Waatea News Update

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Friday, August 27, 2010

East Taupo Trust brings flying in house

A Taupo bush pilot is grounded after Maori owners refused to renew his licence to access their Kaimanawa lands after almost 30 years of continuous service.

One of the land's trustees has instead been given the right to fly hunters into the remote blocks.

The owner of Air Charter Taupo, Arthur Whitehead,, tried early last year to start talks with East Taupo Lands Trust about renewing the 10-year licence, but wasn't asked to submit a proposal until a couple of months ago.

The outcome was the trust awarding an exclusive licence from January 1 next year to one of its trustees, former Air New Zealand pilot Gerard te Heuheu, son of Ngati Tuwharetoa paramount chief Tumu te Heuheu.

The trust chair, Jim Maniapoto, told Waatea News it was a private land lease, and not to bother him again.

Mr Whitehead says servicing the two huts accounted for more than 90 percent of his business, and hunting spots were booked more than a year ahead.

He says he can't assign bookings to the new operator, so he's now ringing customers around the world and explaining why their 2011 Kaimanawa hunting trip is off.


A Maori forensic psychiatrist says the completion of a $9 million upgrade to the Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre at Waikato Hospital should improve the quality of care and cut down reoffending.

Rees Tapsell, the head of the Midland Forensic Psychiatric Service, says up to 70 percent of the centre's patients are Maori.

He says the centre is for people with a mental disorder who are at some phase of criminal proceedings.

“If we are going to help that group of people, then we are going to have to have a model of care that makes sense to them, that kind of acknowledges tea o Maori and the importance of that to some of these young guys who are trying to find out about themselves, trying to live better lives. We’ve got to have staff that understand that and we have to have facilities that facilitate that model of care,” Dr Tapsell says.

The centre includes a Whare for cultural activities and a Kokiri for rehabilitation


The director of a film set in South Auckland to be premiered at next month's Toronto International Film Festival is confident its Maori title will draw in audiences.

Michael Bennett from Te Arawa says Matariki is about a career criminal forced to reflect on his ways.

He says the Maori new year marked by the rising of the Matariki constellation taps in to universal metaphors.

“Talk to anyone from overseas and the thing that fascinates them most about New Zealand is the Maori culture. It’s what makes us different and unique and wonderful. The title Matariki, how is relates to the movie is at that time of year when you reflect about where you have been and the changes you need to make, and that is what the film is about. All the characters are going through that kind of transition,” Mr Bennett says.

Matariki will be launched in New Zealand in November.


Maori accountants are meeting at Massey University's Te Kupenga o te Matauranga Marae in Palmerston North today and tomorrow to discuss their particular challenges within the profession.

Leon Wijohn from Tuhoe and Te Rarawa, a partner with Deloitte, says the Maori sector now accounts for almost 5 percent of gross domestic product, but fewer that 2 percent of accountants have Maori whakapapa.

He says while many young Maori have been attracted to the legal profession in recent years, the challenge is to get Maori at schools and universitiesa to see accounting as a career option.

“It's tricky. There’s no sexy accounting films on tv, are there. There’s lots of movies and programmes on law and crime and all that sort of thing, so kids are exposed to lawyers more than they are accountants,” Mr Wijohn says.

He says Maori accountants can form active and satisfying relationships with their Maori clients.


The Maori contribution to a century of Rugby League in Auckland will be celebrated in a documentary airing tomorrow night on Maori Televison.

Producer Brendon Butt says Weekend Warriors is a fascinating insight into a working class game that continues to be well supported by Maori.

He says names like Jim Rukutai , Manga Emery, Tawera Nikau, Dean Bell and Stacey Jones are intertwined in the history of the often maligned code.

“It's had to struggle, it’s had to work very hard to survive and gee, it’s provided some superstars of sport and some real heroes and many Maori families have been involved, many Pacific Island families have been involved, especially since the 70s, so it’s been an interesting story to tell,” says Mr Butt, from Te Arawa and Ngati Pukeko


The importance of Australia to Maori music can be seen from the line-up for next month's Waiata Maori Music Awards.

Australian resident Nuki Waaka, who formed the Maori Volcanics in Sydney in 1964, has been nominated for a lifetime achievement award.

Brisbane-based Phatboy Pouet is contesting the Best Maori Male Solo Artist category against Auckland's Pieter T, 2008 Waiata Maori Awards winner Young Sid and Te Huaki Puanaki.

Among the wahine up for prizes are Maisey Rika, Toni Huata, Susan Rose and Kirsten Te Rito.

Tama Huata, the awards' director, says he's tried to make the awards as inclusive as possible.

“We are great supporters and advocates of te reo Maori but I would rather have all Maori in rather than having some. It is getting them into the environment, that this is the waiata Maori awards. And even at some stage they do record something in Maori, it’s an added bonus,” Mr Huata says.

The awards will be presented at the Hawke's Bay Opera House in Hastings on September 10.

Rangitaiki rights stir claimants

There is disquiet in parts of Ngati Manawa as the eastern Bay of Plenty iwi tried to finalise its historic claim settlement.

Maanu Paul from the Ngai Moewhare hapu says the deed of settlement negotiated last year with the late Bill Bird set aside the question of the region's rivers in the Rangitaiki catchment for further talks.

