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Friday, February 06, 2009

Key attacked at Waitangi gate

Afternoon Thursday February 5

The scuffle at the gates did not deter Prime Minister John Key from being welcomed onto Waitangi Marae today.

The incident added some drama to what has otherwise been a very relaxed and friendly build up to tomorrow's Waitangi celebration.

As he got out of his car Mr Key was attacked by two men, whjo were later arrested.

There was more jostling at the gate as veteran activist Titewhai Harawira elbowed aside Nellie Rata to overrule the traumata and assert her self-given right to hold the hand of any prime minister venturing on to the lower marae.

As the group came on, Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples was berated by Ngati Whatua kuia and Maori Party list candidate Naida Glavish for not taking the lead.

The most senior Maori in the government ended up at the far end of the speakers’ bench, while Mr Key was flanked by Mrs Harawaira and Natinal Party Maori vice president Hiku Cherrington.

Northland members John Carter and Phil Heatley, along with new MPs Paul Quinn and Sam Lotu-Liga also shared the front bench alongside Tame Iti.

But former Maori affairs minister Tau Henare ended up glowering three rows back.

Mr Key told the hui he was not a quitter, and the attack would not stop him coming back to Waitangi next year.

Ngati Kahu kaumatua Dennis Hansen said people from other tribes shouldn’t come to Waitangi to dump their rubbish, and challenged Ngapuhi to throw out what he called “yapping dogs”.


A collection of wooden waka from around the country are due to sail on Lake Rotoiti in Rotorua this Saturday.

The annual Parade of Wooden Boats will run for two days showcasing boats from the Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat Squadron as well as vessels from all over the North Island, including 60 dinghies, yachts and restored classic launches.

Alec Buchanan, one of the organisers, says two fully-manned waka from Te Arawa will lead the parade down a waterway filled with history.

“Lake Rotoiti along with the other lakes has huge history in terms of Maori and of course water was used as their means of transport,” Mr Buchanan says.


Maori entertainer Mike King says his new series, Lost in Translation, which premieres this weekend on Maori television was a journey of discovery, and the best work he's ever done.

The Waipu based broadcaster who cut his teeth as a stand up comic, says the series tracing the history of the Areaty of Waitangi took him to all parts of Aotearoa.

He says the series was a long time coming, and he never anticipated how much satisfaction he would derive from the process.

“Eight years in the formation and two years in the filming but it is finally done and a trip of discovery on two fronts. I learnt a hell of a lot about the Treaty of Waitangi and the spirit of the people of the time but a journey of self discovery, learned a bit about myself, so it was awesome, best thing I have ever done,” Mr King says.


Iwi leaders have told the prime minister they are not against further privatisation of state assets as long as Maori can get a stake.

The proposal on infrastructure investment was contained in a presentation to John Key at a closed door meeting in Waitangi today.

Iwi chairs have been meeting regularly over the pst couple of years in an attempt to develop common positions and build up their political weight.

It’s a work in progress, with post-settlement iwi like Tainui and Ngai Tahu leading the charge and others like Ngati Porou jealously guarding their mana.

The paper prepared for the meeting with John Key focused on treaty settlements, infrastructure and water.

It urged Mr Key to make good a campaign offer to move the Office of Treaty Settlements into the Prime Minister’s Department, which is seen as a better reflection of the treaty relation ship.

Iwi want a chance to invest in major infrastructure and utilities, perhaps through public private partnerships or taking a stake in state owned enterprises.

It suggested bidders for infrastructure projects should get priority if they involve iwi.

The iwi chairs also want to be involved in setting the terms of reference for stage two of the Resource Management Act review, which will include water ownership and allocation.


The Northland kaumatua credited with sparking the revival in Maori waka traditions says he was moved by the sight of the flotilla of waka gathered this morning at Waitangi.

Hekenukumai Busby has just returned for a circumnavigation of the north island aboard the ocean going double hulled waka Te Aurere.

He was on hand in the iconic Bay of Islands settlement this morning to watch the biggest contingent of waka in 20 years, including visitors from Tainui.

“It's great to have them here. They had three waka here in 1990. This time there is six. Mind you, there are lost of waka been built up here since then and we got about 20 and the water is so calm this morning and it’s just beautiful out there,” Mr Busby says.

He says for many young Maori men aboard the various waka the occasion can be a life changing experience.


Its a big weekend for Te Arawa as thousands head to Rotorua tomorrow to celebrate the area's Maori heritage.

