Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, April 23, 2010

Declaration triumphant wallpaper for Harawira

Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira wants to see a copy of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on the wall of every Maori family.

The Maori Party MP says he will ask Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples to if 500,000 copies can be run off for this purpose.

“You can look at your treaty on the wall and very soon we will have posters of the declaration up on the wall as well. I’ll talk to Pete about getting at least enough to spread around the county so we can look at it and go ‘that's us,’” Mr Harawira says.

He says like the treaty of Waitangi, the more people use the declaration the more it will become understood in courts and become part of the law.


Mangere's waka ama club is holding a public meeting tomorrow morning to calm fears about a two-storey clubhouse it wants to build beside Mangere Bridge.

Advisor James Papali'i says there has been opposition in the past from some residents, but any potential impact is minor compared with the disruption to the area in recent years caused by the enlargement of the bridge.

While nationally waka ama is a predominantly Maori sport, in south Auckland it has also attracted many Pacific Island and Pakeha paddlers.

Mr Papali'i says it’s a great way to see a harbour which is relatively lightly used for recreational purposes.

The waka ama club consultation meeting is at the Mangere Bridge extension depot at 11am tomorrow.


Two Maori-themed stamps in this year's New Zealand Posts ANZAC stamp issue have personal significance for series coordinator James Te Puni from Ngati Porou.

The $1 stamp depicts the posthumous award ceremony for the Victoria Cross winner, second lieutenant Te Moananui a Kiwa Ngarimu, while the $2.80 stamp shows veteran Rei Rautahi visiting the cemetery in Sangro, Italy, the resting place for 2600 allied soldiers including 355 New Zealanders.

Mr Te Puni says working with the Returned Services Association on the ANZAC collection is an annual highlight for NZ Post's stamps division.

He says with two grandfathers who served in World War 2, one in the Maori Battalion, it becomes a very personal story.

The stamps are available now.


A member of the first Melbourne Storm team says players and staff will be gutted by the events of the past 24 hours.

The National Rugby League stripped the club of two premierships and fined it for breaching salary caps over the past five years.

Tawera Nikau from Tainui, who won the 1999 premiership with the Storm, says the club is in for a rocky road as it tries to recover from the scandal.

He feels especially for assistant coach Steve Kearney, who also coaches the Kiwis, and Whangarei-raised Maori utility forward Adam Blair.

“A guy like Adam Blair who foregoes $100,000 a year to stay at the Storm and win a couple of premierships, although they’ve been imposed with these sanctions, fines and the stripping of their premierships, the players will feel gutted. All the hard work they’ve put in over the past four years, what has it been for,” Mr Nikau says.

He says the Storm controversy could throw preparations for the Anzac Test in Melbourne into disarray.


Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says the Maori party had to work extremely hard over the past year to get National to agree to sign up to the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Mr Flavell was at the United Nations in New York this week to support the announcement that New Zealand had changed its position on the declaration, which was adopted by the UN three years ago.

He says are recently as four weeks ago, the Maori Party did not know it would be able to win National over ... which made Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples's appearance at the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues that much sweeter.

“Who would have thought that a Maori from Kahungunu, a Maori co-leader of a Maori Party, would make a statement at the world forum of the United Nations where so many world leaders have stood in the past and made declarations, who would have thought one year ago that would have taken place. I don’t think many people would have,” Mr Flavell says.


The music of the 28 Maori Battalion will be heard again in Kirikiriroa on Anzac day.

Boys from five Hamilton high schools will be performing the old waiata in the marae atea of Waikato Museum on Sunday morning.

Museum educator Jasmine Tunstall says the age range, from 15 to 19, isn't the only similarity the boys have with the battalion, and they are showing a great level of camaraderie.

The performance at 11am will be followed by other Anzac-related activities throughout the day.

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Winiata calms fears on declaration

Maori Party president Whatarangi Winiata says people should not fear the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will be abused by Maori.

Professor Winiata says like the Treaty of Waitangi, the declaration affirmed by the government this week will contribute to the richness of New Zealand's race relations.

He says the aspirational document is likely to affect the way laws are made and interpreted, but it won't be used as a stick.

“ We don't have any reason to be afraid that there will be any attempts to abuse it or that any attempts that are made will be dealt with so that the misuse doesn't occur,” Professor Winiata says.

National's support for the declaration has enhanced the relationship with the Maori Party.


A spokesperson for Maori SIDS says smoking is probably the largest single cause of sudden infant deaths among Maori.

Herena Te Wano says that's why her organisation presented the Maori Affairs select committee inquiry into the tobacco industry with 60 pairs of baby booties, representing the children who die every year of SIDS.

