Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, August 21, 2009

Maori Part and ACT at odds on Auckland history

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says Prime Minister John Key should accept Rodney Hide's resignation over Maori representation in Auckland.

The local government minister has threatened to walk if National includes Maori seats on the Auckland super city council.

Mrs Turia says the ACT leader is has his eye not on the local government election but the next general election, and he's trying to boost his vote with those in society who oppose Maori initiatives.

“Frankly if I was John Key I would accept his resignation and accept that in actual fact they only need ACT’s vote for confidence and supply, in the same way that’s all they expect from the Maori Party. I think he should do the same with ACT and allow Rodney and the ACT Party to go its way,” Mrs Turia says.

She says Rodney Hide is making his threat because he feared National might be wavering on the issue.


Meanwhile, Rodney Hide says the Maori Party turned down an offer to work on ways to improve Maori input into Auckland governance.

The Minister for local government says while he has threatened to resign as minister over Maori seats, he believes councils need to work effectively with iwi and hapu groups in their areas.

He says he raised the issue with Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples.

“One of the difficulties I’ve had is that I’ve discussed this with Pita Sharples and said can we work on a second option which would mean not having Maori seats but a way in which mana whenua could sort of feed into the council. He quite legitimately said ‘Look, I’m going for gold, I’m going for the Mori seats and I don’t want to work on a second option,’ so that’s where we got to on that,” Mr Hide says.


A week on the water has strengthened the relationship between Maori and native American nations from the Pacific northwest.

Toi Maori operations manager Tamahou Temara and Francis Mamaku joined a family group from the Grand Ronde tribes of Oregon for a week long paddle from Lummi, near the Canada border, to the Suquamish reservation near Seattle.

Mr Temara says the annual tribal journeys event has grown from 7 canoes in 1989 to more than 100 this year.

He says it's become an important way to celebrate and pass on traditions,
and it is positive way to motivate young people as well as a chance to meet up with other tribal nations.

Toi Maori's participation is leading to artistic exchanges, and a group from the Grand Ronde confederation may come to Aotearoa to participate in cultural and waka events.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia believes Maori are not as opposed to the sale of public assets as the population at large.

The Maori Party supported Labour MP Phil Twyford's bill requiring a referendum before any sale of Auckland's assets, but National, ACT and United's Peter Dunne voted the bill down.

Mrs Turia says while the outcome of the first reading was not a surprise, what could surprise is the attitude of iwi who want to become players in the economy.

“As iwi are getting their assets back through treaty settlements we’ve heard a lot of korero from them about buying state assets or certainly investing in shares. Obviously they’re not as opposed as maybe the people at large to the sale of assets,” Mrs Turia says.

She says referenda on asset sales would be costly to run.


King Tuheitia's third koroheihana hui switches focus today as Maoridom celebrates the king himself.

Over the past two days, Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia has been devoted to the kawe mate, the farewelling of the spirits of the deceased from Tainui and the rest of the country.

With fine weather forecast, up to 3000 people are expected today.

At 10am Anglican bishops Ngarahu Katene and David Moxon from Waikato will lead the coronation service before iwi spokespeople affirm their commitment to the King Movement and King Tuheitia.

The king himself is expected to make his speech at 1pm.

The King’s previous speeches have focused on education and unity within Maoridom.


The Minister of arts and heritage has put two lawyers onto the board of Te Waka Toi, the Maori arm of creative new Zealand.

They're Nathan Gray from Ngai Tahu, Rangitaane and Waikato, who wrote a book about his 4000 trek along the Great Wall of China, and Ngati Porou treaty negotiator Matanuku Mahuika.

Mr Mahuika, who appeared for claimants in the Wai 262 Maori intellectual property claim, believes he was picked for his legal rather than his creative expertise.

In another change, writer and academic Ngahui te Awakotuku has been dropped after one term in the chair, and Te Waka Toi is now headed by Darrin Haimona of Tainui, the chief executive of Te Hauora O Ngati Haua Trust in the Waikato.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hide keen on limited Maori input

ACT leader Rodney Hide says he's not opposed to Maori involvement in local government, but it shouldn't come through dedicated seats.

Mr Hide says he will resign as local government minister if National agrees to Maori seats on the Auckland super city council, because it runs counter to the principle of one person one vote.

But he says any council that wants to successfully manage natural resources needs to get alongside iwi and hapu in their area.

