Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rapprochement ruled out while cases live

Tuhoe leader Tamati Kruger says the eastern Bay of Plenty iwi isn't interested in dialogue with the police until cases arising from Operation Eight are over.

It's three years today since the 18 defendants were arrested in nationwide raids conducted under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

After the Solicitor General ruled out charges under that Act, they were charged with weapons offences, and five face additional charges of participation in a criminal group.

Mr Kruger says Tuhoe has not forgiven the police for the way they treated the people of Ruatoki who were caught up in the raids, and it has so far rebuffed feelers from commissioner Howard Broad seeking a reconciliation meeting.

“Those court cases have to be dealt with before Tuhoe then can respond to what the Crown has caused on Tuhoe for the last three years,” Mr Kruger says.

To mark the anniversary, Wellington supporters of the Operation Eight defendants are launching a book on the raids, which in Auckland there is to be a protest about now at Aotea Square, outside the Labour Party conference.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says Hone Harawira should have held his tongue over the Maori affairs select committee inquiry on the tobacco industry.

In his regular Northland Age column, the Taitokerau MP said he was disappointed at how tame the draft report was and how it failed to focus on addressing the impact of smoking on Maori.

Dr Sharples says his colleague should not have broken the rules against speaking about select committee reports before they are presented to Parliament.

“Hone's I guess known for speaking out when he feels like it but the reality is he is part of that select committee and if the report hasn’t been presented yet, it isn’t the report. They go through a lot of examinations of their reports and they have people in who look at whether they have hit the topic on the head or they are just skirting around it,” Dr Sharples says.


The television phenomenon that is Homai Te Pakipaki comes to a peak tonight.

Maori Television is expecting a repeat of last year, when 3000 people packed out the Logan Campbell Centre for the final and the show topped viewer numbers.

2008 winner Pikiteora Mura-Hita, who will join regular hosts Te Hamua Nikora and Matai Smith, says the formula for success in simple, building on a Maori love for singing and for being the centre of attention.

She says the 10 finalists will be extremely nervous now, but when they get on stage their Maori love of entertaining will come out and the place will come alive.


Maori Party MP Hone Harawira is in Canada talking treaties with First Nations peoples.

He says the 400 delegates from 11 nations at the 6th Annual National Treaties Gathering in Saskatchewan have been keen to learn about arrangements between the Crown and Maori in New Zealand.

Mr Harawira says he paid his own way to the conference, rather than accepting an alternative invitation to attend an international parliamentary forum.

“A lot of them are members of mainstream parties where politics are determined by mainstream philosophies rather than indigenous philosophies. Whereas the hui I’m at now, it’s entirely indigenous so the kaupapa is more consistent with my heart, more consistent with the things I believe in,” says Mr Harawira from Regina on the Canadian prairies.


Whanau who have lost babies to sudden infant death syndrome will light candles tonight as part of International Pregnancy and Infant Loss day.

Papa Nahi from the Maori Sids National Prevention Service says 60 percent of babies who died between 2003 and 2007 were Maori.

She says tonight's ceremony will bring much-needed attention to an issue that affects many Maori families.

While overall rates have declined since the introduction of national campaigns to highlight risk factors, the Maori rate has plateaued.


Sports fans throughout the country have thrown their support behind a trust to help young sportspeople from low income backgrounds get a start.

The trust is named in honour of Rob Guildford, the father of All Black Zac Guildford, who died last year of a heart attack shortly after watching his son star in New Zealand's Under-20's World Cup victory against England.

Rob's brother Daren Guildford says the support coming in for tomorrow night's charity dinner and auction in Napier is overwhelming.

Public transport critical for Maori families

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says Maori stand to benefit greatly if the new Auckland council can fix the region's transport woes.

New mayor Len Brown is already at odds with the government and some of his right wing councilors over his plans for light rail and other boosts to public transport.

Ms Turei says transport affects the choices low income people can make for education, employment and community life.

“For Maori you know living out in rural areas or on the margins of Auckland city for example, if we can’t get to see our whanau, if we can’t get to work or school because petrol costs are gong up, we must have an alternative in those communities, and at the same time we know public transport is a key way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Ms Turei says.

She says across the country the election brought victory for many centre left and progressive councilors who have woken up to the economic and environmental benefits of better transport.


Family Planning's national medical advisor says many Maori still don't feel comfortable about discussing issues of sexuality and sexual health.

Christine Roke says the association's annual conference this week is considering issues like the rates of contraception and sexually transmitted diseases in various age groups and communities.

She says Maori have a high rate of accidental pregnancy, and the feelings of whakamaa or shyness that many feel about discussing family planning may be a factor.

“I think that younger Maori often don’t have the same concern about that as older Maori might but it’s still there,” Dr Roke says.


One of the editors of a new anthology of Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English says Maori poets showed the way for many others in the Pacific.

Reina Whaitiri from Kai Tahu and Kati Mamoe says Mauri Ola follows on from the award winning Whetu Moana collection in showing the wide range of voices within Polynesia.

