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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, August 14, 2009

Communities needed to fight crime

The Corrections Department's new head of Maori services is calling on Maori communities to help address the high Maori imprisonment rate.

Jon Royal says prisons are just the bucket, and people end up there through their interactions with the police and courts rather than the department.

But building more prisons is the wrong way to address the problem.

“We're second only to America in incarceration rates and fiscally that’s not sustainable. My role is to go to communities or go to Maori leaders, stakeholders and say ‘hey, we’ve got to share this responsibility. If we leave it up to government agencies, if we leave it up to this department, the number of Maori coming into prison will get away on us,’” Mr Royal says.

The Maori Services Team has launched a new quarterly newsletter to encourage debate on Corrections issues.


Win a little, lose a lot.

That's Labour MP Shane Jones’ take on the choice of a Maori flag.

Consultation finished with a hui in Dunedin yesterday, and expectations are the recommendation put to Cabinet will be for the tino rangatiratanga flag, which is closely associated with the Maori Party.

Mr Jones says while the Maori Party has been in a flap over the flag, its National and Act partners in government have hardened their stance over Maori seats on the Auckland super city council.

“The power you have as a parliamentarian over the public purse, especially when you are in government, can do a hang of a lot more good than stirring people’s emotions about choosing a flag that may fly for one day on the Harbour Bridge whilst at the same time the same government that’s giving them the flag won’t give them Maori seats for the Auckland super city and there’s the actual difference in who’s got the power here,” Mr Jones says.

He says Maori will eventually ask what's wrong with the national flag that they need to make their own flag.


Author Witi Ihimaera says he turned down the title of Sir because it would reduce the mana of being a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

A ceremony was held in Wellington today to bestow titles on those given the equivalent awards by the previous Labour government between 2000 and 2008.

Those turbocharging their titles included Sir Tumu te Heuheu, Sir Wira Gardiner and Sir Ngatata Love.

Ihimaera says he accepted his tohu in 2004 on the basis it was a New Zealand award.

“From a whanau point of view, I couldn’t not help but think of all of those ancestors of mine. I kept on thinking ‘man oh man, they would turn over in their graves if I accepted this’ because or valley has always been associated with Te Kooti Rikirangi and his battles against the Crown and so at a very deep emotional level, there was no way that I was going to take it,” Ihimaera says.

Novelist Patricia Grace and academic Ranginui Walker were also among the 13 people who refused a title.


After a long period of uncertainty, Wilson Isaac has been named Chief Judge of the Maori Land Court.

Judge Isaac has been acting in the position for almost a year, since former chief judge Joe Williams was appointed to the High Court.

He affiliates to Ngati Kahungunu, Tuhoe, and Ngati Porou.

Tom Bennion, the editor of the Maori Law Review, says the appointment will be welcomed by lawyers who deal with the court and the Waitangi Tribunal, which Judge Isaac will also chair.

“I just think he’s thoroughly competent and will make a great chief judge. He’s a very likeable person, he’s very fair, and he runs a good court,” Mr Bennion says.

Before being appointed to the bench 15 years ago, Judge Isaac worked in Gisborne, where he developed an extensive practice in Maori land law and family law.


Associate social welfare minister Tariana Turia wants her department to go back to funding gang-led social work.

Gang-related programmes have been a feature of the system since the 1970s, when former National prime minister Rob Muldoon was challenged by Black Power to help them into jobs and productive activity.

But in recent years such programmes have all but disappeared.

Mrs Turia says that is hindering the efforts of people like south Auckland Mongrel Mob Notorious chapter head Roy Dunn to work with at risk young people and show them alternatives to gang life.

“We have bureaucracies who are quite judgmental about those who they don’t deem to be appropriate to be working with young people and so they won’t resource it. People like Roy Dunn are doing a great job, because he’s the kind of person who can get to those hard to reach young people, and we need to resource it,” Mrs Turia says.


A Bay of Plenty iwi wants visitors to leave their precious volcanic glass alone.
Tuhua, or Mayor Island, is known for its rich veins of obsidian, also known as tuhua by Maori.

Magda Williams from the Tuhua Trust Board says the obsidian is tapu to the island's owners, Te Whanau a Tauwhao ki Tuhua.

She says a helicopter company operating tours to Tuhua has been asked to return the sacred rock.

She says kuia and kaumatua are upset at the way visiting non-Maori have taken big chunks of obsidian for doorstops or garden ornaments.

She says now it's not used for cutting tools or weapons, the only reason to take obsidian is to place in urupa and marae to link kaumatua and kuia back to the island.

Judge warns knife crime on rise

The chief judge of the Youth Court is warning of a likely increase in knife attacks by young people.

Judge Andrew Becroft spelled out the trend to the National Youth Mentoring Conference in south Auckland yesterday.

He says the court is looking at further initiatives like using marae to monitor sentences, as a way to tackling the unacceptably high level of Maori coming before it.

It's also concerned at the increase in young people apprehended for assaults with weapons, which have tripled over the past decade.

