Waatea News Update

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Sharples keen to see Maori in prison management

Associate corrections minister Pita Sharples wants Maori be involved with private management of prisons.

Labour has attacked the Government's plan to allow private opertators to build and run a new 1000-bed men's prison in south Auckland.

But Dr Sharples says with one in two prisoners being Maori, it's important Maori organisations get involved in incarceration, management and rehabilitation.

“We know that some programmes that Maori offer do work and it’s sort of like Whanau Ora, that we’re gong to look at things form a Maori world view so that you make the person responsible to their community rather than just dealing with them as an individual,” he says.

Dr Sharples was impressed by the innovation he's seen in the seven privately run prisons in Australian he's visited.


Maori immersion high schools are developing a virtual high school so they can share specialist teachers.

Coordinator Tony Waho says Te Kura Ata Ata involves video-conferencing, Internet, off site wananga and teacher visits to individual students.

He says kura have been sharing senior maths classes since 2000, but it's now extending the service to offer New Zealand history at NCEA levels one and two and level one science, spread over years 10 and 11.

“The idea is to have this national virtual schools where teaching skills are able to be shared. We have had it for quite a while but it’s been a bid ad hoc so we’ve got to be smarter and more secure abOut what we’re doing with it.” Mr Waho says.

The kura are also keen to strengthen their relationship with the Correspondence School, including translating its resources into Maori.


Huia Publishers wants to improve the quality of picture books submitted to it.

Managing director Robyn Bargh says many manuscripts have potential but need tweaking to appeal to children.

The Maori publisher is running a workshop in Tauranga this weekend, where writers and illustrators will get tips on coming up with characters that children might respond to.

“A lot of the books we get, especially by Maori writers, are very serious and earnest and they’ve got morals … basically read this story and learn you’ve got to be a good little boy, whereas kids like stories like Where the Wild Things Are, which are ridiculous stories and over the top stories, but kids really like that,” Ms Bargh says.

Huia and technology company Kiwa Media has taken two of its popular children's books - Barnaby Bennett and Oh Hogwash Sweet Pea! - and made them available through Apple's iTunes store for the iPhone, iPod and the iPad.


Politics seems to be a factor in the latest round of appointments to Maori Television and the Maori language commission.

Maori Television gave the Government a headache last year when its bid to be the lead free to air broadcaster for the Rugby World Cup upset the plans of the broadcasting and sports ministers.

Now Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples has replaced two of the three Crown appointees on the Maori TV board.

Businessman Wayne Walden from Ngati Kahu stays on, but television veteran Rod Cornelius and broadcaster Wena Tait are out.

In their place are educationalist Donna Gardiner from Ngaiterangi and Ngati Ranginui and senior National party figure Sir Wira Gardiner from Ngati Awa.

Sir Wira, a former soldier and Te Puni Kokiri head, has been successive governments as a troubleshooter when Maori organisations cause political heat, and National will be hoping he can keep the ship stable during world cup year.

Over at Te Te Taura Whiri, Dr Sharples appointed two new commissioners, Evelyn Tobin and Te Awanuiarangi Black, who as well as contributing 8000 entries to the Maori language dictionary Te Matapuna, was number 18 on the Maori Party list last election.

A Pakistani teacher who has translated the Koran into Maori credits two prominent Tainui kaumatua for their help.

Shakil Monir says when he started working on the Islamic holy book 20 years ago, there was no one able to translate from Arabic to Maori, so he took lessons in te reo from Maurice Wilson and Tom Roa.

The pair noted similarities between the languages, including the way there are different terms for speaking to one, two or more people.

Shakil Monir's translation of the Koran translation will be launched in Auckland tomorrow morning.


Surfer and surf broadcaster Te Kauhoe Wano says the world has woken up to Sarah Mason.

The pint sized Taranaki 15 year old stunned the surf world yesterday by beating the world number one to advance to the quarterfinals of the Women's Surfing World Championships at Fitzroy beach in New Plymouth.

She beat fellow New Zealander Paige Hareb this morning, but lost to Hawaiian Carissa Moore in the semifinal.

Mr Wano says Sarah Mason is the first Maori surfer to feature in a world championship event, and proved she's a name to watch and the event will be a huge boost to her career.

Maori in cold at party central

An Auckland architect says government and civic leaders have yet again ignored the Maori dimension in their plans for the city's waterfront.

Phil Smith's design for a Ngati Hine childcare centre in Kawakawa has won international attention with its incorporation of Maori themes and philosphies.

He says the revised marquee-based design for the so called Rugby World Cup party central on Queens Wharf will be a disappointment to locals and visitors alike.

“The artistic and conceptual thinking and the flavour of Maori culture here are very obvious when you come from abroad. Certainly as a visitor you would want as much of that as you could,” Mr Smith says.


Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia is backing a call for a moratorium on a proposed $600 million tidal power station at the entrance to the Kaipara harbour.

Ngati Whatua hapu Te Uri o Hau told a Foreshore and Seabed Act consultation hui this week it wanted a hold put on Crest Energy's resource consent application to the Environment court until foreshore and seabed ownership issues.