She says while bed sharing is a factor in the disproportionately high rate of SIDS among Maori, smoking during pregnancy or after greatly compounds the risk.

“We don't counsel against bed sharing. However, when a mother has smoked during pregnancy, we advise they should choose a safer option to sleep their baby away from them either in a cot, a basinet or a wahakura which is a flax bassinet for babies aged from zero to six months,” Ms Te Wano says.

Maori SIDS would support a ban on the sale of tobacco products, but would also like to see more education programmes targeted at Maori.


Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia says as the number of Maori World War 2 veterans continues to decline, more attention should be paid the needs of Maori soldiers from subsequent military actions.

Mr Horomia plans to make his annual Anzac Day pilgrimage on Sunday starting at the dawn parade near his Tolaga Bay home and taking in commemoration events in Gisborne, Wairoa and Hawkes Bay.

He says since attending his first parade as a child, he's embraced the annual ritual of acknowledging the sacrifices of his forbears, and now his contemporaries.


Leading Maori Party member Derek Fox believes the Government has affirmed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a way to differentiate itself from Labour.

Mr Fox says the decision to reverse the previous Labour government's vote against the document shows the merits of the Maori Party's decision to support National.

But that support alone wouldn't be enough for such a major shift in New Zealand foreign policy.

“It would be nice to say that yes, it was entirely because of the Maori Party that National has gone along with the Rights of Indigenous Peoples but National too needs to demonstrate a point of difference between it and Labour. The DRIP is part of that,” Mr Fox says.

After the election, he told his Maori Party colleagues they had 18 months to produce tangible benefits for Maori, and the declaration can be counted as such a benefit.


On-line audiences can watch a wide selection of Maori films as part of NZ On Screen's free ANZAC collection.

Irene Gardiner, the content director of the New Zealand on Air-funded service, says Maori-themed movies and documentaries were some of the most popular items in last year's ANZAC collection.

She expects strong interest again for documentaries about Victoria Cross winners Willie Apiata and Te Moananui a Kiwa Ngarimu, RNZAF pilot John Pohe, who plotted the legendary Great Escape from Stalag Luft, and Tainui Stevens' Maori Battalion March to Victory.

Taika Waititi's short film Tama Tu is also available on the site nzonscreen.com


Meanwhile, a London-based Maori singer sopngwriter hopes a song he composed to honour his grandfather's service in the 28 Maori Battallion will strike a chord with other soldiers' descendants.

Jayson Norris, who hails from Kaitaia, is back for a promotional tour.

He says his late koro Charlie never spoke much about the war, but the song Freedom to Live speaks of the bravery of those who served.

He's honoured Freedom to Live was chosen by 28 Maori Battalion Association as a tribute song to play at their Crete and Greece ceremony next month.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Declaration creep good news to Maori Party

Maori party president Whatarangi Winiata is welcoming the prediction by a former Waitangi Tribunal chairperson that the principles of the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will find their way in time into New Zealand law.

Sir Taihakurei Durie made the comment in a private letter of congratulation to Maori Party MPs, which was read in Parliament by Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira.

The retired judge declined to comment further.

Professor Winiata says Sir Taihakurei is reminding people what happened with the status of the Treaty of Waitangi.

“It has no standing in the law except for those parts of the law where reference has been made to it and there are few. Nonetheless it has great standing among the people of this country and he’s saying we can expect the declaration will in due course find it is on the same track,” Professor Winiata says.

This week's affirmation of the declaration has greatly improved relations between the Maori and National Parties.


The design for the grounds of an Otara Maori immersion school has won Mike Thomas from Jasmax two awards in this year's New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects pride of place landscape awards.

Judges praised the strongly Maori design character that enhances the Te Whanau o Tupuranga's sense of community and place.

Mr Thomas says he consulted with local iwi on stories which were incorporated into paving patterns.

The design needed to tie together the vaious old and new buildings in the school complex, as well as include space for food gardens.


A former Samoan rugby representative wants to know what support Maori and Polynesian players need when they finish their professional rugby careers.

Tuapuai Fa'amalua Tipi now lectures in critical studies at Auckland University's faculty of education.

He's interviewing 70 recently-retired players for a report which could have implications for the way clubs and national squads manage their players in future.

Tapuai Fa'amalua Tipi says many Maori and Polynesian players spend their career earnings on benefits for their wider families and neglect their own future fortunes.


Two time Ikaroa Rawhiti candidate Derek Fox says there is little chance he will put his name forward again to stand for Parliament.

