Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, August 20, 2010

Chance to learn reo valued

A pioneer in teaching te reo Maori in mainstream schools says pressure from the young may eventually get Maori made compulsory in schools.

Rahera Shortland, who started an immersion stream at Auckland Girls Grammar, says she's buoyed by a survey finding that 38 percent of New Zealanders would support adding te reo to the core curriculum.

Those under 35 are evenly split on the question.

She says in her current role as chair of the Maori language teaching network Te Ataarangi, she hears of people's frustration at not having te reo.

“The numbers of Pakeha people and Maori that I have come across who feel that they have been robbed of the opportunity to learn Maori in the schools simply because it’s an option and quite often the options are opposite things that young people like to do anyway so if we had it compulsory you wouldn’t have to choose another subject to take Maori,” Mrs Shortland says.

Many young parents feel disadvantaged because they can't speak Maori to their children attending kohanga and kura.


The Prime Minister, John Key, has been in Ngaruawahia today attending the annnual hui marking the coronation of King Tuheitia.

Dodging intermittent rain, Mr Key was accompanied onto Turangawaewae Marae by the Minister of Social Development, Paula Bennett, and associate Maori Affairs Minister Georgina Te Heuheu.

The Prime Minister spent the previous evening meeting iwi leaders at Hopuhopu. Hearing them reiterate their desire for ownership of the foreshore to be shared by Maori and the Crown under a new treaty title.

Mr Key indicated this was unlikely.

However he was more positive at the iwis’ willingness to become involved in public private partnerships to build new government infrastructure.


The New Zealand Educational Institute says a new scheme to boost participation of Maori and Pacific children in early childhood education comes at the expense of tamariki already in the system.

Education Minister Anne Tolley says children in Waitakere and Te Tai Tokerau will be the first to benefit from the $92 million set aside in the Budget.

But Judith Nowotarski, the NZEI's vice president, says getting an extra 3500 children into the sector doesn't make up for the 92,000 children who get a lower standard of education because $400 million will be stripped from existing centres.

She says the government's decision to fund places for only 80 percent of qualified teachers means many centres will raise fees or cut hours.


An iwi negotiator says there is a groundswell of support among Maori leaders for Sir Taihakurei Durie to be the next governor general.

The former Waitangi Tribunal chair and High Court judge and Rangitane elder was at yesterday's iwi leaders forum at Hopuhopu giving his analysis of water ownership issues and the need for a unified approach by Maori.

Wille Te Aho from Ngati Porou and Te Arawa says the presentation reminded the hui of his experience and exceptional legal brain.

“Question was raised about who should champion these issues and he said you’ve got a lot of young legal guns out there and the response from the iwi was we’d rather have the wise legal guns and so he’s certainly one of those. He walks amongst many cultures and is respected amongst many cultures. I think he’d be ideal as Governor General,” Mr Te Aho says.


A last minute surge in nominations means the country's only three dedicated Maori seats will be closely fought in October's local body election.

Cindy Butt, the returning officer for Environment Bay of Plenty, says when nominations closed at noon eight people had put their hands up for Okurei, which takes in Rotorua, two in the Tauranga-centred Mauao ward and three in Kohi, covering the eastern Bay of Plenty.

She says it's an endorsement of the council's decision to create the seats.

“It does seem that there is a lot of interest out there in local government given the amount of nominations we have received. Good news. Great new. It’s always good for democracy,” Ms Butt says.

In Mauao Maori, incumbent Raewyn Bennett has been challenged by Andre Paterson, Tiipene Marr must beat Miro Araroa and Phillip Hohapata-Oke to retain Kohi, and Tai Eru in Okurei will be hoping his seven opponents split the vote between them.


The late Te Miringa Hohaia is being remembered as a visionary who was able to take the Parihaka legacy forward.

Mr Hohaia died suddenly on Tuesday and is lying in state at the historic marae.

Taranaki kaumatua Peter Moehau says over the years Mr Hohaia clashed with many in the Taranaki establishment, but was able to bring the tribe together to support his dream of a Parihaka Peace Festival.

He was also committed to reviving and passing on traditions, and is the fifth person in recent years to opt for burial in the traditional kahu waka tere.

“He is lying in state at the moment not in a coffin or casket as such but simply wrapped in the flax containers that our women wove for him before he arrived at the marae. It should be a really interesting night tonight when the discussions take place about how and even where he may be buried,” Mr Moeahu says.

He says an extraordinary range of people, Maori and Pakeha, going through the tangi was testament to how Te Miringa Hohaia touched the lives of so many.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Call for next Maori governor general

Maori Council member Maanu Paul is calling for the next governor general to be Maori.