Mr Horomia says the case shows the need to explicitly define Maori rights and interests, as was possible under the 2004 Act the government intends to repeal.

“People would say that mana would prevail but that’s a classic example why you had to define and ensure that Maori rights were there,” Mr Horomia says.

A spokesperson for attorney-general Chris Finlayson says he is looking into the moratorium request.

Today's foreshore and seabed consultation hui are at Takapuwahia Marae in Porirua and the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Wellington.


The chief executive of the New Zealand Sports Academy says aspiring Maori sportspeople need to up their game both on and off the field.

Programmes run by the academy in Rotorua and Whangarei have been popular with Maori athletes keen to win places in National Rugby League and Super 14 rugby teams.

Jim Love, a former Maori All Black assistant coach, says club selectors are looking for well balanced athletes, so the course has a strong focus on life skills.

“Most of our boys are pretty shy. They lack confidence and the ability to stand up and be counted so it is important for us that we work on their confidence. And to me they don’t just come here to do a paper. To be successful it does need to be that whanau-based environment,” Mr Love says.


The new chief executive of the Federation of Maori Authorities is predicting massive growth in the Maori economy.

Former New Zealand First MP Ron Mark says FOMA's 150 members manage more than 800 thousand hectares of Maori land, with investments in agriculture, horticulture, energy and other interests.

He says the Maori asset base, now estimated at $17 billion, could be as much as $40 billion by the end of the decade, as Maori authorities emerge out of the recession in a far healthier condition than many of their neighbours.

“We are very conservative in the investments we make. As a result the debt levels are not high. I think on average most Maori incorporations get a little uncomfortable at anything over 30 percent. Going forward Maori are very well positioned. They have vat resources. They have flexibility and they are keen to take advantage of the things they see on the horizon,” Mr Mark says.

He says because of their role as guardians of the whenua, Maori authorities are strongly focused on environmental sustainability.


Labour's associate Maori affairs spokesperson says involving Maori in rehabilitation programmes at the new private prison is a cynical way to buy off opposition.

Corrections Minister Judith Collins says she expects Maori to be part of any bid to build and manage a new men's prison in south Auckland.

But Kelvin Davis says he's disgusted some iwi and urban Maori leaders are going along with the plan.

He says private prisons profits from locking up Maori, not rehabilitating them.

“That's the sole purpose of a Maori prison and Maori should step back from it and say it’s abhorrent to us, we’re not going to do it. By all means have kaupapa Maori in, have reo, have tikanga, have all those sorts of dimensions within prisons but let’s not make one single cent by throwing our people into prison, locking them up and waiting for the dollars to roll in,” Mr Davis says.

He says there is no evidence rehabilitation improved the last time there was a privately-run prison in New Zealand.


The Rotorua Energy Trust's plan to build up the city's collection of art with a local connection has been boosted by the $150,000 purchase of a portrait Tuhourangi ancestor Mihipeka Wairama.

Trust chair Grahame Hall says Wairama lost her home at Te Wairoa in the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera, and settled in Whakarewarewa where she eventually became one of by Charles Frederick Goldie's favourite models.

It's the sixth Goldie bought for Rotorua's heritage collection.

Mr Hall says like the other paintings, the Mihipeka Wairama will be taken to the marae so her descendants can welcome her back.

Once refurbishment work on the museum building is finished, the complete Goldie collection will be put on display.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Private prisons just wrong says Davis

MP Kelvin Davis has slammed Maori leaders who are angling to be part of the management of a proposed private prison in South Auckland.

Members of the Iwi Leaders Forum last month visited a Melbourne jail run by G4S, which is a likely bidder to build and managed the 1000-bed men's prison at Wiri, and urban Maori authorities have also met with the firm.

Mr Davis, Labour's associate Maori affairs and education spokesperson, says that shows their priorities are completely misplaced.

“Incarceration of citizens is something that should be left for the state to do. It’s not something Maori should be rubbing their hands in glee with at the thought of money rolling in to the coffers simply by locking our relations up. Simply to me it's just wrong,” Mr Davis says.

Iwi leaders should be encouraging young Maori into education that will make them the leaders of tomorrow, rather than into jobs as prison guards.


New FOMA chief executive Ron Mark isn't giving up on politics just yet.

The former New Zealand First MP was picked to run the Federation of Maori Authorities because of his experience both in national politics and in managing Maori land trusts.

Mr Mark says he still intends to stand for mayor of Wairarapa, and believes there is an overlap.

“Maybe by taking the helm in the Carterton District Council we can help guide constituents and the council into recognising some of the issues that are important to tangata whenua in that area and have those things factored into long term development plans in a more satisfactory manner,” says Mr Mark, from Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa


A new childcare centre in Kawakawa is garnering international attention.

Whenua, which is being built for the Ngati Hine Health Trust, was longlisted in the unbuilt category of the World Architecture News Awards, but failed to make the final six.

