Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, November 28, 2008

Justice review scope for division

The associate minister of social development says the government needs to get Maori involved if it wants to cut the number of Maori in prison.

At a major hui on Maori Criminal Justice in Hastings this week, Tariana Turia made a call for community action in combating child abuse and crime.

She says her views on the issue may at times be at odds with those of the Maori Party's partners in government, National and Act, who campaigned on more punitive approaches to crime.

“There are differences in our views about how we carry these matters forward and that the majority of people they are talking about are in fact Maori people and we’re not saying that these aren’t issues that need to be addressed but I do believe that our people should have the opportunity and the right to have a say abput how we deal with these significant issues that are confronting us,” Mrs Turia says.


The Green Party's conservation spokesperson is warning the government against shifting from a polluter pays approach to greenhouse gas reduction.

An 18-strong New Zealand delegation is off next week to Poznan, Poland for a United Nations policy workshop, which is preparing for a major climate change hui in Copenhagen next year.

The new National government has indicated it wants to rethink this country's approach, and its junior partner ACT campaigned strongly against the emissions trading framework.

Metiria Turei says the danger is the Government will find ways to shift the burden off its friends in industry and on to the public.

“The Maori public, those who are just living their ordinary lives, should not bear the full cost of industry’s emissions, and the New Zealand government needs to protect them from those costs by making sure industry plays its part. I fear that this government is much more industry focused and not as keen to protect the public interest,” Ms Turei says.


The Department of Labour says Maori and Pacific Island workers have some of the highest workplace injury rates in the country.

Craig Armitage, the department's head of Workplace Health and Safety, says although Maori workers are spread throughout all sectors of the New Zealand workforce... they are over-represented in the injury statistics.

“Largely that's driven by the fact there are still a significant number of Maori workers in the industries where the accident rates are higher than in other parts of the economy. A third of Maori workers work in labouring work, in other manual work, in plant and machine work and operating and assembling and in agriculture and fisheries,” Mr Armitage says.

The department is working closely with industries and employees to reduce injuries.


Last year's anti-terror raids in Ruatoki have sparked a major set of works by Tainui artist Brett Graham.

Campaign Rooms opened at Two Rooms Gallery in Auckland this week.

It includes a white marble relief carving of Te Waipounamu, and a large black model of a stealth bomber with surface carvings drawn from the whakairo tradition.

Dr Graham says he wanted to look at the way the linking of Maori with violence and mistrust has been a sort of mistaken identity which has existed since Europeans first entered the Pacific.

He says Maori have a tradition of adapting weapons.

“It came from that long tradition Maori have of appropriating things from the British military, carving the rifle butts right through to being enamoured with flagpoles and a lot of that stuff came directly from the British military with all the power symbols which were appropriated by Maori and incorporated, because even though they were completely outnumbered and outgunned, somehow by appropriating these things they would have power over them,” Dr Graham says.

His marble map can be seen as a sort of campaign table, but it also relates to the carve-up of the South Island by Crown land buyers.

Maori social workers and community groups are gearing up for a busy Christmas.

Tau Huirama from Jigsaw ... an umbrella group for child abuse prevention and child protection services ... says there has been a great response to White Ribbon Day, as people expressed their opposition to violence against women and children.

But those good intentions could be threatened as Christmas puts pressure on whanau.

“This is one of the worst times of the year for us. We start to play advertisements on the radio wishing everyone a merry Christmas and have a good time and look after each other and awhi each other, not just on Christmas day but every day,” Mr Huirama says.

The 35 groups affiliated to Jigsaw can be reached through www.jigsaw.org.nz


A world champion Maori shearer will lead a team of relative new-comers against the Aussies in the annual trans-Tasman shearing and woolhandling test.

Jonny Kirkpatrick from Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu is the only one of the team that took all four machine-shearing and woolhandling titles at the world championships in Norway who will be fronting up tomorrow in Hay showground, New South Wales.

He'll be joined by shearers James Fagan from Te Kuiti and Nathan Stratford from Invercargill, and woolhandlers Kerryn Herbert (Te Awamutu) and Joel Henare from Gisborne.

The Australians are favoured to win because of their home-ground... and home sheep... advantage.

The event is part of the 2008 Australian National Shearing and Wool Handling Championships.

Climate change on Poland agenda

Green MP Metiria Turei wants Maori farmers to lead the way on climate change.

The United Nations is holding climate talks in Poznan, Poland next week in preparation for a major gathering in Copenhagen next year which will try to hammer out a new Kyoto-style deal.

New Zealand will have an 18-person team at the hui.

Ms Turei says this country should resist the temptation to exclude agribusiness ... such as farming... from any new international agreement.

“Maori who are involved in agribusiness, and this includes many of the incorporations where Maori whanau have shares, does need to take responsibility for its agricultural emissions and be leaders in managing the environmental impacts. They also need to lead the agriculture sector in accepting there are emissions that arise from that industry and they must be managed by that industry,” Ms Turei says.

The new Government needs to respect New Zealand's global obligations under the Kyoto protocol and build on the leading role it has played in the emission reduction debate in the past.


An East Coast community is going back to school to tackle the problem of violence against women and children.

