Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, September 10, 2010

Te Tau Ihu ready to resume foreshore fight

One of the people behind the case which sparked the original Foreshore and Seabed Act says top of the South Island tribes hope the replacement Marine and Coastal Area Bill will give them another chance to prove their customary title to the Marlborough Sounds.

John Mitchell says Ngati Apa lodged the case in 1997 and spent years trying to get a hearing.

When the Court of Appeal finally gave the Maori Land Court the go-ahead to determine customary title, the Labour-led government stepped in.

Dr Mitchell says despite there being no funding attached to the new bill, iwi from Te Tau Ihu are ready to go again.

“Our tribes are in a better position than what they were 13 or 14 years ago. We have had some treat settlements, or we will have some treaty settlements coming to fruition shortly and if we are really concerned to pursue our customary rights in this sector, then we are going to have to be prepared to put some money up to do it,” Dr Mitchell says.

The Ngati Apa case got as far as it did because Te Ohu Kaimoana saw the national implications for aquaculture development, and funded it.


A Taurangamoana leader says the government needs to heed a Waitangi Tribunal recommendation that the basis for rating Maori land need to be changed.

The tribunal has released its second report on the region's claims, focusing on the land loss and social dislocation that happened into last century, well after the initial land confiscations of the 1860s.

Colin Bidois from the Pirirakau hapu says much of the land was lost because of unjust rating policies, and rates are still set far too high for Maori owners.

“Where there are multiple owners it hasn’t got the saleable value that ordinary and has in that it’s far more difficult to get all the owners to agree and for it to be able to be sold. The rating value is based on the saleable value,” Mr Bidois says.

Tauranga tribes want compensation for land lost because of unpaid rates or which was taken for public works.

Sports star turned west Auckland funeral director Vaiga Tuigamala is urging Maori and Pasifika communities to learn how to identify early signs of stroke.

The 41 year old former All Black and professional league player suffered a mild stroke three years ago while playing golf.

He says he's now more careful with his diet and exercise, and he's using stroke awareness week to share some of that knowledge.

“Pacific Island and Maori are some of the worst statistics when it comes to diabetes, heart attacks, it’s just so sad, but they can be preventable and it can be cured if we just use common sense and really look for the signs and really change some of the way we approach and I think education is a big part of that, bringing awareness to our communities and or people,” Mr Tuigamala says.


The first centre built under a scheme to increase Maori and Pacific Island participation in early childhood education has opened in an affluent part of Manukau City.

On Budget night, Education Minister Anne Tolley said the $91 million scheme would build on the excellent work being done by the Counties Manukau participation project, headed by city councilor Colleen Brown.

But Mrs Brown says the $1.36 million Mission Heights Learning Centre opened by Mrs Tolley yesterday is an area which is home to affluent migrants rather than Maori and Pacific families.

“It is state of the art. The ministr joked tht the computer the children had looked bnetter than the one she had in her own office. But personally, we have got a lot of work to do in other areas that are much poorer and the participation rate is very low. It hasn’t targeted what I would specifically refer to as Maori and Pasifika,” Mrs Brown says

She says the need for new kindergartens is in areas like Randwick Park, where large numbers of Maori children are missing out on early childhood education.


The coach and mentor of many of the top Maori golfers says overseas experience is vital for Maori golfers are to realise their potential.

Vic Pirihi from the Ngati Tamariki trust says Landon Edwards, who won the prestigious Waikato Strokeplay over the weekend, is showing the benefits of such exposure.

He expects the 20-year old will represent New Zealand within a year, continuing a proud tradition for Maori golf.

“Over the last 20 years, we have taken 40-odd boys to Canada and the States and every one bar three have played for New Zealand as a junior or senior. You cannot progress in this game unless you have overseas experience,” Mr Pirihi says.


Whanganui iwi have buried their kuia Te Manawanui Pauro from Kaiwhaiki, who died this week aged 103.

Mrs Pauro, known as Nanny Nui, was a valuable link to the other villages along the river, and contributed much valuable evidence for the Waitangi Tribunal claims.

She was known as a practitioner of rongoa Maori using native plants and herbs.

Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia says Mrs Pauro was one of the treasures of the awa.

“She had some great wisdom and talk about singing, those Kaiwhaiki people can sing, but she used to really share korero with one and she will be sadly missed,” Mr Horomia says.

He is also mourning Turanganui a Kiwa identity Tom Ihimaera Smiler, who he has family connections to.

Mr Smiler, former champion sportsman, shearing contractor and trustee of the Wi Pere Trust, died this week at the age of 95.