She says the book is anchored by the inclusion of late works by senior poets from Aotearoa including Hone Tuwhare, Alistair Te Ariki Campbell and Jacqueline Sturm.

“Hone especially as he got older, it got stronger and stronger, his Maori voice, because his background was so rich in the bible and in his own culture and Alistair too, like Alistair was a classical scholar and Jacqui too but she was overshadowed by Baxter and she’s only just coming to light now for a lot of people,” Ms Whaitiri says.

She's also impressed with the vitality of many of the younger poets and performance poets, who uphold the oral traditions of Polynesian verse.


A Tuhoe leader says the Eastern Bay of Plenty iwi has spurned offers from police commissioner Howard Broad for reconciliation.

It's the anniversary of Operation Eight, when police conducted raids around the country to arrest 17 people.

The operation included 300 armed police locking down Ruatoki for most of the day while they conducted searches.

Tuhoe leader Tamati Kruger says the iwi has no interest in meeting commissioner Broad because of the way the Crown is conducting the High Court cases.

“The Crown continues to delay that tactically .... That continues to disrupt really and bring disorder to the lives of many Tuhoe families and they have to bear recriminations of that and the stigma,” Mr Kruger says.

No events are planned in Tuhoe territory, but he is off to Wellington to help one of the Operation Eight defendants, Valerie Morse, launch a book about people's experiences of the raids.


Former local government minister Sandra Lee says the new Auckland council must act immediately to provide for Maori representation.

Mrs Lee, who served on the Auckland council during the amalgamations of the early 1990s, says a lot of new mayor Len Brown's support came from Maori, particularly in South Auckland.

She says on day one the council needs to make a clear commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi and start work on implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance, which recommended Maori seats rather than the advisory board set up by Local Government Minister Rodney Hide and Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples.

“We want to see a clear determination that you recognise the wider Auckland region as being that place where more than anywhere else on the planet much less the country Maori choose to reside regardless of whether they are tangata whenua or mataawaka,” Mrs Lee says


Visitors to the reopened Aotea Square in Auckland may notice some changes to the waharoa.

Artist Selwyn Muru has done maintenance on his giant 1990 gateway, including painting some features and adding two new icons, a guitar and saxophone.

Rob Tuwhare, who worked on the project, says on the back of the waharoa his two sons have carved a haiku by their grandfather, Hone Tuwhare:

Stop your sniveling, creek bed.
Come rain, hail, flood water,
laugh again.

Mr Tuwhare says a highlight of the restoration prject has been hearing Selwyn Muru reciting his father's poems on a daily basis.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Harawira fears committee choking on report

Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira says the draft report of the Maori Affairs Select Committee Inquiry into the tobacco industry is the low tar rather than full strength version.

Mr Harawira says when he returns from Canada he will push his colleagues to harden the report so it focuses on the effects of tobacco on Maori, rather than treating Maori as an afterthought.

He says over 9 months the committee heard from medical professionals, health groups, smokers and their families, and the industry, so it is a strong position to make recommendations which can lead to real change.

“Put the acid on the industry in terms of things like displays, plain packaging, reduction of additives, reduction of nicotine, tax increases, all of the things we know are gong to impact directly on the industry and in terms of Maori, I want to see really strong cessation programmes for Maori,” Mr Harawira says.

He says the MPs have a once in a generation chance to make a difference.


Former local government minister Sandra Lee says the election in Auckland has left current minister Rodney Hide with a problem.

Mrs Lee says the way Mr Hide went about restructuring Auckland's governance indicated an agenda of delivering the new super city to the pro-development lobby who would sell off the assets.

The former Waiheke and Auckland City councilor says Aucklanders other ideas, and intuitively voted in favour of regional parks, publicly-owned infrastructure and public transport.

“He now has to face the Prime Minister and explain to him how he has delivered the control of an enlarged Auckland region entirely into the hands of the left,” she says.

Mrs Lee says the election result also means that Rodney Hide's agenda of excluding Maori from having a real say in city governance will be challenged.


Maori rub shoulders with other poets from around the Pacific in an anthology launched this week.

Mauri Ola: Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English contains the work of over 70 writers written over the past 25 years.

Co-editor Robert Sullivan says while there is a wide range of voices in what is the second volume of the Whetu Moana series, there are also ways that poets from Aotearoa, Hawai‘i, Tonga, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Niue, Tahiti and Rotuma can celebrate common origins.

“They say aloha, we say aroha. The concepts are the same, there’s just twists in the language which is brought about through history and the voyaging that our ancestors did so long ago. Having something like Mauri Ola is bringing together those voices,” he says.

Mauri Ola is published by Auckland University Press.


Labour's Maori affairs spokesperson, Parekura Horomia, says ACT is scare mongering against Maori by making a fuss over charging for beach access.

Email traffic between ACT leader Rodney Hide and Attorney General Chris Finlayson indicates a deal to amend the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill to specifically bar charges was agreed on three weeks ago, although Mr Hide announced it yesterday as a victory for new MP Hilary Calvert.

Mr Horomia says in his travels around his Ikaroa Rawhiti electorate he has never seen Maori denying anyone access to a beach, and doesn't believe there would be a push to impose charges if whanau or iwi get customary title.

