Waatea News Update

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Aotearoa strong second in waka medal tally

Crews from Aotearoa are giving the Tahitians a scrap for the silverware at the Waka Ama World Championships in New Caledonia.

With a day of racing to go, New Zealand has four golds, five silvers and nine bronzes. compared with the Tahitian's 12 golds, 8 silvers and 3 bronze.
Australia has nine medals in total.

James Papali'i from the Mangere club, who is competing in his eighth world championship, says more than 200 of the 240 New Zealand paddlers in Noumea are Maori.

He says the results reflect how the sport is thriving here.


Maori Party MP Rahui Katene says Maori who want to see GST taken off healthy food need to put pressure on Finance Minister Bill English and Revenue Minister Peter Dunne.

Her private members bill proposing the change has the backing of Maori groups including the Maori Women's Welfare League.
Mrs Katene says she doesn't accept arguments that excluding some food items and not other would make the tax system too complex.

She says Australia, the United Kingdom and Australia have all found ways to exempt certain food types from sales tax.

Rahui Katene says the thrust of her bill is backed by research from Auckland University shows giving people nutritional information doesn't mean they make healthy choices, but lowering prices does.


One of the country's oldest kapa haka is celebrating the 30th birthday of its home marae this weekend.

Ngati Poneke was formed in 1937 out of a core of young Wellington-based Maori who were brought together by Apirana Ngata to work on tukutuku panels for Te Ikaroa-a-Maui, the meeting house at Manukorihi Pa in Waitara which stands as a memorial to Maui Pomare.

President Bill Nathan says it got its own marae in 1980 with the opening of Pipitea, which is shared with Taranaki Whanui.

He says the celebration concert on Sunday afternoon will feature many of the waiata the club has made its own.

The concert starts at two on Sunday afternoon.


Huntly Maori have signed a memorandum of understanding with Huntly Power Station owner Genesis Energy aimed at putting what has been a fractious relationship on a better footing.

Kaumatua Taitimu Maipi, representing the five marae in the Huntly area, says the difficulties went back to the building of the power station in 1973.

Today's agreement will see the parties working together on resource planning, educational scholarships, cultural activities, employment and marae development.

Mr Maipi says there are lessons for other companies.

“Any company going into any community should have a strong relationship with Maori to do a few things: One to look after the environment they’re living in; to understand the culture and tikanga around that community; learn a lot about what makes those people tick; and then work a relationship between the company and the communities they go into,” Mr Maipi says.

He believes Genesis Energy now better understands the community's concerns.


A Maori clinical psychologist says some simple techniques can make the widely used Cognitive Behaviour Therapy more effective for Maori.

Simon Bennett of Te Arawa, Nga Puhi and Ngai Tahu received his doctorate from Massey University this week for research on adapting the therapy for Maori tangata whaiora.

Dr Bennett, whose great-uncle Henry Rongomau Bennett was the first Maori psychiatrist, says introducing Maori concepts such as whanaungatanga into the therapy led to a decrease in depressive symptoms and negative thinking.

“Basically what the research has done is shown if you adapt CBT in an appropriate way to make it more palatable for Maori clients, it can be as effective as all the international literature tells us,” Dr Bennett says.

His work should help other clinical psychologists working with Maori patients.

Maori and commercial eeling interests say they will work together to protect threatened long and short finned eels.

Iwi, industry and scientists came together for the first time at a hui today at Awanuiarangi campus in Whakatane.

John Hohapata-Oke, the chair of Ngati Awa Fisheries, says Maori own more than 50 percent of eel quota, so there is a commitment across the industry to kaitiakitanga.

“The wild eel fishery isn’t in a good state. Coupled with that is the current state of the habitat so not only is the species in trouble but we have issues round habitat through reclamations, through discharges, diversions, culverts, structures, the whole lot that is really causing havoc for those species,” Mr Hohapata-Oke says.

There was unanimous support for setting up a national eel association and an industry strategy working party.

Community links win for Whale Watch

Ngai Tahu-owned tourism company Whale Watch Kaikoura has won another international award.

Last year the company won the Responsible Tourism award in London bringing with it global interest in the firm.

Yesterday Whale Watch added the World Travel and Tourism Council award for community activities at the Global Travel and Tourism summit which has brought sector leaders from around the world to China.

Chief operating officer Kauahi Ngapora who accepted the award says it was huge for the company to be honoured for its community relationship.

“We’re a company that was founded locally by four families, we are a company that is today run locally, that has its majority shareholding held locally so the company and the community are all the same. That’s our home town and any benefits and successes reflects back on our community and vice versa.

After collecting the award he felt like the toast of China with tourism leaders from around the world introducing themselves and congratulating the company from a township of 3500.


The chair of the Maori Affairs Select Committee says there is a consensus emerging that change is needed for the New Zealand Maori Council to remain relevant.

The committee is reviewing the Maori Community Development Act, which established the council almost 50 years ago.

