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Friday, September 25, 2009

Tuhoe healer and leader Tikirau Stevens takes final ride

Ngai Tuhoe is today mourning kaumatua and healer Tikirau Stevens, who died yesterday.

Mr Stevens was a Vietnam war veteran who served 20 years in the army before starting a second career in Maori Affairs and other Crown agencies.

Tamati Kruger from Te Kotahi a Tuhoe says Mr Stephens moved back into the Tuhoe rohe after retirement and with his partner Thursday promoted the traditional rongoa practices he learned growing up around Waikaremoana.

He also played an important role in tribal affairs, helping guide treaty negotiations with the Crown.

“He came in with an informed opinion, especially about matters between the relationship between the Crown and government and Ngai Tuhoe so he did have an astute view of what that relationship should be and how that relationship may evolve,” Mr Kruger says.

Tikirau Stevens will be taken back to Waimako Marae in Waikaremoana tomorrow, with the funeral on Monday.


Musicians have been paying tribute to the late Sir Howard Morrison as someone who was always ready to help the careers of other with advice and encouragement.

Sir Howard died yesterday, and his body is lying in state at at Tama Te Kapua in Rotorua.

Feau Halatau from rock and roll band The Radars says the band got a lot of support from the Howard Morrison Quartet star when they started at the Auckland Blind Institute in 1962.

“I got to thank him. For a blind band to survive, if he didn’t encourage us, I don’t think we’d have gone as far as we could, and he was a very kind person like a dad and uncle. He was a father to all people,” Mr Halatau says.


Soon to be Green MP David Clendon is promising be a strong advocate for both Maori and the environment.

Mr Clendon, who has whakapapa connections to Te Roroa, will fill the list spot vacated by Sue Bradford, who's stepping down after failing to win the party co-leadership.

The former resource management lecturer says there is a natural fit between Maori and the Greens, as both see environmental protection as a priority.
He says when the Green Party started it was seen as a white middle class party.

“That has changed significantly over time and we are seeing some quite powerful and engaged and dare I say ambitious young Maori coming into the party. Part of my role is to nurture that and indeed to take away within the party some of the fears that people see about realising a genuine biculturalism within New Zealand and from that can flow a much stronger commitment to multiculturalism,” Mr Clendon says.

He will join the 9 member Green caucus at the end of October.


Taranaki Whanui will tomorrow take formal delivery of their claim settlement assets, which includes the former defence base at Shelley Bay and other properties around Wellington harbour.

Treaty negotiations minister Chris Finlayson is due at Pipitea Marae at 10 for the handover, which will be followed by the annual meeting of the Port Nicholson Block Trust.

Marae co-chair Mahara Okeroa says as well as the immediate settlement properties, the trust has some tough decisions to make about how it will exercise its right to buy other surplus Crown properties in the region.

“There's a long range vision about our participation as a landlord probably in Wellington. Shelley Bay was the first big one. There will be other opportunities no doubt. We don’t have a forest so our future potential within Wellington itself in the economic sense will be around property,” Mr Okeroa says.

There's also cause for celebration that as part of the settlement Pipitea Marae is now owned jointly by Taranaki Whanui and Ngati Poneke.


Talk about Grey Power with Guitars... over 100 years of Maori musical muscle will take the stage in Waiuku this weekend.

Dilworth Karaka, Tama Lundon, Thom Nepia, Tama Renata and Morrie Watene are playing an unplugged Herbs gig.

Guitarist Karaka says audiences know the material so well they sing along to every song.

But they could get caught out by some unrecorded songs written with the late Charlie Tumuhai.

“We're just going through a couple of them now and sorting them out in our studio out west here. Always looking forward to the new material, just wondering how far we can push it,” Karaka says.

Herbs Unplugged is at the Kentish Hotel, Waiuku tomorrow night.


And if Waiuku residents don't stay up too late singing along to Herbs, they can make it to a new market on Sunday morning.

Gloria Taaka from Tihei Mauri Ora says the market on the town's waterfront is a fundraiser for anti-P campaigns.

She says the long term plan is to build a Maori-focused rehabilitation centre in Pukekohe, and it's getting support, even from people still usinG methamphetamine.

“Well all I can do is say I love them, in spite of what they do. All we can do is try and awhi them. My arms are always open,” She says.

The project is being launched this Sunday at 11 at the Tamakae Reserve in Waiuku


One of the Maori designers featured at this week's Air New Zealand Fashion Awards says it was a great foundation for future participation.

Samara Vercoe led off yesterday's MiroModa showcase with her collection based on formal and mourning clothes of the 1920s.

She says the MiroModa trust, which was set up to boost the standard and visibility of Maori fashion, proved its worth.

“They’re going to know what to do next year and there will be more information out there and because of this year there will be more sponsors so it can only grow bigger and better from here so I think it's fantastic,” Ms Vercoe says.

Marae Youth Court scheme extended to Manurewa

Police are welcoming a shift of the youth court onto marae.

The court yesterday announced Judge Greg Hikaka will sit at Manurewa marae every two weeks, following on from successful pilot sittings at Gisborne's Te Poho o Rawiri Marae.

Police superintendent Wally Haumaha, the head of Maori and ethnic services, says it represents a turning point in the way youth justice will operate.