“It's blatant scaremonging and it’s something I think as a nation we can move on from,” Mr Horomia says.


The apiha Maori of the National Distribution Union says all of the workers on strike at a recycling plant in Takanini are either Maori or Polynesian.

Syd Keepa says the dozen workers went out because multinational company Transpacific refused to increase its pay offer from more than 70 cents an hour.

He says workers who have been at the plant for more than a decade get $13.86 an hour for dangerous and dirty work while their colleagues working for the same company in Australia start at $21 a hour.

Representatives from the Transport Workers Union of Australia have come to New Zealand to support the strike, which could include taking action against containers loaded by strike breakers.


Family Planning says Maori are still doing too much family and not enough planning.

The association is holding its annual conference in Wellington this week, discussing issues like positive sexuality, sex among young people, contraception, sexually transmissible infections and abortion.

Its national medical advisor, Christine Roke, says Maori access family planning services at about the same rate as other groups, but wahine tend to come in after getting pregnant rather than before.

“They've now got a positive pregnancy test and not quite sure where to go from there or because they’ve got an infection, rather than they are coming in for contraception so that’s something obviously Family Planning wants to address

Dr Roke says many Maori still feel whakama or shy about discussing issues involving sex.

Green rejects Maori advisory board

The Greens co-leader and Maori affairs spokesperson, Metiria Turei, says local government Maori advisory boards don't work.

Nominations closed yesterday for people to be appointed to a statutory Maori advisory board for the Auckland super city.

Ms Turei says the board was subject to spirited debate at this week's Unitec seminar on Maori local government representation, and her fellow panelists concurred that the answer was dedicated seats on the council itself.

“We've been on advisory boards for 170 years. They haven’t been effective for us. They’re just ways of parking Maori issues with the Maoris and leaving the decision makers free to do as they please. If we want to have a truly modern approach to treaty issues we must be at the decision table and that means seats on the Auckland super city,” Ms Turei says.

She'd like to seen new Auckland mayor Len Brown move quickly to review the representation question.


The editor of a book on Maori in Parliament says it will give ordinary readers an insight into a unique part of New Zealand's political system.

Maori and Parliament: Diverse Strategies and Compromises is a collection of presentations and papers from academics, political commentators and current and former MPs.

Maria Bargh, a lecturer on Maori politics at Victoria University, says it's drawn from a conference held last year.

“It means you get real insider stories. These parliamentarians were talking about the ins and outs, the back room deals, things you wouldn’t ordinarily hear about and that’s really the point of the conferences and now the book, is to get that kind of detail on the record because otherwise people don’t really hear those kinds of stories,” Dr Bargh says.

What interested her most was Georgina Beyer on her realisation that her future with Labour was over when she wavered on support for the Foreshore and Seabed Act, and Shane Jones discussing the importance of compromise in politics.


The head for the Raukawa Charitable Trust's reo team says winning the Maori language Commission's supreme award for the third year took a huge group effort.

Charlie Tepana says the Tokoroa-based trust puts te reo Maori at the centre of everything it does.

It's also drawing in the wider community, such as Tokoroa North Primary School, which has done a classroom out as a wharenui, with children knowing multiple pepeha and waiata.

Charlie Tepana says he was impressed with the quality of entrants for this year's Te Tohu Huia Te Reo.


Labour leader Phil Goff says the justice system is taking too long to process those arrested in the so called Tuhoe terror raids of 2007.

On the eve of the third anniversary of Operation Eight, when 300 heavily armed police cordoned off the Ruatoki Valley and arrested people for allegedly taking part in firearms training in the Urewera ranges, the trial of the 17 defendants still hasn't started.

Mr Goff says New Zealanders should be worried about a justice system that is taking so long.

“I don’t want to interfere with the process of the courts and comment on whether it was the right thing or the wrong thing. The courts can determine that. But you shouldn’t be waiting three years to get an outcome for that. Those who have been charged and the wider community deserve greater certainty and more quickness from the justice system than what’s being delivered,” Mr Goff says.


An Auckland super city councilor, Alf Filipaina, says the fact he's Maori doesn't mean he can represent Maori in city affairs.

Citizens and Ratepayers councilors Jami Lee Ross and Des Morrison say there's no need for separate Maori seats, because there are three Maori on the council.

But Mr Filipaina, who also has Samoan whakapapa, says he's not a Maori representative because he wasn't elected by voters on a Maori roll.

“It's interesting Jami-Lee Ross is now acknowledging the fact he’s Ngati Porou, because in the term he’s had in council, two terms, he mentioned it I think six years ago and really hasn’t heard anything else apart from that and next minute he’s got the mandate as Maori but no, none of us have,” he says.

Mr Filipaina says when they served together on Manukau City Council, Jami Lee Ross voted against the formation of a Treaty of Waitangi committee.


Maori showbands are being hailed as a vital link between jazz and dance band music and the rock and roll that replaced it.

Author Chris Bourke says he was surprised at how many Maori musicians featured in his new book Blue Smoke: The Lost Dawn of New Zealand Popular Music from 1918 to 1964.

