Waatea News Update

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

My Photo
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, June 11, 2010

Repatriated taonga on show before Webb's auction

A once-in-a-lifetime collection of Maori, Australian Aboriginal and Pacific Island artifacts has gone on show in an Auckland auction house.

More than half the items to be auctioned at Webbs next Thursday night come from the Zanesville Museum of Art in Ohio, where they were a gift of a former Caterpillar bulldozer salesman who worked in Australia and the Pacific from the 1920s to the 70s.

Webbs managing director Neil Campbell says it's a chance to see an extraordinary range of museum quality taonga, which range from cloaks and jewelry to weapons to meeting house carvings.

“The presence that it has brought to this building, the mana that has brought to this building is something that will be missed when it goes out the door next week. We had the karakia and blessing last night with Eru Thompson and local kaumatua and we talked about that quite a lot. You can quite often walk into places with this sort of material and feel an energy, and it can be a positive energy or a confused energy. This is a positive energy,” Mr Campbell says.

There has been extraordinary international interest in the auction.


The holders of Maori domain names are being given a chance to get a macron in their address.

The power to add macrons has recently been added to the New Zealand registry of Internet addresses.

Debbie Monaghan, the domain name commissioner, says people who want their a, e, i, o and u's to conform to the grammatical standard before Maori language Week have until July 6 to make a sunrise application for a variant of their name which includes a vowel with macrons.

The registry is getting a positive response to Maori web-heads to the macron capability and the sunrise application mechanism.


Some of the great names from kapa haka history will get a chance to shine again this weekend in Wellington.

Te Papa Tongarewa's celebration of matariki, the Maori new year, features the third kaumatua kapa festival ... as well as an arts and crafts village and a Moko Village with national and international tattoo artists.

Organiser Mere Broughton says 11 culture groups are sending their senior citizens to the show, including Te Arawa, the Auckland Anglican Club, Ngai Tahu, Te Awa Tapuaha from Whanganui, Waikato, Te Roopu Tahiwi, Hokowhitu Atu and Whanau Apanui, totaling 350 kaumatua.

Te Papa's 18 days of matariki celebrations have become a highlight of the museum's calendar.


The Maori Party is threatening to spit the dummy unless the Government compromises on its replacement for the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

The Prime Minister, John Key, this week threatened that there would be no repeal if the Maori Party didn't support the proposal Attorney General Chris Finlayson intends to take to Cabinet on Monday.

The Iwi Leadership Group, which has been talking with the Government on the issue, is unhappy with the idea of putting the foreshore in a new type of ownership called public domain, rather than acknowledging a Maori interest up front.

Whip Te Ururoa Flavell says the Maori Party met today with the Iwi Group, and it has its own concerns it wants to put to ministers over the weekend, if a meeting can be arranged.

“At this time I can say we are not exactly jumping over the moon with joy with it but that remains to be seen whether that leads to leaving the bill to be fought on for another day or whether we stay with it and honour the commitment we made to our people to have it repealed and allow our people the right to justice,” Mr Flavell says.

The government has failed to address many of the iwi leaders' concerns.


Sports commentator Ken Laban says the switch from funding sports participation programmes to funding elite athletes will leave Maori and Pasifika out in the cold.

The government today announced it would spend up to $18 million a year more to keep New Zealand athletes wining on the world stage.

Its plans include reallocating some existing funding for the benefit of codes like cycling, rowing sailing triathlon and ocean kayaking.

Mr Laban says the numbers competing in triathlon are a fraction of those turning out each week for netball, rugby or touch football, which are maily played by Maori and Pacific Island communities.

He says the government should re-evaluate its criteria for what constitutes high performance sport.


One of the organisers of Te Matatini says Australian-based teams are improving.

Nine roopu are competing in Canberra this weekend for the three spots in next year's national kapa haka competitions in Gisborne.

Willie Te Aho says one in six Maori live in across the Tasman, and the standard of tutors and performers is getting better all the time.

Closer to home, Te Papa Tongarewa museum in Wellington is hosting a kaumatua kapa haka festival this weekend.

