Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, November 12, 2010

Gangs part of crime stopping equation

The head of Rethinking Crime and Punishment, Kim Workman says the best way to handle gangs is to work with them.

Police Minister Judith Collins told this week's Ngakia Kia Puawai Police Leadership Conference at Pipitea Marae that she had a policy of not engaging with gangs or knowingly meeting with anyone she knows to be a gang member.

Mr Workman, from Ngati Kahungunu, told the same hui that international evidence and his 40 years of experiences in the police, Maori Affairs and Corrections indicates the opposite.

“The best way of dealing with gangs is first to develop a long term strategy, actively engage with gangs, provide transition employment, provide opportunities for transitional education, get with the young children of gang members and so fort, as opposed to a policy of elimination of gangs by enforcement,” Mr Workman says.


Iwi leaders have told business leaders they're keen to work in partnership with them to develop the new Auckland supercity.

Tainui chair Tukoroirangi Morgan, Naida Glavish from Ngati Whatua, Mark Solomon from Ngai Tahu and Timi Te Heuheu from Tuwharetoa met last night with the Committee for Auckland, an invitation-only group of company executives and high net worth individuals set up to influence the city's development.

Mr Morgan say they represent the sort of companies that will be building the roads, schools, prisons and other projects that central and local government will be commissioning.

“We sent a clear message to them that iwi are ready to work with them in public private partnerships, in joint venture initiatives across the sector,” Mr Morgan says.

He was pleased to see a capacity crowd at the meeting, showing the interest business leaders have in what Maori have to offer.


All Whites' defender Winston Reid, re-instated All Black Hosea Gear, and rugby women's world cup champion Carla Hohepa headline the list of finalists for this year's Maori Sports Awards.

Convenor Dick Garrett says the 20th awards ceremony in Manukau next month will reflect the growing influence of Maori athletes across the board, and not just traditional sports like rugby, league and netball.

They will acknowledge world champions in BMX, karate, woolhandling, swimming and waka ama.

Mr Garrett says the awards will also acknowledge the hard work done behind the scenes by coaches, umpires and administrators.

Reid and Gear contest the senior men's category with Brent Newdick from Tainui, while Carla Hohepa is up against squash player Joelle King and kayaker Lisa Carrington for the women's prize.


Tainui chair Tukoroirangi Morgan has confirmed the Waikato based iwi supports the Marine and Coastal Areas Bill, with reservations.

The bill now before the Maori affairs select committee is likely to be the subject of intense debate at tomorrow's Iwi Leaders Forum at Takapuwahia Marae in Porirua, with Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu coming out strongly against the tests for customary ownership.

Mr Morgan says he has similar concerns, but on balance the bill will give his iwi enough room to pursue its ownership claims to the foreshore and seabed, either through the courts or by direct negotiation.

“You know I am confident that we will secure our interests. That will lead to some development rights. Those development rights go to the heart of the mineral and oil exploration industry,” Mr Morgan says.


Award winning Maori tourism operators Tamaki Tours has another taonga to put on its mantlepiece.

Director Doug Tamaki was in Sydney this week to recieve the 2010 Golden Backpackers Award for the best Indigenous Cultural Experience in Australasia.

He says it's a satifsfying end to what as been a tough years for the 21-year company, which has attractions in Rotorua and Christchurch.

He says while the backpacker market is important to the business, its Maori storytelling style is popular across the board with people young and old.

Indigenous tourism operators in Australia and North America have sought advice from Tamaki on ways to tell their stories to manuhiri.


Singer songwriter Dudley Benson unveils his new show in Auckland tonight, exploring the work of another songwriter, the late Hirini Melbourne of Ngai Tuhoe.

The former Otautahi choirboy will bring the sounds of the ngahere to Te Mahurehure Maori Cultural Centre in Point Chevalier, and to a dozen other venues over the next month.

He says his says new band, the Dawn Chorus, includes four acapella male voices and a wahine beatboxer, because instruments didn’t seem to go with Melbourne’s vision.

Dudley Benson and the Dawn Chorus will be at Kingston House in Kerikeri on Sunday night.

Liquor law change finds easy scapegoat

The director of Otago University's national addiction centre says the Alcohol Reform Bill now before in Parliament is attacking the wrong people, including young people and young Maori.

Doug Sellman estimates about 180,000 of the 700,000 heavy drinkers in New Zealand are Maori, mostly older men.

He says the bill cherry-picks the recommendations of the Law Commission report on alcohol and sidesteps the real problems.

“Over 90 percent of heavy drinkers in New Zealand are 20 years and 0ver so to say that this is a teenage or youth problem is actually missing the point. It’s an adult-led heavy drinking culture,” Professor Sellman says.

He says the government is ignoring actions which tackle alcohol abuse head on, including price rises, reducing availability, banning deceptive advertising and lowering the alcohol limit for drivers.


The outbreak of the kiwifruit vine disease PSA could affect supplies of traditional Maori kai in the Bay of Plenty.