Tau Henare says there is still a place for a national pan-Maori body, but it should be organised and driven by Maori rather than being a government thing.

He says the council has played a significant role in Maori development through its support of kaupapa like treaty claims and Maori broadcasting.

“But we've also got to think where do we go into the future, so some of the ideas that are coming through the submsisions are good, they’re not too far out and they take into account the history. You don’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater. You want to say is there a way to develop into the future,” Mr Henare says.

The New Zealand Maori Council will be given a chance to respond to all the submissions before the inquiry closes.


A colleague is praising the appointment of former Rotorua Maori lawyer Alayne Wills as a District court judge.

Mrs Wills, of Ngai Tahu decent, who worked for the law firm East Brewster for 28 years specialising in family law took the oath of appointment at a special sitting of the court at Te Arawa's paramount meeting house Tamatekapua at Ohinemutu earlier this week.

Fellow Rotorua lawyer John Chadwick representing Te Hunga Roia Maori, says Mrs Wills has been an inspiration for him and many others over many years.

“Always a good sign, the browning of the bar, I like to call it. After all the bench has been browned so we need to move up to the next level and she’s a quality appointment, she’ll do a great job for us all,” Mr Chadwick says.

He says her work with Maori families will be particularly valuable for the family court hearings she will handle in Tauranga where she will be based.


Maori arts promotion group Toi Maori representatives will be in the Netherlands early next month putting in place arrangement for a 14 metre ceremonial waka to be housed there.

It has joined forces with the Volkenkunda Museum in Leiden to have a waka built by tohunga Hek Busby and carver Takirirangi Smith in the Bay of Islands.

Toi Maori operations manager Tamaho Temara says the museum's director came to New Zealand last year wanting to buy a waka but when he found out that such taonga were not for sale plans were developed for the waka to be built.

“We've always dreamed of having waka overseas and leaving them there because one of our issues is that every time we take a waka over there is an astronomical cost involved inshipping, We’ve done that since 1992 when we had out first waka over in Rarotonga at the South Pacific Festival of Arts,” he says.

Mr Temara says the latest offshore venture was sending a waka to the America's cup challenge in Valencia to support team New Zealand in 2007.

Following the signing of a Deed detailing New Zealand's continued ownership of the waka and conditions for its care it will be launched at Aurere in the Bay of Islands in late June and handed over to the museum in Leiden mid- October.


Amnesty International New Zealand says it will be keeping a close eye on the proposed privatisation of prisons as world experiences shows prisoner welfare commonly falls with private ownership.

New Zealand chief executive of Amnesty International Patrick Holmes says prisoners human rights could also be contravened by the three strikes laws which parliament passed this week.

“We would say it is just compounding the problem particularly for those sections of the community that are already disproportionately represented in prison, this is just going to increase the number and we are concerned about this three strikes, legislation. It seems a quick and easy populist thing to float but the implications are quite serious,” Mr Holmes says.

In addition double bunking could lead the organsiation's global strength to be flexed to protect human rights and prisoner conditions in New Zealand.

In its annual report Amnesty New Zealand says that while prison measures are putting prisoner rights in jeopardy the government should be patted on the back for reviewing the Foreshore and Seabed ACT.


A Tai Rawhiti rugby star hopes treaty settlements can give the Ngati Porou East Coast rugby team a deeper pool of talent to choose from.

Rua Tipoki twice captained the province to victory in the Air New Zealand Cup before moving to Irish team Munster.

He says a lot of talented Maori players from the area are playing or working overseas, but they'd be keen to move home if there were jobs.

“Hopefully these treaty negotiations go well for our people and we can inject some money into the region and create some opportunity for jobs and get some people back here and that will be good for rugby,” Mr Tipoki says.

With provincial teams again getting a chance to play touring overseas teams from 2012, East Coast would be keen for a match-up.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Maori Concil saying taihoa to water grab

The New Zealand Maori Council has been given a chance to argue public and Treaty of Waitangi interests should be taken into account when resource consents are handed out.

The Supreme Court has granted the council intervenor status in a case on whether milk processor Synlait or the Central Plains Water irrigation scheme should have priority to water from the Rakaia River.

Council deputy chair Jim Nichols says the case will affect how the Resource Management Act operates in future, and it's important the Maori interest is heard.

“Maori have not been in a position to say taihoa, he taonga tuku iho tenei, but we are now in a position to actually put a point of view that we hope will benefit Maori in the cases that will come before the court in the future,” Mr Nichols says.

Waikaremoana claimant Vern Winitana from Ngati Ruapani and power generator Trustpower were also granted intervenor status.


The Maori Affairs Select Committe's inquiry into the tobacco industry is entering the home stretch.

Chairperson Tau Henare says after three weeks of hearings and a raft of statistics and stories, there are only a few more submissions to come before the committee writes its report.

He says the panel of three National, three Labour and one Maori Party MP is both united... and divided.

