Waatea News Update

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Crown pulls plug on Te Tau Ihu talks

Top of the South Island iwi are disappointed the Crown has abruptly suspended negotiations.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson says he can't talk with Tainui Taranaki ki te Tonga, which represents Te Atiawa, Ngati Tama, Ngati Rarua and Ngati Koata, because of a High Court challenge by Wakatu Incorporation.

He says there is a risk some claimants could get paid twice for the same claims.

Amoroa Luke from Ngati Rarua says with a $95 million settlement offer close to being finalised, the Crown's action comes as a surprise.

“The Waitangi Tribunal recommended that the iwi were the correct groups to settle this particular claim and we are disappointed with the Crown npt being able to see an alternative way forward,” Ms Luke says.

Wakatu chair Paul Morgan says the Tainui Taranaki ki te Tonga settlement should be treated separately from Wakatu's issues, which relate to the Crown's maladministration of land set aside from the original land sales of the 1840s.


The organiser of New Zealand's first Krump Nationals at the Manukau Event Centre tonight expects a battle royale.

Krumping developed in the United States as a way to curb gang violence, and the format of competitive dance-offs between individuals or crews has swept the world.

Sale Sapepe is expecting up to 700 rangatahi from as far afield as Christchurch are expected, and judges will be looking for skills, characterisation and audacity.


The Maori stars of yesterday will be forgetting their troubles ... and trying to remember the words ... at the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna tonight.

Organisers have opened up the balcony seating because of the demand to see members of bands like the Quin Tikis, Maori Hi-Quins, Hi Fives and Volcanics on stage together.

Mary Nimmo from the Maori Hi-Five is one of more than a dozen showband entertainers who travelled from their homes in the United States to make the show.

She says with their mix of music, comedy and a touch of kapa haka, the showbands had universal appeal which packed out rooms in clubs and concert halls from Sydney to Surfers to Las Vegas and London.

“There's something about Maori people that’s contagious. I think we were a happy group, we were entertaining, we played good music, and I think there was a happiness on stage when we went out to the people and they liked that, they liked us. When people want to be entertained, they want to forget their troubles,” she says.

The Unsung Heroes Maori showband spectacular starts at seven at the Bruce Mason Theatre in Takapuna.


Ngai Tahu is wishing a small neighbouring iwi all the best with its settlement to be signed tomorrow.

Ngati Kuia is the first top of the South Island iwi to settle its historical claims.
Mark Solomon, the chair of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, says getting to this stage is a testament to the dedication by the iwi's leadership.

“Like all settlements they’re only a fraction of what the loss was but it’s a small capital base for them to go forward and Ngai Tahu is here to offer the hand of friendship and we’d love to work with them,” Mr Solomon says.

Meanwhile, the government yesterday suspended talks with Taranaki Tainui ki te Tonga because it said there was a risk some claimants could be paid twice in Wakatu Incorporation succeeded in its High Court action over the way the Crown had administered Maori reserved lands in Nelson.


Places in the Maori surf team for the Oceania championships are up for grabs at this weekend's national Maori titles at Manu Bay in Raglan.

Former masters title winner Te Kauhoe Wano says the field is open with former champions Morehu Roberts from Rongowhakaata and Daniel Proctor from Ngati Uepohatu both in Peru representing New Zealand at the ISA World Surfing Games.

He says the 18th nationals, which started this afternoon with a powhiri at Raglans' Poihakena marae, will bring out the best of the surfers on and off the water.

Surfing conditions are expected to be excellent with a depression off the west coast likely to produce large sets.

The National Maori Rugby League tournament is also on this weekend in Rotorua.


A Ngapuhi singer is giving back to the city he grew up in organising tomorrow's free benefit concert for earthquake relief in Hagley Park.

Opshop frontman Jason Kerrison says there will be a real Maori component to the concert, which is expected to attract up to 150,000 people.

The line up include Dame Malvina Major, Nathan King, Che Fu, King Kapisi, Bic Runga, The Feelers, The Exponents, Opshop, Evermore and the Bats.

Urban Maori forced into statutory board

West Auckland Maori leader John Tamihere says the mana whenua groups who accepted positions on Auckland super city's Maori statutory board have painted all other Maori who call Auckland home into a corner.

He says there has been no transparency or proper mandating for the process by which mana whenua, who have seven seats on the board, choose the two mataawaka representatives to look after the interests of Maori from tribes outside Tamaki Makaurau.

He says it does all Maori a disservice.

“The day that they acknowledged that they would be absorbed by this thing and assimilated by it, they actually made a decision on behalf of all Maori, not just the Maori they represent, so we have been virtually dragged into this new Maori statutory board, not knowing exactly what its structure is, what its systems are, what its resourcing is and what its powers will be,” Mr Tamihere says.

The mataawaka representatives will be announced next week, with the board starting work on November 1.


