Waatea News Update

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Confidentiality breach driving grand coalition

Labour MP Shane Jones says the Prime Minister's intervention in the Rugby World Cup broadcast rights row was driven by fear of legal action rather than sympathy for Maori Television's position.

John Key this week retracted a promise made by Broadcasting Minister Jonathon Coleman to back a revised TVNZ bid, and asked the three free to air broadcasters to work on a collective bid led by Maori Television.

Mr Jones says the only reason the former Merrill Lynch trader would step in was the undeniable suspicion Mr Coleman or other National Party ministers had passed commercial information to competitors.

That made the situation politically and legally untenable.

“Well there's two sides to this. There’s political melt down between him and the Maori Party, we hope to see a lot more of that, and secondly, without a doubt, a high court case decided against the government would have cost million of dollars, far beyond the $3 million Pita Sharples has made available as a subsidy,” Mr Jones says.

He says the tv rights fiasco pales into significance beside the biggest news of the week, the Government's inability to deal with the $10 billion hole in the country's accounts.


Northland iwi Te Roroa is welcoming plans to create a national park around the region's kauri forests.

Conservation Minister Tim Groser has asked the New Zealand Conservation Authority to investigate turning conservation land into a park, including Waipoua forest, the home of giant kauri Tane Mahuta, and nearby Trounson Kauri Park.

Alex Nathan from Te Roroa says the idea has been floated before, but tangata whenua were unwilling to allow it to go ahead until their treaty claims were resolved.

He says while a national park may bring extra investment and opportunities for eco-tourism, Te Roroa isn't waiting for the bureaucrats.

“We're developing this concept of a Western corridor which starts at Kaiwaka, and involved Matakohe Kauri Museum. The idea is to promote the whole west coast and the forest is part of that and the other end is the Hokianga connections,” Mr Nathan says.

Te Roroa is also working with a group from the Japanese island of Yakashima on the union of ancient trees, creating tourism exchanges around the forests.


Taonga puoro player Horomona Horo is tonight putting his pipes up against those of the organ at St Lukes in the City in Christchurch.

It's the opening event in a three day celebration of the church's 150th anniversary.

Horo, who has whakapapa connections to Ngapuhi, Taranakai and Ngati Porou, says people have played bagpipes and brass instruments with church organs, but not as far as he knows traditional Maori instruments.

Next week Horo will take his pukaea, putorino, koauau, putatara to Rotorua, where he will work alongside a choirs at the New Zealand Sing festival.


Maori in the Eastern Bay of Plenty are upset the Tasman paper mill at Kawerau can continue to pollute the Tarawera River for another 25 years.

Tipene Marr from Ngati Rangitihi says consent issued by Environment Bay of Plenty this week puts no pressure on the owners Carter Holt Harvey and Norske Skog to clean up the lifeless black drain.

Maori argued for a 10 year consent, and Mr Marr says the company's argument a longer term was needed because of the recession was farcical.

“It just makes you sick. We’re going to have to wait anther generatin of children to even have our river even looked at again. Then they’ll give them another extension. There’s no guarantee in 25 years it will be clean. Big business winning over the environment,” Mr Marr says.

Ngati Rangitahi will appeal the decision to the Environment Court.


The Greens are inviting Maori to join a protest tomorrow outside Mt Eden Prison against prison privatisaion.

Co-leader Metiria Turei says the Government intends to table a bill next week that will open the way for private companies to run prisons.

She says Maori have a major stake in the issue, both as guards and guarded.

“We do not want people making a profit from the bias and discrimination in our legal system that means more than 50 percent of our prison population is Maori. If the state is going to exercise the strongest power that is incarceration, the elimination of your freedoms, then that should be done by the state and the public should have maximum oversight over what the state is doing,” Ms Turei says.

The protest starts at noon at Takahe Reserve.


Tamariki from Ngati Whatua Ki Orakei will tomorrow start learning the basics of life on the moana.

Grant Dalton from Emirates Team New Zealand says the eight-week learn to sail course at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club stems from a conversation at a Louis Vuitton event at Orakei Marae with the Hawke brothers, who he knew growing up in Orakei.

He says the team is keen to strengthen its relationship with Ngati Whatua, including fostering a love of sailing which could lead to jobs or career opportunities.

He hopes local kids will eventually be queuing up for the chance to learn to sail.

Tertiary hierarchy will undermine wananga

A Maori academic is warning the Government's plans for tertiary education announced could restrict opportunities for Maori.

Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and Indigenous studies at Canterbury University, says the plan announced last week creates a hierarchy with research-driven universities at the top, polytechnics focusing on vocational training and wananga left at the bottom to do things like getting adults back into education.

He says wananga have already shown they can beat the universities in some areas, including research.

“The universities in terms of their internal cultural barriers are just really slow at addressing things like racism and having teaching staff that know and understand Maori people and if this policy becomes entrenched it is likely to close down opportunities for Maori by closing down and restricting the wananga,” Mr Taonui says.

Whakatane-based Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi already has more PhD students than Waikato University.


The chair of the Maori Tourism Council says Maori companies will welcome a review of the adventure tour sector.

The review, which is due to be completed by March, follows the death of an English tourist in a river rafting accident.

John Barrett says Maori have been moving into the sector, and the number is likely to grow as iwi look to promote economic development in their hau kainga.