“I met with mana whenua in Auckland and they were telling me some very disturbing stories about how their special relationship with cultural assets has been ignored and I felt for that and I think it is important for mana whenua having a say. I don’t think the best way of doing that is having separate seats,” Mr Hide says.

He says Tamaki Makaurau MP Pita Sharples rejected his invitation that they work together on ways for mana whenua to feed their views into council.


But Ngati Whatua says Act leader Rodney Hide's to resign over Maori seats is childish.

Spokesperson Ngarimu Blair says the ACT leader seems to be harking back to another age when Maori were invisible in local government.

“In terms of Rodney throwing the toys out of the cot, I think it’s unfortunate that he would attempt to hold back the god nation-building activity that the National Government has undertaken in their short term in terms of developing a relationship with the Maori Party when they didn’t have to, the review of the Foreshore and Seabed Act,” Mr Blair says.

The Auckland iwi expects to hear from Prime Minister John Key when the government makes its decision on the Maori representation.


A leading Maori tourism operator wants to help other indigenous people tell their stories.

Mike Tamaki says Tamaki Heritage Experiences' new Global Storytellers project will use the Internet to find and share stories from round the world.

His company's ventures in Rotorua and Christchurch are built around the effective use of traditional stories, and it's a model which could help others.

“It's always been difficult in terms of indigenous experiences within the tourism industry worldwide because everybody does their own thing. We do our song and dance down here and they do the same thing in Australia and every other part of the world so what we’ve done is build the platform that’s very transportable. It sets a storytelling vehicle up all around the world for other people to tell their stories,” Mr Tamaki says.

The company has been talking to indigenous groups in Australia, Tahiti, Canada, the United States and Palestine about their cultural tourism experiences.


At Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia, celebrations are under way marking the third anniversary of the coronation of King Tuheitia.

More than 1000 people packed the marae for the kawe mate, where those who have died during the previous 12 months are remembered.

The kawe mate is an opportunity to recall the achievements of the likes of Diggeress Te Kanawa of Maniapoto, Te Arawa kapa haka exponent Taini Morrison and Ngati Porou matriarch Hiria Parata.

The day also saw the arrival of MPs including deputy Prime Minister Bill English, Labour Leader Phil Goff and Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples.

While Mr English made no mention of Rodney Hide and the Auckland super city Maori seats issue, Phil Goff drew loud applause when he said his party would give ample support to the government to see two Maori seats on that council.


Meanwhile, former Labour MP Dover Samuels is calling on Maori Party MPs to hand in their ministerial warrants if they fail to get Maori seats on the Auckland super city council.

Local government minister Rodney hide has threatened to resign if the Auckland governance select committee does recommend the seats.

Mr Samuels says Mr Hide has been consistent in his opposition, and the government knows he's not bluffing.

But he says it would be hypocritical for Maori Party MPs to remain in a government which refuses Maori representation in their communities.

“If they had any principles at all they would stand tall, they would be saying to John Key that is there is no representation for tangata whenua in the super city particularly Ngati Whatua and those associated iwi who have given so much to Tamaki Makaurau, to Auckland, then you have our resignation. That would have been a different story. It would have shown that somewhere, somehow Maori would have some hope within this government,” Mr Samuels says.


The Government is making $5 million available for Maori housing schemes through its Housing Innovation Fund.

The money comes on top of a new loan guarantee facility for people building on multiple owned Maori land.

Housing New Zealand spokesperson John Holyoake says the money will allow Maori groups to find new ways to house their people.

“They might use the money from us for different purposes, maybe for rental property or for infrastructure on their land, and then the families can go directly to the bank for the money they need to build their own house,” Mr Holyoake says.

Loans for individual houses will be capped at $350,000.

Loan guarantee scheme extended to Maori land

The government expects huge interest in a loan guarantee scheme for homes on multiply owned Maori land.

Housing minister Phil Heatley says the scheme follows discussions with all major banks.

It involves extending the government-funded Welcome Home Loan mortgage insurance scheme to people building on multiple-owned Maori land.

He says hapu and iwi have been frustrated by their inability to borrow because the banks could not seize the land if the mortgage went into default.

“There's a number of projects that have been put on the shelf for decades which will now be dusted off and we will get into those pretty much straight away. There will be others that take time to develop, But the important thing is we have taken time to find a solution to a very real problem which is Maori not being able to access finance because banks don’t get security when it’s multiple owned Maori land,” Mr Heatley says.

The scheme will provide a building and employment boost in rural areas.


Whanau with members in Rotorua Hospital can now have a comfortable place to stay.