He says the direction those talks are going ignores the emphatic findings from the Waitangi Tribunal on rivers in the Rangitaiki catchment.

“The tribunal had recommended that the Crown negotiate with the river peoples on the basis these people had proprietary rights akin to ownership What the Crown is saying, ‘we don’t care about that, we are going to put control of the river under the regional council and you Ngati Manawa have to sign up to that,’” Mr Paul says.

Paul James from the Office of Treaty Settlements says talks are going well, and the final outcome is likely to be management by a river forum of iwi and local government, similar to the deal Cabinet has approved for the Hawkes Bay Regional Council.


Labour's Maori affairs spokesperson wants other local authorities to follow Environment Canterbury and adopt dual Maori and English place names in official documents.

Parekura Horomia says the policy came out of Ngai Tahu's treaty settlement, but is only now being adopted by the council.

He says it's a sign of the weight the iwi now carries in the South Island.

“When you’ve got your assets stablised, when you’ve got a plan going forward, people take not all right. They’re not to fussed about that game iof the colour of your skin or whatever else and they need to be applauded for that,” Mr Horomia says.


A Taranaki archivist wants Maori have better access to material that reflects their history.

Honiana Love has been given an oral history grant to interview Taranaki people on both sides of the Tasman.

She says working at the national archives has made her aware of the incredible amount of material seldom seen by those who it relates to most, and she is now working with Maori language group Te Reo O Taranaki to digitise archived material so it is accessible to iwi members.

“That is a key driver for us, making them available to our people in a way that they understand, that they can connect with and doesn’t necessarily require them to go into government departments. We’re wan ting to see people connect with our heritage. That’s what we want to see happening in Taranaki,” Ms Love says.


The head of Te Puni Kokiri's Rugby World Cup roopu says with a year to go before the tournament kick off, Maori are getting into position to do their part.
Paora Ammundsen says apart from Maori Television being the lead free to air broadcaster with the lion's share of games, there are other areas where Maori will make an impact.

These include tourism products, sourvenirs and artworks, and the use of te reo maori in bilingual signage and broadcasts.

He says it's capturing people's imaginations.

“Every single engagement me and my team have facilitated around Rugby World Cup, our people are really upbeat about this opportunity to show something about ourselves to the planet. The kind of message you hear from the hui and the workshops around the country is ki a kite te o te ngatua o nga pumanawa Maori o te ao hurihuri, it’s a neat time to be working on a project like this,” Mr Ammundsen says.


A Maori academic says the widespread support among women, young people and those from non-Pakeha ethnic groups for compulsory Maori in schools should be heeded.

Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and indigenous studies at Canterbury University, says the Research New Zealand poll showing 38 percent overall support for reo lessons was a valuable contribution to the debate.

He says older Pakeha males may struggle with the idea, but other groups are changing.

“Seventy percent of Pasifika people believe that Maori language should be a compulsory subject in our schooling system and that’s more than double the number of Pakeha in favour of that,” Mr Taonui says.

He says 20 years ago there was minimal support for compulsory reo in schools, but initiatives like Maori Language Week have changed perceptions.


If you can't buy a green or white pompom anywhere in Auckland this weekend, it's because Stacey Jones' wife Rochelle has bought them all.

They'll be attached to Point Chevalier Pirates fans tomorrow when the teams lines up against the Otara Scorpions in the final of the Auckland Rugby League Phelan shield competition.

The Little General says he's enjoyed the return to his old club as player coach alongside Awen Guttenbiel, and other mates like Karl Te Nana, Monty Betham and Wairangi Koopu have helped the Pirates turn round its fortunes in dramatic fashion.

“I really enjoyed this season, not only playing with our boys but playing against some of these players in these other teams and I feel they appreciate us giving back to the club and the game in general so it’s been rewarding from that aspect as well,” Mr Jones says.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back to work policy opens door to abuse

Greens co-leader Meteria Turei is predicting an increase in the abuse of children as domestic purposes beneficiaries are forced back into the workforce.

From the end of September DPB claimants whose youngest child is six will have to be available to work at least 15 hours a week.

Ms Turei says at same time Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is calling on iwi leaders to stump up the money to pay for the Maori victims of abuse, she is introducing measures likely to lead to more abuse.

“The last time that this happened there was a report that said sole parents were extremely stressed out about it because many had to leave their older kids unsupervised, they had to leave the younger kids with the older kids or leave the younger kids at home alone and it put huge stress on those whanau because they had to go to work because the government required them to do it yet they knew they were leaving kids in unsafe situations,” she says.

Ms Turei says Ms Bennett's policies leave iwi leaders - and solo parents - in an impossible position.


A veteran Maori journalist says the Rugby World Cup is a great opportunity to get Maori stories out to the world.

Derek Fox has been hired by Te Puni Kokiri to assist its team trying to get Maori involved in the tournament.

He told a media hui in Auckland today that Maori tourism, the use of marae for ceremonies and accommodation and the wider use of te reo Maori are all possible outcomes.

He says any events and broadcasts relating to the competition must be sanctioned by the organisers.


An Otaki grandmother admits to being a nervous about her fist visit to an island she sees every day.

Nuki Takao is about to start a Tau Mai e Kapiti residency, which allows an emerging Maori writer to live and work on the northern end of Kapiti Island for 8 weeks.