His funeral is this morning at Rongopai marae at Waituhi.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Snapshot of Maori tertiary participation

The chief executive of the Tertiary Education Commission, Roy Sharp, says increasing participation by Maori at post-secondary level is a good sign.

The commission has published performance indicators for the sector showing 9 percent of university students and 20 percent of those at Polytechnics are Maori.

In the wananga sector, the student population at both Raukawa and Awanuiarangi is more than 90 percent Maori, but only 51 percent of Te Wananga o Aotearoa's 36,000 students are Maori.

Dr Sharp says as the Maori population is on average younger, higher Maori participation levels would be desirable.

He says it’s important that achievement rates are kept up, and that more Maori students are achieving at higher levels.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says the new Marine and Coastal Area Bill will compound the injustices of the past when it comes to offshore mining and drilling.

Ms Turei says the bill confirms Crown ownership of gold, silver, platinum and petroleum.

That means Maori have no say over the issue of exploration or drilling licences, even if resource extraction affects areas they can prove customary title to.

“That new bill provides for some minerals but not oil or gold and it’s petroleum that is going to be the big resource in the ocean, that’s where all of the oil drilling applications are about, there’s still no recognition of the Maori right to be involved in decision making in their own area,” Ms Turei says.

She says the Maori Party has been forced to go along with the changes rather than admit it has failed to get a true retraction of Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Act.


Tauranga could be closer to having a place to house its 30,000 taonga with the appointment of the first trustees to its planned museum.

One of the eight, Colin Bidois from Ngaiterangi, says with strong iwi representation on the trust the museum should be capable of reflecting the area's rich Maori and Pakeha history.

He says plans for an ambitious harbourside building have been scaled back, and the $10 million project may now be more politically and financially feasible.

“We've got confidence we are able to build it within a reasonable time and also at not that excessive cost of #24 million. We’re fairly hopeful of being able to raise the money without relying n the ratepayers or the council for the major funding,” Mr Bidois says.


National's candidate for the Mana by-election believes she has a good chance of wresting the seat from Labour.

List MP Hekia Parata from Ngati Porou came more than 6000 votes behind Winnie Laban in 2008, but says the departure of the popular local MP gives her confidence Labour's 70-year hold could be broken.

She says the seat includes a fascinating network of communites and villages from Linden in the south to Paraparaumu in the north, and it's tilting more National's way than when it was the smaller Porirua seat.

“We have on average nationwide the fourth highest GDP income per household. We have a significant business community in Mana and the labour productivity, employment and general economic growth of the electorate has been the strongest in the Wellington region and has been on average higher than New Zealand nationally,” Ms Parata says.

The election date has still to be set.


Meanwhile, a contender for local government office in the region says a planned formal welcome should open up a new era of co-operation between Maori and Pacific Island people.

Porirua mayoral candidate Liz Kelly from Ngati Toa says while people of Pasifika origin now slightly outnumber Maori, they have never been formally welcomed by the mana whenua.

She says Ngati Toa's kaumatua kaunihera has backed the idea, and the powhiri will be held in November at Takapuwahia marae.

“This could be something that could be replicated around New Zealand because it will be, if it is successful, a mechanism where they can talk about what the challenges are for Maori and Pacific, because we do have a lot of similarities,” Mrs Kelly says.

She says in the 60 years since Pacific island people started settling in the region strong links have developed through intermarriage.


A Maori music expo is under way in Hastings in the build up to the third Waiata Maori awards on Saturday night.

Convenor Tama Huata says it's a chance for aspiring recording artists to share ideas and learn from established musicians.

He says the annual expo is open to all Maori musicians irrespective of style.

Most iwi cut out of coastal rights deal

A Taurangamoana iwi leader says the new Marine and Coastal Area Bill won't help his people get back their customary rights to the foreshore and seabed.

Colin Bidois says the region's iwi now have two Waitangi Tribunal reports spelling out how the confiscations of the 1860s and after had impoverished them and damaged their connection to the land.

But he says the injustice of that raupatu is not addressed in the bill agreed on between National and the Maori Party.

“In Tauranga we have a conundrum where it says if you can prove you have used the land exclusively for customary purposes since 1840 then we’ll consider the next step. But we in Tauranga had our land wrongfully compensated so we couldn’t use it for Maori purposes,” Mr Bidois says.


There exactly one year to go until New Zealand takes on Tonga in the first game of the Rugby World Cup, and Te Puni Kokiri is determined to make sure Maori gain some benefit from the festival.

Paora Ammundsen, its manager of Maori involvement, says Maori need to be part of the substance as well as the spectacle.