Whakarewarewa Thermal Village is hosting Whakanuia - an events day filled with sports, Cook Island music, historic films, Pacific Island performance, kapahaka, health talks, Maori cultural workshops and crafts - including a Pasifika parade and indigenous wearable arts.

Renee Nathan, from Whakarewarewa, says celebrating the different cultures living in Rotorua is what Waitangi Day is all about.

Organisers are expecting more than 3000 people at the event which will coincide with the Raggamuffin reggae festival on Saturday.

Players and kings line up for celebration

Morning, February 5
All the main players are taking their places for tomorrow's Waitangi Day celebrations in the Bay of Islands.

The area will be a hive of activity throughout the day.

Over the past two days Ngapuhi has been welcoming manuhiri from around the motu and the Pacific, including King Tuheitia and members of the royal houses of Tonga, Rarotonga and Tahiti.

They have also called on hundreds of paddlers, who will power the largest regatta of waka in the Bay of Islands since 1990.

This morning at 10am John Key and his MPs will be welcomed on, along with the Maori Party.

Mr Key has a busy day, with a meeting with iwi chairs and with the Waitangi National Trust on his agenda.

At 2pm Phil Goff and Labour MPs will be welcomed on.

They might mingle later at the Governor General’s high teas or at the evening concert featuring Whirimako Black.


Away from Waitangi, Ngati Whatua is preparing to host one of the largest Waitangi Day celebrations tomorrow.

The Native Noise concert will be held on the hapu's land at Okahu Bay in Auckland.

Organiser Piripi Meneray says it's a chance to highlight top Maori acts like Tama Waipara and House of Shem.

“We’ve developed lifting our local talent to the highest level instead of bringing over international acts. A lot of the music that’s played in this country is far better than we get overseas, so why not showcase it,” Mr Meneray says.


The sons of reggae great Bob Marley will be welcomed to Aotearoa today by some of the same faces who welcomed their father 30 years ago.

Ziggy and Stephen Marley are heading for this weekend's Raggamuffin Music Festival in Rotorua, where they will share the stage with Eddy Grant, Shaggy, Arrested Development and Inner Circle.

Herbs founder member Dilworth Karaka says the week Bob Marley spent in Auckland in 1979 had a profound influence on New Zealand musicians, with many of them camping out at the old White Heron Lodge in Parnell, where the band was staying.

“He certainly made an impact. He welcomed us into the guys playing soccer and his teachings and things like that and by the time we got down to do the concert in Western Springs it was huge. Just a diversity of people in society. We’re certainly unified in our diversity through music, which stood out for me, the different people in society who were there for the concert,” Karaka says.

The Marley brothers will be welcomed today at Auckland Museum by Ngati Whatua.


The Bay of Islands is filling up as people make their way north for the annual treaty commemorations.

There is a sense of history for what is expected to be a trouble free celebration compared with recent years.

Waitangi Day tomorrow will mark the birth of the nation, but turn a corner at Waitangi and there is history.

On the paepae speakers are recalling old prophesies and drawing links between tribes.

They are also waiting to see what history John Key will make, on his first visit to Waitangi as Prime Minister.

There is history too for Phil Goff, whose welcome this afternoon will be the first time in five years a Labour Party leader has come onto the lower marae.

Under the trees, old radicals like Dun Mihaka and Grant Hawke swap stories of the early protest years.

And everywhere you look are kai hoe, paddlers maintaining the ancient waka traditions.


A highly anticipated film from one of New Zealand’s best loved movie makers has been picked up by an Australian film acquisitions and distribution company.

Transmission Films has bought New Zealand rights to The Volcano (aka Tama), the second feature film from Taika Waititi which was inspired by his award-winning short film, Two Cars One Night, and is being produced by Cliff Curtis and Ainsley Gardiner.

Ms Gardiner says having the film made on home territory was especially important for the team.

“With his last film, it happened to go and be brought by the Americans before anyone had even seen it and so it sort of changes things around but for us as filmmakers the most important place for the film to be seen and well received is in New Zealand, because that’s the main thing. We want it to be successful and for people to see it again and again as they did with Two Cars One Night,” Gardiner says.

The Volcano starts shooting in March and will be released in New Zealand next year.


One of the organisers of this weekend's fifth Kawhia Kai Festival says traditional Maori food is not all about the taste.

He says foodies want to taste delicacies such as kaanga piro - rotten corn, fried bread and mussel chowder, and they also want to hear the stories that go with the food.