The hospital has finished upgrading and expanding its Paimarie Whanau Accommodation complex from a single building to six motel type units.

The units are managed by the hospital's Te Whakaruruhau Maori health team.

Phyllis Tangitu, the general manager for Maori health, says it's a boon for patients from the wider Bay of Plenty area.

Lakes District health Board covered the $500,000 cost of the building, while Te Whakapono Health Trust raised $100,000 for furniture and fittings.


A leading member of the Black Panthers is using some of his time in New Zealand to explore connections with the fight for Maori rights.

Emory Douglas, whose artworks provided the graphic face of the Black Panther Party in its heyday in the 1960s and 70s, is Auckland University's artist in residence for the next month.

He says the Panthers felt they were in a common struggle with other minorities around the world like Maori who had been oppressed.

Emory Douglas will give a public lecture at the university next Monday on the Art of Revolution.


The head of the service fighting truancy in South Auckland says cutting funds for adult literacy will have a major impact across the region.

Bill Takerei from Manukau Truancy Services says the classes have been invaluable for the area's large Maori and Pacific Island communities.
He says when parents can't read, they often encourage their children to stay home from school.

“They need their child home to translate, to communicate to the people they want to see around their benefit some times or to assist them because their communication isn’t so good because they didn’t achieve some adult literacy to assist them with those day to day problems as parents,” Mr Takarei says.

He says truanting children often come under the influence of gangs, leading to far more serious problems.


A body set up to increase the Maori health workforce has occupational therapists in its sights.

Te Rau Matatini chief executive Kirsty Maxwell-Crawford says the new Te Umanga Whakaora plan provides a training and career framework that includes cultural competency.

She says there are only a handful of Maori trained to get people back into work after accident or illness, yet 50 percent of the demand for mental health and addiction services comes from Maori.

The challenge now is to encourage more Maori to take up occupational therapy as a job.


Maori lawyers say hapu and iwi will be squeezed out of resource management, leading to poorer decision-making.

Maori law society co-president Jolene Patuawa says the Local Government and Environment select committee ignored submissions that the Resource Management Simplifying and Streamlining Amendment Bill would to shut out Maori and community groups.

The bill reported back to parliament this week retains a contentious $500 charge for lodging objections to a resource consent, and a requirement for objectors to guarantee security for costs.

“We believe that will be waved as a deterrent. It will be showcased by those who are often sitting in the process with far funds as a means to deter other groups from joining and we believe there were already responses for frivolous or vexatious objections which sat within the court’s ability to strike out those particular applications,” Ms Patuawa says.

She says only 1 percent of resource consents get to the Environment Court, and it was rare that Maori concerns have held up projects.

RMA revision remains hostile to Maori

The Maori law society says the revised Resource Management Simplifying and Streamlining Amendment Bill will still discourage Maori from taking part in the planning process.

The Local Government and Environment Committee reported the bill back to Parliament this week, but society co-president Jolene Patuawa says the committee ignored Maori submissions ... especially on the question of requiring Maori and community objectors to provide security for costs in case they lose.

She says the bill's promoters had over-stated delays caused by Maori objectors.

“We found only 1 percent of resource consent applications were being appealed to the Environment Court and delays were not a s a result of community or Maori participation but rather by council’s inability to process applications in reasonable time, something the bill doesn't address,” Ms Patuawa says.

Many of the delays are caused by developers who apply for resource consents to tie up scarce resources, then adjourn their applications until they are ready to proceed.


The New Zealand Geographic Board is expecting intense public interest in its September meeting.

Secretary Wendy Shaw says as well deciding whether the letter 'h' should be included in the spelling of Wanganui city, the board will be looking at a number of other Maori place names.

These include alternate names for the north and south islands.

The board has gone out to iwi nationwide to get feedback on traditional names, but any decision on naming the North and South Islands won't be taken without extensive public consultation.


In a first, the chair of parliament's Maori Affairs select committee has cancelled this week's meeting so members can attend the coronation anniversary of King Tuheitia.

The hui in Ngaruawahia started today, with Tainui whanau bringing their kawe mate or memories of those who died over the past year to Turangawaewae Marae.

Tomorrow it's the turn of other tribes from around the motu, after which iwi leaders will hold one of their regular forums.

Tau Henare says it's a hugely significant hui for Maori.

King Tuheitia will give his annual speech on Friday, with the weekend devoted to kapahaka and sporting competitions.


The government will guarantee loans to Maori building homes on multiply owned land.

