Waatea News Update

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Ngapuhi scrapes through with meager surplus

Cuts in government funding have hit Ngapuhi's bottom line at the same time the iwi is being asked to take a greater role in provision of social services to its people.

Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi's results for the year to June 30 show a surplus of $141,000, 87 percent down on last year's 1.1 million.

Chairperson Sonny Tau says it was a good result in a tough year, and the iwi is trimming back on its costs in anticipation of another tough year ahead.

He says funding from community trusts and government sources was down, with revenue for Ngapuhi Iwi Social Services dropping 15 percent to $1.5 million but operating costs rising to $1.9 million.

“That was not due to the operations. It was virtually due to the change of government when the contracts were allocated before National came in and then National chopped a few of those out and we were left short of funds there, we had to make up through the iwi. We’re still running the programmes. That's what the iwi demanded,” Mr Tau says.

Ngapuhi Iwi Social Services delivered programmes to almost 4000 tamariki and whanau, including youth justice work, Social Workers in Schools, truancy, Parenting and Violence Prevention Programmes.


Meanwhile, Maori social workers have formed their own association.

About 100 of the country's 1000 Maori social workers gathered at Pukaki Marae in Mangere day to launch Tangata Whenua Social Workers Association.

Kaumatua Taotahi Pihama says the group will support Maori working for mainstream and iwi providers, and help train new kaimahi to operate effectively with Maori whanau.

He says it will build on work done by previous generations since the first Maori graduate social worker, John Rangihau, in the 1950s.


Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples is pleased at the uptake of grants to plant gardens for marae.

The mara kai scheme was launched last month, offering marae $2000 seed money.

Dr Sharples says in some areas the allocation has already been fully taken up from Te Puni Kokiri.

“TPK is trying to find other money to give out to marae because it’s just great, that people are returning back to a garden. It was a good idea,” Dr Sharples says.


It's been a tough week for the Maori Party, and co-leader Pita Sharples is blaming the media.

Dr Sharples says coverage of the Hone Harawira saga has highlighted how the media dramatise fights and ignore positive things, such as his grants for marae gardens.

He's disappointed the Maori media is piling on as well.

“Sometimes I think our Maori media treat us pretty hard, not just the Maori Party but Maori leaders out there, Maori initiatives, instead of just getting all the facts about the good side of things, because that’s what we should be about, developing ourselves instead of shooting each other down,” Dr Sharples says.


A Maori negotiator is defending a plan for iwi to plant trees on Crown land and harvest the carbon credits.

The plan is critical to securing the Maori Party's support for National's changes to the emissions trading scheme.

Willie Te Aho says the five iwi ... Waikato-Tainui, Ngai Tahu, Te Uri o Hau, Ngati Awa and Ngati Tuwharetoa ki Kawaerau... bought forest land as part of their settlements before the emissions trading scheme was announced.

He says they could sue for breach of contract if the ITS devalues those properties ... so the plan shouldn't be seen as offering preferential treatment.

“It's actually settling of a legal dispute iwi would have won, in an innovative way that doesn’t cost the Crown because the Crown lands they’re looking to afforest have nothing on them now. It’s doing the country a favour and the benefit that the iwi get out of this is they’re able to trade the carbon to offset the liabilities they will incur when when they deforest their lands,” Mr Te Aho says.


Uri from Ngati Whatua will be heading to North Harbour stadium for this weekend's iwi festival.

Organising committee member Richard Nahi says the festival incorporates the Kaipara Festival and brings together the whole iwi from Orakei to Dargaville.

There will be food, craft and educational stalls, kapa haka and sports during the day, and a gala ball tomorrow night.

On Sunday afternoon Ngati Whatua will take on northern neighbours Ngapuhi in rugby league.


The mantle of Maori Warrior has been passed from one generation of kiwi wrestlers to another... with the launch of a new wrestling show on Prime.

Off the Ropes picks up where On the Mat left off in the 1980s, and features a Te Arawa tane who goes by the name "Whetu the Maori warrior"

Janine Carline from Kiwi Pro Wrestling says Whetu is coached by the original Maori Warrior, Juno Hunia, and he’s a natural athlete with a fantastic future.

Off the Ropes screens on Sundays on Prime.


Dairy farm challenge for Ahuwhenua Trophy

It's time for Maori dairy farmers to put their best foot forward as they compete for the Ahuwhenua Trophy for Maori excellence in farming.

Organising committee member Peter Charlton says he's looking for a dozen good farms to send the judges to.

He says the competition, which was revived several years ago, is helping raise the standard of Maori farming as farmers and trusts share knowledge and pick up on best practice.

“Most exciting is the development of newer and bigger properties and the fact Maori farmers are now capable of holding their head as high as some of the better Pakeha farmers, and our aim really is to encourage Maori farmers to become the top farmers,” Mr Charlton says.

The judging process will involve field days with the regional finalists, with the winner getting up to $40,000 in cash and farm-related products and services.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says a deal with National on changes to the emissions trading scheme is close.

The party and the Iwi Leaders Group have been conducting parallel negotiations, using the same consultants.

It's expected to include provision for some iwi to plant trees on conservation land to compensate for what they lose in the value of forests bought as part of previous treaty settlements.

Mrs Turia says criticism the party has turned its back on ordinary Maori is ill-founded.

