Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Greens picking constitution review as squib

Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says Maori are likely to be disappointed at the planned constitutional review.

Terms of reference for the review, which National promised as part of its support agreement with the Maori Party, have yet to be released.

But Ms Turei says the Government has so far shown it is hostile to Maori aspirations, and it's likely to downplay the Maori role ... which will weaken the review's authority.

“There cannot be a genuine constitutional discussion if Maori are shut out of the process and not treated as absolutely critical in a partnership way on this discussion,” she says.

Ms Turei says the National-led Government really has little interest in a constitutional discussion.


Coromandel mussel farmer and Hauraki leader Harry Mikaere says the aquaculture law changes introduced in Parliament yesterday look after Maori interests.

The bill aims to streamline consent processes, give guidance on how regional councils manage competing demand for space along the coast, and scraps the Aquaculture Management Area concept introduced in the 2004 Aquaculture Act.

Mr Mikaere, who is a director of both Aquaculture New Zealand and Aotearoa Fisheries, says the amendment will allow Maori to increase their stake in the industry from the current 40 percent.

“Our people have been restricted. The current bill removes all that and the opportunity is far more incentivised in terms of the applications for consent for Maori and mainstream. I think on that basis now there are equal footings going forward for our people,” he says.

The new law should provide a better platform for iwi to get the 20 percent of new marine farming areas promised in the Maori commercial aquaculture settlement.


The newest Rugby World Cup ambassador says the unruly behaviour by fans during the weekend's Rugby League test at Eden Park during Australia's 34-20 drubbing of the Kiwis should not be blown out of proportion.

Former All Black and Maori All Black Waka Nathan was appointed to fill the spot which has been vacant since Andy Haden resigned four months ago over his comments on rape.

The 70-year-old says World Cup crowds will see one game at a time, whereas the league crowd at the rebuilt Eden Park had previously sat through the match-up between Great Britain and Papua New Guinea ... with drinks being served throughout.

“When you see your team getting beaten, it rouses a few of the fans, but it happens all the time overseas, and it’s just one of those bloody silly things that happens in a game of rugby or league,” Mr Nathan says.


The Ngati Porou Runanga wants its own meeting with the Government to talk about mining off the East Coast.

Chairperson Apirana Mahuika declined an invitation to join the Iwi Leaders Group meeting on Monday night with Prime Minister John Key and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee, where the possibilities for mining on Maori-owned land were discussed.

He says Ngati Porou and its neighbour, Te Whanau a Apanui, aren't interested in debating theoretical positions when Brazilian oil giant Petrobras has exploration licenses to the Raukumara Basin off their coast, and prospecting licenses are being issued over their land.

“We have also been negotiating, in terms of our treaty negotiations, for Department of Conservation lands, of which we have about 6000 hectares that have been agreed to between ourselves and the Crown, and that could also be threatened. It seems to me that while we were negotiating, these arrangements were ongoing without our knowledge,” Mr Mahuika says.

Ngati Porou is also keen to meet with Petrobras before it starts drilling its test wells.


Kiwifruit industry leader Hemi Rolleston says Maori growers have good reason to be concerned about the discovery of the vine killing PSA bacteria on a Bay of Plenty orchard last week.

Mr Rolleston is chief executive of Te Awanui Hukapak, which owns 17 percent of kiwifruit packaging company Seeka.

He says Maori trusts throughout Mataatua have a major investment in the industry.

“When anything like this hits your industry there is concern and everybody has a right to be concerned but on the flip side this is one industry that can probably overcome adversity because of the structure it has in place, the collectiveness, the fact there is a lot of information already available and it appears that it has been identified very early on,” Mr Rolleston says.

A hui in Tauranga on Friday will to update Maori growers on the PSA threat.


A reggae band that started off as a family trio playing gospel on the shores of Whangaroa Harbour has just completed its first Australian tour.

1814 takes its name from the year Samuel Marsden brought the gospel to the Bay of Islands.

Singer and guitarist Patu Colbert says the band, wshich is now a nine piece, is tapping into the international interest in Maori-flavoured reggae.

He say bands like Katchafire have put kiwi reggae music known around the world with their touring.

He's as excited by the prospect at playing the Kentish Hotel in Waiuku on Friday night as he was with the big crowds the band pulled across the Tasman.


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