Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, July 17, 2009

Carver Lyonel Grant awarded honorary doctorate

Unitec has awarded an honorary doctorate to the creator of its new meeting house.

In a ceremony this afternoon at Te Noho Kotahitanga marae, academic board head Ray Meldrum said the doctorate in education recognises Lyonel Grant's contribution to the New Zealand educational, cultural and artistic landscape.

He says the house, which took six years to complete, is a legacy to those Mr Grant learned from and will be an education for those yet to come.

Mr Grant, from Ngati Pikiao, says he accepted the degree as a way of recognising the huge collective effort required in building a wharenui.

“I've come to terms with it that it is more for the people who have guided me along the way more than for me here today in this placeand time. Sure beats writing about it, actually making it,” he sayd.

Mr Grant was supported at the ceremony by a large group from Ngati Pikiao and from Ngati Manawa, who provided the timber for the house.


Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples wants to see a review of prison and sentencing policies.

His government colleagues have rejected criticism of the system from Chief judge Dame Sian Elias, who suggested a limited amnesty could be a solution to prison overcrowding.

Dr Sharples, who is working on Maori rehabilitation programmes to reoffending, says too many people are ending up in jail.

“I don't know whether I agree with an actual amnesty but I certainly agree with the actual sentiments. We incarcerate far too many people in this country and I think we just have to change our culture. There are many people in prison who shouldn’t be there. The offences were minder and I think we have to change the way we look at handing out our sentences,” Dr Sharples says.


Maori filmmakers want more control of how their stories go out to the world.

Pita Turei from Nga Aho Wakaari says Sunday's Kiriata forum, running alongside the Auckland film festival, is a chance for Maori working in film and television to talk about creative control, cultural capital and funding issues.

He says Maori must make sure they are at the forefront of presenting Maori stories to the world.

“It's very easy for us who live in Aotearoa, the cultural environment we live in, to assign the production, the storytelling, the articulation of our world and our culture, to assign that to people of another culture. We pay a price for that,” Mr Turei says.

Sunday's forum will include a panel with producer Tainui Stevens, Lawrence Wharerau from the New Zealand Film Archive, and writer Briar Grace Smith, whose film The Strength of Water gets its first new Zealand screening tomorrow night.


Ngati Pikiao turned out in force today to celebrate the continued strength of the iwi's carving tradition.

A large ope came through from Lake Rotoiti to Unitec to see carver Lyonel Grant awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of his achievement creating the Auckland tertiary institution's Te Noho Kotahitanga Marae.

Kaumatua Arapeta Tahana says Mr Grant is in a long line of Ngati Pikiao master carvers, who were known for houses not just in the Bay of Plenty but throughout the motu.

“He's caught a lot of the korero from way back and he’s retelling it in a quite different way and of course using all the art which is a new thing for us, but I think like them he is a true artist,” Mr Tahana says.


The amount being spent on pokies is at a seven year low, but the gaming machines continue to be a problem in the poorest communities.

Zoe Martin the kaiwhiriwhiri kaupapa for problem gambling at Auckland Maori health organisation Hapai Te Hauora, says while Manukau City has a sinking lid policy to reduce the number of machines, other councils have been slow to follow.

She says the accessibility of pokies is a challenge from Maori fighting the addiction.

“They're where our people live. That draw is stronger because they are in our community. You don’t have to go to Sky City. They’re in our communities, so we continue to spend, because we are hopeful our lives will get better,” Ms Martin says.

She says too much of the $900 million which went through the machines last year came from Maori who come to believe gambling is their way out of financial strife.

Imprisonmnet rate hurting Maori communities

A prison reform lobbyist wants the Government to address the damage the high imprisonment rate is doing to Maori communities.

Kim Workman from Rethinking Crime and Punishment is endorsing a call by chief Justice Dame Sian Elias for amnesties to tackle prison overcrowding.

The Government rejected the idea, but Mr Workman says where early release has been used in the United States, crime has not gone up and in some cases has gone down.

He says excessive use of custodial sentences means in some parts of the country, whole streets have been emptied of Maori men.

“We know that some of these guys are a liability but they are also an asset. Often they can control members of the whanau. They contribute as breadwinners. They protect the women in that environment and so on. When you take them out of that, often the youth gangs emerge so you have 12 to 18 year olds running the scene so the women aren't protected,” Mr Workman says.

Shortening sentences could quickly knock 1000 off the muster, which now stands at a near record 8434 prisoners.


Increased funding of health camps will allow redevelopment of the Rotorua camp into a more whanau-oriented place.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has boosted her ministry's grant to the camps by one and a half million dollars to just over $14 million.

Fiona Inkpen, the head of Te Puna Whaiora trust which runs the seven camps, says almost half of the camps' clients are Maori.

She says the injection will allow a $2 million revamp of the Princess of Wales camp to go ahead.

“It’s going to enable us to build more of a village for the children to have much more of a home like experience and we believe that will build a culture of respect and healing that will enable them to really transform,” Ms Inkpen says.

She says over their 80 year history the camps have proven their effectiveness in helping children and families with serious health, education and welfare inequalities.


Drag out your flared piupius. One of Tauranga's best loved kapa haka group's from the 1970s has been revived.

Under the leadership of Bob and Lorraine Rawiri, Te Kapa Haka O Te Aranga took the dance and waiata of Tauranga around the country and across the Tasman 30 years ago.