The chair of the Ngati Raukawa Settlement Trust says the confirmation that the iwi has a role as co-guardians of the Waikato River marks a new start for the tribe.

Kaumatua and tribal leaders travelled to Wellington yesterday for the third reading of the Ngati Tuwharetoa, Raukawa, and Te Arawa River Iwi Waikato River Bill.

Chris McKenzie says the Tokoroa-based iwi can now concentrate on settling its historical claims.

“We want to stop the grievance mode and the grievance mentality and get on to the development mode and the river is one step in us looking forward and the comprehensive will be the second and vital step for us to resource ourselves and move to development mode,” he says.

Mr McKenzie says for too long Raukawa has been pushed to the sidelines when the river was discussed.


Labour's Maori affairs spokesman Parekura Horomia says government action alone won't save the Maori language.

Mr Horomia, a fluent reo speaker, says the Waitangi Tribunal's report on the language aspects of the WAI 262 intellectual property claim makes grim reading.

He says for it to survive, Maori people need to make a commitment to use it in their everyday life.

“We've got this dramatic intergenerational change where we are seeing the last of those who are totally fluent with the language, who lived with the ancient people and we have new paradigms and new generations and we have got to modernize how we teach it on,” Mr Horomia says.

A Labour government would be fully supportive of measures to promote the language.


Labour MP Shane Jones says all parents receiving state assistance should be obliged to get early childhood education for their children.

And in the case of Maori his preference would be for them to go to kohanga reo or Maori immersion pre-schools.

He says the Waitangi Tribunal's report on the current state of te reo Maori shows a sizeable fall-off of tamariki going to kohanga - and the government can do something about it.

“If you're being supported by the state in some manner or form to raise your children and there’s a lot of that that takes place now, for example with the family assistance package that was originally brought in by Steve Maharey, well the deal is we’re doing to to make it simpler for you to awhi and tautoko the kids. Get the kids into kohanga,” Mr Jones says.


Maori health workforce advocate Te Rau Matatini has signed an agreement with the Health Ministry's workforce development agency to lift Maori involvement in the sector.

Kirsty Maxwell Crawford, Te Rau Matatini's chief executive, health says both organisations recognise a crisis in the sector.

She says only 2 percent of health workers are Maori, and the goal of both organisations is not just to grow the workforce but to encourage those working their now into future leadership positions.


The organiser of a tonight's Maori Showband tribute concert in Takapuna says he was stunned at the level of interest.

Armand Crown from Ngati Maniapoto studied the history of Maori music as part of his postgraduate studies, and went on to produce the Maori Television series Unsung Heroes.

He says there is an audience out there hungry for the chance to hear musicians from bands like the Quin Tikis, the Hi Quins, the Hi Liners, Maori Troubadours, Hi Fives and Volcanics.

He says it was sold out in two weeks before promoters had a chance to advertise through interest generated from an Internet site.

Crown responsible for language demise

The Taranaki kaumatua who led the Waitangi Tribunal claim to have te reo Maori recognised as an official language says kohanga reo and kura kaupapa need a major injection of resources.

Huirangi Waikerepuru says the chapter of the Waitangi Tribunal's WAI 262 Claim report released yesterday is right to say the language is dying.

The Tribunal found the number of Maori children in Maori immersion education has been falling for the past decade, and it branded the language strategies of successive governments as a failure.

Mr Waikerepuru says resources need to be put wherever children can learn the language.

“In the homes, in the schools, in the playgrounds, on the maraes and all around us so we all have that responsibility but government has a bigger responsibility because the government has been responsible for the greater part of demise,” says Mr Waikerepuru, who chairs the Wellington Maori Language Board, Nga Kaiwhakapumau i te Reo.


Labour Maori affairs spokesman, Parekura Horomia, says the turnout for yesterday's protests against the extension of the 90 day fire at will period topped the foreshore and seabed hikoi.

Mr Horomia says he was heartened by the strong Maori and Pacific island presence in the protests, because many of them work in areas being hardest hit by the government's policies.

“By joves the outpouring yesterday was huge, it was phenomenal, and people who had never been in a protest before and dare I mention it as big as the hikoi in one way but it was all around the country too, that was the difference you see,” Mr Horomia says.

He says the 400-strong protest in his home city of Gisborne was typical of many areas with high Maori populations.


Maori entertainer Anika Moa says she'd love to take her music to marae, but not in the near future.

The artist starts a 21-date tour of small and out of the way venues tonight in the new Mangere Arts Center.

She says with four albums now under her belt, she plans to records some songs in te reo Maori sometime soon.

But a marae tour might require a different sort of economics.

“When you're tour you tour to make a profit and when you work on marae there’s no way of making a profit from shows on marae apart from goodwill and koha because there’s no way you can charge people to come onto their own marae, you know what I mean,” she says.

Anika Moa plays the Leigh, Sawmill Cafe tomorrow night and the Colosseum in Tauranga on Sunday.