He says tourists need to be confident all safety measures are in place.

“Any of the Maori participants in the adventure tourism sector you can be sure will have already developed and implemented safety pans, contingency plans, all of those things are prerequisites before getting into operation anywhere across the motu,” Mr Barrett says.


A bi-lingual school in Otara is one of the winners of the Public Architecture section of the Auckland Architecture Awards.

The judges said architects Jasmax had successfully woven Maori design elements into the spaces they created for Te Whanau o Tupuranga and their sophisticated use of traditional colour.

Judith Riki, an associate principal at the charter school, says staff, students and parents worked with the architects on the final design.

“We had a huge input into the way we wanted our buildings designed because of the way we deliver our curriculum. It is different form any other traditional secondary school in the country,” Ms Riki says.

The new spaces are flexible enough to be used for individual projects or group work, depending on what the students needed.


Tuhoe leader Tamati Kruger says the police have got a lot more to do before they atone for the so called terror raid on Ruatoki two years ago.

Yesterday was the second anniversary of the day police locked down the small Eastern Bay of Plenty settlement as they searched for individuals and weapons connected with alleged military style training camps deep in the Urewera ranges.

The trial 17 of those arrested still hasn't started, with lawyers due back in the High Court next week to continue arguments about the legitimacy of the evidence the police want to introduce.

Mr Kruger says while tensions with local police have diminished, it will be a long time before the cordiality of the past is restored.

“Relationships between Tuhoe people and local police here, I would call it cool to cold but by no means can we say that the issue has disappeared. We are far away from that point,” Mr Kruger says.

He says the police should enter a process with Tuhoe to resolve the incident.


Maori Television is excited at the prospect David Tua could fight former world champion Hasim Rahman in New Zealand before Christmas.

The channel has rights to broadcast Tua's next three fights in a deal struck before his bout with mountain warrior Shane Cameron.

Rahmin was set to fight fellow American Ray Mercer next month, but the usually reliable Eastsideboxing.com website says Mercer is pulling out because the purse is too low.

MTS communications manager Sonia Haggie says the Tua-Rahman rematch would have similar benefits for the channel as broadcasting the Rugby World Cup.

“There's going to be huge interest in the next David Tua fight no matter who he fights so for Maori Television the benefits are going to include a big audience coming to the channel one to watch the fight but also to find out more about Maori Television, what we have to offer, and to be exposed to language and culture,” Ms Haggie says.

Maori Television is confident it can provide a world class broadcast.


A major work by Ngapuhi artist Ralph Hotere has gone on show in Kohukohu, just down the road from his birthplace.

Curator Marg Morrow says works by the reclusive artist have been rarely sighted north of Whangarei, and people have been coming from miles around to see the 14-panel Song of Solomon at the Village Arts Gallery.

The work was done in 1991, in response to the first Gulf War.

“At the time his partner was Cilla McQueen and he chose a lot of her poetry o go with it and some pieces from Song of Solomon from the Bible itself, so it’s a piece about redemption and the power of redemption really,” Ms Morrow says.

Hotere Country, which also includes supporting work from five other artists with links to the Hokianga harbour, will be on show every day until November 5.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

IRB under no pressure to give rights to MTS

The International Rugby Board's representative in New Zealand says the organisation isn't under pressure to award free to air broadcast rights.

Broadcasters are working up a joint bid led by Maori Television and including TVNZ and TV3, after Prime Minister John Key stopped his ministers fuelling a bidding war.

Ross Young, the general manager of IRB subsidiary Rugby World Cup, says any variation in terms would need to go through International Management Group in London, which is managing the process.

He says the tender process for free to air rights has already been extended because the IRB was not satisfied with the responses it was getting, after it had confirmed Sky as the host broadcaster and pay tv rights holder.

“We've held off to this stage. We don’t have to award the rights to any set timeframe. We don’t have to award the rights at all, though I couldn’t see that being a viable option. There’s no pressing timeframe. We just need to make sure we need to make the right call,” Mr Young says.

Rugby World Cup's criteria are the amount it is offered, what the broadcaster is prepared to do to promote the event and the production values of the broadcasts.


Meanwhile, Maori Television will get another chance to show how it deals with a big event if a fight between David Tua and Hasim Rahman comes off.

Word has come through from the United States that the former world champion's November fight against fellow American Ray Mercer is off because of a dispute over money, freeing him up to fight Tua in New Zealand before Christmas.

MTS communications manager Sonia Haggie says the channel, which has broadcast rights to Tua's next three fights, is ready.

“Well we've done a number of boxing broadcasts now having done Shane Cameron and David Tua before so we certainly have the competencies and are confident we can provide a world class broadcast,” Ms Haggie says.

A win against Rahman would boost Tua's prospects of a second world title fight.


Hokianga people are getting their first chance to see the work of local hero Ralph Hotere.

A major work by the Mitimiti-born artist, Song of Solomon, is on display for a month at the Village Arts Gallery in Kohukohu.

There's also supporting work by five other artists with Hokianga connections.

Curator Marg Morrow says the 1991 paintings, which were done in response to the first Gulf War, are on loan from a private collection.

She says the chance to see work by the reclusive artist, who has lived in the South Island since the 1960s, has brought out the community.