“It's quite small numbers but they dominate the numbers and we know that knife crime is an issue in London, west coast of the United States and now in Australia and we need to be prepared for the rather I think cold reality that it’s probably going to be a phenomenon here in New Zealand in our urban areas in particular, young people with knives,” Judge Becroft says.

Most youth crime is committed by rangatahi who have dropped out of the school system and are not in any sort of work or further training.


Tuhoe's lead negotiator says the eastern Bay of Plenty iwi many need to build up public support if they are to secure a better settlement offer from the Crown.

Tribal hui in the main centres and hau kainga over the past couple of days rejected the Crown's first offer, of a package worth about $120 million and co-management of the Urewera National park.

Tamati Kruger says they've sent negotiators back to Wellington look for a better deal.

“Tuhoe needs to get political support for their position. It’s not so much a matter for negotiators to work out It’s more to do with nurturing public support and understanding of the issues and political support within cabinet and parliament,” Mr Kruger says.


A Tongan community leader says with their sense of whaungatanga, Maori can appreciate how the Tongan ferry tragedy will affect every family in the Friendly Islands.

Journalist Sef Hauoli says the Tongan community in New Zealand and at home is devastated by the sinking of the Princess Ashika.

Authorities believe about 93 bodies could be trapped in the wreck, which lies in more than 100 metres of water.


A leading oncologist says a direct focus on cancer care for Maori will prove invaluable.

Dr Richard Sullivan, the clinical director of the Northern Cancer Network, says this week's Revolution of Maori Cancer Care forum in Rotorua has brought together people from across the health sector to look at new ways to improve the quality of care received by Maori with the disease.

Dr Sullivan says too often mainstream services overlook indigenous perspectives.

“Rather than working in a traditional DHB silo approach it’s more to say this is about the patient, the whanau, and understanding the story and what is important for them so in future we can provide a better level of care,” Dr Sullivan says

Traditional medical practices like rongoa may have benefits for Maori cancer patients.


Knowing where you are from helps you get where you are going.

That's the word from Maori mentors the second National Youth Mentoring Conference in Mangere this week.

Counties Manukau Youth Transition Services worker Frank Solomon from Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa says NEETs ... kids who are Not in Education, Employment or Training ... are at high risk of getting into trouble.

He says as well as having something to do, young people need to develop a sense of a identity to stay on the right track.

“I think we all know that particularly for Maaori, their whakapapa, their identity is a major starting point. Most of our kids are urban based now. Many of them don’t have any real knowledge of where they come from, their marae, what their whakapapa might be,” Mr Solomon says.


Descendants of 19th century eastern Maori MP Wi Pere have another week to register for next January's family reunion.

Reunion organiser Robyn Rauna says more than 10 percent of the estimated 5000 uri have signed on for the hui at Rongopai Marae in Gisborne.

Wi Pere had two sons and 13 grandchildren, so the reunion will include many prominent Rongowhakaata and Aitanga a Mahaaki names like the Smiler, Edwards, Halbert, and Whaanga whanau.

Ms Rauna says his legacy to the family included 6000 hectares on the Poverty Bay flats, which is now one of the 10 largest Maori businesses, producing sheep, cattle, grapes and other horticultural products.

“More than monetary value is the wealth we have in human resources. I value more the ability as family to stay connected and for everybody to know and share in our cultural wealth at home here in Gisborne,” Ms Rauna says.

The reunion will mark the 110th anniversary of the Wi Pere Trust.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mentors welcome training push

Maori mentors are welcoming the government's moves to keep rangatahi in school - or help them into training.

This week's National Youth Mentoring Conference in Mangere has heard about the programmes from government ministers and principal youth court judge Andrew Becroft.

The $150 million package, including the Job Ops employer subsidy, the Community Max public works scheme and extra places in polytechs and military style training programmes.

Bev Cassidy-Mckenzie from Ngati Porou, the general manager of the Youth Mentoring Network, says there are real opportunities.

“The good thing about what we’re hearing from the judge and from government is that while mentoring is a component or wraparound service to what’s going on, it needs to work alongside something, it cannot work in isolation, so that’s obviously our big driver, to make sure it’s not working in isolation or by itself,” Ms Cassidy-Mckenzie says.

Her network is building a national register of mentors and developing mentor training programmes.


A major Maori grape grower says its business is well positioned, despite an over-supply of wine in some parts of the industry.

The Wi Pere Trust has extensive vinyards on its land around Gisborne, and also has a stake in Nelson-based Tohu Wines.

Chairperson Alan Haronga says last season's glut of sauvignon blanc grapes was a wake-up call for the New Zealand industry, and the world is also awash with chardonnay, which Wi Pere grows.

He says broader economic conditions are also tough.

“The global decline coupled with the high foreign exchange rate is making exporting difficult, but we’re still there, we’ve right sized our business and that should stand us in good stead going forward,” Mr Haronga says.

Next week's Romeo Bragato conference in Napier will be a good chance to discuss the future of the New Zealand wine industry.


Kaumatua are going for gold in Taranaki.

The region’s first Kaumatua Olympics in Waitara yesterday attracted 300 seniors from as far away as Paraparaumu and Hauraki.

Organiser Karena Terry says they had a ball doing a range of disabled and elderly-friendly activities.