Natana Tare, who works with a Ngati Porou Hauora Counselling and Support Services team based in Ruatoria, says it identifies community leaders and gives them skills to spread the word that violence is not ok.

A lot of the work is with rangatahi, and the region's schools have opened their doors.

“In Hiruharama kura where the school has allowed us to approach it from a tikanga-based model, for example doing it through the mau rakau concept, utilising our own community to facilitate that,” Mr Tare says.

Ngati Porou Hauora is also linking social services that may need support, such as the women's refuge, with kaumatua who are prepared to contribute.


If you haven't yet seen the story about the Maori and the Italian in a barn, Wellington theatre company Taki Rua is offering another chance.

It's touring Strange Resting Places, Rob Mokaraka and Paolo Rotondo's play about a Maori Battalion soldier's adventure in Italy.

Artistic director James Ashcroft says the play has been so popular since it was first performed in 2007, the theatre is putting two productions on the road to keep up with demand.

He says there will be a wide range of venues.

“It was very much designed to be performed in theatres, marae, school halls, community halls and I think the historical context of the Maori Battalion has been really key in tapping into diverse audiences, whether it’s great grandfathers who were involved or uncles and aunts and it’s really lovely to see a variety of different age groups in the audiences,” Mr Ashcroft says.

To acknowledge the role of kai in Maori and Italian culture, the audience will be welcomed with coffee and pastries, and farewelled with bread and garlic oil made fresh on stage.


The associate minister of social development wants the Government to heed Maori calls for more say in how the justice system works.

Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia attended this week's Maori Criminal Justice Colloquium in Hastings.

She says Maori are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system... with Maori three times more likely to be in prison than non-Maori.

That means Maori have a stake in tackling crime and punishment ... but a string of reports over the years saying just that have been ignored.

“It's going to take a really bold government to actually have a look at these reports, look at what comes out of this hui, and then look for a way forward. Because we can’t continue on the same track of failure that we’ve been on for the last hundred odd years,” Mrs Turia says.

The government needs to focus on justice and rehabilitation rather than retribution and punishment.


Supporters of a programme to improve the way Maori secondary school students are taught have been warned they could face opposition from the main teachers union.

Te Kotahitanga has been rolled out to 33 schools, with early adopters already reporting sharp jumps in achievement at NCEA level by Maori and Pacific Island students.

That achievement was questioned in a study done for the Post Primary Teachers' Association by Massy University professor Roger Openshaw.

But Keith Ballard, an emeritus professor of education at Otago University, told a conference of teachers and researchers at Waikato yesterday that the Openshaw report tried to argue that problems with Maori education were socio-economic rather than cultural.

“And it's so ironic to have the view, in a document from the PPTA, when being in the University of Waikato with this amazing group of Maori people and other people supporting the Te Kotahitanga project where you can see the lived reality of Maori culture, and I find it really disquieting to see the argument that is supported by the PPTA that Maori should not be recognised as an ethnic group,” Professor Ballard says

He says Te Kotahitanga teachers and researchers have shown they can make things better for students in the classroom.


They may have been away from Aotearoa for 200 years or more, but the team at Te Papa is committed to securing the return of koiwi tangata from around the world.

The museum welcomed home 22 skeletal remains this week from British institutions.

Repatriation team head Te Herekiekie Herewini says internal political issues in France are slowing negotiations there, but there is a lot of work to be done elsewhere in Europe.

“We still need to go back to Scotland because we’re still negotiating with one of the museums up there for toi moko to come back, and it’s most likely they will come back in the latter part of 2009,” Mr Herewini says.

There are also holdings of koiwi tangata in Sydney which will be returned next year.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Quick roll out wanted for Te Kotahitanga

There's calls for a rapid roll-out of a programme which changes the way teachers interact with Maori students.

Teachers, researchers and education officials involved with Te Kotahitanga have just finished a two day conference at Waikato University to share their experiences.

The conference heard that in the 12 original Te Kotahitanga schools, the average number of Maori passing NCEA level one has jumped from a third to a half.

Another 21 schools have been selected for the next phase of the project, but David Hood, the former head of the Qualifications Authority, says that's not enough.

“You know if you roll it out at the current rate, you’re talking 35 years, and I don’t think as a nation we’d be comfortable with having to wait another 35 years to address those disparities or even 10. I think if the government is really supportive of this project it has to look at ways it can roll it out fairly quickly,” Mr Hood says,

He says there can be some discomfort among teacher because te Kotahitanga challenges their ideas about learning, but it makes the job more professionally satisfying.

A spokesperson for Education Minister Ann Tolley says she reiterated to the conference the Government's election promise to expand the scheme, but progress depends on the success of budget bids and advice from officials.


Maori midfielder Riki Flutey has been confirmed to start this Sunday's test for England against the All Blacks.

The 28-year-old Ngati Porou professional rugby player suffered a hamstring injury in England's record 42-6 loss to the Springboks last week at Twickenham, but was named this morning in Martin Johnson's test side.

The former Maori All Black will play his fourth game in the English jersey after qualifiying for the team on residency grounds.

He's been in England since 2005 after stints with Wellington and the Hurricanes.

More New Zealanders are playing professional rugby in Europe than at home, with about 600 players a year heading north.


