Waatea News Update

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Broadband aspirant tries out technology in Otaki

Torotoro Waea, the Maori-backed consortium bidding for a share of the Government's $300 million to build the Ultra Fast Rural Broadband network, has unveiled its first local access network.

Spokesperson Anthony Royal says about a dozen farms, businesses, homes and marae around Otaki are already connected to the open access fibre optic network around Otaki, and its design means more sites can be connected quickly and cheaply.

He says one of the consortium partners, Te Wananga o Raukawa, is keen for marae to have the capacity for videoconferencing and other applications which need fast broadband.

“A lot of Te Wananga o Raukawa’s curses are actually delivered on marae so he ability to provide relatively inexpensive video conferencing means we can get people to interact with our students on marae. They don’t necessarily have to be there. And then in time I think we will find a lot of other applications that will start to spring forth as a result of having the capacity there,” Mr Royal says.


A long term study of 7000 children has identified protection of te reo Maori as a major challenge in the years ahead.

Polly Atatoa Carr, the associate director of Auckland University’s Growing Up in New Zealand study, says there is incredible diversity reflected in the study, with one in three of the parents being born outside Aotearoa.

She says many are recent arrivals, and one in five of those homes have languages other than English as the first language.


Tainui decathlete Brent Newdick is encouraging more Maori to take up athletics.

A silver medal at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games earned the 25-year-old a final's spot in next week's Maori sports awards.

He says moving to Auckland to study brought him closer to his Maori relatives, and sparked an interest in things Maori.

Brent Newdick says rangatahi should have a go at their local athletics club to see if they are any good.


A leading nursing educator says delivery of health services to Maori could be helped by greater use of nurses.

Anita Bamford-Wade, the joint head of nursing education at AUT University, says Maori are often reluctant to talk to a doctor about health issues would find it easier to talk with nurses, most of whom are women.

She told this week's Health the Wealth of the Nation symposium that the sort of rethinking of service delivery that is behind the Whanau Ora programme could be applied to other aspects of the primary health system.

“Nurses today are well educated and well prepared to be those front line people in primary healthcare where the first port of call could be an advanced nurse practicing or a nurse practitioner who could do the first health assessment and then if required refer people on to the GP. At the moment the GP is pretty much the gatekeeper in the primary health care sector.

Dr Bamford - Wade says more needs to be done to get more Maori nurses trained up.


Historian Rawiri Taonui says heavy workloads and a desire to write have inspired him to break out of academia.

Mr Taonui has quit as head of Maori and ethnic studies at Canterbury University after a decade in which he built the school from a small department to one of the largest in the country.

He says despite a supportive review, he's leaving with a year left on his contract.

One of his first pieces of writing is a submission on the Marine and Coastal Area bill to the Maori affairs select committee.


The Maori sports stars of the future took centre stage today at the annual tamariki ora sports and cultural day in Auckland.

Dale Husband was out and about amongst the hundreds of pupils from kura kaupapa and immersion units throughout Tamaki Makaurau, and says it was a rousing success.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Spectrum claimants ponder slow progress

Maori spectrum claimants meet in Wellington today to find out why the process to settle the long-running claim have stalled outside the Cabinet door.

Piripi Walker, the secretary of Nga Kaiwhakapumau i te Reo, says the claimants agreed a year ago to put a third full Waitangi Tribunal hearing of the claim on hold while they worked with officials to prepare a joint cabinet paper on options for how the Maori interest should be recognised in the current reorganisation of broadcast frequencies.

He says that paper was supposed to got to Cabinet in September, but it has been discussed by the ministers most closely involved.

“Any assumption of property rights by the Crown, any sale of a scarce resource, by that, any assumption like that of its proprietership the tribunal has found through major findings and full hearings over the last two decades that iwi do have this prior interest in the radio spectrum. The Crown needs to find a way to give effect to that essential set of principles,” Mr Walker says.

The claimants have the option to go back to the Waitangi tribunal if the government fails to act.


The manager Maori at Counties Manukau district health board says training processes may need to be rethought if more Maori are to come into the health workforce.

Bernard Te Paa says only 3 percent of health workers in south Auckland are Maori, despite the high Maori population, and even fewer are in management positions.

He says apart from a lack of suitable role models, family circumstances keep many Maori from pursuing careers in health.

“Because of the length of time you’d be out of the workforce studying, that also becomes prohibitive too because our people have to provide for their whanau, so those are the things you also have to find solutions for if you want to get Maori engaged in health,” Mr Te Paa says.


Kura kaupapa kids in Auckland get a chance today to mix with Maori sports idols.

Organiser Dick Garret from Te Tohu Taakaro O Aotearoa Trust says Tamariki Ora day has been going since 1996, and it's attracting increasing numbers of tauira from kura kaupapa and bi-lingual units in mainstream schools.

He says it's a way to get the kids involved in the National Maori Sports Awards, which will be held next week.

