Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tobacco sale ban call gets ministerial tautoko

Maori Affairs Minister and Maori Party leader Pita Sharples has put his weight behind a call from Otago University researchers for tobacco sales to be phased out by 2020.

In a paper published today in the New Zealand Medical Journal, a team led by Dr Tony Blakely said ending tobacco sales in 10 years would add five years to Maori life expectancy by 2040.

Dr Sharples says with almost 50 percent of Maori now smoking, it's the most effective way to reduce Maori mortality and ethnic disparities.

“I’m 100 percent behind that drive and I do believe him, that there are things like smoking that we just do and it complicates so many illnesses later on in life and it backfires on us, so yes, lot of truth in that,” Dr Sharples says,

He says while the current ant-smoking battle is focused on price rises and banning displays, ways must be found to make smoking unacceptable in Maori society.


The head of Tainui's commercial arm says while iwi are ideal candidates to participate in public private partnerships, they can't do them on their own.

Finance Minister Bill English says crown agencies must now look at the PPP option for all infrastructure projects over $25 million.

Mike Pohio from Tainui Group Holdings says many post-settlement iwi already own assets they lease back to the Crown, but an added layer of due diligence will be needed for the sort of new builds Mr English is talking about.

“We have a certain amount of financial capacity as an investor. What we need to do is have a strategic partnership with a builder, a strategic partnership with an operator if an operator is required and somebody that can help us through that initial process of ensuring the right drivers are in place for the contractual arrangements between the private sector provider and the Crown's requirements,” Mr Pohio says.

He says a consortia of iwi might get together to build infrastructure.


A mega-Matatini is on the cards as the order of performance has been set for the 42 teams in next February's Maori performing arts festival in Gisborne.

Organising committee member Willie Te Aho says last year's top three teams, Te Waka Huia, Whangara mai Tawhiti and Te Kapa Haka o Te Whanau a Apanui are spread across the three pools, reducing fears of a pool of death emerging.

But many of the teams may find the pool days a rehash of their regional competitions.

“For regions like Tairawhiti we’ve got six teams, three teams in the first pool and three in the second, rather than an even spread and also I see Te Arawa have four of their teams in the last pool. That’s not a big issue. When teams go there to compete they go there to win and it doesn’t really matter where you’re placed, you’ve got to beat everyone to win,” Mr te Aho says.

Te Matatini will be a marathon for judges, with 14 teams to grade each day and then nine in the finals.


Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says iwi-involvement in public private partnerships may eventually lead to jobs for Maori, but in the short term it won't affect the high Maori unemployment rate.

He says the Government's announcement public private partnerships must be considered for state sector projects worth more than $25 million opens the door for iwi to exercise their growing economic muscle.

“The opportunities are great and we are standing at the threshold of a boom in terms of our iwi involvement in that industry and jobs will flow and that’s the contradiction, that whole this money is being invested in these joint ventures to create capital and jobs, at the moment jobs aren’t available and people are looking to their iwi to say, what about us,” Dr Sharples says.

He says there is no magic formula for creating jobs, but he has been investing in developing Maori entrepreneurship and training Maori to work on infrastructure projects.


The head of Otago University's Christchurch-based Maori health team says new research shows Maori are seeing their doctors more than previously believed, but they are not always asking for the right treatments.

Director Suzanne Pitama from Ngati Kahungunu will use the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation open day on Sunday to update the public on a major study of Maori heart health.

She says there are differences from other ethnic groups such as higher levels of cholesterol, but general practitioners don't always ask the right questions of their Maori patients.

“Each time we go to the doctor, even if it’s for an injury or one of our vaccinations, as a Maori community we should be actively asking and demanding form our general practitioners that we undertake and have the opportunity to have the screening for cardiovascular disease to ensure that we are diagnosed and managed,” Ms Pitama says.

Final results of the heart study are due out early next year.


Work by members of northern Japan's indigenous Ainu community will be shown alongside work by Ngai Tahu artists and craftspeople at a show opening at the Otago Museum tomorrow.

Clare Wilson, the museum's exhibitions director, says it celebrates the 30th anniversary of Dunedin's sister city relationship with Otaru on Hokkaido.

She says most of the Ainu works are traditional tapestries, while the Ngai Tahu contribution includes jewelry, textiles, wood, paintings and sculpture which puts a contemporary spin on tradition.

The exhibition runs until November

Iwi best partners for infrastructure investment

Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon has welcomed the Government's announcement that public-private partnerships need to be considered for any state sector infrastructure project costing more than $25 million.

In his role as a member of the Minister of Maori Affairs' Maori Economic Development Taskforce, Mr Solomon prepared a report on how iwi could invest in infrastructure.

He says iwi are building their commercial expertise and economic weight, and they are idea partners for government because they must take a longer term view than conventional companies.

“If you've got a long term outlook then you need partners or potential partners that have the same time frame and I would argue that Ngai Tahu’s perfect partners would be other iwi, Maori land incorporations, the Crown, local and territorial authorities and tertiary, because all of those other institutions have the same time frame as Maori, as iwi,” Mr Solomon says.

