Waatea News Update

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Friday, October 01, 2010

Maniapoto ready for Waipa River clean-up

The Maniapoto Maori Trust Board and the Crown have agreed to terms for co-management of the Waipa River.

Board chair Tiwha Bell says a major clean-up effort is needed to prevent continued pollution of both the Waipa and the Waikato downstream of the confluence at Ngaruawahia.

Under the deed of settlement signed this week, the Government has committed to spend $30 million over the next 20 years.

Mr Bell says there's a lot of work to be done.

“Our initial step is to educate our farmers, and everybody’s got a part to play, to have a good river like in our day, we had kai, we could swim, everything was beautiful and it was clean in our area round Te Kuiti here and up towards Pouerua. It’s still clean, but as it hits the bottom it gets dirtier and dirtier,” Mr Bell says.

The Maniapoto co-governance legislation is expected to be introduced into Parliament this month


Tamaki Makaurau MP Pita Sharples says he's sad to see the end of a separate Waitakere City.

The Maori Party co-leader has been immersed Maori life in West Auckland for more than 30 years including leadership roles at Te Roopu Manutaki Maori Culture Group, Hoani Waititi Marae, Waipareira Trust, kohanga reo and kura kaupapa.

He says it's important the west does not lose its unique identity once it's merged into the super city.

“Don't let us disintegrate and just become absorbed into the whole Auckland area, because in many ways the west has its character, the south has its character, east and so on, the city has it’s own personality and it’s good to have to different personalities and I hope it doesn't dissolve,” Dr Sharples.


This weekend's festival of lights is a special cause for celebration for a Rotorua artist with both Maori and Indian heritage.

As part of tomorrow's Deepawali Festival at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre, Gina Wright from Ngati Naho, whose great grandmother was a gypsy from Rajasthan, is running workshops on Indian arts.

She says Rangoli, which uses coloured rice, sand and flowers to create colourful designs, is enjoyed by tamariki from all cultures.

There will also be Mehndi or temporary skin art, yoga, clothing and food stalls, and a cultural show and fireworks display in the evening.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says he's unhappy with today's 20 percent gst hike ... even though he voted for it.

Dr Sharples says the new 15 percent rate will hit low income Maori particularly hard.

But he says the party had to vote for it as part of its confidence and supply agreement with the National Government.

“Sometimes you have to eat rats or whatever the expression is even though nobody is worse off although the trouble is if you’re on the lower economic area, zone, ladder, then you’re going to get some money retrospectively rather than at the time so all this seems like it is a big bite. What seems unfair is that those on higher incomes will get bigger tax relief,” Dr Sharples says.


The 12 iwi of Hauraki, including Ngati Porou ki Hauraki and Ngati Pukenga, today signed a framework agreement to negotiate a settlement of their historic treaty claims.

Paul Majurey, the chair of the Hauraki Collective, says the hui at Wharekawa Marae at Kaiaua on the shores of Tikapa Moana was marked by a feeling of kotahitanga that contrasted with the tensions that developed during the mandating process.

He says the confederation is keen to push the settlement value up from the $53 million proposed last year.

“What's on the table are the rights to purchase five forests in Hauraki, the rights to have discussions on a forest that is shared, that being Athenree, the right to purchase Whenuakite farm owned by Landcorp, and a range of measurements involving co-management which will have us in discussions with the Crown,” Mr Majurey says.

The aim is to have agreements in principle by next April working towards deeds of settlement a year later.


Meanwhile, negotiations immediately to the south could come unstuck this weekend unless the Government is prepared to make assurances about the effect of its reform of the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Negotiator Willie Te Aho says Ngati Ranginui meets on Sunday to give its advocates their instructions.

He says the bottom line is that the land confiscations of the 1860s and other illegal actions by the Crown should not allow customary rights to be denied.

“Unless the issues relating to what they call the moana or Taurangamoana are resolved and specifically recognising that raupatu broke continuous occupation that our people had otherwise enjoyed which means we would be entitled to at least recognition of customary title. Unless that anomaly is resolved in the legislation, we will not be settling,” Mr Te Aho says.

Education cuts striking Maori apirations

The president of the Council of Trade Unions Helen Kelly says Maori communities suffer hugely from cuts in education.

Helen Kelly delivered a message of support to the Post Primary Teachers' Association Conference in Wellington yesterday.

She says the cuts are having a dramatic effect on low income communities where Maori are disproportionately represented.

