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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, November 15, 2010

Turia defends limited role for Iwi Chairs

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is denying iwi leaders are negotiating with the government over issues like mining and the foreshore and seabed.

The Iwi Leaders Group met with the Prime Minister and Resources minister last week before reporting back to an Iwi Chairs Forum at Takapuwahia Marae in Porirua on the weekend.

Mrs Turia says the leaders are very aware of the limits of their mandate.

“What they are doing is looking at the parameters under which the Government will talk with the various people along those coastal areas or within particular parts of the country who may want to be engaged in mining or who may not want to be. Those matters in fact are left entirely in the hands of those who are affected,” she says.

Mrs Turia says the iwi leaders have a valuable role in to play in making sure the government doesn't overstep its role.


South Auckland-based Ngai Tai has called in Ngati Porou chair Api Mahuiki in to help negotiate its claim for land confiscated in the Hunua ranges.

Chief negotiator James Brown says most of the 58,000 acres taken is now in private hands, so other forms of compensation will be necessary.

He says the iwi is keen to make progress over the next year, so it's calling in some big guns, including Mr Mahuika, who will be a kaiawhi and kaimanaaki or supporter for the team drawing on his recent success.

Ngati Porou members are currently voting on whether to ratify the $110 million East Coast settlement negotiated by Mr Mahuika.


Maori are feeling pride at the contribution of the Maori players and officials to the Kiwis' Four Nations win over Australia in Brisbane on Saturday night.

The majority of this year's squad have tangata whenua roots, including the coach, captain and manager.

Commentator Te Kauhoe Wano says from fullback Lance Hohaia to captain courageous Benji Marshall, through hookers Thomas Leuluai and Isaac Luke and outside flyers Sam Perrit and Jason Nightingale, Maori skill was to the fore in the nail-biting last minute 16-12 win.

He says coach Steve Kearney’s next big task is to get his Parammatta Eels firing in next year's NFL competition.


Protestors issued with trespass notices after being cleared from a Far North Council-owned reserve at Taipa last week plan to reoccupy.

Leader Wikaatana Popata says his group intends to march through Kaitaia tomorrow morning and then travel the 30 kilometres back to the coastal settlement.

The 21-year-old says regardless of the treaty settlement Ngati Kahu is currently negotiating over the area, his generation has a responsibility to get back land the Waitangi Tribunal's Muriwhenua Land Report identified as stolen.

“These lands were confiscated off Ngati Kahu, they were stolen off Ngati Kahu, so we just stick by that. It was stolen. I say to people if someone came to your house, stole your tv, and then that person sold it to someone else and sold it to someone else and all of a sudden you found your tv again, you’ve got the right to take your TV back,” Mr Popata says.

The protesters believe they have the support of Mr Popata’s uncle, Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira.


Associate Corrections Minister Pita Sharples says people need to be open to working with gangs if they want to address the harm gangs do.

Police Minister Judith Collins told a Maori-police leadership conference last week that she had a policy of not engaging with gangs or even gang members.

But Dr Sharples says in his work with communities he got a lot of mileage from meeting with Maori gangs when necessary.

“In the 70s when we had killings every second day when it was really on in Auckland city here, our efforts getting them in to work programmes, we had about 150 oft them straight into work programmes, more or less killed all the fighting straight away, and you can do stuff like that,” he says.

Dr Sharples says people can turn their lives around if they are offered beneficial alternatives.


Te Papa Tongarewa is consulting iwi around the country about what should be done with unidentified koiwi tangata or skeletal remains.

Its repatriation manager, Te Herekiekie Herewini, says the national museum has identified the individuals or tribal areas of about three quarters of the 186 koiwi and toi moko it has got back from medical schools and museums around the world since 2003.

He says the balance may be unidentifiable, and the museum needs to discuss a range of options, including building a mausoleum in Wellington or burying them in the far north.

“We received a tono from Ngati Kuri in 2006 and Ngati Kuri kindling invioted these tupuna to be placed up at Te Rerenga Wairua as their final resting place. However, we still need to discuss the kaupapa with those iwi whanui around the motu,” Mr Herewini says.

The consultation may take up to 18 months.


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