He says while the involvement of Maori Television as lead free to air broadcaster gives Maori a foot in the door, other opportunities need to be created and capitalised on in the coming 12 months.

“It's things like the place of our reo in the organisation of the Rugby World Cup, things like bilingual signage and stadia and use of our reo in the broadcasts, things like the tourism commercial opportunities, things like the opportunity for retail product that's Maori,” Mr Ammundsen says.


Turanganui a Kiwa has lost one of its most outstanding identities in sports, business and tribal affairs.

Tom Ihimaera Smiler died this week at the age of 95 and is lying in state at Rongopai marae in Waituhi near Gisborne.

His sporting achievements include winning the New Zealand Maori junior tennis championship at the age of 15 in 1930 - the same year he first represented Poverty Bay in rugby and first shore 300 sheep in a day.

His eight surviving children include writer Witi Ihimaera.

Alan Haronga, the chair of the Wi Pere Trust, says Tom Smiler had a lot to do with building up the trust into an $80 million dollar business with interests in farming and horticulture.

“He was passionate about who he was descended from. That was his tipuna, Wi Pere. He was passionate about his children. He was passionate about the lands that the family were involved in and that’s why when he was a trustee of the Wi Pere Trust he was passionate about the kind of business activities the trust was involved in,” Mr Haronga says.

Tom Smiler's funeral at Rongopai marae is on Friday.


A far north iwi leader says the Marine and Coastal Area Bill sets the bar too high for Maori to win back their customary rights to foreshore and seabed.

Haami Piripi from Te Runanga o Te Rarawa says the far north tribes have been trying for more than a half a century for recognition of their rights to Te Oneroa a Tohe, Ninety Mile beach.

He says the bill contains no provisions for iwi to get funding for legal aid or other sources for research, litigation or negotiation.

“What iwi are being asked to do is front up with all the early costs through a process they might not eventually win, and even if we do win, we are going to end up with a thing called customary title which nobody knows anything about but one thing we do know is that it is extremely weak,” Mr Piripi says.

While Maori can gain little but bragging rights if they win a customary rights claim, the bill provides a mechanism for councils and port companies to gain fee simple title to reclaimed land – land which often has been created by the destruction of customary interests.


The Maori organiser for the Council of Trade Unions is encouraging Maori workers and their whanau to get involved in the union movement's national day of action next month.

Helen Te Hira says low income Maori workers have been hit hard by government actions.

She says they will get a chance to speak out on what's being called 20-10 2010.

“So on the 20th of October there will be actions up and down the country led by unions but also whanau who are really feeling what’s been a cascade of attacks on working rights,” Ms Te Hira says.


Porirua city councilor Liz Kelly wants to become the city's first born and bred Maori mayor.

There are nine candidates for the post, including two Maori and one Pacific islander.

Ms Kelly, who heads a trust which co-ordinates the city's health services, says her Ngati Toa heritage and her record of service should carry the day.

“We're really quite unique because Ngati Toa is the only iwi here in Porirua and there has always been somebody from Ngati Toa that has been elected at large on the council,” Ms Kelly says.

The big concern for the community is that the region could be next in line to become a super city - which could threaten the city's unique cultural make up.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Marine bill confiscates coastal land - Greens

Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says new Marine and Coastal Area Bill is still a confiscation of Maori land.

Ms Turei says there is little change from the existing Foreshore and Seabed Act other than softer language.

She says the Maori Party has to spin the bill as a win, but the reality is Maori continue to be marginalised out of involvement in the coastal space.

“The fact that it treats the foreshore and seabed as unowned is in many ways even more disrespectful to customary ownership, to tikanga Maori and to pre-colonial lore that applied here. It is a fallacy no one is going to own it because the Crown owns it by default,” Ms Turei says.

Those hapu who manage to overcome the obstacles in the bill and get customary title to parts of the foreshore will find they have second class rights to other users.


The real estate industry training organisation wants to get more Maori selling houses.

Lesley Southwick, the chief executive of REAL ITO, says while Maori make up about 15 percent of the population, less than 1 percent of the New Zealand's 17,000 real estate agents are of Maori or Pacific island descent.

The REAL ITO is planning to introduce courses to a number of schools with high Maori and Pacific rolls, which will lead towards the new mandatory national certificate of real estate.


The inaugural manager of the new Ngai Tahu rock art centre in Timaru says the aim is to both preserve a significant part of the country's heritage and build a major tourist attraction.

Ben Lee, the former deputy chief executive of Aoraki Polytechnic, says Te Ana Whakairo centre on the Timaru wharf should be open by Christmas.