“Things like the cuts to night schools are real cuts to second chance education. Early childhood education, Maori have invested huge amounts of energy setting up early childhood centres and getting their kids into these centres. To have this funding cut, to remove the requirement for trained teachers in those early childhood services, really serious implications for Maori kids,” Ms Kelly says.

She says the Education Ministry's insistence that schools put new staff on a 90-day probation will put teachers off applying for remote schools which are likely to have high Maori rolls.


An Otago University archeologist believes he has found out why Golden Bay Maori attacked Abel Tasman's crew in 1642.

The traditional view is that the first recorded European-Maori contact went wrong because the Dutch were seen as strangers and enemies.

But Ian Barber says his excavations in Golden Bay indicate that Tasman's crew was seen as a threat to crops and stored food close to their likely landing spot.

“These guys visiting, big ship, lots of them, they were likely to have been hungry, looking for supplies and provisions, we know at that time Maori are traveling up and down both of the big motu, they’re traveling up and down the country visiting each other, they’re exchanging greetings, that’s why I don’t buy into this fear of strangers thing,” he says.

Dr Barber says the small boat on which three crew members were killed came close to the hapu's extensive kumara gardens.


In conditions of tight security, four giant tekoteko have been brought from the Bay of Plenty to Eden Park

John Waller, the chair of the Eden Park Trust, says the tekoteko will stay under wraps until a dawn blessing in 10 days time.

Representing Tanemahuta, Rongo, Tumaatauenga and Tawhirimatea, they will stand at the four corners of the refurbished park to provide a towering cultural welcome to visitors to new year's Rugby World Cup.

“We were always keen to have a strong Maori presence at the park and we thought that given this is going to be such an iconic stadium and an international showpiece for New Zealand we were looking for something that would be stunning and be a fine tribute to Maoridom and really enhance the park,” Mr Waller says.

The tekoteko were designed by Arekatera Maihi from Ngati Whatua and carved by teams under his direction in Rotorua and Whakatoane.


Two Maori with extensive farming experience have been appointed to the committee which will advise the government on how agriculture will be brought into the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Roger Pikia, the chief executive Te Arawa Group Holdings, and Edward Ellison, a sheep and beef farmer from Ngai Tahu and Te Atiawa are on the eight-member committee chaired by former National MP Katherine Rich.

Mr Ellison says he is looking forward to working out what New Zealand has committed to.

“Our role is to give advice to the minister to yes I think it is strategically important and two hopefully to assist in terms of clarification,” he says.

Mr Ellison says there are unique aspects to Maori owned land and Maori farming which need to be taken into account as ETS regimes are developed.


A Ngati Kahungunu woman will spend four months at Harvard University comparing Maori and Native American businesses.

Cherie Spiller says ethical crises like the global financial crisis or the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has people asking whether indigenous business models can offer anything to the mainstream.

Her Fulbright scholarship gives her a chance to develop themes she found when she studied Maori business.

“Many businesses believe that the purpose of a business is to produce a profit. However in my doctoral research, working with Maori companies, it’s evident that the purpose from a Maori perspective is to create well being and businesses often talk about a triple bottom line which is the social, economic and environmental well being but a Maori business will also look at spiritual and cultural well being,” Dr Spiller says.

She says indigenous businesses put value on the long term relationships they create.


A kuia from Patea with 37 mokopuna and 35 moko tuarua or great grandchildren is this year's Taranaki gardener of the year.

Harriet Rei from Te Atiawa has helped hundreds of people to re-learn Maori gardening techniques of yesteryear.

She and husband Spencer spend a lot of time in the garden, planting whatever brings a smile to the faces of their tamariki, including tasty fruits and sometimes massive vegetables.

Mrs Rei says the quality of her produce spiked when she returned to the traditional Maori planting calendar.

“I find it much better, like if the moon’s starting to become full you’re getting moisture into the ground, and once the moon starts receding it’s taking that out of the soil and you are able to prune trees, shrubs or whatever because there’s no sap there,” she says.

Voting forms for the national title are in this month’s edition of New Zealand Gardener magazine.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hide sure Maori have got over snub

Local Government minister Rodney Hide says he believes Maori have got over their initial disappointment at not getting dedicated seats on the Auckland Super City Council and are now working to make the new structure work.

An Iwi Selection Body appointed by Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples is looking for people to represent both mana whenua groups and mataawaka or Maori from tribes outside the region.

He says the government also made sure Maori were included on the baords of the council controlled organisations which will manage most of the super city's assets.

“Local Maori were very disappointed with that decision but nevertheless like all Aucklanders the got behind it, shouldered the disappointment and said let’s make this thing work for Auckland and for us,” Mr Hide says.