He says the disproportionate numbers of young Maori coming before courts right across Auckland meand demand for marae fixtures is likely to snowball.

“There will be a launch of a further programme, perhaps at Hoani Waititi later on this year, and we had discussions yesterday that some of the judges in Auckland were very keen to look at other areas of Auckland where they may also launch the youth justice courts,” Superintendent Haumaha says.

Talks are underway with Ngai Tahu about youth court sittings in Christchurch, perhaps at Nga Hau e Wha Marae.


Port of Tauranga has promised to relocate pipi beds if its plan to dredge the harbour is approved.

Submissions have closed on an application to remove up to 15 million cubic meters of sand so the next generation of super container ships can dock.

Maori have objected because of the impact on traditional kaimoana gathering areas.

Property manager Tony Reynish says the port company anticipated their concern.

“The resource is vast in the area so the loss is relatively minor but nonetheless we have offered to relocate the pipi beds. It is a difficult task bit it is probably best achieved by divers doing it as a manual exercise,” Mr Reynish says.

The dredging will eventually add three meters to the depth of the shipping channel.


A book on customary Maori carvers of the 20th century will benefit from New Zealand's richest prize for non-fiction.

Damian Skinner last night picked up the $35,000 CLL Writers Award, which is funded out of copyright licensing fees.

The Gisborne-based art historian says while his previous book looked at the relationship between traditional carving and contemporary Maori art, this time he wants to look at how customary carving developed and changed over the century.

“Obviously an important part of that is the story I told in The Carver and the Artist of the Ngata school of carving, the school that was set up by Sir Apirana Ngata and run out of Rotorua and people like Pine and Hone Taiapa, Piri Poutapu are the most famous names probably but also I’m very interest to ask the question what else was going on,” Mr Skinner says.

The other Copyright Licensing writers' award went to Peter Wells, who is writing a biography of William Colenso, the maverick missionary who printed the Treaty of Waitangi.


Waikato-Tainui hopes its Navigating Our Future summit will provide a foundation for broader Maori economic development.

The summit at the Kauhanganui tribal parliament building in Hopuhopu heard yesterday from Native American business leaders, and will today discuss the situation in Aotearoa.

Tainui executive member Rahui Papa says as more iwi complete treaty settlements, they are looking for advice on how to grow their tribal asset base.

“Waikato-Tainui and Ngai Tahu have agreed that it wouldn’t be feasible for te iwi Maori if only twwo iwi were to charge out in front and the ret had to play catch up so an invitation was sent to as significant number of iwi leaders to come to the summit so discussions can be started now,” Mr Papa says.

He says Maori need to develop their own social development programmes, because they can't rely on consistent support from government.


Activist Mike Smith has been on the road distributing his new documentary on climate change to iwi and hapu.

He Ao Wera includes interviews with scientists about the likely effects of climate change on New Zealand, along with footage from Maori communities which have already suffered from adverse weather effects, such as Ahipara, Whangaehu and Bridge Pa in the Hawkes Bay.

Mr Smith says Maori communities need to accept that climate change is happening and work out what they can do to protect their homes and marae.

“The area where I come from which is the eastern coast of Northland, every single one of our hapu is at sea level. Traditionally our pole built at the bottom of fertile river flats where the soil was good for gardening and close to the sea and so our prediction is within 50 years every one of the 14 hapu in my rohe will be looking to relocate,” Mr Smith says.

He is hoping Maori Television will broadcast He Ao Wera, and it will be available later for download on Tuanuku.com


Young people turning out in record numbers to see Bruce Mason's play the Pohutukawa Tree can't believe what they are hearing about New Zealand race relations in the 1950s.

The Auckland Theatre Company production at the Maidment theatre stars Rena Owen.

Lyn Cardy, the Company's education manager, says at after-show forums, students express disbelief at the racist language used.

They question whether the play accurately portrays the Maori family's opposition to their pregnant daughter marrying a Pakeha commoner ... and the European family's attitude towards Maori.

“Rena was saying she feels in the 1950s Maori were more subservient and that is what Bruce Mason was showing in this play. Now it’s so different. Young people grow up with all this pride in their culture and that’s what I think is so interesting for the kids,” Ms Cardy says.

The Auckland Theatre Company expects more than 9000 people will have seen the production by the end of its three week run.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sir Howard Morrison mourned for stellar contribution

Entertainer Sir Howard Morrison is being remembered not just for his on-stage achievements but for his contributions to Maori development.

Sir Howard died in Rotorua this morning, just days after returning from a trip to Rarotonga accompanying King Tuheitia. He was 74.

Friend and former Maori Affairs deputy secretary Neville Baker says the singer was one of a number of artists and community leaders recruited into the department in the late 1970s by Kara Puketapu.

As youth development director he promoted the Tu Tangata programme around schools, drawing on the discipline and adaptiveness required for a career on stage.

“He effectively was what I call an entrepreneurial appointment. He was able to do stuff and bring attention to things like training and employment opportunities that normal people, community officers, trade training people probably weren’t able to do because they didn’t have the connections that he had,” Mr Baker says.

He says the night before his death Sir Howard was discussing plans to contribute to training programes at Te Wananga o Aotearoa.


Whanua and friends are turning up to the Morrison home across the road from Tunohopu marae in Rotorua to pay their respects to Sir Howard Morrison.

