Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rugby apology unacceptable in present form

Former governor general Sir Paul Reeves says the New Zealand Rugby Football Union's apology to past Maori rugby players unacceptable in its current form.

Union chief executive Steve Tew today apologised for the way Maori players were excluded from All Black tours to South Africa at the request of the Apartheid regime.

Sir Paul says apologies need to be delivered kanohi ki te kanohi, face to face.

“What is really required is for a hui to be held and I would suggest Poho o Rawiri in Gisborne because that’s where Springbok teams have traditionally gone at the beginning of a tour and the New Zealand Rugby Union should deliver the apology face to face and then the hui should discuss the implications of the apology,” Sir Reeves says.

To give substance to the apology, the Rugby Union needs to be far more supportive of Maori rugby than it has been in the past, or it risks losing talented players to other codes.


The General Synod of the Anglican Church has stepped in to help two Hawkes Bay Maori boarding schools which have run into severe financial difficulties.

Bishop Kito Pikaahu says a 12 member commission will review what help the church can give Hukarere Girls and Te Aute Boy's Colleges.

He says the schools have had long-standing problems with their endowments not keeping up with expenses, and that has been made worse by problems with a recent investment upgrading a dairy farm in Danneverke, which got caught by the recession.
The church has also appointed Bishop John Gray and Whatarangi Winiata to represent it on a joint working group aimed at sorting out Te Aute's claims against the Crown, which is being facilitated by Sir Wira Gardiner.


The convenor of the Maori sports awards says Shane Bond has been a wonderful ambassador for Maori in cricket.

The Ngai Tahu speed bowler announced his retirement from the game today, eight years after his Black Caps debut.

Mr Garrett says despite New Zealand's exit this week from the World 20/20 championships in the West Indies, he expects the fast bowler to again be nominated for an award later this year.

Dick Garrett says he's always been impressed by Shane Bond's humility and the pride he has in his Maori whakapapa.


Maori rugby hardman Bill Bush says an apology from the NZRFU should have come earlier.

After months of pressure the union, along with the South African union, has apologised to Maori denied spots on All Black tours to the republic between the 1920s and 1960s to appease that country's apartheid regime.

Mr Bush, who was part of the All Black squad on the 1976 tour, says today's apology by rugby union chief executive Steve Tew should give closure to the kaupapa, even if the timing was out.

“It's a huge relief but pity it wasn’t said at the launch at the Beehive we attended, us ex Maori All Blacks, a lot of dignitaries were there, the government was there, the New Zealand rugby hierarchy was there, and a pity it wasn’t said then and it would have been a good launch for the celebration of our centenary,” Mr Bush says.

The chair of the Maori Rugby Board, Wayne Peters, says his board had previously opposed an apology because it did not want to criticise the stand taken by the Maori representatives at the time.


Drug buying agency Pharmac is looking for three new representatives to bring a Maori perspective to its Consumer Advisory Committee.

Marama Parore, Pharmac's manager for access and optimal use, says long-standing members Matiu Dickson, Heather Thompson and Te Aniwa Tutara are stepping aside.

She says Maori have a greater disease burden than other New Zealanders and lower use of medicines, so it's important the agency makes Maori health a priority.

“Critical for Pharmac staff is making sure we are taking into account of whanau views and individuals views about medicines and how the get access to medicines and once they do how do they take them. The role of the community advisors is to give us that very strong whanau and individual view with regard to medicine,” Ms Parore says.

The representatives will need strong advocacy skills, good Maori networks, and the ability to work effectively in the committee structure.

Nominations close at the end of the month.


Franklin is getting a taste as Tiki tomorrow, as Maniopoto musician Tiki Taane brings his mix of dub, high energy waiata and te reo Maori to Pukekohe Town Hall.

The former Salmonella Dub member could be on the verge of international stardom, with his 2008 hit Always on My Mind included in the playlist for Playstation's Sing Star karaoke feature.

But he says he's always keen to take his music to provincial New Zealand, and tomorrow night's at the Pukekohe Town Hall will get to see all sides of his musical personality.

Kaimanawa horses in treaty claim

The future of the wild horses that roam the Kaimanawa Ranges east of the Desert Road could hinge on a Waitangi Tribunal claim.

Up to 120 of the 450-strong herd could be culled later this month to reduce the pressure on the land.