He says it's up to councils to decide if they should set aside seats for Maori, and he can imagine Auckland super city doing just that.


The president of the Council of Trade Unions says rural Maori communities are among those likely to suffer most from the Government's insistence on a probation period for teachers in new jobs.

Helen Kelly says the Ministry of Education has rejected attempts by the teacher unions to keep the 90-day fire at will clause out of their collective agreements.

She says that means the Government wants schools to use it.

“And you just think about remote schools, on the East Coast or whatever. If they’re going to start to recruit teachers with a 90-day no right of appeal, who is going to go there, who is going to shift their family up there, move into that community with the risk that for no reason at all they might be dismissed and then deregistered which is what happens to teachers often when they are dismissed, without any right to appeal that,” Ms Kelly says.


Musician Tiki Taane has gone back to the reo of his home people for a track he's gifted to Auckland's Children's Hospital.

The former Salmonella Dub member wrote Starship Lullaby for his infant son Charlie Te Marama.

He says he was jamming on his guitar and noticed how his young fella took a liking to a particular chord structure.

Maniapoto elders helped translate and extend his lyric ideas, and a bilingual lullaby was born.

The song will be available for download from Monday, with all proceeds going to Starship.


A seed has been planted in 100 schools which education reformers hope will lead to better outcomes for Maori students.

Russell Bishop from Waikato University's faculty of education says He Kakano is aimed at school leaders and decision-makers.

He says the programme, which is a joint venture with Te Wananga o Awanuiarangi, will support teachers to identify the needs of their school communities and come up with ways of teaching and interacting with students that are culturally responsive.

“It's an area of setting goals, reforming the institutions, investigating the policies and practices in the schools and also spreading it to include others in the schools and making sure the community is involved in things and above all schools need to take ownership of these issues and the problems and implement solutions,” Professor Bishop says.

The budget for the pilot, $7 million over three years, is being used for workshops, release time and to hire professional leaders who will go into schools and give teachers feedback on how they are implementing He Kakano.


Labour's Maori affairs spokesperson says the level of poverty he is seeing in Maori communities is unprecedented in his lifetime.

Parekura Horomia says the government's failure to address Maori unemployment and its attacks on beneficiaries has created a crisis which tomorrow's increase in GST will make worse.

He says eight in 10 Maori in Wairoa are unemployed, and there are similar problems in parts of Hastings.

“I've never felt more the pressure of abject poverty. People can’t pay their bills. You pile up for petrol. The gst on everything and it’s just a real shocker,” Mr Horomia says.

He says those who can find the fare are looking at Australia as their way out of the crisis.


Work is flowing in for an Okaihau mum who won a $300,000 recording contract in the international online Peace Song writing competition.

Frances Osborne-Tau says her prize-winning song, Be a Li'l Happy, was demoed on a $5 guitar bought from an op shop.

Now with the backing of contest organiser Oikos, the New Zealand of Russian-born classical crossover singer Yulia, the mother of two is going into Wellington's White Noise studio to record a Maori version of Teach the Dream ... the theme song of the US-based foundation of the same name which promotes democracy and education through music.

Turei praises women’s organisation

Greens co-leader Metria Turei will have a message of tautoko and encouragement when she speaks at the 59th Maori Women's Welfare league conference in Gisborne today.

She says the league remains a strong sounding board for Maori kaupapa, and its support groups and leadership mentoring programmes mean it also has an eye on the future.

Ms Turei says the Maori Womens Welfare League has a long and proud history.

"Maori women have real political and social issues we need to organise ourselves for and I find Maori Women’s Welfare Leagues is still a powerful organization with powerful advocacy and I think it’s fantastic it’s still going after all this time," Ms Turei says.


The Taranaki Maori Sports Awards is promising a double-helping of McAlistairs at its gala event in Hawera in November.

It has lined up Charlie McAlistair, who played professional league for Oldham in the English comp, and his son Luke, who plays for the All Blacks and New Zealand Maori.

Organising commitee member Leanne Matuku says in the world of professional sports it's always good to have a back-up in case Luke makes the All Blacks’ end of year tour.


A Maori mother of two from the small Northland settlement of Okaihau has won an international peace songwriting competition.

Frances Osborne-Tau beat hundreds of entries from around the world to win the People's Choice Award in the on-line competition, giving her a $300,000 recording contract.

Be a Li'l Happy was the first song she has written, and she recorded it using a $5 guitar she brought from an op shop 10 years ago.

She says the competition's positive values inspired her words.

