Waatea News Update

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Tamaki iwi sign framework for volcanic ownership

It was smiles all round at Old Government House in the grounds of Auckland University today as representatives of 12 iwi and hapu with interests in Tamaki Makaurau put their tohu on a framework agreement to share ownership of the city's volcanic cones.

Ngati Whatua o Orakei chair Grant Hawke says his hapu made significant concessions to allow the agreement to go ahead, including giving up exclusive ownership of three of the maunga.

He says Ngati Whatua is happy to share assets with the iwi who married in to it over the centuries, but it's not dropping its claim to the preeminent position.

“The conquest in 1740 by Tupiriri and others was conclusive. Utu was a way of life in those times, We gained the mana whenua, we gained the mountains of Kiwi Tamaki but now we are having to re-share those with our whanaunga but for the benefit of the future, this can lead to something good.
Mr Hawke says.

As well as the framework agreement, Ngati Whatua signed a agreements in principle to settle its outstanding claims at Hikurangi, Tupiriri's pa on the flanks of Maungakiekie-One Tree hill.


Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson says Ngati Whatua has shown extraordinary generosity in setting aside its earlier agreement in principle to allow other mana whenua iwi to join a comprehensive settlement process.

The rethink came in response to a scathing Waitangi Tribunal report into how the Office of Treaty Settlements excluded other iwi from negotiations.

Mr Finlayson says it's been a long hard road to today's signings.

“I think a lot of people were feeling pretty bruised after the 2007 Waitangi Tribunal report but Ngati Whatua have put that behind them, they’ve made some very generous concessions and as a result have helped kick start the comprehensive settlements,” Mr Finlayson says.

He hopes to bring the settlements to final deed stage this year.


Maori money managers may have some regrets today after mobile phone operator Two Degrees reported it has gained more than 206,000 active users in its first six months, including 50,000 who brought their numbers over from other networks

The Maori stake in Two Degrees dropped below 20 percent after spectrum company Hautaki failed to bring in new investors, despite a comprehensive marketing effort among iwi and land trusts.

Two Degrees chief executive Eric Hertz says there will be other opportunities for Maori to invest.

“The thing about this one is a little different from more traditional investments in that you put a fair amount of capital in before it starts to generate positive cash flow so it you have to be prepared for that in this kind of investment. Over the long term, it does pay off, it’s proven in the track record, so it’s a bit of a different investment,” Mr Hertz says.

He says on current trends Two Degrees should be cash flow positive in 18 months, and its average return per user is already substantially well above Telecom's published figures.


Auckland iwi have moved into a new phase in relations between themselves and with central and local government.

Representatives today signed a framework agreement that will give 12 iwi and hapu shared ownership of at least 11 volcanoes in the region.

It replaces an earlier agreement that would have give Ngati Whatua o Orakei exclusive ownership of three maunga, as well as a right of first refusal over surplus Crown land on the isthmus.

Paul Majurey from Marutuahu says it's taken a lot of work by a lot of people over the past year.

“The solution was always there. It was articulated and ventilated in the Waitangi Tribunal report of 2007 and very simply that was a shared approach. Not a process where you recognise only one group and first up, best dressed but where you recognise all the interests.

“Credit for this achievement is multifaceted, it is to the leadership of the tangata whenau especially, the compromises by all the iwi and hapu of tamaki because everyone have compromised to recognize the shared interests as well as the Crown and the people it has brought to bear such as Sir Douglas Graham, Michael Dreaver under the auspices of minister Finlayson,” Mr Majurey says

Marutuahu is pleased to have its kaitiaki role in Tamaki Makaurau acknowledged, and to participate in the new political and economic opportunities the deal will enable.


Former treaty negotiations minister Sir Douglas Graham says the settlement should give Aucklanders a more comprehensive view of the history of their city.

Sir Douglas was brought in as a facilitator to get the various iwi and hapu with claims to Tamaki Makaurau working together.

“Well they had to accept there we overlapping interests, Some found that difficult to do but we were going back 500 years, not 150, and if you look at it that way there were overlapping interests and they had to be recognised. They have and this is a very positive way forward so good luck to them all,” Sir Douglas says

He says it was great to see the iwi in the same room for the signing at Old government House at Auckland university.


Judges at this Sunday's Tainui Regional Kapahaka competitions at Mystery Creek near Hamilton will take a hard look at the quality and pronunciation of language used.

Organiser Paraone Gloyne says reo quality will be a factor in the aggregate scores, and there will be special emphasis on the karanaga or calls of welcome that form part of each team's performance.

“The whaikorero wouldn’t exist on the marae if the karanga wasn’t there first so in line with tikanga Maori we thought it wuld be a good idea to include the kanga in the judging and we look at perpetuating karanga and whaiukorero within the competition,” Mr Gloyne says.

The top three roopu will represent Tainui rohe at next years Te Matatini national championships near Gisborne.

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Ngapuhi line-up preparing for hearing

Northern iwi Ngapuhi is fine tuning its attack for next month's opening hearing on its claim over the meanings of the Treaty of Waitangi and the 1835 Declaration of Independence.

Mere Mangu, who coordinated a meeting this week of Te Kotahitanga o nga hapu o Ngapuhi, says the iwi is adamant their tupuna never conceded sovereignty.

She says the hui was impressed by the line up of kaumatua and tribal scholars who will put the case.

“Nuki Aldridge is talking about the world view of Maori. Rima Edwards will concentrate his korero on the word ‘mana’ in He Whataputanga. Patu Hohepa has a paper on the language that was used in both He Whataputanga and Te Tiriti,” Ms Mangu says.

A further Kotahitanga hui will be held in a fortnight on Oromahoe Marae.


Meanwhile, Maori Party MP Hone Harawira wants this year's promised constitutional review to be taken out to the nation.

With the party's co-leaders now government ministers, the Tai Tokerau MP and protest leader has been delegated to front the issue for the party.

He says it's not something that can be left to Wellington.

“We have to make sure it gets on the road, it stays on the road, we get it onto Maori radio, it becomes something people can talk about and understand and not just up there in the air. We’ve got to keep it low to the ground. There’s the whole issue of Maori rights, human rights,” Mr Harawira says.