The term of the current queen's representative, Sir Anand Satyanand, ends in a year.

Mr Paul says it has been 20 years since the country has a Maori governor general, Sir Paul Reeves.

He says major constitutional matters are in the wind, so an eminent Maori with experience in the law would be ideal for the role.

“Sir Eddie Durie, a retired High Court judge, has sufficient mana, has more than sufficient ability, and has the personality to carry out being a governor general for Aotearoa,” Mr Paul says.

He says Sir Eddie Taihakurei Durie would have the support of Maori throughout the country.


An increase in supervision of children while they are swimming is being credited for a 20-year low in Maori drownings.

Matt Claridge, the manager of Water Safety New Zealand, says only 7 Maori drowned in the first six months of this year compared with 13 in the same period of 2009.

He says the groups most at risk are older males and young children.

Generally the drownings are a result of diving, gathering kaimoana, fishing and boating, and also small children left unsupervised. There haven’t been many small children left unsupervised and drowning this year, which probably leads us to explaining the reason why there is a reduction in Maori-related drownings,” Mr Claridge says.

He says the fatalities could fall even more if more Maori took swimming lessons.


Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia says his uncle Koro Dewes could be relied on for straight talking.

The Ngati Porou identity died this week at the age of 80, after a lifetime as a pioneering educationalist and an acknowledged expert in Maori language and history.

Mr Horomia says Dr Dewes kept him on his toes throughout his working life, and especially when he became minister of Maori affairs in the Labour Government.

“He would say “how come those Wellington people come up here, talk at 100 miles an hour, read off the paper, we don’t know what they’re saying but we nod our heads,’” Mr Horomia says.

Koro Dewes' funeral will be held tomorrow at Hinerupe Marae in Te Araroa.


Hundreds of people have been through Parihaka Marae today to pay final tributes to Te Miringa Hohaia.

The artist, activist and kaitiaki of Te Paepa o te Raukura died suddenly on Tuesday aged 58.

Former Te Tai Tonga MP Mahara Okeroa, who served with Mr Hohaia on Parihaka trusts for more than 20 years, says his friend had been conducting wananga for members of Taranaki Tuturu on the iwi's treaty claims and on its traditions relating to te taiao, the environment, te moana, the sea, and Taranaki maunga.

“We were getting the benefit of knowledge that had almost been lost and now it’s lost again because he was the interpreter for us in terms of the really traditional stuff and relating it to our people and its implications,” Mr Okeroa says.


Northland's Ngati Rehia is getting strong interest from other hapu in its scheme to train its own rangatahi as kaitiaki or rangers doing pest management and conservation work.

Tutor Clinton Rameka says Takou Were-Te-Mokai in partnership with Northtec has trained 12 rangatahi to work around Takou Bay north of the Bay of Islands on projects like kiwi habitat restoration.

A second intake is now doing the five month course.

He says it's an idea that can work anywhere, and if any hapu wants help, they will show them how to do it.

Mr Rameka says the project has support from Community Max, but future funding could be a problem.


A guest appearance with a New Zealand Symphony Orchestra ensemble has 13-year-old Pukemiro Primary schoolboy Aaran Richards considering a career in music.

Aaron and schoolmate Harley Tumohe were among a number of north Waikato students who played with the ensemble at a charity concert in Huntly, put on to thank the area's major employer, Solid Energy, for its sponsorship.

The pair wielded their ukuleles for the theme music from the Blues Brothers and Tiki Taane's Always on my Mind, which was used for a BNZ advertisement.

“They were easy because we had practiced and practiced until we knew them off by heart,” Aaran says.

Pukemiro Primary's 18 students are now looking forward to joining an attempt to beat the world record for ukulele orchestras Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland later this year.

Tainui plan gets Key endorsement

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed Tainui's plan to set up whanau ora centres which will put iwi health and welfare providers and government agencies under a single roof.

Tainui says the centres will be in Te Rapa and Manukau, with the agencies taking long-term leases.

Mr Key says it will be up to the Minister for Whanau Ora, Tariana Turia, to decide who will provide the services and what bricks and mortar will be needed.

“I think these partnerships between Maori and the Crown are going to continue and there are lots of areas we can work together for mutual benefit of both parties and if you are looking at somewhere like The Base where you have a huge number of people coming at any given time, it could very easily be a place where you have that kind of organization,” he says.

Mr Key is expecting direct discussion on the proposal this week when he attends an Iwi Leaders Forum in Hopuhopu on Thursday night and then at koroneihana celebrations for King Tuheitia on Friday.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says a new trade training scheme should extend into information and communications technologies.