“It's about matauranga, that knowledge our old people had on what time to go out and get the kai so we’ve got dried shark hanging at the back oif the marae and we’ve got koki, the stomach lining on the line at the back of the marae as well so it’s a combination of some of the contemporary stuff mixed up with the old, but the traditions are there on how to prepare it, so it’s going to be great,” Mr Whiu says.

The whole community around the Waikato settlement has been collecting ingredients to feed the thousands of people expected on Saturday.

Drama on Waitangi marae

The Maori King has been welcomed onto Waitangi marae.

In the blazing sunshine of the Bay of Islands, the manuhiri were thankful for the newly-erected shelters covering the paepae.

King Tuheitia arrived with a large group of elders and an equally large group of kai hoe there to paddle the six waka taua Tainui has brought up from Ngaruawahia.

Ngapuhi too had a large contingent of paddlers to back its speakers.

The return of the Kingitanga to the Bay of Islands is a sign some of the political heat of part Waitangi commemorations may have gone out of the even … for now.

There are debates going on in the background though – the flag flying above the marae as a symbol of the rangatiratanga of the north is the 1835 Confederation flag, not the one designed in the 1990s by Kawariki protesters.


Maori are welcoming the latest district health board research funding round which sees $330,000 going to Maori focused initiatives from $1.6 million dished out.

The Maori projects are all diabetes related. They include funding for research into self-management education, reducing the impact of related foot disease and a Diabetes Retinal Screening System.

Aroha Haggie from the Health Research Council says it's the diversity of the diabetes research that's exciting.

She says the research will be beneficial if Maori are involved in the design, and execution of research, as well as being participants and users.


A Maori human rights lawyer says Maori will be most affected by an expected 44 percent drop in Community Law centre funding in the coming year.

However Moana Jackson says although the government has told those managing community law centers to expect the cut it has an out because it doesn't actually fund the centres - lawyers do through their fidelity fund.

“The few remaining Maori law centers are as usual most affected by those restrictive practices and the move now is to restrict them even more,” Mr Jackson says.

The Legal Services Agency which funds the centers has been imposing really tight restrictions on funding for a number of years.


The royal houses of Polynesia have gathered in Waitangi to celebrate New Zealand's national day.

The presence of King Tuheitia at Waitangi for the first time since he took the throne has drawn other ariki families from round the Pacific.

King Tuheitia came on to Te Tii Marae with crown princess Salope Pitolevu Tuita from Tonga, along with iwi chairs who are holding their own hui at Waitangi tomorrow.

The Tongans brought with them traditional gifts of fine mats.

Already on the home paepae, hving come in earlier, were members of the Tahitian and Rarotongan royal families.

So much blue blood proved disconcerting for some on the Ngapuhi paepae, which is known for its red-blooded lack of hierarchy – Ngapuhi kohao rau, or Ngapuhi of a hundred holes.

This was evident when Ngapuhi Runanga member Hone Sadler tried to cut off Muriwhenua chairman Rima Edwards from speaking.

Mr Edwards persisted, setting the record straight on a 160-year old exchange between Ngapuhi prophet Aperahama Taonui and King Tuheitia’s ancestor Tawhiao.


While a contingent of Tainui, including the Kingitanga, celebrates Waitangi Day in the north, there are plenty left in Hamilton to commemorate the national day.

Te Hauwhenua Kirkwood, from Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa, says organisers behind the regions seventh Waitangi day event are excited about Friday's lineup at Innes Common near the Hamilton Lake.

He says although its commonly thought of as a Maori holiday, there has been a lot of interest from non-Maori.

“I would like encourage all New Zealanders, and especially our Pakeha friends to come down to Waitangi Day here at Hamilton lake and participate in being together as one people celebrating who we are, where we come from and where we are going,” Mr Kirkwood says.


A Nelson couple's commitment to recording the Maori history of that region has been rewarded with a research fellowship from Victoria University.

John Mitchell, from Ngati Tama and Te Atiawa, and his wife Hilary have spent over twenty years compiling series of books on Maori in Nelson and Marlborough, and have been given funding by the University's Stout Research Centre to complete volume four - Nga Rangatira o Te Tau Ihu: The Chiefs of Nelson-Marlborough.

Dr Mitchell says their books were initially triggered by kaumatua wanting a generic history written to underpin Waitangi Tribunal claims in the late 80's.

“A lot of this material wasn’t really relevant to treaty issues but now it’s come into its won with all the additional stuff we’ve gathered up so suddenly you’ve got enough for a book and then another book,” he says.

