Waatea News Update

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Maori TV to broadcast Manly games

Maori Television is again playing the sports card to increase viewer numbers, signing a deal with the Manly Sea Eagles to rebroadcast all its National Rugby League matches on Monday nights.

Chief executive Jim Mather says sport has proved to be an effective way to normalise te reo Maori.

He says the deal will build on the success of the channel's Breakers basketball coverage and its broadcast of David Tua's fights.

“For us to be a successful television organization, we have to have viewers. Sports, along with music, are probably the best opportunities to connect emotionally with the widest possible number of New Zealanders that would watch us so it’s part of our strategy to broaden our audience, give them good and compelling reasons to watch Maori Television and when they are there, introduce them to other aspects of our programming,” Mr Mather says.


Local Hero Haami Chapman says youth justice measures passed by Parliament yesterday will stoke the fires of resentment among young Maori.

The law change means the Youth Court rather than the Family Court will deal with the worst 12 and 13 year old offenders, and it can impose tougher sentences including sending rangatahi to boot camp style residential care.

Mr Chapman, who was honoured in the New Zealander of the Year Awards for his work in south Auckland, says rather than taking young people out of the community, the government should put its resources into community programmes that work.

“All that will happen is the kids will get tougher, they will retaliate even more so. It’s more in how they think. You begin to alienate our kids more from mainstream society, from the values of society. I don’t believe they work. It will have the opposite effect. We will see the results in another 10, 15 years from now,” Mr Chapman says.

The law will create a new generation of alienated youth who will gravitate towards gang culture.


Some major Maori sculptural works have been unveiled today as part of the New Zealand International Arts Festival in Wellington.

Shapeshifter, in the Lower Hutt Civic Gardens and the New Dowse art museum, includes new work by Para matchitt, Joe Kemp, Tim Wraight and others.

Para Matchitt says viewers should be ready to be surprised at an eclectic show.

Shapeshifter is at the NewDowse for three weeks.


Maori broadcasting claimants and national Maori bodies are weighing up whether to enter negotiations with the Crown.

Piripi Walker from the Wellington Maori language board Nga Kaiwhakapumau i te Reo says while the Crown has in the past allocated some radio and television frequencies for protection of the language, it refuses to concede Maori have a right to spectrum as an economic resource.

A national hui at Nga Whare Waatea in south Auckland today and tomorrow is looking at the opportunities created by the shift from analog to digital television.

“We're hoping to get a decision n whether to enter negotiations. The Crown has offered it and the Prime Minister has offered it with a signal they may be willing not guaranteeing, to soften and change their position and to put in the table the claimants request to make all the legislation and the Radiocommunications Act consistent with the treaty,” Mr Walker says.

The Crown has ignored 20 years of guidance from the Waitangi Tribunal and the courts on Maori rights to spectrum.


The Minister of Maori Affairs Minister says Auckland Maori should put their faith in the proposed super city Maori advisory board.

Ngati Whatua and Tainui says they will reluctantly join the Maori statutory board, but their preference is still for seats on the full council.

Pita Sharples says he can understand their disappointment, but the board can be made to work to their benefit.

“It is not part of the council and therefore cannot be subject to marginalisaiton if information or things like this. Now I know it’s nothing like what these groups wanted but we still fought to have this out in and to make it a statutory body with its own mana and in its own right,” Dr Sharples says.

He says Maori may get another chance at getting seats at the top table if a sympathetic mayor is elected.


There's some progress on rebuilding the historic chapel at Hukarere Maori Girls school chapel in Napier.

Carvings by Hone Taiapa and tukutuku panels designed by Lady Arihia Ngata were removed from the chapel when the building became unusable six years ago.

Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia says a hui at the school on Sunday will discuss ways to restore what is a national treasure.

“Only one of two in the country, the other one is in Tikitiki, where the whole inside is full of Maori art and design that Sir Apirana drew up and did, so it’s worth putting the effort up and I’m confident they will do that,” Mr Horomia says.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ngati Whatua wants mana whenua to prevail

The chair of Auckland's Ngati Whatua hapu wants the Maori advisory board for the super city to be limited to the 12 iwi and hapu who this month signed a framework agreement to manage the city's maunga.

The government has yet to announce the board's structure.
Grant Hawke says Ngati Whatua has reluctantly agreed to go on the board, despite its preference for Maori seats on the full council.

