Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sharples upbeat after China junket

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples has high hopes his business delegation to China will lead to a boost in trade and jobs for the Maori export sector.

Dr Sharples led a group of about 20 business people to the Shanghai world trade expo and to Beijing.

He says the group was able to make cultural as well as business connections.

“The people sort of received us as teina, younger brothers or whatever, and were able to relate, and it had the corresponding effect on our delegates who went over there, had been involved in the commercial activities for the last 20, 30 years and this revived their opportunity to be Maori in a commercial sense,” Dr Sharples says.

Sub-committees have been set up to explore further opportunities across different sectors of the economy.


Ngati Kahungunu is approaching retailers in the Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa and asking retailers not to sell cigarettes.

Campaign organiser Jenny Smith says the iwi can't wait for politicians to ban smoking when the habit is doing so much damage to its people.

She says one hairdresser in Wairoa has already dropped his tobacco business.

“Kahungunu congratulated him and we provide to manaaki back certificates acknowledging what he has done. We’re promoting retailers that tautoko this karanga through the panui ki te iwi, local newspaper opportunities, that’s how we tatau back,” Ms Smith says.

The campaign will target supermarkets, dairies and service stations.


The Water Safety Council wants to bring down the number of Maori drownings.
General manager Matt Claridge says Maori make up a third of deaths in the water, and they have been a priority for the organisation.

He says a new initiative is to been up support for people such as kura kaupapa teachers in high risk areas such as Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay and the East Coast so they can teach more Maori children to swim.

“We're going to make Teaching the Teacher available in reo and then we’ve got classroom resources that back up and support the information,” Mr Claridge says.

The Water Safety Council hopes Maori will back the strategy because the council gets little funding for its work at regional level.


The organiser of a Ngati Kahungunu campaign to discourage tobacco sales says the tribe wants Maori to live longer.

Jenny Smith says the iwi has written to newpapers from Wairoa to Wairarapa to get the word out, and it will be asking supermarkets, dairies and service stations to stop carrying tobacco products.

She says the tribe sees its future at stake.

“It reduces your life by 15 years. It’s encroached on our whakapapa, our marae. The question at our hui a iwi that was brought up is what would our paepae and our marae look like if we all live 15 years longer,” Ms Smith says.


A veteran Pakeha treaty educator is looking forward to exporting his techniques across the Tasman.

Robert Consedine has been invited to Perth to run workshops on Aboriginal rights.

He'll use what he's learned over the past 20 years teaching government agencies and corporate clients about the Treaty of Waitangi and New Zealand history.

“Australia inherited the same legal system that New Zealand inherited and so common law rights, aboriginal common law rights, customary title, issues to do with land, the foreshore and seabed, sovereignty issues are all relevant to the Australian debate.
Mr Consedine says.

His workshops for the Committee of Perth, an organisation of Perth business and community leaders, will be run jointly with a West Australian aboriginal leader.


Te Huringa Rumaki Reo at Finlayson Park School in Manurewa, one of the first total immersion units in Auckland, is celebrating its 21st birthday.

Rewana Walker, one of the unit's pouarahi, says the school has also developed bi-lingual Maori and Samoan units.

She says considerable expertise has been built up in the school, including high quality English literacy teaching with techniques that translate well into te reo Maori.

She says the unit’s association with a mainstream school means it has been able to avoid some of the difficulties other kura have faced.

Resignation call over foreshore bill

Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira's mother is calling the resignation of his Maori Party co-leaders, Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia.

Titewhai Harawira says under the party's rules, the parliamentary arm should have come back to the membership before agreeing to allow the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill to go before Parliament.

“The parliamentary wing of the Maori Party has gone off on its own. Pita and Tariana. That’s why I’m calling for their resignation. I want them out. There’s no consultation with anybody. Pita has not come to us in his electorate for any mandate to support this kaupapa,” Mrs Harawira says.

Her phone has run hot with support since she made the call on her urban Maori radio show this week.


Meanwhile, Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples is hedging his bets, saying he doesn't think the Marine and Coastal Area Bill he supported will resolve Maori claims to the foreshore and seabed.

The bill referred to the Maori Affairs select committee this week includes a 6 year deadline for lodging claims for customary rights over parts of the coast.

Dr Sharples says his National Government partners are being optimistic if they think that will be the end of it.

“For them to talk about ending the claims and doing this and doing that, and full and finally, I mean full and final has gone on the by on numerous occasions with these settlements. While the Prime Minister and other can talk about full and final, in the end it’s our people who will say what's full and final,” Dr Sharples says.


People working in child and adolescent mental health have been given a set of guidelines to help them improve services to rangatahi Maori.

Kirsty Maxwell-Crawford from Ngai Tai and Tapuika, the chief executive of Maori health workforce development agency Te Rau Matatini, says the advice in Ta Tatou Mahere Korowai will help providers set up rangatahi advisory groups.

She says over the past year rangatahi have consistently said what they need, but their words are often overlooked.

“They want health services that are relevant to them as youth, that are youth friendly, that are accessible, that are affordable, that are delivered in places that are easy for them to access, that are non-judgmental, and these guidelines are really about providing a practical example for services,” Ms Maxwell-Crawford says.

