Waatea News Update

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Circular language at Waitangi

Activity in the Bay of Islands will be picking up through the day, as manuhiri arrive for Waitangi Day commemorations.

Among them is an ope of Pacific Islanders organised by Ngati Maniapoto man Gerard Otimi ... who is facing charges for allegedly selling phony immigration documents.

A Waitangi Marae kaumatua, Kingi Taurua, says Mr Otimi told him the group is coming north to learn about the Treaty of Waitangi.

He says claims they are expecting help getting permanent residency by adoption into a Maori tribe may be based on a cultural misunderstanding.

“Maori is a circular way of speaking rather than a straight way of speaking. My way of speaking, I speak circular, and if I say whanau, it doesn’t mean I am going to put them in my house, If I say to 20 Tongans come and be my whanau, it doesn’t mean I am going to put them all in my house,” Mr Taurua says.


ACT's Maori Affairs spokesperson, Sir Roger Douglas, says the superannuation system is broken for Maori.

The architect of Rogernomics says instead of spending their energy on Treaty settlements, Maori leaders should focus on contemporary issues like education, health and superannuation.

He says Maori spend a lifetime paying tax for other people's superannuation, but because they are likely to die younger, few get to benefit themselves.

“If they were allowed to put it into their own personalised superannuation account they would probably retiree, many of them, with $1 million plus. How much better would that be than the sort of system that gives them $230, $250 a week for a few months or a few years,” Sir Roger says.

He also wants to see individual health insurance accounts.


The New Zealand Radio Awards are finally acknowledging Maori radio.

This year there will be a new award for Best Iwi Radio Station.

Past awards' judge Stacey Morrison it's a great way to get Maori stations to enter.

She says they'll be judged on broadcast quality, Maori language delivery, and on how they meet the needs of their target audiences.

Nominations are open until March, with the winners announced on May 6.


Former Maori affairs minister Parekura Horomia is congratulating the government for its new Maori housing initiative.

Under the under the Kainga Whenua scheme, Housing New Zealand will guarantee non-deposit Kiwibank loans of up to $350 thousand so people can build relocatable houses on ancestral land.

Mr Horomia says it's positive, but there are always risks in people taking on such large investments.

“Without being negative, I want to be sure our people get into housing, to own houses if that’s what they want to do but at the same time be realistic we don’t set them up to fail,” Mr Horomia says.


The kaumatua of a Hamilton-based offender rehabilitation programme says it proved combining Maori principles with modern psychological methods was the way to beat youth crime.

The government has axed funding for Te Hurihanga because it says it is too expensive.

Pita Ngaru says the programme taught 14 to 17 year olds who have been serious offenders to understand the values of their ancestors and live by them.

“Those usual Maori values that we have, aroha, manaakitanga, wairuatanga and whanaungatanga, those values that were held so close by our ancestors, our tupuna, have been handed down and so these values have been instilled into young men,” Mr Ngaru says.

He says over time the programme would save the taxpayer money as it has a positive effect not just on the offender but his whanau, friends and wider communtiy.


A pharmacy providing free and low cost medicine to Maori opens its doors in South Auckland this morning.

It's a joint venture between Raukura Hauora o Tainui charitable trust and new medicine services company Tihi Pharmaceuticals.

The operations manager, Wiremu Walmsley, says there will be no prescription charge for people under 18, and there will also be a free blister packs and delivery for elderly Maori.

He says the service at Raukura Hauora's Manurewa clinic will benefit a community hard hit by recession.

“A lot of our people can’t afford to get their scripts out because of low income and a lot of times the scripts stay thee in the chemist not getting picked up,” Mr Walmsley says.

Raukura Hauora hopes to open more pharmacies along the same lines.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Auckland iwi looking at collective settlement

Iwi with claims to Tamaki Makaurau are optimistic a new offer could lead to a collective settlement.

The iwi met yesterday to develop a response to the offer, which includes a new mana whenua body to hold title to many of Auckland's volcanic cones.
There will also be settlements negotiated with individual iwi over the next couple of years.

Paul Majurey from Marutuahu says the offer, which comes after six months of intense negotiations gets around some of the problems thrown when the Crown tried to strike a deal only with the Ngati Whatua o Orakei hapu.

“It is an advance because there were shared interest contests between the tribes and we’ve moved a long way since then into a collective approach to recognise there are different tribal interests around Tamaki Makaurau and this is a collective approach that seems to provide a solution,” Mr Majurey says.

The iwi hope to reply to the Crown by the end of the week.


