Waatea News Update

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Friday, July 31, 2009

Forgiveness for fresh start

Taranaki kaumatua Sir Paul Reeves says Wellington claimants believe their statement of forgiveness creates a platform for a fruitful relationship with the Crown.

The former governor general delivered the statement at parliament yesterday, following the Crown apology that came with the passing of the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Act.

He says Taranaki Whanui didn't want the Crown to have the last word, so they looked to the traditions of Parihaka prophets Tohu and Te Whiti.

“To go from apology to forgiveness leads to the thing we are really looking for and that is reconciliation. Treaty settlements are one thing but treaty relationships are the real thing and we feel that through that pathway of forgiveness which is our gift to the Crown, that we can get where we want to be which is a whole of government relationship, which is a sense of reconciliation with the Crown, it is finished,” Sir Paul says.

It took 25 years to negotiate the claim.


At dawn tomorrow, Ngati Waewae will open its new Maori Heritage centre in Hokitika.

Lisa Tumahai, the Ngati Waewae representative on Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, says the centre will put the hapu at the front of Maori tourism development in Te Tai Poutini, the West Coast.

Its initial focus will be on consolidating the hapu's pounamu ventures, with other business and educational opportunities to follow.

Lisa Tumahai say is working with Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu to improve the way the raw pounamu sources are managed.


The weaving world has lost a tohunga with the death last night of Ngati Maniapoto kuia Diggeress Te Kanawa. She was 89.

Fellow Maniapoto master weaver Te Aue Davis says from the 1950s Mrs Te Kanawa and her mother Rangimarie Hetet were at the forefront of the revival of traditional weaving, and in particular the making of kakahu or cloaks.

She co-founded the Aotearoa Moananui-a-Kiwa Weavers Association in 1983 as a centre for the renaissance of the art form, and created a weaving academy at Waitomo under the auspices of Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

Te Aue Davis says she took the knowledge of the elders and made sure it would be passed down to generations to come.

Diggeress Te Kanawa is lying tonight at her Oparure marae, and will be moved to Te Tokanganui a Noho in Te Kuiti tomorrow. The funeral is on Monday morning.


A Maori supporter of Taito Philip Field expected the former Labour MP to be found guilty.

Amato Patira Hoani Tohu Kake Akarana-Rewi, or as he was previously known, Dan Davis, is one of a group of Maori sovereignty campaigners who have joined Field's Samoan supporters for the final days of the trial at Auckland High Court.

A jury is now considering whether Field is guilty of bribery and corruption as an MP, in relation to work on his homes by Thai tradesmen.

Mr Davis, who also claims the Samoan title of Tupa'i, says the system is stacked against his Samoan whanaunga.

They're going to find him guilty, that’s why we’re here. Then I will, with the right I have as tangata whenua, lodge an appeal to the Supreme Court and then the World Court. It’s a constitutional issue,” Mr Davis says.

The Jury has retired for the night without reaching a verdict.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is disappointed National won't support a public holiday marking Matariki, the Maori new year.

Debate on a bill sponsored by Te Tai Tonga MP Rahui Katene was adjourned this week before it came to a vote, but National indicated it won't allow the bill to go on.

Labour was prepared to back the bill as far as the select committee stage.

Mrs Turia says the concern seems to be around creating another holiday.

“The business community simply won’t support it, but there was a suggestion it could be swapped with Queen’s Birthday, maybe that is where the debate should lie, but I do think Matariki Day is a very important day for New Zealanders as we grow together,” she says.


It was hakamania today at Air New Zealand.

Workers met at Auckland Airport's Te Manukanuka o Hoturoa marae for the 2nd annual haka championships.

Coordinator Andrew Baker from Te Arawa and Ngati Tuwharetoa says the airline has a large staff working in a range of trades and professions, and today's kapa haka was a rare chance to come together and celebrate Maori culture.

Tertiary trashing limits chances for Maori

The Tertiary Education Union says the government is bailing out of the tertiary sector at a time when Maori need it most.

The union's president, Tom Ryan says pressure from the Tertiary Education Commission is behind the University of Waikato's move to scrap its Te Timatanga Hou foundation programme, which has readied many Maori for university study.

He says the government's cutbacks in sub-degree areas like certificate and diploma courses shows its unwillingness to invest in tertiary education.

“President Obama in the United States and Kevin Rudd in Australia are investing literally billions extra in higher education. In New Zealand it’s the opposite. There were major cuts that were announced in the recent budget, and now those cuts are coming into play, one of the groups that is going to be affected are Maori students,” Mr Ryan says.

He says the TEC's Tertiary Education Strategy and its statement of priorities is forcing institutions to focus on degree-level and postgraduate teaching.


The Maori Internet Society says a new top level domain for indigenous peoples would be a guarantee of authenticity.

The society is behind an initiative to create dot indigi as part of a review of the address system being undertaken by Icann, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

Chairperson Karaitiana Taiuru says it will be moderated, meaning people wanting a domain name would need to be approved by their representative indigenous group.

That means Maori groups may go for an address ending dot maori dot indigi.