Next year each school involved will adopt and study a national team playing in the Rugby World Cup.


A member of the Alternative Welfare Working Group says the official group is failing to come to grips with the implications of almost a third of beneficiaries being Maori.

The Government's review group this week released an options paper which suggested some Work and Income services be contracted out to private companies and iwi.

Mamari Stephens says the paper is notable for what's not said, with no mention of previous reviews of the welfare system, such as Puao Te Ata Tu, and only passing mention of Whanau Ora, which is supposed to change the way services are delivered to Maori.

“This is an options paper so you can’t expect too much detail, it’s really throwing up ideas, to get public feedback on them but the lack of history, the lack of context, the lack of direction and the lack of consideration of broader notions of Maori citizenship and what it means to be a Maori benefit recipient concerns me,” Ms Stephens says.

The Alternative Welfare Working Group's paper on the same issues should be ready for the printers within the next couple of weeks.


The chair of a trust set up to combat violence towards children says Maori men need to front up and address their over-representation in cases of violence against women.

Hone Kaa from Te Mana Ririki says Maori need to reclaim the of violence-free whanau evident when the first European settlers arrived here, rather than the current situation where Maori women are seven times more likely than other women to be hospitalised as the result of an assault.

He says yesterday's White Ribbon day was a valuable boost to the cause.

“It helps focus on the sort of things that ordinary citizens can do in here own lives. There is a tendency to become a talk fest but then the talk actually strikes home with some people, because we in turn become ambassadors for the cause, and that’s really what the task is,” Dr Kaa says.


Te Kawerau a Maki is excited at the prospect of kokako once more repopulating its home territory, Te Waonui O Tiriwa or the Waitakere Ranges.

Spokesperson Eru Thompson is welcoming the discovery of a breeding nest this week, established by a pair of the endangered wattlebirds which were moved up from Pureora forest in the King Country earlier this year.

He says the iwi have been involved every step of the way in the re-introduction of the manu into the Ark in the Park, an area of the bush that has been cleared of predators.

The kokako eggs are expected to hatch in about two weeks.

Guttenbiel counters violent past

League legend Awen Guttenbiel says becoming a Families Commission ambassador for International White Ribbon day meant dragging up some uncomfortable history.

The Whangarei raised 34 year old, who played 10 tests for the Kiwis and more than 200 games for the Warriors and Castleford, and says he sought permission from his parents to share the family history.

As he told a breakfast in Auckland this morning hosted by Maori anti-violence trust Te Mana Ririki, people can seek help for anger and alcohol issues, as his father did.

“The violence only ever happened when there were a few beers on board and proud to say he gave up drinking about 20-odd years ago and from that very day the whole dynamic of our whanau changed, and the place is full of love, and your past doesn’t mean you can’t be a role model when you change,” Mr Guttenbiel says.


The manager Maori at the Counties Manukau district health board says programmes to insulate homes are starting to cut hospital admission rates.

Bernard Te Paa is urging Maori to take advantage of the SNUG programme, a joint venture between the DHB, local government and the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority.

He says the two-year-old project is available to community service card holders in houses where either kaumatua or children under 14 are living ... and Middlemore Hospital is already seeing the difference in admissions for conditions like respiratory illness.

“The moment you get your home insulated, that risk reduces possibly up to 50 percent,” Mr te Paa says.

Snug Homes has so far helped to insulate more than 800 homes in Counties Manukau.


The author of a visitors' guide to the Battlefields of the New Zealand Wars says the country is still living with the consequences of the war.

David Green, who works in the history group of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, was inspired to write the book when he found many of the battle sites weren't marked or sign posted.

He says the wars made New Zealand what it is today.

He says he's tried to bring to life the bitter struggles through extensive use of illustrations.

“Even 150 years we’re still dealing with the consequences such as land confiscation and the Waitangi Tribunal; process is dealing with the aftermath of these battles so it is important we acknowledge it, Mr Green says.

He says the Maori effort against what was probably the best army in the world at the time should never be under-estimated.


Para-cyclist Jayne Parsons is wearing a white ribbon today knowing first hand the battle against domestic violence.

Ms Parsons, who won silver in this year's world championships in Canada, was a 21-year old mother when she lost her sight after being repeated beaten up by her partner.

The 48-year-old old says she is living proof there can be life after domestic violence.

“There are a lot of really great guys out there who do a lot for white ribbon and I’d like to say the good thing to do is encourage those that are having a hard time and knocking their wives and children around, and not just on the physical side but on the mental side as well, stop it before it moves on to the younger generation,” Ms Parsons says.

Every day brings new challenges ... this weekend it's the Round Taupo Cycling challenge with her tandam partner Sonya Waddell, and next week it's the Maori ports awards, where she is a finalist in Te Toihuarewa - disabled section.


The minister responsible for Whanau Ora says she won't be spending any money on bricks and mortar.

