Waatea News Update

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Friday, December 03, 2010

Educator and actor Bill Tawhai dies

Te Whanau A Apanui, Ngati Awa and Te Whakatohia are mourning the loss of one of their finest educators.

Bill Tawhai has died in Whakatane at the age of 77.

Mr Tawhai started teaching in 1957 and his career included stints in England and America, and 16 years as principal at Te Whanau a Apanui Area School in Te Kaha for 16 years.

After retiring he taught at Te Whare Wananaga O Awanuiaring, worked on a thesis on the Maori lunar month, and had acting and agony uncle roles with Maori television.

Te Whanau a Apanui Kaumatua Te Kepa Stirling says Mr Tawhai's skills will be hard to replace, especially on the reo or the iwi.

Wiremu Karuwha Tawhai is at Omaia Marae

No reira e te rangatira...takoto mai, takoto mai, moe mai.


Tainui's Te Ara Taura executive is demanding an apology from the new head of the tribe's governing body for a report alleging a phenomenal increase in executive costs.

In her first report to Te Kauhanganui parliament, Tania Martin said the executive has lost perspective on their responsibilities as trustees of a charitable organisation.

Tukoroirangi Morgan, the chair of Te Ara Taura, says Mrs Martin's claim of a 30 percent in executive spending to $2.5 million is wrong, and it will come in below last year's $1.7 million.

“The information is incorrect. Here’s a new chair, exuberant and wanting to get on with things, and has got things absolutely wrong. The board can refute all of her baseless allegations and we contend that the report brings the tribe into disrepute,” Mr Morgan says.

If a formal apology is not forthcoming from Mrs Martin, the executive will involve dispute resolution procedures within the parliament.


World Over-30's BMX champion Dave Mohi from Te Arawa and Tuwharetoa says he'll spend the summer mentoring young riders determined to lower their race times.

The Rotorua based builder won a nailbiting final over his French rival to win the world championship in South Africa mid-year.

His success will be acknowledged alongside 12 other world champions at tomorrow night's National Maori Sports Awards in Auckland.

Mr Mohi, who raced at the Gisborne BMX meet last week as part of the national series, says he's always had bikes and ridden on the edge.


The head of Tainui's executive, Tukuroirangi Morgan, says a report to the tribal parliament claiming over-spending is factually inaccurate and brings the tribe into disrepute.

He says the executive, Te Ara Taura, has demanded an apology from its author, Tania Martin, the new chair of Te Kauhanganui parliament.

Mr Morgan says rather than a 30 percent blow-out on last year's $1.7 million spend, the executive is on target to meet this year's budget of only $1.1 million.

Particularly galling was Mrs Martin's criticism of the $25,000 spent on a 10-day trip to Australia, which she had pre-approved.

“We have 12,000 people living in Australia. We are responsible and accountable to all of our people wherever they are. We had hundreds of people come to those hui. It was our obligation to update our people on where the tribe was heading, what we’re doing with our money, what we intend to do in the future. That is a responsibility I take very seriously,” Mr Morgan says.

He was not shown Mrs Martin's report before it went to Te Kauhanganui.


South Waikato iwi Ngati Raukawa today signed agreements with five Crown agencies on how they will work together in future.

Chris McKenzie, the chair of the Raukawa Settlement Trust, says the visit of Prime Minister John Key and five of his minister to Te Papa o Te Aroha Marae in Tokoroa was the biggest Crown incursion into the south Waikato since the Battle of Orakau.

He says the agreements with the ministries of Fisheries, Conservation, Environment, Culture and Heritage and the Prime Minister's Department, elevates the position of Ngati Raukawa within its rohe.

“What we've essentially signed today is confirmation that John Key is prime minister of New Zealand because the New Zealand people voted him in and Chris McKenzie is prime minister of Raukawa because the Raukawa people voted him in and this sets the dialogue between those two chiefs and our respective cabinets. Twice a year various ministries will come up and discuss issues of the day with Raukawa and we will drive down policy change,” Mr McKenzie says.

Ngati Raukawa has signed a settlement giving it co-management of the Waikato River in its rohe, and is finalising the comprehensive settlement of its historic treaty claims.


The Little General has given the thumbs up to this year's Golden Boot.
Stacey Jones from Ngapuhi and Maniapoto says Kiwi captain Benji Marshall richly deserved the title of best international Rugby League player.

Previous winners include superstars like Mal Meninga, Wally Lewis, Jonathon Thurston and Jones himself, in 2002.

He says the Ruatoki-raised standoff's form was superb in both the NRL and as captain of the Four Nations Cup-winning Kiwi squad, leading from the front.

Four Kiwis made the Golden Boot World 13 ... Maoris Marshall, Sean Kenny Dowell and Jason Knightingale and Tongan Manu Vatuvei.

Wakatu closing the gulf on investments

The chief executive of Wakatu Incorporation says it's learned its lesson about trying to invest outside its home base at the top of the South Island.

A paper loss on a property development in Gulf Harbour north of Auckland contributed to the incorporation's $10.7 million loss for the year, with a drop in value of its mussel space making up the bulk of the loss.

But Keith Palmer says its property, aquaculture and horticulture businesses were all cash positive, and the continued success of its Nelson property developments points the way ahead.