Maori growers are holding a hui at Te Awanui Hukapak's Mount Maunganui headquarters to learn about the extent of the outbreak and how they will need to respond.

Organiser Hemi Rolleston says there are some unique issues for Maori, who own about 10 percent of the vines.

“One of the guys said the me the other day the whanau are continually picking watercress and puha from our orchards and we probably may need to look at that practice,” Mr Rolleston says.


A past winner of the Ahuwhenua trophy for Maori farmers is encouraging land trusts and individuals to enter this year's awards, which focus on sheep and beef operations.

Ingrid Collins, the chair of Whangara Farms and the newest member orf the awards' organising committee, says it's a great way to learn more about farming, business and governance.

She says her trust, which farms nearly 7000 hectares on the East Coast, got invaluable feedback from the judges.

“We thought we were pretty good, being whakahihi and all the rest of it, but we weren’t as good as we thought we were, and when we got the comments from the judges, that made us sit up and listen and say ‘gosh, there is more we can do,’ because we thought we were … and that’s just a lot of humbug,” Ms Collins says.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy was first awarded in 1932 by then Maori affairs minister Sir Apirana Ngata to encourage Maori farmers to share knowledge, and it was revived in 2003 to acknowledge the growing importance of Maori incorporations and trusts in the sector.


Waikato-Hauraki MP Nanaia Mahuta says the Iwi Leaders Group is jumping the gun by talking to the government about mining on Maori land.

She says the leaders have made no effort to canvass the views on their members on the kaupapa.

She says the majority of Maori are likely to want to protect their tribal estates rather than open them up for mining.

“If the iwi leaders have been talking about opportunities for mining on Maori land, I would have thought all those leaders would have raised that issue with their respective iwi prior to putting that to the government, because it’s as contentious amongst our various iwi as it is amongst the general community,” Ms Mahuta says.

In her electorate, the hapu at Taharoa south of Kawhia is now looking at alternate uses for their land rather than the ironsand mining that has been going on for decades.


The chief executive of Maori-owned kiwifruit company Te Awanui Hukapak says it's important Maori work together as they respond to the outbreak of the vine killing bacteria BSA in Te Puke orchards.

Hemi Rolleston is hosting a hui for Maori in the industry this morning at Hukapak's Mount Maunganui headquarters.

He says Maori-grown fruit accounts for 10 to 15 percent of the industry's $1.4 billion annual export earnings, so the growers are keen to know what they should do.

As well as industry leaders, he is hoping Agriculture Minister David Carter and Maori Party MPs will be present.

Mr Rolleston says Maori growers have a history of working together.


The question "can i take a photo of the marae" has sparked a Ngati Porou photographer into a wider investigation of how photography is seen in te ao Maori.

Natalie Robertson, who coordinates the Maori art and design programme at AUT University, heads for Holland today to speak at a symposium on Photography and Post Colonial Perspectives in Contemporary Art.

She says after photographing marae for more than 20 years, she's keen to share her views with other photographic artists from around the world.

“I'm interested in photography and the relationship between photographers and the marae have developed. The majority of photographs taken of our people have been taken by tauiwi, by non-Maori, so along with a number of other Maori photographers we’re very interested in taking control of our own representation,” Ms Robertson says.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

No reform in Alcohol Reform Bill

Anti-booze campaigner Doug Sellman is championing the Maori affairs select committee as the one force that could take on the liquor industry.

Professor Sellman, the director of Otago University's national addiction centre, says the Alcohol Reform Bill tabled in parliament this week pretends the problem is with young people, when most problem drinkers are older.

He says it shows the government is captive to the industry, and is in stark contrast to the way the Maori affairs committee slated the tobacco merchants.

“The Maori select committee is a fantastic force in Parliament and I think in time they could be the real spark in Parliament that brings about some proper alcohol law reform that would actually make a difference,” Professor Sellman says.

He says rather than address issues like advertising, proliferation of outlets and cheap pricing, the Government is thinking of the money that will pour into party coffers at the next election.


Bay of Plenty kiwifruit grower Maanu Paul says the outbreak the kiwifruit vine-killing bacteria PSA is more likely to part of a long term cycle than to be the result of some recent infection.

Scientists are still trying to identify the source of the outbreak, which has been confirmed in three Te Puke Orchards with another 75 notifying MAF of suspicious leaf damage.

Mr Paul, who recently sold his Opotiki orchard, says Maori have a significant stake in the industry as landowners, growers and processors.

But he says traditional knowledge indicates poor harvests are inevitable, usually when climate conditions trigger pre-existing threats, as he believe to be the case with PSA.

He believes a cold summer and wet spring produced the conditions for PSA to flourish.


Today's Armistice Day commemoration has a special resonance for one former soldier ... and not because of his own service.

Kingi Taurua from Ngapuhi says his father never recovered from the lung damage he sustained as a member of the Pioneer Battalion in the First World War.

He says his father called it the white man's war, where Maori soldiers were treated as donkeys rather than soldiers.

“When he came back he spent most of his time in bed, he was a very sick man, big guy, stood about six foot something, huge body, but he couldn’t do anything, couldn’t even work, and they didn’t get any support back then,” Mr Tauroa says.