Elder Jenks from the Kaimanawa Wild Horse Trust says the herd is descended from horses that escaped from both Maori and Pakeha owners in the 19th century.

He says that history is recognised in the claim filed by the Ngati Tama Whiti hapu of Ngati Tuwharetoa.

“The Maori peole have a claim through the Waitangi Tribunal on both the land and its contents which includes the horses, so that will be coming up in the very near future. They are seeking to protect and keep at least 300 horses there,” Mr Jenks says.

Any of the Kaimanawa horses that that aren't adopted after the May muster will end up at the abbottoir.


A programme to instil leadership skills in the next generation of Whanganui men is showing early promise.

Manager Justin Gush says Tane Te Wananga aims to give rangatahi aged from 14 and 18 an appreciation not only of their tribal history but ot the way their tupuna lived.

He says they come to value the relationships they make undergoing challenges like caving on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu or spending five nights in the bush beside their tribal awa.

“It's really a spiritual journey, learning about yourself coming down our river. By the end of it we’re going to have a big potaetanga or graduation in December and formally present them back to their whanau, hapua and iwi as young strengthened male leaders,” Mr Gush says.

Tane Te Wanaga is part of the Whanganui River Maori Trust Board's rangatahi succession strategy.


Singer Tiki Taane's hit Always on My Mind has been given a second life.

The song, which sold 30,000 copies in 2008, has been included on the Playstation karaoke game Sing Star.

His manager and sister, Ninakaye Taanetinirau, says it's a great boost for the Maniapoto musician and it should give Maori whanau a buzz as they sing along.

Tiki Taane's next album, due for released in September, has a strong Maori language component.


Hard drinking by young Maori men is leading to serious injuries.

A study at Palmerston North hospital's emergency department found Maori males were heavily represented, with their injuries far more serious than the average admission.

Researcher Sharon Vera says the finding reinforces a national drinking survey that found that while Maori don't drink as often as non-Maori, they tend to drink more when they do.

She says the evidence will allow programmes to be developed, such as interventions in emergency departments and working with Maori agencies to work with Maori males.

Kaumatua were disappointed to see so much alcohol being consumed by Maori culture and wanted to do something about it.


Former Green MP Nandor Tanczos has traded his parliamentary salary for a student allowance.

The now dreadlock-less Rastafarian says he wants to improve his Maori language skills.

He's joined Ataarangi, which uses rakau or wooden rods to help students pick up words.

Mr Tancos says it's starting to pay dividends, with his reo skills improving every day


A Ngai Tahu artist has found connections to her ancestors in the storeroom of a French museum.

Fiona Pardington's photographic suite of life masks collected during Dumont d'Urville's voyages of the 1820s and 30s is one of the highlights of the 17th Sydney Bienalle which opened across the Tasman this week.

They include three Maori, including Banks Peninsula fighting chief Takatahara, the uncle of the Ngai Tahu ariki Te Maiharanui.

She says it was a thrill to find the sculpted head in the Musée de l'Homme in Paris earlier this year, because Takatahara would have known and spoken to her ancestors like Te Horo of Kaiapoi.

Other Maori among the 166 artists in the Biennale are Shane Cotton from Ngapuhi, Brett Graham from Tainui and Reuben Patterson from Te Arawa.

Rugby Union 20 years behind times

Anti racism campaigner John Minto says the New Zealand Rugby Football Union is playing true to form with its failure to apologise for excluding Maori from tours to South Africa.

The former Halt All Racist Tours president says the New Zealand union only started including Maori after the New Zealand Government refused to allow a 1967 All Black tour to go ahead without Maori players.

He says the union's stance is shown up by last week's official apology by South Africa's sports minister, Makhenkesi Arnold Stofile, to Maori players excluded from All Blacks tours in 1928, 1949 and 1960.

“They're typically 20 years behind the times and it’s really sad that the initiative for an apology has had to come from South Africa. It should have come from within New Zealand, from our Rugby Union,” Mr Minto says.

Today is the 50th anniversary of the departure of the 1960 whites only All Blacks on their tour of the Republic.


Ngapuhi elder Titewhai Harawira says the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples reinforces the Northland iwi's constitutional claims.

The Waitangi Tribunal is in Waitangi this week hearing how Ngapuhi interprets the 1835 Declaration of Indendence and the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi as confirming rather than ceding their sovereignty.