Among them is police superintendant Wally Haumaha, who says there is an atmosphere of great sadness as family members gather.

Tomorrow Sir Howard will be taken about 500 meters to where his mother lived in Ohinemutu, before he is escorted by a full haka party into Tama Te Kapua where he will lie until Tuesday.


And a second mighty Totara has fallen today.

Pakeha academic James Ritchie, a close confident of the late Te Atairangikaahu and her brother Robert Mahuta and the founder of Waikato University's ground-breaking Centre for Maori Studies, died this morning after a long illness.

Colleague Wharehuia Milroy says as an advisor to Tainui and other iwi for more than half a century Professor Ritchie developed a great knowledge or te ao Maori.

He did much to bridge the country's cultural divide.

“He was a man of great mana, great standing. He will be sadly missed. His insightfulness, his intelligence, his ability to sort out a lot of issues in the area of race relations, so I think he made a great contribution to race relations in New Zealand,” Professor Milroy says.

Tainui spokesperson Tom Roa says James Ritchie will be taken onto Turangawaewae Marae at 3pm tomorrow. After spending the night on the marae he will be taken to the Endowment College at Hopuhopu to lie beside his friend Sir Robert Mahuta before being returned to his family for burial at
Newstead cemetery south of Hamilton.


A Maori entertainer who sung te reo to Pakeha audiences and a Pakeha academic who walked easily in te ao Maori are being mourned today.

In Rotorua, preparations are being made at Tunohopu Marae for the tangi of Sir Howard Morrison, who died this morning at the age of 74.

And Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia is preparing to welcome for the last time Professor James Ritchie, a close friend and advisor to a generation of Tainui leaders including te Atairangikaahu, Robert Mahuta and Hare Puke.

Former Waikato university professor Wharehuia Milroy, who worked with both men, says in their own ways they contributed a huge amount to the country.

“One spent his time in an academic field but making a huge impact there and the other one in the world of music in which he also gave messaged out to our people of Aotearoa so both were bridges into each other’s culture,” Mr Milroy says.


Iwi have today been hearing from Native American business leaders on how they can use their assets for economic and social development.

Tainui executive member Rahui Papa says the the Navigating Our Future economic summit at Hopuhopu has brought about 40 manuhiri from North America, as well as invited iwi and Maori business leaders.

He says by growing economic power through casinos and other ventures, tribes like the Seminole and Choctaw have been able to put in place social end economic development programmes for their people that Maori might emulate.

“We have a saying it is only with feathers that the bird will be able to fly and so we have to feather the nest as it were before we allow the baby chicks to go forward and prosper so we don’t have to be reliant on the government spend,” Mr Papa says.

The summit continues tomorrow.


From the opening sounds of opera sung te reo the eight designers in today's MiroModa Maori showcase signaled they were serious about blending Maori and Pakeha elements in fashion.

Waatea News reporter Maania Clarke says the Air New Zealand Fashion Week tent at Auckland's viaduct was filled to capacity for the show.

She says Kiri Nathan’s elaborate creations received the most applause.

The MiroModa Fashion Show was dedicated to weaver Diggeress Te Kanawa, who died last month, and entertainer Sir Howard Morrison, who died just hours before the models set out along the catwalk.

Native Americans pass on business tips to iwi

Representatives of the Comanche, Choctaw and Seminole tribes will today share some of their thoughts on economic development with Maori iwi and business leaders.

They're the main draw at the Navigating Our Future economic summit at Hopuhopu, Hosted by Waikato-Tainui.

Tukoroirangi Morgan, the chair of Tainui's Te Ara Taura executive, the North Americans will have valuable insights for iwi who are learning to work together to increase the value of their settlement assets.

“We've assembled some of the most successful Indian owned corporations that make a company like Fonterra look very small. The Choctaw Corporation is a multi-billion dollar business. The Seminoles spent nearly $2 billion buying the Hard Rock Café worldwide. These are people with huge capacity. These are people who think like us,” Mr Morgan says.

He hopes the summit will help iwi position themselves to bid for strategic assets if the Government resumes privatisation.


The director of Maori anti-tobacco group Te Reo Marama says a Maori affairs select committee enquiry into the tobacco industry will have global implications for tobacco control.

Shane Bradbrook says indigenous communities have suffered disproportionately from the effects of smoking, and next year's inquiry will be a chance to hold the industry to account.

He has already picked up interest from Australian Aboriginal groups.

“There's a parliament there. They have indigenous affairs. So maybe it will open the door around the possibility of holding the tobacco industry accountable via those measures as well. The Maori affairs committee is leading here, but they can also be seen as global leaders,” Mr Bradbrook says.


Gambling addiction specialists are welcoming Waitakere City's decision to put a sinking lid on the number of gambling machines allowed in west Auckland.

Zoe Hawke from Hapai Te Hauora says easy access to gambling machines is driving the boom in gambling in low income areas like Waitakere and Manukau City.

She says many of the 6000 submissions on the issue came from Maori who see the damage gambling is doing to whanau and community.

Zoe Hawke says the number of pokie machines is starting to come down in Manukau, which has had a sinking lid policy for a year.


Tauranga Maori are objecting to Port of Tauranga's plan to deepen the harbour to fit giant container ships.

