Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, May 22, 2009

Auckland test for kawanatanga

Maori Party president Whatarangi Winiata says the Auckland super city is a golden opportunity for the Government to show how the Crown and Maori can work together.

Professor Winiata says the Treaty of Waitangi set up tension between the authority of the government, or kawanatanga, and Maori control of their own affairs.

The term used for this, tino rangatiratanga, had not appeared previously, and indicates the concern felt by the ancestors that their authority needed to be protected.

“When tino rangatiratanga and kawanatanga or governorship want to occupy the same space like in the case of foreshore and seabed, like in this representation on the super duper Auckland council, there is natural tension absolutely predictable, and this is an opportunity for this government to say this is how we will address this tension,” Professor Winiata says.

The Maori Party is continuing to work with the Government to find a space for Maori in the governance of Auckland.


Ngati Pikiao has joined the hikoi circuit.

The traditional Kingitanga hui are a regular feature of life on Tainui marae, but it's the first time the Te Arawa-affiliated iwi has hosted the Maori king for the day of mourning the dead, talking on issues of the day and feasting.

Kaumatua Te Poroa Malcolm says his iwi is proud of its connection to the kingitanga through Pikiao, from whose union with Waikato woman Rereiao sprang Hekemaru, the ancestor of the first Maori king, Potatau te Wherowhero.

He says tomorrow will be a big day for Taheke Marae near Rotoiti.

The day was chosen because it was the date of the coronation of the late queen, Te Atairangikaahu.


New Zealand Sevens rep turned television presenter Karl Te Nana says Maori rugby lovers are spoilt for choice when in comes to open side flanker play in tonight's super 14 semi final in Hamilton.

The battle between the Chiefs' Tanirau Latimer and Scott Waldrom from the Hurricanes should be one of the intriguing aspects of the clash.

Te Nana says they're both in top form and have benefited from their start as Sevens players and their recent international experience with the All Blacks.


A former rifle range beside the lower Whanganui river will be returned to river iwi, the first land in the area to come back.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson is due on the Putiki Marae at 9am tomorrow to hand the 35 hectare block to Te Poho a Matapihi Trust, which represents hapu interests at the window into the river.

Trustee Hone Tamehana, the marae chairman, says even though the Waitangi Tribunal is still hearing the river claims, the Government was able to use a special remedies process to return the land, which was taken by the constabulary a century ago under the Public Works Act.

He says evidence was given on the block during the first week of the tribunal hearings, and Judge Carrie Wainwright suggested it could be the subject of immediate negotiations outside the main claim process.

Mr Tamehana says the iwi is still developing plans for the low-lying land.


The head of Maori Televison says his new head of programming would be welcome to take an on-screen role as well.

Jim Mather says the channel is pleased to pick up TV3 producer Carol Hirschfeld from Ngati Porou for the role.

She will join in August after more than a decade with TV3 as a journalist and newsreader, and currently the executive producer of Campbell Live.

While her first challenge will be her new job, Mr Mather says she could be involved in special broadcasts.

Maori Televison has just had its highest ever monthly ratings, with more than 1.7 million New Zealanders tuning in during April.


Protester turned politician Hone Harawira says only Maori could have got together a protest hikoi of the scale expected in Monday In Auckland.

The Taitokerau MP, who was a leading figure in the foreshore and seabed hikoi five years ago, is full of praise for the new crop of organisers from Ihi Aotearoa.

He says while hikoi are seen as a Maori form of protest, many non Maori also recognise the impact that can be made.

A number of hikoi from various corners of the city and beyond will bring people to Queen St for a midday march up Queen St and rally at the Town Hall.

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.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Taranaki history seen in Tamil Tiger’s death

Maori Party leader Tariana Turia is comparing slain Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, the inventor of the suicide belt, with Parihaka non-violence prophets Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi.

Mrs Turia says Prabhakaran's 33-year war for a separate Tamil homeland in northern Sri Lankahad its roots in British colonial policies which disenfranchised the Tamil mana whenua from their land.

She says when non-violent protest didn't work, the Tigers turned to military action ... which ended last week when the Sri Lankan army overran the Tiger's remaining enclave.

“And we know in our own history that leaders in our various movements also died and I can think of Te Whiti and Tohu who were taken down south – I recently was down there in Dunedin and went to the caves where the people of Taranaki were incarcerated – so we’ve also got long history of non-violent protest. At some point the government has to understand, and I’m certainly not advocating it, but overseas, people do get tired when they’re not listened to,” Mrs Turia says.


