Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Teachers’ college marae turns 25

Former staff and students from the Auckland University's College of Education have gathered at the Epsom campus to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Tutahitonu Marae.

Tony Trinick, the associate dean, Maori, says the marae came about because of the efforts of the late Tahutahu Rankin and others in the college community, against the opposition of many in management at the time.

He says the marae has become the central focus for teaching of Maori and Maori medium at the college.

“I think it's also provided us with an opportunity to really be Maori, to practice our rituals and when we’ve had sad times like death, either staff or students, we’ve been able to bring their bodies here for some time. It’s given us a space if you like to practice our tikanga and practice te reo Maori,” Mr Trinick says.

Campus marae are a very effective way to help institutions find their identity.


The Resource Management Act could prove more resistant to change than the new Government is hoping.

Both National and Act have promised to amend the law, but Labour's environment spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says that won't be simple.

The Hauraki-Waikato MP says many treaty settlements, including the Waikato River deal, have exploited the potential in the RMA to give iwi a say in the management of the environment in their rohe.

“In the foreshore and seabed agreement that was reached with Ngati Porou, there are RMA factors in there that need to be implemented effectively if that is to work, and National has to be able to deliver on that promise because it is one that has been made on behalf of the Crown,” Ms Mahuta says.

Labour will be keeping a close watch on any attempts to radically alter or water down the Act.


The crew of Te Aurere will be anxiously looking at the weather to see if they are safe to set off on Sunday to circumnavigate the North Island.

The first leg for the double-hulled traditional voyaging waka is from Mangonui to Hokianga, and the latest forecast is for a northeasterly rising to 35 knots by Monday, then turning westerly.

Skipper Hekenukumai Busby says the first major challenge will be to get around the top of the island, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman sea.

“We can sneak inside the Pandora Bank, but it depends which side the wind is coming. If it’s a westerly we’ll stick outside and try and tack as far as we can out and then use the wind to comeback down to Hokianga,” Mr Busby says.

He will be holding wananga on waka culture and navigation on his way round the island, with the journey to end at the Bay of Islands around Waitangi Day on February 6.


The Curtis whanau is reaching out to other whanau related to murdered toddler Nia Glassie to look for ways to learn and move on from the tragedy.

Brothers Wiremu and Michael Curtis were this week found guilty of the murder of the Rotorua three-year-old, the daughter of Wiremu's partner Lisa Kuka, who was found guilty of manslaughter.

The pair's grand-uncle, prominent Te Arawa kaumatua Toby Curtis, says now the trial is over he will be calling together the four families involved to the Curtis whanau marae by lake Rotoiti.

The brothers were not involved in their marae or the wider affairs of their whanau.


One of the icons of the kapa haka world has won an accolade for turning Maori culture into an international business.

Auckland University business school's Maori business awards this week honoured Pounamu Performing Arts, which offers training in kapa haka at Manukau Institute of Technology, as well as providing performers for corporate functions, international trade shows and cultural exchanges.

It's an offshoot of Te Waka Huia, the competition-winning kapa haka roopu started by Ngapo and Pimia Wehi when they came to Auckland in 1981.

Mr Wehi says the award is an endorsement of the high standards he has set for the firm.

“That's what Pounamu stands for. It’s quality stone, quality performance, quality on stage and off stage. We think quality off stage is just as importance as quality on stage, because we’re representing the country,” Mr Wehi says.

He says kapa haka gives young Maori a sense of self esteem and identity.


It'd be an upset of epic proportions ... but the Maori dynamos in the midfield may hold the key to the Kiwis' chances of winning the rugby league world cup in Brisbane this weekend.

Commentator Te Kauhoe Wano says it will hard to beat the highly favoured Australaians.

But Kiwi coach Stepehen Kearney has done remarkably well to get his team past England and into the finals... and he's got an interesting combination taking the field.

“I reckon that Kiwi team is a good mix of what Aotearoa is today. You’ve got inside backs like Lance Hohaia and Benji Marshall, our new young hooker from Taranaki, Isaac Luke, those boys are setting up the play for our big boys out wide, Manu Vatuvei, Jerome Ropati, so it’s an awesome mix,” Mr Wano says.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Scrutiny promised from Labour team

Labour's shadow cabinet is promising close scrutiny of the new Government's delivery to Maori.

Front bench MPs Parekura Horomia and Nanaia Mahuta both have spokesperson roles on the portfolio, and the party's four other Maori MPs and former treaty negotiations minister Michael Cullen will also make contributions.

List MP Moana Mackey, who has shadow responsibilities for rural affairs, research and development and science and technology, says the Maori Party's alignment with National has put the issue front and centre.

“We're going to keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep delivering for Maori, we’re going to hold this new government to account to make sure that Maori aren’t the group that falls behind the fastest like they did the last time National was in government. That’s what you do in Opposition and we look forward to in three years time being back in government so we can continue out plans for all Maori,” Ms Mackey says.

During the campaign many Maori Party supporters told her they wanted to see a Labour-led government, so there is a sense of betrayal in the electorate.


The author of a long-shelved report on Maori in the criminal justice system says it's time to talk about re-establishing a Maori justice system based on traditional values and tikanga.

Moana Jackson is a speaker at a Justice Hui being hosted later this month by the Ngati Kahungunu.

In 1985 he was commissioned by the Justice Department to do a research project in which he advocated a system based on Maori values.

He says two decades on Maori make up half the prison population, so the current system clearly isn't working.

