Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

My Photo
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, December 11, 2009

Waitangi occupiers given ultimatum

A group which has been camping out at the lower Waitangi marae for five weeks have been given until Sunday to leave.

It includes members of the Hokianga-based Nga Uri o Tupoto sovereignty group from the Hokianga area which occupied a commercial building in Kaikohe until evicted by police in August.

Leader Tas Davis says the 20-strong group is there by right of the 1835 declaration of independence, and it won't leave until Waitangi Day on February 6.

But marae chair Kingi Taurua says Waitangi's Ngati Rahiri hapu has had enough.

“No tribe or person or subtribe is permitted to go and occupy another subtribe’s land and that is war because if you look at the Treaty of Waitangi, it talks about hapu, subtribes, having their own authority over themselves,” Mr Taurua says.

If the occupiers are not out by Sunday Ngati Rahiri will remove them by force if necessary ... but police won't be called in.


One of the iwi leaders behind yesterday's national summit on water says it provided a sound basis to push for Maori ownership of water.

Mark Solomon from Ngai Tahu says iwi were keen to take a united approach to the Government's New Start to Freshwater initiative, which is looking at issues around water quality, allocation and demand as well as future governance arrangements.

He says like many iwi, Ngai Tahu is concerned at growing pressure on the resource.

“There are areas that are over-allocated for water. One of the major concerns for Ngai Tahu is about at least guaranteeing the in-stream flow ratios or guaranteeing the ecology of the whole catchment and in some areas that’s not happening. In some areas there’s water consent below what’s considered the minimum flow regimes,” Mr Solomon says.

He says there needs to be certainty around water management.


Meanwhile, iwi at yesterdays' national water hui were told time is running out to buy shares in mobile phone company Two Degrees.

Te Huarahi Tika chair Mavis Mullins told the hui the spectrum trust's American and European partners will take up the share if iwi don't, diluting the Maori interest down to 12 and a half percent.

She says Te Huarahi Tika and its commercial arm Hautaki have done the hard yards over the past decade lobbying regulators and laying the ground for investment in a third mobile operator.

“We've found the shareholders, we’ve found the investment, the last couple of years there’s been more than $200 million dollars invested into New Zealand’s infrastructure, we’ve created over 250 new jobs, all in a global recession. This thing is so derisked that it is time, Maori need to step up, we need to maintain that 20 percent because spectrum is the farm of the future for our kids, this is the primary asset for the future,” Mrs Mullins says.

Many Maori organisations feel more comfortable investing in forests or farms than phone companies, but they will never get another chance to buy the shares at such a low price.


A new chapter opens for Bay of Plenty iwi Ngati Manawa as it settles its historical treaty claims.

Chairman Bill Bird says up to 500 people are expected at Murupara for tomorrow's signing, where the Crown will be represented by Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples.

He says the cultural redress package includes sites of significance in and around the Kaingaroa Forest and te Urewera National Park, and comes on top of the commercial redress which was part of the eight-iwi Central North Island forestry settlement.

Mr Bird says Ngati Manawa lost its land through confiscation during the land wars of the 1860s, through later actions by the Native Land Court, and throughout the 20th century through local government takings under the Public Works Act.

“So we've got an opportunity to stop that and all we’re saying is any development in our area, we want to be part of the decision-making, not just lip service, you go to see a kaumatua and say we’ve got that iwi’s approval, those days are gone,” Mr Bird says.


Iwi leaders are determined to keep pushing for ownership of water.

A national hui in Wellington yesterday heard from the consultative group which is attempting to include a Maori perspective into the Government's New Start to Freshwater policy process.

Rotorua lawyer Willie Te Aho says while iwi in different parts of the country have different priorities, they are united on asserting their treaty right to the resource.

“There was a perspective from iwi that the water is owned by iwi and you just need to look at the Te Arawa and Taupo Tuwharetoa examples of, if you’ve got the ownership of the bed of a lake and it’s akin to a cup, the water that drops into that cup surely belongs to you, but that is not the current reality,” Mr Te Aho says.

Iwi are interested in the co-management regimes emerging over the Waikato and other rivers through the treaty settlement process.


The producer of a six-part Maori-language reality show hopes overseas broadcasters will pick up the format.

Former TV3 producer Bailey Mackey also wrote and financed One Land, which screens on TVNZ this Sunday night.

It takes three families and puts in them in conditions from the 1850s, with a European family, a Maori-speaking family, and a Maori family living in a Pakeha setting.

Mr Mackey says it could have international appeal, even with 20 to 25 percent Te Reo content.

“One of the other interesting aspects would be round the sale of the format which will include the whole language element which I think other countries will look to pick up as well. There are countries where an indigenous language has been overtaken by different forms of colonization,” Mr Mackey says.

The format industry is worth $22 billion worldwide.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Government told ACC changes will hurt Maori

Labour's ACC spokesperson David Parker says the Government ignored warnings its changes to Accident Compensation will adversely affect Maori.

Cabinet papers released to Mr Parker show Te Puni Kokiri advised the changes are likely to have a disproportionate effect on Maori because they are more likely to be employed in high risk jobs and be from low income families.

He says the changes fall on the poor.