Mrs Harawira says it doesn't matter that the Government seems to be trying to play down the significance of the three documents.

“One cannot be taken on board without the other two. They are interwoven, and it is up to Ngapuhi to push that kaupapa, to say to them our tupuna were far from being done. They knew and they left for us a framework for a constitution for this country," Mrs Harawira says.

A highlight of the hearing has been the distribution of a translation of the UN declaration into Maori by language expert Merimeri Penfold from Te Aupouri.


South Taranaki people are thrilled about the return of Patea Maori Club's Poi E to the pop charts on the back of its use in the film Boy.

Deputy mayor Debbie Ngarewa-Packer says it's reminder of the 22 weeks in 1984 when the song spent 22 weeks on the charts and brought pride to the region in a time of economic hardship.

She says a Facebook page for Patea and the Patea Maori Club is thriving, and the council has had to put staff on to cope with interest in the area.

Paatea Maori Club is being flooded with invitations to perform around the country.


Hauraki Maori have given the Government a strong message they don't want mining on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee learned of the opposition at a meeting with the iwi in Thames yesterday.

Kaumatua Jim Nichols says the iwi hasn't forgotten that their rohe's mineral wealth was the reason they lost large tracts of land, so they are skeptical about claims mining will bring benefits.

“The Crown actually took title over the land. They said we will only do this so that we can mine and when the mining finishes, we’ll give the land back. History tells us that when the mining finished they used other methods to retain the land,” Mr Nichols says.

Many Hauraki kaumatua also remember the damage past mining did to the the environment around the Coromandel.


The Presbyterian Church is backing Ngai Tuhoe's claim for 100 percent ownership of Te Uruwera National Park.

Rejection of the claim by Prime Minister John Key means tomorrow's signing of a deed of settlement can't go ahead.

Reverend Wayne Te Kaawa from the Maori Presbyterian synod, Te Aka Puaho, says the church has had a close relationship with the iwi since prophet Rua Kenana gifted his children to the church.

He says Maori and non-Maori in the eastern Bay of Plenty had been looking forward to a deal.

“We've had reports that the Deerstalkers’ Association and Lions Club and all these other groups that use Te Urewera National Park were supporting it because their access and use of the park was being guaranteed by Tuhoe so nothing was going to change,” Reverend Te Kaawa says.

He says the Prime Minister has demonstrated a lack of courage by taking ownership of the park off the table after 18 months of negotiation.


Tomorrow's the deadline for budding Maori authors to get sample manuscripts in to win six months of time to write.

The Maori Literature Trust's Te Papa Tupu scholarships offer six writers training, mentoring and a basic living allowance.

Trust administrator Dominika White says the quality of entries so far has been high.

Dominika White says while submissions are welcome in either English or Maori the entries so far have been largely in English

Iwi at war over Urewera refusal

Thursday May 13

Tuhoe lead negotiator Tamati Kruger says the iwi is at war with the Crown.

He predicts the government's refusal to consider the return of Te Urewera National Park will cause treaty negotiations will break down.

He says this will happen because the Crown can’t make an offer to Tuhoe, not because Tuhoe has abandoned the negotiations.

“I am most afraid of the fact that if that occurs, then we remain in the state of the relationship that we started with 18 months ago and that state can only be described as Tuhoe is at war with the crown,” Mr Kruger says.

Since Monday Tuhoe hui around the country have resolved their should be no compromise and negotiators should continue to seek full ownership of Te Urewera.


And Metiria Turei is among those criticising John Key's handling of Tuhoe's Treaty claim.

The co-leader of the Green Party says there are a number of ownership and co-management models for Te Urewera that could be put on the table for discussion.

She believes, however, that political self-interest is driving John Key's decision to refuse to return the 212,000-hectare national park to Tuhoe.

“I think there was a big backlash after the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, a big backlash from their own supporters about why they were ratifying that document and as a result John Key is under pressure not to be too nice the Maoris, and this is a statement about that,” Ms Turei says.


A Maori smokefree group is hoping moves by Ngati Kahungunu to ban tobacco in their area will be picked up by other iwi around the country.

The East Coast iwi, whose rohe is the second largest in the country, has adopted a Tobacco Use Strategy aimed at phasing out tobacco within ten years.

