Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

My Photo
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, July 03, 2009

Maori in city showcased

Auckland's ASB Showgrounds echoed this morning to the sound of the karanga as Ngati Whatua elders welcomed visitors to Atamira, a showcase of Maori in the city.

More than 1000 people turned out for the first day of the three day event which showcases Maori innovation in the arts and business.

Organisers aim to put a Maori face to the country’s biggest city.

Tonight there is a hui on how Maori can position themselves to benefit from the influx of visitors to the 2011 rugby world cup, and tomorrow there’s a science and technology innovation summit.

The draw for most vsitors is the music, with featured acts including Herbs Unplugged, Nesian Mystic, Trinity Roots, Whirimako Black and Moana Maniapoto’s Tribe on its last appearance before it heads off next week for a rainforest festival in Borneo.

Stallholders say it’s important rangatahi see the range of fields Maori are active in, and many government agencies are using the TPK-sponsored event to reach out to the Maori community.


Maori with a point to make about the Auckland super city will get their chance at next week.

A special subcommittee of the Auckland Governance Legislation select committee will sit at Orakei marae on Wednesday, Te Puea Marae in Mangere on Thursday and Hoani Waititi in the west on Friday.
Subcommittee chair Tau Henare says it's a first for Parliament, and he's trying to reach more than the two or three hundred Maori who have lodged written submissions so far.

“It just gives Maori a chance to be comfortable in their surroundings. We are going to hear submissions, those who have written in to us, in the morning, and then in the afternoon period we will open it up to a sort of open forum so we’re hopeful those who want to moan about the Auckland super city idea or those who want to say it’s a good idea can come along and give us their view,” Mr Henare says.

Some Maori may also make submissions to the main select committee, which is holding hearings at the Barrycourt Motel in Parnell all week from 9am to 9pm.


The Warriors are being urged to stick with the Stacey Jones-Lance Hohaia combo at half.

Sports commentator Ken Laban says the Auckland-based rugby league franchise has chopped around its line-up so much this year the players must be getting dizzy.

The Warriors must beat the Broncos in Brisbane tonight to stay in with a chance of reaching the final eight.

Mr Laban says while some critics believe Hohaia is more potent coming off the bench, a better indicator is the success Queensland coach Mel Meninga has had by persevering with the inside back combination of Johnathan Thurston and Darren Lockyer, giving them enough games together to develop an understanding.


Hosts Ngati Tuwharetoa are expecting more than 500 people to Hirangi Marae tomorrow to mark the largest ever treaty settlement.

Land under the Crown's central North Island forests has been handed to eight iwi, and with it comes more than $200 million dollars in cash, which is the rent that has accumulated in the Crown Forest Rental Trust over the past 20 years.

Ten percent of the forest assets have been held back for iwi who did not join the Treelord collective.

Trust chair Sir Graham Latimer says it's an outcome he could only hope for when his New Zealand Maori Council went to court 20 years ago to stop the sale of state forests.

“Well it was a hope at that stage but it wasn’t a fact. It’s a mighty sum of money. To be able to bring ourselves up to a level and compete in the business world, you’ve got to have the waywithall to go with it,” Sir Graham says.

Even with $200 million taken from its putea the Crown Forest Rental trust has enough money left to keep funding claimant research until the end of the historical claim process, but it will need to work on tighter budgets in future.


Meanwhile, a Te Arawa negotiator says CNI tribes are keen to take a major role in the region's economy.

Willie Te Aho says the iwi don't want to just be landlords of the 176 thousand hectares under the forests.

IN: We want to look at how we can add vale to our wood before it goes offshore so there’s on the ground forestry jobs, processing, marketing opportunities. Then there’s the geothermal possibilities under our land,” Mr te Aho says.

The settlement will also give the iwi capital to play a role in infrastructure investment.


The only wharenui in England is being restored and enlarged to serve as the centre of cultural activity for Maori based in the United Kingdom.

Hinemihi stands in Clandon Park, Surrey, where it was brought by a former governor general soon after it was dug out from under the ashes of the 1886 Mount Tarawera eruption.

Jim Schuster, a Maori heritage advisor for the Historic Places Trust and a great grandson of Tene Waitere, one of Hinemihi's carvers, says National Trust conservation architects are drawing up the plans for the restoration, and totara for a new ridgepole has been sent over.

He says the project follows a long debate in British heritage circles about the future role of the house.

“They wanted Hinemihi to be the centre for Maori cultural activities for UK-based Maori. Now that’s in the mission statement they’re all behind the project. It took a while to convince them of that and now they’re behind the project and they realise I think there’s lots of Maori people living in the UK and they find it’s their way of reconnecting with home,” Mr Schuster says.

Ngati Hinemihi weavers will travel to England to work on the tukutuku panels with members of London's Ngati Ranana and other UK-based Maori who want to learn the art.

Foreshore intentions must overcome obstacles

The conciliatory tone of the Ministerial Review of the Foreshore and Seabed Act has struck a dischordant note with a veteran Maori rights campaigner.