The broadcaster and Mana magazine editor and former Wairoa mayor lost to Parekura Horomia by 695 votes when he stood as an independent in 1999, and by 1645 votes as a Maori Party candidate last election.

He says the problem is funding rather than lack of political fire.

“It's a very costly thing to do as an individual very demanding of your time, and I think I still own my bank money from the first time I ran in 1999 so I am unlikely to run again. I just can’t afford it,” Mr Fox says.


The country's doctors want an additional tax on tobacco to encourage people to stop smoking.

The president of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, Harry Pert, has told the Maori Affairs Select Committee inquiry into the tobacco industry that such a tax would hit hardest on low income earners, and in particular Maori and Pacific smokers.

But he says any short term pain would be worth the long term gain.

“Price is a very effective way of reducing tobacco consumption. There is a lot of evidence for this so it isn’t just us flying a kite here. There is evidence that particularly for vulnerable communities, if the price is increased, people will spend much more time considering stopping and getting involved in smoking cessation,” Dr Pert says.

He says money raised from the tax could go towards extra smoking cessation programmes targeting low income earners and Maori and Pacific islanders.


St Josephs Maori girls college student Sarah Te Aho says young people could be doing more to look after their environment.

The young conservationist attended last week's Sir Peter Blake Youth Environment Forum in Wellington, where she highlighted the problems caused by litter at the beach near her home at Waimarama in the Hawkes Bay.

She says her school environment group encourages other students to not leave their mess for others.

She's keen to pursue a career in environment management.

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Earth Day a Green highlight

Metiria Turei will be one of the billion people from 190 countries who will be marking Earth Day today.

The Green Party co-leader says her focus this year is on using water wisely and stopping unnecessary mining.

She's meeting with hapu around Thames concerned about the Government's plans to open the Coromandel Peninsula up to mining companies.

“Iwi have been involved in this fight against mining for decades and so we need to make sure the environmental movement and the Green Party stand alongside iwi who are fighting against the destruction of their whenua,” Ms Turei says.

She says Maori may be able to use New Zealand's affirmation of the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on issues like the fight against mining.


The number of Maori students graduating from Canterbury University at a special ceremony today is more than double that of last year.

Rawiri Taonui, the head of Aotahi, the School of Maori and Indigenous Studies, says it's a sign the university is finding ways to appeal to Maori students.

He says 18 of the 39 graduates represent the first intake to come through undergraduate courses within his department.

The rest come from a new te reo Maori major which recognises the language as a separate study away from Maori studies.


A combination of fine dining and rongoa Maori is wowing guests at the elite Treetops Lodge just outside Rotorua.

Chef Eru Tutaki from Ngati Maniapoto leads guests from around the world into the bush to source the ingredients for the night's meal.

He then creates a degustation menu that includes flavours from Maori medicinal herbs.

“Rongoa Maori was mainly drunk as a tea, Now in terms of me becoming a chef, I can infuse it in the bread and in the soups even and in the sauces, so it’s pushing that rongoa Maori to a whole new perspective,” Mr Tukaki says.

On his days off, Eru Tutaki teaches the next generation of Maori chefs by running cooking classes at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori ki Hurunga Te Rangi.


The Race relations commissioner says the government is sending a signal to the world it is taking Maori rights seriously.

Joris de Bres says by affirming the non-binding UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the government has created international expectations it will tackle inequalities in Maori health, education and justice.

That's despite the qualified language in the speech Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples gave to the ninth session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York this week.

“Those are points which reasonably elegantly say we’re not going to change our whole treaty settlement process because of this, we’re not going to change our laws, but we do want to signal to Maori in New Zealand that the Crown takes indigenous rights of Maori seriously,” Mr de Bres says.

New Zealand was under huge international pressure over its previous opposition to the declaration.


The director of Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga Maori research centre wants universities to take a mana-inspired approach to education.

Ahukaramu Charles Royal addressed the topic of tertiary education in a breakfast speech at yesterday's Kingitanga Day celebration at Waikato University.

He says the focus in tertiary education is now on skills and preparing students for the labour market, rather than considering their future contributions to their communities.

“What our communities are looking for is young people who are certainly endowed with knowledge and skills and talents and abilities and so on, but even more so we’re looking for a kind of person who can relate to others well, communicate and is a warm hearted person,” Professor Royal says.

He says Maori communities have no tolerance for arrogant academics who are not prepared to offer anything back.


A Whanganui art gallery is holding an exhibition to help the Ratana Temple at Raetihi buy a bell.

W H Milbank Gallery director Bill Milbank says growing up in the Waemarino township he was constantly aware of the iconic building, which has been the subject of famous photos by Ans Westra, Smash Palace director Roger Donaldson and the late Robin Morrison.

