Waatea News Update

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

My Photo
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, May 21, 2010

Budget boost allows kaupapa to grow

The driving force behind a South Auckland initiative to increase Maori and Pacific participation in early childhood education is ecstatic about a Budget day boost for the kaupapa.

The Government says $91.8 million dollars will be spent rolling out the Manukau Education Trust's model to other centres around the country.

Trust chair Colleen Brown says a key element is building early childhood centres on school grounds, so there is a seamless transition from pre-school to primary school.

“Now that has presented some challenges for the Ministry of Education because essentially they are building on Ministry of Education land but then it is a community organisation that runs it so that’s a huge step away from where government thinking has been,” Ms Brown says.

The Manukau scheme emerged from a taskforce looking at long term responses to the death of the Kahui twins.


Meanwhile, Education Minister Anne Tolley and tertiary Minister Stephen Joyce were in south Auckland today opening a new building for an initiative at the other end of the education spectrum.

Manukau Institute of Technology's School of Secondary-Tertiary Studies offers an alternative to secondary education by allowing rangatahi to pursue qualifications in areas such as nursing and automotive technology.

Polytechnic head Stuart Middleton says it increases the future employment opportunities for students who might otherwise be tempted to drop out of secondary schools.

He says a third of the current roll is Maori.

Stuart Middleton says the four year programme allows students to gain all levels of the National Certificate of Education Achievement, as well as two years of tertiary qualifications.


Rangatahi are being encouraged to strengthen connections with their whanau during Youth Week, which starts tomorrow.

Project manager Njela Sharrock of Ngati Awa says research shows young Maori who have strong family ties are healthier, and happier and more confident in their identity.

She says communities around the country are getting behind the kaupapa, including a Kaikohe Marae which plans to show rangatahi how to lay a hangi, as well as teach them whakapapa and whanau history.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is defending the budget's tax breaks for the rich as a fair representation of their value to the country.

The second Budget under the Maori Party's confidence and supply agreement with National delivered an annual pay rise of more than $300,000 to Telecom chief executive Paul Reynolds, and about $3 a week to someone in the Tuhoe area, where the average income is just $22,000.

Mrs Turia says there is a limit to what people are prepared to pay in tax.

“The top earners pay the most tax in the first instance and that money is therefore available to ensure we’ve got the health and social services and other services we need for people who simply can’t afford to pay for those things,” Mrs Turia says.

The Maori Party has identified $266 million in budget spending which will be for the direct benefit of Maori.


Education Minister Anne Tolley says a $91 million initiative to increase Maori participation in early childhood education will require government, communities and even local government to work together.

Mrs Tolley says she's excited by what the Maunukau City Council-backed Manukau Education Trust is doing to increase the percentage of Maori and Pasifika children in pre-schools, and wants to roll it out to other centuries.

She says the trust has built three pre-schools on the grounds of schools in the region, and more are planned with council help.

“Some places they are even talking about making land available for centres where we don’t have a suitable school site or we can’t buy a section to put a centre on so it is a partnership between the community, the Ministry of Education and in some cases the local authority,” Mrs Tolley says.

She says government spending on pre-school education has almost trebled in the past five years without any real increase in participation.

The initiative will be funded out of money which was supposed to increase the percentage of qualified teachers in early childhood centres.


A Maori health promoter is warning Maori to be wary of tuberculosis.

Denise Ewe from Tainui says an awareness programme was shelved last year because resources went into preparing for the swine flu pandemic, but the deadly disease is making a comeback worldwide.

She says it's a particular problem for Maori because it can be easily spread in overcrowded living conditions.

Maori with flu-like symptoms should see a doctor, in case the condition is TB.

Labels: , , , , ,

Boost for pre-school participation

The government will spend $91.8 million over the next four years on early childhood education for Maori and Pasifika children.

Education minister Anne Tolley says she wants to do somethng about the lower participation rates, with only 91 percent of Maori and 85 percent of Pasifika children attending kindergarten, kohanga reo or other pre-school.

She says a community-based programme in Counties Manukau, started after the 2008 Manukau Early Childhood summit identified long term social problems caused by a lack of pre-school education in the area, has pointed the way forward.

The programme will initially be developed in five centres around the country.

“We're targeting another 3500 children to get them into early childhood because we know it has such a significant effect on their readiness for school but it’s working from the community level up. It’s not to be driven by the communities. It’s no good the government rising in and saying ‘this is what you need,’” Mrs Tolley says.

Funding will come from other areas of early childhood education.


The chief executive of the Federation of Maori Authorities says his members have been left out of the corporate tax cut.

Ron Mark says most Maori incorporations and trusts are taxed at 17.5 percent, and they could have expected yesterday's Budget to preserve relativity with the main tax.

The former New Zealand first MP says Parliament had good reasons for creating the gap in tax rates in the first place.