“One would hope that Pakeha lawyers and others might respond differently this time but in the end it’s important that our people get the chance to address the issue again because since that report 20 years ago there’s actually been no substantive research on the matter by Maori for Maori,” Mr Jackson says.

The hui at the end of the month will also include contributions from the Stolo Indian justice system in northern Saskatchewan, Canada, and Cherokee academic Andre Smith from the University of California on the impact of colonisation on indigenous legal systems.


Ukulele afficianados will gather in Auckland this weekend for the New Zealand Ukulele festival.

Musicians from Rarotonga, Australia and the United States, as well as the 1000-strong Auckland school group the Kiwileles, will take part in Saturday's free festival.

The instrument originated in the 19th century, when Hawaiian musicians made their own versions of the small guitars brought to the islands by the Portuguese.

Claire Linch from the Grey Lynn Garden Ukulele Band says she was introduced to the four string sound at an early age, and it’s stayed with her ever since.

The 2008 New Zealand Ukulele Festival is on tomorrow at Mount Smart Stadium.


Up to 1000 Ngai Tahu members are expected at Takahanga Marae in Kaikoura today for the South island tribe's hui a tau ... and for a celebration of the 10th anniversary of its claim settlement.

Among the guests will be King Tuheitia and a delegation from Tainui, to mark the close working relationship between the first two major iwi to sign off historic settlements.

Sir Tipene O'Regan, the chief negotiator, will give an historical account of the settlement.

Mark Solomon, the chair of the Ngai Tahu Runanga, says tribal equity now stands at $513 million and its business activities made almost $23 million to be invested in cultural, social, environmental, educational and runanga development programmes.


Former Labour cabinet minister John Tamihere says the focus needs to shift off the size of the Maori affairs budget.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples has been given the portfolio in the new government, with an associate role in education.

He's promised a budget review, to see where the money is going.
But Mr Tamihere says the $189 million Maori Affairs vote is just a small part of government spending.

“The day of looking at the money that Te Puni Kokiri gets as a benchmark of how successful Maori are in government is the wrong way to look. The big departments, Health, Welfare, Education, those departments and the lack of performance in our communities by them have been a huge burden onus, and that’s where about 80 percent of the total government vote is locked up,” Mr Tamihere says.

Parliament needs new thinking, which the Maori Party can provide.


Innovative business ideas have come to the fore at a Maori business awards ceremony.

More than 250 people gathered for a gala event at Auckland University to celebrate the contributions of the university's Maori alumni.

Manuka Henare, the director of the business school's Mira Szaszy Research Centre, says much of the focus was on Britomart developer Peter Cooper from Ngati Kuri and te Aupouri, who was judged business Maori leader of the year.

But there was also recognition of Fomona Capital, an investment advisory company set up by the Federation of Maori Authorities, the Maori Trustee and the Poutama Trust to help Maori into the export sector.

“So a number of Maori trusts are using Fomona Capital as kind of an investment clearing house for business development, so what we’ve recognized here is that while they are a new entity, they’ve only been going 15 months, they’re strategic thinking is extremely high level and very ambitious,” Dr Henare says.

Awards also went to Tuaropaki Trust, a half billion dollar central North Island farming, energy and telecommunications operation, and Pounamu Performing Arts, which as turned kapa haka into an international business.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Shadow portfolios handed out

Labour has assigned two of its front bench to keeping watch over the National-ACT-Maori Party's handling of the Maori affairs role.

It will be pressure on the party's Maori MPs to put pressure on the Maori Party in the new government, as Labour tries to win back that sector of the electorate.

Parekura Horomia retains primary responsibility for watching over his former portfolio, with Nanaia Mahuta iutching in as well as taking on the shado environment and tourism rioles.

Surprisingly, Mr Horomia will also speak on fisheries, while former Maori fisheries commission chair Shane Jones, now number 12 on Labour’s rankings, talks on building and construction, infrastructure and local government.

That will pitch him up against National heavyweights Bill English and Stephen Joyce, as well as defending the Resource Management Act against ACT’s Rodney Hide.

Michael Cullen keeps treaty negotiations, all the better to keep watch on progress on the slew of agreements he signed off over the past few months.

Mita Ririnui on his second term as a list MP after again failing to win back Waiariki, has an associate treaty role, while new MP Kelvin Davis, a former intermediate school principal, has biosecurity and associate education on his reading list.


The new associate health and social development minister is praising new Prime Minister John Key for his willingness to take risks.

Tariana Turia says it was a punt to make a deal with her Maori Party despite having the numbers to govern without it.

She says his background as a trader and manager in Wall Street investment bank Merrill Lynch taught him the value of a calculated gamble.

“I think because of his previous position he’s quite willing to give things a go, take a few risks. When you’re in business you do take risks, and we’ve always had very risk-averse government so I think that we will see some new things happening which might be different,” Mrs Turia says.

She says a more risky approach could benefit Maori.


What happens in Vegas ... makes the record books.

A Nga Puhi powerlifter has returned from the world championships in Nevada with two world titles

17-year-old Tohora Harawira, from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Rangi Aniwaniwa near Kaitaia, took the prizes with a 145 kg bench press and a 175kg deadlift.

He has been training twice a week under powerlifting mentor Alan Heta and although he's only been involved in the sport for two years he wasn't overwhelmed when he took the stage at the Riviera hotel and Casino because he is lifting aganst the same people each year.

Harawira raised $6,000 for the trip, including raffling off his car.


The new minister for social development and employment is looking forward to working with her Maori Party counterpart.

Second term MP Paula Bennett, a newcomer to cabinet, says Tariana Turia will have particular responsibility for the Community and Voluntary sector.