Architect Phil Smith says it was great to get that far, and the building will be submitted for other awards.

He says the brief was to incorporate iwi traditions, so tamariki can learn their culture and customs.

Foundation work has started.

“Kind of sculpted in a womb-like oval shape out of the land and the building literally grows out of that form. The back of it is a big grass bank and the front is a row of opening glazing facing north onto the playground so it overlays functional considerations with very symbolic considerations as well,” Mr Smith says.

He says building of the main environmentally friendly structure will start as soon as consents are finalised.


Auckland's urban Maori authorities are welcoming the government's proposal to allow private companies to build and manage a 1000-bed men's prison in South Auckland.

Announcing the plan, Corrections Minister Judith Collins said she expects the successful private provider to will have Maori representation and offer Maori specific services.

Willie Jackson from the Manukau Urban Maori Authority says he's been sounded out as a partner by private prison operators.

He says that given one in two male prisoners are Maori, it's a significant opportunity to influence the way prisons are run.

“We think that we should be involved in this business. I know that previous governments said private prisons won’t work but we have a different view. We saw some success last time and if they’re going to go down that track, the government, then why not talk with organisations like ours,” Mr Jackson says.

Labour list MP Kelvin Davis says Maori leaders should work on encouraging young Maori into positive activities rather than seek to profit by locking them up.


A Maori addiction specialist says other indigenous communities are looking for leadership from Maori on the issue.

Barry Bublitz of Tainui and Taranaki is set to attend the sixth Healing Our Spirit conference in Hawaii later this year, along with Whanau Ora Minister Tariana Turia.

He expects delegates will be keen to hear how the new model for delivering health and welfare services is working.

“Other indigenous look to us for some direction or affirmation. A lot of other communities are only just catching up to the whole holistic approach around health care and so on so it will be good to have the minister talking about that,” Mr Bublitz says.


Maori rugby expertise is improving the game in the United States.

Former Maori All Black Jim Love says a course modeled on one at his Rotorua-based sports academy has been picked up by the University of California, Santa Barbara.

He says the connection came through his stint as coach of a North American squad of US and Canadian players keen to tap into his vast rugby knowledge.

Jim Love has also coached professionally in Italy and well as taking Tonga to a Rugby World Cup.

Police talking crime prevention with iwi

Police are working with iwi leaders to cut Maori crime rates.

The first hui was held at Waiwhetu Marae in Lower Hutt yesterday, and more are planned in Auckland, Rotorua and other centres.

Superintendent Wally Haumaha says the hui are taking a practical approach, with workshops looking the type of crimes prevalent in each rohe and the sort of circumstances that draw Maori into risky and criminal behaviour, starting with tamariki from zero to ten years.

“There will be a group talking about five or six problem in that age group like parenting, shoplifting, victims of family violence, and then from 11 to 16 there will be another set of problems around truancy, drugs, shoplifting, burglary,” Superintendant Haumaha says.

A final workshop will look at problems for the 17 plus age group such as drink driving, alcohol and family violence.


An Invercargill-based anthropologist who has researched Maori organ donation wants to see a public education programme promoting the practice.

Jennifer Ngahooro says whanau members often override the deceased person's consent to donate body parts, reducing the number of organs available for donation.
She says the waiting room of an intensive care unit is not the place for a family to have the first conversation about organ donation, and it's better to raise the issue well beforehand.

She’d like to see a documentary which could generate conversations about donation.

Mrs Ngahooro says she has received good feedback to her suggestion at a seminar on organ donation in Wellington that poroporoaki and powhiri ceremonies be developed to help whanau through the process of transferring body parts.


The presenter of a new Maori Television show says parenting is the hardest job.

No Sweat Parenting features comedies sketches as well as discussions about family life.

Mother of two Stacey Morrison says many Maori have their children young, and they go into in thinking it will be easy, whereas it’s far harder than any other job.

Mrs Morrison says young Maori parents may be glad to be assured that times of extreme exhaustion and stress will pass.


Auckland urban Maori authorities want to be part of the management of the new private prison in South Auckland.

The Government says the new 1000 bed male prison to be built at Wiri will be a public-private partnership.

Willie Jackson, the chief executive of the Manukau Urban Maori Authority, says he and Waipareira head John Tamihere are talking to the prison companies who are likely to bid for the management contract.

“We should get involved in this although we have copped some criticism for that. We know that it’s our people who are in there so who better to work with them than people who know them and so the urban Maori authorities have expressed an interest in this type of business and we will continue to do that over the next few weeks and months,” Mr Jackson says.

He says Auckland Central Remand Prison was successfully managed by an Australian company before the Labour government put it back under state control.


Metiria Turei is predicting a low Maori turn-out for consultation hui on changes to the foreshore and seabed Act.

The Green Party co-leader says that's because all that is on offer from National is a blend of the existing law and the deal Labour negotiated with East Coast tribe Ngati Porou.

“There isn't a lot more for Maori to say to government about what they want because they didn’t listen to what Maori had been saying all along. After a while you just get tired of saying the same things over and over,” Ms Turei says.