“Everybody knows that Maori trusts and Maori incorporations reinvest hugely back into their businesses, and that is where the advantage and that is where the difference is. If we pay out dividends to our people, our people pay tax accordingly depending on their income as they should be, but there were very specific reasons that parliament decided to reduce the tax rate for Maori trusts, Maori incorporations,” Mr Mark says.

He says the extra funding for research and development trumpeted in the Budget won't help Maori farmers who want to add value to their products, and he's skeptical the tax cuts will offset the impact the increase in GST will have on Maori families.


Prison reform advocate Peter Williams QC says the establishment of kaupapa Maori centres to reintegrate Maori prisoners back into their communities is long overdue, and needs to be part of a wider focus on rehabilitation.

Yesterday's Budget included $19.8 million to build and run two 16-bed Whare Oranga Ake units in Auckland and Hawkes bay.

Mr Williams says they will only scratch the surface of what's needed for all prisoners, not just Maori.

“There's a great need for training, job training, there’s a great need for halfway houses so that when particularly long term prisoners come out they’ve got a place where they can live for a while with some supervision and assistance in getting jobs, there’s a tremendous need for rehabilitation facilities in this country,” he says.

Mr Williams says anything gained from the establishment of Whare Oranga Ake units will be more than offset by the new three strikes or Sentencing and Parole Act, which he predicts will cause mayhem in the prison system.


The chief executive of the Federation of Maori Authorities says there is little for Maori in Bill English's second budget.

Ron Mark says Maori trusts and incorporations miss out on the cuts to company tax because most are already on a special 17.5 percent rate, and they also won't benefit from changes to funding for research and development.

The former New Zealand First MP says he's also skeptical about the budget tables which claim to show that the rise in GST to 15 percent will be offset by tax cuts, giving people a chance to save and invest.

“The thing that I do know is that for low income earners, wage and salary, Maori, they spend everything. They don’t save anything. Everything that comes into their pocket goes out. By the end of the week or the fortnight, it's gone,” Mr Mark says.

He says the tax changes are for the benefit of the more well off.


The primary teachers’ union NZEI is welcoming a new programme to boost the percentage of Maori and Pasifika children in pre-school education for, but it's upset at how it will be funded.

Education minister Anne Tolley says initiatives will be set up in five centres over the next four years, based on a successful community-based initiative in South Auckland.

Judith Nowotarski , the NZEI's vice president, says the $91.8 million price tag is just a reallocation of existing funding.

“I recognise that they are putting a huge amount of money into participation programmes for Maori and Pasifika children and I wholeheartedly support that, it’s well targeted, but what they’re doing to taking funding away from services that also meet the need of many Maori and Pasifika children,” Mrs Nowotarski says.

One way the programme will be funded is by cutting back on a programme aimed at increasing the number of qualified teachers in mainstream pre-schools.


One of the hottest tickets in Wellington this weekend is for Pao Pao Pao at Pipitea Marae.

Organiser Ngahiwi Apanui says the two-day seminar and concert is a chance for Maori musicians old and new to share their experiences and their music.

He says the line-up for the event, which is in its eight year, includes Maisey Rika, Toni Huata, Whirimako Black and Mina Ripia.

“It also celebrates what we call Te Ara Puoro which is kind of like a home for all Maori musicians, no matter what you play, no matter what genre you’re in, the big thing is that you belong to a whanau which is called Te Whanau o Pao Pao Pao, so there are a number of people playing in Pa Pao Pao this year who will be making their debuts,” Mr Apanui says.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Maori landowners still seek ETS change

Federation of Maori Authorities chief executive Ron Mark says Maori landowners will be disappointed the Budget did not deliver changes they wanted in the Emissions Trading Scheme.

He says the ETS, which comes into effect on July 1, means a huge loss for Maori because they own most of the pre-1990 forests which are heavily penalised for any change in land use.

“We have a lot of land that is currently under pine, beautifully suited to dairy, and a lot of land under sheep and beef which is suited for forestry because of its high risk of erosion, and we’re totally prevented from switching one out and the other in,” Mr Mark says.

Only a few Maori landowners will benefit from the deal the Government did to win Maori Party support for the ETS, which could allow iwi to plant forests on conservation land for carbon credits.


The introduction of the Budget may have overshadowed the passing of the three strikes bill, but Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says the Sentencing and Parole Act will have a continuing impact on Maori long after the tax cuts are spent.

Ms Turei says says lawyers, social agencies, restorative justice workers and others in the system know the new law will sweep up disproportionate numbers of Maori because of the racist filters already in the system.

She says the National Government let the bill through to satisfy ACT and its own right wing, without looking at the wider consequences.

Ms Turei says the three strikes law shows the government has no commitment to justice, fairness or Maori issues.


Stephen Tihi-Koroheke admits there's not a lot of Elvis on his iPod, but the Waitomo teen has just been named New Zealand's top Presley impersonator.