Iwi also have the advantage that they are not going to leave the country and they reinvest profits in their own areas.


Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell wants the trade training schemes of yesteryear re-established to fight Maori unemployment.

The schemes disappeared with the demise of the Department of Maori Affairs in the late 1980s.

Mr Flavell says the Maori Party will take up the idea with the Minister for Tertiary Education, Stephen Joyce.

He says teaching young Maori skills is the way to get them off the dole queue, where one in six Maori now are standing.

“One of the great things about the scheme was it meant people lived together, they trained together, they supported each other, they had support mechanisms like dorm people to look after them, so it was a big package so while we support the notion of trade training as a concept it is actually a bigger picture about how we can expand it and make it even better than it was in years gone by,” Mr Flavell says.


Meanwhile, Maori tertiary educators are grappling with how they can cater for the growing numbers of young Maori.

About 300 of them are at a hui at Pipitea marae in Wellington organised by Ako Aotearoa, the National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.

Hui spokesperson Ngahiwi Apanui says over the next two decades the Maori population could grow at two to three times the general rate, placing special demands on educators.

“There's a huge population spike happening in the next 20 years and we have to be ready for when those tamariki or those taitamariki rangatahi are ready to move into tertiary training,” Mr Apanui says.


New research from Otago University shows Maori could expect to live about five years longer if tobacco sales were banned.

Professor Tony Blakely, who led the research reported in today's New Zealand Medical Journal, says phasing out tobacco sales by 2020 would be the single most important and feasible action to reduce Maori mortality and ethnic disparities.

Projecting the effect of the change out to 2040, non-Maori live expectancy would also rise by three years.

“So it' a huge win win. Everybody wins out of it and you see reductions in inequality, so we think it’s a very sensible thing to be doing,” Professor Blakeley says.

Just under 50 percent of Maori and 22 percent of the whole population smoke, directly resulting in up to 5000 deaths a year.


A Maori digital media company expects international spinoffs from its participation in the Singapore International Book Fair.

Rhonda Kite from Kiwa Media says there was a lot of interest in its QBook Apple iPad application that allows books to be published with interactive elements and multiple choices of language.

The former Maori Businesswoman of the Year says digital publishing is still in its infancy, but Kiwa's experience dubbing television cartoons into Maori has given it a head start.

“We were one of the very few companies there exhibiting interactive digital books for children on the iPad device. We got a lot of very good feedback around that. We made CNN News, we got written up in the New York Times, so it’s very exciting for us,” Ms Kite says.

There are already 18 QBooks titles, including the first of Lynley Dodd's Hairy Maclarey series and one of Huia Publisher's big sellers, Barnaby Bennett.


Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says the haka should not be blamed for violence in rugby.

Organisers of the Roller Mills primary school rugby tournament in the Waikato next month have banned teams from doing haka because they say the young players can't cope with the strong emotions it stirs up.

But Dr Sharples says they're being ridiculous.

“Do not blame Maori haka for the violence in rugby. They see violence in rugby every weekend by bigger players than them. Perhaps it’s time we addressed that violence and stopped blaming things like the haka,” he says.

Dr Sharples says if it is taught properly, the kids will know the haka is not only a method of uniting the team but also of showing respect to the opposition team.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ngai Tahu-built Christchurch council chamber opens

Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon says the new Christchurch City Council headquarters shows what iwi can achieved through public private partnerships or PPPs.

Finance Minister Bill English says in future PPPs must be an option for any government infrastructure project costing more than $25 million.

Mr Solomon says the former mail centre on Worcester Boulevard has been redeveloped as a joint venture between the council and Ngai Tahu Properties, and the ongoing rentals will give the tribe a better return than leaving its money in the bank.

“The total cost of the building was around $113 million. Both partners put up the same amount, refurbished the building and have presented the headquarters to the council. But it is my argument that it is the first PPP between a local authority and an iwi,” he says.

Mr Solomon says over the next 20 years, up to $60 billion of infrastructure work needs to be done.


Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia says many communities in his electorate are facing third world conditions because of systemic unemployment.

Mr Horomia says while the Maori jobless rate nationally is just over 16 percent, predominantly Maori communities like Flaxmere and Wairoa are experiencing unemployment of closer to 50 percent.

He says on an average income of $18,000 a year there is no way many of his constituents can save or invest in their futures.


Contestants in next February's Te Matatini kapa haka festival in Gisborne next year are on tenterhooks as they find out when their roopu will perform.

The draw for the 42 team places will be done live tonight on Maori Television, overseen by Matatini chair Selwyn Parata.

Host Julian Wilcox says there will be concern that some gun teams could be eliminated early if a so called “pool of death” emerges with a lot of good teams end up in the one pool.

The optimum time to perform in the three-day festival is a subject of much debate.


A south Auckland budget advisor says last month's food and energy price rises are now hitting Maori families.

Food prices rose 1.6 percent in July with the major contributors being fresh milk and a winter increase in vegetable prices.

