Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, June 19, 2009

Te Arawa mourns teacher extraordinaire Tamahori

Te Arawa is tonight farewelling a kuia whose commitment to education was an inspiration to hundreds.

Maxine Joan Te Arapokahau Tamahori was taken on to Tamatekapua marae in Ohinemutu this afternoon by her six children.

She died yesterday morning at home in Auckland aged 92.

Her brother in law, Bishop Kingi, says Mrs Tamahori, a member of the Hayward whanau, was from Ngati Rangiteorere, Uenukukopako and Ngati Rangitihi.

She met her husband, Canon John Tamahori when he became vicar of St Faith's Church.

Mr Kingi says she worked extensively as a school teacher in the bay of Plenty and East Coast without undergoing formal training, and also pursued her own education extra-murally to masters level.

In later years she became a teacher of Maori, teaching many peole to become speakers.

Maxine Tamahori will be buried on Sunday at St Faiths Church, alongside her husband.


Maori Party leader Tariana Turia has attacked an Auckland many for profiteering from the fears of Pacific Island overstayers.

Gerrard Otimi has been holding meetings on south Auckland and Waikato marae claiming to be able to whangai overstayers into his hapu for a $500 fee, so they can stay in New Zealand.

The Te Tai Hauauru MP says Mr Otimi has a history of challenging the system in the name of Maori sovereignty, but his latest action is totally unacceptable.

“What we should be doing is looking at these people, meeting with them to see hw we can be more helpful but I’m not happy abut anybody who is out there gathering putea from people who essentially are very desperate and who are very poor,” Mrs Turia says.


With two Tairawhiti finalists, the Gisborne Event Centre will be packed tonight to hear the winner of this year's Ahuwhenua Trophy for best Maori sheep and beef farm.

The competition is between Hereheretau Station west of Wairoa, Pakarae Whangara B5 north of Gisborne, and Morikau Station from Ranana on the Whanganui River.

Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia says the competiton, started in 1932 by Sir Apirana Ngata and revived in recent years, highlights the importance of Maori farming efforts.

“In Gisborne nearly 65 percent of all the product that goes out through the port comes from Maori assets an the Ahuwhenua Trophy reminds us we have those assets there. We just need to get better at utilising them and making sure our people benefit from them,” Mr Horomia says.

The gala award ceremony is one of the highlights of the Maori farming year.


West Auckland's Te Whanau o Waipareira is mourning the loss of one of the founding stalwarts.

Wiremu Tairua died peacefully at his home overnight.

The secretary of the trust's roopu kaumatua, Ngaire Te Hira, says Mr Tairua was a pou of Maori life in the city.

He chaired Piringatahi Marae in West Harbour, and through his connections into Ngawha and Ngati Hine was prominent in issues affecting Ngapuhi nui tonu.

Uncle Willie Tairua is at Te Piringatahi Marae tonight, where a decison will be made on where he will be laid to rest.


The Film Commission's development executive says the strong line-up for this weekend's Wairoa Maori film festival demonstrates the way new technologies have unleashed a new generation of Maori filmmakers.

The commission and Te Waka Toi, Creative New Zealand's Maori arm, are major sponsors of the festival, which is in its fifth year.

Hone Kouka says Maori Television is giving many young Maori the chance to learn film techniques, and several actors and producers have also directed short films, including Nancy Brunning, Mike Jonathon and Ainsley Gardiner.

He says the festival is putting Wairoa on the creative map.

“You can cheekily look at it much as how Sundance started off in Utah. It seems like an out of the way place but filmmakers want to go to those festivals and Wairoa is quietly building itself up to be like that as well,” Mr Kouka says.

Festival highlights include the world premiere tonight of Garth Wateneh's feature Rua, and audio-visual exploration of the underwater life of Mahia’s newest folk hero, Moko the Dolphin, and a gala evening with music supplied by the Billy T.K. Experience.


Tomorrow's All Black Test against France in Wellington could be the opportunity for starting number 7 Tanerau Latimer to show what he is capable of.

Former international Sevens player turned commentator Karl Te Nana says the Steelers captain and Super 14 chief has the speed and aggression needed from the side of the scrum.

He says coming on for the last 20 minutes of last week's first test loss at Carisbrook, Latimer performed creditably, and the 24 year old Te Puke-born flanker will relish his chance in the starting line-up.

Maori lock Issac Ross also has a chance to consolidate his position in the national squad after a strong debt performance last week.

Three vie for Ahuwheua Trophy

One of three sheep and beef farms will tonight be crowned the top Maori farmer in Aotearoa.

A capacity crowd of 650 is expected at the Gisborne events centre to hear who takes off the Ahuwhenua Trophy for another year.

Alan Fraser from Meat and Wool New Zealand, the gold sponsor for the event, says Maori farms account for up to 15 percent of sheep and beef production, but the potential is there for that number to increase with better farming techniques.

He says the Ahuwhenua Trophy is helping to raise standards through the open days the finalists are required to run, which attract up to 500 people as well as widespread media coverage.

“A lot of people get to learn about aspects on each of those finalists’ properties as a result of them being regarded as farmers demonstrating excellence. We know from discussions that happened after these field days that peole do look to adopt some of the practices they have seen on those winning farms," Mr Fraser says.