The 18-year-old from Maniapoto and Tuhoe was encouraged to enter the national competition in Upper Hutt after his performance of an Elvis number on Maori Television's karaoke show Homai Te Pakipaki caught the eye of Memories of Elvis fan club member Jackie Bridges.

He says sequinned Las Vegas style jumpsuits aren't his thing, so he took to the stage as army-era Elvis.

Stephen Tihi-Koroheke will head to Queensland later this year to square off against 30 other Elvis tribute artists.


A prison rehabilitation advocate is congratulating Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples for winning funding for two new kaupapa Maori reintegration units for prisoners.

There's $19.8 million in today's Budget to build and operate the 16-bed Whare Oranga Ake units in Auckland and the Hawkes Bay.

Kim Workman from Rethinking Crime and Punishment says it's a kaupapa Dr Sharples has pushed for 20 years, though it required him to become Associate Minister of Corrections to finally get his way.

“There is a potential to reduce offending if people are addressing their cultural needs. Clearly Pita has a framework to do that,” Mr Workman says.

While the units will cater for just 42 residents a year initially, the scheme could be expanded to 64 beds after a review in 2013.


Maori tourism operators are welcoming a $4.5 million boost in the Budget for Maori tourism.

Kapiti Island Alive head John Barrett, the immediate past president of the Maori Tourism Council, says the sector has struggled for years.

He says it's good the government now recognises the contribution Maori can make to tourism, and it should be used to plan for the growth of the sector.

Other Budget measures include developing aa "Brand Maori" to gain premium prices for Maori exports, and support for a delegation of Maori business leaders to the World Expo in Shanghai.


Maori historian Ranginui Walker says government ministers would learn a lot by attending Waitangi Tribunal hearings.

Dr Walker, who sits on the tribunal, says the standoff between the government and Tuhoe over Te Urewera may not have happened if Prime Minister John Key had witnessed Tuhoe's evidence on its history of land confiscation and alienation.

He says the sort of evidence being put by claimants in the Ngapuhi hearings might also surprise politicians if they were to hear it.

Today's Budget includes $6.5 million to speed up treaty settlements by providing more resources for Crown negotiators, but nothing extra for the Waitangi Tribunal

Katerina Mataira translates to win

A poetic translation has won Katerina Mataira a share of this year's New Zealand Post children's book of the year.

Old Hu Hu by Kyle Mewburn, with illustrations by Rachel Driscoll, was the winner in both its English and Maori versions.

Language advisor Paora Tibble says the veteran Ngati Porou writer and artist, who has written dozens of children's books of her own as well as Maori language novels, has done a wonderful job translating the Matariki-themed book into Hu Hu Koroheke.

“The words, they sing off the page, the way she’s translated it. There’s some beautiful kupu in it. It’s not just a word for word translation, it’s more and interpretation, and it’s got a beautiful flow to it,” Mr Tibble on


Labour leader Phil Goff says today's Budget should end any pretense the Maori Party is championing the best interests of Maori people.

Mr Goff says it's clear the country can expect a shift in wealth from low and middle income earners to the already rich, and widespread cuts in government services.

He says the Maori Party may vote against much of the government's agenda, but its support agreement means it has to vote in favour of the Budget.

“They will vote for a rise in GST. They will vote for tax cuts that give most to the very wealthy and least to those that most need it, and that’s the price of getting into bed with the National Party. They knew what the National Party was before they went into the coalition agreement. The National Party is a party that supports the most well off,” Mr Goff says.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says a report on the investigation of child abuse cases shows it's not just a Maori problem.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found widespread failure in the way police handle of child abuse cases.

Cases remained uninvestigated for years, investigators lost track of files, and in Whangarei the child abuse team was reassigned to meet road policing targets.

Ms Turei says Maori will welcome improvements in the way cases are managed, but they have concerns because of the recent high profile cases which have involved Maori, even though cases are found across the

She hopes child abuse cases will now be given the priority they deserve.


The Smokefree Coalition says banning tobacco sales will give Maori five extra years of life by 2040.

The coalition told the Maori Affairs select committee inquiry into the tobacco industry this week that it wants sale of tobacco to be made illegal by 2020.

Director Prudence Stone says the benefits of a tobacco-free country are backed up by Otago University research into life expectancy.

She says continuing addiction can be managed by allowing people to grow their own, but only a minority is likely to take that option.

“If you bring about law prohibiting tobacco use, you are criminalizing those smokers. What they cold do is change the whole ball park for the tobacco industry and turn it into a criminal behaviour for tobacco to be sold in New Zealand,” Dr Stone says.

She says boosting quit programmes could mean by 2020 there are few smokers left.


Ngai Terangi is fighting a plan change that would see dozens of its waahi tapu stripped of basic protections.

The Tauranga iwi has made submissions to Tauranga City Council over a new city plan that includes only 52 significant Maori areas, rather than the 126 designated in the previous plan.

Iwi resource manager Dee Samuel says without that protection, developers don't need to consider the historic value of the sites.