“We also see dot indigi as being the authoritative Internet space. We’ve seen examples of individuals creating web spaces claiming to be an indigenous group when they’re clearly not. With dot indigi it will be a guarantee it is 100 percent authentic and indigenous,” Mr Taiuru says.

Dot Indigi should reduce costs for indigenous groups who want their own corner of cyberspace.


Ngati Wai axeman Jason Wynard's 11th world lumberjack championship win came despite a battle with asthma.

The Maori sports personality of the year is just back from Hayward in Wisconsin, where the 35 year old picked up 5 more world titles to add to his impressive trophy cupboard.

His wife Karmyn won the women's single saw before combining with her husband to win the jack and jill world title - despite being almost six months pregnant.

She says Jason's asthma flared up during the springboard, standing and single events, making it was hard for him to breathe in any event which lasted over 40 seconds.

Karmyn Wynard says her husband’s performance should inspire others with asthma to not give up on their dreams in sport.


A leading marine law specialist says the settlement of South Island and Hauraki aquaculture claims should lead to fast tracking of other iwi claims round the country.

Justine Inns from Nelson-based Ocean Law told a Maori law hui in Wellington this week that the Aquaculture Amendment Bill now before Parliament will provide the formula for cash compensation equivalent to 20 percent of the value of the marine farming space created in those areas between 1992 and 2004.

She says while the settlement covers the bulk of existing aquaculture space, the work done on valuation methodology will help iwi in places like Northland, Kaipara and the Waikato harbours.

“That valuation methodology had the benefit of iwi with experience in the industry, the likes of Harry Mikaere, Fred Te Miha, John Morgan and others from the top of the south, so it’s been well tested, the tyres have been well kicked and that’s a big piece of work and intellectual property that’s available to other iwi now,” Ms Inns says.

The settlement should give iwi some start-up cash to get into the industry, using the 20 percent of new aquaculture space they are entitled to.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is unhappy with the government's loosening of immigration criteria for wealthy people.

Changes announced this week remove the age and language restrictions off people who bring in $10 million in investment capital over three years.

Mrs Tariana says bowing before wealth is not good for society.

“It doesn't surprise me at all that we think that people, by dint of the fact they are wealthy, can come here into this country and not have to meet the same requirements as anybody else. It does highlight what a sad country we’ve become where capitalism is far more important than the people,” Mrs Turia says.


Maori filmakers are well represented in this year's Women in Films Awards to be presented next week in Auckland.

Women in Film and Television board member Ella Henry says Korero Mai director Katie Wolf from Ngati Tama has been nominated for an achievement award.

Chelsea Winstanley from Ngati Ranginui, the director of Maori Television's Kaitiakitanga series, has been marked as a woman to watch.

Pukana producer Nicole Hoey from Ngati Kahu is in the enterpreneurs' section, and Rhonda Kite from Te Aupouri is nominated for the greening the screen award.

Ella Henry says Women in Film and Television was set up 15 years ago in reaction to what was seen as male domination of the industry.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Poor preparation leads to cultural clash

A tikanga Maori expert says older Maori need to make clear to younger people the cultural risks if they die without clear instructions of what to do with their remains.

A High Court judge has found Denise Clarke has a right to have the body of her late husband Jim Takamore returned to Christchurch for burial.

The body had been taken by his whanau in accordance with Tuhoe custom and buried at Kutarere in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

Tuhoe Adams from Ngati Maniapoto says the issue have been sorted outside the court system, but that can be difficult in cross cultural relationships.

“When we do get into situations of mixed marriages we should be making very sure that our families know what will happen in the event of one of us passing on in that union, and many of us have been remiss over a long time in not making those arrangements properly,” Dr Adams says.


A fire which gutted a mattress room at a Northland marae this morning is a timely reminder of the need to make all tupuna whare fire safe.

Fire Service investigators believed the fire at Paatu Marae near Kaitaia started in a mattress stored too close to a heat source.

Piki Thomas, the services's national Maori advisor, says the construction and building methods one many older marae aren't up to modern standards.

They have aging wiring and the open plan design means there are no partitions to stop a fire engulfing the whole building.

Mr Thomas says all marae need fire detection systems, evacuation plans and sprinklers.


A marine law specialist says a new Aquaculture Technical Advisory Group is the best hope yet of breaking the deadlock in the sector.

The group will report to the ministers of fisheries and environment by the end of September on proposed changes to the Aquaculture Act and the Resource Management Act.

It's chaired by former Maori affairs and fisheries minister Doug Kidd, and includes representatives of industry groups, local bodies, iwi development specialist Keir Volkerling and Kirsty Woods from Te Ohu Kaimoana.

Justine Inns from Nelson firm Ocean Law says there's a lot of firepower on board.

“Chaired by the minister for Te Tau Ihu, as we like to think of the Honorable Doug Kidd, and with the sort of iwi technical expertise provided by Keir Volkerling and Kirsty Woods the thing has certainly got all the skills it needs. It’s just got a heck of a big job. When aquaculture was reformed in 2004, I think that was done with the best of intentions and it’s ended up taking us nowhere so any recommendations this group comes out with can only take us forward,” Ms Inns says.

The amendments to the Aquaculture Act should make it easier for iwi to get a stake in the marine farming industry.