This year's finalists are Morikau Station on the Whanganui River, Hereheretau Station, west of Wairoa, and Pakarae Whangara B5, north of Gisborne.


Now Auckland City has cleared the cows from Maungawhau, Orakei hapu Ngati Whaua is setting its sights on cars and buses.

Ngarimu Blair, Ngati Whatua's environment manager, says the damage the cows have done to achaeological sites on the slopes of Mt Eden is dwarfed by the effects of the cars and buses on the maunga.

He says a traffic management plan is needed, with some iwi members suggesting a gate to control the million plus visitors a year.

“There's always that option and I would be lying to say people haven’t been thinking about it but it’s taken over 10 years to get this change with the cows and I hate to think it would take another 10 years to get better visitor management of the mountain,” Mr Blair says.


Maori working with Maori children and whanau are holding a national hui in Palmerston North this weekend, with planning for an international gathering of indigenous early childhood workers high on the agenda.

Te Hinatore organiser Brenda Soutar says Maori have their own perspectives on early childhood, which has resulted in innovations like the kohanga reo movement.

She says it was important to create spaces where Maori can feel comfortable speaking out.

“Across the sector a lot of us had been meeting in lots of different contexts in other conferences and curse and found that when we had come together it was difficult for us to find a space that was just ours, and we were having to create spaces within those contexts.
Ms Souttar says.

The hui is at massy University's Te Kupenga o Te Matauranga marae complex


A resource law expert says a bill amending the Public Works Act could go further to stop Maori land being taken.

Daniel Kelleher, a senior associate with law firm Simpson Grierson, says the Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell's bill addresses what should happen with land taken under the Act.

The amendment would require land to be offered back to its original owners if it is no longer needed for the purpose it was taken, and it cuts down on the excuses government agencies or councils can give to hold on to the land.

But Mr Kelleher says a review of the Public Works Act in 2001 uncovered widespread opposition to the way the Crown used its power to take land.

“One of the clear statements that came through form most submitters who had had land taken, and very strongly from the submissions made by Maori, was that there was this fixation by people of taking the freehold when a lesser interest might well suffice and if you do that and people are able to retain their land lease it to the crown or whoever, want to use it, get some rental, then you tend to lose these arguments about whether people are being fairly compensated for losing their land,” Mr Kelleher says.

He says when land is offered back, it should be at a comparable price to when it was taken.


Meanwhile, Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell hopes for a double dose of luck in the parliamentary lottery.

With his Public Works Act Amendment Bill now before a select committee, has another bill in the ballot to make matariki a public holiday.

He says the Maori new year deserves official recognition.

“If we can recognize Father Christmas and we can recognize Guy Fawkes we can certainly recognise our own holidays,” he says.


A dyslexia educator says empathy is the key to improving outcomes not only for Maori but for dyslexic people as well.

Guy Pope Maxwell from the Dyslexia Foundation is touring the country for dyslexia awareness week, showing more than 1000 teachers ways to reach students with the learning condition which could to affect up to 10 percent of the population.

He says it may take a change in the way they operate.

“Step into the shoes of the dyslexic individual, see the world from their perspective, and provide learning opportunities from that point and I think that challenge is the same challenge Maori are challenging the school system to do on a general basis,” Mr Pope says.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tairawhiti wins Matatini hosting for 2011

All roads will lead to Gisborne in 2011 as Tairawhiti hosts its first Matatini festival in 34 years.

The region fought off bids from Rotorua, Taranaki and Christchurch to win the coveted job, which could bring up to 50,000 people to the city for three days of kapa haka.

Bid co-ordinator Willie te Aho says a strong team of kaumatua led by Sir Henare Ngata led the tono.

Tairawhiti had the advantage of existing infrastructure, as it will use a natural ampitheatre in a Mangatu Incorporation vineyard between Waihirere and Gisborne city, where the Rythym and Vines music festival is held each summer.

“One of the unique factors abut our bid was returning to our land and to our environment and saying just like the festival held in Waitangi, beside the Waikato River and at Bastion Point, we want to take the people on to our land, so it’s a proven venue, it’s a place of great historical identity for us of the Tairawhiti,” Mr Te Aho says.

The 2013 Matatini will be hosted by Te Arawa in Rotorua.


The head of Canterbury University's school of Maori and indigenous studies, Rawiri Taonui, says changes in the way universities operate means they may be better able to cope with students who were failed by the secondary school system.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples has called for universities to redress historic imbalances in the education system by offering open entry to all Maori and creating mechanisms to support them while they study.

Mr Taonui says because of the internet, mass communications and other changes in society, young people now pick up on new knowledge much faster than previous generations.

He says that means a low NCEA score may be meaningless in a university context.

“Universities are starting to teach a much wider range of things because of the globalised knowledge economy. This generation comes to university able to engage with that sort of material The schools don’t necessarily prepare them for that and it’s another reason why we should open up the doors, be a bit more relaxed about getting kids into universities to try these things,” Mr Taonui says.


Napier-based Maori girls' boarding school Hukarere is on a fundraising drive to rebuild its chapel.

Deputy principal Lelie Jackson-Pearcy says the school's original chapel was destroyed by fire along with the rest of the school in the 1920s, and the replacement was decommissioned in 2005.

Old girls rescued some fittings which they hope will find a place in the new building.