The Mitchells also received a grant from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage to help with the completion of the third volume in the series.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

RMA Act reform leaves Maori unprotected

A reform of the Resource Management Act has been called a missed opportunity to strengthen Maori protections.

The Government says it dropped plans to remove the Treaty of Waitangi clause from Act because the Maori Party opposed the change and a Technical Advisory Group said the clause had little effect in the courts.

Lawyer Grant Powell, who has considerable experience with the Act, says the reform will do nothing to fix problems Maori have encountered.

“Hapu and iwi around the country have had bad experiences with the administration of the RMA both through councils and the inconsistencies of the RMA through the Environment Court and it’s very expensive, very time consuming and although there are the so called Maori protection provisions in the RMA, it gives little or no priority to Maori interests,” Mr Powell says.

As long ago as 1992 the Waitangi Tribunal found the Resource Management Act was fatally flawed because it only required consent authorities to take into account the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.


Language research is strengthening evidence that Maori and other Pacific Island populations originated in Taiwan.

Auckland University psychology professor Russell Gray says 400 Austronesian languages have been analysed for clues on how and when the far-flung islands were settled.

“We looked at words that are used most often in these languages, kinship terms, mother, father, words for parts of the body and numerals. A really quick way if people want to check if a language is Austronesian is ask someone from another language or culture to count to five and the similarities say to Maori are really striking,” Professor Gray says.

The invention of the outrigger canoe allowed the Austronesians spread from Taiwan to the Philippines about 5000 years ago, and then out into the Pacific in a series of pulses, each spanning about 1000 years.


Waitangi is filling up as people gather for what could be one of the biggest treaty commemorations in recent years.

Te Tii Marae chairman Kingi Taurua says the lower marae is filling up fast, and organisers are opening up other marae in the region to house the overflow.

Numbers will be further boosted by the arrival this afternoon of the maori King and 1500 supporters, including paddlers for the six Tainui waka which will join 10 other canoes on the Bay of Islands.

Treaty historian Paul Moon the change of government means there is little appetite for conflict this year as people look to the new National-Maori Party coalition.

Organisers are expecting up to 60 thousand people in the Bay of Islands over the rest of the week for Treaty of Waitangi commemorations.

Marae in the area are bulging at the seams housing the manuhiri, including hundres of kai hoe who will be powering the largest fleet of waka seen on the bay since 1990.

Police iwi liaison officer Willie More says free shuttles and secure car parking will be used to encourage people not to bring their cars into the tiny settlement.

He says the arrival today of a large contingent of Tainui people supporting King Tuheitia will put a different complexion on the event.

Mr More says an alcohol and drug-free policy will be enforced on the Treaty Grounds.


New research has identified a much higher risk of diabetes among Maori women than previously suspected.

The three-year Te Wai O Rona: Diabetes Prevention Strategy tested more than 4000 older Maori from the Waikato and Lakes areas, and found one in 10 women aged between 28 and 40 had problems processing glucose.

That's a pointer to diabetes, and Diabetes New Zealand president Mike Smith says it can lead to problems with overweight babies.

He says a lot of women at that age want to have babies, but pregnancy can bring on diabetes.

Diabetes New Zealand has been telling the Government it's time to take notice of the problem.


A leading environment lawyer says the treaty protections in the Resource Management Act are being left in place because they have proved to be ineffective.

The Government has reversed an election promise to repeal section 8 as part of its overhaul of the RMA unveiled yesterday, because of objections from the Maori Party.

But Grant Powell says the Maori Party should have been pushing for more protections for Maori, rather than defending something that doesn't work.

“As long ago as 1992 the Waitangi Tribunal found the Resource Management Act was fatally flawed as the result of the wording of section 8. There was only a requirement to take into account the principles of the Treaty, and I’ve argued in the Waitangi Tribunal many times that it’s an ongoing treaty breach that the Crown hasn’t implemented the findings of the Ngawha Tribunal,” Mr Powell says.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ngati Porou deal deadline extended

The Crown and Ngati Porou have agreed to delay for three months the implementation of the East Coast iwi's foreshore and seabed deed of agreement.

Affadavits supporting the territorial customary rights of the various Ngati Porou were due to be filed with the High Court by the end of last week.

Lawyer Matanuku Mahuika says the delay allows the hapu to consider how the promised review of the Foreshore and Seabed Act might affect the settlement.