The report called for repeal of the Act and the recognition of Maori ownership of the takutai moana, but said all New Zealanders consider they have a right of public access to the beach.

Moana Jackson says the submission he prepared for Ngati Kahungunu challenged that access being taken from granted.

“We would be prepared to allow access, but if it was ours we could determine and should be able to determine the terms of the access and if we are to grant that access, then those Pakeha who also have entitlements to the foreshore and seabed like marinas and harbour boards should able be required to give access to the foreshore and seabed,” Mr Jackson says.

He's skeptical about National now standing up for Maori rights, because it was then leader Bill English in 2003 featured on billboards saying beaches were for all New Zealanders.


Ngati Mutunga has become the first Taranaki iwi to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the New Plymouth District Council on how the two parties should work together in future.

Iwi chair Jamie Tuuta says it is seeking cultural and economic benefits from the deal, including collaborative projects.

He says the north Taranaki iwi has wanted to improve its relationship with the council since it started treaty settlement negotiations with the Crown 15 years ago.

“The iwi was seeking greater control over our rohe and everything relating to us and it was clear many of the day to day matters that directly impacted or affected our iwi actually emanated from the actions and policies of local government rather than central government,” Mr Tuuta says.

Ngati Mutunga wanted a stronger relationship with the council at operational and governance levels than it could get through participation in New Plymouth's iwi liaison subcommittee.


A Ngati Hine woman is crediting art with changing her life after a serious illness.

Theresa Reihana's show Matariki is at Whangarei's Tuatara Gallery & Design Store until the end of the month.

She took up painting seriously 10 years after a bout of mastitis forced her to give up work and return home to Taitokerau.

Ms Reihana says painting healed her and made her proud of her Maori heritage.


As celebrations continue for the achievement of the multi-iwi central North Island settlement, there are calls for the lessons learned in the process to be applied elsewhere.

Te Arawa, Tuwharetoa, Tuhoe, Ngati Whare, Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Rangitihi will gather at Hirangi Marae by Lake Taupo tomorrow to mark the handover of the Crown's forests in the region.

Rawiri Taonui from Canterbury university says the historic deal came together because the previous Labour government stopped taking advice from the Office of Treaty Settlements and took a rangatira to rangatira approach.

He says that's what's needed to complete the settlement of Auckland claims, rather than just relying on the plan put up by facilitator Sir Douglas Graham.

“The proposed settlement they had a couple of years ago with Ngati Whatua left our Ngai Tai, Te Kawerau a Maki, Waiohua, all of those tribes whose occupation of Tamaki predated that of Ngati Whatua. It’s not a put down for Ngati Whatua but it was a real lesson about doing proper justice for all the parties,” Mr Taonui says.


A Wellington paediatrician is calling for a national post natal education programme to wake parents up to the danger of skin infections.

Brendon Bowkett says a patient audit at a Porirua clinic where last month, when more than 120 people presented with skin infections over 10 days, is an indication of the scale of the problem.
He says New Zealand's skin infection rate is comparable to third world levels, with Maori particularly affected.

Many infections are avoidable if the broken skin is treated early, but often parents don't act until infection sets in.

“When there is a lesion like a mosquito bite or a cut or a scratch, it gets treated there and then. The knowledge to do that has to be imparted on the people who are looking after that child, and that’s the key factor, because I work in some third world countries, and I haven’t seen rates of skin infection in those populations that mimic what we see here,” Dr Bowkett says.

Whanau support workers, plunket nurses and midwives could be used to get the word out.


Historic Places Trust conservators have been stockpiling natural fibres in Rotorua to be used in the restoration of the United Kingdom's only Maori wharenui.

Maori heritage advisor Jim Schuster says the restoration of Hinemihi in Clandon park in Surrey was held up because funding in the sector had been diverted towards preparations for the 2012 London Olympics.

But architects have drawn up plans for the interior, and Te Arawa weavers can start creating the interior tukutuku panels.

The National trust has launched a webpage devoted to the Ngati Tuhourangi wharenui, which was salvaged after the Mt Tarawera eruption 123 years ago.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Labour ready to improve foreshore framework

Labour's Maori Affairs spokesperson is keen to work with other parties to clarify the laws around the foreshore and seabed.

Parekura Horomia accepts some of the criticisms in a ministerial review that the previous Labour government could have done better in its response to Maori claims for recognition of customary interests in the takutai moana.

But he defends its attempt to clarify and codify Maori rights through legislation.

“If you don't have legislation, a while lot of other things can happen and that’s what I think in relation to water. The one thing with the takutai moana now, it has some clear construct in terms of where Maori rights should be and at the same time enduring all New Zealanders can get rid of this nonsensical fear that Maori can keep them away from the beach and all of that,” Mr Horomia says.


But the Maori Party MP who organised the 2004 foreshore and seabed hikoi is not interested in working with Labour on a replacement for the Act.