He says there was no consultation, and the iwi only spotted the change in the final draft of the plan.

“We really need to see that there is legal protection for our places of importance. We need to tidy up this loose handling of decision making in some back room,” Mr Samuel says.

Ngai Terangi may have to put heritage protection on the agenda when it negotiates a settlement for its historic treaty claims.


An Auckland commercial kapa haka troupe is under fire for performing a traditional Maori welcome for stars of the Disney on Ice show which opens at the Vector Arena tonight.

Te Puru o Tamaki donned their grass skirts for Mickey and Minnie Mouse, who also stayed in costume for the whole powhiri, including the hongi.

Labour list MP Shane Jones says the event is part of a trend for powhiri to be treated as entertainment rather than an important way to bring groups of people together.

“I suppose they are part of a modern cultural pantomime. Then you get someone like Mickey Mouse coming to town and it ends up turning Maori culture into a Mickey Mouse affair. And whilst the people participating may think they are adding something to the ceremony, what they are doing is subtracting something that is precious to all Maori,” Mr Jones says.

He says people in kapa haka need to take a hard look at where they are taking Maori culture.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Three strikes law undermines feel good politics

Green co-leader Meteria Turei says Maori are missing out from the National-led government in areas where it really matters.

She says in spite of feel good policies like Whanau Ora and Maori flags, it's actions like the rise in GST and the three strikes policy which will really hit Maori families hard.

Ms Turei says the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill, which is being pushed through Parliament today by National with ACT's support, will further embed discrimination in the justice system against Maori.

“This Government is not interested in what is fair or what is just. They’re not genuinely interested in Maori issues as we saw with what John Key did to Tuhoe. They’re trying to present a nice face but it’s crumbling and we’re starting to see the real National Party, their real attitudes to Maori in particular come through,” Ms Turei says.

Maori already are more likely to be arrested and face longer sentences than non-Maori for similar crimes, so they are likely to run out of strikes much faster.


Ngapuhi has launched a web site to bring its members together during the treaty settlement process.

Sonny Tau, the chair of Te Runanga o Ngaphui, says only 13 percent of the tribe's 120,000 members live in Northland.

He says the tuhoronuku.com site is a way to generate contributions from people outside the rohe.

“The ideas should some from the grass roots people and we have constant dialogue with our people but there are those who for whatever reason are locked away from getting involved with iwi but this is a real initiative that takes Ngapuhi into the homes, into the bedrooms of every Ngapuhi,” Mr Tau says.

Interest round the Waitangi Tribunal hearings, which started last week, is driving traffic to the site.


The editor of a new book on the Taranaki Wars believes the conflict is relevant to those living in the modern era.

Contested Ground - Te Whenua i Tohea covers the two decades from the first shots fired in 1860 at Wiremu Kingi's pa in Waitara, Te Kohia, through to the invasion of Parihaka in 1881.

It includes essays by 11 academics and historians including Hazel Riseborough, Danny Keenan, Peter Adds and John and Hilary Mitchell, and is illustrated by images and taonga held by New Plymouth's Puke Ariki Museum.

Kelvin Day says although the Taranaki Wars started 150 years ago, they resonate today

“Unless we do understand what happened back then, how can we understand the healing process for today and understand why the Waitangi Tribunal claims are happening and why we get the headlines in the paper we do. The origin for a lot of those rests in that 1860s to 1880s period,” Mr Day says.

Contested Ground is published by Huia Publishers in association with Puke Ariki.


Ngai Terangi is shocked at Tauranga City Council's moves to cut more than half of the sites designated as significant Maori areas from the district plan.

Iwi resource manager Dee Samuel says the final draft removes 74 of the 126 significant Maori areas, so they can be developed without any consideration of their historic value.

He says while the sites are not registered under the Historic Places Act, they were designated as significant by elders when previous plans were drawn up and should not be set aside at the stroke of a planner's pen.

He says it was like a kick in the guts to the iwi and indicated some deep seated problem in council.

Mr Samuel says any site should be thoroughly examined before a decision is made to remove them from the plan.


Labour's Maori affairs spokesperson expects short rations for Maori in tomorrow's Budget.

Parekura Horomia says the biggest item is likely to be the $34 million a year spent setting up Whanau Ora - and that's less than the Prime Minister is intending to spend on a national cycleway.

He says adding insult to injury is John Key's comment that other New Zealanders should not be jealous if the rich get more from tomorrow's Budget tax package.


MP Shane Jones has slammed a powhiri in Auckland for Mickey Mouse as a welcome too far.

The billion dollar rodent was welcomed to Vector Arena by kapa haka group Te Puru o Tamaki in advance of the Disney on Ice show which opens tomorrow.

The Northland-based Labour list MP says such dial-a-powhiri put the credibility of the ceremony and Maori culture at risk.

“If we want Maori ceremony and Maori culture to be taken seriously and to be respected, then we don’t drop our cultural trou and do a powhiri for Mickey and Minnie Mouse,” Mr Jones says.