Hauraki-Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta is calling on the Maori Party to break its silence on the government's decision to axe a Hamilton-based rehabilitation programme for serious young offenders.

The government says there be no more money for Te Hurihanga after June because it costs too much.

Ms Mahuta, who helped set up of the programme, says it has kept young Maori with bad track records out of prison.

“I think they are going to divert the funding probably to whanau ora, but this is a whanau ora concept so I’m surprised the Maori Party hasn’t supported it and if this is going to be another Child Youth and Family-run facility then we will continue to see young Maori slip through the cracks,” Ms Mahuta says.


The chair of the Auckland District Maori Council wants kaumatua and kuia to be present when a Maori flag is hoisted on Auckland Harbour Bridge on Waitangi Day.

Titewhai Harawira says after all the hard work that went into choosing the tino rangatiratanga flag as the official ensign, the Minister of Maori Affairs has failed to properly organise the flag raising ceremony.

“Pita Sharples has done nothing to organize and ensure that our kaumatua and kuia have an opportunity to bless that flag and to go to the transport department the ensure one lane is left open to allow our kaumatua and kuia to be present on such an important occasion to ensure our flag is raised with dignity,” Mrs Harawira says.

If he doesn't get the ceremony right in Auckland, Dr Sharples could be in for a rude reception at Waitangi.


Green co-leader Metiria Turei has slammed Manukau City Council's decision not to fly a Maori flag at its offices on Waitangi Day.

A council committee last night reconfirmed its policy of only flying the New Zealand and Manukau City Council flags, as well as flags belonging to sister cities or overseas visitors.

Councilor Jami-Lee Ross of Ngati Porou that the Maori flag represents protest and separatism.

But Ms Turei says the council is creating further division.

“Refusing to fly even a Maori symbolic flag because it’s divisive actually creates and enhances that division. It’s an act of racism in my and it’s very disappointing it’s the decision of Manukau which describes itself as being New Zealand’s biggest multi-cultural city,” Ms Turei says.


Success is catching up with Te Ohu Kaimoana.

The Maori fisheries trust told iwi at its annual meeting that it has now allocated more than 80 percent of settlement assets, representing almost half a billion dollars in quota and cash.

Fred Cookson from the audit and risk committee says because its income from leasing out quota has fallen, it is increasingly reliant on investment income to find its activities.

“We've got $100 million invested into bonds. As those bonds mature we’re rolling them into lower rates and that’s reflected the impact of global recession as far back as 2008 and as those flow through we’re still quite comfortable because we didn’t suffer any loss on the value of the portfolio,” Mr Cookson says.

As well as helping coordinate the activities of iwi fishing interests, Te Ohu Kaimoana has subsidiary trusts which promote Maori economic development and stewardship marine and freshwater fisheries.


Forty years working with underprivileged groups in south Auckland has earned a Te Rarawa man a finalist's spot in tonight's New Zealander of the Year awards in Auckland.

Haami Chapman from Te Rarawa is up for the Local Heroes Award, which recognises people who make enormous contributions to their communities.

He's worked with a broad range of groups he's worked with over the years, and says solutions have to come from within communities.

He works with gangs, individuals, whanau and community groups.

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Goff looking for right message

Labour leader Phil Goff acknowledges he has work to do among Maori after a poll found the party's support is rising but his own is falling.

The Te Karere Digipoll showed Labour gaining 12 points since November to draw level with the Maori Party, which dropped 10 points.

Mr Goff says it's a good result, but he's disappointed only 5 percent of Maori named him as their preferred prime minister.

“When I go out this year and talk abut how miserable the 25 cents an hour increase in the minimum wage was, when I talk about how we need to reverse the doubling of Maori unemployment in the last year, I would I hope I would find an audience in Maoridom who say yes, those are thing things that are important to us,” Mr Goff says.


The Race relations commissioner says any review of New Zealand's constitutional arrangement needs to take into consideration the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of indigenous Peoples - and that means giving proper recognition to the Treaty of Waitangi.

Joris de Bres says the agreement between the Maori Party and the National Party for a constitutional review this year will reopen debate about entrenching the treaty.

He says even though New Zealand has not adopted the UN declaration, it can't ignore the human rights spelled out in the document.

“One of the things they emphasise is the recognition of treaties so I guess in a way we’re drawing on that as well as on the UN bodies including the UN Human Rights Council which last year called for constitutional recognition of the treaty,” Mr de Bres says.


Forget cricket, tennis and softball ... gridiron is the new summer sport for Maori and Pacific Island teenagers in West Auckland.