“There are 400,000 season and casual workers in New Zealand. A lot of them are Maori. A lot of them are working in industries like fruit picking or freezing works. The changes to ACC mean following an accident their ACC in the future would be based on an annual average rather than their ability to earn more,” Mr Parker says.

ACC minister Nick Smith was warned his changes would not save the Government money, because the costs would be transferred to the health and welfare budgets.


The Maori Party is backing the introduction of the Human Assisted Reproductive Technology (Storage) Bill, but it's warning the Government there's no guarantee of further support.

The bill changes the law around the storage of gametes and embryos.

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says the Maori have strong views about issues of life and death and it's important they those views known to the select committee.

“Some of the advice we received early on is we need to be careful on this sort of bill because we are dealing with te ira tangata so any of those issues we need to be careful. Our view is let it go to first reading but let’s make sure our people get in and make some submissions on the bill,” Mr Flavell says.

The Maori Party has given similar conditional first reading support to National's ACC changes and to its emissions trading scheme, which the party eventually voted into law.


Maori tourism operators hope to cash in on new international flights arriving into Rotorua.

An Air New Zealand A 320 ... which seats 157 people... will fly direct to sulphur city tomorrow.

Trevor Maxwell, the town's deputy mayor, is in Sydney to catch the first flight.

He says the new service will provide a steady influx of visitors for Maori tourism operators such as Mitai and Tamaki Maori Village.

Trevor Maxwell hopes flights from Brisbane and Melbourne will eventually be added to the schedule.


Maori programmes are likely to remain in off-peak ghettos on TVNZ, according to the broadcaster's former senior Maori executive.

Broadcasting Minister Jonathon Coleman has taken steps to repeal TVNZ's public broadcasting charter and put the focus on attracting viewers and making money.

Hone Edwards says commercial requirements mean the rare local show with Maori content that makes it to prime time will have rate highly to keep its slot ... such as the reality programme One Land which debuts on Sunday, where Maori and Pakeha families are made to live in 19th century conditions.

“And I hope for them that it rates because if it doesn’t it will be taken off given this way this bill has been written,” Mr Edwards says.

Even without prime time slots, the reach of Television One is so great that even in off-peak times it draws more viewers than prime time shows on Maori Television.


While the country is technically out of recession, the Council of Christian Social Services says its effects are biting harder than ever and Maori are being hit hardest.

The council's third vulnerability report says at 14 percent, the rate of Maori unemployment is three times that of Pakeha.

Executive officer Trevor McGlinchey says the number is swelled by the fact the Maori population is relatively young, and many are extremely vulnerable.

“You start seeing things like families who can’t afford to pay the rent so you have families who are doubling up in homes. You have a huge demand for emergency accommodation and demand for food banks has gone through the roof so even a year ago we’d seen 100 percent increase from the year before, Now we’ve got 100 percent increase from last year in many foodbanks,” Mr McGlinchey says.

Foodbank managers and budget advisers report that stress is overwhelming many families.


Renowned steel guitarist Ben Tawhiti will today join the choir of entertainers singing the praises of record industry pioneer Eldred Stebbing.

The Auckland based producer and entrepreneur died on Sunday aged 88.

His funeral is at All Saints Church in Ponsonby this afternoon.

Mr Tawhiti was a regular visitor in the early days of Mr Stebbing's Herne Bay home studio, adding his guitar to sessions by artists both Maori and Pakeha aiming for the top of the charts.

“Wonderful guy who made us what we are today in the music industry. I’m going their and gong to have a korero on behalf of our Maori entertainers. Who have walked in the door of Zodiac Studios in the early days,” Tawhiti says.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Maori economy central to emissions scheme

Prime Minister John Key says Maori involvement in the emission's trading scheme is one of the reasons international experts rank New Zealand in the top group of countries with proposals to fight climate change.

Mr Key heads to Copenhagen at the weekend to lead the New Zealand delegation to the United Nations Climate Change summit.

He says the treaty process has put the country in a unique position as far as indigenous people are concerned.

“The Maori economy is intimately intertwined with big parts that are affected by climate change, whether it’s agriculture or fishing, some parts of manufacturing, forestry these are big interests that Maori own,” Mr Key says.

The analysis released by the Greenhouse Policy Coalition ranked New Zealand's conditional target of 10 to 20 percent reductions from 2012 as medium in terms of adequacy, while targets set by Australia, Canada and the United States were considered inadequate.


The Accident Compensation Commission's senior medical advisor says changes being made to ACC sensitive claims process should benefit Maori women.

The National Council of Women has claimed the corporation is discriminating against Maori women because Maori health providers can't act quickly to deliver treatment.

But Dr Peter Jansen, from Ngati Raukawa says ACC was concerned it had not been doing the best it could for people who lodge claims as a consequence of rape or sexual abuse.

“For example children, people with alcohol and other drug issues, people with intellectual disabilities and of course for Maori clients and what we needed to do was to strengthen and understand what other supports we could develop to support Maori with a sensitive claim,” Dr Jansen says.

ACC is consulting widely with Maori on what supports it needs to put in place.


The principal of Te Rau Kahikatea at St John's Theological College has been named a distinguished alumni of the University of Auckland.

Jenny Te Paa says she's honoured to be the first Maori woman to receive the honour.

Past alumni have included Professor Hirini Moko Mead, former governor general Sir Paul Reeves and judge Mick Brown.