Tangata whenua on Mahia Peninsula are fighting a former All Black's holiday home development.

A group including Murray Mexted has applied for resource consent to subdivide two lots of land at Mahanga into six sections.

Ropata Ainsley, the Wairoa District Council's Maori liasion officer, says Maori are concerned about wastewater, construction effects and the impact of a new seawall on a neighbouring urupa.

The developers also want to divert a stream that runs through the property.

“The spring that it comes form is called Te Inuwai o Tamatea, obviously indicating Tamatea arikinui of the Takitimu waka. Now the problem with that is where the stream comes out is the only place to get onto the beach,” Mr Ainsley says.

A consent hearing before independent commissioners will be held next month.


Maori wanting to study and work in the Waikato face a gloomy outlook if the area's University's plans to cut its foundation programmes goes ahead.

Tom Ryan, the president of the Tertiary Education Union, says University of Waikato is considering scrapping its Te Timatanga Hou and Certificate of University Preparation programmes.

He says up to 450 students could miss out on admission next year, at least 40 percent of them be Maori.

Dr Ryan says Te Timatanga Hou pioneered ways to support Maori undertaking University education, and other institutions have picked up the model.

“This programme has been specifically adapted for Maori. It’s staffed by Maori teachers and support people. It’s got a very high success record. Many of its students have gone on to do bachelors’ degrees, masters degrees and doctorates,” Mr Ryan says.

Staff have been given until the end of next week to respond to the university's proposal.


A Maori balladeer is making a comeback, opera-style.

Deane Waretini's hit The Bridge has been popular song with Maori since its release in 1980.

Now a Christchurch-based taxi driver, Waretini has been back in the studio recording a song a song in memory of his family.

Deane Waretini senior was one of the first Maori to be recorded, releasing a number of records with Ana Hato in the 1920s.

Deane Junior's comeback song, Mum and Dad, borrows its tune from a Luciano Pavarotti hit.

He has also recorded the Ngati Porou anthem Te Waiapu as well as other more recent songs.

Cycleway could benefit Hauraki iwi

The head of Hauraki's kaumatua council expects benefits for the iwi from a new cycle way.

The seven legs of the national cycleway announced by the Government this week include the Hauraki Plains Trail from Thames to Paeroa along a disused railway with access to wetlands and historic sites.

It then passes through the Karangahake Gorge to Waikino.

Jim Nichols, from the Hauraki Maori Trust Board, says more visitors spells opportunity for the community, but it needs monitoring by iwi.

Jim Nichols says Hauraki will be keen to see what role it can take as kaitiaki in maintaining the track, and how the cycleway fits with the iwi's 50 year plan to restore the rohe's environment.


Nelson's Whakatu Marae has launched low cost health services, including a GP, physiotherapist and massage therapist.

Marae chief executive Trevor Wilson says it's an attempt to meet the healthcare needs of Maori in the region.

He says few Maori are registered with mainstream general practitioners, with cost a major factor.

“They don’t have the money. We have sunshine wages here which aren’t that great, people come here for the sunshine rather than the money, but it is about trying to meet the needs of whanau,” Mr Wilson says.

The initiative is sponsored by a Nelson public health organisation.


A Ngati Tuwharetoa and Ngati Porou woman has told the story of her life in gangs in the hope it helps young wahine break free of the lifestyle.

Nayda Te Rangi is one of the 11 women featured in a new book on the Aroha Trust, a gang-associated work co-operative set up in Wellington in the 1970s.

The women have also lodged a Waitangi Tribunal claim on behalf of all Maori women affected by gangs.

Ms Te Rangi says her family moved to the city when she was a child, and disconnection from te ao Maori drew her to the gangs and held her there until she discovered her Maoritanga.

“It was the pull that was so strong, the solidarity, the whanaungatanga within the gang scene was so strong that I just walked away from my job, I gave it up. My life could have been very different if I’d had my marae and kaumatua and kuia, if I knew the reo, my whakapapa. My life would have been so different,” Ms Te Rangi says.

The book by Wellington writer Pip Desmond is Trust: A True Story of Women and Gangs.


A member of the new Aquaculture Technical Advisory Group says most iwi will need to build marine farming into their fishing businesses.

Ngati Wai fisheries adviser Keir Volkerling says the group must report back to the ministers of fisheries and environment by the end of September on how proposed changes in the Resource Management Act and the Aquaculture Act will affect the sector.

The group is chaired by former fisheries minister Doug Kidd and includes representatives from local government, industry groups and Te Ohu Kaimoana.

Mr Volkerling says growing scarcity of many species and the cost of pusuing wild fish round the sea in diesel powered boats will force iwi to confront the issue of farming.

“If you had mussels and pork on the restaurant menu and you were only looking for the wild harvest you wouldn’t be feeding many people, and there are more and more seafood species that are going to be coming into that category over time so if you are looking for a long term position in the seafood industry you must consider aquaculture,” Mr Volkerling says.

While there has been little development since new legislation four years ago, the Northland Regional Council is well advanced in creating an aquaculture plan.


Black Power is promising passive resistance to Wanganui District Council's gang patch ban.

Wanganui's Hells Angels chapter has hired a lawyer to tell the council it is a club rather than a gang or criminal organisation, and the new bylaw breaches the Bill of Rights.