“With the petrol we managed to talk the government into reducing the amount by 50 percent that they were going to raise it by, and also the electricity costs. Those things will have a huge impact on our day to day whanau,” Mrs Turia says.

She says the scheme passed by the previous Labour government would have compromised the economy because New Zealand does not have the technology to control most of its agricultural emissions.


The organiser of the Maori sports tamariki ora day is making big plans for Rugby World Cup year.

This year's get together for Maori language students happens today at Te Kura Kaupapa o Mangere, and is being run on a top town format.

Dick Garrett from Ngai Tuhoe says he's got something special planned for 2011, with the kura involved representing each of the countries in the cup.


Associate health Minister Tariana Turia wants to see nationwide screening of Maori, Pacific Islanders and other ethnic groups that are genetically predisposed to diabetes.

Mrs Turia, who has type 2 diabetes herself, says overweight people with severe diabetes should also get free surgery because they are likely to have heart attacks,

“I’ve only learned since I got it myself that indigenous races clearly have a gene that means the majority of them will get diabetes at some point in their life,” Mrs Turia says.

Such screening may not be possible immediately because health dollars are scarce, but she's urging Maori to go and get themselves tested now.


A Far North iwi is looking forward to the chance to grow kumara that pre-date the Treaty of Waitangi.

The plants were brought back from research facilities in Japan 20 years ago by the late Dell Wihongi, but initial efforts to cultivate them around the motu had limited success.

Haami Piripi from Te Rarawa says there's another push to re-establish the plants, so that the diversity of the species is maintained.

“We're putting a system in place where we can make sure each variety is planted and nurtured to enable us top determine how well it grows in this area. We will work out the types that grow best here and then we will make the kumara available to Maori whanau on a sort of customary basis to keep it alive for the taonga that it is,” Mr Piripi says

In future the kumara could be grown commercially.


The National Maritime Museum of Australia is defending its purchase of a Maori whalebone patu picked up during Captain Cook's second expedition to the Pacific.

It is one of three rare clubs known as the Omai relics collected in 1774 by Tobias Furneaux, the captain of the Adventure.

They were bought from a private Australian colllection with help from a $100,000 grant from Australia's Arts Minister Peter Garrett.

Maritime Museum curator Nigel Erskine says it's legitimate the taonga be in Australia rather than Aotearoa.

“In many cases we know that these things were traded. Foe example we know that with the Tonga clubs we have historical reference to trading going on with the European goods, beads, nails, iron axes, all of these things being traded for food and also these ethnographic objects and though we have no direct proof, there’s no textural reference where it refers to the collecting of the patu, we believe it was a similar sort of circumstance,” Mr Erskine says.

The museum hopes the patu will open a door in Australia to Maori culture.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Turia urges Maori to get diabetes checks

Associate health minister Tariana Turia is appealing to Maori to get tested for diabetes.

The type 2 diabetes sufferer says Maori have a gene which means the majority will get diabetes at some time in their life.

She says many won't know they have the illness until it's too late, and Diabetes Awareness Week is a good time to get checked.

“Really really important to get checked. Really important to get the treatment early, because there are treatments you can get, and of course one of those treatments relies on you being able to eat the right kai,” Mrs Turia says.

The kind of food Maori eat now affects their ability to process insulin.


A scholarship in the name of the late entertainer Sir Howard Morrison is designed to build up future generations of Maori business leaders.

An endowment fund has been set up for the scholarship to Auckland University's business school with seed money from expatriate freight magnate Owen Glenn, a friend of Sir Howard.

Associate dean Manuka Henare says the aim is to get at least half a dozen Maori with doctorates in business and economics over the next two decades.

He says that fits with Mr Glenn's vision of business.

“He has been particularly interested in PhD level formal education for business leaders. He’s very aware of the trends internationally where more and more CEOs of significant commercial entities require PhDs as part of their formal education,” Dr Henare says.

Owen Glenn accompanied Lady Kuia Morrison and other members of the Morrison whanau in bringing Sir Howard's kawe mate to last night's Maori Business Awards at the university.


Waikato Stadium has unveiled a memorial to one of Tainui's greatest rugby players.
Hare Puke, who died last year, played for the new Zealand Services team straight after the second world war and then for the Maori All Blacks in 1946 and 7.

His sister, Heketerangi Broadhurst, says he was small and fast but with strong thighs and a high-kneed running style which made him hard to tackle.
She recalls a game against East Coast team where the first five caught the ball near half way, and sidestepped the great fullback George Nepia to score a try.

In later years Hare Puke was involved in coaching and administration, as well as chairing the Tainui Maori Trust Board.


A former Corrections head says Maori need to be involved all levels of prison management.

Kim Workman, who now heads prison fellowship organisation Rethinking Crime and Punishment, says a bill now before parliament allowing private management of prisons leaves it up to managers to decide on Maori involvement.

That makes it like the cultural needs of half the prison population will be ignored.

“Especially if you've got overseas prison managers, a lot of them will do absolutely nothing and just run the place as a warehouse so I think community engagement should be a key part of the contract,” Mr Workman says.

Involving iwi and other Maori groups is the way to stop violence in prisons and is vital for integrating prisoners back into their communities.


Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia says the second reading of the Ngati Apa settlement bill has been an emotional event for her.

Mrs Turia says her Rangitikei-based iwi lost 99 percent of its land during colonisation and was never given the reserves they were promised.

She says that had a huge impact on the iwi, and led to the loss of much traditional knowledge.