Student from Ngati Whatua o Orakei students are being given a leg up by the University of Auckland.

The university's Arts faculty is offering four scholarships.

Faculty dean John Morrow says the university has a Memorandum of understanding with the hapu which includes the aim of educational advancement.

The Faculty of Arts will also fund four $500 New Start bursaries to encourage mature Ngati Whatua o Orakei students who do not have University Entrance, to gain the skills and confidence to undertake tertiary study.


Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti artist John Walsh will join other Wellington artists travelling China this weekend as part of a cultural exchange with sister city Xiamen.

As well as exhibiting their work, the artists will take part in lectures and workshops.

Mr Walsh is looking forward to sharing a cultural connection.

Flying Solo - an exhibiton drawn from private collections of John Walsh's work is showing at the New Dowse in Lower Hutt.


Maori in Papakura fear the proposed Auckland super-city will waste years of work building relationships between south Auckland councils and tangata whenua.

Willie Brown, who is helping to co-ordinate next Monday's hikoi against the super city transition, is urging Maori in the area to get behind the action.

He the Papakura District Council has developed good working relationships with Ngati Te Ata, Aakitai, Ngati Tamaoho, Ngai Tai and Ngati Paoa, which will be lost in the super city shakeup.

Papakura residents will gather at the historic Pa site, Pukekiwiriki, early on Monday morning, before heading into Auckland to take part in the hikoi.


Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell is encouraging Maori Party branch members to do more to set the party's policies.

He's just finished a three week week roadshow through Labour-held Ikaroa Rawhiti, reporting to members on how their representatives are performing.

Mr Flavell says he sought their views on issues such as the foreshore and seabed review, gang legislation and which Maori flag should flown on the Auckland Harbour Bridge next Waitangi day.


Tis the season for Maori mushrooms, and while they are growing in abundance in the bush, Maori chef Charles Royal warns there are dangers for the uninitiated.

The authority on traditional kai says with matariki approaching, it is the time for harore of fungus.

But some varieties are extremely dangerous and can damage the liver and other organs.

Training for hikoi

Papakura Maori are organising a unique form of hikoi transport planning to take the train into Auckland city next Monday for the anti-Auckland super city protest.

A spokesperson for the Papakura hikoi contingent Natasha Kendall says they expect over a thousand people to attend a hikoi in Papakuru from 8.30 am with about half them coming into Britomart to March up Queen Steet.

She says the organisers have asked ARTA to put on extra carriages on the regular 10.05am and 10.20am trains to take the pressure off.

There will also be buses for kaumatua.

Natasha Kendall says while the issue of Maori representation is important to Maori she is expecting others to join because of Papakura's loss of independence with the super city.


One of New Zealand’s most fondly remembered Maori policemen, Papa Nathan, has died.

He was a brother to former All Black Whaka Nathan.

Kingi Ihaka, who spent many years in the force as a senior constable and detective in South Auckland where Papa Kingi spent much of his time says he was an inspiration.

“No longer do you see the kind of policeman that Papa depicted; the plod walking the beat with a friendly hand helping children across the crossing, helping old ladies where to buy the choicest cuts of meat, the tasks policemen today no longer do. Papa did all that,” Mr Ihaka says.

Papa Nathan is lying in state at Mamari Marae in Northland and will be buried on Friday.


Manuwatu Red Cross is attempting to find out the history and connections of a 167 year old Maori Bible before putting it up for sale.

Red Cross Volunteer Basil Poll says the New Testament bible which has its front and back covers missing and no spine turned up in a box of books donated for the Red Cross's 20th Annual Palmerston North book sale

“It’s valuable as treasure, as taonga itself, apart from any monetary value it has. It belongs somewhere, and it would be good if it could be restored somewhere it belongs,” Mr Poff says.

There are a number of hard to read names in the book and indications that it came from the Kaikoura area but a Maori person who took the Bible south was unable to find anyone connected with it.


New Zealand Maori council spokesman Maanu Paul says pakeha should not be allowed to sell riparian rights which give them ownership of foreshore land but the same condition should not apply to Maori.

Reacting to a proposal by the Greens that the Maori Land Act be amended to stop Maori selling foreshore land, Maanu Paul says this would interfere with Maori tino rangatiratanga rights under the Treaty of Waitangi.

“A mere 2 kilometers away from me at West End, Ohope Pakeha have title all the way to the foreshore and seabed. Are their titles going to be fettered and shackled in the same way. I think theirs should be because Pakeha are renowned for trading off assets, but Maori aren't,” Mr Paul says.

