Waatea News Update

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Taipa occupation a sideshow

Northland-based Labour list MP Kelvin Davis says the occupation of land at Taipa is a sideshow to the real problems affecting Maori whanau in the far north.

A Ngati Kahu group led by brothers John and Wi Popata is occupying a waterfront section to press a claim for the return of land acquired by the Crown in the 1840s and 50s.

Mr Davis says negotiations for Ngati Kahu's land claim settlement are almost complete, and members should be looking to the future.

“Even if that little parcel of land was to be returned tomorrow our people up there would still be getting pregnant in their teens, they would still be dropping out of school way too early, getting incarcerated way too early, dying way too early. Things that I believe are important to Maori are getting educated, achieving lofty goals and becoming people of influence not only in Taitokerau but throughout New Zealand,” he says.

Mr Davis says it's underhand of Ngati Kahu negotiators to say they are negotiating a settlement in good faith, while at the same time they are encouraging the occupation.


Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says a proposed detox unit in west Auckland is a great way to keep young people from getting into trouble with the law.

The Waipareira Trust plans to build the unit within the next year, using its own resources.

Dr Sharples says it's a way the community can take back control of how their young people grow up.

“We've gone all soft. In the old days families were close but they also were strict. We listened to our elders and our parents and we did things as families and communities. And I think we’ve got to take care of our people and if it’s out of control, then we do have to do some measures. I think the idea is brilliant and I wish him well with that,” Dr Sharples says.

He'd like to Maori leaders in other areas pick up on the idea.


A great leader of Rongowhakaata and Te Aitanga A Mahaki has been acknowledged with a new biography.

Wiremu Pere, The Life and Times of a Maori Leader, was written by his great grandson Joseph Anaru Hetekia Te Kani Pere.

It's being launched tonight at Rongopai marae in Gisborne.

Alan Haronga, the chair of the Wi Pere Trust, says their tupuna fought for the preservation of Maori culture, customs and land during from when he was first elected MP for Eastern Maori in 1884 until his death in 1915.

“Thirty years in the making, the author did meticulous and comprehensive research, going through all the parliamentary records, the Maori land court records to distill what defined the man or the achievements he did over his lifetime,” Mr Haronga says.

The Wi Pere Trust, which manages the tribal assets protected by Wi Pere, now has 5000 beneficiaries and $80 million in assets.


Te Ohu Kaimoana says there are significant opportunities for growth in aquaculture, despite high exchange rates making mussel farming a marginal operation.

The aquaculture industry has been meeting in Nelson this week to discuss trends and technologies.

Laws Lawson, the Maori fisheries trust's policy and operations manager, says top of the agenda was the implications of the Aquaculture Amendment Bill introduced into Parliament this week.

He says the industry have lost a decade because the previous law introduced in 2000 failed to produce any new space for marine farming.

“This new legislation aims to normalize aquaculture so it will be treated like any other activity under Resource Management Act and that will then allow people to apply for space when it goes though next year. The number of people who apply will be cautioned by whether at the end of it they are likely to have a profitable enterprise,” Mr Lawson says.

Under the commercial aquaculture settlement Maori are entitled to 20 percent of any new space created, so they have a stake in seeing the industry as a whole prosper.


Comedian Mike King will be the butt of jokes tonight, rather than telling them all.

The Ngapuhi entertainer is venturing from his Waipa hideaway to Auckland to be roasted by fellow comedians including Brendhan Lovegrove, Michelle A’Court and Jeremy Elwood.

He says his well publicised battles with drugs, alcohol and depression will give his roasters plenty of ammunition, but after four years of sobriety he will be ready to throw his tormentors into the hangi of humour.

The Mike King Roast will be filmed for broadcast next month


A Tuwharetoa artist says her new exhibition draws on the many layers that make up a life.

Dawn Chorus by Vanessa Edwards, which opens tomorrow at Thermostat Gallery in Palmerston North, compares the songs of birds with the conversations that fill a day.

The new artist, teacher and mother says she fell in love with printmaking while studying at Whanganui Polytechnic.

Occupation threat to settlement

The Prime Minister says the occupation of land at Taipa in the Far North could damage the treaty settlement process.

The occupation is being led by brothers John and Wikatana Popata, who last year were sentenced to 100 hours community work after pleading guilty to assaulting Mr Key as he entered Waitangi Marae on Waitangi Day.

He says it's undermining the work Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson is doing to finally settle the Muriwhenua land claims.

“If there's a genuine claim there, and there may or may not be, I don’t know in relation to that piece of land, but if there is, then the right process is for everyone to take that up with the Treaty Negotiations Minister and the negotiation team, and that way we can get a result that it’s either right and it forms part of the treaty settlement or it’s not,” Mr Key says.

He says the Popata brothers, who are nephews of Maori Party MP Hone Harawira, are trying to paint the occupation as a protest as a foreshore and seabed issue, when it is clearly not.


The chair of the Hawkes Bay's Ngati Kahungunu iwi says his people want the door left open to discuss mining on Maori owned land.

The Iwi Leaders Group has come under fire for holding a closed-door meeting with the prime minister and resources minister on mining policy.