Public domain opens door for custom stoush

Ngati Porou chair Apirana Mahuika says iw may be wise to accept the Government's offered replacement for the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

The Iwi Leaders Forum has expressed its displeasure of the idea that the foreshore and seabed should be given a new status of public domain, rather than in Crown title, because they want up front acknowledgement that iwi share ownership.

But Mr Mahuika says every iwi has unique circumstances, and the government's proposal will give them room to move.

“Under the status quo it would be very difficult for us to look at ownership by the Crown and within that to wage our mana as part of that ownership by the Crown. In terms of the public domain, we can then lay our claims by saying we have customary rights in Ngati Porou to the foreshore and seabed so we can press our claims in a public domain arena,” Mr Mahuika says.

Repealing the Act could give the East Coast tribe a chance to beef up the settlement it has already reached on its customary rights claims to the foreshore and seabed.


Organisations working with people living with HIV and Aids have formed a new national collective.

Marama Pala, the executive director of the Maori Indigenous and South Pacific HIV/AIDS Foundation Trust, says the new collective should make it easier to get accurate information out to the various communities affected.

She says there is still a stigma in Maori community against people with the disease, which needed to be addressed.

“Some of our whanau and hapu on marae and things, they’re quite frightened and don’t want to share cups and things like that, so it’s abut getting the right information out to our whanau and hapu and letting them know you can’t get HIV from cups or talking to someone or hugging someone or even kissing someone,” Ms Pala says.


Australian kapa haka roopu will this weekend decide who makes the trip back home next year for Te Matatini.

Isaac Cotter, the chair of Maori Performing Arts in Australia, says four Victorian groups, two each from Western Australia and New South Wales and one from Brisbane will battle it out for the three positions.

He says the festival at Exhibition Park in Canberra also includes groups from other culutures performing between the Maori items.

“We're multi-cultural. Our people over here are marrying into Italian, Greek, so we will have Maori and other nationalities displaying their cultures as well as singing solos and duets and things like that,” Mr Cotter says.

The competition ends on Sunday with a Matariki celebration.


Former Green MP Sue Bradford is warning Maori they could be hit extra hard by the review of the country's welfare system.

The one time Unemployed Workers Union leader says the Welfare Working Group headed by former Commerce Commission chair Paula Rebstock is looking like a classic exercise in pseudo-consultation.

She says the signs are the government already knows what it wants to do.

“It's basically privatising welfare. The people at the bottom, Maori and Pacific Island people are bound to be the people that miss out most in any such scheme. They’re talking about time-limited benefits now. You know what that means. You can only be on a benefit for a certain time, cut you off even if you don’t have a job. How many more prisons are they going to build? How are people going to live if they don’t have any money survive?” Ms Bradford says.


A leading advocate of the use of wahakura or special flax bassinets in cot death prevention says a new study should give an objective measure of their effectiveness.

Dr David Tipene-Leach and Professor Barry Taylor from the University of Otago have got $1.2 million from the Health Research Council to look at not only whether will evaluate the baskets provide a safe sleeping environment, but whether their use affects rates of breastfeeding, infant sleep duration, and bonding between mother and baby.

Dr Tipene-Leach says while he has been an advocate for wahakura, his research colleagues will look at the issues with a dispassionate eye.

“They're filming babies overnight. They’ve done some work on bed sharing. They know the methodology. They have the experience in analyzing this work, bring a wealth of experience and an independent eye to make sure the study is robust,” he says.

Dr Tipene-Leach says the percentage of Maori babies that die from sudden infant death syndrome is too high.


A Maori group replanting sand dunes on the coast north of Dargaville has got a $10,000 injection from the ASB Community Trust for its mahi.

George Natahan Patuawa, the chair of the Hua Rakau Trust Ki Omamari, says the volunteer group has also benefited from scientific advice on how to combat the erosion caused by the prevailing winds along the west coast.

He says many of the group members are widows, and they would appreciate some younger blood to help with the work planting pohutukawa, pingaio and other native plants to bind the sand.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Board mill workers hope toxin battle over

A predominently Maori group of former Whakatane Board Mill workers believe the Ministry of Health is about to recognise their claims they were poisoned.