Ms Jackson-Pearcy says the aim is to reopen at the end of September next year.


A Maori and resource law specialist says a proposed amendment to the Public Works Act should stop government agencies and local authorities playing pass the parcel with former bits of Maori land.

The amendment bill put up by Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell passed its first reading last night and was referred to a select committee.

Simpson Grierson senior associate Daniel Kelleher, who discussed the bill with Mr Flavell at a legal symposium in Wellington yesterday, says it removes some of the excuses agencies have used to hang on to land when it becomes surplus.

It also spells out clearly that land must be offered back to its original owners when it is no longer needed for the purpose it was taken for.
“Property may have been taken for a public work and then used for another one and another one and what he’s trying to do, the way I read the bill, is to say ‘you can take it for one work. When you don’t need it for that, you offer it back at that point. You can’t try to use it for something else without talking to the person from whom you’ve acquired it.’ So those are quite significant changes and will mean that you will not get the pass the parcel with one entity passing it to another to use for another public work,” Mr Kelleher says.

The bill also raises significant questions about how much people should have to pay when land is offered back to them.


The president of Auckland University's Maori Students Association is endorsing the call by Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples for open entry to Maori.

Kingi Snelgar says Auckland has this year limited entry to several popular courses, which will eventually affect Maori student numbers.

He says as well as getting in, universities need to support Maori tauira in ways that acknowledge their cultural and social needs, as Dr Sharples pointed out.


Auckland hapu Ngati Whatua Ki Orakei says the removal of cows from a sacred maunga is long overdue.

Environment manager Ngarimu Blair says the natuural grasses on Maungawhau-Mt Eden will again grace the slopes rather than being trampled under.

He says the herd has done irreparable damage to sensitive archealogical sites over the years.

“From a distance it doesn’t look bad but when you walk around the
mountain you can see a number of slips where terraces and scarps our tupuna have built have slowly but surely slipped down the mountain. We had a couple of major slips last year which caused us to say to council get red of them otherwise we will be having a big hangi,” Mr Blair says.

Now the cows are gone the next thing on the agenda is a traffic management plan to cope with the million people each year driving to the summit.

Flexibility emerging on settlement terms

A hui on treaty settlements has heard Maori claimants are benefiting from a more flexible approach to redress packages.

Kensington Swan senior associates Baden Vertongen from Ngati Raukawa ki te Tonga told the Lexis Nexis symposium in Wellington yesterday that over the past 18 months the Office of Treaty Settlements had become more ready to blur commercial and cultural redress, to the benefit of claimants.

He says by being more strategic about the sort of assets they buy, and being creative with terms and timing, iwi have been able to add to the value of their settlements without increasing the cost to the Crown.

Factors such as education, social service delivery and papakaianga housing are also being added to the mix.

“It's not just about the delivery of a cash asset back to iwi groups. It’s much more about iwi groups being creative about what they want to be delivering back to their people up front rather than having to think about that after they’ve got the cash in the bank and that gives you a lot more flexibility in the negotiation process because you can start targeting redress that achieves things without it having to come off your quantum figures,” Mr Vertongen says.


The head of Te Whakaruruhau says the recession may be pushing iwi broadcasters towards creating a shared news service.

Mike Kake from Radio Ngati Hine in Whangarei says the idea was raised at the Maori radio broadcasters' group's hui yesterday.

He says the number of reporting staff in rural areas is going down so many stories are not covered.

The solution could be an independent news service pooling resources from radio, print and television.

“I think it will come down to the fact we in Maori news or the whole Maori media are going to have some consolidation around news and writing the news an I don’t see why not,” Mr Kake says.


Hospices are urging more Maori to consider their services for end of life care.

Tina Parata, the Maori liaison for North Shore Hospice, says the quality of care and the time staff give patients has parallels with a whanau based approach.

She says Hospice wants to be a place whanau will feel comfortable using when a member has a terminal illness.

Ms Parata, who is from Te Atiawa ki Whakarongatai and Ngati Toa, says Hospice also offers valuable support for the whanau of patients.


A Victoria University professor says the university already has open entry for adult Maori, but it could be unfair to let in students straight out of school if they don't have the right grounding and support.

Speaking on the university's te Herenga Waka Marae this week, Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples challenged Victoria to open its doors for Maori students at any age to offset the disproportionately low NCEA pass rates among Maori.

Ngatata Love, Victoria's Professor of Business Development, says while school results are not always a good indication of what a student is capable of, some preparation is needed for tertiary study.

“They do need a grounding and the best way to get that is through programmes which allow them to study and build up over a year say to get ready to go in and often you find if you do programmes that are NZQA to level five through the wananga for instance there will be credit points given. The pathways are there and I think we should encourage it,” Professor Love says.

Maori students may also need extra support or pastoral through to get them through.


A lawyer involved in treaty settlements says claimants are putting more focus up front on social outcomes - and getting better settlements as a result.

Baden Vertongen from Ngati Raukawa ki te Tonga told a Lexis Nexis symposium in Wellington yesterday that the Crown is being far more flexible about the sort of packages claimants are being offered.

He says claimants are looking at ways to add value outside to settlements without adding cost to the Crown.