Ngahiwi Tomoana says while he was not at that meeting, Maori are no strangers to mining.

“If our people are sitting pohara, and we’re sitting on a mountain of gold, we’d say dig it out, because all of our kids are going over to Australia and mining the Aborigine’s land so it’s all right for them to go over there but if we’re sitting on it here, why don’t we export it ourselves. If we had bulldozers and digger 500 years ago, I’m sure we would have had a dig,” Mr Tomoana says.


A Canturbury university researcher says liquor bans are turning young people into criminals.

David Small says heavy-handed enforcement of bans is part of the reason New Zealand has one of the world's highest imprisonment rates, including the disproportionate rate of Maori imprisonment.

He says three quarters of the people convicted of breaching liquor bans between 2004 and 2008 were under 25 and half were under 21.
Most had no previous records.

“People who aren’t causing any trouble at all, they’re not drinking the alcohol, they’re not drunk, not being disorderly, are getting picked up, getting arrested, getting handcuffed, getting taken to the cells, getting brought to court, and getting criminal records. It’s not fair because it’s particularly targeting young people and I don’t think it’s fair because I don’t think it’s such a big deal if they’re doing other stuff as well,” Dr Small says.

He says rather than being a criminal offence, having alcohol in a liquor ban area should be treated like a parking offence.


The manager of the Taipa Resort Hotel says the Government needs to remove a Ngati Kahu protest group before the far north settlement fills up for the holiday season.

Dale Synnott says the occupation has led to a number of cancellations over the Christmas period, and yesterday one of the protesters boarded a tour bus entering the hotel and delivered a lecture on the protest to the passengers.

She says claims by supporters like Ngati Kahu chair Margaret Mutu and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira that the protesters were respectful and under the guidance of kaumatua and kuia don't square with the experience of residents.

“They go up and down the road tooting their horns with these foreshore and seabed flags flying. They’ve got flags on their cars. They’ve been down the end of the road stopping people from going about their daily business and they want to tell them all about why they're protesting,” Mrs Synnott says.

She's been in contact with Government ministers.


The head of Waikato-based public health organisation Toiora says two whanau ora centres opened yesterday signal a new era for Maori health.

The centres, at Kirikiriroa Marae in Hamilton and Taumaranui, are funded by the Ministry of Health rather than the whanau ora fund administered by Te Puni kokiri.

Tureiti Moxon says Toiora, which has almost 50,000 Maori and high needs patients on its books, is part of the National Maori PHO Coalition, which is one of the providers of the government's Better, Sooner, More Convenient primary health care programme.

She says the whanau ora framework recognises what Maori providers do anyway.

“For a long time Maori providers have been filling in gaps that we’re not actually funded for but have been doing the work anyway and at long last the political will, the community will, the whanau will is there to make this transformational change,” Mrs Moxon says


An internationally acclaimed hula expert says Maori will recognise the cultural relevance of the traditional Hawiaian hula dance.

Blaine Kamalani Kia from from the Ka Waikahe Lani Malie hula school is in Aotearoa to run workshops and establish a school to teach the hula.

He says the intricate movements have a lot more cultural meaning than the cliched performances associated with tourist hula.

“Part of our priority is to make sure that people understand the hula in its origin from its essence and what it truly means to us as a living, breathing part of who we are as a people and the same applies with our Tahitians and our Maoris, our Marquesians, Samoans and we all have that some perception on how we view our art of dance and how it’s tied in to our land and our people,” he says.

Mandela speech borrowed for Taipa protest

One of the leaders of the Taipa land occupation has drawn on the words of former South African president Nelson Mandela to rally Maori support.

Wi Kaatana Popata led a group onto a privately owned section in the far north beach settlement on Tuesday, a week after police removed him from the adjoining council reserve.

On Radio Waatea talkback last night, Mr Popata said Treaty negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson was a horrible person for telling the protesters to go to hell and refusing to travel to Taipa to meet with the group.

He says it's time for all Maori to make a stand against the Government.

“How long can we wait for our freedom. Now is the time to intensify all struggles on all fronts. It is only through disciplined action that our victory can be assured. That’s the korero I want to give out to te iwi Maori. Stand up on your wnenua and fight for our whenua, fight for the mana of te iwi Maori on your whenua, on our whenua,” Mr Popata says.

His words paraphrase the speech made by Nelson Mandela on his release from Pollsmoor Prison in 1990, when he called on white compatriots to join the African National Congress and other anti-apartheid groups in the shaping of a new South Africa.


Labour leader Phil Goff is counting on Maori votes on Saturday's Mana by-election, despite Labour's Tokelauan candidate being up against two high profile Maori.

The ethnicity of voters on the general roll isn’t recorded, but about half of Maori voters choose to be there.

Mr Goff says Chris Faafoi's their man, rather than National's Hekia Parata or Unite union leader Matt McCarten.


A cafe serving Maori kai is one of the features of a Whanau Ora centre which opened today on Hamilton's Kirikiriroa Marae.

The centre, run by Te Kohao Health, and another run by Taumarunui Community Kokiri Trust, are part of the Toiora PHO Coalition, which provides health services for about 50,000 people in the Waikato region.