Shane Bradbrook from Te Reo Marama argues that banning tobacco sits well within the idea of tino rangatiratanga... or the absolute authority of chiefs.

Mr Bradbrook says the first step is making marae and other sites of significance to Ngati Kahungunu not just smoke free but Tobacco free.


Labour leader Phil Goff says privitisation of prisons is a bad idea in contrast to the view expressed by a number of Maori.

In announcing that Auckland Central Remand Prison and associated Mt Eden prison will be run by a private contractor Corrections minister Judith Collins said it would provide an opportunity for Maori to participate either as advisors or partners.

This follows the decision to have the new men’s prison to be built at Wiri privately managed which the Urban Maori Authorities have welcomed.

And Rethinking Crime and Punishment director Kim Workman supports private management claiming it should lead to improved rehabilitation services while Maori party MP Hone Harawira says privately run prisons could not do a worse job than the Corrections department is doing.

However Mr Goff says when ACRP was previously under private management it cost more to run because the private sector needs to make a profit.

“And to make a profit they charge more and they take on less staff and hey pay the staff less. Is it a good thing we have fewer staff supervising the prison population at lower rates of pay. I would say no. I don’t think a profit margin going to an overseas company actually improves the quality of our prisons,” Mr Goff says.

He says the curtailment of liberty is something that should not be put into private hands.

Tuhoe negotiator Tamati Kruger says the government is forcing the iwi to remain in grievance mode.

He says Prime Minister John Key's indication, after 18 months of negotiation, that there will be no return of the Urewera National Park is a major set back to tribal members who want to put the bitterness of the past behind them.

“Whilst Tuhoe is keen to overcome the grievance mode which very many Pakeha have accused Maori of farming, I now find myself in the opposite camp wanting to overcome grievance but John Key wants to stay there,” Mr Kruger says.

He says the establishment of the park a hundred years ago was a government attempt to camouflage the confiscation of Tuhoe land which lies at the heart of Maori grievance.


The author of a new book on the history of gardening in New Zealand says without Maori assistance new settlers to the country would have starved.

In "A History of Gardening in New Zealand" Social historian Bea Dawson provides evidence of just how crucial Maori gardeners were for the survival of the new Pakeha settlers.

She traces the development of gardening in Aotearoa from before European contact through to the Dig for Victory campaigns of World War Two.


Treaty talks rush to folly

Wednesday May 12

An experienced treaty claims lawyer is calling for the whole treaty settlement framework to be reviewed.

Rotorua-based Annette Sykes says negotiations between the Crown and Tuhoe stumbled yesterday because of the National Party's agenda which is based on haste not justice.

“Everybody is trying to do everything as fast as they can to meet this nominated National Party timeframe of 2014 which in my view is an ambitious foolishness and is now leading to unjust and untransparent and treaty decisions that are inconsistent with the principles of that have been built on by successful claimants like Ngai Tahu and Tainui,” Ms Sykes says.

She says the National Party is hell bent on hurrying the treaty process so that it can privatise minerals largely found in national parks.

At the same time it wants to exploit parts of the offshore seabed for petroleum, coal and gases and make them available for third parties.


Scientists from around the world have gathered in Wellington this week to improve understanding of an energy source likely to be the subject of ownership debate between Maori and the crown.

They are taking part in a three-day conference about naturally forming ice-like lumps that contain high concentrations of methane gas... known as Gas Hydrates.

While the amount of gas hydrates off New Zealand's coast is not known, initial studies suggest that there's are substantial deposits off the east coast of the North Island.

Stuart Henry, a Marine Geophysicst at GNS Science says there's no offshore commercial production of gas hydrates yet but the potential is there as oil and gas supplies run out.

He says Maori need to be involved in all aspects of the debate around Gas Hydrates, including the environmental risks involved.


Strong showing from a quartet of Maori artists provides some of the highlights of teh 17th Sydney Biennale which opens today.

In putting together the giant show on the theme of The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age, curator David Elliott made a point of including indigenous artists not only from Australia but from Aotearoa, Canada and other countries.

Walking into the Museum of Contempopary Art in Circular Quay, the first thing visitors encounter is Te Hokioi, a customwood model of a stealth bomber covered in whakairo, and Mihaia, a near full scale Russian scout car carved in similar fashion.