He says the rock art trust is attempting to gather together the pieces of rock art carved out of limestone caves in South Canterbury and North Otago early last century and placed in museums around the country.

It will display reproductions of images from the 550 known South Island rock art sites.

“Ngai Tahu see is as their role to preserve it for future generations, and it’s probably a part of New Zealand’s heritage that has been neglected and abused in the past and it’s important to bring it up to its correct status,” Mr Lee says.

Te Ana Whakairo centre is expecting at least 20,000 visitors a year.


Labour leader Phil Goff says National's replacement of the Foreshore and Seabed Act shows Labour did a reasonable job in trying to resolve the tough problem of recognising customary rights.

Mr Goff says the new Marine and Coastal Area Bill alters little, apart from imposing new tests for gaining customary title.

He says like Labour, the current government has emphasised the right of all New Zealanders to have access to the beaches.

“There's been a hell of a lot of hypocrisy, both from the National Party and from the Maori Party before the election talking about the old act, one saying that it went too far, the other saying it didn’t go far enough. Now they’ve agreed on something that’s pretty much the status quo and they’re both claiming victory,” Mr Goff says.


Meanwhile, the Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell is taking critics to task for claiming the Marine and Coastal Area Bill will impose a deadline for foreshore claims to be settled.

Mr Flavell says iwi, hapu and whanau groups have six years to lodge customary rights claims either with the courts or for direct negotiation with the Crown ... but the process of investigation and settlement will continue after that date.

He says the time limit is a compromise, with National wanting four years and the Maori Party pushing for 10.

“The National Party believe they wanted to have at least some idea I suppose of the extent to which iwi wanted to take this matter and decided that they had a timeline. We didn’t think that timeline was appropriate and attempted to move it out which we have managed to do,” Mr Flavell says.

He says what's important is that the legislation restores Maori rights to access the courts.


Former All Black loose forward Andrew Blowers says it is important for young Maori and Pacific Islanders who aim to become sports stars don't neglect other aspects of their education.

Mr Blowers quit English premiership rugby last year to work for Michael Jones' Village Sports Academy.

He says the academy's joint venture with Te Wananga o Aotearoa is a chance to pass on some of the wider lessons he learned in his career.

“Maori and Pacific Island students are naturally good at sports but some fall through the cracks in terms of education so that’s why I really love the relationship between the VSA and Te Wananga, they are passionate about the education but also about the youth,” Mr Blowers says.

Replacement worse than Foreshore Act

A leading treaty lawyer, Annette Sykes, says hapu have next to no chance of securing their customary rights through the government's replacement for the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Attorney general Chris Finlayson introduced the Marine and Coastal Area Bill this week, which offers iwi and hapu the opportunity to gain customary title through the courts or by direct negotiation with the Crown.

But Ms Sykes says there is only six years to do so, once the bill is enacted.

“If you don't have money to pay lawyers, to file applications before the court, then you are going to be precluded from preparing yourself to get to that threshold of establishing the very necessary evidence to show a contiguous relationship akin to ownership, to enable you to secure title,” Ms Sykes says.

She says few iwi are far enough along in the settlement process to have spare resources to pursue such claims, and the money has certainly not trickled down to the hapu level where customary rights belong.


A former local government manager has been picked by south Waikato iwi Ngati Raukawa to manage its increasingly diverse and complex activities.

Waid Crockett, whose wife is a member of the iwi, has been the interim chief executive of the Raukawa Settlement Trust as it negotiated for a stake in the Central North Island forests and Waikato River co-management settlements.

He says future challenge include growing the iwi's assets so members' expectations of social and other services can be met.

“We have a plan about what it is we wish to achieve as an iwi, and working through with the trustees around that making sure we get our strategies and our alignment right and looking at the services and looking at how we can give what it is we have been able to achieve back to our whanau and hapu and marae as well,” Mr Crockett says.

Most of the Tokoroa-based trust's 80 staff are employed to deliver government social services contracts.

The manager of Brisbane indigenous radio station 4AAA says first nations people on both sides of the Tasman need to work together to overcome prejudice and discrimination.

Tiga Bayles, who also chairs the National Indigenous Radio Service which services 120 stations across the country, says the media has a role to play building inclusive societies.

“We all call this place home, whether you’re Maori, non-Maori, first nations from Aboriginal land, more recent arrivals in Australia, the place we live we all call home, it’s important that we engage, it’s important that we work together to create better places for those young ones that are coming through. We must work together to create better places for our young ones, and look after mother earthm” he says.