“You'll find 100 percent agree that it’s bad for you. It’s just what you do about it. There are differing opinions, whether you ban displays, put the taxes up, ban tobacco altogether. There’s a diverse range of views,” Mr Henare says.

There is one more hearing with tobacco industry representatives before the committee reports back to Parliament in early July.


Aotearoa and Tahiti are dominating the start of the Waka Ama world championships in New Caledonia.

More than 2500 athletes and official from 20 countries are taking to the waters of Anse Vata Bay in the capital Noumea.

Hoturoa Kerr, who is coaching one of the junior men's teams, says a lot of the early competition is between New Zealand and Tahiti, the sport's traditional home.

The waka ama World Champs end on Saturday.


The chair of the Maori Affairs select committee says the committee is getting a strong message not to mess with the Maori Wardens.

The committee is reviewing the 1962 Maori Community Development Act, which covers both the wardens and the Maori Council.

Tau Henare says the majority of submissions favour retaining the wardens.

“The feeling that I am getting form a lot of the submissions is don’t muck around with us, we want to operate as an independent body and give us more resources, give us more training and we will do the job we have been dong the past 50 years, and I think what we are seeing is that wardens are an integral part of Maori society,” Mr Henare says.

Although the Wardens have been training with the Police, people don't want them turned into a de facto volunteer police force.


Green co-leader Metiria Turei says spending on state houses should come before motorways.

Ms Turei says the onset of winter weather is a reminder of how many families are stuck in cold and damp houses, leading to ongoing health problems.

She says there was no new money in last week's Budget to build up the stock of state houses, despite there being more than 10,000 people on the waiting list.

“Many of those families are Maori families. Many of them are living in garages or living on overcrowded conditions or living in housing they can’t afford and are desperate for somewhere safe, dry and warm. This government will spend $10 billion on new motorways but won’t build new state houses,” Ms Turei says.

She says whanau on low and fixed incomes are about to be hit by both a rise in GST and a rise in rents as private landlords pass on new property tax changes.


Tai Rawhiti rangatahi are making their masquerade ball in Ruatoria tonight part of youth week focus on alcohol use.

Jimmy Hill from the Ruatoria Youth Council says tonight's ball will be followed by a forum tomorrow that includes motivational speakers, games and sports.

He says it's important young people understand the place of alcohol in their social environment.

Whanau philosophy boosts learning

The developer of a programme to improve the way teachers interact with Maori students says a focus on whanau is changing the education system.

Principals and team leaders from the 50 schools involve in Te Kotahitanga are at the Tainui Endowed College in Hopuhopu this week picking up on new techniques and research.

Russell Bishop says a common thread coming through from programmes like te Kotahitanga, Auckland university's Starpath, and the Whaariki model in early childhood education is the importance of whanau or family relations in education.

“Teachers and children are not related by whakapapa but they are related in a whanau type sense where there is a high level of commitment and relationship between teachers and students. There’s lots of rights and responsibilities and commitments that go along with this,” Professor Bishop says.

He says the most successful schools using Te Kotahitanga are those who use the best programmes they can find to se clear goals for their students and their school.


Former Alliance president Matt McCarten says the government doesn't want Maori on the Auckland Super city council was because it knows iwi reps would oppose privatisation.

The third Local Government (Auckland Law Reform) Bill as reported back to parliament this week will allow council controlled organisations to sell assets without needing the approval of the full council.

Mr McCarten says Maori see themselves as custodians for future generations, and would find it hard to sell community assets.

“That’s why they cant have us at the table. Because we won’t sell. And so that’s why Rodney Hide threatened to resigned if they had Maori councilors on the council, because if you have three Maori on the council, it’s probably enough to swing the council, no matter what the rest of them vote,” Mr McCarten says.

He says because so many national assets have been sold over the past two decades, pressure is coming on the holdings of local authorities.


Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei is accusing iwi groups of naivete in their support for private management of prisons.

Iwi including Tainui, Ngati Whatua and Nga Puhi have investigated possible joint ventures with private prison operators in line with a government push to open the sector to competition.

Ms Turei says the multi-national companies likely to win such contracts are driven solely by profit, and it's foolish to think they share the Maori interest in rehabilitation.

“Some Maori organisations have thought it is easier to deal with these large multinational organisations than to deal with the state. The state can be very difficult to deal with, (but) these corporations don’t care for us. They have no obligation to Maori or the community and they are just here to make a buck. They are the wolves at the door and much more dangerous,” Ms Turei says.


The Maori Council has won permission to join in the Supreme Court appeal on whether milk processor Synlait or irrigator Central Plains Water should have priority to draw water from the Rakaia River.

Lake Waikaremoana claimant Vern Winitana and Trustpower have also been granted intervenor status in the case, which also involves the Ashburton Community Water Trust and Canterbury Regional Council.

Jim Nichols, the Maori Council's deputy chair, says it raises the same issues as last year's case between Central Plains Water and Ngai Tahu Properties, which was abandoned after the parties reached a deal.

He says the court wants to hear the Maori view on how the Treaty of Waitangi may apply when natural resources are allocated.