Current tutor Koro Nicholas says many of the old members have signed on again to give the younger performers an insight into how kapahaka has changed.

“In the 70s kapa haka was more of a sweet sound and now kapa haka is more loud, it’s in your face and quite different so we see the differences in the way we perform, the way we sing, so it’s good to have these old members in the group, and they’re keen because they’re performing with their daughters and sons,” he says.

The new roopu will be unveiled at a tribute concert tonight at Bethlehem College.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is giving Winston Peters some political advice ... don't stand in Tauranga.

The Te Tai Hauauru MP has never doubted the New Zealand First leader would try for a comeback.

This week Mr Peters posted an apology to party members for, as he put it, allowing his opponents to create a perception of wrongdoing, when in fact, no offences were committed.

Mrs Turia says even if he manages to overcome the donations scandal which dogged his last year in Parliament, Tauranga voters are over their former MP.

“Simon Bridges is an outstanding young man and I’ve been up into Tauranga and I know in what high regard Simon is held. He will continue to hold the confidence of Tauranga so I guess what Winston will do is look for the party, so he’ll go out there with issues he thinks will appeal to a particular select group,” Mrs Turia says.


A prominent Maori producer believes Maori film is ready for another push into international markets.

Tainui Stephens is taking part in a forum this weekend as part of the Auckland Film Festival.

The Kiriata forum will discuss cultural capital and how to use Maori culture in the filmaking process.

He says tomorrow's New Zealand debut of director Armegan Ballantyne and writer Briar Grace Smith's Strength of Water, and the imminent release of Taika Waititi's Volcano and Michael Bennett's Matariki, shows Maori story-telling is in good heart.

“The Maori world is on the brink of wonderful new film and television storytelling and there’s been a dearth of Maori films over recent years but I think we ‘re getting traction as far as the skills out there is concerned,” Mr Stephens says.

He will be joined on the panel by directors Ballantyne and Meihana Durie and Lawrence Wharerau from the New Zealand Film Archive.


A cross cultural musical fundraiser tonight will help pay for the tangi of a young Maori man killed in Jamaica a week ago.

27 year old Tiki Hunia was shot during a robbery at his Kingston guesthouse.

He is being brought back for burial in Te Teko, where he grew up with his grandmother.

Will Ilolahia from Auckland's Waiata Trust says tonight's event is a gesture of support for Mr Hunia's biological father, Herbs co-founder Alan Foulkes.

The Michael Jackson themed fundraiser will be held at the Waiata trust's headquarters, a rambling building in Sandringham known as the Bungavard.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New flag with Maori input needed

Labour MP Shane Jones says the whole country needs a new flag, not just Maori.

The government is consulting on which flag should fly alongside the New Zealand flag on Auckland Harbour Bridge next Waitangi Day.

The shortlist includes the black and red tino rangatiratanga flag and the 1835 Busby or United Tribes flag which flies on the Waitangi Marae.

Mr Jones, a Northland-based list MP, says the whole exercise reeks of shallowness and insularity.

“Rather than wasting money on 23 hui about a flag for the iwis we should be leading a process, providing a vision that gives the nation, the overall nation, a new flag that has a Maori influence at its foundation. That’s the real challenge, and this flag exercise has more to do with banner waving for the Maori Party at a time quite frankly when they’ve yet to produce one single remedy for the 500 Maori that are losing their jobs every week,” he says.

Mr Jones says the Maori Party has replaced blankets and beads with flags and beads as a way of appealing to the natives.


Ngawha Prison is asking Northland's Maori community for advice on reducing reoffending.

Prison manager Jon Howe says Ngawha's pua wananga cultural space allows inmates to reconnect with kaupapa Maori concepts.

But he says the programme is at a watershed, and he wants ideas from outside to take it forward.

“We've got a really rich Maori community outside our walls and we ourselves are a rich community within the walls here, If wee can connect the two together, I think we will find some really exciting ways forward. If I was stuck in the middle of the South Island it would be much more of a challenge but there’s a lot of good Maori networks in the far North and I want to establish some contacts with them and see how they can help me help them,” Mr Howe says.

Input from the Maori community helps foster a sense of identity among prisoners and change behaviour.


A leading Maori educator is warning too much focus on compliance can throttle creativity in kura.

Keriana Tawhiwhirangi, the programme director for the Education Ministry's Principals' Development Planning Centre, spoke to Maori medium educators today at the He Waka Eke Noa symposium in Rotira.

She says the New Zealand curriculum provides opportunities for Maori immersion schools to connect with their communities.

But that can be undermined when teachers look over their shoulders at the inspectors.

“So it's like ‘This is what ERO want, we’ll do it. This is what the ministry want, we’ll do it.’ While you might tick all the boxes, it’s not enough, and perhaps it’s too much time going in to performing and meeting ERO or meeting whoever else’s standards rather than more importantly meeting the community’s standards, drive and expectations,” Ms Tawhiwhirangi says.


The head of prison reform group Rethinking Crime and Punishment, Kim Workman, says there is international evidence that amnesties are an effective way to manage prison overcrowding.

Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias suggested early release for some offenders as a response to near record prison muster numbers.

Justice minister Simon Power ruled out the amnesty, and said judges are appointed to apply the sentencing policies that governments set.