“We want it to be implemented according t its terms and if the current Government can convince us that there is some benefit from the review, we will look at that too. We’d be foolish not to but it’s a difficult political issue and we’d can’t assume that there would be any benefit coming from a review of that act,” Mr Mahuika says

Ngati Porou also needs to take into account the proposed changes to the Resource management Act, which were announced today.


Diabetes New Zealand says action needs to be taken on a new study showing one in five Maori may have the disease or be at risk of getting it.

President Mike Smith says the research from Te Wai O Rona: Diabetes Prevention Strategy showed it is a disease of the poor.

The three year study tested more than 4000 Maori aged 28 and older from the Waikato and Lakes areas.

Mr Smith says it overturned some previous assumptions, especially a finding that one in 10 Maori women have problems processing glucose.

“We really have always had a belief it was the males who were at greater risk in that age group so that was one part of the study it was interesting to see that was the actual reality,” Mr

Mike Smith says strategies like Ngati and Healthy, a joint venture between Ngati Porou and the Edgar National Centre for Diabetes Research needs to be implemented into other parts of the country.


One way bridges, free minibus shuttles, secure car parking and ferry services will be used to improve access to the Treaty Grounds in Waitangi this year.

Police iwi liaison officer Willie More says up to 60,000 people are expected in the Bay of Islands.

Apart from the usual treaty commemorations, the large waka fleet is expected to draw larger than usual crowds.

He says people don't need to bring their cars all the way.

“What we're trying to do is get people to use those parking areas at Haruru Falls and we’ve got three or four shuttle buses. There will be security there,. Just trying to minimise the amount of traffic going over to the Treaty Grounds on the day itself,” Mr More says.

Crowds have already started to build up in Waitangi and the numbers are expected to swell in excess of 60 000.


A threat to remove the Treaty of Waitangi clause from the Resource Management Act has been dropped.

Releasing its rewrite of the RMA today, the Government said the Maori Party strongly opposed any change to that part of the Act, and the Technical Advisory Group advised that it's no longer a significant issue in practice.

Lawyer Kapua says it's positive the Government isn't throwing out the advances made by Maori in that area over the two decades the Act has been in place.

But she says Maori are still being identified as an obstacle to development, with one of the examples cited in support of the reforms being the Whangamata marina case she worked on.

“Whangamata marina took 13 years because the councils and the applicant didn’t get it right. It had nothing to do with iwi. And it’s interesting there is a perception out there and unfortunately iwi have had to struggle with that perception because it’s not right. A lot of it does stem from the way the process is followed through by councils,” Ms Kapua says.

Many of the proposed changes are already doable under the existing Act, and the most likely effect of the reforms will be to make harder for Maori communities to oppose major developments.


Organisers of the treaty commemorations at Waitangi aren't expecting the highly charged atmosphere of previous years.

Up to 1500 supporters of the Kingitanga are expected to arrive tomorrow, accompanying King Tuheitia on his first voyage to the event since taking over the job.

Pita Paraone says the plan is for the usual mix of entertainment, culture and debate.

A highlight will be a 16-strong waka fleet, including six coming up today from Tainui.


When Waitangi events are over this weekend, Ngapuhi people will be remembering an early champion of the Treaty of Waitangi.

A ceremony at Aperehama Church on Sunday will mark 100 years since the death of Hone Heke Ngapua.

Ngapua was the grand-nephew of Hone Heke Pokai, the Ngapuhi leader best known for chopping down the British flagpole at Kororareka in 1845.

His biographer, Paul Moon, says he was elected MP for Northern Maori in 1893 after a series of rousing speeches on kotahitanga, and he tried to introduce legislation creating a constitution for Maori, implementation of the Treaty of Waitangi, and a separate Maori Parliament.

“He’s almost invisible. During his lifetime though he was the most well known Maori in the country and just over 100 years ago his reputation was unequalled and there probably hasn’t been a single person who has that much support from iwi all over the country," Dr Moon says.

Precedent set for birding rights strips

Up to 100 Ngai Tahu families could be stripped of their mutton birding rights as descendants of a small group of rangatira use the courts to bar access to a group of southern islands.

The group, led by Lowana Clearwater, says only direct descendants of the 15 rangatira named in the 1864 Rakiura Deed of Cession should be allowed to collect mutton birds from 18 islands excluded from the sale of Stewart Island.

Mrs Clearwater successfully challenged a succession which would have confirmed the right of Invercargill man Tommy Ashwell continue birding on Taukihepa, where he has built a house.