“If the Supreme Court recognizes the position that we are putting, it means that from a Maori perspective it doesn’t negate those who in a position of being first up and best dressed to make an application. What it does mean is that Maori who aren’t first up and best dressed aren’t disadvantaged in this process.” Mr Nichols says.


The Minister of Corrections says new Maori reintegrate units may be the first time some inmates have been asked to be part of their communities.

Two 16-bed Whare Oranga Ake units are being built at Hawkes Bay and Springhill prisons.

Judith Collins says Maori are more likely to return to prison than other offenders, so it's important to find ways to break the cycle.

“When we talk about reintegration or rehabilitation, we work on the premise that at some stage people have actually been habilitated or integrated into the community and what we do know is that for some people, they have never really been part of a normal part of society, going to work, looking after your children, all those sorts of things,” Ms Collins says.


Heavy rain in North Otago has set off a major rockslide blocking the entrance to one of the country's best known rock art sites.

Amanda Symon from the Ngai Tahu Maori Rock Art Trust says some of the drawings at Takiroa near Duntroon on State Highway 83 probably date back to the earliest Maori settlers in Aotearoa.

There are also post-contact drawings of boats and horses.

The cave has been fenced off in case more of the limestone outcrop comes down, but the rock art itself in the alcove seems quite safe.

More than 25,000 people a year visit Takiroa.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Avalanche of submissions against mining

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei hopes for a tactical retreat by the government once the full extent of public opposition to mining on high value conservation land is revealed.

By today's deadline the Ministry of Economic Development has received more than 35,000 submissions on its review of section 4 of the Crown Minerals Act.

Ms Turei says the government's attitude and its failure to properly consult with iwi in affected areas have revealed what it really thinks about Maori interests.

“When you compare it to the Tuhoe issue, they’re happy to give away conservation land to the mining industry for someone else to make a big fat profit but they’re not prepared to consider treaty claims over the conservation, they’re not prepared to consider the public view and they’re not prepared to consult with Maori over what is their land and waahi tapu,” she says.


The chair of Restorative Justice Aotearoa, Mike Hinton, says the new Sentencing and Parole Reform Act is a direct attack on Maori communities.

What's known as the three strikes Act imposes long sentences without parole on criminals on the third conviction for crimes of a violent or sexual nature.

Police Minister Judith Collins says it will ensure the worst repeat violent criminals have less chance to reoffend, and puts the rights of victims and their families to the fore.

But Mr Hinton says its effect will be to provide the prison industry with more Maori clients.

“More Maori are locked up than anybody else. If that money was spent on rehab and addressing the causes of crimes, then they wouldn’t have the prisoners to lock up because they wouldn’t have the criminals. They’re not addressing the social and economic drivers of crime,” he says.

Mr Hinton says most victims of crime prefer rehabilitation to retribution.


The Federation of Maori Authorities sees Maori as the ideal buyers of privatised state assets.

Labour leader Phil Goff thas called on Maori leaders to oppose National's second term privatisation plan, as they did in the late 1980s and early 90's

But federation chief executive Ron Mark says the situation today is vastly different, and the concern of Maori is that assets stay in New Zealand hands.

“What we are talking now is m taking a stake in nz inc themselves and the o ne thing nz shd be v happy with is knowing m will do so with v v long timelines in mind,” he says.

Many Maori trusts and incorporations have come through the recession in a healthy state and are keen to diversify beyond agriculture.


Rotorua lawyer Annette Sykes from Ngati Pikiao says the three strikes law is a new colonial battlefront for Maori.

The Sentencing and Parole Reform Act passed last night by the Government with ACT's support ups the sentences handed out to people convicted multiple times of violent or sexual crimes.

Ms Sykes says the in-built bias in the justice system means Maori will be disproportionately affected.

She says it's no solution to reducing crime.

“One of the things that Maori have long challenged since Moana Jackson’s investigation (in the 1980s) into the criminal justice system is this doggedness on behalf of this Crown and previous governments to follow American laws which have failed in their own country and introduce them almost like a new colonization into our country,” Ms Sykes says.

New Zealanders don't even play baseball, where the three strikes metaphor comes from.


Meanwhile, the Corrections Department's head of rehabilitation and reintegration services says the involvement of iwi will be a major element in how two planned Maori reintegration units will work.

The Government has set aside almost $20 million to build 16-bed Whare Oranga Ake at Maungaroa prison in the Hawkes Bay and the new Springhill prison near Meremere.

Alison Thom from Ngapuhi says success depends on strong partnerships with iwi and Maori service providers.

“They will be the link to communities so that will involve them assisting prisoners in getting work, assisting them gaining skills such as parenting skills, and also assisting in getting the right supportive accommodation they will need when they leave Whare Oranga Ake,” Ms Thom says.

The units should be up and running by the second half of next year.


Principals and team leaders involved in Te Kotahitanga are at the Tainui Endowed College this week learning the latest methods on how teachers can improve the way they deal with Maori students in the classroom.