“Our people were moved between two rivers, taken away from their own lands. It was quite devastating. None of my generation with the reo. Sometimes you get on with your life and you try not to think too deeply about it and then all of a sudden it all comes back,” Mrs Turia says.

She feels proud the young people who negotiated the settlement were able to put the past behind them.

The settlement will include an apology from the Crown, $16 million in commercial and financial redress and a right to purchase 6,500 hectares of Crown forest licensed land.


Maori Television expects to know within a week whether its joint bid to cover the 2011 Rugby World Cup has been successful.

Chief executive Jim Mather says the process in deciding broadcast rights has been convoluted with politicians stepping in and blocking Maori TV's bid to cover the games on its own.

But the International Rugby Board, which issues broadcast rights, is close to a decision.

“I can't be specific because negotiations are still being finalised. However, I would feel fairly confident it would be within the next week,” Mr Mather says.

He is disappointed Maori TV can't broadcast the games on its own but he's confident the channel will benefit if its joint bid with TVNZ and TV3 is successful.

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Maori perspective needed for private prisons

A former Corrections Service manager says it should be compulsory for privately-run prisons to involve Maori in their operation.

Runanga o Te Rarawa chair Haami Piripi says it's a disgrace a bill reported back to parliament this week simply requires contractors to consult with Maori where they consider it appropriate.

Mr Piripi, who oversaw the Maori involvement in Auckland Central Remand Prison when it was under private management in the late 1990s, says the government is missing an opportunity to make a real impact on Maori reoffending.

“We’ve got systems here in place, we’ve got people in place, whanau in place, marae in place, and still the Department of Corrections insists on incarcerating these people in a barbed wire fence stuck in the middle of nowhere and making visits from their families very very difficult. It is a failed system and it needs to be renewed and reviewed,” Mr Piripi says,

He says nobody wants to reduce Maori offending more than Maori.


It's diabetes awareness week, and a long-time sufferer is warning fellow Maori the good life could catch up with them.

Sonny Samuels of Tainui lost his ability to walk 15 years ago.

He says like many Maori and Pacific Islanders he ate and drank too much until he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Now he's a prisoner of the disease, watching everything he eats and hooking up to a dialysis machine for hours at a time.

Sonny Samuels says there is a wealth of information now available on diabetes, and Maori who are over-weight or feeling unwell should get tested to see if they are among the one in five Maori with diabetes or a pre-diabetic condition.


Tuhoe kaumatua Tawhao Tioke is being remembered as man of religion, a healer, a gifted musician and a man steeped in his tribe's language and culture.

Mr Tioke died on Tuesday in North Shore Hospital at the age of 89.

Relative Hemana Waaka says he was widely known for his encylopaedic knowledge of the ngahere or forest and of rongoa or traditional healing plants.

Before giving up farming and moving to Auckland, the Presbyterian minister was also an accomplished dance band musician.

Tawhao Tioke is lying in state at Papakura Marae until Friday.


Also this week, Te Aupouri has laid to rest Jeanie Subritzky, the last link with the Maori contribution to World War One.

Mrs Subritzky's late husband Corporal Robert Subritzky enlisted in the Pioneer Batallion 1915, and fought at the Somme and Messines where he was seriously wounded.

Mrs Subritzky worked as a teacher in the north, and was known for the depth of her knowledge about her husband's companions in arms and about his Maori and Polish heritage.


The first representative of a Maori party to hold a general seat in Parliament says forcing Hone Harawira to be come an independent would create an irreparable chasm in the Maori Party.

Sandra Lee, a former Mana Motuhake leader and Alliance deputy leader, says Maori Party leaders need to try harder to work through the problems they have with the Taitokerau MP.

She says a forced or voluntary expulsion would be a betrayal of the Maori who voted for Mr Harawira.

“They also voted for him the person as a candidate for the Maori Party. It would be a sad day if people in the north who have put their stake in the ground in support of having a Maori party in Parliament were disenfranchised,” Ms Lee says.

She says Hone Harawira's transgressions are relatively minor compared with what other politicians have done in the past.


Parliament's newest Maori MP has revealed a Pakeha whakapapa that reaches back to before the Treaty of Waitangi.

In his maiden speech this week, the Greens' Dave Clendon talked of his tupuna James Clendon, who was a witness on both the 1835 He Whakaputanga or Declaration of Independence and the 1840 treaty.

After the death of his first wife, James Clendon married Jane Kerenene, the daughter of Takotowi te Whata of Mangamuka.

Mr Clendon says that history gives him a unique perspective on the oath of allegiance to the Crown.

“We do recognise the monarchy here as having a legitimate right as sovereign so I had no discomfort with that but in my maiden speech I opened by also reaffirming my commitment to te tiriti as our founding document, our constitutional base,” he says.

Mr Clendon was a lecturer in resource management and small business advisor before being called into Parliament to replace Sue Bradford.


The eight central North island iwi have been acknowledged for their strategic planning in the wake of their giant forestry settlement.

Tuwharetoa chair Tumu te Heuheu received the tohu on behalf of the iwi at the Auckland University Business School's Maori Business Awards last night.

Manuka Henare, the school's associate dean for Maori and Pacific development says past winners of the award have included hapu groups and land trusts.

He says the multi-iwi group stood out because it achieved unity after 20 years of division.