Dr Te Paa says when she studied there in the early 1990s for a bachelor's degree in theology and a masters in education, the university was firmly within the old style scholarly tradition.

“I particularly enjoyed my education degree, and I want to pay tribute to Graham and Linda Smith because it was at the time they had identified that there were less than 50 Maori in higher education and with PhD degrees. The masters in education degree I did under their tutelage fit me well to do my PhD in Berkeley,” Dr Te Paa says.

She has been named by the London Daily Telegraph as one of the most influential voices in the Anglican church.


Maori programmes on Television New Zealand should be safe despite the demise of the public service charter, according to a former senior Maori manager with the broadcaster.

Minister for Broadcasting has introduced a bill yesterday repealing the charter, which was created by Labour in 2002.

Former kauhautu Hone Edwards believes the existing Maori line-up will remain ... in off-peak timeslots.

He says the majority of Maori programmes are funded by New Zealand On Air and Te Mangai Paho rather than through charter funding.

“As long as that funding is still coming in from the broadcast funding agencies I think TVNZ will be quite prepared at this stage to leave the level of programming like it is, its core programming like Te Karere, Marae, Waka huia, the rangatahi music programme, those sorts of shows,” he says.

Mr Edwards says minority or niche programming not specifically mentioned in the bill are more vulnerable, such as programmes for Pasifica, Asian or disabled peoples.


The Maori Party says the National Certificate of Educational Achievement discriminates against pupils in Maori immersion settings.

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell has picked up a complaint by the party's deputy president and kura kaupapa principal Pem Bird about the Maori language paper.

The one for students not fluent in te reo is written in English, while kura students sit the same paper with instructions in Maori ... for the same maximum 12 point score.

“If that's the case the theory would be you need more knowledge, more skills are required to understand the questions in Maori, therefore the value of that exam should be lifted, the credits from that exam should be lifted to cater for that,” Mr Flavell says.

Education Minister Anne Tolley has told Mr Flavell the ministry is looking at the issue.


Prime Minister John Key is ranking what the Government has done for Maori among its top achievements for the year.

John Key says the successful marriage of National and the Maori party has put race relations on a stronger footing.

He says there been good gains in treaty settlements and education.

“We're going to end of the year at one levbel very symbolically by flying the flag next Waitangi Day but we’ve also made great progress when it comes to home insulation for Maori New Zealander. We’ve done a lot of things around the development of whanau ora that you’ll see a great deal talked about next year. You’ve seen an emissions trading scheme that has had serious input of Maori,” Mr Key says.

The progress is confirmed by a recent Marae Digipoll which showed more than 20 percent on the Maori roll would give their party vote to National, up from an historical five or six percent, while 42 percent of Maori on the general roll support the party.

Old methods no best methods in modern classes

The head of Canterbury University's school of Maori and Indigenous Studies says the exclusion of references to the Treaty of Waitangi in education policy is starting to make an impact.

Rawiri Taonui says the new national standards developed for Education Minister Anne Tolley ignore any sort of Maori dimension.

He says Maori ideas and Maori communities are being left out of the mix.

“We're seeing a return to a call of one standard, one size fits all, if teachers are good to people then everyone will do well and of course that’s really the formula we had during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s which didn’t work for Maori at all so there are real concerns in terms of education policy,” he says.

Rawiri Taonui says the national standards testing regime will do nothing to lift Maori performance.


Anti-smoking organisations meet in Auckland today to consider responses to the Maori affairs select committee's inquiry into the tobacco industry.

Smokefree coalition director Prudence Stone says submissions close at the end of January, so it's important a once in a lifetime opportunity to make the case against the tobacco industry is not lost during the holiday season.

She says coalition members such as the heart, asthma, cancer and diabetes foundations can all shine a light on how Maori are affected.

“The tangata whenua wrap up all that’s wrong with the tobacco industry for all of us. If we can say it about Maori and what tobacco use has done, you can say it for all populations,” Ms Stone says.

She says the coalition wants its member organisations to leave the select committee in no doubt that the tobacco companies are killing Maori.


Green MP Keith Locke says a long term strategy will be needed to get dedicated Maori seats on the Auckland super city council.

Mr Locke, who has been involved in protests since the Vietnam War, says the first step is probably backing candidates at next year's local government election who are prepared to introduce such seats.

But long term a campaign of little and big protests may be needed to keep the issue in the spotlight.

“I think eventually we can win because it is so common sense to have dedicated Maori seats and not this idea of a consultative board that people might or might not listen to,” Mr Locke says.

A good start to the campaign would be a boycout of dial-a-Maori ceremonial functions and the government's proposed Maori statutory board.


Labour list MP Kelvin Davis says the new national education standards leave Maori immersion classes in mainstream schools up in the air.

The former Kaitaia intermediate principal says while testing for the mainstream standards will be imposed next year, it will be three years before Maori national standards are due.

He says the Maori standards won't be a direct translation, but the move to a levels-based system does raise questions about what is expected of Maori.

“There's no reason the Maori national standards can’t refer to those same levels unless of course the levels expected of Maori kids are different to the levels expected of mainstream kids and I wonder why that would be. Are the levels lower and there is a lower expectation of Maori kids to achieve. All these things just haven't been answered,” Mr Davis says.