Hone Harawira says the review panel confirms that Labour and its Maori MPs got the issue totally wrong.

He says the MPs not only backed a nasty and destructive piece of legislation, they stood by it for five years while they were rewarded with ministerial jobs and high list placings.

His priority is to make sure any new legislation serves Maori interests well.

“And I'm really not interested in listening to any of the suggestions from Labour’s Maori members of Parliament since all they’ve done on this particular issue since we’ve gotten into power. Labour’s Maori members of Parliament, is parrot exactly what they white leaders have said to them,” Mr Harawira says.

He says the best thing Labour's Parekura Horomia could do is stand up in Parliament and apologise for getting the issue wrong.


A soldier turned choreographer steps out tonight to honour his grandfather, who fought in the 28 Battalion.

Maaka Pepene from Tuhoe and Ngati Hine spent six years in the infantry before studying dance.

Over the past decade he has worked with Taio dance theatre, Black Grace and now the Atamira Dance Collective.
Tonight at Belmont's Rose Theatre on the North Shore, Atamira kicks off a tour of Pepene's Memoirs of Active Service, inspired by his grandfather's wartime diaries.

He says it's demanding on the five dancers who also sing as they portray shearers turned soldiers caught up in the war effort.

“Click Go the Shears, The Maori Battalion Marching Song and He Tara Wa Huka about a punch in the jaw to this bugger Hitler. It’s a physical theatre with movement, dance as the basis of it but they have to act and sing and dance as well,” Mr Pepene says.

Memoirs of Active Service also includes videos and a backdrop inspired by painting by Peter McIntyre, New Zealand's official war artist.


The MP who quit the Labour Party over the Foreshore and Seabed Act wants her former colleagues to admit they were wrong.

Tariana Turia says the Ministerial Review Panel on the Act, set up as part of the Maori Party's support agreement with National, has exposed the flaws in Labour's approach to Maori customary rights.

The panel recommended the Act be repealed, and outlined a range of options for recognising the interests of hapu and iwi in the coastal marine environment.

Mrs Turia says while other parties did play politics with the Court of Appeal decision that sparked the Act, ultimately responsibility for the law lies with the former government.

“I think Labour’s feeling guilty. They know they were wrong. I know those Maori members must know they were wrong. There wasn’t one iwi that agreed with them. Of the 3945 submissions to select committee at that time, 95 percent said the legislation was wrong,” Mrs Turia says.

She says Labour should apologise to Maori for making a discriminatory law.


The head of Christchurch School of Medicine's National Addiction Centre is touring marae and other community centres to win support for more controls on alcohol

Professor Doug Sellman says New Zealand is suffering an alcohol crisis, with Maori disproportionately affected by the resulting violence and health problems.

He says solutions could include restricting liquor outlets and opening hours, regulating marketing, tighter drink driving limits, and price rises.

"This campaign has come at exactly the right time because a recession will bring abut a reduction in drinking because of the price issue naturally. Increasing the price even a little bit more could get really good gain in terms of better control of liquor in New Zealand society," he says.

Professor Sellman says New Zealanders have become numb to the damage alcohol is doing to society.

The Law Commission is due to publish an issues paper this month on the sale and consumption of alcohol.


Maori have been meeting with GNS Science today to advise how the Crown research industry can use Maori knowledge in its mahi.

Advisory group member Emma Gibbs from Ngapuhi says matauranga Maori can offer fresh perspectives on the CRI's work in geology and natural sciences.

She says today's agenda included potential names for recently discovered geothermal fields.

"We believe that we’re doing a good job to make sure Maori stay in the process of scientific research, especially when it comes to naming land masses, waterways. They all have traditional names, rather than a scientist discovering a land mass and calling it XO 5678," Ms Gibbs says.

Scientists sometimes need to be reminded to protect Papatuanuku or the earth, rather than abusing her.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Foreshore Act review advocates repeal

The Attorney General Chris Finlayson has taken delivery of a hard-hitting review of the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

A panel headed by former Waitangi Tribunal chairperson Eddie Durie slammed the law passed by the previous Labour government's after the Court of Appeal ruled Ngati Apa could ask the Maori Land Court to determine its customary interests in the Marlborough Sounds.

It recommended the Act be repealed and replaced with one which balance the customary rights of hapu and iwi in the coastal marine area with the rights of use and enjoyment held by the general public.

Mr Finlayson says the panel's comments on public access were excellent.

“There is almost tattooed into the brain of every New Zealander a belief in the importance of the beach culture in their lives, so I never really thought after Ngati Apa came out that public access was every going to be an issue but this makes it clear beyond doubt and that should reassure those New Zealanders who may be worried about public access questions,” Mr Finlayson says.

The panel also raised the need for a wider review of the laws on coastal management.


Central North Island forests were today put in the name of the region's iwi, ending an historic treaty claim process stretching over 20 years.