Mrs Takao, who connects to Ngati Rarua Turangapeke, Te Ati Awa Otaraua and Ngai Tuhoe-Tamakaimoana, says she has long looked across at the motu and wondered at the stories it could tell.

“Kapiti Island has so many of it’s own stories – Te Rauparaha’s pa, the wildlife, it’s a gift for a writer, I’m really looking forward to it,” she says.

Nuki Takao plans to work on a children's book in Maori and English, which she hopes to develop into a series.


Whakatane-based Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi has gone into partnership with Waikato University and Bay of Plenty Polytechnic to bring a broader range of education options to its students.

Graham Smith, the wananga's chief executive, says the deal could involve sharing of resources, cross-crediting and staircasing between institutions, research and more diversity.

He says the whole community should benefit.

“Our community here in the eastern Bay of Plenty for example is probably one of the most underdeveloped regions in terms of health and education and therefore the opportunity to diversify programming and potential research opportunities and so on is important for the overall development of this community,” Professor Smith says.

The partnership should allow students to get more rich and varied qualifications without having to leave Maatatua.


Health researchers in Counties Manukau are looking for more smoking Maori mums to join a project aimed at lowering respiratory illness in Maori infants.

Eseta Nicholls, a community health worker on the Te Piripohotanga Research Team, says it seems smokers, or mothers who live in houses where others smoke, are too shy to come forward.

She says the study is still well short of the 200 mothers needed for a scientific sample.

“It’s a great study. I believe in it. It’s Maori working with Maori raising awareness to reduce respiratory illness in our babies,” Mr Nicholls says.


Maori league legend Stacey Jones says he's proud his old mate the Mad Butcher has got a gong.

Mr Jones had whanau on hand to see Sir Peter Charles Leitch receive his knighthood at Government House in Auckland yesterday.

He says as well as his huge commitment of money and inspiration into the game he loves, the canny businessman has been a tireless worker for charity.

“He's been my mentor in life for my footballing career and also after I finished football. We talk just about every day about how things are going and just so proud of what he’s done in his life,” says Mr Jones, from Te Aupouri, Ngati Maniapoto and Ngati Rugby League.

Bennett request over the top

Labour leader Phil Goff says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett's targeting of iwi to put their hands in their pockets to pay for child abuse programmes is over the top.

Ms Bennett last week told iwi leaders half the chidren under the care of Child, Youth and Family were Maori, and she wanted iwi to take some responsibility ... but there was no money in her budget to pay for what she wanted.

Mr Goff says the 21,000 children abused and neglected last year is a problem for everybody.

“For Paula Bennett just to single out Maori and then to say ‘you pay for it yourself’ I thought was really over the top. What she should be doing is looking at a partnership, getting the cooperation of the community, working with iwi, working with whanau but it’s the government’s role to get in behind and make sure the resourcing is there so all of our kids get proper protection and the best start in life,” Mr Goff says.


One of Environment Canterbury's government-appointed commissioners says the regional council's relationship with tangata whenua is improving.

Donald Couch is a former deputy chair of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu.

He says the council has regular talks with the iwi, which last year went to court to challenge consents granted for water from the Waitaki River.

He says one positive outcome of the closer relationship is the adoption of bilingual place names on all future Environment Canterbury documentation.


Maori filmmakers are paying their tributes to film pioneer Rei Tukupai Rakatau of Ngati Haua, who died on Tuesday at the age of 81.

Mr Rakatau was the first kaumatua for the New Zealand Film Commission and chose its alternate name, Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga.

Ella Henry from Maori film and televison group Nga Aho Whakaari says as well as acting, Mr Rakatau helped filmakers including Barry Barclay and Merata Mita negotiate questions of tikanga.

She says he was loved at the flax routes and known around the world for his contribution to filmmaking.

Rei Rakatau is lying at the Rukumoana Marae near Morrinsville.
His service is on Saturday morning.. moe mai e te koroua


The Prime Minister, John Key, says he values the different perspective iwi leaders bring to social issues.

Mr Key spent time last week with the Iwi Leaders Forum, and his Social Development Minister, Paula Bennett, then invited the forum to contribute physically and financially to programmes for the large number of Maori children now in state care.

He says he approved Ms Bennett's speech before delivery.

“I think one of the interesting things that she is trying to do is engage those leaders in social issues and I’ve been trying to do a little bit of that myself often coming at it from a National Party perspective, we think of it in economic terms, economic development, but there’s huge power in that iwi leadership and in their tentacles and in their reach within their communities and it’s just simply saying let’s work together on this,” Mr Key says.

One idea Ms Bennett put up for iwi funding is for a network of whanau finders to seek out the connections of Maori children under the care of Child, Youth an Family.


Environment Canterbury commissioners are today expected to formalise a deal to use dual Maori and English names for places in the regional council's territory.

Commissioner Donald Couch says the change to official documents was foreshadowed in Ngai Tahu's treaty settlement, but hadn't been actioned.

The former Ngai Tahu Runanga deputy chair says he was disappointed when he was appointed to the council three months ago to find the council itself didn't have a Maori name.

“Within a month I took it to the council and they approved it unanimously so it’s now Environment Canterbury, Kaunihera Taio ki Waitaha, so very positive response,” Mr Couch says.

Names he hopes will get wider adoption include Hakatere or the Ashburton River, Kaumira instead of Mount Nimrod and Ka Tiritiri o te Moana, the Southern Alps.


