and overseas.

Early intervention for migrant education

Get them when they get off the plane... that's the call from the editor of the Migrant News

Mel Fernandez says new migrants need to be met by tangata whenua at the airport so they're aware of the importance of Maori in New Zealand.

The Maori Party's Treaty of Waitangi policy has new migrants taking a course on New Zealand and Pacific history before being granted citizenship.

Mr Fernandez says there's a small window of opportunity before people get caught up in the business of finding work and settling in.

“In the first month they actually have some time on their hands and that’s the time you have to use for education. When you go further down the track, impressions are formed and people lose interest in trying to learn more about these things,” Mr Fernandez says.


The Greens want to give Maori more tools to protect both traditional and contemporary Maori art.

Arts, culture and heritage spokesperson Metiria Turei says it's too easy for non-Maori to commercialise traditional Maori images without acknowledging them as Maori intellectual property.

She says that needs to be tackled on an individual and collective level.

“Maori like others will have access to intellectual property law but there are still a whole range of issues around the collective right of Maori to have control over certain kinds of form,” Ms Turei says.

The Greens also remain committed to a dedicated Maori Television broadcasting service and a network of independent iwi radio stations.


A Maori law lecturer says private sector industry will become more important to Maori as they move beyond treaty settlements.

As part of her doctoral studies at Waikato University, Huia Woods is developing model legal frameworks Maori can use for business.

She says iwi need to form new relationships to manage and grow settlement assets.

“Maori can move into the post-settlement era and engage with private industry and when you engage with private industry as Maori, that’s where the power is. The Crown and the government’s trying to seduce private industry all the time because the Crown sets the framework for the economy but who’s running it is in private industry,” Ms Woods says.

Iwi collectives were fractured by colonisation, and they need to learn how to share information with each other again.


An innovative way to use iPods and web sites for teaching te reo Maori has reached New Plymouth.

The method was developed by linguist John Moorefield of AUT University's Te Ipukarea Maori Language Institute.

Lisa Ferguson, the head of humanities, health & Maori at the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki, says the polytechnic was offered the chance to help develop the new digital platform in recognition of Taranaki kaumatua Huirangi Waikerepuru's fight for the language to be recognised as a taonga.

She says this week's launch at Puke Ariki museum shows how it captures people's imagination.

“I had a message that Auntie Bell requested that kaumatua have their own computer suite because they want to do this tappy tappy touch stuff and I think we captured some people’s imagination and I wouldn’t have predicted that. We had people clamouring ‘how can I get an ipod?’ We’ve demonstrated that it’s a tool and it’s accessible and it’s exciting and it will engage our young people,” Ms Ferguson says.

The project offers another way for Taranaki people to capture and preserve their unique lexicon.


The Ngapuhi Runanga wants to kick start the process of fixing up Northland's marae.

Chairperson Sonny Tau says the Kaikohe-based runanga is hiring community development staff to help marae committees access funding from government and other bodies.

He says the marae often struggle to cater for the demands made on them.

“By in large the marae in the north are pretty run down and that is because we haven’t had the opportunity to really get at the funding from government organisations that is available to Maori organisations like ours and we’re gong to make a huge raid into those in the coming year,” Mr Tau says.

An independent review by Rotorua-based APR Consultants scored the runanga well in terms of representation of the 120,000-strong iwi, but it needs to be constantly thinking about the needs of members.


A leading Maori wine producer believes its vineyards have reached capacity.

Agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank is warning New Zealand winegrowers against increasing production because of a potential world wine glut in difficult economic times.

James Wheeler, the marketing manager of Tohu wines, says the firm has no plans to expand on its current 400 acres of vines in Marlborough and the East Coast.

He says it's in a consolidation phase.

“We've planted our own vineyards and now they’re on stream. We’ve got what we want for our current marketing plan so we’re not growing in the way we have for the past four or five years. But New Zealanders are doing so well. Our brand is so well known now, and we’ve had record sales months over the last four or five months,” Mr Wheeler says.

Maori who are viticulture need to be aware of high set-up costs which could make other land use options more attractive.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Kaumatua council for Ngapuhi runanga

Ngapuhi's chairman says a proposed kaumatua council will keep the runanga in line.