Mr Ashwell says the precedent will be used against other families whose rights stem from Maori Land Court decisions early last century.

“They've got me off and that’s the precedent and now they’re going to try to get the other 100 families off. That’s what’s going around you know,” Mr Ashwell says.

He says the 15 rangatira signed on behalf of the whole tribe, not to claim rights only for their own children and grandchildren.

Lowana Clearwater refused to comment.


A member of the Hui Taumata task force says Maori trusts and Maori entrepreneurs need to start working together.

Mavis Mullins is a director of Hawkes Bay shearing contractors Paewai Mullins, as well as chairing Te Huarahi Tika Trust, which is working to create a third mobile phone network using spectrum set aside for Maori.

She says last week's Maori jobs summit identified opportunities for Maori to use their assets to stimulate economic activity during the current recession.

But that means changing the way people work.

“You know we have entrepreneurs who have got the great ideas and the energy, and then we have some of our primary sector guys and iwi tribal assets who are pretty well cashed up, and somehow we have got to get those linkages working better,” Mrs Mullins says.

Maori are likely to again be hit hard by the recession as they were in the late 1980s, but because they know it's coming they might be able to soften its effects.


Protest leader turned politician Hone Harawira says this week he'll be celebrating the fact Waitangi Day isn't just another holiday.

The Tai Tokerau MP says that's because of the years in which the annual treaty commemoration in the Bay of Islands was turned into a platform for Maori grievances to be aired.

He's still not comfortable with the idea of the national day being a celebration.

“Well it's kind of difficult to celebrate being second class citizens in your own land where you die more that everybody else, you get a worse education than everybody else, you are the last ones hired and the first ones fired when it comes to jobs, all that sort of carry on,” Mr Harawira says.

At Te Tii Marae in Waitangi today, Ngapuhi will hold its annual kawe mate or memory of those who have died during the year.

Later in the afternoon they will welcome the leading woman in the Rarotongan royal line, the Pa Ariki.


Te Wananga o Aotearoa has taken over the Papatoa forestry training course from Tairawhiti Polytechnic.

It marks a return to trade training, which the wananga was forced out of while it was under Crown management.

Chief executive Bentham Ohia says the certificate in cable logging will be offered to about 450 students at 18 campuses around the country.

He says the wananga was asked to take over the programme by the Tertiary Education Commission and Tairawhiti Polytechnic, which wanted to concentrate its resources on serving the East Coast region.

“The actual Papatoa programme comes with 10 years of experience under great leadership and the opportunity was to bring that leadership and experience together with the wananga’s infrastructure and its kaupapa to looking at ways to maintain, enhance and advance Papatoa as a programme moving forward,” Mr Ohia says.

Te Wananga o Aotearoa has approval from the Tertiary Education Commission to increase student numbers this year by 1500 to 21,000.


The new producer of Te Karere says he wouldn't have taken on the mahi if TVNZ wasn't totally committed to the Maori news programme.

Yesterday Te Karere celebrated 25 years since its first two and a half minute broadcast.

Shane Taurima says the show's new set, music and graphics makes it more in line with the state broadcaster's other news and current affairs shows.

“There's a huge commitment to the show. Te Karere is now very much integrated with the general newsroom if you like with all the other news programmes and that’s a big priority for me, but also keeping the authenticity that’s been worked on and created over the past 25 years,” he says.

Mr Taurima, stepping off the screen to produce Te Karere after several years fronting Sunday current affairs show Marae.


The man behind a Waitangi Tribunal claim over the loss of Maori traditional games says New Zealand sports administrators are missing an opportunity to get Maori children excited about sport.

Harko Brown, who now teaches at Moerewa Primary after many years at Kerikeri High School, says only a few of the 100 traditional games recorded by anthropologist Elsdon Best remain.

He says one of those games, a contact sport called kiorahi, has been picked up by American schools ... but ignored here.

“Their curriculum directive came over in early 2005. They heard about kiorahi and the benefits you have to physical health and activity. Six months later they had it introduced into 31,000 schools. That’s 7 million primary school children who are into kiorahi within six months,” he says.

As well as his Waitangi Tribunal claim, Harko Brown is doing a masters thesis on inhibitors to Maori sports in education.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Te Karere unveils new look at 25

Television New Zealand's flagship Maori news programme Te Karere celebrates its 25th birthday today, with plans to reach a broader audience in the years ahead.

Marae presenter Shane Taurima has taken over production, and says the programme has come a long way since the first two and a half minute broadcast as part of Maori language week in 1982.