Housing minister Phil Heatley says the reluctance of banks to lend against such land has long been a source of frustration for hapu and iwi who want to house their people.

Previous papakainga schemes have involved loans against the building, rather than the underlying land.

Mr Heatley says Housing New Zealand will supply the security the banks need.

“We will go with Maori to the banks and we will underwrite that risk with the banks should it fail. We don’t believe the risk is particularly high. Most of these projects are very well funded but the reality is if the bank can’t get security because it’s multiple owned land, we are going to offer them that security through the government,” Mr Heatley says.

He says Maori groups are lining up to use the scheme, which starts in November.


Literacy Aotearoa says funding cuts to adult literacy education services will hit Maori learners in urban centres.

Chief executive Bronwyn Yates says a third of the 6000 learners on the group's books are Maori.

She says programmes are being cut in Auckland, Waikato, Wellington and Dunedin at a time when Maori need them more than ever.

She say tough economic times are a good time for people to learn new skills.
Literacy Aotearoa is reviewing the services it can offer.


The author of a new book on Rua Kenana says it was a chance to get wider exposure for material unearthed during Tuhoe's Waitangi Tribunal claims.

The Prophet and the Policeman looks at what led to police commissioner John Cullen leading a major armed expedition to Maungapohatu in the Urewera ranges in 1916 to arrest the Tuhoe prophet.

Mark Derby says the book should give people an historical context to the current court battles of the 17 people arrested in 2007 in connection with supposed training camps in Te Urewera.

“A lot of it was researched and thought abut and developed when I worked as a researcher for the Waitangi Tribunal and in that time I saw a lot of very good research reports written and produced but often not widely read, not widely distributed and it seemed to me there was an enormous wealth of historical material sitting there that deserved a wider readership,” Mr Derby says.

The Prophet and the Policeman was launched on Wednesday at Unity Books in Wellington by Judge Joe Williams, a former chair of the Waitangi Tribunal.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Iwi adamant city name must change

Whanganui Maori are staying steadfast in their view that the letter 'h' should be included in the name of their city.

The Geographic Board has received 880 submissions on the name change to consider at its meeting next month.

Ken Mair from Te runanga o Tupoho says it's a matter of respect, and what seems like a compromise in the Wanganui District Council's submission is unacceptable.

“The proposal by the Mayor would have the name spelt with the h and without the h alongside each other can be seen as a softening by the council but from our point of view we’re adamant our name should be spelt correctly and why would you have the correct name alongside the incorrect spelling of a name,” Mr Mair says.

Wanganui mayor Michael Laws says Ken Mair is harming his cause by not accepting the reality the city's name is currently spelt both with and without the 'h'.


Wairoa District Council is looking for better ways to service its large Maori population.

The northern Hawkes Bay council takes in parts of the Rongomaiwahine, Te Iwi o Rakaipaaka , Kahungunu ki te Wairoa, Pahuwera, Tuhoe, and Ruapani rohe.

Maori liaison officer Ropata Ainsley says after the collapse of its previous iwi committee, the council is going back to the marae level to find a different way to relate to tangata whenua.

Ropata Ainsley says a stronger Maori voice in council matters should lead to better decisions.


Pounamu from Te Waipounamu is the prize on offer at the New Zealand Winter Games starting this week at skifields overlooking the ancient greenstone trails across the Southern Alps.

Ceremony manager Lynne Klap says pounamu carver Ken Tainui has designed medals, and taonga puoro authority Richard Nunns has advised on how traditional Maori instruments can add a fanfare to the prizegiving.

She says organisers wanted to reflect New Zealand's bicultural identity.

The Winter Games Opening Ceremony will be held on Friday at Earnslaw Park on the Queenstown waterfront


A former Lower Hutt deputy mayor is fighting to save the Lower Hutt stream he fished in as a boy.

On behalf of te Atiawa, Te Rira Puketapu is opposing Hutt City Council's application for a 25 year resource consent to discharge screened wastewater into the Waiwhetu stream.

He says the stream used to be a source of koura, tuna and kakahi, until it was contaminated by decades of sewage and factory pollution.

The iwi would consider a consent with five yearly reviews, as long as the council to upgrades its sewage pumping network.

He says there are at least six places where sewage can be pumped directly into the Hutt River and its tributaries.

He says Te Atiawa is talking with the regional council to put together a environmental management plan for the stream.


Wanganui District Council is offering a compromise on the city's name.