Mr Workman, from Ngati Kahungunu, says the chief judge's speech to a law society audience was a valuable contribution to the debate.

He says more than half the states in the United States use amnesties to control prison musters, with positive results.

“There's no increase in crime. There’s no increase in reoffending and the evidence shows the longer you keep people in prison the more likely they are to reoffend so by shortening the sentences you are reducing the chances of reoffending,” Mr Workman says.

He says continued high levels of Maori imprisonment are damaging Maori communities, and alternatives need to be found.


Porirua's Whitireia Polytechnic is starting a new degree in a bid to raise the Maori nursing workforce above the current 6 percent of total nurses.

Te Kupenga director Willis Katene says the three year bachelor programme will teach scientific health practices in a Maori context.

It follows a Te Awanuiarangi being run in south Auckland in partnership with Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

Ms Katene it was a challenge to introduce kapapa Maori into a nursing degree.

“We have the Nursing Council regulations we have to meet and they’re very strict. Adding content is very difficult because you can’t take anything away from the nursing curriculum, but for us the kaupapa Maori perspective comes in the way it is delivered and the way that it’s assessed and the environments we are teaching and learning in,” Ms Katene says.

The programme should also appeal to indigenous students from other countries.


Moana Maniapoto is looking forward to performing to a maskless audience in Papakura tonight.

The singer is just back from Borneo where her group the Tribe shared the stage at the Sarawak Rainforest festival with acts from the Amazon Basin, Asia, Africa and the Ukraine.

She says swine flu warnings are everywhere in Asia, and even though the groups performed its mix of modern and traditional music in the depths of the forest, there were obvious signs of nervousness.

She says many of the audience were wearing face masks.

Moana Maniapoto says tonight's performance at the Hawkins theatre will be the first time her band has played in Papakura.

Invisible health target undermining hauora

The head of Canterbury University's psychology department says the government's new health targets could undermine the work done by many Maori providers.

Neville Blampied says the targets which came into force this month are silent on mental health, even though more than a third of adults seeing a primary health care professional was likely to have a mental health problem.

Patients with psychological issues are less likely to follow through with treatment for their physical problems.

Associate professor Blampied says Maori providers have shown leadership in tackling such problems before they get out of hand.

“One of the things that characterizes the delivery of healthcare by Maori providers is they really do have a commitment to the kaupapa of having a holistic view of health and if government policy cuts across that holistic view, it just makes their job much more difficult,” Mr Blampied says.

The idea of having health targets should be to improve the overall performance of health services.


One of the country's largest Maori shearing contractors fears says low sheep numbers could cripple his workforce.

Koro Mullins from Dannevirke-based Paewai Mullins says the sector is going through tough time with low wool prices putting pressure on farmers and shearers alike.

He's only got work for about a dozen shearers, well down on previous years.

He says shearers could be lost forever if they go over to Australia looking for work.


A newly uncovered trove of missionary letters is giving new insights into why Maori around the country went with different creeds.

The hahi adopted by iwi was not just dependent on which missionaries arrived in their area first, but how they were able to argue their case.

William Jennings, a lecturer in French at Waikato University, says the letters, sent in the 1840s and 50s to the Vatican headqarters of the Marist order, offer a first hand account of the process.

He says the French priests recorded the debates they had with their protestant competitors in front of Maori audiences.

“You know each missionary would present the case for his religion and these debates would have taken place in Maori so in terms of Maori perspective, there’s lots of information in there. We’re talking about 2000 pages of letters that have really never been used before by New Zealand researchers,” Dr Jennings says.

The letters, which include transcriptions of waiata and speeches, are being translated into English to make them more widely available.


The Environmental Defence Society believes a coastal commission could be the ideal way to balance Maori and non-Maori interests in the takutai moana.

The idea was suggested by the ministerial review on the Foreshore and Seabed Act led by former Waitangi Tribunal chair Eddie Durie.

Gary Taylor from the EDS says his society had been working on a similar idea, which acknowledges the kaitiakitanga or guardianship role Maori wish to play.

“Quite apart from customary rights issues, just in terms of general supervision of environmental outcomes on the coast, I can see some positive outcomes from blending the two world views of Maori and of Pakeha into a single oversight commission,” Mr Taylor says.

He says the coastal commission doesn't need to be a large bureaucracy, and could sit comfortably within the environmental protection agency the government plans to set up.


Maori medium educators are using the school holiday break to brush up on the latest theories and technologies in their field.

He Waka Eke Noa in Rotorua is a professional development conference which brings together teachers from early childhood to university level.

Organiser Hemi Waerea says a growing issue is the use of technology in schools, and how it can help in teaching te reo and tikanga Maori.

“A school wouldn’t just jump into the use of say Bebo or Facebook without thinking of the implications of how that opens up the children and the school etc so there are cultural considerations that need to be had and what they want to put out there and what should be kept within the school and what is just tikanga or matauranga Maori that should be kept within the marae,” Mr Waerea says.

Technology is likely to be a major part of any jobs chidren from wharekura go into.


Labour MP Shane Jones says the whole country needs a new flag, not just Maori.

The government is consulting on which flag should fly alongside the New Zealand flag on Auckland Harbour Bridge next Waitangi Day.

The shortlist includes the black and red tino rangatiratanga flag and the 1835 Busby or United Tribes flag which flies on the Waitangi Marae.

Mr Jones, a Northland-based list MP, says the whole exercise reeks of shallowness and insularity.