The party wants to see a reintroduction of the schemes, which were scrapped along with the Department of Maori Affairs at the end of the 1980s.

Mrs Turia says that decision meant a generation of Maori missed out on training that would have given them sustainable jobs and careers.

But she says teaching traditional trades like carpentry and plumbing should not be at the expense of the new areas of work.

“Most young people would get a huge buzz out of learning a trade and they would probably get a bigger buzz out of being able to learn more IT skills and being involved in animation, making films. There is a world out there for our young people and we’ve got to make sure they are included in it,” Mrs Turia says.


Northland's Ngati Rehia has set up its own hapu rangers to care for its whenua around Takou Bay north of the Bay of Islands.

Clinton Rameka, the project manager for the Takou Were-Te-Mokai group, says rangatahi are give training through NorthTec in pest management and ecology.

He says having locals on the job breaks down barriers, so they know who to ask for access when monitoring the waterways and setting trap lines.

Takou Were-Te-Mokai is working with other hapu who want to train rangatahi to become rangers.


The Greens say the headlong rush towards compulsory superannuation needs more debate.

Both Labour and National have indicated the compulsory option, rejected by a referendum 10 years ago, will be revived as an election issue.

Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says it has major implications for Maori, because few Maori reach retirement age even though they make up an increasing percentage of the workforce.

She says Maori also tend to earn less early in their working lives, so their final pay-outs will be lower from a contributory scheme.

“We've been open to looking at it because we do need to do something about superannuation, we need to find an effective way of making sure we can continue to fund it, so we will look at it but those equity issues particularly for Maori are very serious and we will need to make sure that any system addresses that somehow,” Ms Turei says.


Accounting firm Deloitte's new Maori partner says one of his first tasks will be to hire enough Maori accountants to deal with expected growth from the sector.

Leon Wijohn from Te Rarawa and Tuhoe says he's shifted to the global giant because many of his clients are outgrowing what he could provide through is own Auckland-based firm.

He says while there now seem to be plenty of Maori lawyers, less than two percent of chartered accountants are of Maori descent, which isn't keeping up with growth.

“You known in Auckland alone there are 500 new small Maori businesses alone and if you look at GDP, Maori business about three years ago was about 2.2 percent and now we’re about 4.89 percent so we’re growing and it’s going to be at 10 percent before we know it so things are growing,” Mr Wijohn says.

He will also be responsible for extending Deloitte's reach into small to medium-sized enterprises, which is feasible because modern computerised accounting package have reduced the amount of manual work needed, allowing accountants to concentrate on giving strategic advice and guidance.


Auckland University's School of Population Health is taking an in your face approach to Maori babies being exposed to secondhand smoke.

Research leader Marewa Glover says Te Piripohotanga is a family-centred tobacco control programme that aims to raise awareness about the harm smoking environments can do to infants.

It was developed because of concern about the high rate of hospital admissions of Maori babies for acute respiratory illnesses, and started with a review of about three dozen overseas initiatives.

“The overall review of those trials wasn’t able to demonstrate their effectiveness and it seems that you need more intensive interventions like Te Piripohotanga where kaimahi are actually going into the homes and working with whanau, because we really do need to find something that helps parents reduce their smoking around the kids,” Dr Glover says.

A parallel study in Australia is targeting the health of the health of indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island infants.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Key factoring life expectancy into super reform

The Prime Minister, John Key, says lower Maori life expectancy needs to be taken into account in any changes to the superannuation system.

Critics of a shift to compulsory superannuation have pointed out that because of the age range of the Maori population, Maori as a whole are likely to pay for more into a scheme than they get out of it.

Mr Key says that's the sort of thing that the working party he is putting together will need to look at, but the time has come to tackle New Zealand's low savings rate and the implications that has for national well-being.

“Fundamentally people on average live longer and they’re not likely to be in the workforce for all of their lives so they are going to have to rely on their savings. New Zealand Super provides support but as we all know it’s enough to get by but not enough to have a retirement in the comfort most people want to enjoy,” he says.

Mr Key says upping the age of entitlement, as recommended by former National leader Don Brash, is off the table.


Auckland University researchers are seeking 210 South Auckland mothers for a study on the links between smoking and infant respiratory illness.

Whanau worker Eseta Nicholls says the School of Population Health started Te Piripohotanga - which refers to the first two years of a child's life - because of concern about the high rate of hospital admissions amongst Maori babies caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.