“And also the blurring of the line between pure commercial and financial redress and cultural redress where there has been financial packages put together to achieve social outcomes, sot of education or social service delivery or provision for development of whare taonga or papakainga housing. The shopping list for the type of redress you can get now is much more extensive,” Mr Vertongen says.


There's shock around the motu at the sudden death of te reo expert Wiha te Raki Hawea Stephens from Ngati Awa and Tuhoe.

Mrs Stephens died yesterday of cancer at her home in Ngaruawahia. She was in her early 50s.

She taught for many years at pioneering Huntly immersion school Te Wharekura o Rakaumangamanga, and was a contributor to the Maori language dictionary and a lead translator on the Maori Google project.
More recently she was a language coach on Vincent Ward's film Rain of the children, which was co-produced by her husband Tainui Stephens.

She is being taken today to Te Ao Marae in Te Teko.

No reira haere hoki atu ki nga ihi ki nga wehi ki nga mana ki tu o te ara.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Settlement quality considered in conference

There's a warning quality could be lost in the rush to complete historic settlements by 2014.

Lawyers, lawmakers and iwi representatives have been discussing the issues at the Lexis Nexis Treaty Settlements and Beyond symposium in Wellington today.

As one of its first acts, the National Government brought forward Labour's settlement target by six years.

Rawiri Taonui from Canterbury University's school of Maori and indigenous studies says that's a lot of pressure on the treaty claim industry.

“There's at least anther 20 settlements that could be completed this year and next year so they’re going to get through a fair bit of it. The issue with the 2014 deadline is not necessarily whether you can make it but whether you can do it well,” Mr Taonui says.

While the Budget pumped a further $20 million into the Office of Treaty Settlements, there was only a minimal increase for the Waitangi Tribunal, raising the spectre that some of the research needed for durable settlements won't be done.


The Maori Trust Office is encouraging Maori landowners to get more out of their whenua.

The office becomes independent from Te Puni Kokiri from July the first, and its future success will depend on how it can sell services to Maori.

Anne-Marie Broughton, a land development consultant at the Whanganui office, says a project which brought together four blocks at Normanby to run as a single dairy farm shows what can be done with good advice.

She says owners need specialised help to overcome problems created by the fragmentation of Maori land ownership.

“When you're talking 1000 owners it’s a big ask to expect someone to pop their heads up and say I’ll do it. The Maori Trustee can play an important role in helping groups of owners in this situation,” Ms Broughton says.

The Normanby blocks include the site of the former Taranaki Agricultural Research Station, so it could be used in future for a farm training programme for owners.


Contemporary dancers Taiaroa Royal and Taane Mete launch their latest multimedia work in Hamilton tonight.

The Okareka Dance Company’s five act Tama Ma starts with a short film of the two dancers, which the live pair then interact with.

Mr Royal says the work follows a drag queen's journey to femininity and back to masculinity.

“The whole work takes people on this fantastical journey so it’s a biographical work of mine and Tane’s lives, a journey from boyhood to manhood really,” Mr Royal says.


A Maori Party Bill which aims to compensate whanau for land wrongly taken under the Public Works Act gets its first reading tonight.

The bill's sponsor, Te Ururoa Flavell, says hundreds of thousands of acres of Maori land have been taken by the Crown since the first Public Works Act in 1864.

His amendment would mean land taken for a public work and never used for that purpose, or which is no longer needed for that purpose, can be offered back to the original owners.

Current arrangements allow land to be offered back at market price, but Mr Flavell says rather than having to pay up, the original owners or their descendants should see some money coming back the other way.

“In some cases the people who owned that land have been disadvantaged by not being able to use that land. Therefore they should have the ability to move into compensation for their inability to use that land while it’s been in somebody else's grasp,” Mr Flavell says.

He has been promised support from National, United and the Greens to get the through the first reading stage and into a select committee.


Mataatua iwi have marked the day the Treaty of Waitangi arrived in the Easter Bay of Plenty.

Jeremy Gardiner from Te Runanga o Ngati Awa says yesterday's commemoration started with a dawn ceremony at Pohaturoa rock in central Whakatane, and continued with a wananga at Wairaka marae on the history and traditions of the Mataatua waka.

Mr Gardiner says it's the longest running treaty event outside of Waitangi Day, having been going for more than 20 years.

Ngati Awa also marked the day by helping release four kiwi birds into a bush reserve.


Te Papa wants people to add their photos of Matariki celebrations to an online collection.

Exhibition manager Adan Tijerina says 48 images will be selected for display on a massive screen outside Te Papa, as part of its Matariki Festival starting on June 25.

He says the images received so far reflect the diverse ways communities are marking the Maori new year.

He says the way the time of year is celebrated in Aotearoa is unique and needs to be recognized.

Images can be viewed on Te Papa's site at ourspace.tepapa.com.

Te Kotahi a Tuhoe pleased at court win

The Trust responsible for $66 million of treaty settlement assets due to be handed to Tuhoe next month is quietly pleased with a High Court decision rejecting an injunction by dissident hapu.

Te Kotahi a Tuhoe chairman Tamati Kruger says the court has opened the way for a Tuhoe based mediation process to address the concerns of Te Umutaoroa, which represents hapu behind 15 of Tuhoe’s 34 claims.

It sought an injunction because it disputes the trust's mandate to handle the forestry settlement assets.