Energy prices were raised from July 1 to cover the introduction of the Emissions' Trading Scheme.

Makere Biddiss of Whare Mauriora Budgeting Service in Otahuhu says it's all taking a toll, expecially on whanau where breadwinners lost jons in the recession, and even the price of a loaf becomes an issue.

More than half of her clients are now relying on food grants.


More than 300 tertiary educators from around the country are at Pipitea Marae in Wellington to discuss how institutions can better meet the needs of Maori.

Hui organiser Ngahiwi Apanui, the kaihautu Maori at the National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence, Ako Aoteoroa, says the Maori population will continue to grow faster than the general rate.

He says educators need be ready for when those rangatahi are ready for tertiary training, and they also need to be able to respond to the demands of iwi.

“I think what you will see in the next 15 or so years is that iwi will take an increasing ownership in tertiary education because they will want the skills and knowledge to be able to implement those long term visions they have for their particular iwis,” Mr Apanui says.


The head of a Maori-owned digital media company Kiwa Media believes there is huge international potential for its QBook application for the Apple iPad.

Rhonda Kite says Kiwa's approach to the electronic book encourages reader interaction and allows for multiple language versions.

There are now 18 QBook titles, including Lynley Dodd's Hairy MacLarey and Hannah Rainforth's Barnaby Bennett, which comes in English, Maori and Japanese versions.

Ms Kite says the technology was well received at the London and Singapore book fairs, as publishers grapple with the challenges of digital publishing.

“It's an insatiable market potentially out there and we’re not scared of working in languages and that gets back to our experience in dubbing cartoons into Maori and we’ve been doing that for seven years and have led the way for the technology and the methodology around that in New Zealand. It doesn’t scare us working in multiple languages and I think that’s one of the biggest assets we bring to the marketplace,” Ms Kite says.

Kiwa Media is talking to investors about pushing the QBook technology into more international markets.

Motu cycleway offers promise to Whakatohea

Eastern Bay of Plenty iwi Whatakatohea hopes a cycleway along the Motu River will boost tourism and revive communities hit by declines in forestry and farming.

The $1.7 million being put into the Motu Trails project is being hailed as the largest ever government investment in the Opotiki District.

Robert Edwards, the chair of the Whakatohea Maori Trust Board, says as well as providing construction and maintenance jobs for people in the small villages of Matawai and Motu, there could be opportunities to tell visitors about the rich Maori history of the area.

“Along the divide there are a lot of prominent places that we need to put our pou in history up because there is a lot of history in the valley, Waioeka valleys and blending right into Tuhoe country,” Mr Edwards says.

Te Kooti Rikirangi lived in the area before he was chased into the King Country and Taranaki by the armed constabulary.


A south Auckland budget advisor says a rise in online job ads is unlikely to affect her clients.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett announced the 39 percent year on year rise yesterday as an indication the economy is in recovery mode.

But Makere Biddiss from Whare Mauriora Budgeting Services says many of the Maori who lost their jobs as the recession bit don't have the sorts of skills being sought now.

Their struggle is to adapt to living on a benefit after living close to the average wage.

Makere Biddiss says many of her clients are doing voluntary work to stay motivated.


Former Northern Maori MP Bruce Gregory says the Waitangi Tribunal is inhibiting kaumatua from giving evidence.

The Tribunal is in Panguru in the north Hokianga this week for the third hearings on Northland historical claims, including an examination of Ngapuhi views on whether they conceded sovereignty by signing the Treaty of Waitangi.

Before the hearing, presiding judge Craig Coxhead issued a memorandum slating the way some witnesses at the second hearing had failed to stick to their briefs of evidence or to address the questions the tribunal was asking.

Dr Gregory says kaumatua are rankling at the time limits and the restrictions.

“Maori korero is sort of global and it’s not until they have finished their korero, whatever length of time that takes, that you get a picture really what they are trying to say,” Dr Gregory


Ngati Rereahu descendants will this month be asked if they will accept a settlement for the loss of almost 20 thousand hectares around the Pureora Forest northwest of Lake Taupo.

Glen Katu from Te Maru o Rereahu Trust says a Crown offer involving cash, crown forest and conservation land, cultural redress and an apology will be put to five hui in Auckland, Wellington and the central North Island.

The claim is over the way the Crown used survey liens and other legal devices to take the Maraeroa A and B blocks in the 1880s and 90s, leaving the iwi with just the 5000 hectare Maraeroa C block.

Mr Katu says while the settlement is a fraction of what was lost, the iwi was able to get around a settlement policy that forced claimants into what the Crown calls large natural groupings.

“We were very lucky to get there and in our favour is that this settlement is not ‘on account’ of te Rohe Potae o Maniapoto claims, it’s over and above so our settlement will not impact on the wider Maniapoto Rohe Pote claims that are before the Waitangi Tribunal and that's a plus,” Mr Katu says.


The chair of the Whakatohea Maori Trust Board Robert Edwards says oil drilling in the Raukumara basin would be a serious threat to the iwi's aquaculture plans.