He's optimistic the Moana Jackson-led roopu put together by the Iwi Leaders Forum to work on the review will provide a useful balance to the official process.


The Problem Gambling Foundation's new Pasifika unit is drawing on the experience of Maori-focused services.

Mapu Maia unit manager Pesio Ah-Honi Siita says gambling causes huge problems in both Maori and Pasifika communities.

She says the challenge is to create culturally focused interventions, including talking to people in their own languages and less emphasis on counseling.

“We don't have that concept in the Pacific. We call it talanoa which is talking, sharing stories and talking about our families and where we are connected and building that trust first before we can talk about the problem so developing different ways of doing things and delivering those services in a Pacific effective way,” Pesio Ah-Honi Siita says.


Associate social welfare minister Tariana Turia says if non-Maori want whanau ora, they can develop their own version.

In this week's statement to Parliament, Prime Minister John Key said the Government will ensure Whanau Ora is available to New Zealanders of all races who are in need.

Mrs Turia says while she doesn't mind other people having the same opportunities, the Whanau Ora taskforce led by Sir Mason Durie is working on Maori solutions to Maori problems.

“It's not a welfare progamme but when you transform people’s lives to take back more control over their lives, to be more self-determining about their future, to reconnect them to the essence of who they it is no doubt that we, through doing this, will address many of these social ills that impact on our people,” Mrs Turia says.


Now it has completed its land settlement, Te Arawa is talking with other Maori groups around the country about social services.

Police superintendant Wally Haumaha from Ngati Ngatauranui was part of a Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa group which met with Te Whanau o Waipareira.

He says the West Auckland trust has built up considerable expertise in service delivery which the iwi can draw on.

“Now that we’ve come through treaty settlements and mapping our economic future within the tribe, we’ve also got to look at what that means for the well being of whanau, so our social programmes and social development aren’t left behind and forgotten,” Superintendant Haumaha says.

It's important to develop service delivery structures which are tailored to Maori needs and aspirations.


A kaumatua group in Auckland has reformed to offer assistance to urban marae short on speakers.

Te Roopu kaumatua o Owairaka ki Tamaki was started in 1992, but went into recess a few years later.

Yesterday about 40 kaumatua met to breathe life back into the kaupapa.

Spokesperson Hone Komene says all members are over 60, and have put their hand up to help wherever needed.

The group will meet to learn waiata, tikanga and kaupapa which will help on the marae.

Hone Komene says as well as strengthening paepae when invited, the kaumatua roopu will continue to visit maori inmates in jail.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Choppy reaction to foreshore ownership compromise

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is rejecting the Prime Minister's suggestion no one should own the foreshore.

John Key put up the option as a way around one of the most controversial aspects of Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Act, that it vested title in the Crown until proven otherwise.

Mrs Turia says that would satisfy neither the Maori Party nor iwi generally.

“That's about the Crown taking a property right away from our people and it’s not something they do to anyone else in this country and that’s why there was such an outrage in the original foreshore and seabed issue where Labour took the ownership of the foreshore and seabed away from our people and put it into Crown hands,” Mrs Turia says.


A northern iwi leader is sounding a note of caution over the new Kainga Whenua housing loan scheme.

Housing New Zealand will guarantee Kiwibank loans of up to 100 percent for Maori building homes on multiply-owned land.

Haami Piripi from Te Rarawa says the bar is set too high, and he can't see a stampede of Maori signing up.

“You have to have a household income of $85,000 a year. In my iwi, the average income for a Maori male is $14,800. To have an annual incomes of $85,000 you have to have two people working in a relatively well paid job,” Mr Piripi says.


There's a call for more Maori scientists to develop the Maori economy.

A survey by the New Zealand Association of Scientists has found that Maori make up just 1.7 percent of the science workforce.

Association president James Renwick says while that is double the figure of 15 years ago, there is a matter of great concern that Maori are not attracted to work in the area.

“Science and technology are crucial to our economic future and it’s pretty well recognised Maori are entrepreneurial and capable so bringing science and technology to the fore can only be a good thing,” Dr Renwick says.

More study is needed into why more Maori are not entering the sciences.


The Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has ruled out splitting with the government over a 20 percent hike in GST.

Te Tai Tonga MP Rahui Katene says walking away is an option if the government doesn't compensate low income people for the increase.
Mrs Katene has produced a bill to exempt so called healthy food from the tax.

But Mrs Turia says it's not an issue that will break the support agreement.

“In signing up to confidence and supply on all matters that are related to tax or to finance we are bound to vote with the Government so it does but you into a Catch 22 situation of having to vote for some things you certainly do not agree with,” Mrs Turia says.


A lawyer involved in the Iwi Leaders' Forum's talks on the reform of the Foreshore and Seabed Act says it's political deception to say no one will own the beaches.

Prime Minister John Key says removing the assumption of Crown ownership is one of the options under consideration.

Moana Jackson from Ngati Kahungunu says by saying it will remain silent on ownership, the Crown is really saying its ownership will continue.

“There a bit of deception in the proposal and rather than looking at something that might be different than the previous legislation, it sounds like it will be more of the same with more sensitive-sounding language,” Mr Jackson says.

He says Maori have always said they would give the public access to the beaches.


Kiwi Rugby league coach Steven Kearny says Adam Blair fully deserves the NZRL International player of the year award he picked up last night.

It's been a tumultuous seven-year journey for the Melbourne Storm backrower since he was spotted as a 16-year-old Whangarei schoolboy by a Queensland club.

Mr Kearny says with 76 NRL games and 16 tests under his belt, the 23 year old, 108 kilo Kiwi vice captain is on top of his game in both domestic and international competition, and his performances last year were magnificent.

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Te Uri o Hau fighting tide power on all fronts

Kaipara Maori say the government can't give the go ahead for a tidal power station on the Kaipara Harbour until ownership of the Seabed and Foreshore is settled.

Te Uri o Hau Settlement Trust has sought an urgent hearing of the Waitangi Tribunal to consider whether the Minister of Conservation can consent to the project, and it's also seeking injunctions from the Maori land Court and the High Court.