She says 130 women have already signed on for the 12-month study, which involves health workers working with the whanau to help parents reduce their smoking around kids.

Poor housing and nutrition are also factors in infant respiratory illness, but exposure to tobacco smoke may be the easiest problem to fix.


Some significant Te Arawa taonga held by the Auckland War Memorial Museum are on their way home.

The 13 pieces on long term loan to Rotorua Museum's new exhibition halls include a waka taurapa, mere pounamu, and the 7 metre waharoa or gateway Rangitakaroro from Lake Okataina which was buried by ash in the 1886 Tarawera eruption.

Antoine Coffin, the Auckland museum's kaitakawaenga patiki or Maori partnership manager, says a pataka called Te Oha, origingally from Te Waerenga on the northern side of Lake Rotorua, is of particular interest because it incorporates part of a wayka left behind after Hongi Hika’s raids of 1823.


Auckland super city mayoral candidate Len Brown says there is a lot at stake for Maori is the local government election.

Mr Brown says the unsuccessful attempt to get dedicated seats on the Auckland council highlighted the importance of the sector in the lives of Maori people.

He says the role Maori MP's are playing in national politics needs to be repeated at the local level, so it is important Maori both stand and vote.

“That type of leadership with Pita (Sharples) and Tariana (Turia), hhe new ones coming through like Kelvin (Davis), that is huge for our young Maori. I see it in their eyes, that’s so aspirational and having seen how important that is at a national level, I can’t help but feel it is important at a local level,” Len Brown says.

If he is elected he will put the issue of dedicated council seats back on the council agenda.


The chair of Waikato Tainui says the iwi is getting a positive positive response from government agencies and community leaders to a plan to set up whanau ora centres.

Tukuroirangi Morgan says the centres at The Base in Hamilton and in Manukau will allow the agencies and iwi providers to work under the same roof delivering health and social services.

He says talks with one of the main agencies, Counties Manukau District Health Board, has been especially fruitful.


Major accounting firm Deloitte New Zealand has boosted its Maori team by bringing on Leon Wijohn from Te Rarawa and Tuhoe as an accounting and advisory partner.

Mr Wijohn, who won the outstanding new member award at last year's New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants leadership awards will be responsible for working with both Maori-owned businesses or trusts and with small to medium-sized enterprises.

He says the move from his own firm was inevitable.

“If you look at a lot of clients I am working with, they are all getting bigger. The Maori owners are obviously growing and they are going to need more support and there are a whole lot of things they are getting into that you can’t do on your own any more like you can’t be a tax expert and an emissions trading scheme expert and pretend to know everything about farming, everything about forestry and everything about fishing, there’s just so many things that you really need to become part of a bigger team,” Mr Wijohn says.

His next task is to hire more Maori accountants for the firm, but they are very scarce in the market, making up fewer than 2 percent of chartered accountants.

Rangatira Koro Dewes taken back to coast

He was a tohunga, an academic, a traditionalist and an iconoclast, but most of all Te Kapunga Matemoana "Koro" Dewes was known as Ngati Porou.

Mr Dewes died yesterday in Te Araroa at the age of 80.

He was a pioneering educationalist in the 1960s and 70s, starting in adult education at Auckland University and then laying the foundations for Victoria University's Maori studies department, before returning home to the East Coast and helping form Te Runanga o Ngati Porou.

Runanga chair Apirana Mahuika says his cousin and collaborator was a natural leader.

“Koro comes from a lot of the genealogical lines that are senior in Ngati Porou so he come from the chiefly lines of descent in Ngati Porou and for that reason I think that he found leadership an easy take and it wasn’t something that he learnt but it’s something he was born into and he handled it with great acclaim,” Mr Mahuika says.

Koro Dewes will be taken this morning to Hinerupe Marae in Te Araroa, with a funeral service at 11 on Friday morning.


The Federation of Maori Authorities says employers are trying to stymie debate on compulsory superannuation.

The Employers and Manufacturers Association has warned that any government move to change pensions should not load more costs on to business.

FOMA chief executive Ron Mark says his organisation, which represents Maori land trusts and incorporations, believes change is needed.

“We are concerned with some of the rhetoric we have heard from the likes of the employers’ federation who even suggest there would be a revolt against the government if they dared consider such things as compulsory super, and stymieing debate by threats of revolt is nonsense, it’s rhetoric and FOMA won’t have a bar of it,” Mr Mark says.

FOMA would like to see a scheme which acknowledges lower Maori life expectancy by returns contributions to whanau if a beneficiary doesn't live to collect their pension.


For the second year in a row a novel has won the te reo Maori section of the Library and Information Association's children's book awards.