He says Maori teachers and bandleaders like Walter Smith and Epi Shalfoon taught generations of players, including many of those who created the Maori showbands of the 1950s and 60s.

He says those bands became one of New Zealand's most successful musical exports just as the beat boom swept the dance bands away.

“I've got the Maori Hi-Fives meeting met Beatles, or as I put it, the Beatles meeting the Maori Hi-Five, because there’s this wonderful photo, which I couldn’t get hold of sadly because Rob Hemi had died, of Rob and Paul McCartney together. Rob is taller and he’s got his arm around his shoulders and he’s standing up straight, Rob’s got a very cool grin on his face, he’s happy, but McCartney is ecstatic to be standing beside a member of the Maori Hi-Five,” Mr Bourke says.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Maori roll best for local franchise

Labour leader Phil Goff says the Maori electoral roll should be used as the basis for Maori seats on the Auckland super city council.

New mayor Len Brown has pledged to review the question of Maori representation.

Mr Goff says the Maori Party had muddied the issue by creating an advisory board dominated by mana whenua or iwi from the Auckland region, rather than giving all Maori a democratic right to be heard.

“I think it would increase Maori participation in council to have those seats, done on the same basis as Maori representation in our central government. That doesn’t give special rights to people. It simply gives the choice to people who are treaty partners at Waitangi to be heard through their own seats if people demonstrated an interest in doing so’” Mr Goff says

He's impressed with new mayor Len Brown's commitment to working with the Maori communities.


Greens' co- leader Metiria Turei says the ACT Party's push to amend the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill to specifically ban charging for beach access is discrimination against Maori.

New ACT MP Hilary Calvert proposed the move during her first day in the house, and Attorney General Chris Finlayson says if Maori win customary title they won't get a right to charge.

Ms Turei says ACT wants to constrain Maori but leave other private beach owners able to do what they want.

“I'm really disappointed that Attorney General Chris Finlayson is even considering it. It is a discriminatory intention by ACT. It’s not about being fair. It’s about attacking Maori and Maori customary rights,” Ms Turei says.


The author of a history of New Zealand popular music before rock and roll says he was suprised to find how many of the prominent players were Maori.

Chris Bourke has called his book Blue Smoke, after the hit song composed by Maori Battalion member Ruru Karaitiana, which was the first record both recorded and manufactured in New Zealand.

He says thousands of people came to love music ... and met the love of their lives ... through bandleaders like Karaitiana and Epi Shalfoon.

The book starts in 1918 with Walter Smith from Ngati Kahungunu, the writer of Beneath the Maori Moon, who taught music in Auckland for more than 50 years.
“Walter put on these big concerts of all his pupils playing all kinds of stringed instruments, everything but the violin. Mandolins, harps, lap steel guitars, and he’d put them on at the (Auckland) Town Hall and they’d all be dressed in white wit leis and really big occasions. That’s where I start this book, with this giant figure who passed on this new style of music through the century,” Mr Bourke says.

Blue Smoke: The Lost Dawn of New Zealand Popular Music is published by Auckland University Press.


A Maori owner of a popular Bay of Plenty beach says she will simply close the road if the government passes a law prohibiting Maori from charging for access.

ACT is seeking an amendment to the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill to specifically ban charging for access.

Narda Mills says her uncle Norm Newdick set a fee when he opened the family's beach near Maketu to the public more than 60 years ago.

She says the charge of $3 a car barely covers the cost of the road, toilets and rates, and prohibiting it would be highly discriminatory.

“I wouldn't be happy about that. I’d plant trees up the road so nobody could go down. Or just make our own private one for ourselves,” Ms Mills says.

She says most of those who object to paying the $3 fee are Maori, who claim they also own the beach.


The author of a book on Maori MPs says the low Maori vote in the local government elections is an indication where Maori are putting their political priorities.

Mariah Bargh, who lectures on Maori politics at Victoria University lecturer, says criticism of low Maori turn-out is misplaced.

“You know Maori are already actively involved at a local level with other political institutions like runanga, Maori land incorporations. It’s not like Maori are just sitting around at home, they’re actively involved in local politics but on a different scale and not necessarily involved with councils,” Dr Bargh says.


The co-winner of the top prize at the weekend's Maori Language Awards says a vital step is missing in the drive for language revitalisation.

Tokoroa's Ruakawa Charitable Trust won Te Tohu Huia Te Reo for a third time, sharing it this time with Massey University's campaign to encourage students and staff to order their coffees with the words hoko kawhe.

Charlie Tepana, Raukawa's pouwhakahare, says he used the award ceremony in Rotorua to get into the ear of Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples about what still needs to be done.

He says despite the range of initiatives, people are still not speaking the language, especially in their homes and to their children.

C&R pair refused mandate to represent Maori

The chair of the group appointing the statutory Maori advisory board to the Auckland super city council, Tame Te Rangi, says there's no way two Citizens and Ratepayers councilors can represent Maori interests.