Frances Osborne - Tau says Oikos Music, the label of Russian-born singing star Yulia, will be record and distribute Be a Li'l Happy through cable TV networks in Europe and North America as well as through digital download sites.


A hundred schools have signed on to pilot a new leadership programme,He Kakano, which aims to improve education for Maori.

Waikato University's faculty of education and Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi have a three-year $7 million contract to deliver advice, support and professional development to schools in the programme.

Professor Russell Bishop says it draws on what's been learned from the classroom-based Te Kotahitanga programme about how Maori students learn, and how schools can take the identity, language and culture of their students into account.

He Kakano or the seed is for boards of trustees, principals, heads of department down to the individual teacher level.

“We're offering them a model which is based on the book we’ve just published, Scaling Up Education Reform. That book gives a seven point model for making a difference in schools and we’re saying, when leaders at whatever level they are in the schools can implement these seven points effectively, then you will see change taking place, because that’s what we found in our Te Kotahitanga schools,” Professor Bishop says.

Schools benefit for having an outside groups like the university or wananga to help them critically analyse what is going on in the classroom.


The president of the Maori Women’s Welfare League says issues like child abuse are posing new challenges for the organisation as it moves into its 59th year.

The league is holding its annual hui at Gisborne Boys High.

Meaghan Joe says it's an event wahine Maori look forward to as a place to discuss social and political issues that affect whanau, and its work is as relevant as it's ever been.

“We've just got to look at all the abuse that’s involved in our whanau of our children, of women themselves and of the elderly so we are very much aware of that and we do as much as we can to make changes for the betterment of our communities and our people,” Ms Jones says.

As the daughter of one of the league's founding members, she has a deep sense of pride in what it has achieved over the years.


A Waitara-based Maori fashion label that started out selling tee shirts and hoodies four years ago is making the leap from streetware to haute couture.

Keri Wanoa and her husband Hemi Sundgren from Whiri presented their He Kahukura collection at last week's New Zealand fashion awards.
Ms Wanoa says the future of the label is further up the market.

“A lot of the things are hand made, certainly not mass production. When you’re making taniko, just the pocket pieces take a long time when they’re hand woven. So it’s about creating that balance but we definitely are high end,” Ms Wanoa says.

She says showing at New Zealand's premiere fashion event is a great way for Maori designers to improve their brand recognition.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Maori women's unemployment shocks Goff

The Maori Women's Welfare League conference in Gisborne has heard from Labour leader Phil Goff that unemployment among wahine Maori is reaching crisis levels.

Mr Goff says the League needs to challenge the Government about why the jobless rate for Maori women is three times the national average, and one in two teenage Maori girls don't have work.

“That's a human, that’s a social, that’s an economic disaster to have so many of our young Maori girls and women not in work, not able to work, and it’s going to take a lot more than Paula Bennett waving a big stick and saying she is going to force people into work to try to create employment there. If there aren’t job opportunities, people can’t be employed,” he says.

Phil Goff says the previous Labour Government had good relationships with the league that he wants to maintain while in Opposition.


A former Maori vice president of the Council of Trade Unions says her union work will stand her in good stead if she wins the South Waikato mayoralty.

Sharon Claire from Ngati Raukawa says the region, which takes in Tokoroa, Putaruru and Tirau, is a microcosm of what New Zealand will one day look like.

It's dependent on forestry and farming, and has a high Maori and Pacific population and a wide spread of incomes.

Ms Claire says there are significant environmental issues where a Maori perspective will be valuable.

“We're in the middle of the river co-management so everything I know politically from my experience, knowledge within the Council of Trade Unions and policy work at central government level has really shaped and molded me for this job,” she says.

Ms Claire is up against incumbent Neil Sinclair, a former dentist, and Tokotoa radio station owner Johnny Dryden.


A Dunedin ecosanctuary, the Department of Conservation and two South Island runanga have joined together to save the most endangered kiwi species.

Neville Peat, who chairs the Orokonui Ecosanctuary, says only about 350 Haast Tokoeka remain in their South Westland habitat.

Three or four breeding pairs will be moved to a predator-proof enclosure in the sanctuary, with the help of the south Westland and Karitane runanga.

Mr Peat, who is the author of three books on kiwi, says the last sighting of the bird in Dunedin was 1872, when a dog killed two little spotted kiwi.


Labour leader Phil Goff says the battle against obesity is one reason his party is promising to take GST off fresh fruit and vegetables.

Mr Goff says he is shocked by new figures reported in the Economist magazine showing New Zealand is the third fattest nation, with one in four children deemed overweight before they even start school.