“Property development has cooled down but in your own area you know the keen buyers who keep going, you know the areas people are always buying in. You go to someone else’s town, they’re just as smart as you and they know a lot more,” Mr Palmer says

Wakatu now has assets of about $250 million, up from the $11 million it started with in 1977 when it was set up to manage Maori reserved lands in Nelson and Motueka.


The Hawkes Bay District Health Board's Maori unit has created a science academy to encourage rangitahi to study science.

Spokesperson Dianne Wepa says the academy will connect students with local business to keep science interesting.

She says if students stop studying maths and science, they will almost certainly cut themselves off from careers in medicine.

“The drop off rate for Maori after year 10 is huge. Only 6.5 percent of Maori continue on with the science subjects until they leave high school compared to 25 percent for non-Maori students. That’s not good enough and we need to do something about that,” Dianne Wepa says.

The unit has also held a breakfast for kuia to impress on them the importance of impressing on mokopuna the importance of taking science subjects.


The chair of the Rapaki Runanga based says building a new whare tipuna required members of the Lyttelton harbour hapu to do extensive research into their whakapapa.

Kopa Lee says the richly carved interior of the whare is in marked contrast to the plain 107-year-old hall it replaced.

He says carver Riki Manuel quizzed the whanau about the area's rich Maori history, so inside the whare are pou representing the key ancestors of each whanau.

The new whare, named Wheke, sleeps 50, and includes a whare taonga and meeting room.


Waikato - Hauraki MP Nanaia Mahuta says some of the submissions against the Marine and Coastal Area Bill show how vested interests fear Maori entry into their industry.

Ms Mahuta says there seems to be little support for the bill, with Maori concerned about the cost and difficulty of proving customary title.

But she says the real debate about the foreshore relates to aquaculture and mining, and the bill won't really help anyone in that regard.

“I know in Hauraki there’s huge potential still for Maori to participate in aquaculture and I didn’t just accept a number of submissions from those players on the aquaculture landscape saying this will create unease in the industry. I believe that Maori want to participate in aquaculture, certainly in Hauraki, that they want certainty too,” Ms Mahuta says.

The Maori Affairs select committee is hearing submissions on the bill in Auckland today.


The people of Tasman area have set up a confidential website where people can report racist incidents in their community.

Evey McAuliffe from the Nelson Multicultural Council says the Speak Out Nelson - Tasman campaign is a response to the changing face of the community.

She says as well as having a sizeable Maori population, one in five people in the area was born outside New Zealand.

Mrs McAuliffe says people don't need an Internet connection to take part, as people in centres can help people lodge their complaints online.


Maori filmmakers are getting the chance to get an international perspective on indigenous screen production this weekend.

Organiser Ella Henry symposium at the AUT University marae was the brainchild of the late Merata Mita.

She says one of Ms Mita’s oldest filmmaking friends, Montreal-based Alanis Obomsawin, who is almost 80 and still making films, will be joined by two other Canadian filmmakers and two Australian Aboriginal filmmakers.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Strokes among Maori at epidemic levels

A new research institute hopes to address what it's describing as an epidemic of stroke among Maori and Pacific island people.

Valery Feigin, the head of AUT's National Institute of Stroke and Applied Neuroscience says in some countries stroke rates are dropping, but among Maori the rate is up 19 percent and the Pacific island rate up 66 percent.

He says higher rates of abdominal obesity and elevated blood pressure are major contributors.

“Personally I believe that as far as health is concerned, smoking and McDonalds are the most terrible inventions the human being has done to kill themselves,” Professor Feigin says.

He says Maori get check ups on their cars more often than they do their bodies.


The winner of a Health Ministry Te Apa Mareikura scholarship is thanking her whanau for encouraging her interest in tribal affairs.

Harata Te Amo Simeon from Tuhoe, Rongomaiwahine and Ngati Awa earned the $10,000 award for her combination of academic performance and involvement in community health.

She says from helping set up a student union at Te Whare Waanaga O Awanuiarangi to her current role managing the Matika Charitable Trust, she has always had Maori interests at heart.

She says that stems from her upbringing in Ruatoki and Ruatahuna, where she was always allowed to attend hui.


Decendants of Te Rarawa chief Pautea Atama Paparangi have welcomed the gift of a portrait of their ancestor to the Nelson Provincial Museum.

The small painting by Charles Goldie is an anonymous donation from an Auckland family, which has owned it since 1964.

Nelson architect John Palmer, one of Paparangi's many descendants who attended the opening, says his great great grandfather became a good friend of the painter and sat for him many times before his death aged 100 in 1917 ... the year before the painting was completed.

“He was a great man in lost of ways and it’s lovely to have this come down to us and I’m hugely grateful to the family who donated this and it’s not on public display,” Mr Palmer says.

Another painting of the northern chief which had been owned by Dame Kiri te Kanawa recently sold at auction for $573,000.


Nelson's Wakatu Incorporation says business goes on, despite a $10.7 million loss for the year.

Chief executive Keith Palmer says the incorporation's businesses, which include property, horticulture and aquaculture, remained cash positive, so there is no need to lay off any of the 425-strong workforce.