Where it has been tried, rangatahi input has resulted in dramatic improvements in services.


Former Alliance MP Willie Jackson says the Maori Party's support for national's Marine and Coastal Area Bill could come back to bite it.

The broadcaster and Manukau Urban Maori Authority head says Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira should be congratulated for standing by the party's principles and saying the bill not the right replacement for the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

He says the party should also heed long term advisors like Moana Jackson and Annette Sykes, who say it extinguishes customary rights.

“To sort of make out that this is some sort of victory for Maori is wrong and I think strategically the Maori Party has got it wrong here and it could come back to bit them pretty quickly,” Mr Jackson says.


The Alcohol Advisory Council says boozing has become a significant Maori problem.

It wants the Maori Affairs Select Committee to mount an inquiry similar to its investigaiton into the impact of the tobacco industry on Maori.

Alac's Maori manager, Gilbert Tauroa, says Maori are over-represented in all measures of alcohol harm.

“It's usually the Maori ones that are at more risk. They’re more likely perhaps to end up requiring more serious health services with some of the alcohol stuff but also we are clearly aware of the link between alcohol and crime is very evident,” Mr Tauroa says.


Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples will be in Christchurch today to see how the Maori might get involved in the reconstruction of the city.

He says he'll be looking at ways his ministry can help.

“I just think there's a wonderful opportunity. Maori represent 16.4 percent unemployed. The national average is about 6.4 percent so there is a real discrepancy. I’m targeting Maori to get into work, especially in Christchurch where they can help restore their city,” Dr Sharples.


Nelson's Whakatu Marae says this weekend's time out for whanau from earthquake-shook Christchurch could be repeated if it's a success.

About 30 tamariki and kaumatua from Ngai Tahu are expected in Motueka this afternoon.

Matt Hippolite from Ngati Koata says iwi from Te Tau Ihu are putting the principles of manaakitanga into action.

“We've left it to Ngai Tahu who they send. We will awhi and support anyone who turns up on our doorstep here seeking refuge, but specifically we put the invite to Ngai Tahu. We have had interest from other parties and we well have to evaluate those and maybe look at another weekend of respite,” he says.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cabinet fights over foreshore act tests

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples has broken with the tradition of Cabinet secrecy by revealing divisions over the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill.

Dr Sharples says the Maori Party fought right to the end for changes to the bill which had its first reading yesterday.

He says of particular concern is the hoops Maori must jump to claim customary title to areas of the foreshore and seabed.

“We're not happy about many parts of the bill, be sure about that. We negotiated right up until the last Cabinet hearing and in that Cabinet hearing we fought for lower tests. We’re really disappointed we didn’t get a lower threshold for the test,” Dr Sharples says.

The Maori Party is counting as wins restoring the ability of Maori to go to court to establish customary title, and the mining, conservation and management rights which would come with that customary title.


Meanwhile, foundation Maori Party member Titewhai Harawira says the Marine and Coastal Area Bill contains repugnant provisions that weren't put to Maori during the consultation round.

Mrs Harawira says during the numerous hui she attended with attorney general Chris Finlayson, she never heard Maori say they were prepared to give up ownership for the foreshore and seabed.

But she says that's what the new law will do, even if iwi and hapu gain what's being called customary title.

“I went around Tai Tokerau. I went around Ngati Whatua and Tamaki and parts of Tainui just to listen to our people talking to Finlayson and not one person said ‘we don’t own it.’ Every person that made a submission to Finlayson said ‘we own it,’” Mrs Harawira says.

She says Maori Party co-leaders Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia should resign over their failure to bring back the bill to members before they pledged their support for it ... as the party require.


Labour's Maori spokesperson, Parekura Horomia, wants Maori to face up to the damage alcohol is doing to their communities.

He says the Alcohol Advisory Council's submission to the Maori affairs select committee yesterday drew attention to some alarming trends.

These include a clear link between drinking and most crime committed by Maori, as well as more drinking by Maori women as the price of alcohol comes down.

“I've got nothing against drinking. It’s just what it does to our people and that it costs us $90,000 for a prisoner when we could put money in the front end in the sense of helping people not get into trouble,” Mr Horomia says.

He says Maori leaders must step up and tell rangatahi that drinking is not mana enhancing.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says the Marine and Coastal Area Bill represents a kind of utu or revenge for Maori.

Some prominent Maori Party supporters say the bill sent to select committee yesterday falls short of what they were looking for when the party was set up in response to Labour passing the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act.

But Dr Sharples says it redresses the major insult Maori felt when their right to go to court to seek customary ownership was taken away.

“It represents, one, able to go to court, and repeal, but it represents a kind of revenge so that we can not do this stuff any more. The message is don’t do that. Don’t legislate against a people or a group without consultation with them, and I think that is probably the best message that is going to come out of this,” Dr Sharples says.

The Maori Party is unhappy with many aspects of the bill, including the high threshhold for proving customary claims, and he doesn't believe it can be called a full and final settlement of the issue.