Toiroa chief executive Tureiti Moxon says the cafe aims to reclaim Maori kai.

“It's about reclaiming who we are as Maori. A lot of our kai gets a bad rap and what we want to be able to provide Maori kai as part of our healing for whanau, make it accessible to them, so when they get hungry for kiona they will be able to get a punnet of kina, when they get hungry for titi they can have some titi but it’s kai that belongs to us,” Mrs Moxon says.

The whanau ora centres are funded by the Ministry of Health as part of the government's new primary health care programme, rather than by Minister Tariana Turia's whanau ora fund.


Tour bus companies have dropped stops at Taipa from their schedules until further notice after this morning's incident when one of the protesters occupying land at the far north settlement boarded a bus as it entered the Taipa Resort Hotel.

Resort manager Dale Synnott says the tourist buses use the hotel as a meal stop.

She says one of the Popata brothers, who are leading the protest, flagged down a Dune Rider bus and got on board to deliver a lecture on the reasons for the protest.

She says when the other bus company heard of the incident, they cancelled their Taipa stopover.

She has contacted government ministers asking them to end the occupations, which have been running off and on all year at great cost to Taipa businesses.


Wahine who have fought mining in the Coromandel are calling on Maori women from throughout the country to make their iwi leaders accountable.

Denise Messiter from Ngati Maru says they are inviting women to a hui at Matai Whetu Marae in Thames this weekend to discuss what is being done in their name.

She says this month's meeting between the Iwi Leaders Group and senior Government ministers to discuss mining set off alarm bells round the motu.

“It isn't OK any more for self-appointed iwi groups to go and have korero and make deals with government and give people the impression that that’s on behalf of all of us and that their conversations are tika, the decisions they make are tika, and the view they have are. What are the people really saying? Do we really agree with mining on tribal land?” Ms Messiter says.

The hui at Matai Whetu Marae starts tomorrow night


Two groups working with young people have joined forces.

Rod Baxter from the National Youth Workers Network says the merger with New Zealand Aotearoa Adolescent Health to form a new roopu, Ara Taiohi, was driven both by economic pressures and a desire to help people who work with rangathi become more connected, effective and accountable.

He says rangatahi are too often excluded from society.

“What the youth workers around New Zealand are really good at doing is finding ways of including young people in society. That really is connected to our indigenous roots because we think abnout rangatahi from a whanau, hapu, iwi perspective then we see oureves as communities, and that is more the perspective Ara Taiohi wants to uphold,” Mr Baxter says.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Maori put in bid for rural broadband rollout

A consortium of wananga, iwi and Maori technology businesses has partnered with Wellington company Opto Networks to bid for the government's $300 million initiative to extend high speed broadband to rural communities.

Antony Royal, a spokesperson for the Torotoro Waea Partnership, says Maori take the sort of intergenerational view that is necessary for such major infrastructure investments.

He says it's vital that the broadband go not just to school hubs but to 1000 marae serving Maori communities.

“Maori have been developing capacity in fibre and in broadband and in wireless, in cellular, for quite come time now. It’s so important to get broadband to our rural communities that we believe we should be taking a leadership role in making sure the money the government is spending is being spent with the purpose of the best outcomes for our communities.
Mr Royal says.

He says between them Torotoro Waea and Opto Networks have the technical capability to complete the rural broadband network across the country.


Green co-leader Meteria Turei says New Zealand has a housing crisis with Maori and Pacific island families most affected.

Yesterday, Otago university reseachers said over-crowding was leading to Maori having some of the worst rates of rheumatic fever in the world.

Ms Turei says the disease is almost totally preventable, and the money the government is spending on the Hobbit should have gone into housing.

“The one thing they could do that would make a real difference to jobs and to people’s lives is if they built more houses. It would solve a huge number of problems. $100 million would go a huge way to doing that. Are they going to do it? No they are not, because actually they don’t care,” Ms Turei says.


Auckland Catholic Maori boarding school is full swing into an enrolment drive as it seeks to fill its roll for the start of the next school year.

Chairperson Norm McKenzie says despite the closure in recent years of the two Auckland-based Anglican schools, St Stephens and Queen Victoria, there is still a demand in the Maori community for boarding places.

He says the current roll of about 170 boys and girls is too low to do everything the school wants to do, and getting the roll up to 245 would mean another 12 to 15 teachers.

Hato Petera pupils include academic Ranginui Walker, artist Ralph Hotere and Te Arawa Lakes Trust chair and former Hato Petera principal Toby Curtis.


Former Alliance MP Willie Jackson says the Maori Party is likely to come close to holding the balance of power, but only if Winston Peters doesn't bring New Zealand First back into Parliament.

For the first time, the online prediction market iPredict's weekly snapshot put the Maori Party in the box seat for picking the next Government.

It's giving the Party five or six of the seven Maori seats, but the consensus of users who put money on possible outcomes is only picking New Zealand First to get 4 percent of the vote, not enough to give it any seats.

Mr Jackson says it's hard to make such calls this far out.