He says Maori do not sell of their assets which is demonstrated by the fact that land has not been sold following Treaty settlements.


The future of traditional Maori artforms has received further strengthening with a partnership between the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and the Waiariki Institute of Technology.

Te Taru White, chief executive of Te Puia, says A Memorandum of Understanding between the two schools will help ensure the ongoing development of toi Maori through a feeder programme from Waiariki into Te Puia's diploma in Whakairo Rakau, or Mastery in Carving.

“It really gives a high standard of application, they are more prepared, and that’s a great thing. To have an institution beside us feeding in to our place students who are already well grounded and prepared for what they may expect and given an overview of art forms, art practices, and when they come here we can provide our frameworks to them,” Mr White says.

Te Puia is the only school in the country which trains carvers in the eight traditional styles of Maori carving, rather than generic styles taught in other places.

The New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute was established in 1963 to ensure that the ancient arts of Maori would never be lost. Since then, the institute has trained more than 150 master carvers who have been instrumental in the creation and restoration of more than 40 meeting houses.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

National Library offers assurances over taonga

The National Library is promising taonga kept in collections will not be harmed, despite concerns over the handling of the Alexander Turnbull Library's priceless collection during a refurbishment.

Earlier this week it was reported that ethno-musicologist Mervyn McLean was no longer bequeathing copies of his 1200 Maori waiata to the Turnbull because of uncertainty around the collection’s safety during a move out of the building for up to two years.

Penny Carnaby, the National Librarian, says any collections that require shifting during the replacement of the Library's aging functions will be packed and handled with care under the supervision of expert curators and conservators.

“We have some of the most expert conservators in New Zealand with international reputations. We’ve also engaged people from outside New Zealand to give us a second opinion. So the safety of the collections, how they’re wrapped, how they’re stored, how they’re cared for has been absolutely paramount and I can assure everyone the matauranga Maori held will be safe,” she says.

Ms Carnaby says there is also no proposal to destroy obsolete media after items have been digitised.

Legislation requires collections to be preserved, protected, developed and made accessible in perpetuity, irrespective of format.

Te Atiawa kaumatua blessed the buildings and collections several weeks ago to ensure their safety while refurbishments takes place.


A Maori maternity kaitiaki says a $103.5 million funding boost from the government into maternity services will help as long as it is directed in the right areas.

Henare Kani, the founder of Tupu - a group that specialises in indigenous childbirth education, says Maori health is suffering major challenges that can be addressed from birth.

He says increasing the midwifery workforce and more childbirth education among whanau could help Maori prepare for birth better.

He says few Maori attend childbirth education, and there is also a need for primary health services in Maori communities.

He says the current midwifery workforce needs developing so there is less stress on midwives and more choice for Maori whanau.

The funding package includes $25 million dollars delivered over four years towards longer stays for new mothers in birthing units, obstetric training for GPs, extra antenatal care for at risk mothers, and funding Plunketline 24-hour telephone advice service.


Mana magazine editor Derek Fox says the publication is taking a hit from media reports that it is up for sale.

Mr Fox says false reports that Mana is struggling to survive and looking for buyers are damaging.

“You know it’s just mischievous and annoying and what it does is create insecurity in the minds of the advertisers. Already today our sales guys said ‘What am I going to tell the advertisers. They’re all saying is there going to be another issue and what’s going on,” Mr Fox says.

The bi-monthly magazine which has been on newstands for 17 years has a 15,000 print run and 119,000 readers is in good health.


A spokesman for the New Zealand Maori Council says a proposal by the Green's to prevent the sale of customary foreshore and seabed land over-rides Maori tinorangitiratanga rights.

The Greens have suggested an amendment to the Maori Land Act to the panel looking into the Foreshore and Seabed laws but council spokesman Maanu Paul says it is not a good idea.

“It says that tino rangatiratanga for Mori ought to be conditional. That you ough not to have the power to determine the destiny of your takutai moana, of your foreshore and seabed. That it ought to be tied so that you can’t sell it. Tino rangatioratanga over any treaty asset under article two has to be unfettered,” Mr Paul says.

He says the proposal involves tinkering with the law to accommodate unfounded pakeha fears of how Maori will handle settlement money.

He says the selling of assets is something pakeha do while treaty settlements show that Maori don't sell off their land but look after it for future generations


A Maori academic with extensive experience on the world scene says Maori going to international conferences are sometimes not representing the country and Maori interests well.