Waikato public health organisation Toiora had built whanau ora centres in Hamilton and Taumarunui with Health Ministry funding, and the Waipareira Trust is funding the conversion of a building in west Auckland to accommodate its own staff and partner agencies involved in the new model for health and social service delivery.

Tariana Turia says whanau ora is about people, not buildings.

“While I admire absolutely those who have gone to considerable expense to build these amazing facilities, the Whanau Ora budget itself is not for facilities. It is specifically for ensuring families are getting good outcomes for the investment of this money,” Mrs Turia says.


Ngati Raukawa leader Richard Orzecki hopes his appointment to two district health boards will lead to improved Maori health in both the Mid-Central and Whanganui DHBs.

Mr Orzecki was one of four Maori who unsuccessfully stood for election to the Mid-Central DHB.
He also chairs the Mana Whenau Haoura Consortium, which brings together Raukawa, Mua-Upoko, Rangitane and Kahungunu.

“We have a very strong relationship with the board that was created by a memorandum of understanding Sir Mason Durie created over 10 years ago. What I’m hoping is the success of the relationship at Mid-Central can be developed at Whanganui where the iwi have no real profile in terms of influence on the board,” Mr Orzecki says.

He intends to work closely with Whanganui River Maori Trust Board manager Nancy Tuaine, who was reappointed to the Whangnaui DHB, and is also a member of the Whanau Ora National Governance Group.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Country needs Maori back from Australia

The head of a new demographic research unit wants the government to encourage young Maori families to move back from Australia.

At yesterday's launch of the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis at Waikato University, Professor Natalie Jackson said for the first time in New Zealand's history, fewer people are entering the labour market than are retiring.

She says the situation will get worse from next year as post-war baby boomers reach retirement age.

“It's not a case of trying to bluff people. It’s about government getting serious and saying, ‘we have got this gaping hole in our age structure where we are missing an enormous number of say 18 to 35-year-olds.’ That’s the key age of young Maori in Australia and if we want them back we have to do something seious which says ‘if you come back we will really try to help you,’” Professor Jackson says.

She says the government and employers don't seem to realise that there will no longer be an ever-increasing pool of young people who they can pick and choose from and not treat particularly well.


National list MP Hekia Parata's stocks have risen after her success at pegging back Labour's majority in Mana.

The prime minister, John Key, says Labour has reason to be worried about Saturday's result.

He says he has always thought the Ngati Porou former bureaucrat was cabinet material.

“She's articulate. She’s intelligent. She’s thoughtful. She knows the electorate well. She’s got a great pedigree. I mean she’s worked in all sorts of government departments so she’s very knowledgeable and she truly cares about the people of Mana. And it’s hopefully I think the face of the modern National Party, multicultural, ambitious,” Mr Key says.

People will have to wait and see whether Ms Parata is his next appointment as a minister.


Auckland's AUT University is trying to encourage more Maori to take up nursing.

Anita Bamford-Wade, the joint head of the nursing faculty, says Maori have disproportionate health needs, and Maori healthcare across the board would improve if there were more Maori health professionals.

She says AUT is concerned not only to boost the number of Maori who enter training but the number who graduate.

“We have put in quite a bit of support around encouraging Maori nursing students in particular and we’ve just employed someone whose sole role is to take care of Maori nursing students within our school and to follow them and to facilitate support for them in any way they might need it to keep them in the programme,” Dr Bamford - Wade says.

Many Maori women are discouraged from training as nurses because they start their families younger.


Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says members of the Maori affairs select committee have to put up with racist submissions, but they shouldn't have to put up with racist colleagues.

ACT MP John Boscowan upset other members this week when he asked a Wellington businessman making a submission on the Marine and Coastal Area Bill whether he had confidence in the committee.

Ms Turei, who also sits on the committee but wasn't present at the time, says Maori members took that as a slur on their integrity.

“John has to be very careful that he doesn’t engage in the kind of anti-Maori debate that the Maori members of the select committee have already had to hear and no doubt will hear a lot more of from submitters. It gets very difficult to be there when you’re told that you’re just not the same as everybody else, you’re not as good or not as entitled, it gets very very tricky,” Ms Turei says.


Meanwhile, Maori academic Rawiri Taonui says the Maori Party could yet regret its support for the replacement to the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

The Maori Affairs select committee has received more than 4000 submissions on the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill, with more than 500 people wanting to be heard.

Mr Taonui says that's likely to highlight the depth of Maori opposition to aspects of the bill, such as the stringent standard of the tests needed to prove customary ownership.

“There is a question mark over how the Maori Party is going to handle that. They’re probably not going to be able to support it through Parliament. Unwittingly they’ve placed themselves in the same position as Nanaia Mahuta, John Tamihere, Parekura Horomia, and the other (Maori) Labour MPs were in 2003, 2004 where they were trying to cut a good deal for Maori but they crossed a bridge over a river of compromise that was a beachhead too far,” Mr Taonui says.

