Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Whanganui River battle back to Environment Court

The Whanganui River Trust Board has been told to go back to the Environment Court in its battle over the amount of water Genesis Power draws from the river's headwaters for the Tongariro power scheme.

A split Court of Appeal judgment this week said the Environment Court was wrong to issue a 10 year resource consent, rather than the 35 year consent Genesis sought, on the basis the shortened term could give time for some "meeting of the minds" between the parties.

But it agreed with the lower courts that the consent renewal process was hampered by the refusal of Whanganui iwi to say what the power generator could do to mitigate the detrimental affect the diversion of water has on their cultural and spiritual values.

A spokesperson for Genesis Power says the company is keen to get back to the Environment Court to come up with a suitable regime for the next 35 years.


Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples wants the Maori Wardens to take more responsibility for themselves.

Waitemata Wardens are threatening to pull out of a training programme run by Te Puni Kokiri, in protest over what chair Jack Taumaunu says is amateurs trying to tell experienced wardens what to do.

Pita Sharples says while the wardens supposedly operate under the New Zealand Maori Council, they have in effect been self-administered until the previous government appointed TPK to administer a new resourcing package.

He says ultimately the wardens need to take charge of their own affairs.

“As soon as possible the wardens should be given their own tino rangatiratanga and stand on their own feet as much as they can. They’re the ones doing the mahi, they’ve been on a big recruitment drive, they’ve had excellent police training, and it’s quite exciting to see the number of young people who have stepped up to take that role,” Dr Sharples says.


The head of a new academy for Maori professional advancement says it's a challenge to keep Maori academics in the system long enough for them to assume leadership roles.

Selwyn Katene says many promising Maori graduates are lured away to jobs in the public or private sectors, where there is a huge demand for highly qualified Maori.

He says Manu Ao, which is funded for the next three years by the Tertiary Education Commission to run leadership forums, symposiums and other support services.

“We can develop a cadre of emerging leaders who are ready and willing and able and fully trained take on some of those senior positions, and at the same time the more experienced leaders can provide good mentoring and advice and information to the younger ones coming through,” Mr Katene says.

Manu Ao is supported by all eight universities.


Maori organic growers' association Te Waka Kai Ora is holding its hui a tau at Ahipara's Roma Marae this weekend with the message Maori land should be used to grow Maori kai.

National co-ordinator Pounamu Skelton says there's still a lot of Maori land which isn't used, and which could be the basis for small food businesses.

She says interest in growing is growing, as people look at ways to feed their large families, as well as service hapu and marae.

Pounamu Skelton says on the agenda is an international brand and standard for growing kai Maori.


Russel Norman is picking his new co-leader Meteria Turei to significantly boost Maori support for the Greens.

The Brisbane born MP, who came to New Zealand to study how Mana Motuhake, New Labour and the Greens combined to form the Alliance, says the emergence of the Maori Party drew Maori support from the Greens.

He says both parties are likely to be round for a long time competing for Maori voters.

“When you look at the evolution of our MMP system, clearly the Greens and the Maori Party are the long term stayers within that system because we both represent something very real and important,” Dr Norman says.

He says while the environment remains a major priority, the Greens are also committed to seeing the Maori version of the Treaty of Waitangi honoured.


All Black coach Graeme Henry is disappointed to lose outside back Richard Kahui to a shoulder injury which rules out of action for the rest of the year.

Tokoroa-born Kahui from Ngati Maniapoto was injured in the Chiefs' Super 14 loss to the Bulls in Pretoria last weekend.

Mr Henry says it's a bitter blow for the 23 year old, but there is no alternative other than surgery to repair the damage.

Graeme Henry, speaking at the end of the All Blacks three day training session in Auckland.

Two other promising Maori players have entered the All Black squad, flanker Tanirau Latimer from Te Arawa and lock Isaac Ross from Ngati Kahungunu and Ngapuhi.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Early intervention mooted for child abuse

A Maori children's advocate is distressed by figures showing one child a week is admitted to hospital because of abuse.

A report prepared the the Office of the Children's Commissioner shows with Maori boys are six times more likely to be seriously assaulted than non-Maori, and Maori girls three times more likely.