Roger Pikia, a Te Arawa negotiator, says the Treelords deal came together because of the willingness of former Treaty negotiations Minister Michael Cullen to negotiate on a rangatira to rangatira basis.

As well as the land, the iwi are getting $279 million in accumulated rental held by the Crown Forestry rental Trust, minus 10 percent being held back for a few smaller iwi groups which did not join the main settlement.

“That fund will be transferred today and then transferred out to the CNI iwi members. What the CNI iwi members will do from then, that’s the post-settlement governance entities, for those that have got corporate structures in place and strategic plans and business plans and so on, those things will evolve as we move forward,” Mr Pikia says.

As well as managing the forest, there could be opportunities such as energy generation where the iwi might want to work together on.


A Tauranga kura kaupapa Maori has won Education Ministry funding after nine years going it alone.

Te Kura Kokiri has left Tawhitinui Marae in Omokoroa, where it started in 2000 with seven children, and today moved its 88 pupils into a former primary school in Papamoa.

Principal Mark Nicholas says it could not get funding if it remained at the marae.

“The best place for our kids to be educated in on their marae among our kuia and koroua, their tikanga and their reo, but the ministry had extreme difficulty supporting that concept. Their idea was that to do so would mean putting government money into private establishments,” Mr Nicholas says.

Along with its registration, the kura is also celebrating 11 of its students gaining Bachelors of Matauranga Maori through Te Wananga O Raukawa while still at secondary school.


A former Maori Trustee says the Maori Trust Office needs to do more for Maori development and stand up for Maori people and institutions.

The office was today cut free from Te Puni Kokiri, and given extra funding to operate as a standalone organisation.

Neville Baker, who ran the office in the early 1990s, says as well as administering more than 100,000 hectares of Maori land, the Maori Trustee has a unique advocacy role.

“Today should be a celebration for Maori in particular because there now is an independent entity that has the ability to advocate and to work with the tribes and therefore the whole dynamic changes from the role when it was connected with Maori Affairs and more recently TPK,” Mr Baker says.

He says Maori Trustee John Paki should be talking to post-settlement iwi about how he can provide services and accelerate their development.


Ngati Whatua o Orakei today celebrated the 21st anniversary of the return of Bastion Point.

Hapu chair Grant Hawke says it was one of the first pieces of land returned to Maori as the result of a Waitangi Tribunal recommendation.

He says the battle for the Auckland coastal site inspired other Maori, and also helped Pakeha see New Zealand history in a different light.

He says it sets the precedent for other claims, and pointed to a new direction for setting grievances.

Mr Hawke says the challenge for Ngati Whatua now is to achieve a comprehensive Tamaki Makaurau settlement, working alongside other iwi in the region.


Whanau of the late Heni Materoa Sunderland gathered at Whakato Marae in Manutuke today for a special tribute to their kuia, who died a year ago aged 92.

Mrs Sunderland, who helped set up Gisborne-based iwi authority Te Runanga o Turanganui-a-Kiwa and the region's first Kohanga Reo, was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Waikato.

Louis Moeau from Rongowhakaata says his aunt was a formidable woman who combined a deep knowledge if the traditions and customs of Turanganui-a-Kiwa with a willingness to do what she saw as best for her region, including standing up on the mare to whaikorero.

Forestry assets transferred

It’s an historic day for Maori.

The massive Central North Island Treelords settlement takes effect today with the return of $500 million worth of assets to eight iwi in the region.

And the review panel on the contraversial Seabed and Foreshore legislation reports back to parliament this afternoon.

Iwi in the Central North Island broke new ground when they came together without lawyers last year and agreed to the CNI deal under which the Crown returns 170,000 hectares of forest.

The eight iwi will also divvy up around $280 million from Crown Forestry Rental Trust bank accounts.

In anticipation of the settlement consultants employed to investigate business opportunities are recommending the iwi consider the creation of a $2 billion power generation company to tap into the areas geothermal resource.

This could see the tribes supplying 10 to 20 per cent of New Zealand's electricity within five to 10 years.

And this afternoon the country will learn what the panel set up to review the Seabed and Foreshore legislation has come up with.

Both National and Labour have indicated they won't be quickly responding to recommendations aimed at addressing concerns which led to the formation of the Maori Party five years ago when the Labour government passed legislation to guarantee public access to beaches.


An iwi liasion officer says workibng as Maori wardens is a perfect training ground for rangatahi wanting to pursue a career in the Police.

None Martin, from Waitakere City Police, says the wardens provide a solid environment with practical experience dealing with all types of people.

He says the police and the wardens have a good working relationship.


The manager responsible for bedding down of the CNI Treelords deal, which sees $500 worth of assets returned to central North Island iwi today, says the treaty settlement will give Maori great heart at a time when the recession is being widely felt.

George Asher who has been lead negotiator on behalf of the eight iwi who today take over management of 170,000 hectares of forest and receive around $280 million in cash says considerable work has gone into ensuring the asset is wisely used.