“Rather than wasting money on 23 hui about a flag for the iwis we should be leading a process, providing a vision that gives the nation, the overall nation, a new flag that has a Maori influence at its foundation. That’s the real challenge, and this flag exercise has more to do with banner waving for the Maori Party at a time quite frankly when they’ve yet to produce one single remedy for the 500 Maori that are losing their jobs every week,” Mr Jones says.

He says the Maori Party has replaced blankets and beads with flags and beads as a way of appealing to the natives.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hikoi puts flag choice ahead

A south Auckland Maori leader says the tino rangatiratanga flag is the best one to represent Maori, despite its close associations with the Maori Party and the radical protest movement.

Eru Thompson from Waiohua attended the first of the consultation on which of four designs should fly on Auckland harbour Bridge next Waitangi Day.

He says people need to get past its radical beginnings and remember how the tino rangatiratanga flag was a symbol of unity during the foreshore and seabed hikoi.

“Like a host of people round the nation, we walked the whole country to Parliament under that banner, and the tino rangatiratanga flag for me is my most preferred flag of course," Mr Thompson says.

He's also stood proudly for many years under the Kingitanga flag, which is not under consideration.


A Maori interactive game developer and television producer says Maori need to maintain control of their culture as it is taken to the world.

Kingi Gilbert has in the past taken on entertainment giant Sony, protesting the inappropriate use of Maori imagery in a Playstation Game.

He says overseas interest in Maori culture creates challenges for people working in entertainment and the arts.

“I worry about this world because it’s changing so rapidly. How do we develop ourselves in that world? I think we’re okay as long as we stay true to our course, so as we’re in this age of Maori grasping on to our Maoritangi, we should always remain firm and remain centred,” Mr Gilbert says.

He will speak tonight at the Nga Korero Tataki Sustainability Symposium at the Waitakere City Council chambers.


Ngati Kahungunu representatives were in Auckland today to inspect progress on the Hawkes Bay iwi's new double-hulled waka.

Runanga chair Ngahiwi Tomoana says Te Matau a Maui's first major journey will be from Rarotonga to Hawaii next year in a fleet of Pacific waka.

It will then be sailed back to Napier, where it will be used for tourism, sports and cultural events, and for the tribe's Hikoi Whenua lifestyle education programme.

“It's about fishing, healthy lifestyles, and just a reflection on how our tipuna kept healthy in the past,” Mr Tomoana says.

The waka hourua includes sail and hull designs by Ngati Kahungunu artist Sandy Adsett, with carvings done by Broughton Johnson of Nuhaka.


A leading member of Ngai Tuhoe says bringing people back for burial is a way of maintaining whanau connections to the tribal homeland.

The High Court in Christchurch is hearing a request from Denise Clarke for the body of her husband James Takamore to be exhumed from the Bay of Plenty and returned to Christchurch for burial, in line with his wishes.

Tame Iti says after death the hapu has a right and in some cases a duty to step in and reclaim the tupapaku.

He says tangi are often the first opportunity younger people have to connect with their wider iwi.

“We encourage whanau to get their mother or father back to their homelands. Aotearoa is only a small country. We’re not talking about living in Australia and Darwin and taking days not hours and I think we should encourage whanau, taking them back as a way of getting the next generation,” Mr Iti says.

Mr Takamore's widow would be welcomed by his Tuhoe relatives when she came to visit the grave.


Meanwhile, the Auckland Police district's Maori strategy advisor says police are waiting on the outcome of the Takamore case for future guidance.

Senior Sergeant Glen Mackay says disputes over where someone should be buried can create awkward situations for the police, and they hope the judge will clarify the law.

“The police act as agents for the coroner and to be fair we are waiting on the rulings of the courts to see whose property the tupapaku actually is, that lets us know exactly who is responsible for the tupapaku following death,” senior sergeant Mackay says.


A different view of early contacts with Maori is emerging from the archives of the Vatican.

Scholars are translating more than 2000 letters that Marist missionaries sent back to Rome from New Zealand and the Pacific islands between 1839 and 1854.

William Jennings, a Waikato university lecturer, says the French Catholic priests had a markedly different approach to Maori than their English Anglican competitors.

“They were influenced a little bit more by these enlightenment ideas of the noble savage which meant that they treated Maori perhaps with a little bit more respect, or maybe it was because Maori didn’t feel as though the French missionaries were part of the colonial establishment, so the interactions were in many cases much warmer,” Dr Jennings says.

The letters contain transcriptions of moteatea and waiata, as well as reports of debates in Maori between converts of the various Christian codes.

Sharples confident flag pattern will be found

The Minister of Maori Affairs is confident Maori will agree on a design that represents all Maori.

Yesterday Pita Sharples was at Te Puea marae in South Auckland for the launch of a round of consultation hui to decide on a flag to represent all Maori iwi and hapu.

Dr Sharples says although there will be some opposition to whatever design is adopted, he's confident the hui will come up with a flag to unite Maori.

There will be some who will be dead set and they always have bee. There are some who do not recognise our government, so you are going to get some that don’t agree no matter what and that’s fine too. It’s their right. But consensus means just that and I’m sure at 21 hui we will be able to evaluate how people feel about things,” Pita Sharples says.

He says New Zealand should follow Australia’s example where the aboriginal flag is regularly seen beside the Australian flag.