Spokesperson Joe Harawira says the 200 workers were exposed to the toxins used to treat timber at the mill, leaving many unable to work.

He says it has taken the 20 years since the mill closed to convince people the chronic illnesses they were suffered were caused by their mahi.

“We had to go out and connive our community, more importantly our hapus of Ngati Awa ki Whakatane. We managed to bring the whole community of Whakatane in and around to support us,” Mr Harawira says.

He says the workers are hoping for a compensation package that includes continuing health care not only for themselves but for their children and families.


Former Labour cabinet minister John Tamihere says he's sick of public agencies feeding on Maori misery.

The head of West Auckland social service provider Waipareira Trust told a welfare forum yesterday that prisons feast off repeat customers and many schools are good care providers but fail to educate their students.

He says the Waipareira Trust aims to become a Whanau Ora provider so it can challenge under-performance in areas like Education and Corrections.

We've got 93 schools over here. We’ll make them honest. It will happen, not by working with them, because they know all and they know how to cruch yu into the walls. It will happen because we will put in alternative systems together that show them to be poor performers and they should not be recipients our children and the money our children bring to them,” Mr Tamihere says.

He says Whanau Ora minister Tariana Turia is a little bulldog who is shaking up an entrenched system.


The Shanghai world trade Expo has given musician Elena Te Ngahu a chance to reach an audience of millions.

The Ngati Kahungunu violinist's performance during the opening ceremony caught the eye of the Shanghai Audio and Video Publishing House, and she's back at the New Zealand pavilion today launching a compilation drawn from her previous CDs.

She's also adding a cultural dimension, along with four-member kapa haka group Tumeke, to a delegation of Wellington businesses traveling to Shanghai, Beijing and Xiamen, and says it all helps build her profile.

Shanghai Audio and Video is also interested in recording her with traditional Chinese instruments.


Otago University researchers have been given $1.2 million by the Health Research Council to look at ways to reduce the high rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome among Maori babies.

Lead researcher David Tipene-Leach says he and professor Barry Taylor will study factors like breast feeding rates, sleep duration and bonding between mother and infant.

They will also assess use of the wahakura, the woven flax basket introduced three years ago to ensure separation between parents and baby sharing a bed.

Dr Tipene-Leach says they will compare how the wahakura stacks up against the bassinet, rather than whether it stops cot death.

“You'd need 15,000 babied enrolled into each arm of (randomized control trial) and we just can’t do that. We’re doing the second best thing and using a methodology that allows us to look at the safety and the benefit or the harm of the wahakura by comparing it to the bassinet,” Dr Tipene-Leach says.

About 30 of the 50 babies who die each year from SIDS each year are Maori.


Former associate education minister Parekura Horomia is defending teachers from a charge they are solely to blame for Maori educational underachievement.

Waipareira Trust head John Tamiher, a former Labour MP, has told the Government's Welfare Working Group that schools are good at child care but not educating Maori children.

Mr Horomia says there are many reasons Maori kids don't do well at school.

“I think it’s more of a class thing where some people have more opportunities. Well off kids in this country end up being very well educated so it is about poverty cycle at times and it is about people on lesser incomes and lesser benefits who struggle to even keep their kids at school,” Mr Horomia says.

He says Mr Tamihere's support for some of the government's more right wing policies won't help Maori in the long term.


The stars of the Maori screen are coming out for Matariki.

New Zealand On Screen has posted a new selection of Maori film, television, and music videos on its web site to mark the Maori new year.

The organisation's Maori advisor, veteran broadcaster Whai Ngata, who a fascinating selection of material is gradually being digitised and streamed on the site.

Among the new items on the site are excerpts from Taika Waititi's hit film Boy, the Patea Maori Club's Poi E clip, a maori mind episode of children's programme Playschool, and a Koha documentary on filmmakers Barry Barclay and Merata Mita.

Champions sought for Whanau Ora governance

The Whanau Ora governance Group is on the look-out for local champions who can oversee the programme at the regional level and guide its future development.

Group chair Rob Cooper from Ngati Hine says the success of the new delivery model for health and welfare services depends on its responsiveness to local needs and conditions.