A play inspired by the Maori Battalion's Italian campaign was so popular, Taki Rua is taking it around the country a second time.

Strange Resting Places was co-written by Rob Mokaraka and Paolo Rotondo, a New Zealand actor with Italian whakapapa.

The Wellington-based theatre company's artistic director, James Ashcroft, says the play, which is performed in Maori, English and Italian, has really appealed to audiences since its premier last year.

“The centre of the play is really about a Maori and an Italian meeting in a barn during this war-torn time and looking at the similarities, the humour in the similarities and the humour in the differences,” Mr Ashcroft says.

Strange Resting Places will play next March the Rotorua Festival of the Arts, Te Ihi, te Wehi, followed by a season at the children's oriented Capital E National Arts Festival in Wellington.


The Maori spectrum trust is counting on the new Government to smoothe the roll out of a new national mobile phone network.

Te Huarahi Tika Trust, along with other Maori investors, has a 20 percent stake in New Zealand Communications, which will use frequencies reserved for Maori.

New Zealand Communications chair Bill Osborne says the company has so far invested $140 million into building its network.

He says the change of government won't stop that work, but it could affect the regulatory framework as new ministers and officials get to grips with what has been done so far in what is a highly-contested industry.

“To be fair the last government did create some momentum and I think that momentum will continue now no mater who’s in power. It’s just how fast it continues and how quickly people get to grips with issues is the real issue,” Mr Osborne says.

He says trustees from Te Huarahi Tika are helping New Zealand Communications consult with Maori and other communities as it seeks resource consents for cell sites around the country.


Petrol prices may be dropping, but a Maori farmer in the Far North is looking at another way to fill the tank.

Percy Tipene has just won the country's top organics prize, the Jon Manhire Award, for his work with Maori organic growers' collective Te Waka Kai Ora.

As well as growing beef, Mr Tipene has branched out into agrofuels ... using jatropha plants imported from India.

“We've planted around 4000 jatropha, looking at the potential self-sufficiency of small units or communities and we’re just looking at how we can generate our own power on our small blocks and perhaps encourage people to produce their own fuels to run their own vehicles,” Mr Tipene says.


The biographer of Ralph Hotere says the artist is a master of the evasive smokescreen, and it's a challenge to collect material.

Vincent O'Sullivan contributed an essay to a new book on the Te Aupouri artist's paintings, and he's working on a full biography which is targeted for completion in about two years.

He says Hotere insisted the book published this week by Auckland architect and collector Ron Sang be about pictures rather than words, and the high quality production will give him great satisfaction.

“It acknowledges him on a publishing scale that has not been attempted before. It’s a book we will return to and I suspect our children will return to as the kuaka return to the north in one of his masterpieces.

“His art is a spiritual taonga. It’s something we can’t imagine New Zealand being without,” Professor O'Sullivan says.

He is asking people with letters from Ralph Hotere to contact him through the Victoria University English department, as they are vital raw material for the biography.

Capacity there for quick class roll-out

The developer of a professional development programme credited with boosting the achievement of Maori secondary school students says it could be quickly rolled out across the country.

Te Kotahitanga is currently in 22 schools, and about 200 teachers and education researchers are attending a conference at Waikato University this week to share experiences.

Russell Bishop says latest 2007 data shows that in schools running the programme, the percentage of Maori students passing level one NCEA jumps from about a third to just under a half.

He says those kind of results indicate the programme is ready for a national roll out, if the politicians agree.

“We have the capacity. We’ve been building up this capacity slowly over the past seven or eight years and we certainly do have the capacity to do it, and it’s really thrilling to see that it was very much a part of all the political parties’ stance throughout the last election campaign, and now the new government has come out and said ‘we want to expand it to more schools,’ and we’re ready to go,” Professor Bishop says.


A former protest leader with close links to Maori Party MPs says the party's deal with National is a disaster for most Maori.

John Minto says when it became clear a deal was in the offing, he offered some suggestions to Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira.

He says there were real concessions the party could have sought around issues of day to day concern for Maori like the minimum wage, the failing school system and the huge increase of gambling machines in poor communities.

“The Maori Party as I see it didn’t get any significant policy concessions from National in the way the Act Party did. Act got some specific concessions and then Act got a whole lot of reviews set up which are going to lead to further concessions later on,” Mr Minto says.

He says the Maori Party was bought off soft assurances about the foreshore and seabed and the future of the Maori seats.


But National's associate Maori affairs minister says the Maori Party has come to the right place.

Georgina Te Heuheu says National wants to repair some of the damage done to the relationship with Maori during the period Don Brash was the party's leader.

She says there is good will on both sides to make the arrangement work and give the Maori party a real say in policy.

“It's up to us now, National and the Maori Party together, not necessarily to prove the doubters wrong, but to prove the real party of aspiration is the National Party, and actually Maori are aspirational in any event. They want to do better,” Mrs te Heuheu says.

She's proud of National's achievements for Maori during its last term in government, including long-overdue action on Maori reserved lands.


Te Huarahi Tika, the Maori spectrum trust, has reported progress at last on getting third mobile phone network for New Zealand.