The event is part of a healthy lifestyle programme.


It's back to the negotiating table as an eastern Bay of Plenty iwi rejects the government's first offer of compensation for its treaty claims.

Chief negotiator Tamatai Kruger from Te Kotahi A Tuhoe says hui around the country yesterday decline the Crown's offer of a $120 million settlement package and co-management of Te Urewera National Park.

He says work needs to be done on the quantum, and the Crown is mis-reading the depth of feeling in Tuhoe about its mana motuhake or sovereignty over traditional lands.

“The Crown offer of co-management is just not acceptable to Tuhoe. It’s something that has been hanging around for some 20 or 30 years. It’s just not satisfactory so we are going to go back into discussions,” Mr Kruger says

Although Tuhoe were given 10 days to respond to the offer, it took just over a day to come to a decision.


The Principal Judge of the Youth Court says keeping kids in school is the best way to tackle youth offending.

Speaking to the national Youth Mentoring Network in Mangere today, Andrew Becroft said staying engaged in education, and by extension the community, keeps kids out of trouble.

He says there are about 2000 school-aged children who aren't in any form of education, employment or training, the majority of them Maori.

While that is less than one percent of the school aged-population, those rangatahi make up almost 100 percent of the offenders appearing before the Youth Court.

“The bottom line is we’ve got to keep everyone meaningfully engaged in some form of education or alternative education or educational training or apprenticeship, at least until the age of 16. If we could do that, I think it would be the single most successful interventions we could do to reduce youth offending. It’s just about that simple,” Judge Becroft says

He says the disproportionate number of Maori in the youth justice system is unacceptable and demands new ways of tackling the problem.


Meanwhile, it's been careers day for hundreds of Canterbury Maori fourth formers.

Navigate 09 organiser Melanie Mark Shadbolt says today's event at Nga Hau E Wha Marae exposed tauira to tertiary study and employment options.

Up to 80 students at a time were put through interactive presentations and workshops.

“It's not a traditional careers expo. We don’t just have kids walking round stalls and getting pamphlets and pens. We want tohe institutions to get down to the kids level and explain to them what they do and what they teach and how education relates to them as being a Maori student,” Ms Shadbolt says.

Cancer forum brings together Maori carers

A leading cancer specialist says a national cancer hui should lead to improvements in the way Maori with cancer are treated.

Jonathan Koea from Ngati Tama and Te Atiawa says Maori have higher rates of cancer, particularly those associated with hepatitis, and higher rates of mortality.

He says this week's Revolution of Cancer Care forum in Rotorua is allowing all Maori working in the field to have some input, and it's offering a way to bridge the gulf between hospitals and the primary health carers.

“There's a huge Maori health provider workforce, Maori health workers, volunteers, researchers and other people and for someone like me who’s locked up in hospitals most of the time it’s great to be in the same space as them, see what they are doing, see what their needs are and how I can help them and how we can do things better, configure services better,” Dr Koea says.


Ngati Kahungunu will be in Dunedin today to reach out to younger tribe members in the south.

Kym Hamilton, the Hawkes Bay runanga's research and policy manager, says the hui at the Otago University School of Maori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies is for tauira who have come from the North Island to study, or whose parents may have moved south.

She says the students are the people who will have the expertise in disciplines which are crucial for iwi development.

“The purpose of this is to address succession planning because we’ve identified three priorities for iwi development: ICT, environmental science and te reo and tikanga and so we are trying to make contact with those coming through universities and wananga to help them think about how they can contribute to iwi development,” Ms Hamilton says.

The students may also consider standing for election to the runanga, which will next year include two seats representing members outside the rohe.


The link between Fiji and Maori news is about to get stronger.

Television New Zealand's Maori and Pacific programmes section has taken on Fiji Television journalist Rachna Nath, as part of her prize as the Young Pacific Television Journalist of the year given at the Pacific Media Summit Awards in Vanuatu last month.

Manager Paora Maxwell says Ms Nath will spend time with the Te Karere Team, in what he expects to be a mutually beneficial relationship.

“The benefit to her is working in a large news organisation and the benefits to us is we continue to foster good journalism and good journalists in the Pacific Islands,” Mr Maxwell says.

TVNZ has also started satellite broadcasting a subtitled edition of Maori language new programme Te Karere to 14 Pacific island countries.


An Auckland University historian says the seeds of the Maori renaissance can be seen in the way Maori found ways to maintain their culture and communities when they moved to the cities.

As part of the university's Winter Lecture series, Aroha Harris this week offered a fresh look at Maori leadership during the 1950s and 60s.

She says they fought an official policy of assimilation by setting up their own churches and urban marae, such as the Anglican Tatai Te Hono and Catholic Te Unga waka complexes in Auckland.

“One of the families I spoke to who were involved with Te Unga Waka started out having services in their home and it was about having the miha Maori so people look at that and think it’s about faith and Catholicism and it is partly but it’s also about a particular kind of Catholicism which is a Maori Catholicism,” Dr Harris says.
The leadership of the era has unfairly been characterised as conservative and ineffective, when in fact it was devising creative solutions to new problems.