Mayor Michael Laws says while the majority of residents don't want an "h' in the city's name, the reality is that spelling is already used for the region, the electorate and the Whanganui river.

In its submission to the New Zealand Geographic Board considering a name change application put forward by Whanganui iwi, the council proposed a two-name solution.

“Given that there are two variants out there now and these variants have coexisted beside each other peacefully for probably the last 169 years then why would the New Zealand Geographic Board be required to choose one over the other. We’re not asking it to,” Mr Laws says.

He says the 'h' in the local dialect is silent, yet the name is commonly mispronounced as phonganui.

Whanganui iwi spokesperson Ken Mair says using the traditional spelling is a matter of respect.


As lawyers in Auckland conduct pre-trial arguments in the Ruatoki terror raids case, the author of a new book on prophet Rua Kenana says the police seem to have learned nothing in the past century about how to deal with Ngai Tuhoe.

The Prophet and the Policeman is being launched tonight at Unity Books in Wellington.

Mark Derby says he set out to write about former police commissioner John Cullen, and realised the culmination of Cullen's career was the 1916 arrest of Rua at Maungapohatu in Te Urewera.

He says Rua came to prominence during a time when there was considerable ill feeling among Tuhoe that promises of self-management made by the Seddon government had been broken.

“It's situations like that which really contributed to the growth and the strength of support for Rua in Te Urewera and even beyond and it was the level of that support that alarmed the government during world War I and prompted them to send in this extraordinarily heavy handed and heavily armed police expedition with tragic consequences,” Mr Derby says.

He says says The Prophet and the Policeman draws on research he and others did for Tuhoe's Waitangi Tribunal claims.

Archie Bunker Mallard on his own

Labour leader Phil Goff is refusing to back Trevor Mallard's claim that five people convicted of the makutu manslaughter avoided prison because they were Maori.

A weekend blog posting by the Hutt South MP attacked the community-based sentences handed down to members of the Rawiri whanau who killed their niece Janet Moses during what they claimed was a curse-lifting ceremony.

Asked by Radio Waatea whether he stood by Mr Mallard's comments, Phil Goff said he wouldn't second guess the judge.

“I haven't seen any evidence the sentencing judge took into account the fact that they were Maori. That’s I think speculative. I think it was a light sentence, a sentence perhaps justified by the fact these were not people who were going to offend again,” Mr Goff says.

Meanwhile the Crown has indicated it will not appeal the community-based sentences, which both Prime Minister John Key and Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia have supported.


Breast Cancer Aotearoa chair Libby Burgess says new guidelines for identifying early stage cancers will benefit Maori women.

Ms Burgess says Maori women tend to get breast cancer younger than Pakeha women, but it is usually picked up when the cancer is more advanced.

She says the New Zealand Guidelines Group has identified barriers to appropriate care and suggested ways to overcome them.

“These relate to the costs, the inability of the medical world to communicate appropriately with Maori and Pacific women, and then there are structural barriers such as distance to the provider or screening unit, lack of a Maori healthcare provider," Ms Burgess says.


Painter and writer Selwyn Muru has paid a tribute to poet Alistair te Ariki Campbell, who died this week at the age of 84.

Campbell was born in Rarotonga of Penrhyn ancestory, but ended up in a Dunedin orphanage after his parents died.

Muru says Campbell was an influence on the emerging Maori literary scene in the 1960s, especially after a return visit to Penrhyn awakened his interest in Polynesian themes.

His move to Pukerua Bay north of Wellington led to an interest in Ngati Toa warrior chief Te Rauparaha, who had a stronghold on Kapiti Island.

“Looking out to Kapiti Island, he often used to say to me there were times he felt Te Rauparaha, his wairua would come into his house. I believe he bought the highest point, no one could build out from him, that was his idea to honour te Rauparaha,” Muru says.


The New Zealand Geographic Board has received a record number of submissions on the application by Whanganui iwi to restore the letter 'h' in the name of their city.

When submissions closed on Sunday the board had received 880 submissions with three quarters of them submitted online.

Secretary Wendy Shaw says they will be analysed for presentation to the board's meeting on September 16th.

She says it's the highest number of submissions received on a city name, and compares with the 1000 submissions received in the 1980s which resulted in Mt Taranaki - Egmont being given a dual name.


Wairoa District Council is trying to rebuild its relationship with tangata whenua after the disintegration of its iwi liaison committee.

Maori liaison officer Ropata Ainsley says marae will be asked to put forward candidates to serve on a new Maori committee.

