Waatea News Update

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Seeka deal creates opportunity for Maori growers

The chief executive of Tauranga Maori kiwfruit company Te Awanui Hukapak says amalgamation with the region's biggest processor will allow shareholders to benefit from changes in the sector.

Hemi Rolleston says by joining with Seeka Kiwifruit Industries, the company started 25 years ago by a group of Maori land trusts goes from processing 5 percent of the crop to 25 percent.

He says the added size means it can take advantage of new varieties and new ways of going to market, including bringing more Maori land into production.

“When you're investing in new developments you certainly need a partner and we’ve been doing it with a lot of our Maori orchards but we’re getting a little too small in terms of scale in able to finance some of these transactions and Seeka has a history of assisting Maori orchards and joint ventures to develop the land so we think there are some exciting opportunities for Maori to create economic development and employment and utilise our land so it ticks a lot of boxes there,” Mr Rolleston says.

The $24 million deal includes provision for Te Awanui to continue marketing kiwifruit overseas under its own brand.


The Maori Party will try to get Maori representatives on polytechnic councils through the back door.

The party failed this week to get an amendment to the government's polytechnic reforms, and withdrew its support as the bill was passed with ACT's support.

The bill scraps dedicated seats for Maori and other stakeholders on polytechnic councils.

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says as associate education minister, party co-leader Pita Sharples gets another chance to influence how the new law is implemented.

“We are hopeful of working behind the scenes with the minister to set up some rules that say if you are going to have ministerial appointments then the ministerial appointments that appoint up the rest of everyone else on the councils, then we need to put some rules there that say they must give consideration to ensuring that mana whenua or Maori are represented on the council,” Mr Flavell says

He says polytech councils need Maori on board so Maori training needs are catered for.


There'll be only a smidgeon of Christmas cake for members of the national Maori touch squads chosen to contest the world indigenous touch tournament in Rotorua late next month.

Carol Ngawati from Maori Touch says the three open teams chosen at last weekend's nationals will be up against the best in the Pacific as they vie with Australian Khoori, Cook Islands and Chinese squads for the world title.

The Maori tournament attracted 80 teams, with strong growth in younger grades as well.

The World Indigenous Touch tournament starts on January 27.


The Maori Council is rejecting criticism from ACT that its fourth generation spectrum claim was a waste of time and money.

ACT economic spokesperson Sir Roger Douglas says instead of going to the Waitangi Tribunal, the council and fellow claimants Nga Kaiwhakapumau i te Reo and Graham Everton should address issues like Maori educational under-achievement.

Jim Nichols, the council's deputy chair, says the former Laour finance minister's recipe for Maori development is a proven failure.

“When he was in government, they made no effect at all in the changing of the Maori economic position. The spectrum can make a very significant contribution to Maori well being in terms of education and the significant influence that Maori television and Maori broadcasting has had talking Maori into the lounges of people throughout the country,” Mr Nichols says.

He says the claimants are being forced back to the Waitangi Tribunal because the Crown is yet again making decisions about resources in which there is a proven treaty interest without properly consulting its treaty partner.

The Waitangi Tribunal will hold a hearing on the claim in late January.


Associate health minister Tariana Turia says her policy of whanau ora isn't hard to understand.

Families Commission head Jan Pryor last week told a parliamentary committee she could not explain the fledgling policy because as a middle class white woman it included concepts she was unfamiliar with.

Mrs Turia says whanau ora recognises that you can't treat individuals or issues in isolation.

She says Maori families in crisis may become involved with multiple government agencies.

“What this is about is turning all that around to provide the opportunity for our families to start looking at the issues that are impacting on all of them and to work with them in the first instance to change that themselves rather than having other people always telling them how to be, always telling them what to do,” Mrs Turia says.

She says her integrated approach is getting support from people right across health and social sector.


Organisers of the 5th Parihaka Peace Festival are buoyed by support from Taranaki whanau who are pitching in to create a better event.

Director Te Miringa Hohaia says the three day festival, which starts on January 7, draws on to the village's record of passive resistance to land confiscations after the Taranaki wars.

He says up to 10,000 people are expected to hear artists like Tiki Tane and Fat Freddy's Drop or take part in other events such as discussion forums, and whanau have been returning home to help the hau kainga run the event smoothly.