He expects the Maori Party to go quiet on foreshore and seabed reform and instead highlight other policy wins like whanau ora and the Maori flag.


The director of the new National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis says it was formed because the government is ignoring important trends, such as the age gap between Maori and Pakeha populations.

The institute brings together demographers and economists from Waikato University with public policy experts from the Wellington-based Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust.

Natalie Jackson says the fact half the Maori population is under 23, while the Pakeha median age is 38, is creating a misallocation of resources in areas such as education and housing.

“The Pakeha population was youthful like this as recently as the 1970s and at that time policies were directed at a young population. Increasingly they’re directed at an older population and its needs with the health system and the welfare state and so on but we absolutely must not overlook this enormously youthful Maori population within our midst,” she says.

Professor Jackson says the Government is not funding the social research that is needed to keep Maori issues to the fore.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Key slams Boscowan slight

Prime Minister John Key says ACT MP John Boscawan may have crossed a line by questioning the integrity of Maori members of the Maori Affairs select committee.

At the first hearing yesterday on the Marine and Coastal Area Bill yesterday, Mr Boscowan asked a submitter whether he had confidence in the committee, after the man expressed concern at the prospect of private deals between iwi and government for customary marine title.

The committee's chair, National MP Tau Henare, says he will ask the speaker to remove Mr Boscowan.

Mr Key says Mr Henare is probably right.

“John Boscawan is essentially arguing that because you are Maori and you sit on the select committee, you can’t be objective when it comes to the coastal area and marine bill which will replace the Foreshore and Seabed (Act). We’ll that’s just nonsense. I’m a taxpayer but I used to sit on the finance and expenditure select committee,” he says.

The Maori Party has already removed Hone Harawira from the committee for the duration of the hearings because of its concern he had already made his mind up about the bill.


Maori issues will be a key focus of a new research institute launched at Waikato University today.

Director Natalie Jackson says the new National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis brings together demographers from the university’s Population Studies Centre, economists from Waikato Management School and public policy experts from Wellington-based Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust.

She says they're concerned government agencies are ignoring the implications of having half the Maori population under 23, while the median age of the Pakeha population is 38.

“The different age structures mean that you have a very youthful Maori population within this total aging population and it means that Maori will disproportionately comprise the labour force in the future and have enormous need for education,” Professor Jackson says.

She says when the Pakeha population was relatively young the resources went into education and young families, but as it has aged the state's resources have been diverted to meet the needs of that ageing population.


The chair of the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust, Doug Arcus, says there are sound ethical and commercial reasons for giving local iwi an equal say in management of the south Waikato reserve.

Philanthropist and economist Gareth Morgan threatened to withdraw a $1 million interest free loan after the trust was restructured to give half seats on the board seats to mana whenua.

Mr Arcus says Mr Morgan's intemperate attack on the restructuring was ill informed, and ignores the fact Maori are the largest owners of land next to the Crown within the 47km pest proof fence around the maunga.

“On an equity basis they should be involved. In terms of the commercial operation, one of the primary objectives of the trust is the reestablishment of the species and it’s a legal requirement that iwi have got to be involved in that in translocations,” Mr Arcus says.

He says it would be a pity if the row overshadowed the success of the project, which has resulted in greater numbers of kiwi, kaka and other native species in the 3400 hectare reserve.

Spectrum trust ponders renewable future

A Maori spectrum claimant says iwi leaders need to recognise telecommunications spectrum as a renewable resource.

Claimants are holding their fourth major hui this week, and Richard Orzecki from Ngati Raukawa says iwi leaders have been slow to wake up to what has been achieved by language and broadcasting claimants who have secured blocks of spectrum for Maori.

He says as the technology evolves, Maori need to keep fighting to secure a fair share.

“What you call 3G today, and you’ve allocated all these frequencies to a 3G platform, tomorrow could be 4G. It’s not something like once you grow a tree and cut it down, you have to grow a new tree. This resource is renewable in the sense it never goes away so it’s really how you use those frequencies,” Mr Orzecki says.

It would help claimants if iwi lent their weight to the current battle for a share in the spectrum being freed up by the shift from analogue to digital television.


Maori health researcher Marewa Glover says baby formula manufacturers have behaved like tobacco companies in the way they have manipulated women into using their products.

Dr Glover has just completed a chapter on cross cultural perspectives on Maori breastfeeding for a new book for health practitioners published.

She says Maori women have one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the world, because for generations they have been bombarded with messages from the milk formula industry.

“That whole industry pushing artificial baby milk and baby foods has managed to make breast feeding a lifestyle choice, a consumer behaviour, and it’s not. We need to get back to reinstating Maori tikanga around Maori pepe and infant care,” Dr Glover says.

She says Maori women still aren't warned properly about the health risks of using artificial milk rather than breast milk.