“I think that the Maori Party could go very close to holding the balance of power. The reality is they are going to win five seats minimum, so they are going to be up there, but the right wing are crying out for a Winston-type party so whilst iPredict might not be far off the mark with Maori Party holding the balance of power, if I was putting money on it, I would put my money on Winston Peters,” he says.

Mr Jackson says while National leader John Key has probably done enough to keep the Maori Party votes in his column, Labour's Phil Goff has also indicated a willingness to do a deal with Pita Sharples and tariana Turia if necessary.


Maori academic Rawiri Taonui is calling for dedicated programmes to address the needs of Maori gang families.

The former head of Maori and indigenous studies at canterbury University has just completed a chapter on Maori gangs for a new book to be published by Te Pae O Te Maramatanga, the Maori Centre for Research Excellence.

He says while there are programmes to assist Maori prisoners and their families, support is negligible gang whanau.

“There are no dedicated programmes here addressing Maori gangs and in particular Maori gang families. If you want to make progress with gangs you’ve got to not only have programmes for individual gang members, but also for gang families because Maori gangs tend to be a modified form of extended whanau,” Mr Taonui says.


A scheme to keep track of placentas in hospitals has won its creator a Canterbury District Health Board systems improvement award.

Christchurch midwife Diana Leishman says she developed the system in response to the cultural expectations of Maori women.

She says the Maori practice of returning the placenta, or whenua, back to the earth, also known as whenua, is catching on.

“I think in Christchurch our (Maori) birthing population is only like about 8 percent but probably about 30 percent of mothers take their placentas home with them so that does make up a lot more of the population so European women are seeing that as part of the birthing process, they want to return that placenta to the land,” Diana Leishman says.

The system has cut down the number of placenta being lost by 90 percent, reduced the need for placenta to be reexamined, and saved $100,000 a year in laboratory costs.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Green backs Taipa occupation

The Green Party is backing a Ngati Kahu group which has been occupying different sites in Taipa for the past year.

The group led by brothers John and Wi Popata moved on to a privately-owned section yesterday, after being cleared by police from an adjoining council reserve last week.

Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says when Maori can't get land back through negotiations or the law, occupation is one of the only tools they have.

“These are measures of last resort. It’s not like they have a genuine choice about what to do in order to save this land, so for all that it’s causing ruckus and huge amount of drama, I have huge sympathy with what they are trying to do which is protect their land for their kids and their kids’ babies,” Ms Turei says.

The Waitangi Tribunal's Mangonui Sewerage Report says Ngapuhi and Te Rarawa fought a battle at Taipa in 1843 over who had the right to sell the land, and the Crown acquired all Maori interests in the area in a series of transaction over the next 20 years, including those of Ngati Kahu.


The chair of the Auckland Maori statutory board says its first job will be to define its job.

David Taipari from Ngati Maru was appointed to the post this week by the other members of the nine-member board, which was selected by an electoral college picked by Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples from the mana whenua iwi in the Auckland super city area.

Mr Taipari says its empowering act doesn't set out things like who the board is accountable to, so that's on the agenda for next week's meeting.

“We ourselves are going to be sitting down and clearly working out who our accountabilities are to because we’re there to represent mana whenua and mataawaka so there will be a protocol qwe will have in place to ensure we are being accountable because to have no accountability could be very dangerous,” Mr Taipari says.


A wahine from Te Rarawa and Te Aupouri has made the finals of a competition that will send young people on a 12 week tour of aid projects in diasdadvantaged communities around the world.

26-year-old Katy Thomas, a childrens' televison presenter, says she jumped at the chance to be considered for the Tear Fund Downunder World Challenge.

The three finalists are up on Facebook, and based on visitor votes the winner will be off to places like Peru, Uganda, Nepal and the Philippines.

She says the winner will be set challenges by the Facebook fans on what will be 12 non-stop weeks.


Waipareira chief executive John Tamihere says the west Auckland trust's new $25 million whanau ora centre will be able to deal with 20,0000 patients a year.

Waipareira is a deliverer of integrated health and social services under its membership of the National Urban Maori Authority.

But Mr Tamihere says it is funding the upgrade of the former Waitemata City Council in Henderson out of its own resources, rather than waiting for the government to stump up.

“We can't wait so what you’ve got to do is evolve and develop things that will work. Funding follows success,” he says.

The centre will include the Wai Health GP service, dentists, radiologists, drug and alcohol counseling, budgeting advice, a food bank, student tutoring and training courses in small business and computers.


Te Aataarangi students plan to use tomorrow's hui by the Ministerial panel reviewing Maori language spending to protest the closing of day classes in Tamaki makaurau.

Arapeta Barber says night classes don't suit all those who want to learn the language, and te Ataarangi's method of using coloured rods to illustrate language principles has proven a remarkably effective way of language transmission.

He says present and former students need to use their new skills, and the hui will be a way to give support to those to come.

The Maori language review panel hui is at Unitech in Auckland,


Computer Clubhouse is looking for adults to mentor young people through the use of multimedia technology.