“If we all boycott it that means that others who would want to be there who don’t represent us entirely will be doing the negotiation from their perspective, not from the mana whenua perspective,” Mr Hawke says.

Ngati Whatua will continue to push for the Royal Commission's recommendation of seats on the council.


Prime Minister John Key is assuring Maori students his Government won't be cutting them off from access to student loans.

Comments in the Prime Minister's speech to Parliament about toughening up on loan recipients have been interpreted by

Canterbury Maori studies head Rawiri Taonui and Massey University vice chancellor Steve Maharey as a threat to Maori, who tend to enter university later in life.

But Mr Key says no-interest student loans are here to stay.

“People might want to run around and scaremonger but we have universal access rights to universities in New Zealand and universal rights to student loans providing people follow the rules and do what’s required of them at the time,” Mr Key says.

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce is yet to start his review of student funding.


The chief judge of the Ahuwhenua dairy farming awards says Maori tend to take greater care of the environment than other farmers.

It's the third time Doug Leeder has been on the panel to pick to top Maori farmer.

The Opotiki farmer says this year care for the environment has jumped up the judging criteria.

“The cultural aspect Maoridom in terms of managemenrt of the land nad guardianship of the land, has demonstrated to us probably a higher level of compliance than would have probably been seen across the general dairy industry,” Mr Leeder says.

Good environmental practices are vital for the long-term sustainability of farming as a business enterprise.

Initial judging takes place next month, with field days on the three regional finalists in April and the prizegiving in Taupo at the end of May.


The start of hearings on Ngapuhi's historical claims has been put off again.

The hearing of the last major tribal grouping to go before the Waitangi Tribunal was due to start on late March with evidence on the northern iwi's understanding of the meaning of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the 1835 Declaration of Independence.

But the tribunal has sought a two month delay because it was not able to field the full panel of members that week.

Nuki Aldridge from Te Kotahitanga o nga hapu o Ngapuhi says if it drags on further, important kaumatua evidence could be lost.

“The people that are going to present the korero, they are elders. If the korero needs to be spoken by them, give them the opportunity to do that. And I know the ones that passed on wanted to be there, they couldn’t and that’s because of all the damn holdups,” Mr Aldridge says.

He says it's important the evidence is heard by the full tribunal panel.


Labour's Maori affairs spokesman Parekura Horomia says many Maori will end up unfairly penalised by ACT's three strikes legislation.

The National Government is pushing through the bill despite concerns voiced by the Justice Ministry and by prison reform and human rights groups.

Mr Horomia says rangatahi Maori are already getting strikes they do not deserve.

“The real danger for Maoridom is a lot of our youth unnecessarily penalized because of their immaturity and their inability to understand the legal process and the system,” he says.

Mr Horomia says legal aid duty lawyers often tell young Maori to plead guilty to crimes they have not committed to speed up the system and avoid a full trial.


An expert in New Zealand English says it's a sign of a healthy language when elders complain how the younger generation is using it.

Jeanette King, the head of linguistics at Canterbury University, says all languages change over time because of changes in society and technology.

She says because Maori went through a long period of neglect, the recent revival of te reo in the education system meant the Maori Language Commission needed to build up a vocabulary of modern terms.

“Te Taura Whiri got the job of purring the job together and received a lot of flak. Sometimes they say its something about the way younger people speak, but we do also have to remember that older Pakeha complain about younger Pakeha and how they speak,” Professor King says.

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PM’s comments upset mobile phone insurgent

Mobile phone operator Two Degrees is taking the Prime Minister to task for his suggestion New Zealand may not be big enough for three mobile networks.

John Key made his comments in a discussion with Radio Waatea host Dale Husband on why Maori seemed reluctant to invest further in the company, which uses frequences gained through Treaty claims.

Two Degrees chief executive Eric Hertz says many countries of comparable size or smaller have multiple networks, including Sweden, Switzerland, Ireland and Iceland.

He says Mr Key needs to create the conditions for fair competition.

“I would like to see the government drive down those wholesale costs tat each carrier pays each other so that 2Degrees customers aren’t subsidizing Telecom New Zealand by the high cost to call those customers and I think that’s really the key thing that will level the playing field and make it much more easy to be successful over the long term, to drive those wholesale prices, those mobile termination rates down more quickly,” Mr Hertz says.

He says a Commerce Commission recommendation that Telecom and Vodafone be allowed to gradually lower wholesale prices won't benefit New Zealand consumers fast enough, and the Government needs to regulate.