Black Power spokesman Dennis O'Reilly says his predominantly Maori gang is taking a different approach to what it considers a silly piece of legislation.

“We're taking a sort of passive resistance approach to it and we think we’ve got a pretty intelligent case to pursue there, and the Angels of course are going their way about it, but it’s what you do that counts. It’s not what you wear that counts, not what you call yourself, it’s what your behaviours are in terms of your civic responsibilities and civic contribution as citizens,” he says.

Mr O'Reilly says the Wanganui gang insignia bylaw is part of a worrying trend in criminal justice policy of treating some people as non-citizens.


A veteran Maori showband musician is calling for a retranslation of the national anthem.

Steel guitar player Ben Tawhiti says Maori language week has highlighted the increased acceptance te reo Maori has in the wider community.

But that acceptance should not require over-simplifying or compromising the language.

“E hoa atua. To me it should be ‘E hi hoa, atua.’ ‘O nga iwi ma to ra.’ Where did that come from? ‘O nga iwi katoa.’ The lord of all people,” Mr Tawhiti says.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Indigenous top level domain sought

The Maori Internet Society is pushing for a new top level Internet domain space for indigenous peoples.

Chairperson Karaitiana Taiuru says it will join other indigenous groups in asking Icann, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, to create dot-indigi as an alternative to addresses like dot com or dot nz.

He says the moderated space will make it harder for cyber-squatters to exploit indigenous groups who want their own piece of the world wide web.

“Individual or a company will register specific indigenous domain names and then offer them back for sale, sometimes for millions of dollars. The dot indigi name space will eliminate all theft and intellectual property issues by only allowing certain indigenous groups to create their own name space within dot indigi,” Mr Taiuru says.

The Maori Internet Society is also working on allowing the dot nz name space to accommodate macrons.

To mark Maori language week, Domain registrar iWantMyName has launched a service providing macronised domain names in the dot net, dot org and dot com spaces.


A pioneer of Maori tertiary education says participation at governance level is critical to Maori success.

The national association for institutes of technology and polytechnics has warned members Tertiary Education Minister Anne Tolley plans to cull employer, Maori, union and other community representatives from polytech councils.

Turoa Royal says his experience setting up Whitireia Community Polytechnic and as head of sector group Te Tahuhu o Nga Wananga showed him the importance of Maori representation.

“Young Maori people will go where there are Maori people either on the staff or on the council. They provide a role model for a lot of our younger people and they also are good contacts for parents of young people,” Dr Royal says.

Having Maori on their councils allows polytechnics to be more responsive to the needs of the communities they serve.


Mahia's resident dolphin has been looking for friends.

Moko received worldwide fame in 2008 after rescuing two stranded pygmy sperm whales.

Now he has directed his attention towards humans.

Gisborne resident Linda Coulston and her son Te Wai were at the beach this week with her son Te Wai when the dolphin decided to surprise them.

“And this particular day Te Wai decided he would go and just stand in the water and along came moko with a beautiful fat kahawai which in turn we smoked for lunch and he just played and played and he just wanted contact,” Ms Coulston says.

People need to remember Moko is a wild animal and they need to be careful around him.


The chair of the Hauraki Maori Trust Board's kaumatua kaunihera hopes work on the new Kopu bridge will lead to a clean-up of the river it spans.

The first sod was turned yesterday for the new bridge into Thames and the Coromandel Peninsula.

Jim Nichols says the bridge will increase traffic into area and help to build industry.

It should also raise attention to the state of the Waihou and the rivers that feed into it.

“The Waihou, Piako and Ohinemuri rivers need to be improved. The quality of the environment needs to be taken care of. We hope the relationship that is building with the government and the local body councils will allow us to focus on that,” Mr Nichols says.

The quality of water coming down the river affects Hauraki's aquaculture ventures in Tikapa Moana, the Firth of Thames.


Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says National has put New Zealand citizenship up for sale ... to the inevitable detriment of Maori.

In a bid to entice wealthy Asian investors, the government's new Investor Plus category fast tracks entry for migrants with $10 million to spend, and eliminates age and language requirements for them.

Ms Turei says the new rules mean migrants don't need to show any commitment to their new country.

“This policy of National’s goes way beyond the English language and the fact that just $10 million will buy you citizenship and relieve you of all other obligations whether it is language obligations or long term stay or family or any of the other obligations is an absolute selling of our citizenship,” Ms Turei says.

She says it's time for Maori to have a say in immigration policy.


A champion of the Maori language revival is crediting her whangai and biological parents for giving her a love of storytelling.

Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira was this week honoured by the UNESCO backed Linguapax Institute for her contribution to linguistic diversity and multilingual education.

As one of 13 children of Raniera and Erana Harrison, she was whangai'd to whanau in Tokomaru Bay who only spoke te reo Maori.

“He too was a storyteller. His name was Eru Potaka. He used to carry me round on his horse. He was just a farm labourer. And he would tell me the stories about the landscape, the hills, the awa, and all of that. I went home to my natural parents when I was 10 and it turned out my dad was also a storyteller, and you know in those days no tv,” Mrs Mataira says.