“Of the 25 managers we’ve got, 23 of them are Parihaka people. We’ve pulled home also a lot of our skilled people. We didn’t realise we had so many people involved in production, film, theatre, media and that helped us to upskill people who are here on the ground,” Mr Hohaia says.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Te Awanui Hukapak joins industry heavyweight

The largest Maori kiwifruit processor, Te Awanui Hukapak, has amalgamated with the country's largest processor, Seeka Kiwifruit Industries.

Chief executive Hemi Rolleston says the $24 million deal gives Hukapak 17 percent of the Seeka, and the combined business will account for a quarter of New Zealand's kiwifruit exports.

Te Awanui will continue to pack some fruit under its own brand, which is well known in Malaysia, Singapore and India.

Mr Rolleston says Te Awanui, whose shareholders are Bay of Plenty land trusts, also bought back the three hectare block at the port of Tauranga where its packing facility is located, and is leasing it back to Seeka.

“The site has a special connection to us. It’s where the company was set up on our own land to develop our own part of the industry. I think we’ve achieved quite a bit out of this because we’ve retained the land but we’re getting commercial returns on the land as well,” Mr Rolleston says.

He says Seeka has a good record of working with Maori growers, and the being part of a larger business will create oportunity for the Te Awanui growers.


Now it's official, the custodians of the tino rangatiratanga flag are working out how they will keep up with demand.

Cabinet this week approved the flag as the one to fly on the Auckland Harbour Bridge and other official sites on Waitangi Day.

The red and black flag with a white koru, designed by Hiraina Marsden, Jan Dobson and Linda Munn won a 1990 competition by the Kawariki protest group in 1990 for a national Maori flag.

Maori Party MP and Kawariki founder Hone Harawira says it was made available for use by kura, marae, sports teams and other Maori groups.

“We've been happy for that but it’s now got into a situation where there’s considerable money being made out of it and I think that the intention of the Kawariki is to set up some kind of trust. I know Linda’s said to us that one of the original intentions was to create a kind of trust for the continuation of Maori artistic design, so I know that Linda and Hilda are talking about hw that can be managed into the future,” Mr Harawira says.


Meanwhile, Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has a clean bill of health after her stomach stapling operation three weeks ago.

The associate Minister of Health says all signs of diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma are gone.

“I’m feeling really really well in myself and that’s the reason for doing it. It’s been all good and looking forward to next year, having a lot more energy and being able to put longer hours in at work,” Mrs Turia says.

She has been back at work for a few hours each day this week.


The Waitangi Tribunal has agreed to an urgent hearing on whether Maori should get a share of spectrum freed up by the shift from analogue to digital television.

Jim Nichols from the New Zealand Maori Council says the claimants, who also include Nga Kaiwhakapumau i Te Reo and 3G spectrum claimant Graeme Everton of Ngati Raukawa, felt they were being shut out of decision-making.

He says spectrum has become an important not just for protecting te reo Maori but for wider Maori development.

“Maori Television is part of that. Maori broadcasting is part of that because without it we don’t have Maori broadcasting. Two Degrees and Te Huarahi Tika Trust without which we don’t have a mobile communications network. Regional Maori television which we need to secure for the likes of Tairawhiti and in Kaitaia,” Mr Nichols says.

The tribunal says it will hold a hearing on the claim on January 28.


The head of Maori studies at Canterbuy University says Maori on the boards of tertiary institutions help break down prejudice.

Rawiri Taonui says all tertiary institutions are dominated by Pakeha, and formal steps are needed to get representation from Maori, Pasifika and Asians who make up an increasing percentage of the student population.

He says moves by Education Minister Anne Tolley to radically trim the size of polytech councils by getting rid of dedicated seats for Maori and other stakeholders is a leap backwards.

“The biggest barrier to the success of our people is prejudice or obstructive processes at the level of middle management and the only way you are going to break that down is if you have our people sitting on councils and making those people more accountable,” Mr Taonui says.

If New Zealand is to be one nation of two peoples and many cultures, it needs to give voice to the concerns of people from non-European communities.


The Green Party is backing the tino rangatiratanga flag.

Co-leader Meteria Turei says it's wrong to dismiss the symbol Maori activists have rallied around since 1990s as being only a protest flag or a Maori party flag.

She says there's room for multiple flags.