The chief judge of this year's Ahuwhenua awards for Maori dairy farming excellence says unemployed rangitahi should look towards the industry.

Opotiki dairy farmer Doug Leeder says Maori are already major players in dairying, and more opportunities will be created if plans come off for a Maori-owned processing plant.

He says when one in three young Maori is jobless, the sector needs to be seen as a source of job creation.

“The days of agriculture or the dairy industry being seen as the poor cousin to other types of employment is long gone. It’s now a skilled industry and I think the future is looking good both in terms of employment for Maori and the success of Maori enterprises,” Mr Leeder says.

He employs a number of young Maori on his Opotiki farm.


An East Coast ta moko expert says the wider public is keen to learn more about the ancient Maori art form.

Mark Kopua and his colleague Turumakina Duley have spent the past week tattooing people in the Face Value Exhibition at Waikato Museum.

The photo and video exhibition, curated by Serena Stevenson, explores the relationship between ta moko artists and their subjects.

He says there is a lot iof interest from Maori and non-Maori, who get a surprise when they see some of the artists featured in the exhibition are in there working.

Face Value is at Waikato Museum and Art gallery until the end of March.


The chief executive of 2 Degrees says the Government needs to regulate the mobile phone market to give his company a fair chance to compete.

Prime Minister John Key said yesterday New Zealand may be too small for the third network being created around frequencies which were allocated to Maori as a result of treaty claims.

But Eric Hertz says many comparable countries are running three or four networks.

He says if Mr Key wants real competition, his government needs to reject a Commerce Commission recommendation that Telecom and Vodafone continue to set the wholesale price for switching calls between networks.

“The role of the government and the regulator in this situation is to make sure that the playing field is leveled so you can stimulate more competition because it is competition that brings out innovation and brings prices down. What the commerce Commission has recommended will not bring the benefits to New Zealand consumers fast enough,” Mr Hertz says.

He says apart from wholesale pricing, most of the conditions for true competition are now in place.


A Maori lawyer says Maori should think about ways to get rid of gambling machines from their communities.

Moana Jackson addressed an international problem gambling conference in Auckland yesterday on the indigenous responses to gambling.

He says gambling has long been a part of Maori life, but were often community activities housie or poker schools where the benefits flowed back to the marae or hapu.

That's change with modern state-sanctioned initiatives like Lotto and poker machines.

“When it became industrialised it got marketed and sold as this glamorous activity and when you do that the costs then get swept under like for years smoking was a glamour acticity, it was cool to smoke It took a long time to break that down but I think the same process is happening with gambling and that needs to be broken down as well,” Mr Jackson says.

He says pokies are disproportionately in poor and Maori areas, but the profits are taken out of those areas.


The director of the Documentary Edge Festival says viewers might be challenged by a documentary which is almost completely in Maori.

He Wawata Whaea - The Dream of an Elder profiles educator and Ngati Kuri kuia Meremere Penfold.

Dan Shanan says it was chosen for the New Zealand Competition section not only for its subject but because director Shirley Horrocks wanted the entire documentary to be in Maori.

The Documentary Edge Festival starts in Auckland tomorrow.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

PM queries Maori phone investment

Prime Minister John Key says he can understand why Maori groups were reluctant to invest more money in new mobile phone company 2Degrees.

A capital raising last year by Te Huarahi Tika Maori spectrum trust failed to find new investors, resulting in a dilution of the Maori stake in the company, which uses frequences gained through Treaty claims.

Mr Key says Telecom's problems with its new XT network highlights the risk of investing in telecommunications.

“I guess the challenge is, and maybe that’s why the iwi leaders and those with a bit of cash were reluctant, is that new telecom networks are very capital intensive and what you’ve seen in the case of XT is Telecom’s thrown a lot of money at this things and yet it’s still not working. That’s your big risk, isn’t it?

“I think the challenge always was can New Zealand support three mobile networks. Now, the answer is we don’t know. Other countries have three, they have a bigger population than us but other countries do have three and support three so I expect that’s what we’ll find out in the next few years,” Mr Key says.

He says 2Degrees appears to be doing well with international investors who have deep pockets and know what they are doing.

The Government is currently considering its response to a Commerce Commission report that highlighted major barriers to new entrants in the mobile phone market.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says the huge rise in young Maori without jobs is caused by the recession rather than lack of youth rates.

A private bill in the name of ACT's Sir Roger Douglas to bring back youth rates was drawn from the ballot yesterday.

