Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, September 03, 2010

Hamilton group standing in way of Tainui plans

A group of Waikato Maori say they will need to be forcibly removed from a Hamilton marae Tainui leaders want to demolish to make way for a supermarket.

Tuta Ormsby, the chair of Rangimarie Te Horanganui Marae chair, says the site near Glenview on the city's west was turned into a marae at the wish of the late Waikato - Tainui leader Sir Robert Mahuta.

He says Tainui Group Holdings wants them off the site by next Tuesday, but they intend to stay.

“I'm going to stand up and I’m going to doe on this kaupapa. They won't,” Mr Ormsby says.

Tainui executive chair Tukoroirangi Morgan declined to respond.


The Minister of Maori Affairs, Pita Sharples says he was deeply moved by yesterday's launch of the rugby world cup campaign in Sydney.
Dr Sharples opened the doors of the giant inflatable rugby ball on the Circular Quay landscape soon after sunrise.

“We had an Aboriginal ceremony which was really moving as they did their smoke cleansing, but they also did some traditional welcme dance and welcomed the Maori party, and then the Maori party joined them and welcomed the Australians. It was really brilliant,” Dr Sharples says the organisers hope to bring the giant rugby ball to New Zealand in the lead up to next year's tournament.


It's a big weekend in the south Auckland with the opening of a new arts centre in Mangere.

Manager Naomi Singer says the design of the distinctive yellow building in the heart of the town centre came about after extensive consultation by the architects with the local community and mana whenua, who gave it the name Nga Tohu o Uenuku

She says the entrance has a stylised rainbow, and the shape of the theatre references Mangere maunga.

Naomi Singer says there will be cultural performances over the weekend as well as an exhibition by local artists.


Maori affairs minister Pita Sharples is off to China tomorrow to open doors for Maori entrepreneurs.

He's heading a group of 20 Maori business leaders for an 8 day visit taking in Beijing and Shanghai.

He's expecting great things to come from the trip.

“It's going to be a whirlwind week, very busy, so I’m relying on the entrepreneurs, young and old, that I’m taking over there to capitalize on the occasion, set up communications, and of course we’ve got our expats over there, they’re very keen to assist in business arrangements, so very exciting,” Dr Sharples says.

The delegation includes people in farming, fishing, forestry, science, telecommunications and graphics.


A Northland school has come up with a way of encouraging Maori in the community to korero with its students who are learning te reo.

Kaipara College's Maori department has produced badges showing the student's level of ability to understand and speak Maori.

Carlin Shaw, the head of department, says He Akonga badges are for students with basic Maori while he korero Maori badges go to students with more extensive knowledge.

“This is the first step. We’ve got these badges now and we have told the community via the newspaper, also going out to local iwi and talking to them about it and they were very supportive of it which has been awesome,” he saus

Mr Shaw says the students feel encouraged when members of the community talk with them.


One of the Maori involved in World Rowing championships at Lake Karapiro, Willie te Aho, says the way Maori are being integrated is in sharp contrast to other sports.

The Maori Affairs Minister, Pita Sharples, has come under fire for adding a Maori flavour to yesterday's launch of the Rugby World Cup campaign in Sydney, despite failing in his efforts to get a Maori rugby ambassador appointed.

Mr Te Aho says organisers of 2011 Rugby World Cup seem to take Maori for granted, but don't allow them to play a substantive role.

“Yes there are people on the ground trying to do things but my good comparison is the New Zealand Rowing and the rowing world championships that are going to be held at Karapiro and they are working in partnership with us and that’s the huge difference with rugby, is that they don’t see us as a partner, they see us as a marketing tool and they see their partners as the international community, and that has to change,” Mr Te Aho says.

Ngati Koroki Kahukura and Ngati Haua have been fully involved in the planning of the World Rowing Champs, which start on September 30.

Iwi cash for social programmes limited

The head of Canterbury University's school of Maori and ethnic studies says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has shown a lack of understanding of both the Maori world and the Treaty of Waitangi with her call for iwi to bear some of the cost of child welfare programmes.

Ms Bennett last month challenged the Iwi Leaders Forum to take some responsibility for fighting what she said was a disproportionate amount of child abuse among maori, and suggested some programmes for them to fund.

Rawiri Taonui says even post-settlement iwi don't have the money to spare.

“What cash they have is either reinvested for future generations or is already, a significant amount of it, spent by tribes on the cultural redevelopment of their people, the welfare of their people and so on and so forth,” he says.

Mr Taonui says article three of the treaty entitles Maori to the same government services as other New Zealanders.


The instigator of protests which led to a wide-ranging commitment to clean up the Manawatu River has slammed Federated Farmers for refusing to sign the accord.

Malcolm Mulholland who farmers are among the biggest contributors of pollution into the river.

He says the Tararua branch of the farmers' lobby had attended meetings of the Manawatu River Leaders Forum, but was not among the 27 industry, council, environmental and iwi groups that signed the accord.

“There's a bit of suspicion that word came from high in Federated Farmers to the local level to say don’t sign up to this because farmers are going to have to fork out left right and centre in order for the various waterways throughout the country not to be polluted,” Mr Mulholland says.

He says Federated farmers may be misreading the community mood about river pollution.