He says Labour supported Te Tai Tonga MP Rahui Katene's attempted to removed the tax from healthy food, but the Maori Party seems to have had a change of heart since that bill was voted down by National and ACT at its first reading.

“Tariana attacked my proposal yesterday but then she and the Maori Party voted for National’s 15 percent GST so she can’t have it both ways,” Mr Goff says.


The Greens Maori affairs spokesperson, Metiria Turei, says South Taranaki District Council's attempt to hand a water scheme to a group of farmers flies in the face of national efforts to design fairer ways to allocate and manage fresh water.

The council is backing a private bill by Whanganui MP Chester Borrows that would allow the transfer of the $11 million scheme near Opunake to 162 farmer users.

The region's iwi say the council hasn't consulted properly, and the sort of co-management principles identified in last week's report from the Land and Water Forum show how the issue has moved on from when the transfer was first mooted a decade ago.

Ms Turei says the council is behaving like the bad old days.

“For ignoring Ngati Ruanui at this point, after their settlement they are really strong iwi, they know what they are doing, they are part of that community so to shut them out of the process like that is just disgraceful,” Ms Turei says.


Young Maori and Pacific Island women are leading the way in the uptake of the HPV vaccination which guards against a virus which causes cervical cancer and genital warts.

Pacific Island Affairs minister Georgina Te Heuheu says its most encouraging that 70 percent of Pacific girls aged 14 to 18 and 57 percent of Maori girls have now received the free Gardasil shots, compared with a national average of 52 percent.

She says that will have positive long term effects on public health.

“Pacific and Maori women have been twice as likely to develop cervical cancer as other women so their risk of Dying from the illness is more than twice that for other ethnicities, so I guess there has been an extra focus on getting the vaccine to these usually hard to reach communities,” Mrs Te Heuheu says.

Council says Cold Creek deal done right

The South Taranaki District Council is defending a plan to transfer an $11 million rural water scheme to farmers in the face of opposition from iwi.

Ngapari Nui from Ngati Ruanui says there hasn't been enough consultation on a private members bill to transfer the Cold Creek scheme to a group including Neville Ardern, the brother of National MP Shane Ardern.

But South Taranaki mayor Ross Dunlop says the scheme has the backing of both Oeo and Orimupiko marae.

“This has been going on for about 10 years so there was lots of opportunities to engage and Cold Creek did engage. I know Ngapari and others are saying that’s not with the correct people, but Cold Creek’s intentions were good, they certainly did engage,” Mr Dunlop says.

He says there will be plenty of opportunity for Maori to be heard as the bill makes its way through parliament.


Associate Maori Affairs and Pacific Affairs Minister Georgina Te Heuheu says the fact that there are more Pacific than Maori candidates standing in Auckland local body elections is a pointer to how much Maori depend on the treaty relationship.

She says the controversy over the government's refusal to create Maori seats on the super city affected the way Maori see the council.

“Pacific people know they don’t have that special relationship with either central or local government that Maori have. Therefore I think they feel they’ve got to work extra hard to get the support, first of all if you are standing and then work extra hard to get people to put themselves forward,” Mrs Te Heuheu says.


The best bus driver in New Zealand says tourists are fascinated by the contemporary relationship between Maori and the crown.

Kaiapoi-based Riki Katene from Te Arawa and Tainui beat 23 others for the title after tests of driving skills, mechanical knowledge and customer service.

The 47 year old says he loves sharing Maori stories of the land with his passengers, who often sound him out about the situation facing modern Maori.

“Our entire history and our entire relationship with the Crown is still only 170 years old. For them to see a country so young and to see Maori establishing themselves in the way they have, it fascinates them, it doesn’t matter what country they come from, it’s awesome and they love it,” Mr Katene says.

He would encourage more Maori to become tour bus drivers.


Taranaki's Ngati Ruanui iwi says farmers will be enriched at the expense of the rest of the community if a controversial water privatisation goes ahead.

South Taranaki District Council is backing a local bill by Whanganui MP Chester Borrows to transfer the Cold Creek rural water supply scheme to the 183 farmers whose land it supplies.

Iwi chair Ngapari Nui says the scheme was a joint investment between ratepayers and the farmers who have benefited most over the past two decades, and it's not right that it is privatised.

"So here's someone who’s invested just over $2 million to get an asset worth $11.3 million. If that was to happen to iwi where they were given back to iwi, there’d be a hell of an uproar for farmers and all that," Mr Nui says.

He says ownership of water has become a much more significant issue than when the idea of turning Cold Creek over to the farmers' group was first raised a decade ago, and the council should revisit the issue.