Hone Kaa from Te Kahui Mana Ririki, which has been running workshops for iwi since last year on alternatives to smacking, says it's never too early to intervene.

“When the child is born, when the whanau is gathered round the bed, there is the perfect time for the intervention by the pediatricians to say to people ‘Thus is what you must not do to a child.’ If we want a better world, then we’ve got to be able to give our children a better grasp on life.
Dr Kaa says.

The abuse figures are a reason Maori should vote yes to a petition on whether the defence of reasonable force should continue to be banned in child abuse cases.


After years of work, Te Mahurehure has finished the rebuilding of its Auckland marae with the erection of a pou maumahara of its ancestor, Uewhati.

The marae was established in 40 years ago for Auckland-based descendents of the Hokianga iwi.

Chairperson Christine Panapa says it has taken a decade to win resource consents and rebuild the former rugby league clubrooms in Point Chevalier.

Christine Panapa says the 2 point 8 metre pou was commissioned from the Te Puia Maori arts and crafts institute in Rotorua after a chance encounter with the institute's head of carving, Te Taonui-a-Kupe Rickard.


The author of a new book on the New Zealand wars says she has tried to bring a new perspective to the tale.

The heroine of Deborah Challinor's novel Isle of Tears is a Scottish heroine taken in by Taranaki Maori whose life is turned upside down when war breaks out in 1860.

She says it was a way to describe the impact of the wars on Maori without trying to assume a Maori perspective, so she looked at the issue through the eyes of a Scottish migrant.


Former Labour MP Dover Samuels says Phil Goff should have stayed out of the storm around former Internal Affairs Minister Richard Worth.

Dr Worth quit his portfolios Wednesday as it emerged that police were investigating criminal allegations against him ... allegations the former top lawyer is denying.

Mr Goff demanded to know why John Key failed to act against Dr Worth a month ago, when he informed the Prime Minister of a separate set of allegations about inappropriate behaviour towards a woman.

Mr Samuels, who was dumped from Labour's Cabinet in 2000 while police investigated allegations against him which later proved unfounded, says people are rushing to judgment without allowing Dr Worth to defend himself.

“It makes me very angry when I see the leader of our own party, the Labour Party, jumping on the bandwagon and to me that’s not wisdom. These types of issues, those types of events can attract really superficial and artificial responses and I think perhaps it would have been better if Phil Goff had waited until the facts came out,” Mr Samuels says.


Eight universities have joined together to encourage more Maori to come through as academic leaders.

The Maori Academy for Academic and Professional Advancement, Manu Ao, was launched at Victoria University's Te Herenga Waka Marae this week.

Director Selwyn Katene says the academy will coordinate the leadership programmes run by each university.

He says Manu Ao will advance Maori scholarship and strengthen links between Maori professionals and academics.
“There's a dearth of people coming through to take up senior positions. For example, within universities, there is a need for us to focus on ways in which we can further develop and foster Maori scholarship,” Mr Katene says.

Manu Ao builds on a pilot project which offered weekly seminars for Maori students and academics.


Nelson-based whanau unable to return their babies placenta to their turangawaewae are welcoming the country's first formal burial ground for afterbirth.

Maori parents, many of whom who have been storing whenua in freezers, can now bury placenta in the Centre of New Zealand Park's historic reserve, before planting a tree over the spot as part of the park's revegetation programme.

Andrea Vincent, the chair of Nelson's Midwifes council, says it is Maori custom to bury afterbirth to reinforce the child's tie to the land, but many people moving round rental accommodation can’t find the right spot.

Many non-Maori familes are also keen to take part in planting their whenua.

The first plant day takes place tomorrow, along with a blessing from Nelson iwi.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Samuels says don’t rush to judge worth of MP

A former Maori Affairs Minister who lost his Cabinet seat because of allegations of historical sexual impropriety is defending embattled National MP Richard Worth.

Dover Samuels was eventually cleared by a police investigation, but never regained his place at the top table.