Chairman Russell Kemp says Crest Energy's project, which is backed by the Enviroment Court, would wreck the harbour.

“We’re totally opposed to it because it will kill the Kaipara. What they are going for is a 35-year property right on a prized area of the Kaipara where there is an abundance of fish,” Mr Kemp says.

Crest Energy wants to build up to 200 five-storey turbines near the entrance to the Kaipara.


The head of Maori and indigenous studies at Canterbury University believes Whanau Ora has lost its focus on Maori, and is being used to justify major changes to welfare delivery across the board.

Rawiri Taonui says the Maori Party talked up the initiative last year as a way to devolve services and decision-making to Maori.

But this week Prime Minister John Key said Whanau Ora would be available to New Zealanders of all races who are in need.

Mr Taonui says that shows the policy has been captured by mainstream departments - to the detriment of the kaupapa.

“One of the modifications has been to do that not only for Maori social service providers but to do it for all services generally and that constitutes a lack of recognition of the structural prejudice Maori people face when they are engaging with social services, health, education, and so forth,”
Mr Taonui says.

Unless the government tackles issues of inter-generational poverty, structural racism and Maori rights, there will be no change in negative Maori statistics.


A Taranaki businesswoman wants to sell New Zealand music to the world.
Emere Wano is putting together next month's Sounds Aotearoa showcase in New Plymouth in March to introduce the country's musical talent to international buyers.

She says it's cheaper to bring international buyers to watch artists here than to send the artists to perform on the other side of the world.

“They really wanted a point of difference which I think New Zealand can offer not only through our Maori and Pacific artists by our New Zealand artists, we have a different sound and look and way about us,” Ms Wano says.

She hopes Sounds Aotearoa can lead to acts like Anika Moa, Kora and Little Bushmen getting overseas releases and tours.


Auckland Regional Council chair Mike Lee is opposing a plan to use the region's largest park to settle a Treaty claim.

Treaty Settlements minister Chris Finlayson has written to the council with a proposal that Ngati Whatua o Orakei and Te Kawerau a Maki be brought in to co-manage the Centennial Park in the Waitakere Ranges, in a similar way to that being considered for the city's volcanoes.

Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey is backing the idea.

But Mr Lee says public ownership needs to be protected.

“Public ownership represents a unified New Zealand of equality of all people and those assets which I came in to politics to defend need to remain owned by all the people, not given away, however worthy the cause, to settle injustices of the past,” Mr Lee says.

Centennial Park was bought with public donations to mark the city's centenary in 1941.


Green co-leader Metiria Turei is accusing the Prime Minister of paternalism for the way he referred to Maori in this week's statement of government priorities.

John Key promised to find better ways to tackle the child abuse, family violence, poor educational results and crime continue to characterise the lives of too many Maori families.

Ms Turei says Mr Key seemed to be harking back to the 19th century.

“He talks in his speech about ‘our Maoris’ and other people have noticed it, but there are a few times in his speech where he talks about ‘our Maori community’. I think that paternalistic 19th century attitude to Maori and also other vulnerable communities as well like beneficiaries, like the low paid, is really telling,” Ms Turei says.

She says the real message for Maori and low income communities in the speech was that they would be hammered by an increase in GST.


Entertainer Frankie Stevens says he's honoured to take part in tonight's Maori Motown concert in Taradale.

The event is a low cost local alternative to tomorrow's Mission Estate concert featuring acts like Martha and the Vandellas, the Four Tops and the Temptations.

Stevens will perform alongside other Maori soul singers like Rewa Ututaonga, Thomas Stowers and Brannigan Kaa.

He says the family concert, which will raise money for marae rebuilding and a methamphetamine awareness campaign, is a great idea.

If any of the Motown stars want to drop in, they'll be welcome up on the Otatara Pa stage.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Submissions due on Maori Council review

The Maori Council is urging people to have their say on its future.

Submissions close on Friday to a Maori Affairs select committee inquiry into the operation of the 1962 Maori Community Development Act, which provides the legal framework for the council and the Maori wardens.

Jim Nichols, the council's deputy chair, says while many iwi-centric organisations have emerged in recent years, there is still a need for a pan-Maori voice on national issues.

“We're hoping that the achievements of the council will be recognized, and that the council in whatever shape it takes in the future will be there to argue the treaty cases and any other breaches of legislation that has been put in place for the benefit of Maori,” Mr Nichols says.


The Greens say National's plans for conservation land are a threat not just to the natural environment but to treaty claims.

Prime Minister John Key told Parliament yesterday his government plans to change schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act, which prohibits mining or prospecting on large parts of the conservation estate.

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says Maori claimants can't get a look in on conservation land, but the government seems keen to open the door to big money interests.

“Most of the time they refuse to give conservation land to iwi in treaty settlements, but they are prepared to give it to international mining companies. There is a big issue there around their preference for mining companies as opposed to iwi,” Ms Turei says.

Up to 400 national parks, forest parks and marine reserves could be affected by the changes.


Maori music fans like their reggae, but they like their soul as well.
With Motown stars Martha and the Vandellas, the Four Tops, the Temptations and Mary Wilson playing the Mission Estate Vineyard on Saturday, Hawkes Bay Maori have come up with their own tribute to the sound of Detroit.

Organiser Dennis O'Reilly says tomorrow night's concert at Otatara Pa, a natural ampitheatre near Taradale, gives families a chance to enjoy the music as played by Maori stars, without the big ticket price.

Artists include Frankie Stevens, Rewa Ututaonga and Brannigan Kaa, and money raised will help Ngati Parau rebuild its meeting house.


Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey wants to see iwi co-management of Auckland's volcanic cones extended to Centennial Park, which makes up a significant part of the Waitakere ranges.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson has asked the Auckland Regional Council, which owns the park, to consider the idea.

Mayor Harvey says Waitakere City has worked closely with Te Kawerau a Maki in managing its parts of the ranges, and he sees no reason the partnership should not continue with the super city.

“Maori have proved over generations to be great custodians of the land. They have a heritage, here They have a partnership with the land and the past. I am delighted with such a great suggestion,” Mr Harvey says.