“He holds a special place in the hearts of Hokianga people. Every time I mention Hotere, people just talk about his wairua, talk about his generosity and it’s not just him, it’s his whole family. People have come from miles around to see this piece. The response has been extraordinary,” Ms Morrow says.

Hotere Country is due to run until November 5.


A Tuhoe leader says relations with the police are still frosty in the eastern Bay of Plenty, two years to the day since the police locked off the settlement of Ruatoki in what's come to be known as the Terror raids.

Tamati Kruger says tensions have gone down, but the hurt felt by the community is still there.

He says while the iwi has waited for the legal process to take its course, it's become increasing clear the raids sparked by alleged paramilitary training camps in the Urewera ranges were an over-reaction.

“Two years on the police have failed to put in the minds of New Zealanders that
they have a valid case. We believe that by the end of the year we will see the police case thrown out of court,” Mr Kruger says.

He says no one can estimate the long term effect the lockdown had on young people caught up in the raids.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has praised founding president Whatarangi Winiata for his contribution not only to the party but to Aotearoa as a whole.

The 74-year-old is stepping down at the party's conference this weekend to pursue academic interests in the United States.

Before leading the party, Professor Winiata led the revival of language and culture in his own tribe, Ngati Raukawa, and also drove the establishment of separate Maori, Pakeha and Pasifika streams within the Anglican church.

Mrs Turia says his wisdom has been of huge benefit to the young party.

“And the thing I love most about him is he lives his life according to kaupapa and tikanga. It‘s not something he thinks about only when he’s at the marae or when he’s in a classroom. And he has required of us that we act according to kaupapa Maori and our tikanga,” Mrs Turia says.


Reo revivalists have gathered in Porirua for He Huia Kaimanawa - the Maori Language Expo.

Government and Maori language community representatives have been discussing what is meant by Maori language excellence, with keynote speaker Taiarahia Black from Massey University using his collection of Tuhoe waiata to spark debate.

Huhana Rokx from the Maori language commission Te Taura Whiri says there are also demonstrations and displays of projects going on round the country.

“This hui is about combining all of those elements together. We have an exhibition of all the stuff happening around the company in the name of Maori language regeneration and providing also an opportunity for people to talk about their initiatives,” Mrs Rokx says.

The two day event will wrap up tomorrow afternoon with the presentation of te Taura Whiri's Maori Language Awards.

Wake up call for party doorknockers

Retiring Maori Party president Whatarangi Winiata says it is important the party organisation doesn't go to sleep between elections.

Professor Winiata is stepping down after leading the party through its first five years.

He says while supporters may be motivated by the party's performance to get actively involved at the next election, there's always the risk they could go into hibernation as they did last term.

“It took quite a lot of nudging and calling and urging to get them back onto the streets and actively promoting the possibilities in the election period for the 2008 election and we’ve urged them to not do that again but there are signs that at least they want a rest,” Professor Winiata says.

The Maori Party is holding its annual meeting in Auckland this weekend.

The 74-year-old Professor Winiata intends to study in the United States, where he earned his doctorate in the early 1960s.


A Maori commentator is pessimistic about Maori Television's chances of winning the free to air broadcast rights to the Rugby World Cup.

Rawiri Taonui, who heads the school of Maori and indigenous studies at Canterbury University, says the International Rugby Board does not have a great track record of developing and promoting indigenous rugby.

He says it's also never shown much interest in cultural sensitivity.

“Their attitude I think towards Maori TV is not going to be that healthy. If we follow what’s happened with our own rugby union there will be no games for the Maori All Blacks this year, it’s not so great. It’s a pity because Maori TV could probably bring something really refreshing to it,” Mr Taonui says.

The IRB's priority seems to be big matches and big television viewership, rather than areas like Pasifika rugby which has been neglected since the game went professional.


A Maori problem gambling specialist says the gambling industry should be put under the spotlight for the damage it's doing to Maori,

Zoe Hawke from Auckland Maori public health service Te Hapai Te Hauora Tapui says it could be a task for the Maori Affairs Select Committeee once it has finished its inquiry into the tobacco industry.

She says a Maori gambling hui in Napier last week heard graphic accounts of the harm done by gambling and pokie machines.

She says like vendors of alcohols and tobacco, poor communities are targeted by the gambling industry.


A Maori development expert says Maori Television shouldn't need to win the Rugby World Cup broadcast rights to benefit from the event.

Pare Keiha, AUT University's pro-vice chancellor for Maori achievement, says Maori culture is what makes the New Zealand tourism experience unique.

Te Puni Kokiri is justifying the use of $3 million of Maori development funds to back the bids on the grounds it will lead to jobs and business opportunities for Maori, especially in tourism.

Professor Keiha says any sensible plan for hosting or broadcasting such a major event should include Maori anyway.

“Any prospective Maori economic development outcomes as the result of Maori Television specifically acquiring the broadcasting rights in my mind would be built on very flimsy arguments. The alternative arguments would be why wouldn’t Maori benefit substantially from an alternative broadcaster if one of those broadcasters happens to be a public good broadcaster funded with taxpayers' money,” Professor Keiha says.

The business case for funding Maori involvement in the cup broadcasts needs to be strong than what has emerged so far.


A 78 year Maori warden who broke up a fight in Whangarei this week says she would do the same thing again.