A show at Te Pataka museum in Porirua is demonstrating how students from Tairawhiti Polytech's Toihoukura school of visual art and design use computers and multi-media installations to take Maori arts into new territories.

Steve Gibbs, the school's principal tutor, says while the students also learn to use traditional materials like paint, fibre, clay and wood, there is also a basis in tradition for embracing new technologies.

“For Taiarawhiti you can go back to Raharuhi Rukapo who picked up a steel nail and in that process transformed carving. If he was alive today he wouldn’t be using steel chisels still. He’d be using laser cutter, plastics, whatever tools are around. They weren’t simply carvers, they were creative thinking people,” Mr Gibbs says.

The Toihoukura exhibition closes next week


The founding chief executive of Te Kohanga Reo says Maori language revival can't be separated from the overall development of Maori families.

Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi says this week's national language conference at Parliament was a good opportunity to look at whether the money going to Maori language programmes was being well spent.

She says people get caught in a fix it mentality, rather than seeing how the family as a whole can grow.

“We're all running round trying to fix what is going on with families, whether it is education, health, Maori language or what have you, and I think there is a lot of very earnest effort and a lot of investment but megabucks are going in and surely it is time to ask, are we operating in a system that is ineffective? That is a rhetorical question because in fact we are,” Dame Iritana says.

She says part of the reason for kohanga reo's success was the way it harnessed the energy of the whole whanau in raising children in te reo.


The producer of a Maori Television documentary about kura kaupapa students in South Africa says it's a way to put te reo Maori on the international stage.

George Andrews says the six students have cameras to record their experiences in a predominantly black township near East London in Cape province, and there is also a camera crew on location.

He says the six were chosen because of their fluency in te reo Maori and their kapa haka skills, with a concert for their hosts being part of the package.
“The wonderful thing for me has been to realise how fluent they are in te reo, how much they re at home in speaking it and how the language they speak is not a formal or high church Maori but what they are talking and what they are giving us is the new era Maori they have learned to speak themselves,” Mr Andrews says.

The documentary will follow a similar format to ones made by Maori students in China and Chile.


In the Hawkes Bay settlement of Bridge Pa they simply call her Nanny Tata but across the rest of Aotearoa they are calling her a legend.

91-year-old Tata Wairukuruku Maere brought the house down at the Waka Toi Awards in Wellington at the weekend.

After accepting a Ta Kingi Ihaka Award for her contribution to te reo maori and culture, the Radio Kahungunu host picked up her ukulele and showed the talent that took her on numerous tours to the United States during the 1960s with Te Arohanui Group.

Nanny Tata says while a hip replacement has slowed her up a little, she is looking forward to getting back on her jet ski when she next visits Hawaii.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Minister misguided in abuse call

An academic who has made a study of child abuse says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett's demand that iwi leaders take more responsibility for tackling abuse is based on false assumptions.

Ms Bennett last month asked iwi leaders to pay for initiatives she considered would help keen Maori children safe.

Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and Ethnic studies at Canturbury University, says Ms Bennett and newspaper columnist Fran O'Sullivan, who backed her call, are looking at child abuse and child homicide as a purely Maori problem.

He says only 28 of the 88 children who died as a result of domestic violence between1993 to 2003 were Maori.

“Forty eight of those deaths, 54 percent of them, were children who died in Pakeha homes. Now there is no parallel call out there saying ‘hey, the Pakeha community has to front up with cash to do something about Pakeha child homicide.’ Part of the root problem here is the way that the media and commentators like Fran O’Sullivan present this issue of child abuse as being a Maori-only problem. It’s a much wider problem than that,” Mr Taonui says.


Labour's Maori affairs spokesperson has slammed Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples for launching of New Zealand's rugby world cup campaign in Australia.

Dr Sharples and King Tuheitia officiated at a dawn ceremony at Sydney's Circular Quay this morning to open a giant inflatable rugby ball, which will show multimedia presentations about New Zealand until after the September 11 Bledisloe Cup test between New Zealand and Australia.

Mr Horomia says Dr Sharples went along with the plan, despite his lack of success in getting the Government to appoint a Maori ambassador for the cup.

“What we mustn't do is just continue to be the performers who poke their tongue out and slap their knees and keep everybody happy and worse still, give a false impression that our connection here is complete because it’s not,” Mr Horomia says.

It still grates him that Pacific island nations will be represented at the world cup in their own right while Maori will not be.


Meanwhile, Buck Shelford has given up waiting for the call to be a Rugby World Cup Ambassador ... and he's off to be an ambassador for ki o rahi instead.

The former All Black captain and his wife Joanne are traveling with the national ki o rahi squad to Europe.

Coach Harko Brown says games are lined up in England and France, where the traditional Maori ball game was learned from French soldiers who fought alongside the Maori Battalion members in World War 2.

“We've raised a pretty strong squad. We’ve had a few games around New Zealand with iwi teams. Buck agreed over a year ago to join us. He’s just passionate about ki o rahi, calls himself the ki o rahi ambassador, so who are we to argue with such a legend,” Mr Brown says.

The England game has been put together by the Saracens rugby club, where Buck Shelford coached after being dropped from the All Blacks.


The head of an expert panel reviewing Maori language initiatives says demographic forces may mean kohanga reo needs to change.