Ms Turei says getting rid of youth rates was a big win for the Green Party, and it will fight their reintroduction.

“If we want our rangatahi to be proud about their work, to feel that they are contributors to their society, to act responsibly and as adults, then we have to treat them that way, and one of the ways it to pay them the minimum adult wage,” she says.

Ms Turei says many young Maori are doing adult jobs and accepting adult responsibilities.


An expert in New Zealand English says the language is picking up more reo Maori.

Jeanette King, the head of linguistics at Canterbury University, says Pakeha are using Maori words more often because of what they learn from school and the wider society.

She says that means specific words are crossing over like hui, kaupapa and tangi.

Professor King says most of the country's print media no longer put English meanings in brackets next to common Maori words, which shows most New Zealanders know what those words mean.


The new deputy chief judge of the Maori Land Court says New Zealand can learn from international experience to find local solutions for Maori problems.

Judge Caren Fox from Ngati Porou and Rongowhakaata has studied international law as it relates to indigenous peoples, and has worked with Native American and Pacific groups.

She says lessons can be learned in areas such as natural resource management and economic development, without forgetting what is unique to Maori.

“It's important that we recognise however solutions to the issues that impact on Maoridom are to be found ultimately here and only here,” Judge Fox says.


A Maori prison reformer says Maori are being excluded from the debate around ACT's three strikes sentencing law, despite the effect it will have on Maori prisoners.

Kim Workman from Rethinking Crime and Punishment says the Government is limiting submissions on the Sentencing and Parole Bill to people who spoke up when it was first introduced.

That excludes most Maori organisations.

“They were all agin it but when you ask them ‘Why didn’t you make a submission?’ the response was ‘because we never thought the National Government would take this bill seriously.’ They honestly believed it was such an outrageous piece of legislation it was simply not possible for the National Government to support it to the extent they have,” Mr Workman says.

He says the government is ignoring advice from the Ministry of Justice about the effect of the bill on Maori and the chance people could be locked up for up to 10 times longer than they would be under current legislation.


The author of a new book about Parihaka says it reveals a previously untold story about Maori urbanisation.

The Parihaka Album, Lest We Forget by LaTrobe University journalism lecturer Rachael Buchanan is being launched about now at the Wellington Railway station.

It draws on stories from her own whanau, many of whom ended up in Wellington after their ancestral lands in Taranaki were confiscated.

That challenges the widely accepted narrative that urbanisation was mainly a 1950s and 60s phenomenon.

“Maori also were urban people and they stayed in cities and tried as best they could to preserve what was left but it was pretty difficult for like my grandmother and great grandmother when there weren’t any marae left for them to connect with and I think there was probably a bit of a feeling of shame or they were whakamaa about going back to Taranaki,” Ms Buchanan says.

Parihaka Album is published by Huia

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Waipareira riled over mental health contract

Auckland's urban Maori authorities are squaring off against the Counties Manukau District Health Board over the way it hands out contracts.

Waipareira Trust and Manukau Urban Maori Authority were knocked back last month when they tried pick up a mental health services contract which was being dropped by Guardian Trust.

Waipareira chief executive John Tamihere says the DHB made it impossible for his organisation to put in a proper bid.

“I don't mind losing tenders fairly. I do mind when you are given a matter of hours, not days, a matter of hours to put in place the paperwork when they ask questions like: ‘What right have you from West Auckland coming over here?’ How pathetic is that? We run the largest mental health contract in the Waitakere City area on behalf of the Waitemata District Health Board,” Mr Tamihere says.

Waipareira has asked for documents about the contract, and it intends to lay complaints with the Ombudsman and the Human Rights Commission.


The Counties Manukau District Health Board's senior legal advisor, Janet Anderson-Bidois, has denied the decision to refuse Waipareira's bid has anything to do with race.

The contract to provide mental health services to 300 mainly Pacific Island clients eventually went to mainstream provider Challenge Trust.

Mrs Anderson-Bidois says Waipareira Trust was unable to provide sufficient assurances that it could provide the services.

“At the end of the day it was the safety of those people. You couldn’t take a bet they could pull it off in two days time when you are talking about 200 very high needs, very unwell people. This wasn’t a business opportunity, it was a safety issue, and at the end of the day that’s what we had to make the decision on,” Mrs Anderson-Bidois says.


The chair of Te Waka Toi believes the toi iho mark of authenticity for Maori art can be saved.