The Alcohol Advisory Council wants the Maori affairs select committee to turn its spotlight on drinking in the same way as it has smoking.

ALAC yesterday briefed the committee on Maori drinking patterns and its contribution to crime and ill health.

Its Maori manager, Gilbert Tauroa, says it's a problem that affects more Maori than high profile threats like methamphetamine and cannabis, with Maori having 4 times the alcohol-related mortality of non-Maori.

“We know that at least 8 percent of deaths in any one year for Maori can be attributed to alcohol and we know that is underreported. We know these are pretty heavy statements but we have the evidence to back that up,” Mr Tauroa says.

ALAC would like to see a change of attitude towards boozing across Maoridom.


About 30 Christchurch Maori kids and their whanau getting a break from the earthquake ridden city this weekend thanks to the hospitality of iwi in Te Tau Ihu.

Matt Hippolite from Ngati Koata says the top of the South Island iwi thought the offer of a weekend at Whakatu Marae in Motueka would be a good way to show manakitanga to their Ngai Tahu whanaunga.

The offer was gratefully accepted and a full schedule mapped out, weather permitting, including a trip to Abel Tasman National Park where Ngai Tahu has a stake in a tour business.

Matt Hippolite says the group will go home by way of Kaikoura, where they will be shown round by the whanau there.

House of hypocrites expoed says Goff

Labour leader Phil Goff says the week's events show National is surrounded on left and right by hypocrites.

He says Hone Harawira's dissent over the replacement for the Foreshore and Seabed Act has exposed the lack of principle in the rest of the Maori Party.

And ACT law and order spokesperson David Garrett, who opposed Labour's attempt to introduce clean slate provisions for past convictions, has been revealed as a serial offender.

He says Mr Garrett's attempts to hide his past, including an assault conviciton in Tonga and the theft of a dead child's identity to obtain a false passport, are nails in ACT's coffin.

“When you subject some of the small parties to close scrutiny, they are nowhere near as pure and idealistic as they claim to be, and often when subject to scrutiny they just don’t come up to the standards they themselves said were absolutely essential for any political party to meet,” Mr Goff says.

He says the three strikes law championed by Mr Garrett will have a negative effect on the lives of many young Maori.


Whangarei's Rewarewa D incorporation says its proposed waste recycling plant will create jobs as well as meet its kaitiaki responsibilities as tangata whenua.

Chairperson Mike Kake says the incorporation wants to use its land next to the district council's transfer station to product compost from green waste and to recover demolition material.

There are also plans for a recycle shop and an environment education centre.

“We have a responsibility as kaitiaki to make sure that whatever we do is not only economic in terms of providing job opportunities but also in terms of the environment, making sure we are comfortable in terms of the activities we are doing around the environment,” Mr Kake says.

The $1.5 million project is a joint venture with recyclers CBEC and Materials Processing Ltd.


A Maori woman standing for the Auckland super city council says it will be a huge ask to represent the wide variety of Maori opinion, but she is up to it.

Waina Emery is currently the chair of the Wiri Licensing Trust, and led demonstrations against the unrestrained growth liquor outlets in in south Auckland.

She says the Papakura-Manurewa ward is standing in contains a high proportion of Maori, who would otherwise be unrepresented.

“We have lost out on the part of being able to have seats at this council under the mana whenu, tangata whenua status, and there are no Maori. Unless we come through this way, Maori is not going to be represented at this table,” Ms Emery says.

She was also motivated to stand because there was no other woman candidate for the Papakura Manurewa ward.


Rotorua lawyer Annette Sykes says the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill should be referred to the Waitangi Tribunal for a ruling on whether it breaches the Treaty of Waitangi.

Ms Sykes says to be the replacement Maori want for the Foreshore and Seabed Act, the bill needs to be consistent with the treaty, the Bill of Rights and the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which the National-led Government signed up to earlier this year.

She says Parliament has the power to ask the Waitangi Tribunal for its expert opinion on legislation before it.

“If the Maori Party wants to stand by their assertions that everything is kei te pai, then let’s get this assessed by those that have the ability to do it, let’s refer it from the select committee, prior to public submissions, to the Waitangi Tribunal and get a declaration of consistency of this new proposal to the Treaty of Waitangi,” Ms Sykes says.

She says the bill has a rushed feel, and contains provisions which will be extremely hard to put into effect.


A former New Zealand First MP says ACT's self-destruction and splits within the Maori Party is creating a gap for the Winston Peters-led team to return to parliament.

Edwin Perry says the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill has led Te Tai Tokorau MP Hone Harawira to break ranks, and Maori voters won't be far behind.

And he says revelations about David Garrett's past offending is ruining ACT's moral authority to speak out on law and order.

“ACT are quite frankly losing their act and I’ve said at the moment the current position of the foreshore and seabed, you’ve got to say to Hone, what he had to say, he’s sticking to his kaupapa. That’s what they went in there to say they were going to do and he’s sticking to it,” Mr Perry says.

He has been attending meetings around the country with Winston Peters and is heartened by the huge public support the New Zealand First leader is getting.


Unite Union leader Matt McCarten says his experience with cancer is giving him a first hand understanding of the perilous state of Maori health.