However the leader of the opposition Phil Goff says the Maori party should think less about flags and more about the health of their people.

“There's a lot of emphasis the Maori Party’s putting on symbolic things but it’s the real things that count. It’s about nutrition. It’s about diet. It’s about having a job to go to. It’s about having an income on which you can support your family. These are the things that I would expect the Maori Party to be supporting Labour on as we speak out against what is happening and what is happening disproportionately to the Maori community and the Pasifika community in New Zealand,” Mr Goff says.

He says the Maori Party are doing their own people a disservice by not supporting initiatives to reduce obesity in New Zealand.

He says a recently released international survey put New Zealand third in the world, behind Mexico and the United States, as the most obese populations in the western world.

However Phil Goff says the National government, with Maori party backing, scrapped the Labour prompted healthy tuckshops initiative, and the fruit in schools programme, both designed to curb obesity among adolescents.


A hapu in the far north is using sand, clay and flax to help rural Maori suffering due to low quality housing.

Nga Hapu o Ahipara is working with the Univerity of Auckland's engineering school to build an Uku whare made from a mixture of earth, harakeke and cement by early next year.

Project leader Rueben Porter says the Uku whare, which tests show is expected to last 500 years, could cut the cost of building a home by 70 percent.

He says it would also allowed Maori to return to using natural resources rather than cheap low quality building materials.

“First you have to purchase the weatherboards. Then you have to purchase the timber, the four by twos, the nails, plasterboard, paint, plastering etc etc to create a house whereas using this style that’s coming out of the university the three ingredients we need is sand, earth and korare,” Mr Porter says.

The natural resources are available to rural Maori, many of whom are shareholders of large blocks of land.


Maori party co leader Pita Sharples says critics of his party's rally to find a Maori flag are overlooking the unity a Maori flag will inspire.

Labour leader Phil Goff says there are more important issues than which flag should fly on Auckland Harbour Bridge next Waitangi Day … such as the total unemployed now topping 50,000.

Speaking yesterday at Te Puea Marae in Auckland at the first of 21 hui to find a flag all Maori can agree on to represent tangata whenua, Dr Sharples said critics underestimate the good that will come from having a flag to unite all iwi and hapu.

“Look, having a flag under which Maori can rally is really, really, really important. People might just see it as a shallow thing, but the reality is we do not fly our flag so it’s about recognition. This is a chance to have our own flag, and the respect it will give and the mana it will give back to Maori is vital,” he says.

Dr Sharples the flag issue has not detracted the Maori party from other important kaupapa such as health, land, treaty and employment issues.


Auckland mana whenua tribes Ngati Whatua and Tainui say they are being pragmatic in now seeking two rather than the four mana whenua seats originally wanted on Auckland Super City.

Ngati Whatua representative Ngarimu Blair says the mana whenua representatives would be supported by a Maori Advisory board representing all hapu, iwi and taurahere.

“It balances mana whenua interests in that the councillors that run for the seat must demonstrate whakapapa to either of those two iwi, Tainui and Ngati Whatua However, all Maori on the Maori roll who reside in Auckland can vote for those councilors that run,” Mr Blair says.

He says this would be in keeping with the principle of manaakitanga which gives mana whenua the right to govern but the responsibility to work with all.

Labour Party local government spokesperson Shane Jones says such a system would give the government the excuse it wants not to have Maori representatives on the council because the selection of candidates would not be democratic.


A new programme which offers cardiac rehab to heart patients in their own home is expected to help Maori who traditionally are not comfortable with seeking rehab in a clinic.

Cardiac care manager Stewart Eadie says because Maori heart patients often can't or won't leave their homes to attend traditional cardiac rehab at hospitals, they miss out on significant benefits.

“When you consider 45 percent of Maori men will die before the age of 65, that is four times the rate of Pakeha, we’ve got to be doing something about it and cardiac rehab decreases sickness and death by about 25 to 30 percent, so this is just a no brainer, we’ve got to get this out there to Maori,” Mr Eadie says.

The Heart Foundation is training nurses to deliver the Heart Guide Aotearoa programme through DBHs and PHOs around the country.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Flagging interest in ensign

Options for a Maori flag presented at the first of 21 hui to decide on a design is likely to cause robust debate across Maoridom.

Radio Waatea reporter Mania Clarke was at the hui at Te Puea marae in Mangere where four options were put forward by the Minister of Maori Affairs Pita Sharples - the flag of Independent Tribes, the New Zealand flag, the New Zealand Red Ensign and Tino Rangatiratanga flag.

“Whilst there are four flags presented, two of the flags in essence cancel each other out The New Zealand flag I would imagine to many Maori leaders and Maori people themselves does not represent Maori peoples and also the New Zealand red ensign flag which I understand was often a flag used by Queen Victoria gifted to Maori people, I would not imagine Maori would see that as a representation of themselves either,” Ms Clark says.

She says while some may look to the flag of Independent Tribes which was established before the Treaty and agreed to by 25 chiefs within the Tai Tokerau area this may not be seen as representative of Maori in other areas while the Tino Rangatiratanga flag may be rejected because it is too modern and closely identified with radical Maori such as Maori party MP Hone Harawira.


Tuhoe are holding an economic summit later this week which could go some way towards addressing an inter-tribal dispute over $66 million of Central North Island forestry compensation.