In the late 1970s Katerina Mataira helped develop Te Atarangi language teaching, and she has also written and illustrated numerous children's books in Maori and English.

Quitline effective for Maori smokers

Maori smokers who use the help of quitline are four times more likely to stop than those going cold turkey on their own.

Quitlines Maori advisor, Denise Messiter, says a new study shows the support systems of Quitline appear to be working well for whanau.

One in five Maori smokers signing up with the Quitline gave up smoking after six months compared to a success rate of around one-in-twenty-five for people quitting cold turkey.


Tainui’s commercial arm is predicting flat earnings over the next few years as its core property development business weathers the recession.

Tainui Group Holdings reported net operating profit of $14.7 million in the year to March, is down from $18.5 million in 2008.

An 8 percent decline in asset values, including $40 million off its property portfolio and a million dollar write down in the tribe’s share of the Maori fisheries settlement, meant a net deficit of $27 million in the year to March.

Total assets now stand at $484 million.

However, the company had shelved its residential property developments in expectation of the slump, and it also withdrew its money from the sharemarkets.

That gave it the resources to proceed with its major project, a mall at The Base shopping precinct in Te Rapa.

The company was still able to pay a $10 million dividend to its shareholder.


A liver specialist from Auckland is highlighting the need for Maori aged 20 and over to be tested for Hepatitis B.

Ed Gane, a hepatologist from the NZ Liver Unit, says Maori are 6 times more likely to have Hepatitis B than Europeans.

But he says less than 20 percent of all Maori with chronic Hepatitis B know that they have the condition.

He says most people presenting at weekly clinics with liver cancer have never been tested, and the majority are Maori.

While neo-natal vaccination is effective in preventing the younger generation from getting Hepatitis B, all Maori over the age of 20 who were born before vaccination are at risk.


International police are impressed by the way Maori protestors and the police are working together.

This was one of the messages given to the Police National Maori Responsiveness Conference held in Porirua over the past two days.

Senior Sergeant Glen Mackay says the way police focus on how to work with Maori provides a unique framework to international police, and the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed hikoi especially was a success in the non-violent way that it was conducted.

“The way we policed that event for want of a better word, the way we worked alongside our whanau became something for international studies because there were other police organisations throughout the world wanting to work closer with their communities and wondered how we were able to move 50,000 or 60,000 people through that two week timeframe without any incidents whatsoever,” Senior Sergeant Mackay says.

The conference is about how participants can further strengthen and develop their influence among Maori.


At least half the Maori parents on the DPB were on some form of benefit as a teenager.

That was one of the findings in a paper by welfare commentator Lindsay Mitchell who says the statistics support a growing trend of the domestic purposes benefit becoming more of a lifestyle occupation for whanau rather than a temporary means of support.

“Maori in particular have a very high teenage birth rate. It’s about three times higher than non-Maori. And most of the births happen in the poorest areas so you’ve got them congregated in to one area and because it’s happening to a lot of girls it becomes more normalized and accepted. It’s not good for children to be on welfare long term,” Ms Mitchell says.

In a report written for the Business Round Table Lindsay Mitchell floated the idea of privatising the welfare system and reducing the number of Maori teenagers on the DPB by axing it.


However economist Susan St John disagrees with Ms Mitchell and says what is needed to help whanau stuck in a generational use of the welfare system is a Royal Commission.

Dr St John says the current system is archaic and needs to be revamped. She says the DPB does not take into account how whanau in the 21st century are made up, or how they operate.

She says it's unwise to target Maori teenagers on the DPB as they are already in need of help.

“The welfare state is designed to provide a backstop to that situation and so when it’s used in its rightful way, to turn around say it is the cause of the problem, which I suspect is a little but what Lindsay Mitchell’s paper is about, then it’s very counterproductive. Taking away the welfare state at this point would be devastating and completely inappropriate,” Dr St John says.

She says the $600 million spent on welfare services is a symptom of the many economic changes that have occurred since the DPB was set up in 1973.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tainui’s run of surpluses ends

The recession has brought Tainui’s six year growth run to a sharp halt, with the tribe’s commercial arms reporting a $26.7 million net deficit for the year to March.

That compares with the combined net surplus of $52.4 million Tainui Group Holdings and Waikato Tainui Fisheries made in 2008.

Group chief executive Mike Pohio says the unrealised deficit is largely due to declining property values which were foreshadowed last year, a fall in the net worth of managed funds and equity investments, and the fact that there were no one-off gains as had been the case in the previous year.

“It is tough times. The property revaluations though for example in 2008 had an uplift of some $24 million. Last year’s was a downturn of $23 million so across the two years all of our properties have held their values. It’s the future we’re looking at now as we turn the corner,” Mr Pohio says.

The company is looking forward the development of the Base shopping Mall in Hamilton and a hotel complex in Auckland at a time when it can get competitive prices for building.

He says when these two developments are completed he is confident the country will have come out of recession.

Tainui Group Holdings recorded a net operating profit of $14.7m down from $18.5m for the prior year due largely to a reduction in sales of residential sections, and higher interest costs from recent acquisitions.


A new drug to overcome drug resistant Hepatitis B is good news for Maori, says a specialist from the NZ Liver Unit in Auckland.