He says school boards and teachers aren't convinced the standards will improve achievement.


Green Party foreign affairs spokesperson Keith Locke says Maori attending this week's United Nations climate change have a responsibility to make sure the indigenous voice is heard.

Forestry and land specialists Chris Insley from Ngati Porou and Roger Pikia from Te Arawa and Tainui are part of the New Zealand delegation in Copenhagen.

Mr Locke says the Maori Party's support for the National government's changes to New Zealand's emission's trading scheme means Maori are an important part of any solution here.

“In New Zealand of course planting trees is a big part of the solution and Maori can be part of that and leading the way there,” Mr Locke says.

He would also like to see the Maori delegates stand up for the other indigenous people of the Pacific such as those from Tokolau, which would be inundated by a one metre sea level rise.


A visiting Hawaiian academic is crediting Maori with providing a template for the Hawaiian cultural revival.

Dr Mitchell Eli is leading a group to see how marae work, with the aim of building something similar in the islands.

He says on one of his first trips to Aotearoa back in the early 1980s, he was inspired by whhat was being done at places like Hoani Waiti Marae in west Auckland.

“We had one kohanga reo in a one bedroom house but to see this grow where the children are being taught by the elders and to see their ability to speak the language and learn the culture and build self esteem is astonishing to us, we never had anything like that in Honolulu back in 1981, so we took the information back and said we need to do this in Hawaii as well,” Dr Eli says.

There are now pre-schools and schools where native Hawaiians can regain their language and culture, so a marae would be a logical next step.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Hide hand seen behind workstream demotion

Maori officials are upset that the status of a committee looking at how the new Auckland super city will manage its relationships with Maori has been downgraded.

Rewi Spraggon from Waitakere City says the workstream, which brought together officials from eight councils, now comes under the community services banner rather than having the mana of a standalone workstream.

He says members were told the decision came from Auckland Transition Agency chief executive Mark Ford after consultation with Local Government Minister Rodney Hide.

"You know everyone's a bit disheartened with the fact we now come under another tier so we'll see where we go to from here, we want to tell our story, get our profile out there as Maori and the only way to do that is keep on working and putting that collaborative approach together," Rewi Spraggon says.

The officials' group was not consulted about the plan for a Statutory Maori Board to advise the super city council, which emerged out of the Local Government Minister's office last week.


Meanwhile Colin Dale, the head of the Auckland Transition Agency's community services workstream, says he's happy with progress so far.

He says the ATA's mandate is to ensure continuity of service when the new council comes into being in November next year.

"There's a group of council officials that have come together, gradually working towards the determination of a project plan, we've done discovery around all that's happening in the region with memoranda and Maori engagement processes. It's viewed as a transition project and it's moving along very well," Mr Dale says.

How relationships with Maori will develop in future is a decision for that council.


A group of native Hawaiians has been in Aotearoa finding out more about how marae work.

Group leader Mitchell Eli says the aim is to build a marae back on the islands.

He says it's building on the relationships created by previous visitors such as the late George Kanahele, whose book Ku Kanaka opened the eyes of many to Maori values and offered a direction for the Hawaiian cultural revival.

“That along with the opening of schools all the way from elementary to high schools where Hawaiians are learning their language, they’re learning their values and learning to do things like harvesting and planting taro, weaving, navigation, agriculture, so we are here to expand that and look at the next thing which is the spiritual centre that’s needed that brings everything together besides the natural knowledge, that‘s the marae system,” Dr Eli says.


The National Council of Women says the Accident Compensation Corporation is discriminating against Maori women.

Executive officer Lynda Ripia says the Sensitive Claims pathway introduced in October is causing delays in treating victims of rape or whanau-based sexual abuse.

She says Maori women make up a large number of those affected.

“It means that counselors, Maori providers who are working at the coalface can only fill out a claim form but aren’t able to undertake and actual assessment any more so there are big delays in Maori women being able to receive treatment,” Ms Ripia says.

ACC still hasn't sanctioned a kaupapa Maori treatment model.
Peter Jansen, ACC's senior medical advisor, says that the October changes were aimed at improving services by giving the corporation better information from initial assessments will speed up the process.


Maori academic Rawiri Taonui says the government's planned national standards testing regime won't lift Maori performance.

Tai Tokerau schools are considering boycotting the tests, which Moerewa Primary School principal Keri Milne-Ihimaera says are at odds with the aims of the Education Ministry's Ka Hikitea Maori strategy of valuing Maori knowledge.

Associate professor Taonui agrees the policies coming out of the ministry are contradictory.

“They're saying they want to see improved performance from Maori in all sectors leading in to tertiary but on the other hand they’re very inconsistent when it comes to tikanga and matauranga Maori and when you read the policy it tends to undervalue that and regard it as secondary and almost inferior,” Professor Taonui says.

He says Education Minister Anne Tolley is trying to impose a one size fits all model, which experience shows doesn't work.


Meanwhile, it's been a a big day out students from a remote kura kaupapa in Taitokearu.

Thirty students from Te Kura Kaupapa O Waikare northeast of Kawakawa are in Tamaki Makaurau to see where their reo Maori might take them once they've left school.