Last month a High Court judge said there were tikanga-based mechanisms within Tuhoe for settling a dispute between dissident hapu and Te Kotahi a Tuhoe, the body which negotiated the claim.

Chas Te Whetu who is organising the economic summit which starts in Ohope on Friday says while resolution of the dispute isn't the purpose of the summit it will obviously be part of discussions.

“It’s an opportunity for open dialogue, to talk to each other but whatever outcome we desire it’s actually to do with economics and the result of what we’re about to receive for the Waitangi claims Tuhoe have lodged with the tribunal,” Mr Te Whetu says around 150 people are expected at the two day summit which aims to set an economic direction for the next 20 years.


Matariki celebrations are coming to a close in a good way.

Tonight sees the beginning of the Nga Korero Tataki Sustainability Symposium which includes panel discussions and guest speakers who will give voice as to how all areas of sustainability can be beneficial to Maori.

Matariki ‘09 organiser Rewi Spraggon is pleased there is now a summit on Maori sustainability that erases all notions of tree-hugging.

“There's more to sustainability. There’s sustainability of our culture, how we as Maori can be sustainable about our culture when we go to the world on business and also issues around the treaty.

The nightly symposium starts tonight at the Waitakere City Council Civic Centre at 7pm and will conclude on Thursday evening.


The leader of the Labour Party has given the thumbs up for a Maori flag, but says the national government and its Maori Party ally would be better off concentrating on the growing unemployment figures.

The first of 21 consultation hui aimed at getting consensus from Maori as to what flag should represent them started at Te Puea Marae in South Auckland today.

“We've got to sort out the flag that should fly but I think what is often called the tino rangatiratanga flag is the Maori flag, is an attractive flag. I have no difficulty at all seeing that fly alongside the New Zealand flag. I think it’s important to get some consensus around that. I think that can be done and it shouldn’t be a major issue,” Mr Goff says.

He says while a Maori flag is largely a symbolic issue that needs resolution, there are more important issues facing the country.
Four flag options were presented at today's hui by Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples: - the Tino Rangatiratanga flag, the flag of Independent Tribes, the New Zealand flag, and the New Zealand Red Ensign.

It is expected that other options will be put forward at hui.


The National Heart Foundation believes Maori health providers hold the key to the success of a new home-based cardiac rehabilitation programme,

Twenty-two nurses from around the country have been trained to deliver care as part of the Heart Guide Aotearoa programme which is expected to reduce mortality and morbidity by more than 25 percent over two to five years.

Cardiac care manager Stewart Eadie says the programme offers a model that Maori clinics can best pick up on.

“Maori providers actually understand the needs of their people more so than mainstream PHOs. They are prepared to get out there and be really embroiled and involved with people where they are at home. They know the barriers and they really seek to overcome those,” Mr Eadie says.

Heart Guide Aotearoa has been six years in development by the Heart Foundation, Te Hotu Manawa Maori and the Ministry of Health.


The importance of late Kawakawa artist Selwyn Wilson is being recognised by the acquisition of 15 of his historical paintings by the Whangarei Art Museum.

The paintings, from a private collection, were painted in 1951 during Wilson's final year at Elam, and form the nucleus of the Northern Maori project exhibition.

Scott Pothan, director of the museum, says Selwyn Wilson influenced many contemporary Maori artists and was a pioneer of the Maori art renaissance.

“He was the first young Maori, together with Hirini Mead, to join the Elam school of art for formal art training in 1945 which was pretty remarkable because Elam was an extremely monocultural institution in those days so he was a pretty brave man to enter that bastion and study what was effectively Western art,” he says.

Last year the art museum instigated a memorial wall for Selwyn Wilson as part of Auckland Art Gallery’s Turuki! Turuki! Paneke! Paneke! exhibition celebrating the first exhibition of Maori contemporary art in Auckland 50 years ago.

Council backing royal commission Auckland plan

Support for Maori representation on Auckland Super City is growing.

Yesterday the North Shore City Council told the select committee on the issue that the government should change its position and follow a royal commission recommendation for separate Maori seats.

And Waitakere deputy mayor Penny Hulse who will make submissions on behalf of the city to the committee tomorrow says a survey found residents were evenly split on the issue.

“Which is why we said in our submission that we’ll leave it to government to decide the form of Maori representation but that we would like to see Maori representation on the Auckland council and once that decision was made we were keen to see that replicated throughout New Zealand,” Ms Hulse says.


Labour MP Shane Jones says if it comes down to a choice for Maori between representation on Auckland Super City or repeal of the Foreshore and Seabed legislation he would recommend they go for the council seats.

A number of political commentators including Bill Ralston and Matt McCarten have suggested there may be a trade off between the two things and Shane Jones who is Labour's local government spokesperson agrees it could well come down to this.

He says he would refine the Foreshore and Seabed Act which is different to a complete rewrite and fight hard for local government representation.

“I would do that because it’s gong to change the nature of governance, it’s going to be a process for effectively increasing the participation of Maori in local government. This is going to be like a state within a state. We’re talking $28 billion. That’s nigh on two and a half times the size of Fonterra, so we’re talking about a mother of an enterprise here,” Mr Jones says.


The head of the Taranaki sports Trust says his ultramarathon running cousin is the toughest woman he's ever met.