A new exhibition in Te Awamutu Museum is shedding light on some of the lost natural and cultural history of a stretch of the Waikato River.

Curator Stephanie Lambert says the show grew out of desire grew out of a desire to showcase the river for the World Rowing Championships at Lake Karapiro.

Working with Ngati Koroki Kahukura and Ngati Haua, the museum uncovered some of the stories hidden under the 14 kilometre stretch that was dammed to create the Karapiro power project.

“At the top end was the Aniwaniwa rapids, which rivaled the Huka Falls.

Ms Lambert says in the century since the Public Works Act was first used to take land from the hapu to provide electricity for the Waihi Mining Company, the Karapiro story is one of huge loss and huge gain.


The chair of the Maungatautari ecological reserve trust says critics of greater Maori involvement had got it wrong.

Doug Arcus says species like takahe, kiwi and kaka have thrived since a 47 km long pest proof fence was built around the mountain south of Hamilton.

He says a new board structure which gave half the seats to mana whenua was opposed by some former trustees, who enlisted philanthropist Gareth Morgan for an attack on the trust.

“Apart from the Crown and local government land, Maori have far more land behind the fence than any other. That land is now landlocked and the fence has made it difficult to access that land. So on an equity basis they should be involved, and then there’s all the treaty issues about partnership and the rest of it. Thise of us who’ve been in the public sector for some time understand that, but unfortunately some don’t,” Mr Arcus says.

He says Dr Morgan should talked to him or mana whenua before threatening to pull his $1 million loan from the project.


Auckland University scientists have developed a model for giving more weight to traditional Maori principles when decisions are made on resource management.

Geologist Dan Hikuroa and physicist Kepa Morgan outlined their system at yesterday's GeoNZ 2010 conference in Auckland.

Dr Hikuroa says it will give Maori landowners and iwi a stronger platform to argue from when they find their traditional beliefs such as kaitiakitanga run up against what is considered empirical science.

“It elevates all that matauranga that in the past has been relegated to anecdotal or oral evidence, and it puts it alongside technical and empirical scientifically-based data, puts it all on a level playing field, such that all that matauranga is right up alongside there so it’s very effective with respect to the RMA,” Dan Hikuroa says

The framework may help Maori landowners who want to develop resources such as geothermal fields.


World champion kayaker Sam Sutton wants to take on one of the world's biggest rivers.

The 22 year old from Te Arawa and Ngati Tuwharetoa beat 150 kayakers from 26 countries to win last month's Sickline World Individual Whitewater Kayaking Championship at Ötztal in Austria.

Mr Sutton, who works on the Kaituna River taking photos of whitewater rafters, is now planning a trip to Central America and further afield.

“Looking forward to see what Mexico has to offer in terms of whitewater and also the margaritas maybe but my biggest goal is to get two more world champion titles, 2011 and 2012, and then source to sea of the White Nile from Uganda to Egypt on a jet ski which would be the biggest achievement of my life if I could pull that off,” he says.

Sam Sutton says winning Sickline title on the Wellerbruke Rapids, which is regarded as one of the most difficult courses in the world, was like a dream come true.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Double DHB duty for Cooper

Improved services to Maori will be a priority for two of the new appointees to Auckland's health sector governance bodies.

Rob Cooper from Ngati Hine has been reappointed to the Waitemata District Health Board and appointed to the Auckland DHB, while Gwen Tepania-Palmer from Ngati Kahu and Ngati Paoa was also appointed to both boards.

Mr Cooper says along with Lester Levy, who has been appointed to chair both boards, they will help promote greater cooperation in delivery of health care across the region.

He says the health sector is still struggling with major issues like building up the Maori health workforce and making sure Maori get and use services such as immunisation for children.

“We've got to be certain that access to services is of a nature that Maori people are unhesitatingly moving towards those services. There are some improvements in all of this over time that shows Maori are accessing services to greater degrees than they used to,” Mr Cooper says.

He also chairs the national Whanau Ora governance group, and says his presence on the DHBs will give him a perspective on how the integration of health and welfare services is proceeding.


Maori party leader Tariana Turia is confident the new Minister of Womens Affairs will bring a strong voice to the ministry.

Georgina Heuheu from Ngati Tuwharetoa replaces Pansy Wong, who resigned amidst questions over her husband's use of her parliamentary travel perk for business trips to China.

Mrs Turia says Mrs Te Heuheu has proved her competence in a range of portfolios, and she hopes the appointment shows the government is finally taking the role seriously.

“When we look at the significant issues that impact on women, I do think it’s one of the ministries, probably alongside Maori affairs and a couple of others, where they’re quite marginalised, but I’m sure Georgina will bring a strong voice to that ministry, as did Pansy Wong,” Mrs Turia says.


A Maori geologist says Maori ownership of large areas with undeveloped natural resources means it's important to involve Maori scientists in decision making.