The company intends to spend up to $70 million dredging 15 million cubic meters of sand and dumping it at sea.

Colin Bidois, the chair of Te Runanganui o Tauranga Moana, says Maori fear the harbour's kaimoana may eventually be lost through pollution.

He says they must weigh up the loss of traditional pipi beds against the economic benefits of the port becoming the first in the country able to handle the next generation of super sized ships.

“We have been losing little by little over many years a lot of our taonga and though it may seem a small thing, when all these small things are added up they add up to a very big thing,” Mr Bidois aays.

Port spokesperson Tony Reynish says Port of Tauranga has offered to relocate the pipi beds using divers.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei say Maori need to make their views heard on the Government's emission trading scheme.

She says despite the Maori Party's support, Maori as they will fare badly from National's changes.

She says the scheme transfers wealth from the public to big business polluters, diverting taxes which would have otherwise gone to providing public services.

“Maori communities are still going to be paying. The system doesn’t do anything for them. And it doesn’t do anything for Maori foresters either which is a big issue because we have so much Maori land that is marginal, where there is real opportunity in growing forest for carbon storage that will attract credits and an income and that has been strangled by this government and the Maori Party support for this particular ETS,” Ms Turei says.

As the Maori party have only promised support for the first reading, Maori groups need to tell the select committee how they will be affected.


Maori designers take the catwalk today at the first MiroModa Air New Zealand Fashion Week showcase.

The eight designers came through the MiroModa Maori fashion award earlier this year, and they're keen to make the step up.

Shane Hansen, who won the print section with his t-shirts with tiki and tui designs, says in the past many Maori-themed items have been cheaply made, with little thought going into the overall design.

“The whole thing of this foundation is to lift the quality of Maori design. People are getting access to our culture in a less threatening way and being more embracing of it,” he says.

The MiroModa Showcase is in the Westpac Tent on Auckland's viaduct from 1 o'clock.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Maori affairs committee takes on tobacco pushers

A Maori anti tobacco campaigner has welcomed news the Maori Affairs select committee will investigate the tobacco industry.

The inquiry is dues to start early next year.

Shane Bradbrook from Te Reo Marama says the inquiry needs to call to account an industry that kills 5000 New Zealanders each year, including more than 400 Maori.

He says it's fitting those responsible must answer to Maori.

“We are the ones who suffer the most. Maori are always the ones who are probed by researchers that Maori have the worst stats so why shouldn’t it be Maori leading on this. We should have some answers, particularly on the number one culprit, the tobacco industry,” Bradbrook says.

He says the inquiry is likely to expose the intergenerational damage done to Maori communities by tobacco.


Tainui leader Tuku Morgan says a summit at Hopuhopu tomorrow should silence critics who claim iwi are more interested in economic development than the welfare of their children.

Last week former Maori affairs minister Parekura Horomia noted that iwi were absent from a major gathering on child poverty.

Mr Morgan says growing tribal assets and looking after tribal members go hand in hand.

“As iwi grow their capacity there has bo be an expansive approach to begin to change the dependency of our families on the dole and all of those other benefits. Part of this economic summit is to deal with education, is to deal with models of social development,” Mr Morgan says

Tomorrow's hui will include iwi leaders, Maori business leaders and representatives of North American tribes with experience in managing tribal assets.


The chair of Ngati Rangi says publication of the tribe's strategic plan has flushed out organisations and businesses who want to work with the upper Whanganui River iwi.

Che Wilson says in the past government agencies and companies have tried to get Ngati Rangi to squeeze into their existing plans.

He says spelling out where the tribe wants to go and how it intends to get there has turned that around.

“Straight after the launch before we went into the hakari we had two organisations approach us and say ‘hey, we want to be up there next time,’ and since then another three organisations have congratulated us and asking that they would like to participate and work with Ngati Rangi,” Mr Wilson says.


Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira says it's time for the tobacco Industry to front up and explain its role in the deaths of thousands of Maori smokers.

The Maori Party MP has convinced the Maori Affairs Select Committee, of which he is deputy chair, to host an inquiry into the industry early next year.

It will call on experts and testimonials from whanau who have lost members to smoking related illnesses.

He says the inquiry was cross party support.

“It’s been a long time coming. They have never had the spotlight put on them in this country. This is the opportunity to do it,” Mr Harawira says.

He says over the past 20 years tobacco has been a factor in for the deaths of more than 100,000 New Zealanders.


A Kai Tahu educationalist says holding next year's Maori secondary schools speech competition in Dunedin will give the tribe's rangatahi a much-needed injection of Maori pride.

Hana O'Regan, the co-founder of Kai Tahu's language unit says, Maori are less visible in the South island than the North, and many young people lack confidence in their Maoritanga.

She says Nga Manu Korero can help turn that around by having the example of Maori who are proud of their reo and their identity.

Ms O'Regan hopes the event will raise awareness of the Kai Tahu dialect, whish she has published a series of instruction books on.


The life of an important witness to the Treaty of Waitangi will be reexamined with the help of a grant announced tonight.

Peter Wells has won a $35,000 CLL writer's award from the Copyright Licensing agency to complete a book on William Colenso, who arrived in New Zealand in 1834 to work for the Church Missionary Society as a missionary and printer.