Those images, and others by artists like photographer Laurence Aberhard, sculptor Matt Pine and painter Megan Campbell, make up the Church on the Hill show.

He says the gallery and the artists will give the temple a koha from any of the work sold.

“In the process of talking with them to see if it was appropriate or not for us to put this exhibition together, we discovered that in their minds the building up there has never been complete because they don’t have a bell. We said let’s see if we can start to put together a fund that will allow them to secure a bell for the church,” Mr Milbank says.

The Church on the Hill runs until May 19 at the gallery on Taupo Quay.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Music for Te Arikinui adds Royal garnish

Waikato University has added a Royal garnish to today's celebration of its links to the Kingitanga.

A concert tonight at the university's WEL Energy Theatre includes a rare performance of Ahukaramu Charles Royal's Te Arikinui, a work for tenor, strings and percussion dedicated to the late Maori queen, Te Atairangikaahu.

Dr Royal, the head of Nga Pae o te Maramatanga Maori research centre at Auckland University, says the work was commissioned in 1991 by the late Miria Simpson of Ngati Awa, with words by Timoti Karetu of Ngae Tuhoe.

“It has been played only twice previously on a public occasion and we tried very hard to have it played for Dame Te Ata before she passed away but unfortunately we weren’t successful but today we will finally play it before the incumbent ariki, King Tuheitia, who will be there, and it’s his birthday of course,” Dr Royal says.

Te Arikinui will be sung by Howard McGuire from Ngati Kahungungu, with the Waikato University Orchestra conducted by violinist Adam Maha


The Prime Minister says New Zealand's support for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People is about how this country is seen abroad, rather than about what happens at home.

There is debate about whether the carefully-crafted affirmation read by Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York contained no caveats, as the Minister claimed.

John Key says the change in policy came after advice the declaration would not affect New Zealand's constitutional framework or the existing treaty settlement process.

“New Zealand’s got a very proud record in indigenous rights, a much prouder record than many other people who have confirmed the declaration, and in our view we looked on the world stage as if we didn’t care about indigenous people when in fact we’ve got this great record and all the advice I had from Crown Law is ‘nothing you’re doing here is going to make any difference if that’s what you’re worried about, it’s a non binding aspirational goal and you set out your position,’” Mr Key says.

The declaration has already been raised in court cases.


A Manawatu mentoring service is seeking Maori tuakana for at-risk youth.

Big Brothers Big Sisters coordinator Dale Anderson says the successful international programme will be launched in the region next week.

She says mentors from all walks of life are sought, especially those who can relate to Maori boys from single parent families.

Ms Anderson says mentoring has benefits for whanau and the wider society.

“Children's use of alcohol and drugs diminish while they’ve been enrolled in the programme, they attend school better, they start to think of employment opportunities, they start to have a bit more hope, they start to have they start to interact with their whanau a whole lot better, they feel better about themselves,” Ms Anderson says.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is for rangatahi aged 7 to 17.


Class was out at Waikato University today as the institution studied and celebrated its links to the Kingitanga.

Pro-vice chancellor Maori Linda Smith says it's been a day of symposia and seminars, as well as sports and cultural events, capped off with a banquet anc concert this evening hosted by King Tuheitia.

She says it is a chance for the university to behave as a community, rather than a series of disconnected faculties and schools.

“So this is also a day about the university, about engaging our staff, not just our academic staff but all our staff, and about engaging our students and our community where we can come together and do things together. That doesn’t actually happen in most universities,” Professor Smith says.

The long-standing relationship with Tainui and Kingitanga has influenced the development of the university, so that one in five of its students are Maori.


Race relations commissioner Joris de Bres is welcoming New Zealand's affirmation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Mr de Bres says the Human Rights Commission has already been using the declaration in its work, and it's great to see the government catch up.

He's defending the secrecy surrounding Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples’ trip to New York to announce the change of policy.

“I can understand the decision it announce it at the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples which is meeting in New York this week because that’s where a lot of the external international pressure has come on New Zealand to change its position,” Mr de Bres says.

He says people internationally were confused a country which led the world in many areas of indigenous rights had not backed the declaration.


A broadcaster from Canada's Aboriginal Peoples' Television Network says Maori Television has a lot to teach her.

Toronto-based Patrice Mousseau, who has French, English and Ojibway whakapapa, is working on current affairs programme Native Affairs as part of a new scheme which came out of this year's indigenous television conference in Taiwan.

The APTN national news anchor says the exchange is about raising standards among indigenous broadcasters.