Muriel Sexton was off duty when she spotted her sons getting into an argument with gang members.

She says shop keepers stood around and watched but she didn't think twice when weapons were brought out.

“I should have stopped because I was trained by the police not to do that kind of thing by going into it. You’re supposed to stand back, but being my son, I couldn’t stand back, I’m never frightened by those situations because it’s a challenge to me,” Mrs Sexton says.

The incident left her exausted.

Two men are facing charges of assault with a weapon and disorderly behaviour and a third was charged with wilful damage and disorderly behaviour. They will appear in Whangarei District Court next week.


Birds emerge from saws and fragile nets turn into landscapes in the latest show of drawings by Tauranga-based James Ormsby.

The artist, who has Maniapoto, Waikato, Te Arawa and Scottish whakapapa, says the works on paper at Whitespace Gallery in Auckland continue his exploration of the conflict between nature and technology.

He says the patterning which is a critical part of Maori art gives him a base to work from.

“That element of repetition sort of forced the artist or producer to slow down and be still and meditate and dream in those subconscious marks and intuitive marks and spontaneous marks.” Ormsby says.

The drawings are at Whitespace in Grey Lynn until the end of the month.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Forced marriage for rugby rights bid

Maori Television was today talking with TVNZ and TV3 about a joint approach to broadcast the Rugby World Cup.

The grand coalition appears to have been brokered by Prime Minister John Key and Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples after the Maori Party leader publicly expressed his fury at the Government ordering TVNZ back into the bidding process.

MTS chief executive Jim Mather says Maori Television's bid was serious and credible, and it remains a live option.

“We're also going to listen intently to what the other consortium, TYVNZ and TV3 have developed. They want to engage with us so we will listen to what they have to say but we are very conscious of the fact we have committed to not colluding with any other parties and putting in a bid that is standalone and separate and we want to ensure the integrity of our bid is retained,” Mr Mather says.

He's upset material provided in confidence at the request of government ministers appears to have passed on to TVNZ.


Meanwhile, a Maori economic expert says iwi shouldn't consider investing in Maori Television's Rugby World Cup coverage bid without a solid business case.

The idea was raised by Ngati Kahungunu chair Ngahiwi Tomoana, who suggested iwi could help Maori Television beat any TVNZ offer.

But Pare Keiha, the pro-vice chancellor for Maori advancement at AUT University, says the idea iwi have cash lying around to invest in such a project is fanciful.

He says iwi leader have an obligation to manage their assets for the benefit of present and future generations.

“The fundamental issue is whether it’s private money or money held on behalf of others and I‘d be concerned if any iwi money which is essentially not private was to be used for some investment that was less than prudent, that was not the product of a business plan and more importantly was not clear on its outcomes to those for whom the assets are being held in trust for,” Professor Keiha says.

If the argument is that hosting the Rugby World Cup should benefit Maori, then that benefit should come across the whole government sector and host broadcaster, and not be left to Te Puni Kokiri and Maori Television.


The head of Maori organic growers association Te Waka Kaiora says Maori need to take advantage of a plan to reinstate gardens around marae.

Te Puni Kokiri is offering marae $2000 to establish mara kai, which can be used to grow vegetables for the use of the marae or surrounding community.

Percy Tipene says too many Maori have lost their connection to their own whenua, and the mara kai will help get their hands back into the soil.


Whatever the outcome of talks between Maori Television and its free to air rivals over a joint bid to broadcast the rugby world cup, the row has soured relations between the Maori service and key ministers.

Talks started today after Prime Minister John Key overrode Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman's promise of financial support for TVNZ to re-enter the bidding process.

MTS chief executive Jim Mather says the government was well aware of what his channel was proposing with backing from Te Puni Kokiri.

“We were requested to present our information in various ministerial meetings. We did so in good faith and we find now that there’s a strong likelihood that commercially confidential information got passed on to a competitor we weren’t aware was going to be a competitor in the process,” Mr Maher says.

The International Rugby Board had ruled out consortia bids or sub-letting of broadcast rights, so any joint bid would need its approval to proceed.


Retiring Maori Party president Whatarangi Winiata says it's important the party continues its partnership with the National-led government.

74 year old Professor Winiata, who has been president since the party was formed in 2004, lists failing to get Maori seats on the Auckland super city and the treatment of Maori Television's Rugby World Cup bid count as major set backs.

But he says party hasn't lost sight of its objective to get Treaty issues resolved.

“The partnership between the Maori Party and National is I think one of the highlights in the life of the Maori Party. We saw it as a way of achieving reconciliation, and the Pakeha signatory, the Crown has simply assumed power will beyond what was thought about by our people, but they did know there would be tension,” Professor Winiata says.

Positives so far include the review of the foreshore and seabed act and Nationa's promise of a constitutional review.

Professor Winiata is off to the United States to further his studies.


Tonight's rugby league test against Tonga in Rotorua will be the debut for three young Maori players.

They include Australian-born Bulldogs' winger Bryson Goodwin, who qualifies through his grandmother's Waikato whakapapa and Warrior Kevin Locke of Hauraki and Ngapuhi descent.

Gordon Gibbons, the Kiwi's team manager, says there was a special thrill for the third debutante, Rotorua-born Manly Sea Eagles back rower Jared Waerea-Hargeaves, who was asked to receive the challenge at last night’s civic reception – in which many of his relatives were involved.