List MP Shane Jones says he intends to seek the Labour nomination for Tamakai Makaurau because the Maori Party has failed Maori voters in the country's biggest city.

Mr Jones, who has stood twice in the general seat of Northland, says his tribal elders have made it clear they don't want to see him in a head to head battle with Hone Harawira for Tai Tokerau, and his family doesn't want to move into the Manurewa seat being vacated by George Hawkins.

But he's lived in Auckland in the past, and he knows Maori voters there are still hurting at the way there were denied seats on the Auckland super city council.

“I personally feel that Dr Sharples and Tariana Turia, they rolled over too quickly on that one, and there seems to be a pattern, that whatever Rodney Hide holds out for when it’s anti-Maori, he tends to get. To me it makes a mockery of what Pita and Tari should be achieving,” Mr Jones says.

He says super city Maori representation should be based on the Maori electoral roll, rather than the mana whenua seats unsuccessfully promoted by the Maori Party.


The New Zealand Educational Institute says the time is right to make te Reo Maori a compulsory subject.

Maori manager Laures Park says the finding of the Waitangi Tribunal that urgent action is needed to save the language from extinction shows there is no longer any excuse for inaction.

She says the tribunal has shown that despite the rhetoric of successive governments, the official response to language revitalisation has been half hearted and inadequate.

“A lot of this has been voluntary and a lot of people have gone past the voluntary nature of the exercise and now they would like, ‘let’s just do this, we think it’s important enough for the sake of Aotearoa, let’s just do it,” Mrs Park says.

She says the Education Ministry has never tried to get on top of the problem of training up enough teachers of Maori to meet the demand in the school system.


The chair of the Raukawa Settlement Trust says today's final reading of a bill that gives the 20,000 strong iwi a say in the management of the Waikato River is long overdue.

Chris McKenzie, who was part of the ope who witnessed the debate in Parliament, says the tribal rohe borders the river from Atiamuri to Mangakino, giving the iwi an undeniable interest in the health of the awa.

He says sharing responsibilty for long term restoration with the Crown, local authories and the other iwi, including Te Arawa, Tuwharetoa and Waikato Tainiui, is the only way to restore the health of the North Islands' longest waterway.

“In the past we’ve been relegated to spectators in this process. We’ve been consulted but never have we sat as an equal partner so this will be a test for the rest of the country and I think that the eyes of the country will be on this process because if we can make this process work it is a clear pathway for the rest on the country in the settlements area,” Mr McKenzie says.

The river settlement will enhance the prospect of settling Ngati Raukawa's comprehensive land claims in the next coupel of years.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Reo chapter whets appetite for rest of report

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says the Waitangi Tribunal needs to get on with releasing the rest its report on the Wai 262 claim.

The tribunal yesterday released a chapter of the report relating to Te Reo Maori, saying the language was at a crisis point and attempts to revive it had been stifled by repeated failures of policy and a lack of commitment by successive governments to put resources into the right places.

Ms Turei says while it will be a welcome contribution to the current review of the Maori language strategy, the rest of the inquiry into ownership of flora and fauna and Maori cultural and intellectual property is equally if not more important.

“Until the more difficult bits around how do you protect genetic information, how do you protect iwi knowledge around flora and fauna in their rohe, that is much harder but it has to be done because there is a lot more interest in that knowledge and commercial exploitation by others,” she says.


Labour leader Phil Goff says reform of the foreshore and seabed legislation is causing huge divisions within the Maori Party.

Co-leader Tariana Turia has indicated the party won't take Hone Harawira's suggestion and withdraw support from National if the government amends the Marine and Coastal Area Bill to spell out that there must be free access to beaches which come under Maori customary title.

But Mr Goff says a fundamental rift is emerging.

“Tariana and Pita in particular will support the bill to keep their role as ministers in the National-led government but clearly in the Maori Party itself this is causing huge divisions,” he says.

Mr Goff says many of the Maori Party's supporters now admit there is no advance in the bill on Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Act.


The chief executive of Counties Manukau District Health Board says health workforces must reflect the societies they serve.

Geraint Martin was at a ceremony yesterday to bury the mauri stone to signal the start of construction of a new Centre for Health Services Innovation.

He says the $10 million project is a collaboration between the board, Manukau Institute of Technology MIT, AUT University and Auckland University aimed at finding ways to get more Maori and Polynesian people in the health workforce.

Mr Martin, who has Welsh whakapapa, says he's honoured to be at such Maori ceremonial gatherings.


Prime Minister John Key says while Maori will not be able to charge for access to beaches if they gain customary title, they would if they build marinas on the land.

Mr Key says the government was advised it wasn't necessary to add the word "free" to the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill, but it wants to spell out in plain English what access and use rights people would have.

“If iwi had customary title and built for instance a marina, then they would be able to charge for that just like if I have private title to the foreshore and seabed and I build a marina I can also charge for that so there’s a difference between access to go to the beach and an activity you might engage in like agreeing to tie your boat up to a marina,” he says.