A former head of the Corrections Service believes Maori community justice programmes can reduce offending and benefit Mari and non Maori alike.

Kim Workman from Rethinking Crime and Punishment says Aotearoa is at a crossroads when it comes to sentencing, rehabilitation and even the housing of inmates.

He says rather than following international trends such as double-bunking, the country needs to find ways to address the needs of Maori, who make up half the prison population.

“Perhaps marae based approaches where marae are funded to take on Maori to do community work, where Maori providers are initially supported with sufficient investment so they can do a decent job, and where the correction system starts to realise it can't do everything,” Mr Workman says.

He says the government's push for double bunking and portable prison cells will lead to the sort of overcrowding and violence experienced in the Californian penal system, which went down that path 20 years ago.


Kua hinga te totara i te wao nui a Tane

Clem Huriwaka, leading figure in the Wellington Maori community, has died at the age of 69.

Mr Huriwaka, from Ngati Rangitihi and Ngapuhi, worked as a bus driver for many years, and also involved himself with unions, trusts and cultural groups, including Ngati Poneke.

Kaumatua Henare Kingi says he was known for the passion he brought to Maori causes.

“Clem got into a lot of arguments about some of the things he said here but Clem was expressing his whole feeling and those feelings were for the betterment of his Maori people and his outlook was that the Maori people set an example for the generation to come,” Mr Kingi says.

There will be a service for Clem Huriwaka at the Church of Latter Day Saints in Hataitai at 10 this morning, after which he will be taken to Rangitihi Marae in Matata, with the funeral at 11am on Sunday.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kahungunu reaches out to next generation

Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa iwi Ngati Kahungunu is in Te Waipounamu this week casting its net for tauira.

It met Kahungunu students at Christchurch's Nga Hau e Wha Marae to discuss how the iwi runanga can assist its people in culture, education and environmental development.

Its research and policy manager, Kym Hamilton says many whanau moved to Christchurch to get trade training under the former Maori Affairs Department in the 1960s and 70s.

“We're really conscious that we’re not providing as many opportunities for our taura here whanau and rangatahi and tauira to contribute to our development as an organisation so we wanted to open those things up and the other thing too is when we run the hui in our rohe we are often getting the same people coming so we’re wanting to extend out contacts with our people,” Ms Hamilton says.

The Ngati Kahungunu roadshow will be in Dunedin tomorrow at Otago University's School of Maori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies.


A leading Maori doctor says better understanding of how Maori patients experience the health system will lead to improved care.

Peter Jansen, a senior medical adviser for the Accident Compensation Commission, is reporting on his findings to the first National Maori Cancer Forum, which started today in Rotorua.

He says the research on Maori consumer use of health & disability and ACC services provides a solid foundation for change.

“The major purpose of that research was to pilot an experiences-of-care survey so in other words ‘what can we do to find out from Maori patients and their whanau abut the interaction they had with the healthcare service and can we use that information to track the ability of our services to engage with Maori over time,” Dr Jansen says.

Health services will be able to use the survey template to design better services and monitor their effectiveness.


The post-war generation is being credited for a previously unrecognised contribution to the Maori renaissance.

In her lecture for Auckland University's Winter Lecture series, historian Aroha Harris says Maori leadership between 1945 and the late 1960s has been regarded as too conservative to be effective, especially when compared to the protest generation that followed.

But a deeper look reveals that as Maori were moving to the cities in large numbers during that period, their efforts to maintain their culture and identity is what eventually led to the creation of Maori play centres, churches and urban marae.

“The fact is that they happen at a time when Maori policy was really pushing vigorously for integration, so they are initiatives that happen against the grain of what Maori policy was going for at the time,” Dr Harris says.

She says Maori leaders of the period were creative negotiators.


In a few hours, the Globe Theatre in London will ring with the sound of te reo Maori.

Actor Rawiri Paratene, who is in the Globe's current production of Romeo and Juliet, will read a translation of William Shakespeare's 18th sonnet ... the one starting “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day.”

The translation was done by Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Maori at the request of the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand, and scribed onto soft flax paper as a gift to the theatre.

Actor Matu Ngaropo, who did an informal internship at the Globe a decade ago after Young Shakespeare Company, says Shakespeare has been an important influence on Maori theatre, starting with Pei Jones' translation of the Merchant of Venice.

“There's a really similar weight of the way that the language is used in the musicality and poetical nature of it that both Maori and Pacific Island peoples can really understand and relish the tastes of the language, so Shakespeare and classical work as a whole has been a big part of Maori theatre and bicultural theatre in its development,” Mr Ngaropo says.

The Maori translation will hang alongside a Korean translation of the same sonnet.


A Northland Maori health leader says more needs to be done to inspire young Maori to keep physically active.

Kim Tito, the Northland District health board's general manager of service development, says the board will keep funding a healthy lifestyle programme for rural Maori communities.

That's despite the government withdrawing its putea from nutrition programmes in favour of funding sport in schools.

He says there's more to exercise than sport.