Attorney General Chris Finlayson will hold a consultation hui today at Pukemokimoki Marae in Napier and a public meeting at 6.30pm in the Hawkes Bay Municipal Theatre


A Hamilton kura which has turned its grounds into an organic garden and orchards is seeing the benefits well beyond the school gates.

Rhode Street school has a commercial kitchen that processes the harvest into preserves, pickles and sauces which are sold at farmers' markets.

Principal Shane Ngatai says students are learning life skills and nutritional knowledge lost to their parents' generation.

Their enjoyment of hands on learning is boosting overall academic achievement.

“They're learning stuff like hydroponics. They’re learning about the chemical nature of plants, organics and so forth, so their vocab is improving, their knowledge is improving, and when we have visitors to the school it’s fantastic to see the pride they have when they show the visitors around the kura and talk about their learning and talk about what their involvement in that was,” Mr Ngatai says.

Other schools are picking up the gardening kaupapa.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Maori caught up in protest surveillance

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says police surveillance of protesters is something Maori have had to put up with for decades.

Figures obtained the Official Information Act by Peace Action Wellington show police obtained 84 operation orders for public demonstrations last year, including anti-war protests, candlelight vigils and union demonstrations.

Ms Turei says undercover police have been a feature of protests for decades, taking notes, names and photographs of protestors.

“We know that Maori are more likely to be targets through the policy system and the legal system. We’ve seen the statistics that prove that. And so for Maori who are, particularly when we are protesting or demonstrating on issues that are about our sovereignty, our right to be decision makers, then it becomes seriously problematic,” Ms Turei says.


Meanwhile, police met Wellington Maori leaders at Waiwhetu marae today to discuss ways to lower Maori crime rates.

Superintendent Wally Haumaha says Te Atiawa kaumatua Kara Puketapu invited police to the marae in response to commissioner Howard Broad's comments on high Maori youth crime and family violence rates at a forum earlier this month.

He says the Whanau Maori Standing Up hui is the first of a series around the country where the police will profile the crime types usual in each rohe.

The hui was broken into workshops which looked at problems facing Maori according to age groups.


Maori farmers in Taitokerau have been cutting stock numbers as the drought in the north moves into its sixth month.

Pita Paraone, the manager of the Maori Trustee's Northland office, which acts as manager or agent for many trusts and incorporations, says more than 20 percent of the region is Maori land.

He says while the drought was made official at the start of the year, it's really having an impact now as farmers start digging into their winter feed or sell stock.

His own family farm trust has declared a zero dividend for the year because of the drought.


Former New Zealand First MP Ron Mark has been appointed chief executive of the Federation of Maori Authorities.

FOMA chairperson Traci Houpapa says Mr Mark is deputy chair of the Wairarapa Moana Incorporation and a long time member of the federation, which represents the interests of trusts and incorporations managing 800 thousand hectares of Maori land.

She says the new executive committee wanted someone who could keep pace with the market politically and commercially, who had a broad experience of national and Maori politics, as well as organisational and management skills.

She says FOMA is changing as its members expand beyond the primary sector into other industries.


A fifth year student at Auckland University's school of medicine, Leah Te Weehi, has won this year's ProCare Health award for Maori.

The $2000 will go towards the costs of a 10-week placement in London.

Peter Didsbury, the chair of the Auckland-based primary health organisation, says the award aims to encourage Maori into general practice.


Sausages seasoned with pikopiko, horopito and kawakawa will be on offer when a Maori chef heads to China in July.

Charles Pipi Tukukino Royal will host three gourmet dinners for distributors and hospitality industry heavyweights to coincide with Prime Minister John Key's visit to the Shanghai World Expo, and similar events in September when Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples visits.

As well as the high-end sausages developed in a joint venture with meat specialists Dunninghams, Mr Royal will serve Maori kai, wine and beer from businesses hoping to gain a foothold in China.

His target is the 20-million strong expatriate community in Cghina.

As well as the traditional herbs, he's made a hot piripiri sausage for more adventurous eaters which uses a blend of horopito, kawakawa and cayene pepper.

Mystery injury keeps king home from school

Kingitanga representatives are refusing to discuss the injuries that kept King Tuheitia from opening a west Auckland kura kaupapa yesterday morning.

A spokesperson says the king was in an accident at his Huntly home on the weekend, but his injuries are not serious.

Eru Thompson from Te Kawerau a Maki says the king's absence at the opening of Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Kotuku in Ranui was a disappointment, but the show went on with members of the royal household and from Tainui.


Mataatua iwi are presenting a united front on their claims to the foreshore and seabed in the Bay of Plenty.

Whakatohea, Ngati Awa, and Ngaiterangi were among the tribes represented at a consultation hui in Kawerau on replacing the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Kaumatua Joe Mason from Ngati Awa says the iwi approve of the repeal of the Act, the removal of automatic Crown title to coastal areas and allowing Maori to go back to court to prove their title.