Still on the subject of words, Nelson's Whakatu Marae has gone positive.

Manager Trevor Wilson says the marae has a policy of focusing on positive outcomes rather than the negative statistics around Maori life - and it's the sort of attitude that won it a Human Rights Commission diversity award for its highly successful Waitangi Day Kai Festival.

He says a simple change of language can have major implications.

“You've got a programme where you are trying to prevent whanau from being involved in violence, rather than even going there we call it wonderful wahine so celebrate the good things about being who they are. We don’t deal qwith the negatives they have been involved in. However, byproduct of dealing with the positive stuff, they realise that themselves,” Mr Wilson says.

The new positivity is drawing lots of whanau back to Whakatu Marae, and new programmes are being developed.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Welfare plan floated

Prime Minister John Key says he sounded out iwi leaders before Social Development Minister Paula Bennett asked them to put their hands in their own pockets to provide child abuse services.

Mr Key says he gave the nod to Ms Bennett's speech to the Iwi Leaders Forum last Friday in which she pointed out that half the children in the care of Child, Youth and family were Maori.

Mr Key had dined with the group the night before.

“I asked the iwi leaders when I went around the tables on Thursday evening, ‘what do you think?’ and I think it’s fair to say the vast bulk of them actually agreed with her. There was push back from one or two and I think she was pains to labour the fact that this is not unique to Maori, they have arguably higher statistics in terms of child abuse that other ethnicities, and that’s just a statement of fact, it’s not about apportioning blame,” Mr Key says.


A Maori tourism leader says strict new rules for adventure tourism won't phase Maori operators.

Responding to a spate of tourist deaths over the past five years, the government has asked the Labour Department to devise a system of registration and safety audits according to the level of risk associated with an activity.

John Barrett from Kapiti Nature Lodge, the immediate past president of the Maori Tourism Association, says the Maori operators he has dealt with are experienced and safety conscious.

“There's a very small fringe on the outside of the sector these rules may be aimed at. The vast majority of operators, Maori and non-Maori, will have extensive safety plans in place and it will be nothing new to them,” Mr Barrett says.


The Cawthron Institute is warning Auckland beach goers it's the time of the year to be particularly careful of toxic sea slugs.

The institute is undertaking a $250,000 research project with the Hauraki Maori Trust Board to find out more about how the slugs became sources of the poison tetrodioxin, which led to the death of dogs on North Shore beaches last winter.

Its Maori development manager, Shaun Ogilvie, says the next two months are seen as the high danger period.

“Because of what happened last year most people are being cautious about taking their dogs on the beaches anyway, so we’ve learned from that, but hopefully as we move through the study we will get a better idea of where the risk lie and what time of year and that kind of thing,” Mr Ogilvie says.

The study will involve marae around Tikapamoana, the Hauraki Gulf, monitoring beaches and sending any sea slugs to the institute in Nelson for analysis.


The Prime Minister, John Key, says a challenge from Winston Peters in his Helensville electorate would be a political stunt.

Mr Peters has said he won't stand again in Tauranga, where another Maori lawyer, National's Simon Bridges, beat him by more than 11,000 votes last election.

Sources close to Mr Peters say the New Zealand First leader is looking to Auckland's northwest for a head to head run against the PM.

But Mr Key says he doesn't fear for his 20,000 majority.

“I don't think he will run out there actually. I don’t care if he does. I will just treat him like any other person that comes along and there will be others that run just because it’s my seat and so people will want to get a bit of profile and do that but I don’t think he will. I think it’s all part of the master plan to get people to talk about him because he’s polling and about 2 percent and he needs people to do that and in the end if he wants to run out there, I’m more than happy to have a debate about the big issues,” Mr Key says.

He was expecting Mr Peters to stand in Epsom, which was won by ACT leader Rodney Hide in 2008 with the National Party backing off campaigning.


One of Environment Bay of Plenty's three Maori ward members says other regions and towns have nothing to fear from dedicated Maori seats.

Raewyn Bennett told the Human Rights Commission's Diversity Conference in Christchurch this week that representation at the table meant Maori, who make up 28 percent of those in the council area, were more willing to come forward with their views.

She says the 82 other councils need to take another look at the issue without fear it would create disharmony.

“It's not a special right. It’s our right as tangaa whenua indigenous peoles of this land and it’s a treaty right and the fear that perhaps we are going to take over the country, it just doesn’t add up. Environment Bay of Plenty, the sky hasn’t fallen down. I think it has enhanced the way the whole council operates,” Ms Bennet says.


A Nelson marae has won a Human Rights Commision diversity award for its work, including a Waitangi Day Kai Festival that attracted more than 6000 people to sample food from around the world.

Manager Trevor Wilson says as well as its whare tupuna, Whakatu Marae has kaumatua housing, a kohanga reo and a kokiri centre that is used for health and social services.

He says the kai festival came out of a deliberate decision by the marae to only deliver programmes which would bring a positive outcome for whanau.

“We had to attract our whanau to the marae and we used all sorts of different methods and the kai fest is just another way of getting not only our whanau back to the marae but also attracting all our new migrants and our local community and anyone who wanted to have a look and see what we are up to,” Mr Wilson says.

Whakatu Marae is plans to repeat the kai festival next year.