He says the trio played their way into the team through excellent form in the NRL.

After tonight's test the team will travel to England for the four nations competition.

Chance to normalize reo through sport lost

A Maori broadcaster and development expert says by undermining Maori Television's bid for rugby world cup broadcast rights, the Government is throwing away a major opportunity to encourage the uptake of te reo Maori.

AUT lecturer Ella Henry, a former member of Maori Television's Aunties panel, says by promising TVNZ financial support to up its bid, Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman has pitted the state broadcaster against the Crown's treaty partner.

She says the Maori channel's plans for a moderate amount of Maori in its commentaries was in line with a strategy which is proven internationally.

“They've certainly found in Ireland where the language has been introduced as part of sporting broadcasts it has had really positive outcomes in terms of normalizing the Irish language and extending the vocabulary of people so we knows it should work for Maori language revitalization. Now we want to see what the government will do now it has painted itself into this deep dark corner,” Ms Henry says.

She says the Government's advisors should have foreseen that free to air broadcast rights could become a contentious issue.


An advocate for Maori organic farming says marae should take advantage of programme to re-establish gardens or mara kai.

Pita Tipene from growers' group Te Waka Kaiora, says Te Puni Kokiri's offer of a $2000 grant for marae gardens is a chance for Maori to reconnect with the land.

He says it doesn't matter if conventional or organic farming practices are used, as long as people learn the benefits of growing their own kai.

“The initiative is a good one. We have to start somewhere and if this is the way we can motivate our people to get back on the whenua and work the land, I totally support that,” Mr Tipene says.


Maori sports fans are learning to support players on both sides of the Tasman.

Commentator Karl Te Nana says halfback Richard Kingi's inclusion in the Wallaby squad for the tour of Japan and the United Kingdom is a sign of the impact Polynesian players are having on Australian rugby.

The 20-year-old father of 3 moved from Te Puke with his whanau five years ago, and has impressed with his showings with the Aussie junior squad and 7's, and with the Queensland Reds in the Super 14.

Mr Te Nana says Kingi's selection is also a sign of where coach Robbie Deans sees the game going.

“He's a smart operator and can see in the past couple of seasons he’s been in the top job that there’s more opportunities there for our Poynesian and hopefully Maori players with this young kid leading the way so it’s great to see and good luck to them,” Mr Te Nana says.


The chair of Maori radio collective Whakaruruhau says the National Government's last minute boost for TVNZ's rugby world cup broadcasting rights bid is a disgrace.

Willie Jackson says Maori Television followed the rules set out by the International Rugby Board to tender for the free to air rights.

He says Broadcasting Minister Jonathon Coleman has come from offside to offer extra funding for TVNZ.

“Fancy coming to the support of TVNZ just because the Maoris got the jump on the big boys, TVNZ and TV3. The Government should hang their heads in shame. We’re trying to be innovative. We’re trying to be creative, and now we’ve got this ridiculous thing happening with government coming to the support of TVNZ,” Mr Jackson says.

He says those who are crying foul over Te Puni Kokiri's help in funding the Maori television bid ignore the generations of tax-payer funded support TVNZ has benefited from.


Maori men in west Auckland are being encouraged to have free health checks.

Waiora Health is setting up a mobile clinic at Hoani Waititi Marae this afternoon under the One Heart, Many Lives cardiovascular disease prevention programme.

Lead nurse Brenda Close says it's for Maori men aged over 35 years, who seldom visit health services unless they have a crisis.

She says as well as giving free health assessments, heart and blood pressure checks and professional advice, the clinic will allow Waiora to discuss health delivery strategies with whanau and find what people want.

The clinic is at Hoani Waititi Marae starts at 2 pm.


People wanting to support the 17 people arrested in the so called Tuhoe terror are being given the chance to buy artworks inspired by the events of October 2007.

The Explosive Expression exhibition opened last night at Thistle Hall Gallery in Wellington.

The 50 plus artworks, including a work incorporating a police flag and a self-portrait by Tuhoe activist Tame Iti, will be auctioned on Saturday night by former Green MP Nandor Tanczos.

Iti, who faces firearms charges in connection with what police claim were paramilitary training camps in the Urewera ranges, says it's been a tough two years for all those involved, and support is welcome.

“As time goes by the police case is dwindling down, almost coming to a halt and coming to nothing, but that’s still a lot of time and work for us just going through that other than what the community in Ruatoki and round the country been affected by that,” Mr Iti says.

The defendants can't plan ahead too far because of the case, and their free speech rights are also hampered by suppression orders.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Whakapapa driving crime prevention strategy

The police are looking at how the whakapapa information they get from the Maori they arrest can be used to reduce Maori offending.

Inspector Hurimoana Dennis, the police national Maori strategic advisor, says the information has been collected for some time.

He says it's helping runanga develop iwi-led crime prevention plans.

Ngapuhi and Te Arawa have finished their plans and are seeking a formal response from government.


The minister with responsibility for Maori broadcasting is refusing to get embroiled in the row over Te Puni Kokiri's funding being used to bolster Maori Television's bid for rugby world cup broadcast rights.

Labour MP Shane Jones says associate Maori Affairs Minister Georgina te Heuheu held back information from her Cabinet colleagues, because being candid could have scuttled the bid.