She says that sector is where a lot of the work in social services is done.

“She will do a fantastic job. She gets it. Once you get it, we can work all the other stuff around. If you don’t get it, you ain’t never going to work it out. So we are going to have a very close working relationship. Bless her, she has just been an inspiration for me in many respects and I think we are going to work really well together in working for Maori and turning some of those opportunities into realities for people,” Ms Bennett says.


And the Maori Party co-leader is also looking forward to working with Ms Bennett.

Tariana Turia says they've got on well in the three years since the west Auckland MP came to Parliament.

She's comparing her to former Alliance deputy leader Sandra Lee, who also became a mother at an early age.

“But who rose up to be the first Maori woman to win a Maori electorate, and to get into Cabinet. She was very feisty and Paula has that in her as well,” Mrs Turia says.


A family business which is taking kapa haka to the world was doubly honoured at Auckland University's business school's Maori business awards yesterday.

Manuka Henare, the school's Associate Dean of Maori and Pacific Development, says Annette Wehi from Pounamu Performing Arts won the Dame Mira Szaszy alumni leaders award for former pupils.

Her firm, an off-shoot of top kapa haka roopu Te Waka Hui, started with a contract to perform daily at the Auckland Museum and has since moved on to a range of related activities here and overseas.

Another award went to Pounamu Performing Arts itself, which was collected by Waka Huia tutor Ngapo Bub Wehi.

“He was extraordinary because both he and his wife have been in this business of promoting New Zealand and the well-being and the good of New Zealand for many years, so it seemed to be appropriate to recognise achievement of this extraordinary family who have given so much not only for arts and crafts and kapa haka but actually New Zealand tourism, trade, exports and all those sort of things,” Dr Henare says.

The award for outstanding Maori business leader went to Peter Cooper from Ngati Kuri and te Aupouri, who is redeveloping downtown Auckland's Britomart area.

Central North Island land trust Tuaropaki, which has turned two family farms into a $500 million dollar empire spanning farming, food production, energy and telecommunications, picked up an award for strategic vision.

Children’s advocates must be everywhere

Maori must speak out to protect children.

That's the call from Hone Kaa of the child advocacy group Te Kahui Mana Ririki in the wake of the conviction of five people for the abuse and killing of Nia Glassie.

The jury heard the Rotorua three-year-old was pegged on a clothesline, spun in a tumble drier, and subjected to wrestling holds and head kicks by brothers Wiremu and Michael Curtis.

The abuse they carried out on Nia including swinging her on a clothesline, placing her in a tumble drier and kicking her in the head.

Dr Kaa says other people must have known what was going on and should have stepped in or called the police.

“You have to ask yourself if there were four or five others who actually witnessed and took part in it and did nothing about it, how many other adults were in that sphere, also knew about it and did nothing about it,” Dr Kaa says.

New Zealand's child abuse rates are unacceptably high, and more children will die if people continue to turn a blind eye.


Tauranga's new MP says the team-up between National and the Maori Party could be for the long term.

Simon Bridges from Ngati Maniapoto says National has changed in the three years since John Key replaced Don Brash as leader.

He says the size of National's Maori caucus, as well as its willingness to embrace the Maori Party, bodes well for the future.

“I do feel king of a sense we are at a historic point for Maori and that this National and Maori Party essentially coalition could really be the start of something long term. I hope it is,” Mr Bridges says.

He says the new Government can do a lot better to lift Maori achievement in areas like education and welfare than Labour.


Following in the footsteps of the ancestors has a literal meaning for the head of Canterbury University's school of Maori and Indigenous Studies.

Rawiri Taonui is about to walk from St Arnaud in Nelson to Christchurch.

The 10-day trek follows the trail of a significant South Island ancestor, Rakaihautu, who walked the island carving out the lakes until he finally thrust his ko digging stick into the ground at a place named Tuhiraki.

Mr Taonui says when his latest journey is complete, he'll have done about 1000 kilometres of Rakaihautu's trail.


Taupiri Mountain will today receive a man who laid many of the foundations for the modern Tainui iwi.

Hundreds of people have flowed through the gates of Hukanui Marae in Gordonton this week to pay tribute to Hare Puke, who died on Saturday at the age of 83.

As chair of the Tainui Maori Trust Board, Mr Puke was part of the team that secured the tribe's $170 million raupatu settlement.

Tainui kaumatua Tui Adams says he made an immeasurable contribution not just to the iwi but to other organisations like the Hamilton City Council, Wintec and Waikato University.

“You know he's the sort of person who will be sorely missed around our paepae here. He’s gone but he will never be forgotten,” Mr Adams says.

E te taumata okiokinga, tenei ra keo te okioki mutunga kore mai ra, haere, haere, haere.


Green MP Meteria Turei says the Maori Party is shortchanging its supporters by going soft on the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

The confidence and supply agreement negotiated with National leader John Key only calls for a review of the legislation.

Ms Turei says that falls far short of what's needed to address a bad law that has never been used effectively.

“I know that National is wanting to pass a whole lot of legislation before Christmas and this could be one. We could repeal it so easily. Tariana has her member’s bill in the ballot on the order paper, it could be done so quickly and so simply if there was the political will and there doesn’t seem to be the will in this government, the National-Maori Party-Act government to repeal it,” Ms Turei says.


Two taonga puoro experts are combining with other indigenous musicians to create a unique sound.

Sing Sing brings together West Auckland-based Rewi Spraggon and Riki Bennet and musicians from West Papua, the Solomon and Torres Strait Islands and the Australian aboriginal community.