$250,000 to investigate toxic sea slugs

The Hauraki Maori Trust Board says its involvement in an investigation of toxic sea slugs is part of its kaitiaki or guardianship duty.

Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, the Maori centre for research excellence, is putting up $250,000 for the board to work with the Nelson-based Cawthron Institute into how the slugs have started storing tetrodoxin poison.

Policy manager Liane Ngamane says the iwi was made aware of the problem by the mysterious deaths of at least two dogs on Auckland beaches last summer.

“It caused us to ask some questions about it. Does this toxin only sit in sea slugs? Could it get into some kai that our people collect and the general community collects? So it just raised a whole lot of issues and as kaitiaki we felt and obligation to follow through on it,” Ms Ngamane says.

Hauraki will make the community is aware of any dangers it uncovers through the research.


A member of Pharmac's Consumer Advisory Committee says she is looking forward to bringing a Maori perspective to the government drug funder.

Moana Papa from Te Arawa is one of four new Maori members on the nine-member committee.

The south Auckland woman says a bout of rheumatic fever at age 10, which gave her heart problems, and a brush with breast cancer five years ago at age 32 has given her a deep respect for the value of medicines in maintaining health.

She has been an advocate at local level for access to medicine.

“I started up a breast cancer support group for wahine in south Auckland that had come through. We talk about medicines and different treatments so it kind of all happened through osmosis and just meeting with people and talking about just rongoa and all the different ways of improving your health with regards to accessing the medicines,” Mrs Papa says.

Other Maori appointed to the Consumer Advisory Committee include Maori Women's Welfare League life member Barbara Greer from Hokitika, tobacco control advocate Shane Bradbrook of Wellington and Te Arawa Health Board member Katerina Pihera of Rotorua.


Jimmy Cowan and Piri Weepu may be a potent combination sharing the All Blacks halfback slot, but commentator Ken Laban predicts the Whakatohea-Ngai Tahu number 9 will be first pick behind the scrum come next year's World Cup.

He says for now the selectors have the luxury of two distinct styles to send out onto the field.

"They favour Piri over Jimmy when it comes to ball playing and coming to the creating things in the game but when it comes to the early exchanges in the game. They see one as the athlete and the other as the footballer. They use the athlete to start the game and the footballer to finish it,” Mr Laban says.


Ngati Whatua chair Naida Glavish says the Social Development Minister's offer to give iwi more responsibility for looking after Maori children is an overdue reversal of policy.

Paula Bennett told an Iwi Leaders' Forum last week that there are 2227 Maori children in the care of Child, Youth and Family, and the iwi affiliations of most of them are known.

She wants to see those children with families, and iwi want them within whanau in their own hapu and iwi.

Ms Glavish says the minister seems to be reviving an initiative scrapped by a previous National government in the early 1990s.

“They did away with Maatua Whangai, who were successfully returning children back to their whanau who were in the marae, into the hapuu. We’re prepared to do tht and I’m prepared to work alongside of her to support iwi in the Taitokerau to work out how we can do it safely for those back home and for our mokopuna, for the children,” Ms Glavish says.

She wasn't impressed by Ms Bennett's suggestion that iwi should fund the scheme themselves.


Auckland super city mayoral candidate Len Brown is taking the race relations' commissioner's views on Maori representation to heart.

Joris de Bres told a Human Rights Commission diversity forum in Christchurch this week that he was concerned that only one local authority, Environment Bay of Plenty, had created Maori seats in the 10 years that councils have had to power to do so.

He recommended that the new Auckland council establish Maori seats as soon as possible, subject to endorsement by Auckland iwi.

Mr Brown says he wants to see Ngati Whatua, Tainui and Hauraki representatives around the table.

“Remember it’s only one vote around that table but I’ll be a strong one, that if we had appropriate designated representation for Maori, in the first instance I guess mana whenua and that’s been a pretty important debate, then that’s nothing to be afraid of. I think that will add value,” Mr Brown says.

He says not only do Maori play a strong cultural role in the city, they are increasingly a major economic force.


A Far North iwi has refused to allow autopsies on pilot whales which stranded on Karikari peninsula at the weekend.

Alan Hetaraka, the kaumatua for Te Whanau Moana and Te Rorohuri hapu, says scientists can take DNA from the whales, but the hapu did not want the mammals butchered.

“Out of respect to our whanau tohora we should intern them without any further disruption to them and treat them like our whanau, as of course they are, so we disallowed any dismembering of the animals,” Mr Hetaraka says.

The former marine biologist says it was a sad occasion for the iwi members present, but the scientists just seemed to be intent on getting their samples.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Iwi ready for child welfare role

Waikato-Tainui chair Tukoroirangi Morgan says iwi would welcome the chance to have a greater say in looking after Maori children.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett told last week's Iwi Leaders Forum at Hopuhopu that she was looking at ways to get more Maori children who are under the care of Child, youth and Family placed with whanau or iwi.

She says currently 56 percent of those Maori children under five are in the care of other whanau members, and another 16 percent are with Maori who are not whanau.

Mr Morgan says Maori have been calling for the change for a generation.

“Ultimately we see no role for government institutions, those places that used to hold our children. What iwi and hapu seek is the opportunity to draw the strands of whakapapa in relation to those children who are currently under the care of the state andf weave them back into the fabric of whanau, of hapu and iwi,” he says.