But he says a change to accounting methods meant assets are valued based on the profits produced in the current year - which are affected by factors such as exchange rates and commodity prices.

“Most of the loss comes from revaluation of water space an that’s because mussel process over the last year plummeted from $1.90 to $1.20. The auditors look at the price of the water space it comes off and say if the price of the product dropped a third, you’ve got to revalue your water space,” Mr Palmer says.

Wakatu staff have done an exceptional job containing costs, which should help the incorporation through the current tough conditions.


Labour leader Phil Goff says the selection of Rino Tirikatene as his party's Te Tai Tonga candidate means incumbent Rahui Katene from the Maori Party faces a tough challenge next year.

The 37-year-old lawyer has a background in Maori economic development, and he's also the grandson of Sir Eruera Tirikatene, who first took the Southern Maori seat for Ratana in 1932.

Mr Goff says the election will be about more than personalities and whakapapa, and more about people questiong what the Maori Party-National coalition has done for Maori.


The Safekids organisation says housing conditions are a major factor in the large number of Maori and Pasifika children injured or killed in driveway accidents.

Research published in the New Zealand Medical Journal shows on average four children a year are run over and killed in driveways, and a child is admitted to hospital every two weeks with serious injuries.

Ann Weaver, the director of Safekids, says of 93 cases in the Auckland area between 2001 and 2005, 25 percent were Maori and 43 Pacific Islanders.

“It's not because they are Maori. It’s because of maybe the higher numbers of children in the household, multiple families in the household, multiple cars on the property, the design of types of properties that they might live in where they are more busy than some other families,” Ms Weaver says.

Where possible, families should set up a safe area away from the driveway where children can play.


Commentator Ken Laban says Hosea Gear's outstanding performance in the All Blacks' northern hemisphere grand slam should be enough to give the Ngati Porou winger the edge to win the senior men's prize at Saturday's National Maori Sports Awards in Auckland.

He says the New Zealand Maori and Hurricanes rep made the most of his return to the ABs.

That should put him ahead of the other two finalists, football World Cup goal scorer Winston Reid and decathlete Brent Newdick.

Maori preschools threatened by $400m cuts

Labour leader Phil Goff says Maori will be particularly hard hit by $400 million in cuts to early childhood education.

He says Labour has surveyed more than 400 early childhood centres about the cut in the subsidy which was intended to increase the number of trained teachers.

He says the message has come back that fees will need to rise on average by 20 percent, participation levels will fall, and the number of qualified teachers will drop.

“That was particularly so in Maori and Pasifika centres where they said fee increases are just going to lock a lot of children out because their parents simply can’t afford increases of $30, $40 a week to keep their children in quality early childhood education,” Mr Goff says

He says more than 1000 Maori and Pasifika children will be denied early childhood education because of the cuts.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says an organisation to represent the voice of Maori women may help keep parliament's women MPs on their toes.

Te Whaainga Wahine was formed at a national hui in Thames over the weekend to help women speak out at local, national and iwi level.

Ms Turei says it's the sort of initiative that is needed in what is a time of massive economic and political change affecting Maori women and their children.

“You can't necessarily say that because a leader or a political person is a woman that thy hold the kaupapa of women or particularly Maori women at the forefront of their mind. As a Maori woman in politics, what I always need is that strong political voice telling me when I do good and telling me when I do bad,” Ms Turei says.


A Hawkes Bay Regional Council water symposium has been told Maori want to know about the health a water system rather than how much can be extracted out of it to feed the land.

Roger Maaka, the professor of Maori and Indigenous Studies at the Eastern Institute of Technology and a member of the Waitangi Tribunal panel which considered the WAI 262 fauna and flora claim, says most of the participants wants to debate water allocations systems.

But he says his Ngati Kahungunu iwi was more concerned about the welfare of waterways.

“Once that's healthy that will provide for people and we take it that way rather than saying what is the volume in drought conditions, what is the volume in winter conditions and how can we maximize of exploit these. Do you start from increased production of do you start from the health of the waterway,” Professor Maaka says.


A leading Maori policeman says the appointment of Peter Marshall as the next commissioner for a shortened term has increased the odds of a Maori becoming the top cop.

Mr Marshall will come back from running the Solomon islands police force to take over from Commissioner Howard Broad, who retires in April.

Wally Haumaha, the manager of Maori and ethnic services, says his decision to take the job for three years rather than the usual five is interesting.

“On that basis the deputy commissioner in waiting, Viv Rickards, will certainly be a strong contender at the next round or in the next term the office becomes vacant,” Superintendent Haumaha says.

He's hoping for big moves from Peter Marshall to tackle the high incidence of Maori crime.


A Maori attending this week's indigenous rights workshop in Auckland says she's letting the manuhiri from around the Asia Pacific region know that New Zealand's record with Maori isn't as good as the government would like to paint it.

Debbie Ngarewa-Packer from Ngati Ruanui and Nga Rauru in southern Taranaki says there is a false perception abroad that New Zealand is a leader in respecting indigenous peoples rights.