This includes employing consultants to investigate business opportunities who are proposing iwi consider investing in a $2 billion project to develop the geothermal energy under the forest.

“It’s very significant in time of economic downturn that iwi are in this position to consider those opportunities,” Mr Asher says

The power project which could see the iwi supplying 10 to 20 percent of the country's electricity within 10 years is in the preliminary stage of investigation will only come about if the various iwi decide to invest in it.


Middlemore Hospital's new tissue bank will rely on Maori patients consenting to store and study their cancerous DNA, which could lead to better targeted therapies to attack certain cancer cells prevalent in Maori populations.

The cancer tissue bank, the first in the North Island, is expected to start storing samples in -80C freezers next year in an effort to determine genetic abnormalities that cause cancer.

Clinical director Samar Issa says the hospital is sensitive to the dilemma faced by Maori in the storage and use of dna and each case will have strict ethics approval.

Dr Issa says staff are working with the hospital's iwi group, and will be offering advice on the research and targeted therapies.


Billed as the ultimate showcase for Maori art, culture and business, the Maori expo Atamira which takes place in Auckland this weekend, will also take the time to recognise those who have contributed to Maori Innovation.

Atamira co ordinator, Ngaire Wilson, says on Saturday a one day innovation summit will be held on Saturday.

Ms Wilson says it's a timely opportunity for Maori to honour their peers who have made a real difference to science and research innovation.

Rhonda Kite, who runs post-production facilities, and Ian Taylor from Animation Research, the man behind the America's cup graphics are among the keynote speakers.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cautious approach to foreshore tome

Labour is supporting the government in taking time to digest the Foreshore and Seabed review out tomorrow.

Leader Phil Goff says the Foreshore and Seabed Act was one of the most difficult pieces of legislation for the previous government and there will be huge interest in the review panel's recommendations.

“The government has signaled it is going to take some time to absorb the nature of the report before it makes any comment. I think that is probably a reasonable strategy. We want people to think about it rather than jumping in and either dismissing it or automatically agreeing with it. Better to take time, think it through, and get it right,” Mr Goff says.

He says nobody wants the foreshore and seabed alienated in terms of public access but there is room to look at customary rights which do not extend to converting the foreshore and seabed into private title which could then be sold off.

The Government and Maori Party set up the review in March with a view to reforming the legislation which was the impetus for the establishment of the Maori party five years ago.


The potential of Maori assets, talent, resources and business strengths are being examined this week to see how they can best benefit the country's business sector.

The Employers and Manufacturers Association and Te Puni Kokiri are hosting a Tu Tangata Poutama breakfast in Auckland this Friday to look at how New Zealand can leverage off Maori businesses.

Alasdair Thompson, chief executive of the EMA, says there were many opportunities for all businesses to take advantage of New Zealand's unique cultural heritage.

“A number of Pakeha Maori business actually leverage off that now. They take from the Maori culture values and institute them in their own businesses and make it part of their point of difference so it is something absolutely unique to New Zealand, it is part of our brand, it is part of being different in the whole world,” Mr Thompson says.

The breakfast, which features speakers Pita Sharples, Jim Mather and Phil O'Reilly from Business NZ, will open the three-day Atamira: Maori in the City event.


The overall winner of the first Maori fashion awards show will march his street footware range onto the international stage in August.

Wiremu Baribal, who designs under the Wellington based label Tu Ake, will head to Toronto to represent Aotearoa at the Planet Indigenous Festival Fashion show.

He believes his Maori motif inspired range of footware, sports apparel and sunglasses impressed the judging panel last weekend because of the behind the scenes work he and his team put in.

“What the judges could see was I did have a team behind me because to do the mahi they saw and to sustain a future in the fashion scene, they can see it’s not just about me as a designer and they can see that the product will evolve and has legs I guess,” Mr Baribal says.

He will also show his collection at the New Zealand Fashion Week in September.


Two iwi from the top of the South Island, Ngati Tama and Te Atiawa, have withdrawn from a High Court hearing over disputed land awarded to Ngai Tahu.

Ngai Tahu sought a judicial review following a 2008 Waitangi Tribunal finding that iwi had competing claims to land awarded exclusively to Ngai Tahu in 1998 under the Ngai Tahu Treaty settlement.

Jamie Ferguson, the lawyer for Ngati Tama, says his clients did not have the financial resources to engage in the litigation.

“More importantly it’s a matter of principle. Their view is the issues being raised by Ngai Tahu concerning the Waitangi Tribunal report and issues of mana whenua and boundaries are ones that aren’t appropriately addressed in the forum of the High Court and they believe those types of issues should be the subject of discussions between the iwi concerned and as appropriately the Crown in an appropriate tikanga-based forum,” Mr Ferguson says.

Ngati Tama values its relationship with Ngai Tahu and does not believe the relationship will be enhanced by engaging in the litigation which is primarily between Ngai Tahu directors and the Waitangi Tribunal.


The French Senate has today unanimously approved a proposed law change opening the way for the return of Mokomokai, to New Zealand.