Aroha Mead who has spent more than 20 years regularly attending United Nations conferences on issues ranging from the rights of indigenous people to economic development says many Maori are pushing views which are not that of Maori generally.

“Some Maori who have been attending the climate change meetings have just been talking about economic opportunities and not at all addressing the human rights issues, the livelihoods issues, the impact on traditional knowledge or medicines. They weren’t speaking any of that vocabulary. They were only talking about the money Maori could make, but currently aren’t making,” Ms Mead says.

She says often Maori going overseas are representing the interests of their own iwi or individual interests.


Prolific Auckland based author Paul Moon says lessons learned from the past relationship between Maori and Pakeha provide a textbook of what we should do today.
The Professor of Maori Studies at AUT University last week released his latest work, Edge of Empires, which looks at New Zealand in the 1850's.
He says the book involved painstaking research as there is very little historical literature to refer to, but he is convinced the New Zealand Wars of the 1860's could have been avoided.

“People tend to look at history either as entertainment or something of novelty value but when you see what was happening and you the fact we all live today with the reverberations of what was happening say in the 1850s it becomes much more important. There are lessons to be learned from this, so in a way a good history becomes a textbook for how you can manage situations,” Mr Moon says.

He gained notoriety last year with his book on Maori cannibalism.

Greens want customary land fixed forever

The Greens are proposing an amendment to Te Ture Whenua Maori land Act to prevent the sale of customary foreshore and seabed land.

A draft bill was presented as part of the party's submission to the final Foreshore and Seabed Panel hearing at Omaka Marae near Picton yesterday.

Maori spokesperson Metiria Turei says the bill would clear away a significant hurdle to the repeal of the Foreshore and Seabed Act, the fear Maori would sell off parts of the coast.

“That was false and it was driven up by National and Labour in a racist campaign but nonetheless it’s out there in the public as an idea. One way to fix that and prevent it from happening is to ease those concerns is to prevent the conversion of foreshore and seabed customary land into freehold title so it can't be sold,” Ms Turei says.


Maori Party back-bencher Te Ururoa Flavell is unhappy with the messages his party is getting from its political partner.

The Waiariki MP says by ignoring the Royal Commission's recommendation to include three Maori representatives on an Auckland super city council, National is acting at odds with the inclusive politics John Key talks about.

He says political inclusiveness must start at local government level.

“On one hand the Prime Minister talks about the value the Maori Party has had in terms of the relationship, guidance given by the Maori Party to some of his Maori policy, and says we’ve done a great job, and on the opposite side says we think Maori interests are best served by people elected at large and we can contribute by advisory committees. That’s the ultimate contradiction,” Mr Flavell says.


Meanwhile, Police are making final preparations for next week's protest hikoi on Auckland governance.

Glen Mackay, who leads the police Maori responsiveness strategy in the region, says they expect the event will run as smoothly as the foreshore and seabed hikoi to Parliament five years ago.

He says safety is the number one priority.


A Maori academic with a 20 year record of participating in United Nations indigenous and environmental forums says the ope to New York in support of Helen Clark struck a wrong note with other indigenous peoples.

A Tainui group including King Tuheitia took part in the welcome for Ms Clark in her new job as head of the UN development programme.

Aroha Mead from Victoria University says many of the people gathered for the UN permanent forum on indigenous issues were highly critical because of the Clark Government's vote against the declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, and its Foreshore and Seabed Act.

“Many indigenous peoples are there wanting to fight with Maori at our side about this oppressive Act and then they see this high powered delegation going over giving Helen Clark this honour, almost saying she had done a good job here,” Ms Mead says.

She says the Tainui group also made no attempt to contact the tangata whenua of New York, the Onondaga.


With jobs drying up on land, young Maori are being told there are still opportunities at sea.

Peter Maich from the Westport Deep Sea Fishing School is on a recruitment drive to encourage rangatahi to train up for life on board.

He says 70 percent of the people who've been through the course are Maori, who are often looking for a way to turn their lives around.

He says many have an association with the sea already through the collection of kaimoana, and the course can help them make a career of it.

Peter Maich says the residential course blends discipline, literacy, numeracy and life skills with a foundation of fishing industry knowledge.


A new book has tracked the work of the great colonial era carver Tene Waitere from Rotorua all over the world.

Rauru is a collaboration between Cambridge University anthropology professor Nicholas Thomas and New Zealand photographer Mark Adams.

An exhibition of photos from the book opens tonight at Two Rooms gallery in Auckland.