The 25 member group is one of the major drawcards at the Australasian World Music Expo starting today in Melbourne.

Mr Spraggon says there is a wide range of unusual acoustic instruments thrown into the mix.

Sing Sing is booked to play in Aotearoa at next year's Womad and AK 09 festivals.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Glassie verdict brings community challenge

Maori communities are being challenged to take full responsibility for the security of every child.

Hone Kaa, from child advocacy group Te Kahui Mana Ririki, says the horrific abuse that killed Rotorua three-year-old Nia Glassie can only occur if adults ignore the signs.

Nia's mother, Lisa Kuka, was yesterday found guilty of two counts of manslaughter. Her and then-boyfriend, Wiremu Curtis, and his brother, Michael Curtis, were found guilty of murdering the toddler.

Dr Kaa says his trust is about to start a series of workshops for iwi and whanau.

“The idea is to see just exactly what each community can do to provide solutions within those communities. We’re starting in a rural community but at some point we have to hit the urban communities and I guess the problem there will be to get to those who actually require the help,” Dr Kaa says.

The hui will try to build on social marketing campaigns like "It's not ok", which are starting to have an impact.


A Maori historian says on paper the deal between National and the Maori Party is the best partnerships yet struck between Pakeha and Maori.

John Key took his oath of office this morning, making him New Zealand's 38th prime minister and at 47 one of the youngest.

Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Canterbury, says the deal Mr Key negotiated to bring Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia into his ministry is simple and honest.

“There's a good balance of respecting each other’s points of views. There’s some real opportunities for Maori in there, a much better deal than the Maori Party would have got from Labour and there’s real progress on things like the foreshore and the seabed in a simple, clear sighted position, recognise Maori rights but don’t deny Pakeha access to the foreshore, and of course the seats, the Maori Party has probably secured the Maori seats for another generation or so,” Mr Taonui says.

He says the deal compares well with previous attempts at partnership including the Treaty of Waitangi and Ratana's covenant with Labour.


In Mangonui, last minute preparations are being made for the departure of Te Aurere on a circumnavigation of the North Island.

The double-hulled voyaging waka is due to leave on Sunday, with its first stop Hokianga.

It will be captained on the southward leg by its builder, 76 year old Hekenukumai Busby.

He'll be holding wananga at each stop, as well as taking on rangatahi who want to crew for a leg.

Mr Busby says while he will be using and teaching traditional navigation, there is also a global positioning satellite receiver on board.

“We'll probably be using the GPS. It’s more dangerous going around the island than across the ocean. We will probably use it at night, just for safety,” Mr Busby says.

The aim is to reach Porirua by December the 19th, and then sail back up the East Coast after the Christmas break to arrive in the Bay of Islands for Waitangi Day.


A budget review is the first priority for incoming Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples.

Vote Maori Affairs under the Labour led government grew to $189 million, including $90 million to run Te Puni Kokiri and related activities and $70 million on Maori television and radio broadcasting.

Dr Sharples says his aim is not to make cuts, but to understand better where the money is going.

“Being on the Maori Affairs select committee for many years, it’s really easy to attack the spending of a department that is supposed to do everything. I’m hoping to have a good look at the budget and how it’s spent and where there’s money required for different parts of the Maori affairs portfolio, we will advocate for that,” Dr Sharples says.


Meanwhile, the former Maori Affairs minister is wishing his successor well.

Parekura Horomia says Pita Sharples has a big job on his hands, and he will be closely scrutinised.

“I want to wish those in the Maori Party that have the status that Tariana and Pita have, albeit outside of Cabinet, all the very best, but we will be in the House and we certainly will be talking out point of view and looking forward to how things pan out,” Mr Horomia says.

He says new Prime Minister John Key put Pita Sharples into the role to broaden his government's appeal.


The Greens Maori affairs spokesperson says Maori could be shut out of consideration of environmental issues.

Meteria Turei says the Resource Management Act has given Maori an avenue to challenge development proposals that have an adverse effect on the whenua.

That could be at risk if the new Local Government Minister Rodney Hide, a long time critic of the RMA, gets to change the rules.

“ACT's intention to gut the RMA is going to lock Maori in particular and communities in general out of decisions about environmental issues and that’s been a National Party priority for a long time, it’s been ACT’s priority for a long time. That’s going to be the biggest risk, they will be locked out yet again,” Ms Turei says.


Scholarships from the Foundation for Indigenous Research in Society & Technology are sending two students from low decile One Tree Hill College to university.

Winner Shanna Rope says tertiary education would have been unlikely without the scholarship, which includes mentoring and work experience.

She says the award has given a boost to the whole whanau, which has struggled to cope on her mother's single income.

Shanna Rope will study communications at AUT University.

Another scholarship went to her classmate Julia May Aramoana

Trust them says Jackson

Political commentator and former Alliance MP Willie Jackson believes it is time for Maori to put old attitudes behind them and to try trusting the new Government leadership.

Willie Jackson says the new government line up is quite different from the National party of the past and his own attitude towards Prime Minister designate John Key has certainly changed.

“When you’re from the left and you come through the unions, you have a natural sort of suspicion of Nats, you have a natural sort of hatred of them unfortunately. Bit immature if you ask me, but that’s what we almost trained on. You’ve got to almost get that out of your head and you’ve got to say hang on, this guy might be the real deal, this guy might be not like some of those other Nats who used to be so emphatic over user pays systems, but he’s a bloke who seems down to earth, he’s a bloke who seems genuine. No use writing him off. Let’s give him a chance,” Mr Jackson says.