Jami-Lee Ross and Des Morrison say there is no need to revisit the issue of dedicated Maori seats, as Mayor Len Brown is promising, because they and councilor Alf Filipaina have Maori whakapapa.

Mr Te Rangi says Mr Ross and Mr Morrison don't have a mandate to represent Maori.

“I think it's part to have whakapapa, quite anther to say you are representing the interests of and the concerns and the matters that are significant to mana whenua. Good on them with their Maori whakapapa but we certainly haven’t seen either of those characters anywhere between Orakei and Waipoua Forest,” Mr te Rangi says.


Associate health minister Tariana Turia says she’s concerned doctors are not referring Maori for specialist treatment.

Research has shown Maori have higher mortality rates for many conditions including heart disease and stroke, even as their use of primary health services is increasing.

Mrs Turia says she knows of two recent cases where Maori were sent home with pain relief medication rather than referred to specialists, and died soon after.

“We need to make sure when we go to the doctor and you have got chest pain and the doctor gives you something and sends you home, we have to be vigilant and say to the doctor ‘No, we want to go to the hospital or to a specialist immediately,’” Mrs Turia says.


A Massey University lecturer is trying to measure the extent of cultural knowledge among social workers.

Fiona Te Momo from the school of health and social services is presenting her research to the annual bicultural seminar at the Albany campus.

She says social workers need to understand the different ethnic communities they will work among to provide effective services, whether to Maori whanau or to new migrants.

“Certain international cultures, very quiet and they wouldn’t say much, so a social worker may take that as sometimes they agree to everything you say, but they might just be doing because they are trying to be respectful but then a social or even a community worker may think they agreed to do all these things and then they find out they don't do them,” Dr Te Momo says.

The bicultural seminar is at the Albany study centre staff lounge from 1 to 3 this afternoon.


Nominations close today for two people to represent mataawaka or Maori not from the region’s iwi on the Auckland super city Maori advisory board.

Tama Te Rangi from Ngati Whatua, the chair of the selection panel, says the nominations, and those for the seven mana whenua seats, will be considered next Monday.

He says they need to be aware of the region, its key people and the organisations who are working in the communities, and have the advocacy skills to convince the council of the value of the board.

“I mean if it was a standing committee of council you would have a little more confidence but then when it’s an independent advisory body outside of council, you’re really relying on good luck, good faith of the councilors whether they take that advice or not,” Mr Te Rangi says.

He says it's likely the board members will be people with good understanding of how councils and governance works, rather than those with existing high public profiles.


Christchurch photographer Rob Brown has been left devastated by the theft from his home of computers containing artwork for Ngai Tahu's new Maori rock art centre in Timaru.

Mr Brown has been under contract to photograph many of the 300 or so South Island rock art sites, and says some of the images hadn't been backed up yet.

His Spreydon home came through the earthquake unscathed, but he says police have told him the city is being hit by a wave of burglaries.

Ngai Tahu has appealed for the return of the computer so it can keep its plans on track to open the Rock art centre by Christmas.


New Zealand on Air says a new daily morning show for preschoolers it is funding is a real breakthrough because it will use the country's three official languages - English, Maori and Sign Language.

Chief executive Jane Wrightson says TV2's Tiki Tour will feature experienced children's presenters Brent Chambers and Mary Phillips.

They will travel the country using animated characters and live presenters.

“It’s simply recognizing the state of play in this country so we talk to pre-school children, there are a million different kinds in this country, and we have three official languages so it’s time to recognise all three and they will be doing in it in a very gentle and preschool type way but recognising all three have a place in New Zealand,” Ms Wrightson says.

She says such programmes would not get to air without public funding because they are clearly not commercial.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Changes planned for disability sector

The Minister for Disabilities, Tariana Turia, says major changes planned for the sector will benefit many Maori and their whanau.

They include appointing a disabilities commissioner in the Human Rights Commisssion and a disabilities ombudsman, as well as creating local area coordinators to connect people all available services in their communities.

Mrs Turia says the ministry is also planning for individualised funding to allow the disabled person or their family to make decisions about how the money for their care is spent.

“In the past we've had the state or organisations doing that and I believe that it’s very important for people with disabilities to make decisions for themselves.
Mrs Turia says.

A group of people with disabilities is being set up to advise the government on issues affecting the sector.


The New Zealand Childcare Association - Te Tari Puna Ora o Aotearoa - believes its criticism of funding cuts is behind its exclusion from a sector review.

Education Minister Anne Tolley has appointed a taskforce to review what the government gets for the $1.3 Billion it spends on early childhood education.

Nancy Bell, the association's chief executive, says the taskforce should have been set up before the last budget.

“I guess we would have liked there to be a widely representative group of people brought together to talk about some of these issues but that didn’t happen. There were big cuts made. Those are going to be implemented and now we are seeing a group that is looking at public investment and focusing on efficiency and effectiveness of spend, and to us that sounds like funding cuts really,” Ms Bell says.

She says the Government's objective of increasing Maori participation in high quality early childhood education is at odds with its funding policies.


One of the most popular Maori radio broadcasters is happy with the way his format is translating to television.

Hori Bennett's Papa Ruru show ran for 18 years on iwi radio.