The trust held its annual meeting yesterday in Taupo, to acknowledge the investment over the past year by central North island landowners Tuaropaki Trust and Wairarapa Moana.

That investment has maintained the Maori share in mobile phone company New Zealand Communications at 20 percent.

Bill Osborne, the chair of the trust's commercial arm Hautaki Limited, says the company is using its Maori partners for help with consultation as it seeks resource consents for its national build-out of cellphone towers.

“Maori are naturally communicators. They like to have hui and they like to discuss issues and they like to resolve issues collectively, and that’s the approach that Te Huarahi Tika Trust trustees have helped bring to New Zealand Communications, so it’s a very positive thing I think,” Mr Osborne says.

Telecommunications is a new asset for Maori to invest in, but he expected more interest once the New Zealand Communications network goes live.


The work of an advocate for Maori organic farmers has been recognised with the country's top organics award.

Percy Tipene from Te Waka Kai Ora shared the Jon Manhire Award with Soil and Health Association co-chair Steffan Browning.

Derek Broadmore from Organics Aotearoa New Zealand says Mr Tipene has a vision for under-productive Maori land, and is mapping Maori land in Northland which is suitable for organic growing.

Derek Broadmore says while only one percent of New Zealand's productive land is in organic production, that's a 100 percent jump on two years ago.


The biographer of Ralph Hotere is searching for letters written by the reclusive artist.

Vincent O'Sullivan says letters are the lifeblood of biographies, not just to help with facts and dates but to get a sense of the subject's personality.

He says Hotere is good letter writer but not a prolific one.

Professor O'Sullivan told the launch of a book on Hotere's paintings on Monday that he discussed it with the Te Aupouri artist last week.

“I said I was going to ask any of you here tonight who have letters from Ralph, in fact not ask you, implore you, for the sake of the biography perhaps to let me see them sometime and in Ralph’s own words, ‘tell them they’ve got to, tell them they've got to,” Professor O'Sullivan says.

People with letters can contact him through Victoria University's English department, Box 600 Wellington.

Te Kotahitanga benefiting all students

The developer of a new way to teach Maori students says all students are benefiting at schools running Te Kotahitanga.

Many of those schools are represented at a conference today and tomorrow at Waikato University.

Russell Bishop told the hui that socio-economic differences didn't explain the persistent lag in Maori achievement at secondary school level, so the programme was designed to make teachers aware of cultural differences in learning styles.

He says NCEA results show it is also helping Pasifika and Pakeha students, and it is clear what's good for Maori is good for all students.

“Instead of the education for all philosophy that we’ve run for the last 100 years, which has left Maori people behind, we need to be focusing on those people the system is not serving well, and we need to change the system to serve those people well,” Professor Bishop says.

New Zealand has an excellent teaching workforce, but it needs to learn new ways to make Maori children and communities feel involved in the education process.


Top Maori jockey Michael Walker is back in the saddle again.

The 24-year -old is set to ride in trials at Cambridge tomorrow, after a pig hunting accident in Taranaki in May almost cost his life.

Walker spent three months in hospital and a rehabilitation centre recovering from head injuries incurred falling over a bluff.

The accident cut short his bid to become the first New Zealander to ride 200 winners in a season... he was sitting on 173 wins with over a month left to ride before he was injured.


Ralph Hotere has been hailed as an unsung intellectual giant.

A lavish book featuring more than 150 of the Te Aupouri artist's paintings was launched in Auckland this week.

Former youth court chief judge Mick Brown says the book, and particularly the biographical essay by Vincent O'Sullivan, captures some of the essence of what has made his old friend New Zealand's greatest living artist.

He says the country sometimes bemoans the lack of intellectuals, but that may be because people haven't recognised the contributions of a pioneering group from the north.

“Together with the late great Hone Tuwhare and my particular mate Selwyn Muru, three giant intellects, and it may be a good idea for us to look at ourselves, New Zealanders, whether we have been looking in the right places for some of these things, and they’re here, they’re here in front of me, and Ralph’s thing was, he never would tell you, it was up to you,” Judge Brown says.

Hotere, published by Ron Sang Publications, should be in stores next week.


The former head of the Qualifications Authority is calling for a revolution in the classroom.

David Hood told a Te Kotahitanga conference at Waikato University the teacher development programme in use in 22 secondary schools is challenging long-standing educational practices which have failed Maori students.

It is changing traditional practices where the teacher has absolute power, and building relationships based on mutual respect between teacher and student.

He says teachers on the programme have higher expectations of Maori students.

“You don't make assumptions because of the ethnicity of a child or their socioeconomic or any other kind of background that makes assumptions about their ability to learn, so you have that kind of high expectations.

“Te Kotahitanga is very much about building up teachers and have strategies to help them build up those relationships and involve students in their learning and build up those expectations,” Mr Hood says.

He says a lot of what happens in the classroom is based on industrial age assumptions which no longer hold true in a world where a nation's wealth relies on the intellectual capacity of its people.


The former Minister of Maori Affairs says being out of government will give him more time to service his sprawling electorate, which stretches from the east cape to Wainuiomata.

Parekura Horomia fended off a challenge from the Maori Party's Derek Fox to retain Ikaroa-Rawhiri.

He says Maori MPs face a bigger challenge servicing their constituents than those in general seats.