The international organisation, which creates after school computer labs in low income areas with large Maori and Pacific island populations in an attempt to address the digital divide, launched its mentoring campaign at a mobile clubhouse in Auckland's Aotea Square today.

Chief executive Mike Usmar says it's looking for adults who are willing to help rangatahi develop their creative potential.

Rangatahi involved in Computer Clubhouse are more committed to staying at school and become highly motivated to establish career pathways.

Filipaina seconded on to Maori board

A member of the Auckland super city's statutory Maori Board says it's determined to work closely with the council.

The board has three months to draw up a list of its priorities, but its relationship with the council is not fully defined in the legislation.

Former MP John Tamihere, who is one of two mataawaka members representing Maori from iwi outside Tamaki Makaurau, says at its first meeting this week it asked councillor Alf Filipaina to sit in on meetings, despite him having no formal entitlement to do so.

“We've issued an open ended invitation to him and to obtain all our documentation and minutes so we’ve shown an ability to be absolutely open with this council by actually co-opting one of the councilors that the mayor asked to be the relationship manager with us. What more can Maori do,” Mr Tamihere says.

David Taipari from Ngati Maru was elected to chair the nine-member board, with Patience Te Ao from Waikato and ngati Wai taking the deputy slot.


The head of prison reform group Rethinking Crime and Punishment says police iwi liaison officers working with gangs face pressure from colleagues who want to turn the clock back.

Kim Workman says international data shows the most effective way to get people out of gang lifestyles is education and employment, rather than tougher law enforcement.

But the former police sergeant and Corrections head says many in the force side with Police Minister Judith Collins, who has a policy of never engaging with gangs.

“Police officers have a range of views about that stuff and our iwi liaison officers in particular are quite conflicted about having to deal with a spectrum of views within the police service,” Mr Workman says.


Diabetes New Zealand says Maori need to start eating less and exercising more if they want to live longer.

President Chris Baty says 25,000 Maori need help to manage their diabetes, and that number is set to double over the next 20 years.

She says type two diabetes is three times more common among Maori and Pacific islanders than other New Zealanders, and some of that comes down to diet and lifestyle, starting with putting less food on the plate and eating more vegetables and fruit.

Stopping smoking also helps lower the risk of diabetes.


Te Whanau o Waipareira wants to set up a detox centre in West Auckland to keep Maori youths out of the hands of the law.

John Tamihere, the urban Maori authority's chief executive, says the secure centre in a Henderson industrial area would have medical staff.

He says about 80 percent of the young Maori who come to the attention of the criminal justice system end up in a decade-long cycle of offending, so the centre is a way to intervene early and stop early acts of drunken foolishness escalating into more serious behaviour.

“The commissioner of police, Howard Broad, in a very good speech he made about nine months ago raised the idea and so I had a look at it with a number of others in planning it out west and we are now marshalling resources to have it away by September of next year,” Mr Tamihere says.

Waipareira will fund the detox centre itself, because it can't wait for government to address the fact seven out of 10 Maori boys come to the attention of the criminal justice system.


Massey University's Te Mata o Te Tau academy for Maori research and scholarship is launching a new to test Maori mental health.

Te Kani Kingi, the academy's director, developed the Hua Oranga Maori mental health measure as part of his PhD thesis, and has spent a decade testing and refining it.

He says it gives health providers a way to put into practice the Whare Tapa wha model for Maori, devised by Professor Sir Mason Durie.

“So not just looking at their psychological functioning, well being, but also making a considered assessment as to whether or not the treatment or therapy has enhanced their physical well being, whether or not it enhanced their ability to communicate with whanau for example, and whether spiritual needs have been considered,” Dr Kingi says

Non-Maori clinicians are also showing interest in the tool because it is able to measure factors of well-being that conventional tools can't capture.

DeRonde Tarawera

Te Arawa Lakes Trust is backing a study of Lake Rotomahana that hopes to solve the mystery of the Pink and White Terraces.

Project leader Cornel De Ronde from GNS Science says the lake will be mapped in January using unmanned submersibles from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in the United States.

He says they will search for geothermal vents and for any remains of the famed silica terraces, destroyed when Mount Tarawera erupted of 1886.

“Local iwi are interested too because it does just perhaps give a bit of closure as to exactly what did happen because there were a number of deaths in that explosion and also a strong interest from overseas. There’s not a lot of lakes in the world that have hydrothermal systems on the bottom and none of them to our knowledge went through this transition from sub-aerial to submarine, so there’s a strong interest across the board really,” Dr De Ronde says.

Mutu backs Taipa occupations

The chair of Te Runanga o Ngati Kahu says protesters occupying a site at Taipa Point have her full backing.

At lunchtime today a group led by the Popata brothers moved onto a privately-owned section adjacent to the Far North District Council reserve from which there were removed by police last week.

Margaret Mutu, who is the iwi's lead treaty negotiator, says the brothers have been attending Ngati Kahu hui since they were at school.

She says the occupations, which have been off and on all year, were mandated by the tribe in January when it discussed whether to agree in principle to a settlement that returned only 5 percent of the land Ngati Kahu lost.