Mr Worth quit as a Minister outside cabinet yesterday as police revealed a criminal investigation against him, and Prime Minister John Key said he had lost all confidence in the list MP.

Mr Samuels says the Prime Minister should have waited for police to do their job.

“I have been through the same situation and I’m going to say that if it’s found out there is no justification for that, it is very difficult for those people who pointed the finger to be able to retract their words,” Mr Samuels says.

He's also unhappy Labour Leader Phil Goff is piling on with further allegations about Mr Worth.


Te Tai Hauauru MP Tariana Turia says Maori are being denied their traditional eel catch because of river management practices and commercial over-fishing.

She says commercial pressure has made it harder to get a feed from the sea.

Now they can't get river fish such as the long finned eel which have fed generations of tangata whenua.

“We mustn't allow councils and other to put into place these gateways to stop the eels coming through. We’ve got to say this is our traditional food, we must have access to it, and it is the same where we have huge commercial activity going on,” Mrs Turia says.

She says pressure on the Whanganui River tuna fishery has led to commercial eel nets being emptied in protest.


The Ministry of Women’s Affairs has asked Maori women directors and trustees for advice on how to bring other wahine Maori into governance roles.

The ministry's kaihautu, Sonya Rimene, says today's He Wahine Pumanawa forum looked at pathways to governance, strategies to influence decisions, and how women can add value at the board table.

She says many Maori women directors are also leaders in their community, hapu and iwi.

“They're managing huge putea and making decisions on behalf of their beneficiaries who in the main will be there own so they may have a competitive edge as not only are they performing at an iwi level but they are able to transfer those skills to a lot of our other private sector boards,” Ms Rimene says.

The Ministry is hosting a function this evening to profile the 21 Maori directors in front of nominated agencies, ministers, business leaders and iwi representatives who may be looking for wahine with governance experience.


The head of a Maori anti-violence group says research showing Maori children almost are six times more likely to suffer abuse than non Maori reinforces the need to vote yes in the smacking referendum.

A postal ballot will go out next month asking New Zealanders whether a smack as part of what the question calls "good parental correction" be a criminal offence.

Hone Kaa, the chair of Te Kahui Mana Ririki, says the report commissioned by the Office of the Children's Commissioner shows many parents and especially Maori parents need to change the way they care for their children.

“Some adults still feel it is their right to smack their kids. Well, it’s not a right any more. It’s an abuse of a child. It’s about time some people woke up that even the lightest smack can do damage. Our value about our children’s well being has to change. These statistics that come out in this report today make it imperative that we do change,” Dr Kaa says.

Te Kahui Mana Ririki has getting good responses from its workshops which include a six-step model showing whanau techniques for parenting without hitting.


Meanwhile, associate Social Development Minister Tariana Turia wants a review to see if family anti violence strategies are working.

The Maori Party co-leader told a preventing family violence hui at Orongomai marae in Upper Hutt today there is a lot of money going into anti violence programmes and providers.

She says too many programmes see individuals in isolation, rather than bringing in the whole whanau.

“If somebody is a so called perpetrator, then they have to be able to account for it in front of their family so the family can see the change that’s happening and so that the whole family can grow and have great comfort from being able to be there, being able to see what’s going on,” Mrs Turia says.


A Northland Maori health organisation is using photography as a way to get young people to engage with their families.

Hayley Rauahi from Hau Ora Hokianga says it's running a competition for pictures of how they like to spend time.

She says there has been a positive response from rangatahi in local schools.

The competition closes at the end of June and the photos will be exhibited at the hospital during July.

Ngai Tahu pulls plug on water case

Ngai Tahu has pulled the plug on a historically significant case on how water is allocated.

The South Island tribe's property arm has abandoned its Supreme Court Appeal against Central Plains Water and Canterbury Regional Council over who had first rights to water from the Waimakariri River.

The parties were arguing over whose application was filed first under the rules set down in the Resource Management Act.

However, a late intervention by the New Zealand Maori Council threatened to open the case up in a way which would give the courts more discretion, and potentially bring the Treaty of Waitangi and other Maori interests into play.
Jim Nichols, the deputy chair of the Maori Council, is disappointed the case is over.