Mr Horomia says he found it hard running against Mr Fox because of their close family links.


It's not exactly CSI but Te Papa Tongarewa staff are working hard to identify the Maori remains repatriated this week.

Te Herekiekie Herewini, the repatriation team head, says the haul included 22 koiwi tangata from five museums in Scotland and England.

While one skull is known to be Moriori, the others items need to be investigated thoroughly.

Once the origins of the koiwi tangata are identified, they will be returned to their iwi for burial.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Land use deadline not for change

Review the Emissions Trading Scheme if you must... but don't tutu with the 2008 date... that's the warning from Willie Te Aho of the Climate Change Iwi Leadership Group.

The National Government has agreed to delay the implementation of the ETS, as part of its support agreement with ACT, until a full review is carried out.

Willie Te Aho of the Climate Change Iwi Leadership Group says when the Labour Government released discussion documents on the ETS, it included a date of one January 2008 after which people who changed land use from forestry would have to pay a heavy price.

That heads-up prompted large scale deforestation as landowners and large corporations got out of forests before the scheme was introduced.

“The likes of Carter Holt Harvey deforesting up to 5000 hectares of land by the Waikato River. The likes of Wairakei Pastoral doing the same thing in the Tauupo catchment ands that has huge effects on the dynamics of the rivers system and I guess the health of the river so I hope they don’t go near touching that date,” Mr Te Aho says.

While Maori have concerns about some aspects of the ETS, particularly those that penalise Maori landowners with forest planted before 1990 if they want to switch to farming or other types of land use, the environmental consequences of any changes need to be factored into any new arrangements.


It is not before time that New Zealand's first touring rugby team to Britain... called New Zealand Natives... has been recognised by induction into the International Rugby Union's Hall of Fame this week.

That the view of former New Zealand Maori coach Matt Te Pou who says nearly two decades before the 1905 Originals became part of the country's folklore, New Zealand Natives did a mammoth 14-month, tour of Britain from 1888-89, winning 78 of their 107 games.

“14 months away from home and they did it tough. They were tough people. Today we go away with an army of players. They had a small number of players so effectively to play all of those 107 games, just showed the level of toughness and ruthlessness the players had,” Mr Te Pou says.

The New Zealand Natives were the beginning of the Maori All Blacks and instilled the desire to win which has existed in New Zealand rugby since.


The Hastings District Council is putting fire restrictions in place meaning any open fires... including hangi... will need a permit before a match is struck.

Paul Hawke, the Deputy principal rural fire officer says in the last few weeks they've had little or no rain, temperatures in the high 20s, and strong winds creating blast furnace like conditions.

He says marae with designated hangi areas and experienced operators aren't their primary concern... but everyone needs to be careful.

“Where it’s out in somebody’s paddock, it’s in somebody’s back yard, those are the conditions we need to ensure there is a lot more safety prevalent, particularly if it’s in a rural area around a lot of vegetation,” Mr Hawke says.


Maori landowners are hoping that a promised review of the Emissions Trading Scheme will grant them more freedom in the way they use their whenua.

The National Government has agreed to delay implementation of the ETS, as part of its support agreement with ACT, until a full review is carried out.

Willie Te Aho of the Climate Change Iwi Leadership Group says tying landowners to forestry by making the cost of switching so restrictive is bad business.

“When you look at some of the lands, especially those that are4 coming back through the CNI settlement, and you look at the lovely rolling flats that have come back through the Reporaroa Waimaroke areas on the western side of the Kaingaroa Forest, those lands and the best use for those ands is agriculture, there’s no ifs, buts or maybe,” Mr Te Aho says.


A Maori rugby leader believes the New Zealand Natives team of 1888, which has this week been inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame, deserves greater recognition in New Zealand.

Former Maori All Black Coach Matt Te Pou says nearly two decades before the 1905 Originals became part of the country's folklore, the New Zealand Natives did a mammoth 14-month tour of Britain winning 78 of their 107 games, including a test against Ireland.

He says they were the first New Zealand team to wear the fern on the international stage, and they should be marked as the start of international rugby.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Remains back at Te Papa

A moving powhiri was held at Te Papa museum this morning to welcome home 22 Maori skeletal remains repatriated from five British museums.

The koiwi tangata - human bones- which include a fish hook made from bone and a Moriori skull, were taken immediately to the powhiri at the Museum's marae following their arrival on an overnight Air New Zealand flight.

Following the powhiri attended by Te Papa staff and local iwi the remains were taken from the marae to a tapu lifting ceremony.

The koiwi tangata will not go on display with museum researchers attempting to identify where they were originally taken from so they can be returned to iwi.

Museum staff who attended the dawn ceremony say it was extremely moving and had given them a great sense of time and history.


Traditional Maori instruments found a ready and enthusiastic audience when they were played as part of the Australian World Music Expo in Melbourne last week.

Musician Rewi Spraggon who performed with fellow expert in Maori musical instruments Riki Bennett says it was amazing to perform with a diverse group of musicians who could not speak either Maori or English.

“It went off really well. I think there were about 1300 people there on Sunday night. People were crying. There were a lot of Maori there that come to support it and a couple of songs were so touching you could see the people in the audience crying because it was so powerful and strong,” Mr Spraggon says.