Mr Wells says Colenso was an intellectual maverick who opposed the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, and wrote a valuable eyewitness account of the event.

“I mean in a funny way he was a sort of a stirrer really before his time. He always had something contradictory to say. He was always saying things out of turn and it made him very unpopular with some people,” Mr Wells says.

The other CLL Writers award this year has gone to Gisborne writer Damian Skinner to work on a book about Customary Maori Carvers in the 20th Century.

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Maori Party suckered into support

Labour leader Phil Goff says the Maori party has been suckered into supporting National's changes to the emissions trading scheme.

Maori party co-leader Pita Sharples last week claimed he'd won a benefit increase to compensate low income people for additional energy costs, and that 2000 Maori homes would be insulated at no cost.

Mr Goff says the Government has since denied those things were happening, so it's hard to work out what the pay-off for the Maori party is.

“Maori people and Pakeha people alike know that if you’re going to provide compensation for people against the costs of global warming and the additional taxes it’s got to be done on the basis of need and it can’t be done on the basis of ethnicity so if Pita Sharples is right, then the solution is wrong. If he’s not right and nothing’s been given, then the Maori Party has been taken for a ride,” Mr Goff says.

He says the Maori Party's support for the bill to be introduced in parliament this week means taxpayers will spend billions to subsidise big business polluters at the same time social services are being cut.


It didn't take long, but Nelson health, community and Maori organisations now know a lot more about councils and companies in their area.

More than 40 organisations signed on to this week's speed networking event run by Whakatu Marae.

Organiser Carol Hippolite says the speed dating format, where people had just minutes to introduce their organisations and look for possible hook-ups, created pressure to make a good impression quickly and added to the fun.

Carolina Hippolite says the session was so well-received Whakatu marae plans to host another one next year... possibly on Valentine's Day


The sole surviving WAI 262 fauna and flora claimant has endorsed the work of Waikato University's Honey Research Unit.

Saana Murray from Ngati Kuri visited the university and thanked the unit for the benefits its research into the healing properties of manuka honey had given to Maori and other beekeepers.

Mrs Murray says honey was a low impact industry which can benefit her far north rohe, where there is much undeveloped Maori land.

“We should look for every avenue for creating free industry from such areas as where the big hives are. I can recall living with beehives in our area. It was our sugar supply, it being part of the business of our people,” she says.

Mrs Murray, who was last week invested with her Companion to the New Zealand Order of Merit award, is still waiting for the Waitangi Tribunal to report on the WAI 262 claim, which was lodged by her and five other elders in 1991.


A national coalition of Maori public health organisations wants an independent agency established to direct funding for Maori health and social services.

Chief executive Simon Royal says the commissioning agency would be the most effective way to implement the whanau ora policy being promoted by associate health minister Tariana Turia.

He says Maori providers have been trying for years to offer primary healthcare and other social and services in a holistic fashion, but they are put at a disadvantage by the way mainstream agencies allocate funds and measure outcomes.

“We want a Maori owned agency in much the same way as we have Maori agencies the National Kohanga Reo Trust, Maori Fisheries Commission and we have other agencies that are owned and operated by Maori. Now obviously some Crown funding agreements and arrangements would need to be sorted out with the Government but that’s what we’re hoping is going to be the future,” Mr Royal says.

A round of hui to inform Maori providers of changes in primary health funding finished on Monday, and Mr Royal says Maori need to prepare expressions of interest to participate in the next stage of the reforms.


Maori broadcast funding agency Te Mangai Paho is encouraged by the initial response to its attempt to find out whether Maori consider its work is helping language revival.

The first of three feedback hui was held in Wellington yesterday.

Researcher Dennis O'Reilly says more than 50 people turned up to say how the agency could help Maori wanting to speak te reo.

‘There was an interesting spectrum of some of the guns of te reo Maori and some of the people who had been involved in the establishment of Maori radio and so really good turn out of guns plus a lot of young people who were not Maori speakers,” Mr O’Reilly says.

The next hui is in Auckland tomorrow.


Central iwi Ngati Rangi isn't waiting around for its Treaty Settlement.

Chairperson Che Wilson says the iwi has endorsed a strategic plan encompassing eight areas, including health, the environment and education.

He says it's already done a lot of the work that other iwi leave until they have banked their settlement putea.

“We've built up relationships with some of the government organisations, with private organisations in our rohe. We’ve got Turoa Skifields, we’ve got a pulp mill, that pulp mill is associated with the forest so we will get the forest back one day. We’ve got the New Zealand army at Waiouru. So we’ve made those relationships now rather than wait for a piece of paper that signs it off and gives us a few million dollars,” Mr Wilson says.

One project is a partnership between Meridian Energy and Mangamingi marae near Raetihi to build a micro hydro power unit to power the marae.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Unity needed to benefit from health reforms

A series of hui to inform Maori providers about proposed changes in primary healthcare finished in Christchurch yesterday with a call for greater unity in the sector.

Simon Royal, the chief executive of a new coalition bringing together 11 Maori public health organisations, says Maori are keen to integrate health and other community services, in line with the whanau ora model being promoted by associate health minister Tariana Turia.

He says to have a say in the reforms, Maori providers need to bulk up so they can bid for contracts under the new system.