“Finally they reached a point where they could all sign off on one settlement but secondly, now how do we commercialise our assets and they were able to in very quick time reach in broad strategic terms what they want to do over the next 50 years in forestry, energy and carbon emissions,” Dr Henare says.

Opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa was named Maori business leader of the year, and there were also awards for past students who have succeeded in business or management.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mother set to challenge Sharples on home patch

Fireworks are expected at this evening's meeting of Pita Sharples' Tamaki Makaurau electorate committee.

Veteran activist Titewhai Harawira, the mother of Hone Harawira, is urging members to turn up and challenge the Maori Party leader over his treatment of the embattled Taitokerau MP.

She says party leaders are acting unconstitutionally and not adhering to the principles of tikanga and whanangatanga on which the party was formed.

“Our MP Pita Sharples has been making decisions and making public statements without a mandate from Tamaki here. Our MP acts, votes and stands according to the instructions of the electorate. We are the bosses, not the other way round,” Mrs Harawira says

She says party bosses who are pressuring her son to leave the party and become an independent are ignoring his support on the ground.


There's a renewed effort to grow varieties of kumara that pre-date the Treaty of Waitangi.

The kumara were brought back from research facilities in Japan 20 years ago by the late Dell Wihongi, but her daughter Hema Wihongi says initial efforts to cultivate them around the motu had limited success.

Five of the varieties pre-date European contact, and the other four were introduced before 1840.

Ms Wihongi says people have become reliant on commercially produced vegetables, but it's important culturally to keep the old varieties going.

“I think one of the issues there is maintaining that diversity of foods and especially traditional diversity, we get to a stage worldwide that traditional foods are just becoming extinct,” Hema Wihongi says.

The seed plants are going out to iwi involved in the WAI 262 fauna and flora claim who have developed expertise in growing traditional varieties.


The winner of a lifetime contribution award for Maori music says it's a great honour for someone who can't read a note.

Morvin Simon won the Keeper of Traditions award at the weekend's Waiata Maori Music Awards in Hastings for his work spent writing hundreds of songs and directing choral groups in the Whanganui region.

He says his aim has always been to bring out the wairua in songs using simple techniques.

“I was absolutely honoured of course and of course I still can’t read music or write it as well but we just use the six strings of the guitar, I formulate my harmonies from,” Mr Simon says.

The honour was even more special because the inaugural winner last year was the late Sir Howard Morrison.


Ngai Tuhoe has lost one of its most outstanding authorities on its traditions, especially around rongoa Maori medicine.

Tawhao Tioke died yesterday at North Shore hospital aged 89.

In his early years Mr Tioke moved with his family to Maungapohatu in Te Urewera, where his father was one of those arrested with the prophet Rua Kenana.

Relative Hemana Waaka says Mr Tioke was a waka huia or treasure trove who shared his knowledge generously.

“He was one of the few who was able to retain Tuhoetanga absolutely correct. He was one of those who was never taught to read and write in English. However, the other side that sort of supported him in that area was when he became a Presbyterian minister, which was very strong in that part of Tuhoe and Waimana, as one of the protégés of Hoani Lawton,” Mr Waaka says.

Tawhao Tioke is lying in state at Papakura Marae until Friday morning, when he will be taken for burial at Waikumete Cemetery in west Auckland beside his wife.


The Greens new Maori MP has made economics the centre piece of his maiden speech to Parliament.

Dave Clendon, who is of Pakeha and Ngapuhi me Te Roroa descent, replaces Sue Bradford who resigned last month.

The former lecturer in resource management and small business advisor says the Greens have a more sophisticated understanding of economics than other parties.

“All of our material wealth is derived from the environment, form soil and land and water and air, and if we damage those things, we’re not only causing spiritual damage to papatuanuku and ourselves, but we are also undermining our economic opportunities to the extent those resources will no longer be there for us,” Mr Clendon sauys.


Author Witi Ihimaera, is offering to buy back copies of his latest novel.

Ihimaera, who was yesterday named an Arts Foundation laureate, has apologised for not crediting the original sources of some passages in The Trowenna Sea, which follows the story of five Maori imprisoned in Tasmania in the 1840s.

His publisher, Geoff Walker, says Penguin Books New Zealand will take back stock from any bookseller who wishes to return the book.

He says Ihimaera is at the forefront of New Zealand fiction writing, and Penguin is standing beside him.

“Some of his novels such as The Matriarch and Te Uncle’s Story and Bulibasha have been some of the best novels written in English and and have brought I think te ao Maori to a Pakeha readership to a considerable degree. That is one of the key features of his novels, and The Trowenna Sea contains the same features,” Mr Walker says.

A revised edition of The Trowenna Sea will be published next year with a new section explaining the background and making full acknowledgement to writers whose work is drawn on.

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Dame Kiri in the business of opera

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa will tonight be honoured as Auckland University's Maori Business Leader of the Year.

Awards organiser Manuka Henare says the awards are a way to celebrate Maori achievement and point the way for the next generation.

He says opera singer's music talent is only one aspect of her 40 year distinguished international career, and she has also showed business acumen.

“Her business is the business of opera and classical music. We wanted to recognise her outstanding international achievements but also to her contribution to Aotearoa’s identity and culture internationally and thirdly the wonderful mentoring programme she has for young New Zealand singers and musicians,” Dr Henare says.