The president of the Maori Women’s Welfare League says the organisation is still relevant in a modern Maori society.

Over a thousand people are expected at today's powhiri for the leagues' annual conference at Hastings Boys High.

Meaghan Joe says the hui will discuss cervical screening, liquor reform, whether parental consent for school health screening programmes, and Maori representation in the governance of universities and polytechnics.

She says the league continues to be a place where wahine help shape Maori communities.

“The women are political. They don’t just sit round and make doilies or knit or bake. They do those for whanau on the ground but they also have a political analysis of what's happening,” Ms Joe says.


The best bus driver in New Zealand says he loves sharing stories of the land.

Riki Katene from Te Arawa and Tainui picked up the title at the annual Transqual Bus Rodeo in Dunedin by topping the tests of driving skills, mechanical knowledge and customer service.

The 47-year-old former Bungy Jump operator says he was humbled to win the award on his first attempt, and believes he was helped by his willingness to bring a Maori dimension to his work.

“Most of my commentary is whakapapa, because as long as I share the stories with international tourists, I am keeping my tupuna and whakapapa alive aren't I,” Mr Katene says.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Door open for negotiaitons on coast

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the Government is prepared to take into account the effects of raupatu when assessing customary rights claims under the Marine and Coast area (Takutai Moana) Bill.

Critics of the replacement to the Foreshore and Seabed Act argue the stringent criteria needed to prove customary title will rule out hapu whose coastal land was confiscated after the wars of the 1860s, or lost under the Public Works or Rating Acts.

But Mrs Turia says there is an alternative to the High Court.

“The fact is that those iwi that had land confiscated and so couldn’t say they held title to land abutting the foreshore and seabed, they can go into direct negotiation with the Crown to be able to show that in fact it was because of the Crown that they could not continue that relationship,” she says.

Mrs Turia says the bill is not perfect, but she is pleased with it.


Hastings mayoral candidate Des Ratima says he's encouraged by preliminary data showing Maori might be voting in the local body elections.

Mr Ratima, who is also standing for council, says it will be a big challenge to unseat long time mayor Lawrence Yule.

He says the fact turnout is tracking higher than the past two elections indicates more Maori participation.

“And they're voting because they’ve actually got somebody, one of theirs, putting their hand up and they want to swing in behind with support. There has been a lot of indications Maori are more active in the voting this time round,” Mr Ratima says.

He's campaigning for more community input into council decisions.


A new study has revealed a clear link between transport and the health and well-being of Maori whanau.

Kimiora Raerino from Auckland University's School of Population Health interviewed Maori stakeholders including kaumatua, students, Maori healthcare providers and Maori representatives from organisations like the Auckland Regional Council, the Manukau City Council and Te Puni Kokiri.

She says inadequate public transport systems mean people miss medical appointments or are forced to rely on whanau to get around the city.

She says Maori need representation at in transport planning.

“As Maori we want affordable, reliable and safer transport systems and for the most part people we spoke too said they would use transport more if they met those factors. Kohanga reo can put in submissions. Kura kaupapa can put in submissions to make transport meet our needs better as Maori Tamaki Makaurau,” says Ms Raerino from Ngati Awa and Te Arawa.


Maori Party co-leader says Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has opportunities to contribute to the Marine and Coast Areas Bill before it was introduced to Parliament.

Mr Harawira broke ranks and voted against the firstt reading of the bill, saying it would give Osama Bin Laden more rights to the foreshore and seabed than Maori.

Mrs Turia says the maverick MP was involved in developing the legislation from day one.

“The only meetings Hone didn’t attend were ministerial meetings. In all other meetings he attended. In fact we had Chris Finlayson at our caucus every week almost giving us updtes, lokign at ways we could reshape the legislation,” she says.

Mrs Turia says having Mr Harawira speaking against the bill isn't part of a strategy to retain support for the party.


The annual hui of Maori doctors has looked at ways the small Maori medical workforce can be used where it will have the greatest impact on Maori health.

David Jansen, the chair of Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa Maori Medical Practitioners' Association, says junior doctors are being encouraged into areas like paediatrics, general practice and public health.

He says weekend's the hui venue, Parihaka Marae in Taranaki, has special resonance for Maori health professionals.

“The first Maori doctor, Sir Maui Pomare, came from Taranaki, and so did Te Rangi Hiroa, Puoho Elllison, quite a prestigious history in terms of doctors in Taranaki. It was a thrill for us to get our young Maori doctors and medical students to Parihaka,” Dr Jansen says.