Up the stairs one room is dominated by Ngai Tahu artist Fiona Pardington’s photographs of life masks taken during Dumont d’Urville’s voyages – including two Ngai Tahu chiefs.

Heads and birds also feature in three large paintings by Shane Cotton fromn Ngapuhi.

Over on Cockatoo Island, a former prison and naval engineering works, Reuben Patterson from Ngati Rangitihi has transformed a shabby warden’s cottage into a temple of glitz with his shimmering op art paintings.


The executive director of Nursing at the Auckland District Health Board says a development programme launched last week adds strength to a push to have more Maori in the health workforce.

Taima Campell says Nga Manukura helps Maori identify career pathways in the health sector, and compliments the secondary school programme Kia Ora Hauora which works to attract more Maori to work in health.

She says the scheme will grow the Maori health workforce by looking at about 40 emerging leaders, seeing what can help them in their current roles and to move into new roles.

She says international nurses day is a chance to reflect on the important role nurses have in New Zealand communities.

A Maori constitutional lawyer says Ngapuhi settlements hearings which got underway at Waitangi this week will be absolutely critical for the Nations future.

Annette Sykes says over the four weeks og hearings Ngapuhi will be raising fundamental legal issues which have not been aired since the Muriwhenua claim of 1988.

She says the Crown is pitting its English text interpretation the Declaration of Independence of 1835 and the Treaty of Waitangi of 1840 based on Greek, Latin and English common law principles against tikanga drawn from around the Pacific.

“There a difference of understanding, It’s the same thing that has been in the heart of treaty jurisprudence for decades - how do we deal with the fact of the Maori sourced as it is in the tikanga o te Moananui a Kiwa as against English Common Law principles incorporated here not by consent but by imposed proclamations in the 1860s,” Ms Sykes says.

She says Ngapuhi tohunga are to be congratuated for keeping understanding of New Zealand’s fundamental constitutional documents alive.


With New Zealand Sign Language Week last week the CEO of the Kelston Deaf Education Centre says sign language is growing and embracing te reo.

Every year the initiative raises awareness for the more than 20 thousand New Zealanders who are hearing impaired, with half of those people identifying as Maori.

Chief executive David Foster says many Maori acquire deafness mainly from the condition glue ear.

He says the hearing school focuses on equal learning rights for students so sign language is able to evolve over time.

“So there are specific signs, aroha for greeting on to the marae, a sign for marae, all these sorts of things come into the language so where deaf people are in an environment where te reo is the dominant language, that can be signed,” Mr Foster says.

Maori parents need to take their children to the doctor immediately if they don't respond to loud noises.

Kahungunu wants tobacco free zone

Tuesday May 11

The country's third largest iwi, Ngati Kahungunu, is working towards declaring its rohe a tobacco-free zone.

Under the plan the East Coast iwi runs from the Wharerata ranges in the Wairoa District down to Cape Palliser in South Wairarapa, hopes to reduce smoking rates over ten years before totally eliminating tobacco use.

Shane Kawenata Bradbrook from smoking cessation group Te Reo Marama is welcoming the move

“They're recognising that there’s a role to play for iwi in terms of caring for and protecting people so they’re the first out of the blocks really so it’s a massive change in the way Maori perceive themselves as leaders on public health issues like tobacco,” Mr Bradbrook says.

He hopes other iwi will follow Ngati Kahungunu's lead.


The government's announcement that UN special rapporteur on indigenous freedoms James Anaya is coming to New Zealand in July to review human rights has sparked criticism of UN officials from Labour leader Phil Goff.

Mr Goff who was part of the Labour government roundly criticised in 2005 by his predessor Rodolfo Stavenhagen over its foreshore and seabed act says Mr Anaya, an international lawyer of the Apache nation, should be welcomed and criticism listened to.

“But I think what sometimes annoys New Zealanders and annoys me to is when a UN body starts to criticise New Zealand for its inadequacies, some of the people who are critics are actually responsible for significantly worse human rights situation in their own countries,” Mr Goff says.

He says New Zealanders resent hypocrisy from UN officials and New Zealand doesn't need to agree with their assessment.


The executive director of nursing at the Auckland District Health Board says Maori nurses can learn a lot from Florence Nightingale.

It's International Nurses Day on Wednesday which celebrates 100 years since the death of the founder of modern nursing.