He was just 14 when he watched his farther die at the age of 54, coughing up blood from his ruined lungs.


The police manager for Maori and ethnic services says iwi and Maori groups attending the Police Leadership Conference at Pipitea Marae in Wellington this week are keen to have a greater role in how their communities are

Wally Haumaha says since the first Ngakia Kia Puawai in 1999, the annual hui has become a valuable outlet for free and frank discussion between police, politicians and Maori.

He says everyone has a right to feel safe in their communities.

“A strong theme has come through about the prevention of crime and the importance of the state not taking control or preventing crime on its own, the state perhaps taking a role that sees it retreat and Maori communities, other organisations stepping up into the shoes so they can then own the position of protecting our people against victimisation,” Superintendant Haumaha says.


A hui yesterday featuring a campaigner for political, human and women's rights in the Philippines could spark a new wave of activism among wahine Maori.

Coni Ledesma from the National Democratic Front of the Philippines featured at the Wise Women Speak forum at Auckland University, sharing a stage with veteran activist Titewhai Harawira and lawyer Annette Sykes.

Marama Davidson, an advisor with the Human Right Commission, says it struck a chord with the audience.

“There have been talks in the past couple of weeks around Maori leadership and the talks yesterday were very clear in a call for a strong Maori voice, and active Maori voice and a political Maori voice and particularly from wahine so many were inspired and many wahine have been waiting for this sort of call for a long time,” Ms Davidson says.

She says the low number of Maori women coming through in the latest local body elections shows the need for them to get active.


The Whanganui Regional Museum is revealing some of the secrets of traditional Maori fishing practices to schools in the rohe.

Awhina Twomey, the museum's iwi liaison manager, says as part of River Week students are being shown how to make a three metre fishing net.

She says other museum visitors are also invited to join in and tie some knots in the harakeke, and many find themselves getting quite involved in what is a very social activity.

More than 40 types of kupenga or net are known to have been used by Maori, from huge kaharoa or deep sea nets to small bait nets.

Tainui keen on role in Wiri prison PPP

The chair of the Tainui executive, Tukoroirangi Morgan, has confirmed the iwi is in discussions with firms vying to build and operate the new 1000 bed prison at Wiri.

The government has called for tenders for the prison to be up and running within two years.

Mr Morgan says the prison is in Tainui's rohe, and the tribe sees the public private partnership model being adopted as an opportunity to get involved.

“We will take some involvement. The reformation and restoration of health and well being of our people irrespective of where they are, whether they are incarcerated or out amongst our communities is hugely important to the tribe and we have a social responsibility to help those who cannot help themselves,” Mr Morgan says.


Labour leader Phil Goff says he's keen to reintroduce trade training for rangatahi.

He says bringing back a version of the schemes which were disestablished by the Lange Labour Government in the 1980s should resonate with Maori voters at next year's election.

He's concerned at the number of young Maori men and women who are out of work.

“What we want to see is our kids out of the malls where they are hanging around the malls with time heavy on their hands, into training and into jobs that pay well. I think that will be a big focus along with other things, education, healthcare really important, rights in the workforce, that’s critically important to Maori workers as well,” Mr Goff says.


Maori academic Rawiri Taonui says the government isn't spending enough money to revive the Maori language in places where Maori actually live.

The former head of Maori studies at Canterbury University says significant sums are spent each year on initiatives like noho marae, or marae stayovers where people can be immersed in the language.

But they aren't available in the big smoke.

“They're held in places like Palmerston North, Gisborne, Waimarama Marae out there in the Hawkes Bay and so on and so forth, but we need half a dozen wananga reo or kura reo in places like Auckland, another half a dozen a year in Wellington and the big population centres, as people are just not able to access those sorts of things,” Mr Taonui says.


Tainui chair Tukoroirangi Morgan says the appointment of Parekawhia McLean to head the tribal administration is a win for the tribe.

The former government official, whose most recent position was helping formulate Treasury's contribution to the Whanau Ora policy, beat out former assistant police commissioner Clint Rickards in a close contest for executive board votes.

Mr Morgan says she brings a huge range of skills and contacts to the job.

“Parekawhia represents a new face of leadership in the tribe. She’s highly skilled, she’s worked in the offices of three prime ministers as senior advisor, prime ministers Bolger, Jenny Shipley and Helen Clark. Here’s a women that has been in the public service more than 20 years, has cut her teeth at the highest level, has managed big teams of staff,” he says.

Clint Rickards has been doing consultancy work for Tainui as well as serving on the tribal parliament, and that may well continue.


There was a distinct Maori flavour to many of the works showcased in an exhibition of graduate work at Auckland's AUT University which opened last night.

Natalie Robertson from Ngati Porou, the programme coordinator for Maori art and design, says Maori students are well represented across the seven art disciplines offered, including digital media, fashion, product, spatial and textile design, and visual arts.

She says it's not only Maori artists who are incorporating Maori themes and motifs into their designs.