“There are a lot of laws not in our favour and we are constantly having matters like environmental protection, our ability to use and develop our lands and resources, our inability to improve on our economic and social conditions, our inability to be consulted on things that are affecting our lands and resources,” she says.
Mrs Packer says the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which the Human Rights Commission-run workshop is considering, is a good starting point to address those issues.


Labour's candidate for Tai Tonga is calling on some heavyweight help from whanau to win back the seat for Labour.

Rino Tirikatene is the nephew of Whetu Tirikatene Sullican and grandson of Sir Eruera Tirikatene, who between held the seat for 64 years until 1996.

He says his aunt was the first one round with a bottle of bubbly when he won the chance to take on first term Maori party MP Rahui Katene, and with her encyclopaedic knowledge of the electorate she will be someone to bounce ideas off.

Mr Tirikatene says he knows the rohe well from the years he has spent working in Maori social and economic development in the electorate, which covers the South Island and Wellington city.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Key slams Brash over foreshore unease

National Party leader John Key says his predecessor's views on Maori and the reform of the Foreshore and Seabed Act have done nothing to raise the standard of the debate.

At the weekend Don Brash used a speech to the Orewa branch of the National Party to accuse the Government of giving special treatment to Maori through things like the consultation provisions in the Resource Management and the mechanisms for recognising customary title in the Marine and Coastal Areas Bill.

But the Prime Minister says there was no substance in the speech.

“He said 'I have a general unease about the Coastal Area and Marine Bill.’ Well, okay, but Don’s an intelligent man. If he’s got a problem, tell us what it is, but don’t tell us you have a general unease because you can’t fix general uneases and anyway, Don in 2004 I remember very vividly being the main advocate of saying Maori should be allowed to test their rights in the court. Well, that’s exactly what the coastal area and marine bill does,” Mr Key says

He says Don Brash's criticism in his speech of the Maori Party as divisive is strange, given the effort he made in 2006 to get it into a coalition government.


Labour's Te Tai Tonga Committee has gone with tradition, picking Rino Tirikatene as its candidate for the next election.

The 37-year-old is the nephew of Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan, who held Southern Maori for Labour from 1967 until 1996, and the grandson of Erura Tirikatene, who won the seat in 1932 as the first Ratana MP.

He believes he's got a strong chance of unseating first term Maori Party MP Rahui Katene, and says he'll be pushing issues like education, employment and economic development that affect Maori every day.

“I've had a very strong background in legal, economic development, just working among our Maori economic interests so I think that’s important. Maori do have an important part to play in our economy and making sure we are creating jobs for our people so I do have a strong background in those areas and I’m known throughout the motu,” Mr Tirikatene says.

He has had past experience in campaigning, standing for Labour in 1996 in the central North Island seat of Te Puku o Te Whenua.


Squash professional Joelle King is hoping to follow in the footsteps of other Maori players who have excelled in the sport.

The Waikato-raised 22-year-old is on court in Palmerston North about now, representing New Zealand against Malaysia at the Women's World Teams’ championship.

After winning last year's Australian Open and picking up gold and silver at the New Delhi Commonwealth, she's nominated in the senior women’s category in this weekend's National Maori Sports Awards in Auckland.

Ms King says she's inspired by Maori like Leilani Joyce-Rorani who won 15 major titles and was world number one, Shelley Kitchen and Tamsin Levy, who is also in the current team.


The most senior Maori police officer is welcoming the appointment of Peter Marshall as the next commissioner.

Wally Haumaha, the head of Maori and ethnic services, says it's an astute appoinment.

Mr Marshall has been heading the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force on secondment since shortly he was lost out on the commissioner's post to Howard Broad.

Superintendent Haumaha says that will be valuable experience.

“Having somebody who has been living in the Pacific and been culturally attuned to issues far and wide in the Solomon Islands, I think that we will have somebody who is empathetic and understanding more of kaupapa Maori so on that basis alone I’m really excited about the opportunity to work alongside Peter again,” Mr Haumaha says.

He says Mr Marshall did a very good job as the officer in charge of policing the 2004 foreshore and seabed hikoi from Northland to Parliament.


Prime Minister John Key says a new group which aims to give Maori women a greater say in policy could make a valuable contribution to politics.

Te Whaainga Wahine was formed at a national hui at Thames on the weekend, and immediately launched a salvo at the Iwi Leaders Group and the struggle women have to be heard in traditional Maori forums.

Mr Key says he has noticed a shortage of women in the Iwi Leaders Group.

“Nayda Glavish tends to turn up but you don’t see a lot of other women there necessarily in those leadership positions. You can always do with some more and I think there are some extremely talented Maori women that I see in a variety of forums that I go to. You can see that they are the leaders of tomorrow so we shouldn’t give up home that there is a category of female leaders coming through in Maoridom like there is in the rest of New Zealand,” Mr Key says.


A kura kaupapa teacher from Whakatohea and Ngapuhi is swapping classical music for kapahaka.

Ramari Sherman won the Maori section of the recent New Zealand Aria competition with an original composition about taonga puoro.

But she says her priority now is to make the starting line-up of Opotiki Mai Tawhiti for Te Matatini national championship in February.

says she developed her love of music accompanying her grandmother to practices for the National Maori Choir, and she's inspired by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, the most famous Maori singer.