He says the members of the regional leadership groups, who will sit alongside officials from the Health and Social Development ministries and Te Puni Kokiri, will be chosen over the next month.

“We want people who understand what is going on in the current environment and can help to do something about it, people who have got strong community involvement, not merely to sustain if you like the food parcel programmes but to find ways the elimination of those can become central to government policy positions,” Mr Cooper says.

The nominations for the three year positions are being managed by Te Puni Kokiri.


Kaitiaki iwi are talking with Horizons Regional Council on how they can help manage and clean up the Manawatu River.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia the council needs to work with iwi now and not wait for settlement.

Danielle Harris from Rangitaane, which is part of the Manuwatu leaders forum alongside Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Kauwhata, says iwi are already talking with the council on river issues.

“The mauri is very much affected at the moment by the level of pollution in our river and we are working quite positively with the Horizons Regional Council to seek to redress some of the water quality issues assoc with the river and to ensure our cultural goals with regard to the river are catered for and looked after,” Ms Harris says.

Rangitane's current negotiations with the Office of Treaty Settlements also include questions of river management.

The Child Poverty Action Group says tamariki Maori would benefit from the establishment of a cabinet post with responsibility for children.

Spokesperson Innes Asher says New Zealand spends about half what it should on children under six.

She says the suggestion of a dedicated minister for children, which was included in a new report by the Public Health Advisory Committee, makes sense.

“It's of particularly relevance to Maori because proportionately more Maori kids could have improved health and well being than they currently have and if we look at child health statistics for example, diseases are on average at least twice the European rates and with some conditions more than twice higher than that,” Professor Asher says.

A Minister for Children could fight in Cabinet for more resources for children who can't speak for themselves.


A leading constitutional scholar says vesting the foreshore and seabed in the Treaty of Waitangi could be the way to resolve current dispute between Crown and Maori.

The Government and the Iwi Leaders Forum are at odds over how to replace the Foreshore and Seabed Act, with Attorney General Chris Finlayson proposing the coastal zone be considered a public domain rather than being in Crown ownership, and the forum proposing the treaty partners share ownership.

Lawyer Alex Frame, a former director of the Treaty of Waitangi Policy Unit, says that's close to the idea he put in 2004 to the select committee considering the then-bill, where the treaty itself becomes the owner.

“It is not uncommon in common law for rights to be vested in, legal personality to be granted to things that aren’t people. For example which there is a series of Indian cases that recognise there is legal personality in Indian temple gods,” Dr Frame says.

Such legal fictions are the way bodies such as universities are given powers to enforce their rights, and they could allow balanced coastal management.


Maori and Pacific educators working in adult community education are looking at the unique cultural attributes they can bring to the profession.

Analiese Robertson, the chair of ACE Aotearoa, says the three day hui is looking at different ways of teaching and learning.

She says funding cuts mean new approaches are needed.

“When you've got no money you become really creative and we’ve had no money for a long time so it is about sharing some of the ways that we have been teaching and learning out in our communities specifically with adults but also looking at whanau methods, going to the people so it’s not necessarily they come to us. The learning environments might become their home,” Ms Robertson says.


Ticket sales are heavy for Saturday's opening of the Maori rugby centenary series in Whangarei.

New Zealand Maori take on a New Zealand Barbarians team at the new $18 million Northland Events Centre.

Northland Rugby Union chair Andrew Golightly says all covered seats are gone, but a few uncovered seats are still available.

“People are recognizing it’s a bit of a change to be part of Northland history and see it’s going to be a special game,” he says.

Mr Golightly predicts a crowd of around 25,000 if the weather in Whangarei is fine on Saturday as forecast.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Whanau ora regional leaders sought

Nominations have opened for people willing to serve on regional leadership groups for the new Whanau Ora service delivery programme.

Rob Cooper, the chair of the Whanau Ora Governance Group, says Te Puni Kokiri will be looking for people who are well known in their communities and are able to give clear advice about the sort of issues those communites are facing.

The groups will also include representatives from the ministries of Health and Social Development and Te Puni Kokiri.

He says their first task will be to assist in the selection of the whanau ora providers in their regions.