Mr Bayles is in New Zealand looking at iwi radio, and says he's impressed with the technology employed to share resources and programmes.


Ngai Tahu has opened up Tuahiwi Marae near Kaiapoi for anyone who needs a place to stay as a result of Saturday's earthquake.

Runanga chair Mark Solomon says other marae in the area are still being assessed for structural damage.

He says the tribe is rallying around its whanau in Otautahi.

“We've had marae from outside the area offering van loads of workers to come in and help clean up, marae from the south, runanga from the south putting up a $10,000 donation to help the people of Canterbury, it's awesome,” Mr Solomon says.

While its central city offices are still closed, the Ngai Tahu Runanga has resumed limited activities from its seafood business near the airport, and it is offering advice through its web site or its 0800 KAITAHU freephone.


Labour MP Shane Jones says the new Marine and Coastal Area Bill is worse for Maori than Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Act.

He says the main change is that the government has taken on board a submission by former Labour attorney general Michael Cullen about removing the assumption of Crown ownership.

But he says the bar has been set very high for iwi or hapu to prove their ancestral links to an area so they can get customary title.

“It hasn't really changed. What has changed is the name. What has changed is some of the processes but the underlying agenda which the National Party have successfully delivered upon which is really to ensure that if Maori are successful then the concessions they secure are going to be pretty minimal but it’s a great sell job. The fact the Maori Party are feeling boosted by this shows how well the National Party has sucked them in,” Mr Jones says.


A Ngati Kahungunu man says it's time to let women speak on their marae.

Matiu Te Huki is trying to arrange a wananga at Te Ore Ore Marae east of Masterton to teach wahine the basics of whaikorero.

He's encountering resistance, but the Kapiti-based musician says many marae don't have enough men on call to make the speeches, and there have been times women have had to speak to welcome manuhiri.

“They’ve been so whakamaa about it and they’ve had to whakaiti themselves, where they are totally humbling themselves and they won’t stand on the paepae, they stand behind, and they are feeling out of integrity and they feel they are doing something wrong but they just have to stand and speak. I would really like them to feel empowered and confident they have the full backing of our people,” Mr Te Huki says.

He says some men may resist allowing wahine to speak because they see the role as a bastion of their power.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Foreshore Act replacement tabled

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says the foreshore and seabed deal is the best the Maori Party could do with the National-led government.

The Marine and Coastal Area Bill introduced yesterday will repeal Labour's 2004 Act and sets up tough tests under which hapu and iwi can claim customary title, either in negotiations with the Crown or through the courts.

Mr Flavell says it addresses many of the key concerns identified by the working party led by retired High Court Judge Sir Eddie Durie, but there are still areas where Maori may want to push for change.

“Clearly you know it's a negotiation process between us and the National Party who have their constituency and have things that they have to complete but the select committee process hopefully will open up the door to allowing out people in and give some comment on the things that are in the bill and take stock from there, that is the select committee process in action,” Mr Flavell says.


A Ngati Whatua member of a group lobbying for Maori seats on Auckland City Council is skeptical that mayoral candidate Len Brown can deliver on a promise to address the issue.

Ngarimu Blair from IHI says he is still pushing for elected representation, despite being appointed a director of one of the council owned organisations, Auckland Waterfront Development.

He says if he gets the super city's top job, Mr Brown would have to use the process set out in the Local Electoral Act 2001.

“To create Maori wards, you would first have to convince the whole council it is a good idea to call a public poll on the issue. Then we go to the vote which we’d have to win, and if two Maori wards were created, two seats would be taken away from the current 21 and I don’t think Aucklanders who are already feeling like their voice has been diluted by only having 21 councilors would vote in favour of taking two of those away and creating Maori wards,” Mr Blair says.

The Ngati Whatua heritage and environment manager says it would take direct government intervention to get Maori seats on the super city.


A Maori prostate cancer survivor is recommending all men get checked for the disease during what the Prostate Cancer Foundation has called Blue September.

Syd Pitman says he's always had regular health checks, but became concerned when he had to keep getting up through the night to mimi.

Tests confirmed a cancer in his prostrate, which was successfully treated.
The 63 year old, who now sits on the foundation's board, says the cancer hits men of all ages.

“A 28 year old, a 23 year old and a 21 year that has been diagnoses so it is not just the old man’s disease everyone thought it was. Anyone who has a difficulty with urination should go and have this test. What’s it worth to enjoy your children and your grandchildren. Go and have it done,” Mr Pitman says.


One of the leaders of the 2004 foreshore and seabed hikoi says the Marine and Coastal Area Bill is a step back for Maori.