Te Waka Toi's parent body Creative New Zealand has dropped funding for the mark.

Darrin Haimona says its future is now in the hands of the Transition Toi Iho Foundation, which was set up by some of the 200 artists who use the mark.

“The foundation at this stage is a transition group set up to negotiate with Creative New Zealand and it has shown some interest in being able to take over the mark and move it through," Mr Haimona says.

A hui at Victoria University's te Herenga Waka Marae on March 12 will give Maori artists a chance to say how they think Toi Iho can survive and grow.


Visitors to Ngaruawahia will be welcomed by a sculpture based on the moko of the second Maori king Tawhiao.

The project replaces a plan to build a giant bronze Maori warrier, which has been canned by Waikato District Council after opposition by Maori and Pakeha residents alike.

Tainiu kuia Tini Tukere, who led the fight against the statue, says King Tawhiao is a far more appropriate figure to have at the town's gateway.

“When the sun comes up in the morning it will shine through the cut out parts of the moko. You want something that’s unique and will identify the town on its own,” Mrs Tukere says.

The stainless steel sculpture was commissioned to celebrate 150 years of the kingitanga.


A former corrections head says Maori will suffer most if the Government goes ahead with the three strikes sentencing bill.

Kim Workman from Ngati Kahungunu, who now heads Rethinking Crime and Punishment, says the Justice Ministry advised the bill put up by the ACT Party breaches the Bill of Rights.

He says the government is also ignoring advice Maori will be worst affected.

“A lot of those people, as the Justice Ministry pointed out, could serve a sentence 10 times longer than the sentence they would possibly have served otherwise. Now that’s clearly a breach of our international obligations under human rights legislation,” Mr Workman says.

What's even more outrageous is that when the Government got advice from the Justice Ministry on the devastating effect of the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill on Maori, it shifted prime responsibility for the bill to the Police.


News pukeko is on the menu for next month's wild food festival in Hokotika has brought back memories for some older Maori.

Kingi Ihaka, who was raised eating godwits, says pukeko is also a delicacy he would recommend.

His suggestion sparked calls to Radio Waatea including one from a woman who chose to remain anonymous, saying pukeko are a way to get through tough times and don't taste too bad.

"Just like wild duck and pheasant, they’ve got a taste of their own. I thought they were. My family thought they were too but my kids weren’t so keen on it because now and then I would forget a bone."

She says the best way to cook pukeko is stewed with carrots and onions, because they're very tough without a long cook.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Whanau key to gambling help

Problem gambling expert Max Abbott believes a whanau-based approach helps indigenous people fight problem gambling.

The AUT University pro-chancellor Max Abbott is hosting a think tank of experts on the topic from around the world.

He says New Zealand is a leader with its family approach to fighting problem gambling among Maori.

“It’s very much a whanau issue. It’s a ripple effect. For every individual that develops a problem, it ripples out and affects family and children and that’s one of the things that makes it so toxic. But therein likes the solution also because those forces can be used to assist and make changes in people’s lives,” Professor Abbott says.

The two-day problem gambling think tank will be followed by a three-day International Gambling Conference which has attracted 200 delegates to the city.


Phil Goff says the Maori Party's push to have some types of food exempted from GST won't work.

The Labour leader today set off on a nationwide bus campaign to protest the Government's proposed 20 percent jump in the goods and services tax.

He says the Maori party's idea creates major compliance and collection problems.

“Is a chicken bought from a takeaway still paying gst but not a cooked chicken bought from a supermarket. There are all those sorts of things And then you cay maybe we shouldn’t have gst on rates and maybe we shouldn’t have gst on kids’ clothing and by the time you exempt everything that is a basic necessity you are left with hardly anything and therefore no revenue, so it probably won’t work to do it that way,” Mr Goff says.

Few Maori will be among the 8 percent of the population earning over $70,000 who will benefit from National's tax cuts, which are being promised to offset the rise in GST.


The work of historian Judith Binney is the focus of a special panel during next month's International Arts Festival in Wellington.

Convenor Paul Diamond says as part of Readers and Writers Week, Claudia
Orange, Wayne Te Kaawa, and Rawinia Higgins will discuss the Auckland University professor books on missionary Thomas Kendall, prophets Rua Kenana and Te Kooti Rikirangi, and her massive study of Te Urewera, Encircled Lands.

Professor Binney herself is recovering after a life threatening accident late last year.

The Lost Histories panel is at the Embassy theatre on March 12.