Tamati Reedy called a national language conference at Parliament yesterday to discuss what's needed to ensure the survival of te reo Maoi.

He says when the Maori language pre-schools were started in the early 1980s to start the revival of the language, there was still a pool of native speakers to call on.

“We had plenty of our kaumatua going into kohanga, providing good models of te reo. Now today, we have a different set. We’ve got those who were youngsters at that time, they are now the parents and there are fewer and fewer of those people who are competent in te reo going in to kohangas to implant the reo,” Dr Reedy says.

He says the successes in language revival has come from Maori-run initiatives like kohanga reo, so government spending should be directed and managed by Maori.


The Prime Minister say he wants to see more public-iwi partnerships like the Ngai Tahu joint venture which built a new home for Christchurch City Council.

The $113 million civic centre opened on the weekend, with the tribe's 50 percent stake giving it guaranteed revenues for years to come.

John Key says the government has a lot of infrastructure it needs to build, and around the world public private partnerships have become a popular way to fund such projects.

“It's a great win win for everyone. It’s great for everyone who wants to use those services. It’s also good for the Crown because we don’t have all the borrowing on our balance sheet and it’s good for the investor, in this case whether it’s Ngai Tahu or Tainui or others so I think you are going to see more of this, not just from iwi. You are going to see it from pension funds and specialist funds that will get set up that you and I can invest in if we want to,” he says.

Mr Key says the reason many New Zealanders have been caught in finance company collapses is because there is a lack of safe investment opportunities.


A group of rangatahi are on their way to South Africa to make a documentary for Maori Television about life in a township.

Producer George Andrews says it's the third in a series, following exchanges in China and Chile.

He says the six students were selected for the three week trip by auditions in kura kaupapa Maori.

They will be farewelled tomorrow at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori a rohe o Mangere by members of Auckland's South African community and the South African high commissioner.

“They go to the second largest township in South Africa, Mdantsane in East London, and that’s all Xhosa, they’re mainly black people and they will be home staying in those schools but they will also be visiting a coloured school and an Afrikaaner school,” Mr Andrews says.

The students will be in the republic during the annual commemoration of the death of Steve Biko, whose murder by police 33 years became a unifying point for the anti-apartheid movement both in South Africa and New Zealand.

Crown makes up rent shortfall it made

The chair of Ngati Rarua Atiawa Trust, Paul Morgan, says there is still a lot of work needed before all issues over its land at Motueka are resolved.

The government is to pay the trust $5 million for past rental losses on the Whakarewa lands, which came back to the trust in 1992 from the Anglican Church encumbered by perpetual leases.

Mr Morgan says the issues are similar to the Taranaki leases which were covered by the 1997 Maori Reserved Land Act, but Ngati Rarua Atiawa has not been able to get its leases reformed.

“The package they got in 1997 brought them down from 21 years to seven. That’s still not market but it‘s much improved. The negotiation just recognized the loss in rental. We haven’t addressed those steps in changing the leases, but we hope we can continue discussions and address that,” Mr Morgan says.

The leases means the Whakarewa lands generate little income for Ngati Rarua Atiawa, despite being prime horticultural and urban commercial land around Motueka.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says the home insulation scheme pushed by the Greens is proving a great employer of young Maori.

Ms Turei says the scheme is improving the health and wealth of many Maori families, who have warmer, drier houses and lower heating costs.

It's also getting young Maori off the dole queue.

“A lot of the young ones doing that work are young Maori. I’ve been to see a few of those schemes and there are a lot of young Maori working in that area which is good. It’s part of that whole skill development," Ms Turei says.

She says the government should now launch a major state house building programme, which would both address the predicted loss of 20,000 construction jobs in the weakening economy and the need for an extra 70,000 additional affordable homes in New Zealand.


Te Papa Tongarewa is holding workshops around the country to train people to care for tribal taonga.

Gavin Reedy, the national museum's iwi development officer, says the first two wananga in the Waikato and Maniapoto had sparked great interest from whanau keen to learn techniques like paper conservation and the use of digital photography.

He says the museum's Te Pairangi unit is a good first point of contact for whanau wanting to ensure taonga are well cared for.

There are also people expert in helping people classify and file away their taonga.

“We also have links to all sorts of government departments that people can tap into so we become brokers of information in trying to connect people up to the right people,” Mr Reedy says.

He is meeting with Te Arawa people in Rotorua today.


The chair of a South Island Maori incorporation says the type of lending which contributed to the collapse of South Canterbury Finance was symptomatic of a flawed approach to land.

The government is spending more than $1.6 billion bailing out depositors and lenders to the company founded by Timaru accountant Allan Hubbard.

Paul Morgan from Nelson's Whakatu Incorporation says much of the lending contributed to a speculative bubble which Maori trusts can't benefit from, because they won't sell their land.

“We're forever driving up land values and if you really look at the model, the return on capital is just not there. We’re talking about three to five percent. We really should be focusing on a model that returns and appropriate return on the capital invested as against a system that is based on capital appreciation and retiring on that capital appreciation,” Mr Morgan says.

Land bubbles harm Maori trusts because they end up paying higher rates and service charges.


A new cervical screening advertising campaign will target Maori and Pacific women, who continue to have lower screening rates and higher cancer rates than the general population.

