Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, December 06, 2010

Courts not up to Ngati Kahu standard

The lead negotiator for the tribe occupying a coastal land at Taipa in the Far North says it will be a waste of time going to court to test customary title under the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill.

Restoring access to the courts is one of the main reasons the Maori Party is giving for backing the bill, which is currently being considered by a select committee.

But Margaret Mutu, a professor of Maori studies at Auckland University, says her Ngati Kahu Runanga won't be going there.

“The high court knows nothing and in particular the judges in the high court, apart from the fact that they are Pakeha, the truth of the matter is they have never had any training in anything Maori, so how the hell can you expect them to get it right. They’ve not been trained. They’ve been trained for a particular job which is to carry out Pakeha law,” she says.

Professor Mutu says the right court would be the Maori land Court, as long as it does not question the tikanga or customs of individual hapu.


The author of a book on Maori potatoes says imported pests and diseases are devastating the taewa harvest, just at the time demand is growing.

Nick Roskruge says a lot of work has been done in recent years to breed out viruses which were weakening old varieties of potato that had been kept going by home gardeners.

The Massey University horticulturalist says there are now new threats.

“Also now you’ve got these pests coming in, you’ve got the biosecurity problems with new pests, you’ve got this potato cylid which is around the whole North Island now, and some of the crops are 80 percent down just because these pests bring a bacteria that stops the plants producing the crop,” says Dr Roskruge, whose book is Nga Porearea me nga Matemate o nga Mara Taewa - Pests and diseases of Taewa.


Maori rugby legend Bill Bush wants the Springboks to play against the New Zealand Maori as a warm up to next year's rugby world cup.

The South African Rugby Union has changed its policy of not allowing the Springboks to play racial selected sides, clearing the way for the much anticipated clash with the Maori team.

Bill Bush says its a pity the decision wasn’t made earlier so the Boks could have joined this year’s celebration of 100 years of Maori rugby … but all will be forgiven if they fit a game in before the World Cup.

He says the game should be played at the right venue, Turangawaewae Marae, with all the players and families of past players involved.

Bill Bush says the Springboks are such a class side that All Black coach Graham Henry should release his top Maori players to use it as a warm-up.


A winger and a squash player were the big winners at this year’s National Maori Sports Awards.

This year’s winner of the top men’s award was Hosea Gear from Ngati Porou, with squash player Joelle King the senior women for her gold and silver medal wining efforts at to Commonwealth Game.

Team of the year was the Maori All Blacks, with Steve Kearney taking out the best coach award for the Kiwis Four Nations’ Cup win.


Diabetes New Zealand says district health boards are slashing diabetes services at the very time they should be doing more.

President Chris Baty says the number of people with type 2 diabetes has doubled in a decade to 200,000, with a disproportionate number of those being Maori.

She says the impact of untreated diabetes includes kidney failure, amputation, blindness and early heart disease, which will add cost to the health sector.

“Diabetes is one of the markets of lack of equity of access to good health care and I think it’s particularly reflected amongst Maori and Pasifika. One in three or four older Maori or Pasifika people are gong to probably have diabetes, and we need to help keep them well.” Dr Baty says.

A recent OECD report found New Zealand was the second worst among nations studied for lives cut short by diabetes.


The author of a new book on Stewart Island says for a large part of the past 700 years it has been a Maori history.

Neville Peat wrote Rakiura Heritage for the Department of Conservation.

He says Rakiura may have been one of the first parts of Aotearoa to be settled.

He says archeologists continue to find sites of great interests.

Neville Peat says the awarding of 10,000 hectares under the 1906 South Island Landless Natives Act means Maori are now the biggest landowners next to the Conservation Department, whose National park covers 90 percent of the island.


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