“If anything you’re on par or even pushing the limits for us to make sure we keep our standards high. Maori Television is doing an incredible job and I’m proud to be here learning from you guys,” Ms Mousseau says.

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Waikato University marks Kingitanga day

Waikato UnIversity celebrates its special relationship with Tainui today.

Its second Kingitanga Day celebration will feature entertainment, wananga and panel discussions.

Maria Huata from the office of the pro vice chancellor Maori says it's a chance for staff and students to learn about the Kingitanga movement and the part it plays in Waikato affairs.

She says Tainui is the university’s landlord.

Kingitanga Day will be especially busy for visiting professor Ahukaramea Charles Royal, who will speak at the Kings Breakfast and in the evening premieres his orchestral piece dedicated to the late Maori queen, Te Atairangikaahu.


A Maori lawyer involved in drafting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples says it can now be used as a tool by Maori to fight for their rights.

Moana Jackson welcome Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples's announcement to the UN yesterday that New Zealand would affirm the document, three years after the Labour-led government voted against it.

He says Maori now need to discuss how it can be used.

“What I hope the reaction would be is that our people now see the declaration as another tool ewe can use domestically and international for our rights and the protection of our rights and so on, and over time that can only be seen as a positive thing,” Mr Jackson says.

He says the real reaction to the declaration will come after Maori become aware of its political potential.


The manager of a south Auckland driving school doesn't expect raising the driving age to 16 will make a difference to the number of young Maori dying on the roads.

Transport Minister Steven Joyce raised the age last week in an effort to reduce the high rate of vehicle crashes among young people.

Fran Hokianga from MUMA Road Safety says Maori make up a high proportion of fatalities but the law change isn't going to get through to them.

She says previous changes have had little effect.

Ms Hokianga says what could make a difference is more Maori driving trainers, because young Maori are more likely to listen to them.


Northland's medical officer of health is urging Maori to get immunised early for flu because vaccine supplies could be affected by the disruption of air travel caused by the eruption of a volcano in Iceland.

Jonathan Jarman says in last year's Northland influenza pandemic, more than 85 percent of the 56 people admitted to hospital with flu were Maori, including 19 of the 20 children who needed intensive care.

He expects the flu to strike within the next week and says vaccination is the best protection.

That vaccine is now avail at general practices but there is some concerns abut supply because there are troubles with air travel between the northern and southern hemisphere.

Dr Jarman says the higher Maori hospitalisation rate was because of poverty and living conditions, and there were similar rates around the country.


The lead researcher in a long running health literacy project says health professionals need to treat Maori as part of a whanau and not as individuals.

Matire Harwood says 80 percent of Maori men, and 75 percent of Maori women have poor health literacy skills.

She says Maori health providers are developing ways to work with the entire whanau in improving understanding of the heath issues Maori face.

“Because Maori are having more chronic illness younger and living with whanau at the time of their illness, we see the opportunity to empower the whole whanau at once rather than working on a one to one basis,” Dr Harwood says.

The health literacy study also involves researchers in Australia and Canada, so it should help other indigenous communities improve their health status.


Auckland University researchers are looking for Maori parents of young teens who can help evaluate the effectiveness of an international parenting programme.

Sue Furragio from the education faculty says the parents will attend seminars in west Auckland on the principles of positive parenting and strategies for managing the behaviour of teenagers.

Their feedback will be used to work out whether modifications are needed to the 30-year-old Triple P programme to incorporate cultural differences among Maori and Pacific island families.

She says a lot of the work so far has been done in Australia, so there is a need to know if it fits all young people in New Zealand.

Maori parents interested in attending the seminars can contact Nalini Chand at Auckland University's faculty of Education.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cabinet secrecy masked indigenous rights switch

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples has expressed regret for the secrecy round New Zealand's affirmation of the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Dr Sharples made an unannounced trip to New York to tell the United Nations New Zealand was changing its 2007 position, when it was one of only four countries to vote against the document.

He told Radio Waatea News from New York that while many Maori would be disappointed there was no consultation around the decision, that was a result of the process.

“It's simply a Cabinet decision and Cabinet decisions stay in Cabinet until the time of announcement so it was timed that I should do this this morning so that’s the reason why and I just feel for my people, especially those who worked hard, that we weren’t able to discuss this and the manner I had to release it,” Dr Sharples says.

He's proud of the contributions of Maori including Moana Jackson, Moana Sinclair and Aroha Mead to shaping the declaration during its 20-year gestation.


Meanwhile, lawyer Moana Jackson says as someone involved with drafting the declaration, he has mixed feelings about New Zealand's affirmation.

He says it's good for Maori and all other indigenous peoples that this country has signed up to the document.