John Key's move to include the Maori party in his government should be seen as a sign of genuineness to address Maori issues.


Meanwhile Prime Minister designate John Key has praised the talents of Maori Party leaders Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia saying that their inclusion in the government is a real bonus and not simply a matter of filling cabinet roles.

John Keys says he sees the Maori party very much as equal partners along with ACT and United forming an important part of government.

“When it comes to the individuals, both Pita and Tariana bring a lot to the table. I think Pita will be a great minister of Maori affairs. The biggest gift we can give is to ensure every youngster gets a world class education. Pita has a lot of experience in that area so he is really going to bring a lot to the table. Tariana the same. She has a lot of great ideas in her portfolio. I see it as a real bonus. It’s not like we are filling up cabinet roles with people who are not talented. These people are very talented,” Mr Key says.


Former Maori Affairs minister Parekura Horomia is paying his respects to Hare Puke, a former long-serving chairman of the Tainui Maori Trust Board.

Mr Puke of Ngati Wairere, Ngati Mahuta and the Tainui waka died on Saturday at the age of 84.

His tangi at Hukanui marae near Gordonton tomorrow will be followed by his internment on Taupiri mountain.

Parekura Horomia says Hare Puke was a longtime campaigner for Maori.

“He certainly was somebody I respected and had the privilege of spending many a year with. Hare was tenacious about the wananga, about rangatahi development. He was a great elder and a great leader in his own right and sadly we are losing people like Hare and he will be well remembered,” Mr Horomia says.


Former Assistant Police Commissioner Clint Rickards has broken his silence over his payout from the NZ police saying it was substantially less than people might believe.

Last year he signed an agreement which saw him get $300,000 before tax... which amounted to around $180,000 in the hand... or 13 months salary plus leave entitlements.

Mr Rickards was suspended from duty on full pay for three years while he was investigated, prosecuted and acquitted of 20 charges including the rape and sexual violation of Louise Nicholas when she was a teenager in Rotorua in the 1980s.

He had wanted to continue on as a police officer after his acquittal, but says putting his family first was the priority, so he agreed to a settlement.

“Oh look, I mean I gave 28 years of my life to the police and I was assistant commissioner. I probably could have stayed on, fought the fight, but I decided the priority for me was my family.

“It was something I decided to take, it was something that was sufficient for me to allow me to finish my degree and it’s something for me now hopefully that I can progress,” Mr Rickards says.

He has been deemed a "fit and proper person" to practice as a lawyer by the New Zealand Law Society... and is hoping to work in Treaty and Maori land law.


Former MP and political commentator Willie Jackson believes Maori Party leaders Pita Sharples and Turiana Turia are ideally positioned to make real gains for Maori in the new government.

Willie Jackson says while their Ministerial responsibilities for Moari Affairs and the Community and Voluntary sectors respectively are important it is their associate minister positions covering education, corrections, health and social development where they will be able to achieve big things for Maori.

“I think it’s fantastic. That’s exactly what we want and that’s exactly what we are going to get changed so we can get as much resourcing as possible across back into Maoridom because the reality is we are so under-resourced in some areas, Maori health providers, education providers, you name it, Maori broadcasting, we get under-resourced in every area. Now we’ve got ministers who hopefully will do the business for us and get some of the resourcing that we deserve,” Mr Jackson says.

He rejects suggestions that the Maori party have been silenced by not being able to speak in these areas saying Pita Sharples and Turiana Turia are in positions to make a real difference.


However new Labour leader Phil Goff says the achievements the last government made for Maori will need to be protected from right wing elements in the new government.

Mr Goff says as an example the last government more than halved the unemployment rate for Maori workers and there will need to be vigilance to see Maori employment does not fall back.

“The achievements that we have made will need to be protected because I think there are right wing elements within Act and also within National that would like to diminish the achievements we have put in place,” Mr Goff says.

Labour will be going back to the Maori people with meetings around the country to discuss what they want into the future.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rickards reveals $300,000 payout

Former assistant police commissioner Clint Rickards has broken his silence over his payout from the NZ police saying it was substantially less than people might believe.

Mr Rickards was suspended from duty on full pay for three years while he was investigated, prosecuted and acquitted of 20 charges including the rape and sexual violation of Louise Nicholas when she was a teenager in Rotorua in the 1980s.

He had expressed a desire to return to work as a police officer, but later accepted a confidential severance package ... which he says was far from a golden handshake.
$ I got a total of 300,000, that was gross. You take the tax out of that and it’s roughly about $180,000 for 13 months salary. That’s about the sum total of it. I just wanted to finish my studies. That was one of the areas we focused on and said ‘look I didn’t want to have to look for work while I was studying at the same time so that was something we discussed and we arrived at that figure,” Mr Rickards says.

He has now completed his law degree and has been deemed a "fit and proper person" to practice as a lawyer by the New Zealand Law Society... and is hoping to work in Treaty and Maori land law.


Staunch to his faith, staunch to his people... that's how Hone Harawira recalls Renata Raiti Aperahama of Te Aupouri who was buried in the Far North yesterday.

Mr Aperahama was part of the very powerful Te Hapua whanau aligned with the Ratana faith ... and was an Apotoro with the church.

He was with the Maori Party from its inception ... traveling from Auckland to lead karakia at the Temple at Ratana when Tariana Turia left Labour to stand in a by-election for the Maori Party.

He was one of five senior figures who founded the Tamaki Makaurau branch of the Party, and instructed Pita Sharples to stand for Parliament.