The Waikato District Council has scrapped a plan to erect at giant bronze statue of a Maori warrior at the gateway to Ngaruawahia.

The council spent $10,000 on designs for the fearsome warrior, but the completed work would have cost $2 million.

Tini Tukere, who rallied opposition to the plan, says the statue got the universal thumbs down from residents.

“The majority of people, Maori and Pakeha, didn’t like the ugliness of the work and its warrior stance, it wasn’t a dignified, peaceful Maori, it was that looked like he wanted to have a fight,” Mrs Tukere says.

It was not the impression the people of Ngaruawahia and the Waikato wanted to present to visitors.


A Canterbury University researcher says the Government better value for money by looking at Maori success rather than Maori failure.

Janinka Greenwood along with Lynne-Harata Te Aika has written Hei Tauira, which identifies the principles behind successful tertiary programmes the Te Wananga o Raukawa's distance learning programme and the Toihoukura art course in Gisborne.

She says what they have in common is commitment by iwi and institution, integration of tikanga Maori, strong leadership including Maori role models, and a constant process of identifying and removing barriers to learning.

Hei Tauira is available through Ako Aotearoa, the National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.


The chair of Te Waka Toi, Darrin Haimona, says the Maori arm of Creative New Zealand has had its time.

Culture and Heritage Minister Chris Finlayson plans to ax the Maori and Pacific arts funding boards and go back to a single arts council.

This is expected to save at least $200,000 a year in members' fees alone.

Mr Haimona, who was appointed last year, says change is needed.

“The current structure separates the strategy and policy development, which is the domain of council. Te Waka Toi and the arts boards mostly function around arts funding decisions. So the merger will provide Maori the opportunity to participate in the whole strategy, policy and funding that will happen in the future,” Mr Haimona says.

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Iwi links lead to success in tertiary study

Two Canterbury University researchers have identified ways tertiary education can be made to work for Maori.

Janinka Greenwood and Lynne-Harata Te Aika says rather than focus on under-achievement, they looked at successful initiatives like Northtec's social work training,Tairawhiti Polytechnic's Toihoukura art school and Canterbury University's bilingual education course.

Ms Te Aika says their report, Hei Tauira, boils it down to five principles, including the integration of tikanga Maori into the content and style of the programme, strong leadership, mutual respect and the deliberate removal of barriers to study.

“The most successful successful programmes we those where the iwi was involved from the start in the design and delivery of the programme. There was more community buy-in. There was stronger support and ownership from the wider community,” Ms Te Aika says

Hei Tauira is available through the National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence, Ako Aotearoa.


The Auckland police Maori responsiveness says Maori parents need to tell their rangatahi not to try to outrun the police.

There were two deaths over the weekend where drivers tried to evade patrol cars.

Sergeant Glenn Mackay says too many young Maori men and women panic when asked to pull over.

He says even if their car is unregistered or unwarranted, they should front up.

“If you do be caught then you pull over and be held responsible for your actions. You know you’re breaking the law. At the very least you are going to end up with the expense of going to court or whatever, but you are still around to tell the story. Unfortunately as we have seen from the weekend, there are a number of people who aren’t around any more to to tell that story,” Sergeant Mackay says.


Sports commentator Ken Laban says the All Blacks might be playing increasing numbers of New Zealanders when they take on the Wallabies in future.

He says there is a definite browning of Australian rugby, with at least five Maori and Pacific island players in the Queensland Reds alone.

Many are of international quality, and are likely to win caps for Australia.
“Richard Kingi, Pek Cowan who is from the Waiwhetu Marae area and now playing hooker for the Force, another kid from here Tim Fairbrother, so it all points to a positive way ahead and some threats for New Zealand rugby as well if Australia is going to continue to be attractive to a lot of those boys,” Mr Laban says.


A south Auckland health educator has had his complaint against talkback host Michael Laws partially upheld by the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

Mr Laws told his listeners Boyd Broughton was telling clients that smoking is a Pakeha plot to kill Maori.

The authority says that's not what Mr Broughton's email said, and such blatant misrepresentation cannot be regarded as fair comment.

Mr Broughton says he emailed the Whanganui mayor about the spelling of Whanganui, and was surprised when Mr Laws replied with an email about his Maori anti-smoking work.

He doesn't regret taking on the high profile host.