“I know that Pakeha often get into this idea that all Maori are all the same and that’s just not true and it’s not true for this flag either. So there will be place and there will be people for whom this just does not represent them and there should be no sense that this is about all of us,” Ms Turei says.

She says tino rangatiratanga means not imposing symbols on others.

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Teachers invited to be disobedient

Labour list MP Kelvin Davis says Education Minister Anne Tolley is inviting civil disobedience with her threats to enforce national standards.

The minister says she will sack boards of trustees who allow staff to boycott the new assessment regime.

Mr Davis, a former intermediate school principal, says teachers and principals throughout Taitokerau have indicated they're not prepared to experiment with children's education ... and they will stand up to the minister.

“If 80 boards of trustees allow their teachers to not implement the national standards, I think the minister will struggle to sack 80 boards and appoint 80 commissioners, especially 80 commissioners that are going to reflect the Maori nature of the Tai Tokerau so I think she’s got to be careful she doesn’t back herself into a corner and then doesn’t have the means to back up her threats,” Mr Davis says.

He says Mrs Tolley should listen to her educational professionals, rather than imposing a regime which is not backed by evidence.


A Northland iwi health worker says rural Maori communities are missing out on help because of their isolation.

Clint Edmonds, the co-ordinator of Ngati Wai's smoking cessation programme, says he's seeing the number of young smokers in the north growing, even as the habit is losing ground elsewhere.

That's because young people see their elders smoking, but programmes to help them quit are just not getting through.

“More than half the families I meet have a youth or someone of that age who is smoking. It’s just a habit we’ve got to change the face of,” Mr Edmonds says.

Smoking is a human disaster as communities lose their old people.


The Waitangi National Trust is looking at building a museum on the treaty grounds.

New chairperson Pita Paraone says it has just completed re-roofing the Treaty House, restoring the waka taua Ngatokimatawhaorua and building extensions to the visitors' centre.

He says the trust is concerned about other taonga, and is looking at a “museum-type building” to house artifacts associated with the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, which are stores in conditions it does not consider sufficient.

Mr Paraone says any extra money needed would come from new sources, rather than by re-introducing entry fees.


Maori Party MP Hone Harawira is happy his protest flag has won national acceptance.

Critics says the red and black and white flag which will fly on the Auckland Harbour Bridge and other government sites on Waitangi Day is too closely associated with the Maori Party and the Kawariki protest movement.

But the Tai Tokerau MP says it's the design that was endorsed by 80 percent of those who came to party's consultation hui around the country.

“That flag was born as the Maori flag in 1990. I know that because we launched the competition for a Maori flag and that’s the one that won. It became known as the tino rangatiratanga flag and because there wasn’t a national Maori flag most active Maoris picked it up and so it’s become known as a flag for activists and a flag for protest but it’s always been a Maori flag,” Mr Harawira says.

He says Te Kawariki and the flag's surviving designer are discussing what to do with revenue from increased flag sales.


Meanwhile, Labour list MP Kelvin Davis says the Government's overhaul of polytechnic councils says more about its attitudes to Maori than allowing a Maori flag to fly on the Auckland harbour bridge.

Parliament yesterday debated a bill that would cut polytech councils to eight members, four of them appointed by the Education Minister.

Dedicated seats for Maori, staff, students, employers and other community interests in the region served by the polytech will be scrapped.

“They've done away with the dedicated Maori seats on the Auckland super city. They’re doing away with guaranteed representation on polytechnics. I think it’s time Maori wok up to the fact this government doesn’t really care about the needs and issues for Maori,” Mr Davis says.

He says the changes will make it harder for polytechs to cater for the needs of young Maori, who are more likely to end up there than at universities.


Maori artists are squaring off with Creative New Zealand over control of the Toi Iho Maori-made brand.

The arts funding body has cancelled its support of the trademark and demanded artists stop using it.

But Nga Puna Waihanga spokesperson Ata Te Kanawa says there were fireworks this week when CNZ chief executive Stephen Wainwright and staff from Te Waka Toi staff met a delegation led by potter Manos Nathan and furniture designer Carin Wilson.

“Carin announced he refuses to give the mark back. Manos suggested that he would encourage Toi Iho holders to continue to use the mark despite the letter from creative New Zealand saying that it would be illegal if they were to continue to use it,” Ms Te Kanawa says.