A new half hour format was launched this afternoon, and Mr Taurima says live subtitles are now under active consideration.

“We will get to a stage where we will get those subtitles, but it will be an option. For example 6 O’clock News now, if you have got Teletext you can dial a number into your remote and up pop the subtitles. Something along those lines, we’re definitely considering at the moment,” Mr Taurima says.

The nightly news service exists both to tell news from a Maori perspective and to promote te reo Maori.


In Invercargill man is fighting a bid by a faction in Ngai Tahu to strip him of his mutton birding rights.

Tommy Ashwell, has been birding on Taukihepa for more than 30 years, and built a house there for use in the season.

But Invercargill woman Lowana Clearwater challenged his rights are part of a campaign to restrict the island to direct descendants of the 15 descendants named in the 1864 Rakiura Deed of Cession.

Mr Ashwell says Mrs Clearwater's campaign is an abuse of tikanga.

“The chiefs would have signed but it wouldn’t have just been for their sons and daughters and grandsons. It would have been for the tribe. But that’s not the way they look at it. You’ve got to descend from one of those 15 chiefs,” Mr Ashwell says.

He was related to one of the 15 rangatira, Mary Newton, but a Maori Land Court mix-up traced his descent to another woman with the same name who did not have birding rights.

Lowana Clearwater refused to comment.

A hui will be held in Invercargill next week to discuss the rights.


It's all action at Te Tii Marae this week as tribes prepare for this week's Waitangi celebrations.

A forward party from Tainui arrived today to put up tents for Wednesday's powhiri for King Tuheitia and a fleet of Waikato waka.

Marae chairperson Kingi Taurua says the Ngapuhi haka group has been polishing its moves, ready for the arrival of the Maori king and the Rarotongan queen who is expected tomorrow.

The first order of business tomorrow is the traditional kawe mate, when Ngapuhi will remember those who have died during the year.


Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says gangs are making no attempt to respect tikanga Maori.

Mr Flavell is calling for gang members to be denied tangi on marae, after Mongrel Mob members allegedly ran down a Murupara teenager in retribution for a fight during a gangster's tangi.

The boy, 16-year-old Jordan Herewini, was not a gang member, but his school T-shirt was yellow, a colour associated with town's Tribesmen gang.

Mr Flavell says the gang members couldn't even behave themselves at the boy's tangi.

“We come out and buried this young boy on Saturday, came back to the marae and had a hakari, everybody in the community, some gang members from the Tribesmen who were there, hullo, go out to the carpark, here were the fellows dakking up, and blowing through pipes in the carpark. I couldn’t believe it. All very well to say ‘I respect the marae,’ but when you get down to the nitty gritty, we’ve got to face some serious issues here,” Mr Flavell says.

His calls for a debate on the issue are attracting widespread support.


Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira wants to see protest at Waitangi, even thought his Maori Party supports the government which will be protested against.

Before entering Parliament, Mr Harawira was one of the leaders of Te Kawariki, which maintained the Waitangi protest tradition started in the 1970s by Nga Tamatoa.

He says by bringing issues to the fore, protesters can give the Maori Party ammunition to push for change from inside the system.

“I value protest and protest doesn’t die because Hone Harawira’s in the House. Protest dies when we get too bloody lazy, so I hope there’s going to be more,” Mr Harawira.

Advance crews from Ngapuhi and Tainui were today preparing Te Tii Marae for the week's events, which start tomorrow with a Ngapuhi kawe mate or remembrance of the dead.


Breastscreening Aotearoa's Waitemata and Northland branches and West Fono are dressing up for breast and cervical screening awareness.

They are planning a fashion show in August featuring Maori and Pacific designers.

Organiser Nelda Taurua says as well as ordinary women from within the community, the models will include cervical and breast cancer survivors.

She says the women want to show their commitment to others in the community.

“Part of this is celebrating that we are women and together as wahine we can support each other like we did in the old days when we lived in communities,” Ms Tauroa says.

The hunt is now on for Maori and Pacific designers who want to be part of the event.

Time to tackle gang issues

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says it time for Maori to come up with the answers to address gang related murders and crimes of violence.

Dr Sharples has come out in support of fellow Maori party MP Te Ururoa Flavell's call for a Maori system of justice following the killing of Murupara teenager Jordon Herewini last week when he was innocently caught up in warfare between the Tribesmen and Mongrel Mob gangs.