Hepatologist Ed Gane says Maori are more than six times likely than Pakeha to be affected by the viral infection, which can lead to fatal liver cancer.

He says the approval by Pharmac of a new medication, Entecavir, means Maori who have developed resistance to current antiviral treatments have another option.

About 200 people a year die from hepatitis B, which should be largely preventable through access to the new medicine.

“Entecivar is an enormous advance on what we have available,” Dr Gane says.

From August 1, Entecavir under the trade name Baraclude will be funded under Special Authority as a first line treatment option for people with hepatitis B.


The author of a book on woman in gangs says she hopes her stories will help inspire young Maori women to break through difficult life struggles.

Pip Desmond's book Trust: A True Story of Women and Gangs, tells the stories of ten gang-affiliated Maori women who participated in the Aroha Trust, a work co-operative set up in Wellington in the 1970’s.

Ms Desmond says she wanted to shine a light on the lives of the woman to give hope to rangatahi in the same situation.

“Young people always need the same things. They need secure families. They need work that’s meaningful. They need somewhere safe to sleep at night. They need something to believe in and belong to, and that’s what Aroha Trust gave the women back in the 1970s and I doubt very much whether that’s changed,” Ms Desmond says.

The woman in her book have worked hard to make something of their lives and children, despite gang backgrounds, racism, deprivation and social indifference.


Tainui Group Holdings, the trading arm of the Tainui iwi, is confident about the future despite a significant turn around in the company's fortunes during the past financial year.

In the year to the end of March the company recorded a combined net deficit of $26.7 million for the year, down from a net surplus of $52.4 million in 2008 largely due to declining property values, a fall in the net worth of equity investments, and the fact that there were no one-off gains as had been the case in the previous year.

However chief executive Mike Pokio says he is optimistic about the future.

“It’s the future we’re looking at now as we turn the corner out of the downward slide but we’ve come into this recession, we’re looking forward to the development of the Base and the Airport Hotel at a time we can get competitive costs and prices for construction and by the time we open those flagship developments the economy we are sure will have turned a better corner,” Mr Pohio says.

The Mall at the Base due for completion in 2011 will be a major regional shopping complex in the Waikato while the Airport hotel complex in Auckland will be another major source of revenue.


Labour leader Phil Goff is warning the government may attempt to use Maori development as a excuse for privatisation or selling government assets overseas.

Phil Goff says we have to be careful that privatisation is not justified by bringing in a Maori partner.

“You get the sense the government would like to justify both the selling off of assets overseas and privatisation by trying to find some cover such as ‘this will create some new opportunity for Maori development or some other form of development,” Mr Goff says.

While Labour is in favour of development like most New Zealanders it is firmly committed against selling public assets and strategic assets overseas which are both on the government agenda.


A New Zealand based Niuean singer is crediting two celebrated Maori performers with influencing his debut solo album, My Niue.

Former Ardijah member Tony T says he is paying tribute to Billy T James and Prince Tui Teka by including his own version of Teka’s hit E Ipo.

“I pretty much put my stage performance down to what I saw form him and the likes of Billy. They set the standard for live performance, the full entertainment where you joke around and you can sing a tune as well.”

Sealord sells mussels to rival

The 50 percent Maori owned Sealord Group has sold $23.4 million worth of mussel farms in the Marlborough Sounds to free up money for aquaculture developments elsewhere.

Sealord chief executive Graham Stuart says the sale to Sanford Fisheries, the largest fishing company on the New Zealand stock exchange, makes sense.

“Sanford have a big mussel processing plant in Havelock so they are concentrating on the Marlborough Sounds, and we are spreading a bit thin. We’re in the Marlborough Sounds, we’re across in Tasman Bay we’ve got some water space in the North Island and we’ve got some water space around Coromandel so we want to concentrate and settle on Tasman Bay and Coromandel as being our focus,” Mr Stuart says.

He says the two companies get on well with a mussel processing joint venture in Tauranga and fishing together for orange roughy off the Chatham Rise.

Sealord is jointly owned by Maori company Aotearoa Fisheries and Japanese fishing group Nippon Suisan Kaisha, or Nissui.


Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira’s work to revitalise te reo Maori has been recognized internationally.

Each year the UNESCO backed Linguapax Institute based in Spain chooses one person around the world to honour for their outstanding work in the field of linguistic diversity and/or multilingual education.

The award was presented at Parliament yesterday by Professor Miguel Angel Essombe from the Linguapax Institute.

Her son, Te Ratu Mataira, says his mother gave credit to others such as Te Atarangi participants who helped keep the language alive.

Katerina Mataira has been active for 30 years on Maori language issues.

In the late 1970’s she co-developed, alongside Ngoingoi Pewhairangi, the Te Atarangi teaching method, a community based programme of Maori language learning in which native speakers of te reo Maori were trained to be tutors.

She also helped co-author Te Aho Matua, which as a charter provides the philosophical underpinnings for the kura kaupapa movement.


A contingent of Tahuri Whenua members have returned from a trip to South America where they compared the South American indigenous systems to Maori ways of growing taewa.