He says kapa haka is becoming more a sport and less an expression of traditional culture.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Ngapuhi protects its sovereignty from rogues

Ngapuhi chairperson Sonny Tau says tribal evidence put to the first week of hearings on Northland claims has emphatically shown the iwi never ceded its sovereignty.

Rather than pursue specific land claims, the country's largest tribe has chosen to focus on the constitutional implications of the 1835 declaration of independence and 1840 Treaty of Waitangi.

Mr Tau says by the time the treaty was signed, Ngapuhi had 70 years of interactions with Europeans, and its chiefs were clear about what they wanted from the relationship.

“Our tupuna Kupe is said to have arrived here around 950. So how come people who have lived in this beautiful land for so many centuries would in five minutes cede their sovereignty to people they knew were thieves, rogues and vagabonds. I ask any person in this country, would they sign over their house, their car and everything else to a person they know was of ill repute,” Mr Tau says.

He says the treaty was an agreement for the British Crown to impose its laws on settlers, not on Maori.


A Victoria University student says the value of iwi scholarships comes as much in the support they demonstrate as in the monetary sum.

Tahlia Kingi received $1000 from Te Arawa Fisheries towards her studies in clinical psychology.

The iwi-owned company has given out $45,000 this year as part of a strategy to support 500 iwi members into higher education and skilled employment by 2020.

Ms Kingi, who already has a science degree from Otago University, says it's a welcome boost.

“It's not a huge amount of money. It helps ease the financial burden of being a student but it also shows the support Te Arawa has. It kind of motivates us to put in that extra effort because you know you’ve got the support back home of your whanau and your hapu and your iwi,” she says.

Tahlia Kingi's father, Guy Kingi, also received a Te Arawa 500 Scholarship towards his final year of studies at Waikato University for a Bachelor of Law degree.


The days of seeing a Maori showband in cabaret may be numbered.

Maori Volcanic Billy Peters says the showbands' mix of popular songs, impressions, comedy skits, kapa haka and superb musicianship has been entertaining crowds around the world for half a century.

But times are changing, and the once lucrative Australian club scene that has sustained the Volcanics for decades has been dealt a blow by changes to alcohol and smoking laws.

The Maori Volcanics are in New Zealand for five shows starting at the Tokoroa Cosmopolitan Club tonight.


Rugby historian Malcolm Mulholland says momentum is building for a face to face apology to Maori excluded from whites only All Black tours to South Africa.

The author of the centenary history Beneath the Maori Moon says the committee of Gisborne's Te Poho o Rawiri Marae is willing to host the historic meeting when the Springboks are in New Zealand in July.

He says O'Regan Hoskings, the president of the South African Rugby Union, will attend.

“We are just trying to confirm the attendance of the South African Government and once we confirm our dates in terms of our South African visitors we will be issuing a formal invitation to the parties concerned here, which include former players, protest leaders, the NZRU and the New Zealand government,” Mr Mulholland says.

Te Poho o Rawiri is where the Springboks were welcomed in 1965 and 1981, making it the ideal place for the apology.


A leading Maori art and architectural historian says the marae is changing as Maori face up to the challenge of improving their health and social indicators.

Dr Deidre Brown from Auckland University's School of Architecture and Planning has been awarded a Presidents Award by the New Zealand Institute of Architects for her contribution to knowledge about Maori architecture.

She says Maori architects are making valuable contributions to the way the country develops its public and private spaces.

Maori are also rethinking marae, which since the revival kicked off by Apirana Ngata in the 1920s have tended to focus on a meeting house and separate buildings for dining and ablutions.

“What we are seeing now is the addition of social services to the marae so you will have a whare ora, a well being space which might have outpatients clinics or doctors and I’ve been to some marae where you even have a small pharmacy. That’s a new building that’s been added to that complex and I think it recognises the way Maori are assuming control over their own self-determination in healthcare,” Dr Brown says.


A former New Zealand Rugby League captain has heaped praise on one of the best Maori players never to have worn the black and white jersey.

Richie Barnett says New South Wales selectors got it right by naming 30 year old Timana Tahu in the Blues Squad to play Queensland in the first State of origin match.

The 30-year-old Parammata centre, who has returned to the 13-man code after three years in professional rugby, has a Maori dad and an Aboriginal mum.

Mr Barnett says he has the skills and experience needed for Origin football, particularly steel in defence.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Whanau Ora secrecy creating policy doubt

Labour leader Phil Goff says secrecy over the development of Whanau Ora is creating doubt about how much the new model for social services can deliver.

Mr Goff says making service delivery more efficient by allowing providers to work across different social needs is a laudable aim.

But he says Whanau Ora minister Tariana Turia has been raising expectations around Maori without allowing proper debate of what the scheme will mean for providers of whanau.

“What I am worried about is whether the planning has been done, whether the training is in place, whether there is a system for evaluation to see how effective it is. All of those things I think have big question marks around them,” Mr Goff says.