The council was recommended in a 10-year review of Te Runanga a iwi o Ngapuhi.

Sonny Tau says independent Rotorua-based APR Consultants reported the runanga effectively represents the Northland iwi's 120,000 members.

He says the kaumatua council would have a useful advisory role.

“If you don't have your kaumatua and kuia with you, then you are going to be found wanting in terms of your tikanga and that as you drive for a commercial imperative. You tend to leave these things behind, and the consultants picked this up,” Mr Tau says.

This weekend's annual meeting will be asked to approve a change in the Ngapuhi runanga's constitution to allow the kaumatua kaunihera.


John Key is encouraging the Maori Party to keep its options open for post-election bargaining.

The National Party leader says for much of its history Labour has taken the Maori seats for granted.

That's why the Maori Party should think carefully about where it needs to position itself on the political spectrum.

“If you look in Germany where the Greens oscillate between the centre left and the centre right, always having that strong voice for the environment. Wouldn’t Maori want potentially the Maori Party to be a constantly strong voice for their concerns. Potentially playing some part in government, it might just be an abstention, it might be a coalition, it might be a support agreement, irrelevant of whether Labour or National is in office,” Mr Key says.

He still has no room in a National government for the other party claiming the centre, New Zealand First.


A former coach of the Tongan rugby league squad says it's time for Maori to take a full place at the World Cup.

In the curtain raiser to the New Zealand-Australia game in Sydney on the weekend, a Maori team was beaten 34-26 by an indigenous Australian team.

Duane Mann, who has both Maori and Tongan whakapapa, says the competition is a chance for players to showcase their talents on an international stage.

After a century of involvement in the game, Maori also deserve that chance.

“I'm a bit more sympathetic to the Maori cause, particularly now when you have Great Britain divided into England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland an those players being able to spread themselves across and I think the Maori should be able to play in this world cup and the Aboriginal team as well,” Mr Mann says.


Maori Television's founding chairman, Derek Fox, has concerns about the durability of a proposed Pacific Island television service.

Labour is promising the service if it get reelected.

Mr Fox, who is now standing for the Maori Party in Ikaroa Rawhiti, says it comes across as a vote catching announcement, rather than an idea that has been properly thought through.

He says it's similar to many of the treaty settlements signed in recent months.

“The difficulty is because they’re so rushed, many of them are wrong. There’ll be a hotch potch. They won’t be enduring and they’ll be untidy bits to it, and that’s how I see the Pacific channel thing as well,” Mr Fox says.

He says if a Pacific channel does get off the ground, it would further enrich the television landscape.


The editor of the Migrant News is welcoming the Maori Party's call for new citizens to undertake a course on New Zealand and Pacific history.

Mel Fernandez, who has been in New Zealand for almost two decades, says its an excellent and long overdue idea.

He says with one in five New Zealand residents born elsewhere, there is a large information gap.

“A lot of the new arrivals actually have no idea of the importance of Waitangi Day and aspects of the relationship between the Maori, the Crown and as immigrants where they would fit in it,” Mr Fernandez says.

He wants to see new migrants welcomed by tangata whenua upon arrival and steered into courses in their first month... before they pick up unhelpful local prejudices and attitudes.


The organiser of a Wellington-based Maori music festival wants to make it a major national event.

The city is rocking and hip hopping to Kaupapa Maori music week, which includes daily workshops and nightly concerts.

Tonight is Puoro Unplugged, an acoustic showcase, followed by Aotearoa Hip Hop tomorrow and Pao pao pao at the Town Hall on Friday featuring a range of artists including singer Whirimako Black, opera diva Timua Brennan and Hip Hoppers 4 Corners.

Ngahiwi Apanui says the third PAO PAO PAO is setting the direction for the future over the next three to five years.

Turia confident of seven seat sweep

Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia is confident that the Maori party will win all seven Maori seats.

She says what she is hearing during campaigning supports poll results which are showing strong support for the Maori party which makes her confident of getting all the Maori seats.

“If I judge it by on the on the ground discussions. People are very keen to have a significant and much stronger Maori voice and they know the get that they need to have the Maori Party, the seven seats in the house,” Mrs Turia says.