He says the legacy of the land wars of the 1860s means the iwi would struggle to prove the unbroken relationship with the takutai moana that is needed for customary rights claims ... and that needs to be addressed in any reform.

“We are actually talking about the extinguishing of customary title I suppose. That goes much further than the Act. For example, the extinguishment of title as the result of the confiscation in the Bay of Plenty along the coastline adjacent to that foreshore and seabed,” Mr Mason says.

Today's foreshore and seabed consultation hui and public meetings are in Gisborne.


Waka expert Hoturoa Kerr is confident the crews of four double-hulled voyaging waka will be ready to head for Tahiti with a few more months training.

The fibreglass vessels underwent trials on Waitemata harbour last weekend.
Mr Kerr, the head of Te Wananga O Aotearoa's waka culture course, says crew members come from Vanuatau, the Cook Islands, Samoa, Fiji and Aotearoa.

“We've got a good mix of fairly experienced waka sailors and a lot of ones that are just trying to build that experience up so I’m kind of looking at it, if everything goers right in the next three or four months, of a band of reasonably experienced sailors for this sort of vessel, so it’s all looking good,” Mr Kerr says.

The voyage later this year is to draw attention to the environmental threats faced by Pacific nations.


A Palmerston North Maori immersion school designed by non-Maori architects has been singled out in the public architecture category of this year's New Zealand Architecture Awards.

Project leader Ewan Brown says while his Wellington practice Tennant and Brown has designed many schools, Mana Tamariki kura kaupapa was the first time it was required to incorporate Maori concepts into a building.

“It was trying to make it a Maori building without reflecting it as a wharenui. They wanted to have it all under the one roof so we put the kohanga and kura under one roof so we picked up on the idea of the cloak, the korowai so this roof that went over both organisations became the korowai, sort of this over-arching support over the whole organization,” Mr Brown says.

He and partner Hugh Tennant have joined a reo Maori class and are working on a project for Te Whare Wananga O Raukawa in Otaki.


The Maori Language Commission is making a case for continued funding of flax roots Maori language regeneration programmes.

Te Taura Whiri acting chief executive Wayne Ngata says Ma Te Reo, which distributes $1.8 million each year to iwi, hapu, whanau and individuals to promote the language, is due to be wound up this year.

Applications have just opened for the final funding round.

Mr Ngati says since the programme was launched in 2001, huge strides have been made.

“There is scope for more to be done and we have been carrying out research to make a case to continue to support community-based language,” Mr Ngata says.

To encourage a spread of Ma Te Reo funds across regions, Te Taura Whiri is encouraging iwi, hapu and other providers to collaborate on applications.

Deadline is May 7.


A researcher into traditional Maori fishing practices says it appears different sized hooks were used as a sophisticated way of conserving fish stocks.

Sarah Coup from Mapua and Richard Hamill from the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre are studying middens around the Wainui estuary in Motueka.

She says they will make replicas of any hooks found to test the theory.

“What we think was that a partcular sized hook was used for the middle sized fish, If you have a large fish, the hook slips out, and a small one couldn’t target so it was obviously to target that right sized fish,” Ms Coup says.

The findings could be used to develop sustainable methods for modern day fishing.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Coastal rights way a dangerous path

Labour list MP Shane Jones says Attorney General Chris Finlayson is treading a dangerous path with his suggestion Maori should negotiate with him for customary rights rather than go through the courts.

The Maori Party has criticised Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Act for stopping the courts looking at foreshore claims.

Mr Finlayson told TV3 on the weekend that while his suggested reform of the Act reinstates access to the courts, he'd encourage iwi to talk to him instead.

He also agreed iwi who got customary title could lease the coast to outsiders for resort development.

Mr Jones says that's an alarming prospect.

“I just think it's really unwise before the public hui are over the minister is gaily announcing he doesn’t know what seabed customary title is but he’s more than keen for all and sundry to traipse up to his office and they’ll make it up in some sort of patchwork nature around the coastline. I fear the coastline will end up with this quilt of uneven, half baked, hotchpotch deals,” he says.

Chris Finlayson is holding a consultation meeting in south Auckland this evening, and he'll be in Gisborne for hui and public meetings tomorrow.


An Anglican Bishop has described the Maori rugby team's shame at being told to throw a game against South Africa.

Muru Walters was the 22-year-old fullback for the New Zealand Maori team against the touring 1956 Springboks.

He says before the game in Auckland, Maori affairs minister Ernest Corbett told the team if it won, New Zealand would never be invited to tour South Africa again.
Bishop Walters says the message contributed to the Maori team's 37-nil trouncing.

“That was a pretty destructive message to deliver before a game and a crowd of about 61,000 and it ripped the guts out of the spirits of our team. I was only a young person then but I saw my experienced friends just throw in the towel. It was an amazing transformation. Senior leaders capitulated to government direct interference,” Bishop Walters says.

He says in the centenary of Maori rugby, Maori deserve an apology for the way they were treated during the apartheid era.


The Ministry of Maori development is encouraging Maori businesses to find ways to work more closely together.