The Waitakere Typhoons' under-19 team has qualified for the Auckland finals, in just its first year in the competition.

The Typhoons' under-16 side will also make its final if it beats the South Auckland Raiders next weekend.

Michael Mau'u, who coaches both sides, says they're drawing on rugby and league talent in the area, especially from Kelston Boys High.

He says there's potential for Maori and Pacific Island players to do well in the American code, which already has a disproportionate number of American Samoan player in NFL ranks.


Managers of a Hamilton rehabilition programme says young Maori are the ones who will be most affected by its axing.

The Government says Te Hurihanga, an intensive live-in programme, is too expensive.

Cath Handley from the Young Horizons Trust says Maori males make up 90 percent of the participants.

She says Te Hurihanga's whanau-based approach was expensive but effective in breaking a pattern of offending which long term will cost society dearly.

“Part of restoring young people’s self esteem and getting them engaged is getting them to understand who they are and give them pride in who they are and that particularly relates to young Maori so we have a particularly strong cultural component,” Ms Handley says.

The two-year old programme cost about $160,000 for each participant, not the $600 thousand plus the Government is claiming.


Te Ohu Kaimoana predicts it will run at a deficit this year as it completes its task of allocating Maori fisheries settlement assets to iwi.

At its annual meeting in Auckland over the weekend the trust reported its operating revenue dropped almost $2 million from $11.9 to $9.9 million, and projected income will fall below $7 million this year.

Fred Cookson, the chair of the trust's audit and risk committee, says the amount earned from the sale of annual catch entitlements is falling as quota is handed over iwi, and investment earning are also dropping because of lower bond rates.

He says Te Ohu Kaimoana is in a transitional phase.

“We've relocated to one floor of the building we are in, we’ve rationalized the operations to focus on what’s efficient for us getting the allocation completed, also into the next phase of what might be our existence, so that’s meant changes an that’s meant committing transitional costs that will put us into a deficit,” Mr Cookson says.

Te Ohu Kaimoana had allocated more than 80 percent of fisheries settlement assets to iwi, worth more then $480 million.


The Kahurangi Maori Dance Theatre has been asked to take part in a festival of sacred arts in India next month.

Director Tama Huata says the longstanding Hawkes Bay kapa haka, which is an offshoot of his Maori performing arts academy, has two troupes or the road most of the year, one based in North America and the other touring New Zealand schools.

He says over the past 20 years it has developed a range of items which will be suitable for perfoming in Delhi.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Goff defends high cost solution to hard problem

Labour leader Phil Goff the Government's decision to stop funding a successful bicultural youth offender programme in Hamilton is a disgrace.

Justice Minister Simon Power and Social Development Minister Paula Bennett claim Te Hurihanga has cost $5 million since it started in 2007, and it will be replaced with a more cost effective programme.

Mr Goff, who was justice minister when the programme started, says it cost about $170,000 per offender, rather than the $600,000 claimed by the ministers.
He says its effectiveness topped the world, with zero reoffending by graduates so far.

“I said it would not be a cheap programme because it has to be intensive to work with kids that have got serious problems and to work with their families but there’s nothing cheap about imprisoning people at a cost to $100,000 a year, nothing cheap about the cost of crime and the hurt to the victim, nothing about the wasted lives of those boys who will probably without intervention go on to spend most of their time, when they are not out in the community offending, being locked up in prison,” Mr Goff says.


Meanwhile, Hawkes Bay Maori are welcoming the decision by the Corrections Department to scrap plans for a community work centre in the middle of Flaxmere.

More than 400 residents attended a meeting last night to speak out against the centre.

Henare O'Keefe, the Flaxmere representative on the Hastings District Council, says it's a victory for people power, which was shown at the meeting.

The council will work with Corrections to find another site in a non-residential area.


It's been a tough day for Maori musher Ngarewa Houston-Cummings, who has just completed the John Beargrease dog race in Minnesota.

Mrs Houston-Cummings, who now lives in Vermont, came in 18th out of a field of 44 in the 106 mile middle distance race, which included a four hour night leg.

Her mother, Bernadette Ririnui, says her daughter has called her team of eight Malamuts and Alaskan huskies Toiamai, which means to pull.

“It's been a wonderful thing because she’s brought a lot of Maoritanga into her interests and she is often in touch with us here in Aotearoa New Zealand to ask for different meanings she can apply to her team and her kuri and she emanates that Maoritanga to all her friends in the racing fraternity which is just great,” Mrs Ririnui says.