He says the Centennial Park plan is creative thinking which makes sense.


The manager of a Bay of Plenty iwi says any increase in GST will create extra work for iwi social services.

Paul Stanley from Ngaiterangi says the 20 percent increase flagged by Prime Minister John Key means less money in the pockets of the poor.

That will put pressure on families and create hidden problems in low income communities.

“A large amount of difficulties that happen in families are about money. We’ve seen a lot of family breakups and violent situations round money, and when the family do break up, it’s harder for mum or dad to have contact with children. There’s a lot of hidden stuff within it,” Mr Stanley says.

The government's work plan for the year is disappointing, because it avoided major problems in the economy such as the over-investment in housing.


And Canterbury University Maori studies head Rawiri Taonui says the Prime Minister's promise to weed out lazy students is a threat to Maori.

Mr Key says the government would target courses with high drop out or failure rates to improve the value of the $2.8 billion spent each year on tertiary education.

Mr Taonui says laziness isn't the reason 40 percent of Maori students fail or don't complete stage one university courses, compared to only 10 percent of Pakeha.

“If he brings in a regime like that, then that threatens to undermine the position of Maori in the universities because it doesn’t look at the problem in terms of teaching styles, the Pakeha nature of the institutions, the structural impediments to Maori making progress and so forth,” Mr Taonui says.

He says Mr Key's shake up could remove support mechanisms, making it even harder for Maori students to last the distance.

Poor to bear brunt of tax change

Waipareira Trust head John Tamihere fears poorer communities could bear the costs of the government's tax changes.

Prime Minister John Key yesterday signaled what Mr Tamihere say could be the biggest shake up of the economy since Rogernomics in the 1980s.

Mr Tamihere says the devil will be in the detail.

“I can trade off 15 percent in GST subject to the first $15000 being tax free, something along those lines. If there are trade-offs, you can live with it. If there’s not, you have to stand up on behalf of the poor community and say this is unpalatable,” Mr Tamihere says.

New Zealand's Goods and services tax is held in high regard around the word for its simplicity and effectiveness.


A Canterbury University education researcher says history teachers are missing opportunities to bring history alive because they won't engage with Maori in their local area.

Richard Manning says most teachers have little knowledge of things Maori, and they feel more comfortable teaching topics like Tudor England.

Dr Manning, whose most recent work looked at how Te Atiawa's view of history differs from what's taught at secondary schools in the Port Nicholson Block claim area, says the iwi saw history in the way the region's fauna and flora had changed.

“For the teachers, the key historical text in their teaching practice is what is in the text book, not what local Maori people, landscaped plant life or animals can tell them about the past as texts in their own right,” he says.

Dr Manning says a bias by senior history teachers towards European subjects means New Zealand history is crowded out of the syllabus.


Well wishers will be lining the shoreline over the next hour to witness the return of the waka Ngatokimatawhorua to the waters of the Hokianga for the first time in 62 years.

The waka has been extensively restored by tohunga Hekenukumai Busby after spending most of its life at Otaua Marae.

It features in last weekend's regatta at Waitangi, and has been brought west to take part in Hokianga treaty commemorations.

Event organiser Mita Harris says there is sense of excitement at Horeke.


A Bay of Plenty iwi leader says the government's proposed tax changes show John Key is failing to grasp the problems the country is facing.

Paul Stanley from Ngaiterangi says the proposed increase in GST to 15 percent means less money in the pockets of the poor, and iwi social services can expect to deal with more family break-ups and violence.

He says by ruling out the taxes on capital gains and residential property recommended by the Tax Working Group, Mr Key showed he's not up for meaningful change.

“It's a bit of a flaccid response from government after all the hype that’s gone into it but not surprising. I really like John Key as a person he’s done some great stuff. When it comes to the tough decisions, I believe National will do another term as government but I don’t think it will be with John Key because he’s not strong enough, and this is a prime example of it,” Mr Stanley says.

He says the recession has affected the middle classes more than working class people, but this year it's likely the poor will be hit hard.


The National Stroke and Neurosciences Research Centre wants to know why Maori are particularly hard hit by traumatic brain injury.

Project head Valery Feigin says New Zealand has one of the highest incidences in the world of what is called the 'invisible injury', with 20,000 to 30,000 cases a year.

He says preliminary evidence suggests such injuries are 25 to 30 percent more common among Maori, but there is no data on why they are hit harder and at a younger age than pakeha.

Professor Feigin says the AUT University-based centre will study everyone in the Waikato who suffers a brain injury in the coming year.


The chief executive of arts marketer Toi Maori, Garry Nicholas, is congratulating New Zealand Post for the design on the most valuable New Zealand coin ever made.

New Zealand Post is issuing 500 one ounce gold coins featuring a heitiki by Te Puke pounamu carver Raponi Wilson.

Mr Nicholas says it's how Maori art should be used, with artists maximize the return from their skill with top end applied design.

The coins, which cost $2650 each, will be housed in waka huia treasure boxes designed by Warren McGrath, tohunga whakairo to the Maori King.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Ngati Rangitihi holds power trust to account

A Bay of Plenty iwi has stymied the Eastern Bay Energy Trust's plan to move to full ownership of listed lines company Horizon Energy.

Te Mana O Ngati Rangitihi Trust got an injunction stopping the release of a beneficiary poll seeking approval to borrow $20 million for the deal.

iwi chair Graham Pryor says the energy trust's 20,000 beneficiaries, which includes a large proportion of Maori, weren't properly informed.

“They didn't provide information that backed up their proposal, ie, there’s no financial analysis. They didn’t disclose whether they received any advice, if they’d take that advice, and they didn’t disclose what the financial impacts on the trust were going to be of the purchase,” Mr Pryor says.

The chair of Eastern Bay Energy Trust, David Bulley, says lawyers for the two trusts are hammering out an agreement which will allow the process to start again.

He says the energy trust owns 77 percent of Horizon, and wants to move to full ownership so it can save on the high costs associated with a listed company.