“Many of our international students, particularly those coming from China, are very interested in engaging in the indigenous art forms here. Each year we have noho marae for all of our incoming students in programmes such as visual arts to give them a grounding in the marae context so they have some understanding, at least at a very basic level, of the indigenous culture here,” Ms Robertson says.

The design courses are also attracting many students who have been through kura kaupapa immersion learning.


Organisers of a competition to repackage New Zealand digital data are encouraging Maori to find new ways to tell their stories.

People have until the end of the month to create their remix or mash-up.

One of the organisers, Courtney Johnston, says the competition is tapping into a worldwide open data movement for official information to be released in formats which allow them to be reused in new applications or artworks.

“If government particularly and local councils can release some of the information and data that they have got, they’ve got statistics on everything, from how many sheep there were in New Zealand in 1960 to Maori education success rates. Creativity for humans has always been about taking things that we already have and casting them in new right and adding our own voices to them,” Ms Johnston says.

Details on the competition are at

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ngapuhi manages profit as treaty work ramps up

Funding the claim settlement process has been the major expense for the Ngapuhi Runanga over the past year, but the northern iwi still managed to squeeze out a $460,000 profit for the year.

Despite representing the tribe with the largest membership, the runanga only has $37 million in assets, mostly its share of the Maori fisheries settlement.

That brought in half the $6 million in revenue, with another $1.8 million coming from contracts done by Ngapuhi iwi Social Services.

The runanga spent $817,000 funding the Ngapuhi settlement process, more than three times the $260,000 paid over by the Crown for the task, just under $340,000 on communication, up from $44,000 the year before, and $55,000 on branding.

Directors and trustees fees were up $20,000 to $228,000.

In a tribe known for the whakatauki Ngapuhi ko hau rau, Ngapuhi of a hundred holes, the runanga is positioning itself to take the lead in negotiating a comprehensive settlement with the Crown for historical treaty breaches.

However, its largest hapu, Ngati Hine, is threatening to split away, and the $85,000 the runannga paid out in scholarships and the $60,000 in grants its 10 takiwa or districts won't stop continuing questions about its value.


The chair of Ngati Porou says his tribe deserves an accounting from the Government on its plans to open up its rohe for mineral exploitation before it talks mining with other iwi.

Apirana Mahuika declined to attend Monday's meeting between the Iwi Leaders Group, Prime Minister John Key and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee because he wants to discuss specific actions which have already occurred, such as the awarding of a licence to Brazilian company Petrobras to prospect in the Raukumara Basin.

He says the Government is ignoring the concerns of iwi on the East Coast.

“It's about our lands and our foreshore and seabed that could be disrupted. We are fishing people. We have fishing companies. We have a lot of our people working for our fishing companies. If there is some accident, there goes the fishing for our people, forever and a day,” Mr Mahuika says.


Maori-owned digital production house Kiwa Media is toasting the success of a new iPad and mobile phone application it built to complement baby photo magnate Anne Geddes's latest book.

Kiwa president Rhonda Kite from Te Aupouri says her team used video hook-ups to stay in contact with Anne Geddes' California-based staff who were overseeing the production of the collection of 100 photographs, Beginnings.

She says both book and application have proved popular since the October 10 launch on the iTunes store, with 23,000downl;oads in the first week.

Rhonda Kite will speak on Maori cultural heritage in the digital world at Te Whare Wanaga O Awanuiarangi's' E Taurewa Arotahi symposium in Wellington later this month.


Labour Party leader Phil Goff says turning development of a new prison in South Auckland to the private sector will be a huge mistake.

Tenders have been called for the 1000-bed men's prison at Wiri to be built and run by public private partnerships.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples has welcomed the inclusion of Maori groups in some of the consortia who have indicated they will bid for the work.

But Mr Goff says the problem is the number of Maori inside the cells, not the ones with the keys.

“Loss of liberty is a state function and we’ve seen too much in the past the private sector has mismanaged it, that’s worldwide, so Labour’s in favour of a public system but we are in favour of a very clear Maori input so we can get good results out of the prison system,” Mr Goff says.


The Minister of Maori Affairs is encouraging other schools to follow the lead of Auckland's Kings College in making te reo Maori a compulsory subject for its year nine students.

Pita Sharples says the elite school has come a long way in terms of the way it treats New Zealand history and its understanding of the bicultural partnership.
He says when mainstream schools show they value the Maori language, it encourages Maori speakers and learners to use te reo as apart of everyday life.

“The point is we have to create the atmosphere whereby it is the thing to do, it is a good thing to do and it is good for all of us in New Zealand and I think that the example that Kings College shows is amazing and appropriate," Dr Sharples says.


Te Whanau O Waipareira is mourning the loss of a kuia who has been at the heart of the West Auckland trust's kaupapa since its beginnings in the 1970s.

Kaumatua Dennis Hansen says Ada Lau'ese from Tokomaru Bay was an inspiration during her years of service.

