Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Iti letting law take its course

Tuhoe artist and activist Tame Iti says he still believes in the rule of law, despite his current legal difficulties.

Lawyers for Iti and 17 others were in the High Court at Auckland today arguing over the venue for their trial on firearms and criminal conspiracy charges in connection with alleged gatherings in Te Urewera two years ago.

The lawyers' submissions. along with evidence put before the pre-trial hearing, remains suppressed.

Iti says he has to wait for everything to unfold.

“I'm always a great believer in the rule of law and let the law deal with it, ma te ture ano te ture ae ake, so I leave it to the capable people who are dealing with those professionally and always remain to be innocent of these matters and these matters are being dealt with in a court of law and maybe in time to come we can talk about the real story,” he says.

Iti says there are fights on three fronts: the charges faced by 18 individuals, the legal action the Ruatoki community is taking over the police raid in October 2007, and the talks Tuhoe leaders are having with police over their relationship.

The judge will release her decision on a trial venue on Friday.


The Waihopai Runaka is looking closely at Meridian Energy's plans for a wind farm near Bluff.

Kaiwhakahaere Michael Skerritt says the company has a resource consent to put a wind monitoring mast on Flat Hill, which is historically significant to Murihiku Maori.

Data from the mast could determine whether the project goes ahead.
Mr Skerrit says the runaka will be using the time to assess the project's possible effect on waahi tapu.

He says any proposal will involve extensive consultation with local people.


Rangatahi from 30 Waikato high schools will this week learn the risks and deeper meaning of ta moko.

The schools have been invited to a special session tomorrow of a tattooing symposium which is running all week at Te Wananga O Aotearoa's Te Rapa campus.

Brad Totorewa, the wananga's regional manager, says practioners like Richard Francis, Pat Takoko and Rania Takiaria will share their knowledge and experience.

“They give advice on design, on application, on the hyealth issues, genealogy, design like this is a Tainui design, this is a Ngati Porou design, this is whakapapa, this is how it links to you, these are the different types of tohu, so it’s an educational forum for our rangatahi,” he says.

Mr Totorewa says young people are fascinated by ta moko, so they need to be well informed before they make the decision to mark their bodies.


Maori Television's original chairperson says the future could lie in thinking small.

The channel is celebrating its fifth birthday this evening with a presentation at Parliament's grand hall.

Veteran broadcaster Derek Fox says during his time in charge he considered the possibility of using the low power UHF frequencies allocated to MTS for youth-oriented city channels or for iwi-run channels.

He says cheaper equipment and digital technology has opened up new possibilities, including his dream of treating every marae as a studio.

“There's no reason why you have to stick up a whole pile of buildings round the place. You can actually get what in effect is like a van with some gear in it, your recording equipment and cameras, and you can go to all of these places. You can record programmes. You can put a stick up and bounce them off the satellite back into MTS or back into a main studio. All these things are possible,” Mr Fox says.

A Business and Economic Research study of Maori Television has found it is creating up to 600 full time jobs directly or through independent production companies, and its total economic impact has risen from $25 million in 2004 to $41 million last year.


South Auckland Maori health providers are using a programme developed for Aboriginals in Australia's Northern Territory to address issues in their rohe.

Bernard Te Paa from Counties Manukau DHB by using local providers returns power to communities and leads to a greater success rate.

He says under Mental Health First Aid, providers are now training Maori to assess mental illness and assist in treatment.

“Our target in the first year is 240 Maori people either in the community or as part of community organisations, get them trained up to provide some assessment skills but also some brief or early intervention skills as well,” Mr Te Paa says.

Initial providers are Manurewa marae, Turuki Health Care, Mahi Tahi and Raukura Hauora o Tainui.


The whanau of one of New Zealand's best loved poets is fighting to save the house where he lived during his final years.

Hone Tuwhare's family wants to turn the house at Kaka Point, an hour south of Dunedin, into a writer's retreat.

Son Rob Tuwhare says that will take funding, but so far there has no help from arts organisations or government ministers.

“It's a beautiful place. It’s a really inspiring place to be down there at Kaka Point. His house is just across the road from the beach and it’s just stunning looking out into the Southern Ocean, and he loved it there, he loved sitting writing and he was able to have his privacy and wonderful people down there in the South Island who looked after him and helped him continue living there for so long,” Mr Tuwhare says.

The house is likely to be sold if funding can't be found.

Hone Tuwhare died in January last year.


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