Labour leader Phil Goff says the government's proposed tax changes will again favour the privileged and hurt Maori at the bottom of the heap.

Prime Minister John Key today ruled out the capital gains and land taxes recommended by a tax advisory committee, but said the government was considering a 20 percent increase in GST.

Mr Goff says last year's tax cuts didn't reach many Maori, and today's announcement does nothing to redress that.

“They excluded families earning less than $40,000 from the tax cuts last year. That’s where most Maori are, They didn’t get anything. But if you’re on the top tax rate you’ll certainly get a cut,” Mr Goff says.

He says there was nothing in the Prime minister's statement that would help Maori unemployment, which is at a 17 year high.


Whale Watch Kaikoura sees its growth being in Australia rather than in the northern South island township.

The Ngai Tahu-owned firm is getting ready for the judges for the World Tourism and Travel Council's Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, for which it's been nominated in the community benefit section.

Chief operating officer Kauahi Ngapora says while there are always improvements to be made in the Kaikoura operation, including upgrading to more fuel-efficient vessels, the focus is increasingly in whale watch ventures over the Tasman.

The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards will be announced at the 10th Global Travel and Tourism Summit in Beijing in May.


The ousted chief executive of Te Taura Whiri says she's proud of what she achieved in her three years in the job.

Huhana Rokx resigned after an investigation and mediation process sparked by a letter from Maori language commission staff complaining about her management style.

Mrs Rokx says it's time for fresh thinking in the job, but she leaves her successor with a strategy mapped out to meet the board's objective of being out of business within 20 years.

“Being out of business means the country will have taken te reo Maori to its heart, and Maori, non-Maori. All people living in Aotearoa would be using the language and seeing the language as a huge benefit not only to themselves but to the country as a whole,” Mrs Rokx says.

Maori Language Commissioner Erima Henare says Huhana Rokx's performance in the job had been exemplary, and her resignation was an honourable response to difficult circumstances faced by the CEO, the staff and the Board.


An education researcher says secondary school history teachers avoid New Zealand history to appease non-Maori parents and students.

Richard Manning of Canterbury University's College of Education studies the relationship between Te Atiawa ki Poneke and 24 schools in the Port Nicholson Block claim to see how using local examples could enhance learning.

But he says most parents and students see New Zealand history as Maori history, which is too contentious.

“Teachers feel safer to teach about Black civil rights in America than New Zealand’s race relations. They feel safer to teach Israel, Palestine and the conflict in Ireland than they do about the conflict that exist on our own soil, and I see that as being highly problematic and not a healthy situation in terms of our long-term future,” Dr Manning says.

Te Atiawa ki Poneke and other Wellington iwi are keen to work with teachers to make lessons relevant to budding young historians.


A Ngai Tahu hapu is celebrating the creation of an historic reserve near Akaroa.

George Tikao, the upoko of Onuku Runanga, says George Tikao says Takapuneke is the site of an 1830 battle between Ngai Tahu ariki Te Maiharanui and Ngati Toa's Te Rauparaha in which 150 people were killed.

He says a weekend blessing ceremony to protect the site was hugely moving.

“The blessing was all about lifting the tapu of this area from a urupa back to the living. Part of the ceremony and the blessing was replanting of some young seedlings just to spiritually say now we are going to bring this land back to the living,” Mr Tikao says.

Takapuneke was also known as Greens Point.

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Hokianga preparing for waka spectacular

Spectacular scenes are expected around the Hokianga this coming week as the 70-year-old Ngatoki Matawhaorua leads a flotilla of waka around harbour settlements.

The waka taua received an emotional welcome on Sunday when it returned to the harbour for the first time since 1948.

Mita Harris, who is coordinating events to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi at Mangungu by 64 chiefs, says tit will be back in the water tomorrow.

“It’s going to visit many different awa in the Hokianga itself so people are going to be quite excited hey can see the flotilla following Ngatokimatawhaorua,” Mr Harris says.

He says it was a great sight last weekend to see Ngatokimatawhaorua alongside the Waitangi-based waka of the same name.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei wants the government to fund pest control initiatives in rural areas where there is high Maori unemployment.

Figures out last week show more than 1 in 4 young Maori don't have jobs, and overall Maori unemployment is at a ten year high.

Ms Turei says as well as creating jobs, ground-based pest control means less use of 1080 poison.

“We can create jobs just by ground-based best control and managing pests in our native forests that we all love. That alone would save about 3 million tonnes of carbon a year and we would employ people who need jobs right now,” Ms Turei says.

She says the Government could be doing a lot more to fight climate change.


Getting more Maori midwives is a priority for a new push to encourage Maori into health careers.

Taima Campbell, a director of the national Maori nursing and midwifery workforce development programme, says the planned "Kia ora Hauora" campaign will show students and second-chance learners there's more to medicine than being a doctor.

She says the shortage of Maori midwives is especially critical.

Many young women interested in working with young mothers or babies get put off by the medical perspective, but are attracted to midwidery once they understand the opportunity.

Mrs Campbell says training institutions need to be more flexible in accepting students who can only study part-time, or taking students straight out of high school.


Environment Bay of Plenty has set up a fund to honour former Okurei Maori ward councilor Hawae Vercoe.

The Rotoiti kura kaupapa principal died of brain injuries after being knocked down outside a Whakatane bar last November.

A 21 year old man was charged with his murder.

Chair John Cronin says Mr Vercoe made a huge contribution to the regional council.

“We would like to put up a scholarship fund. It could be for young Maori and Maori education and Maori governance and that was a driving force,” Mr Cronin says.

The council's Maori committee is developing criteria for the $20,000 a year fund.


The head of the Principals' Federation says the system of benchmarking to be used in kura kaupapa looks far better than the system of national standards the government is imposing on mainstream primary and intermediate schools.

Ernie Buutveld says the kura system is designed to work alongside what is a world first indigenous curriculum developed for full immersion schools.

“That's really what we would like to see happen not just for kura kaupapa but for mainstream schools, so yes, there seems to be a double standard in the way we achieve a set of agreed benchmarks, or in National’s term, standards,” Mr Buutveld says.