The collection of around 15 mummified Maori heads are currently in public museums around France, with eight held at the Quai Branly museum in Paris.

The proposed law is intended to clear up legal difficulties faced by a museum in Normandy that decided in 2007 to return a mokomokai it held but was forbidden by law from doing so.

If adopted, the law which must still be voted on by France's National Assembly, will allow France to join the US, Australia and other European countries in returning Maori objects to Aotearoa.

New Zealand has for years sought the return of preserved Maori heads and other human remains that were collected during the colonial period and displayed in museum galleries.


A life-long commitment to education and iwi will be recognised tomorrow as the whanau of Heni Materoa Sunderland is presented with a posthumous doctorate from the University of Waikato.

The founding kaumatua of Te Runanga o Turanganui-a-Kiwi, and Gisborne's first Kohanga Reo, and longtime advocate of Maori rights and education, died last July aged 92.

University Vice-Chancellor Roy Crawford says Mrs Sunderland encouraged young Maori to understand the importance of education, and her role as a mentor for many over the years ensured her legacy would continue.

Mrs Sunderland’s posthumous honorary doctorate will presented at the Whakato Marae in Manutuke near Gisborne.

Ngati Whatua Nui Tonu upset at Graham offer

A spokesperson for the Ngati Whatua iwi says the $180.5 million proposal put forward by Sir Douglas to settle completing treaty claims in the Tamaki area disregards the position of the iwi.

Sir Douglas's proposal put to put Maori last week involves dividing up the $180 million between five tribal groupings of which Ngati Whatua o Orakei which had a previous agreement with the crown, is one.

Tame Te Rangi speaking for the Ngati Whatua iwi of which Ngati Whatua o Orakei is a part says the proposal is flawed.

“Well firstly there’s total disregard for the position of Ngati Whatua as an iwi. The proposal refers to the creation of four more new entities in the midst of the tribal rohe,” he says.

Mr Te Rangi says the proposal repeats the total disregard over 169 years of where ngati whatua sits in the area.


A Tainui kaumatua says Gerrard Otimi does not have a clear understanding of whangai, which is to adopt those in need out of aroha and charity, not to receive money for it.

Tui Adams says whangai is a traditional Maori custom and Mr Otimi charging Paicific Island overstayers $500 to belong to his whanau is making a mockery of a very genuine Maori pracitce.

“We've always looked after people. In my own family we’ve got more whangai brothers and sisters than I’ve got real ones. Our old people were like that. If they saw somebody orphaned, they would grab that young one and take them,” Dr Adams says.

Gerrard Otimi was charged with three counts of deception last Tuesday, it is expected police will lay more charges.


Kapa haka and waiata will be exchanged when Papakura primary teacher Julie Paerau leaves for Zambia this week.

Ms Paerau, from Nga Puhi, says she is excited to be part of the Child fund Global Schools programme.

She says nine teachers from Aotearoa will be partnered with a local teacher to share their teaching knowledge and techniques, and in turn learn about their cultures.

The group leaves for the 15 day exchange to Zambia this weekend.


Housing minister Phil Heatley says Maori will benefit from the government's proposal to sell state houses to existing tenants.

The government has announced that tenants who are paying market rents for their state houses will be able to buy them and the government will use the money to build more state houses for the needy.

“When the Labour Party bagged this policy on ideological grounds they didn’t actually realise a third of the households who are paying full rent who might very much like to buy their state house are actually Maori families,” Mr Heatley says.

He says the government has high aspirations for Maori and does not assume those in a state house are poor and don't want to own their own homes.


A new tissue bank at Middlemore Hospital is being set up to help design cancer treatments which could specifically help Maori patients.

Clinical director Samar Issa says samples from consenting patients at Auckland hospitals will be begin to be stored next year to help determine genetic abnormalities that cause cancer and how to design targeted therapies to attack certain cancer cells.

She says cancer behaved differently in different ethic groups and, with access to a large selection of samples, researchers could help answer the many unanswered questions around the prevalence of certain types of cancers in Maori.

“Ultimately the goal is to look at patients’ tissues and look at the genetic abnormalities that have caused that specific cancer and tell the patients up front you have these abnormalities. We are going to give you this drug because it suits you better,” Dr Issa says.

The tissue bank is being set up by the Centre for Clinical Research and Effective Practice, a charitable trust that is associated with the Counties Manukau District Health Board.


New Zealand musical icon Sir Howard Morrison says Michael Jackson had a great natural affinity with Maori.

Sir Howard welcomed Michael Jackson at the airport when he toured New Zealand and explained the significance of the hongi to the super star.

“He was fascinated by the greeting and asked what it was about and I said it was symbolic of Maori custom of breathing one’s life force into the other person as a sign of welcome and be safe,” Sir Howard says.

He says Michael Jackson was the complete package as far as an entertainer and the greatest performer since Sammy Davis Junior.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Judicious pruning of log company's balance sheet

A Northland Maori forestry scheme is being hailed as a success, despite needing a government bail-out.