The World Music Expo will be in New Zealand to open the Auckland Festival of Arts in March next year.


A hamstring injury may mean the English team is missing some Maori strike power ahead of Sunday's test match against the All Blacks at Twickenham.

Riki Flutey, from Ngati Porou, limped off half an hour into last weekend's game against the Springboks... and his right leg is still troubling him.

The former Wellington and Hurricanes player represented New Zealand at all age groups and was a member of the Under 19 team that won the U19 World Cup in 1999.

The utlility back first played for Martin Johnson's English team against the Pacific Islanders in early November... after meeting the three-year residental qualifications.

28-year-old Flutey will have the injury to his right hamstring assessed again tomorrow before the 22-man English squad is named.


Te Papa museum researchers have a task on their hands attempting to identify where skeletal remains returned from British museums originally came from.

The 22 skeletal remains including a fish hook made from bone and a Moriori skull were welcomed back in New Zealand this morning at a powhiri at Te Papa's marae following their repatriation from five British museums.

However they will not be put on display.

Rather museum researchers will attempt to identify where they originally came from in the mid-1800's so that they can be returned to iwi.

This morning the remains were taken immediately to the museum following their arrival on an overnight Air New Zealand flight and then after the powhiri a tapu lifting ceremeony was held.


With an estimated one billion dollar impact... Maori landowners with interests in forestry are keeping a close eye on the new government's approach to the Emissions Trading Scheme.

The National Government has agreed to delay implementation of the ETS, as part of its support agreement with ACT, until a full review is carried out.

Willie Te Aho of the Climate Change Iwi Leadership Group says that after spending two years working through the ramifications of the scheme designed by Labour they had a number of concerns.

He says Labour's deal would have seen landowners with forests planted before 1990 heavily penalised if they wanted to switch to farming or other types of land use.

“And what Maori said is you are capping the Maori economy because we are unable to use it for the highest and best use value as other landowners have done, so that was one of the major concerns,” Mr Te Aho says.

Ngai Tahu has 84,000 hectares still in forest land and if they wanted to get out of forestry when the Crown lease ran out they'd be looking at a $100 million bill.


New Zealanders will get a chance to see traditional Maori instruments played with other indigenous instruments from around the pacific when the World Music Expo performs as part of the Auckland Festival of Arts next year.

An expert in playing traditional Maori instruments Rewi Spraggon who performed in Melbourne last week with fellow musician Riki Bennett, as part of the Australasian World Music Expo, says the event was a huge success and he expects it will go down similarly in Auckland.

Rewi Spraggon says the pair are also planning to tour the United States next year with the World Music Expo performers.

Whanau speaks out on Nia killing

A spokesperson for the Curtis whanau says community support including from Pakeha is helping the extended family cope with the pain and shame of Nia Glassie's murder.

Toby Curtis, speaking on behalf of the whanau says there are no excuses for the actions of his grand nephews Wiremu Curtis, 19 and Michael Curtis 22, who were last week found guilty of the murder of 3 year old Nia Glassie in Rotorua.

“I think one of the main things that is happening is probably the support from people from iwi whanui, from friends, and particularly Pakeha people. They have been wonderful in their messages of support and I guess based on that one can see more than just the light at the end of the tunnel,” Mr Curtis says.

The majority of the family fully support the court's decision and feel justice has been seen to be done.


The new Minister for the Community and Voluntary sector Tariana Turia risks will need to be taken to provide better outcomes for Maori.

Tariana Turia says when she was an associate minister in the Labour government before she resigned in 2004 to form the Maori Party she was frustrated by a great reluctance by Ministers above her to take risks.

“To do things differently you have to take risk and I can’t see what’s wrong with taking a bit of risk. I know the Opposition play it up if it doesn’t work. But there’s a lot of things they’ve done that continue not to work that mainstream have been doing for a long time and we don’t slap back at mainstream institutions about their failures but we get stuck into providers in the non-government sector if things happen there that aren’t quite what they should be,” Mrs Turia says.

She is she is a firm believer that people need to account for spending public money but they need to be able to look for different ways of doing things to reach better outcomes.


Labour's spokesperson on tourism believes Maori operators need to emphasis their own brand if they are to ride out an international downturn in tourism numbers.

Nanaia Mahuta says New Zealand's marketing overseas has been built around campaigns like 100 percent pure.

She says the Maori sector has its own distinct identity that foreigners recognise.

“You only need to go to many other countries and the first thing they will say is ‘are you from New Zealand? All Blacks, haka,’ and it’s an immediate identifying sort of thing that so we know Maori tourism brings with it a certain brand that can be built on,” Ms Mahuta says.


A spokesperson for the Curtis whanua Toby Curtis says there are lessons to be learned from the Nia Glassie murder.

Toby Curtis says the family is having to come to grips with the shame and pain of the murder of 3 year old Nia Glassie by his grand nephews Wiremu and Michael Curtis who were found guilty last week.

“There was no inkling that anything like this was going on. So what that spelled out to me was OK, it’s very difficult to find out what other people are doing when they‘re not on their patch. You tend to get a different picture when you’re on their patch so the responsibility that we need to be visiting each other on their home patches, and not assume because they come and enjoy what you have to offer, that all is well,” Mr Curtis says.