“We need to provide greeter emphasis and incentive for tamariki and rangatahi generally but Maori tamariki and rangatahi more specifically to make sure they maintain a health attitude towards daily exercise, beneficial exercise programmes,” Mr Tito says.

The Northland DHB has been able to customise the Health Eating Healthy Action programme to suit the needs of Maori communities in Taitokerau.


Maori news is now going out across Te Moananui a Kiwi.

From tonight Te Karere, Television New Zealand's daily Maori language news show, is being broadcast via satellite to 14 Pacific island nations.

Paora Maxwell, the general manager of Maori and Pacific programmes, says the subtitled transmission will acknowledge the special relationship between Maori and other Polynesian cultures.

It already sends One News and Tangata Pasifika to the islands.

“It is my view that there is a cultural synergy between the and the rest of Polynesia and they may be interested in our Maori slate here at TVNZ,” Mr Maxwell says.

He says TVNZ is also sending the rangatahi show I AM TV up to the islands.

Tuhoe takes $150 million offer back to people

Tuhoe are confident that agreement will be reached with the government on the settlement of grievances following an offer put to them by the Crown yesterday.

Te Kotahi a Tuhoe chairman Tamati Kruger says the offer which addresses cultural issues, ownership and management of the Te Urewera National Park, compensation monies and Tuhoe self-governance issues is being considered at hui around the tribal area last night and this morning.

“The good news is the distance between the Crown’s offer and where Tuhoe is generally is not extremely far apart. There is some distance there but we are confident that with continued negotiations with the Crown can lead towards an agreement in principle,” Mr Kruger says

The iwi expects to be going back to the government with its response later today.

It is understood the Crown has offered around $150 million as compensation, agreed to work towards greater autonomy for Tuhoe, co-management of the national park and has accepted special cultural issues needing redress as reult of the government's actions against Tuhoe in the 1800's.


The Federation of Maori Authorities says Maori participation in a campaign to cut mobile call termination rates is critical to ensure the telecommunications market is fair.

FOMA is one of several national organisations banding together with new Maori-owned mobile operator 2degrees pressing the government to adopt commerce commission recommendations to cut the rates mobile phone companies charge each other for ending calls or texts from each other.

FOMA chief executive Rino Tirikatene says the high termination rates are allowing Telecom and Vodafone to stifle competition and meaning mobile rates in New Zealand are among the highest in the world.

He says FOMA hasn't joined the campaign just because Maori own 20 percent of 2 degrees.

“There's a strong Maori link. We want to see Maori success and this mobile termination rates is a critical one for the telecommunications sector in general but especially for everyone who uses a mobile. We are getting charged way too much and hopefully the minister will take not and listen to our karanga,” Mr Tirikatene says.

The group wants termination rates regulated as they are in other countries.


Tainui Maori have begun celebrations for the biggest event in their year.

The third Koroneihana for Kingi Tuheitia commenced on Sunday, celebrated by indoor bowls and golf tournaments.

Tom Roa, former Chairman of the Coronation organising committee, says while it's a time to celebrate, this is also a time for remembrance.

“All of those from Tainui waka that want to bring and pay respects to those that have passed on can occur on the 19th and on the 20th, that’s the day after Tainui has their kawe mate, will be the motu,” Mr Roa says.

The Coronation celebrations end on August 23.


Tuhoe leaders say other New Zealanders have nothing to fear from independence measures being worked through between the iwi and the Crown as part of the settlement offer put to the tribe yesterday.

Te Kotahi a Tuhoe chairman Tamati Kruger says while there are still things to be worked through the distance between the Crown and the Iwi isn't great and they are confident of an agreement in principle with the Crown.

He says part of the offer is for greater Tuhoe independence or Mana Motuhake and this should not be feared.

“Tuhoe is very concerned about the misinterpretation of mana motuhake as some kind of tribal isolationist policy or some racist regime where only Tuhoe people can dio this, participate it or benefit from it. It is neither of those two things,” Mr Kruger says.

Tuhoe do not want to disconnect from their dual citizenship of Aotearoa but also recognise their language cultural and identity is their responsibility and they should pay for it not the government.

He says the government recognised the iwi's claims for independence.

Tamati Kruger says compensation monies offered met with tribal expectations of around $150 million dollars and there was general acceptance of rights over the Urewera national park.


The Northland District Health Board is continuing to fund a programme to combat obesity among Maori despite the government withdrawing its support.

Kim Tito, the board's general manager of service development says the programme to improve diet and increase exercise through community-led activities in rural Maori areas was on the chopping block due the Health Ministry wanting to focus funding on sport in schools.

“The DHB has some discretion over the way it uses its funds and we have decided to keep the programme going for a further six months and that recognizes both our commitment to current providers and the general effectiveness of programmes that are community based at reducing obesity among Maori and improving their eating habits,” Mr Tito says.

The Green Prescription service uses a range of service providers, including Sport Northland, primary health organisations, Maori health providers and other non-government agencies.


A 59 year old Maori warden who stood between a mob of drunken looters and the shattered window of the clothing store in Palmerston North in the early hours of Sunday morning says she is overwhelmed by the community response to her heroism.