Mr Morgan says if children are moved from the care of the state to iwi, then the resources need to come with them.


The Alcohol Advisory Council's Maori strategic advisor is praising proposed alcohol reforms.

The government says it will adopt in full or in part 126 of the 153 recommendations of the Law Commission's review of alcohol laws, including raising the age for off-licence alcohol sales to 20, cutting the alcohol content in ready to drink mixes and reducing the hours that premises can sell alcohol.

Tuari Potiki from Kai Tahu, Kati Mamoe and Waitaha says it's the kind of change ALAC has called for.

“There's a whole lot in the package that is really good and will make a difference, particularly in Maori communities, reducing the availability through getting rid of alcohol form convenience stores and dairies. There’s some stuff around price looking at minimum price, if it is viable, and it seems to me round the world that is becoming more of an option,” he says.

Mr Potiki says with the emphasis on discouraging youth drinking will help Maori communities.


A Maori production team is looking for stories with an iconic New Zealand flavour to be made into short films.

Tauihu Shorts has been appointed by the Film Commission as executive producer of two short films with a budget of $90,000 each.

Producer Brad Haami says they are looking for experienced writers/directors with the ability to tell stories in a distinctively original way.

“That's what we are looking for, people who have got good little stories, a moment in time, of an incident or something like that, that is iconic of what Maoridom is or what New Zealand is as a nation,” Mr Haami says.

The deadline for applications is the end of October.


New Zealand says Maori leaders needs to make their voices heard for more control of alcohol.

Doug Sellman, who is also director of the National Addiction Centre, says the Government's liquor law reform package fall well short of what Maori leaders have sought.

He says the select committee process may be the time for Maori to talk about the harm alcohol is doing in their communities.

“Maoridom has some terrific spokespeople in this area. I’ve heard Sir Mason Durie. I’ve heard Mark Solomon and I’ve heard others saying what needs to be said but we need more of it, and from the looks of this announcement, we are going to need a lot more,” Professor Sellman says.

He says the Law Commission's recommendations for price signals, stopping supermarket sales and curbing advertising and sponsorship have been ignored.


Ngati Whatua Runanga leader Nadia Glavish says she is not standing for a seat on the Auckland council because mana whenua should be on the super city's governing body by right.

Ms Glavish says that's an argument she put directly to the Select Committee examining the super city legislation.

She says the Prime Minister John Key, and the Minister for Government Minister, Rodney Hide instead chose to stomp over the the treaty rights of Auckland iwi.

“We've heard all the stories about ‘I believe in democracy,’ and only the majority would use statements like ‘I believe in democracy.’ It’s not as though we don’t believe in democracy but we do have a treaty right and that title ‘we believe in democracy’ is about the tyranny of the majority,” Ms Glavish says.

She is supporting Manukau mayor Len Brown to head the super city because he has shown more support for tangata whenua than his rival, Auckland city mayor John Banks.


The Michael King Writers Centre in Devonport is counting its first Maori residency a success.

Manager Karen Beanland says Brad Haami was at the cottage on the slopes of Taka-runga or Mt Victoria for two months.

She says it was a productive stay for both writer and host, with Haami making progress on his book of the cultural traditions around whales, plus giving some talks to the public.

Applications for next year's two month residence for established or emerging Maori writers closes in December.

More resources needed for wider reo uptake

The chief executive of the Maori Language Commission says more resources would be needed if te reo Maori becomes a compulsory subject in schools.

More than a third of New Zealander say they would be happy for the language to be added to the curriculum.

Glenis Philip Barbara says the survey result from Research New Zealand was a pleasant surprise for Te Taura Whiri, which is the agency responsible for advising the government.

“If we were to achieve something like this, we would have to have a close look at how we prepare the teacher supply for this kind of mahi. The overwhelming feedback I get from teachers in the field is there isn’t enough of this resource on the ground now even to service the interest coming through from families and students,” Ms Philip-Barbara says.

She says it could take up to a decade to train up enough teachers to teach Maori to all New Zealand children.


Otago University researchers a celebrating a big drop in the number of Maori women getting cervical cancer.

Bridget Robson from Ngati Raukawa, the head of the Eru Pomare Maori Health Research Centre at the Wellington School of Medicine, says analysis of 11 years of data shows Maori mortality rates from cervical cancer fell by 11 percent a year, compared with a 5 percent annual drop in the non-Maori rate.

She says that's a significant closing of the gap.

“Other researchers found thee is no difference in treatment between Maori and non-Maori with cervical cancer. Now we need to focus on preventing Maori women getting cervical cancer which is through regular screening and vaccination against the HPV virus and also to get the cancer detected early because that is the only difference between Maori and non-Maori that affects our survival,” Ms Robson says.

The rate of Maori deaths from lunch cancer is also coming down but remains three times that of non-Maori, justifying much stronger moves to cut down smoking.


The editor of a book on the state of the Waikato River says the Government's investment in cleaning up the river is positive, but it may not be enough.

The Waters of the Waikato brings together 38 experts for the first comprehensive study of the river for 30 years.

Kevin Collier from Environment Waikato and the University of Waikato says while he would swim in the river at Hamilton, it gets too polluted for recreational use further downstream.

He says the co-management plan involving iwi, the crown and local authorities is a step forward, but only $7 million a year for the next 30 years has been set aside for pollution control.