“The debate over whether or not allocation should be made on the basis of first up best dressed or on the basis of treaty tikanga and kaitiaki is a critical issue that at some point needs to be debated,” Mr Nichols says.

The Maori Council is exploring whether the case can be kept alive even though the main litigants have dropped out.

Ngai Tahu Properties refused to comment on its reasons for abandoning its appeal.


The chair of the Maori Tourism Council says axing a fund that provided support for new Maori tourism ventures will handicap attempts by operators to cash in on the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

John Barrett says regional Maori tourism groups tapped into the Ministry of Social Development's enterprising community projects fund to provide invaluable help to fledgling Maori ventures.

He says Maori venture had been looking forward to a bonanza from the influx of rugby fans.

“While it's okay for our existing regional Maori groups that are working under that programme and developing good results, with the World Cup coming up my belief is we need to do all we can to make sure not just our Maori tourism operators the national tourism sector is as prepared as we possibly can be in generating some new programmes that will work toward that rugby world cup target,” Mr Barrett says.

While the global downturn has hit some of the big Maori tourism operators hard, some smaller ventures have recorded surprisingly good results.


A Taranaki artist is off to Sweden today with hundreds of individually-crafted poi made from recycled woolen blankets.

Ngahina Hohaia is one of five fibre artists exhibiting at the Rydal Museum and Spinning Works as part of a summer focus on New Zealand.

Ms Hohaia needs to personally install her work, as each of the poi has a different image which builds up to an historical narrative.

Ngahina Hohaia's poi-manu installations have also been shown at New Plymouth's Govett-Brewster gallery in New Plymouth and Puke Ariki Museum.


Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira says Maori have a lot to learn from the stolen generations of aboriginal people.

The maverick Maori Marty MP was a guest last weekend at a tribute dinner in Brisbane to acknowledge those indigenous Australians taken from their families, leaving many unsure even today where they came from.
Mr Harawira says it was an honour to witness the resilience of on display.

He also attended Sorry Day in Australia two years ago when new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made an official apology to the stolen generations.


Otorohanga is celebrating maintaining zero youth unemployment for more than two years.

Mayor Dale Williams says the district has double the national average population of Maori.

He says rangatahi are drawn into apprentice and other youth schemes set up five years ago to give pathways into education or employment.
He says the success of the schemes has boosted whanau confidence and created a real sense of pride on the streets of the small King Country town.

“We have a lot of people from Maori Wardens to the Maori Women’s Welfare League, a whole lot of organisations who ware in this from the beginning so the results they tell me is just inspiring. You can walk down the main street of Otorohanga any time of the day or night and you don’t see groups of people who are disengaged or don’t feel they have options. Well they certainly have now,” Mr Williams says.


Former international sevens player Karl Te Nana expects Paul Tito will take Saturday night's Barbarians match against the Wallabies in his stride.

In his long career, the New Plymouth-born 110 kg lock represented Taranaki, the Chiefs, the Hurricanes and New Zealand Maori before taking up a contract with the Cardiff Blues.

Mr te Nana says Tito has earned his spot in the all star lineup to do battle in Sydney with the Robbie Deans coached Aussie squad.

“One of the traditions of the Barbarians is they do play an uncapped player in all their teams, and Paul has been playing some pretty good rugby in northern regions,” he says.

The Barbarians features six New Zealand players, including gun Maori inside back Luke McAllistair, players from the England, Ireland France and Samoan squads, and league convert Sonny Bill Williams.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Maori wardens rankle under TPK thumb

The chairman of the largest branch of Maori Wardens wants the New Zealand Maori Council back in control.

Jack Taumaunu says his Waitemata Maori Wardens are hoha with the way its 120 members are being treated by Te Puni Kokiri, which is managing the extra funding put into the wardens two years ago.

He says wardens are paid a paltry training allowance and issued with a high visibilty vest and torch, while the rest of the putea is swallowed up by salaries for amateurs who know little about what Maori wardens need to do their jobs better.

Mr Taumanu wants fellow westie Pita Sharples to sack his department from the job.