The former Alliance Party president was diagnosed a year ago with a colon cancer, and says it's progressed to such a stage he is telling people outside his immediate family.

The 51-year-old says it's another campaign he wants to win, but he knows the odds.

“Most of my mother’s family, they died off quite early, in their 50s, because of cancer, and the cancer which I have, and I don’t want to go into what it is, Maori men are four times more likely to die from it than any other ethnicity,” Mr McCarten says.

He is heartened by the messages of support he is getting from across the political spectrum.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bill extinguishes customary rights

A far north iwi chair says what the Government is doing with the Marine and Coastal Area Bill may be worse than the Foreshore and Seabed Act that it replaces.

Haami Piripi says Te Rarawa will use the new law to continue its long-running battle for title to that part of Ninety Mile Beach that falls into its rohe.

But he says the bill may be setting the hurdles too high.

“It essentially does what we have been afraid of for a long time and that is it extinguishes our customary interests and then sets up a new regime by which the Crown might recognize what it considers is a customary interest.

“On honest reflection I can see how difficult it must be for a government to acknowledge an interest like ours which is pre-European, probably goes back a couple of thousand years, an in many respects is threat to the sovereign interests of the state,” Mr Piripi says.

He can understand why local MP Hone Harawira is voting against the bill, because his uncle, Mutu Kapa, was one of the elders who led the 90 Mile Beach case in the 1960s.


A Whangarei Maori incorporation says it wants to use its land for something that will benefit the whole community, rather than leasing it for industrial use.

Rawarewa D is seeking resource consent to build a waste recovery operation and environment education centre on its Rewarewa Rd site, next to the council's refuse transfer station.

Chairperson Mike Kake says the $1.5million project will be good for the environment and create jobs.

“If you look at the unemployment rate in the north, I think it’s up 9.2, 9.3 percent, the national average is 6.2, so already we have to look at regional initiatives that are going to create those employment opportunities. Now there will be initial jobs but this is a concept we are going to have to grow,” Mr Kake says.

The recycling plant could be up and running before Christmas.


The return of a native son means Te Rereatukahia Marae in Katikati can finally get carvings for its meeting house.

Tohunga whakairo Morris Wharekawa says giant totara slabs were donated for the project more than 20 years ago by the late Doug Baker.

They've been in storage while Mr Wharekawa trained and worked as a carpenter in Auckland, and then leaned the art of carving.

He says the hapu has instructed him on the ancestors they want represented.

“We're doing the whakarei on the two amo at present and then we’ll be in to doing the maihe next. The two characters on the amo are Moananui and his sister Ngarai. On the other side we’ve got the Matakana Marae people represented with Tamapeki and Kuitai from Tainui,” Mr Wharekawa says.

Since returning home he has been flooded with requests from marae in the western Bay of Plenty wanting carvings.


Labour Leader Phil Goff is questioning whether the Maori Party can hold together with Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira breaking ranks over the replacement for the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Mr Goff says after years of fiery rhetoric from the party, Mr Harawira is the only one of its caucus who can face the truth about what its partnership with National has come up with in the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill.

“Despite all the heat generated by the National Party that said Labour was far too pro-Maori and the Maori Party that said Labour didn’t do enough for Maori, both parties have actually come to an agreement on something that’s not too different from what Labour put in place originally and that’s what Hone Harawira is objecting too. How does the Maori Party hold together in the face of a fundamental division like that,” he says.


One of the people arrested in the so called Tuhoe terror raids of 2007 says publication of her book on the subject shoudn't prejudice the ongoing court cases.

The Day the Raids Came will be published on October the 15th by Wellington-based anarchist publisher Rebel Press.

Valerie Morse says she tried to capture in their own words the stories of people who were at Ruatoki and other places when more than 300 police conducted dawn raids, after surveillance of what were alleged to be terrorist training camps in the Urewera Ranges.

“The book is a view of people’s experiences on the day of the raids, October 15, 2007, so there’s inspiring stories of resistance. There are some terrifying stories of state violence and there’s some political analysis from a variety of different voices about why that happened and the whole paradigm of the war on terror,” Ms Morse says.

She says the manuscript was thoroughly checked by her lawyers.

The 17 Operation 8 defendants, who face charges under the Arms Act, are awaiting a Court of Appeal ruling on the admissability of some of the evidence.


The New Zealand Film Archives is talking to Maori filmmakers and other interest groups as it sets priorities for a four-year, $2 million restoration project.

Chief executive Frank Stark says the first film to be digitised in the new project is Rudall Hayward's land wars tale Rewi's Last Stand, which is the only early feature shot on highly inflammable nitrate stock which is still to be preserved.

He says there are then more than 2000 short, newsreels and features which need treatment, and input from Maori will be valuable.

He says as well as talking in a formal way with Nga Aho Whakaari, the Maori filmmakers’ group, he will talk with many of the individuals who worked on the films.

Works by pioneering Maori filmmakers Mereta Mita and Barrie Barclay are on the list for transfer to digital formats, which will preserve them and make them more available.