Tumuaki Noel Te Tai says they're seeing Maori used in work settings, including Radio Waatea, where they put on a live performance for listeners this morning.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Co-governance for Whirinaki forest

The Minister of Treaty Negotiations is predicting a positive future for the Whirinaki Forest Park now mana whenua iwi Ngati Whare is fully involved.

Chris Finlayson was in eastern Bay of Plenty yesterday to sign the Ngati Whare deed of settlement, which includes cultural and social redress including an ambitious reafforestation programme on tribal lands adjoining the park.

He says issues around conservation land were a major part of the settlement, which includes giving the iwi a major say in how the park is run.

“I prefer the term co-governance because people don’t get involved in day to day decisions but iwi and DoC get together and talk about the strategic management issues and then the day to day stuff is left to the people on the ground, many of whom will be Ngati Whare anyway,” Mr Finlayson says.

He will be back in the Bay of Plenty on Saturday to sign the settlement with neighbouring iwi Ngati Manawa.


The leader of a protest against extensions to Rotorua's airport doesn't expect any ongoing rancour from a planned action against the start of trans-Tasman flights.

Blanche Hohepa-Kiriona from Ruamata Marae next to the airport is expecting up to 100 protesters outside the airport on Saturday.

Inside the terminal other members of Ngati Uenukukopako hapu will join an official powhiri for the flight.

Mrs Hohepa-Kiriona says the two sides have agreed to disagree.

She says many residents around Ruamata Marae are concerned about noise and pollution from the flights and the risk of a crash.


Dutch and Maori Santa Clauses came together in Foxton at the weekend to celebrate the beginning of the festive season.

Organiser Hayley Bell from Ngati Raukawa hapu Ngati Te Au says when Sinterklaas came up the river on a waka to be meet by Hana Koko, the kids went wild with excitement.

The event was an ideal launching pad for plans to build an arts and crafts centre which will serve as a show piece for area's Maori and Dutch descendents.


The Minister for Treaty Negotiations expects co-governance arrangements over conservation land could become regular part of settlements.

Chris Finlayson yesterday signed a settlement with Ngati Whare, which includes a major role for the eastern bay of Plenty iwi in the Whirinaki Forest Park.

The deal with the Maori Party which allowed the government to push through its changes to the emissions trading scheme includes a controversial plan to allow some iwi to plant trees on DoC land.

Mr Finlayson says while that was an initiative of Climate Change Minister Nick Smith, he sees the way conservation land is treated is changing.

“We are starting to develop as an element of settlements very effective co-governance arrangement that I think are going to be to everyone’s benefit. Both parties have the same objectives working together to ensure the conservation estate is looked after. It’s not going to be in every piece of the conservation land but in certain parts of the conservation estate it lends itself very well to this sort of arrangements, and it‘s in the national interest,” Mr Finlayson says.


The Greens say the Maori Party has denied iwi and hapu the chance to influence planning decisions.

Co-leader Metiria Turei says the Maori Party's vote allowed government members on parliament's regulations review committee to sweep aside complaints by the Greens and environmental groups against a 900 percent increase in Environment Court filing fees.

She says until now Maori have been able to pay the $55 appeal fee, which means they become a part to the mediation process which sets conditions for consents.

They will now be asked to pay $500.

“Many of those who have a legitimate concern, should be involved in a mediated process, won’t have access to it because they can’t afford to get engaged with it. Many of these cases don’t go to court. Many are resolved by discussion but Maori simply won’t be involved in the discussion because they will be shut out because of the increase in the filing fee,” Ms Turei says.


A Northland primary school principal is concerned the National Standards will stop Maori communities having a say in their children's schooling.

Keri Milne-Ihimaera from Moerewa Primary says the new assessment regime championed by Education Minister Anne Tolley is a one-size-fits-all approach which doesn't value Maori knowledge or culture.

“One of the great things has been the revised New Zealand curriculum which allows communities to have a real say about what they want their children to learn about in schools and so it allows communities to have a real voice in schools and so around those kinds of discussions we can ensure learning is gong to be in an authentic context and is going to be relevant to learners, and so national standards completely negates that,” Ms Milne-Ihimaera says.

She says the standards ignores how individuals learn at their own pace.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Maori Party blamed for Environment fee hike

The Greens are blaming the Maori Party for letting through a 900 percent increase in Environment Court fees.

Co-leader Metiria Turei says the jump in the filing fee from $55 to $500 is a disaster for iwi, hapu and whanau who want to object to damage to their rohe.

The Greens, the coalition of Environment and Conservation Organisations ECO and Forest & Bird challenged the increase as illegal, but the Maori Party voted with the Government on the Regulations Review Committee allowing the rule change to go through.

“This is simply a policy of shutting us out and that’s why I think the Maori Party response to this has been such a shock because that is the only justification for increasing the filing fees is locking out Maori and locking out those who don't have heaps of money,” Ms Turei says.

Most Environment Court cases got to mediation rather than a full hearing, but if they are not parties Maori groups won't get to take part in that mediation.


Phil Goff says Labour would need an assurance of good faith from prime minister John Key before the party could agree to work with the government on changes to the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Mr Key yesterday said the government would announce the Act's replacement in the new year, and promised it's way of dealing with such customary rights claims would be is far more elegant and acceptable to New Zealanders

Mr Goff says Labour's previous attempts to work with National on the emissions trading scheme, superannuation and ACC all ended when the government refused to talk through the issues.