Programme head Russell Bishop from Waikato University says 50 schools with high Maori rolls are now involved, and the success of Te Kotahitanga in raising students' achievement has been confirmed by third party studies.

He says it has become a school reform programme rather than just professional development for teachers.

“We used to just focus on classroom change but now we are seeing we need to focus on supporting leaders to change the whole institution. It’s quite expensive. It’s time consuming. However, it’s nowhere near as expensive as the downstream effects of not supporting Maori students to stay in schools adequately,” Professor Bishop says.

The infrastructure is now in place to make Te Kotahitanga available to all schools, if the Government was willing to fund it.

FOMA members keen on state assets

The chief executive of the Federation of Maori Authorities says FOMA members are keen to buy state assets if and when the government puts them up for sale.

Finance Minister Bill English has indicated that while the government intends to stick to its promise of no state asset sales this term, it's looking to privatise businesses like Kiwibank if it's reelected.

Ron Mark says FOMA members have come through the recession well, and see investment in state assets as a way to diversify from their agricultural base.

“There are many of our members who are sitting on cash reserves, who have very high levels of equity, very low levels of debt and they will be able to swiftly lever themselves into these opportunities of the due diligence stacks up,” he says.

Federation members would be particularly interested in water, utilities, transport, banking, construction and energy assets.


Labour leader Phil Goff says changes to the third Auckland super city bill still leave Maori in the cold.

He says public pressure forced the government to make the unelected Council Control Organisations slightly more accountable to elected officials, but they will still control more than half the rates.

And while local boards can have more members, they will still be totally dependent on the super city council.

“So essentially they’ve taken the local out of local government, they’ve passed a lot of the expenditure of our money across to unelected, unaccountable bodies, those things haven’t changed, Regardless of the bad process they’ve followed in the Royal Commission recommendations, they’ve left Maori without Maori seats on the Auckland Council,” Mr Goff says.

He says the government will fly a Maori flag on the Auckland Harbour Bridge one day a year but it won't give them meaningful representation in city affairs.


The Public Health Association want to limit the impact of the Budget on Maori families by having GST removed from healthy food.

Director Gay Keating says the government should apply the same logic it used to lift the tax on tobacco.

She says research from Auckland University shows providing nutritional information has no impact on healthy choices, but lowering the price does.

“It's not that people don't know what’s the good food to buy. People are telling us time and time again they can’t afford the healthy food. We want government to take the sensible step and make healthy food free of GST,” Dr Keating says.

The Public Health Association is urging MPs to send Maori Party MP Rahui Katene's bill removing GST from healthy food to a select committee so the issue can be publicly debated.


The first two units to reintegrate Maori prisoners back into their communities should be up and running by the second half of next year.

Whare Oranga Ake are the brainchild of Maori party co-leader and Associate Corrections Minister Pita Sharples.

Alison Thom, the corrections department's general manager for rehabilitation and reintegration services, says 16-bed units will be located next to Maungaroa prison in the Hawkes Bay and the new Springhill prison near Meremere.

“It's recognition that offenders engaging in rehabilitation and reintegration services inside prisons, as they get closer to their own communities there’s another opportunity for them to be tested about their change of thinking and about their preparedness for reengaging back with whanau and community by that extra place of confidence for them being outside the wire,” Ms Thom says.

Corrections will work closely with iwi and Maori service providers to give the inmates the bridge they need to move back into the community.


Auckland iwi Ngati Whatua says it needs to be front and centre when decisions are made about developing the city's waterfront.

Select committee changes to the third Auckland super city bill means the mayor and the Auckland Council will be able to develop a master plan for the area, not a waterfront development agency as previously suggested.

Ngarimu Blair, the iwi's culture and heritage manager, says Ngati Whatua harbours a deep sense of grievance about the loss of its foreshore and seabed along the Waitemata, and wants a formal say in its future.

“There are lots of other issues along the waterfront. We’re a major landholder if not one of the larges with our 1996 acquisition of the railway land site. We’re very keen to see how the waterfront will develop and what role we could play,” Mr Blair says.

He says the select committee ignored Maori submissions on the super city bill.


The Education Review Office says mainstream Early Childhood Centres need to work more closely with Maori parents.

Its evaluation services national manager, Diana Anderson, says the majority of Maori children attend mainstream centres, but too often teachers and principals don't respond adequately to the expectations of parents and families of Maori children.

She says some centres are showing the way.

“There's no one recipe for this but the most important thing is the teacher’s commitment to making sure that the Maori children get the very best start in their early childhood education that they possibly can. And then to going out and building really good relationship with Maori families so those families feel comforted and supported in the centre and that their children are getting contextually appropriate programme,” Ms Anderson says.

Research shows Maori children learn better when their education was put in a Maori context.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Three strikes and out for Ngatu Whatua

Auckland iwi Ngati Whatua says the third Auckland super city bill fails yet again to give Maori a real voice.