“We need size and we need scale. In order to play this game effectively, we need to be working together, all Maori organisations, and inviting other organisations that philosophically are aligned to ours, we need to come together as a large grouping rather than going in as individual pockets because I don’t think we are going to get advanced very quickly,” Mr Royal says.

The National Maori PHO Coalition wants to see the establishment of a whanau ora commissioning agency which will take over responsibility for directing Maori primary healthcare funding.


Ngapuhi is taking another step towards identifying who should negotiate a settlement for the Northland iwi.

It's embarking on a series of hui around the country, starting at Waikato University in Hamilton tonight.

Ngapuhi Runanga chair Sonny Tau says the tribe has been given a valuable breathing space by the decision of the Waitangi Tribunal to put off the start of its claim hearings, which will initially focus on traditional understandings of te Tiriti o Waitangi and the earlier Declaration of Independence.

He hopes the hui will agree on how to give a mandate to the groups or individuals who can represent the iwi, which has more than 100,000 members in 300 hapu.

“That doesn't mean to say that they have the power to go ahead and negotiate with the Crown. All it means is they have a definitive ti9me to hold the mandate for Ngapuhi and defend it, and their job is to provide the facility where Ngapuhi can get together and talk and then appoint negotiators to the Crown,” Mr Tau says.

The next hui is tomorrow in Wellington.


A Ngati Kuri weaver has received a women's suffrage award aimed at helping women develop their potential through further education, research or training in areas which are of value to the country.

Bethany Edmunds will put the $2500 Kate Sheppard Memorial Trust prize towards her costs completing a Masters degree in costume studies at New York University.

The 31-year-old says her studies are giving her the chance to study how American museums conserve, store and display the korowai they hold.

Bethany Edmunds completed a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Maori Design and Technology at Northland Polytechnic in 2000.


Te Mangai Paho wants to know whether it's are doing a good job in revitalising the Maori language through its funding of Maori broadcasting.

The agency is holding three hui to get community feedback on how they can assist Maori to speak te reo better, more often and in more places, but particularly in the home.

Facilitator Dennis O’Reilly says it's seeking a range of opinions.

“It’s asking people who may be fluent in the language how they can do better through its programming and support for broadcasters and it’s asking people who may not be using the language but have a desire to do that,” Mr O’Reilly says.

The first hui was in Wellington today with another in Auckland on Thursday then the last in Napier next week.


Maori parents are looking after their children's eyes better than they are looking after their own

The survey by the New Zealand Optometrists Association has found a third of Maori and Pacific Islanders have never had their eyes tested, compared with just 20 percent of Pakeha..

National director Dr Lesley Frederikson says the picture is quite different when it came to their kids.

Maori and Pacific children are having their eyes tested and getting appropriate care at the same rate as the rest of the population.

“They're certainly stepping up to the mark and making sure their children are getting appropriate care and I just wonder sometimes if it’s a case of mum and dad being at the end of the queue. As a parent you tend to put you children first and this is an area where parents should think about taking care of themselves as well,” Dr Frederikson says.

About 20 percent of cases of blindness could have been prevented if people had been tested and got the necessary treatment.


Whataku marae has held its first speed-networking day, giving Nelson organisations the chance to outline what they do and how they might work together.

Organiser Carol Hippolite says the 82 participants had just five minutes to meet and greet their neighbour before moving onto the next person.

She says the marae is often asked to hold networking events, so this time it gave speed-dating a go, asking people to talk about their job and the services they provide to the wider community.

The entry fee was $10 and an item of food for a food bank.

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Concern Te Kotahitanga capturing mindshare and budget

Labour's associate education spokesperson says the government's boosting of the teacher development system Te Kotahitanga could be at the expense of more effective strategies to improve Maori performance.

The government last week announced it was spending $20 million over four years to allow another 17 secondary schools to join Te Kotahitanga, which trains teachers to create culturally responsive learning environments.

Kelvin Davis, who was principal of Kaitaia intermediate before entering Parliament, says new research by Auckland University professor John Hattie has identified other strategies which are more effective.

“We need to be making sure we are focusing on what are the most effective strategies and Te Kotahitanga oer teacher-student relationships is the 11th most effective strategy according to Hattie’s research, so why haven’t we got equal amounts of resource and support going in to those top ten strategies,” Mr Davis says.

He says Te Kotahitanga is effective with any ethnic group, but it's been picked up as the panacea for Maori education because the original research project was Maori-specific.


A prize-winning short story has been praised for reflecting the major issues facing Maori society.

Morehu Nikora won with the Maori language section of this year's Pikihuia awards with He Reta Mo Taku Huia Kaimanawa, a letter by a father to his unborn child about the perils of the society he will be born into.

Judge Julian Wilcox says it comes at a time where Maori society and its child-rearing practices are being intensely discussed.

He Reta Mo Taku Huia Kaimanawa and the other entries are included in Huia Publisher's eighth collection of stories, which is out now.


A Maori designer who's made the transition from moko to streetwear gets to measure himself against the big boys and girls this week.

Wiremu Barriball earned his place in New Zealand Fashion Week by winning the MiraModa Maori fashion awards earlier this year.

He says moving beyond T shirt production was been a struggle, but his Tu Ake line now includes everything from shoes to shades.\

“We aim to get ourselves out there, especially our Maori inspired designs, up with the big boys. We’re trying to get ourselves out there, but that requires big financial input,” Mr Barriball says.