Hone Harawira, the Maori Party MP for Te Tai Tokerau says Mr Aperahama was staunchly Maori.

“Raiti Aperahama had an annoying habit of asking us younger ones questions that we knew he was going to tell us we were wrong about when we gave him the answer. He was always challenging us. He was never satisfiedand I loved him for it. He could be quite painful at tiemes nut whenever you saw Raiti, you knew any conversation was not going to be light. It was always going to be challenging,” Mr Harawira says.

No reira e te matua, takoto mai, takoto mai, takoto mai


Like Kiwi winning the Melbourne Cup from the back of the pack, Piri Weepu … who was unwanted for the World Cup because of playing and behavioural difficulties ... will captain the All Blacks against Munster tomorrow.

Julian Wilcox, a former pupil at Maori Boys boarding school Te Aute College, says Piri Weepu used to captain the first fifteen... and he lead the team back from the brink of disaster to some epic victories over their traditional rivals Tipene and Hato Paora.

He says the Whakatohea, Ngai Tahu halfback brings more to table than rugby skills.

“People forget that he was also the head prefect of the school. Now to be the head prefect of Te Aute College you need to not only show stamina, strength and endurance in the field of battle on the rugby field, but you also have to have a level of respect and attain a level of mana in the hearts and minds not only of the students but also the staff and the faculty,” Mr Wilcox says.

The All Blacks play Irish club side Munster ... which features former Kiwis Doug Howlett, Rua Tipoki and Lefami Ma'afi ... tomorrow morning.


Former Assistant Police Commissioner Clint Rickard who has spoken publicly for the first time on his application to become a lawyer says he for wants to avoid working for criminals.

Mr Rickards was suspended from duty on full pay for three years while he was investigated, prosecuted and acquitted of 20 charges including the historic rape and sexual violation of Louise Nicholas.

During that time he studied law... and last week he was granted a certificate of character by the New Zealand Law Society which allows him to practice law in Aotearoa.

He says the hard thing will be handling inquiries and pressure from whanau to handle criminal matters for them.

“I've got a lot of demand from family, once they know you’re a lawyer they all want to come at you with their issues, but the area I want t I’d like to specialize in is treaty, Maori land law, employment is an interest of mine, and maybe some criminal stuff, but treaty, Maori land law and employment at this stage,” Mr Rickards says.


Two for the price of one... that may be the case when the All Blacks set themselves for the haka before their game against Irish club side Munster tomorrow morning.

Jim Perry, a Maori rugby stalwart, says the boys from Munster... including Kiwis Doug Howlett, Lifeimi Mafi and former Maori captain Rua Tipoki... have every right to do a haka of their own.

The trick, he says, will be for the All Blacks to recognise the honour... and the challenge... and know how to respond.

“You don't stand them and watch them. You actually respond by putting another haka in lace. You should have a second one just to be able to respond to the response. It’s a mana thing that whoever started the haka regains the mana by doing the second one,” Mr Perry says.

The All Blacks have at least two haka in their arsenal... Ka Mate, Ka Mate and Kapo o Pango.

The Welsh coach, former All Black hooker Warren Gatland, has hinted his side might also be about to respond to the All Blacks pre-match haka.


The New Zealand Aids Foundation is looking to establish better working relationships with the Maori community.

Spokesman Anton Blanc says a hui held in Auckland over the weekend discussed how the organisation can liaise more effectively, and offer more support to Maori who use their services.

He says while there is a strong awareness of the foundations work in urban gay communities, that is not the cases in rural settings.

Mr Blanc says the Aids foundations strategy to improve its delivery to Maori clients is reliant on support from both Maori and non-Maori health organisations.

“It shouldn't just be the Aids Foundation that is working on these issues so there’s a whole sector of Maori providers out there who need to become more aware of these issues and I feel really hopeful that we will get there and I think it will end up being a really powerful working relationship between the foundation and Maori,” Mr Blanc says.

Welfare minister Bennett praised

Longtime National MP and Cabinet Minister Georgina Te Heuheu is singing the praises of highflyer fellow Maori MP Paula Bennett who is the bolter in the new government as Minister of Social Development and Employment

Georgina Te Heuheu says she shares a particular affinity with Paula Bennett who also grew up in the Taupo area and then was a domestic purposes benifiaciary in West Auckland for a number of years before entering parliament in the last term.

“In her way I suppose her feel for getting up and determining your own future and seeking independence and self-reliance, I guess those sprang out of her life in her early days. I think she’s done extremely well and I just look forward to being part of the Cabinet she is in,” she says.

Mrs te Heuheu becomes Minister for Courts, Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control and Associate Minister of Maori Affairs.


A new time requires a new approach... that's the word from Tukoroirangi Morgan after six iwi leaders met with Prime Minister designate John Key to discuss the incoming government's take on Maori policy.

Mr Morgan, who chairs Waikato-Tainui, says Friday's group... which included representatives from Tuwharetoa, Whanganui, Ngati Porou, Nga Puhi and Ngai Tahu wanted to ensure that the treaty settlements process was safe in light of National's policy to settle all historic claims by 2014.

He says they also discussed broader issues.

“How do we approach Maori development across the landscape, across the board, economically, socially, the full gamut. The engagement was not only necessary but it was historic in terms of having access to the power brokers in this country,” Mr Morgan says.

The group agreed to meet again for a sustained "working session".


The potential to create a Pacific brand under the name Hawaiki recieved a shot in the arm at the first Takitimu Festival which wrapped up in the Hawkes Bay over the weekend.

Organiser Tama Huata says the hui brought together peoples from islands throughout the Pacific, who share connections to the waka which eventually landed in Aotearoa.