But Mrs te Heuheu says everything has been above board.

“I won't comment on Dr Sharples. He’s the shareholding minister and that might be why he’s taking the lead the last 10 days or so. I don’t think it’s helpful at all for an associate minister who may have a delegation on terms of a broadcasting but who’s not the shareholding minister to be adding to the discussion that is going on in public,” Mrs te Heuheu says.

When Dr Sharples was on leave in early September, she informed the other shareholding minister, Bill English, the bid was imminent.


Rugby commentator Karl Te Nana says Luke McAlister can bounce back from what has been a horror season.

After six weeks on the sideline with a broken cheekbone, the Te Atiawa midfielder was in top form for North Harbour's 28-7 win over the Bay of Plenty at the weekend.

But he's now in doubt for the All Blacks' end of year tour after rolling his ankle at training this week.

Mr Te Nana says McAlister is an inspiration for young Maori sportspeople, and he has the mental toughness to get back.


A former member of Maori Television's Aunties panel says the National Government is pitting the state-owned broadcaster against its treaty partner.

Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman today admitted offering Television New Zealand extra funding to allow it to trump Maori Television's bid for Rugby World Cup broadcast rights, which relies on a subsidy from Te Puni Kokiri.

The intevention means the International Rugby Board deferred its decision on the free to air broadcaster.

Ella Henry, who now teaches Maori development at Auckland University of Technology, says it's an extraordinary denial of Maori aspirations.

“Maori Television of course is not a state owned broadcaster, it’s part of a treaty settlement process. It’s the treaty partner in broadcasting in this country, particularly in free to air. So we have a predominantly Pakeha government now saying the predominantly Pakeha broadcaster has to win at all costs against the Maori partner in broadcasting. Historically, I think that one is going to come back and bite this government on the bum,” she says.

Ms Henry says it's clear the Government did not consider how New Zealanders would watch the games until the broadcasters were at each other's throats.


A Maori problem gambling manager says more harm will be done if Auckland City Council eases up on gambling venues.

Zoe Hawke from Maori public health group Hapai Te Hauora Tapui says the council is considering reducing the distance pokie venues need to be from schools or churches, and it might also allow pokies to be resited if roadworks force a venue to close.

She says Maori opposition helped get sinking lid policies in both Waitakere and Manukau, and Maori need to put pressure on Auckland.

Ms Hawke says a lot of people want to make submissions, and it would be great if the council listened.


Artworks inspired by the police raids on Ruatoki in 2007 go on show at Wellington's Thistle Hall tonight.

The 50 plus works in the Explosive Expression exhibition will be auctioned on Saturday to raise funds for the defence of the 17 people facing charges stemming from the raids, which stemmed from what police said were military-style training camps in the Urewera.

One of those people, Tuhoe activist and artist Tame Iti, says his contribution is a self portrait of red eyes on a black backround, inspired by the importance of eye to eye contact during the arrests.

“At the day of the raid nobody was allowed to say anything, nobody was allowed to boo but what has happened to most people is the fact they were still able to see things and view things from what happened to them on 15 October 2007. That piece of artwork I have here is about that, kanohi ki te ao, a self portrait,” Iti says.

Heuheu says colleagues informed of TV bid

Associate Maori Affairs Minister Georgina te Heuheu is denying she failed to inform senior colleagues of Maori Television's 2011 Rugby world cup bid.

Labour MP Shane Jones says Mrs te Heuheu needs to explain her role in the decision to spend $3 million of Maori development funds to prop up the bid for free to air broadcast rights.

He says as the minister with delegations over Maori broadcasting, she should have told Finance Minister Bill English and Prime Minister John Key what Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples was doing.

But Mrs te Heuheu says she wrote to Mr English on the second of September.

“I wrote a letter to advice that the bid was imminent on the basis that my understanding was the matter had been raised earlier with the other shareholding minister,” Mrs te Heuheu says.

She says because she is not a shareholding minister, she has no governance role over Maori Television.

Dr Sharples has apologised to Mr English and Mr Key for not informing them earlier of the plan.


A Maori smokefree advocate has been recognised internationally for his work.

Shane Kawenata Bradbrook from Te Reo Marama has been at the forefront of anti-tobacco initiatives in Aotearoa, and has also successfully challenged tobacco giant Philip Morris for using Maori imagery to market cigarettes to Israelis.

He says it was humbling to receive the Nigel Gray award at last week's Oceania Tobacco Control Conference in Darwin, the first time an indigenous person has received the tohu.

“It's also the first time (it went to) a non-doctor as well so a great moment and it reflects well on the indigenous community across the board that we can do this, we can do good work, it can be recognised and it’s nice to be validated by such a prestigious award,” Mr Bradbrook,says.

The Ngai Tamanuhiri, Rongowhakaata and Ngati Kahungunu lobbyist says the next item on his agenda is the Maori Affairs Select Committee investigation into the tobacco industry.


Dunedin is considering replacing its Scottish welcome for cruise ships with a Maori powhiri.

City council communications manager Debra Simes says the first of 20 ships is due in next week, so a decision is needed quickly.

She says bagpiping was trialed during the last cruise ship season, but there were logistical difficulties keeping pipe bands around if the ships were late or cancelled.