He says a stronger Maori voice in council matters should lead to better decisions.

“The council is trying to engage more with the tangata whenua and not let it just be he mea ngutu, lip service. It’s really trying to get to grips on how that affects the council, staff, how we interact with issues like waahi tapu, urupa, how we should react on roading when it comes to issues of tangata whenua,” Mr Ainsley says.

Wairoa District includes or overlaps the rohe of Rongomaiwahine,Te Iwi o Rakaipaaka , Kahungunu ki te Wairoa, Pahuwera, Tuhoe, and Ruapani.


One of the country's most famous maunga has been placed under the korowai of the Historic Places Trust.

The Trust has listed Mauao at Mount Maunganui as a wahi tapu.

Tamoe Ngata, the trust's Maori heritage advisor, says the move does not restrict access to the public, but reaffirms its significance and cultural importance to iwi.

Tamoe Ngata says the maunga was the heart of the Maunganui Pa and includes important archaeological features such as terraces and pits and middens.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

John Perry taonga up for auction

An extraordinary collection of New Zealand and Pacific taonga goes up for auction in Auckland tonight.

It's been put together over more than 40 years by John Perry, who was curator of the Rotorua Art Gallery and Museum between 1978 and 1997.

Highlights include a Ngati Tarawha post from the Whakarewarewa model village, which Mr Perry found washed into Lake Rotorua, rare 19th century and early 20th century mats and flax kete, and a large number of 19th century photographs of Maori.

“The photographs all relate to my involvement with Bill Main and Maori in Focus and the exhibition I curated in 1979 when I first went down to Rotorua which was King Country Journey which was the fabulous photographs Alfred Burton took and one of the highlights for me was having that exhibition tour up the Whanganui River and visit many of the marae that were featured in the photographs,” Mr Perry says.

The photographs were printed from the original glass plate negatives.

The John Perry collection is at Art and Object in Auckland.


A former All Black has teamed up with Te Wananga o Aotearoa to create opportunities for Maori and Pacific Island youth.

Michael Jones from the West Auckland Youth Trust says the first intake to his Village Sport Academy includes many students who left school with no qualifications.

He says the passion rangatahi have for sports can be used to hook them into further study.

“We really need to develop a programme that maximizes their potential, give them pathways. Sport is one pathway, but through education to employment gives them pathways to a better future and helps them to succeed in life,” Mr Jones says.

He sees a logical fit between Pasifika organisations and wananga.


Meanwhile, Wairarapa marae are going back to the land to find work for their rangatahi.

Nga Kanohi Marae o Wairarapa, a collective of 12 marae, has teamed up with Taratahi Agricultural Training College to run a farm skills course.

Director Edwin Perry says each marae nominates rangatahi with some existing industry knowledge, and gives them the support to stick with the 20 week course.

“It's actually shearing, wool handling, pressing and general farm skills which could be killing a sheep, acquiring your firearms license, safety on four wheel drive motorbikes, budgeting, numeracy and literacy so there’s a whole gambit of things happening to bring our people into the right frame of mind to be able to knock on a door and ask ‘Have you a job for me?’” Mr Perry says.

Shearing has put kai on the tables of many Wairarapa Maori families over the years.


Top of the South Island are looking to wrap up their Treaty claims after a favourable a High Court decision.

The court rejected a Ngai Tahu attempt to overturn a Waitangi Tribunal finding that some of the six iwi had customary interests in areas within the Ngai Tahu rohe.

The larger tribe was trying to reinforce a 1990 Maori Appellate Court decision which was seen as giving the larger tribe exclusive authority over much of the South island.

Matui Rei from Ngati Toa Rangatira says the decision should resolve long-standing border disputes.

“We haven't concluded our claims or negotiations in the South Island so this provides us with additional reasons and rationale why we should be negotiating that part of our rohe which intersects with that of Ngai Tahu,” Mr Rei says.

The High Court found the 1990 decision was about the Crown's relationship with Ngai Tahu in the 1850s, rather than being a comprehensive inquiry into customary rights at the time of the treaty.


An application to put pokie machines in a New Plymouth pub has set iwi representatives against council officers.

Fay Mulligan from Ngati Tairi says the New Plymouth District Council's iwi liaison committee in unhappy with advice the resource consent be approved by the full council at its next meeting.

She says with Maori problem gambling on the rise, the committee was outraged by the officials' view that the machines promote social well-being and contribute to a secure and healthy community.