The government has granted Brazilian company a five year exploration licence.

Robert Edwards says the iwi has a joint venture with Sealord which will see the first five mussel lines put in off Opotiki in October, and it is also entering a joint venture with Chinese company Oriental Ocean to farm sea cucumber in an onshore facility.

But he says the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has made Maori wary.

“Tangaroa is there and needs to be protected and the aquaculture projects that we are moving forward is paramont and this is a serious threat to us,” Mr Edwards says.


The principal of the Kelston Deaf Education Centre has welcomed the national roll out of a screening programme to test the hearing of newborn babies.

David Foster says New Zealand has lagged internationally, taking up to three years to identify hearing problems in toddlers.

He says early detection means early intervention, such as exposing children to sign language younger.

“For other kids, interventions like cochlear implants or hearing aids are possible, and if we can get those fitted early enough, that child is going to be able to access spoken English or spoken Maori at the earliest possible age and if their language develops early, their chance of education success later in life are hugely enhanced,” Mr Foster says

Maori children are disproportionately affected by hearing problems.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Shift to social insurance threatened

A member of the Alternative Welfare Working Group says the first report of the government's official group shows a major shift in welfare policy is on the cards.

Mamari Philips, who teachers welfare law at Victoria University, says the committee headed by former Commerce Commission chair Paula Rebstock is signaling a shift from the current social assistance model, which is based on the notion that people should have a guaranteed minimum income, to a social insurance model where assistance is based on the contributions people pay over time.

She says that deserves of a much higher level of public debate than the government is making room for.

“This is an enormously important potential reform. We need to make sure that Maori in particular have a strong voice in representations made to the government so no we don’t think there has been adequate seeking of Maori viewpoint. There’s been some but we think there is room for more,” Ms Philips says.

She says Maori should make submissions to the Rebstock committee and to the Alternative Working Group, which intends to present its own report to government in December.


Labour leader Phil Goff says the party will make Maori and Pacific unemployment an issue in the Mana by-election.

The seat will become vacant later this year when Winnie Laban, who held it for Labour last election by more than 6000 votes over National's Hekia Parata, takes up a role as Victoria University's pro-vice chancellor Pasifika.

Mr Goff says with Maori unemployment running at over 16 percent and the Pasifika rate over 14 percent, that means a lot of people in the electorate are out of work.

“And where's the plan to deal with that? There is no plan. The Job Summit failed. The mining in national parks was a farce. People are concerned the economy isn’t recovering when it should be and the people are worse off, not better off,” he says.

Mr Goff says Labour is not taking the Mana electorate for granted.


Last year's national light heavyweight boxing champion hopes his making it on to the Commonwealth Games team will inspire more young Maori to take up the sport.

23-year-old Reece Papuni from Ngati Porou and Nga Rauru travels to New Delhi in October, along with Joseph Parker, Nathan McEwen, Angus Donaldson and David Aloua.

The Christchurch-based storeman says he's been boxing since he was 12, and it's a sport he recommends to others.

Once the games are over he will set himself to winning a spot at the Olympics.


Waikato Hauraki MP Nanaia Mahuta says the Government needs to consider the needs of families if it overhauls the benefit system.

The government's Welfare Working Group has sounded dire warnings about the number of people relying on benefits, and highlighted the fact that at the last census more than 40 percent of Maori women in their 20s were beneficiaries.

Ms Mahuta says the answer is education and training to keep young women on the pathway to jobs and careers, rather than onto the Domestic Purposes Benefit.

She says if benefit levels aren't sufficient, people can take extreme measures.

“It is a concern that some families are playing the system by separating their kids between the mum and the dad so that both can get the DPB. That cannot continue. It’s not for the kids. It’s something we do have to look at and it’s a challenge we can’t turn away from,” Ms Mahuta says.


The instigator of a campaign to clean up one of the country's most polluted rivers says this week's signing of the Manawatu River accord is testament to what iwi pressure can achieve.

The accord was signed by 27 bodies including iwi, regional and district councils and businesses ... although Federated Farmers backed out at the last minute.

Malcolm Mulholland from Ngati Kahungunu says it all stemmed from a protest hikoi through Palmerston North four years ago organised by the ginger group Te Huirapa.

“Rangitane, this is where they are from, got in behind the cause. It snowballed from there, there were 500 on the day, and from then there was a lot of pressure on Horizons regional council to do a better job of managing the river,” Mr Mulholland says.


Meanwhile, the environment manager for Ngati Whatua o Orakei says unless iwi are involved day to day, councils will shirk their responsibilities to look after natural resources.

Ngarimu Blair says he's frustrated that bureaucratic game playing within Auckland City Council over resource consents means nothing has been done to repair damage done by contractors to some of the city's volcanic cones five weeks ago.

He says the system should improve next year when a coalition of Tamaki iwi will be represented on a joint management committee for the maunga, but having boots on the ground is vital.