Taima Campbell says the famous Crimean war nurse was remembered for many things, but she was also really god at looking at the data and makingchjanges base on the data, something Maori nurses can also do.

She says says a recruitment programme is trying to attract rangatahi into the health workforce.


Maori prison reform advocate Kim Workman is supporting the privitisiation of prisons.

Yesterday the Government announced that the joint Mt Eden-Auckland Central Remand prison will be run by private interests providing opportunities for Maori as either advisors, business partners or sub-contractors.

Mr Workman, a former Corrections department manager who now heads the prison reform lobby group Rethinking Crime and Punishment says with half the prison muster Maori and recidivism rates high, its obvious the current system needs to change.

“I'm looking at this as an opportunity for Maori. If the minister is seeking innovation, Maori can run things well. They’ve proved that in the health sector. This may be an opportunity to have a Maori policy in those prisons that makes a difference and is an improvement on what we currently have,” Mr Workman says.

A number of Maori groups including urban Maori authorities have expressed interest in running culturally focused rehabilitation programmes within prisons.


Labour leader Phil Goff is predicting growing tensions between the Maori party and National following the failed Tuhoe treaty negotiations.

He says in the face of opposition from within its ranks the government has broken an undertaken to take the iwi's claim for ownership of the Urewera National Park to cabinet.

“This is the difficulty the National Party has at every time, they raise expectations because they like to do things that look good and please the Maori Party but then they back down, and you can’t raise expectations and then dash them without disaffecting the people you are dealing with. You should be straight with them right from the start,” Mr Goff says.

He says it is not surprising that the Maori Party is accusing National of betrayal, bad faith and being dishonourable in breaking off negotiations with Tuhoe.

In announcing the decision yesterday Prime Minister John Key said National was coming under pressure from rank and file over concessions to the Maori party including its endorsement of the declaration of the Rights of Indigenous people, Whanau Ora and tobacco taxes.


A farming sector leader says dairy farming has many work opportunities for Maori women.

The General Manager of the Women in Dairying, Linda Clarke, says it’s a multi-million dollar industry with a long history of Maori involvement.

Professional development is a key focus of the organisation’s annual conference that begins in New Plymouth on Wednesday.

Party pressure behind PM's veto

May 11

Tuhoe treaty negotiators believe Prime Minister John Key was pushed into abruptly intervening in treaty negotiations by reactionary elements within National.

Head negotiator Tamati Kruger says the Prime Minister rang him shortly before yesterday's cabinet meeting indicating he was withdrawing consideration of Tuhoe's claim for full management and ownership of the Urewera National Park from the cabinet agenda indicating he didn't have the numbers.

“He had a view that it was too political and too difficult and there was obvious risks there that his government would have to contend with and I got the feeling he wasn’t in a confident mood about that,” Mr Kruger says.

He says its unprecedented that the Prime Minister should step in over the top of Treaty negotiations minister Chris Finlayson who had been continuing negotiations with Tuhoe with the understanding that full ownership of the National Park was a bottom line which could be facilitated over 5 to 10 years with access and other rights protected.

He says he was not surprised Mr Key drew attention of pressure from rank and file over concessions to the Maori Party on the declaration fo indigenous peoples rights, whanau ora and tobacco taxes when explaining the breaking off of negotiations.

Mr Kruger says the decision provides fuel for iwi radicals who have already made their displeasure known but personally he wants to see if a way can be found through the impasse by negotiation.


An initiative for Maori which came out of last year's Job Summit's has been so successful those behind it want to take it nationwide.

Following the Maori Economic Summit and the Prime Minister's Job Summit a partnership was formed between the ministry for Maori development, Te Puni Kokiri and trade training organisation Infratrain to upskill 250 Maori from the central North Island.

Infratrain chief executive John Willis says the marae based programme has far exceeded expections providing training for nearly 400 workers in roading, civil engineering and construction.

Mr Willis says they've gone back to TPK seeking funding to make the programme available throughout the country.


Arts Waikato is holding a series of hui this month to help budding artists build up their profiles.

The free meetings are being held in Kawhia, Tokoroa and Hamilton to help Maori visual artists to network and get their work out to the public.

Maori arts advisor Waimihi Hotere says there is a wealth of Maori carvers and weavers in the area but too many work in isolation.


A Maori lawyer who has been at the forefront of the campaign to have New Zealand sign up to the UN declaration of indigenous people rights is welcoming the upcoming visit of UN special rapporteur on indigenous human rights James Anaya.

