Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Spectrum trust ponders renewable future

A Maori spectrum claimant says iwi leaders need to recognise telecommunications spectrum as a renewable resource.

Claimants are holding their fourth major hui this week, and Richard Orzecki from Ngati Raukawa says iwi leaders have been slow to wake up to what has been achieved by language and broadcasting claimants who have secured blocks of spectrum for Maori.

He says as the technology evolves, Maori need to keep fighting to secure a fair share.

“What you call 3G today, and you’ve allocated all these frequencies to a 3G platform, tomorrow could be 4G. It’s not something like once you grow a tree and cut it down, you have to grow a new tree. This resource is renewable in the sense it never goes away so it’s really how you use those frequencies,” Mr Orzecki says.

It would help claimants if iwi lent their weight to the current battle for a share in the spectrum being freed up by the shift from analogue to digital television.


Maori health researcher Marewa Glover says baby formula manufacturers have behaved like tobacco companies in the way they have manipulated women into using their products.

Dr Glover has just completed a chapter on cross cultural perspectives on Maori breastfeeding for a new book for health practitioners published.

She says Maori women have one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the world, because for generations they have been bombarded with messages from the milk formula industry.

“That whole industry pushing artificial baby milk and baby foods has managed to make breast feeding a lifestyle choice, a consumer behaviour, and it’s not. We need to get back to reinstating Maori tikanga around Maori pepe and infant care,” Dr Glover says.

She says Maori women still aren't warned properly about the health risks of using artificial milk rather than breast milk.


A new exhibition in Te Awamutu Museum is shedding light on some of the lost natural and cultural history of a stretch of the Waikato River.

Curator Stephanie Lambert says the show grew out of desire grew out of a desire to showcase the river for the World Rowing Championships at Lake Karapiro.

Working with Ngati Koroki Kahukura and Ngati Haua, the museum uncovered some of the stories hidden under the 14 kilometre stretch that was dammed to create the Karapiro power project.

“At the top end was the Aniwaniwa rapids, which rivaled the Huka Falls.

Ms Lambert says in the century since the Public Works Act was first used to take land from the hapu to provide electricity for the Waihi Mining Company, the Karapiro story is one of huge loss and huge gain.


The chair of the Maungatautari ecological reserve trust says critics of greater Maori involvement had got it wrong.

Doug Arcus says species like takahe, kiwi and kaka have thrived since a 47 km long pest proof fence was built around the mountain south of Hamilton.

He says a new board structure which gave half the seats to mana whenua was opposed by some former trustees, who enlisted philanthropist Gareth Morgan for an attack on the trust.

“Apart from the Crown and local government land, Maori have far more land behind the fence than any other. That land is now landlocked and the fence has made it difficult to access that land. So on an equity basis they should be involved, and then there’s all the treaty issues about partnership and the rest of it. Thise of us who’ve been in the public sector for some time understand that, but unfortunately some don’t,” Mr Arcus says.

He says Dr Morgan should talked to him or mana whenua before threatening to pull his $1 million loan from the project.


Auckland University scientists have developed a model for giving more weight to traditional Maori principles when decisions are made on resource management.

Geologist Dan Hikuroa and physicist Kepa Morgan outlined their system at yesterday's GeoNZ 2010 conference in Auckland.

Dr Hikuroa says it will give Maori landowners and iwi a stronger platform to argue from when they find their traditional beliefs such as kaitiakitanga run up against what is considered empirical science.

“It elevates all that matauranga that in the past has been relegated to anecdotal or oral evidence, and it puts it alongside technical and empirical scientifically-based data, puts it all on a level playing field, such that all that matauranga is right up alongside there so it’s very effective with respect to the RMA,” Dan Hikuroa says

The framework may help Maori landowners who want to develop resources such as geothermal fields.


World champion kayaker Sam Sutton wants to take on one of the world's biggest rivers.

The 22 year old from Te Arawa and Ngati Tuwharetoa beat 150 kayakers from 26 countries to win last month's Sickline World Individual Whitewater Kayaking Championship at Ötztal in Austria.

Mr Sutton, who works on the Kaituna River taking photos of whitewater rafters, is now planning a trip to Central America and further afield.

“Looking forward to see what Mexico has to offer in terms of whitewater and also the margaritas maybe but my biggest goal is to get two more world champion titles, 2011 and 2012, and then source to sea of the White Nile from Uganda to Egypt on a jet ski which would be the biggest achievement of my life if I could pull that off,” he says.

Sam Sutton says winning Sickline title on the Wellerbruke Rapids, which is regarded as one of the most difficult courses in the world, was like a dream come true.


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