Treasury has written down its loans to Taitokerua Forests by $37 million.

Company secretary Warwick Syers says low current log prices threatened to push the company into insolvency, and the restructured balance sheet means the company has enough credit to last until harvesting is completed in 2023.

He says the company was formed in the 1980s by the owners of 14 Maori blocks who were encouraged by Maori Affairs officials to plant pine on undeveloped land.

He says it’s been constructive for the owners and the region.

“As part of the forestry right arrangement, the company y, who holds the forestry right, has paid the rates on the land on behalf of the landowners, and they have received a rental on the land, which probably isn’t quite as high as the return they would have received if they had run beef on the land but it would probably be getting up towards that level,” Mr Syers says.

The company was only set up for one rotation, but some owners may choose to replant after harvest, or let the land revert to bush to avoid carbon penalties.


Treaty negotiator Sir Douglas Graham says it’s over to Maori to decide whether or not they want to accept a $180.5 deal to settle treaty claims in the Tamaki area.

The former National Party minister responsible for brokering both the Tainui and Ngai Tahu deals has been working with five major tribal groupings with competing interests in Tamaki Makaurau this year.

Sir Douglas says hopefully his proposal will get around criticism from other iwi of the deal previously negotiated with Ngati Whatua o Orakei one of the tribal groups.

“So we have to deal with them all, all at the same time, and that’s quite an undertaking but I‘ve done my best. I’ve put up a proposal for them to consider and it’s totally transparent and I hope easy to follow and it’s really up to them to decide now if they wish to enter into negotiations to see if they can all get to an agreement in principle or if they would prefer to leave it,” Sir Douglas says.

To recognise overlapping interests, 11 hapu from different tribes will gain membership to a new entity to work with local councils to manage 11 cones including Maungakiekie One Tree Hill, Maungawhau Mt Eden and Rangitoto.


The first Maori Fashion Awards were held in Wellington on the weekend and the overall winner, Wiremu Baribal, was unaware his win would take him all the way to Toronto.

Event co ordinator, Ata Te Kanawa, says the Titahi Bay designer, impressed the judges with his collection of shoes ,sunglasses and sportswear.

Ms Te Kanawa, from Ngati Maniapoto, says Wiremu's label Te Ake will represent Aotearoa in Toronto at the Planet Indigenous Festival Fashion show in August.

“He was so worried about his entry in the established section that he didn’t really read the website properly and was totally unaware there was an overall prize package which will see him presenting in Toronto,” Ms Te Kanawa says.

Pieter Stewart, founder of New Zealand Fashion Week was one of the judges alongside Georgina Te Heu Heu, Kyla Russell, Simon Wi Rutene and Liz Mellish.


Treaty negotiator Sir Douglas Graham says the proposal he has put up to sort out competing tribal interests in the greater Auckland area is a novel approach to treaty settlement.

Sir Douglas hopes his $180.5 million settlement proposal, which has cabinet approval, will gain the support of the five major tribal groupings with competing interests in Tamaki Makaurau and get around criticism of the previous deal between the crown and Ngati Whatua o Orakei, one of the tribal groups.

“It’s quite a different type of negotiation from the usual ones where you go off and sort of close the door behind you and talk for months and hopefully there will be some sort of settlement. That wouldn’t work here. Each one would be off to the tribunal complaining bitterly that they were being overlooked so the only way to handle it is to really say let’s try something novel, let’s be totally open and the first person to be totally open should be the Crown,” Sir Douglas says.

To recognise overlapping interests, 11 hapu from different tribes will gain membership to a new entity which will work with local councils to manage 11 cones including Maungakiekie One Tree Hill, Maungawhau Mt Eden and Rangitoto.


A Tainui leader says Gerrard Otimi's confusing tikanga by creating his own hapu and then trying to adopt Pacific islanders into it under the guise of whangai.

Dr Tui Adams says whangai is when you care for people at your own expense, not theirs. He says for Otimi to gain financially is unusual.

Dr Adams says like anyone, Otimi, from Ngati Maniapoto, is entitled to create his own whanau and how it is made up, however to create this own hapu is a cultural inaccuracy.

“He's created a hapu under the mantle of his own whanau. It’s not a hapu he’s creating. He couldn’t create a hapu. A hapu is whakapapa driven. He has his view but it’s certainly not the view of the rest of us,” Dr Adams says.

He has not heard of the Okahukurapukekauwhatawhataarangi hapu Otimi created.

Gerrard Otimi was charged with three counts of deception last week relating to the sale of visa stamps to Pacific Island overstayers, who Otimi says have been adopted into his hapu.


French officials are expected to make a decision today on a new bill to return a collection of mokomokai to New Zealand.

A summary of the draft bill, which is due to be debated by the senate in Paris, says the Maori heads that are still dispersed in European and US museums have a history that harks back to the worst hours of colonialism.