There will still be a piped farewell for tourists but talks are underway with Ngai Tahu to see if a powhiri is better on arrival.


A Maori smokefree advocate says the fight against tobacco should be seen as a Maori development issue rather than a health issue.

Shane Bradbrook from Te Reo Marama has just got back from the Oceania Tobacco Control Conference in Darwin, where almost a quarter of the delegates represented indigenous groups.

He says the presentations from Aboriginal delegates included reports of working in communities where more than 70 percent of adults smoke.

He says that research was used to tell the professionals about the peole behind the numbers.

Mr Bradbrook says in Aotearoa the fight to revitalise te reo Maori has been hampered by kaumatua dying from tobacco-related illnesses.


There's some unexpected support for Pita Sharples' right to help Maori Television with its rugby world cup bid.

The Maori Affairs Minister last week apologised to Finance Minister Bill English and Prime Minister John Key for failing to inform them Te Puni Kokiri would buy $3 million of programming if the channel won the free to air broadcast rights.

Labour MP Shane Jones says Dr Sharples has the right to say where his baseline funding should be spent, and there was no need for an apology.

“He deprecates his mana as our minister for Maori Affairs and I actually feel aroha for him but he’s up against some pretty wild characters. You’ve got Murray McCully, who’s Machiavelli, and he’s leaked everything. Then you’ve got Georgina Te Heuheu, who knows if she told the truth and was very candid, it probably wouldn’t have gone ahead,” Mr Jones says.

He saus the associate minister, Georgine Te Heuheu, has delegated responsibility for Maori broadcasting and needs to explain her role in the affair.

Mrs te Heuheu says she wrote to Mr English about the bid on September 2.


Award winning rapper Sid Diamond says the gritty streets of south Auckland are never far from his thoughts, even as his band Smashproof is about to take on the world.

Diamond, or Young Sid as he's known, affiliates to Nga Puhi and Te Rarawa but grew up in Otara.

Smashproof won the people's choice, best music video and highest selling New Zealand record trophies at the Vodafone Music Awards for the single Brother.

Young Sid says Otara gets a negative rap it doesn't deserve.

“There was a lot of violence and gangs and that but there was a lot of hard workers and churchgoers and people who work in factories. People who are not from the area think it is an area they should lock their doors when they get to the lights, but being from it, I don't see it like that,” Diamond says.

Smashproof has a deal with Universal Germany to release its album in Europe, and next week heads off for a showcase gig in New York as it tries to break into the US market.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Please explain to associate minister

Labour MP Shane Jones says associate Maori Affairs Minister Georgina te Heuheu needs to explain why she didn't keep senior colleagues informed of Maori Television's bid for free to air broadcast rights to the 2011 Rugby world cup.

Mr Jones says Pita Sharples should not have to apologise for using his budget to bankroll the bid, by having Te Puni Kokiri buy $3 million of programming on the channel.

But he says more experienced colleagues have been trying to turn the situation to their own ends.

“The person who has been furtive in this whole deal and I’ll have more to say about that in the House this week, has been Georgina te Heuheu. Pita deliberately delegated to her the governance role as minister for Maori TV. She’s never put her head up once. She deliberately misled Bill English,” Mr Jones says.

He says Maori Television was set up by Labour to foster the revival of Maori language and cultural identity, not to be a populist sports broadcaster.


There's international interest in how New Zealand is tackling the tobacco industry.

Shane Bradbrook from anti-smoking lobby group Te Reo Marama says people at the Oceania Tobacco Control Conference in Darwin last week were keen to hear his presentation on the schedules Maori Affairs Select Committee inquiry into the tobacco industry.

He says there is a similar inquiry going on in Western Australia, but it lacks the kind of forthright rhetoric coming from Maori Party MP Hone Harawira.

“One of the advocates here wanted those quotes from Hone Harawira because he wanted to impress on politicians that they needed to be passionate about getting rid of tobacco. All eyes are now focused on New Zealand. They believe that Maori Affairs Select Committee inquiry shows massive leadership and of course it’s indigenous leadership,” Mr Bradbrook says.

Written submissions to the Maori Affairs Select Committee enquiry close at the end of January


Maori bodybuilders were to the fore at the New Zealand Federation of Bodybuilders national championships in Auckland over the weekend.

Maureen O'Connell picked up the Open Women's figure tall title ... and the pairs title with Johnson Reihana.

She says there's a lot of talented Maori bodybuilders coming through.

“The sport's growing amongst Maori but we still need to promote it because it’s such a healthy lifestyle and it gets the whole family involved in active living. It’s a mean as sport,” Ms O'Connell says.

She says the federation is looking at taking a Maori bodybuilding team to compete in the South Pacific championships next year, if the international body approves.


The head of one of the country's largest social service providers is confident Maori will do well in a major shake up of the primary health sector.

Bids to provide regional primary care services close on Wednesday.

John Tamihere, the chair of Waiora Health PHO in West Auckland, says it's one of the biggest ever reorganisations of the health sector.

He says reducing the number of public health organisations set up by the last government should channel more money into care rather than administration.

“I am reasonably certain Maori will do OK in this change process for one reason only. We are some of the best providers of primary healthcare to our communities that are working and working at good dollar value,” Mr Tamihere says.

If Maori health providers miss out on contracts they are likely to challenge the decision in court.