“There will be an important ongoing role in advising us about how the resources that are already funded for are being better applied basically. We see this as a way of enhancing the performance of everyone engaged in the whanau ora strategy,” Mr Cooper says.

He says as the government gains more confidence in Whanau Ora, the regional leadership groups may be called on to suggest new areas it can move into.


The country's newest dame says the battle between urban Maori groups and traditional iwi is continuing.

Dame June Jackson was knighted for her work in a range of fields, including running the Manukau Urban Maori Authority for two decades and for her long service on the Probation Board.

She says while the divide isn't as sharp as it was during the fisheries settlement allocation debate when MUMA had to go as far as the Privy Council to get the interests of urban Maori acknowledged, there is still competition for resources.

“It hasn't been easy for us. We have to fight for everything we do. We are just not included because the tribes say ‘you should go back to your people.’ That’s all well and good, but a lot of Maori migrated to the cities after the war, so you have this new group of Maori established away from the wa kainga,” Dame June says.


Rotorua artist June Grant is on her way to Canada to show work inspired by native American philosophies.

She is teaming up with pounamu carver Lewis Tamehana Gardiner and Tim Paul from the Nuu-chah-nulth nation of Vancouver Island for an exhibition on the Moon Mothers who care for the earth.

Mrs Grant, who was this week made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to Maori art and tourism, has been showing at the Spirit Wrestler Gallery since the early 1990s.

She says gallery co founder Nigel Reading has a strong connection to New Zealand through his Christchurch-born father.


A leading constitutional scholar has endorsed a proposal for joint ownership of the foreshore and seabed put up by the iwi leaders group.

Alex Frame, who headed the Treaty of Waitangi Policy Unit, the predecessor of the Office of Treaty Settlements, says the idea is similar to the notion of a treaty title, which he put in a submission to select committee hearing the original Foreshore and Seabed Act.

The government wants to replace Crown ownership of the foreshore with a concept of public domain, and is resisting iwi pressure to acknowledge the Maori interest.

Dr Frame says it's possible to vest the foreshore in seabed in the Treaty of Waitangi in a way which locks in all three articles of the treaty.

“Article one is the government’s regulatory function. Government still has power to exclude nuclear ships or whatever. Article two as to protected Maori rights, so that customary rights have a field in which they can be demonstrated, and article three, as to the legal equality of all citizens,” Dr Frame says.

He says a treaty council consisting of members appointed by the Crown and Maori could oversee the law and sort out any local disputes.


Manuwatu iwi are not giving up on getting a co-management deal for their awa similar to the Waikato River settlement.

Chris Finlayson, the Minister for Treaty Negotiations, has indicated he doesn't want to repeat of the multi-party Waikato deal because if its complexity.

But Danielle Harris, the principal negotiator for Rangitaane o Manuwatu, says the iwi's priority is finding the most effective way to clean up the Manawatu River.

“Well I can't pre-empt the outcome of a negotiation process. All I can say is iut is part of our discussions with the Crown,” she says.

Rangitane is also part of an iwi forum negotiating with Horizons Regional Council on river management issues.


A Maori health researcher and general practitioner says the rise in tax on tobacco could actually increase the amount Maori smoke.

Papers released to Radio New Zealand revealed Treasury opposed the April excise tax increase promoted by the Maori Party because it

Matire Harwood, who edits the Maori health review, says a recent United States study of smoking cessation efforts among Latino, African-American and Caucasian groups found people are less likely to stop smoking when they are under financial strain.

“When people are smoking, when they are addicted to tobacco, they’re going to find the money from somewhere in order to meet their addiction so put increased strain on the family which will create a cycle of ongoing smoking to reduce their stress,” Dr Harwood says.

The Government should research what smoking cessation programmes work with different groups and resource those.

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

Hamilton council needs to obey laws

Tainui's chairperson says the Hamilton City Council needs to start obeying the law instead of attacking the tribe in the courts.

The council says it intends to appeal a High Court judgment throwing out a plan change which would have stymied further development of Waikato-Tainui's Base retail and commercial centre at Te Rapa.