Another New Zealander, Curt Perano from Queenstown, is taking part in the Beagrease marathon, which is still going on.


A Manukau City councilor is fighting plans to fly the tino rangitiratanga flag from council buildings on Waitangi Day.

The issue comes before the council's policy and activities committee tonight.
Jami-Lee Ross from Ngati Porou says that means reversing a decision to only fly the New Zealand flag.

“I'm concerned that it unfortunately stands for separatism, it is a protest flag and a lot of people also see it as a flag that stands for separate Maori government and on New Zealand’s national day the Manukau City Council should be flying the New Zealand flag which is the flag of our country and represents all New Zealanders,” Mr Ross says.


The Youth Horizons Trust is disputing figures used to justify the closure of its ground-breaking Te Hurihanga programme for young offenders.

Justice Minister Simon Power and Social Development Minister Paul Bennett yesterday withdrew funding for the Hamilton based residential programme, saying it was costing $630,000 per graduate.

But trust chief executive Cath Handley says only eight of the 23 predominantly Maori offenders had completed the programme.

“The cost has averaged per young person just over 160,000 or 166,000 per year and that is a cost that reduces over time as you increase your throughput and increase your efficacy of your programme. As you get better at certain things, you do not cut corners but you do them better,” Ms Handley says.

The 14 to 17 year olds in Te Hurihanga have an average of 23 previous convictions, and if they continue in that life they will cost the taxpayer much more for much longer.


Phil Tataurangi's agent says his performance in last week's New Zealand Open in Queenstown shows his determination to come back from injury.

Tataurangi finished with a six under par 282 for a share of 16th place.

Geoff Burns says it has taken the golfer years to get over double hernias and two lots of back surgery, but he's not giving up the game.

“Phil’s not a quitter. Obviously you wonder if you are gong to get back to where you have been, but I didn’t sense he thought he’d done enough. I always felt he’d keep working for as long as he could,” he says.

Phil Tataurangi in now in Melbourne getting ready for this week's Moonah Classic.

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Tolley testing patience of teaching profession

The matua takawaenga for the NZEI primary teachers' union, Laures Park, says the government should put its money into improving literacy and numeracy, not into testing against new standard in schools.

The controversial national standards policy comes into effect today.

Teacher unions say it's inevitable the data collected will become public, creating league tables which will hinder rather than help schools to lift student performance.

Ms Park says the data won't reveal anything new.

“What we would like is something to be done about raising those achievement levels rather than taking a test to tell us something that we already know,” she says.

Many parents are still in the dark about what the new national standards will mean for them.


Labour list MP Shane Jones has spoken out in support of current leader Phil Goff after a poll showed Maori support for Labour at an all time low.

The Te Karere Digipoll of 1000 voters in the Maori seats found only 18 percent approved of Mr Goff's performance, while 59 said he doesn't provide good leadership on Maori issues.

Even among Labour voters he could only muster 36 percent support.

Mr Jones says Mr Goff hasn't been able to overcome the way his speech last year attacking National's deal with the Maori Party on its emissions tradition scheme was interpreted.

“We just couldn't get a balanced coverage of that speech from the media. They immediately compared it to Don Brash. I mean it’s opposition politics, it’s a bugger of a job leading the opposition party after nine years in government and give the guy some credit. He’s trying to cover all the bases and there’s nothing prejudiced, nothing racist about that man whatsoever,” Mr Jones says.


A Waitangi kaumatua is expecting record attendances at this year's treaty commemorations in the Bay of Islands.

The programme includes a major waka regatta as well as the usual sports, cultural and political events.

Kingi Taurua says there is interest not only from New Zealand but overseas, with groups coming from Switzerland, Australia and throughout the Pacific which has never happened before.

He says it’s important visitors realise Maori own Waitangi Day, not the government.

Mana whenua expect to be stretch looking after all the manuhiri, but everything is in place for a successful celebration.


Broadcasting and telecommunications claimants are preparing to negotiate with the Crown about how Maori should share in a major reorganisation of spectrum.

Cabinet wanted to make decisions before Christmas about hundreds of millions of dollars worth of frequencies freed up by the shift to digital television, but was forced to backpedal after claimants went back to the Waitangi Tribunal.

Piripi Walker, the secretary of the Wellington Maori language board Nga Kaiwhakapumau i te Reo, says the Crown ignored tribunal findings on the issue in 1990 and 1999, but this time it may be forced to reach a settlement.