Culture and heritage manager Ngarimu Blair says the select committee has ignored Ngati Whatua's submissions on the design of the Maori advisory board.

The iwi wanted the seven mana whenua places on the nine member board to be evenly distributed among the main tribal groupings, to avoid jostling for mana.

Mr Blair says the bill ignores work Auckland iwi have done over the past year on settling regional treaty claims.

“Where we have joined together to manage our volcanic cones and where we have an easily distributed mana amongst the main iwi groupings, to us that’s the model because it’s come from the earth, from the people themselves rather than what we have in the super city Maori advisory board which has come straight out of Wellington,” Mr Blair says.


Labour leader Phil Goff wants Maori leaders to stand up against state asset sales.

He says spirited opposition from the Maori Council and other Maori groups forced governments to change tack during the last major privatisation push of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

This time round some some iwi are indicating they're in the market if the government is selling.

Mr Goff says finance minister Bill English plans to sell off the family silver to pay for tax cuts.

“That's wrong, it’s shortsighted, it’s stupid, it’s not what New Zealand wants. So we will work with the Maori Council, we will work with every sector in New Zealand to make sure the National Party can’t get away with its privatisation agenda,” he says.

Mr Goff says it's clear future privatisation of assets like the Ports company is a factor in the way Auckland is being restructured into a super city.


South Waikato iwi Ngati Raukawa are mourning the death of tribal stalwart Emare (Emily Rose) Nikora,

Mrs Nikora helped start Tokoroa's first kohanga reo in 1986, and was also a founder of the Raukawa Trust Board and the iwi's radio station.

She was awarded a Queens Service Medal for services to Maori.

Homai Uerata, a kaipapaho at the radio station, says Mrs Nikora was involved in all aspects of Maori development, but the reo held a special place in her heart.

“Emare, her dreams ands aspirations and the doorways and gateways she opened was to have the reo sustain its journey to its fullest,” he says.

Emare Nikora is lying at Maungatautari marae.


The Education Review Office says early childhood services need to lift their game when it comes to catering for Maori students.

A new report says nearly two-thirds of early childhood teachers and principals are not focused on helping Maori become competent and confident learners, and more than half the services aren't responding adequately to the expectations of whanau.

Diana Anderson, the ERO's evaluation services national manager, says 76 percent of Maori children attend mainstream early childhood services such as kindergarten or Playcentre, and parents have every right to expect their children will be given the best start in education.

“The system has to fit the student rather than the student fitting the system and this is really what’s come out in this evaluation, that the services that are doing really well are responding to the children and the families that are attending, not saying this is how we do things in our centre, you fit in,” Ms Anderson says.

The report shows many mainstream centres do work well with Maori whanau in helping their tamariki reach their education potential.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei wants the government to limit advertising of junk food as a way of tackling obesity among Maori children.

Ms Turei says a new Advertising Standards Authority code on food advertising is likely to be as unsuccessful as the voluntary code it replaces, because the same people are behind it.

She says a complete ban on advertising unhealthy food to children is a way to address what is turning into a crisis of childhood obesity.

Ms Turei says the most accessible food for low income Maori is often unhealthy food.


A Taranaki iwi says a new public statue in Hawera is its way to mark the completion of its treaty settlement process and look to the future.

Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui has placed the 3 metre high bronze statue of the ancestor Ruaputahanga at the entrance of the TSB Hub events centre.

Iwi member Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, the deputy mayor of South Taranaki, says their tupuna was known for her integrity and love for her people.

Tainui clusters for growth

Tainui wants to accelerate tribal development by devolving more resources to the marae level.

It has unveiled a new structure under which its 68 marae will be grouped into six clusters which will identify opportunities, either in setting up businesses or in chasing government contracts to deliver services.

Chairperson Tukoroirangi Morgan expects the clusters will in different directions as they respond to needs in their own areas.

“To build businesses to strengthen families, to take opportunities whenever benefits can be got at a cluster level of marae, at a hapu level, and at a tribal community level,” he says.

Mr Morgan says the nine Tainui marae in Tamaki Makaurau may move into tourism on the back of the tribe's investment in the new airport hotel, while Hamilton based marae might use Tainui's investment in The Base shopping centre to go into retailing.


Tariana Turia has been counting up the Maori Party's wins in the Budget.

She says while only $160 million was set aside for specifically Maori projects, including Whanau Ora and two new centres to reintegrate Maori prisoners back to the community, the party managed to influence at least $440 million of the Government's future spending.

She says Maori will benefit from the extra $24 million for insulating low income households, $5.9 million for community law centers, $93 million in the disabilities area and an increase in spending on some family services, including $14.9 million for teenage parents that will help many young Maori women.

Mrs Turia says Maori will also benefit for the extra $91 million set aside to increase the percentage of Maori and Pacific Island children in early childhood education.


Maori and Pacific evaluators want their profession to give more attention to cultural factors.