The MiraModa team takes to the catwalk at Auckland's viaduct on Thursday afternoon.


The chair of the Ngapuhi Runanga says pressure is growing for the country's largest iwi to go into direct negotiations over a treaty settlement, rather than continue with its Waitangi Tribunal claims.

Ngapuhi descendants have been invited to a series of hui over the next two weeks to discuss who should represent them in negotiations or in a post-settlement body.

Sonny Tau says the runanga isn't seeking the mandate for itself, but it does have a responsibilty to inform hapu.

He says the Waitangi Tribunal's decision to postpone hearings on Ngapuhi's claims until next year has woken people up to how long a full inquiry may take.

“Time is not on Ngapuhi’s side any more where we’ve got all this time to waste and I think we’ve got to cut to the chase and get on with it. There is a lot of hapu saying they want to go to direct negotiations rather than going to the tribunal and hearing their claims, they want to go direct to the direct negotiations and that wave of hapu is building more and more each day,” Mr Tau says.

The first consultation hui is this afternoon at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, followed by Wellington Wednesday, Nelson Thursday and Christchurch Friday.


Maori are going blind when they don't need to.

New Zealand Association of Optometrists says too many New Zealanders are losing their sight because treatable diseases such as macular degeneration and glaucoma aren't picked up.

Director Lesley Frederikson says an association survey found only 14 percent of Maori regularly have their eyes tested compared with 31 percent of Pakeha.

Most people are unaware eye testing can pick up sight threatening diabetes, which is twice as likely to attack Maori yet can be controlled if found early.

She says people are also unaware that eye testing, which is free under public health, can pick up hypertension, brain tumours, cancer, heart disease and multiple sclerosis.


Runner Ady Ngawati says her win in the Legends Marathon was just the start of her build up to the Trail Running World Championship in Hawaii in December.

Last Saturday's run was over the infamous Waiatarua route in West Auckland where trainer Arthur Lydiard built up the fitness of athletes like Olympians Peter Snell and Murray Halberg in the 1950s and 60s.

She says runs like the 42 kilometre haul over the Waitakere ranges will set her up nicely for the 21 kilometre off trail race in Hawaii, because of its contribution to cardiovascular and anaerobic fitness.

Ngawati will use her trip to make contact with United States universites about their sports programmes, with the aim of creating opportunities for some of the Maori athletes she works with at Northland polytechnic.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Bob the Builder offering tourist trinket for planning tick

Former Tauranga MP Bob Clarkson claims strong local Maori support for a major development on the outskirts of the city.

Mr Clarkson has bought more than 200 hectares near Bethlehem where he plans a multi-stage development, starting with 42 luxury houses along the bank of the Wairoa River.

The project will require plan changes, and as a sweetener he's offering to fund a Maori tourism venture including waka tours and a centre for making and selling carvings.

“Dare I say it we’re having more hassles with the councils than we’re having with the Maoris. I want them to run it. The Ngati Kahu Maoris are not particularly wealthy. I believe they’ve got a claim in and good luck to them, but at this moment they haven’t got that much money but they’ve got the expertise. They’ve got a waka or several waka, they’ve got the carving ability and all that, so let’s get them going,” Mr Clarkson says.

The venture would provide an attraction for the many cruise ships that visit Tauranga.


Te Papa is showing hapu how to copy and store their photographs on their marae as insurance against fire or other disaster.

Gavin Reedy, an iwi development officer with the museum's Te Paerangi national services unit, says photographers and paper conservators will guide hapu through the preservation of their taonga.

He says hapu have been asking for the training since Te Huki marae in northern Hawkes Bay burned down more than two years ago.

The first workshop will be tomorrow at Parawhenua Marae at Ohaeawai in Northland.


Tapping in to local knowledge has helped a Maori athlete win the women's section of the toughest road marathon in the country.

Saturday's Legend Marathon sent runners over the infamous Waiatarua route in West Auckland used by trainer Arthur Lydiard to prepare athletes like Peter Snell and Murray Halberg for Olympic medals.

It took Ady Ngawati from Ngapuhi and Ngati Hine 3 hours, 4 minutes 51 seconds

She'd never seen the route before the race, so she got tips from a mate who lives and trains in Waitakere to run conservatively because it was a long course.

Ngawati Has a few more New Zealand races this spring before heading to Hawaii in early December to compete in the world Champs.


Motiti Island off the Bay of Plenty coast is to get its own flying doctor service.

The Western Bay of Plenty public health organisation has a $50,000 grant from the government's rural health innovation fund to provide the service from Tauranga to the island, which has a population of about 250 mainly aging Maori.

It's the idea of Jill Palmer from Matakana Island Maori health service Te Awanui Hauora.

She says it is expensive for island residents to get medical help, with a $100 plane fare on top of any consultation costs.

The flying doctor will run a regular clinic on the island's marae, and be available for emergency call outs from Tauranga 10 minutes flight away.


Taurangamoana hapu Ngati Kahu is refusing to be bulldozed by Bob the Builder.

Former Tauranga MP Bob Clarkson has unveiled plans for a major development along the Wairoa river.