Dame Kiri is singing in Berlin tonight so can't be in Auckland to receive the award, but a small ceremony is planned for when she comes back to Aotearoa over the summer.


Meanwhile, the Asia New Zealand Foundation says Maori business stands to gain from an increased focus on Asian culture in New Zealand schools.

Director Richard Grant says while Asians make up about 10 percent of new Zealand's population now, that figure is expected to grow to around 16 percent by 2025.

He says New Zealand will rely heavily on trade with the region, and it makes sense for children to learn more about their future trading partners while at school.

Dr Grant says that also applies to the growing Maori stake in the economy.

“Now but also more so in the future their critical export markets are going to be probably around the Asian rim. These companies are going to need people who work for them, who are in the export business in product specification, in marketing, I communication, who feel confident about dealing with the various economies of Asia,” Dr Grant says.


The phone at Tairawhiti Men against Violence has been running hot since news broke it was setting up a safe house for men in violent domestic situations.

Spokesperson Tim Marshall says the informal group, 75 percent of whom are Maori, was set up three years ago in response to three high profile domestic related murders in the region.

He says with the support of Gisborne women's refuge in Gisborne, from the new year a donated house will be used as temporary accommodation for men caught up in domestic violence.

“Instead of when the police turn up at a house and uplift a whole lot of children and take them away, and often in the middle of the night, wouldn’t it be easier to take the one person away and he could have somewhere else to stay for a couple of nights or however long it took. Still go to work the next day, still support the whanau, but then negotiate a safe way back,” Mr Marshall says.

Tairawhit Men Against Violence is also planning a resource centre to help men become better husbands, partners and fathers.


One of the country's newest Arts Foundation Laureates says his best work is yet to come.

Writer Witi Ihimaera from Ngati Porou and Te Aitanga a Mahaki was one of five people honoured last night.

Also receiving the $50,000 award were carver Lyonel Grant from Ngati Pikiao, taonga puoro revialist Richard Nunns, musician Chris Knox and photographer Anne Noble.

Mr Ihimaera, who was also made was made a Distinguished Companion in the New Zealand Order of Merit this year, says he sees it as recognition of the body of work he's built up since his first collection of short stories, 1972's Pounamu Pounamu.

“It's an honour to have that recognized, that longevity, but also to know the foundation wants to invest in all of our futures because there comes a time when you’re within that rank of artists and your best work is still to come and I think my best work is still to come and so I’ll be using this award to ensure that that happens,” Ihimaera says.

He's now looking forward to writing the next two books in the series that started with The Trowenna Sea, the controversial historical novel published this year.


The Greens say the Maori Party is selling its people short in accepting a deal to support National's emissions trading scheme.

Co-leader Meteria Turei says what's been offered would probably have happened anyway, such as the chance for some iwi to plant trees on conservation land and harvest the carbon credits.

She says ordinary Maori will pay higher taxes and higher fuel bills while National's farming and big business supporters get huge subsidies.

“National are getting a fabulous deal because they get to protect the business interests which they’ve always supported, get the Maori Party on side and get their legislation through. The losers are ordinary whanau who won’t get huge advantage out of the forestry deals, who don’t have huge political sway with the Maori Party or politics in general and who are going to have to deal with increased costs,” Ms Turei says.

She says the only way to protect whanau from the impact of the ETS is to make sure polluters pay.


Hauraki Maori want to stop fossickers taking sacred artefacts from their historic pa sites.

Glen Tupuhi, the Ngati Paoa representative on the Hauraki Maori Trust board, says that's behind his iwi's objection to a private museum near Kaiaua displaying taonga found at Rangipo on the Firth of Thames.

He says it's for Maori to decide their fate, not the farmers who have set up the museum.

“In former times our tupuna were having to cope with urbanisation, having to cope with all sorts of things. These things were very much fringe issues for Maori. But the whole landscape has changed now. For us as Maori, we are very concerned about these taonga. They belong to us and you cannot actually go out and say ‘hey look what I’ve found and I’ve got a collection,’” Mr Tupuhi says.

He says fossicking on pa sites is illegal and breaks wahi tapu.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Labour ETS attack brings in racial taunt

Green Party co-leader Meteria Turei has accused Labour's Phil Goff of playing the race card on changes to the emissions trading scheme.

Mr Goff claims the Government's negotiations to win support from the Maori Party for its plans means race-based legislation is in the offing.

The idea is some iwi who received forests in their treaty settlements would be given the right to plant trees on parts of the conservation estate and collect the carbon credits.

But Ms Turei says the there could be some merit in the proposal.

“It's not about being race based. It‘sa bout the value of those settlements and Labour can take some responsibility for issues around the valuation of settlements and themselves when they were in government. It’s a silly comment from Phil Goff and playing to the worst kind of politics,” Ms Turei says.

She says the forestry deal should have been part of the scheme anyway, and the Maori Party is selling its support cheaply and ignoring the long term interests of ordinary Maori.


A veteran Maori social worker says a review of foster care needs to take a Maori way of seeing the world.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has asked whether children placed with extended family are better off than those fostered outside the family, in light of high re-abuse rates for children in whanau care.

But Malcolm Peri, who was involved in the maatua whangai programmes of the 1980s which championed whanau-based care, says Ms Bennett's department has squeezed the kaupapa Maori aspects out of its work with children.

“I can't remember any real effort in the last 20 years the system has put in place to to strengthen Maori families from te ao Maori and I don’t think they give us credit for things Maori have progressed, for the families have been placed with families and have been healed,” Mr Peri says.