Meanwhile, Waiora Health is finding prevention is about doing simple things well.

Community worker Katherine Tipene says by providing transport and child care so women can get to appointments, it has halved the number of Maori women in west Auckland missing tests for cervical cancer.

The service follows up with supportive phone calls.

“A lot of it comes down to the upbringing and about our body, how whakama our wahine are and so forth, and not knowing what a colposcopy is. When a lot of wahine hear colposocopy, automatically they think it’s cancer, but I just educate them and say no, it is preventable,” Ms Tipene says.

Getting women to tests has a positive effect on early diagnosis and treatment.


A TV3 reporter under fire for spoofing Maori Television's rugby world cup coverage says young Maori need to develop a sense of humour.

Ali Ikram says his Night Line item was his idea of a redneck's nightmare if MTS wins its bid for free to air broadcast rights.

It included using the Waitangi Tribunal as a video ref, and a dig at the number of programmes presenter Julian Wilcox fronts.

Mr Ikram says his job on Night Line is to send up the news, but it has drawn a complaint from Auckland university Maori students.

“One of the things this has uncovered, there are sections of young Maori who don’t have a sense of humour or a sense of irony about race relations in this country. I know what racist humour is and I know what racial vilification is all about. I didn’t go anywhere near that because I know that is completely wrong,” Mr Ikram says.

He says it would be more racist to declare Maori topics off limits.

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Recession heightening social inequity

The Council of Trade Unions is warning that inequalities between Maori and non-Maori are growing.

CTU economist Bill Rosenberg says the latest wage and salary data show while the average wage rose 1.8 percent over the past year from $447 to $455, the average wage for Maori workers fell 1.5 percent.

He says the average hourly rate went up 2.7 percent to $22.96, but Maori average pay only went up 1.7 percent to $16.96.

Dr Rosenberg says deunionisation, the decline in manufacturing jobs because of removal of tariffs and the current recession are all having an effect on vulnerable workers.
“If you look at the trends in inequality in New Zealand, they raced up during the 1990s, they kind of levelled out and dipped a bit in the 2000s. The Working for Families package was the only thing that stared to make it dip and the latest figures show that it is starting to rise again,” Dr Rosenberg says.

The CTU is concerned at the effect on society of increased inequality.


Whakatane-based Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi is expanding into the north.

It will offer a bachelor of education as well as post graduate courses in Maori and indigenous studies from Northtec’s Whangarei campus.

The programme will be run by Te Tuhi Robust, who until last month was the director of Auckland University’s Sir James Henare Research Centre.

Dr Robust, from Ngapuhi nui tonu, says Tertuary Education Commission policies are encouraging such partnerships between polytechs and wananga.

“The different polytechs are having difficulty meeting the respective needs in this area and so are contracting it out in a collaborative arrangement with institutions that specialise. A lot of it stems through into their acknowledgement of treaty obligations they have wave for many years,” Dr Robust says Awanuiarangi also has a partnership to deliver courses at Unitec in Auckland, while next year Te Wananga o Aotearoa will deliver Maori courses for Manukau Institute of Technology.


The organisers of the Maori Art Market say Te Rauparaha arena in Porirua has proved an excellent venue.

Garry Nicholas says the exhibition over the past three days attracted large numbers to see the work of more than 200 contemporary Maori artists.

He says while attendance and spending figures are not yet in it is clear the event has been a resounding success.

“Our surveyers are finding people are endorsing the venue, they’re endorsing the shift to Porirua which many people in the Wellington region probably would have questioned,” Mr Nicholas says.

The possibility has been raised of running the biennnial event in Auckland, if the artists agree.


While everyone else’s wages seem to have stayed steady during the recession, Maori wages have fallen.

Statistics New Zealand says in the past year the average wage went up 1.8 percent, from $447 to $455.

The Maori average wage fell 1.5 percent to $392.

Council of Trade Unions economist Bill Rosenberg says Maori are concentrated in the services industries, where wages are lower.
“A lot of Maori are in work that has been affected by the recession and so they are more likely to be laid off, they’re more likely to be lose hours. It’s also the case Maori are a younger population so a lot more younger people get affected in a recession,” Dr Rosenberg says.


A powhiri is being held this morning to welcome Ngapuhi academic Te Tuhi Robust to Northtec’s Whangarei campus.

Dr Robust has quit as director of Auckland University’s Sir James Henare Research Centre to lead a partnership between the polytechnic and Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi to deliver postgraduate courses in Maori and indigenous studies.

The wananga will also offer its Tapiri bachelor of education course.

Dr Robust says the partnership will broaden what’s available in Taitokerau, giving more options for Maori and mainstream education.

He says it makes sense for polytechs to call on wananga, who have developed specialist expertise in bringing Maori into tertiary education.


The Maori Art Market at Porirua's Te Tauparaha arena over the past three days has attracted huge numbers of people opening their purses despite the recession.

Organiser Garry Nicholas from Toi Maori says while attendance and expenditure numbers are not yet available its clear the exhibition has been a resounding success.

But he says many of the larger works remain unsold, indicating increasing discernment by buyers as well as straightened economic times.

The wet weather was a bonus with many people staying all day to see the work of more than 200 contemporary artists, listen to musicadn kappa haka and attend workshops.