He says international evidence indicates the standards-based approach won't lift student achievement.


Whale Watch Kaikoura is in line for another international award.

The Ngai Tahu-owned attraction is a finalist in the World Tourism and Travel Council's Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, which will be announced at the 10th Global Travel and Tourism Summit in Beijing in May.

Kauahi Ngapora, the chief operating officer, says the nomination for the community benefit award is fitting, because the fortune of the South Island town and community has grown with the company over the past two decades.

“It's all those stories of the various individuals in the company that have started from the bottom and worked their way up through the company so they have developed on the back of the company so those are the things that these bodies are actually looking at,” he says.

Last year Whale Watch Kaikoura won the supreme award at the Responsible Tourism Awards in London.

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Monday, February 08, 2010

History and blood counts against flag

The chair of the Waitangi National Trust is standing by his board's decision not to fly the tino rangitiratanga in the treaty grounds on Waitangi Day.

Pita Paraone from Ngati Hine says the board was unanimous in rejecting the flag chosen by the government as the official Maori flag.

Instead the New Zealand flag, the naval ensign and the flag chosen by the northern Confederation of Tribes in 1834 were flown on the navy's flagpole.

“One there's history. Two there are people who have spilled blood in the defence of democracy and they feel to do away with the flag and accept the tino rangatiratanga flag would be ignoring that sacrifice,” Mr Parone says.

The board will formally review its decision at its next meeting, as it starts planning for next year's commemorations.

Meanwhile, the last surviving paddler from the centennial celebrations at Waitangi says he became a kaihoe by chance.

Glass Murray of Te Kao was a 17-year-old St Stephens student in 1940 when the call went out on Waitangi Marae for extra paddlers for Ngatokimatawhaorua.

He remembers paddling with his iwi Te Aupouri alongside kai hoe from Ngati Kuri, Te Rarawa and Ngati Kahu, but not much more about the momentous event.

The smaller waka Ngatokimatawhaorua, which was back in the water at the weekend for the first time since 1940, was yesterday taken over to the Hokianga for next weekend's commemoration of the treaty signing at Mangungu.


The Wairoa Maori Film Festival has put out the call for young Maori film makers.

Festival director Leo Koziol says there's room on the programme for documentaries, short films, feature films and music videos.

He says it's a good opportunity for the many young Maori now at film schools around the country.

“We're really having a focus on dramatic films. There are seven short films we will take round the country to celebrate Matariki. We’ve selected three, so there is space for four more short films,” he says.

Entries close at the end of the month, and the festival will run over Queen's Birthday weekend in June.


Tears of joy have been shed as the Hokianga-built waka Ngatokimatawhorua returned to the west coast harbour for the first time in 62 years.

The waka, which has spent most of its life grounded on inland Otaua Marae, will be the star of a regatta at Mangungu later this week to commemorate Hokianga chiefs signing the treaty of Waitangi.

Event co-ordinator Mita Harris says yesterday's powhiri was greatly moving.

“Those old people at the powhiri at Horeke, the tears and cries were deep and tapu. The older women had their korowai and cloak on while it was coming in, so it was very emotional,” Mr Harris says.

Ngatokimatawhaorua was accompanied by four other waka and their crews, with more waka expected before the historic canoe returns to the water on Wednesday.


The Minister of Housing says he's already detecting a lot of interest for the new Kainga Whenua housing scheme.

Housing New Zealand is working with Kiwibank to overcome the security concerns over loans on multiply-owned land, and it's also willing to accept several occupiers sharing a mortgage.

Phil Heatley says it will take time before the interest turns into new homes.


As the health sector waits to see what whanau ora will look like, efforts continue to encourage more Maori into the wider health workforce.

Taima Campbell, a director of the national Maori nursing and midwifery workforce development programme, says the "Kia ora Hauora" campaign this year will show students and second-chance learners there's more to medicine than being a doctor.

Mrs Campbell, from Ngati Tamatera and Ngati Maru, says there's a persistent shortage.

“We don't have enough Maori entering into the health workforce, particularly into the regulated professions. We have always got the same people doing lots of work, so we have to address the fundamental problem which is about people looking at health as a career, taking up science, those kinds of things,” Mrs Campbell says.

As well as recruitment, the workforce development programme also looks at professional development and clinical leadership.

Foreshore Act replacement takes shape

Iwi leaders are happy with progress made on replacing the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

The Iwi Leaders Forum met at Waitangi with Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson to discuss how work being done by Crown officials and forum advisers would translate into action.

Ngapuhi chair Sonny Tau says Mr Finlayson assured them the act would be repealed as soon as an alternative was ready, and the Crown would no longer insist it owned foreshore land until proven otherwise.

"Section 13 will be removed, that’s the ownership by the Crown, and the new Foreshore and Seabed legislation will contain a clause that gives the mana of the iwi status and that in terms of its management the Crown is happy to share that management,” Mr Tau says.

Maori will be able to go back to court to pursue their foreshore claims.


Meanwhile The Iwi Leaders Forum has established a working group to look at constitutional change, ahead of an official exercise run by the Government.

The Maori Party was promised a constitutional review as part of its support agreement with National.

But working group head Moana Jackson from Ngati Kahungunu says any terms of reference for such a review would be limited by the Crown’s views of its own power.

He says for Maori, everything starts from the Maori version of the Treaty of Waitangi.

“The view that I take is whatever constitution is established in this country is subject to Te Tiriti rather than Te Tiriti being subject to any constitution, which is what the Crown has tried to do for 160 years, so a Maori constitutional review would start from a different place,” Mr Jackson says.

The working group will talk with Maori around the country and draw together some of the work done by earlier generations.


Ngati Awa has launched a campaign for iwi members to have a say in the future direction for the Bay of Plenty iwi.

Spokesman William Stewart says Ko Ngati Awa Te Toki was officially launched on Saturday, Waitangi day, and aims to make contact with tribal members worldwide using social networking web sites to create a collective vision for 2050.

He says the month long campaign is important to ensure a unified approach to tribal development over the next 40 years.


New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says debate over the Foreshore and Seabed Act has descended into farce.