Mr Anaya is coming in July at the government's invitation to see how New Zealand has responded to his predecessor Rodolfo Stavenhagen's calls for the foreshore and seabed act to be repealed and Maori rights to self-determination to be recognised through constitutional review.

Maona Jackson says the visit of Mr Anaya who is recognised as one of the best international lawyers in the world is timely, and he has worked closely with Maori in the past.

He says the high number of Maori in prison is sure to gain Mr Anaya's attention.


The urban Maori authority leader who initiated calls for an apology to Maori for being left out of All Black teams to South Africa is predicting protest action at next month's Maori All Black game against Ireland if the NZRFU continues to insult Maori by not offering an apology.

Broadcaster and former MP Willie Jackson whose grandfather Everard Jackson was an All Black says every day the rugby union refuses to overrule the Maori rugby board and make a formal apology to Maori adds to the sham.

Mr Jackson who called for an apology 5 years ago and has been campaign on the issue since says he's hearing from Maori who what to take action around the Maori game against the Ireland in Rotorua on June 18.


Waitara poet and musician Troy Hunt wants to encourage rangatahi to speak publicly about issues in their own way.

Troy Hunt is in the Bay of Plenty this week with fellow writers Rawiri James and Tarah Rudolph-Ah kiau giving performances and workshops in secondary schools as part of the Toi Maori Fresh Tour.

He says students need to write about whatever they think is important, from love and relationships to events in their own rohe … as he did when he wrote his poem about the killing of Waitara man Steven Wallace.

NZRFU in a corner on apology

Monday May 10

The author of a history of Maori rugby says the NZRFU has painted itself into a corner over an apology for the no Maoris on tour debacle.

Malcolm Mulholland says the weekend apology by South African Sports Minister Makhenkesi Arnold Stofile to the Maori players left out of tours to the republic between the 1920s and the 1960s has left the New Zealand rugby union's reputation in tatters.

But the NZRFU has become more entrenched.

Mr Mulholland says it’s 50 years to the day that an All Black squad flew off the South Africa, defying the 160,000 New Zealanders who signed a petition calling for "No Maori, no tour.”


A project training Maori for better jobs in the roading, civil engineering and construction is having phenomenal results.

Traditionally many Maori have found work in the sector in unskilled and low paid jobs.

However last July, with government money from Te Puni Kokiri, the trade training organisation Infratrain set up a skills training programme.

Chief executive John Willis says in past 10 months nearly 400 Maori have attended formal marae based training courses in the central North Island.

On Friday eight Infratrain trainees were presented with $10,000 scholarships on Friday to study for Infratrain's National Diploma.


Nine teams battled it out for the top three places at the Aotea kapahaka regionals in Whanganui on Saturday.

Commentator Hohepa Te Moana says a full house turned out to tautoko the teams.

The crowd was blown away by performances, including kaumatua groups Tai Hiku and Nga Pakeke o Ratana.

Winners, Te Reanga o Moreu o Ratana, Te Purupuru o Taranaki from Waitara and another Waitara team, Tu Te Kahika, go through to Te Matatini national championships next February in Gisborne.


A longtime supporter of the UN declaration of indigenous peoples rights says it was good to see Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples acknowledging those who have worked on the declaration over 22 years.

Lawyer Maona Jackson says it was pleasing to see alot of those who have fought hard to have New Zealand sign up to the declaration at a lunchtime ceremony hosted by Dr Sharples to thank them for their efforts.

However he says while it was good to be acknowledged many present had mixed feelings.

Mr Jackson says while John Key saying it didn't mean anything took the shine off the government's signing, the Prime Minister is wrong as international human rights documents do have an effect.


Last week's historic settlement for Waikato-Tainui co-management of the Waikato river includes a $20 million fund for Maori to study the awa's environment.

Waikato Hauraki MP Nanaia Mahuta says it's fitting some of the $210 million allocated to clean-up fund for the river over the next 30 years will go to the endowed college which grew from a vision of her late father Sir Robert Mahuta who was the chief negotiator for the 1995 Waikato-Tainui raupatu (confiscation) claim-settlement with the Crown.

Ms Mahuta says according to her father’s wishes the college was set up in 2000 as a memorial to the settlement and it is the appropriate place for looking after the river’s well-being to be based.