As kaumatua he takes responsibility for what has happened even though he did not personally know what was going on.


Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia says she is looking forward to working with the new Minister of Social Development Paul Bennett as an associate minister.

Tariana Turia who has joined the government as a Minister outside Cabinet responsible for the Community and Voluntary sectors says she will be working closely with Paula Bennett who was a solo parent beneficiary before she entered parliament.

“I like her spirit. I like the whole thing that ‘I’ve been there and I know what it takes to get yourself out of that situation,’ because she’s done it. And that’s going to work for some people. There are a number of people who are gong to look at that situation and say ‘God, I can do this too.’ There are going to be others who need support, and as long as she is conscious of that, and I think she is, we will get there,” Mrs Turia says.

She says it is significant that Paula Bennett is a Maori because much of the work social development needs to do is in the Maori area.


The huge influence of Maori and Pacific Islanders on New Zealand's main sports of rugby and league was clearly demonstrated at the weekend according to a leading sports commentator Ken Laban.

He says the influence could not be ignored with the Kiwi's World Cup victory and the All Black's win against Wales.

“The Kiwi line up close to 99 percent Maori and Pacific Island make up in the side with of course a Maori coach and a Maori captain. I look at the All Blacks team against Wales, 60 percent of that squad are Maori and Pacific Island, and even the Australian team on the weekend, there are three Tongans, one Fijian and a Cook Island Maori in that side as well so an indication we have seen of the growing Maori and Pacific Island component in our main sports,” Mr Laban says.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Optimism for Kaitahu reo revival

The Ngai Tahu tribe believes that there is such a hunger among young people for te reo that within two generations Ngai Tahu will be known as a native speaker of te reo.

Speaking on the 10th anniversary of the Ngai Tahu treaty settlement Ngai Tahu chairman Mark Solomon says he increasingly goes places where young people are talking nothing but te reo.

"There is such a hunger within our young peiople for the reo that I’m absolutely convinced that within two generations a Ngai Tahu will again be known as a native speaker of te reo. Not going to be my generation, it’s going to be our kids,” Mr Solomon says.

When he retires he will go back to school to learn te reo himself.


The role of the haka in test matches may be under discussion... with British columnist Frank Keating saying the "charmless eye-rolling, tongue squirming dance" has long passed its sell-by date.

In Porirua however, the composer of the world's best known haka... Ka Mate, Ka Mate... was commemorated this weekend with the opening of a sports arena named after the Ngati Toa chief Te Rauparaha.

Willie Taurima, the recreation manager for the facility says the arena's name will have wide spin offs.

“It's the connection with the haka that gives us some international profile and certainly for Ngati Toa, we are a single iwi city, gives us a connection that is bigger than Porirua City. Why, it’s bigger than the Whittaker’s chocolate bar which comes from here,” Mr Taurima says.

Thousands went through the new facilities when the arena was opened over the weekend.


More matches... more often.... that's goal of rugby league administrators in the wake of this year's World Cup tournament.

Howie Tamati... who chairs New Zealand Maori Rugby League... says teams such as Fiji have shown that when they are allowed access to their Australian-based players they can be competitive.

He says the trick will be to get the NRL administrators to see the value in building up the strength of the international... and the indigenous... game by making the top level players available.

“Already we're talking about Papua New Guinea playing Fiji on a regular basis, Tonga Samoa on a regular basis, and it should be the New Zealand Maori rugby league regularly play the Australian indigenous side on a regular basis. We’ve got a lot of work to do with the Australian Rugby League with regard to their policy of not supporting indigenous rugby league at a senior level with NRL level quality players,” Mr Tamati says.


The new Minister for the Community and Voluntary sector Tariana Turia says she is finding an attitude of trust from National which she did not find during her time as an associate Minister within Labour.

Tariana Turia, who was an associate minister before she resigned in 2004 to set up the Maori Party, says she was unable to make real gains for Maori working under risk-averse Labour ministers.

“Well there is a lot more trust involved here. When I was in Labour I had five associate portfolios, responsible for nothing really other than policy, so didn’t really get any opportunities to make huge changes or have any real significant say in how those portfolios went because I was always subject to a principal minister,” Mrs Turia says.

She is really hoping the different attitude she is finding from National will translate into real gains for Maori.


The chairman of Ngai Tahu Mark Solomon believes the tribe's greatest success in the ten years since the settlement of treaty grievances has been the establishment of a highly successful savings scheme.

Mark Solomon says the savings scheme is an area of great success because it is changing attitudes towards saving which will stand young people in good stead for the future.

“The one area I’m extremely proud of is the Whai Rawa, the savings scheme. The ultimate purpose was to get our kids involved in savings, 50 percent of those that have joined the scheme are under 16 and they are the most regular savers. It’s awesome,” Mr Solomon says.

The scheme has 14,000 enrolled or 31 percent of the tribal population and aims to have 20,000 enrolled this year.


Maori league fans are celebrating the Kiwis world Cup winning performance... with a 34-20 victory over Australia in Brisbane on Saturday night.