He says abandoning Maori programmes would mean going back to failed assimilation policies.


A giant carving in the middle of Taupo is leaving townspeople and visitors awestruck.

The nine metre totara waharoa was commissioned from master carver Delaney Brown by Contact Energy to mark the 50th anniversary of the Wairakei geothermal power scheme.

Mayor Rick Cooper says more than 2000 people were on hand for the unveiling on Saturday morning, and watched at the first rays of the sun struck the sculpture.

The carving is a history of Ngati Tuwharetoa.


A writer, a carver and a musician who rediscovered ancient Maori sounds are this evening joining the ranks of New Zealand's laureates.

Witi Ihimaera, Lyonel Grant and Richard Nunns are being honoured this evening at a ceremony in Auckland, along with musician Chris Knox and photographer Ann Noble.

Mr Ihimaera says it's an honour to join the select group of 49 who have been honoured by the privately-funded Arts Foundation’in its first decade.

“We've never really had that opportunity at all until the foundation came along and focused on that so for nine years or so they’ve been building this wonderful poutama or stairway of excellence on which they have placed us so from a Maori perspective I am very honoured to stand on that poutama,” Ihimaera says.

Even with 12 novels under his belt, he feels his best work is yet to come.


Another of the laureates, Lyonel Grant of Ngati Pikiao, says he's still getting over completing a new meeting house at Unitec, which has consumed all his energy for the past six years.

He also received an honorary doctorate from the west Auckland polytechnic this year.

Mr Grant says the laureate award, which comes with a no strings $50,000, gives him a chance to reflect on where he is at in his career, and possibly to write a book about Te Noho Kotahitanga.

“The reaction to the house has been such I feel walking away would be an injustice to the house and all that energy and time so I am going to go as hard as I can and write as much a I can in the next year or so and then get an over arching editor to make sense of it,” Mr Grant says.


A third laureate says it was the affirmation of Maori communites that allowed him to continue his investigations into traditional Maori instruments.

Richard Nunns worked with stone carver Brian Flintoff and the late Hirini Melbourne from Ngai Tuhoe to recreate taonga puora and work out how to play them.

He says because there was no one around to learn from, the trio asked the people if they were on the right track.

“We chose consciously from day one that we would take our work back to audit, back to affirmation or condemnation among the people themselves to marae after marae after marae and their affirmation is often tears, their affirmation is often wild excitement, their affirmation is a collegial argument going on in the wharenui late at night.

“That also taught us very quickly that Maori knowledge, traditional knowledge seems to be collegial. No one person knows it all and in fact it’s a wonderful protective system of sharing knowledge in a whole variety of ways so that you contribute part and also the people themselves, the hapu, the iwi the whanau are an organism, are a unit in themselves and the knowledge is protected in that way,” he says.

Richard Nunns, who has Parkinsons disease, says the money will help him move house and build a new studio so he can protect and record the instruments he has discovered over the years.

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Maori Party finds reasons to support ETS

The Maori Party's environment spokesperson says Maori will be directly affected by any sea level rise caused by global warming.

National needs the party's votes to get its changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme through, after it failed to get select committee support for the bill.

Rahui Katene says the Maori Party is seeking concessions to protect Maori from flow on effects such as a energy price rises and restrictions on land use.

She says National's scheme is significantly better than Labour's, and doing nothing wasn't an option.

“A lot of our marae are built at sea level and even when they’re built a bit higher, with sea level coming higher, they’re going to be getting I guess you could call them refugees from the coast,” Mrs Katene says.

The legislation is on track to be passed before the United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen next month.


Trimmed down Maori entertainer Ruia Aperahama has joined the chorus urging Maori to get checked for diabetes.

The composer of the most played reo Maori song on iwi radio this year says years of eating the wrong foods has caught up with him, and he's made lifestyle changes to avoid the need for dialysis.

He says Maori make up a disproportionate number of the nearly 200 thousand New Zealanders who have undiagnosed diabetes, so it is vital they take time for check up.

Diabetes Awareness week starts tomorrow


The best ever Maori soccer player says Maori are poised to make a bigger contribution to New Zealand football than ever before.

Wynton Rufer from Ngati Porou was in Wellington on Saturday night to watch Rory Fallon, who also has whakapapa connections to the East Coast, land the goal that put Bahrain out and New Zealand in to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The Oceania player of the Century, who runs the Wyners Soccer Academy in Auckland, says with the right support Maori players can go all the way.

“The programmes have gt to be set up all round the country so we have a pathway going right through to professional football. You can see the kids that have come through our programme. We had a young Maori lad, he was on a three year scholarship to Japan, and there’s more of them there, so get them to give me a call,” Mr Rufer says.

Maori and Polynesian players featured prominently in the New Zealand squad for this year's under 17 World Cup and that's just the tip of the iceberg.


The country's most senior Maori diplomat, Tia Barrett, is lying in state at Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahi, where his Ngati Maniapoto and Tainui people are remembering his contributions to Maori and New Zealand.

Mr Barrett died in Auckland on Sunday aged 62 after being taken ill in the Cook Islands, where he was High Commissioner.

Writer Witi Ihimaera, who entered Foreign Affairs with Mr Barrett in the early 1970s, says his shoes will be hard to fill.