“The conclusion out of that hui was, this is the best that my generation can do. What we’ve got is a lot better than my father’s generation was able to get. Therefore the negotiators were mandated to sign the agreement in principle on the condition that the next generation would go after the rest of our lands,” Dr Mutu says.

She says Ngati Kahu is unhappy with the Crown's position that it cannot return all the land stolen from the tribe.


Mana by-election hopeful Matt McCarten says many of the Maori voters he's encountering on his campaign won't have a say on Satuday.

The Unite Union head says Maori and working class voters are responding to his message of job creation.

But the Maori support has strings attached.

“See everyone thinks this is a Pasifika stronghold but there are as many Maori in this electorate as here are Pasifika people. Unfortunately for me, half of them are on the Maori roll of course,” Mr McCarten says.

Voters will choose on Saturday between Matt McCarten, Labour's Chris Fa'afoi, National list MP Hekia Parata and several other candidates as to who should replace Winnie Laban, who resigned to take up a job at Victoria University.


Maori Sports Awards organiser Dick Garrett says a record number of sporting codes will be represented in this year's list.

Finalists include rugby players Hosea Gear and Carla Hohepa, Football World Cup goalscorer Winston Reid and netball coach Adrian Morrin, but there are also entrants from sports like sumo wresting, squash and swimming, as well as world champions in woolhandling, woodchopping and waka ama.

The Maori Sports Awards are at Manukau's Telstra Clear Events Centre on December 4.


Urban Maori leader John Tamihere says the new Maori statutory board set up as part of Auckland's new super city structure will hold its meetings in the open.

The board drew fire for excluding the public and media from its first meeting yesterday, after an opening powhiri.

But Mr Tamihere, who is one of two mataawaka members representing Maori from iwi outside Tamaki Makaurau, says that was appropriate for a first meeting of a new entity.

“We had to have a robust discussion about who had the goods, who didn’t, and you don’t belittle or make cutting comments of colleagues in front of others so we had a process like Pakeha people do where we went in committee, we chose our leadership and we came out of committee and we announced it and a lot of our work if not all of our work will be open, no problem,” Mr Tamihere says.

David Taipari from Ngati Maru was elected chair with Patience Te Ao from Waikato and Ngati Wai his deputy.


The chief negotiator for Ngati Kahu doesn't believe the occupation of land at Taipa will affect the agreement in principle signed by tribal representatives earlier this year.

John and Wikatana Popata today led a group onto a section at the far north township adjoining the council reserve they were removed from last week.

It's the latest in a series of occupations that started at the former Taipa Motor Camp in January.

Margaret Mutu, who is also chair of Te Runanga o Ngati Kahu, says the tribe gave the brothers the mandate to work for the return of the 95 percent of former Ngati Kahu land that is not coming back in the proposed settlement.

“The boys have asked me, I was there with them at a hui last Thursday, and they said ‘please whaea, we do not want to threaten the existing agreement in principle because we know that’s what our kaumatua said our generation was to take, but will this threaten it?’ and I said ‘you’ve just got to make it very clear that you do not want to threaten the current agreement in principle but you do want to see justice,’” Dr Mutu says.


Otago University researchers say the rheumatic fever that is killing more than 100 Maori and Pacific islanders every year, and leaving hundreds of others with damaged hearts, is almost totally preventable.

Richard Jaine and Michael Baker looked at all cases of the disease in the 10 years to 2005, and found Maori were 20 times more likely to get it than Europeans, and Pacific islanders 40 times more likely.

Dr Jaine says the risk was increased by over-crowded housing and high fees which put people off going to see a doctor when they first showed signs of strep throat.

“We found a clear association between household crowding and acute rheumatic fever rates. If you have an area with high amounts of overcrowding in households, then you have high levels of rheumatic fever. We’re hypothesizing that the reason for this could be the fact that the strep throat infectious disease is being transmitted among household members when there are overcrowded conditions,” Dr Jaine says.

The only other place in the world with similar rates of infection is in Australian Aboriginal communities.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cost keeps kids from kindergartens

The head of New Zealand Kindergartens says cost and access are keeping Maori children away from pre-school.

Claire Wells is endorsing a call from last week's Early Education Federation Forum in Wellington for more investment in the sector.

She says more than two thirds of non-Maori children are in some form of early childhood education, compared with just 40 percent of tamariki Maori, and the Budget cuuts which are now coming into effect will make the situation worse.

“Eighty five thousand children are under the age of five and of those about 36,000 attend an early childhood service. So proportionally there are fewer Maori children attending an early childhood service than there are for non-Maori,” sh says.

Ms Wells says pre school education needs to be seen as an investment rather than a cost.


The Mangere Maori Wardens are appealing for the public to keep their eyes and ears open for equipment stolen during a break in last week.

Spokesperson Thomas Henry says whoever was responsible smashed windows throughout the Mangere Town Centre.

They also took communications equipment from the wardens' base, which will be hard to replace.

The radio gear will be of little value to those who took it.


Commentator Ken Laban says league fans on both sides of the Tasman are acknowledging the rare genius of Kiwi captain Benji Marshall.