The artists want to run the Toi Iho mark themselves and even open it up to a wider range of creative arts.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Waitangi kaitiaki not keen on political flag

A guardian of Waitangi Marae is objecting to the tino rangatiratanga flag flying on his marae next Waitangi Day.

Kingi Taurua says many in the north would be unwilling to see it hoisted over the 1835 United Tribes flag.

He says the flag chosen by the Government as the official Maori flag is in fact a flag the Maori Party picked up from the Kawariki protest movement.

“If that flag is going to fly anywhere, because it’s a political flag, what is stopping National or Labour or Act or any of the political parties from asking to fly their flag also on that particular occasion. It is not a tino rangatiratanga flag when it is used by the Maori Party as a political flag,” Mr Taurua says.

The consultation process over the flag was tainted because the Maori Party aggressively flew its flag at every hui.


Labour leader Phil Goff says dropping the TVNZ charter will undermine the broadcaster's commitment to covering Maori issues.

He says the move by Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman is a move to soften the public for privatisation.

Mr Goff says the charter did not deliver on Labour's hopes for better current affairs and Maori coverage, but its removal will guarantee the situation will get worse.

“I would like to see mainstream public tv having more of a mainstream public broadcast role in terms of promoting debate about current affairs is in terms of representation of issues such as issues in Maoridom. We haven’t seen that and we’re bound not to see it with the removal of the charter requirements,” Mr Goff says.

New Zealanders are entitled to expect more out of a television channel they own.


Murupara school principal Pem Bird is claiming a double standard over te reo Maori exams.

He says students can sit the NCEA exam with questions either in English or Maori ... for the same marks.

He says doing the test entirely in te reo is far more difficult, and the 16-member Nga Kura iwi o Aotearoa group has asked Education Minister Anne Tolley to act.

“You cannot have a double standard in Maori so she will do her research, get some work done, to bear out what we are saying here,” Mr Bird says.

The issue needs to be sorted before students sign up for for next year's courses.


Former Tai Tokerau MP Dover Samuels says the Maori Party has conned the Government into supporting an extreme agenda with its choice of a Maori flag.

The Prime Minister, John Key, yesterday announced the red and black tino rangatiratanga flag will become the national Maori flag and fly from government sites on Waitangi Day.

Mr Key says the move recognises "the partnership the Crown and Maori entered into when signing the Treaty of Waitangi."

But Mr Samuels says the flag will always be associated with the Kawariki protest group.

“Tino rangatiratanga means absolute sovereignty. Well for those people who want to advocate that, and associate themselves with a flag that clearly indicates that perspective, then that is their privilege but for the Prime Minister to come out and say this will advance race relations is actually cultural claptrap,” Mr Samuels says.


And while the flags are flying, Labour leader Phil Goff says stripping dedicated Maori seats from polytechnic councils shows the government's real agenda is to marginalise tangata whenua.

He says Maori are already hard hit by an 80 percent cut in funding for adult education which has spelt the end for the majority of night classes.

The Polytechnic bill now before Parliament will further strip Maori of the chance to influence the educational choices available to their rangatahi.

“Taking Maori representation off our polytechnics is going to contribute to the problem that we’ve got which is not enough young Maori people aspiring to and going on to taking advantage of tertiary education,” Mr
Mr Goff says.

Taking Maori representation away from polytechnics will simply add to the problems young Maori are facing not lessen them.


The Stroke Foundation says Northland Maori communities losing kaumatua and kuia to the condition at an alarming and needless rate.

It says because of the region's high Maori population and high poverty levels, Northlanders are twice as likely to have high blood pressure as the national average.

Regional manager Rex Paddy says eating healthier food, stopping smoking and other life style changes can reduce the risk of stroke.

“You can get people who are a core part of those communities suddenly taken out by stroke. If it doesn’t kill them, it makes them difficult for them to continue in the leading role they had, so it can be devastating,” Paddy says.

Maori communities often felt abandoned by the health services because of an almost total lack of rehabilitation help available to whanau looking after stroke victims.

Recession bigger threat than charter axing

Television New Zealand's head of Maori programmes, Paora Maxwell, believes the recession is a greater threat to Maori content than axing the channel's public broadcasting charter.

Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman has already moved the $15 million of charter funding into a contestible fund for minority interest programmes open to all broadcasters, and he's now introduced legislation to scrap the charter Labour introduced seven years ago.