“We’re quietly relieved relieved that is over and done so there is general relief we’ve gone through that very painful exercise and the judge has been able to give a timely response to the pleadings," Mr Kruger says.

Te Kotahi a Tuhoe gave High Court Judge Alan MacKenzie a commitment that it would enter a Tuhoe-based and Tuhoe-led mediation.


A thousand people who between them own four blocks of Maori land at Normanby in the Taranaki, have pooled their resources to jointly dairy farm the properties in a move being hailed as a novel way of managing Maori land.

Anne-Marie Broughton, land development consultant at the Maori Trust Office, who brought the parties together says it marks the beginning of a new era for land that had previously been leased to other farmers.

“This is a business for the whanau and as well as being a business opportunity there’s other opportunities associated with that; getting on the land again, learning abut the farming business, looking at other opportunities to improve the land, for example the waterways and soil and things like that,” Ms Broughton says.


Encouraging Maori men to return to Te Ao Maori will be one of the ways in which the National Maori Mens Health Hui will address its own theme, Ko Wai Au, who are you?

Whakapapa and history expert, Te Awanuiarangi Black who will speak at the hui in Blenium today says the disconnection many tane have from Te Ao Maori leads to more disconnection in their overall wellness.

Mr Black, from Ngati Pukenga, Ngai Te Rangi and Ngati Raukawa, says in his experience when tane are strong in their own perception of mana tane, their lives can be transformed.

“Maori boys and men are coming back to te ao Maori through whatever portal that might be, it might be kapa haka, reo classes, learning how to whaikorero, it’s a great way of restoring a sense of self pride, mana, and all those other things. You can see the light flick on. It’s part of that mix or restoring that sense of hauora, of health, of vitality to Maori men,” Mr Black says.


After months of consultation Tourism Holdings has reached an agreement with local iwi, Te Ruapuha Uehaka Hapu, to operate the Waitomo Caves and build a new $12 million visitors centre.

Trust chairman, Peter Douglas, says in 1992 Tourism Holdings won the licence to operate for 16 years with a right of renewal for another 16 years.

After a fire destroyed the visitors’ centre in 2005, the company decided it wanted to rebuild the centre and negotiate an extension on its lease.

“What the company asked for is could they extend the lease from 16 years to a longer period Initially they asked for 32 years. We settled on a period of five additional years which satisfied them so they could satisfy their financiers and without us feeling we were precluding our ability to anticipate in running that business in years to come,” Mr Douglas says.

The new visitors centre will be completed early next year.


The Tuhoe Establishment Trust -Te Kotahi a Tuhoe - tasked with looking after $66 million from the $400 million Central North Island Treelord forestry settlement says it is ready and willing to enter mediation talks with dissident hapu.

Te Umutaoroa, which represents hapu behind 15 of the 34 claims, last week failed in a High Court bid to stop the Trust distributing settlement monies when they become available next month, says it wants meaningful mediation rather than seeking further court action.

Trust chairman Tamati Kruger says the Trust is prepared to try sorting out the dispute with mediation within Tuhoe as agreed to during the High Court hearing.

“The matter of a mediation comes back to the iwi. The two parties are Te Umutaoroa and Te Kotahi a Tuhoe. It’s within a Tuhoe framework of mediation. I think what’s hotly debated would be the timeliness of the urgency of that mediation
Mr Kruger says.

Mediation will not stop the money being handed to Tuhoe which will then have to work out among themselves how it is distributed.

Te Umutaoroa says Te Kotahi a Tuhoe doesn’t have a proper mandate, is unrepresentative and is putting tribal assets at risk.


The chief executive of the Women's Refuge says the referendum 09 is a step backwards and believes any change to the current law will create more harm than good for tamariki.

During August a postal referendum will be held asking the question - Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?

Heather Henare says revisiting smacking as a part of good parenting opens the door to reasonable force when disciplining tamariki, an excuse used as defence by abusive parents under the old law.

Ms Henare says the current law of no smacking protects tamariki and believes it has been enforced with good results.

“What we want to see is the existing law remain. We believe the law has been put to good use to date, that there haven’t been any cases come to notice which would suggest otherwise, that the police are appropriately making arrests and putting charges where they believe the law has bee broken, and we are happy with the outcome to where it is now,” Ms Henare says.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

High Court tells Tuhoe go away and huihui

A dissident Tuhoe group is again calling for genuine mediation after the High Court refused to intervene in a dispute over management of the eastern Bay of Plenty iwi’s $66 million share of the Treelord forestry settlement.

Te Umutaoroa, which represents hapu behind 15 of the 34 claims, said Te Kotahi a Tuhoe, the body negotiating the claims, doesn’t have a proper mandate and the settlement trust it is setting up is unrepresentative and puts tribal assets at risk.

But Judge Alan MacKenzie said issuing an injunction would mean determining the facts of the case, when all he was allowed to look at was questions of law.

He said it appears that there are tikanga-based mechanisms within Tuhoe for the underlying issues to be resolved.

Te Umutaoroa spokesperson Hiraina Hona says the group has been pushing for genuine mediation for more than a year, but it has been ignored by Te Kotahi a Tuhoe and the Government.