High expectations bring down Harawira

The man who will be challenging Hone Harawira in Te Taitokerau next election says the Maori Party MP is the victim of the unrealistic expectations he set.

Labour list MP Kelvin Davis says Mr Harawira's had given himself little option than to vote against the Marine and Coastal Area Bill, which had its first reading yesterday.

Labour voted to send the bill to the select committee.

Mr Davis says it's clear the Maori Party, and especially Mr Harawira, misplayed their hand.

“It's easy to be the rebel in everything and to come out and oppose everything and to grandstand like that but the reality is he’s part of a party that had an opportunity to make a real difference, and they’ve gone around in circles and come back to the same starting point and Maori are really no better off than before this whole look at the foreshore and seabed legislation,” Mr Davis says.


Coromandel hapu Ngati Huarere says one of the last undeveloped beaches on the peninsula needs to be protected.

Spokesperson Graeme Christian says the hapu is among the thousand plus objectors to the plan by a Queenstown company to develop 20 sections along New Chums Beach north of Matarangi.

He says the time for such destruction of pristine natural environments should be over.

“We want to say enough is enough. We’ve ha to subdivide for economic reasons but this is an iconic area where we still go back and gather our kaimoana and it still looks much as it would have been in 1700s when Captain James Cook called into the area,” Mr Christian says.


The head of the Ministry of Women's Affairs says increased participation in education by Maori women is starting to pay off.

In recent years figures for Maori in tertiary education have been skewed towards older women coming back for second chance study.

Rowena Phair says that means the minority of wahine Maori who get to university now achieving at a faster rate that other women.

“We are seeing that gap in qualifications reduce between Maori women and other women and now that is just starting to translate into earnings where the rate of earnings for Maori women in emplyment is increasing at a faster rate than other women,” Ms Phair says.

She says education is leading to Maori women into higher skilled and better paid jobs.


Poverty Bay iwi Rongowhakaata today buries its leader Darcy Ria, who died on Sunday aged 89.

Mr Ria served in C Company of the Maori Battalion, arriving in Italy towards the end of the Battle of Monte Cassino and going through to Trieste.

On his return he joined the Department of Maori Affairs, and worked in the Gisborne office and the Maori Land Court until retirement, when he devoted himself to tribal affairs.

Rongowhakaata spokesperson Lewis Moeau says Mr Ria was also the source of much of the traditional evidence for environmental and treaty claims and for the tribe's challenge to the national museum.

“Like our whare Te Hau ki Turanga there in Te Papa, Darcy has been one of our kaumatua leaders in giving Te Papa permission to shift it from the old museum to Te Papa museum. We’ve established it was stolen from us. Darcy sort of led all that evidence. He led all our negotiations that are still taking place now with Te Papa, still unfinished as to whether we bring the marae back to Manutuke or leave it there for a certain time,” Mr Moeau says.

The funeral service for Darcy Ria starts this morning at 11 at Manutuke marae.


The chair of far north iwi Te Rarawa says the Marine and Coast Area Bill could be worse for Maori than the Foreshore and Seabed Act it will replace.

Haami Piripi says many Maori in the north will back the decision of their local MP, Hone Harawira, to break ranks with the Maori Party and vote against the bill.

He says the bill will extinguish Maori customary rights and replace them with a pale imitation.

“The regime that’s going to be constructed out of this legislation is really going to result in small groups of pipi pickers exercising an ancient customary right that has nothing to do with our contemporary situation and certainly fails to reflect our contemporary understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi,” Mr Piripi says.

Te Rarawa wants customary rights claims to be considered by the Maori Land Court, rather than the High Court.


One of New Zealand's first feature films, Rewi's Last Stand, is first in line for a $2 million restoration project at the national film archive.

Archive chief executive Frank Stark says the extra funding announced this week will allow the archive to restore or digitise as many as 2500 films and newsreels over the next four years.

He says the film produced by Rudall Hayward and staring his future wife Ramai te Miha includes a recreation of the 1864 battle of Orakau.

“They got the local community really involved and they were making uniforms and mock up muskets and taiaha and so on to reenact the battle scenes and they had a huge turn our of local experts as well to take those roles so the whole community got behind it and looked to give it that feel. They used the real battle field as location,” Mr Stark says.

Rewi's Last Stand is the last unpreserved New Zealand feature shot on nitrate film.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lazissez faire not good enough for Kiro

Former Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro says the Government isn't doing enough to address Maori youth unemployment.

Dr Kiro, who now heads Massey University's school of public health, says Maori joblessness is back to levels not seen since the early 1990s.

She says the structure of New Zealand's economy means Maori get hit first, hardest and longest in any economic downturn - and the Government's laissez faire approach to the problem won't work.

“It's not enough. It’s too little. It’s too late. There has to be much more willingness on behalf of government and on behalf of businesses to actually get young people involved in work so that in fact they develop a work ethos, they keep their work readiness, they develop a work capability which will actually serve them and us throughout their working lives,” Dr Kiro says.

She says the current stigmatisation of beneficiaries isn't the way to tackle problems that affect New Zealand's economic future.


The Ministry of Women's Affairs has celebrated Suffrage Day by creating an online resource about the role of wahine Maori in the fight for women to vote.