Mr Key says the bill is being amended not because of the ACT Party but because lobbyists like Coastal Coalition head Hugh Barr have been whipping up Pakeha concerns by making untrue claims that Maori would charge beach fees.


The Maori Language commissioner, Erima Henare, says the Waitangi Tribunal's report on Te Reo Maori should help get effort to revitalise the language back on track.

The tribunal yesterday released the draft chapter of its WAI 262 report covering the language, saying the revival had stalled and recommending Te Taura Whiri i te Teo Maori be given greater powers to be the lead Maori language sector agency.

Mr Henare says it rightly identified the need for a true partnership between the Crown and Maori communities.

“Kohanga reo was a Maori initiative. Kura kaupapa was a Maori initiative. Wananga were Maori initiatives. They owed that early success to the huge amount of support Maori homes, families and communities gave those kaupapa,” Mr Henare says.

He says the language revival has only been going a generation, and it needs to be sustained for at least three before it can be said the language has truly survived.


Maori songwriter Anika Moa hits the road tonight on 21-date nationwide solo tour.

After tonight's opener at the Mangere Arts Centre, Nga Tohu O Ueneku, the tour will take in far flung corners of the country from Leigh to Lyttleton and beyond.

Ms Moa says she likes playing in small communities where she can meet the audience kaonohi ki te kanohi or face to face.

She's looking forward to tonight's show in the new theatre built to encourage Maori and Pacifika performing arts.

Anika Moa released her fourth album, Love in Motion, earlier this year.

Tribunal slams reo policy failures

One of the founders of the Kohanga Reo movement has welcomed a Waitangi Tribunal report which gives a fail mark to the Maori language policies of successive governments.

In the Te Reo Maori chapter of its WAI 262 report on intellectual property claims, which was released in advance of the main report, the Tribunal found the number of Maori pre-schoolers attending kohanga reo has dropped from just under half in 1993 to under a quarter.

Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi says after explosive growth through the 1980s, Kohanga Reo got watered down when responsibility passed from the department of Maori Affairs to the Ministry of Education.

“The excitement and the involvement and the participation watered down. Because the formal education system said you have to have qualified teachers, you have to have quality, you have to have approved buildings, you have to have funding. When that happened, all the families that were involved and the old people felt there was not place for them. They didn’t have these so called qualifications,” Dame Iritana says.

She says language revival requires systems which work with whole whanau and communities, rather than being focused on individual learners.


The Prime Minister, John Key, says the Tuhoe settlement needs to be negotiated without the pressure of a ticking clock.

Mr Key says while there was a slight hiccup in May after he vetoed land in Te Urewera National Park being used in the settlement, discussions have continued with the Crown facilitator and the Office of Treaty Settlements.

He says while the Government has set itself the target of settling all historical claims by 2014, it's more important to get lasting settlements than to meet what was always an ambitious goal.

“It's a significant settlement. They are a large iwi. They’ve suffered a lot, everyone needs to recognize that, but it’s also very complex and of course there’s a potential for precedent with a number of other settlements we are close to so the reality of getting further down the line with treaty settlements is you get into the harder, more complex issues,’ Mr Key says.

He says it's worth remembering the South Island Ngai Tahu settlement took four years, including a one year break.


Long-serving Hasting district councilor Henare O'Keefe says the election of a second Maori to represent Flaxmere reflects the community's determination to help itself.

The Hastings suburb is renowned for social problems.

Mr O'Keefe says his re-election and the election of young lawyer Jacoby Poulain by is a sign of the people's determination to find home grown solutions.

“If you are looking for an answer, look in the mirror. Government can’t legislate passion and commitment. No law can legislate that. It’s got to come from within, and Flaxmere’s certainly doing that. We’ve come of age. We finally have a united voice which is great,” Mr O'Keefe says.

Innovative programmes in Flaxmere include Bike On which promotes exercise by giving kids bikes, a healthy living programme, and next week a community duathlon.


Prime Minister John Key says the reason for inserting the word "free" into the Marine and Coastal Area Takutai Moana Bill was not pressure from the ACT Party but false statements made by outside lobby groups.

Mr Key says the word was not in the original because Crown Law advice was that the bill would not allow Maori customary owners to charge for beach access.
But he says public concern has been whipped up by Coastal Coalition head Hugh Barr.

“The reason we’re doing it because you have people like the coastal coalition, this Barr guy, running around telling a lot of untruths around the country and trying to whip up Pakeha concern where it’s not justified and one of the main areas has been around this issue that all of a sudden we will be charged to go to the beach and that’s not true,” Mr Key says.

He believes Maori Party MPs with the exception of Hone Harawira will continue to support the Bill because they realise it is a vast improvement over the existing Foreshore and Seabed Act.


Labour leader Phil Goff says voters in Tamaki Makaurau will need to look tp the future when casting their votes at the next election.