The group visited potato growers in Chile as well as the International Potato Centre in Peru to explore how Maori varieties link to the 4.5000 types held at the gene bank in Lima.

Chairman Nick Roskruge says Maori could take some hints from the indigenous growers there, who because of poverty mostly cultivate their crops by hand.


He Pataka Kupu - te kai a te rangatira, the first-ever dictionary written entirely in te reo Maori, has won this year’s Te Reo Maori Literary prize at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards.

Compiled by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo (the Maori Language Commission) and published by Penguin Group New Zealand, the dictionary that translates to ‘A Storehouse of Words - the food of chiefs’ contains some 24,000 head-words from the old world through to the idioms of modern Maori.

Te Reo Maori Literary Award Advisor, Hone Apanui says He Pataka Kupu is a ground-breaking work that has a major role to play in the ongoing renaissance of te reo Maori.

He says it’s the biggest dictionary since the Williams opus of 1844.

The award was presented last night at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards gala dinner ceremony held at the Auckland Museum.


The Ratana movement has called for government help to improve existing houses at Ratana Pa near Whanganui and to build 50 additional homes.

Adrian Rurawhe from the Ratana Ahu Whenua Trust says a strategy for the development was handed to Prime Minister John Key and Housing Minister Phil Heatley at the weekend.

“What’s happened over the past 20, 25 years is that young people who have been raised at Ratana Pa There have been no new housing developments available so moved off to places like Palmerston North and Whanganui and further afield, and there are a number of them who would wish to actually live at Ratana Pa, so that’s why we’re doing it,” Mr Rurawhe says.

He says the move will help keep the community together.


Ngai Tai Iwi are taking pro-active action on managing their marae and papakainga wastewater.

Over the last two years, NIWA has been working with the iwi at Torere looking at alternatives for the community to handle their wharepaku and waste water including composting toilet blocks and setting up wetlands using greywater.

Ngai Tai chief executive Lucy Steel says the papakainga's change from long drops to septic tank systems over the years had led to poorer environmental management.

“We're right by the sea and the septic tanks are old, they leach into the river that runs into the sea, so we won’t something that will take care of our environment in a more user friendly way,” Ms Steel says.

NIWAs National Centre of Maori Environmental Research is collaborating with Ngai Tai, Te Roroa and Tainui Awhiro, on the 3 year eco-technology project with funding from the Foundation of Research, Science and Technology.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Whanau ties keep everything ka pai

A new survey has found Maori are the happiest people in New Zealand.

UMR Research surveyed 15,000 New Zealanders and found over 31 percent of Maori expressed high levels of happiness compared to New Zealand Europeans at 29.5 percent, Pacific peoples at 25.9 percent and Asians at 18.1 percent.

UMR Research chief executive Tim Grafton says they found clear reasons behind Maori happiness, stemming from strong whanau ties.

He says the research showed wealth does not equal happiness not only among Maori but New Zealanders generally.


Fluent speakers of te reo MAori are being challenged to complain if they hear the language mispronounced on televisoIn.

Veteran Maori broadcaster Henare Kingi, who has been an on air radio host at Wellington's Te Upoko O Te Ika for over 20 years, says the overall delivery of te reo Maori by television presenters needs improvement.

He says Maori speakers, upset at sloppy use of te reo on TV, should make a point of complaining to the broadcasters and not expect others to police the quality of te reo on New Zealand television channels.

Mr Kingi says Wellington kaumatua want Maori language week extended to a month.


A new video aimed at protecting rangatahi from the risks of putting sensitive information online has been translated into Te Reo Maori.

The Privacy Commission launched Whakaarotia katahi ka tuku atu ai today, to help stem the rising number of teenagers who posted personal information about themselves on publicly available web page and mobile phone chat rooms.

Privacy commissioner Marie Shroff says Maori rangatahi were a target audience.

“Rangatahi are the biggest users of social networking, Bebo, Facebook, they’re into YouTube which only started in 2005 and of course texting is big. In each of those situations young people can upload information they later very much regret sharing with other people,” Ms Shroff says.

The video, which includes homegrown music by Hikoikoi, was to help celebrate Maori Language Week.


A Maori Language Commissioner says apathy will be the death of the Maori language unless the current generation does something about it.

Speaking as part of Maori Language Week, Hana O'Regan says there are about 5000 languages spoken in the world and it is estimated that in 100 years there will be just 1000 of them left.

“The world is changing. Languages internationally are more endangered than mammals. Languages are going at the rate of 47 percent of the world’s languages are near extinction,” Ms O'Regan says.

There is no reason to presume Maori will be among the survivors.

She says while New Zealand prides itself on the adoption of Maori among mainstream media and the like the reality is that 75 percent of Maori don't speak the language and it is in danger of dying out.


The potential culling of polytechnic governing councils could see an exodus by Maori students from tertiary education, says the Maori Students Association.

A leaked memo written by the Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics New Zealand following meetings with Tertiary Minister Anne Tolley has revealed plans to slash all institute of technology and polytechnic governance structures from up to 20 seats down to 8 members.

Nga Tauira president Victor Manawatu says this would potentially remove any Maori representation and if Maori have no voice at governance level, then the ability for Maori to participate successfully is jeapardised.