Rowena Phair, the ministry's chief executive, says it's based on the 1993 book Maori Women and Vote by Tania Rangiheuea, published by Huia but now out of print.

She says by putting highlights on the mwa.govt.nz site, a new generation can access the work.

“The stories are fascinating. There are a number of prominent Maori women who were significant in winning the right to vote for all women but also winning the right for Maori women to vote and stand in the Maori parliament,” Ms Phair says.


One of the stars in the Black Ferns' women's rugby world cup victory says Maori culture played a major part in the team's success.

Centre Huriana Manuel of Ngapuhi and Tuwharetoa says culture was a unifying force in England as the team took the trophy for the fourth time.

“We’ve got quie a few M aori girls in the team. The girls love doing the haka before the games,” she says.

Everywhere the women's team went, its haka was appreciated.


With a divided Maori Party trying to salvage some kudos from today's first reading of the Marine and Coast Area (Takutai Moana) Bill, one of its trusted advisors is warning the bill includes some of the worst features of the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira says he will vote against the bill.

His colleagues say the bill corrects a major injustice by restoring Maori access to the courts to get their customary rights recognised, but it is not a full and final settlement.

Indigenous philosopher Moana Jackson says that's not what Prime Minister John Key is saying ... and he seem to know more about the Bill than the Maori Party.

“The Prime Minister said it would be very difficult for Maori to reach the threshold required for customary title and he’s absolutely right because you have to prove essentially uninterrupted use and possession snce 1840 and because of actions of the Crown and history, most hapu and iwi have been denied that undisturbed possession,” Mr Jackson says.

He says less than 2 percent of hapu are likely to be prove title under the bill.


A University of Waikato researcher is looking for Maori in the region willing to talk with her about their experience of dying.

Dr Tess Moeke-Maxwell has been given a Health Research Council career development grant for a three-year-study into dying, death and bereavement among Maori.

She says the Kia Ngawari study requires her to bring more than research skills to the project.

“Taha tinana, taha wairua, taha hinengaro and taha whanau, all these aspects of myself have to come into the room because when people are dying they need to know I am there 100 percent, not with my researcher’s potae on but with my ngakau, so I am hearing them on all levels,” Dr Moeke - Maxwell says.

The Kia Ngawari study is part of a wider Tangihanga research programme at Waikato University led by professors Linda Nikora and Ngahuia Te Awekotuku.


Two league players with Maori and Australian Aboriginal whakapapa have made themselves available for the New Zealand Maori team which takes on England in Auckland on October 16.

Howie Tamati, the chair of Maori league chairman, says Sando Earle, who plays wing for Penrith, and double international Timana Tahu from the Paramatta Eels are qualified to play in the Four Nations Trophy warm-up game.

He says players like Kevin Locke, Jason Nightingale, Clinton Toopi and Greg Eastwood are likely to turn out for the Maori squad, and it will be a bonus Tahu gets in.

The Maori team will be named after the Kiwi squad to play Samoa on the same day.

Parata defends Marine Bill terms

National Party list MP Hekia Parata says the government is honouring its commitment to Maori to reform the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

The Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) come up for its first reading today, but Maori Party MP Hone Harawira has threatened to hold back his vote because it doesn't go far enough to meet Maori aspirations.

But Ms Parata says the bill reflect the extensive consultation that went into it.

“This will be the most scrutinized most reviewed bill on this matter ever and I think that it honours exactly what we said we would do,” she says.

Ms Parata says the bill restores the right of Maori to go to court to have their claims to customary title considered.


The head of the real estate industry training organisation says getting more Maori real estate agents could help boost Maori home ownership.

Lesley Southwick says REAL ITO intends to run courses in schools with high Maori or Pacific Island rolls to encourage students to consider careers in the industry.

She says less than 1 percent of the country’s 17,000 real estate agents are Maori or Pasifika.

“People like to buy off their own cultures so the more successful that Maori become and Pasifika become, then the more they are likely to want to buy real estate and participate in the industry so it is only natural that we should encourage those cultures, Maori and Pasifika, to gain qualifications to become real estate professionals,” Ms Southwick says.


A Northland leader is appealing for the person who took a taonga from Clendon House at Rawene last week to return it.

Pita Paraone from Ngati Hine says the carved whalebone whip handle was probably the most prized possession of George Clendon, the son of prominent early settler James Clendon and Jane Takotowi Clendon, a cousin of Patuone and Tamati Waka Nene.

He says George Clendon was a significant rangatira, and the house built by his father where he lived until his death in 1933 was one of the most significant historic places in Northland.

“The person who has taken it hasn’t understood the historical value that it has, particularly for the Hokianga. It’s just an indication of people’s interest in the whole lost of historic artifacts but not understanding the value and particularly the historical value that it has,” Mr Paraone says.

The whip handle's value to Hokianga Maori far outweighs its slight monetary value.


Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says the Marine and Coastal Area Bill is not the substitute Maori want for the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Mr Harawira says the Maori Party will probably vote for the bill after its first reading debate today, but he wants to see extensive changes at the select committee stage.