Professor Thomas says Waitere was the first Ngati Tarawhai artist to produce major works for European clients which led to a scattering of his legacy, which includes complete houses in England and Germany.

“Much of his work went far from his home and has ended up in remote parts of the world and in a sense the book aims to bring it all together to celebrate him as a carver but also the enable people to understand these travels, these trajectories the carvings undertook,” he says.

Professor Thomas is giving a free public lecture on Tene Waitere at 3pm at the University of Auckland conference centre in Symonds St.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Waipareira plans for future

Te Whanau O Waipareira Trust has come up with a plan for the Maori community in west Auckland over the next 25 years.

Chief executive John Tamihere says the plan, which was debated and adopted over the weekend, aims to ensure there are positive social outcomes for Maori in the area irrespective of leadership.

He says the organisation went through its first 25 years without a strategic plan, because its kaumatua were uncomfortable with the concept and the language, even though there were working in a strategic way.

He says Waipareira looked to organisations like Ngati Raukawa and Te Wananga o Aotearoa to see the benefits of long term strategic planning.


A Waikato woman is off to the Netherlands to pick up tips for restoring the health of her awa.

Linda Te Aho from Ngati Koriki Kahukura, a senior lecturer at Waikato University's Law School, is a member of the establishment committee for the Waikato River guardians.

She's heading this week for Lelystad, near Amsterdam, for a conference which is being run by the European Centre for River Restoration.

Mrs te Aho will hear about work done to clean up major rivers like the Rhine, the Danube and the Avon.

“Partly I'll be looking to see what I can learn from those four case studies to see what we can apply here in relation to the Waikato River,” Mrs Te Aho says.

One the way back she will present a paper on river restoration to the annual Native Title Conference in Melbourne, which this year is on the theme of Spirit of Country: land, water and life.


An expert on Pacific art, culture and heritage sees a strong influence from early colonial encounters in today's Maori art.

Australian Nicholas Thomas is in Auckland for the launch of Rauru, a book and exhibition on the work of Te Arawa carver Tene Waitere done in collaboration with photographer mark Adams.

Professor Thomas, who is the director of the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography at the University of Cambridge in England, says what makes Maori art so interesting internationally is its roots.

“It is based in a strong response, a curiosity about the early colonial meetings, and for those reasons some of the work speaks not only to New Zealand audiences but also to people elsewhere, Australia, Canada, Britain where people are interested in questions of relationships between indigenous peoples and colonisers,” he says.

Professor Thomas is delivering a public lecture about Maori Carving and colonial history tomorrow at the University of Auckland.


Labour leader Phil Goff says the Maori Party's performance on the Auckland super city bill shows there is no mana in its relationship with the National Government.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia quit the debate early, claiming Labour was wasting time and taxpayers' money by putting up hundreds of amendments to the bill.

Mr Goff says the filibuster, which ran into Saturday, was the appropriate response to such a major piece of legislation being rammed through Parliament without public consultation.

He says the Maori Party rolled over and played dead, as National wanted.

“This was supposed to be a mana enhancing relationship. Where was the mana in removing the recommendation that the Royal Commission made that there should be Maori seats. Without even so much as the courtesy of discussing it with them or saying this was a matter that could be further debated in a bill,” Mr Goff says.

He says Maori can't expect the Maori Party to stand up for their rights.


The director of a South Island fishing school is trying to turn the tide on unemployment among North Island Maori youth.

Peter Maich from the Westport Deep Sea Fishing School is visiting towns like Opotiki, Turangi, Te Kaha and Taupo to encourage rangatahi consider a life at sea.

Mr Maich says the course's blend of discipline, literacy, numeracy and life skills as well as the extreme working environment has given many young people a chance to turn their lives around.

The school is a residential programme which forces people to look outside themselves.

Peter Maich says about 70 percent of past pupils were Maori, many from South Auckland, and many lacked basic education skills and had drug or alcohol problems.


A Maori technology commentator is welcoming Telecom's move to add common Maori words to its predictive texting dictionary.

Tumamao Harawira, who presents Maori Television's 411 technology show, says it shows an acceptance by the mainstream of te reo Maori.

He says it sends a positive message to young Maori, especially those going to kura Maori and total immersion schools.

As well as common greetings, the words include days of the week, months of the year, popular place names, and the numbers one to ten.

Kirkwood gripes at Gardiner intervention

The director of a trust that is opposing the dumping of sewage on an Island in the Manukau Harbour says consultants from other iwi should keep their opinions to themselves.

