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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Maori welcome in super city council

The new Auckland super city's head of Maori protocol is chalking up the city's first day as a significant win for tangata whenua.

Rewi Spraggon from Ngati Hine, Te Wai O Hua and Ngati Maniapoto says from the dawn powhiri by mana whenua iwi to the evening inauguration ceremony at the Town Hall, Maori played significant roles.

He says the way Maori were involve augurs well for the future.

Mr Spraggon says the council's Maori strategy and relationships department expects to be involved in about 60 events and ceremonies a month.


A prison drug rehab programme which is proving particularly effective for Maori inmates has had its contracts extended.

Tim Harding, the head of Care New Zealand, says the programme is used in Waikeria, Spring Hill, Hawkes Bay, Rimutaka, Arohata and Christchurch prisons.

He says it treats about 500 prisoners a year, of whom about half a Maori, by creating therapeutic communities.

“One person sitting in front of a group of people telling them how they can change behaviour is not nearly as effective as when you create a community where the main focus is supporting each other to change. It’s very effective all over the world but it works particularly well for Maori,” Mr Harding says.

Research shows Care New Zealand's programme reduces the frequency and severity of reoffending by about a third.


Champion jockey Noel Harris from Ngati Te Whiti missed out on a ride in today's Melbourne Cup, but he's not quite ready to retire.

The 55-year-old has ridden in 11 cups since piloting Glengowan as an 18-year-old apprentice in 1973.

He's amassed nearly 2500 winners, and while he may be in the twilight of his career, he still enjoys riding and will wait until next year to decide if and when to hang up his crop.

“It's up to the individual, how your body is. It’s a bit like a rugby player. You’ve got the younger ones and the older ones who can still compete but come winter time say it’s time to call it a day. In saying that, if you win a million dollar race, it keeps you going a little bit longer,” he says.

Noel Harris had a string of rides at Auckland today.


Ngati Porou members are considering whether to ratify a $110 million settlement signed off at the weekend.

Treaty Negotiations minister Chris Finlayson says the settlement recognises that the reason the East Coast was one of the most socio-economically deprived areas in the country was because the Crown-imposed Maori land tenure systems made it extremely difficult for Ngati Porou to use their land for economic benefit.

Apirana Mahuika, the chair of Te Runanaga o Ngati Porou, says if iwi members sign off a bill could be put before parliament as early as next month.

Once it gets through the select committee process, the bill could be passed by the middle of next year.

Mr Mahuika says the settlement will give Ngati Porou a greater say in how natural resources in its rohe will be managed.

The new Maori statutory board for the Auckland super city has got a big workload if it is to meet the obligations set out in its legislation.

The board of seven mana whenua representatives and two representing all other Maori living in Tamaki Makaurau was appointed by Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples.

Its executive officer, Joy Hames from Ngati Raukawa, says it needs to hold its first meeting by November 15, when the first item on the agenda after appointing a chair will be to develop a prioritised schedule of issues of significance for Maori.

“They've got to have that done within three months. They got to get their work programme set, they’ve got to come to an agreement with the council about how that’s funded and it’s all got to be done by about February 15 so there’s not going to be a lot of sitting round trying to work things out. It will be up and running pretty quickly,” Ms Hames says.

The board must report annually to the council and to the iwi selection panel - which only convenes every three years.


A small primary school just south of Ruatoria on the East Coast has won two of the 20 prizes in a youth short film award.

The Outlook for Someday Sustainability Film Challenge is open to individuals or teams of filmmakers aged up to 25.

Sue Ngarimu-Goldsmith from the 90-pupil Te Kura O Hiruharama says the two films made by her students, who are aged from 8 to 12, were on the theme of cultural sustainability.

The animated stories are based on waiata from the Hiruharama area.

She says it will be a huge adventure for the children to they travel to TVNZ in Auckland next week for the selection of eight special awards.

All 20 winners which will be screened during December on www.theoutlookforsomeday.net, where viewers can vote for their favourite.


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