Hazel Lewis, the clinical leader of the national cervical screening programme, says earlier campaigns had been effective, with just over one in two wahine Maori having a smear test in the past three years.

She says screening can reduce a woman's risk of developing cervical cancer by 90 percent.

“Wahine are carrying a lot of burdens with them and this is something that we want them to feel very relaxed about and encourage them to go and just talking with the nurse or the doctor and tht will help put them at ease and that will help them have the smear and it’s all over in not too long,” Dr Lewis says.

She says Maori women say they feel a whole lot better after being tested.


The karanga will be ringing out at Sydney's Circular Key about now as Maori and Aborigine join together to launch New Zealand's world cup campaign in Australia.

Maori king Tuheitia and Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples are officially opening the giant inflatable rugby ball which was first used at the last Rugby World Cup in Paris to promote the New Zealand presence.

It will be open to the public in the lead up to the Bledisloe Cup game between the All Blacks and Kangaroos on September 11, showcasing New Zealand’s heritage, culture and people through a free, 10 minute multimedia experience.

Dr Sharples hopes it's just the start of a greater Maori role in cup preparations.

“I'm still waiting for my tono to the Government to appoint a Maori rugby ambassador to happen and it hasn’t happened yet so I’m waiting in there on that one,” he says.

Last night Dr Sharples reached out to potential Maori party voters at a hui at Sydney's Wynyard railway station.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Reo review timely says Key

The Prime Minister, John Key, says the strategic review of the government's Maori language strategy is timely.

Language advocates are meeting at parliament today with the expert panel put together by Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples to look at whether the $200 million spent on language programmes each year by the state sector is delivering value.

Mr Key says he expects suggestion to come out of it about ways the to encourage wider use of te reo.

“I think the use of te reo is becoming much more common, it’s far more widespread in all schools, not just kuras and the like. I think for the average kiwi, the number of words or phrases that they know and understand is definitely broadening out,” Mr Key says.


Greens' co-leader Meteria Turei says Maori would benefit in a number of ways if her party's call for a major new state house building programme was taken up.

She says it would provide jobs and trade skills for a large number of young Maori who are now on the dole queue, and it would improve the quality of Maori housing, with significant health benefits.

But she says the Government has rebuffed the call, putting thousands of construction industry jobs at risk.

“This government doesn't know how top join the dots, how to understand that there are needs across the community that affect those right at the very bottom which ten to be Maori and that we can resolve a great deal of it if we just use the government’s resources in the wisest way rather than in the way that benefits the richest,” Ms Turei says.

She says the government should heed the advice of its own Housing Shareholders Advisory Group, which recommended ways to boost the number of affordable homes.


It's the beginning of spring, and that's a special time for Maori.

Gardener and chef Rewi Spraggon says the flowering of the kowhai is a sign the kina will be getting fat.

It's also a busy time for the gardener.

“My grandmother had a good way of getting the tapapa. They used to put kumara and potatoes in straw and set them up, it would have been a month ago, and then the seedlings from the kumara start shooting out, you can break those tipu off and them start planting them in potting mix and eventually start putting them in the ground,” Mr Spraggon says.

Recent rains should provide good growing conditions as the soil warms up.


As Maori language experts gathered in Wellington today to discuss the government's Maori language strategy, Labour leader Phil Goff has emphasised encouragement over compulsion.

A survey last month found while there was strong support among Maori and Pacific island people for te reo Maori to be taught to all children in schools, across the whole population more than 60 percent of New Zealanders were still opposed to the idea.

Mr Goff says it's too early to talk about adding it to the compulsory syllabus.

“I probably wouldn’t make the decision at this stage to make it compulsory. I think you could turn some people off the language whereas I would say what more can we do to promote it and what more can we do to make sure that for a large section of New Zealanders who are Maori, that this is a language that they can continue to maintain and speak fluently,” Mr Goff says.

He's keen to see what recommendations the ministerial review team on Maori language strategy comes up with.


Ngai Tahu's chief executive says the new Christchurch Civic Centre is the kind of safe investment the iwi needs to have more of.

The $113 million Ian Athfield-designed Te Hononga centre, which opened on the weekend, was a joint venture between the iwi and the council.

Anake Goodall says the tribe's 50 percent stake will deliver a useful dividend from ratepayers each year which can underpin those iwi programmes which need continuity of funding.

“We need to get our reliable cash flow up a little bit more so that those horrible years like we had a year or so back don’t knock us around too much. On top of that you have those investments that are a higher risk profile and therefore a higher return profile and that’s Shotover Jet and investments in that sector so a bit of both but we could do with more of this type of asset on the balance sheet and I suspect that’s true for a lot of iwi authorities actually,” Mr Goodall says.

He says iwi like Ngai Tahu can't leave their money in the bank because they have to grow their capital base, but they must always be conscious of the inter-generational nature of the enterprise.


An 84-year-old author and educator from Ngati Awa says she only agreed to accept an award from arts funding body Te Waka Toi because it was a tohu Maori.

Te Onehou Phillis was given Te Tohu mo Ngoi Kumeroa Pewhairangi in recognition of her leadership and outstanding contribution to te reo Rangatira.

Her books include a biography in te reo Maori of her father Eruera Manuera, the last paramount chief of Ngati Awa.