Lawyer Annette Sykes from Ngati Pikiao says the Maori Party has copped in allowing the bill to go forward in its current form.

She says while Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Act is to be repealed, the replacement is equally discriminatory, and in some ways worse.

“Sixty six percent of the current foreshore coastline is owned in what we call private or general title at the moment. Under this new proposal, none of that will be the public domain spaces, the common spaces that they are calling will actually adjoin those private titles. Only 33 percent of the space in this country will be converted into common marine and coastal areas,” Ms Sykes says.

She says the Marine and Coastal Area Bill gives use right holders like harbour boards more rights than hapu who are able to pass the stringent tests to prove customary rights.


A public health researcher says more needs to be done to understand the needs of an ageing Maori population to ensure the right resources are available for kaumatua in the future.

Wiremu Edwards from Taranaki earned his doctorate by studying Maori perspectives on ageing, and he has now won a Health Research Council post-doctoral fellowship to continue the mahi.

He says Maori life expectancy is growing, but there is a lack of reliable data on what hopes people have for their latter years.

“I've looked at it from a Maori perspective and I guess if we are living longer, trying to ensure that we’ve got the right measures throughout life so that those people who are able to live into the older age, that they are comfortable, well looked after and planned form” Dr Edwards says.

He says for Maori, ageing doesn't start suddenly at 65, but is part of a lifelong process starting at birth.


Plans to hold a wananga for Wairarapa women to learn how to speak on marae have run into strife.

Kapiti man Matiu Te Huki from Ngati Kahungunu and Rangitane ki Wairarapa planned to hold the training last weekend, but postponed it pending further consultation.

He will make his case to kaumatua at a hui at Te Ore Ore Marae near Masterton on Friday.

“So I've been speaking on paepae around the country for years as a male and that’s just something that has been handed over to me very easily just for the simple fact I am a male and I can korero Maori. Over the yeas I have felt some of the women around would be better suited to stand on behalf of the marae or the kaupapa that was going down on the day, but that was not to be of course because that was not part of our tikanga,” Mr Te Huki say.

He says some marae in the rohe have been so short of men able to korero that women have had to welcome manahiri ... and have been left feeling like they are doing something wrong.

Family essential to early childhood education

One of the guiding lights behind the kohanga reo movement says a greater focus on pre-school education and family development will have benefits for all of society.

Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi, who became the founding chief executive and then chair of the Kohanga Reo National trust after a long career as a Maori welfare officer, says the current approach to Maori families is about fixing individual things that go wrong, rather than looking at the bigger picture.

She says there are more than 40,000 Maori children under 5 who are not in pre-school education.

“That's a frightening number because while we are trying to fix them at a teenage level they are giving birth and graduating because we are not there at the beginning of their lives. That was the magic of Kohanga Reo when it started. We were there in the homes,” Dame Iritana says.

She says working productively with families takes special skills, and the current silo-based fix it model of social work isn't up to the task.


A member of the independent panel reviewing the government's spending on te reo Maori initiatives says the job could take longer than expected.

The Minister for Maori Affairs, Pita Sharples, has indicated he wants the report completed early next year.

“But Pania Papa, a teacher and broadcaster from Tainui, says the panel needs to consult widely as well as conduct an in-depth review of a multitude of government agencies before it gives Dr Sharples any recommendations he can take to Cabinet.

“Now he's wanting to do that sometime next year, preferably before Maori language week, but we’re not so sure that the big amount of work that needs to be done in order for this job to be done properly is able to be done in that time frame,” Ms Papa says.

The next step is to organise 10 rohe hui to get community feedback on existing language promotion programmes.


A Franklin county councilor hopes to be the first Maori elected to the Auckland super city council.

Des Morrison from Ngapuhi is standing on the Citizens and Ratepayers ticket for the Franklin ward.

The former New Zealand Steel executive says his two previous election wins shows a person's reputation is more important than ethnicity.

He says he has a lot of support from the business community because of his work with New Zealand Steel, from rugby connection and from being on the board of Wesley College.

One of the things he did on the Franklin council was push for the establishment of its Maori standing committee.


A leading Tauranga kaumatua says the release of a second Waitangi Tribunal report on Taurangamoana claims will help focus settlement negotiations.

In its report on events and Crown actions that happened after the original raupatu confiscations of the 1860s, the tribunal found Tauranga tribes were marginalised socially, culturally, and economically, and their socio-economic status lags behind non-Maori.

Hauata Palmer says there were initial fears that the claims would open up old wound in an area where hapu and iwi had taken different sides in the war, but it became clear that all suffered in the following century.