“We've got one of the highest rates of issues with gambling and if we are going to make a stand for what’s good for our whanau then we just have to say it out loud,” Ms Mulligan says.

Ms Mulligan says it's the second time the iwi liaison committee has opposed a pokie application.


Twelve Wairarapa marae have teamed up with the Taratahi Agricultural Training College to train rangatahi in shearing and woolhandling.

Edwin Perry from Nga Konohi Marae o Wairarapa says the course will teach valuable employment skills.

He says the marae collective is also behind a successful building apprenticeship programme which started earlier this year.

“These students come to us, they have the korowai of the marae, around them, so they are leaders from day one. Because they have the mana of the marae behind them, it’s not easy to walk away, because people will say ‘why aren’t you at that course or what's happening,’” Mr Perry says.

He says government agencies and Maori communities should do more to use marae for job training.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mallard defends attack on Moses sentence

Hutt South MP Trevor Mallard says the killing of Janet Moses is not the right case to use for sentencing reform.

In a weekend blog posting, the Labour front-bencher attacked the community sentences imposed on the five family members involved in an attempted exorcism of the mentally unwell Wainuiomata woman.

Mr Mallard said the five siblings weren’t sent to prison because they are Maori.

He says Justice Simon France got it wrong.

“I think there are too many Maori in jail, it’s certainly my view Maori are more likely to be charged, less likely to be well defended and more likely to be imprisoned than Pakeha and we need to keep on doing work on that that but this is not the case that you start with,” Mr Mallard says.

Justice France said the five had only incomplete understanding of their culture and had not realised the danger of what they were doing.


But the director of lobby group Thinking Crime and Punishment says the sentence should not be seen as unusual.

Kim Workman says whanau of Janet Moses are grieving and remorseful, and they are already paying a penalty.

He says there are precedents.

“There have been a number of cases of this kind, not in terms of makutu but where people have sought to deal with issues through spiritual means and it has gone wrong and in those cases the judge has seen fit to acknowledge that they are in error but that the tragedy was sufficient in terms of punishment,” Mr Workman says.

The victim's whanau believes the punishment is appropriate.


The author of a book on New Zealand engineering says Maori earthworks haven't been given the credit they are due.

Matthew Wright says when the British settled New Zealand, they disregarded any engineering that was not a product of that they saw as European civilisation.

However pa such as the 16th century earthworks on Maungakiekie - One Tree Hill in Auckland, where Nga Marama built more than 170 terraces, show how innovative and capable Maori were.

“Maori society traditionally didn’t have money in the English sense, but everything had to be paid for people, had to build it, it required effort and New Zealand was a very hard land, and environment that was quite adverse, so when you look at the number of pa, the scale of the pa, and the function, this indicates pretty industrious people,” Mr Wright's says.

Big Ideas: 100 Wonders of New Zealand Engineering, also includes the Paterangi chain fortress in Waikato.


Iwi at the top of the South Island are celebrating a High Court decision recognising their customary right to land within the Ngai Tahu rohe.

Matiu Rei from Ngati Toa Rangatira says the six iwi have been fighting since 1991 to overturn a Maori Appellate Court decision which has been interpreted as giving Ngai Tahu exclusive rights over most of the South Island, including areas with whakapapa connections to Te Tau Ihu.

The case got as far as the Privy Council in London, who sent it back to the New Zealand courts.

“Right from the beginning we thought the decision the Maori Appellate Court made was not a correct decision but nevertheless it put a constraint onus in order to be able to establish our customary role for the customary area,” Mr Rei says.

The decision will allow the tribes to resolve their claims over those areas which overlap with the Ngai Tahu rohe.


Labour's health spokesperson says the government's new Kiwisports promotion takes money from schools with high numbers of Maori and Pacific Island children and gives it to schools in high income areas.

The $20 million scheme was launched last week at an Otara primary school by Prime Minister John Key in the presence of sporting celebrities including John Walker, Peter Snell, Hamish Carter and Graham Henry.

Ruth Dyson says the government made it like it was new money, when in fact it comes from cuts to successful programmes which have decile-based funding.

“I thought $20 million to help our children get involved in sport, fantastic, and then I hear Papatoetoe Scghool is going to lose $8000, Tangaroa College is going to lose the same amount, Otahuhu College is going to lose $6000. They must be really annoyed to see their money going down and some of the money going into the better off schools,” Ms Dyson says.

Cuts include healthy eating programmes which aim to fight childhood obesity.