Alice Heather, the convenor of the Te Kura Pounamu award says judging was complicated by the five finalists being from different genres, but in the end the judges decided Hewa by Darryn Joseph stood out.

“There's very little fantasy genre at young teenager level in te reo Maori and this book certainly had all the elements of a great fantasy story,” Ms Heather says.

The non-fiction award went to the Nga Rakau series from Huia Publishers. Best picture book was Huhu Horoheke by Kyle Mewburn with illustrations by Rachel Driscoll.


Taranaki Tuturu and Taranaki Whanui are mourning the death of Te Miringa Milton Hohaia, who died yesterday at the age of 58.

Friend and colleague Ruakere Hond says Mr Hohaia worked tirelessly to preserve and advance the legacy of Parihaka, scene of non-violent resistance to the land confiscations of the 19th century.

He says the death came as a shock, as Mr Hohaia was conducting a series of wananga to make tribe members aware of his researches into whakapapa and tradition in preparation for negotiating Taranaki's treaty settlement.

“Very fit physically. He spent most of his days on the land doing fencing, building, planting, doing a whole range of things out there. It’s a complete shock to us. Te Miringa was someone who put everything he had into things that were in front of him,” Mr Hond says.

Te Miringa Hohaia's tangi will be at the house Te Paepae o Te Raukura in Parihaka, where he served as kaitiaki or guardian.


Waikato Tainui plans to build two whanau ora centres to bring health and social services together under a single roof.

Tukoroirangi Morgan, the chair of Te Ara Taura tribal executive, says one will be at The Base retail centre in Te Rapa and the other in Manukau.

He says government agencies will work alongside those Maori providers who secure whanau ora contracts.

“This is a time when iwi who are poised and have capacity to deliver a much more comprehensive range of services in collaboration with the Crown, with the DHB, we think we can take this extraordinary opportunity and begin to make a greater difference for and on behalf of our people,” Mr Morgan says.

He sees whanau ora as a chance to develop the public - private partnership model, where iwi provide the facility and Crown agencies take long-term leases.


Two waka set sail for a museum in the Netherlands today, one in a container and the other as deck cargo.

The 13 metre kauri waka Te Hono Ki Aotearoa, built by Ngati Kahu tohunga Hekenukumai Busby, is on permanent loan to the Volkunkunde Museum at Leiden, and the package includes a fibreglass training waka.

Tamara Temara, the operations manager for Toi Maori, says to ensure they arrive in top condition the waka were packed by Cyril Wright, the person responsible for packing the Te Maori exhibition.

A team of kaimahi whakairo is in Holland building a whare to house the two waka.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fighters for Maori rights from east and west

Ngati Porou negotiatiors have suspended treaty settlement negotiations to return to the East Coast to bury one of their rangatira, Te Kapunga Koro Dewes, who died today at the age of 80.

Apirana Mahuika, the chair of Te Runanga o Ngati Porou, says his cousin had a life of leadership and achievement, fighting for the advancement of Maori and of Ngati Porou.

Mr Dewes started his career as a teacher at Tikitiki District High School before switching to St Stephen's Maori Boarding School so that he could study at Auckland University.

After graduating he worked for the university's adult education department before being appointed a lecturer in Maori at Victoria University of Wellington.

Mr Mahuika says he pushed the limits of what was possible, becoming the first person to present a masters thesis in te reo Maori.

“We have fought all sorts of battles together. We have fought educational institutions, universities, and of course Koro became the father of the chair of Maori act Victoria University in that he was the one that fought for a chair and the only regret that we had was that he was not appointed to the chair that he fought hard for establishment,” he says.

In 2004 Victoria University made Koro Dewes an honorary doctor of literature.

The tangi is at Hinerupe Marae in Te Araroa.


Pressure is going on the Ministry of Education to make children's books written in te reo publicly available in libraries.

All but one of the winners in the te reo section of last night's LIANZA children's book awards are published by the Ministry for immersion and bilingual schools and are not available for public purchase or in libraries.

Alice Heather, the convenor of the Te Kura Pounamu section of the awards, says this makes it hard for people on the street to get hold of the books.

“The public libraries have been fighting for a while to get the right to purchase them. I think if you are going to put them out to the public you have to have a guaranteed market to make them financially viable and I don’t know if that market is big enough. The first step is to get it into the libraries so if someone out on the street wants a book, they can get it from the library,” she says.

The winner of Te Kura Pounamu was a novel, Hewa, by Darryn Joseph, published by Pearson.


The captain of the Black Sticks is encouraging more Maori girls to take up hockey.