She says she's not interests in government honours, but accepted this tohu out of respect for her relative, noted songwriter the late Ngoi Pewhairangi, and to uplift the mana of her hapu.

“I thought if I accept this, at least it will be something for Warahoe, my hapu, to be proud of. I wasn’t too worried about Ngati Awa, Ngati Awa has got some tohunga there. But I was very much so about my Warahoe hapu,” Mrs Phillis says.

Lobby group member makes transition

A spokesperson for super city lobby group IHI or Iwi Have Influence says the appointment of co-founder Ngarimu Blair to the board of one of Auckland's council owned organisations won't stop it fighting for Maori seats on the council itself.

Helen Te Hira says just because organisation take to the streets to make their point doesn't mean members can't take up governance roles.

She says the Ngati Whatua o Orakei manager will make a valuable contribution to the Auckland Waterfront Development Agency.

“Very happy for Ngarimu. He’s still a valued member of IHI but I think his appointment has come into a role that acknowledges he is from Ngati Whatua and as heritage manager takes with him a lot of knowledge about Ngati Whatua,” Ms Te Hira says.

IHI plans a hui on September 11 for those people unhappy with the super city's structures to have their say.


The chief executive of Te Ohu Kaimoana, Peter Douglas, says he's impressed with the way iwi are managing the Maori fisheries settlement at ground level.

Northernmost iwi Ngati Kuri has just completed the mandating process, meaning that far north iwi can now negotiate among themselves how quota for coastal species in their region should be divided up.

Mr Douglas says going on how other regions have managed the task, he's confident of a rapid outcome.

“The way you look at these things, they are 1000 year deals. You have to say ‘this is how we think we should share the fish along this coasts’ and you don’t want to brass of the people to the south or north of you so you try to look for solutions everyone feels comfortable with and I think it’s a good exercise to go through and it’s an important thing for more enduring relationships,” Mr Douglas says.

By achieving its mandate, the Ngati Kuri Trust Board gets access to the population-based part of the settlement, amounting to just over $3 million in deepwater quota, cash and shares in Aotearoa Fisheries.


The Highlanders' new coach Jamie Josephs has stamped his mark on the Otago team with the signing of five new players, including Jarrod Hoeata from Taranaki, and Canterbury first five Colin Slade.

Commentator Karl Te Nana says the former Wellington and New Zealand Maori coach is showing he has the right temperament and skills to make the Highlanders a real force in the Super 15 competition.

The former New Zealand Sevens captain says Joseph's challenge now is to mould his players into a winning combination, and the results are likely to show in a couple of years.


With Prime minister John Key off to Scotland next week to see the Queen, Labour's Maori Affairs spokesperson Parekura Horomia says it's time for New Zealanders to start thinking about becoming a republic.

Mr Horomia says Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's call for Australia to cut its ties to the monarchy once the current incumbent dies makes sense for this country too.

He says Aotearoa has some unique issues, but these can be resolved.

“There are only two lots of people who signed the treaty, descendants of Queen Victoria and us, the tangata whenua, and I think it’s really important to make sure that the essence is preserved, it’s not lost, and I’m nit sure how you do that, but I think time has come for a republic, we've grown up,” Mr Horomia says.


The expert panel looking at Maori language strategy has called reo advocates to a hui at Parliament's banquet hall today.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples has asked the panel to say whether the government is getting value for the $200 million a year it spends on the reo.

Its chair, Tamati Reedy from Ngati Porou, says it also has to assess whether what's being done by government is in line with the aspirations of iwi and Maori.

“Apart from value for money there are other values such as what is it doing to create an identity within the nation, identity within Maoridom itself, how is it contributing to the well being of the Maori people, and so those are deep philosophical questions and who is to carry this great task of nurturing the reo so it lives on for all time,” Professor Reedy says.


It's Gamble Free Day, and the manager of a Maori problem gambling service says that's a great a chance to reflect on the damage pokie machines are causing to communities.

Zoe Hawke from south Auckland Maori public health provider Hapai Te Hauora Tapui says although many councils are bringing in sinking lid policies, there are still far too many gaming machines in poor suburbs.

She says former addicts are driving the kaupapa, bringing to it their experience of how addictive pokies are.

Gamble Free Day was started in 2004 by delegates at a community action on gambling conference in Rotorua.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ngati Kuri secures fisheries mandate

The tribe which kicked off the Maori commercial fishing claims has finally secured a mandate to share in the settlement.

Ngati Kuri has become the last of the far north iwi to complete Te Ohu Kaimoana's mandating process, meaning allocation of inshore fishing quota in the region can now be finalised.

Peter Douglas, the chief executive of the fisheries settlement trust, says the northernmost can now take delivery of just over $3 million in deepwater fishing quota, cash and income shares in Aotearoa Fisheries.

He says it has taken Ngati Kuri chair Graeme Neho and his trust board a huge effort to get to this stage, including fighting off challenges in the High Court.


A leading authority on tobacco says more Maori will live longer because of this year's tax increase bite.

Murray Laugesen says a 15 percent drop in supermarket sales of cigarettes and loose tobacco is three times what he predicted.

He says the excise rise championed by the Maori Party seems to have caused Maori smokers to reconsider, and that will have a long term effect on public health and whanau health.