Mayor Bob Simcock says the ruling gives Tainui rights not enjoyed by other property developers.

But Tukoroirangi Morgan says the variation, brought in last September on the eve of a change to the Resource Management Act, was an act of bad faith on the part of the council.

“There's only one word to describe them and that’s hypocrisy because we have acted within the law and the council have not complied and they’ve tried to run through a plan change without meeting compliance,” he says.

Mr Morgan says the Hamilton council needs to remember laws are made by central government, not local government.


Canterbury Maori artists's collective Kohinga Toi is marking Matariki with two group exhibitions focusing on tradition.

At the Our City O-Tautahi Gallery in Christchurch's Worchester Street, the group has put together Pu Harakeke, celebrating the way the Maori new year brings together whanau and gives people a chance to consider where they have come from and where they are going to.

Its show Te Pataka at the Little River Gallery on Banks Peninsula focuses on traditional food gathering practices.

Member Paula Rigby, the Christchurch City council's Maori arts advisor, says Matariki was a time pataka or storehouses would be full of kai.

She says Kohinga Toi is helping the Maori voice to be heard in the region and encouraging experimentation and sharing.

Other artists in Kohinga Toi include Alice Spittle, Priscilla Cowie, Tairoa Flanagan, Asher Newbery, and Ranui, Te Rangimaria and Kapuakore Ngarimu.


Rotorua artist and Maori tourism icon June Grant sees her acknowledgement in the Queens Birthday honours List as a tribute to the entrepreneurial spirit of Te Arawa.

Mrs Grant, who has in recent times become more well known for fronting a breast cancer awareness campaign, was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

She says growing up in Whakarewarewa, she learned how culture and business could work together.

“The women from the village were always entrepreneurial including our grandmothers and my nanny Makareti Papakura and Bella Papakura and my nanny Rehi Waaka and I can see them standing in a line being very proud,” Mrs Grant says.


The editor of the Maori Health Review is backing up Treasury's contention that putting up the price of tobacco won't stop people smoking.

Official papers reveal that Treasury opposed the reasoning for April's excise rise of 10 percent on a packet of cigarettes and 24 percent on loose tobacco.

Dr Matire Harwood says a recent United States study of smoking cessation found low income Latino and African American people were more likely to take up smoking, and found it harder to give up, when they were under financial strain.

“I personally have some concerns that we face the same situation that Maori and Pacific people are probably more likely to be under financial strain and respond in the same sort of way and so that by putting extra taxes on them you increase the strain on them and their whanau and yet it doesn’t have any effect on them reducing their smoking intake or tobacco intake,” Dr Harwood says.

Higher tobacco prices may discourage some teens from starting smoking, and they can help people who have access to quality cessation treatment.


A Maori sports psychologist is using culture and tribal history to encourage exercise among rangatahi.

Irirangi Heke from Otago University’s school of physical education has been trying out his ideas at Tolaga Bay Area School on the East Coast.

He says young people need something to grab their attention and turn their attention away from computer games and towards physical activity.

“For example up on the coast here is the resting place of Maui’s waka. Now for all of them this is part of their whakapapa, and if we say to them ‘we will take you to this place but we need to do some other exercise to get you conditioned to be able to go up that maunga,’ then they can see the link between those,” Dr Heke says.

He is talking with the Ministry of Health about how to develop his kaupapa Maori approach to fitness.


More than 500 delegates are in Auckland for the fourth International Indigenous Conference on Traditional Knowledge.

Charles Royal from the host group Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, the centre for Maori research excellence, says Aotearoa is seen as a world leader in indigenous transformation.

He says while they still face disparities in health status and educational under-achievement, the cultural renaissance means Maori are finding ways to move beyond colonisation, oppression, marginalisation and disenfranchisement.

“What's also emerging is the idea of the creative potential of our communities. That is where our communities rediscover their own creative centre, their experiences of their own mana and start building from there. Whereas previously we might be acting through experiences of loss, now we are moving into this new arena where we are motivated and act on the basis of what we actually have,” Professor Royal says.

He says the creative potential of Maori communities is good for the nation as a whole.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Tainui wins over council on Variation 21

Tainui chairperson Tukoroirangi Morgan says the Hamilton City Council needs to obey the law rather than fight the tribe in court.