The Ngati Wai kaumatua was on the paepae on Friday when the Government was welcomed to Te Tii Marae.

During the welcome, Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira described the Foreshore and Seabed Act as a gigantic land grab that needed to be reversed, and Prime Minister John Key warned the Act could be left in place if Maori were unwilling to compromise.

Mr Peters says the exchange on the marae was a reminder of the danger of making promises that can’t be kept.

“The reality is if no land was taken after Foreshore and Seabed Act passed, if not one inch of land was taken from anyone or passed from anyone’s hands into anyone else’s hands, what on earth is Hone and the Maori Party talking about? It’s a great lie, a great fiction, which Mr Key thought he could accommodate. Now he’s finding what a farce this is,” Mr Peters says.

He says whatever the Government comes up with to replace the Foreshore and Seabed Act, the Maori Party and its supporters are likely to be disappointed because they have such unrealistic expectations.


Meanwhile a Maniapoto man who encouraged hundreds of Pacific Islanders to go to Waitangi in the hope of getting residency has been warned against a repeat performance.

Gerard Otimi was at the head of a group of about 100 Tongans and Samoans who went on to Te Tii Marae on Friday, telling them just before going on that if questioned by media, they were to say they were there to celebrate the treaty.

When the Labour Party was welcomed later in the day, Waitangi kaimatua Kingi Taurua said his explanations of marae protocol seemed to have been misinterpreted as a promise to adopt people into the tribe so they could stay in New Zealand.

But Northland-based list MP Shane Jones said the misinterpretation seemed deliberate.

“Tongans, greetings. To all the Maoris bringing the Tongans here, our eyes are on you. Do not use the name of Ngapuhi, do not use this marae, and never use the Treaty of Waitangi to either mislead or bring expectations among our Pacific brethren that you will not be able to deliver. That is not the kaupapa of this day,” Mr Jones says.


A co-ordinator of Maori economic development projects in many parts of the country Willie Te Aho says the government's latest housing initiative will let many Maori return their rural marae.

Mr Te Aho says the initiative under which the government will guarantee Kiwibank loans for Maori to build on multiple owned land is most welcome.

“A lot of our Maori people who drifted into urban areas are now looking at how to get back to their bases, the baby boomers and that, so this creates an opportunity for them,” Mr Te Aho says.

It will not only allow more Maori to build on land around marae but on any multiple owned land.

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Pukaki puts hand up for new housing help

Friday February 5
An Auckland marae has moved quickly to take up the government's new proposals for Maori housing.

The scheme for the government to guarantee Kiwibank loans for maori to build on multiple owned land was only announced on Wednesday getting around the problem of security for such lending.

Maori affairs minister Pita Sharples says he met with leaders at Pukaki marae yesterday who are keen to build on their land in Mangere.

“So it’s real timely this has happened. It’s a major breakthrough, I feel. People won’t realise, if they’re not involved, just how important this is. It means in many areas our papakainga can come alive again,” Dr Sharples says.

He says the Maori Party has lobbied hard for such measures since it got into parliament.


An organiser of tomorrow's Kawhia maori kai festival says as well as providing great food and entertainment lessons the thousands of visitors expected will be introduced to traditional Maori practices.

Up to 10,000 people will make their way to the small settlement on the west coast of the North Island, the final resting place of the Tainui waka.

Lloyd Whiu says the festival, with its Maori delicacies sourced from bush and sea is a multi cultural smorgasboard.

He says 6000 hangi will be steamed, and 3000 kono or food baskets have been made to give a distinct Maori presentation to the kai festival.


The manager of the Maori arm of the Alcohol Advisory Council says the council will be everywhere this year to promote the message of moderate drinking.

Gilbert Taurua was hired to implement the Maori action plan strategy at ALAC, and says abstinence is not a reality in Maori society today.

He says it's important to spread ways of reducing alcohol-related harm, and plans to do so at popular Maori events throughout the year such as the Tauinui-Waikato Games and the Mataatua regional kapa haka.

ALAC hopes to launch a new social marketing campaign in March.


And Ngati Awa will use social networking sites to get ideas from young members about where the Bay of Plenty Iwi should be heading.

Spokeman William Stewart says it is launching a campaign to get all those who affiliate to the iwi to provide input into planned tribal developments for the next 40 years.

He says with 60 percent of the iwi aged under 30 and a third under 16, social networking sites such as facebook and Bebo will be used to get their unput to ensure they have input.


Union leader Matt McCarten says Maori must get smart to combat unemployment.

Figures released yesterday show Maori unemployment at a 10 year high... with one in four rangatahi jobless.

The National Secretary of Unite says iwi and UMA leaders need to develop secondary industries... such as making furniture and building houses rather than just growing the trees.

“So Maori have to get smarter,. We don’t want to just be the primary producers. The real money is using our brains, and Maori have always been entrepreneurial, we are,” Mr McCarten says.

Maori unemployment is always higher than non-Maori because so many are in unskilled primary industry jobs.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Preparations for treaty commemoration

February 5

In the Bay of Islands mana whenua are preparing to welcome thousands of visitors expected for tomorrow's Treaty of Waitangi commemorations.

First up Te Tii Marae is expecting a large ope of Pacific Island visitors here to learn about the treaty.

Kaumatua Kingi Taurua has joked he will be adopting them into his hapu – Ngati Kingi - leading to a succession of increasingly frenetic calls from Immigration officials warning him off the idea.

Just after 10am John Key will be welcomed on along with members of the diplomatic corps, back for the first time since they got caught up in some robust protests 15 years ago.

The Labour Party follows after noon with leader Phil Goff’s performance sure to come under scrutiny.

And at nearby Haruru Falls, the Iwi Leaders Forum will try to reach consensus on water, the foreshore and seabed and the reform of the Resource Management Act,


A longtime visitor to Waitangi Labour Party MP Parekura Horomia is expecting the usual friction.

This is his 37th visit, and he says while there are parts to be celebrated, there are also people who want to be negative.

Celebrations in other parts of the country are expected to be less controversial.

In Auckland upward of 30,000 are likely at the free Okahu Bay concert featuring reggae legends Herbs while at Manukau City Australian idol Stan Walker and band Kora will be the highlights.