“What we are looking for is genuine mediation. When we had mediation with Wira Gardiner, the idea from the Crown’s perspective and Te Kotahi A Tuhoe Trust was an ideal subjugation, that we just get back underneath there. There was the ideal of unification, we just go back underneath them so that was not genuine mediation to us,” Ms Hona says.

The group is also looking at appealing the decision but would prefer genuine mediation.


One of the members of the Ministry of Social Development's new Maori taskforce says she will be advocating a holistic and collective approach to dealing with Maori whanau.

The Whanau Ora Taskforce has been set up to find a better way for the government to deal with Maori service providers.

Nancy Tuaine of Te Atihaunui a Paparangi who is the manager of the Whanganui River Mäori Trust Board and a member of Whanganui DHB, says traditional Maori models for health and social services show the merits of working collectively.

“The current system, you’ve dealing with someone different if it’s a housing issue, whereas we go in to work with our whanau, we’re covering that whole range of spectrum, and our families, they don’t want to see seven different people, they just want someone who can work with them, support them with the whole range of things their whanau has to deal with,” Ms Tuaine says.

Other taskforce members include the chair, Massey University professor Mason Durie, Ngati Hine Health chief executive Rob Cooper, economist Suzanne Snively, Northland hauora head Di Grennell, and former Maori Women’s Welfare League president Linda Grennell.

The Taskforce will hold its first meeting next week.


The Waitomo Caves is finally getting its new visitors' centre after fire destroyed the original building over three years ago.

Grant Webster, the chief executive of caves owner Tourism Holdings says renegotiation of a lease with landowners Ruapuha Uekaha Hapu Trust and the Department of Conservation, as well as building consents had delayed the work.

However he says despite difficult financial times for tourism, there was never a question of rebuilding.

“We committed to the owners, so we’re pushing through. It’s not something that we would question whether we were doing it because we are taking a long term view and this is a long term partnership and our owners, especially the hapu trust, are clear with us in making sure we’re building something for our generation, but while I’m leader of THL, it’s for them, it’s for their generations to come
,” Mr Webster says.

Grant Webster says the environmentally friendly building will be shaped like a hinaki or eel net, follow the contours of the land and the Waitomo stream and include a restaurant, cafe, theatre and exhibition centre.

The $12 million structure is to be completed early next year.


Whanganui iwi are planning consultation hui this week before deciding whether to appeal to the Supreme Court over the amount of water Genesis Power draws from the rivers headwaters for the Tongariro Power scheme.

A judgment released last week dismissed their appeal against 35-year consents for diversion of the Whanganui river's headwaters, which, diverted into the Waikato River and flowing through 10 power stations, generates 5 per cent of New Zealand's electricity.

Trust board manager Nancy Tuaine says the iwi now have to to decide whether to appeal to the Supreme Court or go back to the Environment Court and agree on mitigation conditions with Genesis Energy.

“First we will be informing them, because it’s quite technical, how the judgment is laid out, so we need to put it into language we can all understand and think about the courses of action that are possible and then think about what is the best way forward for us as a people, given that it has been a long process,” Ms Tuaine says.

A split Court of Appeal judgment 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.


And the group representing hapu who have failed in their High Court bid to stop $66 million of Treelord forestry assets being distributed widely among Tuhoe say they are considering appealing that decision.

Te Umutaoroa spokesperson Hiraina Hona says the group which represents hapu behind 15 of the 34 claims would however prefer genuine negotiation among Tuhoe.

“We’re looking at appealing but ideally we already know we need to go back in front of the iwi, that Tuhoe need to take back control of this situation. We’ve been through all those processes and there was nothing forthcoming, because some of the issues are not just around Tuhoe tikanga. It’s really about the management and the leadership of the trust, which is a charitable trust, which is bound to Pakeha legislation,” Ms Hona says.

She says Te Kotahi a Tuhoe, the body negotiating the claims, doesn’t have a proper mandate and the settlement trust it is setting up is unrepresentative and puts tribal assets at risk.

High Court Judge Alan MacKenzie refused te Umutaoiroa's request for an injunction on the grounds that he could only rule on questions of law not the facts of the case.


The chief executive of the Women's Refuge says revisiting the anti smacking law with the referendum 09 calls into question the rights of tamariki in Aotearoa.

Heather Henare says the current law protects tamariki from assault in the same way as adults are protected.

She says any suggestion of re introducing smacking as part of good parenting, is in many ways saying tamariki are of lesser value than the rest of the community.

“We think that children are entitled to the same sort of protection adults are entitled to. We’re not entitled to go round in this country and beat up each other as adult. It’s against the law to do that. It’s common assault. So children should be treated no differently, from our perspective,” Ms Henare says.

Women's Refuge believes the current law is working well.

During the first three week's of August a postal referendum will be held asking the question - Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?

Makutu ceremony abuse of tikanga

A Ngati Porou tikanga Maori expert says the justice system and the media are placing incorrect labels on Maori rituals and they need to seek cultural advice.

Amster Reedy says the whanau who performed what has been called a makutu on Wainuiomata woman Janet Moses is far from the true meaning of maketu.

Mr Reedy says the whanau members who poured water onto Ms Moses which resulted in her drowning had no knowledge of what they were doing and the media was wrong to report it as a makutu ritual.

“We don't want out culture dragged through the mire because of misunderstanding. To me that wasn’t makutu. Because it’s much more tapu, it’s a much more special occasion that what it was made to be in the news as things went along,” Mr Reedy says.