Dan Hikuroa from Auckland University's School of Environment spoke to today's Geo NZ conference at the university on work he is doing to put evidence based on matauranga or Maori knowledge on a similar footing to traditional technical evidence.

He says many Maori land incorporations are sitting on untapped geothermal fields, and the geologists working on them need to be sensitive to principles such as kaitiaki or guardianship.

“A key part of the research I’m doing at the moment is trying to work on a kaitiaki geothermal development model. Instead of looking at just the economics of a development option, it tries to assess the impact on Maori of said development,” Dr Hikuroa says.


Northland-based Labout list MP Kelvin Davis says as both Prime Minister and Tourism Minister, John Key needs to act decisively over the Taipa land protest before Northland’s reputation as a safe place to holiday is ruined.

Mr Davis says the latest in a series of occupations is leading tour bus companies to avoid stopping at the coastal settlement, and January's fundraising fishing competition has been cancelled because of the threat of disruption.

He says by backing the occupation of land that passed out of Maori hands 150 years ago, Ngati Kahu treaty settlement negotiator Margaret Mutu has damaged the tribe's credibility.

“I think it's fairly underhand to say that they are negotiating with the Crown in good faith on one hand and then on the other hand these protesters are being encouraged to occupy the land,” Mr Davis says.

He says John Key should instruct Treaty Settlements Minister Chris Finlayson to pursue settlement with the four other Muriwhenua iwi and leave Ngati Kahu to pick through any leftover crumbs later.


A member of Te Huarahi Tika Maori spectrum trust says the technical nature of the telecommunications sector means many tribal leaders are failing to recognise its future importance to Maori.

Richard Orzecki from Ngati Raukawa says the trust is keen to get iwi leadership along to its annual hui in Wellington on Friday.

He says while the trust has made considerable progress since it was set up in the wake of successful Treaty of Waitangi challenges to spectrum allocation, with greater iwi involvement it could do more to push its cultural and economic aims.

“You know if you can’t see it, you can’t touch it, it’s not tangible enough, fish is fish, forest is forest, land is land, spectrum is quite a different beast though in terms of how you might deal with it. I think it would be good for iwi leadership to get a bit of an understanding about where this technology can go to,” Mr Orzecki says.

Spectrum should be regarded as a renewable resource, as each new generation of technology offers different ways it can be used.


A veteran hockey administrator wants to see more Maori coming through at the higher levels of the code.

Patricia Rangi from Te Atiawa is a finalist in the Maori sports awards administrators category for her contributions, which includes almost two decades as a technical official for Auckland Hockey and service as a judge in several world championships.

She says many Maori players have the talent to go all the way, but they're not prepared to do the work to get them there.

Maori players like Tina Kake Bell have given great service to hockey, and still inspire wahine to get involved.

Historian attacks effort on medal upgrade quest

The author on a book on Haane Manahi has claimed Labour leader Phil Goff soft-pedalled an attempt to get a posthumous Victoria Cross for the Maori Battalion hero.

AUT history professor Paul Moon says as defence minister, Mr Goff was part of a delegation which went to Buckingham Palace in 2006 to ask for the Distinguished Conduct Medal awarded to Sergeant Manahi for bravery at Takrouna Ridge in Tunisia in 1943 to be upgraded to the top award for gallantry.

He says after the delegation made its case, Mr Goff held a private meeting with the Queen's private secretary ... and the outcome was not the VC but a package of symbolic gifts for Sergeant Manahi's Te Arawa iwi.

“I think the general feeling seems to be that if Mr Goff had been more determined and happier to stand his ground, then there may have been a better outcome, but it doesn’t seem to have been the case, so really what’s needed is a minister who is prepared to stand his or her ground and make that recommendation,” Dr Moon says.

He says Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples should go off to London and have another go at getting the medal upgraded.


But the secretary of the Haane Manahi VC Committee says Phil Goff did a superb job advocating the New Zealand Government position, and the outcome was unique and very special.

Rolly Rolston, who is also secretary of the Rotorua RSA, says the matter has been settled once and for all by the Queen's gift to Te Arawa of a personal acknowledgement of Haani Manahi's bravery, a sword which is on permanent loan from the tribe to the chief of defence, and an altar cloth for St Faith's Church in Ohinemutu, near Sergeant Manahi's burial place.

“It's something you would not expect to happen. You would expect them to come back and say ‘No, end of story.’ The Queen realized she would be unable to go up against her father’s command that there be no more medallic recognition for World War 2, which he did five years after the end of the war, and to do this was just out of the square, it was unbelievable that a lady in her position would do that,” Mr Rolston says.

He says Paul Moon was ill-informed, and he failed to interview any serving members of the Haane Manahi committee for his book.


Maori kiwifruit growers in the Bay of Plenty are welcoming the government's $50 million assistance package to help the industry fight the PSA outbreak.