Howie Tamati, a Kiwi selector, and former test player, says the Maori contribution can't be underestimated... there's coach Stephen Kearney, captain Nathan Cayless, and a large core of Maori talent... including Taranaki's Issac Luke.

“Yeah he's a character that one, a typical cheeky little hooker but he’s just one of some very strong peronalities in there. There’s Benji Marshall who’s a star in his own right, Hemi Rapira, Adam Blair, Bronson Harrison, he was fantastic, he was the 24th player basically and he’s played his way into the World Cup winning side,” Mr Tamati says.

The side is a relatively young one... the average age is 23... so the management and coaches can build on Saturday's success.

Te Tau Ihu Report gives iwi their say

The eight iwi of Te Tau Ihu are welcoming a Waitangi Tribunal report on land dealing at the top of the South Island.

Representatives from Ngati Apa, Ngati Koata, Ngati Kuia, Ngati Rarua, Ngati Tama, Ngati Toa, Te Atiawa and Rangitane received the report at Whakatu Marae in Nelson on Saturday.

Roma Hippolite, who chairs Ngati Koata, says the tribes are grateful they have finally been able to have their say.

“We believe that the tribunal has done an excellent job of trying to work through all the issues that were raised. I think all the iwi at the top of the south are pleased, but no one fully happy. I think there’s a little bit that each of us thinks is missed or has been lost, but overall it’s a good record of events that occurred,” Mr Hippolite says.

The iwi are already in direct negotiations, but there's no firm timetable for settlement given the election changes who is on the Crown's side of the table.


The largest Maori dairy farmer expects to weather a downturn in milk prices, but it may have to curtail spending.

Fonterra has announced a further cut in this year's expected pay-out to $6 a kilo of milk solids.

Paraninihi ki Waitotara Incorporation milks 7000 cows on 13 farms around Taranaki, making it one of Fonterra's biggest suppliers.

Ranald Gordon, its general manager farming, says PKW puts in new milking sheds and other infrastructure when it buys back a lease, so its 50-50 sharemilkers can be highly productive.

“PKW's pretty well structured, so when you get a low or a flat spot in payout, we just carry on and provide the necessary inputs to maintain productivity and just curtail a bit of capital expenditure,” Mr Gordon says.

The change in farm economics will affect PKW's ability to buy back leases, as the individual units must to be able to service the debt taken on to buy them.


The New Zealand Breakers are looking good to go all the way in the Australian National Basketball League... according to Maori sports commentator Te Kauhoe Wano.

The Auckland-based franchise now sit in the number one spot after winning three games on the road, the last unseating top-of-the-table Souths Dragons.

Mr Wano says winning NBL seasons will require continued strong performances by second tier players like senior Breaker point guard Paul Henare.

“He is the glue, very consistent, very rarely turns the ball over, brings the ball up strongly, feeds it off well, he’s just an awesome player as a backup when CJ needs to go off, but is he could score a few more points he would be even be better,” Mr Wano says.


Te Tu Ihu tribes are facing a leap into the unknown.

On Saturday the eight iwi at the top of the South Island received the Waitangi Tribunal's report on their historic claims.

They still have to negotiate with the Crown over compensation.

Roma Hippolite, from Ngati Koata, says they made a good start with Labour's treaty minister Michael Cullen.

“He took this portfolio by the horns, give it a good old shake, and took the response of ‘why can’t we settle?’ rather than a negative one, and it was actually refreshing to work with him. I think we will lose a lot with him not being there,” Mr Hippolite says.

The iwi are looking forward to meeting National's treaty negotiations minister, Chris Finlayson, and hope he can set a similar pace.


Paraninihi ki Waitotara Incorporation is warning it won't be rushed into buying up leases in the current economic climate.

PKW owns about 20,000 hectares through Taranaki, but 90 percent is leased out in 299 separate leases.

It milks 7000 cows on the blocks it has control of, making it one of the country's largest dairy farmers.

Farming manager Ranald Gordon says the cut in Fonterra's milk fat payout to $6 a kilogram will make it hard to pick up leases when they become available, because at current farm prices the payout won't service the loans.

“I recently spoke to a meeting of lessees and said just that. We will only pay current market value for the leasehold interests, a fair value. We will not pay in excess of current market value and we will not underpin the sales market for lessees’ interests,” Mr Gordon says.

Paraninihi ki Waitotara has a right of first refusal to buy leases at the price agreed with a third party ... but if that price is too high it won't exercise the right.


Ngati Mutunga this weekend held a celebration of the life and work of Te Rangi Hiroa, the early 20th century doctor, politician and anthropologist also known as Sir Peter Buck.

This year's theme was youth leadership, with Te Araroa-based Marcus Akuhata-Brown from Tukaha Global Consultancy sharing his vision of youth development as community development.

Organiser Ngaropi Cameron says the annual event at Urenui Marae has become a gathering point not only for Ngati Mutunga and Taranaki iwi but for Pakeha as well.

“We open it to the wider community because Te Rangi Hiroa was a man of the world be he’s also of course the first Maori doctor educated here in theis country. We use it as a catalyst to bring people back. Part of his legacy as a tupuna is to use it as a gathering point, as a reason to come together for something other than a tangi,” Mrs Cameron says.