There has been a push to establish a Hawaiki brand, to unify Pacific interests in the tourism and fishing industries, and the Takitimu Festival was a chance to discuss the concept further.

“It has to help because we’re part of that branding as well, we’re part of that Hawaiki nation, and all waka are part of that Hawaiki nation. The opportunity that has been created from the Takitimu Festival will certainly help to do that,” Mr Huata says.


The ability of the Maori party to criticise the government in areas where it has portfolio responsibility is emerging as major political issue.

New Labour leader Phil Goff says as an example he would be very concerned that with Pita Sharples associate Minister of Corrections, the Maori party will not be able to speak out in that area.

“Everybody knows our prisons have far too many Maori people in it. The policies of ACT would actually result in maybe doubling the number of people in prison. Does that mean Pita loses his public voice to speak out on things which he an I, when we were on the same platform, tended to agree on. I think it would be really good to get an answer on some of those questions so we can get an idea of what the price was of going into government,” Mr Goff says.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples who becomes Minister of Maori Affairs and associate Minister of Corrections and Education has confirmed that as part of its agreement with National the Maori party will not speak out in these areas.

Nor will it be publicly critical in the area of the Community and Voluntary sector where Turiana Turia is Minisiter, or Health and Social Development, including employment, where she will be an associate Minister.

Pita Sharples says education is a good example of an area were he believes the gains he will be able to make within government will be worth keeping his silence.

“In the portfolios that we have we can’t challenge but hopefully we get the gains out of having literate kids. Half the kids can’t read properly, that’s the real tragedy and that’s the area I want to get into and that will make major change to the communities in which many of our people are dysfunctional. You do that. You make a decision, ‘I will not attack if you give me room to develop in these areas,’ and I think that is a very good trade off,” Dr Sharples says.


The organiser of the Maori Sports Awards wants to see a new criteria acknowledging cross cultural efforts.

Dick Garrett says problems arise each year when teams which have shone on the international stage are nominated.

“There's John Kirkpatrick in shearing that won a world title in the pairs but of course his partner was a Pakeha. Marie and Jan Khan won the world bronze medal in the triple but the third was a Pakeha, so there are a lot out there achieving in teams but not all Maori teams,” Mr Garratt says.

This year’s awards are in Rotorua on the 13th of December.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Chemistry Key to Maori Party link

Prime Minister designate John Key says the chemistry is very good between National and Maori party leaders which augers well for a long-term relationship.

John Key says New Zealand is a country which has its best years in front of it and it was important to build broad consensus with the Maori party having a natural fit with National.

“The fact that we didn’t need them to form a government so there’s no pressure there and the fact that they didn’t have to come with us, they could have sat on the cross benches, took all the pressure out of the negotiations and the relationship and just let us sit there and build what I think is on strong foundations now a long term relationship where chemistry is very good between the leadership team with Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia and myself and there is a real willingness to make this thing work,” Mr Key says.


The National Government's relationship with Maori is at the same time going beyond having the Maori party as part of its coalition.

Iwi leaders who meet Prime Minister designate John Key last week told him they want to be involved in the new government's initiative to kick start the economy by spending up large on infrastructure projects.

Tukoroirangi Morgan who chairs Waikato-Tainui says Maori control around $25 billion in assets and six iwi leaders told Mr Key they are ready to move beyond dealing with the Crown over Treaty claims.

“We're talking about roads. We're talking about power stations. We're talking about airports. We're talking about everything. But it’s got to be couched within a context of sustainability. We have to be conscious about the issues of global warming and climate change. But Maori haven’t had those opportunities to contribute and to be involved in infrastructural development. We're ready,” Mr Morgan says.

Iwi want to form partnerships with the Crown to undertake the infrastructural projects.


The stories that emerged from the innaugural Takitimu Festival will inspire generations to come to learn more of the history of their ancestral waka.

Tama Huta, who co-ordinated the event which wrapped up in Hawkes Bay over the weekend, says while the arts and cultural performances were well attended, it was the wananga that most left its mark on festival goers.

He says the Takitimu waka has a rich Pacific history dating back to Samoa in 800 AD, and the hui brought together peoples from nations throughout the Pacific who shared their stories.

“The connections and the histories that came out enable us to say we’ve got a whole lot more work to do in years to come, and reaffirming these links, whakapapa, and celebrating our arts and culture, it’s a beautiful platform that is being set and that’s what we can springboard from for the future,” Mr Huata says.

Talks are already underway about a second Takitimu festival.


Incoming Associate Maori Affairs Minister Georgina Te Heuheu says she has no problem taking a position below Maori party co-leader Pita Sharples who will be Minister of Maori Affairs.

Georgina Te Heuheu is confident the arrangement will work well and she is not sorry not to have the top Maori Affairs job.

“No not at all. I’m looking forward to working with Pita. We get on well anyway. I’m very happy John has seen that’s a key part of where he wants to help, where he wants to lead the Government that we’ve got so no, I’m thrilled for Pita and I’m equally thrilled I’ve got an opportunity to work with him,” she says.

Mrs Te Heu Heu also becomes Minister for Courts, Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, and Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control.

Another Maori, Paula Bennett is the bolter in the new Government becoming Minister of Social Development after just three years in Parliament.


Meanwhile the Maori party is confident that the gains from holding Ministerial portfolios will be far greater for Maori than retaining their ability to criticise policies.

Incoming Minister of Maori Affairs Pita Sharples says both himself and Turiana Turia, who will be Minister for the Community and the Voluntary sector, deliberately choose the areas they wanted to have responsibility for and are confident they will be able to make a real difference.