Ultra distance runner Lisa Tamati set off a few hours ago in the
Badwater Ultramarathon through Death Valley in California, a repeat of last year's run when she became the first wahine from New Zealand to complete the arduous 217 kilometre desert run in conditions often hovering around 55 degrees.

Her cousin Howie Tamati, a former New Zealand League Captain says she is a wonderful athlete, who has been known to go on 150 km training runs around Taranaki's iconic mountain.

He says she is focused and determined, and the heat was really on in the buildup to her Californian challenge, as training took place in the sauna.


A Maori MP on the select committee looking into the future governance of Auckland is advising Maori to back away from fighting for mana whenua seats on a super city council and to argue for representatives elected from the Maori role.

Labour's spokesperson on local government Shane Jones says if this stance is not taken then Maori could end up with nothing.

“I have no confidence whatsoever that John Key or Rodney want to establish Maori seats. And I think the longer you push exclusively for a mana whenua model you’re actually making it easier for the government of the day so say this is such a departure form the established norms of democracy that we just can’t have it. I know for a fact that’s what they will say,” Mr Jones says.

He says Maori should also fight for a mana whenua clause in the legislation setting up the super city which requires the new institution to meet, fund and achieve agreed objectives with a mana whenua forum.

The Royal Commission recommended three Maori seats with one of them representing mana whenua while both the iwi groups claiming mana whenua status Ngati Whatua and Tainui have told the select committee that all the Maori seats should be allocated to mana whenua who will look after other Maori living in the city.


Maori Union Leader Matt McCarten says figures showing a sharp rise in numbers on the dole are not unexpected bearing in mind the government's meagre response to job losses throughout the country.

There are now more than 50,000 people in the unemployment lines , many of them young Maori and Pacific Island workers laid off as a result of the global economic downturn.

Mr McCarten from the Unite Union head predicts the Maori rates will rise even further and says tangata whenua have a right to be annoyed at the government's lack of action on job losses.

“I can see it hitting over 10 percent. Whatever the official number is, it’s normally over two and a half to three times the percentage for Maori, so when it’s 8 percent it’s about 24 percent for Maori and Maori and young people and to a lesser extent the Pacific Island community are going to get hit first,” Mr McCarten says.

He says the government's meagre response to the economic jobs summit earlier this year was a national cycleway or a kick start at McDonalds for the unemployed, while ignoring the job creation schemes needed to keep Maori workers off the dole.


The chief executive officer of the Maori language commission says Government agencies have a responsibility to enhance the status of Te Reo Maori and one way to do this is by including Maori language content on their websites.

A Human Rights Commission survey has found central and local government websites have little or no Te Reo content despite Maori being an official language of New Zealand.

Huhana Rokx says it is essential that the importance of Te Reo is reflected by bilingual websites.

“If you see it on web sites, the signal you are giving is you appreciate it and you support it and the promotion is very important to you as an agency, so we’re encouraging agencies to begin to look at their resourcing in terms of te reo on websites, and not just websites, the provision of services in Maori,” Mrs Rokx says.

She is challenging local and central government agencies to do something about this for Maori Language Week later this month.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Maori corporates urged to hire own

Former Maori Affairs Minister Parakura Horomia says unemployment is a race thing.

And he is calling on Maori corporates to wake up and start employing Maori.

The number of people claiming the dole has topped 50,000 - almost three times the 17,710 at the same time last year.

Half of that increase occurred in Auckland where Maori and Pacific Islanders now account for one in every two people on the dole.

Parakura Horomia says it is clear Maori are suffering most.

“It gets down to race thing. People are being selective about who works for them and if you own the business, you hire your people. That’s not a redneck thing. That’s a fact and what I’m saying to the big Maori corporates is damn well wake up and give your people the jobs,” Mr Horomia says.

He says the government is using the recession as an excuse and not putting in place measures to support businesses to create jobs.


The director of a trust opposed to the dumping of sewage on an Island in the Manukau Harbour says they are relieved the proposal has been scrapped, and willing to help find a solution to manage the biosolids.

An Auckland Regional and Manukau City Council consents panel last week rejected a bid by Watercare Services to dump more than 4 million cubic meters of treated waste on Te Motu a Hiaroa, otherwise known as Puketutu Island.

Carmen Kirkwood, of the Huakina Development Trust, which put forward a submission against the proposal, says they take their role of kaitiaki seriously and are relieved the waahi tapu will not be damaged.

“There's great relief from our people that it’s not going on the waahi tapu and I can understand the disappointment of Watercare and we’ll be as helpful as we can to look at other potions where the biosolids can go. Certainly not on another waahi tapu, but we’ll try our hardest to be helpful,” Mrs Kirkwood says.

Te Motu a Hiaroa was inhabited by Maori for around 300 years up to the 18th century.


The countdown is on for Taranaki-based ultra distance runner Lisa Tamaki, who starts her repeat run in an ultra marathon through Death Valley in California.

Last year she became the first Australasian women to finish the 200 kilometre test of endurance that also requires runners to climb 5000 feet in extreme temperatures.

Sports producer Te Kauhoe Wano who grew up with Lisa in Taranaki says she is a wahine toa and an inspiration to Maori for the way she has gone about tackling what is a very unorthodox sport.

Te Kauhoe Wano, says Lisa Tamati and her support crew are due to start the Badwater Ultramarathon through Death Valley at 4.30am tomorrow New Zealand time


The Manager of a South Auckland based budgeting service says whanau are doubling up in accommodation as a result of job losses in the Auckland region.