She says the irony that Auckland university was established on the back of an endowed fund from lands confiscated from Waikato in the 1860's didn't escape the attention of Tainui and she had reminded politicians of this in her speech on the settlement last week.


Waitangi Tribunal deputy chair Carrie Wainwright is stepping down.

Judge Wainwright, who was appointed to the Maori Land Court in 2000, is off to the District Court, with the intention of becoming a Youth Court judge next year.

She says most of her time in recent years has been spent with the tribunal where the most challenging and satisfying part of her work has been getting claimant groups within iwi to set aside their differences and work together.

Judge Wainwright says as the settlement process has progressed Crown officials have become more understanding of claimant concerns and more flexible about how they engage with claimants.

Chefs back for seconds at Turangawaewae

Monday May 10

Last year's gourmet Matariki banquet at Turangawaewae Marae went so well, the exercise is to be repeated.

Celebrity chef Peter Gordon from Ngati Kahungunu will be back in Ngaruawahia on June 27 to rattle the pots and raise money for the Hineraukatauri Music Therapy center.

His sous chef, Nancy Pirini from Te Whanau A Apanui, says the best part of the job is working with the marae's ringa wera ... even though some of the wahine in the kitchen were taken aback by last year's hangi menu of meat infused with red curry, and chicken with saffron and wholegrain mustard.


Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples is defending the choice of Te Puni Kokori to manage Whanau Ora.

Labour has criticised the use of the Maori development ministry to oversee the new welfare service delivery model, and the limited funding to set it up.

But Dr Sharples says he and associate welfare minister Tariana Turia consider TPK is the ideal agency.

“Whatever we think individually about TPK they’re doing the business out there, they’re in the rohe, they know their areas, they know who’s who in the district, and they work to support local iwi and organisations so they’re ideally place to help set this up,” Dr Sharples says.

He says $33 million a year for four years is a substantial set-up budget, and up to $100 million a year will be coming in from existing government programmes run by the 20 Whanau Ora providers.


A 40-minute film set during the New Zealand Wars has won entry to the short film corner at the Cannes Film Festival.

Oku Tuakana, My Brother" is based on the unlikely bond between a British soldier and Maori warrior.

The writer and director, 20-year-old Matt Inns from Invercargill's Southern Institute of Technology, says he relied on Kai Tahu elders and experts on New Zealand history to check the script for cultural authenticity.

He says the exercise may have given his cast the acting bug.

Matt Inns and his producer Bryan Campbell are off to the south of France on Wednesday.


As the Waitangi Tribunal today opens its hearing into historic claims in Northland, Ngapuhi's largest hapu is staging a breakaway.

Ngati Hine has been holding hui to discuss withdrawing from Te Runanga a Iwi o Nga Puhi.

Pita Paraone, the Ngati Hine representative on the runanga, says it wants to manage its own assets and entitlements.

He says the hapu, whose rohe includes Whangarei and Kawakawa, wants to use the next Census to get some estimate of its size, but it is being blocked by the parent body.

“Now Ngati Hine has received approval and support from all adjoining iwi except Ngapuhi and because Ngapuhi refuse to give their consent to allow the name Ngati Hine to be added to the list of iwi on the census form, we can't be listed,” Mr Paraone says.

Support at the hui for the split has been overwhelming.


The promoter of the New Zealand box office hit Boy says it's wonderful to see a whole new generation tuning into the film's theme tune.

The Patea Maori Club's 1984 hit Poi E is back on the charts as the Taika Waititi's film becomes the second most popular New Zealand film.

The song was written by Ngoi Pewhairangi to encourage young Maori to feel proud of their culture during a period of high unemployment.

Trevor Shailer from advertising agency GSL Network says with one in three young Maori unemployed, its time has come again.

There will be a reenactment of the song in Wellington some time this week, using social media to inform participants of the time and place to spontaneously break into song.


Maori electronica duo Wai are also mining the music of the 1980s, copying two songs from reo reggae pioneers Aotearoa.

Singer Mina Ripia says she and partner Maaka Phat are looking forward to performing the songs later this week at Te Papa in front of Aotearoa's songwriter and lead singer Joe Williams, who is now a judge of the high Court.

Mina Ripia says the performance, to launch Wai's new album Waiora, is part of New Zealand Music month