List MP Shane Jones is seeking Labour's nomination to challenge Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples for the seat.

Mr Goff says Mr Jones has a huge amount of ability and energy, and he's still relatively young in terms of his political career.

“Look I've got nothing against Pita, I get on quite well with Pita personally, but Pta would be the first to acknowledge he’s coming close to the end of his political career, Shane’s in the middle of his political career and I think having that strong Maori voice representing the Maori electorate of Tamaki Makaurau, I think that would be good for Labour and it would be good for the Maori voters of Tamaki Makaurau. It would give them a strong voice in Parliament for the future,” Mr Goff says.


Surviving members of Maori showbands were welcomed onto Awataha Marae on Aucklands' North Shore a couple of hours ago, in preparation for a gala concert on Friday night.

A Maori Showband Tribute to our Unsung Heroes features performances aknowledging the Quin Tikis, the Hi Quins, Hi Fives, Hi Liners, Maori Troubadors and Volcanics.

Veteran entertainer Toko Pompey, aka Sammy Dee, says it's good to have old friends back home, including Las Vegas-based Kawana Pohe from the Maori Hi Fives, Mary Nimmo, Solomon Pohatu, and Rim D Paul.

The sold out concert at the Bruce Mason Centre will include a special tribute to the Las Vegas based Maori Hi Fives, who last year were given a gold star on the Strip outside the New York New York casino, in recognition of their contribution to the music industry in Nevada.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Maori seeking general seats on Labour ticket

Hauraki-Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta says expect more Maori to put their names forward as Labour candidates in general seats.

Labour's kaunihera Maori has endorsed former unionist Shane Te Pou for the nomination in the Manurewa seat being vacated by George Hawkins, with former list MP Louisa Wall also among the contenders.

Ms Mahuta says the party is changing, and it is encouraging to see more Maori seeking general seats.


A new charity to help youngsters from under-privileged backgrounds develop sporting interests has had a $16,000 kick-start.

The money was raised at a charity dinner in the Hawkes Bay on Saturday night to honour the late Rob Guildford, who died of a heart attack in the stands last year while watching his son Zac Guildford win the Under 20's rugby world cup.

Organiser Daren Guildford says the trust aims to continue his brother's work supporting Hawkes Bay youngsters in a range of sports.

Daren Guildford says bidders on the night competed hard for a lunch with All Blacks Zac Guildford and Israel Dagg, but an England jersey donated by nephew Ricky Flutey will be sold on Trade Me.


The operations manager for arts promotion group Toi Maori says the handing over of a ceremonial waka in the early hours of yesterday morning was the culmination of years of sustained effort.

Te Hono ki Aotearoa was built at Aurere in the far north by waka tohunga Hekenukumai Busby, who traveled to Leiden in Holland to bless the waka.

Tamahou Temara says it will be housed at the Volkenkunde Museum at Leiden, but ownership stays with Toi Maori, so it can be used for events in Europe.


The new vice-president Maori of the Council of Trade Unions says he'll be pushing for economic development to create more jobs ... and more union members.

Syd Keepa from Ngati Awa, Ngati Maru and Ngai Tuhoe has been working as a wood sector organiser for the National Distribution Union.

He says priorities are fighting back on the Government's plan to make the 90-day probation period for new employees apply to all workplaces, and creating an environment for businesses to start hiring.

“The government reckons there’s plenty of jobs out there but there’s not, and I’d like to try to motivate them into creating jobs, particularly for those people out in the regions. I’ve got a few ideas pertaining to that. That’s what I will be pushing for and of course the rights of the Maori workers,” Mr Keepa says.

He replaces Sharon Clair, who resigned to make an unsuccessful run for the South Waikato mayoralty.


Poverty Bay Maori are working with the courts department to manage human remains being dug up during the extension of the Gisborne District Courthouse.

Ronald Nepe from Te Runanga o Turanganui a Kiwa says it's likely the courthouse was built on top of a pre-European urupa.

One partial skeleton was found during an initial archeological investigation, and six full skeletons and 12 other koiwi have been found so far as the foundations are being excavated.

“We have actually got a site on there where we have interned previous koiwi we’ve found along our river front, so it’s not new for our pakeke to be dealing with. The number of remains we’ve found throws up a whole lot of possibilities,” Mr Nepe says.

The skeletons were laid out in an orderly fashion.


A Maori ceramic artist says there is growing interest in traditional ways of returning placenta, known in Maori as whenua, to the land, also known as whenua.

Manos Nathan from Te Roroa says he's regularly asked how to make clay vessels for holding the placenta, which are called waka taurahere tangata or ipu whenua.

He encourages parents and grandparents to craft the unfired vessels that will break down in the ground, and says young Maori are keen to learn about the birthing traditions of their ancestors.