Francie Teppett says she was patrolling in the Square when a stolen car hit a parked car and then crashed into the Hallensteins store before her eyes just as around 40 revelers were leaving nearby pubs.

She says she pulled one person out of the window display area who was helping himself then stood in front of the crowd with her police issue torch at the ready if anyone else tried to help themselves.

Francie Teppett says it has taken 23 years as a Maori warden to be recognised for her work and the public response has been very over-whelming and humbling.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

FOMA joins Cut the Rate campaign

The Federation of Maori Authorities is backing a campaign fight for lower mobile phone charges.

Chief executive Rino Tirikatene says FOMA has joined at campaign to regulate termination charges for ending calls or texts from other fixed or mobile networks allowing Telecom and Vodafone to stifle competition.

“Maori, just like all New Zealanders, are being ripped off and charged exorbitant costs to make their mobile phone calls and texts and we are encouraging the minister to adopt the Commerce Commission recommendation and cut those mobile termination rates so new entrants like Two Degrees are given a fair go and there is greater competition in the marketplace,” Mr Tirikatene says.

Organisations in the campaign include new mobile operator 2degrees, Consumer New Zealand, Federated Farmers, the New Zealand Union of Students' Associations, the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand, and the Unite union.


A leading indigenous rights advocate says a lack of acknowledgment for last weekend's World Indigenous Day highlights the absence of support for Maori as equal treaty partners.

Aroha Mead, from Ngati Awa and Ngati Porou, says not many people knew about the day, which was organised up by the United Nations and deserved to be celebrated in a grand style.

She says the government has failed to address many recommendations by the United Nations on indigenous rights making acknowledgement of the day even more important.


A Maori labourer's hard work has been recognised at a recent awards conference.

The Scaffolding and Rigging New Zealand Association recently awarded the Scaffolding Student of the Year award to Reihana Fraser, the team leader of Daveron Scaffolding in Christchurch.

He says his rise from unemployment to becoming team leader is all down to hard work.

Reihana Fraser has been awarded a scholarship from Te Tai Poutini's Diploma in Scaffolding Management.


Labour leader Phil Goff has wished Tuhoe well in their campaign to get compensation from the Crown for confiscations and injustices done in the 1800's.

Tuhoe leaders are in Wellington today to receive a settlement offer from the government expected to be in the order of $150-170 million before taking it back to their people at hui tonight and tomorrow.

Phil Goff says it is important that grievances are addressed and an adequate level of remedy can be found.

“This is something we do want to complete, we do want to put that process behind us so we can look forward to how we can build a better life for all of our people, Maori and Pakeha alike,” Mr Goff says.

Compromises will have to found and in many senses treaty settlement is a symbolic process.


Ways Maori tourist operators can maximise their commercial potential is among the kaupapa being discussed at the Inbound Tour Operators annual conference which started in Gisborne today.

Graham Breckell, Chief Executive of Tourism Eastland says the conference of 200 delegates is a great chance for Maori operators to see how they can work to grow businesses for their whanau and their region.

Following last weeks Eco tourism conference Gisborne is committed to exploring and developing local business.


Maori children's book awards were held yesterday to start off the country's Library Week celebrations.

Library & Information Association spokesperson, Alice Heather says past challenges for judges have been comparing books of different genres against one another and the addition of four new awards has proved helpful and exciting.

The overall winner was Mihiroa by Peehi Nohotima.

Other prizes went to Toheroa by James Te Tuhi and Hinemoa te Toa by Tim Tipene. The translation prize went to Katerina Mataira.

The LIANZA children's book awards have been held annually in Wellington since 1945 with the Te Kura Pounamu section added in 1996 to recognise children's books written in te reo Maori.

Tuhoe to get settlement offer

Tuhoe iwi representatives will be in Wellington today to receive an offer of compensation from the government.

Earlier this year the Waitangi Tribunal found that Tuhoe had suffered confiscations and humiliation which needed to be compensated.

The government's first offer is expected to be at the lower end of a band between $150 million and $170 million.

Te Kotahi a Tuhoe chairman Tamati Kruger says the representaives will then take the offer back to the people at a series of hui tonight and tomorrow around the tribal area .

“We have said to the Crown there are three matters to be considered. One is the return of Te Urewera lands. Two is to consider a programme of simple autonomy for Tuhoe and third a fair financial settlement,” Mr Kruger says.

The tribe will know by Wednesday whether the offer is considered appropriate.


Tuhoe activist Tame Iti is stressing the importance of independence and autonomy for Tuhoe in any settlement deal.

He says this was behind the blockade yesterday of the road between Te Teko and Murapara by Tuhoe members who wrongly believed the tribal leaders were about sign a deal with the government rather than bring the offer back for consultation.

“The Crown used to believe we are in cuckoo land to even think abut sovereignty, mana motuhake o Tuhoe or self government. Today that matter is on the table. It’s agreed on by the two parties to allow two people that was in conflict to set aside and work towards an ideal utopia society,” Mr Iti says.

He says the ordinary citizen of New Zealand should be proud of the fact that there is understanding and not just lip-service by two civilised people, Tuhoe and the white people sitting down and discussing this matter and not throwing spears at one another.