TVNZ will only be asked to reflect Maori perspectives rather than have a "significant Maori voice".

Mr Maxwell says the bulk of TVNZ's income comes from advertising rather than government sources, and a dramatic drop in ad revenue means the pressure is on to cut costs by buying in international programmes.

“We love watching ourselves on TV. We know that. The top rating programmes are always local. But when it costs so much to make these programmes and you’re living in tough times, that model is always challenged,” Mr Maxwell says.


Northland's high Maori population is being cited as a reason the region has twice the rate of strokes as the national average.

Stroke Foundation regional manager Rex Paddy says up to 40 per cent of adults have high blood pressure, leading to what the foundation calls the silent killer.

He says the number of Maori having strokes is going up while the incidence among Pakeha has dropped, with living conditions and poverty being factors.

“The tendency is for diets to be poorer in areas where people have less money and where the living conditions aren’t as good you’ve often got less heating and poorer housing conditions. It’s by no means automatic that if you’re Maori your health is poorer, but if you’re Maori and poorer your health is probably poorer,” Mr Paddy says.

He says strokes are thinning the ranks of kaumatua and putting pressure on whanau, hapu and wider iwi groups.


The head of one the country's largest providers of help to the needy says many Maori will face a tough Christmas.

Trevor McGlinchey from the Council of Christian Social Services says with 100,000 Maori out of work, food banks and other social services are stretched to the limit trying to help with basics.

He says it will take a real community effort to put something special on the table for Christmas.

Trevor McGlinchey says this Christmas will be hardest for a number of years because of the recession.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says his caucus needs to do more to strengthen relations with the party's membersips.

The Tamaki Makaurau MP says the first full year in coalition with National has been challenging, with many members still disappointed by policy compromises and the failure to get Maori seats on the new Auckland super city council.

He says the pressure of work means the MPs can feel isolated.

“The incident with Hone has made us understand we don’t have good strong support from our party. The party’s there, they like what we’re doing, they’re behind us, but they need to be involved and not just leave it to the five of us in Parliament, so we do have our backs covered,” Dr Sharples says.

He says the MPs need to find a quicker way to get feedback from supporters on the issues that come up in Parliament.


The newest member of the Rotorua Lakes Trust is taking his new job seriously.

That may come as a surprise to listeners of Te Arawa iwi radio or viewers of Maori Television's Kai of the Road, who know Kingi Biddle for his comic side.

But Mr Biddle says he grew up next to Lake Rotorua and wants to protect it.

“I’m sure that what people don’t know except those that live in Ohinemutu is that I hold a number of serious positions. I’m the chairman of our kapa haka group. I lead the powhiri at Ohinemutu. I’m running education programmes for our iwi to help foster te reo within our own iwi,” he says.

The other new member of the trust is Te Ariki Morehu, who as the highest-polling unsuccessful candidate was brought in to replace the late Hawea Vercoe.


Maori art exhibitions and te reo classes are now part of life in Russell with the opening of the Kororareka Marae Society's new headquarters.

It's not the traditional marae the society was set up 20 years ago to build, but the former Department of Conservation visitors centre at the southern end of the township has given the community a boost.

Chairman Colwyn Shortland says language courses are being offered in conjunction with Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

“A good thing for our people in Russell because they’ve never really had that facility to do that and they’re grasping it. Not only our Maori people but also our tauiwi people. It’s a good mechanism for bringing people together I see,” Mr Shortland says.

To market the opening, the Kororareka Marae Society will hold an exhibition until the end of January called Te Timatanga: The Beginning, featuring artists including Clive Arlidge, Theresa Reihana, Dorothy Waetford and Catherine Schuster.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sovereignty group ousted from Waitangi marae

A Hokianga sovereignty group occupying the lower marae at Waitangi has been evicted by local hapu.

Te Tii Marae chairman Hohepa Waiomio says the group camped on the site for several weeks after being cleared by police from an occupation of a commercial building in Kaikohe ... and they indicated they intended to stay on until Waitangi Day.

Mr Waiomio says the hapu didn't want to involve police, so they took their own action yesterday afternoon.

“Ngati Kaua and Ngati Rahiri just went in and removed them from the whenua. We placed their gear and their tents all over the fence, making sure that our hapu as kaitiaki to the marae wasn't stepped on,” Mr Waiomio says.