“We have to get kaitiakitanga at all levels, not just at the board table but down to kaitiakitanga at management on the ground so it’s our people who are working on these sites every day or people who are aligned with our values sand knowledge,” Mr Blair says.

He cites Ngati Whatua's co management of Bastion Point for 17 years as an example of a successful governance model.

Tamaki iwi push for resource say

Auckland hapu and iwi say their input is needed to clean up the super city environment.

Ten iwi authorities under the Tamaki Collective umbrella have secured a co-management agreement covering the city's volcanic maunga, and they are now seeking a similar deal over the harbours and coastal areas.

Chairperson Paul Majurey from Marutuahu says even without Maori seats on the council, there are examples round the country where councils establish a true partnership with mana whenua iwi to share kaitiaki duties.

“Current management isn’t working and the hope and desire of the hapu iwi is that we will have a place a the governance table to bring to bear a different world view and a different type of governance, care and protection,” Mr Majurey says.

Mana whenua hapu and iwi want a say not just in managing the maunga but in waste management, fishing, shipping and recreation.


A member of the government-appointed social housing taskforce says there needs to be an integrated approach if iwi are going to help meet an emerging housing crisis.

The taskforce delivered its first report to the Minister of Housing this week, highlighting the need among Maori for affordable housing.

Paul White from Te Rarawa, whose career has included stints with Housing New Zealand and Te Puni Kokiri, says the crisis in Tai Tokerau would be worse if not for the 500 homes that were built under papakainga schemes in the 1980s and 90s.

“The secret in the rural areas is to have an integrated approach with iwi development so that housing and land development and employment and training are all linked in so that people can actually have work and housing in communities where they want to live,” Mr White says.

He says resourcing of marae-based housing has fallen off, despite a continuing desire by many Maori to return to their home areas.


The head of a fund to improve Maori capability and traditional knowledge says she is heartened by the ongoing commitment by those who apply for grants.

Kahu McClintock says seven projects shared this year's putea of $1.5 million from the Health Research Council's Nga Kanohi Kitea Maori knowledge and development fund.

She says groups that missed out can apply again, but most are long term community projects supported by people committed to the kaupapa, irrespective of funding.

“We just honour their commitment to the kaupapa that they applied for and clearly for their applications, if they weren’t successful, they were going to continue with them so the Health Research Council is really privileged to be able to fund those dreams that our whanau have had for some time,” Mrs McClintock says.


The man who led a hikoi which led to a commitment to clean up the Manawatu River says some of the biggest polluters have been companies that trade on new Zealand's clean green image.

Malcolm Mulholland from Ngati Kahungunu has welcomed this week's accord to help in the clean up, signed by 27 bodies including iwi, regional and district councils and local businesses.

But he says some industries have been two faced about the pollution.

“You've got the likes of Tui Breweries over on the other side of the ranges there who pollute the Manawatu via the Mangatainoka and yet here they are having ads where there’s scantily clad women bathing in their local stream. I mean it’s just a big joke,” Mr Mulholland says.

The iwi-led hikoi four years ago has ensured a much higher level of public scutiny about the state of the awa.


A member of the government's Welfare Working Group, Enid Ratahi Pryor, says Maori leaders need to have a hard look at the issues it has identified.

The group's first report to Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the current benefit system is failing too many New Zealanders.

It says Maori make up 43 percent of those receiving a domestic purposes benefit and also feature disproportionately on other long term benefits.

Mrs Pryor, the chief executive of Whakatane based health provider Te Tohu o te Ora o Ngati Awa, says that will give Maori plenty to respond to.

“Maori could be looked at as being lazy. I don’t think so. I think Maori are in a trap and this is an opportunity to look at how to get out of that trap and perhaps by contributing feedback to this process maybe we will see some light at the end of the tunnel for Maori,” she says.

Mrs Pryor says too many Maori enter the benefit system young and stay in for long periods.


Let kids do the haka.

Labour List MP Kelvin Davis is challenging a ban on performances of the haka before games at a schools' rugby tournament.

David Syms, the chair of the rugby union's Northern Regions Junior Advisory Board, says the practice was banned about five years ago because the young players were getting too intimidatory ... so the haka is reserved for elite teams like the All Blacks.

But Mr Davis, a former intermediate school principal who stopped playing club rugby relatively recently, says it's part of the sporting landscape.

“It's not actually the expression of Maori tikanga and culture that brings out violence, it’s been the suppression of Maori tikanga and culture over the years that has got us all angry and this is a classic case and example of why Maori are angry because we aren’t allowed to express ourselves in this way. If it’s good enough for the All Blacks to express themselves with a haka before their test matches, it’s good enough for our 10, 11, 12 year old boys to do it before their games,” Mr Davis says.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Iwi have role in housing provision

A member the social housing independent advisory group says iwi can help the government face an upcoming housing crisis.

The group's initial report to the Minister of Housing earlier this week says an increasing number of people, including many Maori, need housing assistance but can't get it where and when they need it.