Te Puni Kokiri hosted a Maori business network dinner bringing together a range of business owners working in community development, security, animation and wine companies.

Martin Mariassouce, TPK's commercial development manager says as Maori business expands beyond fishing, farming and forestry, business owners often find themselves isolated from other Maori.

He says Maori businesses should make an effort to find other Maori suppliers for the goods and services they need.


The chief executive of Hawkes Bay's largest Maori heath provider says Whanau Ora scheme will opens up opportunities for trained Maori health workers.

Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga already employs more than 150 people, and it's holding seminars to encourage other Maori to consider health careers.

Alayna Watene says the new method of integrated service delivery to Maori families will create a demand for professional health and welfare workers with cultural competence.

“There's going to be a huge workforce required that is culturally and professionally safe in their practice. It’s no longer the days when you can send well meaning nannies and aunties and uncles out to advise and give counsel to whanau with multiple complex,” Ms Watene says.


The captain of the 1956 Maori All Blacks has confirmed the team was told to lose its game against the touring Springboks.

Some rugby journalists have questioned a claim by fullback Muru Walters that the minister of Maori affairs told the team to throw the match for the good of rugby.

But Hapi Potae from Ngati Porou and Tainui remembers the team manager, Ralph Love, confirming the minister's message.

He says its effect was seen on the field, where the Maori's woeful tackling and lack of attack saw them go down 37-nil.

“That game in Eden Park was a disgrace. I actually felt so embarrassed that I went over and crossed from Eden Park over to the railway line and it was embarrassing.

Mr Potae says the reasons for the defeat were not something team members liked to talk about, and certainly not to Pakeha.


Labour leader Phil Goff says good social service providers will be axed to provide money for Whanau Ora.

Mr Goff says the lack of transparency around the new Maori-oriented health and welfare delivery programme indicates poor planning by the government.

He says it's becoming clear Whanau Ora is about politics and making the Maori Party look good rather than delivering real change to Maori families.


Auckland iwi combined today to bless human remains found during foundation work for a new navy museum at Devonport's Torpedo Bay.

The Historic Places trust says last week's find of koiwi as well as moa bones, an adze head and other artifacts indicate Maori occupation of the site more than 500 years ago, making it one of the earliest sites found.

Eru Thompson from Tainui says kaumatua from Ngati Whatua, Ngati Paoa and Ngai Tai where joined by officers from the navy at the blessing ceremony.

He says the navy was happy to stop the excavation of an area which is near where the navigator Kupe is thought to have landed about 900 AD.

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Whanau Ora whakapapa points to autonomy

Maori Party president Whatarangi Winiata says the Whanau Ora model for government service delivery is a belated expression of the reforms recommended in Puao Te Ata Tu.

He say the recommendations for Maori autonomy in the late John Rangihau's groundbreaking 1986 review of the Department of Social Welfare fell on deaf ears at the time.

But party co-leader Tariana Turia, who was a Maori Affairs community welfare officer at the time, has never forgotten the message.

“It's not going to go away, that is the aspirations to determine our own future, to have Maori management of matters Maori, to have those who know the culture prescribing for the culture, and that is what Whanau Ora is going to do,” Professor Winiata says.


Hawkes Bay Maori health and social service provider Te Taiwhenua O Heretaunga is holding seminars to encourage Maori into the health workforce.

Chief executive Alayna Watene says the Whakamahi Atu series is aimed at students and workers who may doubt they have the skills needed.

Some of Taiwhenua's 160 staff are sharing their experiences of career development.

“Many of the vocations or career opportunities available aren’t easy for them to aspire to because they think it’s unattainable. Having workers that can fit into any job setting around the country, as part of their commitment to the kaupapa was giving back to the whanau by sharing their personal stories,” Ms Watene says.

Whanau Ora will create opportunities for more Maori health workers.


An award-winning tourism company says being small and specialised can work for Maori operators.

TIME Unlimited Tours in Auckland has won a global award for its website from eco-tourism magazine Planeta.com and the secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

Director Ceillhe Sperath from Ngapuhi says the website is part of a company philosophy to give visitors the information they are looking for to make their stay in Aotearoa one to remember.

“They really want to meet the locals. They want to ask us the questions that they wouldn’t ask in a bigger group and you become friends. We keep getting told it’s like being shown around by a family friend. That’s probably one of the success elements, we don’t do large groups and we like to learn as much about them as they learn about us,” Ceillhe Sperath says.

Just over 48 percent of contributors to the Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award voted for the TIME Unlimited site, compared with just 21 percent for the second placegetter.


Labour's economic development spokesperson, Shane Jones, has slammed a suggestion by the Attorney General that customary title means Maori could partner with foreign companies to develop Club Med style resorts along the coast.

Chris Finlayson made the suggestion on TV3's The Nation show on the weekend.

Mr Jones says that's not what the public expects to come out of the consultation on a replacement for Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Act.