He says there is little physical contact with the person who has a makutu and the person lifting the makutu.

Moses' uncle and four of her aunts who were found guilty of the 22 year old Wainuiomata woman's manslaughter, while three other family members were acquitted.


The new MP for Mt Albert David Shearer says his experience with the United Nations in the Middle East has given him an international perspective which should be useful in addressing indigenous Maori issues in New Zealand.

David Shearer says one issue which he thinks could have been handled much better by the Labour government was the foreshore and seabed legislation.

“I don’t know the full details of what happened there but I felt there was a road we could have gone down that satisfied all sides and instead it became a very polarising thing and I think as a result the Labour Party lost out, and I hope over the next few months it can be brought together again,” Mr Shearer says.

He says it was a real tragedy for the Labour Party that so many people went across and joined the Maori Party.

David Shearer has returned to New Zealand after heading the United Nation's $2 billion redevelopment and reconstruction programme in Iraq.


The Minister responsible for Maori broadcasting Georgina Te Heuheu says while television is the glamour area the government recognises the importance of radio in the process of Maori economic development.

Georgina Te Heuheu says this was recognised in the budget with additional funding for Maori radio.

“In terms of iwi radio it’s needed even more at this point because it’s a way for us to stay commected stay focused, determined, stay in touch with out families and our whanau because times are quite hard and the iwi radio network is a little gem that deserves to be supported.
Mrs Te Heuheu says.

She says it was obvious that the Labour Government's ignoring of the needs of Maori radio had to be reversed and collaboration between National and the Maori Party has allowed this.

The budget allocated $50,000 to each of the 21 iwi stations around the country.


New Mt Albert MP David Shearer says New Zealand needs to have further discussion on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples before signing it.

Mr Shearer, who has spent more than a decade overseas managing billion dollar UN reconstruction programmes in the world's hot spots, says the declaration which New Zealand has so far refused to sign is a very important document.

“I am not sure we’ve had the discussion a declaration like this certainly warrants yet in New Zealand,” Mr Shearer says.

He says many countries which voted for in the UN General Assembly to adopt the declaration have no intention of honouring it.
The new Australian government recently endorsed the declaration, leaving New Zealand, the United States and Canada standing out as countries which voted against it.


The growing rate of Maori with cancer has prompted the Health Research Council to fund two projects aimed at improving care for Maori sufferers.

The $1.2 million grant will be managed by Dr Lis Ellison-Loschmann, from Massey University’s Centre for Public Health Research.

One study will look into improving overall care for Maori patients and the other will investigate differences in cervical cancer survival rates between women of different ethnicities.

Dr Ellison-Loschmann, of Ngati Toa Rangitira, Te Atiawa and Ngati Raukawa, says cancer has taken over from chronic heart disease as the leading cause of death in New Zealand

“Cancers such as lung, cervical and stomach cancers are more common among Maori and other cancers like melanoma, prostrate and colorectal cancer tend to be less common so what that suggests is that Maori cancer control priorities perhaps should be different than those of non Maori,” Dr Ellison-Loschmann says.

Maori are 9 percent more likely to get cancer than non-Maori and 77 percent more likely to die of cancer than non-Maori.


The lobby group which represents independent Maori film and television producers believes Maori are missing out a fair share of programme funding.

Pita Turei, the executive director of Nga Aho Whakaari Pita Turei says the organisation’s annual hui over the weekend emphasised the importance of more funding so the voice of Maori can be heard.

He says with Maori making up 15 percent of the population they should get 15 percent of the money available for making film and television programmes.

He says Te Mangai Paho, which funds Maori broadcasting, is the only place that gets anywhere near this.

“But when we look at the Film Commission we stumble down to 6 percent so we’re only looking at half the resources we should be using. If we’re looking at New Zealand on Air, we’re looking at 2.5 percent,” Mr Turei says.

He says the best way to maintain the independent voice of Maori is to empower individual people to tell the stories of their whanua, hapu and iwi.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Moses death misuse of makutu ritual

A Ngati Porou tohunga says the death of Wainuiomata woman Janet Moses stemmed from misunderstandings around the phenomenon known as makutu.

Five of Ms Moses’ relatives have been found guilty of her manslaughter.

Amster Reedy says the whanau members who poured water over Janet Moses and down her throat, ultimately drowning her, showed little knowledge of traditional curses or how to lift them.

He says a makutu stems from a spoken chant, and there is rarely any physical action involved.

“The power of the chant affects the mind and the spirit and the body and the soul and there’s hardly any contact with the one who’s doing the makutu and the one being maketued,” Mr Reedy says.

He says there is a place in tikanga Maori for makutu and advises whanau to seek the counsel of kaumatua and tohunga.


Tu Mai is to run a hard copy version of the Federation of Maori Authorities’ new online magazine.

Publisher Ata Te Kanawa says Koha has offered profiles of indigenous businesses to the long-established print magazine.

She says it was a win win situation.

“It gives Tu Mai more commercial business clout because Koha’s focus is only on indigenous business and it gets Koha into a print arena that they weren’t able to pursue – their concentration was the online version so they really didn’t want to engage in the issues around distribution,” she says.