“Universities now are seen as elitists, they’re seen as very white. We’re based on a Westminster model and it doesn’t really cater for our needs. By having a voice within council, by having a voice on faculty we can direct them and say ‘this doesn’t really work for our people, perhaps we should look at another strategy or solution to see our people succeed in the institution,” Mr Manawatu says.

He says the only way to safely ensure equity on the councils is to allocate a Maori seat.


The push is on to get more Manukau based Maori and Polynesians to take up Tai Chi, to help with flexibility and improve fitness.

Koia Teinakore teaches the ancient oriental exercise techniques each Tuesday morning at Te Whare Awhina, one of three community houses in the Manurewa area of South Auckland.

Mr Teinakore says the gentle pace of the movements appeal to older Maori and Polynesian people, and communities are now realising how important it is that they stay active.

“We involve total hauora in terms of the social well being. Of course they get that when they meet new people and come out of their homes again. We have the emotional well being, the physical well being, and of course the spiritual side,” Mr Teinakore says.

He’s seen the difference Tai Chi has made for Maori, especially those who have had arthritic conditions or are struggling with weight issues.

Water debate when well is dry

A resource management and Maori law specialist says it may be getting too late for Maori to press their claims for water.

Tom Bennion, the editor of the Maori Law review, is speaking in Wellington today at an Indigenous Legal Water Forum organised by Otago University law School's Research Cluster for Natural Resources Law.

He says even a decade ago there seemed to be enough water for everyone, but pressure from farmers, power generators and other major water users means available water sources are now hotly contested.

He says unless they push for an overhaul of the law, Maori interests could be hung out to dry.

“Latest cases indicate you get your application in with suitable information and get it up to a standard where it can be publicly notified and if you do that first you get first dibs on the water. Everyone else has to wait until your consent is processed. It certainly doesn’t carry any element of tikanga or particular recognition of Maori values in it at all,” Mr Bennion says.

Other speakers at the forum include Ngai Tahu strategy manager Sacha McMeeking, Waikato University law lecturer Linda te Aho on co-management of the Waikato River, and perspectives from Canada, the united states and Australia.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says the search for an official Maori flag is encouraging Maori to consider their position as a sovereign nation.

The Government is holding hui round the country to determine the flag to fly on events such as Waitangi Day.

Ms Turei says only two of the four options have any support.

“The fact it’s coming down to the tino rangatiratanga flag and the declaration flag of 1835 is really good because it’s like the new statement of independence and the historical statement of independence. We’re really pleased people are talking about it as a demonstration of our sovereignty. I think it’s really good,” Ms Turei says.

The flag consultation continues at Te Papaioru marae in Rotorua today, Te Poho O Rawiri marae in Gisborne tomorrow, and Pukemokimoki marae in Napier on Friday.


The most experienced broadcaster in Maori media says television presenters must make more effort to pronounce Maori words accurately.

Henare Kingi from Wellington Maori language radio station Te Upoko O Te Ika says the quality of reo used on television is a strong influence on the way the language is used in the community.

He says it's time for the Maori language commission, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori, to intervene.

This is Maori language week.


A prominent treaty lawyer is warning the government will unleash a new era of Maori protest if it pursues privatisation.

Annette Sykes says Maori should be alarmed by Finance Minister Bill English's moves to change the rules on overseas investment, and strong indications that he is looking to sell off parts of the Landcorp portfolio.

She says it was concerted action by Maori that staved off the sale of state forests and land in the 1980s and 90s ... and many of those assets became part of treaty settlements.

“If we are going to move into a new wave of colonial thievery and chicanery which will see this vast sale of assets that were wrongfully taken from us, then I believe that we’re moving into another generation of confrontation with the conservative governments of the kind that Bill English and his supporters in the National Party promote,” Ms Sykes says.

She says the government is using a secret consultation process to get buy-in from iwi leaders for its privatisation plans.


An Otago University archaeologist says ancient Maori gardens on the Wairarapa coast need protecting.

South Wairarapa District Council is considering an application to turn a fish factory at Waiwhero into a residential subdivision.

Helen Leach says it was a site of Maori settlement as early as the 14th century.

She says stone gardening systems were common around sites of Maori settlement, such as those which used to be on Auckland's volcanoes, but most have been lost to urbanisation and other development.

“These ones are marked by the fat people cleared the rocks and made them into rows and single boulder alignments and so on. They were really very spectacular when I worked on them in the 1970s and the only threat to them at that stage was probably the hooves of animals that wandered over them,” Professor Leach says.

Consent for the Waiwhero project is being opposed by Ngati Kahungunu and Rangitane.


Christchurch City Libraries information unit manager believes more Maori would use libraries if the buildings were more reflective of Maori culture.

Carolyn Robertson organised a project where library staff and users made 32 tukutuku panels marking 150 years of library services in Canterbury.

It's part of a wider effort to encourage Maori in the door.

“If our spaces, our buildings actually reflect Maori culture in terms of artwork and from all sorts of aspects or design, that also makes a difference because the message we are conveying is ‘this is your place, this is our place, rather than a strongly European space,” Ms Robertson says.

Christchurch's libraries are also taking on more Maori staff.