Taranaki incorporation bounces back to profit

Paraninihi ki Waitotara Incorporation has bounced back from its disastrous foray into Australian property development to record a $3 million profit.

Chief executive Dion Tuuta says the turnaround came through improved rents on its 18,000 hectares of leased Taranaki farmland, good returns and better cost control on its own 13 dairy farms, a good result in its crayfish business and a 13-fold return on an investment in an American biotechnology company.

He says the investment in the Gabba Central apartment and retail development in Brisbane, which led to the $31 million loss two years ago, has been written off, and the 8500 shareholders are now looking to the year ahead.

“The current season is proving to be very positive. We’re about 40,000 kgs (of milk solids) ahead of budget, which is positive although we are in the hands of the weather gods and hopefully Fonterra’s price is going to improve but looking forward we’re also looking at implementing some managed farms so moving away from the 50-50 (sharemilker) model,” Mr Tuuta says,

Shareholders rejected a plan to sell residential land, and they are keen for the incorporation to pick up any leases that come up, at a fair price.


A Dunedin geneticist is trying to isolate a gene he believes could be responsible for the prevelance of a rare liver disease in a Bay of Plenty whanau.

Stephen Robertson has previously tracked down a rogue gene which was leading to the deaths of boys in a far North whanau ... in the process dispelling the family's belief it was cursed by a makutu or spell.

He says his current project focuses on biliary atresia, where children are born without bile ducts.

Biliary atresia occurs among Maori at three times the rate of non-Maori.


The organiser of tonight's Tainui Youth Got Talent Awards expects standing room only at the Founders Theatre in Hamilton.

Vince Hapi says the show has unearthed some wonderful budding entertainers on Te Waananga O Aotearoa's five Waikato campuses.

He says the contest has hit a chord with the region's rangatahi.


Parininihi ki Waitotara Incorporation has declared a Christmas dividend for its 8500 shareholders, celebrating a return to profitability.

Chief executive Dion Tuuta says the incorporation, which owns 20,000 hectares of Taranaki farmland, made a $3 million profit from rentals, returns from its own farms, its lobster business and other investments.

It hasn't paid a dividend since 2008, when it declared a $31 million loss after writing off its investment in a Brisbane apartment and retail development.

Mr Tuuta says while the 60 cent a share will deliver an average of only $84, shareholders have made it clear they want a regular dividend.

“Dividend is important to them and it’s not necessarily the size of the dividend but it’s a recognition of their ownership interests and it’s a recognition of their link to the legacy of PKW which has been handed down to them from their families and so to a certain extent it is viewed in more than just economic terms,” he says.

This year Paraninihi ki Waitotara Incorporation intends to shift two of its 13 farms to a fully managed rather than sharemilking model, so it can capture a bigger share of the milk cheque.


The new head of creative writing at the Manukau Institute of Technology wants to hone the writing skills of the area's Maori and Pasifika storytellers.

Poet Robert Sullivan from Ngapuhi and Ngai tahu will run a three hour writing workshop this Saturday at Otahuhu Library covering poetry, prose, editing and presentation.

He says similar workshops which encourage people to tell their stories in their own way have brought out some interesting observations of multicultural life in Aotearoa.

“I think a lot of people with life experience are great oral storytellers. They’ve got the gift of the gab. And what creative writing brings to the mix is a way of translating that oral gift onto the page so that readers can also share in the magic,” Mr Sullivan says.


Hastings District Councillor and Flaxmere community organiser Henare O Keefe says he's humbled at making the semi finals of the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year competition.

The long time resident's activities in the low income Maori community have included holding street barbeques, developing cycleways to improve health and successfully marshaling opposition against against the construction of a Corrections Department facility in the town centre.

He says he only does what has to be done.

“You can't legislate passion and compassion and love and enthusiasm. I’m a dime a dozen. There’s some wonderful New Zealanders up and down the length and breadth of this country and they do it for the love of it and I’m no different and you do it without expectation or want of reward. You do it because it has to be done, plain and simple really,” says Mr O’Keefe, who’s from Ngati Porou, Ngati Kahungunu, Ireland ... and Flaxmere.

Clamants want answer on spectrum progress

Maori spectrum claimants will ask the Government why it is holding up efforts to work out how Maori should share in the latest reallocation of frequencies.

Piripi Walker from the Wellington Maori language board, Nga Kaiwhakapumau i te reo, says a national hui has been briefed on what has happened in the year since claimants agreed to defer their Waitangi Tribunal hearing on fourth generation spectrum and form a joint working party with Crown officials.

The latest claim was in response to the freeing up of frequencies caused by the shift from analogue to digital television.

Mr Walker says a paper was prepared to go to Cabinet in September, but the responsible ministers haven't put it forward.

“We're going to seek out a full answer from the Crown on where it’s going and our job then is to listen/ We’re in negotiations and they require good faith and then we’ll see where we go from there,” he says.

Mr Walker says the history of spectrum claims over the past 20 years is that the politicians are unwilling to accept strong findings by the Waitangi Tribunal and the courts that Maori have rights to spectrum.


Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia says tobacco companies should be made to pay to help people stop smoking.