“Well the implication of what Chris Finlayson was saying is that he envisages a situation where foreign interests will have substantial opportunities to create major enterprises along with some hapu or something like that in the seabed and foreshore. That’s a very new and almost sinister turn to this whole process,” Mr Jones says.

He says after criticising Labour for leaving it to the High Court to determine customary title, Mr Finlayson now says he will grant rights through negotiation with individual iwi.

Foreshore and Seabed consultation hui will be held today at Puatahi Marae on the Kaipara Harbour at noon and Butterfly Creek near Auckland Airport at six.


Meridian Energy is welcoming Ngai Tahu support for its plans to build a giant hydro dam on the Mokihinui River north of Westport.

A weekend hui by the Ngati Waewae hapu endorsed a decision to withdraw opposition to the $300 million project, which has just got planning consent from the West Coast regional and Buller district councils.

Meridian spokesperson Alan Seay says it's undeniable the dam and its associated infrastructure will have an impact on the river, so it made sense to offer Te Runanaga o Ngati Waewae compensation to fund cultural initiatives.

“We obviously understand that the local iwi is going to have a very particular point of view, that this is a landscape that’s very important to them and we want top do the very best we can to take those interests into account and we’re very happy we’ve come to an agreement,” Mr Seay says.

Details of the mitigation agreement are confidential, but the money will only be paid if the project goes ahead.


One of the greats of Maori rugby says New Zealand government should apologise for its past complicity in Maori being excluded from teams touring South Africa.

Muru Walters, who probably missed selection from the 1960 All Blacks because of the ban, says the Rugby Union had the full backing of the government of the time.

That extended to the minister of Maori affairs, Ernest Corbett, visiting the dressing room before the Maori game on the 1956 Springbok tour of New Zealand and telling the team that for the good of rugby it must not win.

“We had never had an apology from the South African government, neither have we had one from the New Zealand government, both of whom took a strong measure of direct political interference not to include Maori,” Bishop Walters says.

He will ask Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples to seek a joint apology to Maori Rugby from both governments.

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Te Kotahitanga boosts NCEA results

A Waikato secondary teacher is crediting a Maori-oriented professional development programme for a big boost in his school's NCEA rating.

Barney Wharekura says since Ngarawahia High School introduced Te Kotahitanga, the number of Maori students achieving level one of the national certificate by year 11 has almost doubled, from 42 to 78 percent.

He says with an 80 percent Maori roll, staff embraced the new philosophy of promoting a Maori perspective across all subjects and encouraging students to be proud of their culture.

The number of Maori students passing Level One NCEA has risen nationally from 45 to 57 percent over the past five years.


Labour's Maori spokesperson is welcoming changes to legal aid which could mean many lawyers are dropped from the scheme.

The Government is adopting most of the recommendations made by former Social welfare head Dame Margaret Bazley in a report alleging incompetent and corrupt lawyers were milking the system.

Lawyers will be required to sit competency tests before going on the legal aid roster, the public defender service will be expanded and management of the scheme will be brought back into the Ministry of Justice.

Parekura Horomia says too many legal aid lawyers string out the court process to get fees for repeated appearances and recommending guilty pleas rather than looking after the interests of young Maori clients.

“Margaret Bazley is well known for getting to the bottom of things and I think it’s great that it’s happening now and their should be some stringency because I have a real view why Maori youth criminal numbers are up so high,” Mr Horomia says.

He believes some lawyers have also been milking legal aid on treaty claims work.


A reading of Albert Belz's 2003 breakout play Awhi Tapu will kick off a monthly series showcasing the work of south Auckland playwrights.

Jenni Heka from Playmarket says Manukau is home to new voices that are changing Maori and Pacific theatre.
She says the Playmarket Metro Playreading Series starting at the Metro Theatre in Mangere East on Thursday should create opportunities for writers, actors and directors in the region.

Awhi Tapu is directed by veteran actor Rawiri Paratene.


A Maori All Black great says the 1956 team was told by the government of the day to throw its match against the Springboks.
Full back Muru Walters, who's now an Anglican bishop, says it's not just the New Zealand Rugby Football Union that should apologise for excluding Maori players from teams that toured South Africa.
He says before the match in Auckland, then-Maori affairs minister Ernest Corbet visited the dressing room.

“What he said was this; we must not win this game or else we’ll never be invited to South Africa again. I thought he was joking. And then another official came in and said the same thing, have a match, but whatever you do, for the future of rugby, don’t beat the South Africans,” Bishop Walters says.

The message demoralised the team, and it went down 37-nil.

The chair of the Whanau Ora governance group says the new method for delivery of government services should result in less bureaucracy, more empowerment, and more direct resourcing of Maori communities.

Rob Cooper from Ngati Hine will oversee the programme alongside Sir Mason Durie from Rangitane, Nancy Tuaine from Whanganui and the heads of the ministries of Health, Social Development and Maori Development.

He says the answers to Maori underdevelopment are well known, but what past initiatives lacked was the will from politicians and bureaucrats to make them work.