“If one in two Maori smoke and one in two Maori die early of smoking, hat means a quarter of all Maori deaths are due to smoking. It’s a huge percentage. We could do without it,” Dr Laugesen says.


The Minister of Maori Affairs, Pita Sharples, has celebrated a highlight in his earlier career as an educationalist ... the 25th anniversary of the first kura kaupapa Maori.

He says a ball in west Auckland last night brought together many of those who helped set up the immersion school at Hoani Waititi Marae.

He says it was gratifying to see what past pupils have gone on and done.

“We've got lawyers and doctors and teachers, a lot of them have come back to teaching, a lot of them are urban Maori who have learned Maori in a Pakeha environment and been able to get through alright with Maori language and now bring up their own children speaking Maori so it is a very exciting thing to be part of,” Dr Sharples says.


The chief executive of the Ngai Tahu Runanga says the South island iwi is keen to set up a multi-tribal vehicle to invest in infrastructure projects.

Anake Goodall says the runanga learned valuable lessons from its joint venture with Christchurch City Council developing a new $113 million civic centre.

He says New Zealand needs to spend more than $50 billion on infrastructure over the next two decades, but few tribes have the resources to enter public private partnerships of that scale.

“We're actively discussing ideas with other tribal groups. Why don’t we collectives. That iwi with $40 million might want 10 percent of an investment like this and we could have a little investment vehicle we operate between ourselves so we could take it a bit further,” Mr Goodall says.

Ngai Tahu is likely to concentrate on investments in its own rohe.


Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says Maori have done well out of the first crop of appointments to the Auckland super city structure.

He says Local Government Minister Rodney Hide has accepted his recommendations that Tukoroirangi Morgan and Rukumoana Schaafhausen from Tainui and Vivien Bridgwater and Ngarimu Blair from Ngati Whatua become directors of the council owned organisations which will manage the bulk of the city's assets.

He's also met with the mana whenua selection panel for the council's Maori statutory advisory committee, and says the model is looking positive.

“They're not part of council which makes it even better because they can work in their own right and work in areas they want to rather than have to be … many of our advisory groups just get told what council wants them to be told but not this group. They have access to every venture, every business that council does so I’m really pleased about that,” Dr Sharples says.


Former New Zealand Sevens and North Harbour rugby rep Karl Te Nana says he'll never forget his first season of league.

The 35 year old admits to feeling a bit sore after the Point Chevalier Pirates took Auckland Rugby League's Phelan Shield with a convincing win against the Otara Scorpions on Sunday.

He turned out for the team to support his mates, co-coaches Stacey Jones and Awen Guttenbeil, and says it's great to see professionals giving back to flax roots sport.

“You couldn't learn from better blokes like Monty Betham, Stacey Jones, Awen Guttenbeil, Wairangi Koopu, to give something back to their clubs, and on the rugby side, what Tana Umanga and Chris Jack and Kees Meeuws are doing for their rugby communities, getting the family atmosphere down to the games,” Mr Te Nana says.

Huge responsibility for Auckland assets

Waikato Tainui executive chair Tukoroirangi Morgan says the inclusion of mana whenua representatives on Auckland's new council-owned organisations recognises the value they will bring to the table.

Mr Morgan was appointed to a two-year term as a director of Auckland Council Property Limited, while Tainui Group Holdings director Rukumoana Schaafhausen will serve on Regional Facilities Auckland.

He says it's a huge responsibility.

“These are the most powerful organisations that have responsibility over some key assets, key activities for the Auckland super city council. This is not about tokenism. This is about recognising the need for Maori to participate at the highest level,” Mr Morgan says.

Ngati Whatua members Ngarimu Blair and Vivien Bridgwater were appointed to the Auckland waterfront development and economic development boards respectively.


An emerging ta moko artist says it's right that wahine should become prominent in the renaissance of the traditional tattoo.

Taryn Beri studied at the Toihoukura school of Maori arts and design at Gisborne Polytechnic before setting up a Maori clothing company.

She shelved that to study with Tolaga Bay toi moko artist Mark Kopua, for which she's just won a Nga Karahipi a Te Waka Toi scholarship.

Ms Peri says Mr Kopua and Toihouruka head Derek Lardelli are supportive of women mastering the art.

“They frequently credit wahine for retaining, holding on to moko kauae over those dark times when there was the Tohunga Suppression Act and when you really didn’t see much moko,” Ms Beri says.

She says ta moko is the ultimate art form because of the layers of knowledge it incorporates.


Taiaroa Royal isn't slowing up, despite getting an award from Te Waka Toi for a 20-year contribution to Maori arts and culture.
The dancer and choreographer says he only had time to put the tohu on the mantelpiece before getting back to work with the Okareka Dance Company

“We're touring our premier show, Tama Ma, to Perth at the end of the year and we’re also creating a new work, Nga Hau e Wha, to premiere in Wellington in 2011 so it’s pretty busy at the moment,” says Mr Royal, from Te Arawa, Ngati Raukawa and Ngai Tahu,


Tobacco researcher Murray Laugesen says a 15 percent slump in supermarket sales of smokes shows the effectiveness of price rises as a public health measure.

Dr Laugesen, from Health New Zealand, says the drop is far greater than expected, and indicates people may have been waiting for the right excuse to give up.

He says the comprehensive nature of the rise - 10 percent on the tax on cigarettes and 25 percent on loose tobacco - means the days of cheap tobacco are gone.