Across the river, restoration has been completed on the waka taua Ngatokimatawhaorua, enabling it to head the fleet at next year's Waitangi Day regatta.

The new chair of the Waitangi National Trust, Pita Paraone, says the speedy completion is a tribute to the skills and dedication of master waka builder Hekenukumai Busby and his team.

The trust also fixed the leaks in the roof of the waka house below the treaty grounds.

“We also had the waka relashed because it celebrates its 70th birthday next year. That provides the introduction for some of the activities that will happen on Waitangi day,” Mr Paraone says.

The Waitangi National Trust also opened for use extensions to the treaty grounds' visitors centre, which will be formally opened by the Prime minister on the eve of Waitangi Day.


Still in the Bay of Islands, after 20 years of struggle, the Kororakea Marae Society finally has a home.

It's leased the former Department of Conservation visitor's centre at the south end of Russell's historic precinct, near the town's museum and Pompallier House.

Chairman Colwyn Shortland says while the building isn't suited to traditional marae use, it can be used for meetings, small conference, running courses, art exhibitions and a craft shop.

It can serve as a satellite venue for other marae in the Bay of Islands.

“We have purposely called ourselves a multiu-tribal society because I think everybody has that ability to whakapapa into Kororareka because of the nature of the area. It’s probably summed up by our whakatauki: Te au hononga tai, te au hononga iwi - The currents that bind tides, the currents that bind people,” Mr Shortland says.

The marae society still owns a block on the edge of the town it eventually wants to build a marae on.


Time is running out for Maori to invest in mobile phone company Two Degrees.

Mavis Mullins from Te Huarahi Tika Maori spectrum trust says despite several months of presentations, there have been no takers for the $12 million of shares on offer as the company seeks capital to fund the next stage of its network roll-out.

If the allocation is not taken up by the end of the month, the company's American and European shareholders will increase their investment and the Maori stake will fall from 20 to 12 and a half percent.

Mrs Mullins says it's disappointing after a decade of work by the trust to find partners who could commercialise the spectrum made available to Maori after court action by broadcasting claimants.

“We've been talking that we have access to capital, that we are investors in infrastructure, that we are this, we are that, but unfortunately whether it’s our fault that we are not presenting the case well enough or whether our people are just a little too scared of this asset class, we’re in or we’re out and the time has come,” Mrs Mullins says.

She says the trust has been unsuccessful in its requests to the Crown for help to buy the shares.


Embattled Auckland Museum director Vanda Vitali has won support from Auckland iwi Ngati Whatua.

The museum's board is reviewing the Canadian's performance after a string of controversies, including her treatment of the family of Sir Edmund Hillary and concern by veteran's groups over the role of the museum as a war memorial.

But the chair of the Ngati Whatua Runanga, Naida Glavish, says she's impressed by the job the director is doing looking after taonga Maori.

“People are criticising from a base of not themselves having seen it and from a basis of ignorance really. I’ve been there. I’ve seen it. I was there with 18 kuia and kaumatua from around the country taken round the tour. Amazing work,” Ms Glavish says.

She says the director is being blamed for carrying out board directions on controversial issues.


Television New Zealand's general manager of Maori programmes, Paora Maxwell, is comfortable about the removal of the state broadcaster's charter.

A bill introduced by broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman will remove the requirement TVNZ have a "significant Maori voice" and instead asks it to include some local content and "reflect Maori perspectives".

Mr Maxwell says programmes like as Te Karere, Marae and Waka Huia are likely to continue uninterrupted, because they are funded by Te Mangai Paho and New Zealand on Air rather than out of charter funding.

“You know all of Maori programmes not only make great cultural sense but they also make commercial sense as well. They come to the broadcaster fully funded most of them. That’s a big tick in the box. I believe there’s a will to have Maori programmes remain at TVNZ,” Mr Maxwell says.

Spectrum trust puts hard worn on iwi over share sales

The chair of Te Huaraki Tika Maori spectrum trust, Mavis Mullins, says Maori corporates need to look beyond farms and forestry for their future revenue.

The trust has so far been unsuccessful in finding buyers for shares available for Maori in the latest capital raising for new mobile phone company Two Degrees.

Mrs Mullins says the fight by the Maori Council and other groups in the late 1990s to get Maori a share of broadcast spectrum has opened up a world of possibilities.