Carmen Kirkwood, of the Huakina Development Trust, which has a longterm involvement in protecting the waters of the harbour, has put forward a submission against the proposal by Watercare Services to dump sewage on Te Motu a Hiaroa, otherwise known as Puketutu Island.

Ms Kirkwood disputes evidence given for the Wastecare company by Maori consultant and former Te Puni Kokiri head Wira Gardner from Ngati Awa that remnants of tapu have been removed from the island when the sewerage plant was built on it in 1958.

“This is not an emotional issue. It’s not a belief. It’s a fact. I’m sick and tired of Maori consultants from other iwi coming into Waiohua rohe and telling us about our taonga and telling Pakeha and being expert witnesses for Pakeha organisations and getting paid for it,” she says.

Mrs Kirkwood says as long as local Maori say it is tapu and teach their that children it is tapu the isalnd remains tapu.

She says the island would be better suited as a wildlife sanctuary considering the large number of rare bird species currently in habitat.


Shane Jones had defended Labour's right to use all options to voice its opposition to legislation passed under urgency to pave the way for an Auckland Supercity.

Labour put up nearly a thousand amendments, which prompted a walkout of the debating chamber by Maori Party Co leader Tariana Turia who said the delaying tactics were a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Mr Jones says the legislation, which covers $25 billion of assts and affects over a million people, is ill conceived and warranted Labour’s use of legitimate parliamentary process, even if riled their political opponents.

“It was interesting to see John Carter from Northland. He’s an old hand in the House. He was going backwards and forwards out of the House, racing to the clerks office and various other obscure places in parliament like he had a medical condition, so there was an element of farce in terms of how the Government was dealing with our tactics, but hey, if you’re not going to let the people speak, no select committee, no Maori representation, no guarantee of protection for the assets, then it’s our right and it’s a legitimate activity of the Parliament to hammer the living daylights out of the Government,” Mr Jones says.


Green MP Meteria Turei says the proposed national cycle way could open doors for Maori tourism operators to capitalise on enviro-cultural tourism.

The government last week pledged $50 million to extend existing cycle ways into a national route.

The Dunedin based MP, who has competed in a number of triathlons in recent years, says the Otago Rail Trail attracts over 80,000 cyclists a year, and the national cycle way has the potential to create new opportunities for Maori in the tourism sector.

“With this money invested in the cycle way we will get another bite at the cherry and some of the existing Maori tourism businesses involved in environmental stuff can branch out into cycling tours and things and use both culture and environment in branding and marketing,” Ms Turei says.


A South Auckland Labour MP says Pacific Islanders will out in force to support Maori on next week's hikoi to gain representation on Auckland super city council.

Samoan William Sio says Pacific Islander leaders recognise the special place of Maori in Auckland and that it needs to be represented on the council.

“If this Government, the National Government, is unprepared to recognized te Tiriti o Waitangi rights of tangata whenua and to provide due respect to the people of the land, there is no way we will get recognized and acknowledged for our part in building this country,” Mr Sio says.

The MP for Mangere says like Maori many Pacific Islanders saw comments by National's Mt Albert candidate Melissa Lee about the new northwestern motorway stopping criminals coming to the area from the south as highly offensive.

He says along with the super city governance issue it has increased anti-government feeling across South Auckland.


And Canterbury based Maori academic Rawiri Taonui says the discovery of the bones of 80 ancestors during the construction of Auckland Airport’s second runway is an example of the lack of Maori input in local body politics and he fears worse in a supercity structure.

Mr Taonui, the head of Maori and indigenous studies at Canterbury University says if the relationship between man whenua and the local councils involved was strong, the koiwi would not have languished in a container for almost a year as has been the case.

He says over the years Maori have been more than generous to the people of Auckland.

“They gave harbours. They gave land one way or another. The Vector Arena was established on a 50 percent discount on land rent. Who else has contributed to the city more? It’s Maori and they can’t be left out of the decision-making,” Mr Taonui says.


A member of the whanau referance group for the Families Commission stands by her decision to quit following the appointment of Christine Rankin as a Families Commissioner.

Druis Barret, a former head of the Maori Womens Welfare League says Ms Rankin is the wrong person for the job, after making derogatory comments about Maori and child abuse.

Mrs Barret says she resigned as she couldn't tolerate the thought of Ms Rankin having input into a Maori focused initiative put forward by new families commissioner Kim Workman.