Mrs Turia says she endorses the editorial in the latest New Zealand Medical Journal calling for prompt action to implement the recommendations of Maori affairs select committee inquiry into the tobacco industry.

She says the costs of making New Zealand smoke free should not all fall on the taxpayer.

“Those international companies who make a lot of money out of it, they do nothing to lower the nicotine levels, they do nothing to assist. Personally I think they should be the ones who are paying for the Nicotinel, the patches, the Champix, all of the substances that can be given to people who smoke,” Mrs Turia says.


Ngai Tahu leader Sir Tipene O'Regan says Te Aue Davis will be long remembered not only as a great weaver but as a distinguished traditional scholar.

The Ngati Maniapoto kuia died on Sunday at the age of 85.

Speaking from her tangi at Tokikapu Marae in Waitomo, Sir Tipene says he worked closely with Mrs Davis on preparations for the Ngai Tahu claims, on building marae, and on various heritage boards.

He says she had an encyclopaedic knowledge of traditional Maori history.

“She compiled, edited and published bilingually the 1990 atlas of Maori oral histories and that is one of the great contemporary documents of traditional content of best quality,” Sir Tipene says.


Indigenous and human rights workers from around the Asia - Pacific region are in Auckland for a four-day workshop on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of indigenous Peoples.

Organiser Bill Hamilton from the Human Rights Commission says people are looking for practical ways to implement the declaration, which New Zealand adopted with conditions in may.

He says the results could help Maori frame the debate on issues like constitutional change and participation and representation in government.

The workshop started with a powhiri at Orakei Marae this afternoon.


A member of the Alternative Welfare Working Group says the Government's official group is ignoring a fundamental principle of successful reform ... that the people affected need to be involved.

Both groups released interim reports last week, offering radically different prescriptions.

Mamari Stevens says the official report's glib treatment of Maori issues reflects a failure to properly engage with Maori.

She says based on past reviews like Puao Te Ata Tu in the 1980s, Maori expected a much higher standard of consultation than they got.

“Where is the consultation, the genuine consultation of the Maori voice in this decade for this issue. There’s no mention in these reports so far of the history of Maori dealing with and having these experiences with social welfare. You can’t clean the slate and go ahead as if nothing has happened. You must take the history into account when you are designing a way forward,” she says.


One of this year's top Maori scholars says he's glad his father convinced him to head south to study.

Hori Barsdell from Ngati Awa, Whakatohea, Ngai Te Rangi and Te Arawa is studying physical education, Maori and music technology at Otago University ... where his father Peter went before returning to Mataatua to teach physed at Whakatane High School.

The 22 year old says winning a $10,000 John McLeod scholarship for outstanding academic success in Maori health is inspiring and he’s keen to work with rangatahi encouraging healthy lifestyles.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Te Aue Davis straight talking inspiration

Te Tai Hauauru MP Tariana Turia says the late Te Aue Davis was an inspiration not only as an artist but as an advocate for Maori.

The Ngati Maniapoto master weaver died on Sunday aged 85, and she has been taken back to Tokikapu Marae in Waitomo.

Mrs Turia remembers first meeting her at a wananga in Whanganui on making the traditional hieke or rain cape.

“She was very direct, Te Aue, never left you in any doubt about what she thought about things, and I did love that in her,” Mrs Turia says.

Te Aue Davis contributed not only to Maori arts organisations but through service on the New Zealand Historic Places Trust's Maori Heritage Council, the Conservation Department 's Maori Heritage Board, and a Parliamentary Commission for the Environment research team that developed environmental performance indicators.


A spokesperson for a new Maori women's organisation says the group intends to challenge the National government's attacks on the well being of whenua, whanua and hapu.

Denise Messiter says Te Whaainga Wahine was formed at a national hui at Matai Whetu marae near Thameson the weekend.

She says the 60 women who attended felt wahine were still being excluded from national, regional and Maori political forums, and Maori women needed a new voice.

“Te Whaainga Wahine is a platform where women can come together, identify their concerns, to look at solutions on issues like foreshore and seabed drilling, conversations that John Key and others are having about selling off more of our resources to multinational companies, down to how do we support our whanau on a day to day basis with issues like benefit reform,” Ms Messiter says.

Te Whaainga Wahine also has the self-appointed Iwi Leaders Group in its sights.


Ngati Wai is supporting a resource consent application by a Russian billionaire to build a concrete path and jetty along part of the Northland coast.

Resource management co-ordinator Clive Stone says agents for Russian steel magnate Alexander Abramov consulted iwi about the 250 metre path at Otara Bay, near Helena Bay, which is opposed by the Department of Conservation and the Historic Places Trust but supported by Northland Regional Council.

He was the project will provide public access, help with search and rescue operations and allow restoration of the reef.

“Before we okayed it, it had to be culturally acceptable, it needed to be environmentally sustainable and it had to be socially responsible, and I think it ticked all the boxes for us,” Mr Stone says.

Ngati Wai will work with the Abromov Family Trust to protect the area which is rich in kaimoana.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says Don Brash was happy to court her party's votes when he was National's leader, but he's changing his tune now.

At a speech in Orewa on the weekend, Dr Brash slammed the Maori Party for being race based, and said people would be rightly upset if there were European or Chinese political parties vying for seats in parliament.