But it can't cover up the fact that New Zealand fought against many of the things indigenous groups wanted included.

“There were times when New Zealand governments whether National or Labour were really quite obstructive as indigenous peoples tried to work the declaration through and there were times we really needed the support of the New Zealand government and it wasn't there,” Mr Jackson says.

He says while the declaration is non-binding, Maori can use it as a tool to fight for their rights.


A Putiki spokesperson is keen for artifacts found during road widening near the marae on the lower Whanganui River to go on display at the marae as well as at the city's museum.

A moa bone fishook, sinkers, lures, cooking and sharpening tools and other items were discovered in a midden on the eastern bank of the river late last year.

Chris Shenton says the find authenticates tribal stories of seasonal fishing stations all along the river.

“The pure fact that we know this is our old people’s material and we know where it’s from. There are many things in the museums today that are old materials but we don’t know where they’re from or we don’t know if they’re necessarily from our particular iwi. In this case we know this for sure. Gives us a lot of confidence about what we’ve been saying for a long time about our traditional ways of living,” Mr Shenton says.

While professional archeologists are preserving and studying the material, iwi members are keen to share the long term guardianship role with the Whanganui Regional Museum.


The Maori Internet Society says Maori who uploaded data to Bebo should be concerned at the lack of information on what will happen to the material if the site closes.

Chairperson Richard Ozecki says the social networking site is the most popular with young Maori and Pacifika users, but it has lost the race with competitors like Facebook.

America Online, which paid US$850 million for Bebo two years ago, has indicated it will close or sell the site by the end of May.

Mr Orzeki says users put lots of valuable information on such sites, but backing up is their own responsibility.

His own marae, Ngati Wehiwehi from the Horowhenua hamlet of Manukau, has a Facebook page to share information with whanau.


Labour leader Phil Goff says Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples had to sneak off to New York to affirm New Zealand's support for the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples because the government knew the document would not be acceptable to ordinary New Zealanders.

Maori Party leader told the UN New Zealand accepts the declaration without caveats, but Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says the government will reveal its exclusions at a later date.

Mr Goff says the Labour Government voted against the declaration in 2007 because it included provisions which are at odd with New Zealand law and the Treaty of Waitangi.

“I mean one article in the document says indigenous people have the rights to ‘own, use, develop and control lands and territories they have traditionally owned, occupied or used.’ Well that’s the whole of New Zealand in the case of Maoridom and obviously you can’t sign up to something you’re never ever going to put into practice. That’s just double standards and hypocrisy,” Mr Goff says.

He says the National-led government has no intention of giving Maori veto rights over government policy, as the declaration implies.


The Returned Services Association expects more te reo Maori will be used in this Sunday's ANZAC services around the country.

Chief executive Stephen Clarke says it is over to individual RSAs how they incorporate Maori into their ceremonies.

He says each year more are choosing to sing the national anthem in Maori, and the final lines in the ode, Lines for the Fallen, “We shall remember them,” are also being spoken in te reo.

Dr Clarke says Maori leaders Sir Peter Buck and Sir Apirana Ngata both spoke in parliament about the nation being formed in the blood shed in the battlefields of Europe, and the new generation of New Zealanders attending ANZAC day services in record numbers give new meaning to their words.

Hanerua trial in small block dairy development

A farming operation on the shores of the Kaipara harbour is showing how treaty settlements can help Maori development.

Te Uri o Hau set up Hanerua Farms after the Ngati Whatua hapu received its historic treaty settlement in 2002.

The 176-hectare operation now in the top two percent of dairy farms for financial performance and a finalist in this year's Ahuwhenua Trophy for Maori farming excellence.

Trustee Earle Wright says Hanerau Farms leases underperforming small units and pays the Maori owners a dividend.

“We benefit, they benefit, just on the profit of it. It they stayed like they were, they’d struggle. There’s not doubt all Maori land in small parcels do struggle because you need a lot of area now to make a profit. That is our aim, to develop their land, and we don’t have to put in the capital to purchase that land. It’s already owned by Maori,” he says.

The first Ahuwhenua field day is this Thursday at Waipapa 9 Trust, west of Taupo, with the Hanerau Farms field day next week.


The head of the head of Unitec's Te Hononga centre for Maori architecture wants to see more Maori architects stand up for their designs.

Over the past week two non-Maori architects have featured in national and international awards for their work for Maori clients.

Rau Hoskins says similar work by Maori architects is often overlooked, because it doesn't get entered in competition.

“It's an issue of self-promotion. Maori architects, like a lot of other Maori are not perhaps so focused on self promotion and it’s partly a kumara and a sweetness issue and it’s also partly people being busy people,” Mr Hoskins says.