“It's a wonderful process to get to that discussion because you need to involve whanau and sometimes iwi, you’ve got to have that dialogue, because in some cases we are reviving it because it’s been forgotten but whenever you have the opportunity to create situations where people talk about it, it has to be a good thing,” Mr Nathan says.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hide defends attack on Takutai Moana bill

ACT leader Rodney Hide says the deals people should be concerned about are the ones future politicians will be making with iwi, not the ones he's making with National.

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says his party should give the Government an ultimatum that it will withdraw support if the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill is changed at ACT's behest.

But Mr Hide says the Bill is deeply flawed because it allows the courts to be bypassed.

“It still does what Labour did wrong and then It adds to the problems of both Maori and Pakeha and indeed for iwi that will miss out because it sets up a process whereby the attorney general behind closed doors in his office can cut a deal and say essentially this iwi here have incredible rights out 12 miles to the foreshore and seabed, and that’s done and dusted,” Mr Hide says.

He says he is hearing from iwi and hapu concerned their customary rights will be taken by other iwi with more political clout.


Hauraki-Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta says Labour's weekend conference hit a real chord for Maori.

She says issues like trade training, apprenticeships, and the rising cost of living are what people in her electorate are concerned about.

She says Maori also support Labour's message that it should be much harder for foreigners to buy New Zealand land.

“Crafar Farms was a wake up call to everybody. More importantly, Phil Goff signaled on key strategic assets like airports, like ports, like significant tracts of New Zealand land, we won’t be in favour of selling to foreigners,” Ms Mahuta says.


Whanau Ora Minister Tariana Turia says Maori providers are excited at the prospect of delivering health and social services in an integrated way.

The first two dozen or so providers will be named next week, with the value of the contracts expected to be about $100 million a year, including their existing funding.

Mrs Turia says 130 proposals were received from 347 providers, showing Maori were keen to work collectively rather than continue with existing models.

“This is the first time that we are seeing people who are not looking at patch protection but who are very very determined to work in the interests of families,” Mrs Turia says.

All the providers have been put through a rigorous evaluation process.

Harawira keen for foreshore ultimatum

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says his party should walk away from the Government if National does an inside deal with ACT over the foreshore and seabed.

ACT is seeking an amendment to the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill to specifically ban Maori owners of customary title from charging for beach access.

Mr Harawira says the Maori Party has already compromised to get the Foreshore and Seabed Act repealed, and that should be the end of it.

“I don't see why we should sit back and allow a little fat redneck like Rodney Hide put in an amendment at the last minute. We should be saying to National, ‘Here’s the deal National. If you want to do deals with Rodney Hide go right ahead. We’re out.’ As a matter of principle we should say ‘Nah, you wouldn’t do deals with us on the super city so we’re not doing any deals with you guys and Rodney Hide over the foreshore and seabed,’” Mr Harawira says.

He says while National would still have the numbers to pass the amendment, the Maori Party would have stood up for its principles.


A Maori councilor on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council says the controversy over Maori representation on the Auckland super city will force other councils to have a serious look at the issue.

Raewyn Bennett was elected for a third term to the Tauranga-based Mauao ward.

The Local Government Act requires every new council to review their representation within their first six months.

Mrs Bennett says Maori seats are no longer controversial in the Bay of Plenty, which is the only territorial local authority to have them.

“It's just part of our culture now in our area, having Maori seats, at regional council anyway. The iwi in the Bay, following the Human Rights Commission’s report on Maori seats, I understand the iwi are going to be pushing for our local council to establish Maori seats or say why not anyway,” Mrs Bennett says.

She says the major challenge this term will be working out what the Bay of Plenty Regional Council can do to support Treaty of Waitangi settlements in the region.


Commentator Ken Laban says consistency and class have been the key to Hosea Gear's recall to the All Blacks.

The 26-year-old Ngati Porou flyer made his test debut against Australia in Hong Kong two years ago, but was left out of the squad in recent times despite his try scoring prowess.

Mr Laban says his recent form for the Hurricanes and Wellington justifies his selection, but what made him impossible to ignore was his run in the New Zealand Maori centenary series ... three tries against England in Napier and a match-winning try against the Barbarians in Whangarei.

With Hosea Gear at 104 kg and one of the fastest in the country on the wing, and Sonny Bill Williams at 6 foot 4 and 108kg, it signals a new era of athlete coming through.


The Labour Party's Maori council is pushing for more Maori candidates in general electorates.

Former Tai Tokerau MP Dover Samuels says a test for the party's commitment will be the upcoming Manurewa selection, where former council chair Shane Te Pou and former list MP Louisa Wall are among as many as eight candidates seeking to replace retiring MP George Hawkins.

He says Labour has had Pacific Island MPs in general seats, but so far no Maori.

“Give the Maori people a go, give the Maori candidates a go, and put them in there and stop just giving them lip service in regard to the possibility of Maori standing in general electorates, and I think it’s about time we did that,” Mr Samuels says.

He was heartened by the commitment and sense of purpose coming out of the weekend's Labour Party annual conference.