He says Thursday's Budget may reveal the extent of cuts in other programmes to provide the resources to start Whanau Ora.


Nelson Marlborough District health Board's suicide prevention officer has identified insecure cultural identity as a factor in many Maori suicides.

David Hough has been researching suicide risk factors as part of his two-year contract.

He says nationally Maori men are about 60 percent more likely to suicide than non-Maori, with the risk higher for men under 45.

“There seems to be in amongst the Maori population issues around insecure cultural identity as part of a mix for some Maori with suicide. People more connected with who they are and with their whakapapa are more resilient, it seems to be a strong protective factor,” Mr Hough says.

He says warning signs of suicide include depression, anger and social disconnection.


The New Zealand Institute of Architects has given a prestigious president's award to Auckland University teacher and researcher Deidre Brown for her work on Maori architecture.

Dr Brown says Maori architects are starting to have a significant impact, especially in schools and institutional buildings but also in some aspects of domestic architecture.
She says architects now realise that making a building Maori will want to use doesn't just mean putting a koru on the door.

“Architects have realised and architectural designers have realised that there is more integrity in creating spaces for culture to happen rather than creating spaces that look like something cultural. There is more value for the people that use it,” Dr Brown says.

With colleagues Bill McKay and Rewi Thompson are behind Te Pare, a proposed indigenous teaching and research initiative at the School of Architecture and Planning.


Iceland's Eyjafjoell volcano may be disrupting world air travel, but it's nothing on the eruptions going on round the Maori Volcanics.

Mahora Peters is back in Aotearoa for five shows with the band she's fronted since the mid-60s - only to find some venues have been threatened with legal action by her former husband Nuki Waaka, who put together his own version of the band for some New Zealand dates last year.

She says the true Volcanics are the line-up that includes second husband Billy Peters, Joe Haami, John Daymond and Selwyn Rawiri.

“That group has been together since 1974.It’s not a big problem because I do own the intellectual property rights so I don’t know what this is all about. It could be more personal than anything else,” Mahora Peters says.

The Maori Volcanics play the Tokoroa Cosmopolitan Club tomorrow and Rotorua on Thursday.


Sports commentator and social worker Ken Laban says the Maori Party's call for a Maori sports authority is timely.

Co-leaders Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia have called for a rethink of support for Maori sport in the wake of the New Zealand Rugby Union's apology for the way Maori players were treated during South Africa's apartheid era.

Mr Laban says players in other codes are also asking who is advocating for Maori and Pasifika sporting interests, and a separate body could be the answer

“If the setting up of a Maori sports authority is going to improve income and sponsorship, if it is going to improve participation, if it’s going to provide a pathway for people to get through from the grass roots to the elite level, then I’m all in favour of it,” Mr Laban says.

He says the number of Maori and Pacific players at grassroots level isn't matched at the management and governance level.


Maori designers are being invited to enter the second Miromoda fashion awards, which will be part of New Zealand fashion week in September.

Co-ordinator Ata Te Kanawa says entries close on Friday, and there is already strong interest.

She says there is a lot of untapped Maori talent in tertiary institutes and even secondary schools.

Ata Te Kanawa says last year a design by a 15-year-old college student made its way to the catwalk in front of 800 fashion buyers and media and was seen by more than a million people around the world.

Middle Kingdom foray planned

Ngati Kahungunu leader Ngahiwi Tomoana wants to cut out the middle man when selling Maori products into the Middle Kingdom.

Mr Tomoana, who also chairs Te Ohu Kaimoana Maori fisheries trust, leaves for the Shanghai World Expo this week to spearhead what he calls the Maori H-Q strategy.

He says there is a growing market in China for high quality Maori-grown kaimoana and produce.

That's why he's planning a permanent shop for Maori products after the Expo is over.

“Whether it's fish, fruit, honey, we’d have a Maori place for Maori products to be showcase to the buyers and importers, the restauranters, the supermarket chains, so we’re quite ambitious,” Mr Tomoana says.

By going direct, Maori HQ should improve returns to the producer.


A Ngapuhi elder says the tribe's evidence given to the Waitangi Tribunal can give a lead to other iwi like Tuhoe.

The tribunal has just completed its first week of hearings at Waitangi into the Northland tribe's view of the constitutional status of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Titewhai Harawira says Prime Minister John Key's veto during the week of any return of Te Urewera to Ngai Tuhoe was a reminder of what the iwi is striving for.

“Ngapuhi is saying out tupuna didn’t cede sovereignty and therefore any Maori or any hapu or iwi that says this whenua, this maunga, this awa belongs to us, then Ngapuhi has a commitment to support that kaupapa,” Mrs Harawira says.


The Maori students association says the decision by Victoria and Otago Universities to closing off this year's enrolments for undergraduate students will have long term consequences for Maori.