He's pleased to see an increase in the amount of Maori symbolism being appropriately used in architecture.


Former Maori All Black coach Matt Te Pou says a Springbok game against the Maori team this winter would be a fair apology for past indignities.

Debate has been raging about whether an apology is needed for past policies like the exclusion of Maori players from tours to South Africa.

But Mr Te Pou, who coached the Maori team to victory against the British Lions in 2005, says a mid-week game between the July tests would be seen as a magnificent gesture by current and former players and fans.

“It's a way to move forward together. It’s an opportunity to play one of the top countries. They’re the reigning champions. Maori players always like to play the best, so it would be good for both sides,” Mr Te Pou says.

He says a Maori-Springbok game would be a fitting way to celebrate 100 years of Maori rugby.


Attorney General Chris Finlayson is detecting a barnyard theme at public meetings on his review of the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Mr Finlayson says daytime consultation hui have been uniformly friendly and courteous, despite the strong views being expressed.

But he says the evening public meetings have attracted their share of malcontents.

“There seems to be a surprising repetition of references to Animal Farm; ‘all animals are equal but some are more equal than others,’ so obviously that’s the line people have been told to say by whoever. I said ‘yes, that’s the idea everyone should be equal which is why we want to restore rights that were taken away from Maori in 2003, 2004,’” Mr Finlayson says.

The minister is in Akaroa tomorrow for a hui, followed by a public meeting in Christchurch in the evening.


A new social networking site claims to be the Maori answer to Facebook.

Whanauconnect.co.nz was launched last week from Waiwhetu Marae in Lower Hutt, and manager Kataraina Hetet says it's picking up strong interest.

She says many whanau want to communicate wherever they are in the world, but the want greater security than some other sites offer.

“If a marae decides to form a marae group with all their whanau members on board, they need to approve all these members being part of it, so it is v much under the control as to who sees their information and they way they form groups to share that information,” Ms Hetet says.

The whanau connect site can be a place where groups can store their historical records and information online.


One of the young stars of Maori Television's new series Kaitangata Twitch says it was an honour to work with one of the kaumatuta of stage and screen.

Thirteen year old Te Waimarie Kessal plays the lead role in the 13-part series opposite George Henare.

She says learning stagecraft from the veteran actor was a real highlight.

Kaitangata Twitch, which was adapted from the novel by Margaret Mahy, won a Platinum Remi award at this weekend's Houston Worldfest film and video festival in Texas.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Turia snubbed at Koran powhiri

Maori Party leader Tariana Turia says the man who translated the Koran into Maori refused to shake her hand at the launch powhiri.

Mrs Turia says she was upset by the attitude of 78-year-old Shakil Monir, a Pakistani who learned Maori while living in Nigeria.

She says Mr Monir and his supporters may want to convert Maori to Islam by making their holy book available, but they don't seem to want to accept Maori customs.

“They were in a powhiri process and I would say the majority of them shook ands with whoever extended their hand to them but it was very noticable and while I appreciate that may be his tikanga, they ought not to have had a powhiri to launch the Koran as far as I'm concerned,” Mrs Turia says.

Saturday's powhiri at Alexandra Park Raceway was arranged by Tainui leader Tom Roa from Waikato University, who helped with the translation.


The Attorney General says tests for customary rights over coastal areas will rely on New Zealand conditions rather than international law.

Chris Finlayson says he wants to restore the uninvestigated customary title that was extinguished by the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act, but there are currently no tests or local precedents for determining such title in New Zealand.

That means tikanga Maori is going to be an important part of any new law that comes out of the current review of the act.

“Because you can't determine these things without reference to tikanga. To do so would be absurd. So it’s not purely common law at all. And we’ve said these are the sorts of tests that have arisen in other jurisdictions. We’re not seeking to impose any Canadian test on New Zealand because that would be nuts because any tests here would have to reflect the reality of the people that we are,” Mr Finlayson says.

He says a mandating process will establish which Maori may lay claim to a certain area of the foreshore and seabed, and then it will be up to the Crown to prove if customary title has been extinguished.


Peace Movement Aotearoa is looking for a Maori or Moriori student to take up one of its White Poppy scholarships.

Coordinator Edwina Hughes says no one has come forward so far this year, so the scholarship will stay open.

She says it's a contribution to students at any university or wananga who want to research the impacts of militarism, militarisation and warfare or their alternatives, or collective non-violent responses to state violence.


Maori architect Rau Hoskins says the lack of a Maori dimension to the latest proposal for redevelopment of Queens Wharf redevelopment shows a lack of vision by Auckland civic leaders.