Meanwhile, Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says there is still a big difference between Labour and Maori Party policy on the sale of land to foreigners.

At Labour's conference, leader Phil Goff indicated a Labour government would turn down most farm sales to overseas buyers except in exceptional circumstances.

Mrs Turia says this does not go far enough.

“Labour's policy is to reduce the number of sales. Our policy is really clear. We are saying that we should, at this point in time, stop the sale of land to foreign investors. This is not about stopping the Chinese or Indians investing here in New Zealand. This is about everybody,” Mrs Turia says.

She says Maori know only too well the consequence of having the majority of their land in the hands of others.


The Education Institute believes the same consultation process used to set standards for kura kaupapa Maori should have been used to set national standards for mainstream schools.

NZEI Maori manager Laures Park says the primary teachers' union isn't convinced standards are necessary for either Maori immersion or mainstream schools.

But she says the insistence of associate education minister Pita Sharples that kura get their own standards, Nga Whanaketanga Rumaki Maori, produced a better outcome.

“Given that the process has been laid down, this is the law, get on and do it, at least with Nga Whanaketanga there was an opportunity for Maori talk about it whereas in the other situation, absolutely no discussion whatsoever,” Mrs Park says.

Nga Whanaketanga Rumaki Maori will be rolled out in the New Year.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hide attacks sweetheart deals on foreshore

The ACT Party says the Marine and Coastal (Takutai Moana) Bill will mean political connections rather than hard evidence will determine who gets customary ownership.

Leader Rodney Hide says the bill gives the attorney general extraordinary powers to sit down with favoured Maori groups and cut deals away from any scrutiny by courts or parliament.

He says iwi leaders are happy to go along with the new law because they expect better deals from Chris Finlayson than the courts would have given them.

“Now hapu and other iwi are writing to me saying ‘We’ve got these other jokers down the road that are negotiating on what we thnk is our foreshore and seabed and they have the favoured inside track to the political arena’ and again it’s a political deal and I don’t believe that’s durable. I don’t think it has any principle, I don’t think it has any integrity, so I don’t think it’s going to stick,” Mr Hide says.

He says the simple way to resolve the issue is repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act and let Maori pursue their customary rights claims through the courts.


Former trade union official Shane Te Pou from Ngai Tuhoe has put his name forward for Labour's nomination in the general seat of Manurewa.

Mr Te Pou is currently human services manager with New Zealand's largest kaupapa Maori disability service provider, Te Roopu Taurima o Manukau.

He previously carried Labour's standard against former finance minister Bill Birch in Franklin.

“I've worked and lived in south Auckland for over 20 years. I’ve got many community connections in Manurewa and in south Auckland and I’m also disappointed, I think this government has abandoned the people of Manurewa,” Mr Te Pou says.

Former one-year list MP Louisa Wall from Tainui and Ngati Tuwharetoa will also be among the half dozen contenders for the safe Labour seat being vacated by retiring MP George Hawkins.


The last week in Aotearoa has meant more to rugby league professional Timana Tahu than Saturday night's 18-all draw between the England and Maori.

The 30 year old Australian double international says his decision to honour his late father by turning out for the Maori team has allowed him to reconnect with his roots on this side of the Tasman.

He says although he's worn State of Origin, Kangaroo and Wallaby Jerseys in the past, his Maori jersey will always be special.

“This is the first representative indigenous jersey I’ve out on and if I was going to play for New Zealand I’m glad I’m playing for the Maori because I’m not only honouring the jumper, I’m honouring my family, my ancestors which is something I’m proud of,” Tahu says.

In preparation for the weekend's international in Auckland, the team was welcomed onto Turangawaewae Marae by King Tuheitia, and raced waka on the Waikato River.


Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia expects MP Hone Harawira will provide a minority report from the Maori Affairs select committee inquiry into the tobacco industry.

Mr Harawira broke with parliamentary convention last week by using his weekly newspaper column to complain that the yet-to-be-released is too tame.

Mrs Turia says the Tai Tokerau MP should have waited for the report to be presented to Parliament, when he gets a chance to have his say if he disagrees with the report.

“This report has actually been put together by an independent Maori person, taking together all the information that came through the select committee.

“Hone’s concern is it doesn’t focus enough on the tobacco companies and I can understand that because kei te hea ratou. That’s really been the significant issue and of course that will be addressed in a minority report,” Mrs Turia says.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei is accusing the ACT party of deliberately damaging race relations to boost its electoral changes.

Ms Turei says a proposed amendment to the Takutai Moana Bill to stop Maori charging for access to beaches if they win customary title is unnecessary and racist.

She says ACT is creating doubt and fear in the minds of the public.

“There is now even more this idea that Maoris are going to charge for access across the foreshore. The longer term damage of this is very serious. Like it’s a political game ACT is playing to get themselves back in the polls and in the media but the longer term damage to the rest of us is quite severe,” Ms Turei says.