The New Zealand Kindergarten association says it will rise to the challenge of committing itself to its Maori members' education.

Chief executive Clare Wells says after Kohanga Reo, kindergartens have the highest percentage of Maori children and whanau enrolled, so have a clear responsibility to ensure their curriculum and services reflect that.

“In areas where there is a high Maori population there are often insufficient services, Making sure there are services so people can have the access is one of the big issues we confront,” she says.

The Central Otago Kindergarten Association hosted the annual Kindergarten conference in Queenstown over the weekend feature workshops on Maori education, gifted children, obesity in children and effective use of information technology.


Disaffected Tuhoe hapu still seeking their day in court to challenge the way their iwi’s share of the $66 million from the Central North Island forestry settlement is to be managed.

In June the High Court refused to hear the case lodged by Te Umutaoroa, instead instructing the parties to sort out the matter among themselves.

The hapu are mainly those with claims to land around Te Teko and Murupara suitable for dairy farming.

Tamati Kruger from Te Kotahi a Tuhoe says the Tuhoe Establishement Trust held an initial meeting with the hapu to scope out issues for mediation.

“I thought we were off to a good start. Then unfortunately a few days later I received notification from their legal counsel that they were taking proceedings to the Court of Appeal which effectively parked the mediation talks to the side,” Mr Kruger says.

The $66 million settlement as part of the Central North Island forestry deal is separate from the expected $150 - $170 million offer being put to Tuhoe today by the Crown as compensation for land confiscated last century.


Activist Tame Iti is among Tuhoe leaders traveling to Wellington today to hear the Crown's offer before taking it back to their people at hui tonight and tomorrow.

He says not very long ago the Crown used to think Tuhoe were in cockoo land to think of sovereignty and self-governance but today that matter is on the table alongside financial compensation.

“The ordinary New Zealand citizen should be proud of the fact we have reached some understanding, not just lip service, because people need to know we are the sovereign people of this country, that we are now sitting down, we are not throwing spears at each other. We are civilized white people and civilised people like myself are sitting down and having a chat about what it’s going to look like,” Mr Iti says.

Today's offer is just the first step and is unlikely to be the Crown's best offer.


Maori in the South Island are slightly better off healthwise than Maori nationally, despite a recent report showing primary care was failing the regions Maori population.

David Chrisp, Regional General Manager of Planning and Funding says a review of the Southland District Health Board Maori health strategy this year showed the primary healthcare sector in Southland was not meeting the needs of its 12,000 Maori residents.

“Maori in the Southland are actually slightly ahead of Maori nationally in terms of health status. They’re still well short of Southland non-Maori, nut over a number of indicators they are actually slightly better than for Maori across all of New Zealand. That was a surprise to us, but it does not negate the need to do some pretty serious work here,” Mr Chrisp says.

The DHB is working on developing an action plan to address the recommendations.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Trust needed for immunity to work

A leading Maori doctor says getting on top of the measles epidemic will require medical professionals to develop a better relationship with Maori patients.

David Jansen, an Auckland GP and the chair of the Maori Medical Practitioners' Association, says low immunisation rates create a reservoir for the spread of the epidemic.

He says while the rates among Maori are lower than in the wider population, that is caused by the failure of health providers to offer vaccination when Maori bring in their tamariki, or to explain why it is a good idea to have the jab.

“For you to engage in that particular activity, you have to have trust, you have to have information, and it’s about the timeliness and appropriateness of that relationship and that information that happens in the context of turning up to see your GP or your practice nurse,” Dr Jansen says.

The answer is more training of mainstream health professionals and a larger Maori workforce.


New Zealand kindergartens will be tapping into their local Maori communities in an effort to improve their access and participation.

New Zealand Kindergarten chief executive officer Clare Wells says Kohanga Reo and other services developed by Maori communities needed support, but with the high percentage of Maori enrolled in them, so to do kindergartens.

She says getting to know the local communities would help improve early education services across the country.

“While we have made significant steps in the past there is a lot more we can do, such as work more closely with our communities and that might mean kindergartens look different in different areas according to what those local families need,” Ms Wells says.

The New Zealand Kindergartens conference took place in Queenstown over the weekend. Topics covered included gifted children, the effective use of IT in kindergartens, education of Maori youth, and children's obesity.


Two respective established and emerging Maori film directors, are teaming up to work on a project together.

Women in Film and Television award-winner Chelsea Winstanley, says Aotearoa is lucky to have film-pioneer Merata Mita back home.

“I just revere this woman so highly. When I first saw the film Bastion Point Day 507 I remember thinking I want to aspire to be as phenomenal as her. You have a mentor like that for years and then to be able to work alongside her is just fantastic,” Ms Winstanley says.

She is currently working on a series about taonga puoro, while also working on a documentary with Merata Mita.


Health services for Maori living in Southland are due for a shake up, after a stocktake of the regions primary care services shows a failure to deliver for the Maori population.

David Chrisp, Regional General Manager of Planning and Funding with the Southland District Health Board says a report commissioned earlier this year shows the primary healthcare sector in the South is not meeting the needs of its 12,000 Maori residents.