Mrs Turia says that's not what he was saying when he though he might need the Maori Party to form a government in 2005.

“I have no time for any politician or ex politician who deliberately divides New Zealand by playing the race card. One of the comments that he made was about ‘we’d be upset if they had an all-European party.’ Well, quite frankly many of them did for years and years and years,” Mrs Turia says.

She says Pakeha politicians never seemed to complain about Maori representation when the only Maori in Parliament were the four who held the Maori seats.


Ngati Awa treaty claim leader Professor Sir Hirini Moko Mead has been appointed the inaugural professor of a new Institute for Post Treaty Settlement Futures.

Jeremy Gardiner, the chief executive of Te Runanga o Ngati Awa, says the Whakatane-based institute is a joint development of the runanga and Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi.

He says it will be a place iwi and scholars can share ideas on the sorts of organisations iwi need to develop, how settlement assets can be used, and how iwi Maori can influence the policy the Crown develops around the treaty relationship.

“The first chair position was looking for someone who has a deep knowledge of the treaty settlement process, who has impeccable standing in the academic community and was ideally Ngati Awa, so fortunately we found a candidate who had all of those three things,” Mr Gardiner says.

The institute's first symposium, Te Pourewa Arotahi, continues today at Te papa in Wellington with contributions from treaty negotiations minister Chris Finlayson, Waitangi Tribunal deputy chair Judge Stephanie Milroy and a range of iwi leaders.


Ngati Porou tenor Will Martin hopes his new collection of contemporary songs will match the sales of his classical debut.

A New World went straight to number one on the UK classic charts when it was released there in 2008 and also made the top 20 in the pop charts.

The 26-year old says he's gone for the same big sound on the new album, Inspirations, using orchestras in London and Prague, and singing his favourite songs like Crowded House’s Don’t Dream It’s Over in the classical style.

Will Martin says he's been inspired in his career by another Maori singer, Kiri Te Kanawa

Monday, November 29, 2010

Weaver and heritage advocate Te Aue Davis dies

Ngati Uekaha and Maniapoto are mourning the loss of weaver, historian and advocate Te Aue Davis, who died yesterday at the age of 85.

Former Creative New Zealand deputy chair Cliff Whiting says she made significant contributions to the Historic Places Trust in its understanding of waahi tapu, to the New Zealand Geographic Board, to various treaty claims, and to the development of Maori arts organisations like Nga Puna Waihanga and Te Waka Toi.

He says they first worked together in the 1980s developing the meeting house Maru Kaitatea at Takahanga Marae in Kaikoura for the Ngati Kuri hapu of Ngai Tahu.

“We were approaching it from very much a community-oriented project, not a tohunga project. We set ourselves the task of developing carving processes that ordinary folk could move in to, weaving processes which Te Aue got very much involved in that that ordinary folk could get into which at the same time developing enough skill that their work could be used in a display in their meeting house,” Mr Whiting says.

Te Aue Davis is at her ancestral marae Tokikapu in Waitomo.


A member of the select committee considering the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill says Labour may be hard pressed to support the bill in its current form.

Shane Jones says Labour is willing to consider reform of the Foreshore and Seabed Act, but what comes out needs to be an improvement.

He says the bill drafted by attorney general Chris Finlayson is muddled, and leaves Maori Pary MPs unhappy but felling obliged to support it.

“It's difficult to see where the support is actually coming from. We said okay, let it go to select committee and we’ll base our eventual decision on the nature and the quality of the submissions etc. I guess if John Key can get the numbers he’ll just ram it through but to me it’s increasingly looking like a bugger’s muddle,” Mr Jones says.

He says the longer the debate about the foreshore and seabed goes on, the more bizarre the responses to it get.


Michael Campbell has been inducted into the New Zealand Golf Hall of Fame alongside the only other kiwi to win a major, Sir Bob Charles.

Commentator Ken Laban says the inaugural inductions are a reminder of how high the Te Atiawa golfer rose after his first international win as a member of New Zealand's 1992 Eisenhower Cup team.

He says while Campbell has failed to recapture the form that won him 15 professional victories including the 2005 U.S Open, he can come back.


Unite Union head Matt McCarten says the Maori Party's support for a bill allowing all bosses to sack workers at will in the first 90 days is a disgrace.

He says the existing bill covering smaller workplaces has already had a disproportionate impact on Maori workers, because they change jobs more often and are more likely to be in blue collar and service type jobs where there are more bad employers.

Mr McCarten says if iwi leaders are really concerned about rank and file Maori, they would have spoken against the bill, which was pushed through under urgency last week.

“Maori are always the best fighters in the unions, do the heavy lifting but in this instance I don’t think we did and what we’re going to do with our children now, as they come into the workforce, our legacy will be teaching them the boss is the man and you just do whatever you’re told and you never ask and you never stand up and you keep your head down,” he says.

Mr McCarten says there is no evidence to back claims that allowing employers to hire and fire without redress will create job openings for young Maori.


Five outstanding Maori studying and working in the health sector have been acknowledged for their mahi.