Hemi Rolleston, the chief executive of Te Awanui Huka Pak, says no Maori growers are among the 60 whose orchards have tested positive to the vine killing bacteria since it was first detected two weeks ago.

Mr Rolleston says Maori growers supply about 10 percent of kiwifruit, and they are concerned because the infestation is an industry-wide issue.


Labour leader Phil Goff says the suggestion that he traded off a Victoria Cross for dead Maori Battalion hero Haane Manahi for one for living SAS hero Willie Apiata is deeply insulting and just plain wrong.

In a new book about Sergeant Manahi's actions at the battle of Takrouna Ridge in Tunisia in 1943, AUT history professor Paul Moon claims that Mr Goff presented a weak case when he went to Buckingham Palace with representatives of the Haane Manahi VC Committee in 2006 to push for the medal upgrade.

Mr Goff says he then had a separate meeting with the queen's private secretary to confirm that Willie Apiata's action in Afghanistan met the Commonwealth standard for the awarding a Victoria Cross.

“There was no trade-off. There could never have been a trade-off, and I’m deeply insulted at the inference he makes that I made any such trade-off. He could easily have checked with me. He never bothered, despite my invitation to him that I was available to talk at any length abut what we did in London to try to get justice for Haane Manahi,” he says.

Mr Goff says while the Queen confirmed her longstanding policy to abide by her father's 1949 decision to close the list of medals for World War 2, her award to Te Arawa of a sword, an altar cloth and a letter acknowledging Sergeant Manahi's bravery was unique and special.


National's Mana byelection candidate, Hekia Parata, is rejecting claims she ran a wedge campaign aimed at deceiving Maori.

Labour president Andrew Little told the Wellington newspaper that he was satisfied Chris Fa'afoi's 1080-vote win in light of National's strategy of telling Maori that Labour cared only about Pacific voters.

Ms Parata says that's nonsense.

“I went after absolutely every vote I can get and will be doing so again. I think Tariana Turia said on TV3’s The Nation that she endorsed both Matt McCarten and me so in terms of there being something overtly Maori, that was the extent of it," Ms Parata says.


The new Minister of Womens Affairs says she's comfortable taking on challenging portfolios, as long as it's good for the party.

Georgine Te Heuheu from Ngati Tuwharetoa picked up the job after the resignation of Pansy Wong, adding it to her existing ministerial responsibilities for Courts and Pacific Island Affairs.

The ACT Party called for the ministry to be scrapped, but Mrs Te Heuheu says there is clear evidence that women are still being denied equality in the workplace both in pay rates and in the number appointed to senior management and governance roles.

“You have to work away at it. You have to provide good advocacy, otherwise people will ignore you. And it’s the same principle as across Maori affairs, Pacific Island affairs, ethnic affairs and women’s affairs. Now overall, over the last 20 years, there have been improvements across all those but there are still challenges, absolutely,” Mrs Te Heuheu says.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fa'afoi gets down with Ngati Toa

The new MP for Mana says he's putting a meeting with tangata whenua on the top of his agenda.

Labour's Chris Fa'afoi beat National list MP Hekia Parata by 1080 votes on Saturday night.

The New Zealand-born Tokelauan says he has strong empathy for the issues Maori in the electorate are facing, and his first stop as a candidate was with Ngati Toa, and he'll be heading back to Takapuwahia Marae as soon as possible.

He says it was inevitable Labour's margin would drop from the 6155 enjoyed by long-serving MP Winnie Laban, but he's pleased his 47 percent share of the vote bas higher than Labour's share of the party vote in the electorate last election.


Greens Co-leader Meteria Turei says a new law changing the rules for water companies could expose the Crown to future treaty claims.

The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill, passed last week under urgency, allows councils to contract private companies to supply water services for up to 35 years.

Ms Turei says that amounts to privatisation in all but name, and raises the same sort of questions as when the Lange Labour government set up state owned enterprises.

“If there is legislation which is going to allow for the sale or effectively the privatisation of water management and resources before tikanga and customary title issues are dealt with, there could well be claims about that in the future,” Ms Turei says.

She says the government is committed delivering benefits to favoured industries, and it does not take Maori concerns about water ownership and management seriously.


A Kaikohe-raised boxer who has just become the International Boxing Federation's welterweight world women's champion wants a rematch in New Zealand against her beaten opponent.

38-year old Danielle Smith won a unanimous points decision over 25 year-old German Jenifer Retzke in Berlin last week to pick up the vacant belt and give her a 10 win, one loss professional record.

The mother of two turned to boxing 12 years ago as a way to keep fit for basketball, and says it's given her a chance to meet some of her heroes, such as Sugar Ray Leonard.

Her coach Monty Betham is working on staging a fight in New Zealand, but has also been fielding calls with offers of overseas bouts.


Ngati Apa and other Te tau Ihu iwi are mourning for Kathleen Hemi, who led treaty claims in the top of the South island.

Mrs Hemi died at her Blenheim home early this morning aged 85 after a long illness.