He's offered to fund a Maori tourism venture in exchange for supporting his scheme to build luxury homes on the riverbank and mixed housing further back.

Ngati kahu manager Lou Gates says as a river-based hapu can merit in the tourism business, but it won't be rushed.

“What he offered at the time of going to press was a very short one page letter saying he has consulted with us and we were happy to proceed he was wanting us to sign off on that. But we said no, we’ve got to proper due diligence report really and look at the issues and that will identify what the real cost is to us,” Mr Gates says.

Ngati Kahu wants a full cultural impact assessment report.


Old boys of Te Aute College are banding together to find ways to revive the Hawkes Bay Maori boarding school.

Spokesperson Te Anga Nathan says in a generation the roll has dropped from 240 boys to 100, compounding financial woes caused by the Crown's mismanagement of the school's endowment lands.

He says a gala dinner in Wellington next month will unveil the Te Aute First 15 ... old boys who have helped lead Maori into the 21st century.

While the First Fifteen is a secret until October 14, prominent Te Aute old boys include entertainer Sir Howard Morrison, former Waitangi Tribunal chair Sir Taihakurei Durie and Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples.

Sharples seen as Auckland Mayoral possible

A former Auckland mayoral candidate wants to see Tamaki Makaurau MP Pita Sharples lead the super city.

Unionist Matt McCarten says indications Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia may seek another term in Parliament opens the door for Dr Sharples to take up the challenge.

He says Auckland, with its large Maori and Polynesian population, needs a transformational mayor and Dr Sharples fits the bill nicely.

“Pita would be the ideal person bringing the community, both Pakeha and Maori, and with the right campaign he’d win. There’s no need for him to step down whilst he’s a minister. He could still be a minster and run and say if I got elected, I would consider it at that point. It would certainly thrown the race wide open that’s for sure,” Mr McCarten says.


A media researcher says Maori Television's Anzac Day coverage is changing the way many Pakeha see themselves as New Zealanders.

Sue Abel, a media studies senior lecturer at Auckland University, has analysed comments from the shows' viewers.

She says by focusing on a Maori perspective, Maori Television offered a marked contrast to conventional broadcasts of the day, which have tended to diminish the role of Maori in past wars.

Dr Abel says the comments show Maori Television is achieving a wider educational role in society that just its primary kaupapa of revitalizing the language.

“For Maori to really achieve equality in the country, Pakeha need to understand the Maori world better, and something like Maori Television, when it makes programmes that do educate non-Maori about the Maori world, I think that does play a really good role,” Dr Abel says.

She says the Anzac Day audience was prepared to accept large amounts of te reo through the broadcast, even if they did not speak Maori.


An Ashburton marae is growing a garden as a way to strengthen its links to the wider community.

A South Island marae is to get $10,000 a year for three years from Health Ministry’s Healthy Eating Healthy Action fund to develop a half acre of spare land.

Produce will go to the marae and the local foodbank.

Marae chair Trevor Simpson says Hakatere Marae has an important role to play in the south Canterbury town as the main facus for the Maori community, most of whom come from mata waka iwi.

Mr Simpson says rangatahi will be trained in horticulture, and the marae’s new kitchen will be used to run cooking courses.


A leading Maori academic says a Human Right’s Review Tribunal ruling that a probation officer’s human rights were breached when she was refused permission to speak during a powhiri was Eurocentrism gone mad.

In the latest edition of the MAI Review, the online journal of the centre for Maori research excellence, Gary Raumati Hook says in making its decision, the tribunal failed to call evidence from anyone with knowledge of Maori tradition.

The probabation officer, Josie Bullock, claimed she was discriminated against because of her gender when she tried to sit on the speaker’s bench during a formal welcome that preceded a graduation ceremony for offenders who had been doing courses.

Dr Hook says she might have had the right to speak during the Pakeha part of the event, but she had no qualifications to speak in the powhiri.

“For one she didn’t speak Maori. She didn’t understand the nature of the interaction. She was not trained in whaikorero. She lacked whakapapa. All of the things which a Maori needs in order to function as a speaker,” Dr Hook says.

He says following the Human Right’s Review Tribunal’s logic, the Catholic mass would be outlawed because it is conducted by people with gender-specific roles.


Maori designers have geared up for a strong showing at this week’s Air New Zealand Fashion Week.

A Thursday afternoon session at the main Auckland Viaduct venue will showcase eight designers who won through from the first MiroModa Fashion Design Awards earlier this year, including Wiremu Barriball, Kiri Nathan, Samara Vercoe, Keri Wanoa and Bianca Walford-Collier

MiraModa says it’s a chance for Maori designers to show they can compete with the best in the country.


A new life beckons for the winner of the Pikihuia award for best short screenplay.

Nathanial Hinde from Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Porou says in the week since his script Ten Cent Life wowed the judges, he’s been writing furiously as he attempts to flesh out his ideas into a full length horror script.

Mr Hinde says the acclamation is welcome after a decade of writing with little encouragement.

“I’ve basically been working as an accounts administrator my whole working life since I was 19 – I’m 34 now. I’ve always been like go to work, do the data entry, come home and forget about it, watch my movies and horror movies and try to jot down some ideas,” jhe says.

The Pikihuia prize included having his script considered by The New Zealand Film Commission, for development and film production.

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