“He's just a person and not a very clever or wise or intelligent person as I’ve found out in my dealings with him, it pretty much seemed like a waste of time because he didn’t listen t nay sense at all. He’s learnt nothing from it. The main good thing that came from it is on the day, most people rung up to talk about smoking and tobacco rather than to enlarge the controversy he was trying to create,” Mr Broughton says.

He says it may have been a mistake to exchange emails with Michael Laws at 11 at night.


West Auckland's Hoani Waititi marae is looking forward to Youth Court hearings starting next month.

It will be the third rangatahi court in the country.

Spokesperson Paora Sharples says the marae was approached by Judge Heemi Taumaunu, who has presided over similar courts in Gisborne and Manurewa.

He says it requires a change of mindset.

“We are actually taking it out of the court environment and placing it in tikanga Maori in the wharenui so there are a few guidelines that go with it in regards to the whanau and the offenders who want to take part. That’s to abide by tikanga and take on board te reo and tikanga and they’ve incorporate mihi, waiata tautoko, karakia as part of the learning process,” Mr Sharples says.


Singer and impresario Mika says the festival he's organising to replace the Hero parade will have a distinctly Maori flavour.

The last parade was in 2001.

Mika says the Aroha Taketaapui festival, which starts on March 12, will have 34 events over nine weeks, including his tribal pop opera at the Aotea Centre with the Auckland Philharmonia.

“This is a real first. This is a Maori festival for all New Zealanders with a really strong Maori kaupapa but also Asian and Pakeha, like every good gay and lesbian festival, which is family oriented, we have late night things all over K Road,” Mika says.

As well as guest appearances by Prime Minister John Key and Auckland mayor John Banks, a festival highlight will be presenting a lifetime achievement award to Sydney-based drag queen Carmen Rupe.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Caren Fox new Maori Land Court deputy chief judge

The new deputy chief judge of the Maori Land Court, Caren Fox, has been hailed for her concern for Maori people and her strong grasp of Maori and international law.

Judge Fox affiliates to Ngati Porou and Rongowhakaata, and was appointed to the court nine years ago after lecturing in law at Victoria and Waikato Universities.

Moana Jackson, who set up the Wellington Maori Legal Service with Judge Fox in 1988, says she entered the law wanting to make a difference for Maori.

“She cares for the rights of our people and the relationship we have with the land, and I think that’s essential in someone who is a judge in that court and particularly someone who is to be the chief or deputy chief judge,” Mr Jackson says.

Deputy chief Judge Fox did postgraduate study on how international legal doctrines applied to Maori and other indigenous peoples.


The kaitaataki tane for the top Mataatua kapa haka says a focus on tribal history gave the team its winning edge.

Te Whanau a Apanui will be joined by Opotiki Mai Tawhiti, Te Karu and Ruatahuna at Te Matatini national championships next year.

Tamati Waaka says while many of the groups competing at Torere over the weekend focused on controversial subjects like the foreshore and seabed, child abuse and the problems caused by alcohol and drugs, Te Whanau A Apanui composer Rikirangi Gage concentrated on the iwi, creating items to maintain and disseminate its history.


A conference in Wellington next month will look at the links between alcohol and violence and what Maori can do to break those links.

Doug Sellman from Alcohol Action New Zealand says the hui at Te Papa will consider new research showing alcohol can cause aggression even in people with non-violent personalities.

He says 700,000 New Zealanders identify themselves as heavy drinkers, and there's a link between that and the 70,000 physical and sexual assaults each year where the perpetrator is under the influence of alcohol.

IN: We've got a large heavy-drinking culture in New Zealand. Unfortunately, Maori are over-represented in that 700,000 so anything to do with alcohol is automatically of particular concern for Maori,” Professor Sellman says.


Labour education spokesperson Kelvin Davis fears any tampering with student loans will be disastrous for Maori students.

Tertiary Education Minister Steve Joyce has promised student loans will remain interest free, but he's signaling tougher conditions to get them.

Mr Davis says equitable access to tertiary education is important for Maori development and for society as a whole.

“It’s fine for those already in the upper socioeconomic strata. Those kids can be supported by their parents. But the reality for Maori is that’s not really the case, and it’s just making things harder for Maori to do tertiary study,” Mr Davis says.


Waikato University hopes use of an international website will spark wider interest in the Maori translator of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice.

A film of the play by the late Don Selwyn was based on the work of Pei Te Hurinui Jones from Ngati Maniapoto, the first chair of the Tainui Maori Trust Board, chair of the New Zealand Maori Council and a leading figure in the Kingitanga until his death in 1976.

Waikato University librarian Kathryn Parsons says as well as translating three of Shakespeare's plays into Maori and the three volumes of songs and poetry in Nga Moteatea into English, Mr Jones helped revise the Maori Bible.

He now has a Legacy Library on the librarything.com site.

“We've listed what Pei Jones is best known for, what’s the significance of his work and we’re hoping it will result in increased usage. We have a big collection of his manuscripts as well as we have his library,” Ms Parsons says.

The site allows people to see the books Pei Jones had in his personal library.


Organisers are rating the fourth Tainui Games the best yet.

Teams from more than 50 marae were involved in the weekend's multi-sport event at the tribe's Hopuhopu centre and other venues, with up to 15,000 competitors and spectators attending and new sports like waka ama, surfing, chess and kaumatua fitness on the bill.

Spokesman Robert Tukere says it's a great way to foster whakawhanaungatanga between marae.

Hosts Turangawaewae took home the aggregate prize, with followed by Taniwha Marae near Te Kauwhata and Te Kuiti's Te Tokanganui a Noho.

Maori child health on par with Chile slums

A world authority on child health is describing the health of Maori children as an international scandal.

Innes Asher, the professor of paediatrics at Auckland medical school, is leading a study into child illness in more than a 100 countries.

She says Maori kids and others from poor families are growing up in third world conditions similar to the worst slums in countries like Chile and India.

Professor Asher says government is to blame New Zealand ranking at the top of OECD tables for preventable childhood diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis, whooping cough, and rheumatic fever.

“Maori have about double rates of most of those types of conditions but particularly higher rates of rheumatic fever and bronchiectasis which are both permanently disabling conditions of the lungs and the heart so children who get these conditions may die in young adulthood from lung or heart disease or have permanent injury and be unable to work. Appalling high rates by international standards, quite a disgraceful outcome by our country’s children,” Professor Asher says.

She says many New Zealand families can’t afford to take their children to the doctor.


Groups from the country’s three top kapa haka are getting ready to stir up the crowds at the Shanghai World Expo starting in May.

A 10-metre kauri log is on its way to China to be turned into a waharoa or gateway for the New Zealand pavilion by carvers from Te Puia national Maori arts and craft institute.

Trevor Maxwell, the kaupapa Maori advisor to Tourism New Zealand, says it will be a great backdrop to the daily performances by teams from Te Waka Huia, Whangara Mai Tawhiti and Te Whanau A Apanui.

He says the Maori performing arts were a big draw at the last two world expos.

More than 70 million visitors are expected through the Shanghai Expo between May and October.


The chair of Tuhourangi says opponents to a $4 million walkway around Lake Tarawera have missed the boat.

Some tribal members say the walkway will result in rubbish being left in the area, and it won’t have the economic benefits its promoters are claiming.

But John Waaka says they should have raised their concerns earlier in the process, rather than as construction starts.

John Waaka says the land trusts around the lake believe they can develop new businesses catering for tourists walking the track.


A member of the independent advisory group on national standards wants to make sure the new testing regime for primary and intermediate schools won't make things worse for Maori pupils.

Tonny Trinnick from Auckland University's faculty of education was put on the group at the request of associate education minister Pita Sharples.

He says Education Minister Anne Tolley has made it clear the standards will be implemented, despite the lack of clear evidence from the United States and Britain that they make a significant difference to children who are underachieving.

“National standards are like any educational initiative. On the face of it they perhaps have good intentions. We need to translate those good intentions into practice and make sure that we’re very clear that national standards will actually make a difference for our Maori children and not make things more challenging for them and for teachers,” Mr Trinnick says.

His role will be to provide free and frank advice to the minister.


Te Papa Tongarewa has reached agreement with other museums around the country to co-ordinate guardianship of an important collection of Maori taonga and Polynesian objects formerly owned by British collector William Oldman.

Acting chief executive Michelle Hippolite says the Oldman Collection of more than 3500 objects from the late eighteen hundreds and earlier was purchased by the New Zealand government in 1948 and split up among museums around the country on its return.

“He used to store his collection in his home and in every room including up the stairway he had object after object after object sop he obviously had a passion about the people of this land, and any opportunity he had to collect and buy, that’s exactly what he did,” Ms Hippolite says.

Some of the objects show unique styles and patterns and the agreement between Te Papa, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Canterbury museum and Otago museum will allow the collection’s full significance to be understood.

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