“I think we have got to look at the scoping studies being done at the moment, look at the options that are available and what work is planned where and make some judgments based on that,” Dr Collier says.

Waters of the Waikato identified land management to control sediment run-off as the major issue needing to be addressed.


Iwi leaders say they will accept a challenge from the Minister of Social Development, Paula Bennett, to do more to tackle social issues like child abuse.

But Tainui chair Tukoroirangi Morgan says the leaders' forum at Hopuhopu last week rejected the minister's idea that they should fund such services out of their own pockets.

He says ideas like getting more children now in state care back out with whanau or iwi are welcome, but they will only work if the resources follow the child.

“Iwi will never allow the Crown to abrogate its social responsibility of employment, of education, of the basic social services, and as we assume greater responsibility, that’s not an opportunity for the Crown to walk away from its primary role, that is the provision of core services,” Mr Morgan says.

Iwi leaders saw Paula Bennett's speech as being about finding innovative ways to restore the health of of their people, rather than being institutional racism as the Green Party has claimed.


An Australian who used social media to fight racial intolerance in Melbourne says there are lessons for Maori wanting to fight discrimination here.

Mia Northrop's Vindaloo Against Violence campaign used Facebook and Twitter to get 17 thousand people dining in 400 Indian restaurants in one night, as a way to show support to Indians who where being attacked in the streets.

She told yesterday's Human Rights Commission Diversity Forum in Christchurch that similar Flash Mobs could be used by activists groups here.

“There is always a hard core group that is very political, that will go to protests, who will get their voice heard. What I wanted to reach are all those who don’t consider themselves political people, who felt strongly about this but might not feel strongly about marching in the streets so to speak or going to rallies so I think social media can help you reach new audiences you are not reaching through your existing networks,” Ms Northrop says.

The key to the Vindaloo campaign was making the jump from social networks to mainstream media.


The mayor of the Far North, Wayne Brown, says the Ngapuhi Runanga's endorsement of a rival candidate makes no sense.

Mr Brown says if former Auckland International Airport head John Goulter get his job, he would have to go off the tribe's investment committee.

He says Ngapuhi chair Sonny Tau doesn't seem to have thought through the endorsement.

“I find it a bit hard to believe Maori leaders are pushing for a JAFA really. It doesn’t make sense and I’ve known Sonny for donkey’s years and he’s usually quite rational but everyone has a bad day,” Mr Brown says.

He says Mr Tau is more on the button with his support for western community board chair Tracy Dalton as a councilor, as the Far North could benefit from having a capable Maori woman on board.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Preferential voting against minority

Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says the hung election across the Tasman shows the benefits of proportional representation to minority interests like the Greens and Maori.

She says the Australian Green Party look like being in the box seat to decide who forms the next government because while it won just 1 seat in the lower house, the preferential voting system gave it nine in the senate, which must approve all legislation.

She says if the New Zealand mixed member proportional system was in use, the Greens 12 percent share of the overall vote would have given it 16 of the 150 seats in the lower house.

“Preferential voting will be one of the options put to voters here at the next election for the MMP referendum. The Australian election shows how systems that aren’t proportional do really badly for around a million voters whose votes don’t count in the Australian elections,” Ms Turei says.

She is picking a Labor-Green coalition because of the Green's power in the senate.


Today's Human Rights Commission Diversity Forum in Christchurch heard a plea from the race relations commissioner for local authorities to include Maori at a governance level.

Joris de Bres says that will help New Zealand become a place that respects and accounts for a diversity of interests.

He released a discussion paper challenging councils to act and questioning the way the super city seats were decided.

“It's based on the debate about Maori seats on the new Auckland council, the success of the Maori seat option in the Bay of Plenty and a survey we’ve done on all local authorities and regional councils as well as a look at the whole history of the business,” Mr de Bres says.

Raewyn Bennett from Environment Bay of Plenty told the Forum that Maori representation has advanced the interests of both Maori and the wider community and it was not something to be feared.


Otago University health researchers are attributing a steady decline in the rate of lung cancer in Maori men to a reduction in smoking.

The report by the Eru Pomare Maori Health Research Centre at the Wellington School of Medicine found Maori lung cancer deaths dropping on average 5 percent a year over the 11 years of the study.

But centre director Bridget Robson says Maori are still dying of lung cancer at three times the rate of non-Maori, and more needs to be done.

“We need to make a real effort to get our smoking rates down and we would support the move the reduce the sales of tobacco by 2020 and it’s really important to provide an environment that supports young Maori to remain smokefree, preventing visible sale of cigarettes in dairies and those sorts strategies,” she says.

Maori cervical cancer rates were dropping 11 percent a year as screening programmes have an effect.


Mystery surrounds the final resting place of Parihaka Peace festival director Te Miringa Hohaia after family members took the tupapaku from the historic marae in the middle of the night for burial somewhere on Mount Taranaki.

Taranaki iwi spokesperson Peter Moeahu says the move came as a shock to the hundreds of people who turned up for the funeral on Saturday morning.

But he says there was a traditional basis to the family's actions, and it should not matter to mourners that Mr Hohaia's physical presence was gone.

“It's said that they come to pay their last respects and farewell the deceased but spiritually the deceased is already gone so what remains is the empty shell, if that is there at all. And of course in this case with Te Miringa it wasn’t which I thought just added to the mystery of the man and the interest of the occasion,” Mr Moeahu says.