He says she was quick to remind fellow trustees of their responsibilities to the vulnerable and those on the edge of society, and she supported hundreds of rangatahi Maori and Pasifika who found themselves before the courts.

Ada Lau'ese is lying at Hoani Waititi Marae in Glen Eden

Greens picking constitution review as squib

Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says Maori are likely to be disappointed at the planned constitutional review.

Terms of reference for the review, which National promised as part of its support agreement with the Maori Party, have yet to be released.

But Ms Turei says the Government has so far shown it is hostile to Maori aspirations, and it's likely to downplay the Maori role ... which will weaken the review's authority.

“There cannot be a genuine constitutional discussion if Maori are shut out of the process and not treated as absolutely critical in a partnership way on this discussion,” she says.

Ms Turei says the National-led Government really has little interest in a constitutional discussion.


Coromandel mussel farmer and Hauraki leader Harry Mikaere says the aquaculture law changes introduced in Parliament yesterday look after Maori interests.

The bill aims to streamline consent processes, give guidance on how regional councils manage competing demand for space along the coast, and scraps the Aquaculture Management Area concept introduced in the 2004 Aquaculture Act.

Mr Mikaere, who is a director of both Aquaculture New Zealand and Aotearoa Fisheries, says the amendment will allow Maori to increase their stake in the industry from the current 40 percent.

“Our people have been restricted. The current bill removes all that and the opportunity is far more incentivised in terms of the applications for consent for Maori and mainstream. I think on that basis now there are equal footings going forward for our people,” he says.

The new law should provide a better platform for iwi to get the 20 percent of new marine farming areas promised in the Maori commercial aquaculture settlement.


The newest Rugby World Cup ambassador says the unruly behaviour by fans during the weekend's Rugby League test at Eden Park during Australia's 34-20 drubbing of the Kiwis should not be blown out of proportion.

Former All Black and Maori All Black Waka Nathan was appointed to fill the spot which has been vacant since Andy Haden resigned four months ago over his comments on rape.

The 70-year-old says World Cup crowds will see one game at a time, whereas the league crowd at the rebuilt Eden Park had previously sat through the match-up between Great Britain and Papua New Guinea ... with drinks being served throughout.

“When you see your team getting beaten, it rouses a few of the fans, but it happens all the time overseas, and it’s just one of those bloody silly things that happens in a game of rugby or league,” Mr Nathan says.


The Ngati Porou Runanga wants its own meeting with the Government to talk about mining off the East Coast.

Chairperson Apirana Mahuika declined an invitation to join the Iwi Leaders Group meeting on Monday night with Prime Minister John Key and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee, where the possibilities for mining on Maori-owned land were discussed.

He says Ngati Porou and its neighbour, Te Whanau a Apanui, aren't interested in debating theoretical positions when Brazilian oil giant Petrobras has exploration licenses to the Raukumara Basin off their coast, and prospecting licenses are being issued over their land.

“We have also been negotiating, in terms of our treaty negotiations, for Department of Conservation lands, of which we have about 6000 hectares that have been agreed to between ourselves and the Crown, and that could also be threatened. It seems to me that while we were negotiating, these arrangements were ongoing without our knowledge,” Mr Mahuika says.

Ngati Porou is also keen to meet with Petrobras before it starts drilling its test wells.


Kiwifruit industry leader Hemi Rolleston says Maori growers have good reason to be concerned about the discovery of the vine killing PSA bacteria on a Bay of Plenty orchard last week.

Mr Rolleston is chief executive of Te Awanui Hukapak, which owns 17 percent of kiwifruit packaging company Seeka.

He says Maori trusts throughout Mataatua have a major investment in the industry.

“When anything like this hits your industry there is concern and everybody has a right to be concerned but on the flip side this is one industry that can probably overcome adversity because of the structure it has in place, the collectiveness, the fact there is a lot of information already available and it appears that it has been identified very early on,” Mr Rolleston says.

A hui in Tauranga on Friday will to update Maori growers on the PSA threat.


A reggae band that started off as a family trio playing gospel on the shores of Whangaroa Harbour has just completed its first Australian tour.

1814 takes its name from the year Samuel Marsden brought the gospel to the Bay of Islands.

Singer and guitarist Patu Colbert says the band, wshich is now a nine piece, is tapping into the international interest in Maori-flavoured reggae.

He say bands like Katchafire have put kiwi reggae music known around the world with their touring.

He's as excited by the prospect at playing the Kentish Hotel in Waiuku on Friday night as he was with the big crowds the band pulled across the Tasman.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Kiwifruit bug threatens Maori growers

Maori kiwifruit growers and distributors have called an urgent hui in response to the discovery of the vine killing PSA bacteria on a Bay of Plenty orchard.

Hemi Rolleston, the chief executive of Te Awanui Hukapak, says last Friday's discovery is causing deep concern across the multi-million dollar Maori businesses.

“All growers are doing their own inspections. Anything that looks remotely like it could be (infected) has been sent in for further investigation. A specially coordinated Maori growers’ hui has been arranged for this Friday so we are encouraging all growers and particularly Maori growers to attend,” Mr Rolleston says.