Jacqueline Poutu, the tumuaki of Nga Akonga Maori o Aotearoa says when enrolments reopen for next year, it's likely there will be an increased emphasis on academic achievement in filling the limited places.

This means many Maori school leavers are starting on the back foot, especially if they go to low decile schools where the full range of subjects isn’t taught.


A builder turned tourism entrepreneur is looking for marae willing to open their doors for Rugby World Cup tourists.

David Tanenui says he's in talks with 18 marae around Auckland and other centres about what might be required for the venture.

The Waitakere City Rugby Club member says he was concerned at the lack of a Maori dimension to preparations for next year's sportsfest, and determined to do something about it for at least some of the manuhiri.

“And the brilliant thing about it is they get welcomed onto the marae Maori-style, plus Maori can be selling their arts and crafts or maybe they might have ta moko which is really a big exposure for our people. I think it’s really about telling the world who we really are,” Mr Tanenui says.

Marae charges will start at about $80 a night.

A Te Puni Kokiri spokesperson says the ministry was concerned any such venture respects marae protocols and tikanga.


Meanwhile, the Maori Party wants a separate organisation to promote Maori sports.

Co-leader Tariana Turia says the way the New Zealand Rugby Football Union has mishandled its apology to past generations of Maori players for their exclusion from All Black teams touring South Africa is just a symptom of a wider problem.

She says Maori players get poor service from administrators and from the government-funded sports bodies.

“We know that there are many young Maori sportspeople that are unable to participate because their families don’t have the wherewithal in a whole range of sports, very difficult to get any consideration of those things,” Mrs Turia says.

She says the rugby union gives no support to the Maori women's rugby team, which is the world's top women's team.


The future of dance may be on at the pa.

Contemporary dancers Taane Mete and Taiaroa Royal are running a workshop on a Hawkes Bay marae today for up to 40 rangatahi.

The pair performed their autobiographical work Tama Maa at at the Hawkes Bay Opera House last night.

Mr Mete says they're concerned at the lack of young Maori coming through to dance school, and hope to inspire them by taking work back to the provinces.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bad faith act threatens treaty policy

The Maori Party is asking whether Prime Minister John Key has broken the treaty settlement process.

Co-leader Tariana Turia says Mr Key's vetoing of a proposal to return Te Urewera National Park to Tuhoe showed bad faith.

The Prime Minister has denied there was agreement the park land would be included in the final settlement package, but Mrs Turia says all the signs are it was.

“Tuhoe clearly believed from a hui that they held just the day before that they had an agreement in principle and who have that withdrawn in the way that it was has created a feeling that anybody’s settlement can be withdrawn at whim,” Mrs Turia says.

She says John Key's action was clearly driven by the National Party's polling and by pressure from party members attending a regional conference the previous weekend.


A Taupo Maori trust intends to use profits from a new geothermal power station for development of the whole hapu rather than paying individual dividends to beneficiaries.

Tauhara North Number 2 has a 25 percent stake in Mighty River Power's 140 megawatt Nga Awa Purua plant at Rotokawa, which opened at the weekend.
Trust chief executive Aroha Campbell says the 785 Ngati Tahu owners agreed to forego annual dividends.

“The challenge for the trustis to come up with new ideas round sponsorships, scholarships, education and well being,” Ms Campbell says.

She says the trust is also working closely with the Ngatu Tahu Ngati Whaua Runanga in Reporoa on ways to benefit the hapu as a whole.

Construction on the second of three power stations the trust is building with Mighty River Power will start later this year.


Contemporary dancer Taane Mete says tonight's performance at the Hawkes Bay Opera House will give his whanau to see how his career developed after he left his Napier home more than two decades ago.

Mr Mete, from Ngati Koroki, developed Tama Maa with fellow dancer Tai Royal for the Tempo Dance Festival in Auckland in 2008.

He says it's an autobiographical work, showing the transition from boyhood to manhood, and allows them to show off the skills they've mastered.

They have taken parts of the piece to a dance festival in the United States, and they will tour it to Australia later this year.


The minister in charge of the new Whanau Ora programme wants social service providers to team up to deliver services.

Tariana Turia says there is huge interest in the policy, with hui to explain the new funding model attracting between 300 and 600 people.

She says delivering a wrap-around health and welfare service to families will stretch the capacity of many existing organisations, and they may need to reconfigure themselves or merge to realise the programme's potential.

“This is not another opportunity to industrialise our whanaus’ misery. We’re saying to people, ‘do not see this as a programme, do not see it as an opportunity to get a lot more money.’ We want this money to be as close as possible to the whanau, hence whanau ora,” Mrs Turia says.

There will only be 20 accredited Whanau Ora providers, so the size of those providers will be an important factor in who gets the contracts.


The chair of Hauraki's kaumatua council says the Government's refusal to return Te Urewera National Park to Ngai Tuhoe is mirrored by his iwi's experience.

Jim Nichols says in both cases the Crown acquired land unjustly, and it's refusing to give it back.