He says the bill's author, Attorney General Chris Finlayson, wasn't able to deliver on the promises he was making to Maori during the consultation process.

“I think that he was prepared to go where his colleagues weren’t prepared to go and I think at the end of the day he lost when it got back to his Cabinet. I think the things we had been discussing at a more personal level, I think he understood. I just don’t think his colleagues were prepared to back him on it,” Mr Harawira says.


A researcher who has looked at links between colonisation and Maori health is off to the United States to see how Native Americans cope with similar issues.

Leonie Pihama has won the first Fulbright Scholarship organised in partnership with Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, the national centre for Maori research excellence.

She will spend 5 months at the Indigenous Wellness Centre at the University of Washington in Seattle, which she says is at the forefront of studying the impact of colonisation on indigenous people worldwide.

“Working with this team will really enable me to focus on how they talk abut that in terms of trauma and how that trauma gets passed down through whanau inter-generationally and how it then impacts on our overall well being, our health and our ability to access education and our reo, things like te reo Maori, the loss of language generations back by many of our whanau still has an ongoing impact today in terms of our identity and how we see ourselves,” Dr Pihama says.


Young Sid has again triumphed at the Waiata Maori Music Awards, but he was too far away to pick up his awards for Best Maori Male Solo Artist: and Best Maori Urban Rap Hip-Hop RnB Album.

The south Auckland rapper is in New York recording tracks for his next domestic album, to be released next year, and for what he hopes will be a US release later this year.

He says it's a productive environment to work in, taking him out of his comfort zone and helping him remember what happened in his home area.

The big winner this year was Maisey Rika, who won the Best Maori Female Solo Artist title for the second year in a row as well as best songwriter, best Maori Pop album and Best Maori Song, for her waiata, Nia.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Harawira threatens no vote on marine bill

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says he may not vote for the Marine and Coastal Area Bill.
When the replacement for the Foreshore and Seabed Act was introduced last week, his colleague Te Ururoa Flavell said all five Maori Party MPs would be supporting it.

But Mr Harawira says many Maori are angry about what's not in the bill, and the party needs to discuss its position further.

“We've got our first caucus meeting tonight, another one tomorrow morning, I understand it’s in the House tomorrow and then we’ll see where we are with it at that point. Chances are the Maori Party will want to be supporting it, until at least first reading, but the issues of confiscation remain, but the issues of discrimination remain, the right of access to courts has been restored but the right of access to justice continues to be denied,” Mr Harawira says.

He respects the amount of work the Treaty Negotiations Minister, Chris Finlayson, put into the bill, but believes he lost out in Cabinet on some key points.


Former Alliance president Matt McCarten says he's heartened by the support coming from the other side of the political divide in response to his revelation he's fighting cancer.

The Unite Union general secretary was diagnosed with the disease a year ago, but says it's just another campaign he's determined to win.

He says the response to his newspaper column on the issue has come from across the political spectrum.

“I am not personal about my politics. I play hardball and I don’t give any quarter but I’ll say what I think but you always try to be respectful to the individuals because it’s about you disagree on ideas and that’s appropriate, the rich tapestry of life, but it’s been touching really,” Mr McCarten says.

He has told the right wingers who have contacted him that they are free to dance on his grave but as respecters of property rights they mustn't damage the headstone.


Karapiro iwi hope a culture room being built for the World Rowing Championships later this month will in time be used to house tribal taonga.

Willie te Aho, an advisor to Ngati Koroki Kahukura, says returning taonga from museums to their originating iwi is very much a live issue.
He says often the problem is finding a suitable home.

“Not all taonga need to be in those strict temperature-controlled environments. Certainly our taonga like our korowai and kakahu and those cloaks, definitely have to be but there are some taonga that were made to be seen and seen they should be,” Mr Te Aho says.


The Minister of Treaty Negotiations says historical land confiscations or sales don't automatically extinguish customary rights in the foreshore and seabed.

Critics of the new Marine and Coastal Area Bill argue that Crown actions mean many hapu and iwi won't be able to prove the continuous exclusive use necessary for a customary rights claim to succeed.

But Chris Finlayson says the government has taken note of concerns raised during the consultation process.

“There were issues that people felt very strongly about with raupatu. We’ve tried to address that so if people lost their lands there’s at least a chance they can go to the court or show that they still satisfy the requirements of the legislation in or to obtain a title,” Mr Finlayson says.

Meanwhile, Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says the bill hasn't satisfied many influential Maori, and he may not be able to support it when it comes up for first reading tomorrow.


New Zealand Council of Social Services has the Government's tax changes as a wasted opportunity to address real need in society.

Executive officer Trevor McGlinchey from Kai Tahu says the council's latest quarterly Vulnerability Report shows many Maori families still feeling beleaguered and helpless from the effects of recession.

He says rather than offer solutions, the Government is upping GST to pay for tax breaks for people who don't need them.

“If we are going to change, let’s bring those people who are in the worst position, let’s get them into a better position because they will really notice that and certainly that will make a difference for Maori. But for those who are right up the tip, they are not going to notice the little bit of extra they do get. It is not going to make a big difference to them,” Mr McGlinchey says.