Paul White from Te Rarawa, who has been a Housing New Zealand regional manager and board member, says iwi can fill some of the gaps, but they need more surety than they get now.

“There's plenty of innovation out there but iwi groups are saying that they support for longer periods of time, they need flexibility if they are going to start to make a contribution to solving housing problems amongst Maori,” Mr White says.

He says many older Maori city dwellers would move back to their turangawaewae if housing was available.


The winner of the first Ako Aotearoa tertiary teaching excellence award for Maori medium teaching says the best place to invest in Maori language revitalisation in in the pre-school sector.

Te Kahautu Maxwell is a senior lecturer in te reo Maori, tikanga and Maori performing arts at the University of Waikato who makes his students use their learning in real life situations like making speeches on marae or composing and performing kapa haka.

He says adult education is important for Maori development, there is only limited funding for Maori language promotion and it is best spent in pre school environments.

“Whether it is in kohanga reo or kindergarten, those are the best times where we can make an impression, plant the seed and nurture that seed to produce strong totara in our forest of learning, so lots of energy and investment needs to be directed into our early childhood,” Mr Maxwell says.


Former All Whites captain Heremaia Ngata says Winston Reid's move to West Ham United will inspire rangatahi on and off the pitch.

He says the 22 year old Te Rarawa and Tainui midfielder's rise from the Danish league through the World Cup to the English premier league is an example of what can be achieved with discipline and hard work.

He says rangatahi here in Aotearoa should take note.

“Determination, eating the right food, all those sorts of things you can apply not only in sport but in other works of life so forging a career either academically or on the sporting field, I hope this opens some eyes as to what you can achieve with a bit of hard work,” Mr Ngata says.


Auckland hapu and iwi are seeking formal co-management of the new super city's natural resources.

Paul Majurey, the chair of the Tamaki Collective, says the group of 10 tribal authorities is looking at the Wellington and Hawkes Bay regional council models where committees with equal numbers of iwi and elected representatives will make all resource management decisions.

He says the collective already has an agreement to co-manage Auckland's volcanic maunga, and in the next step could be a similar arrangement for the Manukau and Waitemata harbours, where iwi have kaitiaki or guardianship responsibilities.

“There's a recognition around the collective table that each hapu iwi has its tino rangatiranga with the Crown of it own affairs but lso a recognition of share whakapapa, shared waka, shared interests, that there is no line n a map where there is not a recognition of those shared interestsm” Mr Majurey says.


Tau Henare says a heart attack in June was a real wake up call about his lifestyle.

The National list MP is is back on the job after a month to recuperate.

He says when he woke up the morning after the attack with a stent in a major artery, he was a non-smoker.

Mr Henare says hearing his children crying when he had the 2am heart attack made him realise there is more to life than politics, money and sport.


Fishing personality Bill Hohepa say filming a television series on old trucks introduced him to some real Maori characters.

The Snells Beach-based angler says the show was a chance to reminisce about the old Commers, Fords and Bedfords that kept the country moving in the past.

He says he also felt an affinity with an old Maori he interviewed who drove an S Bedford logging truck, who reminded him of the cramped nature of the cab.

Mining an option on customary land

Attorney General Chris Finlayson says iwi who prove their customary title over foreshore or seabed may be able to mine the area.

He says the title would include mining rights, subject to the Resource Management Act and the Crown Minerals Act, which gives the Crown ownership of gold, silver, uranium and petroleum.

“If that's what their wish was and if they complied with the Crown Minerals Act. I mean you bring them into the current legislative regime,” Mr Finlayson says.

The Government still intends to have a replacement Foreshore and Seabed Act in place by the end of the year.


Associate social development minister Tariana Turia is calling on employers to step up and hire young Maori.

Mrs Turia says she is worried about the large numbers of jobless rangatahi in areas such as Northland where two thirds of Maori under 25 are out of work.

She says inter-generational unemployment is not healthy for the community, whanau or the country at large.

“I'm very worried about it because despite the 90 day bill and the whole notion that employers would give particularly young people a go, it simply has not happened. Now we need employers to step up to the plate. They get enough subsidy, they need to step up to the plate and give there people a go,” Mrs Turia says.

She says Community Max was a good start, but there has not been enough transition from short term work schemes through to permanent jobs.


The chief executive of the Maori language commission, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori, says this year's Huia Te Reo national Maori language conference will be a chance for some long term planning on language revitalisation.

Glenis Philip-Barbara says the hui in October at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre will include the annual awards for initiatives which have raised awareness of te reo, an expo where people can showcase their resources or projects, and a symposium.

“The symposium gives us the opportunity to get together as Maori language activists from around the motu to talk about our strategies and approaches, and the awards are about honouring and acknowledging the huge effort that people made around te wiki o te reo Maori,” Mrs Philip-Barbara says.

The closing date for award entries has been extended to August 20, and there are new categories, including an award for innovative use of information technology and Telecommunications.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the party is still concerned about the shape of the revised Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Ngai Tahu chair and Iwi Leaders’ Group spokesperson Mark Solomon has claimed the bar for claiming customary title is being set too high for many iwi to benefit.