The High Court has ruled a scheme change known as Variation 21 was illegal because the council failed to consult the iwi.

Because it limited commercial development to a ring around the central business district, Variation 21 would have stalled development of Tainui's Base retail and office centre on the city's northern fringe.

Hamilton mayor Bob Simcock says the council will appeal, because the ruling gives Tainui more rights than other property developers.

But Mr Morgan says Tainui acted within the law.

“The act is there to serve all people including iwi and we have complied. The High Court judgment is indication of our compliance and the council’s disregard for proper process and the law and I have one message to the mayor and his councilors. Act within the law,” he says.


Meanwhile in Tamaki Makaurau, Ngati Whatua o Orakei is accusing Auckland City Council of bias over expressions of interest for a new convention centre.

The Auckland iwi wants to build a centre in former railway yards behind the Vector Arena.

A council feasibility study favours further development of the Aotea Centre and the Sky City casino complex because of their access to hotels, but Ngati Whatua chief executive Tiwana Tibble says the study reads like a justification for a decision that’s already been made in back rooms.

“They can’t just skew it off to one side and so everything is to be developed like it appears to be heading at the moment where the council and ARC and Sky City all get together, they want to develop around a casino and around the Viaduct Basin. That just skews it to one side. Hey, don’t avoid our side. Don’t ignore us,” he says.

Mr Tibble says the Ngati Whatua site is best because of proximity to the harbour.


A Pakeha expert on te reo Maori says his parents set him on the path to mastery of the language.

John Moorfield from AUT University's Te Ara Poutama faculty of Maori innovation and development was yesterday awarded a Queens Service Medal for his work, including the development of Te Whanake Maori language textbooks.

Professor Moorfield says his father amassed a library of books on Maori and sent his son to St Stephen's Maori Boys college in south Auckland.

“There was a world there that a lot of Pakeha New Zealanders didn’t know about and the best way to access that world was through the language so that really stimulated my interest and it has been a lifelong pleasure to work in this field and I’ve been really lucky in that I’ve had some wonderful mentors who have enabled me the make that contribution I wanted to make,” Professor Moorfield says.

Those mentors included his first Maori language teacher at St Stephens, John Waiti, and his university teachers Bruce Biggs, Patu Hohepa, Hugh Kawharu and Hori Ngata.


Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says the Government could be putting the future of Maori communities in the Bay of Plenty and East Coast at risk by opening up the seas to oil companies.

Ms Turei says National has ignored Maori in issuing a prospecting license for the Raukumara Basin to Brazilian oil explorer Petrobras.

She says it’s an extraordinary decision, given the environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico at BP’s Deepwater Horizon well.

“We know what’s just happened in the States, We know how impossible it is for these big companies to control the environmental impact and we also know the government is changing the law to make it easier for these companies to do this kind of work. The potential for disaster with this one is quite high,” Ms Turei says.

She says planned changes to environmental laws will mean less scrutiny for the project.


A body which provides independent advice to the Minister of Health says the infant mortality rate for Maori children ranks just above that of Mexico and Turkey.

In its report on the state of child health in New Zealand, the Public Health Advisory Committee says the health status of Maori children is low, particularly when they come from poorer areas.

Committee member Sheila Williams says there is a clear link between income and health.

“Overcrowded living conditions and socioeconomic deprivation are related to health. We also know that Maori and people living in deprived areas have les access to appropriate and effective medical care. So those may be some of the factors that affect Maori health, but we also know that immunization rates are lower among Maori,” Dr Williams says.

The report recommends one way to tackle the problem is by having a children’s minister, so children get someone speaking on their behalf in Cabinet.


The author of a new book on civilan life during World War Two says the complexity of the Maori experience merits further study.

Among the people Alison Parr interviewed for Home was Paraparaumu's Riria Utiku, whose husband Rangi was excluded from military service because of an earlier bout of tuberculosis.

Ms Parr says because of Maori support for the war effort, that had a profound effect on their social and working lives.

Because Mr Utiku felt so self-conscious about not serving, the couple ended up withdrawing from public activities, including involvement in the Ngati Poneke club.