He says growers hope the bacteria can be contained, as it has the potential to wreak havoc on the industry.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says he's disappointed at the heat coming on him from the Maori media over the Marine and Coastal Area Bill.

Criticism of the bill by iwi such as Ngai Tahu and Ngati Kahungunu and from Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira has been extensively reported.

But Dr Sharples says it's better than the existing Foreshore and Seabed Act, and the Maori media should reflect that.

“They forget we’re there on their side to do stuff for them. Instead of sort of helping us knock down the barriers, they try to knock us down as the barrier. And yet without as it were the initiation of us in there, there would be no efforts at all and in the context of past Maoris in government, we have really achieved outstanding results,” he says.

Dr Sharples says the Maori Party hasn't got enough credit the whanau ora welfare delivery model and for his rehabilitation units in prisons, which will open next year.


All Black and Maori All Black great Waka Nathan says being named as a Rugby World Cup ambassador was a surprise.

The 70 year old was never in a losing side in the 14 times he pulled on the All Black jersey.

He was a stand out loose forward in the powerhouse Auckland team of the 1960s, and later served as selector and manager of the Maori team.

He says being asked to fill the spot in the ambassador's group left vacant since the resignation of Andy Haden came out of the blue.

He is particularly looking forward to encouraging younger kids into rugby.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei is questioning the right of the Iwi leaders Group to hold closed door meetings with government on mining policy.

Prime Minister John Key and Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee met the group last night to discuss how they fitted in with the Government's plans to encourage more resource extraction.

Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples was not aware of the meeting when contacted by Waatea News last night.

Ms Turei says the Prime Minister is talking to the wrong people.

“We're talking here of course about whanau and hapu land. They are the ones that have sovereignty over their own land. Iwi leaders I can’t imagine have any mandate for negotiating deals over that and even these conversations are scary enough given how much government wants to dig out as much of our land and resources as possible and sell them off to the highest bidder,” she says.

Ms Turei says Maori need to stand up to the Iwi Leaders Forum and demand accountability back to whanau and hapu.


Maori Affairs and Associate Corrections Minister Pita Sharples is welcoming the involvement of Maori groups in some of the consortia lining up to build and run a new prison in south Auckland.

Tenders for the 1000-bed Wiri Prison were called last week.

Dr Sharples says the public private partnership model has opened the door for Maori.

“Maori are invited to tonu as one of the Ps of the PPPS and I believe that there is a line up of private companies tendering and some of them have already formed relationships with Maori groups,” he says.

Dr Sharples says another prison is necessary because too many people are being locked up.


37 rangatahi from Otago secondary schools have been given Mana Pounamu Young Achievers awards in what has become a highlight of the school year in the south.

Organiser Janine Kapa says her later mother, Alva Kapa, instigated the awards 10 years ago in response to the lack of Maori faces in the annual list of top scholars published in the province's newspaper.

Winners of senior awards were offered three-year scholarships at Otago Polytechnic, while junior winners get entry to next year's Otago University Hands on Science week.

Doomed gambling harm bill has right aim

Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia says she will be fighting hard this week for Te Ururoa Flavell's bill aimed at reducing the harm of gambling.

The bill, which gives more power to local authorities to restrict pokies and changes the way pokie money is distribute, isn't expected to get past first reading because it doesn't have National's support.

But Mrs Turia says any benefit that communities projects get from gambling profits is outweighed by the damage done.

“Why would we think it’s okay for us to do well out of such a harmful activity because we know families that have lost everything including their homes. It is a significant issue and one that we feel very strongly about because we know of the impact on Maori and Pacific communities. It’s been huge,” she says.

Mrs Turia says the pokie industry has engineered a huge transfer of wealth from Maori communities to the more affluent suburbs that control the gambling trusts.


The Minister of Maori Affairs says the way Maori designs for Rugby World Cup merchandise are protected should serve as a model for other events.

Pita Sharples launched the artworks yesterday at Takapuwahia Marae in Porirua, home of Ngati Toa Rangatira, whose haka Ka Mate provided the inspiration for one of the six designs.

He says they came out of a long term relationship between the iwi, Te Puni Kokiri, Rugby World Cup organisers, and Maori artists' group Nga Aho Incorporated.

“The process that has been established puts the ownership of the intellectual property in Nga Aho. I think it serves as a blueprint for other artists wanting to use their intellectual property in such a way in garments for sale around the world,” Dr Sharples says.


New Auckland councilor Des Morrison says he intends to bring a Maori perspective to the business of the super city, even if he is not there as a dedicated Maori representative.

The former New Zealand Steel executive won the Franklin ward for the Citizens and ratepayers ticket after serving two terms on the old Franklin District Council.

He says he's proud of his Ngapuhi roots, and he's also heartened by the new council's support for iwi.

“After a week at the Auckland council I’ve been pleasantly surprised in terms of the other councilors and just the small time that we’ve been working together in terms of the acceptance of Maori as tangata wheuna,” Mr Morrison says.