She says getting such support in parliament is very important for the Maori party to protect Maori interests in parliament.


However Political commentator Chris Trotter believes the Maori party is playing a risky game refusing to indicate who it may go with post-election.

Chris Trotter says National and ACT are being increasing clear in their naked desire to do a deal with the Maori party and this could have a real consequences for the party.

“I wonder whether the Maori Party isn’t playing a rather risky game. If it enters the heads of enough Maori voters, voters on the Maori roll, that this deal with National is all but done and dusted, then there’s a chance that some will drift back to the Labour Party and that clean sweep they are seeking may not eventuate,” Mr Trotter says.

It is appearing ever more likely that the Maori party could hold the balance of power on election night and this brings real pressure to bear on them as far as what they may do post election.


A Maori law lecturer says forming Maori and Pakeha partnerships at a university level will influence law making policy.

Waikato University lecturer Huia Woods says biculturalism is the founding principle of Te Wahanga Ture Law School at the university and influences teachings at the school.

“I'm not saying it’s a fairytale and everyone lives happily ever after and it’s equal, but there’s the potential there to have a real partnership within a law school, which is pretty fundamental whey you look at how the law has traditionally been used as an instrument of oppression against Maori and even as recently as the Foreshore and Seabed Act which was infamous in its discrimination, that you can still recognise that there is that potential there for an actual real partnership,” Ms Woods says.

Space needs to be made for people to express themselves and move away from traditional white male paradigm.


Maori party co leader Turiana Turia has come out strongly against measures to bail out the banks and get people to borrow more as solutions to the economic crisis.

Turiana Turia says she has no confidence that the politicians behind the current economic crisis have solutions to solve it.

“This crisis we are in has not happened because of actions of the poor, This crisis we’re in is because people have borrowed way beyond their means from banks, so highly unlikely to be our lot, borrowed from banks. The banks have borrowed from overseas and now overseas is saying ‘you’re not getting any more’. And so the government wants to work out how to give the banks more money basically to keep the situation going that we’ve found ourselves in right now, and we should be stopping that,” Mrs Turia says.

The Maori party is telling Maori people to work together and start supporting one another because to beat the crisis they are going to have to.


Maori nutrition and physical activity are in focus this week as 140 Maori healthworkers gather for a hui in Manukau City.

Craig Heta from Te Hotu Manawa Maori, who are co-ordinating the event, says it is an important opportunity to share ideas and discuss programmes that are having a positive impact on Maori health.

Mr Heta says the hui at Manurewa Marae will discuss why successful programmes need to be shared.

“If we can find best practice or things that are working really well, share them with other rohe, it’s much more beneficial doing things that way that trying to reinvent the wheel. We need these programmes to try and build momentum, show people that taking small steps is achievable to reach that long term goal of getting of getting Maori health statistics in line if not better than our European counterparts,” Mr Heta says.

The three hui starting today will focus on the positive aspects of what Maori health workers are doing for Maori, rather than concentrating on the negative statistics on Maori health.


The Wellington Aoteatoa Hip Hop community are getting involved in the Maori Music festival.

Kaupapa Maori Music week started yesterday and will feature events throughout the week including Puoro Unplugged featuring guitarist Billy T K Senior and jazz maestro Steve Rangihuna.

The introduction of the Hip Hop event has enabled Maori talents such as the Infinite Rensta and DJ Kinetic of West Auckland and Wellington-based Tyna Keelan to get involved.

Event Organiser Ngahiwi Apanui says it is well supported.

“The great thing about that particular show is that the hip hop community in Wellington has got right behind it and what that really does too is open up taha Maori to the rest of the hip hop community here so it’s kind of a two-way exchange going on here,” Mr Apanui says.

The week is completed by PAO PAO PAO which will feature Whirimako Black, Brannigan Kaa and Ruia Aperahama.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Harawira attacks PI TV idea

Maori party MP Hone Harawira is critical of Labour's proposal to set up a Pacific TV service if re-elected when Maori radio and television are unfunded and under supported.

Hone Harawira, a former chair of Whakaruruhau the umbrella group overseeing Maori broadcasting, says the move has come at this time because Labour sees it needs Pacific Islander support.