It has been revived as a nostalgia interview show on Maori Television, and the former Howard Morrison Quartet member says there is no lack of past celebrities available, such as tennis champion Ruia Morrison.

Hori Bennett recorded 13 episodes of the Papa Ruru Show over two weeks in the wharekai next to St Faiths Church at Ohinemutu, which was decked out to resemble a radio studio.


Diabetes New Zealand is predicting a tsumani of type 2 diabetes among Maori.
Its president, Chris Baty, says Ministry of Health projections that 10 percent of the population will have the disease by 2028 are already being exceeded.

Diabetes causes more than half the heart attacks in New Zealand, it's the single biggest cause of renal failure needing dialysis, and it often leads to lower limb amputation and blindness.

She says type 2 diabetes is increasing by 8 percent a year, and in Counties Manukau, which has a high Maori and Pacific population, it jumped 14 percent last year.

“Maori tend to get it at three times the rate of European New Zealanders. They tend to get it younger and unfortunately the awful part about is they often escalate towards developing complications a lot more quickly than other ethnicities,” Ms Baty says.

Lifestyle changes are the key to beating diabetes.


Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell wants the government to put more schools into Te Kotahitanga, a professional development programme that gives teachers guidance on interacting with Maori students.

The former school principal says Te Kotahitanga addresses many of the problems identified in an Education Review Office report on Maori education.

“It's all about the relationship between the teacher and the students and how they relate to one another and how much credence is given in the school to things that are Maori. That seems to have made sense to have made changes and borne the results of lifting academic achievement as well as a focus on acknowledging and utilising the potential of young Maori students in schools,” Mr Flavell.


Residents of part of the Auckland super city may have to get used to new – or rather old – names for some of their neighbourhoods.

The Puketapapa community board covers Mr Roskill, and one of its candidates stirred up a controversy by suggesting the name also be applied to the main shopping precinct at the junction of Mt Albert and Dominion Roads.

Kaumauta Sonny Rauwhero says the idea would need the approval of tangata whenua, but he has no sympathy with objectors who say they can’t pronounce the name.

"When I went to school I had to learn Pakeha to a degree. I used to speak my language too, I had to, so I suppose that’s reciprocal. I had to, so do they,” Mr Rauwhero says.

Flavell expecting Auckland committee to fail

Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell hopes Len Brown's decisive victory in the Auckland mayoral contest opens the way for dedicated Maori seats on the super city council.

Mr Brown has promised to address the issues of appropriate Maori representation as part of the three-yearly review all councils go through.

Mr Flavell says while the council will have a statutory Maori advisory board, direct representation is the ideal.

“There's still a lot of failings around the whole notion of committees and standing committees and advisory committees, it just doesn’t work. With Len Brown in Auckland I think hopefully if they are going towards implementing what he said, getting representation by mana whenua or otherwise, that might be a start for the rest of the country, just as the super city is,” Mr Flavell says.

He says the low number of Maori candidates returned in local body elections across the country shows why dedicated Maori seats are needed.


The New Zealand Childcare Association - Te Tari Puna Ora o Aotearoa - believes a new review of early childhood education could harm the interests of Maori children.

Its chief executive, Nancy Bell, says the taskforce appointed by Education Minister Anne Tolley will pave the way for further cuts to the sector.

She says while the government may be genuine in its desire to improve access for Maori to pre-schools, the way it is going about it will be at the expense of quality.

“If the funding rates are cut again or if the current access to free 20 hours is changed and I certainly think that will be on the table then there will be people that will find it harder to pay the fees and get their children into early childhood services,” Mr Bell says.

She believes Te Tari Puna Ora o Aotearoa wasn't consulted about the setting up of the taskforce because of its criticism of the cuts in funding for trained teachers.


A south Auckland rugby league club with a high percentage of Maori and Pacific Island players and supporters wants to tackle domestic violence.

Pania Wilson from Manukau Rugby League says club members have got behind the “It’s not okay” campaign and created a bilingual version of the song "Lean on Me" to encourage whanau to talk about issues before they get out of hand.

She says the 99-year old club is looking for ways to focus on whanau, such as downplaying the bar’s role in generating income and emphasising the bistro, gym and childcare facilities.

Manukau Rugby League will incorporate the “It’s not okay” logo into its playing strip for next season.


Maori broadcasters have established a futures group to explore where the sector should be heading.

John Bishara, the chief executive of funding agency Te Mangai Paho, says a weekend summit in Rotorua was looked at what was being done now and how things like programme distribution could be improved.

He says Maori radio and television broadcaster are doing a great job despite under-funding, but change is inevitable.

“It's not just a strategic approach to it but a future-looking approach and we were reminded by a couple of people there about the role of technology and how that is going to change us if we don’t change ourselves,” Mr Bishara says.

Maori broadcasters need to get a clear idea of audience needs.


Rotorua identity Maureen Waaka is lending her weight to the Maori Party's People before Pokies campaign.

The former Miss New Zealand, who has just been re-elected to the Rotorua District Council, led a successful anti-casino campaign to stop the sulphur city truly turning into Rotovegas.