Wellington's got the OK Dinghy world championships and Rugby 7's while governor general Sir Anand Satyanand will give his annual address on Akoroa's Onuku marae.

Dunedin will celebrate the 30th birthday of Araiteuru marae one of the first urban marae in the country.


One of New Zealand's foremost photographers Marti Friendlander says her gifting of a suite of 48 original prints of Maori kuia with moko to Te Papa Tongarewa has been a very humbling and moving experience.

82 year old Marti Friendlander who travelled the country in 1970 with the late Michael King to take the photos for their book Moko says she hesitated about making the donation because of the enormity of what she was doing.

“When you go into the exhibition, you feel the presence of these wonderful women. I had a preview of them all at the FHE Gallery and I was moved to tears because they were all so present,” Friedlander says.

She says the women were the age she is now when she photographed them.

The collection will be exhibited at Auckland's FHE from Monday.

Housing spokesperson and Maori Party co-leader, Tariana Turia, says Housing New Zealand could enter into joint ventures with Maori landowners in cases where home owners who can’t pay their mortgages.

The government has announced that Kiwibank will provide no deposit loans for Maori to build homes on multiple owned land with Housing New Zealand guaranteeing repayments.

Mrs Turia says she can understand other bank's reluctance to get into such lending.

In the past Maori could build on papa kainga land but they had to find deposits.


Meanwhile a northern iwi leader says the government should be repairing old homes as a priority.

Haami Piripi, who heads Te Runanga o Te Rarawa, says at the same time as announcing the loans guarantee scheme the government has cut the Essential Repairs programme which made many homes in Northland livable.

“From our point of view in the relatively impoverished communities here we’re stuck with trying to repair our old ones and this is a dilemma for us,” Mr Piripi says.

Most repairs and upgrades can be done for under $15,000 ... a loan that iwi members can afford to repay.

He says they still have 500 people on a waiting list.


Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly says assistance for Maori groups to take on more unemployed workers needs to be dramatically increased as unemployment figures reach their highest level in 10 years.

She says it is a huge worry that the Maori unemployment rate has reached 15.4 percent, more than double that of the general population.

“With some of the job opportunity schemes that come up a lot of Maori groups put there hands up to taken Maori unemployed in for community work and I’m sure that opportunity can be expanded and hasn’t been exhausted,” Ms Kelly says.

Many Maori will be among the one in four young people unemployed.

Maori jobless stats too high

Thursday February 4

The Council of Trade Unions says Maori unemployment has reached shocking levels.

General unemployment is at a 10 year high with the number of Maori in the dole queues having doubled to 15.4 percent in the past year.

CTU president Helen Kelly says its hugely worrying that the rate of Maori unemployment is that of the general population at 7.3 percent.

“The youth unemployment figure is 26 percent and a lot will be Maori. This is our future. It’s a real worry if these kids can’t get a fair start in the job market,” Ms Kelly says.

She says the country is not out of the recession.


The Manukau Urban Maori Authority says the mayor Len Brown should intervene to ensure the tino rangitiratanga flag flies in the city on Waitangi Day.

The council's policy and activities committee voted earlier this week not to fly the flag.
But MUMA chief executive Willie Jackson says the decision is shameful.

“He should basically show some courage here and do the business for Maori and fly that flag,” Mr Jackson says

He says the flag issue is a real test for Mr Brown who wants to be mayor of the super city.


While attention this week is focused on the Bay of Islands, Hokianga hapu are preparing their own treaty commemoration.

Organiser Mita Harris says the event on February 12 will be the biggest since the original signing 170 years ago, when 64 chiefs added their tohu to the document.

A fleet of 12 waka will come over from Waitangi for the event, including the Hokianga-built Ngatokimatawhorua.

“I guess the hope is all of us in Ngapuhi and specially in the Hokianga will come to Mangungu,” Mr Harris says.

The Historic Places Trust is joining with E-Hoe Waka Education Trust, Motukiore Marae komiti and Nga Uri Whakatapu o Hokianga to stage the event.


Working with gangs and convicted rapists doesn't often lead to public praise... but last night 40 years of working with those rejected by society earned a Te Rarawa man a New Zealander of the Year Award.

Haami Tutu Chapman picked up the Local Heroes Award, which acknowledges people who make enormous contributions to their communities.

He says people often focus on the bad things going on in South Auckland but there are many good things happening.

“There’s some tendency to focus on all the bad stuff and try to get leverage from that but there are some incredible things happening in our communities and if we can get these stories out there, maybe that’s what my role is, to get the stories out about what our communities are ding. It’s a real honour to be able to do that,” Mr Chapman says.

He says focusing on what it means to be whanau is the key to overcoming difficult circumstances.


Trade unionist Matt McCarten is calling on the government to get serious about creating jobs for Maori.

The National Secretary of Unite says with Maori unemployment at a 10 year high and one in four rangatahi unemployed the government can't sit on the sidelines any longer.

He the Kainga Whenua programme to guarantee Kiwibank loans for Maori housing should be expanded to create jobs for Maori throughout the country.

“You should actually have a building programme which then you have with the local polytechs or wananga, you bring in apprentices with all the plumbing and the carpentry, the electricians and this sort of thing, take a holistic approach about how you create a community and meaningful work which requires intervention. That’s still not where this government's at,” Mr McCarten says.

This would move Maori away from primary industry, which are always the first jobs to go in a recession.


Maori leaders going to Waitangi can expect some hard questions from veteran Nga puhi activist Titewhai Harawira.

Mrs Harawira who has in the past been prominent at Te Tii marae powhiri says instead tomorrow she will be going to the Iwi Leadership Forum.

“For us in Ngapuhi here from that iwi leaders forum we don’t know what decisions they have made about water, about aforestation and about takutai moana, so those are they questions they are going to be asked,” she says.

Mrs Harawira says although the Crown is dealing with the Iwi Leaders Forum on the foreshore and seabed reforms none of them went on the hikoi in 2004.

She says it’s a kaupapa that belongs to the hapu not the forum but they have not been included.