“I am disappointed that government continues to fund Maori radio at such a poor level while obviously finding money for other radio stations, that government can afford to find money for other television stations while continuing to allow Maori Television to be so poorly represented, that government can formally reserve frequencies for Pacific Island radio, no problem there at all, but not reserve frequencies for Maori radio,” Mr Harawira says.

Prime Minister Helen Clark says those offended by the setting up of Pacific television are being mean spirited.

She says Pacific TV will not cost anything like Maori television however just as Maori wanted to move through from radio to television so do Pacific people who now make up 7 percent of the New Zealand population.


New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is confident that he will be back in parliament.

He says inside information he has from those conducting political polls shows New Zealand First is well above the 5 percent mark to get back into parliament.

“I can tell you, forget about these polls. We’ve got isnide information from the major pollsters that we rely upon and we’re way past the 3.5 percent. We’re past 5 percent and going upwards every day now,” Mr Peters says.

He says Maori in particular will be extremely hard hit unless there is a well coordinated government response to the economic crisis.


A Maori surfer says there's a wave of golden oldies in the water.

Taranaki-born Te Kauhoe Wano says fellow surfer Jason Lellman, aged 35, is an example of talent in the older division having won the Auahi Kore Maori national surfing title at the weekend.

He first won the Billabong Open Men's title in 1993.

Mr Wano says more older surfers are in the water, and new equipment makes it easier.

The competition held at Rocky Point, near Okato produced some top grade surf.


Prime Minister Helen Clark has labelled as mean spirited concerns that Labour is proposing a Pacific TV service instead of providing additional funding for Maori radio and television.

Maori party MP Hone Harawira has voiced such concern saying he is not surprised by the Labour policy to establish Pacific TV because they need Pacific Island support at this time.

However Helen Clark says Labour has done a huge amount for Maori radio and television.

“Maoridom has a very successful channel now, in fact tow channels, supported by the Labour Government. The Labour Government pays virtually everything for that. The advertising revenue brings in very little. So we’ve made a huge difference.

“The Pasifika channel we’re looking at won’t cost anything like that. It will be a completely different scale, but Pasifika people are close to 7 percent of our population now, and just as Maoridom wanted to move from radio through to television, so do they, and good luck to them,” Ms Clark says.

As part of its pacific island affairs policy Labour says it will establish a free to air Pacific islands television channel as a priority and will continue to back the development and operation of the National Pacific Radio Network.


Maori unionist Matt McCarten says New Zealand has gone from a nation that supports workers rights to a country where business rules.

Today is the anniversary of the first Labour Day celebrations in 1890 when trade unionists celebrated the right to an 8 hour working day.

Matt McCarten, who set up the 35 thousand strong Unite Union says Maori have always been at the forefront of the trade union movement in New Zealand, and today is a reminder to them of how far workers rights have been eroded over the years.

“What has happened is workers work more and more hours to try and keep up. The average worker now in New Zealand works 52 hours a week which is the highest in the OECD. You don’t even hear of it,” Mr McCarten says

In real terms workers wages have dropped 20 percent since the Muldoon government's industrial reforms of the early 1980s.


Maori Rugby League Chairman Howie Tamati says he's already fielding enquiries about coverage of future trans Tasman indigenous clashes.

On Sunday in Sydney, in a first, a fully sanctioned aboriginal team beat the national Maori squad 34-26.

Howie Tamati says while he was disappointed the Maori team didn't win in what was a curtain raiser to the Kiwi-Aussie game, it proved both indigenous teams had the quality and flair fans on both sides of the Tasman can warm to.

He says leaders of the aboriginal community have already suggested an annual clash, and the media have already made approaches to get involved.

“They've guaranteed coverage of these games so from a sponsorship perspective and income around the possibilities of that game, everything looks really good,” Mr Tamati says.

Nga Tamatoa hikoi overwhelming

The author of a new book on the 28th Maori Battalion's C says all involved in the weekend’s launch in Gisborne were overwhelmed by the response.

Dr Monty Souter says it was expected that perhaps a thousand would turn up to support Nga Tamatoa - The Price of Freedom.

Instead more than 4000 made the march from the city to Te Poho o Rawiri marae carrying more than 1000 photographs of battalion members.