“At the time of the first lot of claims, feelings were still running pretty high about proportions, about who lost most, but now we’ve got to the reality of what can be returned in terms of redress, I’m pleased that discussions we are having inter-iwi are going a lot more positively than I had originally thought,” Mr Palmer says.

The three iwi, Ngai Te Rangi, Ngati Ranginui and Ngati Pukenga, hope to complete their settlements by the end of 2012.


Maori speakers in Helensville are being encouraged to engage in conversation with local high school students.

Kaipara College is issuing its reo Maori students with badges indicating their proficiency level.

Carlin Shaw, the head of Maori studies, says it's part of making the language a part of normal life.

“At the end of the day I hope there is more korero Maori, not just in my classroom. It’s beautiful in my classroom, they try and are writing Maori and stuff. The next step is hearing more Maori in the community as a whole,” Mr Shaw says.

About 40 of the Kaipara College's 200 Maori students are learning te reo, but he hopes wider community acceptance will lead more to take it up.


Three time Women's Rugby World Cup winner Farah Palmer has congratulated the Black Ferns for making it cup number four.

Since retiring from the team the Piopio native has been busy lecturing at Massey University, serving as an independent director of the Maori Rugby Board, and having a baby, at 37.

She says the Ferns' 13-10 win over England to clinch the title had all the drama one expects from a cup final.

It was exciting to have fellow Tainui player Carla Hohepa from Te Awamutu named as player of the tournament.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Quake sign earth in upset

A Christchurch Maori leader says Saturday's earthquake has whanau asking what has upset deity Ruaumoko so badly.

Tihi Puanaki lives in Linwood, which was one of the worst hit areas of the city.

She says the road opened up before her eyes and sewerage pipes burst everywhere.

Mrs Puanaki says the crisis has made her think of others around the world who have been hit by natural disasters, and she feels blessed there was no loss of life.


Iwi in Tauranga moana are welcoming a Waitangi Tribunal finding they should be compensated both for both for land taken under the Public Works Act and for land seized because of unpaid rates.

Kaumatua Hauata Palmer says Ngati Te Rangi, Ngati Ranginui and Ngati Pukenga have been in talks with the Crown over the land confiscated after the wars of the 1860s,

He says the weekend release of the tribunal's second report on the district, covering post-raupatu claims from 1886 to 2006, ups the ante.

As late as the 1960s large tracts of multiply owned Maori land at Maungatapu and Matapihi were taken without compensation for the Tauranga to Mt Maunganui motorway, splitting communities and leaving remaining land unusable.


Politician turned treaty negotiator Michael Cullen says many Maori have a misconception that being part of a monarchy protects their Treaty of Waitangi rights.

The former Labour deputy prime minister says it is inevitable New Zealand will become a republic, probably after the end of the reign of the current monarch.

He says part of the process of getting there is to allay Maori fears about the status of the treaty signed between chiefs and the ancestor of the current queen.

“The responsibility with respect to the treaty lies with the New Zealand government, lies with the Crown in New Zealand. In moving to a republic it does seem important to me that that issue is made clear, that changing to having a head of state solely within New Zealand does not affect the status of the treaty or the legal implications of the treaty,” Dr Cullen says.

He says to prepare for a republic, parliament should choose the next governor general without reference to Buckingham Palace.


The Minister of Maori Affairs, Pita Sharples, says he will put his political credibility on the line to secure a positive outcome from his review of spending on Maori language revitalisation.

A team of educationalists led by a former secretary for Maori Affairs, Tamati Reedy, has been given six months to weight up whether the government is getting value for the $200 million plus a year it spends on te reo Maori programmes.

Dr Sharples says he was concerned lack of an overall strategy might be slowing progress.

“I'm sticking my neck out here because when the review is in, what am I going to do with it? Have I got the muscle to encourage government to make the changes if they are required? But I am prepared to do that because if we don’t have Maori language we don’t have the culture, If we don’t have the culture, we are gone as a people to the world,” Dr Sharples says.

He says the direction for the language needs to be set by te reo speakers.


Meanwhile, one of the members of the ministerial panel looking at te reo Maori says the next step is to draw feedback from the community through a series of 10 rohe hui around the country.

The panel convened a national language conference at Parliament last week so educationalists and government agencies could have their say.

Pania Papa, a teacher and broadcaster from Tainui, says it's not a job that could be done by a ministry like Te Puni Kokiri.

“It's important to have people from the outside looking in rather than people reviewing themselves and their own work. Much more objectivity is the goal and having an independent panel of experts representing various parts of the sector will help bring that objectivity,” Ms Papa says.