The report says social services agencies are stretched to the limit trying to provide help to stressed families.


A Coromandel hapu says a beach being targeted by developers is a treasure of national and international importance.

Ngati Huarere spokesperson Graeme Christian says the hapu will oppose a bid by a Queenstown group to build a 20-lot subdivision at New Chums Beach near Whangapaoa.

He says the area adjoining Wainuiototo Bay is sought out by people from around the world as a reminder of an earlier age.

“There are no signs. They have to wade across a creek and get their bums wet. They get sore feet walking over the boulders. They walk around a saddle, over a hump after about half an hour, and there’s a beautiful vista in front of them that you couldn’t see anywhere else. It’s unchanged from hundreds of years ago. No houses. No helicopters. No jetskis, No quad bikes. And things are still as they were, so long ago,” Mr Christian says.

He says in their haste to get the development going, the developers have glossed over the presence or pa, middens and urupa along the beach.

Commissioners appointed by Thames Coromandel District Councile are expected to hear the resource consent application in November.

Maori bearing burden of recession

The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services says the effects of the recession have not been shared equally, with young Maori and Maori families bearing a disproportionate burden.

Releasing the council’s six quarterly Vulnerability Report, executive officer Trevor McGlinchey from Kai Tahu said social service agencies are fully stretched.

He says with families hit by a lack of jobs are unable to survive on the very low benefit rates.

“We’re living in an unequal society and somehow we’ve got to get that message out, that we’ve actually got to make sure that all of our people, Maori, Pakeha, Pacific people need their needs met and met properly, and at the moment that’s not happening,” Mr McGlinchey says.

Instead of working or training, almost a third of young Maori are unemployed, which will have long term social consequences.


The head of the real estate industry training organisation says getting more Maori real estate agents could help boost Maori home ownership.

Lesley Southwick says REAL ITO intends to run courses in schools with high Maori or Pacific Island rolls to encourage students to consider careers in the industry.

She says fewer than 1 percent of the country’s 17,000 real estate agents are Maori or Pasifika.

“People like to buy off their own cultures so the more successful that Maori become and Pasifika become, then the more they are likely to want to buy real estate and participate in the industry so it is only natural that we should encourage those cultures, Maori and Pasifika, to gain qualifications to become real estate professionals,” Ms Southwick says.


Karapiro iwi hope a culture room being built for the World Rowing Championships later this month will in time be used to house tribal taonga.

Wilie te Aho, an advisor to Ngati Koroki Kahukura, says returning taonga from museums to their originating iwi is very much a live issue.

He says often the problem is finding a suitable home.

“Not all taonga need to be in those strict temperature-controlled environments. Certainly our taonga like our korowai and kakahu and those cloaks, definitely have to be but there are some taonga that were made to be seen and seen they should be,” Mr Te Aho says.


The Minister for Treaty Negotiations, Chris Finlayson, says there is iwi support for a time limit on foreshore and seabed claims.

The Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill, introduced to parliament this week, includes a six-year deadline for filing claims either with the High Court or the government.

Waiariki MP says the length was a compromise, with the Maori Party wanting 10 years and National four.

Mr Finlayson says it came from talking to iwi.

“There are a lot of iuwi who have had their negotiations put on hold while we look at the question of this whole issue, and I’m thinking of Te Rarawa, I’m thinking of Ngati Porou ki Hauraki, I’m thinking of Ngati Porou, Te Whanau a Apanui, Te Uri o Hau, there are a lot of them, so it is really for the benefit of iwi so that we can get some closure on this issue,” Mr Finlayson says.

The bill is at the top of the order paper for debate this week.


A researcher who has looked at links between colonisation and Maori health and social statistics is off to the United States to see how Native Americans cope with similar issues.

Leonie Pihama has won the first Fulbright Scholarship organised in partnership with Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, the national centre for Maori research excellence.

She will spend 5 months at the Indigenous Wellness Centre in Seatle, which is at the forefront of studying the impact of colonisation on indigenous people worldwide.

“What they are doing in Seattle is the team there is making real and clear connections between 500 years of colonisation for Native American people and the impact now on family violence, even issues like quite clear health issues like increased heart attacks, all those kinds of issues. There’s quite a clear link being made now. That’s the kind of link we are working towards here are now,” Dr Pihama says.


The author of a new book on whaikorero says many young speakers of te reo Maori aren’t doing the sustained listening that will make them first class orators.

Poia Rewi, an associate professor at Otago University's Te Tumu school of Maori studies, says Maori orators range from the flamboyant and theatrical to those with more reflective styles.

He says Maori language schools are developing a different type of speaker.

“Many of them in listening are very high quality but there still seems to be something lacking in there – maybe because they are all crash taught in upskilling their own language whereas the people of old have been through 60-odd years of listening, observing, being informed, informing themselves and developing those skills and what to look out for,” Professor Rewi says.

His whakapapa connections to Tuhoe, Ngati Manawa, Te Arawa, Ngati Whare and Ngati Tuwharetoa gave him access to a wide range of elders who were willing to share their knowledge for the book, Whaikorero - the world of Maori oratory.