A Maori Pacifika Evaluation Hui Fono was held in Auckland over the weekend, bringing together many of the people who get called in to assess funding proposals or to measure the outcome of government-funded programmes.

Convener Tania Wolfgramme, who has a Maori and Tongan whakapapa, says better decisions can be made by factoring in cultural values and expectations.

“Maori and Pacific organisations have always been evaluated according to the values of non-Maori or non-Pacific. Evaluating from another perspective, it’s very hard to understand or even try to factor in our own values,” Ms Wolfgramme says.

She says Maori and Pacific peoples have always had their own ways of assessing merit and work based on traditional values and cultural expressions.


Tainui 's 68 marae are being given a chance to have their say on cleaning up the Waikato River.

Chairperson Tukoroirangi Morgan says the tribe's river settlement passed into law this month includes $50 million which can be used not only for restoration work but for river-related commercial ventures.

He says a new tribal development model has been developed, under which clusters of marae will launch new businesses and services, and this could lead to the creation of such businesses.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for our people to think creatively about how can we clean up the river up and how can we build good sustainable businesses that look after the environment, that restore the health and well being of the river, that provide long term jobs for our people. Our people need to be creative and innovative about what they want to do,” Mr Morgan


Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia is predicting more tensions between Maori and the Crown over treaty settlements.

The government has asked Tuhoe for a new meeting in three weeks to offer new options for settling its historic claims, after Prime Minister John Key ruled out any change of ownership of Te Urewera National part.

Mrs Turia says Maori are unlikely to accept the Crown's argument that the conservation estate belongs to all New Zealanders if it includes raupatu land confiscated from iwi without any compensation.

“Iwi asking for land back because that’s the preference, land for land, then brings huge tension. There is going to be significant tension going into the future that probably the Tuhoe situation has highlighted, but those tensions have always been there,” Mrs Turia says .

Maori expectations of good faith bargaining will be undermined if the Crown adopts a take it or leave it approach to treaty negotiations.


A lawyer who helped draft the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples says new information shows a pattern of government hypocricy.

Moana Jackson says documents released under the Official Information Act shows officials support for the declaration could raise expectations among Maori.

That led the government to make its support conditional on what it called New Zealand's unique constitutional, legal and policy frameworks.

Mr Jackson says New Zealand makes of a big play respecting human rights and international law.

“But when those human rights are meant to apply to indigenous people, they suddenly get all concerned. I think there is a strange hypocrisy in that stance. Of course international law was meant to have effect and if you are meant to apply with it, not get concerned it might apply to some people,” Mr Jackson says.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tuhoe reversal breathing spell for neighbours

The claimant for a Waikaremoana-based iwi is hailing the removal of Te Urewera from the bargaining table in Tuhoe's settlement talks.

Vern Winitana from Ngati Ruapani says Prime Minister John Key was right to stop the Crown's headlong rush into an agreement in principle with Tuhoe Establishment Trust negotiators.

He says the timetable ignores dissent both internally and with Tuhoe's neighbours, who met in Taupo recently to oppose the return of the national park to Tuhoe alone.

“Kahungunu were there, Pahauwera, Upokorehe, Whakatane, Ruapani ki Waikaremoana and also representatives from within Tuhoe. All these groups have some traditional or customary or even freehold interest within the park. For Tuhoe to claim it with very little consultation with those tribal interests was clearly wrong,” Mr Winitana says.

Meanwhile, Treaty negotiations minister Chris Finlayson has written to Tuhoe seeking a meeting in three weeks to present alternate settlement options which do not include the park land.


Waikato-Tainui has reorganised its marae to pursue economic and social development opportunities.

Tukoroirangi Morgan, the chair of the tribal executive Te Ara Taura, says the 68 marae in the rohe have been gathered into six clusters.

Each cluster will look at launching new businesses, as well as chasing government contracts to provide health, education and social services.

Mr Morgan says the tribe wants to influence how the government spends its Article Three money, the funding Maori are due as citizens rather than as tribal members.

“That's an activity that we’ve been in the main not as active as we should have been. We’re at a stage we can do both. There is the opportunity to use the design and framework of clusters to move out people in a much more meaningful and significant way,” Mr Morgan says.

He says each cluster will have its own board of directors, and seek funding for individual projects from the tribe's governing parliament.


Applications are open for this year's Ngarimu VC and 28th Maori Battalion Scholarships.

Minnie McKenzie from the Education Ministry's group Maori says on offer are three undergraduate scholarships of $10,000, a $15,000 master's cholarship and one giving an outstanding student $25,000 a year for three years to complete a PhD.

There's an additional one-year scholarship for enterprising, innovative and influential Maori outside the education who want to contribute to the well-being of their whanau, hapu and iwi.

The Manakura scholarship is available to those seeking to make a significant shift in their lives and community.

Applications must be able to show they have characteristics or attributes consistent with the 28 Maori Battalion soldiers.

Applications close at the end of June.


Labour MP Shane Jones says Maori voters have been given a clear choice in Bill English's second budget.