“I didn't want a Pakeha woman like that, who spoke down about Maori, making decisions ion the whanau concept that Kim and them are going to be putting forward and she is one of the commissioners, who will have a say of the whanau development that is going to happen in the Families Commission. I didn’t want a Pakeha woman that doesn’t know much about whanau Maori making a decision on our behalf,” Mrs Barrett says.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Island dumping ground decried

Maori will not be placated by parks or money when it comes to the dumping of waste on waahi tapu, says the director of a trust opposing a wastecare company's plans to drop waste on Puketutu Island in the Manukau Harbour.

The Auckland Regional Council and the Manukau City Council are considering plans by Watercare Services to dump 4.4 million cubic metres of Auckland's treated sewage on the island, otherwise known as Te Motu a Hiaroa, over the next 35 years.

Carmen Kirkwood, of the Huakina Development Trust, says talk of a sewage tax for local iwi, and converting parts of the island into public parks does not wash.

“It’s disgusting and when you consider how much mana we put on our islands to keep them free of the rats and the possums in the Hauraki, the only island of any significant size, not to mention it’s a waahi tapu, in totality, they want to dump the tiko of Auckland into it,” Mrs Kirkwood says.

Hearings on the project began last Monday, and is expected to last another two weeks


National Maori organisations have jumped on board a major Supreme Court case on water rights, putting them at odds with South Island iwi Ngai Tahu.

The court last year said major power generators and irrigation companies could make submissions on a case between Ngai Tahu Property, Central Plains Water and Canterbury Regional Council on the rules for water allocation.

In recent weeks Waikaremoana claimant Vern Winitana, the New Zealand Maori Council and most recently the Federation of Maori Authorities have also been given intervenor status.

FOMA chairperson Tem Hall says his organisation is concerned that treating applications on a first come, first serve basis will leave Maori high and dry.

“Often the Maori land is underdeveloped. That is probably going to require more water in the future and you lose that opportunity because of regulation put in place that doesn’t acknowledge the long term sustainable owner which is inter-generational as opposed to a short term owner which is probably going to sell the land and the assets and the rights that go with it,” Mr Hall says.

In its application to intervene, the Maori Council compared the competition for water rights with the fishing industry in the early 1980s, when companies scrambled to establish catch histories that entitled them to property rights or compensation when the quota management system was introduced.


A digital literacy resource showing success for Maori has been recognised for an industry award in the United States.

The programme, called Comprehension Strategies Instruction, is from Wellington based South Pacific Press and was piloted at several schools in New Zealand last year including Miramar South School in Wellington.

Neale Pitches, the chief executive of South Pacific Press, says Maori student's skills in literacy and comprehension rose markedly.

“At the beginning of the year, half of the students were sitting in the lowest quartile for New Zealand in comprehension, 25 percent in the second lowest quartile, and 25 percent in the top two quartiles. By the end of the year there were no students left in the lowest quartile and there were no students left in the second lowest quartile,” Mr Pitches says.

The Association of Educational Publishers Distinguished Achievement Awards winners will be announced at the National Press Club, Washington DC, on 12 June 2009


Greens Maori affairs spokesperson Metiria Turei is predicting the Mt Albert by-election will be a close two horse race between Labour and her party.

Ms Turei, who has been campaigning in the electorate says Maori in particular are welcoming the Green's perspective and National's Melissa Lee did the Green's a huge favour with her anti-South Auckland comments which were taken as racist.

“It’s not going to sit well with Mt Albert people. Mt Albert is a really diverse electorate It does have a strong ethnic and migrant population, strong Maori population, strong urban young liberal population so I you’ve got to be a lot more careful than she has been. She’s much too new to take on this sort of political role,” Ms Turei says.

She says when poll results come out people will realise how close the race is between Labour’s David Shearer and Greens’ co-leader Richard Norman.


Labour list MP Shane Jones has dismissed criticism by Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia who left the debating chamber on Friday in disgust at what she called Labour's stalling tactics against legislation paving the way for a restructuring of Auckland governance.

Shane Jones has defended his party's strategy, that opposed the legislation which covers $28 billion worth of assts that affect over a million people.

“We did try to bring amendments to the House to improve Maori representation. Tariana was I think pathetic in complaining that we were filibustering when she never put forward one single amendment herself. That’s what you have to do in this game. You’ve got to try to improve the legislation. But anyway, we didn’t have the numbers and the Maori Party ended up supporting the government,” Mr Jones says.

The succession of amendments which were eventually defeated, were to make the point that the Government can't use Parliament for its narrow political purposes.