“We would want more guarantees of acting in good faith than we got last time when they broke their word, they broke their undertaking, they acted in bad faith so we’d want some reassurance around the fact they might be prepared in future not only to act in god faith but to continue doing so rather than playing political games,” he says.

Despite speculation beforehand, there were no major fireworks at Labour's caucus today in which Mr Goff's speech last week on the foreshore and seabed issue was discussed.


A music historian says many Maori musicians owe a debt of gratitude to recording industry pioneer Eldred Stebbing.

Mr Stebbing died at the weekend at the age of 86, ending a recording career that started in the 1940s.

John Dix, the author of the classic New Zealand music history Stranded in Paradise, says the producer and label boss gave a break to artists like the Howard Morrison Quartet, Daphne Walker, and Bunny Walters.

Eldred Stebbing's Funeral is All Saints Church in Ponsonby on Friday.


Primary school principals in Te Tai Tokerau will refuse to implement the new National Standards.

Around 80 tumuaki met at Kawakawa Primary last week to discuss Education Minister Anne Tolley's signature reform.

Moerewa principal Keri Milne-Ihimaera says similar testing regimes in other countries have done little or nothing to raise student achievement.

She says the standards are a step back from the new Ka Hikitea education strategy, which spoke of valuing Maori knowledge and raising Maori achievement.

“This year National Standards sends quite clearly the message that what’s really important in this country is measuring students against standards in literacy and numeracy that are in English only and that don’t value any of the educational experiences our Maori learners might bring to school with them and it does nothing to acknowledge or measure Maori knowledge,” Ms Milne-Ihimaera says.

Schools already provide parents with good information on how their tamariki are faring.


A leading resource management lawyer says a 900 percent increase in Environment Court filing fees will rule most Maori out of the planning process.

Parliament's regulations review committee turned down a complaint against the fee increase after the Maori Party sided with National on the issue.

Maori Law Review editor Tom Bennion, who made submissions to the committee, says in the past he would have advised people concerned with developments to lodge an appeal, but the new $500 fee will put off most applicants.

“If an iwi group files and says ‘We’ve got a section 6e issue linked to ancestral land being affected,’ any application for resource consent will say ‘Okay, let’s sit down and talk about it.’ So for $5 you have a mediation under way and you often get, most appeals are mediated to a settlement, about 70 percent. That simple option kind of gets taken off the table,” he says.

Maori will also be adversely affected by amendments allowing developers to demand security for costs, and by one which says an appeal can only consider issues raised in the original territorial local authority consent process.


Labour leader Phil Goff has stepped up his attacks on the Maori Party, saying it has failed to represent the Maori view on issues like climate change and Accident Compensation.

Mr Goff says the Maori Party's deal with National on the emissions trading scheme was shoddy and would benefit a small group of iwi corporates rather than Maori generally.

He says the Maori Party is polling at just over 2 percent, and it needs to stop pretending it speaks for all Maori.

“Their answer to criticism can’t be ‘If you’re criticizing us you’re criticizing Maoridom and that must be racist.’ That’s a nonsense. They’ve got to grow up and be mature enough to debate the issues on the merits and not hide behind the name of Maori Party which simply reflects one aspect of one group of one group of people and one political party that’s behaving very much like a political party,” Mr Goff says.

He says the media shouldn't buy into the idea the party represents the Maori point of view.

Labels: , , , , ,

Short term thinkers upsets Tamaki kaitiaki

A representative of Auckland's Waiohua people is slamming what he calls the short-sighted nature of the super city plans.

Eru Thompson has won the support of other mana whenua groups for a claim he's lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal over the reforms, especially the government's refusal to include Maori seats on the council.

He says Maori who have looked after Tamaki Makarau for 900 years have a duty to protect it from short - term decision makers who won’t be in office for long. .

Eru Thompson says Local Government Minister Rodney Hide has no understanding of the concerns of tangata whenua, yet he has deliberately silenced the Maori voice within his new council.


Greens co-leader Russel Norman says New Zealand needs to wake up to the lesson of kaitikitanga learned by Maori.

The party is celebrating 10 ten years in Parliament, and Dr Norman says during that time its commitment to tangata whenua and the Treaty of Waitangi has got stronger.

He says while early Polynesian settlers played a part in the extinction of the moa, over time they adapted to their new environment until their culture became sustainable.

“It’s a lesson that Maori learned on these beautiful islands and it’s a lesson the whole human race has to learn. It’s not an easy lesson. It seems to be in our nature to want to expand more and more and to have more and more but at a certain point we need to learn to live within the limits of the natural world,” Dr Norman says.

He says as well as sensitivity to the environment, the Greens share with Maori a commitment to fair allocation of society's resources.


A Taupo Maori trust hopes a controversial lakeside development can now go ahead after the developer changed the way it is leasing out sections.

Rather than have a rent review every seven years, Symphony Group is offering to sell the 22 Acacia Bay sections with a three and a half percent rent rise every year until 2028.

Andrew Kusabs from the Hiruharama Ponui Trust, which leased the land to Symphony for 80 years, hopes that will give buyers more confidence.

He says the occupation by a group linked to a minority of Ngati Rauhoto landowners is now over, and their claims the land was a waahi tapu proved baseless.