He says like Tuhoe, Hauraki is still waiting for the government to honour commitments made in the late 19th century.

“In Hauraki they said ‘we promise to give you your land back, we only want it to mine the gold.’ When the gold mining ceased, they did not give the land back. And that is the basis our treaty claims are in front of the Crown right now,” Mr Nicholls says.

The Hauraki Kaumatua Kaunihera delivered a firm message last week to Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee that the iwi will oppose his plans to reopen the Coromandel for mining.


Despite it being New Zealand Music Month, Maori musicians say they're doing better on the world market than at home.

Ngahiwi Apanui, the chair of Puatatangi Contemporary Maori Music, says lack of airplay outside of iwi stations means Maori acts aren't picking up the local sales they merit.

That's forcing many to look for opportunities offshore.

“Talking to people who have been going overseas, groups they talk about are not ones you hear about through the mainstream press like OpShop. They’re talking abut groups like Wai, Moana and Pacific Curls, they’re the people that are distinctive for New Zealand on the world music scene,” Mr Apanui says.

This year's Pao Pao Pao symposium and concert at Pipitea Marae on Friday and Saturday could uncover the next Maori world music star.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rugby apology needs action to encourage code

Former governor general Sir Paul Reeves says the New Zealand Rugby Football Union must face up to years of neglect of Maori rugby.

The Te Atiawa elder says last week’s apology to Maori players excluded from All Black tours to South Africa between the 1920s and 1960s needs to be repeated on a marae as part of a hui designed to take Maori rugby forward.

He says Maori rugby brings a unique flavour to the New Zealand game, which the union fails to recognise.

“Let’s find ways of positively encouraging it and developing it on an ongoing basis and these people of course will pay in Super 14 and play in cluyb matches a d provincial matches as well but there will be this added streand which is distinctly Maori rugby teams promoted by the rugby union,” Sir Paul says.


John Key’s veto of part of the Tuhoe settlement could deter other iwi from attempting to negotiate treaty settlements with the current government.

The Prime Minister ruled out returning title to Te Urewera National Park to the iwi, casting doubt on whether agreement could be reached after 18 months of negotiation.

Treaty consultant Willie Te Aho says his Ngati Ranginui iwi face similar issues, where they will be asking the Crown to return land confiscated in breach of the Treaty of Waitangi.

“It is about waiting. It is abut the politics of the time and that’s the beauty of Maori that although we want to get just and durable settlements, the reality is we’ve waited over 150 years and governments come and go and if it means waiting for the right political environment, then so be it,” Mr Te Aho says.


The Maori manager for Pharmac says having Maori voices on the medicines funding agency is important in improving Maori health status.

The agency is seeking Maori nominations for its consumer advisory committee.

Marama Parore says the three Maori selected will need good networks into Maori communities and strong advocacy skills.

She says the data shows Maori aren’t making optimal use of the medicines available, and the advisory committee can help Pharmac come up with ways to overcome that.

“Statin medicine is a classic. It’s for lowering cholesterol. Our men are not getting access to that medication at the same rate as other people and our men die 10- to 14 years younger from heart disease than any other men in this country. Now I‘m not saying a pill is going to fix that, but it’s part of the fix, there is no doubt, and they need to be getting what they are entitled to,” Ms Parore says.

Nominations close at the end of the month.


The author of rugby history Beneath the Maori Moon wants to see the Rugby Union make Maori rugby a priority.

Malcolm Mulholland says last week’s apology from the NZFRU to all those Maori players denied a place on All Black teams touring South Africa was welcome but far too late.

He says now the administrators need to ensure Maori rugby gets more support and quality fixtures.

“Are we going to see at least one fixture a season against an international side? Are we going to see an international tour in a couple of years? To give some substance and commitment to Maori rugby, they need to look at what is the big picture and to make that public and stick to it,” Mr Mulholland says.

He is organising a hui at Te Poho o Rawiri Marae in Gisborne to give the rugby union an opportunity to apologise face to face to the families of Maori All Blacks who were denied the chance to tour South Africa.


An East Coast Maori organic grower is welcoming a boost to a scheme which pays marae to put in vegetable gardens.

Maori Affairs Mijister Pita Sharples says he’s putting a further half million dollars into the Mara Kai scheme, coming out of Te Puni Kokiri’s baseline budget.

Since October more than 200 marae have picked up the $2000 grants to buy tools and plants.

Rob Thompson says the idea is taking off, and people are relearning how to grow food for the home as well as the marae.


Meanwhile, marae are also being urged to offer fitness classes.

Waikato-based fitness instructor Ninakaye Taanetinirau says many Maori are put off by the cost of gyms and their preconceptions about what they are like.

She says disciplines like Pilates and yoga can easily be adapted to a marae setting, and some instructors are already doing this, working on the Maori preference for working in groups.

Marae exercise programmes could be a way to tackle common problems in Maori communities like diabetes and heart illness.