The authors of a new book on the Waikato River hope will help Tainui take up co-management of the awa with the Crown and local authorities.

Lead editor Kevin Collier presented The Waters of the Waikato to King Tuheitia during the annual coronation commemoration at Turangawaewae Marae on Friday.

It updates two previous versions from 1971 and 1981.

Dr Collier, who works for both Waikato University and Environment Waikato, says knowledge of the country's largest river has increased significantly over the years, and the book brings together the work of 48 contributors including representatives from river iwi and hapu.

“Long term if we can help in some way to raise awareness of ecological issues and values in the river and inform and engage people in the future wise management of the river, I think the book will achieve a lot if it can achieve those goals,” Dr Collier says.

Waikato University postgraduate and postdoctoral students will use The Waters of the Waikato as the basis for further research.


A Maori tourism company will share its secrets with other indigenous operators at a hui in the United States next month.

Ron Mader from Planeta.com, who runs the Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Awards, says this year's people's choice award winner, Auckland-based Time Unlimited Tours, is a leader in culturally and environmentally sustainable tourism.

He says the way it wraps Maori history and contemporary issues into its tours of Tamaki is what many tourists are looking for.

“It's not big groups. It’s the smaller individual face to face trips, taking people with permission onto marae and just letting people hang out a bit. It’s not so much the big show or the big dance. It’s more kind of understanding the Maori as they are today and we’re seeing that sort of tour sort of emerge around the world,” Mr Mader says.

Another Maori venture, Te Urewera Treks, will also take part in next month's Biodiversity Workshop in Portland, Oregon.

More Maori needed in local government

The Race relations commissioner will use the Human Rights Commission’s diversity forum in Christchurch today to argue for more Maori representation in local government level,

Joris de Bres says it’s part of what’s needed to build a more tolerant and respectful society.

He says the annual forum is a chance to highlight pressing social issues.

“I will be talking about Maori youth unemployment for example, which has got even worse. We’ll be talking about Maori imprisonment. We’ll be talking about some of the issues of where are we going with the treaty and constitution. I think these issues move along and there’s got to be a space where we can talk about them,” Mr de Bres says.

The forum at the Christchurch Event Centre also includes sessions on bicultural environmental policy and the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights.


A Petone historian is challenging a story used by a new golf club to name one of its holes.

Warwick Johnston says Boulcott Farm Heritage Golf Club intends to put a plaque up at what it’s calling the Bugler Allen Hole, recounting the tale that in 1846 a 16 year old soldier, William Allan, raised the alarm that Maori were attacking the Boulcott farm, despite having his arm hacked off with a tomahawk.

He says the incident was clearly a colonial beat-up full of lurid exaggeration, starting with the fact Private Allan was a 21-year old drummer, not a 16-year-old bugler.

“If I can find as many inconsistencies and inaccuracies in this one small incident, what other inconsistencies and inaccuracies are there from this period. It worries me that consistently history books given to students, if New Zealand history books are give to students any more, that they arrive in from of them with images like that,” Mr Johnston says.


An Auckland weaver has created a korowai to help a school damaged by fire.

Sylvinia Subritzsky says she wanted to help after hearing about the devastation caused by young arsonists who torched Mangere East Primary School over Queens Birthday weekend.

She says she’s made over 40 korowai over the years, many gifted to schools to use as taonga for their kapahaka roopu, but this one is being raffled by the school.

The draw for the korowai will be held on Friday, and most of the 400 $20 tickets have sold already.


Race relations commissioner Joris de Bres says continuing Maori youth unemployment is a threat to social cohesion.

Maori unemployment is running at more than 16 percent, but Maori youth unemployment is much higher that, particularly in areas like Northland.

Mr de Bres is concerned more than 40 percent of 15 to 19 year olds who have not gone into tertiary education can’t find them … and can become alienated.

“I just don’t think we can sustain that. I think it’s a genuine risk to social cohesion. These people will inevitably, these young people will feel marginalized,” Mr de Bres says.

Unemployment will be discussed at the Human Rights Commission’s diversity forum in Christchurch today, along with issues like Maori representation on local bodies and bicultural environmental policy.


Bay of Plenty recreational fishers are backing moves by the Maori owners of Tuhua-Mayor Island to ban commercial fishing around the island.

Russ Hawkins, who operates the charter launch Fatboy out of Tauranga, says the proposed mataitai would complement an existing marine reserve to the north east of the island.

He says Bay of Plenty fishers have worked with iwi in the past to protect other marine areas and species, such as halving the bag limit for greenlip mussel beds near Tauranga-Mt Maunganui.


The producer of Westfield Style Pasifika says fahionistas can expect to be inspired by some of the Maori-themed clothes entered for this year’s awards.

Stan Wolfgramm says 350 people are involved putting together an evening of fashion, music and dance at the Vector Arena on September 3.

Entries are coming in from Aotearoa, Australia and Oceania.

“We have a woman who has won some awards in the past, Kohai Grace. She’s put some entries in this year that are made of harakeke, some amazing garments there. We see a lot of tradition-inspired garments, either through the materials used or just the design,” Mr Wolfgramm says.

Performers to look out for are singer Mark Williams and a kapa haka from Manutuke School near Gisborne.