“The Crown assumes its right to ownership, rights to auction, rights to take payment from people over the last 20 years, left Maori out. The Crown’s coming back to the table, Maori would first of all want the Crown to bow its head a little bit and say maybe we weren’t on the right track to throw the tribunal reports in the rubbish tin,” Mr Walker says.

If negotiations break down the claimants can be back before the tribunal with three days notice.


The Greens' education spokesperson Metiria Turei says Pita Sharples' opposition to national standards comes a year late.

The new testing regime for primary and intermediate schools starts today.

Ms Turei says the Maori Party backed the legislation allowing the standards, despite data from overseas showing students from disadvantaged communities suffer when such national literacy and standards are imposed.

She says it's the price the Maori Party is paying to be in government.

“This is the political reality when you are part of a government that has a radical programme that is bad for your own people, and it’s something the Maori Party is going to have to live with. And it’s really distressing for those of us who support what the Maori Party is trying to achieve but seeing them thwarted every time they try to make progress,” Ms Turei says.

She says Pita Sharples should push for a trial before the standards are rolled out nationally.


Rugby commentator Ken Laban says Maori rugby deserves a high calibre competition to mark its centenary year.

Players and fans are waiting for the New Zealand Rugby Football Union to confirm games for the Maori All Blacks against England, Ireland and Wales.
Mr Laban says a European tour would be a great opportunity to expose the world to Maori rugby.

“In terms of popularity, outside the All Blacks they would be the second most popular. They’re an integral part of New Zealand society and the national game of rugby, so it would be wonderful if they could pull off a tour of this magnitude at the end of the season,” Mr Laban says.

The lack of New Zealand A Games this year would suggest a Maori is tour is the cards.

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Monday, February 01, 2010

More tests not the answer to under-achievement

School principal turned Labour MP Kelvin Davis says national education standards aren't the solution to Maori educational under achievement.

Associate education Minister Pita Sharples has expressed misgivings about the new testing regime, which is due to be implemented from tomorrow.

Mr Davis says the Maori Party leader is right to baulk.

“No principal, no teacher disagrees with setting high standards or disagrees with the fact that parents have a right to good information about their kid’s achievement. It’s just that national standards aren’t backed by any research to make any difference whatsoever to achievement.
Mr Davis says.

He says the money for the standards policy would be better spent on teacher education and attracting excellent teachers to low decile schools.


A Waikato University law lecturer says a written constitution for New Zealand could be good for Maori.

Linda Te Aho from Ngati Koroki Kahukura makes her case for a constitution in a chapter in the book Weeping Waters, which will be launched at Waitangi this week.

She says because there is no written constitution, lawmakers have been able to take away rights guaranteed to Maori under the Treaty of Waitangi.

“Whilst there might have been perceived to be victories or wins in the courts, the reality is quite different. For example, the legislation might include in it some kind of safeguard for Maori but what we have seen at ground level is the Crown has still found ways to bypass those safeguards,” Mrs Te Aho says.

The issue of a written constitution will loom large in the constitutional review the government has promised will be held this year.


A man who grew up on Te Poho o Rawiri is devastated by the vandalism of the historic Gisborne marae.

Windows were broken, ponga fences smashed, and graffiti scrawled on external walls.

In other attacks, vandals smashed a plaque on a statue on nearby Titirangi Hill commemorating Captain Cook and a monument halfway down the hill for freezing workers killed in World War 1.

Jim Perry, whose family donated the land for the marae, says the whole community wants the perpetrators found and punished.

The Ngati Oneone marae is one of the largest in the country.


Associate education minister Pita Sharples believes it is inevitable the national standards policy will lead to league tables - to the detriment of many low decile primary schools.

The new testing regime for literacy and numeracy is due to start tomorrow, with Education Minister Anne Tolley still locked in battle with the primary teachers' union the NZEI over the issue.

She has promised to make it as difficult as possible for the media to make public comparisons of the data collected.

But Dr Sharples says that's impossible.

“Schools are a competitive business. People already look at their school c results and the various academic credits gained by the various schools and they compare already so you cant tell me this isn’t going to produce big lists and the media will use it to emphasise something here or there. It's automatic,” Dr Sharples says.

He says publishing school results could lead to lower community support and problems recruiting teachers and students.


An itinerary is shaping up for a northern hemisphere tour to mark the centennial year of Maori rugby.

Commentator Ken Laban says it's likely the Maori All-Blacks will play England, Ireland and Wales.

He says it will be a wonderful tribute for what has been an important contributor to New Zealand's rugby traditions.