Recently released government figures show more than 50,000 New Zealanders are now on the dole, three times the figure a year ago , with one in every two people on the dole in Auckland being Maori or Pacific islander.

Daryl Evans, who has worked at the Mangere Budgeting Service for the past 20 years says Maori have traditionally been whakama or shy to use the service but tough times and job losses have seen more turn up with stories of real hardship.

He says there has also been a noticeable rise in the number of mortgagee sales in the area in recent months.


And high Maori unemployment levels are adding to the concerns surrounding the pandemic swine flu virus.

Eneora Hakiaha, President of Te Kaunihera o Nga Neehi Maori says that Maori, particularly healthcare workers, are finding it difficult when they get sick as many are sole-income earners for their households.

Healthcare workers are taking extra precautions to be able to stay in work.


The Maori characters of the Far North are coming to the big screen once again, for this month's International Film Festival.

In a sequel to his popular Kaikohe Demolition, Dutch filmmaker Florian Harbicht is releasing the Land of the Long White Cloud - about a group of locals taking part in a fishing contest at Ninety Mile Beach.

He says when searching for suitable locations, he could go no further than Te Oneroa a Tohe, the Maori name for Ninety Mile Beach, and the Maori legends of the beach.

“I love 90 Mile Beach just for its wildness and beauty plus the Maori spirituality I find really beautiful. I’ve known about 90 Mile Beach but I learnt so much about the spirituality of the place from filming there, like it was a real eye-opener to me,” Mr Harbicht says.

His film features a classic Kiwi 50's and 60's rock and roll soundtrack.

Maori presence needed through new city

Auckland’s urban Maori authorities have called for a comprehensive Maori presence throughout the new super city structure, including three seats on the council.

John Tamihere told Maori members of the select committee on Auckland governance that the Waitangi Tribunal has confirmed Maori affiliated to urban authorities like his Waipareira Trust have treaty rights similar to mana whenua iwi.

He says that extends to the right of democratic representation at the top table.

We believe that the new legislation must have a treaty clause in it, it must recognize Maori rights from the mayor’s office all the way through to the CEO’s office into the wards, and large, and down into the boards. If we’re percolated through the whole system, I think we will add huge value to the advancement of Auckland.

Maori members of the select committee on the Local Government (Auckland Council) Bill have completed marae hearings and this week rejoin colleagues for hearings in Takapuna, Waitakere City and South Auckland.


Ngatu Whakaue plans to spruce up its historic Rotorua lakeside settlement of Ohinemutu.

Rotorua deputy mayor Trevor Maxwell, a long time resident, says the community met yesterday to discuss how the geothermal village can be enhanced to manage the thousands of tourists who visit each year, as well as improve things for those who live there.

He says many of the residents want a waharoa or gateway to mark the entry to the village.

He says thousands of tourists visit the village, and locals want to make the experience better for them.

Plans need to be finalized within the month.


An organiser of last weekend’s kaumatua kapa haka showcase at Te Papa says the composers of the classic waiata performed by the 16 groups would have been proud of how their songs were treated.

The groups, whose members are all over 55, packed out the Wellington museum, and whanau from around the world tuned in by webcast.

Ngahiwi Apanui says the groups performed in front of huge images of iconic composers like Tuini Ngawai, Kohine Ponika and Sir Apirana Ngata.


The chair of the Crown Forest Rental Trust says the successful conclusion of central North Island forestry claims makes this the best year yet in the trust's 20-year life.

The trust, which uses interest on forest rents to fund claim research and negotiations, sharply ramped up spending to cope with the pace set by former treaty negotiations minister Michael Cullen.

Its latest financial report shows 31 million dollars went on claimant costs, with more than $8 million dollars spent on iwi with a stake in the Crown's central North Island forests.

Sir Graham Latimer says the handing over of the forest land and more than $200 million in accumulated forest rent to central North Island iwi was a vindication for the trust, which has been criticised in the past for its spending.

“I think I did well. I had to make absolutely certain we didn’t lose sight of the direction we were going in, upwards and onwards, to make sure our people would catch the development mood that we had,” Sir Graham says.

Despite the 80 percent increase in claimant funding, the trust kept administration costs to $4 million.


The head of West Auckland’s Waipareira Trust says a new Auckland super city council must break from the dial-a-kaumatua model of Maori participation.

John Tamihere made a submission to the select committee on the Local Government (Auckland Council) Bill on behalf of urban Maori authorities.

He says there must be representation at the top table, because it’s now clear Maori advisory committees don’t work.

The only things of any tangibility we’ve won for Maori out of that council in 20 years is a designated area of Waikumete Cemetery to act as part of a Maori urupa to bury our people in. Everything else has been cultural, customary, and all to the advantage of the dial a powhiri mob,” Mr Tamihere says.

The select committee will be in Takapuna, Waitakere City and South Auckland this week.


A veteran performer says the annual kaumatua kapa haka showcase at Te Papa in Wellington is going from strength to strength.

Sixteen groups of performers, all aged from 55 to almost 95, drew a capacity audience to the museum over the weekend.

Tama Huata, who chaired the organising committee as well as performing with the Ngati Kahungunu roopu, says while the old songs often borrowed their tunes from the hit parade of the day, the words composed in Maori carry sentiments that still resonate today.