The mother of 10 was awarded a Queen's Service Medal in 1986 for her contribution to the community, which included chairing Omaka Marae, setting up a Maori Women's Welfare League branch in the area, and being a long serving member of Ngati Apa Trust.

Rahui Katene, the MP for Te Tai Tonga, says Mrs Hemi was the last one of the group that launched the Ngati Apa claim 17 years ago, and also led the foreshore and seabed court case.

Kathleen Hemi is lying in state at Omaka Marae in Blenheim.


Maori Party leader Tariana Turia says Labour was lucky to win the Mana byelection this weekend because it failed to realise the independent nature of the different Pacific Island communities.

She says in picking New Zealand-born Tokelauan Chris Fa'afoi as its candidate to replace former Pacific island minister Luamanuvao Winnie Laban, Labour displayed the same sort of blindness the mainstream parties show towards Maori tribal differences.

“It will teach Labour a lesson for thinking any Pacific person will do. The majority of Pacific people who live in Porirua are in fact Samoan and it is this notion they are all PIs by some of these mainstream parties and it is not so,” Mrs Turia says.

Mr Fa'afoi beat National's candidate, Hekia Parata from Ngati Porou and Ngai Tahu, by 1080 votes.


Former All Black turned broadcaster Glen Osborne is putting his bilingual skills to the test.

The 19 test veteran has just completed filming the series "Bring Your Boots, Oz" ... which takes a comic look at the national game.

The Whanganui native had to be on his toes as a presenter, because 40 percent of the commentary is in te reo Maori.

Mr Osborne is relieved the shoot is over, because the weekend filming shedules curtailed his ability to enjoy the finer things in life, like pighunting.

Sustainable memorial for Hawea Vercoe

The whanau of Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Rotoiti will today unveil a memorial garden for the school’s former principal, Hawea Vercoe.

The 36-year-old was hit and killed a year ago by an Opotiki man, who is currently serving a prison term for manslaughter.

Acting principal Tammy Gardiner says the memorial, which includes a wetland beside Lake Rotoiti, shows the love the community still feels.


Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples says a new biography of Poverty Bay leader Wi Pere is the sort of history that needs to be available in the nation's schools.

Wi Pere, from Rongowhakaata and Te Aitanga a Mahaki, represented Eastern Maori for four terms between 1884 and 1905, and spent a further five years on the legislative council.

As well as fighting to preserve Maori culture and customs, he created a sound foundation for his hapu, which is now one of the largest Maori land-based businesses.

Dr Sharples says the book by Wi Pere’s great grandson, Joseph Anaru Hetekia Te Kani Pere, is an impressive work of scholarship.

“It's very important for the mana of our iwi and we’ve got to do this with all our leaders, bring this stuff out, so when we talk about the early settlers, we’re not just talking about the Pakeha ones that came out here and did stuff but our own history which is absent from our schools,” Dr Sharples


A growing interest in artworks with Maori subjects is being credited for the record price for a painting at auction in Auckland on Friday night.

A South Island buyer paid $573,000 for a Charles Frederick Goldie portrait of Rutene Te Uamairangi , popularly known as Forty Winks, out of the collection of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

Richard Thomson, the director of the International Art Centre, says there is no recession when it comes to such works.

Another work in the auction, an 1865 painting by an unknown artist of a Maori selling crayfish on the Auckland waterfront, sold for $18,000.


The Prime Minister, John Key, says the launch of the first Whanau Ora centres is a pointer to the way health and social service delivery will change.

Centres were opened in Hamilton and Taumarunui last week by Toiora, a Waikato-based public health organisation funded by the Ministry of Health.

Mr Key says the focus needs to shift from treating people as isolated individuals.

“The aim is to reorient things back in the family. It’s a combination of personal responsibility, but also trying to recognise that within families it’s a complex unit and just the Crown coming in or the government coming in and dealing with one issue won’t fix all the issues that family faces,” Mr Key says.


Visitors to Tauranga’s Historic Village will now have the opportunity to get a traditional tattoo.

Moana Moko opened its Te Rua Moko studio on Friday, providing a permanent home for Pohe and Rikirau Luttenberger and their cousin Stu Wararahi McDonald.

Pohe Luttenberger says there are eight active ta moko artists in the whanau, and they see it as being a family tradition, with their whakapapa including many not only tohunga ta moko but tohunga whakairo or carvers.

Moana Moko expects to be inundated with work in its new home, especially in the run up to Christmas.


A Rotorua kura kaupapa student says she feels overwhelmed at being chosen the new Milky Bar Kid.

Eight year old Hinetaapora Short got more the 11,000 votes to get on the shortlist.

She’s looking forward to coming to Auckland today to film a television advertisement … and to get paid so she can go shopping.

Hinetaapora Short, who is at Te Kura o te Koutu, is fluent in Maori and she is also studying Spanish.

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