The team is off to Argentina on Friday to compete in the 12th Women's Hocky World Cup.

Kayla Sharland of Rangitaane says hockey will give them a chance to see the world.

After Argentina Sharland will head for the Commonwealth games in New Delhi.


Taranaki is reeling at the sudden death today of Te Miringa Hohaia, the initiator of the Parihaka Peace Festival.

Mr Hohaia, of Taranaki Tuturu and Taranaki Whaanui, was 58.

He was a prominent figure in the political and cultural affairs of Taranaki, and in the revival of traditional Parihaka waiata and poi, as well as fighting for Maori land rights.

He jointly edited Parihaka: The Art of Passive Resistance, which won the history & biography category of the 2001 Montana New Zealand Book Awards, and helped curate the exhibition of the same name in the Wellington City Art Gallery.

Parihaka kaumatua Huirangi Waikerepuru says when he returned to the coastal Taranaki settlement in the mid 1970s, Mr Hohaia immersed himself in the history and traditions of the meeting house Te Paepae of te Raukura, where a gathering is held on the 18th of every month to remember the philosophies of the prophet Te Whiti o Rongomai.

“Carrying on at a time when the gaps were beginning to appear was an enormous step to take, to carry that responsibility, and he’s carried it very well over the years that he has been there and now Te Miringa has moved on and let’s see who is there and we must continue the journey,” Mr Waikerepuru says.

Tera te kohu e tatao mai ra i te atamai o te maunga hauhunga ma. Te Miringa Hohaia, moe mai ra.


The Federation of Maori Authorities is backing the reintroduction of compulsory superannuation.

However, FOMA wants to see money put into the scheme paid out to whanau if the contributor dies before reaching the age of entitlement.

Chief executive Ron Mark says this would take acknowledge the fact Maori have lower life expectancy than non-Maori, yet the relative age of the Maori population means they make up an increasing proportion of contributors.

“We know that there is a very high likelihood that many of our whanau will never collect that. Now the advantage of your private scheme is if you pass away before you superannuate, you get that money paid back to your estate. The disadvantage of the state run scheme, National Super, is you can pay into it for an entire lifetime and die at the age of 64 and not collect one red cent out of it,” he says.

Mr Mark says it would be dishonest of the state to collect money in the traditional way knowing Maori are less likely to benefit.

Binge drinking upsets minister

Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia wants to see Maori communities addressing issues of binge drinking.

Hundreds of people marched in Manukau City at the weekend against what's seen as an explosion of liquor outlets in the city.

Mrs Turia says it's poor policy to have alcohol so freely available in poor communities where there is already so much stress, and it's a problem that needs to be tackled on a number of levels.

“We're concerned about the numbers of our people in particular who when they drink, essentially don’t behave well. We’ve got huge issues around violence. A lot of the road deaths are caused through alcohol. It’s something that’s got to be talked about in our communit,” Mrs Turia says.

She says it's clear alcohol companies have targeted poor communities with their outlets.


With only four days before nominations close, no one has put their hand up for two of the three Maori positions on Environment Bay of Plenty Regional Council ... the only local authority in the country with dedicated Maori seats.

Incumbent Tipene Marr is being challenged by Miro Araroa for the Kohi ward covering the eastern Bay of Plenty.

Returning officer Cindy Butt says Mauao, covering Tauranga, and Okurei Maori, which includes Rotorua, are so far uncontested, but there has been a lot of demand for nomination forms.

Nominations close at noon on Friday.


An iwi-owned company in the eastern Bay of Plenty has signed an agreement with a Chinese seafood retailer which could generate millions in export earnings and hundreds of jobs.

Robert Edwards from Whakatohea Maori Trust Board says Eastern Seafarms, a joint venture between the board and Sealord, has agreed to provide mussels to Shandong Oriental Ocean Group, which plans to open 500 stores throughout China in the next three years.

He says the mussels will come from Coromandel until the company's own lines off Opotiki come into production.

Robert Edwards says the joint venture could create as many as 900 jobs in the impoverished district, and aims for turnover of $250 million within 15 years.

One of the most successful organisations for training Maori medium teachers has a new home.

Te Waananga Takiura O Nga Kura Kaupapa Maori, which has just over a hundred students, has been in temporary premises for the past 9 months.
A new building just off Great South Road in Newmarket was blessed in a dawn karakia yesterday.

The wananga's tumuaki, Tawhirimatea Williams, says the brakes can now come off, wih the building able to cope with expected growth.


A Ngati Porou elder has welcomed the use of a wharenui held by a Chicago museum to seek peace between warring gangs.