He's also impressed with the way iwi are supporting the council in its activities.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says nothing short of total condemnation from Maoridom will stop the party support the Marine and Coastal Areas Bill into law.

Ngati Kahungunu and Ngai Tahu have come out against the stringent tests in the bill required to prove Maori customary interests in coastal areas, and Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira is agitating against it.

But Dr Sharples says his party is determined to see the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act repealed and the courts given back the power to determine Maori customary rights claims.

“It's by far not perfect but you’ve got to look at today’s time and where we are and if you think a Government is going to turn around today in a parliamentary environment and say ‘Oh Maoris, you want this, you want that,’ and just give it, no. Everything has to be hard fought for and within that parliamentary framework,” Dr Sharples says.

Other iwi have contacted him supporting the party's position.


An Australian educationalist is showing New Zealand schools the way on making te reo Maori a core part of the curriculum.

Bradley Fenner, who crossed the Tasman a year ago to head Auckland's Kings College, has made the language compulsory for year nine students.

He says the move was underway at the elite private school before he arrived, but he embraced the initiative wholeheartedy.

“We think it's absolutely vital to be good citizens of this country to have that understanding and we know that with understanding of language comes understanding of culture. I’m a relative newcomer here, I’ve only been in New Zealand since April of last year but it just continually come home to me how important Maori culture is within this country,” Mr Fenner says.

The key to making te reo lessons compulsory was finding a teacher of sufficient caliber to engage students.


Maori rugby has been credited with bringing Hosea Gear back to the international game.

Commentator Te Kauhoe Wano says the Ngati Porou winger made his test debut against Australia two years ago, but was quickly dropped from the All Black squad.

But his three-try haul for the Maori team against England mid-year made rugby bosses sit up and take notice, leading to his recall and the top draw effort in the All Blacks 26-16 win over England in front of a sell out Twickenham crowd at the weekend.

He expects to see Hosea Gear in the All Black squad for a long time to come.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Massey celebrates 60 doctorates in decade

People involved in Massey University’s Te Rau Whakapumau Maori doctoral programme are arriving in Palmerston North about now for a dinner and symposium to mark the success of its first decade.

Coordinator Nathan Matthews says the initial strategy set out by Professor Sir Mason Durie was to product 25 doctoral graduates in the first decade of the millennium, which was later revised to 50.

The number will hit 60 this year, not only from the Maori health and language schools but also in science and humanities.

“It's really about coordinating effort across the entire university, led by Mason (Durie), towards supporting our Maori students to getting those doctoral degrees,” Dr Matthews says.

Massey's strong extra mural studies programme has meant many Maori students have been able to live and work in their communities while studying for their PhDs part time.


Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia says Parliament should stand up to the alcohol industry, the the same way the Maori Affairs select committee has taken the tobacco industry to task.

Mrs Turia says measures which will come before Parliament this week to raise the age to 20 for buying alcohol off-licence aren't the answer, as every age group has significant issues around alcohol.

She says the government needs to take another look at the recommendations of the Law Commission inquiry into alcohol.

“We're taking a really minimalist approach to alcohol and we shouldn’t be because we know that the majority of people who are in prison, the majority of family violence can be traced back to alcohol abuse. We seem to be afraid to target it in the same way as we have cigarette smoking,” Mrs Turia says.

She says alcohol abuse is costing the taxpayer a lot of money.


The principal of Auckland's King's College says reaction in the wider school community has been positive to making te reo Maori compulsory at year 9 level.

Bradley Fenner says the private school saw it as part of being one of New Zealand's leading schools.

He says the major challenge was finding a suitable teacher, and Lincoln Savage has proved ideal since he came on last year.

Mr Fenner says Kings only as a few Maori students, but all third formers have enjoyed learning te reo.


Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell says he's fed up with the harm gambling is doing to Maori communities.

The Waiariki MP's Gambling Amendment Bill is set to get its first reading on Wednesday.

If passed, it would give local authorities more say in where pokies could be located, and change the way pokie funds are distributed.

Mr Flavell says at the moment gambling trusts target poor Maori and Pacific communities, but most of the money ends up with services in wealthy suburbs.

“Of the proceeds that come from pokie machines, 50 percent come from problem gamblers and of the 50 percent, 50 percent again are Maori so that’s a higher rate that what we are as a population and therefore probably at a higher rate of uptake of gambling in particular around pokies,” Mr Flavell says

While the bill is not expected to get past its first reading because National does not support it, he wants to draw attention to the problem.


The Federation of Maori Authorities has come out of its annual conference determined to make a greater impact on the New Zealand economy.

The 400 delegates at Waitangi over the weekend heard presentation on issues like the impact of the emissions trading scheme, sustainable land management, and vertical integration from the farm to the customer.

Chairperson Traci Houpapa says Maori collective organisations hold more than $16 billion in assets, but its potential is often unrecognised.

“Sometimes we are constrained in our thinking and I’m not only talking about Maori, I’m talking about all New Zealanders, that Maori are relegated to cultural pursuits and that the cross to commercial pursuits and commercial enterprise isn’t always properly seen,” Ms Houpapa says.