She says gambling eats at the fabric of Maori whanau.

“ We are closet gamblers. We don’t like everybody to know our business. We don’t like to undermine the mana of our families so we try to hide it, and it just spreads and eats away at the family. It’s got to be brought out and to the counselors, get some help and get our people on the right road and at the same time control the growth of these polie machines in our communities and in fact reduce them and ultimately I think we are trying to eliminate them altogether,” Mrs Waaka says.

She says MPs of all parties should support Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell's Gambling Harm Reduction Bill.


People attending this week's Waitangi Tribunal Northland claim hearing at Te Tii in the Bay of Islands will get a rare chance to see some of the earliest Maori documents.

The high quality reproductions include a map of the country drawn by the young Matauri Bay chief Tuki at Norfolk island in 1793, through to a copy of He Wakaputanga, the 1835 declaration of Independence, written out by Eruera Pare Hongi.

Alison Jones from Auckland University says the display in a marquee at Whitiora Marae came out of her research with Kuni Jenkins into New Zealand's first school at Rangihoua, further out on the Purerua Peninsula from Te Tii, where Hongi had been a pupil.

“In doing that research we found a lot of really beautiful drawings and handwriting by Maori that were done very early on, sort of 1818 into the 1820s and we found that these documents were so beautiful we wanted to display them and bring them to the descendants of the very people who actually drew them and wrote them.

Dr Jones says the exhibition shows the appetite Maori had for words in the early years of contact with European missionaries and traders.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Elections fail to fire Maori voters

Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia has expressed disappointment at the continued low Maori turn-out in local body elections.

While Maori were elected to councils in areas like Northland, Rotorua and Gisborne, and Carterton has a Maori mayor, high profile Maori candiates in other areas were not able to win enough support to be elected.

Mrs Turia says if Maori want their voice to be heard they must get out and vote.

“Still having issues I think with getting our own people out to vote, Maori people which is a damn shame because it’s actually at the local government level that often our mana whenua groups are most affected, because that’s where a lot of decisions are made that impact on them, particularly to do with our water ways,” Mrs Turia says.


Meanwhile, new Carterton mayor Ron Mark is mapping out how he can balance his civic workload with his mahi as chief executive of the Federation of Maori Authorities.

The former four-term New Zealand First MP convincingly won to contest to wear the mayoral chains in his Wairarapa birthplace.

He says when he sought the FOMA job earlier this year, he warned the board he intended standing in for the council.

He says sees the council as a two day a week job, plus nights and weekends.

Mr Mark says he will give the FOMA board the chance to reconfirm him.


A former cultural advisor for Television New Zealand says the government's demands for profits from the state broadcaster created the corporate culture that appeared to tolerate Breakfast host Paul Henry's racist statements.

Mr Henry resigned yesterday, saying he was astonished and dismayed that his comments about the name of Delhi's chief minister, Sheila Dikshit, caused a diplomatic incident.

Hone Edwards, who was TVNZ's kaihautu from 2003 to 2007, says now the broadcaster no longer has a charter the emphasis is on bringing in revenue - which means encouraging hosts to be outrageous.

“It's not just about Paul Henry. It’s about the corporate culture in there. It’s a corporate culture that’s been brought about because this is a broadcaster that has a commercial imperative and their sights are on the advertising dollar. This isn’t the BBC that is funded fully by the government,” he says.

Mr Edwards says TVNZ executives should have demanded Paul Henry immediately go back on air and apologise for his statements, rather than let the matter drag on a week.


Political commentator Matt McCarten says Len Brown's election with a left-leaning council augers well for the creations of Maori seats on the Auckland super city council.

Post-election, Mr Brown reiterated his campaign promise to consider the issue as part of the regular representation review the council must do.

He said he personally wanted to see Maori representation and particularly mana whenua representation on the council.

Mr McCarten says Mr Brown has a clear mandate from the people of Auckland to pursue the issue, even though the council does include Maori.

“There will be an argument that three of the councilors have Maori blood but it’s a bit of a long bow to say they are advocates for Maori,” Mr McCarten says.

The three Maori - Alf Filipina from Labour and Jami - Lee Ross and Des Morrison from Citizens & Ratepayers - have never claimed to represent Maori in their previous council roles.


The head of a trust set up to promote Maori interests in freshwater fisheries says ownership of fresh water is as big an issue for Maori as the foreshore and seabed.

Morrie Love says while the government may see the recent report of the multi-sector Land and Water Forum as a way forward on water reform, it will fail it skirted the issue of ownership.

He says Te Wai Maori Trust believes Maori have not lost their customary ownership of water, because it was overlooked by settlers.

“The Maori food source was very much centered on the rivers with fish and birds, not many land mammals, so water was really the definitive thing. In English law of course the land was divided and land was the defining element,” Mr Love says.

He says the government needs to engage with iwi and Maori if it wants to sort out a robust system for water allocation.


Maori king Tuheitia has welcomed the Kiwi and New Zealand Maori rugby league teams to Turangawaewae Marae to give them a message of support in the lead up to the weekend's international clashes.