Alison Parr, the author of Home: Civilian New Zealanders Remember the Second World War

Queen’s honour to Dame June

The country’s newest dame says she’s just your average Maori woman.

Temaranga Bartley - Jackson, known as June, was made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to Maori, including more than 20 years at the head of the Manukau Urban Maori Authority.

She is the longest serving member of the Parole board and works closely with Maori and non-Maori on their release from prison.

Other Maori honoured include another June Jackson, Wellington community worker June te Raumangi Jackson and husband Sam, artist Arnold Wilson, Rotorua tourism identity June Grant, Eru Morehu, also of Rotorua, and Grant Pirihi of Whangarei.


A $50 million dredging plan to deepen shipping channels in Tauranga Harbour will go ahead despite objections from local iwi.

Environment Bay of Plenty commissioners ordered the port company to work with a tangata whenua reference group to monitor the work and make plans for kaimoana restoration, such as reseeding pipi beds.

Dee Samuel, the resource manager for the Ngai Te Rangi runanga, says the iwi is still concerned about the effect of taking up to 15 million tonnes of silt from the harbour.

“That's actually a huge amount of seabed and sand. Or technical expertise was that the coastal system would find it very hard to survive such a loss,”: he says.

The work will destroy a large pipi bed which has been made into a mataitai reserve under customary management.


Waikato-Tainui chair Tukoroirangi Morgan says if the government puts Solid Energy up for sale, the iwi would be keen to buy a stake.

The iwi has given its blessing to plans by another large coal producer, L & M Energy, to prospect a large area around Huntly.

Mr Morgan says it’s an industry the Waikato-based tribe understands and wants to be part of.

“If there is an opportunity for the Crown to sell, then we would be seriously interested in acquiring some stake in a particular industry that is important not only to the lifeblood of the region but also of the tribe,” he says.


The sole dame in this year's Queen's birthday honours list is over-whelmed by the honour.

Dame Temuranga Batley-Jackson says she still wants to be called June, a name given by primary school teachers who couldn't pronounce her name.

She says while she holds a queens service medal for her work with the Manukau Urban Maori Authority and other organisations, the new honour caught her by surprise.

“A bit overwhelming. I certainly didn’t expect anything like this. I don’t think it’s really about me. I just happen to be around at this time. I’m not the only one who does this type of work,” Dame June says.

It was a double celebration for Nga Whare Waatea, the Auckland urban marae set up by Dame June, as Ngapuhi kaumatua and Radio Waatea talkback host Denis Hansen received a Queens Service Medal.


Ngati Whatua has found itself in competition Auckland City Council and listed casino operator Sky City over who might build a new convention centre in the super city.

The iwi is part of a consortium wanting to build a 30,000 square metre exhibition hall, railway station and underground carpark on former railyard land it owns behind the Vector Arena.

A council feasibility report claims mid city sites near SkyCity and the Aotea Centre are more suitable because of access to hotels.

But Tiwana Tibble, the chief executive of Ngati Whatua o Orakei Maori Trust Board, says the council’s thinking is flawed.

“We say and our research says things change. You go to Melbourne, they’ve just opened a brand new hotel next to the convention centre after it was built. You go to the Southbank in Brisbane, they build the hotels often after you build the convention centre. We’ve got space to build as well. We think that kind of research is biased,” Mr Tibble says.

Ngati Whatua’s vision is for a golden mile along Quay St connecting is convention centre to the Viaduct Basin restaurant precinct.


Greens leader Meteria Turei says the Government has botched its reform of the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

A national hui of iwi leaders last Friday said it was unhappy with the replacement Cabinet intends to consider over the next couple of weeks, and it wants more time to negotiate an alternative which recognizes iwi and hapu ownership of the foreshore.

Ms Turei says Maori distrust has been heightened by government’s failure to consult before licensing Brazilian company Petrobras to prospect off the Bay of Plenty.

“If government wants support for its foreshore legislation, they can’t then exclude Maori from the decisions that are most critical, and that is around the resource use or the use of the seabed resource for economic development,” Ms Turei says.