The Ngai Tuhoe-raised NRL superstar was at his mesmerising best in Brisbane on the weekend as he orchestrated every Kiwi try-scoring move, including the last minute play that put New Zealand ahead of Australia to take the Four Nations final.

Mr Laban says the 89 kg West Tigers standoff, who has notched up 13 tests for the Kiwis, is in a class of his own, even though his career has been interrupted by injury.


A leader of a group planning to reoccupy a waterfront reserve at Taipa says he's unconcerned at the reaction from Pakeha homeowners.

Wikaatana Popata and nine others were arrested and issued with trespass notices when they were cleared from the land last week.

He says they plan to go back to Taipa today after a hikoi through Kaitaia ... despite claims the continuing series of occupations is scaring away Pakeha from businesses in the settlement.

“Most of these are holiday houses for those rich baldheads living down in Auckland or overseas so when Pakeha say that they are only chasing the money, they don’t care about the well being of the river. A lot of our people still live off this river, so, all Pakeha is chasing is the money,” Mr Popata says.

He says his generation is not bound by any treaty settlements now being negotiated by his Ngati Kahu elders.


South Auckland iwi Ngai Tai wants to continue a ban on taking cockles from Maraetai for at least another two years.

Spokesman James Brown says the rahui means stocks of the shellfish in the Firth of Thames are starting to recover.

But he says the iwi wants more time to be sure, and may consider seasonal rather than full opening.


Matariki director Michael Bennett from Te Arawa says he chose to shoot his first feature in Otara because of the area's vitality.

The film, set around a fisherman turned car thief, had its south Auckland premiere in Manukau last night and opens in selected cinemas on Thursday.

Mr Bennett, who has also helmed documentaries and episodes of hit TV show Outrageous Fortune, says it was a natural setting for his screenplay.

“It's a part of the world we don’t get on our screens all that often and that’s a shame because there’s not that many film makers that come from South Auckland so maybe it‘s not the first thing that comes to mind but it’s a vibrant place where a whole lot of different people, a whole lot of different cultures and contexts and stories just intersect and overlap in real life and I suppose that’s what our film is about,” Mr Bennett says.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Turia defends limited role for Iwi Chairs

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is denying iwi leaders are negotiating with the government over issues like mining and the foreshore and seabed.

The Iwi Leaders Group met with the Prime Minister and Resources minister last week before reporting back to an Iwi Chairs Forum at Takapuwahia Marae in Porirua on the weekend.

Mrs Turia says the leaders are very aware of the limits of their mandate.

“What they are doing is looking at the parameters under which the Government will talk with the various people along those coastal areas or within particular parts of the country who may want to be engaged in mining or who may not want to be. Those matters in fact are left entirely in the hands of those who are affected,” she says.

Mrs Turia says the iwi leaders have a valuable role in to play in making sure the government doesn't overstep its role.


South Auckland-based Ngai Tai has called in Ngati Porou chair Api Mahuiki in to help negotiate its claim for land confiscated in the Hunua ranges.

Chief negotiator James Brown says most of the 58,000 acres taken is now in private hands, so other forms of compensation will be necessary.

He says the iwi is keen to make progress over the next year, so it's calling in some big guns, including Mr Mahuika, who will be a kaiawhi and kaimanaaki or supporter for the team drawing on his recent success.

Ngati Porou members are currently voting on whether to ratify the $110 million East Coast settlement negotiated by Mr Mahuika.


Maori are feeling pride at the contribution of the Maori players and officials to the Kiwis' Four Nations win over Australia in Brisbane on Saturday night.

The majority of this year's squad have tangata whenua roots, including the coach, captain and manager.

Commentator Te Kauhoe Wano says from fullback Lance Hohaia to captain courageous Benji Marshall, through hookers Thomas Leuluai and Isaac Luke and outside flyers Sam Perrit and Jason Nightingale, Maori skill was to the fore in the nail-biting last minute 16-12 win.

He says coach Steve Kearney’s next big task is to get his Parammatta Eels firing in next year's NFL competition.


Protestors issued with trespass notices after being cleared from a Far North Council-owned reserve at Taipa last week plan to reoccupy.

Leader Wikaatana Popata says his group intends to march through Kaitaia tomorrow morning and then travel the 30 kilometres back to the coastal settlement.

The 21-year-old says regardless of the treaty settlement Ngati Kahu is currently negotiating over the area, his generation has a responsibility to get back land the Waitangi Tribunal's Muriwhenua Land Report identified as stolen.

“These lands were confiscated off Ngati Kahu, they were stolen off Ngati Kahu, so we just stick by that. It was stolen. I say to people if someone came to your house, stole your tv, and then that person sold it to someone else and sold it to someone else and all of a sudden you found your tv again, you’ve got the right to take your TV back,” Mr Popata says.

The protesters believe they have the support of Mr Popata’s uncle, Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira.


Associate Corrections Minister Pita Sharples says people need to be open to working with gangs if they want to address the harm gangs do.

Police Minister Judith Collins told a Maori-police leadership conference last week that she had a policy of not engaging with gangs or even gang members.

But Dr Sharples says in his work with communities he got a lot of mileage from meeting with Maori gangs when necessary.