Maori King Tuheitia helped mark the anniversary of his grandfather King Koroki this morning in Huntly with a memorial breakfast for the Fifth Maori King at his birthplace Waahi Pa.

Carmen Kirkwood, the author of Koroki My King, says King Koroki's legacy of mana and manaakitanga lived on in his whanau and in those who remembered him.

“Our people loved him to the core and the legacy he left behind is we were to work with each other, love one another and to be there for each other. He had some wonderful sayings: ‘No matter who comes to the door, welcome them, no matter how little you have in the cupboard, put it on the table for your manuhiri,'” Mrs Kirkwood says.

Maori given say on water case

Maori representatives have joined a critical Supreme Court case on the way water rights are allocated.

New Zealand Maori Council, Lake Waikaremoana claimant Vern Winitana and the Federation of Maori Authorities have been given permission to join major South Island power generators and irrigation companies as intervenors in the case between Ngai Tahu Property, Central Plains Water and Canterbury Regional Council.

At issue is whether rights to water and other natural resources should be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

FOMA chief executive Rino Tirikatene says his organisation wants consent authorities to be given more discretion.

“The Supreme Court wants to hear submissions on what should be taken into account. Our view is they should take into account the fundamental section 6, 7 and 8 of the Resource Management Act relating to Treaty of Waitangi principles and Maori cultural values such as kaitiakitanga,” Mr Tirikatene says.


A leading academic says Maori children are being denied access to tertiary education by the way the NCEA is administered by teachers.

Professor Dame Anne Salmond is helping with Auckland University's Starpath project, which is looking at how schools can use resources and data they already have to improve Maori and Pacific Island achievement.

She says schools and the Education Ministry need to take a hard look at whether NCEA privileges children at wealthy schools and fails lower socioeconomic groups.

“Maori kids who are bright and who have the potential to go all the way are being advised to do non-approved subjects, they don’t get the right combination of subjects to get university entrance. Even though they’re really clever kids, they get guided often in ways that are inappropriate because NCEA is so complicated it’s like a smorgasbord, and it’s easy to make choices that end up tripping you over,” Professor Salmond says.

Latest High School results show only 52 percent of Maori year 11 students got level one NCEA last year, compared to almost 80 percent of pakeha.


The Service and Food Workers Union is trying to get iwi on its side as it fights restructuring at Nelson-based Sealord Group.

Muriel Tunoho, the convenor of the union’s runanga, says Maori Party Te Tai Tonga MP Rahui Katene has writing to iwi round the country to drum up support, with little response.

The fishing company, which is half-owned by iwi through Aotearoa Fisheries, has shed more than 130 shore-based staff through attrition and voluntary redundancy as it moves more to sea-based processing.

Ms Tunoho says the union is fighting changes to the wages and conditions of remaining workers.

“The workers have indicated a willingness to participate in some decision making here. They want some guarantees for their employment. They’re happy to sit down and talk to Sealord about those flexibilities, but clearly Sealord doesn’t want that,” Ms Tunoho says.

She says despite being acquired through a treaty settlement, less than 10 percent of the Sealord workforce is Maori.

Aotearoa Fisheries chairman Robin Hapi says staffing is an operational matter for the company.


Northland councils have agreed to work together to make it easier for Maori to build on multiply-owned land.

Kahu Sutherland, Whangarei’s deputy mayor, says the proposed papakainga framework, which also involves Te Puni Kokiri and social service provider Te Hau Ora O Kaikohe, should mean less expense and red tape.

It should also make it easier for whanau to get loans for housing.

About 5 percent of the Whangarei district, three percent of Kaipara and almost a fifth of the Far North district is Maori land.


A Palmerston North private training establishment is encouraging Maori exporters to do its international trade qualification.

Alison Vickers, the director of the New Zealand School of Export, says Maori exporters can qualify for scholarships to lower the fees, and they can also get help from the Poutama Trust Maori business development agency or Trade and Enterprise.

She says exporting’s a tough business, and people need some knowledge to get the best out of their investment.

The next intake for the correspondence course is in July.


The global economic downturn is encouraging Maori artists to think small.

Dargaville clay sculptor Manos Nathan from Te Roroa is preparing work for the annual Maori showcase at Vancouver’s Spirit Wrestler Gallery.

He says the gallery has given indigenous artists access to a network of wealthy North American collectors, but this year the indications are their won’t be as much money around for taonga, so the gallery as asked for smaller works.

An exhibition of Manos Nathan’s work, which blends his Maori and Cretan whakapapa, is currently on at Porirua’s Te Pataka Museum.