He says Mr Barrett patiently worked to create a Maori dimension to the way New Zealand represents itself overseas, and he created opportunities for other Maori to enter the diplomatic service.

“As a consequence there are so many many Maori now who are representing New Zealand in overseas posts throughout the world so that is something he was very proud of. We have people who are working at all levels now and wherever I go in the world I’m constantly thrilled excited that Tia’s legacy is there and of course it will live on because he was such and inspiration to all of them,” Mr Ihimaera says.

Tia Barrett will be at Turangawaewae until Thursday, when his body will be taken to Kahotea Marae in Otorohanga for burial.


A thumbs up for the first Taranaki Maori Festival held in Waitara over the weekend.

Waatea News reporter Te Kauhoe Wano returned home for the gathering which brought together the region's eight iwi for two days of sports and kapa haka.

There were also wananga where reo experts like Huirangi Waikerepuru and Ruakere Hond shared their knowledge of the region's distinctive tikanga and dialect.

“They were conducting wananga, whether it be waiata or tribal history, talking about our mita, all those things that make us Taranaki and reinforces our pride in ourselves as a people and coming together makes us a stronger force and that’s a goal for years to come,” Mr Wano says.

Organisers will consider whether to make the festival an annual event, to capitalise on the momentum created over the weekend.


A whare tupuna has inspired a Maori visual art student's contribution to a show at Palmerston North's Te Manawa, Museum and Art Gallery.

Karangawai Marsh is one of five Massey University degree and masters students represented in Te Awatea Matatau, the dawning of light and knowledge.

Her three free-standing pou made of dowels, cable ties and flourescent lights are inspired the pou pou of her ancestral meeting house, Te Tokanganui a noho in Te Kuiti, which incorporate text.

As a Maori language teacher, she's intrigued by the way words can be used in the visual arts.

Te Awatea Matatau is on display at Te Manawa in Palmerston North until early February.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Diplomat Tia Barrett dies suddenly

New Zealand's highest ranking Maori diplomat is being remembered as a consumate emissary who had a profound influence on the way this country represents itself overseas.

Tia Barrett was rushed back to Middlemore Hospital last week from the Cook Islands, where he was serving as High Commissioner, but died yesterday. He was 62.

Writer Witi Ihimaera, who was among the first group of Maori recruited into Foreign Affairs in the early 1970s, says Mr Barrett was a steadying influence on his Maori colleagues.

He also challenged the ministry.

“He challenged it to consider its position as a government department representing both Maori and Pakeha overseas. He also challenged it to create within itself policies and statements and recruitment programmes, all of these kinds of matters that would actually create for the ministry a better sense of its role overseas,” Mr Ihimaera says.

Te Rongotoa Barrett is lying at Turangawaewae marae in Ngaruawahia until Thursday, when he will be taken to Kahotea Marae in Otorohanga for burial among his Maniapoto ancestors.


Former Alliance president Matt McCarten says the Maori Party is heading for self destruction over the Hone Harawira affair.

He says if Mr Harawira is forced out of the Maori Party and starts his own party, he could retain Te Taitokerau and take one or two list MP's to Parliament with him.

The resulting three way split could make the Maori Party, the Hone party and Maori within Labour powerless.

Mr McCarten says the Maori Party should sort out its differences behind closed doors.

“The future of independent Maori politics is on the line. They owe it to the Maori now but Maori in the future to sort it out and expelling each other is not the way to go. It would just create civil war and that will split Maori for another generation,” Mr McCarten says.


Former top international soccer player Wynton Rufer from Ngati Porou says Maori will be thrilled with Rory Fallon's effort for the All Whites against Bahrain in Wellington on Saturday night.

The Oceania player of the century says Fallon, who also hails from Ngati Porou, will end up playing for Barcelona if he continues to bang in goals like the header which gave New Zealand a place in next year's World Cup in South Africa.

Mr Rufer says are Maori are turning to soccer in greater numbers, but talented players often lack the support they need to succeed in the competitive world of professional football, as he sees in his own soccer academy.

“I'm battling away here, trying to make a difference, working with kids, clearly understand that the Maori and Polynesian kids are the most talented and I don’t even get proper support so it’s not an easy one but hopefully now with this money the NZFA is getting, they can put a lot of it into youth development and start supporting some of the programmes out there that deserve to be supported,” Mr Rufer says.


The Maori Party is confident of getting concessions from the Government which will allow it to support the Emission Trading Scheme into law.

National needs its support because its usual ally ACT doesn't support the bill which came out to the select committee.

Environment spokesperson Rahui Katene says the party is demanding Maori families be protected from the full cost of the ETS.

She says the interests of substantial Maori farming, forestry and fishing businesses also need to be taken into account.

“We do need to have something in place, we can’t keep putting this off, so we are in discussions to see a scheme that will be put in place that will protect the environment, which will protect business, that will protect our people and is hopefully long lasting,” Ms Katene


A reappointed member of the Waitangi Tribunal says people upset at MP Hone Harawira's view on how Pakeha settlers grabbed Maori land should attend tribunal hearings or read its reports.

Ranginui Walker was first appointed in 2003 and has sat on the Wairarapa, Whanganui and East Coast inquiries.

He says the tribunal's work has given the nation a deep insight into its colonial past, and the way past governors and governments manipulated the system for their own ends.