“In previous times people have tended to slide off the issue by just taking up cheaper brands like roll your owns. This time they haven’t been able to,” Dr Laugesen says.

He says given that one in two adult Maori were smokers, the price rise may have extended hundreds of Maori lives.


Former New Zealand First deputy leader Ron Mark is ruling out a return to national politics in the immediate future.

Party leader Winston Peters is expected to stand in John Key's Helensville electorate as he seeks to attracts enough disaffected National Party voters to boost his party's vote back over the five percent threshhold.

Mr Mark believes New Zealand First will be back in Parliament, but his current role as chief executive of the Federation of Maori Authorities means he is unlikely to be there.

“Working for FOMA members it behooves me to have a good relationship with all political parties in the House in order that we advance the issues we want advanced so we deal to those anomalies that still exist, so entering into national level politics would not be in the best interest of FOMA.” Mr Mark says.

His current political focus is on becoming mayor of Carterton.


A Brisbane-raised Maori who crossed the Tasman at age 18 to live with his grandmother has six years later been appointed to lead Ngati Kahungunu's language revitalisation strategy.

Jeremy Taatere MacLeod says studying at the Eastern Institute of Technology and Te Wananga o Aotearoa's Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo Institute of Excellence in Maori Language gave him the foundations of the language, but his whanau at Waimarama put that knowledge in context.

“Working with them, getting the level of proficiency with the reo, and also other things that come with it, the tikanga, the karakia, the karanga and all those sorts of things, so I am very humbled to be invited to this position but I know I am taking great skills also,” says Mr MacLeod, Ngati Kahungunu's new Pouarataki o Te Reo ona Tikanga me te Matauranga.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Maori view for waterfront redesign

A director of the new Auckland Waterfront Development Agency says he's looking forward to bringing a Maori perspective to the strip where the city meets the harbour.

Ngarimu Blair, the heritage and resource manager for Ngati Whatua o Orakei, has been appointed to the council owned organisation for three years.

He says Ngati Whatua made it clear in its submission to the Queen's Wharf design project that it was looking for a Maori and south Pacific presence on the waterfront.

“We are invisible on our waterfront and I intend to try and change that in this role although I will be one person out of seven on the board, rather than talking through stakeholder consultation hui, I’ll be now in a position to bring those ideas and thoughts directly to the decision makers and in fact be one of them,” Mr Blair says.

Other Maori appointed to the council controlled organisations include Tainui chair Tukoroirangi Morgan on Auckland Council property, Tainui Group director Rukumoana Schaafhausen on Regional Facilities Auckland, and Vivien Bridgwater from Ngati Whatua on the body responsible for Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development.


A budding ta moko artist says a scholarship from Maori arts funding organisation Te Waka Toi will allow her to deepen her studies into what she considers the ultimate art form.

Taryn Beri from Ngati Toa, Ngati Raukawa and Te Ati Awa, is halfway through a three-year apprenticeship with tohunga Mark Kopua in Tolaga Bay.

She was trained in graphic design and ran a clothing business, Blackberi Aotearoawear, but says like an increasing number of wahine she was attracted to ta moko.

“It's pretty much the ultimate art form out there for an artist. There’s just so much korero and layers of matauranga you can learn within studying ta moko as well which really appeals to me,” Ms Beri says.

The other Nga Karahipi scholarships for emerging Maori artists granted by Te Waka Toi at the weekend award ceremony went to curator and visual artist Reuben Friend from Waikato, who is studying for a Masters Degree in Maori Visual Arts.


Rotorua's singing te reo teacher, Beatrice Yates, has embraced new technology.

The 70 year old has been self-publishing books she wrote 30 years ago as an itinerant teacher needing resources to teach Maori.

Now Kiwa Media has taken her title One Day a Taniwha, which can be sung to the tune You are my Sunshine, and turned it into an iBook.

The One Day a Taniwha iBook is available in Maori, English, Japanese, Spanish and French.


The chair of the Waikato-Tainui executive, Tukoroirangi Morgan, says it's in the Government's power to prevent the loss of valuable farmland to foreign buyers.

Mr Morgan says iwi have a vested interest in rebuilding the tribal estates that were destroyed by colonisation or taken at gunpoint - but the flood of overseas buyers is setting an artificially high price for land.

“This government should take the political lesson form one of our greatest political leaders, Sir Apirana Ngata, who changed the land tenure system in the Pacific, including countries like Rarotonga where you can’t buy, you can lease for a long period of time but you cannot buy. That’s the kind of proposition that we favour,” Mr Morgan says

He says wider public disquiet over land sales may show Pakeha are starting to appreciate how Maori feel about losing their lands.


A unity celebration at the Mahatma Gandhi centre in Auckland over the weekend had special significance for a Rotorua-trained carver.

Tane Singh-Lagah's mother is of Indian and Ngati Awa descent, and his father has Indian and Tuhoe whakapapa.

He says he brought those influences together in a baton he carved for yesterday's Raksha Bandhan festival ... which will be passed on each year to the next festival host.

Tane Singh-Lagah says the Hindu Council of New Zealand has been forging links with Maori communities for more than a decade.


The author of a gardening book for children says it's important Maori kids re-learn the skills of their ancestors and develop a lifelong love of gardening.