Koha launched in April this year and Tu Mai recently celebrated ten years and its 100th edition.


An Otara Maori warden is being recognised for her contribution to the community after just seven months on the job as a volunteer.

Waiarani Kaihau, of Ngati Te Ara and Te Waiohua, will be presented her rangatahi award this evening as part of National Vounteer week.

Ms Kaihau was suprised by the acknowledgment and believes more rangatahi should join the Maori wardens to serve the community.


One of the men who involved in the construction of Hamilton's Mormon high school has vowed to fight a decision to demolish the buildings.

US-based elders of the Church of the Latter Day Saints ordered the closure of Church College at Temple View in 2006, and now plan to raze the boarding school at the end of the year and turn the site into pasture.

Matiu Tarawa says the church has no right to destroy buildings with such strong Maori history.

“We support and sustain all our church leader but when it comes to something Maori it is a different question altogether. I resent the idea of becoming a second class citizen. We are the tangata whenua here. We are the ones who should be making final decisions as to what should happen to the buildings,” Mr Tarawa says.

He is seeking an enquiry into the demolition plans.

Since it was built in the 1950's, at least 10 percent of all Mormons in the country have sent their children to Church College, and three quarters of these students have been Maori.


Maori art will add the finishing touches to new accommodation for the whanau of Rotorua Hospital patients.

The $500,000 construction bill for the Paimarie (Haven of Rest) Project was met by Lakes District Health Board, but $100,000 fit out of the six units is the responsibility of Te Whakapono Health Trust, which raises funds for health initiatives in the Bay of Plenty.

Trust manager Tanya Morrison says local businesses have been generous in their support, and Te Whananga o Aotearoa has created harakeke weavings for the units.

She says whanau supporting sick patients need a place to rest and keep themselves well.


When Dame Kiri Te Kanawa sings at the Hollywood Bowl's season-opening gala this Friday, she will have plenty of support from her whanau back home.

Tainui kaumatua Tui Adams says the Ngati Maniapoto singer's induction into the Los Angeles ampitheatre's Hall of Fame capped off a successful career.

She joins other famous inductees including Liza Minnelli, BB King, Placido Domingo and Frank Sinatra.

Plans for bigger Maori bank

The Maori economic development taskforce is looking at creating a development fund with investment from government, iwi and private sector sources.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says a proposal by the previous government to create a $75 million dollar business support fund wasn’t big enough to be a going concern.

He says many Maori organisations need an alternative to the traditional trading and investment banks.

“A lot of Pakeha banks frightened Maori assets might not be able to be used as security because it’s multiple ownership, or that it might be sold, but a Maori bank will know that land will certainly not be sold and will know their way round multiple ownership and so on, so it might be a very very good idea,” Dr Sharples says.


Maori can now see the tracks of their ancestors as a record of New Zealands archaeological sites go online.

The New Zealand Archaeological Association is digitizing 50 years of paper records of sites around the country

The association’s president, Matthew Schmidt, says convenient access to the data on the more than 60,000 sites should help with site management, education, and fostering an appreciation of Maori heritage.

The site is at archsite.org.nz.


Australian viewers could soon get te reo Maori on their television screens.

Sydney based Maori speaker Jasmine Pearson says plans are well advanced for Maori language programmes to air on SBS, the channel that caters to Australia’s diverse ethnic communities.

She says while few of the Maori living across the Tasman are fluent speakers, those negotiating the deal are still pushing for a high Maori language content.


An Auckland University researcher has won a grant to study whether school breakfast programmes improve learning.

Delvina Gorton from the university’s clinical trial research unit says the $810,000 study will take two years to complete, using schools that are part of the Red Cross and Countdown breakfast programme.

She says the study is of particular importance for Maori and Pacific Island children.

“We know that people not being able to afford enough to eat is a really big issue in this country and that’s more so for Maori and Pacific kids and we really don’t want kids going hungry so if this programme is successful we think it is something that chould be in all schools and that will really reach Maori kids,” Ms Gorton says.

Anecdotal reports from schools who provide breakfast is that concentration levels and attendance improve, but those reports need to be backed by hard evidence.


Green co-leader Metiria Turei is backing Tariana Turia’s call for a moratorium on commercial eel fishing.

Ms Turei last year mounted a nationwide Tuna Tour to heighten awareness of the damage being done to eel habitats through pollution and modification of waterways.

She says tuna are an important food source for Maori, and the Maori Party co-leader correct that the needs of families and communities should take priority over short term profits

“She’s absolutely right to be focused on peoples’ need for kai and how to protect those natural resources we have had for generations and we are entitled to continue to have them for generations as well,”
Ms Turei says.


A Maori health promoter says the tobacco industry is threatening the cultural and language revival.

Janine Tamati- Ellife, from Action on Smoking and Health, says Maori are keen to maintain their culture, but many aren’t doing enough to maintain their own health.

She says disproportionately high Maori rates of smoking need to tackled as part of the wider cultural revival.

“What's the point of putting in effort for revitalizing our culture, our reo if the tobacco industry are killing 15 of our whanau off every week. It’s just ludicrous. We spend thousands of dollars on tangihanga and mourning over our loved ones and losing all that wonderful knowledge, and it’s something we can all make a stand against, against the tobacco industry,” Ms Tamati Ellife says.