“It has been a botch up from TPK’s point of view. Why they don’t let go the reins and let our own Maori wardens have a crack a trying to develop their own areas is beyond me,” Mr Taumaunu says.

He says the Waitemata Maori wardens will pull out of the national initiative unless the New Zealand Maori Council takes control.


Rotorua kaumatua Te Poroa Joe Malcolm is crediting his old people for earning him membership of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Maori.

Mr Malcolm, of Ngati Tarawhai and Ngati Pikiao, says it their encouragement and teaching immersed him in Maori business and land management, as well as his involvement in treaty claims.

One of his proudest achievements was instigating the building of Tarawhai Marae in Rotoiti in 1984, a reminder that he is merely a vehicle of action for his ancestors' wishes.

Joe Malcolm also worked with Ministry of Culture and Heritage's History Unit to translate into Maori parts of the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography.


A Tuhourangi-Te Arawa artist says her new body of work is part of an exploration of the Maori heritage she discovered as an adult.

Peata Larkin's Tarawera paintings in her show Between Worlds at Two Rooms Gallery in Auckland includes meshes of colour which could evoke her ancestors' home beside the Pink and White Terraces.

Ms Larkin says she was raised by her Pakeha father and had no real connection to te ao Maori until she starting raising a family of her own.

“It's only been in recent years that I’ve found out about my ancestors so it’s one of those things you can’t help but shout out to the world hey look, this is where I come from and it’s quite a proud thing to be a part of that and I think that’s why it’s come out in my work,” she says.

Also showing at Two Rooms are Mark Adams photos of houses around Rotorua and the world carved in the first three decades of the 20th century by Tene Waitere of Ngati Tarawhai.


A Maori academic says having a Maori as the head of the Green Party is a good fit.

Party members at the weekend chose Metiria Turei from Rangitane, Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Ati- Hau-nui-a-Paparangi to replace Jeanette Fitzsimons as female co-leader.

Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and ethnic studies at Canterbury University, says Ms Turei will try to claw back the voters lost to the Maori Party, as well as reaching out to the broader Green constituency.

“ There is a natural convergence between Green ideas and indigenous ideas and Metiria’s young, she’s really bright, she sits in a good place in terms of bringing together Green ideas and Maori ideas and they’re going to be a force in the next generation for sure,” Mr Taonui says.

Te Wananga o Aotearoa has joined with the police to run a course for people considering a career on the blue line.


Police spokesperson Glen Mackay says the wananga's track record in up-skilling Maori means the initiative could be a way to get more Maori recruits.

The wananga will provide remedial training in basic literacy and numeracy, which the police will provide input into physical education.

Course graduates will have to make a formal application to join the police.


Christchurch Central Library is running two whakapapa workshops as a way to mark Matariki, the Maori new year.

Organiser Moata Tamaira, the Maori reference librarian, says the library has a wealth of resources for Maori needing help to trace their tupuna.

She says genealogy has become an important part of a library's services.

The workshops will be held at the end of the month.

Adult education slashed despite skills talk

A spokesperson for Adult and Community Education providers, says Maori education will suffer from the 80 per cent cut in funding.

Christine Herzog, from Strategic Alliance, (the national body for Adult and Community providers) says funding for adult programmes currently running in schools has been cut from $16 million to under $4 million dollars.

Ms Herzog says there is a high proportion of Maori enrolled in these courses and while te reo, literacy and numeracy programmes will not be affected, other life skills based courses will be cut.

“Some of the more indirect things where for example unemployed people who are disproportionately Maori access the path to further education often through this kind of course which is less pressure and less stressful than enrolling in certificate courses, so it might be a computer course, or driver education, those kinds of things that are of community benefit, will now become relatively inaccessible,” Ms Herzog says.

The planned cuts will take place this year and she expects cuts to programmes run at polytechs to be made next year.


The new Greens co-leader Meteria Turei predicts her leadership role will attract more Maori to the party.

Meteria Turei says the Green's have always been a pro-Maori party supporting such things as ownership of the foreshore and seabed and local government representation.