“They'll get the chance the Millennium Stadium they’ll get a chance to play in Ireland and they’ll get to play at Twickenham,” Mr Laban says.

The New Zealand Rugby Union is yet to confirm the tour.


He achieved worldwide fame as the frontman of the Otara Millionaires Club, but the Taranaki iwi is proud to claim Pauly Fuemana as one of their own.

The hip hop singer died yesterday aged 40, after being ill for several months.

His sister, Christina Fuemana, says while Pauly and his siblings were raised in the tough South Auckland suburb by their Niuean father, their mother was a member of the Hohaia and Wetere whanau of Taranaki.

She says the family was passionate about music, but Paul was pushed forward into the limelight.

She says her brother enjoyed his life.

Sharples breaks ranks on education standards

Associate education Minister Pita Sharples has spoken out against the introduction of national education standards in primary schools.

In last week's Cabinet reshuffle, Education Minister Anne Tolley was relieved of her tertiary education role so she could push through the controversial new testing regime.

Dr Sharples, who was a professor of education at Auckland University before entering Parliament, says he was hardly consulted on the policy.
He says there are huge dangers for Maori.

“I just have a grave fear that is will repercuss in many ways. Not only parents picking and choosing schools but it will means some schools will be low in support from the community, they are going to lose roll numbers, teachers won’t go there, all sorts of things could happen,” he says.


A Waikato hapu is pushing for compensation from Transpower for the pylons crossing its Karapiro land.

Lawyer Willie te Aho says Ngati Koroki Kahukura has sympathy for Tamahere farmers Steve and Delia Meier, who want compensation after arcing high tension lines set fire to trees on their property last week.

The subsequent outage led to power being cut to more than 50,000 homes in Auckland and Northland.

Mr te Aho says Ngati Koroki Kahukura's case is even stronger because the Meiers bought land with pylons already on, while the hapu already owned the land.

“Here's Maori land. Here are pylons that are put on. There was no consultation with the owners. It was done through the public works process. So there has been a breach of the treaty principle of a duty to consult,” Mr Te Aho says.


A Ratana nun wants to travel the world spreading the church's message of peace and goodwill.

Marama Nathan, Sister of Mercy, says she's inspired church founder Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana's 1924 world tour.

Her hikoi some time in the next two years aims to take in at least 10 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America.
Seats are limited.

“I am only planing to take 100 Ratana, members. Half of them will be from the reo – we have seven church bands and even if we take five from each that’s 35 members so that’s a pretty good number to travel with us,” Mrs Nathan says.


The presenter of a Maori television series on Ngapuhi says the weekend's festival in Kaikohe showed the growing strength of the country's largest tribe.

Quentin Hita says more than 40,000 people attended the Ngapuhi festival featuring, food, music and korero.

He says it’s significant this year's festival was attended by as many as five times more than last year as Ngapuhi has not always been seen to be united.

“When people feel like they have met face to face, it strengthens that sense of identity. It’s about engendering pride and I’m sure we will see Ngapuhi move forward on issues as a unified collective and I think that’s really exciting,” Mr Hita says.

Ngapuhi will host others tribes and all New Zealanders at Waitangi next weekend.


Meanwhile Malcolm Mulholland, the author of a book calling for New Zealand to adopt a new name, flag and national anthem says next weekend's Waitangi celebrations will be ideal place to launch the work.

The historian says Weeping Waters featuring chapters by 14 prominent Maori will kick off debate in a year when the government has promised constitutional reform.

He says the symbols of name, flag and anthem are fundamental to constitution and must be changed.

“If as a country are we going to look at using the treaty as a cornerstone of the constitution or the constitution itself, then no doubt those symbols need to reflect that, and as they stand at the moment they don’t so they do need to be changed,” Mr Mulholland says.

He knows the book, which includes articles by MP Hone Harawira and academics Moana Jackson and Linda Te Aho, will be controversial but he hopes New Zealanders will listen to its messages rather than revert to entrenched attitudes.


And Waitangi kaumatua Kingi Tauroa says Te Tii Marae is where constitutional issues must be discussed.

He is welcoming Malcolm Mulholland and his writers to Waitangi and he wants Prime Minister John Key and his ministers who will be there to listen.

“Waitangi is a place we call the Maori parliament where Maori raise the issues and question the government in terms of their policies and I think that is healthy. I don’t care what sort of issue that people have as long as they discuss it at Waitangi, I’m really supportive of that,” Mr Tauroa says.

He says with constitutional issues on the agenda the marae is preparing for record numbers at Waitangi this year.