“It’s not just about communications but this is also the tool that where we will refresh our current primary assets. In a couple of years every animal is going to be required to have an electronic ID marker on it. This new technology is what will refresh so we’ve got to have that bigger vision with that as well. We’re either in or we’re really out,” Mrs Mullins says.

If buyers can’t be found for the shares by the end of the year, existing shareholders will take up the allocation and dilute the Maori stake to 12 and a half percent.


Eastern Bay of Plenty iwi Ngati Manawa is looking forward to developing its people now it has completed its historical treaty claims.

The settlement was signed at Rangatahi Marae in Murupara on Saturday, and follows one with neighbouring Ngati Whare earlier in the week.

Chairman Bill Bird says the deal covers the cultural and social aspects of the claim, and includes the return of sites of historical significance around the Kaingaroa Forest, as well as three schools in Murupara and Galatea.

“See education is where our big focus is going to be, or where it is right now. We’re not just waiting for settlement, Now we have the ability to resource some of these projects so that everybody is benefitting from the settlement, there’s not an impervious layer where the money just hung up,” Mr Bird says.

The settlement will change the relationships Ngati Manawa has with central and local government agencies.


The Minister of Maori Affairs, Pita Sharples, says getting agreement on water policy will mean reconciling different world views.

Dr Sharples spoke to last week’s national hui which tried to develop a common approach among iwi as the Government develops policy on fresh water.

He says regional councils and local authorities need to work more closely with iwi and hapu on water management, and that means being prepared to listen.

“It’s really important you understand the Maori world view is alive and kicking We do see things differently, In the case of water, it’s a question of marrying up those two world views and marrying up two political systems, the Maori political system and the all of New Zealand system, and working together in partnership,” Dr Sharples says.

The Maori view on water was supported by a Chilean judgment last month where the court turned down an application by a water bottling company because of the importance of the spring to an Aymara Indian group.


There’s a new chairman and a new visitor’s centre for the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

Former New Zealand First MP Pita Paraone has become the new chair or the Waitangi National Trust, whose members are drawn from descendants of treaty signatories.

The descendant of Patuone and Tamati Waka Nene replaces Jeremy Williams.

Mr Paraone’s first task today is opening the new gateway to the treaty ground, which he says is a much needed addition.

“The idea is to provide an attraction to visitors to encourage them to come into the estate and use the resource we have to share with them the history of the place and the history of the founding document of our nation,” Mr Paraone says.

The trust, which is funded by visitor fees and rents from its lands, has also put a new roof on the Treaty House and upgraded the Waka house, and it’s now looking forward to building a museum and service centre.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says being a Maori party sometimes means ignoring long term costs for short term gain.

Dr Sharples says the recession hit Maori hard with 100-thousand now out of work.

He says that drove the party to support National’s changes to the emissions trading scheme, which Treasury says will cost the country $110 billion by 2050.

In exchange it won a short term delay in petrol and energy price rises, as well as insulating an extra 8000 Maori houses.

“People don’t understand how we think as Maori. For or against the ETS, there’s good arguments. For us it was about the now and we thought that is probably where our people need relief now. In the long term it is goinf to cost New Zealand a lot of money, but in the shot term, which is what we need now, we went for that,” Dr Sharples says.

He says compromise in necessary in politics, but he still believes his party’s support agreement with National is beneficial for Maori.


A free clinic in Tauranga run by Ngai te Rangi iwi has diagnosed severe cases of poverty-itis.

Spokesperson Paul Stanley says the one-day clinic for Community Card holders came out of youth clinics the iwi has been running this year with funding from a public health organisation.

He says many of those who took advantage of what the iwi dubbed its Christmas present had not seen a doctor or primary health provider for a long time.

It's a side of the Bay of Plenty city many residents never see.

“The poverty here is camouflaged by the affluence. Because we’ve got a lot of richer people, living in the neighbourhood and retirees who’ve made all their money and the rest of it, when you look at the stats as a whole it cloaks the poverty other people endure and if you look at things like a Robin Hood index where you are looking at the distance between the rich and the poor, that helps you define the health of the people,” Mr Stanley says.

The clinic also exposed the fact that while people might be able to get to a clinic, they often could not afford to pick up prescriptions to continue treatment.