A Te Arawa kaumatua says the decision to put a rahui on one of Rotorua's lakes wasn't taken lightly.

Anaru Rangiheuea placed the rahui on Tikitapu, the Blue Lake, as police search for a Rotorua woman who went missing last week.

Environment Bay of Plenty agreed to the rahui and placed signs advising of the closure.

He says it ackNowledges the current tapu nature of the area, and is a mark of respect for the woman's family.

“People think it’s a bit of a joke to close a lake and they treat it like that. If we don’t exercise our tikanga and get the acknowledgement of the people to accept our cultural beliefs, our tikanga, we will never get recognized in that. But I have a good rapport with the locals, a good rapport with the councils, and also the police were happy to have that closure,” Mr Rangiheuea says.

The tapu will be lifted after two weeks, unless a body is found earlier.

Maori brand needed for international trade

Te Ohu Kaimoana deputy chair Ngahiwi Tomoana wants iwi to market their products internationally under a Maori brand.

The Ngati Kahungunu leader says while iwi have a stake in the central company formed as part of the fisheries settlement, they also have their own quota which they fish through their own companies or joint venture arrangements.

He says a lot of value is being lost because they aren’t taking advantage of the international interest in things Maori.

“It’s one area where you have 57 fishing companies, there is no collectivism outside the Sealord AFL part and if we could use that as a model, as a spearhead, as a kokiri, then I think others will follow suit,” Mr Tomoana says.

A Maori brand could also benefit other primary industries where Maori have a large stake.


A Maori training organisation says the government doesn’t recognise the hard work providers have to do.

Janine Panoho from the Aotearoa Maori Providers of Training, Education & Employment says programmes for at-risk youth face severe funding cuts.

She says the funding criteria ignores the social issues trainers must tackle.

“With our youth in particular we are dealing with a lot of learners that have gone 15, 16 years of not succeeding in mainstream education and you have the government expecting providers to turn all that around in six to twelve months,” Ms Panoho says.

She says the changes are driving Maori towards study in polytechnics, which don’t offer the kind of specialist support offered by Maori training providers.


Wellington City Art Gallery is opening a gallery devoted to Maori and Pacific art.

The Gillian and Roderick Deane Gallery is in a new two-storey tower extension due to open at the end of September.

The first artist to show in the space will be Ngaahina Hohaia from Parihaka.

She’s installing a poi-manu sculpture, Paopao ki tua rangi, shown New Plymouth’s Puke Ariki Museum earlier this year.


Central North Island iwi are working together on how they can make best use of a surplus land option in their treaty settlement.

Te Arawa advisor Willie Te Aho says the right of first refusal of surplus Crown land gives iwi the chance to secure important properties for their own development plans, or sell them on to a commercial buyer.

He says Tainui and Ngai Tahu have made effective use of the right to grow the value of their settlements.

“It’s purely commercial unlike the CNI forestry settlement where the rentals were divvied up on an agreed percentage and the land was still there to be secured by the mana whenua group, this is not about mana whenua, it is purely about trying to use our collective strength as we always know we should do to get better benefits for our people,” Mr Te Aho says.

The CNI collective is treading carefully, because some of eight constituent iwi can get a better deal by including some of the surplus land in their comprehensive settlements, which are still being negotiated.


A Northland-based Labour list MP says Maori can’t afford to get shut out of local government in Tai Tokerau the way they are in Auckland.

Shane Jones says it’s becoming increasingly clear ACT and National will never allow Maori seats on the new Auckland super-city council.

He says once boundaries of the super city are established, pressure will come on councils north of Auckland to amalgamate.

“Areas such as Whakapiro, Wellsford, will they go north or will they go south, and all that is going to feed into the mix as to how people feel. Are they part of a broader Northland or are they a little hamlet governed by their local farmers, schoolteachers and former postmasters,” Mr Jones says.

He says because of the high Maori population in the north, it’s critical Maori organize now to secure fair representation.


The newest member of the Film Commission says the Maori filmmakers are being left behind.

Author Witi Ihimaera says New Zealand film is going through a golden age with directors like Peter Jackson and Andrew Adamson making a splash internationally.

But there needs to be more institutional support to help Maori further their careers in the industry.

“Taika Waititi is the only one so far over the last few years who has really made it internationally so one of my objectives is to work with Te Paepae Atata to try to get more Maori filmmakers and scriptwriters and directors and producers building up an infrastructure of support for Maori film,” Ihimaera says.

A Maori film industry should be considered an important national resource to be fostered.