The Kiwis play Samoa on Saturday in the first game of the Four Nations Tournament, with New Zealand Maori playing England in the curtain raiser.

Waatea correspondent Tamati Tainanga says the Kiwi team headed back for its Auckland training base after the welcome, while the Maori team is staying on the marae for two nights.

The will train at neighbouring Patterson Park, as well as crew a waka on the river as a team-building exercise

Sickening attack on Rotorua pou

Rotorua district councilor Trevor Maxwell says he came away deeply saddened yesterday after visiting the site of two pou which had been destroyed by a chainsaw late last week.

Mr Maxwell says only three weeks ago he was part of the blessing of the two taonga erected at the entrance to the city from Tauranga on state highway 36.

He says on a day when he was feeling elated by his re-election to the council on which he has served for 33 years with the highest number of votes of 28 candidates, the shock of seeing the fallen pou was hugely distressing.

“To go over there and see the space empty, to see one of them obviously the result of a chainsaw attack, it is very disappointing and makes you feel very sick and ill inside to think anyone could do that,” Mr Maxwell says.

Police are trying to find out what happened and iwi are right behind their efforts.


Meanwhile four giant pou at the four corners of the new Eden Park stadium unveiled at dawn yesterday have received a totally different reception.

Eden Park Trust chairman John Waller says when the veils fell from the three meter high tekoteko standing on three meter plinths to be blessed by Ngati Whatua elders Maori and non-Maori jaws dropped at their magnificence.

“They're inspirational. We’ve got the four Maori gods, wind and weather, war and peace, and forest and they’re inspirational. I think a lot of teams that play Eden Park will really draw from these and they will be passionate about going onto the field or doing whatever activity they are doing at the park,” Mr Waller says.

Many of the 18,000 visitors to the Eden Park open day which followed the blessing of the teketeko, were all full of praise for the carvings and the new stadium.

The carvers were the work of a team led by Ngati Whatua kai whakairo Arekarea Maihi.


The national director of Prison Fellowship, Robin Gunston, says the country can’t afford to new half billion dollar prison economically or socially.

Groups working in prisoner aid and rehabilitation have met in Lower Hutt to discuss where the sector is going.

Mr Gunston says it’s not good for New Zealand to have one of the highest imprisonment rates in the western world, and the Maori imprisonment rate is a national scandal.

He says politicians seem only able to think of ways to get prisoner numbers up rather than down.

“There’s lots of things lead to prison but what do we do about turning it around. We can’t talk of investing another $500 million next year into a new prison in Wiri, we’ve got older prisons out there which should have been shut down a long time, let’s start turning our focus like Finland did. It said let’s halve our prison population. We think we should go further than that,” Mr Gunston says.


Te Wai Maori Trust, which was established as part of the Maori fisheries settlement to promote Maori interests in freshwater fisheries, says nothing short of ownership will satisfy Maori concerns with water quality.

Chairperson Morrie Love says the government will be unable to resolve competing interests over the use of fresh water until it engages with iwi and Maori over ownership of waterways.

He says last month’s report by the Land and Water Forum, which includes iwi, industry and conservation groups, was inadequate because it failed to address ownership.

“Maori are seeking to have a much greater say in things like setting low flow conditions, setting water quality conditions, and actually being a decision maker. If you’re the owner, you’re much more likely for that to happen. If you’re not, you get a form of co-management which means you’re consulted, you might get some money, but you probably don’t make the decisions in the end of the day,” Mr Love says.

While the Government pretends water is in public ownership, laws around its use have evolved that create tradable private property rights.


The chief executive of the Maori Language Commission - Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori - Glenis Philip-Barbara says nobody would have left Saturday night's Maori Language Awards ceremony uninspired.

Glenis Philip Barbara hearing the work award recipients were doing to promote te reo Maori and seeing the humble way they all received their honours was deeply moving.

“If there was a common theme that came out of the acceptance speeches it was that each and every one of us as individual has a responsibility to think about the nature of our contribution because it’s by the efforts of many individuals on a similar kaupapa that the language will live, so a pretty inspiring night actually,” she says.

The Supreme Award, Te Tohu Huia Te Reo, has joint winners, Ruakawa Charitable Trust from Tokoroa which were last year's winner and Massey University.

Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira won the Taku Toa Takimano award for an individual's effort who has engaged more the 30,000 people in Maori language learning over the past 33 years as well as publishing extensively.


Rotorua District councilor Trevor Maxwell has put paid to the idea that Maori cannot get elected in general local body seats.

Not only has the two-term deputy mayor been returned to serve a 33rd year as a district councilor, he topped the poll of 28 candidates with 11,500 votes.

Mr Maxwell says he supported the Royal Commissions recommendation of dedicated Maori seats for Auckland super city but in provincial areas like Rotorua where the people get to know those standing special seats aren't needed.

“Whilst I am comfortable in Te Arawa and in the Maori circles it’s also working to be comfortable with non-Maori right acriss the bard. I thgink that’s part of it, get out of your comfort zones and work amonst the people in your
OUT: ....community,” he says.