“The investigations done in the past as to the historical significance of the site showed it was where hey had gardens. The areas that were of historical value were on the foreshore which is not part of the lease,” Mr Kusabs says.

Hiruharama Ponui Trust needs the development to go ahead because it's missing out on income.


Bay of Plenty iwi Ngati Whare will today sign a full and final settlement for its historical claims.

Iwi members are gathering about now at Murumurunga Marae at the edge of the Whirinaki Forest Park to welcome Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson.

Iwi chair James Carlson says the tribe's commercial redress was tied up in last year's Central North Island forestry settlement, and today's activities will focus on cultural redress, including a Crown Apology for breaches of the
Treaty of Waitangi during and after the land wars of the 19th century.

“We'll be signing with the Crown in front of our tribe and for me it’s just a beginning of Ngati Whare finding their own destiny, not so much taking care of article three but in trying to build back what was lost in article two, that’s what was taken, our taonga and our rangatiratanga,” Mr Carlson says.

He says the settlement will acknowledge Ngati Whare’s unique relationship with the Whirinaki forest, and includes funds for replanting parts of the forest clear-felled by the Forest Service in the 1980s.


Meanwhile, the man who has a claim before the Waitangi Tribunal over lack of Maori representation on the Auckland super city is confident of success.

Eru Thompson from Waiohua says he's heartened by support which came out of a local government hui in the city last Friday.

He says the claim will be amended to reflect the continuing rejection of Maori concerns by government.

“Mana whenua, both Tainui and Ngati WHatua as well as Maori in general do want to signal to this nation that this sort of stuff shouldn’t be happening today We are supposed to be working together to carve a new future and working under the unity banner but once again we continue to be attacked because of the history in our region,” Mr Thompson says.

He hopes his claim can be heard before next year's local body elections.


Ohakune has its carrot and Te Kuiti has its shearer.

Now Rotorua is planning an elaborate new entrance.

Rotorua District Council's landscape architect Joby Barham says the northern gateway will feature several pou over a 2 kilometre stretch.

Visitors will first see traditional carvings by Rob Rika, followed by the more contemporary stylings of Lewis Gardiner, who incorporates aluminium into his wood sculptures.

T he new northern entrance will cost $182,000 and should be completed by next June next year.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Dial a powhiri off the hook

Civic powhiri could be off the agenda for the Auckland super city.

Ngati Whatua o Orakei trust board member Ngarimu Blair says if mana whenua can't take part in making decisions about the future of where they live, they have no stake in welcoming people to the city.

He says the hapu has been patient with city leaders over the past couple of decades, but it's not prepared to have a merely ceremonial role.

“We've done hundreds if not thousands of powhiri and karakia and welcoming dignitaries and so on in this city and I think that’s something else we are going to have to question, whether we are going to continue to do that, continue to be at their beck and call,” Mr Blair says.


The Green Party is citing its commitment of the Treaty of Waitangi as one of the highlights of its first decade in parliament.

Co-leader Russell Norman says it's 10 years today since Jeanette Fitzsimons won the Coromandel seat on special votes and brought the party into parliament in its own right.

He says whole it shares principles of sustainability, democracy, peace and fairness with other parties in the international Green movement, the principle of respect for the Treaty makes it unique.

“We're a Green party which has to come to terms with the fact there was a colonizing experience here, it had a dramatic impact on the first peoples and we need to make sure that any policies, whether they’re to do with social policies or environmental policies, actually accommodate that and respect the treaty,” Dr Norman says.

He says in the past decade the Greens have won ground on issues like climate change and sustainable development.


The New Zealand Maori rugby team could get a crack at both England and Wales next year.

Commentator Ken Laban says that's the itinerary emerging to mark 100 years of Maori rugby.

The New Zealand Rugby Football Union has been under fire for its lack of support for Maori rugby, but Mr Laban says he's heard from the top that progress is being made on lining up European opponents.

Ken Laban says with the All Blacks already having a packed international agenda, there's plenty of scope for the Maori team to increase its playing commitments.


Auckland mana whenua groups say they don't want to settle for anything less than they're getting already from local government.

The groups are fighting back against plans to corral them into a Maori statutory advisory body, rather than allow Maori seats on the Auckland super city council.

Tracy Davis from the South Kaipara takiwa of Ngati Whatua says his group has developed a constructive relationship with Rodney District Council which includes monthly meetings with the mayor and councilors where governance level decisions are made.

He says it's taken years to reach that point, and the iwi doesn't want to go back to a mere advisory role or worse.

“Every generation we get more and more. That’s what the fight’s about. From the days my tupuna Te Reweti and Apihai Te Kawau signed the treaty, they’ve been arguing for these rights since then, 1840, and it continues and I don’t think it will stop today. It will continue until it happens,” Mr Davis says.

He says Local Government Minister Rodney Hide is only in the job for three years, while the iwi will be there forever.


A researcher into Maori migration says Maori moving to Australia will struggle to sustain their reo.

Paul Hamer from Victoria University's Institute of Policy Studies says at the 1986 census about 15 percent of the 26 thousand Maori in Australia spoke the language in their homes.

While the number of Maori across the ditch has tripled since then, the percentage of speakers has halved.