Karapiro iwi are celebrating the contribution they made to the Rowing World Championships.

Willie Te Aho, who helped organise the Experience Maori component, says they made the case for a permanent centre to demonstrate Maori culture.

During the regatta which ended yesterday, more than 300 volunteers from Ngati Koroki Kahukura and Ngati Haua held powhiri and demonstrated weaving, carving, cooking and tattooing in a specially-designed area in the main community centre beside the lake.

“We're looking at a Waikato River centre being permanently placed at Karapiro. That’s why this Experience Maori was an opportunity to show the demand, to show the real need for something of this caliber within the Waikato-Waipa catchment,” Mr Aho says.

Karapiro is also the ideal base to administer the clean-up of the Waikato River.

Harawira denies leadership ambitions

Dissident Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says he backs the party’s leaders – even if he doesn’t agree with their decisions.

Mr Harawira says co-leaders Pita Sharples and Tarianana Turia should heed the growing opposition to the Marine and Coastal Area Bill from iwi like Ngai Tahu and Ngati Kahungunu, and reconsider their support from the measure.

But he says he’s resisting calls from supporters that he mounts a leadership challenge over the issue.

“I don’t have leadership ambitions. I’m feeling that pressure as well from people all around the country saying that I’m the only one saying the sorts of things that Maori people want to hear from their Maori Party leaders. Don’t mean that I’m in this game to challenge the leaders of the Maori Party,” Mr Harawira says.

He says his opposition to the bill is true to the party's kaupapa on the foreshore and seabed, and won’t be forced out of the party over the issue.


Meanwhile, the high kiwi dollar rather than the high tide mark was what exercised the minds of more than 400 delegates to the Federation of Maori Authorities’ annual conference at Waitangi over the weekend.

Chief executive Ron Mark says the Prime Minister, John Key, raised the reform of the Foreshore and Seabed Act in his speech.

But delegates were more interested in what he had to say about monetary policy.

“Those who are in business and running economic entities, who export, it is the dollar that is concerning them and it’s their ability to participate in the value chain and not be locked out of it by monopoly, Mr Mark says.

FOMA, whose members are land trusts and incorporations, sees the foreshore as an issue for iwi.


The Stroke Foundation wants Maori to be more on the look out for signs the blood flow to the brain is going awry.

Its chief executive, Mark Vivian, says a third of New Zealanders can't recognise symptoms that mean people need to be rushed to hospital, such as slurred speech or partial paralysis of the side of the face or body,

He says one in every six New Zealanders will suffer from a stroke in their life, but Maori are even more vulnerable.

“Not only are more Maori as a percentage of the populations suffering strokes in New Zealand but it’s happening to them younger, on average about 15 years younger than non-Maori populations,” Mr Vivian says.

Stroke is the third largest killer in New Zealand after heart disease and cancer, and there are as many as 45,000 disabled stroke survivors needing significant daily support.


The new leadership of the Federation of Maori Authorities has come out of its annual conference with confidence it’s on the right track.

The organisation has undergone an upheaval over the past year amid criticism of a government-funded programme for Maori exporters managed by former executives.

Ron Mark, the new chief executive, says even the hui’s featured speaker, Prime Minister John Key, had noticed the change.

“It’s a huge changing of the guard. The Prime Minister acknowledged the changing of the guard, specifically mentioning and giving his best wishes to Traci Houpapa the chair and me as the new chef executive. The membership redoundingly endorsed the new leadership of FOMA, the new direction, the new strategic plan,” Mr Mark says.

Indications from the 400 delegates at Waitangi were that Maori land-based businesses are going from strength to strength.


The organiser of a Hawkes Bay anti-drug campaign says the focus will be providing help to P users wanting to quit.

Denis O'Reilly launches the campaign today with a high profile team including broadcaster Paul Holmes, former Labour Party president Mike Williams and Ngati Kahungunu chairperson Ngahiwi Tomoana.

He says with one in three Maori adults saying they know someone or have seen someone using methamphetamine, it’s important to work against the drug at community level.

“There are two paths to the strategy, one we call report, and that is for people who are prepared to interrupt the market as it were by using 0800 CRIMESTOPPERS but our major effort is around help; giving people help who are on meth and getting help for them and bringing attention to the fact that you can get off methamphetamine if you are prepared to put your hand up and ask for help,” Mr O'Reilly says.

The campaign will hold meetings from Woodville to Wairoa.


One of the co-ordinators of Ngati Porou’s electronic voting systems says more young people need to be involved in tribal decision making.

The East Coast iwi is asking members to ratify a $110 million treaty settlement.

Te Raumatahi Kupenga says because more than 60 percent of Ngati Porou are computer literate, and more than 70 percent have mobile phones, it made sense to offer text and internet voting options.

He says that could attract younger voters.

“Most of our people see this as an old people’s process but the reality is that this is actually something that our young people need to be, on, aware of, but two, they will inherits so it’s important they are made to feel a part of this process,” Mr Kupenga says.