Mrs Turia says lawmakers have always found it hard to acknowledge Maori rights.

“We are concerned. We have sent a number of changes back to the minister. We are still in discussions with him. The concern for me is that what we are seeing is that it doesn’t really matter who the government is, when it comes to Maori title and Maori rights, they do appear to be lesser,” she says.


A Ngai te Rangi artist and tatooist says the role of the artist in ta moko has been overlooked.

Ohope-based Julie Paama Pengally has penned an award-winning overview of Maori art and design, and she's now completing doctoral studies at Massey University on traditional tattooing.

She wants to fill in some gaps left by previous publications which focused on designs and supposed tribal markers.

“It's kind of looking at the role of the artist through history and past studies of moko practice haven’t taken into account the role the artist plays and individual artistic ability and exploration,” Ms Pengally says.


The Maori Party's Waikato Hauraki candidate says Nanaia Mahuta's days as the electorate MP are numbered.

Tauhuia Bruce Mataki from Ngati Kauwhata and Ngati Kahungunu won the nomination ahead of Hemi Rau and Pia Searanke, after a series of hui around the electorate.

The former career soldier says many traditional Labour Party supporters have thrown their weight behind his party, and he'll be telling voters they have the chance for a double play.

“My platform would be that there’s the possibility of having two Maori for the price of one going against the candidate vote and I don’t even think she needs the party vote because she’s so high up the list for Labour, so you could have two Maori in one electorate which would be a big plus,” Mr Mataki says.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Mataki confirmed as Maori Party candidate

The Maori Party's new Waikato Hauraki candidate says he will need to reach right into the flax roots to unseat Labour's Nanaia Mahuta.

Retired soldier Tauhuia Bruce Mataki from Ngati Kauwhata and Ngati Kahungunu beat former Waikato-Tainui chief executive Hemi Rau and Housing New Zealand manager Pia Searanke for the right to contest next year's general election.

The 55-year-old says having worked on Angeline Greensill's last two campaigns and the subsequent post-mortem, he knows the importance of getting the message out to ordinary Maori.

“One of the biggest problems we had in our review was communications from the minister’s office down to the lower socioeconomc. We need to really do some work in there because that’s where the heartbeat is, that’s there the pain is and that’s where we’ve got to be communicating better so they get the confidence they need to have in us to represent them in government,” Mr Bruce Mataki says.

He will run a "get two MPs for the price of one' campaign, highlighting Nanaia Mahuta's likely high ranking in Labour's list.


Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson is rejecting criticism the tests for customary rights in his rewrite of the Foreshore and Seabed Act are too onerous.

Ngai Tahu chair Mark Solomon says making Maori prove continuous and exclusive use since 1840 ignores how the Crown severed Maori links with their traditional lands ... and means the South Island tribe is unlikely to benefit from the reform.

But Mr Finlayson says there is no way he is deliberately trying to stymie Maori.

“What I've tried to do in drawing up these tests is look, the common law test is harsh and unrelenting, I’ve tried to feed into that how can you have a test in New Zealand that ignores tikanga? It’s nuts. So to to say we are deliberately trying to do things, with respect, it’s off the wall,” Mr Finlayson says.


An innovative weaver says Maori need to demand higher standards of their crafts people.

Karl Rangikawhiti Leonard, of Te Arawa, Ngati Awa and Ngati Raukawa, learned to weave from his grandmother and the kuia of his kainga in Rotorua.

He says they made him aware of the level of excellence aspired to by traditional weavers in days gone by.

“To me manawa wera, in other words to get your blood pumping, means be defiant, make a stance, move out back to that level. I don’t think we can ever be as good as they were but I still think we can take the level of weaving back up. There are weavers out there who still stand for quality but there are the others who are happy to throw some feathers, any kind of fibre and call it a taonga and it's really not,” Mr Leonard says.

The exhibition Manawa Wera: Defiant Chants by Karl Leonard and Ngaahina Hohaia is at Objectspace in Auckland for another month.


Greens' co-leader Meteria Turei says the government has no plan to deal with spiraling Maori unemployment.

The Maori jobless rate is now over 16 percent, almost 10 points higher than the general rate, with more than 3000 Maori joining the dole queue last quarter.

Ms Turei says the government is pretending the recession is over so it can cut stimulus spending, when people at the bottom are still struggling.

“They have very quickly have pulled back from any plans or investments that you would expect to occur by government in a recession,” Ms Turei says.

She says the only money the government seems willing to spend is on unnecessary motorway construction projects that don't create new jobs.


Te Whanau a Apanui is setting itself for a long term fight against oil prospecting off its coast.

Representatives from the East Coast iwi were in Tamaki Makaurau at the weekend to establish common cause with other iwi and environmental groups.

The Government has given Brazilian company Petrobras a five year exploration license over the Raukumara Basin, meaning it could be years before any decision needs to be made about exploitation of the field.