“Ka Awatea, Puao o te Ata Tu, Maatua Whangai, all of these were nascent Maori policies aimed at greater Maori involvement and all of them went aground for lack of political support and yet there wouldn‘t be an intelligent Maori person in the country who didn’t agree they were all headed in the right direction,” Mr Cooper says.


A Maori tour operator says making sure visitors have the time of their lives is the key to her company's latest success.

Auckland-based TIME Unlimited Tours has won the global Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website award put up by eco-tourism website Planeta.com and the secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

Ceilhe Sperath from Ngapuhi says the website aims to give customers an appreciation of Maori culture even before they get to Aotearoa.

“We've made sure we’re always tailoring it to their interests because that way they’re getting the holiday experience they’re after rather than what we want to provide for them,” she says.

Mrs Sperath says visitors want to learn not only about contemporary Maori culture but about how New Zealanders get on with each other.

Whanau Ora needs to heed lesson of Puao Te Ata Tu

A former Maori Affairs deputy secretary the Government could be setting up its Whanau Ora service delivery model to fail.

Neville Baker says the problems identified by the Whanau Ora taskforce are the same as those in the 1986 Puao Te Ata Tu report on social welfare.

Mr Baker, who chairs Waiwhetu Marae-based Maori service provider Te Runanganui o Taranaki Whanui, says an opportunity was missed then because government officials pushed back against recommendations to devolve service delivery to the Maori community.

“I’m reminded of the fact that it became part of the government’s planning to deliver to Maori rather than the ability of the Crown to say to Maori you lead this and we will resource you to make it all happen,” Mr Baker says.

He says Whanau Ora leaves too much control with the central government agencies.


The latest crop of Maori PhDs have been celebrated at Te Amorangi National Maori Academic Excellence Awards hosted by Waikato University.

The 25 graduates gained doctorates over the past year in disciplines ranging from biochemistry and computer science to tourism and entrepreneurship.

Maori affairs minister Pita Sharples, who as at Turangawaewae Marae for the ceremony, says when he graduated only five Maori had doctorates, but now there are more than 500 Maori PhDs.

“Now every second person I run into is a doctor and that has to be good. Doctors in science and marine biology and all sorts of things, it’s very exciting,” Dr Sharples says.


Ngati Porou artist Rangituhia Hollis is using home movies, 3D animation and video games to question mainstream media depictions of Maori.

Hollis’s Kapua 1.0 show is on now at the artist-run Enjoy gallery in Wellington.

The name is drawn from the fictional East Coast town in the 1987 film Ngati, which Hollis sees as a counter to much of what is shown about Maori.

“I was looking to draw something positive and also give form to that negative media so that it could be seen so that perhaps it could be something to be dealt with and I think the answer lies with hapu and whanau and iwi being resistant to forms of colonisation,” Mr Hollis says.

His next art project is a Maori video game that can be accessed over the Internet.


The chair of a Lower Hutt Maori service provider says the whanau ora won’t work unless Maori people are able to embrace it as their own.

Neville Baker says the new government service delivery programme is similar to the Tamaiti Whangai scheme Te Runanganui o Taranaki Whanui is running out of Waiwhetu Marae, where advocates work with families to improve their health, education and employment opportunities.

But the former Maori Affairs deputy secretary says the report of the Whanau Ora taskforce released last week isn’t written in language that will appeal the ordinary Maori, and government agencies retain too much control of the programme.

“Historically we have been involved in trade training and kohanga reo and a whole lot of initiatives where Maori people have actually been the drivers. What’s going to happen here in my view is that you need to recreate that sort of situation so people really do get behind this and make it work for themselves. I don’t see righty now that there is clarity about how this might occur,” Mr Baker says.


Waikato iwi Ngati Haua and Ngati Koroki Kahukura are completing mandating to allow them to enter treaty settlement talks.

Consultant Willie Te Aho says Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson has written to the iwi indicating a start date of late June.

The iwi with 8000 registered members between them own less than five percent their original tribal domain east of the Waikato River from Mangakino to Karapiro, taking in Matamata and Morrinsville.

“We’re looking at the return of significant areas like Maungatautere to the ownership of the iwi. We’re looking for the same for sites like Karapiro and also ensuring that our voice on the river like the Maori Affairs select committee is also heard with respect to our tupuna awa,” Mr Te Aho says.

The iwi are keen on co-management arrangements with local authorities.


Maori bones and Maori artifacts have been found at a place linked to the great Polynesian navigator Kupe.

Historic Places Trust regional archaeologist Bev Parslow says the bones, adze head and other items were found during work to convert buildings at the Devonport Naval Base at Torpedo Bay in to a navy museum.

She says it shows Maori occupied the site as early as the 1500s.

“We’re thinking it’s an early Maori site because the artifacts, though quite limited, suggest there was moa being exploited and hunted and eaten on the site, so it could have been as early as 500 years ago,” Ms Parslow says.

Kupe is believed to have landed at the bay about 900, naming it Te Hau Kapua or cloud bank carried along by the wind, and the Tainui canoe also landed nearby.

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