“In the 70s when we had killings every second day when it was really on in Auckland city here, our efforts getting them in to work programmes, we had about 150 oft them straight into work programmes, more or less killed all the fighting straight away, and you can do stuff like that,” he says.

Dr Sharples says people can turn their lives around if they are offered beneficial alternatives.


Te Papa Tongarewa is consulting iwi around the country about what should be done with unidentified koiwi tangata or skeletal remains.

Its repatriation manager, Te Herekiekie Herewini, says the national museum has identified the individuals or tribal areas of about three quarters of the 186 koiwi and toi moko it has got back from medical schools and museums around the world since 2003.

He says the balance may be unidentifiable, and the museum needs to discuss a range of options, including building a mausoleum in Wellington or burying them in the far north.

“We received a tono from Ngati Kuri in 2006 and Ngati Kuri kindling invioted these tupuna to be placed up at Te Rerenga Wairua as their final resting place. However, we still need to discuss the kaupapa with those iwi whanui around the motu,” Mr Herewini says.

The consultation may take up to 18 months.

Coalminer’s daughter rejects rush into mining

Waikato-Hauraki MP Nanaia Mahuta says iwi leaders seem to be trying to push Maori into the mining camp at the same time hapu actually involved in mining are having second thoughts.

Iwi leaders including Tainui executive chair Tukoroirangi Morgan met the Prime Minister and Resources Minister last week to discuss mining policy.

Ms Mahuta says they are acting without securing a mandate from landowners, such as her constituents at Taharoa south of Kawhia.

“Even though they've been mining the iron sands over a period of time, they are looking to diversify their activity because they are beginning to see the effects of long term mining on their coastline so it is not as if those people at Taharoa see mining as the only way to improve opportunities and increase well being and wealth among their people out there,” she says.

Ms Mahuta says the majority of Maori want to protect their tribal estates rather than open them up for mining.


The head of the Rethinking Crime and Punishment says gang members can be the best people to help other get out of a life of crime.

Kim Workman spoke to last week’s Ngakia Kia Puawai Police Leadership Conference, shortly after Police Minister Judith Collins told the hui she was opposed to engagement with gangs or gang members.

Mr Workman says people do find ways to leave the gang lifestyle through education or alternative employment, and they tend to be the most effective at helping others.

“The challenge is to provide those people with those opportunities in the knowledge that when you get those sorts of people on board, they will in turn transform others. At the end of the day social workers and psychologists and those sorts of people don’t change people’s behaviour. Whanau change the behaviour of other members of the whanau,” Mr Workman says.

International research shows gangs can’t be enforced out of existence, as police often try to do.


Napier now has its own Maori food festival, with the first Kai in the Bay on Saturday having organisers talking of making it a regular event.

Manager Christine Shannahan says more than 3000 people packed out Perfume Point in Ahuriri to sample Maori and not so Maori food.

She says people weren’t always sure what delicacies they were sampling at the 30 stall selling everything from whitebait and oysters to hangi and mountain oysters, or sheep’s testicles.


Ngati Toa leader Matui Rei says opposition among iwi leaders to the Marine and Coastal Area Bill is hardening.

An Iwi Leaders Forum hui at Ngati Toa’s Takapuwahia Marae in Porirua at the weekend discussed possible responses to the bill.

Mr Rei says they were united that it sets to high a bar for iwi to realistically claim customary rights to areas of the coast.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples has claimed support from some iwi for the replacement for the Foreshore and Seabed Act, but Mr Rei says it is still seen as confiscating Maori property.

“The bill is quite different to the current act by while they might be different I think one of the major points that has been made is that the outcome for Maori is still the same. It is being perceived as another example of raupatu,” Mr Rei says.

Iwi will seek changes through the select committee.


Meanwhile, Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says iwi may be expecting too much from parliament.

Dr Sharples says the Marine and Coastal Area bill is the best Maori can expect, and it’s now time for kotahitanga or unity.

He says the Maori Party has fought for what it can get, but parliament is not a panacea for all ills.

“To go there and expect that our bet dreams were going to be realised by a western culture that really doesn’t even begin to understand the Maori ideology and our philosophy and our aspirations. Unfortunately kotahitangi is something that we haven’t really made it yet,” Dr Sharples says.


Tamaki Tours co-founder Doug Tamaki says a whanau approach has helped the company get through its toughest years in business.

The company has just franchised its Christchurch Heritage Village to a company owned by Andrew Te Whaiti, the former chief executive of Te Puia Maori art and crafts Institute in Rotorua.

Mr Tamaki says soon after opening the attraction at Ferrymead in 2006 the tourism sector was hit hard by the global financial crisis, but the hard work of staff pulled it through.

“It's like a whanau so where change was required, we made the changes to streamline where we had to and adjust but we’ve been around for a while and we’ve got a strong brand out there, not just in Aotearoa but also internationally and just like any business if you are passionate and you get down and make the right decisions, you will come through the other side of it,” Mr Tamaki says

Tamaki Tours’ Rotorua Maori village last week won the 2010 Golden Backpackers Award for the best Indigenous Cultural Experience in Australasia.