It was especially moving that manuhiri were welcomed onto the historic marae by three Maori doctors from the Taranaki - Tony Ruakere, Leo Buchanan and Errol Raumati.


Researchers from Auckland University's school of population health say they've gone out of their way to ensure there is an appropriate weighting of Maori in a new longitudinal study.

Growing Up in New Zealand will follow a group of 7000 children and their families from before they are born until they are adults, with the aim of finding what it takes to raise happy, healthy children.

Maori researcher Polly Atatoa Carr says all women living in the Auckland, Counties-Manukau and Waikato DHB regions, whose babies were due between April 2009 and March 2010 were invited to participate.

“Whanau are really excited to be involved, they’re enjoying the questions, they’re enjoying the opportunity to contribute to policy and contribute to development of effective services. We’ve had a really positive response so far,” Dr Carr says.

Families will be contacted every 18 months until the children are young adults.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Freshwater turbulence just starting

Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia says turbulence over freshwater management could make the foreshore and seabed debate seem like a drop in the bucket.

The Land and Water Forum, which includes business, industry, iwi and conservation groups, last week delivered an 85-page report recommending changes to the way water is allocated and managed.

Mrs Turia says the report poses a major challenge for government to deal with.

“While I agree that the foreshore and seabed was a major issue for us as a people we all know about our relationships with our fresh water and our rivers so I think that is going to be the biggest challenge that will confront us as politicians,” Mrs Turia says.


The director of a group fighting child abuse among Maori says New Zealand is known internationally for its poor investment in tamariki.

Anton Blank from Te Kahui Mana Ririki told last week's Public Health Association conference at Turangawaewae that there are not enough social services for children.

“We’re very good at looking after old people so our pensioners are well looked after but in terms of our investment in the early years, that’s really poor and I think when a conference like this comes together you see that because very few of those worker are actually focused on the needs of child health issues,” Mr Blank says.


A Victoria University social psychologist says other New Zealand businesses can learn from Maori as they try to crack markets in Asia.

A Maori business delegation was in China this month seeking outlets for Maori-produced fish, farm products and tourism.

Professor James Liu, who describes himself as a Chinese-American New Zealander, says the delegation stayed true to Maori cultural norms - and that will be to its advantage.

“Maori is fundamentally a relational culture. It is a collectivist culture in which obligatory mutual exchange form unequal positions is the way things are done and that’s what is coming into the world now on a much much larger scale,” Professor Liu says.


A Hastings mayoral candidate says the council is woefully unprepared for treaty settlements in the region.

Des Ratima, a former Mana Motuhake president, is contesting the Heretaunga Ward as well as the top job.

He says settlements will change the relationship the council has with Ngati Kahungunu and its various hapu.

“Five significant Maori land claims are going down in this area. They are going to affect the Hastings District Council and there has been no preparation at all for their arrival. In some cases there has even been denial it is even going to happen,” Mr Ratima says.

He wants the council to give individual communities more autonomy and resources to oversee projects in their areas.


One of the foremost authorities on Maori art, Roger Neich, has died at the age of 66.

A former curator of ethnology at Auckland War Memorial Museum and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Auckland, he wrote extensively on Maori and Pacific carving, textiles and other arts.

Te Arawa kaumatua Te Poroa Malcolm was a friend for 30 years and worked with Dr Neich on his last book, Carved Histories: Rotorua Ngati Tarawhai Woodcarving.

He was impressed by the meticulous approach Dr Neich took to recording the whakapapa and stories surrounding his tribe's traditions.

“He not only delineated the history of Maori carving amongst Te Arawa, the book became a history of the Tarawhai tribe. That more than even makes his work more important,” Mr Malcolm says.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the Treaty of Waitangi must be the foundation of New Zealand's new constitution.

The Government is looking for people to serve of the constitutional review promised as part of the Maori Party's support agreement with National.

Mrs Turia says people must stop seeing the treaty as a document of grievance and division.

“The treaty is actually the document that can bind peoples together and we’d be very concerned when we hear people talking about becoming a republic, that in fact the place of the treaty may well get lost,” she says.

Tariana Turia says the constitutional review will need to take into account the major browning of New Zealand expected over the next 40 years.


The New Zealand teams playing the traditional Maori ball game ki-o-rahi around Europe are cleaning up.

Coach Harko Brown from Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Whatua says both the men's and women's teams beat national sides in England last week.

They are now in France where overnight they played combination sides from three provinces, with the men winning 57 - 10 and the women 33 - nil.