“A lot of the stuff in this report, lots of people will nod their heads and say OI thought that was the case but the power of reports like this is when it goes to the board and gets a profile, we can’t ignore it, we’ve got to do something with it and we are,” Mr Chrisp says.

The report makes it easier to work on a strategy to address the health inequalities Maori suffer.


The days of scrambling around for black felts before kapa haka showtime is over in Rotorua.

Vantage Enterprisez, a group of five students from John Paul College, won best stall for their Mai Moko temporary tattoo venture at the Lions Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme trade fair in Rotorua last week.

Entrepreneur Kimiora Grant says the moko transfers are ideal for kapa haka groups wanting to shave time off of preparation or for tourists to partake in a piece of Maori culture.

The tattoos come in two moko styles designed by carver Roi Toia and artist June Northcroft-Grant, an internationally acclaimed Maori artist and Kimiora Grant’s grandmother.

The group are in discussions for creating moko for Breast Cancer Foundation rallies and Marathon runners as well as working towards the national competition in Wellington.


An award-winning Maori film and television producer, says more Maori women are needed in the film and television industry.

Chelsea Winstanley, producer and director of Stand Strong Productions, says Maori have the opportunities, now they just need to do the work.

“We've got this beautiful channel, Maori Television, and the reo channel.
We need more people to be making more content. Because everyone’s got stories to tell," Ms Winstanley says.

She won the Great Southern Film & Television Woman to Watch award, at last week’s Women in Film and Television Awards.

Consultation on river clean up

All iwi and and hapu along the Waikato River are being consulted on what a clean river means to them.

Waikato-Hauraki MP Nanaia Mahuta says legislation creating a co-management system for the river seems to be on hold in the Maori affairs select committee, as the government works out whether it can simplify the governance structure negotiated between Tainui and the previous Labour government.

Meanwhile the National Institute for Water and Atmosphere is talking with iwi from Taupo to Port Waikato on what people expect and how water quality can be improved.

Her own Waahi Marae was known for its eels, and wants that to be restored.

She says the Government wants to see whether the Waikato river settlement can be used as a model for other areas.


A Rotorua Maori tourism operator says the whole community will benefit when Air New Zealand starts twice weekly direct flights from Sydney.

Wetini Mitai Ngatai is behind the Mitai Experience, which welcomes vistors into a purpose built pa to hear Maori stories and take part in kapa haka before enjoying a hangi.

He says half their manuhiri come from across the Tasman, and the direct flights may also bring visitors from further afield such as the United States.


A Kawhia hapu says the government's refusal to toughen protections for marine animals signs the death knell for the Maui's dolphin.

Just over 100 of the dolphins remain in their natural range along the North Island west coast.

National MPs voted down the Green Party's Marine Animals Protection Law Reform Bill, which would have required population management plans for endangered mammals and birds.

Davis Apiti from Ngati Te Wehi is now resigned to losing the precious dolphin within the next 15 years.

He wants a complete ban on gill netting in Aotea Harbour to offer some sanctuary to the Maui dolphin.


The chair of the Maori Medical Practitioners' Association says Maori parents can't be blamed for their tamariki not getting vaccinations.

Public health specialists are concerned low immunisation rates are fuelling a measles epidemic in Christchurch and Auckland.

Only about 80 percent of children are vaccinated by the time they get to school, and the Maori take-up is up to 15 per cent behind that.

David Jansen says Maori turn up as often at health providers, but are less likely to be offered or take up immunisation.

“That really goes to the interface issue of Maori patients and families interfacing with health professions and we now have a very clear picture that at that point Maori are getting less,” Dr Jansen says.

The solution lies in improving the way medical professionals interact with Maori, and in Maori feeling entitled to an adequate health system.


Waitara's Otaraua Hapu has won a long battle for recognition of a significant north Taranaki waahi tapu.

New Plymouth District Council has resolved to include Tikorangi Pa in its District Plan, subject to public consultation.

Its environmental policy manager, Colin Comber, says the pa was not recognised by the council or the Historic Places Trust because there are no physical remains.

But it features prominently in the oral history of the Otaraua Hapu.

“The pa did exist but it was destroyed by the military in September 1860. In 1865 the military built a redoubt on the same site, so it’s been a dual occupation,” Mr Comber says.

Inclusion in the plan should stop a repeat of this year's protests, when members of Otaraua Hapu occupied the site to prevent Greymouth Petroleum running a pipeline through it.


The Wairarapa Archive has acquired some of the country’s earliest literary Maori treasures.

Descendants of Irish missionary and scholar Robert Maunsell have donated copies of his work to the Masterton-based archive, including his 1862 Grammar of the New Zealand Language, translations from Hebrew into Maori of the New Testament and Psalms, and a manuscript on the Organisation of Maori Social Life and Customs.

Maunsell arrived in New Zealand in 1835, and worked with Maori until his death in 1894.

Archivist Gareth Winter says Maunsell's work included some of the earliest missionary grammars and translations of the Bible.

The gift also includes Robert Maunsell's 1872 textbook to help Maori speakers learn English.