He also supports Te Ururoa Flavell's call for discussion across Maoridom as to whether gang members who commit crimes of violence should not be given a marae tangi.

This is in contrast to views expressed by some Murupara locals.

“Now a lady spoke up and said ‘The Tribesmen have been part of Murupara for years, they are our mokopuna and nephews.’ Exactly. That’s half the problem. They are our mokopuna, and we are powerless to stop them from fighting so what is the price? Just tolerate them and let them kill us off one by one and that kind of thing? Or do we make a stand. I think that’s what Te Ururoa’s really searching, asking our people to come up with the answers, and it is time now, it is really time,” Dr Sharples says

Murupara residents believe 16-year-old Jordan Herewini was hunted tracked down and run over because he was wearing a school shirt reflecting gang colours.


Labour is calling a government commitment to provide an extra $13 million a year to community health organisations to kick start the devolution of primary health care as a pittance which will do little to help Maori and other needy groups.

Annette King who was Minister of Health in the last government says the $13 million extra for primary health which was signalled as National policy and Health Minister Tony Ryall has confirmed will be allocated in the next budget is insignificant.

“The money that’s gone into primary health, even when I was minister, is over $1 billion. That was through your primary health organisations, really well operating organisations, a lot of them were Maori, Pacific, our low income ones, have really benefited from the primary health strategy we put in place as government and the funding we put behind it and the devolution to primary heath organisations. The National Party said at the time it was race based funding,” Ms King says.

Maori health providers have been stars in the primary health strategy being prepared to get stuck in and help people before they have to go to hospital.


The chairman of Maori rugby league says the priority for administrators is to ensure Maori have regular competition against Pacific rim teams, to enhance prospects of the inclusion of a Maori squad at the next World Cup in five years.

Howie Tamati says a strategic planning hui held in Auckland over the weekend recognised the importance of regular fixtures against the Australian indigenous squad, and Pacific teams who unlike Maori, have participatory rights in World Cup competitions.

That will build on momentum created by the Maori squad’s first ever match against an Aboriginal team, in the build up to last year’s World Cup.

“If we can play the Pacific nations, the nations that made up the numbers in the World Cup, and we’re successful in playing them, putting up a good brand of rugby league but also providing another pathway for New Zealand rugby league in terms of selections for players looking for league and also Maori rugby league,” Mr Tamati says.


An expert on gangs believes there is an opportunity to end gangism in New Zealand but it won’t be achieved by the kind of exclusion being suggested by Te Ururoa Flavell.

The Maori party MP is calling for discussion on whether Maori who commit crimes of violence should be barred from marae tangi.

Denis O'Reilly, who is a life member of Black Power and who has been working with a number of gangs to address conflicts, says a dialogue about gangs is long overdue but heading down the exclusion path will not work.

He says every Maori gang member has a whakapapa and he sees the answer in hapu accepting gang members and gang members putting hapu first.

“I think that people would like to come home and there is an opportunity to end gangism as we know it and we need leadership from our tribal leaders, from our politicians and from our gang leaders to achieve that. It won’t be achieved by exclusion. It won’t be achieved by further alienating people and saying ‘you’re no longer part of us,’” Mr O'Reilly says.

He can understand Te Ururoa Flavell’s feeling of hurt and concern but exclusion hasn't worked in the past and won’t work now.


Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples believes he is going to have to toughen up in facing the inevitable criticism of being a government minister.

The Maori party co-leader says he is not reacting well to the criticism which comes with representing both Maori and the Crown.

“I do hurt but it’s not really about me but it’s really hard being in that position when you’re really trying to do something and someone sees it as so negative and without even giving it a chance or is on the other side or are saying how dare you tramp on my mana and stuff like this when I’m more of a referee than the one doing the trampling, but I accept that’s part of the job and I just have to toughen up,” Dr Sharples says.


Waipareira Trust head John Tamihere leaves for Washington today, for a conference involving delegates from 165 countries who will discuss how to improve the delivery of core health and education services.

The politician turned broadcaster says it is one of many conferences in the United States capital after a change in leadership, as tens of thousands of bureaucrats change roles.

He’s particularly looking forward to the presidential prayer breakfast hosted by Barack Obama, and the chance to network with delegates with strategies applicable to the New Zealand context.

“It’s a marvelous opportunity to understand how power is developed and implemented in the States. They do some things very well. They do some things very bad. It’s a matter of picking up what’s good to be applied back home, networking and getting back and doing the business,” Mr Tamihere says.