“Maori are not represented by any single political voice. That’s the most important thing we need to remember. And the more parties there are in Parliament pushing the Maori kaupapa in different kinds of ways, the better it is for all of us overall. We don’t need to go back to a single voice like we used to have under Labour. We need to have more diverse Maori voices in parliament,” Ms Turei says.

The Greens got around 10% Maori support in the 2002 election, as expected lost a lot of votes to the Maori party in 2005 and gained some of these back in 2008.

She expects they will gain even more Maori support in 2011 and he co-leadership will help this.


A love for conserving his own whenua has led to former Maori All Black, Laly Haddon, to be awarded a Queen's Services Medal for his contribution to conservation.

Mr Haddon, of Ngati Wai and Ngati Ruanui, was a founding member of New Zealand's first marine reserve, the Cape Rodney-Okakari Reserve, commonly known as Goat Island, near the small town of Leigh, in 1975.

Mr Haddon lives at Pakiri Beach, near Warkworth, and has dedicated his life to preserving the environment, particularly Pakiri.

“I've particularly tried to look after my hau kainga at Pakiri Beach. I’ve planted pohutukawa trees and just tried to preserve Pakiri and it’s stretched out, I’ve served some terms on the Auckland Conservancy and I’m on the Hauraki Gulf Forum, so I think I’ve tried my best,” Mr Haddon says.


Maori dairy farmers are likely to be less affected by the low dairy payout than others because they are often carrying less debt.

That's the view of the chair of the Federation of Maori Authorities' dairy cluster group, Kingi Smiler who says Maori however, like other farmers, need to focus on feed planning and grazing strategies to help stay afloat.

“We tend not to have high debt levels, and therefore while it may affect the dividends they pay their shareholders this year, those farmers that have high debt levels will in all likelihood be making significant losses,” Mr Smiler says.

Fonterra will pay out $4.55 a kilogram of milk solids for the 1009/2010 season, compared to $5.20 this season and down on the $7.90 gained in 2007/2008.


Massey University is leading the call for a moratorium on the commercial fishing of long-fin eels to prevent the dramatic decline of the endemic species.

Mike Joy, a freshwater ecosystem specialist from Massey, says the demand on the eels is high internationally as most countries have overfished their own species.

He is disappointed over the Ministry's lack of action, particularly as commercial fishing makes it harder for Maori to utilise the kai moana for food.

“I think most New Zealanders, especially Maori, would see that as a basic right to be able to go and catch eels from rivers and I want that to happen but at the moment just a tiny select group of New Zealanders are getting to take away a large proportion of them to sell overseas which is not fair to everyone else,” Mr Joy says.

New Zealand's eel population has suffered from pollution, hydro dams and their habitat being restricted by wall barriers, however commercial fishing was a nail in the coffin.

He says a petition in support of the moratorium will be launched once iwi consultation has taken place.


Hone Kouka says he couldn't have written the surprise element to receiving his Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to theatre, if he tried to.

Mr Kouka, of Ngati Porou, Kahungunu and Raukawa works for the New Zealand Film Commission but has been involved with theatre for nearly two decades as an actor, writer and director.

He says the award recognises the theatre community and the positive impacts it has on Maori and non-Maori communities.

“It's real recognition for the art form as well, for Maori theatre and Maori story telling so I’m really chuffed from that point of view and for all of the people who did all the mahi. I’m the one whose name is on this, but it comes from a lot of other peoples’ work, so I’m really chuffed for that,” Mr Kouka says.

He is currently working on a stage adaptation of the Patricia Grace novel Tu.

Co-leader Turei keen to attract Maori to Greens

Green's co-leader Meteria Turei says if fellow co-leader Russell Norman wins the Mt Albert bi-election it will bring another Green Maori MP into parliament.

Speaking following her election as co-leader to replace Jeanette Fitzsimmons at the weekend, Meteria Turei says the Greens have always had a strong Maori focused kaupapa.

She says her election to the co-leadership role will attract more Maori to the party.

“It helps to bring Maori issues to the fore but also it means that Maori can reflect back on Parliament and see themselves in these kinds of positions, and that’s what we want, we want to keep building up models of leadership in different ways. For example, if Russel Norman wins Mt Albert, we will get our second Maori MP, Dave Clendon, into Parliament as well,” Ms Turei says.