Reports say France has around 15 heads including eight at the Quai Branly museum in Paris.

Maori Heritage Council deputy chairman Waaka Vercoe was involved with the repatriation of nine Mokomokai from Aberdeen University in Scotland in 2007.

“The Maori people would like their taonga back, to have them back in their own country to respect the wishes of those people,” Mr Vercoe says.

France's culture ministry blocked the return of a Maori chief's head from a museum in Rouen to Te Papa Tongarewa museum last year because it feared there would repercussions for the country's collection of Egyptian mummies.

Chance missed in super-city debate

Labour list MP Shane Jones says the Maori Party has blown its chances of getting the Government to move on Maori representation on the Auckland super-city council.

Party co-leader and Tamaki Makaurau MP Pita Sharples last week told Radio Waatea he had been outflanked by Local Government Minister Rodney Hide, who was adamant in his opposition to Maori seats.

Mr Jones says Dr Sharples erred by trying to find an alternative to the proposals for Maori representation put up by the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance.

“He should have grabbed the Royal Commission’s recommendations and said ‘that’s what we’ll go with’ and hid behind the fact the Royal Commission had spent $5 million and taken hundreds of submissions on that question and I’m beggared if I can see where he has leverage now to get either Rodney Hide or John Key to give Maori representation,” Mr Jones says.

He says excluding Maori from the Auckland council will play well with the section of the electorate Rodney Hide’s ACT Party is trying to win over.


While whanau may be on the look-out for swine flu, a leading health researcher is warning of an older disease that can have debilitating long term effects.

Diana Lennon, the professor of population heath at the University of Auckland, says tamariki Maori are 20 times more likely to get rheumatic fever than Pakeha children.

She says overcrowded housing and untreated strep throats are factors, and whanau should seek medical help when children have sore throats and high temperatures.

“The beginning of the illness, the strep throat, is very infectious. Why we’re interested in this disease is that it goes on to cause heart damage that can persist for life and can even be bad enough you might need a heart transplant so its a preventable disease. You treat the strep throat and you prevent the heart damage,” Professor Lennon says.

Rheumatic fever is almost unknown in developed countries, and the National Heart Foundation believes with proper education and healthcare services the disease could be wiped out here by 2020.


Wairoa District Council is rebuilding the main road into Mahia to bypass an urupa.

Council engineering manager Neil Cook says because of long standing objections from the local hapu, a section of the road going over the Ruawharawhara cemetery will be blocked off.

The council is assessing two alternate routes to the popular holiday spot, one costing about $700,000 and the other costing twice that sum.

“Ruawharo has made it quite clear the foreshore area is of cultural significance. The relationship is excellent at the moment and I hope we can keep it that way,” Mr Cook says.

The intention is to close the road in August, although the council is meeting with urupa trustees to extend the deadline.


The Government is writing down $37 million in loans to a company which planted pines on large tracts of undeveloped Maori land in Northland.

Taitokerau Forests was formed in the 1980s when Maori Affairs officials encouraged 14 Northland Maori land blocks to plant trees, using Treasury loans.

Company secretary Warwick Syers says the write-down revealed in the latest government estimates brings the debt back in line with the value of the forests, ensuring the company will not slip into insolvency before harvest, which is due to start in the next two years.

“That’s been the problem with the model, that if you fund forestry, a long term asset on debt finance, if that asset doesn’t grow in accordance with the economic model as happened in this case, regretfully the debt exceeds the value and that’s what’s happened,” Mr Syers says.

Taitokerau Forests has been a valuable source of employment for Northland communities over the past two decades, and it has also kept rates flowing to the region’s councils.


A Wellington researcher is looking to indigenous water management systems throughout to Pacific for ideas on what to do back in Aotearoa.

Betsan Martin has won a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust fellowship to visit Samoa, Fiji, New Caledonia, Hawaii, the Solomon Islands and Australia.

In 2004 Dr Martin undertook a week long fast to protest the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

The veteran Pakeha treaty educator and former member of the Tongariro-Taupo Conservation Board says indigenous knowledge should be treated with respect, or it could be lost.

“There’s a great tendency in developing countries to think outside expertise is what is needed. While it might be, it seems important to hold indigenous knowledge up in that decision-making process,” Dr Martin says.

She says in most Pacific countries villagers still own most of their land so they have a lot of say in how their water is managed.


Te Puni Kokiri wants to use this week’s Atamira Maori in the city event at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds to get Maori thinking about how they can contribute to the Rugby World Cup.

Auckland manager Pauline Kingi says the three-day celebration of Maori creativity and enterprise is the start of the ministry’s build-up to the cup.

She says when rugby fans arrive in 2011, they can expect to see a strong Maori face on New Zealand's largest city.

Pauline Kingi says Ngati Whatua will be the principal mana whenua for Atamira, with the support of other groups.

The Atamira Expo starts of Friday and features music, dance, art, craft and carving demonstrations and displays of Maori business.