“It was very moving. It was like a river moving and lots of people held those photographs to their hearts so it was like the beating of one heart and when they arrived at the marae and brought them on, and they were placed into big baskets or kete that were sitting on the mahau of the wharenui, it was like a continuous flow of motion coming through onto the marae,” Dr Souter says.

The oldest marcher on the 2.5km parade was 90, and more than 20 battalion veterans attended.


The Destiny church which formed itself into an urban Maori Authority at a weekend ceremony attended by more than 5000 members says it is unfair it has been unable to access government assistance to help its people.

Spokesman George Ngatai says other church bases providers of social services get government assistance but Destiny, which is 80 percent Maori and has been helping Maori for 10 years, has found doors for assistance closed.

“Presbyterian, they receive money from the government to deliver social and health services. Baptist Family Services, they receive money from the government. You’ve also got the Salvation Army, they receive money from the government. Unfortunately when Destiny Church goes, with a head that’s Maori, goes to ask for support for Maori that have fallen by the wayside, the doors get closed, we don't get a penny,” Mr Ngatai says.

He says Destiny has the answers and a track record of supporting its people, such as gang members, from being the lowest of the low to walking a path that is right for them.

Prime Minister Helen Clark has described Destiny Church as a cult saying its seeking to become part of the National Urban Maori Authority organisation is a joke.


Iwi groups are being urged to take a greater role in violence prevention.

Di Grennel, chief executive of Amokura, a new indigenous violence prevention strategy, says there's nothing traditional about violence within whanau.

She says that's why tradition-based institutions like iwi need to speak out.

“Critics saying ‘iwi don’t care about that stuff, they only care about settlements or whatever’ and to have a clear and consistent iwi voice saying ‘no, violence within the whanau is not appropriate, it’s not OK, we won’t accept it,’ that’s been quite significant,” Ms Grennel says.

More research is needed into iwi and Maori approaches to violence prevention.


Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says he is not in favour of work schemes as as solution for hard economic times.

Speaking after the launch of Labour's Maori policy at the weekend the former work scheme coordinator says the answer to helping groups such as Maori unemployed lies in another direction.

“We are aware of a labour shortage. Some parties, the Maori Party, have been calling for a return to work schemes. We don’t believe that, I don’t anyway because at the end of the day our job is to ensure that they get into work that is relevant, work that will sustain them and their family over a period of time,” Mr Horomia says.

He sys Labour is for example focusing on reskilling middle aged Maori women because there is a very real waste of people who have brought up children and have good skills which can be used.


A study on the social consequences of Tuhoe migration likens the experience of loss to a Tangihanga.

Researcher Dr Linda Nikora says a huge gap of the 18 to mid 20's age demographic are leaving Te Urewera for education and work opportunities.

Dr Nikora says although Te Urewera is seen as a suitable place to raise young families, the perception is that the future for kids is outside the valley.

She says this often leaves a deficit not only physically but emotionally.

“They described it like a death. This person was now going to leave their lives. They were going to be at a distance. They were not going to be able to physically touch and reach out to these people and they may never come home to reside in the same place their families are residing so they described it like a tangihanga when these people went away,” Dr Nikora says.

As an ongoing project the study will look at the policy implications of the migration.


Waitangi Day and Invasion Day may become home to an annual match between Maori and indigenous Aboriginals.

A weekend match in Sydney saw the Indigenous Dreamtime Team defeat the NZ Maori 34-26 in front of a crowd of 10,000 at the Kangaroos versus Kiwis curtain-raiser.

The last time the two teams met was in 1909 in the battle for the OT Cordial Punch trophy.

Maori Television Sports correspondent Potaka Maipi says the call came from an Aboriginal sporting heavyweight.

“We have a Maori rugby team. We have a Maori league team. We have Maori teams all over the place and we’re used to it and we’ve become accustomed to it, whereas it’s a new thing for them. They don’t really get to see their heroes be acknowledged in an environment that is theirs. Anthony Mundine, the boxer, the former rugby league star, put the challenge up and said he wants to have an indigenous Australian team every year,” Mr Maipi says.

The sparks flew when the Maori haka and Aboriginal Cooweewah were performed before the match.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Turia tackles migrant prejudice

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the some migrants are just plain prejudiced.