Dianna Noonan says knowing how to plant and tend gardens builds confidence as rangatahi learn to fend for themselves.

“Maori were the first market gardeners and if it wasn’t for them Pakeha would not have had the kumara they had available to them. GHardenins skills were there and we’ve lost them over a couple of generations. It’s important to get them back because it builds confidence and it also encourages such fantastic nutrition in kids,” says Ms Noonan, the co-author of the Tui New Zealand Kids Garden Book

Maori slow to seek seats

A Maori member of Environment Bay of Plenty regional council says Maori are put off standing for general council seats because of their low chance of success.

There is keen candidate interest in all three Maori wards on the council, the only dedicated Maori seats on any of the country’s 83 councils, but overall the number of Maori candidates for October’s elections is low.

Raewyn Bennett says the say the debate over Auckland’s governance was handled by the Government did little to encourage Maori participation.

“You had a Royal Commission, our people supported that, they made submissions, and they were quite active at advocating those positions for Maori on that new council and Rodney Hide came in and did away with them. Under those circumstances, people think why bother,” says Mrs Bennett from Ngaiterangi, who represented the Mauao ward on Environment BOP.

Meanwhile, four members of Tamaki Makaurau mana whenua iwi, Ngarimu Blair and Vivien Bridgwater of Ngati Whatua and Tainui’s Tukoroirangi Morgan and Rukumoana Schaafhausen, have been appointed directors of the council owned organisations which will manage the bulk to the new Auckland super city’s assets.


The MP for Te Tai Tonga, Rahui Katene, is welcoming Environment Canterbury’s move to acknowledge the dual names of many South Island landmarks,

She says names link people to the landscape, and this decision recognises the dual cultural heritage of Te Waipounamu

Mrs Katene says the new policy is overdue.

“When you look back to the settlement, that was part of the agreement and it’s taken this long. I think it’s really great that finally people are in a space where they are able to accept that Maori do have a place in this country and Maori place names are important,” she says.

Mrs Katene says names keep iwi history alive.


A Taranaki historian is looking forward to recording the stories of Taranaki iwi living in Australia.

Honiana Love won a $12,500 New Zealand Oral History Award from the History Research Trust Fund to allow her to do the mahi.

She says it's part of a wider Te Reo Taranaki language revitalisation projects, and it means she can reach parts of the iwi who would would otherwise be very difficult to connect with.

“We know that we are an oral people where talking face to face is one of the best ways for us to understand what each other’s perspectives are. This is the perfect format for us to start collecting some of that information,” Ms Love says.


While Maori won’t have seats on the new Auckland super city council, representatives of mana whenua iwi have gained a chance to say how the city will develop.

Reporter Adam Gifford says Ngati Whatua and Tainui members have been appointed to the council owned organisations that will control the bulk of the city’s assets.

Four people with experience overseeing tribal assets line up among the powerbrokers, bankers and professional engineers picked by Local Government Minister Rodney Hide to look after Auckland’s taonga.

Tukoroirangi Morgan, the chair of Waikato-Tainui’s executive, is on the board of Auckland Council Property limited, chaired by Sir John Wells.

A director of Tainui Group Holdings, lawyer Rukumoana Tira Marie Schaafhausen, is on Regional Facilities Auckland, chaired by former National government deputy prime minister Sir Don McKinnon.

Ngati Whatua o Orakei’s resources and heritage manager, Ngarimu Blair, who has been outspoken about the iwi’s desire to have a say in management of the city’s foreshore and seabed, gets a chance to do that as a member of the Auckland Waterfront Development Agency, which will be led by outgoing Waitakere City mayor Bob Harvey.

Another member of Ngati Whatua, AUT University executive Vivien Bridgwater, will serve on Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development Ltd, which is chaired by McConnell Group chair Dave McConnell.


One of the judges of the New Zealand Post Book Awards says the supreme award winner, Dame Judith Binney’s Encircled Lands, would change the way people understood the history of Te Urewera.

Dame Judith was surrounded by members of Ngai Tuhoe as she accepted the work on Friday night.

Paul Diamond says the book was an extraordinary effort, bringing together archival and oral sources to reveal a hidden history.

“Because of the way Judith worked and because of her history of working in that area in the Bay of Plenty, Tuhoe and other iwi up there were happy about her telling that story. It’s one thing to think of an interesting topic in tea o Maori but it’s another thing to gain access to the sources and the archives and things and to tell that story so you’ve got this exhaustive archival research and you’ve got the korero auaha, you’ve got the oral history,” Mr Diamond says.


And the annual Te Waka Toi Awards have acknowledged the impact of one of the country’s leading contemporary dancers on Maori arts and culture.

Taiaroa Royal from Te Arawa, Ngati Raukawa and Ngai Tahu recieved the Te Tohu Toi Ke – the “making a difference” award - for his contributions over two decades.

He says it was totally unexpected, and it’s humbling to be recognised for doing what he loves to do.

A new supreme award, named after the late Maori queen Dame Te Atairangikaahu, went to opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, while Nga Tohu a Ta Kingi Ihaka awards for lifetime contributins to the maintenance of Maori culture went to Jossie Kaa, Kihi Ngatai, Tata Maere, Vera Morgan and Wiremu Kaa.