The New York Times reported Ruatepupuke II was used for a ceremony based on Maori ritual to resolve conflict between gangs from violence-ridden Fenger High School.

The gangs were required to speak and then exchange songs and hugs as a way to show the youth how to resolve disputes verbally.

Amster Reedy says the house, which was built in Tokomaru Bay in 1881 and has been owned by the Field Museum since 1905, carries its own knowledge in a way that others can benefit from.

“I feel it's stunning. I’m not surprised though because matauranga Maori taketake has a knowledge of its own, has an ability to transcend cultures, the ancient knowledge of our people, the understanding, particularly of the spirit of the people,” Mr Reedy says.


Meanwhile, a former Maori All Black is standing for Tauranga City Council.

Matua Parkinson, who also captained the New Zealand Sevens, says historically Maori have not been good voters in local body elections, but he hopes to overcome this.

“We're trying to get it out there, instead of whinging, get off the sideline, get in the game, give me your vote, get me in the game, and then we can start playing ball from there,” Mr Parkinson says.

He has had a lot of encouragement from both rugby mates and iwi leaders to stand for the Welcome Bay ward.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Turia warms to superannuation accounts

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Tuiria has entered the superannuation debate, saying she would like to see money held in personalised accounts.

Prime Minister John Key told TV ONE's Breakfast programme today that National could campaign in the next election on creating a compulsory superannuation scheme.

Only about 5 percent of those over 65 are Maori, despite Maori making up about 15 percent of the population.

Mrs Turia, the associate social development minister, says the current system is unfair.

“I certainly don't think that people should have to pay into a scheme where they may never get anything from it and that’s really what the concern would be in Maori communities but I do think that money could be divvied up. It could be put into individual bank account holders and that money could sit there and if anything did happen to them before they were of age, at least their family could have the benefit of that money,” Mrs Turia says.


Rugby administrators have defended banning teams at a primary schools' rugby tournament doing the haka.

Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples has call the ban disgusting and called for it to be lifted.

But Dave Syms, the chair of the group of eight provincial unions from the King Country to Northland organising the Roller Mills tourney, says players were too immature to handle the emotional impact ... and he stands by the decision.

“Look we are never ever going to be everybody’s favourite and I accept that and look things are reviewed and maybe they will be reviewed again in years to come,” he says.

Mr Syms says the decision to ban the haka was not unanimous.


A request by the late Maori queen Dame Te Atairangikaahu that a book on her tupuna Potatau Te Wherowhero come back into print has been realised.

Pei Te Hurinui Jones’ biography of the first Maori king was published by the Polynesian Society in 1960 on the centenary of Te Wherowhero's death.

It challenged the views of earlier Pakeha historians that the movement to create a Maori king sparked the wars of the 1860s, and instead argued that the events coincided.

Charlie Holland from Huia Publishers says it has lessons for today and will be useful not only for academics but for others interested in the period.

The reprint of King Potatau : an account of the life of Potatau Te Wherowhero, the first Maori king by Pei Te Hurinui is being launched about not at Auckland University's Waipapa marae by KingiTuhetia and Waikato Tainui MP Nanaia Mahuta are among the guests at Auckland University's Waipapa marae for the launch.


A member of the Alternative Welfare Working Group is urging Maori to attend hui around the country to learn about the government's plans for overhauling the welfare system.

Sue Bradford, a former Alliance MP, says the first report of the official government group headed by former Commerce Commission chair Paula Rebstock tried to talk up a crisis that doesn't exist.

She says it's likely to lead to people being pushed off benefits, even though there are no jobs to go to in the current economy.

“People heavily impacted which are disproportionately tangata whenua don’t know what’s happening which is why we are trying in a small way to open up the debate further and get more people involved and I really hope that Maori will come to hui that are taking place in places and at marae,” Ms Bradford says.

The alternative group wants to hear what beneficiaries and the wider community think are the key principles that are important for the social welfare system.

The hui start in the Wellington region next week.


The head of a Maori anti-smoking group says the tactics used to change attitudes around tobacco could be used to tackle New Zealand's binge drinking culture.

Shane Kawenata Bradbrook says as threats to public health, there are parallels between tobacco and alcohol abuse.

He says advertising bans, price increases and social stigmatism have helped arrest Maori smoking rates over the past two decades, and similar approaches might encourage people to drink more responsibly.

“Those people who are working, the real experts working on the ground with our people need a say in that development of programmes but I am sure the will look over to the Auahi Kore community for a lot of inspiration, strategy and tactics,” Mr Bradbrook says.