The Mt Albert by-election takes place on June 13.


Labour leader Phil Goff says the budget was not a good one for Maori.

He says the budget forecast unemployment to climb to 8.3 percent or 180,000 people without work.

“We know as always it’s the Pasifika and Maori sections of the community that will suffer from the highest levels of unemployment and yet in the Budget not a thing. Not a thing to carry out any of the discussions form the Jobs Summit, the Industry Training Organisation actually complained bitterly that the funds for skills training had been cut,” Mr Goff says.

Because the Maori population is younger than the wider population, it will also be particularly affected by the government cutting contributions into the super fund over the next 10 years.

He says this will leave a $35 billion hole in funding for super when the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age which the younger generation, where Maori are disproportionately represented, will have to pay.


Maori party MP Hone Harawira is delighted that a friend and fellow Maori issues campaigner Saana Murray has been recognised with the award of a CNZM in the Queens Birthday honours list.

Hone Harawira says Aunty Saana has been a battler for Maori rights all her life who has encouraged others to excel.

“She never ever resiled from being strong and positive and challenging. She was always, and always has been, the kind of person who Pakeha say call a spade a spade, that’s Aunty Saana,” Mr Harawira says.

Saana Murray received her Companion of the New Zealand of Merit award for services to the community.


Labour says Maori will be particularly hard hit by budget changes to superannuation.

Leader Phil Goff says cutting contributions into the super fund over the next 10 years this will leave a $35 billion hole in funding for super when the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age.

“This will particularly affect Maori people because the Maori population is younger than the wider population and guess who’ll be paying more taxes to pay for that, it will be the younger population and in particular, disproportionately, the Maori population,” Mr Goff says.

He believes the younger generation will eventually refuse to pay.


A longtime involvement with Maori King Tuheitia and his mother the late Te Atairangikaahu has earned Tainui kuia Puahaere Rutene membership of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Ms Rutene, known as Taini, has been secretary to the Kingitanga for 16 years.

Kaumatua Tui Adams says she has become invaluable.

“ We depend on her entirely not just for services and that but as a contact point. If we want to know anything at all, particularly about the Kingitanga or the whereabouts we will be at over the next three or four weeks, we will get in touch with her,” Mr Adams says.

Puahaere Rutene was also acknowledged for her services to netball.


Paihia residents were treated to a day of kite making to mark the beginning of Matariki.

Jenny Baker, who ran the workshop yesterday says although she is from England she feels a close affinity with the kaupapa of Matariki.

She says everyone had a great time and enjoyed creating their own piece of art to signify the day.

Jenny Baker says the workshops were so popular she may run another before the end of Matariki at the end of this month.

Official Matariki celebrations start when the constellation Matariki or Pliedes rises above the horizon after the next new moon on June 24.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Title will give weight to kohanga rangatiratanga push

Maoridom’s newest dame says recognition in the Queen's Birthday honours list will help her fight harder for her beloved Kohanga Reo movement.

Dame Iritiana Tawhihirangi moved from Maori Affairs to become Kohanga Reo’s first chief executive, and more than a quarter century later she remains involved with the early childhood organisation.

She’s also a Maori Language Commissioner and deputy chair of the Maori Education Trust.

Dame Iritana says in its early years Kohanga Reo was driven by the community, but it’s now too much under the control of the Ministry of Education.

“What we need to do as trustees and with our CEO is renegotiate the right of kohanga to return to the basis on which it was established. Well I’ll tell you this. If I was able to work with our people and get the support of our people without this honour, what this space now that I have got it,” Dame Iritana says.


Environment Waikato scientists are using polypropylene rope to save a threatened native fish, the inanga.

Bruno David says the adults of the whitebait species live in headwaters, but farm pipes often restrict migration to these creeks, making it harder for the fish to reproduce.

“The whitebait come up the rivers to where these pipes are and struggle to get past but some of our native fish have really good climbing capability so we’ve been looking for a cheap way to retrofit some of these pipes to allow the fish to get back up,” Mr David says.