She says if charges for beach access are to be banned, the ban should apply to part of the coast held in private title as well as what ends up in customary ownership.


A new report on infant deaths has concluded socio economic factors rather than ethnicity may be behind higher rates of mortality among Maori babies.

The Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee is responsible for reviewing stillbirths after 20 weeks gestation and deaths of babies up to 28 days of age.

Its chair, Cindy Farquhar, a professor of Obstetrics and Gynacology at Auckland University says it's the fourth such study of clinical data, and clear risk factors are emerging.

“Under the age of 20 having a baby, over the age of 40, or if you come from an area with high socioeconomic deprivation which is a long term for perhaps not so much money, you are also at increased risk of losing your baby in this way,” Professor Farquhar says.

Higher smoking rates among Maori and less early use of midwives also contributes to the higher mortality rate.

Sharples slams Finlayson for Hide scare

New Zealand First co-leader Pita Sharples says he’s disappointed that Attorney General is considering late changes to the Marine and Coastal Areas Bill to rule out charges for beach access.

Dr Sharples says Chris Finlayson is pandering to ACT’s grandstanding.
He says in the spirit of inclusiveness, the Maori Party has already conceded that customary title did not allow limits on access … but ACT leader Rodney Hide is twisting the issue around.

“What makes it even worse, it’s deliberate, because Rodney knows jolly well that access given by Maori in this act is complete and free access so it’s mischievous and we’re disappointed also in minister Finlayson for agreeing, seeming to agree that he should put in some SOP to let this happen,” Dr Sharples says.

He says Rodney Hide is keen to stop Maori customary owners charging for beach access, but he is not prepared to put the same limits on those people who have freehold title to coastal areas.


Former New Zealand First MP Edwin Perry says being voted off the Masterton District Council hasn’t put him off politics.

The Ngati Kahungunu company director says the loss allows him to concentrate on getting back into national politics.

He'll put his name forward for New Zealand First’s list, and says on current polling the party should be back in Parliament after the next election.

“The polls, the last one was 4.5 percent. New Zealand First is not even on the benches. For the last election, New Zealand First missed out by 8000 votes with all that raruraru that went down, that’s all he missed out by. If that hadn’t happened, can you imagine how many and that would be a real threat to National,” Mr Perry says.

New Zealand First holds its annual conference at the end of the month.


A new online tool will make it easier for researchers to get information about Maori health trends.

Massey University's centre for public health research is working with Otago Univerity's Eru Pomare Centre and the Maori directorate of the Ministry of Health to make regional and historical data readily available to health workers, researchers and the public.

The project leader, associate professor Barry Borman, says it will give people a sense of things like the impact of vaccination programmes on meningococcal disease or whether hiking tobacco tax affects Maori smoking rates.

“Having CPHRonline helped us see the distribution if the various health outcomes that are affecting Maori more than non Maori and then it gives us the opportunity to start addressing those but also to monitor the progress we are making. We will continue to put up data tat becomes available so we will be able to build up time trends and show how they are changing and progress is being made on various programmes and policies,” Professor Borman says Massey's centre for public health research is keen to hear from others who want to put data on the site, which is at C P H R online.massey.ac.nz


Associate Education Minister Pita Sharples says consultation over standards for Maori immersion schools has paid off.

Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Maori standards in literacy and numeracy will be introduced for the next school year.

Dr Sharples says by taking an extra year the ministry avoided some of the conflict going on in mainstream schools.

“The schools I have spoke too are happy because they have had a chance to work and to test them out whereas the mainstream schools didn’t have that opportunity but Maori did because they were new and they were done in a Maori cultural idiom rather than a translation of the mainstream schools,” Dr Sharples says.

He says Maori parents want teachers to be evaluated.


Labour has come out of its annual conference pledging to more to get young Maori into work when it next gets into government.

Leader Phil Goff promised to rejuvenate and strengthen apprenticeships and to focus on Maori trade training.

List MP Shane Jones says Labour’s Maori are concerned as many as one in two young Maori and Pacific women are not studying, training or working.

“The feeding an appetite where people believe they can live a life without having to do any of those three I think really distorts people’s beliefs that they have a right to consume without having to contribute and when Phil Goff talks about getting the balance right between rights and responsibilities he’s certainly got the Maori caucus support 100 percent behind him there,” he says.

Mr Jones says Maori will also benefit from the party’s commitment to pre-school education.


A surge of votes from viewers made Roman Nicholas from Ngati Ranginui and Te Arawa this year’s Homai Te Pakipaki winner.

Maori Television co-host Matai Smith says the Tauranga 20-year-old brushed off a bout of flu and took his parents’ advice to hire a suit so he’d look better on TV.

He says that went down well with the home audience, even if he wasn’t the favourite of the capacity crowd at Auckland’s Logan Campbell Centre.

Roman Nicholas took 22 percent of the vote, double the score of Tuwharetoa’s Eddie Biddle, with Warena Pomama from the Wairarapa third.