Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, May 22, 2009

Key holds out city compromise hope

The Prime Minister says while there may be no room for Maori on the main Auckland super city council, there could be opportunities at lower level.

John Key says the plan for the city are not locked in stone and his officials are still considering proposals from Ngati Whatua and Tainui.

But he says the government has made it clear it wants a unitary body to run the whole city.

“That's one body that can rate and provide roading and water and planning and the likes and look after regional amenities but beyond that the second tier and the make up of those councilors whether they come at large or words or whether there is Maori representation or whatever, all of these things are for debate and input through the select committee process as well,” Mr Key says.

He's not sure one or two seats on the main council would be the strong voice Maori are looking for.


Meanwhile, Ngati Whatua is concerned the new Auckland super city could undermine long-fought for arrangements it has made with Auckland City Council.

Chair Grant Hawke says there has been no discussion with Government on how the hapu fits in with the super city.

He says it took more than a decade for Ngati Whatua and the council to come up with a management plan for hapu open space on Bastion Point and Okahu Bay, but the joint committee is now running well.

“We don't want this council to go in roughshod over things that have been established though a treaty claim and question its validity. Comanagement is what we a looking at, like we do Bastion Point, what we call the whenua rangatiratanga, and there are other lands we get back we cannot develop,” Mr Hawke says.

Monday's super city hikoi from Bastion Point will have special resonance because of the hapu's battles for a fair deal since the city was founded on its land.


Taheke Marae near Rotoiti will hold its first poukai tomorrow, a gathering which is of double significance for Ngati Pikiao.

The newest event on the Kingitanga calendar marks the coronation day of the later Maori queen, Te Atarangikaahu.

Kaumatua Te Poroa Malcolm says it also celebrates the links between Ngati Pikiao and the kaahui ariki, the royal family.

The Kingitanga's uretarewa or male lineage comes from the marriage between Pikiao and Waikato tupuna Rereao, whose son was Hekemaru.

“From Hekemaru, the some of Pikiao and Rereao, we have the king dynasty – Potatau Te Wherowhero and Mahuta and Te Rata and so on, and that is our connection,” Mr Malcolm says.

Ngati Pikiao is excited about the first visit of King Tuheitia to the marae.


Families Commissioner Kim Workman says public service organisations need to listen more to the whanau they are supposed to serve.

The commission is in the spotlight because of the appointment of former Work and Income head Christine Rankin, whose public statements on Maori parenting standards have many Maori concerned about her impact on the organisation.

But Mr Workman says Maori can expect problems getting their views heard in all public sector bodies dominated by non-Maori.

“The challenge of actually engaging with Maori is something people are apprehensive about. They lack the confidence to do that well and often the messages that come from whanau are missed,” Mr Workman says.

Whanau have a lot more to offer in policy discussions than they are credited with.


The co-ordinator of the West Auckland leg of Monday's super-city hikoi says indigenous people throughout the world are watching to see if Auckland has matured enough to consider the needs of its first nation's people.

The hikoi, which ends with a march up Queen St, aims to force the Government to reconsider its decision to ignore the royal commission's recommendation Maori be given dedicated representation in the city's governance.

Helen Te Hira says what's been offered so far is more of the lack of consideration Maori are used to.

“This sets us up not as a country, when it had the opportunity reverted back to last millennium’s way of dealing with indigenous people, this would set us up as a place that has matured, a city that has matured a city that acknowledged its roots and was going forward taking everyone on board and not leaving out tangata whenua,” Ms Te Hira says.

The western leg of the hikoi sets off from Te Piringatahi Marae in West harbour, just before 8 on Monday morning.


Expect some Maori flavourings to come to your butcher's cabinet soon.

Chef Charles Royal, an authority on traditional Maori kai, has teamed up with butcher's supplier and spice merchant D M Dunningham to offer a new range of meat patties.

He says his kinaki native herb meat patties are the result of years of experimenting with traditional Maori flavours, and should tickle the taste buds of Maori and non Maori alike.

“Varieties like pork pikopiko pumpkin, pork pineapple and piripiri, chicken beef and horopito, chicken pipiri, so we’ve got about 10 different flavours and we’ve got a sausage project coming up,” Mr Royal says.

Charles Royal says for chefs who want to try something different, there is plenty of pikopiko and harore or maori mushrooms in the bush at the moment as we head into matariki, the Maori new year.


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