Polypropylene rope is laid alongside or inside the pipes, allowing the fish to swim up.


There's been a double blow for northern iwi with the deaths of two senior elders, Tepara Mabel Waititi and Ratima “Deema” Petera.

Mrs Waititi, from Ngati Hine was buried yesterday at Motatau. She was 94.

Her nephew, Erima Henare, says she had been the tribal historian for Ngati Hine, as well as having a deep knowledge of the knowledge of events around the 1835 Declaration of Independence and the Treaty of Waitangi.

“The tribunal has indicated it will come here on October 28 to hear Ngapuhi’s claims on He Whakaputanga I Te Tiriti o Waitangi, but a piece of vital evidence goes to the grave in the form of Auntie Mabel,” Mr Henare says.

Mabel Waititi also featured in Gaylene Preston’s film War Stories (Our Mothers Never Told Us), talking about her wartime exploits driving trucks in the far north.

Further north at Ngataki, Ngati Kuri is mourning Reverend Petera, who was one of the main sources of traditional evidence for the Muriwhenua claims.

He died at his home in Awanui on Friday aged 88, and will be buried today.


The Queen’s Birthday honours list has given government partner the Maori Party a chance to show its respect to two of the kuia who inspired it.

Iritana Tawhiwhirangi didn’t get to Parliament at number nine on the Maori Party list, but the former Maori Affairs community officer who become Kohanga Reo’s founding chief executive and later its chairperson is now a Dame Companion of the New Zealand order of merit.

The Ngati Porou 80-year-old says the honour from the Queen is for her on par with an honour from another queen.

“The greatest honour I’ve ever received was from the late Dame Atairangikaahu when she presented me with a waka huia with a greenstone pounamu as her personal thanks for what I was doing, so getting the honor from the Maori queen, and now getting one from the queen of England, what more could you ask,” Dame Iritana says.

Saana Murray from Ngati Kuri, whose 1974 book Te karanga a te kotuku was a precursor to what became the Muriwhenua Claim, became a companion of the order.

Mrs Murray is a past recipient of a Kawariki Award, given by the far north protest group co-founded by Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira to acknowledge people fighting for Maori rights.
She is also a claimant in the WAI 262 fauna and flora claim, along with the late John Hippolyte, father of Te Tai Tonga MP Rahui Katene.

Other prominent Maori honoured yesterday include Auckland University professor Michael Walker for services to science, Hamilton woman Mere Balzer for services to Maori health, musician Che Fu, playwright Hone Kouka and Ngati Pikiao kaumatua Joe Malcolm.


A Waikato hapu plans to return to the Waitangi Tribunal to challenge Transpower's planned pylon route.

A board of inquiry last week green-lighted the 200 kilometre transmission line from Whakamaru in South Waikato to Auckland.

Willie Te Aho, the lawyer for Ngati Koroki Kahukura, says when the hapu sought an urgent hearing from the tribunal five years ago, it was told to come back if it could not get satisfaction from the main planning process.

He says that time has now come.

“It’s affected our economic development rights in terms of tourism and the upcoming rowing world cup. It’s affected our cultural sites of significance as they go across no less than two of our pa sites. These are huge towers, bigger than anything our people have seen, that will be marching across our landscape, and from an aesthetics, we just don’t want them,” Mr Te Aho says.

He says the 70 metre pylons will march across Ngati Koroki Kahukura territory from Atiamuri to Karapiro.


Kapa haka is being touted as a way to get children learning about a wide range of subjects.

Tania Kopytko from Dance Aotearoa New Zealand is traveling round schools encouraging teachers and students to use movement as a way of learning other curriculum subjects.

She says the concept is not too different from the way kapa haka is used within Maori culture.

“You could learn a poi and learn taiaha as one must because they’re part of culture and suchlike but equally you could be looking at learning other subjects ou could be learning through kura kaupapa at school and using elements that come from Maori movement as part of that,” Ms Kopytko says.

Maori students respond well to dance and movement classes as many are what is known as kinaesthetic learners.