Auckland University medical student Phillip Tane from Ngapuhi and Ngati Maniapoto and Hori Barsdell from Ngati Awa, who is at Otago, received $10,000 scholarships in memory of public health pioneer John McLeod from Ngapuhi, who died in 1994.

Community health workers Matui Julia from New Plymouth, Pirihira Roberts from Whanganui and Harata Te Amo-Simeon from Whakatane received Te Apa Mareikura awards, also of $10,000.

Associate health minister Tariana Turia says they will do honour to the community leaders the awards commemorate, Rongo WiRepa, Anne Delamare, Denis Simpson and Bill Katene.


The son of Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says traditional Maori martial arts have brought him closer to his father.

18- year-old Whatanui is one of the organisers of a Matarua Federation open mau rakau tournament tonight in Rotorua, where 60 competitors from as far away Invercargill will pit their skills with taiaha and other weapons.

He says his father introduced him to the sport as a way to bring together mind, body and soul in a physical exercise.

Whatanui Flavell says learning Maori martial arts is a good way to understand other Maori traditions and ways.

Brash bashing Maori Party for Orewa faithful

Former National Party leader Don Brash says he’s deeply troubled by the existence of National’s support partner, the Maori Party.

Dr Brash, who’s paid by the government to come up with ideas about where New Zealand should be in 2025, used a speech to the party’s Orewa branch to reprise his 2004 Orewa nationhood speech, which was widely seen at the time as an attack on Maori.

But Dr Brash says that’s not his intention, and he’s arguing for All New Zealanders to be treated equally.

“If New Zealanders of European ethnicity were to say we want a European party in parliament, I’d be deeply troubled by that and I think most New Zealanders would be. If the Chinese decided to have a Chinese party in parliament, I think I’d be troubled by that too. I think there is a real risk in having race based parties, and amongst throughout the world where there are race based parties, you get a degree of tension between races which I think is entirely unhelpful, Dr Brash says.

He says Maori seats have failed to prevent disparities between Maori and non-Maori in health, education and justice, and they should be abolished, probably once the treaty settlement process is completed.


Maori landowners in the Bay of Plenty are testing whether South African lace bugs can control woolly nightshade.

Forest scientist Jeff Tombleson says the invasive plant is well established on the 180 hectare Ngapeke Lands Trust Block at Welcome Bay, and it’s stifling the regrowth of native bush.

He says 300 lacebugs were released this week, and if they prove effective they will be used on other land blocks.

“While this particular insect sucks the sap and dries the leaf out and stunts the growth, ideally it would hopefully result in the death of the plant and if that occurs there will obviously will be considerable demand to move this biocontrol out to the other regions as soon as possible,” Mr Tombleson says.

The experiment has the backing of Ngati Pukenga and Ngati He, as well as Bay of Plenty Regional Council.


Researchers around the world are taking note of the whanau approach taken in the Growing Up in New Zealand long term study.

A team at Auckland University is tracking 7000 children from birth until their 21st birthday.

Polly Atatoa Carr, its associate director, says it’s different from similar longitudinal studies in the way data is collected on the whole family.

“We are looking at whanau ora I guess, we are looking at hauora, we are looking much broader, much more aligned I think with Maori models or indigenous models of health so we do look at the whanau, we have a whole domain looking at that,” Dr Carr says.

A new English study is deliberately modeling itself on the Growing Up in New Zealand study.


Public health researchers say the Government needs to act fast to maintain the momentum built up by the Maori affairs select committee inquiry into the tobacco industry.

In an editorial in the New Zealand Medical Journal, researchers from the University of Otago and Whakauae Research for Maori Health and Development called on the government to pass the legislation needed to ban tobacco sales by 2025.

Professor Tony Blakely from the university’s department of public health says the inquiry came up with some sound recommendations.

“So it’s time to put flesh on these bones and the korero’s been great but now we need to legislate that date in, set that goal. Tariana Turia as associate minister has already got four or five initiatives off and going within a day of the Maori affairs select committee. We have identified 15 other recommendations in this report that could be done now without much political cost, without much financial cost, it’s just a matter of doing it,” Dr Blakely says.


Playwright Albert Belz is setting an ambitious schedule for his writer’s residency at Victoria University.

The 37-year-old from Ngati Porou and Ngapuhi hopes to spend the year at the International Institute of Modern Letters completing a stage play, three short plays for tamariki, and the second draft of a novel for rangatahi.

He says it comes at the right time, as he’s just come to the end of a Waikato University residency.

Albert Belz’s most recent play was the musical Raising the Titanics, which won acclaim at this year’s Maori playwrights festival in Auckland.


Organisers of Te Matatini are breathing easier now the Eastland Community Trust has pledged a quarter of a million dollars towards the staging of the national kapa haka competition.

Organising committee member Willie Te Aho says the grant from the trust, which holds shares in the region’s port, airport and power company, covers about 13 percent of the total budget.

He says the trust can see the value of the festival, which is expected to attract more than 10,000 people a day to the Waiohika Estate just out of Gisborne in late February.

“They see this as a long term partnership with Tairawhiti and kapa haka because we have our 60th anniversary for our regional competition in 2012 and also looking forward to the secondary schools nationals in 2014 with Lytton High School the current champions,” Mr Te Aho says.