Mrs Turia is defending the party's immigration policy, which calls for completion of a course on the history of Aotearoa and the Pacific as a condition of receiving citizenship.

She says reaction to the proposal shows many people who come to live in New Zealand are hostile to Maori concerns.

“I heard some of them on talkback saying ‘they will not’ and ‘they won’t’ and ‘they’re not going to’. That’s very concerning because that tells us that we‘ve got people coming into this country who bring with them the prejudices of their own country and have no desire to have a relationship with tangata whenua nor do they want to intergrate fully into the life of this country,” Mrs Turia says.

She is heartened by some migrant groups who seek out treaty training and engagement with tangata whenua.


The head of a new indigenous violence prevention group says the answers to violence are in Maori tradition.

Di Grennel from Amokura says whakapapa links can provide the basis for lessening violence and conflict.

She says tikanga needs to be demystified so people can relate it to their lives and use it as a basis for action, rather than see it as something that is only about the marae.

“What are tikanga in our whanau about the ways we look after children, alcohol and children, whether we describe those with Maori kupu or not, that empower people to live really meaningful lives , gives a strong understanding of the mana and tapu of each person and how that is linked through whakapapa so violating each other becomes unacceptable,” Ms Grennel says.

Iwi need to take a lead in opposing violence, rather than being seen as only concerned about treaty claims and asset growth.


The operations manager of a Rongomaiwahine farm block has been awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship to study how indigenous peoples around the world have adapted to modern farming practises.

Gregg Pardoe works for the Arai Matawai Incorporation, which raises sheep and cattle near Gisborne.

After a six week contemporary scholars conference in Britain early next year with the other scholarship winners, Mr Pardoe plans to visit Australia, South America, China, Mongolia, Russia and the Middle East.

“I basically am trying to get myself off the beaten track, like I want to get myself into the heartland of these places. And I have a particular interest in the land, it is handed down, who owns it, how is it looked after,” Mr Pardoe says.

He says more skilled Maori farmers are needed to manage today's large Maori-owned corporate farms.


Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia has clarified Labour's policy towards the Maori seats following some confusion arising after Prime Minister Helen Clark announced the party's Maori policy at the weekend.

At Otamatea Marae on the shores of the Kaipara harbour on Saturday, Ms Clark said while Labour will not entrench the seats, it will continue to support the Maori electoral option.

The Maori Party is insisting on entrenchment is a bottom line for post-election dialogue.

The electoral option introduced in 1995 determines the number of Maori seats by the number of Maori who chose to register on the Maori roll.

Mr Horomia says it is important to understand exactly what the Prime Minister said and Labour's position.

“It’s other people who have made it a highlight in terms of entrenching. There have been two shifts between the National Party and the Maori Party where people were chasing a guarantee of holding the seats and people saying it wasn’t a bottom line, but we’re consistent about it. We will not get rid of the Maori seats. At the end of the day it has got to be Maori people’s choice whether the seats stay and go and the Labour Party has been consistent at every election that we will not get rid of the Maori seats,” Mr Horomia says.

Meanwhile the National Party says that it will move to abolish the seats once historical treaty claims have been dealt with.


More than 5000 turned up for the launching of Destiny church as an urban Maori Authority at the Telstra Clear Pacific events centre in Manukau at the weekend.

Organiser George Ngatai says this year is the 10th anniversary of the Destiny church and 80 percent of the Church's congregation across the country is Maori.

“This was just the next step for us to look at setting up an urban Maori authority. We’ve been in discussion for this for quite some months and the weekend was bigger than just an urban Maori authority It was certainly looking for an opportunity for us to support not only Maori but also Pacific and everyone else that is living in the area that te Hahi o Oranga Ake is delivering,” Mr Ngatai says.

An application by the church to become part of the National Urban Maori Authority is being considered by the national organisation.


Whale Rider star Rawiri Paratene has been invited to work with one of the world's most prestigious theatre companies.

He has a six month internship at the Globe Theatre in London.

The formal invitation came at an international artists fellowship in August from director Dominic Dromgoole.

Paratene has been cast to play Friar Lawrence in a Globe production of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet.