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Friday, April 09, 2010

Sharples disappointed at government caution

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says the Maori Party didn't get as much as it wanted for Whanau Ora, but there is enough to start the new system for delivering health and welfare services to Maori families.

John Tamihere, the chief executive of Waipareira Trust which hope to deliver Whanau Ora in west Auckland, has slammed the Government's refusal to put new money in.

But Dr Sharples says money has been reallocated within the health, social development and Maori affairs budgets to set up the necessary infrastructure.

“We expected big biccies and what he is saying really is this programme has got to be properly embraced by government. What government is saying is, ‘Look it’s brand new, we’re not sure how it is going to go, we have to exercise caution.’ The two views are absolutely appropriate at this time but I agree with John that it would be good to have government come behind this full bore,” Dr Sharples says.

He says the Maori Party accepts the Government doesn't have spare money as the country climbs out of recession.


The latest crop of Maori PhD graduates from around the country are having their achievements acknowledged at a Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia tonight.

Graham Hingangaroa Smith, the chief executive of Te Wananga o Awanuiarangi, says the 25 graduates bring the total of Maori PhDs to well over the 500 he was aiming for when he launched the higher education strategy at the start of the decade.

He says the Maori economy and society needs highly-qualified people, especially as tribes move into post-settlement development.

Professor Smith says many of this year's recipients of Te Amorangi National Maori Excellence awards are scientists, which is a good sign for building Maori capacity.


Four double-hulled voyaging waka will be put through trials on the Waitemata Harbour this weekend.

The 22 metre fibreglass waka are being readied to sail to Tahiti to raise awareness of the environmental issues affecting Pacific communities.

Rob Hewitt, a former Navy diver, has been teaching water safety to the crews.

He says Hine Mona, Te Mataua A Maui, Maramaru Atua and Uto Ni Yalo will be quite a sight as they leave Westhaven Marina about 9.30 on Sunday morning to travel to Motuihe Island.

They will be beached on the island, before heading back across the harbour to Mission Bay.


An anthropologist who has studied Maori organ donation says incorporating powhiri and poroporoaki into the process could boost the number of Maori willing to donate body parts.

Dr Jennifer Ngahooro from Otago Medical School's Bioethics Centre says there is a long waiting list for Maori in need of kidneys and other organ transplants, but few allow their organs to be harvested after death ... reducing the chances of a compatible match.

She told this week's Future of Organ and Tissue Donation seminar in Wellington that creating a poroporoaki ceremony for the relatives of donors, and a powhiri when the organs are passed to the recipients, could overcome some cultural barriers to donation.

“On the one side u have the donor family and the other side u have the recipient and the recipient family. This divide between the two and also the anonymity between the donor and the recipient, this is what people are really struggling with. I was thinking about the gap and it occurred to me this is what happens during a powhiri,” Mrs Ngahooro says.


Labour's social development spokesperson Ruth Dyson says National has played the Maori Party for fools over its Whanau Ora policy.

A report advocating a new method for delivery of health and social services was made public yesterday, but operational details or funding won't be revealed until the May Budget.

Ms Dyson says the Maori Party promised far more for whanau ora than it has been able to deliver.

“Well I think the National Party are just making fools of them now and it doesn’t matter what party it is, I really resent that sort of behaviour. You can have a few jokes at your opposition’s expense but they signed up to a deal with the Maori Party and now they’re treating them as if they're foolish,” Ms Dyson says

She says because the Government isn't putting any new money into the scheme, it will mean cuts to other programmes which support families and communities.


Te Wananga O Raukawa kaumatua Iwikatea Nicholson is being honoured tonight for his contribution to Maori education.

Wananga founder Whatarangi Winiata says the tohu at Te Amorangi National Maori Excellence awards at Turangawaewae is well deserved.

He says Mr Nicholson has made significant contributions to Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Toa Rangatira, as well as to the King Movement which chose the recipient.

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Savings hope in management model

The newly-created Minister for Whanau Ora says money for the new service delivery model will come from savings in the way health and welfare services are managed.

The report of the Whanau Ora Taskforce was released yesterday with a promise that details of how it would operate would be revealed in May's Budget, but that there would be no new funding.

Instead, existing spending within the Health, Social Development and maori Development Ministries will be prioritised.

Tariana Turia says it will allow Maori and other providers to consolidate support for families which are currently split across a range of contracts.

She says the Government expects its agencies to look at how they will integrate contracts in the health and social services sector.

“This is going to be huge because essentially it will mean that over time we will need less bureaucracy because in fact the NGO sectors will be taking over the role that in the past has been played by others. I think it will be a huge shift and over time people will begin to see the benefit from it,” Mrs Turia says.

She says benefits are unlikely to be immediate.


But Labour's Maori Social Development spokesperson, Nanaia Mahuta, says Maori service providers will be disappointed at how little the Whanau Ora policy now promises to deliver.

Ms Mahuta says the delay in making the Whanau Ora taskforce report and the lack of detail on its implementations point to deep divisions between the Maori Party and the Government over the policy.

She says with no new funding, Maori providers are right to be concerned.

“Social service and health providers out there should be quite concerned because if they start to lose contracts in favour of whanau ora it may well erode the current capacity within their organisation and compromise the quality of service they are providing to whanau out there,” Ms Mahuha says.

She says it's still not clear if Whanau Ora is just for Maori or if it will forced on other communities.


An Australian-born Maori prop has created National Rugby league history.

Parramatta's Nathan Cayliss, who has whakapapa links to Taranaki, has become the first player to captain the same club in 200 matches.

Kormer Kiwi captain Ritchie Barnett says Cayliss's leadership skills were spotted early when he was appointed Eels skipper in his early 20's.

Mr Barnett says the 32-year-old prop deserves recognition as the first one club skipper to play 200 NRL games.

Nathan Cayliss has announced this season will be his last.


A "please explain" note from a United Nations committee isn't enough to make the government negotiate with a Maori land trust about top of the South Island claims.

WAI 56 claimants complained to a UN Human Rights subcommittee about the Crown's refusal to talk to them directly about land taken from the Wakatu Incorporation by Crown managers.

Paul James, director of the Office of Treaty Settlements, says the Crown is resolving historical claims through negotiations large natural iwi groupings rather than individual claimants.

“The WAI 56 claim represented by the Wakatu Incorporation has been part of that negotiation process from day one. Their claim was in the deed of mandate, in the negotiation process that was set up under that mandate, they held two of the 10 directorships and they participated actively in all the negotiations so that’s a good model for how to involve those incorporations in the settlements process,” Mr James says.

The Crown hopes to complete top of the South Island settlements this year.


A seminar on organ transplant in Wellington has concluded that live organ transplantation could be a way of getting around traditional Maori concerns.

Dr Rhonda Shaw from Victoria University's school of social and cultural studies says the Maori view that the body parts are tapu was one of the main reasons New Zealand has one of the lowest rates of organ donation in the western world.

That's despite it also having among the highest rates of diabetes and kidney disease.

Dr Shaw says donors could be blood relatives, spouses or close friends who could spare a suitable kidney.

Maori are four times more likely than non-Maori to die of kidney disease.


An essay about his fighting forbears has won a Whanganui 17-year-old a trip to Turkey.

Wanganui Collegiate deputy head boy Keepa Hipango will be among a group of 20 secondary school essayists joining Prime Minister John Key at this year's Anzac Day commemoration in Gallipoli.

His essay noted that although relations between Maori and Pakeha at the time of the First World War were far from ideal, both peoples united in a time of crisis.

Keepa Hipango says it will be an honour to be on the battleground.

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Whanau Ora unfunded

Labour's Maori spokesperson Parekura Horomia has slammed the lack of dedicated additional funding for the Maori Party's flagship Whanau Ora policy.

The Government announced today that Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia would be Minister Responsible for Whanau Ora, and the new service delivery model would be overseen by a governance board including three members of the Whanau Ora taskforce and the heads of the Health and Social Development and Maori Development ministries.

But it says it will be funded within the existing budgets of those three ministries.

Mr Horomia says it's shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic rather than addressing the problems facing Maori.

“Where is the resource added to supporting whanau ora and what is the specific policy because it does look like a bit of a rehash of progammes that are already in there,” Mr Horomia says

He says the previous Labour government put a lot of effort into integrating contracts and getting government agencies working together, so what's proposed is nothing new.


Maori students have joined in this year's Pacific Island Tertiary Students Convention at Waikato University to compare notes on common issues.

Rakai Te Hau O'Donnell from Auckland University of Technology says issues such as low retention rates and changes to funding and admission policies have a major impact on Maori and Pacific students.

He says a united approach is needed at this time to overcome barriers and get better support programmes.


Auckland War Memorial Museum will show rare film of the Maori Pioneer Battalion as part of its lead up to ANZAC Day.

The two-minute clip of Te Hokowhitu A Tu's welcome home by Ngati Whatua in 1919 will form part of a 20 minute sequence being projected onto the museum's north wall on April 23 and 24.

It also includes footage of Anzac soldiers in Gallipoli which has been digitally restored by Weta Workshop.

Spokesperson Caleb Starrenburg says the museum is expecting a lot of interest from Aucklanders.

Museum visitors will also be able to sign a digital book of remembrance.


The Minister Responsible for Whanau Ora is shrugging off criticism the new social policy initiative lacks detail or funding.

Tariana Turia says the May budget will reveal how money already in health, social development and Maori development ministries will be reallocated to the policy.

The Government says no new money is available.

Mrs Turia says the Opposition wasn't prepared to try anything as innovative while it was in power, and it failed to get value for taxpayer dollars.

“There's billions of dollars being spent in the social and health sectors as we know but we actually have no way of knowing how much of that reaches right there into the family where it’s most needed. I’m really pleased that this government has had to courage to step up and say we can try a different way of doing this and the state isn’t necessarily the best people to do this,” Mrs Turia says.

She says Whanau Ora will put Maori families in charge of their own development.


But Labour's welfare spokesperson says Whanau Ora will come at a high cost to the rest of the social sector.

Ruth Dyson says National is playing the Maori Party for fools by refusing to put extra money into the new method of service delivery.

She says the previous Labour government encouraged community groups and government agencies to find better ways to work together, and many of those services face cuts to fund the Maori Party's trophy policy.

“There is not spare money sloshing round in district health boards. There is not spare money sloshing round in Social Development. By moving $1 billion out of them into Whanau Ora, we will see cuts to really good community, social service and health programmes. This is crazy,” Ms Dyson says.


The Maori Language Commission hopes people will make a meal out of this year's Maori language week.

It's chosen food as the theme for language acquisition and use for the last week of July.

Wayne Ngata, Te Taura Whiri's acting chief executive, says everybody interacts with kai on a daily basis.

Taura Whiri is considering repeating a previous successful initiative of distributing booklets of Maori words and phrases through supermarkets.

Whanau Ora policy to be revealed

The wraps come off the government's Whanau Ora policy today, two months after a task force headed by Sir Mason Durie delivered its report on a better way to deliver health, welfare and education services to Maori.

Prime Minister John Key says the government hasn't accepted all the recommendations of the as yet secret report, but budget decisions have been made.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia, the Associate minister for social development, says families need to be given the power to make decisions for themselves.

“For a long time Maori have been criticised roundly for not addressing significant issues that are impacting on their families, and this is an opportunity for not only them to do so but also we are looking at Pacific peoples and the general population,” Mrs Turia says.


Meanwhile, Te Whanau o Waipareira is awaiting today's release of the government's whanau ora policy to see how it ties in with its own vision of social service delivery.

The west Auckland trust is tagged as one of the lead agencies for the policy, and chief executive John Tamihere says it has been training its staff for three months to see beyond their immediate specialties.

He says while the policy is primarily about health, it needs to break down boundaries.

“I suspect what will be announced is what most Maori organisations have been working for and striving for, that is a totally integrated family management type programme reaching across health, welfare, education and justice so that no individual will fall through the huge number of gaps that occur right now,” Mr Tamihere says.

More important than today's announcement will be finding out how much is committed for Whanau ora in next month's budget.


An Auckland auction house has won the right to sell a collection of Maori and Pacific taonga being made surplus from an American museum.

Neil Campbell from Webb’s says he was approached by the Zanesville Museum of Art in Ohio to value the items, which were being cleared to make room for more Native American artefacts.

Much of the collection was gifted by foreign aid worker Eric Young, who was based in the south Pacific in the 1950s and 60s.

Mr Campbell was able to convince the museum board that repatriating the collection was the right thing to do.

“The material is probably worth more in New York than it is here which is a great irony I guess. On a global setting (Maori) is considered one of the highest forms of indigenous applied arts. The guys that are collecting this sort of material recognize Maori applied arts as some of the best,” Mr Campbell says.

The Zanesville collection will be auctioned in mid-June, and by law the Maori items will have to stay in the country.


Today could mark a new era for social service delivery.

The government will announce how much of the Maori Party's whanau ora agenda it is willing to fund.

John Tamihere from West Auckland's Waipareira Trust, which is expected to be a lead agency for the policy, says millions of dollars could be saved by bulk funding Maori providers to work on a whole of family basis.

He says Waipareira has been retraining its health and welfare staff in expectation of the new model.

“Instead of calling people your mental health worker, your social worker, this and that, all they are is whanau navigators. They help you navigate through your health plans, through the education plan for your children through to yourself and what you might want to do in terms of upskilling yourself. They will help you through your welfare difficulties, and if there is a justice issue, we will plug that in too,” Mr Tamihere says.

He says tackling tough social problems at a whanau level is an investment in the health of the whole community.


Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei is warning the decision to fire the elected members of Environment Canterbury could shut Maori out of decision-making in that region.

Ms Turei says the appointment of commissioners by Environment Minister Nick Smith and Local Government Minister Rodney Hide derails democracy.

She says mana whenua will struggle to have a say.

“It unhitches the relationship between Ngai Tagu and the council, Environment Canterbury. It makes it uncertain then what the relationship of the iwi are to the council decisions so all the work that has gone into those relationships could be completely undone,” Ms Turei says.

She says the decision by National and Act to shut Maori out of both the Auckland super city council and Environment Canterbury is a disturbing trend.


The Maori Literature Trust is looking for six Maori writers who are serious about creating a bestseller.

Chair Robyn Bargh says the trust will pay the writers a living allowance for six months and provide mentors to critique their work weekly.

She says the initiative is a way to address the under-representation of Maori work on the bookshelves.

“There's an interesting cross cultural dimension in New Zealand that really isn’t being explored adequately in our literature and so I think this is a good opportunity to encourage Maori writers to actually talk about what it looks like form their perspective and create characters who have different perspectives on life on Aotearoa,” Mrs Bargh says.

Applicants for Te Papa Tupu need to submit a finished piece or working manuscript of more than 5000 words by mid-May.

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Hapu claim struggling for hearing

The chair of Nelson's Te Kahui Ngahuru Trust, James Wheeler, hopes tough talking by the United Nations will help towards direct negotiation of its claims.

As part of its four-yearly review of New Zealand’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee urged the government to talk to the trust, rather than wrap it in with a comprehensive top of the South Island settlement.

Mr Wheeler says while the trust is part of the Tainui Taranaki ki te Tonga group, its WAI 56 claims belong to specific families within the hapu.

“We know where every piece of land is. We know what was taken. We know what the mismanagement that happened with the Public Trustee over the decades. We know where the Public Trust took loads of our land and we’re sick of it. We’ve had enough. We should be able to sit down with the government and negotiate our claims, our distinct hapu claims,” Mr Wheeler says.

There are many precedents for the government negotiating direct with hapu, outside the current policy of dealing with what it calls large natural groupings.


Canterbury District Health Board wants to know why Maori are being admitted its hospitals for drug and alcohol related problems at twice the national average.

The board's first overview of Maori health found there were 108 Maori admissions per 100 thousand for substance problems compared with 45 per 100 thousand nationally.

Hector Matthews, the board's executive director of Maori and Pacific health, says while the total number of people presenting is relatively low, it can affect future provision of services.

“What we will need to do is monitor our admissions and presentations around these instances and if the rate continues to climb we will notice the pressure on our mental health services and particularly on our kaupapa Maori providers out in the community,” Mr Matthews says.

The rate of admission for problems related to opiates such as heroin and morphine was particularly high with a regional rate of 31 Maori per 100,000 being more than ten times the national rate.


The auctioneer who sold a painting by a pupil of Charles Goldie for a record $12,000 says the politically incorrect subject matter of a Maori woman smoking a pipe may have added to its sales appeal.

Kapai Te Toriri - Tobacco is Good by Vera Cummings fetched five times its expected price.

Richard Thomson, the director of the International Art Centre, says with original Goldie's doubling in the past five years, collectors are jumping on what they see as the next best thing.

“We sold a Goldie in March 2008 for $454,000 and it had a valuation of $200,000. The prices of Goldies have really shot up so it would be a natural progression for an artist like Vera Cummings to also go up in value,” Mr Thomson says.


Rugby legend Jim Maniapoto is joining the call for the Rugby Union to apologise for the way it kow-towed to South African calls to exclude Maori players from tours to the republic during the apartheid era.

The Ngati Tuwharetoa player was a schoolboy star for St Stephen's in the 1960s and part of a Ranfurly Shield dominating Auckland team.

The mobile lock, along with his brother Manu, was selected for the Maori team, but never made the All Blacks.

Mr Maniapoto says the fact an apology is still needed is a sign Maori rugby might be better off moving out from under the NZRFU umbrella.

“Since Super 12 and a few other things have happened, Maori rugby has been shoved in the background. I’ve always thought we need to go out and do our own thing,” Mr Maniapoto says.

He says there's merit in Bill Bush's idea of taking a Maori team on a South American tour.


Rotorua district councillor Maureen Waaka is lamenting the increasing number of Maori who choose to be cremated.

The trend was noted by Rotorua's reserves manager, who attributed it to the increasing number of Maori not identifying with their culture.

Mrs Waaka says cremation is not the Maori way, but it is becoming popular among younger people because of its perceived convenince.

“It’s a breakaway from how we think traditionally as Maori. It’s returning to the land and burial and urupa and the old way of putting them in the caves was all part of that. There is no treatment of the body to the extent they were burnt or anything like that,” she says.

Mrs Waaka says traditionalists are staying loyal to burial in family urupa.


Dargaville is gearing up for excitement with the crew of "It's in the Bag" hitting the Northern Wairoa War Memorial Town Hall tonight.

Co host Stacey Morrison expects the audience to get into the mood ... shouting out encouragement and advice on whether to take the money or the bag.

She says Maori Television's bilingual twist on the Kiwi classic doesn't phase the contestants, and many people are able to say more in te reo than presenters expected.

It's in the Bag will also visit Kawakawa, Whangaroa, Kaikohe, Opotiki, Kawerau, Murupara, Rotorua, Otorohanga, Te Awamutu, Raglan and Huntly before filming the final live at Maori Television's Newmarket studio later in the year.

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Rugby Union stance gets prop Bush wild

Former All Black prop and Maori All Black captain Bill Bush says it may be time for Maori rugby to sever its ties with the New Zealand Rugby Football Union and go it alone.

Mr Bush says the union's refusal to respond to a call to apologise for excluding Maori from touring teams to South Africa for half a century is part of a pattern of prejudice against Maori.

He says it still comes up in team selections.

“Every time a player gets dropped out of the All Blacks, it has to be a Maori. Three were dropped out when we went to the World Cup in 2007, Piri Weepu, Rico Gear and (Troy) Flavell. Now we’ve got young Isaac Ross being dumped for no reason at all. It just annoys me and they favour the Samoans and Tongans more so than us,” Mr Bush says.

He says it now appears the NZRFU isn't going to organise a game for the Maori All Blacks next year, which would have been a consolation for Maori players who miss out on the World Cup squad.


A push by Maori men on the East Coast to improve their horticultural and hunting skills is providing a bonus for tamariki at Tikitiki's Rahui Marae.

Rob Thompson says a new mana tane roopu is allowing men in the region to share their skills, and they've gone on to establish community gardens in Rangitukia, Tikitiki and Te Puia Springs.

He says as part of a school holiday programme, today the roopu shared their knowledge of mahinga kai with tamariki.

Today the tamariki learn the basics of fishing and respect for Tangaroa, and on Thursday they'll be taken into the ngahere to learn bushcraft.


In a late season burst, Hawkes Bay Maori shearer Jonny Kirkpatrick took the open class honours at the Auckland Easter Show.

Commentator Koro Mullins says the win sets up a four-way battle at this weekend's New Zealand Shears in Te Kuiti for a spot in the New Zealand World Cup team between Kirkpatrick, shearing icon David Fagan, Paul Avery and Dion King.

Kirkpatrick's Auckland win was his first since early February, but the King Country event has been good to him, as he won the previous two years.

Another Maori shearer, Cam Ferguson, already has his ticket to the World Cup in Wales booked because of his Golden Shears win.


Former Miss New Zealand Maureen Waaka is thrilled at Cody Yerkovich's Miss World New Zealand title win at the weekend.

The former Maureen Kingi last year called for beauty contest judges to look beyond skinny blondes when choosing contestants to represent Aotearoa on the international stage.

She says the Kaitaia 18-year-old of Maori and Croatian descent has that special M-factor.

“The way that Cody presents herself is typically the refinement and elegance of M women and even in the performances and kapa haka, our woman, no matter what their build they were always dainty always elegant in their style and they brought a lot of refinement in their personages and that’s what I’ve been looking for in the beauty pageants,” Mrs Waaka says.

As a judge it was great to see Cody was not the only Maori among the 14 finalists.


It's looking like a good harvest for Maori-owned wine company Tohu Wines.

James Wheeler, a board member of 50 percent shareholder Wakatu Incorporation, says the company expects to produce up to 90 thousand cases of wine this year to meet solid customer demand in New Zealand and overseas.

He says picking started this week of 700 tonnes of sauvignon blanc grapes from its Waihopai vineyard.

“It's looking very good. I was on the vineyard the other day and we’ve got very little botrytis, in fact I couldn’t see and the bunches are good so I think we’re going to have an exceptional year,” Mr Wheeler says.


Ngati Rangiwewehi elder Trevor Maxwell says Te Arawa values Don Stafford's recording of its stories.

The historian, who died on Monday in Rotorua, is to be honoured by lying in state in the house Tamatekaua before his funeral at St Faith's Church on Friday.

Mr Maxwell says Mr Stafford became a walking encyclopedia on tribal history, drawing on stories told to him as a young man in his father's Rotorua shop for his 23 books.

He says no tribal history can be definitive, and Te Arawa has to take responsibility for its own record.

“He really only printed what he was told and perhaps some might have bent the story a little but he wrote it down and if he didn’t, who would we be listening to in the present day. He’s been our district’s official historian and a man who bridged Maori and European worlds,” Mr Maxwell says.

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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Historian Don Stafford honoured in death by iwi

Rotorua civic leader Trevor Maxwell from Ngati Rangiwewehi says the people of Te Arawa owe a huge debt of gratitude to historian Don Stafford, who died yesterady in Rotorua.

Mr Maxwell says many older whanau remember how as a young man Mr Stafford would spend countless hours with the old Maori men of the day, learning te reo and picking up on old tribal stories and history.

His interest resulted in 23 books, almost entirely on Te Arawa history.

“Over the years he’s been for us like a walking encyclopaedia. He just had a passion for the Te Arawa stories. He might have been born a Pakeha but he truly was one of our Te Arawa sons,” Mr Maxwell says.

Te Arawa requested Mr Stafford lie for 2 nights at Te Papai I Ouru at Ohinemtu. His service will be on Friday at neighbouring St Faith's church where he was a parishioner for many years.


Labour leader Phil Goff says the Government's three strikes bill will make bad law.

An analysis of the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill by Auckland university law lecturer Richard Ekins found it will discriminate against Maori because of the type of crimes covered.

Mr Goff says there is enough scope in current law for judges to punish serious offending and the parole board to treat prisoners appropriately.

He says the bill, which was put up by the ACT Party and extensively embellished by National, is all about political rhetoric.

“Not much impact but where it does have impact, perhaps undesirable removal of flexibility I think adds up to bad law. The truth is the law does provide right now for the worst of those offenders who constitute a risk to the public to be kept locked away and that’s the way it should be,” Mr Goff says.

He says at the same time it's creating more Maori prisoners, the Government is doing away with effective Maori focused rehabilitation programmes like Te Hurihanga in Hamilton.


Maori surfers in Taranaki fear a surfing dream-team will expose their prime spots to world view.

The 17-strong international team is in the area as part of the 2010 TSB Bank women's surf festival which starting in New Plymouth on Saturday.

Wharehoka Wano from Ngati Te Whiti says the hapu has lent its support to the event, but some of the surfers are concerned it may inspire other surfers from around the world to seek out the west coast breaks like Stent Rd and Rocky Points on Paora Rd.

Mr Wano says the surfing community mixes well with Maori in the region and it is important the relationship is maintained.


Organisers of the first East Coast traditional kai festival are thrilled by response to Saturday's event at Ruatoria.

The festival was driven by a new mana tane group which is encouraging the reestablishment of maara kai or vegetable gardens in the region.

Member Rob Thompson says local entertainers donated their time and prices were set low so everyone could go away with fresh and cooked meats, fish and garden fresh veges.

Next year's festival will be at Te Araroa.


Maori are almost twice as likely as Pakeha to be dissatisfied with that their quality of life.

A nationwide survey of just over 1000 people by the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development found that 22 percent of Maori rated their quality of life as fair or poor compared to 12 percent of pakeha.

Chief executive Peter Neilson says this is not surprising as the recession has hit Maori disproportionately hard.

He says low incomes, overcrowded housing and other factors could contribute to that dissatisfaction.

There were few Maori in the $200,000 a year income group, who all rated their quality of life as excellent or very good.


The Hawkes Bay Maori Tourism Trust has gone street level, opening an information and booking office on Napier's Marine Parade.

Kaumatua Tom Mulligan says it's a place for visitors to find out the stories and culture of Ngati Kahungunu.

He says it will also be used to promote the area to visitors to the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The centre has room for exhibitions, with the opening show coming from students of Te Wananga o Aotearoa's Toimairangi contemporary Maori Visual Arts programme in Hastings.

Tuhoe pays first fruits to marae

The Tuhoe Establishment Trust will distribute $5 million in interest payments on its share of the Central North Island forestry settlement to its marae and hapu.

Chairperson Tamati Kruger says the trust is still working on a distribution formula, as some of the 50 marae and hapu overlap with other tribal areas.

He says the trust won’t tell the marae how the first fruits of the $67 million settlement should be spent, but it will ask for it to be properly accounted for.

“They’re not asking for our permission so much as we want to agree with them about the parameters of how the money will be used, what would look good and what would not look good if we were to report back to the general Tuhoe population,” Mr Kruger says,

A further $1 million will be shared among tribal executives in the Waimana, Ruatoki, Ruatahuna and Waikaremoana valleys to help cover the consultation costs of developing a new tribal structure.


Labour associate education spokesperson Kelvin Davis is accusing the Maori Party’s Pita Sharples of selling out Maori children in mainstream schools.

Mr Davis, a former intermediate school principal, says there is nothing in the Government’s policy of testing to national standards that will improve outcomes for Maori boys, which is one of the toughest challenges the education system faces.

He says Dr Sharples, the associate education minister, knows the problem but isn’t prepared to buck his government partners.

“He fought hard for a trial of national standards in kura kaupapa, 95 percent of Maori kids are in mainstream schools. They deserve to have a trial of national standards, not to have national standards trialed on them,” Mr Davis says.

He says there wouldn’t be a teacher in the country who is opposed to high standards or giving parents information on their child’s achievement levels, but passing tests doesn’t make children brainier.

Dr Sharples says he cares for every student, but his ministerial responsibility is for children in kura kapapa immersion education.


Visitors to Christchurch’s Botanical Gardens are being given a look at how Ngai Tahu used resources from the bush.

Curator John Clemens says Te Wao Nui Tane nature trail, which is open for the next two weeks, will be an eye opener.

It includes five activities, including traps and storage fur tuna or eels and snares for manu or birds, as well as displays on the use of plants like raupo, ferns, harakeke and lancewood.

Dr Clemens says it complements the Mo Taatou Ngai Tahu Whanui exhibition at nearby Canterbury Museum.

Te Wao Nui Tane is at Christchurch Botanical Gardens for the next weeks.


An Auckland university law lecturer says Maori will be disproportionately affected by ACT’s three strikes bill now before Parliament.

Richard Ekins says Maori are more likely to come before the courts for crimes of violence, which count as strikes, rather than large scale frauds, which don’t, despite being extremely harmful to victims.

He says Maori who commit a relatively minor assault could end up sentenced for extended periods if it counts as a third strike.

He expects Maori MPs to vigorously oppose the bill.

Dr Richard Ekins and Professor Warren Brookbank will speak on the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill at a public meeting in Auckland University business school tomorrow night.


The author of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund will now try to put Tuhoe’s future finances on a firm footing.

Former Labour finance and treaty negotiations minister Michael Cullen has been appointed to the investment committee which advises the Tuhoe Establishment Trust where it should put the Bay of Plenty tribe’s Treaty of Waitangi settlement cash.

The Ohope resident joins Supreme Court Judge Sir Noel Anderson, Treasury adviser Murray Nash and Aaron Hing from Perpetual Portfolio Management.

Trust chairperson Tamati Kruger says Tuhoe was looking for plain language advice and recommendations.

“Tuhoe people are finding themselves in a different place, a different environment and having to consider a whole host of things they have not really got the background experience so they have has to learn very quickly about these things so it becomes most important you are able to surround yourself with people you have trust and confidence in,” he says.

The Tuhoe Estabnlishment Trust will distribute $5 million among its 50 affiliated marae and hapu as the first fruits of its $67 million share of the Central North Island forestry settlement.


Maori Catholics had a busy Easter with more than 5000 people turning out to the 58th Hui Aranga at Te Aute College in the Hawkes Bay.

The annual event involves religious debate, sports, kapa haka and choral singing.

Master of ceremonies Soli Hemara from Ngapuhi says the cultural performance were of a particularly high standard, with Feilding’s Te Waiora taking out the overall prize.

Soli Hemara says it’s take the judged six years to come to terms with Te Waiora’s unique style of kapa haka, which includes extremely theatrical elements.

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