Mr Hoskins says the success this month of two Maori themed projects in national and international awards shows incorporating a cultural dimension can enrich New Zealand architecture.

He says Auckland's leaders are out of touch with where the country is headed as it goes into the World Cup trying to showcase the most distinctive features of the country.


Maori students at Whangarei's Tikipunga High School are getting a head start on army careers.

It's one of seven round the country to establish a services academy in a joint venture between the ministries of education and social development and the Defence Forces.

Principal Peter Garelja says fourteen students, including one girl, have signed up for the course, which is about two thirds military subjects and one third NCEA numeracy and literacy units.

Tikipunga has a 69 percent Maori roll, and most of those in the academy are Maori.


Rugby league hardman Ruben Wiki can safely say his marriage has just gotten stronger.

This morning the 37-year Maori-Samoan sportsman and his wife Santa completed the Fishermen's Friend Strongman Run in northwest Germany.

The most capped test player in New Zealand Rugby League history says it was mayhem on the grounds of the Weeze Airport, as the 9000 competitors went over the grueling obstacle course, watched by more than 25,000 spectators.

He says the 18km course ended up about 23 km with all the obstacles, but he finished with his wife, a multisport fanatic.

Wiki is now trying to get back out of Europe so he can get back in time to present Maori Television's Thursday night sports show Code.

Hold sought until seabed sorted

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says it makes sense to put plans for a tidal power station in the Kaipara Harbour on hold until the review of the Foreshore and Seabed Act is complete.

Te Uri o Hau told a consultation hui last week it wanted a stay of Crest Energy's resource consent application.

Dr Sharples says it’s a issue he will take up with his government colleagues this week.

“I think it’s a wise call to complete the foreshore and seabed issues before we do major things. We’re holding back issues like aquaculture until we complete the foreshore and seabed,” he says.

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


A Maori sexual health worker says even intermediate age children need to about safe sex.

Harley Kaihe-Katterns works for Te Kaha o te Rangatahi, Auckland's only Maori sexual health provider, covering schools from Franklin to Rodney.

He says at the intermediate level the main issue is teaching children about puberty, but they could do more, if schools and parents agree.

“We actually need to come in and talk to them about STIs and contraception because a lot of them are sexually active and they’re only 11, 12. Yet again we do encounter a lot of Maori whanau that, their parents don’t want us to teach their kids, they don’t want us to talk to them about it,” Mr Kaihe-Katterns says.

Te Kaha o te Rangatahi’s programmes are developing a greater emphasis on the importance of healthy relationships.


Anika Moa is considering branching out into waiata Maori.

The Ngapuhi singer songwriter releases her fourth album this week, Love in Motion.

She says the Maori side of her work hasn’t been apparent so far, but that could change.

“But I do want to start branching out into writing Maori waiata and writing albums so al the local iwi statinos can start playing my songs ... in Maori,” she says.


Tauranga iwi Ngai te Rangi is offering people a chance to remove gang or prison tattoos.

Manager Paul Stanley says the Ungloved initiative is part of the Peaceful Warrior programme aimed at helping people move on with their lives after deciding to step away from gangs or crime.

He says a dozen people started the laser process yesterday with tattoo removal specialists Invisible Ink.

The first session is free, and Ngai Te Rangi will support those going through the process.


A Nuffield scholarship winner will be a featured speaker at a conference the farm training organisation is holding in Gisborne next month.

Gregg Pardoe, the operations manager for Arai Matawai Incorporation, is only the second Maori to win a Nuffield scholarship in the 60 years the scheme has been going.

He looked at indigenous farming in Europe, Asia, South America and Australia, and returned convinced of the value of the Maori incorporation model of farming on behalf of large groups of owners.

Gregg Pardoe will encourage other Maori to apply for the scholarship.

The Nuffield conference will be held at Manutuke marae between 13 and 16 May.


Kiwa Media and Huia Publishers are at the London book fair this week to unveil their revolutionary digital picture book.

Kiwa Media has adapted two of huia’s most popular children’s books, Barnaby Bennett and Oh Hogwash Sweet Pea!, to its new QBook format.

Business development vice president David Shakes says the QBook can be read on Apple’s iPad, IPod or iPhone … and in English, Spanish and Maori.

“To have a leading edge digit tech app like the Qbook for the iPad and have it in te reo Maori is a real first. There’s nothing like it in the world. There’s no one offering anything even remotely close to what we’re doing and in that sense it’s just putting Maori on the map, it’s giving them a place and a stake at the table of digital publishing,” Mr Shakes says.

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