Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Luxton Crown pick for river clean up board

Waikato farming leader and former National Party MP John Luxton has been appointed to co-chair the Waikato River Authority alongside Waikato-Tainui leader Tukoroirangi Morgan.

The former Maori affairs minister says he's confident the farming and business interests he now represents will be able to work with iwi to clean up the awa.

Mr Luxton is one of five Crown appointees to the authority which will manage the $210 million river clean-up.

He expects improvement to be gradual.

“There has been an intensification of dairying. That’s led to a lot more jobs in the region and it’s going to be a process of trying to balance both the economic outcome and the environmental outcome going forward but seeing a gradual improvement,” he says.

Mr Luxton, who also chairs the Dairy NZ research and advocacy group, says Maori are major farmers in the wider Waikato region and have an interest in ensuring farming can continue alongside the clean-up.


Ngati Porou leader Api Mahuika says after 23 years of treaty claims and negotiations, it's time to be pragmatic and accept the settlement on offer.

The East Coast iwi has been offered an $110 million deal plus $13 million in accumulated forestry rentals, as well as a say in the management of natural resources in its rohe.

Mr Mahuika says he expects beneficiaries registered with Te Runanga o Ngati Porou to ratify the deed before Christmas, and then it's up to the government to pass it into law.

“If we continue to procrastinate we will loe the momentum in these times to be a local player, a national player and a global player to enhance the mana and the economic wealth of our people,” Api Mahuika


A non-Maori former captain of the Maori All Blacks will be laid to rest today in Masterton, after dying on Sunday aged 87.

Alan Blake, or as he was better known, Kiwi, made the New Zealand Army rugby team, also known as the Kiwis, in the last year of World War 2.

He went on to play over 170 first class games, including 108 for Waiararapa, one All Black test and 26 games for the Maori All Blacks.

His brother in law George Mahupuku, himself a former Maori All Black captain, says Kiwi Blake didn't speak of his whakapapa, which included an Afro American grandfather, but Kiwi’s brother was refused entry to the team because he had no Maori blood.

Kiwi Blake's service is at the Rosewood Chapel in Masterton.


Ngati Porou chair Api Mahuika says the East Coast iwi won't allow dissidents to derail its treaty settlement.

The Ngati Porou Runanga has fought of High Court challenges against its mandate, and on the weekend it initialed a $110 million settlement of historic claims.

Mr Mahuika says on top of that the new settlement trust, Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, will get $113 million in accumulated rent on Crown forests as well as the assets built up by the runanga.

“We do not let dissension stand in the way as we are moving forward to create opportunities for our people so that if you look at the Runanga o Ngati Porou that started in 1987 without any financial backing. We are now in the process of handing over to our new entity assets in the value of abut $50 to $60 million,” Mr Mahuika says.

The runanga also secured the return of Mt Hikurangi and it has a foreshore and seabed settlement waiting to be legislated.


The head of Maori protocol for the new Auckland super city says it's well placed to work with iwi groups.

Rewi Spraggon expects his team to be involved in up to 60 events a month, including citizenship ceremonies, building and exhibition openings and welcomes for visiting dignitaries.

He says the 23-strong Maori strategy and relationships department has drawn together the various Maori teams from the previous cities, and the members all have existing relationships which will allow them to maintain good lines of communication with the region's iwi and hapu.

“With this unit we’re more focused on this area so we can focus on our areas a lot better whereas before we were pretty much a jack of all trades looking after policy, looking after contracts for iwi relationships, protocols,” Mr Spraggon says.


The teacher from the award-winning Te Kura O Hiruharama near Ruatoria says it's imperative remote schools get ultra-fast Internet within the next few years.

Two teams of Sue Ngarimu-Goldsmith's 8 to 12 year olds are among the winners of the Outlook for Someday Awards, which was open to filmmakers under 25 to make five-minute shorts on the theme of sustainability.

She says her students have a hunger for technology, and technologies like fibre optics, wireless or satellite should give them the same opportunities as city kids.

“If we want our whaanu to be able to function in a modern environment contributing to the knowledge economy, it’s an absolute imperative for our government to do this,” Mrs Ngarimu-Goldsmith says.

Her students are going to Auckland for next week's prize giving, and she doesn't expect them to be over-awed by the big city.


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