“Now we've got 6500 Maori speakers in the home and 93,000 Maori officially so that’s more like 7 percent so while the numbers are going up there there’s also a shift away from Maori language use in Australia which is what you‘d expect. It would be a surprise for Maori language use to be growing in Australia given the separation from New Zealand,” Mr Hamer says.

It's not possible to tell from the Australian census questions how often or how well te reo is used by Maori in Australia.


Whangarei Art Museum's plan for a survey show of early Maori contemporary artists has been boosted by the discovery of an important work by the late Pauline Kahurangi Yearbury.

Museum director Scott Pothan says the painting, Hatupu and the Bird Woman, was featured in a ground-breaking exhibition of Maori art at Canterbury Museum in 1966.

It turned up at auction last month.

Mr Pothan says Yearbury, who died in 1977, and Katerina Mataira were the first Maori women to study modern art at Auckland's Elam School of Art.

They both became art tutors in Northland in the experimental Northern Maori Project developed by educationalist Gordon Tovey, alongside artists like Ralph Hotere, Arnold Wilson, Selwyn Wilson and Selwyn Muru.

“You could argue that the whole of contemporary Maori art really devolved from that period in the 1950s with a quite small group of artists who were really the first to step into the Pakeha realm and study modernist art and then develop their own voice from that,” Mr Pothan says.

The Whangarei Museum hopes to show its collection of northern Maori artists towards the end of 2010.

Labels: , , , , ,

IHI gearing up for long fight on local bodies

Organisers of a hui on Maori in local government are expecting a tough fight ahead.

Helen Te Hira from the Iwi Have Influence group says Friday’s hui was unhappy with the statutory Maori board proposed for the Auckland super city, and Maori will continue to push for seats at the council table.

She says the government has shown it intends to sideline Maori, so it’s important Maori unite to protect what they’ve already got an push for more.

“As Maori we know we don’t keep or attain things in this country without a struggle and without a fight. That fight can be on the streets or it can be in the boardroom. But it’s got to be done together and it’s got to be about strengthening each other individually,” Ms Te Hira says.

She says the invention of the Maori statutory body has worrying implications for local government throughout New Zealand.


Maori are taking more than their job skills with them when they head across the Tasman.

Paul Hamer from the Institute of Policy Studies says one in six Maori now live in Australia.

He says just over 6000 or 7 percent of the 93,000 Maori identified in the Australian census said they spoke Maori in the home.

“Often when people talk about skills they forget about other skills which are equally valuable to New Zealand and one of those is te reo Maori of course,” Mr Hamer says.

It will be harder for Maori speakers in Australia to maintain and pass the language on.


Meanwhile, Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples want older Maori expatriates to come home.

He says reports one in six Maori now live in Australia are disturbing.

Dr Sharples says New Zealand is missing out on their talents, and on recent trips over the Tasman he’s been telling kaumatua their marae are crying out for them.

"Get your mokopuna and go home. Leave your kids there if they want to stay there. I am one who wants to come back to Aotearoa and build and support out people there. It’s sort of like they’ve escaped, and there’s a bit of a downturn for them now over there because of the recession but we do need our people back home,” Dr Sharples says.


Maori Television is again claiming the lead broadcaster title for the 2011 Rugby World cup.

Chief executive Jim Mather says the pending deal with the Rugby World Cup board will give the channel rights to show all 48 games, including 16 live broadcasts.

He says those 16 games will also be simulcast with a Maori commentary on the Te Reo Channel, with the commentary also going out on the iwi radio network.

He says the other free to air broadcasters, Television New Zealand and TV3, will also broadcast the games, so all New Zealanders should be able to watch the games.

“On our own we reach 90 percent of New Zealand through our UHF analogue transmission. Through the satellite transmission 100 percent but certainly having TVNZ, TV3 on board will guarantee 100 percent cover or as near to it as is possible,” Mr Mather says.

Following on from the three David Tua fights Maori Television will show this year, the World Cup coverage should make the channel more attractive to mainstream advertisers.


Maori party co-leader Pita Sharples has admitted the party isn’t meeting its members’ expectations of consultation before major policy decisions are made.

In the past MPs have used breaks between parliamentary sittings to get around the country and hold hui, but its support arrangement with National means the caucus is under huge pressure.

Dr Sharples says that has led to MPs flying on their own on issues like the emissions trading scheme, Accident Compensation changes and the super city.

“We’ve got to find a way of getting our people involved in the decision making. Some of the academics have kicked up about some of the decisions, say ETS, ACC, but the rank and file aren’t involved in that discussion and somehow we’ve got to find a way to channel the discussion back to them and the understanding so they know exactly what it’s about,” Dr Sharples says.

In hindsight the party could have dealt better with the furore over Hone Harawira’s trip to Paris and subsequent email, but he’s happy the Tai Tokerau MP is continuing with the party.


East Coast sports stars are working together to help local tamariki stay out of trouble.

Former New Zealand Maori captain Rua Tipoki, All Black Hosea Gear and boxer Shane Cameron hope their mentoring scheme will help build leaders of the future.

Tipoki, who has recently returned to Gisborne after playing in Europe, says his own background was similar to many troubled youngsters, being brought up by a solo dad in a low income part of town.

Rua Tipoki says it was only the presence of a couple of strong role models who stopped him becoming another crime statistic.

Labels: , , , , ,