He says despite a few trinkets handed to the Maori Party, the main thrust was to stimulate economic growth by shifting the burden of tax from the wealthy on to low and middle income earners.

He says the next election will be fought on the success or failure of that core National Party strategy.

“This budget is not going to move us one step closer to Australia. It’s not going to stop the scores of Maori families leaving each week to go to Australia. They’re not going there because of tax. They’re going there because of crappy wages. They’re going there because they know in order to implement Bill English’s model of how the country should develop, they have to eke out an existence where they will get no wage rise and unfortunately once GST rises and inflation rises as the Treasurer has said, those poor roosters are going to get even less out of this budget,” Mr Jones says.


Maori Party co-leader and now Whanau Ora Minister Tariana Turia has dropped any pretense the new service delivery model is for anyone but Maori.

Before the Budget, the Prime Minister John Key said Whanau Ora would be an option for all New Zealanders.

But in detailing gains for Maori in last week's Budget, Mrs Turia highlighted the $134 million over four years given to the Maori Affairs Minister to fund 20 providers to implement the programme.

“That particular funding is definitely to restore to our families their rights and responsibilities to take care of their own. This is an opportunity to reempower those families to be the decision makers within their homes and to extend that to their extended families as well,” Mrs Turia says.


Maori rugby players are viewing next month's Maori rugby centenary games against England and Ireland as career-makers.

Commentator Ken Laban says a run against strong international opposition could be what Te Atiawa midfielder Luke McAllister needs to secure a spot in the All Black squad for next year's World Cup campaign.

He says McAllister has the goods to fill in if Daniel Carter is injured, and teamed with a strong backline in the centenary games, he has a chance to impress.

The Maori squad will be announced on Sunday, after the current All Black squad, which has first call on Maori players, has finalised its 26.

Budget thumbs down from community health workers

The head of Maori community health workers collective Te Whiringa believes last week’s budget will hit low income Maori hard.

Riripeti Haretuku says while the government says no one will be worse off, the reality is that retailers are already starting to increase the price of basic commodities in preparation for October’s GST increase.

She says increases in property taxes are likely to be passed on to tenants.

“The impact it will have on people whop are currently renting is they are likely to have to absorb rent costs as well on top of that. This is a population that is already hard pressed with what they are trying to cope with now,” Ms Haretuku says.

Te Whiringa will try to make the Maori Party aware of the negative impact the budget has on low income whanau.


The Maori Tourism Council is praising a $4.5 million investment into the sector.

Its chief executive, Pania Tyson-Nathan, says the money in last week’s Budget will be available on a contestable basis to operators promote to promote Maori tourism.

She says the industry is poised for growth and the extra fund will allow Maori to show themselves to the world as never before.

“Maori are absolutely elated to see a budget as recognition there is room for Maori tourism in the wider New Zealand tourism space,” she says.


Maori schools in Tai Tokerau are picking up on the ancient Maori game of kiorahi.

Resource teacher Paulette Lewis says it can be confusing at first, but the game is similar to Australian Rules football, and most students pick it up quickly.

She's now planning a kiorahi carnival to coincide with matariki or the Maori new year, inviting all the schools which have learned the game.


Development of a unique Maori brand is well advanced.

Funding for a brand which will help Maori producers get premium prices for their goods and services was included in the Budget.

Maori tourism council chief executive Pania Tyson-Nathan says work has been going on behind the scenes on the project, and it will be available to operators for future activities.

“A key strategy for us is to look at tourism and trade as a package so it is an opportunity to showcase the best we have to offer whether it’s produce, whether it’s tourism product, music, whatever,” Mrs Tyson-Nathan says.


A major study into aging in New Zealand has changed the age requirements for Maori subjects because it can’t find enough Maori in the older age group.

Professor Ngaire Kerse from Auckland University's school of population health says the initial aim was to interview 1200 85-year-olds in the Bay of Plenty about what life is like for the elderly.

However there were few Maori of that age, the requirement was changed.

“To be able to look at issues that are important for Maori, look at them in Maori only, we really need 600 Maori, and looking how far afield we would have to go to gather 600 Maori who are just 85, the area would be very large, so it was a pragmatic to widen that to an 80 to 90 band so we can find those people in the Bay of Plenty region,” Professor Kerse says.

The study will be used by government and non government agencies to plan future care for the aged.


Tauranga Maori are backing plans for a museum to be set up in the city as part of a historical trail.

Colin Bidois, the tangata whenua representative on the project evaluation committee, says Tauranga is the only city in New Zealand without a museum.

At the last elections the incoming council scrapped plans for a harbourside museum, but it has now decided to look at alternate locations.

Mr Bidois says Maori want the museum sited in Cliff Road, which has views over to Muauo and Mount Maunganui.

“Maoridom have unanimously chose a particular spot which is of particular significance to Tauranga Maori, and has a beautiful outlook,” Mr Bidois says.

Maori are keen for the Council to agree on a site before the next election so work can start.