The Waiata Maori Awards has named singer-songwriter Taisha Tari as its first ambassador.

Awards director Tama Huata says the idea of a high profile performer promoting the awards came from iwi radio managers.

“It's really advocating for our people to be involved in recording, it’s advocating for the waiata Maori awards and why we have, them, it’s also a voice that can represent us nationally and internationally on this forum,” Mr Huata says.

Taisha, whose song Karanga won her the Best Maori Female Solo Artist and the Best Maori Song categories in the inaugural awards in 2008, also has a presence in the mainstream side of the industry through her membership of Lady Killers with Jackie Clarke, Tina Cross and Suzanne Lynch.

The awards will be presented in Hastings in September as part of a Maori Music Expo.

Sharples takes aim at sports violence

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples wants a crack down on fighting on the sports field.

Dr Sharples says a ban on the haka by organisers of a primary schools’ rugby tournament because or the threat of disorder was misdirected, and administrators should focus on what happens on the paddock.

He says it wouldn’t have been tolerated when he was at school.

“It was so important to our school principal when I was at Te Aute College that if you did anything foul you were automatically stood down from the next game no matter how important it was to the college’s record and so we just never did it, we never did it, and you can teach that,” Dr Sharples says.

He says young players see their seniors taking cheap shots virtually every day on television.


The director of anti smoking lobby group Te Ao Marama, Shane Bradbrook, says research in the latest New Zealand Medical Journal adds weight his organisation’s call for the total elimination of tobacco sales.

University of Otago researchers reported if tobacco sales were phased out by 2020, Maori life expectancy would increase by five years by 2040 and overall life expectancy by three years.

Mr Bradbrook hopes it will lead to a strong recommendation when the Maori Affairs select committee reports on its inquiry into the tobacco industry.

“Anything that is of positive benefit for Maori should be looked at seriously. I’m sure that sort of report has gone into both the associate minister of health, Tariana Turia, who heads up that tobacco portfolio as well as the Maori Affairs select committee which has held an inquiry into the tobacco industry, so very positive,” Mr Bradbrook says.


Waiata, pop tunes and classical pieces will feature in a special schools’ concert at Huntly College tomorrow night.

Organiser Ann Beex says the programme reflects the high number of Maori at schools in the northern Waikato.

The concert recognises the sponsorship of the orchestra by Solid Energy, which is a big employer in the region.

Five children from each school in the area have been chosen to play with the orchestra.

Tonight the orchestra plays a free concert for the public at Huntly College.


Taurangamoana iwi have agreed to a joint ownership structure for any commercial assets received in their treaty settlements.

Negotiating team member Willie Te Aho says a challenge in resolving the region’s raupatu claims stemming from the land confiscations of the 1860s has been balancing the overlapping interests of the three iwi.

He says the iwi presented their own solution to the Crown last week.

“Crown properties that we are able to secure as commercial redress, they will go to one company of the three iwi with agreed percentages between Ngati Pukenga, Ngaiterangi and Ngati Ranginui, so it’s quite a first in terms of a treaty settlement that we have been able to resolve our cross claims, reach a collective viewpoint and confirm the distribution so to speak in a wholesome way,” Mr Te Aho says.

Taurangamoana iwi are also seeking a co-management agreement over the Tauranga harbour similar to that put in place for the clean-up of the Waikato River.


Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples hopes a delegation of Maori business leaders he is taking to China will create job opportunities for Maori in this country.

The group will include iwi representatives, Maori investors in mobile phone company 2 Degrees, and Ian Taylor from Animation Research, who has revolutionized the graphics used in televising sports events.

Dr Sharples says the delegation will show the depths of the Maori economy.

“We've got fishing, we’ve got forestry, agriculture experts, we’ve got small business people, we’ve got bankers who are Maori entrepreneurs, who are going over, and they will be creating opportunities which ultimately will put us in a good position,” he says.

During the trip Dr Sharples will unveil a 10 metre waharoa or gateways for the new Baoshan Museum in Shanghai, which has been made by carvers from Te Puia Maori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua working at the Shanghai World Tade Expo.


A collaboration between master carver Te Warihi Hetaraka and sculptor Chris Booth has won an award from the Association of Consulting Engineers.

Judges said the sculpture at the entrance to Whangarei harbour of a wave breaking over a waka, made out of stones connected with steel pins, was pioneering in its conception and clever engineering.

Mr Hetaraka says took a long time to complete, but was worth the wait.

He says the waka represents the culture and the waves indicate that whatever adversity is thrown at it, the culture will survive