Dr Sharples says while they will not be able to criticise in areas they have portfolios he believes the tradeoff will be worth it.

“So for example I am a bit stuck to comment too much about education because I have an associate ministerial in education. However, I think it’s worth it for me to have that associate (role) so I can plan some initiatives in two areas that concern me, the overall literacy of our people and kaupapa Maori education, which has basically been buried in the past,” he says.

Dr Sharples also has associate roles in education and corrections while Mrs Turia has associate roles in health and social development including employment.


The Head of Te Wananga o Aotearoa says the institute is looking at upskilling Maori to manage post-settlement assets.

Chief executive Bentham Ohia says aligning the wananga with the Primary Industry Training sector will allow Maori to learn skills in the industries created by their settlement assets.

“Our incorporations and our land owners and our sea owners will require people with skills and capabilities to be able to manage and work the land for an economic gain for our people and that’s where Te Wananga o Aoteaora comes in as an opportunity to engage and provide the training and development path to have the necessary skills to support our people,” Mr Ohia says.

The wananga is taking over Tairawhiti Polytechnic’s Papatoa Forestry Training programme and next year delivering it across 18 sites.

Hare Puke dies last of Tainui reformers

Ngati Wairere, Ngati Mahuta and the Tainui waka is mourning the death of Hare Puke, a former long-serving chairman of the Tainui Maori Trust Board.

Mr Puke died on Saturday at the age of 84.
James Ritchie, a former advisor to the board, says Mr Puke, a Hukerere dairy farmer, joined the trust board in the 1960s, as it was being restructured by the late Robert Mahuta and Hori Forbes.

“From then on Hare carried the heavy weight of transition in the trust board from being an artifact of government decision to really having a leadership role in change and modernization of Tainui as a tribe, and beyond that of course, a leader in many other ways,” Professor Ritchie says.

Hare Puke's role as a kaumatua for organisations like Waikato Univeristy and Hamilton City Council did much to strengthen Tainui's role in the affairs of the region.


Ousted New Zealand First MP Ron Mark says the Maori Party has some harsh lessons to learn.

He says the widely heralded consultation hui the party ran in advance of signing a deal with the incoming national government were not a true guage of Maori opinion.

Mr Mark says New Zealand First tried working in government with national, before it parted company over the sale of state assets.

“They can learn like everybody else. We’ve been there and done that and the result is written in history. So good luck to them. My only word of advice is if you are going to huis where there are 20 to 30 people who all talk like you do, Sound like you do, look like you do, behave like you do, chances are you’re not talking to the real people, you’re just talking to yourself,” Mr Mark says.


Taranaki businesses and local government agencies are being urged to factor the province's Maori and their wealth into their plans.

Venture Taranaki Trust project manager Amokura Panoho says a report by Business and Economic Research has identified Maori assets of more than $700 million, including $100 million cash from Treaty settlements.

While many of those people no longer live there, they have a cultural connection and can be drawn back to work in industries like dairying, oil and gas, engineering and tourism if the conditions are right.

“We have a growing demand for skilled labour in our region and we’ve got an increasing Maori population base so it makes sense that the key industries need to think about how to utilize that growing Maori population base more effectively, to move them from being unskilled to semi-skilled to skilled, to work within those key eight industries Taranaki is based around,” Ms Panoho says.

Recommendations in the report include a Maori economic summit, a land asset mapping project; and an industry skills and education programme.


Dover Samuels says the pace and willingness of the Maori Party to strike a deal with National should set alarm bells ringing.

The former Labour MP says the party may live to regret its decision to team up with National.

He says last week's consultation hui fell short of what the Maori Party promised before the election, and left many Maori questioning what we being done in their name.

“It's for the Maori people themselves to decide whether this has credibility or whether it’s just manipulation by a few who now can see the baubles of office and also the benefits of power and I don’t know whether it’s just for some individuals within the Maori Party caucus or whether there is a genuine attempt to move forward Maori economic and cultural aspirations,” Mr Samuels says.

He says rather than the five headed monster John Key was warning would happen under Labour, the National-led government is a four-headed taniwha.


The three major Maori tertiary institutions are presenting a united face the new government.

Te Wananga o Aotearoa, Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi and Te Whare Wananga o Raukawa have been talking for some time, but also having separate negotiations with the Crown over compensation for their joint Waitangi Tribunal claim for set up capital.

Those claims are now settled, and Aotearoa chief executive Bentham Ohia says last week's 21st Century Education Hui in Manukau was a chance for them to chart a course ahead.

He says the wananga can't afford to be divided.

“The government has sectorised the tertiary sector into four parts, the university sector, the polytechnic sector, the wananga sector and the private training establishments and other providers. We thought as part of that move made by government that solidarity must be core and centre as part of our sector as wananga,” Mr Ohia says.

The three wananga are looking at what resources could be shared and how students can move between wananga where necessary.


The head of a Maori film and television professional group has slammed Maori Television boss Jim Mather for pushing out veteran Maori film-maker Larry Parr.

In a regular newsletter of Nga Aho Whakaari, chairman Te Arepa Kahi challenged a General Manager with two years industry experience for ousting someone with thirty years industry experience.

Mr Kahi says the issue is being discussed further by the organisation as a result of his comments.

Jim Mather from Maori Television refused to comment.

Larry Parr says he has no comment on the circumstances of his departure from Maori Television but he is happy in his new job as manager of television funding portfolio at Maori broadcasting funding agency Te Mangai Paho.