But Rikirangi Gage, the chief executive of Te Runanga o te Whanau, says the tempation to drill or mine ... and the environmental risk ... will remain whatever happens with that particular license.

“We're looking at an inter-generational campaign. It’s not going to go away that quick and it’s something our mokopuna will need to, we need to put stakes in the ground and our mokopuna need to, as we have, pick up the kaupapa and carry it on,” Mr Gage says.


A Maori wrestler is promoting the sport to Maori parents as a way their kids can build their confidence.

Hori Manuirirangi and his sons, 8-year-old Tama and 6-year-old Hori, represented the Hamilton Hawks at the National Wrestling Club Championships in Kirikiroa yesterday.

The Waikato University Maori development lecturer says Maori enjoy the physicality of wrestling.

“We've got a wealth of talent out there hasn’t been tapped into. They’ve got so much potential, our kids, the physical gift of being able to handle themselves along with balance and coordination. That’s why I got my sons into it, I wanted to build on that,” he says.

Mr Manuirirangi came second in his divison, as did Tama, while young Hori was third

Public invited to join mining protest

An East Coast iwi is reaching out to other tribes and the wider public to fight oil exploration off its shores.

Te Whanau a Apanui hosted a hui in Auckland at the weekend to discuss its response to the Government’s invitation to Brazilian company Petrobras to prospect for oil and gas in the Raukumara basin.

Chairperson Riki Gage says it found common interests with other iwi and with environmentalists.

He says in its drive to encourage both onshore and offshore exploration, the Government is ignoring its duty to look after the environment.

“We’re really concerned. I mean we’ve had three months watching what’s been happening in the Gulf of Mexico so there are a lot of concerns, there are issues and questions that the iwi have in terms of ensuring we don’t see a repeat in our waters. New Zealand is promoting itself as clean and green, and with these sorts of activities, there is all the negative stuff that goes with it,” Mr Gage says.

He says Te Whanau a Apanui is bracing itself for a long fight.


The principal of Gisborne’s Lytton High school is upset the Minister of Education has refused to allow East Coast Schools to take time off so pupils can attend Te Matatini national kapa haka competition in February.

The Lytton roopu won last month’s national secondary schools kapa haka festival.

Jim Corder says Anne Tolley veto of the school’s plan to close classes for two days is short sighted.

“This sort of event and the achievement of our particular group just the other day all add significant value to people feeling good about themselves, about the possibilities of further achievement and success. I mean that’s what we’re trying to do and this has all come together and it would have been good to be able to say ‘You have earned the right to be part of Matatini,” Mr Corder says.

He is particularly riled because the government is allowing schools in Auckland to take time off around the Rugby World Cup, despite the timing being close to national exams.


The chairman of New Zealand Maori Rugby League says the Maori squad will treat its game against England in October as part of a push for full participation at the next Rugby League World Cup.

Howie Tamati says the game in Auckland will be a good chance to gauge where Maori sit internationally.

The former Kiwi captain and coach says the team hasn’t played for two years, so it’s an opportunity to showcase the depth of Maori league players in the NRL.

“Quite a few of the boys that played in 2008 were quite young lads at that time. Those players have gone to be established first graders so we believed we will have a really strong team.” Mr Tamati says.

England is treating the October 16 clash as a warm up for the four Nations tournament, which also involves Australia and Papua New Guinea.


The lawyer for Te Whanau a Apanui says the risk of environmental damage through the exploitation of offshore oil and gas reserves is more than a Maori issue.

The East Coast iwi is mobilising forces against the Government allowing Brazilian company Petrobras to explore the Raukumara Basin north of East Cape.

Dayle Takitimu says expressions of interest close this week for a similar exploration licence off Ninety Mile Beach, and the National Government has made its clear it puts drilling and mining over care for the environment.

“The Government is essentially in Parliament to represent our views, and if our views about the environmental stewardship of the country are saying one thing that is quite different from where the Government is pitching its drsft energy strategy, then we need to be having that conversation loud and clear with the decision makers and we need to be making those sorts of things election issues,” Ms Takitimu says.


One of the organisers of next February’s Te Matatini kapa haka competitions has joined the call for students to be given time off from clases to attend the Gisborne festival.

Education Minister Anne Tolley has vetoed a request from Tairawhiti secondary schools to suspend classes for two days.

Willie Te Aho says it would be a valuable and inspirational experience for the students.

“This will be an issue to be worked through with the Minister of Education and the Ministry of Education and we have the associate minister, Pita Sharples, who will be performing, so we want our tamariki to see the associate minister for education on the stage,” Mr Te Aho says.

The invitation for the schools to let their students attend came from organising committee member Wayne Ngata, who also sits on Te Taura Whiri i te reo - the Maori language commission.


Julie Paama-Pengally, the author of Nga Kupu Ora Book Award winner Maori Art and Design, says she's gratified at the number of art schools who are using it as a study text.

The Ngai Te Rangi artist says she knows from her own student days the value of getting a comprehensive overview from a single source.

She says the book was prepared with the tourism market in mind, as well as the academic market.