“The tribunal is fulfilling an important role in uncovering how it was done, how extensive it was, how unrelenting it was, the government buy-up of land for transfer into Pakeha ownership, how unprincipled it was in terms of their promise of the new vision, the new social order where Maori would have the benefits of civilisation, of hospitals, of schooling, Christianity and so on,” Dr Walker says.

Other members reappointed for three year terms were Sir Hirini Moko Mead, Keita Walker, Angela Ballara and John Baird.


A leading Maori musician wants to see iwi investing in Maori music.

Ruia Aperehama's song Rere Reta was judged the most played reo Maori song on iwi radio, at the second Maori music awards in Hastings on Saturday night.

The Ratana-raised multi-instrumentalist and composer says the awards highlight the importance of Maori in contemporary music.

He says iwi should acknowledge the role music plays in uplifting people and keeping the culture and language strong.

“Once the iwi runangas get over their treaty settlements, their lands their health and education etc, then perhaps in the near future runangas will be in apposition to start investing in our creative sector such as the music industry,” Mr Aperahama says.

Nesian Mystic was the big winner on the night with 4 awards including best song and songwriter.

Maisy Rika won best female arist, while Leon Wharekura was named top male performer.

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Cycleway organisers skip consultation

The Prime Minister’s national cycleway has already run across the toes of a Waikato River hapu.

Spokesperson Willie Te Aho says Ngati Koroki Kahukura was only told the night before that John Key would be turning the first sod for the cycleway across the river from its Pohara Marae at Karapiro.

He says during last week’s powhiri, elders politely but firmly made Mr Key aware of their discontent at the lack of consultation.

“There is a huge amount of talking to be done with the cycle ways, with the river trails with the South Waikato District Council and with the central government who all made the big mistake of letting Ngati Koroki Kahukura out of the loop,” Mr Te Aho says.


The New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants’ Outstanding New Member says Maori organisations need to be a lot smarter about getting professional advice.

Leon Wijohn from Te Rarawa, Tuhoe, Ngai Tahu and Ngati Whao picked up the award last week, including $38,000 of prizes.

He runs a small accounting firm in Auckland, and also serves as a director of the Te Rarawa Asset Holding Company and treasurer of Maori accountants’ network Nga Kaitatau o Aotearoa.

Mr WIjohn says many small Maori organisations lose time and money by not getting financial help early.

“Accountants can knock things into shape within a few months versus some of these organisations that go round in circles for years without the right sort of policies, procedures and reports in place. We’ve got some skills so people need to get out there and use them,” Mr Wijohn says.

He says improved technology has made regular financial reporting more affordable than before.


Rotorua Maori have been sharing their spa secrets with the Chinese.

The city’s deputy mayor, Trevor Maxwell has just returned from Rotorua’s sister city, Nanjing in the Giunxiu province, where he spoke to an international spa conference.

He says conference organisers were keen to hear what Maori could tell them about geothermal spa tourism.

“We’ve highlighted involement from the beginning, the Tarawera eruption in 1886. We’ve been well over a century involved with tourism and spa and geothermal and cooking methods and the healing methods so there is a definite interest in there,” Mr Maxwell says.

While Rotorua already attracts 2 million visitors a year, there is still huge potential to build the spa industry further.


A Ngati Whatua trustee says the proposed organisational structure for the Auckland super city shows gains made for Maori in local government will be lost.

Ngarimu Blair says the chart released by Auckland Transition Agency executive chair Mark Ford makes Maori relations just one of the many functions of a third tier manager.

He says Ngati Whatua o Orakei spent decades developing working relationships with the region’s councils, only to be now told the hapu will be treated like any others of the city’s multitude of stakeholders.

“Generations of our people have been trying to build these relationships to a point where it will become acceptable in our society that our participation would be taken for granted. That has amounted to nothing with this new discussion document. It does ask us to reconsider our hoped for partnership with local government in Auckland,” Mr Blair says.

The imminent comprehensive treaty settlement covering Auckland means local government should be interacting with mana whenua at a higher rather than a lower level.


The Minister of Maori Affairs has opted for age and experience as the Waitangi Tribunal goes about completing its reporting on historical claims.

Pita Sharples has reappointed five members for three year terms, including businessman John Baird, retired academics Sir Hirini Mead and Professor Ranginui Walker, historian Angela Ballara, and Ngati Porou kuia Keita Walker, who has served on the tribunal since 1991.

He cited their comprehensive tribunal experience as well as the wealth of knowledge and skill they bring to the job.

The tribunal has registered than 2000 claims, including those submitted before last year’s deadline for lodging historical claims, but more than half related to the 15 districts it has already reported on.

It has completed or almost completed reports on a further five districts, and it is working towards hearings in Northland, East Coast, King Country and from Taihape to Kapiti.


A prolific composer who has taught and led choirs in the Whanganui area for decades was honoured with a lifetime achievement award at this weekend’s Maori Music awards.

Organiser Tama Huata says Morvin Simon from Kaiwhaiki has had a huge influence on Maori music.

He says it’s not the stuff of pop success, but Mr Simon’s work has helped sustain the tradition of Maori choral singing.

“With the choirs from the Whanganui, and the Aotearoa Chorale, he’s been a prolific writer. When you see the extent of his recordings and what he’s done, you’re amazed at it and it needs to be acknowledged,” Mr Huata says.

The Maori music awards confirmed the depth of talent in te ao Maori which gets overlooked in the mainstream music awards.