Next stop is German for demonstrations of the game introduced to Europe by Maori Battalion members in the World War Two, then back to Paris for the first ever international ki - o - rahi tournament between England, France and New Zealand.

“Pretty good tour but the main thing is the whanaungatanga, making those connections for the kiorahi trail during the Rugby World Cup,” Mr Brown says.

During the world cup overseas teams will play New Zealand sides to complement the rugby games.

Greens seeking closer links with kaitiaki

Greens co-leader Russel Norman is keen that his party develops closer working relation ships with Maori communities on issues of shared concern.

He says at a local level environmentalists and tangata whanua often develop strong relationships as they address shared concerns, but more can be done at regional and national level.

“A lot of greenies see themselves, that our job is to be the guardians and a lot of Maori see their job is to be kaitiaki so there is already so much common ground but we could do more to make those links,” Dr Norman says.


Paeora-based health provider Te Korowai Hauora O Hauraki has developed a ‘Hauraki Healthy Kai’ symbol to encourage healthy eating.

Health promoter Tania Young says there is a higher rate of diet related disease in the area compared to the rest of the country.

She says the signs in the shape of pataka or storehouses identify low fat options.

“Unless you identify to our people what is healthy and what isn’t, they’re not going to know, and now there is 36 Hauraki healthy kai options in Paeroa so if anyone’s going to Paeroa, you see this little pataka next to some healthy option, less than 18 percent fat and it’s absolutely beautiful food,” Ms Young says.

Te Korowai Hauora O Hauraki now plans a ‘Just Ask’ campaign to encourage whanau to ask for a healthier option when having food made for them, such as grilled rather than fried fish.


Fresh from celebrating of 100 years of Maori Rugby in Poverty Bay, fans are looking forward to marking another centenary.

Albie Gibson from Turanga Nui A Kiwa Rugby says while last weekend’s celebration was for players from the region who had made the national Maori squad, it will soon be time to honour the YMP Club.

“That club was put together by Ta Apirana Ngata as a focal point for young Maori who desired to step up to another level whether it be in sport or in politics or whatever, but that the club is celebrating its 100 years at Labour weekend at Manutuke in Gisborne,” Mr Gibson says.

YMP refers to the Young Maori Party, even if most of those who turn out for the club like to think of themselves as young Maori players.


High returns from Fonterra have helped bring Parininihi ki Waitotara back into the black.

General manager Dion Tuuta says on the back of Fonterra's projected $7 a kilo payout for milk solids, the committee of management has recommended a dividend pay-out this year.

But he says its appetite for risk was curbed by its disastrous investment in a Brisbane property development, which cost it more than $30 million.

“We've returned to profitability after those difficulties, we’ve developed a draft strategic plan that’s been very well received, effectively just returning back to the basics of looking at a conservative long term view of our business which is grounded back to the whenua, returning PKW to the land rather than higher risk ventures,” Mr Tuuta says.

Dion Tuuta says as a trial Parininihi ki Waitotara intends to put managers on two of its 13 dairy units, rather than the traditional 50-50 sharemilking arrangement.


Salvation Army members running an addiction treatment programme for Mongrel Mob members and their whanau say it’s going to be a long term project.

Coordinator Lynette Hutson says leaders of the Notorious Chapter approached the Sallies because they were concerned at the damage methamphetamine use was causing.

She says a strong partnership has developed which will last even after the 7-week residential programmes are over.

“The fact is we’ve come into a relationship to try and help, we’ve been invited in, we’re very respectful of that, and if we then just depart, the fact is it is about reintegrating people into society and we need to be there for the long haul so the long haul it is,” Major Hutson says.

Tikanga Maori forms an important part of the programme as multiple aspects of participants’ lives are addressed.


Tangata whenua from Karapiro now have their own place to stand in the facilities being built at the lake for next month’s World Rowing Championships.

A culture room for Ngati Koroki Kahukura was opened on Saturday in the new Don Rowlands Community Centre, which is on the side of the lake which now covers their ancient village and waahi tapu.

Artworks for the room were coordinated by Ngati Koroki artist Brett Graham, and include a mural drawing on the river’s taniwha traditions.

“They guided the canoe Tainui to Aotearoa, they were there when Mahinarangi caught the baby Raukawa across the bridge at Horahora where my father was born, they were at the battle of Taumata Wiiwii and they were the silent witnesses when Koroki shouted out to his cousin Taowhakairo and they were there also when Lake Karapiro came to being and flooded Horahora for the power station, when Aniwaniwa came to an end,” Dr Graham says.

His father Fred Graham created a stainless steel waka sculpture which stands outside the centre.