After the rohe hui, the panel intends to review each of the government agencies who run te reo Maori programmes.


The chair of the Federation of Maori Authorities says wahine are increasingly taking the lead in managing Maori business.

Tracey Haupapa is set to address a conference in Auckland tomorrow of the Global Women's Network.

She says the experience of FOMA's 160 members should be of interest to the audience of women innovators, entrepreneurs and business leaders, as women become an increasing force in Maori trusts and land incorporations.

She says including women on boards has been shown to produce more successful outcomes and bottom line returns for organisations.

Ngai Tahu property withstands quake

The head of Ngai Tahu Property says the tribe’s Christchurch portfolio seems to have come through the earthquake without major damage.

As part of its treaty settlement Ngai Tahu ended up as the landlord for several government agencies and also developed commercial properties and the new Christchurch Civic Centre.

Tony Sewell says the weekend was spent checking properties.

“My team was out first thing in the morning and they had a look at our shopping centre, Tower Junction, and everything was OK there. They looked at the law courts in Christchurch, everything was fine there, police station, civic building, things are ok, it’s just a bit of minor damage and the furniture and things thrown around but no doubt by the end of the week we will be back in some form of order and life will go on,” Mr Sewell says.


Maori and Christchurch rugby legend Bill Bush thought he was having a bad dream until the reality of the earthquake hit home.

The hard man of All Black and Maori front row says it reminded him of being in Italy in 1979 when an earthquake destroyed many buildings in Naples.

He says his heart was saddened when he went into the centre of Christchurch on Saturday morning to city to help out saw the damage done to many of the old buildings.

“It was quite frightening to see, I love this city, it’s a beautiful city, but it’s scarred now with all the debris from particularly the old buildings that’s come down, it’s sad actually,” Mr Bush says.

He praised new building codes which meant houses such as his own 6 year old villa in Belfast 15 minutes north of the city survived unscathed.


The Minister of Maori Affairs is in China this week looking for openings for Maori business.

Pita Sharples is taking 15 Maori business leaders to visit Beijing, Shanghai and Guizhou.

He says they are calling the visit Te Ara ki Haina, because they believe the cultural relationships formed will open up pathways for trade and business.

“China is now our second largest partner for exporting, although 60 percent in and 40 percent out, we’ve got to increase the out part to balance up and grow the economy here because by growing the economy we create jobs. I’m sure a number of ventures we’re going out to China with will yield fruit later on,” Dr Sharples says.

After visiting the World Expo in Shanghai, Dr Sharples will help bless and open the massive carved waharoa or gateway at the Baoshan Folk Arts Museum, which has been gifted by New Zealand to the people of China after being worked on throughout the expo.


Ngai Tahu chair Mark Solomon says the tribe needs to be at the table when plans are made for rebuilding Christchurch in the wake of Saturday morning’s devastating earthquake.

Mr Solomon says despite its violence, his own Maori Affairs-built home came through the quake without a crack.

But with large parts of the city and its infrastructure needing rebuilding, he says the tribe has much it can contribute.

“Definitely believe we will be invited to the table, Of course we have to be, we’re part of the community. I think we’ve got a long road ahead. There’s a lot of damage. I think there are opportunities of us all working together as a community,” Mr Solomon says.

The curfew of inner Christchurch means Ngai Tahu Runanga staff won’t be able to get to the office today, but he hopes they can be back at their desks as soon as possible.


Te Tai Tonga MP Rahui Katene says Christchurch’s marae are on standby if they are needed for emergency accommodation in the wake of the earthquake.

Mrs Katene had a quick inspection of the city over the weekend.

She says the authorities have moved quickly to provide for people whose homes were too damaged to stay in, and Maori are ready to play their part.

“Certainly are opening up more what they’re calling welfare centres for people to stay and they are expecting more will be needed over the next few days as people realise hey cannot keep staying in their damaged houses. If the marae are needed, they certainly look in a condition to be able to be used,” Mrs Katene says.


Even amongst the terror of the Christchurch earthquake and its aftershocks, there were brighter moments.

One of these was when Canterbury University Maori studies head Rawiri Taonui discovered his seven month old daughter had slept through the upheaval, including the chimney falling in.

He says thanks were given to the Maori god of earthquakes.

“She slept all the way through to 9 o’clock, just woke up and wondered where her bottle was. We’re going to christen her at Te Unga Waka in October in the second week of October so we’ve decided to add Ruaumoko as one of her middle names, it seems appropriate,” Mr Taonui says.

He was heartened at the way neighbours pitched in and helped each other.